Monday, 31 May 2010

This is Houston, a picture taken some years ago in Las Vegas.
I was lying in the bath just now and from the bath you can see a work of art I truly treasure but probably qualifies as no art at all. In fact it comprises four separate works (as seen from the bath). First is an altar piece of ten porn stars at 10x8 we have known and loved if only for a few seconds. At least we bloody well met them. Some are famous, like Christy Canyon, Houston and Sunset Thomas, others are not, like 'Butter'. They are of course dutifully inscribed with adoring exclamations. Next, top left, is Julie's pic of the empty stage at The Palomino strip club in Las Vegas, below that, a framed copy of my first Mayfair magazine, and below that a framed copy of Rolling Stone from 1975 with of course Mick and Keef on the cover looking 'elegantly wasted'. When I wonder what the hell life is about I lie in the bath and look at those pictures hanging on the wall and think- probably that.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Julie's just informed me I have a Facebook site. News to me. How extraordinary. Never heard of most of the people who seem to be my friends.
Meanwhile, drowning in an ocean of occasionally amusing essays.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Then Julie mentioned ....The Great Train Robbery.
Stevenage. Funeral. Lovely bloke. dropped dead of 'anxiety' (a condition I assure you I totally empathize with) Crematorium up on England's green and pleasant; chimneys cunningly disguised as oast house (Essex Design Guide triumphant!) At this moment it's important to remember - Julie's family traditionally divvy up in to either coppers or villains- salt of the earth types. Now there are people from all over the world at this funeral, but especially Australians (!) I can't tell the surf dudes from the Hatfield clubbers- amazing similarities in bleached hair styles. Maybe a few onlookers are also cunningly disguised (see below).
At wake, we get stormed by the Special Branch. Man who read emotional eulogy hauled off. Seemed he's jumped bail for Australia years ago and thought PC plod might have 'forgot'. After all, it turns out it was only a minor altercation involving a baseball bat or two which translates, in Stevenage (as far as I can see) as 'he got involved in a fight'. Much consternation amidst family but half of them seem, well, sort of, used to it.
Back in Bethnal Green we realize our lives here are positively bucolic, almost parochial, largely because we don't charge up and down the A1 all the time in 4x4's listening to Sade remixes disturbing our psychic orientation. In fact, what was only 'this morning' felt like about six years to us.
So, the moral of the story is, if you are criminally inclined, please abandon sentimentality- because that's when they nick you. Also, beware of suburban Britain and Australia.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


I learnt yesterday evening that I had actually seen NIRVANA; that I had been in close proximity to the mighty Dave Grohl. Apparently it was at SOAS just before 'Nevermind' became what it became. Wow!! I thought, because the only thing I remember of that evening were the thighs of a certain lovely 'Chantal' (I hope she is basking in .....wherever she will undoubtedly be basking in....I was a lucky guy). Christ!! I thought, how things can change in a moment, how something happens after nothing, how you never know what greatness lies beyond that slogging SOAS gig. There you go, that's something to keep you going. And I wonder what other significant events I've missed.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Alright, I'm just sick to death of these twats on TV two nights running talking about the glories of eighties pap pop ('I'm just obsessed with eighties album art!!!') Please give me strength!!! The only decent album is the essential DARE. We all understand this, the rest of us, actually, would be into the Sisters Of Mercy, but Sisters fans (as I've previously noted) didn't end up as idiots in charge of our TV, because....Sisters fans have less crass sensibilities, and get fat in Wetherspoons pubs instead....thinking .....booom didy boom diddy boom diddy boom...MOTHER RUSSIA , Mother Russia, Mother Russia going down down down!!!!! (just like Sheffields idiotic museum of pop) Arses. Just think who commissioned these programs!!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Drive by Truckers mighty fine (The Dirty South) but will probably appeal to the oldie cool people. Many things mighty fine, like Keef's 'Main Offender'. Sorry no pictures, just buy the records and drink the beers on the balcony to the setting sun.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Well well, I post this up with an enthusiasm for poetry and all things beyond the ken of so called decent folk, those who would have us....bla bla. It's a lovely picture taken by my pal Nick. The composition is unusual. I would like (somewhat optimistically) to say Rem Koolhaas's evocation of the 'Raft of the Medusa' comes to mind if you are thinking architecturally, but of course you shouldn't be. Note, my wife , smiling, upright, is in the middle, other girls are laughing, because they are all enjoying themselves. Makes you think maybe..

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bugger Bugger Bugger, day lost, life thrown away, general hopelessness, urgent emails regarding idiotic crap, dear dear me. Obviously the weekend was too much- St Albans first, 80th birthday, not good. Family; should abolish them. Far too many people people driving around in cars and selling insurance. Sunday- rejoiced to return to London, Chelsea score eight! Unbelievable- so consequences extreme. Today? May fashion a sausage. Bollocks.

Friday, 7 May 2010

I realized something extraordinary an hour ago. This was the last day of my teaching year. I will start teaching again late september. The time between is entirely devoted to examinations (squabbling of one kind or another) plus a holiday to get over the squabbling and do some work (I don't count student work as my own work) plus forward planning, meetings meetings and more meetings which will get us nowhere and more meetings besides. Now of course you think 'lucky bastard!' but I'm thinking 'what insanity!' Also, we lost maybe three weeks teaching doing even more examinations a whisker ago just after Christmas. I'm not sure that if you want to educate 50% of eighteen + year olds in university, examining them like scientists like this is exactly the way to go.
Thankfully Angie was removing her clothes as I had this Pauline moment.
I am delighted to find Gordon Brown staging the most champion comeback in the name of being able to call a bigot a bigot. That is not the same as enjoying vast administrative idiocy, I just want to shut down Eton.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Much recovered, it's time to rock again. It' s ELECTION NIGHT! I am not cynical about the election and I even accompanied my elderly neighbour to vote. Then I scurried back to play some good old fashioned rock and rock (at volume) in anticipation of something I'd no doubt be asleep for. However, since I'm RECOVERED, I bought a bottle of JD which I shall consume at will. JD turns you into an instant rock fan, or rather, inclined to rock, there's a curious sign system working there. But then there's that awful moment when you have to make that choice; to SELECT THE BEST.
I'm not ready to admit my choices yet. BUT I WELCOME YOUR OWN IF YOU ARE IN THE MOOD...
and by the way

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Looking at Heston Blumenthal makes me worry about Jamie and Gordon. Heston is a man who understands food as tasty carbon atoms. In a world where we are encouraged to romp through the fields in search of sausages from Sainsburys or to shoot our own snowgoose in the name of authenticity, Heston is a marvel. If he were 1960's sculptor he would be Robert Smithson - he wonders about the very nature of things. Meanwhile (have you noticed?) he consistently makes food that LOOKS LIKE SOMETHING ELSE! He is not only Robert Smithson, he is Walt Disney too! Last's night's '70's Feast' took Noddy Holder rather too obviously back to his schoolboy childhood by evoking memories, not the fact that this is a lovely carrot from bla bla.
The point? Heston exposes the processes of industrialization, for this is how companies make our food, and he exposes how cheaply and crappily they do it too, because, by comparison is Jamie's cuisine any better for you than Heston's? I doubt it.
Been ill, this is the kind of stuff you can think up when your ill.