Monthly Archives: September 2010

jim gymery

For the first time in over three weeks, after prevaricating for half an hour, I found myself back in the bright chilled chamber of horrors that is the gym, or the ‘fucking-gym’ to give it its full unbearable title.

The reasons for the delay in attendance are twofold, in one camp lies sheer exhaustion brought on by our moving to the new address and all that goes with settling in. The second lies somewhere between logistics and a lack of incentive, to put it more simply, the gym is now further away and I can’t be arsed.

This additional distance aspect means that I’m faced with either a good ten minute walk or a three minute cycle before I’ve even fought back the tears on the cross trainer, the most loathsome device since The Rack. But yesterday I’d finally had enough of my crumpled spine and figured I either go for a ‘workout’ (such as it is) or visit the hospital.

Since the beginning of last week my flaming back has been getting progressively worse, on Monday it was so fucked-up I barely made it into the office -I’d already spurned the sweet-running Johnston on account of the kick-start-factor in favour of minimum spine-impact courtesy of public transport- but the walk out the flat to the bus stop was so excruciating I very nearly went back home. Bitterly regretting not having picked up my stick I persevered but it was clear by the end of the day the gym was out of the question.

Yesterday was different; the back feeling a little better acted as both an incentive and deterrent for my attending, I dug deep, something prevailed. Following a short yet unpleasant cycle ride there I finally darkened the gym doors and arrived into the main hall where I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I was weaker than a kitten with dysentery. For a pathetic 30 minutes I doe-eyed my sorry arse about the place gently flopping on exercise machines as if they were dying sighs of a fragile mother. I felt naffer than a KFC boneless meal for one. In all my visits to the gym this had been the worse, I didn’t even receive the usual rush of endorphins, I just felt like a flabby old cunt.

It’s done nothing to inspire a permanent return, yet as I sit here typing this crap I’m only too aware that I must go again, if not now then tomorrow, for the sake of my bloody back, if nothing else that.

Before I end, this is of huge importance. Hawkwind, the butt of so many tedious jokes from people who know fuck all about rock music, have had an album made in their honour. For me this goes some way towards retribution after spending 3 decades (and more) defending them from the johnny come latelys that pop up every four weeks, even when they’ve not helped (Mr. Dibbs). Featured artists include Mudhoney, Mugstar and Bardo Pond but I leave you today with a cover of Brainstorm by Acid Mothers Temple that almost tore my heart out, wonderful video too.


My old man’s a dustman, I mean, a bloody good bloke. Single-handedly he rectified the fucking awful mess with the wiring. In short, it was a short in the rear taillight caused by a single wire that had a tiny bit of coating missing. Once that was sorted it all worked, lights, indicator, horn, surround sound blueray player and anal dildo. Sorted. The whole shebang.

I’ve just this minute returned from the folks following a ride in the pissing rain down the A3. I didn’t care about the rain, I was sat on Johnston grinning from ear to ear with a bonk-on -apart from the moment I almost rear-ended a Renault Clio. It was fucking close, dear reader, fucking.

So, a weekend sits in the corner glaring at me in anticipation of thrashing. Tonight I meet IC in the West End so she and I can take ourselves off to the ICA for a wedding reception. You may recall the stag do a few weeks ago, well this is the upshot of all that expense and boozing. Marvellous.

Tomorrow, after we’ve popped over to my sisters on Johnston (fingers crossed, mind) to celebrate my second nieces first birthday, we’re hosting a very, very small party for a few mates to celebrate our move and then on Sunday I’m going to sleep like it’s 1999.

So join me (not at my flat, I’ll call the fucking police) in having a wonderful break from the working week. First up, Gerry’s chart and a tune… Cheerio.


NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE Last Week Weeks On Hi Pos
30 Band Of Horses Factory 27 11 3
29 Korn Oildale (Leave Me Alone) 20 11 2
28 The Ting Tings Hands NE 1 28
27 Pendulum Island 28 3 27
26 Chase And Status Let Me Go 16 6 9
25 British Sea Power Zeus NE 1 25
24 Vampire Weekend White Sky 21 3 21
23 30 Seconds To Mars Closer To The Edge 14 14 3
22 Fenech Soler Lies 19 3 19
21 The National Bloodbuzz Ohio 15 13 1
20 Bright Lights Bright Lights Love Part II 25 2 20
19 Inna Amazing 13 5 13
18 Eddie Vedder Better Days NE 1 18
17 The Pretty Reckless Miss Nothing 11 6 11
16 The Coral More Than A Lover 12 4 12
15 Cribs Housewife 17 3 15
14 Killing Joke European Super State NE 1 14
13 You Me At Six Stay With Me 10 6 9
12 Kings Of Leon Radioactive 22 2 12
11 Skunk Anansie My Ugly Boy 9 4 8
10 Arcade Fire Ready To Start 18 2 10
9 One Night Only Say You Don’t Want It 7 11 2
8 The Wombats Tokyo (Vampires And Wolves) NE 1 8
7 Archie Bronson Outfit Hoola 5 6 4
6 Linkin Park The Catalyst 3 7 2
5 Grinderman Heathen Child 6 4 5
4 Hurts Wonderful Life 1 9 1
3 Pulled Apart By Horses High 5 Swan Dive N.D. 2 5 2
2 Interpol Barricades 8 3 2
1 Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory 4 4 1


The bruise on my calf is something else. This fist-sized multicoloured patch of mangled flesh is painful to look at even before physically witnessing a passing trouser or sock. It’s also a very familiar injury, indeed, when I dinged it last week an ancient part of my brain blinked slowly and mumbled, ‘oh yes, I remember that. Ouch.’

Johnston (a 1976 Triumph T140v) doesn’t have an electric start. It did do, but like most British bikes in that era, they weren’t, shall we say, competent. Up until the late 60’s they had been but that was before the 70’s UK government stopped spending money on our motor industry, the inevitable strikes were the final straw and by the early 80’s the original Triumph motorcycle company was no more.

The belt and braces approach to manufacturing resulted in Johnston retaining its kick-start, it was almost as if they knew the electric start was shit from the off, and it’s this device that has pummeled my calf black and blue, literally.

Kick-starting Johnston requires a combination of patience, know-how and luck. Before you’ve even faced severe bruising the fuel tap must be turned on and the pair of carbs individually ‘tickled’ (operating a crude choke via miniature plungers set on the side of each unit) in order to increase the volume of petrol available for (hopefully) combustion (this doesn’t apply if the engine is warm, warmish, or even coldish (you decide this one, it’s part of the fun/horror)) then turn on the ignition and prepare to kick…

This is the tricky part. The pistons have to be in the correct place in the cylinders or either the kick-starter will lock, resulting in the full force of the kick being transferred directly up my fucked up spine, or jerk down to seize with the same possibly more severe consequences. One has to gingerly crank the engine into position by tapping down on the kick-start until experience suggests it’s time to jump onto the starter in order to generate enough energy for combustion. Factor in the iffy carb issue, and the ignition itself which has a propensity to simply switch off due to the stresses placed on alternator/battery/dubious wiring there is a very good chance you’ll be kicking the fucker for a good 5 minutes until it finally fires, and even then there is no guarantee it’ll stay running. By now, of course, one’s calf looks like a thunderstorm.

I first bought Johnston when I was 24. My granddad had died and left me a few grand and, being a keen biker himself, it seemed appropriate that I should buy into the heritage he’d enjoyed so much as a younger man.

It wasn’t a particularly well-thought out decision (I’ve not learned my lesson if un-sold Brutta is anything to go by) as I was a flat skint student at the time and instead of researching the matter with my dad, a motor engineer and British biker, I blazed-in and bought a US import via some dealership in Hastings. Four weeks later some Hick was unloading Johnston into my drive from the back of a pick-up. The tank was a non-standard metal flake brown and the engine had lots of chrome. She looked beautiful but it was apparent she’d need a hell of a lot of work -at the time I’d no idea how much.

I have to say that without dad I’d have been fucked. He’s a keen bike restorer and saw Johnston as a working project and, fortunately, in his element tinkering with old vehicles in his garage. Between us we got it half-way decent culminating in it being actually quite reliable and looking resplendent with a shiny black tank and burgess pipes which would shake the teeth of out of your head.

She required a lot of work though, we must have rebuilt the engine twice over the 5 years I had her. In the end I gave Johnston to dad, she’d pay off the debts I’d accumulated from my folks during my student days, and as I was now working, my desire to get on something faster and bit more modern had boiled over. I got a Ducati 900ss (Eko (pro. ‘echo’) was her name) and a few years after that moved onto the Black Bitch.

In the meantime, dad stuck a sidecar on Johnston and maintained her; he even got her to a standard where she was eligible to be shown at classic events. As time went on, Johnston was only getting used for high days and holidays and, more recently, dad discovered he was getting a bit too old to start her- in addition to reasons cited it takes a great deal of physical effort to kick over a Triumph, and there is also the underlying worry that it might kick-back resulting in one being thrown over the bars and/or a broken ankle. The former has happened to me twice.

Unbeknownst to me, a few months ago, dad converted Johnston back to a solo machine and 13 years after I’d given her to dad he called and suggested that I might like to have her back. The proviso was her value (about 3k) would come out of the money I’d inherit in my will, which was a little distressing… Nonetheless, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands, my new environment offered a secure space in which to park her and as a freelancer I’m not required to go into the office everyday countering potential reliability factors.

I rode Johnston back to my flat last Tuesday week. It took me a few minutes to re-familiarise myself with the heavy handling and lack of brakes but, sweet fucking Christ, it was running beautifully, even with the sensible pipes dad put on (they’re coming off) she sounded like a blackbird having one. Yes, it leaked oil as it always did, I should imagine my riding it harder than it had been in a few years didn’t help, but that’s all part of it. I haven’t sat on a bike grinning like a chimp for a while but I did all the way home, lifted by adoring glances (and comments) from drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and the burbling British twin giggling under my bollocks.

But, this is Piqued you’re reading here, not some love-in with life.

The next morning I leapt up, said goodbye to IC in our frankly gorgeous flat (it’s looking bloody lovely now, you should pop by) and walked out into one of the last summer days of the year. It was warm, sunny and all was ace of spades. I unwrapped Johnston who sat glittering like a jewel ready to receive my tight hot ass. I turned on the ignition after the preliminary checks and… nothing.

I’m not too bad when it comes to mechanics but with electrical issues, as this most certainly was, I’m more useless than concrete nipples. I was at a loss, after an hour of panicking and kicking the shit out of the starter following my suspicions this was a battery issue I resorted to grabbing wires by means of ‘connecting’ the broken. Suddenly the ignition light flickered on, then off again. The problem was around the headlamp area, I fiddled around until happy the ignition would remain on and kicked her again, nearly 2 and half hours after I’d approached her she finally roared into life.

Johnston randomly cut-out 8 times to and from work; at least two of these were fucking dangerous as they happened in the middle of junctions. Each time the problem was solved by mashing the wires under the headlamp but it was apparent something needed to be done.

Following a fantastic weekend of wine, woman and song I managed to get Johnston over to my folks on Tuesday, but only after I ran out of fuel en route at Vauxhall. I was forced on a mile long march to a garage in order to procure a fucking petrol can, petrol and a mile long walk back to the bike. I filled Johnston under the watery gaze of a weeping woman stood a few feet away then leapt on the kickstart for a good 10 minutes whereupon she finally started, the weeping woman dabbed her eyes said ‘well done’ and continued to weep. I said ‘chin-up’ and fucked off sharpish.

It was 3pm when I parked Johnston in dads garage, I left at 8.30pm with more issues to resolve than I’d arrived with. I won’t go into details save to say the brake lights were operating as riding lights after fitting the swanky mini indicators, and the cut-out matter was still ongoing. It’s fair to say that all these appalling wiring problems have been inherited from some hillbilly in Ohio, yes we could change the loom but it’s an unnecessary expense, well, it was. I had to take the train home; it took well over 2 hours. On arrival I went to bed, slept uncomfortably, and got up at 7am and then went directly back to my folks.

By the time I showed up at 9.30am dad was already finishing off the last touches of the wiring. ‘Sussed it!’ he said with a wink. Good old dad. We put the bike back together leaving the headlamp unit for last. Just as we were feeding the wires into the headlamp dads glasses fell off his nose, instinctively he made a grab from them with one hand, the other lost grip of the unit, which I caught just before it hit the deck. But it was too late, the unit had pulled free a whole bunch of unrelated wires that had popped from their sockets and, due to years of additions and alterations, the usual system of colour coding made replacing them a job for a savant version of Stephen Hawking.

The language dad used was frankly startling, especially from an ex churchwarden. It began with ‘cunting whore,’ before descending into a stuttering collection of ‘fucks’ punctuated with all manner of shits and cocks. Meanwhile, the fuse blew and the circuit shorted causing a battery wire to smoke and melt.

The whole of the electrical system was stone cold dead.


If, like me, you’re foolish enough to spurn the additional hassle of labelling the boxes to inform you of their content, opening them at the other end inspires what can best be described as a paradox -in so far you’re filled with both childish intrigue and adult dread at what they contain. It’s a bit like opening a Christmas gift from some perversely senile Aunt.

As soon as the box has been hacked in twain the paradox shifts into a heart-sinking realisation that the contents need to be dealt with, and of course there are a million fucking billion more after. For the remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday, and I mean all of it, we worked ourselves to the state of a stupor, it seemed inconceivable it would ever end. By Sunday evening it was still a bloody mess, it was only when we took some time out to dispose of the smashed cardboard did it seem that we were making a dent in the heap.

I went to work and back Monday on autopilot. IC and I had to pick up some more stuff from the old flat including an 8foot high yucca plant that we somehow managed to get back in some wheeled luggage, then it was on with more fucking unpacking. By Monday evening we’d made progress, the end was in sight but the whole affair had taken its toll, both of us were so completely knackered we could hardly speak.

On Tuesday IC went to work, I spent the whole day unpacking from 8am, when she left, until 7pm in the evening, quite literally a minute before she set foot in the place, I finished. It was a terrific feeling that made us feel very thirsty indeed.

The flat looks astonishing, we have views all over London from The Eye to Canary Wharf, and as it’s only a couple of years old the interior is clean and fresh, the feeling of space is almost extraordinary. Bearing in mind we’ve had to combine our possessions the overall aesthetic of the place couldn’t have been better if bloody Laurence Llewlyn Bellend had ponced in drunk with an unlimited spending budget.

I will be posting again next with tales of the new (old) Triumph Bonneville T140v that will be known hereon in as Johnston. But first, yes, it’s Gerry’s chart and an imbedded tune. Take note of the new column following a request from my bro, I’ll leave Gerry to explain, ‘I had a request to include a column showing the highest position each track has achieved in it’s stay in the chart. So at no extra cost to yourselves, this has now been taken on board. Here it is…’

Have nice weekends if you’re still fucking reading this.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE Last Week Weeks On High Pos
30 Charlatans Love Is Ending 22 6 17
29 Iron Maiden The Final Frontier 19 7 9
28 Pendulum Island 30 2 28
27 Band Of Horses Factory 23 10 3
26 Gaslight Anthem American Slang 29 2 26
25 Bright Lights Bright Lights Love Part II NE 1 25
24 Manic Street Preachers It’s Not War just the end of love 21 21
23 Klaxons Echoes 17 9 4
22 Kings Of Leon Radioactive NE 1 22
21 Vampire Weekend White Sky 26 2 21
20 Korn Oildale (Leave Me Alone) 15 10 2
19 Fenech Soler Lies 25 2 19
18 Arcade Fire Ready To Start NE 1 18
17 Cribs Housewife 24 2 17
16 Chase AndStatus Let Me Go 11 5 9
15 The National Bloodbuzz Ohio 10 12 1
14 30 Seconds To Mars Closer To The Edge 7 13 3
13 Inna Amazing 16 4 13
12 The Coral More Than A Lover 18 3 12
11 The Pretty Reckless Miss Nothing 14 5 11
10 You Me At Six Stay With Me 9 5 9
9 Skunk Anansie My Ugly Boy 8 3 8
8 Interpol Barricades 13 2 8
7 One Night Only Say You Don’t Want It 3 10 2
6 Grinderman Heathen Child 12 3 6
5 Archie Bronson Outfit Hoola 4 5 4
4 Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory 6 3 4
3 Linkin Park The Catalyst 2 6 2
2 Pulled Apart By Horses High Five Swan Dive Nose Dive 5 4 2
1 Hurts Wonderful Life 1 8 1

NB. I posted this tune only last week, this is the acoustic version. No question already, this is my single of 2010.


I think it’s pointless trying to convey my contempt of moving home, in words at least. Put it this way, if I was using the power of mime I’d just give up the posturing, gestures, facial expressions et al and just scream, not just any scream, a protracted week-long scream that would end with my fucking toenails blasting out my neck.

The days leading up to the physical move isn’t dissimilar to the Kubler-Ross model applied to the mental state of a patient discovering they have cancer and what subsequently follows, to wit, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. I spent the last few days in the old gaff in a state of denial by insisting IC and I simply go out and sort of forgot about the fact we’d packed most of the stuff but maybe not all of it… sort of, probably, perhaps.

Saturday. Move day. I was still in bed with an almighty hangover when my bro and Patty arrived to help with the move, the middle three stages of the KR model circulated about me as I got dressed and sorted out the remaining denied items, of which there was a fucking bus load. The rat-faced ‘removal’ cunt arrived in a van that was too small and proceeded to yawn, which is about as helpful as he was, the little fucker. So it was basically down to IC, my bro and Patty to shift the gear, I helped as best I could but my back was more twisted than the decision to invade Iraq, right kids…

The enormity of the task was almost too much to bear, there was so much stuff I couldn’t actually understand how it had fitted into my flat without bursting it wide open. From 10am to 4pm we worked solidly, it took two trips from the old flat to the new one and we worked without a break, it was like a waking bad dream and seemingly endless. I entertained fantasies of setting fire to the whole fucking lot, including rat-face, just so we didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

By 4-ish we were in and then, on top of all that, I had to put on my suit and go to The Royal Albert Hall for the Last Night of the BBC Proms. By now I was a burbling mess and in no fit state to play my annual role as a grinning PR, a grimacing one perhaps, possibly even violent. To use the vernacular, I was fucked.

I arrived in good time and met the boss, his wife and a couple of colleagues. Clients appeared and, lubricated by a drop of wine, found myself rather enjoying drifting about making my acquaintance with guests. Then something miraculous occurred, my boss basically said that I didn’t have to stay for the gig, that I was free to leave after doing the handshaking bit. Quite honestly I could’ve blown him.

Before the first honk I was walking towards the tube station in the most beautiful evening light, the sky was a heart-singing orange and blue and I was going home, admittedly one that looked like Folkestone docks, but home nonetheless. Acceptance at last.

More of this balls tomorrow…


It’s worth mentioning that the train journey to Deal was so hair raising that we came back via a different route. In yesterday’s paper I discovered that the train in question, the so called ‘Olympic Bullet Service’ is no longer in-service on account of the 140mph ‘wobbles’ through the long tunnel coming out of St.Pancras.

‘Wobble’ is somewhat of an understatement, the train was quite literally bucking and lurching off-line and I learnt that some passengers (even some staff) have been physically ill all over their laps. Bearing in mind one is underground slicing through the pitch black at a ton and a half… hardly factors conducive to relaxation.

Speaking of wobbles, I’m ‘wobbling’ about my flat packing all shit up. I thought I’d done most of it over the weekend but I was wrong. Apart from the packing aspect all is set for Saturday, we get the keys at 9 and the van arrives at 10, then off we go. Christ it looks so easy written down. Even after we’ve moved I can’t rest, I’ve a giant arsing appointment in the evening that casts its shadow over me as I type these words.

Regulars will know that I’m required to attend the Last Night of the Proms in my capacity as a professional fluffer. A quick glace over this blog will probably suggest that I’m not someone who responds aesthetically to the subtle nuances of sheet music and the muted cacophony that arises when placed in front of an orchestra, however good they’re supposed to be. Be under no illusion, I’ve probably seen more great orchestras, soloists and conductors of both the 20th and 21st century than the most ardent classical music fan has in a lifetime… yet I couldn’t give a conciliatory wave from my nicotine inspired fingers. (Factor-in that I get one of the best seats in the house, and free hospitality, well I should imagine some of you reading this are quite cross… I don’t care, by the way.)

On Monday, by the same foul circumstances that beg my company on the 11th, I spent the night in a box in The Albert Hall with colleagues and huge quantity of wine and canapés. Obviously I have no truck with the latter. By the time the gig started I was a little pissed, and, as I do annually, made every effort to engage with proceedings in order to assuage boredom whilst hoping and praying that something may click within and I begin to appreciate the music as I do, say, Slayer.

No such luck. The most contemptible thing about classical music is when I do get a phrase or melody that vaguely appeals the rest of the sodding outfit runs in and fucks it all up. It’s like it can’t make its mind up, one minute a nice bit of piano lulls you in, the next, cellos, violins, drums, glocks, a triangle, are all galloping over it kicking the life out of what, briefly, caused one to engage.

I had two hours of this, and this Saturday I’m subjected to over three, and that includes the awful Empire infused climax, which I find offensive. Sod the Queen!

Following Mondays fiasco I had a few more glasses with a couple of colleagues at the hotel round the corner then made my way home. Of course, the tubes were on strike, so I had to walk in the pissing bastard rain for almost an hour to find the right bus stop. En route I took some time out at Marble Arch to have a proper look at it away from tourists and wankers before locating the sight of the Tyburn Tree where I paused to imagine Oliver Cromwell swinging over my head. Finally I made it to the bus stop after legging it at full tilt to catch the 38 before it disappeared into the drenched ether.

I will post next week at some point, spare a thought for me over the weekend for fucks sake.

At last, Gerry’s chart… Killer, killer song (I may have posted it before, once again, I don’t care)

30 Pendulum Island NE 1
29 Gaslight Anthem American Slang NE 1
28 Papa Roach Kick In The Teeth 27 3
27 Combichrist Never Surrender 15 7
26 Vampire Weekend White Sky NE 1
25 Fenech Soler Lies NE 1
24 Cribs Housewife NE 1
23 Band Of Horses Factory 16 9
22 Charlatans Love Is Ending 17 5
21 Manic Street Preachers It’s Not War just the end of love 21 3
20 Faithless Tweek 13 6
19 Iron Maiden The Final Frontier 11 6
18 The Coral More Than A Lover 24 2
17 Klaxons Echoes 10 8
16 Inna Amazing 18 3
15 Korn Oildale (Leave Me Alone) 8 9
14 The Pretty Reckless Miss Nothing 19 4
13 Interpol Barricades NE 1
12 Grinderman Heathen Child 26 2
11 Chase AndStatus Let Me Go 9 4
10 The National Bloodbuzz Ohio 6 11
9 You Me At Six Stay With Me 12 4
8 Skunk Anansie My Ugly Boy 14 2
7 30 Seconds To Mars Closer To The Edge 4 12
6 Jimmy Eat World My Best Theory 20 2
5 Pulled Apart By Horses High Five Swan Dive Nose Dive 7 3
4 Archie Bronson Outfit Hoola 5 4
3 One Night Only Say You Don’t Want It 2 9
2 Linkin Park The Catalyst 3 5
1 Hurts Wonderful Life 1 7


Deal. Kent. Very strange place, like some sort of throwback to the 50’s, before windrush, it has a vague ‘whicker man’ whiff to it despite the ancient church. Deal boasts one high street comprised mainly of pharmacies and a few tatty gift shops but it’s not altogether unpleasant. Without question the best part about the place is the sea and the pubs, well one of latter, the fellow we stayed in as good fortune would have it.

We arrived Saturday lunchtime and kicked things off with crab sandwiches, I don’t think there is a better sandwich in the world if it’s got enough dark meat (these just about did) and I had splendid pint of Spitfire. The afternoon was spent between ‘our’ pub and the high street but largely exploring the beautiful coast line under the enormous panoramic sky that had moments of Mediterranean blue with Simpson-like fluffy white clouds. The weather was clement, sunnyish and warm enough to enjoy with a light jacket, or perhaps a quality cardigan, such as one purchased from Marks or Gap, it briefly rained hard for 10 minutes but the sodden cloud merely blew off towards France to reveal further sunshine.

The pub itself was a bit of an oddity, it looked very traditional, packed with all the sorts of relics one would associate with a country/side-the-sea sort of establishment -lots of wood and brass, open fire, lobster pots and seafaring pictures, plenty of what-ho jingoism from the second world on account of its location- but it had only been a boozer since the late 70’s making it a hulking fake. Not that you’d have guessed mind.

The punters were a funny lot too, lots of segregated fat middles ages types, all perpetually eating. I’ll admit, it was a Saturday, yet one couldn’t help feeling that they spent a good deal of time here cackling away as they shoved chips with cheese into their red faces. They all knew each other to, in London we’re not used to that sort of carry-on. I have to say I felt a bit like I’d been left out and gone off.

We had dinner in a snazzy fish restaurant a few yards from the pub. Our fellow diners were a family from Essex which fascinated IC. I have a propensity to ape this accent on occasion, for the purposes of comedy I’ll have you know. Until this moment IC had found my take on the accent a little exaggerated, but the family next to us set her straight. The food was superb by way of incident, I had oysters to start and lamb for main, IC had the lobster, right nice it was an’ all.

On the way to our lodgings we noticed that our pub, and indeed the one next to it, were full of what one may call ‘young people.’ Sweet god they were vile, the boys looking like x-factor hopefuls and the girls dressed like breadline sex workers -by now it was quite chilly yet these young things appeared to be adorned in no more than a handkerchiefs as they clipped about in 4 foot high stilettos. In one of the pubs, merciful God not ours, they were engaged in Karaoke, the fucking noise they were making was astonishing, like 120 Days of Sodom made flesh.

The following morning I had the ‘full English’ without really even asking for it, it just appeared. IC had the vegetarian version which was identical to mine save the sausage and bacon. As we were leaving we discovered we could’ve had fucking kippers, I was livid.

We checked out and decided to walk to Dover as, according to the flappy-handed landlord, it was a couple of hours away by foot. A couple of hours later the white cliffs seemed to be at the same proximity to us as they had been two hours earlier. If my legs hadn’t been so shagged I would’ve been hopping.

We felt it was time to go home so asked some walking people questions about the nearest station, which as it turned out was in Deal, from where we’d come. I decided there and then that if I ever saw that landlord again I’d fuck him in the eyes. But there was some good news; a bloke who looked like Nick Mason of The Pink Floyd suggested we enquire of a bus at the pub yond… that was as far as he got, I was off.

This pub was the real deal; it was on the top of these low lying cliffs with Dover’s white affairs still winking at us to the East and had none of the faux trappings of the previous establishment. It was stark in comparison, very cosy, and about 600 years old. Apparently used to be a favourite of smugglers which was dead exciting. By now it was lunchtime; I managed to sink a pint as we waited for the taxi we’d ordered to the station. Sod the bus, the stop was a few miles away and the busses only came by every 5 days or something.

We ordered some crab sandwiches to take with us on the journey and the black cab took us via some breathtaking scenery to our destination. I have to say, it felt right odd being in a black cab watching all just fields roll by, bloody lovely mind.

Anyway, enough of all that. I’ve failed to sell Brutta which is fucking irksome and I’m up to my balls in boxes and debt in preparation of the move, which takes place on Saturday. So do join me next week as I describe how my spine finally disintegrated when carrying a cardboard container full of garden ornaments and pants.

Join me.



The karaoke business really is best forgotten about. I’m still reeling from footage of yours truly and the stag attempting Rock and Roll by Led Zeppelin after a few more than too much. The evening drew to a barely memorable close with the whole troupe in full-scale riot mode to Smells Like Teen Spirit and a cacophonous rendering of Radiohead’s’ Creep.

Despite everything I still managed one more at the bar as the dregs of Saturday night hung about, clinging on for one last chance at some hometime fun with a stranger. We said a fond cheerio to our young buck giggling in the corner with the best man and a couple of mates, and headed for home.

Remarkably I recall some of the walk to the bus stop in Angel; this was largely due to finding some young berk asleep on the pavement. First I hoped he was dead, because this would’ve got more ratings on here, but on closer examination he was just unable to take his shit. Really, my bro and I should’ve just photographed him and submitted his picture to Hackney Hipster Hate and left, but as we were not actually in Hackney, albeit near, and feeling somewhat lively, we decided to ‘help.’

This clot was a sockless, loafer-wearing bellpress, probably called Hector or Franklyn, who’d made the decision to wear a black and white trilby hat some point earlier in the day. My bro and I aggressively attempted to rouse Heclyn to his Berties, but he wasn’t having any of it, he just moaned a bit. Finally, after attacking him with his own fucking headgear he stirred, bro and I instantly hauled him up where upon he blinked at me like a bad invention.

I gripped his shoulders and demanded to know where he lived, informing him that unless he moved on he’d DIE. Something went in and he mumbled ‘Old Street’ which seemed more than appropriate. We launched him off in the appropriate direction, bro and I watching him stumble away amid gales of laughter, in fact we stayed there for about 10 minutes sure he was going to fall but, well, he managed to get to the junction unscathed, the tit.

I got home and the rest of weekend was spent in pain nursing a bloody huge hangover, which was somewhat relieved for a few hours following an impromptu meeting with some friends near Gatwick on the Sunday.

So, Brutta is for sale. It’s with a heavy yet practical heart that I (try to) let her go. Barely a year old she’s worth two thirds of what I paid for her, with a years warranty left she’s going to make someone very happy, gawd bless ‘er. If it wasn’t for all this flat shit, the death of my bike dealership and the fact that I’m moving to an address that doesn’t need Brutta’s lithe skills in which to navigate an alleyway/gate I’d have reconsidered. But I need the cash in my pocket to subsidise the lack of business and all the monies lost through my perpetually failing to sell my flat… For fuckityclicks sake.

Coming up, the review of a weekend by the sea in Kent, the fun of packing boxes and how I cling on to the motorcycle boots of Brutta’s new owner begging him to sell me her back following a change of mind.

Join me.

The sound isn’t good but, oh my word, they are…