Finally, an upside of Covid 19 with Sam returning home because the world famous Gleneagles resort has been shut until February 2021.
Waiting for him at Gatwick airport this week I felt ambivalent. Excited of course to see my Sam but saddened to experience a once bustling airport now so deserted and desolate; a metaphor for our economy and I fear the enduring impact that 2020 will have on so many people.
But let’s not dwell on this here – the Holland family is now swollen to four and quickly more normal family life resumes with Nikki and Sam having great fun conceiving a new nickname for the head of the Holland household.
Er, this is me btw, not Nikki and certainly not Tom. Not yet anyway.
This new name for me is “TWD” – pronounced TWOD which they find hilarious but I think works less well than the moniker it has replaced which was SD.
I should explain all this and I am about to.
TWD is an acronym for THAT WILL DO – to represent my Slap Dash attitude (SD) to too many things in my life.
It infers that I am inclined to just get things over and done with… so to not bother reading instruction manuals and not using things properly or to their full potential.
Just make a start. Get things done. And move on.
Or in other words, that’ll do.
I don’t refute this. Guilty as charged. Certainly, there is not much order in my life. An example being my email inbox – with 5,419 emails currently waiting for my attention. Most of these mails should never have got through and need to be deleted. But no doubt, some will be important emails that I have missed. Gigs that have come and gone. Too late now, of course. Anyone who has emailed me and might still be waiting for a reply, this blog can serve both as an explanation and an apology.
However, I am not TWOD in certain areas of my life – and particularly so, my writing. In spite of the typos that define my work, I am pedantic about my writing and particularly so, my books.
Much toil goes in to my writing. Because I want my books to be readable I spend uneconomic amounts of time to make them conversational and easy to read. That said, this lofty claim is laid bare by a glaring error in my latest book, Takes on Life – which some readers have gently brought to my attention.
An egregious error and in the introduction, no less. On flipping Page 1. Before the book even properly starts which is unforgivable. It is SD and TWoD in the extreme and perfectly sums up my character and my life.
I’ve been minded to address this error since it was first highlighted to me but I do so here because getting home after a gig this week, Nikki was watching the film and the very scene in question.
You probably know it. Iron Man is chatting to Peter Parker. It’s the concluding scene that all super-hero films have after the villain has been vanquished. A humorous and light hearted scene to dispatch the audience home with a warm glow.
Iron Man (RDJ) has invited Mr Parker (TH) to join the Avengers and he would like to make the announcement to the world’s press who have gathered.
“Real writers Peter, not bloggers.”
This line made me howl when I first heard it. Whether it was scripted or not I don’t know, but it has all the hall marks of a Downey Jnr ad-lib; just one of the many reasons RDJ is such good value and integral to this franchise and the Marvel renaissance.
I used this scene and line in my introduction to Takes on Life – as an insult to me (a blogger) who wants to become a proper (or real) writer.
But I attributed the scene to Spider-Man Far From Home – when in fact it was Spider-Man Homecoming.
No research then on my part, just a reliance on my notoriously unreliable and fading memory.
A better example of being SD (or Twod) I cannot think of because I could so easily have checked and avoided this error. There are no excuses. We have the DVD’s at home. I could have asked any of my boys. Damn it, I could have called Tom.
Or I could stick with my hunch instead – Far From Home. It was one of the Spider-Man films anyway. That’ll do.
A 50:50 chance and I got it flat wrong, of course. Good job, Dom.
And I could correct the error easily enough. Too late for the people who have already bought Takes on Life (thank you) – but for the millions of people who are intending to buy it (utterly delusional)…
But I have decided to let the error remain and not because I am so SD or Twod.
But because it is an error that typifies me. And because Takes on Life is fundamentally a book on the quirks of life, it is a perfect error and maybe even a deliberate one?
You can decide which of these scenarios is correct.
We could do a poll – with your answers in the comments below.
Is this an honest error of an urgent slap dash/that’ll do man…
Or is it the cynical manoeuvrings of a manipulative and cunning writer?
However you answer this question, you can experience this error for real in Takes on Life – the best book I have ever written (in Lockdown) – 31 essays to make you smile and sometimes think. Hardbacks are available via this site which I can sign and dedicate if you wish. Paperbacks are available from Amazon and elsewhere. Thank you.