I'm still in the communications bunker at the council, but I hope all you out there, especially my farflung fans in Pune and deepest Texas.
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
My mum has a couple of friends, lets call them Philip and Fiona, who write a yearly newsletter on Publisher that always has us in stitches for its content. The introduction this year began: "Peter has spent the year learning Arabic and amuses all his friends by breaking into it at regular intervals..."
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Saturday, 29 November 2008
Off to the shuggy shores of Barton for the inaugural location recce for 'Get Barton', mine and Nick's 15-minute short film being made by the wonderful Singlespan, Dave and Kate's production company. Sadly, a freezing fug had descended over north Lincolnshire, making any location further than five metres away completely pointless. No matter - we managed to get a look at the abandoned tileworks where Ted L envisaged that Jack Carter met his demise - before the gloom, and the urge to take cliched shots of Scunthorpe, took hold. The main shot shows our director delightedly clutching a tile. It was that kind of morning.
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Friday, 7 November 2008
This is the picture which has kick-started a whole project into life. You'll recognise the backdrop, perhaps even be able to name the film it was in. But do you know the person pictured here, and his story? That's something me and a co-writer will be trying to address through film, a doco and a book proper.
Monday, 20 October 2008
In 1986, this album came out, and everybody thought, ooh, those pranksters The Housemartins with their crazy offbeam album title titters. To imagine such a scoreline was as laughable as Paul Heaton's cream cardy. I loved the sentiment (and the jangly guitar pop sugared with some jaunty Marxism) but when I saw my first Tigers game in 2003, at home to Kidderminster, the possibilty of even League One football seemed a long way off. So after wins against the 'ammers, the Spurs, the 'snel and, er, the Fulham, it really is the ideal time to celebrate the city at the end of the line.
Monday, 13 October 2008
We've been without hot water for a week now due to our snazzyboiler* going on the blink as soon as we dared to think about turning it on. A plumber was duly called last Friday. "S'a problem with the heat exchange", he says, and we'll need a new one. So the boiler makers are informed, as luckily it's just within warranty. An appointment is made for this coming Friday. I tell them that the heat exchange is going to need replacing, just so the engineer can bring a new one on Friday. "We won't do that I'm afraid", says disinterested of Tamworth. "Our engineer will need to do his own tests... if it is the heat exchange has gone it'll take a week to order and then we'll have to book you in for it to be fitted.." "But I'm telling you what's wrong with it." "Are YOU a plumber, sir?". The upshot - no fancy bubbles for this newlywed for the whole of October.
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Here's a tip for you - if it doesn't work out with Danielle you can be sure of pulling a stunna on a Friday night down there! Anyway, it was all hilairious and you would have found it highly amusing...but only because it was only for one night!!
Monday, 6 October 2008
Over to Sheffield's wonderful City Hall for an evening with the Mighty Boosh. Not the biggest fan of season three, crack fox aside, I have to say that the show, all honey monster decapitation, nanageddon space rock wig outs and the 'Itcher, was excellent. Our house has been a Boosh free zone since the last series ended, so I liked the Mighty Boosh band and thought the material was spangly and not too flabby.
Saw a fat woman in departures, coming to the end of a Katie Price novel. It seemed to be a good fit for her features. But when she got to the end, she waltzed over to an airport bin and slung it in. Didn't even leave it for some poor Cuban to read. Either it was a selfless act to stop people from reading such twaddle, or this woman disposes of all the books she's read. All two of them, judging by her disposition, but a thought-provoker, none the less.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
I have become rooted to this website, indicating the current hurricanes affecting Cuba. We're off there in two weeks for the honeymoon, laughing, as always, in the face of natural disasters. We've already chortled as a giant fireball hit Peru shortly after we left, then guffawed at the floods of last summer. Hurricanes - pah - especially with such lovely names as Gustav and Fay.
Wednesday, 27 August 2008
Thanks to Mr Windass for giving me the biggest laugh of the day, this New York Times article about Margaret Thatcher's dementia which means she can no longer distinguish between the wars and heartache she created in the 80s (although distinguishing between proud northern cities was never her strong pint - she tended to view them all the same). It was this line that really floored me though ...
Thursday, 21 August 2008
Thursday, 14 August 2008
So the US presidential hopefuls have revealed their top 10 songs of all time. Barack, unsurprisngly, goes for yer classic choices - bit of Marvin and Nina, some Kanye West, classic Sinatra. McCain, on the other hand, likes Abba so much he's picked two - Voulez Vous and Take A Chance On Me. Somehow the idea of this pro-war vet parading round the Oval office to disco and Merle Haggard in between speeches is just too scary to contemplate, even for middle America?
Monday, 11 August 2008
My mum has rediscovered her love of festivals in recent years. Doesn't matter where - she's there with her campervan, beanie and box of wine. Cornbury. Rutland. Wallingford. All the greats. Last weekend, she was at Cropredy. My auntie, bless her, knows nothing of such things as festivals. She thought my mum was at Chiropody. Or the colostomy festival. Which given the age and hoary old folkie nature of such things, might well prove to be accurate.
Isaac Hayes tribute: I imagined I was singing Shaft as I did lengths at the local swimming pool. Shaft was surprisingly effective when doing a poor version of the front crawl.
Bands seen at Chiropody: Little Feat, Canned Feat, Veruca Salt, Korn etc
Friday, 8 August 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
The eve of a wedding, as many of my 'regulars' will know, is a time for much last minute nerve-jangling and trying-to-hold-it-togethering. Not for me and Dee, though. Today, we are both invited to, through work,
Thursday, 26 June 2008
I just phoned up the gifts department at John Lewis in Sheffield about our wedding list. The casual, none-more Sheffield bloke at the other end told me just to "come into the store and do the biz, young man." Five minutes later, my mobile rings - here's the conversation.
JLB: "Is that Danielle?"
L: "No, it's Laurie."
JLB. "Alright Loz (a bit informal, but let it ride). It's about your wedding list. Do you want to come in the store?"
L: "I just spoke to you and sorted it out."
JLB: "Oh yeah, so you did. At least you're on the ball - unlike me."
L: "Why, are you getting married too?"
JLB: "Nah, no chance. I've been divorced twice - I'd rather hang myself."
L: "Do you think you should be working in a wedding gifts department.
JLB: "Spose not, I guess I should work on me sales pitch. Thanks."
Monday, 23 June 2008
Reading Mark Oliver Everett's Things The Grandchildren Should Know. A macabre recollection of the Eels frontman's life, the plot arc goes something like - meet person, person does lovely thing involves cats or jokes or bizarre dress, person dies, E writes song, meets people, people die in freak lawnmower/ski/cat/binocular accident. Wonderful, feel-good stuff, obviously. The maudlin never scanned so good.
Friday, 13 June 2008
Went to the delightful Cleethorpes to interview jazz dude Abram Wilson this week. This cat has played with Dr John and Soweto Kinch, but I challenge the most diligent shorthand perfectionist to try and keep up with his 180mph New Orleans scat. And what is the shortform for "skiddly-nee-ba-be-bop"? A mess, is what.
So Kelvin McKenzie is hotly tipped to join the by-election caused by David Davis' Magna Carta (personally I thought they did a decent curry) protests. I like Kelvin - expecially his TV work bringing such inspirational characters as Newsey Bunny to the information gathering super highway (admittedly more of a B-road back in them Cable days). But, interviewed by Peter Levy for BBC's Look North this lunchtime he urged: "the people of Hull to get out and vote in Haltemprice and Howden". Which of course they can't, seeing as they have three MPs of their own and Howden is actually 30 miles away.
Tuesday, 10 June 2008
He's been a symbol, a slave, Victor, a basketball whizz, purple trouseured funk god, actor, musician and Mail-on-Sunday fan. But for today, at least, Prince Rodgers Nelson is an astonishing 50. Looking good on it, as well, Princey-baby. Better than he did in '79, arguably.
Saturday, 7 June 2008
Part two of my Saturday music trilogy, waiting at the computer by my window waiting for the rain to end
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
So far, the wedding plans have gone splendidly, only for two rather major hurdles to crop up over the weekend. For a start, our jeweller/rock n' roller Thai Paul announces that his volatile 50s wok n' wollas have split up, at the exact same venue where the Cyclones played their last gig almost two years previously. Spooky, huh? Lessons for all weddingy couples: don't trust yer jeweller with yer rock n' roll. Secondly, there's the small matter of our wedding reception being taken to the High Court by the Inland Revenue! Suggestions/ideas on a blogcard, please!
Friday, 23 May 2008
First it was my adopted home. And then I could only see it (and occasionally shout at it) from across the river. Funnily enough I've been to both Bristol and Hull this year, but just cos the southerners have got funky-coloured houses and trip hop don't make them my favourites. I'll be cheering them on at Wemberley tomorrow as they aim for the splendours of the Prem after 104 years aiming for the prize. And then doing the whole thing again on Sunday watching the Donny game with my future father-in-law. I'm hoping that after such a hardcore footie weekend, Dee'll finally start liking the game. If you want a first person view on City v City, Mr W is going and he'll post about it, I should think.
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Best documentary in ages, apart from the Artful Codgers, was the wonderful Home Again about former Orange Juice troubadour Edwyn Collins and his battle to regain his faculties after suffering two strokes, a brain haemmorage and contracting MRSA in 2005. The programme showed Edwyn's battle to regain speech and movement, to the point where he was able to play his first show - faltering at first, then triumphant. It was heartbreaking and hopeful in equal measure, showing the power of love and belief. Great as well that such a literate and lucid guy is able to perform in front of an audience again. Watch it!
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Monday, 12 May 2008
Alkbrough, five miles from Scunny town, couldn't be more removed. This is where the Humber merges into the Trent and Ouse, although, unlike the Ganges, there ain't an annual pilgrimage where its rivers meet. Instead, there's an 11th century turf maze. And after a gander round that, the pilgrims retire to the Alkbrough Constitutional Club for some pilgrimesque constitutionals.
Jack's Return Home, the book that became Get Carter (a superb Britflick starring Michael Caine and John Osborne) was set not in Newcastle, but in Scunthorpe. The film-makers changed it because, I guess, Scunny was just too sleazy and obscure. The gripping climax at the end of GC was also originally set at the mudflats close to the Humber Bridge in Barton, and Ted Lewis, the writer, lived there when he wasn't penning episodes of Z-Cars. If you pick up a copy of Jack's Return Home, you can see that Scunny hasn't changed much since 1970. Rows of terrace streets still improbably close to the town centre. The smell of steel. I took some pictures.
The Mancunian-born writer Ted Lewis, who lived in nearby Barton-upon-Humber, featured the town in some of his novels about low-life 1960s gangster Jack Carter. The most famous of these books, Jack's Return Home saw the main character return from London to his home-town of Scunthorpe to avenge his brother's death. The story itself was based on the background to the real-life murder of Newcastle businessman Angus Sibbet in 1967, in what was known as the Fruit Machine Murder.
The film rights to this book where purchased by MGM who ironically transferred the setting from Scunthorpe to Newcastle-upon-Tyne and released the film in 1971 as the cult British crime thriller Get Carter, starring Michael Caine in the lead role. However none of the production was shot in the area, it being filmed entirely on location on Tyneside.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
Laugh of the day so far from Alan Cumming in the Observer Magazine's This Much I Know column...
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
For the first time in ages, we walked into a travel agent with a bally good reason - to book our honeymoon. In recent years, I've been asked to leave when entering such premises - quite clearly not the sort of person who books a two-week all inclusive break or a pleasure cruise. But this time it's different - me and the then-wife will be off to Cuba - me to indulge my love of salsa, Dee her love of cigars. Hurrah!