Eddie Mair: my inner monologue needs new writers

"This week’s column reflects the fact I can’t make any sense of the world any more"

These are strange times we’re living in. Winter lasted until May. There are two Popes. Everyone on TV is under arrest. It leads to a certain sense of discombobulation.


I couldn’t feel less confused if I was a bagatelle ball. I feel like I’m in a constant helicopter down-draft. I feel like Telly Savalas’s barber. And this week’s column reflects the fact I can’t make any sense of the world any more. Increasingly I find myself starting off with one thought in my head and before I get to the end of the sentence I… musical incontinence pads that play Moon River when they need changing.

Where was I? Yes. In order for the column to truly reflect my state of mind, it will consist entirely of sentences that have popped into my head in the last seven days. I don’t make any great claims for them. Perhaps they’re genius. Perhaps they’re evidence I need to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Or both.

If I did a Freedom of Information request to the Government to find out exactly what age “women of a certain age” are, would I get an answer? I see cider adverts everywhere. There are big cider brands battling it out for market share. I don’t drink cider but now I want to.

I am sitting in a restaurant, perusing the menu as I wait for my dining companion. Rather than ask the waiter what Labneh is, I look it up on my smartphone. My phone is smarter than me.

My inner monologue needs new writers.

I read Julian Barnes’s new book about love and grief and am dazzled by his ability to reframe timeless universal experiences into new and thought-provoking sentences. It’s a stunning piece of work.

Musical incontinence pads sound like a good idea, but in reality, who wants the world to know they’ve wet themselves?

I want William Shatner to live for ever.

Three years after getting specs for the first time – “just for reading” – I can no longer leave the house without them. It makes me sad.

My whole life experience tells me that not fixing things in a timely fashion leads to greater trouble in future. The temperamental loo handle I ignored, that finally gave up the ghost when I REALLY needed to flush. The cracked car windscreen I dismissed as tiny, that chose to shatter at 70mph. Last night just before bedtime I noticed that the boiler is making a really loud noise, almost constantly. Yet I will do nothing about it.

I see a dog poop in the park. Its owner sees it too but doesn’t bin the poop. I say nothing. It makes me sad. I read newspapers online during the week but at the weekend miss turning the pages.

I remember a wise teacher at school advising us not to make subject choices on the strength of being able to share a class with friends. I vividly recall him saying that we should choose subjects only because we wanted to. “It may seem odd to you now, but in 30 years from now you won’t be able to remember five of your schoolfriends’ names.” I try to remember the names of five school friends and can’t. And I can’t remember the name of the wise teacher either.


Is it worth maybe just approaching the estate of Andy Williams to sound them out?