Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yasser Arafat, Rod Stewart and The Chinese

Iv'e had a hectic week lummers,

Lets start last weekend.
I have had it in my head for a while to buy a camera. As is my wont, I've read all the magazines and researched all the best buy guides and plumped for a Canon G11. A digital compact, but not one of those fiddly ones that get lost in your hands when your trying to take a snap and you press three buttons at once and end up with a picture that is actually more of a concept and could get hung on the wall at Tate modern, when all you wanted to do was get a pic of Anton Du Boak tripping and falling under a bicyle rickshaw.

Its a proper camera looking thing that makes proper click-clack camera shutter noises, though the camera on my phone does that with no moving parts. Anyway, its expensive, and I know I can get it on the Internet for £60 less than the high street, so I'm determined to seek out the best buy I can. My search took me into central London and specifically, Edgeware Road.

If you have never been to Edgeware Rd, and lets face it, unless your Yasser Arafat looking for a cheroot shop its unlikely, let me try and tell you what its like. Before I do, one more thing on Yasser Arafat, a girl down the bottom of my road in Dunblane, a pal of my big sister, used to go out with his nephew. Well, that's what he told her and why would you lie about that. If you wanted to impress a young Scots bird with your Arabic family connections, I think Omar Sharif or someone would be a better bet, not the beardy old leader of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Walking into Edgeware Rd is like stepping out of the costume shop in Mr Benn, one minute your in Oxford St, the shitty end right enough, but the retailing gem in the heart of capitalist darkness nonetheless, turn a corner and the next minute your in little Lebanon, Beirut without the bombed out buildings. Fruits stands, halal butchers and Arabic cafes, spilling out onto the street with big plush sofas and generous hanging canopies that Gaddafi would feel at home in.
They all had hosts of men in them, drinking there tiny china cups of tea and sooking on their enormous ornate hookahs that gave off this gorgeous liquorice aroma and jibber jabbing a thousand conversations in that attractive arabic tongue that sounds like they need to clear there throats of phlegmy tar every two minutes. One True God knows what they were talking about, bomb plots probably.

The reason I was there was for the electronics shops that you find in these places. Tiny shop fronts, windows full of last decades tech with brand names like Satsumi and Minceoni, but there was always a hope they kept the good stuff out the back, a stupid misplaced hope as it turns out, it was all a complete waste of time.
Burqa wearing ladies have been in the press a lot lately, and I did have the opportunity to see a lot of them during this saunter into the Middle East of West London. They are quite unusual and even a bit sinister when you see them, but I think its all to do with the colour.
They should bring them out in some new summery themes, maybe Laura Ashley could do a line of floral prints. Reds out of the question obviously, they would look like mobile post boxes, pensioners would be forever trying to post their TV licence renewals into there faces.
I was thinking soft pastel shades of lilac, or eggshell blue, that would lighten the mood when they walked in a room and instead of hearing Darth Vaders signature tune, it would be all birdsong and nice non threatening winsome tunes.
I think I'll take this to my local Imam, and see what he says.

We had a office party this week, in the O2 arena, well, a little nightclub in the O2 arena and it coincided with a Rod Stewart concert which was on the main concert hall. He attracts a funny crowd, all ages, shapes and sizes. A good number had Celtic strips on with Stewart and the Number 1 on the back. How could Rod Stewart ever have played in goal with those legs, ridiculous. Englishmen also should not wear a kilt unless they have been on a six week course and passed a test on how to actually wear a kilt. They have a habit of wearing it on their hips, like a pair of jeans, which of course makes it far too long and I saw loads of them with kilts half way down their calfs looking more like washed up Vivien Westwood models wearing her old ballgowns thay had managed to blag twenty years ago.

Standing on the tube station platform on the way home, as the train came in it slowed and passed me by before stopping, I saw all these people inside whizzing past and I thought of one of those wheel of fortune games at Las Vegas, you dont know what your going to get until it stops and the doors open. It could be a Lithuanian netball team, a carriage full of pumped up adolescent gangsta rappers or swivel eyed raving mouth breathers wanting to alternately be your best friend and kill, rape and eat you. Its the Lottery Tube of Life.

I couldn't resist nipping into Yummy on the way home, you will remember that is the name of my local Chinese take away. Yummy, not The Golden Yummy, or The Yummy Lantern, or even just The Yummy Yummy. It could be called The Reeking Yum, that would be good. But anyway, I digress, I wanted chips and curry sauce, a staple of the Scots diet, but when I got home I found it didn't come all ready combined in a silver tray with a fork, it came in a paper bag with an accompanying tub of curry sauce. That could have been disastrous if I had wanted to eat them on the way home. How would I have managed that? They gave us gunpowder, toiletpaper and the hydraulic powered armillary sphere, but these Chinese couldn't even give me a takeaway to eat on the way home.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Evening Reekers,

There is a house across the road with a great big home made banner hanging out the window that says, "Happy 1st Birthday Ruby". Who is that for, I cant imagine Ruby being all that impressed at 1 year old.

Thats one imponderable but please take a minute to ponder on these imponderables: Well, it stopped me sinking deeper into my own personal pit of despair for a wee while.

1. If you take an Oriental person and spin them around several times, does he become disoriented?

2. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from
Holland called Holes?

3. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

4. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

5. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?

6. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?

7. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?

8. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a racing car not called a racist?

9. Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?

10. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?

11. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?

12. 'I am' is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language.
Could it be that 'I do' is the longest sentence?

13. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow
That electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged,
Models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

14. What hair colour do they put on the driver's licences of bald men?

15. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?

16. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What
Are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the postmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

17. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

18. No one ever says, 'It's only a game' when their team is winning.

19. Ever wonder about those people who spend £2.00 a piece on those
Little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

20. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing
Section in a swimming pool?

22. OK, so if the Jacksonville Jaguars are known as the 'Jags' and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are known as the 'Bucs,' what does that make the Tennessee Titans?

23. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhoea, does that mean that one
Enjoys it?

24. Why if you send something by road it is called a shipment, but when you send it by sea it is called cargo?

25. If a convenience store is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365
Days a year, why are there locks on the door?

Lang may yer lum reek

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thrill seeking donkeys and Lord Poshos top hat

Hello Reeking Lums of the World.

I have to reek something about the outreekgeous outrage shown this week at the Russian para-sailing donkey.

First confusion, I thought for a moment that it was a live action version of Shrek, "You might have seen a housefly, maybe even a superfly, but I bet you ain't never seen a donkey fly. Ha, ha".
Then I thought it was maybe the Kazakhstani Rapid Reaction Force on manoeuvres, but, no, it wasn't.

I read the story, and have to say, it could have been written by someone that witnessed my one and only para-sailing episode.

Anyone that was there that day in Limassol in April, 2006, would have heard some disconcerting noises drifting down from the heavens, some may even say baying, and I also landed atrociously and was dragged out the sea apparently half dead. At least the donkey didn't crap all over the sunbathers on the beach. No, I didn't either, but the thought of it made me chuckle, oh, and I paid for the experience.

Normally a donkey has to get stuck in quick sand or wander down some impossible gully before the RAF come and sling it under a Chinook before it gets a once in a life time experience like that for free.

In truth of course, it was a bit of a liberty by a couple of Russian wide boys, but lets all keep our hair on here. There not chucking concrete slabs off motorway bridges or getting together in gangs and battering charity walkers, two more stories I read in the paper today.

Most of the idle outraged will turn a deefy, as we say in Glasgow, to rabbits getting shampoo sprayed in their eyes or dogs being made to drink brandy, smoke cigarettes and play poker in dingy basements. Oh, how i despair, in two years time we'll be eating donkeys probably.

I see Lord Snooty has been over kissing Americas arse and all that bending and puckering is, I dare say, why he left his top hat and monocle at home. A wise move, and also to avoid mentioning the shares his family are still probably holding in the Royal African Company, look it up, it has a noble and distinguished history. Is it just me, or does Cameron leap just a little too readily, and indeed higher than is dignified, when America says jump.

He looks the part, I'll give him that, and he's easier on the eye than Gordon Brown, who I hear is even having trouble getting a commemorative Toby jug made that doesn't turn beer sour. But Cameron's all fur coat and no knickers, I suspect hes a moral husk of a man, there is just nothing there of substance, but whatever strings and levers are making him work, they are well hidden for now.

Still, maybe that's better than a man of evil, dark substance. I guess we'll all find out soon enough. Do you think he will visit the soup kitchens like George VI visited the bombed out east end, or will he just venture on to the doorstep of No10, express his gratitude at the sacrifices made by Britain's working classes, to help redistribute the nations wealth into the hands of those that it rightfully belongs too, Lord Posho and all his other pals who's great great grandpapas made a fortune out of tobacco, ivory and shafting every lesser born creature encountered.

Lang may yer lum reek

Monday, July 19, 2010

A one armed dishwasher and a man in Crocs, theres only one way to settle this....FIGHT

Awright me chinas,

I was convinced the other evening that Richard O'Sullivan, in an attempt to recapture his fame and sitcom popularity of the late 70s had spent the last 24 years since his last acting job, closeted away behind the boarded up windows of his failed bistro, the crockery broken by Albert Riddle, scrunching underfoot, obsessively building a time machine out of old catering equipment and tarnished cutlery, and that it had worked, creating a tear in space and time, allowing the 70s to seep and spew into the 21st Century.

What could have convinced me of, well on the face of it, this quite unlikely occurrence. Well, 1) an encounter, not once but twice with a gentleman wearing an impressive Ron Burgundy moustache, longish, nape length hair in a side parting swept behind the ears like he's just nipped out for an hour from being in Spinal Tap and a safari suit, Lewisham can get a bit wild, but its not the heart of darkness , 2) a George and Mildred motorbike and sidecar, a right old one, with a fabric fairing, spluttering and popping noisily through the town centre, and lastly 3) when I went to get a new bottle of Irn Bru from my local Dick Turpins, sorry Tescos, its shelf space had been annexed by Barracloughs Old Cream Soda and Irn Bru, in some kind of carbonated beverage ethnic cleansing, had been "removed". Well, it was obvious to me anyway, though, it turned out to be a series of not at all related coincidences and seems to merely have been the meanderings of an idle mind barely ticking over.

I read last week, for the story must have slipped past the Tory bad news bears that are charged with painting a very grim picture of 2010s Great Britain, that it seems in the past 10 years, crime has fallen 43%.
Now I know that maybe their is room for error or a bit of inaccurate representation with the way figures are collected, but 43%? I don't think the fudge and spin champions of New Labour could even get away with that.
That was heartening but it went on to claim, and all this was in the BBC by the way, not the Socialist Worker or The Mirror, that Britain's elderly enjoy, along with Australian old folk, the best standards of care in the world, better than Americans, the Scandanivians and even the Cubans. That's quite good isn't it? I expect in 5 years time, crime will have risen 50% and there may well be no elderly given that all the ones that haven't froze to death will be back at work.

I saw a man in Crocs as well the other day, now that is a fashion faux pas if ever I saw one, shoes should be made out of recycled cows, not reclaimed baldy tyres and broken crayons.
Now, a man bag, that is certainly not a fashion faux pas, though man bag does make it sound like one. I prefer, like Alan in The Hangover, satchel. Satchel is much more masculine. Miners wear satchels, they carry their big sticks of dynamite in them, crack shot black ops snipers I dare say have them, to keep their bullets in, firemen, Alaskan crab fishermen even postmen have satchels, that's why I have been considering one, but before i go and buy a nice leathery one, I thought I'd try out a cheaper though I must say, ironically trendy model,, so for the next few weeks I shall be commuting with a stylish Eastpack Messenger , er, satchel, today I particularly enjoyed strolling about with both my hands in my pockets, and safe in the knowledge that my stuff is following, slung behind .

When was the last time you were stung by a nettle? Its been probably 20 years for me and I had totally forgotten how bloody sore it was, much sorer than nasty malevolent wasps, or standing barefoot on some Lego. Its the lions mane jellyfish of horticulture, and I'm sure I seen this one leaning into me and with not a doc leaf in site, I now know how Steve Irwin must have felt.

Travelling back to London at the weekend, I managed to grab a little bit of The Open on the TV at Prestwick Airport. Its great they have TV, because in every other way, it resembles one of those airports I've seen in Africa, that were built in 1970, with foreign money hoping to give whatever country paid for it, first bagsies on all the gold and diamonds.
That's a simple observation, and here is another one. What they do is turn the telly volume off, and rely on the supplied subtitles to provide the commentary, but there is something odd about that.

I used to think that it was someone back at BBC centre, listening to everything the commentators said, then busily typing it into an old teletext machine.
But now I think that may not be the case and they have given the job to a piece of software, written by a non-English speaking first year apprentice just off the coach from Poland. Here is an example of the commentary I got to enjoy, Paul Casey's second shot to the 1st, beautifully flighted over the burn and landing two feet from the pin, that's what I saw, what I heard, though really saw, through my sub-titled commentary was " Denise spend a little at the knees end - safely over the water". WTF was that???

Finally, fed up being to heavy and lazy, I have decided to join a gym, of course, the cheapest gym I could find which means it kind of resembles the exercise block on some brutal American prison drama. I feel even more intimidated in gyms than i do in bookies shops, its the fear of being noticed taking all the weights off the machines and not knowing how they work and not having DEFINITION, and we haven't even got into the showers yet??

Lang may yer lum reek.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How much paste can a cow make exactly?

Good evening my reeking friends,

Well, that the World Cup over for another four years, I'll be nearer 50 than 40 by the time the next one comes around, I don't find that a very comforting, so I'm going to try and forget I thought it.

A disappointing final it has to be said. The Dutch were brutal, the Spaniards patient and faithful to their way and worthy winners. Good for them. If I've learned anything from it, its to rake my studs down S's chest and bully the waiter the next time she wants me to go Dutch with the bill for dinner.

I get the DLR to work, which is good because I get to totally avoid the horrendous nightmarish reality of the tube in summertime. But the other day, DLR stood for Desperate Lunging Retardway. Signalling faults somewhere in the metropolis meant delays and delays mean trains that are so packed it looks like one of those Guinness world records Norris McWhirter used to adjudicate in the 70s to see how many students can get in a phone box.

People are, luckily enough, quite a convenient shape for squeezing into long thin tubes, but I think there may be room for a good few more if Transport for London adopted the top and tailing method favoured in pre-adolescent sleepovers.
There should be stirrups or something attached to the ceiling where people can hang upside down from like bats, thereby maximising more of the available surface area of the train.
That uncomfortable moment when you make fleeting eye contact with someone and then worry they think your a psycho rapist strangler will no longer be a concern and also, for those still standing upright, there is something else to hang on to when the carriage gets all shoogly.

Of course, there may be a one or twp yangy cons, to my yingy pros. You probably would not want to have much stuff in your pockets, and the problem of avoiding commuter eye contact will only be gone because you'll have your face buried in somebodies crotch. The ladies will all have to wear nice underwear, no old yellers, that would be a crime more heinous than fare dodging.

So, the carriage is packed to bursting point,its actually bulging out, like a big fatty leaky sausage as it trundles along at a speed James Watt would probably have scrapped the whole idea of steam travel as being to bloody ponderous.
Anyway, trundling and ponderous is better then stopped and still, which is what we got next followed by a series of jerky, 30metre lunges forward, the remaining mile to Canary Wharf, what a joy it was.
There was so many people getting rubbed up against one another I was afraid a fire would break out amongst the skinnier ones, they must have some kind of static discharge safety valve or something to get rid of all that charged nylon. Maybe that's how its all powered. Like one of those Bayliss radios, the train just shakes the contents about until enough static has been generated for its next shift, ingenious.

During one of the still moments, hanging onto the overhead hand rail and looking up the carriage at all the other lost and hopeless souls I thought of the carcasses in a meat processing plant, on big hooks getting mechanically hoisted through the factory one after the other, swaying this way and that with the silent inevitability of the mincer just around the corner.

The journey home was thankfully much more satisfactory, with only one real loony of note encountered. Dayglo yellow t-shirt, navy cargo shorts, black dress socks and of course, uncomfortably flip-flops. Talking to himself out the corner of his mouth at the bus stop, rocking back and forth in his flip-flops, eyes casting about looking to hook some unfortunate not quick enough to avoid eye-contact, this was a fairly stock London lunatic. I don't know what he was saying, I of course immediately moved away to a more easily defended position and stared at my shoes in case he took a fancy to hacking my head off or just sitting next to me on the bus and talking at me. There was no need to worry though, his particular asylum was somewhere between Lewisham and Brixton, either that, or he had spotted his next victim on that bus.

I have been eating poorly lately. I cant remember the last time I had a decent square meal, you know, meat and potatoes kind of thing. Everything has either come between two slice of bread or in a plastic pot. Meat paste, that's a lovely thought isn't it. The idea that a cow, or chicken or whatever can be reduced to a paste, mmm, yum, yum.
I wasn't to bothered at first, I thought if I'm eating stuff with no nutritional value, I'll probably lose some weight, it doesn't really work that way, as I'm sure you already know. Now I feel lethargic and lazy and just cant be bothered doing anything, so, big changes next week, going to eat a bit more conscientiously and get some exercise, not decided what yet, I'll try not to make it PS3 based.

Mum would not approve of my eating habits, she was always fussing around making sure no-one was ever hungry in her house.

Its almost a year since my Mum passed away, and as upsetting and sad as that was, when I look back now, I think more of the days before.
The remaining days we had with her, when she could listen to us and speak a little, comforting us more than we could ever comfort her, telling us not to worry and everything was going to be fine, I'll never forget that, even at that moment, she was more concerned about others than herself.
We said our goodbyes and she fell asleep a year ago today and she was allowed to finally draw the curtains on a life that gave and left more than I think she realised. As a family we've sometimes found it difficult to get over, but when I think of her now, my heart just fills with pride and not sorrow, gratitude at having had her, and not bitterness at having had her taken away. The qualities she had remain in my sisters and I, I hope, and our children, her kindness, her selflessness and her humility. So Mum, if you have access to the Internet in whatever comes after and if you find yourself browsing this particular blog, we miss you, but we cherish the memories and will be forever grateful for the things you left us.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Bits n Pieces and gold sovereigns by the knuckle

Car boot sale

Good evening Reekers,

Music festivals, I hate them.

I hate them because I am so old and out of it, if I went, I would be mistaken for a plain clothes policeman, all be it, a very drunk one, or some sad old roadie touting for work.

They are happening all up and down the country, Glastos here, V-festivals, there, missed those? Don’t worry T in the Park will be along in a minute. Like a branch of Waterstones though, or Wagamamas, they are so generic. If you were helicoptered blindfold into one of them, you would have no idea what one you were in, or what end of the country you were at. It’ll be the same stage, the same security men, the same hotdogs and portaloos probably. Well, on reflection, that is of course a load of bollocks, because you would have about 100,000 standing beside you that might give you a clue, if it was T in the Park anyway.

The real reason I hate them is that there was no such thing when I was young and up for it and there is zero chance now of me experiencing it for real. I have to watch it on TV, like I’m an old hobo, pressing my nose up against the window of a trendy happening club, and watching all the fun inside, as I stand out in the rain, with my toe-less boots, the lid half off my crooked top hat, and my little red spotted handkerchief, empty on the end of my cane.

We had The Radio 1 Roadshow, Smiley bloody Miley and Bits’n’Pieces from a pier near you. It was shit but it was all we had and when Limahl or somebody came on and mimed his way through some long forgotten bubbly composition, it must have been awesome judging by the audience reaction, of course, on the radio, it sounded exactly the same as always, because he was only lip-syncing over the top of his record anyway. No headline acts or alternative stages, no supergroup get togethers we had Mike Reid and that other Mike, the one that married Sarah somebody from Blue Peter.

I ended up having a browse through a car boot sale this weekend. It was a big one too, with maybe over a hundred hopeful hawkers, optimistically seeking someone as misguided as them to pass some of their crap onto. Which lets face it, is likely if you put all those types of people in one field. I’ve had a walk around these things before, but small ones, with expectant young ladies selling the contents of the loft before they get it converted into a nursery, or kids off loading toys they have grown out of. This one though was totally full of professionals . A kind of gypsy underclass by the looks of them. And what trumpeting tat they had to sell, they say one mans trash, is another mans treasure,well, If that is true, today I strode across what must appear to them to be a mountainous pile of gold sovereigns, with a golden fountain on top, pouring out diamonds, and all the little gypsy kids, dipping ruby marshmallows into the golden fondue and…well, you get the picture. Of course to me, without the benefit of any er... gold tinted glasses, it was still very much trashy trash.

There were many things that defy normal market forces of supply and demand. I’m presuming there is no demand anyway, for a spirit level with no spirit, tins of shaving foam that look like they have just been dug up along with an IRA weapons cache, ugly shoes by the skip load and huge bulbous TVs that weigh the same as a car. The one little shining pearl in the septic tank, was a funky electric heater that was very collectable, for a heater. It was a Sofono, from the 50s, all sci-fi and When Aliens Attack. I even asked the price, appearing as blokey and gypsy as I could, and he wanted £50, “its from the 30s mate” as if to quote some electric heater price guide. I should have corrected him like David Prickinson, but I didn’t want to appear like an authority on 1950s electric heaters, which I’m not by the way.

Have Libya discovered the cure for cancer, and just not telling us infidels in the West?

I had another discussion this week, where I defended the Scottish Parliaments decision last year to free the Libyan that was doing time for blowing up the Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie, all those years ago. Its getting harder to defend that decision the longer the man lives I’m afraid.

When they announced it at the time, I was proud of the decision, it showed courage, compassion and a faith in God to give ultimate judgement, and if your religious, and I’m not at all, but if you were, considering a central tenet of it is forgiveness, I couldn’t understand the flak and outrage that was aimed from all quarters, especially the USA who are always going on about Christ and God and how bloody holier than thou they all are. However, saying all that, he was given 3 months to live with his terminal cancer on release, then he would be up in front of, if you believe in all that, the most senior judge, with no chance of appeal. That was almost a year ago, it doesn’t matter how noble a gesture, or worthy a sentiment to offer justice always with compassion, but its looking more and more like that has been taken advantage of, and that is very very sad.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hot? This isn't hot, did i ever tell you about....

Good evening Reeking Lums,

I speak to you tonight, from a coke oven in death valley, the mercury is hitting a ton 20 and my toes now resemble Rancheros.

Christ it's hot.

Its a common trait of the 40 something male to compare everything that happens today, with a multitude of reference points in the 70s. So, winters are never as bad these days, because "one February night when I was a boy, it snowed so hard, we couldn't see the milk bottles in the morning", or, " Summers aren't the same as when I was young, it was so hot the railway tracks used to curl up and there wasn't a drop of rain between 1976 and the winter of discontent, that's why we were so discontent"

I cant remember it being this hot though. My Android weather forecasting app says that in Lewisham, right now at 7.30pm, its 31 degrees and sunny. I looked up Glasgow earlier today and it said, 13 degrees and, dreary. Not overcast, or intermittently cloudy, but dreary.

Do you see how far artificial intelligence has come, they are using sympathetic descriptors now. They know we like to talk about the weather, so to get friendly with us, and lull us into that sense of security they need, there going to start saying things like that, and, "Oooh, the nights are fair drawing in" and "Mind, ne'er cast a cloot, till May is oot" . Then, collectively one night, they will persuade us all to stay indoors with our electrical appliances unplugged because of the lightening, then that's when they make there move.

What I do remember about the summers of the early 70s was the joy of taking a trip in the car, all dressed up in my shorts and sandals, jumping into the back seat, no seat belts or child car seats to worry about then.
I remember breathing in a lungful of superheated air as the car door opened, then waking up in the hospital burns unit getting the vinyl seats removed from the backs of my little pipe cleaner legs. The backs of my legs have so many plastic seating designs burnt into them,they must look like a pair of Vivian Westwood drainpipes.
I haven't had a steam iron applied to any part of my body, I am sure I would remember if I had, but it cant be any worse than sitting bare legged on the vinyl seats of a Ford Anglia that's been sitting in the July sun all day.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that in Guantanamo Bay they have an old Mk 3 Ford Cortina, up on bricks, with all the windows wound up and sitting in the sunniest part of the yard, where they threaten to sit those extremists in little nylon mix shorts that have a pocket and a belt.

My Dad was a Ford man, which meant a parade of family Fords all through the 70s, Anglias, and Cortinas, mostly, certainly nothing fancy enough to have nylon or velour seats. Even the fabled heatwave of 77 was endured in a Volkswagen Beetle with basket weave affect plastic seats and the drive to Pontins Southport attempted in temperatures approaching those where NASA considers the viability of habitable life to be unlikely on newly discovered planets. We didn't get fabric seats until about 1983.
Virginia Wade, the Queens Jubilee, Star Wars and a dead Elvis, but what I remember from 1977 is the Ford degree burns from travelling in cars.

The only other time I can remember feeling as hot as this was when I awoke from a disturbing nightmare, where I dreamt I was lying sizzling in a giant frying pan between two huge eggs, only to find I had fallen asleep with my electric blanket on at 3.

The cop hating Geordie in the woods couldn't have picked a better time to go camping. I can hear him now, telling his fellow inmates " I had a lovely time I did, 1 week hiking up in Northumberland, I tell you, if the weather was like this every year, there would be no need to go on the run in Spain"

Lang may yer lum reek.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Looneys, Looneys and Cheryl Cole

Howay the Lums,

Just thought I'd give the mad Geordie fugitive a bit of acknowledgement. Its been a while since we had a looney hiding out in the woods. I can vaguely remember one years ago,some ex-SAS man, as they always claim to be went a bit loopy and hid in some bushes in England somewhere. I mean, come on, its not like its the great North West frontier, with a million square miles of trees to hide in, no, here its more likely to be a Christmas tree farm, bordered on one side by the A465 and on the other by a Tesco. Anyway, good luck to him, by that I don't mean I hope he has good luck in killing some coppers. What I mean is, I hope he survives the ordeal to live out a long and repetitive life in Bradford jail or wherever.

Cheryl Cole catching Malaria, whats the chances? I bet that mozzy is on the front page of every tabloid and gossip mag in Mosquitoland. "My night with Cheryl" it'll be selling its story through the mozzy equivalent of Max Clifford, hes probobaly called Buzz Clifford and will end up getting into the next Tanzanian Celebrity Big Brother House.
We've not heard the last of this though, Cheryl will leave hospital, give a little pathetic wave to the Paps in her oversize sunglasses from a wheelchair after her near renal collapse and the gossip mags will say how fabulous she looks. Next thing will be the celebrity malaria diet. Lose a dress size in just two weeks, smear yourself in jam and run around the Congo and watch the pounds just fall off. may be lifetime lasting side affects, up to and including death.

I discovered the greatest job title in Britain today, well on the face of it probably, but I don't know all the ins and outs just yet. Now, when you hear what the job title is, you'll think I've just forced in, at broken bottle point, a couple of lazy, childish innuendos, and I haven't, honest. Anyway, you may, or may not know where I work, but within my ever expanding extended family of colleagues, there is to be, someone filling the post of, and I cant wait to see his ID badge, BUMSPOTTER. Not bad work if you can get it, unless its the bumspotter for weight watchers or someone.

I made decent time getting away from Canary Wharf today, which meant I was standing waiting for the 181 bus from Lewisham train station to somewhere beyond my horizon called Grove Park, at about 5pm. This would normally be a good thing, but its most definitely not. You see, 4.30pm is obviously when the day-care centres or care in the community initiatives shut up shop and turn there own collection of dribbling, starey faced phsychos back into balanced and non-murderous society.

The 181 bus has, like all buses, a little barely noticeable sign as you enter. 38 seating, 43 standing and 13 mentals gripping their rattan shopping bags and rocking back and forth like its the reins of a Grand National runner with a gammy leg.
I offered one old lady a seat, well, I tried to, she ignored me first of all, then when I tugged at her aforementioned shopping bag, she gave a little yelp and jump, like I had come to take her for her shock treatment again. She gave me a look, through big foggy specs and blurted out, SEAT! Like Father Jack shouts DRINK! then just scuttled up the back of the bus as quick as she could and kind of curled up around her bag on the back seat.

I had 5 minutes spare today, so I played a little game I had heard of in Charlie Brookers new book, its not much fun, so don't get excited, but at least you can play it on your own, which is a bonus for me. That Frisbee I bought is one of my most stupid purchases ever. Anyway, WikiRussianRoulette is the awkward and probably trademark contravening name I have given it. What you have to do is go to Wikipeadia and select random article 3 times and see if you know any of them.
Today I had

#1, Pete Wilhoit, the drummer from rock band Fiction Plane,
#2 A418, a trunk road that begins in a roundabout north of Ascot and goes all the way to Aylsebury and
#3 Huachac District, which is one of nine districts in the Peruvian province of Chupaca.

in fact, i had to have 18 more goes until someting came up that I even had the faintest awareness of, and that was two-step, yes, the dance. I bet Stephen Fry knows like, everything.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I cant get no satisfying sleep.

Good evening my Lums,

I feel it only fair that I should share with you my confused and erratic sleep patterns theses days. Its fair for me anyway, seeing as I'm living on my own most of the time and have no-one else to moan too. If a man needs a partner for anything, its for desperately seeking sympathy from.

Its all to do with light I think, though that's in spite of the decibel level in my neighborhood approaching what it would be in a bus full of baboons on their way to a Blue Arsed Man concert.

The emergency sirens speeding here and there, the police helicopters hovering overhead, thank God the fugitives don't make much noise but it must be like living in Baghdads Green Zone.
Of course there are the 747s from JFK that arrive at Heathrow at 6am that fly over my corner of London and don't forget the baby eating foxes, looking for an open nursery window or unattended orphanage, they like to make a lot of noise when there making more baby eating baby foxes. But like those vuvuzelas in South Africa, you kind of tune out of that noise when you get accustomed to them. Its undoubtedly the light.

Everyday I am wakening up earlier and earlier, it was 4.30 am this morning. I managed to convince myself that I wasn't in fact awake, but only dreaming a horrendous recurring nightmare where I wake up too early. But then I slept in and had to get the later bus that's crammed full of schoolkids with knives that think they are 50Cent and little Vicky Pollards.

I was partly a victim of my own possibly flawed reasoning however. You see, I would rather spend 10 minutes ironing a shirt to wear in the morning, rather than spend 2 hours at the weekend ironing everything. I mean, there are only 7 days in the week, 10 minutes each morning, ironing something to wear still only comes to an hour and 10 minutes. That's 50 minutes liberated to sit on my arse and productively contemplate life.

I've started sleeping with a pillow over my face to try and cut it out. If anyone was to break in, and creep up into my room they would think they had come across a smothered corpse. They would flee, worried about getting fingered for a murder they didn't commit.

I used to have this problem when I worked shifts. I ended up going to bed wearing those in flight blindfolds you get on planes. They used to give me itchy eyes though and sometimes if you woke up and forgot you had them on, you would think you had died in your sleep, or gone blind.
Ah, the befuddlement only night shift workers will know. I fell asleep standing up one night, I was so tired, I banged my head on the wall and my eye got swollen. I was working nights at the millennium, I was working the night Dodi Fayeds no claims bonus was lost, I was working during Euro 96 and missed the England v Scotland game, so I don't suppose its all bad.

Anyway, I read last week, that there are 7 million robots now working in the service of man. A working robot population of 7 million, imagine that. I bet they hate working nights too, or do they? At night , when no people are about, they can forge their dastardly plans to take over the world. Yes, I bet they love working nights.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hole in the Head would be preferable


Its been getting more unstable, grumbling, occasionally rifling off a crack of aporetic revilement, enough to vent the ire back to manageable levels and bury any memories way down deep in my fractured subconscious.

But on Saturday, in a moment of stupefying absent headedness, I switched on BBC1 before I had checked if the coast was clear, and ran smack bang into Anton Du Beke and his collection of shiny suited gimps on Hole in the Wall. The resulting towering column of bilious gall, spewing from my lum will, in all honesty, not be noticed by anybody at all, but it will make me feel better.

Anton Du Beke, he has the face of an upended dinner table. Its a big face that, if you were up close to him, I don't think I'd know what bit to look at or talk too, its a bit like standing right at the gable end of a Belfast council house and trying to appreciate the mural.

Not that I would try and talk to him, no, I might give away my intention of seeing how many tap shoes I can force in his mouth and down his throat before his oesophagus splits open. I don't think it would be too many, maybe only three, for despite his massive Easter Island face, he has the mouth of a guppy. He doesn't smile like we humans that have descended from apes, but those that have lizards lurking in the family tree. If you look at his "smiling" mug on TV, or better, in a still picture that you can examine more closely, you will see that its actually a dislocated set of teeth he has, that project forward in the presence of flash bulbs, like Alien without the charisma and paternal instincts.

No reek about our Anton would be complete without considering his wardrobe. I'm no style guru, no Trinny or Gok but I can only imagine that the BBC in these austere times, is trying to save a few pounds by digging up and cracking open the costume chest from Pro-Celebrity Golf.
Tom O'Connor, Tarby, Brucie, little Ronnie, OK, maybe not Ronnie Corbett, but I'm positive he is wearing their clothes.
BBC, your fiscal governance is to be commended, but that will only work if you have eliminated all the original viewers of Pro-Celebrity Golf, or fed their minds 30 years of neuron numbing drivel that has brought on early althzeimers or a spectacular suicide. Suddenly Eastenders makes sense.

It has to be said though, he would have to wear something that Lady Gaga turned her nose up at to look anymore ridiculous than the Hole in the Wall contestants.
Silver suited, with no forgiveness for the muffin tops, man boobs and unsightly bulges, this lot look like the worst aliens ever. Imagine if they climbed out a shiny cigar shaped object in Hyde Park one night, asking to be taken to our leader, I think we would be justified in thinking we were the most intelligent beings in the Universe.

If I walked down the High Street in that get up, I would fully expect to get lifted by the police, and have an angry mob outside my house, with pitchforks and blazing torches, daubing catchy slogans on my door in dog crap, like F*#K OFF PAEDO B#ST*RD.
And we put them on telly, before midnight, no wonder kids take drugs and kill each other.

My suggestions to improve the format of the show, offering a little more entertainment and laugh out loud moments have not yet been acknowledged by the director general, but I'll give it to you and maybe if you suggest it as well, like those programmes that illicit complaints from two licence payers and get taken off the air, they wont be able to ignore us either.

Anton Du Beke, in his Farahs and sweater and all his gimps stand in front of a real wall, made of big blocks of granite, this is slowly nudged over by me, in a huge bulldozer, and because we have cemented all their feet to the floor, the contestants get to wave, and frantically contort their bodies in comical ways, until the wall collapses on them.

That feels better.

Lang may yer lum reek.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Rex Kramer, Arthur Montford and Double doubles

Greeting Reekers,

Goodness, the period between reeks grows and grows. I blame the World Cup of course, so hopefully normal service will resume shortly.

Its not like I don't have anything to fire up my lum, every day brings another incredulous guffaw or barely concealed gasp of disbelief at some sight or another.

The World Cup has meant that I have spent a little too much free time in my local boozer, from now on called The Chavs Arms. It is, the more I think of it, a bit too much like the Queen Vic, but with less murders, affairs and bodies buried in the cellar (I think). Now, prior to Englands heroic efforts to turn us all off football, this was a hotbed of the very finest English patriotism and jingoistic spoutings. Incidentally, have I mentioned the high pit-bull count in my neighborhood, well, there would appear to be a direct correlation between the number of pit-bull preening prats, and the number of George cross flags flapping all over the place.

I watched a game in there prior to the 0-0 humping England got from Algeria but after cheerily ear wigging into a conversation about Englands chances to win the cup, the talk turned to the bottlings and fist fights with biting that broke out after the USA game.
I am just surprised, after the number of pints I'd had that I retained my self preservation instinct and retreated to the safety of my place, where I could enjoy to the full, the goat herders of North Africa, which doesn't even have any grass, outplay and out fight the goats of Engerlund.

Well done to Geoffrey Hill, who was elected to the prestigious position of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University. The paper that shared that little dollop of drivel with me, was also good enough to print one of his poems. It was only 50 words long but what words they were. Here are a few of the ones that deserve a special mention. admonitory, atrorubent, stone holt, claustral, now Geoffrey, can I offer a couple of my own for your next composition, nonsense, utter and absolute.

Thanks to all the reader that responded to my little poser. You will recall I had asked you to delve into your 70s confectionery memories and allow your neural sensors a judder at the prospect of those hard core e-numbers. The triumvirate of Tots had the sugar and artificial colourings market cornered for 5 year olds back then. Well, Jelly Tots of course are still going strong, an established constituent of the sweety premier league, confidently seeing off Skittles and anything evil Haribo can concoct in their underground labs. Candy Tots are the second of the little princes, little pastel coloured cubes of tooth loosening joy. The third, now hardly ever seen, like the mad 6 fingered royals of Victorian myth, that get locked in the attic of some obscure country pile. Tiger Tots, they were like miniature liquorice allsorts, the ones with the liquorice sandwiched between to slivers of candy. Sometimes they turn up in a packet of dolly mixtures brought back from a Bulgarian holiday, or even the supermarket, in the baking aisle, that's full of things with packaging that hasn't changed since 1959.

I made the journey home for the weekend, I had been looking forward to it for weeks, and I've decided that I have to get home much more often. I miss home, I miss the kids, I miss S, I even miss driving and Kirkie. Anyway, at Stansted airport, kicking my heels for 2 hours before my flight I had an "almost classic movie scene in real life" moment. I say almost, but it was basically just a few Hare Krishna's in the airport but I immediately thought of the scene in Airplane where Rex Kramer punches and wrestles through a throng of them.

I had time to consider todays summer traveller while there as well. Back in 1975 we went to Spain on a four day holiday. Llorret De Mar, I remember the drive to Glasgow airport, right through the city centre because the Kingston Bridge hadn't opened yet, I remember looking out the windows at the clouds, the wings wobbling up and down as if they were flapping and getting taken into the cockpit to meet the pilots just as we were approaching the Pyrenees. I was told that of course, I didn't figure it out for myself at 6 years old.

I also remember getting my picture taken as I came off the plane, and what I was wearing. A little checked sports jacket that Arthur Montford was making so popular for the old man about town, a blue shiny shirt with big rounded collars and a green tie on an elastic cord with a picture of a bullfighter on it.
Todays flyer's don't get their picture taken any longer as they get to the bottom of the planes stairs, but they still get dressed up in brand new clothes just in case they do. Its not snazzy sports jackets and cool ties now though, its track suits and super white trainers. So brand new and clean, I'm convinced they just put them on at the door of the terminal.
The tracksuits make the departure lounge look like the marshaling area of some Olympic event, except of course, when you consider what it is that's in the tracksuit. Anyone over 30, shouldn't be allowed to wear them for a start, and that goes for earrings as well. When was the last time you seen some man over 30 wearing an earring and thought to yourself, that's cool, I think I'll get mine done. Maradonna and David Beckham aside.

Speaking of Beckham, I've just witnessed Andy Murray getting a right Real Humping from the Spaniard and who's in the crowd? Remember who was watching on the sidelines during Englands implosion? In fact, he has been pretty close to all the national sporting failures endured these past years. I think its the pact he made with the devil, you can have looks, wealth, you can even have golden balls and a cock like a tractors exhaust, but anyone you go to support, will play like dunderheids and get gubbed.

It was great to get back to Scotland, the air felt fresher and I managed to clear all the soot out my nose while I was there. It was even a nice train journey up from Prestwick to Glasgow, running past those famous links golf courses, a bit parched mind from the lack of rain. The reason I was home was to attend the wedding of some friends. It was a fabulous day, in a fantastic location with only one faintly curious observation made. I noticed the waiter that served us breakfast in the morning, wore black gloves with his black suit. It made him look more like an assassin, like he was going to garrote somebody rather than take the top off their boiled egg.

Back to the Chav Arms for something that is worth a reek. A bloke came in, about 60 odd year old I would say, and ordered a double, double Bacardi. That's four measures of Bacardi in a glass and topped up with cola, it cost £10.75. I think he had two of them. Apparently he does it every week. I was getting pissed just thinking about it, on second thoughts, it might have been the Kronenbourgs.

Lang may yer lum reek.