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Showing posts from January, 2005

Ormskirk by night

So on my walk this evening I happened across a drunken young gentleman pissing against a wall whilst his friend stood gurning nearby. My shoulders stiffened and I wondered whether or not to cross the road. Not through fear of any confrontation, I've always felt that that particular threat is somewhat overstated, but more because I had no desire to acknowledge their existence. I didn't want to see this slackjawed drunk dangling his cock in the gutter, I didn't want to see his ape of a friend gazing aimlessly off. That they were smartly dressed in shirt and tie (albeit somewhat dishevelled) only heightened the absurdity of the spectacle. I know that it's a regular sight throughout the land every night, but it still never fails to suprise me (what the hell are you doing ? Oh, I see, oh). But I didn't cross the road, realising that I'd seen them too late, and crossing the road would only serve to highlight that I'd seen them, they'd seen me, and each would

Bring me the heads of the book reviewers.

Now, I have no objection to Haruki Murakami, in fact what I've read of his I've liked a great deal, which, as I came to the books determined to dislike them (when approval is so unanimous...come on, you used to be an indie kid, you know what I mean) came as a pleasant surprise. But I nearly didn't read the books at all. Now, I don't know about you, but when I walk into a bookshop I am in one of two modes. I either know already what I'm looking to buy or I'm browsing. Generally it's the former, our bookshop here tries manfully but factors of space discount the more arcane of my tastes, but on those occasions of the latter then I'm being subconsciously spurred on by a number of things; friend's half-remembered recommendations, aged reviews, my own vague recollections of the author or sometimes just plain curiosity. The one thing which does not spur me on, which in fact repulses me (as was the case with the Murakami), are the edited higlights of r

Moules a la basquaise rocks my world

Or rather, the fact that tonight I shall for the first time in living memory have a quiet night in with the mrs rocks my world. We may go to the cinema, we may not. We may have an early night, we may not. Don't know, don't care. all I know is that I'm not drinking and I'm not working, so that's just fine by me. The only certainty is the aforementioned moules, the peppers for which are roasting in a screamingly hot oven, their skin blackening and blistering, as I type this. No real point to this entry, more a sort of collation of thoughts and events to keep my brain ticking over. Out on the lash last night with work colleagues, which really was enormous fun, even if I did go to (whisper it) the Arriba, Ormskirk's poor excuse for a meat market (though I did spot a girl who the evening before had celebrated her 16th birthday in the restaurant tsk tsk), nice just to qo out without an agenda for once. I often wonder if the suspicion that one is supposed to be havi


2005 so far seems to be turning out to be my year of reading, and I have one thing to thank for it. When younger I read voraciously and almost omnivorously, as happy hoovering up some pulp fantasy and sci-fi as ploughing through The Gulag Archipelago , an encyclopaedia of global migration or books of British Birds (Temminck's Stint, Jim; your go). I was a discerning reader in that I knew what I liked, and I liked a lot. Recent years have seen me go somewhat sour on the whole joy of reading deal, this state of affairs arrising due to an unholy conjunction of critical faculties developing late in the day, a desire to look cool in front of girls (so no books with "Dragons" in the title) and my own twin burgeoning careers in writing and catering leading me to read only "relevant" books (keeping up with what the poets and chefs are up to these days). Then our television broke at the start of December. Now, as regular Coastalblog readers will doubtless be awa

Getting back to business

First day back in the kitchen today. First day back of trying to cook ten things at once rather than just the one. First day of remembering that yes, when you're doing it for money you have to chop fast . First burn from hot saute pan. I enjoyed it all. Particularly inscribing "Matt is Ace" in the top of the apple crumble I made, hungover, first thing this morning before hurling it into the bowels of the oven. Cute newish waitress B3cky is unable to meet my eye after our contretemps at the start of yesterday's lunch shift when I'd been attempting to observe the three minute's silence for the tsunami victims (why, I don't rightly know, it salves my scarred conscience for some reason. And yes, I did donate some money, so now I can join in the national orgy of self-congratulation at us "big-hearted Brits" a clusterfuck of national compassion of a nauseating cast. By all means give some money, but there's no need to join the fucking Rotarians, a