Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I used to go out with an American called Katrina. Which makes the following headline entirely believeable :-

Wise, wise, Americans.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I went for a walk yesterday, just randomly. Started off in Holloway and went down to Highbury & Islington and then down Upper Street to Angel. After that I cut through Clerkenwell across Kings Cross Road and past one of my favourite buildings in London :-

I don't know what it is, but something about it appeals to me. One day I'll take a picture at night when it's more impressive.

Then I went across Bloomsbury to Tottenham Court Road, bought a battery recharger because I seem to have acquired a bunch of things that eat batteries, and as I was passing the Troy Bar, about which I have waxed lyrical in the past, I thought I'd take a picture of it for you.

It's lovely isn't it?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Ok - that's it. I'm officially losing my marbles. All I did today, apart from pay those bastards at Islington Council £1,014 in bastard council tax was rationalise my dried foods cupboard and tidy my spice shelf.

So not only am I going to starve to death in the event of a fimble winter or some other cataclysm preventing me from getting to Waitrose, but I would also appear to have become something of a gayer.

You'd think I'd have more pasta wouldn't you. Well that's because I make my own, so HA. In your face!

Actually it took me about 3 times as long to create these layouts as it did to do the bloody tidying in the first place.

I'm so bored.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I have a question, and it's really important. If Vuclans come from Vulcan and Bajorans come from Bajor and Kardassians come from Kardassia, why don't Humans come from Huma?

Monday, August 22, 2005


Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. So good they named it, er, apparently 3 times. Nothing comes close. Trust me. And this year's trip was a corker by any standards, and that's against some pretty strong opposition. If you've never been to the Edinburgh Fringe, then go. Nothing looks like it, feels like it, makes you feel like it.

Which isn't to say this annual pilgrimage doesn't have it's bad side. Which it does for one, it makes you sick. And not just physically sick, but if you're not careful, rotten to the core 'if I see one more pint I'll die', just leave me alone in my misery to die sick. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The Fringe

OK - The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. What can I say? The Fringe was started in 1947 by people who couldn't get into the festival proper (which is still running) but which The Fringe has now massively outgrown, in no small part due to the fact that there are no entry requirements or genre criteria (other than finding a space to perform and being able to finance it) or restrictions of any kind. In fact The Fringe is now the biggest festival in the world, bar none. In 2004 there were 25,326 performances of 1695 shows by 735 companies in 236 venues with an estimated 15,629 performers (to put that in context, the Olympics has about 11,000 athletes) and 1,253,776 tickets were sold. Very impressive, no, but what does all that mean?

What it means is that unless you're careful you can end up seeing some of the worst shit you'll ever have the misfortune to sit through / walk out of. Talentless ego maniacal (or worse, nervous and frightened) performers doing terrible material in venues that'd be uncongenial for a power-point presentation about meatotomy. But it also means that get it right and for about a tenner you're going to see some shows that you'll never forget. And I mean that in a good way.

Of course, this isn't the Panster's first time in Edinburgh. Not by a long chalk. Nooo Sireee Bob. So there was actually little danger of being accidentally sucked into seeing some terrible bag of shite, and everything we saw was actually pretty good. But before all that here's a quick recap of those previous years. There were others I'm sure but the memory has been eradicated. I know that sounds odd, but look at it this way - you go to largely the same places and see largely the same stuff with, by and large, the same people. Add in that you are background level drunk the *entire time* and roaring shit-faced bed at 6am wankered more nights than not, it's actually miraculous I can remember anything other than some sort of tartan themed stream of consciousness melange of pubs, shouted conversations and bags of chips.

1993 - Living in a Car.
1994 - Silverfish Infestation
1995 - Hotel Bastardo : Breeze Block Horror
1997 - Hotel Gay Boy
1998 - Hotel Bastardo : US Invasion
2000 - The Place With no Beds
2002 - New Town Palace : The Return of Hotel Gay Boy.
2005 - Student Haggis Breakfast

This year we stayed at Pollock Halls, (Edinburgh First) which was actually not bad and pretty well located. And even better it was a) cheap and b) included breakfast WITH HAGGIS!!

And although the accommodation was not as posh as, say, Hotel Gay Boy this was actually one of the less fucked up trips I can remember. Which is not to say that we didn't cane it mightily - simply that we can't take the pace quite as well as when we were 23, plus there were only 4 of us instead of the more usual 8-12 which is a much more manageable number, plus we wanted to see a lot of shows and eat a lot of big expensive and delicious dinners. All of which we achieved.

Day 1

Arrival. 4 hour train trip with Hari & The Riggmeister - no problem with the rooms. get in, and immediately head off to The Pleasance to take in a show, any show before dinner. We met Ana, our 4th compadre there and had a quick 3 or 4 pints before going to see (completely randomly) David Strassman schizophrenic ventriloquist. Who was great, even though I was already suffering from Edinburgh Urinary Syndrome (EUS). EUS, by the way is extremely common and is characterised by an intense desire to pass water, caused by the rapid consumption of lager in cold courtyard, but being unable to do so due to being trapped in a darkened space full of strangers ruled by a sadistic maniac who *will* pick on you should you make any attempt to sneak out to relieve yourself.

Serious Dinner

And from there (after a quick loo trip) we went on to Stac Polly. What can I say? We booked it because it was Ana's birthday, and we wanted to do something special. And boy was it. I wouldn't like to say this was the perfect meal, because then where would you go from, but it was pretty close. There's not a lot more they could have done to make it any better. If only I'd worn my mongoose costume . . .

This is grown up dining - it's a formal place. There's a french maitre 'd who is unfailingly polite but clearly takes his job seriously.
And it's elegant - spacious, quiet, civilised - crisp white tablecloths, high backed banquettes, an acreage of glassware (four glasses per person - is there any other way), but all of this is icing on the cake, what about the food.

I was expecting something good - it's a French influenced Scottish restaurant that aims to use the best of local produce in traditional and innovative ways. A couple of amuse gueule to get us going and help down a bottle Delamotte 1997 and then I started with baked filo pastry parcels of haggis on a sweet plum and red wine sauce. Delicious - spicy, sweet, everything you could want. Next up a fillet of roe dear with miniature roast potatoes, braised red cabbage and savoury apricot chutney. Heaven. Amazing. But could probably have managed with less cabbage. Then we shared a couple of puddings, the chocolate mousse and the sticky toffee pudding. The chocolate was fabulous the sticky toffee was beyond. Without doubt the best pudding I have ever eaten. I can't even begin to describe it properly - light, rich, sweet, ethereal, substantial. How can something made out of little more than fat and sugar be so divine? I don't know. And then of course, coffee, petit four and onto the bill.

So - incredible food, beautiful surroundings, wonderful service, a bottle of vintage champagne, 2 1/2 courses (+ extras bits), coffee and a beautiful bottle of Crozes-hermitage : £208 between 4 - £52 each, including service. If you can get better value anywhere else, tell me about it.

After that we rolled out of there feeling decidedly corpulent. Hari found it a bit difficult to walk up the hill so we had a bit of a rest leaning against someone's house and then caught a taxi to Bannerman's. A couple of quick beers and I was done. The girls (who hadn't had so much lager in the afternoon (and also hadn't been to Yauatcha, The Blue Posts and The Star and Garter the night before) managed to go on to another couple of places, but for the Panster it was game over. Sheets, pillows, duvets - I was out for the count.

Day 2

Up with the lark (9.30) to take advantage of my free cooked breakfast and then back to bed for another couple of hours until we rolled off into town. Quick bite of lunch (traditional Pleasance hot dog for me (ack)) and onto the next show, the decidedly odd, but strangely touching 'How to build a time machine'. I quite liked this show, it was certainly gripping in parts and amusing in others, Hari really liked it and she was suffering at this point, and the other two were somewhat less enthused, so overall I'd give it 3/5. And from there to . . . shopping (don't forget I went on holiday with a bunch of girls, amusingly referred to by other lesser friends as my 'harem'), bit of a kip, afternoon soak in the tub and time for dinner again.

Bloody Tourists

Now here we hit a problem, the place we'd intended to go was booked up, and finding a replacement for dinner at 7pm was proving hard to do. Eventually we went to the Mussel & Steak bar on the Grassmarket. Now there's nothing wrong with this place, but after the night before anywhere might struggle. And they nearly made us late for our show by underestimating how service times. But they did dish up a dozen of the most delicious oysters I've had in years. Even oyster agnostics were in rhapsodies. They were spectacular - firm, flavoursome, with a wonderful creamy texture and perfect blue grey and beige colouring. Mmmm mmmm. And beautifully opened - not one spec of shell. Not that there was anything wrong with the the main courses, just a bit uninspired. So if you are there, stick to the mussels or order a couple of starters and, of course, some oysters. Can't comment on the steak - no-one ordered it but it goes up to 14oz,

So we *just* made it to Omid Djalali. Now I've seen Omid a couple of times before and I'm a big fan. Even though one of those times was fairly painful. As I've said, I'm a big fan, he's very talented, and very funny. But it still doesn't explain why he can fill a 700 seat venue whilst people who are, frankly, quite a bit better are struggling with 120? It's not like he has a TV show or something, though frankly I'm surprised he doesn't. Or maybe I just missed it. Still he was very funny. I particularly liked his Iranian disco dancing, and somehow persuading half the audience to impersonate Islamic fundamentalists : "Think about being in a BBC news report, slap your palm repeatedly against your forehead and shout 'Allah, Allah, Allah!". No doubt about it he's a funny man, but funnier than so many other people . . . I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder.

Rubbish Bar

And on we go on and on and on. A couple more pints and then on for some serious drinking at The Opal Lounge. This is the sort of trendy, soulless, up it's own arse place that I have no time for, but Hari likes because she can guarantee to be pestered by predatory 30/40 something businessmen in them. I mean it's a favourite of Prince William's ffs, how much more of a reason d'you need to stay away than that? Anyway, I'm not going to bang on, but it was a fucking dull, though I did manage to drink my way through a staggering number of beers, mostly because all I had to do was drink and dance and occasionally make polite chit chat. I suppose I could have attempted to go off and pull some birds myself, but I was on my own remember. I'd find the prospect daunting enough with a wing man, but on my own . . . frankly I'm just not that guy, for which I think I'm quite grateful.

Good Bar

Anyway, about 3am Ana & Rigg had had enough, but I was starting to liven up a bit, and Hari was still up for it, so we jumped into another in what was becoming by now a never ending procession of taxis and headed off to Espionage. Now Espionage is much more my cup of tea - it's open till God knows when and has 5 differently themed floors, all of which are actually two basic themes in varying amounts. Theme 1: drinking like a demon and talking to strangers about how drunk you are. 2 : dancing like an idiot and talking to strangers about how drunk you are. And it's huge, and weird - because it's built into a hillside you can enter at level 1 or level 5 and in between there's just acres and acres of Tombraider-esq twisty turns and hidden rooms. That is if tombs are packed with drunk Scots, tourists and thespians.

Anyway we ventured into the bowels of the building and somewhere inbeetween level 3 and 4 (I think) Hari took a tumble down a flight of stairs. And amazingly though she ended up with her legs above her head, braced against a wall while a bunch of locals (rather nicely I thought) tried to help her up again she spilt NOT ONE DROP of either of the pints she was carrying. I suppose that set the tone a bit and from then on in it all went pleasantly pear shaped. 3 memories : attempting to do some sort of line dance to Dolly Parton's Nine to Five; telling some bloke I was talking to that I was an air traffic controller (why? why? why?); standing on a miniature stage to air punch my way through Bon Jovi's Living On A Prayer.

Don't remember getting home.

Day 3

Didn't make it to breakfast. Rolled out about 10.45, quick shower and wandered on my own into town for a bit. It was a beautiful day and eventually I sat outside this cafe called Sadivino, just up from the Pleasance. Anyway, over the course of the next 2 1/2 hours I consumed one plate of smoked salmon, one of bressaola, one portion of olives, 2 Purdey's, 1 coffee, 1 lemon mineral water and one glass of milk with mint syrup. And felt much the better for it. By then all the various kids had managed to haul themselves from their respective pits and join me so it was time to start drinking again. Which we did, and then at 4 went off to see our next show : Arthur Smith's Swan Lake.


Now we're getting somewhere. The shows up to this point have been good, but just shows.
Arthur Smith is something else. This is a show that utterly defies description. It's a narrated, interactive, funny, utterly silly, reworking (in the loosest, loosest sense of the word) interpretation of Swan Lake. And it takes place in The Stalinist Edinburgh housing estate : Dumbiedykes. No I didn't say it was set there - it takes place there. So the show consisted of Arthur leading you through the estate which is littered with his performers - people up trees, people singing from the stairways and balconies of the tower blocks, an excerpt from West Side Story in the local kiddies adventure playground . . . the interval (standing under a tree in the pouring rain while shivering thesps in their underwear distribute cups of warm neat vodka) conflict (being water-bombed by local kids (all part of the act, (probably)), Valkeies (more kids on skateboards), Elvis, and finally dancers on the mountainside. It was surreal, beautiful, funny, touching, heartwarming, life affirming, utterly silly, completely pointless and the best thing I have ever seen in Edinburgh. Actually the best thing I've ever seen, period. Arthur's done 4 performances, and that's it - finished. It'll never be seen or done again. I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera, but in a way that only makes it more unique.

We were all (those who saw it and hadn't buggered off to Glasgow) utterly charmed by this show, and felt the need to reflect quietly on it, which of course meant retiring to a nearby pub, the utterly charmeless but strangely comforting Holyrood Tavern and starting to drink heavily. A few pints later and we're heading for what, for me, I'd thought was going to be the highlight of the trip : Richard Herring in Someone Likes Yoghurt


There's not a lot I can say about Richard that isn't on his own website. The first time I saw him was WAY back in the day (1994?) doing Richard Herring Is Fat. Which was pretty good, and the year after that, Richard Herring Is All Man. With Sally Philipps as I seem to recall. Next year I saw her in Arthur Smith's Hamlet and she was really mean about an imaginary ex boyfriend called 'Dick Kipper'. Now what was all that about? Anyway, then he and Stuart Lee started doing telly and my attention sort of wandered, but now he's back, and how. I have NEVER laughed at a show as much as I did at this one. At one point I actually put my hands over my ears to stop the words coming in because I thought I was going to stop breathing if I laughed any more. And what was so funny about it? I couldn't tell you. It's too surreal - a stream of pointless, petty, vindictive complaints and diatribes against the world, a good half of which was directed in intense detail at some supermarket check out woman who had hinted that Richard liked yoghurt more than the next averagely lactose tolerant person.

Given that one of the other major thrusts of the show (religion is all crap, especially catholasism) ended with Richard accusing the women in the audience of wanting to have enormous trout swimming up their vaginas, you pretty much get the idea of what's going on here. Apparently he sometimes gets quite a bit of stick at gigs, but I can't imagine why - its the work of a genius in my book. But don't go if a) you are very religious b) you are uncertain about the whole vagina/trout thing c) you are a bisexual serial killer paedophile - Richard's magpie reward system will expose you . . .

Yet more dinner

And after that (can you see a theme developing here) dinner. This time we went to iGGS on Jeffrey street, which does Tapas during the day and then transforms into formal dining Scottish/Spanish fusion at night,. Which is fine with me - back to the lined table cloths, multiple glasses and lots of extra knives and forks. I was reasonably conservative in ordering having a beef carpaccio to start and then an olive crusted cod thing with something. Hari ordered the chicken!! This may not seem outrageous but it's one of our little restaurant unwritten rules - never order the poulet, but by this stage we didn't care. Anarchy.

Cod's a bit rubbish

The chorizo mash that came with Rigg's salmon was a revelation, but my cod was, predictably not that exciting. The olive crust was great, the fish was fresh, it was perfectly cooked to retain moisture, but at the end of the day it's a piece of cod - bland. I can't begin to understand why this flavour free fish has been fished practically to the edge of extinction. I suppose the firm flakiness of the flesh (too many 'f's) is spectacular, but I was reminded why I never order it - it's boring. A couple of bottle of wine went down pretty happily and the bill was about £45 - not too shabby at all.


And onwards and onwards. It was shortly after 11 by then so we thought we'd check out The Famous Spiegeltent. The Famous Spiegeltent writes on it's website :

"The Famous Spiegeltent is a mainstay of the Edinburgh Festivals season and a star in her own right, hosting parties, concerts, clubs and a myriad stunning performances. She has launched the European careers of countless artists and will forever remain the stuff of dreams."

But let me condense that down for them : The Famous Spiegeltent is a big pile of wank. Expensive, rammed and wall to wall with tossers, wankers, louts, oafs, public school numpties and (the horror) rugby bores. Imagine trying to struggle through a heaving tent to an overpriced bar having to listen to some Kiwi cunt behind you rant on and on about 'The Ruggers' while in front you some retarded trust fund chick is glued to her phone ascertaining what her dimwit friends wanted to drink.

Rude Irishman

So naturally Hari and Rigg managed to attract their usual crowd of shambling inadequates and I met the rudest Dubliner I've ever spoken to . Despite being charmless, graceless, short, bald, somewhere in his mid 40's and (nice touch) homeless he'd somehow got it into his head that I'd ruined his chances with Hari and was quite happy to communicate his displeasure to me. Despite at one point meeting some nice older Scots guys the evening was looking grim, but what goes around comes around.

More rude bastards

Rigg bumped into some bloke they'd met on day 1 who'd taken them to his private members club and spent 3 hours talking to them. He completely failed to remember her in any way. Ooopsy. She was just pouring out this tale of woe to me when she spotted Hari talking to some other bloke they'd also met before who she described as 'a right rude bastard' which was odd seeing as he looked like David Aaronovich (see left), but apparently his opening line is (regardless of whether you've met him before or not) "I hope your chat's better than last time". He'd also taken less than 10 minutes to make a totally unwanted and ugly spirited pass as well. Don't forget that normally mild mannered Pan had been drinking pretty much constantly for over 10 hours by now, and fuelled by this, and perhaps some other emotion - the vague aroma of which you can doubtless detect in this travelogue, decided to take matters in hand. Which entailed lurching over to this 6'2" genetic cul-de-sac and bellowing the following classic put down :- "Fuck off mate! And you've got man tits." It was lucky Hari was also telling him to get lost and he was in the process of turning away from her (while she was still talking to him) and it was very noisy. If he heard he didn't show any sign of it.

At that point we thought it would be a good idea to try somewhere else and headed off. On our way out we passed a trio of tall young gentlemen glassy eyed and frozen faced with inebriation wearing jeans, stripey shirts and sports jackets (the off duty uniform of the public school twat) who were shouting 'D'you wanna fuck?" at any and every young lady that passed within 10 feet of them. Ah, Young Britain at play. Charming.


So next up we tried The Grassmarket. This is a not so upmarket, stretch of central Edinburgh full of pubs and bars and somewhere I know well. The first place we tried after asking many equally drunken punters, the infamous Dragonfly Bar wouldn't let us in because they said they were closing early. Maybe they were, maybe they weren't but they don't get a link. Then we tried somewhere else, and finally some other bar or other which seemed fine. It wasn't a big place and not that full but pleasant enough. We'd just got out drinks and sat down and Hari went to the loo and came back telling us that the other bar 'upstairs' was nicer. So we followed her downstairs (weird) and up the other flight to the 'upstairs' bar. And yes it was simply the other side of exactly the same room. About 20 feet away ;-)

Will it never end?

When that joint closed about half an hour later you might think we'd consider going home, and I, at least, was SHATTERED, but oh no, no such luck. We staggered out onto The Grassmarket where all the pubs were chucking out. The population seemed to be about 79.9% drunk kids, 15% bemused German tourists, 4% Borders & Lothian Police, 1% vomit and 0.1% us. Time for another taxi. We headed back towards the Spiegelshite but got off and headed for the student union building. This is famous for several things which in order of importance are : 1) The bar's open till 5am 2) There is no discernible door policy of any kind 3) It's a bit grotty 4) Downstairs is the world's shittest disco bar none. By this stage it was well past 3am and we were past caring about anything really. Don't know when we went home, but I can remember how. By rickshaw.

Nice one.

Day 4

Made it to breakfast but that's as good as it got. Came home. Don't want to think about it. It was U.G.L.Y. Ack

So overall, what can I say about this year's trip to Edinburgh. Basically, I loved it.

Best. Year. Ever.

Normally you spend at least one day in Edinburgh locked in a room with only you and your alcohol poisoning, half the shows are a bunch of arse and you can't stand your friends by the end of the week. None of that happened, though I do seem to have got some sort of throat / neck / ear infection.

Roll on next year. Yeah Baby!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I just got back from three days doing the fringe in Edinburgh. I had the best time, but now I'm completely fucked.

Will write more later.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Victor, nettoyeur

Is it wrong to oppose the continued expansion of the European Union on the grounds that I might end up having to clean my own flat one day. My current cleaner is called Anna and comes from Estonia. She’s very tall and beautiful and both speaks and writes English perfectly. So why is she cleaning my flat - God only knows, but now that the Baltics have joined the EU it surely can’t go on for long.

Actually she took over from her sister who had to go back home on account of how she couldn’t stand living in London a second longer. Which I suppose is fair enough. If I was stuck living in a hovel somewhere cleaning other people’s flats at £20 a throw I wouldn’t like it much either.

Before that I had a very interesting lady from South Africa. She used to drink a bottle of red wine every time she came, and she normally turned up in the morning. I didn’t mind, she brought her own. Eventually she had do stop as she completely fucked up her tendons on some broken glass (fortunately not at my place). I still see her in the pub occasionally.

Years and years ago I used to have a Spanish cleaner, but I think she just liked it. She wore really strange brightly coloured PVC clothes, was very tanned and wrinkled and had lots of gold teeth. She was the best cleaner you could ever imagine and used over 2 liters of bleach every single week. Can’t imagine what she did with the stuff, but it certainly made the flat smell clean.

Does anyone except me find it profoundly depressing to check your mail at 8.15 in the morning and find that 3 of your chums have already made it into the office, had time to get a coffee, peruse their emails and send out appropriate replies.

Whatever happened to rolling into the office at 9.25 smelling of drink and complaining about frozen points at Haywards Heath?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Christ! I just found out that Carol (see previous post) only lives round the corner from me.

I hope she doesn't pop round to give me a piece of her mind for writing such cheeky things about her. What if she starts stalking me?


Yeah, Baby!

Is it just me or does anyone else think that Lucy Mangan from The Guardian is ridiculously hot. Don't know what it is - something about her little smile, those quizzical eyebrows, that head girl haircut. Yummy. And that's not a word I use often.

It's certainly not her writing that does it for me, not that there's anything wrong with it per se, but she is unfortunately the type of journalist that surely cannot long continue to exist, that is, the 'columnist'. These people have basically made a jolly good, self indulgant and freebie loaded living since the 1960's by producing a few hundred low-level amusing words every week about what happened to them, how this reflects the current cultural zeitgeist, and why their inane ramblings are of paramount importance and significance.

Some of them are good, like the wonderful Nicolas Lezard of Slack Dad fame, some of them are ridiculously lionized and over-indulged (stand up one J. Burchill) and some are just utterly shit - Barbara Ellen please collect your prize.

But what they will all surely be in the not too distant future is unemployed. I mean how long can it be before newspapers cotton on to the fact that there are millions of people around the world doing exactly the same thing as these people only funnier, quicker and most importantly cheaper. Well free in fact. And it's all down to us, the lonely Blogger. After all, why shell out all that money and waste all that ink when you can get the same result from printing a couple of URLs?

Which is, of course, bad news for the hyper-caliente Ms Mangan. Despite her brave attempts to move into TV criticism this cannot head off her inevitable doom, after all any old idiot can watch The O.C. and then write 800 words about why they love/hate/don't understand it. So Lucy faces the chop with only her rolodex to protect her. Bad news for her, but not for me ;) Let me explain a simple little concept I came up with a few years ago - Carol Decker Rules. Should you be a bit sad and/or creepy you will remember Decker as the lion lunged lead singer of pop sensations T'Pau. Well anyway, as a schoolboy I developed a powerful crush on her, which is odd because she's not my usual type at all, but there you go - what can you do about it?

So I'm 15 or so, live with my parents and have a really bad haircut, what are the chances of pulling chart topping flavour of the month Carol? Exactly none, or just astronomically close to none? Well the answere is exactly none. But, but, but, move forward a decade or two, and where does that find us? I no longer live with my parents, am, in fact quite successful in my chosen field and have a great haircut. And hair for that matter. But where is Carol? Who knows? Cast aside by the cruel hand of fate anyway. T'Pau never really went anywhere and apart from some tragic semi revival type gigs Carol hasn't done anything since. Chances of pulling her now? : considerably improved. You'd think she'd be quite grateful ;-)

And this is the basis of celebrities who are said to be suffering under 'Carol Decker Rules'. Ex media darlings who have fallen on hard times and would therefore be willing to go out with mere mortals such as ourselves. Of course some people will never be covered by Carol Decker rules - Julie Christie, Catherine Deneuve, Madonna spring to mind - because they are simply legends, and others, whilst unloved and unemployed are simply too rich - Britney et al are natural candidates here.

And so back to Lucy. Whilst employed as one The Grauniad's self important chatterboxes it's pretty unlikely she'd go out with yer average Joe - she's bound to go for some bullet headed city type with a 6 figure salary and a flat in Chelsea. Plus all those freebies and invites to ghastly launches and offers of free holidays must be something you could get used to. But after her and her fellow hacks are thrown onto the scrapheap of life by us bloggers in the manner of a 1985 vintage miner, well we'll just have to see won't we. I think a year or two living in a, ooh, I dunno, how about Easterhouse in Glasgow and who knows, but you'd have to say that if you suddenly turned up in the local Cost-Cutter where Lucy is now manning the fag cabin you'd have to think that your chances would be improved.

Oh yes.

She will be mine.

One way or another.

Actually if I was being entirely honest even Carol Decker isn't really covered by Carol Decker rules. It's a sad world.

I went out in Clapham on Thursday with Hari & Teej and met Teej's new fiancee. He was pissed as a newt, but it'd be fair to say that we all were. Since meeting him Teej has undergone a quite significant change in outlook. She now always wears a shortish skirt - "you've gotta show knee", apparently - some sort of sparkly top and a pair of strappy shoes. And of course her stonking £12,500 engagement ring. He seems like a nice guy, already has a couple of rug rats and an ex-wife, so that's out of the way. Apparently he proposed on their third date. Anyway he seems to have everything that Teej is looking for in a man - he likes getting shockingly drunk, smoking and doesn't mind Teej doing the same. Plus he's got stacks of cash.

In fact, and I don't mean this in a bad way, but Teej has kinda turned into Julie Cooper!

So anyway, don't really remember getting home, but think I went and had some sort of heart to heart with Hari later . . . ah the demon drink.

So Friday was a total train wreck, but managed to pull myself together enough for Saturday night - went out with Hari again and Mac & Ana, just drinkies. Well we started off at Bertorelli's and then went on to The Cambridge on Goodge Street (as standard a boozer as you're likely to find), followed by Hakkasan and then on to The Troy Bar. The Troy Bar, by the way doesn't really need any more publicity, but should you be really desperate I'm sure you can find it. Here's what someone else said about it, and I can really only agree :-

"The Troy Club is a very seedy dirty dark upstairs room with a bar in it, which opens at 11pm and then suddenly fills up to overcapacity and starts turning people away, and seems only to stop serving when the last person goes away. Nasty but nice."

And then some finals at Mac's place. Got home about 6am to find my flatmates locked in the bathroom. They'd basically drunk so much and taken so many pills that they'd lost the plot completely. They were still in there when I went to bed about 8 . . . silly girls.

Stangely didn't feel too bad at all today, s'pose the drinking was spread out over about 10 hours . . .

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I really want to redesign my site. I mean it's pretty functional right now, but seriously this grey red & black shit keeps making me think I'm in some kind of 1980's style catalogue.

So I'll redesign.

But then I think about having to read through all that blogger crap again, not to mention my own mangkled style sheets etc and then I remember why my web designing is strictly limited to coming up with screenshots and process flows and giving them to web monkeys to create. CBA* factor.

* Can't Be Arsed.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I love Camembert but it has to be properly ripe. When you buy them from a supermarket or deli they are never anywhere nearly ripe. You can tell because a) they feel hard and b) the inside contains dry white crumbly stuff instead of yellow oozing goo.

In the fridge they take forever to ripen up so I tend to put them in a tupperware box and leave them on top of the microwave for a couple of days, and then they're perfect. Mmmmm.

So I was walking round Waitrose and I suddenly thought - need some cheese. And then I thought - hold on, don't I have something ripening on top of the mirowave since, er, last week. OK. So go home, look for the bloody thing - is it there? No. Is it in the fridge? No. Has ir fallen down the back of the cupboard? Yes. So I fished the thing out opened up the tupperware and (with some difficulty) cut a piece out. Frankly, ladies and gentlemen, the smell . . .

It had gone, not so much runny, as gelatinous, oozing, sort of sentient. So anyway I ate a piece and it was deliecious beyond the needs of mortal man. Just waiting now to see what happens guts wise. Have to admit that part of it was, er, bubbling slightly.

Mmmmmm . . .

The other interesting thing about Belfast is that as the 11th July (or whenever it is) has only just been there's an absolute orgy of Loyalist paraphenalia in the streets - in strongly Unionist areas the streets are zigzagged with red white and blue bunting and everywhere you look you see flags - Union Flags, The Cross of St George, The Cross of St Andrew, The Ulster Flag, and then the others as well, Orange Order flags, UDA flags, UVF flags, UFF flags - if you can think of a homicidal Loyalist splinter group you'll be able to find their flags flying without any difficulty.

I also went to a bbq outside Belfast - up by Kerrigfergus. This is a pretty middle class area but still staunchly Loyalist. Consequently the barbies was a very organised and middle aged affair, though with quite a bit of drink flowing.

After it got dark the karaoke and guitar came out and people started singing. Obviously there was quite a bit of Don McClean and The Beach Boys to start with and then we moved onto Country & Western and from there it was logical to go to The Proclaimers, which quite naturally led us to traditional folk singing and then laments and you suddenly realise that we're only half a can of lager away from songs about Good King Billy and The Apprentice Boys of Belfast. Weird. But interesting.

It was also, I should add, absolutely bloody freezing. I've never been so cold at a barbeque before. At least it kept the beers cold ;-)

Monday, August 08, 2005

I am bushed. I've been in Belfast for the last few days, and what with the travelling and the non-stop partying and the helping people move house it was all pretty tiring. In fact I was so zonked that I broke my vow and stopped to pick something up from the Golden Arches.

And it tasted just as good as it looks.

Anyhoo - Belfast - loads of fun as usual - went clubbing on Friday night to the ridiculously cool Potthouse. OK - I say ridiculoously cool. Well the space is anyway :-

Not quite so sure about the punters :-

Everyone was pretty blinged up. Well the Laiideeess were anyway. Interesting as the floors are made of glass to observe the initial reicence of some young women to step out onto it in a micro skirt, at least until a few drinks have gone down, while others seemed only too keen to leap on out there. Definitely something a bit exhibitionist / voyeursitic about the whole thing. And what's wrong with that?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

I don't seem able to do things in the correct amount of time. To whit : going away. I can do one of two things. be wildly late - slamming out the door with seconds to spare and leaving half the things i need behind or I'm ready an hour before even the most conservative estimate tells me i have to leave.

what can you do with an hour spent waiting for it to be time to leave the house for the airport? basically nowt. have a cup of tea, surf the blogosphere, write an entry, watch some porn, that's about it.

See you Monday :)

As an exercise in history revision and killing time before having to shower, pack and head Heathrow-wards I'm listening to A Sauceful of Secrets, which I'm fairly sure I can't have listened to since about 1989.

I'd really like to be able to lay down some truthful vibes about the agelessness and freshness of this trancendent piece of psychadelia. But I can't. It's actually a bit (sotte voce) bollocks. 20% good, 20% absolute shite and 60% trippy noodling which might be good with some acid and a gigantic dooby, but that's about it.

People who should listen to this album :-

  1. People experiencing heart palpitations
  2. Evil breadheads
  3. The man

People who probably shouldn't bother :-
  1. Cycle couriers carrying vital transport organs
  2. The faintly suicidal
  3. Air traffic controlers. Man I hope not.

Corporal Clegg Lyrics

Corporal Clegg had a wooden leg
He won it in the war In nineteen forty four.

Corporal Clegg had a medal too
In orange, red, and blue
He found it in the zoo.

Dear, dear were they really sad for me?
Dear, dear will they really laugh at me?

Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him.
Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin.
Corporal Clegg umbrella in the rain
He's never been the same
No one is to blame

Corporal Clegg recieved his medal in a dream
From Her Majesty the queen
His boots were very clean.
Mrs. Clegg, you must be proud of him
Mrs. Clegg, another drop of gin?

Corporal Clegg
Corporal Clegg

Rock on Guys ;-)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I just love this :-

Courtesy of runs with scissors

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

I watched A Hole in My Heart (Ett hâl i mitt hjärta) a couple of days ago. It's Lukas Moodysson's fourth film, and wasn't very well received when it was released.

I can sort of see why, but I think the critics were wrong. It's pretty bleak, even grim for much of the film, and you really get the feeling that not all of it is entirely ficticious - there's a slight aroma of snuff about the whole thing .

However to some extent that's what the film is about - us watching them watching eachother, and filming the proceedings. The film within a film motif is used throughout as the 'plot' of the movie is that they're making an amateur, and seemingly very unpleasant porn film. What i think the film is relly about is that people aren't usually evil or even bad, but basically haven't much of an idea what they should be doing to make themselves happy and are grasping at any straw they can reach.

Very very disturbing stuff. I would strongly recommend it, but don't watch it with your nan.

Unless your nan is Vivienne Westwood perhaps.

Some more pictures from the roof

pumping station

canary wharf

the city

you can probably work out where I live from these. If you're good at triangulation.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I think, I think, my hangover has finally gone. Thank the Lord. It must have because I did something i haven't done for years. I ate a potnoodle.

It was indescribably horrible. Never again.

Unbelieveable. It's the first of August and it feels more like the first of November. Just look at this sky :-

Stupid seagulls

I've been buying art recently. Well 2 paintings to be more precise. This by my good friend Marise Rose :-

and this by a guy called Iain Connell

Apparently it's a nude. Could have fooled me. But I really like both of them.

This combination of getting my camera properly sorted and blogger now supporting pictures is totally going to my head.

As I can't sleep I have (amongst other things) been readng my old blog entries, and I'm happy to confess that quite a few of them made me laugh out loud.

I took this in Mongolia about 3 years ago. Suffered a bit in translation from the original print, but you get the idea:-

well for someone with such a mind blowing, gut wrenching, slit your wrists it's that bad hangover I'm being remarkably productive today. Got my camera working. Yay!

Taken from my roof after our last barbeque - sunrise.