I'm not feeling especially bloggy at the moment.
It's partly that I'm still busy finishing a number of different writing and teaching jobs. It's partly that it's been a long year and I'm ready for a holiday. But I think it's also that I'm feeling a bit restricted in what I can and can't talk about.
I've seen a string of duff shows lately, ranging from mediocre to appalling. But I can't discuss them. After dipping my toe into these waters last time and getting a nasty nip, I got some sage advice from trusted quarters that those in the business of producing art shouldn't criticise it. It's not that we're incapable, or that morally we should avoid doing so, or that we have an unspoken oath of solidarity towards our colleagues (though there may be something in this). It's more that when deconstructing other's work and finding fault with it, there's no getting away from the awful unavoidable subtext that you are somehow saying: I can do this better than them, I don't make these mistakes.
Even when you're not.
So I have given up theatre criticism, at least until I see something good (recommendations welcome). And anyway, there are bloggers out there doing a far more intelligent job of assessing the nation's dramatic output than I could ever be bothered to.
I could blog about how, for a variety of diplomatically-sensitive reasons I again can't discuss, a certain well-known play of mine now looks exceedingly unlikely to make it to London. But a foot wrong in that minefield could finally finish off a career that's already been brought back from the brink once too often for my liking. (And that's a howl of frustration directed southwards rather than northwards, for anyone from the fine city of Sheffield reading).
I could blog about the whole depressing Olympics situation but (apart from the fact that this has been done to death in the blogosphere of late) after my initial burst of rage-fuelled letter-writing I've become rather defeatist about the whole thing. Apart from a dismissive email from my MP, and an incoherent statistic-strewn letter from one of Tessa Jowell's minions, the net result of my missives has been a resounding bugger all. David Lammy, Gordon Brown and Peter Hewitt have all ignored me, and I'm not really a joiner in the shouty protesty let's-have-an-arts- sports-day sense (though I wish them all the best.) The blogs and mailing lists and meetings all rail about how 'We must let them know they can't get away with this', but the depressing truth is that of course they can. They're the government. They can do what they like. If they can go to war with millions of people protesting against it they can sure as hell nick some cash from us and bulldoze half of east London for their pointless corporate javelin chuckathon.
So I might take a bit of a break from blogging for a while, and try and catch some sun. Chances are that now I've said this publicly, something extraordinarily dramatic will happen and I'll be back in 24 hours to eat my words and tell you all about it. Then again, it might not.
See you on the other side.