Monday, 29 October 2007

Sexy Chopper

Things you see on the way to work: pt 1

A real life episode of spooks, a scary blacked out chopper landed and took off a couple of times on this building near work and there was no mention of it on the news…..

Ps: didn’t see the lovely Hermione in Prêt either.

Things you see on your way home: part 2

Amazingly they have a website (sorry that’s a bit patronising) and looking at the latest issue it doesn’t look too bad what with pieces on Pugin, Fiona Bruce, cooking damsons and a trip to Warsaw, my kind of Ladies!

*get’s up and quickly tries to find something cool to do but feels a bit dizzy getting up too quickly so sits down and fills in asubscription to The Lad….*

Things you see on the way to get a pint of milk Pt 12: the best pop art porridge box ever.

Plus. it’s also treatise on British colonialism in a handy cupboard size package.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Sorted for E numbers and ....

Am I the only one to misunderstand the recent Heinz baby food ad as showing toddlers pushing drugs, it's all faintly unpleasant.

Fall back....

Now that after years of indifference the country shows keen interest in the welfare of Scottish school kids (well how they get to school) and puts the clocks back and plunges the rest of us into 6 months of darkness and gloom. I thought I’d provide some interweb sunshine to boost you vitamin levels.

Preeeeepareeee the way of the ……

The early 70’s were a time of conflict, the far and middle east were in turmoil, “the troubles” in Ireland were hotting up and even closer to home the West End stage was riven with competition . The battlefield, that unlikely source of conflict the “rock musical”. In the Blue corner we had Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” and in Red corner fresh from Broadway we have “Godspell”. Coming from a religious background these 2 shows played a part in our musical up bringing. In fact Tim Rice achieved that rare honour of becoming a playground/terrace chant:

“Jesus Christ superstar wears frilly knickers and ladies bra”
Your football fans swapping Jesus for Franny Lee, Asa Hartford or whomever.

Godspell was more serious, more evangelical than Superstar and I think more popular in America than over here. If Religion and rock riffs may at the time seemed a strange marriage, how about Shirley Bassey and a controlled performance. Well here is one, I found it the other day and I must admit bought it for a joke. But I was pleasantly surprised as it is a little 2 minute gem, excellent singing and a groovy swinging funky background.
Have a listen.

Nu Music:
I am may be at the back the queue with this one but I’ve been listening to LCD Sound System’s new single “Someone Great” all the time this week. It’s a perfect mix of “lowlife” era New Order (but with coherent lyrics Barney!), newer electronica and towards the end the Blue Nile (hurrah) here’s the video which is well done particularly the beginning.

Half term fun:
Looking for something to do with the kids? How about renting the John Wayne classic (only London based film) “Brannigan” (1975) and get them to try and draw a map of the Dukes journeys around London. Watch how he gets from Regents Park to Piccadilly by crossing the river twice or has that he has a flat in Battersea that has view of the Albert memorial! The kids will love the bit were he beats up “Leon Arras the man from Paris” and especially when he throws Baldrick into the Thames. Save time and money as the trailer will suffice.

Here name is still Rio:
Proof you can’t teach old dogs new tricks Mr Le Bon and boys open a mental hospital for supermodels; girls on film indeed.

Sun , sun , sun...
Here's a nice site if you want to make the summer last.

A nice walk on the beach might cheer up the gloom well maybe not.

If the darkness is still getting you down how about some talking animals (I know I know but they are funny) or better still swearing animals.

Lastly how about some Ramones to really cheer you up

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Homemade fun...

Proustian rush:

Whilst idly surfing I stumbled on this marvellous gem. The web as a store room for the worlds ephemera is as good use as any and this site is the acme of all that, more of which in a moment.

When talking to younger acquaintances I sometimes sound like I grew up in 1940’s; the simple things of my childhood seem quite strange now.
The cliché of “we had to make our own fun” was very true. With the telly being either off or rubbish for most of the day, videos games only existing in seaside arcades and the tinter net 20 years in the future, kids play derived more from our own imagination (this is an empirical fact).
Lego was simpler and wasn’t themed around star wars or killer robots, toy cars didn’t change into anything, Barbie was called Cindy and only had a horse and air hostess uniform.

Which is where this wonderful site comes in. Me and my Bros loved Asterix as kids and so to get free Asterix Viking Boat on the back of Weetabix box was fantastic and kept us entertained for several hours. They where well designed and course wonderfully drawn by Gonscinny . And of course you could collect the set even if our tight parents made us eat every last flake (including that stale dust you use to get at the bottom of cereal boxes) before starting a new one!

This site also has scans of Letraset action transfers. Which we also loved, seeing the battle of the little big horn or Battle of Britain books again just now was great. Yes, kids a book you finished off yourselves, you got to choose where the figures went even if the finish wasn’t great if you pressed too hard and occasionally scribbled over the edge with your biro.


Here's some more

Friday, 26 October 2007

Farewell my love....

Part5: BBC4's Friday night music programmes
An excellent documentary on Jacques Brel on tonight the only thing they missed out was when discussing the various versions of “Le Moribund” which via Rod McKuen, the Kingston Trio and finally Terry Jacks mutated into “Seasons in the sun” and was a big hit.

The one version they missed out was the one sung in every school yard across the land.

“We had joy we had fun flicking bogeys at the sun but the sun was too hot and the bogeys turned to snot”

Which I think was closer to the originals angst ridden bitter regret.

I never liked them really.....

Cultural short memory syndrome: Arcade Fire

We know some critics can have short memories but this seems a bit of a turn around by Alex Petridis. Or maybe as the Guardian were sponsoring the event, everything including the poor organisation at this year Glasto had to be shown as rosy, that or Alex is a bit of suck up to whom ever he's interviewing.

Here's what he said into today's arts section

Certainly, their performance at Glastonbury, anticipated by many as the event's highlight, fell noticeably short of expectation: while no disaster, they didn't quite set the sodden environs of Worthy Farm alight in the way that their forebears Radiohead did a decade before.

Here's what he said just 4 months ago:
Review: Arcade Fire
Alexis Petridis
Saturday June 23, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
Stage: Other
Time: Friday, 9:20pm
Highlight: It was a set liberally laden with anthemic moments, but Wake Up remains the most anthemic.
Mark out of ten: 9

Where they'll be on the bill next year: If their trajectory continues at the current rate, it's not inconceivable that they'll be headlining.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

London's real dome

Things you see on your way home from work? pt1.

St Paul's from paternoster square. dusk to today.

More Lentils Yentob!

What we learnt from last night's Telly!

Nigella eating with friends of her own age shocker!

Last night the manic Ms Lawson had Alan Yentob and Wife (?) round for tea, for the first time in this series it looked natural, as I can believe they would be friends (in real life not "Nigella real life" where you get a cab to go to party "round the corner" but you know "meat world" the one with air and dust and that)

Still no sign of hubby Charels, was that really a lamb casserole or was it longpig ?!

Lastly is Alan Yentob turning into a "post modern meta being", he increasingly appears as Tv Alan almost like Jon Malkovich does in the eponymous film. I fear he may be character in Douglas Coupland novel or a bizarre experiment cooked up by Jacques Derrida.

Accept the Bliss Ed

David Lynch and Donovan on the today programme talking about meditation

Why was it good?

Firstly the glee at which David Lynch said the word “Ed” (when talking to Ed Stoughton). Ed is much more Lynchian name than John, or James. You almost expected him to say “Ed, this coffee is great” a la twin peaks or something

Also David Lynch’s 2 minutes out burst on transcendental meditation was fantastic particularly as he encourages Ed to “accept the bliss”.

Another plus point was another opportunity to see Donovan weird insecurity complex which usual comes out in name dropping (the Beatles at least twice) and or bragging.

On gmtv yesterday they had a X factor winner being puffed up on the BBC we had the fizzy wind of gushing ideas coming from one the worlds consistently interesting artist, oh and 30 secs of Donavon singing something he’s very good at and doesn’t need to brag about.

Can’t find the clip but you can download the whole thing it was on at 8.20-8.45 I think.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Edwyn Collins Special

The Campaign for Real Rock:
Following on from the laudable example of Ally over at Dusty 7’s.
Here’s my Edwyn Collins memorabilia.
I’m afraid I never got to see Orange Juice live and got into them via them being mentioned by all C86 bands (Wedding Present etc) I liked.

I finally got to see Edwyn solo in 1990’s after “Girl like you” had conquered the world (well most of Europe). The gig was excellent except he fell into the rock star trap that I’ve mentioned before; he threw away the hit by playing a speeded funked up version which disappointed most of the crowd. It was still good though. I think he had Steve Cook from v’pistols on drums.
I think it must have been at this gig I got my fave piece of rock junk, my poems on the underground spoof placard. EC trenchant views on outdoor festival where made long before Glastonbury was GLASTO.
It’s probably even more apt now.

Out of this world:

The last time I saw EC was in rather more intimate setting. It was in the basement of a Thai restaurant on Stokey High st. It was probably 2002-3, Andy what’s his name Jonathon Ross’ radio 2 sidekick was promoting gigs at the “Barracuda” I think it’s called. So me, BLBW and the Delightful L got their early and had some TomYum and got our seats downstairs. What followed was just fantastic Edwyn played the set bellow unaccompanied, less than 15 feet from us (to a crowd of 20-30).

I’ve not posted any tracks as basically even though his new lp is consistently good (I particularly like the track Leviathan), the guy's had 2 strokes so if you like his music go and buy it, it’s the least you can do.

an outbreak of BJORKING

What we learnt from last night's Telly

Caught a bit of Studio 60 :on the sunset strip last night, it's still not that vital or engrossing, also I got confused as Lucy Davis (everyone adds "from the Office" but she's really "from The Archers" or should that be "from Jasper Carrot's loins"!) was playing similar role in "Californication" (which is strangely moralistic).

Anyway I was gladdened to see a that Josh Lyman (sic) (or whatever he's called) and the bland brunette who's meant to run CBNBCITV or (whatever it's called) got stuck on the roof and had to Bjork!

"Bjork: the act of waving your mobile in the air to try to send off a text message in areas of bad reception. "

Larry David who follows on from all this would make an entire (and not always that funny) show out of the problem of Skem

Sunday, 21 October 2007

maybe, just maybe.....

Second rate coverage....

I made a logo feel free to use it

download it here or here for banner

I can't help but feel we use to win more major sporting trophies when the BBC showed the finals. Also during the Grand Prix, ITV went to adverts during the 2-3 most important minutes of the race when Lewis Hamilton lost power and fell through the field.

Bland corporate meeting room of the week

There's no need to say where it is as they are all the same, they vary in plushness and not much else. If you have any good examples send them along.

swedish lift action

Sweden meets Brazil, or Scandinavian people in interesting places. More about Hello Saferide here.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

hmmmm that's tasty for you

When did everything get so expensive? Pt12.
How one west end cafe managed to charge almost six quid for a cheese and ham toastie, some crisps, a small pile of bean salad and some spikes! Can we stop this madness now oh and pannini are football stickers not lunch.....

Just that bit too far.

Pictures Off the Telly
from happier times.

I've just got me laptop mended so have a backlog of pics.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Lib dem's brush with Nora Batty

We'll have to get use his name... headline on yahoo news

"Clegg urges Lib Dems to be bolder"

presumably Compo replies "you're not getting me on that thing for love nor money"

Ant & Dec : Seedy UK


Michael Grade was having problems with what Fraud actually is on the Today programme, how about this Michael:

An Illegal activity of trying to conceal information intentionally for personal gain. Many frauds involving financial transactions are committed by business professionals, who use their knowledge and gained credibility to deceive customers

Or how about all of these

He was also trying to push the line that ITV weren’t trying to gain financial from running competitions fraudulently. I’m not totally sure but I believe intent only changes the severity of the sentence not the culpability; it’s the difference between manslaughter and murder for instance.

Let’s be clear ITV loved the huge dollops of free cash that came into the channel, they all got rich and didn’t care a jot about doing things properly. They held tens of meetings where editorial decisions were made and no one questioned whether fixing the competitions was wrong. The audience weren’t totally daft most people knew it was a lottery but enjoyed a flutter via text, with distant hope of a win and the chance to meet and Ant and Dec. The also enjoyed voting for their favourite celeb etc. which however vacouous the programme hardly a crime. The exs in charge didn’t care and committed fraud by deliberately fixing things. If your pay is liked to ratings and you take peoples money dishonestly in order to boost ratings it's a crime.

How would Michael Grades defence work at a village fete? How would you feel if you bought a tombola ticket and the organisers decided that the woman next to you might jump up and down that bit more when she won a bottle of pomagne?

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Hand held in black & white

My left sides better when I am buying fish:

I'm not yet in the same league as even a z-list celeb but living in the smoke you do seem to get snapped quite often as you go about day-day to stuff. Our old office was at Oxford Circus and as well as the tourists there were always "paps" hanging around hoping to catch some celeb popping into top shop, that and local photography students practicing.
One lunch time I was snapped twice in the space of one sandwich

"oh and this is a grumpy northerner wiping tuna off his shirt....."

There's no escape at home you can sort of expect it at Borough market

" grumpy northerner whining about overpriced Rhurbarb...."

but you get the arty (sun visor, knowing afro and post modern star wars t-shirt) set snapping away in Deptford Market.

"oh, isn't it great a traditonal chinese knock-off dvd stall, oh look how that posters all torn it's wonderful..."

It's just happened again down Leather lane (we've moved)

"grumpy northerner wiping Lamchun off his shirt..."

Leave me alone you don't need me in your holiday photos honest, why not go to Tesco and take pictures their instead , just don't take any more of me, it's bad enough with the cctv and the digital thing on an arm in reception, I'm not local colour, I'm a grumpy type with a growing pile of laundry, eating my lunch with too much relish (both sorts).

ps. I promise I will never take pics of interesting piles of kiwi fruit in a boqueria ever again honest well maybe just the odd hanging comedy chorizo...

You couldn't make it....

I love the BBC:
Reason 2: NUTS TV

Zoo format: don't feed the animals

Carl Hiassen the Floridian writer and satirist has promised to give up writing as increasingly he can’t make up more bizarre stuff than that appears in his local paper. I came across the same problem yesterday after spoofing a Daily Mail TV; I rescanned my freeview box to get back some radio channels that had gone missing.

Let sleeping bags lie
In the new list of channels was “Nuts TV”. So for a few minutes, I had a look and it’s dreadful and a clear example of what we can expect if other media companies get there way the BBC is slowly broken up and banned from certain areas of broadcasting.

Nuts TV seemed to have two gormless presenter a game for laugh blonde and sub-Vernon Kaye bloke in a studio with a strand of items through out the night. I’ve never read Nuts but I assume the show was true to the brand in that in one corner there were a “blonde and a brunette” (which was how they were introduced) scantily clad glamour models. Who’s role was to be humiliated, viewers could text in to vote for them to “take” penalties or to wriggle around on the floor in sleeping bags. There was some blokey sports news and later pornographer Ben Dover bragging about his car. The other guests seemed to be low level racing drivers and one of the actors from those Football Factory /Business films. Now I’m not expecting “civilisation” or “life on Earth” every time I turn on the box but this was particularly worthless crud.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Harry's Game

I Love the BBC.
Reason 1: Spooks.
Spooks is great. It’s big dumb fun. Someone slagged it off the other day for being like the Professionals and your point is?

Another reason I love it is its local TV (well for me). If Harry and the guys want to catch some dodgy Iranian types they should just throw a cordon around SE8, as last night episodes (as most of last season) was filmed entirely in NEW CROSS hurrah!

I'm dowloading the Encyclopedia Brittanica it'll take 20 seconds...
I love the implausibly fast computers, the over the top offices, the exciting music, the fact the headquarters is the Masonic hall. One of the best characters apart from Peter Firth’s Harry Pearce is Hermione Norris as Ros Myers. A truly innovative part for women as although she’s not unattractive, she get’s to go around beating the hell out of baddies, and doing cool spy stuff but doesn’t have them go home and feed mewling kids, she’s just a bad ass ninja.

Malcolm can you patch me through to the whitehouse...
I like the techy blokes and even the posh bloke, it’s all good. They may want however to stop filming at the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, you're giving the place a bad name, guys!

Whatelse oh yes I love that you can go online and be a spy. And that the ginger posh bloke just wore a scarf in Iran and went about unnoticed. I also like the way no characters safe, if they get caught by some Chechen rebels there’s no guarantee they won't get offed which really adds to the tension.
And I also like the fact you can watch two episodes in one go by switching to BBC3. The only thing I don’t like is that I can’t end this post with it going into negative and the thumping music fading.

Should this be the sort of tv the BBC make yes because they are the only people who can do it well, now a days.

I love The BBC

The campaign starts here:

On the news they are talking about large cuts in staff at the BBC, there is rolling coverage of various investigation into misleading the public etc.
But let’s get some straight the BBC for all it’s faults is great. The people attacking it are motivated by greed and envy.
Everyone complains about list shows but on the countless “best ofs” have you seen any shows that are made by SKY (there is one exception which I will come back to) or MTV.
The great TV moments people remember come from terrestrial TV and mainly the BBC. SKY and it’s ilk have been going for almost 20 years and haven’t produced a single show I’m interested in apart from the Simpsons which is of course a work of genius but here’s the thing I’ve never watched it on Sky mainly channel 4 and BBC2.

Next on She-mail : the Oxo family

Here’s my point for the BEEB’s critics, what sort of TV would they produce?
Let’s take the Daily Mail 1 or SHE-Mail 1 (or whatever) the programme will go like this:

The Barbra Taylor Bradford season (made for TV movie repeat, no subtitles as they are PC gone made pandering to over indulged minorities)

How much is my house worth this minute! Kirsty and Phil look-alikes race a round Britain in suped up foxton’s minis frantically re-evaluating house prices.

Small indulgences: 3 minute Infomercial for latest Cadbury chocolate body paint.

Water colour challenge (repeat)

How lumpy are my thighs? Working mothers have their cellulite rated by their crying children and complete strangers, hosted by Anthea Turner.

News: This will be a rolling banner of metro style news bought from agencies and just put out unedited.

Is my House still worth enough to pass on to my kids?!
Guildford homeowners beg the tax man not disinherit their IT consultant kids via video links to their holiday homes in Portugal.

“No you can’t come in”: Readers win the right to act as immigration officers for the day!

“They're in the trees!” : Urban wildlife: Alan Titchmarsh uses night sight cameras to spot illegal immigrants creeping towards peoples bedrooms windows to knock gently late at night.

Spitfire flypast:

Diana: Pictures of the late ex nursery school helper stroking orphans heads intercut, with her wedding day and piles of mourners flowers.

Heartbeat ( repeat , but only episodes with Nick Berry, with no stories about abortion or homosexuality but lot’s of Greengrass)

Will have lots of ad breaks and station Indents of homely mothers folding laundry while overfed hubbies are seen laughing heartily in country pubs. No kids TV as it’s pernicious. All content will be sourced from the golden age of TV (i.e. 20 years ago)

Close: 9.45pm
Basically it would be rubbish so much so that the hacks who work for the Mail would never watch it either.

So I’m starting a campaign I’ll work on logo etc
I Heart the BBC. I’ll list the ways it’s great in my next posts.

Monday, 15 October 2007

Egotist, egotist.....

Get that girl a hat stand!
A sure sign that the clocks are going back is the start of the perfume ad season. We can look forward to weeks of random aesthetic choices made by the international petrochemical companies (sorry fashion houses) as the impossibly gorgeous, have mock fights, swan around on beaches, and morph into piano keys, pretend to play the sax, dive into pools which turn into wine glasses you know all the “aspirational” nonsense used to sell bottles of scent. They all finish off with an asthmatic continental whispering "pour l'homme pas Christian Dior" seemingly with a mouth full of crisps.

A particular favourite is the new Chanel one where for some reason Ikea Twice Knightly after a busy day as the Bradford & Bingley girl climbs down of a giant clock and tries to look sultry in the hall mirrors last seen in enter the dragon.

It’s marginally better than Nicole Kidman’s weird “I love to dance” but have lost the ability to act film from last year.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Sloe Train running

Sloe Gin Recipe:
Went sloe picking this afternoon at Ashstead Common, which most days is a half hour journey from Victoria. The common is several hundred acres of wonderful woodland with some incredible open areas full of twisted beautiful oak trunks left after a forest fire. We had a great time, along lunch in the Star pub, sat in the marvellous autumn sunshine and lovely walk back through the trees to Epsom.
I’m not going to go into details about sloe gin as the wonderful sloebiz tells you all you need to know. Why not give it a go do it next weekend and you’ll have some delish sloe gin for Christmas. Cheers

sunday supplement

Friendly rivalry:
Recently in the press ,on blogs and at work there has been friendly banter between various nationalities over the Rugby. One strange aspect had been the begrudging support of Welsh, Scots and Irish of the English team. One strange thing is the perceived rivalry by the Celtic fringe. Most English fans would support the home countries against other teams as long as England weren't playing, the reverse isn't true. The problem is that that the Celts think they are our big rivals but we are more interested in beating the all blacks or Ozzies and of course our default foe the French. This same phenomenon works elsewhere, the Dutch always want to beat the Germans more than us whatever we may think.

So here' a cut out a keep guide to who we want to beat most:

Rugby Union Football

France Germany
All Blacks France
Australia Argentina
Scotland Holland
Ireland Italy
South Africa Brazil
Samoa Scotland
Tonga USA
Wales Sweden

With a few tweaks these lists in reverse would be who we would support after England. Except the USA obviously, mainly because they don't really do international team sports, oh and Iraq and George Bush, and their teeth....

Bad Practices:

Another mention on the Andrew Marr show in respect to the postal strike of "Spanish Practices". Are we still allowed to use another Peoples names in derogatory ways like this ? Can we go back to saying that being over charged is a "bit of a Jew", or similar what's wrong with "restrictive practices"? It's not as if it's common parlance as this week was the first time I've heard it used.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Tee hee.......

Today's going rather well

Over 19 consecutive games without Motty saying anything interesting

England 3 – Estonia 0

Can we have a new main commentator for the BBC's football coverage, John Motson today was rubbish, I know jingoism isn’t always great but his 3 minutes litany of England’s past failures before the game was just nonsense, this is the BBC not Estonia 1. Then he trotted out his usual tedious facts and figures. The ITV Rugby commentary team have been a lot better.

Also Motty and Lawrence seemed to be referring to tragic Coronation street star Lynne Perrie all the time, turns out the Estonian player in question is Joel Lindpere doh! No relation to Den Perry I don’t suppose!!

Now wash your hands!

Just the ones kneeling with long noses only please.....

I was checking my stats, amongst the suprisingly still strong stream of "Nigella toffee fiends" there was a suprising and very specific search, some hairy palmster was after "naked women pictures that are alone and dont need downloading", naked flash being hard to find on the net!

On a similar note which might cheer anyone who produces what we seem to all call "content" and gets visits but little in the way of comment on their site, well it's the norm everywhere on the web, even Youtube etc apparently only bertween 3-6% of users of Youtube or blogger actually add content or even interact. The world is full of passive consumers it would seem.

At last a cure for boil(s)

Take 2 lumps twice a day:
Bought some Turkish Delight last night (called Bodrum a bit bland not very perfumed, nice texture though)

It does have an excellent bit of blurb though:

"Nutritional & health benefits Of Turkish Delights
Turkish Delight is both a natural and healthy source of nutrition, and is know to have health benefits. One of the key benefits of Turkish delight is its carbohydrate (it's virtually all that's in it recipe ed) content. Especially patients suffering from Kidney disorders are recommended to regularly consume Turkish Delight to dispose uric acid and excess Keratin that builds up in foods high in protein and are taken into the system. Turkish delight is also widely known to be one of the most powerful cures of boil (sic)"

So there you have it when did you last see kit kat claiming to cure gout and clear up your skin!

Christmas is cancelled is early this year:

Normally the annual snow storm of "loony pc gone mad local council bans christmas" stories don't start until 6th Nov (it's traditional!) but the Times has brought even this aspect of the Yule build up forward this year.

Dear Diary

Have just finished reading Diary of a Nobody by George & Weedon Grossmith 1892. It is a good as I’d heard and genuinely funny. The hero Charles Pooter is often portrayed in a poor light as a snob and a low brow but you learn to love him. His main crime is a lack of imagination and the odd misguided enthusiasm.
I’m not sure who is meant to feel superior to Pooter (probably only his wife!) as most groups in society are shown in a poor light, the very rich as cold and indifferent, the artistic self obsessed and vain, the poor are belligerent.

Context is everything in satire and I wasn’t entirely sure when the michael was being taken and when not. For instance Pooter by today’s standards drinks quiet a lot, cheap champagne (sorry sham-pagne in one case) port, whiskey etc I’m not sure if this was normal or part of the spoof. Also because it so well written it portrays the end of the Victoria era in detail, how Pooter goes to work on a horse drawn ‘bus, the post that arrives throughout the day, people sitting down to “meat-teas”.

The parallels with today are noticeable, Pooter obsessions with DIY, his adult son moves back in with him, the dream of home ownership, petty office politics etc
Let’s not forget its plain funny.

Lastly as a regular blogger I think Diary of Nobody is a cautionary tale against the excesses of the medium, the self obsession, the quick off the handle rants against the minutiae of life and the celebration of the personal over the great matters of the moment (no mention of the Ripper murders in Pooter’s diary)

It’s not surprising then that Pooter's ramblings are available as a blog although the penguin classic is easier to read on the ‘bus (diesel driven in my case).

I have an ongoing link to fictional diarist as I’m the same age as Adrian Mole, well almost we share a birthday (the same day in fact that Pooter’s diary starts) and as the diaries are published 1 year in arrears I was 13 3\4 when Adrian was (this isn’t making sense is it) anyway Mole is a bit Dorian Gray for me so I have drifted away from the books a little, particularly as they got a bit zietgeisty, although I did like the joke about Bridget Jones eating in his restaurant in a later volume.

As its breakfast time (as I right) can I share a pertinent and very true entry from the picky but occasionally right Mr Charles Potter Esq. of The Laurels, Brickfield Terrace, Holloway. I couldn’t post today’s entry as Punch (where the diaries were first published) cancelled the diaries for a few months and so Grossmith worked in a story of these weeks records being torn from diary with complicated and humorous consequences. This entry echos one of my small obsessions with quality pork....
February 8. -
It does seem hard I cannot get good sausages for breakfast. They are either full of bread or spice, or are as red as beef. Still anxious about the 20 pounds I invested last week by Lupin's advice. However, Cummings has done the same.

Friday, 12 October 2007

This is not a pipe.

The best record cover ever well today at least

Not so pretty in pink

There's a interesting article in the paper today by writer Mary Hoffman. It's about the rise of the "princess" as icon for young girls and about the avalanche of pink tatt that is being sold to them.

This is a problem I've recently come up against as after 4 nephews I have started to by more grown up non baby gifts for my young niece. I have effectively moved across the aisle to girls side and it a horrid pinky/purple shade.

Is the pole extra?
My niece likes dressing up and thought I might get her a costume, John Lewis could only offer her a princess or nurse (the doctors scrubs were with the boys gear and were too big). I then thought about a witch so she go about screeching and cursing people. The witch's kit they sold was witch as lap dancer, a sort hot Cinderella low cut slashed skirt affair with bits of black affair not your classic hags rags.
It's just as bad elsewhere girls Lego is flower shops, and cloths racks not vikings, fire engines or Star wars.

Pink pounding
I know stereotyping is prevalent but what can you do, I don't want to buy worthy toys , I want stuff she'll enjoy but I want her to have things that are inspiring, involving and fun. Any suggestions, as it'll soon be you know what and the Pink avalanche will turn into blizzard.

ps. my Yahoo search for an image for this post proves the point type "princess" in and you get loads of horrid pink pictures, I just chose the first but they were all the same.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Love will tear us apart...

Control: Review:

Went to see the Anton Corbijn new film about Joy Division Control last night. It’s really good, far better than I thought it might be. Even though I know a great deal about JD/New Order et al I was fully engaged delighted and moved. One of the excellent tricks it pulls off is, is not falling into the trap that Ian Curtis’ death was inevitable. The sad things the film shows well, is that he did have choices and a future, if he could have got over what in most lives would be a medium sized blip his life would have fine. After all “rock star has more than one wife” is hardly news. It does come back to the whole “no adults” being around in rock it’s a bit glib and I’m not belittling depression or epilepsy but he really just needed a little support and perhaps a break from touring.

The other aspect of the film which is great is the recreation of late 70’s Britain, people have said it looks like another country but it looks familiar to me! Corbijn shows again the fact that 1960’s took a long time rolling out across Britain. Ian Curtis grew up in world were people still got married young mainly so they could have sex, where news from the “underground” came through hard to find books by William Burroughs or via Iggy and Bowie’s records and where having a girlfriend from Belgium is the height of exoticisms.

Obviously the film would have failed if the concert performances where poor but they are really well done, Sam Riley (as Curtis) inhabits his character amazingly well and from the many times I’ve seen New Order the actors playing Barney, Steven and Hooky look the part. One interesting thing is that Riley occasionally looks very like Steve Morris, (he was up his role in 24 Hour Party people!) This could be coincidence or maybe Steven Morris picked up some of Ian Curtis mannerisms?

So, a wonderful film, go and see it.

Extra points:
Don’t go to see any film especially Control at the Trocadero. Because:
A: they keep their prints in a bath full of sand, dust and horse hair.
B: they employ a one eyed projectionist with the DT’s
C: when you have a moving cinematic experience coming out into a garish hell hole full of video games and trinkets stalls fresh from a souk is a bit full on.

New Order will never escape the accusation of being rightwing if they go around picking Hitler’s secretary to play Ian Curtis’ girlfriend.

It’s evidently clear we now all live in Chicken Town.
John Cooper Clarke’s strident poem/rant appears in Control but also popped up strikingly and a little jarringly at the end of the Sopranos the other week.

He's not the messiah....

Not so Manic Street Preacher slight return:
I saw him again the man wth the smallest placard! This time on the SW side of Oxford circus. I was walking up to him casually trying to take a picture. Unfortunately my camera phone was on video setting and as I fumbled with the controls I looked down. When I looked back up again he was gone! Not just walked off, gone , vanished ! I looked a round all over but couldn't see a Hi-vis jacket anyway * cue X files music*.
Please report any sightings of this meek Evangelist just to stop me feeling I've fallen into an episode of Dr Who or worse Tales of the Unexpected.
Ps. I have some blurry "grassy Knoll video" which I will post if they don't get to me firs.....

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

a load of Skem

Sadly it can’t be added to after the passing of Douglas Adams but his books with John Lloyd “The Meaning of Liff “ which gave place names to experiences/objects in life for which there was no existing word was most useful (and very funny)!
I’m proposing a new one:

Skem: (noun) "the residual amount of cappuccino spume which clings to a coffee cup and which can’t be dislodged even when the cup is inverted and vigorously shaken".

citation: " you spend 3 quid on a mug of milky weak coffee and 10 bob of it ends up as a load skem stook to the bottom of ya cup"

For more on the place.

small cross to bear

Things we've learnt already today:
Not so manic street preachers:
Saw the only evangelist I could ever get along with this morning. I went past to quickly to get a good picture. But sitting on a BT junction box opposite Charing cross was a middle aged man. Slightly grumpy looking wearing a chunky hi-vis jacket, black bobble hat and a sullen unshaven look on his face. He was holding a thin foot long cane on the end of which was tiny placard. The only words on his sign were (in 50 point at max) "Jesus". Genius! He had a lot more impact than any of the Johnnies with the loud hailers, or the woman on the bus who once told me I was sinner at 8 o'clock in morning (she was put out when I pointed out the last thing Jesus would do was harangue people on their way to work and that she was in danger of committing the sin of pride). Sorry back to our gnome prophet, maybe all religions could do the same just have little signs with their Prophets name on, the temples and Ashrams would full in weeks (or perhaps not)!

The only thing on tv worth watching:
On More 4 (10.30 pmish) they are repeating as part of the channels 25 year celebration the poet Tony Harrison's excellent film poem "V". IF you haven't seen it make time to catch it. It's famous sadly not for being a moving insightful angry poem but because, there was an outcry at the time about his liberal use of swearing. Obviously those complaining missed the point in that Harrison used these oaths to highlight the desecration of his own parents graves by vandals, something the protesters seemed less concerned about.
Having said this try to watch the film for it's wonderful use of words and images, as one our best living poets uses his art to illuminate life in the way only poetry can.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Sad News

Joe Mitty 1919-2007

Fans of second-hand music rave about all sorts of famous, cool and esoteric people. They laud obscure sound track composers and obsess about 60's tv theme tunesmiths , but one person has improved our lives as much as any of these even, Jerry Wexler ! He's Joe Mitty the man who set up the first Oxfam Shop. Without him all this wonderful stuff would pass out of circulation, decent clothes, books , weird pottery animals and of course lot's of lovely vinyl. So a big thanks to Joe and obviously praise for his work in raising millions for the poor of the world.
here's his Obit in the paper.

Oxfam are one of my charities of choice and do good innovative work to help people all over the world. Not just disaster appeals but long term work such as fighting malaria in Africa, why not go to their site and find out more and perhaps give them a shilling direct.

Monday, 8 October 2007

You don't know me at all...

whoreporate spam slight return:

Just after posting my last piece the 12 years olds that staff Vodaphone's marketing dept sent me a "service package" on my phone, which is a"bundle of pics and ringtones to funk up your handset"apparently. This one was particularly offensive it was entitled "Hot fresher babes".

Let me count the ways this is all wrong.

1. why would anyone pay more than cost of a copy of "Zoo or Nuts" for a low res picture of a 19 year in a "hand" bra when the interweb is full of pictures of naked women for free?

2. Do these people not have my date of birth, for me to have anything but a passing interest in "fresher Babes" would be just a bit creepy uncle. I am just not rich/famous enough to fancy/go out with someone almost half may age.

3. Is it gender specific? Do female subscribers get "Hall of Residence Hunks"?

4. Why are so many women both at vodaphone and presumably at "colleges" so busily helping roll back the gains made for them by Feminism/ist, their mothers, aunts, grandmothers and the odd well meaning bloke?
5. Just why? you know why? no really why? When was it a good idea when? Tell me that? when? why?

The delightful Miss woo has been discussing the dumbing and stripping down of college students over at her site.

Gwen will we see the back of you?

Number one with a Bullet!

Like most people I get corporate spam and being counter suggestible I can’t but help but find double meanings in it. I regularly get an update from ticketmaster the title of which normally reads “Don’t miss…..add name of act I would rather gouge my eyes out with hot spoons than see ie James Blunt/Katie Melua / Justin Timberlake”. Whenever I see this spam my first reaction before deleting it unread is to add “Don’t miss el divo with a crossbow bolt/shot gun/pit full of sharpened sticks…..

Please reorder quoting code D47

So it was with a great deal of “joy” that I received another random spam from Hewlet Packard (who made but won’t repair my laptop). The missive asked me “to get creative with Gwen Stefani”. What a fantastic offer a chance to “mess up” one of music’s most annoying figures. I was crestfallen however to find it just meant I could print out some of Gwen’s terribly precious arty scribbles. (The fact they are being used to sell ink must make Gwen’s “edgy” childlike musing even more meaningful for her don’t you think?)

It’s a shame I can’t “get creative with Gwen” as I might have got chance to find out why she is so cocking popular oh and maybe she could point out in which parallel universe “No Doubt” could possible be classified as a ska band?

Jules Et Jim wasn't that what dumb and dumber was called in Belgium?

One depressing point about the dreadful Gwen came to light when I was working with some design students recently. Usually I would be happy to be made to look like an out of touch old gimmer by cutting edge aching cool 19 years olds but I was shocked to find that if anything I had more avant garde taste them .They we truly mainstream, they had never seen a French film (not even Amelie!), they hardly read or visited galleries and most tellingly they professed a love and respect for Gwen as the most out there Über cool singer around.

I don’t know fully why I can’t bear her, I think it must be that she’s the queen of “shopping pop”, music that is smoothly blended into ringtones, fashion pages, campaigns for ink cartridges but tries to pass its self off with a patina of street cool.
I’m not really complaining about her selling out it’s more about promoting the idea (in this case mainly to girls and young women) that you can only express yourself by how you spend your money.

Is it just me or does everyone else loath Gwen?

Ps. One last sad note my work spellcheck recognised “Timberlake” but not “Ska” and there my friend goes the world.

I love soup me!

I'm having a pang of conscience, particularly as I've mislead almost a thousand people in their search of being creative! I spoofed Nigella Lawson sadly poor new series after last weeks episode sunk to new levels of inept kitsch, falsity and sheer strangeness, all that soup drinking! If you are looking for a recipes for Hokey Pokey for Nigella Express BBC2 go here it's just the same, a butter less toffee unlike most of the recipes on the web.

ps. I think one thing that made this recipe so popular apart from everyone liking crunchies is it only has 3 ingredients.

Friday, 5 October 2007

TV Humour

What we learnt from last night's telly.

That Thursday night on BBC2 isn’t going to be comedy night.

First up was Vivienne Vyle a new Jennifer Saunders comedy Drama (i.e. not as funny as a sitcom) in it Saunders plays a Trisha-esque daytime TV host who could easily be the sister of Eddy in AB FAB. In fact the plot was very similar to Ab Fab in that Vivienne spends the first few minutes being horrid and over the top to her guests, then get’s involved in a fight which is followed by a brief sick bed epiphany in which she’s sets out to change and be a better person, but by the end of the show is back to her terrible old self. Like Ab Fab it’s obsessed with the media and not much else. There is a much promoted strand of psychology supplied by co writer Doctor Tanya from BBC 3’s “House of Tiny Tearaways” fame. But her input seems to be giving a clinical psychologist character random medical words to babble. In the whole half hour I didn’t laugh once.

Next up was The Peter Serafinowicz Show, a sketch show based around Serafinowicz’s considerable skills as a mimic. This was if anything even less funny. Most of the jokes seemed to be based on the viewer having to applaud the exactness of the shows parodies. Unfortunately they weren’t funny, here are the jokes: TV games shows are random and pointless, American entertainment news is vacuous and loud, shopping channels cynically sell low quality goods, TV advertising ambulances chasing lawyers are inept and dodgy. The only halfway funny was joke about a man playing a woman’s fingers like piano and they didn’t even carry that off very well.
Meanwhile on e4 “Dogface” has swapped random obscenity and cruelty for anything remotely humorous.

One thing these programmes all show us is that comedians and comedy writers watch too much TV, (daytime especially,) most comedy these days is about or reflective of the media, with a few notable exceptions Saxondale, It Crowd, Katherine Tate (largely). I know we all share TV in common but as “studio 60” shows the actual making of TV programmes isn’t necessarily interesting or funny. Saunders has made some good spoofs in the past and if done well they are enjoyable but not all the time.

The granddaddy of all this is Armando Iannucci whose entire oeuvre is based on “the media” .The “Thick of it” is nominally about government except the characters are obsessed with the news media and it’s full of knowing TV cameos etc. It’s also telling that a lot of the “jokes” in all these shows are based on the sort of TV that their middle class makers wouldn’t normally watch. In fact the fans of Jeremy Kyle show are probably watching whatever is on ITV or catching up on the soaps on digital. So as well as laughing at poor people whilst not making anyone else laugh what are they all doing? It’s not biting satire of the media because the characters are grotesques so the people they are mocking will never see themselves in these monsters, maybe it just shows that we areall vein, stupid and self obsessed, which isn’t a very cheering thought.

Rubbish Patsy and Eddy looka likes anyone?

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Stick ‘em up your ar….

Sweet of the week

Trebor Extra Strong Mints 45p:
Bought a packet today, they are really nice. When I was a kid they where almost too scary, no one dared eat them. Now they seem sharply minty but not over the top, in fact they are rather moreish. The texture is similar to Edinburgh rock but harder, the large round shape has nice mouth feel and the mint oil is fantastic, it’s like mouthwash without the slapping the back of your neck freshness.

Lastly there is the song "trebor mints are a little bit stronger stick'em up your bum and they last a bit longer"

I might have to test them against polos and tic tacs*, what other mints are good?

Ps. It was ages before my Bro A pointed out that “moreish” didn’t refer to the addictive produce of the mystical east (made by the Moors) but just means you want more of something, doh!

Family story number 57:
When we were little, one of the minor pleasures of childhood was a packet of tictacs. When they were finished we would fill the plastic pot with water from the tap and then drink the water which had a delish hint of mint, lime or tangerine about it. Because the packet was re-sealable you could carry supplies of water around with you like a commando, ace!

I’m only telling this story because when I’ve mentioned it in passing to people recently, they have looked at me strangely. Surely other kids enjoyed this simple pleasure? You’ll be telling me next you’ve never drunk from a water pistol?

What’s your family quirk which isn’t as universal as you’d thought it was?