Saturday, August 30, 2008

It's Only A Game

Jonathan Woodgate, talking about Dimitar Berbatov's surly, sulky attitude since being made aware of Manchester United's interest in signing him...

"It doesn't give out a great message and hasn't exactly boosted the reputation of professional footballers in this country."

Yes, this is the same Jonathan Woodgate who was found guilty of affray before a brutal attack on an Asian student in January 2000. An attack so vicious that Jonathan's mate was sentenced to six years jail after being found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and affray.

Aah, but he was only young then, wasn't he?

Maybe Dimitar should have worked his bollocks off like James Milner did the other night for Newcastle against Coventry.

And then a couple of days later get the move he wanted to a club who "valued" him more, i.e. Aston Villa.

A translation from footballers' language: a club which "values" a player more is a club which can afford to pay higher wages. Yes, even more obscenely high.

The players have got the fans by the balls.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Modern Film Is Rubbish

We've actually got round to watching a couple of recent films on DVD in the past couple of weeks. Both films included hangings.

Control ended with Ian Curtis hanging himself with the kitchen washing line. We didn't see him hanging, not even just his legs and feet. His suicide seemed to come out of a mysterious place as his depression didn't really seem that bad. Maybe his death was a massive surprise for those who knew him. I read Deborah Curtis's book some time ago and can remember very little of it. In the film, he seems to be torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool. But not really a suicidal one.
Film Rating: 6/10

The Last King Of Scotland included a hanging for Amin's extremely irritating, thick as two short planks yet irrestible to attractive women, Scottish doctor. Hanging was too good for this cunt. He was hung up by the tits then set down, half dead. I'm surprised Amin didn't cut his balls off. After all the randy medic had made one of the president's wives pregnant. And guess what? The twat not only survived but got away! Amin's previous personal doctor sacrificed himself to patch up the dumbfuck and smuggle him into a line of French hostages of the PLO. All so the git could tell the world just what life with Amin was like. As the world only believes a white man!
Watching the film, I was under the impression it was based on fact. It wasn't, it was originally a novel. What a load of bollocks! We learnt more about the Uganda of that time from the documentary on John Aki-Bua we saw just before the Olympics.
Film Rating: 2/10

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hair Today

As me and Betty are normally anti-social people, August is turning out to be a bit of a hectic whirl.

Apart from the bi-weekly visits to my old mum, a couple of weekends ago we met up with some relatively recent friends and this coming Saturday we're meeting a very old friend.

This has resulted in Betty cutting my hair twice in August. The hair had grown so fast down the back sides of my neck Betty informed me the grey monstrosities were beginning to look like Rhodes Boyson's sideburns.

I can't believe I used to spend money getting my hair cut. Once I pushed the boat out and went to Demop which was about as trendy as you can get in the 80s. It was so trendy I bet Robert Elms was a regular. The haircut lasted for as long as it took to wash it out the same evening as I'd had it cut.

I went for a while to an old fashioned barber's near Waterloo. Then I went for a while to an old fashioned barber's near Covent Garden. Then I went for a while to a modern Gentlemen's barber's near Charing Cross. Then I went for a while to a local old fashioned unisex hairdresser's. Then I went once to the local place known as the Little Barber. He wasn't little, didn't even need to stand on a box, and he smoked like a chimney.

"Anything you'd like on your hair?"

"What, apart from all that ash?"

Then one day I bought some hair clippers and Betty's been doing a very good job ever since.

When I was very young and my mother took me to the barber's I refused to have my hair cut unless I was outside. So the barber wheeled the chair onto the pavement and cut my hair in full view of passers-by. I must have been a right little exhibitionist.

Have I really grown out of that exhibitionist streak?

Maybe I'll get the extension lead out next time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Day At The Races

Our bank holiday viewing has included a documentary on the Marx Brothers. A chance for me to bring up my embarrassing morning assembly reading in my late teens.

Us sixth formers took it in turns to read something that meant something to us. One boy read a Bruce Springsteen lyric which only I recognised and which was about as punk as it got at our school. I decided to be a bit subversive.

"The following is a quote from Marx..." I said, pausing. "...Harpo Marx."

Nobody laughed.

Of course they may have laughed if instead of reading out an actual quote from Harpo Marx, I had produced a horn from behind my back and honked my way through the ordeal. The headmaster would have grappled with me for the horn and teachers would have thrown off their leather elbowed tweed jackets and wrestled me to the ground.

Instead, I read out the quote to a cavernous silence.

Harpo. Not even Groucho.

Friday, August 22, 2008

For Gary, England and St George

The Government wants to give us an extra Bank Holiday day. But they want to make us work for it.

"The challenge in adding an extra bank holiday is to find a day that celebrates national identity in an increasingly multicultural Britain," said James McCoy, senior leisure analyst of Mintel, the company commissioned to survey 2,000 people.

41% of those surveyed wanted St George's Day, April 23rd.

38% thought Remembrance Day, November 11th, would be a better day.

The problem with St George's Day is that the sort of people who celebrate it would not necessarily celebrate a multicultural Britain. Street parties controlled by knuckleheads singing "Engerland! Engerland! Engerland!" would be a bit of a step backwards.

I'm all for Remembrance Day being chosen. I would celebrate "national identity in an increasingly multicultural Britain" by having two minutes' silence at 11 a.m. The rest of the day I would treat as any other bank holiday, battening down the hatches, keeping away from people.


The constant news about every step of Gary Glitter's release and rehabilitation (ha!) is really getting on my tits. Who gives a shit about Gary Glitter?

Maybe the kid from my primary school.

One day two kids had a fight. They wanted to prove who was the best pop star. One fought for Marc Bolan. The other fought for Glitter. Neither won as the fight was broken up by a dinner lady.

I wonder at what point in his life the Glitter fan stopped fighting for his hero? Is he still doing it now?

"Gary's the best!"

"No he's not, Cliff is!"



"Come on then! You want some?"

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Old Fossils

I went to the dentist's again yesterday. He gave me a check up in a world record time of 8.97 secs. Then I saw the dental hygienist for the last time. She didn't know it was the last time she would see me as she gave me a lecture on how I should be flossing or at least using the little tepees that she demonstrated on me, drawing copious amounts of blood from my gums.


"Thank you, goodbye, you controlling bitch. You can take my plaque but you'll never get my love."


Richard Dawkins (yes, him again) in the final part of his Darwin series is filmed at a gathering of American atheists.

"Here they treat me like a rock star," he says, modestly.

"Do you think someone gave him a blow job in the toilets?" I ask Betty.

"And someone shared their cocaine with him?" she replied.

Monday, August 18, 2008

None Of It Really Happened

Gabby Logan's just read out the countdown to the greatest Olympians as voted for by BBC Sport.

Unsurprisingly there are a few Brits in the list, including the greatest oarsman of all time, Sir Steve Redgrave, at number one. Yes, an English rower at number one! I'm sure if you were to ask the world's population who is the greatest Olympian of all time the name Sir Steve Redgrave would ring out time and time again. Mobbed wherever he goes throughout the world, the golden river god wants for nothing as ordinary mortals bow at his feet and shower him with gifts.

At number two is Jesse Owens. Who, with his glorious performances at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, "put an end to the idea of Aryan supremacy".

Thanks for that, Gabby. I know you didn't write it but you could have refused to say it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Whatever Happened To The Melody Maker?

The young man on the train in the seat behind me is talking to a friend on his mobile phone. He's just quit one band and is looking to form another. He's not sure about rehearsal space as his musical partner is lukewarm about using his own place. What they really need is some new blood, a couple of musicians they can blend with (preferably with premises to practise in).

"I bought a Loot last week," he says.

"Blimey, that's different," his friend presumably replies.

"It's no different from the others. It's crap."

"Why did you buy a crap lute? Didn't you try it out in the shop?"

"I just paid for it and took it home."

"You didn't try it out? You wouldn't buy a guitar without playing it. Or a mandolin. Why a lute?"

"No, a Loot. The paper. I was looking for musicians. It was crap. There were only two heavy metal guitarists looking for bands and two bands who said they had recording contracts lined up looking for keyboard players."

"So you're not turning into Sting, then?"

"I wouldn't mind a lute, actually."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finish The Sentence, Boy

This is my favourite meme so far. All you have to do is complete the sentence.

I'm snatching the baton from Rockmother's post. From where you can find others, too.

1. My uncle once: made a pass at my aunt, his wife's sister.

2. Never in my life: will I vote Tory.

3. When I was five: I got measles and an ear infection.

4. High school was: all boys together.

5. I will never forget: the day we met.

6. Once I met: one of the backing singers in Rocky Sharpe & The Replays.

7. There’s this girl I know: who says "HELLO GEOFF!" really loudly.

8. Once, at a bar: I asked what beer the squirrel was.

9. By noon, I’m usually: looking forward to my lunch hour.

10. Last night: I gave up after fifteen minutes of A Zed And Two Noughts.

11. If only I had: enough money to retire.

12. Next time I go to church: I will neither sing nor pray, as usual.

13. What worries me most: is West Ham, as it is not life or death.

14. When I turn my head left I see: fucking enormous geraniums.

15. When I turn my head right I see: drab grey 1970s filing cabinets.

16. You know I’m lying when: I say I enjoy my job.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: a healthily functioning digestive system.

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: dressed as a woman.

19. By this time next year: I will have more grey hairs.

20. A better name for me would be: Omar Sharif.

21. I have a hard time understanding: what they're saying on The Sopranos and The Wire so I put the subtitles on.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: choose more arty subjects.

23. You know I like you if: I comment on your blog.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: my grandmother for her fucking horrible toffee.

25. Take my advice, never: go for a walk in Los Roques, Tenerife.

26. My ideal breakfast is: shredded wheat, mixed nuts, prunes and milk, all to keep me nice and regular.

27. A song I love but do not have is: Here's To You by Ennio Morricone, vocals by Joan Baez.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: get the hell out of the shit hole.

29. Why won’t people: pay more tax?

30. If you spend a night at my house: you'd be squatting as we don't do visitors.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: a Grumbleweeds concert.

32. The world could do without: weapons, religion and Giles Brandreth.

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: do jury service again.

34. My favourite blonde(s) is/are: currently Annie.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: most managers in offices.

36. If I do anything well it’s: navigate sky plus.

37. I can’t help but: laugh at Mike Read.

38. I usually cry: when sports people I'm supporting win.

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: is don't get born.

40. And by the way: yesterday in the street I saw Frank Skinner.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Sally Needs More Friends

I love Sally Shalam. My Saturdays wouldn't be complete without reading about one of the lovely weekend breaks she's had in southern England.

Today we read about Chaffeymoor Grange in Dorset. A three night weekend sets you back at least £4,200 in September. Sally goes with her chums in high summer.

"It just needs more people," says one of Sally's friends of the property which sleeps twenty. Sally and her party number under ten. It would cost them probably at least £500 each for three nights' accommodation (if they were to pay, of course).

"After supper, the women settle by the blaze to play cards, as rain lashes against mullioned windows. The men push off into the games room to play pool. It's like being in Peter's Friends (without the weird stuff)."

I've never seen Peter's Friends as I couldn't give a flying fuck about Cambridge University graduates having a reunion. But I wonder what weird stuff goes on? Naked punting in the bath? Oh Sally, you've really whet my appetite, you saucy minx.

"We might even book a re-run at Chaffey next year."

Yeah, if it's fucking free you might.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tighten Your Belts, It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

We're extremely sad to hear the news that four-eyed "karaoke" Howard Brown is to be replaced as the face of Halifax. Apparently his cheery demeanour is contrary to the mood of the nation in these credit crunch times. All other singing staff are also no longer required.

The new Halifax adverts will feature Shakespearian actors. Halifax staff were screen tested for the roles but were unable to pull off the gravitas.

Ghost In The Machine

I went to bed last night with ten comments on my last post. I woke up this morning with four.

I phoned Betty and she said she'd post a comment to see if it worked.

Her new comment was emailed to me. I now had five comments on the post. Except the fifth comment wasn't Betty's new one but the original fifth comment I'd received a couple of days ago.

Betty tried again. Her new comment was emailed to me. I now had six comments on the post. And the sixth comment was the original sixth comment I'd received a couple of days ago.

Betty realised she was pushing the comments along. So she sent four more comments. And one by one the old ones came back. And now I'm back to the ten comments I had last night.

Shit, I hope Blogger isn't going to start messing me around. We had enough problems last year with Betty not being able to post anything on Blogger using our home PC.

What is it with computer programmers? As soon as they "fix" something they unfix something else.

That is an understatement.

Don't ask me. It's been a long year.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Rainy Days And Mondays

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On!

I cried a river over Truly Madly Deeply.

Actually that's a lie. It did not engage me one iota. It was an English middle class Ghost without the raw sexual magnetism of Patrick Swayze, the most beautiful man who has ever lived, the epitome of raw, animal, male manliness. Alan Rickman? Give me a break! I'd like to see Alan flaming Rickman lift a woman over the threshold and get a good old manly sweat going on top of her, muscles bulging like fuck.

But didn't I cry over Juliet Stevenson's grief? No I bloody didn't. It was hardly Breaking the fucking Waves, was it? Not that that made me feel anything, either.

Hard bastard, aren't I?

So we come to Distant Voices, Still Lives which I hadn't seen since it was originally out.

"Classic film," I said to Betty before watching it. "A real tear-jerking working class story. Made all the more poignant because the writer and director, Terence Davies, died tragically young."

"What did he die of?" said a morbid Betty.

"Cancer, I think. He was famous for his trilogy, you know. Known as the Terence Davies Trilogy. It's recently been released on DVD."

So we watched the film.

What I'd found unbearably beautiful twenty years ago I now found unbearably mawkish. Had I changed that much? What had happened to that sensitive young man?

Still, poor Terence Davies. When did he die? Was it the big C? Let's look him up, shall we?

Nope. He's not dead. That's Bill Douglas. Of Bill Douglas Trilogy fame. Now he was a great film maker.


Later, we watch a documentary on The Carpenters. And the tears come.

I'm sensitive once more.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy 70th Birthday, Sir Michael Terence Wogan, You Old Bore

When Wogan's eyes are smiling
He'll play some shit by Sting.
In the lilt of Wogan's laughter,
You can hear Katie Melua sing.
When Wogan's heart is happy,
All the world seems dull and grey.
And when Wogan's eyes are smiling,
Sure, you just wish he'd go away.

(Click here for tune)

Terry Wogan followed by Jimmy Young. Radio 2 always seemed to be on during my school holidays. My mum had the same holidays as me. Those were the dinner lady years.

I do so envy those born later whose mums would listen to the groovy sounds of Radio 1.

I'm joking.

My dad never listened to the radio at home. Maybe it was on at work and he never told me about it. He did seem to know a bit about modern music. He must have heard it somewhere.