Tuesday, 27 November 2007

The hip hippopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless

Classic! Steve!


Soz for the lack of postings of late - 2007 will go down as a momentous year of new jobs, two houses sold, a brief period in Donnie-exile and the final calm and stability of a new job in local government (seriously Bazza). It'll take some time to get used to the short-forms, less than palatial office space, weird words like sustainability and best performance and to figure out where the toilets are.The portents though seem good. Well as good as Grimsby gets. In all this weirdness and change, it's nice to see my old HDM comrade Mark Gee make the small step-up from the Advertisers series to the big Male propah (sorry for the (Erykah) Badu spelling). His story about an "assaulted pony shocks woman" (that was seriously the headline on page 2 - the kind of headline only the HDM would mean seriously) conjured up much smirkery. But on closer inspection it turns out one of the black pony's injuries was a black eye. How could they tell??
Listening: Duffy - Rockferry; Horace Andy

Monday, 19 November 2007

"Turn the wrapper round"

A splendid weekend of London contrasts, going to exhibitions (Pop Art at the NPG), panoramic cocktail bars, Regent's Park, Pedro Almodavr's exemplary All About My Mother at the Old Vic and catching up with London buds celebrating babies and weddings and houses. Living close to a city that regards a cavernous shopping centre resembling a down-at-heel duty free but with less shops (St Stephens) as a major attraction, going to London, even if just for a couple of days shows how far Hull has still got to travel. We went past an estate agent which doubles as a bar, so you can take away the attendant pressure of buying a house by getting rat-arsed, and waking up in a ditch with six mortgages. Go into any Hull estate agents with a beer and it's a breach of the peace. Right there and then. A sports shop in the smoke is so keen to take your cash that it provides a treadmill to test out running shoes. And will also let you road-test them around the block. Like that's gunna happen!! We also went past a shop with a stuffed polar bear, which would be great at parties, on rollerskates.

The surrealight was found at Doncaster railway station waiting for a Cleethorpes train (as y'do). We ended up sat next to a crazy old man the colour of bad memories. He offered forward a mangled bar of chocolate. In my face. In the waiting room. "Turn the wrapper down", he said. I assumed he was objecting to the loudness of my crisps (McCoys crinklecrunch). Getting agitated, he repeated his protest, although this time I thought he said "Turn the wrapper round". Confused and bedraggled, I thought the nutter wanted to see the front of my crisp packet, as it was so shiny and aspirational. At the point of turning the crisproduct McCoy way-on, he shouted at the top of his voice "DOOOOOO ITTTTT" and we ran. We later surmised he may have been from the east of Rotherham villages and was saying "tear my wrapper down". Freaky manky chocolate induced waiting room rage. In Doncaster. These things only seem to happen to me.

Watching: All About My Mother; wayward freaks

Drinking: Mojitos in Skylon, overlooking the Thames on the south bank

Listening: 10 Years Of Trunk Records

Thursday, 15 November 2007

A heart-warming tale

Just look at the new Andy Fordham. Ten stone lighter but still sporting a ridiculous proto-truck metal barnet and forearms the size of plates. I would almost be tempted to call him svelte.
Listening: Piney Gir Country Roadshow, Rilo Kiley
Watching: The Mighty Boosh, The Wire; Deadwood, Gavin & Stacey

Surreal Thursday

As Thursday's go, this one is pretty surreal. Off to see a member of the Catholic clergy in Scunthorpe to discuss the bizarre and surreal 'initiation' I have to go through before I get married to Dee (I'm hoping for some dastardly adventure in the Indian foothills). And then we return home for the surreal antics of the Mighty Boosh. At the moment I keep thinking of the Priest And The Beast episode from the last series. I'm hoping the meeting with the Priest doesn't end with a crazy monster made of Beta Max video tape hot-tailing me back to BoH.

Congratulations: Dave and M!
24 hours til: Pedro Almodovar and Pop Art in London

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

A man and his chopper (Insert own bike sex pun here)

Bike sex man placed on probation
Cleaners caught Mr Stewart simulating sex with a bikeA man caught trying to have sex with his bicycle has been sentenced to three years on probation.
Robert Stewart, 51, admitted a sexually aggravated breach of the peace by conducting himself in a disorderly manner and simulating sex.
Sheriff Colin Miller also placed Stewart on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.
Mr Stewart was caught in the act with his bicycle by cleaners in his bedroom at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr.
Gail Davidson, prosecuting, told Ayr Sheriff Court: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.
"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white t-shirt, naked from the waist down.
"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."
Both cleaners, who were "extremely shocked", told the hostel manager who called police.
Sheriff Colin Miller told Stewart: "In almost four decades in the law I thought I had come across every perversion known to mankind, but this is a new one on me. I have never heard of a 'cycle-sexualist'."
Stewart had denied the offence, claiming it was caused by a misunderstanding after he had too much to drink.
The bachelor had been living in the hostel since October 2006 after moving from his council house in Girvan. He now lives in Ayr (is this some tyre-related joke at the end)

Monday, 12 November 2007

The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers

To celebrate my last week of work in mid Lincolnshire, I was going to post loads of charming pictures of Hubbard's Hills and blue plaques showing where Tennyson invented swing tennis. But then I got the call of the weird. Lincolnshire is well known for its strange past-times like the Haxey Hood (kicking a hood violently between villages for a flagoon of ale) and regular ploughing matches (no more boring Sundays!) but this newsy item is just bizarre. Pagan, a tad dodgy and invented by a mad publican. The mentals.

An annual highlight in the Sleaford area is held in Oasby where villagers commemorate the death of Viscount Conningsby, first son of Sir Michael Newton (cousin of Sir Issac Newton) in 1723. The Viscount was only six months old when he was killed by an ape, reportedly a baboon, which was kept as a pet. The family home was Culverthorpe Hall where the child was laid to rest in the family chapel, while the baboon was said to have been buried somewhere on the estate. Several years ago the villagers decided to remember this dreadful occurrence with a now annual event in memory of the Viscount by marching around the village with flaming torches and making a huge row with drums, pots and pans and whistles while herding the baboon (a villager in a costume) towards the Houblon Inn.
At the pub they are denied admission by the landlord until an effigy of the ape is hurled over the roof, only then can they enter to hear the famous poem written for the occasion by Sleaford resident Jeff Challoner. The Oasby Morris Baboon Dancers will perform and there will be music and verse, along with a collection for Children In Need. Paul Kennedy of Oasby said: “There is quite a lot going on in the pub after the march and it is a cracking night for a very good cause.”

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Buffet: The sub-editor slayer

Tempted to Sorrento's, an Italian all-you-can-eat buffet for £4.90 and a Louth 'institution' for a farewell meal with the subs and the office nutter, Martin Baldwin. So good was it that MB was back up for seconds before he had started his firsts. A surreal experience, picking the baked beans out of some cheap Lidl Penne, marvelling at the pasta and peas concoction (it was pasta. And peas.) All the while some bad opera skipped on the CD player, while the waitress remained oblivious, until I asked her if she'd got a shotgun. She seemed to understand. Welcome to Louth - 10 per cent eating and 90 per cent experience.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Fancy that

me and D's fancy dress get up for a Halloween do in Leeds, courtesy of charity shops in Louth and the immortal Dinsdales joke shop in Hull, inspiration for the League of Gentlemen's Reece Shearsmith.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

My hometown unicorn

The Ex Factor?

News that puppydoggish teen wannabe Emily Nakanda has been dumped from X Factor after happy slapping footage of the 15-year-old was released on YouTube recalls a recent Charlie Brooker column. Ultimately, why is when somebody has a heartbreaking story, why can they always sing like angels and not honk like a swan. Mawkish, misleading telly. Now Emily Nakanda, originally pushed into our parents' living rooms as the daughter of a bullied, beaten mother who nearly died or was pushed off a cliff while on fire* is revealed as a happy slapper partial to headlocks and knife threats. Although that never stopped me buying Ike Turner records.

* not sure exactly what mawkishness had befelled poor misunderstood Emily, but I'm certain it was accompanied by strings

Is this sign strictly PC?

New pad

Allow me the luxury of some photos of our new town. This is not our back garden, nor is the house our summer abode. But you could probably secure them for the price of a Cambridge bedsit.