Monthly Archives: September 2009

fairwel

On account of a small but not earth shattering cock-up regarding the new bike, I decided to bring the Black Bitch out for one final trundle, and that really is it as both my insurance and tax expire at midnight tonight and it’ll be illegal to ride her.

So instead of going back to the folks and parking her up (I’m doing that tonight) I pointed her East-wise and stopped by en route at the bike shop to procure a new motorcycle cover and ended up buying a crash helmet that looks and fits great but channels the worlds wind directly into me two lug ‘oles. For obvious reasons a helmet is non-refundable so I’ve got to deal with it. Oh well. Later on Paul from round the corner popped over for a spot of wine, IC dropped by to say hi, and the former and I played a few games of chess. Which was nice.

Things seem to be moving forward with the fucking solicitors. After paying for cunt’s dad building insurance out of my own fucking pocket (don’t ask, it was the only way to progress) and forking out some more money for some sort of indemnity insurance or something I got a call this very morning and was told, by my solicitors, that exchange was imminent. I’ve heard that one before though so I refuse to see my glass as half full.

Bollocks, though.

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larst orderz

Yesterday evening I did the last ride from work to home, and this morning, the last ride from home to work. At the end of the working day I’m going to take the Black Bitch on one last journey to my folks where she’ll be covered and locked to await her new owner. I have to say it feels a little emotional. It’s the longest I’ve owned a single machine (over 10 years) and she’s been fast, furious, enormous fun, life affirming at times of bad luck and desperation and despite being subject to regular thrashings, virtually trouble free. Even now the engine is as sweet as honey.

In the last couple of years Speed Triples have become increasingly popular, almost passé. When I bought mine they were still quite a rare sight on British roads, largely because they were trailing a new path. Neither balls out sportsbike or teeth shuddering cruiser, they appealed to an unclassified sort of biker, and obviously I fitted the pitch or I wouldn’t have stuck with mine for so long. If it wasn’t for this ambiguity I’d never had been able to afford a nearly-new one. The fat bastard I bought it off simply didn’t get along with it, though he’d already spent a few hundred quid on instantly deprecating extras… factor in the 1999 model aesthetic which remains the prettiest of the range (the earlier and later models have a sort of ubiquity about them) with the livery existing only for that one precious year and, of course, a bit of Piqued input over time made the Black Bitch unique. You’ll never see one like mine, it’s not possible.

I’ve previously stated on these very pages that if you don’t ‘get’ the motorcycle thing (whatever the ‘thing’ is, a mental condition probably) you will not understand why a mechanical object can inspire genuine emotion. This isn’t me projecting my desire onto the machine; this is something that comes from the physical nature of the motorcycle, the way riding makes me feel, and the look and sound of it prior to, during and after. I don’t look at pictures of motorcycles. I look at pictures of motorcycles and my mind starts it, and rides it, and I get an emotion back…

Either tomorrow, or Thursday, I’ll take public transport to Bermondsey and after some simple paperwork the money granddad left to me will be exchanged for a brand new Husqvarna SM610. I’ve never owned a bike from new but have had the frustration of running an engine in following a top-end rebuild. To put it bluntly I’ll have to ride the new bike gingerly for a few hundred miles until all the mechanical components have settled into their groove, quite literally. Having said that this doesn’t diminish the prospect of having a new bike one iota.

Like the Speed Triple, the Husqvarna -though off the peg- is unique by default. Well sort of, of course, others exist but they’re absurdly rare. I’ve never seen one in London (apart from the one I test rode) either in black or in the more popular livery of yellow and blue. The fact that mine had to be specially imported from the manufacturers in Italy bears this out. If it wasn’t for the fact I have a dedicated dealer virtually on my doorstep, replete with parts and service facilities, buying one would negate all the practicalities of owning a Supermoto. This may explain to a certain extent why they’re so rare, not much point in owning a machine if you can’t get the parts for it, and there are hardly any Husqvarna dealers in the UK.

Unlike the Speed Triple, the Husqvarna isn’t all things to all men; it’s a purebred (ironically born of a hybrid, it’s half sportsbike, half motocross bike.) The fact they look beautiful (to me at least, IC isn’t convinced) isn’t a reason to buy one if, for example, you were commuting on a daily basis to the South coast it’d be an impractical choice. But for what I need it for it’s perfect, it’s made for fast city silliness and will eat country roads, although getting to them on motorways is where I’ll notice the bikes commitment to do two thing exceptionally as opposed to everything adequately.

Having said that, what really sold me, what actually caused me to go from, ‘I want one’ to ‘I will have one’ is the sound. A large single-cylinder 4-stroke that thumps out the sound of hell. It’s lumbering doom metal at tickover and death at full throttle. Reminiscent of the golden days of British bikes but cutting a sharper, more defined note, this bike is guaranteed to frighten the all piss out of London.

Still, I’m going to miss the Black Bitch. Thanks Black Bitch, wuv oo.


nees

Last night in the restaurant, mid way through a right fucking nice roast dinner (English cliché, roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding) IC and I ruminated on how, of late, weekends are the equivalent of stuffing a year into a month. The one past was of no exception.

It began on Friday evening following another day of ex-flat-based horror, I had a bit of time to relax before popping off to Sue’s to meet IC, Jo, Swineshead and his missus for some wine and a catch-up. I wasn’t on form as I was shattered but the evening passed pleasantly enough, though I was dead chuffed to see my bed.

On Saturday morning after some breakfast IC and I took the bicycles out of Hackney and clipped the edge of the city before dismounting in Brick Lane. The shock of physical inertia was nauseating, my legs were like trifle and I felt faint for a good 10 mins, though I kept this to myself as IC wasn’t even out of breath and I’d pedalled like a fucking twit just to keep up with her. We drifted through the sunshine and nipped into Rough Trade to meet some friends visiting from Italy. The trio were hungry but didn’t fancy curry, finding any other sort of food in that neck of the woods isn’t easy so they were forced to make do with (above par I have to say) burgers from the confines of the knowingly trendy Vibe Bar. The afternoon slipped by nicely with a pint or two and at 4pm IC and I cycled back to Hackney (it was much worse on the way home) to my garden in order to undertake some 18-certificate work on IC’s velocipede.

It’d been a long time since I’d had to remove and change headrace bearings, so, armed with a couple of pints, I attacked the job in hand with aplomb. First problem was not having a big enough spanner for the main nut, I popped by the pound shop for a £6 adjustable which was a gnat’s cock too small, so I visited another in order to procure a larger adjustable for another £6 for fucks sake. Dismantling the front end following this was a breeze, even drifting the old cups out of the frame with a metal rod (an ex-spotlight support) and a hammer was relatively easy. The new bottom cup was tapped home in seconds but the top cup wasn’t having any of it. Every time it started to lock into position an encouraging belt home would lurch it free. After an hour of this I was almost in tears. I knew I needed a wooden block to distribute the weight of my maniacal blows but I had nothing to hand. In addition the freshly mounted lower cup -with its gleaming greased bearings- was covered in all shit from the pea shingle in the garden.

I paused, took some time out to clean the gritted bearings and noticed a spare chopping board in the kitchen, I broke this in half and used it as a buffer and with one targeted whack the fucking cup went home. Five minutes later the bicycle was re-assembled and the job granted the status of complete success.

Mary and IC had some friends over from Sweden so it seemed rude not to pop off to the local and meet them for a few well-deserved drinks. Indy and his missus, Paul from around the corner and the former two protagonists and I spent a marvellous evening drinking cheap cocktails, though at some point I opted for beer, I think I’m off cocktails for the while, they’re too fiddly.

When we finally got home IC was too exhausted to eat despite my rustling up a sensational dish of smoked haddock, fried potato, onions and tomato in 20 mins. I had hers in front of F1 qualifying with a splash of wine. The hangover on Sunday wasn’t too bad which was fortuitous as we had a big ride to the countryside to visit my nieces, one brand new.

It took a while to get out of Hackney as there was a huge parade passing through the junction by Hackney Downs and the traffic was being held back by police. It was lively, loud and colourful, the antithesis of the sort of thing you’d get in my former hell-hole, made me feel rather proud if I’m completely honest. As we waiting at the front of the queue of traffic one of the cops invited me to gently cut through the parade and I was waved through with a beaming smile. Lovely.

It took a while to untangle ourselves from the London traffic and we stopped near New Malden so I could get IC a new crash helmet as the one she had, a hand-me-down from my sister, wasn’t only unsafe and elderly but made her look like she needed help going to the loo.

IC doesn’t like wearing crash helmets, which isn’t ideal; she finds them claustrophobic, I can sympathise with her to an extent, being a sufferer of that particular phobia, but I’m blessed with a helmet caveat. I knew that she’d need some encouragement to ensure that what she got fitted correctly and didn’t say ‘yes’ to the first thing flung on her head. It’s been a few years since I bought a new lid and I have to say technology has leapt forward. These days one can purchase a lid that opens completely at the front with a switch but looks as if it’s a regular full-face helmet in its languid state, this was ideal. Better still there was a black one for under £100 that fitted. After 30 rather tense minutes the job was done and off we set for the final leg of the trip.

When we arrived my sister had one of her enormous tits stuck in junior’s mouth. My new niece is tiny, much smaller than her sister at that age. Said sister was pegging about the place clearly not overly chuffed at the attention being bestowed on her sibling. I know how she feels. When her mother was born I was so un-impressed I tried to knack it with greenfly killer in the shed but was caught red handed. Not dissuaded by a severe bollocking and a fortnights Mr Benn curfew (my sister had to go to hospital, incidentally) she ‘fell’ down the stairs a month later… accidents will happen yeah.

IC and I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon with the family, mum and dad showed up with cake sending my eldest niece into sugar frenzy. Lovely afternoon but at 4pm we were forced back onto the road to head London-wise without a ton of traffic. We stopped on Waterloo Bridge for a fag and I suddenly realised that this was pretty much last orders for the Black Bitch who, come Wednesday, will be taken off the public roads to retire and await her lucky new owner. I feel a bit sad about it actually but this is somewhat off-set by the gaining of a shiny new Husqvarna SM610, here on known as ‘The Loud One,’ this week.

Home at 6, quick brush up and straight out to the restaurant cited at the beginning of today’s subdued crap. We had a great big fat time and waddled home with the prospect of a weeks work to take the shine off things.

Right, this band were hyped for greatness that never happened. I saw them unsigned but already tipped at Kingston Poly in 1990. The bands parents were there too. Bless.


weded

After a morning at work in which nothing happened, I set off at midday to catch the train. I had cunningly planned to meet IC at Wimbledon station; she was coming from Waterloo and had arranged to alight the first carriage at exactly 1.06 where she was waiting, suitably suited, booted and looking right nice.

We carried on to Walton and took a cab to the registry office in Weybridge where a nervous but contained Gerry was greeting guests. We were ushered into the registry office and the bride followed in a fluff of bridesmaids and eager relations and the ceremony commenced. I rather like registry weddings, they’re usually a lot more light-hearted and jovial than the church-based counterpart and this was no exception, in addition there is no messing about, in and out in 20 mins, bosh.

The weather for a late September was exemplarily, more like a summers day in July, warm, clear and sunny, they couldn’t have planned it better. After some photos of the delighted pair and their family in the landscaped garden we popped off to a nearby Italian for lunch, the whole restaurant had been reserved for the guests, 30 or so of us. As their wasn’t a surfeit of revellers the group was tight and in excellent cheer, bonding was a breeze and as the wine flowed in earnest it became an exercise in simplicity. Food happened, I ate a pizza the size of Land Rover wheel and IC wrestled with sea bass, delicious. Following restrained and at time emotional speeches we drank up and popped back to Gerry’s gaff for more celebrations.

As night fell the guests started to drift and we felt that we too should leave the cheery couple to their own devices. An incident on the train on the way home, which resulted in IC getting a little telling-off from a disembodied voice, made for a most amusing journey home and by 9.30 we were back the Twatcave happy and in control of our faculties. What a lovely day, well, from the time I left the office at least… Having catastrophic problems with the flat, I’m putting it back on the market with an extra few grand on it. Hopefully I can re-coup the money I’ve lost and will continue to lose by getting more for it second time round, I’m not holding my breath. Devastating.

Last few days of the Black Bitch and I too, she’s going to be permanently off road from Wednesday evening, I should get a few quid for her when she’s sold but it’s a drop in the ocean in comparison to the money I’m losing, FOR CHRISSAKES.

Sorry.

Anyway, on the ride in this morning a car pulled across me without indicating, of course I beeped the horn and for good measure revved my engine churning the air into a cacophony a dirty grindcore. I overtook the car, flipped the bird as they say in that America when, instead of the usual cowering, the driver, now behind, flashed her lights, blue ones that go ‘wooooo, wooooo’. My heart sunk to my toenails.

A few yards ahead the lights turned red so I stopped, turned round and faced the uniformed bint who look like she’d been hit with a poisoned bladder. Feeling vindicated by the fact she’d nearly knocked me under a bus I gestured to her that she might want to use indicators, she in turn referred to my erect digit and then mouthed that I was going too fast and to ‘slow down,’ I again gestured to her indicators before realising this was futile so I turned my back on her and gave her a ‘meh’ wave wholly expecting her roof to light up just before getting pinched for something… The fact that nothing happened would suggest I was in the right, and I wasn’t speeding anyway, much.

Chart, choon… Congrats to Gerry again, marvellous day

I’m meeting my new niece on Sunday and the rest of the weekend is given over to a solid diary of activity, which may or may not be posted Monday depending on my mental state.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Kasabian Where Did All The Love Go? 20 10
29 All Time Low Weightless 30 2
28 Hockey Song Away 24 3
27 Echo And The Bunnymen Think I Need It Too NE 1
26 The Prodigy Take Me To The Hospital 17 9
25 Steel Panther Community Property 28 2
24 The Used Blood On My Hands 19 6
23 The Gossip Love Long Distance 16 5
22 You Me At Six Kiss And Tell 22 3
21 Weezer (If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To. NE 1
20 The Cribs Cheat On Me 15 7
19 Bat For Lashes Sleep Alone 25 2
18 Arctic Monkeys Crying Lightning 14 11
17 Mumford And Sons Little Lion Man 27 2
16 Gallows I Dread The Night 11 6
15 Deadmau5 Ft Rob Swire Ghosts N’ Stuff 21 2
14 Muse Uprising 10 8
13 Funeral For A Friend Wrench 13 4
12 Pearl Jam The Fixer 8 7
11 Rammstein Pussy NE 1
10 Placebo The Never-Ending Why 9 8
9 Five Finger Death Punch Hard To See 18 2
8 Lostprophets It’s Not The End Of The World… 12 3
7 Paramore Ignorance 6 6
6 Ian Brown Stellify 5 5
5 The Temper Trap Sweet Disposition 7 7
4 Biffy Clyro That Golden Rule 3 10
3 The xx Crystallized 4 5
2 Skunk Anansie Because Of You 1 6
1 Editors Papillon 2 3


wedin

Yesterday evening (after a harrowfying day in the office that saw me crushed at my desk by the hellish hands of anger, fear, disbelief and fucking fury at the way the solicitors involved in the selling of that cunting flat are behaving. To cut it short due to my unwillingness to drag myself through the process of recollection, it wound up with me buying buildings insurance on behalf of Cunt’s dad. Jesus) and after biking home I got on my bicycle, that non-engined thing I spurn as if it were a bubonic cock, and cycled to Broadway market to meet IC who was similarly engaged with velocipede. I cycled on pavements, jumped red lights and generally made myself as irritating as possible to pedestrian and motorist alike. The best bit was peddling through London Fields, over scattered russet brown leaves cradled gently by the tips of bottle-green grasses, past majestic Plane trees that sighed with the breeze, their austere canopy punctuated only by the dying purple light of the day… fucking ace.

I met IC at the pub opposite the pie and mash shop and drank Flowers as the horror of the damned exchange faded. At nightfall we cycled to Sue, herself recently moved, and had sushi and Martini before returning home to shower and change and see off the day with a shot of wine. A nice ending to what was a terrible start.

I’m still waiting. Such is my frustration I forgot to announce the birth of a second niece, born 7lbs and 2 oz on Tuesday, who I’m due to meet Sunday. But I wasn’t in a position to forget the wedding of my old mate Gerry (him of the Friday chart) as I had to prepare in advance for the afternoons ceremony. I’m sat here suited and booted and good to go. Congratulations to him and his missus, I dedicate today’s tune to them.


borix

That bumbling blonde bastard Boris, the London hog’s Eye, fascist twit and all round fatso in nice guy clothes has come up with a another fucking gem, and clearly that’s sarcasm living and breathing in a universe of hyperbole.

His first act of wilful stupidity was to allow bikers in the bus lane… believe it or not I was actually against allowing bikers in the bus lane because bus lanes are, a. full of potholes and diesel and all round visceral blood spurting danger, and, b. I didn’t want loads of mopeds and couriers getting in my fucking way as I used them all the time from the off (though even I will admit it’s a lot easier these days to take large swathes of journey out by lawfully (as opposed to the old days of wobbling into the lane ‘accidentally’) screaming through them.) On the two occasions I did get pulled by the police I produced my registration document and pointed out that I was classified as a ‘bicycle,’ quite literally, and was therefore entitled to use them which led to head scratching on the part of the officer and my getting ‘let off’ without so much as a caution.

I digress.

I should also imagine that allowing bikers in the bus lane has led to a rise in fatalities/accidents though I’ve absolutely no proof to corroborate this and proving it would be contentious anyway because of the circumstantial factors involved via the nature of stop/starting busses, wandering pedestrians, left turning vehicles, et cetera.

But to allow cyclist to jump red lights, his latest wheeze, displays the sense found in an act of autosarcophagy. For a kick off this is a u-turn as in May 2008 it was reported, after getting caught jumping red lights, that, “Boris feels strongly that cyclists should not jump red lights and if he did so then clearly that was a mistake and he will be more careful in future.”

I know, of course, that Boris isn’t giving the green light for cyclists to jump red lights with impunity; it’s only left hand turns at junctions. And don’t get me wrong, in theory it’s a fine idea. The problem is thus; some cyclists will see the new incentive precisely as a license to jump red lights with impunity, it’s not as if the problem is bad enough as it currently stands.

This very morning a moustachioed Shoreditch type cheerfully jumped red light after red light after my nearly hitting him as I was turning right onto Hackney Road (he jumped the light, of course). In every instance he nearly collided with a car, or more pertinently a pedestrian, the prick. Admittedly, less than a fifth (in my experience) of cyclists cynically jump red lights and my grief is only with this bunch, but as soon as this new policy comes into practice, based on the tried and tested give ‘em an inch theory, that figure will double overnight. It’s one thing for the right-on (tax exempt) cyclist to harp on cheerlessly about their being some sort of champions of the planet and saviours of congestion but what about the humble, wholly innocent, pedestrian who are directly effected by this fucking silliness?

As implied, the majority of cyclists just want to sensibly get to work without some socio-political agenda and happily obey the laws that govern roads, but I’ve noticed a growing hardcore of cyclist that behave as if they own the fucking place. Some even have the bloody mindedness to stop right in front of me at the lights when their passage is blocked by a swathe of crossing traffic; they’ve nothing to gain save preventing me from accessing the road ahead. I can do 0-60 in 3 seconds and it takes the average bike 30 seconds to reach 15. Do you think these types are going to give a fuck for a pedestrian lawfully trying to cross the road before being pole axed from the right by a left-turning holier-than-thou tit on a single-geared carbon-fibre velocipede? And if cyclists can go left on a red, why can’t I? Why can’t we all? The ones that pay tax to pay for the fucking roads in the first place.

I would like to point out IC cycles through the city everyday, I’ve followed her in a few times and she always stops at red lights, and she’s kind to small animals.

Still no news on the fucking flat. But I have Slayer to guide me… this isn’t for the sensitive.


pain T

After my bro and his missus left on Sunday, I decided to paint the (what is now) a dining table. In the past it used to be my desk, the very one I used to sit over with my face contorted like a melting glove praying that my neighbour would succumb to a unique dose of the Antonine Plague, and it seemed fitting that all association of this foul and bitter creature be permanently struck from history.

IC had popped up to her flat and I’d arranged to join her in 20 minutes for a spot of supper. It’d been a merry afternoon following a late morning of intense cooking due to my lying in. A fisherman’s pie was laid at 2pm for the four of us with all the necessary accoutrements, such as wine, and by the time I was faced with the table and pot of green paint at around 8pm I was a little pissed.

This doesn’t mean to say I was incapable. In fact, when it comes to practical things I’m fairly competent (even when ravaged.) Before IC and I went out for dinner on Friday (a splendid little place near Columbia Road boasting ‘Georgian’ (as in the region not the regency) food which hasn’t a liquor license making it dirt cheap to boot) I’d assembled one of the fucking bookcases so cheerlessly acquired the previous Wednesday from the Swedish Fist. The fact I’d managed to assemble it almost entirely back to front, and upside down, is due to my propensity to refuse instructions and spurn preparation.

On Saturday morning I had to dismantle the fucked-up bookcase and re-assemble it correctly, though I decided to leave out the backboard (couldn’t be fagged to nail it on) which meant that when I filled the shelves with books it leant slumped like a pissed sailor on shore leave. I swore loudly, unburdened the shelves, corrected the mistake and re-added the books. The second bookcase was a lot easier to assemble as I was armed with the knowledge learnt from the failures of the first, though I was cheap with the backboard nails (as I had been with the first) and it was only when I stepped back to admire my handwork I noticed that both backboards were undulating like the North sea and both cases were leaning forwards on the verge of toppling. Furiously I removed all the fucking books again in order to gain access to the back of the cases and attach the fabric loops before drilling two holes in the plaster board in which to screw in the hooks to attached to the loops, and for the third time replaced the books. Then I remembered I’d not corrected the rippling fucking backboards that by now were good for the skate Park in London Fields. Best leave it before I took my hammer to it all.

After dumping a bunch of stuff at the charity shop IC and I grabbed the bus to take the train from London Bridge to Gatwick, not for the purposes of vacation (that’s next week) but to visit some of IC’s friends who have, one would imagine, the misfortune to live there.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. The road they live down is quite lovely, not a shred of noise, so we were able to spend the afternoon in their pretty garden in the warm sunshine. A very congenial way to see off the last official day of summer, especially as we’d wine to sip along the way and stuff to pick at. We set off at dusk and were home by 9-ish, IC and I decided to spurn the world and locked ourselves in the Twatcave for the remainder of the evening, it’s a hazy memory, but I do recall IC not minding black metal…

Armed with the recent disaster regarding all things bookshelf, I paused before slapping paint on my former desk. I carefully cleaned the surface and masked the perimeter with tape before gingerly brushing a revolting green gloss over the past. Satisfied with my efforts I left the fug of solvent in the flat and went upstairs to spend the evening with IC.

I got in last night after a meeting with my bro at a boozer in Monument eager to check my efforts. My black heart sank; the paint had split on the table as it had dried (I should’ve sanded the surface before I applied the paint to key it in but didn’t think it was necessary) so I angrily tore off the masking tape that simultaneously lifted sheets of fresh paint off the table with it. I was speechless with rage.

Actually, it’s a wonder today’s Piqued happened at all as I’m still smashed to pieces from still not having heard a fucking word from either estate agent, solicitor or priest.

Typing ‘Gahhhhhh’ doesn’t do my ravaged head justice.

Today’s clip posted in ‘comments’ below, it’s not safe for work.