Monday, 18 July 2011

List #3: Things I Have Learnt About Myself From the Night of Saturday 16th July 2011, My 18th Birthday

  1. If I have done really well for myself and got a really good job for the first time in my life - don't mess it up by being sick all over it before your/my first shift.
  2. Always have dinner before a night of drinking, even if you had a massive lunch and even if its convenient to walk there with Alice at 7.
  3. If you're drinking consistently all day, a little bit of mixing is allowed.  A little, not a lottle.  For example, you're allowed to follow a - frankly massive - G&T, followed by beer, over the course of late-morning - mid-afternoon; but don't mix Leffe, Fosters, Jagerbombs, Crabbies, Goat's Gash cocktails, Ale, something I can't quite remember and a lot of cake in just over an hour.
  4. Goat's Gash is one of the nicest things that I have ever drunk.
  5. It's a good thing that you can make friends with random strangers at the bar when you're waiting for mates to arrive, but don't allow them to buy you too many birthday pints of Leffe
  6. Leffe costs more than your average lager, and an extra pound can really annoy said strangers
  7. Leffe is 7.5%, not the 4.5% you assumed it to be.  If you're drinking it, that's cool, it tastes great; just ease up a bit.
  8. When your drink hits you (it will), stand outside for a bit, yeah?  Don't eat loads of cake.
  9. Seriously, go to Hitchin, not your workplace.
  10. You know that friend that everyone has?  The one that's a bit cooler and older than everyone else, and you cannot begin to kid yourself you don't model at least a little bit of yourself on him?  Yeah; when meeting his girlfriend for the first time, don't introduce yourself by being sick on her.
  11. The friend who doesn't mind taking you home is amazing and must be cherished.  Always force them to stay over.
  12. Make the most of not being hungover (although potentially still drunk) whilst you're young and you can.  It's worth drinking the night after, if in moderation (but when it's a house party half-dedicated to you, you kinda have to).
  13. Reading the entirety of Caitlin Moran''s How To Be a Woman is the best thing the next day.  With baths, cheese and water.  Also: go for a run (don't let people see you (shuttles in the back garden)).
  14. You're going to really enjoy being a student, if you're vaguely careful.
  15. Being drunk is lovely.  It's good for being happy after the after-effects (if you read good things and haven't lost your job because of it).
  16. Writing this in the same place you were sick two nights ago, making friends with the bar staff and apologising profusely, is fun and a good move. Hopefully I'll get a second chance.
  17. Might go for a walk after this cuppa (75p. Win).
  18. Oh, and Craisins.  The best.
  19. (post-script): Buy some records. Use loads of your birthday money up on vinyl shopping.  You'll feel immeasurably better.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

List #2: Summer Playlist

I'm far too lazy to bother writing a proper list today, because that requires brainwork; so I've got a 5-song summer playlist for you today, which comes from a post I co-wrote for my good friend Bee over at Vivatramp whilst she's on holiday (: This is a bit of an elongated (and is the original) version.

Rightie, my choices are:

    The perfect summer playlist – you can dance to it, you can relax to it, it makes you feel happy. Right? Then where better to start than Curtis Mayfield’s stone cold classic Move on Up?  WHAT. A. TUNE. It's played at Arsenal after we win, so reminds me of the good times; trumpets blazing, it's impossible not to get into - whether it's head nodding or hand-drumming to that goddamn bongo rhythm you'll proper enjoy it, although you might crash the car (I recommend trying the Single Ladies dance with it (I'm not joking - do it)).  Perhaps it would benefit from losing a bit of the extended instrumental, at least for a mixtape, but it's hard not to forgive him when you see how amazing his outfit is in that video.  This song is good enough to dissuade me from putting Isaac Hayes’ Shaft on the playlist, which is probably the best compliment you can pay a song.
    It’s hard to be a member of my family without liking The Kinks (Dad used to live next door to Dave (the guitarist with the luscious locks)) and Sunny Afternoon is candidate for my favourite song of all time as well as being just generally amazing.  Sit back in your hammock and enjoy whilst you're basking in the sun.  Far too good to not be mentioned.
    Blur are my favourite band - and Sunday Sunday is a song from their best album.  This was such a hard choice: I only allowed myself a single Blur and picked it above For Tomorrow - also on Modern Life is Rubbish - and Girls and Boys on the basis that it doesn't need to be 'listened to' to be enjoyed (you can dance) but neither is it limited by in depth listening.  It features on the best 'passage' of the album - Blue Jeans / Chemical World / Intermission / Sunday Sunday / Oily Water - and manages individual excellence without interrupting its flow.  It also has some ace slide guitar at the end.  Amazing but not overshadowing? Playlisted.
    Beach Boys are a quintessentially summer band, and one of those which I discovered through the medium of 50p charity shop records.  I've stuck to it: I have 4 Best of The Beach Boys 12"s and only one full album, Pet Sounds, and that on a scratched CD.  I originally had Girls Aloud's Love Machine in this slot, but you can't really leave BBs off a summer playlist and Love Machine was a very definite sixth choice.
    Does everyone here like Villagers? Set the Tigers free is a lovely song to relax to.  Every precedent for a superb summer song is filled: sounds so clean, consistently fresh and amazing on vinyl.  I think that the line 'I'll be cheering from the sidelines / with a sandwich and a beer' clinched its place here.  Let's not forget we're in Britain, and embrace the line 'and all at once I step outside / into the wind and rain' as an example of it working brilliantly for sitting around inside during a humid storm.  Sounds amazing in the morning.

Things I very nearly put in include The Girl under the Tree, Zorbing and Girls on Film.  Does that sentence count as cheating?  I didn’t even consider The Beautiful South because the choice of song would have been nigh-on-impossible.

What are your favourite summer songs/what would be your playlist/how would you amend mine? I'd love to hear from you on this issue, which is one of my fave questions - love a good mixtape - so comment comment comment


Thursday, 7 July 2011

I know a place we can go / that you'll fall in love so hard / that you'll wish you were dead

I was just looking back through some old files, and found this, which is a little thing I wrote about a year ago, when I was trying to transform a W.H. Auden poem into the style of J.D. Salinger.  So, yeah, I'm not that sex-obsessed, Caulfield is, honest.  It's a bit weird, and I haven't made any changes, just thought some of you might be interested really! 
Gosh, this is my fourth day of consecutive blogs; I do treat you sometimes. Enjoy x


One time, I knew this bird – Miss Edith Gee – when I was in Minnesota. Everyday for a month, I went round to see her. Number 83 Clevedon Terrace, if you really wanna know. Anyway, I moved to Maine and met Jane soon enough, but I never forgot quite how Eeds’ quirky charm somehow wormed its way into the fathoms of my emotion – not my heart, I like that – but anyway, she was like an ironing board with a face, that girl, no bust. None at all. Real narrow shoulders, you know? Like, really; from wherever you chose to stand.They were sloped enough to give the impression of a nice little green hillock – angled towards the sky, into the sky, with slight bumpy molehills of breasts giving the most slight rise you ever saw, creating this tiny dip, dyke-like, a beautiful ditch, and then you’d move upwards, past her tiny thin lips. Particularly her bottom lip – a friend of mine, ol’ Jimmie Hunt, had once told me this crazy theory of his, whereby you can judge the manner of a girl in bed from the size of her bottom lip. Now, I haven’t quite got a grasp of some of the very finer points of sex quite just yet. I make rules for myself most nights, and end up breaking them necking some girl the next week. You’ve never seen such a crumby fiend as me; I really believe that, no phony is quite as manic as me. Whilst I do tend to overanalyse tricky business, I find it a great turn on if I don’t, so try to keep it out of my mind. I just don’t understand it. I swear to God, I really don’t. So old Jimmie, he had told me this great trick for seeing just how vicious a girl was in bed. The smaller the bottom lip, the more fiendish they are. It was a load of bull, obviously, but has served me damn well on a few occasions. Top lips, whilst not irrelevant, have little effect on proceedings, If y’know what I’m saying. Technical matters only; solely the finer points of technique.Anyhow, if we can be viewing Eedie as a little hill, we can rise above the sharp red rose of her tight, angular little lips and then we can see two glinting suns, her eyes, blue enough to perfectly bridge the colour gaps between her green umbrella, purple mac and violvet hat (which she wore all the damned time, I’d have gotten through several hunting hats by then (Phoebs likes ‘em, keeps taking ‘em)) but also grey enough to absolutely convey the ambiguity of her emotion to the world. A puzzle, that girl was. It is the imperfections that truly make a person or thing perfect, and Eeds had a little squint to her left eye. When I mentioned this thought to her one time, she just cried. I don’t know why, I don’t really get girls. All over the place – it was a nice enough compliment though, right?

When I remembered the oversized, lolloping tears dripping, rollin’, down her pretty bone cheeks, it makes me smile. I did that. It reminds me of Jane’s chessboard, how her own particular saline blend smudged into the dyed wooden squares. Red, swirling; tainting the ‘blank’ segments of the grain.

Eeds resided, as I said, in Clevedon Terrace, but what I didn’t mention was her actual living quarters, a small room of a bed-sit. Clevedon is fairly downtown, but was far from desirable. In her sole room, she kept her few outfits, all high-necked – no-one could damage her integrity, except me, they were all buttoned and I have nimble fingers; she also kept her knitting kit and titbits around the place, and a silvered crucifix she held dear.I took that when I left, just on a whim. I replaced it some wooden beads, all glued up. I left my mark on that room, just like Jane’s chessboard. Something so I’d be remembered, comforting to me for some reason; it was fair enough. She had a thing for stuff, E’, aside from that crucifix and various jewellery, and those knitting titbits – cotton and the like – she had this hat, I’ve already mentioned it, I’m sure. My point is this – she couldn’t just have a normal hat, oh, no, it was not only velvet but covered, draped, in all this sentimental garbage. It ruined an already poor hat. And have I mentioned her bicycle? You could always tell when Edith was about by the screech of brakes, a real edgy crescendo.The dreadful noise was made even more so with the rattle of this pristine little basket she’d kept on the front all that bike’s life. It’d gotten to be grotty, until I’d cleaned it for her.She undid a button that day. And, the second time, I another. I won’t deny it, nor shall I go into detail, but we horsed around a bit. I was a real phony back then, making bad rules.She cried when I stopped, though, and even more when I started again. It was all very confusing, and in the end I just gave up. But not before taking a wicker strip from her basket, something I did each time I cleaned it. Leaving my mark.

One time, I walked past her parking her bike outside St. Aloysius’ Church, a load of knitwear and children’s toys piled high in the basket. I helped her carry them in, naturally; the hot summer’s day gave me an opportunity to work her down to a possible third button.The chance never came – maybe something to do with being in a church yard and all, right? You know I’m right. I caught her praying later on; praying for love, piety, and money.Bit selfish to ask God for material matters, I’d thought. Maybe the prayer had something to do with this experience she told me she’d had in this dream once. I don’ kno’, could have been the heat. I am one sexy guy. It was mighty odd, this ‘dream’, starting off with Eeds somehow having become French royalty in the course of one night and being asked by the vicar to undo a button and dance. Then, some crackpot psychiatric student would love this, she began to bike through fields, fields of corn; the vicar’s face was transposed to a bull, and Eeds got charged by this gargantuan quasi-holy beast. All after a storm had blown down the palace, Josh style. The vicar was about to overtake, and Queenie Eedie was slowing, due to her old back-pedal brake. I’m a sceptic, yeah – so imagine my face when I first learned exactly what had happened new. Being at church, alone, everyday, Eed had developed a sort of complex. Because I had left by then, obviously. It burned her gut each and every day, and she prayed to God, more an’ more goddamned more. She felt so lonely; the choir’s inept harmonies drew out a loneliness issue in her, and she hurt still more. One day, of boredom most likely, she got on her pretty dainty bicycle, with the clean but bare basket and paid the doctor’s a visit. Now, I’d always lived by the ‘apple a day’ method of things – if you keep them all in a box, you can throw them and repel any encroaching medics – but she had this thing for health, hygiene, and fitness. Without me, of course, she never undid a button any more. Well, when she got there, it turned out that the pain she’d been feeling was further developed than she had thought to herself, even by her standards, and the doctor didn’t really feel like telling her, or anyone what really was damned wrong with the bitch. Two days later, Eeds was in hospital, can you believe it? A rabid, quivering wreck, that girl; all over the place. Like, really. Ironic, really – her corpse was too long for the child’s shroud they gave her; it only reached up to her neck.

They examined her good and proper after that, strung her up, blood tainting the checked hospital floor. Used her for training purposes; looking at her advanced sarcoma, apparently. I had to look that word up. A malignant tumour, it turns out, ironic what with her personality and all. Right on the knee. Unusual, I suppose, but she’d never have had one above the neck.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Put it into Music week #5: SUNSHINE

For those not familiar with Andrea and Erika's Put it into Music project, every Wednesday they - along with interested people like me - both post a word, alongside a song and photograph inspired by that word.  I haven't done any new walking since last Wednesday, so I thought I'd join in today! It'll be going all summer, so it'd be great if you joined in too (:

This week's word is sunshine and I'm going to take the opportunity to post what may be my favourite song of all time.

For the picture, I'm an idiot and so picking almost exclusively through aesthetic.  I'm going to go with 

by Alexis Mire, who's properly properly ace.  I thought it was, of my shortlist, the best photo for the mood of the song.  I was going to go for a sunset at Glastonbury but that seemed a little boring.  It's not as good quality as it is on his page, because you're not allowed to nick it, yeah?

I picked this from a shortlist of photos by people I follow on Flickr, all of whom are superb and highly recommended. 


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lists: introduction, #1 sensible cocktail names

Heya, welcome to a new series of blogs which I haven't quite worked out yet.  It's going to be called lists and will range from hopefully amusing things to a to-do list. Maybe get some playlists in there too...

(I have partially nicked this off Zoe)

Without further ado, list number one:

Sensible cocktail names

1. A cold shower
2. An early night
3. A brisk walk in the countryside
4. Not tonight I've got work in the morning
5. Better put the bins out
6. Day trip to Centerparcs
7. Jager-pinchpunchfirstofthemonth
8. Queen Victoria

Do you like the lists idea?  Comment / check this out. Thaaanks

Monday, 4 July 2011

Walking #4 - brace yourselves for a late and potentially incredibly long catch-up post

This has lain half-written for almost a week now, it's taken ages and a lot of effort to bother. I would apologise, but then again, it is the internet, and I don't think many of the lovely people who follow me (all whom are actually lovely) would begrudge anyone some time to enjoy themselves over their summer - the summer between school and uni.  Come on, it's a website!
That said, I really should get these done a lot quicker so it's kinda bad from my perspective.  I guess now the blog's not a procrastinatory tool and almost a task I find motivation a bit hard.  Any tips?
My apologies can be communicated by a quick stroll down this entertaining site.



I think the title says a lot here (but only because it's so unnecessarily long).  I've got some pre-exam walking and everything else since to catch up on - I'll try and make this relatively civilised in length.

A ridiculous amount of window boxes

More ridiculous boxes

I REALLY want a house with, like, a moat

I once went to a Christian band's gig here, when I was much younger,  and was doing that thing you do on ice when you skid round pretending to skate but fell over and a security guard shouted at me :(

It had a tonne of black diamonds on it

This is a roundabout near my house.  I've counted, and there are four funeral directors next to it or directly near it. It's ridiculous and mildly terrifying.

I'm a fan of roses 


I took this picture in the hope the guy would see me in the reflection and fall off, thereby impaling himself on one of the many implements on his belt and making me laugh (he didn't)

I tried to make someone see me in a reflection again, this time hitting themselves in the face with a power hose (it didn't work) 

A massive washing line barely occupied by a single sock

You can't really see, but this was a really really tall tree and up the entirety of its trunk was a lot of eye things which looked like the eye of Horus

Letchworth Garden City. Home of the world's least gangstaaa graffiti


Who here remembers the house with eyebrows? This house has a hangover

Whoever lives here is a right old cunt

Behind the hedge was a load of workmen singing a song REALLY WELL, with REALLY GOOD harmonies


How mank are our public loos?

A fairly poignant toy on the path. On the way back it had been run over and was in the centre of the road

One reason to despise religion. They really don't help themselves sometimes, do they?

Technically I was inside here, but there was 8ish people trapped outside a house without a key.   I think some people'd locked themselves out on a family outing.  Way to leave a good impression...

House with a big green tache

They were working on one tiny patch of grass. Not only did this seem massively unnecessary, but it set off my hayfever big time

Our drive

This is my mate Tom, where we were in this photo.  Can you spot me? He got wolf whistles and cat calls and a good deal of praise for shinning up the lamp post

Probably accidental but like many of these photos I could have come up with a not-actually-funny 'witty' comment and forgotten it because it was so long ago

Andrew on our walk to Hitchin

There was a single solitary chair behind this (behind the hedge is the school field. Think their naughty chair is a bit harsh)

Park redevelopment coming along a bit now. Still taking too long though, I want it for summer!

Hahaha boobs