Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Call Centre Confidential

I'm getting so fed up with the continuous phone calls from people wanting to speak to the managing director that I've started fighting back, this is a typical call. From a call centre in India.
"Hello can I speak to the managing director."
"Who?"
"The managing director."
"What's one of those?"
"The managing director of the business."
"I've never met him."
"Can I speak to the person in charge of phone bills."
"Phone bells?"
"Phone bills"
"We don't need bells for our phone they just ring anyway they're electronic."
"I'm calling from Blue ridge."
"They make wine don't they? We don't sell wine."
"No it's for your phone."
"What wine for my phone?"
"No we will give you every forth bill free."
"So everytime the phone rings if I pick it up before it rings four times I wont get my forth ring free?"
"Your forth bill is free."
"Yes that's very kind of you but we answer the phone very quickly here so it never gets to the forth ring, so I don't think we need this service. Anyway I thought it didn't matter how many times the phone rang."
"No I'm talking about bills."
"Bells yes so am I."
"Can I send you details."
"What sort of tails?"
"Details, it's three pages."
"Free pagers now that's very generous but we don't use pagers, we use our phones."
"No it's three pages."
"Yes you said it's free and I agree it's a generous offer but if we don't use them......"
"Can I fax you."
"Fax me what?"
"The three pages of details."
"Free pagers with tails? are we talking about the same thing here? Look I'm not really interested in your bizarre offers, can you phone back when we're not here?"
"When will be convenient?"
"23rd March 2008. I'm sure I'll be free to speak to you then. Thanks for calling you've been wonderful. Goodbye."
"but..............."
"Goodbye!" Click.

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Monday, August 30, 2004

Rock and roll it aint

Jack. You made the comment that I was having a hell of a life already. So you didn't need to tell me to rock on. I used to dream of the rock and roll life style. I wanted to be the one on stage playing guitar. But between you and me. It's hard work. I've just finished the 4th of our gigs this weekend. The afternoon gig was cancelled outside due to the weather and rescheduled for this evening. So of course no one knew about it. Hence hardly any audience. Meanwhile Del was suffering from complete exhaustion. In fact we were all dog tired. But we are professionals. The show must go on even though you feel like shit. This is rock and roll. Do you want some?
It aint all fairy land crowd adoration and girls throwing their knickers on to the stage. It's a job like any other.
But that's not to say we didn't have a great weekend. I just thought I'd tell you about the shit right from the start. Saturday we played the Exeter Arm Helpston. It was outside. It was bleedin' cold. Our whole audience were huddled round a garden brazier keeping warm, unfortunately the brazier was behind a huge bush so they couldn't see us playing in the car park. But on the plus side we had a hen party and there were four girls in ra ra skirts and little else dancing in front of us. Whoopee!
Sunday we played The Whistle stop at Tallington. Again it was supposed to be outside but the bad weather forced us inside. We played a blinder. The audience was fantastic. We had them up and dancing and singing. At one point a women was stripped to her bra in front of us. This is what we want. This is rock and roll. We started at 4 and played til 7.10. Then packed everything up and drove like demons down the A1 to Folkesworth to be in time to start playing at 8.30. By 11.30 my fingers were begging me to stop. I normally don't use a plectrum but my right hand fingers were hurting so much I had to relent. The last time we played in Folkesworth we stayed on stage until 2.30 in the morning. But then we were fresh and it was our only gig of then day. There's a limit to what the body can stand. We all have day jobs.
My good friend Jules asked me today "Have you mentioned me on your website?"
I said "No."
"Good." he says " I don't want you to write about me."
"OK I wont. " I said.
"I don't want you writing anything about me."
"of course not, if that's what you want."
So I'm not going to write about Jules. Even though he's a top man. Even though he is going to be recording our Genevas gig at the end of September for our new live CD. Available for only £5. Don't rush we haven't even recorded it yet. So if you are reading this and find a lack of Jules mentions. It's because he wants to be anonymous. But I assure you he will be there even if I'm not allowed to mention him. Top man and Ipswich supporter. Love the Horse.

So dear friends, like Del, I myself am suffering from comlete exhaustion, and I have to go to bed now. But before I go Uncle Vodka is now back in Moscow and I'm getting nearer to having him share his wonderful life with you guys. Koshka. God! I want to shag someone called Koshka. But he's already been there, done that. Negotiations are still ongoing. Watch this space. We want to know the story. Don't we? Clap if you believe in fairies. Comment if you want to know about Koshka. We might persuade him to reveal all. I know he reads this so..............

Goodnight and may your God be with you.

Rock on Dudes.

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Saturday, August 28, 2004

Zen and the Art of Mud Diving

Went to the beer festival again last night. Contrary to belief it isn't full of pipe smoking bearded men wearing chunky hand knitted sweaters discussing the merits of sparging and mashing. Just several thousand people quaffing some decent ale. In amongst those thousands were a few that should be given a good slapping. Like the guy in front of me, an older man who looked like he jotted down train numbers in his spare time, he asked for a half of "old Firkin" the guy behind the bar handed it over.
"That's not a half." said the train spotter.
"That it is." said the Camra volounteer, "in fact you've got a little bit more than a half."
The train spotter then proceeded to gently tip his excess beer onto the ground. Hardened drinkers gasped with dismay, some desperately tried to catch the beer as it fell.
Then he had a careful look at the level in his glass, still not satisfied he poured some more away. The dismay turned to anger as people made comments like "If you don't want to drink the beer you should F**k off."
But train spotter was totally oblivious to all of this and wandered off to find a corner to stand in.
We had the usual mud divers. People who for one reason or another saw fit to thrown themselves headfirst into the mud. There was plenty of that, it's like the Somme down on the embankment, people soon having to learn the Glastonbury walk to get through the ankle deep mud.
One mud diver, was covered head to toe, he was scrabbling around, couldn't find his feet, he vomitted not once not twice but three times then fell in it. He rolled around some. No one wanted to help him. Some drunk helpfully kicked him and said "You can't stay there you'll catch your death."
"leave me alone." said the mud diver.
Then the guy who came out the beer tent, proceeded to make the Japanese Bow stance for ten minutes, whilst clearing his system all over the grass, then marched purposefully back to the bar.
Oh and all the guys lined up at the fence because they couldn't be arsed to wade through the mud to the toilets. One of them was trying to ........ well we weren't really sure what he was trying to do but he put his old boy through the chain link and held onto the fence with his arms high above his head as if he was hanging there and proceeded to water the grass in front of him. AND we have the photos to prove it. Blessed are the digital cameras.
The five of us walked home, I heard someone laughing and turned to see we were now six. We'd been joined by a fellow drinker walking and chatting amongst us.
"Who the hell are you?" I asked him.
"Oh we go way back?"
"Do we?"
"Yeah way back to the traffic lights."
"Right! So who are you?"
"I'm "............ " your local conservative councillor."
"But you're pissed."
"That's right."
"You've got my vote."

Well I've got to go now. I have a gig in a few hours at The Exeter Arms in Helpston. Should be fun.
Tomorrow we're doing two gigs one in the afternoon and one in the evening at the Fox in Folkesworth. Then monday it's The Wheatsheaf in Peterborough. Come on down, it'll be fun.

Meanwhile have fun and drink sensibly, that's raise pint mug to lips gently tip and swallow, as many times as you see fit any other method may be frowned upon.

Rock on dudes

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Friday, August 27, 2004

Zen and the Art of Foot Massage

Look I'm sorry. You girls are ganging up on me just as I was sure you'd love a foot massage then you go and ask for something else, Road Rage for Chrissakes. And I'm doubly sorry to Anni because this will be too tame for that particular little minx . Anyway I promised Del I'd post this next........... OK I admit it I haven't actually written the Road Rage story yet. What with the beer festival on and this weekends many gigs to perform I haven't had time and wont have time until next week. So until then here's this weeks story...............


Zen and the Art of Foot Massage

I’m in Worcester visiting Rebecca, an old girl friend from University, and we’re waiting for her boyfriend to arrive. But that’s OK we’re mates, always have been, always will be. She’s five foot six, slim with long unkempt dark curly hair. She looks like a gypsy or someone on a flake advert. Bob arrives looking flustered.
“Sorry I’m late. Had to drop the wife off at her friends, then ditch the car and catch a bus.”
Rebecca didn’t even flinch, she obviously knew all about it. I stayed cool as if it was an everyday tale of everyday folk.
“That’s alright Bob, Mikels only just arrived himself. So where are we going?”
“I thought The Coach and Horses, it’s a half mile walk but the beers good.”
We walked and chatted all the way to the pub and went in, ordered some beers and found a table. It was a lively pub with four or five elderly gents standing round a piano belting out songs “My old man said follow the van……..” and “underneath the arches down paradise road…….”. A few punks were sitting near us huddled over their lagers. The landlord leant over the bar and shouted “Keep it down boys you’re disturbing these young men.” It did seem a little odd that the rowdy ones were the pensioners. The singing continued. We had more beer and kept chatting about old times. Eventually it was chucking out time and Bob suggested we stop off at the offy to stock up for a night cap or five. Bob chose the strongest lager he could find in the biggest special offer tins. Being a little wibbly already I chose the weakest I could find.
Back at Rebeccas we chatted some more and drank some more until Rebecca jumped up grabbed Bob and said “That’s it, I can’t stand it anymore, Bob you’re coming with me, Mikel, mi casa est tu casa, do what you like, we’re going for a shag.”
“Fair enough. I think I’ll just crash.”
“Whatever.”
So they cleared off upstairs and I pulled the cushions of the settee slung down the duvet and fell into a coma.
I’m woken later, I don’t know how much later, by shouts. Rebecca is screaming, at Bob presumably, “…….and don’t you ever come back again.” Followed by the door slamming. I went back to sleep it’s just an everyday story of everyday folk.
The light comes on in the sitting room and Rebecca comes in “Are you awake Mikel?”
“I am now?” I say struggling to open my eyes.
“I’m fed up. I need someone to talk to and as you’re the only one left in the house I guess it’s you.”
“OK. No problem. What’s the matter?”
“I’m fed up and stressed, I could rip a phone book in half.”
“You need to relax.”
“I’m too stressed.”
“Then what you need is a foot massage.”
“I’ve never had one of those.”
“Trust me. You’ll love it.”
A foot was massaged. The reaction was immediate, Rebecca is going “mmmm.” A lot and “don’t stop, this is incredible.” And I’m thinking this has never happened before.
I did the other foot and she’s still mmmming like crazy. Then she says “Do you do a back massage as well?”
“Yeah it was covered in the course I did. No problem.”
So she lay face down on my cushion duvet bed and the back was massaged.
“This is no good.” She says “I’ll have to take my pullover off.” So she did, nothing on underneath. I carried on with the massage. You see I’m a professional. You don’t take advantage of your customers when you give a massage, it says so in the manual. Well she then turned over. She was laid there on her back, her long curly hair all over the pillow, and two perfect breasts. For chrissakes! How many clues did I need? The manual went out the window. Who needs professionalism when confronted by this.
We woke the next morning, heads aching and looked at each other. Then remembered what we had done. “Ah. We didn’t did we?”
“I think we must have.”
“But we’re mates, you know mates. Mates don’t shag.”
“well perhaps if we pretended it didn’t happen, then we can still be mates.”
“Good plan.”
So that’s was the plan it never happened again and we’re still mates. So if you’re reading this Rebecca, hi mate and thanks for a fabulous night, you were great. It’s our secret OK?


************************************************


Petal is on holiday so she's had a sneak preview of this story. She wanted me to make a comment for her.

"What's wrong with having a shag buddy? I've got a couple of friends who don't want a proper relationship and they just call their shag buddy when they want a shag. The shag buddy obliges and that's that. They then go about their usual lives."

Now there's a thought. Having a long term shag buddy, seems to be a great idea if you like being single but don't want the hassle of looking for a date, who turns out to be the creature from hell, along with all that other unpleasant stuff. Followed by a trip to the clinic. Stalking. A protection order. the list goes on.

Stay safe buddies

and

Rock on!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Foot massage and road rage

Del and I went to the 27th annual beer festival in Peterborough We started at A and only got to C and there's only two days left for us. The rest of the time we have gigs to play. So we're sitting there quaffing the finest beers and discussing what I'm going to write next. It could be " Zen and the art of foot massage" or "Zen and the art of road rage" Del is going for the foot massage story. Now this could be tricky for me because it's very close to home. Names will have to be changed and bodily protection arranged. So when I say it happened in Worcestershire. You'll have to accept that Worcerstershire wasn't the actual venue for this event. And when I say it was Rebecca that's not her real name. She will know it's her and her boyfriend will certainly know it's him so I am going to have to disguise this story for my own safety. I'm not even going to ask you to vote on this one. Because Del really wants it. And as he's one of my best friends, who am I to argue?
We're really busy for the next few days what with the beer festival and the bank holiday gigs. So I crave your patience. I haven't written it yet. Tomorrow I'll ask Petal if she wants a foot massage or Road rage. She'll go for the foot massage. Most girls do. You know what I'm saying. So I don't care if you vote or not. Do you want a foot massage or don't you?

Hey I'm sorry a lot of you didn't get to comment on the last vote. But apparently Haloscan fucked up. I had all sorts of phone calls complaining that they couldn't find the comments button. It wasn't my fault, honest. I'm just a musician, what do I know about computers? I don't have Quarsan at my shoulder to tell me when things have fucked up.

On the way out of the beer fest we passed a stand selling olives. The young lady there invited Del and I to try the white olives. White olives? Yeah right. they weren't white olives at all but pickled garlic cloves. We ate them and said "these are not olives."
"no it's pickled garlic. I promise they dont leave a taste."
All I can say is I'm glad I sleep alone tonight. As an experiment Del kissed his wife when she came to pick us up in the car. She didn't notice. Maybe she was too polite. She only commented that "I've had worse."

Tomorrow beer festival part 2. Can Del and I survive? Only time will tell. I gotta go to bed now before I fall asleep at this keyboard.

Rock on dudes.

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Zen and the Art of Shagging on a Public Footpath

I can't use real names so I’m gonna call her Jane, on account of the fact that she’s a lovely girl and now has a respectable life, a lovely family and really doesn’t need to be reminded of this. But if you’re reading this Beverley…….ah ha!
So I am just about to disappear off to University, to start my degree in Applied Biology. Jane and I are going to be separated for months on end, so we decide we’re going to have one last shag fest, and what better way to do it, than to do it al fresco. So we pack a picnic and a blanket in a small rucksack and head off into the hills. It’s the Chiltern hills, if you must know, just behind Wendover in Buckinghamshire. It was a steep climb up the first bit until we got to the top and we were looking for a suitable place to have our “picnic”. It was all very public. So I suggested we just take a 90 degree turn straight through the woods away from the well trodden path. We struggled through brambles and bushes until we stumbled upon this beautiful clearing. The grass was long and lush. The air was warm the sky was blue. It was perfect. We lay down the blanket in the dappled sunlight under the trees, and opened our picnic. We ate a little and drank our bottle of wine. The scene was set. I looked at her and she looked at me, we didn't need words, the clothes had to come off. I unbuttoned her blouse while she unbuttoned my shirt. Within minutes we were as God intended. We were with nature, making mad passionate love in the long grass. Then we heard voices. We ignored it. They were getting closer. We sat up and looked around us, listening carefully, where were these people? The voices got louder, closer. A Labrador bounded into our clearing from behind some bushes. It came right up to us and sniffed.
“Rex! Come on boy.” Shouted a voice. Rex bounded back the way he had come, tail wagging.
Quickly Jane wrapped the blanket round herself. I quickly pulled on my jeans, just as this family walked into our secluded glade. Mother and father both dressed in walking attire. Calf length walking trousers tucked into long socks, stout walking shoes, check shirts, bobble hats and a back pack. They each carried long alpine walking poles. Their two children followed them into the glade, they stopped dead and stared at us in our half nakedness.
“Come along children, eyes front, quick march. Don’t dawdle. There’s nothing to see.” Said the father. But of course there was.
Jane was beside herself giggling.
The children were giggling. Father was getting flustered. The mother in her alpine attire staring rigidly ahead muttering “well I never!”
Father desperate for his children not to be corrupted was blustering away, while they just stood there and stared at us. What can you do? Smile and say “Hello, nice day!”
“CHILDREN!” he shouted, “ come along NOW!” And he grabbed them by the collars and dragged them away as quickly as possible out the other side of our little garden of Eden.
By the time they were gone Jane was almost hysterical with laughter. Where the hell did they come from? This was supposed to be our secluded spot. I stood up to investigate the bushes where they had come from and gone to. Away from the sunlight there was a path. A few yards up the path I found a wooden sign with an acorn engraved on it. Public footpath. I went Back to Jane and told her we’d been shagging on a public footpath. She just laughed and said “Shall we do it again?”
It had no lasting effect on her or myself. We weren’t traumatised. Because many, many years later, after she’d got married, and got her beautiful family, we did the same thing all over again. Just for old times sake. So that’s why I’ve had to change her name. Even though she married the wrong guy I wish her no ill at all. She’s still one of my most favourite people in all the world.
So if you’re reading this Jane, thanks, it was great while it lasted.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I want shagging on a public footpath

So I'm talking to Petal about my next story and I'm, asking her "what do you think pet? Should I write the story about setting fire to my trousers, or shagging on a public footpath."
To which she loudly replied "I WANT SHAGGING ON PUBLIC FOOTPATH." and then realised what she had just said. Almost had to call the fire service she was so hot under the collar. Now I hope naming and shaming doesn't put Petal off from commenting. So for her sake and to show she's not alone I'd like all you girls to write in the comments box below "I want shagging on a public footpath" or indeed any place of your choosing. The boys can write "I want a shag on a public footpath". Alternatively if you don't want shagging tell me to set fire to my trousers again.

I'm disgusted with my roofing man. He's the one scared of heights. It's pissing down with rain and my bathroom ceiling is still leaking. Big brother slings a long ladder up to the roof and lashes it up with some vacuum cleaner flex. Does this ring a bell with any of you? Then he says "You go first." So no change there then in forty years. I find a hole in the flashing. How come Mr Roofing Contractor never spotted that? Big bro comes up the ladder to pass me the flashing equivalent of a bicycle puncture repair. Slop on the glue and slap on the patch. Meanwhile a squall blows up and it starts thundering and lightening.
I'm shouting to big bro that "perhaps up on the roof isn't the cleverest of places to be in a thunderstorm."
His last words were before he high tailed it back to the safety of his workshop were "you'll be alright." leaving me on the roof and lightening all around.

I've noticed just recently a change in the language of our foreign friends, they used to say "innit" a lot now they say "is it." and it's always in the most inappropriate points in the c0nversation.
"I need a model number to get you a motor."
"is it?"
"No we don't sell Audi car spares."
"Is it?"
What's going on? And while I'm on my own personal hobby horse, whilst David Jason can get away with saying "Lubbly Jubbly!" all the time. Customers coming in and rubbing their hands saying it doesn't have the same panache. We had a sales rep who used to say "Am I going to scratch my pad this week?" which really pissed me off. I'm gonna stop right now before hypertension causes my kidneys to fail.

So have pity on poor Petal show her she's not alone because she wants SHAGGING ON A PUBLIC FOOTPATH?
You know you want it as well.

Rock on dudes and keep the faith

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Zen and the art of being a test pilot

I used to be a test pilot at one time. Not the dashing, devil may take me type, pushing X-15's to their limits hurtling through the stratosphere at a mind boggling speed. No I was more the four and five year old in awe of his older brother and too young to have lost trust in him. My big brother was always making things and of course when he'd made something it had to be tested and as I was the smallest and lightest it fell to me to be the test pilot. One day he had the great idea that we should have a garden swing. With that in mind he found a small plank of wood and a load of telephone cable left behind by and engineer. He lashed it all together, climbed the biggest tree in our garden and tied it up. I was thrilled. At last a swing and my big brother had sorted it all out by himself.
"You can have first go Mikel." he said, giving me the honour.
"Thanks Chris." I said proud that for once I wasn't last in line being the youngest.
So I got on the swing. The cable was a bit thin to hold onto but never mind, my big brother had made it so that was alright. He gave me a push. I swang. He gave me another push and I swang again. It was great. Higher and higher I went, the wind whistling through my hair and up the legs of my short grey, silk lined, school trousers. But then disaster, just as Chris had pushed me to the bumps, (Remember them?) the cable snapped. With nothing to bring my safely backwards I sailed through the air. landing heavily on my back. I couldn't speak. If I'd have been old enough to know the appropriate words I'd have let loose, but I didn't. I just looked at him in disbelief. How could he do this to me?
We went for a walk down to the stream. "let's build a bridge." he said and he started throwing stuff into the stream. Huge clumps of earth and grass he'd ripped out of the ground. God he was strong was my brother and I was only four so I just threw sticks onto the bridge. Eventually he said "You go first." So Master gullible stepped onto the bridge, little suspecting that the bridge was not as solid as it looked and was in fact floating. I went straight down into the water. It was freezing and I had to walk home my little grey silk lined shorts soaking wet and ruined.
Later on he had a tricycle and it was too big for me, I couldn't reach the pedals, and I would stand by the side of the road watching him tear up and down. Eventually he saw my jealousy and decided he would build a seat for me on the back of his trike so I could go with him as he tore up and down the road. Another plank of wood and the same telephone cable.
Again I was full of admiration, my big brother loved me so much he was going to take me riding on his trike. Eventually it was finished and he got on the saddle and directed me to sit on the plank of wood. We set off down the road, slow at first then gaining speed, alright you can see it coming can't you? You're not stupid. You can already see a pattern building up here. You'd be right too. The plank of wood came away from the back of the bike I fell off into the middle of the road with a car heading toward me. That was another pair of short grey silk lined school trousers ruined. And grazes on my hands and bum. Meanwhile big bro was head down tearing up the road. Half a mile later he noticed I wasn't on the back anymore and the special seat was gone too. He came back for me. "I'll put it back on" he said.
"I don't want to ride on that anymore. " I cried.
So Chris decided we would do something more sedate for his next trick. We were going to dig a hole to Australia. So we got trowels out of the shed and started digging. All morning and half the afternoon we dug down and across until we had a tunnel. Chris said "You go first."
"Can I?"
"Oh yes!" he said.
I went first and the tunnel collapsed on me. He dragged me out, coughing and spluttering by the feet.
"I'm not playing with you anymore." I said when he'd wiped the mud from my face and out my mouth.
"I'll make it up to you." he said. And he did on the way to school next day he bought black jack bubble gum for himself and some for me. Normally I wasn't allowed bubble gum, but big brother said it would be alright as long as we didn't tell mother. So that was OK. In the school playground he ceremoniously handed me my black jack. "See I told you I'd make it up to you."
"Thanks Chris."
"Yeah and you can blow bubbles too." He shows me. He's so cool, he's like a professional, blowing big bubbles then sucking them back into his mouth with a pop. I wanted to do that. I tried. He showed me how to do it. He showed me how to stick my tongue in the middle to start it off. Then I was blowing bubbles like the rest of them. Of course we had to have a competition to see who could blow the biggest bubble. I won, but mine popped and splattered all over my face just as the morning bell rang. I walked into class, my face covered in black jack. The teacher looked at me and sent for my brother. "Get him cleaned up."
Big brother took me to the toilets and started to wash my face, it wouldn't come off. Then he started scrubbing, it still wouldn't come off and by now I'm screaming, my face red raw from his scrubbing with harsh paper towels. He was desperate to clean me up before mother found out he'd given me bubble gum.
"if you don't shut up I wont let you be my chief test pilot anymore." he warned me.
"I don't want to be a test pilot for you anymore." It was at that moment I realised that associating with my brother was becoming a liability. A danger to my health and safety.
Now don't think my sister was any better. She was the oldest and presumably the most sensible. I could trust her surely, if no one else, my big sister would look out for me......... wouldn't she?
No chance. We played blind mans bluff. She tied a scarf round my head then to make it more exciting tied my feet up as well, of course I fell over, smashing my head on the coffee table. blood everywhere, I still have the scars a fraction of an inch from my right eye. Big sister is now a nurse. Hmmmm?
I didn't play with my brother and sister much after that. And when little brother was born, well that was the most glorious day ever. I was no longer the youngest and they all ignored me. They left me alone and turned their sadistic attentions to little bro. But he was the devils spawn. Satan would have been proud to have called him his son. Everyone was scared of little bro. But that's another story...............

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

How I didn't become a policeman.

I haven't been to many job interviews. I've never had to, what happened to me was, I would apply for a job, they'd phone me up and say "when can you start?" and that was it. So when I decided as a young adult to join the police force as a guardian of the law, a protector of the innocent, I was ill equipped for what followed.
One morning I wandered in Police HQ in Guildford for my interview. I was ushered into a room full of other young hopefulls, all tearing at the leash wantingto be let loose on the bad guys of this world. There was a sergeant who was looking after us. Give words of gentle encouragement. He turns, looks me up and down and says "You boy! You aren't wearing a tie."
This was true. I was a poor student, who had left home and travelled light. "No Sir, I don't own a tie."
"This will not do. This will not do at all. We can't have you meeting the chief Superintendant without a tie."
Just then this little lad pipes up"Sir? Sir? Please Sir?" you'd think he was still in the bleedin' class room.
"Yes boy!"
"I know where there's a tie. I can get it for him."
"Well done. Good initiative there. This is what we're looking for. Go fetch it."
So the little creep runs off and comes back five minutes later with a tie. Navy blue with red and white stripes and little lions on it. I thank him and put it on.
A while later I am called in to see the Chief Superintendant. He bids me relax and take a seat. While he sits back in his chair all easy like. "So Mr....... er" he checks his notes " Mr Da Hat. Why do you want to be a policeman? What is it about being a policeman that attracted you in the first place."
That was an easy one I'd been primed for this one so I went into a little speach about the police being a solid career. Halfway through Chiefy sat bolt upright and stared at me. I wriggled in my chair uncomfortably, what had I done? What did I say? He stared some more, then "Jumping the gun a bit aren't we sonny?"
"Sorry?"
"That tie you are wearing."
"Yes I borrowed it."
"Well that tie is reserved exclusively for the upper echelons of the Surrey Constabulary."
"I didn't know?"
"Well a little research would have been helpful, are you normally prone to jumping in to things with your eyes closed?"
"No." The interview then went from bad to worse. All was lost. He didn't even shake my hand at the end of the interview he just dismissed me with a wave of his hand.
I left the interview and went back to return the tie, rather firmly round the little creeps neck. Luckily for creep the sergeant was there to hold me back and the creep cowered behind him. while I let loose a tirade of abuse.
I walked out of police HQ and felt a lightening of my step as I realised I wasn't really going to be a policeman, then I remembered the specimen bottle in my bag. I wouldn't be needing that anymore. So half a pint of my finest urine sailed over the wall. And that dear friends is how I escaped wearing a uniform. But can you really imagine me as PC Mike Da Hat? I don't think so.

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Friday, August 20, 2004


Believe it or not this is the guy who cuts my hair. His name is Guiseppe. He is always like this, laughing and joking. I think he must cut his own hair. Without a mirror. Posted by Hello

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Took Jamie to Genevas last night to see Richard and Abi and their band Within. This is Abi. To see her is to love her. What can I say? She's fabulous. nuff said. Posted by Hello

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This is Richard and Abi from the band Within. Richard is playing my 12 string. Only Abi can get away with bright yellow calf length boots Posted by Hello

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Gemmalah

Gemmalah Da Hat has got her A-level results today. She has the required grades to get into Lincoln University where she'll be doing Media Studies. She's particularly pleased about getting the highest marks ever (for her school) in her media studies A-level. Grade A of course.
She says she's going to spend the day being big headed. I said "Fill yer boots girl." So we'll let her have her day of glory before she has to go back to normal ego levels, where she's just plain brilliant instead of todays stupendously beyond belief brilliant. So the rest of her day will involve going round all her friends exchanging hugs and all that other girly stuff that they do when they pass exams. Then she has to wait for her boyfriend to congratulate her and go on another round seeing people and telling everyone how wonderful they are.
God! That's a distant memory for me. It's a long time since I took an exam. Been there, done that, don't want to do it again. Now it's Gemmalahs turn. She also got a B and 2 C's and a D. Bleedin 'ell she did a lot of A-levels. I only did three.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Zen and the art of a simple life

I was real pissed off today. I phoned a customer to tell him his part had arrived.
"Hello Mr Burton."
"No!"
"Oh Mrs Burton then can I speak to a Mrs Burton."
"No. No one of that name here."
"Right have I got the right number 238732."
"That's right."
"And there isn't anyone by the name of Burton there? I'm not even close?"
"No."
"Well I must have been given the wrong number. I'm sorry to have troubled you. Goodbye."
"Not unless you want Burton-Shaw."
"Burton-Shaw? Your name is Burton-Shaw?"
"That's right."
You fucking prick! I didn't say that because I'm a professional you understand. However when his wife came to the shop to pick up the spare part for their washing machine. I mentioned the incident.
"oh he's a twat! he's always doing that it's his sick sense of humour."
"And you married him?" Ok that wasn't the sort of professional comment you'd expect from someone as professional as me. But I was really pissed off with him.
"Yes for my sins. I sometimes wonder myself." Such candour. "I'll mention your displeasure to him, I keep telling him that it's not big and it's not clever. But you know he's just a twat!"
I thought of Zoe. But I'm sure Quarsan isn't such a twatty twat as that. This guy takes the biscuit.

To cheer me up this woman came in and brought her son.
"My boy is learning guitar." she told me. She knows I play a little guitar.
"Do you want to have a go on my guitar? This is the one I use mostly." I hand him my guitar and he holds it like it's a cricket bat. He's scared to death of it.
"He's only just started learning." explains his mum. I relieve him of the guitar and he relaxes noticably.
"OK. Shall I play something?" So I'm standing in my shop with guitar and I launch into something.
The boys jaw drops "Wow!"
Mum says "You should be on stage."
"I am."
Another customer walks in while I'm mid song. U2's "with or without you". Then another customer and we're really rocking. I finish the song.........
"So you want bags for what vacuum cleaner?"
I couldn't do that if I worked for John Lewis. I am not your normal shop keeper. This is a means to an end. This pays the bills nothing more.

When I was with Helene, I was going to give it all up to live in France. I was going to walk away from my own business, just to be with the girl I loved. I even got a job as a manager of an Art Gallery in South Brittany. But it wasn't to be. There's nothing like downsizing. Money is overrated. I have so many friends who are after that extra bonus in their pay packet. What are they going to do with it? Buy something? Have a better car? A better house? A new DVD player? A state of the art sound system? Does that make your life better?
You know the best times of my life have been the most simple. Sitting around a dinner table with my best friends. Walking with Helene in the country side. Just sitting and talking and being with someone you love more than anything. Get that on a credit card! I don't suppose I'll ever be rich, I'm not that sort of guy. But I have wealth beyond imagination in my friends and my loved ones. That's what matters. I can't relate to those who chase the extra pound. Who are envious of the next door neighbour. I don't need the trappings of wealth. I just want good people around me and my guitar. One day I'll tell you about how good the simple life can be.............but now I must sleep.
Thank you to every one who have commented on this site. And also to those who haven't but have taken the time to read. I know you're out there.
Rock on. And. Keep the faith.

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Zen and the art of drug dealing

Held my usual Tuesday night music club tonight. Smashy wants to buy the Fender, so it's going to a good home I don't think I need to send Lenny round to collect the money. Tony turned up with his new BMW convertable. We all went to look at it. It has sat nav and a DVD player that slides out of the dashboard and flips up to a eight inch screen How cool is that? We all took turns to sit in it and marvel at the engineering. It's a beautiful car. Don't ask me any technical questions about it. I haven't a fucking clue. He told me but it went straight over my head. He told me but I've forgotten already it has 300 and something BHP and does 0- 60 in a nano second. Sometimes I wish I could be as enthusiastic about cars as Tony. I'd love to be able to swap statistics on performance and such like. But really I have no interest. I just know that I can look at Tony's car and think "yeah! It's a good looking car."

The drug dealer was in my pub tonight. I thought he had been banned. He called me over. "you played the Cavendish Saturday night."
"Yeah and you said I was shite."
"well respect man. I said you were shite and you admitted it. Respect."
"whatever."
"hey what do they call you when you're not Mike da hat?"
"Mike."
"are you trying to be funny wiv me?"
"you don't need me to be funny with you." he's funny enough by himself.
His cohorts chimed in "Don't dis the man." They're too scared of him to say anything else. But the man is cool.
"You were fucking shite. " He spat at me.
With him were people I've known for a few years. They wriggled uncomfortably in their seats. They were sort of friends of mine and I'm sure they realised that this guy was a total loser. But they couldn't say anything. They were caught between THE MAN and their consciences. I was getting bored with the conversation.
I said "It was a great night until I got heckled. By you." And I walked away. I'm not sure it was the best riposte. But it was all I had.

The iPod is playing nothing right now because I don't own one.

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Arachnophobia. 8 legs and an attitude.

Here's a story not for the sqeamish or those who are scared of spiders. As you know it's been hot and humid for a while and that's great for the creepie crawlies. This morning I wandered, half asleep, over to my Microwave workshop. I unlocked the door and went in. Immediately I felt something on my face. I swished. As you do. My arm got covered in the something as I moved around more and more stuff closed in on my head. It was thousands and thousands of single strand cobwebs. Hanging at the end of each strand was a tiny spider. In waving my arms I'd scooped hundreds of the little buggers closer to my body and they were all entangled in my arms my hair everywhere. I looked up and more and more were pouring out of the cracks in the soft board ceiling. I had hundreds of these tiny spiders crawling all over me. It was a scene from your worst nightmare if you don't like spiders. Each time I turned more spiders fell on me so I made a dash for the door and stood outside. I felt like Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen when he found loads of leaches all over his body. The little beggars. So I stood outside brushing them off.

So I've been finding them in my clothes all day. Everyso often one finds it's way up my neck and I'm going crazy. Customers look at me and ask whats wrong.
"I'm covered in bleedin spiders." I say swiping at my arms my neck and head. Of course they're so small the customers don't see them and they back off thinking I'm a drug addict being hit by a flashback.

So I go back into the work shop armed with a broom and gently scoop them all up by waving the broom through the air like making candyfloss on a stick. Except this candyfloss is alive and crawling. Outside I stand the broom upside down and watch the little beggars float away on their silken parachutes. I had to do this quite a few times before it was safe to go into the room unprotected. A friend said "Should've napalmed the lot of 'em. Did you see Arachnophobia? Best not take chances."

It's now 5pm and this little episode happened at 8:30 this morning. My skin is still crawling. Eeeek!!!!

Which reminds me of a little incident when my boy Jamie Da Hat was very young. He was terrified of spiders and would run round the house screaming if he saw one. So in an effort to break this behaiviour I found a small spider and had it on my hand.
"Look Jamie isn't it cute?" I said letting it crawl all over my hand. "Do you want to hold it?"
"No Daddy no!"
"It's OK it wont hurt you look it's on Daddies hand right now just minding it's own business. here you hold it?"
So he held out a very shakey hand and shut his eyes. It was on his hand for a minute before he opened his eyes and saw it was OK. "It's a cute spider Daddy." he said.
"Yep let's put him outside in the bushes. he'll like it there."
So we did and I went back into the sitting room to watch Formula one. Self satisfied that I'd cured the boy of his Arachnophobia.

Half hour later Jamie came into the sitting room. "Look Daddy. Look what I've got?"
"Shit! Shit! Oh Fuck!" in his hand was the biggest, blackest, hairiest spider you could imagine. I recoiled, almost jumping out the sitting room window.
"Do you want to hold it Daddy? It's really cute."
I'm depserate to maintain my cool, my composure. I don't want him to see the abject terror in my eyes.
"Er... no Jamie no thanks! Very kind of you to show me the lovely spider. But I think it would be happier outside. "
"Don't you want to stroke it?" he persisted.
"No no no." sweat starts beading on my forhead. He can smell the fear. He's got one over on me and he's only four years old.
"You're not scared are you daddy?" Bingo!!! "it's only a spider. Do you want it on your hand?"
"No Jamie, best you put it in the bush like the last one."
"OK Daddy." and he skips off with his new pet.
I slump back into my armchair, and wipe the sweat from my forehead. That's the last time I try to cure my children of anything like that.
Wife walks in. "What did Jamie have to show you?"
"Oh just a spider."
"He hates spiders."
"Not anymore."

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Zen and the drug addict.

Tonight is pool night. M came to the pub very late to tell me that her stalker was sorted. He's been kicked into touch. So hopefully that's the last we will hear from him. I don't want to brag but normally I am unbeatable at pool. It's a sign of a mispent middle age. But tonight we were determined to let Leslie win. Just once in four years. So we were playing, Brian and I, the most outrageous shots ever. But you know, try as we could to lose, the balls kept going down. Leslie was so pissed off, that she poured beer over Brians head. Brian was not amused. Then we told Leslie that Trudy the barmaid had turned off the pool table. She's so stupid she actually believed us. Gosh how we laughed. Gosh how Leslie poured beer over Brians head. Then Brian had to go home to his wife to explain why he is covered in beer.

Anyone want a genuine Fender electric acoustic guitar? I have acquired one, it's kosher, honest. Lovely bass tones but I'm still holding out for a new ovation celebrity. Shit! There's another fight outside. It's a cat fight this time. Think I'll stand by my door and watch............. OK it's monday night and a bit early in the week for this sort of thing. But there's two girls scrapping over something trivial. Pulling hair and clawing. Why don't girls ever swing a good punch? It would be over so quick. One good punch and one of them is out of it. But girls don't do that sort of thing. It's more of a wrestling match. Sorry the italics slipped in there. Anyway they scrapped a while and now they're hugging and kissing each other. What's all that about?
Where was I? Oh yeah I have this genuine Fender guitar. It's yours for £150. Be quick because I will be applying for prosthetic hands soon. BTW it's listed at $649 or in real money that's about £350. I'm selling it on behalf of a drug addict who needs the money. Only recently stolen. Not even reported yet. You can't get better provenance than that. I can guarantee it was not previously owned by David Bowie. It could have been yet another of Pete Townsends guitars but then I would be telling porkies. So get it while it's hot. I'll even put new strings on it for you. Lenny will bring it round and ask you personally for the money. Don't mess with him. He doesn't have a sense of humour. Don't ask for discount or Lenny will get upset. You don't want Lenny upset on your doorstep. It's not a pretty sight. Just hand over the money and say "thank you", in fact don't even make eye contact with him. If he starts twitching, or his head starts to move and his eyes roll I suggest you slam the door shut quickly, put on the security bolt and call the police. Don't mention my name. You don';t know me, you've never met me. Lenny can look after himself. Shit two fights in one night. This is a record........
sorry false alarm it's two mates beating the shit out of each other, having fun. They love each other really. Probably latent homosexuals. Trying to maintain their machismo, whilst secretly, desperate to get into each others pants. Obviously not enough beer for that to happen, but just enough for a little fight. It's all over and done with now. Not much else to report on that one. NO wonder I never go to bed before one in the morning.

What's the time? Half past one. Oh well I guess it's safe to go to bed now. Living here may be a lot of things but it sure aint boring.

Rock on dudes.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

Earning the money

For all of you who think being a musician is an easy crack, think again Saturday was tough.
7:15pm I'm just thinking about getting a bite to eat...... as usual I hadn't eaten for a day, Friday night I had a stir fry, my last meal. Anyway the landlord phones me.
"'ere Mick where are you?" Mick? I'm not Mick, who the fuck is Mick? I'm Mike.
"I'm at home."
"You should be here. I booked you to play here."
"I know I'll be over later."
"If I'm paying you £90 you'll be here."
"I'm on my way."
Shit! So I don't have time to eat. Good job I'm not particularly hungry. So roadie and I load the car and drive over. The pub is virtually empty when we walk in with guitar and amplifier and stuff. In the corner is a mother daughter and baby in push chair round a table full of empty crisp packets, a couple of die hards are propping up the bar.
"So you're here then?" says the landlord stating the bleedin obvious, and I guess with a touch of irony.
"oui j'arrive." breaking into french to piss him off.
We set up the mike stand and amplifier and I start playing at 7:30 to no one in particular. My roadie fucks off to get dinner.
8:00pm roadie comes back. "Just thought, would you like something to eat? You haven't eaten since yesterday." No shit sherlock! "Shall I bring you a sandwhich?"
"If you like."
8:10pm Roadie fucks off again
8:20pm Roadie comes back, sans sandwhich. "I found your guitar strap in the back of the car."
"and the sandwhich?"
" err...... I thought you needed the guitar strap."
"OK."
8:24pm Roadie fucks off again.
8:45 Roadie comes back with fan club, they all sit at a table in front of me and make faces.
9:00pm I stop for a break. Sit with fan club. Roadie says "Do you want that sandwhich?"
"No I'm not hungry now."
Now my problem is because I've started about an hour early I'm running out of material. There's two hours to go until closing time and I've already been playing for an hour and a half. So I figure if I don't stat again until 9:30 that's only one and a half hours to fill. The pub is filling up, noticable in the crowd is the local drug dealer and his cohorts. They are all chandelier with gold necklaces bracelets and rings. They swagger about the place as if they own it. The drug baron himself is shouting loudly to someone about how he did severe bodily harm to someone, meanwhile his second in command is talking to my fan club boasting about how many times he's been in prison and how hard he is.
I carry on playing. I sing songs repeating several verses just to make them longer no one notices.
A drunk falls over my microphone stand......."Can you do Lady in red?"
The drug baron comes over and stands right in front of me, I mean real close, so close I can't see round him. He's a big fella, asian, close cropped razer cut hair, one gold earring, he gives me a good hard stare.
"You're fucking shite. You are."
"Thanks for your support, glad you're enjoying it."
"What? Oh yeah ........ yeah great! Fuckin' great." he grins and walks off. I wonder what the hell that was all about.
10:45pm the voice is beginning to go. I can barely talk. let alone sing. I've had a few beers and no food. Mistakes are made no one notices. I drag out from the depths of my memory songs I haven't played in years.
11:00pm I stop playing. Roadie says "You were great." I croak something in reply and pick up a beer from the beers that had been lined up for me, that I hadn't drunk because I was too busy playing. I am absolutely knackered. The drug dealers are playing pool for £100 a game. Cash.
I'm so tired all I want to do is go home. So roadie and fan club all pick something up and carry it back to my flat. I open the door and the fan club is all giggling and singing. I say I want to go to bed.
"Chrikey Mikey you've got four beautiful women here to take you to bed. Can you manage us all?"
"I need to sleep."
"You wont get this offer again. How big is your bed? We can all take it in turns to ravish you."
"or all at once?" I venture.
"Sure we'll have an orgy."
"OK just be gentle with me,and if I fall asleep amuse yourselves." Hmmm now that's a thought. Uncle Vodka would be proud of me for that one, as long as I wasn't tied naked in the corner of my room while the girls amused each other on my bed.
The fan club goes home. No orgy after all. Just as well I'm asleep before the sound of their footsteps and laughter fades round the corner.
Sunday roadie says "You need to eat, you haven't eaten since Friday. You must be starving by now."
"Not really." So we drive to the Fox at Folkesworth and have Sunday lunch. Roast beef and yorkshire pud etc. Washed down by two pints of Summer lightening.
I phone Dianne and Del. and invite ourselves over. Del is in the sitting room with a pint in front of him. We sit and chat and have more beer. Then we decide to go to The Wheatsheaf to watch the football on the big screen. We make an afternoon of it and drink copious quantities of beer. Life is good.

Finally get home M phones. The stalking is getting worse. She's been to the police station. not to complain but to get advice. She's a little upset. Oh God! what have I done?

I unpacked my gig bag this morning and found a mouldy sandwhich. Hmmmm. So that's what happened to it.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Will Smith naked

My boy called tonight "Can we go to the pictures?"
"What to see?"
"I, Robot."
"Get your shoes on I'll be there in 15 minutes."
What a good film. Lot's of action and a few surprises. Plus my own personal film critic sitting to my left. That's my daughter Gemma "trust me, I'm a media student" da Hat. Her only reason for seeing the film was to get a glimpse of Will Smith in the buff, which wasn't that exciting if you must know the truth. It was a little irrelevant to the story, a bit of a gratuitous skin shot,but hey, who am I to complain about damp seats?
Then there was the argument between Gemma and Jamie da Hat about Will Smith being in the nude, with Gemma saying "What about "Tomb Raider?" That's for the boys,why can't us girls get a flash ourselves."
Well Gemma da Hat is now 18 and I still remember changing her nappies and bouncing her in her bouncy chair while I played guitar. I even taught her, at the age of two, to clap and scream when I finished a song.
If you want to know what my Gemma is like, look at an advert on TV. There's a girl in a shower using a new shower gel or something, could be a shampoo and she shakes with delight. Well that's my girl. She is just like that. Not that I stand around watching her shower you understand. What do you take me for?

Well the jury is still out on whether I should publish any more of the Helene saga. I've had three E-mails so far. (No comments) One said "it was brilliant". One said "Very interesting I'm still reading it, I'll let you know" the last said "Self indulgent crap, not enough sex." I wrote back to the last person arguing that it wasn't a sex story, but a love story. He wrote back saying, "you're a slave to your mistress, just tell us about the sex. Tell us what really happened between the sheets and maybe we'll be interested." I'm not about to cheapen my time with Helene by describing the intimate details, bringing it down to the lowest common denominator. If sex was all it was about, then I'd be ashamed of myself. (oh Shit there's another fight in the street outside) Doesn't anyone appreciate love anymore? Is sex all there is left to us? I haven't seen Helene for nearly two years now. But I'm not about to make a mockery of our relationship by going into all the sweaty, squelchy details, that some would want me to. There's something called respect. (The police have arrived about five minutes too late, there's no one here to arrest). I may never see Helene again, but that doesn't mean our time together didn't mean something. She phones me occassionally when things are going bad. Like when her daughter was in hospital after being hit by a car. She's OK. More dented pride than dented body. Or when her father, who took a shotgun to me, was rushed into hospital with a heart attack. He survived. She calls me because she has no one else to talk to, not even her bastard husband. I am her best friend. She is mine. She is French, I am English. She lives in France. I live here. I was going to give everything up and move to France to be with her. But the french divorce laws are very different from ours. If she left the marital home then her bastard husband had a very good chance of getting custody of her children. Because if she left she was the unstable part of the relationship. It wasn't a done deal but she wasn't prepared to take the chance of losing her kids. I always knew her children were more important than I could ever be. So that's what happened. She stayed with her husband. They have separate beds. The wierd thing is I spent almost two years going to see her her with her husband knowing all about it. I even met him once. One day I was in my hotel and Helene came to me saying "My husband wants to meet you."
"Shit! Shit and double shit! Does he want to kill me?"
"no he just wants to meet you. We're going to dinner together."
Well that was really bizarre. So we went to this restaurant and had dinner. Helene and I on one side of the table and her bastard husband on the other. He told us we looked good together. He gave me a present. A book by Ernest hemingway, in french. I read it. "Le vielle homme et la mer". God! We even shook hands. Can you believe that? I was shagging his wife and he shook hands with me. He should have punched my lights out. But in the end he got what he wanted. He got his wife back albeit just a presence in the house. He never regained her love. And me? I lost my best friend ever. But on a positive note I'm having a great time. Life is good. I'm super smashing and marvellous. I have my freedom. I do as I like. But I'd give it all up tomorrow just to be with my best friend. Such is life. D'ya wanna know the story? Vote now.

May your God be with you


Mikel

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It can't be useless, I paid good money for it!!!!

Here's one of the most useless purchases ever. Aged parent bought a thing you put in the sink to collect the bits so it doesn't block the u-bend. It's circular and has lot's of holes in it. I think it's called a sink strainer. Anyway she does the washing up and empties the bowl safe and secure in the knowledge that her sink strainer will collect all the stray bit's. Well whaddya know? The damn thing floats. And all the bits went down the plug hole underneath the strainer and the sink plunger had to be got out again. Now what twat came up with that one? How many thousands have they made? It's useless and it's in a store near you, right now.
But I'm sure you can find something even more useless to spend good money on. Let's hear about it. Share with us. Warn the world. Be alert. Your country needs lerts.
Rock on.

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During the day people come and visit, because they know I'll be here and also they know they'll get a coffee. Yet again today I got a visitor. Innocently I ask "Oh got the day off then?"
"No. I'm working from home."
"So what are you doing here then?"
"Working."
"Fair enough. Coffee?"
Now this has happened a few times. Someone somewhere will start putting two and two together and figure out thatworking from home equates to skiving. My friend just phones and says that he's not coming in to work today he's got a lot on so he'll be working from home. Whereupon he embarks on a tour of the do it yourself outlets sainsburys and all points in between before finally stopping at mine for coffee. The work he had to do at home was done in ten seconds flat after hanging up the phone. It involved using a template and rejigging some figures. The rest of the day is his. I hope he feels guilty.

Last night I was in the corner shop getting some beer. Yeah Yeah yeah You're gonna say why didn't I get some food as well while I was at it. Well it's a Turkish shop and I can't read turkish and so haven't a clue what's in the boxes, there's no point asking as everything I point to is "Very good, very nice, you like." It's usually bloody aweful and ends up in the bin. I know where I am with a four pack of Grolsch. Anyway eating gets in the way of my writing unlike beer. So I'm in the Turkish shop and Ayeeesha (sounds like a battle cry doesn't it....... Ayeeeeesha!) looks at me while I pay for the beer and says "Mikel why you not marry Rose?"
"Rose?" Rose is their Turkish shop assistant, very nice, very cute. "She hasn't asked me yet."
"No you should ask her."
"OK I'll ask her." I turn to Rose who was sitting on the window ledge. "Wanna get married Rose?"
"Maybe."
"OK lets go back to my place and we'll practice being married." Which knowing my luck will not be going to bed for a shag, but going back to my place and getting moaned at for not doing the dishes or not "listening to a word I've said all evening".

So this morning I was back at the Turkish shop. Smiley was there his real name is Ishmael or summat. Anyway he asks me "When you marrying Rose?"
What's going on. I've hardly spoken to the girl more than 'how much is the grolsch?'.
"She's a good girl, good christian girl, good cook too, works hard."
I said "I'm not marrying Rose. I don't even know Rose that well. "
"She's a good girl."
"I'm sure she is."
Is there a conspiracy going on? A plan to get Rose married. I asked if she was a relative, apparently not.
I'll be whisked off to Istanbul for the wedding. I wonder if I'll have to play guitar at my own wedding?

Note to children: Don't panic Daddy is not getting married again. It's a joke. Honest! You can trust me I'm your father. Oh yeah Happy Birthday to your mother. Forgot a card for her. Forgot a present. Forgot her birthday til now. Oooops!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004


Smashy my official photographer sent me this he was putting a new floor in his recording studio. His comment was "You can't have too many wires." He's still telling everyone that he taught me everything I know about guitar. I never correct him. This weekend the boys in my band are playing The Glass Onion. I wont be there. If someone wants to pay me £90 for fucking around with my guitar for the evening who am I to argue. Smashy is kindly lending me his marshall amp. I've got one day to learn how to use it and get the best sound. Do I use my 12 string or my 6 string, or both? Decisions decisions. Depends on how fit my roadie is on the day I guess. Looks like we might be doing yet another charity gig on bank holiday Monday. This time in aid of the Sue Ryder foundation for the terminally ill. Just got booked to play the Fox at folkesworth Bank Holiday Sunday. So that will be two gigs on the same day. The money pours in. Looks like I'll have to buy a new guitar to soak up the excess cash. It's a hard life. I negotiated a deal with a pub. Tony said ask for £150 but accept £120. I thought "we're damn good, we fill this particular pub, they must make a fortune in beer sales." So I said "£175" They said "perfect." Result!!!! So that's about £50 each plus the rest for the tax man. I'm glad we're just a trio. I've seen bands of seven or eight who don't get any more than we do. It's hardly worth the effort for that amount. But then as I've said we've done our fair share of charity gigs for nothing and we'll keep on doing them. We're just suckers for a good cause. Or is it that we just love playing and being paid is a bonus? Tony is a self confessed mercenary. But really he is the more likely to suggest to us that we should do a charity gig. I just go with the flow. I have two problems tonight. The roofman didn't fix the roof properly and it still leaks. And I have no food in the house. I can't be arsed to get any so I guess I'm gonna starve. I haven't eaten since yesterday. Spookily enough I'm not even hungry. I might grab a hand full of Crunchy nut cornflakes when I visit my children tomorrow. That'll keep me going. Right now I'm feeling faint so I'd better go to bed. Rock on dudes.  Posted by Hello

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Pulling a pig

You know I was very worried the other night about being sexist. I was with a few friends discussing the past and how we used to play a game called "pull a pig." It was great at the time, messing about with peoples ego's and getting loads of beer bought for us by grateful pigs. But now in a more enlightened PC world I am strangely uncomfortable with the idea. That was until I spoke to M last night. She was telling me about her stalker and the conversation got round to "pulling a pig" and how SHE used to play it with her mates. They would score points on how ugly the guy was, how dorky/geeky, and the most important thing, how many free drinks they could score from their "pig". I never knew girls played this game. But now I do know I feel so much better. There is equality after all. I only hope that in my younger days I wasn't one of the "pigs". So todays question is how many of of you admit to playing "pull a pig" ? and what scoring system did you use?
You can tell I'm not too busy at work today.

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Picking up a nun

Sometimes I think life is more bizarre than fictionalised lives. My assistant manager wanted the afternoon off. "Oh yes what for?" I asked.
"I've got to pick someone up from Luton airport."
"You've got a friend coming?"
"No I've got to pick up a nun."
Now how manay managers get that as an excuse for the afternoon off. I had to agree as it was so original (and bizarre).

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The stalker

ON my travels round the pubs as a musician one of the landlords told me that he couldn't find any decent staff in the peterborough area "I've never met such a load of muppets!" was his claim. So I mentioned I had a good friend who was professional bar person looking for more hours. He said "send her over for a chat." So I did.
My friend M went to see this guy and they got on like a house on fire. She thought he was great, he fell head over heals in love with her in the space of one hour. The only problem was that he was so besotted with M that he took to texting her and phoning her at every possible moment, to the point that she was getting scared.
"Mikel I'm being stalked." she confided to me last night. We chatted about it for a while and in that short time she received four texts demanding she came over to see him and then two phone calls. I felt guilty because I found her work in all good faith, not realising she would end up working for a psycho. Should this be the last time I ever help anyone out? makes you wonder doesn't it?

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Up on the roof

I've just realised I haven't mentioned the roof top gig. It was a disaster. No I'd better put it into perspective. In fact it was a beautiful evening, warm and fresh, the food was excellent. Steve is a professional chef. The booze was free and we played on the roof. The onyl trouble was it was just the host and the band on the roof. No audience. None of the guests turned up. Not one. Can you believe it? I felt really sorry for Steve. Apart from us none of his friends bothered to show. So we played a bit, ate a bit and drank a lot. Del and Tony cleared off at 7:45 to play at the swiss cottage. I stayed in case anyone else turned up. NO one did. So suitably soused we cleared off home at 10. This is rock and roll.

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Monday, August 09, 2004

Zen and the art of perving

Here's a thing. My assistant manager Samantha just came into the shop looking all indignant. Arms akimbo an all that. Seems this young man was in our car park playing with himself. He sees the lovely Samantha, and walks toward her, while she's demanding to know what he's doing loitering behind the cars.
Well it was soon obvious as he had, and I quote "a large stiffy in his hand". The thing she is most upset about is that he actually asked her to help him out in finishing the job, whilst offering up his equipment for approval. As if an approach like that is going to get him anywhere with the Laydeees. She started shouting at him and Chris the workshop manager came out. The perv' ran off down the road still trying to tame his wild beast and get it tucked away out of sight.
It all happens here. We were too busy laughing to call the police. Perhaps we should have but apart from Sammy getting a freeby eyeful no harm was done. She'll be traumatised for life. To be honestshe was half laughing herself so I don't think it's bothered her much. Just as well for lover boy that her boyfriend wasn't here. He's a unarmed combat instructor in the army and a big fella. I don't think he takes prisoners in his private life. The Geneva convention only applies when he's in uniform and no one messes with Samantha.
Stay safe dudes.

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Uncle Vodka

My good Friend Ivano Smirnovski, AKA Uncle Vodka, has just given me this valuable tip that he insists I pass on. This has been learnt from years of experience as a translator of Russian and other languages. I'm trying to persuade him to write his own blog. But we'll see. Until then here's a few of his wise words.

<<.........if you insist on committing adultory, it pays to make sure your wife and your mistress are not able to speak the same language...........>>

Now reading that, it should come as no surprise to you, that adultory is probably one of Uncle Vodka's favourite sports. Even as you read this he is trying to thaw out the Ice Queen in Moscow. Yes I'm going to have to get him to share his adventures with us. Meanwhile I'm waiting on his reminiscences of a liaison with "Kroshka" from Volvograd. And I always thought Volvo was a Swedish company. Keep watching as soon as I know so will you.

Keep the faith

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

I haven't told you this but I've been writing a book. The posting of a few days ago about Helene was just one of the chapters. So as an experiment and to find out what you think, here's another chapter. You may need a little back ground information first just to put you in the picture.
I met Helene when I was fourteen on a school trip to France. She became my best friend and confidante and penfriend. That was until her father took a shotgun to me and I never saw her again for twenty some years. This chapter is when I first meet her again after all that time. I hope you enjoy it. Read on............

Monday 18th December 2000, Ryanair flight FR514, Stansted to Dinard, France. I sattoward the rear of the plane, looking out of the window. The English channel, coldand grey appeared and disappeared through the clouds. I didn’t know what was goingto happen. The question of chemistry had arisen many times in our letters and it was along way to go to find out we hated each other. I had told everyone I was going to visitGary who now lived in Portsmouth. I didn’t want the inevitable questions anddeclarations of insanity. I’ve done some crazy things in my time, and this was yetanother. I sat drinking my Miller Lite, two pounds for a can smaller than a standardcoke. The beer cost more than the flight. Ninety nine pence each way. My mind went back twenty two years to when I last saw Helene, how I had wished Ihad had the courage to kiss her then. No matter what happens I was going to kiss thisgirl. Number one priority. I had decided on that.The seat belt light came on and the plane descended through the clouds. The northcoast of Brittany came into view. Rough white crested waves threw themselves ontothe rocks below. Everything was grey. The sea, the rocks, the clouds. It started raining.The plane banked right for the final approach. Then dropped to the runway. The cowlsof the engines opened up and moved back to create reverse thrust, and sent up hugesplumes of spray off the tarmac. As we taxied to the terminal. I saw for the first timehow small l’aeroport de Dinard really was. My heart started beating faster. My stomach tied itself in knots. I’d arrived in France Iwas here for three days no matter what. No matter what happened between Helene andI. Passengers started moving and reaching up to the lockers above the seats. The airwas a mass of moving bags and coats. Taking my turn I got off the plane down thesteps and across the tarmac to customs. Light misty rain came down and it was alreadygloomy, just three days before the shortest day.Collecting my bag I went through the gate to the arrivals lounge. I looked around thewaiting crowd. People greeted each other kissing and hugging. And then I saw her.Standing by the far wall with her hands behind her back. Not running toward me, notwaving, just standing there smiling waiting for me to find her just like she did allthose years ago. She hadn’t changed. I walked up to her.“Hello.”“’ello.” she replied softly. “I’m here.”“Yes you are ‘ere.”“God! This is awkward. There’s something I must do Helene.”“Yes what is it?” she said looking round, wondering what I’d forgotten.“It’s this.” I reached out and cupped her face with my hands and kissed her lips. Shethrew her arms round me and held me tight. “You’re shaking Helene.”“I know. I can’t ‘elp.” She didn’t say anymore she just stood there holding me, herhead buried in my shoulder. I held her closely, stroking her hair, waiting for her tostop trembling. After twenty five years and seven months, I finally had Helene in myarms. She was still petite and slim. Her hair much shorter. She wore a long coat and abright silk scarf. She looked up at me and I kissed her again. It had to be done.“Well we can’t stay here forever.” I said eventually, “where are we going?”Helene let go of me. Wiped her eyes and composed herself. “Shall we eat? I know anice restaurant near here at Dinan.”“That sounds good.” I picked up my bag and followed her to her car. A small whiteCitreon AX. In the back was her small dog. Mendy. It jumped up and down at thewindow barking excitedly. Helen opened the car and I got in.Mendy jumped on mestraight away licking my face and wagging it’s tail.“She likes you.” We drove to Dinan not saying a word. Everyso often we’d catch each other lookingacross and turn away. But I had to look at her just as she had to look at me. The restaurant was at the bottom of a hill, overlooking the sea. We chose a table nearthe huge panoramic windows and sat down staring at the view. We looked at eachother, embarrassed with the silence, Helene laughed nervously “So!” she said.“So!” I felt stupid, after all the months planning this trip, all the letters, I couldn’tthink of anything to say. The ice had to be broken. “What shall we order?” I saidpicking up the menu. Helene chose a sea food dish, I chose steak.“Ah ah! It’s a choice for a man.”“I don’t like sea food much.”“You can not live in Brittany and not eat sea food. I will show you one day ‘ow goodit is.”“And I’ll show you....... what shall I show you..........” I tailed off trying to think ofsome nice english food.“...that the food in England is not good?” suggested Helene.“well I don’t eat much English food. It’s all italian and indian and chinese.”“So it’s true English food is bad.”“Well you eat frogs and snails, how bad is that?”“I never eat that.” and she looked at me indignantly before laughing. From thatmoment we never stopped talking. In the years that followed there was never anyawkward silences, we always had something to say to each other, and when we weresilent it was never awkward, just a warm contentment with being comfortable withsomeone. Sometimes we didn’t need words, sometimes just a look told me everythingI needed to know. After the meal we walked back the car. The rain was falling like a mist. Heleneopened the door and Mendy jumped out and ran around excitedly. We got in.“What about your dog?”“Mendy? She comes back in un moment when she’s ‘ad a run. .....So!” and she satstraight up in her seat, hands folded in her lap. Waiting. I kissed her. Mendy jumped up at the door which Helene opened and let her in. Only to run aroundthe car with wet paws. “I must tell you. Do not touch my handbag when Mendy is inthe car.”“What this one?” I said turning and picking up her brown leather shoulder bag whichhad a purple silk handkerchief knotted round the strap. Mendy growled. I patted heron the head and sliding my hand down her muzzle grabbed her and gently shook herhead.“No one can do that. except me. My dog protects me. Kiss me.” I move to kiss her andMendy stood up and growled. “She doesn’t even let my ‘usband kiss me.”“That’s lucky.”“Oui she is my lucky dog.”We drove the two and a half hours to the south coast of Brittany, through many smallvillages and dark country roads. I looked at everything in Helenes car. her cassettesher map books, bit’s of paper, toys in the back and she sat there smiling.“You are curious? No?”“Inquisitive.” I replied.“What is inquisitive?”“Curious. I like to see things. I like to look.” Helen always found it amusing that I hadto look at everything, I wasn’t being nosey so much as I had a desire to know as muchas possible and the more I looked about her car the more I knew about this girl. Ifound out what music she listened to in her car. My music, tapes I’d sent her.Shopping receipts told me what she liked to eat. We finally arrived at the Hotel in hertown and booked into the room she’d reserved for me. We went up the stairs. Helene,being claustrophobic, refused to use the lift. I opened the door and stood back to lether in. She stepped in a couple of feet and stopped looked round. Into the bedroom shelooked everywhere inspecting the table, the curtains, TV, patted the bed, ran herfingers along a shelf and finally shrugged and said “it’s OK.” as if to no oneparticular. She turned to me “You know I ‘ave just one hour and I have to feed mychildren.”I had nothing to loose. I’d come this far so I held her and said “We’d better go to bedthen.”She said nothing, just looked at me carefully then turned to close the curtains. “oneminute.” she whispered and went to the bathroom, from where she called “Mikel.Turn off the light.” I undressed and got into bed and waited. I could see her come outof the bathroom, her slim naked body silvery grey in the darkness. Quickly shejumped into bed and pulled the covers up tight round her neck. Finally my Helene was in bed with me.

I told Helene I was writing a book. I asked her if she minded me telling our story.She said that was OK. But........... “you can write anything, it’s a good story, it’s our lovestory, but what happens in bed is for me and you, no one else. I don’t want you towrite about that.” So sorry guys. Rules is rules. If that’s the conditions set by the girl. Ihave to abide by them. Anyway I tend to agree with her. Comments criticisms all welcome. Requests for further chapters to be posted will be considered. They're already written. Thank you. Now post your comment.

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Friday, August 06, 2004

Dungeons and lockins

What's the matter with you lot? You come, you read, but don't leave any comments. What do I have to do come round your houses and beat the shit out of you? Imagine yourselves sitting in your lounge and someone walks in has a look around and walks out. How would you feel? I don't care what you say. Just say something. Validate your arrival. Tell me it's crap if you have to. Just say hello would be nice. I know you're reading this. My counter says so. You lot are going to make me paranoid. It's not difficult you just click on the comments button.

I spent the evening with my children. Gemma devised this dungeons and dragons game just for me. I've never played it before. It was based on Lord of the rings. I didn't think it would be so much fun. There was Gemmalah in the part of Dungeon mistress, Jamielah and Junelah and me I'm daddylah. My character was Frodo, Jamielah was Sam, and Junelah was legolas. We battled Orcs and Goblins, overcame obstacles and gained our freedom. I'm looking forward to next weeks game. God forbid I should get hooked on it. I stayed longer than I normally do just to escape the scary dragon at the end. Then went to the Cavendish to confirm next weeks gig. There was only three people in the pub and the landlord was about to lock up. I walked in.
"where's your guitar?" he asked.
"I'm not playing tonight."
"That you are. Go get it."
So I left my pint on the bar and ran back here to pick up my trusty six string. Two minutes later I'm back in the pub with guitar and playing. More people came in to listen.
"this is a freeby" I told the landlord. But he poured me a pint anyway.
One of the guys ine the pub fancied himself as a musician and sat there criticising everything I played. So I gave him my guitar and said "You do better." he made a pigs ear of everything he tried. He made a fool of himself. He blamed the fact he didn't have a plectrum. We gave him a plectrum. Then he said he wasn't used to this particular guitar. He rapidly lost credibility. This guy is Mick. He's a lovely guy but he's an alcoholic. he can't help it. He has done his best but can't avoid the drink. Finally his long time partner, Linda, has kicked him out. She was there with him. They had been moving stuff out of her house to his new place. She sat there watching him drink himself, yet again, into oblivion. It's obvious that she loves him, but enough is enough. She can't continue to pick up the pieces. I've seen this so many times. Alcohol is a great thing. But it can be very destructive. Treated with respect alcohol breaks down barriers. It makes things easier. But in excess it can destroy. I once read that if Alcohol was a brand new drug it would be immediately banned. The fact that alcohol has been with us for longer than anyone can remember, makes it OK. Marijuana is much safer. But that's illegal. Work that one out. I'm not going into the politics of ganga. You've heard it all before. I don't advocate ganga. I just maintain from my own experience that its a lot more preferable than too much alcohol.

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Thursday, August 05, 2004

Stealing flowers for Mums birthday

I think we've had one of the polices quickest collars on record today. We were standing outside my shop and this woman walks by and starts looking at the flowers on display outside next doors flowers shop. Then she picks up an armfull and runs off up the road and round the corner. Just then a police car comes round the same corner Bro flags it down and they pull up.
"A woman dressed in pink just stole a load of flowers."
"We've just driven past her. Thanks we're on it."
Quick u turn in the road and they're off. I follow on foot less than two minutes from the time of the theft they'd got the woman caught and cuffed and sitting in the back of the prowler, the bunches of flowers sitting nicely on the roof of the car and the policeman running his hands through the perps jacket pockets. She looked pathetic sitting there.
"It was my mothers birthday." she was bleeting. "...and I didn't have any money."
Great! Mum will be pleased to know the flowers she was going to get were stolen.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Stabbings and cynicism

I'd just finished writing the last piece and I heard a scuffle at my back door. I looked outside and there were four teenagers in my car park. One of them had his T-shirt lifted up and he was screaming "Am I cut? Am I cut?"
His mate said "it's just a graze he only nicked you."
"I've been fucking knifed."
"No he missed. There's hardly anything to see."
I just stood in my doorway calmly watching them.
The merest trickle of blood came from the stomach of this stocky young lad who was swaying, obviously drunk. They had two girls with them. Both very young painfully thin and wearing tight jeans and crop tops.
"Come on Darren." said one girl "it's not worth it."
"I'll fucking have 'em."
"No you won't." said the voice of reason in the form of the tiny girl, "you aint doing anything."
She looked at me and said "Sorry mate."
I nodded an acknowledgement at her and she led the boys away.

Earlier today I witnessed outside my shop a women beating her boy. She was screaming at him "I've fucking told you time and fucking time again not to fucking swear." Each "fucking" coinciding with a cuff round the head.Now that's a novel way of teaching kids respect.

I had a letter of complaint today. This old guy came in and asked for a foil for his shaver. I sold him it. Two days later I get this letter from his son saying that his father really wanted a foil and cutter and if we were any sort of business and gave any sort of service we'd have known. So in view of the fact that his father is a pensioner and penniless could I send the correct part free of charge being as I should have known that what he asked for wasn't exactly what he wanted. I wrote him a letter saying "Full marks for a good try but I can't give away free spares to rectify someone elses mistake." I await the fury that ensues.
Which reminds me that it's getting close to recruitment time at our local college. I might sign on for a course in telepathy. I've done the course which teaches me to suck air between my teeth and slowly shake my head whilst saying "it's not the labour dear, It's the spare parts." and the advanced module that teaches you to say with credibility "of course your Dyson is worth fixing" whilst holding back the howls of laughter.
There is a saying in the trade that Dysons suck. Now you can take that in any way you like and it will be true. There's a sticker on the handle of everyone that says "no loss of suction" the adverts say "100% suction 100% of the time". Now I amazes me that no one has gone to the trading standards about this. Because 90% of the Dysons we get in for repair come in because they don't suck anymore. They have lost their suction. So what's that sticker all about on the handle. "No loss of suction"? Someone somewhere is telling porkies. The world should know. OK I'm not Michael Moore producing an epic like Faranheit 9/11. But the world should know this. Dysons are not what they claim. They tell you you don't have to buy bags so you save money. What they don't tell you is the filters can cost you £20 each and there's two of them. Put them in your shopping trolley in Sainsburys and see your weekly shopping bill go through the roof. £5 for a pack of bags seems more economical to me. And while I'm on my own personal hobby horse. The BBC who never advertise has done a remarkable job for James Dyson with documentaries and plugs. Then James himself who whilst proclaiming that the Dyson is a true british product, only moves production to Korea. Making all his British workers redundant. Well he's a true brit. When does he get a knighthood for that little move? Sorry I'm getting cynical and I still haven't mentioned my guitar or music. Time for bed I guess.

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Zen and the art of love: French style

So I’m standing in the middle of the town square in Beauvoir-sur-mer. It’s midnight and I am freezing. All I have on is my jeans, a T-shirt and a thin denim jacket. The square is silent and empty. A few street lights and dim lights from shop windows are my only comfort. For some reason the white light of phone booth is not inviting. To kill time I wander up and down the square crossing the roads like crossing a lawn. I look in the shop windows and for a while get mesmerised by the flashing cross above the pharmacy. It’s cold. The wind isn’t strong, but it’s coming in off the sea and cuts through my thin clothing. I press myself against a wall in a vain attempt to keep warm. A light goes on above the hairdressers in the corner of the square. A man with dark hair looks out and then in my direction. I turn round and pretend to walk purposefully somewhere. But there’s no where to go. I can’t leave. The window is shut and shortly after a door opens below. The man comes out and walks toward the phone booth. He glances in my direction. I ignore him. He walks into the booth and picks up the handset he doesn’t dial any number. After a minute he puts down the phone and comes out. Looks around, and, as if noticing me for the first time, he walks in my direction. He gets closer and it’s obvious he is coming straight toward me albeit at a diagonal. He speaks with a low growl “Bonsoir.”
“Bonsoir.” I say.
“Eh Anglais huh? Qu’est ce que vous faisez ici?”
« J’attends ma amie. »
« Et bien ! Ou est elle ? »
“Elle arrivera.”
The French hairdresser looked at me closely. “Eh Anglais you wan’ slip. You slip with me. Is good. Is warm. You slip good.”
“NO thank you. Merci. Mais non.”
“When you cold you frappez, ma porte compris? You slip with me. » he makes a sign of knocking on a door. “frappez plus forte. Compris?”
“Oui. Je compris.”
“Et bien mon ami a toute a l’heure. Salut!”
He walked back to his boutique, looking over his shoulder every few steps to see if I followed. I didn’t. A gust of wind took away the little warmth remaining and I started shivering. Christ! What am I doing here? How do I get myself into these situations?

Just a few hours earlier I had been safe and warm and life was good. I’d come to visit a childhood sweetheart, we were still in love after all those years but she was now married. Her husband away on business. You know the score. She’d put me up in a derelict cottage. It was close to her house and warm and dry with all amenities except electricity. But then candles are so romantic. I’d spent a wonderful day with Helene, until she had to go and pick up the children from school. So for those hours between them coming home and going to bed I disappeared somewhere. This day I walked the 10 kilometres to Beauvoir-sur-mer. It was hot and sunny and the town was alive with activity. I stopped in a local bar for a glass or two of Amstell, exchanged a few words with the locals and had a very pleasant afternoon and then walked back. The sun was just going down as I got to the outskirts of Helenes village. I was hot, tired and thirsty. Helene was walking her dog and called me. The youngest children were in bed asleep and the tow oldest were out with friends and wouldn’t be coming back. She invited me into her house for a beer. No sooner had I got into her sitting room when the two older children came in the back way. They stopped and stared at me. Who are you? They asked. With quick thinking I announced I was a tourist on a walking holiday and their mother had invited me in for a beer because I looked so hot and tired and the local bar was shut. The boy immediately seeing I hadn’t yet got a beer ran to the fridge. And we all sat down and chatted for a few hours.
Eventually I said “Well I’d better be on my way back to my hotel.”
“oh where are you staying?” asked the girl.
“At beauvoir-sur-mer.”
“That’s ten kilometres oh mamman you must give him a lift back to his hotel it’s very late and it’s a long walk.”
“That’s very kind of you.” I said getting up. So that was a cinch we’d get in the car drive a ways down the road fool around for a while then she’d drive back and I’d walk the few hundred yards back to my derelict cottage. Except that wasn’t the plan. Oldest daughter pipes up again. “I’d better come with you, Mamman doesn’t like driving by herself in the dark.”
Helene and I looked at each other. Shit! Merdre!
While the daughter was getting her coat Helene grabbed me “I’ve got to take you to Beauvoir-sur-mer. I’ll drop you off and come back for you later.” Good plan.
We climbed into the car and drove to Beauvoir-sur-mer. The daughter kept asking me questions “Where’s your hotel?”
“It’s just round this corner.”
“What? That’s a supermarket there.”
“Sorry it must be the next corner.”
“There’s only a petrol station and a few shops round the next corner.”
“It’s too dark to get my barings. I tell you what drop me off in the town square I know my way from there.”
“if you’re sure?” said Helene.
Helene pulled over in the middle of the town square and I thanked them for their kindness and assured them I’d easily find my way to my hotel. I waved them goodbye.

The cold was getting worse, the shivering had gone to my teeth and I was jumping up and down on the spot. I didn’t dare hide in a shop doorway lest Helene would miss me when she came back. Half an hour became one hour and one hour became two. Car headlights would appear in the distance raising my hopes only to either turn off or drive straight past. I was beginning to think that this particular adventure was maybe a huge mistake. I had visions of the Hairdresser finding me next morning dead in a shop doorway. I had doubts about my own sanity, doubts about the reality of the situation I was so cold I wasn’t thinking straight. I kept thinking that as long as I am shivering I’m OK I still have enough energy to shiver. It’s when I stop shivering I should worry.
Two pairs of car head lights appeared in the distance. One of them must be Helene. They got closer four headlights only one car. I was shivering so much I could hardly see. The car stopped and helene leant over and opened the door for me. She was crying, tears streaming down her face.
“What ‘ave I done to you Mikel? I’m so sorry.” I fell into the car and she put her arms round me. “Mikel you are so cold.”
“Je sais.” was all I could say. She rubbed my arms and my back trying to get some warmth into me. She said “I’ve brought you coffee and food. Drink! It’s warm, it’s good for you.” She took the plastic cup from the top of a thermos and poured me a drink. I couldn’t hold it. My hands were shaking so much. She held the cup and I held her hands and she put it to my lips. The car heater was on full and slowly the warmth came back to my body and I was able to hold the cup myself. She started driving back to the village.
“per’aps we are crazy to be doing this thing.” She said.
“You love me don’t you?”
“Yes of course Mikel. You know that.”
“Then it’s not crazy.”
She started crying again. I knew love, for me, was never going to be easy.

Names and places have been changed to protect the guilty. Any similarity is purely coincidental unless you know better. I reserve the right to withdraw everything I have written should a court case ensue. I unreservedly apologise to the Hairdresser involved for refusing to go to bed with him. If I insinuated in any way that he was gay/ homosexual or in any way disparaged his character, I apologise. But I wasn’t taking any chances. Anyway he wasn’t my type. I prefer my men to have a distinct lack of penis, facial hair and have curves in the right places, breasts are an advantage. Although I have known several women who lacked in that department but excelled in others so it didn’t matter. “Bra? That’s what I keep my Kleenex in.” Oh yeah and I keep my socks in my Calvin Kleins. I apologise to my son Jamie for not mentioning music once in this blog. I apologise to my Daughter Gemma, for not having enough gratuitous sex in it. I don’t apologise for being their father.

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IN case you're interested my friend who couldn't sleep, Mike Fowler is the one on the right dressed in white playing his Gibson Epiphone something or other. Simon knows exactly what it's called. Me, I just play the things. I don't care what it is as long as I can get a tune out of it. I suppose that also reflects my taste in cars.As long as it gets me from A to B I don't care what I drive hence the pile of crap in my car park. It's a box with four wheels what more do you need to know? Posted by Hello

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Julie Simons girlfriend wanted to be famous too. She said "I'm not a musician though I'm just a nurse." Well she's cute, she's lovely and nurses are important. So here she is with her beloved. How could I say "no"? God it don't rain but it pours I've just had a call from another musician friend of mine Mike Fowler. he's on his way for coffee. It's 11:50pm doesn't anyone sleep round here? Posted by Hello

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Ran my music club tonight. Simon was there with his new Gibson J200. A beautiful guitar. Plays really well. Anyway Simon wanted me to put his picture on the blog. He said " I paid £5 to have my face painted. So if it's on the net I'll get more value for my money." So here he is getting his face painted at the music fest on Sunday. There was a queue of loads of children and then Simon. Tonight we were wortking on an arrangement of "Get back" for the roof top gig this Saturday. It's got to be done. Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a loner, but he knew it couldn't last. Posted by Hello

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