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Showing posts from 2012

'tis the season not to be a dick to your waiter

I am fond, when time allows of trawling charity shops for cookbooks from time to time. This isn't done purely for reasons of miserliness, I hasten to point out, the bookshop's shelves groan with TV tie-ins, dreadful diets, ego-driven celeb nonsense. There is the odd new cookbook which interests me, occasionally a chef I rate (because they're, y'know, a chef) will bring something out, but on the whole I'm more interested in getting a broader picture, rather than what's currently in fashion; were you to look at one of my menus you'd quickly realise that that's not what we're about. Though I remarked to my business partner just the other day that our rootsy, earthy sort of thing appears to be enjoying a moment. Still, we'll be out of fashion again in a few months, and thank god for that. No, I trawl the charity shops just to get a bit of perspective, maybe come across a few ideas, but more just out of a sort of jobbing curiosity. And it was in

Did post a lengthy..

...spirited and moving account of how I'm feeling much more my old self, but blogger was frankly having none of it, so much for a valedictory comeback

Cliffhangers for fun and profit

...aaand I certainly left y'all with one of those, did I not? will Matt finally start to do things other than work? will he finally mend the shed roof? What oh what will become of the ongoing slight damp in the conservatory problem? All gripping stuff, and believe you me, I'm deeply ashamed not to have filled in some blanks slightly earlier, or more early-ly, not sure. But, half a year later here I am, electronically begging for your indulgence once more. So anyway, I did the run. I did okay, too. Not great,but okay, and as I surprised myself by having it in me to wander past a few of my fellow stragglers towards the arse end of it I started to feel a bit more like myself. And yes, I am doing a spot more writing, there's an anthology out in the new yearwith a couple of mine in, I have a new chapbook coming out, too, of which, more later; this in turn has meant I've started to feel even more like myself. But of course, the crushing beast that is December is upon us, t

Rain delays

Christ on a crutch, July already? Unlikely as it seems I have been thinking of getting on here for a while, but existence seems to keep getting in the way. Nobody warns you how all-consuming owning your own business is; this is not a complaint, you understand, working for yourself is infinitely more rewarding than taking orders. But on top of the hours which are, of necessity, long (otherise you just have to pay someone else to do it) there is the fact that, when you DO lock up, you don't switch off. You go home, you think about menus, you check the email, you think some more about menus, you check the facebook page, check the twitter feed, and whilst the computer's on and glowing you think, really must update coasdalblog...but there's generally something else to do. Conversely EVERYONE warns you how all-consuming parenting is, and EVERYONE with more than one child nods sagely and says "wait until you have two...." Of course, a year and a bit into the existence

Right, I'm done.

It was Pastygate that did it, finally. Yes, I'm aware that that was the start of last week, and instant commentary and the inexorable flow of news has rendered this redundant but hey, this is coastalbog, it moves to its own damn time. Pastygate was the point I finally gave up. I've limped along for years, hoping against scarred and battered hope that parliament was, ulimately, a force for good. Or if not that, at least a force for keeping the country staggering, gasping, along. Clearly not. And I'm a fool for thinking it. All those people I harangued for not voting over the years? I'm sorry guys, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. You see, what did it for me, finally, was that in the week where the government, the fucking GOVERNMENT, were actively encouraging antisocial, fight in the streets and scrap for the last drop of petrol behaviour. In the week where the government, the fucking GOVERNMENT were unrepentant about essentially ho-ing it about for a quarter of a mill of p

Just sssshhhhhh

Two hilarious interventions this week. First up, Coastalblog is a tremendous fan of Sean Penn's sticking his oar into the Falkland/Malvinas fracas. Because naturally, what this situation was crying out for was the opinion of Sean Penn. In fact, were it not for the trenchant views and considered plans of Mr Penn I, for one, don't see a way out of this. In no way, and I want you all to be very sure of this, in NO WAY is the Argentinian government's current bout of sabre-rattling an attempt to distract their populace from a dismal economic performance. Clear? Good. Right. Equally, in NO WAY is the British military's decision to deploy the twin forces of nuclear weapons and Prince William (when each could easily have been quietly shelved) a wearying act of machismo liable to induce near-terminal depression in the seasoned observer and convince the MoD that they're not blindingly irrlevant to the passage of the quotidian. Okay? Got that? Brilliant. Right, now, bearing i

Please Sir, oh, just please then

Right, fine, Sir Fred is now plain Fred. Backslaps all round. Justice has been served. Well done all. Some thoughts, though: whilst Goodwin (or possibly just plain FG these days, having forfeited even the right to an unabbreviated name) was clearly a colossal dick and is single handedly responsible for the misery of thousands, so were a whole bunch of people. I'm curious as to whether or not the chopping down of the man who's come to symbolise the venality of bankers will sate the public's bloodlust, particularly after the token humiliating of Hester; in which case an entire crate of penises will be breathing a big sigh of relief and cracking open the Montecristos. It needs bearing in mind that Fred Goodwin was not the banking crisis, and the banking crisis was not Fred Goodwin. It's also worth bearing in mind that he's still trousering a £375k p.a. pension, so whilst it may sting a little, I'm sure he'll lie back in his bed made of money and reflect that it


and why not? the tea is bubbling away, Mrs Coastalblog is swearing at her planning, the offspring sleeping the sweet, inscrutable sleep of the indestructible and I have a moment, just a moment, to spare, so why not list five things currently getting on my nerves? After all, it's so fresh! Okay, fine, I'm bored. 1) Gove, obviously 2) Oh, Michael Kiwanuke, you come across in interviews as a thoughtful and pleasant chap, but for some mysterious reason critics have yet to notice that you make Jack Johnson look like Lemmy. 3) See also Lana Del Rey, cheer up. 4) The TS Eliot prize, which had they an ounce of integrity would have been called off after the credible part of the shortlist bailed 5) Yachts, all yachts, without exception

Web 0.3, possibly, 0.4 at a push

Oh dear oh doctor I really am not terribly good at the internet, as you have probably gathered by now. Or rather, I lack the inclination to be so. So here we are in 2012, when people have phones that can remodel their faces to attune to their mood, where children can create music from air, where even my ten month old son is using his iPad to start a record label to rep the ten month old scene, bruv. And I still have dear old Coastalblog, looking increasingly like the leathery uncle you can't pry from your armchair come Christmas. But, right, it has new links, see? Yes, it's only taken me five years to put the business on here, pretty nippy, I'm sure you'll agree. Oh, and twitter, for my sins. And in this spirit of reckless linkage abandonment let me point out that sometime coastablog confrere, a Ms J O'Mahony, late of this parish, is continuing her stellar upward trajectory at a rate designed to strike fear and envy into the hearts of those who are still weighing u

New year, new keyboard

New, new, new, all is new and shiny in the limping, wheezing world of coastalblog. Well, not overly so, but I can now do these !@? I feel so much mre expressive. And yes, I'm aware that I could have used a virtual keyboard, but frankly I couldn't be arsed. The main problem is re-teaching myself to type, I've gotten so used to caps-locking on and off at lightning speed, as well as avoiding most sentences involving either the declarative or interrogative for obvious reasons?! (you see?) (I've also avoided parentheses). Cheers Jim. So much for that, you cry (and rightly so) we care naught for your sudden adoption of the shift key, and who could blame you? Not I. Do you have anything interesting to say? You cry, to which I can only reply no, not really, I am a very dull man. But, and this is crucial, I am a very dull man with a functioning shift key.