Saturday, July 28, 2007


I am on holiday.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Past is Another Country

I was intrigued by First Nations fascination with the 1920's. I can imagine her in full flapper gear, swigging back the gin and lusting after the dude riding the Big Chief Indian motorcycle.

I feel a bit out of time myself. I would be much more at home in 1950's Soho. I can imagine myself sipping whisky from a chipped tooth mug in some dingy bedsit, waiting for the pubs to open at midday. An afternoons liquid refreshment in the company of the wastrel bohemians would be crowned by a tongue lashing dished up at the Colony Rooms by the formidable Muriel Belcher. My liver wouldn't last long, but it would be well worth it.

Other bloggers strike me as belonging in other eras than the bland one we inhabit today.

Arabella is definitely a 1930's kinda gal. In the British context I can see her in a cloche hat, decorously sipping tea from a china cup in a Lyons Corner House. In the American context, she would most probably be perched on a barstool in a Chicago speakeasy, smoking a cheroot in a long cigarette holder and diggin' dat jazz ting.

Sid would be most at home as a 6th century monk in an isolated Irish monastery. His days would be spent adding fine calligraphy to the Book of Kells, batting off oversexed nuns, and taking crafty swigs of poteen from the flask artfully concealed beneath his cassock.

April would be an 1830's backwoods Injun, scalping intrepid Scots explorers and boiling them up in a big pot.

MJ would be perfect as a huge shoulder padded uber bitch in the dog eat dog world of 1985 Wall Street.

For Jungle Jane and Betty it is forever 1973. I can see them wearing enormous spangly boots and queuing up to see David Bowie's last performance of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Bronwen would be 'Goody Bronwen' in Salem, Massachusetts during the witch hunts. Notable for her good sense and scepticism she would escape burning at the stake, just.

Tina, I imagine, would make a perfect suffragette. I don’t know how she’d cope with the corsets and crinoline, but I have no doubt that she would be more than happy to throw herself under a racehorse.

Lets face it folks, we just weren't made for these times.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

Well, Everybody Else is Doing It.

This is silly, I'm off to read some Dostoyevsky.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Astral Weeks

Van Morrison is, famously, a bit of a miserable bastard. It's quite understandable really. Having a face like a squashed badger didn't give him much chance with the 1960's 'beautiful people'. The gutteral Belfast accent, once accurately described as 'like listening to a Glaswegian being strangled', can't have helped much either.

I suppose the final blow to his fragile self esteem must have been having a girlfriend called Janet Planet. I know the hippies were all tossers, but a name like that really takes some beating.

It's a shame he's so crabbit, but I suppose it's one of reasons why he's one of the few genuine white bluesmen.

I don't think I could live without Astral Weeks. Its not that I listen to it that often, it's just that I know that it will always be there when I am half cut and feeling maudlin.

There can't have been many people writing songs about transvestites in 1968. Even Leonard Cohen wasn't into gender benders, and I can't imagine Jim Morrison singing paeans to male blouse wearers (even if he wasn't averse to wearing one).

Anyone who can get their head round Van's voice (he sounds like he's sitting on the toilet squeezing out a hedgehog turd) on this album will be a convert for life. The songs are wonderful and their delivery inimitable. Best of all are the spare backing arrangements: a loping, ethereal, jazzy undertow that haunts.

Van Morrison was 23 when he recorded Astral weeks. He hasn't bettered it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Positively Fourth Street

I don't know why she had to pick on me.

She could have chosen from any number of well heeled rugger buggers and trust fund Adonis aesthetes. I suppose it just proves that being a hangdog Ingmar Bergman loving cynic with a copy of T S Eliot's Four Quartets protruding from your jacket pocket does have its advantages.

Julie had a problem. She'd had surgery as one of her breasts was bigger than the other. The operation had gone wrong and she'd been left with extensive scarring. This wasn't a problem as far I was concerned, but it was definitely a problem for her.

We went places in her hand painted pink Mini. It was an interesting eight weeks, and then she buggered off to drama school. I haven't seen hide nor hair of her since.

She was a cracking bird and I wish her well, on the whole.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Ogden's Nut Gone Flake

We males do have some good points, chief amongst which is our aerodynamic form. This obviously does not apply to beer swilling salad dodgers; but for those of us with torsos like Michaelangelo's David the effects of friction are minimal. Women have to many sticky outy and pointy bits to compete with us in the walking briskly towards the pub stakes.

As for interests, everyone knows that all women have an unhealthy obsession with handbags and shoes. The alligator population know this to their cost: it's no wonder the warty reptiles live in a state of permanent disgruntlement. We men have healthy interests, principally: Swiss watches, pornography, and sheds.

Of these, sheds is obviously the most important. There's actually a bit of a cross over between sheds and porn. Back in the days before the full cornucopia of grunting, heaving, and atrocious dialogue was available with just a few clicks, the shed performed a vital function as a repository for the secret stash of jazz mags. All small boys knew this, and would happily while away many an hour sitting on a tea chest leafing through forbidden delights while Uncle Dave was playing golf. Ah, the innocence.

Thankfully the love of the shed is alive and well. The work of some of the finest exponents of shedness may be viewed here. All power to the Shedii. The force is strong with them.

I'm off down to my shed at the bottom of the garden to smoke a pipeful of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. I'm sure there's some 12 year old malt left in that weedkiller bottle concealed behind the jam jars full of washers and grommets.

Happy days.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Uses of Literacy

I think I've finally cracked it: not the meaning of life as such, but definitely the simplest most surefire method of harvesting some squids with the minimum of effort.

I suppose I've contracted a dose of the Rowlings. Not that I'm a huge fan of her books, or children come to that. I concur with the late Dorothy Parker, who loved children but couldn't eat a whole one. All munchkins should be banned from supermarkets, and all excessive breeders forced to pay penal rates of income tax to compensate for the general misery that their fruitful loins cause to sprogless adults who do not regard the extrusion of mini mes as a crowning achievement in life.

They can't be ignored as a market demographic though; their deluded parents happy to indulge their every whim with pecuniary largesse. I wouldn't mind a bit of bourgeois lucre bulging in my pockets, so I've decided to become an author of childrens literature. I did briefly consider erotic literature, but decided that I'd just end up getting nominated for the Bad Sex Awards.

I've decided on the title of my first meisterwork and my pseudonym:




All I have to do now is write the book and wait for the royalties to flood in.

Tax exile in the Bahamas beckons.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


I've always hated the phrase 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. No it doesn't; what it does is leave you half dead, with either hideous physical injuries or a permanently damaged psyche. If I was a paraplegic wheelchair chair user left without the use of my legs as a result of a horrific car crash, I would have no hesitation in using a caliper to eviscerate anybody who tried to fob be off with such a stupid platitude.

I don't much care for physical pain, and I'm not overly fond of mental trauma either. Having said that, I must have higher natural levels of serotonin than the average Joe because I react with a higher level of couldntgiveafuckingmonkeystossness to most of the vicissitudes and dog turds that life flings at me with alarming frequency.

I don't really do depression. The closest I've ever come to popping my clogs was in my second year at University. I arrived a week late to discover that everybody else had sorted out their accommodation. I ended up sleeping on a sofa for two weeks before having to settle for a grotty bedsit in Cockroach Towers. I saw a friend off at the railway station one Thursday evening and felt my heart sink into the tarmac at the prospect of another night listening to the dickhead heavy metal loving engineering student next door shagging his uberugly tattooed love interest with gusto.

I went to a nightclub and got hog whimperingly drunk to dull the pain. I woke at lunchtime the next day to the battering on my door from the little weasel landlord. The greasy tosser demanded that I pay my rent money in his vile west country thicko accent. When he'd gone I sat on the bed and seriously contemplated suicide.

Thankfully the despair soon dissipated. Sweet and sour chicken with fried rice, prawn crackers, and a bottle of Lucozade saw to that.