Thursday, 29 March 2007


They've taken away my Seinfeld, like taking away my only remaining limb.

So now I am watching Friends.

And I'm quite enjoying it. In fact, I just laughed out loud at something. So fuck you, Man I Know Who Hates America.

Next time: more about the Man I Know Who Hates America.

Bravery and risk

Assuming you aren't impacting family etc, how brave should one be in life? In terms of what you do with your life, how much risk should you take?

1. Is it right to pack everything in and take a risk? Or is this reckless?

2. Is it right to gradually try and do something new? Or does this just mean compromise?

3. Is it right to stick around and do what you are already doing, get paid well and plan for the time you will eventually make a move? Or does this mean you are simply deferring the decision?

4. Is it right to say it varies with each situation? Or is this itself an excuse for inaction?

I am genuinely not sure and it is so easy to descend into cliches. Despite all this the following is true:

you really are a long time dead, and you never know if you never try.

So which is the best option now?

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

That yoga

I have taken up yoga, and I don’t care who knows. I am converted as surely as an Islington townhouse.

I used to just have a quick stretch after exercise and then rush home for toast. Now with my new yogic superpowers I am far less stiff generally (stop it), I walk around feeling loose as a goose, like a floppy-limbed monkey and I now get my tax returns in early too.

I’m not very good – shite is the Buddhist phrase for it – but I’m unrecognisable from when I started when basically each position had part of my body filing a claim under the Human Rights Act.

Not Me

Of course the women laugh at me (oh, so that's why he's single), but I sneakily hang around at the back to minimise hilarity. Except today I got caught at the front after being lured into conversation. But I simply retained an air of masculine dignity throughout proceedings and then scuttled off home for a ready meal. And toast.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

British Invasion

I did see American Idol but it's hazy in my memory. It was British Invasion or something. No one I saw sang any Beatles which is typical of today's youth. The boys sicken me apart from that fat lad.

Today I am all quiet and sort of withdrawn and tired.

Someone called Hayley slinked around for a while. To be fair, Hayley is a complete fox and she wore some tiny shorts, which can be very effective. To be equally fair, she sounds like a fox too. One that is railing against hunger or perhaps dying of urban sores.

Lakisha was in green and there ain't nothing wrong with that, but I got a bit sick of Melinda looking shocked and humble. Don't listen to me any more Melinda, I don't mean it. Sometimes in a marriage you just need some space.

DI: 0
HI: 3

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Bob Woolmer

Look, this is of course tragic and I can't recall anything as shocking for quite a while.

But the BBC report that the Police are quizzing Inzamam and Mushtaq Ahmed. Mushtaq, or Mushy as he is known, is a short, dumpy, rolypoly leg spinner who spends most of his time in East Sussex charming old women over their flasks of tea and home made battenbergs.

Mushy: Dumpy

The way the BBC report it implies they are suspected of doing it, and the thought of Bob Woolmer wrestling the lolopping and slothful Eeyore-like Inzy, with Mushy trying to throttle Bob's shins in the hotel room is I'm afraid ridiculous and hilarious. Is this more ironic policing?

Final match of the season

I know there are many hundreds of you who are now confirmed Spencer Harlequins fans. So, I am pleased to announce that we won our final game of the season, finishing second (see Division 5) only to Guildford - they of the dubious pre-game huddle and commitment to nicknames and bandanas - always signs of hockey players gone bad.

This was a game where we idled through a first half, as though all of us happened to be in the Coulsdon South area anyway, and had decided at the last moment to have a knockabout. With our daughters. Dressed as Marie Antoinette. Precious in the tackle and dainty in possession, we trailed 1-0 at the break.

A rousing half time talk from Welshman Pricey had us (well me) fired up for a second half where I think I may have broken someone's arm at one point, and where we snapped into tackles we'd previously chivalrously been conceding like obsequious courtiers. I did lots of snarling and swearing which, basically, I love.

Relentless waves of white crashed upon our opponents goal and you wondered if the Gods of suburban South London were mocking us. Finally we get one from Big Eddie and then sneaked another. Even to the last we attacked, and justice was done. And I do think of it as justice too.

Back to their clubhouse, Francis the captain talked about his Polish date (firm body, well maintained, but we had nothing in common, you know?) and Eddie told us about the voracious demands of his Serbian girlfriend.

I talked about the empty existence of the shoppers as we drove home through Tooting, their bags bulging full of tat. Another season over, maybe soon I'll have to join them. But as I stared out through steamy car windows, and listened to the chat of my mates over Radio 5 Live, I thought not yet. Not quite yet.

Breakfast Serial Numbers

Dan requested a top 5 breakfast cereals list and I am both pro-list and responsive to customer demand, so here goes.

The first task is to define the terms further. I am therefore making an assumption about the brief, namely that these are the top 5 current breakfast cereals rather than an all-time list which would be equally valid.

Under this assumption, I have therefore discounted the following:

1. Corn flakes - en vogue in the 80s until Thatcher took away the frozen milk due to global warming (I think) and I read a book where a cat spewed out dirty water after nearly drowning and it really made me feel sick in real life.
2. Frosties - a la mode in the 90s and 00s before being outlawed under my GI Diet Reform Laws of 2005.
3. Crunchy nut cornflakes - Frosties for wankers (Peep Show).
4. Coco Pops - I have seen the milk change colour now.
5. Rice Krispies - and I no longer collect Play People.

1. Dorset Muesli with added nuts and fruit - because nothing beats this for GI goodness and you simply don't hit the wall with this inside you.
2. All Bran - I still like its self flagellating quality. It has a sparseness about it that feels like a week in a Buddhist retreat. I feel like I could eat a bowl of this and go and bugger a llama and still be in karmic credit.
3. Sultana bran - because you think it's Bran Flakes and then Lo! A sultana! Like being visited by tiny Fruit Gods.
4. Muesli - Under my Silly Pronounciation Reform Laws of 1998 I promised to always pronounce this moo-sli, and (amongst others) to pronounce monkey as monn-key. It amuses me, and no one else.
5. Kelloggs Just Right - Same calories as Frosties, so it's really Kelloggs Just Wrong. Last had this in a soul-sapping Thistle Hotel, where the only options were a sweaty croissant direct from its morning workout, or, from memory, an aching void of depression, served lukewarm with jam made from the congealed blood of asylum seekers.

DI: 0
HI: 6

Friday, 23 March 2007


I like Ryan Adams, but I'm still wary of saying it openly as I do essentially still thinkf of him as Bryan Adams.

Nothing wrong with that mind. Got my first real six string and all that. Finding it hard to believe.

I went here this eve. It was ace with wooden walls. I don't think anything beats wooden walls. Including breasts, Peep Show and Roger Federer. I had a conversation in the gents about them. It was going well til the man with the muzzy said he liked the sinks too and I said (sagely) 'yeah, stone' and then he said 'erm, no, concrete' and I had to go 'oh, well, yeah' like that.


I didn't say that though, not the time or place.

I love you all like Grandma. Don't go changing.

HI: 5
DI: 5

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Dan's ideas

Dan, cover your big floppy ears.

If I had a hall of fame for former co-workers it would be:

1. Pretty barren
2. Topped by Dan

Dan has just left the 3rd funniest voicemail of all time on my mobile.

(The others were the Ginger Giant telling me what we were going to do in Sydney one time - the results were disgusting, psychadelic and hilarious and one from an unknown author who was inviting me to speak to a poetry circle. Ditto.)

Dan was wondering whether I was drunk in my last few posts and that a drunkeness indicator (DI) might be a good idea to avoid further confusion. I love indicators of all types, for though I recognise their ultimate futility they do give me a moment of hope; that this time the truth may finally be glimpsed and the seas of Despair and Ignorance which surround me on my remote hillock (my hillock of pillock?) will finally recede.

Before I go on, I must point out that the time on my Blogger thing is a waste of time. So if I do appear to be drunk at 08:37am on a Tuesday this is unlikely to be true. I never drink on Tuesdays.

I think in addition to this I am going to include a happiness indicator (HI) as this is part confessional after all and my psychological studies tell me happiness can indeed be measured.

If anyone has any other ideas for daily indicators I would be more than happy to oblige.

HI: 4 (/10)
DI: 0 (/10)

Pamela Anderson

That Pamela Anderson has some big breasts.

Sometimes I wonder if they are actually real.


Today I saw 2 Policemen riding through Bow on horseback.

Is this some kind of eco-Policing statement I wondered, or is it simply an admission that crime is now so out of control that they are attempting to tackle crime solely through the use of humour?

Will they be dressing up as Clouseau and Miss Marple next, perhaps whilst riding side saddle and wearing enormous magnifying glasses round their necks. Maybe the thinking is that if the Police are seen to be so inept that the criminals will begin to feel resentful of the money they are wasting and begin to self regulate to save themselves money. That would be very Invisible Hand.

The next step is presumably to be given those very high chairs, like tennis umpires or life guards at swimming pools. This would mean they don't have to worry about moving around at all, but we would move past them and they blow whistles at us if we start heavy petting / indulging in any funny business (e.g. murder).

Further to last post...

For my new CV, what do you think - under 'Hobbies and Interests':

Rob Archer with his team of telepathic goons are simotaneously living every moment of their lives all at once in a climax of angels, aquatic life, and fearlesness.

The Pyramid Song and telepathic goons

Listening to the Pyramid Song on my free CD from the Observer today. God, it is sublime. I think it may even be my favourite Radiohead song - ooh list time! -

1. Street Spirit
2. Pyramid Song
3. True Love Waits
4. Creep (live)
5. No surprises

- but I then came across this brilliant descirption for explaining what the Pyramid song is actually about:

This is no song, it is an adventure through time and space where all paths are just intersections it depends on a persons perception. It is a journey through a dream in which the dual nature of the cosmos is percived and directed into a singular scheme of mind. The little rowboat is a mental carrige and thom yorke with his team of telepathic goons are simotaneously living every moment of their lives all at once in a climax of angels, aquatic life, and fearlesness

My thoughts exactly.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Male Friendships

One of the things that I really love about being a boy is having male relationships. Not that type, you smutty fools. The ones that are rock steady and unchanging.

So I have a mate - the Ginger Giant* - who I last saw in Sydney at Crimbo. Have not heard from him since. No idea what he's doing with his stupid life. Today I got a text from him and all it said was:

"I love you like my little poohs. I am so bored in my life."

My best mate, Whytey only ever talks to me about sport, even though he's having a baby and is moving into Steed Malbranque's house in 2 weeks and has just moved jobs. Yesterday's update was:

"Inzy reminds me of Chewbacca"

Inzy is the Pakistan cricket captain (see below) and I am sure we can all agree, he does.

I could reply immediately or in 6 months or in 6 years and it would all be fine. If I needed him to do something then he'd do it, no questions asked, nothing needed in return. It's brilliant and I love the low maintenanceosity of it all.

* He's 6'8 and bright ginger - what would you call him?

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Last 10

Now they sprinkle in the boys, like showering pellets of sheep shit onto a dodgy pizza. The boys offer us some lad who appears to consist solely of a large set of teeth, an idiot in a grey suit and a fatty who looks like Dougal from Magic Roundabout if he really let himself go.

This week Melinda was early, which I feel is all wrong. I felt like I was being rushed straight to the sex, when I needed some candles, some soft music, some petals on my pillow. Where's the romance? The anticipation? What happened to the old-fashioned woo? I felt a bit used afterwards, especially when Dougal came on.

Then came some bird who sat on a stool, forgot her words but who I'd definitely like to take out to tea, especially if she promised never to sing. And then a succession of short boys doing weak impressions of Timberlake.

Then Lakisha looking luscious in a sort of sugary white wedding dress. I just want to be hugged against her ample breasts, is that so much to ask? But I know she'd take no nonsense, and give me one of those side-to-side head movements if I tried anything on, and probably a really cutting put down about the size of my manhood.

I still can't decide between Lakisha and Melinda, but for now it's OK, I can have them both. But time is running out, and in the end I believe in monogamy.

Saturday, 17 March 2007


Talking of complaining letters to the Council, my Grandad had a fall in the week. He tripped and fell on a loose paving stone whilst walking Harvey the dog. Now, I'm the first to climb on board the anti 'no win no fee' firms bandwagon, but my first reaction was 'sue'.

So it seems I'm happy for other people to treat accidents like this as just part of 'life' but when it comes to my own family I come over all litigious.

It's at times like these I think I may not be as perfect as Mummy thinks I am.


I simply must mention Elise's cat, Pickle. Pickle is a genius. SHE is the best cat I have seen outside of the fabulous Frodo on

So I felt Pickle must have a wider audience. I know I don't really have an audience, apart from a few kind souls reading my tat as part of their charitable work, but that's not the point.

I also know there's a limit to males talking about cats - George Costanza was right to be sceptical - and soon I'll start to come across as a desperado, sliding into bachelorhood, writing complaining letters to the council and generally stinking of piss.


Thinking about it, this is just brilliant all round. Matt Lucas and Ben Folds. Perfect. Have a look.

Running music

For those of you in need of a list, here are my top 5 running songs of the moment:

1. Jesusland - Ben Folds
2. Valerie - Zutons
3. If I ever leave this world alive - Flogging Molly
4. Leaders of the free World - Elbow
5. Common People - William Shatner (yes, the William Shatner. It's sublime!)


I know after my last post you must be dying to know how we got on at hockey this weekend. Well, the bottom line is that we ground out a scrappy 2-0 win against Staines. That leaves us 2nd, already promoted with a game to go.

In two weeks time we have the much anticipated hockey ball, at an exclusive central London hotel. This is when the player of the season will be announced. I bet you can all hardly wait and I must say, it is tense.

I have voted for Geoff, our new commanding centre half. He gave me a lift to the tube today, but that had nothing to do with it and did not sway my decision.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

My Garden

Look at this! Drink in this vista! A view to rival any in London, that's my belief.

Oh how the doubters crowed when, in 2003 I planted a selection of bulbs (that my Granny had sent) upside down. Oh how they laughed when nothing at all happened that spring, and they pointed as each day I would sit, waiting, imploring the soil to render some colour, some shape, some anything.

And they scoffed the following spring when Granny had to send more bulbs and a letter where she'd drawn a picture of a bulb with 'top' and 'bottom' written on it. Yeah, yeah, funny.

But who's laughing now? Now that minor technicality is resolved my garden surely rivals Kew Gardens. I may start charging for tours. It must be 1/50 of an acre, and I would throw in a fruit tea as a bonus. The footballs in the foreground can be also utilised beyond the hedge for proper 5 a side.

Ziggy sometimes pops in as a sort of unofficial tour guide.

This is at no extra charge, other than the obvious.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Crufts 2007

People do still ask me about Crufts, as though I am some sort of expert on dogs. I am not. My ignorance on breeds knows no bounds. My main interest at Crifts is always in Mary Ray, who was my brilliant mentor when I was on Faking It. I don't know if she performed last night, I'll have to find out. Whenever she performs it's astonishing, and I saw first hand what a truly remarkable bond she has with her dogs. She speaks to them like you and I would speak, except probably a bit more high brow, and they get it.

Border Collies remain my favourite dog, and the prospect of owning one has always seemed to me one of the few consolations for growing up.

But apart from that, the only part of Crufts I can relate to is the agility part. This was the bit of Faking It I really enjoyed, and I used one of Mary's dogs, Taz, to do it on the show (not shown). My very first round was clear, so I was OK at it too.

The rest - showing dogs and obedience - just seemed a little odd to me. In fact, on my daily diaries on Faking It I openly questioned whether showing dogs was altogether healthy, and likened it to Doggy Apartheid. This wasn't shown, which is just as well because I would only have been showing my ignorance. I see a Tibetan Terrier won Best in Show. My grandparents owned one of those once, and I've learned to value the existence of different breeds as they allow lots of different people to own a dog. I've also seen first hand how much these dogs enjoy strutting round the ring. It also encourages closer relationships between dog and owner, and that has to be a good thing.

So whilst it's still not really my cup of tea, I think showing dogs is for the most part completely healthy for dog and owner alike and I'd love to go back to Crufts one day, even if it's just to see Mary Ray and the dogs.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Cricket World Cup - Hopes

What I hope will happen
1. England beat the Windies in the final with centuries from Lara and then Vaughan.
2. Australia crash out in the first round after losing to Scotland.
3. Ricky Ponting kills himself after someone points out the similarity between him and Jeanette Kranky.

Rick Ponting

Jeanette Kranky

4. Top scorer in the tournament will be Lara and Freddie.
5. England's top scorers Vaughan and Monty.
6. Matty Hayden, the committed christian, is caught in a Jamaican brothel with several aged hookers and, coincidentally, Sir Alex Ferguson is too.

Cricket World Cup - Tips

What I think will happen
1. Australia will probably win the shagging World Cup because they're a bunch of tossers whose only meaning in life is to win at sport.
2. They'll beat India in the final.
England will crash out in the Super 8s because as a nation we don't care enough.
3. Australia will be beaten by Sri Lanka in a surprise result in the Super 8s but still qualify due to some absurd stroke of luck.
4. The top run scorers in the tournament will be Dravid and Mike Hussey.
5. England's highest run scorer will be Bell. Highest wicket taker (and this is where the problem is) perhaps Freddie.
6. Fred will have an awful time with the bat, will probably injure his sodding ankle again and I'll fall under a tube at Hammersmith one rainy May evening and will be allocated a chirpy Australian carer for the rest of my life by Tower Hamlets council.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Perfect Saturdays

This is how it goes. Wake at 8am and do flat cleaning to Radio 5. Then do e-mails, admin and other general feel-good activities. Brekkie is always toast - the food of kings - and tea.

Out of the house at 12:15 I skip down the road listening to loud music to buy papers. Once on tube I skilfully skim read papers, shedding supplements (e.g. 'Your Boring Children'and 'Cock Cars') as I go. I head to Earlsfield, home of the mighty Spencer Harlequins, or Spencer Hockey Club 8ths. I play here because for around 9 seconds when I first moved to London I lived in Balham, and I'm the loyal/stupid type.

Ed generally arrives first, with his labradors. I'm the only person in the world to greet labradors more eagerly than they greet me, so I always feel a bit of a loser at this point. Jerry often arrives early and like me enjoys warming up by twatting the ball as hard as he can. Mark arrives and makes some sort of comment about Pommie bastards and the England cricket team, and I generally respond by asking how he's feeling about Camilla Parker Bowles being his next Queen.

Doc and JP arrive and all is well with the world. With men like these, no country is beyond repair and no team is ever truly beaten.

The game starts and it's 80 minutes of pure happiness. As earnest as it is lacking in skill, we are all about the effort, the never giving in, the overcoming of adversity. It's always been the same. Pricey often goes off, but he's Welsh so he's excused. I shout and swear a lot and run a lot because I don't like losing. Francis screams 'shoot!' whenever anyone gets into the D and the Dutchman Richard generally says 'hey, let's chill out yeah?' which drives me fucking insane. Then the whistle goes, and we trudge back up the hill to the clubhouse, following the ghosts of men who've done this for over a century.

Beer and food in the club house is best when it's darkest outside. The warm glow comes partly from the lights and TV, and partly from Flo's chilli sauce. We watch as the results come in, and Posh Gus hangs about hoping for seconds, grinning. The banter is inane to everyone but us, as is proved each year at the hockey ball when partners come along. But I've played for this team for 13 years and they are part of me. And part of me at my very best, too.

I leave the clubhouse reluctantly, but happy (if we've won). Tube home then either out to a club til 5am and breakfast in Shoreditch, or stay in for Match of the Day and a nice cup of tea. The latter generally.

The great thing is I know how great these days are, and I know they're selfish. So I treasure them and guard them and extract all the life I can out of them. And I know I'm blessed to have once been a Spencer Harlequin.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007


Wednesdays used to be the day where I would think:
"halfway through week + doing OK + no visible signs of cancer or of being sacked + ooh look at this e-mail, there's a kitten falling off a log! + soon the weekend = good".

Now Wednesdays are the days where I have to do statistics. Hundreds of them. Thousands of them. N of them, if you like.

It's like I'm bathing in them. I pour them all over me, and drink them in like coca-cola until I'm giddy and edgy and wild eyed. I take them to bed and sleep with them torridly and passionately and I pretend to understand them and to want to talk about them all night long til we fall asleep exhausted in each other's arms.

Then in the morning (this is still the metaphor) it's like I can't remember what their names are, why they are here or why I ever thought they were a good idea in the first place. And why do I have such a headache? So I kick them out of bed and proceed to forget all about them and laugh about them with all my mates.

Then I find out they're my new boss and I've got a meeting with them next Wednesday.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


The Mighty Reds beat Barca on away goals this evening. Benitez outmaneouvres Rijkard and we are in the last 8 again. Not only was this relatively untroubled, but there was none of the anger, recriminations, accusation and counter-accusation that went with Chelscum's matches against them.

True Class.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Cricket World Cup

The cricket world cup these days is just like - dare I say it - American Idol, with all the weirdness up front followed by about 25 weeks of the serious business. And I am not sure which bit is more entertaining, after all today we got to meet Dwayne Leverock - a Bermudan prison van driver with a lovely big smile and an even lovelier and bigger wobbly belly - reduce England to 132-5. Click the link. He is magnificent.

I bloody love things like this and I wish I was there. 4 years ago I was, which is a bit depressing. I got hammered with the Ginger Giant, Finch, Lovatt and a load of Dutchmen when England played Holland, around this time. Somehow I lost my trousers on the roof of a pub and I ended up cavorting in the Durban sea like a really confused dolphin. I think I even rang my girlfriend at the time to tell her all this as it was happening and put her onto a few of the locals. Mariko, I am sorry.

4 years ago Kenya got to the sodding semi finals and Ravi Shah - who I captained at University - was in their team. This made me feel like a loser, and I wish now I had decamped to Bermuda to try and bowl spin with Dwayne Leverock, and perhaps drive a prison van in between times.

I've been listening to some of the Bermudans speak today. None of them appear to have executive stress. All of them are softly spoken and quick to laugh. If I leave now I might be able to make 2011.

Next time: my tips for the tournament, so in the months and years to come we can all laugh at my total lack of skill and judgment.

Friday, 2 March 2007

and yes...

I am a bit pissed.


Then some foxy tart stands up to sing and it's like havving your teeth pulled out with dessert spoons.

The camera pans to her glossy-haired Stepford Wife of a Mum, with her cruel and steely eyes, her thin lips and her palpable, simmering suburban ambition.

It's good vs evil this is.

American Idol. Again.

Yeah well at least this week I did go out to the pub first before finally tuning in. I went with friends too. Nice ones. Including Michael, who I have a sort of George Costanza man-crush going on with. He's so funny! I find myself laughing too hard at his jokes and too long, far, far into someone else's next sentence. Next stop: offering to make him his sandwiches.

But back to brass tacks.

Lakisha wore this hideous yet beautiful, ridiculous yet brilliant orange thing. She screams magnificent defiance. Then she does the singing thing, and you can relax because you know your ears are not about to be raped by a series of nasty shrill ear paedophiles. Then we meet her Grandma ("Grandma, we goin on a train"), who was predictably zesty and full of life. Known as Ruth Morris. She came along with her Zimmer and her dance moves, and it was good to see her.

Then Melinda. I usually prefer to have more space between my two girls to give me more time to revel in the contrasts with the dross, but there you go. This week was like first being bathed in asp's milk by (let's say) some Swedish virgins, then vigorously dried off by a set of hairy Dutchmen with enormous slabs of crumbly dry dog shit for towels. Great to begin with, but you still end up feeling dirty and used.

Melinda has this quiet dignity about her. This unassuming humanity. Oh, and this enormous, embarrassing, unquenchable, heartbreaking talent.

I'll be quiet now.

Thursday, 1 March 2007


Went here last night and it was good but not brilliant. I am very proud to report that I asked for tap water and didn't feel like a cheapskate (Giles Coren, thank you again) and instead looked round the restaurant with a look that said 'because of the airmiles people, the airmiles'.

We were very adventurous with the ordering - Herefordshire snails and bone marrow, smoked eel, something which appeared to be a plate full of fat but was apparently pork, some brill which was, well, brill.

And lots of wine and now I'm sorry.