Sunday, July 31, 2005

Marsh Woundwort


Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris
So I've been out and about today with my camera and here's a few photos I took of some wild flowers. The camera is a Fujifilm Finepix S5500 4.0 megapixel. To see some more of my wild flower photos they're all here. Posted by Picasa

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Bistort


Amphibious Bistort - Polygonum Amphibium
This was a lucky find. It was right next to the River Nene next to a footpath. You don't often see this plant. Posted by Picasa

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Lords and Laydeees


Lords and Ladies - Arum maculatum
You'll find this in the dark undergrowth where it's damp. There's loads of it about right now. Some of the berries are still green some orange, some of the stalks have had their berries stripped off by birds and animals, some have already been taken from this one. By the way it's very poisonous. It's sometimes called Cuckoo pint. In spring it looks completely different. You'll have to wait til next year now before I can photograph the other form.Posted by Picasa

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Friday, July 29, 2005


I used to be a biologist. I worked for the government as a research scientist. The pay was crap.I became a Landscape Gardener and doubled my wages over night. I then went on to become a baker, because it was too bleedin cold in winter to be laying patios. Then it was too bleedin hot in summer to be standing in front of an over baking, baguettes, farmhouse loaves, sesame seed soft batch and italian sweet bread. So I became an electrician (and musician). The point is I never lost my love for nature. (ooer missus) And so I have a passion for wild flowers and stuff that's not very rock and roll. Here I am, a Rock Star and I'm admitting to some wimpy hobby. I should be listing my hobbies as trashing hotel rooms, biting heads off bats, and having a drugs bill that would cripple a third world country. But no, I go searching for orchids. For Clustered bell flowers, for Self heal, St Johns Wort, Great hairy Willow herb. I can stand in a meadow and identify at least 7 different brands of grass within arms reach. That doesn't cut it as stage patter. So today I am offering you one of my photos for your delight and delectation. It's not going to be a challenge for you because you know it's a teasle. But have you seen one just like this, with a few flowers still on it? If you look to the right there's a link that says "My Photos" there's more where this one came from. It's all flowers. I'll forgive you if you can't be arsed (this time). If flowers aren't your thing. But you might learn something. If only to make you aware of what we have. What treasures we have in nature. You go for a walk you admire the scenery. You tell each other what marvellous views there are. But you miss what's right at your feet. You see them but don't see them. It's a yellow flower. So what? But this is not just a yellow flower it could be birds foot trefoil, it's could be ragwort, it could be yellow vetch. How do you know unless you look. Really look. So that's it for now. Rock on dudes and remember behind every rock star there's person screaming to get out.  Posted by Picasa

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Phones 4 U

So I'm at a pub tonight, playing "Lady Eleanor", that old Lindisfarne number, and in the corner is a guy playing the fruit machine. Suddenly he's screaming at the machine "Give me back my money" and kicking the shit out of the machine. The barman disappears into the other bar to polish tables. I carry on playing but by now my audience is more interested in what this twat is doing. He pushes the machine against the wall with a sickening crunch. It rocks then he decides he's going to pull it over onto the floor. It's almost at the point of no return when it settles back into position blinking it's little lights at him. So he kicks it some more. He doesn't get his money back.

IN this pub the toilets have been vandalised so much the key to the cubicles is behind the bar. So if you need a sit down job you've got to ask at the bar for the key. I over heard some guy saying "The turtles head is almost touching cloth but I'm buggered if I'm going to ask for the key." and later he walks out John Wayne fashion.

I got a new mobile phone today it's a Sony Erickson. What do I know? So without even checking the instruction manual I changed over my sim card and put in the battery and the memory stick and the phone rang. SHIT! What do I do? How do I answer the phone? What buttons do I press? I pressed a few random buttons that looked promising.
"You took your time answering"
"Er.... I've a new phone."
"What you got?"
"A Sony Erickson."
"Yeah which model?"
"How the fuck do I know."
So then I started imagining all the guys standing round in a circle around my new phone with the bonnet up asking questions like "How many megapixels does the camera have?" and "What's it's top speed?" and "Does it have blue tooth capability?" and "What's the torque in third?" and "Yeah this baby does such and such I've read the write up in 'what phone magazine'."
It's pissing phone for Chrissakes. It's not the Starship Enterprise, although I sometimes wonder.
The mobile company phoned me up asking me what phone I wanted. "It's free!" they tell me. "You can download all sorts of things, you can do this you can do that, it's a radio, it's an mp3 player it's...."
"Can I phone my friends?"
"Yes but you can also....."
"Can I send texts?"
"Yes but it can also do......."
"Send me one."
So now I am the proud owner of a new mobile phone with an instruction book that runs to 80 pages. It does stuff I can't imagine and I wont ever use. It's a nightmare. Can I have my old Nokia 3310 back? I could understand that. I might end up having to put the sim card back into my old phone temporarily while I learn to use this new one. Just to keep my life on track.

Technology hey?

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Gratitude and gratuitous bums


This is the only photo you'll ever get of the man who should not be named. It's his hands, not the bum. He said to me "I need to get more gratitude" "Gratitude?" asks I.
"Yeah Theres this guy who just won a T-shirt in the raffle and he's made up, he's happy as a pig in shit. I won this CD/ radio boom box and I don't give a shit."
"OK so why don't we try some therapy How about I buy you a JD and coke and see how grateful you can be?"
"I'm not getting on my knees for you. Even for a JD and coke."
"No it's more we're going to teach you to recieve graciously."
"You mean you're going to get on YOUR knees?"
"Shut the fuck up and drink your JD."
"Cheers Mike Da Hat. Thanks for the drink."
"Now we're getting somewhere."
"you're not my type you know."
"That's OK. But we've moved on. You can be grateful for something."
"Yeah but not a poxy fucking boom box. Where's me Carling sweat shirt?"
And you'll never know who's bum it was. Cue evil laugh.
Posted by Picasa

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Monday, July 25, 2005


Sunday 24th July Goodbarns Yard Charity Fun day.Del and I are on stage at 12 midday. Del didn't go to bed the night before but he looks bright eyed and bushy tailed. Complete with wrist support after his carpel tunnel syndrome treatment last thursday. We were great. Ha Ha. It was a lot of fun. I'm glad we were on first because there was some serious talent after us. The gig was in aid of S.A.I.D. speach and interactive difficulties a branch of Autism help.  Posted by Picasa

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Straight after us at 1:00pm we had the wonderful "Citizen Smiffy" featuring Danny on Bass who later plays keyboards with Electric Warriors. Posted by Picasa

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"Retrolux" on stage at 2:30pm. Brilliant. Posted by Picasa

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This will be "Atlantis" on stage at 4:00pm. The lead singer had a cracking voice as does Karen in the next band. Posted by Picasa

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6:30 Thommo and his wife Karen were on stage in their band "Doctor A's Blues Consortium" That's Doctor A himself in the background on guitar. Posted by Picasa

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at 8:00 we had "Mind the Gap". The front man is a huge personality on stage but quite quiet off. Posted by Picasa

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...and finally Electric Warriors were on stage at 9:30,featuring Colin Smith from Citizen Smiffy on Guitar back left. Posted by Picasa

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Friday, July 22, 2005


Southey woods.  Posted by Picasa

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Thursday, July 21, 2005


This is Petal from the flower shop next door. She loves heavy rock and rides a Trike called Brian the Snail. She used to frequent "The Bull and Dolphin" before it was demolished. Now that was a fun pub. But we were all much younger then and not old and sensible like wot we is now. Posted by Picasa

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cocking it up!

Last week I went to see some friends play at Genevas bar. I hadn't planned to play but they persuaded me to go up on stage and do some stuff. I had to borrow a guitar. I wasn't my guitar. I wasn't used to it. The strap was too long. The guitar unwieldy. The stool I was sitting on was wobbly. The microphone was in an awkward position. I started playing. Everything was wrong. I wasn't comfortable. Memories of the terrible stage fright I used to suffer from started coming back to me. My legs started shaking like they used to. I felt sick. I used to throw up before going on stage at one time. That was before I learnt from Del and Tony that is was OK to make mistakes, no one noticed as long as you kept going. So I did my best. God it was so amateurish. I was ashamed of myself. I knew I could do better. But I didn't. I came off stage to a round of applause. I didn't deserve it. I deserve stony silence and crickets chirping and tumble weed rolling across the stage and a distant church bell ringing solemnly. Dejected I went over to my friends to apologise for my abyssmal failure to perform to the required (my required) standard.
"That was great." they said.
"Fuck off! I was crap and you know it."
"No it was Ok. Yes you made a couple of mistakes but it was really good."
I didn't believe them and left jumping into my car to run to the safety of a pint with Del who was waiting for me at our pub. I have these crisies of confidence sometimes. Not often but it still happens. My salvation is Del who believes in me. Funnily enough Tony always refused to play with me just me and him. If Del wanted a break Tony would disappear off stage as well and leave me to it by myself. If Tony wanted a break Del would stay on stage with me and we'd play together.
Del has a cold. He is poorly sick. Diane texted me tonight saying I wouldn't be seeing Del tonight as she was going to stay with him and cheer him up. Thursday Del is having injections in his wrist for carpel tunnel syndrome. We're hoping his playing hand will be Ok for this Sundays big charity gig. He's been practicing playing using one hand and just strumming with his bad hand. We've borrowed my ex wifes Fender Stratocaster. Dels Telecaster is in dry dock right now. He is disgusted that we've had two rehearsals. He has never rehearsed for a gig before (that's a lie, but it's a great joke.) Del and rehearsals just don't go together. It's like saying Tolerance and the British National Party in the same sentence. He has this theory that rehearsals takes away the immediacy of live playing. I seem to recall when he explained it to me that the words terror and spontaneity were in the same sentence.

Last night Del said we were going to do a new song by Kylie Minogue. WHAT? It goes "Na na na nanna na nanana na na na" I'm sure you know it. As Del says "if it's good enough for Basement Jaxx to cover it, it's good enough for us"

Rock on dudes

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Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Dark Side

I know you guys like to read about the nitty gritty dark side of life well here's something that just happened ten minutes ago.

There was a knock on my back door. A local drunk was stood there swaying. He said "I'm gasping for a drink could you sub me some money."
"NO."
"Just the one drink. I's a hot day. Have pity."
"NO." I'm hard hearted like that.
So he apologised and went on his way. Outside the front of my gaff he met another drunk and they fell into each others arms and proclaimed undieing love for each other. Especially as the other has some money for drink. They both staggered to the corner new and booze shop. Inside they both picked up bottles of frosty Jack and the other guy some chocolate as well. My drunk took his bottle to the counter to wait for his "friend" meanwhile the "Friend" had obviously lied about having any money and legged it out the door with the bottle and the chocolate. AJ the shop keeper shouted after him. My drunk seeing his opportunity to get a drink go out the door (literally) said he'd give chase, leaving his bottle on the counter. He ran after his "friend" and caught him up. They fought. The "Friend", incensed that my drunk had a conscience and was taking the stolen drink back to the shop took out a knife and sliced his ear off. Well not completely off but it was hanging by a quarter on an inch of gristle. With blood pouring down his face he triumphantly took the stolen goods back to the shop.
999.
Paramedics arrived. He didn't want treatment. He stood on the pavement blood everywhere, passers by turning white and holding hands to their mouths when they saw the severed ear hanging from the side of his head. It wasn't a pretty sight.
And he still wasn't going to be rewarded for his bravery by a free bottle of booze.
Still refusing treatment the police were called.
They arrived. Shit his ear is hanging off, was the first reaction.
"Come on Thomas you need treatment. Let's get you to the hospital."
"Don't call me Thomas, you've no right to call me Thomas."
So they put cable ties round his wrists and tied his hands behind his back and slung him in the back of their van and drove him under protest to hospital. There's no way he was going to get a drink at A&E.

Rock on Dudes

PS BBQ at Dels tonight. Yippeee!

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Cheap Car Radios

So Del and I were in the beer garden discussing our set list when these two chavs walked by the fence, leant over, and asked the people on the table next to us, if they wanted to buy a car stereo.
"It's pukka kit." they said. "CD player an all. We've even got the speakers to go with it."
One of the guys at the table looks up. "Let's 'ave a gander."
They show him the box. It's the dogs bollocks.
"What about the speakers?"
"They back here. I'll get them."
One of the chavs goes back down the path to the bushes and comes back with a parcel shelf from a car with the two speakers still attached. The dozy twats hadn't even taken them off the shelf they are walking round with a four foot parcel shelf with two speakers bolted onto it.
"Ok how much?"
"Thirty dollars."
I guess that's the new crime speak for thirty pounds.
"I've got to go to the cash machine."
"I'll come with you."
So one chav escorts the prospective buyer to the cash machine at the garage next door whilst the other stays with his girl friend at the garden table.
Ten minutes later the deal is done and the chavs wander off. £30 better off.

Del leans over to me. "Did you see him do a line?" he says confidentially.
"No. I never noticed." My back was to him.
"He's just snorted a line of coke. That's why he's so up and telling jokes like he means it."
"Really." God! Sometimes I'm so naive.
So the buyer who has also been snorting coke, gets into his Transit van and drives off with his girl friend.

I phone our personal taxi service and five minutes later Dels wife Diane is
on the case. I am crippled in the back seat because Del still has his bass amp in the boot and the back seat wont go back so it's five degrees forward to vertical. I'm bent almost double.
"I'm going home Diane"
"No he's coming back with us to discuss our gig."
"No I'm going to bed. Del is lieing."
Diane believes me and brings me home.

I chat with the guys from the Kentucky fried chicken shop next door and the two chavs wander up the road. They see me and give me a funny look. They know I know and they know I know they know I know.
"Alright mate." they say to me.
I nod to them. I say nothing. The fucking shits. They go into the Kentucky "Can you change a twenty for two tens?"
"No we have no change tonight."
Just as well because they're dodgy £20 notes.
They are rife in Peterborough right now.

Outside "hot to shop"my afro carribean friends were having a party. OK it's a hot night. Christ it's midnight and it's still 27C. Their shop is still open but not open if you know what I mean, and they're all outside drinking red stripe and smoking joints. A car is parked outside, the car door open and Bob Marley is playing. I could be back in Kingston Jamaica. It was just like this. It's a roadside social club.

You know Peterborough may be a lot of things but it sure aint boring.

We've got filth, drug addicts, we've got drunks by the dozen, we've got Chavs. We have street fights. We've prostitutes on the corner of my road asking if you want business. We've got drug dealers in black BMW's. We've got people who throw themselves off the top of the multistory carpark upsetting the shoppers and blocking the traffic. We have murderers. Where I used to live in Peterborough, in my street alone we had three murderers. One was next door but one to me and another was a national celebrity at the time. One of them killed his brother, hid the body in the bushes at the top of our road, and tried to blame his girlfriend. His house was up for sale within two weeks. We have perverts, flashers and child molesters. We even had a girl who went crazy and walked intothe local post office four doors down completely naked and tried to collect her social security money. Mr Khan the postmaster was understandably shocked by this. I think he's gotten over it by now. She used to cavort naked in the grave yard opposite us. Well until the police got hold of her and they pumped her full of drugs and she's now stable apparently. I can't remember if that was before or after she set fire to her flat and two fire engines were called to put out the blaze.

Then there's the family who walk past every day. I'm sure they are inbred. The father is the wifes brother and the children all subnormal and now in care. I think it's the web feet that give it away. But then that's the norm for east of Peterborough.

"Come on in. Meet the wife and Mother." and there's only one person in the room.

So many people with dark secrets. In the street they look pretty normal but visit their homes. It's another story.

Peterborough may be a lot of things. But it aint boring.

Rock on dudes

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Chav jokes

My friend Wodger from the diving club tells me his son has been approached through Mr Fox the DJ to go for an audition for a major rock band, who are losing their lead guitarist soon. UNfortunatley the major act is a state secret and no one is saying anything. Even Wodgers son doesn't know what band he's auditioning for. So if anyone has their ear to the ground and knows of a major band where the lead guitarist is leaving let me know. .

Anyway here's a few jokes for you:

Q. What do you call three chavs going over a cliff in a Vauxhall nova?

A. A wasted seat.

Q. What do you call a chavette in a white track suit?

A. A bride.

Tiffany goes to the social for her child benefit.
Welfare Officer: So Tiffany how many children do you have?
Tiff: Ten.
W.O.: and what are their names?
Tiff: Well there's Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne, Wayne and finally Wayne.
W.O.: Isn't that confusing having all of them with the same name?
Tiff: No it's great I just shout "WAYNE DINNERS READY" and they all come running. Or I shout "WAYNE BATH TIME" and they all run to have baths.
W.O.: SO what do you do if you want one particular child?
Tif: I call them by their surname of course.

English man: My son was born on St Georges day so I called him George.

Scotsman: Now theirs a coincedence my son was born on St Andrews day so I called him Andrew.

Irishman: A coincedence to be sure my son over there is called Pancake.

Rock on dudes.

PS You can share your favourite Chav jokes if you've got any. I need a laugh.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

War in all it's glory

What is it about American films? The tough guy, usually a marine, rolls his head and his neck clicks. Is that supposed to make him hard? A tough guy? Well if it was me and my neck clicked like that I'd be straight down to the osteopaths. I'd be seriously worried. I saw a film the other day where this psycho marine clicked his neck. he was replaced by a robotic psycho marine that by coincedence also clicked it's neck. Hang on why would a robot have to click it's neck?

I've been sitting here for the last ten minutes rolling my head side to side and I'm pleased to say my neck didn't click once. Obviously I'm a wimp. No one will take me seriously.

Here's another thing that really pisses me off about American films. Lock and load. They cock their guns, then a few seconds later they cock it again. Now correct me if I'm wrong. But when you cock the rifle you put a bullet in the chamber. If you cock it again the live round is ejected and another takes it's place. Where's the sense in that? OK you get that lovely chunky sound when they do it. But you're automatically short of one bullet each time you do it. I reckon in a big scene they will probably run out of ammunition before they've even fired a shot with the amount of times they cock their rifles.

There's more. Doesn't the American Delta force really piss you off. Talk about lack of professionalism. These guys are supposed to be the elite of the army. Even in films they haven't a clue. God help us if they ever had to come to our rescue. Give me the SAS anyday. Quiet, unassuming, modest, but they get the job done with no fuss. No fanfares, no publicity, they are there in the background. Quietly doing their job. The Delta force all full of angst and personal problems (presumably to give the film more human appeal) and fucking up their mission to save a comrade. Crying over his bullet ridden body. Yes they have feelings. God knows they make sure we know they have feelings. Compassion. A love of Jesus Christ.

Hang on a minute, how come it's so essential to be religious in the American army? Is it really so in the real army?
"Religion?"
"Actually I'm an atheist."
"Fuck off then. You wont be in this mans army."
So they're all believers and they're shooting the fuck out of the enemy.
Bob Dylan wrote a song called "God is on my side". So that's OK then.

Have I got this right? Because I'm an atheist? To be in the American Army you've got to believe in God and get down on your knees before each battle and pray to God. But surely God doesn't want us to kill our brothers. God doesn't like war or killing. "Thou shalt not kill" even as an atheist I know that one. So haven't we a contradiction here? The American Army wants only people who believe in God but don't adhere to his commandments. Yep that works for me. It's totally insane. Just like war is totally insane. I guess it's a form of population control. So that's got to be good. As long as the participants are aware of the dangers. They could die. And not necessarily in a pleasant and clinical way.

But it's all in films. It's not real. Or is it? What sort of image do the Americans want to portray to the world? Reality or just Hollywood?

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Monday, July 11, 2005

Street Fighting

Yesterday evening I was slobbing on my settee exhausted from the days slobbing, when I heard a commotion outside. I leant out the window to witness a crowd of Chavs all dressed in baseball caps and running trousers but all bare chested. There was some pushing and shoving going on with this guy and his wife. The guy was a big guy shaved head and an England shirt, he seemed as if he could look after himself. Suddenly one of the chavs lunged at him and he lost his balance and went down, hard. The big guy smashed his head on a shop window and went out like a light. He lay on the pavement while they kicked him. His wife went to try and stop them and she was belted and went down. She was kicked in the head as she lay on the floor. The chavs kicked them a few more times. People ran to their assistance, others were on phones to call the police. The police didn't arrive. The Chavs en masse squared up to the guys coming to help.
"You want some?" They didn't. They just wanted them to stop kicking those on the floor. Shoulders were squared up, chests puffed out, arms bowed by their sides at the ready. Spewing verbal abuse. They swaggered off. Leaving the guy still unconscious on the floor. He came to a minute later. His wife cried and screamed, shaking uncontrollably. A woman tried to put her arm round her but in her confusion she thought she was still fighting and flayed her arms around. Things quietened down and the crowds dispersed.

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Sunday, July 10, 2005

Doing it the French way

I was in France a few years ago visiting the love of my life and we were staying on a farm. The farm where Martine, the artist, lived. Her mother called me. She knew I was an electrician and wanted me to fix her two video players. So I mosied over to the farm house and had a looksee. The first video player was clogged up with some plastic so that was an easy fix. The second had a terrible picture, snowsville Arizona. The heads needed cleaning I asked for some alcohol, alcool. They looked at me strangely. Is this the way English engineers worked? But with a shrug they came up with the goods, if that was what it was going to take to get the Video fixed then so be it. A bottle of wine was brought out and presented to me along side a glass. "No!" I protested "Alcool" They misunderstood me. I didn't want wine I wanted alcohol. So they went away and came back with a bottle of 24 year old Malt whiskey and a small shot glass. I didn't want much. Again I gestured that it wasn't what I wanted and they waved their arms around as if to say "if that's not good enough we don't know what is."
So I had to spend a few more minutes explaining that I didn't need a drink. I just needed alcool to clean the heads of the video. My French wasn't good enough and they didn't speak a word of English.
Eventually using sign language and luck I got what I needed and fixed the video. Martines mother was very pleased and proceeded to kiss me. Then because she was pleased the farm hands, big burley men, proceeded to kiss me as well. Well as an "Anglais" I was not used to this. It's not everyday in England farm workers grab me and kiss me. It's a bit of a shock to the system. I was invited to dinner to celebrate the fixing of the two video players. Of course I had to have an aperitif. Out came the 24 year old malt whiskey. A generous helping. Yes, in case you're wondering it was very nice. For starters we had fresh baked baguettes and paté. A large wine glass was put beside my plate and filled with red Vin de table. I was already a little dazed from the whiskey. Then the main course. Huge thick chunks of beef with special roast potatos and haricot vert and more wine. Followed by bread and cheese and more wine. I was reeling. My glass being topped up at every possible opportunity. I lost track of how much I had drunk. By the end of the meal I didn't know what day it was. The farm workers who I swear had as much to drink as me, went back to work. I staggered back to our flat in a converted barn. I could hardly stand.
I was woken two hours later by Heléne. "You 'ad dinner with Martines mother?"
"Yesh."
"You 'ad the full dinner? With wine?"
"Yesh."
"Mon pauvre Anglais, I should 'ave warned you."
"How do those guys work in the afternoon?"
"They are used to it. You are Anglais."
I hadn't the strength to protest. I was pissed. She laughed and lay on our bed, her arms round me, while I slept it off. She wasn't angry. But she didn't let me forget it for a while. She took the piss out of me mercilessly. That's the way it was between us. She is French I am English. I take the piss out of her about Agincourt and Trafalgar. And she takes the piss out of me for our bad food. Even though I argue that here in England our food is brilliant. Our traditional fare is Spaghetti Bolognese, kebabs and curry. You can't get more English than that. She told me that we are called Rosbif in France. I said I couldn't remember the last time I ate Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. So I had to counter by telling her that we thought they lived on Frogs legs and Snails. She said that was disgusting and she would never eat those. So it was stalemate.
We thrived on taking the piss out of each other. We were different but our differences were special. She loved our English idiosynchrasies. I loved hers. But at the same time they were an endless source of piss taking.
I can't believe we didn't end up hating each other, with the mutual criticisms. I asked her once why the French hated the English so much. She said "if it's any consolation we 'ate the Germans more." So that's OK then.

Chirac recently criticed the English cuisine. saying it was worst second only to the Finnish. I'd love to ask Helene about that. What is English cuisine? Our cuisine is so varied now because we are a multi racial society. Personally I live in chinese stir fries, italian pizzas, and curries with the odd meditterenean salad thrown in. Olives, sun dried tomato and all that stuff. Feta cheese. Give me a break. Chirac you are talking out your arse. He is the French equivalent of our Prince Philip. And he isn't English.

It's great that Helene and I could be together and take the piss out of each other. We're different but really we're the same. We had the same values, the same hopes. It's a shame it wasn't to be. We are all in the same European community. But we're not. She's there, I'm here. We are supposed to be one big family but borders still count for something. I haven't seen her in over two and a half years. I may never see her again.

Shit happens. Live with it...........................

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Saturday, July 09, 2005

Undercover Surveyance

So I'm in the shop and this guy walks in, looks this way and that and walks up to me flashing ID. Royal Mail security. Oh No! I've been caught! Reusing an unfranked, stamp steamed off an old letter.
"Do you recognise that man outside next to the black car?" he asked me.
"Who? Him?"
"Don't look at him... Look away now."
"Why?"
"Do you know him? Has he used a credit card in your shop? .... No don't look."
Suddenly I'm very conscious of trying to look nonchalent whilst eyeballing a villain, should I start whistling or what?
"What's he done."
"Stolen mail bags and taken the credit cards out."
"Why don't you pick him up then?"
"He's under surveyance. We're building a dossier on him."
"Oh he's a bad 'un then?"
"Don't, whatever you, do approach him. He carries a knife. Don't even attract his attention."
"Right.... Well thanks for that."
"Hang on he's on the move. Quick give me a pack of Electrolux dust bags. I've got to go." He dashed out of the shop with his bags under his arm and jumped into his unmarked Vauxhall Corsa and sped off up the road after the Villain. NO expense spared there then.

Meanwhile, I'm informed, a pub down the road has been bought by a local drug dealer. Not sure which one. I was told the name but I've conveniently forgotten. It's been converted right now into a Pole dancing club. Just what we need in the neighbourhood. You can never have too many Pole dancing venues. I guess this compliments the already opened Lapdancing club in town called "Angels". A friend of mine went the other night. For £20 you get your own personal dance. Except it's not exactly personal. You pay your £20 and get taken to a room where in theory the girl dances for you. But the reality is half a dozen other people have also paid £20 and are waiting in the same room to get the same dance personally for them. Doesn't seem quite right somehow. They've also got their own "hole-in-the-wall" bank terminal the which is worrying. So there's a couple of places I'll be avoiding in my quest to remain pure of heart soul and body. My body is a temple.

Rock on dudes and... mines a pint.

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Friday, July 08, 2005

Choices

There's a lot of things going on in the world right now, not least the latest bombings. It makes you stop and think, take stock of what's important in life.
Nelson Mandela said "Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.Let your greatness blossom. Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up."
So why not OUR generation? We've been freeloading on this planet long enough. What have we actually done? I mean really done, apart from rape the planet of it's resources? OK we've had Live aid twenty years ago and we dipped our conscience pricked hands into our pockets and felt good. Since then we've donated to various causes to salve our guilt or conscience or out of sympathy. But have we changed anything? No. It's still the same shit world we were born into and in some respects it's a worse world. We haven't made anything better.
You could argue that in our times we've had massive leaps forward in science and technology and medicine, saving lives. But still the gap between the rich and the poor has got ever more greater. We've improved our standard of living at the expense of others.
So when Nelson Mandela calls upon me personally to stand up and be counted, to be great, to be part of that generation that finally makes a difference I'll be there. I want to be part of that movement where we stop taking the piss out of our planet and it's peoples. I want to be great. I want to be proud. I want to be remembered for doing what's right.
And it's not strictly me personally being remembered but my generation that's you and you and of course you as well.
I don't want to go to my grave knowing that we've pissed away all our chances of making the world a better place for our descendents. I don't want our generation to be remembered for being the generation, of don't cares and wont do's, to be despised in the future for being a bunch of no good selfish tossers.
And as the Americans like to say frequently. "It's not going to happen on my watch." Well this is our watch. We're on duty now. The ball has started rolling. Do we let it roll to a stop or do we keep on pushing and become the great generation. Because let's face it, we DO have the POTENTIAL to be GREAT. We also have the potential to let it slip by and fuck it all up.
The choice is yours.
Do you want to be great? I do.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Bombings

So we've become the latest victim of terrorist attacks. I could write a bit about how terrible it is and I'm sure a lot of people certainly will but there's one thing that struck me as I watched the coverage on News 24. It's the reaction of the crowds.

Now here's a thing for you to watch out for. Look at the crowds and the victims. Compare that with the crowds, if you can remember, in the Madrid bombing or even New York twin towers where people were running around screaming and saying "Oh my God!" a lot.
The one thing I noticed was the calmness of the crowds. At one point on TV they were interviewing this girl who had blood pouring from her and she was saying "It's just a scratch there's others worse than me."Others saying stuff like "It was a bomb......whatever!"and "Yes it was scary, but hey that's life isn't it?"
Then the women who calmly told the interviewer that she had loads of tiny shards of glass stuck in her hair and all over her
You know it brings a lump to your throat. The British at their best in the face of adversity. No screaming or wailing no panicking. I sometimes wonder if that isn't our best national attribute as a people. We don't panic we don't run around like headless chickens, we get scared like everyone else, but it's what we do with that fear that's important. WE don't buckle under pressure, we just get stronger.
For years we've been accused of having a laisez faire attitude. Well maybe it's because our backs haven't been against the wall in a long time.

I noticed that for a long while the bombs were not mentioned it was refered to as blasts not explosions. Also for most of the day until about 3 o'clock there were only two fatalities. I wonder if that wasn't a ploy to maintain calm, to play it down while everything is sorted out.

I was waiting for someone to come on TV with no arms or legs and announce "It's just a flesh wound nothing to worry about....come back and fight I've still got my teeth."

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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Make Poverty History

I've just put my name behind a global call for
the leaders of the world's richest nations -
the G8 - to take action to end poverty. They
have the power to do it and only need the will,
and by joining this call you can also help
convince them.
Simply add your details at:

http://www.whiteband.org/Actions/g8/en/takeaction

It takes less than a minute.
Nelson Mandela said early this year that
'Sometimes it falls upon a generation to
be great. You can be that great generation.
Let your greatness blossom. Of course the
task will not be easy. But not to do this
would be a crime against humanity, against
which I ask all humanity now to rise up.'
Act now:
http://www.whiteband.org/Actions/g8/en/takeaction

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What's for dinner

OK so I'm talking to petal as we shut our respective shops and she asks "what's for tea?" I tell her and she says "If you don't tell the blogging world what you are going to eat I certainly am. It's disgusting. Your readers need to know what sort of depraved person you are."
So I throw myself open to the court. Personally I think my choice of dinner tonight is really cool and summery, despite Petals thoughts on the subject. So here it is my menu for tonights evening meal:

Baked potato with cheddar cheese on top. (well that's pretty safe)
On top of that a mixture of cottage cheese (yum) with Bananas, strawberries, seedless grapes, raspberries and pineapple. With a dash of Heinz salad cream. It's ends up a pretty pink mixture. But it's absolutely delicious. And very healthy. Low fat plenty of fresh fruit lot's of calcium, fibre, vitamins and vegetarian. Doctor Rob surely would appreciate this one. You see us musicians don't live on fast food all the time. I know Del does. His favourite is a 'bab in nan bread. Which I hate to admit is incredibly nice. My conscience will not let me live on the stuff though. I could eat 'babs everyday, that and pizza. God knows what size I'd be if I did. I would no longer be slim and sveldte. Like a racing snake. So I content myself usually by concocting the most amazing stir fries. My current favourite being diced fried chicken (fried in olive oil with copious amounts of fresh ground black pepper) with leaks, peppers, chestnut mushrooms, spring onions, broccholi, courgettes, finely chopped root ginger then mixed in with egg noodles and a lemon sauce. Oh yes and Sharwoods sweet chilli sauce for that extra bite. It's killer.
So come on criticise me. Petal isn't impressed with my diet. You might as well put the knife in deeper still.

Meanwhile a good friend of mine who was playing away from home, got really pissed and before he passed out started a text to his amour. His wife found him on the settee spark out with his phone still in his hand, so being the loving wife (and she is very lovely) she went to put it on charge for him. In doing so she noticed the half written text totally incriminating him and his nefarious activities. She does her nut and wakes him up to challenge him about it. He's still pissed, but awake enough to know he's been caught. He confesses all. He realises very quickly where he is better off and finishes the relationship there and then. I'm amazed she can forgive him. But then she obviously loves him with all her heart and soul. She deserves better. I can see both sides. I can see his point of view and I can see hers. I'm not going to get involved. I'm going to plead ignorance. It's not my business. I love the guy and I love his wife. they are both such nice people. They've both been such good friends to me. So I don't want to take sides. I hate choosing between my friends when they fall out. I wont take sides. I refuse to take sides. Why should I lose a friend because one of them falls out with the other?

Shit I'm a musician. I don't need this crap. Just let me play. Don't drag me into your politics. I am not interested in making a stand. I'm not about to nail my colours to the mast. I just want to play my music. I just want to entertain you. I am all for the live 8 message, but I consider that to be humanity not politics. Politics seems to be getting in the way of humanity.

George Bush worries me. What is his agenda? What is he thinking? Maybe he should have been a musician. Then he'd know what to do. Then he'd know what is the right thing to do. We should follow our conscience not our politics. People are dieing unnecessarily. This has got to stop. Every human on this earth has a right to live and right to an equal value of their lives. For too long the third world peoples lives have been devalued. They die and we don't give a shit. Now we do. We care. We are all equal under the sun. Their lives are just as important as ours. Their grief at losing a child is just as great as ours. Their hopes are just as valid. They don't want to live on hand outs. They want to live their lives with dignity and hope. I personally wont deny them that.

I'm going to stop now before I get too political.

Rock on dudes

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Monday, July 04, 2005

The Entertainment Factor

In an effort to alleviate the boredom I took a trip down to the Nene River where The Angling Times were holding there fishing competition. Gripping stuff, action all the way, it was nail biting. All these fisher dudes with their perch poles made of high tensile carbon fibre which were about fifty foot long. These rods/ poles were so long they could reach the other side of the river and they didn't seem to be catching anything. How ever there was one guy with the traditional rod,line and reel and he was catching fish one ofter another. It seems a far cry nowadays to the fishing when I was a lad. There's none of this sling in the line and watch the float for three hours while you read a book. No these guys are busy all the time placing bait, (You don't just sling it in anymore it's carefully positioned.) sucking their maggots, sticking out their poles, adjusting floats, changing the ends of the poles for different jobs. it's a non stop affair fishing. I rather watch paint dry.

So we dived off to the pub to watch Pink floyd on the big screen; the event of a lifetime. A band, Crazy Turtle, were playing at the pub and under instruction to stop playing the moment Pink Floyd walked onto the stage.
Someone shouted "Pink Floyd!" bar staff ran out into the garden to get the beer garden crowd in. The bar where the band was playing emptied instantly and we all crowded round the big screen in the other bar.
"Turn it up. We can't hear it."
Crazy Turtle started into another song. They were playing to an empty room. Except they were so loud we couldn't hear Pink Floyd and various people started swearing and cussing.
"It's fucking Pink Floyd so shut the fuck up."
"Piss off you cunts we want to hear Pink Floyd."
The band ignored these polite requests to stop playing and carried on. They finished the song.
"Turn up Pink Floyd Steve."
Crazy Turtle started another song. Several people ran through to the other bar to remonstrate with the ignorant fuckwits. They were past being polite. Threats were made. These guys in the band were certainly going to suffer some bodily harm. Eventually they stopped playing.
Someone shouted "You wont get another booking here you ignorant cunts."

We watched the rest of Pink Floyds performance, brilliant.
To be fair Crazy Turtle weren't a bad band at all. In fact at times they were pretty good. But not as good as Pink Floyd.

Last time on Live Aid Bob Geldorf was effing this and effing that and we didn't think much of it. I noticed during the proceedings on Live 8 three people saw fit to use the F word and I for one wasn't impressed. Madonna said it. The guy from Keane. And somehow it seemed inappropriate. Totally unnecessary. There's a time and place for bad language and on that stage and at that time wasn't it. Unlike at the pub when Crazy Turtle didn't stop playing. Then it was totally justified.

The drunks are starting to kick off across the road in the cemetary. I've noticed a few new ones turn up to add to our usual compliment of drunks who trail back and forth across the road to the Off Licence. A few minutes ago they were in the middle of the road argueing with each other and stopping traffic.
One thing I've noticed about our drunks is there are several classes of drunk. We've got the all out no hopers total alcoholics and then theres the younger hardened drinker set. This second group are the new boys on the block. Fairweather drinkers. Then you've got a sub class of young teenage girls who seem to hang around with the older drunks. I suppose they're the chavettes who think it's cool to hang with the drinkers. Then there's the serious girls with bad skin and hollow cheeks usually far to thin to look healthy. They are not chavs. Denims and piercings seem to be their trademark.
Recently we've noticed a lot of eastern european drunks. far from home no family can't speak English and smashed. They've usually got shaved heads or very short hair. They're not alcoholics as such. So we've got a whole summer of entertainment to look forward to. By the law of averages at least one of the drunks will die over there in the cemetary.
It's a sad fact that the money these guys spend on drink to kill themselves would feed a whole family for a week in Africa, and they'd probably make better use of their lives too. Eeeek I'm getting political that wont do at all.

Rock on dudes

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Criminal Intent

So a dodgy friend just calls me on the phone from Edgware. You know the type; sheepskin coat and slicked back hair, buys and sells just about anything, a throw back to the sixties. Anyway he was in his local greasy spoon caff having his usual brekkie fryup when an acquaintence of his taps him on the shoulder "Hey Bob wanna buy a leather jacket." (Bobs not his real name)
"No thanks Spider I've got one."
"What about one for the Mrs?"
"She's got one too."
"Oh alright. Anything else you need? Digital camera? Camcorder? TV? DVD player?"
"No I'm fine thanks. What's all this about? How come you've got all this stuff to sell?"
"Oh I haven't got it yet. We're doing a warehouse tonight and we want to make sure we get all our friends sorted before hand."
"That's very commendable of you."
"Yeah take care of yer own, before the other buggers do. Anyway take care Bob you know where to find me if you think of anything you need."

So that's how business is done in Edgware. I'm not privvy to which warehouse is going to be hit or indeed if it's actually tonight. But it seems to be an everyday story of everyday folk, mores the pity.
If you're reading this Spider I need a Cannon EOD300i 6.2 megapixels with 100mmm lens kit.*

Years ago they used to toe punt items out the door of Dixons under the security fence, if spotted they'd claim they'd tripped over the item and they "didn't know" person who picked it up and ran off with it. I think now they have the security scanners right down to the floor.

Then there was the two guys a few years ago who used to walk up and down my road with a shopping trolley full of stolen goods. All stolen to order.
"So you want the Panasonic 27" colour TV? What model was it? Which shop have you seen it in?.... Ok we'll deliver it this afternoon."
They are now being socially rehabilitated. Or more accurately they're at a criminal finishing school studying the finer points of drug dealing, theft and fraud at her Majestys pleasure. Well they need something don't they some of these kids leave school with only two or three ASBOs to their name. It's a qualification isn't it? It's one step up from a court appearence and a warning. And it's a stepping stone to the higher level qualifications of GBH and or bird. It all looks good on the CV.
Left school with 3 ASBOs after spending 2 years in Borstal.
Apprenticed to Larry (fingers) McNasty and spent two years learning about central locking devices, car radios and cold tarmacing. Before setting up in own business.
Business went into volountary liquidation, due to unforseen circumstances, a raid by the old bill.
Now looking for work willing to travel. Have own caravan and Mitusbishi Shogun. Tarmacing your drive a speciality. It's waffer thin.

*that was a joke. You don't think I would really accept stolen goods do you? Do you? Aw cummon. It's me Mike Da Hat honest as the day is long. But if you want a leather jacket tip me the nod and I'll put you in touch with the man. His name is Chief Inspector Mathews.

Rock on dudes

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