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.

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