Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2007

Sad news

it is with a great degree of sadness that I recently got news of the death of poet, academic and all round good egg Bill Griffiths. A long time hero of mine (a link to his website, now broken, has been in the sidebar since day one) it was reading his vital, playful and above all engaging poems which first nudged me off the somewhat formulaic path I'd been treading into the more fruitful areas I've been exploring ever since. I have a lot to thank him for. Every poem I've written since 2000 owes him, in some part, a debt.

I was fortunate enough to meet him, too. One of the rare poets I'd confidently take a non-poet to see read he entertained the Rose theatre richly before, to my delight, terrifying the bejaysus out of my students the next morning at a highly stimulating which I was saddened to note the students in question seemed too hungover / tired / confused by the experiene of a man with love and hate tattooed on his knuckles barking Shelley at them to fully get into.…


I was vaguely amused last night by a slew of facebook status updates featuring people moaning about monday being imminent. I couldn't concur, for the last few weeks it's been my only day off. Sometimes not even then (witness intemperate outburst of rage at bank hoidays not so long ago). I'm inclined to like them as a result. Should you work in the catering industry and you're lucky enough to get two days off at the same time they tend to be Sunday/Monday or Wednesday/Thursday (Mon/Tue if your employer is an absolute swine). This is why, as Anthony Bourdain points out, your best bet for going to a restaurant is midweek, the chefs are rested, the horrors of the weekend are at the back of our minds, we're refreshed, we're eager to send you out a nice meal.

Saturday, as I may well have noted elsewhere, is amateur night.

But this is all grossly off topic, the point of this post is to eulogise Monday, the day of rest, when half the chefs in the country have their feet …

Mark Savage is a tit.

That's BBC Entertainment reporter Mark Savage.

Now, this being the intenet and all, you're doubtless well aware of Ms Britney Spears distressing appearance at some telly do or other.

(I'll have to pause here in wonderment that I'm actually writing a blog post [in part] about Britney Spears).

You've all seen it, it was unedifying, the girl was blitzed out of her skull.

Now, whether or not she's brought it on herself I don't care. She's a grown woman, she makes her own decisions. Generally bad ones, it would seem. What I object to is Savage's descrition of her as "out-of-shape." I saw the footage, and thought Ms Spears looked a damn sight healthier (if you can ignore the blank, zombie eyes) than she has for some time. Referring to someone who looks a normal, healthy weight as being "out of shape" is callous, irresponsible and in itself a cause of the celebrity disease of which Ms Spears is so distressingly obvious a symptom.

So, I repe…

I feel for the eurosceptics.

Bill Bailey has this entertaining song written from the perspective of a teenager with excellent parents who "pickme up from school / you attended all my sporting functions", the payoff of course being his rage at the very fact of their good parenting "How can I feel pain / when you're being so supportive?". It is a fact that teenagers are feeble-minded (sorry chaps, but it just goes with the turf, I was too, you won't always be, chin up), and furthermore it is a fact that the feebleminded are only capable of defining themselves in opposition to something.

And this was the first thought that popped into my head this morning to discover that Britain gets to carry on using ounces, pints and miles, as well as retaining the right to rise at 5 a.m to genuflect before a photo of the Queen Muvva gawd love 'er. Sure it will be hailed as a victory for (cough) common sense. Sure the Sun and Mail will doubtless splash pictures of punters enjoying a pint, or buying…

Hash browns: a plea

I've been lounging it up in a hotel in darkest Bucks, celebrating my grandparents frankly astonishing feat of reaching a fiftieth wedding anniversary. All well and good, nice to see family, even nicer to have a weekend away with Mrs Coastaltown. Less nice to pay southern hotel drinks prices (A tenner for two drinks? Thank christ I'm back in the north) but the hotel was paid for us so win some, lose some.

I did, however, get slightly exercised about the breakfast. Now, I am a man who is fond of the british breakfast, one of this sceptered isle's most laudable contributions to world cuisine. Done well, it is a things of joy (remind me to bang on at length about the quality of scran avbailable at Lancaster's estimable Sun Hotel one of these days). On those rare occasions that I have enough time to cook one before dragging my sorry carcass back into work I will endeavour to do so. Sausages, bacon, beans and black pudding are all dear friends of mine, devilled kidneys, roast…