Sunday, December 31, 2006

Christmas lights...

garlanding my mate Amanda's olde worlde fireplace.

Amanda lives in Old Town which is a tiny hamlet perched above Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire.

Unfortunately for the world of photography I forgot my tripod and so couldn't both widen the depth of field and keep the wonderful Nikon steady. The compromise means only a few centre inches are in focus. Ah well, at least the colours are pretty.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Karen's fish...

whom for the purposes of this blog we shall call Fish, admiring my Ford Focus.

Fish, disappointed on learning of three second mem...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pre Christmas photo...

of Manchester looking its most European. Not a bad effort, if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ha ha...

ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. I've finally managed to post both my Flickr badge and the site meter feed. Once again I am whole, like a conquerer, like a real man.

Hot milk now cools on the bedside table, chapter two of 'Rupert and the Stern Mistress' rests open on the pillow and my newly pressed jim jams are toasty warm. What more could a boy ask for on this blessed Boxing Day, hmmm, hmmm?


my old template's been changed using this latest blogger beta thang. Unfortunately, I'm so far unable save my flickr badge or site meter. Adding extras to these improved templates seems not straightforward but then exploration of new worlds never is. However, to see further requires we stand on the shoulders of past pioneers and I include here those small furry ancestors after the great wipe out who spent millenia in burrows wondering if the silence was another dinosaur trick. Are we so far removed from those times? To see the stars don't we too only have to look up?

With this ray of hope I will stride forth and solve the issue of adding flickr and other tit bits to my new layout. Therefore, I've only one more thing to say...

"Yeeehaw! Saddle up the wagon Ma, we're off to the badlands."

PS, any helpful suggestions will be most gratefully received for I'm sure those distant hills are in Mordor plus the horse hasn't been well and me leg's been playing me up and most folk really have no sense how tough it is to survive only on beans...


where can one obtain a bespoke blog? I asked in a nearby town but an unshaven type spat tobacco juice on Ma...

bugger blogging...

Ah'm gonna git mahself a gun.

Clean up this town.

Starting with Ma's apron.

Friday, December 22, 2006

I drank wine...

last night but not much. Feel side may have been let down. Will redouble efforts this evening. Got to pull my weight, have reputation to maintain. Hey, am in the groove...

Can't remember the name of that winter sport where folk dressed like fat seals speed down iced track balanced on a tiny sledge, might be called loooooooge. Come 4.30pm this afternoon I intend to zip tight rubber suit, rest carcass on said sledge and similar to lump of shuddering blubber push off on mindless ride of drink and debauchery. And to life's great barman these following words, "Hey dude, easy on the debauchery. Jeeze man, trying to show restraint here!" will remain unspoken.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


this evening I've been drinking wine and am slipping into the Christmas drinking zone... help meeeee, help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

No, don't help meeeeeeee, don't help meeeeeeeeeeeeee... I really like itttttttttttttt... hur, hur, hur...

Now, where's that other bottle...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here's a photo...

of my hand holding one of those round things that get filled with soap and put in washing machines.

The photo is courtesy of a dinky little canon IXUS 60 that I bought because my darling Nikon is too large and valuable to leave in the car.

I recently discussed with Annie Slaminsky my need to name things. It must be a blokey thing because women seem impervious, plus I've absolutely no idea what most of these actual names mean. For instance what is IXUS, hmmm? Or for that matter the 60 it is meant to be a model of? And though I try really hard to keep abreast of names and meanings, pourqoi?

I experience the naming thing in DIY shops too. For me, 4" dowelling is not a good enough description, oh no, I must know the wood type, sap quotient, run of the grain, country of origin, season of felling, was the feller sleeping with anyone interesting, maybe a cousin, were they church attendees, were they good at school, who sat with them in class, were they good at maths, was there scandal involving the local priest? I'm not speaking embezzlement here. Maybe their father ran off with the local priest? Maybe, OHMIGOD, their father was the priest.

Generally by this stage I find it best to leave the wood section and lie down, maybe on a bed, maybe on a Luxurydown Masterest, with quilted headboard and orthapaedic cushioning, bespoke design, from Somerset, from hamlet, from recent scandal... priest on foot across field... dogs... arrests... brother of Chief Constable... cover up... hush hush... medal from Pope...

Bollocks! I'm not resting on a bed steeped in scandal.

I shall sit instead in a darkened room. Let me adjust the blinds... what's this? By Lust Bros of Darkening Crevice?

Is there no end to the torment...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Recently I've been sooooo...

ooooo tired.

In the olden days one could visit their GP for a pick me up, or visit their drug dealer for a pep me up. My GP no longer issues pick me ups and I owe the drug dealer money.

Guess I'm to stay sooooooooooooooooo tired. At least for a while longer.

Red meat, maybe the answer's in red meat. Got to get myself some red meat. Of course could cut out red meat and go straight for the iron supplement. As a child elderly folk would recommend I suck on a piece of coal. In the pit villages of Northern England coal could cure most things, including lassitude. Or so the elderly said though I also recall the place scored consistently above national average for choking deaths. Not the fault of coal though, never the fault of coal. Choking deaths as the elderly were want to say, are caused by a failure of the will to live. Although as a small child I never sucked a piece of coal, small I may have been but stupid I was not. Besides, the Sunday stroll from church to home over the prone bodies of elderly folk, some with hands still clutching throats in my opinion was always a bit of a giveaway. Requiem, the only service that priest ever knew, indeed Father O'Strokechild could conduct a requiem mass with one hand tied behind his back and often did, though only on becoming an adult would I learn bondage is not a stage on the journey to heaven.

So, just as then, coal is not the cure.

Nevertheless I'm soooooooooo tired.

Could suck on a piece of iron, maybe that'll do the trick. As a child I swallowed a ball bearing. Between our house and school lay a scrap yard with one of those huge electro-magnets used for picking up metal. For months I passed that place on the other side of the street, I walked with fear and in response mocking children would daily crowd the opposite pavement, many made crane gestures. It was a time of shame.

Perhaps I need more sleep but then the nightmares come. Twisted metal, screeching, drawn, wrenched, suspended, and through the tangled steel always drops a single piece of coal, dancing and jinking before popping into the mouth of some old crone who was collapsed beneath. And the laughter of children would drown out her choking, then the children would choke, then I choke...

My home is converted to central heating. It's a comfort. That little blue flame, so far removed from...c...c... so far removed.

Some think I should be removed...

but what do they know...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

We've been having...

gales in Manchester.

High winds certainly make it hard work for birds. This morning I watched some starlings or thrushes or sparrows or blackbirds (they were mainly medium size and brown) flying backwards, the giveaway being that though moving backwards they were pointing forwards.

As usual, adolescent birds were showing off, doing pretend backstroke, flying vertical with head down, trailing pooh streams, that sort of thing. Other immature ones flew with the wind, really fast, but Manchester's a compact town with tall buildings and vortexes and on those bends many a coot came a cropper. Lots of cats were about, mainly sitting, mainly looking up, mainly looking pleased, mainly licking their lips. Of course older birds just tightened their mufflers, sighed, condemned the folly of youth and struggled on.

It's tough being a bird in a gale. Lucky I was driving a car then, and am not a bird. Hey, evolution, let's hear it for the big E.

(Sound of applause)

No sound of applause? Must be the wind...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Let me just say...

I love photoshop Elements 5.0

I know, I know, it's only software, it has no sentience, indeed it has no personality, but, well, it's a damn good thing.

There, no more will be said.

Actually I will say more for tonight it found 100 photos that I thought had been dispatched, mistakenly, by me into the outer darkness of my huge (by my standards) 140gb G drive that pc world put in the other week.

The G drive is like having a mansion attached to something very tiny. It's large and dark and at the end of a long drive with overhanging trees and gravel underfoot. However, it comes with no above stairs staff. Whilst fiddling with said photos last week, trying them in different rooms, moving them from floor to floor they were suddenly gone. Luckily I'd tied string to the front door and could reverse my steps but what should have been familiar no longer seemed so. That G drive is big and eerie and I thought, bugger, not going in there again.

This week whilst idly fiddling with Photoshop E 5.0 it asked if I wished to back something up (it would be so much easier just to read the bloody User Guide) so the appropriate button was duly pressed and off it bounded like a terrier, tongue lolling, saliva dripping, skittering over marble then up the grand staircase. Bugger me if a short while later it didn't return with my lost photos.

Honest, I shed a tear.

And if the above makes me seem like some trainspotting saddo, well...

Hang on, is that the 5.36 twin carriage chaser to Huge Thigh, calling at Mendacious, Pustule and Birch? Why I think it is...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

As a child I was particularly bad at...

skipping. Especially skipping with a long rope that you were supposed to run through to the other side. Sometimes two ropes turned in opposite direction were used. I was no good at that either, often became caught. Indeed my cheek still bears the lash mark from that second rope. Now looks like a duelling scar and in other circumstances might be rather fetching. To children it's the mark of an idiot, to adults the mark of an Action Man. It'd be nice to declare I'm sometimes mistaken for Action Man but with me at five foot eight and him at only eight it just doesn't happen. Instead, on seeing my scar people mostly say,

Nice scar. Were you ever the model for Action Man?

and I always reply "No"

then, in a disappointed manner they say,

Skipping injury huh? Still living alone?

and I always say Fuck Off.

It's worse in supermarket queues.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A golden sun...

rose over fair Manchester this morning. This evening rain from dark rain clouds fell. Thus did fickle winter trickle on our good town.

We've had gales too.

I'm not a lover of dark nights or dark mornings, though it's better here than somewhere even further north where it might be dark all the time.

A Norwegian friend tells of really dark winters and of vague mid morning light before the darkness comes again.

Vague Light, great name for a band. 'Node', their difficult second album was short listed for last year's Mercury Prize but pipped at the post by Shallow Desire's 'Only One Lung.'

I too bought SD's single 'Cough your guts up' and played it all the time.

'Cough your guts up
Cough your guts up
Cough your guts up
For the lads.'