Tuesday, August 31, 2004

  Friday night in

It was all supposed to be so straightforward.

After another indulgent weekend, I’d kept off ‘the sauce’ all week: staying in, reading, watching films, catching up on chores, exercising, eating salad and fruit, drinking mineral water and/or juice, then going to bed early. Dull, but commendable.

Throughout the week I’d been looking forward to my first weekend in my own bed, at my own flat, in over a month. Starting with a quiet Friday night in. I felt thoroughly detoxed. Cleansed. Redeemed, even. I hatched a simple plan: pizza, telly, wine, early night. Refreshed for an early start.

Cut-to 4am, Saturday morning, I awake on my sofa surrounded by strewn bottles, chocolate wrappers and a half-eaten tube of Pringles. I turn off the TV – still blaring – and PC – screen still flickering – and retire properly to bed.

I had started so well. My spicy meat pizza was the perfect comfort food, watching the Olympics inspired me to sit up straight and Ricky Gervais provided plenty laughs. By the time Ali G came on, I was well into the inevitable second bottle and finding everything significantly funnier than it actually was. And although not a violent man – far from it, in fact – I found myself compelled to challenge cocky toyboy Ashton Kutcher outside for a fight when his execrable ‘Punk’d’ invaded my screen in the early hours. This despite no-one else being around.

Midday, Saturday, I get up hungover, put some soothing music on and power up the PC. I’m mortified with what I find: a handful of pissed sent emails; a bunch of pissed not-sent emails through some new dating site I must have registered with; a couple of unsolicited emails received from strangers through the site urging me to part with cash to upgrade to full membership; and a bunch more spam emails highlighting the professionalism of this site I had joined. I delete the spam, follow-up my pissed emails with heartfelt apologies, then spend an hour working out how to delete myself from the site.

This wasn’t how things were supposed to be.

I realise for all my protestations about my downward spiral, my current behaviour’s pretty tame relatively. But in contrast to my sensible, moderate, healthy, coupled-up living only just a year ago, I’m becoming a disgrace. Even in the sanctuary of my own home, I’m managing to embarrass myself.

I realise I’m only at the ‘Dean Gaffney’ level on the Disgrace Scale. But just add bad judgement to descend to the ‘Jamie Theakston’ level. Mix with old ladies to reach the ‘Wayne Rooney’ level. Keep stirring to its natural conclusion to eventually reach the ‘Pete Doherty’ level.

It’s only a phase, I tell myself. I’ll grow up again soon. So am off to do some vacuuming and ironing.
Thursday, August 26, 2004

  Houston, we have contact

Nothingness. Silence. Zip.

Then... it started:

It started with a wink.

I never thought it would come to this.

You see, I admit I’d grown a bit disheartened. Two weeks since parting with my £28.32, one week since uploading photos, five days since tweaking my written profile, three days since choosing an alternative primary photo, I’d still had no contact through the dating site: nothingness, silence, zip.

Sure, I’d tried emailing through the site. But this takes effort:
(1) Appraise target’s profile.
(2) Review suitability.
(3) If suitable, compose witty, incisive, compelling email taking into account target’s profile.
(4) Press ‘Send’.
(5) Wait. And wait, and wait, and wait.

Just at my lowest ebb, I received an inspirationally motivating email from my new Dating Mentor, Tall Bespectacled Friend (Tall Stuttering Friend being otherwise engaged; and I don’t advise anyone trying to say ‘Tall Bespectacled Friend’ who does have a stutter):

So you’re going for it on DatingSite.com too? I’m doing alright through it, and seem to be getting my £28.32 worth. My advice is: don't bother sending unsolicited mails, just wink loads of girls, and sit back and see if they wink back. You don’t need to email anything, you just wink, and they know you’re interested.

Ah yes, winking! How could I forget?

So, wink I did. Wink. And again. Wink, wink. Again! Again! Wink, wink, wink.

Pretty soon, I was winking like a flick-afflicted madman. Sceptical, yet optimistic that throwing enough mud to the wall, some would eventually stick.

Few days passed, then: Suddenly! One unsolicited email! Hallelujah! But the jury was out, and after 36 hours deliberation, returned to dismiss this prospect as unsuitable.

Back to it: Wink, wink, wink, wink, wink.

Two more days: Suddenly! A wink is reciprocated! Hallelujah! Then panic: what’s the protocol here? Surely not winking back again? I’d soon be developing a permanent involuntary spasm.

Next day: Suddenly! An email is received in return for my mere wink! Now, as anyone with an ounce of dating nouse will be aware, this doesn’t just up the stakes, it officially reclassifies my status from chaser to chasee! Furthermore, she’s a babe. Some of my haphazardly scattered mud had stuck. My mission henceforth was clear: emails ensued back and forth, forth and back.

A date with Prospect #0002 is pencilled in for next week. It’s been too long since P#0001. Wish me luck.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004

  Movin' on up

The Karaoke Pub’s gone upmarket.

Specifically, it’s gone Thai.

As, in fact, has the Trendy bar, the London boozer and even the Oirish bar which share the same stretch of Sarf Landan highway.

But the Karaoke Pub’s not just serving Thai food, it’s billing itself a full ‘Thai Restaurant’. (Though, keen to appease its existing demographic, one that is 'continuing to serve traditional English pub fayre too'.)

I know all this because of photocopied A4 posters announcing the relaunch adorning the pub’s windows and walls.

The Karaoke Pub knows its market:

‘THAI MEAL DEAL’, the poster announces, ‘ONLY £5.’

As if this was not enticing enough, there’s an additional offer:


Whether this is a misprint, or calculated penuriousness, the move seems serious as there are now indeed Proper Thai Staff manning the kitchen.

I can’t yet visualise Monkey Boy ripping into his Prawn Tempura, Bandy-Legged Granny licking her lips at the thought of Ped Yarng, or ‘Blind’ Bloke being tempted by Kai Pad Prik. All to the authentic background sounds of ‘Dry Your Eyes’.

When in Rome, though, so I’ll be giving it a try.

I wish them luck, but as to success, only thai-me will tell.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

  V Good

Drinking ’til dawn the night after irreparably ruining two women’s lives perhaps wasn’t the best preparation for a music festival, I realised. Nevertheless, I managed to meet Ex-Boss at Liverpool Street station at our planned 11am.

“Fuck! You look rough” he greeted me.

He was being kind. But the relative animation of my conversation during our short train journey was a Himalayan peak compared to the Canyon-like trough that was to follow.

Whilst I admit getting a lift from my dad isn’t really in keeping with the carefree festival spirit, I was very hungover. I was tired. And my folks live close.

So a few minutes meeting the parents, a swift pub lunch (alcohol-free, for me) and a short DadCab drive later, we reached the site.

V, for its sins, is my ‘local’ festival. I always remember how excited I was when Pulp headlined the first one back in the mid-90s. Mid-Essex wasn’t by and large top of respectable band’s tour itineraries, you see, so having a horde virtually on my doorstep was a treat beyond my wildest dreams. Let’s face it, for all the festival’s commercialism, the God That Is Beck would never have graced the Army & Navy, Pink Toothbrush, or even Hats: Essex is, musically, better off for V.

This year was a good – and folk-free – contrast to the previous weekend’s shenanigans. Goldie Looking Chain amused me through the depths of my hangover. Snow Patrol were pleasantly inoffensive. Badly Drawn Boy reliably entertaining. Scissor Sisters camp as a row of tents, and all the better for it. N*E*R*D awe-inspiring, Pharrell Williams jostling Beck and Jon Snow for my ‘Coolest Fella of 2004’ vote. Pixies were great, though guilty of trawling through their more obscure back-catalogue in place of some more guaranteed crowd-pleasers. And The Strokes professional to a tee, if delivering short of the spontaneity that makes good gigs that little bit extra special.

By the end I’d made it through the storm, back on the beers and ending with the obligatory – and surprisingly edible – Essex Kebab. Our polite – and surprisingly unbigoted – cabbie updated us on how we’d only missed Radcliffe’s pulling out, Arsenal’s 5-3 turnaround and Rooney’s indiscretion. Back at DadCab HQ, away from the camping riffraff, we slept well.

Back in London, I’m reliving some of the moments of recent weeks' live music having geekily uploaded my entire collection onto my laptop. My collection is, it tells me, 24.09GB, or 18.9 days, of 905 artists, straddling 20 genres, over 621 albums, playing 6,603 songs.

But despite the fact there will likely be fewer than 20 songs any one else will like, I’m relishing the opportunity to foist my own peculiar tastes onto others.
Monday, August 23, 2004

  Yellow card offence

Awoken by the sun blazing through yonder window, the unfamiliar room is spinning around me: round and round, back and forth.

As I sit up cardboard-mounted 3D glasses fall from my face, and I rub my eyes to orient myself.

I stagger round the room for clues, genuinely unaware of my whereabouts, until I chance upon a framed picture reminiscent of Athena’s famous ‘L’enfant’ poster but, in place of the chiselled hunk, an old printer pal of mine.

I remember! I’d been out with Inkie for a few drinks in Bromley. Of course, finding myself encouraging Inkie and A Complete Stranger into an old cheesy disco haunt several hours later, I remember I hadn’t exactly kept to the few drinks.

Wasted chances. Squandered opportunities. Near misses. That’d been my love life of recent months.

Until, late the previous evening, I suddenly turned into a Love Rat of James Hewitt or even David Blunkett proportions.

Not content with snogging an attractive blonde, I found myself inexplicably snogging her attractive brunette mate whilst she retired to the ladies’ room for a few minutes.

Suffice to say, upon her return, my vain efforts to continue things where we left off were met by an understandably less-than-impressed response.

“Sorry, I’ve been a bit of a wanker, haven’t I?” I asked, humbly.

“Yup” came the abrupt, and factually correct, response.

My vain hopes for a nail-scratching, hair-pulling duel over me just didn’t materialise.

When I left the girls they disappointingly still seemed to be getting on well, happily sitting on the kerbside by the gutter.

But my work was done.
Thursday, August 19, 2004

  And I love London town?

His important delivery hadn’t arrived.

Which was why he was, not unreasonably, queuing in front of me before the sorting office opened at 8am.

Despite his indiscernible accent (certainly European, possibly Eastern European, but it doesn’t matter) he detailed in impeccable English to the sorting office assistant how his important delivery hadn’t arrived.

“Where’s your card, son?” replied the Royal Mail operative, incredulously.

“I don’t have a card. Because they didn’t deliver”

“Cos you woz out, son.”

“No. I waited in all day.”

“Well, I can’t do nuffink without a card, son”

So ensued a heated argument over what had happened to his delivery. He had an internet receipt, he said, which confirmed his delivery would be delivered to his address, yesterday. But ths was nuffink, said the operative, if he diddn’t ’av no card.

“So who can tell me where my delivery is?”

“No-one” shrugged the operative, “If you ain’t got your card”

The West Indian next to me in the queue piped up: “You can’t speak to him like that! We’re customers!”

“Too right”, I agreed, letting my stiff English reserve slip for just a second.

“No you ain’t” replied the operative, pointing at our comrade, “You just someone pickin’ sumfink up.”

Our gentle protestations had some effect, however, causing our operative to start addressing our customer Sir; as if repeating Sir, frequently, and in a sarcastic, patronising, dismissive tone, supplemented with only a modicum of useful information, would somehow make up for the complete lack of common decency, let alone customer service, that had gone just before.

As it became my turn at the front of the queue, our operative turned polite: “Can I help you, mate?” he asked.

As it happened, he could. But his mate? Maybe just because I’m a Londoner, I thought. And a white one, at that. This didn’t make me any prouder to be one. Maybe he moonlights as a cabbie.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004


“Excellent synergistic business opportunities”, I was told there’d be, between us and the sister company we’ve moved in with.

Yet our South African IT manager has just given me the lowdown that the Dutch MD who was forced to leave just before we moved in due to litigious circumstances arising with what transpired to be their only true client was (allegedly) siphoning company funds to sustain his young South American (alleged) hooker girlfriend’s lifestyle whilst his soon-to-be-ex-wife was (allegedly) threatening all and sundry and he steadfastly continued defending his (allegedly) frequently-absent Moroccan receptionist despite proof of her stealing then using Chinese colleague’s bank cards to fund her own (alleged) drug habit and that of her (alleged) dealer boyfriend and furthermore despite (allegedly) good staff leaving as a result of the inevitable fallout.

Future’s bright, eh?
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

  Poor old Ernold Same

One month at my new office, I’m settling in to a routine.

Whereas a month ago I either left my flat ridiculously early, or just a smidgen too late, for my connecting train, I now leave with split-second precision.

Whereas a month ago I jogged myself into a sweat to make the short tube journey to Waterloo, I now follow traffic and weather reports to allow just sufficient time to travel by bus instead if the weather is fine.

Whereas a month ago I left myself lunchless owing to the absence of any sandwich shops near my office, I now navigate around Waterloo’s Boot’s ‘meal deal’ counter with the ease of a ballerina, or sometimes even bring in my own food in to prepare.

Whereas a month ago I found myself frantically checking the departure boards to locate which platform my train was leaving from, I now know which platforms to patiently wait at for both my early and late trains.

Whereas a month ago I fought for space on the first carriage I reach, I now slowly amble up to the precise door which will facilitate an easy exit at my destination station’s gate.

Whereas a month ago I dreaded what I expected to be a nightmare commute, I now sit by the optimum window to take in a picture-postcard model railway-perfect view of Olde London and its magnificent riverside.

Whereas a month ago I was a stranger among my fellow commuters, I now recognise many, nod at some, and am confident it’s only a matter of time before the Putney Honey and I get it together.

Whereas a month ago I was wary of the twenty-minute walk awaiting me from my destination station, I now detour to amble through parkland; whilst plotting how to gatecrash the ‘Babe Bus’ that ferries nubile account execs to the sports media company next door.

Whereas a month ago I confusedly unwrapped scraps of papers with entry codes, alarm codes, PINs, DNA sequences, etc, to enter the building, I now calmly enter, recalling all aforementioned codes from memory.

Whereas a month ago I ignorantly fumbled for the light switches, toilets, mugs, photocopier, window locks, phone system and coffee, I now could moonlight giving organised tours.

So now I’m settling at my new office, I’m just not sure I like routine.
Monday, August 16, 2004


Author's Warning: Skip today's post in the interests of decency.

Count three. Rip perforation. Fold neatly. Repeat, four times. Place securely in pocket.

How we laughed and mocked my Norfolk friend:

“It’s my emergency bogroll stash” he defended, “I’ll be the one laughing later.”

He was acutely aware from past experience of the dangers: Two days of near-constant drinking. Regular intake of a rich mix of spicy food served from vans. All combining together to explode violently at the exact moment the on-site facilities run short.

Just forty-five minutes after eating my ‘Festival Curry’ (midway through ‘Walk Awhile’, I recall) I was forced to humbly eat my words:

“Mayday! Give me that emergency stash NOW!!” I commanded hastily.

As I pegged it to use our meagre supply, another friend rushed to the aid of a lone festivalgoer who had just fallen into some cowshit.

Returning a few minutes later, I was proud to see our good Samaritan had just about got the drunk to his feet: unable to stand straight, let alone carve a clear trajectory.

Yet I was in no fit state to take the moral highground. As my friends laughed at him I regarded him not so much a victim, more a similarly-afflicted comrade.

We watched him narrowly avert the police van then fall again by the tye-dye tent before his silhouette disappeared into the moonlight.

Eventually my friends turned their attention to laughing back at me instead, enquiring as to my wellbeing: “It’s no good” I shrugged, defeated, “I’ve got to leave. Nature’s not just calling again, but hollering.”

Half-hour later, saved by further supplies back at our tent, I left a voice message to reassure them: “Everything’s returning to normal. I’m refreshed, having binned the offending pants. Alas I shan’t be making it back for the encore.”

I may have missed ‘Meet On The Ledge’, but I was relieved just to go to sleep.
Friday, August 13, 2004

  Diff’rent folk, diff’rent strokes

It’s only a few hours to go now!

I know you’ve all been waiting.

Forget Glastonbury. Forget T In The Park. Forget Download. Because ‘Festival Season’ only truly started yesterday afternoon when Richard Digance took to the stage at the Cropredy festival.

It’s, having sadly missed this, only a few hours to go until we – as the avid readers among you will have observed – mark our arrival to watch the inimitable Earl Okin today.

For the less musically-initiated among you, Cropredy has long been the summer festival of folk-rock crusties Fairport Convention.

Growing up, inexplicably, it was always our festival of choice.

Through the age most of our Essex boy compatriots were popping Es in an illegal aircraft hanger rave, we were sipping mild in a field in Oxfordshire watching obese bearded men sing finger-in-ear styly whilst in full Morris attire.

…It’s going to be GREAT!

We’ll start by queuing alongside the Volvo estates to enter our field. Spend an hour putting our tents up, atrociously. Knock a couple of pints back sitting in the church graveyard opposite the village pub. Then wander into the grounds to immerse ourselves in the music par excellence, beginning with our Earl. And, undoubtedly, disgrace ourselves. Significantly.

This year’s festival is particularly poignant, because I haven’t been for a few years and – allegedly – it’s the last one.

The weekend will bring back happy memories: Richard Thompson reuniting with Fairport; Procul Harum’s ‘Whiter Shade of Pale’; Roy Wood belting out ‘I Wish It Would Be Christmas Every Day’ in the August sunshine. Not to mention Tall Stuttering Friend entering the Samaritans van before returning a few minutes later with the councellor’s number; the young hippy girls (probably too young) inviting us back to an uncomfortable family bonfire singalong; the sound of a tent being zipped behind which the words erupt: “Leave now!”.

Happy times.

Of course, our ironic laughing at the sad old men who make up the lion’s share of the audience will be diminished, now being sad old men ourselves.

But I’ll be raising my pint of mild to you as 'Morris On' take the stage.
Thursday, August 12, 2004

  Shot away

1800HRS: Depart work with m'lackey for bond-building ‘quiet drink’

1815-2030HRS: Chat & pints

2000-2100HRS: Watch footie

2100-2200HRS: Pizza & red wine

2200-2230HRS: “You’re my best mate”

2230-2300HRS: Over vodka shots confide in lackey considering upping sticks and travelling

2300HRS: Sambuca slammers

2300-2330HRS: Dismiss underground in favour of ridiculously expensive cab ride home

2330-0100HRS: Dick about online

0100HRS: See fit to send another email through the dating site

0600HRS: Awake regretting didn’t stick to a ‘quiet drink’
Wednesday, August 11, 2004

  Back on the path

No-one ever said the path to true love would be easy. But no-one ever said it would be a long, tortuous, rocky-surfaced, rat-infested, arse-wiping crackden of a back alley, either.

Yet despite my lack of dating news – as all four regular readers will be aware – since that first date, I’m still persevering.

This quietness has been for one simple reason: I’ve been too busy enjoying myself.

Which is good, and perfectly in line with my openly-declared mission to make a concerted, two-pronged effort of going out and enjoying myself, supported by ‘forced’ activities such as online dating.

But it’s been behind-the-scenes that recent frantic activity has been taking place:

First, after weeks of looking at the pretty (and not so pretty) pictures on the dating site, I willingly parted with £28.32 for 6-months membership (neither over-optimistically short nor soul-destroyingly long), which enables me to contact other people.

Second, I have taken the liberty of uploading some photos to aforementioned site, as I understand is protocol for most members wishing to partake in intercourse online and, as the repeated emails kept telling me, would guarantee my profile be viewed FIFTEEN TIMES MORE than average.

Third, I have thrown all caution to the wind and initiated contact with aforementioned members through aforementioned site. This, friends, is a milestone.

Love, of course, is a beautiful thing. Love can come at you in a flash, or slowly burn from nothing up to an inferno. Love is to be cherished, treasured, respected and nurtured.

So, whilst I hate to reduce Love to a series of statistics and soundbites, let’s take a first peek at the table, shall we? :-

Expense outlaid: £28.32
Emails sent to prospects: 5
Emails received back from prospects: Nil
Unsolicited emails received: Nil
Times my profile viewed: Nil
Cost-per-Date: N/A
Cost-per-Snog: N/A
Cost-per-Shag: N/A
Cost-per-Wife: N/A

I don’t want to seem anal about things but, as a moderately successful direct marketer, hope you agree this is a succinct, rational and appropriate series of metrics with which to evaluate my success – and in keeping with the carefree spirit of online dating.

Wish me luck...
Tuesday, August 10, 2004

  Are you talking to me?

Falling out of a closing bar, our cancelled gig long forgotten, Dorset Boy and I were lucky to flag a black cab almost immediately.

Cab drivers, and London ones in particular, are seldom known as shrinking violets who keep their opinions to themselves.

This cabbie was no exception, but lacked the geniality usually found among others.

Though happy to converse between ourselves, our cockney driver immediately waded in:

“Been anywhere good, gents?” he asked.

“Yeah, new bar with its own on-site brewery” slurred my Dorset friend.

With benefit of hindsight, this apparently innocent answer was a gross error of judgement, as opened up what was clearly our driver’s favourite topic of conversation:

“I like Yates’s Wine Lodges” replied our driver.

Yates’s Wine Lodges??!! The ‘wine’, and indeed the ‘lodge’, are misleading terms for what is, in my experience, a beer-swilling, loud, obnoxious, meat-market, hellhole of a pub chain.

He continued:

“But there’s too many blacks in 'em these days.”

’Ere we go, we thought. Dorset and I rolled our eyes at each other, anticipating the rant that was to come next:

“All the trouble’s caused by blacks. And none of 'em drink. Used to own my own bars, so I know what I’m talking ’bout. They all drive. So they can keep their weapons in their cars.”

Our suspicious looks turned to shock at this blatant racism. I attempted to steer the conversation towards another course:

“That’s odd” I said, “because the Yates’s I’ve been in often have fights between white blokes.”

But our driver was having none of it: “I know the local lodge’s landlord. Averages one stabbing every night.”

Dorset’s attempts falling on similarly deaf ears, we settled for apart from the occasional non-committal murmur completing our journey in stunned, awkward silence.

He wasn’t finished:

“And if it ain’t blacks, it’s gypsies. Had some in my pub once: served ’em, then told ’em to fuck off back to their caravan.”

Mercifully, we arrived at our destination within minutes, and rejoined the more moderate, tolerant and reasonable masses of Sarf Landan for a dose of some much-needed sanity.
Monday, August 09, 2004

  Not tickety-boo

Sometimes even the best-laid plans just aren’t meant to happen.

Towards the end of a diabolical week, I was pleased to have the Dorset Boys invite me to see Basement Jaxx play at historic Somerset House.

It had long since sold-out and the morning papers were hyping it as the must-see gig of the weekend. The weather was beautiful and the sky a crisp blue contrast to the hazy mugginess of previous days. Having enjoyed the Jaxx before I was really looking forward to their fusion of feel-good carnival, disco, funk and house whilst sipping Grolsch as the sun set behind the sumptuous surroundings. As we arranged where and when to meet, anticipation increased.

5pm, Dorset Boy #1 rings:

“Sorry mate, concert’s off.”

“What??!! I was just speaking to someone else, who’s still going.”

“When I say off” he replies, “It’s just off for us.”

DB#1 explains how DB#2 had booked tickets weeks in advance, but Royal Mail hadn’t delivered them, instead ‘returning to sender’. The ticket agency had reassured him a couple of weeks before the gig he’d just need to present ID to get in on the evening. Double-checking everything on the morning of the gig, he was told the tickets hadn’t arrived back at the agency’s depot. With Royal Mail confirming the tickets still ‘in transit’, the organisers simply wouldn’t let us in.

We were royally stuffed.

A shambles even our Football Association would have been proud of.

“Fancy a drink by the river instead?” offers DB#1.

“Love to.” I reply.

I rush-finish my work, and am on my way. Who needs plans anyway?
Thursday, August 05, 2004

  Musical mismarriages

“Hang on” interrupted my caller, abruptly, “I have to skip past this next track.”

I’d heard the soothing tones of Damien Rice in the background of our conversation. I’d bought the album, and liked it. (Before it went mainstream, obviously. So I like it less now. I am fickle). Pretty inoffensive stuff, I thought. Acoustic rock with strong vocals, strings, bit of brass, a gospel choir. What had caused my caller to take such hasty action, I wondered?

“The opera singer.” she explained, “Rock and opera. It’s just wrong.”

I understood immediately, as had been discussing the very same issue with a friend just a few days before:

What causes musicians who otherwise do so well, to then go and spoil everything?

I remember my heart sinking when Van Morrison paired up with Cliff Richard. What possessed him to partake in such a travesty? Staggering.

Yet there’s some musical pairings that are so bad they’re good. The conversation reminded me of another track I’d heard of quite staggering preposterousness. A cover of the Freddie Mercury/Monserat Cabelle duet ‘Barcelona’, it features housewives’ favourite opera singer Russell Watson collaborating with...well, let's just make that a prize to the first who guesses correctly by listening here.

Prepare your ears, friends. It’s just so wrong.

(Author's note: OK, this hasn't really worked, has it??!! I'd overlooked the patently obvious fact that a 5MB download would test the patience of even my most loyal readers. But will keep this abysmal Russell Watson/Shaun Ryder duet live for a few more days for anyone with the persistence to enjoy. If anyone knows of a link streaming this, I'd be most grateful.)
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

  Shit post

Some days are finger-lickin’ good.

Others are arse-wiping bad.

Needless to say, really, the last couple have been the former. Little irritants, but plenty of ‘em, highlights including:

First, I decide yesterday to wear shorts to work: the first day I’ve taken this liberty all year. The heavens opened, the A-Road outside my office transformed into a river. And the intense heat resulting from the storms turning my underground train into a sauna. Stood next to The Most Beautiful Girl In The World, she was unlikely impressed by my continually perpetuating sweat, nor that of the other lads cramming the carriage. She, alas, did not so much as perspire.

Second, no sooner had I bemoaned on another blog my lack of decent supermarket facilities, one of them closed. Safeway is poorly run, inadequately stocked, with indifferent staff, and necessitating a good hour out for even a few purchases. Budgen’s Express, however, is poorly run, inadequately stocked, with indifferent staff, but you can at least pop in and out within five minutes. Guess which has closed? Fuckers.

Third, everything technical is going tits up at work. Web, email, phone, you name it: it’s fucked. To cut a very long and tedious story short, prior to our office move, I’d encouraged the various IT managers (Affable Londoner at old office, who becomes a bit of a cunt when you need anything technical doing; Affable South African (no, really) at new office, who becomes a bit of a cunt when you need anything technical doing; Affable Brummie at ‘support’ office, who becomes a bit of a cunt when you need anything technical doing) to talk to each other beforehand. They each assured me this wouldn’t be necessary, it’d all be fine. It’s not fine at all. It’s all fucked.

I’m just thankful for you my dear readers for soldiering through a whingy, substandard post.

But we all deserve a moan sometimes.
Monday, August 02, 2004

  Bagel winner

Feeling too ill for inspiration today, I am instead privileged to announce the winner of Salvadore's Bagel Competition a couple of weeks ago.

I know you've been waiting.

So it's with no small amount of pride and excitement, and with a little tear welling up in my eye, to announce the winner is :-

Our Free Man In Preston, TIM for his nudey pictures story.

Salvadore has personally asked me to pass on his congratulations and (virtually) present Tim with his marvellous prize.

Unlucky service will be resumed shortly. Assuring you of our utmost attention at all times.
If an unlucky man sold umbrellas, it would stop raining; if he sold candles, the sun would never set; and if he sold coffins, people would stop dying.
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August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006

lucky dip
Bashed-out post
The great outdoors
First placement
Bashed-out post
Weekend's dilemma
Turn up for the books
Never discount it
Passport hell
Killing time
Helping hands
Quality time
Goin' Nunderground
In the country
Last night's first night
I winked at a girl
Pissed Blokes' Syndrome

from whence?

2005 tour
Galapagos Islands
Buenos Aires
ADDED! Colonia
ADDED! Montevideo
Lonely Planet's South America

ring things
«#Blogging Brits?»

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