Monthly Archives: May 2003

What do you want out of life ?

What do you want out of life ?
The last few days have been examples of my ideal life. More of this please.
On tuesday was Adrian and Lesley’s wedding. Great ceremony (no religion),
lots of old friends: Toby, Petra, Greg and Margaret, Simon, Adrian (of course), Howard and lots of new friends: Laekha, Alex, Anna, Rosy. Altogether a happy day. Weddings aren’t supposed to be like that…there wasn’t even a fight.
Greg’s speech was a masterpiece and, despite going on for 2 or 3 hours at least, caused me to laugh louder and longer than is polite.
The sun has been out and shining for the last two days and bought that gorgeous translucent blue sky that brings the true beauty of nature out and into your face. We have just had a few lovely hours out in it, in the Rosemary Branch garden. Lovely.

While I’ve been at work over ther last two days, Michele has been at home with Humphrey and he has at last come out of his shell. Not only is he playing with his toys and generally being cute – but today he even came out of his cage and wandered about for a bit! Such a lovely bird.

Sensible Clothes

You can’t imagine the effect clothes-shopping has on me. I would genuinely rather wear a “Millwall are Wankers” T-shirt in a Bermonsey pub when they’re playing at home than go shopping to buy a pair of trousers. It’s beyond dislike, there is a physical reaction much like phobias that people have – I get a tightening around the chest, my heart races and I can’t think straight.
So I don’t. Consequently, when it’s time to go to a job interview, wedding, funeral or anywhere else where different rules apply, I’m fucked. Yesterday Michele made me try on my suit. Of course the trousers don’t fit very well. They do up though.”But they don’t look right on the bum”, Michele told me. Well to me, trousers just don’t look right. If it isn’t jeans and a t-shirt it looks wrong. But Michele wasn’t having any of it, and offered to go to Lewisham to buy me some trousers – knowing the disasterous effect that me going out to buy them would have on us both. Pointless, I thought, because even if you can find a pair that fit my waist, the legs will be too long. But off she went.
Bugger me, she came back with two pairs of perfectly fitting black trousers. We plumped for the Primark ones (12 quid!) because despite having 80s-style pleats and turn-ups they fitted better. So today, the day of Adrian’s wedding, I can go along without causing too much embarrasment to the assembly.

Anyway – now it’s zero hour, the horrors of straight-clothes are all flooding back. I must have spent 10 minutes irning one side one bloody side of my (cotton) shirt. Jesus Christ, do all these people you see in suits up town have to do that shit every day ? Why ? What is the point ? If you wore black cotton t-shirts, you would just have to wash them, hang them up to dry and the wrinkles just fall out… You mugs!
And What are ties for ? The only purpose I can see is to conceal the shirt buttons. Perhaps in days long passed shirt buttons were considered rude or offensive in some way ? Perhaps they suggested that underneath the shirt was….NUDITY. Yuck! Cover those filthy tools of satan lest our minds may wander into the realms of filth at their very sight.
I can’t wait to get back into my normal clothes – and I haven’t even changed yet…


“The danger in reaching thirty isn’t in becoming more right-wing, but in becoming sensible…The menace of sensible is that it’s incompatible with passion. I bet Che Guevara never had all his Christmas cards sent out by the middle of November”

— Mark Steel – Reasons to be cheerful

Freedom and Death

An emotional day.
This morning Humphrey was in such a good mood that we decided to try and get him out of the cage again. We opened the door and this time, after about 10 minutes he flew out! He bumbled about in the air for what seemed like an hour and then landed on the curtain rail looking confused and scared.
It was then that we realised we both had to go to work and so he should really be back in the safety of his cage….but how ?
After some discussion I got the step-ladder out and climbed up to get him. We had to move the ladder a few times before I could get close, but when I eventually plucked up enough courage to grab him he was terrified and made a squarking noise I’d never heared before. I got him back in the cage but was very upset as it seemed like he might have been hurt and there were downy feathers all over the gaff, including in my shirt, hair and beard. So, like it says in all the good parrot books, I apologised repeatedly to him in a very soft voice 🙂
Anyway, he’s happy as larry now, preening, eating and eeking so he looks fine.

Then this afternoon I went to the funeral of Betty Shreeve. She was one of my dad’s best and oldest friends and such a cool woman. I’ve known her since birth. It was a very emotional funeral. Being a Humanist funeral it was very dignified too and thus none of that religious shit; it was about her and not some bizarre medieval deity. They played “Whiter shade of pale” and “memories”. That was when the sniffles all started. We were all blubbing like fools. My poor dad especially.
Ah well – at least we all had th eopportunity to remember what a wonderful woman she was.


A good friend of mine that I’ve known since school is getting married. We left it right to the last minute to confirm we were planning to go and then realised that we’d lost the invitation…so I left a really wanky message on Adrian’s (the groom-to-be) voice mail and he sent me a lovely e-mail saying that was fine. He also listed a few people who were also coming. Each one of them was listed together with their S/O. Before I knew what I was doing I’d replied saying:
“Damn we’re all couples. This is what the 30s is like I suppose. Kids next. Then divorce. Then lots of self-indulgent destructive alcoholism until the funerals all start.”
too late – I sent it…sorry Adrian – I didn’t mean to piss quite so heavily and widely over the kindling.

Nice weekend tho’. On saturday I met up with Alex for a “Freedom for Palestine” rally. We stood it out for an hour or so, which is pretty good I think, and then went on a magical mystery tour that involved Maplin, the Pub and the Science Museum. Superb.

Humphrey the parrot is still very nervous.


Some of my earliest memories are of my parents friends. Big, friendly, funny people who used to listen and make me laugh. As I grew up they changed from friendly grown-ups into kind, interesting, intelligent people. I’d want to stay up late so I could join in.
Today during a call to Stella and Chris to tell them out our new parrot (current favourite name is “Humphrey”) I found out that one of their oldest friends, Betty, died on sunday. The last time I saw her was at her partner, Tony’s funeral and at the time neither of us were in a fit state to hold a conversation. Now, after a long battle with cancer she too has gone. This is very, very sad – the wrong people go.
I only hope that I’m wrong and in fact there is an afterlife for the worthy, because she and Tony will surely be there. Probably sitting listening to Jimi Hendrix accompany Billie Holliday as I type.

I miss you both.

BT – Bloody-useless Tools

Our DSL is fucked – again.
Every time our DSL has gone down in the last few years it has, with one exception, been down to total incompetence within BT. Yet again, it’s BT’s fault. How do I know ? Because we’re no longer getting sync on our line – that means we are no longer talking to the DSLAM – the only explanation I can come up with is that we have been unplugged.
So back to 56k (British bloody fucking telecom yet again)

Clare Short has resigned. Everyone is talking about whether we handled the Iraq invasion properly, and whether Tone has got carried away, and whether we did enough to prevant bad things happening whilst we were ridding poor Iraq of their nasty dictator.
Why is everyone talking bollocks ? No-one is talking about the fact we’ve been lied to, the fact that this war had fuck-all to do with human rights and WMDs – it’s about OIL!. It’s about GREED! It’s about MONEY! Why are you still pissing about with this pretense Clare ? You aren’t that stupid, you know what’s going on, so why are you still talking shite ? You’re the same as the rest of the scum in parliament – no sympathy from me.
Last night Channel 4 re-assured me that it still does have a bit of soul left. Following that filthy shitumentary on Heather Mills I felt that C4 was finally dead – Michael Grade would never have aired something that cack – and yes I do remember “The Word”.
But last night they showed “Beyond Iraq and a Hard Place” – an hour of Bremner Bird and Fortune that told anyone watching about all of the things that have been coming to light on the underground media for the last few months. Things that should, by all rights, cause the downfall of the UK and US governments.
Sadly the only people watching it were people who already know it. In the old days this would make me feel cynical and despondent – now it makes me really fucking angry.

Reasons to be Cheerful

or “count your blessings” as my my mum would say.So I am.

  • Michele and I are waiting for a “Popeye” pizza to arrive.
  • Michele’s best friend (and the maid of honour at our wedding) has a new boyfriend who she’s really into, and it turns out he’s a rapper called “Busdriver”. So we downloaded a few tracks and it turns out he’s really bloody good.
  • I found a tune by some american folk singer called “Richard Buckner” that really does things for me
  • tomorrow is Friday

So it’s not all bad – even though the plastic-buring-psycho has started again…and those jelapeno pepper have given my bowels a load of jip….and…