Friday, August 16, 2002

That previous picture is cobblers, It is supposed to be Newport Sands in Pembrokeshire but clearly isn't. Newport is very impressive, however I spent more time at Poppit which for nippers is paradise really with its miles of sands, dunes, rockpools and very shallow water. My 7 year old nipper bought himself a bodyboard and the waves there were just perfect for him.
Far from shivering in the rain I am severely burnt and look like something from a Wes Craven movie; the neighbours all ran in their houses and locked their doors when I returned, mind you they do that anyway.
The place we stayed at was in Dinas Cross and was called Maengwyn. It is without any shadow of a doubt the best place we have ever stayed. Beautifully well equipped, with a full size table tennis tennis table in the garden, a shed with all sorts of outdoor paraphenalia, including mountain bikes, a little games room for the kids, hundreds of books all over the place, very spacious and extremely comfortable with nooks and crannies everywhere. The nippers absolutely loved it.
Locally there was a very good chip shop and within 3 or 4 minutes drive 2 beautiful beaches, one which seems to be a very well kept secret, with a little caff knocking out crab sandwiches and cream teas. Beautiful walks either side if you get bored of arsing about with the nippers on the nearly deserted beach, not to mention the rock pools. Inland was equally beautiful and impressive and outside the front door there were at least 3 walks down to yet more beaches, one of which was just stunning, taking you past an impressive waterfall down to a beach which doesn't seem to be on any maps. Within twenty minutes drive you have St Davids which should have been on that recent wonders of Britain list and hundreds of beauty spots in between; twenty minutes the other way offers a not dissimilar scenario.
Unbelievably, even in the middle of August the whole area remains uncrowded: were any of the places we visited in Cornwall you would not get near them. Long may it be the case, it really is a little slice of paradise , and ideal for nippers. Suffers a bit fom middle class blight though, but there is plenty of room and you can easily avoid them.
Which brings me to a book I read, and which kept me up far later than was good for me every night. It was recommended to me by my good friend Colin Bumstead, whom I have never clapped eyes on. He is the wittiest poster to any football message board but the boards he contributes to in particular are related to Birmingham City, and he never fails to improve the tone and the mood and the laugh quotient. I can be a bit of a miserable git, but he has me laughing out loud regularly. This is the second book he has recommended to me and both have been excellent, if you come across him listen to what he says, the man has class.
The book: "Human Punk" by John King is flawed in many ways but worked for me on several levels. First it is a really accurate description of working class malehood, which is something I know a little about, and it is gratifying to see a warm but realistic depiction of said species for once. Also it depicts the punk era brilliantly, again, from the perspective of a young working class male, rather than middle class art school types. It is punk as I remember it, rather than as it has become depicted by the London tourist board and media lovies who either came late to the party or who were never there in the first place. And I sincerely hope that another brilliant poster to message boards and Blues fan, Ragamuffin agrees that punk was raw dirty and full of energy and had nothing to do with spiky haircuts or delicately ripped jeans. King points out Mclaren and Westwood for the tossers that they are and it's about time too. Three cheers for the scruffy Herberts.
King seems to have grown (sorry but I cannot help but think of the main character as King himself) from a disaffected youth into a seriously disaffected adult, which I applaud, why should we mellow just because we are old and boring? Having said that in the latter parts of the book he overdoes the sloganeering without offering any real analysis.
The two main points of interest to me were the juxtaposition of this novel with Jonathon Coe's "The Rotters Club" and also King hImself.
The Rotters club was set in the seventies in the suburbs of Birmingham, its (anti) hero was about my age at that time. I know, intimately, all the places that Coe describes but the world he lives in is totally alien to me, yet I seem to know every piss stinking subway and have shared every curry in King's Slough, a place I have never visited. Coe is clearly the more literate writer, but does that make his work intrinsically better? I don't know; I do know it is very difficult to find a review of King on the web. Perhaps it's a class thing, something else King is very bitter about. Rightly so, in my hapless opinion.
King himself appears to be something of an enigma. All the way through, I wondered, just who is this guy? the blurb in the book tells you nothing and I can find nothing on the web about him. I hope he doesn't turn out to be some middle class social anthropologist or I will look a right berk. I don't think so though, his voice has the smack of authenticity, unlike Keith Talent in Martin Amis' "London Fields" for instance. I am going to have to ask Ragamuffin to do his oracle bit for me.

I have been presented with an interesting little quandary this evening. Having assured my Mrs repeatedly that I hadn't given a second thought to my blog, or the Blues message boards or metafilter, how long should one decently leave it before diving back in?

Blues ridiculously coiffured new midfielder, Robbie Savage, has been fined 10000 English pounds for improper use of a toilet. Just how improper was he being?

All sorts of stick figures, doing one another damage.

The Times analysis is a relevant as you want it to be. 9-1 in a two horse race though; one would be a mug not to. Blues fans , bet like men!
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