Saturday, March 29, 2008

Loft ambitions

I'm back home visiting my parents and, as is becoming increasingly customary for such trips, I've been rooting through the loft so my mother can do a clear-out.

Amid the stacks of old magazines, with their enthusiastic but awry cover proclamations - "Hope: are they the new Wham?" wonders one - I found a small pocket organiser with a solitary diary entry, for Monday 2 April 1990. Although I was just shy of my 9th birthday when I wrote it, this vivid account of a holiday in "NORTHUMBULAND OR HOWEVER YOU SPELLIT" eerily foreshadows the literary sparkle of this very blog, and demonstrates the youthful joyfulness of my salad days:

"Went to Holy Island and we went to the museum. Dad needed the toilet for two hours. And I got a headache. We had a picnic in the car. And went to a castle. And then we went home."

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Live kicking

Uh oh. My friend Dan is being interviewed live on BBC News 24 at 7.30pm today - and I'm not sure Auntie knows what she's letting herself in for.

Don't read this if you don't like swearing, but here's how he plugged his appearance in a Facebook note a few hours back:
"After loads of Radio interviews (usually radio five or the asian network) with me defending violent videogames from cunts, the BBC have finally elevated me to TV cunt. Watch BBC News 24 at 5.30 today (Thursday) where I'll be calling some child cuntologist a fascist fuck and telling the government that we're all heading for some "V For Vendetta" type shit because of their insidious bannery."

"I ain't done no telly shit for about 12 years so I'm shitting it a bit. I've also got an interview at 1.30 on bbc radiowales and 2.30 on bbc 1xtra, with the radio 5 thing this morning I'll probably have reached everyone in the country by the end of the day."

Don't forget to tune in!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Great house party moments #39

We’re at a small boozy bash in Brixton over the long Easter weekend. It’s around 1.30am and my friend J, an eccentric ginger Finnish scientist, is drunk. Ah hell, we’re all drunk.

A guy neither of us are familiar with has apparently run out of booze. “Is there any beer left?” he asks loudly.

“No, is all gone,” says J from his comfortable-looking leather beanbag. The beer-seeker goes over to the fridge and has a look anyway. He turns round.

“There is,” he says. “In fact, not only is there beer, there’s Bud, Kronenberg and Carling.”

He takes a can and stares accusingly at the Disseminator of False Information, who is now looking slightly sheepish. Suddenly we're all looking at J tensely, waiting for a response.

Then, for no discernible reason, J puts on a slurry hippy voice and says with dismissive contempt: “Yeah? That’s just your opinion, maaaan.”

From the archives

Great house party moments #24

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sick stunt

Huw over on My Thoughts Exactly has unfortunately fallen ill and, barfing his way to oblivion, has asked for "good vomit stories". Here's mine.

This story happened during the night on 8 May 2003, a Thursday. I was in Rajasthan, north India, on a sleeper bus, travelling between the cities of Udaipur and Jodhpur. Making the journey with me were two acquaintances, R and P, and a close friend, N, with whom I was sharing a bed (platonically). Our compartment was basically just a double top bunk, with a grille at the foot of the bed to enter and exit, and it was situated at the back of the coach where the vehicle's rear window would have been.

Having whiled away an hour or two in conversation and managing to successfully blot out the noise of the screaming Indian baby from the bed below, N and I drifted off to sleep.

A short time later, however, the two of us were awakened - her by a splashing noise at the end of the bed and I, less happily, by the sensation of liquid spattering onto my feet. Still mind-numbed from sleep, I thought the source of the leak might have been my water bottle exploding, for whatever reason, but looking up, I saw the water was actually being poured through the grille by a shadowy figure standing in the coach's aisle. The mysterious individual then turned and walked off.

"N, some nutcase is pouring water on us!" I yelled (admittedly a little slow to react), leaping up. Scrambling out of the compartment I saw the culprit, holding his now empty mineral water bottle. It was our travelling companion, R. He turned and, with a vacant, feverish look on his face, said meaninglessly, "I think I'm going to piss in this bottle, I'm desperate." As I pursued him down the aisle of the coach, my trousers, which I'd loosened in order to sleep more comfortably, fell to my ankles.

"Did you just empty that…" I began, but as I pulled my trousers up, a wave of awful nausea hit me. "Oh my God, I feel sick," I blurted out and dashed to the bus's entrance door, open, as on all Indian buses. Holding on tight, I leant out of the moving vehicle and vomited four times onto the road as it whizzed by, still slightly confused about the whole thing.

Easter Monday part 2

Easter Monday

Thursday, March 20, 2008

“This is Houston. Hit the left button”

Ricky Gervais has started a blog for the sole purpose of annoying his baldheaded idiot-muse Karl Pilkington. Well worth a look, but possibly even better is this animation of one of Karl's Monkey News bulletins from the podcasts.

The guy who did it gets a CV-busting endorsement from Gervais, who writes: "You have to see this. This is the one of the best animations I have ever seen. This guy should win awards. He hasn't just animated it, he's added to the comedy. I was honestly blown away by the style and attention to detail. Please tell your friends. Joost Reijmers - whoever you are, you are a genius, and I would work with you tomorrow. (Well not tomorrow, I've got to get some new sweatpants and have a hair cut). Brilliant."

Hear, hear.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Prize Lottery

Ha! Although I'm loathe to defend Orange (what with working for them and everything), novelist Tim Lott's description of the loveable communication giant's literary prize - awarded to women writers only - as "discriminatory, sexist and perverse" stinks of sour grapes of wrath.

The Lottster's clearly sore after Private Eye described the prize he chairs - the Prince "nope, me neither" Maurice prize - thus:
"The Prince Maurice prize for literary love stories... allows seeming chairman in perpetuity Tim Lott to invite chums and other clubbable novelists to conduct the judging in a five-star hotel in Mauritius - where the winner can stay for a fortnight. Among Lott's 2008 panel is Irvine Welsh, a connoisseur of luxury hotels and avid log-roller whose influence can perhaps be discerned in the shortlist's inclusion of his pal and Cape stablemate Ewan Morrison (whose 'love story' is about wife-swapping) and the fishy presence of three books - no other publisher has more than one - from the small Scottish indy Canongate, to whose collection Children of Albion Rovers Welsh and shortlistee James Meek were contributors."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tarred with the same Brush

So, Basil Brush, eh? I always knew he was a Gypsy-hating racist. It just goes to show: you can never trust foxes. I bet he eats swans too.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fifteen years old and still utterly true

Blobby, Mr Blobby, if only you could make us understand
Blobby, Mr Blobby, your influence will spread throughout the land

His philosophy of life will steer him through
And as far as he can see
He's the same as you and me
There's nothing in the world he cannot do.

No hill too high, no desert too dry
No road too long, no tide too strong
No bridge too far, he's got a car
No slope to steep, no thought too deep
No star too bright, no squeeze too tight
No tale too tall, no cat too cool
No bass too low, he'll give it a go
No end to his talents, no sense of balance

Blobby, Mr Blobby, when disaster strikes you never get depressed
Blobby, Mr Blobby, you'll always prove that Blobby is the best

Although he's unconventional in hue
His philosophy of life will steer him through
And despite the limitation
Of his poor co-ordination
He knows he'll show the world a thing or two

(Blobby, blobby, blobby)

Blobby, Mr Blobby, you're the guy who puts the do in do or die
Blobby, Mr Blobby, your deeds are guaranteed to stupefy

No ride too rough, no test too tough
No act too slick, no race too quick
No shot too hot, he'll hit the spot
No style too chic, no joke too weak
No chance too slim, no fate too grim
No foe too strong, no odds too long
No price too high, he's put some by
No dodge, no doubt, no backing out

Blobby, Mr Blobby, if humanity's a question of degree
Blobby, Mr Blobby, stay loyal to your Blobby pedigree
Blobby, Mr Blobby, you're the one who bears the pink and yellow crest
Blobby, Mr Blobby, you'll always prove that Blobby is the best.

Monday, March 10, 2008

2008 = SFA + BB + JD > LCD x 50

Oh wow. A dancey collaboration between Super Furry Animal Gruff Rhys and serial genre-masher Boom Bip not appetising enough for you? How about if said collaboration turned out to be a concept album based on the life of John DeLorean? And how about if said concept album is already in with a chance of being this year's Sound of Silver?

Say hello to Neon Neon. Now press play.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Whilst reading Julian Cope's Japrocksampler: How the Post-war Japanese Blew Their Minds on Rock 'n' Roll, it occurs to me that I have never heard the word "archipelago" said aloud.