Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Greetings from the TB ward

Salutations, friends. I am sick again. Am beginning to get a little annoyed with this. Those of you whom have known me for a while might remember that a few years ago I was forever getting ill, but in recent years things have improved a lot.

The Bank Holiday weekend was largely spent sleeping and looking out of the window at the sunshine, bemoaning the fact that we were both too tired and sick to enjoy the good weather. It was a glimpse of old age and retirement, and lordy, it wasn't pretty.

Thankfully, my ongoing obsession with all things Chris Isaak has been amusing me during this dismal time. He's the original American boy! The best episode yet has to be the one where he and his band get stuck down a bomb shelter underneath his house, with hilarious consequences!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Lovely 2 CU

Soundtrack: Supernature by Goldfrapp

I've been a bit quiet for the past few days. JJ was over in the Holy Land for a long weekend and instead of my imagined uproarious days and nights of excess in his absence, I was largely a very dull girl.

One highlight was going to Uncle Bob's Wedding Reception on Friday night. This was a club that I used to frequent a few years ago. I saw an early gig by The Darkness there once. So I arrived and the place was going off to the song I had the time of my life from Dirty Dancing...there was a bride, groom, and at least two bridesmaids in puffy dresses. Bizarre but good fun. I also saw Ms Patterson for the first time in about 18 months.

I did clear out our wardrobe (told you, dull), and not a moment too soon... the moths had eaten holes in at least two items of my clothing. Typically, they had made a meal of a cashmere cardigan...I suppose that fabric is like moth lobster. Which is almost a song by the B-52s...

It was great to see JJ after a few days on my lonesome.

The new Goldfrapp album puts me in mind of Scritti Politti's Cupid and Psyche '85. It has been polished to a very high sheen, but I'm not totally convinced that it's all brilliant yet. I had that feeling about their last album though, so it might grow on me yet.

Scritti were one of my teenage favourites. I adored Green's interviews in Smash Hits...he was (and may still be) cleverest man in pop. I have unearthed a funny guide to the band here, which may make you smile. Was shocked to discover that Green is now 50 years old! Wowsers. He's wearing terribly well.

Friday, August 19, 2005

20 Pierrots

I was out a couple of nights ago with some folk celebrating the return of Ms Doyle from the Antipodes. It was a pleasant evening, but one that was particularly notable for the bizarre musings of Pandaman. He's getting married in October and his upcoming stag do was being discussed - this is taking place in the North of England's Liverpool late next month.

Pandaman admitted to us that he had experienced a vision of sorts of the theme of this stag event...Pierrots. You may remember - these were the sad clowns that inexplicably came back into fashion in the mid-1980s.

He wistfully described a group of 20 Pierrots at Pier Head, looking out over the Mersey, before being taunted by a team of teenage goths. A lone Pierrot at the urinal, before getting beaten to a pulp. He even treated us to an impersonation of a Pierrot every five minutes. However, he felt very disturbed that he had permitted himself to have this unusual idea. God knows why, because I thought it was quite wonderful.

Pandaman is a musician and illustrator of album covers of note, and I'm very pleased to know him.

Ms Doyle was also on form and has promised to lend me her DVD of A Dirty Shame when she next sees me. This will increase my trash levels by some margin, which is obviously a relief.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


Did anyone out there know that Chris Isaak had a TV show?

I didn't, until I happened upon it at 4.30 this morning, having been woken up by JJ's coughing, and having two songs buzzing incessantly through my head (White Car in Germany by the Associates and High Fidelity by Elvis Costello...what was I saying yesterday about being retarded?).

The main plot featured Chris in pursuit of a clapped-out old car that he had recently sold. His new car was soulless, with heated seats and voice-activated locking that kept failing. It also had satellite navigation featuring the voice of one of an actress ex-girlfriend from LA. At one point he had an 'argument' with the sat-nav system about fishfingers, whereupon the system shut itself down. At one point the old car spoke to him in a dream - 'Chris - don't you love me anymore? I have a feeling that I'm not the only car in your life'.

A sub-plot featured Isaak's dopey bandmate, whom was trying to break a world go-karting record (he decided on this course of action after his friend had been crushed to death by a soft-drinks vending machine. Don't ask). He pitted his wits against a 13-year old boy.

Another sub-plot featured Isaak's manager. She had been hit in the eye with a coffee bean and was wearing an eye-patch.

Something that wasn't explained - backstage before the Isaak onstage sequences in the show, he talked at length to a naked woman who was being rotated on a circular thingy covered in blue fur fabric - she was pretending to swim.

As the cherry on the already glorious cake, the episode featured the mighty Sheila E, she of Prince's backing-band and 'The Belle of Saint Mark' fame.

I know what you're wondering. Yes, Chris did indeed get his old car back, but only after paying the teenage girl who bought it - in cash and in whimsical country songs - at her birthday party.

I'm typing this out here and I can barely believe it. Perhaps my Lamb Rogan Josh had been spiked last night?

Monday, August 15, 2005

Hey, Ebo - Ebo-nettes!

An occurred to me over the weekend that I am word-perfect at singing/'rapping' Malcolm McLaren's Double Dutch. This dawned on me while listening to Suggs's show on the radio on Saturday night.

This wasn't a big surprise, because the early eighties was the time when I began to really absorb pop music in a big way.

But I am beginning to wonder if I'm retarded.

Hello darkness, my old friend...

Soundtrack: silence, headphones on

This is the best way to give people the idea that you are too busy to talk to them.

Oh, the horror: Justin Hawkins of the Darkness has covered one of my most favourite songs ever - This town aint big enough for both of us by Sparks. It's an atrocity. I note with some disgust that the Mael brothers have cameos in the video. Russell, Ron, for gawd's sake, what were you thinking?!

The gasman thing didn't happen on Friday. The company in charge of the works called me up at ten past eight in the morning to tell me that they wouldn't be coming, and I flew into a rage (contrary to yada yada, I don't do Hulk-style outbursts very often).

Luckily, the day was not wasted, as I spent the afternoon visiting Mrs West and Oscar in Carshalton. This suburb was the old stamping ground of both of my parents, who lived just up the road on the St Helier estate. Proof, if proof be need be (copyright Brass Eye), that I am authentically 'council'.

Saturday evening was taken up with a family party, which despite my concerns beforehand, was actually quite good fun.

Yesterday we went to Spitalfields market, which was largely hell, apart from the Square Pies. Then over to see Mr Future World Funk at his homestead in Clapton, at a barbeque to celebrate his being given the all-clear from cancer. It drizzled, but the company was good. When we got back home we watched the first two eps of Lost, which is so up my street I'm practically living there. I can sense a Twin Peaks-style obsession brewing.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Bad mouth

Soundtrack: 13 Songs by Fugazi

Maybe the above isn't the most sensible choice for relaxing music when you've got a hangover as large as mine. Last night I was out with Circusfreak, Radish and Miss JoJo for a few drinks. Needless to say, a few drinks were indeed consumed, and then some more.

Today? Hmm, I feel like something a cat has coughed up. The evening was a very pleasant one. Hadn't seen Circusfreak in a month, so it was great to catch up.

In short, I had a splendid time.

While we were out, I was reminded of the phrase that we used to use at the theatre (I was obviously feeling nostalgic yesterday): 'Your P45's at stage door'. If someone said anything that was particularly close to the mark [see yesterday's entry], there would usually be a short silence before the phrase was uttered. To me, that will always be a timeless phrase.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. The Gasman Cometh, and I have been told to expect the engineer between 8am and 8pm. Just the twelve hours, then...another day housebound, a mere week after the last time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Reasons for silence

Soundtrack: The Great Eastern by The Delgados

I'm finding the whole blogging thing an interesting process, because it's making me very aware about editing myself and my reactions. You've no idea how hard it has been to keep tabs on what I'm saying and not getting carried away with bitching about people here. In many ways what you're reading is a very sanitised and positive version of me.

I think my skills at being bitchy started at the theatre, where I became the queen of the withering put-down. You try spending three hours a night watching a lame musical on cans (theatrespeak for headphones) with people watching the turns (theatrespeak for actors, although in this case we can't describe them as that under the Trades Description Act) prance about! Catty became a way of life, purely because you just have to knock people with monumental egos down. That's something I'd love to do more of where I am now, but an office is a whole lot more of a grown-up place to work than a theatre.

Or is it?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Touch me, I'm sick

Soundtrack - some stuff I downloaded off Napster five years ago (back when it was free)

Am I ever sick. I've been off work since Wednesday afternoon and I feel weak. My temperature won't stabilise - one minute I'm shivering, the next overheating. I'm improving, but it's slow. Here's hoping that the power of curry will shock it out of my system later.

In my time spent resting I've managed to consume a lot of bad television (about antiques, mainly) and have taught myself a couple of knitting stitches. Regarding the latter - I wanted to do something that I could focus on in-between napping and the antiques. It's a very gentle pastime, and one that I highly recommend if you are fidgety.

In a rare moment of feeling OK, I went to Kingston yesterday and was soon defeated by the place (as usual). One thing of note happened. I went to one of the charity shops and found one of my own books that I had donated to them a while ago. A strange moment, that, seeing my name on the title page (as I was one of the 100 people on my course whom owned that textbook, it made sense to mark my territory). It also reminded me that I graduated ten years ago this summer.

Watched Donnie Darko and Todd Solondtz's Happiness last night. Happiness was quite something. It was simultaneously the funniest and the most disturbing film I've seen in years. I've wanted to see it for some time and although sitting up til 1.30 this morning wore me out, I couldn't tear myself away from it.

Suspect I'll be heading back to 'reality' tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Teenage breakdown

Soundtrack - The Who Ultimate Collection

'The Seeker' by The Who always reminds me of my first couple of months at college in Exeter. We used to have a coffee bar with a vinyl jukebox, which we worked out how to play for free. Favourites were 'The Seeker', 'Badge' by Cream and 'Sowing the Seeds of Love' by Tears for Fears. The latter choice is naff, but I knew that even then. It isn't even their finest hour (Head Over Heels is. That's my last word on TFF).

Hearing any of the above-mentioned songs transports me right back to that time. I didn't know it back then, but those were what I'd now consider halcyon days. Three months later my Dad died and everything changed for good.

Anyway, that's more than I can feasibly go into here, so perhaps I'd better let that drop.

Our holiday is now booked for mid-end September. I feel a little giddy at the thought of it. I'm not very good at doing nothing, but I'm willing to give it a try.

Monday, August 01, 2005


Soundtrack: The Associates - Sulk

Monday again. And I am in a foul mood...the histrionics of the above album are suiting me well at present.

Was meaning to post here on Friday afternoon, but instead went to Regent's Park on a jolly. It was great on the whole (games of hoopla, Pimms and best of all, scotch eggs) but I had to leave when one of our younger compatriots lost control of her mouth (I think the brakes failed). It left me wanting to be properly deaf for the first time in my life - oh, to switch the volume down...

The weekend was OK. We did a bit of car booting where we bought some bad art, and we went for a drink with Merv yesterday afternoon at a nice boozer near where we live. I have also started to make a sock monkey.

I'm hoping that this week will improve. But at times like this I am always reminded of the old Damned t-shirt that Mr Lomas used to wear many years ago. Front: 'There's a light at the end of the tunnel...' Back: '...maybe it's an oncoming train'.