Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I've been watching

a programme on telly about the hundred favourite foods of the British as voted by viewers. Fish came out as number one. Thai food was listed in the top five. Fish is such a generic term that I can't disagree with it's number one spot but the most astonishing food I've ever tasted by far must be Thai. I was taken to a Thai restaurant about 10 years ago and was fairly po faced about it because (miserable get that I am) I thought the food would be a variation of Chinese food, and hey, who hasn't eaten their fair share of Chinese food? No disrespect to our Chinese brothers and sisters.

Vegetable tempura in the lightest most mouthwatering batter was served first with a sweet chili dipping sauce. I was entranced. This was followed by a hot and spicy chicken soup scented with lime leaves and lemon grass. Silence overcame me because of aromas and tastes I had simply never before experienced in my entire life. Even long after I can still remember the restaurant, the table and the food which had so clearly been passed down to us by the very Gods themselves. And mark my words I'm an athiest. It was such an assault on my senses, so delicious that in gratitude I briefly considered giving all my worldly goods to the chefs and converting to Islam. In the following weeks I bored people to death with a tale of food so awesome it could barely be described using a crude medium like language.

10 years after, Thai remains for me the most exquisite food on this planet.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


The road to work passes out of Manchester towards Stockport in the southern suburbs. At this time of year when it's clear the rising sun shines directly into my eyes as I'm driving. The winter sun is bright and hard edged, a deep yellow set in a cold azure sky. I like the word azure. One of the definitions of azure in the Collins dictionary is 'serene' but I think in winter azure is more harsh, edgy. On wet roads the glare is so strong that even a sun visor isn't much help against the piercing light.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Sunday night

Today I've been sleeping on the sofa suffering from a surfeit of gin last night. It started off with tea time glasses of wine at friends then back to mine for more wine. The wine tasted so good it ran out. Only gin left in fridge so I pulped some tangerines, to make the drink healthy, and finished off the gin. Ended up watching the film 'Notting Hill' with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and even though I was very drunk my critical faculties were unnafected, the film was absolute shite. The downside of being drunk meant I forgot to turn the film off so I lay there cursing this complete load of cack! Hugh Grant played himself, as usual, and Julia Roberts played a famous film star who falls in love with him. I did not laugh once.

I suppose a lesson to be learned here is how alcohol can confuse a functioning mind in that it didn't occur to me that I could turn the bloody thing off. Yet at the same time alcohol can strangely leave other parts of the rational mind untouched, I really knew I was watching something truly abysmal.

This film was so bad that being really pissed couldn't improve it.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

There's much to be angry about, much to stand up for.

I've been reading Riverbend's blog from Bagdad and she writes movingly of the tragedy of Falooja. Yet still Blair and Bush get away with it. The horror's these two santimonious arses visit on the Iraqi people are breathtaking, literally. Next March there are to be demonstrations across the world opposing the occupation of Iraq. I went on the great demonstration of 2 million in London on February 15th last year and expect the demo in March 05 to be large and lively. There is much to be angry about, much to stand up for.

I was talking to my friend Amanda who is a teacher and is exhausted by these shitty school inspectors who have been in sneering at everything she does. In my workplace the inspectors have just finished. They didn't sneer though they did look down their noses at me. Bastards!

In the UK it sometimes feels like a pressure cooker. Tremendous anger and bitterness over the corrupt Blair and his rich friends and a generalised feeling that change must happen. However the steam keeps powering through small cracks here and there. Social Workers in Liverpool on all out strike, government workers balloting for a national strike, a demonstration by students in Cardiff, the build up for the demo in March next year. Sometimes it feels like a big change is coming. And not before time.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

This is insanity.

Eclair Man says he's made progress in exposing the cake thief. This morning he sat on the corner of my desk and attempted to engage me in his plans. Despite obvious signs of disinterest like using the phone or walking away he failed to take the hint. In the end I was blunt and told him to fuck off, as a result I'm again on the the list of suspects.

Friday, November 26, 2004

On getting drunk at tea time...

After the 'eclair incident' I was driving home when overcome with the urge to drink wine. Red wine, a glass of glugging ruby nectar. A mouth watering worry for I'm incapable of drinking a solitary glass. Call me weak, call me shallow, it is impossible. So, I'm driving and thinking. Then hey presto it's the supermarket car park and a done deal, it would be churlish not to go in. The first aisle is cleaning materials, dusters, bin bags, fabric conditioner, furniture polish, all the stuff I've needed for sometime but managed to ignore. In my basket at the checkout amongst household items a single bottle of wine nestles like a baby.

Once back home I don't need alcohol because I am strong, then hey presto the bottle is open and it would be churlish not to drink it. A glass helps me put away the furniture polish, fabric conditioner etc. But only one glass mind.

All plans are now changing because BOLLOCKS, if a person can't have a fucking glass of wine when a person gets home from work then what is the point of living!?

I cook some tea and I'm feeling pretty fucking good and the wine is tasting pretty fucking good, and the world is looking pretty fucking good. So, its another glass then.

By 8pm the bottle is finished and a mate rings. Let's go for a pint, drink some beer. Fucking top idea. Come 11pm a glass of Jamesons to help wash down the beer seems de rigueur, and why the fuck not? What is the fucking point of living otherwise?

This morning at work I opened the fridge door and eclair man climbed out. I think he takes comfort from the darkness and the cold.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

The fridge and getting drunk at tea time.

The fridge at work has become a problem. Jesus, if it isn't the fucking tidy desks it's something else. The day before yesterday I heard shouting from the work's kitchen, naturally enough I join the crowd to see what's going on. Our education worker is bent double (legs upright, back at obtuse angle) brain clearly cooling given the length of time spent encased in deep white plastic box. To cut a long story short he was upset that someone had eaten the eclair he'd bought for his colleague. Now, ignoring the pregnant issue of buying cakes for a colleague his anger was out of proportion to the scale of the theft. The cake thief you see had neatly stolen most of the eclair except an inch at the end and in the fridge cupped within a fine sheath of grease proof paper lay mockingly the remaining 1 inch. Of course all hell broke loose, accusations were made tears were shed relationships were ended. For my part laughing at the absurdity was clearly a mistake because an echoing cry (from head still in fridge) of J'accuse rattled everyone's ears. Then to cap it all the little light went out and to be honest the consequent darkness wasn't confined to the fridge.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Hmm, first blog ever.

At work the six monthly 'clean desks' memo appeared this morning. Not sure why they keep pressing this on us, especially as it makes not one jot of difference to how people keep their desks. The anal types have work surfaces as prim as their opinions. Sort of NEAT! and boxed. In Ishiguro's novel 'The Remains of the Day' the butler laying out the table measures a correct distance between forks, knives, glasses, plates etc. Everything in its place, down to the last milimetre, unchanging and unchanged. The social order laid out in rigid patterns across an aristocrat's dining table. But the same thing on a bloody desk at work! Now I'm not arguing here that the anal's are like the aristocracy, I think different things are going on. For instance the aristocracy are, or were, extremely powerful whereas the anal's, (at least in my office) are extremely... well, anal. No power, no influence, no imagination, no...sense.

I think these people see the world as patterns, maybe in an aspergic sort of way, for instance should a passing colleague (say me) brush against their desk and move an item previously squared off, be it only a nanometre or even a quantam level distance they will know and spend some time lining everything back up. Now is that sad, or what?