Friday 27 March 2015

What we get up to when we're not there

(before the new hairstyle)

Rylan Clark has grown his hair long and dyed it a rather fetching shade of aubergine. Or is it burgundy? I don't know but it's very shiny and sleek; it looks like nylon. Or doll's hair. Or perhaps doll's hair IS nylon. Anyway, I only know this because I met him the other day when I went to some launch event thingy at a local university. He was kind enough to escort me from Reception across the grounds to the main hall and I was struck by how genial he was and wonderfully easy to talk to. It was like we'd known each other for years. We were getting along so swimmingly that he put his arm around me as we walked and I can still recall the soft feel of the loose-knit cream jumper he was wearing. His arms were so long that his left one looped right around then up under my armpit and at one point he... well... I suppose, had it been anyone else, like a straight man doing it without my permission, I might have used the term, “touched me up” or maybe “copped a feel”. And it would've been a very different scenario. But somehow, it just wasn't like that. It was a kind of comforting and chummy “cupping” instead. Dare I say, enjoyable?

Nothing particularly memorable happened at the venue after that but I arrived home in the afternoon and noticed from the kitchen window that Mr SDS was outside, hanging up the washing. For some reason, he wasn't using the normal line; instead he'd erected one of those rotary airers. I didn't think we had room for one at the bottom of the garden but I was obviously mistaken. I walked down to greet him and was somewhat confounded to see that, having pegged out all the pillowcases, he was now hanging up the suet cakes for the birds. There must have been about twenty of these at least, all suspended from the cords on the airer itself, so that they actually hung right against the clean laundry.  Only it was, of course, now no longer clean - instead every item was encrusted with hundreds of little spatters of white fat. One half of me was delighted that he should be putting out the bird food (that's usually my domain) – and so much of it too! - but the other half was appalled at his choice of where to place it.   Very unlike him. “What are you doing?!” I called out, my surprise matched only by my annoyance. I never got to hear his reply. I opened my eyes slowly and the light filtered in, accompanied by sounds too, the sounds of the morning... a distant song thrush, tyres on the road, the whirring of the central heating pump as it stirred into life. I lay there and reminisced. Rylan Clark copping a feel!

I know nobody ever really wants to hear or read about someone else's weird dreams (unless they're in them, so Rylan may be interested) but in the absence of anything meaningful or riveting to say here at the moment, I'm afraid that's what you have.

Saturday 21 March 2015

Believe you me

Just imagine you're going about your daily business when suddenly a magically reincarnated Eamonn Andrews, or Michael Aspel if you prefer, appears from nowhere. There you are, trying to shake the last drops of sauce out of the bottle of HP before settling down to watch Judge Rinder with a cheese omelette, and you glance up and he's looking directly at you, brandishing that big red book. In a split second you see your life flash before you, like one of those TV flashbacks which you know is a flashback because the colour goes all muted. That's you: pictured there riding your bike for the first time without stabilisers, playing the donkey in the school Nativity, pinning that Jam badge to your blazer, coughing on your first Rothmans. Then there are all the others: people you once worked with who probably don't even remember your surname are now merrily recounting some anecdote you'd long forgotten about the time you turned up for work in odd socks.

“Oh god, I'm on 'This Is Your Life'” you think, as the images continue to roll by in your mind and you just hope and pray that it glosses over that part where... well, you know which bit...

Only, you're not... because as you take a closer look at that red book you realise that it doesn't say 'This Is Your Life'. Oh no, it says 'This Is Your Lie'. Is this some kind of sick joke?  This is your lie?  Then, with a degree of glee that is frankly quite distasteful, Eamonn/Michael starts flicking through the book which is of course a big fat ring-binder file, and it's so stuffed full of pages that those metal clips won't even close, and sheets of lined A4 paper are now falling out all over the place and on each one of them...scrawled in blue biro because they go back way before the advent of Microsoft Word... a lie. Every single lie you've ever told in your life.

The first fifty pages or so are quite unrefined. You're about four and you've just realised that there is an alternative option to admitting to something that might otherwise get you told off.  No, I didn't eat any sweets / hide Sam's lego / pull the cat's tail. Then you start to get a bit more adept: Yes, I did do my maths homework / No, I didn't drink any alcohol at the party / Yes, I am eighteen.  Finally it gets a lot more sophisticated: Don't worry, you didn't interrupt me / Yes, I'm fine (or No, nothing's wrong ) / I'm sorry, he's out at the moment, can I take a message? / They only cost a tenner / I would if I could...

There's a little lie here, a little lie there, a couple of right whoppers which you really do regret and, to be fair, a lot of white ones which you told so as not to hurt someone's feelings.  However, just imagine if you were to see every one of them spelt out in front of you in black and white (or blue biro). No! you might exclaim, I'm sure I never said that! Honest!  But nobody would believe you... after all, we've all done it.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Random access memory #1

We both woke up this morning with hunger pangs. Don't know why, we'd eaten well last night, but maybe that was the reason and our stomachs were primed for more.
“I'm so hungry...” said Mr SDS.
“So hungry so angry...” I replied, without even thinking what I was saying, “so hungry, so angry, so hungry, so angry” and it started to take on a tune, “oh god - who did that?
(Weird, last time I heard those lyrics must've been over 30 years ago.)
“I can't remember... was it someone like Blurt...? “
“It begins with M... I'm sure it begins with M for some reason” I suggested, “a word like Material?”
“I think it's two words”
“Oh I can't remember. Let's Google it...”
And we had to find out before we could even eat breakfast (we weren't really so angry).

Medium Medium (of course!?): Hungry, So Angry (1981)

I can't stand Jeremy Clarkson but this seems kinda apt.

Friday 13 March 2015


I seem to have a case of writer's block. Think I need the cerebral equivalent of Dyno-Rod to come and plunge my proverbial (verbal, even) pipes. Ideas for things to write about are floating about: the dead mouse, horsehair weaving, deep sea divers, recent forays into Northern Soul and a teenage pregnancy scare, with a bit of music thrown in if possible (I even had Deadmau5 lined up for the first topic, but have yet to decide what could accompany horsehair weaving).  Unfortunately that's all they're doing, though - floating. Maybe I will manage to flush them through at some point but right now I can't seem to.

So, in the meantime, please have a look at some pictures! I found these two ancient 'How To Draw' books in a charity shop. How could I resist?

Drawing Children by Victor Pérard, 1945

Drawing Animals by Victor Pérard, 1951

Here are some of the inside pages...very anachronistic:

I love this guide to facial expressions in particular:

There's even a picture of Buster Bloodvessel...

 but I can't quite bring myself to include Lip Up Fatty as a soundtrack today.

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