Hot. Drunk. Smelly.


These are momentous times:

1.GB win more medals at an Olympic Games than any Submerged Country since Atlantis won a Team Silver and two individual Bronzes in Synchronized Drowning at the Carthage Olympics of 204 BC.

sochi_hot_cool_yours

2. Meanwhile. just up the road (about 1400K) in Kiev, Government forces clash with Nationalist protestors as skirmishes and street battles turn very nasty indeed. The last time we heard of the Ukrainian Nationalist movement they were helping the Nazis butcher our Russian allies during WWII, which was good of them. I know half of Eastern Europe and the Baltics sided with Hitler, but at least most of them nowadays have the good grace to apologise for it (even if they don’t mean it). Not this mob. They’re proud of their history. Europe seem to be eager to help out and welcome in these Nazi collaborators — or the Ukraine Independence Party, as we might call them. Seems to work quite nicely.

The Ukrainian Biathlon Team unveil their New kit for Sochi 2014.

The Ukrainian Biathlon Team unveil their New kit for Sochi 2014.

3. I won £25 on the Lotto last night. (Chicken Dansak me up !)

4. Charlton beat QPR yesterday and are still in the FA Cup, at time of writing. (Yes I know this should have got top billing, but there are a couple of subscribers out there who, for reasons best known to themselves, care little for the Addicks. I know, go figure.)

Elsewhere, the Incumbent and I traveled to the newly-opened West London Everglades to visit a recently discovered branch of the family. For years now, my Leader of the Opposition has known deep down that there was someone out there, somewhere, who shared a common interest in alcohol and 80s music, and was as soppy as she was. After a long search of hostels and hospices of the English speaking world, we finally met up with Jack and Daniel, two warm-hearted, foul-mouthed, bourbon-swilling party animals, Owners & DJs at RadioFvckOffUCvnt, and now a little sister and a dirty great brother for my other half.

Not quite Torvill & Dean. The Ed takes to the Ice (and lemon) with Jack (Daniel's upside down under the optic, just out of shot).

Not quite Torvill & Dean. The Ed takes to the Ice (and lemon) with Jack (Daniel is upside down under the optic with The Incumbent,  just out of shot. And focus).

We DJ’d, ate, sang, danced and drank the days and nights away, all weekend long. I’d been dong my very best since Christmas to shed the odd metric ton and it had been going swimmingly well up to that point. I still couldn’t get into my original Speedo Salopettes which had brought me so much success at Sarajevo ’84, but I have dropped a trouser size or two and can even button my socks up. It all went wrong last weekend. The Environment Agency called round to complain about the increased water displacement since I’d devoured that 2nd litre of gin and that extra helping of Sweet&Sour Chicken Balls.

One afternoon (I forget which) Daniel drove me to a local hostelry which was full of sad drunks, scruffy women and barmaids which ignored us. It was like being home again. We must have made for a strange couple. The Tall one (Daniel stands over 7ft 3″) ordered and drank half a diet coke (he doesn’t do beer and a litre of Bourbon was out of the question as he was my driver for the afternoon). As for the Short One, I hadn’t touched a beer this year (honest—too many carbs) and decided this was a good time to correct matters. 3 pints of Stella and 17 minutes later we were ready to go home to renew our assault on the European Chinese Takeaway Mountain, as well as assuming our position on the starting line of the the Olympic Freestyle Gin Swigging event.

It all seemed a good idea at the time.

The only thing that  could have possibly gone wrong is for more people to arrive and turn it into a party. Which, by an odd coincidence is exactly what happened. At my tender age of 49 and and 4 months, I am ill-equipped to handle a head-to-head 48 hour binge, let alone compete in a mass Gordons-and-Tonic-Fest with two of the Great Bon Viveurs of the civilised world which, as my luck would have it, was exactly who turned up to give us a hand getting drunk. More dancing, singing etc, until I ran the white flag up the pole and retired to someone’s bedroom. I still don’t know whose.

The Ed wakes up next to Daniel after 48 hours of carnage.

The Ed wakes up next to Daniel after 48 hours of carnage. HOT,SWEATY,FARTY.

As a twenty-something, then a thirty-something, I spent many a Sunday morning waking up in a strange bedroom/lounge/wardrobe, in some part of Kent or London. Everyone else having made it to their homes the previous night, but me stubbornly refusing to leave the party until the last bottle of Cizano Bianco had been finished. Now, being nearly a fifty-something, it was clear it hurt very much indeed. I woke between a big bloke and a very hot radiator. Or was it a big radiator and a very hot bloke, I am not sure. I do know I had 3rd degree burns down one side of my face from the radiator, giving me a look uncannily like Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters. And I ached a lot. And I smelled. I didn’t remember drinking Gin though my eyes, but that’s what it felt like I had done.

Having delayed our departure until most of the poison had left my body, and having said our goodbyes we crept off down the M3, heading for the M25 at the speed of a 2-Man Bob which had lost it’s skii-raily-slidey things underneath (you didn’t know I was such an expert, did you?). The Incumbent, presumably acting as break man, remained in the crouched position all journey. Driving like Mr Magoo on Mogadon, I had no intention of needing her to slam on the anchors. It was an eery feeling. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven at 31 miles an hour on the M3 but you get to see so much more, if you can open your eyes. At the moment you’d get to see Sir Ben Ainslie practise for the next Americas Cup on a new lake where London used to be. I cannot have had enough to drink the night before as I still felt thirsty that morning, and all that flood water wasn’t helping.

Home at last, snuggled up warm in front of a roaring curry , we settled down for the rest of the week to watch (why???) every bit of Sochi coverage we possibly could (at least that’s how I saw it). I thought it may have been my hangover, but even now, even though I have a clear head, I still can’t work out what the Games Slogan “HOT COOL YOURS” means. Truth is there have been lots of things which have puzzled me about these Games. For starters, what are we, as a GB team, gonna do in Pyeongchang 2018 when Scotland have nicked all of our best curlers ? The world will come to an end if and when the Scotch bugger off with all our medallists, leaving us a couple of 12 yr old snowboarders and a tea-tray pusher. NO ! I will not have it. They can have the Pound, they can have the Oil, they can even have the Nuclear Submarines, but THEY’RE NOT KEEPING THE CURLERS !!.

Hang on…. what’s that….? They got stuffed in the final by the Canadians ? Oh fvck em then, let ’em go.

A Member of the English Pyeongchang Olympics  2018 Curling Team waits patiently at the West London Training rink for someone to turn the fridge on.

A Member of the English Pyeongchang Olympics 2018 Curling Team waits patiently at the West London Training rink for someone to turn on the fridge.

Also, how do you get to be an Ice Meister ? Isn’t that just the coolest job description ? “What d’you want to be when you leave school, Bealing ?”
“An Ice Meister, Sir.  Or a T-shirt printer”. (both characters exit stage left, followed by whacking and crying sound effects).

When a figure skater makes a Horlicks of his Triple Salko, or Armenia 3 decide to come down the 4-Man Bob Track (?) downside-up, the Ice Meister is sent for to assess the damage to the …er….ice. Here he comes, armed with a half-filled watering can and one of those scrapers you get a the petrol station. So when I was a kid and Dad gave me a slap for pouring kettles and kettles ful of water onto the icy pavement outside our house, in order to make a slide, I could have simply said I was a trainer Ice Meister. Another missed opportunity. When I start my Rap career (won’t be long now) The Ice Meister may well be my stage name. Or it may be my porn name. Not sure yet.

Finally, who could not have felt sympathy with the brave Japanese Speed skater who crashed/span out of the 1-Legged, 70,000 meters Blindfolded Short Track Semi Final, denying him the chance to make either the Big or the Small Final. It’s not that I feel any more sympathy for him than for anyone else who falls foul of an opponents elbow or a team-mate’s skate in this, the most exciting and random of all the sports on show. Anyone can win, anyone can lose, that’s why it’s such a fun thing to watch. No, it’s having heard the commentators shout out his name several times, especially as he concertina’d into the advertising boards, that I thought to myself that I knew exactly how he felt. Haven’t we all felt like a Sakashita at some time in our lives ? I know I did last weekend.  I suggest he has a hair-of-the-dog to make himself feel better.

Sakashita of Japan crashes out in a men's 500m short track speedskating quarterfinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo)

Sakashita of Japan crashes out in a men’s 500m short track speedskating quarterfinal at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. (AP Photo)

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Wow !!!!


Wonderful. Just superb. I sit here as your humble servant and reporter for those who were not present to see it to tell you that THIS was a great show. Yes it was very British, yes it was odd and Archery/Coronation Streety in the middle, but Roddy Doyle/Frankie Boyle/Danny Boyle, as he was variously called in my house this evening, did a fantastic job. Just brilliant.

I opened the windows during the celebration of the Jarrow marchers and the NHS to listen to the monocles popping out all over north Kent. Ha !! Just brilliant. I hope Andrew Lansley recorded it. Only a buffoon ( there’s a box you can sign at the end of this piece) will have missed the director’s direct stab at the hand that feeds h1m – this administration’s final act of slaughter and murder of the NHS, the one the one thing which this country can boast about since the end of the seond world war. Sadly for the ruling classes, they employed a working class boy to tell Britain’s history. If you listen carefully between the drummers, you could hear the squeaking of chief assassin David Cameron’s chair as he shifted his buttocks from side to side while he witnessed the nurses and dancers celebrate our once proud gift to the world (some of us are still using it).

Anyway, apart from that I can sit here without any fear of contradiction or criticism and say this was the best opening ceremony I have ever EVER seen (and I’ve sat through a couple.). Whatever I may have said about the games, Mr Boyle is exempt from criticism. My GOD , that CAULDRON, and the FIREWORKS at the end. SENSATIONAL !!!!!!!!!  BEST EVER

And then McCartney came on.

Fuck me.

Terrible.

Again.

Jesus.

Flat and shite. Flat at Jubilee.  Worse tonight.

Just Awful.

Embarrassing.

Pity.

I’ve Got a Golden Ticket


It seems like it’s taken ages for notification to come through, but finally my ticket to the big event has been dispatched, apparently.

The application process was quite the most frustrating and long-winded process I’ve never been through. The website was never down and never told you until right near the end if the tickets you were hoping for were available.

I know it’s a bit expensive, but what’s money when you know an event like this will never be in your country in your lifetime again ?

I’m told security for the event is tough, apparently the police have already murdmanslaughtaccidentally not killed anyone at all. Honest. Thank god there’s no newspapers to sell anymore.

Anyway, I’m off to catch the boat. Only £790 quid for a -twenty-minute return journey, which I didn’t think was at all bad.

My only worry is that since the cuts, the postal service round here is terrible. I only hope the ticket arrives in time for the event.

Can’t wait.

Team Single


If there was a more pathetic site this weekend than the 5 inches of rain falling all over England during this Greatest of all Great British Summers, then it must have been the sight of the Australian Cricket Team’s bowling attack, one-by-one limping off the field having strained themselves while being on the wrong end of a stuffing by the English. One of the more poignant moments was watching one of them – Wayne Shane I think he was called – hobbling off towards the pavilion while 11 pissed young men in the crowd, who’d decided to come dressed as a flock of sheep, serenaded him with (to the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown) “You’re Not Very Good, You’re Not Very Good”. They were ably conducted by a bloke dressed as Bo Peep. Don Bradman must be twitching in his box. The Australian Cricket Team has come a long way since the days of Warne, McGrath and the Waugh brothers. A long way in a downwards direction.

Actually, that’s rubbish. Forget you ever read that because I’ve made a few glaring errors (even more than usual). This is how that should have read.

If there was a more pathetic site this weekend than the 5 inches of rain falling all over England during this Greatest of all Great British Summers, then it must have been the sight of the Team Australia bowling attack, one-by-one limping off the field having strained themselves while being on the wrong end of a stuffing by Team England. One of the more poignant moments was watching one of them – Wayne Shane I think he was called – hobbling off towards the pavilion while 11 pissed young men in the crowd, who’d decided to come dressed as a flock of sheep, serenaded him with (to the tune of Knees Up Mother Brown) “You’re Not Very Good, You’re Not Very Good”. They were ably conducted by a bloke dressed as Bo Peep. Don Bradman must be twitching in his box. Cricket Australia has come a long way since the days of Warne, McGrath and the Waugh brothers. A long way in a downwards direction.

I suppose, as usual, it’s only me that gets infuriated by this modern trend of naming organisations in such a way. Cricket Australia, Team GB, Team Sky (that’s a bunch of cyclists, by the way, not pilots), the list is endless. Now I can’t be exactly sure where and how this all started, but you can bet the favourite of your testicles that it originated over the other side of the pond. Who can ever forget the wonderful Corinthian ethos and warmth of the “dream team” of Team USA – that bunch of multi-millionaire professional basketball players who represented Team Coca-Cola (the new name for all USA – not just sports clubs, the whole country) at the Barcelona/McDonald Olympics in 1992. Do you get the feeling that there are PR/Ad men dotted throughout the kingdom who, upon seeing the success of Team USA, have convinced every sporting body that if they change the name of their club from “West Bromley Bowls, Croquet and Social Club” to Team Penge, that not only will they save on ink on headed paper, but that greatness on and off the field of play is but a flick of the wrist away ?

The fact that there was any cricket played at all up there at Chester-le-Street, Durham ( or Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground as it’s now called. Full of Emirs, Durham is, you know) is some sort of miracle brought about by a combination of an act of God and the Durham ground staff (Team Lawnmower). Over at TV Salford (the BBC to you and me), they were constantly showing pictures of the deluge ruining sporting events throughout the UK. The F1 at Silverstone looks like the first to be held underwater since the ill-advised Atlantis Grand Prix of 1911, (where Team Venice were the only ones to finish). Even my Cricket side’s (Team Philosan) tour to Royal Leamington Spa had to be cancelled altogether. Thankfully there’s a roof over centre court at Wimbledon, so Jock McSour and the Williams Brothers (Team Grim) can play their games of wiff waff, or whatever they do, tomorrow.

The weather hasn’t affected me as I turned my ankle over whilst on one of my enforced marches last week, reducing me to invalidity today. The Doc’s plan to shed some weight from me has come at a high price. I’m laid up in the couch with a throbbing achilles tendon, having re-employed my walking stick (which Team NHS gave me last year) for those vital regular journeys upstairs.
July 15th sees the first anniversary of me falling over in the kitchen while my head exploded and, frankly, recovery continues to by slow and intermittent. I’ve been referred to another in a long line of specialists up at Health Kent since a lot of numbness in my face and dizzy spells have returned. Cider does help but I can’t get it on prescription.

My bald shins (it’s an old man thing) and feet have become bloated and covered in what looks like a million blood-spots. From a distance it looks like I have a sun tan on my lower regions only. Up close, they remind me of my nan’s shins (I looked at them a lot.) The Doc told me he thought it might be a reaction to warfarin. I asked for a second opinion, so he told me I was ugly as well.

So I wait for the next in a series of docs appointment. Shuffling around, to-and-from trap one, watching the rain outside and sad Australian cricketers. As I struggle to climb the stairs, Incumbent Dartford breaks into a verse of “You’re Not Very Good”. And, to be honest, this time I can’t argue with her.

Allocation, Allocation, Allocation


A bad start to a Sunday morning: It’s a sad day when a few honest and true officials spoil it for everyone else.

Yes : It’s Happy Corrupt IOC Official Day again. The day, which comes round once every four years (not to be confused with Happy Corrupt FIFA Official Day) when a national newspaper (you remember newspapers : full of worthless nasty, bent journalists who should be arrested for bribing our policemen) expose the members of the International Olympic Committee, its agents, its agents friends and its agents friends golf partners as corrupt and dishonest – willing to sell votes and/or tickets to the highest bidder.

It’s difficult to comprehend that such an esteemed organisation, which is and has been led by such good-eggs and men with spotless records such as Juan Antonio Samaranch, Jacques Rogge (though not yet Michel Platini or Sepp Blatter) would allow such rotters into their fold. I mean, for heaven sake, some of these men high up in the IOC were fine, champion athletes in their own time, so that certainly admonishes any of those from any guilt or indeed suspicion where corruption, incompetence or dodgy-dealing is concerned.

Fortunately, officials from just 54 countries are involved in the allegations – which is merely a quarter of the 204 countries competing at the games, and there is absolutely no indication or allegation that anyone from the host country, Great Britain is involved in any way whatsoever (and shame on you for ever thinking so). The straightforward, uncontroversial and glitch-free way in which tickets have been distributed in Britain (and at such competitive prices) should rule out any suspicion falling on the GB arm (or leg) of the organisation.

It cheers me to think that no-one on the home organising committee has been implicated in this most disgraceful of all alleged practices, which seems to have been carried out solely and exclusively by those Johnny Foreigner-types. Us Brits will not stand for such nonsense and skullduggery. It’s just not cricket. If we’re gonna be ripped off, we will be happy to be done so by multinational credit card, alcohol, food and soft drinks companies charging well-over-the-odds to the captive market within Olympic Park, and not by some greasy Daigo or Arab who probably had never ever heard of Lord Coe or Boris Johnson.

I dunno why we have to have ’em over here in the first place : volunteering as stewards, sleeping under our bridges, running on our tracks and winning our medals…

Thought for the Day


Having deserted t’BBC Breakfast program (eey oop, here’s t’beenees nooz) I’ve been enjoying a couple of week’s worth of The Today Program where, for reasons known only to themselves, journalists are allowed to report on the latest world events, the economic crisis, wars, famine and political intrigue, occasionally punctuated by a sports report or 20 seconds of guessing at the weather.

Icke (top right) with the BBC's first Breakfas...

The way they were. The original BBC Breakfast crew including the late, great David Icke. Whatever happened to Uncle Frank ? Dirty Boy !!!!

Spend an hour watching t’Breakfast program, then switch over to listening to the radio and you’ll think you were listening on a different day. Where, please tell me, are all the “Corn Flakes can give your child rickets” stories ? What about the “What comes first on a scone ? Jam or Cream?” exclusives ? And there’re no interviews with “last night losers on Strictly”. And thank fuck for that ! Radio 4 sticks to the stupidly crusty old news program format of bringing you the …er…news. There’s not even any vox-pops from the streets of Wigan, for christ’s sake!  When I worked for a living for the highly respectable and reputable newspapers of Fleet St, the Today program was required listening, and this was so for the best part of 30 years. Since I do sod-all nowadays I lapsed into Sian and Charlie, Bill and Suzanna’s grasp, My mind turned to mulch because of it. Well that stops here and now.

Woken up by nightmares last night, I switched on the BBC World Service in the hope that the dulcet tones of a foreign correspondent talking to me would enable me to drift off to sleep (it always used to work – especially in the office). Sadly for me the opposite happened. Some bloke who’d certainly never darkened the sweet red couch of t’BBC Salford studio, was explaining with ultimate clarity and menace what was happening and going to happen if (and when) the Greek economy threw a seven and went belly-up sausage-side.

So his tale went: the Greeks pull out of the Euro and immediately, people’s savings lose two-thirds of their value and there’s a hiatus until they sort a new currency out. If that can happen in Greece, the Spanish people will calculate that it can happen in their equally-fragile economy as well. Then the Italians, and so on, and so on…

But.

Intelligent Greeks, Spaniards and Italians will see that situation coming and they don’t wanna see their savings go down the toilet. So there’s a run on all banks as anyone with any money left at all withdraws all he has and shoves it under the mattress/missus. The economy collapses, the Euro-Zone closes due to lack of interest, Presidents Obama then Romney instigate Part II of the Marshall Plan and 30 years from now we all star in a documentary by an ageing Robert Peston explaining how poor we all were in 2012/3.

The alternative to all this, of course, is the German plan of austerity: raise the Greek taxes, cut all welfare and public expenditure for about, ooooh, ten years or so. It’ll be tough “but we put up with it when we took on East Germany andwecameoutstrongerontheotherside soyoulotbetterputuporshutupandtinkyourselfluckythatyou’renotstilloccupiedyouungreatful
littleshitsandsnywayitwasyoulotnotpayingtaxwhichstartedallofthisinthefirstplace.”

Of course, that’s the argument: Greek teachers and bin men scrimping on their taxes are the ones to blame for the state of the continent’s economy. The Euro would be strong, the Banking industry would still be making fortunes if it wasn’t for all you bastard nurses and Public Sector workers borrowing what you couldn’t afford, trying to cheat the Inland Revenue and then having the balls to expect a pension at the end of it. Jesus! Those poor men at JP Morgan and such places spilt their own blood for you, some of you walking out with less than a $32 payout. How is a man supposed to live on that ?

Perhaps I’ll go back to telly where all I have to worry about in the morning is that the heavy rain has affected this years asparagus crop ?

Still. it’s not all bad news. I actually made £95 quid this week. A combination of selling Tee-shirts and predicting the odd correct score means I’m flush, for at least a couple of hours. I do have options. I could give it to The Incumbent to spend on food down at Sainsburys’. It’ll take 15 minutes to spend and £95 quid’s worth of food lasts about 3 days round here; There’s a Ralph Lauren cotton sweater at Harrods going for exactly £95 but I’m not sure they do my size (quiet at the back, please!).  I could pre-order from Amazon 11 copies of Joey Barton’s autobigraphy (and still have change for a bag of chips). Like Hitler’s Mein Kampf this will surely mostly be written (or dictated) while in incarceration. I can’t help thinking that’s not where the similarities will cease. Although, I’m told, Hitler had a good command of English unlike the captain of the Waffen QPR.

8 quid seems a lot of money to me to waste on a book by a complete arsehole, even though many buy Jeremy Clarkson’s books. Times are tough, and I should spend my cash wisely.

I’ve got it.

I am going online today to reserve a ticket on the Water Chariot to take me from Limehouse Basin to the Olympic Park. I’ll have to go on my own, though. That’s £95. London to London. One Way. I’ll have to get to Limehouse first, of course, but can you think of equal value available today ? You could probably buy the Parthenon for 95 quid.

This stuff writes itself.