Saturday, 27 June 2009
(Article by Michael Holden)
There’s a stage in most relationships, usually the beginning, when you’re quite happy to listen to what the other person’s saying because your emotions have temporarily inured you to the fact that what they’re saying, is bullshit. I was unchaining my bike outside a pub when I heard two smokers going through what looked like this phase of early courtship. Either that or the woman had genuinely been waiting to hear a load of whimsical drivel about visiting France, and this was her lucky night.
Man: “I love taking the ferry over there.”
Woman: (staring up at him as though each syllable were spun gold) “I’ve never taken the boat!”
Man: “Oh, you must.”
Woman: “I will!”
Man: “You drive away, and suddenly you’re on the other side of the road. You stop off, you grab a baguette, it’s magical.”
Woman: (quasi-orgasmic) “Yes!”
Man: “The differences are small, but yet so significant. It’s the little things. And the things you can’t describe. Just the unmistakable sensation that you’re in another country. Things seem different. Somehow better.”
I visualized him at Calais, gnawing on his French stick and wondered what kind of life he was leaving behind if he believed bingeing on carbs in a vile port was some form of progress.
Man: “I think their attitude toward alcohol is so much better than ours. They let the kids have a sip with lunch-and the whole sitting down to eat thing is tremendous-and they don’t have a problem with it.”
I thought about hitting him there and then, but realized that would only have strengthened his argument.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
New covers commissioned by Bloomsbury for the Marvin Redpost series by Louis Sachar
(why are children's book designers always so keen on drop shadow effects though?!?! )
Re. tiny dog phenomenon...they seem to have a bit of a thing for tiny dogs in New York but they usually seem to be owned by muscley gay gym bunnies (on Canal Street at least!)
(article by Michael Rosen)
I feel the tiny dog phenomenon to be a puzzling business, but when one of these benighted freaks starts attacking things several times its size I find their mad tenacity a joy to behold. It was precisely such a display of dwarf-dog fury that led to the following exchange between a pair of staggering drunks who had made the mistake of trying to caress one of these hand-held heartbeats and come of second best.
Woman: (getting as angry as you can without spilling your drink) “The fucker bit me!”
Man: (foolishly opting for admonishment over sympathy) “You should never have touched it. They’re not right”
Woman: (detonating) “He said it were alright!”
Man: (voice thick with self-made wisdom) “You can’t trust folk with these dogs. They’ll say ‘owt.”
Woman: “It started off licking me hand. Then it went for me. You heard it.”
Man: “Ask someone what their dog’s like and they’ll tell you it’s great, even while it’s got its jaws on you, they’ll be telling you it’s trying to make friends.”
Woman: (looking for signs of injury to her hand and finding nothing that might merit litigation) “Little bastard.”
Man: (making a huge but somehow valid leap of comparative reason) “It’s like the Krays. Their mum always said they was alright. Different story when they’re breaking your fuckin’ legs with a hammer.”
Woman: “What you on about, hammers?”
Woman: (staring at her hand again) “Little bastard.”
Tuesday, 16 June 2009
...Marc Ribot / Evan Parker improv concert at Meltdown... disturbing how one occasionally realises how close you are to falling into a certain demographic...lots of serious looking men of a certain age...
Saturday, 13 June 2009
(Article by Michael Holden)
As far as I’m concerned people who are up out of their aircraft seats before the seat belt sign has been turned off are a sub species that ought to be destroyed. Within that though, skulks an even uglier demographic, people who get out of their seats too quickly, and immediately begin to use the phone. If any of these people looked like they had anything urgent waiting for them outside the aircraft, other than their own demented self obsession, it wouldn’t be so bad. Likewise the vocal among them, have nothing to say. This proved itself to be true again last week when I watched a young woman get up and start bleating loudly into her mobile at the end of a long haul flight from California.
Woman: “There were a lot of history, too much history really. It were quite boring. We saw Hollywood and that…yeah…went to Vegas, stayed at the Luxor. It’s like a pyramid, a black pyramid that you go inside of.”
I prayed for her to be admonished by a steward but no one came. And so she continued.
Woman: “I got her a solar-powered key ring, it’s pretty good…and I got him some nails scissors…nail scissors that have ‘California’ written on ‘em…”
The light went off and everyone started standing up.
Woman: (anxious, as though this might be an affront to her unique status) “Everyone’s standing up! Yeah, I’m still on the plane. It’s hot over there. You can get sun burned in an hour. I did…I’ve gone brown now though. Yeah, I got him an ashtray.”
As she moved out of earshot I realised that whoever said travel broadens the mind wasn’t catching many planes.
Sunday, 7 June 2009
Saturday, 6 June 2009
Apologies for rather crass scouse stereotype this week - sometimes one is persuaded into slipping into visual cliché (no apologies for HP sauce though - it RULES!)
(article by Michael Holden)
I was having a cup of tea in a café at the end of the football season. Apart from a young couple talking at the table behind me, no one else was there. The young man seemed a bit agitated, the Woman was trying to keep things bright and cheerful, which only seemed to annoy him more.
Man : (reading from the sports section of the Daily Mirror) Here y'are, look at this - Liverpool only lost two games throughout the season and they STILL didn't win the title. That's how tight it is now.
Woman : (sounding like she meant it) Only lost twice? Wow!
Man : (tapping the paper emphatically in indication of something) yeah, but look - draw, draw, draw, draw. That was where it all went tits up.
Woman : Oh right. I see.
Man : (complacent) stats dont lie. Look at this - Gareth Bale, made 23 starts for Spurs - lost everyone of them. Never been on the winning side.
Woman : Why doesn't he join another team?
Man : Well it's not the team, is it? It's not the team that's the problem, is it? It's him, obviously.
Woman : Is he rubbish?
Man : Well, what do you think?
He waited, as though to allow her time to absorb the full magnitude of what he thought he was saying.
Man : It's not as simple as that, anyway.
Woman : Is football finished now then?
Man : Yeah. well, until August.
Woman : And then it all starts again?
Man (annoyed that things were not as esoteric as he might have liked) : It's a simple thing made complicated.
I sneaked a glance as I left - he'd flung the paper onto the table and she'd picked it up. He was staring out of the window, She was looking at the TV pages.