My 2010 roundup of Best Things. Slightly late.

1. True Stories Told Live. Thank you Kerry, Kate and David. This event is becoming so cool, I'm not even going to tell you to come. The waiting list stretches for miles already. 2. Humboldt's Gift, Saul Bellow. OK, I'm 54 and I'd never read Saul Bellow. Now I understand why Philip Roth is so depressed. These are the books he's been trying his whole life to write.

3. Mal Peet's new novel, Life: An Exploded Diagram, available in June or to preorder. If I didn't like Mal so much I'd be forced to wish writer's block on him. I mean, does anyone actually LIKE competition?

4. Downton Abbey.  We're all miserable, the economy's doomed, I'll never write another book, there's mud knee-deep in my kitchen and it's dark, but the footman's snogging the Duke and I am just SO happy.

5. Angela de la Cruz and Dexter Dalwood's Turner Prize shows. One of them should have won, if you ask me.

6. Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch. Some soul searching required here. Why am I fatally attracted to weird-looking autistic geniuses?

7. The Hare With Amber Eyes. I know, I know. It's a bandwagon now.


8. Finishing The Hat, Steven Sondheim (plus, A Little Night Music at the Menier and Into The Woods in Regents Park). Vast talent and an opinion on everything and everyone.  What's not to like?

9. La Bete with Mark Rylance. The reviewers who didn't like it (like this one), didn't get it. It's a play about mediocrity, and why we find it so bloody appealing. See also, X Factor.

10. Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellan, Simon Callow, Patrick Stewart, and Krapp's Last Tape with Michael Gambon. Beckett's so bleak, he makes me want to cheer.

11. Meeting KM Peyton. Why someone hasn't reissued all her pony books in a big pony-coloured box-set with a red ribbon for all those poor desperate girlies out there who would devour them like polos, I don't know.

12. Gauguin at Tate Britain.  I'm sorry, I don't care if he was a paedophile.  The paintings are beautiful and anyway he's dead.


13.  Andrea Seigel's The Kid Table. Just looked it up on Goodreads to see if the world had wised-up, but the site worked its usual magic of turning me from a sensible friendly person to a homicidal maniac.  Why are so many people allowed opinions?

Note to readers: These are only the events I remember liking.  Feel free to remind me of the best evening of my life that I spent with you and have managed to forget. Thank you for your patience.