The winds outside were relentless and the anemometer had shown that they were stronger than they had been for weeks, 112mph today. The thick, concrete living unit hummed a constant hum as the resonance of the various building appendages were met. These bloody engineers, didn’t they know this would happen and how annoying it would be?

The multi-glazed windows were half as thick as the walls and provided a perfect glimpse to the outside world. Other housing units, rubble, flying debris, all were in my view.  Large chunks of stuff bounced off the walls; it was a fun game guessing what they might be.  The sky was filled with blackened clouds exploding with regular bursts of vivid reds, blues, and yellows

Breakfast had only just been prepared.  My grey porridge sat stodgily in the bowl, looking as appetising as ever.  The “Porridge-o-tron 2050” might be a couple of models down the scale, but I didn’t need anything fancier.  The end result would be pretty much the same and with milk getting more tightly rationed, flavour-wise I’m pretty sure I wasn’t losing out on anything

Work was due to start in 20 minutes.  It was only a polite amble through the tube network to get to the office so after finishing my meal, I packed my bag in preparation for the walk.  Not being late in 6 years was a good thing – I didn’t want to have to sacrifice a weeks vegetables (aubergines) just for enjoying a lie in


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Half A Sack of, Whatever This Is

I opened it up.  It contained what can only be described as indiscriminate “stuff”.  There appeared to be small shiny balls of effervescence.  They shimmered as the external light hit them.  These spheres were in amongst a brown and green mess of matted plant like material which was fibrous yet wet to the touch, not unpleasant but certainly not something I’d happily finger all day long.  The stench of it emanated strongly through the opening, and at times overwhelmed.

As my hand pushed in deeper, I felt the arced softness of yellow, boomerang shaped entity. Smeared in the mud-like mess, it’s sweet smell mixed with the filthy earthen muck.  It somehow softened the impact to my nasal stimulation.  I feel I could have eaten one of these had its smothering sack partner been more pleasing to the nose.

There can’t have been much more in here.  The receptacle itself wasn’t that big. After feeling right through the middle, I moved to the side and hit upon something that was surely not of this world.  Everything was caked in the foul, odorous paste.  This was no different. There was only one, it was rectangular in shape but deep. About 7 centimeters deep.  It was as big as a VHS (if you can remember them!), but seemed partitioned in thin, wafer like flaps.  The outer of these flaps were hardened equivalents of the inner ones, and colorful, with pictures and letters arranged in a very deliberate fashion.  The picture on the front was very alluring, and instantly decided to judge the rest of this artifacts exploration by what was here.  As I thumbed through the leaves, each were covered in many words, all structured in a seemingly logical fashion with hundreds on each side.  This bamboozled me, and I proceeded to place it gently back in the sack.

I spent the next 20 minutes making sure I hadn’t missed anything.  I hadn’t.  That was it. This fabric container of mystery to be forever a memory of something special.  Until my aunt came to visit.  She found it the next day in my bedroom and promptly advised me it was a bag full of shit, a banana, some fucking marbles and a book.  She threw the bastard out.

You live and learn.

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“I fear the men coming!” he used to proclaim, on a fairly regular basis.  Some days he wouldn’t stop.  The anguish in his voice and the genuine terror in his eyes would make me, at least, consider that he was telling the truth.  It was hard to.  Most of my half-brother’s waking hours were made up of screaming at birds, furiously masturbating a snooker cue, and egging passing children with cries of “EGGS! EGGS! THEIR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS AREN’T AS BAD AS PEOPLE THINK!”

Then July 13th, 2015 happened.  It changed everyone’s lives for ever.  It was the day of the Kettle Lobbyists and their grasp for power…

That day was like any other general election (except on a Monday.  I didn’t check the date I made up and don’t want to change it because it seems to have something poetic about it).  Each representative wanting to stand for election had paid their deposit and completed their campaigning. The big two were represented everywhere, as usual, and various comedic names put their names forward.  “Steel Toed Alex And The Fanny Warriors” appeared in Wentworth & Dearne, and the succinct “Stiffy Party” showed up in Somerset North.

All the usual perfunctory nonsense went on and the country ended up with a party with no majority.  We were heading for a (an?) hung Parliament.

But that didn’t happen.

After days of deliberating, after weeks of round table negotiations, the two major parties agreed to sit together.

That’s right.  Together. And form a functioning Parliament, with an insurmountable majority.

At first this seemed odd and uncharacteristic, until a peculiar set of circumstances and events unfolded in the months to come.  The first was the appointment of a very specific set of characters to high office.  The CEO of Tefal entered Whitehall as a “Chief Economic Advisor”, for example.  All sorts of people from the kettle world started to enter public office – Kenwood employees entered the police force, DeLonghi staff were given contracts to run the NHS Trusts, and Dualit and Breville formed a joint venture to manage Network Rail. Next, which should have raised suspicions, was that regulations around Kettle capacity/power/safety/manufacture were being pulled apart and removed.  In the space of 6 months, anyone could build, buy, or operate a kettle of any size or function, and when all public spaces were re-branded “Hot Water Zones”, with proclamations to “Bring your water heating receptacles so everyone can enjoy it”, it should have clicked.  This is when it was too late.  They had done it.  My half brother was right.  They were coming.  The kettle lobbyists had got their way, and they were coming for us.  They were coming for us all.

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Poetry for Reading Out Loud At Weddings

I’ll be There

I’ll be there my darling, through thick and through thin
When your mind’s in a mess and your head’s in a spin
When your plane’s been delayed, and you’ve missed the last train.
When life is just threatening to drive you insane
When your thrilling whodunit has lost its last page
When somebody tells you, you’re looking your age
When your coffee’s too cool, and your wine is too warm
When the forecast said “Fine”, but you’re out in a storm
When your quick break hotel, turns into a slum
And your holiday photos show only your thumb
When you park for five minutes in a resident’s bay
And return to discover you’ve been towed away
When the jeans that you bought in hope or in haste
Just stick on your hips and don’t reach round your waist
When the food you most like brings you out in red rashes
When as soon as you boot up the bloody thing crashes
So my darling, my sweetheart, my dear…
When you break a rule, when you act the fool
When you’ve got the flu, when you’re in a stew
When you’re last in the queue, don’t feel blue
‘cause I’m telling you, I’ll be there
I’ll be there for you.

(Louise Cuddon)

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On the nature of gin, and the attitude transposed to the drinker thereof

Natural reactions to the drink known commonly as ‘gin’ have been noted to be varied and wide-ranging, but with a predisposition towards a maudlin feeling, or one of being unwanted. The drinker will often mix the gin with ‘Tonic’ and slices of citrus fruit to make the dreadful taste of the native gin at least a little bearable. This has to lead any rational man of science to come to the question: Is it the gin itself that makes the drinker miserable, or is the drinker a naturally miserable person? Does the drinker loathe themselves so much that they feel that the only right way to drink is to imbibe such a foul, bitter mixture?

We asked one hundred people on the streets of London exactly what their attitude was towards Gin, other drinks and their opinion of themselves. Every single person responded by saying they were unhappy with life and they regularly partook in extended sessions of drinking Gin, either neat or as part of a mixed drink.

Conversely, in Bath, the first and only person we spoke with had no recollection of ever having tasted gin, although they were aware of it as an alcoholic drink. When queried as to their own satisfaction with the nature of their own existence, this person responded in a generally positive manner, citing the regenerative nature of the local geothermal springs when bathed therein.

This is inconclusive and begs for further research in to the matter. The Londoners were undoubtedly very low, perhaps on the brink of or deeply within a state of depression, but it can’t at this stage be defined that the cause of this is prior to – or following – the dependence on gin. Also the individual in Bath who was clearly extremely happy with life wasn’t a keen drinker, and had never tasted Gin itself. He also regularly undertook to clean himself in the local waters. There are too many variables at large here to reliably form an honest scientific opinion.

I therefore propose to further investigate a different, statistically significant selection of people in the Northampton area, with the hypothesis that in this area one should find a mix of people who may be a) ignorant to the wiles of gin, b) in the depths of a gin-binge, and c) at various stages of the oft-witnessed collapse into the reliance on said drink.

Further results shall be posted upon this messaging board as soon as they are available.

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Chinese arses

I remember a fantastic TV series aired in the mid-early 90’s called “Sunnyside Farm”.  It introduced us to the acting and comedy musings of Phil Daniels, that bloke from off of The Full Monty (also, King Robert out of Game Of Thrones) and the bald, chubby, gay chap who was at his funniest playing George Dawes.  They played vulgar exaggerations of characters, very much in the style of ‘Bottom’ or ‘The Young Ones’.  The particulary nasty farm owner was a favourite of mine, over the top nasty excellently played by some fellow I can’t really recall.  That was in the 90’s and we are now in the 10’s (2000 and…) and what do we have in terms of character, situation comedy?  Mrs. Brown’s Boys.  That’s all I can think of.  Most of the humour around this is the fact that it is a bloke in drag.  Hilarious.

I don’t want to turn this into a ‘hasn’t comedy gone to pot‘ rant, but suspect it will.  Maybe my nostalgia glands are kicking in here but I’m sure comedy was better thought out, better written and far more intelligent than now.  Maybe that is because they are riding off the back of the Mayall et al/Ianucci/Morris’ of the last 30 years.  This, surely is not an excuse for lack of imagination or creativity?  We appear to be influenced by the American style of peurile and irony-less comedy.  Fart gags are funny but have to be done right.  Bottom was bang on in it’s vulgarity and timing.  Mrs. Brown’s Boys, however, does a fart gag for ther sake of a fart gag.  A 50 year old bloke with lipstick and lace on saying ‘fuck’ appears to be the funniest thing we can come up with.  From the golden age of satirical comedy, social commentary and character comedy (including and not exhaustive – Fawlty Towers, Alan Partridge, The Day Today, Fist Of Fun, anything by Vic & Bob) we have, in the last 10 years created nothing of note.  This is, of course, my opinion.

To end this fairly short ‘blog for the sake of a blog’, blog I would like to add that Mongrels on BBC3 was good which has recently been axed.  I expect the BBC will continue to fund populist shite in order to follow trends and viewers.  It’d be nice for it to go back to taking chances on comedy (Fawlty Towers, Monty Python) wouldn’t it?

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A dawning realisation

It is christmas time, and all the ugly people that normally know better – know to stay indoors, curtains closed and the lights dimmed – they are out on their travels.

The time of year forces them to travel down the thick black arteries of the UK motorway network, from their hovels and pits in t’north down to see more affluent, attractive relatives somewhere off the lower tributaries of the M6. Swanage, Banbury or Reigate. Happy places where everybody loves the Queen, and God, equally. Where time stands still. Where Jamie Cullum is god.

I know of these travellers, the outcasts, as I saw them queueing up for a Costa coffee at Norton Canes motorway services. They were attempting to engage with an alien world in which a black bitter drink is more valuable than the rich broth they were set to be given in their poorhouse, should they have stayed up north. A weeks worth of log splitting for a single cup of coffee.

But they battle through, bravely. Misanthropes together, knowing that if their old grey Cortina can deliver them to Lydia’s nice white cottage in Fellatio-by-the-water, they will be rewarded with tender fowl and a dessert wine fit for the gods. They sit through the pain, the mockery, and the bawling children terrified by their grotesquery just in the hope of seeing Lydia. Darling Lydia.

And I retire to the toilet, to micturate, to ease the piss straining at the walls of my bladder. I look down, in some kind of confusion and misbelief at what I can see. In the pit of my chosen urinal, a number of disgorged, white walnuts. The chewed and effluxed gum of a visiting cunt, peppermint hue long gone.

I glance furtively to my left, and my right, hoping that this crime has not been repeated throughout this white room. This midden.

The terror grips me. My urinal is the only one with this litter. My urinal is the only one where other fuckers have spat out their finished gum.

This is the urinal of the cunt, and I am visiting it.

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Doing A Small Blog

This is an attempt to see how easy it is to write a blog on a mobile phone. Incidentally, I am also having a shit, but don’t let that stop you reading on.

I don’t really have much to write about at the minute but would like to add that the ‘keyboard’ on this phone is a pain in the bell-end to operate. I don’t have fat fingers and my spelling is usually better than mediocre, so for any typo’s I am laying the blame solely on my keyboard. And my lack of patience to go back and correct. The grammar and lexicography, however, will be my own creation and will be unable to blame anyone but myself no matter how much I want to point the finger at Thatcher, the right wing media or my old art teacher Mr ‘probably long dead, bless him‘ Bennett.

The auto correct options appear to be going well, they are currently being underlined in green as I go along. It appears fairly intuitive and suppose it keeps track of the history and trail of words I have used before. I know that I sometimes expect the said auto correct to read my mind. “Obviously the word catamaran doesn’t make sense there you fucking machine, it was clearly supposed to be pustule!” Once again, my phone is yet to be sentient, have ESP and be able to understand how to construct a sentence in the exact same manner as myself. I suspect without Steve Jobs larking about, these particular ‘apps’ may be a few years off.

Right, time to stand up and do the usual before venturing back to the front room to watch some mindless Christmas linked afternoon TV. If I happen across any of the Loose Women, I will put my fist through the fucking screen.

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C’est diabolique

What’s the problem with the modern world?  The fact that there is so much information out there available to everyone, idiots and all.  I’d like to write this in a constructive and measured manner, but since this is a ‘blog’, you are allowed to spout uneducated and appallingly ‘investigated’ gob tripe around the Internet, spreading your ignorant word-seed like a particularly bitey, flea infested black plague rat in London town.  That, therefore, is how I will write, with a knowing ‘wink’ acknowledging the fact i am expressing an extreme view.

I don’t have any examples, merely internal anecdotes, thoughts and woolly memories on stories announced and regurgitated by individuals claiming to be fact.  What they are doing however is not ejaculating ‘fact’, but parroting opinion.  Take 5 live for example, a plethora of shouty folk ‘banging on’ about some local, one off injustice that then fuels the fire for a change in the law of the land.  One swallow does not a summer make, and one paedophile does not a child abuse epidemic make.

Television and the regular press are in it for the ‘headline’, the ‘soundbite’, the story of the moment.  Even the BBC does it. Gone are the days of proper investigative journalism and in come the formulaic headline mongers, prioritising the hot topic of the day and usually tenuously linking with another in order to create ‘Breaking News’.  Breaking FUCKING news.

It must just be age on my part but I can barely watch a news program that doesn’t have a celebrity news item in the headlines (again, BBC included) or doesn’t involve a story involving a child.  Emotive, shallow, inconsequential and formulaic news drivel.  News shouldn’t be about the headline, it should be about it’s importance.  It SHOULD be boring.

Huw?  Stop banging on about who is favourite in the X Factor, stop Welshing on about who dances bestest of all on Strictly.  Most of all George Alagiah, I don’t care that Ashely Cole has been caught boinking a Geordie, attention seeking hair dresser.  Fuck them all and fuck you for selling yourself out to the lowest denominator.

News?  Take a couple of weeks off, take a long hard look at yourself and come back when you’ve got your act together.

BREAKING NEWS – Shit happens!

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Not ossification, the process by which bones are formed, but classification, an ancient science practiced by humans which involves the creation of arbitrary dividing lines and thinking up names for ease of identification of things.

Take, as a pertinent case study, ‘The Smallest House in Great Britain’, located in Conwy, North Wales. Children and adults alike have been having their photo taken in front of this house for as long as there has been a sign on the house declaring it as such. Proud faces look up in wonder and think to themselves:

“How blessed am I to be in the presence of such extreme housing. The Smallest House in Great Britain. Wow.”

The first thing we notice is the sign. If you can go one step above naming something, then throw a physical label on it. Like the man with branded skin who stepped across the line from ‘decent citizen’ to ‘criminal’, the house is immediately recognisable even without an intimate knowledge of the relative sizes of the rest of Great Britain’s housing stock. Because there is a big sign with writing on it above the window (there isn’t room above the door).

But what does it all mean?

That it is the smallest house is of significant meaning, in that there are no houses smaller. We are not really in a position to question this, and for the purposes of this article I will assume that it is a true statement. I’m happy we are straying from the arbitrary, with such deliciously absolute statements.

But what we don’t know in all this is how they choose to classify a ‘house’. Dictionary.com gives a simple definition as “A building in which people live; residence for human beings.” This leaves the sign open to challenge immediately. Their ‘House’ is the one of Children’s sketchbooks – with red bricks, a chimney and maybe a little yellow flower out front. The house of a rational man could be a bus shelter, underneath a park bench or even the shed at the bottom of a garden where a disillusioned husband sleeps. My mind starts to ache at the confusion that is beginning to creep in here.

Of course the lines of Great Britain are equally blurred, with some no doubt even questioning the existence of this as a political entity. It would be nice if this refers to the geographical land mass including Scotland, England and Wales located above the normal sea level. This is reasonably absolute – although over geographical time also relatively meaningless. I would argue the use of the word ‘in’ Great Britain associates itself more with the political meaning. Which is a shame, ‘on’ would have potentially been a better word.

So it might not actually be what we think it is, as there are no doubt smaller residence buildings within the confines of the bit of land poking above the sea where England, Scotland and Wales are currently politically defined. We also probably have to consider the top corner of the Irish land mass as well. But this is the point where we take a step back, and we take a considered view on classification. We are happy to accept it as the ‘smallest house’ because it is a harmless bit of fun, and the house is really cute, to boot.

So what’s the point of all this rambling?

Classification is entirely necessary in any sort of functional, usable language, and understanding how to convey maximum meaning in minimum words, with minimal explanation, is a tremendous skill and not to be undervalued.

I’ll leave arguments about taxonomic classification for other fora, but here are a few examples of easy ways to classify members of Homo sapiens by their recent cultural / political / national heritage:

Jew, Muslim, American, Indian.

It’s in interpreting that information that we must not take short cuts.    

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