Thursday, March 31, 2011  

Late of Pablo Fanques' fair, what a scene

We’re on the list for Radio 1s big weekend concert in Carlisle. As it stands I think we have around a 1 in 50 chance. The site crashed there were that many people trying to register.

It’s on Carlisle airfield so let’s hope the weather stays nice, if it doesn’t it’ll be a windswept mud bath. I wonder where Gaga and the Foo fighters are staying?

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

Wednesday, March 30, 2011  

It’s like a jungle, sometimes it makes me wonder

This is pure class, better than lamebook. You’ll lose hours.

| posted by Simon | 11:17 pm | 0 comments

Sun is red; moon is cracked

I have of late - but wherefore I know not - lost all my mirth; and indeed it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory, this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o'erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appeareth nothing to me but a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

Stress is a killer, and it creeps up on you like a ninja. It is also one of those afflictions that no one admits to having, no one wants to admit they can’t handle the trials and tribulations of life at the sharp end of the rat race, and no matter how many times you say you aren’t in the race, you are.

So you get home after work, all tense and wound tighter than a tight thing, what do you do? Booze, comfort eat, kick the cat, cigarettes or weed? Try this instead….

Get a milky drink, Horlicks or chocolate will do.

Fire up you puter, turn on the sound and open two tabs in your favourite browser.

Go here in one tab, and here in the second.

Sit back in your chair and just listen.

If you want to you can try belly breathing and guided imagery to just tip you over the edge. But I guarantee you will be chilled.

As you sit in your state of nirvanic euphoria, your mind may wander to places you haven’t been for a while, like old films or places……

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me— nor woman neither, though by your smiling you seem to say so.

| posted by Simon | 10:29 pm | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 29, 2011  

I feel as sharp as a carving knife

I’m having good fun with Pushnote, it’s finally created a use for twitter. In fact it’s that good I’ve put a twitter logo down on your right because I’m going to start using it again. Pushnote is a great tool for sharing links and commenting on net stories, techy stuff and of course arty things. It’s a bit like a party in an empty house at the moment, but it will be excellent.

| posted by Simon | 9:48 pm | 0 comments

Well there’s a small boat made of China

I was sat playing chess last night and my elbow started to hurt. This puzzled me because I hadn’t done anything to warrant any pain there. I had noticed in January that it was hurting, but put it down to my elbow being incredibly pissed off that we had come back to a mini ice age from our temporary home in the Caribbean. I like the warmth, it suits me. In true bloke style I told Tracy my elbow was hurting…. “what’s the weather forecast for tomorrow?” she said. I checked and it was cold and rain. “There you go” she said.

It appears my elbow is a weatherman. I’ve named it John Kettley. It couldn’t be that woman with the huge gob, she’s got weird hands, and it couldn’t be the bloke on the Sunday BBC weather, his head is far too big and freaks me out. John Kettley, to my knowledge, is the only weatherman to have a song named after him, so it had to be him. It’s pissing down as I type this and John is aching.

To try and counter the effects of the weather I have decanted myself a rather large glass of single malt. It’s too cold and wet to go and have a cigar. Roll on summer.

| posted by Simon | 9:30 pm | 0 comments

Monday, March 28, 2011  

Thought I oughta tear the curtain down

At some point in early January, as the post-Christmas dearth settled around my neck, I lost a couple of hours inside the BBC website. During my befuddled wanderings I came across the regional councils page, and as fate turned her gaze ever so slightly in my direction, they were recruiting. A few minutes of random thoughts on an electronic application later and I had applied. I then promptly forgot about the whole experience and went about the rest of January with the usual mix of seasonal affected disorder and Victor Meldrew style grumpiness. Then in mid-February I received an email from the BBC informing me that I had been selected to attend a short listed interview at BBC TV centre in Newcastle, in early March. They sent me some stuff to read and a DVD to watch, the interview would be an informal group discussion about the aforementioned DVD. I was also told to watch some regional programs and make my feelings about them known to the group. The DVD was an episode of “Come fly with me”, the series by Walliams and Lucas.

We had a day out in Newcastle, after lunch at Carlisle’s brand new Nando’s. The interview was at 6pm so we had a wander round Eldon Square first. At this point I must complain about Newcastle’s ridiculous one-way system. We drove in circles for twenty minutes around the city centre, passing the train station three times, before stopping and asking a nice police lady. In true Geordie style, instead of telling us where to go she told us to follow her. We followed her back round the city centre before taking a left turn we had missed at least three times, and there was Eldon Square. I didn’t get a chance to thank her as we were in traffic and she drove off, but what nice thing to do.

Eldon Square made a nice change. Tracy bought me a pair of Kurt Geiger shoes, blue suede ones. I was very chuffed. I left Tracy there and made my way the one and half miles to the TV centre for the interview.

As I sat and waited in reception it occurred to me that I didn’t have the foggiest idea what I had written on the application form, I would just have to hope I didn’t get quizzed on my answers. I needn’t have worried, the interview was more like a village hall debating club, everyone was very nice. It passed very quickly and before I knew it I was back at Eldon Square to pick up Tracy.

After a detour around the Gateshead ring road we just made it to Harry Ramsden’s for fish and chips before they closed. We drove home, the car smelling of fish and chips, and listened to Stuart Maconie reviewing the life and times of George Formby. It was a grand day out.

The BBC, being what it is, had told us that it would be a month before we found out which of us had been selected to sit on the council. I’m waiting with baited breath.

The shoes are the most beautiful I have ever seen.

| posted by Simon | 9:11 pm | 0 comments

Before the ocean was blue

This is new and very interesting. I installed the plug-in, and with ten minutes it seemed like the best thing since sliced bread. Besides, Stephen Fry is behind it so it must be good.

| posted by Simon | 5:10 pm | 0 comments

Sunday, March 27, 2011  

Falling through liquid air with music everywhere

The Crowes have departed for pastures new, or the Crow equivalent of pastures, roofs probably. The peace has been deafening.

I feel comfortable back here, I know there have been some false re-starts, but this time just feels right. I’ve altered a few things, added some stuff and deleted the dead blogs in the list. I’ve added some new ones and some old friends who have moved to new addresses. Things are different and technology has driven things in other directions. I prefer to manage my blogroll manually, old school. Happily the content of blogs is what I want, not how shiny or new-fangled it is.

I still have things to say, and Facebook isn’t the best place to evolve ideas and sow seeds. Twitter was fun for about a day but I lost interest. I’m a waffler and limited characters wasn’t doing it for me.

I have all the old comments from YACCS but absolutely no idea how to import them. I can code html by hand, I know hexadecimal colour codes from memory, but the code that blogger uses has always stumped me. I think for the foreseeable future there will be a lot of zeros on the older posts… in fact there may well be a lot of zeros on the new ones, who knows.

Nine years tomorrow since I first blogged, how time flies and how we all change.

plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

| posted by Simon | 6:23 pm | 2 comments

Saturday, March 26, 2011  

I can make it longer if you like the style

My book is now available on iPhone iBooks. You can read a sample before parting with your hard earned 99p.

| posted by Simon | 10:28 pm | 0 comments

I got caught in a coloured shower

So, it’s finished. After six weeks of fun, laughter, tears and the occasional cross word, the journey has finally come to an end…. Rob & Timmy won.

Yes, I’m talking about C4s Coach trip, and it was compulsive viewing. Apparently that was series 6, but I hadn’t even heard of it before this version. Living in Workington we were really hoping Hillary and Terry would win, but the lads deserved it. The star of the show was Brendan, anyone who can pull off short and fat with such aplomb is alright in my book.

We actually went on a coach trip a few years ago, but it wasn’t like that one. We went from Cumbria to the Rhine valley on a coach with about 40 coffin dodgers and a tour guide that looked like Cripin. We asked the nice lady at Cumbria newspapers, who we booked with, if it was full of “old people”, we were in our late 20s I think. She assured us it wasn’t so we paid. We got on the coach to be presented with a group of pensioners who were already wrapped up in blankets and fast asleep. Luckily we had persuaded Tracy’s sister and her partner to accompany us, and soon the beers were out and we were having a laugh, much to the dismay of the sleeping codgers.

Germany was great and we had a very good time, causing a riot on the way home when the rest of the coach found out we had been to a castle and had a great day on very little money, and they had all paid a fortune for an organised trip to the same place. Cripin was less than pleased with us.

I would do it again, but not for a TV program.

I’m now hoping C4 don’t do another series, it wouldn’t seem right. I’ll have to find something else to watch before tea now.

| posted by Simon | 12:59 pm | 0 comments

Friday, March 25, 2011  

You were only waiting for this moment to arise

It’s so easy to anthropomorphise.

It’s that time of year, when the daffodils start to bloom, the blossom hangs along the bough and the little woodland creatures start fuck each other like… well like Rabbits. These activities aren’t confined to ground based creatures, the birds are at it too. This brings me to the birds in question, Crows. There has been a power struggle in the vicinity, and the Crows have been ousted from their preferred roost by a mob of delinquent Seagulls. The Crows, in turn, have ousted a rather timid group of Starlings from their nest site in our eaves. The problem we have is that Crows are a fair bit bigger than Starlings and have been busy remodelling the cavity between our dining room and the outside wall. Like feathery scroats, they are bold because they know I can’t fly after them… damn their intelligence. We had only a short window of opportunity to block their entrance before they nested and laid. Tonight the hole is blocked and their nocturnal philanderings will remain, like the rest of the furry hoard, outdoors.

I should explain. The dining room is actually now my office, I annexed it in the summer of 2009, and it’s been getting steadily untidier by the day. The noise of the Crows digging and pecking was becoming annoying. Couple that with my tinnitus and I was ready for a nervous breakdown. The Crows mocked me, waiting till I sat back down and started working, before sneaking back and starting up the jack hammer again.

Observing the whole thing, like some kind of aloof broadsheet critic, is the lonely Wood Pigeon. He’s been here for around three years, and in all that time has never had a mate. He must watch the Crows and Seagulls as they flit from cluster fuck to cluster fuck, like feathered Casanovas. The lonely Wood Pigeon remains, like Poe’s Raven.

Like I said, it’s easy to anthropomorphise.

| posted by Simon | 11:09 pm | 0 comments

Thursday, March 24, 2011  

You gotta swat them flies and chain up the dogs

I arrived home from college to be greeted by the mouth-watering smells of homemade ham and lentil soup, fresh bread and a ginger cake. There’s something primal and comforting about coming home to a warm house with hot food waiting. If god existed he would be in his heaven, and everything would be right with the world. Now I’m pleasantly full and the house smells great.

I’ve sold another copy of my book, that makes… two copies sold. Nine people have downloaded the free 15% but only two have gone on to buy the full thing. I have got a review though:

This is a brilliantly light hearted look into the ultimate holiday from hell. Adrian Mole meets Benidorm and captures the phrase "it’s funny because its true" at its best.

One step closer to being a travel writer.

| posted by Simon | 9:51 pm | 4 comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011  

colder than a gut shot bitch wolf dog

Overheard in a hospital waiting room today...

“just make sure you keep it clean, and don't rub it too vigorously”.

Good advice I think.

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

Tear the promise from my heart

I’m resurrecting the Bluetealeaf sponsored, thinking monkey for the stupid. It’s like a seeing eye dog, but for cretins.

The first recipient of this highly sought after honour is….. George Osborne.

A budget for growth. It’s like planting seeds on a piece of ground you’ve just dropped an A bomb on, then putting weed killer down and expecting green shoots. All the cuts that have been implemented over the last few months will result in increased unemployment, putting more strain on the welfare state and swallowing up any savings they have made. If you want an economy to grow you have to have people spending. Saddling students with crippling debts and removing education maintenance allowance will have a huge effect on our education system. The removal of funding for workplace training will mean those who are on the bottom rung of the work ladder won’t get any higher, and those that are unemployed won’t be able to learn skills that would get them a shot at a job.

This may sound a bit radical, but allowing those evil bankers to have their bonuses would maybe have meant that they would have spent the money on stuff, like a shiny new conservatory, keeping their local joiner in work, or a nice new car. Remove all incentives to work here and all our skilled people will sod off abroad, all our university graduates will go and work for multi nationals. We’ll be left with a windswept hinterland populated by hooded scroats, littered with dog shit and the only ones working will be behind the counter at one of the three million Greggs bakers.

Is that what you want George?

Here’s your Monkey.

| posted by Simon | 9:43 pm | 0 comments

A hatbox full of drum.

I’m off to Workington community hospital today to see if I can get my tinnitus, at the very least, diagnosed. There’s little chance of repairing it, twenty odd years in industry has left me with a constant high pitched tone on both ears. It’s worse in the dead of night with no background noise to dampen it, it gets loud and feels as if it’s actually in my brain. The normal background noise of everyday life does keep it quiet most days, but it’s getting worse.

Pink noise is supposed to kill it, but I have tried a homemade version and it didn’t work. Let’s hope the specialist can suggest something else other than sticking something long and pointy in there and having a poke around. Hearing is the one sense I would never give up, I’d rather be blind than deaf, imagine a world without music.... it doesn’t bear thinking about.

I’m going to listen to Paolo Nutini before I go, it should chill me out.

| posted by Simon | 10:01 am | 0 comments

Tuesday, March 22, 2011  

Put the vice grips on my mental health

This is first class….

Fuck me Cathy, has’t been out on t’moor? It’s proper brass monkeys out theer. You’ve been lookin’ for who? Heathcliff? Not that big fuckin’ ponce. He’s a cocknocker, and you’ll catch your fuckin’ death….

Oi ‘eathcliff, where the fuck have you been, I’ve been all over lookin’ for you…. Never mind the fuckin’ rain. That’s it, I’m marrying Edgar, you’re a knob.

| posted by Simon | 9:56 pm | 0 comments

All these places have their moments

It’s almost nine years since I started this place, but it’s over four years since I paid it any real interest. A lot of my old links have become electronic dead ends, people move on I suppose. My old comments have gone the way of many of the old blogging tools, it seems like so long ago. The world has turned and we’ve all got older.

A potted history of the last four years….

Tracy became an applied psychologist, Taxdodger started paying tax, and now pays more than I do, I started my own business after leaving my previous employer, I’m a bit fatter and now take the occasional cigar with my booze, there has been sadness and joy, new life and those we won’t see again. Time has moved inexorably forward one second at a time and shows no signs of slowing.

My blood is still rapidly increased in temperature by politicians, scroats, fuckwits, and all manner of celebrity tosscocks, especially those who think it’s acceptable to whore themselves for a multitude of useless shite, hawked during the advert breaks. More on this later.

I still despise cushions and butter beans, and turned incandescent with rage by the sound of a hoover.

I still love Manchester City, Tom Waits and a host of arty stuff, and I love a good old rant.

| posted by Simon | 8:46 pm | 0 comments

Pin your ear to the wisdom post

It's been that long I had to reset my password. Lots of stuff has happened, water under numerous bridges, and some of them burned. I'll clear the dust and get everything working again, I fancy another go at this.

In the meantime I've written a book, and sold one....

| posted by Simon | 5:26 pm | 1 comments
a good book
tres bon
my sites