Monday, September 25, 2006

She's a 20th century girl, holding on for dear life

It's been an eventful few days, what with one thing and another.

I went out on my hangover (as outlined in the previous post) to drink more with DL, The Bell of the Ball and Ms. Allsop, ahead of the latter's departure to another hemisphere next week. We started the evening in Trader Vic's and drank large cocktails in strange receptacles (including 'man-sized goblet' and 'fishbowl glass' - it was a bummer I didn't get to have the warm cocktail that was served in a mug in the shape of a skull. Another time). While we were there, two members of Girls Aloud arrived with a lunkhead Welsh presenter from Channel 4. The former seemed like little dolls, with tiny waists (and tinier skirts). The latter I found completely unattractive: just what it is about men who can barely string a sentence together? From there we had some delicious tapas and then some more to drink. It was a fine old evening.

The following evening, off to fashionable West London to the Westbourne Studios for Ms. Vivi and Carlos's leaving do. Here's a blurry shot of the glorious venue, which has been built directly under the Westway and provides a home for various creative/artistic enterprises (as well as a superb bar):

The only problem with this picture is that it doesn't show the ceiling of the place, which is the underside of the flyover. We had a circular bank of leather sofas to lounge on and some lovely tunes to hum along to. We'll see Vivi again before she goes to Rio in November, so it was hard to feel sad about her departure just yet.

Yesterday, Simply the Wests came over with their lovely children. We ate a huge dinner and threw some bread at some ducks, which is always good. I had a chance for a brief chat/whinge with Mrs. West about various things, including us needing to go out on the razz together.

This week seems to be much less busy. I am gearing up for the Lost finale tomorrow, which I'm awaiting feverishly. And then there's the small matter of getting out of my job, which needs to happen soon.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The smell of repetition really is on you

Soundtrack: Hot Chip


I have a hangover. On just two pints of lager! Last night I was out with Young Radish (whose blog appears to have vanished, due to inactivity) and Ms. Robinson to check out some comedy at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern. We saw three acts, one of which was fairly bad so I'm not going to devote much space to him - needless to say, tired gags about how getting stoned is quite funny didn't light anyone's fire, and he died.

However, we did see two rather excellent female performers doing their thing.

Shazia Mirza is a female, Muslim comic, and she made me laugh like a drain. Very near the knuckle at points, but also very clever. 'Shazia, are you coming out tonight?' 'No, I've got things to do at home. Like bouncing pennies off my hymen'. Also lots of digs about white women being slappers and some good suicide bomber gags. Everyone was scared to laugh at those, at first.

Mrs Barbara Nice headlined and made me laugh just as much as she always does. Stagediving to Iggy Pop! Quoting from Take a Break!

Aside from the acts we all told each other some jokes, which was almost as funny as the acts. Some great Jewish jokes from the Radish and lots of Indian grandmother anecdotes from Ms. Robinson - 'Why do you get so tall?!! No-one will marry you!!'

Off out tonight for more drinks, and on Friday for more. I'm tired.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm five minutes ahead of my time

I just wanted to draw your attention to a couple of excellent blogs, while I was thinking about it:

Do you come here often? written by Rhodri; writer, erstwhile keyboard player for Scritti Politti, and one of the most entertaining bloggers about.

Click Opera: written by Momus; yes, that Momus. This is so well-crafted, it almost defies belief.

Monday, September 18, 2006

You can keep ya Costa Brava

Soundtrack: The Associates

Golly, things have been busy recently.

We have returned from a brief sojourn to the Kent coast - Broadstairs, in fact. It's very nice there. You can cover it in less than a weekend, the adjective 'sleepy' was invented for the place. A couple of things struck me:

Everyone seems to have a dog. Which is great until you realise that the picking up of poop doesn't seem to be happening as much as it should. This is quite infuriating: I think in recent years there have been huge steps forward on this front in general. Perhaps there's something about the seaside that makes people abandon their usual practices, or maybe it's the residents who are defaulting.

Margate, Broadstairs's neighbour up the coast, is a terrifying place. We walked there over the cliffs for something to do and came away thoroughly depressed. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't the high volume of abandoned buildings and teenage girls with tattoos on their tits. The central feature of the town is a derelict amusement park. I should say that it looks nothing like this (the cover of a great album) . The one saving grace of this excuse for a place was a charity shop with a high volume of 1980s vinyl on offer at knock-down prices. Proof indeed that somebody in Margate had great taste, for approximately six years, two decades ago.

We had a really pleasant weekend in all, but the shine was taken off by a long journey back from the coast. Bloody trains, etc.

Lots happening this week. It would seem my social life has been resuscitated.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

You will forget yourself

Soundtrack: Magazine; CSS

Yesterday evening I was chatting to a young pal about the events a year ago, when Mrs Green left my place of work and I inherited her job. A year on, it feels an alien sort of place without her. So, what have I learnt in that time?
  • Meetings get way less exciting the further up the ladder you go - hard to imagine, but true.
  • Interactions with problematic people on the same level as you become fraught, and underlying tensions underscore your every dealing with them.
  • Being able to do your job well means that you become invisible. Yet, the smallest error you make is jumped on.
But mainly, I can't enjoy a social occasion any more, for fear of drinking too much and telling people what I actually think about them/the company/everything. Net result is, I am way less frank than I want to be.

The last year has been more curse than blessing, put it that way.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Is it art or is it arse?

Sondtrack: Clor

Two incongruous things at Waterloo this morning.

1. A Eurostar train with a plate announcing 'The Da Vinci Code' on it. Nice little advertising opportunity, I thought, as I schlepped onto the concourse. I gather this is a popular book and film based on the demented ravings of a Roman Catholic splinter group. Ace.

2. A middle-aged woman with a tattoo of the Picasso Dove on her arm. This made me double-take. Why would you do that to yourself? And does the estate of old Pablo now own copyright on her bicep?

I had a conversation with my allotment buddy David the other day - you just don't see people with lovely old anchor tattoos anymore. It's all poncey Celtic bands and cartoon characters these days. Come on, Britain! Raise your disfigurement game!

Friday, September 01, 2006

My blood is working but my heart is dead

I've just received some texts from Sister Number 2. So much for getting away with it, as detailed in my last post. I think they are inviting me to call her for a discussion.

A question that I have to ask myself is, do I really want to get a load of abuse over the phone? The short answer is no.

Blood, thicker than water? Answers on a postcard please.