Sunday, 11 December 2011

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

from within the benfleet bunker

Today Lance kindly took some time out from his busy schedule writing piano ballads in the style of a particularly sombre Brett Anderson contemplating a solitary rotten apple in a cracked fruit bowl to sit for the above photograph.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Notes to Self
#1

Next time when making a self-deprecating remark about fighting them off, do not say beating them off.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

 Nick Drake, Saturday Sun, from the album Five Leaves Left (1969)


Life Lessons
#23

Just remember; no matter how bad you think you've got it, Nick Drake will always have it worse.

Monday, 12 September 2011

I had to take out another spider last night. Popped a cap in his ass. This one was quite big - bigger than Martin Holmes for sure. For a moment I thought it was Jamie Duxberry, scuttling across the bedroom floor, but it turned out to be somebody new altogether. A new kid in town. I'm not sure what's become of Jamie Duxberry; he was last seen in the downstairs toilet. Nothing since. Strange, but he'll show up.

This one last night though... woah. I didn't catch a name. It was all over so quickly anyhow. He scuttled across the rug, down onto the carpet and then came to rest amongst a mélange of cables and wires by the plug socket. There was a brief stand-off where I jumped (out of my skin and) up onto the bed. In a panic I looked around the room for a glass or a cup, or any kind of receptacle with which I could capture it, but there was nothing. I needed to act fast; once they go too deep into the wires you'll never coax them out. At this point I saw the Right Guard on the bedside cabinet, grabbed it, jumped down from the bed and struck the spider in the face. At least one leg came free upon impact. I wasn't proud. I couldn't be sure that it was dead though, so I had to strike it several times. It was kinda like one of those scenes in a film where the murderer will keep bludgeoning the body - even though it's clearly dead - and a fine mist of blood is spraying all over their face.

When it was over I used the toilet roll method to dispose of the body. With luck the whole thing would have been seen by another spider and it'll serve as a warning.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Watching Jonathan Ross. The Saturdays are so incredibly dull. I can't believe I'm writing this, but their appearance means that the Red Hot Chili Peppers might not be the worst band on the show tonight.

Edit: I take it back.

New Stuff

We recorded a couple of new songs this week. One on Thursday and one this morning. It's hard to be objective about this kind of thing - given that I'm kinda involved and all - but I think they're both pretty good. Lyrically they're very much cut from the same cloth. Heh, I have no idea why I've started talking in metaphors a lot more recently. It's a habit I'm gonna have to kick. Hmmm, is the habit-kicking thing another metaphor? Christ, I'm in trouble.

Anyway, these songs, I feel they're definitely up there with the better things we've done. Although I should probably stop going on about them now as even I can see that I'm coming across like a big old prick. But, then again, fuck it... it's my party and I'll cry if I want to. It's a blog! Sometimes it's okay to write about this kind of stuff. I can also mention that I had some very nice German pate on toast earlier if I want to. And I do... and I did. Two slices, with black pepper. Deal with it. I did. I dealt with it good. Orally. It was a garlicky pate... not really my ideal choice, but I guess you can't always get what you want. On the plus side it was in cute little sausage form, the pate, and I've never had the pleasure of doing the whole stab and spread thing before, so that was nice.

Of the new stuff, one of them is called Our Separate Ways and the other is called Tonight. Neither of them are the kind of thing that I want to be writing (i.e. upbeat catchy pop!) but I'm proud of both of them. Hopefully I can post them soon, and then I can go on about whether or not what passes for my lyrics are full of mundane & obvious clichés, or just very direct. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I don't know. I guess that stylistically and thematically both of the songs are very much related to this one. Kind of.

Friday, 9 September 2011

I have become obsessed with the word sprootle.

I don't know what it means, why I use it, or even what context it should be used in, but I am obsessed. It's really pleasing. I'm throwing it out there left, right and centre. Sounds like maybe it should be the name of a small sweet to me. Like Starburst, but not square-shaped. Hmm, if sprootles were sweets I'd imagine they'd be more like a big bag of Skittles, only larger, and each individual sprootle would have it's own papery wrapping like Starburst. Basically they would be a cross between Starburst and Skittles but with a really weak and watered-down taste. Sprootles would be subtle in flavour but high in fun.

Anyway, I got really excited a few days ago thinking I'd invented the word roffle (which could be deployed as an alternative to ROFL - not that I've ever used ROFL) so I went and Goggled it straight away and everything seemed to be fine. No matches. Nothing whatsoever... but after doing that I did the sensible thing, Googled it, and found that some fucking munce had beaten me to it. Ha, see what I did there? Goggled/Googled. Yeah, I know. Hilarious. Laugh a minute. Your face is aching. I understand. Still, awesome joke aside, I'm pretty disappointed someone got there first.

Edit: FFS. Somebody's got to le mayo as well.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Okay, I know that I'm running the risk of turning my blog into one of those annoying things where people just post an endless stream of links and clips to stuff belonging to other people (like those friends we all have on the facebook that post jokes they've clearly found in some dank, smelly & wholly-unfunny hole on the internet and pass off as their own) but, anyway, I just saw this video on youtube and laughed so much that I feel it is my duty as a blogger of sorts to share it with my readership, however tiny it may be. Hmmm, actually I think it's my duty as a human being to share this shit. It's your duty as well. Go on, do it. Do it. It's Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco performing I Gotta Feeling by the Black Eyed Peas, and it's pretty great.

Monday, 5 September 2011

In too deep

We kind of have this running joke in our house. It all stemmed from a time where my dad (who really shouldn't be using stuff like ebay, on account of not understanding the fundamentals of using a computer... such as what a cursor is, and a button, and the desktop, or an address bar etc.) found himself in a bit of a pickle after a mix up with seller fees or something. To cut a long story short he hadn't paid them. So he was sent a reminder by ebay which he somehow managed to miss, and another, and another. Eventually he signed into ebay again to buy some kind of portable water tank or something and he stumbles across this series of messages in his inbox. I come home and find him sitting at the computer in a panic crying out that he's "in too deep!" over and over again. I explain to him what's happened, that it's not the end of the world, and that ideally he should learn how to use ebay before committing to buying things on it and all that stuff, and then I log into paypal and pay the outstanding fees. Anyway, everything is ok. Since then however, it's fast become a catchphrase as he'll frequently find himself in similar situations... almost always involving ebay or some other kind of web-based transaction... and, after all, you must remember that he's of the generation that genuinely seem to believe that clicking on the wrong icon could actually kill you or result in the computer turning into a raging fireball, killing everyone.

Yesterday morning we were sitting in the garden having a cup of tea. He was browsing a caravan magazine and we were chatting about something or other - I can't remember exactly what - but I definitely remember that the suggestion came up that he was getting in too deep, or had already gotten in too deep. I'm not sure which. But I'm rambling now... the point is that it suddenly struck me that my dad's epitaph must be "in too deep". I think it's great. A fitting tribute. So we've discussed it and it's definitely going to happen. Just need to work out how I'm gonna kill him now...

Friday, 2 September 2011

The Darjeeling Limited and a fuckload of cornflakes... oh it's Friday night alright.


x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Martin Holmes is now dead.
I have a bit of a problem. Heh, well, to be honest, I have many problems... but, hey, that's a whole different kettle of fish. Specifically I have one particular problem that I feel the need to share. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that, eh? Well yes, yes it is, and lucky for you I'm going to unburden myself right here, right now, and you're gonna read it. You lucky, lucky sod... and you know what else? You're gonna fucking well enjoy it too. Ok, look, my problem is this; these last few days I've come across several spiders crawling around the house. Several more then I'm entirely comfortable with... I mean, nothing major, just a few little critters scattered about here and there. So far I've been turning a blind eye, so to speak. I've even found the bodies of a couple of big ones. Big horrible hairy ones with boney joints. But still... blind eye. They looked crunchy. I haven't eaten one but I have imagined what they would feel like on my tongue and between my teeth if somehow they managed to end up in my mouth. But now I'm worried as there's a big one in the bathroom. A big, hairy, live one with a degree intelligence. I know that it's an intelligent spider as it's made a very good choice of home, setting up web in a cranny between the hand basin and the tiles. It could even be a nook, I'm not sure. It's chosen there though.

Anyway, this morning I was sent a link to this article on the Guardian website about spiders and it's kinda shaken me up a little. As you know, I'm not a huge fan of the spider. I might've mentioned it. I can't be bothered to trawl back through my posts to find it, but maybe one or two of my three valued (and once regular) readers will remember the entry a couple of years ago dealing with my disposal of a spider and, in turn, the vacuum cleaner that was used for the task.

So I read the Guardian article and thought that I'd give it a go. I'd name that little fucker. I then bravely ventured back into the bathroom and took a good look at the spider in order to ascertain his name. I'm a firm believer that if you look at something long enough then an appropriate name will come to you. This is why our inherited cat Sage is perhaps better known now as Muffman. Like the Guardian piece said, the spider was clearly a male, and I started to feel the name coming through. It was strong and I was clearly getting Holmes. Clear as day. As in Sherlock Holmes. Only it wasn't Sherlock that I was feeling, but rather it was something more down to earth and approachable. It was Martin. Yup, it was immediately apparent to me that this spider was called Martin Holmes.

And the article was true. I looked at that little (big) spider sitting there on the wall, partially obscured by the basin, applied the name to him and felt a lot better about the whole thing. I left the bathroom and came back into my room safe in the knowledge that Martin Holmes was nothing to worry about. Besides he'd been there for the best part of four days and barely moved; he was harmless. Once he'd got the name it was obvious that he wasn't a member of some kind of complex arachnid terror cell. He wasn't planning anything. He was just an average Joe getting on with the daily grind. I suppose that on some level I developed some kind of feeling for him.

But sadly this feeling has not lasted. I went out for a little walk, down to the beach and back... half an hour max... and in that time everything has changed. I thought that I'd go check on Martin Holmes when I got back in, see if he'd maybe moved a little or something (and I also needed to use the toilet if I'm honest. I drink a lot of tea after all.) To my horror Martin Holmes had disappeared. He was no longer there. No sign of him whatsoever. I'm absolutely shit scared now... you see, this is what you get if you lower your guard and put your trust in something you shouldn't. And, by God, spiders cannot be trusted. I have no idea where he's gone, and that's the worst part of it; he could be anywhere by now.

Fuck fuck fuck. I should've got the Dyson out when I had the chance.

Monday, 13 June 2011

A few weeks ago I posted a massive rambling entry about this car accident I had in February and the frustrating situation which I found myself in as a result of it. So, just to recap; **Previously on Adam's Interesting Blog** a fool (bald) in a lorry tried to take a shortcut through my car. Anyway, yeah, there's no police involved (massive mistake kids, always call the cops. If in doubt, call the fuzz. Get on the blower to the rozzers. Pronto) and this guy doesn't even bother reporting it to his insurance. In short, he is sub-human, a worm of a man. A cretinous worm. A bald cretinous worm. 6 weeks later (or 7, or 8... I don't even know anymore) my solicitor finally manages to coax a response from this guy's insurance company, and this is what they receive:

‘Our insured was travelling in the middle lane of the A2 with your client in the nearside lane. As the nearside lane then splits off from the other lanes your client has simply pulled out across the path of our insured and into collision with them. Our insured did not change lanes as alleged.

We are currently seeking independent witness evidence. However, in view of the accident circumstances we must hold your client fully responsible.’

Yesterday I arrived back London after spending the weekend back home in Essex to find a cheque for £1,395.00 inside an envelope for the damage to my vehicle. I think it's fair to say that my written response to the above paragraph absolutely nailed him. So, apologies in advance for the length of this entry, but I thought that I would post my entire response below. Despite my urge to refine it a little, to cut out a word here or there and make it read a little better, I'm just going to paste it in exactly as sent. I was pretty angry at the time and had to chop out quite a lot of sarcastic stuff, but thankfully some remains. I think it's a good read, if perhaps a little fiddly. I mean, really, this guy was a scumbag and I wasn't really thinking too much about how it was all hanging together as a coherent piece of writing (Ha... much like this entry). I just wanted to get it all down on the page. Anyway I'm talking way too much. Here goes...

Oh yeah, and in the interest of privacy and all that I've decided to replace the name of the lorry driver with that of the former EastEnders actor Michael Greco. The work has clearly dried up for him and, to be honest, I think he could do with the gig.


"On Friday 25th February 2011, at approximately 14:00, I was driving eastbound on the A2 Rochester Way Relief Road. I was in the left-hand lane, travelling at 50mph – having just gone through a speed camera – and had just passed the point where the road branches off to join the A205. Having driven this route several times before, I knew that I would be turning off soon to join the M25 fairly soon hence I was in the left lane. The weather conditions were good – being the early afternoon – and traffic was light.

I was aware of a lorry just behind me in the right-hand lane as I approached the speed camera zone and the branch-off. I could see from my offside wing mirror that it was very close to the back of my car – approximately level with my rear wheels. Everything was fine as I passed where the road branched off until, seconds later, I heard an extremely loud crash. My car was then out of my control and started to veer to the right. I knew instantly that the lorry had made contact. I managed to correct the steering and keep the car relatively straight, however the lorry continued to plough across into my lane. I was absolutely terrified. The lorry had clearly changed lanes without bothering to check whether or not it was safe to do so.

At this point, with the lorry forcing across into my lane from the right, I lifted my foot off of the accelerator pedal and continued to try to keep my car on the road. I was terrified that I would be forced off of the carriageway and down onto the road (the A205) that runs underneath. Because the lorry driver was unaware of my car being there – something which he would later confirm to me – he was not slowing down. As a result, my car, upon a second substantial impact, turned sideways so that my entire offside was pushed up against his front grill and was pushed along the carriageway until both vehicles came to rest. This second impact was where my offside front window shattered, showering me with glass.

The vehicles came to rest with the lorry occupying the majority of the left lane of the carriageway and my car wedged against the front of the lorry at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the road. My car was partially obscuring the right lane, so we were blocking both lanes of traffic. To his credit, Michael Greco did exit his vehicle fairly soon after we came to rest, however I have since sadly come to realise that this seemed more to do with the fact that he wanted to move the vehicles as soon as possible to remove any evidence rather than anything else. Having just been on the receiving end of such a surprising and terrifying experience I was sitting in my car in a state of shock. It’s no exaggeration to say that I feared for my life from the moment of the first impact. I have been driving for the best part of 8 years with no incident, so this was an unprecedented and most unwelcome situation for me. From what I can gather this is not something shared by Michael Greco, who implied to me in the conversation following the incident that he had been involved in something quite similar relatively recently. I recall him saying something along the lines of how ‘these claims can take ages’ and how he only recently had one settled. This certainly suggests to me the reason why he was so keen to move the vehicles as soon as possible and that this was a tactical move on Michael Greco’s behalf so any witnesses stuck behind would have been able to pass through.

Michael Greco exited his vehicle and came around to the front where my car was and asked if I was okay or if I was injured etc. At the time I felt quite relieved to have been alive still. I said that I thought I was okay, and then asked him why he had cut across into my lane. I asked how it was possible that he hadn’t seen me – especially as he’d been driving along in the right-hand lane behind me for the last few minutes at least. His reply was that, yes, he had been aware that I was there, but that he “assumed that I had turned off” where the road had branched to the left. I assured him that, as he could see now, I most definitely had not turned off. It was at this point that Michael Greco first muttered something about whether or not I’d seen “what a car just did up ahead”. I had no idea what he was talking about, but it subsequently dawned on me that this could be a possible reason why he had let his concentration slip so much as to forget that a car was travelling along a dual-carriageway, slightly ahead of him in the lane on the left in broad daylight. In this initial exchange, Michael Greco also said – when I asked why he didn’t appear to slow down in too much of a hurry after he first made impact – that he thought he had a puncture or that there was something wrong with his engine. Once again I assured him that the reason why he was slowing down was because he had a car wedged sideways against his front grill.

I was still in a state of shock and unsure of what to do next. Having never been in such a situation before, I asked whether we should call the police. Michael Greco suggested that because nobody was badly hurt and as the car hadn’t rolled over, it would be best to move the vehicles to the hard-shoulder. He was quite quick in asking me whether the ignition was working and the car had drive. His implication was that this was not serious enough for the police. However, in hindsight, it is obvious to me that calling the police would have absolutely been the right thing to do, and that by moving the vehicles Michael Greco knew that he was significantly raising his chances of getting away with what was a reckless and unsafe road manoeuvre as any independent witnesses would be lost. Being confused and still in shock, I agreed to move the car to the hard shoulder. He got back into his cab and reversed slightly along the carriageway. My car was freed from his grill and I managed to turn it back the right way and drive along a short distance to the hard shoulder with Michael Greco’s lorry following close behind.

Once we stopped on the hard shoulder I was finally able to get out of my car. I was experiencing quite an unpleasant tingling sensation down my right side, in my arm and leg. Here we exchanged insurance details and contact details. I made sure that I had his correct mobile number by ringing my phone from his at the scene. I then took a photo of the front of Michael Greco’s lorry, as well as the damage to my car. Michael Greco took several photographs of the significant damage to my car and his body language and general demeanour at this time suggested that he was wearing this almost as a badge of honour. This is when Michael Greco gave me the impression that he had been involved in this kind of thing before. He seemed somewhat overly friendly by this point, in quite a jovial mood, something I put down possibly to shock at the time. After all, I am not suggesting that he deliberately caused a crash, but I can understand that he would have been equally shocked, given that his lapse of concentration and judgement had resulted in such an incident. After all of this, Michael Greco drove off, leaving me to organise recovery of my vehicle from the side of the A2.

Of all this, I am most puzzled by the fact that Michael Greco would appear to admit to being involved in an incident with my car, yet he never reported it to his insurance company. He took photographs, many photographs, of the damage which my vehicle had sustained yet he never had the common decency to report this to his insurance. I find it mortifying that he can cause a collision with a car which sustained the level of damage which mine did and still not think it worthy enough to report to his insurance company. I contacted my insurance immediately on the 25th. The 25th of February is also the first time that I contacted Michael Greco’s insurance. I would then go on to contact Michael Greco's insurance company several times over the following weeks, only to be told that they had been unable to contact him. I believe the line was that they had “yet to receive a response from Michael Greco”.

I can’t believe Michael Greco has the audacity to suggest that I, a driver with eight years of experience with no previous incident, would fail to see a lorry driving along just behind me in the lane to the right of my car. It would be amusing if it wasn’t such a serious issue, as I can’t help but wonder what is more likely; that I, driving a Nissan Micra, would fail to spot a lorry driving just behind me in the lane to my right, or that a lorry – with its raised driver sight-line – would fail to see a Nissan Micra driving along in the lane to its left. Of course, the most depressing thing is that, although he has finally accepted that he was involved in this incident, Michael Greco has felt the need to completely fabricate his response. His statement that I moved from the left lane into the right, is ridiculous as I had been in the left lane since joining the A2 and had remained there, in anticipation that I would be turning off left to join the M25 towards Essex. Given the weather conditions, time of day and lightness of traffic, as well as the fact that I was driving home in no hurry as it was my day off, I had no need to be in an overtaking lane.

I dread to think that he is still on the road and able to cause accidents like these to other drivers. I would hate for someone to experience what I had to and be met with initial indifference and the response that it was their own fault. "

I told you it was long.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Beard status update

I decided to shave the beard off. A complete removal. The experiment is over. Please don't send flowers, I would prefer that you donated a little something to charity instead. Thank you. Stay safe.

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Shadow Line...

...is turning out to be a bloody good piece of television. Did the BBC really make this?

Really?? The same corporation that systematically churns out shit such as New Tricks, Life of Riley and Hustle?

I mean - and, really, I mean this with all seriousness - even the title sequence is wiping the floor with everything else on TV at the moment. That music is just incredibly moving. I will admit that some of the dialogue in scenes involving the actress Kierston Wareing is unintentionally laughable - most notably the bizarrely sexually-charged exchanges in the third episode where she found herself caught in a (supposedly tense) stand-off with a gun-brandishing suspect armed only with a wire coat hanger, but other than that there's a lot to love about the series. Apparently she's from Leigh-on-Sea though, so everything's okay. Water under the bridge and all that.

Genuinely brilliant stuff. Go watch.

And if you have the means to do so, watch in HD. I'm telling you; you have not truly experienced the sheer face of Christopher Eccleston until you've experienced it in high definition. License. Fee. Alone.


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Monday, 23 May 2011

Beard status update

Though I continue to have my reservations about the whole episode, it seems that my beard is going down quite well with the general public. This evening after work I met a friend who I hadn't seen in the flesh for well over a year, and his first words to me post handshake were words of a beard-related nature. Indeed words of a complimentary beard-related nature at that. Anyway, as is my wont, I questioned their sincerity and whether it was really okay. He assured me that it was a beard, said that it made me look like a "proper academic" (I am not an academic) and we left it at that.

On a side note, I trimmed the moustache element of the beard with scissors over the weekend. What a revelation! I feel like a new man. I wonder what else this hair on my face has in store for me.

(More beard stuff soon)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Biggie

If all's well and good with the world you should be reading this entry in a nice new colour. Maybe there will be some pleasing shapes and things going on around it too. Bells and whistles. This is because I'm thinking that my good old blog needs a bit of a spruce up. It's been a long time since I changed the colour scheme and, frankly, the blue template that I've been using is depressing. More than likely it's going to be another template job. Anyway, enough of that, let's blog!

You probably won't know/care but three months ago I was involved in a car accident - nothing major (I mean, I didn't die and neither did anybody else) but it left my car a write-off. Put simply, I was struck from the rear by a lorry on a dual carriageway when it decided to cut across into the lane I'd been driving in without any warning, not seeming to worry about the little Nissan Micra that had been quite happily chugging along there for some time. Somewhat incredibly, the driver of the lorry failed to spot this little car that he had been following for god knows how long and proceded to plough across from the overtaking lane, through my car and into the left lane. It was a major shock for me... after all, we were travelling at 50mph at the time. To suddenly hear a loud crash and feel the car disappear from beneath me... man, that was scary.

Moments after the initial impact my car was swerving all over the place and I was desperately trying to correct the steering to avoid going off the carriageway and falling down on to another major road that runs beneath. I remember quite vividly thinking this is how people die. It was quite an awful realisation to be honest, and I'm not getting all melodramatic over it; that people just die. Anyone. Life can be this one great glorious fanfare or whatever, and then you choke to death on a chicken nugget. It's so terribly mundane. Anyway, the lorry driver continued to move into my lane, even when my car was wedged against his front grill at a 90 degree angle to the direction of the road, until he eventually twigged that something had happened and we came to rest. I was amazed by his response when I asked how it was possible that he'd managed not to see me there; he said that he'd been aware of me but "assumed" that I'd turned off.

I was in shock. It felt pretty major to me and, honestly, I didn't really know what to do in this situation. It's something that I had absolutely no experience or reference points to draw from. We'd been in a collision on a major road, a lorry had hit me and my car was in a terrible state. I wasn't feeling too good either. I wondered whether we should call the police, but the driver of the lorry seemed to have other ideas and suggested that we move the vehicles if we could to the hard shoulder. This would be something that I would come to regret... mainly because calling the police is such an obvious thing to do in this situation (hindsight is a wonderful thing, I know) but also because, at the moment he suggested we move the vehicles, he knew that he could get away with it. In my susceptible state I fell for it. It sickens me.

I'd love to go into the details and name the guy, but really the only thing that I can say on the matter is that it takes a certain sort of person to cause an accident like that - an accident that wrote-off a car and could so easily have killed me - and yet not even have the common decency to report it to their insurance company. A certain type of person to stand there laughing and joking around, taking photographs of the car he just wrecked with his neglegent & dangerous driving, wearing it as some kind of badge of honour. I'm not even talking about admitting liabilty here either; I'm talking about the basic etiquette (legal requirement??) of reporting a traffic accident. That he thinks he can get away with it is possibly the saddest thing of all. I contacted my insurance company as soon as I was able to do so. I then went on to contact his insurance company several times over the course of the month that followed only to be told that they had so far been unable to contact their client. Bullshit. He finally decided to respond once the solicitors got involved, albeit to laughably suggest that it was in fact I, in a Nissan Micra, that failed to see him, in a big fuck-off lorry, who caused the collision by changing lanes.

Heh, well I say that it's laughable but the truth is that I haven't found it particularly funny at any point. Not when I was wedged on the front of his lorry thinking "okay that hasn't killed me" but looking back though the passenger side window for the thing that would, and not now. Still, months later it's nice to see that he's finally acknowledged that he was involved in a crash that happened in February. No, that doesn't look suspicious at all...

But sarcasm aside, and, in all seriousness, I knew from the moment that he got out of the cab that he would either deny responsibilty or completely fabricate a story.

I mean, he was, after all...

Bald.

James Bolam is an old man now.



Deal with it.

Friday, 13 May 2011

It's the weekend...


...probably gonna spend it watching back to back episodes of Robson Green's Extreme Fisting.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

A fifteen year old boy was stabbed to death yesterday behind our flat. It's so sad. I got home from work to find our road taped off with police and ambulances everywhere. It's such a violent way to die. Fifteen years old.

I don't really know what else to write.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

35 minutes later and I am still inexplicably watching Don't Scare the Hare.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Universal Meh.

RE: The death of Osama Bin Laden...
Well I can't speak for anybody else here, but I went out and sat in the little park opposite my flat yesterday and, well... well I can tell you this much... for the first time in a decade I was not afraid. Not afraid. Get that? No? Ok, let me say it again. I. Was. Not. Afraid. Make a note of that. No urge to take a quick peek underneath the bench or behind the bush before I sat down. No terror-induced cold sweats from looking at every pram that went past, wondering whether or not his bearded face was lurking in there. Yup, at last the monumental, earth-shattering news we'd all been waiting for had finally filtered through. Bin Laden was dead. Terror was over, and everything had changed. We were free. Blah blah blah. Stuff about terrorism. Blah. Islamic fundamentalism, blah blah blah. Extremism. Blah blah.

Quite.


On a serious note though, it doesn't even feel like news. It's The Universal Meh.


THIS on the other hand most certainly does feel like news. Won't stop Morning Mr. Magpie being crap though.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Sadly I'm sitting in the lounge writing this on the penultimate day of what's been a nice, fairly long and relaxing break back home in Southend. I've been on cat-feeding duty as everybody here went on a holiday together to Greece. Or Cyprus, possibly Turkey... but then they're all essentially the same place aren't they?


Aside from the hairy episode in Asda a couple of days ago it's been a pretty good week. By and large I've managed to keep on top of the cat-feeding aspect of the break too. I like to keep them waiting sometimes though... I'll mix it up a bit, maybe feed them a couple of hours later than usual every now and then - just to keep them on their toes. They don't respect me. Certainly not that Sage. Now, he's a good little man, Sage, and a very solid cat, but he's also a bit of a mystery. He can disappear for long lengths of time. He's very independent. Rumour has it that he's also a bit of a ladies cat - one of the possible reasons why he's acquired the nickname Muffman. I think he likes us to know that, whilst he needs humans around, he could survive without us to no great loss. In his head Sage is doing us a service just by being here. To him, he's all we've got. And that is why I like to disrupt his routine. Onion on the other hand is no trouble at all, unfortunately she's just collateral in Sage's wake. Anyway, great weather. I've been out in the garden all week, shirt off, lager in hand, copy of Nuts by my side, tanning myself silly.


For the first time in ages I've also spent a lot of time working on some songs. You're allowed to yawn at this point. Better still, I permit you to skip the rest of this paragraph... actually you may well need to skip the rest of this entry... things could get really boring from here. I might start talking about chords. I mean, I would probably drone on about diatonic triads if I knew what they were. Heh. So, we spent a couple of days recording at Lance's house; during which we managed to get three songs down. One of them - somewhat unimaginatively titled Missyerface (I know I know, I need to work on titles) - was quite unexpected, given that it didn't exist in any shape or form until the day before we recorded it. In that respect it was great to do something completely new... something that hadn't been sketched out previously and then had time to sit and gather dust for weeks and weeks before we could find time to meet and record it. I think it's pretty much one of the best things we've ever done together.






The second song we worked on is a bit of an experiment really. It's something that we knocked around a year or so ago, maybe a little longer. We started to record it but for some reason it just wasn't feeling right and we'd given up on it. Since then it had just become a long forgotten mp3 inside some long forgotten folder. Anyway, I was sitting at the piano when we were recording Missyerface (the title seems to be getting more annoying each time I write it) and I started to play this old song. Not sure why... I think Lance gets a little annoyed when I do this, as he's usually spent years and years setting up a microphone for a vocal or something, checking levels, doing this and that, twisting knobs & pulling levers, and there I am noodling with some old shit in the corner. He puts on a brave face, but I can tell he dies a little inside every time. I think this one is called Everybody Here's Got Someone to Love, Except Me. I think it's good fun, but then I guess that depends on whether or not you think our stuff is shite.



Third and final song is one that I've just realised doesn't really have a title. I can't believe I haven't thought about this before. I guess we've always referred to it as 'Repair'. Lance likes to call it 'Repairman' but I'm not massively keen on that. Like I said, titles are not a strong point of ours... I mean, usually, if we want to talk about a particular song, the easiest way is for one of us to play a few bars on a guitar or the piano, and then it's like "oh, yeah, that one... Repairman!". Heh. So, yeah, this one is a song that dates back 5 or 6 months, though this is the first time we've attempted to record it. It's always been there, mooching around on the periphery, pressing its face against the glass and watching as stuff like ...Summer gets wheeled out and dusted off. To be honest I never knew how we'd approach it, and I think this is what kept it on the back-burner for so long. And so it proved on Saturday when we started to work on it. We were struggling for a good half an hour before a timely cup of tea and a happy accident gave us the kick we needed. I haven't heard the finished song yet, as Lance is still mixing it, but he's been making some promising noises. Now, in my experience this is a very, very unusual occurrence. We must've done okay if Lance is showing visible signs of enthusiasm.



Or there's something seriously wrong with him.

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Tremendous sausages for tea tonight. Cumberland.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Freakin' out in Asda

Watching the royal wedding in HD. The Queen and Prince Philip have just arrived. Just think, imagine if the Queen died today... heart attack, live on global television... in high definition... go on, imagine it. Go on.

You disgust me.

Heh. Anyway, royal wedding or not, the blog must go on.

Had quite an embarrassing episode in Asda yesterday. I'd just come from the opticians where I'd just had a (long overdue) contact lens checkup and, because he'd dropped some kind of fluid in my eyes, I wasn't allowed to put my lenses back in afterwards. Luckily I'd brought my glasses in my bag. So, anyway, I've now made my way from the optician to Asda and I'm stumbling around quite self-consciously, not really able to see that much. The glasses are very old and nowhere near as strong as they should be... if anything they just make me quite shortsighted rather than very shortsighted. So I'm freaking out a bit as it feels like I'm hallucinating. People are everywhere, and there's an old lady in front of me who's clearly struggling with the concept of the shopping trolley. I can't get past.

I successfully pick up some sausages and then move on to the next item on my hit list; yoghurt. So far so good. But just as I turn into the yoghurt aisle I see somebody who I'm certain was my brother's ex-girlfriend. Now, I'd always got on with her quite well when they were together - which was quite a long time too - so I was fairly certain she'd recognise me and maybe we'd have to do the stop and chat thing. So I had a little dilemma... would I engage in the stop and chat, or would I ignore?

Automatically I opted for ignore. There was a little bit of distance between us so I thought I'd get away with it. The setup was good for an ignore. It was text book really. But then, for the first time ever in this situation, I felt some hesitancy. I was confused; I'd opted for the ignore but my body was rebelling against it. I think it was because she'd moved closer towards where I was hovering. In that moment everything changed and I was suddenly thrust back into the possibility of the stop and chat. It was going to happen. It was definitely going to happen. I felt it happening. Nothing I could do but go with it.

For some reason, and maybe it was because I was still freaking out over the whole not-being-able-to-see-properly thing, I became aware that I had raised my left hand and was kind of limply pointing at her with it. All of my fingers retained some curvature, but the index finger still led the bunch, and I was sort of jabbing it without much conviction in her direction. The movement was coming from my elbow, so it was my forearm dipping up and down. Anyway, by this stage we were about two feet in distance from one another, facing each other. We made eye contact and I said 'hi'. It was precisely at this moment that I realised I did not know who this woman was. She looked back at me with a look that was in equal parts confusion and horror.

A wave of embarrassment swept over me and I made my escape. I decided not to look back over my shoulder for fear of what I might see. I'd made an arse out of myself. I did, however, manage to pick up the yoghurt before I left - although I found out last night that I'd mistakenly picked up two mango & passion fruit instead of toffee. Idiot. So now I've picked up some eggs and some bread and I'm waiting at the checkout. I thought I'd call Min to tell her what had just happened... she'd possibly find it quite amusing.

The phone call didn't go well. She was making dumplings at the time.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The trouble with snooker



1. Players with bald patches.
2. Graeme Dott.

During today's commentary Willie Thorne said "very rarely does anybody beat Graeme Dott comfortably" like it was a good thing. When I think that, for 99% of the population, what he actually meant was "Graeme Dott is like a nasty little smear of dog shit that won't come off your shoe."

Mind you, bald patches and Graeme Dott aside, there are other problems with the game. These include;
  • Players that look like local-branch building society managers (Stuart Bingham)
  • Players that look like vicars (Martin Gould)
  • Players that look like live-action amalgamations of several Matt Groening characters rolled into one & served up with a hefty dollop of Pillsbury Doughboy (Mark Allen)
  • Big Baby
  • Oh, and Stephen Lee is still a massive problem too.

Word.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Barât

"I'm indie, me... I was the creative force behind Dirty Pretty Things. Done a stage play and everything. A play for the London stage no less! Written a memoir. Musician, actor and author. Very indie, me. Oh, and it's Barât, not Barat... and don't you forget it, dear."

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Chaperone

Saw an advert on TV last night for a film called The Chaperone. It's one of those abysmal* films made by WWE, the wrestling people, where for some bizarre reason they have these big, oiled-up men with small heads 'cutting loose' and showing off their 'softer side'. Plot-wise, 'kooky' is probably the right word to use. Basically you have these coked-up, slippery, bulging, grunting goons grunting and gurning their way through 90 minutes of straight-to-DVD gold. Inevitably there will be a humorous child/mentor angle. The wrestler will try to win back the trust of his estranged wife and kids. The wrestler will sit on a whoopie cushion. Like I said, gold.

So, yeah, this one - The Chaperone - stars a wrestler called Triple H. (There he is, up there.) Now, here is a man who - and I mean this with the greatest respect - possesses both the screen presence and the charisma of a grizzled testicle. That's right... a grizzled testicle. The most worrying part of all this is that my (otherwise perfect!) girlfriend used to fancy him... and, even worse, I suspect she still does.

* I suppose I should admit that I've never bothered to watch a film made by WWE Studios. I am fairly confident that they are shit though.

(Oh yeah, and the beard is still intact. Still not very convincing though)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Okay, so it's got to the stage where I should probably address this in writing:

Despite every sign pointing to the fact that I'm physically incapable of doing so, at this moment in time I am actively trying to grow a beard. I am cultivating, nurturing and encouraging. Anyway, it's been a couple of weeks now and, I kid you not, I saw an old lady in Morrisons the other day with a more impressive showing than me. Although I'm probably being too hard on myself as her effort consisted of a handful of hairs, maybe thirty or so at a push. I have at least 31. Win.

Hmmm, so, yeah, I thought that by getting this beardy admission out there I would maybe feel a little better about the whole thing - and that maybe some of the burden would be removed. I don't think it's helping though.

It's a strange thing as sometimes I'll catch my reflection in a mirror or some other surface and think "yeah, that looks impressive" or, if I'm feeling particularly buoyant, it can manifest in something like "go for it my son!" But then there are also times (far more frequent times) when I will see my reflection and think something along the lines of "Adam, that looks shit." I think the problem is often that I see my offering more as an apology than a beard... especially when you come face to face with a fully-paid-up, card-carrying veteran of the beard wearing scene. I mean, really, it goes without saying that these fuckers will send an aspiring beard-grower like myself into a spiralling vortex of self-pity and embarrassment, but I'll say it anyway. Of course, when we've come to our senses, woken up and realised that this facial hair lark just isn't for us, done the sensible thing and shaved, well... well then we can go back to simply admiring the beard from afar. We can appreciate it at face value (beard value,) freed from the all-encompassing gloom of self-loathing.

Conversely, even people like me have our little moments of satisfaction when we stumble across others in what seems to be a worse position than ourselves. And because these situations can be few and far between, the victory is a sweet one. In fact I almost felt this rare and sweet sensation of victory with the old lady in Morrisons but for two reasons; firstly, the fact that she was an old lady, and, secondly, the thickness of those hairs. She was showing substantial girth.

On the plus side, I think it's going well.
Or maybe I don't. I dunno...

I think I'm going to stick it out for a for more days yet. I'm starting to think that it could be like that awkward stage people go through when they're trying to grow their hair long. When it's too long to be short, and too short to be long, so instead resides in some kind of no man's land in between. Maybe that's what's happening, right? Hmmm. I shall plough this furrow for the foreseeable future. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

I ventured round the back of our flat this morning to empty our little compost bin when I saw something quite amusing. Some poor bastard living here owns such an old and crappy car that they've resigned themselves to driving around with a sign stuck in the window declaring that 'THIS CAR HAS NOT BEEN DUMPED'.

Hardcore.

Friday, 15 April 2011

I was going to open this post with the paragraph below this one, which I was fairly content with, but then I happened to click on 'view blog' by mistake during the all-important writing phase and read my previous two entries for the first time in months. They made me laugh as I recently sent another angry email. Got me absolutely nowhere again too. Thinking maybe I should stop sending angry emails.

I think I just committed twitticide. I realised after much soul-searching (and one particularly harsh but fair comment from my girlfriend) that it was a pointless exercise. I mean, I'm not Louis Spence or Jeff Brazier... nobody wants to hear about me. Also, those heady days of tweeting gold ("... because I'm wary of stollen goods" I'm looking at you) are way behind me. I peaked too early and no amount of "Lewis Hamilton. Boiled egg" tweets were going to save me, much as I liked them. The world has moved on, and it's time that I faced up to it. But I blazed a trail, matey. Make no bones about that.

Yeah right. So here I am; crawling back to my trusty blog, tail between my legs. Well I'm sure it must be my tail... it wouldn't be anything else at that length. Oh dear. I'm reading Frank Skinner's second autobiography at the moment, so don't be surprised if the odd sprinkling of smut comes spurting out. All over the keyboard.

Woah, I think I hit a new low there. Sorry.

Anyway, I'd intended this post to be much longer than this. Some kind of triumphant return or something... but then I went and made the ludicrous choice of putting David Bowie's Scary Monsters album on the stereo. I mean, really, I've never, never, ever been able to write this kind of thing with music on in the background. Even the most inoffensive, soothing music I could find would render me powerless... I struggle to piece even the most simple sentence together (this paragraph has taken the best part of half an hour now, jumping back and forth) so what the fuck I was thinking when I opted for this album I have no idea. But I can't turn it off! Teenage Wildlife now... man, that guitar work... those crazy high notes he starts wailing around the 6 minute mark... what a record.

Laters!