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Showing posts from March, 2006

Ow Ow Ow, mmm

In the not too distant past there was an advertising campaign for a brand of yoghurt. the conceit of this campaign was that the yoghurt was tasty, but good for you, thus having pleasure without the pain. The joke being that some other sucker was getting the pain. Hail of nails, rabid dogs etc. They referred to this gag as the "pleasure/pain principle", of which I, yesterday, was a one man example. My final student loan repayment has been made this month, so I had only my outstanding credit card bill to go before being effectively debt free. In a spirit of clearing the decks, bracing fiscal prudence and what have, I decided to get rid of it in one hit. It was not a small cheque that I wrote, and the creamy yoghurty joy of being WITHOUT DEBT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1996 (mmmm) was counterbalanced somehwta by the sharp stinging pain in my wallet (ow ow ow) Elsewhere, a bumper crop of entertainment in ths week's super soaraway Ormskirk Champion (which, rather sweetly, is

Hard at it

As is often the way when you're on a creative roll the static becomes defeaning. Where, only a few scant weeks ago you were screaming for the next idea to come from anywhere, it didn't even have to be a particularly good idea, just something to work with. Pah, those arid days seem long ago, just as the complacent slimmer looks at a photograph of his earlier fat self (most likely clad in a bright shirt and wearing the sort of smile that only fat holidaying goons can muster) and tuts indulgently so I regard my inspiration-free alter ego of not so long ago with a particularly smug and annoying brand of pity. But where was I? oh yes, static. There are now that many ideas churning around that I am forced to regard some with suspicion and the old stern eye. I must learn not to get wildly excited when yet another thought pops into my rapidly overheating head, I must learn to fix it with a clear and steady gaze and inquire whether it is a bona fide idea or an imposter, likely to turn


Today is March the twelfth. There is a blizzard outside. Snow is piling up in drifts. Today is March the twelfth. This doesn't make any sense. Surely these are the End Times.

Today is a glorious day

Because today, for the first time ever, I completed the Guardian crossword (cryptic, that is, I'm not that easily pleased). It may seem like small beer to some but hey, I'm just learning. Other reasons today has been a good day include: more concrete ideas forming for phd chicken in yoghurt and mustard sauce with PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI for dinner discovering that the last Fort William home game was graced by none other than celebrity alcoholic CHARLES KENNEDY, his presence galvanising the lads to a rousing 3-1 defeat. Come on the Fort! All in all, not bad.

Good student, bad student

I'm rather taking to this teaching malarkey. I have (as of this morning) just finished my first pile of marking. Now, at first this was a strange experience. Despite having been offered the job, despite all the assurances that I was competent enough for it I found the experience of being the man sitting in judgement on a pile of other people's work somewhat daunting, what with the obvious questions of who am I to judge them etc leaping merrily to the fore. This sensation lasted approximately ten minutes. You see, whilst I was very proud of my students creative efforts, indeed there was some breathtakingly impressive creative work the supplementary discourses (self-assessment, annotated bibliogaphy) were, with a couple of honourable exceptions, woeful. I'm making no great claims for myself here, but I am at the very least capable of constructing a reasonably cogent sentence. Repeatedly I was forced to ask myself the question, how the hell did you make it through to third y

Coastalblog's occasional guide to the catering industry

Value x in an indeterminate sequence of y It's time to name and shame, people. It's time for me to use this forum to point fingers at the tight-arsed, pocket-patting bill-splitters of this world. You know the ones. The mean-featured "well I only had soup" utterers of this world who sneak guilty glances at the door even as they make damn sure that they're topping their glass up from the communal wine. And I'm arranging it by profession. Yes! It's Coastalblog's Top five worst tipping professions: NUMBER FIVE: The Banking industry. Yes, being around all that money all morning means clearly that when it comes to lunchtime they don't want to be seeing any more of the stuff than strictly necessary. Better yet, why not pay on the company card and look apologetically at the gap left for gratuities? We understand, it's okay, we're only on, like, a quarter of your wage. NUMBER FOUR: People on expense accounts. Oh my my my. What particularly