Wednesday, January 31, 2007


And to think I'd believed them all these years. Sheesh.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


When I first received this, for want of a better description, calendar, I couldn't figure out how it could possibly work. I left it wrapped in its transparent packaging and sat down to work out all the possible combinations of the two numbered cubes that would allow me to display every date between the first and the thirty-first and not one would do the trick.

And then it hit me.

No prizes on offer. Just curious you understand. Hopefully it will drive you as crazy trying to work it out as it did me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Mincing, fucking elitist, snobby bastards.

Quite why such a trivial event has caused me such apoplexy, fury and venom is beyond my meagre powers of explanation. But if have managed to convey the extent of my in-a-bateness by means of my opening line, then I have succeeded in my objective and can safely move on without the possibility of your in any way lagging behind.

I think it was the Independent online I was perusing the back issues of when I came across some work by a rising food writer and, believe me, had I been there when he wrote the piece, he would have risen a good foot and a half further.

I mean, just what is the fucking point of an article purporting to present some funky breakfast dishes the recipes for which, to stretch the point somewhat, absolutely depend upon the procurement of six and a half grammes of the finest Peruvian smoked llama cheese or somesuch?

Stroll on.

This twat, and I do use the term advisedly, despite my somewhat overcooked blood, was extolling the virtues of kedgeree and not once, nor even twice but thrice in the same short paragraph managed to set my pulse to racing, my ire to rising and engender within my normally placid breast a desire to do such physical harm that I had not felt since I devoutly wished to severely, and probably anally, incapacitate Norman bloody Tebbit with a bicycle pump.

I don't think I really needed him to parade his knowledge of culinary trivia so blatantly as to inform us that the dish derives its name from the Indian khichri and nor did I welcome with a loud hussah the news that any kedgeree worth actually cooking has as its prime requirement only the finest and the freshest smoked haddock. These would obviously, in and of themselves, have led any right thinking individual to reach for the mashie-niblick with a view to inflicting some form of cranial rehabilitation therapy but what really got my goat was his insistence that we, on no account whatsoever, should even contemplate for the merest slice of a nanosecond using that godawful, yellow dyed smoked haddock available in most supermarket emporia near you as I type.

This is babble. Who the fuck does he think he is? Or, much more to the point, who does he think we are? Does he really think his readers are the type to now examine the contents of their fridges and ditch any yellow haddock the possession of which, beyond calling napkins serviettes and holding one's knife as one would a pencil, so obviously and beyond all doubt delineates one as of the lumpen proletariat? Those who know no better? 'Kinell.

Mind you, this is from the same newspaper which published an article which appended the adjective pikey to the compound soft play centre, producing within me a similar urge to explore soft flesh with various sharp and abrasive objects and, one would assume, innuring me against further occurences. Wrong.

I will never learn.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


Reading Jess, on the Shoe, as I do, I was reminded of our very intense conversation on the subject of...naah, such a wide ranging kitchen conversation was never limited to just the one subject but, all the same, the nub, crux or kernel of the matter was our shared penchant for what might reasonably and psycho-analytically be termed compartmentalisation.

Shultz had Linus remark that, “Happiness is a drawer full of warm socks” but I would add a codicil to that along the lines of, “if warm socks were all it contained”.

When one compartmentalises to the extent we do, happiness may well be defined by the knowledge that when one opens a drawer one knows exactly the contents thereof. Take the lid off a surprises there.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. Remove yourselves, as I have urged you before, as far as possible from the possibility of misconstruing what has preceded this beseechment and denude yourselves from the delusion of our being some tight arsed labellers intent on stuffing our experiences into some alphabetically arranged compartments in our mental Dewey Decimal catologued memory banks. This is NOT, as Wittgenstein was so fond of calling, the case.

We are open and, dare I suggest, more than most, to the full panoply of stimuli this mortal coil can offer and retain the ability to absorb, digest and agglutinate same (Okay, agglutinate sucks but I have held forth before on the difficulties encountered by dint of the simple fact that English is no longer my first language) into our respective world views. And please excuse me at this point as I erode a further micrometer from the trail between my terminal and the fridge for another bottle of inspiration.

We do not attempt to shoehorn realities into previously annotated files. We have, as far as is ever possible, no conceptions that are in any way pre. We absorb, we cogitate and we adjust. We also fail quite spectacularly to realign our expectations of others. We, totally unrealistically, expect them to react to any given as we would, with the same considered intelligence. In this, we are naive in the extreme. We can see it, why the fuck can’t you?

And yet. Our lives are boxed, filed and tramelled into entirely discreet and separate areas. Thus far, I have, rather presumptuously, used the ‘we’ and yet from here on in, the first person singular will have to suffice with emphasis on the singular.

The whole question revolves around the query, “Who the fuck are we?” and, given the fact that our cells regenerate every seven years, we are hardly the person we thought we were in that not one of our cells extant at the time of our seventh birthday is with us today. Fuck. That’s a biggie.

So, who are we? Or, more to the point of this rumination, who am I? Am I the same 5 year old who developed an acute stammer as a result of an infant school teacher exercising her prerogative over the children in her care? The same junior school boy whose cap was nicked by the resident bully Wednesdayite? No fucking way. And yet we seem to expect that we are somehow a progression...a result of all that has occurred up to now and that the whole is a kind of totality. Bollocks.

And so it is. Bollocks. Those of us who do not have recourse to boxes are condemned. Doomed to be the same person at all times to everybody. Absolutely impossible. Or at least it would be to anybody who desired to remain sane and relatively likeable.

We who box, box most ourselves. We recognise that the totality of who we are is so completely inexplicable that to attempt to rationalise our selves is rather akin to pissing into the wind.

But we also have a freedom and an ability to mix, to be equally at home in the pub and the cocktail lounge. If you have no need of boxes, you have attained the unattainable, the ability to move within circles without ever having to adjust yourself. I couldn't do that. I am made up of so many contrasting and conflicting parts that to fully explore them all, I have to keep them separate to a very large extent. Few ever get to see all of them. Those who do are valued beyond measure and, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to have boxes of their own.

But I am drunk and have long since begun to ramble. I shall probably delete most of this in the morning anyway. Put it down to the Stella.

And file accordingly.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Just to prove that if it isn't underarms, legs or bikini line, women just haven't a clue.

"Wow! It must have taken you ages to grow it like that."

"Was it an accident or did you do it on purpose?"

"You've done something to your beard, haven't you?"

"There's something different about you. No, don't tell"

"What happened to the other half?"

I had, I thought, anticipated just about every other reaction but these left me, for once, absolutely speechless.