Monday, July 14, 2008


This spoon was awarded to me by Laura, 23, friend of kittens, from Sunderland, while on a visit to the home of her and Michael Sebastian Laverick, 24, this weekend just gone, yes, that one there just passed:

That handle does indeed say 'Property of Ramsay Street' in the traditional Neighbours typeface. Now I remember why I have friends. Incredible scenes. I am led to believe this is official Neighbours merchandise from the 1980s, and therefore bound to have been individually hand-crafted by evil's Stefan Dennis, 49. Never in all my life.

This has brought the memories of being a young Neighbours acolyte literally flooding back. Indeed, I'd go as far as to say that if I'd had this spoon fifteen years earlier, my childhood would have been something resembling a memorable experience. Instead it was a sorry tale of what might have been, but emphatically never was. I remember the time I took the revolutionary step of trying to introduce the Neighbours sticker album into the primary school playground culture in 1993, only to fail miserably. It turned out I was the only one in my school collecting the stickers, which naturally made 'swaps' a nightmare. If I tried shifting that spare Lou Carpenter 'foily' once, I must've done it a thousand times. In the end I had to make do with swapping it for a standard, non-foily sticker of Cobra from Gladiators (another album I was collecting at the time). This was a miserable chapter of failure in my life, and I can only think that having this Neighbours spoon back then would've provided some form of consolation. And by the way, if anyone's got the top half of Annalise Hartman for swaps, please let me know.

Monday, July 07, 2008



This is a photograph of a seagull eating a pigeon in a Newcastle street, as captured and texted to me by this blog's Edinburgh correspondent Dan, 26, socialist author, just moments before the seagull flew off with the little shit in its beak. Barely credible, nay, incredible scenes.

My pigeon hatred has been well and truly documented into oblivion on these pages, but my hatred of seagulls is nearly as strong. Anyone who spent numerous depressing Sunday afternoons in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby during their childhood, like me, will know what it's like when the squawky scumbags viciously and ruthlessly lay siege while you're innocently trying to eat some chips. Some of these seagulls carry knives, and they need clearing off the streets, just like the pigeons.

Let them kill each other. It's dog eat dog out there; quite literally, as the above photo shows.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our earthly micro-pleasures

Getting your hair cut is a highly stressful experience which generally lacks any semblance of fun. For real men like me who are prone to visiting real barbers' establishments, and therefore don't have the luxury of an appointment, it invariably involves an agonising wait for your turn during which you're forced to leaf through a copy of whichever fascist rag is going spare from the awful selection of daily newspapers these places buy. Then there's the agonising process of being called up to the chair, where you're faced with a massive mirror, tied up in the big cloak thing, and then have to muster the words to put your order in. This all makes for a 99.7% torturous haircut experience. Awful scenes.

Earlier today, however, I was reminded of the micro-pleasure that comes at the end of every haircut and serves to make the whole episode worthwhile. The fleeting yet insanely pleasurable sensation that came when my barber Chris, 37, of unknown parentage, used the little electric razor to tidy up the back of my neck and remove the stray hairs was quite, quite incredible. His faintly ticklish and immensely satisfying vertical and horizontal navigation of the necktal region almost left me gasping with gay abandon. If I believed such things were possible, I could've literally died and gone to heaven.

This is a fine example of the type of micro-pleasure that sometimes crops up in life to provide momentary relief from the humdrum suffocation of everyday experience. It's extremely rare that a micro-pleasure is actually designed to provide pleasure, and nor will it make any great contribution to the plot of your day, but without them we would be at a great loss. The other micro-pleasures which almost, almost make my existence worthwhile include:
  • breaking the top layer of biscuit clean from a Bourbon Cream before scraping the cream into the mouth with my teeth;
  • filling the Padmobile up with petrol and manipulating the handle of the nozzle so expertly that the price on the display comes to a precise pound, e.g. £20.00;
  • cleaning my ears with cotton buds ('Warning: Do NOT insert into your ear canal') following a lengthy head cold, and having to use half the pack;
  • waking up to find I've been sleeping on one side for too long, and then rolling onto the other side and feeling all the weight shift across my torso. Heaven, just heaven;
  • wrapping home-made sandwiches extremely tidily and tightly in fresh cling film (very difficult);
  • employing a surprise Facegrabâ„¢ on yet another unsuspecting victim. For those who are uninitiated and unaware of what a Facegrab is, (a) "get a life!" and (b) learn here.