Friday, December 31, 2004
This past year has been one of self realisation and personal growth despite turbulent times, most of which has been by my own hand! The coming year will hopefully more productive and rewarding but I realise only I can change things, only I can shape my destiny with a little help from luck and fate..... and the lottery!
So I stride into the new year with optimism, dreams and hopes. I didn't find eternal happiness or wealth over the past year but hey - another year awaits.
Life has so many things to offer and experience and I intend to do my best to explore it to the full (especially the perverse and decadent things!) So that's my final musings for 2004 and a new year of blogging and self discovery awaits!
And Kelly Osbourne, if you are reading this.... get in touch !!!!
Right, happy new year to you all and remember... be nice to hobbit's everywhere!
To the pub I go !!!!
Sunday, December 26, 2004
Sting as 'Ace'
For me the film really works, visually it may looked dated but it captures the period well and has a full British cast including Ray Winstone, Michael Elphick, Leslie Ash, Mark Wingett and the ever lovely Toyah Wilcox (dribble)
One man steals the film for me, Sting who plays ‘Ace’ the mysterious mod, it’s was movie debut and he soooo damn cool, even though he's only in it a scant few minutes.
The film doesn’t really have a solid story, it doesn’t need one as it’s about characters rather than plot. The Who provide a cracking soundtrack that mirrors the mod scene very well, so much so that I want a mod suit now and a Lambretta!
Thursday, December 23, 2004
Last week when I walked (well staggered) home from the works Christmas party I decided to take a route that avoid the carnage that was Mansfield town centre. The route took me past the now derelict site of Mansfield Brewery, a place I once worked for 5 magical years.
Sadly the company was sold off to another brewery some years ago now after the all powerful main share holders decided they wanted to get rich quick, hundreds of jobs were lost and the impact on the local community was devastating. There were last minute bids to save the brewery, a consortium of management and workforce plus help from local council leaders but it all failed. The brewery that took over decided to keep some of the award winning beers we made and integrated them into their own range of drinks, the names live on but sadly Mansfield brewery doesn’t.
Over the five years I worked there I’d say I worked damn hard and I enjoyed every minute of it, every day was a pleasure. I stood there and paid my respects at the fence before I trudged home, all the memories flooding back, the laughter, the camaraderie and of course all the lovely beer!
Craig Cash and Phil Mealey of Early Doors, northern comedy and no southern lager tops
Looking at the winners list I was shaking my head in disbelief, surely this wasn’t the best British comedy has to offer? Ricky Gervais to me is very over rated and not really a veteran of the comedy scene like people think he is, I mean he hasn’t really done a lot has he?
Little Britain scooped a few awards, I do like Matt Lucas but I’m not a fan of Little Britain, Lucas is versatile and funny but I think he still has time to grow and nurture his comic talent. Other winners included Caroline Quentin and Martin Clune - who decides these awards, come on guys wake up and smell the coffee!
Ant and Dec comedians? Kiss my furry hobbit arse! I like the two Geordie gas bags but comics they certainly are not. Then there was the kiss arse tribute to The Simpson, sure I like the show but it’s becoming a bit old hat now.
School of Rock won the best comedy film, total pants. What about Shaun of the dead?
Negatives aside I did enjoy the show, Jonathon Ross sharp as ever was dressed as a paragon of effect dandyism and Johnny Vegas’s seemingly drunken rant broke the boredom and mutual backslapping. Incidentally I met Jonathon Ross in London once with my friend Pat before we went into a comic shop, he ended up buying some of my jokes (well some of that sentence is true). Another plus was that Sharon and Kelly Osbourne were there, any chance of a mother and daughter threesome ladies? Then there was Mrs Ross, the lovely and very ample Jane Goldman (drools).
But where was the real British comedy? Where was Craig Cash and Phil Mealey the writers of the excellent ‘Early Doors’? Where was Phoenix Nights? Simon Pegg and Spaced?
I guess they weren’t present because they are not over hyped or considered en vogue with the British comedy scene. And where the F**k was Ken Dodd ?!!?
Every one knows the home of British comedy is in the north, all except Billy Connelly that is.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
A filthy, slobbering person.
English, whatever its other merits, has as many disparaging words as one would possibly desire. The example that follows is from Sir Thomas Urquhart’s translation of Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel, dated 1653, which draws heavily on vocabulary used in Scotland in his time:
The bun-sellers or cake-makers were in nothing inclinable to their request; but, which was worse, did injure them most outrageously, called them prattling gabblers, lickorous gluttons, freckled bittors, mangy rascals, shite-a-bed scoundrels, drunken roysters, sly knaves, drowsy loiterers, slapsauce fellows, slabberdegullion druggels, lubberly louts, cozening foxes, ruffian rogues, paltry customers, sycophant-varlets, drawlatch hoydens, flouting milksops, jeering companions, staring clowns, forlorn snakes, ninny lobcocks, scurvy sneaksbies, fondling fops, base loons, saucy coxcombs, idle lusks, scoffing braggarts, noddy meacocks, blockish grutnols, doddipol-joltheads, jobbernol goosecaps, foolish loggerheads, flutch calf-lollies, grouthead gnat-snappers, lob-dotterels, gaping changelings, codshead loobies, woodcock slangams, ninny-hammer flycatchers, noddypeak simpletons, turdy gut, shitten shepherds, and other suchlike defamatory epithets; saying further, that it was not for them to eat of these dainty cakes, but might very well content themselves with the coarse unranged bread, or to eat of the great brown household loaf.
You don’t hear invective like that any more, and few of us would understand it if we did. There’s enough material there for a year of Weird Words, but I’ve picked out slabberdegullion (a rare spelling of slubberdegullion), a word which nobody hearing it could possibly consider a compliment. There are examples of it on record from the seventeenth century down to the early twentieth but it appears now only as a deliberate archaism.
The experts disagree about where it came from. The first part is clearly English slobber, but the rest is less certain. It might be cullion, an old word for a testicle (it’s related to French couillon and Spanish cojones), which by the sixteenth century was a term of contempt for a man. It might instead conceivably be linked to the Scots dialect gullion for a quagmire or a pool of mud containing semi-liquid decayed vegetable matter, but that’s only recorded rather later.
Fear and apprehension flooded into my mind as I realised that I needed to brave the zombie hordes of shoppers in town for one last time. Planning was the order of the day as I selected an alternate route into a thronging mass of lifeless people intent on spending as much as they could just for one day. Why do they do it? Why indeed was I doing it? The whole of my shabby town was festooned with carol singers, people shaking collection tins at you and wall to wall mindless shoppers. You look into the eyes of the vendors on the market place and you can see they are grinning inside, the zombies are paying for their January break after all. Old ladies laden with bags bump into burberry Chav’s who in turn knock aside small children with that special present for mummy.
I really felt like I was in some sort of Romero movie dodging glazed eyed undead minions. The only time any life is revealed is when they have to use their mobiles and shout in front of the whole shop the intended gift is ‘out of stock’ and then burst into shrieks and whines of distress to the watching audience who gloat back at them.
Next year, finances permitting – I’m going somewhere where Christmas ain’t a big deal.
Friday, December 17, 2004
My boss's daughter and co-worker is going this year, she's a tender age - I wonder how long she will last before the boss lady has to take her home?
It all becomes mayhem as rivalries explode, male ego’s clash over the women they know they really can’t have and women do likewise over the men, ultimately we’ll all end up with a headache the next morning through wine infusion. It’s remarkable that people actually rub shoulders and shake hands yet all the previous year they’ve despised and plotted against one another. As I’m into psychology I’ll be watching the events unfold but then again….. I will be doing all of the above myself most likely.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
You wouldn't think it but images like this are considered porn in some internet chat rooms and some do-gooders think they are unsuitable for their members. Recently the chat program I sometimes use decided to issue me with a warning for keeping content like the picture above in my own personal photo album archive on their database. The idea being you send picures like this with text etc to friends that use the online chat. They are called 'loggies' and basically you upload images to an album before you can send them on to friends etc.
I received a warning email from a moderator called a 'Navigator' that basically told me an image like the above was inappropriate. Oddly enough the image had been widely distributed and in my album for almost a year. I logged onto the chat forum the other night and was told I wouldn't be allowed back on until the image(s) were deleted. This I had to do and I understand the fact the chat forum has younger members but ironically there seems to be no age restriction or close monitoring of minors. The moderators seem more concerned with rummaging through your personal album and logbook and handing out warnings. Strange that their presence is little felt on the actual chat program itself where people and minors are often left to verbal abuse and taunts while the moderators back slap each other in the confines of private chat rooms dedicated to them.
I did manage to get back on the chat program after speaking to two of the hierachy, ironically it was the underling moderator who was most helpful and the senior one most aloof. I guess it's left me wondering what type of people crave and abuse power and what petty way they wield it.
The whole episode made me feel a bit 'dirty' like I was some rain coated peddler of porn, when all I was doing was sharing japanese art images with like minded people, I know even this art style has it's porn variant called 'Hentai' and I can understand them clamping down on that but images like the one above?! I don't think so. It seems odd to come across all moral in todays society when our youth are exposed to horror films and even graphic images on the news, open any British tabloid and there's scantily clad topless woman in front of you. There was no complaint against my picture so I guess I was the victim of some power hungry do-gooder that gets a kick out of banning people from forums. Oh well, rant over.
So I guess this year I’m feeling sorry for myself knowing I have nothing planned for early in the new year. I have to put my money to more material use this year and besides none of my friends are going either, so it’s a big boo hoo from me (all say awwwww).
I’ll miss Thailand and more importantly the people there that always seem to have a permanent smile super glued to their faces. It’s the silly things I’ll miss like stepping out of Bangkok airport into the heat when you’ve been used to our freezing winter, it feels so nice. I’ll miss Pattaya and it's beach swathed in sparkling sea. I’ll miss the bustling streets of Pattaya, always congested with traffic but always teeming with life. I’ll miss the neon filled alley's at night, overcrowded with beer bars and clubs, Thai girls shouting encouragement for you to visit their bars as they eddy and sway to Thai fast disco beats, eagerly touting for trade. Its Soi 7 and 8 (that’s streets 7 & 8) that I’ll miss most, that’s where my usual hotel is and those two streets have so much character and variety. Usually I sit at a bar called Tom’s bar and chit chat with the Thai owner called Tom (obviously), we laugh and joke as he tries to coax me to drink more Heineken, Thai’s are ever the sales people!
There’s nothing glamorous about Pattaya though, it’s been dubbed as the ultimate sex tourist place other than Bangkok. Sure enough there is a heavy presence of prostitutes in Pattaya, thousands of them in fact, there’s also a large gay scene. It’s fair to say some people just would not find Pattaya a nice place at all, hell on earth even – sin central. For me that’s the beauty of it, Pattaya is a place were anything goes (though I didn’t see much evidence of drugs or would want to), it’s a fusion of east meets west and, where cultures happily collide. I like Pattaya because I can be myself, drink till I want, do some cheap shopping in the day and maybe visit some place of interest nearby. It’s a place where real people go, all walks of life, from the darker variety to the open minded, there’s no tabboo’s – just tattoo parlours. It’s not a place where you’d take the family though! Talking of all people I met a lovely old couple from Yorkshire that love Pattaya, mainly because of the friendly Thai people and the fact it’s so cheap there, how can you blame them? Europe is fast becoming very pricey.
There’s a lot to be learned from a place like Pattaya, you learn about other cultures, you see poverty, you see people finding love but most of all despite everything you see a Thai smile and for me that makes it all worth it.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Female geeks come in all guises, shapes and sizes. They are happy wearing trousers or normal type clothing; they see no need to be seen as fashion icons because they can use their brains to entrap the male of the species.
Apparently, women are now spending more money on gadgets than they do on shoes. According to research commissioned by Sony Ericsson, women fork out an average of £478 on technology a year compared to just £74 on shoes.
Long may the female geek flourish any chance of more in our office?
and for geeky girl gadgets check out the site below.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
It seemed the bizarre event was a procession around the village pubs open to anyone and at each pub there was a simple task to complete, a drink to be had and then you moved on to the next. Off we went, me and the mystery girl eagerly following the crowd, curious grins on our inquisitive faces. The village itself seemed lovely, full of flowers and bright colours, odd shaped and surreal buildings – it seemed like something taken from Alice in Wonderland. The tasks we had to do were simple, enter through odd shaped doors, drink a particular drink but what struck me was how my feelings were growing for my impish pixie companion with charcoal hair and a sardonic smile. She was adorned in jeans and hiking boots and a plain walking type of jacket but most noticeable was her radiant smile and enchanting eyes, eyes that were slowly drawing me in. I wanted to ask her if she was involved with anyone but I kept restrained and enjoyed the moment soaking up the evening’s atmosphere and merry making in the village pageant. Every bar was full of friendly faces, outrageous costumes and characters and it wasn’t long before I began to feel intoxicated, it seemed my impish friend was fast becoming the same as we giggled and laughed in the setting sun.
As we went to leave bar we were currently in our task was to crawl through a large cat flap type of thing out of a rear door, she slipped through with ease but I became stuck much to her amusement. Then she began to slip away beckoning me like a satyr playing its pan pipes beckons forest creatures, she danced she laughed, she sang, she touched my heart and filled it with wild desire but I was stuck. I reached out to her, begged her to grab my arm and then suddenly my alarm rang shattering the dream and returning me back to my own world. My eyes blurring I scoped the time and came to my senses as I realised it was time to rise for college.
I grinned as I eased out of bed, my impish friends smile was still etched in my mind.
Monday, December 13, 2004
Nobody likes them because they are faceless, vague, tedious and basically when you eventually get through you’re greeted with ‘You’re call is very important to us, please hold’. When you speak to call centres you are calling the middleman, whether that be banking or repairs and that never breeds confidence in people does it? There’s no wonder when people get through they are deflated, frustrated and more often than not just plain angry. Having reached someone to speak to they usually get a pre-scripted robotic person, a clueless trainee or just put on hold. Recently I changed my phone and needed to call service provider to enable a feature on my phone, it took 6 calls to get it right and on receiving my last phone bill I wasn’t best pleased. The only time I’ve felt satisfaction is when ringing one up for pc technical support and they talk you through something but that’s still not as good as being shown in person and also costly.
When I started doing this job I was enthusiastic, I’d been indoctrinated with all the rhetoric, all the jargon to make it sound good to the clients but soon the allure wears thin and you realise non of it is congruent, it’s all bullshit.
Call centres originate from America and maybe over there they actually work as the Americans are more service centred than we Brits, in fact most countries are more serviced centred than us! (scribbles a note to do a blog on customer service in shops!)
So, what does the future hold for call centres? I think they are beginning to die a death, the firm where I work as seen contract after contract disappear, proof that the trend is indeed starting to flail in its death throws. I still think we’ll always have them but they are on a notable decline. Like most British industries like knitwear, mining and cars – it all goes abroad. India has embraced call centres to their bosom and of course the powers that be have put them over there because of the cheap labour. Our firm deals a lot with high street chain stores and they have cut us out to go to the contractors direct, who can blame then?
Ironically a female work colleague of mine who has just been bereaved had to call her insurance company whose call centre is based in India, she had to explain that her husband had recently died and her policy needed changing. On amending the policy the Indian call centre operator said to my bereaved colleague ‘Have a nice day!’
Another thing I found puzzling is the crowd would boo at judge Louis Walsh most weeks as he enters, indeed they would for Simon Cowell but the difference is that Simon is in the bracket of classic pantomime villain which we all know crowds really love. loath him or like him, Simon Cowell has that something that keeps us watching, I think there’s something about Mr Cowell we like but don’t want to admit.
Seemingly the losers aren’t losers, we all know G4 will get a contract too and they deserve one. They might not be everybody’s cup of tea but they are versatile and have a good fan base, I think we’ll see Steve release his Christmas single and have some minor success but I think G4 will be the act will longevity.
And as for Sharon Osbourne or ‘Shazza’ – didn’t she look just fab in that outfit?
There’s just something about the more powerful older woman, though it would not be appropriate for me to say what !!!
Ironically Steve's Single is already available for download on the X-factor web site priced 99p. The website also has a video subscription service to watch highlights and it announces the X-factor tour, hhhmm no money making website or spin off's then!?
Thursday, December 09, 2004
'But anyone who regrets the domination of ITV1 peak-time by 'I'm a celebrity get me out of here' should be grateful that the main evening series is a pinnacle of innovation and intelligence'
I totally agree but I know that my friend Pat would not!
We need more reality tv and we need it fast!
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
When the days are grey and bleak
My mind seems numb
Life’s meaning leans to the oblique
Everything seems an obstacle
Most things are a chore
I lose all direction
Purpose seems a bore
I battle with my demons
Fight an unseen fight
The world around me lacks feeling
It all seems cold
My thoughts turn black
When I wish they were bright
The one thing immediately noticeable was all the celeb’s, has been’s and wannabe’s actually gained from the experience of living rough in the jungle. Oh well, it’s another year till we return. When can we have a dedicated reality tv channel?
Monday, December 06, 2004
Fuzzy face is self styled cockney geezer come wide boy approaching 50 something, he has a neatly trimmed beard (never trust men with beards) and is usually caparisoned in a silver suit. He tries unconvincingly to tell you in his broad London accent that he’s embraced Yorkshire as his new home and now he’s in fact a ‘Yorkshire man’. To save us all from certain doom he’s introducing a bonus scheme to the office so we can earn more but he hasn’t really told us of the catches yet. I sat with him as he showed me his new ideas on figures on his lap top but all he kept doing was licking his lips a lot and saying ‘yeah’ a lot as if he demanded you agree with him – of course I didn’t and in true managerial fashion he didn’t listen to my rational objections either. Then later I found out that Fuzzy Face had told a ‘would be’ client to go away because they seemed to be dragging their heels over contractual matters - pop went another contract. His bonus scheme smacks of some Thatcherite plan (and we all remember the poll tax don’t we?) and I think it will fail shortly after it is implemented, mainly due to mass apathy in the office – all we wanted was a normal pay rise! So time will tell about the fate of where I work, I sincerely hope we get through this lean time. Call me a cynic but Fuzzy Face keeps telling us the bonus scheme is too good to be true and when someone tells you that, well…
I would just like to say no cockneys were harmed in the making of this blog
1. Non standard dialect of natives of the east end of London
2. adj. Relating to or resembling a cockney; "cockney street urchins"
On getting back from the trials of town I treated my self to a bottle of wine from the local off licence only to have a bad headache the next morning. Saturday I geared myself up to a complete state of non motivation and did a minimal amount around the flat. I’d ordered some cream that is supposed to remove scratches from mobile phone screens but it just didn’t work, so again I felt ripped off. The rest of the weekend was too dull to really mention in my blog, I’ve already bored you all now but I can’t do happy blog’s all the time!
Here's what http://www.urbandictionary.com/ says about chav's in one of its many 'chav' entries.
Picture this a young lad about 12 years of age and 4 ½ feet high baseball cap at ninety degrees in a imitation addidas tracksuit, with trouser legs tucked into his socks (of course, is definitely the height of fashion). This lad is strutting around, fag in one hand jewellery all over, outside McDonalds acting as if he is 8 foot tall and built like a rugby player, when some poor unsuspecting adult (about 17/18) walks round the corner wanting to go to mcdonalds for his lunch glances at the young lad, the young thug jumps up in complete disgust and says “Whats your problem? Wanna make sommin of it? Bling Bling” when the adult starts to walk towards the young lad, the young lad pisses himself and runs off to either his pregnant 14-year-old girlfriend or his brother in the army crying his eyes out.
My mate has become a chav what can i do? answer is shoot him before it is too late
Friday, December 03, 2004
I was actually going to get an ipod but looking at the growing market for mp3 players there's alot about with better ability than the 'fashion icon' ipod. Creative Labs are releasing a similar model called the 'Zen' which is very like the ipod but with more features. It's just hard to choose with such a myriad of models about. I think I'll stick with my existing model at the moment.
'Height Discrimination is quite simply the regarding of a person as lesser on account of their height.
A macho undercurrent holds, which tells us that disputes can often be won with a physical fight if all else fails. Western thinking teaches us that we may pursue an argument to its end for short term advantage, in any way that we can. Even if a finger is not raised in anger, assumptions of the strength of argument are weighted with posturing. To fail to match this posturing is seen as weakness in a small man. To match it, aggressiveness and the "Napoleon complex" is assumed. So in many situations, short men, whatever they do, will be labelled as having "short man's syndrome," with all the baggage and circular arguments for its confirmation attached.
Entertainment and global politics confirm this notion, even in the face of a more enlightened society. An ability to perform comfortably with those at the top is an essential requirement to succeed in business or government, indeed in leadership generally. If taller is taken as more confident, and more confident as more likely to succeed, then assumptions about a candidate's likelihood to succeed is going to be based on their height.
A notable recent example is the treatment of the "seriousness" of Democratic party nominees. John Kerry was the tallest at 6'4", and also won. Not much was mentioned about contenders at the other end of scale. Out of the first-round survivors, comments about "diminutive" Howard Dean were to be found in the New York Times (from 5'3" writer Adam Nagourney), together with ponderings over whether a man of his height might have "anger problems." Such examples are numerous. The US is not alone, Britain is catching up rapidly. Michael Howard was declared leader of the Conservative party in the UK, a move which had The Telegraph and even The Guardian gushing about his attributes: "He's tall" was first amongst the points of praise.'
Meanwhile in the shop I stumbled across a collection of their greatest hits called 'Edward the Great' priced at £5.99 so I decided to indulge, mainly so I could listen to it at work on nights and liven the place a little. On listening to the cd it struck me how good they still sound today, fresh, loud and bursting with rock energy. I'm really enjoying listening to it and also chuffed that these guys are still around. They don't appear in the charts these days but then again Legends don't have to...
Maybe people expected Huggy to be like his character on Starsky and Hutch but he played himself, he had wise words of encouragement for the younger members, ironically some of them resented it and thought they knew better. On leaving the show he looked liked a wandering shamanic wise man, a traveller, a gypsy and lastly very cool.
On leaving Huggy tipped Janet Street-Porter to win and I hope he's right, she was once the self styled guru of Brit 'Youff' Tv and to be honest I like her attitude. It's one of 'I take no crap' combined with caring and compassion. Some may find her overbearing at times but she certainly is an icon for women of her generation and indeed of mine! Janet cooks for the camp and fetches fire wood whilst Sophie Anderton who should be an energetic 26 year old sits around stroking her own ego and preening herself.
I hope Janet wins too but I suspect the 'Youff' of today will see to it she won't, it's up to the class of the 80's when she was at her presenting heights to get behind her.
Vote Janet Street-Porter!
Thursday, December 02, 2004
I must confess though that the present series of 'I'm a celebrity - get me out of here' (Itv, 9pm)is somewhat lacklustre. It's already predictable who will probably win, the camera's make sure of that with how they are portraying various celeb wannabe's or has beens on the show.
Take for example Huggy Bear and Vic Reeves who went out into the jungle to retrieve a chest and had to do a task of throwing various objects at items in order to knock them over a la fairground stylee. Huggy was seen limp writstedly using a water rifle whilst Vic Reeves was seen using a boomerang in a macho style. The camera pans back to Huggy still wrestling with the water gun and again goes back to Vic using a catapult heroically. They obviously want a Brit to win the show then?
There's no contention in camp this time around, no friction really - they all seem to be the get along gang. You just know the public will vote the loud mouth's off, ironic as they are the ones that make it interesting.
You just know the nice, restrained and stereotyped person will win, that's because we're British and we like that sort of thing.
The voting seem's veiled too, why can't we see ongoing statistics and even react to them by voting accordingly? You get the feeling someone called 'Julian' is in the background, he's a producer calling the shots to his team in a manipulative manner 'Right luvvies we'll have Vic voted out this week, he's getting too good at the tasks!'
The mind boggles, the public love it (hey, I love it too)
- Take one favourite mug with a picture of the Emerald isle on the side.
- Over a period of weeks, never wash it.
- Brew various types of tea - Chai, Lapsang souchong, Earl Grey, Lady Grey, Assam, Darjeeling and add to the mug at different intervals.
- Dunk biscuits in it.
- Don't change your water filter for months.
- The result is a refreshing cup of Potato tea, tastes like pure potato !
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
There we were, heading back from visiting a retail outlet, my throat was screaming for liquid and I suggested to the old man to pull over at the next oppurtunity so I could slake my thirst. In no time we left the hectic dual carriageway, dad mumbled he needed petrol anyway and I hastily jumped out the car and headed for the beckoning fridges that waited for my eager throat.
As I strode across the garage forcourt I saw her using the speedbank terminal, she sported blue jeans that fitted her feminine contours well but not too tight and looking up her torso was adorned by a creamy coloured sweater. From behind I could see her hair was swept back into a neat pony tail but as I got closer she turned away to count her money, I headed into the garage as my thirst got the better of my male curiosity.
Momentarily she'd left my mind, I paid for the refreshments and as I turned there she was, striding towards me in her white sports trainers - a friendly smile on her face. I smiled back weakly as my eyes feasted on the vision before me. She was of average build, curvy feminine hips that swayed gracefully as she walked and her sweater did little to conceal her full and ripe bosom. Looking again at her visage I could see it was totally natural and without cosmetics, framed by rustic brown hair tapered into a pony tail, it was sheer beauty. As she glided past me I turned to again to drink in her voluptuous contours.
I eased myself back into dads car and we both remained silent as she returned to her large saloon model, then we turned and smiled to each other as she sped off, that knowing manly smile that men often exchange.
Then she was gone, I'd never see her again, know her name or anything about her but for those brief moments that cloudy morning she'd captured my imagination.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
It's over, 'The long way around' has finished and Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman have ended their epic trip around the world, as shown on Sky One, Monday 9pm. It's been a really fantastic tour de force of television and ended on a fitting emotional high note. My only critiscism was that Alaska, Canada and America were all covered in the last episode! They'd just spent the last few weeks struggling through Mongolia and Siberia only to end with a rushed finish in the States when they apparently had plenty of days left. Surely Alaska through to New York was eventful? Complaints aside it was really good to watch, compelling at times. Well done boys!
On a final note, Alaska looked amazing but surely a state of that size would want to be a country in it's own right !?
I've always wanted to travel in a truck in the States from New York to LA, stopping at trucker diners and bars and sampling some real culture and people, forget touristy places - they aren't for me.
My dad has just returned from the Humber estuary with his friend Kim, they've had a 10 day adventure comprising of force 7 gales, engine failure, sweeping tidal currents and a near collision with a ferry. After catching some fish they later lost their tackle in the gale so headed home though not without incident. They stopped off en route at a few places, my dad told me how grim that Grimsby really is and that there is nothing to be gained in Gainsborough!
I have been to Gainsborough myself and it makes my home town of Mansfield look like Las Vegas! There is just nothing at Gainsborough, the nothingness eats you up, it's devoid of life and it almost seems surreal in the fact all the buildings look grey, drab and without feature.
Monday, November 29, 2004
When Anthony Burgess wrote the Clockwork Orange his vision of the future wasn't too far misplaced. Kubrick's film based on the book was a masterpiece with it's portrayal of a grim future inhabited by the bowler hatted anti hero Alex de Large played so fiendishly by Malcolm McDowell.
As the promotional posters quoted back in the 70's
'Being the adventures of a young man whose principal interests are rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven'.
Back in 1971 when it was released it attracted millions and was a long runner at the cinema but soon after a spate of copycat crimes from the film Kubrick withdrew it and the film went underground, of course this further added to it's cult status.
For me the movie has such a dark, brooding and subverse atmosphere - people identify with Alex, they love the chaotic streak he has, he's not all thug though - he delights in classical music!
I can't really compare the film to crime today, some may do but then again how many other films influence things? In fact some may say the film is tame by today's standards but for most it still has that shock value, it really is a total audio / visual package.
I think the point I want to make is the way the film portrays society and politics, that's the real message in the film that many overlook, the fact that Alex is a pawn and victim of society.
Is our society heading that way?
The first link is a really good fansite and the second is facts and cast listing from the film.
I guess with my college course I've no time to get creative at the moment but I can still retain my ideas until some free time arises. I'm not sure they'll ever amount to anything at all but that isn't important, it's the therapy of creative writing that is!
Talking about therapy, my counselling course is later, I have to keep a weekly journal of my thoughts and feelings and thats very therapeutic, just like typing a Blog is!
Saturday, November 27, 2004
It gives me a buzz that they are still releasing oldies for this little piece of techno wizardry, games we love and treasure from our past years. There's just something about the old games, the simplicity, the simple game play but mostly that nostalgia kick!
I remember being hunched over a rubber keyed ZX Spectrum astounded by the graphics and sound, after the black and white ZX81 it seemed a miracle. I'd play games for hours, huddled in the box room of our house with 80's music playing on the tape player after the game tape had loaded in. When I hear those tunes now it takes me back to the old games I once played.
There were other exciting machines as well, the Commodore vic2o and 64, Amstrad, Dragon 32 and the Atari Vcs 2600 console that made me drool too!
Then came the Amiga, it seemed like the rolls royce of computers, disk drives, fancy colours and a mouse! The games just got better and more involved as computers became more versatile. Around this time we were hit with a wave of consoles, Sega and Nintendo battled for school boys hard earned pocket money and of course kids didn't have to worry about computer skills.
Early pc's appeared but were prohibitive in price and not likely to take over but they did of course but that gap before they became affordable saw consoles flourish.
Now we have pc's to thank for keeping retro games alive in the form of emulated roms or remakes and then coming back to my begining there's the good old gameboy with retro titles such as speedball, manic miner and wings, not to mention collections of old console faves.
Awww I'm all glowing now, nostalgia feels so good.
If you are sad like me and collect old retro games and consoles check out the link below to a site I use regularly, a bit pricey but often worth it. There's also a couple of links to sites in Hong Kong that sell cheap retro games and consoles.
You know its cheesy and a load of pants yet still you watch it. These shows just draw you in slowly until your hopelessly hooked. I must be weak! To reassure myself I claim its helpful for my diploma or it's because I'm into psychology yet the truth is I end up a slave to my square box just to see wannabe's and 'B' list celebs make arses of themselves.
So far this year 'Hell's Kitchen' was my favourite. seeing those celebs under duress was compulsive viewing, evilly laughing when things go wrong or shouting abuse when somebody quits. Do these shows bring out the worst in us?
Then came 'Big Brother', at first I thought they were a bunch of idiots but by the end of the second week I was warming to Ahmed and Victor and the lovely Shell of course (dribble)
Now we have 'I'm a celebrity (nobody) get me out of here' and I find myself tuning in every night to see those celebs suffer! I'm glad Vic Reeves is in there now, a celebrity of epic status!
Whatever I or others think - reality tv is here to stay (muffled cheer)
Say over my last 15 visit's to London I've been let down by the train service about 5 times, that's a 3rd !
It's the usual excuses, cancelled trains, break downs and the general sloppy excuses you get. Then you get to London and have to gamble on the lottery that is the underground. The announcements always tell you that works are going on to improve services yet I see no evidence of this. The London underground is hot, stuffy, over crowded old fashioned but a fab place for people watching.
When I was in Hong Kong I used the Metro there, such a contrast to our dilapidated system. It's so high tech, spacious to avoid crowding and user friendly. You can by an 'Octopus' card that you use on all train services and buses until the credit runs out, then you just top it up again with how much you want. You swipe the card over a sensor and voila, you travel. You can also use the card in McDonald's and many other outlets.
During my time in Thailand I used motorbike taxi's, basically you raise your hand at the roadside and someone stops in a jiffy, ok it's risky but its quick and its cheap.
I remember using a taxi in China and we traveled 40 or so miles for £2, the taxi driver hangs around for you like a personal assistant and is a font of knowledge on the local area, you want it - he can get it or get you there.
All the taxi drivers want to do over here is rip you off or take you the long route with their foot down.
Anyway, moan over.
Friday, November 26, 2004
There's just no significance to its real meaning any more, that's long gone - people are only interested in material gains. Of course this must sound dour to you all as I moan about it but quite frankly I'll be glad when it's all over.
I will celebrate christmas in my usual religeous way, that being a fusion of pagan, buddhist, technocratic and overindulgent elements, combined with the worship of Crom (but thats another story of high adventure when the ocean's drank Atlantis and the rise of the sons of Arrius... !!!).
I'm passing on christmas this year.
By the way, I will be expecting gifts from all of you.
I have a friend that look's like santa, In fact I'm sure he's doubled as him in chain stores before, especially those that have lingerie sections.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Black and white photo's and prints adorned the walls, books of all sorts of sexual natures stood erect on shelves, whips were boldly on display and the coffee wasn't too bad either. Thats what I like about London, well cities in particular, the fact there is something for everyone's taste be it museums, coffee house's or seedy alleyways bristling with opulent neon signs. I just love cities, love the real part of a city, down town bars where local congregate, markets and parks where tramps slouch on benches - it's humanity at it's worst but it's humanity as it really is, the stuff of life.
If someone asked me what would I prefer, rolling country fields, quiet meadows or neon blue alleyways where the hustlers whore and the whore's hustle - what would I choose?
Would I prefer a quiet country pub or a vibrant coffee house? would I prefer to listen to a city slickers woes or a country man speculate about the weather?
For now it would have to be cities I guess, there's just so much to explore and when I tire of the pace, then I always have the countryside.
Terry got the idea from Port Talbot in Wales, when the beach there was covered in coal dust and the view was none too idyllic, he imagined someone sat there listening to a radio playing a Brazilian tune and dreaming of escape.
The film itself is very dark in nature, a future grim society where pen pushers rule supreme, its about one mans dreams - a free man in an oppressed society.
I drew so many parallels with this film and my own life, working in a dull office environment and wishing to escape it, imagining being a kind of hero and dreaming of being loved. Some people in my office mirror the film, one of the new boss's in particular.
This I guess brings me to the title and thinking I'm in my own 'Brazil' at the moment, stuck in a grey town, doing a mundane job but hoping of escape. We can't forget our dreams can we?
After all, they are what keep us going.
Thursday, November 11, 2004
Books remain unread, Cd's are still unplayed, Dvd's remain unwatched and the piles of stuff to do for my Counselling diploma just gets bigger, it's a good job I can take a break at work and catch up on things!
I just wish I had more time to concentrate on things I want to do - the actual stuff of life but as ever the treadmill of work, daily routines and fatigue are ever present, seemingly a constant force keeping us in check from doing what we desire the most. When we get free time we often waste it on leisure pursuits, socialising or the escapism of sleep.
Sometimes I'm my own worst enemy as I sit there playing video games or watching the television but I guess that is a therapy we need too.
In an ideal world I'd have a cottage by the sea and I could just sit and read, write a novel, try my hand at painting or just sit back and settle down to watch the massive plasma screen television I'd have installed !!!!
Monday, November 08, 2004
I guess it was that quote that made me reflect this past weekend, the reason behind it was that someone who I'm very close to had recently had a scare about her eye sight. Fortunately she's ok after a check up at the opticians and hospital. In the past I've had eye problems too, so it seemed to make her plight even more sensitive and acute for me, speaking to her on the phone really brought things home to me. After we'd spoke I sort of felt I hadn't been much good to her at all, in fact I'd just quoted serious stuff to her or recollections about my own problems, maybe I just compounded things for her? I think I was trying to convey the message that technology and treatment are better today than when I was treated but I felt it came across muddled. It was a difficult situation to use counselling techniques in - yet was it? I remember telling her that boxers get her condition because of blows to the head, to make a point that she probably didn't have what she thought she had. I've got to say I can truly empathise with that person, I've been there, I know the fears, the pain - I know how precious eye sight is, I also know what a precious person she is too and I just know she'll be ok.
Did you get the film quote? It was the bad guy from the film 'The Crow'
Friday, November 05, 2004
Dancing around a plump fat roasting pig on a spit were bare chested satyrs and gobln's whose pale green skin was illuminated by the eerie shimmering flames. There were faeries chasing glowing insects in the cool night air, minotaurs grinning wildly whilst slaking their thirst on flagons of foaming ale. Pixies bowed to naked nymphs before dancing luridly, leprechauns sang and jigged and dryads smiled sardonically - one thing for sure, they all partied wildly.
Then I noticed him, basking in the fire light, the glow reflecting from his crimson chest, horns sprang from his head defying the night air, trinkets adorned his legs and torso. He looked at me directly then, a wry yet warm smile spreading across his comely face, his hand lifted and gestured me over. I suddenly felt compelled to join the throng, shed my inhibitions and join in the perverse merry making, a succubus leaned into kiss me as a buxom vampirette leaned forward to reveal her charms. The distant charismatic red figure began to chuckle in low deep tones, my legs began to go numb, my will deserted me..... I was their's. The wild intoxicating music hypnotised me, drew me further into the wicked circle of pleasure and debauchery.
Then suddenly the track on my mp3 player ended, I jolted alert, back to reality and smiled with relief as I mused...
'I'm going to have to stop listening to 'Sympathy for the Devil' by the Rolling Stones'!!!!
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Prior to seeing this film I'd seen Sky Captain and the world of tomorrow, that wasn't big on a plot line too but at least it looked good and provided some food for thought. It just strikes me that these days we get re-hashed versions of old films, poor remakes and basically a universal lack of originality.
It looks like the only good thing on the horizon is the new Star Wars film, I think the first teaser trailer is out on the 5th Nov, for details check the link below.
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
I'm begining to think my Blog is turning into a t.v critique!
The nearest I ever got to what they are both doing is planning to go to Skegness on a bicycle as a teenager but it never happened. Though on reflective thought, travel does change you, I've been to China and that just knocked me for six, Thailand had a similar effect and there's still countries I want to visit.
A close friend of mine is off to Belgium soon, ok it's not far but Belgium is a fascinating little place too, once had a week there with my dad on a British Motorbike rally.
Ok perhaps I have had a travel adventure then of Ewan McGregors type, we'll call it 'The little way around' or maybe 'To Belgium for beer and cakes'!
Well I'd best get back to work.........
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Now what do we have? We have 'Chav's'. Chav's are the burberry baseball hat, bling wearing, tracksuited yobs that are in abundance on our streets today. The thing is, they all look the same - characterless, there's just no identity there at all. I walked through my town the other day only to notice that the 'Chav's' had taken over, which ever way I looked I saw one.
I guess (more like hope) that it's just a passing trend, I think I would have paid good money that day to see a punk rocker appear wearing tartan jeans, mohican hair and a pierced nose - someone who wanted to make a statement and really did get noticed.
I plan to do some of my college work then lose interest, have a mind to tidy my flat then decide to chill and play video games instead. It's odd isn't it that in this futuristic age of gadgets and toys we still get bored, still crave something else.
Maybe its just the time of year, dark brooding days and I guess working nights doesn't help either because its dark in the mornings and evenings - seemingly constant darkness for me as I sleep during the day.
Well thats my musing over.
Thursday, October 21, 2004
If you think the new album would be typical Duran then you'd be wrong, it's a myriad of different styles, dancefloor grooves interlaced with class rock riffs - John Taylor is amazing on bass. You can see and hear on the cd/dvd that the band has matured both acoustically and visually, I loved Andy Taylor stomping about the stage in his suit chewing on a cigar.
I think my fave tracks so far are 'What happens tomorrow', 'Bedroom toys', 'Taste the summer' and 'Finest hour' but as you all know a cd takes several listens before it embeds in your mind fully.
As one critic said 'Duran Duran has produced a fine album that smartly pays tribute to their past but does not wallow in it'.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The program is set in a run down Manchester pub filled with all walks of life across all age groups - each character is a vital cog in a comedy engine that never eases up on the laugh's. It's not just about comedy though, it's about life itself and the trials and tribulations it brings.
The format is a simple one and the cast isn't made up of household names but this programme exudes quality, it's a jewel in a mountain of t.v trash, its programmes like this that make you content with paying the t.v licence.
Sadly this current series has ended now, it ended on a high note - it's the sort of television that makes you feel good and after watching the last episode I certainly had spring in my stride.
'To the Regiment.... I wish I was there!'
Friday, October 15, 2004
Well I'm off to finish my boring night shift and then into town to see if I can find the new Duran Duran cd, the one with free dvd of the concert at Wembley!
Wild boys always shine!
Friday, October 08, 2004
It's hard to describe Gerry in a few words, he was a lively character, extremely witty and sharp but someone that also cared about the welfare of his family and friends. In my formative days of drinking copius amounts of beer Gerry was a constant character in my life, always vibrant and always with a story to tell.
Gerry had a gift, that gift was making people laugh, he could ignite a whole pub into fits of laughter just with his presence, I often likened him to the comedian 'Tommy Cooper'.
Not only was he funny, he was streetwise, generous and very intelligent. He'd not worked for several years because of ill health but this never curbed his zest for life.
His passing is a sad loss, it was the day the laughter died. It has certainly (and even with my counselling experience) affected me deeply. I'll never forget Gerry, thats for sure, neither will his large circle of friends and family.
I can just see the big irish fella now, telling jokes and causing his own brand of mayhem !
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Last weekend I went to London visiting friends. It's amazing how much the place intrigues me, I doubt I could ever find it boring. Such a fusion of diversity and cultures, I stood in Victoria station just watching people going by with a bizarre fascination, who are they? where are they all going - why the rush?
Many outsiders view London as a horrible place, a concrete sprawl of villains, expensive shops and bars but the thing is with London - you have to give it time. During my visits there I've hardly touched the surface, yet I've made friends there and its interesting to see how they view the capital, their perspective. Londoner's strike me as being open minded and non judgemental people, very warm when you get to know them with a distinct sense of fun. They are quirky but so likeable with it, or perhaps they aren't quirky its just my perception of them.
If anyone is reading this then I'll say this to you, give London a try because you just might like it!
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
This course lasts till next June and see's two groups merging into one to do the CsT02 qualification, this course being theory based, so we get to know a bit more about how theories work and the people behind them. It was interesting to see two groups merging into one and how people sat in known circles, I'm sure in time we'll integrate more and I think it has the makings of a very productive group.
I'm looking forward to getting my student card at the ripe age of 36 and using it for discounts!
I'll probably be doing more Blogs about my college course as the year goes on. It was nice to see old friends again and I'm sure there will be new friendships before long with members of the other group that have merged with ours.
Friday, September 10, 2004
The first Photo is probably around 2003/4
And the second photo is me in April 2006, though the photo is just so i can really change the one on my profile with the URL, and I guess to show the difference how my eye was, and how it is now. The last photsos are 2007 and August 2008
This is the birth of my Blog, done at work (naturally !) at around 7am on the 10th of September 2004. Iv'e no idea what I will write / type about in my blog but it I'll try and add things on a regular basis. I guess it will reflect my thoughts and feelings on life...