Monthly Archives: July 2009

tat two

I was shitting it if I’m honest, I don’t recall shitting it like this before (maybe I did, I got a tattoo last year and haven’t been pissed to read back to see if I did/didn’t.) It disrupted my night with IC, and ballsed up the subsequently sleep. I woke early and drank coffee and looked at my design. After 6 months hard (hard) work it was perfect.

At 9-ish I left for Kentish Town, short trip on the DLR from Hackney, even though my appointment wasn’t until 10 I couldn’t hang around at IC’s anymore, she’d gone to work already and I was in danger of breaking something fidgeting.

I’d already decided I was going to have a fucking bacon sandwich at a greasy-ish spoon, when it comes to such places the Camden area has them in abundance, frankly, it’s enough to turn one stomach don’t you know. I settled in one near the venue that didn’t have all workmen and old ladies eating egg and ordered a bacon sandwich and a mug of tea to accompany my paranoia. The sandwich arrived with more fat on it than a hippo but it was bloody nice. I did The Guardian crossword frenetically. Tattoo down? Fuck.

By the time I arrived a heavily tattooed N was already there, outside, on the phone, with his Harley ticking cool in the warm sunshine. After scanning some of his work on my spindly arms he gave me a nod and I went inside to face the needle.

For those of you without ink one of two things happens before you get physically worked over. Either the artist will draw directly on your body or, if like me, they will take your design and trace it by hand. This means that black lines are outlined and it’s here, if you’ve a shit artist, that designs can be compromised. N spent a good half hour tracing mine out before making the purple transfer and calling me into the studio.

The transfer was applied to my requirements and N suggested it went higher up my arm, I agreed. Then he began. A tattoo feels like someone is dragging a cocktail stick over the skin, it’s not intense pain more of an insidious irritation. The worst part is the beginning, the first 30 seconds are always quiet intense but then endorphins kick in and go some way to soothing the discomfort. You must be aware that the outlines hurt more than filling in and the vague pain improves as the tattoo proceeds, though this depends on which parts of the body the needles covers. It helps to chat and settle into the environment, after all, you’re having an indelible mark put on your body so you may as well appreciate it what’s happening.

It took a couple of hours but when done N vocalised the fact that he was rather chuffed with how it’d turned out, which I took to be ‘ I fucked up.’ I saw the tattoo in the mirror and my heart sank to my baseball shoes.

I left feeling hot, prickly-uncomfortable hot, like I’d just nicked something of value from a kindly relative and sloped to the World’s End for a pint to contemplate. No use, I went home to contemplate the matter further but by now, under the cling film, the tattoo resembled a lumpy oil slick. I hung around the flat for a couple of hours catching up on the i-player before fucking off to Central London to hook up with my bro and an old mate who is rather famed. The bro’s missus joined us, annoyingly, IC who’d been re-assuring me for most of the day by reminding me I felt just the same way when I had the last one done, was out with mates and unable to pop along too. Pisser, yeah.

After a while famed-fellow and I walked to New Oxford Street and said cheerio when the 55 bus arrived to take me to Clerkenwell. I met Frank, his missus, Rosh, Merve and Rea whose birthday it was. The former party also reminded me that I was moaning about the last time I got inked in much the same way as I was now, come to think of it, my bro did too…

I was a littler pissed when I got home, so I decided to drown my sorrows by watching a load of Grindcore on youtube and consume Whiskey like an idiot. But first I had to change the cling film on my arms and wash down the muck that had leaked out. I could barely stand to look at it if I’m honest.

This morning hungover after another wash down I was more philosophical. Basically, no one has really seen it apart from me and N and because I’ve been living with the design for so long it’s possible that my tendency towards OCD has distorted my expectations of what I’ve had done. Also, this piece is more figurative/complex than the others. Basically I need IC to see it, something that’ll happen shortly.
So, the jury remains out.

Tune in Monday when I’ll be carving off my skin with an oyster shucker.


hang 10 yeah

You lucky cunts! In addition to being called ‘cunts’ just then this is the first of two posts today, or maybe tomorrow, unusually.

Basically, I wrote most of today’s crap on that PC in my gaff on account of a massive hangover, my home PC has a more advanced version of Word than the old version installed on this fucking antique in the office, which means as a direct result of Microsoft being a greedy, irresponsible collective of child molesters, the new Word won’t open here, well it will, if you’re happy to read this

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please feel free.

If not, tune in after 5 (or maybe Saturday) to read all about the HORRORS of the new Tattoo and how that old lady fucking deserved it.

Chart, tune, then wait…

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Kings Of Leon Notion 24 8
29 Baddies Holler For My Holiday 21 9
28 The Gossip Heavy Cross 22 11
27 Raygun Just Because NE 1
26 The Ian Carey Project Get Shaky NE 1
25 Depeche Mode Peace 19 8
24 Reverend And The Makers Silence Is Talking 26 3
23 Linkin Park New Divide 15 9
22 The Twang Barney Rubble 20 5
21 Mpho Box N’ Locks 28 2
20 The Prodigy Take Me To The Hospital NE 1
19 The Maccabees Can You Give It? 13 6
18 Preston Dressed To Kill 25 2
17 Shinedown Second Chance 10 10
16 Blue October Dirt Room 12 10
15 Biffy Clyro That Golden Rule 23 2
14 Bloc Party One More Chance 17 3
13 Silversun Pickups Panic Switch 8 6
12 Green Day 21 Guns 16 5
11 Madina Lake Let’s Get Outta Here 14 3
10 Maximo Park Questing Not Coasting 5 7
9 Kasabian Where did all the Love Go? 18 2
8 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads Will Roll 4 9
7 Marmaduke Duke Silhouettes 6 6
6 The Doves Winter Hill 9 3
5 Arctic Monkeys Crying Lightning 7 3
4 Dead Weather Treat Me Like Your Mother 11 4
3 Lacuna Coil Spellbound 3 4
2 Billy Talent Rusted From The Rain 1 7
1 The Mars Volta Cotopaxi 2 4


due

Saturday night. IC, bro-in-law and I carried on boozing, though we went to bed early as Sunday was the day of The Christening, the purpose of the trip in many respects and we didn’t want to be too fucked up.

Sunday began with a lunchtime aperitif, actually, that’s not strictly true, it began with a behemoth shit. The toilet wasn’t working well, it flushed fine but there was some sort of airlock and the subsequent noise is like a special needs orgy. This meant we had to pour buckets of water into the pan to drown the chod. Usually one bucket would suffice, this one required FOUR full buckets, it was that fucking pizza dough, it was more glutinous than a car tyre, which is strangely un-Italian for a pizza base. Anyway, after the drink we gathered some Prosecco and snacks for the after-Christening party before taking leave of the Lake and driving West to Brescia to unload the haul. And attend church.

Italy, as it will probably come as no surprise what with the Pope and all, is a very Catholic country. It upholds archaic traditions based around faith. It’s not uncommon to see statues of the Madonna in streets, by roads and roundabouts garlanded by fresh flowers. This faith bleeds into every day life and sustains strong family values, the vast majority of children live at home until married for example, for IC and her sister to leave Italy for the UK/USA respectively isn’t at all common.

Fortunately P’s mum didn’t mind that bro-in-law and I weren’t too keen on going to Mass that morning but the Christening was going to be an inevitable church attendance. The family gathered outside the venue with the baby, there were loads of them, unties, uncles, cousins, I learnt that this was only a small portion of them; IC’s family is massive.

Inside the priest started his business; I’d not a clue what he was harping on about but he kept staring at me with black eyes, put the fear of, well, god into me if I’m honest. I checked around the church, it was pretty but featured the most dreadful contemporary frescos of Christ’s crucifixion, screaming pain and all blood pissing about the place. Why on earth anyone would want to perpetually recall such an act of barbarism is beyond me. It was starkly contrasted by P’s niece all cuddled up in the arms of her mum. Mercifully the service didn’t go on for too long and afterwise we nipped by the house in Brescia for a few snacks and spot of drinking.

They’re a bloody nice bunch of folks by anyone’s standards. I played host in lieu of conversation (though some of he family spoke English) and we passed a happy few hours consuming the goods. We drove back to the Lake for a final supper (I’ve not mentioned the food much, it was simple and delicious incidentally, lots of cured meats, cheese, bread, olives… a ‘go figure’ situation) and saw off the weekend with Sambuca and cards.

Right pisser to have to leave the following morning, we had a short amount of time to have coffee in a pretty little village a few miles down the road with the immediate family and then we were off to the fucking airport. The flight back was remarkably okay, I think I was so down about leaving I couldn’t really be arsed to worry. Besides, I was completely engrossed in my book which I finished a minute before we landed.

We took the train home and went directly out to the pub we’d attended the evening before we set off. By now it was 8-ish, IC and I had a lazy dinner in the dining area and called it a day at home with a little shot of liqueur. Yesterday I had to get up very early and leave Hackney to unpack and wash some clothes before work. The day in the office was infused with the fading holiday and aggravated by the reality of having to attend the BBC Proms for a work related shindig.

The good thing about the company trip to the Proms is having a box. It seats 12 and is filled to the edges with food and booze. The music, however, is the pisser. In places it’s okay but it doesn’t half go on, and on, and on. Drinking helps ease it in and if you’re able to absorb yourself it’s bearable, but largely it’s stultifying dull.

Despite the booze collection the BBC had stiffed us on the red wine. My boss gave me 60 quid and suggested I nipped to the bar to get some more bottles during the interval. I got served fast and as I was gathering my haul some lanky boffin passed right behind me and I accidentally elbowed him in the stomach spilling his tiny cup of wine all over his shirt. He wasn’t best pleased and glared at me, sensibly choosing not to say anything as my eyes were sticking out my face like tentacles. Instead, I informed him that it was unwise to go creeping about a persons back when they were involved in buying drinks with such enthusiasm. He opened his mouth to speak/object when I wordlessly cracked open one of my four bottles and topped him up. He stood there witless as if I’d exposed myself.

The second half went on for fucking weeks, quite annoying to have such a good view (we were virtually hanging over the stage) when its for such a dirge. When it was finally over a few of us popped out to a hotel bar round the corner to recover. I had a fairly pissed trip back on the tube and blasted out my brains with Cephalic Carnage. By the time I finally got home I was arseholed, deaf and in excellent cheer.

No Piqued tomorrow, I’m getting inked in the morning and am having the day off to deal with it all, tune in on Friday to read all about it…

Cephalic who?


uno

Where to start. Perhaps by mentioning that I’m knackered out and not at all in the mood to be in the office. For the last few days I’ve woken to a magnificent view of the Lake of Garda at the end of garden drenched in 40-degree sunshine.

It was hot from the moment IC and I stepped off the plane after lunch, coming out of that fucking tube soiled with human beings was like being popped in the oven. The flight, incidentally, wasn’t too bad despite some hair-raising turbulence and a landing heavier than Peter Kay hitting the thunderbox the morning after a night on the Vindaloo. Lately I’ve been using Viz as a flight-coping strategy but the pre-flight fear that IC and I wouldn’t be able to sit together on the plane distracted me from the fears of suffocation and/or crashing. In addition I chanced upon a book by Cormack McCarthy I’d not read, which from the off gripped me like a teenagers liver sock. ‘Child of God,’ read it. You’ll thank me, I promise.

IC’s mum and sister were there to meet us at Brescia and drove us to the house by the lake. From there on in, time stopped. Looking back now last Friday seems like a fortnight ago on another planet. It’s one thing to ‘go on holiday’ and cram as much drinking, eating and sightseeing as possible, and another entirely to ‘live’ as a native, so to speak. Early afternoon passed on the porch surrounded by Klein blue heavens and golden light with the lake glittering in the yonder like planished silver as winged teeth soundlessly consumed me. Apart from the latter and turning pages, all was still and sultry, I felt at ease to the point of death.

Later in the afternoon IC, mum, and sis and I walked out onto deserted roads to gather water from the spring and fresh bread and wine from the grocer. I found the heat on the wrong side of bearable but we returned gasping to relax. Elder sister, her husband and three-month-old niece returned from an afternoon by the pool and we all engaged immediately in the burn. We had supper outside and the temperature refused to cool as the lake shone in the immediate distance.

Like other European countries, The Italians live around mealtimes. Eating is an occasion with family and supper is usually pre-empted with Apperativo out with friends/colleagues/family (traditionally prosecco with Apperol (a sort of wine-strength bitter-orange mixer)) and they’re inclined to go out after dinner at 10pm. When (almost) in Rome and all that, we drove to a cluster of outside bars by the lake and I resumed my love affair with a strong cocktail called Negroni, a lethal combination of bitters, Gin, Vermouth and Campari.

The atmosphere was friendly and civil; there was a small orchestra in full swing with young girls dancing in ballerina costumes. All very strange but in context, completely normal. I continued to happily unwind chatting to IC’s brother-in-law who, being a musician of some note, entertained me with tales of his profession. When we got back to the house he, IC and I drank Sambuca until bed happened. I can’t say I was relishing this part as the house has only 2 bedrooms. IC, her mum and sis shared one and her other sis, bro-in-law and niece took the second. I was set to rest on a single z-bed in the lounge but as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out like the flick of a switch.

I was woken early by the baby but I wasn’t remotely fussed, I was happy to get out of the gloom (Italians shutter their houses in the evening to protect themselves from the sun and myriad of midges) and to make sure no one had moved the lake. I snacked on torte and coffee and off we went to Salo, a little town on the shoreline of Garda featuring a long boardwalk that winds by the waters edge facing an endless view of the lake. Pretty boats and yachts bobbed in little harbours, pale blue water splashed against the rocky banks as we drifted past bathers and strollers in the midday heat. Such as it was, IC and I cooled our heels in the water, which made the walk back to the car tolerable. We went back to the house for lunch and spent the afternoon lazing on the porch, reading and playing with the baby when she woke for a feed seemingly every hour.

Late afternoon we drove round to Sirmione, the rocky peninsular that sits at the south of lake and pokes into the water like the vomer bone in the human skull –The Lake of Grada resembles the nose cavity. Sirmione features a walled medieval town and castle. Though touristy it retains an air of the ancient and has a dreamlike quality about it. We had pizza outside in a place set against the castle walls as dusk settled in the warm evening; it was like a set from a Peter Greenaway film in it’s sumptuousness and the pizza was bloody good to boot. The baby behaved impeccably too despite having to have her nappy changed in the corner of the dining space. The faeces of the other diners was worth the trip alone.

More of this shit tomorrow.

Ladies and gentlemen…


swumin’

After numerous calls to my estate agent in order to get some idea if the whole flat purchase is going through, I was finally called back by his colleague who apologised profusely for the lack of response. Said estate agent has Swineflu and has been on deaths door for a week. I was livid; it’s all very well for him to be lying about in bed contemplating his mortality in a fevered delirium, but what about the sale of my fucking flat? Also, he’s been in my gaff recently, doubtless he’s been coughing up his lardons in my kitchen and touching my door handles with his trotters. I could fucking die through his selfishness. The ill cunt.

This is the last post until next week; I’m off to Italy tomorrow morning with IC to spend some time with her family at Lake Garda. Apparently it’s fucking hot there, so hot I’ve been advised to bring swimming trunks. The words ‘Swimming Trunks’ brought me out in a cold sweat. As I type this I’m shaking like a jelly at a toddlers birthday party.

When I was a kid I used to swim for my school (don’t let me give you impression I was some floppy-haired hooray from Harrow, this was a competition held in the public baths with bobbing turds and Danny Kendall rotting at the bottom) and was a dab hand at the front crawl. A decade ago, after not swimming a stroke since I was 15, I leapt into some baths at a lido and re-enacting the winning ways of my adolescence. I got half way across and just ran out of oxygen, energy and limbs, in fact, I got into serious difficulty and was forced to weakly flail to the side gasping like a landed carp where I happily vomited last nights tea into the water before being asked to leave by a tanned skinhead in tight red shorts.

If I survive the flight there and back I may well meet my maker discreetly showing-off past swimming glories to IC’s family to prove my virility, or at least, emptying a pile of regurgitated lasagne and Barolo at the horrified feet of her mother.

I’m still shaking… Christ, maybe it’s just the Swineflu taking hold.

Gerry’s chart is early this week for obvious reasons, look up the entries, enjoy a tune featuring some bloke from Abba and for heavens sake behave while I’m away.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Hollywood Undead Young 26 4
29 Gallows London Is The Reason 20 7
28 Mpho Box N’ Locks NE 1
27 Fightstar Never Change 24 5
26 Reverend And The Makers Silence Is Talking 30 2
25 Preston Dressed To Kill NE 1
24 Kings Of Leon Notion 17 7
23 Biffy Clyro That Golden Rule NE 1
22 The Gossip Heavy Cross 15 10
21 Baddies Holler For My Holiday 13 8
20 The Twang Barney Rubble 19 4
19 Depeche Mode Peace 12 7
18 Kasabian Where did all the Love Go? NE 1
17 Bloc Party One More Chance 22 2
16 Green Day 21 Guns 16 4
15 Linkin Park New Divide 10 8
14 Madina Lake Let’s Get Outta Here 25 2
13 The Maccabees Can You Give It? 11 5
12 Blue October Dirt Room 9 9
11 Dead Weather Treat Me Like Your Mother 14 3
10 Shinedown Second Chance 7 9
9 The Doves Winter Hill 23 2
8 Silversun Pickups Panic Switch 5 5
7 Arctic Monkeys Crying Lightning 18 2
6 Marmaduke Duke Silhouettes 8 5
5 Maximo Park Questing Not Coasting 3 6
4 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads Will Roll 2 8
3 Lacuna Coil Spellbound 6 3
2 The Mars Volta Cotopaxi 4 3
1 Billy Talent Rusted From The Rain 1 6


m piz

I have to say, this MP’s expenses business left me rather cold. To be honest I couldn’t help feeling that it was a bit of a storm in a teacup along the lines of ‘politicians on the fiddle? OMG!!!’ as if we’re all surprised that a bunch of over privileged sex-cases were carrying on in exactly the same way as their peer group in corporate business or law and passing off the odd pornographic film and moat-cleanse as ‘expenses’ accrued in the line of carrying out ones elected administration. There’ll be men on the moon next, u marc mi wurdz.

From where I was hiding, I could see good, decent people going postal over something that was more obvious (to me at least) than cow tits. The bloody media, and they’re the last fucking group that should go around waggling a disparaging digit in moral anguish, whipped up a tidal wave of hysterical condemnation from a trickle of passing exasperation. Quite honestly, you could’ve bombed the shit out of the third world last May and still the letters pages in The Daily Telegraph would be purple with rage on discovering Sir Nigel Fortesque Percy had claimed 84p for a tin of chum for his wife’s leaking Pomeranian.

But this morning, laying in bed with the fug of last night’s bourbon evaporating off my languid tongue, a feature on Today nearly caused me to fart out my organs. It’s the beginning of the MP’s summer holidays, it was bad enough learning they get a bloody 12-week recess -which by anyone’s standards is obscene- when I discovered that out of the 52 weeks in the year they’re off for EIGHTEEN of them! By now I was bolt upright with my jaw cradled in my pills and my eyes swivelling in their sockets like bingo balls, but the final smack to the throat came when I discovered that in addition to this, they may be given a further 12 days off! For FUCKS sake!

Now there is something to get livid about, not some chinless creep claiming a mortgage on his daughters Wendy house, but the amount of time he gets to tit about doing wank-all why the rest us, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since The fucking Plague, work our fingers to the marrow. They should throw every last one of the cunts in the Thames after driving them over Blackfriars Bridge on the backs of mules. Naked. The MP’s that is, the mules are already naked… you’ll be able to see their cocks and everything. The MP’s I mean, and the mules too come to think of it. Unless they’re girl MP’s, or mules, and it’ll be Fanny City. Yeuch.

Now fuck off and do some work.


moo

It’s 40 years today since man walked on the moon. Today. I thought it was last week? Month? Was it May? The media have been ramming it down my throat since January. I’ve lost all sense of, well, space.

It was a massive achievement of course, and reading about it has been awesome (in the correct sense of the word, not as in the version employed by baseball-hatted street types with Nike logos and a propensity for, like, being ‘extreme,’ dude. i.e., standing on little bits of wood with tiny wheels) and at times genuinely moving.

The last mission to the moon was in 1972 with the Apollo 17 crew (it’s my earliest memory as it happens, I vividly remember mum pointing at the moon and telling me that there were men on it, blew my tiny mind) and since then, no one has been. It’s all very well being retrospective but to make the moon landings truly significant, to give them the accolade they deserve, we should be setting our sights on continuing space exploration and looking to set foot on other planets for the sheer hell of it. Landing on the moon didn’t actually achieve anything outside the kudos of doing so; it was an act of humanness, altruism almost, for sake of everyone and nothing. Even the fact that that it was a race between to the two world superpowers makes it even more, well, trite. Maybe it says more about the 1960’s than anything else, I don’t know, but it is worth celebrating because, let’s face it, the world has lost a lot of its sense of fun since then.

Speaking of fun, this is a fun post right? It’s okay, something a bit lighter… actually, I’m afraid not. Henry Surtees, son of racing legend John Surtees (only chap I history to have won both the car and motorcycle formula one) got killed in a freak accident at Brands Hatch on Sunday when Jack Clarke’s wheel became detached and smacked into his head at 120 mph. As far as freak accidents go this most be one of the weirdest I’ve seen (oddly I was going to go to the race with my dad but we pulled out due to bad weather) and a stark reminder that motorsport remains fucking dangerous.