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Friday, October 31, 2008


three things have me on the edge of my seat with giggly excitement.

new bond film opens and i will be seeing it at ten minutes past one today! if only it had bruce willis in it, then it would be a great movie.

the presidential election is just around the corner. it does seem that it is too close to call, but you just know on the night there will be a landslide victory to obama. to be fair from a leching point of view i win either way: michelle obama is hot, sarah palin is hot, and both of them can spank me if they want.

finally i discovered i can get a train at 4am to get me into brighton at 5.30am. at the moment 4am is the sort of time i am thinking of going to sleep, but now i can catch a train instead. with luck i should be able to get some good photos, but knowing my luck i will catch flu instead. ah what an adventure.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


it seems that the boys at microsoft have decided that having a perfectly good, solid and dependable product was not enough. no microsoft wanted to give their product a make over in the style of all those tv shows that seem to say: being good isn’t enough what you really need is to look fabby.
well microsoft have turned their good, solid, dependable hotmail into something that looks quite nice, but doesn’t seem to work for me.
so i can see i have emails. i can read some of them. some i can’t read if they are too long, as i can’t move the page up or down, though sometimes i can. sometimes i can press reply to reply to the email because the “reply” button is there. sometimes it is not. that said it doesn’t really matter because even when i do try to reply i can’t actually write in the message box so i can’t answer. even so that would be a moot point because when i try to send the email it just sits there like a dead dog.
all in all the hotmail change is pretty much fubarred it for me.
i am sure that as microsoft receives more and more feedback they will correct the errors, which seems to be the standard method for microsoft.

“if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to be such a good rule, but so often it is ignored. hotmail is a case in point, it did what it promised and it did it well, but that wasn’t enough it had to look cool and that meant it had to change.

oh well if you sent me an email recently don’t hold your breath for a reply.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


recently i wrote that getting older means changes. some you expect, some you welcome, while others seem to be in contradiction to others.

it does seem to be a rule of life that as you get older you become more and more angry. the anger seems to come from nowhere and is aimed at things that a few months ago you would have laughed at, and a fewer years earlier you may just as well have done yourself.

so more and more i find myself cursing and muttering under my breath when i am in the street. more and more i shout and shake my fist at the radio or tv. constantly i shake my head and sigh as i read yet another story in the newspaper.

i am becoming a miserable old git.
i do not mind admitting to this.

so i fume at rude people, loud people. i rail at those who are inconsiderate of others. noise annoys me. litter gets my goat. loitering in busy spaces causes me apoplexy. new peeves seem to appear daily: currently i hate bicyclists from the ones who can’t ride on the road, yet seem to think that pedestrians are taking up too much space on the pavement to the ones who are too stupid to have lights on their bikes.
soon i will be irritated by the owners of umbrellas that are big enough to cover a tennis court. they may think that they are smart to own such a large bumbershoot but they are too stupid to actually make sure that they move it out of the way of other people.

at this rate i shall soon be walking the streets shouting at strangers, while wearing a tin foil hat because i need to protect myself from messages from the controllers.

hand me that tin of white lightning cider now, i need to go and shout at some trees.

Friday, October 24, 2008


awake. check time. early enough? yes. time for a run.
ipod? check.
headphones? check.
trainers? check.
keys? check.
tracky bottoms? ooops. better go put them on.
outside. drizzle. nice.
choose music. essential ufo. solid rock. good to run to.
set off. plod. plod. plod.
feeling good. add more to the distance today. not much, just some.
plod. plod. plod. puff. puff. puff. puff. stitch. oww that hurts. keep going.
too many people. do this earlier in future. pavement rage.
nearly home. plod. run. plod. run. nearly there.
done. finished. phew.
pant. pant. pant. pant.
upstairs. grab a coke. chug some. chug some more.
pant. sweat. pant. sweat. puff. puff. puff. more coke chugged.
to the toilet. sit down. big number 2. aaaaaah. relief. bliss.
nothing frees the bowels as much as a run.
nothing lightens the mode as a big number 2.
day has started well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


as i get older there seems to be two opposing forces at work on me.
on the one hand i am becoming more and more the miserable old git curmudgeon who will soon be shouting at passing pedestrians in a loud incoherent voice (more about this in a later post).
on the other hand i am becoming a terrible softie.
generally it manifests itself in the form of tears (they are of course manly tears). it started years ago with “field of dreams”, where i blubbed at the end, until eventually i well up the moment i pick up the dvd.
now it happens more and more, sometimes it is a song and the tears come. other times i am watching tv and then i have to sniffle (darn that “dawson’s creek”), occasionally it happens when i am watching a movie and i have to surreptitiously dab my eyes (oh it is never the expected movie – but some dodgy comedy with will ferrell comedy).
the evidence is that i am becoming more and more sentimental, that i am now a “new man”. in short i have become a softie.
or i have become menopausal.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


in these dull quiet days of unemployment (though i prefer to think of it as post-employment) surprises are few and far between. the days can be taken up with me shouting at the radio (as yet i have not succumbed to the horrors of daytime tv, so i give praise for small mercies).
imagine the thrill i had the other day when i go to check the post only to discover that i have missed the postie with his black and white cat and he wanted to deliver a package to me.
mmm i thought i am not expecting anything from play or amazon.
i have not lost any teeth recently so it can’t have been from the tooth fairy.
too early for santa and waaaaay to early for the easter bunny.
just who has sent me this mysterious package?
what could be in the package? is it something nice? something i want? something i have asked for.
my mind and imagination race. who, what, who, what, who, what, who, what in time to ever increasing speed of my footsteps. steps that soon become strides. strides that threaten to become running.
i get to the sorting office.
just in time. phew.
excitement mounts.
hand over the card to the moan behind the counter. off he goes.
wait. (come on postie, come on).
back he comes. box in hand.
ooooh that looks good.
excitement overload.
almost peeing pants.
have box in hand. thrilled.
is that it?
four bulbs from british gas…. i got excited by four bulbs from british gas.

i tell you i am so rock and roll.
oh well at least i got something free from british gas, no doubt they have put my bill up again.

Friday, October 17, 2008


i try to be good. i try to recycle as much as i can. in my current battle against the stuff i have a lot has been taken to the local charity shop. a lot has been taken to the recycle bins. there is still more to go the charity shop and still more to go to the recycle bins.
i am also on a be-as-cheap-as-chips phase (strangely this only works on the smaller household items). so who needs toilet paper when you have the london evening standard? not me that is for sure. certainly it is not soft and you have to be a little worried about paper cuts, but other than that is seems to do the job. i have to confess i do not know if it leaves ink stains, i suppose i could go to the local nhs walk-in clinic and ask the nurse: “can you read my bum?” i suspect it is not the done thing and besides nurses have a enough to deal with without bringing my bottom into the equation.
i must admit to a certain secret thrill as i rip a part of the paper up ready to do deed, there is a pleasure in wiping my arse on the face of david cameron, or jeremy clarkson or some minor overpuffed celebrity. it might be a minor victory, it might br a small thrill, but for the time being it is enough.
even better i am doing my bit to save the planet.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


last night there was a small news item about madonna’s directorial debut. i can’t wait. i am sure she has learnt a lot from guy. amazingly the announcer asked is there anything that madonna couldn’t do? act i scream at the tv.
i am so glad i have a working tv again.

this morning the radio tells me that the sun newspaper is announcing that madonna and guy are to divorce.
mmm there was a story they were going to divorce when guy’s last movie was opening. it didn’t make it a great box office success, but did distract a little from the lame reviews.
so call me cynical or is this latest divorce announcement timed to make sure that there is coverage of madonna and publicity for her film?
hey it didn’t work for guy, but it might work for madonna, and there is a chance that unlike guy madonna has made a good film.
a slim chance true, but a chance all the same.
then again pigs might fly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


unlike my pal ems i am not at ease talking to strangers, it is why i am always in the kitchen at parties. it seems ems will talk to anyone, even tory politicians.
now i am the first to admit that in the right circumstances i can talk for england and my role model is mr. jefferson smith, though my motivation is much less noble.
i am also the first to admit that i am a terrible conversationalist as most of the time i seem to dominate the conversation, i forget that sometimes it is polite to let others speak and that i am supposed to listen. hey can i hope it if i think i am interesting?

but just recently i seem to have started to talk to strangers. now i realise why i don’t do it very often.
first there was the local prostitute. she called me over at first i thought she was going to tap me up for some loose change. she started chatting about my hair (she liked it) then she asked me about what i was taking photos of. she was a skinny woman, with very nice thick black hair and a very prominent pair of tits, which she was quite happy to thrust out. the sexy look was ruined a tad by the stale booze breath and very few teeth. still a chats a chat. we swapped stories of chocolate eating until i noticed her eyes glaze over. i politely took my leave.
then there was the old duffer who asked me what i was taking photos of. he looked like an east end version of burt lancaster in “field of dreams”. very neat and very dapper. we traded stories of photography, he told me about wood flooring (who knew there was so much to know)? he let me know of a great fish supper to be had at gina’s (looking forward to checking that out). then he remembered he had to be somewhere else.
next it was one of the local beggars. two of them seem to have taken a shine to me, well not so much to me but my willingness to put my hand in my back pocket to give them loose change. this one started off with a sob story about how he had done his arm in while working in the market, he was prepared to take his bandage off to show me the wound, i was less than keen as the last time a down and out did that i was put off my food for a couple of days. his accident led to a conversation about how just a few inches can mean life and death. his less than furtive glances around the street told me i was taking up his precious time. i fished out some loose change and was on my way.
when i was in a local gallery one of the owners started chatting to me about the fine weather we were having and the state of art. within a few exchanges it became apparent that polite thing to do was to let him get back to the work he stopped doing to say hello.

so i have learnt the reason why i don’t talk to strangers very often, they really don’t want to hear my witterings, while i am jibber jabbering all over the place they are just thinking of their polite (or no so polite) exit strategy.
it is much easier for me to continue in my usual misanthropic way rather than to go down the path of loquaciousness that ems travels.

i am happier when i am miserable.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


we are living in dangerous times. we could be on the abyss. we could be witnessing the end of the capitalist system as we know it. each day there are more stories of financial disasters, shares have dropped, house prices have crashed, there is no confidence in wall street or the stock exchange. times are tough.
now we know just how tough times are because the london evening standard has told us all that london’s tycoons have lost billions in the recent credit crunch.
oh woe is me.
no seriously. take poor old lakshmi mittal. mr. mittal is a steel magnate and in these perilous times he has seen his family fortune crash to £11.82 billion. crikey he will have to start buying tescos’ own brand to make sure that £11 billion lasts. while mike ahsley, owner of newcastle united and lillywhites is down to his last £168 million. looks like mike will have to make sure he turns off some of the lights in his house to make ends meet.
as if that wasn’t bad enough it is possible that city bonuses will be down this year. it is thought that bonuses will be down by nearly 60% and only £3.5 billion will be paid out.
oh stop it; i am beginning to cry now. those poor bankers won’t be getting their big bonuses this year that is just so sad. no really it is. no doubt many in the city will be going to their cleaners to tap them up for a loan.

i know that mr. mittal is suffering because he describes money as “a curse”, and i am sure when you only have £11 billion it is hard to know just what to spend it on: football team? airplane? oh hell lets splurge we will get both.

schadenfreude. is what i am feeling. i can’t work up sympathy for a bunch of very rich people who have benefited nicely from the system. we have been told for so long that we need these super rich people because wealth trickles down.
it is nice to see that sometimes misery trickles up.
but we all know that come what may the mr. mittals and mr. ashleys of the world are not going to be turfed out of their luxury houses because they defaulted on their mortgages.
while they have done extraordinarily well they will not be asked to sacrifice any more than the rest of us.
in fact when you look at it in terms of wealth we, the people, are going to be propping up the wealthy, we are bailing them out, we are saving them from their mistakes. would it be too much to ask that all the captains of industry and commerce who have said that the free market is the only way are now choking on the irony of being saved by the state?
you would like to think that if the bail out works and the economy stabilises that lessons will have been learnt. though the chances of that are slim. you can bet that within a few days of the bail out working that the free marketeers will harping on about state interference in the smooth running of the system.

i’ll take my winnings in cold hard cash and not stocks please.

Friday, October 10, 2008



we are living in interesting times. are we standing on the edge of the abyss?

books i love them. i probably (well there is no probably about it) buy too many of them. i find myself wandering into bookshops to look at what is available.
some i sneer at “oh look there is yet another misery memoir”, such books always leave confused. are they so popular because people relish other people’s misfortune? or is that people want to be reassured that there are people worse off than them?
some books have me going “another one” as i spy the latest addition to the ever growing secret mystery thrillers in which some intrepid adventurer solves a clue that has him thwarting an age old conspiracy. so far no one has resolved the mystery that is dan brown’s success.
then there are the comedy books, which seem to have a funny concept but the execution of them makes them as humorous as me. or not funny at all.
as i walk by the tables or along the shelves there will be books that call out to me, my fingers will lovingly touch them, stroking the covers, opening them up, smelling that freshly opened book smell. heavenly.
on a good day i will make a list of the books that have caught my attention and i will walk out of the shop and mull them over. do i really want that new sf novel? will i ever read that biography or that insightful explanation on the political response to terror? do i really need another book on how to compose interesting photos?
the bookshops know i have all these questions so they try to trick me, they try to tease me, they try to bribe me. buy 3 and get them for the price of two, buy this one and get that one half off, here buy this and get £3 off. temptation. temptation, so hard to resist.
but on that good day i walk out of the shop with nothing in my bag.
on the bad days i stumble into the shop and even as i walk across the threshold i know, oh i know, that i will break down, i will give in and i will buy a book. if only it was just the one book, if i am lucky it will be one, but it could be two, it could be three.
save me.
there i was in borders bookshop my bag was already a tad stuffed with the latest dc showcase featuring blackhawk and the hayward gallery catalogue for their warhol exhibition (mmm there is a mix for you) but even with a bag full of book i needed to look at more.
oh no there is a new richard morgan fantasy, no no no polly toynbee’s new look at inequality in the uk is on the shelf. resist. say no. stop. walk out. do not pass the tills. do not spend £20.
one foot in front of the other.
eyes front.
no don’t look at the new ian rankin or the new mark billingham. don’t stop keep moving.
oh what is that is it what i think it is? could it be? yes it is.
by yiminy it is. the new neal stephenson novel is out. look at it there in all its hardbacked glory. big and beautiful. i just know it is full to the brim of fantastic ideas, complex plot and characters and sterling writing. over 900 pages of joy.
did i buy it?
no i resist the jezebel.
i regretted the decision all the way home. yet a part of me thought i had won an important battle.
until the next time i go into borders, or blackwells, or waterstones.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


i am awake far too early.
it feels like i have just gone to sleep.
i have decided that eating tuna and pasta late in the evening is not a good idea. it seems to lie in the stomach, wakes me up early in the morning and making me feel wretched.
feels like it will be a looooong day.

always fun to wake up to hear that sarah palin is once again in the news: this time she is going on about polar bears - they are not endangered. so it seems it is fine to go loaded for bear when you hang out with sarah. she claims that science involved was "bad science", especially the climate change model.
it is amazing that people such as bush and palin can find so much "bad science" is being done when it comes to opinions that differ from theirs.

oh i shouldn't complain at least i am not hearing digby jones.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


two jags.
two meals.
two fingers.
he may have been a philandering bulimic but he still has a bit of rough class.
(it is just a shame that john prescott's spokesman said he was just giving a victory sign for the forthcoming scottish by-election, it sort of ruins the hard man image).


i have manflu. pity me.
i am a bit roasty toasty in my duvet.
i can hear the drumming of rain, it is a nice way to wake up.
now do i go back to sleep because i have manflu? or do i go out to see what advetures a wet sunday holds?

Saturday, October 04, 2008


there is a recent study that says that a belief in god can make you a better person. i would like to think that is true. then i realise that there are people in the world i have no sympathy for whatsoever, in fact i would relish the opportunity to laugh in their faces (unless of course they were bigger than me). one such person said the following:

“i bought two two-bedroom apartments, one quite large for £770,000. now i'm trying to get £775,000 for it but it's not looking good. to be honest, i'm very disappointed. i can't afford to wait for the market to recover. from what i can see now people are not buying because they think the market still has some way to go before it bottoms out. i just don't know how much i'll lose. my strategy now is to try to get buyers in russia or perhaps kazakhstan. if the worst came to the worst, i suppose i could live there.”

i don’t know about you but the idea of being able to buy anything for over £700,000 is the stuff of dreams (hell buying something that is £7 is a major expenditure at the moment).
so i am not going to lose too much sleep over someone who can find the money to put a deposit down on two expensive flats. especially as it so obvious that the purchasing of the flats was for the sole purpose of making a killing, there was no intention, ever, of living in them, they were to make money, and lots of it.
ooops. that didn’t work, did it?
i have no sympathy for the buy-to-let brigade, or those who bought “off plan” a few years back expecting to make a large profit when they sold the moment the place was completed.
quite why anyone expected the price of houses to keep going up was beyond me.

when it comes to bleating “investors” my well of human kindness run dry. they have forgotten the golden rule, your investment can go down as well as go up.
this mindless “investing” and hyping of prices is what has led us to the sorry state we are currently in. still never you mind the government is going to step in to make sure that the very stupid people who over extend themselves, not because they need somewhere to live but because they want to screw the profits out of people who need somewhere to live, are going to be protected.

i hate them all.
(crikey that was lucid political discussion there, any more like this and i am getting a job at the daily mail).

Friday, October 03, 2008


we are in dark dire times. we need something or someone to rescue us.
cometh the time, cometh the man.
politics very own panto villain has returned to the stage. oh yes peter mandelson is back and no doubt this time he means to stay (well they say third time is the charm).
mandelson is new labour’s very own version of jeffrey archer, you know you shouldn’t like him, you know there is little to recommend him, but you just can’t help admiring the sheer front, the sheer gall. mandelson is one of the architects of the new labour project, and for that alone he deserves thanks. having said that he also embodies some of the worst elements of new labour: the love of big business and the love of wealth.
quite how he is going to help gordon brown and labour is not clear. still at least there will be some smiles ahead.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


today i had my portrait done.
it was an interesting experience. i like the result. it is me, but not the me i think of as being me. if you see what i mean.
it will be an odd experience to go to the show that my portrait is being shown at. it will be even odder to think that someone might buy my portrait.