Saturday, 13 June 2009

Flying the festival flag

If some cock is going to wave their ridiculously oversized flag in my face meaning I can see nothing but half of one screen during Placebo, at least make it worthwhile I say.

You have a Jamaican flag. Well, that's great. You're from Jamaica, are you? Lovely. Sometimes I wish I was from Jamaica.

I like a good home-made flag too. A white sheet with permanent marker declaring one of your mates to be a knob. Oh, the banter.

However, there is very little need for a skull and cross bones flag at Glastonbury Festival. Far be it from me to tell you that you can't bring your pirate flag to an event, but if I could at least impose some criteria. Answer these questions:

Are you a pirate?

If you answered 'Yes' to both questions then by all means, wave your flag. Otherwise, stick it up your hole and let me watch The Chemical Brothers in peace.

I've noticed more and more people attending festivals who fought in the American civil war, too. At least, I can only assume as much, given the confererate flags I see waving:

I mean, seriously, why would anyone hold that aloft? How can it be worth the huge effort required to hold a heavy flag pole in the air to show off an American battle flag from the 1860s? Am I missing something?

The worst of all, however, was spotted during The Verve at T In The Park 2008. While others waved Saltires, Lion Rampants and other flags with pride, some bright spark decided it was worthwhile holding up a black flag with a middle finger on it.

A sidewards middle finger:

What makes this flag so infuriatingly awful is not the absolute uselessness in holding up a cartoon drawing of a middle finger in a field full of strangers, or the fact that loads of ticket-buying punters are having their view blocked in the process - it's the fact that the flag isn't even fit for its purpose. Did the manufacturer honestly not notice that they'd made it to completely the wrong dimensions?

Unless someone in the 80,000-strong Verve crowd has their head at a bizarre 90 degree angle, I doubt you'll offend anyone with that.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Catch It, Bin It, Kill It...

We, the people of this great country, are certainly thinking more about where and how we sneeze in the wake of swine flu.

Just this week I've had a child use me as, basically, a big tissue. Without so much as a second's thought, he sneezed all over me and then went back to what he was doing without missing a beat. But hey, at least the germs weren't on his hand.

Of course, nothing beats the woman in Marks & Spencers who I saw pick up a sexy pair of knickers, take a wee look at them, suddenly sneeze all over them and then surreptitiously put the offending underpants back on the rack and walk away.

Nothing beats that, UNLESS you include the Tesco employee I saw sneezing in the fruit aisle. Not into his hand, not to the first thing he could conceal it with... but directly over the box of fresh tomatoes.

So, a successful campaign all round.

Friday, 22 May 2009

In the middle of the night....

I apparently woke Jennifer up to ask her, with a great deal of confusion etched upon my face: "Will you have get to the planets and back?!"

Why can't I have normal dreams for once?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

I can't even make cheese on toast...

I have a tendency to be a bit of a spazzy. Like the time, for instance, that I spent a whole night rushing around, getting bags packed and stuff prepared for T In The Park, flapping about until after 2am so I felt ready - then got up at the crack of dawn in the morning, showered, shaved, made sandwiches, sorted bags - all that to then be shattered with one phone call.

"Gav mate, I'm about to get on the bus. Where are we meeting up?"
"We're... not going until tomorrow."

Yep, I tried to go to T In The Park a day early.

There was also the time Jen trusted me to sort out seeing Miami Vice at the cinema. I checked Teletext and opted for the 21:30 showing, poo-pooing Jen's needless double-checking. Of course that was the right time, what did she take me for - some sort of imbecile?

A half-hour drive later we're at the cinema, she nips off to the toilet and I swagger up to blag a pair of tickets.
"Two for Miami Vice mate."
"That doesn't start until tomorrow."

Another half-hour drive later, we were home. To add insult to injury, we eventually saw the film and it was crap.

Oh, and who can forget the DVD I lost? I spent weeks badgering a girl I used to know to give me it back. She'd had it last, and I was really very shocked that she'd stoop so low as to deny having it. Message after message, "Check again", increasingly irate.

Of course, I never did apologise when I eventually spotted the offending DVD in my mate's house.

"Since when did you have Scarface?"
"Err, since a month ago when you loaned me it."

This is the same mate who I once arranged to meet for my birthday. Yay, another year of remembering to breathe! Saturday, 11:30, sorted. Getting a lift to the train station ends up being a last minute dash, I fall out with a few people en route, but all's well that ends well - I catch the train just as the doors are about to close.

My phone beeps. A text: Where u wanna meet?
-Outside central station
-Shit, I'm in Irvine. Are you going to Glasgow?

To this day, I'm still not sure how we managed to arrange meeting up without agreeing a county, far less a town, to meet. That takes a special sort of person.

The sort of person who'd watch a news story about a Japanese dolphin who had been fitted with a prosthetic fin; all the while expecting them to cut to an interview with the dolphin, before eventually realising they couldn't interview him as he's a bloody dolphin.

I can't be trusted for directions or any sort of important information, either.

"Graeme, the car park is empty and the entire venue is in darkness. Why is the car park empty and why is the entire venue in darkness, Graeme?"

"Shit...I've done it again..."

Deftones was not at the SECC, as I thought, but rather at the Glasgow Academy. We missed the start of their set, so writing a review proved more difficult than normal.

When I DO have important information to hand, I only lose it. One time I had a really important bit of paperwork that I badly needed for an interview - knowing how bad I am for losing things, I tried to hunt it out the day before. Not in drawers, shelves, cupboards, the bureau, old boxes. Half an hour had passed and no sign of it. I gave up and went back to my room - only to find it face up where I'd started, on my desk, in plain sight.

Perhaps the worst of all was the day I made plans to head to Glasgow, catch the Scotland game in the boozer, then head down to Download Festival with my pals. Taxi to the train station with two bags of heavy camping gear, lug it to the platform, wait for my train... only to hear "All trains from Dalry are cancelled."

I call the info line and I'm told the 1547 won't arrive - it'll be an hour and a half until the next train. Far too late for the Scotland game. Useless.

A frantic series of phone calls, desperately trying to arrange a lift to no avail - before an idea struck me from out of the blue. I phoned the info line again and asked if I was to head over to the other platform, head in the opposite direction to Kilwinning where trains to Glasgow were more regular, would I arrive any sooner? Yes, I'm told.

I lug my ridiculously heavy bags over to Platform 2, take a seat as the beads of sweat start rolling down my forehead, and watch as the 1547 train rolls in to the other platform, picks people up, and moves off.

Then there was the article about some strange breed of monkey-pig which I could not for the life of me wrap my head around. Pictures clearly showed a piglet... but other pictures in the same article looked like a monkey. What was this strange species? I sat examining the pictures for ages, pondering how any animal could age in such a bizarre fashion to first resemble a pig and then a monkey - then realised the article was about two seperate animals, one a pig and the other a monkey.

One time, I could NOT make cheese on toast. Never in the history of fine cuisine has any meal gone so awry.

Firstly, the cheese refused to be cut into slices, crumbling at my very touch like the Berlin wall. I used three quarters of a block of cheese just to get this right, and was really quite annoyed by the time I'd finished. It was unbearably hot in the kitchen as the sun had been shining through the glass all day, and I was getting sweaty and bothered and annoyed...

"Fuck's sake!" was the cry as I had my first casualty, one of the four bits of toast doing a nosedive off the grill as I checked it, sending a stramash of cheese over the floor. I replaced it, and continued on my merry way.

"OCH, NO!" I shouted as all four bits slid off the grill tray and onto the bottom of the grill, messy cheese everywhere. I salvaged the pieces and got them back on the tray, increasingly frustrated now.

"BASTARD CUNT FUCK!" I shouted as the grill tray fell away from my hands, all four bits falling onto the floor, cheese-side down. My kitchen now looked like the aftermath of a very cheesy car crash, gooey bits strewn all over.

In fact, bits of sticky hot cheese were on my shoes, my jeans, even my socks. "AW FOR FUCK'S SAKE!", and at that a door got slammed.

Jen had rushed through to see if I'd hurt myself, and I was now seething... She seemed utterly baffled that anyone could be so wound up about cheese on toast.

"It's alright, we'll just make some more."

In awkwardly chopping tiny slices for my next effort - and polishing off the block of cheese in the process - I let the four new bits of toast burn. Like, frazzle.

Jennifer, with one long sad shake of the head that said "Why am I marrying you?", had now gone off the idea of cheese on toast.

I, in one last effort to make some lunch, put two final bits of cheese on toast under the grill. I forgot to toast one side of the bread before putting cheese on, resulting in a floppy, deformed mess of hot sticky cheese and soft bread.

I didn't eat it.

Despite growing up in Scotland, I only recently discovered the purpose of the Clyde Tunnel.

"It's scary to think you're underwater as you drive through this, eh?"

Looking back on what I'd thought the tunnel was before I knew it cut through the River Clyde, I never thought to question a big tunnel randomly and without purpose running through the city.

People still bring up the time I spat out some really horrible fish.

"This fish is revolting!"
"That's because we ordered chicken.
"Oh... Well in that case, as chicken goes, it's pretty tasty! Can I have some more?"

Someone once emailed to ask what the disabled facilities are like within the music festival I organise. as she'd recently had a roller skates accident and broken her arm, so wanted to stay out of the crowds.

I brought this up at our meeting with the venue manager. "What are the disabled facilities like?"

He explained that all three stages had space for people with disabilities and that they were all accessible by lifts.

"Ah, that's good," I said. "I was just wondering where disabled people would stand. Well, SIT! Wheelchairs... SIT! You know... What I mean is, this girl emailed me, her arm..."

Everyone must be wondering why anyone would want to marry me, and my father in law's no exception.

"John, you'll never guess what I saw earlier. A sports shop in Irvine that advertised 24HR delivery on their sign. How could anyone possibly need that service? Who gets a bicycle delivered at 4 in the morning? Hahahaha..."

"Erm, Graeme, does it not mean that they'll deliver within 24 hours of you ordering?"

"....That would make more sense, yes."

To make matters worse, me and my mate were bumbling about said sports shop the other week, as he was trying to find himself a long sleeved Scotland home top. Finding plenty of the short sleeved, but no long sleeved to be seen. I get fed up of him flicking through the rails, so take some initiative and storm off to approach someone authoratively...

"Excuse me mate, do you know if there's any long sleeved home tops?"
"No, I don't."
"Well could you find out?"

He looks up from what he's doing, realises he's going to have to elaborate to end my confusion and says: "I don't work here," before making his escape and getting as far away from me as possible.

Needless to say I turned round to be met by Thomas pishing himself laughing, holding a long sleeved Scotland top.

There are so many more stories like this... I'll be sure to share them for your amusement and my humilation in the fullness of time.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hey good lookin'...

ANOTHER mental dream last night. These make Tony Soprano's fever-induced nightmares look like kids TV.

So I'm sitting on the steps of my New York apartment (err, what?) staring into the sunrise when I hear some junkies down to my left wheeling and dealing their steroids. They start arguing and one spits on another.

At that, a really handsome Italian-American bloke comes over and starts chatting me up. He suggests that we go shopping together, across to the Early Learning Centre - yep, the Early Fucking Learning Centre?! - on the corner directly opposite my house. A glance at the shop's sign tells me it actually houses a Gap and a New Look as well, so I'm raring to go.

Apparently Dream Me spends his time going round women's shops with random strangers.

I go into my flat to get a change of top and spruce up for the wee trip to the shops with my new found handsome mate. As I'm upstairs getting changed, I hear him wandering around downstairs - raiding through my fridge to see what I've got - and I realise that he's noseying around to see what I'm like. All this, I realise, because he fancies me.

He's gay, and he thinks he's just chatted me up and that we're about to go on a little date. I start pacing around my room, panicked, wondering how I can possibly break it to a gay man that my happy-go-lucky acceptance of his offer was friendly, not a sign that I'm about to let him in my pants.

The dream ended at this point, but not before I fixed my hair in the mirror and started heading downstairs, thinking to myself: "He is quite handsome..."

Then I woke up.

What the fuck does that mean?! Did I just have my first gay dream?! Is this my subconscious telling me that I secretly wish I was being propositioned by Italian-American homosexuals?!

I'm scared to go to sleep tonight. What next?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Sleepy babies en route to FC Copenhagen

This last week I've had LOADS of crazy dreams, and now I'm wishing I had noted every single one down. It'd only help as evidence for the day I'm locked in a rubber room with some therapist trying to get in my head.

Dopey and slevery, I rolled round in bed the other day and Jen remarks on me being a "sleepy baby". My reply? "How can I... be a sleepy baby... Sleepy babies wouldn't make it all the way to the football in Copenhagen..."

Sound logic there.

The same morning I woke up in a sweat, upset enough that Jennifer actually had to comfort me. I was in a real flap. Why?

"I dreamt we'd had a baby... A fat and ugly baby!"

Friday night on the eve of the Old Firm match, I have another classic. Despite not being a fan of either of Glasgow's ugly sisters, I dreamt I was at the match in the Celtic end.

Weirdly, it wasn't actually a football match in a stadium - it was just a player from each team, with Neil Lennon looking on in a coaching role as they competitively chased a ping-pong ball around an old church. Seriously.

Naturally, two priests were the match officials. They had to step in when the crowd started rioting and chasing the ping-pong ball too.

Another one last night - that I was at a training conference with my work and through the room next door, Marilyn Manson was playing to about 50 folk.

Makes perfect sense, eh?

So the organisers of this Manson concert - who had so sensibly organised for the concert to be in a room next to my work's training conference - had been asking £40 a ticket, but seeing as he'd already started, they only wanted £17 now.

As I snuck off from training for a piss, I peeked in - extremely jealous that I couldn't be there.

I bumped into my mum and told her she HAD to go in - for £17 she'd be seeing one of the best live acts of all time. So she did, despite being more into Donny Osmond and David Cassidy than Marilyn bloody Manson. My pals Cat and Laura were in the middle of sneaking in for free, and my mate Gav was storming past in a huff, moaning about what a rip-off £17 was.

I went back through to training and tried to get them to "hurry the fuck up" so I could go watch Manson.

None of these dreams are quite as strange as the night I was muttering during my sleep on holiday in Ireland. Only 14 at the time and in a thick Donegal accent that no-one knew I could do, I angrily moaned: "Let me through to the bar... Let me through to the fucking bar!"

A worrying insight into my subconscious.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hello readers...

Still alive. Not killed by bus rapist. Still eating Asda brand Bananabix. Recently watched an episode of Murder, She Wrote set hundreds of years previous with an IDENTICAL ancestor of Jessica Fletcher's... Brilliant.

I've not forgotten about my poor little blog. New blogs soon!

Monday, 26 January 2009

Ramblings of an Ageing Man-child

OK, so no developments on my bus adventures, but rest assured - I'll continue to sit in that middle seat and will post as soon as The Weirdo reappears with ensuing fracas.

Anyway, slowly but surely in recent months, I've come to accept the inevitable... In behaviour now as well as age, I am more man than boy.

Since turning 20 back in 2006 I've put up a hard fight against all the signs of aging, but I'm now resigned to my fate. I'm a man, just like my dad before me: the man who has a table of coastal tides for reference purposes, nose hair clippers, a very wide variety of ordinance survey maps and several purple jumpers. I'm half-way there.

I accepted this over the weekend, as Jennifer and I parked up at our new flat (with all magnolia decor) and transferred "documents" and misc. crap from one car to the other - a Peugot 406 to our brand new Vauxhall Vectra. The only way I could possibly be thinking more about what an old fart I'd grown into was if the precocious little kids-acting-as-men from the Zafira adverts had shown up:

Actually, it wasn't so much the fancy Vectra - with it's built-in screens, 4-CD changer and Bluetooth capabilities - that made me contemplate my predicament as it was a mysterious box inside.

"What is this?" I ask, carrying it carefully from one car's boot to the other.

"A dinner service."

It was fully 10 minutes before I even thought to question what particular dinner service it was, where it had come from and who had given it to us. I'm now so mature that I don't question my possession of a spare dinner service. Very worrying.

That, however, has got me thinking on how I can retain my youthfulness - what I like to think of as my "boyish charm" and what Jennifer would no doubt call my "unbelievable immaturity." And it occurred to me that, day to day, I'm already doing whatever possible to stave off the final steps of becoming a Fully-Fledged Man. Unconsciously, I'm doing everything in my power to remain a man-child.

On Thursday, two of our best pals became parents for the first time. We took them all manner of fancy baby presents and along with it, gave them a card that I picked out. The message on the front read:

"Congratulations! You've given birth to a baby boy, which is amazing and creative! The only amazing and creative thing I ever did was make a fruit salad at school."

Promptly displayed on the windowsill along with all the mature, pale blue cards they'd received, I felt strangely proud of my stupid card.

In fact, I've just now become aware of another childish thing I'm doing without thinking - as I type, I'm watching CBBC's "Dick and Dom's Diaries." This isn't research for my blog, oh no. This is just what I consider a morning's entertainment.

Perhaps the greatest example I can give you of this subconscious fight between childhood and manhood involves my trip to Amsterdam, of all places. Me and my best mate - the one with whom I once nearly got thrown out of a family restaurant because we could not stop laughing at a man with a monobrow - are all booked up to visit the capital of the Netherlands for a football trip in March.

We really should not be trusted to do this together.

All credit to her, my missus has not once questioned what I'll be up to on the trip. No interrogations about coffee shops or red lights, it's all taken on trust that I'll be on my best behaviour... The way it should obviously be between two mature adults in a serious relationship.

She did however frown with great concern when I told her that we might visit a fetish night club "for a laugh."

"Apparently men lead each other about on dog chains and folk run amok in gimp masks. It sounds brilliant! Me and Thomas just want to go in, order a pint at the bar and down them with the straightest faces possible, like it's A. N. Other bar. It'll be hilarious!"

In no way can she see what's funny about my and my straight mate visiting a kinky Dutch gay bar. And that, I'm pleased to report, probably means I'm not yet mature.

Fart bogies bum boobs fanny.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Hi readers. I come bearing bad news. Unfortunately, Graeme was tragically beaten to death with a bus timetable tonight.

Just kidding. Middle seat rapey weirdo didn't get on my bus today, but I strangely enjoyed sitting in his seat and anticipating him getting on all the same. Same again tomorrow!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Wish me luck, readers

The very thought of the mission I'm about to undertake sends pangs of excitement and shudders of nervousness through me. I'm like James bloody Bond.

Tomorrow, I've decided, I'm going to get on the bus, go to the back row, and sit on the middle seat.

Yeah... The middle seat!

Actually, on reflection, I've realised that you may not understand the enormity of what I'm going to do. Having never been on the bus I get home from work, I can in fact see how this looks to you: that I'm simply getting on a bus and sitting on the middle seat of the back row.

Jesus, if only it was that simple!

Let me explain. Night after night I board the 11, flash my Megarider (that's a seven day ticket by the way, not a name for my cock), head for the back and sit wherever's free. The iPod goes on, I pull out whatever book I'm in the middle of, and kick back for the 40 minute ride home.

I generally try to ignore the other punters - mostly old women, working class folk and junkies - and keep myself to myself. Then one day my eyes were drawn to someone... Someone who had broken the rule of the bus.

He'd sat on the seat next to a stranger whilst neighbourless seats were still available!

I could scarcely believe it the first time, but every night the last week he's done this - boarding at the same stop, same time, then proceeding to sit in the middle seat of the back row - regardless of whether he has people to his left and right, as though it was Buckingham Palace and this was his throne!

No-one with whom he lumbers his company can quite believe it, looking at him with a mixture of surprise and disgust.

Matters aren't helped by the fact that, frankly, he looks like a bit of a rapist.

So tomorrow night, for no reason other than curiosity as to what the hell he's going to do about it, I'm going to get on before him and sit on his seat.

Updates tomorrow night.

PS - If tomorrow night's blog isn't forthcoming then I've probably been raped and don't feel like talking about it.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

The greatest TV show of all time

Debate rages on as to the single best series ever to air on the box in the corner, and with this blog I intend to set the record straight.

The coveted title goes to an American drama of timeless genius. Not The Sopranos. Nope, not The Wire either. In fact, the greatest TV show of all time is Murder, She Wrote.

Brilliantly scripted, a masterclass in acting, air-tight plots that twist and weave with enviable grace... None of this describes Murder, She Wrote.

Angela Lansbury's Jessica Fletcher is without doubt the best character of all time and the plot itself is incredible - a fictional crime writer who in her spare time jets all around America and the world, always arriving the day before the murder of a friend or their associate and solving the case before her return journey.

It's a miracle she has friends left to visit and even more baffling that they accept her into their homes knowing the inevitable fate - I'd be inconveniently busy should she ever phone to arrange a holiday.

Quite how she's above suspicion from the law as she makes her way from crime scene to crime scene is anyone's guess. Her presence is the common denominator in deaths across all the states of America.

Some of my favourite things about M,SW:

-Jessica interrupting two characters amid suspicious conversation, revealing that she was outside the room the whole time. Equally, a conversation finishing and the camera panning to reveal her little shocked face pinned to the door frame.

-How police forces always give a woman with no law credentials absolute carte blanche in their crime scenes, often unsupervised and leading to key evidence disappearing into her pocket.

-Background extras in police stations, newspaper offices or pretty much any scene who are so determined not to break the "fourth wall" that they'll do anything to avoid looking at Jessica or the camera - usually by staring intently at bits of paper, examining bundles of paper, showing each other bits of paper and taking paper from one desk to an other.

-Finding modern day great actors as fresh-faced rising stars in old episodes, always playing their part with a look of slight embarassment.

-Jessica's icy and socially uncool "I don't believe you" face.

-The murderer's inevitable admission in great detail of how and why they did what they did, presumably saving a whole bunch of time in lengthy court proceedings.

-The ending. Wee bit of jovial chat, the sort of punchline that a Christmas cracker company would reject outright, Jessica's daft face - freeze. Credits.

One of my favourite things in the world is to be sat on a Sunday afternoon with my mum, a glass of Irn Bru and a double-header of Murder, She Wrote.

If you can watch it without outbursts of hilarity and the strange mixture of giddiness and rage, shouting angrily at Jessica and her meddlesome ways, then you do not deserve a telly box.

The brilliance of Murder, She Wrote is best seen in its finest episode, 1987's "It Runs In The Family". Set in Britain, its main character is one Emma McGill... Jessica Fletcher's identical cousin, played by Angela Lansbury.

Yes, identical cousin.

Monday, 12 January 2009

The Subway Incident

Let me start off by admitting that our motley Scots crew have had so many drunken nights in so many English cities that I can't actually remember where this particular story is set - but like all tales of legend, the setting isn't as important as the cast of characters and the events that took place that night.

Our story begins in a Subway restaurant, as our jolly band of rogues procure some pre-booze subs to line their stomachs for the inevitable rough ride. Visions of our disreputable Glasgwegian friend Barbour crying his "Eating's cheating!" motto in outrage spring to mind but his advice is always best followed in the opposite direction.

Myself, Gav, Kel and Jen have all chosen, a tantalising mix of Meatball Marinaras, BMTs and Spicy Italians being cooked to order.

Yvonne, after some deliberation, steps up and produces a conversation so bafflingly stupid that it serves to test both the Subway employee's patience and the nerve of her friends, who begin to flash red in embarassment and shuffle awkwardly from one foot to the other, at one point wondering if it's too late to pretend she's a stranger who followed us in.

She makes choosing between 6" bread and 12" bread look like deciding on a child's name, while toasted or not-toasted seems an alien concept and the list of salad options could just as well be an astrophysics lecture in Arabic. As the guy asks her if she'd like some sauce you'd be forgiven for thinking he was Chris Tarrant and that her only remaining option was to phone a fucking friend.

Just as we're ready to make our apologies to the understandably annoyed guy, Yvonne utters a line that no-one who witnessed it will ever forget: "You'll have to excuse me, I don't usually come to Subway. I have someone who does this for me..."

I've decided that the best thing about the whole amazing farce was the face of the boy serving us. It was a thing of beauty, the way gleeful hope that he was serving a celebrity gave way to the dawning realisation that the woman in front of him was in fact an idiot.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Careful now

I found a new hobby today. Walking home from work a couple of joggers raced by me and as I saw more approaching, I realised there was obviously a group. In passing I quickly asked one: "What run are you doing?"

As the woman continued running and turned over her shoulder to hurriedly explain that it was just a running club out on their training route, she very nearly ran face-first into a lamppost. She literally turned, faced it and reacted with some sort of super-cat reflexes to narrowly dance round it.

Before the week is out, I will make one of them hit that lamppost.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Confessions of a Cross-Dresser

As I'm sat here reflecting on my current predicament, which I can do little but, I've come to the conclusion that it's best out in the open.

See, I love nothing more of an evening than getting in to an old pair of Reebok joggy bottoms. As I relax after a hard day's work, a gruelling football match or while battling a cold or sickness bug, the comfort they provide is perfect for lounging in front of the TV and sinking a beer or two.

Tonight, however, I was faced with a strange dilemma - earlier I'd put my ever-present joggies in for a rare wash, their first in years, and so they were still wet. Coming in from minus 6 degree temperatures, all I wanted was to get the joggies on, into bed, stick a Family Guy on and munch some grub. Instead, I was faced with the horrible prospect of climbing into the freezing cold sheets with nothing but my boxers.

So to cut to the chase: I am currently wearing women's clothes.

Jen offered me a pair of her pyjama bottoms and as the goosebumps ran up my leg, I begrudgingly decided it was for the best. You might ask why any man would confess to wearing a 5ft3 woman's Winnie The Pooh trousers which don't even reach the top of their sports socks, but there's sound logic behind this.

Surely it's better to wear women's clothes and confess as much than to wear women's clothes in secret.

With that conclusion in mind, I should also tell you that I once wore tights. As a kid, my mum refused point blank one match day to take me on the journey up north with them for Aberdeen v Killie in freezing conditions unless I had a ridiculous amount of layers on.

She was weirdly insistent that this included wearing a pair of her tights under my trousers, an idea I refused so thoroughly as to end up in tears, before relenting upon the realisation that it was the only way I was getting to my game of football.

As I type this, I've just realised why I hate the winter so much. I'm forced to fucking cross-dress.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with N...

Neighbours. Sorry to go all James Stewart on you, but spying on your neighbours CAN be fun and not at all pervy.

We, for instance, live across from the Star Wars Kid.

Obviously as someone who has access to the internet you know who the Star Wars Kid is but just in case you've been living under a rock, take a look.

It's 2am and we've just entertained 14 family and friends for New Year's Day dinner, the first proper shindig we've thrown in our new flat. Absolutely cream crackered, I'm ready for my pit and some Z's. Just as I climb into bed, however, I hear Jen letting out a squeal from the next room - "Come see this, you have to come see this!" she howls.

Knowing that our PC wasn't pointed at my blog or indeed on, I wondered what could be so hilarious - only to be greeted, as we huddled together in the dark and she pointed at a flat opposite, with a sight that I will take to my grave.

Not the slightest of men, our neighbour clumsily flashed around his front room in a fury, frantically fighting off what for all we know could be invisible zombies. Then it dawns - he's playing a Nintendo Wii.

In the wee hours of the morning and oblivious to watching eyes, alone with the lights off, jiggled our neighbour and his man breasts throwing an enthusiastic gamer's fit.

Wearing nothing but his massive underwear.

I love watching my neighbours.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Claire Smiles

I've had a response from my good mates at ASDA and all I can say is that I hope Claire Smiles did smile when she read my email.

Good Morning,

Thanks for telling us about the bananabix you recently bought at your local store.

It's always a pleasure to hear one of our products has hit the spot. We want you to enjoy everything you buy from us, so thank you for taking the time to tell us what you thought. We like to know we're getting things right.

I hope you'll continue to enjoy the things you buy from us in the future.

Kind Regards
Claire Smiles

Friday, 2 January 2009

My beloved has returned to me...

OK, I'm not going to lie to you. November wasn't great on the old blogs front. December had some incoherent ramblings on the Queen being struck with diarrhea, which I've seen fit to delete, and nothing else. Admittedly, I've let you all down and yes, we're probably never going to enjoy heady days like October with her 14 blogs once more.

But with my festival done and dusted, Christmas out the way and my internet connection back, I promise I'll try to bring the funny more often.

So to business and if I may, I'll start 2009 on a serious note. I've sent my love to the customer services team at the mighty bastion of retail that is ASDA, and have pasted the email below. I'm still awaiting a reply to this one...

To whom it may concern,

I feel moved to contact you with my eternal gratitude. You've brought joy back into my life.

Let me explain. This has been a dark period for me, almost unbearable. I've hardly slept these last few years, not eaten right, not been acting myself. Sometimes I prowl the streets at night, eating out of bins and chasing stray cats.

Everyone around me has been so concerned by my behaviour, but I just snap back at them and cry, full of rage. They don't understand. They don't know what it is to lose a loved one.

But then one day, there they were... Could it be? I reached out a hand, almost expecting my sight to blur and the visions to clear - but no, it really was. I held it in my hands, confused. Yes, it was! Mini Banana Wheat Bisks, the reincarnation of my dearly beloved and long-gone Bananabix. I'd mourned so long, so painfully, but now we were together as one.

Sure, it wasn't the Weetabix brand and yes, the name could do with a little sharpening up, but it was real - I clutched the packet to my chest, letting out a little tear of joy.

I felt like her off of Dallas when Bobby stuck his head out the shower - like the crew of Star Trek when Spock's spirit lived on in III - or like the cast of Jurassic Park: The Lost World when they discovered there was actually a whole other island full of dinosaurs unimaginatively called Site B. How could it be that my loved one had returned to me?

Then I saw the name it bore - ASDA. At that I felt a deep pang of gratitude. My dear friends at ASDA had worked painstakingly, often into the night I imagined, to recreate and resurrect this forgotten cereal, the very pinnacle of British cuisine. Here it was once again, standing proud on the shelf with lesser cereals like Sugar Puffs and Coco Pops, its little yellow box all aglow.

Thank you, ASDA. Thank you for reminding me how to smile.

Yours always,

This wonderful lady appeared after I'd filled in their email form, thanking me for contacting ASDA. Was it this blonde gem who brought my Banana Bisks back to me? Time will tell!