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Hooray for stuff

Poems to be found in the estimable Ekleksographia magazine here. To my mild shock I appear to be rubbing electronic shoulders with Harry Mathews, something of a god of mine. May need a lie down.

May need one anyway. Dec, so untenably busy. Normal service resumes shortly. Merry and Happy etc etc, as you were.

Not being ignorant, honest

December in full swing. Pans, knives etc. Will be more coherent in new year promise.

Though whilst I am here I will point out this: the incumbent government made a big hoohah upon arrival of their bonfire of the quangos because they are "unelected and not answerable".

Today Eric Pickles pushes through his localism bill, devolving power to local citizens. Who are also, I cannot help but note, unelected, and not answrable. Just saying.

Also just saying that docking Pickles' Pie Allowance may go some way towards making a dent in the deficit. Okay, fair enough, mocking his corpulence is cheap and petty. I'll just have to stick to mocking his smalltown, pettifogging, mean, nickelfucking bill, the upshot of which is that a few people in a jolly nice conservation area will form a community group to clear the odd footpath in their vast acreage of free time and councils will use that as an excuse to sack a couple of maintenance staff.
Meanwhile council tax rises at a flat rate ac…

Secrecy for secrecy's sake

I confess to being a little mystified by the US reaction to the current crop of wikileaks documents. Much froth and splutter about their unacceptability, dottle and bile about lives at risk and what have you. It makes me wonder if they've actually stopped to think about what's come to light.

The big ones that the british media are running with, for example, do in fact rather help the US. Don't they look less warlike in the wake of the news that arab countries have been urging them to attack Iran? There we all were thinking that US aggression and imperialism in the middle east was one of the main drivers of global tension; now we discover that they've been positively restrained, all things considered, and as it turns out Saudi Arabia and Jordan actually agree with Israel about some aspects of foreign policy.

Furthermore the news that the Chinese are fairly relaxed about North Korea also points to a level of global consensus that we were unaware of. I don't know about …

Burning questions

Two which have occupied me today:

How much tax has Bono avoided paying in Ireland, what with his being domiciled abroad for income tax reasons? likewise the rest of bleeding U2. Just curious, is all. Seems a bit rich banging on about third world debt when your own country is bleeding to death due to the tax avoidance of rich arseholes, like, say, self-regarding rock-goblins.

Why on Earth did Gove stop shy of bringing back the birch? The rest of his half-arsed, home counties pleasing , reactionary bollocks hearkened back merrily to the Victorian class-room. The three R's! Exams! None of this namby coursework nonsense! Get the Army in! Why d'you stop shy of advocating caning, Gove? Looks like you shat out from here.

Anyhow, one other bit of news, yours truly will be reading at the Rose next Wednesday (Dec 1st), do pop along if you feel so inclined.

Pavlov's Carbonated, caffeinated, vegetable root-extract flavoured beverage

Now, contrary to what you may have gleaned from the reams of vituperation which have spooled forth upon these pages since coastalblog's inception I do not, as a general rule, quiver with contempt for my fellow man en bloc. Well, maybe a touch, but on the whole I try to see the best.

but around about this time every year a phenomenon occurs which causes your correspondent to desire to gnaw his own hand off in frustration as he weeps for his fellow man.

I first noticed it in '96, the year zero of the internet from the coastal prespective. Wide eyed at Uni, making fumbling (though in one notable case successful)attempts to flirt via email, agog and gushy with the sheer wonder of it all, but up it cropped on the uni's bulletin boards; and so it has continued through group emails, message-boards, myspace, facebook all the way up to twitter. Each year more crushingly depressing than the last.

What? What? You cry. Dear reader, let me elucidate:

It is the phenomenon of people taking t…

Why I can't be doing with twitter

Now. I have maintained that twitter is where I draw the line, and the reason I have consistently given is that I recoil at the ego rampant. It mystifies me that anyone would imagine their every waking moment should be documented for the edification of others, and, to be fair to me, it still does. Sure I blog a bit, but mostly for my own amusement, and at a frequency so intermittent that it's clear to all and sundry that hey, I am doing things, other things, things which don't involve a keyboard.

But it's only part of the truth, and it's time to confess the whole. You see, I also have a bit of an addctive personality when it comes to information, and then I tend to get nothing done. I have learned this lesson bitterly as the net has evolved, and I know damn well that twitter would tip me over the edge if I let it. Proof positive occurred today, when I was forced to tweet for professional reasons, and before you knew t I was deep into some utterly utterly meaningless medi…

Tired

Less than coherent. Brief points to be going on with.

1) Good to see Prof Nutt pointing out yet again that booze is nastier than pills. Pillheads slap head, say duh (some miss, undermining their point). Worth, however, pointing out that booze tastes nicer. Possibly crucial in final analysis.

2) The trip. Awfully good. Notable for chefs country-wide cracking up when Coogan orders soup followed by chicken, possibly a joke you only truly get if you're in the industry.

3) Why on earth is Gingerharmangate (as no-one is calling it) an outrage when it was apparently perfectly fine to assault Brown for his social awkwardness? Poor show

4) Oh dear god Albarn's shilling for Murdoch, it's going to pain me never to listen to Blur again, but, ALBARN'S SHILLING FOR MURDOCH, are you short of money, Damon, are you?

5) Likewise Merchant sucking Barclay's cock. Embarrassing.

6) It's possible to observe the american midterms with some sense of transatlantic detachment, but difficult. I…

Grief, an exceedingly brief analysis

So you sit in a church, some people say some things, and you feel you are observing all proprieties, then you crumble, then you weep.

That's grief, then, like a good anglo-saxon male, you box it up and get on.

Then, weeks later, a passing thought brings you to your knees.

I suspect this may take a while.

I further suspect that I'm a fucking idiot for thinking it might not.

A note in passing

It comes as a mild surprise to note that today is the third anniversary of the death of the wonderul Alan Coren. That's a quick three years. I was thinking of him just the other day, as it happens, watching the cleggster and cabletron's astonishing voltes-faces on tuition fees (+everything else they once held very firm, unshakeable beliefs about) one of the first things that popped into my head was how riotously amusing he'd have found it. Outrageous, yes, revolting yes, but also deeply, deeply funny.

The conflict of indie

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

Talk about conflict? Believe me. You know who I don't want to be? I don't want to be an indie snark purist. You know the ones, the ones who drop a band like a hot potato the moment they get a sniff of success; the ones who when you cheerily mention how much you like a track off a band's third album, say, will sniff at you and state that the only good track they ever did was a cover of a Jesus Lizard track which was the b-side to an early single which is 7" Japanese import only, unless you count the 2-track demo for a label sampler which was A&R only, or maybe the flexisdisc given away at one gig and one gig only where the singer changes the words omg at which point you punch them right on the bridge of the glasses that they don't even need to wear, the twunts. And quite right too.

And yet, and yet..

Look, I think we all have an indie snark-merchant knocking about, maybe we need to make peace with them. Mine popped out this evening when …

Needless posturing

Bah, possibly also humbug.

Contrary to the childish posturing of the posts below I am not constantly at odds with existence for no reason other than to be a reactionary bastard. I mean, I am, a bit, but not overly proud of it, kind of teenage really. You'd think I'd have grown out of that sort of entry-level bile by now, but sadly not, it's a cross we'll just all have to bear.

That said, I was perturbed by today's G2, which posed the question why do people loathe hipsters so? Full article here, for what it's worth. Now, I can have a wild stab as to why, and on first read I chortled merrily as I gently stroked my own prejudices to tumescence. But after a while I got to thinking (I was chopping veg for piccalilli, and that sort of exercise does tend to lend one a fugue-like state), surely to define oneself as anti-hipster is in essence as much of a pose as being a shoreditch twat itself? Now don't get me wrong, I have very little time for irritating, trilby-wea…

Vehicles of the end times

Now I admit that I am prone to the odd generalisation, occasionally even a touch of hyperbole (no, no, don't argue, I admit it). But a stroll into town with the boy last weekend provided me with troubling, worrying evidence that some generalisations are, well, right.

our route took us past the rugby club (ho ho, you cry, he's about to have a pop at rugby, favoured past-time of boorish chaps called Dan who believe they can tell a man's character from his handshake), now I have nothing against rugby (so yar boo sucks to you); I'm from Cornwall, it's practically a religion there, and in the same way as the sport transcends class in New Zealand, or cricket crosses every social divide in the yorkshire leagues, so it is with Cornwall and rugby (union, that is, I am in no sense trying to suggest that league is elitist, a little chippy perhaps, maybe even a touch parochial, yes, elitist, no). I grew up playing the sport, I've got a lot of time for it, it does a good job…

Chosen by you!

I inhabit an appalling duality, seriously. Some days it's nigh on impossible to get out of bed. You see, there are two of me.

I know, I know, we're all multi-faceted, each of us is terribly complex etc etc. I am not, however, there are, simply put, two of me.

As a general rule of thumb I'm relatively liberal, reasonably relaxed and inclined to see the best in people. However I am, also, a chef. And chefs, as you're doubtless aware, are for the most part temperamental, egomaniacal arseholes. Goes with the turf, I'm afraid, when your business and reputation ride on each and every plate you send out, and you send out hundreds, it tends to make you prone to stress.

And so I and I struggle on, mutually mistrustful but attempting to rub along as best we can. And then something like Asda'a new "Chosen by you" range comes along. The concept being that they've stuck this label on items "Chosen by you" d'you see, and in no sense chosen by a prog…

Mea Maxima Culpa

The better memoried among you may recall me be describing the labour leadership contest as yadda yadda yadda David Miliband wins. I got that wrong. But in fairness, so did everybody else, and people pay money for their stuff. So who's the biggest idiot, eh?

And yes, I'm aware that the leadership election occurred the best part of a week ago, but frankly, it takes me a while to get round to these things, and I'm a trifle tired of instant media. Who on earth has the energy? And, for that matter, who on earth cares? Read a book for fuck's sake.

Thank you, advertising

For reviving me from the slough of meh I have been wandering aimlessly through of late, a smallish sign of life, but a significant one nonetheless.

Why yes, dear reader, I was yelling at the telly! And the object of my ire? Well, an advert, obv. It was for some sort of yoghurt. The basic premise was two pretty-ish middle class sorts enjoying their yoghurts on a balcony, as that's what pretty-ish middle class sorts do, I am given to understand. Tra la la, they cried, fiddle de dee, when I'm done with this yoghurt I shall probably be off down some cobbled streets on me bike with a basket on the front, well nourished middle class hair streaming behind me, to meet my boyfriend, who is most probably called either Toby or Jamie; and then we'll toddle off to watch and fail to comprehend something by Fellini or Kurosawa, someone foreign anyway. Tra la la, how nice to be me.

I may be extrapolating somewhat, but hey.

Anyhow, one of these pretty-ish middle class sorts knocks a pot plant…

The soothing dullness of the prosaic

First up thanks to all for kind thoughts, words and deeds. It's all much appreciated (though those words do the degree of a appreciation a gross injustice). It's impossible, I feel, to adequately convey a reaction or emotion under this sort of circumstance. One of the reasons I chose not to speak at the funeral is that every sentiment sounds like a Hallmark card, it sticks in my throat, it doesn't seem enough, somehow, and I loathe retreating into the prosaic, the rote, the truism. It seems like I'm doing him down by not coming up with something better.

But hey, truism alert, life goes on.

So it does, this is incontrovertible. Seasons turn yadda yadda yadda. Save it for the film of the book of the film if you please, doubtless the heroine will love again, her boyfriend from the first scene's still bleeding dead though, isn't he? So no "moving on" (appalling phrase) is something I don't see occuring any time soon.

But, but, see above. Life goes on. ye…

Just stop for a fucking second, okay?

Hi

I am in two minds about this post, well, three, possibly four. A couple of years ago I'd have dived (dove?) right in but now...um...

I have, as I have alluded to below, become uncomfortable with getting into stuff on the internet to any great extent. There're manifold reasons for this unease; I am primarily a paper and pen man when all's said and done, simply as there's clearly more effort involved, writing someone a letter is invested with equal gravitas to clicking "like" on fucking facebook and that simply isn't right to my elderly mind, there's too much unseemly display on the net, too much assumption that the minutiae of one's existence matters beyond the breakfast bowl. Too much self, simply put.

My brother's dead.

You see? Now this is news. Certainly is to me and my grieving, thunderstruck family. Is it right to put this on the internet? It's highly possibly that you will tab away from the news of my beautiful brother's death to …

Buggering off

Down to the dear old SW for a few days watching a small boy chase chickens and pick broad beans. Bliss. Though the paterfamilias has been muttering darkly about me doing a spot of roofing to earn my keep. Your humble correspondent hasn't been a roofer for about ten years, but as the only family member still capable of climbing a ladder I suppose it falls to me. Will I come back collar bone intact? Watch this space. Now whilst I am aware that announcing to the world that you're leaving your home may strike some as foolhardy I feel I must point out at this juncture that a) Coastalblog is read by approx four people per day, so that's fairly long odds on one of them being a burglar and b) my TV is truly awful and anyone who wants to is welcome to swipe it. Failing that we have a lot of duplo and models of spaceships and pirate ships. Just try not to break anything while I'm gone, okay?

Very much a pound bakery sort of a town

Now, as many of you will be aware, your humble correspondent earns his corn in part by knocking out fodder. I chef, in other words. I'm reliably informed that I'm reasonable enough at it; I'd like to think so, I try to take a bit of pride in what I do, anyhow. I think it's pretty good, and I have a small core of very happy, very regular, customers.

Note the small part.

Now, I owe a lot to ormskirk. I owe it my higher education and my postgraduate eucation. I owe it my ability to lecture, I owe it a home, approx. ten thousand anecdotes and one book of poems. But, of late, dear old Ormy has been trying my patience somewhat.

This is a town notable for its preponderance of "bakers". Amusingly enough, some of them refer to themselves as "craft bakers". I was unaware that heating up bussed in chicken and mushroom slices qualified as "craft bakery" but we'll let that slide for now. Recently a new "baker" emerged, refreshing in its dire…

Bile!

Otherwise bored, so, Richard Ashcroft. Richard fucking Ashcroft. The Ashley Cole of dreary lumpen dad rock. Patron Saint of people who find Paul Weller slightly too edgy. The man who gives messiah complexes a bad name. Heard any of the new stuff? No? You lucky fucker. It makes Oasis sound like Sufjan Stevens, Shed Seven sound like Phillip Glass; or someone having a painful shit, you know, one of those somewhat rocky ones when you've been bunged up for a couple of days because, dammit, you've been eating too much meat, and who can blame you? It's so tasty, so here you are in the toilet of a multi-storey car park, possibly in Bletchley, there's an unpleasant echo effect hammering off the low-grade steel cladding and you're looking at the magic markered assignations for some really joyless anal scrawled on the inside of the door, you're giving birth from your arse slowly and agonisingly and all the distraction afforded you is the details of transient, urine-drench…

Just One Book

Good cause time, people.

The consistently interesting publisher Salt (full disclosure: home of one or two friends of Coalstalblog) is currently up against it money wise and as such has launched the Just one book appeal. Well, appeal's the wrong word, but you take my point. I apreciate that in this terribly exciting modern world in which we live in (to paraphrase McCartney) nobody does anything so gauche as to actually pay for media any more, but the upshot of that is that people go bust, and consistently interesting and boundary-pushing lists are lost, never to return.

It's tempting at this point to go off on a rant about how every snivelling downloader who cites the "outdated business model" of actually, y'know, paying for stuff is essentially constructing a flimsy rationalisation for the fact tht they're tight as a duck's arse, or, more pointedly, a thief but it's been a long day and I don't have the energy. Plus then I might get sidetracked into …

The importance of keeping your gob shut on the internet

Ah teh internets. Home of more pictures of fluffy kittens than one could shake an email inviting me to "make your manhood amaze" at. Repository of news, opinion and information. And also a home for self indulgent whiners to bang on about how nobody understands them omg, or possibly share a few details which they may, in time, come to regret.

I've always held an uneasy line on this. Mrs Coastalblog is avowedly anti dispersal of personal information online, so naturally I respect her wishes and refer to her only occasionally, and in the vaguest of terms. Looking back through the archives I note that as time has worn on and your humble correspondent has had a few more of the corners knocked off him coastalblog also has veered more towards the impersonal, ad hominen attacks on ashley cole and a general background level of snark notwithstanding. This in part is due to the fact that back in the good old days(holy shit, 2003!) this organ was read by only a few close friends, whe…

Well, yes

Breaking news from our stating the bleeding obvious desk. A ruck between a python and an alligator in florida ended in a score draw when the python, adopting a tactic not entirely unfamiliar to followers of Ricky Hatton's career, ate his oppo whole. A clean win for the python you may think, but wrong, in the sort of stirring fightback entirely alien to fans of most of England's national sides the game alligator then clawed his way out of the python's stomach. Score draw. So far, so "and finally".

However, the part of this story which piques Coastalblog's interest, thus leading to some idle posting when there are doubtless worthier subjects to post about (BoJo's aborted eviction of entirely lawful protestors, imminent ConDem fun mit games, further hilarious mockery of John Terry, reprinting of scurrilous Gerrard rumours und so weiter) is the genius quote from Prof Frank Mazzotti of the University of Florida, who when confronted with a grand total of twenty …

Conflicted sigh

It's hard work maintaining an interest in England Football (caps intentional). Please don't get me wrong, from the first world cup I can recall (Mexico 86) through the horrors of the 88 european championship, the zeitgeist shifting italia 90, the less said the better euro 92, the abortion of a qualifying campaign for USA 94, the worrying jingoism of euro 96, the drewery years, the keegan years (drop hand grenades!), cashgate, cripplegate, brollygate, I've been there. But really, in all honesty, I'm finding it hard to get worked up about this.

I'll confess, I don't have half the emtional investment in the england football team that I do in the rugby side, and only a quarter of that which I have in the cricket team. But, I suspect, the crucial difference is those sides don't seem like a bunch of whinging, overpaid primadonna arseholes with a deep and overriding conviction that the world revolves around their limited talents. Terry's self-important pronounc…

Self-regard for fun and profit

Now it is of zero interest to me personally if Chris Huhne decides he wants to trade hid wife in for a younger model. Sunrise, sunset. However, his peremptorily bald twitter announcement did pique my interest slightly; for those unaware it read, simply: "I am in a serious relationship with Carina Trimingham and I am separating from my wife."

Bully for you Chris. However it strikes me that it would be a touch more seemly to have included a smidgeon of contrition, no? I'm reminded of the magnificent performance of Beatrice Straight in the stupendous Network, who, confronting her cheating husband delivers the following speech

Get out, go anywhere you want, go to a hotel, go live with her, and don't come back. Because, after 25 years of building a home and raising a family and all the senseless pain that we have inflicted on each other, I'm damned if I'm going to stand here and have you tell me you're in love with somebody else. Because this isn't a convent…

Who'd have thought?

So anyhow, just in case the news had slipped your attention, as it turns out the two young men whose untimely deaths sparked the whole oh no surely the mephedrone will kill us all farrago's autopsy reports came in last week (meant to post before, too busy etc). No mephedrone in their systems. At all. Not a tiny drug-shaped sausage. Mystifyingly this wasn't widely reported. Cannot for the life of me think why.

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Twice in one night! I Know! But I'm SO excited about eh labour party leadership contest I couldn't wait! To recap:

1) Middle class white bloke, awesome, strong candidate, who believes we need to talk to the grassroots

2) Middle class white bloke's middle class, white brother, who is different, yeah? Strongly believes we need to talk to the grass roots

3) Middle class white bloke, marginally less interesting than his wife, feels very strongly that we need to talk to the party's grass roots.

4) Middle class white bloke BUT possessed of a northern accent. Firmly believes we need to talk to the party's grass roots.

These are all important, white, middle-class opinions, and in no sense is coastalblog suggesting that the the labour leadership constest is going to descend into a wearying blairalike roundelay in which a bunch of fucking arseholes who haven't grasped that it's THEIR FUCKING FAULT THAT I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH CAMERON'S FACE bang on agreeing with each o…

Good god WHY?

I have been, as is my wont, a trifle busy. Do not weep for me my children, for this is a good thing. When you own your own business, for reasons which become increasingly obscure, busy is good. I'm often amused by people coming in very early/late in an apologetic manner: "I'm sorry to bother you" they whisper, ashen-faced "No! Bother me!" I cry "Because bothering me will involve money! Which I can exchange for goods or services!" So said level of activity has left poor old coastalblog maundering, mouldering, skulking like a whipped cur, which of course, will not do. It's also left the old trying to do a spot of writing depressingly firmly on the back burner.

I wouldn't mind, in all seriousness, were it not that much of my activity is that which I used to delegate to others, back in the day. I've done my years of pot-washing, floor-cleaning, extractor-fan grease removing. And now I'm doing them again. Because it means I don't hav…

Electioneering

Unfairly labelled as the weak track on OK Computer, I rather liked it.

So I have refrained from commenting on the hullabaloo for the duration of the campaign, partially because I couldn't be arsed but mostly because, please, a blogger? Commenting about the election? Kind of declasse, non? But now that the jig is finally up I can breathe out and start with the usual flotsam again.

Some final thoughts, however:

It was entertaining to see the candidates addresses on the ballot, various streets and postcodes, mostly Skem and Liverpool addresses. The one who didn't have a house number? Because his house is massive? And on its own? Surrounded, I choose to believe, by a moat? Go on, guess. THEY HAVE NOT CHANGED, THEY WILL NOT CHANGE. In all seriousness, the day I see a Tory party candidate with a Digmoor address I'll be approx .5% more inclined to give a flying fuck about them.

Osborne. Osborne. Osborne. Look at his fucking face. Look at his shiny face. Tell me that's not evil in…

Further banned phrases: election special

Please do not use these in my hearing, I have but one life to live, and I'd prefer not to spend it drowning you forcibly.

"Game Changer"
"Game Face"
"Cleggstacy"
"Broken Britain"
"Big Society"
"The Old Parties" (from the leader of the Whigs, as far as I can gather)
"Tactical voting" (or, "voting" as it used to be called)

doubtless more to follow, as the whole sorry farrago reaches its dreary apotheosis.

Volcano love

Hello!

Been quiet round here of late for work-related, and then holiday related, reasons. Of these I shall divulge little. Suffice to say, should you find yourself in the staffordshire village of Cotton, bugger off for a bite to eat at the Star Inn sharpish, and you will be a happy person. Conversely, should you find yourself in the otherwise blameless town of Leek, avoid the Foxlowe at all costs. Trust me.

So, what news? Well, medialess as I have been in the blessedy mobile-signal free, shopless retreat that yours truly has been holed up in for the last few days I only found out about the giant cloud of volcanic ash covering the country yesterday. I had suspected something was up when strolling down to the aforementioned Star for a (really quite good) beer and the sun was a frankly jaw-dropping shade of pink, but only got filled in n the details when I got back to the world of news access (I hear young Clegg did rather well, good for him). And the point of this post is this:

whilst I fe…

Surely the mephedrone will kill us alll

Hysterical (in at least two senses of the word) report on C4 news this evening. The (apparent)rise of mephedrone (which will surely Kill Us All) was tackled with all the head nodding, chin stroking gravitas of a Very Serious Subject. M-Cat, or meow-meow, as absolutely nobody calls it, is killing our kids at a rate of knots. And is now to be banned so fast its little feet, made of drugs, won't touch the ground.

Now, fond as I am of a media scare story (oh MMR, come back, we miss you, oh SARS, when will you return my love?) this is a doozy. No toxicology reports are back on the cases. Not a single inquest has, as yet been held, but this menace Must Be Stopped. Because, as C4 earnestly reported from a school on the Isle of Wight (in no sense the sort of back-assward place where goons will hoover up the contents of anyting remotely resembling a pill bottle in a desperate hope to stop being so very, very bored) half, that's HALF, 50%, one in every two yrs 10-11 were getting the '…

Posting for the sake of posting

In all honesty i have very little of intersst to say, very little of interest has occurred, or ,if it has, I'v been too knackered to notice. So, in the absence of anything interesting to say, have a list of things. Originally this paragraph concluded "which, given that the universe is slowing, are, in the grand scheme of things of very little consequence indeed". As the post went on and I got slightly drunker editing that particular line out suddenly seemed the correct thing to do.

1)TOO MANY COMMAS I'd murder a student for the sentence above, really, I would, hold their head under the water until the irritating, trilby wearing little trustie fuckpig died, which leads me neatly onto

2) IRRITATING TRILBY-WEARING LITTLE TRUSTIE FUCKPIGS I'm sure they're on the fucking rise this cunt ensured that I'm never paying actual money for the observer again, in fact, I'll go to the trouble of emailing them each week to tell them that I'm not buying their sudden…

Ladies and gentlemen we are drowning in booze

Now, I'm as fond of a drink as the next man, unless the next man happens to be (insert recent drunk celebrity here for instant smug yucks) but I'm starting to get a little uneasy about the up and up of the booze-tastic trade in dear ol' ormy of late.

Please do not misunderstand me, part of my living comes from the sale of alcohol, though I very much doubt that any criticism of the binge-drinking britain sort could be directed at my eminent and tasteful customers, what with the average purchase being a couple of bottles of beer, meant for the savouring, rather than necking. Plus, if you want to try and get drunk on our stuff then you're probably coping better with these recession-hit times than most. This is in no sense a complaint by somone witha slice of the pie wanting to stop others geting stuck in, I'm talking about a different market altogether.

Now, should one wish to get out of one's head in the skirk, there are currently about thirty options within fiftee…

And the winner is...

In no sense as long a post as the one crowning Asley Cole world's least self aware person, but, to be fair this is more a of a niche category. And just a little too involved to be a facebook status update. what's the award? You rightly cry. Well, it's not so much an award as an attempt to spread the misery, so, without further ado the prize for this week's most pretentious, self-aggrandising punchable indie wankbag lyric goes to...

Frankie and the Heartstrings, for the deathless "We watch naked by Mike Leigh/Because Johnny reminded you of me"

Awful, just awful.

ha ha good lord

A quick perusal of the logs informs me that your super soaraway coastalblog is #4 on google for " john terry ashley cole vernon kay scum". Well, strictly speaking the searcher was looking for scun, rather than scum, but kindly google in its infinite wisdom chose to interpret the search as scum, thus sparing awkward moments all round. Well done chaps, good luck with the global domination, I've a fiver on you meeting Tesco in the semis. Anyhoo, a small achievement, but mine nonethless. #4 for "Vernon Kay scum", that's something to tell the grandkids.

Who'd have thought?

Breaking news from our stating the bleeding obvious desk. A spokesman for Sanguine Hospitality, owners of the Swan has reiterated that any hotel accomodation would not be in any way a budget hotel, what with it being attached to a restaurant fronted by Marco Pierre White and all. Reports that he went on, whilst audibly scratching his head to state "who the fuck are these bozos anyway?" are, as yet, unconfirmed.

Champ headline of the week, referring to a stirring performance by Skem Utd FC: "Skem players prove they are men", which must have come as some relief to them, presumably.

Blatant self-indulgent plug

Because if you can't do it on your own damn blog, where can you? Musn't..gush...or...get...overexcited....

Anyhow, for those who are interested, my first poetry collection, L39, is available for sale now here. Not only is it the single most important thing to happen to poetry since the invention of daffodils possessing it will make you smell nicer, grow taller and become better-looking, too. What's not to like for a fiver? C'mon, help a starving poet out here.

Oh local, parochial treats

Been a while since the super, soaraway Ormskirk Champion has served up such a treat, but this one is wonderful.

So anyhow, Marco Pierre White attaches his name to the Swan Inn in Aughton, relaunching it under his aegis. So far so so. Some locals are surprised to learn that he's not cooking there himself, but as they are clearly dolts we shall not allow them to detain us further. Coastalblog is midly intrigued, and will probably toddle along for a spot of dinner in a few months or so, when it's all calmed down a bit.

It then emerges that the parent company (no people, not Marco himself, he is a name attached to said company, do keep up) have applied for planning permission to add some accomodation to said restaurant. You know, the restaurant which is under the aegis of multi award winning, one of the kickers off of the late eighties british food revolution, resolutely top end Marco Pierre White. That restaurant. That restaurant to have some accomodation attached. Lets be absolute…

Ashley Ashley Ashley take a prize

I've had to unban you for this, it's too good.

Oh Ashley Ashley, Oh Ashley Ashley Ashley Cole. You genius, you little fucking genius, amidst a world of pygmies you bestride the land like a colossus. Truly we have never seen your like.

It started, of course, with your autobiography, and with your hard hitting revelation that tightwad Arsenal wouldn't give you your due, in your own words:

When I heard Jonathan repeat the figure of £55k, I nearly swerved off the road. “He is taking the piss, Jonathan!” I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed.

Not only did you think that figure of 55K a week insultingly low, you chose to share it with the world, because no-one would see anything wrong with that. At all.

We'll gloss over the lottery advert, shall we?

And now, now you are "incensed" (there's that word again)that Chelsea plan to punish you in the wake of your perfectly reasonable dalliances with a series of doubtless thoroughly pleasant young ladies. It's an &…

Hmm, new observer

Big review seems like a good idea, then they go and stuff it full of awful charts telling us what some bookshop in fucking brighton or something sells. Or downloads. Or sits in a coffee shop and dreams about whilst they use their twatting iphone to like arrange a meetup yeah at that hot new popup joint which does, like, proper Vietnamese, yeah? I find it hard to care about review sections unless they have honest to goodness reviews in them. Thankfully this one's big enough to include that too, on balance, a plus. But I still can't shake the feeling that it's, I don't know, slightly thicker (in the IQ sense) than it used to be? Possibly? Hmm.

Sport, ugly fonts, kudos on the fergie interview though. Nearly had a heart attack when I thought they'd ditched said and done, mightily relieved to find it it though.

News, as you were.

Something hatable about the magazine, can't quite put my finger on it. Scandalous relegation of Atkin, poor show (but then like, yeah, maybe…

Easy targets

Some notes for your diary, the following words and phrases are banned in my hearing until further notice.

"In real terms"
"Contextualised"
"Knocking it out of the park"
"That's old-school"
"That's what I bring to the table/party (delete as applicable)"
"Punch and Judy politics"

Any figure over 100% is banned should it succeed the words "giving it" in a verb clause, all other usages are acceptable. Any mention of MP's expenses is banned should you yourself have an expense account/petty cash tin/access to a stationery cupboard. Discussion of the BNP voting for non-whites to be allowed to join is banned, likewise anything which could be deemed a liberal hot button du jour. John Terry is banned, likewise Ashley Cole. Vernon Kay's ban is not be rescinded under any circumstances. George Lamb will remain banned until such time as his accent ascends to its correct social class. And he fucks off. Florence and the Ma…

One good turn

Rare work related post plus mutual backscratching corner. Those of you of an alcoholically minded persuasion could do worse than check out the new link in the sidebar to The Ormskirk Baron. Beer tasted and rated, which is sort of part of what I do, and seeing as how he's been good enough to publicise our beer tasting next week it seems only reasonable to reciprocate with linkage, ta Baron!

(this would be the beer tasting coming two days after the private party, which is the day after Valentine's, which is the day after a load of pre-booked takeaway meals, which is also a Staurday, which are mental anyway, ulp)

Yes, yes

I know, describing them specifically as prole wedding pages does make me an awful human being, but honestly, if wishing to exhibit oneself to the magazine hungry baying hordes isn't declasse then what is? This applies to ALL PEOPLE. Not just civilians (to borrow La Hurley's telling nomenclature). Ergo, Kate Middleton, whitebread, Princess Caroline of Monaco, doleite scum, anyone who's ever let us nto their lovely home, first up against the wall.

We buy one of these things at work, customers seem to like it for some reason, and I suspect that there's a wellspring of hate here for them that I have, as yet, only begun to tap. There was some berk in one of them who is apparently a polo player.

Who.

Gives.

A.

Fuck.

About.

Polo?

What kind of obsequious, fawning halfwit thinks that this odious fuck with his girlfriend half is age is anything other than a sink for precious resources? What kind of oleaginous goon actually wants to read this shit?

And this, my friends, is why I work in a…

The game's afoot

It is to my eternal chagrin that sitemeter lists my location as Widnes. Ever been to Widnes?. Sufice it to say I don't live there, or anywhere near there. In point of fact there are a multitude of major population centres between where I currently sit, and Widnes. It's perplexing.

I'll keep it brief, I think, largely because I'm properly goosed and it's a hard old day in the kitchen coming up, but it occured to me that I've not written anything in what could be termed a biographical vein for a while. So here we go. Suffice it to say all is tolerable here at coastal towers, and thanks for asking. Not rolling around yelling "money fight!" in a weirdly high pitched and girlish tone, but not inclined to curl up and die as currently stands.

Hard to go much further than that really.
Obviously wife and son are not for the entertainment of the internet at large. Though I feel reasonably secure in letting you know that wife is just fine, ta, and that small son h…

Fucking right

All, of course, should read Gary Younge's article in teh Grauniad today. Better yet, get stuck into the comments for a ripe slice of why people who comment on Grauniad articles are even worse than people who comment on BBC articles. Heaven save us from liberals who want to be iconoclasts. Learn, people, the whole point of being a liberal is to be a big girl's blouse. Try to be a liberal hardass and you just come off as a total prick. Um, yeah, but, like, what do I owe Haiti yeah? You don't. And that's fine. Anything you choose to do, or not to do is between you and your conscience. I see no sense in making it a matter of public record unless you're grandstanding. In which case you're clearly a fucking cunt on general principles.

And no, I'm not telling you what I've done, what kind of a fucking idiot would that make me? Ah, the kind that implies he's a generous benefactor whilst simultaneously castigating those who do something similar, aha, the doub…

Gah

In a slightly bored fit I thought I'd see what single was number one on the day I was born. As it turns out it's something by David Soul. Silver Lady, to be precise. Which only goes to show that the single buying public of 1977 let me down quite badly (though loking through the list, nobody born in 77 got a fair crack of the whip, them's some dismal charts). My son fares marginally better, but only just, he gets to put up with the sugababes b-team's "About you now". The wife wins with Abba's "The name of the game", though that is kind of like winning by saying hah, you've got scrofula, I've only got diptheria, so, y'know, swings and roundabouts.

Weary, occasional, tidying up

It's sad, but it has to be done. The occasional wander through the logs reveals that some people get here by googling the words "sex" and "ormskirk".

Well, Ormskirk, clearly, is a proper noun, I live in said proper noun, so it crops up from time to time. "Sex" is a little trickier (fnarr fnarr), when used to determine gender it's a noun, also a verb (as in "to determine the sex of") and increasingly, idiomatically, and depressingly, to describe the act itself (as in Color me Badd's deathless "I wanna sex you uppp" [extra p's added at author's discretion]). So, given this kaleidoscope of interpretation, it's bound to crop up here from time to time. Thus leading to googlers googling the pharse "sex ormskirk" or "sex in ormskirk" (I apppreciate I'm not helping myself by repetition here, but conversely, it may make the following all the more effective. This is clearly disturbing, not that they…

i before e, except after c

really? weird

why so lexically concerned all of a sudden? I have my reasons, dammit, of which, more anon, doings may be transpiring, the game's afoot etc

This, again, is more of a placeholder than anything else, frantically busy yet can't bring myself to let ol' creaky Coastalblog (incidentally, there is a blog called Coastal Blog. I believe it to be about coasts) gather dust again. I felt so guilty during the hiatus, not that anyone is actually left reading this but it's just well, gosh, I've been doing this (intermittently, I know) for bloody ages now, so may as well keep going.

I was about to post that fresh prints joke again, show's how much attention I've been paying, poor show.