Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Here's a photo...

of some stairs in The Lowry Theatre, Salford, Greater Manchester.

Tomorrow I'm orf to Rome and will return next Tuesday. Wey hey!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Last night...

I caught up with an old buddy who invited me to meet her horse. I'd forgotten what huge beasts they are and not for the first time stood in silent wonder at how the French manage to get them into a can.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Yesterday's radio...

for some reason mentioned that Jesus only fed the five thousand after the original caterers had pulled out. When the crowd left he ordered a clean up (the original cleaners had pulled out) and dispatched apostles, John, Peter and the hirsute one, Matty. They collected so much food that Jesus ordered the crowd back and remonstrated with them for being ungrateful. He said.

"Verily, thee are so ungrateful no one is leaving until all your plates are clean."

The crowd, by this time again hungry nodded in agreement for there was amongst them not one who would turn down a free meal.

Having eaten their fill they buggered off.

Jesus, who clearly hated a mess called again on the apostles to tidy up, this time however the piles of wasted food were higher so he ordered everyone back. The returning crowd, knowing a good thing when they see it brought friends and relatives who set about the mountains of food with some abandon. Having filled their stomachs those who could departed. Some from the previous occasions lay about groaning.

And lo, Jesus eyed the mess and said to his apostles clean that up. Using brooms Gerry, Francine and the gang collected all the food into a mound whose size was greater than the great pyramid at Giza and Jesus said, fetch the crowd back. By now word was getting around and the crowd had grown to over 50,000, not including the bloated and the infirm.

Jesus, for it was he said "Verily, no one is leaving until all this food is gone. And I mean it this time."

"Wey hey!" Roared the crowd and proceeded to scoff to their hearts content. Eventually they dispersed excepting those who could not move or were dead.

Jesus's order to his apostles to break out the bin bags provoked Darren 'the mild mannered' to exclaim,

"For fucks sake,"

But they did as they were bid.

After one week had passed the apostles stood before a pile of leftovers so high it blotted out the sun. And Jesus said,

"This isn't working is it?"

Apostle Jeanette cried, "No lord."

Jesus slapped his forehead and said, "Why have I not thought of this before? Fetch all the goats in Galilee for they shall clean up the mess."

And lo, all the goats in Galilee were fetched and beheld this mighty Eiger and knew it was good, for they were goats. And thus did an Alp become low as food became shit. For this is the goat way. And only afterward did Jesus address his disciples thus,

"What a shit heap. Get tidying."

And lo, they did.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

For some reason...

phantom limbs have been at the forefront of my mind this week. I think the right knee is sending a message. I think the right knee, currently knackered, pretends not to be. I think my right knee seeks to persuade me it is a phantom knee and therefore functions properly like a proper knee.

But I am not persuaded. I am wise to its tricks. My knee is knackered and no amount of tomfoolery will stop it being put in a huge magnet and scanned. Nothing will stop it being resonated. Nothing will stop it being imaged.

The right knee had better watch it, had better get with the programme or become an ex knee. Which is tantamount to moving out, making space or a lee where even a phantom knee might find a berth.

My right knee better get a fucking grip. Cos there's gonna be trouble in kneesville. Believe me.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The wind...

is moaning in my eaves. Today strong westerlies are blowing, I can hear them, not whispering but moaning. Oh woe they're saying, what a crap loft. I've shouted up a couple of times, told em to mind their own business, told em to keep the moaning down but they've not taken the hint.

Problem with my house is its situation. West facing, takes those winds head on, then they get in to root around, to mooch about, to moan. For me as a child moaning in the eaves conjured up images of elderly folk with chest problems (I was raised in a mining village) or little children lost. Of course I was too small to consider the absurdity of chesty pensioners or tiny kids hanging from the guttering outside my bedroom window but so what? Instead I was a romantic child who preferred an ambiance of suffering and death, in fact I distinctly recall the disappointment on learning there was a vaccine for TB. Nothing brought me greater comfort than black and white movies wherein some blond waif wasted away before our eyes. I was consumed with consumption and often wondered where I might get some. Not that I wished to die, I merely wished to be consumed for a satisfying period and bound beneath starched white sheets my thinning frame examined by an aged physician who was very wise. I can still hear the sob of a young nurse as the good doctor whispers "I'm not sure he'll make it through the night."

That line used to send me straight off.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

As part of my...

new get fit routine I went cycling this lunch time on the Fallowfield Loop and was promptly set upon by some let loose ponies, of which there were three. Interestingly, they seemed of a particularly small breed, each measuring only two foot tall, or in horse parlance half a wrist. Pursued by a band of boys running in a stylised manner the horses were making progress in their escape when they arrived at me.

The first horse said, "If you don't give us your bike you're DEAD!"
The second horse said, "Yeah, dead."
The third horse said, "Oh Brian you promised there'd be no rough stuff."
The first horse said, "You fool. You said my name. I told you not to say my name."
The second horse said, "Yeah, you said Brian's name and he told you not to."
The first horse cuffed the second horse and said, "You've done it now. I said no names. Is that clear?" And he turned to the third horse "John?" and then he turned to the second horse, "Harry? Right?"
The second horse said, "Er I'm not clear about somefing."
The third horse said, "Yes, I'm not clear about something either."
The first horse shrugged and said gruffly, "What's not clear?" He waited a moment, "Okay, you first Harry. Oh bugger, I'm doing it now." Then he turned to me and said, "Right lets start again. I don't know these two, nor do I know their names. In fact they are utter strangers to me and I never met them before today."
The second horse, who was still mulling over something said, "Why can't we say our names?"
The third horse said, "Yes Brian, it's not as if we're going to be remembered for our names. I suspect the horse thing will be the real giveaway."
Brian jumped as if he'd been stung, "Horses, where?"
The third horse said, "For God's sake..."
The second horse said to no one in particular, "I always liked Pauline as a name."

Setting off again on my bike I passed the stylised boys who had stopped for a preen and said, "You needn't hurry, I think they'll be there some time."

Red nose day...

yesterday and to help with proceedings 'Shaggy Blog Stories' have been published and hey, there's even a contribution from me in the book.

Copies can be purchased from Lulu. All profits to Comic Relief.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This knee business...

is disconcerting because I've remembered last Thursday the man said, amongst other things, that they'd probably replace the fluid in my knee. With what? I forgot to ask. Looking for clues in google I found this. It's listed as a knee brace. I'm not being picky but even my untrained eye can see it'll never fit. And shouldn't there be two bolts? A top one and a bottom one, and some nuts? As a child who was beaten regularly by my catholic teachers, including the metal work teacher, I'm only too aware that on items jointy my knowledge is lacking but look at the size of that thing, it's bigger than my head. The complete absence of 'kneeness' in the object's form is also a concern and were I a Platonist the surgery would definitely be off. However, I'm a materialist and will not deny an object simply because its origins lie in a shipyard. Might drop the surgeon a line tho, suggest extra nuts, can never have too many nuts.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A tale of...


The other week I was returning, drunk, from a friend's house when my right knee, which has been causing problems since September, went. When I say went I don't mean it actually went, that would be difficult given I'm as attached to it as it is to me. I could say the knee gave but that would make it seem philanthropic and it is not, unless it's a secret philanthropist giving my money away. No, I'd notice. Either way, the knee's now gonna get it. Went to see the man on Thursday and the man said MRI. Apparently, you stick your leg in this machine and if it likes the cut of your jib it'll take photos of your insides. DO YOU HEAR THAT KNEE!

To teach the knee who's master I bought a bike. Oh yes. Lately though I've been woken at night by the knees arguing. The left knee, which attends mass every Sunday and prays to the holy saints, remonstrates with the errant knee for not pulling its weight, for not doing it's Christian duty. The right knee drinks at weekends and smokes cheroots. The right knee is a bad sort.

Today I biked approximately 10 miles. The left knee crossed itself at every church we passed, the right knee who now knows what's coming, was in a huff. Currently the right knee is aching, as I am.

On Thursday the man said they'd probably use a keyhole for the surgery, I'd have preferred a scalpel. Now I'm as worried as the knee but I'm not letting on.

Ahhh, more daffs...

who can resist? I've bought a bike so went out cycling today along the River Mersey into Stockport. Hey, fitness and aesthetics, and all on one riverbank. Manchester, whaddatown! There's more photos on Flickr, over on't right.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Yesterday was sunny...

today is overcast. Yesterday was a working day. Today is not. Hmmm, something not quite right here. The weather should get its shit together, should get with the programme. Off work sunny, at work miserable. How hard is that to understand?


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One more...

crocus, only one more crocus (sung to the tune of Guantanamera) one more crooooocusss, only one more crooouuucuuuus.

These were seen today in Salford, Manchester's western suburb.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

I can't resist it...

but here's a few more daffs accompanied this time by the most famous poem about daffodils there is in the English language.

And as an extra treat here's some photos of last year's blooms.

"Daffodils" (1804)

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I'll post one more photo of crocuses later in the week then that will be that for this Spring. Or will it?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Here's a spring poem by...

John Clare. But first some crocuses in Crowcroft Park today.

Young Lambs - John Clare

The spring is coming by a many signs;
The trays are up, the hedges broken down
That fenced the haystack, and the remnant shines
Like some old antique fragment weathered brown.
And where suns peep, in every sheltered place,
The little early buttercups unfold
A glittering star or two - till many trace
The edges of the blackthorn clumps in gold.
And then a little lamb bolts up behind
The hill, and wags his tail to meet the yoe;
And then another, sheltered from the wind,
Lies all his length as dead - and lets me go
Close by, and never stirs, but basking lies,
With legs stretched out as though he could not rise.

Thursday, March 01, 2007