Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cry God for Geoffrey
The Ashes and Saints Jonathan Trott & Agnew
A victory Dear England was most in need
in times of near poverty & snow
we exhale, we prevail,
we drink we fart we curmudgeon
and the BBC never quite far behind SKY (but valued nonetheless) posits the question;
Why celebrate the provenance of a bush-fired set of bails when the Series is not yet won?

"Sydney - It's a great place for TV & Radio people"

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

An Open Letter to Mr.Julian Assange

Dear Mr.Assange

Forgive me for contacting you, at what must be a difficult time.
My name is Yanny Mac. I shouted 'Aussie Aussie Aussie' at you last week, outside Beccles Police Station. You replied 'Oi Oi Oi' in time-honoured fashion.
I videoed the whole shebang, and posted it on YouTube.

Very briefly, I became an internet hit (A funny old position, I'm sure, you can empathise with?)

Anyways. My 100-or-so Twitter followers, and my family & friends, would like me to get a 2nd interview with you. The general consensus is that I should ask you another Ashes-related question. I would be open to any other suggestions.
The problem I have is a medical one. I have chronic rheumatoid arthritis, and even though I live close to the police station, standing around in these current wintry conditions is extremely uncomfortable.

Could I ask of you a favour?
Would it be possible to have an approximate 'visiting-time' to Beccles, on Christmas Day?
I don't mind missing The Muppet Xmas Carol film or Doctor Who, but would love to catch the Queen's Speech if possible.

The question I would probably ask is, either:

" How are you coping with the particularly slow Broadband speed in the Beccles/Bungay area?" Or (bearing in the mind the action at the MCG)
"Should Ricky Ponting retire gracefully now?"

I hope you're enjoying your stay at Ellingham? It really is quite nice around here, if a little quiet.

Yours Sincerely Yanny Mac

Friday, 17 December 2010

Dad's Gone To Tescos

I woke up feeling chipper despite the snow
I sledged my way to Tesco
I wobbled a bit on the icy-cobbles home
and out-interviewed the media
with a trolley full of toilet-roll & cider.

Thursday, 16 December 2010



BUFFET CITY - All You Can Eat From 3-15 (Plymouth Argyle)
ANTHONY (Wycombe Wanderers)
NEGRI BOSSI - Injection Moulding Machines (Rotherham Utd)

Ricky Ponting RIP

A warm wind blows gently, from third man to gully and swirls a bit, around silly mid-off.
The batsman trembles as the Perth-born faithful hold their breath in unison.
Collective fear, deep mid-wicket and cold.
Broken bookies beaten before a ball is even bowled.
A frozen Brit swaps Long Wave for digital.
A Shipping Forecast and an Act of Worship
muffles sweat-drenched Aggers' commentary
on seagulls & doctors.
The airwaves screech like banshees bent
on inviting Tasmania's favourite punter to the crease
as he rewrites Toni Basil's finest hour:

 "Hey Ricky, what a pity. You can't make a stand.
 You miss it with your bat and you nick it with your hand.
 Oh Ricky, you're so shitty why you still 'the man'?
 It's guys like your wicky Ricky
 Who should be captain Ricky, Bradley Ricky.
 Go Bradley Haddin Ricky"

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Campaign Update (Au revoir Assange)

Now that we have managed to extradite Julian Assange to that London for a few days, local retailers are looking forward to returning to normal.

Half-day closing will resume on Wednesday, and several of us can go back to trolley-shopping, in the knowledge that we won't have to run a gauntlet of European & US journalists, on our way back home.

Take your time Julian.

Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

My campaign to stop Wetherspoon's opening in Beccles, has gone from strength-to-strength this month. All four town-centre pubs have signed-up anonymously, and a man who lives in Chipping Ongar, but regularly visits Beccles Cemetery, also expressed 'serious dissatisfaction'. Our queueing campaign "Get A Grip Greggs", to alleviate bread & cake queue-jumping, in order to secure warm lunchtime snacks, took a knock back this week. A spokesperson for Greggs called Janice said "We can't be responsible for customer disputes at busy lunchtime periods. We hent social-workers". We are still waiting on a reply from Beccles Outdoor Lido with respect to the ice-rink idea. New Look & QD are still refusing to shut half-day on Wednesdays. Keep fighting the fight.......

Monday, 6 December 2010


The Sofa King
"Prices are sofa king low, you may wet your pants" - Northampton Town

Metallon: Derby's Premier Metal Recyclers - Derby County

Gillian's Blinds - Northampton Town

Friday, 3 December 2010

That Friday Night Anticipation

Next door's chickens have fucked off to roost and their shit is completely frozen The hen coop sewage rats are restless and starving and begging at our back doors The Aussie middle-order has spunked all its credit and as the Adelaide evenings grow longer the English smell burning snags and damp barbies The party could well soon be over

Thursday, 2 December 2010

A Golden Age

Like Richie Benaud.
In his day
In prospect and in property
That was me
Early noughties
Aisle16 and too much speed.
Now I’m Ricky Ponting
Had his day
But tired and on his way out.

Hiatus Over

I'm not capable of poetic language this evening.
What was supposed to be excitement at the start of the 2nd Test,
and relief at the passing of the hiatus period
(3 days is a long time at sub-zero temperatures)
I instead find myself extremely dis-heartened by the negativity and jingoistic protectionism, of the want-it-now; want-it-always football fraternity.
Being the self-proclaimed 'Home of Football' and having at least two, anachronistic, dynastic monarchies, is not enough!
Russia won. You came last. Get over it.

I felt my friends' pain
John was beside himself
Joe was agitated by moves asunder
Patrick was lost, but
this was a terrain unfamiliar

United in a love of the probable
we snow-balled our fears into thoughts
of barbecues, beer & sun
and allowed ourselves the luxury
of just one more late night
(depending on who won the toss)

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The Leaks

Picky-Leeks - Youngest child announces opposition to green veg.
Hickie-Leaks - Teenage son confesses he gave himself lovebite.
Titty-Leaks - Pregnant mum declares loss of breast-pad.
Dicky-Leaks - Husband admits stealing pad for his incontinence problem.
Nikki-Leaks - Teenage daughter spells own name in affected style on pencil-case.
Vikki-Leaks - Daughter's friend affects similar name-change.
Sickie-Leaks - Father admits to taking 'duvet-day'.
Quickie-Leaks - Husband reminds wife that all children are at school until 4pm.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Day Four (or was it Five?)

Clocks back.
Six inches of snow (would I lie?)
But no Christmas-Tree Man, punting near the Strawberry-Hut on the A143 near Gillingham.
Amidst this confusion, my body-clock looks for clues.
My kitchen digital radio, now married to an earpiece, itself divorced from my bedside transistor.
My slumber, dot-full of waking boundaries, but bereft of oh-so many wickets.
Sleep caught in patches, the pillow-slips making a 3rd man of my wife.
How long have I been awake?
And where is Kevin Pietersen?
I fall into unconsciousness to congratulate the boys, but they are already on their way to the city of churches. It's Monday I think.
We need milk.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Day Three (of three)

I couldn't really cope with the H&H show. I wouldn't call myself English but I am now the butt of my wife's Aussie family's sledging. I went off on my own into the snow-covered Suffolk countryside. I picked sloes. I will make purple gin as seen on Edwardian Farm.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Day Two (of possibly five)

The Ashes Hat-Trick hangover goes beyond four cups of tea Woman’s Hour Tweet Email Tweet again And four chilly trips for a wee. The decision is to retire early Declare. And seek warmth within The duvet The wife The cat & the kitten The alarm set & ready for 5-30am. By the end of Question Time You know you’ve done fail. The cider The fire The wicket The piss in the snow The sound of Aggers chuckling at Movember, McCririck Geoffrey's lack of patience and Mr.Cricket. At midnight I hear the click And whirr Of the Economy 7 And I know I’m now in it for the night.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Very First Test

Coldest night of the year.
Jonathan Agnew on FiveLive Extra.
Red Button (Graphics).
A 'sultry morning' at the Gabba on the other side of the world.
I'm suddenly aware that I however, am on the mist-shrouded, semi-frozen Broads.
The coals on the fire diminish as my breath colours the air.
The game is afoot with a winning toss and Sir Geoffrey reminds us all of the value of privilege.
The cats are non-plussed.
The excitement of a late-night has dwindled like the coals.
With England batting first, my body language leads them from food bowl to water, in anticipation of a slow few hours.
A minute's silence for 29 miners.
But no 'Land of Hope & Glory'. No 'Jerusalem'.
As a tenor leads fair Australia into advancing young & free.
Hilfenhaus to Strauss.
A nominal indictment on former colonial policies.
3rd ball. A wicket.

The game was afoot but my eyes were closed before Trott got them off.
A start,
that was, by morning,
over at stumps
and blanketed with a thick layer of snow.

Dead Poet

Philip Larkin un-friended me on Facebook No reason given, no provocation Just an absence from my Friends List when clicking on 'View All' I do not miss him.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Time Please!

Due to necessary, but brutal, budgetary cuts, the government will be rearranging the modern concept of ‘time’ forthwith. From 2011, the year 2010 will no longer exist; being referred to from now on as Love’s Labour’s Loss No.1. GMT & BST will now collectively be called ‘Euro-Time’, thus increasing its value in China & the Pacific Rim. As a mark of deference, Chinese lanterns made in Hong Kong will be donated to Scottish farmers & schoolchildren. Greenwich Observatory will be replaced by a massive digital watch sponsored by Greggs bakers, and a banner proclaiming “You know when it’s time for lunch”. The January Sales that traditionally start in November, will be replaced by the year-long DFS model, to avoid confusion amongst shoppers. Valentines Day will be re-named Valentines Fortnight (‘V15’ every Leap Year), and to celebrate this occurrence, first-round audition loser, Jodie from Pop Idol 2, will record “Money Can Buy Me Love” with X-Factor runner-up Andy Abraham. The One Minute Silence (aka.Two Minute Silence) will now last up to 6 minutes, indicated to those participating, by a 4th Official, and length-dependent on injuries sustained during whatever conflict they are remembering (subject to change with regard to ITV scheduling). Christmas is now one of the officially recognised Five Seasons, with spring & summer reducing in length, to allow the ‘festive period’ to start in October. The setting of ‘lighting-up time’ will be the responsibility of each individual local council, based on need & necessity. Gomshall & Abinger Hammer in Surrey will employ an out-of-town village-idiot to light candles in the absence of romantic moonlight, and he/she will cry ‘All is well’ in doing so. Nottingham City Council will sporadically shine spotlights into every living-room, whilst reminding people of the dangers of gun-crime, by playing M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes’ at an extremely loud volume. Oxbridge students will now study for 5 years for a typical undergraduate course, thus increasing it’s market value by at least 18k. Saints’ feast days will be replaced with ‘consecutive or palindromic number-sequence days’. At a quarter past four in the afternoon (& 14 seconds), next December 13th, we will have a nano-second’s silence to remember St.Clare – the Virgin Martyr of Bruges. If anyone really knows about doing time it’s George ‘Boy’ O’Dowd. He once sang: Because time won't give me time And time makes lovers feel Like they've got something real But you and me we know They've got nothing but time And time won't give me time Won't give me time Don't make me feel any colder Time is like a clock in my heart Touch we touch was the heat too much I felt I lost you from the start. Moving stuff. But I’ll leave the final words to Zebedee of Magic Roundabout fame. “It’s late. Fuck off to bed”

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Suicide Blonde

I'm thinking of bleaching my hair again and getting a speed-habit and moving to the city, and going back to school.I'm thinking of recharging my batteries and taking-up gin again and piercing my face.I'm thinking of ditching Edwardian and rediscovering Rave.I'm thinking of leaving the countryside, the allotment and the open-fire.
And middle-aged spread and early nights and You&Yours and trips to Aldeburgh.
I'm thinking of leaving this all behind and having just one more go.I'm thinking about it a lot.

Just saying....

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Day Trip to Lowestoft

Nail bar
Tanning salon
Nail bar

Sunday, 24 October 2010


Mum passed away last Friday.
On Thursday, I was the father, in a one-parent family.
By the weekend, I was also the child.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


It's 1979. April. Maybe May.
Easter Holidays. Warm, but not drought-like.
Those days have gone.
The Commodores are lapping at our wings & The Isleys provide the breeze.
Musically we are sibling-servient
but the stylus tonight, belongs to us.

It's Saturday night, and everyone bar none is in our living-room.
I'm back from boarding-school.
I’m home
and I'm entertaining.
But no-one's really sure of who I am.
Except Simon
and possibly Janice.

I’m validated by my brother’s dog-eared record collection
and a pack of ten No.6.
Motown - Gold.
Philly - Best of.
Elton John.
Crocodile Rock. Badly scratched.
Bryant & May scorched fag-ends are greedily bum-sucked.
Windows open; my mum & dad will be back before we really knew they were gone.
Teenage squabbles reach their peak, in an orange draylon room.
There's juvenile lust for my parents' Dubbonet.
A gift from a now dead uncle.
Adolescent fumble juice, livened-up with flat Dandelion & Burdock.

I live on an out-of-town, new-town,not-quite-council
but nevertheless than aspirational, estate.
And all of my friends go to school locally.
I'm twelve years old. Nearly thirteen.
But in term time, I’m three counties away.

My parents have made their weekly pilgrimage to the Sergeant's Mess.
3 Para. Regimental.
And I'm in charge now.
This is all mine.
This is not a dormitory.
And I know the record will end shortly.
Lionel Richie's lamentation will end with a click and a whirr
The radiogram and other stuff we don't understand
silencing the screach of mopeds and us.

And she will stop dancing with me, she always does.
Whatever her name is.
We’ll all stop dancing, a bit confused and without each other.
Far from close, to anyone close to us.
And we will argue with each other over the choice of another LP, or 45.
And Simon will be sick.
And the evening will end with the smell of bleach upon my fingers.
And nicotine, and loss.
Easter 1979.
Warm, but not drought-like.
Those days have gone.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Bed Time

don't have kindle
don't have an ipod
or macbook either
don't have digital
don't have a plasma
nor dishwasher neither
don't ever buy new
buy second, maybe third hand
forage firewood & herbs
don't get my stash from anyone
property is theft
but I need a new bed
and that's tricky
don't have finance
nor credit
nor overdraft facility
anyone know where I can get one
on the cheap like?

October 13th

We lost mum today
an unmarked ambulance took her away
not on a stretcher like little Jimmy Sanchez
or the Bolivian
she walked
but no goodbyes for dad

And he cried, when she never turned around
and left my sister to take the flak
Mum's in a home now
though God knows where she thinks she is

The nurse is big & black
and mum didn't need to be asked twice
when served up a hot lunch of meat-pie
no husband at table
just flowers
or so my sister said

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

More Followers Please?

The idea, is to consolidate all of my social-networking time, into one daily narrative.
I rarely get comments on my blog, and that's a shame because more thought goes into what is actually written here.
The witty & sometimes informative Twitter is too restrictive.
Facebook now resembles a more colourful, yet less interesting, Ad-Trader.
And Paddy's mum's laptop can't cope with the multi-manic applications on MySpace.

Will you follow me here?
I'll follow you........

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A Poem For National Poetry Day

No-one has ever written a poem about me.
No-one that is, until Luke Wright penned this for R4's Saturday Live programme.
It's possibly the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.

"My mate Yanny dropped his phone in the bath
He knifed his Broadband line, kicked in his set
Grew vegetables along his garden-path
Wrote letters to everyone he’d ever met:
His old school friends, forgotten dinner guests
first boss, girlfriend, the man who brought the coal
he wrote in biro from an old fusty desk
didn’t use similes, wrote his words out in full
and soon the replies began coming back
Printed envelopes outnumbered by scrawled-on ones
with pink stickers, as his friends packed
them out with stuff they never said when they called
There was something about making something
that appealed to blokes who had previously
just penned one-line texts about birds & bling,
and each one back felt like something for free
Better nonsense composed at window sills
than a clockwork life and a mat full of bills."


I took a 3-day sabbatical from Facebook.
A de-cyberspace-cation, if you will.
I found it troublesome.
On some days (mainly yesterday) I found myself searching for reasons to pop on to FB.
I had to rationalise with myself that, by removing all 'Notifications' from my email account, denial of access to my social-networking sites was not, in fact, a breach of my basic human rights.
I cried pitifully when I realised that I couldn't make witty & incisive comments after Match of the Day II, to 400 or so 'Friends', who were quite probably at home, online definitely, and ultimately bereft, due to my lack of participation in the safe & friendly neighbourhood local banter a.k.a. Facebook Chat.

I got through it though.
I got through all of the 3 days.

Every single one.

I only wavered once.
Yesterday I removed my Profile Pic from my FB page, and then deleted my last Status Update.
A last defiant act of non-committal.
Other than that, I was incommunicado.

And I was free!

I found that I had not necessarily gained more time per se; but had done a lot more with the time available.
I started jobs that needed doing & began projects that required starting.
I did a long overdue woollens-wash.
I wrote a poem.
I phoned my father.
I emptied the filter on the washing-machine.
I washed the filter on the Dyson.
I watched two recorded episodes of Coast.
And I stopped procrastinating.

My productive chunks of creativity were wholesome & satisying.
There weren't any definable gaps in my daily schedule without Facebook! No!
There were holes, but my efforts had obscured their vacancies from my peripheral view.
Proper gone.
I had discovered the value of time, not the quantifiable absence of it.

If you think about it, time is all we have.
Time is now.

My People; My Followers.
It's time we were more precious about time.
A time for understanding.
Understanding time....


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The more we Google, the less we know ("Notes For An Artist In Auld Reekie")

Watching absolutely no-one watching the Commonwealth Games today, I got to thinking about Lord Horatio Nelson's mum & dad. I Googled 'Catherine Suckling' and, although the various web-pages were in agreement about the date she married Mr.Nelson Snr., four of the first ten listed were wrong about the venue. As a resident of Beccles, I know that she was married here, but a Wiki-entry has the wedding in Bath. As does several other copy & paste knowledge-fonts, including a '.edu' establishment.
I then decided that the internet as a source of information, was actually a bit shit.
As there is no body to scrutinise, amend or reject my findings, I would like to share with you my post-Edinburgh "Notes For An Artist In Auld Reekie".

Scottish water will require use of more hair-product.
The people we see on the telly aren't always like they are on telly.
Mobile phone reception is negligible.
Eating fish & chips on the bus is not a crime.
Meadowbank Stadium appears surplus to requirement.
Boys who wear trainers have no sense of smell.
An Edinburgh head-cold can last a while.
Full-houses do not guarantee laughs.
Greggs are not just a southern phenomena.
Despite staying lighter later, the streets of Edinburgh get very dark early.
Scotland now understands the concept of 'chav'.
A BK cheeseburger-meal is rather unsatisfying.
Scottish women are more attractive than their men.
Despite being regular, efficient & cheap, it is advisable to avoid Edinburgh buses between 7pm & 9pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Man cannot live on chips & sauce alone.
August is a great time to spot egotistical wankers.
Irn Bru & square sausage are slightly overrated.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The smell of Fall.

So I'm just back from Edinburgh.
I say 'just'; it's been over two weeks, but it's taken all of that time to re-adjust to Beccles Town.
For a start, the streets of my rural abode aren't littered with A5 paper-flyers, themselves littered with quotes & reasons as to why I should 'not miss' a particular show.
If Beccles needed to advertise in this way, it would probably put up one hoarding saying "It's a bit shit, but pop-in if you're free?"
This will be the title of my next show.

The other thing that sets Suffolk apart from Scotland's capital city, is the smell.
At this time of year we are constantly awakening to a fug that can only be described as 'shitty'.
As a child, my parents would chastise me for wrinkling my nose, and follow this up with "It's only a bit of muck!"
For the past few years however, 'a bit of muck' has begun to smell like human faeces.
I'm reliably told that it is chicken-shit, lovingly matured by the local poultry 'manufacturers' a la Mr.Matthews, but I'm also reliably told (by another source) that the local water companies sell-on our own human waste, which is then degraded to a rich-smelling manure, for use in agro-chemical spreading.
It's not pleasant.
My wife says it smells like blood & bone, or kitten-kibble, and this makes me think it isn't in anyway similar to the grassy horse-poo we use on the allotment!

Anyway; today the air is free of smells.
It's blustery, sunny & cool, and there's a distinct sense that a new seasonal-chapter is about to open.
I love autumn.
I love it so much, I don't mind referring to it as 'Fall'.
For clean-freaks like me, September is a time to start emptying those slug-pubs, turning the compost-heap, harvesting the last corn-cobs, tomatoes & elderberries, chopping up firewood and tidying up the land, as we head into the ever-darkening months of winter.
I love days like these.

And as I leap from my bed and put on my well-worn gardening clothes, I catch my foot in my braces, stumble towards a sleeping kitten, narrowly miss squashing her, by concocting a sort-of Highland Fling-meets-Diversity dance-step, trip over three pairs of jodhpurs, two pairs of gaiters, a riding helmet and crop, and land with an almighty thump, somewhere between salvation & hospitalisation.

I'm ok.
A bit bruised & broken.
Just totally fucked for another day.

Autumnal smell or no smell, the garden & allotment can wait for a bit.
There's only so much you can do with elderberries anyway.......

Monday, 16 August 2010

We've grouted the bathroom; now for the renaissance.....

I'm off to Edinburgh tomorrow.
5 years ago, after some quality broadsheet write-ups & a BBC Edinburgh Review TV appearance, I said that I'd never go again.
Times change.
Needs must.

There's nothing of importance in this blog.
I'm still not quite sure of the efficacy of all the communication-tools available to me.
I was about to change my Facebook status to "I'm off to Edinburgh tomorrow", when I thought to myself, I can Tweet that.
I fired-up the behemoth, and as I waited for the hourglass to leave the screen, and the dingly-dong Window's signature tune to fade into kettle & toaster buzz, I thought; Wouldn't this be easier by cell-phone?
(I still call them cell-phones. They're not properly connected.
To anything.)
And then Snooze pointed out that there were applications that would automatically do this for me.
And I felt quite unimportant.
So I blogged instead.
It's a lot more personal this way.
I only have 14 'Followers'.
So this way, I feel like I'm addressing a crowd.
A small crowd.
There's nothing of importance in this blog.
But the BBC Edinburgh Review programme informed us this week, that the average audience at Fringe shows, was 5 people.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Edinburgh's Interior Decor

I shit you not, it's happening!
It's only fuckin' happening!

I'm doing a show. Edinburgh Fringe. In August.
It's with John Osborne (Radio Head, What If Men Burst In Wearing Balaclavas? The Newsagent's Window) and Patrick Lappin (used to live in that pub on Ber St.), and I can't really believe it's all happening.

Paddy (as I like to call him) is a rock.
No. He's more than that. He's the sexy bit. The charmer. The rogue.
He can make you wet your knickers in fear.
But he's solid.
A grafter.
Extremely reliable and very hard-wearing.
He's a wall.
A sexy wall.
He's a bathroom wall.

Jozzers (as I like to call him) is pretty.
You look & listen to him, and your heart melts & your head goes a bit fuzzy.
He's a beautiful man.
But he's very straight-edged.
(And I don't mean in a tee-total,gay,abstainer way)
He's got great lines. Straight,dependable,necessary lines.
And he shines. And I know all about shining.
non luceo uro ;-)
For an OCD'er like me, he's my perfect accompaniment to Paddy.
Paddy's wall.
He's a ceramic tile.
A bathroom ceramic tile.

And me?
I'm the grout.

It's happening!
It's only fuckin' happening!

'Three Sisters' - Room With A View (Opposite Underbelly)
August 20th-30th

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Sun Always Shines Ennui

You’ve checked the weather for the day ahead.
You always do.
Your friends think it’s a little idiosyncratic, but they always rely on you for suitcase-packing advice, just before the annual dearth of shit, drugs and mud (a.k.a. Festival-Time).
You watch ‘Weather For The Week Ahead’ on Countryfile religiously.
You always do.
It’s the only thing you do religiously on a Sunday, since rejecting 11 O’clock mass in your twenties.
It’s well documented that you don’t trust BT Yahoo, and this extends to anything other than the BBC Weather website, the ‘Weather For The Week Ahead’ and your natural ability to forecast changes in barometric pressure.
Arthritis can be a cruel yet precise master.
Your wife wakes you at 7am and tells you it’s going to be a ‘lovely day’.
You have already planned a better day, one that involves pyjamas, a typewriter and a jar of Poundstretcher coffee (that tastes a little bit like legal highs).
A ‘lovely day’ suggests the need to do something altogether different.
To water the garden, to do at least two clothes-washes, to resurrect the washing-line that was holding up both the defunct satellite dish and the wonky guttering, and to fix the wife’s bike; all before lunchtime, when the rabbits will require their bi-annual vaccinations, and the kitten will need tutoring on how to catch field-mice.
A better day involves rain.
You have planned a better day, safe in the knowledge that Countryfile said it would be damp & showery over the Broads.
This is despite what Chris Evans said this morning, and contrary to the FiveLive reports from all over Lower England, that the sun is shining, and it’s going to be a very lovely day.
The lady in the vets said it was an absolutely gorgeous today.
The man with the dog-eared cat agreed.
Victoria Derbyshire asked the nation for a response to the question “What will YOU be doing today, officially the first day of summer?”
You had planned to stay in and write, but the nation is conspiring against you.
You turn off the radio. The kitten and the rabbits are asleep.
The sunshine pours through your half-opened eyelids, and you decide to water the garden.
A superficial watering. The bits that really need it.
A one-can watering (It makes sense to be sure).
By 10-30am, you have emptied the washing-machine of a ‘mid-week essential’ load.
You toy with the idea of cleaning the cushion-covers & hand-towels, but opt for the bedsheets.
You know it’s going to rain.
You always do.
It was on ‘Weather For The Week Ahead’.
You make a coffee. It tastes a bit like rain. You feel smug.
The washing-machine spins as you jot down loose thoughts.
The ideas flow as the coffee is drained.
The kitten thinks that this might be the time to practice ninja.
And the rabbits sidle to a warm sheltered spot, twixt the billowing sheets and the watering-can.
You absorb the dappled sunlight like a soporific sponge.
And within what seems like seconds, it starts to piss cats & dogs.
And as you flick the switch to 'Heating Constant' amidst the fug and funk of fabric-conditioned warmth, you know (and you always do) that today has just got a little bit better………

Thursday, 22 April 2010

SKY - You either get it; or you hate it

Tonight we are to be faced with another Prime Ministerial TV Debate, the second of three I think. I nearly watched all of the last one, but with no advert/piss break, I left the room, lost interest and subsequently switched channels for the more entertaining 'Outnumbered'. Tonight's debate takes place on a channel that is quite alien to me. I watch Sky in pubs, often because it's a cricket or footy match I'm interested in, but sadly too often, because it's all-pervading nature is a seemingly necessary prerequisite, now that smoking has been banned. I don't like Murdoch. I'm anxious about rampant commercialism. But for the past hour I have sat through Sky News' 'Debate Day' coverage, having realised I 'owned' the channel as part of my Freeview package, and wanted to get a feel for the standard of presentation I would receive this evening. What a pile of shite! Same tagline repeated, refreshed, repeated and diluted, until the only thing you can be sure of, in this cultural hinterland, is that the break-bumper sponsors (in this case, Sky themselves!) will keep you informed that very little news is happening, and they've got it all for you - LIVE! A banner repeatedly tells me that Marmite are pissed off with the BNP, whilst interviews with so-called political analysts & journos, go something like this; - So who will win tonight's debate? - Well. You know, it's a hard one to call, y'know. I think that Clegg gave a very real account of himself last time, y'know, but we mustn't forget y'know, that there are two other participants, you know? It really could go either way. - Thanks Jayne. Only 6 hours to go. Can Clegg win? Can Mr.Brown fight back? So many questions...... (Cut to simultaneous ads for Sky Box Office, Sky Sports and Sky 1. "If you're watching Sky News, you probably don't have these!") I won't be watching tonight. It's not that I'm not interested, it's just that I guess I'm a TV snob. I grew up with only 3 channels, and one of those was a testcard for most of the day. Sky TV is TV for TV's sake. It's frighteningly insipid, lacking in interest, dull, diluted & downright shoddy. So why does it offend me so much? I guess with age, comes a little obdurate cynicism; but fortunately for all of us, we still have choice. Love it or hate it, no-one's forced to subscribe. I shall be watching 'Outnumbered'.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Potatoes, tomatoes & volcanoes

It occurred to me the other evening that the last time Eyjafjallajoekull (or Joe Kull as I like to call her) erupted, we weren't only pre-aviation, but pre-industrial revolution. Meteorology was in its infancy and Iceland did not have a single bank. I wondered if the resulting ash-cloud had little, if any, effect on our good nation in the early part of the nineteenth century, and the results I discovered were interesting. Both Joe Kull & the Indonesian volcano Tambora erupted in the early 1800s, creating an agricultural nightmare for damp or wet island nations, such as Ireland. Fungus proliferated in these climes, and the resulting blight led to the Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. This in turn led to the Irish diaspora of the middle nineteenth century, and the migration of many Irish families such as the Geldofs,the Nortons, the McKenzies & the Lappins. I wouldn't normally condone the use of pesticides on allotments, but I appeal to all gardeners this summer; please keep an eye on your plum tomatoes.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Blogging's not for me

I like writing.
I always have.
Blogging seems to be a way of sharing your writing with others, without incurring the financial wrath of the Royal Mail.

But it's not for me.

I've been sitting at my PC for nearly three hours now.
I'm trying to post a blog that I wrote on my dysfunctional laptop-thing last week.
I copied & pasted it (they taught me that at City College) and I clicked on the button that said "Publish Now'.
But it wouldn't publish.
It said I had a funny HTML or something, which I took a little personally, as I often do with personal criticism (they taught me that at boarding school)
It said my HTML thing didn't do 'Meta'.

Now I know what 'meta' means (they taught me that at UEA).
But I fail to see what is so meta about my blog post.
It's about fliers on my kitchen wall, and titting-up other poets.
The classical Greek sense of meta, nor the esoteric English language sense, have any connection with my story, so I can only assume that it has something to do with HTML, of which I know nothing.

I do assumption well (they taught me that at altar-boy practice).

If anyone could inform me of what HTML is, I would be forever grateful.
I do hope I haven't overstepped the literary mark with my meta?


Luke’s in my kitchen

And he asks me why I’ve got a flier

for a Geldeston Locks

gig on my wall?

And I say

“Cos it was a good gig”

And he says

“But no-one turned up.

In fact, more than half the acts weren’t even there.

And it’s got my name on it.

I didn’t perform.

I was there for the conkers, but I didn’t perform!”

“It was a good gig” I say

It’s like my favourite poster, from the good old days, is like..... the Hammersmith gig”

“Yeah but. You didn’t perform” says Luke

“Yeah. But I was on the poster.

I made it to the gig, but I had serious man-flu.

So I went home.

All the way from West London to Norfolk.

On the train

With man-flu.

On my own.”

“It was a shit gig” says Luke.

And I say


But we’d’ve never’ve got it

if I hadn’t felt-up the promoter's tits”

And Luke says

“Fair point mate.

Fair point.”

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

I have a dream....

It’s 30years from now, and the thing that replaces TV is showing the Channel 4 equivalent of "TOP 50 GREATEST WHATEVERS", where B & C list celebrities get nostalgic about an era, or movement, or scene (preferably the same few celebs, with varying anecdotes, so that they can shoot several "TOP 50 GREATEST WHATEVERS" in one day, then fill them out with advertisements for compilation IPodettes, with loose musical connections to one of the aforesaid celebs/anecdotes).
It’s what my generation called ‘aural history’.
Well; in this 30years-hence format, a few of my contemporaries discuss the performance poetry zeitgeist that emerged at the end of the last century, having been born in the aftermath of punk, in the fine works of John Cooper Clarke & Attila, and developed to its zenith at rock & pop festivals the length & breadth of the land.
And how the art form crossed over into rap & hip hop, and the music of Lily & Kate.
And how at least two poet laureates found themselves ‘reading’, in a muddy field, in wellies, and with laminated passes around their necks.

And an ageing Phill Jupitus will say
“And of course, there was the Norwich movement, coming out of UEA and putting places like Cambridge, Southwold and Colchester on the pop-lit map”
And it’ll cut to a photo montage of the early pioneers;

Aisle16 with Clarkey, Polar Bear, Scroobius Pip and Francesca Beard.

Posters will fill the screen with laughable venues & entrance-fees in GBP sterling

Sundown. Express Excess. ShortFuse. Homework.

Mr.Gee will tell the Russell Brand story “one more time” and sun-bronzed John Osborne, sipping gin on a Mediterranean yacht will say

“It was a really exciting time. There so much talent around. You had your Dockers MCs, Rachel Pantechnicons, Molly Naylors and don’t forget Yanny Mac & Pikey Paddy”.

And as the technology of the mid 21st Century cuts to its modern equivalent of an ad break for Tena Lady ‘Freshness All Day’, someone, somewhere, will know that I was once a contender.