Friday, December 15, 2006


Seven houses in my street have no visible Christmas decorations up - today's belief that christmas decorations, alongside party hats and tinsel round the telly are all naff - tacky things which should be confined to the 80s or to the roughest possible council estates.

Christmas is slowly becoming de-santaised, and growing increasingly santitised.
Having been abroad twice in the past month I've gotten into the Christmas spirit later than most, but for some reason this year has felt less Christmassy than last.

Whilst playing about on Limewire the other night, I realised why - I have not heard one Cliff Richard song this year on the radio.

Mistletoe and Wine and Saviours Day have been slung on the pile of reindeer dung it seems.
Usually, on my way to work, the man at the wheels of steel these days is usually Terry Wogan, due to my either feeling rough, hungover or tired in the morning.

Not once has Tel played a bit of Cliff! Of all the stations and all the DJ's, I would have thought Wogan would have played Cliff with delight - as I know Galaxy aren't likely to throw Saviours Day into the mix.

It seems that what we need is a return to a traditional 1980s Christmas:

Cliff Richard,Top of the Pops, Eastenders with an explosive storyline (Divorce papers ring a bell), Victoria Wood Christmas Special, Tinsel, Baubles, Decorations, Fairy Lights.

Christmas these days almost seems like a gay rights march during the early fifties - an event which dare not speak his name.

Manchester City Council, the local authority adjacent to the one in which I live, has dispensed with the need to use the word "Christmas" and instead the word "Winterval" has taken its' place.

Christmas is under total attack! The PC Brigade should be reminded that that last year it was an Asian taxi driver who took me to the airport, telling me how he was looking forward to a family celebration over Christmas, and was sick and tired of assumptions that the Asian community wants Christmas consigned to the crap-heap.

Also, the other night I watched an excellent programme hosted by Nigella Lawson about Christmas food. Nigella, who is Jewish, presented a mouthwatering selection of festive fayre, so much so that even if the chipolatas contain pork or not, I'd give my right arm for a place at her Christmas table.

Manchester City Council - not wishing to officially endorse a pantomime, decided a much more appropriate way to celebrate Christmas was in the form of a Carribean steel band outside Marks & Spencer.

Where else other than Manchester could you hear the samba beat from the German Market.

On the subject of pantomime, the two greatest stars of Panto are both appearing within twenty miles of each other.

Su Pollard is currently playing the Wicked Queen at the Palace Theatre in Mansfield, whilst ϋber Pantomime Dame, Christopher Biggins is treading the boards at Nottingham's Theatre Royal.

Christopher Biggins has without a doubt turned provincial pantomime into an artform which now attracts "serious" actors of the likes of Sir Ian McKellen.

Biggins this year not only plays an exceptional Widow Twankey, but also directs the production, and can currently be seen holiding a glass in the many bars of the fair city of Nottingham.

Monday, December 11, 2006

I can only disappoint you 'cos I always let you down




You travelled from Dublin, you said you'd change the world.
You sing like Sinatra, always
You pulled them for miles now, like Garbo in Berlin
You played them for zeros, just like always
Tonight, their hips would swivel and turn
And tonight, it feels so good feeling cheap
I can only disappoint you 'cos I always let you down
You turned a man cuckoo, half animal half grace
The chick was a teaser, always
Tonight, their hips would swivel and turn
So we drove, to the place where we first met
I can only disappoint you 'cos I always let you down
I can only disappoint you, always
The queens they all loved you, the tall, the short, the fair
The same as the psychos, always
And here, a faultered gun in my hand
And you, with piggies scrawled on your wal
lAnd tonight, her note said better off dead
And the earth has never moved for me since

FB500 - Flying With The Brakles On

At the age of 27, I considered myself lucky that I have never had the misfortune of being delayed for any significant length of time from an airport.

Part of the reason that I fell in love with air travel in my early twenties is that I could breeze through Manchester Airport and have a Heineken in my hand in Amsterdam in less time than I could watch a film at the cinema.

I took my other half to Sofia for a birthday weekend on Thursday, supposedly flying out at 10am and arriving over there at half four in the afternoon so we could check into our apartment.

The flight initially was delayed by three and a half hours - after paying over a tenner for two double vodkas in the airside bar in Terminal 2, I decided enough was enough and returned from the duty free shop with half a bottle of Vladivar which I paid £2.99 for - armed with two bottles of Coke from Boots for £1.09 for the two, we settled down to some serrupticious drinking back in the bar, our glasses being topped up under the table in a discreet fashion.

By the time I boarded the plane I already felt like George Best after a sniff of Lambrusco, and enjoyed a couple more drinks on the plane.

After the fourth hour in the air, the plane appeared to be going round in circles, and eventually we were told that heavy fog in Sofia meant the plane was unable to land there.

We were told that the plane was about to land in Plovdiv, 120kms away.

The plane landed and bemusedly I looked at trhe steps which were being wheeled up to the plane - they had "Bourgas Airport" stamped on them.

A co-incidence, I thought, they can't possibly have landed the plane so far away from our destination.

Having flown from the airport in the Summer I immediately recognised the terminal building as that of Bourgas Airport, however, there was others on the plane who had no idea where they were until they stepped outside the airport.

For those who don't know, Bourgas, or Бургас is the main airport for the beach resorts on Bulgaria's back sea coast - the last time I had a cigarette outside the terminal buidling I was wearing shorts and sunglasses - this time I was wrapped up in a big coat and scarf full of the cold watching my breath freeze as the night became colder.

The time by now was half past nine and we were stood outside Bourgas Airport waiting for a bus which was supposedly going to take us to Sofia.

I didn't hold out much hope. I'd travelled from Ловеч (Lovech) to Sunny Beach by mixture of train and taxi, and it took most of the day, and that was in the hight of summer where such a journey was an adventure as opposed to an endurance.

As I boarded the bus I knew Sofia was only 400kms away...
Your Personality Is Like Cocaine
You're dynamic, brilliant, and alluring to those who don't know you. Hyper and full of energy, you're usually the last one to leave a party.Sometimes your sharp mind gets the better of you... you're a bit paranoid!
What Drug Is Your Personality Like?

Monday, December 04, 2006

X Factor Rant

Having seen nothing of I'm A Celebrity, my reality telly-viewing has been limited to X Factor as the contenders reach the final furlong.

So disappointed that the McDonald Brothers have now gone.

This means there are no attractive guys in the contest now, and it is a three horse race between Leona, Ben and Panto Boy.

I'm torn as to who I now want to win, as Leona atteded the Sylvia Young Stage School in London, where Billie Piper and Emma Bunton perfected their craft, Ben's mother is an old friend of Sharon Osbourne, as as for Panto Boy himself, Ray - he just has the sort of face I would happily smack.

Ray, of course is from Liverpool, so the Ken Bigley red and white army have collectively hammered their credit on their pay-as-you-go mobiles to keep this grinning spinning imbecile in the contest.

Now, it would be unfair to slate the fair city of Liverpool completely, especially since I was there on Wednesday night.

Thursday saw the screening of Pete Burns Unspun - a documentary which traced Pete Burns' progress after he was released from Wandsworth Prison.

Firstly - as he left prison in a pink crochet cardigan and cullottes, I shudder to think the reaction he got while he was inside - or was he held in a special unit for his own safety? - who knows, but the programme culminated in Pete Burns being taken to a dingy council house in Plymouth where he stayed with an obsessive fan as part of his bail condition.

Fascinating stuff.
Your Personality Is Like Cocaine
You're dynamic, brilliant, and alluring to those who don't know you. Hyper and full of energy, you're usually the last one to leave a party. Sometimes your sharp mind gets the better of you... you're a bit paranoid!
What Drug Is Your Personality Like?