Monday, June 30, 2003

The new Blaenavon, day one.

This NYT article on a chaps last Sunday lunch with his mother is a beautiful piece.

NYT interview with, and appraisal of, Clive James

Ode to Tomatoes,and other things by Pablo Neruda, who also wrote love poetry, including this.
He wrote Il Postino, which was made into a film that is well worth getting your hands on, especially if you want to earn romantic kudos by making your Mrs cry.

Somebody appreciates you.

Evil clown generator.

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Paul Kimmage is one of the very few reasons why I persist with the Sunday Times, his in depth interviews are excellent.
He was a professional cyclist in the 80's and here he gives a brilliant account of what it is actually like to ride in the Tour de France.

I moan and moan about the BBC's coverage of Glastonbury, but I should just be grateful that we have it at all, it is definitely one of the highlights of the years viewing, especially mow BBC 3 covers it for hours on end.
This year the presenters have been less irritating than usual, the odious Phil Jupitus apart, but still they persist in showing the same bands playing the same songs over and over again. There miust be loads of good stuff going on but all we see is endless re runs of the likes of Radiohead and for some reason, Suede. I have lost count of the number of times I have seen Freddie and the Dreamers over the last 2 days; sorry, of course I mean The Coral. As I type, David Gray is on, again, for about the hundredth time.

Still, we at least got to see a superb and absolutely barking set by The Flaming Lips. I'm a bit fed up about that actually, having been banging on about them for at least 2 years now every silly chuffer is going to know them, and I can't show off. There is a good interview with chief lip, Wayne Coyne, in the Observer. He does seem genuinely off the wall. I like the guy.
Article on the subtle and not so subtle ways Glastonbury has changed this year.

I have had one of those long months where you just end up skint, so did no shopping this weekend, as I had nothing to shop with. Not to worry, we are resourceful, and the kitchen is full of stuff, so we weren't about to starve. I knocked up a carbonara at dinner time, and the kids dug up some of their own spuds which they scoffed with an omelette for tea.

For me and Mrs Buddha I did a simple baked spud. Caramelised some onions, frizzled some pancetta with them at the end, mixed up with the flesh of the spuds, with some Parmesan and Gruyere, all well lubricated with some good olive oil, before shoving back in the oven. It looked good and it smelled good. Unfortunately, another endless repeat started on the Glastonbury coverage, but it was the Lips, so I just set the time and departed for the living room.
Set it for 20 minutes, but forgot to press the button for conventional oven. So they had 20 minutes at 800 watts microwave power. Ever so slightly burnt. I am starving now but can't be arsed to cook anything else. Beer and crisps, I think will do the trick.

Found on B3TA a photo of a message left on the fridge in a shared house, may or may not be genuine.

10 things we were told about Iraq that appear to lack veracity.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

Blaenavon, is a miserable and deprived town stuck in the Welsh Hills, nowhere very near anywhere else. It existed souly for the purpose of coal and iron, and when they went so did hope and civilisation frankly. It is a hell hole, I know, I spend half my working life there, dealing with the casualties of 20 years of neglect and decline.

Due to its history it has been awarded world heritage site status, which astonishes me. It is a shithole, there is nothing there, all the shops are boarded up, it is known as Plywood City.

Yet there is hope. There are plans to turn into a sort of little brother to Hay on Wye, and 9 bookshops have all opened there today, with more to follow, probably, hopefully. The local council, my local council, in fact, in return for ten grand, will give you a shop, shelving and shopfitting, along with a few thousand books to start you off. I have a brilliant idea for a bookshop actually, but I am to gutless to pursue that particular dream.

It would be nice if it worked, and I really hope it does, but I can't see it. There is nothing there, nowhere to get any decent scoff, or even crap scoff. No decent pubs, but plenty of indecent ones. And, unfortunately, the people. The town has been spruced up and painted for todays grand openings, and there is a day of events going on, but everybody I know fully expects everything to be vandalised and graffitied, probably tonight. I can't see where the staff will come from; the locals, to a man are surly and aggressive and will not want to lose their welfare benefits. The town is so isolated it will not be practical for people to come in on the bus, but I hope I'm wrong.
In the local paper the sort of unofficial spokesperson echoes my thoughts and suggest that the best they can hope for from it is a few more coppers on the beat and some cctv cameras, which says it all really.

Worst of all, the best second hand bookseller I know, from Abergavenny market, appears to have relocated there.
I will pop up there next week some time and report if I see any activity.

While we are on a literary bent, a beautiful poem by Mikey Delgado

Friday, June 27, 2003

I have ranted on about the festival of peace love and happiness that is Glastonbury before, so won't start on that again, not yet anyway. However, if these figures related to football match, there would be a national outcry, even if these figures related to arrests in a small town, there would be uproar, at least locally, and the bloody thing hadn't even started when the figures were released:
Latest figures from the police are that 115,000 people are now on site and there have been 60 arrests (2002 had 40 at same time) and 57 crimes (55 last year), but robberies are down by 50%. The good news is that there have been no reported crimes outside the site - last year saw battles with security and police outside the fence of steel. More stats for you - fence jumpers: 0; medical incidents: 524; minor injuries: 449; drug and alcohol-related medical incidents: 17.

I like the look of Books and Bloggers. Nothing to entice to me yet but it might be worth keeping an eye on.

I have a feeling this is not the first time I have posted optical illusions, never mind, they are worth a second look.

Yet again, the increasingly verbose Misanthrope has spoke.

Some days I am pretty chuffed with what I stick on here, some days, frankly, it's cack. Most days it's alright. Today, I spent a long time moaning on the other blog, plus I am knackered so havent put much effort in, not to this anyway, so it's cack. Nothing has jumped out at me and I can't be arsed looking for stuff. I am in a bad mood so have dissed something hundreds of thousands get completely blameless enjoyment from.
Usually, it wouldn't matter, and it still doesn't really. But it's bloody typical isn't it. For some reason my visitors have quadrupled today, and all they have seen is some moany old bastard post a couple of indifferent links.
Oh well, it's probably better to be small but exclusive!

I wouldn't normally link on here to something I have stuck elsewhere, Sportsfilter in this case, but bloody ell! , I am getting visitors, I have to give them something to look at! knock the nippers over with a ball; its fun, honest.

Thursday, June 26, 2003

I watched, live on the telly, as a fit young man collapsed and died. It was distressing in the extreme but is a lesson to us all. Live your life as if each day is your last.

I cannot believe what the U.S is getting away with in its treatment of prisoners at Guantamano Bay. Even if you accept it's argument that they have no legal status, I cannot see how it justifiable to treat them so inhumanely. How the US can dare to claim moral superiority leaves me bewildered and confused.

The state of my trousers yesterday has become the stuff of legend. People are pointing and laughing at me wherever I go. Mrs Buddha is looking at me the same way the wife in Curb Your Enthusiasm does at Larry David when he has erred.
Never mind banning mobiles while you are driving, they should ban Magnums.

Steve Bell
And again.

Mission: Iraq a superb blog by Greenpeace members in Iraq. Absolutely essential reading.

More death, this time though, I couldn't give a bugger. Dennis Thatcher has bit the dust, as nobody needs me to tell them. It struck me as curious, as I browsed the BBC site for news on Foe, before his death was announced, that tributes have poured in for Sir Dennis. I just wondered what the hell this oaf had actually done to deserve a knighthood and fulsome tributes on the BBC site, apart from shacking up with a grotesque harridan. Hopefully she won't be long behind and we all have cause to rejoice.

Soul City is worth a diversion for all sorts of spiritual stuff, including a recipe for tommycock.

I genuinely hesitate before posting this, as I am inviting scorn to be poured upon my head, but it's a cracking article on slovenly use of the English language. From the chuffin Spectator!

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Can't update, I am bloody knackered, Misanthrope knows why.
My p.c at home appears to be kaput, hence lack of updates, until I get the bleeder sorted out blogging will be difficult, will probably just post bits and bobs while at work, might be dodgy though, the FFC appears at your shoulder like grim death, unannounced.
While I am here I may as well post my thoughts on last nights game.
All the violence and brouhaha was to be expected and was entirely predictable. I can't say it upstes or bothers me at all; anything that pours more scorn on that shower of claret and blue shit is ok by me. And humiliation was piled upon humiliation.
A few things have soured the night for me though. Firstly the one eyed commentary on Sky, both the commentator, Rob Hawthorne, and his side kick, Alan Smith, are clearly Villa fans, and couldn't stop themselves. Every time a Blues player went down it was a despicable over reaction, conversely every Blues challenge was a savage assault (no pun intended). That was bad enough but to then have Andy Gray analysing was a bit much, although Gray at least makes no secret of his allegiance.
I am one of the few who thinks the ref could have done better. I agree he did well to keep his cards in his pocket early on but I think he let it go too far. In particular the little Villa skinhead in midfield should have been booked for a high , late and nasty challenge on Savage. When I say high I mean high, he caught Savage on the shoulder while he was standing at his full height. By the time he booked Cunningham for a fairly innocuous challenge it was too late, Villa had lost the plot.
The mass psychology that insists that Dublin is the aggrieved victim following his contretemps with Savage is bewildering. The mantra is that Dublin is a model pro and a nice guy and his actions were out of of character. All cobblers in my opinion, all through his career if there has been a row on the pitch Dublin has been conspicuous by his presence, inevitably with head thrust aggressively forward. He has always struck me as a bit of a bully. The media in general, including the quality press, continue to demonise Savage in a most unfair manner. First he was assaulted from behind , then when he had the gall to take umbrage, he got nutted. Somehow he has become portrayed as the aggressor. Quite mad.
I can't be bothered going on about the so called invasions, enough cobblers has been spouted on that. However, Blues were well and truly hammered after one guy got on and went about 10 yards at St Andrews. One guy last night went the length of the pitch twice and even then had to hang around making small talk with Enckleman before some fat bloke and his elderly sidekick decided to stroll on and remove him. I hope justice is seen to be done.

Martin Amis on war with Iraq

Steve Bell

Normal blogging will resume one day, I hope.
I believe Thanksgiving is quite a big deal in the U.S of A. It gave us Planes Trains and Automobiles, and for that, I give thanks.
Thanks to mefi, for the Thanksgiving poem by William Burroughs.
The Guardian guide to Thanksgiving.
Answers to more crucial Thanksgiving questions.

Another fantastic random clicky thing, this time of street photos. Apart from the Paris ones, a sample of which is above, you probably won't know where you are, but who cares.

I like the look of this TV reviewing site. There isn't much on it yet, but it has potential. Unbelievably, there is no review for the Sopranos, that will change very soon, I suspect.

The Bluetitch 5
1/ What is the biggest lie you've ever told?
I won' that joke is too disgusting even for me. I once lied to get a job, then having got the job had to confess that I had lied because it was about to become very obvious. Not a big lie just a stupid one. Sacked before I started.
2/ What is the biggest lie you've ever been told? I was grievously and pointlessly lied to by 2 health professionals I am suppossed to be working in partnership with last week. One of the ugly chuffers actually lied either to or about me 3 times (that I know of) just last week. This is actually a very big thing and has pissed me off immensley. The fuck faced cowbag knows of it and has ignored it, leaving me to deal with it myself, which will have inevitably messy consequences. Not the biggest, I suppose but cumulatively, the one that is pissing me off most, right this minute.
3/ What is the biggest secret you've ever kept?
Well, it wouldn't be a secret if I said, would it?
4/ What is the biggest secret you've not kept?
Mrs Buddha's first pregnacy
5/ What is the "best" lie you've ever heard being told?
Er, can't think of one, in general I don't approve, unless it is to save my own skin.

Addendum to the five, one of my favourite lyrics is from what led me to this town by The Jayhawks, which includes the line, "can I tell you a secret...I'm in love with you". Also, truth time, this was meant to be a gratuitous link to Wilco, until I realised I had got the wrong band.

The firemans strike is a bit of a sore point in our house and no longer to be discussed. Mrs Buddha supports them wholeheartedly and unreservedly. She keeps taking them boxes of biscuits and stuff. I have taken up a slightly different position. Anyway, this article about firemen and braziers made me chuckle, and really shouldn't offend either side, it's just a giggle, but true enough.

The BBC held a great Britons poll, and Winston Churchill won it. Well, that is just embarrassing really, Churchill was a git, quite prepared to send troops in against his own people.

Princess Diana irritated me intensely before her death, and even more after it. The continued hagiography of her by the press drives me mad, as prior to her death she was regarded as a vacuous dilettante. So I am more than happy that I can share this, which is a fair summation of her life and achievments.

ROFLMBO: a useful guide to internet abbreviations

My campaign against Saudi Arabia continues.

Yet another Blues fan starts a blog. Hugh Mungus this time; I have high hopes for this one.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Cultural infantilism. A couple of years ago, loads of parents of my nippers mates started to rave about Harry Potter. If the nippers had spent time at our house the parents would pick them up and after the usual niceties; "has he been good?", "did he eat his tea?" , they would say they would get them home, and bathed and read Harry Potter to them. Inevitably they would tell us how brilliant the books were and how they read them for themselves, rather than the nippers.

I was sceptical. I had thought my nipper was too young for Harry Potter but these people convinced me, and I bought a book. Well, it may be good childrens literature but it isn't for adults, it is plainly kids work, and my Mrs agrees, so that's that. My nipper loves it, and I haven't a problem with that, but I hope that when he is an adult he likes adult books. He prefers Snicket, Morpugo and Zephania as it is.

The reason for this little diatribe is my dismay at the cant and cobblers spouted about this latest book. It no wonder publishers and marketing types take us all for chuffing idiots; we do very little to disprove the notion.
2 Potter related links from the Observer, one is a positive review, with something pertinent to say about adults who read it.
Two is a typically witty and slightly cynical piece from Euan Ferguson.

Bernard Manning is an old style northern club comic who has got rich by being offensive about, well, everybody. He is on in Cwmbran soon and I am toying with going simply so I can blog about it. The thought of several hundred lagered up valleys boyos pissing themselves at "paki" gags, though, will prevent me from doing so. Odious as Manning is, his audience represents a very scary mob mentality, which I don't think I can stomach. Anyway, there is a brilliant interview with him in todays Guardian, by Simon Hattenstone. Mannings attempt to explain a "coon" joke to Hattenstone had me cracking up.

I have a habit, when I have bought a load of books, of keeping them all by the bed. Even if I have a book on the go, I will have a little dip into my new purchases, reading and rereading the back jacket and the reviews, maybe a paragraph or two. This caused me to get a chuffing bollocking this morning. While Mrs Buddha was running around like a maniac trying to get the 3 nippers sorted out, I took a peek at Down On Ponce, and kept peeking until she gently pointed out that this was no time to be reading a fucking book, about 3 chapters later.
I got home from work, knocked up the quickest tuna, bacon and tomato sauce for pasta in history, for the nippers, banged it down and legged it up to the bath where I got a few more chapters in before anyone noticed. He kills coppers is going to have to wait, not for long though.

So enamoured have I become with the work of Fred Willard I e mailed the bugger to tell him, and he replied. It appears that this very morning he sent the first part of his new novel tohis publisher. I am not sure if this is a good thing, why wouldn't he send the whole thing? Perhaps he is blocked.
Talking of why, why is the sequel to the Ice Harvest taking so long to appear?
The Misanthrope has been moaning his head off again.

Friday, June 20, 2003

I have a dilemma. I have so much personal stuff to blog I don't know which blog to stick it on. As this one is much easier than the other this one will get more than the other, so if you are looking for daft links, well, later dude.

My work this week has been more stressful than I have ever known, and I have been in the game for more than 20 years. I won't go on about it here. I have another blog for that shit, but it's pertinent to what follows.

We are soft sods in my game, we don't get overtime but routinely start early, finish late and work through dinners. In fact we don't have dinner hours, we stop and eat but thats it and we usually work between mouthfuls. I say we all, but those who see my other blog won't take that as the literal truth, obviously.

The advantage is, though, we are always owed time (some of us legitimately) so I took today the fuck off.

Got up the usual time and got the train to Cardiff.. nice espresso, nice langorous haircut, mooch around the book and record shops, Yankees hat for the nipper. It was like I had a week off and it was barely past mid morning. Got a whole 69 p off Willards first book because of the battered cover, spent a fortune on sundry shit, including a half pound of Santos and Java coffee. And I thought retail therapy was for girls.

I arranged to meet the Mrs outside Waterstones at 12.30, the intention being we would have a little mooch and take the 2 that ain't in school down Cardiff Bay for an ice cream.

Cardiff Bay was buzzing. Beautiful hot sunshine and every bar and cafe abuzz. Unbelievably, nipper number 3 fell asleep between the car park and the bay. I cannot tell you what a result that was.

We headed straight for the Bosphorous, which is a Turkish joint ( I wish! ) which juts out on a pier like edifice into the water. Boardwalk up to the restaurant but tables all around, and one was free. We sat there listening to the waves and the hubbub of conversation, taking the smells of grilled food in. I swear it didnt take much imagination to take yourself away, especially as we were surronde by Spaniards.

We had one of those do's where they just keep bringing loads of small but beautifully prepared dishes. It being lunchtime and this being an unexpected pleasure I went for the house wine, which was actually very good. 8 quid for some Turkish thing which was much better value than the 20 quid I spent on a Pinot Grigio in Topo Gigoo last week.

A good day then. The daughter was present through all this and behaved herself beautifully and scoffed sophisticatedly. Number 3 slept all through it. The sun shone.

Travelled home, picked number one up, and his mate from school. Stuck myself in the garden. Put some music on, loud but quiet. You could hear it on our patio, but not on our lawn. It was ok for about 2 hours.

Mrs Buddha took the pal home about 6 and I reflected what a glorious day it had been and what a lucky sod I am, pissed by now, obviously. I further reflected that this little idyll would inevitably end, sooner rather than later, and it did.

I have said before, I have social housing to my immediate left, and posh housing to my right. The truth is I hate the lot of them. As I said last year though, it is only the fat, wobbly bastards from the social housing who drive me inside and stop me enjoying a pleasant summers evening in the garden.
By 6.30 tonight the Clampitts were at it. The worst is their music is crap and the system they play it on is nasty, and it gets louder as the night goes on. The fat fuckers have no class.

So while I had some Dexys on, sinking some lager or other, a generic eurobeat just took over everything. It is like some cheap Aldi soundsystem, turned up high, very nasty, worse than nails down a blackboard in terms of sound quality. And they stick on it the modern equivalent of those MUSIC FOR PLEASURE LP's you used to get from Woolworth. All the hits, but it wasn't till you got home and read the small print that you realised the music was not by original artists, but by the Swingle Sisters less tuneful sisters.

It's been a grand day, but check the neighborhood before you buy a house!

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Inexplicable mobs. It seems that loads of people in New York get e mailed a location and then descend upon it, for no reason. It's the kind of pointless and stupid activity that I find very appealing.

Rebel Dread: long interview with Don Letts. He has something interesting to say about Sid Vicious.

Bleedinell. Now I can't eat tiger prawns. Never much cared for the buggers anyway.

I am a bit of a cricket traditionalist but can see the point of 20 20 cricket. The idea of popping down after work and sinking a few while first class players bash it about a bit for a couple of hours makes sense. The three games I have seen on the box so far though, have been crap. Fortunately, the Bears seem to have become quite adept at it, a report on last nights humilation of Worcestershire is a good reflective piece by an old fart.

A couple of tracks from the Paddy Mcaloon album, available for streaming.

U.S soldiers appear to be getting fed up.
This may or may not be a blog written by a US soldier in Iraq.

Bare bum. Click on it and it wiggles, the further away you click the more it wiggles. It's only a bum, but it's bare, so use your common sense.

Bjork has a new haircut.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Steve Bell

I have been banging on about how Late Junction is the best thing on radio for ages, I am listening to last nights show now, courtesy of the web. No one has taken any notice though, so I gave up. Well, what Matt Seaton said.

After roughly 280 days worth of fearful descriptions of the formidable Iraqi arsenal, coming on the heels of seven years of UNSCOM weapons inspections, four years of surveillance, months of UNMOVIC weapons inspections, the investiture of an entire nation by American and British forces, after which said forces searched "everywhere" per the words of the Marine commander over there and "found nothing," after interrogating dozens of the scientists and officers who have nothing to hide anymore because Hussein is gone, after finding out that the dreaded 'mobile labs' were weather balloon platforms sold to Iraq by the British, George W. Bush and his people suddenly have a few things to answer for.

And so does Blair.

The U.S. government could not have chosen a more inappropriate land in which to stage its illegal war and display its grotesque disregard for justice. Arundhati Roy waxes beautifully, brainily, lengthily and crucially.

For those who might be interested, the other blog has been updated.

It's been a bit of a pain these last few days finding a book to read and I have been dipping in and out of several. The trouble is I think, my work is so shitty and stressful I am exhausted all the fucking time, so starting a new book is just a bit, well irritating. I can't be arsed with the preliminaries I just want in there. I had a good go at To Die In California, but it was just too depressing as a bedtime read after a shitty day. I will definitely return to it though, despite the exremely small, eye knackering print.
I took myself into the Leisure Centre caff earlier, while nipper number 1 was at karate. A full hour to myself, with a coffee and a book, you cannot know what luxury that is. I decided I would take He Kills Coppers. Good choice got well into it and it will do for the next week or so. A very short excerpt

Plep continues to come up with the good stuff. These childrens stories have gone straight into my favourites.

I have a new discovery. Broken Social Scene. Believe the hype.

A short story by David Sedaris.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

At the risk of sounding like a spluttering old bufoon, I have to say I am outraged at the news that the burglar who was shot by his victim, has won the right to sue for damages.
I have no sympathy with the victim, Tony Martin, as he comes across as quite unpleasant and dangerous himself. This twerp of a burglar though, needs to stop crying and accept some responsibility.
The little shit should grow up and be a man. Actions have consequences. If you are big enough and ugly enough to commit crime you should be big enough and ugly to accept the consequences, that includes having harm done to you if caught by the victim.
What a little wanker.

Cardiff is famous for its Clarks pies, God knows why because they are crap, this guide to buying and eating one, however, is priceless.
The first time I tried to buy one, just after moving to Cardiff in a chip shop on Albany Rd in Roath, was a disaster and I ended up with a piece of cod. It must have been my accent. Clarks pie and chips I said, and waited. I saw her put a piece of cod on the paper and asked if it was for me. Yes she said. I don't want fish, I said, I want a CLARKS PIE!. Thats what you have got she said........A LARGE COD. We repeated this mantra to each other about 5 times before I settled for the cod.

Just got back from Cardiff. Scoffed well at Topo Gigio, and drank very well there and in several other places. Saw Cerys Matthews. Wasn't all that good, wasn't bad, but not blow your socks off good. Still, as evenings go, with your Mrs, it was bleeding marvelous.
Topo Gigio is one of those trattoria type places that has pictures of the stars that have eat there all over the place, it has also got agreat big open front window effort with tables outside, so one can watch the world go buy and enjoy the hot, sultry, summer ambience. So, obviously the Mrs had the view. I had the photo. Michael Knighton and Ian Rush. It's a classy joint.

The guy who supported Cerys was a strange fish. I had hoped we had missed him going for the Italian and insisting on her having a puddding as I felt time spent in the bar would be more rewarding. As we entered she said she needed a piddle so more time wasted, I thought, then, when she emerged the guy said 2 minutes to showtime. Given the choice between watching me get even more pissed or watching the guy she chose the latter.
Frankly he was crap, Adam Green or somesuch. Self regarding yankee twerp. Avoid at all costs.

Cerys started as if she had never met her musicians before, it shows up what happens when you have a bunch of musicians rather than a band. They sorted it out though and by the 5th or 6th number sounded pretty tight. She looked beautiful in all her pregnant glory and despite her rock chick habits has a glorious voice and a winning personality.

Before we went I commented to Mrs Buddha it was going to be fucking homecoming, not a gig, full of Welsh mawkishness. She agreed and said she mentioned to her colleagues that she was worried I would hate it. Well, I wouldn't have, but it didnt apply. She ignored her past and didn't indulge in any Welsh girl banter even though large parts of the crowd were begging for it. Big Kudos to her for that, and for giving me and the Mrs the excuse for a brilliant, reaffirming night.

Cardiff has changed massively since I started breeding and stopped going out. Much better than Brum, and thats a phrase I thought I would never utter. Life is lived on the street, fantastic, they should pipe streetlife through the lamposts. Late on we went in a pub, the name of which I forget, on the end of Mill Lane. It's just a pub, nothing special, but will sell you,by the bottle, Faustino 5 and Berbera.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Crab Ball

A history of CBGB'S

It being bloody hot, my in car entertainment has mostly been classic 70's dub. I have also discovered Ted Leo, who is very far from being dub, but it is very, very good. The bugger is on in Cardiff in a couple of weeks for about a fiver, the night after The Sadies. Wonder if I can get to both. Jon Langford is guesting with Sadies, it will be a night to remember I suspect

There is a very good literary website, which publishes short fiction. Unlike others of the type it doesn't overload itself, so is very user friendly.

I read this last week and thought I must blog it then forgot all about it, till it popped up on Mefi. It's the story of a Japanese girl who turned up in Fargo, apparently looking for the money that was buried in the film. She wound up dead.

A snobby, but accurate, article on British grub.
Bloke in the Kitchen.
Healthy grub.

Just finished the Fred Willard, so good I am going to have to get another. First though I will finish the Thornburg I started last night and which pulled me in immediately.

Although at times he talks like a cock, much of this article looking at the Beckham transfer is spot on. I really don't know why I bother with football anymore. The whole thing including the personalities, is starting to make me feel nauseus.

I rarely give advice, so listen to yourself a favour, one way or another, legal or illegal, get yourself a copy of I Trawl The Megahertz, by Paddy Mcaloon.
Interview with Mcaloon. Not recent.
Any excuse to share a recipe. Being skint I am always chuffed when I find something easy, cheap, quick and which all of us will eat. I don't know when, recently though, I invented the dogs bollocks of chicken thingys. Even if I say so myself.
Olive oil
smoked paprika
couple of lemons
salt pepper, obviously
Small bag of nice spuds
3 lemons, probably
One clove garlic, chopped not minced,
Some shallots, or onion, quartered
About 8 chicken thighs

Put big, big glug of olive oil in roasting tin and chuck in the oregano, paprika and seasoning, with juice from 2 of the lemons.
Having sliced the spuds, not thick, not thin, toss them in all the lovely, fragranced oil.
Sprinkle over the garlic
Skin the chicken and score the bugger, give it a good coating of oil and lay over the spuds
Tuck a quartered lemon and some shallots all around ( or onion)
Bang it in hot oven for about an hour.
The chicken might be slightly overcooked, some spuds definitely will be, but it won''t matter because the flavour will knock everyones socks off. There will be no leftovers.

I did this with some left over spuds a few weeks ago and have done it pretty much every night since.
Cooked spuds, floury will do if you can devote time, love and patience.
1 big onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped not minced
I green chilli, chopped, wash your hands before going to the toilet.
Basically stick em all in a big frying or saute pan with oil and butter. Cook very slow, very gentle for about 45 minutes. The secret is the very slow gentle frying...the slower the better, be patient very low heat,,, gentle nudging till they go brown all over. Fuckin ace man.

I wonder if I am too old for an existential crisis?

Anyone remember Ducks Deluxe?

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

One of my favourite places on earth, possibly my favourite place on earth, is Barcelona market.

Make some biscuits.

They died for their government: an excellent article on war and patriotism.

Twin Oaks is a commune that was set up in the sixties. It is still going.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Bloody Spion Kop has had me disappearing up my own arris trying to post a poxy pic of him taken in about 1903. He's going to have to start his own blog.

There is a new blogger in town. He's pretty good too.

Robert Mugabe continues to lock up and murder his opponents, yet far from invading Zimbabwe and setting its people free, we play cricket with it. Even peaceful protests are banned from inside the ground by our cricket authorities. If I wasn't so old and cynical I would be spluttering with rage about this.
Saddams major mistake was in not having a cricket team; if he did, he would still be in power.

A brilliant account of life in Baghdad

I am still listening to M Ward, which just gets better and better, both of them. Thanks to the internet though, I have also got the Pernice Brothers new one, which is every bit as good as the last one, so it is very chuffing good indeed, obviously. I am finding Out Hud extremely groovy too.

It appears that there is chance that Bush might be impeached for lying through his teeth. Much as I would piss myself if it happened I cannot see it.
Bush and Blair both make me sick with their religious pieties. They seem to think that lying and cheating does not count if it is done by them, and they carry on regardless, like a pair of smug chimps. One way or another they will get their comeuppance.
Mind you, most Christians I know share similar traits and are a very unattractive and hypocritical bunch.

Is it art, or is it crap?

I paid a rare visit to one the Blues message boards today and found it depressingly full of ill shit. One or two of its contributors could do with learning a bit about tolerance.

Intriguing interview with an ex CIA chap who reckons he knows a thing or three about Saudi Arabia.

Friday, June 06, 2003

OO er. The template has changed. It's still much better than the one on my other blog, which is the essence of crap. I might just have to start posting all my work ramblings here.

This isn't a work rambling, although it might appear to be so. I will ramble workwise, later, but on the other blog; this is a general ramble which just happens to be work related.
This morning , while going for water, I saw someone struggling to get through a heavy door while carrying a big box. Instinctively, I went to help. Then I noticed it was some grease laden and orange faced cow from personal who not only was responsible for my pal Sian leaving but was very rude to me and my colleagues in Londinium the other week. So I just thought fuck it and let her struggle. That's all.

Cooking with Google.

WMD: where is the chuffing outrage!!

Read about M Ward.

"It took two or three days to walk correctly, but . . ."

Write better e mails.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Steve Bell

Long, fascinating article on the history of the Tour de France

Once again, it seems the people are more than willing to believe a big lie.

Short story by Murakami.

I have recently discovered M Ward (not the ex Blues player). Do yourself a favour, discover him too.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Reviews of Shoedog, by Pelecanos.

I had always thought that Stagger Lee was just a great character in a Clash song. Now I learn that Stagger Lee is not a Clash song, it is an American classic, with a wonderful history and that it is based on a true story, whereby Stagger Lee killed someone in a St Louis bar for touching his hat. Now it is the subject of a book, which I going to have to get just as soon as I can lay my hands on it.

Build a bridge

Play 20 questions

Nims winter story is a bit special.

The week, generally, has been a bit wonderful. I have had such a great time time with Mrs Buddha and the kids I am waiting for some disaster to befall me so the pleasure gets balanced out by some pain, and I can stop feeling guilty at being so lucky.
We had so much fun I haven't even had time to get decently pissed before crawling to my pit; which means I at least had the wits about me to finish the Crumley.
Man that was a depressing read. I was in need of light relief, and my hand fell upon Princess Naughty and The Voodoo Cadillac, by Fred Willard. So far so good, I think I am going to like it, thankfully. I have taken some chances on pulp type novels recently and been sorely disappointed.

I have to say I have been a bit underwhelmed by my first mefiswap experience. Of the two cd's I received one was excelklent, full of really good stuff that I was unfamiliar with, the other was good as well, but not as surprising, or startling. But where the chuff are the other 3 ? Also, I keep having guilty pangs about putting unintended tracks on the one I sent out, and not being arsed to change them. I also realise that of all the Ed Harcourt tracks I could have put on, I chose the worst.
Oddly when I tested the link, the website was playing the tune I was actually listening to anyway. Spooky.

The suicide wave: an extremely harrowing account of young men approaching slaughter on Omaha beach June 16 1944.