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 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.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

More Old Hats To Throw Into The Ring.

Here I am again, a little confused as usual, and once more discussing the world of cyber diaries. That's diaries not dairies. Who ever heard of a cyber dairy? Well lactose addicted computers of course, but besides them? O.K. I concede, cybermilkmen - perhaps the most feared and utterly ill-conceived of The Doctor's arch enemies.
Digression, digression, digression. It's what politics is all about. Cunning those politicians. Why just this year, New Liar members (and a right bunch of members they are at that) have openly, and without much studio make-up, condemned the execution of Saddam as deplorable etc. Well they're possibly correct. Who am I to say or judge? I'll tell you who! One of the many people who sat and watched news reports of R.A.F. and U.S.A.F. bombing raids which deliberately targeted and failed only to hit Saddam because he was too bloody well hidden. So assassination's O.K. then? Almost not like killing anybody at all!
Gosh, that all got a bit serious for a while. Must quickly inhale some more of that NO2........ That's more like it. I'll have to mug another midwife before too long, after all, the bottle's bound to run out sooner or later even if it looks pretty big by the desk here and boy, was it focken hard to get up all those stairs. Maybe I should just visit a doctor. (not to be confused with 'The Doctor' mentioned previously) Wish I hadn't dropped it on my sodding foot now. And that's why I'm confined to the desk. Broken foot. I tell you it could have been loads worse. If I'd been in favour of the metric system it so easily could have resulted in a broken metre. Then where would I be? Not just waylaying babycatchers but hijacking B.O.C. 7tonners on the A.4. that's where.
Anyway, I maintain I've constructed enough of this utter bollox now. I mean to say, with Wednesday fast approaching, I'm in grave danger of losing sleep my body desperately needs at the moment. I'd be a little fatigued even with slimming aids. There's nowt wrong with the creative endeavours associated with sleep deprivation, but even wolves at full moon slumber on occasion, don't they?

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Beyond Yesterday's News

I'm definitely getting there. However I maintain I am seriously confusing myself on a daily basis with all this blog nonsense. Even my partner, (A.K.A. B.F.G.) who claims to have (and apparently has) mastered all the ins and outs of the world of blogging in it's simplest form, couldn't figure out what the feck I'd done to all of the passwords and usernames and all that jazz. She is easily confused though. Her record at scrabble will tell the full story, or maybe she's been letting me win all this time? Perhaps I'm easily confused? After all, I never saw what was wrong with Betamax.
Anyway, I feel I must post this old tripe before the cyber world catches me succeeding at something and punishes me by some devilry. What this time I wonder? Maybe it'll make my P.C. just disappear overnight. Oh how innocent bystanders would laugh and laugh as I was hauled spitting and swearing from around the throat of some poor unsuspecting fool behind the paydesk at P.C.World.

And incidentally, why are bystanders always innocent? I mean, don't the guilty ever appear on the streets? I'm fairly certain somebody who is guilty of a genuine misdemeanour must have stood by me at some stage. And why are they always standing? I mean, isn't it just feasible that somebody who is wheelchair-bound may also be innocent (or guilty) and nearby when 'an incident' has taken place. One or two may have been on sun-loungers or even cycling past. The mind boggles at just how many types of 'being by' innocently (or even guiltily) there can be. Well my mind boggles anyway, but an adult lifetime involving myself in a love affair with alcohol, a love affair as yet undiminished by the passing of a couple of decades and counting, would go a long way towards explaining that. Other episodes of sideways recreational behavior take one all the way towards an explanation, but what the hey, that's for another time.
Read on, MacDuff, and at that other time I will promise you that you will be disappointed.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Positively Bored

Here is a thingy entitled 'Positively Bored' which I wrote, without the aid or assurance of a safety net in the spring of 2006.

Anyone who says that only boring people get bored, bores me.

Anyone who says that they never get bored is only occupied in their spare time by deluding themselves about their own lack of boredom.

Being bored is a natural, nay quintessential part of the human condition.

It is absolutely normal to become less interested in what you are doing than in the possibilities of what you could otherwise be doing.

It does not mean you are skittish.

It does not mean that you are de-focussed.

It merely makes obvious your status as a human being.

If humans did not become bored, they would not have invented or discovered many of the more fascinating extremes of the human experience of being alive on this planet.

Indeed, they may never have been off this planet.

Being bored is not necessarily dysfunctional.

It is merely a facet of existence.


Saturday, 7 July 2007

A Reply To Somebody Cleverer Than Me.

Fantastic rejoinder! Touche! Or as they say in France, touche! With a sillier accent. I see I may have brushed against a raw nerve with all the aplomb of an Australian cultural attache. Since I had a few hours away from the daily grind of my booming multi-million Euro Astro-Physical Car Wash and Piss Powered Poodle Pamper Parlour (, I have decided to topspin a lob in your general direction to see if your smash is up to scratch. I have little doubt we'll be picking the ball out of Row Z quite soon.
I arose, perhaps more orally hirsute thanks either to a higher than expected alcoholic imbibiositiness(?), or a hypothalamectomy(??) I was greeted by the mid-afternoon sunshine as it "poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses." Took me an absolute age to get those stains off the curtains I can tell you, which reminds me I must take my colostomy bag to the launderette. I have to read a little of your episodic history before I go on too much though cos from the first few bits back in '05 it's clear that I may employ flippancy which could be regarded as just plain insensitive.
I say read. I'm actually clinically illiterate, and have to suffer daily several tedious hours of Brazilian mouth-to-toe remedial massage administered by retired Okapi trainers before the postman arrives. Now I know what you must be thinking. Wrong rainforest! That's part of the reason it's so rare. Africa to South America. Very tough commute. Lemme tell you though, them gals can tongue toes like it's going out of fashion, and at only £25/second(that's $6.2 million or 18.5 used car tyres. Hmm, do I need a new calculator?) it's a sodding bargain the salesman and I.M.F. still assures me I can't refuse. Still it beats hands down the old medication for such conditions used in the past. Leeches. Horrible! Unless of course marinaded in one of Slater's own ready made Cook'N'Vom Sucker-Sludges. An absolute life-saver about the kitchen, the employment of which effectively guarantees avoiding any number of hirudinous dinner party faux pas.
Unfortunately, in the early pre-diagnosis years of my affliction, desperation drove me to all manner of panic measures. I tried Chinese medicine. However, due either to my somewhat rudimentary command of Cantonese, a typo or an overworked and quite bizarre Oriental sense of the ridiculous, I was charged 500 smackeroos to have lychees placed on my energy points. It may just have worked if I'd kept them on for the full 28 days, but I'll never know now because I was unfortunate enough to leave the practice at the precise moment that the 'Eat the First Far Eastern Fruit You See' support group left the 'Malcolm X' centre on the opposite side of the alley. Some days despite ones utmost efforts, it seems one is the statue and not the pigeon, n'est ce pas?
"3 o'clock in the morning, and it looks as though it's gonna be another sleepless night"
"So on the button" Sleep, it's like an untimely punctuation for the would-be restless. Some say it has its uses but I've yet to see the full evidence. Most folk find sleep a normal everynight occurrence, apart from fighter/bomber pilots, whose targeting indiscretions as a result are either notorious or still an undisclosed secret. It's a surprise Los Angeles is still standing.
I was reading the other day that the 'City of Angels' is actually a unfortunate mistranslation. Seems somebody's handwriting left a little to be desired and it is actually the city on jellies, which makes so much sense of all those nasty old earthquakes. Put one simple letter down wrong and W.W.IV would break out. That's if any of us survive W.W.III currently being waged. Of course, it's easy to identify who may survive W.W.III because they started it in the first place. Well it must have been sooo dull in the White House after Bill and Hil checked out, and what with the Cold War ending without a bang in such a disappointing way, and as you pointed out, the women out shopping, what better way to attempt to reduce the unemployment queues than by gathering all the disinterested, potentially disenfranchised layabouts and freeloaders, flying them halfway around the world and giving them new trousers into which they can shit themselves for a variety of reasons they would never have thought possible back home.
Sorry that's just my Cockney Tourettes playing up. My grandad was a real Cockney, born within the sound of Bow bells. Lamentably, there are proportionally less Cocknies per Londoner now due to a few factors.
Firstly London keeps getting bigger both in population and it's acreage, which seems to expand halfway across the country these days. Indeed some of it's postal areas are in fact in Brittany. Secondly, lots of hospitals get closed here and the N.H.S. budget has been cunningly re-deployed on double glazing, so hearing Bow bells is more of a problem, though the government claims this is propaganda put about by the Cockney Proliferation Front(C.P.F.) (See note later) Fourthly, traffic, new airport, and other general noise and air pollution has meant that the sound of Bow bells now only carries a short distance, maybe as little as 48 lunar feet.(6215.2 km, Tut! feckin' calculator again!*?!) This means that in order to be a true Cockney nowadays you'd have to be born halfway up the steeple steps, an unacceptable situation even for the aforementioned Draconian N.H.S. cuts. One or two acrophobic midwives also raised quite unprecedented objections. This lead to the audacious attempt by the C.P.F., in a rare collaboration with the Fahckin' Real Front for the Proliferation of Cocknies F.R.F.P.C. ( see even later note) borrowing Batman garb from the recently disbanded Fathers for Justice campaign, to scale St. Mary le Bow church steeple and install a kick-ass sound system hired from the Brixton Ganga Crew for the Promotion of Deafness Posse.(righteous yoot an' yoot, I most catagorically assure you. Due to mind opening substances and general demeaner, see downright tardy note) Part of the deal was that Mad Professor could do a live mix of the peal, which made for an interesting bootleg C.D. (Bing bong bing bong-ong-ong-ong chanka boomph tich wobba-wobba, gungbin pissshhh. Rise up Lieeeaaaan-aaan-aaan!!) Thirdly, there is no thirdly because down there within the stench exuding melting pot that is the East End, that number is considered bad fortune. "Free? Nah meeyol' china, das unlukkee, naa'a'meen?"
The C.P.F. was founded in 1964 after the increasingly famous Michael Caine had been cast as a toff in "Zulu". Outraged by this apparent turncoat, they plotted a "bommin' campaign" which meant they would invade "swimmin' barvz" en masse and terrify "li'aw saucepanz" wiv, sorry, with hideous close quarters diving and big splashes. Local papers such as "The Cheeky Sparra" screamed the headlines. "C.P.F. Aahtovvawda 'n' Wellaahta Depf, Awri' Darlin' Oy Oy" The initial terror caused was not insignificant, as lidos all over "the smoke" began loosing custom, causing unemployment queues to lengthen by several inches. When Caine's next blockbuster "Alfie" was released in 1965, many toned the movement down to become less radical, with lame media driven P.R. stunts such as "bargin'" into ice lolly queues or "shakin'" the hands of Pearly Kings and Queens in Trafalgar Square for the cameras.
Those who had left the movement went "unddagrahn'" to form the radical F.R.F.P.C. After a vicious few months of hell in the backstreets, locals became " Right ol' Logie Baird" of "Da Frun'" after repeated incidences of "pissin' in yer chips, ya twa'" and the excruciating "Neeka'in'" involving several of the nobbliest knees in Shoreditch being cruelly exposed to unsuspecting innocents down at the old rubbadub. The movement almost folded in 1966 when it was discovered that dangerous hitman and kerbside yodeller, Barry 'doous a fayva' Dobbins was actually Christened at Winchester Cathedral as Barton Hesketh Inbred Doris Bashstreet Charwoman-Duffer III, 17TH Earl of Qua-QuaWestchestynecester (pronounced Quenya ;-). Street kudos slumped to an astounding all time low until the St. Mary le Bow Steeple climb/mashup ting.
The B.G.C.P.D.P. were formed at a party in Coldharbour Lane and disbanded 55 minutes later by the Metropolitan Police because there was, as Chief Commissioner Gobsmack so eloquently put it, "No BASTARD way we're gonna let a bunch of f?++*£g n*^^%.@ organise a party without OUR say so on OUR manor, savvy?" A spokesman for the Crew stated "Dem 'erb was take, yoot an yoot downtrodden, but day come and dem rise up again and mashup de police!" The people of the capital, as one, were was right behind them. The system was returned along with significantly less 'erb, which meant that dozens of rozzers were seen binge eating themselves silly at burger AND doughnut stalls for several weeks.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

GLASTONBURGLARY: Eavis and the Tow Rope.

...1992. I found myself at the very ragged and messy end of yet another long term boy/girl thing. We were supposed to go to Glastonbury together. She switched allegiance at the last minute to dreadlocks other than mine, lead astray by restless feet, and other occasionally private parts of her anatomy. So I went alone. I was like a coiled spring, a non-venomous but very entertaining asp. Good timing? Yeah, you feckin' betcha!! I spent four solid days in blazing temperatures surrounded by music with my mind bent very, very sideways indeed. Full of self-inflicted fuel for the wandering imagination, I perused the multifaceted diversions. Just a tangentially motivated grinning face disappearing into, nay willingly melding with, the mad, milling crowd. A loose animal at times. One remembers and utilises all of ones training at will, but when that isn't necessary, feral behavior is reverted to. Suffice to report, I gorged myself upon the gelatinous fruits of hidden Dutch laboratories.

Once the main festival was over, I had to fulfill my indentures by spending the next five days clearing up with, I think, Friends of the Earth. Me and the Earth got real friendly that week I can tell you. By Friday afternoon I was wearing only underwear and bin liners because it hadn't stopped raining since Monday afternoon. I'd run out of dry clothes. I lent somebody my last pair of dry socks. She was grateful. I spent my birthday there. An Aussie hippie I had befriended had found a sizable bag of billy the day before. Now everything tasted weird, and I didn't want to eat it anyway. The band I was in played in an edge-of-site cafe on Thursday night, which due to very serious noise abatement issues surrounding music licences and next years festival, was without doubt the quietest set a live amplified band has ever, EVER played. I found a few useful things, I lost a few excess pounds, and some that weren't so excessive. I walked as far in 8 days as I will probably ever walk in 8 days.

There are times when despite the inspiration and circumstances, you are in precisely the right place, even though you are not as you would usually be. Does this mean I am usually in the wrong place? Too philosophical, baby. Just know this. I feel, in fact I know, that week was a very good use of my time upon this goodly Earth.

For being a good boy and helping to clear up the mess 75,000 people left behind, they gave me all my pennies back. Just before I left the site, I lent Michael Eavis a tow rope so he could help somebody out of a ditch. What a host!! I left, car full of stragglers, wet tents and refugees, drove via Bristol to S.E London in my fecked up rusty Nissan 160sss Coupe with earsplitting grinding brake failure. You know the sort, pull up at the lights and babies within earshot (1000 yards) cry. Dogs howl, but their wailing is drowned by sheer metal-on-metal cacophony. This necessitated driving the breadth of "The Smoke" largely on gears and engine breaking, arriving in it's suburban dormitories at 3.30 a.m. Mum was so pleased to see me. After all it was my little sister's wedding that dawning day. I was 9 stone 2. That's 128 Lbs in American. I hadn't been that weight since I was 14 years old. I resembled Captain Black's happier alter ego. (You know, the guy that got taken over by the Mysterons in Captain Scarlet.) I needed dark glasses and eye shadow to lighten my eye sockets. The deepest, most bloodshot piss holes in any snow, ever!

Later that day, my sister got married. I was the only person who would dance to bangin' 'ardcore techno with her. We must've resembled Snoopy (in a wedding dress) and Woodstock (still speeding) when they used to wig out in Charlie Brown's back yard. Had I not spent the entire previous eight days off my gourd, the matrimonial proceedings would as usual have bored me pooless. As it was, they didn't. To credit my sister, her staying power means she is still married. Her anniversary is today.

I have two things to say to Mr. Eavis.
"Thanks for the party, see you again" and
"Where's my feckin' tow rope?"

Tuesday, 3 July 2007


It's been, and like a tempest at full strength it has blown through. It's fierce lashing tongues of rain are now but wispy tendrils irritating my memories like escaped pillow feathers upon a slumbering cheek. The roaring of the crowds, sky slicing lasers, soundbite lunacies of passers by all echo or flash again across the recollections I have of it's vast and tireless dynamism. And the most lasting image, the least forgettable aural experience of this 'thing' of which I write; the sight and sound of hoards of people shuffling and wading through 6 inches of brown, top drawer Somerset mud.

I speak of course of the Glastonbury Festival.

I've been before, starting in '83 I think. At least, I reckon that would be it based on the Festival History website artists line up. Myself, my girlfriend and half a dozen mates got our collective and personal shits together and made a dash from Kent to the West Country. I distinctly remember turning up partway through Marillion's set. I was queuing to get in. I was probably sat behind the wheel of my black 1500 Avenger, (L reg, twin headlights, Cooool!) all youthful, barely a grain of cynicism in my make-up. When you see those lasers for the first time, firing seemingly ad lib into the night sky, your spine tingles as if sprinkled with fairy dust. It's as though they might strike you to illuminate your skeleton. The imagery evoked is more H.G.Wells than south of Wells, Somerset. (Oops, there goes Guildford).
I don't remember much about that weekend. I deduce that since my life-long affair with alcoholic excess was well and truly launched by that point, this memory loss is duly explained. There were just a handful of sunny, deliciously naive days left to run in my teens. Oh how a life can "gently go floating by". I do recall having a wonderful few days smokin' an' drinkin' an' snoggin' an' laughin'. I must have logged it as a success because I've still got the program from the following year.

Back then in 1984 the organisers boasted a 160 acre site. Now it's close to 1000. There was less to see, but since being in one place at a time is my limit(sadly)I can't see it all now anyhow. Ian Dury, The Smiths, Black Uhuru. Just a few of the acts. Those names and the sounds they made before and after that midsummer weekend 23 years ago were bandied about millions of student parties, bedsit smoko sessions, lorry cabs, taxi cabs, bathrooms and bogs the world over. People have been conceived, born, and died with strains of those notes and screeching sax solos ushering them from one existence to another.

I've been reading through the program lately. Maybe this is just nostalgia, a disease known mainly to the old or at least middle aged. Or is it a piece of personal history transformed into a relevant if tiny part of the history of all who were on that part of the planet at that time. A kind of shared epitaph, written long before the idea arose that any of the living at the time could ever die, could we?

Beyond those first couple of escapades, other girlfriends became ex-girlfriends as if to reflect the ever changing dramatis personae on the stages. Artistes moving on, audiences blithely following, year on year their numbers increasing. Each summer, around Solstice, tens and then scores of thousands of joy seekers, thieves, Jesuphiles, New Age Booksellers, The Happy, The Professionally Sad, Old Aged Pensioners, dealers flogging Oxo cubes and oregano in the half light to the half baked. Jugglers!! So many people learnt how to juggle. Absolutely Feckin' Every-Feckin'-Where!!!

The event itself became a juggling trick, an ants nest of activity, a mass of turmoil. A very big and often unruly thronging of humanity. Inside it's decreasingly gentle boundaries, and about it's periphery, all at once the divisions of the mid and late Eighties had fully fermented into the elixir for the early Nineties. The brew really had become special. Alongside the unstoppable roller coaster party spirit aroma of the troubadours and their dancing hoards, an altogether less palatable whiff of confrontation, hatred and mistrust had begun to pervade the relationships between desperate people from many hues of the social and political rainbow. Some jagged experiences were had by many. I largely escaped genuine difficulty, but for quite a few friends and types who knew the types I knew, life became stained by the bitter cynicism and Draconian outlawing of Not Being Normal. It really does seem like something ain't quite right when families watch their home smashed up primarily because it's on wheels.

During all this time, mid 80's -1990, I missed a few big festivals, went to some others, moved city, knackered lots of brain cells, joined some bands, played some hippie festivals, drummed under the chalk white horse, lived in an old cottage with a selection of occasionally fantastic, sometimes utterly deranged human and feline companions. Some stories may abound from such times. But the big year which cemented my ongoing rapport with those sloping fields in Somerset, was 1992.........