30 December 2006

The Smell of Christmas

I’ve just returned home to the most appalling smell. It’s not corpses or distressed lavatories - something far worse – gloss paint. It appears that in the short time I was away, the downstairs neighbours have decorated – Decorated with the cheapest most noxious gloss paint in existence. If I pass out as I write this, do not be surprised – It’s not like I’m even getting high off it. Why have they done this? The premises are rented, so they’re not even allowed to deface its beigeness. Perhaps they have actually done it to mask the smell of corpses – they did seem to be rowing on Christmas night. I think I’d prefer this to the idea that they had endured the soul destroying shop-shutness of Christmas day, preying for the wondrous moment of Boxing day morning when they could hit the Homebase sale, colour charts in hand, to acquire the toxic tones to reheat their love nest. Whichever explanation is the true one, if they are down there, they are almost certainly dead – another festive tragedy in this anonymous city..
I was here on Christmas day by the way -completely alone and quite happy. The solitariness was more or less self-inflicted as I’d had tentative plans to meet others in a similar position to me – When push came to shove ,we couldn’t quite be arsed to walk down the road to exchange Yuletide greetings. I’m finished with religion anyway - Sod em all. I tried to get Ava into a C of E primary – for the usual selfish reasons - but due to very real marital turbulence, which might actually have benefited from some pastoral guidance, was unable to affect the necessary weekly enlightenment in the pews. Just as well in fact, as her heathen primary school is superb - although for some reason, she thinks Jesus is buried in Austria, and claims to have seen his gravestone.
My Tony Hancock style day was spoilt somewhat by the termination of Soul Brother Number One. I’d wanted to sing ‘Eleanor Rigby’ all day, and darn socks, but I couldn’t help breaking into ‘I Feel Good’ , then throwwing a cloak over myself.
Before you tire of my moaning, or attempt to draw me to your humane breast, Boxing Day was a blast. Picked Ave the Rave up from her Mama and did Christmas properly. Had an argument with my sister, wore a funny hat and had a revelation – Toys are a waste of time – Children want Whoopee Cushions…and so do I.
Done- thank gawd – another birthday. No awfulness, no extreme wonderment, no religious conversions, unexpected sexual intercourse or presents of such beauty and value that I am forced to reconsider my long held beliefs that the human race is essentially fucked. Functional, that’s what I’ll call today.
Has anybody ever had a truly extraordinary birthday, received something that was really unexpected – something to take the breath away without being crack cocaine or a bullet?
A few years ago my mother gave me a coffin – hopefully not wishful thinking. A miniature snuffbox from an antiques stall, which now entombs the biggest wasp I ever slayed. This year it’s classical cd’s. Excellent ones, although none of the composers hail from my favoured present location – I’m going through a Gloucester composers phase, in exactly the same way I went through a Velvets, Suicide and New York Dolls,NYC phase. As far as I know, Vaughan Williams unlike my other hero Lou Reed, never provided the music for a Kung Fu video.
Anyway, today has been utterly delightful. Cakes, shaving soap wrapped with a whole roll of celltotape; my daughter’s first ever cinematic experience – The wizard of Oz at the Hampstead Everyman with cake and Coca Cola - which made her brave enough to endure the Wicked Witch of the west and her flying monkeys - bollocks to first teeth, that’s why we get two sets….followed by more grown up pleasures in the boozers of north London, with the stragglers of the festive exodus.
I am presented with a terrible moral quandary however. In the process of receiving gifts from my old drug buddies I seem to have acquired the Christmas gifts of a lady called Maria. We’re talking a Tesco’s bag containing … a coconut milk massage bar of soap, some floating magnolia floral bath roses, and a book by Victoria Hislop, ‘ The Island’ which comes highly recommended by Richard and Judy. The pub from which I retrieved these items was staffed by unpleasant types, so returning them would in all likelihood just lead to a nasty barman smelling of coconuts, while roses floated in his bath. The ladty to whom they were directed is called Mariaa….oh Fuck, I’ve lost the card. I thought this would be a festive blog with a happy ending and Maria could claim her presents. All I can remember is that the card was also signed by a dog named Shep with a paw print.
My intentions were really good, but if I don’t find the card what can I do? If you see me in the new year and I smell of coconut massage soap, don’t blame me, blame drunken Maria - who hated your paltry gifts so much that she left them in the boozer.

23 December 2006

The Fog Blog

The Fog.

Is it just me, or is everybody enjoying the Pea-Souper which is shrouding the nation? Flights grounded ( a fine oxymoron), wreaking havoc with the festive plans of frequent flyers, unable to get from Scarborough to Halifax via Gatwick and John Lennon airport. Don’t people realise that we have a perfectly functioning canal system, and that it is possible to walk from Lands End to John O’ Groats in just under two hours?
Ahh, another swirl is rolling in, enveloping my street/senses ( bad poetry impulse alert.).
God I love this fog - it’s properly old fashioned and macabre – like a funeral in the good old days, when Laudanum was available at Boots, and even our serial killers were the Prince of Wales
I’ve been overdoing things slightly, and am having trouble sitting upright, let alone thinking cogently. Should this festive address be deleted by sober journalists (is that another oxymoron?), I will completely understand.
Before condemning me out of hand, I’d just like to fill you in on the utter bleakness that lies ahead over the coming days. Not only is it the birthday of our Lord Jesus and Shane Macowan, it is also mine. The twenty bloody third of December - wretched. No chance of enjoyment, as everybody except yer good old fashioned cockernee chimney sweeps will be bedding down at Heathrow waiting for the fog to clear. Christmas eve involves some driving, so a clear head is required. The fact that my birthday falls practically nine months to the day after my late father’s, also conjures up unpalatably tasteless visions of candlelit spag bog, Cinzano Bianco, Max Bygraves, and the Brentford Nylons Riviera range - Be glad that you do not live in my head.
By the way, if my dear mother is reading this, please take note. If you have booked a table at The Fondue Pot again, I shall run away and join the foreign legion.

2007 and What it Holds

2007 and What it holds.

Fortuitously, just as 2006 draws to a close, I have chanced upon the future of music, it’s next great life injection; one that should sustain it for many years to come. Why me you might ask? Me whose contribution to music thus far has consisted of little more than youthful preening, burning holes in the ozone layer with endless hairspray applications, wallowing in abject onanistic misery, and some tongue in cheek cynicism that the over thirty fives found mildly amusing for about a day and a half. Answer is – I don’t know – except, I always knew I was blessed in some way. Destined to leave the planet much better than I found it - and be celebrated as an Avatar of greatness of some sort…a fuck-off monument at Highgate cemetery awaits.
Formerly, I’d imagined the flesh of this vision to be another leather clad rock’n’roll messiah…except I wasn’t quite saucy enough – only just. Then a poetic chronicler of humanity in a charity shop suit, who could still pull the ladies…sadly it had already been done – and by much better than me. Then - I was condemned to years of surfing the zeitgeist – actually holding the towels for the surfers, despairing that my moment would never come – but tonight dear people – IT HAS. I’ve stumbled across the triple helix, enigma machine, dead seas scroll, Piltdown man, Da Vinci code. And it’s only half past eight.

Before I carve this delicious butter roasted organic turkey - who actually volunteered himself for destruction, cremation and mastication down the piste of your discerning, well bred, well read gullets, down to the hellish caverns of your - expectant, sugar almond and ginger-wine cobbled guts, let me fill you in on a few preliminaries to set the scene – a drop of Baileys to lubricate your festive death hatches. We’re not talking a laboratory in Cambridge with Harris tweed, corduroy and leather-patch wearing wunderkind -We’re talking a studio flat above a garage in North London, with underachievement, alcoholism and imminent death.

This week, I became another crime number in the metropolitan police’s little red book – another one night stand. The CD player was removed from my vehicle by persons unknown - without my consent. My 74 litre Porsche 4x4’s ( actually a VW Polo) contents were strewn inside the vehicle as the miscreants searched for items that might be of value at the crack house. Amazingly, not one of my CD’s was deemed worthy of theft.
Beneath the drivers seat of my assaulted and still distressed motor car, almost beyond the reach of human fingers, lay a cd of Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kije Suite. You know the one…la lala lala la la lala la la lala la la lala la…Troika…’I believe in Father Christmas’…come on Guardian readers, you do know it.
As it happens, my dear daughter Ava has been singing it for weeks – rehearsing it for her school carol concert – which has now taken place and was divine…even though she burst into tears on learning that there was still half a day’s schooling left at the end of it and that we weren’t taking her home. Anyway, being a clever, thoughtful dad who likes to pull together life’s various strands I retrieved the cd and played it. Scratched to buggery – and not I think, the malicious act of Chalk Farm’s junior drug addicts – although my insurance claim form will almost certainly dispute this.
For the past three hours, I have been listening to the most random, disjointed digital loops of classical music it is possible to imagine. Beautiful textures, orchestral sequences, winding back on themselves, no linear sense at all, but still providing a gorgeous, orchestral soundscape. If I write some lyrics, raps, and hire some sexy backing singers to shimmy and shake in the background, I’ll be onto a winner. Think Howl, think TS Elliot, think Grandmaster Flash…Being articulate over scratched CD’s. the oracle atop the rubbish heap – how radical is that?..it ’s a rhetorical question by the way.
Also in 2007…probably with the money from my cd-bits hits, I intend to form a political party to win the elections…something like The English Renaissance Party or something – where we all check into hotels and save the nation…and I want to come off anti-depressants at some point. Not sure when.

Last bit. For Divorced Dads.

Daddy. " Ava, can I have a little chat with you about Christmas?"
Ava " Yes."
Daddy " Well this year, you’re going to have two Christmas days – one with Mummy and one with Daddy. Do you like that idea?"
Ava " No. "
Daddy " But why not?"
Ava " Because I want to spend both of them with Mummy. "

Merry War. Christmas is Over.

15 December 2006

Waxing Lyrical

I’m listening to the world at one on Radio Four. Government figures have just been released, stating that a million and a half young people are idle – that is: Not in work, not in education and not in training. Experts are expounding, politicians are biting and hot air is being blown. Before you begin to worry that I might be about to say something constructive – fear not. My concern is that these young people are classified as being between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five. That’s a bit ageist isn’t it. What about the slightly older young people who are idle? Those in their very early forties perhaps?

Yes, here I am again, the middle of the day, still caressed by dressing gown, wiping the sleep from my eyes, and chain chewing nicorettes. The sky is leaden, the trees skeletal and the TV aerials shake like ancient relatives. It’s at times like this that the greatest danger exists for the creation of bad poetry, miserable songs and the kind of introspective tosh that: should one fall between the ages of sixteen and twenty five, might be acceptable, but for the more grown-up among us, would be quite unforgivable.
For the benefit of young wordsmiths, staring from the windows of the nation:
Autumn leaves rhymes with trees, disease, sneeze and cheese; rain rhymes with window pane, most forms of physical pain, never again and embarrassing stain. But- I’ve tried all this – it doesn’t sell. Go for a walk instead…it’ll clear your head…and you won’t wish you were dead.

Anyway, I shall endeavour to accomplish something of beauty and value by the end of the day – even if it’s just un-blocking my ear. Is it just me, of is their an epidemic? The sinus pain has abated, but the right lug is still blocked. Do you think Pete Doherty might lend me a syringe?

08 December 2006

Blue Plaque

It is with immense pride, that I can reveal to you, that my birthplace and childhood home has been marked with a blue plaque. I didn’t attend the unveiling ceremony, preferring to remain asleep, and by the look of things, the burghers and dignitaries of Wokingham weren’t there either – not even the Rt Hon John Redwood MP – which is unusual.
Of course, my commemorative plaque was an unofficial one, placed there in the dead of night and photographed, by deranged fans, intent on correcting the omissions of the National Trust.

Of course this kind of activity should not be encouraged, leading as it might to all sorts of unpleasantness with the authorities, present occupants, and one’s own high standing in society. However, at my present level of popularity, I am not in a position to exclude any body purporting to be a fan, based merely on outdated and bigoted criteria such sanity and risk posed to the public. Anyway, the plaque looked excellent, and must have taken ages to make.

I would be prepared to wager that even Jodie Foster must have felt a slight tingle of satisfaction when her deranged fan took pot shots at The Gipper on her behalf. Obviously she couldn’t say so at the time, and will perhaps have to remain forever schtumm…but it sure beats chocolates as a way of saying " I love you."
I suppose that using a national newspaper to solicit crime is against editorial policy, but should anybody out there feel like having a pop at George W Bush - as an early combined birthday and Christmas present for me, it would not go unappreciated…just keep my name out of it please – and bear in mind – you would not be able to claim derangement and insanity as a defence against this particular individual.

On a sadder note…not for you perhaps, I am afraid that I’ve got a head cold. One ear is completely blocked, and I have awful sinus pain. I flitted in and out of sleep all night, a dull pain attacking my upper gnashers, while across this wretched planet, Shane Warne destroyed the last vestiges of hope for a bright new dawn. And I’m smoking again and I don’t care.

30 November 2006

The Green Devil Vs Debretts

In a grotesque twist of the happy family - exhausting themselves doing Christmas shopping, then coming home to a contented glass of some warming elixir advertisement, I have just returned to my divorced Dad-pad from Brent Cross, heavily laden with Spud Guns, Whoopee cushions and jumping spiders; to be informed by the people on the ground floor that a parcel has arrived for me. It’s a bottle of Absinthe. I cannot believe my luck.
So far I have only helped myself to two small beakers of La Fee Verte, but already the Christmas spirit is cascading through my festive receptors. I have emailed Wreckless Eric – whom I have never met, forwarded a voucher promising thirty per cent off at the Gap to my daughter’s school, and put together a book proposal for a memoir on my Life - and it’s still only ten past eight. Who says that drink is the enemy? Show me and I’ll fight em.

Really, it’s been a very long time since I Absinthed constructively. It can be done. See Monet, Lautrec, Alfred Jarry and Van Gogh if you don’t believe me. The abomination of the other evening was the result of being handed a bottle too late in the proceedings…you don’t give a suicidal man a loaded revolver... Tonight everything is clear. I know it won’t be if I continue – which as a man of – well, let’s not say leisure, let’s call it appetites and curiosities , I almost certainly will; but the cut off point between sagacity and stupidity has not yet been traversed.
I am somewhat perplexed, it has to be said – but NOT drinking myself out of a depression engendered by – the confirmation that my erstwhile pal Luke Haines has somehow managed to get himself an entry in Debretts. Of course I realise that you enlightened readers - will frown on this ludicrously overblown, archaic singling out of a person of - at the very least - dubious merits. Fact is, I didn’t believe him when he told me in the pub. I have now seen documentary proof that it is so, and even though I am a liberal minded socialist…practically the most reasonable person you could ever wish to strike up conversation with, I am momentarily jealous. My Schaudenfreude has turned green like the Absinthe. Even though I would refuse it on principle, throw it back in their over-fed Chelsea Tractor deformed faces, and spit on the very idea of Debrettism – Why not me? Why not eh? It might boost my credit rating. Perhaps I could borrow above my visible means, which are - nowt.
I expect they had heard that I was a man of principle, and it would do them no good, even if they begged...which is true.
Anyway, I have louched a third helping of the green fairy – without eating my tea, and stupidity is imminent, so I’ll take my leave. Goodnight.

28 November 2006

Car Crash Chic

As a child, the great film director John Waters liked to play with toy cars. Nothing unusual you might say. However, Waters’ game involved the creation of gory crashes, complete with liberal daubings of tomato ketchup, decapitated dolls, and play acting the final agonies of the soon-to-be departed for his horrified mother. He went on to make films such as Pink Flamingos, notorious for its scenes of Canine Excrement Eating and Singing sphincters, creating an American icon, in the monumental shape of his transvestite star, the great ‘Divine’.
The young artist Andy Warhol was briefly employed as a Police Crash Scenes Photographer. His compositions are decidedly different from the standard businesslike representations of death by driving, managing to capture not just its forensic violence, but also the ordinariness of an American dream cut short on the highway.
JG Ballard sexualized twisted metal and lacerated flesh in his novel Crash - while any publication lurid enough to print pictures of the Princess Diana death scene, is guaranteed a huge boost in circulation.
People like car crashes. They slow down to look, fascinated and repulsed by carnage. Now that public executions at Tyburn no longer draw the Sunday crowds, rubbernecking on the motorway is the nearest they come to exercising their primitive demon.

The reason for this examination of car crash culture is that I’ve seen another one. I can’t get past Slough these days without crawling past fire engines and ambulances. Perhaps it’s the stench of the sewage works causing drivers to black out, or a sudden mental clarity confirming that modern life really is a futile. Quite likely they’re swerving to avoid the flower shrines left by the recently bereaved.

As I drove my daughter back to London, we approached what looked like ‘a nasty one’. Wishing to protect her from sights that could haunt her beautiful mind forever, I took responsible action.
" Ava, I might tell you to look the other way in a moment. If I do, don’t argue, just do it."
" But I like accidents daddy"
" But there might be people who are hurt."
" I don’t care. I like people who are hurt."
I reasoned that she had little idea of how hurt people can be, so I tried stronger tactics.
" Ava, there might be dead bodies with cut off heads and arms and legs."
" But I love seeing dead bodies with cut off heads and arms and legs."

Finally, there’s an artist in the family.

24 November 2006

Poacher Turned Gamekeeper

I am feeling particularly curmudgeonly today, which might have something to do with not smoking again. However…

There are some young people living in the flat downstairs. I can hear their repetitive beat music – it’s making quite an interesting ‘mash up’ – as I believe it is termed, with the Bach Harpsichord sonata I am listening to on Radio Three. They’re moving around as well – filled with the vigour of youth and hope. Probably adorning themselves with beauty products, eating fruit cereal and generally conforming to every advertising stereotype of the twenty-something urban sophisticate. Bah humbug.
I would like to storm down there and command silence. It’s eleven thirty in the morning for God sake – don’t these people have an open plan office to go to? Of course, it would mean getting dressed, having a shave and brushing my hair. I believe my position of authority would be critically diminished if I went down in my present dishevelled state – I might even get an Asbo – due to a misunderstanding, or get struck down by a lightning bolt from the Celestial Hypocrisy Gun.
I am hardly what you would call blameless in the noise generating stakes. It’s true that for many years now, my output has been a cerebral rather than physical assault on the senses…well in my humble opinion - but to be asked to ‘turn it down a bit’, by a former member of the Jesus and Mary Chain might be pushing things a bit too far - It could cause a Universe quake.
By all accounts, years in front of Vox AC30’s, and the white noise explosions of sound engineers pulling out the wrong PA plugs, should have reduced my hearing to a distant whisper - but it hasn’t. I might be showing signs of ageing in some departments…although I’m at a loss to know what they are…but the aural flapping things on the sides of the head certainly ain’t one of them.
So what to do? When I moved here a few weeks ago, I smuggled my dormant guitars and amplifiers in under cover of darkness, to avoid causing undue distress to my neighbours. Perhaps it’s time to plug them in for a little nuclear test on the border. It could be a turning point in the Generation war. They’ve got iPods, decks, and mobile phones. We ( we being the curmudgeons with too much time on their hands ) have got Marshalls, valves and fuzz pedals. Let battle commence. Come on Godfrey, stay awake.

22 November 2006

Publish or be Damned

I need to invest in some cushions. I am in danger of developing deep vein thrombosis from sitting for hours on end in my tatty beloved Chesterfield, thinking at the world. The angles are all wrong you see. When I stood up a while ago, my whole lower half was completely numb. Shocks like this are not good at present, since I am in the icy grip of self-pity and hypochondria, brought on by lack of useful activity, and the various disappointments of everyday life.
Another publishing rejection has come, together with the advice from my agent to perhaps consider ‘letting this one go, move on, get writing the next one’. Fine advice I know - I have just read Lynn Gardner’s blog about the very same thing. The first novel pretty much sucks every creative thought from your mind, and it takes time to replenish the stocks. The cistern needs a long time to refill before it can be flushed again. But being advised to let a novel go feels like being asked to withdraw the feeding tubes from a comatose child because the hospital needs the space. Let it go where? Is there a manuscript cemetery somewhere, or a garden of remembrance to scatter the ashes of cremated chapters? Perhaps this is what’s meant by Poets corner? Still, he does have a point I suppose - although I think we are being too hasty. Doesn’t the Milk Marketing Board have a fiction arm – have we tried there? What about Humphreys Exhaust Centre or the Salvation Army? Yes – I do live in a garret and I am wearing a silk dressing gown in case you were wondering.

I’ve suffered an unfortunate relapse in the smoking dept I’m afraid. I had intended to give up altogether, but was trying to hold out until about a week after the ban came into force, so I could blame the Govt for leaning on me man. The rule was Nicorettes at home, fags in the pub – a fine philosophy don’t you think? Well somehow my calculations went awry, and I’ve ended up with twenty of the blighters to smoke before my rule can be reapplied. Happily I’ve almost finished them, and can now look forward to spending more time with my lungs.

So anyway, my tasks for the day are: Write a book, give up smoking, get dressed…and perhaps have a little think about making another record in the not too distant future…oh, and call in at the labour exchange to enquire about part-time seasonal work. This could be the in-store Santa Claus stage of my glittering career.

21 November 2006

I Remember You Well at the Habbo Hotel

On the information super highway, cool wind in my virtual hair
Warm stench of another terrible pun – rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance I saw a shimmering light
My cyber head grew heavy - I had to stay for the night….

I could go on you know – I’ve got the lyrics printed out - I swear I’m not quoting them from memory.

I have been asked by my employers to visit the Habbo Hotel and file a report on it. Imagine that – me, a humble blogger of only a few weeks standing, being sent on a luxury press junket - what a fantastic prospect - They’ll be asking me to write the front page before long.

I imagine the Habbo must be some new boutique place designed by Philippe Stark and Anoushka Hempel, tucked discreetly away from the hoi polloi round the back of Mayfair - its bed sheets made from sewn together orchid petals, and bog roll pressed from pure gold leaf - The kind of place I might meet the third Mrs Moore.

As I soon found out – much to my disappointment, the place is virtual – that is, it only exists in the real world as a binary code – a computer generated flophouse filled with computer generated celebrities. Well at least I don’t have to get dressed to go there.

As I type this, my cyber-ego Spam Filters is checking in and causing quite a scene. He’s old school you see and doesn’t like this modern bureaucracy - passwords, user names, and trying to remember his age. Spam’s been checking in and out of fleabag joints since analogue, and doesn’t need this extra heat. He’s running low on Pixel dust, which doesn’t help. He needs to score ASAP, or there’s going to be a problem.

Ok, he’s made it in and reached the elevator – so far so good. His room is ok, but it’s going to need some redecorating. " Look out below" he bellows to the Boy band on the ground, but too late. The TV set kills them instantly, but another forms immediately and takes its place. Spam thinks this is funny – like Space Invaders. He proceeds to empty the entire contents of his room out of the window, until a call from Bono begs him to stop disrupting the U2 album launch pub quiz taking place in the Stetson bar.

He prowls the upper corridors primed and looking for action. Spam is no spring chicken, but for some reason, at the Habbo, he looks like a fifteen year old rapper with a fireman’s helmet and wraparound shades – He wonders into Led Zeppelin’s suite (the Habbo is named after their legendary roadie) but the band are too busily engaged in fishing, and appear to be just about to catch something. He barges into Michael Jackson’s room, hoping to surprise his old pal who is on the balcony, showing off his new virtual baby to fans half a mile below. The shock almost causes Wacko to drop the child. Spam apologizes, makes a swift exit and heads for the lower floors.

If anybody is holding Pixelcaine, it’ll be Sid Vicious. Spam takes the old cage elevator down to the second floor, but is blocked from exiting by an NYPD Roboccop, who tells him to keep moving.

Drinking with the Warhol Super Star transvestite hookers in the lobby, Spam is saddened to learn that Sid has got himself into a spot of bother.

All good things must come to an end, and as Spam finishes his Brandy Alexander, the manager comes over for a discreet word. It appears that due to some funny business back in the real world - at the Columbia Hotel, he is banned from the Habbo chain and may not return - until he pays for the staircase he removed. Just as he is skulking off into the night however, Bono emerges from the cyber gents, sees Spam and throws his arms around him, in an extravagant show biz embrace, announcing " This is Spam Filters – he is Rock’n’Roll, he taught me all I know."
The bill is settled, Spam is reprieved, and is soon rediscovered by a new generation of fans.

19 November 2006

The Dylan Moment

I’ve just had that thing which many middle-aged men seem to suffer from every now and then. It’s nothing to do with the prostrate – at least I hope not…not finding more hair in one’s comb than on one’s head, and not an unseemly yearning for a lady half one’s age. I’ve just been struck by that poignant tugging of the heartstrings commonly known as a Dylan moment.
With Luke Haines now safely across the Irish sea, scaring our Gaelic brethren, I have been spending a blameless weekend with my daughter, immersed in the simple pleasures of swimming ( well, I floated actually ), reading Jemima Puddle Duck, and buying crap at a car boot sale. My Dylan moment came soon after we arrived back in London, as I brought her round for tea - before depositing her back at her MaMa’s in time for bed. As she contentedly cut up paper on the floor of my yet-again bachelor pad, and glued it to a bar of soap; I searched for some music to put on that:
A. I hadn’t listened to for a while,
B. She wouldn’t immediately hate, and
C. Something whose retrieval from my precariously balanced cd collection, wouldn’t bring the whole shelf down.
Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 3 was the first record that met all three criteria.

Once I’d given up cajoling her to abandon construction of the ‘Special Pink Soap Case’, and eat some of the delicious comestibles I’d commandeered from Friday night’s rider (healthy stuff I assure you) I sat down to watch her work. Dylan’s ‘Forever Young’ might at other times have passed me by, or drawn a cynical smirk, but tonight, its melody and lyrics shone into that filthy old chasm I call a soul. ‘ May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be quick’…stuff about standing up straight in a storm and always being courageous….you get the picture?

Watching this inexplicably ( unless you count her mother – which I suppose you should ) beautiful spawn of my loins, five years old, fresh as the spring, and still only possessing the most rudimentary of swear words, going about her business while Bob handed down his sage advice, almost reduced me to tears. Had there been a line about letting me brush her hair, and not talking about letting-off in front of Nanny, I think I would have.

She seemed to pick up on the moment too, asking who it was singing? She rolled the name around a few times, then asked if he was a nice man? As usual I said yes, which on the whole I think is true. Obviously I didn’t tell her about the drugs, the broken hearted girlfriends or the motorcycle accident – she had to be home by six. Even if I had ( which I promise never to bore her to death with ), I don’t think she’d have minded much.
She already thinks Hound Dog Taylor is a nice man – and forgives him for shooting his bass player – because she ‘likes his sound’, and Bo Diddley could kill Noddy for all she cares – she loves him unconditionally.
I’m still a bit concerned about her Amy Winehouse obsession though – when she climbs up on the table and sings:
" They tried to send Ava to rehab but she said No, No No."
If you’re out there Amy, please come to tea.

15 November 2006

Wheezing Spires and Broken Bows

I have just returned from a long walk down the hill to the music shop, and am feeling much better for it. Autumn is at its most glorious, and if my colour palette vocabulary was not so limited, I’d extol the beauties of sienna, burnt umber, flaming orange, claret and palest yellow. Well whatever, London streets with trees in are very pretty at this time of year. A slight irony perhaps, but the streets with the most planet hating four by fours, also seem to contain the most beautiful trees. Lets hope the roots are clawing at the foundations, making them structurally unsound and un-saleable, thus bringing financial ruin to the owners, forcing them to flee the city and live in mud huts in the Cotswolds. There’s nothing so self-righteous as a man whose just had a walk…yes, I did say walk.

Anyway, the reason for this excursion was to purchase a new bow to play the saw with. I’m not naming names here, but a certain clumsy great brute with a moustache, sat on my old one in the dressing room last night and snapped it. Whether this was his way of telling me that my sawing services were no longer required, or a simple accident remains to be seen. Anyway, I’ve got a new one, which I shall be debuting at Dingwalls tomorrow night.

Our gig in the city of dreaming spires was great fun, especially as Haines was near delirious with flu and said some particularly dubious things – even by his standards, which even his most ardent fans almost took exception to. Let’s hope that he’s rested by tomorrow, or the London audience is in for a particularly strange night. Luckily the Royal Free is close by, so if we are physically assaulted, it’s only a short ambulance ride to safety.

Talking of hospitals, I visited the Radcliffe Infirmary before the show last night. This was not in my capacity as a pop star or goodwill ambassador. My dear brother-in-law has just had a major operation necessitated by years of smoking a certain French rolling tobacco…He’s well on the mend thank goodness, but certainly not looking his best. Without sounding too morbid, I am afraid that we are getting to the age where things are catching up with us, and the health warnings are coming true. This giving up smoking business is extremely difficult, even when face to face with the evidence. I have to admit that my first port of call on leaving the hospital was the nearest pub for a pint and…a cig. Utterly, despicably stupid I know, but they don’t call them Musician’s Walking Sticks for nothing. As John Lennon said of Sir Walter Raleigh ‘ he was such a stupid Get’

13 November 2006

Plenty More Fish in the Sea

I believe it was Frank Sinatra who said that he felt sorry for people who didn’t drink, because waking up in the morning was the best they would feel all day.
Monday, London, lunchtime, dressing gown, headache, self-loathing, thoughts of malice towards Old Blue Eyes. It’s not that I’ve sunk into some Bukowskian netherworld – it’s just that I’ve over-indulged, overslept, inappropriately texted and generally worked towards making myself a less impressive being in the eyes of the world. On the plus side, I didn’t smoke any cigs…I forgot that. Did I mention that I’ve given up? Everyone’s doing it - It’s the new smoking. And like most things preceded by ‘new’, you can still do it occasionally and claim that you don’t.
So despair has turned to triumph – I might look like a wreck but I smell pristine. And…here’s another excuse – Sunday night is actually my Friday night. Weekends are usually taken with driving my daughter out to my mother’s, early nights and excruciatingly early mornings, going swimming, appealing to my daughter not to be so scatological – at least in front of Nanny, and generally being bitten, scratched and kicked. If it wasn’t for the fact that Nanny gets up with the lark, and spends some quality Grandmother Granddaughter time with Ava, these weekly excursions could finish me off.

Talking of scratching; this weekend, we took the cat with us. She’s still a kitten actually, and can’t be left home alone for two days. Anyway, Ava decided to let her out of her basket on the way home. I would advise anybody in a similar situation to maintain feline incarceration while mobile, no matter how much it pleads to be released and promises to curl up quietly on the back seat – this is merely a ploy. I imagine that driving on the M4 with a cat on one’s head might be a contravention of the road traffic act – most things are…he said morphing into Jeremy Clarkson. Still, this was the first car journey in ages where I haven’t witnessed major carnage.

The search for a third Mrs Moore is not proving successful. It appears that the ecologists are spot on – there are NOT plenty more fish in the sea. Over fishing has depleted stocks, now even the humble cod is a delicacy. To continue this maritime metaphor, I imagine dark dangerous deepwater creatures with spines and spikes and prehistoric teeth, lurking on the seabed, devouring any poor sap who happens by. If this sounds sexist or fish-ist I apologise.

On a musical front, I am sawing with Haines again this week, as his never-ending tour hits the drive home-able counties. Once again - apologies to the North, but the prospect of sharing a bed in a Travel Lodge with Britain’s most misanthropic man was too much to bear - especially in light of the preceding paragraph.
I’m getting up now. I think I might go to the pet shop and buy a goldfish.

09 November 2006

Decadent and Idle

What a productive day I’m having. I’ve finally managed to install Broadband, and am feeling empowered, omnipotent and not a little smug. I think the Virgin helpline must be located somewhere in the North East, as both – extremely helpful advisers, sounded eerily like Weirside Jack. Had these been the dark and dangerous days of the late nineteen seventies, the Yorkshire Police would have arrested the entire call centre. " You are no nearer to making your broadband work than you have ever been…" Anyway, enough of technical matters, I am connected to modernity and that’s that.

I am still feeling the after effects of a night on the old Absinthe – something I swore I’d never touch again. It’s had such a profoundly ruinous effect on my constitution, that even the innocent morning taste of Kingfisher toothpaste can induce a hangover. I attended the launch party for The Decadent Handbook – to which I contributed a chapter on the pleasures of casual drug use – a little hobby I enjoyed in my early twenties to help pass the time between musical engagements and visits to the unemployment office – and something which of course I no longer advocate…ah the wisdom and hypocrisy of age.

In retrospect, it was probably not the wisest event to take a young lady to who I was hoping to impress…although it doesn’t seem to have done Pete Doherty any harm. She made her excuses and left early, citing a morning flight to Scotland – and an indefinite trip to Africa – thus freeing me up for a night of dubious behaviour.
As a contributor to the book, I was rewarded with a bottle of La Fee Absinthe. Nicely ironic as I was a founder of the company. Doubly so, as the bottle still features an illustration of my ex-wife’s eye. It’s like a bloody Hank Williams song. I can’t even drink her off my mind, because she’s staring down at me from the bar. Anyway, the bottle didn’t make it home – but I did – and was woken at two thirty next afternoon by my landlord, who arrived with a plumber... to fix the electric heater - I explained that I was feeling a little under the weather due to being cold and was having a duvet day.

Played at an Idler event in Oxford last night at John Lloyd’s QI club. These events are always slightly awkward. Tom Hodgkinson expounds the Idler philosophy to interested types, skilfully debunking the tiresome yet oft repeated accusation by some smart Alec, that we are merely feckless layabouts. Quoting extensively from great works of literature, poetry and philosophy, he embarrasses them for such provincial simplicity. It is at these moments that I begin to perspire and shift uneasily in my chair like a guilty schoolboy struggling to maintain his composure of innocence, while wanting to blurt out for all to hear. " Please Sir, I am a feckless layabout."

06 November 2006

Ave the Rave

Have you ever seen the Jean Luc Goddard film Weekend? The beginning sequence of traffic jams, car crashes and carnage during a Friday rush hour out of Paris?…As this is the Guardian website, I’d be prepared to stake money that most of you have.
Well Friday’s journey to Bristol in the company of Luke Haines bore an uncanny resemblance to this. Even before hitting Hammersmith, we’d witnessed ambulances and mangled wreckages…we’d deliberately set out before three to avoid this kind of excitement. A six car pile up at Maidenhead, an exploding car at Reading and a rather fatal looking accident near Bath later, we arrived in Bristol, tired, emotional, ready for dinner and in need of Guinness.
It should be pointed out that this tour is extremely low key, using one motor vehicle, minimal electrickery and two nine volt batteries. To make it carbon neutral, some stinging nettles will be planted on a patch of wasteland in the very near future...Thom Yorke eat yer heart out…

The evening was most enjoyable, my sawing services required only sporadically, leaving time to chat to an old friend whom I hadn’t seen for over twenty years…she was a backing singer in a very early band. She is now a highly successful solicitor – I on the other hand am playing saw with a man who sings about Gary Glitter, Peter Sutcliffe and Sir Oswald Moseley…none in a complimentary way I should add.

Saturday began with paracetemol, a spot of dry retching, cursing the bottle of red we’d procured for last night’s return journey….There was a designated driver – who remained sober and oblivious to the cackling old wrecks in the back….and the arrival of my divine daughter – Ave the Rave, who promptly threw a tantrum outside the paper shop ,accusing me of being the meanest daddy in the world, declaring her absolute hatred of me, and threatening to take my life if I didn’t buy her the pencils and coloured rubbers she claimed as a birth right. We were on a shopping trip to buy presents for the two friends whose birthday parties we had been invited to; and less than an hour before, she had been given – crayons, pencils, paper, scissors, and plasticine, as a ‘Welcome to Daddy’s New Flat’ present.
Carry a screaming, kicking child, upside down, as it tries to bite your stomach and tear out your innards, while you attempt to maintain dignity and exchange polite smiles with passers by who are probably thinking that something awful is occurring , is something most of you will have to endure at some point. Embrace it. It won’t last forever. Marvel at your child’s expanding vocabulary, its reasoning, daring and divisiveness. Then threaten to leave it where it is forever and start walking away. In no time at all…three hours tops, the infant will quite have forgotten, forgiven and reassessed its feelings towards you. Especially if there is the prospect of an evening fireworks display, over priced fairground rides, and the opportunity to crush your spine by riding on your shoulders for two hours, wielding a glow sword.

02 November 2006

Run Rabbit Run

Oh dear, I am sitting in my garret listening to Burt Bacharach and nursing another hangover. Not a dreadful one – quite tolerable in fact, and I am not required to be anywhere for several hours yet. I’ve just consumed a bacon sandwich – prepared on the George Foreman grilling machine. I must take a moment to sing the praises of this device. It is apparently one of the most popular unopened Christmas presents of all time…mine was liberated from Mother’s shed, where it had lain un-open for years.
It is brutally simple…not even complicated by an on off switch…just plug it in and clamp it shut and it cooks stuff and all the fat drips down a slope into a tray. I have a feeling that it is aimed at …people who are perhaps not the brightest…which is perfect for me in my present condition.
I have taken to London again life like a migrating duck returning to water…well, not water perhaps, liquid shall we say? Anyway, it’s got to stop. I’ve come back for constructive purposes…not meaningless hedonism…ooh hang on…three magpies just flew past the window. Now if I remember the theme tune right, that’s three for a girl. I’d better put a suit on - always follow the signs.

I’m afraid that I didn’t make it to the Joiners Arms in Southampton last night. The lure of saucy snaps and free vodka was too great. I am sure Haines will have played a blinder, in fact when I sent him the obligatory ‘Break a leg’ text, he replied that he already had. I can assure anybody hoping to have witnessed my saw accompaniment, that you didn’t miss much. Still, I will be in Bristol this Friday with my serrated edges pointing inwards, and my bow gently stoking.
The walk along the Thames to the exhibition was utterly inspiring. The skyline made me feel as excited as I used to feel looking at New York. Take my aesthetic advice if you will - there are some quite nice buildings round there…pity they’re for working in, but that’s reality for you. And, even though I am opposed to warfare and military unpleasantness of all kinds, I would quite fancy a go on the HMS Belfast…no wonder Britannia used to rule the waves, imagine if that turned up in your coastal waters?...hang on a minute – this is the Daily Telegraph isn’t it?

Talking of Haines, I’m going to have to do something about that Rabbit stew. I can’t bring myself to eat it. Utter hypocrisy I know, seeing as I have consumed pig already today, but rabbit? Peter Rabbit , Benjamin Bunny, Run Rabbit Run, Friday/Rabbit-Pie Day? I can’t do it. I am not Mr McGregor. But what can I do with it? I don’t think it will flush down the toilet – it’s too big – practically a whole rabbit. It would be a bit embarrassing to explain to my new landlord that I’d blocked the toilet by flushing rabbits down it –there’s probably something in the lease prohibiting this kind of thing. Can I just throw it in a bin? I know Camden is very particular about its recycling. If I had a garden I’d bury it. I could even say a few words. Anyway, please do not worry too much about this. It will resolve itself. Once my head clears, an obvious solution will present itself…would it be rude if I just gave it back?
Must go off now and see if the magpies were right.

31 October 2006

Rabbit Stew and Ashes

Finally I am back in London – living the life of a swinging bachelor. Actually tonight I’m in Burghfield because I had to come back to collect more things, then got caught in a two hour traffic jam on the M4, most of it spent adjacent to Slough sewage works, which was in a particularly volatile mood, then felt unable to do a stroke of work when finally I arrived at mother’s.

It had been my intention to collect certain items of mine that should only be carried in hours of darkness, for fear of provoking my new neighbours into forming a lynch mob and hanging me from the nearest lamp post….Actually I’m talking about amplifiers bloody great big ones – Fender Twins, electric guitars - loads of them and other sound generating devices capable of taking out most of central London while only turned up to three.
Can you imagine the horror of those living nearby, seeing me bringing these WMD’s into their midst. They’ll be ordering air strikes. Well I’ll just have to chance it. I need to get back before it gets dark, so I can prepare for my Halloween Black Mass – and because I’m picking my daughter up from school. Perhaps I could disguise them as shopping?

Anyway, the move was trouble free. No bones were broken and the place is taking shape very nicely thank you.. Needless to say, Haines made a miraculous recovery and was able to join me for a ‘Welcome to London, Let’s try to get banned from your new Local’, pint or three. Do you know what he brought me to make amends? What do rock musicians take round to the flats of other rock musicians??? Rocks? Chinese Rocks? Scotch on the Rocks?Guess again suckers. The answer is of course - Rabbit Stew. Rabbit stew in a Tupperware container that he wants back when I’ve finished with it. I tell you, we are beyond Satan.
Spent the evening at aforementioned boozer – there’ll be a dividend for shareholders this winter…and discovered a Comedy Club in the basement. Normally, the knowledge that standup comedians were operating in the area below us would be justification for concreting the place over – tonight though, we were lit up just enough to be interested, which was a stroke of luck. Daniel Kitson – the funniest thing…well person to be precise, I’ve ever seen. The fact that I can only remember the line ‘eggs and shit’ can not diminish the fact that I know he was brilliant.

A little incident to relate regarding the unpacking. Well as you might know, the manner in which I left my previous home….before mother’s, was not the pleasantest of affairs. I don’t want to dwell on the issue, suffice to say, my former wife did most of my packing. And very well considering the circumstances. Really she did an exceptional job, wrapping things in newspaper – rather than smashing them with a hammer. As I was unwrapping these newspaper packages, I was surprised – and quite excited to see that white powder seemed to be spilling from one of them….to come over all Rolf Harris again...( careful), ‘Can you guess what it was?’
You couldn’t be more wrong. ‘Twas my father’s ashes. Not all of them. Approximately ninety five percent of him has been scattered in the places he mentioned that he might like to be scattered, should it become necessary. I kept a little back, which I put in a bakelite sleepy Bournevita mug, adding a lock of my daughter’s hair to the mixture – so they could meet one another in some kind of way…on the astral plane perhaps. Anyway, it’s good to have him back.
Now I have to struggle with my conscience about what to do on Wednesday evening.
Opening party for Erotic Photography exhibition/Joiners Arms in Southampton. Champagne, canapés, amoral people/the Joiners Arms on Southampton. Hopefully sleep will bring an answer.
Happy Halloween. Don’t forget, it is legal to shoot trick or treaters.

27 October 2006

Movers and Shakers

Almost done. The move is in progress. My Burghfieldness is receding, and I estimate that I am now more than fifty percent Londoner. Tomorrow, my beautiful (yet hardly missed since being put into storage a year ago),record collection must be moved - this will not be pleasant. Still, it’s the price for resisting emcroaching ipodism, and you never know, I might become intersted in music again.

When the estate agent met me to let me into the flat this evening
( the lease actually starts from Saturday) we were surprised to discover a naked man having a bath. I hadn’t noticed him when I viewed the property. Thankfully he didn’t come with it, but was a friend of the landlord who had been cleaning the place. We exchanged general pleasantaries, then he put on his trousers and left.

Sadly, Old Haines’ health has deteriorated significantly since yesterday and I can reveal that he was unable to offer his services today. I am sure you will all join me in wishing him a speedy and fulsome recovery, and that he will emerge from his sickbed, a better,stronger man. To be perfectly honest, I think there might be some truth in his sick schtick…not much it has to be said.. but a bit. Only a cynic would doubt the veracity of his coughing. However, when did one ever need to be healthy to lift boxes…I’d have thought being delirious with fever was the ideal state for this kind of thing. This great country of ours was not built by healthy, well rested, clean living yeomen. It was wheezed together by hacking old hunchbacks, fag in mouth and complaining of back ache non stop. Luckily, I’ve still got plenty to move, so he’ll have an extra day to recover - If any of you reading this distressing news are now doubting whether or not to risk buying tickets to see him play next week, don’t worry. I am sure he’ll make an instant recovery the second the last stick of furniture goes up my stairs, and he’ll be in ruder health than ever.

Luckily I was not without assistance though. My dear friend Phillip - who I’ve known most of my life, had the misfortune to be visiting this week - in his Volvo Estate. Mother also volunteered - but I forbade her from lifting anything heavier than a grand piano.

Also in attendance were Mr Eddie Argos and his friend Keith Top of he Pops, from the wonderful - and getting huge in the States Art Brut. Worried that sudden wealth and fame might go to his head and spoil him in some way, I suggested a bit of manual labour to help keep his feet on the ground - naturally he jumped at the offer….
Six days ago he was selling out the Irving Plaza in New York and performing on prime time tv. Tonight he lugged a mattress up two flights of stairs, with the bearing and grace of a true gentleman…albeit an out of breath gentleman with an absinthe hangover. Some people deserve to be successful…
Next week, find out how I fare in the local pub, interact with shopkeepers, and re-learn how to cook….Watch this space.

Oh yes, one other thing. I found a load of old John Moore and the Expressway t-shirts in a box. If you’d like one, I’m sure we can come to some kind of arrangement. They’re not all that great though.

26 October 2006

My Friends

A Warm Welcome to Guardian Readers.

I was going to make this – my first blog for the esteemed Guardian website, a rumination on the true nature of friendship…apparently I’m not being paid by the word, so from now on I’ll communicate in English – I hope.
Now many of you will not know me – and why should you? Well you should actually but that’s by the by. Just to clarify matters, I am a forty-one year old, twice divorced, former minor pop star with literary pretensions and a swollen liver (thanks to the Absinthe I once imported.) Think Syd Barrett without the royalties…or talent.
For the past thirteen months, I have been domiciled with my Mother in the countryside, writing the great English novel and waiting for publishers to recognize ‘a truly original and highly marketable force in English writing.’…Old Rock star =Young writer. The novel actually took four months, and for the remaining nine I’ve been doing precisely bugger all…as have the publishers.
I’m a bit – atrabilious…which is the old word for manic depressive, which is the old expression for bi-polar, so to employ a surfing metaphor…in a Brian Wilson ‘never having and never will surf kind of way - I’ve been waiting for a suitable wave to sweep me up and get me going again.
Having soaked up more than a year of that most sustaining ( and hard to work off the guts) elixir – motherly love, I decided it was time to push off again, or die a fat, alcoholic onanistic death; cremated by a local firm and scattered in the garden alongside the cat’s ashes.
So now you know the background, I can tell you that today – Yes - Thursday 26th October 2006, is the day I move back to London – to possibility- to Life…and a third Mrs Moore…ladies be warned.
Being too tight to hire movers, I have - naturally, been contacting those who call themselves friends. If you look at johnmoore23 on myspace, you’ll see I have 500 of the fuckers. Certain of them have claimed to have a day job – which I suppose is reasonable with gin prices as they are. However, in my line of un-work, there are plenty of people who don’t. Musicians for instance. This blog was going to be about the true nature of friendship, and my disappointment at a certain Mr Luke Haines, with whom I’ve had dealings in the past, who I hoped I could rely on this afternoon to help me shift some boxes. Luke Haines whose album comes out on Monday, whose tour starts on Wednesday (lukehaines.co.uk ) who wants me to play the Musical Saw with him at places as exotic as the Joiners Arms in Southampton. I had assumed that my calls and texts were not being returned due to M15 activity against subversives - and - I confess – in my darkest moments, I even thought that he might just be avoiding me. The mind plays tricks when you’re looking for shifters. Imagine my sadness on discovering…from the horse’s mouth - that he is actually suffering from TB, Renal Failure, Ebola, cancer and worms. I think he actually coughed part of his lung through the telecoms network….which will require a paintjob in Mother’s hall.
If he hasn’t recovered by this afternoon, I will of course have to cancel Southampton, and go to the opening party for the exhibition of Erotic photographs of my dear friend Rowan Pelling. To tell you the truth, I think spores and shadows are beginning to appear on my old lungs as well.

Ps. Amy Wine House – Rehab – The greatest single for years. No No No.

Pps. Some of you reading my blogs, might have noticed that I have recently drawn some fun at my mother’s expense over her bacon sandwiches, lack of cooker, microwave meals, and habit of talking to wasps. This is mere filial badinage. As an example of her utter wonderfulness, this evening - having finished a bottle of red (me, not her), I felt that a drop of something else would really put a beautiful gloss on the evening. Can you imagine the joy of finding two cans of draught Guinness in the fridge? Come on now boys and girls everywhere. Drop to your knees and repeat after me. Mothers are the BEST.
Stop Press. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth claims to have pulled a muscle in her back...I wasn't even going to ask her to help.

24 October 2006

The Final Countdown

I can almost smell the filth of London's shit strewn streets once again. No more the bucolic scent of horse manure and chemical fertiliser...Here comes good old dog shit, human excrement and puke. Piss, beer, diesel, degradation, meaningless sex ( with any luck), compromise and loneliness - I'm so excited.
I've had my utilities connected - as any man of my age and demeanor must. The credit checks passed without a whisper and I was resuckleded to the old motherly dugs of BT and British Gas - who apparently run the electricity as well - not that I'm intending to have any lights on. Candles and hurricane lamps will provide the ambience I require.
I trawled the charity shops of Wokingham today, searching for opulent things - the carelessly disgarded artefacts of people with more money than sense. Sadly I found nothing. No silk wall hangings, valuable ornaments of Persian rugs. I came away with one Angelina Ballerina dvd, one Little Mermaid Video and a rainbow coloured scarf. These items were not for me, but for the fruit of my loins - Ave the Rave. It's half term dontcha know and she's staying with me. We're having a wonderful time - as we always do. My advice to parents is to let your children do whatever they want- within reason. Let them be wilful, messy, cheeky, downright rude - as long as it's funny, and even let them fill your car with grass, pencil shavings, half sucked lollipops and wool. Can you really chastise a five year old for telling one to "Shut-Up you fat bellied old man or I'll do a poo on your head." We reap what we sow, and I take immense pride in my daughter's precosious way with an insult. To stifle a child's creative use of language with a clip around the ear would be to accept a nation of dullards. I don't know about you, but I like scatalogical humour, rudeness, and references to bottoms, wee wee, poo poo, sick and bogeys...not when I write Love poetry obviously. The English language is wonderfully sophisticated, but these four things pretty much cut to the chase.
Why beat around the bush with irony, allusion and metaphor, when you could just describe everybody and everything in basic scatalogical terms. Try it tomorrow - at work, at home. Oh God - am I going on a bit? Well I'm immature and proud. Things that come out of the body and smell bad ARE funny - except when they are cancerous tumours...but even then...Anyway, I expect I have managed to excuse myself from ever being called upon to babysit your well-behaved offspring.
I am supposed to be going on tour next week - not in my own right thank god, but in the service of Old Haines. He believes that my saw playing will somehow save him a beating in the provinces - perhaps he just wants a saw on stage for it's ability to behead bores. It's all crept up a bit fast...I wish there was another week. Having lived at Mother's for a year, I am less domesticated than ever - even in my teenage years. So, from the comfort of Burghfield, I'll have two days to re-aclimatise myself to independent urban sophistication before being whisked off around the provinces to produce strange music from my thigh area. What about laundry - I haven't done any for a year. What about food? It comes from the kitchen on a tray - Where is it found in the outside world? It is very frightening to think that in the next few days, I might find myself in some of the rougher parts of the UK, in boarding houses with dirty sheets, with ( I almost said 'in') landladies with a less than maternal interest in my well being. Then when I do return home, it will be to an empty flat with no welcome home bisto roast, a sour milk fridge, and bills. God, I hope I don't seek solace in alcoholic beverages, narcotics and loose women. Again.

20 October 2006

There's a Saw Man Waiting in the Sky

Good evening readers. It's been an alright day. Nothing spectacular. A quiet respectable autumnal English kind of affair - some rain, some driving and a brief visit to the pub. How different from last night's shenanigans.
My first glance in the mirror today, showed two inflamed pores on my nose. Not full scale pimples, just slight irregularities beneath the surface. Pre eruptions so to speak. These were easily treated with some delicate squeezing and a dab of TCP.
The reason for them might prove of more interest however. I got quite drunk in the service of my dear friend and erstwhile colleague - Haines. Apparently Haines has got some kind of record coming out...he's very prolific. Anyway, as a form of promotion for this release, he'd booked himself a live performance, for which I was to act as a special guest in my capacity as a saw player. A bit of saw lends quality to these affairs - it's exotic, sexy ( in my opinion) and extremely cheap to lug around...although not easy to get aboard aircraft these days. Clenched tightly between my knees, and teased with a bow, it is the sound my loins might make - if they could communicate audibly...is that or is that not a beautiful thought?
Anyway, to cut a long story slightly shorter...no pun intended, I was due to play on three songs, but owing to circumstances beyong my control, missed the middle one, so only graced two with my noise.
I'd become deeply embroiled in conversation back in the dressing room with - as unlikely as it sounds - Bonehead out of Oasis and Mike Joyce from the Smiths. They were involved with the support act - Vinny Peculiar. We reminisced fondly about our days on a bigger stage, deciding that Kilburn's Lumiere was much nicer than the Brixton Academy..even though none of us believed it. As this was going on, I listened carefully to Haines'characteristically excellent performance, conscious that my presence would soon be required. I have alway prided myself on my professional approach to the business of playing music in a public auditorium, and never before in my long career have I ever got so carried away that I forgot my cue. Strangely, this was the first time. Unfamiliar as I was with the song, it was not until the middle section of Freddie Mills is Dead, that I realised that Haines was playing Freddie Mills is Dead - the very one we'd been working on in the soundcheck. Ironically, Joyce commented that he could imagine a bit of saw on this song - 'just what it needs' he said. Of course Rock'n'roll is a fleeting thing, and by the time I'd presented myself stage right, it was over. Still, all was not lost and the rest of the evening passed without further incident.
BTW. The reason for my nasal irregularities - or so I believe, was the large amount of double whiskies I was obliged to consume - all of which were purchased for me by gratelful audience members who'd been moved to generosity by my musicianship and professionalism.

Anyway, I would certainly recommend that you all rush out to your nearest branch of Tescos and purchase a copy of Haines' new record when it comes out next week. This is not guilt speaking. It really is very good. Goodnight.

17 October 2006

Fourteen Million Fans Can't Be Wrong

Good afternoon people of Blogland. There now follows an address by your old pal. Please listen carefully.
Well glad tidings from Burghfield. The side light bulb on my car has not gone after all - mother thought it had. I drove to Dad's Shop in Mortimer, fully intending to purchase a replacement, but when I got there, it had miraculously started working again - signs of occult activity do you think? The spirits tinkering? Well whatever it was, I am pleased...it doesn't take much.
Due to the excellence of this blog, with its incisive commentary of modern living, I have been asked by The Guardian newspaper to blog for its website - which a pound to a penny is www.Guardian.co.uk - or something very like it. I shall be called upon to give my opinions on the matters of the day, and may well be instrumental...even more instrumental, in influencing world events. I believe that some sort of financial renumeration takes place as well, which will be extremely useful now that the capital beckons once again.
If I had already started, I'd probably take some cheap shots at Madonna...such as drawing comparisons between her and the Phillip Pullman character Mrs Coulter...Has the film been cast yet? A remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang might be appropriate.
If I were a right wing Telegraph reading old duffer, I'd say something along the lines of 'in my day, when folks went orf to Africa, they usually shot the trophies before bringing em home', which I'm not so I won't. I won't even imagine Guy Ritchie wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan 'My Wife went to Malawi and all she brought me was this...' no, I can't do it. I am convinced that the motive behind these star adoptions are quite genuinely benevolent...even though she is beginning to look like a wicked old witch...but then again, I'm no oil painting meself.
Anyway, that's probably the kind of stuff I'll be doing in the Guardian - with fourteen million readers...albeit a bit toned down perhaps.

Where do I stand on the veils issue? I think they should be bright red, so the ladies can act as mobile pillar boxes.

BTW - I've got a new website which is just about up and running.
www.john-moore.net which will be linked to my Guardian bloggage. Therefore, in the spirit of free enterprise, I am prepared to consider selling advertising space, so if any of you have something to flog, old matresses, false teeth, faulty electrical equipment, I'm your man.

I'm playing the saw tomorrow night with my dear friend Luke Haines, so do pop along - unless you are an unamused Islamic funda-mentalist or Madonna's lawyer. Cheerio.

14 October 2006

Early Release for bad Behaviour

My exile is drawing to a close, that’s right London – prepare yourselves – The Moore is coming back…and this time it’s personal. Assuming credit checks don’t find me wanting in the fiduciary department, I have got me the ultimate bachelor pad. Bohemian squalor in one of London’s leafiest districts – quite close to where the fellow had his head lopped off in the street last year. The place is a bit of a tip, but the sort of tip I like. A Chaise Longue, a few silk drapes and my selection of stuffed animals – which were even frowned upon in the former marital home, will make this London’s premier boudoir et salon.
What makes this even more desirable, is that it’s above a garage – just like the Fonz. I don’t mean a petrol station – that would be dangerous with all the freebasing I’ll to be doing – and flambéing…I am actually looking forward to cooking again. Did I mention that here at mother’s, the oven has not worked for three years – and she doesn’t miss it? She’s of an age where ladies were forced into the kitchens, so quite understandably rebelled….she’s been on the front line of culinary feminism for the past thirty years…Not that I’ve suffered you understand….(she reads this you know.) I’m not for a minute suggesting that she is the sort of lady to push pies through school gates. I’ve eaten every sort of delicious healthy concoction that can be microwaved in three minutes or less. I did have to accuse her of attempted murder on a few occasions…stay away from M and S macaroni cheese unless you want a fecalith. ( Think compacted contents of Elvis Presley’s colon here) but anyway, ungrateful little toss-pot prodigal bastard that I am, my fattening stomach will soon be a thing of the past, and the elasticated trousers and incontinence pants can be binned once and for all.
I’ll throw little soirees, wearing my long silk dressing gown – which I’ll locate from the bags of clothes piled up in the shed, I shall hover over the stove, saucepan in one hand, red wine in the other, whisking up a little supper for myself and the lovely dining companion I’ve enticed from the local boozer. God, I feel like Harold Steptoe. .

I hope the mechanics don’t wake me at some ungodly hour, but what the heck – I think I’m ready to come out of my bi-polar tundra and re-enter the sunny world anyway – Christ, I might even start getting up before noon – and conducting a life.
It’s close to thespian enclaves, so I imagine I’ll be hanging out with the stars - wife swapping – when I’ve located another wife of course – I don’t imagine ????? would take too kindly to my phoning her up to ask if she’d mind me swapping her in absentia – it could catch on though – Ex-wife Swapping .Instead of throwing the car keys onto the table, it’d be the house keys…bank accounts, furniture…Only joking. We’re on jolly good terms. In fact, she accompanied me to the viewing today. We are very modern sophisticated people.
It’s only five minutes walk from my daughter’s school – she’s already suggested escaping from her classroom and coming to hide with me all day – she’s five years old bless her.

Other business

I played the saw with the Idler Ukelele Orchestra on Wed night at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. If you want the gory details, go to www.Idler.co.uk Poor Tom had been stressing about this for months…arranging rehearsals that nobody went to ( the kid’s got a lot to learn about running a band ) I think it’s a mid-life crisis brought on by the huge success of Gav’s Cloudspotter’s Guide, Anyway, he needn’t have worried. It was a great success, and although it might not net him millions, it will get him out of the house once in a while – which to all but the worst sort of musicians, is what it’s all about.

Finally, I’ve given up smoking – in a way. I didn’t want to mention it earlier in case I jinxed it. I’ve quit for a month now – albeit having the odd one if I’m out – and twenty last Saturday, and ten on Wednesday and three last night. I’m feeling quite healthy in fact……Wouldn’t that be funny if it was the last sentence I ever typed.

06 October 2006

The Only Blog That's Fit To Read

I'm off to a wedding this weekend if you must know. I know you'll join me in wishing the happy couple Gavin Pretor-Pinney and his lovely fiance Liz a most wonderful day, and a most wonderful life. Actually Gav's already doing quite nicely, having penned 'The Cloud Spotter's Guide', which is selling by the shed load.
I have elected to camp - probably for the last time this year. The car is packed with all the necessary bits - I've even been to Dad's Shop in Mortimer to purchase torch batteries. Perhaps some of you will find it surprising that I am not staying in a cosy little B and B. I prefer to rough it. In fact, I've camped several times this summer, and must recommend a night under canvas to anybody who hasn't tried it. It's not much different to collapsing drunk in a ditch of course but it should be dry.
Anyway, enough of camping. In my bid to be topical, I shall now comment on Jack Straw and the veil issue. The solution is glaringly obvious. Rather than asking these ladies to remove their garments - something mps have been doing for centuries, why doesn't he don a mask himself when speaking to them? With Halloween just round the corner, the shops are filling with the things - Scream skulls, Saddam Hussein masks, George Bush - how about an Osama mask? This would immediately put them at their ease and heal any breach in community relations. What's David Blunkett's view on the situation by the way? He's being uncharacteristically quiet these days.

What else is happening in Moore World? Well, I am about to have my website redone. We must all modernise if we are to survive mustn't we?
In case any of you don't know, I've got one of those myspace sites - johnmoore23 I believe it is. I've got an enormous amount of friends, which is heartening because Mother is threatening to throw me out after the bacon sandwich incident.

Well that's all for now. Have a lovely weekend.

05 October 2006

Are You Being Served?

I told you this blog was going political...that's right - cutting to the chase.Well my first great political observation is that Boris Johnson is the posh John Prescott. You heard it here first - I hope.
Secondly, my friend has started working at Marks and Spencers, and it is a hot bed of Islamic fundamentalism - which might come as something of a surprise to Mr Marx and Spencer. My dear friend is of Persian extraction, although the last time she fell to her knees to face Mecca was when she was being sick outside the Bingo Parlour on Holloway Rd. Well as anybody familiar with the empty Goldborne Rd knows, it's Ramadan at the moment...that's right, the big one. Well my dear friend is getting no end of hassle from the dawn til dusk fasters for not being a proper Muslim, dissin' da religion, and not being a good example. In fact, it's all a bit creepy. She thinks they might honour kill her in the lingerie section.
Now I'm no expert in Al Queda plots, but I would not be at all surprised if every M and S in the world blows up on the same day. Marks and Spencer is being used as a training camp ....All this is pure conjecture of course, but if I were the security services I'd investigate - plant a mole perhaps - although not in the food department where I believe moles might create a scare among the folk who lunch....I was going to say secretaries, but that would be sexist, and this blog is far too sophisticated to fall victim to such accusations.
Just to paint an even brighter picture of London's shop floor life, did you know that it is common for people to urinate in the changing rooms. Also to try on clothes and urinate in them then hand them back to the staff. Could this be an anti semitic thing? I think it might. Do incontinent people make a habit of trying on trousers at M and S, pissing and leaving? If so, I believe that they should be incorporated into the new advertising campaign. Rather than Erin O'Conner and Twiggy parading round in the latest couture, get a couple of Golden Shower models to do the business. And the food adverts? They are the ones I really hate ' This isn't just a Creme Brulee...it's an Marks and Spencers Creme Brulee and it's been pissed on'. The shareholders need to know.
On another matter, Sid and Nancy is on the telly. I'm in it. See if you can spot me. I'm one of the little boys pogoing and spitting. I got paid sixty quid, with which I bought leather trousers - and within two weeks, was in the Jesus and Mary Chain. Life's a complicated thing.

04 October 2006

Season of Mists and Maturing Bosoms

As I might well have said at precisely the same time last year. Haven't found any yet, although I have come close a few times.

Attended the launch of Tom Hodgkinson's new book 'How to be Free', which I am sure will be very soon - or at least remaindered. Actually it's a splendid book and it's only my jealousy talking....and I'm in it apparently as the posessor of an 'attrabilious' temperament, which translates as 'black bile', which means, manic depressive, which used to mean melancholic. Yes, I is a poetic, tortured soul, in needof love, sympathy and cash.
The party was held at the Old London Sessions House in Clerkenwell. Lots of free ale, wine and pretty publishing girls to pretend to be an important young writer to. Downstairs was a meeting of the local Masonry. Fellows on the square, doing funny handshakes and the like. As the evening wore on, we tried to infiltrate their ranks - but to no avail. Addressing them through Tom's loud hailer as we exited the premises was childishly amusing though.
I've had a few drunken nights recently, and am now considering a return to sobriety to enable my liver to grow back in time for christmas. However - drunk or sober, I still hold with my theory that people should get naked more often. In polite society, the human form exhibited to one's company, says more than words ever could. I don't mean complete nudity in a 1970's suburban dinner party way, just as a form of greeting - a brief arse flash as a sign of respect and trust..so much nicer than a handshake. Anyway, this is a theory that I will need to develop slightly...possibly from the comfort of a padded cell. It's probably just a sign of middle age lechery creeping in - I do hope so.
Thank god mother has gone out. She's visiting her friend who's had a hip operation. I'm afraid she's been insufferable today. Just because she made me bacon sandwiches, she thinks it gives her the right to interrupt my newspaper reading. I do not care that the bin men, who were due to come yesterday, actually came today because their lorry broke down. I do not care that her friend uses Tiscali broadband. I am afraid that I had occasion to speak sharply to her, explaining that the credit of bacon sandwiches did not last forever, and that the fall from the cliff face of high esteem was a lot more drastic...
I can't believe I'm telling you about my mum...I really need to move back to London don't I? Do you realise I haven't done a stroke of work in almost a year? I am a parasite. Why do anything when you don't have to? I'm even biting the hand that feeds me bacon sandwiches - at 11.30am. Actually I'm lying. Today it was 12.30pm...I was feeling a bit tired.
I shall make ammends. When Old Moore returns to London, London won't know what's hit it. Anyway, I think I might have come up with an invention to make my fortune. It's to do with umbrellas and satelite navigation. Obviously I'll need venture capital, so I thought it'd be nice to offer it to you first - otherwise it's me and the city boys again. Any dragons out there who want to invest their life savings in The Unlosable Unbrella tm. Well don't say I didn't offer. Anyway, I'm off to get dressed now. It's ten past three....PM.

26 September 2006

It Ain't What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It...

I've been having an awful lot of trouble with Daddy Longlegs and Mosquitos - have you? I believe that my present location could be the epicentre of flying insect life in the United Kingdom - perhaps a sinister off shoot of the nearby Aldermaston weapons facility. Anyway, I am bitten to buggery and have arms so swollen, they make Popeye look like Karen Carpenter.
In my attempt to`make this blog appear more relevant - and deflect from the fact that I am doing bugger all at present, I'd just like to say that I don't rate Gordon Brown's chances very much. I expect that this last piece of blogging wisdom will flash across the world, and that I'll become highly influential...more highly influential. Did you notice how his eyes went all slitty during his big speach? - Not suggesting a Duke of Edinburgh style Yellow peril alert, but really, he ought to be able to open his eyes if he expects to be PM. Brown - to me, has always looked like a swarthy b movie local lout, encountered in a roadhouse on the A1 in 1961. Imagine if your Ford Zephyr broke down en route to an important business meeting in BIrmingham, and you needed to use a phone. You make your way to the all night cafe at the nearest lay by, only to be accosted by a gang of bikers, swathed in black leather, riding Triumphs, Nortons and BSA's - listening to Gene Vincent records. Brown is the ring leader - a big bullying local bull...probably called Johnny, chaining Players No 6 and glugging pepsis. He strikes swan vestas on his chin and makes a pass at your secretary, then, when like the decent ex army chap you are,you tell him to tone it down a bit, he challenges you to a fight with bicycle chains..which you eventually win using the Queensbury rules. Anyway, that's what I think, and I'm a blogger, and we're the new voice of reason.

Had a most enjoyable weekend in the wilderness - except for the mosquitos, jamming with the great and the good. Look out for the Bananarama remixes - featuring Saw and Ukelele. Night night.

20 September 2006

Old Pulteney Single Malt

I've just watched a documentary on the television about Princes William and Harry, and their prospective brides - Kate and Chelsy. I'd forgotten that there was some kind of deal done to let these young men grow up - relatively unmolested by the media - to ensure their transit through adolescence to manhood ran smoothly. Oh fuck, I'm afraid there's going to be more of this stuff soon. This one featured the esteemed Jenny Bond - a woman...on the birth certificate at least, and a man with bleached hair and effeminate gestures who may or may not be the wedding frock designer. I know I'm being trivial here - what on earth is an aesthete like my self even doing watching stuff like this you might well ask? Car Crash television...no pun intended, when I could be watching Curb Your Enthusiasm or MTV Cribs? It just so happened that I'd consumed some delightful whisky - purchased from the Royal Berkshire Livestock show, and I was unable to get up from my seat, or indeed - locate the channel changer. Rather like Alex in Clockwork Orange, forced to witness attrocities with his eyes pinned open...although it was quite entertaining. I can now predict with some accuracy, the next ten years. It's a bit grim I'm afraid.

What occurs to me while being force fed this stuff, is that we've got it all wrong, and with a few minor adjustments all could be well. The solution is close at hand if we could but grasp it. There are many right thinking people, who but for a ha'apeth of tar could all be singing from the same hymn books.
We're fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan - a group of committed young men, whose enthusiasm could be coralled towards the greater good - with the merest of re education. They're not very respectful to ladies, but...if they could be re programmed somewhat, they'd be extrememly useful. Once they had embraced the sisterhood they could be imported to these shores. Do you think they'd stand for late night television? No way. Big Brother? The heads would be off before even tourettes victim could say Fuck Robinson. Apart from the ladies thing...and an intolerence to music, how do they differ in outlook from ecologists? I am quite certain that Osama Bin Laden would advocate the use of compost toilets, wind power, and better school meals.
Many of the people who dislike the current playlisting policy of Radio One, would share many other views with those engaged in Jihad. Pixel animation, Hollywood blockbusters...nearly everything on BBC 3.
I might draw a balloon diagram to illustrate this. In the outer balloons will be some of the more obscure, irrational hatreds, but the cross overs will show a remarkable similarity in world views. Did you know for example that the last gig Osama Bin Laden attended was Donny and Marie Osmond in Ryhad in 1983? Or that he was until 1987, a member of the Earth Wind and Fire fan club? Or that he was a guest of this country at the Royal Wedding in 1981? Even as late as 2000, he wrote a letter to Kylie Minogue requesting a private performance...who knows how things might have differed had she accepted? What is particularly galling about all this, is that George W Bush was also a member of the Earth Wind and Fire fanclub. They might disagree on certain ideologies but the two fuckers share a record collection.
Did you know that Pope Benedict drove a VW Golf? So did Osama. So did Tony. There's room for dialogue.
What we need is a great big melting pot. I'm calling for world peace....here, now...and I'll be in charge. Good night.

19 September 2006

Did You Miss Me Yeah When I Was Away?

Ah, so that's it is it? Looks like I'm back in the world of bloggage. I'm afraid I had a complete mental collapse - not a nervous breakdown or anything artistic - just geriatric amnesia. Well suddenly, the old grey matter had sputtlered back into life, and ...well here I am again. I forgot my bank pin number for months as well, which was a bit inconvenient for those I had to tap up for a bit of cash.
Sadly, nothing much has been going on...well it might have been, but I've forgotten it. I appear to have a sun tan, so perhaps I've been somewhere.
My workrate has gorund to a complete halt - no writing, no music, nothing of any value whatsoever. My novel has still not been published - all is limbo. A third Mrs Moore has not been located, although I have been making enquiries in various places.

I have been contemplating another novel - I even went on a research trip - to Slough Sewage Works, but I'm afraid that my chanels are still blocked. Perhaps it's time to make another record, or do a gig or something. I'm not that desperate to do anything - I still have my hair and teeth, and since I reduced my cake in take, my stomach seems to have receded to more manageable proportions...fact is, I'm in trim.

Should anybody have a lovely one bed flat to rent me in the Hampstead, Swiss Cottage area - for a fraction of the market rate, do feel free to contact me.

I believe I'll be wintering in the capital this year. Although Burghfield has been kind to me, I don't think I can stand it much longer...

Thankyou to everybody who got in touch to ask me why I wasn't blogging. The two of you can rest assured that I shall be back at it regularly.

Mum's just brought me some sandwiches, so over and out.

11 June 2006

The Rake's Progress

As a last bit of bloggage to get out of my hydrogenated fat engourged system, I am happy to announce, that on Sunday 11th June 2006, I managed to cycle up the hill.
On one more matter - for students of factual accuracy, I might report, that the D.i.v.o.r.c.e of yours truly and his now second wife, came into being on 6.6.6.
Good job no inadvertent adultery was committed before the date of the horned one, but there you are - I am trying...officially.

Rock'n'Roll Part 2

OK Muthafuckers...enough rock'n'roll for you, or can you still take a bit more? Want to know what else I did this week? Let me build it up for your prurient diseased old minds - It took place on Hampstead Heath, involved me, a bunch of children, some middle aged couples and a spoon and an egg. What images are jumping into your depraved old noggins? Not a hint of grumble ( which is my favourite new word for sexual activity ). Shame on y'all. It was Ava's first School Sport's Day. Parliament Hill Fields Running Track, Friday, at 10.15 sharp.
I won't bore you with the race reports except to say, Ava wasn't at all interested. In eighty degrees, she was the only child who refused to remove her cardigan. She sort of ran a bit, but would then stop and refuse to participate any further. She shouted across the track to me 'Dad, this is NOT FUN'. She refused altogether to take an egg and spoon, although manically cajoled by her team mates. I would like to point out that she is a svelt child - does not survive on Happy meals, and is quite capable of performing sporting fee(a)ts when she considers the reward worth it. For some reason, none of the events - the egg and spoon, the dressing in a hat race, or the putting a bean bag in a hoop race, appealed to her competitive spitit. As her father, I was PROUD. Even though I was humiliated by being chased by a bee, and did take part in the grown ups race, I respected my daughter even more than before. To end the tale, strangely enough, her team - the oranges, came first. Once Ava was presented with the Winner's ribbon, she perked up completely and carried on as if she had single handedly brought home the gold.
The entire weekend has been spent taking part in races of Ava's divising. It's wonderful to know that my hypochrisy gene has reached another generation.
On a curious note, Ava does not attend a private, religious, or particlarly poncy school at all...Yet the parents of her friends which I spoke to are - Book Publishers (sadly not mine) Radio 3 Producers, and a Professor of Psychology who'd been on the telly the night before. Hooray for state education I say.

Rock 'n' Roll Part 1

Oh how to start - feels like homework on a sunday night. Perhaps I should adopt a David Frost like tone 'That was the Week that Was', ....and what a week it's been.
Since my last deposit of bloggage, many things have occurred. I've rubbed shoulders with the great and good, vomitted over their shoes, and competed in a race.Let me explain.
Monday night should have been the pinnacle of my life...well not mine exactly, but my old pals the Jesus and Mary Chain, whose tour bus to glory I hitched a ride on as a nipper. As a 41 year old almost double divorcee( more to follow ),residing back home with mum, it gave me exquisite pleasure to accept the kind invitation from Mojo Magazine, to attend the awards dinner, at which said old turn were due to receive some kind of gong. I was hoping of course for the Lifetime Under Achievement Award, for which I have been working these past many years.Instead, it was something called the Maverick Music Award, which I think has something to do with the fact that all the old records are being reissued or something. The award was actually presented by my previous - more illustrious...in some ways...skin beater - Bobby Gillespie. Although dearly wishing to rush up and receive the award personally, good sense - not my own however, held out a bony arm to dissuade me from bum rushing the show. To say that I was in wine would be unfair. It was a combination of insomnia, sunstroke And wine, ANd Beer...and various other irritants.
My memory of the event ends at our award, and I must tell you now, that the next day, I was rather worried that some kind of alcoholic blackout had occurred and that a blank time period had elapsed, within which, god knows what might have happened. It was therefore, refreshing to learn that my blackout had occurred due to falling asleep at the table. This event was televised, so more embarrassing ( not to me ) facts might still present themselves. As far as I know your honour, I woke up - still wearing my white suit - which was lightly speckled with vomit - which I am sure must have been due to standing too close - or offering assistance to somebody the worse for wear. Had it been mine, it would have been all over the shop...perhaps I just had a gentlemanly throat clearing. Anyway, if my behaviour has been less than impecable, no doubt we'll read about it in Mojo - although it will be as much as a surprise to me as it will be to you. If I am denounced as a degenerate - or the man who made disparaging remarks to Bon Jovi - which I am informed I did, remember this - rock'n'roll people used to misbehave.
On a parting note, the stunning girlfriend, of my still stunning bandmate Douglas observed - 'This must all seem like yesterday to you'
I had to assure her that it was eighteen long years ago, and seemed like a lot longer - like receiving the Turner Prize for something done at nursery school. Mind you, Old Jim Reid made a fine speech, and looked younger than ever...and excelled in getting me home in one piece. Old soldiers eh?

02 June 2006

The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions

Ah here I am again, urinating my thoughts against the cyber wall. What a glorious afternoon it is - perfect for two for one Chardonnay from the Co op.

I really ought to do this blogging thing more often - for continuity's sake. I only began it in the first place as an attempt to draw you in, so I might sell you a record. Well those days are long gone. I am continuing for 'I don't know why', like a headless chicken running around a farmyard...although I have never actually seen this happen...Does it? If anybody can enlighten me, I'd me most grateful.

Anyway, asides aside, I think I should tell you something. Gentlemen look away now - I am addressing my female readership now. I am divorced. Nicely decreed absolutely. I know some of you must be heartbroken that the chance to commit adultery with the Birdman of Burghfield is at an end, but chin up girls. The hunt for the third Mrs Moore is now officially ON. IT COULD BE YOU.
With this in mind, last Saturday, I purchased a bicycle. Not only will the greatest invention of all time - with the possible exception of the book, facilitate my travelling from establishment to establishment, in the hope of encounterning a winsome beauty, amazingly unattached, and posessing a fortune, it will make me healthy, lithe and muscular.
Obviously a mountain bike was out of the question - although the task in hand might in itself be mountainous. I've taken posession of a Raleigh something or other - a town and country hybrid, as the man in the shop described it. " It's not built for rough terrain" he said, to which I replied " Neither am I".
Anyway, I bought it and brought it home in the motor - which I am intending to make redundant for local journeys.
You really ought to see this machine - silver and blue, sit up and beg - which in my situation is more than appropriate, and a rack on the back for wine and comestibles, and possibly a picnic chair.
I declined the recommendation for a helmet on the grounds that I would rather die instantly and have my head crushed like a melon, than live looking like a human fly. No lycra, no trainers...nothing to suggest the competitive spirit of IT workers on a weekend jaunt. I will go back and get bicycle clips, because suit trousers do tend to get caught in the cogs.
So, having purchased my Raleigh Wife Catcher, I took her out for a spin. The first spin lasted about a minute and a half because it was fucking freezing. Having returned home for a jumper, I set out on a proper ride. With the evening sun still blazing, I got out amongst the country lanes. Testing her performance - Eighteen gears, although I shall only be requiring a fraction of that amount. In gear one, one, you go no faster that walking, but can go up hill. Once over the hill I shall coast. Anyway, I got about a bit - the same route that I go for drives, although this time, with my stomach reducing with each pedal push, my body toning into something quite beatiful and my adrenalin pumping like a young un. By the time I reached Bottom Lane, I had stopped several times and waited for the fatal heart attack which I felt welling up. It's almost disappointing when it doesn't come.
Cigarettes at the idylilic beauty spot of Bottom lane, and a good sheen of honest sweat to wipe from my brow...three days of heavy drinking actually.

As any of you who are familiar with the velocipede might know, cyclimg is a thirsty business. Feeling as though I had earned a pint, I struggled on to the neared pub.
By now, I had switched my lights on, to alert approaching traffic of my presence. As a further safety measure - helmets and reflective sashes being out of the question, I'd worn my newly laundered white linen jacket.
This story runs and runs...of course, the third Mrs Moore was not in the pub. However, an old school friend was, and we drank heavily until closing time.
Carrying more guinness and whisky than a thousand mile cycle ride could ever burn off, I unchainjed my - thankfully unstolen machine, and attempted to ride home. This was impossible. Now I know why the police make drunks try to walk in a straight line.
I could see the direction of the road - I understood that it went forward, but I couldn't for the life of me follow it. Had I been in a built up area, I might even feel guilty for endangering other road users. Of course, there is little I could do to harm a car, but the fragile psyche of a driver might require medical intervention, had they killed the Birdman of Burghfield...problably have been lynched as well by all my fans.
Fortunately no cars came. I managed to fall off all by myself...into a muddy ditch...in my easy to spot white linen jacket.
Imagine if you will, the mother of a failed forty something alcohlic, recieving your once perfect child back on a Saturday evening, intoxicated, filthy yet insisting that the council do something about the roads.
On a positive note, I have learnt that my white suit is machine washable. Thankyou.

23 May 2006

Occult Visitations

I've just had a brush with the occult, and I must tell you, I am all the better for it. This is the kind of case that gives conclusive proof to the existence of other dimensions, astral planes and all the other wotnots that boring scientific people have being trying to poo poo for donkeys years. I expect that the Fortean Times will be in touch, and I'll be invited to address the Society for Psychic Research. In fact, when I reveal what I am - in a rather slow way perhaps - about to reveal, I expect all the major news networks - and the Archbishop of Canterbury to be beating a path to my door. Well here goes...this is my tale - as it happened to me.

Last Sunday afternoon, when I drove my daughter back to London, we could not find her Childrens' Classics Cd - which meant a troublesome journey up the M4, not soothed by The Ugly Duckling, Nick Nack Paddywack, or any of the other nursery masterpieces that usually make it such a pleasant drive. The Cd was nowhere to be found, and believe me, I searched for it - I was made to give the car a thorough going over by a child who I believe - suspected me of some kind of trickery - like throwing it out of the window while she was distracted, trying to crush a banana into the back of my head. Well not true, not a bit of it. I love it as much as she does, and was terribly troubled by it's absence. Well, to cut a long story short, I have just returned from a spin around the countryside - through torrential downpours, across overflowing brooks, past the excellent Aldermaston Secret Weapons facility, and down the back lanes of life, rarely bothered by motor vehicles.
My first inclination of an unearthly visitation was the clouds of steam coming off the roads - it had just rained you may say - I tried to reason this as being the case, but the mists swirled in an unusual way...well, my psychic radar tuned in, and I watched for further signs of spirit activity.
The journey continued for some miles, and my mind wandered to other matters. I reached my destination - a small storage facility, charged with the responsibility of guarding my possessions, while I reside at my mother's kindly but by no means spacious domicile.
I alighted my vehicle, and went to pay the nice lady who runs the place, a cheque for two months. I then returned to the car. I should note, that on leaving the vehicle, I noticed spectral mist coming from the engine. I hoped this was spectral mist, because I haven't checked the oil recently, and she is overdue a service.

Anyway, on returning to said transport, I was shocked to find the lost Cd at my feet, shining up at me. It had not been there before, it could not possibly have rolled back into view from some hidden cranny, and it was not in any way scarred by days on the car's extremely filthy floor. Applying the Occams Razor principle to the problem, which states that once every other explanation has been ruled out, the last remaining - and least likely must be true, I surmised that the Childrens'Classics Cd had been taken onto the astral plane last Sunday afternoon - perhaps for a Spirit Childrens' party, and returned to me this afternoon, by invisible hands, reaching through the spectral mist when I wasn't looking. I did consider - albeit briefly, that I might have been the guinea pig for some advanced new weapon being produced at Aldermaston - perhaps in tandem with the spirit world, but quickly dismissed the notion as ridiculous. Spirits would never become embroiled in the production of weaponry.

I am sure you will all agree with me, that my reading of this extraordinary situation is the correct one. If there are still any sceptics out there, the evidence is as plain as the big nose on your painfully plain face. You can ask my daughter if the Cd was missing. She will concur with my true account. If you don't believe that the Cd has been returned, I can show it to you. If you don't believe it is the same Cd. I can play it to you. It jumps at the same spot. What further explanation for the existence of the occult could you ever possibly need?

Memo to myself. I wonder if the Spirit world can store my stuff until I need it again. Be a damn sight cheaper.

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