Friday, February 25, 2005

Talkin' About The Good Times *

Reidski's on the ball!!! Posted by Hello

Not yet got round to posting the result of what was a stupendous game of football. Final score may very well have been 10-0 to them, but tells only half the story - NOT! Well and truly stuffed by a team which has gone 31 games (32 now, I suppose) unbeaten. They have made six cup semi-finals this season - all still to be played, by the way - and unbeaten in the league, with only a draw to blot their otherwise unblemished record. As my last post may have hinted at, however, we knew which team were going to win the game. In truth, the chances they had, they should have won by about 20, but we weren't complaining. Reidski played as one of two strikers and didn't once touch the ball in the opposition box.

But the weekend wasn't just about playing a game of football that we knew we weren't going to win, it was also a social occasion so.....after footie was drink in the Railway Club and all the delights that drinking outside the metropolis brings - i.e. the prices and certain drinks that you cannot find anywhere in London. Got a round in and, first of all, noticed there was no Guinness on draught (not a problem personally as I always head for the lager after playing a game of football). A couple of locals in the round also and they asked for .... pint of DOUBLE DIAMOND (yes, they had it) and HARP (couldn't believe they had this, also!). Then the prices - about four pints of lager, pint of Double Diamond, can of Guinness, two halfs of bitter, orange juice and packet of peanuts. I got my weekend-away bundle of cash out only to be asked for £9.35 - wow!

We then went along to the social event that was part of the football - dinner (which served as a fundraiser) to mark the 50th anniversary of the team we played.

Then, afterwards, into Darlington for a night at Escapades night club and what a hoot it was.

First up, we got there only to find huge queue. One of our lot had the great idea of blagging our way in and bypass queue. He only told the doorman that we were "footballers up from London" - which, I suppose, was strictly true - and in we went. Things got a bit hazy all of a sudden, but much flirtation and dancing was had by all, including, believe it or not, me!

Anyway, what a superb weekend away it was, with some of our lot even threatening to make a return visit to the nightclub, so entertaining it was. The only problem, though, was the three-day hangover which followed my return home.

While it was a great weekend, on the actual football front, last weekend was a disaster - we got beat, the forces of darkness beat Celtic, Millwall got done over (again) and the boy's team were done in 2-0 (by the best team in their division). The latter resulted in last night's training being that the 11 and 12-year-old boys standing in the freezing cold and snow storms being shouted at and lectured to by the adult coach, without them doing any football or running about at all - what an arsehole the man is, I'm going to have a word when I see him at 8.30 on Sunday morning.

Football shmootball!!

*Pretty Things - brought to me by wonderful human being TNR.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Death Or Glory *

Around a year ago, a bloke at work came up with the brilliant idea of getting some of us together for a five-a-side match. Reidski hadn't played footie since he was at school, but was well up for it. Reidski thought he wasn't too bad in this first game and realised what had been missing in his life all these years. In fact, what he had been missing was friends who played football, but there you go. In fact in fact, some may say that what Reidski was missing was friends full stop, but let's not go into that.

So, we have been playing on an off for nearly a year and I have loved it. Last summer we played weekly indoor matches, but, as a university had a block booking at this leisure centre, our regular weekly games came to an end when term started. It seems that the university partly paid for the building of this centre - obviously a public-private partnership job - but the public part of it has been forgotten as the university has first priority on every session for every sport at every time. The only way any others can get a look in is if the university call the centre to free it up for an hour or so.

Nevertheless, we have had games on and off, including challenge matches against others - involving either outdoor five-a-sides, indoor games and outdoors astroturf eight-a-sides.

But a new development arrives tomorrow as me and the rest of the boys travel up to County Durham - yes, a long way away - to take on Shildon Railway Football Club. We not only think we will get beat, but we think that we are in for a right humping - I'm thinking that a decent score will be under 20-0. Look here for the reasons why we think this.

So, why are we doing it? Cos it will be fun and cos the team asked us to play them as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations. After the match there will be a dinner with after dinner speaker and comedian. Reidski and the boys intend to get suitably pissed and enjoy the occasion.

Here we go, here we go, here we go
Here we go, here we go, here we go-o

*Do you really need to be told that it's The Clash?

Genius *

Whooppeeee, less than 45 minutes until the second episode of Nathan Barley. As you will no doubt all be aware by now, Barley is the creation of Charlie Brooker, who co-wrote the series with Chris Morris. Barley originally appeared on Brooker's spoof TV listings site TV Go Home as a character in the series Cunt. But there is also now a dedicated Nathan Barley site here. The listings for Cunt are double-up-with-laughter funny. I also like this picture caption:

"9.15pm Lock Stock and One Fucking Arsehole: Nathan Barley is a
worthless, moneyed little shit who deserves to die."

If you don't get this series, you don't get life.

* Kings of Leon

Just A Memory *

What I thought was a mere interlude in my otherwise very lengthy last post has given people much merriment. I thought, therefore, that I would provide a more detailed description of the day's events. But, before I go on, found myself watching The Weakest Link this afternoon and, in case I forget later, I'll pass this one on for Dumb Britain material.

"Ann Robinson: Adding two consonants to the word baseball will form the word
for which other sport?
Contestant: Football"

Anyway, back to the story.

Late July 2003. Reidski was about to begin a week's leave as he was going to Irvine with 'er indoors and the boy to attend my mum's 70th birthday celebrations the next day. Beautiful day, sunshine beaming all day, I was thirsty. As I finished work at lunchtime, decided to meet up with an old friend (and ex girlfriend) for lunch. Lunch turned into quite a few glasses of wine in that area of London whose name I don't know - north of proper West End, west of Tottenham Court Road and south of Camden. I'm sure someone can tell me what the area is called. Anyway, finally got home at around 7pm and sat and drank another few glasses of white win with 'er indoors. The boy, whose birthday it was earlier in the week for which main present was bike, and his friend decide to go out for a ride on their wheels. It was around 9pm and, although it was still well light, thought I'd go out with them (particularly as 'er indoors had her mate round and I was being a bit of a drunken pest). Thought I wouldn't keep up with them on foot so had the bright idea of going on the boy's scooter (that's a kiddie scooter, non-motorised one, by the way - you know, the kind you see CHILDREN out on all the time).

Kids and Reidski made their way up to Telegraph Hill park - yes, one of the highest points in south London and where you can get the most beautiful view of this great city. Reidski follows them. In the park, the route the boys take goes down a very steep path. I tentatively follow, but think twice as the path is very very very steep. Alcoholic stupidity then takes over as Reidski decides: "Fuck it, it's not as if I can do any damage." Reidski is an arsehole for thinking such thoughts, however, as, on the descent of this very very very steep path, scooter, going at a phenomenal speed, hits a rut and skids out of control, Reidski comes flying off and proceeds to use his face, bare arms and bare legs (it was a hot day, I was wearing t-shirt and shorts) as the brakes. Reidski sat up in a complete daze as some teenagers came running over to see if I was alright and bloke from across the road who had been casually watching the Parklife also intervenes. "Fahkin 'ell mate. You're in a roight fahkin state, mate!" says one of the teenagers with very worried look on this coupon. Blood is pouring from my face at this point, as well as from the cuts on various other parts of my anatomy. My only concern is that the boy (as in son) and his friend, who around 100 yards away and ready to come over, don't see this gruesome sight. So I keep repeating: "Don't let those boys come over." Parklife bloke then asks if he should call an ambulance and me, being brave (i.e. still drunk) say no, but could he phone 'er indoors to come and get me. She turns up in the car moments later with friend and they take one look and decide that a hospital visit is necessary.
I, by this time, have sobered up completely. Go home first to get cleaned up a bit and mother of the boy's friend, who is a first aider, tries to make assessment and doesn't take long to say that I should go immediately to hospital.
The most painful thing now is my ego, it has a rather bad bruise to it.
Anyway, off to hospital and receptionist says that a nurse will be on hand straight away. Reception casually asks if I was in a fight, to which I answer honestly. She simply shakes her head. Nurse takes me into room to clean up cuts and decide if further examination is necessary. She decides that I will definitely need to see doctor. She casually asks what happened. I answer honestly. She shakes her head and makes some comment about how men are really stupid. I'm thinking: "She's right!" Long wait on my own then ensues, but at least I have Big Brother's final night to keep me from boredom for the next three hours - not.
So, about 1am, I finally get to see doctor who applies many bandages and plasters to my injuries. He asks how it happened. I answer honestly. He shakes his head.
I get taxi outside to take me home. Taxi driver asks what know the rest.
Get up the next day with the intention of going to Irvine for my maw's birthday party, but it isn't too long before the aches and pains, to say nothing of the mess of my face, forces rethink and we decide not to go. Meanwhile, 'er indoors, being the sympathetic one, has taken photos of me lying in bed and his generally having a laught about it all - and I couldn't really blame her.
So pics are then being sent to all and sundry, with people being well sympathetic until they hear that Reidski was pissed out of his box and shouldn't have been coming down a very very very steep hill on a scooter built for a ten year old kid.
Tried to avoid leaving the house over the next few days, but had to eventually. And, not surprisingly, I got stared at quite a lot. I felt and looked like the Elephant Man.
So that is the story of me coming down a very very very steep hill on a scooter while being pissed out of my head. What a twat!

* Elvis Costello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

I Get Around *

Taking advantage of some time off work by doing...absolutely nothing. Well, nothing productive (i.e. housework, etc etc etc) anyway. Did go for a spin round the neighbourhood on my bike this morning. And it wasn't an insignificant little jaunt, but, in going up Telegraph Hill twice, did involve a great deal of effort, stamina and muscle power. And I failed on all three counts as I couldn't quite manage to get to the top first time round, but did achieve getting all the way to the summit on my next attempt. Okay, Telegraph Hill is no Alp d'Huez (one of the toughest in the Tour de France) but it must be one of the highest points in south east London. It was also the scene of a very unfortunate accident around 18 months ago when a drunken idiot went out on his son's scooter. This drunken idiot first of all thought that it wouldn't be a good idea to come down hill on the scooter. But this drunken idiot, being a drunken idiot, thought: "Fuck it!" So the drunken idiot went fleeing down the hill on scooter, hit something on the path and then had to be taken to hospital with facial cuts, lacerations all over arms and legs (it was summer, the drunken idiot was wearing shorts and t-shirt) and a huge bruised ego. Yes, that drunken idiot was me!

I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes, Telegraph Hill. Used to live on the hill, but got chucked out by landlord around eight years ago. Best thing that ever happened to us as we then fell on our feet with much nicer house and smaller rent. I cycled past the old house on my jaunt and felt no emotions about the place whatsoever.

Also cycled past an old friend's house - her daughter and the boy were great buddies - a house we went to for Sunday lunch one time and, as we sat round the table saw Ronnie Corbett come out of next door neighbour's house and all of us just roared with laughter. No idea why this would make us all convulse with the giggles at exactly the same moment as each other, but the fact is that it did. It reminded me of a few weeks ago when I was walking through town and, as I passed The Ivy restaurant, noticed that the bloke from Super Size Me (Morgan Spurlock??) was being photographed outside with apple stuck in his mouth. Thought nothing of it other than: "Well, these things happen in London."

My journey took me past one of my local pubs, the excellent Marquis of Granby, which was the subject of this article in the Guardian recently, being, as it is, situated on what is regarded as the noisiest road in Britain. This junction is where the A2 going out of London meets the A20 coming into London. It's a wonderful pub, with its clientele being a mixture of working class first and second generation Irish, locals, a small band of Jocks (myself included) and a large smattering of students from Goldsmiths College across the road. One character who frequents the Marquis is that defrocked Jesuit priest who has disrupted sporting events such as the British Grand Prix a couple of years back and the marathon at the Athens Olympics. He's nuts, obviously! Comes into the pub and plonks himself down in front of the television, doesn't buy a drink and doesn't talk to anyone.

Cycled past the amazingly interesting Nunhead Cemetery - used to go for nice walks around here with 'er indoors years ago. Among the stones in this cemetery is one dedicated to The Scottish Martyrs - Maurice Magarot, Thomas Muir, Thomas Fyshe Palmer, William Skirving and Joseph Gerrald - whose case inspired Robert Burns to write Scots Wha Hae. These men (only three of whom were Scottish, by the way) were deported to Australia towards the end of the 18th century after being found guilty of sedition - i.e. patriots campaigning for an independent Scotland. The cemetery also houses a huge crumbling gothic church. It must be said that you could do a lot worse than pay a visit to this place.

And then it was home. But, before I go, let me describe an episode from earlier in the week when I had gone to Greenwich Park for a kickabout with the boy and his mate. I must say at the outset that I didn't realise that one's sexuality is measured in terms of how irritating one gets when a dog slobbers all over your football, but I was wrong. Well, this is according to the woman who told me to "stop acting like a poof" as I told her to keep her dog under control as it had its big stupid mouth all over our football. Oh, and I was also a "wuss," according to this woman.

Sympathy for me, being the innocent party here, from the boys? No way. Much hilarity ensued as they derided me, calling me "a poof" at every given opportunity and generally took the piss out of me. It was hilarious, even with them having fun at my expense.

* The Beach Boys

Monday, February 14, 2005

Race For The Prize *

The crowd went crazy! Posted by Hello

I feel that a few more words are deserved for the boy's team's achievements yesterday. I haven't been as nervous during a game since Scotland played Wales to qualify for the 1986 World Cup - in fact, now that I think of it, that game was so tough on the nerves that our manager, the unique Big Man himself Jock Stein, died on the stroke of full-time. In fact...I'm about to go off on a tangent and write about Celtic and Jock Stein, so those who want only to hear about the boy's game will have to skip to the end.

I saw it written over the last few days, and I'm not sure by whom, that what films you saw, what books you read and what music you listened to between the ages of (I think) 12 and 16 formed the kind of person you are. There may be something in that, but I cannot ignore the things that I experienced and witnessed at Celtic Park during my formative years.

First of all were the friends of my dad's (dad not really having an interest in the beautiful game - and him being a hun when the chips were on the table, anyway) who took me to the games. Warm, compassionate ordinary working class blokes. While none of them were blood relatives, they were always my uncles and I will always consider them to be my uncles, so much do I have to thank them for. They would probably find it incredulous that I say this - and others may wonder at my over-sentimentality - but I really really believe that these people, without them necessarily knowing it, gave me my first lesson in solidarity, in being there for your fellow human being and, while doing so, joking about it at every given opportunity. They really were/are the salt of the earth.

And then I got a lot more about politics, history and anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism when I ventured to the matches on my own and abandoned the main stand for the terraces - the jungle being my terrace of choice, usually. I really am not over-exaggerating this one, as I look back on my life then, I did get taught an awful lot. Well, as I had, in effect, dropped out of school when I was 14, I had to pick up some lessons somewhere and the football terrace seemed as good a place as any other.

There were songs and stories about the Black and Tans, James Connolly, Wolfe Tone, the Easter Uprising, Bloody Sunday and the civil rights campaign and, later, about Bobby Sands and the other hunger strikers.

Some may condemn all this stuff as sectarian. Well, I would simply say that there is a difference between sectarianism and voicing a political opinion of which others disagree with. To say nothing about the difference between a political agenda which is based on the unity of a nation's population (republicanism) and one (unionism) which is based on the hatred of a particular religion/community.

Before I go on, I should say that this period in my life did not result in me later taking up an armalite or, even supporting the armed struggle in the Six Counties. No, much like Iraq today, I was one of those who could well understand the armed resistance, but considered that imperialist rule meant responsibility of the occupying state to lead a staged withdrawal and, under the political control of the native population, put in place the structures that would recognise the importance of reconciliation and dismantle the structures and organisations which are an obstacle to this.

So, there we go, that was my formative years. At the same time, it must be said, I was listening to music which advocated the end of the monarchy, for a general rebellion in society and for a whole host of other stuff, so it wasn't just the footie that got me going in life.

Back to the boy's team...

...yes, tense and nervous indeed for this semi-final of the Under 12s South East London and Kent League Cup. Although it was lightened a bit beforehand when I received an apology from someone over an incident that I wrote about a few weeks back. Add to the fact that more parents than ever before turned up and that put me and the rest of us in good spirits.

The boy's lot went down 1-0 to a cracking goal that came from a boy making a run into the area at a corner and blasting it into the back of the net from around 10 yards out. Red Lions bounced back just before the break. Meanwhile, prior to this, one of their players got booked (first I've seen all season) for a particularly bad tackle on one of our players. This led to a brief altercation between Reidski and one of the racist scum parents from Welling. Surprisingly, this was the only problem situation all afternoon.

Disaster just after the re-start as the Lions fell asleep and let Welling go 2-1 in front. From then on, it was one-sided, with non-stop pressure from our lads. But, no matter what they did, they just could not put the ball into the net. Chance after chance went begging and Reidski thought: "well, it's just one of those days when it isn't going to happen." Then, completely out of the blue, ball gets blasted into back of the net from a corner. Still, they piled on the pressure and still no joy. We had all by now given up on them winning in the alloted time and were content for a very nervy extra time, when one of the boys suddenly finds space in midfield and races through on goal. Being at the other end of the pitch, it definitely looked like he had taken the ball too far wide when, split second later, he cuts in just enough and whips the ball past keeper. This made for some wild celebrations on the sideline from the parents. But that was nothing to the jubilant scenes at the final whistle.

Why all these over-the-top celebrations for what is just a boy's game of football? Well, this wasn't just a game against a bunch of kids from Welling. This was a game for our lot, a multi-racial inner city bunch of kids, against a team (all white, not incidentally) whose parents regularly verbally abuse officials and opposition parents during the matches. I think our kids, without us telling them, knew this. And that's why it was so important to them and to us.

*The Flaming Lips

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Think It's A Game *

I was talking rubbish last night. I didn't just go for a drink after not going to the cinema. What I actually did was go to a record shop, then go for a drink. Superb choice of music was purchased, it must be said. The Kinks ... Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Best of the Pretty Things and Interpol Antics.

Anyway, just got back from the big game - Welling (and their horrible parents) 2, Red Lions B 3. They're in the final! Superb! I think I'll celebrate by, surprise surprise, going down the pub.

*Benny Siegel

On A Holiday *

Why is it that, rather frequently, these crappy blog entries of mine are written after far too much alcoholic intake? A guess of mine is that it is only very late at night that I get access to the computer. 'er indoors always makes it clear that she bought the damn thing, while the boy spends endless hours on the bloody machine. Hence, I get on here when I can...usually late at night after I have had a few. That is not to say, however, that I write these words in a drunken haze - far from it. I'm relatively sober for a Saturday night - and the important word here is "relatively."
Just had a rather splendid evening as a result of visits from friends of 'er indoors. Young daughters and friends accompanied this visit, which made for conflicting emotions for the boy, although generally he enjoyed the company although having to put up with much teasing.

Nearly went to see The Sea Inside last night. I was having a rather leisurely stroll home after work through the West End and suddenly thought: "I think I'll go to the pictures." So went along to cinema on Shaftesbury Avenue, but was at the end of a particularly long queue. So (that word again) thought (that word again, also): "Fuck it - go for a drink instead." Had a few glasses of red wine while reading the Evening Standard, this city's extremely rubbish evening paper. The headline went along the lines of "Mayor embroiled in racist slur controversy". Now, I am no friend of Ken Livingstone, remembering his attacks on the Morning Star strike in 1998 and, more importantly, his encouraging of scabbing for the planned Tube strikes last year (they were called off, by the way), But this Evening Standard stuff was bonkers and infuriated me to the point of nearly writing a letter before I thought: "Fuck it - it's only Ken Livingstone."
Anyway, what was this "racist slur?" He had been attending an event to mark the 20 years since Chris Smith MP had come out. Outside this event was a snivelling little shitty Standard journalist shoving a mic into Ken's face. Ken first of all said something about didn't he have nothing better to do. After more stupid questions from snivelling little shitty hack, Ken should have told him to fuck off. But, instead, after snivelling little shitty hack said he was only doing his job, Ken said that was what concentration camp guards said. I should add here that snivelling little shitty hack had told Ken he was jewish.
But, can anyone please tell me where the racist slur is in all this shit? Isn't this standard for whenever someone tells us that they are only doing their job? And isn't it a bit rich for a paper that is part of a group which includes the Daily Mail (supported Hitler) to come out with this crap?

New names are appearing in my comments section. I like that. But I like it even more that one of them has taken on the pseudonym Voroshilov. Look here if you want to know who this geezer was. And this name alone means that I know who this really is. Keep it foolish!

Good news from the Scottish Socialist Party conference today. Look here. That a motion was put forward in the first place asking for unconditional support for reactionary murdering fascist religious maniacs is bad enough, but at least the punters threw that one out.

The boy has semi-final of cup tomorrow morning. That's the good news. The bad news is they play a team from Welling. I was about to write that, while the kids who played for Welling were fine, the parents weren't, until I remembered the boy saying that one of the opposition players commented to him during the game the last time they played: "I'm gonna kill you, you cunt." Meanwhile parents of Welling were on the sidelines constantly swearing at the ref and me as I ran the line. Tomorrow may be interesting indeed!

* Brian Wilson - genius!

Friday, February 11, 2005

I'm Not The Man I Used To Be *

Yeah, wow, this week has been so, like, interesting........NOT!! I have been ultra busy at work, but... gym, no running, no cycling, no playing football, no doing fucking anything. And all because I done those stupid pulled muscle things last week. I'm no longer in any pain whatsoever, but there is still a twinge in the side. Oh well, if you're as stupid as me, then you will just have to put up with such inconveniences.

And what else is there to say about my week? Done nothing on Monday after work. Had a few drinks after work on Tuesday. Watched what must rank as one of the worst internationals for a long time on Wednesday night (England v Holland). Talking of which, I do think Phil Neville has a point when he casts a cynical eye upon the Nike anti-racist campaign. Now, I don't know Neville's political leanings, but surely he does have a point when questioning why this campaign has a corporate logo at its heart. And, when you consider that the launch of this campaign refused entry to radio broadcasters (well, you can't see logos on the radio, now, can you?) you can see where Neville is coming from.

While I welcome, from my middle-class white perspective, anti-racist campaigns from whatever quarter, wouldn't it be equally as good if Thierry Henry and Rio Ferdinand and the others involved in this campaign spoke up about ethical labour issues such as the exploitation of third world workers and low pay? Oh no, there's Reidski getting all naive again!

Tonight (Thursday) has seen me in tears over Ray Liotta's performance in ER. This brilliant actor put in a quite amazing (even for his standards) performance in what can usually be a very implausible plot. Realism, for once in some time for this drama serial, came to the fore with a huge bang tonight.

Then, apart from the "artists in space" bullshit piece, I rather enjoyed the Culture show tonight. Good interview with REM with one of my fave music commentators Paul Morley was followed by Kurt Vonnegut talking about the carpet bombing of Dresden during World Ward II and other, more contemporary, matters. And a very pertinent comment he made on Dresden. And I paraphrase:

"It didn't result in anyone being released from a death camp one microsecond
earlier. And it didn't result in any German soldier retreating from their
defence positions one microsecond earlier."

One day to go and then I'm off for a week - and it's a week that I have been looking forward to since the turn of the year. I really do need to recharge my batteries and I really do need to sort my life out. It's gonna happen, as the Undertones once said!

* Fine Young Cannibals - what a superb pop band they were. Remember that time at (I think) a Brit awards around 1988 when they threw (I think) a pot of yoghurt at (I think) Johnny Hates Jazz? That was pure political pop protest (I think)!

Monday, February 07, 2005


I'm a stupid idiot. Went to see Millwall yesterday - no, that's not why I'm a stupid idiot - and witnessed what must rank as one of the worst games of football ever. They were dire. QPR - the opposition - definitely deserved more than a point from the 0-0 draw.
Nevertheless, I had a great day out anyway. So, why am I a stupid idiot.
Well, following on from previous post and my injuries ... got home last night and played some good sounds for the boy. As one kicked in, so did Reidski and, the result: pulled a muscle in my leg. Pure fucking agony. So bad that I couldn't run the line for the boy's footie match this afternoon (2-0 victory). Oh well, there we go!

Friday, February 04, 2005

a.k.a. I-D-I-O-T *

I cannot believe I failed to mention in yesterday's post that my body is wracked in total pain. I say that I cannot believe that I mentioned it because, being a bloke, we usually milk illness, sickness and pain for all it's worth.
Well, I think it all started on Monday with a routine trip to the gym. I thought it was routine, anyway. Had my usual work out on the weights - quite a tought workout, mind you, but nothing unusual. Showered, dressed and got back to the office.
Tuesday brought with it the usual aches and pains in the legs, groin and bum. However, there were also twinges of pain in lower back and in the side. Had a game of football planned for that evening and there's nothing going to stop me from my beloved game, so on I play and didn't really feel any pain at that point, simply an uncomfortable feeling in my side. The 6-1 defeat hurt me more than anything at that point.
Wednesday, more aches and pains, but decided to work these out with trip to gym. So, lunchtime saw me do a quick 500 metres on the rowing machine (under two minutes, flat out), then the cross runner with a slow 30 seconds followed by a flat out 30 seconds followed by slow followed by fast for total of 4 minutes. Then it's immediately on the excercise bike with a slow one minute followed by a flat out two minutes followed by a slow minute followed by flat out two minutes and so on for a total of 12 minutes. Then, as it's lunch time and I have to get back to office, it's only a one kilometre run rather than the ideal 20 minute run. Finished off, got showered and dressed and thought nothing of it.
Thursday morning, and that's when pain set in. Went off to work, nevertheless. And, with badminton planned for lunchtime (do I sound kinda active, by the way?) it was off to sports centre. BUT, it didn't take Reidski long to realise there was a problem. Pause - remember the kind of game badmintion is: all very fast, all stretching for shuttle, all mental. So, Reidski makes an effort cos Reidski likes his excercise. Bad mistake. Half way through, Reidski could hardly move. Reidski walks off. Reidski is in fucking agony. Reidski goes back to work in pain. Reidski is in agony for rest of day, including during excellent reaquintance with old friend in pub last night. Luckily, while pain is still around today, pain is certainly not as bad as it was yesterday. And, hopefully, it won't show up tomorrow when Reidski goes off to watch his beloved Millwall (only Celtic and the Scottish national team top the local football team) take on London rivals and fellow play-off contenders QPR at the Den. It promises to be a good one - well, any game in an executive box is good. The plan is meet colleagues at 11.30, have couple of pints, go off to ground for three course dinner and as much wine and beer that one can drink and enjoy the game. Oh, things like that can be such a hardship, can't they?

Anyway, Reidski finished work at lunchtime today and decided to go to the cineman, museum, galleriers, etc etc etc. None of that happened, surprise surprise. But what did happen was the purchase of some new CDs - Paul Westerberg (Folker), The Streets (A Grand don't Come For Free), The Slits (Cut) and The Fall (Hex Induction Hour). Wow, man, these are seriously good sounds.

* The Hives - in honour of Reidski's failure to realise that 40-year-old alcoholics cannot push their bodies too far!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ask For Answers *

Well, well, well. Our good friend Darren is in a right state. He shouldn't be, of course. Why? Because, while we should certainly take on new ideas, take into consideration new circumstances and developments, etc etc etc, his lot (SPGB) have been the (infuriatingly) most consistent political grouping in Britain over the last 100 years. In my humble opinion, they were wrong on the issue of the Bolshevik revolution, but that was a land far away and a time long ago, so I'm hardly going to fight about the issue over a pint in 2005.
Well, on the latter point, it reminds me of a drunken SWPer spitting drunkenly in my face asking: "If you had to choose between Stalin and Trotsky, who would you choose?" Reidski answered: "What do you mean? Would this be some sort of competition? A beauty contest?" I think, looking at the historical pics, that neither are particularly bonnie lads, but there we go!
The thing is that that choice was never mine, it was the choice of people from another nation in another time. From my reading of history, those people supported the leadership of their state through this period, including the war against fascism, and I'm glad they did and I'm grateful for the sacrifices they made during this time (not forgetting, of course, the sacrifices of people from many many other nations, including my own).
But, the main thing is, these are such teenage revolutionary arguments. These days, while still wishing the people would rise up - even if this was just for the demand that Sainsbury's stock its shelves properly - I would much rather listen to Sonic Youth's Teenage Riot (or, even, anything from XTC's English Settlement, as this is what I'm listening to as I write) rather than hear an old speech from any old revolutionary leader from days gone by.
I hope Darren perks up very soon, cos he usually cheers me up with this writing and he seems to be down in the dumps at the moment.
Anyway, a penultimate aside afore I go: I met an old friend for a couple of drinks tonight and realised it's been far too long since I last saw him - and I really don't say that cos he sometimes pops in here - but being the good parent that he is means he is a good parent (i.e. doesn't go out to smoke and drink with arseholes when he could be at home changing nappies and bonding with new son). He really should start doing this bloggy nonsense as I used to think of him as a really good writer, entertaining, even though sometimes disagreeable (how dare you slag off Radiohead?).
Final aside, picked up a second-hand book the other day which I am currently ploughing through. The title caught my eye straight away - "Which Side Are You On: Trying to be for labor when it's flat on its back".
It's a personal account of the work undertaken by US union lawyer Thomas Geoghegan in the 70s, 80s and early 90s. It didn't take me long to think that this guy is a complete and utter selfish and egomaniacal arsehole.
Take, for instance, his comments regarding a strike of Harlan County mineworkers that he was involved in. This was a brutal strike, he comments, with one striker dying at the hands of state troopers during one demonstration. But what got my goat was his comment about seeing a documentary on the strike:

"As I watched the movie, I thought: "Where's the staff? Yes, yes, I wanted
to see the miners, the wives locked up in jail, but then I noticed that we the
staff were missing. Yes, I know, we couldn't have done it without them,
It was really annoying.
We, the staff, had won that strike. We had organized the boycotts, the rate
challenges, even a brief nationwide strike. We had gone to the White
...Now I would almost resent the rank and file, up there hogging every

There's more of this shit in this book and I hope to quote further, but, for the moment, that's all folks.

* Placebo - well, someone has to like them, don't they?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Senses Working Overtime

It's them - but then it's not them! Posted by Hello

Went to see the Gang of Four last Friday night and what a great gig it was. Why I have I not posted a comment up til now? Well, I came to my keyboard and came to my computer a few times up til now to write something about it, but I just couldn't. Not cos it was so totally mindblowing or that I went into some sort of weird psychotic episode about this being the "gig of my life" or anything like that. But, rather, I just didn't know what to write.
After thinking about it a bit, I've came up with one theory and that is: I used to be a journalist (and hated it so much at the end that it done my brain in big time) and I no longer wish my words - other than blog rubbish - to stand up to critical analysis. Before I go on, I must admit to the fact that my writing, which was subsidiary to my main job as a sub-editor, was crap, by the way. But, nevertheless, I did dabble in things like music and book reviews. But, I must reiterate, my writing was rubbish.
And why it was rubbish? I would always have to refer to the thesaurus and dictionary to come up with alternatives to "the gig was great," "this single is great" or "this books is great."
In fact, I used to hate looking up alternatives to the word great when things were actually great!!!!!
the Gang of Four were great...oh no they weren't, they were actually superb, brilliant, excellent wonderful, etc etc etc.
No, seriously, they were amazing. Of course, they were only going to come on by playing one of two songs: the first song on Entertainment (Ether) or the opening to Solid Gold (Paralysed), weren't they? No! It was What We All Want and it was what we all wanted. A stunning bass opening from Dave Allen and then it was pounding drums from Hugo Burnham and we all thought: "Perfect first song."
Paralysed came not too long after, as did Ether, the gig was on, the Gang of Four were playing, this was fucking stunning.
No let up - The Republic, In The Ditch, Natural's Not In It, Not Great Men, Contract, If I Could Keep It For Myself, Outside the Trains Don't Run On Time - they came thick and fast.
And so did the classics - At Home He's A Tourist, Damaged Goods, I Found That Essence Rare (I think the last encore - simply stunning), To Hell With Poverty.
Jon King was running around like a whirling dervish at times, with a running spider on drugs look at other times, while Andy Gill and Dave Allen made full use of the Shepherds Bush Empire stage.
And a mention to the young woman whooping and hollering behind me. She was annoying me just a tiny wee bit early on. Then, at the opening to He'd Send In The Army...
...some of us will remember Gang of Four appearing on The Old Grey Whistle Test when we realised what THAT sound was on the album track. There we saw King battering - and I mean battering - what looked like an aluminium box with an iron bar. Ah, that's the sound it makes, we realised.
So, Friday night, here comes the battering of said box with said bar. "What's he doing," young person behind me say. "Introducing a classic," Reidski says. "Oh, I didn't mean to be rude, but that's my dad," young woman says.
Turns out that this young 17-year-old is King's daughter and she has never had the opportunity to see pater in action previously.
She was nice, but her dad and his chums are more than that. It's not just a case of bringing back great memories, but aren't songs about military misadventures, poverty, domestic violence and abuse and the disgusting aspects of consumerism relevant to our own times?
There, that's my shite words about this great gig.