Thursday, May 29, 2003  

Eureka !

A blinding flash of light and the truth revealed itself to me. The phenomenon of all those bloggers who are suffering from a dearth of cogent thought. Chem-trails ! Some evil despot is poisoning our brains in an attempt to keep us all stupid and uninformed, beer just doesn’t do it anymore, too much restraint. Commercial aircraft are their delivery system, that’s why there’s a war on terrorism, to get us back in the sky so they can drop their chemicals on us. Mobile phone masts are being used for nefarious purposes also; they can track us by viewing the field distortion…….fuck me I sound like Jordi LaForge.

Who is this mysterious “They” ? And well you might ask. They must be a large fast food outlet, one with Scottish connotations maybe. The reason is simple, keep us stupid enough to eat the shite they peddle as food, and to see where we congregate so they can build another fucking “restaurant”. Maybe someone can explain to me why, in a world with so many hungry people, a fast food business is so powerful. It’s beyond my fucking comprehension. It’s not as if the food is vaguely edible, it tastes like chemical goo. Poisoning the mind and the body, soon we will be theirs, unless we fight. Get back in that fucking kitchen and make some proper food, stop feeding your face with mashed up cow shit.

So, what’s for tea then ? Ahm, well there’s bse in beef and lamb, there’s beef protein in chicken, salmonella in eggs, female hormones in fish, organophosphates in fruit and vegetables, aluminum in drinking water, all the soya is genetically modified and everything else contains gelatin.

“Do you want fries with that ?”

| posted by Simon | 3:19 am | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  

Life through thick glass.

I looked long and hard into the bottom of my pint pot, hoping for inspiration to jump back out and sit in my head. In fact I tried several times after first filling the pot with beer. I came up with this: Beer tastes good, several tastes better and the world looks odd viewed through the bottom of a thick glass. I'm not going to let this deter me from trying, it's in there somewhere and I will find it eventually.

So my lack of coherent thought goes on, I suspect others are going through the same thing. My problem is that the bouts of wordlessness are getting more frequent, and it leaves me wondering if this mind dump becomes too shallow will it be worth carrying on. During the time that I spend straining my brain like a constipated Gibbon, I'll keep reading the list on your right. Maybe a chance to evolve ideas conceived elsewhere will present itself, who knows. In the meantime I'm on nights all week, I've got my OU to study, the shop to help out in and several books to read. I can almost hear you shaking your head, all that input and no output ! I'll keep tipping my mind bucket and sooner or later something will dribble out into the ether.

| posted by Simon | 1:24 pm | 0 comments

Monday, May 26, 2003  

Trying to fill a blank mind.

I've spent all day updating the lifeboat site, it's almost complete. I did this for two reasons, firstly it needed to be done and secondly, I can't think of a fucking thing to post about. We spent Saturday night and Sunday in Manchester, we went to an amazing new bookshop in Stockport and had Sunday lunch at the Village manor in Uppermill. In the bookshop, after I had drunk my coffee, I bought a book of poetry and "Captive state" by George Monbiot. I could have spent a very large amount of money quite easily. On Saturday night I had another of those amazing kebabs that regular readers (ha ha) will remember me mentioning a few weeks ago. This time I have captured the gargantuan Turkish meat butty for posterity, here and in the photo's section forever more.

Right I'm off; tonight I will mostly be looking for inspiration at the bottom of a pint pot, cheers !

| posted by Simon | 10:39 pm | 0 comments

Friday, May 23, 2003  

New storyline.

For Coronation street.

Weapons of mass destruction found on the red reck, yanks bomb Weatherfield and everyone dies in a burning fireball of overacting. George Bush elects a new cast, one that reflects the western free lifestyle. A new format is started, with four quarters and in-program sponsorship by his daddies drinking buddies. Brave new storylines are plotted, tackling issues like illiteracy, drink driving and vote rigging. Writers are sacked; Larry Hagman is flown in to run Weatherfields new oil company. Show re-named "Dalastynation boulevard".

It could work !

| posted by Simon | 10:09 pm | 0 comments

Monday, May 19, 2003  


You are a black man; you are racially abused whilst doing your job, as say a council employee working amongst the general public. You grab hold of the bigoted twat and escort him to a nearby policeman, who arrests him for the abuse. During the inquest back at base, your are told that you acted inappropriately and shouldn't have grabbed him. You become irate and accuse your boss of condoning racism. You later apologise for losing your temper, but are then given a written warning and told that under no circumstances must you act the same way again, both in the racist matter and the way you spoke to your boss.

What do you do ?

| posted by Simon | 9:22 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, May 18, 2003  

My name is Simon, and I'm an e-bayaholic.

I've just spent six hours on e-bay, buying memorabilia for the shop. We've got some smart stuff. I also couldn't resist some oriental art for our house, and some City memorabilia for "the shrine" in the spare bedroom. It's too easy to spend loads of cash, but also very enjoyable and extremely addictive. I decided enough was enough when I found myself looking at a two year old Toyota landcruiser.

My short-term memory is getting worse, I thought of something to post whilst sitting in the shop on Saturday afternoon, but now it's gone. I'm considering starting to carry around a notebook and pen. The next question on your lips will be "Simon, why don't you just write a diary ?" Fair question I suppose, but where's the fun in that ?

| posted by Simon | 9:09 pm | 0 comments

The Unknown Citizen - W.H. Auden.

(To JS/07/M/378/ This Marble Monument
Is Erected by the State).

He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace: when there was war,
he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of
his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

| posted by Simon | 12:37 am | 0 comments

Thursday, May 15, 2003  


 are you the evil one ?    May 21st - June 20th.

Gemini's are - Daydreamers, left brained, clock-watchers and partial to an Apricot.

This month you can tell your boss to stick his job where the sun don't shine, that's right, you're going to win the lottery. Make sure you dispose of your illicit biscuit stash before you leave; Margaret from accounts has suspected you for a while now and would love to have something on you. Ensure that your cruise isn't on a ship with "Queen" in its name, it'll sink. Other than that you can start to plan your life of leisure. Brian is a good name for an architect, and I would advise against Afghani interior designers.

Do: Remember who your friends are.
Don't: Call your new house Dunroamin.
Say: "Three numbers ? A tenner ? Fuck !".

| posted by Simon | 9:34 pm | 0 comments

The first time ever I .....

Got a job.

In true egalitarian style we decided that whoever got a job first, the other would stay at home and look after the taxdodger. Tracy got a job in a video shop, so I stayed at home. I had a wonderful summer, it was 1984 and the taxdodger was approaching his first birthday. We spent long days wandering about looking at plants and animals and people and all manner of things. One day we set off on the long walk to the shop where Tracy was working, it was a glorious summer day and we were taking Tracy her dinner. On the way back home I was pushing the taxdodger in his buggy, thinking that if I had enough cash we could have caught the bus home. I looked up from my ponderings and found that I was standing outside a big factory, I had passed this way many times but knew nothing of what they did. Before I realised what I was doing I had walked into the reception and asked for a job. I stood and waited while the security guard made a telephone call. He must have taken one look at me, 18 years old pushing a kid in a buggy and took pity. He offered to look after the taxdodger for a minute while I went to see the manager. I agreed warily, and made my way into an outer office. I was asked, by a nice lady, to go into the managers office “He’ll see you now love”. The interview consisted of this:

Manager: “How old are you ?”
Me: “18.”
Manager: “You married ?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Manager: “Kids ?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Manager: “Can you read and write ?”
Me: “Yeah.”
Manager: “Do you mind working with Asians and Italians ?”
Me: “No.”
Manager: “Start Monday, be here at six.”
Manager: “Hundred pounds a week, three shifts.”
Me: “Thanks.”
Manager: “See you Monday son, you won’t be thanking me then.”

I told Tracy I had got a job, when I told her the wage she couldn’t believe it, it was more money than we had ever had. She binned the video shop the next day. The following Monday I started work at James North and Son making rubber gloves, and the manager was right………I never thanked him for it.

| posted by Simon | 1:33 am | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 14, 2003  

An open letter to Robbie Williams.

I must take exception to the lyrics of your latest song; you whinging self obsessed fuck-pig. If you have issues you need to resolve see a psychoanalyst, don’t presume to think I give a flying rats arse that you think you’re scum, and I have never seen anyone selling razor blades and mirrors in the sodding street.

You have more cash than the majority of the British public combined, yet you still contrive to be unhappy. Take time out from your champagne lifestyle, roll off the latest drop-dead-gorgeous-blonde you’re shagging, stand on the balcony of your LA mansion and try to imagine the people who have real problems. The ones with debts, the ones with no jobs, the ones who are alone, the ones who have no hope. I’m sure that if you think back a few years you’ll remember those things from your life before fame and fortune.

You see you haven’t really come undone, you’ve just got stuck up your own arse, something we are all guilty of from time to time. Get down from up there, get a grip of yourself, wake up and smell your fucking affluence.

If at some point in the future you feel the need to express your self-flagellation in song, try to refrain from inflicting it on the top 40, stick it on a B-side.

| posted by Simon | 4:34 am | 0 comments

Tuesday, May 13, 2003  

Mark Thomas.

We expected about an hour of stand up about the ilisu dam campaign, what we got was three hours about the war in Iraq. Everything from the marches, to getting arrested for sitting in the road. A story about a bloke in Edinburgh who made himself a banner from an upside down US flag, with a swastika over the stars and "FUCK BUSH" written over the stripes. He got arrested for inciting racial hatred; I think the police just make it up as they go along. A very sad story about trade union members in Colombia who occupied a building in protest against privatisation, they are being shot by the Para-military, who are armed by ? You guessed it, Dubya. The best bit of the whole show was the white ribbon campaign. There are a group of people who are attempting to get Blair and Bush in the dock at the International Criminal Court. So far they have failed, but the money from buying the white ribbon will allow them to persue the matter to the full extent, and I for one can't wait for the day when the evil duo are made accountable for the atrocities that have been carried in the name of big business.

There was the obligatory heckler, who got shot down big style. I've never understood why someone would want to try and outwit a professional stand up comedian, who is stood three feet higher than they are, attached to a microphone and PA system. We also got the one who adds a running commentary on the whole show; she was sat right behind me. Muttering about his pro -choice stance and his use of the word "cunt". I managed to tune her out by the end of the first half hour.

There have been extra dates added to this tour, and it's the best £12 I've spent in years. If you want a couple of hours of knob gags don't bother. If you want three hours of top class stand up, with the bonus of learning something about how the powers that be fuck us up the arse on a daily basis, then this is the show for you. Book your tickets now, give something to the white ribbon campaign and have a fucking good laugh in the process. Here's the program

| posted by Simon | 11:32 am | 0 comments

Sunday, May 11, 2003  

A new coat of paint on this lonesome old town.

There are only so many web safe colours to choose from, so after two days of arsing about I went round some blogs and nicked the colours that I liked. If you see one of "your" colours here, ta !

I have also changed my desktop image from the temptation of St Anthony by Salvador Dali, to one of these. Nostalgia has me in her grip, after listening to the match on the net and realising I'll never see another match there I got a bit maudlin. City contrived to make it an anti climax by losing to an under strength Southampton side with one eye on next Saturdays cup final. Having said that, 9th position and an almost certain place in the UEFA cup is a fantastic achievement in our first season back in the Prem'.

Tomorrow we go to see Mark Thomas live in Whitehaven; the show is titled "After Ilisu". I'll give you a full report when we get back.

| posted by Simon | 11:53 pm | 0 comments

The first time ever I…..

Went to Maine Road.

Now seems like a good time to tell you about the academy, considering it hosts it last game today against Southampton, we move to Eastlands for the beginning of next season.

I'm going to apply a little poetic licence here. The first time I went, my only memory is the Wagon Wheel. The first time I took an interest and was bitten by the City bug was 13th of October 1979. We played Nottingham Forest and beat them 1:0 I think Kaziu Dayna scored. As we walked out of the dark tunnel into the afternoon light of the stadium all the hairs on the back of my neck stood up, it was an amazing feeling and one that still gets me every time I go. We sat in the Platt lane just to the left of the goal; my dad thought that the Kippax was a bit rough for me. I remember looking over and seeing the seething mass on the terrace, and the songs that came from there, urging everyone else to get behind the team. I eventually ended up with a season ticket for the Kippax, my love affair started that day and ended one Saturday against Chelsea, when I was one of the last people to walk out of that old terrace the day it saw it's last game. When we scored against Forest the noise was unbelievable, I looked up at my dad and saw him giving the V's to Brian Clough. In the seventies City played Forest at Maine Road whilst Manchester was hit by a bus strike, there was a capacity crowd and Cloughie said he would crawl on his hands and knees up the M6 for support like that. If only ! I went home after the game buoyed by our victory and certain that I wanted to go every week.

| posted by Simon | 12:05 am | 0 comments

Saturday, May 10, 2003  

The best days ?

Today I received the course work for my first dip in the Open University waters. The booklet advised that I prepare a study area, so here it is. As you can see it contains all the requirements of a good study area, natural light, pleasant muted colours, a clock to ensure I don't work too long, and of course a glass of red wine to help the grey matter to digest all this new information. I think I'm going to enjoy being a student.

| posted by Simon | 10:14 pm | 0 comments

Quiz night.

Years in prison: 110.5 Potential fine: £2000, that's how dodgy I am.

You approach Satan's wretched city where you behold a wide plain surrounded by iron walls. Before you are fields full of distress and torment terrible. Burning tombs are littered about the landscape. Inside these flaming sepulchers suffer the heretics, failing to believe in God and the afterlife, who make themselves audible by doleful sighs. You will join the wicked that lie here, and will be offered no respite. The three infernal Furies stained with blood, with limbs of women and hair of serpents, dwell in this circle of Hell.

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell - The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

[table removed due to it's fucked up nature]

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

I also passed the secret service test.

All the above curtesy of Stuart.

| posted by Simon | 12:48 am | 0 comments

Friday, May 09, 2003  

Oh bugger !

Whilst I was leaving random comments on other blogs a thought suddenly struck me. Do people expect a reply to their comments in mine ? I always thought that comments were rhetorical, and now I'm left wondering if people have been coming back to look for non existent replies. If you have, sorry.

Another annoying side effect of nearing forty, I had a brain wave, then five minutes later it was gone. Can I remember it ? Can I fuck !

| posted by Simon | 11:45 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, May 08, 2003  

Lovespuds !

There was no feather ruffleage today; all the managers had fucked off to Milton Keynes, best place for 'em if you ask me. I'll bide my time, I have a one-to-one with the MD very soon and I will be armed to the fuckin' teeth.

I wish that I could work in the shop full-time, it's so much fun. You could make a good fly-on-the-wall docu-drama-soap out of it. I'll tell you about some of the regular characters later, especially after I get to meet Mr. Blue.

I have been asked to pass this site on to people in my address book, but I liked it that much I've stuck it on here. It adds credence to my theory that food and sex are inextricably linked. It should grow with time (ooh er missus) so stick it in your favourites.

Time for Tiramisu.

| posted by Simon | 10:27 pm | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  

Change management.

I feel a bit malevolent today; I may have to ruffle a few feathers. The status quo needs to be re-jigged sometimes, it makes things more interesting. I have a theory that it makes life seem longer, I'll explain.

Whenever I travel to a new place the journey always seems long, when you become familiar with the route it seems to pass in no time at all, I think that's why time seemed to go so slowly when we were young, because we were experiencing things for the first time. As we get older and stuck in our ways, most of the things in our life are familiar and therefore time whizzes by. I feel the need to introduce new things, to slow down the relentlessness of the passage of my life, so I'm going to randomly introduce some chaos. First I think I'll have a kip. There you go, the first of my random chaos events, procrastination !

Tomorrow it will be time to do some feather ruffling, random chaos event #2.

| posted by Simon | 9:44 pm | 0 comments

Monday, May 05, 2003  

Road trip.

Living in Cumbria has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages. Cumbria is pretty much a culinary hinterland; so on Saturday night when we fancied a kebab we couldn't have one. That's why on Sunday morning we drove to Manchester, ok we had other business there but the kebab was the clincher. We waited until about nine o clock last night, then ordered a special mixed kebab on naan. These kebabs are the size of a small child, so we cut it in half and shared it. If you live in or around the Manchester area go and get one, you can find them at the Mottram road food spot in Stalybridge, I would advise that you get the medium chilli sauce, it's just right.

Motorway driving can get monotonous, so we decided to get off early, south lakes to be exact. Big fucking mistake ! We got stuck behind a wanker in a Bentley turbo doing 20 miles per hour. I joined the queue about 15 cars behind him, so it took a good twenty minutes to get past. It was a little old geezer behind the wheel, taking in the scenery instead of watching where he was going. Twat. It wasn't just Bentley man, the roads are full of shit boxes (caravans) at this time of year, and most of them are on my side of the road, and the only word to describe their driving style is "tootling" yes fucking tootling. Fuckers !

The cure for my elevated stress levels ? Well that's easy, red wine and sex !

| posted by Simon | 8:32 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, May 04, 2003  

Free association.

From Unconscious Mutterings by way of Ali.

1. Slob::odan Milosevic.
2. 60::Seconds.
3. Personals::Column.
4. Famous::Name.
5. Cancer::Charity.
6. Internet::Policy.
7. Previously::Unknown.
8. Moonshine::Washing line.
9. Ants::Decks.
10. Check::Out.

| posted by Simon | 12:25 am | 0 comments

Saturday, May 03, 2003  

Photo blog ?

A while ago I promised you some photos of the shop, then my digital camera bit the dust. Tracy bought me a spanking new one for our anniversary, so today I finally got around to having a go. It's the canines' cajones and I'm probably going to make it look like a box brownie, let's hope the subject matter will carry it. I think I'll post them all on the photo's page, but for now here are four of the ones I took today.

1. Inside.

2. Inside again.

3. Outside.

4. Outside again.

| posted by Simon | 9:19 pm | 0 comments

Friday, May 02, 2003  

I don't normally do these.

But it's music related, and I can't resist foisting my musical opinions on anyone who'll listen.

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like.

Ka-ching - Shania Twain.

2. Name two songs that always make you cry.

What is life - George Harrison.
I will - The Beatles.

3. Name three songs that turn you on.

Fever - Peggy Lee.
Rock your baby - George McCrae.
Danger (high voltage) - Electric Six.

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good.

Higher than the Sun - Primal Scream.
Eight days a week - The Beatles.
Get up get out - The Adventure Babies.
Sit down - James.

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without.

Golden brown - The Stranglers.
Gin soaked boy - Devine Comedy.
Fiesta - Pogues.
Riverflow - Levellers.
The heart of Saturday night - Tom Waits.

| posted by Simon | 10:56 pm | 0 comments

The first time ever I .....

saw your face.

Thanks to Zed for the idea of this and the upcoming posts. (sorry for doing your head in), I was reluctant to talk about the first time I got arrested, so I played dumb. Not difficult I know. That story will come in a later instalment. This being the week of my 20th wedding anniversary I thought it would be fitting to tell you about the first time I laid eyes on Tracy.

It was Saturday the 8th of September 1973, the day after we had moved into our new house on a big council estate in South Manchester. A new house and a new friend, he called for me and said he would show me around. We ran across the building site opposite our new house, through Mrs. Banisters garden, and onto the next street down. We emerged from the garden to be confronted by two girls, who my new friend promptly introduced me to. It sounds silly for a kid to be introducing you to other kids, but that's what happened. "This is Jackie, and this is Tracy" "Tracy, Jackie, this is Simon", then she smiled a smile that is still capable, after nearly 30 years, of lighting up the world. I'm not going to pretend it was love at first site, I was 7. The fact that I can remember it so clearly is enough for me, that first smile will be in my mind forever.

| posted by Simon | 9:44 pm | 0 comments
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