Sunday, 23 December 2012


My car's mileometer tripped over 100,000 miles last night. Obviously I'd known this moment was on the way, and given the time of year I had thought we'd be on a longish journey somewhere and had visions of pulling over for a celebratory snack or cup of coffee, maybe treat the car to a premium car wash or something. As it was I was just returning from the supermarket fairly late on, in response to an urgent hankering for some enchiladas.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Requiescat in space*

This arrived today, it's Trevor Henderson's depiction of Major Tom's probable fate.  Think I might get it framed for Christmas. After death by quicksand death by shattered spacesuit visor was probably that which most preoccupied my morbid nine year old mind. Looking it up, outer space isn't actually that bad for you. It's the lack of air mainly.

*Tortured by the thought of any passing Latinists: I realise that pace is not pronounced to rhyme with space, but it looks good.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Word of the day

Speleology - the scientific study of caves, from Greek Spelaion for cave.  Spotted today in an interesting article about Caracalla's Baths in the Guardian.  You'll pardon my ignorance, my Oxford book of Ologies & Isms leaps from spectr(o) to -sperm.  Before today, if challenged to come up with a word for the study of caves, I'd probably have gone for Troglology.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

It's Tuesday...let's dance

I remember in 1988 or 89 making a very definite decision not to go along with some friends to a proper rave in a field somewhere. I wasn't into the clothes and it seemed ridiculous to me to pay £25 for a tab of ecstasy.

Round at their places though I never found it an unpleasant experience to listen to the tunes they were into. I was (and still am) an armchair enthusiast of house, techno etc.  This track dates from 1991 and while I'm sure youngsters are at this very moment getting blissfully off their tits to no doubt excellent records I regard this kind of thing as the Motown of house music.

M & M Don't Stand In My Way

Sunday, 2 December 2012


As reasonably serious Bob Dylan fans me and the missus scurried out to buy No Direction Home on the day it was released.  It's a great film, I especially like the interview with Bob when he's rocking back and forth in his chair, physically and mentally on the very edge.

Of all the many songs featured in the film the one that most blew me away was Waterboy by Odetta, and I've been quietly on the look out for it ever since (about seven years, I was surprised to learn). During my quest I turned up many a disappointing version. However, yesterday I found the one true version - hiding on a Harry Belafonte live album.

Odetta Waterboy

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Their satanic top ten

Prompted by Rol's latest top ten, I was just going to leave a comment but it would have got too long. So, here we are.

1. Midnight Rambler
This is the only one that's going to get a numerical ranking. I can remember thinking, the first few times I heard it, that it was just a bit of a jumble. Then one listen it just clicked for me and has been my favourite Stones track ever since.

Picked for the sound of it all, lyrically it has its moments ("I'm just a shoot 'em dead brain bell jangler") but really - a song from the viewpoint of a rapist?

Jumpin' Jack Flash
Proves that lyrics can be dead simple and about anything, you've just got to think of them. Often I get bored of songs and cut them short to put the next one on, but I always listen to this one right to the end for the little organ bit.  Also a candidate for best pop video ever.

Honky Tonk Women
Possibly the best intro of any of their songs.  Like a lot of my choices here it pretty much comes down to the sound of the guitar. There's a bit in David Dalton's The Rolling Stones: The First Twenty-Five Years in which Keith reveals the tunings he used for Beggars Banquet and Let It Bleed. Very interesting stuff.

Parachute Woman
Very short, a sort of concentrated version of Midnight Rambler in a way (for if you're in a hurry). Most of the same ingredients: lolloping drumbeat, slide guitar, harmonica. I dunno what a parachute woman is, one especially dropped in for Mick?  More talk of blowing.

Play With Fire
Such an immense sound. The b side to The Last Time but the better song I think. Features a harpsichord, which I'm sure I've said before is my favourite pop instrument. Is it misogynistic? I'm afraid it probably is.

For the most part I'm an orthodox Stones fan, sticking to the run of albums Beggars Banquet to Exile On Main Street and I take the view that Their Satanic Majesties Request is a bit silly. It does have three good tunes on it though and this is the best of them. Weirdly good lyrics, uses the word pinnacles.

Turd On The Run
Exuberant whooping from Exile On Main Street.  

Little Red Rooster
An early favourite. For the immaculate slide guitar and the tick of the drums. I like loads of their earlier things (Walking The Dog nearly made the list) and their big middle period hits (Ruby Tuesday, Get Off My Cloud etc.) but I've just listened most of them to death.

Under My Thumb
Except for this one. After harpsichords, marimbas may be my favourite pop instrument. Or anything that makes a chiming noise I suppose. I heard a live version of this on a documentary once, the delicate marimba riff had been replaced by a fairly crude guitar - sounded really good.

Monkey Man
More Let It Bleed era badness. For the intro, especially the bit where Keith doesn't play the guitar at about the 19 seconds mark. Excellent bassline.

Monday, 12 November 2012

W is for Cymru

I was doing a round-the-world-in-music thingy wasn't I? A quick catch up, we have so far heard from Argentina, Ghana, France, England, Iceland, Japan, Yemen, Brazil and Thailand. Today it's Wales for W. The Cymry themselves prefer Cymru of course, and who am I to argue? Given that the noun Welsh is merely a Germanic word meaning foreigner it must be particularly galling to use.

It seems a bit silly really to use any name for a country other than the name that its inhabitants use. Though to do away with all these other names would be to lose some linguistic biodiversity I suppose. Just had a quick check of the countries so far, the only initial that would change would be J for Japan, becoming instead N for Nihon. Too late now though, and sorry Cymru, I need the W.

To my slight shame I am monoglot, I find the thought of other languages (and language in general) fascinating but lack the capacity for the sustained effort it must take to thoroughly learn another language. I'm determined to learn German and I suppose, given that I sometimes spout off about running away to live in Cymru, Cymraeg wouldn't be a bad one to learn either.  Oh, and Klingon of course.

The three years I spent in Lampeter left very few linguistic traces in my brain. Dim Parcio - No ParkingDisgo Heno! - Disco Tonite!  That second one is related to my favourite fragment, the road sign depicting a bent, elderly couple in Welsh (sorry) bears the word Henoed, that is, people in the evening or twilight of their existence.  Very poetic.

And so finally, the track. It's by the Super Furry Animals, it's from their album Mwng, which is sung entirely in Welsh.

Super Furry Animals ymaelodi a'i ymylon

Friday, 2 November 2012

Return to Wigan

The pre-Christmas ceasefire with my mother-in-law saw me up in Wigan earlier this week.  Normally I'm content to while away the duration out in the sticks, but on this occasion a re-tweet from Pete Paphides had me eager to brave central Wigan's baffling road traffic system. For you see, Static Records has reopened. I wrote a bit about the place once. Too often this blog has documented the closure of beloved eateries and ye olde record shops, so it's nice to see a slight reversal to the trend.

Situated just behind the bus station in what must be Wigan's bohemian quarter (we went to a vegetarian cafe across the road later on) I walked past it once, they haven't got a sign up yet.  I had hoped to be able to take a picture for the post, I just hope when they do get one it'll be as snazzy as the old one.

Anyway, I walked in and started to flip through the first box of records (Soundtracks). The owner emerged and after we'd exchanged hellos he gave me a little sideways look and said he thought he recognised me from the old shop.  Turns out that was ten years ago. Bloody hell. Very gratifying to be remembered. But maybe I need to update my haircut or something.  As I said in my previous post he's a really friendly bloke and we nattered away happily regardless of the ten year hiatus in our acquaintance.

But to business, what did I buy?  As always my wants list evaporated from memory the second I stepped over the shop's threshold so I resorted to looking at every single record in the shop.  I was tempted by a Shangri La's album (Charly reissue of Leader of the Pack) and by Chet Atkins picks on the Beatles whose fantastic sleeve warranted display on the shop's wall. By coincidence I'd given this album a quick listen on Spotify a few days earlier. It's not bad, but I'd have been buying it for the sleeve.

There were others but I'm writing this two days later recovering from the worst hangover I've had in months and my brain feels a bit damaged. I think there were some Jazz things, but they might have been a bit pricier (ie: a tenner each) and in fact they might even have been in a different shop. And an album entitled The Zither Goes Pop, that was definitely in there.

In the end I settled on the first Derek and Clive album and a recording of Old Possum's Book Of Practical Cats (taking in, as the bloke said, both ends of the comedy spectrum). I've never heard the latter, read by the man himself apparently so looking forward to getting that back to the turntable. I was drawn to it by the sleeve, which shows that picture of the Jellicle cats dancing. It freaks me out a bit, they look so weird.

So there you are, if you're a seeker-out of vinyl and you ever find yourself in Wigan now you know where to go.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Mod commandments

Thou shalt not wear anything with the word Mod emblazoned upon it. Or a roundel. Or a Union Jack.

Thou shalt not wear a track suit top (not even one of those nice Fila ones). Unless on your way to or from some kind of sporting activity.

Similarly, thou shalt not wear bowling shoes unless thou be bowling.

Thou shalt not wear a pork pie hat. Unless you are an elderly black man. Which you are not.

Thou shalt have no polo shirts but Fred Perry

Thou shalt not have a handkerchief poking out of the breast pocket of thy Crombie coat.

Thou shalt not wear braces

Monday, 15 October 2012

What's it all about?

I thought that news story a couple of weeks ago about the IRA stealing some hunting rifles was a bit weird. Whether through donations or proceeds of other activities you'd think they'd have enough money just to buy the rifles? I daresay anyone buying that kind of thing in Northern Ireland probably attracts some attention, but not as much as by robbing them. 

I'm sure this story, like any story about the IRA, could only appear in the British media with the blessing (if not the outright authorship) of the secret service. What does it all mean?

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Quick death

Zooming up the M1 the other day I spotted one of these beauties (just before Chesterfield I think). In previous posts I've touched on some other aspects of my ideal funeral (tunes to be played, type of coffin) now we have the conveyance. Yes, it's all falling nicely into place.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Delving into the origins of House music

I like to think there's always been a dance element to this blog. This has been blowing my mind all week.  Incredibly, recorded in 1979 or something.  I find I can't get behind stuff like the Silver Apples and Delia Derbyshire, and perhaps this starts to betray its origins towards the end a bit, but really an early electronic track that doesn't embarrass itself at all.

Bruce Haack Stand Up Lazarus

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Art space continuum

The latest release from Spacemen 3. Its arrival on our doormat yesterday prompted some eye rolling from my wife, "Just look at it as an investment", I protested. It probably would be too, if only I didn't keep playing it. I'm not posting the music, just the sleeve art. Beautiful isn't it? Reminds me of this.

Other thanTransparent Radiation and Playing With Fire, I don't find their sleeves that inspiring, in fact the sleeve for my favourite album, the Perfect Prescription, is laughably bad.  But, I'm on a mailing list and a bit back they (every member of Spacemen 3 bar Jason Pierce) played a gig in Hoxton to promote an exhibition of Natty Brooker's artwork which included some of their sleeves.

The alert went out on the day of the show and I read about it at about the time it was taking place. I was a bit pissed off about that. However, in a slightly bizarre twist I did get to see the artwork. The thing in London was the penultimate show in an itinerary that had taken in Berlin, Los Angeles, Copenhagen and Glasgow.  So far, so hip.  The last show was in Sheffield and, by fluke, on a day that I was due to be up there.  Much as I love the place it seemed a slightly incongruous finale.

Anyway, I drove out to the sleepy suburb of Totley and eventually found the gallery.  It was full of watercolours of poppies and other Jack Vettriano-type stuff.  I thought I must have got the wrong place, but I hadn't seen any other, more psychedelic looking galleries on the high street. A young, pleasant but totally not into it assistant guided me to a shed in the back where I found Natty's pictures haphazardly propped up against the walls.  I've probably spent too long going on about this, but I just found it so weird. Like, why Totley?

Friday, 10 August 2012

Thai beat

From the excellent Thai Funk Vol 1.  This is track one, side one and my favourite track on the album.  Those opening four strums of the guitar, I think I could probably listen to that noise over and over for....quite a while (with the rhythm second playing in the background of course).

The rest of the album is far more disco and quite a bit weirder, tracks that stand out being cover versions of Funky TownRasputinAnother Brick in the Wall and an original track the title of which translates as May You Die In A Hail Of Bullets, or something like that.

Researching the post I discovered that the track should be credited to Louise Kennedy rather than Louis Kennedy and that it's basically a retread of Green Onions.  So I wonder just how authentically Thai the whole thing is.

Louise Kennedy Pu Yai Lee (Chief Lee)

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Cool cover

It was always going to be Brazil for B.  Os Mutantes were the hot favourites until I found this album in a charity shop a few days ago.  I bought it for the cover really and a feeling I had that you can't go wrong with Sergio Mendes.  So apologies for being a bit predictable (and I've gone for the Beatles cover as well).

Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 With A Little Help From My Friends

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

When I'm in charge pt. 934

It's depressing, looking out of a train window for the last five minutes of a journey, as it pulls into any English town, certainly Sheffield.  They've obviously spent a lot of money tarting up the station and the bit of town immediately beyond its doors.  But what's the point if along side the tracks running into the station there's a ton of discarded crap - giant plastic paint tubs, other mangled bits of plastic, split sacks of cement, and those over-sized cardboard bobbins.

If I were in charge the approach to the station (for a distance of a mile or so) would be something along the lines of the hanging gardens of Babylon - with waterfalls and stuff.  In fact the train could drive through a waterfall!  It'd look cool and clean the train at the same time.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Well then I guess I'm going to Yemen

One of the tricky ones (along with Qatar) as, since the demise of Yugoslavia, the only game in town. So, looking at it another way, an easy one I suppose.

The internet threw this up pretty quick so I can't say my research has been broad, but I was so taken with it I decided my search was over. This is from Qat, Coffee and Qambus, another of those compilations put together by intrepid individuals armed only with a portable record player, a lap top and some vinyl to MP3 software. Not content with plundering your mineral resources, now we come for your pop music as well.

Anyhow, a classic boy/girl duet, do I detect a slight undertow of sass to her vocals?  The same kind of timbre to the strings as Nick Drake, otherwise utterly different. Which is sort of the point of all this - so this track is probably the winner.

Bolbol Al Hejaz & Soni Ahmad Mushtaq

Monday, 6 August 2012

Pay it all back

A quick change from the round the world antics, you remember a bit back I was going on about tracking down half remembered tracks? Well, the other day I was walking along with a friend and he only started singing one of them.  This is it.

Macka B Invasion

You can't really argue with that can you?

Friday, 20 July 2012

While my narwhal gently weeps

Every time Bjork releases a new album I read the reviews in the Guardian or whatever and they always say that it's revolutionising or subverting modern music as we know it. And then I listen to a track and it sounds like the same old same old.  This is an oddity.

Bjork Anchor Song

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Spy movie car chase

I find most of the tunes on the above compilation a little anodyne, though to be fair the good tracks are very, very good. Like the one I've posted.  I think I'm just about getting over it now but a few months ago I was hitting repeat on this like one of those lab rats punching the button to get its next hit of cocaine.

J Girls Kiiro No Sekai

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Song in the key of Syd

England isn't on the list of sovereign countries I've been consulting on wikipedia, because it's been subsumed by the UK as far as that kind of thing is concerned I think.  But for the purposes of this series of posts I'm breaking the UK up into its constituent parts (I need Wales for W) and this is the track I'm using for England.  I became aware of the gentle pop of The Doozer through reading Pete Um's blog.

On the the strength of the single Radio On I took a chance on his album Keep It Together (which, by the way,  doesn't feature Radio On). It flows so nicely it's one of those albums I listen to all the way through every time I put it on. The first time I played it the wife said, "Pffft! It sounds just like Syd Barrett",  and she was actually a bit outraged. My attitude was more, "This is great! It sounds just like Syd Barrett!" .

And it really does.  So, if you feel that Barrett's output was insufficient and you want more of that kind of stuff in your life, go to The Doozer's website and buy this album. It's on vinyl too.

The Doozer Fen Drayton

Monday, 9 July 2012

Vingt et un

My 21st birthday was a relatively mild affair.  I spent the day getting mashed in and out of the pubs of the delightful suburb of Broomhill. The day is chiefly remembered by pub quiz bores as the occasion on which the Grand National was declared void and by my friends for their beloved Blades getting tonked in an FA Cup semi final by their deadly rivals Sheffield Wednesday.  The revels ended at about 9.30pm when I fell asleep face down on a table in the Duke of York.

Not being much of a sports fan the high point for me was the record fair I attended earlier that day at the Leadmill.  It was my birthday so I was probably pretty lavish but the only record I can recall buying was a Francoise Hardy album, Francoise Hardy in English.  I bought it because I'd heard this song on the radio.

Francoise Hardy All Over The World

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Possible test match special theme tune

Dashing ahead slightly, I'm posting this because I've been listening to it rather a lot over the last couple of weeks.  Probably a big reason behind this around the world thing is that I'm on a massive African music jag at the minute.  The Afro-Beat Airways compilation that features this track was delivered yesterday. I highly recommend it.  I got mine from Sounds of the Universe, and I think I bought their last copy. Today's post, representing the letter G, is brought to you from Ghana.

Apagya Show Band Ma Nserew Me

Saturday, 7 July 2012

International musical alphabet pt1

To inject some life into the blog, on account of it becoming a bit moribund, I thought about doing one of these questionnaires. But I was slightly horrified at the amount of information the answers provided. Far better, I thought, to remain a shadowy persona, a fleeting impression of whom might be gleaned from my musings on beetles, pop music, haggis etc.

So I didn't bother with the questionnaire and you can't force these things so, despite the fact that blog worthy stuff is going on in my life, I reconciled myself to waiting until inspiration struck (it saddens me that I couldn't find the words to blog about the trolley bus exhibition at Fulwell Bus Depot back in May).

Anyway, the other day it occurred to me that the last two albums I'd listened to were by musicians from Argentina and Zambia respectively, and that gave me the only slightly desperate idea to do a round the world thingy about records. Alphabetically around the world in twenty six records.

I picked my countries from the first list I found on the internet, only to find that it's not very accurate  - for D I was all set to have Dhekelia on the grounds that I'd never heard of it and it looks a bit science fiction. But it turns out it's just a British military base on Cyprus, so that's no good.

I think I'll probably hop about a bit rather than do it in strict alphabetical order, as there are bound to be hold ups seeking suitable tracks from various territories. For a start I know I want to use a particular track from Peru for P, but I've lost the link and all I've got to go on is that it sounds like an old woman chanting, shaking some shells and someone hitting two bits of wood together.

And there's the matter of X. Not sure what I'm going to do about that one. Still, we live (as always), in turbulent times and perhaps a suitably initialled breakaway republic will pop up in due course.

So, A.  As usual I've no idea how I got on to this track (I do remember though that it was while I was watching a film called Perfume. God, that was a weird film, unrelentingly weird. I never really got used to what I was seeing).  Juana Molina gives us A for Argentina. I don't throw dinner parties myself, but I imagine she could be the next big thing in dinner party music. For all I know she already is. Or was.

Juana Molina La Verdad

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Rip off corner

Snuffling about the internet I discovered this.  Nice sleeve eh?  Listen here (scroll down a bit).  Anyway, ignore the I am the Resurrection drum beat and wait for the guitar.  Released in 1991 and diabolically ripped off to great chart effect six years later.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Lighthouse spotter's badge

I was off this weekend on a short break to Camber Sands, organised by my wife and a couple of her friends. On these jaunts I expect nothing more than salubrious digs, a decent meal out somewhere and a catch up in the pub with my wife's friends' husbands.

However, any trip to the coast will always have me scrabbling for my copy of Lighthouses of England & Wales and I was pleased to see that Dungeness was a distinct possibility.  All that stood between me and it was whether or not I could sway "the gang" into visiting a desolate headland that was also the home of a nuclear power station.  It didn't seem likely and crazy golf at Hastings was very much on the cards, until it started raining cats and dogs.

So, Dungeness. What a weird place, tons of beached boats and rickety little shacks, some kind of military type stuff (on the way my wife shouted out, "A tank!" but I wasn't quick enough to spot it) and a whopping great nuclear power station.  For the lighthouse spotter Dungeness offers exceptional value, with two and a half lighthouses situated there.

Only the old lighthouse is accessible and I zoomed to the top of that (stopping to take some snaps of some pretty, colour lens things). At the top I went through a little hatch onto an outside parapet, the view from which was staggering: the sprawling settlement of Dungeness, the miniature railway carriages (looking a bit like a centipede from this height) and off in the distance the white cliffs of Dover (I think).  The weather had turned lovely and you can sometimes see France from the top of the lighthouse, I didn't notice if you could or not.  I was slightly nervous to be honest and when the breeze got a bit frisky I was back through the hatch.

Back on the ground floor I got chatting to the custodian of the lighthouse and bought a lovely little cruet set, more as a token of support of their efforts in keeping the place going than anything else (I rarely add salt to food and I don't think I've ever added pepper to anything).  Old Dungeness is one of the tallest lighthouses in the country apparently and I read later that they do a certificate for reaching the top. Tragically I was not made aware of this at the time.

I love the whole Victorian-ness of lighthouses but while I was there I thought I ought to check out the new lighthouse (built 1961). You can't go in this one but I had a good squint and was quite taken with it, it's a bit Chris Foss I think.

Also on the list were the acoustic mirrors at nearby Greatstone* which longstanding readers might remember once featured as this blog's header picture.  Sadly I couldn't find out if there were any guided tours on, time was limited and my fellow holiday makers were in any case unwilling to wade through waist deep water and indulge in a little minor trespassing to check out, in their words, "giant lumps of old concrete".

The day before I'd nipped into Rye to pick up some groceries and chanced upon the excellent Grammar School Records shop, possibly the most impressive looking exterior of any record shop I've seen. I was a bit doubtful though when I went in, a surfeit of Alan Parsons Project-type record shop I thought.  But very quickly I found an immaculate copy of the Tom Tom Club's first album, which I snapped up straight away.  (Incidentally, Tina Weymouth's comment, that despite being young and hip in Seventies New York, she'd been shocked by the antics of the Happy Mondays in the Bahamas, used to be one of those things that made me feel proud to be British.  Sullied now though by Shaun Ryder's support for the Tories.)

Anyway, I rate Wordy Rappinghood higher than other early rap, far funnier and more fluent than anything I've heard by the Sugarhill Gang and it knocks Blondie's Rapture into a cocked hat.

* A distinct lack of ancient megalithic monuments, another of my holiday favourites, in the area.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

My two cents

I read today that Matt Groening has said that The Simpsons' hometown of Springfield is in Oregon, though there is some skepticism in the media as he has, in the past, made claims for other states. Anyway, you'll be glad to know I have my own (concise) theory. Once upon a time, whiling away the hours, I was scrutinising an atlas. And, yeah, there in Illinois I saw there was a Springfield quite near a Shelbyville.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

My cat's blacker than your cat

I've been meaning to post this for ages and now, prompted by Davy H's recent post, here it is. A firm turntable favourite in the Saturday night run up back in the days when Saturday nights were guaranteed to involve stonedness, mellowness and grooviness. Just looking at the sleeve makes me happy.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The track that fell to Earth

Checking out the Those Shocking Shaking Days compilation I went over to Now Again's website and my eye was caught by this sleeve. Like all good vinyl junkies I always judge a record by its cover and, like a pretty flower, this one did its job and drew me in. It looks like a Hendrix sleeve and I thought it was just an abstract splurge at first, but having seen a photo of Dimlite I'm fairly certain it's a portrait of him.

Also, it's on 10" vinyl. I always like 10" records, even though they're a bugger to find in your collection. And finally, it's called My Human Wears Acedia Shreds, which is just about the most intriguing title I've ever heard in my life. Here you are: Acedia. That threw me a bit. I think I expected it to be some kind of plant (possibly influenced by acacia, I wonder if he meant acacia?).

Anyway, the music. I read somewhere that it's hip hop.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Cunts are still

Feeling like a hefty chill I bought a load of newspapers yesterday, one of which was The Times. I stopped reading The Times a while back when it became unbearably right wing, the final straw being a Peter Brooke's cartoon in which Alistair Darling was depicted with red eyebrows, as in like he was a communist.

As I say, I thought a big pile of broadsheets would be just the thing for a nice relaxing afternoon, I was even going to read some of them in the bath. But the whole plan came undone and I was consumed with rage when I read Giles Coren's Opinion piece, the most part of which was taken up with an attack on that graduate who's taken umbrage at being forced to work at Poundstretcher for zero pay. Previously she'd been working for nothing at a local museum but according to Giles she's got no right to expect to occupy herself with work that she finds fulfilling. According to the article, after Giles graduated he knuckled down and got a rubbish job in a clothes shop, he didn't enjoy it but apparently it taught him the value of hard slog, something that would serve him well when it came to applying for the job of restaurant critic.

Other than an awareness that Giles is the son of Alan Coren I had no idea about any other details of his life, but a comment he made about the girl attending a second rate university prompted me to check out his wikipedia entry. And what do you know - Westminster School followed by Oxford. So now, as well as being outraged by his price of everything value of nothing crassness, it's a bit of a class war thing as well.

How far up his own arse is this guy's head? For him to lecture someone on benefits with his vast experience of hardship and struggle. For that's what got him his job at The Times. It's neither here nor there that he attended one of the most expensive schools in the country, not surprisingly afterwards getting into one of the top colleges in the country. And then a coveted position in the world of journalism - absolutely nothing to do at all with the fact that his dad was a famous journalist. What a cunt.

Anyway, I've learned my lesson - never buy The Times again.

Friday, 13 January 2012


Today, for the first time ever, I was accosted by a roving camera crew (from ITV I think they said). "At last" I thought, "an opportunity to speak out on some crucial issue". The question? Which celebrity bum did I most rate, and why? I admit I was flummoxed. After a couple of seconds' thought I apologised for not really being au fait with celebrity bums and stalked off.

I had thought of saying Pippa Middleton's, but that's only because hers is the only bottom I've heard any mention of in the media. In the end I didn't as, while I was sure it was very nice, I couldn't honestly recall if it was really my kind of bottom or not. I checked when I got back in, it isn't - not big enough. Further research on the matter revealed what my answer, had I been paying more attention, should have been: Christina Hendricks.

Happy New Year.