Thursday, December 29, 2005

What day is it?

I’ve never been a believer in reincarnation, but this Christmas I had the pleasure of reverting to a previous life before the vicissitudes of adolescence gained a grip.

Father Christmas is a generous and deeply perceptive individual, as my gift of a Gamecube testifies. I ripped off the wrapping to find myself presented with an obsolescent piece of technology, of interest only to the sad saps that retrieve their N64’s from the attic to have another bash at ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time’. In the world of the Xbox 360 and the PSP, it was surely an insult to present anyone with this cute little toy that most retailers stopped stocking a couple of years ago.

My scepticism was short lived. The Cube was emblazoned with the legend: ‘Resident Evil 4’. I cranked the game up with the expectation of lumbering zombies annoying me while I searched for ammunition and a typewriter to save my progress. Instead I was confronted with hoards of psychotic East European residents (or perhaps they hailed from Basingstoke, it’s hard to tell) intent on ensuring my demise.

Resident Evil 4 is the best game I’ve played in years. It’s available on the Playstation, but the beauty of the Gamecube is that a Zelda game is to be released in the Spring.
Sometimes a console is worth buying just for one game. The Gamecube may be worth buying for two. I am relishing the prospect of a swansong.

Christmas Day was ace. I went for a ride on my bike, scoffed some turkey, and sat down to watch Doctor Who. It’s great being twelve.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Ghost Story for Christmas

They told me that buildings have a memory and I laughed. If that was the case, then surely the rubble tramped by countless generations of feet would grab me by the ankles and shake me.

It was after the fire that it struck me: the bare outlines of a charcoal skeleton smouldering; window frames warped, a scent of carbonised damp permeating the drizzle. The workmen had already started. There is something obscene about gaping window frames: the glass that they held shielded what was held within, observed the proper proprieties.

The upper storey had collapsed. Most of the ground floor was intact, the drawing room and public bar eerily intact. In a wasteland of charred timber the oak bar and a line of malt whiskies against a mirrored background remained much as they had been. It was wonderful. The snow drifted through the denuded rafters and fell among the candles as we imbibed; commiserating and consoling ourselves.

Room number 11 didn’t occur to me: the top storey had collapsed. The rubble lying at my feet was just so much detritus, rubble to be scooped by a digger and used as infill. The economics were straightforward; a physical loss was an immense financial gain. These old buildings cost a lot to insure, and I knew that the insurance company would offer me a wad of cash rather than incur the costs of rebuilding.

Willie told me that he’d seen her. Face down in his whisky glass he had mumbled and gesticulated, pointing into the middle distance. He was a drunken fool, a ‘Tam o Shanter’ who divined more in his glass than he did in his bank account. Everyone had laughed, mocking his credulity and ignorance: he saw vapours and apparitions where the rest of us saw road signs. We laughed, but Isobel demurred. She turned and said: “They may laugh Willie, but I know exactly what you saw”.

I dreamt it vividly: a girl falling headlong from a window, her nightdress flailing, and the crunch of bone on gravel. I didn’t see her fall, but I dream her dreams every day.

Garfer Says Yo Ho Ho!

Ma Hoose

I would like to take this opportunity to wish my vast, discerning, domestic and international readership (all 3 of them) a humongous merry Christmas.

Normal blogging service will be resumed when my cumulative hangover has subsided.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Liberte, Egalite, Bollocks.

Things that I like about the French:

  1. Croissants.

  2. Isabelle Adjani (obviously).

  3. Jules et Jim.

  4. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday.

  5. Albert Camus.

  6. Claret.

  7. Er…. That’s about it.

Things that I dislike about the French:

  1. Scrounging farmers expecting us to subsidise them.

  2. Honking cheese.

  3. Being crap at war (WWII, Algeria, Vietnam etc).

  4. Not speaking English.

  5. Gites.

  6. Charles Asnavour.

  7. Serge Gainsborough.

  8. Meddling in Africa.

  9. Jean Marie le Pen.

  10. Pretentious films.

  11. The Foreign Legion (see 3).

  12. Stinky toilets.

  13. Overpriced Claret.

  14. Rude waiters.

  15. The Citroen 2CV.

  16. The Porn D’or.

  17. Jean Paul Sartre.

  18. Eating horses.

  19. Men carrying handbags.

  20. Not eating roast beef.

Male Models

I’m sure that we all wish Elton John and David Furnish well after their Civil Partnership ceremony today. In view of their long standing relationship it is only right and proper that they should have the opportunity to make a public declaration of their commitment to each other.

There is one aspect of their relationship about which I am rather curious. Has David, after twelve years, still not plucked up the courage to tell Elton that he has the dress sense of a total mong? For his big day, Elton chose a black satin frock coat that appeared to be about two sizes too big for him. He looked even more like an obese weeble than usual, which I am sure is not the image that he wished to convey on his big day. The garment may have been Versace, or Dolce and Gabbana, but it made Sir Elton appear a complete twat. I think it’s about time that David took him aside and had a quiet word in his ear.

I find it rather reassuring that so many rich celebrities are utterly clueless in the wardrobe department. Christine Aguilera, for example, resembles a trashwhore festooned with Christmas baubles. Then there are the professional footballers who think a black jacket, a black shirt, and a fat black tie, make a fetching combination.

The worrying thing is that the whole of chavdom takes its sartorial inspiration from these people. I think it’s about time that they took their responsibilities as yoof role models a bit more seriously, and got themselves a decent tailor. There’s no excuse for looking like a total fucktard if you can afford not to.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This Charming Man

Huckster Hoogstraten

I was gratified to learn that the repulsive psychotic Nicholas van Hoogstraten is facing damages of £10 million. He has lost the Civil action brought by the family of one of his erstwhile business associates who was brutally murdered, apparently on Hoogstraten’s orders.

He has to be one of the most repulsive individuals living in Britain. The origins of his vast wealth lie in property investments in Brighton during the late 1960’s. At that time property with sitting tenants could be purchased dirt cheap as the tenants had rights of occupancy.

Hoogstraten took considerable delight in threatening tenants with physical violence if they did not vacate the properties. Many of these people were elderly or vulnerable, not that this was of any concern to Hoogstraten. In one instance, one of his goons shoved a handkerchief smeared with human excrement into the face of a female tenant.

He regards most people as vermin, and reserves particular contempt for women and, for some bizarre reason, ramblers. He is the kind of sociopath who poses a profound danger to anyone with whom he comes in contact. Naturally he has fawning acolytes, which is not surprising given his enormous wealth.

The only good news before today’s court ruling was the confiscation of his huge estates in Zimbabwe. Hoogstraten thought that licking Robert Mugabe’s arse would prevent him suffering the same confiscation of property as the white farmers in that country. More fool him. He failed to realise that we was dealing with someone as evil as himself.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Loch Coruisk

I was reading a colour supplement on Saturday when I came across an article on a remote mountain fastness in Bhutan. One of the photographs looked strangely familiar, and I realised that it bore an uncanny resemblance to Loch Coruisk.

Loch Coruisk nestles beneath the Cuillin Ridge on the Isle of Skye. The Cuillins are undoubtedly the most spectacular mountain range in the British Isles. Composed of the hard volcanic rock gabbro, they are proper fairy tale mountains with jagged serrated peaks.

It’s hard to believe that this small island contains a landscape that is the equal of any in the world. Parts of the Alps, Himalayas, or Rockies may be spectacular on a larger scale, but in terms of sheer elemental grandeur the Cuillins stand comparison with them.

Weather permitting; I shall be visiting the Cuillins on Boxing Day. I can’t imagine a better way to work off the indulgences of Christmas, or escape the tawdry commercialism.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Hotel Paradiso

I’m not particularly materialistic, but if there’s one thing I can’t abide it’s cheap hotel rooms. Hotels in Britain are a bit confusing. A two star hotel in the countryside can provide perfectly acceptable accommodation, whereas a two star hotel in a town or city centre will invariably be a dump.

What really annoys me is that that there is always a Porsche or a Jag parked round the back that belongs to the owner. They obviously manage to pay for their cars by scrimping in every possible area. Toilet paper is invariably single ply, the carpets are made out of nylon, the TV is a 14 incher with squeaky speakers, and the wallpaper is usually woodchip painted a delicate shade of nicotine magnolia.

I like to stay in the big chain hotels. At least you can be sure of the standard of accommodation you will receive, and the staff don’t pretend to be your best friend. I like the impersonality and anonymity; there’s none of that ‘think of yourself as a guest in our home’ bollocks.

The only institution that managed to keep functioning during the siege of Sarajevo was the Holiday Inn. While the city crumbled under sniper and mortar fire, the residents sat down to three proper meals a day (even if the provenance of the meat was uncertain). That’s the whole point of chain hotels: it’s like staying in a space capsule; you are divorced from the world outside.

Some people might argue that, when abroad, this prevents you from experiencing the full richness of foreign cultures. I say bollocks to that. If I’m in Thailand, I don’t want to stay in a flophouse with a ceiling fan and cockroaches the size of an aircraft carrier scuttling across the floor. I don’t want to fall asleep listening to Nigel from Basingstoke shagging a ladyboy. Those bamboo partition walls don’t have much in the way of soundproofing.

There are some two star hotels in Scotland offering seasonal breaks over the Christmas period. If anyone fancies three nights of party games, and mingling with the elderly and eccentric in extreme discomfort, I can provide the contact numbers and addresses.

Friday, December 16, 2005


Some gormless fuckwit weird beard ecofascist was on the radio this morning moaning that the people who drape the exterior of their houses in Christmas lights are draining precious power from the national grid.

Presumably we can expect the arctic ice cap to melt instantly if this scandalous behaviour is allowed to continue. What the eco warrior has omitted to mention is that we produce a surplus of electricity during the night. All the factories and offices are closed, and most vibrators are battery powered. Electricity can’t be stored: if we don’t use it we lose it. That’s why some hydro electric power stations pump millions of gallons of water up to the top of the dam overnight.

As far as I’m concerned, people who are devoid of taste deserve a good kicking; but I’m damned if I’ll allow global warming to be used as the reason.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Charity

There’s nothing I enjoy more of a Christmas morn’ than to go out and pour a thermos flask of piping hot soup over the homeless. At this special time of year frostbitten limbs are particularly receptive to some hot scotch broth, or carrot and coriander. I can tell they are pleased because they always do a little dance to show their appreciation of my kind hearted charity.

If more people were prepared to make a public spirited gesture like this, I am sure that Britain would be a happier place. In our modern consumerist world, many people think that tossing sachets of dehydrated chicken noodle soup out of their BMW windows into shop doorways is an adequate gesture towards those less fortunate than themselves. This just shows what the world is coming to: at the very least you would think they would be able to manage a Pot Noodle or two.

As a special treat this year, I plan to collect some half eaten kebabs to distribute amongst the needy. They may be a bit congealed, but will still be full of meaty natural goodness. The chilli sauce will add a cheery festive note, and add a soupcon of merriment to what would otherwise be a bleak time of year.

I urge all of you to consider what you can do for the needy this Christmas. In our atomised, me first world, it is far too easy to take our own comfort for granted and neglect the needs of others. Just remember, there but for the grace of God go I.
Mixed dried pulses are on special offer at Asda this week. Go on, do your bit. I know you wont regret it.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Skullduggery and Theft

I can’t deny it, I’m a thief; a felon with no respect or regard for the property of others. Every Christmas I sneak out with a bush saw, select a small spruce tree belonging to the Forestry Commission, and fell it.

Nobody has ever reported my theft of Crown property, which is a bloody good thing, as all the people I know locally also steal their Christmas trees. I would ask all of you who are tempted to condemn my crime outright to consider the following mitigating factors:

1) The real Christmas trees for sale at retail outlets are invariably shite. They are all
wonky and misshapen with one side bigger than the other. In short, they look crap.

2) These trees are usually at least a week old before they are sold. The pine needles
are all dried up and will fall on the carpet given the first whiff of radiator.

I know that my position is indefensible in strict legal terms, but I feel that I’ve done enough for society over the years for this slight transgression of the law to be forgivable. If it wasn’t for me paying taxes to ensure that the Government can make sure that children can’t read and write properly, and provide people with a bit of a sore leg with free cars, the whole country would fall to wrack and ruin.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Can I Have a Sick Note Doc?

There are 2.9 million people in receipt of disability benefit in Britain. I wouldn’t have the temerity to suggest that they are all work shy, scrounging bastards, but after coming across this figure a number of things occurred to me.

In the past thirty years the number of people in receipt of disability benefit has trebled. This is rather odd given the overall improvements in health standards and longevity over this period. It seems even more preposterous when one considers that all the heavy industries which were a staple of working class life thirty years ago have more or less disappeared. I’m sure that shelf stacking or working in a call centre have their hazards, but I’m pretty sure that they can’t be compared with working as a stevedore, or digging coal out of the ground.

I also think that it’s rather a strange coincidence that the figure of 2.9 million is almost identical to the number of people who were unemployed following the first Thatcher Governments decimation of manufacturing industry during the early 1980’s.

Whenever I hear Gordon Brown boasting about record levels of employment, I find myself wishing that he would announce the number of people that are classed as economically inactive. If we add up the numbers of long term unemployed, disability claimants, and single mothers, everything in the economic garden starts to look a lot less rosy.

We’re encouraged by the press to think of the ‘underclass’ as illiterate chavs and deadbeats. In reality, the underclass consists of everyone who is effectively reliant on the state for their subsistence. These people have no hope of social mobility, and have fallen out of the productively employed sector of British life. We have instances of entire families that have never worked in their lives. I know of one district of Glasgow in which one third of the populace is in receipt of disability benefit. That figure beggars belief.

It’s difficult to know what’s to be done about it. Given the general cack handedness of government, any attempt to weed out the scroungers will probably just end up persecuting people that genuinely can’t work. The spongers are wily enough to work their way around the system

Labour won’t do much about it for fear of being seen to pillory the poor, the very people whose interests they are supposedly the guarantors. The Tories may huff and puff, but ultimately they don’t give a stuff because these people have never voted for them and never will.

I feel sorry for people who are born into this cycle of supplication to the state. If your parents have no expectations, then you will have no expectations. Even the system of higher education has been buggered up to such an extent that a degree has little value. God help the people at the bottom of the heap who don’t even get to university.

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Ballad of Piggy and Tazzy

I’m sure that everyone is aware of the deep affection for poetry felt by Barnsley based bloggers Piggy and Tazzy. Moved by their deep appreciation of all things poetic, I felt compelled to pen some verse in their honour.

The Ballad of Piggy and Tazzy


Piggy and Tazzy went to sea
In a beautiful pea green used condom,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Pigster looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
‘O lovely Tazzy! O Tazzy my love,
What a beautiful Tazzy you are
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Tazzy you are!’


Tazzy said to the Pigster, ‘You elegant bumboy!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?’
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a rent boy stood
With a ring at the end of his dong,
His dong,
His dong,
With a ring at the end of his dong.


‘Dear boy, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?’ Said the rent boy, ‘I will.’
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the trannie who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Garfer (with apologies to Edward Lear).

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Oor Wullie

Every year since the age of ten, I have received the ‘Oor Wullie’ and ‘Broons’ annuals from Santa Claus.

I should really be reading some classic literature over the festive period, but I will take great pleasure in reading the cartoon adventures of Wullie and the Broons with a glass of malt in hand.

A Scottish institution since 1927, the Broons are an extended working class family headed by the paterfamilias of Maw and Paw. Wullie is an urchin who sits on an upturned tin bucket and is often to be found extracting big boiled sweeties from a paper bag.

Published by the estimable D C Thompson, creators of the Beano, some of the earlier editions of these annuals are quite valuable. Unfortunately when I was younger I didn’t have the foresight to keep my copies.

That’s not as bad as my father. He had the first fifty editions of the ‘50’s sci fi comic ‘Dan Dare’ safely stashed in the attic. One day my grandmother decided to have a clear out and burnt the lot. They would be worth an absolute fortune these days. I don’t think my father ever forgave her.

My father has never had much luck collecting stuff. He used to have a stash of pre 1937 shillings that were made from solid silver. When I was eight I found them in the cupboard under the stairs and spent them on sweeties. I don’t think he’s ever forgiven me either.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Groundhog Day

It is at this time of year that I always begin to feel pangs of yearning for pastures new.
There are no tourists about, and I basically have fuck all to do. This state of affairs leads to periods of wistful contemplation of foreign climes, and the allure of bright city lights and kebab shops becomes irresistible.

I could, if I made up my mind (I am a ditherer by nature), sell up, bung the money in the bank, and bugger off around the world for a couple of years. I could just about live on the interest, and come back and buy something else rather closer to the centres of civilization.

I’m suffering a bit of a ‘Groundhog Day’ syndrome at the moment. I’ve never lived in the same place for more than eight years, and next year being the ninth anniversary of my arrival here, I’m beginning to feel like it’s time to be moving on.

It would be different if life was really like Groundhog Day. I would find it rather enjoyable to relive the same day over and over, especially as there are quite a number of people I would happily punch in the face knowing that I would avoid the consequences. Of course, days filled with sybaritic self indulgence would probably pall after a while, but believe me; it would take quite a long while.

The central premise of Groundhog Day is intriguing, and I regard it as one of the finest comedies ever made. It’s one of those films that doesn’t have any central philosophy; it lets you take from it what you want. Is it an examination of man's existential predicament, or an illustration of the redemptive power of love? Who knows? You make your own mind up.

There are no groundhogs where I live, but it’s starting to feel a bit like Punxatawny.
Maybe I should pack my bags and head into the great blue yonder. Then again, my groundhog day a’int such a bad place to be, even if I don’t get to live it over and over.

Arsing arses

This is a test. When I try to view my blog I am presented with a blank screen.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Don't smoke, don't drink, what do you do?

The international beacon of medical excellence that is the NHS has come up with another wizard wheeze to save some cash. Apparently there are circumstances in which medical practitioners may be able to withhold treatment from those whose lifestyle choices may result in such treatment not being effective. There are no prizes for guessing the lifestyle choices: smoking, being a fat bastard, and drinking heavily.

It has been stressed that treatment cannot be denied solely on the basis of these three lifestyles alone. Treatment may only be denied if the lifestyles compromise the efficacy of the treatment. I’m no expert on semantics, but what precisely is the difference?

Patient: “I’m a fat porker, I smoke forty a day, and I drink 2 bottles of vodka a day.
I’ve got pains in my chest. What treatment can I get?
Doctor: “Fuck off. Next please”.

I thought that there was such a thing as the Hippocratic Oath.

I fail to see the logic in denying treatment to the very people who are propping up Government finances through excise payments on tobacco and alcohol. Let’s face it, these people don’t have a great life expectancy, and are likely to cost the NHS less in the long run than everybody else anyway.

I hate the NHS. I hate the patronising nature of a state run monopoly that treats the populace as children who should be thankful for what they get. I smoke. If I get denied treatment, I’ll pay for it privately. A lot of people don’t have that choice.
I’d opt out of the NHS entirely if I was given a tax incentive to do so; I’m sure many people would. A thriving private health sector would drag up standards in the NHS as it would very quickly become obvious what an inefficient, producer oriented, shambles it is.

Rant over. Thank you and goodnight.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How to drive fast on drugs while having your wing wang squeezed and not spill your drink.

As we approach the season of getting bladdered and throwing up over taxi drivers, I feel duty bound to concur with the annual anti drink driving campaign. We have witnessed much carnage over the years, and it is disturbing that the number of convictions for drink driving is on the rise.

Scotland has had a long dark relationship with the bottle, but most people these days have sufficient sense not to drink and drive. The penalties in terms of a driving ban and quadrupled insurance premiums are enough to make most people think twice. Unfortunately there are some numpties who continue to think it’s worth the risk.

I live in a rural area where drink driving is, unfortunately, still prevalent. It’s quite common for some of the older geezers to have a couple of pints and a few drams before driving home. Most of the roads are single track, and cars generally can’t exceed thirty miles per hour. There are no pedestrians, so only the local sheep and the drivers themselves are at risk. The police tend to turn a blind eye, which I suppose is understandable as they have to live in the community that they police. Even so, it’s a bad thing, and they really should adopt a stricter approach.

I don’t drink and drive: never have, never will. You won’t catch me down the pub after smoking a couple of spliffs and downing some Temazepam. Oh no, I get into my car and drive as a law abiding citizen, sometimes reporting erratic drivers to the police on my mobile phone.

I think I deserve a medal.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Spot the Loony

Spot (geddit?) the Loony

The aptly named Tom Leppard, popularly known as the ‘Leopard Man’, is one of the more eccentric residents of the Isle of Skye.

An ex soldier of twenty eight years service, Tom found it impossible to relate to people in civilian life and decided to make a statement of personal identity. I can’t imagine many statements much stronger than having yourself tattooed from head to toe in order to resemble a leopard.

Tom lives by a river in a hut constructed from tree branches and forages for food. He interrupts this Gollum like existence to canoe to the nearest village once a week and collect his army pension. He earns a supplementary income by posing for photographs taken by coach loads of bewildered Japanese and American tourists.

Tom is regarded as a strange, but largely harmless soul. His appearance does, however, have a tendency to scare the shit out of small children.

Tom bears testimony to the socialisation skills that are imbued in young recruits by the British Army. Perhaps the Marines or the Paratroop Regiment should make use of Tom in some of their recruitment material; his gung ho approach to self sufficiency should prove an inspiration to all young folks, and may dissuade them from a life of substance abuse and benefit scrounging.

One can but hope.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Make mine a Seal Sandwich

More excellent news on the prospects for climate change. Apparently the flow of warm water brought to northern latitudes by the Gulf Stream has declined by 30%. Increased flows of glacial melt water into northern river systems are apparently disrupting normal current flows. Some of the Gulf Stream is diverting away from its usual course towards North West Europe and flowing towards Africa.

This will not prove completely disastrous if it persists, resulting in an average drop in mean temperatures of 1 degree Celsius over the next decade. More worryingly, if the Gulf Stream actually stops, those of us complaining of nippy mornings in wintertime Britain will shortly find ourselves queuing up for bollock warmers and thermal nipple protectors.

A 1 degree drop in temperature will just give us colder winters, with increased snowfalls. This would be no bad thing, as Scotland would develop a flourishing winter sports industry and I would be quids in. The full freeze scenario would give us a climate similar to Labrador or parts of Siberia. That would not be pleasant.

Should the worst transpire, I suppose we will have to rely on our colonial Canadian underlings for top tips on the correct approach to seal clubbing. They may even be able to provide us with a recipe for (first club your seal) barbequed cute fluffy little baby white seal cub fricassee served on a bed of boiled Inuit.

I may consider emigration to Canada. Apparently the Province of Alberta has oil reserves second only to Saudi Arabia. With all those petrodollars floating around Albertans will be able to keep themselves warm and toasty, and probably won’t have to eat clubbed seal very much at all. It’s definitely worth a thought.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Pomes and Stuff

Poetry used to have a much higher profile in our society. At one time every literate household in the country would have had the collected works of Byron, Tennyson, and Keats on their bookshelves. Most people would have been able to recite at least one poem by rote, and would have been familiar with the majority of poetic forms.

There is probably more poetry written and published today than at any point in the past. Most of it just doesn’t get read. The only working poet today who is likely to be able to earn a living from their work is (famous) Seamus Heaney.

Poetry is one of the purest art forms. It requires a level of verbal exactitude and technical proficiency that is daunting. Unlike modern art, it does not allow charlatans to masquerade as creative geniuses. Bad poetry is palpably bad; doggerel verse is instantly recognisable and cannot claim any literary merit that it self evidently lacks.

There is a new website called Poetry Archive that has collected recordings of some famous poets reciting their work. I’ve always held the opinion that poetry is best read from the page; I don’t like performance poetry as I think it loses all the subtleties of which the medium is capable.

Listening to W B Yeats reciting ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’, one of the most famous poems in the English language, is memorable for all the wrong reasons. I actually burst out laughing when I first heard it. Yeats may have been a poet of genius, but he was also a bit of a berk. Have a listen here; I think you’ll agree that it would be impossible to murder a superb poem as absolutely as Yeats manages.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I Went on Holiday by Mistake.

There are, as the cliché goes, some days when it would be better to stay in bed than venture into the outside world. I’m firmly of the opinion that should one calamity occur, it is better to admit defeat than to risk the possibility of further misfortunes and indignities. Tempting fate is never a good idea as the gods of malice clearly derive enjoyment from compounding disaster with discomfort.

My holiday began with a flat car battery. My battery charger was buggered so I was delayed for an hour waiting for the man from the garage to arrive. When I finally got underway things went swimmingly until I got on the motorway just south of Glasgow.
The traffic ground to a halt and I was stuck in a three hour traffic jam caused by snow. Naturally I was totally unprepared and had neither a flask of coffee nor a Mars bar to sustain me through the tedium. At one point I had to get out of the car and piss in front of the line of traffic with only a newspaper concealing my todger from view.

When the jam finally cleared I decided to call at the next service station and get some sorely needed food. Naturally, everyone else had the same idea and by the time I got there they had run out of hot food. Five hours of starvation and all I could get was a ham sandwich and a packet of crisps.

On finally reaching my destination I headed out to a charming country pub for a proper meal. The menu looked wonderful: much creative endeavour with parmesan shavings, game chips, balsamic reductions and the like. I shouldn’t have raised my hopes. The food was utter shite.

It’s all the fault of celebrity chefs. Thanks to them every twat just out of catering college thinks that they are a culinary genius. They haven’t got a fucking clue. If they stuck to the basics of fresh, properly prepared, simple food, everyone would go home happy. Instead they make a total balls of technically difficult dishes, and serve them up with a flourish. Wankers.

The rest of my holiday was excellent. Cumbria is very pictureskew.