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Monday, October 31, 2005


going through a bit of a crisis.
should i move from just being goatee bloke or should i go back to a full beard.
the goatee looks like some one has dipped it in white emulsion.
the beard i suspect will make me look like santa, but at least i will be a santa like billy bob thornton: bad santa.

give it a go for a few days and then i think i will go back down to a goatee.
but beards are in again. they are they are they are.


i have no idea what this building is, or what it is for, but i did find it very interesting to look at.
one picture has come out ok, the other was pants and has now been photoshopped to look at least interesting.
this is just off of ebor street. (and for those who care ebor, from what i can make out is a jewish name which could mean "save now" or "save prayer" but i can't be sure, however there is an old synagogue near there so it is jewish, but what it means i will have to tell you some other time).


if i have a photographic subject it appears to be street rubbish.
i am both fascinated and horrified by rubbish.
at home i am a complete and utter slob, at work i am not much better. in the streets though i try to make sure i do not litter, i try to make sure i recycle. but in wheelie bins, dumpsters and bin bags on the street i can see art and find myself drawn towards taking photos of them.


Sunday, October 30, 2005


i have always had a soft spot for rachel whiteread's work (though if pushed then i would have to say gillian wearing is my favourite british female artist, if not favouite british artist...)and her current work is pretty momunmental. it fills half of the tate modern's turbine hall with the casts of the insides of 14,000 boxes.

the tate modern describe it as such "The form of a cardboard box has been chosen because of its associations with the storage of intimate personal items and to invoke the sense of mystery surrounding ideas of what a sealed box might contain."

though as one wag put it - they are more like sugar cubes. and that is a play on the tate as tate and lyle make sugar cubes.....
but that might be funny and sometimes modern art just can't smile.


ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ho ha ho ha ho ha

truly truly funny. he is now giving mandelson a run for his money.

the nick cohen book fairy straight guys argues that new labour has become enamoured of the rich and the wealth, envies them and wants to be like them.
blunkett is the perfect example of him.

i am sure he fits well with the respect idea.


The government is on its respect drive.
This is where the nanny state does get itself into a tizzy.
Don’t get me wrong the state should be involved in key aspects of our lives – it should be ensuring that there is universal health care, that there is universal free education, that there is housing for the population, that laws are enforced fairly, that workers have protection from bad employers etc etc.
However these get lost because there is a lot of debate over things such as should there be a complete smoking ban or no boozing on public transport.
While both these things are irritating if you don’t smoke or don’t drink, they are not high on my list of issues to worry about.

Though you have to wonder does blair let this go on so he can just get his other things through the back door?

But given the respect thing is big, here are my policies that the government should follow in order to bring respect back to the streets.

Ban fat kids – it’s got nothing to do with obesity, just that most of them seemed to be spoilt rotten and I am not keen on seeing their self satisfied podgy faces and their whiney voices. Besides most will end up being tory voters.
Ban litterers – people who throw litter in the street should be made to spend some time in the stocks and have rotten veg and fruits thrown at them. For fly tippers I would be somewhat more extreme: they should be staked over their tips and left to rot.
Ban baggy low slung trousers on blokes – it’s a dodgy fashion, it shouldn’t be allowed. They should be forced to wear braces. Women can keep showing their panties if they choose to….

Saturday, October 29, 2005


i live in a very very big city.
i live among millions of people.
in the last 2 days i have not had a serious conversation. at most i have said about 100 words to other people (i have said 1000s of words to myself, but i can't help the fact i talk to myself. in years to come i am going to be that person who shuffles down the street talking to themselves. i have seen the future and it is not very orange for me).
i like the almost "hermitic" life i lead. if i had enough money i probably wouldn't talk to too many people, but sadly i have to go to work.
darn where is that lottery win when you need it.


it looks like we in the uk are stuck with a lame duck prime minister. ever since tony said he wasn't going to stand for a 4th term he is seen as increasingly isolated. even though it might mean that ministers will not stand in his way while he forces through another education reform that may do more damage than good. but it's ok they fought long and hard against a smoking ban. go figure.

in the states it looks more and more likely that george is not going to be able to go for a legacy. after saying they would bring dignity back to the white house the bush administration found itself confronted with trails to key members of it's administration. this resulted in the indictment of scooter libby (great name even if he is a neo-con). so it looks like bush, cheney and rove are going to be spending some time trying to re-establish the presidency.

condi has got to be hoping that they do it or else it really does screw up her chances in 2008.
hilary vs condi. now i would pay to see that.


been watching a lot of scary movies recently (well i use the word scary with big caveats as some have been so scary as to send me to sleep).
last night it was the turn of dead end, the film is a couple of years old. stars ray wise (who?)
it's christmas eve and the whole family is on a road trip to visit relatives. dad (wise) nods off at the wheel, the car goes out of control, but no one is hurt. after this he decides to take a short cut and then the troubles begin. the road seems to go on and on, no passing traffic, no lights, no buildings... just the road and nothing else. it gets worse when they meet a woman in white and from that moment on all the family is in danger as one after another they disappear only to reappear dead.
the film must have been shot on a shoestring, always at night, very little sets, a handful of actors, very little special effects. although there is violence in the film it is done off screen, and the gore is always implied rather than shown. as the journey gets bleaker and bleaker and there seems to be no end in sight the family begins to break down.
by the end you know what is coming, it is no real shock.
there are some interesting moments. there is some fine interplay between the characters, but it is not the most scary film i have ever seen - not even close, nor is it the most gripping film i had ever seen. but if there is nothing else available to rent out and you like cheap scare movies give it a shot, but only if there is nothing else to watch.


ugh the clocks go back tonight.
misery, disaster and me trying to remember to make sure i have changed everything. (oh that will be the mobile phone then as i don't use an of the other timepieces i have for anything else...)

talking of timepieces i have finally started neal stephenson's system of the world. the reason i mention it is the fact he has begun to talk a lot about time, watches and clocks.
so far it has proved to be as good as the previous two books.
stephenson has become one of my favourite writers. soon i think i will go back and read all his work again!

though for some odd reason i have a hankering to revisit a heap of authors (it could be that i have their books and it is cheaper than buying new ones, or it could be nostalgia....) but i also have a desire to go into a bookshop and buy some new stuff as well.

i have decided it is the buying and having of something that is more important than the reading it or listening to it.

how marx (karl not groucho) would hate me.

Friday, October 28, 2005


was going to treat myself to the long desired long sought after apple ibook later today (it's very early in the morning as i type this, sleep beckons). what's stopping you pat i can hear you say.
well first off i need to confirm i had the money in the bank to do it.
mmm i know i'll go check online.
great idea.
what is the password.
no worries i now what it will be. oh i don't, maybe i spelt it wrong. i 'll give it another go and another.
now password has been revoked. joy. now i can't get to my account details so now i don't know if i am going to buy the laptop.
i know i will be in town today and i will look at it. i might even stroke it a few times.
once i have bought it that’s me done for several months no money to spend. broke broke broke. will be eating weetabix for a long time.

still it looks like it will have to wait. so instead i shall spend friday enjoying the delights of london art galleries and coffee houses.
(though i should be clearing up the mess of my flat....)


it's late (well early if i am being accurate) and so i am not full of the milk of human kindness. (ok ok i know i am never full of the milk of human kindness....let's just say i am even less kind at the moment....)

it's times like these i wonder what celebrities are for.
i am not immune to the allure of celebs; i like to go see my famous people being famous. yes i still admit to getting a thrill from seeing tracey emin walking around brick lane (and not just because she has a great pair of tits).
and i suspect that if i was confronted by some of the people that i like i would be tongue tied and would ask lots of stupid and inane questions.
but i learnt a long time ago that celebs are just like us and in the main are not really nice people. so these days i do my best to enjoy the work that my celebs do and then don't think too much about them as i know they will invariably end up being twats. so i don't care about john wayne's politics - i just know he made some fine movies that i still adore. i am not fussed that frank zappa was supposedly an ogre - he played guitar like an angel.
i don't want celebs to be role models - if they want to be let them. if they just want to get coked up let them. celebs are entitled to make those choices and live the life they want to without me going on about them.

by the same token can they just all move on and get lives that mean i don't have to read about them, hear about them or see them.

what's got me in a tizz you ask.
well today the radio treated me to long dull passages about george best dying because he drinks too much. so he was a very talented footballer, but he has also decided to piss his life away. i have no sympathy for him on so many levels it is not true. he has chosen to drink himself stupid, his choice and his right to make that choice. let’s leave him to it and let him get on with it. no more about him please.
especially as it seems to have restarted all the guff about binge drinking.
both my parents were alcoholics. they weren't binge drinkers they were drinkers. my dad was probably not legally sober for the last 20 years of his life.
the observer carried a piece this week about a woman being served lots of drinks while she was in a pub/ wine bar.
no shit sherlock. you go to pubs wine bars to drink, not to have someone keep a tab on how much you consume. sometimes people have to take responsibility for themselves and not expect others to do it. it seems sometimes we want the nanny state and sometimes we don't.
me i don't want to hear about pissed up celebs doing themselves damage.

if that wasn't bad enough radio 5 decided that it as such a poor news day that they would do a piece on it girl tara whatever her other 2 names are. the story was she had her car nicked; it was her pride and joy, a reward of a posh meal to anyone who finds it. what the fuck? i will have to have the bbc get a call out next time i lose some pens. does the beeb do that for anyone else? no. it's not like the lass is poor, it is not like the reward is great (unless of course you run up a drinks bill like that bloke i told you about...) and it's not like tara has ever done anything to make me care.

i want my celebs to do their job: make that movie, do that gig whatever it may be. let the work do the talking. meantime the celeb can be like a big kid seen but not heard.


while out walking the other day, i decided to wander down cheshire street. way back when i used to play in this street. to be honest i can't remember much about it.
my parents ran a pub called the carpenters arms. i can remember the dray horses, i can remember the old wooden barrels, and i can remember the smell of beery cellars and of horse shit.

so imagine my dismay when ambling along cheshire street in the excited expectation of a good old coffee i see the old pub is shuttered up.
blimey i think to myself to think that the area has gotten so rough they have shutters on the pubs. then it dawned on me. the carpenter’s arms is no longer a working pub. it is closed. empty. it might be knocked down; it might be turned into yuppie flats. it is no more.

i felt incredibly sad. another tie to my past has gone. another link to my parents has disappeared. some of my personal history is going to go with that pub.
it made me feel very old.

me standing outside my old man's old pub. he wanted me to go into the trade, i didn't. i am not sure he ever forgave me that, mind you mum never got over the fact that i never became a priest.

(still feel a bit lost by the whole thing. silly really but there you go.)

Thursday, October 27, 2005


if only to prove to paul that the camera can come out during the day here are some photos of canary wharf.
i was there with he who does not like to be named (that would be joel) checking out a photographic studio. it was better than could be hoped. we will begin to use it next week. then after mastering the techniques of studio lighting we shall produce work of a reasonable quality.

so enjoy these picutres of what has been called manhatten on the thames.
i love canary wharf i think it is a gorgeous building. i love the area (if only for all the suited and booted office women there).
i used to go watch the basketball at london arean just a short walk from where the pictures are taken. the night of the canary wharf bomb i was running to see a game and that meant running towards the bomb. i was very very close when it went off. the game went on, but it was pants.

this is very much an henri moment. i like it. would win prizes, if they were given out to such photos.


a bit belated this one. but then that is the effect that comes from seeing ronnie james dio in action. he is a diminutive man, but he has the voice of a giant.
to be honest i wasn’t expecting much of this gig, if only because when we had previously seen him it was a dream gig – just the best that dio had ever done. all thriller and no filler.
this was going to be a concert based around the playing of dio’s first solo lp “holy diver”. so we knew we were going to get the whole of that lp. the question was would we get more of the stuff he did with rainbow and black sabbath or would it be more of dio’s later years and the albums that followed holy diver?
when we went last year we turned up just before the gig was due to start and ambled in to a reasonably packed astoria. this year the queue for admission snaked its way into soho square and back on to oxford street. the astoria itself was packed, jammed to the rafters with boozing metal fans.
i am not a lover of crowds so that was a minus point there and there.
the wait for the gig to start seemed to go on and on.

it was worth it. opening with tarot women and then sign of the southern cross and the little man was off and running. we then had all of holy diver, followed by classics such as gates of babylon, heaven and hell and we rock.

sure there were some duff moments. the horrid film that introduced holy diver which looked as if some blind computer arts student had created it and it could have only looked good to people who were viewing it on mobile phones.
then there were the solos – drum solo, i used to like them, now i want to throttle drummers who think playing along to classic pieces make them seem good. (the best drum solo remains groon on king crimson’s earthbound….and the best drum solo story is still the one of the mont, but that is for another time…). if that was not bad enough then the instrumental played by the band was enough to make you go ugh….
finally the other thing that took the shine off the evening was the raven haired east european hunny who was going out with a bald headed scarecrow. ah be still my beating heart.

through all of that the thing that remains is the clear soaring operatic voice of dio, shouting out his words of mysticism and mythology. emotion and passion – all up there on the astoria stage.

it was not as good as last year, but it was still one of the best 10 gigs i have seen.

rock on ronnie.


here are some arty - i could win the turner prize style photos.
these are taken just up the road from the wonderful hawksmoor's christchurch. this is part of the new spitalfields developement (which i have to say i do not loathe as much as i thought i would do) along brushfield street.
i do so love this part of london.
it is my manor.
and i create art as good as tracey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


at a time when american politics is rife with accusations of illegality they are picking on the gorgeous one. the accuse 3g of taking money from saddam (like they ever cared about taking money from the wrong people....)
so gorgeous george is under attack from americans.
he can't wait to hop on a plane to get out there and argue.

the americans are trying their best to make me like him.


so there i am coming back from a gig. so what better thing to do than take some photos while i slowly ambled back home.

here we are on the bethnal green road, just as sclater street splits from it and runs towards brick lane (which everyone knows is the spiritual centre of england). a lone phone box is like a beacon in the night.

this end of bethnal green road is undergoing some serious redevelopment. the wall that the phone box is against used to be part of a warren of railway arches that were used for a multitude of things - markets, gyms, art galleries.... there used to be a through road via a tunnel from here to the commercial. the tunnel is gone, knocked down in preparation for the extension of the tube (will it be ready in time for the olympics, probably, but only just...) the tunnel used to be atmospheric (albeit it was the smell of dank piss) a taste of the ye olde east end. it was also the haunt of many of the ladies of the night, (they have moved across the road now to ebor street and chance street). going a little further up bethnal green road and just as you get to brick lane there have been a number of plush looking apartments built, and more coming. the area is that complex mix of the old and the new neither seeming to complement each other, both showing the other parts up for what they are.

when i was a kid i would have been taken to the (now disused)pub that is on the corner of bethnal green and sclater street, as an adult i walk by it on my way to other things and rarely give it a second thought, but it is part of the family history.

the first photo is moody, arty and is what happens when you don't use a tripod or the flash.

the second photo is with the flash.

the first one is a potential turner prize winner....


i have stolen this from another blog site.
made me smile, so i thought i would share. (not sure if this is jpII or b16 - i suspect if it was b16 the dwarves would be facing the inquistion. i think that is the postman with my notice of excommunication now.....

the 7 dwarves were visiting rome and got an audience with the pope. doc stepped forward and said, "excuse me your honour but are there any dwarf nuns in rome?" the pope was taken by surprise but answered, "no we have no dwarf nuns in rome." at this the other dwarves except for grumpy started to snigger. "i see your worship, well tell me are there any dwarf nuns in europe?" "um no there are no dwarf nuns in europe." the pope replied perplexed. at this all the other dwarves except for grumpy started laughing out loud. "well i see your holiness, just one more question, are there any dwarf nuns any where in the world?" the pope now totally confused replied, "no we have no dwarf nuns anywhere in the world." at this all the other dwarves, except grumpy rolled about laughing and chanting "grumpy f**cked a penguin, grumpy f**ked a penguin!"

Monday, October 24, 2005


not so much a review more a series of cautions or warnings.
when i started receiving piles of dvds i made the stupid naive promise that i would watch them all.
it was a dumb promise, but i am doing my best.
so recently i have suffered through.

house of 9. it stars kelly brook and dennis hooper. it steals from such films as cube, series 7, my little eye, battle royale. given that it steals from quality films how is it that it turns out to be utter shite. i have no idea. i fell asleep on my first watch and had to sit through some of it a second time. it was even worse. kelly may look sexy but she can't act. dennis has decided that he can do whatever he wants now as he as reached iconic cult status. he has a horrid "oirish" accent in this film. there is not even an interesting death in the film and no titillation to speak of.
it is pants. avoid.

land of the living dead. hooper features in this as well. was looking forward to it. recently horror films have been good. oh well. there are a few interesting scenes in this, but the majority of it is dull and slow. i am sure there is some sort of meaning that can be gotten from this (romero previously dealt with racism and consumerism through the prism of zombies) but i suspect this was about the death of talent. wait for it to appear on sky and get someone to record it for you.

bewitched. why? why? why? nicole kidman had made some dumb films recently. i am sure it seemed like a good idea take a great tv series from the 60s turn it into a movie, but give it a post-modern slant as nicole plays a witch who wants to live a normal life, she ends up playing a witch in a sitcom who wants to live a normal life. woooooo high concept. nicole looks lovely, but comes across as a spoilt brat. michael caine sleepwalks through the film (as he does through so many) shirley mclaine mugs it up (though she could have been "acting" for all i know...) and will ferrell is well.. will, with his physical comedy shtick (imagine a cross between a hyperactive will smith and lee evans and you are there). i am not sure there was a laugh in the film. don't bother with it - soon to be in bargain bins in blockbuster.

satan's little helper. a cheap tacky scareless suspenseless horror type film. it's this sort of movie that gives small films a bad name. i can't help wonder what amanda plummer thought she was doing when she appeared in this. it is a shite film that is as appealing as dried shit on a shitty stick.
i've watched it - you don't have to.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


he's gone.
hunted, trapped and taken out. the dr. fox of politics is gone.
now it is davis and cameron.
who will the tories choose to lead them to their next defeat. the excitement almost mounts.


just have a complete feeling of apathy right now. so all the things i was going to write and (all the ills i was going to write) will have to wait.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


no not me - though i have been parping a lot recently.
but the joy of winter is approaching and the window is (perhaps stupidly) open a fresh wind is blowing through. i believe i can feel so drops of rain as well.
mmm perhaps i should get up and close it.
mmm now i can hear it chucking it down. so i might not be going to the national gallery tonight....
oh hell it's just a bit of rain. and i am almost over the man-flu.
live dangerously.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


so its bye bye ken clarke.
dumped yet again by the tory party, the party he claimed to be the "big beast" of.
was it his involvement with british american tobacco that did for him?
was it the fact he never served on the opposition bench?
perhaps it was his opposition to the iraq war? could be, maybe.
or was it his pro european stance. mmm smells like a reason for the tories to get rid of him, tastes like a reason for them to ditch him and it sounds like a reason for him to get the old heave ho.
by golly i think i have got it!

so davies topped the poll, cameron came second and dr. fox coming up the rear (phnarr phnarr a public schoolboy joke there!)

i think the smart money is going to be on cameron. he has stood resolute over his refusal to talk about his possible drug use. all the talk of that has proved he is lucky as it deflects attention away from his lack of experience and his lack of policy.
additionally he is going to appeal to all those tory dames, he provides them with a clean slate - young enough to be there in 8 years and without form in the sleazy tory administrations of the past.

once he has been accepted the battle for middle ground of middle england can begin.

(though why new labour are so keen on middle england is beyond me....)


if my name was juergen teller or wolfgang tillman this would be considered to be art.
as it is me: it is a classed as a blurred photo.
one day i will be inviting you all to my first exhibition. (paul.. stop laughing in the back there!)


i may not like the bloke, but i have to admit he is a great orator.
just been listening to some of his debate with christopher hitchens. galloway won hands down. he has a way with words.
i am not sure i can actually talk for an hour without swearing. so regardless of my opinions of him the fact that he can speak with clarity, venom and vitriol for an hour without a word or two of a curse. well i salute you sir. (and i am sure gorgeous george doesn't hear that very much...)
go here to download an extract of the debate.

and if you want to hear someone else i enjoy listening to go to and check out the randi rhodes show. she is sassy, she is sexy, she is slightly off the chain but boy oh boy can she rant and rave and again does it without the use of sweary words.
i think it is love.


i was born in the brick lane area. I am a cockney. My parents ran a pub in the area. My dad used to tell (tall) tales about his relationship with the krays, it was never a case of saying how wonderful they were, just the fact that they were the local crime lords and to run a business in the area you had to deal with them, (but they were always kind to their mum).
I have few memories of the area (no surprises there – I barely have memories of last week! All I can say is lucky I never did drugs). But one of them is of the brewery, the smell of it and the dray horses bringing the barrels of beer to my dad’s pub. I loved those horses, wasn’t too keen on the smell of horseshit though.
(oddly many years before I returned to the area I visited he who doesn’t like to be mentioned, also known as joel, who had in an odd twist of fate moved into a flat on the road that my parents had their pub. While standing on his balcony I could see the way I went to school. It was a strange sensation to know that I crossed that bridge when this was the first time in 30 years or so, that I had been in the area and that I had never seen the bridge from that angle…)

Now I am back in the area I spend a lot of time in brick lane. The brewery is still there. It no longer makes beer (although in the various clubs and bars that are dotted around its grounds it sure sells a lot) but it has been broken down into various units that now help to give the area part of its charm. There is a mix of shops, watering hole and offices in the old buildings now. The chimney still stands proud dominating the local skyline, which in its own way is as awesome as the hawksmoor christchurch.

this is quaker street. it runs at 90 degrees from brick lane. if you were to turn around from where i was standing when i took this you would see the famous coffee@.

Even in the last few years the area is changing amazingly.
The brewery seems to stay and remain.

Grey eagle road cuts through part of the brewery. On one side the brewery is being used. On the other side it is still and impressive building but it is a junked mess. For a period of time it was one of the scariest buildings I had ever seen. The metal doors of the yard were wide open and the yard within was empty. You could see the empty stairwells that would take you into what used to be a busy working environment.
Why did this empty building scare me?
The entrance never seemed to be breached; no one went in there, no one fly tipped in there. It remained quiet, it remained clean and it remained foreboding.
(see children that’s what happens when you drink too much coffee, your imagination goes wild…..)

these are various views of grey eagle road at night.

Now it seems the local drug users and prostitutes have started using it. So it remains scary, albeit for a different reason. (and in a pyschogeographer type way it shows the disparities that can exist in london: here is this building being used by the “dregs” of society but it is surrounded by the affluent living in their loft conversions, drinking expensive beers, and talking about their media or finance deal they nailed that day. While some of these people live in a plush building called “jack’s place” (tasteful) beneath their windows are the spiritual descendants of the victims of jack the ripper still working the streets.

this area of london prett much sums up all that is good about the place and all that is bad about it.


i have been meaning (for a loooong time now) to write something about collecting. some of the readers of this know about the collecting bug, some of the readers of this blog will deny that they are addicted to collecting (hi paul) and some have kicked the habit for a bit but have come back to collecting (hi richard).

me i am hooked i am a collector and i know i can't shake that particular monkey from my back.

now i am a fan of star wars, i have seen all the movies and i have enjoyed them all. i have never really gotten into collecting star wars stuff, even though i did have 3 things that were rare and probably would be worth a lot of money now (if i still had them - for the interested they were a star wars t-shirt that was given to the crew of the first movie that used a ralph mcquarrie image that never made it to the movie, some stickers with the same image and a signed page of the shooting scrip. ah the joys of having a dad who had a silver tongue, especially when it had been loosened with booze, which was pretty much every day of the last 20 years of his life!)
i have always been fascinated by lego. this is probably due to the fact i never had it when i was a kid. (i did discover that when faced with lego bricks the best i could make was something that was akin to a surreal sculpture, though if i was committed enough to my explanation then it was a spaceship in the eyes of the kid i was babysitting...)
lego obviously learnt that some people want lego but can't actually build anything with it. so the answer is make it like jigsaw - here is something neat and here are the right number of bits and here are the plans. you can build it. free the da vinci, free the isambard kingdom brunel within.
even better you get people hooked - ooh look i have built something. lego cunningly have created system toys: once you have built one - you have to get more and more and more.
look at it spiralling out of control.

the only two pieces of lego i own are both star wars craft.
they were presents.

the only sane reasons i have for not getting anymore are:
1] even with plans i can never build these things.
2] i just know i will loose the pieces.

that doesn't mean to say i haven't been tempted.

then i see this
it stands 25 inches high, 19 inches wide has 3417 pieces and when it is all put together it build the death star ii from star wars return of the jedi.

am i tempted?
hell yeah.
could i build it?
hell no.
would i loose pieces?
hell yeah.

how much does it cost? it's a mere snip at £249.00.
am i still tempted?
hell yeah.

with luck i will ride this flush of collectormania out of my system before i do something very very stupid.
but if you don't hear from me for awhile - you'll know what has happened i am building the death star.


here are some more examples of the graffiti that adorns the walls of the east end. it's not all anti-american around there, sometimes it is all arty stuff.
this was seen on one of the sets of gates of the truman brewery complex.

Monday, October 17, 2005


just to let everyone know that i have finally corrected the link to he who doesn't want to be named (thats joel you know) website.
he has done this with his old school chum graeme barnes (i have no idea if mr. barnes is the shy and retiring petal that joel is).
but go check it out.

and once you have explored it - head on over to the links section and then visit the progtastic circulus site. true it is a bit pants, but trust me they are a truly phenomenal band. and worth seeing if they are playing in your area. because when these boys (and girl) wig out it is an awesome event.

Sunday, October 16, 2005


sometimes politics shows you that what goes around comes around. over in the states tom delay is accused of money laundering and has had to step down from his role as the republican leader of the house of representatives.
he claims that texan prosecutors are manufacturing charges against him. can you say ken starr and bill clinton....
the charges refer to money laundering and how delay conspired to get around the rules for campaign funding.
typically it is the rich just trying to get richer. the political motivation is one to ensure that the dollars keep flowing into the right (geddit!!) pockets and that there is no protection for the average joe.
this is the american dream.

over here we have the prospect of david cameron (a prospective candidate for the tory leadership) undergoing trial by media over the story that a member of his family is a drug addicit and that cameron himself may or may not have taken drugs when he was at college.
to their credit the tory party has rallied behind him and pretty much said that this should not be a factor in the forthcoming election.
william hague has even gone so far as to say "there would be big gaps at the top of most professions if past drug use had been held against them."
and he is right... up to a point.
the tories are very very keen to tell us how to live our lives - how mothers should be at home, how the family and marriage is sacrosanct, how drugs are bad and should be illegal. but when it comes to practicing what you preach they always seem to fall on their arses.
so should it matter that cameron may or may not have taken drugs in his past? the fact he will not confirm or deny it tends to prove that it does matter and he knows that the core of the tory party will see that as being a reason why they should not vote for him.
should he talk about his family situation? well as he has already used his disabled child as a sympathy getter then yes he has made the rest fair game.

it is rare to see the political turds getting a black eye, but it is nice when it happens.


i have been a fan of ed mcbain's 87th precinct stories for a long time. i began reading them at a comparatively early age. why? well because both my mum and dad read them, so it made me feel grown up. there was the chance that there would be a sexy scene in them and i have always been a sucker for crime stories.
ed mcbain (or even hunter as he was) has been writing the 87th precinct stories since the 50s the first one being the cop hater.
as with all things childish and teenagish i sort of lost track of ed mcbain's books occasionally dipping into one every now and then. Recently i have started reading them a bit more often.
the frumious bandersnatch is the story of the kidnapping of a soon to be rap diva and the subsequent tracking down of the kidnappers. it is never quite explained why a rap r&b diva wannabe would record the this lewis carrol poem but so what. steve carella is the cop in charge of finding the kidnapped diva, but he is soon co-opted over to working with the fbi. as with all of mcbain's 87th work this is not so much about the crime itself, the crime provides a way for mcbain to show off a bit of knowledge about police procedures - but mostly it is about the characters.
mcbain has a clear style, a casual style and he moves the story along at a fair old pace, keeping the reader wanting more. while steve carella maybe the star of this particular book the other detectives on the squad get to have a mention so we still see what is going on in the lives of meyer meyer, bert kling, cotton hawes and the rest. not to mention a regular cameo of a recent creation ollie weeks.
all in all a good read, there are no surprises, there is nothing spectacular here. what you get is solid storytelling done with sure style that is a pleasure to read.
you can't really ask for more.

i was thinking as i finished the book last night why don't they do this as a tv series or series of movies. when you consider some of the stuff that is optioned for the cinema or tv.

on checking the ed mcbain site i discovered that he had recently died.


with all this scaremong... er talk about bird flu hitting the uk it seems i have been struck down by the more deadly, but more frequent, man-flu. man flu is certain cases is seriously debilitating and can render the victim full of self pity, self woe and some serious aches and pains. man-flu, or to use the latin commonus coldus, results in many sniffles and runny noses, a few hearty coughs, followed by a few more half-hearted ones that are a cry for help (well attention). the only cure for man-flu is plenty of food and lots of sympathy.
i am going for the plenty of food option.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


kate moss bumps into jeremy clarkson on a night out.
unfamiliar with him, she asked him what he did. jeremy explained that he did top gear.
"fucking excellent” she said,” i’ll have four grams please

Ha ha ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

i had a chicken tarka for my tea. it's like a tikka but a little 'otter!!

ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ho

my friend was a serious trainspotter. every weekend, come rain or shine, he'd be at crewe railway station taking down train numbers.
he always dreamt that when it was his time to pop his clogs he would get killed by stream train. last week it finally happened:
he was chuffed to bits

right better not give up the day job then!


no not the great film with richard egan "the 300 spartans" (one of the first films i can remember watching that brought a manly lump to my throat - even though i was too young to know what that was. the first film i remember crying at was dumbo. i still do).
no nor is it frank miller's 300, a less than special retelling of the legend of the 300 spartans, which owed a big nod to the film anyway (and stephen pressfield’s novel gates of fire, who if amazon is to be believed also wrote the legend of bagger vance - and what a fine movie it was). by the way frank miller's 300 is about to be made into a movie called, cleverly, 300. director is zack synder, who is fast becoming remake king with his dawn of the dead (thoroughly enjoyable film) and soon day of the dead.

so what is the 300 about then?

it's my 300th post.

here's to the next 300.


one of the things i like taking photos of is graffiti. while i don’t quite see myself as some sort of chronicler of the urban way of life, the hidden mysteries and lost stories in these drawings, scratchings and duabings that go up on walls, doors, windows, well any surface really. some of what you see is tedious and pointless, some if odd and baffling others are just plain and simple art. some get their message across, some leave you perplexed wondering what you have missed others are just the ranting of mad dogs with crayons.
although not strictly graffiti the bill poster sometimes works it magic just as well.
this one says what it has to in a clear minimal style. i am sure it will offend many.

expect to see more pictures of the graffiti of london on here. (see paul after all this time i still take depressing photos, only now they are digital ones….)

Monday, October 10, 2005


we were off to a gig at the foundry, as we were walking up the great eastern we had to avoid the art crowd from the gallery vertigo. had no idea what the opening was for, couldn't see anyone famous among the crowd of people talking in a self important manner and quaffing their free wine.
the gig was partly enjoyed by me and not enjoyed by richard and he who does not like to be named (thats joel by the way). still it was free and it was a night out.
on the way back we noticed the gallery private view had left this in it's wake.
no idea if they liked the art - but they seemed to like the wine.


i have no idea what has happened here. but it looks great. ah the joy of technology and it doing what it wants and not what you want it to.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


well finished the first season of lost.
really enjoyed it, though it dips a little after the first couple of episodes.
the climax leads nicely into next season - more questions posed than answered.
what i didn't like about the programme was so much of it was shot at night or in the dark so making the action very hard to follow (well if you have a shit tv like i do ...)
what i liked about it was that it had very short title sequence so maximum story time.
the dialogue wasn't all funny and post modern, but naturalistic.
all in all a winner.
bring on season 2.


been one of those weekends (i have them a lot)where there is a lot to be done but nothing actually gets done. so here i am sitting in my favourite coffee shop (the wonderful coffee@ of brick lane) it is rather warm in here and rather busy.
i have nothing really important (or interesting) to say. so i am just tippy tapping on here because... well i can.

so england make it to the world cup finals and still the press hound eriksson. at one point there were claims that this was about him being a foreigner. now it just seems that people are bored with him and want him out and someone else in.

so glenda jackson wants to stand against tony blair because she wants to know when he is going to go. she claims lots of people in her constinuency were against him. but given that she is in the center of the chattering classes no real shock there. it would be quite funny if she did do it and all the mps ended up voting for blair again. the truth is that blair is a major asset to the party he is the one who got them elected time and time (and time) again. his critics have to understand that. Having said that given he has made the point he is going to go - he really does have to say when.

baby asbos - great idea. this is what we want. i think kids should be under curfew outside of school hours. only let out if they have a parental escort.

frida khalo exhibition closed today. it was an excellent show. has made me a fan.

my camera is costing me the earth. had to buy a light meter today - it pained me to think how much it has cost me. and there are still some more things that i need to buy.

missed the tattoo convention that was taking place in brick lane. did get to see some of the tatted people. some of the blokes looked very silly as they walked the streets posing in order to show off their tats (some of which were horrible). ah well there is always next year. and i need a new tattoo.

right i need more coffee.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


i would have reviewed the conservative party conference for you all. the only problem was i didn't get to hear much of it as i was either laughing too much or shouting to much.
the french have a phrase for it, but the americans say it better "same old shit".


there i was in one of the specialist shops i visit in soho (politeness in defference to emma)when i hear "sex is much better in january and february."
to be honest these days i would settle for some not quite good sex in march and april.
why did i bother sex in may and june.
oh that was a mistake sex in july and august.
would have been better off washing my hair sex in september and october.
yeah i know you were just doing to be nice sex in november and december.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


this is a view of the railings at st pauls. it was one of those evenings i was going over to the tate modern (seeing the rather excellent frida khalo exhibition)when i wandered through paternoster square and thought "mmm wish i had my tripod with me...." (and yes i do go mmmm, if i was doc savage it would be a trilling sound but that is another matter altogther).

so for the time being here is a pic of the railings.
it is one of those buildings that is truely wonderful.

i will leave it to emma to explain the link between it and christchurch in spitalfields.

Monday, October 03, 2005


whooo hooo 6000 hits to here. thanks cliff for all your hard work.
yeah i know it is sort of pathetic to be so thrilled that a silly number like 6000 has been passed, but hey i am a wage slave and some things become really important for no real reason.
so here is to the next 6000 hits.
trust me - it doesn't get any better (and you can read that either way you want...)

Sunday, October 02, 2005


there was a time many many years ago when i wanted to be a social science researcher. oh yes i had it all planned out, get the masters, then the doctorate then researcher, publish and lecture. hell who knows maybe my own tv show discussing the issues of the day. nice dream. fell apart with the failing of the masters.

now when i was thinking of being a researcher i was wandering what great truths could i reveal to the world. i wasn’t expecting to be a marx (no jay, not groucho, but karl) or even a talcott, but i thought yeah there are things that need to be described, discussed and revealed. just have to look in the right places.
i wasn’t thinking that as a social scientist i should state the obvious. well not even the obvious but the bleeding obvious. the stuff that was so true that you had to be either blind or in denial not to see it.

so step up otago university’s medical school with a blinding piece of research that tells us, hold on a minute before i reveal what it says are you sitting down? this is likely to (to quote the d) rock your socks off.
are you sitting?
really? good then read on.

the otago university medical school’s research reveals that watching too much tv can lead to obesity.
well no shit sherlock. true it is slightly more scientific then too much wanking makes you blind, but it is as about as useful.
sure they do the science bit of “after adjusting the research for family history and socio-economic status, the study with co-author richie poulton found that the time spent watching tv "is a significant predictor of body-mass index and being overweight." but the end conclusion is “that watching tv makes children more likely to become overweight. tv time, they contend, is a strong predictor of whether someone will be overweight”.
now this may come as a shock to americans but the rest of us knew that.

so i am proposing to set up research that shows (and i know this is doing bad science) that eating too much chocolate will make you fat and potentially rot your teeth. both these possible outcomes are further increased if you do not exercise or brush your teeth.

i could have done the too much masturbation causes bad eyesight – but the results might scare me.


was listening to radio 5 this morning. they were talking about how the world was changing because of blogs. someone mentioned how you wouldn't employ a plumber until after you had read their blog... personally if they have enough time to write a blog then they probably haven't got enough work to keep them busy so they probably aren’t that good.

there was mention of the fact that there are three reasons to blog.
1] being a whistleblower.
2] wanting to be a journalist. (not that you want to work for the sun, just that you want to put your spin on the world's events - so in fact not really a journo but an opinion writer or columnist (and given some that i read in the paper i could do a better job and that is not saying much!)
3] form of therapy.

they of course missed off the most important (and the category i probably fall into) an egocentric belief that people might just be interested in what you have to say.

i enjoy blogging, i realise that of the potential audience out there who could read it there are probably about 5 people who do (you know who you are and a big hearty pat thanks goes out to you). i also realise that i am not as witty as i think i am, i am not as smart as i think i am and my writing style is not as good as i think it is, none of this stops me – i enjoy the blogging process.

i doubt many people have their lives changed by blogs, i doubt much in the way of unearthed truths ever reveal themselves on blogs (well i am assuming that david icke doesn't write a regular one), i doubt that blogs have the sway over the popular consciousness that is sometimes attributed to them and i suspect most blogs are like this one read by friends and no one else.

it came as no shock to discover that there are 50 million blogs out there. it proves that we all have something to say, that we all want our 15 minutes of fame.
what did come as a shock was that there are blog consultants. what i thought, why i thought, do they get paid? who would pay them? but there was a consultant who talked a radio journalist through setting up a blog (it wasn't thrilling radio i can tell you....) and it mainly seemed to consist of "go to here, type in your name, press return" there you go blog set up.
the journalist was a bit worried that her fellow bloggers might be geeks, so she got her street cred in by saying she was a keen snowboarder...
in all it was a puff piece for the radio, and not a particularly good one at that.


here are some images of the east end, well of the area around brick lane.
there is the truman brewery chimney. it is impressive; it dominates the brick lane skyline.

then there is some of the urban art that covers some of the walls of the area (oh ok this is graffiti....) the graffiti occurs just round the corner from a new development of loft style apartments - tastefully called jack's place, well at least it makes it easier for the jack the ripper walks....

it might also be there for the various sisters of mercy fans in the area or it might be something there for the pyshcogeographers...

Saturday, October 01, 2005


there are some stories that leave you with a bit of a funny taste in the mouth. not because they are truly horrific, not because they show the evils that lurk within the hearts of men, but because they demonstrate the ambivalent emotions you can have over the same story.
now i admit to being an armchair socialist.
i can get into a rant about a lot of things and some of them have appeared on here. but to my shame i rarely get off my large arse to do much about them.

i flick over to the the independent online to have a look and see if there is anything interesting and one of the stories is about a bloke on a spending spree to celebrate his bonus.
bloke in question is a financier (and frankly i have never understood what they do - other than operate a three card shuffle type con - the only difference is they get shed loads of money and are told that they are captains of industry)so he has his bonus and he goes out and celebrates.
nothing wrong with that.
except his bar tab was £36,000 for the night. it's more than i earn in a year. what on earth was his bonus. (was also stunned that there was a service charge!)
now what annoys me is that he is probably among the people who complain about workers having a minimum wage, he is probably someone who doesn't want to see any protection accorded to employees, is no doubt very keen on the a flat tax or a serious tax cut.
that sort of wage disparity is one of the things that is wrong with the modern world. for all his talk about globalisation being here and we have to learn to live with it and learn to deal with it blair seems to miss one of the key problems with it is that if we want to buy the things that globalisation creates we have to have money. if all the jobs go to the low paid developing world then what are the people in the west going to do in order to buy these items. we are bombarded by images of the lifestyles of the rich and famous - all of which encourages us to live in debt, to aspire to a style we can't afford and really we don't want but we are told we should. financiers (who do very little - fuck they gamble with our money not theirs) can think themselves save in the global economy but frankly i am sure there are indian and chinese financiers who will be able to the job better and cheaper - so lets outsource them.
and while we are at it lets outsource that fat twat dibgy...


well the month long review thing didn't work as planned.
but i have no given up on the idea (partly because at my annual review - see how that link worked, cool or what, could i be a writer or what - i was told i needed to spend less time at work - i was also told i was messy, my timekeeping was shit, i am sure questions about my attitude were going to come up but i brushed it all aside and said - yeah ok, where do i sign...)
so the reviews will continue throughout october, hopefully there will be more of them and they will occur daily (though this isn't that easy as i still have sorted out my home computer internet connection problems...)
it does mean you can look forward to much more pointless drivel from me about stuff you don't really care about.
mmm sums up this blog really...


i am going to have to go out and buy some cheap headphones.
why? you ask.
well the greatest comedy show on earth is about to start a short run in blackpool, oh yes the conservative party is having it's annual conference next week.
the reason i need headphones is that i share my office with someone and i am not sure that they are really keen on listening to the rants of old bitter men.
the only problem is going to be me trying to stop laughing too loudly and stop shouting at the computer screen as i listen to the tories once more prove they have no chance and frankly no real desire to run the country again.

no one from central office has contacted me to see if i still want to save them from another electoral defeat.
they are fools, but then we knew that...


i don't drive. one of the main reasons is that i live in london and frankly don't see the need for a car.
i work with one or two people who can't live without their cars, most just say it is the way they prefer to travel to work, one makes excuses that may as well be the works of the brothers grimm for the truth contained in them.
so i use public transport, mainly the buses (i have mentioned my love hate relationship to the number 25 many times on here...) the problem with the bus is that there are too many cars on the roads in london, you want to get into london during the day and you could be stuck behind a lot of traffic.
so i quite like ken's congestion charge. it seems to have worked. london has not collapsed due to the fact that people have to pay to drive into the city, in fact there still seems to be lots of cars on the roads, the streets of london still seemed to be packed with people. so obviously people are still going into london.
now ken wants to extend the zone further out.
and guess what people are complaining.
as ever it is the small businesses.

says one chap "The congestion charge needs to be suspended to encourage people back into London because businesses are dying."
of course this ignores the fact that perhaps now some of the small businesses in the outlying suburbs are doing good business.
perhaps it ignores the fact that perhaps people have heeded the warnings and now realise that they are living beyond their means and so are not spending as much any more.

what i like about small businesses (well actually all businesses in the uk) is the speed that they are prepared to complain about anything and everything. in the course of my working day i am often confronted with people who expect my company to pay for their operating costs (no not you kenny). i know we used to be a culture of people who would join a queue now we seem to be a culture of people who just complain for the sake of it.