26 May 2006

Tagged by Patry

I don't like to blow my own trumpet, as a matter of fact I haven't invested in a brass instrument. So these are accurate responses with no fan-fare.

southern broadcaster neutral.

fifteen years of alcoholism followed by twelve years of sobriety… and counting.

chore I hate:
grocery shopping at the supermarket. I always seem to be standing just exactly where someone else wants to be. And another thing - no sooner does my critical attention alight on something I like but the store discontinues to stock it.

one cat – “Smartie.” He follows my wife like a sheep, catches frogs, lies in wait on the bird-table but mostly ignores me.

essential electronics:
PC, hi-fi, iPod, Camera etc, etc…

favorite perfume/cologne:
tap water and soap several times daily.

probably neither but when I become a Pirate I will have a gold tooth.

Dibden Purlieu, Hampshire, England – on the edge of King Henry VIII’s 140 square mile hunting ground, The New Forest.

generally I sleep like a log and cannot be woken. Occasionally I stay awake all night when thoughts and problems need thinking through.

job title:
some might say lazy-bones! I accepted voluntary redundancy in January 2006. Having no earned income has involved re-thinking my spending habits but I think I can ward off starvation!

two extremely tall boys in their twenties.

living arrangements:
big-ish house by UK’s miniscule standards. Now the boys have moved on we rattle.

most admired trait:
attention to detail.

number of sexual partners:
too few to brag, just sufficient to understand.

overnight hospital stays:
tonsillectomy at 35 and 45 (they re-grew). Surgery on elbow tendons at 44.

flying. Aeroplanes scare the heck out of me and I finally managed my first flight at age 45 to Florida. Only an extremely important destination or appointment lures me aloft.

"Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself but talent instantly recognizes genius." — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1859-1930

born and raised Roman Catholic but lost faith during teenage years. Now I know the difference between right and wrong, I honour people who care, I respect nature and admire honesty.

one sister I love. One brother.

time I usually wake up:
6:30am but seldom rise before 8am. Coffee brings me out of my thick head.

unusual talent:
I can wriggle my ears, twitch my nose and if you really ask nicely, I can make squeaking noises by squeezing my hands together..

vegetable I refuse to eat:
if I ate no vegetables I would die. I am vegetarian.

worst habit:
correcting grammatical errors. If you want a good laugh, watch me throw shoes, remote controls and miscellaneous weaponry at TV presenters to reprimand the buffoons! (Second worst habit – when I am upset I detach the cause like a diseased limb.)

I am not keen for someone to see right through me. A slight aura of mystery is important. Who wants to see my bones anyway?

yummy foods I make:
Positively none, I find food mildly irritating and am yet to locate the kitchen. I long for the day when taking nourishment as tablets and liquid becomes an option.

zodiac sign:
Virgo. Come on people! Surely that’s perfectly obvious?!

22 May 2006

Faded Seaside Glamour

I think I belong in the past – or maybe in the future… The present is definitely an awkward kind of in-between stage, which hopefully will end soon. I took a journey into the past to see if I fitted… maybe I need to go further back.

July bakes the sand to scalding and a pier stretches endlessly across green waves to somewhere over a blue horizon past the miniature sails where happiness lies.

Rippled coffee-shop glass reflects the gang back-combing their hair in motorcycle mirrors. Buddy Holly blares out “..well the little things you say and do, make me wanna…” and in the distance polka-dot girls lean on silver-painted railings snapping gum. Territory claims are staked.

A throaty rumble turns their heads. The two-wheeled source slows and threads effortlessly between the ranks of black and chrome. Calmly the tall rider twists a key and silences his steed. Confused glances shift from the dazzling machine to his black leathers and back again. He needs coffee and walks slowly into the shop.

They fall in line to follow through the neat blue chequered tables and slide onto red-topped barstools beside him.
“You up from Bournemouth mate?” Asks one.
“No.” The lone rider smiles.
“Where’d you get that fancy gear?” Eyes swivel up and down his supple tailored leathers. The contrast with their own hard black jackets and coarse jeans is sharp.
“It’s what we wear in the fut… where I come from.” He smiles again. “Cappuccino, please.” He puts a banknote on the counter.
“Talk English and I’ll serve you!” grins a girl with a blond bob, her expression switching to uncertainty as she turns the small crisp bill in her fingers.
“What’s this?” She stares in bewilderment at the unfamiliar note.
“Money? The tall stranger offers meekly. “Make it a black, no sugar…”
“Well I’ll believe you, thousands wouldn’t!” Her grin returns as she pours.

Long pointed shoes tap as Eddie Cochran starts up, “C’mon everybody!”
“I remember this.” Says the stranger.
Now the gang presses closer.
“What do you mean?” Snarls a brute with a livid scar from ear to chin. “It ain’t been on the juke no longer ’n a day. Just out, this is.”
Suspicious looks dart once more to the incongruous vivid yellow sculpture outside. Suddenly it seems a world away from the brutish black iron surrounding it.

This is wrong the tall man thinks. Where are the compassion and bright free spirits? He ignores scarface and looks toward the glittering pier with its candyfloss stall and helter-skelter and empty silver railings. The polka dots have tripped into the café and are watching this funny rivalry from a corner.

“Yer gonna have to explain or we’ll cut yer, you know!” Scarface gives two cohorts hefty claps on the back. “Us seasiders carry blades and we use ‘em. You don’t belong here country boy.” His mates unzip their jackets menacingly.

“Could always race him, I suppose.” Suggests a thug with missing fingers. “Ton-up on the beach road, pretty boy?”

“I’ll blow him off the road.” Scarface snorts.

“No I don’t think you will...” The tall man gently replies.

A girl stands alone by the pier railings as if waiting for someone. How had he missed her before? As he approaches she turns to face him and her eyes lock on his. They stand a foot apart looking and wondering… Is it, could it be?

Scarface slings a stiff leg over his oily Triumph. One sharp kick, the big twin rattles into life and blue smoke jets from the tailpipe.
“Chicken are yer?” He shouts. “Wanna bring yer friend for ballast…”

Now the tall man is back at his sleek machine. “Hold tightly.” He whispers over his shoulder as she sits behind him. “I mean tighter than tight.” He feels her arms grip his waist like a vice. Snapping down his black visor he thumbs the starter, revs and warms the bike. The gang shuffles back at the unfamiliar howl, exchanging bewildered glances.

The thug holds a red handkerchief high above his head.

“Ready?” Screams scarface.

“Ready!” Nods the stranger. And over his shoulder again, “Tight OK…tight” She squeezes his arm.



The sun lowered in the western sky as he lay on the sand, kicked off his hot boots and looked out over the once hopeful sea. The Yamaha clicked as it cooled. She had held on as he had asked but now she had faded from his reality. Probably it would always be like this. Racing brought out the hope and the possibility. Strangely he had a faint taste of coffee in his mouth this time.

13 May 2006

Optimistic Pessimism

Blue skies are really red, hate is really love, death is really life and full of apparent contradictions. I am as confused as ever.


I remember a happy embryo
Will I die a contented corpse?
Give me something to live for.

Live the wildest danger
Take it to the limit and back
Give me something to try for.

Slip a hand between life’s thighs
She moans and opens wide
Give me someone to lie for.

Smell my leather jacket
Wear my dusty boots
Give me something to ride for

Shall I suck a lemon
Sour suits my yellow life
Give me something to cry for

Deliver me another chance
To write history as a winner
Give me something to die for.

06 May 2006

Carl Barat

Just before midnight yesterday I lost 5 pounds in sweated weight and was crushed on the ground. I saw Dirty Pretty Things and wrote about it on Music to Grow Old.