I'm going to be taking a short break from blogging. This may not be much of a revelation, I'm hardly prolific as it is but I've got some stuff to sort out and, as any fule kno, stuff is important. This stuff is extremely important as parts of my life are in a complete and utter mess, my attention is needed elsewhere and I am in danger of being a total arse. Besides, I'm hardly ever in the correct mood for sensible (or nonsensible) postage at the moment.
Loyal readers may remember that when I first started this blog a little over two years ago (congratulations to Jed for being the longest non-obvious commenter) I was having a few lifestyle problems. Depression, I think they call it. Suffice to say that I can sense the black dog padding around outside the door whining to come in. I'm not going to stuff my neck with prozac and cross my fingers but it has got to a point that most people who have been through similar will recognise. You know you have to do something decisive but you can't think of one single positive outcome from your actions whatsoever. Every consequence seems disastrous and with that, fear gradually creeps in. Sleep becomes difficult; your heart thumps fearfully hard and you wake up in cold sweats if you do eventually get to sleep. Trepidation and doubt cloud everything, even the trivial and those things I usually enjoy doing like picking up the phone and I know full well it shouldn't, especially when in certain respects, I also know full well that there have been a lot of positives to build on over the last few months. In more ways than one, I'm in a place, both metaphorically and physically, where I really don't want to be. I'm hoping that writing this short piece will in some way prove mildly cathartic and kickstart me into making some kind of choice from which I can take something positive.
I'll stick my head in on the usual suspects but don't expect anything here for a bit.
It's been a pretty odd week and one I wouldn't wish upon anyone. It's been pretty horrible for me as a spectator this far away, but others, about whom I care deeply, have had to endure at first hand some rather unspeakable events and my heart goes out to them, as well as a rather large chunk of love. You know who you are.
It's good to know though that there are still people out and about who, with a quite remarkable disregard for the caution one would normally exercise when faced with a dribbling hack on a slow news day, are able to cast doubt on 150 years of evolutionary theory. In this case, she probably ran out of fingers. Apologies if you heard this one on last week's News Quiz. I didn't, I heard it on this evening's repeat on the digital wireless.
My parents gave up taking a daily newspaper ages ago but still buy one on Saturday for the tv listings. Any one will do but they have (as oddly enough I still do even though I can abide neither its attitude nor its politics) a loyalty to the Daily Ex-Princess. One of the delights of any newspaper supplement are the adverts for the absolute shite sold in the name of collectors' pieces. You know the stuff, limited edition portraits on cheap bone china plates of the cast of Heartbeat signed and numbered in gold paint by an artist fresh out of Scunthorpe College of Art and sold by the Danbury Mint in a manner that makes anyone whose entire wardrobe is furnished by JJB Sports feel like their life will be near enough complete once they've spent a small fortune to get it.
The offer gracing the back of the Express magazine this weekend was for a limited edition giclee print of this:
When I first saw this I was reminded of the kind of sketch I'd run off during a life class with a bit of colour treatment added. The kind of thing you'd see on a box of pastels. Here's some of the accompanying nonsense:
"fantasy and reality blur in a hauntingly beautiful study that challenges the eye as it delights the senses."
It certainly is a challenge to the eye because that's one woman I wouldn't fancy meeting in a dark alley; massive head, microscopic waist and a huge left tit pointing to one side. Scary. There's also the following load of bollocks designed as a cunning ruse to trick the aesthetically naïve into making arses of themselves at polite parties:
"His work has a shifting spontaneity of form enhanced by the hidden symmetry of fine detail..."
Care to run that by me again? "Shifting spontaneity of form"? I think that's pseud for "quick crap sketch" and symmetry is evident in something that's visual, it's not hidden. Moreover, if you can't see detail, however fine, it ain't there, brother. You can't hide it. And anyway, as I've already pointed out, the lack of symmetry in her chest area would render that statement a bit null and void. Stick to the Samurai swords or the 1:24 scale reproduction American fire engines.
Somewhere around here should be a video of the Sex Pistols from their appearance on American telly last week celebrating 30 years since "Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols" was released. I can't see the code but it appears in the preview so I'm crossing my fingers. There are always rather disparaging comments flying about whenever the Pistols re-unite in an unabashed attempt at some pension enhancement. Couldn't give a toss, to be honest. In my mind this isn't a sell out, in a way it's just as punk now as it was 30 years ago. John Lydon, in his Rotten incarnation, hasn't changed at all. He's not become a cuddly parody although it's fair to say he's an institution. He's still capable of intelligent and thought provoking outbursts; he still has an edge. Whether you like them or not, The Pistols inspired many and the contemporary musical landscape would be substantially different without them. And listen to their back catalogue whenever you can because this was a band that genuinely shocked a nation yet there's barely a swear in their lyrics at all. This is possibly my favourite single of all time. And nobody sings the word "vacant" quite like John.
For my 250th post on this here interblogs I have chosen something spiritual and wholesome. If you are easily offended by songs promoting the excessive use of recreational medication sung by debauched wastrels, then this is definitely not the place to be.
This is very silly but I was listening to the estimable Messrs Maconie and Radcliffe earlier on the wireless who mentioned a new game they'd been enjoying along the lines of the "what's your pr0n name or West Indian pace bowler name*" I have to admit to doing several LOLs.
This one involves making up Scandinavian rock band names and their members using items culled from the Ikea catalogue. Like Molger Sniglar, singer with Swedish art rockers Gosa Mjuk. Apparently he's been seen out with Florera Snartig from Jokkmokk. I'd imagine their bassist, Snudda Knodd, will be really pissed off.
As a listener quite rightly pointed out, there's probably someone in Stockholm doing exactly the same thing with the Argos catalogue and wetting themselves over Electrolux Wii.
*If someone knows how to do that one, I'd be grateful. I think it revolves around your mother's maiden name and where you live. Or something. Like mine would be Coleman Ashford.
**It's actually the sitting US president at the time of your birth plus the name of the last seaside town you visited. So my West Indian fast bowler name is Eisenhower Dymchurch. Doesn't work, that one.
Of course, to discover this threat I had first to be attracted to a cheap carved wooden cat to the point where I was compelled to pick it up and turn it over. That point isn't up for discussion. Thank you.
I am becoming increasingly worried about the quality of my readership. 4 of the last 9 visitors to these pages have been enquiring after the sexual orientation of Adam Crozier, boss monkey of the Royal Mail. One more was seeking the same knowledge on Max Boyce. Nobody has ever slipped in using the terms "Is Adam Crozier the worst ever chief executive of a public service?" or "Is Max Boyce Utter Shite?" Other people's bedroom practices don't hold any interest for me unless I am included so I am puzzled by this obsession. But to answer any queries, yes Crozier does indeed play outside the line and Max Boyce is Welsh.