Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bad Pubs

Some people smoke or take drugs, others can only bring themselves to find harmful people attractive, some stand right on the edge of train tracks, walk out into the road without looking or always make sure they take the darkest route home at night.

I’m addicted to bad pubs like this one. There’s not one forgiving corner here amongst the reconstituted wood tables, lino and glass. Cold puddles of lager splash underfoot and against my forearm. The television’s always on, the bar staff always talking to their mates and my fellow drinkers are all thick limbed, hairless and tattooed. They have eyes like crocodiles: cold but never blinking.

I catch the frothy acid tang of piss as I order my own lager, I sit down with it and drink and wait. Drink and wait. Maybe in this bad pub I’ll get what I deserve.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Music of Men and Space Dogs

I own, or share, what with being married and everything now, two albums by sort-of trip-hoppers Laika and, as of recently, the album Ard Nev by electronica boffin Gagarin.

This fact touches me in my geekiest places.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Last Good Day of the Year

After the sunny weekend I acutely felt the season turn this morning.

Walking down the road to New Cross station Summer ran up to me wearing nothing but a yellow mohair jumper and a pair of hiking books and leapt at me, groin first, for an embrace. As ever, I was pleased to see her.

But Summer is looking pale and has deep lines under her eyes, she has the look of someone who needs a really, really good sleep.
And I sensed, from behind, Autumn creeping toward me, and all of us, with cold hands and sharp teeth, preparing to bite us all, very hard, on the arse.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Museum of Text Messages

I've been keeping hold of some text messages on my phone but they're taking up too much room and must be purged. So I thought the best place for them to live on is here.

Woolly pigs! Primroses & green loveliness! Big contrast with last night..
The better-half had spent long winter months in London and is nourished by spring in the countryside.

I'm here by mistake!
Bongo Tom said he wasn't going to Bonkerfest on Camberwell Green but somehow manages to turn up there.

Am lying here with gorgeous joseph Kyrle sparks on my chest! All v happy! Joe has big hands, big feet & other bit bits. He's a cracking 9lbs 4oz!
Took me a couple of reads to work out this was Helen announcing the birth of her son.

Just found something in Natural History Museum that is about 18" long, reddish-brown, head looks just like it's tail and shaped like a frankfurter...
I've realised that none of my friends have gone metric yet. Bongo Tom again, this time he's either getting all crypto-zoological or he's going through the bins and found someone's hotdog.

The smell was my hamster, it smells nice now
A text sent to me by mistake as I have never been driven from someones home by the stench of rodent. The way I read this is as reassurance from one teenager to another (who else can be bothered with hamsters?): They were planning an afternoon of cider and mutual fiddling but were driven out of their lust-nest by a vile odour. This message also says "the smell wasn't me! Please come back! I has best pants on!"

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Doors of Ikea

The new Ikea adverts are doing my head in a bit and not in an “I must buy furniture now” way. There’s this poor girl I’ve seen on tube posters: she’s sat on her Ikea chaise-langue starring, in abject, lysergic, terror, at a small toy crocodile that is glaring at her from the edge of her Ikea carpet.

Where are the girl’s friends here? Why isn’t her best mate holding her hand and soothing her with words like “it’s ok, you’re just tripping, it’s not a real crocodile and it’s not going to get you and we’re all friends here and we love you, you’re ok”. Meanwhile her boyfriend should be bashing the cuddly reptile over the head proclaiming “See me! I defeat croc! Ha-HARR! I is mighty!”

But no; boyfriend, as I saw on the false-cover of today’s Metro, is in his bedroom burning out one retina at a time while staring at his Ikea globe lamp shadethrough his telescope. He is cackling “I stare at suns with telly-scope and I no go blind. It night time now no sun.”

The friend who should be comforting her is doing herself less physical harm: as seen in the television advert she’s wandering her own living room with a magnifying glass “oo-ing” and “ah-ing” at all the lovely Ikea things in her house until she lights on a very shiny lamp.

It’s so shiny that within it she can see whole worlds and new worlds and worlds within worlds until, at the heart of this multi-verse she sees an eye, blurred and concave, staring back at her. The eye does not flinch. She never sees it blink.

She is found by her mother three days later still staring into the lamp. She speaks, after a fashion, but she never uses a recognisable word ever again.

Friday, January 19, 2007

ing Plan

I’m writing my intentions on writing. A blog seems to be a pretty good place to do such a thing too.

My first novel, the one I wrote about nine years ago and have been revising, plugging and thinking about everyday for the last fourteen years shall be going in a box. It’s being sealed up and left for a while because I think I need to do get some experience writing other pieces of fiction before I go back to it.

I wrote a few paragraphs as a start to a new novel, working title Cemetery Junction, the story is my latest attempt as putting themes of folk-stories and fairy-tales into a contemporary circumstance and setting without falling into the various pit-falls other writers trying to do the same thing have fallen into. It’ll be a fun challenge as will be trying to make Reading (the large town) seem like a place where magic can take place.

I’ve also got some short stories in various states of completion and, galvanised by what FandM Publications are up to, I intend to get some of them into a read-able state in the next few months. People are often told that starting a story, on a big, blank page, is the hardest part of writing. Finding the nerve to actually finishing them has turned out to be my problem.

Short stories in semi-made forms:

A ship-wreak story about Europe’s discovery of the Americas and Australia’s and the change of thought that took place between the early modern period and the Enlightenment. It’s called Skiapods.

A sort-of Lovecraft piss-take starring rats: Rat King

A fantasy story about urban legends and a piece of history moving from living memory to mythology and fictoin.

Some south-east London-inspired stories I may string together: The Temple of Bacchus: about where gods may now be found. A Secret Hero of All Humanity: a straight-ish horror story about a supposed haunted house and a fantasy tale about semi-sentient alien drugs: Atlantic Road.

That’s the creative stuff I’ll be trying to do this year. Thanks if you’ve read this far.

Friday, July 14, 2006

On 'Strange Dave's' Singing

I work with a bloke called Strange Dave. He's called Strange Dave for many, many reasons but one of them is that he sings to himself while he's at work.

He's a jazz fan so I've no idea what it is he's trying to sing but I was asked to describe it today, Strange Dave being on holiday and so not in the office and singing.

Not wanting to actually try and make the noise; I came up with this description which I would like to share with you.

Imagine that you are a man who is hastily dressing in a dark wardrobe. Outside said wardrobe is a very large, very suspicious man who is on the look-out for things like semi-naked men in hiding.

In the large man captures you he will get very violent and cripple or kill you in a terrible, possibly sexual, way. You wish to avoid this.

However, while slipping your jeans on you close the zip rather carelessly and track quite a large amount of your genitals in the large-toothed, metal zip. The jeans are also quite tight on you, causing the zip to bite down all the harder on to your parts.

You want to, HAVE TO, cry out from this, to give some sort of release to the pain that is washing up and down your very blood and bone. To scream would free the pain for a short time.

You know, though, that this would result in the large man being alerted to your presence and pulling you from the wardrobe and doing terrible, terrible things to you until you either died or were, at least, painfully debilitated by them.

So you mark a stifled, high-pitched whining cry. You feel a little better or at least a little distracted, when ever you make this sound but you can’t fall to the ground and wail for fear of detection.
You try and punctuate it with each in take of breath or footfall that the big bloke makes so as to try and cover it by the noises he is making himself. There’s a rhythm to this keening, a terrible, sobbing wail, punctuated by silence and in-takes of breath.

And that’s what Strange Dave sound like when he’s singing.