Sunday, 23 November 2008

Pick n Mix

As the four boys relaxed in the luxurious crumb upholstered
interior of the speeding Peugeot 406 estate, the talk was of the
morning's football...'What a goal!' exclaimed L, his flinty
gaze alert under a superficially relaxed stance.

'Don't look now but we've got company' murmured B.
I took a sharp right - careering through a shop front and winding
up in a deserted carpark. 'I think we've lost them' said J through
gritted teeth.'Can't believe you have to pay to park on a Sunday though'
grunted L.' We don't' said B as he brought down the parking meter in a
hail of bullets. 'Make it snappy guys - the film starts in five'.

The agents honed bodies tensed for action.'They've tracked my phone.
They know we're here. Quick. The roof!' Expertly they scaled the wall,
bounding across the tiles to the Peckham Multiplex - sending several
lumps of Deco architecture crashing to the pavement in the process.

Meanwhile the mysterious leather gloved Mr X intercepted the coded
message on the abandoned phone:
'Will u b home 4 t?'

J clutched the bullet wound on his arm 'Are we gonna make it?'
'It'll be tight- but if we don't pull this one we'll staying in at playtime. Forever!' B was ashen as they approached the kiosk. Fingers crossed. Here we go.
'Four children and one adult please' said J firmly. Minutes seemed
like a lifetime as they waited for the hungover-looking youth to print out the tickets....

J didn't flinch as he felt the inevitable muzzle of a gun in his back.
'Ah Mr Bond' purred a chillingly familiar voice...'It seems you have
forgotten your Pick n Mix....'

(To be continued........)

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Feathers Ruffled

This week I joined the online discussion forum for local residents.

Like Caspar Hauser on a bad hair day, I wandered through the creaky door of this virtual village pub and everything went quiet....

A slightly obtuse statement endorsing a friend's new retail venture resulted in accusations of fraud and me being blocked from the site. People suspected I was the self promoting owner of the business. I had seriously breached the etiquette. The hostility my comment generated was amazing, even when it became clear I was unconnected to the owner.

In this cultural melting pot new tribes are still developing, both virtually and in Real Life. Tight little communities with their own rules, rituals and language. And I had spoken the wrong language...

So I apologise unreservedly to all those affected or offended...
Please accept 3 cows, a goat, and 2 Nintendogs.

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Mighty Bush. Wall St. Crash and Bash

George we'll start with you. How the mighty have fallen. It's all your fault. Yep - that everybody has to work themslves into wan bleached out existance just to survive and ends up living on the knife edge of sanity. Being a Wall Street banker right now must be great. At last you are released from greed to go and keep sheep (or something with Kevin Costner in it.) Someone has to take the blame - and this month it's your turn, President Boosh. In July it was China - but then the Olympics were so much fun we forgot all about His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Damage Done. Who he? Funny old fusspot with glasses.  Anyway they ain't rich so it don't matter wot happens to Tibetans. 

...and now for Something (not quite) Completely Different.

All Secondary Schools are equal. But some are more equal than others. Don't go there you will be punched and become stupid. Do go here. It's all shiny and the teachers have nice hair.... 3 years later - entire reversal of opinion.

Fickle, Lemming like flock of parents topple over educational cliff to intellectual death and middle class alcoholism. And no, your job probably isn't safe. Particularly if you collide particles.

Now that the Cern Giant, as it were - (now there's a person with problems) has broken. What will happen? They can't all be getting their soldering irons out. Must be some element of redundancy.

Thank goodness somebody, probably God, sabotaged it before we all ended up in a strange screaming Francis Bacon world of anti-matter where it rains donuts.

How do you get Protons to stay in a tunnel anyway? If they are that teensy why don't they just jostle between the metal molecules to Proton Freedom? Please answer this genuine question !

So they whizzed round getting faster and faster. When they got very fast they got heavy. Then they were going to be bashed together. A bit like Crashing and Bashing. A game played with die cast matchbox model cars by, as I recall , seven year old boys.  

I think we could learn a lot but  "There's a hole in my neighbourhood down which, of late. I cannot help but fall."  Frankly, Elbow, with a sentence as clumsy as that, you deserve it. 

I'm off to do some hoovering.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Meloney's Melons at THE HOP FARM

Photo of a screen. But I was there and HURRAY for Neil Young

Fashion victim at the Hop Farm. Twilight falls on some serious recycling

Vodka Jelly Snots. Eddy is tempted.

'You are old Father William' the young man said..... 'and your hair has become very white

And yet you incessantly stand on your head....Do you think at your age, it is right?'

Absolutely. The parents recently celebrated 50 years of drinking tea together. My dad still breakdances and my mum says ' well what do you want me to do - sit on the back step?'

We sat on Brighton beach with our jetlagged cousins comparing family feet, and the genetic bunion that I escaped because of the milkman. It was a very blue sky that day.

In June the whole family sat entranced through 3 hours of Hebrew on a hard Synagogue bench, to witness J's Barmitzvah. Even the usually hyper twins were stilled by the gravity of the situation. Acknowledging with all of their 9.99%, years the concentrated effort of a 13 year old dyslexic in the latter stages of Measles, as he deciphered the inky scrolls of an ancient Torah. The gossiping of the Maureen Lipmans behind us became gasps as they witnessed a strength of character not taught in any school.....

Nearly all Neil Young's songs are about growing up or growing old. And words that rhyme with old and begin with G. In 1978 when I suppose I was young, he was increasingly whiney and skinny but not in a cool wasted speedy way. So I sold Stars and Bars and collected pink punk vinyl versions of Nellie the Elephant....'1,2,3,4....Nellie the Elephant packed her bags and said goodbye to the circuuus!!!'

Now that Neil is fatter and more baritone and I can't find all those gimmicky singles that were in a cardboard box at my brother's house, I've come crawling back and found myself tail between legs watching old Mr Young in a damp field in kent.  A totally sober event. Most intoxicating drug being a flask of PG tips (pyramid tea bags). Fave accessory: wicker hamper. Fave hat: Stetson. Fave hobby: fossil collecting. Mood: stalwart. Fave motto: I can't find the Piriton.

Of course he was excellent to the point of not really bothering about the other bands. Guitar surfing over a sea of gortex to produce yet another one of this summer's life affirming experiences. Also strangely and gothically - though not in a Phantom of the Opera-ish way, he played a church organ.  What a great 48th Birthday treat it was. Another year under the belt (embossed leather, cartridge with pistol holsters). Yes folks, the new old Young ticked this year's box for seeing an icon a year.  There are definite waistcoaty straw chewing similarities between Neil and Nick (Cave). It's certainly been an Old Testament kinda coupla months...and if I could've lifted both my parents up in their chairs, I would've.

Halleilujah to it all !........

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Technoflop 3: Fossilised Blog

My  blog won't let me edit anything in the side bar - links/pics etc. 

Any ideas anyone, as some things there are 2,000,000 years old

and need freshening up.


Saturday, 24 May 2008

Dulwich Dawn of The Dead

It's eerily quiet on the South London streets. There's no queue outside the cheese shop- just someone's lost looking Chihuahua. In the pub the big screen is delivering football to an empty bar. The unpleasant 70's chairs being sold in the street market have been upturned .  Loaves of rock hard overpriced olive bread are strewn on the recently refurbished, strangely pink pavement. Where is everybody? Not a 3 wheeled buggy containing IVF twins in sight. The sweet shop is shut. The coffee shop canopy flutters slightly in the breeze  - some one has left in a hurry leaving an original Marimeko fabric handbag on the table along with a receipt from a hotel in Cannes.

A life coach and two holistic therapists run for their lives past a Wine Merchant's and an an Estate Agents window. Scrawled in huge letters of dripping blood across the plate glass are the words 'The Smashing Pumpkins' . The organic butcher has suffered a similar fate - the words on his shop front say. 'Skeen!' What has happened here?

As darkness falls on a couple of vandalised his and hers identical silver Vespa scooters, I notice the lamp post they are chained to is advertising a Kooks gig. 

A deep but distant rumble. It seems to be coming from way up the hill. The site I realise, of the local Secondary School. Then I see them. Lurching, mumbling. I smell the stench of Adidas Sport as they close in, heads lolling insanely in time to the ghastly rythmn of their deadly Ipods. ( on closer inspection I see these are merely cheap mp3 players, bought as replacements when they'd left the originals on the bus after drinking someone's parents Pernod supply.)

The skinny jeans.... the hair putty. Ceramic straighteners. little skirts and ballet flats. Boys in cccc...cardigans! Scary scary pointy shoes... I know there is no going back. They drag themselves towards me grunting. What is it they are trying to say. I can barely make it out. Rooted to the spot in terror I shut my eyes waiting for the inevitable....' CanIhavesomemoneytogointotown ' they growl in unison.  I crumple, defeated in the face of the invasion of the TEENAGERS, my last words tailing off as they trample over me, crushing me with their Converses....' It's way past ur bdtme and I bet uv gt homework....' I yelp helplessly.... too late. I see the madness in their eyes and realise I will never be able to text as fast as they can....

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Hammersmith 08

The man is 50 and living in Hove. Not Brighton I hasten to add.  And yet he could still cut the mustard.

Never really saw him being Nosferatu in the Birthday Party. I think that was when I was a jazzer - or else pretending to like Dvorjak. I don't suppose he ever envisaged giving out party bags at a six year old's soft play session but I gather this is now this iconic rockers life. Incredible then, that he can still summon the spirit. I have much admiration for a person who can adapt/ divert  some of his energies to the universal mundane . Sanctify,  perhaps.

Anyway. The words were good. The music was good.  And the words matched the music.

How great to be doing a job you enjoy. Am I too old for this? Never say that. The perpetrator is older. 'An old rock and roller with a three wheeled stroller.'

Not yet ridiculous like Jagger. Wise way beyond indie teenagers hairstyles. And possibly in his prime. Hey we were lucky to be there. 

A is 49 next week. This was his birthday treat.

Friday, 2 May 2008

The Exploding Plastic Inevitable

Forget the Anarchist's Cookbook. This one's straight from the freezer.

One day. One of those not quite multi tasking days, when the shopping had been wrongly compartmentalised and the toothpaste was in the oven etc.... a disappointed child removed a solid bottle of pop from the icebox: "Oh yuck it's all frozen". 

"Leave it to thaw then" says the daft parent. (A level in Science - but not in Common Sense.)

So there we were on Sunday sitting round the table. Unusually all at the same time and all managing to hold our knives and forks properly and not leave our broccoli stalks. Even a semblance of communication going on. When.......


-Icy shards shocked the air in slow motion. A hail of citrus fallout crashed around us.  We sat deafened. Snipers, Al Quaida, British Gas, the neighbours?

In the white silence that followed, the kids moved first.  Racing gleefully to the plastic bottle's wrecked fuselage - they crammed their faces with lemony lolly shrapnel shot to the furthest reaches of the room.

- Only a dimension away from blood, blindness, A+E and the Southwark Social Services of a parallel universe.


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

James Brown and Pavarotti

I've had a gap in my musical education since 1968.
It was this.....

....and if I didn't have a thirteen year old son who recently
discovered Soul and it's Godfather. And if Youtube hadn't been
invented, then I would still be living in ignorance. 

Go to the bit where JB and P sing together. Ignore the purple
cast to the footage - and the fact that Pavarotti has what looks
like Creme de menthe sick on his collar.

Listen  and be amazed...never mind about the delusional lyrics.

Does any one know of any other unholy but brilliant vocal alliance?

(OK -  I've seen the one of Roger Daltrey singing Wheels on the Bus 
with a bunch of under fives.)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Not Dr Who

Oopsa - I seem to written a scene from 'Torchwood'.

Click on the red handbag in the sidebar for the story so far.....

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Ouch - It Burns........

Pete Burns .... Mr Burns (excellent, excellent.)
Rabbie Burns... Whatever.....

This time I didn't liquidise haggis, neeps and tatties and
funnel it down the kids throats. In fact the night itself
went unmarked.

After all, they're a quarter German. And within that whirling
genetic soup float certain similarities.
For instance potatoes, alcohol and dubious meat products
stuffed into some poor unwitting mammal's mucous membrane.
All at once? Surely not but possibly, yes.

The Scots would claim desperation, starvation - an infertile soil
and an inclement climate.

The Germans would look sideways in a folkish way that spoke of
goblins, forests, houses made of sweets and old, old hags that
ate anything, especially children.

The Scots have Kilts. The Germans have Lederhosen.
Scots have Burns. Germans, Rilke.

Scots have a sense of humour (If you ignore the bagpipes and golf.)
Germans have good physicists ( If you ignore the hairstyles.)

Scots, Haggis.
Germans, Wurst.

What is the common denominator?

It's pizza.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Snow On It's Way

Xmas. Ex year.

Funny how mince pies feel all grey and greasy on the tongue
once we're into New Year.

It's been very nice and healing for the brain
not to have to rise like an electrified Frankensteinian creation, at 7.00 am
every morning. Bolt upright in bed. Bolts in my head. Fizzing.
Actually feel quite human and capable of following a train of thought

Christmas has its uses. It allows you to slow down and reflect
 and as you soak in an overfilled bath of  lukewarm sentimentality
 you can ponder what's really important. This is universal. Whether
 you are having an estranged or homeless Christmas or trying to
dodge bullets - your mind will at some point
engage with Christmas.
Even if it's not your religion of choice.

After 47 years I can choose which traditions
I feel like observing. Not that many actually.
The overiding aim is to stop and think

We had Elvis, turkey and candles and then the oven broke.
Stir fried stuffing is unusual.

The children were lucky enough to have presents.

I read' The DaVinci code' -  and so what if Jesus did have kids.

I read a more interesting book, 'The Paris Review '- interviews
with authors. The giver of this gift said they hoped it would prod
me into action -  or words to that effect.

I went to see 'The Magic Flute' at the Young Vic and I'm glad I did.
(I went with two special people.)

I watched Mary Poppins -  and still wish the dad didn't end up returning
to his old job at the bank.

I wore my new scarf, which is good because Snow Is On It's Way.
( James Thurber-ish capitals.)

It's this blog's first birthday.