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Saturday, January 31, 2009


to say i am upset would be an understatement.
to say i am shocked would be like explaining bears shitting in woods.
there i was last sunday having a couple of nice coffees. chatting with the owner. ten years he says, really i say, yes says he. crikey that is a lot of coffee i have drunk is my reply. (quite why you would think my conversation would be sparking after reading this blog is beyond me).
that was followed by a conversation with an electronics geek, all angles and enthusiasm for valve transistors (he lost me at valve).

today i am in my local newsagent i am having a rant (it is something i do quite a lot in the newsagent - i think it is the proximity of multiple copies of the daily mail that does it). he is used to me ranting, sometimes he joins in. as with most middle aged blokes we cover a lot of ground in the conversation. we set right the worlds of sport, culture, politics and the economy with the occasional break for a look out the window at the bevy of beauties that stroll down the whitechapel high street.

after a full rant i needed a coffee. i had been missing my fix of coffee at coffee@ over the last few days as they had closed early. so off i go. before i get there i chat to a local retailer. he is normally a happy chappie with a ready smile and a quick wit. i mention that i am going to fight off the cold with a coffee.
then he drops the bombshell: coffee@ has been closed down because of problems at the bank.
my immediate thought? fuck fuck fuck fuck no no no fuck fuck fuck no fuck no.

well that has fucked up my regular treat. i can only hope that the finances can be resolved and i can once again drink coffee at coffee@.

in the meantime it looks like i will be getting my hit of latte with an extra shot in the newly opened nude espresso.

but my weekend has been somewhat dipped in shit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


i have eaten too many cherries.
i feel sick.
i would have been better off eating too much chocolate.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


discovered these pictures buried on the drive of the computer. thought i would share.

i guess this is why i don't have a career as a model for dkny, d&g or whaler's monthly.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


suffering from a cold. not bad enough that i can claim that it is man-flu. though it has left me spending the last few days curled up sleeping and only getting up to go out hunting and gathering (oh alright to the supermarket).
feeling better now, but at midnight on saturday there is very little to do. so i will do a little online, then read and then fall asleep.

just listened to a bit on the radio about the use of mobile phones and the etiquette of the mobile, i shan't go on about my loathing of the love of the mobile. but i did enjoy the new word "infobestiy" - the need to consume huge amounts of information that we can't digest. made me smile. will be trying to drop that into my conversations on a regular basis.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


as if to confirm i am getting old i am typing this while watching the ladies match play bowls final.
darned fine it is too. much better than tennis (though the ladies are foxier in tennis).
recently i was watching darts.
at this rate i will be campaigning for indoor league to make a return to our screens.
next thing i know i will be craving pan's people!

"i'll see thee"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


first day in the big job. expectations remain very high.
in some ways president barack obama, and his team, have fanned the flames of expectation and in other ways expectation has been heaped on him by all and sundry.
if you had to choose when to be president of the united states of america now would, probably, not be the time, and i am sure gordon brown knows the feeling of poison chalice. as if he needed a reminder of what was ahead the dow jones registered heavy losses on inauguration day, as if to say, “what do you say to that mr. president?”
in some ways it is very reminiscent of that day in 1997 when tony blair became the prime minister. that day was characterised by a tremendous feeling of hope and limitless potential.
as obama made his inauguration speech those same feelings were there.
for some of us this leads to a situation of once bitten twice shy, a cynicism that has us wondering have we been sold snake oil? part of the problem is that obama and his team have not managed expectations that well and now the world is expecting the moon on a stick. (true i am ignoring the fact that obama and his team maybe supremely confident that they can carry out all their promises.)

it is possible though that so much is expected that no matter what obama does people will expect more.

obama: i have solved the middle east crisis, jews and arabs will now walk hand in hand and sing songs of love together forever and ever.
jews and arabs: but where are our ponies?

obama: i have healed the rift between christians and muslims nevermore shall there be hate.
christians and muslims: where are the ponies?

obama: racism is a thing of the past thanks to me. the klan and panther are now brothers in arms.
klan and panthers: ponies!!!

obama: i have solved the financ…
markets: pony now

Friday, January 16, 2009


i have to say i have not really being paying that much attention to the heathrow story, partly because it was inevitable that the third runway was sanctioned.
the debate is couched in terms of economy versus environment. on this i have some sympathy with george w. bush, in that it should be possible to have both a growing economy that does so within sensible environmentally friendly measures. bush was going to leave it to the free market to do it, when really it needs the intervention of the state to ensure that companies do the relevant research into reusable and clean energy.
in reality that means that the state has to fund the research while the private companies walk away with the profits. what gordon brown and labour should do is sink a load of money into research and development into new sources of energy, but keep the results and patents to themselves and use them for the benefit of the world. the finance for it could easily be found, dump id cards and trident and already you have several billions to play with.
but it won't happen so why even think it.

what has really gotten on my tits over the whole heathrow situation are the number of celebrities who have taken to the cause. oh no more flights, no more flights they cry. growth of flights cannot continue, they must be cut back is part of their mantra. i suppose for people like emma thompson and alistair mcgowan it won't be a problem for them to pay for the fewer, and more expensive flights when they want to travel abroad or they can use that old stand by: "i have to go because of work darling".
meanwhile boris, who flew to beijing, has gone on about how he will fight "this devastating plan", yet only recently he was talking about building a new airport in the thames, so quite how a new airport in the thames leads to less pollution i am at a loss to know.

it really hurts me that i am seem to be on the same side as confeferation of british industries and the british chamber of commerce. but i get in such a fume when i hear people who have enjoyed trips abroad saying that other people should not fly, or the wealthy implying that flying should be made more expensive so it once again becomes the exclusive province of the rich rather than the slightly chaotic democratic process that it is now. you would have thought that the steam coming off of their hypocrisy would be equal to all the carbon emissions coming from a country like kenya.

Monday, January 12, 2009


another day where i am awake at silly o'clock, made worse because i seemed to have gone to sleep at an even sillier o'clock.
my sleep patterns is pretty much fubared.
i have not helped matters by starting to run late at night, which has now complicated my nodding off to sleep.
one of the things about being awake early in the morning is hearing idiots on the radio, or perhaps i am less tolerant when i wake up from a dream. (mmm that implies that i am tolerant at other times). still there is nothing like an angry shout of "shut up you imbecile" at the radio when someone from the british chamber of commerce is pontificating to clear the cobwebs and make for a good start to the day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


it is cold outside. there is a lovely moon.
i am fat and full.
i am watching 'star trek: the motion picture". it is the first time i have watched it since seeing it in the cinema in 1979, was it so long ago?
i loved star trek when i was a kid. in junior school i played at being part of the enterprise crew (but then i also played being on the police force of hawaii five-o). i am pretty sure i am neither a trekker or a trekkie, but i did love the show.
i still do.
i remember being excited about going to see the film, back in the days when most cinemas only had one big screen and programmes were sold for the film. when my favourite treat while watching the movie would be a cheeseburger drenched in tomato ketchup. through the adverts the anticipation of the film would grow and grow, mounting as the trailers were shown. back then the screen would be covered by stage curtains, these would open and close for the adverts, the trailers and then for the film.
that final opening on the curtains would have seen me giddy with excitement.

such a shame that 'star trek: the motion picture' was very dull. long and boring.
there have been a few occasions when i have walked out of the cinema because the film was bad or dull, there have been a few times when i have fallen asleep and there have been times when i have prayed for the ending a movie to come before all desire of life had left me.
'star trek: the motion picture' left me with dead legs and a very numb bum when i saw it in 1979.

strangely it is still a dull film.
however now that i am older and wiser i can see that they were trying to make a worthy intelligent movie that would make the audience think. it was a pity they made a boring film in order to convey their point.
still at least now i can revel in william shatner's overacting and special effects wig. if ever there was an actor who needed to be playing hamlet on a london stage it is william shatner.

the film is still running, it seems like it has been on for days.
if only i had a cheeseburger it would be like it was back in 1979.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


take the sparse beauty of of hawksmoor's christ church add a touch of the music of monteverdi and you have a glimpse of beauty.
heart warming, spirit lifting reminder that there is great beauty in the world.
on this cold day it warmed the cockles of my heart, so it did.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


as i sit here doing 1100th one of these i can't help wondering how ben affleck gets work as an action hero. it is not that he is a bad actor, he just can't do action.
having said that a more pertinent question might be: whatever happened to john woo? once a director of some of the most exciting action films made, yet ever since he has worked in the usa his films have steadily gotten worse.
those two clues should let you know i am suffering through "paycheck". a not so good film.
i should have watched "southern comfort" on the beeb at least then i would have seen something with a bit of class to it.
mmm culturally the year is off to a bad start.

Friday, January 02, 2009


i can’t deny that i am a messy person, try as i might i cannot keep my space clean and tidy. i am the very definition of messy. i live with piles, stacks and heaps of stuff. no matter what i try to do to bring a bit of order into my life it soon descends into chaos.
i guess it is a case of love me love my junk.
yet there is a contradiction to this i can’t abide litter. it is a pet peeve. so many people just throw stuff on the ground with no respect to where they are. it annoys me,
it galls me, it aggravates.
stand tall, hackney council. stand proud.
in a move that is both faintly radical and faintly radical hackney council have a team
of eleven environmental enforcement officers patrolling the streets ready
to film and pounce on anyone they see dropping litter. they can issue
an on the spot fine of £80, failure to pay could lead to prosecution and
a fine of up £2,500. fiona fletcher smith, hackney’s corporate director
for neighbourhoods and regeneration describes the scheme as “bin it or
cop it”.
liberty have complained about the scheme seeing this as local
bureaucracy gone mad, while ‘keep britain tidy’ saw it as an unusual
you can see where liberty is coming from, we just don’t need more people with cameras snooping on us in the streets. hackney say that filming is necessary in order to provide an accurate record.
liberty ask why didn’t hackney think to put more litterbins out.
there is the rub, even when there is a bin a few paces away people will just throw rubbish in the ground. they don’t think about it, they just do it. people expect others to clean up after them, they don’t care that they have littered it is not an issue for them.
litter, it could be argued, is symptomatic of both the decline of standards in the uk and the growth of disposable consumerism. pretty much everything we buy is over packaged and that just leads to rubbish that needs to be thrown away.
so i have to side against liberty on this and with hackney council. it is not hard to hold onto rubbish until you find a bin, it just takes a certain amount of personal responsibility. if that personal responsibility is lacking then perhaps councils have to force it on miscreants who litter.
personally i don’t think they are going far enough. i wouldn’t bother with fines i would give them all community service and make them work as road sweepers (to be fair that was my second option, my first option involved a firing squad, and i felt that was a tad harsh).

Thursday, January 01, 2009


so it is happy birthday to big ben 150 years old, and still keeping great time. not even the addition of an extra second to the year could fool it (this was the 23rd such leap second). engineers at the bbc had to add an extra pip at midnight, making it 7 pips (don’t fret about those engineers they pre-programmed it into the beeb’s atomic clock, so no need for them to be there, still if anything went wrong i am sure they had someone on hand to just go “pip” into a microphone).
the engineers working on big ben’s great clock didn’t have the luxury of pre-programming anything and they had to get the pendulum to add the extra second and this they did by adjusting the weight by removing some pre-decimal pennies. all very high tech. it worked.

oddly i have had close on 50 years to learn how to tell the time and thanks to the educational system of this fine country i can (and i can even use the 24-hour clock as well. impressed? i know you are). that said the one thing i have yet to grasp is the concept of being on time.
no matter what i do, no matter how i plan it the one thing that you can count on is me being late. it is almost like clockwork, except it would be a broken clock.
i appreciate that it is an irritating habit, but it is a constant one. so you would think that people would take that into account and factor my almost mutant like ability to arrive late into their calculations. they don’t and they can get a little smug at their own time keeping abilities while denigrating my own, which is a little like stealing candy from a baby.

still one thing you can always set your clocks by is start of a new year and the fares go up.
do you remember those heady days of nationalising the railways? do you remember those promises of better services, cheaper fares because that is what competition does? all the rail companies have asked for the maximum fare increases, all of them using the same excuse of “we need the extra cash so that we can improve the service”. perhaps it is time that they improved the service first and then charged people more money.
boris has put the fares up in london. thanks boris. he, of course, blames ken livingstone’s previous fare freeze for the need of the increase. others claim it is the scrapping of the western congestion zone.
not to worry though the extra money that goes on fares will make sure a few private companies, such as stagecoach, will have another bumper year of profits, and like me they will never be on time.


first day of the new year.
first coffee at coffee@ - very nice it was too. here is looking forward to many more of them to come.
first movie at the genesis cinema - not so nice, well it was "the spirit" so it was lucky i wasn't expecting much, and i didn't get much. still the year is bound bring many good films.

still the year starts off good and with lots of hope for the months to come. not making any special plans for it, just as long as it is better than 2008 then i will be happy, well as happy as i get.
as ever i will provide merriment, mirth. mystery, magic, plaudits, punditry, commentary and conversation.

welcome to 2009.