Category Archives: bbc radio 4

time took a cigarette

On Friday following a rather unproductive day in the office I took the tube to Angel and caught the 38 bus in order to meet some friends in a very residentially located boozer on the borders of Hackney and Dalton. A mutual friend of Swineshead and myself, Rochelle, had come all the way down from up t’North for work reasons and was now happy ensconced on the pub with another mate, Belinda and a further three other birds, Cath, Laura and Savannah. I felt a bit like Ziggy entering the Big Brother house, except I didn’t say ‘daddy’s home’ to the front door and proceeded to act like a testosterone filled bollock with hair thin lips and a penchant for conversing over the top of my ‘yeah, that’ll do’ little bummer boys tattoo.

So far so good, I caught up with Rochelle and Belinda’s comings and goings and chatted to Savannah, a former Melody Maker journo but now attempting to un-cuff herself from a dubious women’s magazine. The Flowers was slipping down nicely (that’s the beer, not actual fucking flowers, dear reader) when Swinsehead arrived with his missus, Theresa. Crowded round a tiny table in a rapidly filling pub I mentally acknowledged each cigarette I slid from my packet and the smoky atmosphere with a certain degree of pre-emptive nostalgia. A pleasant evening ensued, beers were appearing with splendid regularity and I did some laughs to boot. In time to catch the last tube Belinda and I caught a cab from the pub to Angel. The fucking cabbie wasn’t prepared to take her on to West London, as she’s a fucked knee I hung about to make sure she was able to find a ride back home before I hopped on the tube for a head-lolling trip back to my flat.

On Saturday, as is usual at the weekends, I woke up, annoyingly, at my usual weekday time and found getting back to sleep a non-starter. Why does this happen? Even if I go to bed early during the week I’ve no desire to get up, but when I am in a position to lie in, I can’t be fucked. Bloody human condition.

I did a shit load of washing; my priority was to bleach Myfwt’s blob spillage off the bedclothes and shove the lot into the machine. I would like to make it abundantly clear that such thing bothers me not a jot, had she (or indeed, I) grumbled an arc of beer slurry all over the Egyptian cotton I’d be a little more concerned. After a blast on Lara (got fucking stuck again) breakfast (smoked trout on toast) and the F1 qualifying, I made the usual Saturday trudge to fucking Sainsbury and spent my hard earned on essentials. My mind turned to the evening, the last time I’d be able to smoke a cigarette in a pub without getting fined £50, for fucks sake.

I’d arranged to meet Frank and Robert in my local, despite the beer not being up to much -lagers, no ales- the music has improved lately beyond belief and it has an edgier atmosphere that the usual Frank and I frequent. The pub wasn’t too full, surprising for a Saturday, made more so by my expectation to see lots of smokers mournfully gazing at their fingers. It was 7pm, I had 5 hours to wolf down as many cigarettes as my endangered heart desired before becoming an outlaw for crying out loud. This was ridiculous, obscene, even.

Frank and Robert appeared a bit after 7, we chatted away, those two had been at boarding school together, you know what they say about what happens at boarding school (if you don’t it’s a word that sounds like ‘thuggery’) but Frank and Robert no more doff the brown hat than I. Indeed, they seem to have had quite a good time of it. When I was little if I misbehaved I was threatened with boarding school, a nightmare proposition, but I couldn’t help feeling as if I missed something. Robert and I reviewed our Glastonbury experience; it transpired he’d had a better lot than I but I agreed it had sort of been worth it for the bands and company.

The beer and cigarettes were going down fast, as was the evening, we had a few frames of pool before finally settling down as the minutes ticked toward midnight. Frank bought a round of fucking tequila’s which we demolished in between objections, I fucking hate the stuff, and the evening was closed with some Jack Daniels and coke. At 11.45 Frank and I bought one last pack of cigarettes from the machine before it gets slung onto the scrap heap. Ritually we pressed the Malboro red button together and split the pack. I lit my last ever cigarette in an English pub at 11.56 and drew heavily on it. When finished I crushed the butt into the soon to be defunct ashtray and for some reason, known only to myself, stole a pair of shot glasses as a way of exacting some sort of revenge. I was pissed rotten.

We said our farewells and I quite literally staggered the short distance home. I was even too bollocksed to eat or roll a joint so I went straight to bed.

Predictably I woke up at the usual time for bloody work but managed to get back to sleep until midday. I watched a rather average Grand Pricks, save a few moments of raw excitment, ate some kippers with a couple of cups of tea, tried to get Lara back on course and after failing did some writing, the fruits of which you’re now reading. I have a dose of the screaming brown hot shits to boot, probably due to over indulgence and a lack of food.

This evening I’m going to cook some sausages and make a broccoli and cauliflower bake and avoid alcohol. I don’t want to, I just should. Stick with my self imposed programme and all that. Doubtless I’ll watch Big Brother and turn in early as tomorrow it’s bloody work. Again.

On Radio 4 yesterday afternoon someone said life is like a Hen Ladder, shit from top to bottom. I laughed. I don’t find it so funny now. I mean I can’t even fucking well smoke in a pub anymore. Wankers.

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going down the pub

In the pub last night Frank cracked the bubo question. ‘Blocked sweat glands’ he mused convincingly, it all made sense. It’s only recently been warm enough to sweat; in addition I’ve been making more of an effort to make the cycle in proper exercise rather than just laboured transport, I wear a bandana that covers the lower half of my ear and my hair is long. Problem solved, worry over etc.,

Frank and I stayed for 3 pints, the Bombardier was off so we had to settle for Tribute and Deuchars, both a little tart and orangey for my taste but they slipped down nonetheless. I wobbled off home and took a bath.

I’d had a long day, not entirely unproductive, I managed to get closer to seeing the fucking project off, pointless relying on others to help, and at lunch took a trip to fucking Hersham, home of Sham 69 to pick up my Transit, which following the failure of it’s MOT had remained in the garage until the necessary issues had been ironed out. The bill was fucking £235.

The journey there was utterly unremarkable save for one incident. On the train from Wimbledon to Hersham I sat in front of a tall skinhead sort of wearing a suit, I’d say he was 19 or so. As soon as the train pulled away I knew he was a clicker. He whistled, beeped, whooshed and mimicked most of the passing sounds as we rattled through the suburban woo. At some point he got a call from what I could ascertain was his girlfriend, they chatted away and at one point he said ‘shut-up’, I heard her question him, ‘nah, don’t worry’ he said ‘wasn’t me, you know how it is…’

We got off the train and he asked me for a light, ‘don’t worry about the noises’, he said ‘bit mental ain’t I’.
‘You have Tourette’s mate, not your problem…’ I said, the lad seemed genuinely pleased at my identification of what is now a well-documented disorder.
‘Driving me mental it is, just off to the docs now to get some more meds, these ain’t working…’
He gave me directions to the garage and I bid him farewell. Some time ago I wrote about Tourette’s in WWM (link right). After my encounter with the lad on the train I can’t say I feel too proud of how I conducted myself on the website, however funny the disorder may appear to be. The reality of day-to-day life was clearly getting to him, it was written in his eyes, his brow, his sheepish smile…he didn’t swear once by the way.

When I got home last night Hot Fuzz was waiting for me. I decided after the bath, some roast chicken (breast wrapped in bacon with steamed courgettes and peas, lots of seasoning and a handful of freshly grated mature cheddar, no effort to make and it tastes fucking ace) and Big Brother which is becoming more and more chaotic, I’d give the film a shot. The wine left over from Wednesday (just over half a bottle) was sat partially in my glass and partially in my veins. Incidentally, with regard to breaking any rules about drinking wine alone, I feel exonerated, if I hadn’t have drunk it last night it would be vinegar by now…

A month ago I could’ve drunk 4 pints in the pub, downed a bottle of Fitou and still been able to, just about, focus on a film. After 3 pints and a glass I was pissed to the point of not being able to focus on the film to such a degree I gave up. I was also exhausted; I’ve been going to bed before midnight lately, this would have been fucking unheard of a few weeks ago. It would seem that my body is adjusting to my new, (slightly) healthier lifestyle.

I woke up with a mild hangover this morning, the bubo had burst in the night and had dried spume all over it, it felt like someone had glued a Monster Munch behind my lobe. I was up in time to shave, do some laundry and enjoy a good 15-minute shit with Viz and Today on radio 4.

On my cycle in this morning I saw that fat bastard I’d called a ‘fat cunt’ a few days ago. He passed me on the towpath without a word; in fact, he made a conscious effort to not look at me at all… So I gave him a hearty ‘good morning’ for the hell of it. Then I saw massive fucking crow picking at the guts of a mutilated dead rat

It’s a portent of doom, kids.

Have nice weekends; be careful, for fucks sake…

I went to a house party with Jimmy Percy once… he’s a bit of a tit