Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Message From Jools Holland

Good evening all.

I hope you'll all be staying in tonight to watch my




Tonight my guests are Paul Weller, Sam of Sam & Dave, Amy Winehouse, Marc Almond, Ray Lamontagne, Madeleine Peyroux, The Kooks, The Zutons, and Lily Allen. What a show it promises to be!

To earn my tiny slice of the British public's money, I will also be playing the piano in my own particular way.

I do hope you'll see in the new year with me and not fall asleep as you did the previous 14 years.


Jools Holland

p.s. As a special treat, my good friend Rowland Rivron will be there to make sure the party goes with a swing. Please do not shout "cock" or "wanker" at the screen.

Eric Prydz Vs Floyd - Proper Education

This video makes my blood boil.

How can they take an absolute classic song/video and completely turn it on its head?

Roger Walters suffered at the hands of dark sarcastic teachers with their thought controlling ways.

Now kids have the upper hand in the classroom, it's all gone too far the other way and teachers cannot use capital punishment as they used to.

Mr Prydz is making a mockery of this song by showing inner city urchins running amock, probably skiving off school where they only abuse the teachers anyway, when they should be sitting quietly doing their homework.

How could Roger Walters allow this to happen? This coming after letting those ridiculous Scissor Sisters loose on his absolute masterwork, Comfortably Numb.

What a kick in the teeth to the people of Berlin!

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Sweets That Last

She must be ninety soon. We could ask her but she knows so little English and she has so little opportunity for conversation.

She's just had one cataract operated on. They're due to do the other one in a couple of months.

The routine is, we ring her door number, she answers the intercom and is supposed to let us in. But she still doesn't know she has to push the button, after ten years living there. We are let in by the staff.

She greets us at the door and we are welcomed by a small plate of fruit each, a small orange and some grapes.

Today, accompanying the fruit, are about ten Werther's Originals.

We could ask her where they're from but she knows so little English.

In the kitchen are two large family-sized packs of Werther's Originals. I deduce they are Christmas gifts from the Care Home's petty cash. I may be wrong, maybe she's developed a taste for Werther's Originals recently. Maybe her neighbours have introduced themselves by offering her a sweet or two.

They last, do Werther's Originals. Twenty of them could keep you going all day. You wouldn't need more than one meal a day for minimum sustenance. Just suck on these little buttery toffees all day and you wouldn't feel the need to communicate with anyone. Your days would just fly.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ghost in the Machine

"You're becoming addicted, aren't you?"

"No. But I can see how people get into it. It's Noel. It would be nothing without him."

Noel Edmonds. you either hate him or love him. I know this because I can see the love in the contestants' eyes. That attractive, presumably intelligent young psychology graduate would let him clamber all over her, she loves him so much.

The fat man thinks Noel's a mate. Noel calls the contestants by their nicknames. He shortens their names to be chummy. "Nichola" becomes "Nick". Nichola loves it even though she only gets called "Nick" by her best friends. Noel's one of her best friends and in addition, is an incredibly attractive man with that glint in his eye.

The "banker" phones Noel to offer the contestant a deal. Noel's on the contestant's side. He's on all our sides. He calls the banker "Scrooge". It is Christmas, after all.

People in the audience shout things out. The sort of cheeky things that a child might shout out if allowed in the studio. Although this is a show for adults, they all seem very childlike. And for their childlike comments, Noel rewards them with a little Christmas box with some money in. He's still got that glint in his eye.

This is an adult show. The excitement of losing or winning large sums of money is blatantly sexual. A television company without vision would have chosen an obviously modern sex symbol such as Vernon Kaye to present this show. But the company knew about the millions of people who had their loins enflamed for the first time watching Swap Shop or Noel's House Party. Whole families used to come together at Christmas as Noel made the day of a terminally ill child. And would there be a thriving swinging or dogging scene today without the groundwork done by Noel's Swap Shop?

I've a feeling this is the ghost of Christmas future.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Fishy Tale Of New York

It was Christmas Eve babe
By the fish tank
An old man said to me, "look there's another one"
And then he sang a song
(He'd had some Special Brew)
I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

I picked a plucky one
A tiny, darting one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So Happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got koi big as cod
They've got julies of gold
But they're all young and pretty
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Guppies were waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York city
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Bublé was swinging,
All the fish they were swimming
We kissed by the tetras
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed
You scumbag, you faggot
Those cheap lousy maggots!
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God it's our last

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone
You took my fish from me
When I first met you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around them

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out
For Christmas Day

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Verse For Christmas

When I was a young blogger I was very naive and thought people would be interested in my silly little poems about pop stars. Poems such as this one about Chris Evans' fantasy shag and lead singer of one of the worst bands of all time, Texas...

Oh Sharleen Spiteri...
Do you eat dairy?
Your complexion is four out of four.

Your smooth creamy skin
Is packing 'em in,
But your middle aged pop is a bore.

This was before I realised you had to network in order to be a big blogging star. The muse, however, hasn't left me. And yesterday I was inspired by hearing a song on my least favourite radio station, Heart 106.2.

I hope you enjoy it, though experience says you won't...

When Crosby sings White Christmas
He sings it with such class
When Michael Bublé does the same
I just think "silly arse"

Bing can almost fill me up
With happy Christmas cheer
Bublé brings me to despise
This rotten time of year

I have no need of presents
I'll be content with nothing
But Bublé's gob filled to the brim
With sage and onion stuffing

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Christmas Number One

I've never seen X Factor but my eyewitness for the final tells me it was fixed.

The song they chose to be the single was not a man's song. It was a woman's song, a Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston type warbler.

Ray, the 18 year old Robbie Williams wannabe, couldn't really do it justice. You felt a bit sorry for him, trying to hit the high notes, his bollocks not allowing him to.

Ray was good, very good, but he's got bollocks and was therefore at a disadvantage.

Maybe they should have chopped them off, shaved them, and fed them to the judges, brought a bit of I'm A Celebrity type entertainment to the proceedings.

Ratings (and Ray's voice) would have soared.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Radio Times

I'm too honest for my own good.

On Tuesday I had an email from a BBC Radio 4 researcher. He said how much he enjoyed my dream blog. He asked me if they were authentic dreams.

I couldn't tell a lie. I got back to him admitting they were made up. I didn't hear from him again.

If any of you listen to Radio 4, I would be most grateful if you would let me know of any programmes in the future about people who actually have dreams that are funnier than the comedy cack** they usually churn out.

Also I would be grateful if you'd tell me if they replace Thought For The Day with Geoff's Dreams.

** admittedly I only hear previews of such cack just before the morning news at 6.30 a.m.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Xmas Book Preview

We get a few books at Christmas. We get to choose the ones we want. I look in the ‘Religious’ section.

I see AN Wilson’s biography of Jesus Christ.

“Jesus!” I say.

“Are you alright?” asks a concerned colleague.

I surreptitiously take Jesus and the Andy Summers autobiography. I want to compare and contrast.

One thought he was God’s gift to the world. The other was in a band with a man who thinks he’s God’s gift.

Jesus/Sting. Crucifixion/Tantric sex. Both bolt upright for hours.

Who suffered more? Jesus on the cross or Sting on the job?

It’s Christmas so I’m reading Jesus first.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


45 today. A quiet day, busy at work, no time to reflect or look forward.

I'll read some blogs at dinnertime. And tonight I'll watch telly and drink wine with my favourite human being of all time.

Christ, isn't my diary boring and twee?

Monday, December 11, 2006

On A Happier Note

A big hand, in fact several big hands, for Royal horse Neddy, who has been named Horse Personality Of The Year by viewers of BBC's One Gel And Her Horse, the primetime Saturday afternoon Royal Horse show on digital channel BBC Royalty.

Neddy, who is owned by the niece of the Prince Of Wales and named after his favourite wireless comedy character, received 100% of the 13 votes submitted by viewers pressing the red button.

Well done Neddy!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Quotes of the Year 2006

Overheard on the train: a young lady speaking to a friend on her mobile phone about why she is changing gyms...

"I go there to work out, to de-stress, not to get stressed out by some fucking weirdo looking at me."

Friday, December 08, 2006

Classified Results

Beatles 10, Stones 7

Lentil Soup 10, Leek & Potato Soup 2

Christmas 0, Birthday 4

Roeder 1, Pardew 2

Bergman 10, Almodovar 6

Antiperspirant 0, Trust Deodorant 8

Curb Your Enthusiasm 10, Lead Balloon 0

Paolo Nutini 0, Amy Winehouse 0

Ghent 8, Bruges 8

Ashes 0, Champions' League 0

Harvester 3, Victorian Restaurant 1

One score draw, two no-score draws.
Possible jackpot.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Post Post

Since Royal Mail's reorganisation earlier in the year, we never know when our post is going to be delivered. Depending upon the levels of staff sickness and/or holiday leave, it could be any time between 8.15 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.

I spot a postal van outside my office window at 11.45 a.m. I go out to investigate.

A postal worker is waiting by the side of the road. I ask her if they have our post. She says yes, probably, but she doesn't know where the van driver is so she can't deliver it yet.

I relay this to a work colleague.

She says there was a Royal Mail delivery driver in her home town, a very intelligent good looking man, who one day stopped his van in the middle of the road and walked away. He never came back.

He can still be seen walking the streets, beard down to his navel, muttering to himself.

Twenty minutes later, our post is delivered.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Victorian Restaurant

A gentleman relaxes after a bloody good blow-out at The Victorian Restaurant...

Actually this couldn't be further from the truth.

The Victorian Restaurant perches on top of the Prince Albert Pub in Bexleyheath. It is not a Victorian restaurant at all. One look at the website and you can see it is a French restaurant…

· Experience the delights of our extensive french cuisine menu.
· Enjoy first class service in a sumptus (sic) setting.
· Sample fine wines from our large selection to a background of classical music.

As you climb the stairs from the sumptus (sic) antique brass and copper decorated Prince Albert bar, pint in hand, you’d better hold your breath to prepare yourself for something special. It’s been recommended by my stepfather’s son and my sister’s partner’s friend so you can imagine my anticipation is high. It’s two o’clock and it’s time for lunch.

We’re doing this for my mother’s birthday. We usually go to the Harvester – all the salad you can eat for free so you don’t have to order that much for the rest of your meal.

But today it’s a proper 3-course meal in a posh-for-Bexleyheath setting. The waiters and waitresses are very attentive and the menu is reassuringly expensive.

I don’t know whether it’s in my genes (my dad was a tightwad who would never eat out, never in fact have so much as a cup of tea in a café) but I have a limit on how much I spend on a meal. £15 each for food, which I think is plenty. So when I go somewhere expensive I end up going for the cheapest thing on the menu.

I know we’re not talking “expensive” expensive here, not talking Sunday supplement restaurant review sort of figures. We’re talking £6.50 for a starter, £15.95 for a main course, £3.25 for vegetables, £4.50 for dessert.

No, I will not pay thirty quid a head. I will have the set menu, thank you very much. However much it upsets my delicate constitution.

I say quietly to my mum, “On the website, they say this is a French restaurant. Although you wouldn’t have guessed it from the name.”

My mother is used to speaking to the hard of hearing.


Oh dear. The waiter looks upset.

“Madam,” he says, “This menu is 95% genuinely French. It is written in such a form so that English customers can understand it. We have a French chef. We are French. I personally have worked with Michel Roux. I have served many celebrities.”

Oh dear. This cuts no ice with me and certainly not with my mother.

“Is liver and bacon French?” she asks.

“Madam, we tried to take liver and bacon off the menu but there was such a demand for it that we had to put it on again. It is not French but it is not our choice. Some of our customers prefer British food. Can I take your order?”

“Can I have the roast beef set lunch, please.”

Refusing to order off the a la carte menu as for £30 a head I’d expect not only a good meal but enough wine to get pissed out of my head too, I order the roast lamb set lunch. After a pleasant lentil soup, thirty pieces of lamb arrive, swimming in an ocean of black gravy, accompanied by a lone unnecessary Yorkshire pudding.

“Sauce, sir?”

“Mint, please…Thank you.”

“Have some more, sir.”

“Thank you.”

The vegetables are roast potatoes, bitter yellow slices of courgette, crisp mange tout, and a creamy sickly cauliflower cheese. Basically, the sort of yucky Sunday lunch you get anywhere, but at £14.95 for three courses you can’t go wrong, can you?

The three less money-tight members of our party eat a la carte. They seem to enjoy it but it’s still far too much food for normal appetites. Fat bastards would love it here.

For dessert, I choose the lightest dish, a mango sorbet. It is refreshing but possibly does not complement the remainder of my Spitfire ale. Yes, I’m drinking beer as the wine is eighteen quid a bottle and I’m not spending that on a bottle of wine.

So almost completely sober and stuffed to the gills with too much food, I waddle home to watch the second half of the Everton v West Ham match.

It’s rubbish, we lose, and I'm certain the piece of lamb stuck between my teeth is going to cause an infection.

Bring on Christmas!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Get The Beers In

It's the most wonderful time of the year.....

This is the time of year when hard-working Geoffrey turns into a social animal. My grandmother used to say to me "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." This was during my 'O' Levels, from a woman who never had any play in her adult life.

The thing is, however much I hate work, I find it preferable to having to socialise.

The following are the highlights of Thursday and Friday lunchtimes:-

1. Thursday lunchtime in the Maple Leaf pub, a Canadian theme pub with pictures of Mounties on the walls and Molson on tap. Knowing that once I start on the red wine I won't stop, I had myself two halves of John Smiths Smooth - Britain's favourite bitter and the only one in the pub. I accompanied this with a cold BLT on soft baguette...

A couple of others in our little gang gorged themselves on this muck...

...poutine, the Canadian national dish of chips, cheese and gravy. This prompted a five minute discussion on the tastiness of chips with curry sauce. Throughout the lunch hour my digestion held up remarkably well - I know my limits, and like Ken Barlow, two halves of bitter are enough for my delicate constitution.

2. Friday lunchtime in the Porterhouse, an Irish themed designer pub. Knowing that once I start on the red wine I won't stop, I ordered myself a £3.05 pint of Porterhouse Red...

...although an "ale", not really an improvement on the John Smiths Smooth.

This was a mistake.

The only other beer drinker, a lager drinker, finished his second pint and asked me if I wanted another. Me with three quarters of a pint left.

"No thanks," I said.

"Oh go on, keep me company."

"Oh alright, I'll have a half, please."

"Go on have a pint."

And he's off to the bar to get me another pint.

I know it's going to fuck up my guts but I've got to be polite and of course I've got to buy him a pint in return when he quickly guzzles down his third pint.

If only I was a stronger personality, if I could say "no" in a firm but polite way, if only I was six foot seven and built like a brick shithouse, I'm sure my guts wouldn't suffer so much. But I'm weak and give in to peer pressure.

And Christmas hasn't even started yet. These two outings were to celebrate a birthday and a leaving-work. Tomorrow we celebrate my mum's 75th at The Victorian Restaurant. What is Victorian food? Betty has mentioned greengages. Will it involve offal, hearts and kidneys? I know one thing's for sure. I'm going to suffer.


It’s someone’s birthday at work today. Someone else is leaving for another job tomorrow. I’ve had to sign two cards. I have two stock phrases for each eventuality.

Have a great birthday
Wishing you a very happy birthday

All the best in your new job
Enjoy your new job

The act of writing any one of these wishes gets me down. I am a glass half-empty kinda guy. But I put on a happy face and get on with it.


Yesterday I saw Leonard Cohen near Trafalgar Square. If it wasn’t Leonard Cohen, I’m a Scientologist and I’m about to buy a property near Tom Cruise’s new one near East Grinstead, the home of Scientology.

Leonard was with a much younger, dark-haired woman.

Leonard wore sunglasses.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Toffee Galore

Chubby Broccoli, the fat vegetarian producer of the James Bond films, first saw the new Bond, Daniel Craig, in a film called The Mother. The Mother was written by Hanif Kureishi, and is too miserable for words. We bravely fought our way through it on Sunday and Monday.

In the film, Daniel not only shags his best friend's sister, he shags their mother, too. He swears a lot and sniffs cocaine off a Black & Decker Workmate. All very un-Bond like.

Then again, maybe it's time for Bond to appreciate the older woman. Now they've filmed all the books they're going to have to start on remakes. Why not recast the original Bond girls in the same roles? I'm sure Ursula Andress and Honor Blackman wouldn't mind a little bit of adventure. And going by The Mother, Daniel would be well up for it, too. You can't beat experience in the spy game. After all, a plateful of granny's homemade stew goes down a damn sight better than a dodgy mouthful of raw fish.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Flushed Away

As a youngster, Pinky and Perky used to scare the shit out of me...

If I'd been a child growing up in the past fifteen years, any Nick Park animation would have done the same...

The Nick Park grin is a bit of a bowel loosener for a sensitive child...

Uncle Nick's coming to get you.

When he started his campaign of world domination he must have looked himself in the mirror, laughed his evil laugh and boomed, "ONE DAY THIS MOUTH WILL BE EVERYWHERE!"

Because he's an evil bastard, he was desperate for nice middle class children to wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night, scared out of their wits. If they pissed the bed, even better. Of course, the kids couldn't tell their parents as the stupid mums and dads actually thought Nick's world was part of a nice cosy plasticine English world, like Noddy for the politically correct.

The kids don't like it, mum and dad! They're terrified of the teeth!

And while Nick's in his studio, painstakingly creating his next Nick Park's Mouth Oscar Winner, the Yanks have got in on the act and struck a deal with Aardman to produce a CGI version of the same old same old...

That's it. Next Disney will want a piece of the action and Mickey Mouse, Pluto, even poor Bambi and Dumbo will be recreated with the leading protagonists grinning diabolically. Parents will love it and children all over the world will be having nightmares. And Park will be in his creepy element, satisfied he's spoilt more young lives.

Save the children. Save the babies.

Ban the mouth before it's too late.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


We looked down from above.

We reflected on things.

We kept out of the gym.

We gave our legs a good stretch and drank more than was good for us.

We saw double.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Suitably Refreshed

Pictures from Ghent soon, but for now a few words on Eurostar.

The Eurostar train may seem a sophisticated form of transport compared to Easyjet. Indeed, checking-in and passport control are so much easier and quicker. And of course a Eurostar passenger has the carbon footprint of a robin as opposed to the elephant's of your frequent flier.

But no matter how nice it seems, the general public do use it and the seats for us ordinary passengers are very similar to airline seats, you get wailing children coming back from Euro Disney and in addition, mobile phones are not outlawed.

In particular, games can be played on mobile phones, games which emit a "beep" sound every twenty seconds inches from my sensitive ears, for most of the journey.

What an annoying tit, twenty years older than me but with the maturity of a three year old. His wife must be used to his noise as she didn't tell him to bloody turn the sound down.

Apparently he'd enjoyed Bruges. I doubt whether the feeling was mutual.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Behind Saraband

Behind Saraband is a documentary about the making of Ingmar Bergman's superb 2003 TV drama -"Saraband".

The director gives the actors clear directions; what, how, and when. These directions free the actors from worrying about anything other than playing their parts.

After a scene, the young actress stands, it seems in tears. She feels she hasn't found 'the truth' in her playing of the scene. The director reassures her. It is not what she feels that is right. What is right is what is seen by the audience. The scene seemed right to the director on his monitor, so it is right for the film. No argument, just gentle reason.

The 84 year old director is more touchy feely with the young actress than with the rest of the cast; a woman and a man in their sixties, a man in his eighties. They have a wealth of experience and do not need a director's guiding hand. The young woman needs the old man to physically move her with his bare hands. Which he does at every possible opportunity, the old goat.

The director never watches any of his own films. Once they are completed, that is it for him. He has lived the film and it is time to move on.


And it is time for me to move on. To Ghent. I will be back next week.

Till we meet again, my friends.

Bottoms up!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Ooh Goody. A Quiz.

We're off for a long weekend on Friday to see our good friends, Adam and Eve. A more miserable looking couple you couldn't wish to encounter.

As I am bored shitless and can't think of anything to write about, here's a little quiz for my long suffering readers.

1. Where do our friends Adam & Eve live?

2. What shampoo do they use?

3. Adam was on the panel of the first Gardeners' Question Time. What was the first question he answered?

4. What is 'their' song? (A clue: It's not Three Times A Lady)

The person with the most correct answers wins a recycled Body Shop comb.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Napoleon Complex

If I was a male emperor penguin, would I say goodbye to the missus as she buggers off to look for food whilst I spend the winter with an egg up my arse, huddled together with hundreds of other males in order to shelter ourselves and our uncomfortable eggs from the biting Antarctic winds?

No. As soon as the females left the males, I'd be running after them, shouting "Room for a little one?" Some other mug could have my egg and my place in the scrum.

The saddest part of the first of the second batch of David Attenborough's Planet Earth programmes was when the poor male arctic polar bear, after a couple of months without food, after swimming the ocean to look for land (as his old home is melted by global warming), finally spots a herd of walruses on a rocky shoreline. The bear is too weak with hunger to get to one of the walrus babies, is gored and ushered away by walrus mothers, and left to die.

I'm sure George Bush would say that this is what God intended to happen.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Keep 'Em On

Since Jack Duckworth has lost his sex drive, he hasn't had much going for him. He hasn't even got the prospect of work to skive from - he's not going to be one of Corrie's army of working pensioners. Vera's sexual promises are becoming more and more pie in the sky as they both settle down into a very dull old age. No pigeons. No gee gees. Just a few more years of sitting around giving worldly advice to the incredibly dim-witted Tyrone.

And last night, as Vera, Molly and Fiz secretly arranged Jack's 70th birthday bash (pretending to Jack, Tyrone, and Tyrone's partner-in-dim, Kirk, that they were going on a girls' jaunt to Amsterdam), dim-witted Tyrone arranged in turn a secret strippergram for Jack in the Rovers.

So the party started, and surprise surprise, the stripper turned up at the same time and Kirk ushered her out of the pub before she had a chance to even take off her fake copper's hat and shake her hair loose.

Jack's libido completely shot, he couldn't give a shit and announced to all and sundry that the celebration should be a celebration of JackandVera as he'd be nothing without his little pumpkin pie. Or words to that effect.

I really hope that's the last strippergram I see. It's been a long-term fear of mine, ever since the living dead in the Thatcher government declared them as FUN, that some bloody idiot would arrange one for a birthday of mine.

I would run a mile. Literally. You wouldn't see my heels for dust and your evening would be ruined and so would mine. The stripper would get paid for doing nothing. What a fucking waste of money and time.

The only thing I've had to encounter that was close was near my 40th birthday. Me and some workmates were "celebrating" Christmas at TGI Fridays. Now, I love Fridays. Thank God it's Friday so I can fuck off home and leave anybody who enjoys socialising with workmates to their FUN at a shitty American theme restaurant.

So they announce it's my 40th birthday. The waitress brings a cake for me to blow out the candles and the whole fucking restaurant sings Happy Birthday to me. Everybody encourages me to stand on my chair.

Well fuck that. I don't stand on chairs for anyone. I sit there extremely red faced. The others on my table feel short changed.

I've ruined everybody's Christmas and you know what?

I'm glad.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

On The Death Of The Greatest Rock 'N' Roll Venue Of All Time

Johnny Joey Dee Dee
The toilets full of wee wee
Goodbye to CBGB's
Let's listen to the Bee Gees

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Norman Wisdom, Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee

I see a lot of these on my travels. Young people, under half my age, wearing teeshirts or carrying bags with this logo. The Ramones logo is a fashionable logo. In fact, I probably see more of these than Kurt Cobain's miserable face. The Ramones are cool. Cool dudes. Yeah.

There was a time when band logos on teeshirts were uncool. When I wore them, of course.

My first band teeshirt was designed by Roger Dean and illegally traced by my dad. It took him bloody ages in the garage, after work in the evenings, at weekends, to get the Yes logo onto a silk screen. It was a totally illegal operation because the materials were nicked from work, but it was done out of love and a need to get away from the rest of the family in the garage when he could have been watching Benny Hill or The Generation Game with the rest of us.

And after all that work, he only used the screen once to print a blue logo onto my cheap yellow teeshirt, my only teeshirt at the time which didn't have those awful capped sleeves.

Did I look good in my tight yellow Yes teeshirt, my hair cascading down to meet the top of the crew neck?

Of course I didn't, but I wore that damned teeshirt for most of my teens.


Ohmygod, rockin' Dire Straits came along with their Making Movies sweatshirt. I loved that subtle red creation. It was so comfortable I even wore it in an ironic way long after I'd stopped digging The Knopf's finger plucking. Even when he was wanking around with Sting on that cancerous Brothers In Arms album. Yes, I was that perverse. And as an added bonus, it certainly kept all those horrible women at arm's length - as a late developer this suited me right down to the ground.

Since then there has been the mistake of the Prince Lovesexy Tour Teeshirt which was totally unsexy, worn once, and not really suitable to iron. The nineties and the noughties have so far been band-teeshirt-free for me. I have matured and I am slowly growing up, too.

So what now? What should a middle aged man be wearing?

I've got my eye on a nice little Trivium number.

We'll buy the hoodie from Primark. Who fancies a few months in my dad's old garage?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

In New Music We Trust

Gratuitous shot of Girls Aloud. Which one's your favourite?

December's Uncut is out - time for me to catch up on the new music I missed out on during the year.

Number One in their top 50 albums is Bob Fucking Dylan. "Is he still going?" I hear you ask. Yes, and music journalists are still sucking his dick, as hard rocking Americans might say. Bob was bloody good 40 years ago but 40 years is a bloody long time and now he sounds like he's playing for the dead.

Uncut try to sell me new Americana shit all the time and I'm not having any of it. I'm not having any of the kooky Bjork-like Joanna Newsom, either. One kooky Bjork is more than enough for one lifetime.

Last year at this time I discovered the Vitalic album months after anybody in the know. This year it's the turn of Hot Chip ("wry tech-geeks" who admittedly I have heard quite a few times but it's taken them all this time to wear me down) and CSS (Brazilian "punk-funk" according to the hip old gits at Uncut).

As you should know by now I'm not a fan of blogging that slags off hard-worked shop assistants but I think it's time for me to get on the bandwagon.

Ten minutes I was waiting there as the gothette-lite was looking for the Hot Chip CD under 'C'.

"Hot Chip's under 'H'" said a more senior assistant. "Band names are filed under the first name, solo artists are under surnames."

First day nerves or maybe she'd only ever bought albums by bands with one name such as Incubus, Sucubus, and Cocubus?

She didn't have to look for the Girls Aloud Greatest Hits I bought as they were pre-packaged. OK, I know I'm setting you up for a punchline.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Weekend Teaser

Are hush puppies

the Kid Jensens

of the dog world?

Friday, November 03, 2006

A Mother's Logic

You know that other one off Little Britain? Not the fat bald one?

The other one.

Him. He's gay as well.

But he's a real heterosexual stud. He's been with loads of women. He's shagged Abi Titmuss, for Christ's sake.

Has he really? He was seen out with Denise Van Outen. She was just covering for him. They weren't sleeping together, they were shopping together...Besides, I can tell.


They were on the Paul O'Grady Show. You know he's gay?

Is he?

Course he is. Well, every gay he's had on there, when he greets them they give him a kiss on the cheek. Julian Clary did. The little fat bald one did. And his friend did. When real men go on the Paul O'Grady Show they just shake hands.

In a manly way?

You'll see, Geoff. He'll be out of the cupboard soon.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bushell on the Radio

I put on the radio for ten minutes a day. Radio 4 at 6.25 a.m. A bit of news. A bit of waffle from some correspendent who seems to repeat whatever is said by the bod in the studio. A bit of sports news. And quite often a plug for a radio comedy show.

It wasn't that long before Linda Smith died that they previewed a show by taking the piss out of the strange accents of comedians like Smith and Mark Steele. Betty's much better at doing the uniquely wanky voice of Steele than I am, which is strange because he grew up not that far from where I did.

Linda Smith grew up a lot nearer, just up the road in Erith. She had an accent like no-one else in Erith. I wasn't really taken with her humour.

Just after her death, I saw the repeat of the Room 101 show she did. She seemed a nice, genuine person and it made for heartbreaking viewing. And then I had a dream where I walked into a courtyard and there were people milling around, waiting for the unveiling of a memorial to Linda. Her death was obviously affecting me in ways her life didn't.

Then this morning I hear the trailer for yet another tribute to her. Steele, Jo Brand, and the OTT-voiced professional Londoner Arthur Smith all have their memories. The joke Brand remembers is the one that Linda is probably most famous for, the one I've heard about 1,000 times.

"I grew up in Erith, a place that is so crap it's not twinned with anywhere. But it does have a suicide pact with Dagenham."

I'm sure she could have been remembered for many witticisms but this is the one we are stuck with as her legacy.

Yes, Erith is crap (as I am sure Dagenham must be). But it's no more crap than most places. Most of us still live in these crap places and did not escape to exciting old London or to the safe cossetted yet exciting BBC land of panel shows. Most of us get on with living in dull suburbia with its lack of excitement, its houses with gardens and flats without, its roads and pavements, its bits of green, and hot and cold running water and heating in the winter. I'm quite happy to be bored in these circumstances. Erith and Dagenham don't have particularly high rates of poverty or crime. We can't all lead exciting lives but most of us are fed and warm and feel safe.

Erith and Dagenham are also two of the few places in Greater London a lot of us can afford to buy property. So we're really stuck in the crap, aren't we?

I'm sure Linda had some withering put-downs of arsehole politicians in her repertoire so why do the BBC highlight this particularly crap, offensive joke?

Do I really need to answer that?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Observation v Opinion

Of course I like showing off (why else would I have a blog), but I dislike arguments. It hurts me when other bloggers contradict me when I say something or somebody on the telly is shit. It hurts me to realise I am wrong.

But is there enough for me to write about if I limit this blog to just observation? I'm afraid I can't do it.

It's very difficult for me to observe without sticking in my tuppence worth. Even when I do try it, say with the Peter Stringfellow post, you assume things, don't you? I say I see Peter Stringfellow and I say nothing bad about him, yet everybody thinks that my opinion of him is that he's a sexist old scrote who should be made a target at a shooting range for crackpot crackshot militant feminist sharpshooters.

I can't help it, I'm a natural character assassinator and the telly brings out the worst in me as I shout insults at all and sundry. One of these days I'm going to throw something heavy at a particularly smug comedian and then I'll need a new telly.

The problem is, a lot of those people I despise are thought to be talented by fellow bloggers.

Oh dear.

I really want to please each and every one of you, all 20 of you, (it was 4 for ages so you're less of an exclusive bunch now), but I suppose it's not possible. I hope you all consider me as your friend, albeit a friend you'll never meet (let me assure you you'll never want to meet me as in the flesh, even drunk I'm as shy and retiring as a sober Mavis Riley).

The cut and thrust of debate does not interest me. As long as we're all nice middle class wet liberals, I'm happy to share cyberspace with people with different senses of humour. There's nothing worse, after all, than a bunch of people all laughing at something because it is "supposed" to be funny, not because it actually tickles their funny bone. A theatrical performance of one of Shakespeare's comedies or Eddie Izzard Live spring to mind.

So please bear with me next time I insult one of your comedy icons.

Rest assured, I will be wrong and you will be right.

Monday, October 30, 2006


The Paul Young/Gary Numan cross sits opposite me on my commuter train. He is speaking loudly into his mobile phone to whom I presume to be a work colleague.


he shouts.


I am so glad he feels more comfortable here.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Another Boring Post About Asda

The fire alarm went off in Asda on Friday evening. Not that I am one to point fingers, but there were some very suspicious teenagers hanging around before, most probably hiding fireworks under their tops.

It took a good minute of constant alarm noise before we were asked to leave by the car park exit and to leave our shopping in the aisles.

The green-topped staff walked up the escalator to their gathering point and us shoppers were left to wait just outside the exit doors. The fire brigade arrived after about ten minutes.

"Oooh, I've gone all weak," I said to Betty. "What I would give to be carried off by one of them."

We then ticked off all the firemen we have known in our lifetime. None of them could be described as particularly good looking or even that hunky.

Then, all of a sudden, it was over. The green-topped staff jogged down the escalator like a football team coming onto the pitch after half-time. I thought we ought to give them a round of applause, cheer them to their checkouts. A couple of them looked too young to work, probably stock room workers, coughing amongst the soap powders as I used to do all those years ago. Except the Co-op then was like a Sunday pub team.

Asda is Premiership.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Better Buzzcocks

"You're a bum, you're a punk..."

Bailey's team don't know the next line.

"You're an old slut on junk" is the next line.

"Who would write a line like that?" says Alesha**, now solo artist, formerly of pop group Mis-Teeq.

"The Pogues," says Jupitus with utter disdain.

Jupitus, looking like a fat Truman Capote with those wanky little glasses is one of the old guard who thinks that Joe Strummer and Ian Dury and Shane MacGowan are gods. He's got his own show on BBC radio because he's a shite comedian, and of course shite comedians like him and Lamarr know all about music, don't they?

Jupitus likes The Ordinary Boys.

But a young black woman not knowing the masterful words of the drunk master wordsmith Shane MacGowan? It's part of British culture, darling, don't you ever listen to words? You must have heard Fairytale Of New York thousands of times.

Yes, haven't we fucking all.

Still, at least that tosser Lamarr's gone, replaced by my favourite young television personality, Simon Amstell.

All we need now is Miquita Oliver and get rid of Jupitus and wacky-weirdy-beardy Bailey and we might have a decent show.

** by a strange coincidence, Alesha has a very similar laugh to that of Shane MacGowan. A sort of a "sheesh sheesh sheesh sheesh".

Friday, October 27, 2006

Pretty Girls Make Graves

I now acknowledge that a mixture of Patrick Swayze's rippling, thrusting torso and a laughable Warnes/Medley caterwaul had even more of an impact on the sexual awakenings of the heterosexual women of this nation. The vast majority of women of all ages just can't get enough of it.

Just look at the audience for the opening night of Dirty Dancing, The Musical. Babs Windsor, Judes Dench, Abs Tittimouse. No, it's not just ordinary working women and ex-students, it's real stars, too.

But what about us heterosexual men? What about me? Which screen images with which musical accompaniment hit a nerve with me?

I am currently reading Alan Bennett's Untold Stories, specifically the part where he visits his mother in an old people's home in Weston-super-Mare...

" a world where so much must seem strange, to be wearing a familiar frock may be a comfort...As time goes on, though, this argument carries less weight. When she can't recognise her own children and doesn't even know what children are, how can she recall 'the little coatee I got at Richard Shops' all those years ago?"

It's tearjerking, but the nerve is hit. Not by Alan's mother's coatee, but by a television advert for Richard Shops which hit our screens sometime in the mid seventies. Lovely legs in lovely stockings. Lovely older women (early twenties) who could teach me so much in their lovely fragrant way.

And the song...

Richard Shops are filled with all the pretty things
The soft and lovely pretty things
To wear
Hey, there pretty things
Make the world a prettier place
Come prettier
Come buy your clothes
At Richard Shops

I think it was "Come prettier", though "Come pretty-up" would sound more logical. "Come and pretty yourself up, pretty lady."

"Pretty things" were both the clothes and the wearers. Richard Shops were filled with them, pretty clothes and pretty ladies. We never had a local Richard Shops and I'm glad because I'm sure the dream would have been shattered. Imagine walking into a branch of Fosters around the same time and seeing a shop full of male model types, admiring themselves in the full-length mirrors. The dream and the reality never really hit it off.


But dream and reality did come together for me just 15 minutes ago. There I was, coming back from Tesco, egg & cress sandwich in my hand, when who should I see but dreamboat and love-machine, the British Patrick Swayze, Mr Peter Stringfellow himself. He is shorter than I expected (unlike Robbie Williams who is a giant), has lovely long flowing blond hair, and wears his camouflage trousers with a certain panache. He was available, ladies, as he did not have a young piece of crumpet on his arm. He was talking into his mobile phone but I'm sure he noticed me. Was that a jealous grimace he gave me? "Who is that handsome young man with an egg & cress sandwich?" he was thinking to himself. "That's why I opened my nightclubs, to keep sexy young men with egg & cress sandwiches out. The chicks would be flocking at his feet if I let him in with his egg & cress sandwich. He wouldn't get any further than the hat check girl before he was ravished on the spot."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I Owe It All To You

It is a depressing statistic, but 99.9% of women of my generation just LOVE the film Dirty Dancing.

It is a fact, therefore, that I didn't find love in the eighties.

Over 200,000 tickets have been sold for the musical version of Dirty Dancing. The show opens at the Aldwych Theatre tonight.

By a stunning coincidence, Patrick Swayze is in town, performing in the musical Guys & Dolls. Just in case you don't know, let me tell you that Patrick, the very individual-looking, leather-faced hunk was the star of the original film version of Dirty Dancing. He was also the star of Ghost, in which he moulded a ceramic version of his cock. I'm sure he'll be in the audience at the Aldwych at some point, so I hope you're lucky, girls.

Heart 106.2 are celebrating this major cultural event by playing (I've had) The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. Surprisingly, I've only heard it once today.

So far.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Immortality Awaits

I've done it. I've sent the following to that One Day In History thing. Nobody will read it of course.......

Apart from the incident with the carpet fitter slicing through the cable which connects us to the internet, today is just as nondescript as any other working day. It is so boring, I have decided I may as well read the contents of last Saturday’s shopping list.

So here it is, a typical weekend list for a typical married middle aged couple with no children:-


'BGTY' is Sainsbury's low fat 'Be Good To Yourself' range. Tesco have 'Healthy Eating', ASDA have 'Good For You!' In 2006 we believe that if we have a diet low in fat, we will live longer. Why we want to live longer, I don't know. An extra ten infirm years on a meagre pension is not particularly inviting. Trans fats are currently in vogue as THE KILLER FATS. Sainsbury's hope to rid all their own brand products of trans fats sometime next year.

No. 2 is a chicken, mayonnaise and salad sandwich, by the way.

4. CHICKEN WRAP 2 @ £2.10 £4.20

These are three more sandwiches to go with the BGTY one. All four together constitute our daytime meals.

5. * C/F DT/COKE 2L 2 @ £1.36 £2.72 ***MULTIBUY*** -£0.42

This is two 2-litre bottles of caffeine-free diet coke. Although I'm not so sure you'll be eating cottage cheese in the 22nd century, I am sure you'll be drinking Coca Cola until a few madmen decide to blow up humankind.

6. BROWN RICE £0.89

Brown rice is thought to make you healthy. It also helps you stay regular.

9. ALOO SAAG £1.56

Food which has its roots in the Indian sub-continent is the most popular food in Britain. Fish and Chips had their day some time ago now. JLFZI is short for Jalfrezi.

Although white British people are happy to eat curry, don't be fooled into thinking we are an intergrated society. Ignorance and prejudice is still rife.


The Guardian is the most radical of the readable national newspapers. It is extremely middle class and comfortable, like a boring old pair of fleece-lined slippers. We get it every Saturday, almost exclusively for the television listings.

11. THINK 21 Cashier Confirmed Over 16 *PARACETAMOL X16 2 @ £0.47 £0.94

I think this means the cashier has confirmed that I look over 16, therefore I am able to buy headache pills. Whether she thinks I'm 21, I'm not so sure. I do look a lot younger than my 44 years, however. I need these pills for my hangover.

I do hope the above has been informative to you and that it hasn't taken up too much of your time as you lie on your back reading this on those tiny little monitors on your 3-d glasses, sipping organic champagne and listening to Sting's classic Lute Classics 4 album from 2010. You've really never had it so good, you know.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Me, Next Door, And A Cow

If you want short, stilted conversations which stop with an awkward silence, I'm your perfect neighbour.

Our noisy neighbour left a few months ago. Whether it was under a cloud, I don't know, but I'm more than happy he didn't make good on his promise to let me try out his rusty old Mini which he was going to soup up. The Mini disappeared then he did.

So in move a nice quiet couple - the woman keeps herself to herself which is how I like it. The man, however, is more sociable and attempts to bond with me.

So here I am, performing the annual vacuum of the inside of the car, and he appears from behind me and says would I mind if he puts in a flower border between our two miniature lawns. Of course I don't mind.

We ask each other how we're getting on. I ask him whether he hears much noise from us. He says "no". He asks me if we hear much noise from them. I say "no".

He says, "Because I like my music."

I spot a chance to make more than idle chit chat. Music is an interest we have in common. Experience tells me I shouldn't ask the next question but I jump in with both feet.

"What sort of music do you like, then?"

I HATE it when people ask me that question. Because I always know we'll have nothing in common. So why am I being a prick and asking him the same question?

"I like all sorts. I like Pink Floyd."

He is a young looking sixty, or "I'm sixty but I don't look it, do I?" as he told us the first time we met him. And if he's sixty, he must like the Floyd from way back.

"Do you like the stuff with Syd Barrett?"

Shit. The name doesn't register. I don't think he's ever heard of Syd Barrett.

"I bought one of Pink Floyd's CDs the other day. What was it called? Had a cow on the front."

Shit, I don't remember either. I've got the CD myself. Which one is it?

"Animals?" I say.

"No, that's the one I wanted. This one's disappointing. It's really miserable....I like newer stuff as well. I like Stone Roses."

Well at least he's trying to connect. But I can't tell him I think Stone Roses are the most overrated band of all time. Why the fuck doesn't he just say "THE QUO" and get it over and done with?

"I like Coldplay too."

Bollocks, this is desperate. I can't tell him I think Coldplay are the biggest load of wank-masquerading-as-deep going. If he thinks the Floyd album with the cow on it is miserable then what the fuck are Coldplay?

"I've just bought an album they're on. It's called Festival."

This draws a complete blank with me. I presume it's an album of bands who play festivals. Oh Jesus, I'm lost. I should be the sixty year old. He should be the forty-four year old.

We're on my favourite subject, popular music, and once again I have nothing in common with anybody in the whole world.

Oh. Thank Christ. Here come a couple of lads giving out leaflets. 'CAR VALETING SERVICE'. Quick, change the subject.

"Typical. Here I am cleaning out the car, and what do I get?"

So this week I am listening to Atom Heart Mother, the Pink Floyd album with the cow.

It is a lovely album.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oh Henry

This week we reached a milestone (or "millstone" as Alan Pardew might say).

It was "Goodbye" to the bagless Dyson vacuum cleaner and "Hello" to a brand new Henry.

Ordinary people on the internet review site were more than happy with their Henry. I know the Dyson is a design classic and all that but Henry sounds like a robust little beast with incredible suction power for his size.

And what do you think of this?

With every new Henry, they're giving away a Henry shopping bag.

Here's Betty modelling it after a visit to the town centre.

As I carried our new Henry shopping bag into Sainsbury's, HMV, Superdrug, and Sussex Stationers, people stopped me and said how much it pleased them to see that cheeky smiling face. Teenagers pointed at me and laughed. Shop assistants said how cute he was.

Now could be the time for me to get into local politics. The Man With The Henry Bag Party. Who could resist me? I could give rides to babies and small dogs, me roller skating up and down the precinct with a baby in my bag. Maybe more than one baby, maybe twins, as you can see there's plenty of room in a Henry bag.

Councillor Geoff has a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

Friday, October 13, 2006


I haven't worn pyjamas for a very long time. I see Wyndham wears them and that's the right thing to do when you have a child. My dad just wore a vest which he tucked under his bollocks and walked with his thighs together to prevent us poor kids from seeing The Thing. When I started having wet dreams I threw away my pyjamas and imitated him.

As my father knew, an encrusted bed sheet can be hidden. An encrusted pair of pyjama bottoms cannot.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Season's Greetings

GMTV saw me off to work with a report on a Manchester family who have decorated the outside of their house with Christmas lights and decorations. The illuminations cost "a lot".

The family think it's worth sacrificing a "continental" holiday in order to put smiles on people's faces.

Looking at the family, I can't imagine them ever going abroad. They are a very old fashioned looking family. I really don't believe they are sacrificing anything. Maybe they did once go abroad and just didn't like it. The continent is not for everyone, after all.

But maybe if they had the money to spend, they would possibly be tempted to shell out on a two week break in Bulgaria. Which of course they would be disappointed by and would only be able to think of the waste of not only money but precious time, too.

No, the family have simple tastes. Christmas decorations and a week in Anglesey keep them happy. This is not a sacrificial act in order to cheer up the local populace, not an altruistic gesture for the local kiddies. The mummy and daddy are grown up kids and they want to see the pretty lights and they want to get on the telly. Both of which they've now done.

While I'm on the subject of Christmas, I wonder if the bloke I saw in a documentary last year is still eating a Christmas dinner every day of the year?

What a prat he was.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Moment ABBA Decided On Their Band Name


BENNY: Oh, yes, yes, yes. That is so good.

BJORN: Do you want some more, Benny?

BENNY: Just one more...Oh, Bjorn! That is so good!

BJORN: That seems to be the last of the coal, anyway.

BENNY: Did you get to speak to Stig last night, Bjorn?

BJORN: I did. And Stig has some big ideas for our next gig.

BENNY: I don't dig Stig's big ideas. Remember when he wanted us all to wear hot pants?

BJORN: Stig's no prig. Neither am I, Benny.

BENNY: You've got a good figure, Bjorn. But do you really think the world is ready for my big ass?

BJORN: I suppose not. But three out of four isn't bad.

BENNY: OK, then. Hit me with Stig's marvellous brainwave.

BJORN: He says at our next gig...We'll have our initials in lights behind us on stage. The first letters of all our first names will be the new name of the band! 'BABA'!



BENNY: Oh great idea, Stig. And we can call the first album '40 Thieves'.

BJORN: Great minds think alike, Benny.

BENNY: Calm down, Bjorn. Sit down and cover your modesty. You and I have some talking to do.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Heart Of The Country

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands is probably Shane Meadows' least interesting film. But it's still got something that a Mike Leigh film will never have.

Real characters. Actors acting like real people.

That's why I wouldn't cry at a Mike Leigh film or laugh at a Peter Kay or Paul Abbott tv comedy. And Abbott used to write for Corrie - what happened there?

Once Upon A Time In The Midlands isn't that good, but it did make me laugh and cry. Shane's better films don't have the Robert Carlisles and the Kathy Burkes and the Ricky Tomlinsons.

God, don't you hate people who speak of actors as if there's more than one of them?

They do tend to feature thinking women's crumpet and best British actor of his generation Paddy Considine, though.

Paddy and Shane met at Burton College.

That's Burton College, Burton.
Not Burton College, Oxford.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


It's bloody England again this afternoon.

Do I really have to watch it?

After the high-living Swede and his lover boy Becks, we get Steve McClaren the plain-talking Yorkshireman who is only a few months older than me but looks and sounds like he's from a completely different era. Just looking at him makes me think of ham sandwiches with little bits of bone in.

Croatia coach and ex West Ham idol Slaven Bilic has the following to say about England:

"England were shit at the World Cup. I really can't understand why they played so defensively. But they were the same recently against Macedonia."

He's right. But it's always been that way. Ron Greenwood developed attractive footballing teams at West Ham but bloody boring England ones. El Tel and Sven got a couple of cracking performances out of England but they didn't last.

What chance Macca and El Tel? The dour boy and the wide boy?



England 0, Macedonia 0


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Where Do You Fit In?

I can tell by the response to my and Betty's recent posts that British bloggers are happier slagging off so-called "chavs" for being "chavs" than the middle classes for being obnoxious cunts. Understandable, as British society is extremely divided and we all know where we feel most comfortable.

I know British bloggers are viewed from the outside as almost exclusively white middle class Green Wing watchers, but how do we, the bloggers ourselves, see ourselves?

The following is a list of class categories drawn up by Professor Adrian Plum of the University of Life, East Grinstead, West Sussex. Where do you fit in?

1. Upper class toff
2. Upper class scum
3. Middle class professional
4. Middle class snob
5. Middle class wanker
6. Middle class scum
7. Working class hero
8. Working class diamond
9. Working class scrubber
10. Working class scum
11. Chav scum

I see myself as a former working class hero. However, like John Lennon I have risen from the ranks of the hard-working working classes to become a pithy commentator on society. A middle class wanker, in other words.

Furthermore, I have learnt this week that as I work in the field of accountancy, often having to deal with some very pleasant people who happen to be accountants, I am even more of a wanker than I thought I was.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Check Me Out

On the other side of the coin to our local ASDA, is the Tesco Metro near where I work.

In Tesco Metro, you get a much nicer class of customer, of course. Nicely brought up, with nice accents.

But nice people can have slightly annoying habits, too. Such as:-

1. Not saying "thank you" to the cashier.

2. Speaking on their mobile phone throughout the transaction, not even looking in the cashier's direction.

3. Saying "Give me..." or "Get me..." when they should be saying "Can I have..." when asking for something.

4. Not saying "please" at the end of a sentence asking for something.

5. Saying "Excuse me, I was next," when they're in another fucking queue, accusing ME of queue jumping when there are TWO queues for TWO tills, not one queue. It's not the fucking Post Office or your bank, it is a superfuckingmarket with ONE queue per till. If you choose the wrong fucking queue, it's your own fucking fault. OK? **

**Being well brought up, too, I capitulated and still beat the tosser out of the door.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Brenda and Tom: A Touching Real-Life Story From Our Correspondent In Spain

It's not what it used to be, this little part of the Costa Del Sol. It's not what it was this time last year.

It's all too much now. Too many buildings both built and being built, too many holidaymakers spoiling what used to be a peaceful little holiday resort. The recent influx of Spanish holidaymakers is particularly noisy. Unlike the English, they talk at such a volume. Constantly.

That's not to say the English tourists and the ex-pats don't enjoy themselves to a degree. The weather's still lovely, you can still see the sun rise from the comfort of your bed in the morning, and there is still a thriving local entertainment scene.

At the hub of this scene is a young Welshman whom I shall call "Tom". Tom was a plumber back in Wales, but he wants to be a star. He's moved his young family to Spain to build an audience, doing what he loves doing: singing for women of his mother's age.

Women like "Brenda".

Brenda is Tom's biggest fan. She follows him everywhere. She giggles when she asks him to sign an autograph. To every woman over a certain age she meets she says, "You really must see Tom." She wants to spread the word.

Seeing Tom live is an experience. We go down some steep steps into what feels like a cave. Once downstairs, though, it's like a dingy northern working men's club of the 1970s.

Tom works his audience. He sweats buckets. He wipes the sweat with a clean handkerchief. When the handkerchief is sopping wet, he asks the audience for something dry to wipe himself with.

Brenda volunteers with a tea towel. The tea towel has illustrations of sheep on it to remind Tom of back home in Wales. He wipes himself down with the tea towel, teasing the women of his mother's age. He loves this job and he has a belief that one day he will be famous. He doesn't want to go back to being a plumber.

Brenda says she can't believe Tom hasn't got anywhere. All he needs is that one break. I ask her if he's thought of going on X-Factor. She says he did, but Simon Cowell was rude to him. Said he had one of those "typically loud Welsh voices". Simon Cowell is an ignorant pig.

Tom will make it. He's got too much talent for it to go to waste.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Remember the post I did back at the beginning of August concerning the death of the Betty/Geoff blog Search Me? Well, we couldn't let it lie. We had to go back and revive the dying beast.

It's bigger and better than before (only because Betty is the only one who has done any posts recently). Don't worry, I'll be along soon to balls it all up.

And talk about nepotism! I'm now going to order you over to a couple of our friends' blogs just in case you didn't go there last time we mentioned them.

There's Fears Forever, Glenda's shrine to the wonder that is Tears For Fears' Roland Orzabal. This week Glenda's found true love so I think we all ought to be immensely happy for her.

And there's Farmer Giles' Cock Blog, a weekly interactive haven for bird lovers to revel in the delights of nature.

That is the last I will mention of any of those three blogs as they've got to stand on their own six legs from now on.


As a special Sunday treat, one of my dear friends has agreed to appear sporadically on this blog. Nigel Coupling was one of the original Liverpool Beat Poets and a good friend of Cilla Black until he gave it all up to be a psychiatric nurse. He's recently retired from the profession and he is tentatively dipping his toes back into the water of verse.

Today Nigel would like to present to you all his poem, Doris:-


Doris Spokes, the cycling psychic
pedalled to the shops one day.
When slowed down by PC Mike Dick,
said, "I know what you will say."

"You're going to say you want to pick
the brains of your dead Uncle Ron."
"No," he said, "you're fucking nicked,
for cycling with no knickers on."

Nigel says, "eat your heart out, Roger McGough." (They don't get on).

Friday, September 29, 2006

My Prog Roots Are Showing

Classic rock guitar hero, Jan Akkerman

Another post inspired by a podcast.

This time, a big up to The Rockmother and her impeccable choice of the Dutch medieval banquet of prog that is Focus.

But hold on a minute, RoMo! Focus are MINE. I discovered them. ME!

All mine. The classic rock guitar hero that was Jan Akkerman. And the controlled lunacy of Thijs Van Leer, his flutey noodlings, his blood curdling yodelling....


A fresh faced Geoff heard Focus and knew he wanted to buy his first LP. My mum didn't have the first idea of where to buy a Focus album but she was determined to buy me one. She's good like that.

Walking past our local music shop, I saw Focus in the window.

"I want it, Mummy."

The next day she bought it for me.

It wasn't an LP, though. It was a book of Focus sheet music.

We got our money back, and of course we did work out that in order to buy a Focus LP, one goes not to a music shop but to a record shop.

Happy days, aren't they, your twenties?

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Far From Good

Modern films are rubbish.

If I were even more of a ponce I'd say "modern film is rubbish".

The evidence stacks up year after year.

Blockbusters are shit.

American 'independent' films made by music video directors are shit.

Contemporary European art house cinema? Oh come on, you can't compare it with the films of the 60s, 70s, or even 80s. Kieslowski was the last great Euro giant who died too young - ooh, now I'm getting poncey.

OK, there are a few good Iranian films but...

Why watch a film you'll only watch once and react by saying, "Well, that was alright, I suppose."?

Because film critics are still around saying things like "a tour de force" and other such codswallop.

Far From Heaven is a homage (an homage?) to All That Heaven Allows by the great Douglas Sirk.

In the Time Out Film Guide, reviewer Geoff Andrew creams his corduroys about this film.

I say it's as tame as Cindy, my deceased bitch.

Far From Heaven is set in late 50s New England - in the autumn of course, so the colours are really really sumptuous and gorgeous and out of this world.

The man of the family is a top salesman who shags men in secret. His housewifey wife finds this out and simultaneously falls in love with the family's black gardener who happens to be cultured (i.e. white, middle-class cultured).

The husband falls in love too, with a young blond man. He leaves the marital home.

"Society" won't allow the nice housewife to get together with her potential lover.

God, I'm bored describing it.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

By Popular Request (So If It's Shit, Don't Blame Me) - The Moment Bands Decided On Their Definitive Names: Number 2 - Genesis


GABRIEL: Pass the cucumber sandwiches, old chap.

BANKS: Peter, old chap. I was lying in bed last night, fully awake. Desperately trying to think of a name for the band...

GABRIEL: Oh, fiddle de dee. I've dropped my crust in the water.

BANKS: 'There's Always Been Ethel' just sounds a trifle too wordy, Peter. Besides, people may confuse us with The Enid.

GABRIEL: I don't see why. Enid and Ethel are completely different names. I should know. My nanny was called Ethel. And I had an Aunt Edith.

BANKS: I think we need a one-word name. Something easily remembered.

GABRIEL: 'Ethel', then.

BANKS: But then people would confuse us even more with The Enid. And they might start calling us 'The Ethel', Peter.

GABRIEL: Oh, fiddle de di, Tony. What in heaven's name are we to call ourselves?

BANKS: That's it, Peter! You've got it! What in heaven's name!

GABRIEL: 'What In Heaven's Name'? Sounds like we don't know ourselves, old chap.

BANKS: No. Something Biblical. A new beginning. From out of nowhere. A new kind of music. Rock but not as we know it. The birth of a new...


GABRIEL: By jove, I think we've got it! I can see us now! Thousands of teenage A-level students watching us give the show of a lifetime! Costume changes galore! Lights, greasepaint and honest sweat! A theatrical and musical tour-de-force! Teenage boys singing about being lawnmowers!

BANKS: I'd sit down if I were you, old chap. Low bridge ahead.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Trench Song

"It's like Fred Karno's army."

That was one of my dad's stock phrases, along with...

"Horses eat it, pigs shit in it," whenever I said "eh?" instead of "pardon?".

"Don't tickle it, it won't laugh," whenever I didn't kick the football hard enough.

And it is, indeed, like Fred Karno's army...

We are Fred Karno's army, we are the ragtime infantry.
We cannot fight, we cannot shoot, what bleeding use are we?
And when we get to Berlin we'll hear the Kaiser say,
'Hoch, hoch! Mein Gott, what a bloody rotten lot, are the ragtime infantry'

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Classified Results

The Office 6, Extras 8

Ex-public schoolboy Joe Strummer 2, Ex-public schoolboy Nick Lowe 8

New Labour 1, Lib Dems 1

Liverpool 2, Man U 5

Atheism 10, Agnosticism 4

Work 3, Home 10

Prague 7, Bruges 9

Tea 7, Coffee 0

Wool 8, Polyester 0

Trifluoperazine 10, Duloxetine 0

Sherlock Holmes 10, Doctor Who 0

White Wine 7, Red Wine 10


Listening to Bob's Cod Pod Cast (I know, Scritti Politti are too classy to be cod reggae)......

(By the way, I STILL don't know where the "cod" comes from in cod reggae. I know cooked cod is white, but is there any black fish to contrast?)

......I am inspired to reminisce about a man from my past.


He was a small man. A bespectacled Ronnie Corbett-like who was married to a friend of my mother's. He was probably about the age I am now. I think the couple were childless. Just like us.

'Ronnie' was a friendly chap. He took me to play golf. And he invited our family round for afternoons in their fashionable seventies living room, possibly with drinks for the adults, I can't remember.

But I do remember his record collection.

He had every Judge Dread (I hope you're mature enough to keep your eyes on the audience in this video) album, and nothing else. This probably meant only a few records, but I remember it as a substantial collection.

He would play them to us. And laugh. Tears of joy would roll down his face at each double entendre, at each blatantly rude verse. Because Dread was rude. And little 'Ronnie' had a rude sense of humour.

We were not an uptight family. But suddenly the visits stopped.

Had 'Ronnie' suggested a more adult party without us kids? A Judge Dread themed party? With shed keys thrown in the middle of the room?

I don't want to know.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lavas' Retreat

We've got the travelling bug.

Today, I booked next year's holiday.

We're going to Moulton-Under-Foot, famously known as the Pompeii of the Cotswolds.

We will be staying in a lovely little 15th century cosy cottage with a 'wood burning effect' stove and a 5" Four-Poster Bed.

The owners live at the bottom of the garden in a brand new complex.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

To Lovers' Island and Back

Think of the greatest love stories the world has ever seen, and try to imagine what kind of a world it would have been if these men and women had not exchanged bodily fluids:-

Taylor and Burton

Moss and Doherty

The Krankies

Llanddwyn Island is not really an island. It is a peninsula, named after St Dwynwen, patron saint of Welsh lovers.

Dwynwen was chaste. She was chased round the island by horny old Prince Maelon.

"Come on darling, just a quick one while he's away."

"There is no 'he'. And anyway, who do you think you are, Pete Townsend?"

"If you want me to be. And you can be my Princess Margaret."

"Oh do bugger off, you old goat. I'm going to live by 'ere as an 'ermit."

"I'm off to blimmin' Bangor then. At least the women put out there."

"Even the blimmin' sheep won't have you. You reek of cider and B.O."

Llanddwyn Island is beautiful. When the sun's out, the walk from Llanddwyn Bay to the edge of the peninsula is the most beautiful walk in the world.

And then you're on it, on the island, heading towards the edge of the world.

Which, to leave you in suspense, will be posted on Betty's site in the near future.

How To Get There
As you enter Anglesey, turn left towards Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. That's Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Don't ask any locals the way. Continue along the A4080 till you reach Newborough. Now you're lost. Ask someone in the street (not one of the hard looking teenagers sitting on the low brick wall opposite the pub) how to get to the beach. They will tell you to turn at the road next to the White Lion. Drive up this road till you reach the toll for the car park. You'll need two pound coins and Bob's your uncle.


On our way back from Anglesey, we stop off at our second favourite place in Wales: Thomas Telford's enormous erection, Pont-Cysyllte aqueduct.

Picture not author's own. What do you think I am, a fucking bird?

Doesn't that get Jeremy Clarkson creaming his jeans? Why not walk along it and enjoy the view!

Don't jump in the water.

It's a long way down.