Saturday, October 30, 2004


Hello! I am getting loads (6 or 7 in the last two days) of hits referred to me from blogs which apparently contain no links to me, or indeed one of those random blog thingys which sends you to a random blog...Anyone know why that might be?

Fame at last (to a very very small degree)


The American Elections

If you are one of the 8.02% percent of readers of this site from *ahem* "Across the pond" and you are of voting age, I would be terribly grateful if you voted for John Kerry in the forthcoming elections. Many thanks.

Folk music

I'm becoming slightly obsessed with it. Obsessed is way too strong a word actually, but I really can't get enough. I found myself really excited on Wednesday that there would be a new edition of Mike Harding's folk show on Radio 2, and I've taken to listening to the Folk Club, which is a radio Ulster programme available through the BBC listen again business. I've also checked out Celtic Heartbeat, which is radio wales folk show with a presenter I find absolutely hilarious (in a slightly Alan Partridgey sort of a way.)

I'm looking for suggestions of artists and albums and such to check out - does anyone know anything the subject? I don't really like the songs about wars and death and the horrendous life of Poor Old Jack McGee and all that, but otherwise I'm open to ideas!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Template finally got the better of me - I've cut and pasted it and stored it safely away, and I'm gonna try and sort it out at some point, but for now, I'm gonna play with this one...

The Day a Poetic sentence made me very happy indeed.

From the breaking incredibly out of date news desk here follows a story of the roller-coaster of experiences that I partooked in over the weekend in relation to my trusty motor.

Friday: Heading to appointment in South Birmingham, I stop at lights on Hamstead Hill. Pulling off from lights the car feels "weird." It's like the gears haven't engaged properly, and the steering feels a bit like I'm on skis...(or the snow levels on a driving computer game). I pull over and look at the tires and test the gears. All appears fine. I drive off from the kerb and the car is well weird, but the problem is definately the steering. I decide to drive on for a bit to see if I'm imagining it (unlikely as that sounds). I'm not. I stop, call my mum (who I'm on my way to see) and turn round and go home. The car is oversteering to the left dramatically as I drive home at approximately 3 miles per hour. I get home and think "I'll sort it out on Monday"

Saturday: Bob comes to my rescue and takes me shopping (to three seperate locations no less. She is an awesome friend, in times of need and in times of no need.)

Sunday: Kate (aka Fincho, but that's being phased out apparently) comes round with Phill to take me round to Phill's to watch two football matches (1st Blues v Southampton, one of the least interesting games I've watched for a long time - I should have guessed this when I asked Phill what his prediction for the match was and he proffered the most confident "nil-nil" I've ever heard someone proffer. 2nd United's somewhat difficult to stomach but who cares we beat the Aresnal 2-0 victory - I thought neither team acquitted themselves particularly well spiritually speaking, but it makes the Premiership season more interesting and saves us from the countless editorials telling us the "balance of power in English football has shifted south" for a bit...but I digress). Kate then also drove me home, which was incredibly nice of her I thought...

Monday: Right, I'm plucking up the courage, I've got my credit card ready and I'm gonna pay what it takes to have a car again (despite the fact that money is somewhat on the tight side at the mo...). I decide I'll get in the car and test out the steering so I can accurately describe the problem. I do a three point turn at the end of the cul-de-sac I live on and the steering is absolutely fine. I find this odd. I drive a little further. It's still ok. I drive considerably further, and it's as responsive and secure as it was the day I first drove it. I was very confused indeed. It had been, ladies and gentlemen, like driving on ice, the steering had been so light. I ring a Ford garage. The man says I should get the RAC to come and check it out. I ring the RAC and book them to come round in the afternoon. I get four buses to get to and from my massage (which had the pleasant side effect of being in town at lunchtime and meeting up with Dave). I get home, the RAC man comes, I start to tell him and before I can finish the first sentence he says "Say no more." (I think, am I in a Python sketch?) He says "On Friday, there was a diesel spill on Hamstead Hill."(that's the poetic sentence). He tells me he's been called out to 6 cars round here with light steering problems, and that he himself had spun round in it in his van what must have been a few minutes after I left the scene. This means my car is fine, totally safe to drive and at a cost of zero pounds and zero pence. Hurray!

Long post, no point to it really, but it recounts a story which made me very happy indeed.

As an afterthought, during the writing of this post Stary Eyed Surprise by Oakenfold has played. Anyone with access to it listen to it and tell me if I'm crazy or if the vocals are being performed by the Incumbent President of the Yoonited States?!

With love,


John Peel

Much has been written and said about John Peel. I've only listened to his radio 1 show a small handfull of times, I was not a great fan of home truths. I did used to regularly read his radio times columns and loved his Glastonbury coverage, but I don't have any "John Peel changed my life when he played x track" stories (well, except for reminding me of the existence of Half Man Half Biscuit about 5 years after I'd forgotten them) but for some reason feel moved to write about him here. I think its because he had an incredibly nice vibe about him, and you can feel the warmth of the way he's being remembered in all the tributes that have been pouring out. I'm sure it's finding him...

A relatively painless trip to the dentists

I will come clean. I'm not embarrased. I struggle with accepting the services of dentists graciously. I well know that I'm not alone in this, and having been using many of the calming techniques learned during my years of therapy to help. I was fine as a small child, but then, one fateful day, on the cricket pitch of Admiral Tait Primary School, Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe, I was fielding at short square leg and the bowler bowled well wide down the leg side...The batsman did what any respectable batsman would have done and hooked it as hard as he could...The ball was flying towards me, and I distinctly remember looking behind me and seeing the second umpire, and thinking "if I don't catch this, it's going to hit him." The next thing I remember is lying in the grass feeling a tooth on the inside of my mouth, and thinking about how much trouble I was going to get in...I left the field to the applause of the opposition (which greatly offended me at the time, as I was in incredible pain). There followed months of intrusive dental work, massive needles and a liquid diet (which my mum to her endless credit tried to make as varied and interesting as possible). Later in life, this caused all sorts of further problems which lead to more intrusive dental work, massive needles but fortunately never a return to only being able to eat pureed food. So, yeah, I always get a subconcious flare up when I sit in the old chair (or indeed walk near a dentists). But today I had a filling put in where an old one had fallen out and couldn't believe how straightforward and painless it was. An injection which really did feel like a little scratch, a professional, sensitive and informative dentist and a nice new composite filling which matches my teeth. And they take NHS patients! Too good to be true? I hope not...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Alright, this might not be that interesting...

But I'm trying to mantain momentum as a blogger, so I thought I'd better make a post...

So, today has been a fine day, in which I went to the charity shop, the tip, Sainsburys, had a visit from Bob, at very healthy food, had a nap and watched match of the day...Talking of which, much as I love the BBC's excellent football coverage, and am not one to be down on a brother, I have to confess that Mark Lawrenson's puns make me genuinely uncomforable. And I speak as one who loves a good pun. Indeed I'm normally quite partial to a bad one, but Lawro is too much for me. I think it's the complete absence of timing. ...In response to a good performance from stand in Villa keeper Stephan Postma today at Highbury he said "Hey, I've got one for you - (pause) - The Postma always saves twice. (Pause for tumble weed to drift across the studio - looks at Lineker) Are you 'avin' that one?." It's not good...

Detox still on the rails, no lapses so far, 5 days in and I'm really enjoying it, - the diet, the noticable improvements it's bringing, and that great self esteem boost you get from doing the right thing...

Finally, please rush out and buy / borrow / whatever a copy of Eight Storeys by an act called Randall. I have just finished listening to it, and can honestly say I haven't enjoyed an album on first listen as much as this for a long, long time. It's chilled and it's beautiful.

Peace out ya'll!

Thursday, October 14, 2004


Hello! I'm back now.

Whilst I have been away the following "interesting" things have happened.

1. I've got a new bed. It's great. It's really great. It's funkmongous. It's terrific. I've been sleeping on a single matress on the floor for about 18 months, so to have a big kingsize bed is just the absolute height (and indeed width) of luxury...

2. I have begun a new dietary regimen, to try and shift some excess stoneage (not stone-age, you understand - I don't have an excess of rudimentary tools and hunter gatherer societal structures. Stoneage, all one word, meaning weight...) but also, and more importantly to try and not be ill all the time. It is a celebrity endorsed diet, which upsets me slightly, but it's nutritionally fantastic and addresses the main problem I have, which is excess toxicity. Yes, it's the Carol Voderman 28 day detox diet. No meat, eggs, fish, alcohol or smoking (I don't eat meat, eggs, fish, drink alcohol or smoke anyway). No wheat, dairy or sugar (I eat them, and miss them.) No tea or coffee (I do like a nice cup of tea, and indeed a nice cup of coffee.) Nothing fried (*sigh*). However, lots and lots of lovely meals, and lovely snacks in the form of fruits and juices and vegetables and such make it very do-able, and I'm kind of desperate to feel well, so will power isn't a problem...I will keep you all posted, although I know you don't care that much.

3. I interviewed Malcolm McDowel. I have to confess it was something of a thrill.

4. I've been to 2 parties, at which I danced to bhangra-rock. Including a bhangra version of pretty woman. Which was surreal. I have discovered that in 100% of cases, the sound department will be the best dancers on a movie (I am basing this information on 1 movie, so it might not be all that statistically significant.)

5. I have discovered bittorrent. And am using it to download tv programmes.

6. I've stopped going back and forth between London and Birmingham for a bit, having done it for months and months. Am at home, and have started capturing the reams of video I've shot in preparation for editing my documentary. It's going well, but capturing is dull as dishwater...

7. Maybe some other things have happened too (in fact they definately have) but that's it for now.

I'm not on hiatus anymore.