The Return Of The Blog Goblins
First day back at work. Rubbish.
We got back from London yesterday and I need at least a week to stop sulking, before I spend a day staring into space and drinking tea at work.
My teeth hurt, it must be down to that thar fancy London air/smog.
Last Wednesday we went out to meet up with Roy. I used to work with Roy for quite a few years, and it was nice to see him again.
Anyway, I didn't expect to drink as much as I did but Nige is a bad example and we ended up drinking booze into the early hours, which is not the best idea when you have to get a train in the morning.
I managed to pack everything over the course of a groggy couple of hours. I didn't forget anything either.
They seem to have upgraded some of the trains. We were on one of the new fancy pendolino trains that Virgin have introduced, they may be a bit faster, yet they don't have enough luggage or leg room. Or enough windows.
For a 4 1/2 star hotel, we were a bit disappointed with the Holiday Inn, Victoria. There wasn't enough storage space for clothes, some of the wooden furniture was a bit rickety and the toilet didn't work properly at first. Still, they won us back by the fact that not only did they have a swimming pool, but whenever we wanted to use it we had it to ourselves. Result! For all the excitement, trips out and sights, I don't think you can beat sleepily floating around in an empty swimming pool or Jacuzzi. One day I'll have me a swimming pool of my own. Bah, I've just sparked some sadness, I'm sat at my desk bored silly and I could be back floating around in that pool. *sulk*
Two or three more days in London would have done me, 3 1/2 days just isn't long enough. Then again I'm sure that today would me much harder, I would have been poorer and fatter.
Anyway, after some tea on Thursday (nice little veggie restaurant in Soho) we went to a comedy club, also in Soho. We were there to see Richard Herring, Stewart Lee was meant to also be doing a show (which would have been ace) but had to call it off due to 'Jerry Springer The Opera' opening in a new theatre. So what we got instead for about an hour was the acts of five new stand-ups and a compere.
The stand-ups were young blokes, who all had about one good joke each. Still, they tried I guess, I'm not going to rip into them as I'm sure it was scary for them to try out this new material and lifestyle in front of a bunch of oh-so-cool Soho arsewits (and us two northern monkeys). I did wonder how they went from the stage of their friends telling them how funny they were to trying to make strangers laugh. It's a huge jump from being witty with people you've known for years, to making people you've never met laugh when you have no real shared life experiences, bar maybe the TV and the country you live in.
So, anyway, I'm not going to rip into them, they weren't the greatest but they tried and didn't seem to have some of arrogance about how funny they felt they were. Unlike the compere…
The compere for the acts was fucking shit. He could hardly speak, his jokes were wank, and he also actually made swearing unfunny which is quite a feat. When he was heckled he had no response and I'm sure I wasn't alone in the audience in wanting the guy destroyed by cruel mocking. If he'd cried on-stage that would have made me happy. Being shit was bad enough, but he so un-likeable with it, that the audience turned on him.
'Are you having fun boys and girls?'
That sort of thing. I hope they don't book him again, he poo. He obviously thought he was a great wit, yet he was a fucking shit cunt. Yes, a fucking shit cunt.
Richard Herring then trotted on and gave us a work-in-progress for his Edinburgh show. It's based on the twelve tasks of Hercules, yet it has to be about an hour long, so as after almost 2 hours he'd only got up to task number 5 then I guess he's in a bit of trouble. I admire the fact that he seems to get distracted by other things in the same way that we all do. Such as this
entry from his on-line diary here, which alarmed me as it sort of mirrors things I have done / am doing (the problem with on-line casinos and the game CIV). As an aside, his website is great, funny and with a genuine warmth.
his diatribe about an Avril Lavigne song, here
is his summary of the gig I am currently writing about.
It was a great show anyway, it was interesting that he did it reading from his notes, and that it was experimental and he wanted to hear what everyone thought. God knows how he'll fit it in an hour though; it could quite easily be a 6-12 part TV series. I'll be interested in seeing it when it's finished.
He's an oddbod though, in the nicest way. He shows compulsive and addictive characteristics which I find I can relate to. I won't give the plot of his show away but CNPS could be the game of the future.
I could have bought his book from him at the end, yet I get all scared that people that I like will turn out to be scumbags and I'll be disappointed. So I didn't because I'm a coward. I'm sure Mr. Herring isn't like that though.
Final note: The Amused Moose comedy club is in Soho. It looked like a converted strip-joint, with mirrors on all the walls, strip lighting and leopard skin carpet.
Final final note: London has some immensely punchable people in it.
Whilst I'm talking "celebrities", it's always fun to spot them in London. We saw a guy out of a film we both like in Soho (yeah, great spot there Glenn).
The best spot though was when we ended up sat facing Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh on a tube train. I glanced at him a few times, and when I did he always seemed to be looking back. Maybe he'd developed the 6th sense to realise when he's been spotted by somebody who really enjoys a TV show he's in. I just found it kinda odd that I become a bit obsessed about a TV show and then spot one of the two guys from it.
You can spot foreign people in London (or anywhere actually), they're the ones with backpacks. And clothes made entirely from some man-made fibre. The combination of fiery Latin temperament and static-electricity filled clothing means that you could power an average household for a whole year off just one bus-load of Italian school children. Well that's what I told the police when they found the ones in my garage with jump leads attached to their nipples.
On Friday we went to the science museum. Which is ace, yet also totally free. It's a shame that we only had the time to do one of the main museums as all of them are bazzin. Anyhow, it was still as good as I remember it, I think I found the representation of Babbage's design for his counting machine a little bit too exciting. I like the interactive areas of the museum, I don't think the kids appreciated it enough, so whereas they wanted to play with the messy exhibits, nobody found the demonstration of why variously shaped wheels clung to tracks in different ways as exciting as I did. Stupid little brats, THEY HAVE NO RESPECT FOR SCIENCE!
We then went to the London Planetarium, which rather disappointingly was stuck onto Madame Tussauds. To go in we'd have to shell out over 20 quid each to go and look at some shitty waxworks on celebrities.
Unwashed Uncle Pete: "Hey look, here I am next to Marilyn Monroe. She thought I was hot. But it's not really her, it's a waxwork! It's just wax! Ha ha ha ha ha! Did I fool you? Did I? Did I?"
Little Bobby: "Fuck off Uncle Pete, you dullard cunt."
That evening, we discovered that the world's finest Indian restaurant 'Simply Spice' isn't where it used to be. I embarrassed myself by giving a stranger my PIN number, something which bothered me (and still does) more than is reasonable. We then spent the rest of the night visiting various pubs in the West End. London pubs are far more welcoming, more atmospheric and interesting than anything in Preston is, especially since they ruined The Sun Hotel.
Saturday was shopping day. Firstly we went to Camden market. Camden appeals for all the obvious reasons, a lot of what they sell is utter tat but there are several new and interesting stalls on every visit. I found a guy selling t-shirts containing images of various comics that he drew. He obviously was very talented, I managed to snag me one that I thought was quite cool.
We then made it to Carnaby Street, which is quality. I found the Vans shop, and then a pretty cool little shopping area which contained the recently opened Spunky shop. I own several Spunky t-shirts, but I still managed to find something I wanted from the shop. I rarely shop for one or two things, it's either nothing at all or the entire shop with me.
We then ate in Chinatown, before watching Spiderman 2 in the mentally sized Odeon in Leicestershire Square.
I thought Spiderman 2 was great. It was pretty dark for the first hour, being Spiderman was shown to be quite a grim existence. Of course, a Hollywood film can't keep that going forever and in the end Spidey got what he was after. I secretly wished they'd played it black all the way through, with dollops of misery for the super-hero. Still, the fighting scenes were great, even though CGI often looks rather poor and "cartoony". So, it got a 9/10 for the first hour, and a 7/10 for the rest of it.
On Sundee we went to see the design museum. It was 6 quid to get in, and to be honest it wasn't worth it. The exhibits were good, yet there quite clearly wasn't enough of them. They had several retro computer consoles and games, but I feel if you are going to do that then you need more than eight examples.
We then wandered around one of the parks, traipsed around Westminster and Covent Garden. I was already starting to get a sense of foreboding about going home. London is my favourite city in the world, and ooooh, I've been to all of a dozen of them. I'd love to live there, yet of course I'd need to earn more than I am on now. I earn over the London average now, yet it always seems a ridiculously low amount to live in such a place. Especially with house prices the way they are. Maybe one day though, when I fond something I actually enjoy doing. I envy Richard Herring in making a living out of doing something rather harmless, yet silly and fun. Bah.
On Sunday evening we went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. When I'd heard about it I was mentally keen to see it. That had tailed off a bit with the backlash to it and with reading more about it but I was still interested.
I could write lots about this, yet I'm aware that this blog could go on forever so I'll keep it short.
There are lots wrong with it as a documentary, it's manipulative, meandering, large parts of it are irrelevant and don't add much to the "story", but if it can help in any way to get Bush out of office then it makes it all worthwhile. Some of the things Moore does may be rather suspect, yet he still has the balls to try and change something, whilst most lefties (myself included) would just rather moan about it and hide. Watching Fahrenheit 9/11, I was just struck with how utterly "wrong" American society can be. I'm not going to make a wholly inaccurate sweeping generalisation about the American people, I'm pretty sure there are as many decent/indecent Americans as there are in any other country. Money talks over there though (like it does anywhere else, but in a bigger, more obvious way), and everybody in power or with a say in the way the country is run is a mega-rich businessman. I guess it all just seemed really fucked up.
It did make me think about something more personal though.
On Monday we wandered around some more, said goodbye to the pool and then caught the train back. No fancy train this time, we got a rickety old one instead. I got to stare out of the window whilst listening to music, something which always makes what you're listening to a bit more wistful (The Last Broadcast by Doves being a good example).
And now I'm back at work. I'm listening to Godspeed You Black Emperor and counting the minutes till 5pm. We only get about 80 years, and the ones from 20-40 are the best I reckon, so why the fuck do we all spend such a large chunk of it doing such meaningless bollocks?
For the pennies I guess, which enable us to go on holidays, holidays which are great when you're there but make you miss them when they've finished.
Bah, fuck it, we'll be back in London in September to watch Embrace. Wheeee!
Addendum: Now I find that the fucking twats have blocked access to www.blogger.com.