Friday, July 21, 2006

I Don't Care *

Reidski had a few beers this afternoon. Afterwards, he turned up to his old house where son and loads and loads of son's friends were - "well, it's end of term, dad, and we always come back here at the end of the school year." It was stupendous and even the boy who made my little innocent one bunk off school recently was welcome. What a great bunch of kids they are. Anyway, my part in all this? Yes, you guessed it, I slept for a good few hours. Then, unfortunately for the kids, I got on the decks. Here's what they had to put up with:

Bring On The Dancing Horses - Echo and the Bunnymen
Let's Build A Car - Swell Maps
Part Time Punks - Television Personalities
Never Been In A Riot - The Mekons
Jocko Homo - Devo
Whip It - Devo
I Know It's Over - The Smiths
Hounds of Love - Futureheads
Clint Eastwood - Gorrillaz
Thank U Fur Lettin Me By Mice Elf Again - Sly and the Family Stone
Panic - The Smiths
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Tomorrow's Girls - Uk Subs
Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash

I think that's a quite good selection, but 13 year olds don't think so as most of them have gone home ---- thank fuck for that!!!!!!

* A House - Lisa reminded me this week about one of the greatest albums ever. Well, songs such as the one mentioned, You're Too Young, Cotton Pickers, Take It Easy On Me, Creatures of Craze? Everyone, go out today and buy I Am The Greatest by A House, you won't be disappointed!

The Real Me *

Yes, I know, puffy cheeks and all that shit, but here we go for a caption competition! The winner gets to shag me - wow, I wonder who that's going to be!!!

* The Who

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Nostalgia *

Thanks to simonholyhoses, we get a link to a BBC piece looking back on the summer of 1976 - yes, the one with the long droughts and all that. I won't say too much about what Simon wrote other than to say that it is well worth a read and gives plenty of pause for thought.

My own take on the summer of 1976? I would like to say it was all ripped clothing, safety pins through the nose and burning of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin records as we had all found a new music to listen to - but, of course, as I was only 11, that would be (never mind the) bollocks.

No, for me and my generation growing up in a certain coastal town in the west of Scotland, that summer was decidedly different from any others we had experienced up until then. For my age group, there was the excitement of being the oldest kids in primary school after the holidays, and there was the excitement of visiting the newly built leisure centre near the beach - a leisure centre which was, at that time, the largest in western Europe (and which was to employ yours truly for a summer a few years later!).

But it was also the summer when weird things were happening. Me and my friends were no longer free to wander all over town and into the countryside and down the beach on our own. Suddenly, parents were asking us where we were going and not to go too far - some were even being kept indoors for long, long spells. No longer would we be out all day, with our parents not having a clue as to our whereabouts., days when we used to be in the woods climbing trees, down the beach swimming all day and jumping off the harbour walls. The police presence in the town was quite enormous and officers seemed to be visiting every house in the town more than once. And all because of our stand-out memory of that year - Sandy Davidson going missing.

Sandy was just a few weeks from his fourth birthday when he told his gran he was off to look for his dog, which he said had ran away. He wasn't to be seen ever again. All sorts of theories emerged as to what happened - he was abducted by long-lost relative or that he had an accident and fell into one of the many building sites in the area (Irvine was going through an unbelievable transformation at the time with new housing developments being built at a rate of knots). What no-one suggested and never contemplated was that he had been murdered never mind that he may have been abused in any way - how times have changed!

But that was sadly that! The police made absolutely no progress on the case and still, to this day, have him posted as missing - see here, for example!

There emerged really sad stories of his parents pissing it up in the town's pubs every night - as if any of us would have done any different - and people saying they were milking it just to cadge drinks. A whispering campaign started that his parents may even had something to do with his abduction, going by their behaviour. But those were sick comments from sick minds.

Sandy was just gone, simple as that. And his parents were left without their little boy.

That summer was the end of my age group's childhood. Yes, we eventually got back to wandering the town, going back into the woods and getting back down the beach. Our parents' concerns about where we were going got less weird. And the police presence scaled down until it was eventually back to normal.

But ask anyone who was around Irvine at that time and ask them about the summer of 1976 and they will surely mention the case of Sandy Davidson.

By the way, Sandy Davidson is one of the cases in Andrew O'Hagan's book The Missing. O'Hagan lived in Irvine for many years before becoming a superb journalist for the London Review of Books.


I Love A Man In A Uniform *

Courtesy of the San Francisco Gate newspaper:

Woman Asks 911 to Send 'Cutie Pie' Deputy
A woman who called 911 to get "the cutest cop I've seen" sent back to her home got a date all right — a court date.
The same sheriff's deputy arrested her on charges of misuse of the emergency dispatch system.
Washington County Sheriff's Sgt. David Thompson told KGW-TV of Portland it all started with a noise complaint called in last month by neighbors of Lorna Jeanne Dudash. The deputy sent to check on the complaint knocked on her door, then left.
Thompson said Dudash then called 911, asking that the "cutie pie" deputy return.
"He's the cutest cop I've seen in a long time. I just want to know his name," Dudash told the dispatcher. "Heck, it doesn't come very often a good man comes to your doorstep."
After listening to some more, followed by a bit of silence, the dispatcher asked again why Dudash needed the deputy to return.
"Honey, I'm just going to be honest with you, OK? I just thought he was cute. I'm 45 years old and I'd just like to meet him again, but I don't know how to go about doing that without calling 911," she said.
"I know this is absolutely not in any way, shape or form an emergency, but if you would give the officer my phone number and ask him to come back, would you mind?"
The deputy returned, verified that there was no emergency and arrested her for misusing the 911 system, an offense punishable by a fine of up to several thousand dollars and a year in jail.
Thompson said Thursday it was the first case he knew of in which someone called the emergency line for such a personal reason."That's taking up valuable time from dispatchers who could be taking true emergency calls," he said.

*Gang of Four

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm Alive *

All rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. No blogging simply as a result of having no home computer and having too much work to do at work that I cannot take time out to do any blogging - not that I should be blogging at all at work cos the members of the organisation that I work for would be fucking outraged if they thought they were paying me to blog all day!

First things first, have had some amazingly beautiful nights out and some very amazingly beautiful nights in with JJ since I last wrote to you, my dear friends. She has documented some of our escapades driving through London and driving to Brighton last week. She was kind enough not to mention that what was once my favourite Indian restaurant, Babur in Honor Oak Park, has gone fucking posh. As I told JJ on the way there, it was never a curry and rice type restaurant, always having a menu that was out of the ordinary. But it's gone a step further and I know it is not for the better. That is not to say that the food is not lovely, it was, it's just not the kind of place I like going to. No excuse for her failing to mention the sunset we viewed together while sitting having wine al fresco in Telegraph Hill Park - it was a lovely sight indeed! Oh, and then we went to my house and watched the Wicker Man, but, of course, DVD was paused when Britt was about to strut her stuff and my very kind friend performed the dance live instead - I wish!!! No mention also of a very excellent lunch at The Spaniards in Hampstead the following day. But maybe cos, boo hoo, that's because JJ had to leave for home shortly afterwards.

We also had a kind of a celebration last night as it marked six months since we first met - excellent pate, superb steaks and brilliant chips at Chez Gerard in Charlotte Street (and lots of kisses and cuddles, of course).

World Cup? Well, I had been saying "best one in my lifetime", but that was up until the quarter finals, when the quality took a bit of a dip. What the fuck were Argentina up to against Germany? Substitution madness when they took the lead when taking off Riquelme - stupid fuckers! Germany deserved to beat them after that nonsense. As for Brazil - total fucking pish against France and I was glad those over-rated (yes, by me as well, I'm not bothered about admitting) tossers. One of the highlights of the tournament for me was Germany v Italy semi, that was everything that a game of football should be - end-to-end action, with both teams really going for it. The final was okay, don't need to say much more about that and definitely don't need to say anything more on THAT incident as it has already got far too much words written on it by people who know football a lot more than I do. I will say that it all kind of fizzled out a bit in the latter stages - but get your money on Spain for the next European Championships and the next World Cup, they are absolute certainties.

Have been having to deal with some offspring problems tonight. He bunked off school for the first time (that we know about) last week. That's one thing - well, can't really be hypocritical and lay into him for that as I didn't go to school for about two out of the four secondary school years - but what is not on is the way he's giving his mum a very hard time at the moment. Much talking back, much extremely rude behaviour, much telling her he hates her and he's going to run away from home and much of not getting up on time for school and generally being a fucking wee shite bag. I was round on Saturday night and for much of Sunday and thought he was pretty well behaved. But things took a turn for the worse this morning. So I came round tonight to have a quiet word. I think he took on board my comments, particularly when I told him that, as his mum's dad is dying at the moment and has only got a matter of weeks or months to live, he really really should be a bit nicer to her. Talking of the boy's maternal grandfather, he is a wonderful bloke with his own pecularities, but, of course, we all have those. I always think of him as a really strong bloke, tall and happy. Unfortunately, at the moment, he is very weak and can hardly stand up on his own and falls asleep for most of the day and is always in absolute agony as the cancer he is suffering from has seeped into just about every bone in his body. He is drugged up to the eyeballs just to stem the pain, but this puts his mind a bit out of action. The hope is that he can be around to see his beloved Reading play in the Premiership. In fact, it would be great if they could win a few games early in the season and see them - probably briefly - top the league. But we can only wish. As my ex is one of my oldest and dearest friends, I'm trying to help out as much as I can, particularly as she does - and really always has done - the majority of bringing our son up. I'm also trying to help out cos he's my son too and it really shouldn't be thought of as anything other than normal for me to look after my own child.

As well as carrying out parental duties tonight, I've also been putting on a second coat of paint on the kitchen ceiling and walls, first one having been put on as part of my pre-World Cup final build-up - yes, such fun, fucking not!! So second coat put on tonight and my body is well painful (feel a bit ashamed to say I'm in pain considering what I wrote about the boy's grandfather above, but there we go!) as I played football after work. Scored five absolute fucking crackers by the way, one of which had everyone on the pitch applauding me, which made me beam with stupid pleasure - yes, I know, what a sad fucker I am! But we still got beat - again!

Talking of football, Lennon signed an extension to his contract (shit), Petrov still wants away (shit), we haven't got a midfield or attack or defence that will do anything in the Champions League (shit) and Millwall got beat 2-0 and 4-0 on their two friendlies in Iceland in the last week (shit). Yes folks, the football season has started again - whoopppeee!!

So here I am, writing a load of crap for this blog, listening to Tindersticks, drinking neat Sainsbury's White Rum and thinking: "Will I ever write anything of interest on this blog ever again?"

* 999