Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Why I never made it as a Goth.

I think all today’s newspapers carried the story about the post grad student at Sussex University who has been awarded a PhD for a thesis on the Goth sub-culture. It really is remarkable what constitutes an appropriate subject area for a PhD these days, but I won’t go into that as it is a suitable subject for a lengthy rant at some later date.

I would never have cut is a Goth as I have blonde hair and invisible eyebrows. I would have looked a right twat with black eyeliner and lipstick. It would have been a different matter if I was a proper albino with pink eyes: then I would have taken considerable pleasure in scaring the hell out of infants.

The student reached the unremarkable conclusion that Goths tend to be arty middle class types who don’t do drugs and aren’t keen to get into fights. Talk about stating the bleedin’ obvious. There was a Goth girl in my year at University who was more likely to be found at Glastonbury of a weekend hunting for ley lines than knocking back snakebites in the Students Union. She draped the ceiling of her bedroom with black bin liners, and had a penchant for crushed velvet, but apart from that she was as boringly normal as they come.

It’s the aging Goths that frighten me. Anyone who has witnessed the Cures Robert Smith’s physical deterioration of late will take a dim view of anyone wearing the Goth uniform in later life. He resembles a fat Elvis in a fright wig with pancake make up and drooping jowls.

In truth, I never wanted to be a Goth. I hated Bauhaus, and the Sisters of Mercy were purveyors of melodramatic bollocks. They exist in their own little cul de sac, and are welcome to it.

I’m off to listen to ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead'.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Farewell my furry friend.


Those of you (fewer by the day, and who can blame them) who peruse this blog will be aware that my cat, Oscar, had a cancerous growth removed six months ago. It was malignant and aggressive, and at the time the vet didn’t hold out much hope, although he did remove the lymph nodes.

Unfortunately, the tumour has returned with a vengeance. I took Oscar to the vet, who advised that it would be futile to operate again as the cancer would only return. He has given Oscar a prognosis of two to three months. He isn’t displaying the slightest sign of discomfort at the moment, but when he does I shall bow to the inevitable and have him put to sleep.

Oscar came from a cat shelter, and has proved a most excellent moggie in every way. I have never before encountered a cat with such a playful and placid temperament. I cannot recall him baring his claws once.

The vet informed me that he is growing increasingly concerned about the number of cats that he has inoculated against leukaemia developing cancerous growths a few years later. Although there are no clinical studies suggesting that he do so, he has taken to advising people that this is a risk if they have their cats inoculated. It seems a bit of a sick joke that an injection intended to prevent one form of cancer may be responsible for another that is just as debilitating.

I salute you Oscar. Those whom the gods love die young.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Pukka mate

The liver lipped, big tongued tosser, Jamie Oliver has avoided ridicule recently due to his advocacy of decent, nutritious school dinners. He deserves some credit for this: feeding fat drenched chicken nuggets to twelve year olds on grounds of economy is obviously not conducive to reducing obesity.

Unfortunately for Jamie, it turns out that children are rejecting his tasty recipes and going down the chippy instead. They know what they like, and are prepared to pay for it.

Some people are just inherently irritating. Jamie seems a decent enough chap, it’s just that everything about his cheeky chappy, mockney persona gets right on my tits. Awight, pukka mate, dahn the Old Kent Road? Fuck off and speak properly you irritating little mong. It’s not as though he’s the son of an east end barrow boy, he’s the son of an Essex publican. Oliver passing himself off as cockney is like me claiming to hail from the Bronx.

Even his wife, Jules, is annoying. She’s like a little doll with the over rouged cheekbones of a whore.

Oliver claims never to have read a book in his life, which is tantamount to boasting about being a moron.

I don’t see why inverted snobs should be allowed to amass £7 million fortunes. There should be a law forcing all sub literate cretins to donate their wealth to deserving cases like me. I can whip up a soufflĂ© as well as the next man; it’s about time I was released from the hell that is work.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My amplifier goes up to eleven.

In theory it shouldn’t be possible to be nostalgic for a period that you were too young to experience. Ok, I was alive in 1971/72, but being five years old I was more likely to be listening to Pinky and Perky singing White Christmas than getting off my face on ganga and grooving on down to the Faces singing ‘Three Button Hand me Down’.

I’m not going to get into rock criticism here, which is the last refuge of the aging hipster with bad teeth and a drink problem. It is a genre that produces the odd genius like Lester Bangs, but is more likely to allow pretentious tossers to indulge in some cod sociology. Paul Morley, whose criticism used to appear in the NME years ago, had the good sense to retire when he was 24, claiming that he was too old to continue.

The period 1971/72 produced some of the greatest rock music ever recorded. The Rolling Stones, the Faces, the Who, and Led Zeppelin were all at their creative peaks, and had not yet succumbed to the hubris of rock hedonism. Seeing any of these bands play live must have been awe inspiring, even if a perforated eardrum was the price you had to pay for the experience.

It just seems to have been a time when there was a generosity of spirit in the air that was on the verge of dissolving into rancour and disillusionment. The Faces in particular just sound like a bunch of pissed blokes producing a ramshackle but wonderful sound.

Within a few years it was all pomp rock, twiddling on synthesisers, and ugly blokes wearing platform boots coated in glitter.

I’m off to listen to the ‘Brown Bomber’ album and play some air guitar. Sod Coldplay and James Blunt. There was a time when hairy men in tight trousers ruled the world. We will never see their like again.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Feck, feckity, feck.

Bastard howling gales last night toppled ten of my trees. I have spent a very pleasant day wielding a chain saw in foul weather.

I thought this was supposed to be Spring.

This is rather chucklesome.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Ach well


The ban on smoking in public places in Scotland begins in seventeen days time. Rough boozers across the nation are preparing to auction their heavy glass ashtrays for use by Glasgow gangs in territorial disputes. The sign makers are writhing in orgasmic frenzy at the prospect of the demand for NO SMOKING signs increasing tenfold.

For some bizarre reason, the ban extends to hotel rooms. Presumably this is to prevent forty a day cleaners instantly contracting lung cancer as a consequence of passive smoking in well ventilated, air conditioned, rooms. I wonder if hotels will have to install in room closed circuit TV to ensure that the appropriate authorities can be summoned if anyone attempts to light up a Rothmans and flick the ash in a tooth mug.

With signs of rising unemployment, I am reassured that local Councils will be able to employ a few extra million minions in ensuring that individuals partaking in a hitherto legal activity are handed out a severe bollocking, and a £1000 fine. They will, no doubt, like Edinburgh traffic wardens, be issued with performance targets to ensure that they are suitably assiduous.

Thankfully, the ban does not extend to holiday cottages. These are classed as an extension of the individual’s home, and they are allowed to puff away to their hearts content.

I’m rather pleased about this. I don’t ban anyone from staying in one of my cottages. To my mind that would be commercial stupidity. If 30% of the population smoke and are prevented from doing so in hotels they will look for alternatives: i.e. me. I also allow dogs, although I do draw a line where Doberman Pinchers with a crack habit are involved.

I’m off to eat my five fruit and veg a day, and check that the tread on my car tyres is an acceptable depth. I wouldn’t want to endanger my health, or that of innocent pedestrians. I’m just glad that politicians are around to keep me on the straight and narrow. If it wasn’t for them I would be a right cynical bastard.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

A few years ago I sold a house to a guy from Suffolk. He seemed ok at the time; a bit stuffy and reserved, but that isn’t unusual for professional types from the Home Counties.

Over the course of the past couple of years I have discovered, to my chagrin, that he is an arrogant, anal, wanker. He has an obsession with property boundaries, and takes extreme umbrage whenever anyone leaves a vehicle on what he deems his parking area. He doesn’t live here, and only visits three times a year, so why he should get his knickers in a twist over something so minor frankly mystifies me.

Last week I received a solicitor’s letter. I had left a small dinghy at the edge of, but outside his car park. I was informed that this presented an obstruction to vehicular access, and that I should remove it immediately as I was in contravention of the original deeds of sale.

It would be possible to drive a large commercial vehicle into his car park, and I am not obstructing his access in any way. This kind of small minded, ignorant behaviour gets right on my tits, and I have informed my solicitor to rebut his allegation.

I have also (see photo) put a timber kerb around his car park. The tosser hasn’t realised that he hasn’t got sufficient room to park his massive 4 by 4 facing outwards, and will have to park lengthways. If he has visitors, they will have to parallel park, and unless they are driving a small car, will have considerable difficulty. The stupid tit should have checked the dimensions of his grounds before sounding off.

I’m a fairly easy going individual, and I haven’t got a vindictive nature. On this occasion, however, I do have to admit to feeling a smug sense of satisfaction.

That’ll learn the fucktard.

Mwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Shoot the Aged.


This is my car, of which I am rather proud. It’s a Mazda 6 estate: quick, pretty, economical, and spacious. I bought it new six months ago and so far it hasn’t missed a beat.

I got a phone call from my father this afternoon asking if he could borrow it as his car is in for a service. Sure, said I, but it’s a bit short on fuel. You’ll need to get some diesel, and make sure that you don’t put in petrol or chances are you’ll bugger the engine. He scoffed at the very idea of someone of his age and motoring experience making such an elementary error.

Two hours later I get a phone call: “..er, sorry, but there’s a bit of a problem with the car; I put in petrol by mistake”. I did a little dance of rage, but didn’t come down too hard on him as I don’t want him writing me out of his will. The old fellah has loads of dosh stashed in banks on the Isle of Man.

The car has had to be taken back to the dealer in Perth (100 miles away). Apparently there’s some hope, but chances are the high pressure fuel pump will have to be replaced at a fat cost of £1,000. The insurance will cover it, but it’s still annoying.

I have no wheels and am exceedingly miffed. The aged should be confined to their mobility scooters: letting them loose in expensive motors just isn’t worth the risk.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hatstand Doolally.


I was saddened to learn of the death of Ivor Cutler, legendary Glaswegian eccentric, poet, and entertainer.

I’ve always held the firm opinion that a sizeable proportion of the UK and Ireland, while not strictly sectionable, are certainly not entirely right in the head. I certainly know of several of my own acquaintances who would make interesting psychiatric case studies, and that’s when they’re sober.

I’m not entirely sure why loopiness is so general among our population. It may have something to do with the perpetual drizzle, the idiocy of our politicians, or the lingering depredations of an obsession with class that makes the Hindu caste system seem like a model of good sense and dignity.

I suppose we shouldn’t complain too much. The chances of being stabbed to death by a psycho are thankfully slim, and it is rather entertaining to listen to the queues of gibbering mutterers in the Post Office. In any case, the flipside of eccentric nuttiness is an intense creativity. Spike Milligan may have been a manic depressive who attempted to strangle Harry Secombe, but he was also surreally funny.

Funnily enough, Ivor Cutler and Spike Milligan were both members of the Noise Abatement Society. I’m sure that much of our endemic madness is caused by juvenile twats in Vauxhall Novas driving around with their windows open blaring out shite music on their zillion megawatt speakers. Perhaps if more of us had access to bazookas, and license to obliterate the knobheads, Britain would be a happier and saner place.

Ivor liked to hand out sticky labels to strangers containing the sage advice: ‘Add 15 inches to your stride and save 4.5% of the insects’. That’s sense that is, in a mad kind of way.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Thou shalt have a fishie, on a little dishie.


The most sexually alluring sound known to mankind is a Geordie girl speaking. I can’t quite put my finger on it (although I’d like to); it’s just so damn melodious that it leaves me stammering like a fumbling adolescent. I’m not exactly a silver tongued charmer at the best of times, but when a Geordie lass speaks to me I am reduced to the bletherings of an inarticulate mong.

The problem with Geordie girls is that they just don’t travel. I have a theory that they are kept under lock and key by their men folk, lest they be whisked away to more salubrious and civilised climes. Geordie men are, on the whole, devoid of any charm whatsoever. Paul Gascoigne is a fine example of the male intellectual that Newcastle upon Tyne churns out by the thousand. They espouse the Northern creed that no garment is more suited to sub zero temperatures than a sleeveless t shirt. I can only assume that nights on the toon thus clad have addled their brain cells to the point were a bout of extreme hypothermia holds no fear.

Personally I think Jayne Middlemiss is missing a trick coming over all glam and sucking up to the soft southern trendies. What she needs to do is record some soothing mp3's that lovelorn males can listen to before drifting into the land of nod in their lonely beds. The lass would make millions. It wouldn’t be long before she’d be richer than Sting (the Geordie wanka).

Would you like a sweetie little boy?

Unlike most celeb food writers, poor old Nigel Slater has only been allowed to present one TV series. Unlike the lavishly breasted and bethighed Nigella Lawson, he lacks the physical attributes that lend themselves so readily to the small screen. Personally, I think Queen Nigella is vastly overrated. Top posh totty she may be, but most of the recipes she comes up with leave me cold. Ham baked in Coca Cola? No fucking ta.

One TV critic claimed that Nigel resembled a child molester. Now I don’t know exactly what a child molester is supposed to look like, but I do think that he may have had a point. There is something slightly odd about an individual who lives alone in a five bedroom house, but likes to invite waifs and strays to stay the night. Perhaps he just wants some company. I certainly hope that there are no undertones of Dennis Nilsen.

Strange as he may be, Nigel is one of our best cookery writers. He loves simple food, and is refreshingly unimpressed by the sort of chefy bollocks cluttering up our TV screens. Anyone who can sing a paean of praise to a humble bowl of mashed potato has to have their heart in the right place. He also has no truck with the low fat fanatics, and loves to drench everything in butter and cream.

Rock on Nigel I say, you may resemble a kiddie fiddler but your nosh is top notch.

N.B Apologies for the lack of posts recently. I have been suffering from bloggers block and the after effects of a three day bender.