Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Seeing out the old.

Haunted by the ghosts of children
as they pre-decease
taunted by returning conscience
ageing ain't a piece of cake.



Monday, 30 December 2013

Road trip No. 2. Naked Road Dog.

13.50. M4. As two and a half litres of volvo thunders beneath my thighs the steering twitches as we stray onto the cats eyes…. and a small boy asks: Are we still in London, and we can't say no because the minute we do we know the next question will be: Are we at the bridge?

Are we at the bridge yet?

Knock it down a cog, give it some throttle, catch me white van man if you've got the bottle.

Are we at the bridge yet?

And tramps like us... Baby we were born to motor down to cardiff in a Volvo estate at a sensible speed due to having children on board.

Road Runner Road Runner doing sensible miles an hour.

Are we at the bridge yet?

And I drift into a maserati drop top two lane black top full head of hair kind of reverie.

Are we at the bridge yet?

Then we ARE at the bridge and I realise the purpose of the high fences either side… They are to stop parents (Crying. 'Yes we are fucking at the bridge') from flinging seven year olds from cars as they cross.

Are we still in London?

I promise you that this is a genuine question asked by a seven year old as he crosses the severn Bridge.

I mentally dock his pocket money £6.20 to pay for the troll reminding him that in fairy tales they just ate you as you crossed, they didn't fleece you beforehand.

You wanna see a road dog naked?.. Just stand downwind of the Severn bridge.


Road Trip. For road Dogs everywhere, empathy man!

11.00 am West 10. Head on down to Sainsbury's Ladbroke Grove to gas up. They only have City Diesel but we are heading off piste, will city diesel work in the sticks?  We are road dogs and will chance it. The air machine ain't working; gonna have to wing the rubber then.  Shit! No boiled sweets at the checkout… Don't they know that road dogs don't do fudge or jellybabies!

12.00 Midday. Car loaded with 3 kids and their toys, little room for essentials apart from 6 bottles of Evian. In light of the oncoming storms I have packed 5 chocolate chip cookies and tobacco; cigarettes is the only way to deal with the cries of freezing children. it would be criminal to share my smokes with them so at least I have something to rely on… I may be a road dog but I care for my children's welfare as they freeze in the snow bound wastes of the M4.

We are off.

12.10. Hammersmith. London. ten minutes into the trip boy number two vomits copiously, refusing offer of gumboot or window as target chooses to vomit liberally throughout passenger compartment. We are road dogs…

12.12. A4. Garage stop to hose down boy number two. Boy number two seems pleased with the attention gained. Good news though, garage has boiled sweets. Bad news: Baby wipes left on car roof. Good news for someone else: Free pack of baby wipes found on A4.

12.27. A4. After a smooth transition to gear 5 we are Westbound.

Me. I'm the king of the road in my vomit scented chariot, wondering how many times I can put up with a seven year old asking if we are there yet.

I feel like telling him that he is closer to hell than to Cardiff.

And then the baby cries and I know it can only get worse.

But we are road dogs.


Friday, 27 December 2013

A Christmas tale.

Dear Mummy, I hope you can read this, it is really hard to write because it is hard to hold a pencil with a webbed hand.

It isn't really my fault. I want to blame you for trying to maintain in me a belief in Father Christmas. but it isn't your fault either.

I blame the jelly beans.

I awoke at four this morning and found a stocking at the foot of my bed, it was full of stuff that I don't really need but which makes you feel like a good mum but you don't need to do anything more than just be to be a good mum. Jelly beans are good though and if you find a box of jelly beans at four in the morning you are going to eat them and as one in ten jelly beans taste like poo you are going to eat them ten at a time to hide the taste of the poo one.

Sometimes when you eat ten jelly beans at once one escapes and that is what happened this morning. I hoped it wasn't a poo flavoured one that escaped otherwise if you found it you'd think I had poo'd in my bed. I couldn't find the escaped bean and then I fell asleep.

I woke up a bit later, I don't know what time because the watch you gave me last Christmas is broken and I haven't yet got the new one I am no doubt going to get this year.


I woke up to find a jellybean stalk growing out of my bed and then out of the window. I know enough about fairy tales to know that I had to climb it and would be rewarded by stuff like harps and gold once I had defeated a giant.

I started climbing but it didn't go up. It went horizontally out of my window and down the gardens at the back of the house but I climbed it anyway. I climbed it all the way down to 37 Oxford gardens where it disappeared into a window. I sat outside and looked in.

There was a really fat woman sitting in a kitchen, there was nothing on the table except an empty white bowl, there was a goose walking around and the really fat woman was crying but if I were really fat I would cry a lot too, either because I was fat or because I was hungry. Or both.

I climbed in through the window and asked her why she was crying and she said she was crying because she was a vegetarian and the goose had eaten all her sprouts and sprouts was all she had had for Christmas.

I did some really quick thinking and said don't worry, my mum has some sprouts at home, I'm sure she can spare some, I'll go and get them. I climbed back across the beanstalk to our place and got the sprouts. I also picked up a bag of carrots which were in the fridge. I climbed back to the fat ladies house.

When I gave her the sprouts she was pleased and her wails turned to sniffs. When I gave her the carrots she beamed, there was a loud crash and a flash and she turned into a beautiful thin woman with red lipstick.

She said 'Thank you so much because I was put under a spell by a wicked witch and could only be changed back to a kitchen goddess by an innocent boy giving me a carrot'.

She also said that she was no longer a vegetarian and she eyed the goose in a lascivious way.

I liked the goose. I grabbed the goose and ran.

I was used to the beanstalk by now and could move pretty quick but I knew that the kitchen goddess was hot on my tail. I made it back to my room then cut the beanstalk with my Alladin sword I got for my birthday. Jellybean stalks are cool because the minute you cut them they turn to jelly and I heard the kitchen goddess falling into the ornamental pond at number 16 causing the frog who lived there to croak a bit.

I was left here with a goose and I didn't know how I was going to explain a goose in my room but that was the least of my problems because the goose turned to me and thanked me before kissing me on the forehead and then flying out the window before I had time to explain that I had been turned into a small boy by a kind witch and the only way to turn me back into a frog was by being KISSED BY A GOOSE.

So mummy, It's me.

Not a frog.

You could try kissing me. It might work.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Ikea Allen Key and the role of 'flat pack' in the nativity.

In Sweden the giving and receiving of flat pack furniture (especially cribs) at christmas symbolises both the role of Joseph in the Nativity and the role of the father in general at this time of the year… Sitting in a corner half pissed, fully enraged, wielding a cranked allen key, surrounded by MDF and with a crucifixion already on his mind!

It is important also to remember that January brings with it 50 million discarded, unwanted Allen keys.

An Allen key is for life, not just Christmas!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

And sentences can't start with 'And'. And the dinosaurs ate all the pens.

And I was informed today that sentences cannot start with 'And'. And I've just done that very thing so obviously sentences can start with and.

And another thing, punctuation was invented by printers not by writers, who in the early days were just recording the spoken word.

And the spoken word pre-dated everything.

Because the dinosaurs ate all the pens.

Monday, 16 December 2013

There is something wrong about Christmas. Ask the trees!

150,000,000 trees will be cut down for christmas in Europe alone. god knows how many in the USA and the rest of the world. These trees will then spend two weeks dying in living rooms in order to honour a victorian fad which has absolutely nothing to do with the fanciful notion of the virgin birth of the son of a non existent god. (The truth is more likely to be that Mary was shagging a neighbour while Jo was away, got knocked up and decided the best explanation was that she was visited by a randy god. People were more gullible back then... Did Jo then go out buy a tree, smother it in tinsel and lights in order to advertise his wife's infidelity? I don't think so).

At the same time we in the West scream blue murder over the evisceration of the rain forests elsewhere on the planet. Ironically the eradication of these forests  is necessary in order to feed our endless need for burger meat and palm oil here in the West.

It should be an absolute law that for each conifer (most of them non native) cut down and sold, the purchaser should either plant or pay to have planted a deciduous tree native to their country.

The idea that christmas trees are a sustainable resource is nonsense. Of course the suppliers will grow more for future years but they make little contribution to the well being of the planet.

Plantations of non native conifers on Welsh and scottish mountainsides have long been an unnecessary eye sore.

You want green stuff in your house for Christmas? Do what the ancients (who knew far better than us) did and pick some holly, ivy and mistletoe!

Westway Development Trust to open 'refuge for junkies and alcoholics under the west way'?

A guest blog from Jan Nieupjur.

My mole under the Westway has been hinting at a new radical proposal by the Westway Development Trust. The rumour is, that, after the success of last years initiative to turn Portobello Green over to the junkies, winos and vicious dog troupe, the new year will see the opening of a designated doss space beneath the flyover in the bay which presently houses the pop up cinema.

Facilities will allegedly include some tatty soft furnishing gleaned from the local pavements, a brazier, a designated fighting space and a corner to piss in. A booth will be open 24 hours a day offering crack, spliff and cheap alcohol, either for cash or in return for stolen phones and computers. I am told that W D T are pissed off that they cannot 'earn' from the street people and that this is a way of making some sort of income from them and which will provide additional funds for their holiday homes abroad.

There will be an on-site retail outlet for the sale of stolen technology, manned by unpaid assistants provided by the job-centre. It is hoped that the 'receiving stolen goods' experience will be a big hit with the tourists especially as a 12 months 'immunity from prosecution' guarantee will be provided.

There will be a curtained off 'mugging area' so that street criminals may avoid the stigma of being seen at their work and provide a more comprehensive 'mugging experience' for the tourist and local alike.

The doss space is also designed to cater for the increasing number of 'care in the community' victims who are at present under catered for in the neighbourhood. It is hoped that, by putting them all together they might actually start getting some care… From each other.

Dog owners will be obliged to let their animals bite children and shit everywhere.

It is hinted that, if the scheme is a success, a licensed brothel will open in the neighbouring bay, operated by a bunch of Eastern European human traffickers and staffed by friendly girls brought in for the purpose from around the planet. I'm told that although this may sound odd, even though they are illegal immigrants and victims of crime at least they have a roof over their heads and a source of income which can be taxed. It will also bring this kind of activity into the open where it can be monitored more easily.

In the summer months it is hoped that a kasbah styled bedouin brothel tent can be operated on the Portobello green itself for  frisky, al fresco fornication fun!

good to see that W D T is working for the community.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Christmas poem.

Friendless sheeting december rain
falling on autumns unraked leaves and memories
and last years christmas cards
promising unblemished snow and peace on Earth.

The loan shark calls
the only friendly face among
the retailers of misery and the uncalled for.
A loan the only necessary thing this christmas.

A child's voice cries out "give"
three billion not so wise men
oblige with tat at the cost of starvation.

Three billion not so wise men
horrified at the desecration of the rain forrest
for our burgers and fuel
destroy forests of conifers
in celebration of a Victorian fad.

The Green Man cringes
amid the holly and the ivy
as the world gorges on its own intestines
in the name of legalised inhumanity.

Humanity and ethics died
with Mickey Mouse
on that cross.

& the friendless sheeting December rain
nothing less than the anguished despairing tears of the one and only god….


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Westway Trust Ice skating scam on Portobello Green. Notting Hill.

Bollocks and criminal. It is not an ice rink!

There is a criminal offence in gaining pecuniary advantage by deception, it is the act by which con-men are prosecuted. The Westway Development Trust, in calling their scam on Portobello Green an ice rink and charging people to use it as an ice rink, fall into this bracket. It is a plastic area whithout a sign of ice, except the icy glare of the hooded con men running it, described as an ice rink  and costing kids £3.00 a pop to be seriously disappointed by fuckwit grown-ups making a buck out of deceiving kids. No wonder kids don't trust adults and rebel.

Westway development Trust, you are not only a joke but a bunch of criminals conning anyone who comes your way. It is not an ice rink, it is a bit of lino. Kids would have more fun sliding around their kitchens in their socks.

It is yet another example of self important inadequates deceiving innocents in order to flatter themselves and then bringing in a bunch of thugs to help out.

We want our money back and an apology Westway Development Trust. Shame on you, you are stealing from and letting down the community you claim to be helping! If there were a Santa Claus he would be coming down your chimneys with an axe.

Harp in isolation.. Abbey Road Studios.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Don't be depressed about being bitten by a Gila Monster.

A guest blog from Rusty McGlint.

Hi y'all. you know when you are out in the desert getting bit by a critter can piss you off some… Getting bit by a Gila Monster shouldn't depress you though. Research shows that there is Seratonin in its venom, so it may hurt like fuck for a week but you'll hurt laughing.

Also they have found stuff in the saliva that helps Alzheimers and memory loss so if you get lost in the desert get yourself bit by a gila Monster and you'll soon remember the way home.

Oh and merry Christmas from Lizard Bend. Idaho.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Were Damian Hirst paintings taken from Notting Hill Gallery stolen to order? Or was it 'The Swallow'?

Art Correspondent Jan Nieupjur writes:

One of the stolen paintings which were taken off in the back of a car. The police curiously say that they are surprised that the paintings were not spotted in the car… How did the spots disappeared is perhaps more of a mystery than the disappearance of the paintings themselves as the perpetrator was caught on CCTV.

Two Damian Hirst paintings have been nicked from the Exhibitionist Gallery in Blenheim Crescent. W11.

As an artist myself I do understand the need to generate a bit of publicity when one's name has been absent from the press for a few days. there are a number of ways one can go about this: Drunken loutishness in public; Marriage to an unsuitably young girl; open drug use in a palace lavatory; having ones work stolen from a gallery or 'bidding up' ones own work at auction.

One could of course produce some noteworthy original work but I fear that where Hirst is concerned it is impossible to imagine him ever producing something original.

So did Hirst order the theft for publicity purposes?

I have however been sent a photograph of notorious local art thief known only as 'The Swallow' seemingly rolling around on one of the paintings in question.

'The Swallow'

Answers are needed:

Who is The Swallow?
Why did he not use his normal MO; creeping through cat flaps?
What unscrupulous tattoo parlour did the tattoo?
Is Damian Hirst that desperate for publicity?
Who cares?

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Harp in Bedford.

Sarm Studios, Basing Street. W11. Gentrification awaits.

It was bound to happen. The gentrification of Notting Hill/Ladbroke Grove continues apace and another landmark is turned into fat cat housing. I love the use of the term 'Duplex', a ghastly Americanism meaning 'Maisonette'.  

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Black harp in a dark shed, Regents Park.

I like this harp, it is black and without embellishment or adornment. It is a harp that doesn't harp on about itself.

It is a Lyon and Healy number 30. Simple and elegant.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Kris Wilkinson Hughes at the Driftwood Sessions.


Maybe it is my age, maybe it is the autumn weather, maybe it was pure chance.

I've often said that the Elgin on Ladbroke Grove is the best music pub in West London which of course it is. On monthly wednesday nights Tom Moriarty runs his 'Driftwood Sessions'. Tonight I put the baby in the sink for safe keeping, kissed the muse then wandered down.

Kris wilkinson Hughes was playing… Yeah neither had I.  I have now!

It is pure joy to witness such virtuoso song writing and the performance of said songs by… Well by… People doing it as right as you can get. Kris Wilkinson and Joe Hughes, without any pomp or circumstance, without any flash young bling thing, just did it, made my day.

I don't understand music and for that reason do not go into intricate reviews. I do however understand emotion and tonight dear reader I wept. Kris and joe did a song called: No More I Love You's'. A cover of an Annie Lennox song I hear you say. Far from it, Joe wrote it and the two of them tonight imparted something that Ms Lennox never did.

A truly enchanting chance encounter… but not really.

Tom puts on a well worth attending night with his Driftwood thing.

The band that followed was called Farrago. I had time to listen to the first two numbers wondering whether this was jazz or blues or what. The band leader has a voice that makes you want to think about it. I wish I had more time.  I'm going to listen more to their stuff.

I had to leave early to ensure that the baby was not thrown out with the bath water but bumped into Joseph Dean Osgood on my way out. Joseph is at the Chelsea potter tomorrow night. Check him out.

Oh! The Elgin is free, the beer is reasonably priced and it is very civilised.

Russel Brand demonstrates that he really is Jesus in Parliament Square. Bonfire of his own vanity.

Showbiz correspondent Jan Nieupjur writes:

Russel Brand staged a demonstration in Parliament Square last night in order to vent his anger at the thousands of people who are refusing to pay to see his 'I am Jesus' show.

Brand stated: 'If all these people can afford to pay their heating bills I can see no reason why they cannot come to my show and see how brilliant I am'. He went on to state that:  'I've just bought a new house in Los Angeles and really need the money.'

Brand then went on to flatly refuse to hide behind a mask of anonymity preferring to be well and truly in the limelight.

Or was the light from the bonfire of his own vanity?

Friday, 1 November 2013

Operation Yewtree police guilty of gross hypocrisy?

Jan Nieupjur writes:

Having lived through the sixties and seventies and seen the way people behaved back then in the pre-aids let's get laid years I'm pretty disappointed to see that the coppers seem to have forgotten that they were accepting a quick fuck from underage girls in return for not nicking them for trumped up charges.

In the sixties none of my female contemporaries wanted a boyfriend of their own age... They wanted to get shagged by a DJ from the Radio 1 Roadshow and would duly bunk off school, dress like a tart, lie about their age and then hit on whichever DJ was there.

A lot of us knew that Saville was a pervert, a lot of us knew that Gary Glitter was weird (I know because I had some very weird conversations with Paul Gadd in the Stag near Banbury) a lot of us knew that underage girls took advantage of men... All of us knew that the police were corrupt and regularly abused their powers.

The guys I knew back then who joined the police force would regularly be seen at parties (in uniform) doing pills and spliff before going off to nick kids for the same and steal their gear.

In terms of corruption the police were and are far worse than those they police. Operation Yewtree seems like a way for elderly coppers to assuage their guilt about the underage girls they regularly sexually abused in return for leniency.

When are the police going to investigate the sexual abuse that exists within their system?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Pizza delivery chaos in storm lashed Notting Hill. The domino effect.

Photo: Christian Banfield. http://schmick.tv

The pizza lovers of Notting Hill today awoke to this awful scene and the prospect of cold turkey for lunch. A spokesperson for the pizza outlet in question was still in bed and unavailable to comment on the situation.

Tuppence Hay-Penny, Emeritus Professor of wind studies at Brunel University, on seeing the image, stated: 'The high wind resistance of the boxes combined with the domino effect was the cause'.

I pointed out that they were not Domino pizza bikes.

She replied: 'The domino effect is when a rival pizza delivery company pushes all your bikes over'.

I spotted further evidence of the phenomena later in the day:

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Brian Nevill, Boom Baby, Book and Kitchen, All Saints Road and memory.

Book and Kitchen is a small, idiosyncratic independent shop on All Saints Road: one of the few places in London where you can buy a book over a cup of coffee or lunch in very friendly surroundings. I've been walking past for a while, looking in and wondering.

Brian Nevill launched his book 'BOOM BABY' there tonight. I went!

They say that if you remember the 60's you weren't there. Brian was there and does remember thanks to copious diaries (and drug induced flashbacks?). I for one (was I there? I can't remember) am having problems remembering what Brian looks like... Some pictures should help:

Brian Nevill reading!

I'll be reviewing the book soon - I feel it is best to read it first if I can remember where I put the thing- I'll keep you posted.

Brian had a check jacket on and white shoes which was kind of rock n roll and I met someone I had been looking forward to meeting for a long time.

Brian Nevill signing!

Check out Book and Kitchen. You can find them HERE

And check out McZine Publishing : http://www.mczine.com

Friday, 18 October 2013

Bess Cavendish at the Elgin.

The Elgin on Westbourne Grove is by far the best music pub in the Notting Hill area, its one drawback is that the music room is also a dining area and a room full of nattering diners is sometimes hard to hold for the performers.

Not tonight though!

Before I go any further I should add that although I know Bess and have seen her perform a number of times I am not about to write an hagiographic review for that reason.... If I don't like something I don't review it. It is not my job to schmooze.

I frequently attend pub gigs with the good intention of lasting a couple of numbers before sinking my beer and sneaking out (I'm getting too old for this malarky) but not tonight. I lasted the whole set and could have happily stayed for another one.

Bess is now working with a new band: A great drummer and an accompanist on guitar who to my mind is the reverse image of Brian Jones (female, black bobbed hair.... you know where I am going).
The result is very very good.

High points were a cover of Gimme Shelter which brought me great joy and a song called 'Shoot Shoot' which oozes wit and a Rock Steady beat and should be a massive hit. I would be interested to see the writing credits for that one. Her penultimate number was seriously rocking and good too!

All in all a delightful evening not 5 minutes away from my front door.

And I wore a groove and a smile all the way home.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The Purdey's saw blade and the muse.

The muse likes this stuff. What she doesn't like is the fact that she has cut her fingers twice in as many days while opening the bottles.

The third and vital finger of the muse ripped by a Purdey's bottle top.

The thumb of the muse after a similar encounter with a Purdey's bottle.

The muse is a musician, as you can imagine cut fingers are not a great asset to a musician.

The very stylish Purdey's bottle is made of glass and has a metal screw top the retaining ring of which, when opened, becomes a mini saw blade with 8 jagged teeth. It is these teeth that do the damage.

I can only assume that the bottle top, along with the stylish bottle have been decreed by some very expensive and stylish marketing people in Hoxton because whichever way you look at it Purdey's is a carbonated soft drink made by (or at least owned by) Britvic and Britvic successfully package many other soft drink products in bottles with hand friendly lids.

Please can someone at Britvic inform me why this soft drink must come with a saw blade as standard?

A reason to live.

It has been said that living to an old age is just dying very slowly and painfully.

Good health is of course in its own way a terminal illness.

A chronic condition is a sure cure for that terminal illness.

Complications can set in of course - Add a new born child late in a mans life to the mix and you suddenly add a will to live (beat the illness and its cure) well beyond life expectancy.

I used to think that when time came to pass I would be content to go having done those things I felt essential. Not any longer though... Witnessing my new daughter achieve adulthood has now become essential which complicates things somewhat.

With chronic lung disease in late middle age my new daughters spring coincides with my autumn and in real terms the looming winter becomes an obstacle course. Colds and flu kill thousands like me each year (my mother died this way earlier this year). I carry a rescue pack of steroids and antibiotics in case I should pick up a cold or flu. The steroids themselves bring a lowered immune system and acute depression. The withdrawal process at the end of the course brings its own special misery.

I am writing this while suffering my second cold in as many weeks - Bunged up with snot, steroids, antibiotics, inhaler to open my pipes, inhaler to get rid of mucus and another inhaler to introduce yet more steroids. My daily cocktail is topped up with regular pain killers.

But by far the most effective relief is provided by a four month old child.

At the moment I hardly have the strength to pick her up yet she weighs no more than a bag of potatoes. My coughing alarms her, not because she knows what it is but because it is loud and raucous.

Sleep is becoming more difficult. I am constantly being visited by images of unbearable sadness and attempt to counteract this by drinking far too much in the hope of facilitating immediate unconsciousness in bed rather than a nightly marathon of horror.

But how do I  explain to the people I love that every time I close my eyes I do not count sheep but count the number of steps to the top of a multi storey car park and then consider whether I would have the strength to climb the parapet.

Waking from my hard earned sleep is somehow worse; a painful regime of inhalers and then waiting for something to kick in. This is accompanied by an extreme, unprovoked, bad temper which I know is both unacceptable and offensive. I am sorry but suspect that sorry ain't going to be good enough in the long run.

I am not proud of any of this.

I am however determined to see my daughter into her adulthood.

A reason to live.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

I killed Jimi Hendrix.

I was fifteen. I don't know how old Jimi was but you can look it up on wikipedia. It'll probably lie.

I'd heard about the festival on the Isle of Wight, packed a spare T shirt and a sleeping bag and headed south. Luckily I was picked up by a bunch of hippies in a camper van heading for the island too. They sort of took me under their collective wing and looked after me in their way.

There was room for me in one of their tents and I earned my keep by rolling joints and road testing the pills they didn't recognise. The Isle of wight for me that year was something of a blur but I came out of the fog of uncontrolled controlled substances to witness what was to be an epiphany.

He looked like god would have looked if there were no heaven. He played his guitar like there was no hell.


At one point he squirted his guitar with lighter fuel then attempted to ignite it with a book of matches... If you see the film of the event now it looks like it was a pretty effortless thing; guitar, fuel, match, boom.

But it wasn't like that. It took him for ever to get that guitar alight and I remember standing there thinking this can't be right as match after match failed to spark or gutted out.

I thought to myself that this god deserved better than that. His guitar should  spontaneously combust or at least be lit by a gold Ronson.

I carried those thoughts all the way back to Banbury and they never really left me.

A year later Chris called from London, he had been invited to a party in Notting Hill that he knew Jimi was going to be going to, could I come down?  I packed a spare T shirt and stole the Gold plated Ronson from the old mans office, I hitch-hiked to london.

Chris met me in Shepherds Bush and we walked to a place called the Tabernacle in Notting Hill; a kind of squatted old church but Jimi had left, he'd gone on to a party on All Saints Road but by the time we got to that party Jimi had left there too, he'd gone home but one of the guys there gave me the address and I decided to go and give him the lighter so he didn't need to go through the earthly embarrassment of wet matches at future gigs.

The house wasn't very far away in a kind of crescent, Jimis flat was in the basement but I was too scared to knock on the door so I sat outside on the steps and decided to wait until he came out again and then give him the lighter and explain that it worked first time every click even in the rain and he never had to bother with soggy matches again.

Jimi never came out and I sat there a long time sitting on the step clicking the lighter then clicking it shut.

At some time a couple of guys came along and stood at the top of the steps down to Jimis flat. They didn't seem to see me or if they did I didn't matter. they were arguing. The big guy was saying to the other guy in the suit that he didn't want to do it, that it was wrong. The guy in the suit said come on if we don't do this we'll be broke watching a madman try to write symphonies for a hundred electric guitars. We got do do this.

He said have a cigarette it'll calm your nerves. You'll see.

He gave the big guy a cigarette then tried to light it with a book of matches that were too wet then saw me sitting on the step clicking that gold plated Ronson on and off and said hey kid give us a light. I stood up and went over and lit the big guys cigarette, he smoked a few drags then said ok and the two guys went down into Jimis flat.

They came out a while later and the small guy in the suit gave me a fiver and said thanks for the light kid, you saved a life tonight.

I sat there for a long time after that until an ambulance turned up and they carried a body out on a stretcher.

I knew it was Jimi.

And I knew I had killed him.

I was the guy who lit the cigarette which calmed the nerves and steeled the resolve of the man who killed Jimi Hendrix.

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Venus in furs.

I bought the guitar for Anna.

Why I was in Hamburg I cannot remember now.

Or rather I bought the guitar to make myself more interesting to Anna.


She dyed her hair black when all the other girls were dying their hair blonde.

She hung out with artists.

The guitar was cheap and broken but it was a guitar and I guessed that if I carried a guitar she would assume that I could play it.

I couldn't.

But I could carry it around as if I could.

And I could carry it around as if I could play it better than any-one else could... I was the Hendrix of guitar poseurs.

Anna wore a mink.

Guymond suggested the old man, Guymond could see that my posturing with a broken guitar was getting me no-where, the old man fixed instruments. Violins mostly..

He lived behind the Reeperbahn above a shop. He was a Jew and had lived there through the war but I didn't ask how and he didn't say why.

He just did.

He asked me did I play.

He asked me why then I needed the guitar.

I told him about Anna.

He said: Oh yes Venus in Furs.

He said he'd fix the guitar but that would fix nothing.

The old man was right.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

'GREEK' at the Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House.

Greek was Mark-Anthony Turnage’s explosive first opera. His version of the Oedipus story, based on Steven Berkoff’s verse play, burst onto the stage in 1988. Music Theatre Wales brings Michael McCarthy’s blistering production to Covent Garden audiences. It was a triumphant success when it was first seen in 2011 and won the TMA Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera.

I saw this production last year in Huddersfield and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is very very good contemporary (not modern bollocks) Opera based on the Oedipus story. It is on on the 21st - 26th of this Month... Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Penarth pier.

Steve McQueen. Frog at large.

We found this charming fellow earlier in the year. He was hiding in a pile of rotting leaves at the front of the house. The boys decided to keep him as a pet so he was put in a box from which he escaped three times in as many minutes... Steve McQueen seemed the obvious name choice.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Excremental verse.

She said write me a poem
anything will do
I don't care if it is doggerel

I said I can't I am stuck
and the baby's eaten my paper
she said: Just write the fucker 
on bog roll

I said it'll be crap
tissue can't hold a rhyme
She said its 
are just the job for your shit

and I've always wanted to wipe my arse on a poem.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Best joke in the world 2013.

The winner of the best joke of 2013 is the following:

I accidentally put Tipex in my ears instead of Otex... All I can hear is white noise.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Diana and Jade Goody statuette.

This is obviously a spoof. a very good spoof but a spoof non the less:

Yet it seems that a large number of people are taking it at face value!


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Pointless information on education. Reading is good for our kids!

A guest blog from Jan Nieupjur. As usual his views are not necessarily my own.

Jan writes:

I read this on the BBC website:

'A new study by the Institute of Education shows that children who read for pleasure are not only better at English but are also better at maths.
The study's co-author Dr Alice Sullivan explained to the Today programme's Sarah Montague the possible reasons for the results.
"It absolutely makes sense that you would expect reading for pleasure to improve children's vocabularies," she said.
"But I think that that also does improve children's ability to take on new information and new concepts across the curriculum."
She added: "A child who has a narrow vocabulary may constantly be coming across things they don't understand."'

For fucks sake the parents of kids who can't read can't read either and will therefore not read the above and not encourage their kids to read and the only maths needed by kids who can't read is simple addition to work out how much they have stolen from Grans purse.
The best plan is to enforce simplistic pictograms on Macdonalds packaging encouraging the use of condoms.


Sainsbury's guilty of environmental crime... String em up! That's what I say.

Sainsbury shit... Perfectly acceptable.

The above eyesore has been sitting outside the house for the past week. It is a trolley belonging to Sainsbury's with an ever changing collection of rubbish within (no different from the stores then). It sits in exactly the same spot where I placed bags of garden waste awaiting collection by RBKC some months ago which occasioned me to be branded an environmental criminal. Story HERE

Garden waste awaiting collection... Environmental crime scene.

It occurs to me that the useless jobsworths of RBKC must be receiving backhanders from the above mentioned grocer in return for turning a blind eye to their criminal acts or they can't work out how to stick one of their notices to a shopping trolley.

come on RBKC. sort your shit out!

And before you blame whomever it was who took the trolley from the store do the maths... Sainsbury's are happy to endorse rip off taxi firms plying their trade at the stores. Surely even they can see the sense of using a trolley which costs only a pound and on top of that you don't have to listen to the inane bollocks of the driver.

Come on sainsbury's... Provide free local taxis for people spending most of their income in your Monopoly store.

Oh. and where is that 98 year old bloke that Sainsbury's is proud to employ on 5 pence per hour to collect the trolleys? can't he walk this far.

Update. 28th September:

It is still here although the contents change daily. How long will RBKC let the rubbish pile up in our streets?

Monday, 16 September 2013

Portobello Film festival 2013 and spencer Hudson's Circles.

The Pop up Cinema on Portobello road is a wonderful, slightly scuzzy little cinema underneath the Westway. It's not a flea pit (fleas cannot afford the area these days) but it ain't the Electric either. Best of all it is free!

Last night saw the screening of the films entered into the film competition (the prizes are bronze trellik towers) and the awards ceremony.

The films as ever were collectively something of a curates egg, some of them not new but there was enough of interest to brave the pissing rain and it was good to see some old faces. I'm not going to bang on about all the films, I'm sure someone else will do that elsewhere, but I will mention two of them: Spencer Hudson's film,'Circles', which won the Local Films category is a delightful, well made and, as often is not the case in such things, well edited short which is well worth a look. The link to the web site is HERE

There is more about spencer and the film at the Source Magazine

The second film of note won the comedy treelike: Voodoo Moustache again was very well made and full of nice touches. Very stylish indeed, beautifully designed and if nothing else should put its creators well on the road to pop videos! Made by students at the National Film and Television School I believe.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Electric Bently.

Here it is folks! The first sighting of Bently's new Electric Continental Coupe.

Either that or some idiot with a rather grandiose idea of their own self importance parking where the hell they please.

I nicked the photo from Facebook... Tom Moriarty is the photographer.

Monday, 9 September 2013

After the poets convention.

Hey Susie remember me?
May I have my jacket back
you borrowed it last night
while sharing a cigarette outside
with the Tall hungarian poet.

I didn't see you again.

Had he been a better poet
he would have wrapped warm words about you.
removing the need for you to borrow my jacket.

Or for me to write these words.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Baby's first smokes.

Rusty writes from Lizard Bend. Idaho:

Hey Tristan, Kirsty from the gun shop knitted little Morgan a dandy little hunting suit complete with pocket for his smokes. He aint quite got the hang of sucking on a Marlboro yet so we blow the smoke in his face... He seems to like it anyhow.

Duane from the gas station wanted to try him on some pot but I reckon the little chap aint ready for that yet.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Carnival 2013. Met Police PR team and the international formation pissing team.

Photograph: Steve Mepstead.

There are many photographs of the brighter side of Carnival on the inter web but this image is my favourite this year. It sums up the other side!

As does this photograph, from Getty Images :

For the residents of Notting Hill the lasting legacy of Carnival is the lingering stench of urine that pervades the neighbourhood for some time afterwards.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Carnival helicopter.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect of Notting Hill carnival is the constant buzz of the police helicopters overhead.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Mangrove Steel Band in All Saints Road. Carnival 2013.

The Friday night before carnival was always the high point for many locals. Recently the powers that be had stopped Mangrove Steel Band from playing in the street; it was traditionally the last pre-carnival rehearsal and an opportunity to play for the community but thankfully this year they were back. Wonderful!

Brilliant director Andre White is back behind the baton, Matthew is there behind the drum kit and so many familiar locals are making life good.

I find carnival itself far too crowded and intimidating so to be able to see these very dedicated people perform in the street on this night is magical. It is also magical to bump into so many friends and neighbours sharing the joy.

thank you.

Strangefruit - Sea of Fog.

This came my way via Orlando Seal (check out his band Orlando Seal and the Swell) it is dramatic in more way than one.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Six harps in the Albert Hall. Bantock prom review.

Not something you will see every day.

Hear them HERE

Jan Nieupjur writes:

While the Bantock piece was all very nice what a shame the BBC or the Proms powers that be did not take advantage of having six harps on the platform and more importantly six of the best harpists in the land in the house and put on a decent programme that could have been memorable and in my memory certainly a first.

Had there been six first violins from various orchestras on stage together we would never hear the end of it and imagine the kerfuffle had there been six tenors!

Editors note: Jan nieupjur knows nothing about classical music and even less about reviewing it but I owe him money and am obliged to publish his views.