Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cameron Crow

The David Cameron smarm offensive on Absolute Radio (previously Virgin Radio for those who give a fuck about U2) included not only a dig at something he quite clearly doesn't understand but also a bit of a grovel to government-maker Rupert Murdoch.

Apparently Cameron "loves" Sky Plus.

Nice one, cuntchops.

Christian O'Connell himself was being a bit of a crawl-arsing bastard (my dad's turn of phrase) and the two chaps got on like a house on fire.

Cameron even had time to appeal to thick female students when he lied that he was a big fan of Paolo Nutini.

As we all know, anybody who likes the deeply cerebral Radiohead's noodlings would hold no truck with sincere Scottish blue-eyed soul, possibly the worst form of music in the history of the world.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Back To Bexley

I am more like my dad than my mum. Quiet. Though he had more of an adventurous childhood. He had a best friend to be adventurous with. Quietly.

In Christchurch I had no friends and I couldn't have been happier. Then all of a sudden we were on the move again. My mum had really had enough of being starved of adult company. A quiet husband wasn't enough for a fiercely sociable 34 year old woman.

So we moved back to the borough of Bexley. But we weren't able to get our own place straight away. We spent the next several months at my dad's parents' small terraced three bedroom council house. This was punishment for my mum for bringing us back. And not particularly pleasant for a young child used to space and privacy.

My dad's parents were quiet, too. My grandfather relaxed by doing the pools and watching the wrestling. The pools and the wrestling seemed to take forever, all Saturday. My grandmother seemed to spend all her time in the kitchen, boiling socks. Fish and chips from the chip shop was a weekly treat.

I remember by bedroom wallpaper most of all. It scared the shit out of me when I was ill. And I seemed to spend most of my time in that house with one sickness or another.

Shapes moved. They became three dimensional. They throbbed, heaved, backwards and forwards, side to side, span and spiraled. The wallpaper was alive and its only reason for being was to drive me mad with nausea and fear.

I started school, a tiny school around the corner. I immediately contracted measles. The wallpaper had a field day and the measles perforated my eardrum. My mum and dad were arguing. My grandparents were, too. They were all only keeping together for the child. The sick, weak child in the box bedroom.

Come on, Dad. Hurry up and get a deposit on that dream house!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Libraries Gave Us Power

In response to a complaint about our library's self-help service, a council spokesman said the following:-

"The use of self-service enables staff to perform more customer-focused functions within the libraries, such as helping choose books and offering guidance on the use of the public computers."

I don't need to use the public computers but any suggestions on which books I might enjoy reading are welcome.

So the next time I see my favourite library assistant I will ask her if she could point me in the direction of suitable books. I'll say I'm 47 years old, I enjoy intelligent films and television, have extremely catholic taste in non-bland music, and am leaning more towards non-fiction as I get older though I have recently enjoyed reading the library's stock of John Wyndham books and am currently enjoying Patrick Hamilton's Hangover Square. My political views are pretty left wing for this day and age, I do not wish to read about sport as the only sport I like is football and footballers' autobiographies are notoriously fucking brainless, I hate Jeremy Clarkson with a passion, Stephen Fry, though I think he's a nice chap, bores me senseless, comedians and journalists are mostly a bunch of tossers, I went through a period of reading plays in my 20s but I've grown out of that now, same with Philip K Dick, I do like a bit of poetry but couldn't sit down and read a whole anthology, I am not interested in anything a man of my age is supposed to enjoy such as cars, trains, Brunel, DIY, finance, religion, eighteen year old girls, murdering the mother-in-law, koi carp or fucking Wii.

"Please, Mrs Library Assistant? Can you point me in the right direction?"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blind Date

Hattie Lancaster, 33, PR and Marketing Executive

Mark Barrett, 32, Systems Analyst


First impressions Friendly and outgoing. I was very nervous and a bit tongue-tied to begin with so I was relieved she took the initiative.

What did you talk about? Anything and everything. From Rothko to Andy Murray's chances of eventually winning Wimbledon. And music. We were both at the same Animal Collective gig!

Any awkward moments?
I dropped my fork on the floor but the waiter was nearby and quickly gave me a clean one.

Good table manners? Excellent.

Best thing about her? She was funny and interesting. And she has a lovely smile.

Did you go on somewhere? She had to be up early the next day. So, no.

Marks out of 10? 8.

Would you meet again? Yes.


First impressions?
He seemed a little nervous. A friendly face, though.

What did you talk about? Music, mainly. And Andy Murray for about half an hour.

Any awkward moments? He sneezed into his hand then asked me if I had a tissue.

Good table manners? I've seen a lot worse. And a lot better, I'm afraid.

Best thing about him? He likes some good music.

Did you go on somewhere? I had a long journey home and had to get up early the next morning.

Marks out of 10? 5.

Would you meet again? I may see him at a gig. But, no, there was no spark between us.

Mark and Hattie met at some poncey expensive middle-class wanky restaurant in London.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part Review Of A Book I Took Out Of The Library Using The Self-Service Machine


Yes, that's how their names are written on the front of the book as everybody's heard of JULIE BURCHILL and nobody's heard of Chas Newkey-Burden.

It's very entertaining of course, as most things JULIE BURCHILL is involved with. Mainly because both the writers tend to see things in black and white.

There are no grey areas.

I'm just waiting for the moment when they get together on the last page and say:-

"LET'S BOMB IRAN!" just like that dickhead Kenny Everett did at that Tory Party conference.

OK, that was Russia and that was *funny*. Bollocks was it.

Peace, Julie.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Suicide Is Painless

I'm sure the verdict on Michael Jackson's death will eventually be "Death By Misadventure".

But for the so-called Peter Pan of Pop, an overdose of painkillers is somewhat less of a misadventure than, say, flying too close to the sun.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

All That Dorset Has To Offer

Christchurch was lovely. I loved it. My dad went out to work and I had nobody but my mum for company. We'd go out for walks to the shops, get the bus to the seaside. I got a little brown body in the south coast sun and a Batman outfit in which I ran down Bournemouth High Street, oblivious to the crowds.

I went back to Christchurch a few years ago. Surprisingly I could kind of remember it. The waterside, the park, the castle, the high street. Most people in Christchurch are now retired. My parents' generation. In a different life we could have stayed there and I could have developed a regional burr.

My dad loved it there, too. He enjoyed working for Shand Kydd and was settled in the house and town.

But my mum hated it. She wasn't making friends. She missed her parents and sisters. As entertaining as I was, I was not adult company. I wasn't due to go to school for over a year so there were no young mothers for my mum to chat to. It was a pretty lonely existence in a very nice place.

Two memories that stick out for me from our year in Christchurch were both frightening. Once we were crossing a bridge over the railway just as a steam train whistled underneath us. And once my cousin was babysitting me and the silly girl got it into her head that there was a prowler in the house.

But with my mum in the house I was safe. Happy playing by myself in the living room, listening to food being prepared, rooms being hoovered and the quiet druggy sound of the radio.

As my mum was going mad with loneliness, I was loving my own little world.

As for my dad?

Was he in his own world, too?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bring Back Robin Day

Last night we watched Question Time for the first time in years. Jarvis Cocker was this week's non-politician and he's usually entertaining.

Jarvis didn't really have much to say and only seemed to be on there for the Michael Jackson question at the end.

But demonstrating just how far to the right the Labour Party has gone over the years, I found myself in agreement with Iain Duncan Smith on identity cards and with Peter Hitchens re. the railways.


Identity cards are a waste of money
The railways should be re-nationalised

It was also a bit rich of Jarvis to slag off Michael Jackson for being crap for the past twenty odd years when Jarvis himself hasn't exactly set the world alight with his solo "career".

Though still staunchly anti-Tory for most of their views I found myself getting more angry at the audience than the panel. They seemed to clap at everything like performing seals. You even get members of the audience with seemingly very strong views asking leading questions then applauding the panelists who give completely the opposite opinions. What kind of mind-altering drugs are these people on? If the Question Time audience is supposedly a cross section of the public, do we have a public of moronic floating voters agreeing with everybody then closing their eyes to place their cross on the ballot paper?


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Me And The Muggers

Dino went to a good home and I was allowed my own space. I was an only child and I soon learned to play alone, happy in the company of Baby and Daddy Mugger, my two pandas.

My first few years were spent in Welling, not far from where Kate Bush was growing up. Except she lived on a farm. A Welling with a farm is a different Welling from the Welling I've always known. Maybe she lived in a magical, invisible farm in the sky above Welling.

My mum and dad were pretty close to their respective sisters and parents so there was quite a lot of visiting. I didn't enjoy the company of people outside my immediate family. I knew most of them were nice and they gave me nice drinks and nice things to eat but I would rather have been alone with Baby and Daddy Mugger and my toy cars. I loved the shapes and colours and metallic feel of the cars and they would tootle along at a nice slow pace under my gentle guidance. I had no truck with those children who hurtled their cars along as if they were machines of destruction. Those crashing, smashing little bastards were all around but not yet destroying my toys. Not yet.

When I was four my dad got a job as an engraver for the Shand Kydd wallpaper company. The job was on the south coast and we upped sticks for Christchurch. The next year was to be one of the happiest years of my life and one of my mum's most miserable. They say you can't please all the people...