Monthly Archives: March 2010

wayt

Since the weekend things have been largely shite. Not in a terminal way, or even in a necessarily awful way, just shite. It’s been a mundane routine of work, commuting, research for various offline activities involving a design and a speech (both are causing me to apply myself beyond my means in many respects) and the weather has been fucking awful.

In addition to this, IC is off to New York tomorrow and not back until after Easter so I’ve that to look forward to as well (not, obviously). What’s even more galling is that originally I was to go with her but, on account of the ongoing fuck with the flat, it was decided that I’d best save the money I’ve got as I’m still paying both a rent and mortgage… I’ll shut up about this now before I tear myself a new bum.

In fact, the only thing I’ve got to look forward to is one final blast tonight with IC, a few casual arrangements with friends over Easter, staying in bed for as long as possible and leisurely pooing.

This week I’ve done two consecutive days at the gym, both have been a bit of an ordeal on account of the weekend festivities, Monday’s session on the cross trainer thing was diabolical, after only 2 minutes I looked like Bernard Manning trying to shit out a studded coconut and it was only the power of Slayers ‘World Painted Blood’ that inspired me to continue. After 15 agonising minutes I nearly fell off the fucking thing as I alighted, my legs felt like meringue and I could see stars from inertia.

Yesterday there was a slight improvement; well I didn’t almost collapse in a boneless heap when I got of the cross trainer wotsit anyway, subsequently the latter 15 minute go on the weight stuff resulted in my applying myself a little more earnestly.

I’ve probably explained that there is a corner of the gym dedicated to enormous muscled bound blokes lifting up very heavy things and putting them back down again. Next to this area are the weight machines, these are a much more civilised way of ‘working out’ without inviting your veins to smash out your skin, even girls have a go on them.

Every so often one of the hulks in the corner will wander over the machine section and proceed to test themselves by adjusting said machine to be as awkward as cow-throwing usually followed by me who will have the rather humiliating task of re-setting it so I can test myself with out prolapsing. It’s the equivalent of kicking sand into your own face.

Actually, virtually everyone in this area, girls included, are better at this weight-machine business than I am, so I’m permanently having to draw attention to my weakness by re-setting any given machine in the scornful eyes of the physically superior being whose pulled enough iron to tear a Harley Davidson in two. I used to find this quite intimidating but now I couldn’t give a tinkers cuss.

I suppose this has something to do with the ‘well, at least I’m here’ attitude but more than that is the fact I’m no longer a stranger. I see the same faces each time I go and, bizarrely, feel a part of the community -for want of a better word. It’s not the same as being a face down the pub; everyone in the place is trying to make some sort of an improvement as opposed to just getting pissed.
It’s a very positive place in which to spend 30 minutes, and despite a natural reluctance to not go I can’t say I hate it when I’m there. Besides, I can always get pissed later, better than that, I can do so with a certain degree of smugness.


par derr

We had a sharpener in a bar before setting off to Montmartre to visit the artists plying their trade in the large square at the summit, en route IC and I passed a chap wearing a Ramones jacket snorting coke off the steps leading out of the Metro. Staggering it was, bold as fucking brass just bunging a wrap up his nose via a rolled up 20 Euro note. Sacre Bleu! Sorry…

Montmartre is (now) one of my favourite places on the planet, I enjoyed watching all the artists busy at work and even more (after employing years of academia with my keen eye for aesthetics, bitches) deciding which ones were fucking shit. We pottered about wryly amused (well I was, I was experiencing a full-on ponce out) then decided it best to get some wine from whatever place suited.

Bingo.

We found this perfect little half-empty gaff with a half-cut jazz pianist tinkling away, it was both a bar and creperie if you can imagine such a thing and the walls were adorned with whatever ephemera passing tourists and travellers cared to staple-up. I bloody loved it, we had a couple of glasses and, in the spirit of things, I took a short while to sketch IC and stick her visage up, which was nice.

We wobbled back to the hotel in order to ready ourselves for the evening. IC had organised a table at a restaurant just north centre of the Seine and I have to say she managed to top anything I’d managed to get together that weekend. When we arrived at the venue we had to pass through security before entering a beautiful walled garden, at the end was the entrance to the restaurant, though it didn’t seem as such, in fact it was more akin to a country house.

The interior was almost like Alice in Wonderland, it was both homely and knowingly bohemian, on the right by the door was a Norton Commando which instantly piqued (whahey!) my interest. I began fiddling with it to see if it was in use or someone’s warped idea of décor, I reached underneath and pulled out a handful of fresh oil indicating the former, as is the way with British motorcycles of the 70’s. A chap approached who claimed ownership and we stared gassing about bikes. Turned out he was not only the owner of this restaurant but was also the owner of another pair of well known restaurants in London, both of which had Michelin Stars. When he formally introduced himself all clicked into place. He was a very nice chap, not what one would expect after being spoon-fed celebrity-chef-TV over the past few years.

A waiter suggested we visited the smoking room upstairs which we entered via a mirrored wardrobe into a crepuscular lounge that would’ve made Lewis Carroll weep with joy. It featured dimly lit crumbling chandeliers, delicate rococo stucco and what could only be described as distressed William Morris wallpaper. There were leather bound books on wonky shelves, worn leather sofas and chairs and the room had the quality of a dream verging on the good side of a nightmare. I could’ve stayed there all night, and would’ve if the same waiter hadn’t appeared to tell us our food was on the table.

I had the spit-roasted suckling pig with mushrooms and new spuds, of course it was ridiculously good and the accompanying wine was top of the pops. IC had the scallops; I’ve never tasted better. In terms of atmosphere and service I’ve never eaten in a finer place, the bill wasn’t too harsh either and we’ll be going back there another day.

Earlier on in the day IC and I had taken the wise decision to buy a bottle of champagne for the final drink of the evening. When we got back to the hotel we saw Paris off with the fucking bottle in the bar and took ourselves to bed. The train was due to leave Paris at 1pm so we had a short while to eat breakfast, and to sustain the holiday spirit had a couple of glasses of wine on the platform, then on the train back. Unsurprisingly we slept most of the way back to London after that.

We were home by 4 feeling peachy and a little melancholic as we were back in London with Paris left over the other side of the channel. I think I left my liver there too. Happy, happy days.

Take a guess who this is for. Hello mum.


paree ooon

I suppose once you make the decision to take advantage of ‘credit’ you may as well merrily-flow, unhindered (to some extent) by financial peril.

Paris is the sort of city that inspires serendipity, a beautiful thing that usually comes at a price, but before we’d even set foot on Eurostar, IC and I had discovered the Champagne Bar at St. Pancras. We also learnt that it’s not steep and one glass isn’t enough, so by the time we set off she and I were already feeling rather jolly.

The last time I took Eurostar I was petrified of the under-the-sea bit. But those were the bad old days when I didn’t take the tube and the idea of flying was greeted with trembling sweat. This time round I actively enjoyed the journey, I should imagine the little bottles of Bordeaux form the Star Bar were helping the situation too.

The Hotel was located at Gard de L’Est, one stop from Gard D’Nord where the train terminated and within striking distance of the station, which was ideal. We arrived at 6-ish and went out after we’d ‘freshened up’ to use the American vernacular. First stop was famed Café de Flore in Saint Germaine which is a bloody posh and pricey bit of Paris cheerfully relishing in its decadence. We had a glass of wine after finally getting seated, it was Friday, the joint was packed, and we took time to enjoy the art deco and atmosphere that couldn’t have been more French if it was made of berets, onions and hairy armpits.

At 9 we went over the road to the equally sublime Brasserie Lipp. Once again a model of the art deco movement and steeped in a sense of its own Frenchness. Lipp is star in the crown of the wanker’s Paris and whilst it’s fully aware of its place in the capital it was friendly enough. The food was fucking lovely too, but the portions small and pedantic for the price. Still the bill with the wine wasn’t too bad bearing in mind this gaff is the haunt of world leaders and Hollywood glitterati, along with hookers and criminals I’m reliably informed. But despite its reputation and opulence it’s not intimidating, put it this way, I’ve felt much more uncomfortable in reasonably priced eateries in London.

It was late when we got back to the Hotel so we went into the bar, which was empty, and ordered (the cheapest) champagne because we were a bit pissed. We drank two thirds there and took the bottle to our room for the following day, the last thing I recall is IC wondering what we should do in lieu of a fridge.

Needless to say we woke up too late for breakfast, so we had the rest of the Champagne (which was warm, flat and, incredibly, very pleasant) and set off in search of brunch. We had a Croque Monsieur in a little bakery and headed off to the Right Bank of the Seine to walk by The Louvre (we didn’t have time to visit, I’ve been before and we figured we should save it for a day in the future) and Musee D’Orsay. This part of Paris is studded with Gothic Churches and Cathedrals, IC and I have a peccadillo for such places and we hit upon one which was the paradigm of beauty: glittering stained glass, lots of curly spires, flying buttresses and gargoyles to tantalise the eyeballs. It made Notre Dame look positively dull. On leaving we had the dubious pleasure of watching a huge black Crow consuming a Starling, it had its head off and was merrily tucking into its neck throwing parts of it about as it did so. IC wasn’t as keen on this spectacle as I… in fact, I was fighting off a boneheur. Magnifique!.

More of this bilge tomorrow, sorry it’s late too. PARDON MOI


whems

Well Alistair Darling seems to have rubbed up the tabloids the wrong way. From my point of view the whole ‘taking off the rich to assist the poor’ gig is the whole point of fucking Labour, well it used to be before the demise of Clause 4. It wasn’t a budget to tantalise voters, it was a budget for the economic good of the this country… Christ, I can’t believe I’m typing this… so fuck off red tops and all who subscribe to Cameronism. I thought it was an excellent budget, nice move with Cider, Darling!

Sorry this drivel is late by the way. I’ve been languishing in my flat waiting for some stinkhorn from Thames Water to walk in the door, point at my water meter, look confounded when I explain a 40-a-month bill can’t be right when he’s just seen that I only have 2 sinks, a shower and chod bin, and that’s it, before interrupting my objections and curtly informing me that a water meter is £70-a-year on top of the bill.

Why didn’t some cunt tell me this over the phone? My old bill at that inexplicably horrific pre-dwelling was just over a tenner a month, and that place had a bath I used daily. Why is this? I said to the gormless prong stood in my living room. It’s because Thames Water estimate the bills in properties without meters, and they UNDER-estimate them, he said, so by having a water meter, in addition to paying more because it accurately assesses your water usage, you have to pay an extra £70 for the privilege of being well, socially responsible. Halfwit left me shaking with confusion, why penalise those who are being decent, honest?! I wanted to shout to him as he got in his little fuck-chariot, but he’d already gone off to confuse somebody else.

I had a bloody nice night incidentally; a chum of mine took me to a little cocktail lounge that sounds a lot poncier than the reality of the matter. For a start it has a ‘no suits’ policy and you have to book seats as one might a restaurant. The place is run by a charming couple who make the drinks and serve them to you, the interior is akin to a church crypt or wine cellar and very unpretentious. Best of all, most cocktails are a fiver and fucking stacked with booze, oh, they’re also unbelievable tasty. I had a butterscotch martini, an apple pie martini and another one that was equally as delicious but I’ve forgotten because of the first two. I’ll be going again, actually I might just move in.

Well that’s me, I’m off to Paris tomorrow as previously mentioned so consider this me rubbing it right in. Gerry’s chart is followed by an utter corker of a tune with possible one of the best music videos I’ve ever seen…

Bonjour! Hang on that’s not right, Bon… no. Bon, B… oh fuck off.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Muse Resistance 23 10
29 Frightened Rabbit Nothing Like You 24 4
28 We Are Scientists Rules Dont Stop NE 1
27 Mumford And Sons The Cave 21 7
26 The Automatic Run And Hide 27 3
25 United Nations Of Sound Are You Ready? 18 8
24 Paramore The Only Exception NE 1
23 Archie Bronson Outfit Sharks Tooth 29 2
22 The Big Pink Velvet 15 8
21 General Fiasco Ever So Shy 22 3
20 The Maccabees Empty Vessels 19 4
19 Wolfmother White Feather 13 7
18 Goldfrapp Rocket 20 3
17 Rob Zombie Sick Bubblegum 11 7
16 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song 17 3
15 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 14 5
14 Delphic Halcyon 12 5
13 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 8 6
12 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 9 7
11 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor 26 2
10 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 6 9
9 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War 16 2
8 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 10 6
7 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 4 10
6 Miike Snow Sylvia 3 8
5 Gorillaz Stylo 5 6
4 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 7 4
3 AFI Beautiful Thieves 2 4
2 Liars Scissor NE 1
1 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 1 3


budge it

Forgive the second politically motivated post in as many days but this one has slightly more pertinent connotations than me tirelessly ranting at things neither you and I can’t change for as long as we’ve holes in our respective freckles. For todays is the Budget, and in addition to an inevitable increase in my drinking and smoking spend, it’s been rumoured that Alistair ‘snowman’ Darling is to abolish stamp duty on the sale of properties under a quarter of a million quid.

Regular readers of this tripe will know I’ve been trying to sell my flat (for over a bloody year) and that such a move may well force the hand of my two potential purchasers, so long, of course, that mono-celled heap of puke that used to dwell below me like a retarded Gollum keeps his fucking face shut should they be foolish enough to return…

So, it would seem that the chances of flogging said flat are increased hugely by the whim of the chancellor, which is rather odd because ‘The Chancellor,’ the man with the keys to the Bank of England, isn’t even a fucking trainee accountant.

I’ve always been at a loss to explain a British Government Cabinet. Darling used to be Secretary of State for Social Security before being re-shuffled as Transport Secretary. So he goes from the dole queue to logistical infrastructure in the ‘thump’ of a rubber stamp, and now the tool is Mr. Economics despite never having anything whatsoever to do with the stuff. He did his first budget in 2008, about the same time as the recession began, and here we are now with that grey-haired old cunt still waving that tatty old handbag about in the same financial shite we were in when he took the fucking job. Is it any wonder we’re in this state with no end in sight? Darling is a qualified Solicitor, at least be a bit subtle about this insult to intelligence and give him Jack Straw’s job as Secretary of State for Justice (which sounds like the official job title for Judge Dredd after being taken off active service following a covered-up ‘friendly fire’ incident.)

Since Monday I’ve been enjoying a fairly mundane existence, work has stopped breathing, my ride to and from the office has been exciting and, at times, terrifying, I’ve been attending the gym with increasing degrees of success, working hard on some designs, hanging out with Swineshead and IC, watching movies, stuffing my face, passing stools and generally being alive.

Tonight I’m out with a mate for drinks in Shoreditch, tomorrow I’m off in the morning waiting for Thames bloody Water to sort out my broken water meter, in the evening Mary is cutting some stuff off my head then on Friday IC and I are off to Paris, which is nice isn’t it.

In the meantime, I’ll be watching the budget like a hawk. Cross your fingers for old Piqued.

Not my usual fare but I do like this…


spenzes

It would seem that if there was any doubt that this country’s MP’s and Ministers are a bunch of self-seeking greedy little cunts smeared in a reduction of sleaze, they’ve been laid to rest.

Earlier this year 4 MP’s, 3 Labour and 1 Conservative, were embroiled in an expenses scandal. Sure you know the ins and outs of it but briefly, on the 11th of March, Elliot Morley, David Chaytor, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield answered summonses at City of Westminster magistrates charged with false accounting under the Theft Act. After the initial hoo-har when the story hit all the headlines back in October following an investigation by The Daily Telegraph, the court appearance a couple of weeks ago barely made a dent in the media.

The latest fuss involving three studies for the base of the crucifixion, to wit, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon over their apparent willingness to help a lobbying firm in return for cash, has resulted in a very public suspension with all 3 being placed under investigation with Labours own Business Secretary (arguably Labours real PM) and part time goth, Peter Mandelson, calling the affair ‘rather grubby.’

These 3 characters were exposed on a Channel 4 documentary last night, and whilst it comes as no surprise to me that these sorts of things go on (and have gone on/will continue to go on for as long as ordinary people with perverted ambitions get exalted to positions of immense power) there were 3 other politicians featured in the programme who haven’t really featured in today’s papers -Labour MP Margaret Moran, Labour’s Baroness Morgan and Conservative MP John Butterfill. Of the 3 only Moran has been suspended but none of them are under investigation.

Why is this? Surely it can’t be a coincidence that the three former ministers under investigation were not popular among Mr Brown’s team, not least because Mr Hoon and Ms Hewitt had tried to lead a coup against his leadership in January. But Jack Straw said the suspension of the former ministers had “nothing” to do with their allegiance to former Prime Minister Tony Blair. He went on to say there was “not a shred of evidence, not a single scintilla of evidence” they had done anything wrong.

Now we have a problem, Straw on the one hand is looking in another direction tunelessly whistling but his colleague Mandelson is barely containing his fury. And whilst it’s not particle science that Hewitt and Hoon have been squeezed out, why Byers?

On last nights doc Mr Byers said he had spoken to Business Secretary Lord Mandelson about getting food labelling proposals delayed on behalf of supermarket Tesco. Of course, Lord M has denied that he any contact with Mr Byers on the subject of food labelling and just to drive the point home he added, somewhat forcefully I felt, “what is so ghastly about this is that somebody like Stephen Byers feels it necessary to make completely untrue, unfounded boasts to these people in order to get himself future business.” I think ‘the lady dost protest too much’ springs to the fore.

Hewitt, Hoon and Byers will simply go as they pose a threat to the fabric of the party, the latter to Mandelson himself, clearly, but the MP’s involved in the slightly more serious expenses scandal (better known as daylight robbery) which, let’s face it, is part and parcel of the salubrious job of being a parliamentarian, will use their privilege to avoid prosecution by employing The Bill of Rights of 1689. This antique bit of legislation declares that “freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any place or court outside Parliament”.

The matter is already being brushed under the carpet. Sir Ian Kennedy, the new parliamentary watchdog, who has warned he will come down “like a ton of bricks” on errant parties said that the new expenses system was designed to identify “bad apples,” expose cheats and help restore public trust in the wake of the damaging row. Please note: that’s the ‘new’ expenses system, not the old one. In short they’ve already pretty much got away with it and there is fuck all you or I can do anything about it.

In other news, I see the UK is getting a brand new Space Agency! Cool. I for one am dying to see the launch of the next bit of clock in a biscuit tin on the end of a firework and follow its progress for 6 months before the fucker disappears into the mists of time. I can’t wait for that.


stagged

“Just a quick update: The guy who was threatening to make an offer is apparently coming in to see me tomorrow to discuss stuff. I had a good viewing there today, despite your neighbour telling us he was a musician and played loud music x is coming for a second viewing with an architect on Monday.”

I found this in my inbox from my estate agent when checking my emails just before meeting up with IC on Friday night. As you may imagine, I was incandescent with rage and bloody nearly destroyed both of our evenings. I’m still deciding what to do about this matter. In the meantime I shall piece together the weekend, which was immense.

After partially recovering from this matter, and I have to say it was purely down to IC that this was achieved, we arrived at Sue and Neil’s in Islington to help them toast their new gaff. This heralded the start of a protracted, boozy and memorable (most of it anyway) weekend.

Just before lunchtime on Saturday, IC and I had to do some shopping for Sunday. I’d invited my parents, sister and kids over for a late Sunday lunch and was keen to prepare everything in advance as I was aware that I may not be fully functioning as early afternoon my presence was required at a stag event. It was rather important I attended as Frank has perhaps unwisely asked me to be his best chap.

I have to say organising said event hasn’t been problematic, the schedule was pretty much in place after a five minute chat at the end of last year, but as I travelled to the first pub it dawned on me that I was going to have to be pro-active to ensure things ran smoothly. As planned I was the first to arrive at the first pub in North Lambeth, and was delighted to discover it was a nice gaff without a fucking shouting sports screen but with real ale and my fellow imbibers seemed to be free of baseball hats and shiny sports attire. It was packed though, but as luck would have it a whole table became free just as the first of the party arrived.

Within 15 minutes of the designated meeting time everyone had arrived, all were sat down with drinks and chatting away. So far so good. After a couple we sauntered over the road to the Imperial War Museum, we only had an hour and a half because we were due at The Old Cheshire Cheese on Fleet St to meet some other bucks and the journey time was an unknown quantity. At the museum I designated a meeting point and time and after a thrilling and distressing period of looking at stuff I was pleased to discover that everyone had adhered to the schedule.

We all set off to catch the bus to Fleet Street; it was fortunate James who works for TFL was there because I’d not really considered the logistics specifically. The bus arrived after 5 minutes and was empty enough to allow us all to sit together upstairs at the front, so far so good.

I’d been worrying about my choice of pre-dinner venue every since the decision was made to attend. The Old Cheshire Cheese is one of London’s oldest and most famous boozers, it was Saturday afternoon and the chances of us sitting collectively were slim. Again, we lucked out for as we entered a rival stag party was exiting, there must have been 20 of the buggers and dressed like twats featuring a sozzled stag in bra and panties, leaving behind a vast empty table in the cellar bar. This was indeed excellent luck I thought as I popped down another pint.

We stayed in TOCC for a few then headed to Simpson’s on The Strand for dinner. This was the highlight of the whole do and the reason we were all dressed in a smart/casual sort of way. We arrived slightly after 8 o clock and led into an enormous oak panelled dining area where a long table, clad in fresh white linen bearing glittering glasses and cutlery, awaited our fucking pleasure. For over two hours we merrily ate and drank our weight in meat and vino. As none of us are bristling with cash I’d taken the precaution to advise the stags to start saving for this part of the evening early January as I was aware it could come to £100 a head. I had a starter of wood pigeon and a main of roast sucking pig; both dishes were fantastic but I should’ve opted for the beef, which arrived in huge silver salvers wheeled-in by suitably attired chefs who ceremoniously carved the beef right onto the plate. It would’ve been worth ordering just for that, Frank leant me a sample of his dish and I knew there and then that whilst my plate was delicious, his was fucking sensational.

It was a very happy few hours, by now the stags were all well lubricated and it was decided that we should go from the restaurant to another venue in which to throw more booze down our throats. We polished off the last of the cheese course and set off. Unfortunately I had clean forgotten the name of the place suggested to me by Harry who’d had to go home after dinner to attend to his young family. All eyes were on my to arrive at a solution, I had nothing but shrugs. We found a couple of places but one was just closing and the other was abhorrent, somehow we found ourselves in Villiers Street on Charing Cross and decided to join the shortest queue for a bunch of nightclubs just to get another drink in us, no one gave a shit what sort of place it was…

…an hour later what was rest of the group were crowded round a large white piano where some stage school type was belting out Don McLean’s American Pie with the rest of us raucously joining in. I’d lucked out again, in addition to free entry, there was room to move about, get served at the bar and have a bloody good sing song, which leant a Victorian sort of air to the night, an appropriate way to digest Simpson’s fare I felt.

By 2am we were all spent. I have to say I wasn’t catatonic but certainly not safe for operating heavy machinery. Jamie was due to stay at my gaff so we said a fond farewell to Frank and the last of the stags and set off for home. We didn’t have to wait for the bus; miraculously it just rolled up as I was wondering where to get it from.

I’m not sure where all of this good fortune was coming from but there was a little bit more left in the pot. On the bus Jamie and I were discussing the last Hawkwind gig we’d been too, how awful it was if I’m to be honest, when the bloke behind butted in. This chap was a hippy type and was also a fan of sorts, we got talking and after 5 minutes mentioned that he was going to a squat party and it just turned out the venue was virtually opposite the spot Jamie and I would have to alight on Hackney Road. He suggested we might like to come along; I’ve no idea what possessed me to agree.

We walked into the squat at 3am, I wasn’t expecting this huge place to have a stage, a proper bar and a pukka sound system. It was packed full of punks, hippies, grebos, travellers, tramps, dossers and clubbers, a right mixed bag but the atmosphere was pleasant enough for a while. Jamie and I bought a couple of cans of beer and found a place to sit. Such was our condition sitting wasn’t working for us so we got up to dance, a sure sign it’s time for me to turn in. After this we bumped into the bloke on the bus at the very same time about 50 people began having a frenetic punch-up, this lasted all of a 30 seconds before the instigator of the trouble, a very out-of-place looking skinhead, was violently ejected.

The man rolled a joint that we smoked before discovering we were now heading towards incapacitation. It was time to go, I dimly recall on leaving that the man and I slapped each other’s faces. It wasn’t a long walk back but a 10-minute walk took us almost half an hour. It was 6am when we got home, at 7 am I was stood in the kitchen poking lumps of Jamie’s earlier meal down the sink wondering why I’d not poured it down the loo.

My parent were due over at 2pm but I thought I’d said 1pm. Either way I was awake at 11am following a paltry 4 hours sleep wondering who I was. Jamie was touch and go for 30 mins, it looked as if he may throw up again but he turned a corner and by the time he left at midday (without his phone) I was almost chipper.

IC was a sight for my sore, red eyes I can tell you. I was a bit out of sorts as one could imagine so she took charge of the food and arranged the flat to accommodate the arrival of the folks and co. At 2 my sis and bro-in-law arrived with my little nieces and after getting hopelessly lost my folks finally showed up at 3. Quite incredibly I found myself drinking fucking wine which whilst utterly irresponsible did a marvellous job of staving off the hangover. It was a lovely afternoon, my eldest niece, just turned two, is now chatting away like she’s been doing lines and it was just bloody nice spending time with everyone.

By 6 they were all gone, IC and I were feeling very pleased with ourselves for making the afternoon a success. The rest of Sunday was spent in front of the box; we watched 3 films almost back to back and did the rest of the bloody wine. So there you have it, a weekend, well about a months worth of weekends in one and I have to admit I’ve felt better.

I think I’ll have Cunt killed.


unprung

I’ve had a very hairy 24 hours with Brutta. Two very, very close shaves, each of them resulted in one of those ‘sooner or later old chap’ type thoughts, which don’t do anyone any good. Of course I’m acutely aware that riding a motorcycle on the road is problematic when it comes to personal safety, snag is that I can’t help but ride like I’m on a mission, I get a fucking enormous kick out of it. In fact, the more like an utter tool I ride, the better I feel subsequently. I can’t help that now can I?

As is nearly always the case, I was blameless in both incidents. The first was yesterday evening when I came within centimetres of disembowelling a pedestrian. I was overtaking a stationary queue of traffic through Battersea when some dozy witch stepped out in front of a bus; it was so close my elbow bushed past her coat and the proximity of her horrified face was such that I could’ve actually licked it. I’ve never come that close to making contact with a person on any bike before; consider that I ride twice through the city of London on a daily basis too.

Incident two was this morning when some young cunt pulled out of a petrol station near Borough, one minute the road was clear, the next a red car was perpendicular to my front wheel. I braked so hard the back of Brutta lifted off the road and I stopped against this bastards front wing with a stream of expletives pouring from my head. It was only his visage of terror that prevented me from dismounting my steed and putting my lid through his fucking windscreen.

On top of this I’ve had two motorists doing right hand turns with out indicating, a fat turd in a Range Rover swerve at me, a VW Golf cutting me up in a bus lane and numerous incidents with cyclists who seem to think other road users are virtual reality… despite all this, I’d sooner lop off my winkle with a hacksaw than hang up my Sidi’s.

I had a jolly good evening last night. Harry, Mark and I met in the pub-quiz boozer off City Road to sample the guest ales and indulge in a spot of competition with the locals and hangers-on. I think this is one of my all-time favourite places to drink. The beer is consistently excellent, the locals friendly and largely untouched by the trendy horrors of Shoreditch and the actual quiz is closer to University Challenge than a Question of Sport, in fact, there was only two sport-related questions last night and delightfully one was F1 based. The past few times our little team has come second but last night we did dreadfully. No bother, the salt beef doorstep sandwich and Harvey’s Harvest dulled any sense of defeat and the evening closed happily at 11pm.

The weekend is winking at me. It’s Frank’s stag-do tomorrow and I’m team-leader as it were. It’s been in the planning stages since Christmas and I’m predicting a fairly civilised outing, not titty bars and kebabs, a museum and Simpson’s on The Strand is scheduled.

I am not, however, looking forward to Monday. This is nothing new but there is an added element of horror to consider. One of my colleagues has employed an ex-Big Brother ‘housemate,’ she’s a fucking nutter. No names but do tune in on Monday for an early report, not to mention tales of titty bars, kebabs, lampposts, hookers and manslaughter.

Chart, tune, weekend-fun all…

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Good Shoes Under Control 20 7
29 Archie Bronson Outfit Shark’s Tooth NE 1
28 Band Of Skulls I Know What I Am 21 4
27 The Automatic Run And Hide 28 2
26 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor NE 1
25 Renegades Renegades 18 7
24 Frightened Rabbit Nothing Like You 22 3
23 Muse Resistance 17 9
22 General Fiasco Ever So Shy 29 2
21 Mumford And Sons The Cave 16 6
20 Goldfrapp Rocket 26 2
19 The Maccabees Empty Vessels 24 3
18 United Nations Of Sound Are You Ready? 14 7
17 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song 23 2
16 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War NE 1
15 The Big Pink Velvet 13 7
14 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 19 4
13 Wolfmother White Feather 11 6
12 Delphic Halcyon 15 4
11 Rob Zombie Sick Bubblegum 9 6
10 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 12 5
9 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 7 6
8 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 6 5
7 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 10 3
6 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 4 8
5 Gorillaz Stylo 8 5
4 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 1 9
3 Miike Snow Sylvia 2 7
2 AFI Beautiful Thieves 3 3
1 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 5 2


ster

It would seem if not quite on paper (that’s this Sunday if one is being pedantic) spring has sprung. Today especially is the epitome of ‘it’s spring,’ save a spot of blossom or something. It’s very mild, sunny, and an almost invisible haze from awakening plant pheromones tantalises the senses, Christmas finally feels like another country and the thought of summer no longer seems like alien penetration.

I had another appointment with the osteopath yesterday and he’s almost completely sorted me, which is nothing short of a miracle. I do think that the gym is helping a lot too. I was in there again last night pounding cheerlessly away on the fucking cross trainer. Despite my unfit self, it’s getting much easier and I’m noticing that I’m getting on better with the weight stuff too. The addition of Slayer in proceedings is immensely supportive, at times it actually encourages you to work that little bit harder to the point that I’ll now insist on them (or other related outfits) to provide a soundtrack for my efforts.

Possibly because of the gym and my being generally fucking busy when I get home from work, I’ve rediscovered stir-fry. It’s the laziest bloody thing in the world and I’ve had a week of it. I grab a £1 bag of stir-friable cabbage, bean sprouts and peppers from the shop on the way back from the gym, which I dump on top of a small quantity of fried onion and bacon. The pièce de résistance, if you will, is the sauce I add the end -garlic, balsamic vinegar, soy, Tabasco, Worcester sauce and a blob of Dijon- all blended into a sort of dressing/stock type affair. It takes no more than 10 mins to prepare the whole affair from scratch and tastes marvellous. The only downside is that 20 mins later you’re hungrier than Captain Scott and find yourself frantically tearing through your fridge pushing gobs of cheese and salami into your head.

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the real reason why the stir-fry is so agreeable, as it’s largely vegetable based and for won’t of a better word ‘healthy’ to some extent, the subsequent fridge massacre is partially justified.

I’m shattered today incidentally. I slept perfectly well but the ride in this morning required so much concentration I’m spent like a husk. I came into work like a man possessed, I won all my stages with poise, dignity, and saw off my nemesis; some bloke on a KTM Duke 690. Whilst his engine may have bit more pork, Brutta is lighter, more nimble, so the bloke on the KTM was already bristling when I pulled alongside him. Of course he roared off (I must say his bike was fucking loud, I have to confess to a being a tad jealous at the hooligan volume this thing created) and I kept glued to him. We had a few twists and rumbles for a few 5 minutes until, on a corner, he stalled the engine! Hahahhaahah, I fucking owned his arses, ahahahahahahahahaha.

Ahem.

Sorry.


betar

I darkened the doors of the gym yesterday evening following a 10-day hiatus on account of my sodding back and this weird cold-thing that still lurks in my chest. As my back is being a little more generous spine-wise I figured yesterday was an excellent time to release my germs into a sustainable environment in order for them to thrive in hot panting mouths and sweating eyeballs. If I pull this one off I’ll have a good week of not having to hang about the fucking chest press like a prison bitch waiting for some mono-celled ligament to grunt out his 500th rep.

To date, Monday’s have been the worst for overcrowding as half the East End arrive to work off their weekend diets. I even had to wait to board to torturous cross-trainer, a machine that will reduce me to a red-faced gasping dog in under 2 minutes. On account of advice from my osteopath I’m destined to spend even more time on this fucking device as I’ve been forbidden from using the weight machine designed to tighten the muscles round the spine. Apparently the cross trainer does a fairly good job of helping these muscles develop without overloading them. I wouldn’t say I exactly enjoyed using the now banned machine but out of all the stuff in the gym it was the one I didn’t mind the most as it felt sort of nice.

I’m due another meeting at the osteopath tomorrow. I can see this getting expensive but since yesterday efforts in the bloody gym my back is noticeably improved today. I have to say I was a little concerned that when I got up this morning I’d be shrieking like a banshee but to my delight the back felt as good as it was before the disk popped out of the vertebrae.

Sorry for the short post, I’m busy over here, and they’ll be no post tomorrow on account of the aforementioned.


nerf

I managed to get into the fucking office this morning. It’s arguable if this was the correct decision as I’m still not match fit; though I’ll admit I’m in considerably better shape than I was last weekend.

I decided yesterday that if I could get Brutta out of the yard I’d be riding in, though whether or not I’d achieve this was another matter entirely. I’m pleased to say I did because the weather is without question the best it’s been this year, but this comes with a caveat, of course. You don’t expect something good to happen without a negative do you? Well, certainly not on here.

As I’d spent last week largely sitting down coughing, occasionally yelling up my freckle when my lumbar vertebrae decided to bite down on my nerve root, Friday materialised rather than ‘started.’ IC and I decided to have a quiet one, more through circumstance than design, and we ate whilst watching a couple of films, notably, Cinema Paradiso which is fucking wonderful. Saturday was spent in much the same recumbent position, we watched an old Hitchcock offing in the afternoon, Suspicion, which turned out far better than anticipated, and we whiled the rest of the day before hobbling (well I did) out in Hackney for dinner at this bloody amazing Vietnamese gaff. We ordered so much we ended up taking half of it back with us. Sunday turned out to be a corker, I did the F1 Before IC popped down for a very late breakfast, then, instead of taking a very gentle stroll in the clement weather, IC, Mary, Amy and I spent the afternoon playing poker and drinking wine. How do you like that?

The weekend came to a final rest with the remaining takeaway and Antichrist. It’s rather harrowing stuff but so beautifully filmed you can even forgive the bit where Willem Defoe graphically spunks up blood following a rather aggressive hand job… the notorious scene where Charlotte Gainsbourg snips off her pearl nearly blew my dick out my shreddies, though.

So, before I go following a very insubstantial post, the gripe.

The sunny weather has brought all the fair weather nancies out on their motorcycles/mopeds and to make matters considerably worse the number of cyclists has quite literally doubled. So, if you’re one of these wobbling, clueless born-again turds why don’t you save us all a lot of time and misery by fucking off to the mortuary now and offering the bloke with the scalpel and mask your organs, no point in hanging around is there. Arseholes!

I can’t get enough of these chaps at the moment…


tippity

So, inevitably, I found myself a-hobbling through Hackney yesterday afternoon with my bloody stick tapping a route to the fucking osteopath. I’d made no effort to research what could potentially be an appointment with a life wheeling about on pavements with a Somerfield bag swinging cheerlessly off one of my handlebars. No, I couldn’t be pissed. This guy, with whom I’d arranged to be cracked open, was the only one of four potential practitioners in the local that had been bothered to ring me back. That was good enough for me. I was fed up with not being able to sit down without screaming, lie down in under an hour, having to contort like an Indian mystic just to wipe my arse… no, this bloke will do, I said, as I muttered through London Fields. Hour and a half later, I was a different bloke. Apart from the fucking cold of course.

This fellow had done the usual cod-doctor thing, the heart sinking bit where they take notes and ask you about your general well being as if they’ve some sort of medical authority to do so, before getting down to the business of stripping me to my Armani’s (fake) and giving me what is essentially a very posh massage with a non-fluid happy ending, hopefully. The premise is simple enough, loosen the muscles round the knackered disc to encourage said disc back into position and then ram it home by permitting the osteopath to leap onto ones back and make it sound like he’s breaking it without actually doing so. All being well the patient walks out without so much as a cursory wince.

I have to say, he was fucking good. For a kick off he treated me for over an hour and a half, for the same cost my previous practitioner barely did 45 mins., and he had the balance of firmness and delicacy down to a bloody hymn. Put it this way, I enjoyed it immensely. That’s right, you read that right, I enjoyed something.

As you may have assumed I’ve not been getting put much. I’ve not been to work since this time last week and have been no further that my kitchen, save popping up to see IC on Wednesday evening for dinner as I wasn’t able to open a can of beans. But last night I went out, I wasn’t expecting to if I’m honest as I thought my back wouldn’t be up to it, but armed with my stick and a lighter gait following my spinal appointment I gingerly stepped off the bus in Islington to meet up with IC. We were joined by Mary and Mark and somehow managed to find a table for all of us to sit and drink, food was ordered (it never arrived) so we went to the gig on more or less empty stomachs.

By the time we arrived, as predicted, my back was stiffening up. I was bloody lucky to find a spot in the corner by the bar so I happily watched Nitzer Ebb in relative comfort. It took a while to get into it; I found my brain supplying the most immensely distorted guitar to earlier parts of the set which, to my mind at least, lifted the sound into something approaching perfection. After a while it started to pick up and at one point I was even tempted to ‘dance…’ well that wasn’t going to happen but the will was there.

So there you are, my one night out. This weekend, the first one I’ve had to myself for weeks, will be spent coughing and cursing, so don’t you dare miss Mondays post. If I can be arsed.

Gerry’s chart and the rest of the usual Friday gubbins.

NO.
ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Kasabian Vlad The Impaler 20 7
29 General Fiasco Ever So Shy NE 1
28 The Automatic Run And Hide NE 1
27 Alice In Chains Your Decision 19 11
26 Goldfrapp Rocket NE 1
25 Bombay Bicycle Club Evening/Morning 21 4
24 The Maccabees Empty Vessels 29 2
23 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song NE 1
22 Frightened Rabbit Nothing Like You 25 2
21 Band Of Skulls I Know What I Am 22 3
20 Good Shoes Under Control 16 6
19 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 24 3
18 Renegades Renegades 13 6
17 Muse Resistance 10 8
16 Mumford And Sons The Cave 12 5
15 Delphic Halcyon 18 3
14 United Nations Of Sound Are You Ready? 8 6
13 The Big Pink Velvet 7 6
12 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 14 4
11 Wolfmother White Feather 9 5
10 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 17 2
9 Rob Zombie Sick Bubblegum 5 5
8 Gorillaz Stylo 15 4
7 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 4 5
6 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 6 4
5 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands NE 1
4 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 3 7
3 AFI Beautiful Thieves 11 2
2 Miike Snow Sylvia 2 6
1 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 1 8


plup?

Whatever’s got into my system shoved forth the possibility of contamination Saturday morning, about an hour before I was due for my third Italian lesson. The Friday evening before I was as right as rain, I’d taken the tube straight from work and met up with Jem who was over from New York on business.

Jem picked me up in his surprisingly unostentatious Porsche (944… sorry if this sounds wanky, I can’t help the way things work out for some mates can I?) and he bought me dinner in a suitably posh eatery in Chelsea. Following that he and I drove through town to Soho, on occasion he took advantage of clear roads and his cars ludicrous power by subjecting me to acceleration not permitted in a four wheeled machine. This thing was sportsbike quick. I have to say I was quite glad when I got out, we parted fondly and I headed back home feeling rather chuffed with myself, it was Friday and I was fairly sober, all good for the following day…

Saturday. I woke as if my mouth was stuffed with wool soaked in Castrol, my lips felt as if my gums had pooed over them and I was aching like Peter Mandelson’s arsehole.

Both Saturday and Sunday I sat in class with all of my intentions to learn pouring from my nose and being barked out of my wheezing lungs. And, despite eating before lessons, my stomach sounded like the fucking Teletubbies having an orgy. Only time will tell if this intensive dalliance with a foreign language has paid dividends, I suppose the real learning starts now and it doesn’t feel I’m that much further on from ‘Ciao’ and ‘Spaghetti.’

As my short post on Monday and lack of subsequent posts implies, I’m still unwell. But this is only the fucking half of it. I can hardly believe my rotten luck but at exactly 5.08 am this morning I woke up feeling as if my back was on fire, no matter which way I moved the burning pain remained, to make matters worse the pain intensified when I stopped shifting about which isn’t really conducive to sleep is it? Weirdly the pain was akin to my kidneys having been repeatedly decked by Greg Wallace but I knew full well it was my muscles round my spine going into spasm.

I’d like to point out at this stage that I don’t believe the recent flurry of gym activity had a bearing on this aspect of my predicament. It’s fair more probable the culprit was coughing whilst slumped like a tramps blanket in front of the box. Have no doubt, though, that the coughing fit that began at exactly 5.28 am this morning was directly responsible for my disc to pop out of my fucking vertebrae, it even make a soft ‘plup’ noise as it did so.

For a good year my back has been fine, in fact I thought I was past this sort of caper but it seems I was wrong. It took me 20 mins to get out of bed and I nearly fainted twice when the back locked itself onto a point where, no matter what I did, it made things worse. The whole day has been punctuated by a series of horrific moments where my spine has chosen to fight against the person that uses it. I’m full of pills to counter the fucking agony and I can’t see an osteopath until late tomorrow afternoon. I’m not in a particularly pleasant mood as a subsequence.

I’m not sure if you’ll hear from me tomorrow or not as I writing this required more effort than usual.

Have some of this. Don’t skip this one, watch it…


not in

I have a fucking cold and it hurts to type, I’ll post when feeling un-ill later in week, if I survive that is


satzuma

Approaching the Elephant and Castle yesterday morning my ears became alerted to the whine of sirens over the popping of Brutta’s sweet exhaust-end. On the roundabout a pair of full-spec cop bikes flashed by followed by a couple of Range Rover sandwiches, I was just about to go when two more fuzz bikes came into view, one of them, instead of zipping past, suddenly de-accelerated as I was doing the precise opposite, and stopped dead in front of me.

I came to an abrupt halt with my lid a couple of feet from the police fellow who glared at me with a raised arm, palm side out, and blew a shrill note on his partially concealed whistle. A third Police Rover shot behind the bike cop, then, with four police outriders, a large black Motorcade with some sort of Royal Crest swished into view. As it approached I figured that the tinted black windows would prevent me from having a good old snoop, but on the contrary in plain view, sat in the back with one of his three wives and two heavies was that corpulent polygamist Joseph Zuma on his way to a meeting with The Queen if you bloody please. He bore a sullen expression of arrogant hierarchy, for all intense and purposes you could be forgiven for thinking he owned the fucking place.

I wasn’t happy about having to stop my journey into work in order to allow this bloke passage, why the fuck should I halt for a misogynist who has badly concealed of history of corruption and rape? The Motorcade passed and a glut of Police and security vehicles followed, the bike cop dropped his arm before he too launched off in the same direction. I set off feeling strangely violated and insignificant which fucking riled me if I’m to be perfectly honest. The fat cunt had successfully ruined my day.

In the gym last night I overdid it on the machine that supposedly tightens the muscles around the gut area. Today my spine feels like it’s been constructed out of Play Doh by retards, I’m not sure if the best way to deal with this is to, ideally, go again tonight or leave it until Monday. As it happens I’m not due back in the place until Monday anyway because I’m seeing a mate tonight and spending the weekend in class having the Italian language spoon-fed into my brain. If it wasn’t for the former I’d probably be in there later, not because I like the actual exercise process I hasten to add, it’s simply because of the way it makes me feel 10 minutes after I’ve stopped.

So, no weekend to speak of for me. IC away (Italy ironically) and I’ve a duty to myself to abstain from over indulging in wine and wotnot in order to maintain a clear head for class. I suppose I view my having lessons in a similar way to exercise. It’s not that much fun doing it but the results are positive, though I think it’s going to take me a considerable more amount of effort grasping the basis of a new language than loosing a bit of flab off the stomach, maybe.

You know the deal, it’s Friday. Fun you will have?

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Marina And The Diamonds Hollywood 20 9
29 The Maccabees Empty Vessels NE 1
28 Pearl Jam Got Some 17 14
27 Eels A Line In The Dirt 21 5
26 Flyleaf Again 18 8
25 Frightened Rabbit Nothing Like You NE 1
24 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 28 2
23 The xx VCR 14 7
22 Band Of Skulls I Know What I Am 25 2
21 Bombay Bicycle Club Evening/Morning 22 3
20 Kasabian Vlad The Impaler 13 6
19 Alice In Chains Your Decision 10 10
18 Delphic Halcyon 24 2
17 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over NE 1
16 Good Shoes Under Control 16 5
15 Gorillaz Stylo 27 3
14 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 19 3
13 Renegades Renegades 12 5
12 Mumford And Sons The Cave 15 4
11 AFI Beautiful Thieves NE 1
10 Muse Resistance 7 7
9 Wolfmother White Feather 11 4
8 United Nations Of Sound Are You Ready? 8 5
7 The Big Pink Velvet 5 5
6 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 9 3
5 Rob Zombie Sick Bubblegum 6 4
4 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 3 4
3 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 2 6
2 Miike Snow Sylvia 4 5
1 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 1 7


mussk

I’ve been to the gym 3 days in a row. It’s very strange. I’m still trying to figure out how this new found ‘exercising’ works with my laissez-faire attitude to my health and general well-being, in fact, it’s diametrically opposed to my preferred state of drinking horizontally in front of the TV, but something seems to be compelling me.

Yesterday, for example, despite having to journey home on the bastard tube/bus and having to get some shopping (resulting in my arriving home well over an hour than the norm) I knew that attending the gym was compulsory. Why? I spent yesterday hurting from the Tuesday session where I ran for no more than a minute and lifted the equivalent of a bag of fucking sugar half a dozen times.

The reason for my lack of posts yesterday, incidentally, was I’d an appointment with my local doctors at 11am. As I was registering for the first time I had to take in a little pot of my piss with me. I discovered on entering the surgery that the receptionist, in whose face the sample was thrust, didn’t want it. When I finally saw the nurse I was subject to the usual interrogation about my lifestyle. Of course I harped on about the gym before gingerly admitting that I enjoyed the odd glass of vino with a fag or too. I was lectured for a bit and tried to impress upon the un-amused nurse that I’d cycled to the appointment and was cycling home. She wasn’t having any of it so I mentioned the gym again, gave her my piss and fucked off.

After getting home I took public transport to work round midday. I was supposed to see a mate directly after work but this arrangement collapsed and it was from this moment on the gym factor became inevitable; by 7pm it was a reality. After I finished enrolling for full membership, I entered the room where all the bloody equipment lay awaiting their ergonomic conclusion. The place absolutely reeked of urea, much more so than in previous visits as, I should imagine, it was later in the day. All about me people were engaged in their various struggles, fat folk trudging on what were running machines as the sporty types pegged it, there were heaving bodies flailing on cross trainers, limbs spinning on exercise bikes, bodies crunching, bending, gasping… torture! In the heavy weights corner the regular group of muscle-ripped blokes were bonding over impossible lumps of steel, on the mat by the huge mirror people stretched, warming up and down. I stood in the midst of them fiddling with my ipod, buying time before things started to get all hurty.

Somehow I managed a 30 minute session, admittedly a good portion of this was spent sat in the middle of the assisted weight machines with my puny little muscles burning like desert sand as I gasped for fetid air… But I did manage more than 5 mins of unbroken aerobic exercise on the fucking cross trainer; I could fill the rest of this post with adjectives and hyperbole to describe how astonishing this is, five whole minutes right there. Honestly if you fucking knew what a lazy cunt I was your jaw would hit the floor, in addition to this I quite frankly freaked myself on the machine that’s designed to tighten your guts. I like so owned it, yeah.

Ten minutes after I got home following this burst of un-prescribed exertion I noticed something peculiar. I felt rather good, not for merely countering some sort of guilt by not going, no, I felt good in a physical way. Actually, I felt bloody good, period.

Not good to resort to old habits celebrating with a bottle of wine in front of Masterchef, then. I feel fucking dreadful this morning.

Guess where I’m going tonight?

(wish I was going here)


jimm

The gym lady stared into the very depths of my soul. She explained again, I wasn’t to drop the weights, I was to lower them. She showed me once more. Perhaps if they’d not been heavier than Brian Blessed I wouldn’t feel the urge to let the fuckers clang into their cradle. I watched her lower them gently into position and lift them back up as if they were candyfloss. She must be a lesbian.

The induction went on for no more than 20 mins, during this time I nearly lost an arm, broke my back and I swear I had a couple of mild heart attacks on the cross trainer, all the while I was being observed under the steely-eyed gaze of the gym lezza. Towards the end of the session IC, who’d given me the free one-day pass, arrived for her usual 400-mile run, it’s a wonder, after greeting a panting, sweating, shell of a man, with arms like spaghetti and eyes popping out of his sweating head like a Daniel Johnston motif, that she even acknowledged she knew me. Having said that, it was by sheer luck I wasn’t ‘lying down’ with a tag on my toe.

As I walked back home with IC I could feel myself seizing up, I also noticed I didn’t want a cigarette which was a very odd feeling. My desire to eat was nil. I’d like to say that a part of me felt ‘good,’ none of me did but I had a strange feeling that I’d initiated something not dissimilar to starting my Italian course last weekend, and whilst it didn’t really feel ‘good’ right now, it had the potential to feel splendid if I made an effort to persevere with it. So, I went home and signed up. I’m going to go again tonight.

Brutta has done of 1500 miles, this means she fully run in. Not that I needed to check the diagnostics to tell. Since Monday she’s been looser than Jordan’s clopper and will leave most things standing Easter-Island still at the lights, including those fly-boys on their sportsbikes. Of course, on open roads, I’d be left for dead after 50 mph but in the city nothing is faster, more nimble and poised.

There may or may not be a post tomorrow, I’ve a routine medical in the morning which will not allow me to arrive at the office until after lunch. Until then, keep it clean.


bwonjawno

Within minutes of sitting in my chair in my new classroom, surrounded by 15 or so strangers, base elements of lecture nostalgia from the hedonistic days of university melted away to reveal a single cast-iron nugget of knowledge. If there was one thing I learnt in 4 years of higher education, dammit all, from my whole fucking education, from age 4 to age 27, was one simple fact. Always have breakfast.

This had nothing at all to do with blood/sugar levels and the presumption that this bolsters ones brain activity making learning more intuitive. I’m sure there is some truth in that but this wasn’t the issue. Simply, if I don’t have breakfast my stomach initially sounds like Andy Hamilton being pushed off Beachy Head before resorting to Lemmy being sick in a dustbin.

At work these gut sounds are masked by the general hubbub of an office, this isn’t the case in a silent classroom where the only sound is the staccato voice of the teacher and protracted periods of silence when brains are required to chew over some recently acquired learning. Just that and the gassy juices having a battle in my fucking belly. Jesus, it was awful.

I’d had a fairly low-key Friday evening with IC. After gathering together some grub from M&S so we could eat a sort of tapas without putting pan to fire we settled in front of Jacob’s Ladder, Adrian Lyne’s much underrated thriller about a Vietnam Vet having a few, well, issues. We tentatively did some booze, my eye was keenly set ahead so I didn’t get anywhere near my preferred state of being on a Friday evening. I should imagine it wasn’t just this that was causing me mild angst, the fact my weekend was going to be buggered up by my voluntarily inclusion in a short, intense, language course may have had something to do with it too.

I was in bed before midnight and when I woke on Saturday morning I was, for all intense and purposes, good to go. After a short journey into town and a brief amble to the college I arrived with a good 30 minutes to spare. I located the room in which I’d be facing my first lesson in nearly 15 years and sat reading the paper expectantly. Shortly after some very mature students arrived for lessons and it was established I was in completely the wrong fucking place. I arrived in the correct room 5 minutes before we were due to begin. I allowed myself a ‘phew,’ even if I’m not that excited to spend this and next weekend ‘learning’ I’m keen to see this through. It’s cost me £150 nicker an all and I’m not in the best position to chuck money away.

The day was split into two, 2.5 hours of tsunami belly then an hour for lunch which I enjoyed enormously in a little (appropriately) Italiano Caffé, then another 2.5 hours of nosily trying not to fart out lunch. It’d been quite a day, I’ve made a rod for my back I discovered an hour into proceedings, to wit, this is fucking hard and I’m going to have to do a huge amount of additional work in order to achieve my aim, work that will far exceed these 20 hours of class.

At 4.30 I was out, I was home by 5.15 with some food, a bottle of wine and an almost irresistible desire to sleep. I choose instead to do household chores so I didn’t have to face a glut of additional grief when I returned home on Sunday. I sewed up the zip of my leather, dubbed my motorcycle boots, washed clothes, vacuumed, showered, ate and by 9 I was sat exhausted in front of Wallander feeling strangely pleased with myself, especially as I’d wisely refused a glut of invitations to go out and get fucked-up. By 11.30, still relatively sober, I was asleep.

On Sunday I was up early enough to eat breakfast and chuck back a cup of tea, the previous days stomach issue was dispatched in the pan and off I set. I took time on arrival to continue removing potentially aggravating stomach-matter by carefully timing my horrific movement to coincide with a fellow student using the drier. I was in the classroom at 10.25 feeling 99% good to go.

The morning was quite easy, a simple re-cap of the previous days learning and additional information to act as size, it would seem some things were going in and I wasn’t the slowest student in class by any means. Still, it served as a wake up call that I was stoop on my tiptoes on the very tip of a learning iceberg. Lunch was taken in another Café round the corner from the college. I’d opted for a toasted ciabatta filled with salad, cheese, bacon and ham, it was very good but rather filling. Before going back to class I indulged in another behemoth dump questioning the source of this feculence as the afternoon class began. Lunch had settled nervously onto my being, I felt very uncomfortable for the first 30 minutes, almost to the point of being tipped over into panic attack territory. This was assuaged by concentrating on the matter in hand. It was quite a slog though, even the teacher was aware of a general malaise in the classroom. Nonetheless, we progressed and finally consigned the first half of our course to history. Between now and the next I’ve homework to do, but I also intend to make use of the CD/book Italian language course I bought off the interweb a year ago, I feel that I’m in a better position to get to grips with it and attain something useful in return. If anything the course has constructed a foundation for perseverance. It should also be perfectly obvious to regular readers of this arse that IC’s help, both practically and inspirationally, will be invaluable, but only after I’ve undertaken the first steps alone.

I met IC as soon as I’d got back home; we separately prepared for the working week and after meeting for a quick drink popped out to the Vietnamese for dinner. In the space of an hour or two my weekend was briefly resurrected before ascension occurred mid way through a terrible yet thoroughly entertaining Kevin Bacon thriller after we’d returned home.

It’s Monday on the first day of March and it’s stunning outside, almost warm with International Klein Blue skies and bright white sun. The ride into work was arguably the best I’ve ever had on Brutta, and this is in spite of all the wobbly sports bike owners who’ve suddenly appeared on their sparkling lumps of eye-candy… yeah, where were you when the weather was fuck? You fair-weather pussies!

All bar one were decimated.