Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Not So Jolly": Walthamstow Dog Races

On Boxing Day we went to the Walthamstow Dog Races and met up with the rest of Simons family, friends and relatives. We got there late but we must have been on the lucky bus as both me and Simons cousin David won good money. The place has a real East London vibe about it, especially on Boxing Day, it was packed, and the races had an enthusiastic reception on the terraces. It famously inspired the cover for Blurs Parklife, the cover of which is based on the programmes. And then there's the names of the dogs. I lurve them. Kinda like GBV or Smiths/Morrissey song titles. Can you find an even weirder name? How do they come up with them? They resonate... something. Anyway, Simon asked me which dog I wanted to bet on and I went purely for the name, "Not So Jolly" and it, uh, won against the odds and I won 26 quid! That was cool and I didn't even want to bet much more after that. David however went one further and bet on the right winning sequence in another race, winning about £ 160...

so here's some of my favourite dog names from the programme, sounds like a pretty good setlist, huh? Someone should write the songs...:-) :

Small Bites (could have bet on that one too, almost as good as Not So Jolly)
Noirs Heart
Special Trip
Evening Flight
Eye OnThe Jewel
Mystical Sloth
Four Minutes
Confident Foe
Ebony Ocean
Droopys Best Man
Never Can Tell
Rough Region
Risk Related
Legal Major
Vatican Skye
Star of Dromin
Snazzy Time
Hammer It Ahead
Muddys Friend
Astute Gift
Hee Haws Mandela
Essential Test

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Big D's notes for the x-mas meal at our house

Simons oldest brother cooked a big and very traditional x-mas roast with vegetables in our flat on x-mas day. The parsnips got burned unfortunately, but the rest was really good, maybe a bit too traditional for me, but nice and filling. He really made an effort, as you can see some planning went into it, cooking started late at about 11 o'clock and it wasn't finished til about five in the afternoon. We've still got lots of stuff in the fridge, people brought too much along, though I've managed to cook some interesting meals in the last few days, using vegetables i don't usually cook with. There's still some x-mas pudding which is nice too. The turkey was enough for 11 and we were only 6 (!) and none of us had huge portions of it. I've bagged the remains today, they were sitting in the oven for a few days. Kinda disgusting. I find the smell a bit disturbing and upsetting for some reason. Not again, at least not for another year. And i used to be vegetarian!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Stansted Airport yesterday

i feel there's been a tremendous buildup to...nothing much. christmas. calculating how many billion pounds peoople will spend in an hour. you must do this, you must do that. it's nice to go home. everyone comes together for this one off thing. and then the fog descended... sitting in the stansted express with too many other people and their luggage looking out of the window into this sinister thick fog grinning back at me, i thought, i don't actually want to fly, i don't want to be here. i'm only flying because, why? it's convenient. i wouldn't go home probably if i couldn't fly. it's what everyone else is doing. anyway, my flight got cancelled. lots of peoples flights got cancelled, lots of flights to Germany. Stansted was total chaos, people trying to book other flights into Germany. there were no more flights before x-mas, everything was full already. Denied. Fog. Security. Sitting on the bus back to Golders Green with about four other people, a lot of space around me, looking into the fog again, going back to London i felt relaxed for the first time all day. I actually like that fog, reminds me of certain corners of my head, haha. I took some little videos of the chaos though. Nothing major or dramatic, just the general sense of confusion. reminds me of that Tati film we love, Playtime, the absurdity of the modern world, of travelling, of that whole airport scene gone slightly out of control. Morrissey said something recently about not liking flying because you can't be yourself anymore, you give up any sense of personal freedom or space when you enter an airport, it's do this, do that, queue here, etc. and yeah, even though i would have loved to go home i was okay not flying yesterday. i'll go in january when all this has calmed down. my parents want to take me to the mountains instead, so that's all cool, hopefully. merry x-mas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

A Poem

Easy Evy!

mirror mirror on the wall
whos the baddest of them all?
E to the V to the Y
all the fellows looking fly
But "No, No" says she
"Cos I'm a real, a real Ladieee"
So all you chavs with all your bling
watch out cos Evy is the real Gold thing
Twinkle Twinkle little Star
Wonder Where my Evy R
Evy Had a Lamb Kebab
Even though it was really crap
but smile wins out and she don't mind
and she keeps shaking her Behind!
When she's chewing caramel
everything is going well
When she chews a peppercorn
all she thinks about is home
where the Santa of her world
comes on down - it doesn't hurt!

Monday, December 18, 2006

merry christmas

me, obviously (not) dressed up to the nines at the christmas party i didn't want to attend. x-mas has been fun so far, but also a bit too much! will it ever end?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

For Mary, Simon & Gustavo: Photos from the Mawddach Trail in Snowdonia

so I hear Mary, who I know from my old Sussex uni days, has won, what was it, something in her local paper, a five day or so stay in a holiday flat in the little town near her house. Mac-hyn-lleth. I never know how to pronounce them. Everyone calls it "Mac" and it's supposed to be very alternative (though, to be fair, I didn't see much evidence of this). Mary lives in a little house in the next village, Pen-eee-goise (that's how it's pronounced) and we stayed there for a couple of nights at the end of our week in Wales in August (most of it spent in the Brecon Beacons). It's just south of Snowdonia, a famous national park, and we just had one day left for walking so we chose to do the first part of the Mawddach trail along the dramatic Mawddach estuary. Starting from Barmouth, a small seaside town with an old chruch, a huge carpark and a definitely ok sandy beach and already great views we walked over a very long railway bridge, and then walked inland along the estuary, overall very easy walking and cycling. Even Marys little dog Ghengis had no problems. The day started overcast but soon it cleared up and opened dramatic vistas into the surrounding scenery, the green of the fields after a bit of rain is so bright and electric in Wales. Very beautiful, and highly recommended. So I'd like to return to Wales, maybe sometimes in the spring and go out there again with my friend Simon (from the Sussex uni days too) and Gustavo, but we need to convince them first. Maybe these photos will persuade them there's more than "mind the sheepshit" around there (though there's a lot of that). cos if you look up you see some great mountains and all that too! :-)

For some reason the photos post in a weird order, I'm giving up now, well, ok, there are also some other photos, one of gavin and Simon at the Green Man Festival, one of sheep that I'm quite fond of, and one of Mary ready to hit the town ("Aber", or Aberysthwyth) for a show. Also Simon is wearing our latest Deerhoof T-shirt obviously.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Plus on myspace!

A relatively rare group photo from the "Robert Smith Party". Chris is wearing a wig, I don't really need one and John thinks he's in Hawaii.

Well, I wasn't going to do it, but we finally have a little myspace page for my long running band Plus. It's just such an easy way to put your music out there! Nothing else worked right now... I'm not going to spam strangers about it and I'm happy with 5 and a half or so friends (think about it, it's not so bad in the real world, so why should it be different on myspace? just for the numbers?), but pls check it out anyway and of course add as a friend if you want! Hopefully we'll play live again soon, though I'd prefer to play a non smoking venue. And that's difficult to find in London...but it will happen sooner or later, at least in eight months time!