Sunday, 30 August 2009

Nietzsche and the cow

I am told by an American friend that a philosopher friend likes nothing more than to hang out at the cow with his new best friend and discuss Nietzsche.

Reminds me of the time I hung out Fritz and talked about the Cow. I seem to remember telling him about the goat.

Fritz took notes.

Bizarrely a horse looked into the bar.


The Tabernacle is an oasis in this madness.

The man who brought his own hill

Carnival inevitably brings to mind Hein; the man who brought his own hill.

Hein; a big man, Travelled through the traffic of Notting Hill on a skateboard... He had the right; a native of Venice Beach California and a veteran of those gnarly breaks.

he sailed serenely over the horizon of Westbourne park road like nothing more than a clipper under full sail. his outrider was a German Shepherd.

Hein never had to put his foot down to push... He always brought his own hill.

A few years ago he had one of those momentous parties that are still talked about in the Cow, especially at Carnival. but, like the sixties, If you were there all you can remember is that it happened. I ran out of memory cells on the Sunday afternoon, the rest is a shadow at best.

Hein also was the man who gave me my first gold disc; it hangs on my bathroom wall, something I had always wanted... I had been round at his house with people and some beer or wine and needed to use the loo. there on the wall was a gold disk. It shone.

I told Hein that I had always wanted one of those in my bathroom.

He went to a cupboard in another room then handed me a gold disc for the first Stray Cats album. I could have wept.

A big man; Hein.

The first whistle

I awoke to a deathly silence; no busses, no people, no noise. It was the retreat of the sea prior to the tsunami. The lull before the storm.

Then inevitably there it is, rising over my aural horizon; the first whistle of Carnival.

It is followed of course by others, then hooters, then the first drum beats slip into my consciousness. It is as if Ghengis Kahn, Attilla the Hun, Vlad thhe impaler and Stalin have massed their collective hordes and are marching on my place. WHY PICK ON ME?

I have a choice... Get out there and party like its the end of the world or remain holed up above it like a first world war balloon observer at Ypres.

Friends phone me for battle reports.

I tell them that I love the smell of Napalm in the morning.

Friday, 28 August 2009


Hurricane Carnival is about to hit us. The barriers are up and houses and shops barricaded. The lull before the storm is spooky and not a lull at all; walking home last night I came accross a massive steel band in All Saints Road. Fantastic!

The atmosphere is already palpable.

The only thing for me to do, once I have decided I am staying for it, is to decide which parties to attend.

Notting Hill this weekend is either the best place in the world or the worst.

Babs would love it.

Cycling without a stabiliser

I no longer have any stability in my cycling.

This was drummed into me yesterday as I multi-tasked my way down Westbourne Park road, the wind was strong, gusty, gutsy and fickle; of course reminding me of the nurse. I realised that the wind is no friend to the cyclist.

I mentioned this to a friend who said that there were cycling courses available. I should go on one she said.

I said that I was an autodidact and autodidacts don't do lessons.

she said I have a lot to learn.

That is the only thing I'm on this planet for. I said.

Which planet I'm on is a mystery to me.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Frieda and Tumbleweed socks

I invited frieda for breakfast in the square and was delighted when she said yes.

we spent hours discussing feet (a subject close to my heart) at some point in order to illustrate another point she removed her boots and socks, leaving them lying on the flagstones.

A sudden breeze caught her socks and sent them skittering away like nothing more than knitted tumbleweed.

A french lawyer let down her hair at a nearby table shook her head and then dazzled the sun.

Frieda then informed me that she was in fact a multi-millionairess with houses around the world and an island in the Seychelles.

'Why say you are a pediatrist'.I ask.

'I just love feet Jannie'. She replies.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

The event and coming clean

I had better come clean.

I had rather more to do with the Event at Cafe Ravenous than I let on. I was in fact the producer and promoter of the thing, this I had done in order to give Tristan the opportunity to have his night of Glory (if you can call it that) and to create a little buzz of excitement in a stagnating Portobello.

Murray, Noel and Sam were the real stars along with Ali and Charlie from Ravenous. All of whom (and many others) ensured that Tristan had the night of his life.

It will be interesting to see where he goes with this.

Nurse, passport, coffin.

The nurse had taken my passport when she left. I suppose she wanted some sort of memento and it did contain one of the better photographs taken of late.

Rusty called yesterday to tell me that my passport had mysteriously been found under the nurses bed.

'What the hell were you doing under her bed?' I asked as the penny slowly dropped.

'I was looking for an escape hatch'. He replied.

'The only way you'll escape that woman Rusty is in a coffin'.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

More cycling tales.

Cycling and the pub do not make good bedfellows.

Grey and moody sky

Under a grey and moody sky I cycled, full of brio yet unsteadily fast, homeward. While distracted by thoughts of Lula-mae, marooned in Limbo Nebraska (pop 47) a bollard leapt into my path.

The bollard won.


Days later I noted that the bruise resembled uncannily that grey and moody sky.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

It is hard work being grown up

Curious Bums

The photograph is blurred as a result of my excitement.
I could not make this up.
I don't think I would really like to make it up.
I am thinking of having a tattoo that simplly says 'kill me, I've had enough.'

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Frieda, Muse and pediatrist

In the pharmacy yeaterday ( I was looking for corn pads) a vision in starched white sidled up to me and offered to assist in my endeavours. Her uniform led me to believe her to be a nurse and her firm handshake indicated that she would have no problems gripping my wheelchair.

after making my purchase I offered her lunch which she accepted with a cheeky grin.

She said her name was Frieda and she was from Stockholm.

Then she dropped the bombshell... SHE WAS A PEDIATRIST and not a nurse.
My feet however wept with joy on hearing this.

Friday, 14 August 2009

the Event

Tristan, having found his niche as some sort of poet/raconteur performs on wednesday night (19th) at cafe Ravenous, Portobello Road.

I shall be going along to check it out.

Doors open at 7 apparently and the shit hits the fan at 8.


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Gone with the wind. The truth.

Many many years ago I spent some time in Hollywood, holed up in Clark Gables guest house working on a script for a cheesy Historical drama which would go on to become the highest grossing movie ever.

I finally lost my cool when the studio started re-writing the dialogue; the final straw was when they objected to: 'Frankly my dear I don't give a flying fuck.'

I removed myself from the credits there and then.

Monday, 10 August 2009

But is it Art Hmmmmmm

The other night (days blur at the moment) I attended with friends a production of Oscar Wildes Salome. It was being billed (verbally) as directed by Nick Cave. Hmmmmm

It was performed in the dirt yard (no one in their right mind could call it a garden) of a Pimlico squat.
The performance was billed to start at 8.00 prompt. We sat uncomfortably drinking cheap box wine from styrofoam cups (oh how eco friendly these grubby inheritors of the world are) and waited; at first giggling at the circus unfolding and the couples trying to stick tongues down others throats (I can only assume there were tasty morsels down there, yum yum), then with impatience and finally no patience we left.

I cannot review the performance... It didn't happen. I can only cringe at the memory of the scuzziest place I've ever been. My intrepid assistant(with the courage of a young Martha Gelhorn) entered the lavatory in order to photograph it.

Photo. Daisy Caren Vispi

The guide to the British Museum on the lavatory floor disabused me of the notion that there was no culture here... Sadly they were wiping their arses on it.

Nick Cave... Oh deary me.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Dylan, Scott Fitzgerald and Carribou coffee

Babs skypes from A coffee shop in St. Paul Michegan, she is on the run from Rusty and hanging out there before moving on. Over a carribou coffee she tells me that she is on Wabashaw; a street imortalised by Dylan in the song 'Meet me in the morning' which goes meet me in the morning 56th and Wabashaw, honey we could be in Kansas by the time the snow begins to thaw.

There is no 56th street in St Paul.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote 'This side of paradise' sitting in a house on Grand Avenue; Babs tells me that as well.

Babs teaches me a lot.

Tangled up in blue

A shop window stopped me in my tracks last night. Or rather something in the window stopped me; it was a blue velvet Playboy bunny girls costume.
A costume iddentical to the one that Babs had worn for a few weeks while working at the Playboy club in Chicago back in the sixties. I had caught sight of Babs as she bent to tie the shoelace of a young folk singer who I could quite plainly see would be soon tangled up in blue, the scut on her arse sending alarm signals as it bobbed in the neon glow. I ducked behind a pillar as she leant into him to pick a piece of lint from his coat then left when she was out of sight.

I stood at that shop window transfixed as the Blue velvet spoke through the glass.

It said: I first came to consciousness in 1962 as a girl called Gillian slipped into me and then twirled for Hugh, then giggled nervously as he adjusted the gusset and smoothed the knap on her breasts and her arse.

A string of men begged her to slip out of the club and then out of her costume and then post-coitally out of their lives. Until the last one (to my knowledge anyway) took me as a memento, a trophy.

I hung on his wall until he handed me on to a new girlfriend who kept me for many years in the dark with occasional outings to be slipped into and out of prior to her being slipped into and out of.

Over the years I developed my patina of cynicism.

that woman handed me on to her son who handed me onto his girlfriend who has slipped into me from time to time and now hangs me in this window, in all my faded glory for all the world to see.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Doorman

There is a club I visit called 'The doorman'; I cannot tell you where it is because it is oversubscribed already, but it exists.

When you arrive at the club you are greeted by the doorman who says: 'I cannot talk now but if you go into the waiting room , have a drink and a dance, chill for a while.

I will spare you a minute when you leave'.