Archive for December, 2003

Wednesday, December 31st, 2003

I was going to rant on about New Year and how I loathe it all. Especially Andy Stewart, Moira Anderson and the whole sword dancing over flaming haggises in frilly shirts scenario. Thankfully most of the aforementioned are long gone and we can choose from Hamish Clark, Jools Holland, wall to wall wifeswap or a night out on the streets of Bignjuicyville wearing nothing but a shirt and a hopeful grin. [ It’s almost Gateshead but not as friendly ]. I was going to go on about outpourings of liquorlurve, gunpowder and endless hopeful resolutions all on the basis of a change in the date. As dates are a man made invention I was going to suggest that we all get it under control and start wearing beige trousers and acting normal at new year. But it’s all relative isn’t it? – as I was only telling my Aunty the other day.

Anyway my money’s on Hamish. I’m off to open that single malt and test drive that Proclaimers CD. Anyone know how to make a Linda McCartney vegetarian haggis ignite?

Snot fair

Tuesday, December 30th, 2003

Back in the country 7 hours and I get a bleedin cold or allergy or something. Whatever it is it involves producing large amounts of unspeakable secretions that suddenly decide to flow liberally from orifices at the most inopportune moments.

Picture the scene:

drD stumbles jetlagged to mogadonmart[ regular readers may like to know that checkouts 3 through 6 have now been permanently annexed behind a Berlin Wall of popular newspapers and magazines such as The Daily Mail and Menopausal Knitting Weekly ] – in search of life’s staples; milk, bread, chocolate digestives etc etc. I approach Lucy [ for it is she ] – she is smiling sweetly as ever in that, ‘whaddafuckdouwantnow, devil may care’ way that she has. I tender my meagre purchases for the expert attentions of her magic laser wand. She chooses instead to play things the hard way and taps in the handy fifty digit code for the digestives. Twice, incorrectly. The third attempt is succesfull and I am soon being handed the card slip to sign. [ I know – it’s embarrasing – but when you’ve just returned from the eurozone darling sterling is in such short supply ]. At the point at which she hands me the slip a large dollop of unpseakableness issues forth from my inflamed nostrils and lands, splat on her fingers and the credit card slip. I freeze, shocked and stunned at the cruelty of my own nostrils and in slight admiration of their impeccable timing. Any pretence of sophistication I may have harboured is now consigned to oblivion. All those purchases of upmarket comestibles; the foigras flavoured toilet rolls, the chiffon clingfilm – all in vain. Obliterated by a dollop of snot.

I make my excuses, and slink away into the night – looks like it’s the BP garage for me for the next two years.




Nice to be back I think not

The great escape

Monday, December 22nd, 2003

By the time you read this I’ll have buggered off outa here to escape the fine weather we’re having right now.

I’ve always wanted to do this – spend Christmas somewhere hot n sunny – but never could…until now.

I feel a bit like those jammy TV stars that bugger off to their private islands / villas / caravans [ Margaret Beckett ] while leaving us to watch their offerings pre-recorded the previous March.

Having said that – by the time you read this I’ll probably be stuck in a godforsaken airport somewhere trying to avoid maiming some screaming children – or I could be on a plane jammed 4 abreast with some loud vexatious shellsuit models inhaling their SARS laden mucous droplets through the aircon. Or I could be queueing for several hours for my luggage to arrive from some far flung zone where it has been sent through the incompetence of a half pissed airline operative [ Oh no that’s only the pilots – I forgot ].

On the other hand I could be stretched out on my sun lounger enjoying the stunning view from my fragrant private terrace whilst enjoying a glass of chilled champagne. [ dream on dr dream on] …and I hope to see you when I get back in a short while. Meantime there will be daily updates – [ provided all the springs and rubber bands stay in place and the 50p I put in the electric meter doesn’t run out ] – so do drop in from time to time during the festive period if you are in need of a little diversion from your Parents/Aunty/Mad Wife or husband or partner/Screaming children/etc etc – you never know what you might find. Have fun and do ensure you partake of the fruit of the vine – even if it’s only a small one.

Christmas Eve Eve

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

Boxing Day

Post Boxing Day

links should work on and after the relevant day

Sunday, December 21st, 2003

Don’t fancy yours much

“Their mothers and sisters help them clean their teeth and in childhood pull their limbs to make them long and slim.”

Miss World eat yer heart out – this male beauty contest in Niger is fascinating.

Saturday, December 20th, 2003

So Michelle wins Pap Idol

and Mr Waterman reportedly leaves the building swiftly – interesting. The triumph of Michelle must be seen as a triumph of substance over style. She’s got a great voice and really delivers her material. Ironic that the least manufactured looking individual you could choose wins what’s essentially a manufacturing talent show – so that has to be good. There’re only so many polyurethane skinned clones with acrylic teeth and no talent we can take before the British public say ‘enuff is enuff – we want a large Scottish woman with a great voice for our Pop Idol’. Mr Waterman who describes himself modestly as a ‘Pop Music Phenomenon’ used to run a studio called the ‘Hit Factory’ – nuff said. I’m going to enjoy seeing how the shiny stick insect industry copes with Michelle as they attempt to package her for what they consider to be their view of ‘public taste’.

Pop-idol observation: Will Young is looking v.bored these days.

If you can read this without squinting you need to get out more

Thanks to B3ta for the link to the alternative House of Commons Calendar which I’m sure many of my readers may already have seen. I reproduce my favourite image of Mr October here – just because I can. I may well do so on a semi-regular basis.


A long overdue update to my mutality list and a special thankyew to Lawn Greengrass for recent linkage.

Proper chrimbo

Friday, December 19th, 2003

And so to Birmingham for a spot of Christmas shopping amongst other things.

I really really like Birmingham. It’s had a bad press over the years but invariably the people I meet there are lovely friendly folks. I like the accent and I like their attitude to life – far more laid back than their Capital city counterparts. As Melbourne is to Sydney, Birmingham is to London not least for it’s rich artistic and architectural landscape. Most exciting for me is the new Bullring which replaces it’s 60’s predecessor with a collection of slightly Disneyesque shopping malls containing all the High Street Staples: Gap, Debenhams, The Link, Dixons, Benetton, yawn yawn. Unlike the concrete and terrazzo buildings that were bulldozed, the new Bullring has a nice mix of inside and outside space. St Martin’s Church sits resplendent at the centre of the development and tonight was all lit up for Chrimbo. Some fantastic carol singers were doing their stuff and it was all a bit tingly with the lights, the crisp winter air, the darkness and the elevated position overlooking the city – ooh.

I’m hardbitten these days when it comes to seasonal jollity but a few of my seasonal buttons were depressed I can tell ya.

Most impressive is the Selfridges building by Futuresystems. A beautifully detailed building – a bit disappointing for being joined on to the end of the rest of Bullring. Destined like the now historic Rotunda to become a Brummy landmark. I’m now wearing my new purchases and downing a well earned Guinness. Only 6 days to go!


Some nice images of Bullring on the Birmingham Picture Library site.


Thursday, December 18th, 2003

I was thinking the other day about how I would like to end up when I am old and grey.

I thought it’s probably something I should work on a bit because before I know it I’ll be thinking Gaga holidays are a good idea and be thumbing through catalogues for fashionable anti-incontinence devices. [ I’m thinking metallic blue with LED indicators to match my eyes ]. Then I thought, ‘for heavens sake drD you’re still young’. This is a bad sign – when you have to remind yourself of such things. When you are young you don’t even consider that you might be otherwise – you know. When you enter the portal to the twilight zone that is m****e age [ shudder ] it becomes an ongoing mental debate: ‘is this what I should be doing?’, ‘is this appropriate?’, ‘will people think I’m a sad old fart / oldest swinger in town?’ etc etc.

Anyway, to return to my initial thought; see I’m rambling – anudder bad sign – I thought it might be nice to be somewhere where there aren’t long periods of darkness, where it’s relatively mild for most of the year and where I would feel ‘comfortable’. Now what the hell does that mean? Have to think about that one.

Anyway I’m beginning to think maybe I should be relocating to the equator when I get into my fifties. Either that or invest in some full spectrum daylight heat lamps and grow old disgracefully a’la Mick.

Leather underpants anyone?

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003

News today is full of the afermath of the Soham murder trial.

Like some relentlessly depressing pop song you don’t want to hear on the radio – it’s gone on and on and on from the fateful day last year when the two little girls went missing. Hard to understand how the families must feel – so mercifully unusual is a tragedy such as this we have few precedents and therefore few insights into what this does to those who remain. Lives changed forever. No doubt about that. Interesting now to see the ‘retrofit of evil’ going on with layers and layers of interpretation and supposition being presented as ‘fact’. Somehow it’s supposed to be obvious now what a monster this man was, how nearly everyone he encountered thought he was a bit weird, how he had a history of suspected offences etc etc. All of it trying to impose some kind of meaning upon something random and nasty. For all the furrowed brows, computer graphics and outside broadcasts can’t change what happened. And the lives destroyed can’t be returned. But ‘The Story of The Soham Tragedy’ is now being constructed so it can join all the other ones and no doubt be serialised in some creepy weekly magazine with a free binder. God help us all. I need a drink.

Blue Witch is even older today.

A little while back she sent me some witchy Viagra [ BWV ]. Strangely enough this was because she was laughing at me at the time. Make of that what you will. Nonetheless BW is a very nice lady and I’ve never been quite the same since I started on the BWV. So here’s to you BW – many happy returns and long may your ginger be familiar.

Tuesday, December 16th, 2003

Northenders – Episode 3

Another episode in an occasional series of chance encounters with Northern Celebrities:

Yesterday who should I encounter ambling aimlessly along Tottenham Court Road wearing Yellow and Black trainers? [ I kid ye not ] No less than Mr Paul Morley, child of Stockport, member of 80’s beat combo Art of Noise and all round media Kooldude. Paul needs to book in for an emergency makeover with Trinny and Tranny – or at least get a decent haircut – he was always such a fine looking chap.

Previous episodes here and here


“Ken Livingstone has only ever belonged to one party – the Ken Livingstone party”

Neil Kinnock

Monday, December 15th, 2003

A long overdue visit to the brilliant Satan’s Laundromat for my seasonal NYC fix.

Mike is on top form with his quirky city signs and wanders. I particularly enjoyed his black and white snow sequence [ sample above ] which even made me feel vaguely Christmassy – no mean achievement I can tell ya.

If you live near Colindale, Hendon, Willesden Green, Hounslow, Wembley, Gloucester, Manchester, Oldham, Ilford or Romford Mike wants to hear from you for an ongoing photo project.