The Fight Starts Now, Right After Mummy’s Made My Supper


You’re reading a blog written by a bloke who seems to be one of the few who has yet to watch the Kony video. I was forwarded it by The Incumbent, who had in turn been sent it by her son. I didn’t watch it. My daughter asked if I’d seen it ‘yet’ (presuming some sort of inevitability about me watching it).  I hadn’t, and I haven’t. She should know me better than that by now.

I dunno if my complete lack of bovveredness about this latest in a long line of bandwagons rolling by is due merely to my growing awareness of my position standing on the wrong side of the age-gap, my long-held and well-founded deep suspicion and mistrust of social networks and their ensuing campaigns, or whether it’s the fact that this really does seem like a very old story indeed to me. Don’t get me wrong – it is a horrific-sounding story, and one which has been covered endlessly by the quality press over the years. You know the quality press ? They’re the lot who’ve been labelled as useless and corrupt thanks to Levenson Inquiry. For those reading this from the Twittersphere, you’ll find the quality press on the shelf in the newsagent ( that’s the shop next to the laundromat) below Heat Magazine and the Glee fanzines.

Maybe it’s because ever since I witnessed those middle class teenage wankers ruin a perfectly enjoyable and effective student demo last year, including throwing fire extinguishers off buildings at the coppers below, I’ve been less than impressed with the present crop of activist. Pater must have been jolly miffed with them when they returned home for evensong.

Then again, it could be my opinion that citizen journalism is a dangerous, un-policeable threat to well-researched, fact-checked and verified copy (this blog aside, of course), or maybe it’s because there are a million other things happening in the world to worry about, starting with Syria, the invasion of Iran, missiles from Israel, Banker’s corruption, and the disbandment of the NHS. Working my way down the list from there, past Scottish Devolution, which colour hat the Queen will wear at Ascot, the Downton Abbey plot and who’s going to win Masterchef until we arrive at the fate of Joseph Kony.

These views won’t of course be universally popular, but there’s something grating to me about the Teeny Tots of the Twittersphere presuming they can change the world cos they know how to shorten an email link and can use the letters OMFG with impunity. Labeling someone a “Douchebag” or calling each others efforts “Awesome” does not a New Model Army make (by the way, that’s the last time you’ll read either word here).

And there my thin and badly thought-out argument rested. After all, I haven’t actually seen the film and you wouldn’t expect one so level-headed as I to attack something I haven’t seen, would you ? Then I watched Charlie Brooker last night, and he has saved me from ever watching the sodding video. I never knew the film-maker was, in fact, an evangelical, bible-bashing, doucheb… there, you nearly got me at it. Turns out there is more to these videos than just saving little children.

Thanks Charlie.  Not further questions, your witness. Oh, sorry, did I disturb your Facebook session ? Oh never mind, let me know what you think if and when you manage to get out of bed. And do hurry up, your mum’s made lunch.

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Now Let’s You Just Drop Them Pants.


I watched Deliverance again the other night. I’d forgotten just how great that movie is. I’d also forgotten that Jon Voight wore the Movember moustache and not Burt Reynolds.  And poor old Ned Beatty. It reminded me of a trip I took to through Wales once. Bloody terrifying. I got stuck in a pub with a whole bunch of  primitive-looking locals. I never thought for one minute they wanted to bugger me, but there was an alarming moment when I was sure they were about to perform close harmony singing at me. Soiled myself. Squealed like a pig. I’m not going back into that God-forsaken wilderness ever again. Cardiff, I think it was called.

Anyway, watching the movie did get me wondering: How in the world could you better  Dueling Banjos ?

And I’m still wondering.

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Disgusting of Tunbridge Wells


My god I’m fat. I’ve got five suits hanging upstairs, none of which I can get anywhere near. Seeing my body in the bathroom mirror doesn’t make for pretty viewing. I now have my own post code. My own gravitational pull. I’m thinking of getting an all-over body tattoo of a tall, thin bloke.

It’s incredible how much weight you can put on when you spend most days five yards away from the fridge. Five months off work and the temptation of the kitchen cupboard is too great for one so weak. When you’re at work, scuttling to-and-from the tube, running around the office and jumping up and down from your desk to grab a cup of tea you presumably burn up enough calories to allow you the occasional visit to the West Cornwall Pasty Co and not pile on the blubber.

I’m one who delights in the pleasure of the odd medium chicken and vegetable, a cup of potato wedges, washed down with a couple of packs of M&S millionaires shortbread and for years I’ve managed to keep at my fighting weight of two stone heavier than I should be. I’ve never had to resort to taking the stairs instead of the lift, donning lycra and peddling into the office on a Boris Bike (just don’t, ok?) or wasting perfectly good pub time in the gym.

By the way, what is it about people (of either gender) who go to work in a suit and trainers ? If those shoes you’re carrying in that bag of yours hurt too much to walk half a mile along a pavement to your office then DON’T FUCKING BUY THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. Suit and trainers ??? Trainers are to be worn with jeans or shorts, not your best pinstripe or sharkskin. You don’t look cool, you don’t look trendy, you look like a complete and utter berk. You’d look less ridiculous in a pair of flippers

See what I mean ?

Anyway.

Yesterday we drove down to Royal Tunbridge Wells, Georgian spa town, home of the angry Daily Telegraph reader and for one night only, venue of “An Evening with David Lloyd”, former England cricket player and coach, now Sky TV cricket commentator. He’s on tour with his ‘stand-up’ show of wit and wisdom of the great game, recounting hilarious anecdotes from his playing days, poking fun at himself and the great players of yesteryear (yes, you’re right, you’d have loved it). I’d syringed myself into one of the few remaining shirts I could actually still button up, got The Incumbent to help me into my jacket and I rolled myself out to the car, taking care not to let my thighs make too loud a swishing noise as they rubbed together. The Missus also helped me into the driver’s seat and plug in my seatbelt – I’m finding it harder and harder to bend around to either clunk or click.

Tunbridge Wells was a disappointment. A homogonised shopping centre here, a rather shabby yet still celebrated Pantiles there and a dirty great hill in between. We tried to get food in a few pubs (sidestepping the ubiquitous Wetherspoons, of course) none of which did food (after 3pm ????) and barely sold beer but did a very tempting line in teenage abusive drunks. Mmmmmmm….. vodka redbull on a monday evening. Luvverly. Having retreated to an outlet of an Italian chain of eateries, we devoured the meal placed in front of us and watched the poor sods fresh off the London or Hastings train, trudging their way up the steep slope to their homes, maybe taking in an exciting branch of H&M or Paperchase on the way.

But wherever they’d been and wherever they were going one thing was clear to me: There they were in their M&S wool suits, with their backpack across their shoulders and Nike Shox on their feet, scaling the last peak of the day to their loved ones; and there I was with a dripping wedge of Pizza Rustica hanging from my mouth in between toothpicks. They were getting natural exercise and keeping trim where I wasn’t and I wasn’t. But were they happy ? Who can tell ?

I hear stories of doctors in Red China who have suggested regular exercise can lead to a fuller, healthier and even longer life. But these are the same blokes who reckon rhino horn gives you the …er… horn, right ? So opinion is divided on the matter, I reckon. If there’s anyone who knows the damage regular exercise can do to the human body, you’re reading him.

Reversing into a parking space on our return, I couldn’t twist my gut around enough to see what was behind me, so I relied on my mirrors. I promptly crunched hard into an invisible lamp post. This was getting ridiculous. My stomach was not only affecting my wardrobe and my breathing patterns, but now it was impeding my driving which, in turn, meant I was knocking lumps out of The Incumbent’s motor who would therefore soon surely start knocking lumps out of me.

So that’s it. New regime time. As soon as I get out of bed I’m going to catch a cab up to the health food shop in the village and see what they have to tempt my taste buds. I’m hoping for sugar-free M&Ms, diet pies and low fat lager, but will settle for Guinness Light. I might even put my trainers on. If they still fit.

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The Rock Hitters


Well what did you expect ? A sporting contest ? A great spectacle ? A fair fight ? It was a fight but it didn’t look very fair to me. Last time I saw anyone drop-kicked in the chest Kent Walton was commentating on it. I, like so many others, turned up at the pub to watch it, not giving a monkey’s who won, just as long as I watched a great match. Ok, ok, so nobody wanted Arjen Havey Robben to win, but apart from that I was pretty uncaring as to the final result. By the end I was pleading for the bald Tyke with the whistle to send any or all of them off, and to be fair to Mr Webb, he did his level best. If that was soccer’s showpiece I think I’ll start watching showjumping or women’s tennis (no, not really).

So I woke up this morning feeling pretty flat (silent ‘l’), in need of something to cheer me up. The sun had disappeared after a week of sweltering weather here in Railway Cuttings, my body aching like buggery from my sporting excursions on Saturday (yes, I survived) and still no signs of any work on the horizon. Still, there was cricket on the telly today, and the Open Golf Championship is only a few days away.

So, I turn the tv on for the cricket, except there isn’t any. Rain in Birmingham had delayed the start of the England vrs Bangladesh match. Since you ask, it’s the deciding match in a 3-match series, which on Saturday saw The Tigers beat England for the first time ever. Saw the highlights on Sunday morning and it was a terrific encounter, full of passion, guts and sportsmanship with a fantastically entertaining finish. A bit like the football apart from the passion, guts and entertainment. It was also conspicuous for the lack of chest-high attacks by the wicket keeper on the batsmen.

So with no sport to broadcast, SKY reverts to lengthy chats and analysis and serveral, long commercial breaks. I notice HSBC have re-released that great advert where the Russian washing machine salesmen is sent to India to find out why the company sales are doing so well down there. Superb ad, not least for the music, so I went searching for it. Meandering my way through Itunes, various forums and Youtube I bagged myself Eena Meena Deeka by Asha Bhosle (bear with me) which got my feet tapping, with the occasional Bollywood sideways nod of the head (currently one of the few movements my frail body will allow). The lad in HSBC’s ad agency who found this deserves a house point. (Now there’s a job I could do.)

But the real prize was the video below. There’s so much to enjoy here, from the trumpet which sounds suspiciously like 3 clarinets, to the magnificent performance by the singer, called Kishore Kumar I believe. He out-Ronnie Barkers Ronnie Barker. Never mind The Bay City Rollers or the Flip Flop guy, this is a true classic. I’ll be singing it all day, but I’ll do myself a mischief if I attempt the dance.