Friday, April 29, 2005


At my time of life, a Bank Holiday should be spent slouched on the chaise longue, reading Proust or Collette, being fed truffles by numerous well oiled men.

Instead, the front door needs sandpapering, sugar soaping and painting. And, come to think of it, the window frames look pretty ropey as well.

At least I might be able to see the last five minutes of "The World's Strongest Man". My tip to win? As usual, the Big Fin will be there or thereabouts.


A fond farewell this week to the dearly loved and departed Eammon Holmes - well, he has left the GMTV settee rather than this earthly realm. Of course, a few of those montages of the highlights of his career on the programme were shown. Apart from the fact that he has grown widthways (as we all do, unfortunately) the most striking thing to notice about his appearance has been the change in his hair colour.

In the early years, it was a dark brown colour.

As time passed, it started to go grey.

Then, more recently, it became dark brown again, although is of a generally warmer hue - more flattering to a mature complexion, coincidentally enough.

Has Eammon found the secret of eternal youth?

Another tv personality who seems to have have drunk the same elixir is multi millionaire comedian Frank Skinner. His recent chatshow was running on ITV as the same time as one of his old series of chatshows was running on, oh, I don't know, UK Gold And A Half, or one of those channels you flick through during the Drunken Hour. Thing is, in the old series, Frank's hairline was disappearing at a rate of knots. Coming forward to 2005 and it has, incredibly, reversed back over his lightbulb shaped head.

How do a couple of blokes in their forties manage to step back from the precipice of loss of hair pigmentation and male pattern baldness? I mulled over this question for at least two minutes before I realised the answer was all too straightforward.

Both men are staunch Roman Catholics. God moves in mysterious ways - look at the Turin Shroud, or that statue of Mary which has apparently cried real tears, and was not witnessed by a local nun who had been at the cooking sherry, oh no.

As someone who has always suffered from dull, frizzy, lifeless hair which is becoming whiter by the day (despite nature being given a hand by Belle Color and any number of hair grooming products) perhaps saying three Hail Marys a day might have a satisfying outcome, and I will wake up one morning with long, silky chestnut coloured hair which shimmers and bounces in the sunlight the way it does on women who advertise Pantene shampoo.

As the late and great Dave Allen would have it, may your God go with you.

Monday, April 25, 2005


Spotted in town at the weekend - our local MP, Nigel Beard (like ZZ Top's Frank Beard he doesn't have a beard). Nothing unusual in seeing your local MP so close to a general election of course, especially as we are in a marginal seat, and hence the constant bombardment of leaflets from the local Labour Party office (today's pledge from Nigel - "Crackdown on graffiti and vandals" - what, in that order? Or is he going to be tough on graffiti and tough on the causes of graffiti?).

However, at the weekend he seemed to be in somewhat reduced circumstances - he was driving his own election car, looking grim faced in the weekend traffic jams and with music blaring out (or should that, tee hee, be "Blairing Out"? Oh my aching sides). The tune was one of those late fifties/early sixties instrumentals which I can't quite place: no, it wasn't "Nut Rocker" by Bee Bumble and the Stingers. Neither was it anything by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, but something in that style. Shit, I really should have put all those years of listening to the entirely surreal "Jimmy Saville's Old Record Club" (featuring Uncle Ted and Graham Archive) to better use. Unpleasant memories come flooding back of Sir James saying "now then, I am going to be easy with you on account of all them millions of points I got from you last week for "A Walk In The Black Forest" by Horst Jankowski, you see". If the last sentence doesn't make much sense to you as you didn't listen to the show, take comfort from the fact that it is barely comprehensible to me either.

Still, I digress, and must return to the fate of Nigel Beard.

I think that, after the election, he will still be driving around the same block, still looking grim faced, and with the same music playing on a loop.

For ever and ever.

Friday, April 22, 2005


A teenage goth pair have appeared, hanging around our street of an evening. Last night they were huddled together on the pavement in the parking bay opposite.

Two lovers struggling to hold onto each other amidst the sea insanity. And people who take the piss out of their multiple piercings and the stripy bits in their hair. No one else understands, and no one ever will. Thank God (or, rather, Satan) that they found each other through the fog of life. And they have signed a pact of togetherness. Love conquers all, and conquers all of us, no matter how much of an outsider we are. For some, it is the only way that they will feel included in society. Let us give thanks and praise to love.

Except that next year, she will go away to Bristol Uni. Then, by November she will have told him that she needs space, time to find out about herself, as she is still young, but she's pretty sure they'll get back together again. This means she wants to drink as much cut price cider as possible and have the opportunity to find herself by ending up in the bed of a different chemical engineering student every night, even the ones who are so drunk they would even sleep with a well loved family pet.

In the meantime, he will be putting in all the hours as a junior manager in Asda, having got poor grades in his A - levels. By 22, he will be married to some bird who is up the duff and definitely not a goth, nor remotely an outsider.

Two lovers entwine, pass me by, and heaven knows I'm miserable now.


Wake up, it's a beautiful morning, in the words of that ghastly and annoying song. One of the few indie songs to appear in numerous advertising campaigns and tv trailers, mainly because it is, like, so positive and makes dimwitted people feel happy about the world, allegedly. Nick Cave or the Pop Group, surprisingly, rarely find favour with researchers.

Any road, it is nearly summer! GUUURRRLLS! Time to get toned and exfoliated! Not long to go until you are spending endless hours roasting on the beaches of the Costas and spending the nights staggering around bars in a frock which barely covers your arse, before catching herpes from a squaddie from Rhyl! Not long to go, eh, and you want to look your best.

Still, don't panic - you don't have to pay through the nose to look gorgeous!

Take, for instance, Brazilian waxes - costly and embarrassing. OF COURSE, embarrassing - do you remember what happened last time you went to Cheryl's Hair And Beauty Studio ("With Newly Established Tanning Room!!!!")? Yeah, that complete cowbag went around to all and sundry saying "well, she looks like David Dickenson down there, AND with a bit of the turkey's wattle, yet she tries to convince everyone she is a natural blonde AND she says she's 29. Har HAR. As if". Now everyone within a ten mile radius laughs at you in the street.

No - the DIY version is safe, cheap, just as teeth grindingly painful and stunningly easy. Just use a leftover self-adhesive kitchen tile shaped around a high rise thong. Draw the curtains, assume an undignified position, apply to the appropriate region, and leave to set for about five minutes (you could have some scented aromatherapy candles and some new age music on the go in the background for a really nice relaxing atmosphere). When the times up, remove quickly or, like, dead slowly (depending on your preference), and there you go, smooth as. Bob's your uncle!

Or, indeed, your Auntie Mary.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005


Thank you for all your marvellous messages and gifts as my convalescence continues. I would particularly like to thank Mrs Onions of Plymouth: the homemade carrot cake was delicious, even if it broke into several pieces in the post. I would also like to thank Mr and Mrs Greentree of Huddersfield for the life affirming poem.

My recovery continues, slowly but surely. I feel as though I can identify with Gloria Estefan (because of the awful experience she went through when she put her back out in a car accident. I wish I could have a similar financial status to her as well, but sadly it is not to be).

So, I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a long slow struggle. As I look out of the hospital window, I can see the first colourful flowers of summer - such a heartening sight. You can't help but smile.

However, this morning, that really, really, really nice Scottish woman who does the weather on the BBC Breakfast programme announced that it will be snowing at the weekend, and that there will be frosts, killing off all those bedding plants.

You can all go and fuck yourselves.

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