Monthly Archives: January 2010


Thank god the weekend is upon me, it’s been a bloody stressful week in the office, but despite a lot of grief and losing money left right and fucking centre, I did finally (yesterday at 3.12) finish off this cunting project.

I can now relax and put all my energy into shitting myself about the sale of my flat. Yes, I still have a gaff in Tooting, a place I’ve not seen since the start of September 09, yet am still paying for. Of course I can’t afford this and my rent, any wonga left over from the deposit from my ex-buyers pathetic attempts at procuring said flat is long gone. And I’m fed up to the back teeth from assurances of estate agent and solicitor that I’ll be exchanging ‘within the week.’

In spite of all this I had a thoroughly pleasant evening. After a spot of cleansing I settled down for a mammoth session of a little known Australian series called ‘Underbelly.’ Astonishingly it’s based on real events, it’s highly addictive viewing and worth getting by any means necessary, including offering yourself for cash-money.

A weekend is spread before me like a Turkish rug o’ many colours. Tonight, men come to my place to play on the PS3, and I should imagine, partake in accessories. Tomorrow IC and I fancy a London museum, which precedes a party near Carnaby Street in the evening. Sunday we have a bunch of films to observe with our puffy eyes, I’m hoping to spend most, if not all, of this day on my sofa. Very well, but let’s not jump the gun here, allow me to savour what’s to come with out thinking about fucking Sunday, please.

My ride into work today was irksome but punctuated with charming snapshots of life. The fluorescent lollipop man being thanked by kids as they crossed the road, a woman in a van picking her nose by Liverpool street, office workers in the city trying not to spill hot coffee as they rush to their desks, the thousands of black grey commuters crossing a Tuner-lit London Bridge like an invading army, sour-faced mothers, dead-faced drivers, a biker nodding at me, a baby in a pushchair gawping at Brutta in amused astonishment, accelerate, brake, a wave, traffic-lights-amber, gridlock with no exit, cyclists weaving, roadkill, buses indicating, a finger, full beam, fuck off! beeeeeeeeep!


Chart, choon, have fun mofo’s.

30 AFI Medicate 27 11
29 Fightstar A City On Fire 24 10
28 Muse Undisclosed Desires 26 13
27 The Courteeners Cross my heart and hope to fly 21 5
26 You Me At Six Underdog 29 2
25 Ian Brown Just Like You 20 10
24 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll NE 1
23 Goldhawks Running Away 18 7
22 Ash Space Shot 19 4
21 Kasabian Vlad The Impaler NE 1
20 Chase And Status ft Plan B End Credits 17 13
19 Phoenix 1901 25 4
18 Mumford And Sons Winter Winds 14 10
17 Massive Attack Paradise Circus 22 3
16 Plan B Stay Too Long 15 4
15 Them Crooked Vultures New Fang 11 12
14 Muse Resistance 23 2
13 Hot Chip One Life Stand 13 5
12 Depeche Mode Fragile Tension 8 9
11 I Blame Coco Caesar 12 3
10 Flyleaf Again 16 3
9 Timbaland/N. Furtado/ SoShy Morning After Dark 6 8
8 Biffy Clyro Many Of Horror 7 6
7 Placebo Bright Lights 5 5
6 The xx VCR 9 2
5 Marina And The Diamonds Hollywood 4 4
4 Editors You Don’t Know Love 2 6
3 Pearl Jam Got Some 3 9
2 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 10 2
1 Alice In Chains Your Decision 1 5


Barak Obama has spoken in his first State of the Union address. Good. It’s good because since he came into power we’ve hardly see hide nor hair of the fellow. Unlike his predecessor, Monkey Brains, Obama seems to have decided the best way to govern his nation is to sit in the Oval Office with his door shut to the outside world. He’s a bit of a disappointment really, Guantanamo Bay is still open for business despite assurances it would be shut now (he didn’t mention this at all yesterday) his attempts at Healthcare and banking reforms were a fucking joke to be perfectly honest and the war is still raging in the Middle East with no end in sight.

Instead he focussed his speech on ‘employment.’ That’s nice, and of course employment is essential for the health of a nation and society at large and what have you, but in the grand global plan of things, the plan that is overseen by the USA with regard to war, death, famine, environment, death, torture, war, death etc., the question of Coleslaw Penchowlsky losing his job as bog cleaner at his local Walmart isn’t the first thing that springs to mind in terms of ‘priorities.’ In short, if you need any evidence that the USA is run exclusively by bankers, lawyers and the CIA, I think you have it right there. Obama’s intentions, I feel, are genuine. Unfortunately he’s no power to achieve his aims, you see folks? The pres ain’t running the show.

Anyway, what do I care, I’ve got a leather shirt. That’s right, ‘a leather shirt,’ off IC. She gave it to me last night before we went out for dinner, out the blue it was. It’s one of those things you get that are as good as new shoes when you’re 7, you know, when you go to bed wearing them because you just don’t want to take them off. When you do remove them you examine them in detail, smell the leather, poke the rubbery sole and the squish that soft bit that supports your instep. No, at 7, nothing is as important as your new shoes… I think you get the picture. Anyway, this leather shirt, it’s fucking marvellous, I don’t think I’ll ever take it off, ever.

We went to the local boozer for dinner, I suppose you could call it a gastro pub but that would do it a disservice, these days ‘gastro pub’ is choc-full of wanky connotations, it’s a more of a proper pub with a restaurant serving well above average pub grub. I opted, unusually, for the aged-beef burger with bacon and fucking cheese. It’s not my normal fare, I think the hum of fresh leather turned me, but it was beautiful.

Oh, did I mention my leather shir….



I’m in a contemptible mood, in addition to a fractured ride into work (cold, arseholes at every junction, pop-up roadworks etc) I walk into the office with my fingertips leaking nitrogen and am instantly thrown into the crushing jaws of a fucking cock-up that wasn’t my fault but somehow became my responsibility. A bit like getting bollock cancer, or hitting a woman when all drunked-up on homemade cider.

I finally caught up with my bro in the boozer near Monument last night. We’ve been there before; it’s a nice little place with good (albeit a tad costly) beer but, on the downside, stuffed full of city-tits. They are an awful collective of red-faced guffawing cunts, the types of people that look at you as if they’d just stepped in something, a bunch of shameless bankers, every last man jack-off of them. Nonetheless we happily popped a few in, though going outside for a fag was a pain. Every time we left our spot some fat-arsed corporate was sat in our seats on return, despite the placing of our bags over the required stools. For the last pint we just gave up and shivered outside, it was bloody freezing. I don’t think we’ll be returning anytime soon.

I’ve got to get on, forgive the semi-post


Swineshead came over yesterday evening to indulge in a spot of spaghetti bolognaise and killing. We went fucking postal, we knacked cops, gangsters, drug dealers, innocent members of the public and zombies. Throughout I cheerfully imbibed and we both got intensified. By the time Swineshead left, I could see gravity.

The day at work was fraught; I’m on sodding deadline for one of my fucking projects, which results in my being stalked by the gov’nor. For me it’s unnecessary pressure but it has an uncanny effect on my colleagues, it’s as if I delegate the grief to them and I just sit at the desk bouncing farts off the tit that sits behind me waiting for the clock to hit 5 so I can jump on Brutta and fuck off home.

Once I’d arrived back at the Twatcave I kicked off my Sidi’s and leathers and went directly out to the shops to gain ingredients for the evening meal and a copy of Resident Evil 5. I popped by to see the still not-too-well IC with some Almond Slices and rushed down to the flat to prepare the food and leave to stew on the stove as I showered and made good of my habitat.

This morning I had to take public transport into work as I’m seeing my bro for a few beers this evening. It wasn’t the like horror experienced a few weeks ago when we were under the frozen fist, but it was pretty dire nonetheless. Like anything else there is a knack to getting it right, first priority is the route itself, which I think I’ve finally sussed. Then comes the best time to catch the right bus with regard to saying in bed for as long as possible, after this, preferred places to wait on the platform for the tube, ideal places to sit on the train, of course, there is vast amount of luck involved in proceedings too. This morning I was sufficiently ahead of the game to grab a coffee but I lost out due to train delays on the final leg. See? That’s how it goes.

Oh forgot to mention on Monday that, as of last Sunday, Piqued turned three years old. This means that we’re now walking, talking, riding tricycles and eating loads of fucking cake.


The man was stood up now, demanding to know where his food was. ‘If we don’t get our food in the next 10 minutes,’ he said to the diminutive Vietnamese waiter, ‘we’re leaving without paying.’ ‘How fucking rude,’ I said to IC and Petra, we were freshly arrived and were feeling a little smug because we’d been permitted to drink our own wine despite the eatery having a license. The fact we were in a restaurant was something too, all the other places on the Kingsland Road were packed solid, this one wasn’t. Of course I accepted the food might not be quite as good as the popular ones, but having a bit of space, a bit of P & Q away from the Shoreditch types on a Saturday night was an acceptable compromise. I stilled any alarm bells that might be ringing. The waiter came over to take our order, we opened our wine and the rude man went back to his seat. Ten minutes later he was gone.

My weekend started in IC’s flat with Mary, Petra and Mark. The latter wasn’t really feeling up for the club in which Mary was featuring in her capacity as a budding DJ. We had a few wines to get us in the mood and, after meeting Oscar at the busstop, took ourselves off to the bar in Dalston.

It was empty when we arrived which suited me fine but by the time Mary took to the decks the place was full. As I’ve previously mentioned, the electro thing isn’t really my bag but some of it is more than listenable to. The booze helped to sharpen the senses and a pleasant evening unfurled, I undertook a spot of dancing with IC and spent a good while nattering to Euan at the rather pricey bar. As is common with these things time passed quickly with my wallet flapping open and shut like a fishwife’s mouth. I’m not sure what time we departed but the bus was packed solid, bed happened shortly after, I think it was 4.

The hangover was curbed by a fry up at the marvellous café round the corner at around lunchtime, before returning home to play Grand Theft I bought a few bits and pieces from the Co-Op and gave Brutta a minor wipe over. At 4-ish IC and Pru came down to watch Harry Brown. One of the best movies I’ve seen, highly, highly recommended. Mid way through we needed some Cava to help us cope with the incredible tension. The Cava thing went on until 8 or so when we reluctantly decided to go to Clerkenwell to see off one of our crew for some farewell drinks. It was en route we spontaneously decided to get some food.

After about 20 mins 2 of the 3 starters arrived along with my main course, a rather over cooked but nonetheless tasty shredded duck with pancakes and a few strips of cucumber. I waited for the final starter and my companions’ main dishes but nothing happened. I was encouraged to eat my food which was pretty much cold by now. Still, it was okay; I smothered the ingredients with chilli sauce and wrapped it in the pancakes. An hour later still no food had arrived and I was a bit pissed.

Suddenly a sweating man appeared from the kitchen with a small plate of what looked like deep-fried breaded prawns and chilli dip. I explained to the chap we’d not ordered this, we’d ordered grilled prawn on udon noodles, which this clearly wasn’t. To my and our collective surprises he then insisted it was. I assured him that on account of the lack of noodles and the fact the prawns (if that is what they were) were certainly not grilled, it most definitely wasn’t what we ordered, and could he go away now as he was making me feel a little irritated.

But he didn’t go; instead he stood there and told me a barefaced porky. Apparently, he said, in Japan ‘udon noodles’ really means the way deep fried prawns are positioned on a plate, thus. He pointed again at the dish and thrust it under my nose. I think the reason I didn’t grab the plate from his hands and fling it against the wall was because I felt a bit sorry for him. Nonetheless, I won’t have someone taking me for a tit so I simply asked for the bill and then told him I’d been to Japan and I knew exactly what udon Noodles looked like, and what he was bearing wasn’t udon noddles, or grilled prawn for that matter. I jabbed a finger against the side of the plate to make my point and he smiled and went off.

The bill arrived (completely wrong) the necessary amendments were made and we remained seated to finish off the last of the wine. As we were leaving the poor bastard in the kitchen ran up the stairs with one of the missing starters, about two hours late, and offered it to us.

I politely refused, ‘we’ve paid and we’re leaving now,’ I said. He looked at me with a weak tired smile, and held fast. ‘We’re going now mate,’ I said quietly, ‘you have it.’

‘Thank you,’ said the man. And with that we left.

Sunday was spent indoors watching films and Come Dine with Me. Actually, that’s not strictly true, IC and I went to Brick Lane just after lunch to meet up with some friends. I think I must’ve been a bit tipsy from the evening before because I don’t remember much about it at all. Anyway, we were back by 4. IC wasn’t feeling very well so it was a good excuse to just nest. After dinner we watched The Office with the horror of Monday appearing in our guts, well, my guts at least, IC wasn’t going anywhere.

This band have just announced they’re splitting after 40 years. Here’s one of their classics, you’d have to have a heart of stone, really…


It’s so bloody lovely being back on Brutta. I’m back in the swing of things, I was a tad rusty after the snow but I’m back in the zone, as it were. Brutta too is getting looser every day, the once brand spanking new engine is starting to free and she’s displaying increased aptitude in the form of handling and balls out power. In addition my confidence as her pilot is gaining weight, we’re starting to gel, bond, and I’m beginning to push her a little harder, baby steps in these harsh times of poor weather, but progressing nonetheless. By spring I’ll be ready, I’ll be good to fucking go.

Obviously, this aspect of pushing a little harder doesn’t come without its teething problems, despite all this hubris I am a safe rider, the phrase ‘pride comes before a fall’ has to be taken into account when one rides aggressively. But of course, ‘being safe’ isn’t always my decision, nor is someone else’s perception of what constitutes ‘safe.’

It would seem my bugbear are the larger vehicles that occupy the road, largely because I can swoop about them in a way The Black Bitch could never. This morning, following a lovely little encounter with IC who was cycling to her office, I ducked inside a bus on London Bridge with space to spare, albeit not much, but it was a calculated manoeuvre and perfectly safe. The bus driver didn’t agree and was very displeased so he blew orf his horn; of course I gave him the finger as I felt he was being a little pedantic but on account of red lights ahead I found myself stationary with the bus behind me and its driver screaming at me from out his little window.

I turned to face him. He was utterly livid, completely unnecessary under the circumstances so I gestured to him that he could see there had been plenty of room, or at least, I could. I did this in code, to wit, point at driver, point at ones eyes with index and middle finger, point at back of bike, point at front of bus, emphasis space between two vehicles with a forward/back motion… I then made another rude gesture (the wanking one) before turning my back on him. This enraged him further, by now his head was sticking right out of the little window and he was demanding I go to him, offer myself up for, I presume, a slap. A small congregation of cyclists who’d witnessed my beautifully judged dive were sat smiling at the driver making an undignified spectacle of himself with his tongue flapping out of his drooling mouth like Whale cock and eyeballs boiling on lolly sticks, and screaming.

Just before the lights changed I turned and gave him a final wave, he was incandescent with rage. It was awfully satisfying, me and Brutta destroying a chaps day with skillz. I hope he’s pissed over the weekend too. The rude man.

Speaking of weekend, I made a tentative start on it yesterday evening. After a cold though victorious ride home I decided to investigate this broken-TV-aerial business in a little more detail. My landlord’s handy fellow had called me from my roof Wednesday afternoon asking if my TV was working as he couldn’t see anything wrong. I curtly informed him I was at work and before I hung up he asked me if I’d tested the connection on my portable. I lied and said ‘yes’ as I was adamant it was the aerial on the roof. Last night I tested the cable coming directly into the flat and the fucking portable worked perfectly, I then discovered that one of the subsequent aerial cables to the main TV was broken. This cable was taken out of the equation and, hey presto, TV working. I sheepishly called my landlord’s mate and apologised, he took it very well, bless him. What a nice man.

By means of celebration, Swineshead, Paul and Ned popped over and we spent the evening getting wasted and taking turns on Grand Theft Auto which became increasingly more hilarious as the evening wore on and various substances took their toll on us. I was so involved in all this broken TV and games lark last night I inadvertently forgot to eat anything. I’m currently sat in my office with a rumbling stomach wondering what the polish on my desk tastes like.

Right, you know the drill, it’s Friday. Have fun for fucks sake, it’s the weekend. Enjoy the tune especially.

30 The Temper Trap Fader 22 8
29 You Me At Six Underdog NE 1
28 Death Cab For Cutie Meet Me At The Equinox 26 13
27 AFI Medicate 21 10
26 Muse Undisclosed Desires 19 12
25 Phoenix 1901 25 3
24 Fightstar A City On Fire 16 9
23 Muse Resistance NE 1
22 Massive Attack Paradise Circus 29 2
21 The Courteeners Cross my heart and hope to fly 14 4
20 Ian Brown Just Like You 13 9
19 Ash Space Shot 17 3
18 Goldhawks Running Away 11 6
17 Chase And Status ft Plan B End Credits 12 12
16 Flyleaf Again 24 2
15 Plan B Stay Too Long 20 3
14 Mumford And Sons Winter Winds 10 9
13 Hot Chip One Life Stand 15 4
12 I Blame Coco Caesar 18 2
11 Them Crooked Vultures New Fang 9 11
10 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh NE 1
9 The xx VCR NE 1
8 Depeche Mode Fragile Tension 5 8
7 Biffy Clyro Many Of Horror 10 4
6 Timbaland/N. Furtado/ SoShy Morning After Dark 3 7
5 Placebo Bright Lights 6 4
4 Marina And The Diamonds Hollywood 8 3
3 Pearl Jam Got Some 1 8
2 Editors You Don’t Know Love 4 5
1 Alice In Chains Your Decision 2 4


Last night I took the tube from work to Petra’s gaff in West London. On arrival I was served wine and we chatted as she prepared an enormous pile of Italian food. IC arrived, then Mark and finally Mary and we four happily gorged ourselves on octopus, spiced prawns, scallops, squid, tomato, bread and lashings of wine. We topped the whole lot off with Limoncello and before you know it, I was stuffed and pissed. What a splendid way to spend an evening I decided on the cab home, what a bloody stupid thing to do I surmised when I woke this morning.

I have a hangover. I’m getting increasingly less used to these as I’ve been abstaining of late, I’ve also come to realise that I’m more aware of the consequences of getting pissed with regard to the morning after. But only when I’m not drinking. Monday and Tuesday for example, as I indulged in my sobriety, I was actively looking forward to a following morning of freshness despite being bored out my skull. Last night I couldn’t have cared less if I’d woken to find England under the rule of screaming French horses.

A short one today, in addition to my malaise I’m up to my cods in work. There’s nothing doing here at the moment so I’m required to actively generate business, which is awfully tiresome. To make up for my lackadaisical frame of mind here’s some stuff that will probably amuse. Now fuck off.


I was forced onto public transport this morning. There were weather reports of snow and I didn’t fancy the slide in, nor the ton of rock salt eating at Brutta’s engine. Of course it’s only fucking raining and so mild I could’ve walked into work wearing my shorts. Actually I could’ve been naked in which case my penis and testicles would’ve been visible. Bloody Met Office. Apparently the BBC are so pissed at them they’re talking about ending their 90 year relationship because they’re hopeless at doing the single thing they’re employed to do, to wit, forecasting the weather. You’ll be pleased to hear that despite making a cow’s arse of forecastingtheweather senior managers at the MO have recently netted over a million quid in bonuses. Isn’t this like a Urologist misdiagnosing a patients condition before pissing on them and getting a golden handshake on the basis that he merely works with piss?

So, on the bus this morning in what felt like the middle of the night, it was as black as your hat outside and London was merely sat at the end of the bed scratching its nuts. The only fortuitous aspect of being up at such an obscene hour is that you can get a window seat on the bus but as the passing views are shrouded in darkness ones gaze is forced onto ones fellow passengers, or commuters if you will.

The male contingent are inclined to board the bus and simply watch the world go by (if they can) the odd few will read, usually a book as there isn’t much room to negotiate the opening and closing of a paper. The females will do pretty much the same but with one important additional activity, they will freely apply make-up to their faces without so much as a by your leave.

I find this frankly bizarre. Surely the point of applying of make-up is to make the best of your appearance, to cover what you feel are the weaker points of your features and highlight the stronger. If this is so, why on earth would you show complete strangers, the very people who are supposedly benefiting from your slap, that you somehow feel that without cosmetics you’re not at your best? Touching up your cosmetic mask is, to some degree understandable, but a large proportion walk onto the bus resembling strawberry milkshake and fuck off like Nefertiti.

Moreover isn’t the process of applying make-up a private thing? To display a state of absorption so overtly in public, as well as making yourself looking like a vain tart, is more of a case of exposure, not masking. It’s a paradox, surely? Or is it that they don’t give a fuck what certain people think, specifically those who they don’t consider remotely important, i.e., me, in order to ‘impress’ the ones they do. I suspect it’s the latter which means that by applying your make-up in public you’re being fucking rude. So, to the blond arsehole gurning into her compact with manicured little fingers scraping pig fat all over her fizzog, and to the perfume-reeking businesses woman poking at her eyeballs with a stick of black blubber, fuck you!

Do enjoy this, it’s quite beautiful and unintentionally hilarious.


I’ve been working like a dog at work, well, comparatively. For the first time in a decade I’m required to seek out new business as opposed to dealing with it as and when it rolls in. I’ve never known it to be so quiet if I’m honest, it’s a little worrying. Maybe I should just jack all this in and re-train as a funeral director, no shortage of work there and I reckon it’d be a right laugh. Death! Ho ho huuuurghhhh.

In many respects yesterday was a non-entity, my journey home was a delightful experience, on arrival Brutta was covered up and I walked inside the Twatcave and bolted the door with every intention of it remaining so until the following morning. Once in nothing significant occurred, I fiddled with the settings on the PS3 and the TV and prepared dinner that included, alongside with Piqued’s Sensational Spudz, ‘greens’.

I’ve not had ‘greens’ since I was at school, I remember them as a pile of wettish green cabbage-like stuff and despite their being boiled half to death I used to secretly like them. I say ‘secretly,’ they were universally despised among my peers so being the lilly livered little git I was, I pretended I hated it too, along with (ironically) liver and spam fritters, the latter were so good I gave up all pretence of my hating them and discovered I was actually respected for my independent thinking, or maybe it was that I was prepared to exchange the loathsome jam roly poly for the fritters. Everyone liked jam roly poly, I thought it was fucking horrific to the point of being sick in the very bowl I’d just eaten them out of one dismal infant school lunchtime.

The greens were steamed for 10 mins and plopped into a frying pan that contained small strips of bacon and tossed all about with small knob of butter. They were heavily seasoned and eaten with the Spudz in a crazed flurry of mastication in front of Wallander which I’d made happen on the TV via the PS3. Fuck they were good.

Inspired by nostalgic eating I found an old recipe for Spam Fritters on the Internet. It’s my duty to give them a shot in order to consolidate my childhood memory of them as a fully realised adult. They’re not what one thinks of as ‘healthy’ and I should imagine they’d have been deep-fried in lard back in the day making them positively lethal, but it has to be done.

My recipe research also answered some more fundamental questions about Spam such as what is it? Well, according to Wikipedia, Spam is the acronym of ‘Shoulder of Pork and Ham’ and was invented in 1937 by the Hormel Food Corporation in Minnesota. This is why during the Second World War the British acronym for Spam was ‘Specially Processed American Meats’ (though this may have been a facetious backronym.) Indeed, Spam Fritters are a throwback to this era when fish was in short supply and the traditionally uninspired British folk wanted something to eat with their chips and mushy peas.

Christ I’m bored.


For fucks sake don’t take this the wrong way. This morning I heard the UK government donated 20 million queen heads to the Haitians. How very nice of them to use taxpayer money (well I assume it is?) to help out the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. But I’m a little angry about this. You see, when I’m out and about in the city I’m acutely aware of homeless folk, hundreds of them. When I take the bus into work I see them scattered all about, sleeping in doorways, crashed in parks, begging at tube stations, huddled by churches. In at least two of the homeless ‘hot spots’ in the Eastend a wheelchair stands by the bundle of rags sleeping in the bitter cold. I should imagine these folks would benefit from 20 million quid, as would hospitals, schools, social services… as a tax payer I would very much like 20 million quid to be spent on them, and in the meantime I’m more than happy to donate voluntarily to help out the poor sods overseas suffering from the consequences of an appalling act of nature as opposed to preventable failures in our society.

Despite this early gripe, don’t let it in any way give the impression I had an unpleasant weekend and, despite being in this bloody office, not in the most excellent cheer. My weekend started at Den’s gaff in Hackney with his missus, IC and Chas. We sat about drinking and guffawing and eating fucking crisps until it was time for home and bed, where I managed to sleep for more then 5 hours. I utterly love Fridays, I don’t even mind the day at work and the ride home is always infused with extra joy.

Saturday in Hackney, when I step onto my little bit of Mare Street I always get a peculiar thrill. This probably has a lot to do with the fading memories of that dreadful area in South London where I used to live (and STILL own a fucking flat) which was populated by Cunt and similar types with a few, very few, exceptions. In the old place there was nowhere to go, the ‘high street’ was nearly always empty and the only pub in the area was mournfully dull. There was no energy, buzz, it was dead from the waist down and retarded on the top.

I did my usual routine, got paper, had breakfast, went out. This time it was the turn of Tesco for a spot of food shopping, I bought loads of vegetables as I’m still recovering from the meat festival that took place last month. Once done we popped over to Mary’s salon for some right nice haircuts. My hair is the shortest it’s been since I was born, fat Christ it works. IC and I went back to the flat and weighed up our evening options. In the end we decided to stay in, I made the decision to give stuffed courgettes a shot based on a side dish served by IC’s Aunt at Christmas. We opened some wine and never looked back.

I served the stuffed courgettes (Zucchini Ripieni to give them their correct name) with roasted potatoes and a tomato sauce I made by mixing a can of chopped tomato, wine and seasoning and reducing in the oven. The courgettes were quite fiddly (especially as the breadcrumbs were fresh and they alone took time to prepare) but the result was bloody worth it. We even sat down to eat like civilised people before watching the second half of Mesrine that took us until 2am.

We were up at 10, had breakfast and popped off to the flower market on Columbia Road. For once the weather was nice, it was cold, yes, but sunny. I bought a bucket of plants for a fiver and four pansies for 2 quid, which I slapped in the garden when we got home. Looks right pretty so it does.

Later in the afternoon we watched The Shining on my balls out home cinema wotsit that seriously benefited from being watched in such a complimentary manner. Following this IC and I popped by to see some pals and we aimed our feet for the The Ship with the intention of eating a late dinner. But this wasn’t to be the case, the kitchen was shut and sat in the middle of the pub being waited on were most of our pals. We’d spurned an invitation earlier in the day and I have to say, despite the merry crowd, I think we made the right decision purely for the sake of the hangovers each and everyone must feel today.

After releasing ourselves from their company (it was tempting to stay but sense prevailed) IC and I had a pile of Vietnamese food up the road. Roast pork and rice for me, IC had these huge Mussels in a black bean sauce. Fantastic and cheaper, quite literally, than chips.

So that was it. Another marvellous weekend conquered and fixed.



I’ve no idea how this bitch thinks she has a claim on the money I legitimately received after she, her bank and her solicitors made an utter pigs ear of the purchase of that fucking house in Tooting last November, but apparently she can. Whatever happens this will cost me money, just for my solicitor to respond to a letter costs bloody money and as he’s now working as ‘my solicitor’ rather than the legitimate facilitator in the sale of a property with fixed rates etc., I’m already staring in the chasm of £?.

I’m still waiting for my new purchaser to pull her finger out too, the whole fucking thing is a nightmare, the connection to Cunt is as intact as it was the day I moved out which displeases me immensely and I’m skint again after paying off debts and generally treating the money to come as a given, which it’s not, of course.

In more disappointing revelations the rock salt on the roads hasn’t done Brutta any favours, her engine casing looks as if she’s a dose of the pox. Salt is a corrosive and it has a particular taste for fresh aluminium and steel, the latter has a propensity to rust after the salt has made an inroad so my fucking once pristine exhaust pipe, where it arrives off the manifold, looks like a shitty dick. But this news is only afforded to me because for the second time this year I rode into work, which is wonderful and signifies a new upbeat tone for the rest of today’s post, sort of.

The ride into work was magnificent, save the part where I was nearly killed under the wheels of a fucking lorry making a surprise right hand turn as I was overtaking some traffic in the City. It was down to pure skill on my part that I managed to stop without skidding, and it was a little more than fortunate I’d both brakes covered or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Having to suddenly brake is one of those things all road users are required to do from time to time. You see something that requires immediate action, such as the side of a lorry, and you brain shrieks ‘brake,’ after that it’s a question of time as to whether one will, or won’t, make good of the situation. In this space between braking and the subsequent conclusion of your actions, time warps, it slows whilst your mind zips along in nano seconds for solutions to the matter in hand.

It’s one thing to brake hard in a car to avoid a collision; on a bike there are additional factors to contend with. For a start one has two brakes that need spontaneous correction and adjustment to ensure the bike stops at its optimum distance without sliding or bunging you over the front. In addition to this aspect of maximum braking one must also inspect the surface of the road for anything that could increase the likelihood of a skid. It’s an inexact science this, I was braking hard on a part of the road which isn’t used to constant traffic flow, so it was a little muddy and be-shitted with gravel, so I was prepared, should the front end lose traction, to slam on the rear brake and slide the bike round as a last resort. The initial horror of ‘I’m not going to make this’ to ‘YOU FUCKING FAT CUNT!’ takes a half second to an hour.

Of course I stopped (millimetres to spare, no shit) before unleashing a torrent of abuse at volume, pedestrians and cars stopped to see the source of this commotion but due to my being helmeted, and in the midst of tall buildings, all eyes were on the lorry driving floundering in his cab parked widthways across the road poorly trying to defend himself as he was hit with a stream of revolting conjecture. I had lost the plot, dear reader, so whilst constantly referring to him as unclean female genitals I also reminded him he enjoyed his food a little too much, acted in a despicable manner with own mother, then demanded he perform an aggressive act of fellatio on my person and consume my excrement, before rounding it off with a sincere, ‘I hope you die soon.’ I was livid; it’s a wonder my helmet didn’t pop off.

I had a lovely even with IC that featured Piqued’s Sensational Spudz, what the missus loved, and a movie, Mesrine, which I highly recommend. I also abstained which means I’ve been off the source 3 times this week. I think that’s a record. I fully intend to make up for it this weekend, it’s already packed full of goodies.

Right, Gary’s chart, tune and a request you all have marvellous weekends.

30 Hadouken Turn The Lights Out 27 4
29 Massive Attack Paradise Circus NE 1
28 Paramore Brick By Boring Brick 20 12
27 The Cribs We Share The Same Skies 17 10
26 Death Cab For Cutie Meet Me At The Equinox 29 12
25 Phoenix 1901 28 2
24 Flyleaf Again NE 1
23 Lostprophets Where We Belong 16 6
22 The Temper Trap Fader 13 7
21 AFI Medicate 21 9
20 Plan B Stay Too Long 26 2
19 Muse Undisclosed Desires 14 11
18 I Blame Coco Caesar NE 1
17 Ash Space Shot 23 2
16 Fightstar A City On Fire 9 8
15 Hot Chip One Life Stand 19 3
14 The Courteeners Cross my heart and hope to fly 18 3
13 Ian Brown Just Like You 8 8
12 Chase And Status ft Plan B End Credits 7 11
11 Goldhawks Running Away 12 5
10 Mumford And Sons Winter Winds 15 8
9 Them Crooked Vultures New Fang 6 10
8 Marina And The Diamonds Hollywood 22 2
7 Biffy Clyro Many Of Horror 10 4
6 Placebo Bright Lights 11 3
5 Depeche Mode Fragile Tension 4 7
4 Editors You Don’t Know Love 5 4
3 Timbaland/N. Furtado/ SoShy Morning After Dark 2 6
2 Alice In Chains Your Decision 3 3
1 Pearl Jam Got Some 1 7


The snow cleared up almost as fast as it arrived, which was a bit of a pisser because I was enjoying the tantalising prospect of spending a few impromptu days off. Still, I’d made the decision that my Doc Martens were no longer up for the continuing shitty weather so after leaving the office and trudging through the rapidly happening slush I found myself in Covent Garden in the Doc Marten store browsing more contemporary versions of my trusty black 10 holes.

My now ex-Docs were one of the last pairs made in the UK. When I bought them they were being featured next to boxes containing the first of the batches made in Thailand, this was back in the days when they weren’t remotely in vogue so they were only £60. They’ve served me incredibly well but over the last few months the sole has split and I got sick of super-gluing them together. During Italy water started to get in so it was only a matter of time they’d need replacing and I figured sale-season was the best time, though so far nothing I want has been included in any fucking sale on account of my excellent taste.

After much bumbling on account of the shop staff, with a bit of my own chucked in for good measure, 30 mins after entering I walked off with a pair of 8 hole jobs with a toe cap. They’re as tall as my old pair but are satisfactorily the same, but slightly different, as the classic pair I’ve gently packed away in my flat. My newly purchased footwear and I met up with my bro in Seven Dials and we marched off to The Ship on Wardour St. to meet Harry, Frank and the two Robs to break my 2-day drinking amnesty. Lovely evening I must say, in addition to the company and ale the music was bloody marvellous, even The Dead Kennedys got a spin. By the time I hit the tube at 11 I was a bit squify, on account of the recent spell of dryness and the fact I’d forgotten to eat (and wasn’t prepared to do so at such a late hour) it was as if I was 8 pints down or so. The tube journey came and went in a flash with my i-pod inserted into my ear canal in order to save my fellow passengers from an onslaught of horrific black metal.

Oh, some good news, my ex-buyer, the one whose deposit I won after her bank fucked the deal up is trying to sue me to claim it back. So there’s some news right there. Jesus Christ.


The insomnia is getting a bit better, just under 5 hours last night but on account of the general lack of sleep I’m suffering from weird adverse effects.

It’s well know that The Surrealists would use sleep deprivation as a way of causing them to ‘see’ from an alternative angle of conscious. Some of the advantages gained by this method for making are having unadvantageous benefits for fucking existing. So far symptoms include: seeing things that aren’t there, issues speaking without sounding like I’m on medication, almost falling asleep in public then leaping awake wondering where the cunting heck I am and, for some reason, perpetually eating. My general aspect is polarised between being wired or semi-alive, both allow me to remotely view myself. Great.

This morning I left IC’s at 6 for my flat after lying awake for a bit. Six doesn’t usually exist for me in this direction so it was very odd being up and about and drinking tea at a time when I’m usually dreaming of cock. I checked some emails, took a shower and left for the office at a ludicrous 7, which was rather fortuitous as it’d begun to snow. This flurry was completely unexpected because in London we’re not allowed to know what the weather is doing because as soon as you mention ‘London’ to anyone not in it they moan about how the UK is so Londoncentric blah blah balls, so London gets lumped into ‘The South East,’ which is pretty poor going when you consider the population of the Capital City is 7.2 million, over 6 million more than Birmingham the second largest city in the UK, and anyway it’s better than anywhere else anyway so help me god. The Queen lives here for fucks sake, so do both Punt and Dennis, you do the math.

Anyway, it’s been snowing like a cunt so instead of sitting at home sipping tea and enjoying watching Lara Croft fall to her death for the hundredth time I’m sat in a lonely office trying not to sleep at my desk. It’s also more slippery underfoot than Derek Acorah’s bum crack in El Azizia, so I need to take time on my way to meeting the chaps for a beer to purchase some more bloody boots as my Docs resemble slick tyres, on acid, or something.

Speaking of soothing beer, wine, spirits et al, I did another night free from the booze, two nights so help me god. Two.

The tune was recommended by JonR who posts on this drivel from time to time. I got him into Hawkwind after bowling a googly about Neil from the Young Ones, he was so keen to prove himself right that he did some research to discover that Hawkwind invented the Four Elements and starred in and directed Duck Soup.

I need some fucking sleep.


I had a bit more sleep last night, I have to say I was rather surprised by this as it was the first time this year I’d spent a night off the pop, I was further surprised about how this was achieved. Yesterday, you see, was both dull and infuriating, the ‘dull’ caused by work and the fucking public transport commute (involving 2 forms of Underground, the overland and a bus if you please) and the ‘infuriating’ due to the utter lack of business at work and the inexplicable system errors on my spanking new surround-sound-home-cinema-PS3 bundle. I managed to get the PS3 online but sound wasn’t forthcoming in either that or the fucking DVD. After kneeling, crouched, in the midst of a tangle of cables and wires behind the behemoth TV, mournfully talking to myself before using very blue language at volume, I solved all the problems at hand by angrily disconnecting the DVD system and re-connecting it again. If I’d done this in the first instance I’d have spared myself nearly 3 hours of agony. A frustrating but ultimately victorious evening with perfect reasons to imbibe save common sense, which prevailed.

The upshot of this abstinence is that I’ve no inkling of a hangover, this meant the journey I had into work this morning was surprisingly straightforward, despite the multiple changes and modes of transportation. Perhaps it was due to my clear headedness that resulted in my arriving at work bang on 9 after cutting almost 30 minutes off the journey-time. And instead of lurking in various seats on various modes of transport wishing all my fellow commuters would die, I had a sort of love-London and-it’s-people-epiphany that resulted in my feeling a part of the history of the city that I see an enormous amount of these days. It’s one thing to travel from the East End to the South West by my preferred form of transport that is Brutta, and another entirely to watch the world famous landscape of millions floating past with a fucking enormous coffee from the warmth and relative comfort of a rail carriage say.

The die-hard handful of friends and passing illiterates who still read this crap may have noticed I’ve not spoken of my flat situation lately. It’s worth mentioning now as it’s been on the market for exactly a bloody year. According to my solicitors I have a buyer and it’s all going through, but if you can recall the agony of autumn, as I can, I’m trying not to think about it. On the other side of the fence I am fully aware that I’m still paying a mortgage on a place I’ve not been living in since September, which is costly, wasteful and fucking shit. I suppose it’s quite plausible it’s this that’s preventing me from a decent nights sleep though I find this unlikely as it’s not in the forefront of my mind… perhaps it should be. Christ.

Before I go, I invented something last night that’s inexpensive, delicious and piss easy to make. It was so good I’ll mention it here. Get a jacket potato, drizzle a bit of olive oil on it, season and wrap in foil, bake the bastard for a couple of hours, take out of foil and bake naked for last 20 mins so it crisps up. In the meantime fry onion, red cabbage and red pepper in equal measure in a spot of butter until un-soft. Grate some mature cheddar cheese why don’t you, about half the amount of the cooked veg, split the spud in half and scrape the potato from its jacket and mix it with the veg and cheese in a bowl. Season and re-apply the towering mound into the crisp jackets, don’t worry, it’ll all go in if you’re careful, then put back in the oven for another 15 mins to toast the topping. Bit of fresh black pepper on the top and eat it like your life depended on it. I will name it Piqued’s Sensational Spudz. Bon Appetite.


Well I suppose it was inevitable. My fucking back is being a turd. I’m not sure which of the regained stability manoeuvres, following a slight slip, ballsed it up, but I’m fairly sure it was coming into work on Friday morning where the road leading to the office resembled Innsbruck. But, really, it wasn’t that bad, you’d be forgiven for thinking London was about to enter a second ice age if you believed the screaming scaremongering from the weather centre. London was due to be under about 20 feet of snow last week, admittedly, we had some but nothing like the vast quantities forecast. Indeed, this week ‘the big freeze’ was expected to continue but it simply hasn’t. What is the point of weather forecasters; last week was a write off in terms of my office-based employment based, largely, on inaccurate prediction. Still, I can’t complain that much, I had two days out of the office.

My weekend began and ended in the local in Hackney. On Friday Mary, Paul and I skidded out for a few pints and entered a time warp, it felt like we’d only been in there for half an hour before closing time forced us out. This phenomena could be accounted for by insomnia which has been fucking me about for the past week, I had 2 hours between Thursday and Friday and last week my average nights kip was about 3 and a half. I’ve no idea what brought this on, I’m not particularly fussed about anything, I’ve not been eating late, am feeling generally healthy and what have you, it’s just I wake up at 4am and can’t bloody sleep. It’s so, well, boring. I had visions of my winding up like Christian Bale in The Machinist, all thin and pale living in a cloud of yellow sodium lighting and confused terror.

Saturday morning-ish I met Mary and Paul in the café for a fry-up, I think this remains the perfect way to start the weekend, and after a spot of shopping and cleaning my bro arrived for a viewing of The Thing on my spanking new home-cinema blue ray wotsit. Peter joined us as we got happily baked in front of eye shredding joy, I’m looking forward to indulging in plenty more of these sorts of afternoons. I was due to attend Red’s party on the other side of town but a combination of lethal pavements and yet more doom-laden (and inaccurate, I hasten to add) forecasting from the fucking weather forced me to abandon my plan. Instead I went to IC and Mary’s flat with Peter and ate Italian cheeses with some wine. A bunch of Russians arrived to see Mary but the impromptu mini-party was curtailed at 11 or so when everyone buggered off to some club. Again, back worries prevented me from attending; in addition, IC was due home early the following morning and wanted to be able to say ‘hello’ to her without gurgling.

After 3 hours bloody kip and lots of lying in bed blinking, IC appeared at 8am remarkably fresh for 24hours solid travelling. Marvellous. I didn’t see her again until lunchtime and following smoked salmon and spinach on muffins, topped by a ruddy poached egg, we went for a walk across London Fields and took tea in a café at Broadway market where I had a unspecified panic attack, bizarrely. It passed quickly though so we went back home whereupon IC struggled vocally with the controls to Grand Theft Auto. At 5-ish we went back to the local and bumped into Mary and Oscar eating a giant roast in the dining area. They joined us for a farewell weekend drink and that was bloody that, the weekend gone in a flash.

I had to come into work on public transport yet again this morning; I’ll have forgotten how to ride Brutta by the time I get my mitts on her again. Balls. Did I mention my back is being a cunt?

on 2 present

It was my birthday. I got up earlier than usual (11-ish) to go with IC and her mum to visit a mechanical nativity which is a traditional activity in them there parts. Every year Franciscan Monks create a huge 3 dimensional nativity in one of the many churches scene with automated characters and light/sound effects, it’s sort of reminiscent of Czech puppet animation if that helps. It’s bloody great!

Lunch was another classic, Parmigiana Melazane, layers of aubergine, tomato and Parmesan, I think it was the only vegetarian meal that I ate, utterly superb it was. After the whole blowing out the candles thing we popped out to see the last of the relatives in the country and nipped back home to Skype her sis in NYC at 5. We went out at 6-ish for Apperativo, IC was keen I didn’t eat too much of the complimentary snacks at the bar as we were due to go home for a final meal with her mum and she wanted my appetite intact. But this was a bloody fib! Instead of going back she took to me to a dead swanky restaurant. As you may have gathered already I am a keen fan of Italian food, it’s arguably the best in the world but nothing was to prepare me for the ravioli I had with rabbit. For a kick off the pasta wasn’t like anything I’ve had before, it was succulent, almost buttery yet it had a very satisfying density to it. The rabbit inside was just extraordinary and the combination of this, the pasta, the Parmesan on top and the accompanying dollop of meat sauce was enough to make me fucking cry. So I did a bit, no shit. It was that good. The second main course was a rack of local lamb, perfectly cooked, and the wine was made within a few miles of where we were eating. Holy fucking Christ, best meal I’ve had, ever. IC droved us home, we dumped the car and walked to the Christmas Eve wine bar where we had a second lock-in. What a birthday present, all pissed up on wonderful booze with a gut full of top nosh.

On the 27th I woke with a bloody cold, I was feeling so rank we did nout all day save read and watch TV. The Italians never use subtitles; instead they dub voices in the manner of the actor. For example, I watched Romancing the Stone (bloody awful) and Michael Douglas and Danny Devito sounded like themselves but they were talking all foreign, and IC informed me they had ‘American accents.’ Apparently Laurel and Hardy had English accents… before we left for the airport we packed and weighed our luggage only to discover we were overweight. I had to leave behind 2 bottles of Amaretto and bottle of bloody nice wine, which almost killed me. Mikey gave us a lift to the airport at 6, we had Apperativo on the way and after IC and I had checked in, had some more drinks in the lounge as we waited for our bastard flight home. The journey back was smooth enough I guess; unremarkable flight, Stanstead rammed but we got the coach okay. We were both feeling a bit shit to be honest as neither of us wanted to leave.

When we did arrive home at 1am Mary was having a balls out party, it was her 30th so not wishing to be party poppers we got stuck in. An hour after arriving I was feeling much more refreshed and despite being shattered we put a good 5 hours into proceedings. The following Monday we spent mainly sleeping, save a trip to the café for a fry up. We even had take-out Pizza that evening as neither of us could be pissed to cook or even go out.

On Tuesday IC and I took the train to my folks to do the whole Christmas/Birthday thing with them and my brother, sis, their better halves and the nieces. My favourite meal of the year (until very recently I hasten to add) had been the cold meat, pork pie, sausage roll and pickles buffet mum lays on for Boxing Day. This had been postponed until now so the whole family had a huge lunch before doing the presents thing. My folks and family had combined the birthday/Christmas thing and got me a bloody PS3! Marvellous. Even better, when we got home IC gave me her present, a home cinema surround sound thing. I couldn’t believe my luck. It’s all set up now, playing the PS3 in high def with all the sound and stuff is fucking amazing. I digress. The rest of the holiday was spent in a decadent stupor. We ate out, had take out, drank, hung out with friends and generally had a thoroughly good time. The week seemed to shoot past which isn’t surprising as we only saw the morning in the night of the day before, if that makes sense, and an awful amount of booze was consumed.

New Years Eve took place at IC and Mary’s gaff. All guests had to wear a mask but as I don’t have such a fellow I opted for wrapping my head in bandages leaving only my eyes and mouth showing for the purposes of sight and drinking, of course. It was a very pleasant night, some 50 guests who were, by and large, very well behaved. There seemed to be a representative from all corners of Europe with a few Russians thrown in for good measure. I think I went to bed at 7am? No idea, it was light-ish.

This more or less signalled the end of festivities but IC and I were keen to not see it off completely. On new years day IC and Patti came over for Apperativo (I had all the necessary ingredients from Italy) that led to movies, wine and a home-delivered curry. On the Saturday, after a fry up at the café, a similar thing happened when Sally and Neil stopped by and we wound up playing Tomb Raider until the wee hours.

Finally Sunday arrived. It was a most dreadful moment, the realisation that it was nearly all over and that IC would be buggering off to Singapore the same day as I was returning to work. The gloom of this impending occurrence was slightly offset by Watchmen in my gaff in the afternoon with all the benefits of my newly acquired set-up (astonishing it was) with IC, Paul and Mary. In the evening IC and I went out for a final meal in the local Turkish place and that was bloody it. It didn’t seem believable to be honest. Awful.

The first two days back at work were dire, I rode in on the Monday but by Tuesday the roads had begun to get a bit slippery and snow was forecast so I took the bus. Wednesday and Thursday I worked from home as there was snow and ice preventing me from easily getting to the office and whilst it would’ve been possible the increased likelihood of snapping my fucking spine on ice was a bridge too far. Apart from a visit by Swineshead on Wednesday I remained indoors in solitude. It wasn’t as good as having IC around but it was a bloody nice.

I suppose I could’ve worked from home today as well but thought it was worth making the effort coming in for diplomatic purposes. I wished I’d not bothered, the ice is fucking lethal and I’ve nearly gone arse over tit twice. It doesn’t take much to screw up my back; just correcting a slip can pop the disc. I’m bastard cold in here too.

Still, it’s not all bad. The weekend beckons and IC is back Sunday morning assuming the airports are okay. Gerry’s chart and a choon now, and a final Happy New Year.

30 Vampire Weekend Cousins 20 5
29 Death Cab For Cutie Meet Me At The Equinox 22 11
28 Phoenix 1901 NE 1
27 Hadouken Turn The Lights Out 27 3
26 Plan B Stay Too Long NE 1
25 Delphic Doubt 28 3
24 Athlete Black Swan Song 18 11
23 Ash Space Shot NE 1
22 Marina And The Diamonds Hollywood NE 1
21 AFI Medicate 17 8
20 Paramore Brick By Boring Brick 14 11
19 Hot Chip One Life Stand 30 2
18 The Courteeners Cross my heart and hope to fly 26 2
17 The Cribs We Share The Same Skies 12 9
16 Lostprophets Where We Belong 16 5
15 Mumford And Sons Winter Winds 13 7
14 Muse Undisclosed Desires 9 10
13 The Temper Trap Fader 11 6
12 Goldhawks Running Away 15 4
11 Placebo Bright Lights 23 2
10 Biffy Clyro Many Of Horror 16 3
9 Fightstar A City On Fire 6 7
8 Ian Brown Just Like You 7 7
7 Chase And Status ft Plan B End Credits 5 10
6 Them Crooked Vultures New Fang 3 9
5 Editors You Don’t Know Love 8 3
4 Depeche Mode Fragile Tension 4 6
3 Alice In Chains Your Decision 10 2
2 Timbaland/N. Furtado/ SoShy Morning After Dark 1 5
1 Pearl Jam Got Some 2 6


I’ve not been to church for an actual service in 25 odd years and this was my first of the Catholic persuasion (my folks are Anglican types) and certainly my first abroad. For a start it was conducted all in foreign so I couldn’t even amuse myself with some of the rhetoric, instead I had to make the most of the highlights that consisted of sitting down, standing up, watching men talk like they were about to die of consumption and an enormous dolly being taken from one end of the room to the other. It smelt nice though.

After an hour of this it finished without warning and I was let loose on the complimentary mulled wine reward. IC and I walked her mum home among the crowds that had come out to celebrate mass. I found that rather nice for no reason I can thing off without sounding like a hypocrite. There is a sort of wine bar by IC’s so we paid it a visit. It was dead and looked like it was closing shortly but as luck would have it, the owner and his missus took rather a liking to us and we got a lock-in. Even better, we could smoke. Indoors! It felt right naughty having a tad and quaffing stuff, I say ‘stuff’ the owner was keen for me to try all sorts of exotic fare, the walnut liqueur I finished on at 4am was both delicious and lethal. Happy Christmas!

I woke on Christmas morning-ish and we opened gifts under the tree before hopping in car and driving to IC’s family on her dad’s side. Many of them were still having snow issues in wider parts of Italy so it was just us 3, IC’s Auntie, Uncle, Cousin and his precocious 8 year old daughter, her mum and siblings were not attending as they were colded-up. As I was expecting there was vast amounts of food, most of it made of the dead and we’d be eating in traditional Italian style, that is four courses starting with the antipasti -a board of 4 types of local cured meats, a first main course -rabbit ravioli in stock and stuffed courgette, second main, roasted pork, chicken, beef and salami and finally Panettone and Pandoro, fucking loads of it. I was made to feel incredibly welcome and they insisted I take the head of the table for lunch which made things a bit difficult when IC, after sternly telling me to not laugh, informed of the Pope’s assault. IC’s aunt (who I particularly liked, she did all the cooking and still bloody smokes in her late 70’s) had told her to tell me so all eyes were on me. How I kept a straight face is anyone’s guess, especially as IC was also dead panning her socks off. I shook my head mournfully and then, thank Christ, I was saved by my parents who called to wish me Happy Christmas but got no further than mentioning the Pope and something about ‘it’s a knockout’ before disappearing off the line laughing like a banshees. Did I mentioned they’re Anglicans?

This time IC drove her mum and I back home after a few wines, she wasn’t as bad as she was a couple of days before though and I was quite surprised how competent she was there behind the wheel, drunk. That’s my girl. When we got home we Skyped her sister in New York, IC’s gift to her bro-in-law –a fantastic tee featuring a cross made of skulls- which went down like a lead balloon with her mum, and we rested a while until IC’s mum went to bed whereupon she and I downed a bottle of Prosecco and watched Vertigo as Christmas turned into my 41st fucking birthday.

n on an on…

I made fisherman’s pie for IC’s mum the day before Christmas Eve, it was lunchtime (of course. I didn’t really do much in the mornings for the whole trip apart from sleep) and it went down bloody well, very well actually. She had 3 fucking servings, I’ve no idea where she put all this food incidentally, IC’s mum is quite little and far from fat, but I noticed throughout the holiday she was able to consume large quantities of food without ever seeming to actually eat. This could be because she’s quite quiet so I imagine ones attention is inclined to be drawn away to other sources whilst the process of mastication is undertaken without observation, either that or she’s a witch.

Religion featured very heavily in her life, as did the fucking Pope who popped up on TV every 5 minutes and to be perfectly honest I found a lot of the Catholic stuff a bit annoying, especially when I no more believe in god or religion than I do Noel Edmonds. But her faith in this stuff was admirable. To say ‘it keeps her going’ is doing her a disservice and patronising, her faith provides security, comfort and happiness as it does to millions of other I guess, even if I do find it all complete arse.

In the afternoon we did another round of shopping, the snow resting on fake snow was dwindling, the roads and pavements turning grey with slush concealing rocks of ice. I was assigned with the nefarious duty of carrying a gift back to the flat, a vast glass vase which wasn’t made any easier by the ground underfoot and my fellow shoppers who are inclined to get a bit ‘shovey ‘at the best of times.

IC and I went out for apperativo later on then collected pizza on the way home. This stuff was a far cry from the take outs you get here as I’m sure you can imagine, or know. I had smoked cheese and ham and bolstered it back at home with some fresh salami. I ate in silence with a woody.

I didn’t really feel like going out later on, I was exhausted, probably from digestion, but we did. In the car to a bar, full in the knowledge drink driving would happen later. I’d best explain something here, drink driving in Italy is illegal but people do it. If you get caught you get a slap on the wrists but it’s a far cry from the kick in the nuts you quite rightly get over here. Obviously I’m not condoning drink driving but when in (or at least, near) Rome and all that… so fuck it, so long as I’m not at the wheel, I’m in.

The bar was a 20 minute drive and we weren’t allowed in when we got there. In Italy bar owners have turned their places into ‘political social clubs’ as it’s a tax loophole, this means you need membership to gain access and despite IC knowing almost everyone that was crowded round the entrance where access was being denied, they weren’t having any of it so Len let us in through the back. Somewhat apprehensively we approached the bar away from the main entrance through a crowd of assorted folk in most respects and I finally had a Negroni in my fist. Marvellous.

As IC seemed to know everyone I was offered the chance to grin and nod a lot, Len spoke English, fortunately, and he introduced me to a fellow speaker who reminded me of my dad but with a bigger beard. I’ve no idea how the conversation got round to bikes but it did and he and I gassed like a couple of kids for a good hour, I even bought him a drink. Turns out he had a 70’s Ducati SS (among others. I used to have one which is why I’m citing this machine) he was perpetually working on, naturally, and as a younger man used to road race, like me, he too suffered fully from the motorcycle disease. This episode gave me a second wind, I bounced back to the bar and discovered IC used to date the owner, bingo! Free drinks for the rest of the night which wound up at 3-ish. I’d had a killer time all in all.

IC wasn’t exactly in a great state to drive, her initial question when we set off of ‘which side of the road am I supposed to be on’ didn’t inspire much confidence but with a bit of pleading for her to stay in what I thought was a straight line we made it home in one piece. It was bloody good fun despite the obvious stupidity of our actions.

Christmas Eve started with a hangover, unsurprisingly. Len picked IC and I up and took us for brunch at a place on the edge of town which was sheer opulence in an avant garde sort of way. The place, a sort of restaurant come bar and interior design shop, was a formerly a warehouse. Nearly all its contents were for sale, stuff you’d recognise from contemporary design magazines with nice little flourishes of eccentric ephemera. For example, they had a brand new Pool Table (of the slot coin sort found in UK bars) for sale sitting next to immaculate leather chairs and vast Castiglioni arco lamps. We had some Prosecco with salami and parmesan and absorbed the surroundings with conversation, on leaving I bought a small silver skull and Len took us back to his flat to show me his collection of art and furniture. His gaff is packed full of modern design and paintings which included a superb portrait of himself he had commissioned a few years back. I was utterly jealous of his stuff, and I have to say, excellent taste; he even had one of those pool tables, though it’d been temporarily transformed into a rather blasphemous nativity that had us shrieking with laughter.

We were home for lunch, IC’s mum had prepared Osso Buco, a classic Italian dish made with beef, bone and peas, and there was a ton of it which I wolfed down like a ruddy wolf. It was pissing with rain all afternoon but with umbrellas in hand we did the last bit of Christmas shopping which seemed to go on for an age due to both IC and her mum being completely indecisive. My boots were soaked when we got home, the soup and the pigs in blankets I’d brought from London fixed me a treat, I had a shower and read and waited… something I didn’t want to do at all was about to occur.

n on

Twenty second, woke up late again. Lunch consisted of rabbit organ risotto, it was a tad rich for my taste to begin with but I soon got into the swing of things. In the afternoon we went into the centre and did some Christmas shopping, the snow wasn’t as intense as the previous day but it had become incredibly slippery.

It was pure ‘Christmas,’ twinkling lights, snow, nativity scenes nestling on virtually every street. There are no chain stores round here, each shop deals in one line of goods and not a single whiff of a US Fast Food outlet or a corporate shopping mall, at times it was like walking through a Dickens novel but without all the poverty and beatings.

We returned home exhausted with cold soaking feet and changed for another outing to visit even more family. This times it was the turn of IC’s Aunties and Uncles on her mothers side, despite there being 15 of them present I was informed a half dozen were unable to attend because of the adverse weather conditions. The house in which we met was in the hills overlooking Brescia and was the size of a small castle, it was split level affair with balconies that overlooked panoramic gardens and huge fuck off trees, it also turned out that her uncle (by marriage) wasn’t one of IC’s favourite people but the spread he laid out was eye-popping. I loved him.

I spent the evening gorging my face with cured meats, pickles, pizza, Parmesan and loads of wine of course. I got on extremely well with two of her uncles, one of whom spoke excellent English, the other who didn’t but smoked heavily and enabled me to smoke with impunity on the balcony. They were all extraordinarily friendly toward their new guest and I really was made to feel a part of the family even when my eyeballs were banging together.

This may be all well and good but I’m back now and having an awkward day due to the shite weather. This began when I spurned Brutta over The Boris and learnt, on boarding a packed bus that my Oyster card was fucked. This made me later than the second coming, which chucked my day into disarray. Basically, what I’m trying to say is this is a short post today. More tomoz I should imagine.

No time for a vid, soz.

nover yeer

Happy new year

Needless to say I’m not in the greatest frame of mind.

I’m back at my fucking desk after what must have been one of the best Christmases’ I’ve had since I was a kid. I made extensive notes in order to recall what happened but looking back on that cheery handwriting under the fluorescent glare of the office lighting just adds to the gloom. To add insult to injury IC is buggering off to Singapore after work on a business trip today… I’ve decided that anyone ‘de-toxing’ in January must be sectioned.

So here’s a potted summary of my Christmas, which begun in the almost-snow walking away from the office Christmas party at 8-ish following 3 hours of ill advised drinking. Once I reached home following a mercifully vague journey IC and I began to celebrate our new found freedom, we had a few hours to kill as we weren’t due to set off from Hackney until 2am. By the time we did I was completely pissed.

I can’t remember much about getting to Milan. I remember waiting for the coach outside Liverpool Street station because it was dangerously cold and I wanted to be warm so much I was almost crying. When the coach did finally arrive and we alighted, I slept, I’ve no clue how I got off the coach, through check-in, passport control or on the plane (or how I was even allowed on) because I remember nothing of the flight at all, not even the takeoff and landing which doesn’t really inspire much sympathy for the so-called ‘terrified flyer’ I’m supposed to be. I slept the whole way. No, my first recollection of any part of the journey was walking into the airport lounge and noticing it smelt very pleasantly of coffee, and that I was still inebriated.

IC bought said coffee and shortly after I was bundled onto a second coach which took us to Brescia, I slept on this one too, and we arrived at some point mid morning where IC’s mum was waiting for us to take us home. The rest of the day was hazy to say the least, pork mince and fennel for lunch (the first of many excellent meals, we’ll get onto that bit shortly, of course) then according to my notes IC and I went shopping and returned home for supper, a decidedly delicious vegetable broth with broccoli which aided 13 hours of solid sleep afterwards.

I’d bought some traditional Christmas fare from England, Pork Pie, Stilton, Cheddar, which I imposed on IC’s mum at lunch the following day. IC’s mum served this with leftover broccoli and fennel that, initially, caused my stomach to retract, until I followed protocol and generously sloshed it with oil and vinegar and thereby converted the veg into instant pickles. Marvellous. After lunch IC went to visit the first of many relatives that preceded the first of many an Apperativo.

Forgive me if I’ve harped on about this before, the whole Apperativo thing, but it’s fucking wonderful and something I’d like to see in the UK but would be impossible to adopt. Essentially it’s a pre-dinner drink consisting of Prosecco and Apperol (like Campari) soda water, ice and a slice of Orange, served with finger food and/or snacks -crisps, nuts and the like- between about 5 to 8 pm. Traditionally you have Apperativo in a bar before going home to eat dinner. As cited, this wouldn’t work with the British because we wouldn’t go home to dinner, we’d stay until closing, and bars don’t really close until about 2-ish over there, which is great because you’ve plenty of time after dinner to carry on where you left off.

So, after dinner at home, tortellini with soft cheese and honey (which sounds horrific but works like a charm) we went out to meet some of IC’s friends at a local bar. We walked to the centre of town in the freezing bloody cold and arrived at a crowded little bar that was all ‘cool’ and knowing with a DJ slap bang in the middle of the room twiddling knobs. IC pals were already there and I liked them both instantly, this was going to be the norm, and they both had a fairly decent command of English that was embarrassingly helpful. I got stuck into the Negroni, a favoured Italian cocktail with a gin-base and loosened up. The DJ was getting on my tits though, apparently he was from Detroit and thought as much of himself as the bar did of him. A frankly toe curling exchange took place in the smoking area when he did a sort of ‘peace and love’ speech that his obsequious audience could’ve never understood as most of it was in a sort of faux jive, but despite this they hugged him like he was the second coming. It was good to move on to the next bar that was like a perverts living room, red and black and covered with monochrome S&M based photos and paintings and punctuated with lots of mirrors on which were scrawled quotes from the likes of Woolf, Bataille and Crowley

The owner, a charismatic gravel-voiced dude, spurned our orders for our desired cocktails preferring instead to mix his idea of what he thought they should taste like. My Negroni became ‘A Cardinal’ a combination of gin and three different types of Martini and my drinking companions were equally delighted with their offings too. I didn’t want to leave but leave we did, IC and I were still feeling the effects of the journey and all that had gone with it. The walk home was extremely cold and it had begun to snow. By 2am we were in bed, shattered.

I was dimly aware of buying a rabbit in the supermarket on the Saturday of our arrival. IC’s mum had asked for one so we bought a whole one, it’d been skinned and that was that. It was fucking disgusting looking but didn’t prevent me from doing a rendition of Bright Eyes as I waved it in the faces of the children it’d been stored out of sight from. It was a just action. Italian supermarkets are magical places; particularly in the salami and cold meat section where you could be forgiven you were buying an edible toy rather than the remains of slaughtered animal matter, now it was my turn for justice. On the morning of Monday I was woken by IC who asked me for a small favour. Apparently her mum was used to her rabbits being sectioned by the butcher and ‘did I mind if I cut the bugger up?’

Not being particularly squeamish I agreed to give it a shot but I hadn’t reckoned with the little bit of hangover from the previous evening. I wandered into the kitchen where the rabbit, now out of it’s cellophane wrap, lay glistening on the table with one eye off and it’s little tongue lolling between its rictus grinning gob. IC’s mum handed me some butchering secateurs for the bone and a serrated knife for cartilage and sinew and I tentatively started to cut the leporids head off. After a few snips I crunched through the neck causing its other eye to pop happily from its socket but try as I might the knife wasn’t really doing the business with the meat-wiring holding it’s head on. I was forced to pick up the entire creature and hold the dangling head against its chest and saw up through the neck which caused me to retch somewhat, the neck came apart so suddenly the rabbits barnet shot out of my grip and hit the floor with a fat plop inspiring more retching from the bellend butcher stood over it. I concluded I didn’t want to be a butcher anymore but faced without choice I decided to violently attack the carcass without any mercy, limbs off, torso quartered and its tiny organs plucked from the chest cavity and laid on a plate for risotto in under 5 horrific minutes. As unpleasant the task was, the feeling of compromised satisfaction was oddly reminiscent of giving a tramp some loose change.

Outside it was snowing hard, IC and I decorated the tree as her mum prepared the freshly butchered creature, which was served for lunch. By god it was good, one of the best things I ate on my holiday, I’m sure the fact I was part of its making had a part to play in its taste but beyond this I’ve come to the considered decision that rabbit may just eclipse lamb as my favourite meat.

After the remains of the bunny were put onto a slow-boil for stock, we all hopped in the car to visit some relatives in town, it wasn’t easy going, the snow was settling and the conditions getting a little fraught. We arrived and walked into the grounds of the beautiful cemetery, a Romanesque building not without a hint of Rococo splendor. The large grounds were pure white and the snowed creaked underfoot. All was still save the falling snow and the breath curling from our mouths. It was very beautiful though not without a hint of ghostly other, I was happily munching up M R James stories during stolen moments in the house and I almost willed a figure to appear in irrational circumstances in the distance, behind a tree, pointing the way to a staircase that leads down to the vaults where nothing living stirred.

We dropped off IC’s mum on the way to finish off the shopping but the traffic and weather conditions forced us into a gridlock. I remember the whining and moaning when London got a day off following a heavy snowfall in February last year, if it’s any consolation the Italians were dealing with the fucking stuff as badly as we, and they’re supposed to be ‘used to it.’ IC and I sat for a hour in traffic, we moved no more than 10 yards so at the next possible junction we turned off, found a space to park and went off to take Apperativo at the bar we’d visited in the spring before popping off home with some difficulty.

As soon as we were home some friends came by to pick us up and take us for dinner, the traffic had cleared but the snow hadn’t. The snow was now at least a foot deep and showed no signs of stopping, which was sheer childish delight; in fact, I’d not seen snow fall like this since the 70’s. Mikey and Sophia took us to the oldest restaurant in Brescia, a modest looking place slap bang in the middle of town boasting traditional local food and waiting staff that resembled the Franciscan cast of Name of the Rose. My tortellini to start with was richer than Croesus but so delicate and nothing like the shit we call pasta over here. In the traditional of the nativity I chose a special local delicacy, braised donkey which was very similar in texture to braised beef but much richer and with less fat in the sinew. I was pig-stuffed after the first mouthful but cleaned my plate. The accompanying wine was very Moorish too and IC and I thought it best to continue this drinking aspect in the bar we’d visited earlier where the former seemed to know everyone by sight if not name.

When we left it was still snowing but not a soul was to be seen, it felt like we had the city to ourselves and we rolled about in virgin snow like a couple of wankers before buffeting each other with snowballs. Winter holiday cliché? Yes, nothing to do with me, I was just there.

More of this balls tomorrow but first, it’s Gerry’s 2009 top 100 chart with a tune that has no relation to it at all.


100 Pearl Jam Got Some 102
99 The Doves Winter Hill 105
98 The Wombats My Circuitboard City 107
97 Echo And The Bunnymen Think I Need It Too 107
96 Papa Roach Hollywood Whore 107
95 Absent Elk Sun And Water 107
94 Paramore Decode 107
93 Mindless Self Indulgence Evening Wear 109
92 Anthony And The Johnsons Epilepsy Is Dancing 110
91 The Walkmen In The New Year 110
90 AFI Medicate 112
89 Hot Melts Edith 114
88 Preston Dressed To Kill 116
87 Ou Est Le Swimming Pool Dance The Way I Feel 116
86 Hollywood Undead Undead 117
85 Marmaduke Duke Rubber Lover 117
84 AC/DC Anything Goes 117
83 Baddies Battleships 118
82 Gallows I Dread The Night 119
81 Gallows London Is The Reason 119
80 A Place To Bury Strangers In Your Heart 121
79 Hockey Too Fake 124
78 Slipknot Dead Memories 124
77 Shinedown Sound Of Madness 126
76 30 Seconds To Mars Kings And Queens 126
75 Green Day 21 Guns 129
74 Coldplay Life In Technicolour II 134
73 Graham Coxon Sorrow’s Army 137
72 Empire Of The Sun We Are The People 137
71 Glasvegas Flowers And Football Tops 140
70 Depeche Mode Peace 140
69 Silversun Pickups Panic Switch 144
68 Green Day East Jesus Nowhere 144
67 Eagles Of Death Metal Anything ‘Cept The Truth 145
66 Marmaduke Duke Silhouettes 147
65 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Zero 148
64 Enter Shikari Juggernauts 152
63 Five Finger Death Punch Hard To Sea 153
62 Kasabian Fire 154
61 Cage The Elephant Back Against The Wall 156
60 Ladyhawke Magic 157
59 The Prodigy Take Me To The Hospital 158
58 Bloc Party One Month Off 158
57 Red Light Company Arts And Crafts 159
56 Foo Fighters Wheels 159
55 Marilyn Manson Arma (Goddam Motherf**kin) Geddon 160
54 Pearl Jam The Fixer 162
53 Lacuna Coil Spellbound 163
52 Baddies Holler For My Holiday 168
51 The Temper Trap Sweet Disposition 169
50 Dead Weather Treat Me Like Your Mother 173
49 Athlete Black Swan Song 175
48 Pink Please Don’t Leave Me 176
47 The Grammatics The Vague Archive 177
46 Sparks Lighten Up Morrissey 178
45 Fightstar Mercury Summer 179
44 Maximo Park Questing Not Coasting 183
43 Maximo Park The Kids Are Sick Again 185
42 Them Crooked Vultures New Fang 186
41 Oasis Falling Down 188
40 Paramore Brick By Boring Brick 188
39 Kasabian Where Did All The Love Go? 192
38 Lily Allen The Fear 193
37 Twisted Wheel We Are Us 194
36 Ian Brown Stellify 196
35 Eagles Of Death Metal Wanna Be In L.A. 197
34 The Prodigy Warrior’s Dance 198
33 Paramore Ignorance 200
32 Placebo For What It’s Worth 200
31 The XX Crystallized 203
30 Chase And Status ft Plan B End Credits 204
29 Funeral For A Friend Wrench 205
28 Muse Uprising 206
27 Death Cab For Cutie Meet Me On The Equinox 208
26 Biffy Clyro The Captain 214
25 Muse Undisclosed Desires 214
24 The View Shock Horror 215
23 Airborne Toxic Event Sometime Around Midnight 217
22 Innerpartysystem Don’t Stop 219
21 White Lies Farewell To The Fairground 222
20 Shinedown Second Chance 223
19 Five Finger Death Punch The Bleeding 224
18 Arctic Monkeys Crying Lightning 226
17 Placebo The Never-Ending Why 229
16 White Lies To Lose My Life 236
15 The Gossip Heavy Cross 238
14 The Doves Kingdom Of Rust 248
13 The Mars Volta Cotopaxi 253
12 Billy Talent Rusted From The Rain 257
11 The Prodigy Omen 257
10 Rammstein Pussy 261
9 Blue October Dirt Room 267
8 Skunk Anansie Because Of You 272
7 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Heads Will Roll 279
6 Lostprophets It’s Not The End Of The World…… 299
5 Depeche Mode Wrong 306
4 Gallows The Vulture (Act II) 307
3 Starsailor Tell Me It’s Not Over 311
2 Biffy Clyro That Golden Rule 313
1 Editors Papillon 384