>Much to enjoy this weekend, and many different flavours consumed. First, I read the magnificent How To Make Friends With Demons by the national treasure that is Graham Joyce. Joyce writes stories that defy categorisation. Just because they win fantasy awards doesn’t necessarily make them fantasy. Nor are they necessarily magic realism. They’re just Joyce. What I do know is that Demons is full of real and rounded characters, prose that’s witty and rich and full of passion, and that I was sorry to put it down.

Next I experienced the unutterable joy of watching the current UK tour of Spamalot. Yes, the Monty Python musical was in Nottingham, and I was there. A complete hoot from beginning to end. The show manages to incorporate all your favourite bits from Holy Grail, while morphing the plot into something fresh and lively. A great lead performance from Marcus Brigstocke and a heap of witty songs including the hilarious This Is The Song That Goes Like This. Miss it and weep.

Finally, I watched Avatar on the telly. I was concerned going in that I’d miss the bigness and 3D-ness of the theatrical release … and for the first ten minutes I did. After that I didn’t. This is simply a beautiful movie. As well as the eye-candy – which is delicious even on the small screen – this time round I was struck by Cameron’s script. He gets a lot of stick for his writing, but check out the aforementioned first ten minutes, in which he delivers exposition for the entire movie with fast and effortless ease and without you even realising he’s doing it. Go Jim!

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