Saturday, November 12, 2005


I've just been to pick up the keys to my new flat and sign the contracts. All very strange. Then I spent a while just going around the new flat suffering from change-related stress. Is the new place as nice as I thought? Is it worth the rent? Will my stuff fit in it? It's a strange feeling being in somewhere new (though I'm blogging from the old flat while I wait for the removal van to come - there's no internet access in the new place as yet and I can't transfer my olf deal to there as there's no NTL coverage which is a pain in the ass).

Everything is packed (almost).

It's a beautiful day too. Sunshine, scudding clouds, fresh winds and a rainbow. Perhaps this is a good omen - it has to be a better omen than the freezer full of defrosting junk food that I discovered in the new flat...

So it's all change. The removal man is a complete stranger called Alan - I've never met him, I don't know yet how much he is charging (it's a short and tedious story) and I'm not even 100% certain he's going to show up... I think today is going to be a 'challenge'.

I only managed to get a couple of hours off work yesterday afternoon so was up until about 2am packing - I didn't even get a chance to use my Little Britain tickets or go to the launch of the new biog of Anthony Burgess yesterday. Boo.

Oh well. I'm off to call 'Alan' (he could be anyone, I called a firm I found on the internet and because I had left it so late (i.e. 4.30pm yesterday) to book the van, he couldn't do it, but knew a man who could. Hence Alan). Fingers crossed.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Who'd a thought it - the Chinese Back Street Boys have spawned a host of imitators...

Here are a couple of the best ones:

Bored at Duke Boys with
Just Want You To Know -

See the comedy guy in the back ground - just like the original.

And then there are girls getting with it -
Anna and Megan get full on BSB...

This was probably an internet phenomenon about six months ago and I just missed it, but I still like it... There are even people doing impressions of the original and best as
party pieces...

Too exciting.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I slept through both alarms this morning and woke at about five past nine in a total panic. I would bore you with details of the amazing dream involving flying dinosaurs and coach trips that kept me asleep for so long, but even I have a remaining ounce of pity in my soul for those brave few who read this.

Anyway - my lateness resulted in a mad dash to JOB1 where I managed to be only 10 minutes late for a meeting. Result. I normally end up gazing out of the window in a gormless state of semi-consciousness while trying to decide whether I have enough time for breakfast until it becomes apparent that I've deliberated for so long that I'm late anyway - so at least I cut out the middle stage today.

At JOB1 until after 7 and it's a bit creepy late at night:

I am now in moving melt-down phase 1. I have sorted books and papers, thrown out huge amounts of tat and garbage (though I haven't had the heart to start on my record collection yet) and boxed up half of my life already. I need to book a removal van and then start calling the one hundred and sixty three organisations that know I live here to tell them that I will be living somewhere else soon. I made a long list in a moment of insomnia last week - and interestingly, the dry cleaner came out above the doctor on my 'must alert' list. If I am struck down by a terrible illness I will at least have a clean and pressed suit on. My mother will be relieved.

She would be less relieved were she to know that I derived a not insignificant amount of pleasure in taking the following photo:

Don't know why this should be the case - perhaps because the Police spend so much time and energy catching images of us all on CCTV, or perhaps not. I don't actually care... it just felt gooood.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Comedy Genius

I hearly forgot to post this link that I got from a friend the other day. It made me howl with laughter. Whoever they are, they should be signed up to front a comedy show asap...

I Want it That Way

Keep it playing to the end - it gets better and better.

apres moi, le deluge

Although I freely admit that the current weather conditions have little or nothing to do with me personally (I don't even smoke anymore, I don't have a car, I cycle most places although I can't quite bring myself to wash out cans or that sort of shit), I can't help feeling that at least a small fraction of the water being hurled from the heavens is directed at me. Each time I step outside it seems to rain just that little bit harder and change direction to get past my umrella... cuh.

See the Northern Quarter disappear behind a veil of water. It's a shame it couldn't wash away a few of the asymetrically coiffed fuckwits who hang around the streets moaning about world poverty while spending their parents' money on bikes even more glamorous than mine (did I mention I have a new bike? Oh, yes, just the odd time...).

Perhaps it's the coverage of the recent outbreaks of civil unrest in France that has the phrase turning in my head. I decided earlier today to write a considered piece on the topic, debating whether the violence is the inevitable irruption of repressed and marginalised desires in a state designed around the principles of reinforcing similarity, or the massed collaboration of criminal elements seizing the discourse of the victim within contemporary narratives of social cohesion. However, instead I will show you a funny shot I took while cycling through town yesterday.

I fear that stopping mid-lane to take shots of knob-gags for your blog does not appear in the highway code. Oh well.

The other very exciting news (the news that has stopped me blogging over recent days) is that I got the flat! I called the agency back to see why it hadn't gone from their website and was told that the previous people had backed out of the deal - I offered a tiny bit more money and got it. Hurrah.

I move on Saturday. Or at least, that's when I get the keys. Not sure I will be able to move all my stuff on that day. I have spent the last few days sorting out crap and throwing things away. I've sorted out 300 books to take to a charity shop. It breaks my heart, but I can't keep taking so many around with me, and I really haven't read most of them for years. What is it with books? I don't even have an O level in French but I have an ancient book on advanced French grammar that was rescued from the 'to be thrown out' pile twice before I gave in and left it there... It's just so pretty and evocative and full of marvellous things. I should stop there - I will be rooting around to rescue it if I thing about it for another second.

Here is the flat:

I will take pictures of the lovely view down the river when I move in and post them asap. Although I just checked the agent's website and it is still being advertised, so I will not believe I have it until I'm in there and the door is locked behind me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

two (hundred) for tea

Thanks to Wonkette for breaking the embargo and publishing the guest list for Charles and Camilla's White House dinner tonight.

It's all very well that the American Ambassador to the UK is there (that must be an expensive return trip) alongside the head of Walmart etc. But the really interesting people are further down the list...

Dr. Richard Merkin, Heritage Provider Network (Guest) -- aah. It's always useful to have a merkin at the dinner table, I find.

Mr. Andrew Cosslett, Chair, Duchy Originals, Chief Executive Officer, Intercontinental Hotels Group It's good to have the man who makes the biscuits close to hand. Perhaps he's after a contract?

Mr. Oscar de la Renta, Designer Mrs. Anne de la Renta, Vice-Chairman, The Metropolitan Museum of Art A straight fashion designer? I am shocked by the very thought.

Mr. Kelsey Grammer, Actor Is Charles in need of an emergency shrink in case the questions get too tough? Although I suppose he is used to being surrounded by closet gays (I mean Frasier - not Kelsey - although it is a bit of gay name...)

Mr. Robert P. Koch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Wine Institute Aaahhh. Mr P Koch. You'd think he might - ahem - eliminate the P before it was taken...

Mr. Red Steagall, Poet Laureate of the State of Texas 2006 Now what rhymes with 'foolish monkey-boy in charge of the world'?

The fun potential is almost endless...

League Division

Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who is more attractive, wittier, more glamorous and socially sucessful than yourself? Have you ever worried that even just being with that person is somehow letting them down? Have you felt that 'What on earth is s/he doing with me?' feeling?

I have that now.

My new bike is too good for me.

It's a Marin Novato and I am in love.

I know it's early days. We will get used to eachother's quirks over time. It will get a bit battered with use and I will shape up and dress more appropriately (no more flip flops, riding drunk or giving people lifts on the back). But will I ever feel good enough inside? It's a worry.

Oh well. This week has involved glamorous travel, high-powered parties and endless repartee with a glittering array of international wits. Well, a return trip to Warrington anyway.

Now I've nothing against Warrington in principle - but really, it could try harder. It seemed to be made of roundabouts and industrial parks with a few traffic jams to indicate the relative centres of commerce.

It hasn't even got the big pull of St Helen's World of Glass - which I can thoroughly recommend as a fun day out for all the family (blow glass, watch glass being blown, see a film about the many and unexpected uses of glass (replacement hips - who'd a thunk it)). The hours flew by.

It does have an arts centre in the shape of a pyramid though, which is a good effort I think you will agree.

Still no luck on the flat front. I think my dream flat is back on the market however, so I will try the estate agent again tomorrow and see if we can cut a deal over the rent. I want to live there quite a lot...

And it's farewell to David Blunkett.

I might actually give a (guide) dog's cock if he hadn't transformed from the people's champion into Vlad the In-Brailler (I know that's a bad joke, but it's late and really, I just don't care enough). I have a measure of sympathy for heartless hounding he has experienced over recent months, and I am genuinely impressed by his capacity to bang every willing posh bird within his radius while holding down a demanding job and extracting monies for influence across a wide range of business sectors. But it's not enough David.

Two words: Immigration Policy.

I hope you are ashamed of yourself.