Was it me or was it you?
Posted 10 Hours Ago
Who had a journal entry about reading things wrong? I just read this BBC headline: Greek PM offers olive branch on debt. What I thought it said was: Greek PM on olive branch diet.
Olives in a diet I can understand. Olives are supposed to be good for you, I think. Mediterranean diet and all that. Maybe not actual olives because of all that salt. But definitely olive oil.
Olive branches though? They can't be good for you at all. Except for settling disputes. You know, offering the olive branch, and all that. But not for eating.
So now I've got Bill and Ben (the Flowerpot Men) in my head. No bad thing at 4am.
The things you can become attached to
Posted 5 Days Ago
While reading this http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-30997755 I saw the line "Colchester Borough Council said it would stop funding a number of public toilets across the area, including several in West Mersea." My first though was 'Oh, that probably means they're going to close down this http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?ll=51.774075,0.930794&spn=0.000773,0.002064&t=h&z=20&layer=c&cbll=51.774075,0.930793&panoid=Tr4ygQ-cYOPTx63cIt9HPw&cbp=12,343.3,,0,4.21 '
That would sadden me. When I was a kid we'd go to West Mersea once or twice a summer. It was our seaside place to go. We went to Southend too, but really only for the illuminations.
We always took the same route from home, went past the same landmarks, each of which added to the mounting excitement because it was one step closer to the sea, and the journey culminated in driving over The Strood - the causeway between the mainland and Mersea Island, then turning right into Seaview Avenue after a few minutes which, appropriately, would be the first time we'd see the sea (which wasn't actually the case because we'd already seen it as we went over the causeway, but that looks more like a river because it's not the open sea, and seeing it directly in front of us and with the horizon, seemed like the proper way to do it).
Once we got there we'd park in the same car park, which was grass rather than tarmac and is still there. All the beach huts are still there too (and worth many tens of thousands of pounds more than they were back then, no doubt), and so is the aforementioned khazi, but the beach shop we used call in at has gone, and so have three delightful little 1920s/30s-built bungalows which were just to the other side of the public bog, and were called Mersea, Osea and... I can't recall the other one, but it was something-sea, and all three were named after islands along the Essex coast.
So, at some point during the day, probably several points, I'd need to visit that little building, and now it could be one to be closed down.
Aside from it being another little piece of my childhood to disappear and aside from the idea of having a beach resort with no public toilets being plainly wrong, as far I'm concerned this is just one more legacy of Thatcher, and how someone who once proudly proclaimed that there's no such thing as society, has done more to wreck the thing whose existence she denied than any other British leader I can think of, at least during my lifetime. The concept that money and all things fiscal is the be-all and end-all of everything, whether it be cutting costs beyond the bone to deny ordinary people the help of the welfare state, or maximising profits to swell the bank accounts of the wealthy, has done more damage to society than anything else I can think of, even Hitler's bombs, because it's set British people against each other, and now against immigrants with the rise of UKIP, which might not have happened so meteorically without the recent recession.
Well done Thatcher, well done.
File this one under 'Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs'
Posted Last Week
The first record I ever bought - single or LP - was Fire, by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. We'd only just got a record player when it came out in 1968. As a matter of fact it was one of those old radiograms that were virtually a piece of furniture. I'd recently seen that legendary Top of the Pops performance with the flaming headdress http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOErZuzZpS8 and I thought to my 12-year-old self 'I'm having some of that', so I saved up enough pocket money and headed off to the music shop.
Several years later I'm in Texas and working at a used CD store when of the regular customers that I'd often chat with at the listening stations reveals that he's Arthur Brown's son. It turns out that Arthur lived in Austin for several years, returning to the UK around 1996 or 97.
And now, some years after that, it turns out that Arthur Brown is playing a little coffee bar, not more than a mile from Castle Gosho, tomorrow night, tickets $12
The coincidences here are almost too numerous to list. Me buying that single and eventually moving to Austin, Arthur Brown having lived in Austin, me working at a shop and meeting his son, him playing at a place I can walk to in 15 minutes, and most of all, the friend who gave me a heads-up about the gig having only just discovered Arthur Brown a week or two back and asked me if I know anything about him.
Do I know anything about Arthur Brown?
I reckon I'll take along my old, worn, battered and just about unplayable copy of Fire along with me, just on the off-chance he's hanging around the place before or after the performance
This one deserves a 'seriously?' and a facepalm all its own
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
Is this the new hip foodie thing that's going to sweep all before it? Crisp sandwiches? http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2015/jan/13/jack-monroe-presents-aunty-helens-potato-sandwiches
Well, cronuts are soooo last year doncha know, and cup cakes are positively stone age, dahling. But what I need to know is this - are they hand-crafted? I'm going nowhere near the place if the bread isn't artisanal or the potatoes aren't heirloom, perish the thought.
Where am I? What's going on?
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
Some of you might remember me talking about the time, when I used to deliver magazines at night in London, that I went to bed in the dark one winter's morning when the clock said 7.00, and woke up in the dark with the clock showing 5.00, and spent ten minutes trying to figure out I'd slept for minus two hours, when in fact I'd slept right through the daylight hours and it was actually 5pm, not 5am.
Something similar happened last night.
I lay down on the sofa around 10.30pm to listen to Stephen Fry Reading a Harry Potter Book. I fell asleep, as I almost always do on the sofa if I close my eyes. Next thing I know I've woken with a start and everything is pitch black and silent. I'm quite used to waking up after kipping on the sofa for a few hours, but obviously the lights are still on, usually.
I had to feel around to figure out where I was because I couldn't see anything and I wasn't sure, at first, whether I'd woken up in bed or on the sofa. On the sofa... okay, why is it all so dark and so quiet, and how am I going to get up and move around without light? And what the winky wanky woo is going on?
What had happened, obviously, was that the leccy had gone off. Not just in Castle Gosho, but the entire complex, or at least all of it I can see from here. Maybe beyond too. I fumbled around on the table for the cellphone - 11.30pm. Stumbled into the kitchen to get the little torch I keep in the pantry (my eyes can no longer see very far into it without help), went around turning off anything I knew was switched on in case the power came back on in the night, poured myself a glass of whisky, grabbed the mp3 player I like listening to the wireless in bed) and went to bed for a bit of a read, by which time it was about midnight.
About 20 minutes later I heard the downstairs neighbour's heater going and figured the power was back on, which indeed it was.