Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mr Farenheit

maya: nerves of steel
Originally uploaded by bumpoowilly.
It's been a busy week.

So from Tuesday until Friday I found myself running around the cold streets of Brighton with a Hong Kong TV crew making a travel documentary of Brighton. It started off a bit shakily;

"Hello? We are at the station to meet you! What do you look like?"

"Oh god! You're at the station now. Um... darn. Sugar. I'll be there in ten minutes."

Door slams. Rapid patter of tiny feet towards the station.

And then I took them to the Marina and we shivered around in the cold for a while.

"Um... there are the boats ... and there are some shops..."

"You're very young to be a producer, how old are you?"

Thankfully, by the end, things got better, and we got to go on all the rides on the pier and play the best game of petanque ever; "Yeah! Petanque!" Somehow, anglo-cantonese relations resulted in the belief that Petanque was the regional sport of Brighton and so we joined the hordes at the Petanque terrace for a Friday afternoon game of Petanque. We bought a kite, tried on hats, went behind the scenes of the Royal Pavillion (all the animals are on loan from the Booth Museum of Natural History. Score.) "It should be me behind those ropes. I'll kill you, Parkinson!"

I took them to the Fringe Launch on Thursday night, which was a massive soiree of networking, hecticness, glamour and filth.

"What does 'brilliant' mean?"
"It means.. 'great! splendid! excellent!'"
"Ohhh... I see... brilliant! And what does 'cheeseman' mean?"
"Um... a man who sells cheese?"
"Ohhh... I see... cheeseman..."

All this would have been much more easy if I'd preceeded the filming with a relaxing weekend. But, like a fool, I ended up running around for the whole weekend doing a various host of things. Spending Friday with new friend Laura from Hanover way, we ended up going to go see the Bobby Mc Gees play at a punk night at the Hope. Delightful ukulele harmonies and Jimmy playing at being a polar bear. The Globe. Jed unscrews a wall-mounted waving fan and sets it up in our house. Tom and Jo Filth have an apple. Sussex Arts Club. A dreadful 90's covers band. Gareth in a dress. Setting up a band called "The Trials of Life". I put my foot in it. Visuals Tim's birthday. Tim sits in a chair. Daniel and Tom and Jo set off to 'find Andy'.

So on Saturday we stroll into town and see Rosanne and search for somewhere to go for a drink that isn't too Irish. Goodness. We're almost tempted to give up, don our shamrock hats and sip at some Guinness when we find the Ranelagh. Surprisingly empty. George had a poo in Trafalgar Square. We go get some Japanese food. Lots of tenuki scuttling about. Alice calls us to let us know that she's going to give us a ring in about half an hour. We stroll up to the Lord Nelson. Alice is wearing striking outfit! We sip at porter and cider in the Lord Nelson and Alice tries to persuade Maya to change her method of contraception. Tommy arrives. Urges all to accompany him to Born Bad. Me and Anna run out of money. They set off to Born Bad and I wander up to the party, where suddenly, in Pelham Street, there he is!


Like a shiny glistening, Dave the Machine with Jools and Andy meander in the opposite direction. I go to the party. Evelyn's party. It turns out that Tommy got the wrong day and takes everyone to Born Bad a day late. Meanwhile sipping at ale with various faces from Brighton High Society and I briefly play the accordion. I think I've misjudged things for not long after I get there I am confused and slumping around.

Oh, the next day! It's the extravaganza at the Hope. How talented my friends are! We live in a beautiful world. Me and Jimmy go back-to-back with some poetry and ukulele playing and piano miming and crowd response action and this is when I make my greatest mistake perhaps. There's something about tottering onto a stool on stage, declaring "I feel like Freddy Mercury" and then crashing down into a mountain of guitar pedals. I'm still bruised now. Still, the gig was fun. I try to hold it together, get a free copy of Get Lost magazine, rant about Princess Diana, bury the hatchet, watch Cassia loop things, laugh at Angry Sam, catch up with young Cathryn for the first time in a while, watch the Pom Bear play the guitar with his back to the audience and slump over the drum kit, see DAVE THE MACHINE playing his flute

The next day I was hosting The Ukulele Research and Development Society and with a newly created kee-tar but no backing band I strolled out into the rain aching. Witnessed some avant-existentialist-keyboard-ironing-irony who were later to pop up at the Fringe launch in an ammonite-stealing-revealing manner.

I'm cold, I'm cold.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

St. Christopher's Medal

Not a spring leek
or a cullion.

I give you an aubergine.

Hold it.
See it's black glossiness.
Baby whale,
It nestles for protection in your hands.

It is the only vegetable
Other than cigarettes
to contain nicotine.

Hold it to your face.
Breathe. Breathe it again.

Salt it.
Fry away the bitterness,

The tender solipsism of seasoning.

In the sieve, a gold-panner's bounty
A bounty of love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lobster Claws for Hands.

Haystack Owl
Originally uploaded by dullhunk.
Well good evening ladies and gentlemen, and how are you of this fine evening? Hoping you're all keepin' it splendid. Marvellous.

So I'm totally well busy at the moment. I'm making a travel documentary with a TV crew from Hong Kong in a week or so, plus I'm trying to put a book together City Boy in Blind Spot Trauma in time for May. Plus I'm trying to make a kee-tar and organising Brighton's first legal brothel and serving ale to the needy-of-ale and being a newsboy. I'm all weak and broken. At the moment I'm spending tuesday night sitting in my room twitching.

Seamus has gone back to Ireland for a week. Lucy is living in the cupboard under the stairs and making her money as a street-artist and barkeep. Anna moves Alan Bennett style with a trolley full of tools. Daniel Freakin' Taylor is Peter Schaffer's new biggest fan. Tom scored with some hot girl on Friday night and ever since then they've been on a taxidermy, kareoke, booze and pork scratching binge, taking in some twee-core and electro-pom-pom-pow over the weekend when time allowed in between all the "going into the partnership". Filth.

Andy celebrated being thirty on Thursday by going to the Marina and going bowling. Me and Anna had tickets to the Hove Bear Baiting Festival, so we leapt on a Falafel Bus to Hove at half past five, ducked and dived around the clientele of the Evening Star as we watched the Medieval Haircut Bonanza erupt in front of us. Sipping at a fine glass of Owl and then suddenly leaping on a bus with Jimmy Prince the Irish Prince to the Marina for backspin and a surprising encounter with the Sexecutioner.

Andy got thrown out of Asda for trying to open a packet of Cashew nuts in the shop. For shame!

We went back to Andy's house. Lucy did a wee in Jana's bed. Not even by accident.

Cornish Night was a great success. Surrounded by Cornish as I am, the festivities for St. Piran's day involved Cornish Ale and Pasties at a fine establishment. Banners with Cornish flags and slogans and a quiz; "Which river separates Cornwall from England?". Sadly Spingo Special meant I slept upon a stairway.

What else happened. I went to a movie premiere. Brighton extravaganza. Whitehawk boy done good amidst stolen diamonds James-Bond-fighting-gangsters-waist-deep-in-water-in-a-canoe-slalom-practice-lake scenario. It'll be dark soon, and they mostly come out at night. Mostly.

Oh, by the way, I'm going to be reading poetry / playing my kee-tar at the following events, so if you're in the Brighton area, then do come along.

Get Lost Magazine / Beatabet launch; The Hope (formerly Polar Central) (formerly the Pig in Paradise, but in the bit that used to be the lift), Sunday the 18th of March, 7 o clock until 12.

The Ukulele Research and Development society, The Pedestrian's Arms (in Foundry Street), 8 o clock til 11, Monday the 19th of March; this is jimmy's night but I am hosting it for this month. brilliant.

Okay, I'm sorry, I don't normally self-promote myself so horribly blatantly on the internet. God, that was awful.

So, there's blatantly hundredsof things more I really ought to rant about, but I reckon I should stop now, and carry on another day when I'm feeling a bit more coherent. I've got a day off tomorrow. excellent.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tom is amazing

Narwhal Crest
Originally uploaded by Dolores Luxedo.
Sainsburies. London Road. The final hours.

The friendly face of Brighton supermarkets closed its doors for the final time yesterday. Goodbye, London Road Sainsburies; it's been a hell of a journey, and we made it together.

Tom was the last ever customer of London Road Sainsburies. He describes the emotional final minutes; "staff were in tears as a grand thankyou to customers was read out over the tannoy, and people were ushered towards the checkouts for the very last time."

I had to be at work by half five, and couldn't get time off to witness this historic event, but I'm glad Tom was there, black-clad, candle in hand, to see off an old friend.

They are opening a new one in the New England Quarter today. But it'll never be the same. It's like when a beloved pet dies and you get a new one. "But it'll never truly replace Danny", you weep at the forlorn and hopeful little scamp.

London Road Sainsburies, you will be missed. You will hold a place in my heart next to the Co-op Department Store and Hanningtons. Maybe one day the world will be ready for the likes of you once again.


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