Monday, 24 December 2007

OH CAROL!

Deck the halls with bits of plastic
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
One day left, it's getting drastic
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Stuff the bird right up it's column
Fa la lah, fa la lah, fa la laah
Feckin' Slade, let's kill the volume!
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah

Grannie snoozes, spills her sherry
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Dad's impression of Chuck Berry
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Kids with cola agitation
Fa la lah, fa la lah, fa la laah
Wizard deafens half the nation
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah

( up one tone)

Bloggers! Let's all have a party!
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Mags, Lorenzo, Meta, Marty,
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Scriptor Senex, and Raehla
Fa la lah, fa la lah, fa la laah
J.L.S. (who's not a fella)
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah

Not forgetting old man Maalie
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Who, like me, is not called Charlie
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Tortoishell and even Plumpy.
Fa la lah, fa la lah, fa la laah
Let's get pissed so no-ones grumpy.
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah

Then, of course, there's me, T. Rexy.
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Charming, erudite and sexy.
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah
Wine, gin, sherry flow, abundant
Fa la lah, fa la lah, fa la laah
Shame I just got made redundant
Fa la la la laah, la la la laah

FAH LAH LAH LAH LAAAH, LAH LAH LLAAAHMMAAAAAGH!!!!

(Roll on feckin' summer!!!!)

Friday, 21 December 2007

It's Tough Being Magnus (reincarnate)

So many comments, so little time. Ok, The Winner Is.............................Metamatician with 86 pts. He was followed by Scriptor Senex, 63 and then Raehla, 55. Empath, 38 and a half, LtL with 35, JLS with 33 Mags a sulkworthy 31, and Bytedoc aways back from that. Total pts available were about 160.
I think Byte had a bad cold that affected his short, long and medium term memories. I thank him for his sterling efforts, pop by any time, dude.
JLS gave a full and frank military style orienteering super trigonometry answer for Qu. Z, but could have tried better earlier for a podium finish. Be fair though, she does live upside down on the other side of the world, which must be awfully tiring.
What can I say about "The Llama" which hasn't been said already? Well, here goes. In all my born days I've never read such extraordinary brown-nosing, but since it was by invitation in effect, fair play to our four legged inebriate. It didn't do her any good whatsoever, as I decided that playing God is more like acting the goat with a llama and her farmers (I assume you must have had 'farmers' at least once in your life. Quite painful, don't use the bullet shaped suppositories.) Even changing answers was of no use at all. Let me know if you can't remember anything you gave as an answer, I'll send 'em on. Many thanks for your many long hours of hard work.
Empath, my sweet, quiet, unassuming friend. One of three Americans, who all got the baseball question right. Bless you for finishing though it was way past your bedtime (naps count as bedtime). Great try with Sussex, which I will be in next week visiting my parents (and borders Kent and is nearly as pretty). My rectal temp was 106, time to get in a bath or shove some ice up my Khyber. Half point for being 0.2 mtrs outside the 1 pt region (I'm such a pig, but a benevolent pig at least)

And so onto the podium finishers.

Raehla. A late entry gains the bronze gong, and after engaging any number of bored Spaniards on the war Prime ministers of Great Britain over the odd Rioja, consistently good all round knowledge. Beef up your U.S. history or bribe me to include anything Spanish and you're onto a winner. Hope the Solstice party is in full flow and the mulled people are being drunk by the laughing, happy wine.
Scriptor Senex, the unashamed Dark Horse of this competition, and a lot of punters(me) outside bet for the title, has rolled home in a creditable second place. An imaginary silver medal adorns his stately sternum as we speak. The ONLY person to score on the tricky and pivotal Qu.V. Listening to odd music in his youth would have put him closer to the title. Many thanks for his published support to my blog space, and for giving this quiz a 'ruddy good stab'

And now, for your eyes and delectation, I hereby announce that the winner is a pain in the ass. Quite clearly his persistent calling into question of my sexuality and hassling for results has ground me into the dirt. So I'm up far too late again, tippy-tapping away to satisfy his every cyber need (well, nearly!!!) Talk about odd, he got FULL MARKS on the U.S. presidents section. Who was history teachers pet at school, then hmm? Knows his films but was second on that to the lovely Raelha. Unusual not to get the baseball/Clooney connection.

And so, to Meta dude, REX'S BIG BRAINIAC GRAND CHAMPION OF THE WORLD FOREVER COMPETITION WINNER, goes a big congratulatory and manly slap on the rump with a wet towel. You can have the trumpet back now. I've wiped and sterilised the soggy end. Go to the top of the class and the foot of my stairs.

Is there something I've forgotten to say? Oh, yes!!! Of course there is. Many huge heart-and-soul-felt thanks to Magdalene. She was the first to complete the quiz even though she was hanging and rinsed from a hard day at the office. I consider this to be the very meaning of the word support. However, I think a long series of intensive one to one tutorials is in order to enhance her chances in future tests of knowledge. I shall swap the now totally greasy uniform for a pair of brown corduroys and a green jacket with leather patches on the elbows. Excuse me whilst I grow some dangerous sideburns (nesting bird life optional) and become an absolute boon in her erstwhile gappy education.

Be happy in your hearts my fellow humans, for knowledge itself is not the point of life. The experiences had whilst attempting to gain it and the wisdom to use it once it has been captured pale it's acquisition into the shadows.

Happy Solstice!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Rex's Big Bad Quiz Results.

And so, here are the answers you've all been waiting for. Sorry it took so long. My p.c. decided to fecked up last week and then I had to go and do my Nurse Rexy bit. I can only just fit into that uniform with a bit of help from a giant shoe horn type device and plenty of grease. Still, whatever turns me on, eh.

A; He cannot smell, he has no nose. ( German stand up comedian answer)2 pts (1pt for any silly answer regarding dogs)

B; 9. Look at a Brit keyboard. Sorry to all who don't have one. 2pts

C; First woman in space. 2pts

D; Built 1904-1906, sunk by U-boat 1915, effectively bringing U.S. into the 1st world war. 4pts

E; George Michael. 2pts (1pt for anybody who put a gay person down as an answer.)

F; Barry Bonds (big news stateside, the rest of us don't like rounders much)

G; Magical Mystery Tour. (can't believe those who were teenagers in the 60's didn't get this)

H; All 2pts each

i Marty Scorcese
ii Stan Kubrick
iii Steve Spielberg
iv Alf Hitchcock
v Olly Stone (kicking yourself, anybody in Spain?)
vi Bruce Robinson (likewise any Americans?)
vii Ridley Scott
viii George Roy Hill (who?)
ix Arthur Hiller (whoer???)
x Spike Jonze

I; Scooby-doo, Shaggy, Velma, Fred, Daphne. 1pt each ( nobody ever gets Vela so Selma, Themla, etc got point)

J; Vermont (verte, green; mont, mountains) 2pts

K; Kent (guess where I'm from) 2pts

L1; Arsenal (the clue was in the cough for dedicated Morecombe and Wise fans)

L2; Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience)

LSD; No answer scores points. This question was the tie breaker, each answer given a judged score out of ten by me cos I'm the quiz dude.

M; Addis Ababa 9.03 N
Brasilia 15.5 S
Kathmandu 27.2 N
Tokyo 35.4 N
Washington DC 38.5 N
Beijing 39.3 N
Paris 48.5 N
Prague 50 N
London 51.3 N
Rekjavik 64.1 N
Brasilia being the only Southern hemisphere city is therefore furthes from the North pole. 2pts each answer in correct place in order 1-10

N; Phillip Pullman

O; U.K.-'It's All Over Now', (bad luck to the quadrupeds among us)
U.S.-'Satisfaction' 2pts each

P; Herbert Henry Asquith
David Lloyd George
Neville 'Piece of paper' Chamberlain
Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill 2pts each

Q; Sir David Attenborough

R; Cincinatti Reds,
Sparky the gay dog,
6/5/1961,
Timothy. (snigger)

S; Spike Lee,
Spike Jones,
Spike Milligan,
Spike Robinson.(Who?)

T; James Monroe,
Andrew Jackson,
Abe "Ssshh, I'm trying to hear the operaaaagghh!!" Lincoln,
Ulysses S. Grant,
Grover "not really a Muppet" Cleveland,
Theodore "bang! shit was that a bear? Hey, guys, bury it and don't tell or you're fired" Roosevelt,
Calvin 'Klein' Coolidge,
F.D.R. Roosevelt,
George H.W. "best adverisement for contraception I've ever seen" Bush,
Bill 'The Inhaler' Clinton.

F.D.R. had the most V.P. numbering three. 2pts each and 2pts for bonus

U; Blue. (bet you wish you'd guessed now, huh) 2pts

V; aye-aye 4, X llama 4, X spider 8, X human 2, X scorpion 8 = 2048
cerberus 3, + minataur, 1 + hippocamp 1, + gorgon, 1 + centaur 1, + sphinx 1= 8
2048/8=256 12 pts

W; Any answer gets a 2 pt gimme. Everybody answered.

X; Graham Chapman

Y;
i American black bear
ii duck billed platypus
iii Tasmanian devil
iv brown bear
v russian hamster
vi guinea pig
vii ring tailed lemur
viii raccoon
ix channel islands spotted skunk
x badger (The ones you find in Britain, usually viewed as roadkill, sadly) 2pts each(not if you kill one, silly, in the quiz)

Z; J.L.S. gave the best answer, with all the working. She therefore gets 5pts +1pt for being a bloody smartass. I just did my calcs on a bit of graph paper. So the answer is 4.45m apparently. 5 pts for bang on or within one metre and 1 pt for within six metres.



And that's it folks. I thank you all from the heart of my bottom. Now it's so cold in my house I'm gonna hug the radiator. B.F.N.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have a Winner

But I'm not gonna tell you who it is until tomorrow at least cos I'm looking after a poorly chum and can't do it right now. I will not embarrass the lower scorers by posting scores, nor tell anybody what they got. You'll have to work it out by yourselves because tomorrow I'll post the answers and how much each correct one was worth. Then, when you've worked out what you think you've got, you can post it back to me. Or not, as you see fit. If you so wish, you can all discuss the matter between yourselves, behind my cyber-back if necessary, and decide probably never to do one of my quizzes again.

Thank you all for entering, it did make me laugh and give me a chance to put on the mortar board and gown. Thanks Lorenzo for all the terrible crawling, which had an effect which you will figure out when the results become apparent. I'm still waiting on the brown envelope. Bloody x(christ)mas post, I expect.

To mix my sign offs somewhat, toodle-pipski, y'all! Da svidenya, moi drug.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Leavings

I live lost in solitude,
Kindred spirits my only connection
To reality.
Here in a warm womb of melancholic nirvana,
There is a soft sadness born of sweet joy
That my heart is held safe by distant hands.
And I will hold their hearts forever
For within the purity of their wisdom
Lies no wish for greater love.
And I could not ask my Mother, The Earth
For greater trust.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

It's Quiz Time.

Not to be outdone by a certain American gentleman, (you know who you are) I have decide to throw my ring into a hat and write a quiz.

I don't know why, just wasting some of the time I could be using to plan the single handed ascent of Everest I had pencilled in for next wednesday after work.

Still, I expect it would've rained anyhow.

I must point out the 'Rules' before you all go straight to wikipedia.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, UGLY THREAT PLEASE DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA OR ANY BOOKS OR OTHER REFERENCE STUFF.

It's not much fun just looking things up. That's just like doing your homework. This is supposed to be a pub quiz type quiz. So I would suggest you get yourself a nice glass of beer, or perhaps meths in some cases, and pretend you're in a boozer. No books to look at, and on this occasion, you are Billy/Betty Nomates. You're on your own, you poor old saddo. Nobody is near enough for you to peep over their shoulder or read their lips as they blurt out the answers to their team-mates.

Besides, there really isn't any point in cheating cos there's only an imaginary prize. However, the greater your imagination, the more you stand to win. But just imagine if you will, how bad you'll feel when all your winnings have been gained not only by imagination, but also by cribbing. You'll only be fooling yourselves. And of course, a certain Mr. Clause will find out and then a certain stocking will be several pounds lighter in a few weeks. There are some dudes over whose eyes there is no wool to be found, and upon whom, there are no flies.


So, I have enabled the comment moderation again for the duration of this post only cos I don't want an email address on the blog for obvious reasons. This means that should anybody actually take part in the quiz of the day, (queeez de jour) they won't spoil it for everybody else unless I'm stupid enough to post their comment. However, if anybody posts a set of answers which are entirely incorrect, I'll post that comment and shame them forever.


Extra points may be awarded to crawlers who tell me I'm just super and all that, but points may be deducted for uber-creepyness.


Hey, I make up 'The Rules', O.K.


I will of course, endeavour to be fair and honest in the marking. Forgive me if any of the answers I give, should we all get that far, are actually incorrect. After all, I'm not the reincarnation of Magnus Sodding Magnusson, (correct)?

Disputes will be settled by a calm rewriting of 'The Rules' and history as we have previously known it.


And so, having made myself utterly clear to all and sundry,

"Let The Games begin!"

A; My dog's got no nose, how does he smell?

B; £ is to 5 as & is to ...what?

C; For what is Valentina Tereshkova most famously known?

D; What year was the R.M.S. Lusitania built and in which year did it sink?

E; Which British 'pop star' bought John Lennon's piano upon which Lennon wrote the song 'Imagine'

F; Which Major League baseball (rounders) star holds the world record for the most home runs ever?

G; On which Beatles album is the song 'Your mother should know'?

H; Who directed the following cult or blockbusting movies.
i) The King of Comedy
ii) 2001 A space Odyssy
iii) Jaws
iv) The 39 steps
v) The Doors
vi)Withnail and I
vii) Alien
viii) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
ix)Love Story
x)Being John Malcovich

I; Name the five usual passengers of 'The Mystery Machine'

J; Which U.S. state is known as 'The Green Mountain State'

K; Which English county is known as 'The Garden of England'

L1; Who won the F.A. cup in 1936? (cough)

L2; 'If 6 was 9' , who was the drummer?

L.S.D; If it takes three men thirteen days per month to walk a fortnight, how many apples in a barrel of grapes?

M; Please put these capital cities in order determined by their distance from the equator, closest first.
London, Rekyavik, Kathmandu, Tokyo, Addis Ababa, Prague, Brasilia, Paris, WashingtonD.C. Beijing. Bonus points for saying which is furthest from the North Pole.

N; Who wrote the 1995 novel, 'The Northern Lights'

O; What was The Rolling Stones first U.K. no 1 hit single? What was their first U.S.no 1 single?

P; Who were the four U.K. prime ministers in office during W.W.1. and W.W.2?

Q; Which 'Knight of the Realm' was the controller of B.B.C. 2 from 1965 - 1968?

R; Famous actor and all round attractive hunk George Clooney tried out for which U.S. baseball team? Played which character in 'South Park'? Was born on what date? And has what middle name, if any????

S; The following names are the forenames of four famous, or famous(ish) people all nicknamed 'Spike'.
Shelton Jackson; Lindley Armstrong; Terence Alan Patrick Sean; Henry Bertold.
What are their surnames?

T; Please put these U.S. presidents into chronological order.
George H.W. Bush; Grover Cleveland; Abe Lincoln; Andrew Jackson; Theo Roosevelt; Calvin Coolidge; Bill (cigar-box) Clinton; Franklin D.R. Roosevelt; James Monroe; Ulysses S. Grant.
For a bonus five points, which one had the most vice presidents serve under them.

U; What colour shirt am I currently wearing?

V; If you were to multiply together the number of legs which the following real creatures would usually have :- spider, aye-aye, human, scorpion, llama; and then divide it by the total number of heads from these mythical creatures :- cerberus, minataur, hippocamp, gorgon, sphinx, centaur; what number do you arrive at?

W; What time is it?

X; Who played King Arthur in the epic film, 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'?

Y; The following are latin names for animals. What are their common or English names?
i) ursus americanus
ii) ornithorynchus anatinus
iii) sarcophillus harrisii
iv) ursus arctos
v) phodopus cambelli
vi) cavie porcellus
vii) lemur catta
viii) procyon lotor
ix) spirogale gracilis amphiala
x) meles meles

Z; You are on a large flat surface, like an airfield. (disused). You walk 10 metres to the south, then 10 metres to the east, then 10 metres to the north, then 9 metres to the east, 10 metres to the south west, 15 metres to the north, and finally 10.6 metres to the south west to the nearest metre, how many metres are you from where you started.

Good luck everybody, you're gonna need it. Remember NOT TO CHEAT cos it took me BLOODY AGES to write this all out and then type it and do the research(?) in the first place and it'll spoil EVERYBODY'S FUN if you do. The closing date is open, probably about a week or when I'm bored or can't mark any more.....cos I'm bored or it's all too much and threatening to ruin my kids x(christ)mas. Oh and one more thing. One of the above questions is for tie break purposes only. You don't know which one it is, but I do. So you'd better try to answer them all well, cos you may end up in a dead heat with somebody and then all your imaginary prizes will vanish in a puff of apathy.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Fungus

I'm sitting in a living room. I'm waiting for a close friend to come home from work. I'm a tiny bit bored even thought there are plenty of entertaining things to do. I just popped out to look at the foul weather and decided I couldn't stand venturing out in such inclement of atmospheric conditions. I found this unusual fungus growing under one of the trees in the garden. Can any amateur mycologists, or any laypersons indeed, tell me what it is? I'm afraid it's not a very good photo as it was quite tricky to get a hold of on my own. See what you think and let me know.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The Folding Stuff

Today was a day off work. And what better way to spend it than in the company of the F.G. down at the nearest main shopping street to my comfy little abode.

She suffers so in the dimming of winter, (she is effectively solar powered) and so we gathered what light this drear November day could offer, and strolled abroad, about the merry folk as they yabbered in West country accents, weaving their tales of joy with old fashioned working class bonhomie to all and sundry.

I've become partially obsessed with the task of finding a cheap egg-poacher of late, and this visit to a pound shop paradise turned out to be precisely how to do it. A fiver, what a bargain! Now all my eggs will be perfect, though it has been pointed out that my cholesterol level may bump up a bit as a result. I remarked lately that I refused to go for one at a tenner, but a bluey would be the fair exchange that proves no robbery. And so, I felt duty bound to hand over the aforementioned Princely sum and scuttle off with the goods.

A mere minute or so later, barely time to explain how ecstatic I was to F.G., I found myself glancing downwards at the pavement as I walked. Hush my cotton socks and go to the foot of my stairs, if there wasn't a tenner on the deck. I stuck my foot on it, in that cool way that finding cash brings out in a miserly old scrote like myself, and swept it into my pocket. This is, after all, the payback for being so short.
Now scarcely able to put my elation into words, but able nonetheless, I strolled on hand in hand with my girl, who was expressing her wonder about how it was I always found money in the street.

Then the first pangs of guilt began. What if somebody really needed that cash? It was found with a receipt from the greatest retail outlet of them all, (Not Harrods you fools, Wilkinsons) Perhaps I should find out whose cash it was as the purchase was only a few minutes previous. I was talked out of it by the kind of common sense as used by girlfriends who are being driven mad by verbose sidekicks apparently pushed to the edge of apoplectic hysteria by a gross profit of £5 and the prospect of neater breakfasts.

I like walking about with this woman. She brings the paradox of calm insanity to my day. I feel though that we should always walk in step with each other, opposite feet treading at the same time ie. not like marching soldiers. Normally, I have to adjust my gait in order to achieve this by doing a sort of one pace skip. With this in mind on the way home, walking up the 99 steps to where my house sits atop an urban hill, amid the other jostling architecture, I contemplated all my good fortune of the afternoon so far, and could ask myself only this question.
Why is it that some people fold their arms right over left, and others left over right? Can any of you out there help in my quest for the answer to this query as there is no logic behind the answer, I fear, and it's beginning to fry my grey matter?

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Lucky Me.

I'm going to bed to read my book because I can't talk much about the predictable nature of the England football team's demise this evening. I wrote a post about the domestic violence which may take place around the country as a result of this defeat. I deleted it because though it was heartfelt enough, I don't really know what I'm talking about and perhaps that subject is so very close to so many peoples' lives I should at least do some reading or talking about it first. Suffice to say, ya basta.
I've driven myself around in circles now and but cannot just delete and run away, so I'm just filling another piece of cyber space with more conjoined phrases and thoughts. No jokes, no funny asides. I'll just keep myself to myself.
And later, when the coffee wears off and the fatigue of another day finally strokes my eyelids toward each other, I can sleep safe and sound in my womb of dreams and Western World comfort.
Lucky me.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Embarrassing A Dead Tree.

I've written about trees and the tiny people who live and scurry about them recently.

I have an ongoing project which may end up as a blog or as a series of photos to be exhibited, assuming I could find a mug to exhibit them.

I'm gonna witter on about one tree though, because recently this tree has suffered perhaps the greatest of all indignities, and has been cut down. I am probably the last person in the world to have taken a photograph of this tree. This tree has been on television, at least once, in an adaptation of Terry Pratchet's 'Johnny and the Bomb'. I thought it looked quite healthy, though my friend who is a tree surgeon may have been able to inform me otherwise had he ever seen it in all it's arboreal splendour.

However, the shot I took of this tree was not of it's regal limbs extending into a Wintry sky, or of it's Autumnal leaves cast confetti like into a whistling wind, to sail unto some hitherto unknown destiny, perhaps to become a coracle for some pond skimming faerie folk.

No, I took a picture of it's arse, because that's the kind of guy I am.

Now, I know what some of you may be thinking. Trees, to the best of your knowledge don't have arses. Well no, in the traditional sense of the word, they do not. But neither do many things which people describe perfectly understandably as having an arse end.

And so, as if to cause this formerly grand, now reduced to council park mulch, tree embarrassment beyond it's temporal existence, here is it's bumhole.


Thursday, 8 November 2007

It All Comes Flooding Back

After a day at work and an evening spent doing a little washing and defragging the ailing and geriatric computer, I spent half an hour on the phone to my long distance lover, partner and all round top woman. I was expecting my 16 year old daughter to come back home any minute. She's been up the road gabbling with her goopy mates all evening. I thought maybe I could escape to my room as soon as she did, having said hello and goodnight. There's nothing quite like a relaxing read in the comfort of ones own bed. Or maybe I could listen to one of my bird call cds and pretend I'm on a farm in late spring surrounded by wildlife abounding.
As it is, these options were not to be open to me this evening.

My daughter is not a delicate girlie girl. She's a good kid, but can be a tad brusque and bullish at times.

She had asked if a mate could stay over tonight as well. Considering I was supposed to be having a quiet night in totally alone, this was not first choice but hey, what can you do?

So, just as I'm finishing the aforementioned phone call, in crash Daughter and Friend, another 16 year old, who I've met before.

Only this time she's rather drunk. Actually, she's totally pissed, but being a polite girl, waves absentmindedly from the sofa when I say hi.

I prepare for my retreat to the inner sanctum upstairs, but just as I'm issuing instructions for the teens part in the peaceful remainder of the evening, Friend, who has gone awfully quiet, lurches forward. And with a mighty heave, regurgitates a pot noodle and half a pint of snakebite onto my living room carpet, her lap, and the corner of the sofa.

Oh what joy!!!

A vomiting teenager. To cut a not very long story short enough to allow me some sleep tonight, I and Daughter, who is not drunk at all, spent the next hour holding this poor girl's head over a bucket whilst she did that heartrending uuuuerchhhhaaah! noise over and over again.

We've all been there, (well, most of us anyway) I suppose. I have a history which involves doses of alcohol as an emetic. At her age, I was a past master at the old Technicolour Yawn, and I wasn't always in control enough to be too fussy about where it landed. Let's face it, discretion is not top priority when you've got to call God on the Great Porcelain Phone and you just don't have the strength or coordination to get to it.

Her mum came to pick her up. It took a while to get her moving but I'm confident that she'll be ok.

And so I'm winding down in front of the revved up P.C.

Soon I'm off to bed. Far too soon after that I'm up and off to work. Soon after that, Daughter will continue the sterling efforts we have both made to render the living room odour free. Of course, that wont be possible but we have to try at least.

Goodnight everybody, and please comment with your best/worst teenage overdrinking til vomit stories.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

And so....

And so I have gone and been to another gig. The drummer from the first band was great. A throwback to what drummers should be. Tight and in their own world. As if the band they're in is just a figment of their imagination, bizarrely in time with their own bedroom/bedsit/othersideoftheworld thoughts. He only had a guitarist/singer for company as one of the guitarists couldn't turn up. Rock 'n' roll, eh.

The guys I came to see were great. Just garage rock shit of an ilk that kids get but they don't know why, and growed ups get but they forgot they did cos generally they're too busy at home watching shit or being asleep or just can't remember etc, just like I can't in general.
Yeah the bass player wore a dress. But I was usually sexier, my skirt was usually tighter. Actually, I was usually sexier, more pissed, more talented and can sing, for fucks sake.
Yeah, the songs were of a balls-out-go-for-it genre, but really everyone involved knows the old ones were so much more musically, well, musical. Didn't mean anybody came to see us or hear those songs though.

The drummer was on a planet of his own, which means the best guitar player in this city of his type is probably never gonna find a rhythm he can ingratiate without compromise.
In the end, talking to boring boys and girls out on yet another Bristol night out became dull. So here I am, talking to you guys.

Thank fuck all you guys exist. Without you, I would be asleep.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Old Gits Growing Older and Less Gracious

I'm off out to a gig in a minute or sixty. The two main dudes of the band, a brash loud affair no doubt, were in a band with me for 11 years. I gave in because my crushed ego couldn't take it any more. They carried on cos they are less egotistical and until recently when one of them fathered a child, neither were dads.

It's gonna be a bit like watching your old girlfriend dance with her new guy. However, I shan't envy them carrying all that nasty 1960's heavy muvvafukka equipment back into the van and home.
No doubt I'll find it within my bigheaded capabilities to be able to criticise the bass player. Drummers rarely impress beyond the fact that I can't do it for real, only in my head.

The Guitarist, Sol, is the best I've ever played alongside. Nobody can stump Baz for his enthusiasm and grit, not to mention fuck off bar chord mania.
I can't be arsed with all that dressing up for Halloween either. What a grumpy old sod I've become.

No matter, a couple of beers and all will seem cordial, loud and fluffy. Let's just try to keep a lid on the hooch guzzling though. Hangovers are such a bore at work.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Walks Among the Wild Folk

Not long ago, in a land called Brigstocke, I went on a journey to a faraway unusual landscape. Deep in this landscape lived a great many beautiful beings. These beings are known historically and up to this very day as 'trees'. Trees are unusual creatures in that they all huddle together. When they do so, we humans call them a 'forest' or 'wood'.


The wood is a wonderful magical arena of smells and sights many of us puny humans are not likely to witness in the third dimension, or actuality, as they are often difficult to see from the safety and seclusion of our 'sofas'.

I have included some rare photos of 'forests' to show the Lesser Spotty Couch Potato exactly what they may be missing. Look, if you will, at the variety of green colours and brown tints in just one frame.

I know, it's difficult to believe isn't it. Sometimes, deep inside these verdant playpens, it is possible to catch sight of small creatures who come to visit in order to avail themselves of the magnificence therein.On this occasion, I was lucky enough to capture a pair of such playpals, unaware of my presence, probably in some sort of trance. This is another rare and magical image of just what may be expected around any corner.


Just look at the social, almost human nature and stance of these two forest animals as they forage for food. Or at least, that's what I suppose they were up to. Oh, the misleading power that is anthropomorphosis.


I spent several hours tracking these most elusive of creatures. Every time I thought I had them pegged, they used some form of distraction technique, and just vanished into the canopy.


I tried several of my bushcraft skills to gain their confidence, until eventually, I actually got one of them to nervously take a tortilla wrap from my hand. What an incredible privilege!

This for me was proof positive that the conservation of these astonishing beasts' natural habitat is of paramount import to, not only their survival, but perhaps the benefit of all of us as we dodge the traffic and live our sedentary and oh so complex lives.

One day, when I've saved up or stolen enough of other peoples' money, I hope to return to this fantastic land, this oasis of life as we imagine in our wildest dreams.

Until then, I'll just have to gaze fondly upon these images and think of the times I spent in the company of these little hooded characters.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Glorious Food and Smug Cook of the Day

An expedition to a well known supermarket that naked chefs go to is usually a glance into how the other half live. I took the glance on the off chance it would be less crowded after England got turned over by Russia.

Some of the food is bog standard, and some is kinda better looking than it's counterparts in other local outlets. There were on this occasion lots of "knockdown eat within 24 hours" fresh organic bits and bobs. I gathered many into the basket, cantered over to the wine section, grabbed a bottle and zoomed home. Being a total penny pincher, I calculated I had just got about £20 worth of good food for about £4. Result! I started tucking into the Aussie red plonk, remarkably better than the price would suggest, by way of a celebration.

I've been preparing food for three days at work. I have to say that today was the first time I've actually felt largely in control of the utterly hectic process that is fast food to order. Just cos it's fast, don't mean it's bad. There's no "Mc" about it. So today was a good day. And the sun shone bright upon the city's usual urban glower.

Once home, knowing that tomorrow is the start of my 4 day weekend, I can expend energy on other stuff. I can enjoy a languid soak in the tub. I've done my parental duty writing a covering letter to the school admissions board assertively pointing out that they must put my son into a certain school in order to preserve the quite complex family dynamic. Fat chance of them actually listening, but hey, you gotta try.

And so on to the evening meal. My boy just got a large fresh salad of mange tout, baby sweetcorn, red pepper, shredded little gem, organic vine tomato, grated carrot and courgette and onion. There was a basil garnish and olive oil and balsamic English mustard dressing. This was served with fresh spinach and ricotta tortellini and for a bit of protein a boiled free-range egg, perfectly cooked for a change, sliced and scattered over the salad. There was also a banana and strawberry bio-yoghurt milkshake with crushed ice and a dash of fresh squeezed organic lime juice. AND one of those funky bendy roller-coaster shaped straws to try to suck it through.

Bloggers and readers of the world, if you went into your local cafe/deli and sat down to this, if I may say so myself, you would probably be impressed a tiny bit. Remember, this is a child I'm cooking for here, and the reward I get is to see the plate empty and a cheery face hung over it.
Apart from that, it would set you back a prettier penny than that which I lavished upon it.

Sometimes, being a smug bastard is not wrong, you know. I believe it could also be called getting something right, enjoying doing it, and ticking one of the myriad boxes in life with vim and aplomb for a change.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Phwish, peeyoo!


Just a quickie tonight. I've just been shopping and was forced into agreeing to take my 10 year old son to 'toys r us' to buy Ben 10 action figures. Being an affable and at times malleable little chap, we negotiated that I would, on this occasion, pay for one of the toys if he payed for the other one and also did the washing up, wiped down the kitchen tops, and swept the floor. 15 minutes easy work for £4 worth of toy. I don't get paid that much!! Though I have to say, if my bank balance read 1234.47 tiddlywinks I'd struggle at most retail outlets not to mention the boozer.

He did the work, we duly hit the road on the lookout for bits of shaped coloured plastic. It's his latest obsession, replacing the remarkably long lived Dr. Who bits of shaped coloured plastic. Before them it was Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean. The list is seemedly endless.

However, he gets great mileage out of these things and so keeps himself to himself playing all over the place. Whatever happened to conkers? And those hoops for rolling along the lane with a stick that would see road calamity in the modern era?

He keeps himself to himself in all aspects except one. He can't stop making all the dialogue for these guys. His Dalek impersonation is reaching folklore proportions at school I imagine. Fair enough, you can't build a plot with no dialogue terribly easily. And believe me, there is one hell of a plot going on in his multi-faceted mind of cartoonesque mayhem. And alongside the dialogue, he does all the onomatapoeic movement and action noises too. Phwish! is his all time favourite. Peeyoo! runs a reasonable second place. Pbbwwuurggh! for explosions and so on until my throat would hurt. His goes on from dawn 'til dusk on some days.

Tonight, I said he could get the thingies out of the packet in the car. As soon as the noise of crunching packaging stopped, the action began, opening with, of course, Phwish as the latest alien jettisons onto the arena of good verses evil to which it has been assigned. I fought back the tears of mirth as I drove down to a supermarket to shop for far less exciting things. I made him leave the toys in the car. He really is an absolute pest with them supermarkets. Intergalactic hostilities among the cornflakes threatening collateral damage across aisle 23, the jam section. A sticky conflict that could turn out to be, I can tell you.

Still, it's all in his head. He never displays any violence anywhere real, which is a blessing. Like him really, the greatest blessing I ever had bestowed upon me, my wacky, weird baby.

Now the wacky weird baby's oddball dad must go, off to make an important phone call. Wish me luck. Bye.

PHWISSSHHH!

Thursday, 27 September 2007

My Goddess Moon


My beautiful lover the moon
Is my Goddess
Framed by a pallid sky
She draws me into the cold of night
My gaze upon her argent allure is brief
I am shamed by her piercing stare.
It looks straight through my skin.
She leaves moon sized scars of moonlight
Patterns repeated in my moonmind's eye.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Raise The Nation's Children.

If you have a problem
You know that it shows
Don't tell me your problem
I don't really want to know
Carry your problem
'Til you break down to your knees
And beg the world you're living in
For pity and forgiveness
Mercy, mercy help you out
You have the shoulder the world cries on
You have raised the nation's children
And fought all of the wars
Now it's time to rest
Forget about the cause you believe in.

Your back is unbroken
Your heart beats fast and strong
There're voices crying inside your head
And they cry loud and woefully long
They cry from the cauldron
Of messages left unsaid
They fill the space between in and out
And bleed from the halo circling your head.

Sometimes

"I have of late- but wherefore I know not- lost all my mirth, foregone all custom of exercises; and, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this mighty o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire; why it appears no other thing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours. What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving, how express and admirable in action, how like an angel in apprehension, how like a God! The beauty of the world, paragon of animals; and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me, no, nor women neither, nor women neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so."

W.Shakespeare.
Hamlet
Act II Scene II

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

My Glittering Career.

I was going to write a piece about how moving to a new job today has made my work life not only more bearable, but downright exciting. I'm afraid that upon the evidence of my first day, that post will never be forthcoming. I've been disappointed many times in my life, but today I received a stark reminder of how easy it is to try something slightly different to further your life just a tad, and feel it really may have been a total waste of time.
So, without further ado, the positive aspects are as follows;

1 At least I tried, though not too hard.

2 My new working buddies are nice enough people, and one of them may even be able to teach me how swear in Russian since he hails from Latvia and that's his first language. This should come in handy when England lose to them (Russia)in the Euro cup qualifier on the plastic pitch.

3 The day seemed to go quite quickly because there wasn't a moment to rest.

4 All the food there is healthy, so should I choose to eat any of it, I may lose a few pounds or enjoy the flavour. This is an improvement on the last job which mainly sold chips to drongoes.

5 Having a shite working environment gives one the kick up the arse one may need to get a real job that pays enough to afford to eat in the type of establishment one currently works.

6 It made me realise that moaning about things just eventually leads full circle back to the fact that I live in the Western world with what's left of a welfare state so I only have to work part time in order to have a few of the basics in life that humans should globally have. There're one fuck of a lot of people out there on this planet who do not have those basics and never will, and they still have to work very hard indeed to afford what they do have.

Aaaaaaaand here are the downsides;

1 Thought of the day "If I have to wash one more fucking plate whilst stood on my aching feet in the forgotten corner of some sweaty striplit rabbithole up to my elbows in greasy lukewarm water whilst being forced to endure the aural soul destruction that is radio fucking one with it's smarmy fucking D.J.s playing music, 75% of which is aimed at emotionally retarded 14 year olds, arresting the extension of my personal growth boundaries with all the resilience usually associated of 16 foot thick reinforced concrete wall when under attack from a tooth pick, then I will seize power forthwith using violence and a lack of fairness to my fellow man that would make Robert Mugabe wince, crushing the system which has put me in a situation I find depressing enough to actually want an innocent passer by to toot their car horn at me whilst I'm on my bike so I can forcibly decapitate them and feed their grey matter to the nearest fat bastard fucking disease-ridden pigeon walking wobbly headed past the scene."

2 There's no number 2 because number 1 was so all encompassing in it's headfuckyness, it took me all day til I was home, washed, fed, and had tucked my son into his bed before I could really think past it.

So there!

I don't feel any better for that rant. Neither has it secured me an interview for a new position as an overpaid under worked member of society. It really is nobody's fault but mine that I'm in this predicament. Nobody else will remove me from it, it's all down to me. That's a bit depressing, because I have a tremendous aptitude for apathy an even utter laziness.

Where is my metaphoric knight in shining armour.

Perhaps their jobs were cut as part of a necessary downsizing of metaphorical heroes due to unforeseen financial instability. Maybe they all have jobs like mine now and are currently decrying them in front of a computer.

Oh well, maybe if I play my cards right, I could move on and one of them could have my job.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRGGHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kitchen Pig Has Left The Building!

A job is a job, it's been said. There is a singular straight philosophy to that which is hard to argue against. However, like all aspects of human life, once past the simplistic, the complex begins. Today, I have stopped working at the place I have worked for almost three years. It was not a first choice to begin working there to start with. My last job ended with wages owed. There was anger and disappointment. I needed another one fast, and as is often the case, haste produces a certain lack of choice, a removal of the type of logic we would all use if given the time to use it.

I wonder what next week holds in store for me.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Garden

These are a few images of a few flowers I grew in my garden this year.
The thing about growing stuff is that nobody has ever grown those molecules and atoms and all that tiny stuff in exactly that way before. Sure, millions of people have grown billions of plants but not these plants. These are MY PLANTS. I GREW THEM. They belong to me in a way that they do not belong to anybody else. By a similar token, they do not belong to anybody because, though I helped them burst into life by nurturing them with water etc, they grew themselves really. It's not like I had to go out there and tell them which way the sun is or how to suck up nutrients from the soil. I reckon they had that bit covered pretty well themselves.

And so this beautiful lily

and it's white friends and the gladiolus above have brought colour and pulchritude into my space without any noticable effort on their part. I may be doing them a diservice. It may be incredibly hard to grow if you're a plant, who knows, except of course Prince Charles who has been listening to them for years.
This isn't Prince Charles, not even on a bad day. This is actually a sky monster who flew over my garden to have a look at it because it was so gorgeous.

It popped in for a chat as well. Of course, like all monsters it couldn't shut up once it got onto the subject of it's own attempts at cultivating roses for various village fayres to which it flies nationwide. I wish it would come back, I lent it my spare planting trowel. Don't suppose I'll ever see that again.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Where's The Space

Melt with the sound
Feel my way round
I'm lost but I've found
There are many ways up
And as many ways down
Where's the ground?
Where's the ground?
Where's the ground?
Where's the ground?

Gathering pace
Stealing your face
I'm taking your place
And I'll leave with no trace
Yes I'll leave with no trace
Where's the space?
Where's the space?
Where's the space?
Where's the space?

I can remember
A time in the future
When a truer way of being wasn't so far forward.
Got a real sort of feel
To the background confusion.
Cross the devide to the dangerous side
I can push out the boat
Take my world by the throat
And let it breathe all it's powers for free.
Having got to the part
Of my own pounding heart
Which will feed the emotional animal I call me.

It's been scattered through my life.
An awkward feeling that I cannot understand.
Has it happened in your life?
An awkward feeling that you cannot understand?

Where's the sound?
Where's the place?
Where's the ground?
Where's the space?

Back

How wrong I am
To think a smile could be overpriced
It's almost free.
I took the scam
Shut off where anyone else
Could not see through to me.
I saw the game
As just surviving the next attack
It helped to be
One step behind
Just kinda drifting around the pack
Observing one rule
Watch your back!

Run away from your problems
They'll catch you you'll see
And wherever they find you
They'll haunt you.
Control and envelop you
'Til they
Break your back.

I'm checking in
To some emotional halfway house
Of my design.
I'm checking out
The possibilities from the chaos
That is my mind.
Is it a fact
That cornered animals always fight
Right to the last
And if I am
The beast inside of me
It's the only course of action
Just fight back.

Run away from your problems
They'll catch you you'll see
And wherever they find you
They'll haunt you
Control and envelop you
'Til they
Break your back

As it transpires
I am the curtain that hides my own
Mortality
Do I require
Eyes in the back of my head to see
What I might see
To know the task
Is not to hide in the shadows cast
By my own fear
Fear of fear itself
Because therein lies a madness
Madness that I know can
Break my back.

A Rock and A Hard Place

Round peg, square hole
Made to measure for a life on the dole.
Not the part you wanted, why turn up for the audition?
Your other self sees you fall to the ground
Glassy eyes buried in a deepening frown
In a play with a terrible script
Grabbed by the gaze that has all of us gripped.

That other self can't see through to your head and your heart
That's what you get when they say go
And even if you get the drift
You must get out and
Steal the show.

I can lie when it seems
It get me closer to a realised dream.
But the nightmares might be coming back to frighten me. (HA ha ha, he he he)
And the night time thoughts are the worst,
Tear me apart with the boredom and thirst
Stare at the wall, push ideas from my being
It's not another life, it's just another way of seeing.

The lost ideas that have escaped from my head and my heart.
Nobody knows where they all g-g-g-go.
Maybe they hide away inside
And come around to
Rewrite the show.

It's been a while since lost ideas I'd like to
Come my way
Have sprung into my head and given me the
Strength to say
I live , I breathe, I love, I feel. I have the
Right to claim
A bright idea with second sight when it's so
Painfully plain.

It's obvious I'll fall apart if every
Piece of crap
Replaces opportunities that fall in-
-To my lap
Give too much credence to the bullshit factor
What's the crack.?
Right now the moment is upon me get them
Off my back.

It ain't right if I try
To take an image from another mind's eye
Then change it round and warp it in my own peculiar fashion
Cos that just makes me bitter and choked
My own worst enemy right at my throat
Reminds me that I can be right for this play
As long as I don't let the bullshit get in the way

Of lost ideas that have escaped from my head and my heart
Now that I know where they all go.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Touch

In front of my face I see a story unfold
And then behind me, I see the hopes and they hold
Dearer. But I listened to tales
Of a different nature, and that's where I failed.
Not that I'm saying I never began
To be the male part of that woman/man
Experience, just soaking it up
Til my ego overflowed like a cup
Underwater. Well that is my sign.
Jumping about to the rhythm or rhyme
Or the 'thud, thud ,thud' that's a troubled head
Shoulda been paying attention to my heart instead.
But not me, I ain't done enough yet
Can't put a time on commitment or set
An agenda for life and it's trials.
Then it's 'bye-bye' There go the smiles.

Sink to the ground, bit by bit
See it swallow me up just a deep, deep,
Deeper despair. The interior
Lost self esteem makes you feel so inferior.
Sour grapes and delusions of grandeur
Don't tell people, so why should they understand ya
Don't give in, you know you've gotta relate
You've gotta listen, gotta learn
To put it all on a plate.
Then it's back to the heart where emotion is born
Temporary pain had sadly deformed.
And that negative/positive feeling had gone
But it's back now and I've got to hang on
To that love,
Ooh there's a buzz that goes with it hand in glove
Complex. Pure. Honest. Real.
Just touch, and you're beginning to feel.

In front of my face I see a life at it's start
Now I've got to be honest, put my hand on my heart
And say 'Look! It's a beautiful thing
That our temporal nature can help us all bring
Inner strength that can travel in waves
Pushing boundaries of personal growth to a stage
Where it weeps from your every pore
Get the picture, as pure as before
But it's changed,
Or have I? Or perhaps my perceptions have all rearranged
To a form only time can explain
Like the pleasure or pain
Which are simply devices we humans can use to find Love
Life and the buzz that goes with it, hand in glove.
Complex. Pure. Honest. Real. Just touch.

Orificial

How do you do Mr. Nice Policeman
How do you do what you must think you must
With the people in down No. Ten
Their heads all turned in shame and pure disgust
Whose desperate measures have called on you
Your morals drowned in seas of spite
Your ideals sold for bloodstained gold
A force beyond the peoples' might

A day in devil's deeds begins
The gloom protectors draped in blue
A mist will shroud your naked sins
With words of fire I'll murder you.

Whose feet are sure on wicked means
In strong defence of hell's own ends
The day of your reckoning has yet to arrive
Your own survival now depends
On those who seek to save your soul
For what it's worth now you've stooped so low
To stamp on your rekindled hopes
By dealing out your wicked blow

And when the day is over soon
You'll sleep in brave innocence at night
Your poisoned offspring by your side
You'll kill them too, when the time is right.

The Hook

Here's the hook! It's a self made miracle.
Coming to you to break through your own manacle.
Cloud and clutter and pain and suffering
Once you're in no room for no guessing game.
Feels like fire in ice cold veins
It's your party are you glad you came?
Music pumping up and pushing in sideways
Forward movement, squeeze like icing
Hope the cake is all that you never had
Fresh as the last thought that you have ever had
Jumping the queue for the roller-coaster
Passing other people as you roll over.
Turn to smile at the passive faces
All like mine, we've just changed places
Bumping on a track without an ending
Quicker than thought, but more mind bending
Just for a moment you're upside-down
Giving you a feeling that you're part of a sound
Take a warning, gonna be a firestorm
Inside, gotta get it under control
You've got savage ideas with no understanding
Building a life on advice but no plan
Take heart, take part, make a start
You know that you can handle it.
How do I feel, it's a fantasy world
Buzzing around me putting fears in my soul
Didn't quite get what there was to be gathered
Grabbing at life, there there it's all better
Putting my heart out for all to be seen
Massive rush in just to prove I'm as green
And as young as I'd ever have feared
Check my horizons to see if they've cleared
But no, there's the clutter again
Dragging me down like the virus within
Us all, I could make myself cry
Mindbomb, boom! Still dunno why
The unacceptable has to be heard
The unacceptable feelings and words
I don't want to hear but they can't be ignored
Cos to get where I am I'd have done that before
This point, where I sit and I say
Things I might understand in a different way.

Einstein

Lay awake in a darkened room
Did I speak out too soon?
Did I say what I said?
Got an idea in my brain
I'm the wrong side of insane
And I can't hold back my head.

Now I've been talkin' jive with Einstein
And me and him's got the future all sorted out.
Yeah, I've been talkin' jive with Einstein,
And now I know I'm left without no doubt

'Bout the ways of the mind
And the way that your mind
Kinda leaves my mind
Way behind
And I'm standing in line
Behind those I can't find.
Like good meets bad
And I shoulda had
A voice saying "Boy,
You're gonna go mad
If you're so sad
You just can't spot the signs"

Now the room looks like it's grown
And I'll sit here all alone
But that's just how it goes.
Well the penny is about to drop
When all the moving pieces stop
And the truth and lies will show.

Now I don't talk that much with Einstein
'Cos me and that guy just don't see eye to eye.
No I don't want to talk with Einstein
And watch my life just gently go floating by.

'Cos when the shit hits the fan
Then me and the man
Are gonna make sparks
Like only we can
And the world around us
Might just catch alight.
But 'till that time
I'm standing in line
Just waiting for things
To turn out fine
And hoping dreams come true
And they just might.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Glastonbury;The Last Rites

'Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood' Oh Flanders and Swann, how much fun would they have had with the phenomenon that is the 21st century mega music etc festival.

What can I say that hasn't been said by many after this year, and 2005 and all the other mud encrusted years down the line. It didn't ruin it, but FUCK ME SIDEWAYS, how much better is a music/arts/drugs/people/gathering/dance/everything festival when the sun is out. The photo here is proof that the sun did come out. This is it going down, a sunset on Solstice. I will always enjoy watching the sun setting.
I've had a couple of months to let all the memories fade into the kind of haze necessary to be my memories. Sort of confused, sort of tiny soundbites. They are like my dreams in that respect because I rarely remember my dreams in any massive detail. Shame because so few are nightmares of any genuine proportion. One nightmare though is where I'm in a field surrounded by people and everybody is wading through 6 inches of mud. Ah!

There is a human need it seems to say 'I was there' about many events. I've done it myself and am very glad I saw the poll tax riots, big festival stuff. I'm actually glad I heard Babyshambles because now I can categorically state the Pete Docherty is a thoroughly talentless cunt, which I would, with extraordinary venom, point out to him if he were in this room now. I wish now I'd been close enough to mud-chuck the twat off stage. In years to come, I may be happy that I listened to Bjork from a distance having suitably revitalized myself for Fat Boy Slim but disallowed myself from attending thanks to the appropriate 'byerk, byerk' sounds from my beautiful but puking girlfriend. I'm so very glad though that I was there watching the rediculous post-punk/still punk phenomenon that is Iggy Pop. I'm sure I'm not alone on that one.

It's still the big event on the calendar for many furry folk and kids and capitalistic opportunists. But evolution can turn the comely countenance that is bizarre free-form weirdness into the ugly physiognomy I have witnessed in part this time around.

I had plenty of laughs considering what piss miserable weather it was to be living in a tent. I saw a few bands through the usual wall of people taller than me, (which is virtually everybody) but if anybody ever says it's the same as previous decades, they lost the plot very badly in those previous decades and perhaps struggle to know what decade it is now. Sure, many things are the same. But it's all put together in an organised modern and leviathan package which flies in the face of the spontaneity and out of leftfield world which are it's roots.

I feel like a moaning old wanker just complaining that the world isn't what it used to be and desperate for somebody to give me the keys to the TARDIS so I can go back and witness those glory years again. But the thing is, I also know very well that I would find some of that boring as well. It's a sad part of my life that maybe I'm just not the kind of person to have done all the habitual and recreational drug stuff and still have the energy left to enjoy life for what it is on a minute by minute basis. I knew before I went that after an absence of 14 years that it was inevitable that I would compare the old days with the new. I tried not to, but it just kept throwing itself into my path like a suffragette in front of the king's horse. But I suppose that is the curse of any life. None of us get younger and we have no choice but to experience things and then compare them to things we have previously experienced. That is the essence of a life spent with eyes periodically wide open. There are alternatives, I don't think I'd prefer them.

Friday, 31 August 2007

The Holiday Is Almost Gone

I've slacked off a bit lately. Taken time off work, got out into the weird and wonderful countryside. Party times and wild woolly Moorland chill. I've not been that cold in bed in August for as long as I can remember, and that's because I may never have been that cold in bed in August.I'm still slacking now and so tales of wild ponies and last over victories and 172 year old fires and can-can dancers and pink fur and cocktails must wait until my creative self awakes from slumber following it's activity (and spacious behavior) fuelled week.

Some around me are lacking energy too. Soon I start a new job. Before then, my son goes back to school and my daughter goes to a new college. Soon they will move other house again, and fresh new foecal matter splatters haphazard into the air conditioning. The plucky little ship on the High Seas that is sometimes my family life will stir gently as more unpredictable ripples disturb the surface of the water, becoming less easily navigable. But it's spirit is never daunted, course bound still to a chart which unfolds ahead of it as it happens and not a moment before.

Rounding up the last rites of summer and looking onto equinox is the next task. I will need sleep and a clear mind. But I have no desire to sleep early, or clear my mind of wistful thoughts of distant loves and lives. I want to stay awake and let them wash through me again.

So it is not necessarily folly to fill my head with recent events, listen to my garden live around me, and wait for tomorrow in small, easily handled chunks.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Something for the weekend, Sir!

Organised games with much tomfoolery to boot. That's what's about to jump in front of me this weekend.

At last a long weekend with the promise of that cheery co-pilot, Sunshine.

In all, it's influence throughout this inclement summer has been covert to say the least. Some doubt remained as to whether I would ever witness the casting of a midday shadow again.Would I feel the need for a shady tree, except to scuttle under it like a lizard when amidst the raindrops.

My game is a weather dependent activity. To sail across seas you need more than a whisper of a breeze. To ski, one requires the otherwise terrible inconvenience of snow.

For my game the sun has to shine so that grass grows, then be cut short and warped from it's untidy nature, trained and becalmed. Tamed.

Rain. It is a necessity. But it has made a summer into a drear affair so far. It's going to take some hardcore burn-me bank holiday rays to redeem itself.

That's what this weekend is about for me and my beautiful son. Sunshine, people, communication, friends, tents, fire, fancy dress, country air.

Cricket.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Fresh Strawberries; Get 'em While They're 'ot!

Well, I can tell you, that was one of the more bizarre moments of my life up to that point. After such exertions it was quite obvious that I was going to require alcohol to calm the nerves. That or valium. In the absense of the latter, alcohol was going to have to suffice.

I love the smell of large sea going vessels. It's a mixture of diesel, fresh sea air, cheap scent from the duty free and cleaning products. I have no idea in which quantities. Perhaps I could get the olfactory talents of Giuseppe Baldini (so well played by Dustin Hoffman) from the film 'Perfume' to sprinkle some on a kerchief and diagnose. I love also the anticipation of going somewhere, a feeling of movement exemplified and accentuated by the gentle roll of an unstabilized ferry leaving port. I now had the task of settling down to a 10 hour boat trip. Once in the bar, looking fairly conspicuously different from many of my fellow travellers, I camouflaged myself behind a pint and began breathing sighs of relief.

Before too long, similar questions to those experienced on the train journey were asked. The groggy moggies were slowly beginning to stir once in a while. One of the people who was asking was a woman, about twenty-something. We chatted for a bit before we were rudely interrupted by the eeyuk-eeyuk sound of vomiting from one of the baskets. Oh yeah, just my luck! A seasick cat! I excused myself and went off to the toilet to cope admirably. Easier said than done. I had to clean up the puke from the cat blanket, simultaneously holding the cat now attempting somnambulistic escape. Everytime another passenger came into the loo, all this had to be conducted with soothing go-back-to-sleep voice spoken through a fixed grin resembling a donkey looking over a whitewashed paling fence. I am nothing if not a resourceful cat juggler, and thus I extricated myself from this predicament with a modicum of self respect still intact and no regurgitated Whiskas on my shirt. It was touch and go for a while.

Once back at the bar, surely I could relax into a conversation. The bar was filling slowly with a compliment of amused bystanders all with that look of 'I'm glad I'm not in his shoes' about them. The young woman I had been talking to was still there looking after the other cat basket. We'll call this woman Kate so as
a) not to reveal her true identity and
b) not to reveal my lack of memory.

Kate lived in Wales on the Gower Peninsular. We chatted about that, some inconsequentialities, some places we'd both been and what I should do with the nineteen tabs still stashed in my boot. I was tired, getting a tiny bit drunk, and beginning to stress up. My mind began working on silly 'What If' scenarios such as 'What if the coppers in Swansea were having second thoughts or were strategically letting me on the boat to catch me off my guard?'
'What if they've phoned Irish Customs and tipped them off as to their obvious suspicions?' Oh how the addled brain began working paranoic overtime. It was time to hatch a cunning plan. And so I contrived to wrap the contraband with whatever I could find to make them as water tight as possible, and neck the lot just before disembarking on Irish soil. Sound thinking, Dude! Hey, the worst thing that could happen is that they open up and I'm Zapped beyong Zargon, Munted to Mergatroid. A week long excursion to Pallookaville to converse with the tiny people whilst up a mountain in Ireland. Could be worse. So I wrapped them in a sticky label from a previous airline tag and waited til a short distance from the Coast before knocking them back. I bought some duty free vodka so I could drink that neat to help make myself vomit once past customs.

Irish customs on this day consisted of one diminutive chap, no moustache, in a wonky hat looking more tired than I did. He largely ignored everybody, including me.

Aha! It began to dawn on me that I had perhaps been somewhat over-zealous regarding my original plan of extreme furtiveness. Such obsession with covert behavior was less than required. In short, downright unnecessary. So off to the port dunny I went for a quick voddy and vomit. Could I regurgitate anything? Empirically, could I feck! I tried fingers down the throat, thinking of Margaret Thatchers sweaty arse, more vodka, imagining I was eating mouldy cheese and pickle sandwiches, more fingers for longer periods of time, more vodka but no more Tory arses cos once in a lifetime is enough for any sane human.

Nothing. Nil. Nowt.

"Great Scott!" I exclaimed most perturbed. How remiss to not have a contingency plan. I had arranged to get picked up at port by my ex/girlfriend and anyone she could coax into driving as she never learnt. They were late. This was pre-mobile days. I'd have to wait. As I'd promised her a lift to the interior somewhere, Kate patiently waited with me and the cats, who were now fully awake, hungry, and occasionally mewling in tones of increasing ire. An hour passed. Where the feck were the useless hippy wasters? They turned up in, wait for it, a Citroen 2CV. For those not familiar with the 'je-ne-sais-quoi' appearence of a 2CV, imagine a large corrugated rusty baked bean can with a small spindly wheel at each corner. Were there just two occupants? No! Not on your Nelly were there. Already four. FOUR!! How many hippies does it take to drive this tin crate? Do we have to pedal it or run like the Flintstones?

So here we all were at a deserted ferry port, two pathetic caged malkins, my ex, three of her 'just along for the ride' mates (all stoned which is why they were late), a very bemused Kate now probably wishing she wasn't putting her safety in our collective grubby hands, me, paranoid that I can feel the ground turning more marshmallow by the minute somehow combining a slur with a gibber the vague subject being chemists and syrup of figs, and a clapped out French car of dubious design and minuscule proportion to squeeze every last one of this exceedingly motley crew into.

We set off in milky sunshine, faces pushed up against windows, this poor old charabang straining in low gears across Ireland's rural south. For those of you who have never been to The Emerald Isle, the roads resemble Moon Base Alpha, a bit bumpy to say the least.
As planned, we shopped for strong laxatives along the way. Everybody knew why, so I was encouraged to take a dose. I did. Now, I don't know about you, dear reader, but my digestive/bowel system works quite well without help. With herbal encouragement, like a dream. Or actually more akin to a nightmare. Well nobody told me what dosage was enough, so I may have approached it with some largess. We arrived at the mountain just in time. My stomach was tightening like a duck's arse in a force ten gale. Toilets? Oh no! Just a quiet spot on a mountain river bank. A pleasant place to shit out the entire contents of ones bowels. And there, in the middle of the midden, encased in gelatinous syrup of figs coloured goo, were nineteen wrapped strawberry acid tabs.

RESULT!!!

I sold them all, one of them immediately to a member of the 2CV crew, others purveyed around the scattered mountainside collection of self-exiled English travellers and hippies. I probably made enough profit to cover the laxatives and the vodka. I've never possessed much in the way of business acumen, but life isn't always about an emolument. It's just memories once the events have taken place.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Cats on Drugs?: A Moustache Investigates.

Many moons ago, when myself, the World, and even Cilla Black were younger, I took a journey. It was a journey through space and time. No, I haven't been on the cane toads again, travelling through space and time is not as unusual as you would at first think. I mean, how many of you out there in my extensive readership have ever taken a journey that wasn't through space and time (unless you were on a Virgin train in rush hour). Have you ever gone on one which left you exactly where and when you started? Unlikely. That's just called 'being' Anybody can 'be' Where's the skill in that? Anybody of course except the dead. They just have a monopoly on 'were' They own the past tense in a way us living creatures just can't quite muster. Anyway, that's all just nonsense really, especially the bit about Cilla Black.

No, this journey was an errand. In fact it was a collection of errands. If I had been a spy or somesuch, I would have been offered a flat overlooking Red Square for this. I would have refused it. Not for any reasons involving altruism, it's just that I don't speak a word of Russian, I despise hanging around in queues, and I have a moral objection to wearing fur. The tasks I had set myself were simple enough. You may recall if you are Rexperienced, that I shared my life with cats once upon a time. There were quite a few of them. During a period of upheaval, also partly skimmed over, I relinquished my responsibility to a couple of them. I wasn't proud of the way I dealt with that situation, but I have always hoped that they went to good homes via the Cats Protection League and not ended life as a rather comfy pair of fur lined slippers. Two of the mogs were taken over by the ex-girlfriend who had shared them with me. Since we'd busted up, itself a longer than usual process, she had been on her own bizarre journey of self-enlightenment, self escapism and torment mixed together in a confusing cocktail which I was forced to imbibe on occasion, mainly though not entirely, through gritted teeth. She had eventually moved to Ireland during this period, leaving the cats in the care of a self-confessed sculptor and lunatic. Determined to make up some lost ground on Brownie points with Bastet, the Egyptian Cat Goddess, I accepted the charge of transporting the pussies over to The Emerald Isle.

My travels began in Bristol. I had a long day and night ahead, one which was going to be hindered by cats in baskets that didn't want to be in baskets. They yowl horribly when captive, so I took what I considered to be the kindest way for them, and filled them full of sedatives. What they lose in dignity and conciousness, they gain by not being scared, confused, vicious, multi-weaponed pains in the arse. I piled them into a taxi in order to get to the train station. Taxi drivers being licenced latter day highwaymen, there was a sudden claim of a surcharge for animals. Well, he did have a weed habit to support, so I surrendered the extra few quid. Once on the train, the cooing grannies and staring children asked all the relevant and obvious questions, to which were given the same simple and polite answers. 'Oh, about 18 months I think' 'Yes, ever since it was a kitten' 'Well fairly often, but the carpets quite old anyhow' How long was a sarcastic, facetious bastard like me going to be able to keep up this facade of truth and affable charm? Well, the train only takes 90 minutes to Swansea, so I didn't crack under the interrogation and remained urbane until it was time to alight.

Next, another taxi ride, no surcharge this time, proving as I at first had thought, the bullshit-o-meter did not need recalibrating. And so I hustled into Swansea dock on time to embark on an arduous 10 hour ferry journey to Cork. Now, I'd been this way before a number of times. Virtually every occasion upon which I'd walked past a certain Customs copper, he'd pulled me over for a little chat. Maybe it was the locks, (mine, not his, you lemon) or the rehearsed but never perfected look of fake innocence. Perhaps it was the 'Pigs die! Fuck pigs!' T shirt I'd bought cheap off a slaughterhouse necrophiliac (a less than wise move under any circumstances) . Who can be sure? Not me for a kick off, but two things were sure. Dolly Parton floats on her back, and this moustachioed butt-wipe jobsworth was gonna yank my collar yet again.
"Where are you going then?"
(Brain to Mouth, Brain to Mouth. DON'T BE SARCASTIC!!!)
"Erm... Ireland."
Sgt. Lipfuzz peers into cat carriers at comatose felines.
"What's in the baskets then?"
(Brain to Mouth, Brai... I KNOW, I KNOW)
"Well.. I reckon they're cats" (Ooohhh, bollox!!)
The Sarge, now smiling like a chess master about to pull his best ploy. "Passport? Right, wait there!"
He strode off in a sub-nasally hirsute sort of fashion and returned a minute later to announce the dreaded "Come with me!"
I went and sat in a near-featureless white room containing, amongst other furniture, the traditional two chairs each side of a desk. After the preliminary questions about name, reason for trip and all that shit, he began intimating his suspicions as to the hand carried livestock cargo, which he hadn't allowed me to take into the room. I reiterated that there were just cats in there and that they were probably best left undisturbed. His mustache twitched like an antennae picking up dodgy hippie vibes.
He could leave the mogs to the other cops out of view. I had visions of two sleepy cats being sat in white rooms whilst two big tabby hi-vis jacketed Customs grimalkins posed them a series of meows designed to trick them into a confession. They'd probably try to soften them up with the good mog/bad mog routine, nice bowls of warm milk, woolly jumper to knead, little stroke under the chin then just as you begin to purr.... GOTCHA!! You're coughing up secrets faster than furballs in molting season. I know the drill, diabolical psychological torture. It was gonna be tough for them not to break. I had every faith. Those years in the Marines (mascot, 1st class) were gonna stand them in good stead.

Back in the white room, Sgt. Bogeycatcher played his trump card.
"We're going to conduct a strip search" he announced matter-of-factly. "Remove all of your clothing one by one and hand them to the other officer."
"O.K." I said and proceeded to do so. Constable Other started feeling around my still warm discarded garments, including a very good up-side-down shake of my crusty para boots. Now this sort of behavior by rozzers is the part of the sequence of events which they feel is where embarrassed crooks wishing to hide their shortcomings may bottle out. They did not know at this or any stage of the game that I was an experienced life model. I'd been stark-bollock naked in front of whole rooms full of artists of both genders, all ages, and several sexual persuasions. In short, I didn't care a Tinker's Cuss for their assumed position of ascendancy. I began to care when a 'teenth of slate fell out of one of my socks and rolled conspicuously to a halt in the centre of the cheaply carpeted floor. Oh dear. Oh deary dear. Deafening pins could be heard dropping all around the three of us. Sgt. Soupsieve rose in his chair, looked at the blim now placed on the well lit table, and asked "So, what's this then?" I leaned forward to take a closer look, paused and replied "Looks like a piece of hashish to me"

The wheels were in motion. New and more numerous bits of paper came out from a nearby cabinet. I was asked to give up all my details which I did whilst explaining that I really did need to get on this boat and did he really want to be responsible for two cats when they woke up. Still he banged on about the baskets. He started the arrest process, blah blah intent to transport illegal contraband blah.. and then, perhaps in an epiphany, stopped speaking and left the room. The silence between me and Con. Other was leaden. Had I offended him in some way? Now seated, I scratched my divested scrotum, and patiently refolded my arms. When Sgt. Clittickler returned, he sat, cautioned me about the pot, and said that the ferry was just about to haul up the gangplank and if that I wanted to get on it I'd better be dressed and out of that room in 60 seconds. I managed it in around 53, grabbed the furry fiends, and scurried in quick, short steps aboard.

All I kept thinking as the large and protective doors slammed behind me, putting an end to the surreal close shave I had just encountered, was this. 'Thank feck they didn't search my boots properly. They might have found the acid!'

Friday, 27 July 2007

Nemesis Week. Angels in the Night

July 18/19, 1992. The band I was in got a gig at a mate's birthday party. This mucker was at the time hanging with those cheery cheeky chaps collectively known as Hell's Angels. Aren't they lovely, all great big cuddly bunnies with Santa Claus smiles. Permanently full of the joys of spring but with guns under the floorboards. However, on this auspicious occasion, we were the troubadours and they supplied the barrel of farmhouse cider. Armed with a Transit and musical instruments, we rattled off into the Mendip Hills. Upon arriving we discovered that, silly lads that we were, we had left the picnic hamper on the veranda at home. What a bally oversight! Sensing our chagrin, and to stop us from getting hungry, the Angels also gave us that trusted old relative Uncle William to look after. We looked after him well by immediately sheltering him up our noses. Keen but amateur mycologists that we were however, we had remembered to pack a few samples from the previous autumn which had been partly spent scouring the damp Somerset ground for pixie hats. If the cap fits, trip over it.
Picture the scene. Four guys in a band playing swirling psychedelia and mashing monstrous punk metal. The stage is a six berth canvas ridge tent, circa 1966, on a gentle slope. Scattered around this archaic edifice are scary, mind altered, hairy-arsed grizzled old bikers in the gloom, and that was just the women. Virtually none of them paid the slightest attention to the racket we were making but insisted that we shouldn't discontinue. And so, as music be the food of love, and discretion is the better part of valour, we played on until our fingers went numb. We drank heartily of the barrel, smoked ourselves hoarse and awaited the dawn.

Dawn broke the damp cold over the Eastern horizon. It provided the lighting for the next bizarre spectacle. Bonnet skiing. The bonnet is removed from a car and is then attached to the tow bar by a length of rope, say about 30 feet. The car is then driven at break-neck pace around the environs by an inebriate with scant regard for health and safety regulations. A 'skier' is sat on the upside-down bonnet. He remains on the 'ski' until death or gravity plays it's part. On this day, the 'skier' was chased closely by an Alsatian which was quite obviously being driven apoplectic by all the jolly old high jinks.

Being of a tidy disposition and wishing to play no part even as a spectator to this mayhem, I left the danger behind and began picking up the inevitable litter now strewn about the place. I had been doing so for a while, minding my own business, when the deranged dog appeared from behind a parked car. Ignoring the usual etiquette of a warning growl, it advanced with some speed toward me as I bent to pick up a beer can, and sunk it's teeth into my flesh. Motherfucka!

I sidled off to nurse the wound, cursing the cur, addled mind already envisaging some very nasty rabies shots to the gut. A short while later, as if to take my mind off the spreading infection, some guffawing hoodlums pulled into the field in 4x4's and silly green padded waistcoats and began blasting clay pigeons out of the skies with 12 bores. Would the surreality never cease? Since these strange beings from a different tax bracket had assaulted the senses with their graceless invasion, we bump started the trusty tranny and headed back for the city as soon as the drummer was arguably sober. I didn't live in the city, so I was dropped off first to my small rented cottage. No sign of human habitation, the four cats and I looked forward to a spot of breakfast. Since I'm not too partial to Whiskas, I put on the chip pan. After all, what better to follow a sleepless night of excess than a greasy pile of 'Pomme de Terre Anglais'. Stout nourishment, it's so rarely erroneous. Upstairs to wash for brekky, a little sit down on my comfy bed, and everything is just..zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I awoke to see a rather concerned looking feline at the foot of the bed, quite clearly visible considering all the smoke in the room. Smoke? SMOKE!!! FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK?!**!

I dashed downstairs, my feet dancing around sprinting cats, to witness the dying flames of a chip pan which had burnt away all of the fat in it. The chips, acting as a wick, were jet black and still smouldering, resembling some gruesome charred village scene after a visit from Ghenghis. The cottage was filling fast with thick choking greasy smoke. I rushed about ushering panicked cats into the garden. One, two, three. Kerist All-bleedin'-mighty! Where's the fourth one? I tried to remember all those public info films about what to do in the event of a housefire, but failed. Somehow my mind just kept re-routing to Fred Astaire in Towering Inferno. I spent the next ten minutes attempting to breathe through a wet towel crawling around on all fours under the billowing murk trying to find a grey cat in a house full of grey smoke. I wish I had been old Fred, maybe the cat would've been ginger. I found it cowering in a tiny gap under a wardrobe, grabbed it despite it's lacerating talons and chucked it out. I rescued a couple of sofa cushions and lay on them under a blue sky in the garden until I sweated gently into a calm sleep among oscillating flowers in the fresh air.

Nemesis Week. Sporting Excellence

This week is nemesis week. Not this actual week 2007, but just this week of the year, third one in July, has commonly been one which has produced a gentle ripple on the old mill pond of Rex, perhaps even a quake measuring 8.2 on the Rexter Scale on occasion.

In 2001 sporting injury reared it's homely countenance. July 22, in a league cricket match, I ignored all usual common sense and dived forward to attempt to catch a ball which was obviously going to reach me on the half-volley. Indeed it did, landing on the ground in front of my mid-air body and outstretched hand. It hit terra firma at the precise moment it hit the end of my right third finger, stopping the first two bones of said digit abruptly. As misfortune would have it, the other 150 lbs of my body carried on.

There was a flash of brilliant white light in my head. Intense pain began coursing through more nerve ..er... thingies than should be expected. Other cricketers, being of a caring and empathic disposition, began shouting calming words like "Get up, get the fuckin' ball" Not possible, I was 100% endorphin rush, a quivering wreck of my former self. After a short walk in heat to the pavilion, watched by my 4 year old son who still remembers his literally watery-eyed dad running a fast swelling finger under a cold tap, it was considered best to strap the finger to it's immediate neighbour and go to hospital. However, cricket is a game involving 11 vs 11, and so Einstein here decides to return to the pitch because there wasn't a twelfth man. I fielded one ball, saving two runs. When I threw it to the 'keeper, my hand throbbed almost visibly as if in a Tom and Jerry sketch. In a close game, we won by the two runs I had saved by just being in the way.

Amidst all the typical victory celebrations, (large doobies all round) the hospital visit was totally forgotten. Indeed I toughed it (like a twat!) out for 7 weeks before seeking professional medical attention. Needless to say, despite surgery, it was all a trifle late by then. Re-calcification is a fickle bodily function. My son and I call that digit "The Gonzo Nose" To know what it resembles, visualise the space muppet's shnoz sideways on.

I don't like how it looks. The nail doesn't grow properly if at all. It doesn't bend more than 25 degrees. It hurts in a mildly arthritic way. The bones and cartilage were so smashed in places that the ligament now does the job of the cartilage because the cartilage doesn't exist any more.

Would I change anything? Would I travel back in time and back out of the altruistic dive forward to help my team?

As my old Aunt Flossie would have said if she'd ever existed, "Fat boy, you bet your arse I would!"

Sunday, 22 July 2007

That Shallot!

Having made an astonishingly speedy full recovery from my broken foot, I was back at "the office" today, and it was there that I struck upon a potentially new and arguably revolutionary method for chopping onions without tears. Mine is the sort of "office" where you will commonly find people chopping vegetables. I once walked in there to discover a 22 stone part time dvd salesperson cutting up whole dead ducks (mainly mallard, one or two teal) but that's another story. Usually this type of shenanigans would cause a rumpus, but as I have already said, that's another story.

My "office" is situated on the ground floor. One day, perhaps if I'm really good at what I do, when they've finished training the simian that has been lined up to replace me, I may receive some kind of promotion. I could move seamlessly into the next chapter of my chequered employment journal. Some folk have been moved upward in the past, never to be seen again. It's rumoured that they shape-shift into other-worldly beings and live out their hollow, dark existences wandering forever in ghostly mire and shadow on the first floor. But that's another storey!
"I've been on the R. & D. trail,
searching high and low for the Holy Grail"
I'm a poet, a fact of which
I'm fully aware".......(well, they don't have to rhyme you know. This isn't PlayAway, and though I may be called Brian, I'm not a total Cant )
The trail has left me and many like me in tears. But today's discovery has dried them up, raised the bar. Raised it high, so high that an aardvark can no longer walk into it, which destroys one time-honoured joke. It could have been a joke about a replete cow, too lazy to walk to the shed to be milked, but that's an udder story.

According to my extensive research, onions turn us into crybabies because they exude a juice which, upon evaporation into the air, turns into invisible tear gas of some kind. This I found very useful during my ill-fated single-handed assault on the North face of Michael Heseltine, but that's an utter Tory. The gas, or fumes perhaps would be a longer description, (only two letters longer) escape rather like I did, surreptitiously. However, their release into the air can be prevented to a large degree in the following way.

1: Arrange the chopping board ( correctly coloured to avoid cross contamination) squarely in front of you and secure it to the work surface.
4: Taking a freshly honed sturdy kitchen knife, remove both ends of each onion.
3: Before removing onion ends, place a suitably sized bowl next to your chopping board on the same side as your "cutting" hand.
2: Fill a bowl (correctly colour coordinated to avoid cross interior designers) with luke-warm water.
5: Drop each "top'n'tailed" onion into the bowl.
6: Boil a kettle of water.
8: Remove each onion individually from the bowl (of water) and cut into "halves" end to end. Place each half back into the bowl.
9: Re-remove each "half" onion individually from the bowl and peel the tough outer skin away. Return each skinned "half" onion to the bowl.
10: Re-re-remove each skinned "half" onion from the bowl, place on the chopping board, and finally, finely chop until fully finely chopped.(If your onions do not appear finally to be fully finely chopped, return
to point 7)
11: Place finally finely fully chopped onions in clean bowl.(colour optional)
12: Remove water from kettle and use it to make a nice cup of tea. After all, you deserve it since you've worked so hard learning a new skill today!

Et voila! That's ya lot.