Sunday, 31 January 2010

Sunday 31 January 2010

Dream: my parents have season tickets to Ipswich Town again.  One day when mum cannot go to a game I head along instead of her and suddenly it is like twenty years ago when dad and I used to go together.  With this I suddenly see old friends from school who used to go there also (who I have ironically culled from Facebook recently) and things now begin to feel young again.  Before the last game of the season I find myself hanging out with somebody from school called Ben and we are late turning up to the game.  When we arrive outside the ground there is silence.  For a moment I wonder if the game is even going ahead but more likely I expect it is a minutes silence.  With this I question who has died.  I doubt it is a football person because these days those command a minute’s applause and celebration.  Once at the ground I pull out my iPhone to try and call mum to get in touch with dad to come down and hand me my ticket.  I get no answer and suddenly begin panicking at my inability to get into the ground now that I have arrived.  Thankfully dad heads down to the entrance and asks me if I still want to go in.  Just before heading up I have a quick piss in a bathroom that resembles some kind of boiler room.  With this I wake up, fearful that I have wet the bed.  Luckily I haven’t.

After the early hours insomnia and subsequent watching of the Tony Hancock docudrama Hancock And Joan (he has so not gay) and then listening to the first part of The Catcher In The Rye audiobook this morning I wake up just beyond 9.30AM.  Outside the sun is blazing but still my apartment is very chilly.

There is a genuine optimism attached to proceedings today.  After the fluff that was yesterday I am determined today to make up for being so lacklustre.  This is exactly what happened last weekend also, there is a worrying trend occurring here.

As I flip on the TV Andrew Murray is on BBC1 and losing.  I guess that means he is Scottish rather than British today then.

Harriet Harman is on Andrew Marr this morning even if Marr himself isn’t.  She reminds me of the friend’s mum you didn’t like at school and as a result you only went to their house after school when you had to.  She hasn’t talked about that website lately.

Inevitably The Big Questions arrives on TV.  Really, where on earth do they dig these people up from?  Danny Baker used to refer to these types of shows as “nuts and sluts” shows.  I really do not believe I encounter any people resembling these in any of my walks of life.  In a real world context nobody listens to these people.  Why do they dress all these people up as moderate types?  They’re fanatics without balls.  Today’s three topics ticks all the boxes of middle England: Muslims, paedophiles and Christianity.  Is there anybody in this audience that wasn’t abused as a child?

My arms still royally ache this morning but luckily it doesn’t impede my writing with the manner in which it damaged progress yesterday.  Still though it sees me typing through the pain barrier to get these words out.

Excitingly the Facebook Cull appears to be getting additional pushes this morning as comments come flying in via Facebook and the actual comments section of the blog.  I can’t help but think, feel and fear that my Day 59 entry will be the one that gets me into trouble (not least for it being repeated in its entirety on the actual 100 Days website itself).

Unable to do anything productive or of use I instead take the time to finally watch the first episodes of season 4 of 30 Rock.  They truly do not disappoint.

As per routine I head to the olds at around 3PM.  I sense one day burglars reading this may note this and choose this as the time to break into my flat and steal my belongings.  Damn, if only I had something of worth to take.  Actually the state that my flat is currently in it already looks ransacked so potentially if anybody was to come in that way they might improve the situation.

Arriving at the parents as ever I am greeted by the excited dog jumping up me trying to get to me to give me some kind of canine kiss.  I can never understand why he has this sudden outburst of affection as soon as I step through the door and then proceeds to act cool and frosty for the remainder of my visit.  It is so strange to note just how different Bobby is to Snowy.

On Sky this afternoon is Arsenal v Manchester United which sees United trouncing them 3-1 on their own patch (which used to be Highbury but is now some boring corporate christened enormodome of a monstrosity, not that I have been there).  The Nani goal in particular is a good one.

After this result everyone at home is happy with things seemingly going our way.  Beyond this I begin to channel hop and wind up watching Luton v Liverpool from 1986 on ESPN.  Football from the era now seems so strange and foreign to me.  For starters the pace looks so relaxed and errors more rife.  With the teams mostly having British names the players on view do not look half as skilful as today and when I see Jan Molby running through players with the ball it just looks laughable now considering how this would not be possible in the modern era of football.  This is a loss.

Eventually I head home in the hope of getting some writing done but upon arrival there is no fucking chance.  Already I find myself in the Sunday night stupor, already depressed about the prospect of work.

Tonight I finally pull out my DS and play FIFA 2010.  In my first game I play as Millwall against Crystal Palace who I eventually beat on penalties.  Afterwards I notice how late it now is (10.20PM) and suddenly I feel guilty about being up.

From here I head to bed where the South Bank Show is having some kind of awards ceremony.  Erm, when did Melvyn Bragg event all arts and culture?

I sleep.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Saturday 30 January 2010

This morning I awaken at 8AM, my ideal hour.

I emerge in a funny frame of mind this morning.  My body physically aches after last night (especially my arms) and I don’t feel overly rejuvenated or invigorated by it at all.  A haze of laze remains as I find myself struggling to muster up any energy towards anything today.

Eventually however I pull myself together to action the routine of heading to Asda on the Saturday newspaper run.  Once at the store I have no idea what I am supposed to be purchasing other than the newspapers.  In the end I wind up buying just drinks and cleaning products shying away from purchasing food for fear that it is unhealthy and bad for me.  Somehow though it all comes to over £25 of groceries.

Like a modern fucking fool I find myself suckered into buying the Daily Star as the headline reads “Punch-up At Celeb Big Bro Final” with a photo of Vinnie Jones squaring up for a photo makes me think something of interest actually occurred.  There is no actual story though.

Back at the flat I briefly toy with starting writing but eventually head back to bed to listen to Danny Baker on the radio, which by the end equates to my having wasted my Saturday morning and one quarter of my weekend.  Afterwards I flip to Radio 2 where Jonathan Ross should be but instead he is ill so the Doctor Who duo of David Tennant and Catherine Tate get to interview Ricky Gervais.  Damn this guy comes with such weight to me these days, obviously reminding me of my American Friend in the process which all in all serves to compound my misery.  This feels self imposed but it isn’t.

I’m in a spot today, I can’t write.  As feeble as it sounds for whatever reasons both my arms agonisingly ache from last night.  I wrack my brain trying to recall a moment that may have caused this but nothing obvious sticks out.  Certainly I was using my arms but not to the extent that it might cause them to get fucked up.

Away from this frustration I finally finish off reading The Death Of Bunny Munro today.  It ends with a whimper.  It was OK but not breathtaking.  By no means did I ever veer towards feeling offended by it or any of the images conjured up within, certainly I genuinely believe I have written more offensive copy in the past, the type of shit that will have got me sacked back in 2004.  This book has been such a slog to get through, which is never a good sign.  Maybe Nick Cave should have been nicer to me back in September; perhaps I would have given it more benefit of the doubt.

Today I need to head into town to post some books and bank my salary cheque.  With this necessity comes some urgency to proceedings but this all gets hindered as I discover Fletch Lives is on ITV.  I love Chevy Chase and I love Fletch but I have never been able to make it through the entirety of the sequel even though I have it on DVD.  As a result everything gets put on pause as I indulge once more in my old 80s video shop days.  And all in all it turns out to be a worthwhile experience as the movie delivers even though unfortunately I am unable to stick around to watch it until the end.

I wind up heading (racing) towards town before the bank closes.  It really is a nuisance to have to be paid by cheque this month and were this a year or so ago it would mean big problems for my direct debits (mortgage etc) getting through.  These days however I’m buoyant.

There is always an element of fun attached to banking a cheque at the bank.  If you dare go to their desk they begin tutting and bellyaching as they point chimp like to the ATM machine, which is where the modern world apparently pays its cheques in.  Fortunately to entice stupid people to do this they have turned the experience of depositing a cheque into the machine akin to a cross between a fruit machine and game show and when I finally put my paycheque through once it has been accepting the lights change on the machine to represent/reflect some kind of accomplishment and victory on my part.  I am now officially richer, the changing lights of the bank machine just told me so.

From here I head to the post office where I post a copy of my book to my friend Alice in Sacramento, Alice from California 2003.  Just before Christmas she got in touch expressing some kind of interest in the book.  Apparently Tom had told her it was funny which is great because he has never mentioned it to me in any capacity so I have always suspected he thought it was no good.  Perhaps though she is wondering whether she gets mentioned in the book because back in the day she did get mentioned once in the original blog.  Of course however she has not mentioned this to me, why disrupt a happy/positive flow of communication and reconnection.  Sadly I suspect (don’t think) it will last, we’ve left it too late.

To post the book to America costs almost as much as it did to print up the fucker.  I swear it didn’t cost this much when I posted copies over there before.  Has something suddenly happened with regards to posting overseas?

Now out of pocket I wander around town for a while inevitably ending up in Waterstones.  As I look through the entertainment books and scan a Tony Hancock book for any further revelations Ric Flair Guy from the commute suddenly appears standing next to me.  Is he acknowledging me, trying to say “hello”?  I just smile and walk away quickly.

I begin to head home and as I do so I check my email on my iPhone and there is another from eHarmony.  What is with this lot?  Why do they now keep bothering me, harassing me?  Are they exacting some kind of revenge on me now for scoring so utterly badly on their strange profiling quiz?  Quite frankly eHarmony now appear to be stalking me, which is I suspect something they do not want associated with themselves as they pair up strangers in the hope that neither of them turn out to be psychos and murder one of their clients prompting some kind of lawsuit from the victims family.  This is not on.

Unsurprisingly I wind up back at the olds where I proceed to waste another Saturday.  Fortunately news soon filters through that Millwall have won 1-0 at Brighton with Neil Harris scoring the winner.  That is our third win in a row now.

On TV is Leicester v Newcastle, which I half watch as it crawls its way to a dull 0-0 draw.

From here I watch Harry Hill before heading home just after 8PM realising once more just how unhealthy it is for me to be at my parents on a Saturday night yet again.  This is not before however I come across the Louis Theroux wrestling episode, which I have to watch.  This is a classic episode.

Back home I watch The Virtual Revolution where I learn that 90% of blogs now lay dormant.  This is a statistic I can well believe, especially as this one included now sits six months out of date.

Elsewhere today I discover that I have been mentioned on the 100 Days To Make Me A Better Person website for a fourth time.  Yowsa, somebody up there must like me.

Encouraged and inspired by this I set about writing, doing so well into the night up to around 11PM while various things play out on TV in the background.  Now feeling exhausted I head to bed where I watch The Hitchhiker’s Guide To Galaxy movie falling asleep about halfway through it (its not very good).

Around 2AM I make the schoolboy error of reawakening and finding myself unable to fall back to sleep.  Buoyed on by last night’s Tony Hancock being gay revelation I set about watching the excellent Hancock And Joan docudrama.  Frustratingly this does not send me to sleep and with the day heading towards 4AM on a Sunday morning I begin listening to the first part of The Catcher In The Rye audiobook.  That puts me to sleep.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Friday 29 January 2010

This has been a very fast week and now I am very relieved that it is almost over.  A new air of tiredness has crept into my routine, which ultimately has resulted in my failure to write anything this week.  As ever I find myself horribly trailing in my never-ending attempts and efforts to get my writing real-time.

It is raining once more this morning, which is something I am sure we could all do without.  Beyond this however the train journey turns out to be nondescript.  I think I pay less attention to my surroundings on the trains these days due to it being winter and dark.  Is there anything to be seen here?

At Chelmsford a plate crowder boards serving to make for an uncomfortable journey for the remainder of the way.  Why do people insist on squeezing into gaps that plainly are just not wide enough to cater their fat arse and mine?  So selfish.

By the time I get to London arrival comes with a sense of relief, happy to be off the train.  This elation is only to be met however with the reality of having to get onto a tube.  Sometimes I wonder if there is more to my life than public transport.  Dare I point out that a quarter of my waking week is spent on trains of one form or another?  Begs the question: am I wasting my life?

Once the dust clears and I take my seat at work there is an exciting air to proceedings today as I have made arrangements to meet up with Angela in Holland Park this evening which means all day I will be counting down the hours to home time.

The Girl is not in today which means it is just the Filipino and I.  Soon after she arrives I hand her the copy of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs DVD that she asked me to get last night and there is an air of gratitude to the day.

Today is the day that Tony Blair is in the dock over the Iraq enquiry.  It starts early and is streamed via the BBC website.  I would really love to be watching this, would love to hear what he says.  I’m not as passionate as most left wing types when it comes to this subject but I am fascinated by the machinations of what happened.  The whole subject has become so convoluted over the past seven years when in earnest it doesn’t take a genius to realise that it was just a veiled response to 9/11.  Despite the protestations outside the enquiry (“Bliar” boards etc) Blair will inevitably maintain his Teflon persona and get through this enquiry because he is smarter than the average bear.  It is interesting to see the few moments I do watch though, of Blair visibly on the ropes using excessive hands gestures, hands that I have never realised were so huge before.  He probably fears a lynching more than any line of questioning.  I can’t work up any hate towards him.

Back performing work I find myself on the new(ish) company again trawling through the bank and getting it all pumped onto Sage.

Quickly lunchtime arrives and with it I head back to the salmon option, an option that is beginning to get a bit old and tired.  Gift horse though, gift horse.

My afternoon experiences something of a hiccup when the IT guy phones telling me that my journal adjustments are no good.  Without any figures in front of me I cannot comment further, hopefully this is just a case of him misposting rather than my figures being wrong.  He asks me if I will have some time to look at them this afternoon and I say “yes” but emphasise that I need to be out by 5PM tonight (I’m heading over to Holland Park this evening).

With me hoping he isn’t going to turn up invariably he does.  Luckily it transpires that he has posted last years journal adjustments as opposed to the ones I have given him for this year so the error is on his part.  This however comes with lots of indecision on his part to the point that he may call it a day on his company, in which case there is little point in trying to soothe the figures through another year of returns.  At this point I really have no fresh suggestions for him and luckily he takes his query to my boss who promptly points him towards the consultant (who to be honest will have the best advice IF he offers it up).

As I count down the hours we fashion escape at 5PM.  From here I head down to Bond Street and directly across to Holland Park where I happily arrive early for our 6PM meeting.

Tonight is kind of fun.  Its silly and we do things that don’t really turn out as intended but all in all they are entertaining all the same.  Eventually we get bored and chill out chatting until it gets late.  It stops short of being coat hanger sex.

I think there is perhaps something wrong when halfway during the job you begin talking about personal finances and commenting how frustrating it is to be earning enough to be comfortable from a disposable income perspective but not really earning enough to be doing anything productive with it (such as a better mortgage or investment).

During our chat she tells me that she has recently been seeing a famous person but she refuses to tell me who it is/was.  With personal ethics and discretion etc I don’t push her on the point.

Things go slightly pear shaped when she rocks my world by telling me that Tony Hancock.  No he was not.  From here a slightly tense disagreement occurs with both of us being vehement in our opinions.  I know I am right though.

Eventually things end with me sat on the floor cross-legged with a palm full of spunk in my hand.  I defy anyone to imagine this as being a pretty sight.

Polo is my life.

I head home around 8PM boarding a long Central Line journey across town soundtracked by the recording of the Pixies show we went to in October.  For some reason the recording sounds infinitely better than the actual gig sounded on the night.  These things.

There is a slight rush attached to getting home tonight as it is the final of the last ever Celebrity Big Brother.  Once on the train heading back to my beloved Essex I discover via Twitter that both Stephanie Beacham and Basshunter have become the first people to go.  Then before I even get home I discover that Vinnie Jones has been evicted also leaving it to Alex Reid v Dane Bowers in the final.  It is the Katie Price wet dream final for Channel Four.  Perhaps it might not be a bad thing to end this show after all.

During the journey home I receive a text message from an old school chum who has read the book I sent him in two days.  Now if only everyone was as enthusiastic to read it as much as that.  His message reads: “All done.  Top stuff.  You need to do a follow up, even in pdf I wanna know what happened next.  Breathtakingly honest thanks again for sending. D b.”  Quite frankly this is probably the best text message that I am going to receive all year.

Once back in Colchester I find myself feeling famished so with a healthy February in mind I head to North Station Road where I get a sacred Doner kebab and chips to accompany the Celebrity Big Brother when I get home.

I get home in time to catch the second half of the show and the eviction of Vinnie Jones.  Quite frankly it is a farce that he is coming third to the two confused idiots left remaining in the house.  As ever he remains stoic, charming and modest with nothing to prove because he already knows he is awesome and perhaps the only person in the house with an actual career and set of bollocks.  I hated him as a footballer but think he is great as an individual.

Eventually the victor turns out to be the second rate Adrian Street impostor and as he does his winning exit interview he continuously refers to himself in the third person not displaying an once of charm or intellect and very little in the way of gratitude.  Basically he sounds a complete prat.  At the end of the day it is his ego that has prevailed and the rest of the package is just a sad reflection on modern society and the stupidity of the modern masses with regards to who their heroes are in this day and age.  Really how on earth has he endeared himself to people, he is as vacuous as her and where his brain should be appears to be a burger of confidence.  I can’t help but think that this final of CBB was the biggest fix since Shilpa Shetty.

Not long after this I pass out forgetting that my favourite movie Bad Lieutenant is on TV tonight.  This was not a good night.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Thursday 28 January 2010

Tiredness victors as soon as I wake up this morning as I fall back asleep after turning the TV on.  This doesn’t happen to me often, if at all.  Then once I am finally up and running into the day I experience an extended toilet break that sees me delayed even further in leaving Bohemian Grove, even to the extent that I see The Ghost as I leave.  This is the first time I have seen him this year.  He looks well and so does his dog.  As I pass him I smile but don’t really mean it.

The drive to the station causes addition grief as the journey is hindered somewhat by a slow coach in front of me sticking to limit at 6.40AM in the morning.  Where is the mentality in that?  This is the safest time of the day to be driving.  Eventually I take great satisfaction in overtaking the car on Balkerne Hill as the lanes double up.  This however does not prove my final motor vehicle obstacle as I then get stuck behind an old school Mini Cooper at the station that does not appear able to deal with driving over speed bumps, having to stop before each hump.  This is pathetic.  Why would a person in this day and age still own a car that can rust in the rain?  A car that I could physically pick up and flip on its side all on my own.  Such things.

Away from this the remainder of my journey into town turns out to be stress free and perhaps/probably the best ride up to Liverpool Street so far this year.

Once up in London I await my tube chariot and as I stand on the platform the Bellalike turns up with her customary cup of Costa coffee and confused expression.  I wonder what her voice sounds like.

I get another boost today as while listening to Answer Me This episode #123 again they answer my question, this time about whether I should do my old work colleagues university paper.  In response Helen answers with a scowling negative while Olly picks up the ball and runs with it comparing my doing the paper with somebody outsourcing the task in the real world.  I like that mentality.

Off the back of this I bowl into work in a rather fine mood.  Things improve even further as the angry boss hands me a cup of coffee which is always a good start to any day and usually a good indicator that I am currently doing something right.

The positive momentum of the day continues as I proceed to have a damn fine one.  In addition to the good fortune already experienced the Filipino brings in some apology chocolates for apparently being mean to me yesterday.  She wasn’t mean.

After a solid morning of working on the new company accounts and making visible progress lunch arrives and today I plump for sausage, beans and mash, that most mature of dishes, because I am bored of our restricted menu now.  Oh what I would do for breadcrumbed parmesan chicken, linguini or Carbonara.  Indeed I am not the only person feeling bored as every now and then The Girl will make vocal gestures towards bringing in her own food for lunch.  Woah woah, lets not get hasty here.  I was always taught to never look a gift horse in the mouth (something to do with bad breath I believe).

Around midday I get hit with another annoying group invitation on Facebook and with this I make good on my threat to cull any such person that does so.  Today it is that Dave Hough (“Huff”) guy who just creates some fucking ridiculous group about Chilcot issuing arrest warrants, something that will never happen in a million years.  Does he not get the white collar v blue collar concept?  There are no handcuffs with white collar crimes.  Despite my annoyance I go pretty easy with my culling, I could have gone to town on such a dubious individual but instead I remain restrained and balanced.  I’m well rounded like that.

Similar to the morning the afternoon eventually runs out relatively smoothly and successfully.  All afternoon The Girl keeps half jokingly ranting at me about how selfish I apparently am.  Don’t see it myself.

Towards the end of the day the Filipino asks if I am going to Asda this weekend and if I can get her a copy of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs on DVD for her daughter.  I’m always going to Asda.

Finally 5.30PM arrives and with it escape back to Essex.  When I get on the train I discover via Facebook that rumours are circulating of the death of JD Salinger.  Eventually this gets sadly confirmed.  Yet another artist’s passing I am finding out through social networking websites.  This just does not feel right or respectful.

Ironically on a writing note during my train ride home I receive a text message from Dave who I used to go to school with and who I posted a book to on Saturday.  The message is a good one, thanking me for the book.  I wonder if he will still possess any gratitude after actually reading any of it.

Back in Colchester I head to Asda to pick up the DVD.  As I return to my car my key no longer appears to be working.  As I begin to swear about its malfunction I suddenly realise that I am trying to get into the wrong green Focus.  Brain damage.

On the way home I stop by the olds at Balkerne Heights.  I cannot get into the visitors parking space because there is a car clamped in it.  Ironically there are cars parked all over the rest of the complex all getting in the way but none with clamps or tickets on them.  This truly is carageddon.

I step into their flat in order to grab my external hard drive.  In the process I snag some quick dinner but for fear of hanging around too long and getting clamped myself I soon head off home.

Leaving as I get to my car I discover that I have been parked in.  Immediately I sound my horn and I spot a guy in the distance delivering a pizza.  After the incident with the pizza guy a few weeks ago suddenly a person could be forgiven to think that the pizza delivery guys were suddenly after him.  Are they really out to get me?  With the sound of the horn the old man comes stomping out, ready to kick off at the pizza guy who to his credit is now getting back in his car and moving it.  I’m still suspicious.

When I get home I haul myself into a bath while also attempting to do some writing, which ultimately fails due to exhaustion, lack of sleep and lack of time and energy.

Eventually I fall asleep trying to watch comedy on TV.  It’s just not funny anymore.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Wednesday 27 January 2010

As I drive to the station this morning I get stuck behind a slow poodling yellow little car.  It is tiny.  Later when I get close enough to it I get to see a variation of the ”Baby On Board” sticker/badge that reads “Fiona On Board.”  Idiot.

Beyond this revelation I get through the train and tube without worry and eventually wander into work feeling relatively happy and untarnished.  Things then improve infinitely when the angry boss hands me a cup of coffee and bacon sandwich for “being first in.”  With this the bacon makes up the first of one of my five meats a day.

Proceedings plummet slightly as the consultant trots in early which all in all equates to another potentially hectic day ahead of me.  Thankfully though it would appear he is here to get caught up in other dealings thus giving me a break/relief from his grilling.

Mid morning I receive an email from eHarmony.  After yesterday’s genuinely offensive response to my registration I can only take this as them kicking sand in my eyes and rubbing my face in it.  Really what the fuck is this about?  If they’ve already told me that I am not good enough to enrol with them (and in essence not good enough to have a relationship) what part of their evil mentality sees it necessary to remind me of this?  Why taunt a person after you have knocked them down?  What an awful, terrible fucking organisation.  I should email them a JPEG of my arsehole, its what they deserve.

After a swift morning lunch soon comes around and today devoid of imagination I plump for penne with chicken.  So with the chicken I manage to reach number two of my five meats a day.

I spend the remainder of the day attempting to reconcile the control accounts but ultimately they are just a mess.  Unfortunately at the point I have picked these figures up (the weekly trading records) they haven’t arrived 100% accurate.  Now however its time to play the blame game and I’m an easy target.

It becomes apparent today that the Heavy Metal Manager has now finished.  From various sources it is indicated that it was not a good end.  He comes up with some wanky announcement on Facebook that is just arrogant in its execution, although not necessarily out of character.  Despite all this I will miss him.

Today I am getting it from all directions: the consultant is in, Nicole’s uni paper is almost due, the IT Guy is asking me about his tax and accounts and now my boss is asking me to help him sort out his online tax return submission.  All in all as a result of this I wind up staying back until 7.15PM during which post 5.30PM I sort out my boss, Nicole and end up having an hour long state of the nation discussion with the IT guy who is acting somewhat bipolar in his reasoning.  I really don’t know what or how to advise him.  Ultimately I just keep coming back to that old theory: indecision is worse than wrong decision.

Once having escaped all the tasks at hand I jump aboard the Jubilee Line and head down to Waterloo and the South Bank for the DAVID RENWICK talk at the BFI.

Upon arriving at Waterloo I hit pay dirt and snag a Starbucks dinner (anything venti).  I have been itching for a Starbucks for weeks now.  Sadly my choice of Vanilla Latte proves a poor decision and somewhat underwhelming.  Pants.

From here I get to the BFI in perfect time and just as I collect my ticket for the event the call goes out that the screen is now open.  With this I step inside NFT1 collecting a set of BFI notes on the way.

Tonight Screen 1 is fairly sparse with most of the audience huddled in a section towards the front.  As people begin filtering in I recognise the old lady (Mrs Warboys) from One Foot In The Grave taking her seat.

When the Q&A finally begins DAVID RENWICK turns out to be a very interesting writer stating amongst his influences Woody Allen and nuclear holocaust.  Suddenly with this it becomes obvious why I am a fan.

The mixture of chat and clips serves him well as the machinations of both his craft and the industry are discussed and come to light.  The clip they show from One Foot In The Grave is a particularly great one and afterwards when she gets called out we are given the opportunity to hit Mrs Warboys with a round of applause.  Likewise later after the Jonathan Creek clip gets played it transpires that Alan Davies is in the audience also.

I will never get tired of listening to writers speaking of how they pull together their pieces, of where they find/sought inspiration and how they get to the point of completion.  In DAVID RENWICK here is a man with a legacy that is a lot more extended than a person initially realises (even to the point of doing a couple of Poirot episodes).  Most tellingly for me he discusses the moment at which his went from amateur to professional in the writer stakes.

Afterwards during the Q&A it gets revealed that the reason why the LOVE SOUP format changed was due to Michael Landes being offered a big opportunity in America and unfortunately it was something he just could not sync with filming the show.

As the talk comes to an end the cinema drops dark and the opening strains of “Alley Boogie” by Georgia White ring out on screen and suddenly it feels as if I am watching the England movie that Woody Allen should have made.  LOVE SOUP was an amazing series and it is a true shame that it only lasted for two seasons and has not been more lauded over time.  Watching the first ever episode tonight soon I am quickly reminded of just how much I enjoyed it and how it went to more places than most series go in an entire season.

I think the strength in the series comes in the dry and dark humour of the tone to proceedings that often verges on the almost bleak.  For a person feeling out of step with the world LOVE SOUP serves to touch so many nerves, press so many buttons because it is just so realistic and tangible as well as being insanely quirky and weird, which quite frankly is how a person such as myself wants to view their own life/existence in addition to being caked in wit.

The episode ends very darkly with Tamsin Greig’s character encountering a psychopath, experiencing great sadness at the injustice of the world as a dog is put to sleep before she settles on some kind of boring compromise in the mouth of a foot fetishist.  The eternal question gets raised: what am I doing?

As the lights come up and we collectively begin to make our way out heading up the stairs I spot the lady that plays Mrs Warboys sat at the back of the cinema and she clocks me recognising her.  Not wishing to bother the poor lady I just fire her the broadest smile appreciative of her work and recognising her talent.  She responds in kind, I think we are both on the same wavelength.

From here I tear back to Liverpool Street from Waterloo via London Bridge and Moorgate.  Once off the Jubilee Line and onto the Northern Line the journey picks up pace.

Once finally on a train back to Colchester my journey home is informed by the news of two evictions from the Celebrity Big Brother house tonight in the form of Ivana Trump and Nicola T.  To be honest these two were pieces of cheese and won’t be missed.  That said it does now mean that Stephanie Beacham is the only remaining female in the house.  In any other walk of life this could equate to a bad thing.

When I eventually get back it is late.  I might regret tonight in the morning.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tuesday 26 January 2010

I appear to better have my head on as I leave home this morning, remembering both my property management company demand letter and to actually put my watch on.

Entering the station this morning I spot the younger Kym Marsh lookalike and we nearly bump into each other going through the door.

Once on the train later at Witham a fat arsed woman decides to squeeze into the seat next to me.  Not only does the squash make me feel uncomfortable but also there is the reality that she smells of fish food.  Dark times.  Eventually we get to London, by which time I am feeling morose.

Nothing happens between Liverpool Street and Baker Street and to be honest not much happens on the way to St Johns Wood either.  Currently things are eerily quiet and undemanding when it comes to public transport.  For this I must not complain.

The Girl is late in today as an accident at Chelsea Bridge occurs and holds her up.  The next time she gets in touch she is lost and travelling past Green Park not knowing where she is.  This reminds me of the Griswolds driving around London in National Lampoon’s European Vacation and how they eventually get stuck on a roundabout at Buckingham Palace.  Am I right in thinking that they don’t have roundabouts in America?

I don’t feel as busy as I should be at the moment and as a result I am finding myself sleepwalking through days and tasks.  This cannot be good for anybody.

My day takes an interesting turn when out of boredom and desperation I attempt to register with eHarmony only to be faced with the result:

“Unable To Match You At This Time

eHarmony is based upon a complex matching system developed through extensive research with married couples.  One of the requirements for successful matching is that participants fall within certain defined profiles.  If we find that we will not be able to match a user using these profiles, we feel it is only fair to inform them early in the process.

We are so convinced of the importance of creating compatible matches to help people establish happy, lasting relationships that we sometimes choose not to provide service rather than risk an uncertain match.

Unfortunately, we are not able to make our profiles work for you.  Our matching model could not accurately predict with whom you would be best matched.  This occurs for about 20% of potential users, so 1 in 5 people simply will not benefit from our service.  We hope that you understand, and we regret our inability to provide service for you at this time.

You can still receive your free Personality Profile by clicking.”

Ouch, what does this mean?  I’m not even allowed in the door?  To say that this is something of a knock to my self esteem would be an understatement.  Just how fucking mental am I?  Yikes, I feel I should have a second opinion off the back of this cod psychological profiling they have performed on me.  For a commercial organisation it really does not seem like sound or solid procedure to stop people at the doors.  Was it because I was wearing trainers when I tried to get in?  Have I just been told to “chuff off” by the cyber equivalent of a sour doorman bouncer?

I really should let this go but I just cannot.  Absolutely nowhere at the beginning did it tell me that the website and organisation was so exclusive, so picky, so sniffy and so snobby.  If I want to go somewhere to be rejected by people with brooms up their arses I will go to the numerous pubs and clubs in our town centres on a Friday and Saturday night.  Just how fucking fickle is this website?  For a website that is built on such a flimsy premise of bringing people together as its number one intention (when in reality it is about profiting on the sad and lonely) it really is offensive.  Harmony?  My arse.

Hmm, I guess with those last few paragraphs I now see why they refused me entry.  Still, such hypocrisy is unforgivable.  This world is so cold, so cruel at times.

Beyond this the day pans out OK.  In the afternoon The Girl gets horny and annoying, seemingly intent on getting me with the “Posted” stamp.  Do I really lack such authority?

Eventually 5.30PM comes around and I get to go home to Essex where I have to work on Nicole’s uni paper again.

Once back in Colchester tonight I stop by Asda to buy some Jagermeister, green tea and Krave cereal (can’t get enough of that Krave).  Unable to find the green tea I leave the store with booze and chocolate cereal.  Great success.

As soon as I get back home I unfortunately begin to wilt and as a result I struggle to get into the work ahead of me (which tonight is reviewing the most recent Easyjet accounts).

With view to picking and perking up I make a DIY Jagerbomb using cheap Sainsburys energy drink Bolt.  It half works (but this also means it half fails).

In the end I manage to scrape out some notes on Easyjet as The Daily Show and then Celebrity Big Brother play out in the background both thankfully failing to distract me at this time.  How come I suddenly have focus?  Is it the booze?

Afterwards I look at the notes I have scraped off and unfortunately its not strong stuff.  There is no way I can justify getting paid £100 for this stuff.

My self set 10PM curfew soon arrives and I stay up/awake for this week’s Newswipe which again is very good (very strong) with nice bits by Tim Key and Doug Stanhope.  Beyond this however I just turn in and head to bed running, mentally tumbling along the way.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Monday 25 January 2010

I arrive at the station this morning to discover that I have forgotten to put my watch on.  Now as a result of this act of distraction I will be lost all day.  Also it will serve to display me as the complete hypocrite that I am because I thoroughly look down and lambast people who do not wear watches, clinging to the philosophy that these people cannot be relied on or trusted, they are not functioning adults without a timepiece.  Am I being too harsh and irrational here?

The ride up to London turns out to be routine, I fail to spot or see any regular extras and before I know it the train is rolling into Liverpool Street almost on time without any drama.

Likewise as I head to the tube platform there is already a train there waiting for me and later as I change lines at Baker Street there is also a Jubilee Line train just one minute away from me.  Some days when it comes to public transport I occasionally connect the dots with perfection.  Typically though at a time when I do not have my alarm fob for the restaurant it suddenly appears that I am going to get to work quicker than ever before.

Fortunately when I arrive there are already plenty of people in and it immediately begins to look like it is going to be another busy day.

Slowly the new week begins as people gradually trawl in.  Today is the big day for the new deal as it is going through.  This Monday also comes coupled with the morning after the staff Christmas party.

As with any big deal there is a tense atmosphere in the air, one that transmits itself right through our office as our level appears to collectively hold its breath.

A slight moment of drama occurs when the Brazilian/Mexican/Albanian chef of rude temperament kicks off at the lowest level.  Last week he tried to sneak 50 hours through on the timesheet.  Obviously it immediately set off alarm bells but everyone was approving it and telling us not to ask any questions.  In the end after some discussion with the operations manager we split the difference and approved 25 hours to go through.  Now on Friday night this incident came up in discussion with the Heavy Metal Manager at the pub at which point he told me that these were hours from outstanding holiday that the chef was cashing in before the deadline of March swallows them up.  Now if only we had been told that this was the case from the start.  I however react at the pub by criticising the chef for being stupid because he caught being greedy, getting quite vocal about the subject.  It would then turn out that the Heavy Metal Manager promptly went complaining to the chef on Saturday about my comments so now the chef is saying that “somebody upstairs said something to him.”  My big mouth, it will always get me into trouble.  The Girl brushes it off, saying it will be all right but adds about the Heavy Metal Manager “that he is a shit stirrer” at which point she reminds us of firework night and the trouble he caused then as I remember his actions with the roller derby myself.  Perhaps his leaving will not be such a bad thing after all.

As a result of this when lunch comes around today I feel a bit sheepish when I head down to collect our food from said chef.  Thankfully he says nothing.  Whether he has done anything to my food is another question.

The afternoon eventually plays out with me making a few adjustments on the accounts but not really doing anything on a grand scale.  These feel like barren times.

Eventually home time comes around and when I get to Liverpool Street this evening I find myself faced with the sight of a hunk of extras all gawping up at the notice board of times with a distinct lack of optimism on their faces and expressions.

In actuality a (delayed) train soon turns up but as almost everyone heads over to board it promptly it becomes the wanker train, one to be avoided.

Seemingly against the elements I manage to board my usual 6.20PM Norwich train which unsurprisingly leaves Liverpool Street late which all equates to its eventual arrival into Colchester also being late.

Once back in Colchester I promptly fly home to begin finishing off Nicole’s paper.  I only get so far with the thing before petering out.

Soon I am in bed.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sunday 24 January 2010

Today I wake up in full knowledge, realisation and acceptance that I wasted yesterday and as a result now I have a lot to do in order to make up for that.  No pressure.

Again I awaken around 7.45AM which is perhaps my ideal time of awaking everyday, as opposed to the hellacious 6AM that I have to endure.  I can’t complain really though because my parents used to get up earlier.  That said so many of my generation however get to wake up much later than that.  Where has the work ethic of my peers disappeared to?

Obviously I begin my Sunday with the news, there is nothing else on TV although I do briefly come across some beach volleyball on Channel Four but how on earth do these people make such a titillating sport so butch and unalluring?  How?

There is no news today.

My day properly begins as I start to murmur and look towards doing some writing.  As ever it provides mixed results.

Around 11AM I head over to Sainsburys in order to get today’s copy of The Observer that has the Observer Music Monthly in it.  I like Sainsburys because, as opposed to Asda, it sells large cartons of Mars milk drink and its cans of fizzy caffeine drinks Bolt are much better than Emerge.  While there I also look at the cheap DVD players and the Philips one for £27 looks OK.  I do a quick Google of it to see if there is a multi region hack and apparently there is so I impulse buy a DVD player.  There is absolutely no fanfare attached to me buying this machine.  I remember the days when you would have to take out a bank loan and fill in all kinds of forms.  Times have truly changed.

When I get home and begin flicking through this month’s issue of the Observer Music Monthly it feels a bit lacklustre and then I realise/discover that it is to be the final issue of the magazine.  This really blows, all I want from life is a decent Sunday magazine pitched at my level.  The News Of The World supplement is just too moronic and the broadsheet magazines are too bourgeois.  Where is the magazine aimed at me?  Here is a demographic just screaming to be met/filled.

Scouring the Freeview channels I come across the free ESPN weekend and the mere novelty of being able to watch Ajax v AZ Alkmaar is one that serves me well, sees me paying attention to a game of football that I would otherwise ignore.  Maybe I should just put my hand in my pocket and subscribe to the channel.  Nah.

Today is the day I have set aside to begin Nicole’s university paper.  I have already scanned over it a couple of times, feeling daunted at the proposition but today with a can of Sainsburys Bolt caffeine drink inside me I tear into it when otherwise I would be undertaking some writing.  The actual accounts and cashflow figure work turns out to be a relative breeze, once I have reacquainted myself with the formats.  I am worried about the pitch of the paper, its only a small part of a larger picture whereas my financial exams were obviously more focused on being thorough and extensive.  I fear I am running the risk of coming up with a too detailed answer above the requirements which will then scream that it is work being produced by somebody.  What would Brian Krakow do?

On TV today is the third FA Cup game of the weekend in the form of Stoke v Arsenal.  Yes that is one big fuck off yawn you can hear from me.  Adding some degree of interest to proceedings is Arsenal having Sol Campbell in their line-up in a generally weakened team.  This quite frankly is taking the piss out of Stoke City.  So there is some kind of justice attached to them eventually winning 3-1.

Soon 3PM comes around and with it my routine visit to the parents for Sunday dinner.  At this point I have failed to complete Nicole’s uni paper yet but I have made decent headway on it.

When I arrive at Balkerne Heights the dog seems off, almost depressed.  What is wrong with him?  I ask the olds and they just say “he is down.”

The Sunday afternoon truly kicks in when I find myself falling asleep on my parents couch watching old Only Fools And Horses repeats on UK Gold.  Surely there is more to life than this?  When I reawaken realising what I have just done I feel slightly embarrassment by my lack of personal development.

I reawaken to the sight of Scunthorpe v Manchester City on Sky.  It is a fucking boring fixture to be showing.  Robinho scores and its yawn yawn yawn.

Things pick up immensely when while channel hoping I discover The Terminal on BBC2.  This is a movie that I genuinely love and now will forever take me back to the first time I saw it which was my last weekend stuck in Harlesden back on 4 February 2007 almost three years to the day.  That was the day I turned down the opportunity to appear on the Stephen Merchant radio show, which I half declined because things were currently weird between Catherine and I (weird on their way to being nothing).  Subsequently my experience of being so close to appearing on the Smerch show prompted me to post a message about the event on the Pilkipedia website and that was where I met Mindy for the first time.  And we all know what happened there with Steve Is King.  Ultimately that was a rough weekend to say the least but at the climax on the Sunday evening I found a copy of The Terminal on DVD, watched it and it was exactly what I needed to be experiencing at that time: a movie about people being nice to each other.  Sometimes that is all what is needed from life.

Eventually I head home to Sunday night and the usual blues that come with it.  From here I endeavour to finish off the uni paper but I fail, I’m just too beat to do it.

Tonight on BBC1 the Only Fools And Horses prequel airs with the horny one from The Inbetweeners taking the lead role.  As a result of such casting prospects look good.  Unfortunately the reality proves to be a drab one even with Phil Daniels doing a good turn as Grandad (and the Curious Orange is in it too).  The highlight (in our zone) is when Tom from Pappy’s appears in it as a petrol attendant at the beginning.  In the end it speaks volumes about the programme that I fall asleep long before the end.

When I reawaken Right At Your Door is playing and as I start watching it is towards the end and the climax of the movie proves genuinely terrifying and distressing playing on the senses, emotions and greatest fears of the viewer causing them to feel vulnerable in the one place where people feel safe: their home.  Quite frankly I’d have preferred to have stayed asleep.

Elsewhere on TV with the night heading towards 2AM I come across the closing moments of Quadrophenia and the ensuing bundle in Brighton with the side alley sex and Phil Daniels eventually shouting “Bell Boy!” in the most comedic fashion.  What the fuck were Mods about?  I hate the way a few people these days cling onto that trend and look.  I guess Britpop gave it some kind of rejuvenation and the longevity of the stagnating corpse of Paul Weller’s career keeps it going but ouch the idea of riding a moped is a feeble one.  What is this Phil Daniels night?

I watch the film end with the moped flying off a cliff in the sad realisation that tomorrow I will enter into proceedings equipped with less than four hours to put towards my efforts.