Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wren and Blunderbuss no. 1

I so want to have a gig down here in brighton and bring cant snorkel down to Brighton and have an after show party that lasts two days. Actually I would much rather we had a van and a tour. I hate organising stuff. But we really want to play brighton and it would be so much fun. I want the proper old skool st Albans kids to come down to another city and paint the town blue and yellow.

Keith Trampleasure

38 - Cornhill, Rhaeadr (Rhayader)
Originally uploaded by Rhysjj.
So on Tuesday, I went with Anna to a dinner party. Most classy. Pizza in the oven, a man who had just got back from Mongolia, and other excitement. Dinosaur heads. I met a very funny man called Mark who is an other Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. They’re everywhere these days. Vegan chat and generally lovely times. However miss Annie Hell, the mother of my child, was down in Brighton for a dirty weekend, and so we made our excuses as more hot pizza emerged from the oven and found ourselves down the Dover Castle with Annie and Lou and Harry the Heart. Back to Lou’s house, which is lovely and just off southover street, and a brilliant cellar. Andy and Joff and Andrea and Rosie and Daniel Taylor and Sam arrived, for plenty of the Gin and the Tonic. To stroll home, with the long-suffering taxi driver humouring Andy.

The next day we met Alice for scones and tubs of butter at the Mock Turtle. It got heavy on the girl talk but we love that sort of thing. Dear god I miss Girly Chats. Too much boy-hormone sloshing around these days. For someone who sounds like a girl on the phone; “No, is that Mr Mc. Shine”? God no. I want my girly chats back. More Magazine as well. As we all know, Smart Girls get More. Although, “The Wheelbarrow” in confined conditions just isn’t going to work.

Then to the Lion and Lobster to meet Anna. Andy and Rosie went off to go make food and eventually through last minute cycling we went to Jacob’s house where Andy lives to eat pasta and for a party, most sedate with polite conversation and other dances. In some ways it makes me feel all of my twenty four years when I go to parties and am happy with nice food, a couple of glasses of red wine, and good conversation, with my friends who mostly have steady jobs in pubs or teaching English, in a house that Jacob owns in a nice part of Hove. Whatever happened to sniffing poppers and drinking cider in the park? But on the other hand, we do still know how to party? And hey, pasta’s well hip. It’s okay to grow up, just as long as you never get old. Right?

Sorry, I think I just got a bit freaked out because I’m one of the only students I know at the moment. What the devil is that about? Almost all the people I see much of down here in Brighton I’m used to seeing round and about Suffix campus, and they’ve all finished and I’m po-gra ing my way about the plaice.

But anyway. A wicked party. We leave at some point. Andy makes his ska-dancing moves. But the next day. Day out in Lewes. Morris Dancing outside the John Harvey Tavern.

So me and Rosie and Alice go down to the Mrs Fitzherberts and go and see Andy, and we are about to set off to Lewes to go see morris. Tommy arrives, and we set off. Wandering about the streets of Lewes, and some leafy alleyways. It isn’t easy to find food, and down the John Harvey Tavern we consume cheesy chips as Jed and Daniel Taylor arrive. The JHT backs onto the big river in Lewes, which we have already experienced as Tommy rolled fruit about in a rebel-grocer action. We sat on the bench watching the river flow, as Bob Dylan probably would have done in the circumstances, deprived of red wine. Sitting on the stone, watching the river flow, and Anna and Tom arrive once work free them. There are already morris dancers about, it’s getting quite exciting. Anna and Lou arrive, and Brighton Morris Men and Ditchling Morris are getting on down for some serious bell ‘n stick action. The sticks clash, we all cheer, as we circle around the morris for the greater view. In minutes, a stick breaks, and Daniel claims the fragments, and the dance goes on. I have a dance dedicated to me, and Tommy sets about to get all sixteen of Brighton Morris Men to sign his broken stick. Nicky P arrives, and it turns out that Tom Paine, the second best ale in Sussex and South Downs is quite hardcore in its own right. At one point we join in with the morris dancers.

Tommy, along with his broken morris stick signed by fifteen members of Brighton Morris Men, and Jed, Anna and co head off back to Brighton. Me, Annie, Nicky P, Lou and Rosanne remain outside the John Harvey tavern. We talk to Grand Paul the Morris Dancer and the Head of Morris, none other than Keith Trampleaure. They introduce us to “The Masseur”, aka the morris man with the long ginger beard who we previously saw riding his flat bike with a tankard of ale made of pewter. And then all of a sudden Annie Hell is being massaged by The Masseur, with a divine look of ecstasy on her face as his hands caress her shoulders, head and face.

Somehow we are at Lewes station and we have lost Annie and Lou and then we lost Anna and Daniel Taylor and Nicky P and me and rosie fight each other, throwing each other down onto cobbles and kicking eachother. Suddenly with shock a young couple are about to call the police and we leave, arm in arm and skipping. I fall asleep under the departures board and eventually we meat up with Anna and Daniel Taylor and Nicky P and somehow I find myself ranting at Davey Mec over a wok full of stirfry

Doctor Lucid’s Eye Damage Poll

It was by now Sunday. We strolled towards The Level for a game of frisbee which was livened up by a discussion about D. H. Lawrence. Normally I can’t hack the noble art of throwing a disc (something to do with my attention span, or the fact that
I don’t really know how to throw a disc. Probably something do with ADHD.) However, as we stood on the level with cans of beer and a rotating yellow disc, Jed began to question me about DH himself, and I found myself expounding on the author of Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow whilst we hurled the rotating yellow circle about. He questioned me, we covered the thorny issue of Lady C, his conscienscious objector status, his move to Cornwall, and the “Horse Sex Scene”. I think that if every frisbee game was a literary discussion then I’d play the game a lot more often.

After all that, we bade farewell to Jezz, who was heading off to India, and then popped towards the Evening Star once again. After a couple of ales, me and Andy went back to my house. Sadly, he turned out to be really drunk, and decided to roll me a “Bob Marley” stylee Jazz Cigarette. Now this would have been fine if it was not for the fact that Andy and wee little Tom weren’t partaking in the pleasures of smoke. He called up Nicky P and tried to buy some Mudhoney tickets. We then looked at all of Tom’s pictures of comedy animals on his computer and then watched an incredible shadow puppet video on the internet. Tom kicked us out of his room eventually and Andy passed out in a chair. By this time I was sadly far too jazzed up to do anything apart from eat five cheese sandwiches and a whole tub of coleslaw. This is a subject of much shame for me and I can’t believe I did it. Oh well. These things happen.

The next day. Monday the twenty fifth of July. I worked in the evening in the evening star, and lo, who should turn up but Andy and Tom and Anna and Nicky P and Daniel Taylor and Tommy, who did partake of the fine ales available there. When I finished, we went off to the Pav Tav, aka the Pavillion Tavern, a run down sleazy indie club. Tommy and Anna went off home, which left me with Tom, Nick, Andy and Daniel, and me in a post-work state of sobriety. We got there, and immediately Andy had instigated a redneck stylee arm-wrestling contest. Due to my freakishly strong arms, I vanquished all comers, apart from Nicky P, and some guy who recognised me from the Evening Star. And so the evening went on. Indie night. Tom leaping over the table to go dance to The Smiths. Planning to form a band called Black Velvet involving a flying V ukulele. Ranting at miscellaneous indie kids. And then Tom gushing blood from his eyebrow and the subsequent mopping up efforts. Leaving the club and talking to these girls who were on loads of acid. Andy throwing a traffic cone at our knees. Daniel Taylor nearly being arrested and mocking the would-be-arrestors for shooting that guy in London. Indie night. Indie night. A world of pain.

The Sheeps and The Cows and The Milk of The Human Kindness

"The Funky Dracula"
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
So Andy has a job, and it involves working in Mrs Fitzherberts serving drinks to those who can hack that New Street charm. And it being that time of the week where Andy is in my house when I go to sleep and in my house when I wake up (no offence. I wake up late). I pop down ‘fitzsies for a pint of the evening. During the day lovely ms brown anna moves to Tommys. We talk about sandsculpture much of the evening and the chance that Can’t Snoerkel might play in a church. Charley is drunk and so is Dave the Machine which brings us to talking about gigs especially given the DM Flute situation. Steve gets put off Jed because of the ‘crotch rubs’.

In the end Elizabeth and Mau-ra (or Marta to the common pronouncer) stroll over to our table and whilst Alice is having a dirty (no-contact) heart to heart we talk to my fellow MA stundents.

My main concern with fellow MA students is that I sometimes feel like I haven’t ever properly ‘bonded’ with them, as I’ve been living in B&H for fiveish years, it's very different to coming down here to study and not knowing anyone. Hah. But on the other hand I want to see them without a hazy blur or it being seminar class. I really don't want to lose touch with them, well, the ones I get on with anyway. And they’re all finished now so a pastie in EURO is out of the question, It’s not a lust action, merely a yearning for hot modernism. Maybe we shall meet at Seamus Heaney’s funeral.

So the next day we were going to go and look at the sand sculptures on the beach but me and Rosie and Tom and Anna went for a swim and the tide was so far out that we actually had sand. I walked out to the buoy that Jed and Rosanne considered second best. We had some incredible swim and despite Rosie’s revealing costume made it home.

Later we cooked some food and went back to the beach. Tommy and Rosie found some wood, and we had a fire. As me and Anna were about to find some wood, it struck midnight. It being Anna’s birthday, we all sung Happy Birthday, and yearned for years wirhout such Canadian hassling.

We went to find wood and somehow found ourselves in a back alley where we actually did find wood although we kind of fell over in the street and looked a bit like we were homeless to all the people walking past. But yes, we did find a bag full of loads of wood, as if by some kind of divine placement. Back on the beach Rosanne bumped into an old friend from St. Albans. Home eventually leaving Tommy Rosie Daniel and Anna on the beach.

The next morning it was still Anna’s birthday and we went out for breakfast in the Dumb Waiter, before strolling down to the Pavillion Gardens, where we were given free rock and Daniel explained how he would go into Costa to use the toilet. Jed ran into the Pav Gar, knocked Andy over, and ran out again. Anna went off to work and then, it being the day that Nicky P graduated, he arrived accompanied by my (and his) mother and father. They bought me a cup of tea and we hung out with my parents until they went off to go shake Richard Attenborough’s hand.

That evening, we were to set off to Basingstoke to go to Anna’s house. Stefan came round, who is the coolest Icelandic guy with a big red van full of sheeps and cows. As the six of us (me, Anna, Tommy, Daniel Taylor, Andy and Stefan) waited for Jed to arrive my parents and Nick turned up again, presenting me with various racquets and a bread machine, and laughing at Tommy’s moustache. Jed turned up and we all got in the van. Our first mistake was to let Jed read the map, and to let Andy study the Highway Code book and correct Stefan’s driving. The other four of us sat in the back, which was a big squashy bed, mostly. As we drove along, Stefan had to stop suddenly and the four of us went flying through the air into the middle of the van in a shower of cherries and beer. Nobody was hurt, although Tommy feared for his clavicle. After three hours and a couple of minor detours and u-turns, we finally found ourselves in Basingstoke, home of roundabouts, Well Well Well (UK) Ltd, and Anna’s parents. They had cooked the most incredible amount of food and we ate as much as we could, but didn’t seem to affect the amount of food that remained. Andy went a bit over the top and came up off the food in a severe way. Childhood photo viewing along with a wardrobe inspection

Fine wines, Japanese tea sets and the Basingstoke Open Top Bus Tour.

I will crush you like a . . , pancake? Pumpkin?

Lets drink, drink. This town is so great
And so as I write the donkey rears up with a photo album in its hooves, the forlorn chicken head lying empty at its feet

before we knew what was going on we whisked the cushions out from under Tommy and the sheeps and the cows. Eventually to sleep on a creaky sofa bed for morning hair tugging and other adventures. The machete sliced through the airborne lemon. Back to the van as Andy borrowed a box of wine. Playing 20 questions with Daniel Taylor; “is it a sloth?”. Back at Jacobs, cups of tea with Alice. Andy made his trousers into shorts, leaving him without trousers. Jacob got back from London and then we went into town.

In town Andy had to work and me and alice had a pint at the Mrs Fitzherberts as Andy worked. Jed and Jarvis arrived and we went to drink German Beer at the Evening Star whilst Alice went home to cook up dinner. The german and belgian beer was strong and we attempted to crash a party as jed and jarvis stumbled over cars;

“Pardon me. I have just moved in next door and was wanting to borrow a mug of sugar”.

It didn’t work. We went home. Jarvis tried to spice Jed, but could find nothing more than cayenne pepper, which didn’t touch him, so he spooned boullion and coffee into Jed’s mouth until he woke up. I was merely sitting in the deckchair with weak arms and legs.

Hot sex and yoga

Phone Mast Dave
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
Monday morning involved working at the Evening Star. My alarm woke me at half past nine, which meant that I stumbled down the steps at the same time as Anna walked in through the door. From The Glade at half past five to Brighton at half past nine was quite an achievement considering she was working at two. We had a brief “I’m just getting up, you’re just going to bed” conversation, and down to the Star, where the regulars were inquisitive yet informative, Seamus was bouncing around like a spring chicken on a spring, and Daniel Taylor popped in for a Captain Morgans and a splash of coke. Alice also pepped in for a lemonade and a chat. So after a most pleasant shift I strolled back home for an improvised dinner containing tomatoes and celery and spring onion. Rosanne had returned from the glade and was at her most wide eyed and destructive point, laughing at things that weren’t there and watching the fence move. Poetry night at the Sanctuary went on that evening, and so we strolled down. It was slightly disappointing, somehow, being quite empty and much of the poetry not very good. Tommy and Tom were a judge, with Tommy being the numerals, and Tom the decimals. A girl played her guitar as she performed, something which sadly didn’t add much to her performance. I won, but it wasn’t the greatest time to win, although I did get a bottle of wine as a prize. Sadly the American girl who always wins wasn’t there, so I didn’t get to see if I would have beaten her, and I didn’t have enough new poems anyway so had to resort to old ones. Plus this old man who read his poem in a nursery rhyme wobbly voice blatantly should have won. Rosie was descending into a wide eyed state of confusion, but did get to enjoy Robin saying “Usually” to her.

Phone Mast Dave, the half irish, half Canadian, three quarters phone mast, spindly dreadlocked figure, has, against all logic and reason, opened a shop in Trafalgar Street. Not just that, but he had a massive launch party at the club formerly known as The Zap. We spent the late afternoon making a Phone Mast Dave stencil and then making t-shirts, bearing a stylised Dave image and the words “Phone Mast Dave”.n Clad in our new garments, we popped down to the Late Priestern and met up with Dave the Machine (or the Mec Daddy as some know him) and Tommy K and Nicky P and other people with single-letter-second-names. Me and Tom and Tommy and Daniel Taylor and Rosanne and Davey Mec and Nicky P went off to the club, where we saw Andy sitting up in a high window. We got to rub shoulders with the man himself, and got some free champagne. Nicky P went off to Heavy Metal Club, and we went down to the dancefloor.

We were dancing to this music played by a group called the Low Fidelity All Stars, and somehow (I’m not entirely sure how. I think Rosanne might have had something to do with it) I ended up on stage playing Harmonica with these All Stars. This was quite an unusual state of affairs, but it seemed to go well. Sadly, in all the kerfuffle involved, I ended up losing my camera that evening also.

Home and back to my bed on the heap of rags. The sleep is good.

This in some ways has become a self-imposed diary. One day I shall print all this out and stick it in a scrapbook. Because, mostly, I don’t trust the internet to keep good archives.

q. being like tom waits; does it involve living like tom waits?
a. if that involves being in prison in Iran, then possibly not

q. whar brand of cigarettes does tom smoke?

You said that irony was the shackles of youth

Traffic Lights Shoes
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
"I sleep under the rags."

So I wake up on the floor. Ollie is sleeping on the sofa. “Morning Ollie”. O god. Where am I? I’m on the floor of Jed’s front room. O hell. I’ve got to go to London to go see REM. O dude. Man. So we’ve had the tickets for about six months now and it was going to be last weekend but then all those bombs went off and so now it’s today. Alice was going to come but she forgot what weekend it was and she was in Cambridge on a river trip. Andy considered coming for about a minute but then remembered that he didn’t really like REM and I remembered watching them at Glastonbury and him just standing there behind me making sarcastic comments and I didn’t really fancy that either. So I set off with Ollie to walk back home, Ollie is walking with a limp due to a Frisbee injury, but as I am on my way home Nicky P calls me and reminds me that I said he could have the ticket, so I go home and have a shower and get dressed and get my stuff together and go to the station and get a train ticket and buy a big box of orange juice and meet up with Nick and we get on the train.

We meet my mother, sister and cousin outside Hennys on Oxford Circus. London is packed full of people. We leap upon a bus and hurtle down towards Hyde Park Corner. I still haven’t got any glasses, am covered in dirt, and don’t have any money. Which, needless to say, reinforce my mother’s theory that I’m totally unable to look after myself. Which, looking at the evidence, I wouldn’t entirely disagree with.

But anyway. We enter the gig in Hyde Park in a manner involving bag checks and ticket inspection. REM, I am sad to say, were selling t-shirts for £18 a go. Quite pricey, but my mother and sister agree to chip in £9 each and share it. My sister, as avid readers of this bloggue might remember, is a teenage White Lightning afficinado, and was there wielding an eyeliner like it was the Pen of Judgement. So I ended up with the Pen of Judgement all over my eyelids. Dude. It’s been a while.

We sat on the grass and I caught up with all the family and St. Albans gossip. Picnics and Morrison’s water. A man with many tattoes immediately in front of us. It still feels a bit strange smoking in front of ones parents. In some ways. My sister talked to me about Hunter S. Thompson in an entheusiastic way. God, I must sound like such a goof. It was cool.

Some guy played support. He showed us what a slide guitar sounded like. Then Idlewild played. They were not very inspiring, sadly. We ate more picnic and Kitty and Laura lay on the grount. Me and Nick drank a couple of plastic bottles of beer from the bar. Feeder began to play. They were quite cool, especially towards the end. The Futons didn’t turn up so then it was REM next. Sadly, seeing any band on stage involves jumping up and down due to my diminutive stature. I was also thinking; “Dude. They could really suck, you know. It’s not like their last two albums were anything up to their old stuff”. Shut up. You’d go see T.S.Eliot even though you thought the Four Quartets was pretty wack, no? Oh. Maybe it’s just me.

In fact, REM played an incredible set. Playing What’s the Frequency, Kenneth as their third song helped a lot, together with a 3-song New Adventures in Hi-Fi medley (involving Patti Smith with an ill-functioning microphone) I’m going to sound like a wuss but I was full of excitable energy by seeing a band that I love dearly and know all the songs. We’re getting Mudhoney tickets. O yes. And they played Drive. Duude. And walk unafraid which made me sad because it reminded me of the days of the up website and verulamium park, but that’s another story. But anyway, it was incredible, even if Michael Stipe was just a spindly stick-figure on a distant stage. This man in front of us was a crazy drunken harmonica player. I wanted to go “Respect”, but I never got round to it. And before we knew it it was the end of the tour as we knew it and we’d played chess with Andy Kaufman and we respected the kids with the “yeah yeah yeah yeah” sign. Dude. And then back to Brighton but Nick got off in Preston Park. I got home and drank homebrew and smoked out of the window until it was really late. Rock and/or roll.

On Sunday we went and sat on the beach. Daniel Taylor sung us some songs about Joff. Andy and Tom got really drunk and had a fight. Jacob came down to the beach. Tom found a deckchair. I think Andy passed out on the futon and Nick spilled a pint of water on him. But that might have been another time.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Eye test

Bright eyes
Originally uploaded by Dawn Grobe.
So I'm currently trying to catch up on the events of the last couple of weeks in a grotesque nostalgia flashback. But meanwhile, this is what happened when I went to the opticians yesterday.

My glasses have been missing for a few weeks now, and I finally got all the vouchers together for free glasses. So I put my head on the thing where they show you a hot air balloon. It doesn't work. They asked me if I had a lazy eye. No, I replied, but I do have a mild astigmatism in this eye, I responded, referring to my right eye. Oh, they said, and called Specsavers in St. Albans to get the results from my last eye test two years ago.

The eye test went on, much reading of letters of increasingly decreasing size, and the like, and finally they had 'the right prescription'. And this is when it began to get a bit weird.

Eye Test Lady: Okay, you do know what an astigmatism is?

Me: Yes, I have one in this eye.

ETL: Well, actually you have one in both eyes. But I'll start from the beginning. Normally the eye is shaped a bit like a football. With an astigmatism, the eye is more like a rugby football.

Me: Yes...

ETL: Well, you have an astigmatism. But your eyes aren't rugby football shaped.

Me: Um..

ETL: It's quite a rare condition; I'm afraid your eyes are conical.

Me: Conical.

ETL: Yes.

Me: I have conical eyes?

ETL: That's right. And they've been getting more conical recently. I need to get in touch with your doctor.

And so it went on. So there you go. I have conical eyes. What this entails, I have yet to find out. But dude. Conical eyes. Duude.

Monday, August 01, 2005

"the horses head was made of quorn"

Chinchilla Breeding
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
do you have any of your own teeth /// i am still here.

i am distracted but still here. we spent yesterday playing the game where someone mentions an event and I attempt to find out what date it was...

frayed jumper alex poof; the day that he got impetigo and we moved a skip for Mr B and him and marley swapped clothes and he burnt all my tobacco

redneck matrix; it would have been two weeks before rosies birthday because rob got impetigo there due to a chain of events and not the previous weekend for I didn't commute to st. albans two weeks in a row and during easter so

11th april 2004

now it turns out I was wrong. because the grand national was on in the pub during the clothes swapping. and that took place on the 3rd of april 2004. shame on me.

so anyway. many many things have happened. some of them quite 'teenage and frantic' as Radiohead may put it. but in a good way. hopefully shall go into more detail once I get my other errands completed.

i have to get box files
i have to go to work in 40 minutes
i have to give up smoking
i have to make posters

i have to write a cynical and sarcastic poem
i have to email old friends
i have to stop our house being such a mess

i have to decorate my room in a rococo style.