Category Archives: 1

skwiff

Office talk regarding the snooker. Apparently Steve Davies is doing very well and I just had a flashback to my granny some 20 years ago referring to him as ‘Steve’ in front of my dad as if he was supposed to know which ‘Steve’ she was going on about… he was fucking livid.

You can have that for free.

I’ve a hangover. The work-related bash at The Royal Academy of Music was free running wine courtesy of very generous waiters. The place was packed full of classical music hoi polloi, I was there with my boss and a couple of colleagues feeling like I’d just been plopped onto the surface of the moon. As the wine intensified I became more relaxed, I found myself introducing my pissed-up face to people one sees on the telly, all of them receiving me with a mixture of bemusement and slight annoyance, I didn’t give a bloody shit.

Foolishly we retired to the nearest pub, I didn’t make the decision, I just found myself there with a glass being thrust into my hand and it automatically receiving red. More people from the bash arrived, clients. I should’ve left but I was freely talking to them, unrestricted, unhinged. By the time last orders was called I was sat down having a potentially vomit-inducing whitey, I’m pleased to report it passed leaving beads of sweat on my forehead that I shoved off with my cuff.

I made it to the tube station in a zig zag, I just couldn’t maintain a straight-line which I found hugely irritating. Fuck knows how I navigated my way to the circle line from Baker Street but I do remember arriving on the platform with two trains either side of me and having no clue which was the one I’d require to take me to Liverpool Street. Yell, I decided, so I did. I shouted the question right down the middle of both trains and voice beckoned me to the one on the left. I yelled my gratitude, climbed about and set off.

I woke just as the train was entering my station, bit of luck that, and took the central line to Bethnal Green. The crowds were familiar now, I was among my people and I began to relax, partially comforted in the assurance there would be passengers in much worse states of mind than I. The bus was waiting for me when I swayed into the night after exiting the tube, it was empty and by the grace of the starts and planets, I made it home in one piece, and dropped into bed.

I’m feeling much better now, I need to be. My weekend ahead is vast. It contains an old mate, dinner, a barbeque, gym, park and cycling. And it all starts in the fucking pub, of course.

Gerry’s chart, tune. Enjoy the gifts of the days.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Kate Nash Do Wah Doo 21 3
29 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 17 10
28 Boys Like Girls Love Drunk NE 1
27 Goldfrapp Rocket 13 7
26 Enter Shikari Thumper 24 3
25 All Time Low Lost In Stereo 30 2
24 Pendulum Watercolour NE 1
23 Two Door Cinema Club Something Good Can Work NE 1
22 Gorillaz Stylo 15 10
21 Hadouken! Mic Check 19 4
20 The King Blues Headbutt NE 1
19 Foals This Orient NE 1
18 Hot Chip I Feel Better 22 2
17 AFI Beautiful Thieves 9 8
16 You Me At Six Liquid Confidence 18 3
15 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 7 8
14 Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Gun 14 4
13 We Are Scientists Rules Don’t Stop 10 5
12 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War 6 6
11 Biffy Clyro Bubbles 27 2
10 Paramore The Only Exception 11 5
9 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor 5 6
8 Chemists This City 8 4
7 Vitalic Second Lives 12 3
6 Half Man Half Biscuit Joy Division Oven Gloves 16 2
5 Plan B She Said 26 3
4 Lostprophets For He’s A Jolly Good Felon 4 4
3 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 2 7
2 Bullet For My Valentine The Last Fight 3 3
1 Liars Scissor 1 5


kleen

I was forced onto public transport this morning, in a suit. Well sort of, I refuse to go the whole hog with regard to suit-type trousers unless at a funeral or wedding. But I’m clamped in a black tie to match my skinny jeans and smart, clean shoes, my shirt is crisp-white and I’m sporting the necessary jacket, black of course. I’ve retained the skull rings and my cuffs are similarly formatted.

This evening I have a work-related incident at The Royal Academy of Music, it’s an annual event saved by the trays of wine and canapés. It’s usually over by 8 but in previous years I’ve been known to retire to a local hostelry with colleagues to round things off, sometimes excessively.

The public journey into work was the easiest I’ve encounter to date. It’s a beautiful day, warm, sunny and the bus, tube, train, tube, all arrived and departed the instant I set foot on the respective pavement or platform. Better still, all were relatively un-crowded so my journey took place in comfort. The views of London that passed by as I made my way South offered golden images of a city only recently drenched in grey steel rain cloaked in freezing cold. The transformation is palpable; you can actually feel a change in the spirit of the city as the sunshine pours forth and something approaching heat tastes the skin. Long may it last.

Yesterday, following a sensationally irresponsible ride home, I parked up Brutta with a 50 mile-wide grin and headed off to the gym in order to knead my muscles. It’s the first time I’ve done three days in a row and I noticed that it was not only easier to work the machines, I was even prepared to push myself a bit further, and I felt much better for it after too. I walked back home via the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for the roasted tomato and goats cheese tart, namely goats cheese and tomato, which I began to prepare the instant I stepped through my front door. It may or may not be worth mentioning that I’d picked up some puff pastry and lunchtime, in hindsight I don’t think I will.

Once the tart was in the oven I showered, shaved and greeted my bro and IC to sample the fruits of my labour and watch a film. The tart was fantastic, I served it with pan-fried spinach, garlic and spring onion and we ate with a glass or two of Cabernet Sauvignon. The film was very watchable too (The Box) and all in all our evening ‘in’ was a success.

Short one today, I’m busy over here… and I’ve just noticed, this could be the first post I’ve ever written in over three years in which I’ve not used bad language. So it’s safe for kids too, right parents?

Enjoy this…


rah-star

It would seem that the reason for the relative quietness in The City was due to the lack of airplanes. Now that the farting beats are back in the sky, my ride into work was blighted by horrific quantities of traffic blocking my path requiring me to take onto the odd pavement in order to make progress; my journey was 20 minutes longer than normal. Still it wasn’t all bad, for the first time since I climbed on her back, Brutta and I are enjoying warm sunny weather with sticky new tyres. The heroic moves of derring-do are coming thick and fast. In short, I’m riding like a total cunt.

I had a busy day at work and in spite of a short period of otherworldliness in the afternoon (caused by I’ve no idea what) I left the office in excellent cheer. I pegged it home in the sunshine and arrived back breathless. I was just about to ride Brutta up the narrow alleyway to my front gate when I spotted two Rastafarians coming the other way, so I waited for them to pass. The first one gave me a cursory glance of gratitude but the second, in rich Jamaican tone said, ‘Nice bike, man. I like your style,’ which was extremely flattering, to the point I was rather taken aback. To my fucking horror what came out of my gob almost made me jump, in Bertie Wooster parlance I half yelled back, ‘Thank you very much!’ I may as well have gone ‘haw haw haw,’ at the end as well. Christ.

I dumped the bike in my yard and nipped off to the gym, after 35 long minutes I returned to the Twatcave, showered, and went directly upstairs to grab IC and get the bus to Clerkenwell. We arrived on the nick of 8, just in time to take our seats in the rather posh eatery Paul had booked for his birthday.

Mercifully Paul had facilitated a straight 50% off the menu because it wasn’t the cheapest place I’ve eaten, this didn’t include the wine but I was delighted to see that it was quite reasonably priced. The food and company was splendid (there were 9 of us) and I had the terrine to start with the saddle of lamb for main, IC lucked-out with her halibut and the wine flowed gently -not excessively I hasten to add- giving us space for a quick drink after the restaurant and IC, Paul and I room for a shot of Makers Mark when we got back home.

I’m in rather good cheer today, the clement weather continues and despite it being dead in the office the prospect of that which exists outside of this place bubbles merrily away.

Ladies and Gentlemen…


volkayno

Apart from one mate being unable to go home to Italy last weekend, myself and mine -to the best of my knowledge- have been unaffected by this volcanic ash business. But there are thousands of poor buggers stranded overseas unable to make it back to loved-ones, places of work, proper beer etc., with no immediate change to their predicament in sight.

Many are adopting the ‘by any means necessary’ mantra and are flocking to the North French coast by hire car, train, taxi, bicycle, piggy back, only to find that they’re unable to secure a place on the overcrowded ferries travelling across the channel. It must be a fucking nightmare.

To aid the plight of these unfortunate souls, the government has deployed a flotilla of warships to help bring some of the stranded back home; it sort of invokes the Dunkirk Spirit, which is rather nice, but all of this is completely unnecessary.

Noel Edmonds has a fucking helicopter. Edmonds, once the apple in the eye of BBC light entertainment turned reclusive oddball following his hand in the slaughter of one of his contestants, has a massive fuck-off chopper. Why can’t he go and get them? In addition to giving something back following the cold-blooded killing of some weak-brained boobhorn, he’s a golden chance to raise his profile to the levels enjoyed by the departing Jonathan Ross and Adrian Chiles… Hello? Vacancies! It’s not bloody rocket science, Edmonds, get off your arse and get saving. And get back to the BBC where you belong. With Smitty.

I had a pleasant though low-key day yesterday, a day off if you will. I done worked, biked home, revived myself in the gym and went home (again) and made a fucking huge pile of spaghetti sauce which took 30 mins to prepare and 2 hours to cook slowly through. I froze ¾ of it and pushed the rest into my head in front of some TV programme about The Blitz presented by that little fart Tony Robinson. I bet he hasn’t got a helicopter like Edmonds, having said that, I don’t think he’s dropped a man on his head from 120 feet either.

From here on in it’s all pretty much business as usual (i.e., drinking too much). IC and I are going out with some pals to celebrate Paul’s birthday and the rest of the week is booked solid, actually, the weekend is almost full too. But I’m also going to try and do the gym FOUR times before Saturday, it’s a big ask from someone who likes a tab with his pint but as I’m rather keen to continue smoking and drinking way into my 80’s the gym is the only option. That’s logic right there.


knowzblead

Sunday lunchtime. Pondering on the small matter of this bloody cold-thing, it was over 3 weeks ago that the fat kid sneezed in my face, I thought, reaching for another handful of fucking bum fodder in order to clear my nostrils of another portion of nose Dim Sum. I honked a load of gloop into the tissue and, almost expectantly, watched a pissing stream of blood wallop all over the sink.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned the whole nose-bleed shit in these hallowed pages before, I’ll spare you a re-visit but in short, I used to suffer from nose-bleeds a lot when I was a kid, low blood pressure, ironically. It’s something I could well do without in my bloody 40’s. I’ve had the odd one over the past 25 years but not in sufficient quantity to be blasé about them. As wine improves with age, nose-bleeds get increasingly terrifying.

Despite this, I had a killer weekend. It began, following a weary bash in the gym, preparing dinner for four. Patti was supposed to be in Italy but on account of this bloody volcano business was grounded in London, joining her were my bro and IC, of course. I threw together a fisherman’s pie, not one of my best but more than sufficient and the evening passed gently in a fug of tobacco and the odd glass of Prosecco which was on special offer at the local Co-Op.

I woke on Saturday in a pool of light, sunshine? My god, sunshine! Loads of it! This had an adverse effect on both IC and I, we had a shot of coffee and offed ourselves to the gym, only 20 minutes mind you, but exercise on a Saturday is illegal surely? After breakfast/lunch we cycled to Clissold Park in Stoke Newington, more bloody exercise but in the sunshine behind IC, well, I rather liked it. It was a mere 15 minutes and the reward, sitting in the park in warm sunshine with a bottle of freezing Cava as London lolled and frolicked about us, was overtly worth it. We spent a bloody delightful few hours soaking up rays and bubbles; it was one of those defining ‘weekend’ moments, the sorts that cannot be adequately conveyed in words yet sit in the brain like a jewel in the proverbial crown.

We cycled home via the boozer on the corner of our street. The ride back was actually very pleasant and the destined pub half empty; it’s not really geared for sunshine but the light streaming into the gloom, slicing the dingy yet cheery air, was still more than enough to retain that sense of spring vitality. We were joined by my bro and attempted a game of pool, I don’t want the word ‘attempted’ to give the impression we were tipsy, it was more of a case of incompetence. Perhaps more of a signifier that I was a tad tight was after the short cycle home when I scraped my arm up the alleyway wall when attempting a moving dismount outside my gaff…

By the time IC and I left Hackney at 8-ish to head up to Whitechapel for curry I was back to normal -save the graze on my arm which, as I type this, looks a lot more interesting than it feels. We took the 48 to the city and alighted near Commercial Road, after a fair walk and some directional advice we finally entered the destined eatery at 9. I’ve been to the Lahore Kebab House before but in earlier visits I’ve been with a group of mates who are well versed in Pakistani cuisine. IC and I ordered off the cuff, what we ate was very good but, with a bit more knowledge, could’ve been a lot better. This wasn’t a problem though, we had a very nice evening and the long walk back to Liverpool Street in the dark city was enjoyably gritty.

Another glorious day Sunday. IC and I got up mid morning and went for a walk towards Dalston. We were headed for a little café on the main street; on the way we stopped and checked some of the local estate agents. We had a lazy brunch and wandered back home and it was about this time I had the fucking nosebleed.

After sorting myself out I did some work on Brutta and cleaned the flat. Paul had invited a few pals over to his roof for a barbeque. I have to say I’m always very impressed by my Hackney friends generosity, organisation and attention to detail, especially when you consider the whole barbeque idea was pretty much spur of the moment. Someone had already dropped off the bbq device, Mary and Oscar arrived bearing beef, chicken, haloumi, satay and vegetables and set about assembling the food on the skewers provided by the host. IC and I were assigned to the wine, my bro and couple of other guests dealt with the beer. By 3pm there was 10 of us, all eating and drinking in the fucking sunshine having a right good time. In your face winter, yeah. In your bloody face!

We didn’t stay too long; by teatime I was getting my stuff ready for the evening. IC came down to the Twatcave and we watched a film with a couple of fishcakes for good measure. IC left at a sensible 11pm and I watched the Grand Prix before having another cunting nosebleed just before bed.

Today’s offing is dedicated to Pete Steele of Type O Negative who died on Wednesday. He was a big bloke was Pete.*

*(apparently he had a fucking enormous cock.)


rubbr

After a fly-blown day at work I took the tube to Piccadilly for my cousins show. He’s a photographer of some note and a gallery is organising a retrospective of his work. I was early to arrive but soon the gallery was packed, I began to pick my way round the guests in order to view all the works on display. To my surprise my Auntie and Uncle showed up along with my bro and more members of my wider family, before I had time to mind my P’s and Q’s an impromptu family gathering was happening.

In between all the family niceties my cousin introduced me to a few of guests, in particular a chap who featured prominently on the Pixies album cover ‘Come on Pilgrim.’

The photo in question was on display. As the image depicts a man with a very hairy back I took the chance to discover if the image was real or doctored. My question was answered decisively when HBM (hairy back man) showed me a portion of his shoulder. My bro joined in our conversation and we spent the rest of view nattering away, before finally moving along to a boozer in Covent Garden with HBM, my doctor-cousin and his doctor-mates.

We had a jolly few hours, the docs, HBM and I got around to discussing sexuality with regard to society, then I was briefed on cannaboids and the mind by doc-cousin. My artist-cousin arrived just as HBM and my bro decided it was time to leave. At Bethnal Green we said Farwell to HBM and returned home to an impromptu but highly successful portion of falafel and spinach that I rustled up in 10mins. Spiffing!

I was up at the whisper of Blackbirds this morning, I had to get Brutta off to the tyre shop and get her re-shod. In only 2000 miles the rear has squared-off which is making handling problematic, the front is okay but in my experience with sports-tyres it’s always preferable to change them both.

I’d called the shop up the previous day and they’d ordered my rubber in especially without any deposit or fuss. They then called to confirm the tyres had arrived and mentioned that they’d do them on the spot on a ‘first come first serve’ basis and were open from 8… So I was there early for obvious reasons. But by the time I arrived there were already 3 guys in the queue with one having his machine seen-to. I was in for a drawn out wait so I passed the time nattering with one of the mechs and the sort of hip-hop lady in reception.

After a while another mech arrived and set to work on my bike. He too joined in the conversation (which was now about family funerals and strangely hilarious) and even after the bike was done we were still nattering. I’ve been going to garages since I was 3 and these was one of the nicest businesses I’ve ever stepped foot, in addition it wasn’t that pricey. I gingerly rode into the office on my new, fresh rubber. It’ll take them a week or two to scrub in, but at least it’s dry and warm enough for them to reach temperature quickly.

Right, weekend beckons, Gerry’s chart, tune… have good ones.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 All Time Low Lost In Stereo NE 1
29 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song 17 6
28 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 19 12
27 Biffy Clyro Bubbles NE 1
26 Plan B She Said 29 2
25 Archie Bronson Outfit Shark’s Tooth 20 5
24 Enter Shikari Thumper 26 2
23 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 16 13
22 Hot Chip I Feel Better NE 1
21 Kate Nash Do Wah Doo 25 2
20 Miike Snow Sylvia 13 11
19 Hadouken! Mic Check 23 3
18 You Me At Six Liquid Confidence 28 2
17 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 10 9
16 Half Man Half Biscuit Joy Division Oven Gloves NE 1
15 Gorillaz Stylo 8 9
14 Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Gun 18 3
13 Goldfrapp Rocket 9 6
12 Vitalic Second Lives 21 2
11 Paramore The Only Exception 15 4
10 We Are Scientists Rules Don’t Stop 12 4
9 AFI Beautiful Thieves 6 7
8 Chemists This City 11 3
7 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 3 7
6 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War 7 5
5 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor 4 5
4 Lostprophets For He’s A Jolly Good Felon 5 3
3 Bullet For My Valentine The Last Fight 14 2
2 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 2 6
1 Liars Scissor 1 4


lection

This fucking cold still lingers. I could happily wring the neck of that fat little kid that sneezed in my face almost a fortnight ago. In a desperate attempt to rid myself of the bastard I drank a litre of bitty orange juice yesterday morning, and then spent the afternoon farting out streams of burning poo.

The run-up to the election is in full swing and I’m sick to the back teeth of it already. Every time I flick on the news there is a politician poking the air about their head bearing the whimsical once-every-four-years expression one expects of an evangelist, to wit, smug enlightenment combined with utter bewilderment. These awful half smiles play over their lips; the nostrils flare to soak up their own self worth as all bollocks flies from their chubby gobs. These are the sorts of people that get off on their own farts.

I’ve no idea which way to vote because I’m caught between policy and pragmatism, that’s to say, Lib Dem and no-Cameron-by-any-means. I’ve looked at the situation in my borough and Labour seems the safest bet to achieve that latter, but the pain of actually voting them back in…

This evening on British Television we’ve the first ever Election TV debate and despite this being an historical event, I really don’t think I can face it. Watching a politician force out a smile is enough to make a pig vomit, watching them maintain the previously cited expressions under increasing pressure is a bridge too far. For me the upshot would be akin to watching those fucking Glade commercials in the Imax after having dropped 3 elderly microdots. Actually, even the thought of them debating on television is making me so angry I’ll come back after I’ve had a cigarette.

Right, best leave that. Have this.


boozsz

Frank’s new mother-in-law said a few words, then Frank, who did a good job of pouring a bit of amore into the room, and then I was up. Almost immediately the children in the room began shrieking, if this wasn’t bad enough the acoustics were fucking awful. From my point of view all I could hear was my dead drone and yelling kids as the ‘gags’ fell from my mouth and flopped onto the floor a few feet in front of me before expiring. Those five minutes seemed to go on as long as my second and last stand-up gig, by the time I finally got to toasting the bridesmaids I was a shaking, sweaty mess. Despite this a few of the guests complimented me, but I think they were just being polite.

With my duties fulfilled I settled down, I ate vast amounts of food from the buffet and continued to pour wine down my throat to both celebrate the passing of the speech and to recover from it. After a while the room began to loosen up as guests started to mingle, I popped over to IC’s table and then she and I -along with a few pals- popped outside into the warm sunshine to continue celebrations.

It was a splendid afternoon; we drifted in and out of the venue mingling and chatting, everyone was getting on just fine and the bride and groom seemed dead chuffed. As time passed it was apparent the booze was taking its toll but even when one of the party guests smashed a cup cake into my fucking mouth I took it with good grace.

By 8pm, IC my bro and I were done, so we took the train back to Waterloo and then wound our way home. Forgive me but due to the fact I was shattered (and a little tight) this part of the day is a little hazy, I do know that IC, my bro and I had a little snifter when we finally arrived home.

Needless to say I woke on Sunday feeling a tad ropey, but as the weekend had only just started it seemed rude to spurn birthday drinks with some pals in Islington. We arrived at the Barbeque later in the afternoon and pretty much picked up where we left off. I was overtly aware of how irresponsible IC and I were being but it was lovely, see? Neil whose birthday it was, was running the food and drinks with his missus. We watched the Grand National (which is horrific) and spent the afternoon flapping our gums, occasionally with wine in it. Swineshead and his missus came back to Hackney with us and left leaving IC and I drunk and hungry. We took the short trip up the road for some of the best Vietnamese food this side of, er, Hanoi and called it a day.

Sunday was without doubt stupidity doing wheelies. Instead of politely refusing the wine at lunchtime, IC and I had a bottle with our Eggs Benedict sat cheerfully (increasingly so) outside an eatery on Hackney Road. If this wasn’t foolhardy enough we even accepted an invitation to see Mary and Paul at the boozer on the way home but were sensible enough to stop off at Tesco before it shut. Sunday evening we had fresh trout with roast spuds, shallots and tomato. And more fucking wine. I saw the Moto GP (nice one Rossi) and went to bed. A fantastic weekend albeit a tad squiffy.

I woke on Monday feeling awful, in addition to a hangover the cold was back with vengeance and I was utterly exhausted. I spent the day successfully working from home and, feeling a bit better at 6, met up with IC and Dave in the pub that overlooks London Fields for (literally) a couple of glasses of plonk.

Things were a little more frenetic yesterday, after a decent stab at getting shit done in the office I shot home, darkened the doors of the gym and rushed off to meet with my bro, Harry, Mark and Andy at The Underworld in Camden for The Russian Circles. The support act I posted yesterday didn’t quite make the grade but The Russian Circles were fucking brilliant. One of the best gigs I’ve been too, it was small, intimate, and mind blowing. Crowd started off quite relaxed but by the end everyone was flowing.

They were so good it even made the revolting process of returning home acceptable.


‘ddin

The eve of Franks wedding didn’t quite go as planned, the idea was that he, Oscar and I would have a quiet couple of pints and dinner before sliding off to bed at the hotel, instead we found ourselves on Winchester High Street at 1 am with our respective faces shoved in the sour meaty realm of kebabs, pissed.

Winchester is a strange little city, it’s not unpleasant, in fact it’s very pretty and hosts a knockout cathedral but there is a sort-of provincial strangeness about the place. I noticed that our fellow drinkers in all the boozers we visited were very similar, thousand yard stares, empty smiles. It’s hard to adequately express, maybe I’ve seen too many Hammer Horrors. Still the beer was good and we three had a jolly time of it catching up but the reality of the following days events were always going to take centre stage. Maybe it was that which added an odd note to proceedings? Frank getting married, the end of an era of sorts.

The hotel itself was vast and swanky, though it was decorated in a sort of up-to-date incarnation of the 1970’s -lots of brown and cream, leatherette featured prominently- it still retained a certain degree of cosiness. Frank and I shared a large room with two single beds, unfortunately due to this ongoing cold I managed to keep the groom awake half the night snoring.

At 8 am Frank and I farted the other awake and we began to prepare for the day in earnest. There was more to do than expected, before we’d taken the train to Winchester the previous evening, Frank and I had to collect our Morning Suits from Moss Bros. These whistles leant a more formal air to proceedings and I found myself earnestly polishing my shoes as if death awaited my tardiness. I even considered ironing my shirt but it took so long to piss about with tie and cufflinks I let the wrinkles pass.

We had breakfast in the dining room, full works, and shortly after Franks folks arrived just as we’d finished off his speech. We packed the car and set off for the short journey to the church. It was a glorious day, sunny, warm and clear enough to see the Hampshire countryside for miles in every direction.

At the venue Fin’s dad arranged for a nip of Sherry for the immediate family and the guests began to arrive in their finery. Frank and I went inside as the church filled, Frank nervously stood next to me staring at the nave as, inevitably, the bride arrived looking resplendent in a antique wedding dress. The vicar conducted a lively and heartfelt service, two readings, three hymns and the exchange of the rings that I’d been wearing on my fingertips. The vows were uttered, the register signed and that was it. Frank was married.

The congregation spilled out of the church into the sunshine and the photography began in earnest. It took almost as along as the service before the photographer was satisfied he’d captured the moment and guests cheery faces.

I was one of the first to arrive at the hotel after sorting out the double-parking mess in the limited spaces over the road from the church. In the lobby a bunch of staff were waiting with drinks and gradually the wedding party arrived and began to mingle.

Shortly after, lunch was called and everyone piled into the dining room. It was here I learnt that the speeches were to take place before food. I was sat at the end of the top table beside Franks mum, way over in the furthest side of the room were IC and my mates. In between was a sea of strangers. I started drinking. Fast.

More tomorrow.

Seeing these guys tonight supporting Russian Circles… turn it up


intrainz

I was awoken yesterday morning to the dulcet tones of my brother being sick in my bathroom. We’d had a fairly heavy night, a few pints, dinner (Turkish based but civilised, like) and a few glasses on return to the gaff… admittedly a little keen for a Tuesday evening but nothing to warrant the biker-rally sounds blasting from my poo-room.

After failing to procure Alka Seltzer I forced a couple of old Ibuprofen down his neck, this failed to quell the splitting headache and we decided that he was experiencing his third ever migraine. My mum gets these things, I’ve been spared them to date and for that I’m grateful, as I’ve decided conclusively they’re fucking awful. He threw up the Ibuprofen a few hours later, apparently.

I took the bus to the tube to Paddington and boarded the Heathrow Express to Terminal 3. I waited for a short while before a surprisingly un-shattered IC appeard in the arrivals lounge, which was excellent. She and I took the Heathrow Express to the tube to Waterloo, parted, and I ran to catch the 12.35 to Winchester after failing to secure an Upper Crust chicken tikka baguette because, a. a fat arrogant politician-type was insisting on a fucking receipt for his brie and bacon sandwich and, b. the other serving member of staff was cleaning bits of sausage out of a fridge and curtly informed me ‘he was busy.’ I politely swore at the whole lot of them and boarded my train just before it left the station.

I’m a train fan. Apart from motorcycles it’s my second favourite way to travel, especially when going out of town and the train’s new, half empty and the sky is clear. It was a very pleasant journey; it whooshed in relative silence out of the city and into the Surrey countryside finally coming to a rest in Winchester, which reeked of pig cack. An ancient cab driver took me to a church a few miles away and I waited for a short while before Frank and his missus-to-be arrived at 2pm with some family for a wedding dress-rehearsal.

The church is quite beautiful, it’s 10th century with medieval additions and 19th century finishes and set in a little meadow graveyard, round two sides of the plot a brook with crystal waters trickles past. It all looks right picturesque and that.

Inside the church it was cold and dark but I got a slight buzz out of the ancient atmosphere as we ran through the various wedding-shapes. After an hour or so Frank and I were walking back to the station in the spring sunshine, he’d not see his missus (to be) now until Friday lunchtime in the church.

The train rolled towards London, Frank and I buggered about like a pair of children. I actually think I was overtired. At Waterloo he and I shook hands and I went off to collect IC from her workplace one tube stop away. We took the 48 home, stopping off for a pair of wines at the local, and arrived home at 9-ish for some stir-fry and a catch-up. I popped down to check on my bro who was making a partial recovery in front of Masterchef.

Later today I’m going directly to Covent Garden to meet with Frank, get our suits and travel to Winchester for the evening in readiness for tomorrow. Frank and I are going to have dinner together at the hotel and then, we’re good to go.

Gerry’s chart and tune. No Piqued tomorrow for obvious reasons and I have a fucking cold.

Tune in Monday to see how my speech went down why don’t you, and congratulations in advance to the bride and groom.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 18 8
29 Plan B She Said NE 1
28 You Me At Six Liquid Confidence NE 1
27 Ash War With Me NE 1
26 Enter Shikari Thumper NE 1
25 Kate Nash Do Wah Doo NE 1
24 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 17 7
23 Hadouken! Mic Check 30 2
22 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 16 10
21 Vitalic Second Lives NE 1
20 Archie Bronson Outfit Sharks Tooth 22 4
19 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 12 11
18 Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Gun 27 2
17 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song 14 5
16 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 10 12
15 Paramore The Only Exception 19 3
14 Bullet For My Valentine The Last Fight NE 1
13 Miike Snow Sylvia 9 10
12 We Are Scientists Rules Dont Stop 15 3
11 Chemists This City 21 2
10 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 8 8
9 Goldfrapp Rocket 11 5
8 Gorillaz Stylo 6 8
7 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War 7 4
6 AFI Beautiful Thieves 4 6
5 Lostprophets For Hes A Jolly Good Felon 13 2
4 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor 5 4
3 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 3 6
2 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 2 5
1 Liars Scissor 1 3


skwashed

There was a fuck-off thunderstorm on Thursday afternoon; I was directly under it almost as soon as I’d picked up Brutta. It was so severe that within minutes under the deluge all of my waterproofs had been breached, it was like being in The Atlantic. Or Pacific. You get the picture.

The fact I was on Brutta was something of a miracle; the kindly mechanic had admitted to me that she’d almost spat her off after he’d taken her out to check the gasket was good. He then told me that when I bought her back in September he was ‘very concerned,’ this in turn made me ‘fucking worried.’ I knew I was taking a chance buying a new SM610, in many respects they’re a bit of an unknown quantity, but to have an expert on them informing you that he was personally troubled after I parted with my inherited wonga… well, it wasn’t the sort of thing one wanted to hear. I needn’t have worried, to my almost teary relief he went on to say that I’d bought ‘a beauty’ and my 600cc single was better than anything in its class. The previously mentioned ‘agricultural’ aspect of Husky’s also means that no two are alike, it’s a matter of luck I wound up with Brutta, then. PHEWS.

After I’d removed my soaking clothing at home I went off to the gym. It was the evening before the Easter holidays and I was feeling mildly pissed off. IC wasn’t about and I had a lot of stuff to do over the forthcoming break. My evening was somewhat saved by a drink with Paul in the local, after I’d returned home I ate a load of chicken stir-fry and pretty much went to bed. I was fucking knackered.

I slept for almost 12 hours and woke feeling marvellous. I spent most of Good Friday writing Frank’s speech, which was a lot more taxing than I’d envisaged. In the evening I met up with Dave in a boozer, we were joined by lots of his friends, it was a nice night but the lack of IC was palpable, after a couple of pints I was back home watching Masterchef on the i-player.

Saturday was very busy, my landlords handyman popped over with a new fridge in the morning, the old one is still sat outside the flat incidentally, and throughout the day I continued to work on the speech and the design for tattoo, in addition I cleaned Brutta and even made it to the gym for a quick blast. Later in the afternoon I took the train to deepest darkest Surrey to meet up with James and family. He’s recently purchased an extraordinarily pleasant house near Ashford common; it features a sizeable tree-filled garden that attracts hundreds of birds. Honestly, Bill Oddie would’ve had a fit.

We had a pleasant night, we ate Mexican food, drank beer and wine but not to excess -James has two small children and would be forced up early the following day. I slept until 8.30-ish when I was woken by one of the lads crashing into my bedroom door. I mucked-in with the morning activities and after a splendid breakfast took the train towards my folks at 11am.

This part wasn’t good; I missed my train by seconds and was forced to sit on a freezing platform for half an hour. Once on board the first 10 minutes of the journey were quite pleasant, I sat by the window watching the crisp spring landscape ebb and flow but at some godforsaken stop a family -consisting of four enormous women and a fat kid- invaded my space. Three sat in front of me and the two largest sat to my left. I ended up quite literally pinned against the glass.

I’m not exaggerating here, I would imagine if it were just one large person I’d have been all right, but two side by side meant that my seat space was reduced by a third. I couldn’t even fold my arms, I had to bring my compromised limb away from the crushing figure of the lady (I think it was granny) and rest it over my chest where it became almost instantly dead. I would’ve moved but the bloody train was packed, I wish I had in hindsight.

The fat kid sat in front of me was being spoiled to death; he’d just finished his second bag of Walkers and a Cadbury’s Chomp, which he virtually inhaled, when he decided to sneeze directly into my horrified face. I knew instantly that in 24 hours time I’d be wandering about slack-jawed, dope-eyed with my tongue hanging out my head like a navvy. I wanted to say something but due to the increasing weight from gram grams, who had fallen asleep and was slumping in my direction, I was afraid that I’d never be able to get back the air spent in remonstrating the young cunt.

I finally alighted at Clapham Junction to change trains, blue with a completely incapacitated arm and brewing cold. By the time I got to my folks I was feeling much better, especially as roast lamb with all the necessary additions were parked under my nose almost as soon as I walked in.

My eldest niece, aged 2.5 of your earthy years, has finally decided that the sign shines out of my arse. We hunted Easter Eggs, played with toy cars and I taught her ‘pull my finger,’ which didn’t impress mum or sis much. I spent a jolly afternoon with her and the rest of my family and was even afforded a window to steadily drink, something I pursued when I got home at 7. I had a low-key evening, Wallander on the I-player and bed. Rock and bloody Roll….

This aspect was continued on Bank Holiday Monday, gym, Tesco and the rest of the day (and most of the night) on the tattoo design, which almost caused me to rip the tongue out of my head at one point. It’s so nearly there, but miles off in the same instance. I’m still trying to convince myself I didn’t spend the best part of 5 hours making it worse.

Oh, the cold came on yesterday fucking lunchtime.

No Piqued tomoz, I’ve a rehearsal for Frank’s wedding so I’m taking the day off. Best of all, IC is back, I can’t bloody wait.


fukbyk

I’m in the most vile of moods. I’ve just dropped Brutta off at the bike shop, there was some oil blowing out of the rocker cover gasket, if this wasn’t awful enough I’ve been leant a bike for the day whilst she’s fiddled about with.

I noticed the oil a few weeks ago, it’s not pissing out, in fact it’s hardly noticeable but it needs sorting. It’s under warranty so it’s not a major issue but on modern machines these sorts of things really shouldn’t be happening… having said that I always knew that by buying what is essentially a powerful Italian hybrid with an agricultural heritage I’d be treated to problematic serendipity, as it were.

Last week, after the mechanic confirmed Brutta would need to be booked in for the necessary work, I asked if I could borrow a loan bike, expecting either another Brutta or the 2010 version of her, or even a shiny KTM Duke. So I thought he was joking when he pointed at a rusty 125cc Chinese thing sat slumped outside and told me that it’d have to be that. He fucking wasn’t.

It’s without question the most disgusting thing I’ve even sat on, and I’ve sat in my own doings. For a kick off it was so quiet when I fired it up I didn’t know it was actually running, this was probably a good thing because when I finally discovered it was making a noise it resembled a cat with laryngitis being sick.

I set off, the clutch bit at virtually the full travel of the lever causing the revs to swell before I’d engaged, when this did happen the fucking thing jumped forwards. I spent the first 10 minutes trying to change gear with air as the riding position was all-bollocksed up which did nothing to help the clutch situation. In addition the brakes may have been made of turds for all the fucking use they were, it would’ve been easier to stop a plane with candy floss, and the headraces are shot to shit so during the painfully extended braking period the front end juddered like a Terry Thomas on a trampoline.

God I fucking hate it! When I finally arrived this morning I informed the boss I had to leave early because I don’t want to die in the rush hour. The lack of power on this machine is palpably lethal as it doesn’t allow you to escape from potential hazards, but as the brakes don’t work I can’t figure out if this is, in fact, a good thing. Do you hear that? I can’t work that out, I, Piqued, The Biker o’ Doom.

I had a good night with IC, she just about to nick off to New York so we had a farewell/Easter drink in a cocktail lounge (same one as I visited last week) then to a bar for some snacks and more drinks round the corner in Shoreditch. We finished off at home with the bottle of Champagne we’d brought back from Paris and nattered in the kitchen about the ludicrously loaded month ahead. Hey, why not come on down to this niche on the interweb and read all about it!!! LOL etc.

So, it’s Easter already, 4 days off with a shit load to do. Gerry’s Jesus chart to follow and a tune. Make sure you cram yourselves full of eggs, muthas.

NO. ARTIST SONG TITLE LAST WEEK WEEKS ON
30 Hadouken! Mic Check NE 1
29 The Big Pink Velvet 22 9
28 The Automatic Run And Hide 26 4
27 Vampire Weekend Giving Up The Gun NE 1
26 Wolfmother White Feather 19 8
25 The Maccabees Empty Vessels 20 5
24 Rob Zombie Sick Bubblegum 17 8
23 General Fiasco Ever So Shy 21 4
22 Archie Bronson Outfit Shark’s Tooth 23 3
21 Chemists This City NE 1
20 Delphic Halcyon 14 6
19 Paramore The Only Exception 24 2
18 Yeah Yeah Yeahs Skeletons 13 7
17 Kids In Glass Houses Matters At All 15 6
16 Japanese Voyeurs That Love Sound 12 9
15 We Are Scientists Rules Don’t Stop 28 2
14 The Futureheads My Heartbeat Song 16 4
13 Lostprophets For He’s A Jolly Good Felon NE 1
12 The Courteeners You Overdid It Doll 10 10
11 Goldfrapp Rocket 18 4
10 Rammstein Ich Tu Dir Weh 7 11
9 Miike Snow Sylvia 6 9
8 Alkaline Trio This Addiction 8 7
7 30 Seconds To Mars This Is War 9 3
6 Gorillaz Stylo 5 7
5 Arctic Monkeys My Propellor 11 3
4 AFI Beautiful Thieves 3 5
3 Amy MacDonald Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over 4 5
2 Dommin My Heart, Your Hands 1 4
1 Liars Scissor 2 2


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