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Douglas Adams author, friend of Pink Floyd and hanger about,

author of brilliantly funny radio plays and a 3 disc Record Set and a 4 CD set of the original Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy or H^2 G^2 (H squared, G squared). Also author of the Dirk Gently Holistic Detective Agency mysteries, and the Starship Titanic computer game. (there have been two further radio plays based on the other volumes of the 5 book Trilogy including Adams voice cribbed from interviews and that sort of source.) One month and a bit after the tenth anniversary of his death.

There was a TV series which was pretty good, and a movie which was better than I expected, Mos Def did a surprisingly good job as Ford Prefect (which for American readers is the name of an old English Ford car adopted as a name by a non Earthling writer commissioned to expand the entry on Earth for the Hitch-Hiker's Guide which read only: Mostly Harmless.)

"Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 - 11 May 2001)" sorry I missed the tenth anniversary old boy, but you're still in my heart and in my cerebral cortex. Stop playing "Be Careful with that Axe Eugene" so damned loud, I'm trying to get to sleep.

This part is on the record, but not on the CDs and wasn't part of the original BBC radio play. It is in the second book. It was the first record I bought in Canada, July, 1980, bought entirely on spec since I hadn't heard the series at that time but I couldn't resist the title The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, or the red cover with nothing but a yellow bathtub duckling in the lower left quadrant. After I got it home I discovered that it was part 3 of the recording, but I was laughing so hard I didn't care. I had to tear the back page out of the book version of H^2G^2 and mail it to Britain to get the first two records.

Curiously 17 years later we moved to Essex and settled not more than about 8 miles from Brentwood where Adams was raised, and after the 11 plus exam we checked out The Brentwood School, but thought they were a bit full of themselves, and Robbie didn't fancy the commute. After Douglas' untimely death of a heart attack just before we left Britain I found out that he went to The Brentwood School and so did Robin Day, Jack Straw, Noel Edmonds, David Irving (Yechh) and Griff Rhys Jones (details available at the Wikipedia site above).

This is Table Conversation between Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, with asides from Trisha McMillan otherwise known as Trillian, an earth girl with a degree in Maths, and another in Astrophysics, and therefore unemployed.

Ford So, do you know how the universe began for a start?

Arthur Well, no.

Ford Well you get this great big bathtub, only it's conical, see.

Arthur Where from? Harrod's was destroyed by the Vogons.

Ford Doesn't matter.

Arthur So you keep saying but ...

Ford No, wait. Then you fill the bath with something white, fine white particles, sand, sugar, anything, and then you pull the plug and it all goes spiralling down the plug hole. But the clever thing, the clever bit, see, is you film it while it's happening, and then you run the film backwards so that the black bathtub ...

Trillian Conical.

Ford The conical black bathtub seems to fill with little white particles.

Arthur (excitedly) And that's how the universe was formed?

Ford No. But it makes for a great way to relax.

Trillian (very sarcastically) Funny man !

It's a sad state of affairs when you don't even have to refer to the original source to be able to write that all out verbatim.

I quite liked Brentwood which was bigger than Billericay, and older than Basildon. Madonna checked out the area for a manor house, but decided on a flat in Chelsea. Brentwood is Anglo Saxon for exactly what it sounds like. I gather they had a bad fire in 900 and something. The's a nice twisty decending road called Hanging Tree Hill on the way to Billericay. God I wish I could win a lottery and go back.


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