Category Archives: strangers on a train

formula bum

I’ve had a shaving accident. On Friday night at around the time most people get up I accidentally whipped off my moustache. Fiddling with ones beard in the wee hours isn’t unknown in chez piqued –indeed, I like to have my beard all trimmed and wotnot so it means I don’t have to fuck about with it in the morning- but bitter experience advises that when I’ve enjoyed a pale ale or a spot of wine to leave well alone. Bearing this in mind I merely did an all over trim with the clippers but subsequently noticed that my moustache wasn’t sufficiently shaved to my liking, so, using a razor I carefully adjusted the annoying bit between my the bottom of my nares and uppermost region of the philtrum, then, by using all my skillz, I gingerly allowed the Gillette to fucking slip on my face and lost half of one side of my precious muzzy.

I was now faced with a dilemma, do I lost the entire beard and start from scratch, or I do I spend a couple days looking like Texan pig farmer familiar with boar, banjo and bumming.

Howdee, you sure got a pretty mouth.

Not looking like a pillock Friday morning I alighted a crowded tube just after 9am and made my way to The British Library to meet up with Den. We greeted each other amidst a line of suitably terse writer types and got on with discussing a project we’re working on. The atmosphere for such activity is remarkably congenial, surrounded by strangers with a common objective lends itself very well to the task in hand, after 3 hours we’d pretty much made a good stab at a point of launch and headed off for lunch. Another friend, Liam –who in passing informed me that he’d published me in his latest book- joined us and we sat outside a little café by a market where dirt poor Londoners meet with garish plastic colanders, nylon throws and 3 for a pound pillow cases while we ate Panini.

After saying farewell to Liam who still had some work to do, Den and I, satisfied that we’d reached a point where introspective conjecture was the immediate future for our experiment, took ourselves off to the Tate Modern via Thomas Mallory’s place of internment, past St.Paul’s and over the compromised ‘blade of light’. It was a cheery day, bright with a nip to the air and we nattered about such-what as we passed through the genteel London throngs until finally arriving at the vast entrance of the Turbine Hall still sporting it’s impressive crack.

The exhibition we’d come to see was and impressive combination of works by Duchamp, Man Ray and Picabia, it was fucking £11 to get in. The three men knew each other and between them were instrumental in, essentially, inventing ‘modern art’, in particular the former who could put in a good claim for ‘Artist of the 20th Century’. There were some jolly works (most I’d seen before) but I thought the information was a bit ropey, simply speaking, barriers weren’t clearly defined… allow me briefly? Thank you. All the artists had moved from Dada, a very much an anti-art anti-ism movement, to Surrealism, the exact opposite in this respect, and objects and works appeared to have had foreign purposes imposed on them by their puzzling arranging –still, obviously I knew what was right… I think I bored Den to tears.

Late afternoon feeling all charging with intellectual energy we said our farewells at Borough Market and I jumped on the tube home. I did some work, prepared supper and met up with Frank and his missus for a right nice cosy chat at the local and, of course, to sup a few ales. I was home by 9.30, I ate pizza and listened to some Robert Calvert, by god it’s good, get hold of Live at The Queen Elizabeth Hall after you’ve read this… This will also explain why I went to bed so late.

Saturday began with some of the leftover pizza I prepared the night before with the F1 Qualifying session, jolly good show Lewis. I was just about to go out for the bloody weekly consumer nasties when there was a knock at my door. A fucking Estate Agent was there with a client, after bollocking him for not notifying me of the appointment, he insisted he had (he hadn’t) I let him and his client in. Not expecting a viewing the flat wasn’t at all ship shape, blinds were drawn, the lounge stunk of stale dope, the culprit was still sat there festering in the ashtray slap bang in the middle of the coffee table and, to my stultifying horror, the chod bin, which needs flushing a few times after one has passed a stool on account of water regulations which apply to properties such as mine, had all shit up it. I watched as the pair discreetly pretended not to notice the rancid clods of effulgent in the can prior to indiscreetly giving me the once over when they spotted the finger-sized joint on the table… and my beard made me look like a mental. I don’t think the client will be putting in an offer somehow.

After the shopping trip I wrote some of this, and went off to meet Frank and his missus for a return match in the boozer. I’d forgotten completely it was St.Patrick’s Day weekend, the pub was rammed full of very drunk Irish people who were drinking as fast as they possibly could amid a sea of green balloons, green shirts, green hats and green faces, it was absurdly noisy so we went outside to sit under the enormous brolly just as the loudest ever fireworks deployed for some 15 fucking minutes and Irish people came out all pissed and sung songs at them as they went off at gut shattering levels of explicit volume. Then it rained, hard. On my way home in the space of 5 mins I was soaked right through.

After I’d settled I watched Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, which I’d earlier been berated about in the pub by Frank and his missus. It’d been on TV on Saturday afternoon but because of the F1 I’d taped it, I’d recommended it in the pub on Friday so they’d watched it, and didn’t like it. I personally don’t think they were paying full attention to it because it’s wonderful and in places thoroughly nasty. I think they may have been fiddling with one another, there, I’ve said it.

Sunday was always going to be about the F1, the weather was still diabolical so any chance of getting on the black bitch was out of the window. I arose late and enjoyed a kipper with lots of toast and lashings of tea, did some work and watched the race.

The race was superb, stuffed full of incident, even the hardiest anti-car person would’ve been moved. From a technical point of view the turning off of traction control has had a huge impact on the drivers, it mow means that pure skill is required to drive the cars as opposed to having a very competent bit of software which is able to take liabilities with physics, the current world champion had a very thin time of it without his au fait computer system, much to my delight. Hamilton won with ease just going to show what a genuinely superb driver he is.

After getting hold of The Observer I spent the rest of the afternoon/evening lolling about. It was actually quite lovely, I even managed to spurn the booze and smoke favouring tea and too much fodder. Oddly, I feel ravaged this morning, like I’ve spent the weekend on a drugs binge, you know, a sort of filtered hangover, no headache or discomfort, just a feeling of invigorated vagueness.

Still, so long as it’s metal Monday…