My friends, I would like to share with you something I found on my hard drive. I wrote it some time ago. Can you guess what my muse was at the time? The results my surprise you…by how obvious it was…

Cause and effect
the massive infinite
of the Mesopotamian nightmare
a wielding spiral that disagrees with you
and causes nothing but goats

Welcome to a nightmare of fair game
the strength of a nation that holds its own
disguised in folly and wrinkled in athletic capabilities

Satisfied entirely by words

harsh diamonds and creative endeavours
the spinach speech pattern
of a regular life in Delaware
tortoise shelled
and overnight

The crazies that…

Words fail me

It runs on strength but not on power
and the steam that rises
like a kettle distillery
runs dry and fruitless like an aubergine tank
and it’s this that we love and despise

Dear mothers,
dear fathers,
dear children who grow and play
this is exactly what happens
when you drink
and try to

Leave a comment (and some words of pity)

Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that, “Holy shit…I’ve written a book,” which sounds really cool until certain realisations come to light. I’m unbelievably proud of what I’ve done, but now I’m at the stage where I have a first draft, I keep wondering where I go from here.

“To the pub,” was obviously my immediate response. Then I realised that the sight of a semi-drunken man beaming a smile of accomplishment across his face as he edits his project in public sort of invites minor injuries.  After all, who was it who said “Write drunk, edit sober”? Was it you? If so, well done. Let me pat you on the beret.

Writers have these, don't they?

Writers have these, don’t they?

What’s weird is, it doesn’t feel quite like I’ve written a book. Like, someone is going to come along at some point and tell me I’m missing something. I think it’s because I have a lot of trouble writing long passages and scenes. I started off doing short horror stories (well, technically I started off writing poetry as a teenager, but we shan’t go into that because the words ‘poetry’ and ‘teenager’ do not inspire positive images), so maybe I just became used to writing succinctly. Writing a whole book is vastly different and it’s something I’ve tried over and over for nearly a decade now.

At 44,000 words, I’m plagued by this idea that Passing Phases (that’s the title…quick, everyone start trending it on Twitter) is not big enough to be classed as a full-blown novel. Don’t get me wrong, the mere fact I got this far fills me with such pride I sometimes wonder if I should join the circus as a one-man towel rack. Has anyone else ever felt like this? (Not the towel business…that’s my own fantasy) Have you ever, say, directed a short film and thought “Nah, this isn’t a film. Films aren’t done this way”?

I think it being a ghostwritten book as well sort of makes it seem different. Yeah, of course there are plenty of books out there written by anonymous authors, so why do I sometimes have to keep telling myself that Passing Phases (Seriously, get that shit trending) is – or at least, will be – a proper book type thing?

It’s been lying dormant on my hard drive since last August. I’ve only just started re-opening it to carry on with edits. Maybe I just want to skip forward to the point where it gets published and – secret incantations being effective – sells quite well.

But I am excited. The guy I wrote it for has even managed to generate a little bit of interest from one or two publishers. It seems like it’s slowly coming back into existence after sitting still next to folders suspiciously labelled ‘The not-boobs directory’…Again, I’m really pleased about the prospect of someone maybe considering the manuscript, but I also feel a bit of a fraud.

Why would you even need to wear a mask on the internet..?

Why would you even need to wear that..?

I read stories about writers churning away night after night on their manuscript. Then editing it several times, writing query letters and sending them off to potential agents and publishers. Apart from emailing a few agents, I haven’t done any of that. So I’m struck by this notion that I’m not doing it right. Maybe other writers will read this and turn their noses up at the page in disgust…which means they won’t be able to read this next bit where I tell them they probably smell bad and their mothers have questionable morals.

In conclusion you lovely, shiny people: I wrote a book, currently unpublished. I’m extremely happy with how it’s turned out, but this is all new to me so I don’t know how else to feel…

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Is it possible to fall in love with a pub? I don’t mean in any weird, sexual way either. Seldom do people reach climax upon entering their favourite establishment and those that do are promptly escorted away from the premises to never be seen again (as per their restraining order). No what I mean is, have you ever stood at the entrance of a pub you’ve never frequented before, hands on hips and making slow nodding gestures as you gaze at the decal, and felt a rich warmness fill your entire being? If you have, I assure you that’s not custard, but the unequivocal attachment you to feel to a local drinking…er…building.

I don’t think it’s weird at all. Why would you judge so harshly?

Let me set the scene. I walk into a local pub I haven’t stepped into since its renovation some time ago. I pause after the double doors close behind me. The interior unleashes a burst of rejuvenation, like a patient that’s been given good news about an unusual growth. The bar gleams in the distance and bottles and taps wink cheerfully in my direction. I see the chalkboard dailies announcing some equivalent of a regal banquet. The air is bouncing with musical vibrations and a sense of welcome. Also it’s totally happy hour, yo.

"Wooooo!" Said everyone except you because you're totally classy...

“Wooooo!” Said everyone except you because you’re totally classy…

The pub is called The Alb and my god what a difference a building can make to a weekend. Do you not think the discovery of a pub you haven’t been in before is like discovering the librarian you’ve had a crush on also likes ICP and neo-liberal values? Externally she may not have everything you think you want in a woman, but inside she embodies your soul interests and disgusting fetishes.

Sometimes it’s hard to really appreciate what a pub has to offer. I don’t just mean the drinks (maybe). What I mean is, so many places you’ll go into because it gets you out of the rain, or it has cheap food, or the mafia have traced your IP address. But to happen upon a new establishment that simply ovulates personality is a joyous moment. To seek a place of temporary refuge that encapsulates everything you desire in a public house is such a heart soothing sensation.

I genuinely feel sorry for people who don’t drink. They’ll never know this feeling. The closest they’ll ever get to experience this is finding a new brand of flavoured water in between their daily sobs. It’s an immense discovery in most adult’s lives to find that special place where the world is separate from them and they feel a fresh pang of revitalisation that speaks to them in an entirely awesome holy crap you can tell I’ve had four pints at The Alb this afternoon…

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Was…was it something I said? Was it something I didn’t say? Maybe my choice of retweets and pseudo-humorous take on news items was not the sort of wisdom you had come to seek when you clicked the ‘Follow’ button. Or perhaps you didn’t mean to press it, but chose to wait an appropriate amount of time to pass before you removed me from your list. Maybe you thought that was the polite thing to do, rather than make it obvious you hadn’t intended to click ‘Follow’.

It’s okay, I won’t be mad. You can tell me…

As for the whole ‘promise of cake’ thing: was that what intrigued you? Rest assured I did not mean to get your hopes up about delicious baked goods being delivered to you. God, I really hope you weren’t just a follower because you were under the impression that a scrumptious gateaux was being prepared. My apologies if you were mislead. This also wasn’t some elaborate jape, where I suckered people in knowing they had a fancy for Boston cream pies only to laugh maniacally when no cake was presented. Like some pastry-based Ebay scam.

I'm sorry. I'm so very sorry. Please...please don't look at it...

I’m sorry. I’m so very sorry. Please…please don’t look at it…

I know I’m fairly new to the whole Twitter thing, but I’m making the most of the 140 characters I’m given. I’m not about to waste those characters with banal details about my toilet breaks and Spongebob quotes. I wanted to show you what I had to offer in my little corner of the Internet. But somewhere along the line, things went wrong.

Please come back to me. Let’s get a debate going. Just tell me what I did that made you not love me any more. I’ll promise I’ll do what it takes to clean up my act, cut down on booze, wash my dishes when — oh, sorry…force of habit…

I promise. No more empty promises about Battenbergs. No more re-tweets from Ricky Gervais, if that’s what it’ll take. If you need more dick jokes, I got plenty. If not, consider them gone. But I must know how I can make amends. We barely got to know each other. I bet you would have liked me. I’m sure we would have gotten along famously. Besides, 69 followers is pathetically small. And it makes my girlfriend giggle…

Justify my existence with a comment


Sorry, I’ve just always fancied beginning a statement that way. Though it’s less of an introduction and more of an exclamation. It’s how I imagine rich folk would swear. You know, if they ran out of monocle cleaner at the worst possible time. I like to think that in extreme cases, they just straight up vomit live pheasants into stovepipe hats.

Now you know why they're so deep...

Now you know why they’re so deep…

I would like to say I’m somewhat couth and cultured. It’s just I don’t have the financial backing to prove it. And my twirly cane has fallen into a river. A river of homeless people. So I’m going to make amends the only way I know how: with alcohol. So for your reading pleasure, I have taken on the task of tasting and analysing some expensive red wines from around the world. Or at least opposite the Cheese Strings in your local Waitrose (probably)…

Château Ducru Beaucaillou, 2007, St Julien

Price: £79

The Wine Society says:

Bruno Borie made a stunning success of the challenging 2007 vintage and this was a standout wine at the primeur tastings. 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, with top-quality press wine adding tannin and body.

My notes:

I bet this is how Jesus’ blood would taste if he hadn’t had a transfusion in, like, months. I like the way the, er, liquid (red) pours into the glass. It’s almost like it fits the receptacle perfectly. Okay, right off the bat it’s obvious I’m not sure what I’m talking about. Also, the waitress keeps giving me funny looks, all because I insisted she address me as Lord Lordington: Hymen Remover.

Almaviva 2008

Price: £75

The Wine Society says:

2008 is a wonderful vintage for the top Maipo wines, with a long, cool autumn resulting in a late harvest of ripe yet fresh grapes. Yields were low (20-45hl/ha). The blend is 66% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Cabernet franc from Puente Alto in Maipo for structure and a cedary top note, with 26% carmenère from Peumo, Rapel, for flesh. Aged 18 months in new French barriques. Patience will be rewarded.

My notes:

Okay, apparently you’re not supposed to swallow the wine up in this bitch. I also feel a bit guilty quaffing wine that’s worth more than I make in a day, especially when Strongbow is on offer. This Almaviva is rather refreshing, though. It has a rather rich and chocolately quality about it. Each sip is like a smooth intake with a heavenly cocoa texture and aftertaste. I should probably stop dipping my Mars Bar into it…

Château Le Boscq, 2005, Saint-Estèphe

Price: £29

The Wine Society says:

Generous, modern claret from the Dourthe stable, superb in this ripe vintage, when a smaller quantity of top-quality wine was made. Still showing seductive oaky flavour but with plenty of lush fruit in support.

My notes:

First of all, I’m not quite sure why wines with an ‘oaky’ quality are good. If someone tried to sell me a drink based on its proximity to a Birch tree I’d probably never shop there again. Secondly, what is the fascination with naming wines “Castle” (Chateau for you uncultured vermin)? I’m willing to bet that noble knights and kings drank and ate only the finest, but I’m also willing to suggest they had a room in said castle specifically for poop.

Côtes du Roussillon Villages, Tautavel, Clos des Vignes, Domaine Gardiés, 2008

Price: £14.50

The Wine Society says:

Jean Gardiés is one of the top growers in the Roussillon with vines close to the famous prehistoric caves. This is full-bodied and generous with a touch of spice.

My notes:

This is a bit more reasonably priced, but holy balls that is one giant ass-fuck of a name. Wine tastes pretty good. Could use a 2×4 in it, though. These posh folk love their wine with some willow or some shit. Also, I’m sure our waitress has taken a liking to me. She keeps grimacing at my choice of outfit and wafting me away with a doyley. Which I’m pretty sure is the international symbol for ‘do things to me that put my family name in the gutter’.

Ch Cheval Blanc 1990 St Emilion

Price: £675

The Wine Society says:

We laugh in the face of poor people when we crack this bad boy open. [paraphrased slightly]

My notes:

They…they’re laughing. They are downright chortling right onto their servant’s lapels. They’ve just paid nearly £700 for a bottle of wine and they don’t seem phased by this figure. It’s like you and me splashing out on Japanese beer because we feel domestic stuff is beneath us. Oh god, they’re not even drinking it! They’re just pouring it onto the floor. The poshest one (I just call him Swish #3) has smashed one end of the bottle against a marble column. He’s…he’s advancing on me…shit! I’ve been uncovered. They know I’m not rich! They’ve seen me secretly munching on a saveloy in between glasses. This is it…if I don’t make it out, tell my wife I love her. And the hor d’oeuvres were delectable…

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A Pseudo-Easter Entry

Posted: March 31, 2013 in Anecdotes
Tags: , , ,

Am I the only person who doesn’t like Cadbury’s Cream Eggs? Like, in the whole world? I feel there’s some sort of closet for people like me. It wasn’t so bad when I told everyone I didn’t like Turkish Delight. No, not even the chocolate covered ones (the food, not the people). At least with Turkish Delight there were a handful of us dissenters. We could hold secret meetings, at the very least.

But there’s always been this cloud hanging over me, with this comic-style finger pointing down and a huge sign that says “LEPER”. And all because some people seem genuinely dumbfounded when I say that I actually don’t like Cream Eggs. Maybe it’s the way I’m being interpreted. Maybe “I don’t like” is being confused with “I would like to make smelly love to”. And “Cream Eggs” sounds a bit like “Adolf Hitler’s soup spoons” to some people.

(Yes, that does mean this is the second entry in a row where I mention Hitler in a derogative manner. If that doesn’t let the KKK know I’m not interested in their meetups, then I’m out of ideas…)

Did you used to watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Of course you did! Everybody did. And it wasn’t so much that you liked it, either. You bally well adored that show! Again, everybody did. Guess what? I didn’t. Kind of hated it, in fact. Had no idea what the appeal was so I skipped the phenomena. Yet, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about admitting to that. Even though I was pretty much alone in admitting to it. While everybody was talking about their Chandlers and Ross’, I was probably bewildered as to why someone would inject a white, thick substance into an otherwise hollow chocolate egg. Ugh. All those years wasted.

So yeah. I hate Cadbury’s Cream Eggs. What is wrong with you people?! Wait, I didn’t mean that. Please don’t leave. I’ll even put my pants back on…

Yeah. I know this isn’t really a long or interesting post. But you go to do something before the serotonin kicks in…

What things do you hate that everyone else loves?

I was going to do this week’s post on kittens and bunnies and rainbow dragons. Then I discovered the following image and now I am struck with this empty feeling of melancholy that I cannot shift. And I’ve just eaten my last Oreo. So it’s not going so well…

"Also we were going to buy you a puppy for your birthday, but then we realised it was inevitably going to die anyway..."

“Also we were going to buy you a puppy for your birthday, but then we realised it was inevitably going to die anyway…”

It’s not a depressing image as such, but the original caption imparted a home truth about how we eventually become bored of celebrating birthdays. I would probably stretch that further and say that the whole idea of partying loses it’s appeal later on in life. Hey hey, whoa now. Calm your dangly bits for a second there Mayor Overreact. I didn’t say anything about not drinking or having a good time. While I have halved my intake over the past year (to that of a roadie for Motorhead) I still love to drink.

No, what I’m talking about is the point in life where you either stop drinking or cut back to some extent because “hey, vomiting on walls and loss of limb muscles are perhaps the only things less appealing than a Hitler mustache.” Let me put it another way: Have you ever been out somewhere and either been completely sober or you’ve only had a few drinks throughout the night? Just enough to keep adult responsibilities at bay, but not enough to attract the attention of authority figures and/or the clergy.

See that drunk dude over by the bar? See him holding onto a support beam that isn’t there? See how he sways with the panache of a not very graceful swaying thing? Don’t you feel superior to him? I know I do. And yes, that is how we all look when we’re that wasted. And it’s precisely that image that makes me glad I don’t allow myself to get to that stage. Not anymore, at least.

To summarise: Drink? Yes. Drunk? Sure, why not. So wasted you set evolutionary leaps back three centuries? Pass.

It’s not just weekend’s in the pub either. Last year my housemate and I would host parties at our place, usually once a month or so. Ignoring costs and clean ups, they were pretty stonking shindigs. People drank until the wee hours of the morning, some hooked up with others, punches were thrown and people converted beliefs. Good times. But now, for whatever reason, the thought of hosting another party, or even just attending one, tires me. Tires me like a trophy wife when she’s presented with a slightly inferior diamond ring.

"[YAWN] How tedious..."

“How tedious…”

This isn’t a snobbish thing. I’m not saying I’m better than people who do drink like ‘there’s a party in your face and everyone’s a chihuahua’. I genuinely just think I’m done with it. Hangovers physically hurt now. And I’m in a comfortable, stable relationship where I don’t feel the need to impress someone with how much booze I can hold in my stomach.

But back to the topic of birthdays. People get drunk on their birthdays. Christ, some people just untie their inhibitions from the sacrificial altar and downright liquify themselves. It’s a bit more acceptable on this occasion but I wonder if it’s just an automatic reaction. It happens across all ages but for different reasons. For teens it’s about staggering over the threshold into adulthood and doing the things adults do when they’re not folding sheets and filling out forms (or whatever it is they do). For people a wee bit older it might have more morbid connotations…”Holy shit, I’m getting so old,” says every person in their twenties ever, for some reason. And so drinking almost becomes a race. Like time is running out and the window of opportunity is being closed, and the pie that’s cooling on the windowsill is slowly being eaten.

So is that a celebration? Is the morbid realisation that age is creeping up and our inevitable demise is kept temporarily at bay when we down enough alcohol to freak out the Merchant Navy – is that what drives us to party so hard? Who knows…

Good lord is that a depressing thought! What the hell is wrong with me? I’m going to go play in the snow with the neighbours cats while you all click the ‘unsubscribe’ button…

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