What this blog isn't

It's not a Leeds-based exploration of the joys and challenges of shaping the mortar between house-bricks so that the rain runs off without undue damage.
Nor is it about looking at, achieving, or maintaining erections of the male variety. That's what the rest of the internet is for.
It's also not about drawing peoples' attention to the beauty of the Aurora Borealis by indicating it with an extended forefinger
It probably isn't SFW[Safe For Work] either (especially if you work in a church) thanks to the liberal sprinkling of profanities, heresies and blasphemies.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I don’t usually cover that sad vale of tears we know and love as reality; indeed I do my best to avoid the bloody place/state like the plague. I love the abstract. One day I hope to retire there, to a fractured cluttered bungalow on Alzheimer’s Lane.

These following images, however, are of that realm…and some other place inside someone’s mind - conterminously. I took them on a mobile phone, so the quality is not great. I make absolutely no apologies for their size; in fact I wish that I’d had a better camera with more pixels. If you can’t see them properly, then click to view them on their own, or save them with a right click and zoom in with your chosen image viewer.

This was once the Havelock Hotel in sunny Sunderland. Passing through one day, I spotted its demolition-in-progress. I’m glad that I did. I made a cursory search on the net to see if anyone else had caught this moment, but it seems not. I ought not to keep these to myself. They are truly oddbeautiful.

Inside the Havelock1

 I don’t know whether it was a shabby B&B, or a bail hostel, or something worse before it closed, but whoever occupied these half-rooms above and below left his or her mark. It’s odd because it was an insane ranting jumble that hadn’t ever been painted or papered over. Beautiful because it was only revealed to the daylight (and my mobile’s camera sensor) for a short while. Fanciful, I know, but I saw parallels between the half-wrecked state of the building, and the psyche of the unknown author.

Inside the Havelock2

Like I said, these may only exist here, and in some demolition company's records. Probably not though. The chance image is almost universal in these days of the dea( r )th of the word. I just couldn’t keep them to myself any longer. I wonder what was on the walls already taken down, what it was like to stand in those rooms, and how it felt to write those words.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Birds Eye Mystery Fish Fillet Adventure

My mam (not mum – I’m an unashamed barbarian, and I storm from the north) gives me food parcels regularly. I do not discourage this; she likes to look after her children, and I like to eat. Sometimes these care packages contain surprises. These are often pleasant - like the Cherry Bakewells that I foolishly wasted in the previous post; and sometimes not - salad cream (that I quietly use as tile grout) comes to mind.

It is not often, though, that she provides me with confounding mysteries that require investigation as well as scoffing down like a starved wolf. Until this week. When I found these lurking near the bottom of the carrier bag.


On the surface all looks well. She likes a bit of fish. It’s good for the brain. My curious (the bong one) eye was drawn, however, to the circled (alright. ellipsesed ellipsified ell-oh, fuck it, never mind – you know what I mean) areas.

i) Where the hell was the captain? Usually he gazes down upon the serving suggestion – either with the bearded sagacity of the older man, his kindly smile belying the tattooed hairiness of his unseen matelot’s arse; or with the handsomely chiselled mum-friendly features of the younger man, who you just know could choke the life out of you with one strong hand (if he knew that you only bought a fish product once a month) while simultaneously pleasuring your wife to a degree you never thought possible with the other…AND…

ii) What? What kind of fish? What kind of fish fillers fill this captainless rectangular unseaworthy vessel? Fugu? Angler fish? Those frightening fucking creatures that lurk on the Discovery channel at the bottom of some trench that hasn’t seen daylight since the first rains fell upon the infant Earth?

My curiosity, if not my appetite, was suddenly aroused. Perhaps I would find the answers on the back of this now slightly defrosted puzzle box? You would think so, wouldn’t you?


Oh, come on! It’s not as if I spend my days trying to track down Chinese sleeper agents or cracking codes for the military! All I want to do is find out what kind of fish is in here, Birds Eye. You occlude the path to the truth, sirs.

1) That’s twice you’ve told me about the cheese and herbs. Are you trying to hide something? And don’t go trying to jokingly tell me that they’ll be our nutritious secret from the family; I am neither amused nor deterred by your chummy familiarity.

2) Aha! Ingredients. Here’s where we get to the…oh, you have to be kidding me! An asterisk? Look, Birds Eye – it’s only the fact that all my wanksocks are in the wash that keeps me on this quest, and well you know it. Alright. I’ll play your little game, my frozen friends.

3) It took me twenty minutes to find my magnifying glass, you bastards. If it says ‘caught off Sellafield’ down here then I’m suing. [Here, dear imaginary reader, I will reproduce the tiny, tiny text that had me peering myopically under a rare and valuable 150 watt bulb for a donkey’s age]:

*Depending on season and catch area we use one of the following types of fish. For our fish dishes these are either; Alaska Pollock ( A ) from the North Pacific, Hoki ( C )  from the South-West Pacific, Hake ( D ) from the Pacific Ocean or Basa ( P ) farmed in Vietnam. Each of this whitefish species has an aromatic, mild taste  and a tender texture and is therefore an excellent choice for our Birds Eye Fish Fillers. You can identify which type of fish we used for this product by the letter printed  after the best before date (see side of package/side flap).

Jesus! This food container is turning into a Dan Brown novel – except the english is slightly better here. Like an Indiana Jones of the kitchen, I turned my prize over to reveal the final clue…


So! I finally get to the bottom of your little mystery, and fortunately I haven’t starved to death in the process. It was Pollock all along. Given that I’d spent this long on the damn things (and the dryer hadn’t finished yet) I decided to cook them, if only to justify the effort that I’d put in.

They were fucking horrible.

He’s got Cherry…(sorry Kim Carnes)

I had to lie down to do this. It took fourteen goes, and and a box of Mr. K’s finest (most of which were lost to the floor) – and I think one of my contact lenses is now round the back of my eye…

But it was worth it to lift me out of this foul Friday mood.

I give you my interpretation of the last line of Kim Carnes’ chorus most popular…

Thanks_Kim & Kipling

My next target today is the late Captain Birdseye. This time I won’t be so reverential.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The swansong that wasn’t

This, my argent tongue


This, my argent tongue, distilled

of rough mercuric thought;

acerb dagger tang instilled,

forge and foundry wrought


These, my agile wits, enclosed

steel facts and silver lies;

tributes paid to king reposed

above, behind these eyes


But oh, this argent tongue,

is bitten, swollen, stung;

and my, these agile wits,

are spun of starts and fits


The king is long deposed,

usurped by ague violent;

the forge is cold and closed,

the foundry fallen silent


Now this, my argent tongue,

is stilled; and I am done

My incalculable fortune lost in the crash, my loyal retainers dispersed to the wind, my teeth sold for pasties – it was the worst of times…but now I’m BACK. From Outsize space (please continue making up your own lyrics to disco classic ‘I will survive’ from this point while I try to get a broadband connection to this cave complex in the Maldives up and running. and WATCH PAY SCANT AND DILATORY ATTENTION TO…THIS SPACE.

I thank you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Me, myself and I (really need a year on a good diet)

For once – once, mind you, in the last 20 years or so – I have a picachewer of me that almost makes me look human. Instead of the claw-handed sallow internet Morlock that I truly am. Look ye. Look ye.

Yes, I know that I still look like a crack addict/hillbilly Wendigo, but that’s what ten years of poor to no sleep does for you.

Why is it here? Why now? Is it vanity?

Well, I am terribly vain - but that’s my problem, not yours. Hopefully.

No, the reason is that I plan to go all multimedia on you. Only ten years behind the rest of the Interwebsphere, I’m going to try out a podcast. For starters.

(Maybe a Half-life 2 webcomic or two, to boot. I’ve got Garry’s Mod, and there are only so many times you can launch Professor Kleiner from a makeshift cannon at a wall before you have to justify the cost to yourself. That would leave me only about five years behind the rest of you, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it? I’m trying to catch up, honestly.)

This isn'tme. It's Ken Clarke wearing a hat looking like Joss Ackland in the Always on my mind video

It’s actually so you’ll be able to put a face to the voice (which has been likened to an angel’s fart) when you hear my Northern twang in full flow. Which is coming next. Which is coming soon. Be aware. Or beware, if you prefer.

It’ll probably be about Britain’s Got Talent. Unless something else irritates me more in the meantime, which is unlikely.

p.s. For Sweet Hairy Jesus’ sake, don’t go upping the gamma on the image. Not only will you see the dark shadows and huge bags under my eyes – but you’ll be able to make out the ghostly imprint of Thanatos’ hand reaching for me in the background. Hey, I’m near the halfway mark in my four score years and ten. I’d be elderly a millennia ago. Just remember that.

p.p.s. Yes, I do live inside a featureless magnolia cube. It’s not as bad as you’d think.

p.p.p.s. My face and voice are not CC licensed. They’re mine, I tell you, mine - and you can’t have them. Even if for some bizarre reason you wanted to.

p.p.p.p.s. I can do the Roger Moore eyebrow on both sides. How’s that for fucking talent, Britain?

Monday, March 23, 2009

The dream that I awoke from this morning

No apologies for the lack of formatting, editing for readability, etc. It was a dream. They generally play out unformatted, unedited and stream of (sub) consciousness.

I had been taking to someone in the internets (a chap called Percy, a shroom blogger and excellent wit, but whom I have never met or seen, so in the dream he was about 35, tall and black – I don’t know if he really is) but we were actually lying down in the middle of a road in a ‘next instant’ kind of thing. As I got up a van ran over my companion, temporarily stunned he took a while to groggily get up while complaining that his legs tingled. We were both spattered with his blood.

When he felt better he insisted that we go to this nearby amphitheatre/coliseum/arena where he climbed down onto a rocky promontory and threw himself to his death in front of me. I went to a futuristic police station that was more like a bus concourse – with those sexy robots that certain Japanese artists draw all wandering about, up until the point more of them arrived by coach and then they all stood at the windows and watched them disembark.

In my questioning and forensic examination I noticed that I had been wearing surgical gloves and gave them to the investigating officer to inspect. He, a pretty policewoman (who may or may not have been one of my exes) went back to the amphitheatre to retrace my steps. To do so we had to walk over displays of live crocodiles which clacked their powerful jaws at our ankles - and boxes of snapping turtles, frogs and other amphibians set into the floor around the walls of the amphitheatre, and gingerly cross yawning crevasses (like climbing out of lofts onto loft ladders where you have to swing yourself onto them from a seated position) as the investigating officer helpfully put his boot in my back to hasten my movements.

When we got to the point that Percy had killed himself, his body was gone – as if it had never been there - someone from a Cirque du Soleil type performance rehearsing there gave me a flyer with a message to meet someone else on the floor of the pit. Accompanied by the policewoman who entered into banter with a friend waiting in a queue about their past exploits in their student days, the cirque du s employee balled up the flyer and threw it away. I was crestfallen at this as I wanted someone's autograph on it. Instead of being taken to meet a performer we were led a a booth of people sitting cross-legged swami-style with needles sticking out of their skins, one of those people was a complaining ninny from the suicide scene who had complained that watching my companion die had ruined the show for him.

He was sticking syringes into his neck and face in some sort of reverse smackheadery/drug addition. As he blustered at us that he should be left alone to enjoy himself the scene changed and the policewoman and I were in a stationery shop buying pens and paper for my statement. Outside she waited for a lift back to the station as I hugged her and told her I’d see her later. Then I realised that my dead companion had given me his ability/curse of seeing into the future. I had a vision of bank robbers in pink Mack trucks trailing pink containerised loads behind then(yeah, I know. Freud would have had a fucking field day with it) and a double-decker bendy-bus were driving en-masse into an intersection further into the now darkened/night-time town that we were in.

Running to the intersection I climbed aboard the back of the bendy bus and faced off a grim Teutonic female robber dressed as a bus conductor and her male friend who was dressed as a chef. I threw them both off the bus. moving down the  aisle - which was bordered by vol-au-vents individually set on small square metal platters, another robber came out of a glass-walled area near the front of what was a bus and now became more of an underground station. As he tried to escape through a door marked ‘recycle’ I threw (ninja-like) one tray at a button near his head which locked him in – then another at a switch that presumably mangled or crushed him from the screams. The driver himself, a driver no longer, but a passenger on the underground, I tussled with on the platform before he fell into the path of a train.

and that’s when my alarm went off.

Note to self – while cheese, peanut butter and baked bean toasties may be a delicious and rewarding experiment, they probably make you have really freaky dreams.

I wish that alarm hadn’t gone off though.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Conspirinterocitor #3 – Looking up at stuff turns you into a subservient zombie

Nobody has issued a takedown order for this piccie yet. Yay for me! Hey there. One of my hobbies is making up conspiracy theories. You know - just to see how wild you can get on the possibility that some swivel-eyed madman somewhere will cut-and-paste the bits in between the piss-takings and disseminate the information among a network of other swivel-eyed lunatics. Probably via the medium of tin-can telephones…because every other avenue of communication is being listened to by the government and lizard-aliens.

Anyway, here’s the latest faux fevered fanatical fulmination.



Looking up at shit makes the blood flow to the brain change, thus affecting how the brain balances supply of blood, causing globally protective changes in neurotransmitter types and amounts that have a negative effect on our willpower while saving us from braindeath.

Throughout all walks of life we are encouraged by religion, design, architecture, our peers, etcetera to LOOK UP

Children look up to their parents

Congregations look up to the image of God

We all look up at Apollo, Ra, Helios (name him how you like, we all look up to feel the sun on our faces)

We are encouraged by our peers to keep our chin up when we are down

We look up at the screen in the cinema and now in our homes at wall-mounted televisions

We have to look up at road signs to save ourselves from accident

To look up is to OBEY!

To look up is to bare your throat.

I love making this shit up.

Previous Conspirinterocitor communications:-

The Conspirinterocitor #2 – Where’s your balls man?

The Conspirinterocitor #1 – I bet this comes back to bite me on the arse