Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Wednesday 30 September 2009

Things are delicate this morning. Blame it on the Alli. As a result I find myself leaving late and subsequently needlessly rushing.

Once at the station and aboard my morning train chariot I soon unfortunately find myself stuck and crushed into the corner of the train by an Essex Girl conference. For over an hour without drawing a breath they talk/speak in their thick thicko accents about the most inane subjects known to man but always with a total sense of utter qualification. The ugly one sat to my left keeps rubbing herself up against me to get closer to and speak with her friend. It is almost unendurable.

Eventually the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.06AM with the Essex girls in no rush to exit the train. I huff and puff to get past them but despite my explicit gestures they still proceed to get in my way and hold me up. God hates me.

As soon as I find myself on the tube it comes with a strange sense and feeling of freedom. I am in London now, no more Essex for me for another twelve hours.

By the time I am in St Johns Wood and walking up Loudoun Road I think I see Mr Bean but instead it is just an Asian guy that looks exactly like him. I wonder what his speaking voice is like.

I step into work to an email from the consultant. It is regarding the June accounts on the new company with a whole stack of queries when really with the March accounts requiring finalising it is really that area I feel he should be addressing. Such is our consultant.

Ultimately the day proves frustrating as my boss tells me he wants to through the queries from the consultant before I respond to him. To be honest I appreciate a second set of eyes looking over things. What I don’t appreciate is my boss beginning to look at the queries and figures at 5PM which blatantly means that we will be working late. After a quick but slow review we come to the conclusion that the consultant is messing us about because we owe him a cheque and he is holding us to ransom purposely being flaky and producing substandard work. We end the day in resignation, it now feels too late to pull this work back and rectify it. The guy’s method of working reminds me of Mr Who from Butt Road. Not good and the second Butt Road partner he has reminded me of.

Eventually I get out at 6PM feeling flummoxed. As I walk out of the restaurant I see Boy George sat outside having drinks at one of the tables with somebody. That is still quite a spot.

I hate leaving late because it means I get home late and being a period when time is of the essence for me, at this time as I feel my life slipping away unfulfillingly wasted on trains and tiredness. Currently time is my most prized and treasured commodity.

Par for the course the train stalls just outside Baker Street soon after I board. Baker Street has always had a curse on me.

These days are not days that I cherish. These are the days that feel wasted, the ones that fill me with fear that this is as good as it is going to get and there is not much more in it for me.

My soundtrack for the moment is “The Week Never Starts Round Here” by Arab Strap. These guys were truly onto something with this record, never is there going to be a more succinct description of modern life than in these songs. Shame they were never able to keep it up.

The tube journey back to Liverpool Street genuinely echoes the rest of my day so far as it splutters its way pathetically back to East London and my homebound train.

By the time I get to Liverpool Street it no longer appears that there is a 6.50PM Norwich train anymore so now I find myself on a cramped 6.48PM loser train wheeling its way to Clacton and despair. Thank god I am able to get off it before that place.

As I sit in my rubbish seat the guy on the other side behind keeps bumping and banging it. For some reason I am hypersensitive to such things these days and promptly I proceed to bang my seat right back until at Stratford I hear the guy repeatedly yelp “toilet toilet” and then I realise it’s a handicapped dude. My bad.

We pass through Stratford with the work in progress Olympic stadium silhouetting against the sky. It is the most beautiful of sights.

Nearing Colchester I pick up a copy of the London Lite and flick through it. Thanks Harriet Harman for informing me of the Punternet website, I would never have been aware of its existence otherwise. That website couldn’t buy this kind of press.

By the time I eventually get back to Colchester the time is pushing 8.30PM and Manchester United are well into their game against Wolfsberg (whoever they are, a teen of werewolves?).

At my parents we stagger into conversation with them telling me of a bargain apartment for sale on their complex and we begin weighing up my options deposit wise. At this point I really wish I were a silver spooner. I can carry the mortgage if someone would just assist me with the deposit. We actually float the idea of pulling the money together from credit cards. This idea scares me, it’s a true act of desperation.

Eventually I head home and after my nightly meal of Berocca and a large cup of white tea (two bags) I manage to squeeze out some writing before Shooting Stars is on TV.

Soon I fall asleep watching the second episode of season seven of Curb before reawakening to the sight of Dawn Porter Goes Geisha on Channel Four which is just terrifying. Drippy pretty rich girls with TV shows – you gotta love them.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Tuesday 29 September 2009

I wake up and it is still dark. Outside it looks cold but thankfully when I emerge from my flat its actually pretty mild.

The skies are amazing this morning, a piercing pink red of glorious dawn. This is easily the best time/part of the year.

When the train arrives this morning it is not our usual model, more the kind of thing you catch at Stratford that stops at places like Romford. The interior is a sick colour running with a yellow motif. How did this happen? For some reason this makes it all feel cramped and very eighties.

At Witham Sitcom Woman sits next to me and immediately I get a full on whiff of her pongy breath. Darkness.

Wishing I had an invisible gasmask the train eventually pulls into Liverpool Street at 8.05AM. Shall I complain about it being late?

In the office today it is a slow one. It would appear that the consultant has finally signed off on the August accounts, which is something of a delayed and overdue reaction. I guess we must owe him money.

For lunch I have penne with chicken. The chunks are luscious and the carbs are high but it all tastes good and filling. What will happen when I stop working in a restaurant and cease getting free food? Will I waste away?

In the afternoon I find myself looking at photo albums on Facebook and I come away scratching my head wondering why everyone (my peers) looks so old and grown up. In comparison I feel I just look a mess but their pictures appear devoid of true excitement, of a life being lived, like they are doing impressions of their parents in order to legitimise their existences. Perhaps things at this end aren’t so bad after all.

Tonight I am the last one leaving. Why does this not surprise me.

As I change lines at Baker Street I see the Baker Street Midget charging and striding like a stormtrooper in the Hitler Youth. As ever seeing him serves as a bad omen for what my lie ahead.

On the tube some Asian dude is snoring and snorting like a pig. I feel we should rob him of his belongings just to teach him a tough lesson.

True to form the Baker Street Midget curses my journey home as we end up sitting outside Kings Cross for an extended period that feels like the longest spell.

With only minutes to spare I eventually do manage to get the 6.20PM train to Norwich, snagging a seat next to a fat American. They’re always Americans. After he gets finished speaking to his buddy (sat opposite) the guy, who blatantly works in computers, proceeds to sleep and snort his way through the journey home. What is it with the nasal passages of this world we live in?

Sat opposite in my aisle view tonight is Disney Face looking as grumpy as ever but still very attractive for it. I wonder if she ever notices me noticing her.

Back in Colchester there is a buzz in the air and a large police presence around the station. I soon realise that this is because Colchester are playing Charlton tonight, not that I saw any of their supporters on the train.

As ever I stop by the olds’ at Balkerne Heights where the dog greets me having had his hair clipped. As ever he looks skinny and stupid but smells nice so perhaps this is why he also appears to be slightly depressed.

On TV Liverpool are playing in Fiorentina and soon they are losing 2-0. Wankers.

When I eventually get home I endeavour to do some writing but ultimately I am just too spent to do any. I do manage to finish a chapter of Gestures but after all the groundwork and hard stuff that was done last week this is a no-brainer.

Tonight according to the news I should be interested/concerned with Gordon Brown being in Brighton but he lost it all a long time ago.

At 10PM Charlie Brooker has a videogames programme called Gameswipe on BBC4. The programme is literally dizzying and it gives me a headache. When did I turn into Abe Simpson?

I fall asleep.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Monday 28 September 2009

After such a crappy night’s sleep I find myself waking up just after 8AM this morning still feeling grouchy and tired. Outside the day is grey, foul and demeaning. I do not want to leave the house today and it is quite possible and likely that I will not, possessing this frame of mind.

Welcome to my day off.

Early this morning I receive attempted phone calls and texts from The Girl telling me that she is going to be late into work. She has plainly forgotten that I will not be in work today.

Originally I had booked today off in order to attend the Nick Cave book signing at HMV but off the back of the Southbank event I no longer need to do this and suspect were I to turn up again to another book signing I might begin to appear like something of a stalker to old Nick. Also I hardly feel I endeared myself to him previously either. Yuks.

So instead today I turn my attentions to completely my accounting continued professional development forms before the body throws me out and strikes me off their members list wiping off six years hard work in seconds with one foul swoop of the delete button.

This is a boring and arduous task. It is also one not easily done by a person working in the kind of role that I do. I remember at Butt Road the qualified staff would regularly attend seminars in order to keep up their knowledge of the accounting world but obviously a small organisation such as mine does not offer such a facility and regularly I get mail and emails telling me of courses I can and should be attending before informing me that it will cost in the region of several hundred pounds. I never signed up for all this!

Just before lunchtime with a lot of the work done but a sense of being bored rigid attaching me with it, I decide to watch a DVD and pick up the copy of the Glastonbury movie I got in the sale for £3. It is a very long documentary. Nobody really comes out of it very well as tedium kicks in as all involved attempt to transmit the tranquillity of the event. Only the popular bands play this event, not necessarily the good ones. I have never been to the festival and having watched this documentary now I don’t think I ever want to go to the festival.

While watching this I await the final few bytes of the season opener of Saturday Night Live to download. If only it had been a little bit quicker I could have been watching that instead.

Eventually I get some lunch and while doing so I watch Hung. I’m not so sure how this programme fits in with eating but as it nears completion of its first season its ending very strongly as a very charming show.

With Danny Baker’s BBC London radio show playing in the background I finally put the CPDs up online with view to satisfying my accounting body’s needs. It would suddenly appear they have moved the goalposts and now need twice as many hours (40 instead of 20) of additional experience. I shrug this off and submit what I had always intended.

On the Danny Baker show today is Chas Hodges from Chas And Dave who makes for a really interesting guest, an obvious choice and no-brainer. As he plays the piano in the studio it suddenly occurs just what a talented musician he (and Dave) is. This man is so very London and with it so a very dying breed which is sad thing about this modern changing world we are currently reeling in.

Beneath my bedroom window a neighbour gets on his bike and begins revving before riding off. As the fumes float up and enter through my bedroom window they give me a headache. I attempt to put a curse on the guy but I fail, I am neither gypsy nor wizard.

In the evening I cheekily head over to my parents’ for dinner. Its great to see them, to see the dog and to eat something warm and cooked. This is a win on all accounts although just as to how much joy I bring those guys is debatable.

While I tinker on their computer Racton calls me to see if I want to go with him to The Pleasance to see We Are Klang but unfortunately being in Colchester this is an obvious no no. Shame that could have been fun.

With the nights slowly beginning to get darker the dog now seems to have a fucked body clock and as soon it gets the slightest bit dark he is now heading to bed early.

After a bit of hang time at the olds I head home to do some writing. From here I scrape off a few words but eventually heading to bed and calling it a night.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Sunday 27 September 2009

Dream: I am in a shrink session trying to work through and work out why my friends do not me in social activities. Cockblock is one of the main culprits. This dream just really highlights my desire for a casual social circle and how I feel I am missing out by never having anywhere or anyone to see on Friday and Saturday nights. It wasn’t always like this, only since I started working in London.

My morning begins with watching Andrew Marr on TV speaking to Norman Cook and then Gordon Brown. Beaming in live from Brighton the place has never looked so grim. I don’t know, Gordon Brown and his jaw spasm, it makes him look like he is breathing through gills like a fish, it’s freaky. No wonder Obama does not want to hang out with him, every time he does that jaw thing it just makes him that little bit more impossible to take seriously. When Marr then asks Brown about his eyesight Brown looks like he wants to kill, which I admit also is a bit below the belt line of questioning.

As the strains of The Big Questions begin I head out to buy the Sunday newspapers. As is my usual Sunday venue I drive to Sainsburys in Stanway which is always a pleasant day and on a sunny, fresh day such as this something of a pleasure to undertake.

I get parked up easily and head inside the store. I have to concede that Sainsburys is a much better store than Asda. There is no secret in this reality just aching denial on my part. As I pick up today’s copy of the apparently doomed Observer I notice it comes with a free DVD copy of Abigail’s Party. This is a truly pleasant surprise I was not expecting. Later as I wrestle with customers failing to walk in straight lines I pick up a six pack of Bolt and some toilet roll before being truly/genuinely wowed by the selection of teas on offer. For some reason Asda does not appear to stock white tea but here it is in abundance along with detox and diet teas. This is where the gap between working class and middle class begins and ends.

When I drive home I take a different route that takes me through Lexden and the more glorious areas of Colchester. These streets and houses swallow me whole, with the sun glistening off them I cannot imagine what fortunes the owners much possess in order to have such a castle. These streets are unspoilt by time or commerce and anyone that lives here has to feel honoured and privileged.

Once back at home I get back into the swing of writing with the time now approaching 11AM. After hitting a couple of bags of white tea the words begin to flow and productivity rages. I should be happy but things never quite work out that way.

Before I realise it the day has sloped into the afternoon and I have been writing for a couple of hours.

As I tire of writing and look for distraction I find myself picking up my copy of the DVD that came through the post yesterday, the documentary Beautiful Losers.

Beautiful Losers is an amazing documentary covering the DIY urban art of the nineties with turns by people such as Harmony Korine and Mike Mills in addition to a number of amazing artists I had never heard of before such as Steve Powers and Shepard Fairey. The documentary has a skater element to it as refreshingly it steers away from an real indie music content (although there are definite hits on the soundtrack) and afterwards I come away feeling very inspired by the whole thing as it captures a great period for me and endeavours/attempts to show how it is going to be viewed now in history. There is an element of the piece that suggests the scene is dead now especially as shamelessly a number of the artists have moved onto using their creative skills for advertising corporate products. It definitely improves commercial branding but it also certainly taints the artists from a purist perspective. Regardless this is a film that excites me.

Afterwards with the night now dark I attempt to finally watch the remainder of Away We Go and with it comes a real sense of anticlimax and deflation. I wanted this movie to be so much and after a really sweet and great beginning as the snails pace set in the movie never really recovers or climbs out of a depressive din. Sadness accrues.

I write into the evening before switching back to watching more downloads. Watching Hung this evening Tanya really reminds me of Zoe. It is in her pained facial expressions as Rhea Perlman makes a guest appearance as her not very sensitive mother. I remember Mindy telling me on my birthday last year at the Cheers bar on Regents Street how Rhea Perlman once denied her an autograph. Drag.

When I eventually turn in and head to bed it is to the vision of For Your Consideration on BBC2 which is another movie for me that has so much baggage. Firstly I saw it at the London Film Festival in 2006 on a very dramatic day that first involved Catherine and then Michelle and ultimately involved me being alone. Then a year later it was a DVD that I borrowed from Zoe when I saw it at her flat one time.

I’m not sure how much of this has to do with the fact that I fall asleep about five minutes into the movie, perhaps it is my mind reject the bad memories that might be triggered from watching. Too late bub. Wanna know the baggage attached to Best In Show? Nope.

Annoyingly I reawaken just as the closing scenes play out (although pleasingly I do notice Casey Wilson small role in the movie for the first time). As I struggle with the impossible feat of returning to sleep at this time I scour my unwatched DVDs and put on The Manson Family. This movie turns out to be perhaps the worst piece of shit I have ever seen in my entire life. I know it is supposed to be a horror movie and thus grizzly but really this is obscene. It was never going to be pretty but this is just an awful film as it turns a horrible movement and moment in time into something history has proven it just was not. This is overzealous and hyperbolic movie making and storytelling of the worst kind. No wonder it cost only £3. The people that released it (Anchor Bay) should genuinely be ashamed.

After turning it off eventually I find some sleep.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Saturday 26 September 2009

This morning I awaken just after 7AM disappointed at my lack of stamina last night and falling asleep before 10PM despite the promise of a great night’s TV ahead.

I awaken with a mild headache and no idea where it comes from. Yesterday ended with a real high, a real charge of fresh optimism and now this only serves to smack me back down.

Shaking it off I return to What We Do Is Secret and finish off watching the movie about The Germs. It is a truly strange interpretation of that period/movement. For some reason Darby Crash slightly resembles some kind of Jim Morrison character, surely that was not how it was. Nonetheless there is something infectious about the movie that serves as a reminder as to how exciting hardcore music of that period was and how the lifestyle has filtered through over the years via noise, grunge and whatever nasty US indie is called these days.

Perhaps I’m a bit too old to still be buying into this movement and lifestyle wholesale I do leave the house feeling charged off the back of the movie. It has to be appreciated though that to have hard and fast music in your life and have any kind of anti authority stance and opinion is something that most people grow out of and their dreams evaporate and other people take over their lives (such as with the responsibility of family). In some ways despite my misery I have it good, I have these ideas and notions in my head while still also being able to hold onto a very decent job. The notion of being individual that I hold so dear and close to me is something I thrive on and cherish.

It is with this in mind that when I head to Asda to do my routine Saturday newspaper run it is strange to see Ivan from Butt Road walking back to his car as I park up. We clock each other and I half suspect he wasn’t going to acknowledge me until I put my hand up to wave at him. At that exact moment I had been thinking “life is good” and now seeing him a timely reminder of my low times at Butt Road suddenly brings me hurtling back to some kind of reality. Such reminders keep me grounded.

I wonder what he thinks of me still driving the same car I hand when I was at Butt Road. Does this represent some kind of failure? Quite possibly in his circles. Likewise the fact I am bloated, unshaven and need a haircut could well suggest to him that I am a bit of a mess these days, floundering in the same way I was towards the end of my tenure at the company he is now a partner at. Then again here I am at 8.30AM on a Saturday morning up, out and about functioning at an early hour, surely there are kudos to be scored from that? Ultimately though he probably barely pays me any mind more thinking “oh look there’s that weirdo who wrote all those stupid things about us five years ago.” Moving on.

Somewhat frazzled by the almost meeting I stagger into Asda listening to Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s latest album “Agorapocalypse” with view to continuing the hardcore punk theme to proceedings. Heading into Asda time is already short if I am to return home and catch the beginning of the Danny Baker show in time. As I pick up the newspapers and buy another XXL v-neck (my fourth in as many weeks) I fly around the store again buying the necessities, forgetting a few needed items in the process.

What throws me inside the store is spotting another Butt Road related person: the wife of Mr Pan (I believe). I wonder now if SHE recognises me. This is so weird, so harsh. After seeing Sarah last night on the train and now these two I begin to wonder if there will ever be a point where/when working for that firm does not haunt me. I attempt to hide from her (Rachel I believe) but my efforts are laboured.

The final moment of awkwardness ends with the weekly visage of the lad at school everyone picked on, the school bottom feeder. Just as I want to grab a couple of tubs of Moroccan hummus there he is in the way putting a box of other dips out. Briefly he disappears and I dive in like a ninja to grab my slop.

Finally I get done at Asda and haul through the self service tills hoping not to bug the usual lady. Soon enough the till fails to register one of my items and I find myself having to apologise to the lady in order to get through.

Heading home things look good for catching the beginning of Danny Baker’s radio show but it also comes with the realisation that the London Film Festival tickets go on general sale to the general public today. Once inside I put away the items that need to go into the fridge and hit the BFI website.

Unsurprisingly many of the big movies are already fully booked along with the few lacklustre talks and events. This will be my fourth year running attending the London Film Festival and after the first year of personal drama for me (you’ll have to ask me about it, you will not believe) it now represents an exciting time of the year for me.

In the end I snag tickets to seven movies, those being:
The Bill Hicks Story
The Exploding Girl
44 Inch Chest
The Informant!
Fantastic Mr Fox
Double Take

I have never approached the event with as much gusto before and I am hoping my decision will not be one that suffers from overkill.

Later in the morning the reality of having forgotten to buy toilet paper hits me as after a session on my throne I run out. Thank god then for the invention of kitchen roll as a makeshift substitute.

When the post arrives it is with five packages coming through my letterbox. Unlike as usual the postman doesn’t bother to knock instead he pushes each package through the gap and every time one of them lands it sounds as if it is being delivered with contempt.

I spend the remainder of the day endeavouring to write, to catch up on blog stuff and attempting some music reviews. I experience a miniscule degree of success.

On TV today is the Mr Bean movie and its pretty funny watching Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) appearing in it. At any moment you hope he is going to tear Bean a new arsehole but of course he doesn’t.

Annoyingly Millwall go down to a 1-0 defeat at Leyton Orient today. This fucking team gets one over on us far too often.

Late afternoon I head over to the olds to watch Ipswich v Newcastle on TV which is being shown on BBC2 as Ipswich rename the Churchmans Stand the Bobby Robson stand. The whole event is one big hoo ha for the man.

The highlight of proceedings unfortunately is the hot singer (Laura Wright) that they get to sing a couple of songs. She is more entertaining than anything else the poxy club can offer.

The game itself is a joke. Three goals in quick succession helps Newcastle put Ipswich in their place both on the field and in legacy stakes. The expression on Roy Keane’s face is one of confusion. You can almost see him muttering to himself “what am I doing here?”

At halftime the singer thankfully returns to belt out another tune after a costume change. What is she doing associating with this dung?

Later Newcastle add a fourth to complete a 4-0 victory and further compound Keane’s problems. Perhaps he should have done his homework about Ipswich before going there to manage them.

After the game my parents’ neighbour turns up, the loud one that was the root cause of the email trouble earlier in the week. He apologies to the old man with a hug but this does not excuse his wording the first place. As ever a lot of hot ensues and soon I am on my way before X-Factor fever grips the nation (including my parents) and turns them into zombies (including my parents).

Back at Bohemian Grove I continue to write until late before falling asleep early. Life in the fast lane.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Friday 25 September 2009

It is dark, bleak and cold this morning. Par for the course though by the time I hit London it should be radiant and sunny. For now though I will have to shiver.

Relieved it is Friday I pull myself together and head to the station with gusto with the kind of mindset of the sooner I start the sooner I finish.

When I arrive at the station Son Of Computer Fag is already there waiting for the train carrying a suicide bomber sized rucksack on his back. This guy is geek nerd aggro incarnate.

Also at the platform lingering is a man in a white t-shirt looking scruffy and lost. He then asks a lady eating a chocolate bar if she has “ever been to India?” Shocked I find I cannot believe what I have just heard so the guy gets my full attention. What the fuck is he doing? Is this the latest method for nutters to try and pull birds? Is this their best new line? I give him evils as he toddles off to the other end of the platform being a nuisance and annoying other commuters/extras with the same question. Who let this guy loose on our platform?

Today is payday. I guess the Tuesday Thursday Blur is at least good for something as it gives off the illusion of weeks being shorter and pay days arriving sooner/quicker. Slowly I am building up a decent amount of reserves in my bank, for the first time I am beginning to feel I have some kind of financial security and possibly even something heading towards a mortgage deposit for a decent place. Oh ladies they’re missing out on my riches.

After a boring journey the train eventually pulls into Liverpool Street at 8AM, serving as a timely acknowledgment that I did not imagine the “good old days” of the train being on time.

With The Consultant due in this afternoon the early part of the day is spent preparing for his visit. However as the day pans out we get no word from him or his movements.

That said after yesterday returning home to that angry letter from my accountancy body threatening to remove me from their list of members I have to turn one towards filling in my CPD (continued professional development) forms. I guess they were supposed to have been lodged back in January.

I screw through the morning and appear to only achieve getting halfway with everything.

For lunch I have parmesan chicken in breadcrumbs with linguini. It works for me. When I pop downstairs to collect our food Ewan McGregor is sat in the restaurant in a funny hat. I am genuinely star struck and impressed. I would like to high five him but I don’t.

In the afternoon we wait in anticipation of The Consultant’s arrival and as the hours tick by and get later we begin to debate “surely he isn’t going to turn up this late?” Getting a head start on proceedings my boss comes into our room and begins reviewing the purchase ledger with us. Together we work really well as a team and it is actually fun as the state of the accounts on the whole looks fairly OK, a fact later confirmed when the boss says to us that the ledger is in the best state/condition it has ever been in. After a tough week of busy week and not being very productive this is a very reassuring nod to receive.

Ultimately The Consultant does not turn up. God only knows where he gets to as it feels like we have been stood up by a date after all our waiting around for him. Late in the afternoon around 4PM I get a strange email from him requesting a couple of adjustments regarding depreciation and that is it.

As we all leave for the weekend spirits are high until I inform my boss that I am off on Monday. Suddenly coupled with The Consultant’s no show today this knocks things back even further. It is frustrating all over.

Leaving London this evening is to a beautiful sight, a truly glorious Friday evening. With hindsight I should have felt some remorse at not having anywhere to go but it only hit me as a delayed reaction as to be honest I felt exhausted and fatigued for the evening. Realistically though where at these times are my friends who I go to gigs and other events with? Why can’t I snag a casual social life of just meeting up in groups and hitting pubs and restaurants with a regularity to breed familiarity. This is in England I swear is the only way to meet people and partners. We do not date we just couple off. So with this in mind I can’t help but feel doomed.

By the time I get from St Johns Wood to Liverpool Street I feel I am struggling to function. Arrival at Liverpool Street just before 6PM is greeted with the news that there is a delay in the trains due to signal problems in the Shenfield area.

I end up boarding the 6PM Friday train which is pretty much known as “the Sarah train” these days as this is the train where I bump into her majesty. Tonight as I board the train I brace myself for an accidental on purpose crossing of paths with Sarah. As I snag a decent seat however I feel I escape her glaring wrath.

The train gets held up by signal problems at Shenfield and later again outside Hatfield Peveral making it one agonising journey home as I just want to get the weekend started and the working week finished.

Eventually the train gets home but it’s not without casualty, tonight being my mood. As I slump on my parents’ sofa in a grumpy state there is a little person in Walford and suddenly I begin to questions whether I am watching Eastenders or Time Bandits.

Not long after this I head home to an empty flat and another wasted Friday night stuck home alone. TV almost lets me down but eventually Peep Show, IT Crowd and The Inbetweeners come along to save the day and send me to sleep. There should more to existence than this.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Thursday 24 September 2009

Today I wake up from a fun dream, happy even before my 6AM alarm clock rude awakening. Unfortunately not getting asleep until around 2AM this will mean I now limp through the day off the back of barely four hours sleep.

This morning it is even colder than yesterday, these are now truly the end of days.

As I walk past the offending party house at Balkerne Heights this morning there is a major urge and temptation in me to go ring their doorbell and hit them with Jamie T blasting out of my stereo at my hour. This begins to feel a bit like the Lost Boys. These Chav kids partying at night and sleeping during the day, they are like modern vampires – Chavampires. Their directive is to suck the blood and spirit out of all those that live around and near them. Some guy called Terry Sutton should be policing this but instead he appears to have other things to do. Closer on guard is another gentleman apparent called Barry Hepburn but he lives up in the clouds and thankfully does not have to contend with this rabble. Fortunate for him.

The train journey is nondescript today but it is noticeable for its not beaching outside of Liverpool Street station this morning. Unfortunately though somehow it still manages to pull into the platform at 8.04AM late. How on earth do these things happen? Really?

At this point as I leave the train Tom texts me to tell me how some doddery woman nearly causes him to miss his train for a second day running. Suddenly it feels like somewhere I have an ally in the commuter wars. We then briefly get into a bout of lookalike poker as I tell him how Commuter Jay-Z is on my train today and a very good Stuart Braithwaite lookalike is on the train also. He responds by matching and raising me with “I had a Lee Marvin yesterday. Stern!”

Later as I emerge from St Johns Wood it is again jaunty with the sound of “More News From Nowhere” playing out on my iPhone as I find myself faced with the most glorious sunny day in front of me. Autumn is beginning to tickle my fancy as the closing days of summer provide many forms of pleasure. This is the kind of climate I look for in a perfect day.

When I arrive at work it is to the form of an email from The Consultant. His requests are relatively standard Excel schedules and to his credit the right areas that need reviewing. At this point however they are not going to get any better than they currently are without giving me time and breathing space to properly and correctly produce then review them. As ever we need pacing, we need time and a proper approach to these things, to manage our days in a more staggered method and not to rush and eventually fudge stuff. He adds also that he will be coming in tomorrow afternoon, Friday afternoon. Oh yeah that is exactly the prime time to be addressing these accounts, Friday afternoon when we all have one eye on the week and a foot out of the door. Off the back of the email I am left scratching my head wondering if any common sense if ever applied to these things? Likewise I think we are going to require a bit more than an afternoon to put three sets of figures spread over three periods to bed.

As a result of the email and my prompt response it means that the ball remains as ever in the consultant’s court resulting in my having to scrap around for work yet again this week. It does not take my accountancy qualification and letters to point out the logistical problem of doing sets of accounts spread over three different periods (Mar 09, June 09 and Aug 09) and two different groups. I can do no more.

The IT Guy comes in and under instruction works in the other office. I guess he is taking notice of that request.

For lunch I have tomato soup and lots of bread. It is revolting, perhaps related to the fact that the Albanian chef that thinks he is Brazilian/Mexican is on.

The afternoon moves slowly. I do a little bit of tidying up on the accounts but it feels pretty futile. Unfortunately as a result of having such idle hands I find myself leaning towards online retail therapy in moments of boredom.


Eventually 5.30PM comes around and with it escape. As I head towards St Johns Wood fatigue hits me. This is not good.

It is a strange evening. First the tube is quiet and then when I board the 6.20PM to Norwich it too is dead. Not that I am complaining about the leg and arm room.

For my journey home I choose the first Arab Strap record as my quiet downbeat soundtrack. This album still hits so hard, I don’t think I have heard anything like it since.

As I check my email it appears that I have won an Ebay auction for a pair of BAPE shoes. A pair of worn BAPE shoes. Now this could really go either way. Who the fuck wears worn/used shoes? The thing is, they just look so cool. Hopefully they won’t arrive inflicted with fungus.

When I pop into my parents’ place dad is nowhere to be seen. It would appear that this Barry Hepburn guy has casually made a comment about banning animals from Balkerne Heights and it has given birth to a fresh squabble, which is where dad currently is – having it out with the person on the other end of the email. That place is a joke.

Curious I look at the email and it seems fairly harmless. I dunno, these guys and their internal squabbling is just playing into the hands of this Terry Sutton guy and PMS.

Not long afterwards I am heading home and upon arrival there are two pieces of post awaiting me – one good, one bad.

The bad one is a long time coming angry letter from my accountancy body. I still have not done my CPD (continued professional development) forms and now it really needs to be put to bed before I drop six years hard work down the toilet as they threaten to strike me off their members list. Heavy.

Much better is the latest Colchester Arts Centre leaflet that features DJGRAM in the gig listing for the Joe Lally gig. Wow, I have never been on any listings ever before. Its something of a false billing but exciting all the same.

I attempt some writing but tonight it is too late to really get anything done and by this point in time I am too tired to accomplish anything.

I head to bed at 9PM to watch the final episode of the Love Of Money documentary on BBC2. I barely last ten minutes before passing out.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Wednesday 23 September 2009


Dream: I am in Leytonstone and meeting up with my American Friend for the first time in almost a year. We actually have a lot of fun and it is good times. Briefly I meet The Teeth and it is as frosty as any rational person would expect/imagine it to be. I find him smug and phoney. Proceedings come to an end and with it the sense/feeling that it will now be another year before this happens again so for once in a fight or flight scenario I find some Cantona and decide to fight my corner pointing out the irregularities in the guy and just what a mistake is occurring. Whether this works or not is not the point, the fact that in a fight or flight situation/scenario I fight for once represents a real sea change in my demeanour, approach and mentality.

I emerge from the dream carrying the exuberance from it, feeling invigorated and excited ready to grab the world and take on anything that it has to chuck/throw at me. Hopefully this will not prove a false dawn.

As I leave the house “More News From Nowhere” plays out in my head as this becomes my song for the day and I adopt the devil may care attitude that exudes from the song. Let’s see how long this now lasts.

By now I am well into the Tuesday Thursday Blur and today I have a sharp work plan in my head for what lies ahead in St Johns Wood for me today. Time to take this project by the horns.

While I flick through today’s copy of The Metro there is an article on straight edge that is truly weird, bordering on offensive. As some gormless immigrant mugs it up for the camera you sense really his abstaining from toxins really is more likely to do with his enforced religion rather than set of moral values that dictate his apparent lifestyle choice. No one in hardcore ever posed like that, never shoved the concept of the movement down people’s throats quite so viciously until much later when it became far too regimented and militant. Any opportunity to mug for the camera I guess. There is a picture of Minor Threat to the right of the article and a reprint of the lyrics from the song “Straight Edge.” This is just all so depressing and wrong and seriously strangely timed, why now are they suddenly covering the concept/idea? I have not seen an influx of straight edge and/or hardcore bands recently. The last great hardcore band I came across was Coke Bust and they are so far removed from the contents of this story it is ridiculous. Is it more like that due to the credit crunch these people now possess less pennies to spend on drink, drugs and fags? Then again maybe I should actually read the article rather than just spitting chips at the visuals it presents me with (a bunch of Kerrang readers kids lacking an agenda).

Boarding the train this morning the Demi Moore lookalike from a few weeks ago is again on our carriage. I take back any disparaging remarks I made from that day, she is genuinely stunning. Perhaps it was in the way that she wears her hair like Olive Oyl. I think the real sealer is in the glasses. I think I notice her looking over the tops of the rims at me a couple of times as I gasp pathetically. This only serves to add to the amazement and attraction.

Elsewhere sitting close to me today is the Ric Flair Guy, which all in all means I am afraid to give my iPhone any real volume at this time.

Wonder upon wonder the train pulls into Liverpool Street at 8AM this morning, a timely acknowledgment that my memories of the good old days of being on time were not in my imagination or some wild/wicked fantasy I hold in the back of my mind. This day appears to be on a roll.

As I change lines at Baker Street I see a dad allowing his kid to ride on one of those scooters along the platform. That is very bad parenting.

Once in work it is again the same old same old on the new company accounts and subsequently the highlight of the morning turns out to be when Everett True accepts my friend request on Facebook.

For lunch I have penne rose with chicken. It’s a good blend and a sure-fire sign that I am not concerned by carbs today.

In the afternoon things descend to The Girl hiding beneath/behind my desk and jumping out on me as I return from the toilet. Is this really what things have come to?

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and I leave with my boss on the phone to the consultant as things with the new company remain dangling in the air.

I leave work listening to the Nashville The Jesus Lizard set Chunklet put up, this always serves me well. Unfortunately as I change tube lines at Baker Street I spot the Baker Street Midget and suddenly all feels lost for the evening as a curse now hangs over proceedings.

Elsewhere on the tube today a guy looks like a combination of all three brothers from The Darjeeling Limited. It’s an interesting look, very poncy.

I manage to get to Liverpool Street just after 6PM with the others expecting to arrive around quarter past. Feeling slow and sluggish I buy a “venti” Starbucks with view to it waking me up.

As I stand around waiting at the Bishopsgate exit I watch all the people meeting up or waiting to be met up. There are some genuinely striking looking ladies and with my strange recent (and brief) infusion of confidence I find myself looking for an opportunity to smile. The opportunity doesn’t arrive. Instead I get a homeless come up to me about to pester me for money. He however shoots himself in the foot when he approaches me with the question “do you speak English?” I shake my head both in disbelief, offence and tactically to lose the cunt. Do I fucking look foreign? Jesus Christ I must do. Hopefully my look is of a Scandinavian Viking hybrid. Hopefully.

Soon Mark turns up and immediately we catch up on events since the weekend just after Racton texts to say that he will be ten minutes late. Mark and I wait for about three quarters of an hour for Racton who then phones Mark to say that he has been waiting elsewhere at Liverpool Street for ages asking where we are. Seems my phone is fucked as every attempt he has been making to call me has failed. This iPhone is ropey.

We walk down Bishopsgate towards Cargo looking forward to a busy night. As we reach Cargo security feels distinctly light as we are able to trot right into the venue where we all order food, myself bagging chorizo pizza and chips. As we sit outside in the confines of East London it feels like one of the best possible places to be. There is something definitely picture-esqe about the modernised commercial ruins of this part of town.

Eventually Thom turns up and we head towards the music before being told that we need to get passes from the promoters.

The first band on tonight are PENS. There is currently a decent amount of fuss surrounding them and as they trawl out a fan friendly naïve set it becomes apparent that their charm far outweighs their talent. I guess this is the soft side of the Riot Grrrl influence that thankfully goes the noisy way of guitars as opposed to the popular. Amongst my friends they don’t go down very well but I like them as they remind me of various lo-fi bands from back when I was their age. They also house a member that looks like Lily Allen in a less disingenuous way and out of defiance I insist on buying their album after their set.

After a few more drinks the next band up are MALE BONDING who have supposedly recently signed to Sub Pop. With little fuss they tear through their set with a workmanlike attitude to performing powering through with an amazing drummer and super dense guitar sound. With their influences neither obvious nor pinned to their sleeves, there is something wise and fresh about their set, which lends plenty of hope to what is set to follow from them in the future. They turn out to be much better than their records would suggest and as a result this is obviously something that needs to be harnessed. Bang bang bang.

TIMES NEW VIKING explode on stage with a raucous abandon that comes different to their lo-fi leanings would suggest. Away from such rudimentary revelations the band really does work that old cliché of thriving in a live setting as a surprisingly tuneful outfit getting through the calamitous racket they excel with. On drums is a powerhouse that looks like a young Henry Rollins crossed with Mike Patton who is a definite heartbreaker as he exchanges sweet vocal nothings with the glorious sight of the keyboard player. Elsewhere the guitarist doesn’t miss a beat as he delivers a thick and conclusive set that at times just hurts.

Live TIMES NEW VIKING pan out like a cross between Royal Trux and Deerhoof in a much more proficient manner than I gave them credit for when I reviewed their record. For the first time in a long time I bounce along to every song in the set, not once feeling bored, not once experiencing disdain for the band in any form. If things were judged in such ways pound for pound this is easily my gig of the year so far.

A near perfect night comes to an end with promises of hitting the next On The Beach club night. As a bonus I manage to catch the 11.30PM Norwich train home after storming up Bishopsgate, which tonight quite frankly has never looked more spectacular. These truly are the good times.

Unsurprisingly the train home is slow, sent in typical fashion to ruin proceedings when in reality I should have just snagged a ride on the final fast train home of the night. Later just outside Marks Tey it is announced by Information Jimmy that the consistent slow running of the train this evening is due to planned engineering work. At half past midnight on a Wednesday night? Really? Do they clock and realise just how lacking in common sense that is? Amateurs.

For the majority of the journey home Nina texts me sporadically, seemingly keen to talk. As she unloads onto me I run the risk of becoming an emotional tampon to/for her but tonight feeling relatively happy I can take it when ordinarily I might feel offended.

Eventually I get back to Colchester and walk to Balkerne Heights to collect my car. When I finally head into the complex all that I can hear is Jamie T (“Sticks ‘N’ Stones”) booming out from a stereo at one of the apartments. It is 1AM on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning, a fucking school night and some chav cunts have decided to have a party. Welcome to Colchester. Balkerne Heights is turning into quite a rotten place to live it would seem. Where is this Terry Sutton guy when you need him? Sat in his office counting his coins like Ebenezer Scrooge? This is Broken Britain where the rich and greedy prosper while everyone else is left to scrabble and fend for their piece of the remaining cake.

Once home as the hour passes 1AM I find myself unable to sleep so I end a good day by watching a couple of episodes of Entourage into the early hours. Works for me.

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Tuesday 22 September 2009

Life is a full time job.

Now fully back into the routine I awaken on the dot feeling fine as if my week off and freedom were now a distant memory.

It is a good sign as the walk to the station from the car park is a relative breeze, there are no ill affects. Seriously my week off and not having to awaken at 6AM every morning has genuinely had a wonder affect on me. I swear if I were able to wake up at 7AM everyday instead of 6AM things would be better.

As I walk to the station an Asian (Oriental) jogger bounds past me and as we look at each other we smile in acknowledgment of the early hour and new morning. This is a step in the right direction.

Today I manage to get my seat on the train and once again all is well with the world. The usual extras are on the train as the continuity of my life remains, predictable and comfortable.

Again today Son Of Computer Fag is on the train. I watch as he sleeps almost the entire duration of the journey. He sure likes to take up space on the train.

At Witham the girl with dyed red hair, Empowered Red, sits next to me sporting her permanent expression of being in a strop.

Eventually the train pulls into the station at 8.04AM. This is predictable and reliable also. My life is so calculable these days.

On the tube again this morning is the guy with his sandals/flip flops and once more I get to view his ridiculously large toes and hairshirt atop of them. He fucking repulses me.

Otherwise I get into work relatively comfortably without any other drama.

I find myself in the mood to buy new shoes today so I hit Amazon and when I discover a decent looking pair of DC skate shoes with the name Mike Shinoda attached I snap them up without really knowing who this guy is, thinking his is some kind of skater. It is not until I have order the shoes that I discover just who Mike Shinoda is – he’s the dude from Linkin Park. So here comes a pair of nu metal shoes to me.

Today is the six monthly managers and chefs meeting held around the large roundtable in the room beneath us. As a result of the meeting there is some kind of atmosphere attached to proceedings as everyone involved dresses up in anticipation of what lies ahead. Usually at some point during it there are more than a couple of raised voices.

In my mind I imagine it to be a lame version of some meeting of the families, like a gay version of The Sopranos or The Godfather.

The meeting begins with laughing, then shouting, then more laughing and eventually applause. What the fuck kind of rollercoaster of emotions is occurring down there? Apparently accounts used to be more involved in the meetings, back in the days of my predecessor. Then again my predecessor liked to stick his nose more into such machinations of the organisations rather than concentrate on the actual production of the accounts. I think during that period also the restaurant managers would get regular sets of accounts in order to evaluate their performance which is something that has gone out of the window since my predecessor left and the consultant got involved. I still expect at any time to suddenly be harassed for figures for such a purpose but this is yet to happen/occur. It would be tough to deliver the information but not impossible provided certain other people (i.e. the consultant) didn’t drag their heels and actually did their part.

For lunch I have grilled salmon and new potatoes with hollandaise sauce. This is a great dish.

The afternoon turns out to be once more soul destroying as there is a real pressure to get the new company’s accounts done but I have less than zero interest or enthusiasm for reviewing and correcting the outsource guy’s work. Scanning over his garbage has now probably taken up more time than it would have done had I started the accounts from fresh and done them myself. Then again this was always a given.

As a result off the back of this it does not go down well when my boss guilt trips me into working late this evening. Despite the reality that at the moment my time is more valuable than my disposable income these days I agree to stay back with a huge dose of resentment. Fortunately though he gets the hint and tells me not to worry/bother. Honestly I am really a team player and open/ready to muck in but I just do not feel responsible for this shambles of a situation.

When we leave at 5.30PM the IT Guy comes in. Apparently he’s been told not to work in our office because he is disruptive. To be honest I don’t care either way but the truth and reality is that the biggest disrupting element is that we are the first point of contact for the phones and currently are being subjected to a daily torrent of abuse from angry suppliers chasing bills. We are accountants not secretaries or receptionists. Two jobs two cheques – that is how it should be.

At St Johns Wood it looks as if when they put the London Paper distributor to sleep on Friday they did the same to the London Lite one too. Now I get no free newspapers for my journey home.

The tube tonight smells of cheese. I really hope this does not rub off on me. As I look over to my left I see a Hoxton threesome with big glasses and I just know it is them that is responsible for the cheese. Those fucking phonies.

Tonight I am listening to “Fun House” yet again and this is a rare example of an album that gets better with each listen.

Once on the 6.20PM I notice that the clock on my iPhone has changed again. So it won’t sync with the songs on my iTunes but it’ll tap into the bogus time of our IT network. Pathetic.

On the ride home I sit opposite a Peter Jones lookalike. He looks distraught, acting and looking like a man torn apart by the credit crunch. This is not helped but the carriage tonight being the hottest one in history.

Back home in Colchester I pop into the olds’ and after ten minutes of saying “hi” to Bobby and watching TV I hear retching and it is the old man throwing up in his bedroom. Fuck, I didn’t even realise he was in, I thought he was out. I hate seeing the old man like this it always terrifies me as it suggests something awful might be up.

Soon after I head home where I actually accomplish a good dose of writing. I have momentum at this time.

Around 10PM I begin putting stuff up online while Jools Holland is on in the background. Once again The Editors get away with fucking murder with regards to their crimes to music (and sick unoriginality). Elsewhere Charlie Watts just comes over as senile in conversation. The stars of the show however are Gang Of Four who storm the show in a most wowing fashion.

For a second night running I find myself watching Newsnight with tonight Jeremy Paxman handing Tony Blair his arse while discussing the subject of climate control. Later there is a lot of coverage given to the levelling in France of that camp called “The Jungle.” It has been noticeable today how no one has commented about this on Facebook or Twitter. My lefty buddies sure know how and where to pick their fights.

My night ends with sitting down to watch Curb although I struggle to keep awake for the entire episode.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday 21 September 2009

I needed more time than this.

For some reason last night I experienced an incredibly disturbed night. I had a weird dream featuring a vague friend that recently got married in California. That was pretty much it.

The day begins badly as while parking up an obnoxious foreign person cuts me up at the car park gates. When I yield and let him out I can’t help but feel I let the whole nation down in the process.

On the train this morning I fail to get my seat. And I come teasingly and frustratingly close as some barging cunt girl nips in front of me and makes a nest for her and her boyfriend who proceed to annoyingly talk loudly for the entire duration of the journey. Do they not realise commuter trains = silence.

The lairy IT guy (Son Of Computer Fag) is back on the train this morning but at least he isn’t attempting to bump me off the platform for once. Jesus this guy must really be into computers because he is always pumped in that geek fashion/style the seldom convinces. Elsewhere on the train Commuter Jay-Z exchanges his customary evil looks with me.

As the train nears Liverpool Street inevitably it beaches outside the station for what feels like forever until it eventually bowls in at 8.07AM. With the advent of breaking into my new Travelcard I really should give up on this now. Then again fuck it I am paying more than the value of most people’s car for the privilege of this ride, I should expect a perfect service and value for money.

After I board the tube suddenly the experience is accompanied by the sound of a man sporting the most throaty cough I have heard in a long. Now I bet I am about to catch his cold after experiencing it in such a confined space. I’m not going to point fingers with regards the heaviness of the cough being related to the fact that the man is very obese. No, that would be mean. I’ll leave my disdain for when I finally get the cough myself.

Later as I change lines at Baker Street I witness a man wearing sandals/flip flops. His feet are fucking ginormous and hideous with it. I feel I am vulnerable to his disease by just looking at his hairy large toe that has bigger girth than my fucking cock (almost). As I stagger off the carriage I make a point of attempting to step on his toes to teach him a lesson. I think I manage it.

As the Jubilee Line tube nears St Johns Wood I see the Azmei lookalike again and her vision blows me away and depresses me with memories of defeat and acting like a fool, actions that remain stamped on my soul.

To be honest I wasn’t completely sure what to expect upon returning to work today but I never expected to find/discover my fucking PC wiped of all my files. It was the lack of missing MP3s that tipped me off but then when it became apparent that the entire contents of my My Documents folder is gone I begin to immediately lament the loss of actual work from my computer. Unfortunately there is nobody around to listen to me.

Eventually I find a new drive in my PC called D: and this is where the files now are but with iTunes having also been removed suddenly my iPhone settings are truly fucked as I attempt to sync it to the machine. Why the fuck did the IT Guy do this without asking or warning me, allowing me to prep my files first? I know it’s a work PC and I can claim no such ownership of it but ultimately my attempting to put things straight just proves counterproductive as it cuts into my beginning work.

On Radio One today is the Stereophonics whoring their new song and it is a complete rip off of a Spoon song, to the point that Britt Daniel should sue. I fucking hate that band.

It is a slow start to my returning week and while the IT Guy and I talking enthusiastically (loudly) about Fish Tank the boss comes into our office and tells us to get on with work. He has never told us off like that before, something must be up.

There is a slight problem in that as all three sets of accounts I am working on sit in the hands of the consultant so all I can begin doing is some dotting I and crossing T work.

Halfway through the morning I scream again as I think I see the mouse scurry beneath the girl’s desk and chair. Promptly she screams also but then begins to take the piss out of me for my reaction, accusing me of imagining it and “seeing things.” As the day carries on and there are no further spottings of the thing I begin to question these things myself.

For lunch I have ribs and the prawn starter as I return to good food and the impression of good living. The Girl tells me that I look like I have lost weight when the reality is that I am wearing a snug XXL top from Asda today.

I sail out the afternoon trying to deal with a barrage of queries and requests that are coming in from different directions. This is a juggling act I can’t win.

The biggest distraction however comes in my inability to sync my iPhone off the back of the drive nuisance.

When 5.30PM comes around I am very relieved to get my first day back over and done with. I get on the 6.20PM Norwich train and as ever no one wants to sit next to me. Then I spot Angry Adnams and I pray he does not spot me and take the seat.

Eventually someone takes the seat next to me and as he does so he comments on my broken iPhone. This now appears to be the most distinguishable part of my being and personality.

Yet again I ride home listening to the Tracy Morgan comedy record. This never fails to cheer me and still feels fresh every time I hear it.

Back in Colchester I pop into the olds and just as I arrive dad is leaving to take the dog for a walk. Bobby spots me immediately and does his little trick of pretending he hasn’t seen me before running at me and going berserk.

When I arrive home to Bohemian Grove the latest copy of Bizarre magazine has arrived. Why haven’t I cancelled this subscription yet?

The momentum of last week follows through as I get a lot of stuff done this evening. Unfortunately I find myself having more iPhone issues as the volume gets stuck on maximum. What is going on with this piece of shit?

As I put more catch up entries online I listen in the background to Jeremy Paxman interview Spike Lee on Newsnight. That guy is feisty as ever and pretty dismissive of Obama, which in a way isn’t surprising but Lee certainly has not mellowed with age, which in a way is impressive and commendable. That guy will never be happy.

I fall asleep trying to watch Away We Go. This movie does not capture me.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Sunday 20 September 2009


Today I awaken with “Prison Girls” by Neko Case running through my head. It sounds strangely Soviet. The time is just 9AM, a genuine lie in for me and coupled with this song a majestic entry into Sunday.

Spirits are high after yesterday, it was a fulfilling day.

As I flip on the Andrew Marr Show following Nick Cave’s appearance last week this week he is speaking to Jay-Z. What is going on with this world?

My morning involves plenty of writing although my progress on Gestures now feels as if it is stalling.

Soon it is not long before my attention is drawn to Youtube and thoughts of Huggy Bear and finally somebody has uploaded the Huggy Bear performance of “Her Jazz” from The Word. The quality of the clip is pretty great and the performance is as incendiary as I remember it being. This was truly a legendary moment for DIY punk music, with Riot Grrrl I guess Huggy Bear represented some kind of bridging of the gap between Nirvana and Bis. This only fuels my desire to do my book on the ten years of optimism that Generation X lent.

This week I leave early to head over to the olds at Balkerne Heights for the Sunday lunch routine because Manchester United are playing Manchester City at 1.30PM. Manchester City now represent the boo boys of the premier league, the team that you want to fail because of their associations with another dickhead owner from outside football (and outside the country) coming in with false promises and a large cheque book. What happens when this guy realises that he has been sold a pup with Manchester City and they are a dog of a club, barely a top flight consideration? It’s going to happen. What happens in five years time and he jumps ship after losing millions (maybe billions) of pounds? What sort of wreckage will the club be in then? Food thought.

I remember the last time these two teams played each other, it was on Sky at ATP as I watched the game in the Sports Bar with Pauly and his brother and found myself getting loud and drunk that day supporting Manchester City in a time before the money madness and Tevez was in a red shirt.

Even before the end of the game people on Twitter and Facebook are saying that it is a “Premiership classic.” It all started well as Rooney scored after two minutes as if to perform a gesture of putting Manchester City in their place. Later however as Tevez gets one over Foster as he makes a mistake and gifts Barry an equaliser. Into the second half and it feels as if all the goals come off the back of errors not least when the City keeper appears to be thinking a Fletcher header is going past the post. Manchester City are at least tenacious with their fast responses and quick equalisers including Bellamy’s last minute leveller. Somehow though the referee seems to find six minutes of injury time, which eventually allows Owen to come on as a sub and score the winner in a 4-3 victory. Off the back of this Mark Hughes is genuinely livid and you cannot blame him. However because it is Manchester City it is funny and for once it is possible to indulge in Manchester United’s injury time antics as for once they represent the lesser of two evils.

As we settle into the Sunday routine of lunch and the newspapers I am astounded by the heavy dose of Jordan/Katie Price dominating the News Of The World magazine. Has there ever been a more disgusting celebrity?

Today is tough to take after all the noise and energy of yesterday. It is a comedown and anticlimax. While the dog sits next to me on the sofa I watch as he twitches and yelps as he has a nightmare. Snowy used to do this all the time but I haven’t seen Bobby do it before. Bobby has been very slow taking on Snowy’s characteristics, it has been strange having a new dog that looks exactly like my old dog and yet acts so differently. As his nightmare appears to get worse and worse eventually I nudge him to bring him round at which point with half closed eyes he looks at me as if to say “what did you wake me up for?”

The next game on Sky is Chelsea v Tottenham which Chelsea comprehensively win 3-0 against a Tottenham team that is making a really strong showing so far this season. The game fails to hold me though as I begin to look elsewhere (the internet) for my entertainment.

When the game finishes I retake the hot seat and the TV remote stumbling across the American Office on Comedy Central. The episodes appear to be from the current season are really funny and clever. Rashida Jones is in it now and she looks amazing, I remember when she did that show NY-LON years ago and have always been disappointed that it has never been released on DVD.

While I am watching decent and intelligent comedy all that can be heard from elsewhere in their apartment is mum guffawing and laughing loudly at Celebrity Family Fortunes. This serves to depress me no end as it is hosted by that not talent hack Vernon Kay who I feel is exactly what is wrong with this country with his yes man stance being hidden/disguised by/with his cheeky smile as he flatters to deceive. This is the decline in everything and anything.

Eventually I head home and manage to do some important writing, really accomplishing ground on what lies ahead of me. It is satisfying and productive. Perhaps it took experiencing no talent to summon up an inkling of some talent (in me).

I feel emotional with envy this evening. It appears as if everyone is moving to Leytonstone now including my American Friend. Here now is a second bullet dodged by not moving in with Mark.

The day ends with hitting a bath before watching Coldplay on the South Bank Show. I genuinely try to take something I like from this show but as so much money is spent on getting amazing footage of their tour it all feels wasted as beyond all the lightshows and gimmicks there really is not substance within their actual music or message. When towards the end Chris Martin is spotted at a charity gig stating how he still has to write a song as great as “Never Forget” by Gary Barlow it really stinks of setting your goals horribly low in order to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Its all smothered in shit.

Tonight Bedazzled was supposed to be on TV at 11.40PM but my late night plans are scuppered by rugby as it delays the movie by an hour.

Everything is stacked against me it would seem.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Saturday 19 September 2009

This morning I wake up just past 8AM.

On cue once I am awake I head straight over to Asda to do the routine Saturday newspaper run and get my weekly groceries. Doing so slightly early each week is proving an ache and troublesome.

As I speed up Layer Road towards the store yet again the mobile speed camera truck is sat waiting to catch effervescent motorists. This is the third time it has sat in this spot in recent memory, why are they choosing to persecute people along this road? They’ve already put in the awkward island at the corner that prevents people from getting/building any speed rendering the process near impossible.

I trawl through Asda today with the minimum of enthusiasm. As I buy another oversized black v-neck (third in a week) it does first require me to slip in between an Asian couple trying on and closely inspecting a £6 jumper. Are people really so tight and cost conscious?

With a fair bit of stuff still remaining from my visit on Wednesday there isn’t much necessity in my purchases today, which only serves to increase my lack of interest.

As I hit the self service checkout the same woman from every week has to clear my till every time a light item gets dropped into my shopping bag and the machine fails to register it. I now feel I know this woman for the amount of times I have bothered her, I am almost apologetic in feeling responsible for making her life hell and having to do this shitty/crappy job. In a way she has come to represent a mother figure to me. This relationship is fully realised as when I leave and say “bye (see you next week)” my top heavy cold items and drinks bag immediately splits and she comes to my rescue repacking my bag. I feel really embarrassed in having her see first hand just how unhealthy my grocery options are. She is a modern day hero.

While leaving the store with a red face I see The Crab walking in and as ever I pretend to be invisible hoping that he doesn’t notice or recognise me.

After a swift drive home, remembering to slow down for the speed camera truck, I get home just in time for the beginning of the new Danny Baker show. With it booming in the background I put away my groceries then grab the newspapers and take my perch at my desk.

There is a news story in the The Sun today about Colchester United footballer Jamie Guy. Its none too complimentary as it describes how he had something of an argument with his girlfriend in the nightclub that used to be the Hippodrome on the high street. More interestingly though it says that he earns £400 a week. Is that true? Is his sum really so little? I earn more than that! Suffer!

I have to concede and admit that I lose interest in the new Danny Baker radio show today. This should be the perfect way to begin the weekend but I really do believe the woman drags him down and calms the tone to proceedings to a really dour BBC state and thus snuffs out his edge. There is a great little anecdote from years ago about taking the conker champion to New York and then having him break down in the hotel room afterwards with the resignation that “I have wasted my life.” This little story sends me spiralling off in a similar direction with such a set of thoughts – will I one day come to conclusion that I have wasted my life? I genuinely fear that I run the risk of that still living in the town that I was born in. That said I do at least spend the majority of my waking life in London, which does lend me options and opportunity, but at the end of the day I do wind up back in a flat I have been in eight years and am now bored of. This thought process is to be continued.

Back to the radio show and I think another thing that causes it to suffer and splutter today is the guest choice in the form of Alan Davies who I sadly feel these days is long past his sell by date.

Once the show ends I pull myself together with view to heading to London.

The saddest moment of my year occurs when I renew my annual Travelcard. I literally live in fear of my credit card failing while in the process of renewing it but happily this is not the case as the man behind the counter apologetically asks me for £4600, which is £100 more than I was led to the believe the cost would be. In sheer seconds the card goes through the terminal and the transaction is complete and suddenly I am now in debt by more money than my first two cars cost combined.

After being financially raped I hope aboard a weird orange train heading towards London at 11.49AM. On the train is a fat bloke with some of the most pungent BO in history. The orange trains do not have windows.

When I emerge at Liverpool Street Mark is already waiting at the WH Smith so swiftly we head over to Spitalfields and the Japan Matsuri event where FRANK CHICKENS are performing.

As we stagger across Bishopsgate immediately we are confronted by what Mark describes as the entire population of Japanese London at the event. The place is rammed with people looking over odd events, art and food. Entering where the main stage is set up it is difficult to move but quickly I spot Steve (Nice) in the distance who waves us over.

It had been Steve who had informed me about this event and now it suddenly turns out that he is dancing with FRANK CHICKENS. Its pretty cool to see him again, the old Hirameka days now feel a lifetime ago so now any possible bad blood from Gringo Records is long gone. He is very nervous ahead of the performance but I tell him that he is playing to a home crowd and that they will love it regardless.

The FRANK CHICKENS set is interesting. Back in the eighties they were part of the Red Wedge that meant the band rubbed shoulders with a lot of influential indie acts and managed to carve their own piece of legacy.

These days it would appear that the act is very much a novelty shadow of the seriousness they once exhumed. This does not make it any less fun, in a way it makes it even more fun but it is just at the cost of credibility. Of the originals it is just main lady Kazuko Hohki as she indulges in making a colourful spectacle with lots of costume changes and dancing, the theatrics of proceedings now taking over from the music.

As the set rolls on the comedy outweighs the music and eventually “We Are Ninja” turns up as the set turns out to be an all singing and dancing affair. Everyone has fun as I begin to think I recognise one of the dancers as a Japanese girl called Nao that gave me the time of day last summer.

Afterwards as compere Naomi Suzuki takes to the stage it should really be to do a set of traditional Japanese songs but instead she has to do a shout out to the crowd as there is a lost child crying its eyes out in front of the stage. As its parents rescue him there is a collective “ahhh!” from the Japanese audience. Is this some kind of Japanese tradition?

Naomi Suzuki looks amazing. Apparently she was in Bridget Jones 2 and has something of domestic career (in Japan) going on being located in London.

With the event being packed Mark and I don’t hang around instead choosing to get away from the stampede. Having not had anything to eat yet we head to A. Gold for an overpriced but plain sandwich. This I guess is lunch. We then get a wanky cup of coffee from another faux retro store along the road. I just want a Starbucks.

With this done we head over to Rough Trade around the corner from Brick Lane where we bump into Steve heading home after his appearance. Its actually really nice to see him and speak briefly. The old degree of smartness and cynicism is gone and now that we all seem established in roles that agree with us all appears well in our respective worlds.

As Mark and I enter Rough Trade we spot James Dean Bradfield in one of the best celeb spots all summer (definitely up there with Paul McGann). Its weird the guy is short but looks every part the rock star. Realistically you would have thought Rough Trade would be the last place an “indie star” would want to be seen but maybe he woke up this morning wanting some recognition.

Inside Rough Trade I flick through the seven inch racks and eventually spend a ridiculous amount of money on records I will only ever play a few times. It has been said before but these are definitely fetish items.

By now Mark gets word from some other people and we head back into Spitalfields into the bustling Matsuri to meet up with some people. I vaguely know a few of the people and it is nice to see them but I really have had my fill of Matsuri by this point.

As the final people turn up we head up Commercial Street where we get introduced to the Commercial Tavern. Apparently this is some kind of hip pub but I am only lukewarm to it. Behind the bar there are toys which does not necessarily seem fitting to me for a pub but then again this is East London where that kind of trendy shit seems to go.

With no seats available inside the pub we step outside and drink on the pavement while the busy traffic of Commercial Street flies past spluttering their fumes out at us. Thankfully by this point I begin to warm up and get involved once more in proceedings as people start to give me the time of day.

There is a weird adult feel to proceedings and with us are two married couples (English guy, Japanese girl) who are people that are my age. Perhaps it is time for me to grow up and get hitched. Slowly I find myself getting into weird conversations with people who all appear to have their own art and as I saunter into conversations that would otherwise feel dead end we persist with things through some sheer act of good manners it would seem.

Eventually I wind up in conversation with a guy called Martin who it turns out used to do a Shonen Knife fanzine (once even seeing them play with Huggy Bear) as well as various other bits and pieces of writing for skating magazines. Suddenly it occurs to me that this is now my generation. The guy is pushing forty with a Japanese girlfriend in her twenties and now discussing the good old days of grunge fuelled indie rock in retrospect outside a pub in East London in the summer is pretty much what we are supposed to be doing. We further click as he goes through my bag of seven inches purchased from Rough Trade and he is actually familiar with some of the acts and releases.

Soon the day turns to evening and things begin to get dark. With this dinner gets suggested and recommended so a toddle over to Shoreditch occurs. The word is that we are going Vietnamese which reminds me of coming here in Jan 05 for Justin’s birthday while I was unemployed from blogging. After a few false starts we wind up at a place called the Viet Grill. The owners seem reluctant to squeeze us in, giving us an eating time of about an hour and a half.

I wind up sat opposite the fanzine guy as we manage to discuss various things. At point he asks me what I think of the restaurant industry and suddenly it occurs to me that I have next to no interest in the work that I do. I literally stutter when quizzed on this. Thankfully I am able to steer conversation away from me and onto him.

For a starter I order Wicked Crispy Frog. I have no idea how it tastes I just like the idea of eating something that sounds so gross. When it gets served it resembles slightly something you might get in a good KFC, it is indeed crispy. As I tear into the critter the downfall occurs due to its many tiny shards that are its bones. When I actually manage to taste some meat it goes like chicken but this is not before I have to battle and crunch my way through dozens (maybe hundreds) of tiny little bones. For a moment I consider chewing and swallowing the bones as part of the delicacy but ultimately that is not a very good idea. In the end it tastes really good but I fear I leave more than I actually consume.

My main course option comes in the form of Campfire Beef and it remains the greatest tasting dish I have experienced all year. This was the recommendation of Martin and when it arrives it comes with the added excitement of the waitress setting the bottom of the bowl alight. For a long while I wonder just how I am going to eat this dish but the flames eventually go out. The taste that remains is the most amazing combination of sweet and hot beef I think I have ever tasted in my life. The flavours trickle through my being, down my throat and direct to my heart. As the heat fails to wane it tastes like eating a main dish and dessert all in one. I just look on in amazement at the bowl.

Afterwards with a full belly conversation flows at a lightning pace. It turns out that most of us have recently seen Fish Tank and as talk turns towards Essex I have to deploy my own theories on the authenticity of the piece. Suddenly people seem interested in Essex. They should be but still it is pretty unnerving to have them do so in a somewhat bourgeois and almost patronising manner. We then all pull out our iPhones and begin to compare applications much to the chagrin of those that don’t have them.

We leave the restaurant buzzing. The new couple are suddenly raving over us, their new friends and business cards begin to get exchanged. I have never had a business card and sadly I feel left out. The Japanese lady Kaoru makes up for this however by showing us her novelty business card with a hole in which you put a folded finger wrinkle in order to display a vagina. Everyone raves as if it were the greatest thing they have ever seen but I just respond in kind although she accuses me of being disgusted or grossed out by it. Did I really display my lack of being impressed so blatantly?

Eventually that couple leaves with suggesting (almost hatching) big plans to come to Colchester to visit and check out Essex. We’ll see if that happens, I’ll believe it when I see it.

The remainder of us (me, Mark, Martin and his wife Saki) now find ourselves heading to Hoxton Square where apparently a cool coffee shop awaits us. At this time on a Saturday night the world should be buzzing and I sense/fear we will have problems/trouble getting a seat there. Fortunately/thankfully when we arrive at Macondo there is a small table perfect for our party.

With the night now crawling to a conclusion familiarity now means we can drop our guards and begin really saying what we think. Saki really takes centre stage as she talks about food and annoyances. This really is a food based evening.

Tonight Macondo feels like the perfect place to be. It reminds me of Berlin from last summer and nowhere else in London (or England) I have experienced before. As a result the drinks are pricy for what they are but it is more about the conversation and company than the actual product we are consuming. Suddenly a sense hits me that I could stay here all night and as I look over at the “cool people” Hoxton Square begins to warm to me (and vice versa).

One drink later we begin to make moves through the gotham of East London towards Liverpool Street. Along the way conversation gets hijacked and the fact that we are with a married couple seems to be lost on my friend. Personally had I been the husband I would have taken him to task. This is almost cockblock in a strangely impotent manner.

With a bit of a rush (something that seems lost on my oblivious acquaintances) I manage to catch the 10.30PM Norwich train home having had perhaps the best of all possible Saturdays.