Saturday, 31 December 2011


Having just read the Literary Review of the Year, and noted the huge absence of poetry anthologies & blogs from the overall Top 100 publications, I've decided that to make this writing lark more profitable, I'm going to get into recipe books.

This is my first recipe from my forthcoming collection Yanny Mac's Ten Minute Suppers.


I always use the freshest eggs I can find, preferably from a hen, but I like to experiment as well.
(Check the little stickers on the front of the box - the later the Use By date, the fresher the egg).
My old housemate Joel used to fry his eggs in olive oil.
Although this is proper posh, I tend to bung mine in hot vegetable oil, and IMHO, I think they taste well nice.
The olive oil can sometimes make stuff taste a bit foreign, but a lot of people like that.

For the bread, always use fresh.
If you can't get a bloomer from Greggs, get the best sliced stuff from Tesco.
It's full of chemicals that might one day kill you.

Real butter is hard to find these days, but if you can get Vitalite or Flora this will go a long way.
If you can't get a spread, try mayonnaise or tommy ketchup.

When your egg is properly fried (I like mine well done - the wife likes salmonella with hers) stick it in between the bread slices and bosh!

An egg sarnie to take away the winter blues, and put a spring in your step.

Butter (optional)
Oil (for cooking)

**For a little something different, try some ground white pepper & table salt for an extra kick.


As we approach the compulsory shit & piss-fest that is the NYE celebrations, I guess we should review the past year, recollect the bad memories and good, and be thankful that some of us are still here.

I nearly lost the wife back in July.
Not in the garden centre as per norm, but to a collection of pulmonary embolisms and secondary pneumonia.
Like George, it was all a bit 'touch & go'.
We also had to move house whilst she was in hospital.
As a consequence, we got behind in our regular readings of Tim Dowling's column in the Guardian Weekend supplement.

It's become a fairly pleasant routine.
I read the wife to sleep with a series of back-to-back TD escapades; ones that I rehearse in advance, in order to provide humour or gravitas when required.
I even do the voices.
I never attempt TD's mid-Atlantic nasal drawl, but I've mastered a trio of teen petulance for the kids, and do a slightly bored, if massively indignant wife.
I've even bestowed a Southern Irish lilt upon TD's best friend Pat, and my drummer from the band can often sound like Mick Jagger.

The problem we have with Mr.Dowling's articles is that they are far too short.
Reading them is like watching the daily half-hour repeats of 'Come Dine With Me'.
After several recaps and an abundance of DFS adverts, you're not left with much substance.
We now record CDWM and watch them back-to-back with the assistance of a f/fwd button on the remote.
And this is how we enjoy TD, with a few of his columns back-to-back.

In July of this year, we had several TDs outstanding, but there was no immediate fear of not completing them by year end.
Most of them focussed on yet another holiday in Cornwall, or yet another festival appearance by the band.
But by the end of October, I had so many Weekend's piled up, that they resembled a dog-eared bedside table.
Tim Dowling was growing in stature, but only on my bedroom floor.
I set about reducing the dust topped mountain with passion and theatrical prowess, and I'm happy to be able to tell you that we are down to the last three (yet another technophobe one, Dinner with the kids & Choosing the Xmas tree).

Tonight we will spend NYE with my friend Luke and his family.
I have less than ten hours to complete my task, a task that looked improbable in August of this year, particularly when my wife was hooked up to a life support machine.
Perhaps I'll read the final three to tonight's assembled party-goers, whilst quietly praying that this year can happily come to an end?
Or perhaps I'll save them for the marital bed later?
Or perhaps I just won't bother?

After all, I'm no Tim Dowling.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Strange Story of John Osborne, the Wireless & Quite a Long Day

Made the mistake of leaving the wireless on all day.

I weaned myself off FiveLive some weeks ago by reducing background noise altogether, and by trying to read the book the wife bought me last Xmas.
My alarm on my phone (I know! It's got a camera too!) reminded me that I needed to tune into Radio4, as my friend John Osborne (no 'U') was prattling on about music, girls and sheds again.
The subsequent programmes held little of interest until 'All In The Mind' around mid-afternoon.
The presenters were examining stress-levels and were asking listeners to take part in an online stress test.
I'd chopped logs, fed the cats, and been as witty as I could on Facebook (not Twitter - I'm not witty enough for Twitter), so I thought what the hell?

After about twenty minutes I received my results, and it turns out I'm borderline psychotic!
The beeb's analysts have urged me to seek medical help as soon as possible, and to contact a relative or friend with my news, in order to ensure assistance.

They didn't give any indication as to who would put my bins out, or who would draw my wife's bath?
Amateurs probably.

I've switched the wireless off now.
No good will come of all this modern technology.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


WORLD OF CARPETS : Carpets - Southend United

MICHAEL SPIERS : Exclusive Jewellery - Plymouth Argyle

Mr. CROPPER : Hydraulic Concrete Pile Breakers - Burton Albion

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Campaign Update (Focus DIY)

More importantly, the retail behemoth that is Focus DIY, is no more.
Hopefully this will bring much needed business to the paint-sellers, nail-floggers, plant-punters and padlock-dealers of Olde Beccles Town;
but I fear the new Poundland may absorb some of that trade.


The Poundland I referred to above, was in fact a 'Pound Stretcher'.
Along with QD, Gary's Discounts and the multitude of charity shops, it's hoped that no one will have to pay through the nose this Xmas.
Not in Beccles.

We do still however need somewhere for the kids to go when the lido is closed.
Our hope that the massive warehouse vacated by Focus DIY would be turned into an Open Venue, or youth club, or sports hall, or skate-park or gym, has been dashed, only a fortnight away from Xmas week.

I'm not sure what our new retailer is actually called, but it has a gaudy fascia that highlights the words FAMILY, DISCOUNTS, BARGAINS, and it appears to have a glut of plastic exclamation marks!!!!!!!!

The kids may be roaming the streets this festive period, but no one will have to pay for anything through the nose.
Not in Beccles.

Merry Costa everybody..........

Sunday, 4 December 2011


I've been asked by an online publication to re-start TTTNPAH.

They thought there was 'mileage' in another season.

They asked if I could explain why I thought certain advertising hoardings were humorous, or of note?

I told them to fuck off.


John Hill Associates: Architectural & Surveying Consultants. 01302 35565 - DONCASTER ROVERS

John Brocklesby Metal Management Ltd: "For all your scrap metal needs" - HULL CITY

Dave Ridge & Sons: Pebble dashing - CRYSTAL PALACE