Friday, May 30, 2008

Murderball - movie heaven

Here's another flick that I knew about when it was released but for one reason or another I didn't get round to seeing. 

Like me, I know a lot of you will think from the title that this is some sort of low-rent sci-fi actiony moronathon like the remake of Rollerball or any one of a dozen films by Jean-Claudie Van the Dame and Dolph Lungdrone. 

It really isn't. Take a look at the trailer - 

Fuck messing with these guys!

I learnt more about quadriplegics from this movie than I've learnt from anywhere else; and I think a lot of the problem is that we're kinda nervous about being perceived as being nosey and also slightly horrified about what this would be like if it were us.  

Murderball does go into detail about how each of the main guys wound up in a chair, and as each one talks about their individual impairment you can't help but wiggle your toes or clench your fist. It is also very frank about these guys sex lives. This kind of thing is just terrific for liberating so much irrational fear we have around any form of physical impairment.

It's both very funny at times and genuinely touching, and not in a mawkish forced sentimental way; these guys do not want your pity and sympathy, and as Mark Zupan says, just because he's in a chair doesn't stop him being a dick and getting in your face. 

In particular the side story of a young guy who broke his spine on his trial-bike beautifully explores the very personal loss of ones old life and the start of a new one in a wheelchair. The look on this guys face when he meets Zupan and sees that the Murderball chair could be some serious fun is just phenomenal.  

I'd urge all y'all to rent this, especially if you have the Lovefilm thing or similar. It's well worth a watch and you might just learn something at the same time (in a good way of course). 

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Black Keys - Birmingham Carling Academy

black keys

I've been to a
 The Black Keys gig before, and like seeing The White Stripes the first thing you think when they start belting out their mix of lo-fi rock/ blues is,

'Wow! They make a lot of noise for just two of them'

Funny thing is, like last time I wasn't really looking forward to the gig, but once you're half a song in they totally grab you with their sheer passion for the music. And that is the essential element for these two remarkably ordinary looking guys from Akron, Ohia, they absolutely positively look like they're doing it for nothing more than the love of the music. 

Dan (guitar, vocals) and Patrick (drums) blasted though choice cuts from each of their five albums pausing only briefly for Patrick to get his breath before piling back into another riot of percussion and wailing cords. 

The lack of pretense with these two is so refreshing, that's not to say pretense in music is a bad thing, it most certainly is not, but the absence of any here just leaves the tunes to speak for themselves, and they speak real nice.

So, if you're in the mood for some real rock/ blues to blast out on a sunday morning, or when you're driving through Tesco's carpark, these are the boys. I'd suggest you start with Rubber Factory.

After the gig I hooned it down from Birmingham (actually Droitwich where my chum lives) to Brighton in 2hrs, which was perfect as I managed to get in 3 Black Keys albums. When I pulled up at 1am my head was ringing. Oh well. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bromyard... where's that? (Herefordshire)

The only bad thing so far about deciding to piss off abroad travelling like a selfish swine is the fact that you feel the need to be a tiny bit more considerate to family members in the run up to the period in which you can pretty much forget all about them, and their birthdays.

Hence my visit north - not proper
Piggy, Sniffy, Spennal or Garfer north, just north to the Midlands. I'm not sure if I'm north or south of MJ, I assume MJ is somewhere quite filthy and nicely rude judging by the blog.

This left Worcester at 16:15 in 1946; arrived in Bromyard last wednesday morning.

Both my Mother and Sister (representing almost 50% of my entire family) live in a small, small, tiny, horrible, no-horse, can't even spell horse, or know what one looks like (does it look like a sheep?) town called Bromyard.

Here's a link to the
wikipedia page which is both brief and uninspiring.

The bit about the Christmas lights is great, unlike the lights themselves which are okay at best. Lets face it, they are only of note because none of the surrounding towns can be arsed with lights; the main offender being Great Malvern, another small town, but of a much higher reputation which hosts a particularly shoddy display each year, honestly, it really is woeful.

Stuffed full of booze
Apparently there are 60 thousand pubs in the UK for around 60 million people, which roughly means that there is 1 pub for every thousand people. Bromyard has a population of around 4 thousand, but about 20 pubs. That pretty much sums the place up.

It was also the scene of the now infamous 2006 gollywog scandal, which even made national news. The general populace of Bromyard refused to bow down to 'Political correctness gone mad TM', and stood firm that the stuffed childrens doll in question which dipicits black people as generally having thick curly hair and big ruby red lips was absolutely nothing but a bit of fun and certainly not a highly offence throw back to a time of slaverly and general ignorance.

In Bromyard there is no throw back to ignorance, they live with it every day.

London is considered by the average Bromyardian as a place, 'I ain't ne'ver bun to, b'hut I knows it ain't all thart. I can gets to 'ereford on the buzz, so why bozza with Lun'un?'

Quiet and Safe
Saying that though, it is generally far safer than anywhere else I've been this year and much much quieter.

Places to visit when here
For the meat scoffer, Neil Gladwins the local butcher is fantastic; stacks of great cuts, terrific pies (the steak and kidney is particularly delicious) and the tastiest Lamb chops around for many a mile.

For the non-meat scoffer? Probably give Gladwins a miss.

ON ANOTHER MATTER - can you lot tell me if the font size is working for you, I'm all over the place with it at the mo. 

Sunday, May 25, 2008

beautiful (and weird) photography

I've been a fan of photographer Gregory Crewdson for a good few years now; a number of his photos have popped up on the blog over the years, including the blog header which held the fort during my absence (the naked couple on the dirty mattress). 

Last week I finally got to see his work up close. It was fantastic!

I'll be writing about it in a bit more detail tomorrow. For now please enjoy a few pieces of his most recent work.





Saturday, May 24, 2008

Brighton is STACK FULL of these bastards!

Ugly, boring, thick, pale cunts-a-plenty

Had a stroll down the seafront to get a 99 with a flake from the most disgruntled and dirty ice-cream pusher in Brighton; I didn't think about how filthy his hands were until after I'd finished the 99. Thank fuck I'm full of vaccinations, I'd probably be nursing a healthy dose of Hep A if not.


Feeling really misanthropic, probably a result of all the wankers that invade Brighton every fucking bank holiday weekend. Honest to christ, what is wrong with everyone now, why are all these bastards so fucking noisy?  This must be the defining feature of our culture, the amount of noise everyone makes. If it's not the worst lowest common-dominator dance music booming from every druggie tossers top floor flat it's scream selfish semi-retarded kids, squealing fake tan addicted women and their bellowing beer-gutted topless football tattooed Gary boyfriends laughing like the morons they are at every vaguely amusing thing as if they're constantly being filmed by a furtive Channel 4 crew for another of their pseudo-documentaries about the legion of disgusting people with absolute no self awareness but a ridiculously disproportionate sense of their own worth; which make you think maybe these people that want to destroy western society have a point.

Or maybe it's just my low blood sugar and all I need is a sandwich and a cup of tea.

Live in da now!


Better still, just watching The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan. Seriously, this man is a fucking genius, and he is one of the only 'celebrity' self helpers that doesn't talk absolute shite; this is probably why when Trey Parker and Matt Stone had an episode which featured Cesar they were unusually
respectful of his techniques, and like everyone else that watches the show realised that his training methods would work perfectly on problem children (also known as 'children').

"Calm, assertive energy".

Yes, Mr Millan, feeling calmer now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Brighton is full of these bastards.


And they're big cunts as well; hocked up on left over Mr Whippy and sugar filled crap dropped thoughtlessly by the tattooed plebs and their fat ugly noisy kids that infest Brighton everytime the sun comes out for a nano second.

Look at him, I was literally seconds from getting a peck off this wanker... fortunately just after taking this photo I was able to distract him by throwing a small passing child at him.

At least with a pigeon you stand a fighting chance, these mothers are about twice the size. 

I had one land on my window ledge yesterday, when the window was open... it might even have been this shitter, who can tell, they're like hooded teenagers, they all look malevolently the same.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It smells like summer

Undertook an epic journey today as I walked from the heart of Kemptown to farthest Hove (almost into Shoreham). Took an hour of super-fast left-home-too-late walking to get there, and then a delightful two hour stroll back along the seafront.

It's a beautiful day by the sea today, and as I walked past Brunswick Square I got a waft from the cut grass on the squares communal lawn. Being a bit of a country boy originally this particular aroma really fires my 'scent association' to 'summer time'.   After getting a lung full the next association kicked in; fucking hay-fever. 

I wonder, will I get hay-fever in SE:Asia?

Jabbed in Hove

The reason I was in Hove was to get some more jabs at the travel clinic. Although my local GP is just round the corner you can't get everything there; Japanese Encephalitis and my Malaria tabs are dished out by the travel clinic and are not NHS sanctioned.

So,  had a second round of jabs; I am now 1/3 inoculated against Japanese Encephalitis. Joy. 

I just know I'll get all my jabs done, get to SE:Asia feeling invincible and get hit by a bus. 

The travel clinic staff were incredibly friendly and helpful and then I realised that it was a private clinic, which totally explained why the service was so good. Hmm... funny how not dealing with smack heads but paying customers can improve your disposition. 


There appears to be two options for my malaria tabs;

1. Doxycycline 

Doxycycline is an antibiotic that prevents the development of parasites in the blood that cause malaria. You need to take it 1 or 2 days before you enter the malaria zones (for me this is Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and border areas with China) everyday you are there and then 4 weeks after you leave. The 4 weeks is paramount. It has a few side effects, mostly making you feel a bit rough and that. 

This costs circa 29 quid for 50 tabs

2. Malarone

Malarone is a better drug, a combination medication that stops the development of parasites in the blood that cause malaria. It has no really unpleasant side effects (in comparison to Doxycycline) and you only need to take it a couple of days before you enter the malaria hot zone, every day you are there and a couple of days after. 

However, it costs circa 40 quid for 12 tabs!!!

Now, my problem is I don't know exactly how long we'll be in the malaria areas, it could possibly be anywhere up to a few months which means if I take Malarone (which everyone has recommended) it'll cost a fortune. 

I think the thing is, most people that have recommended Malarone only stayed in malaria hotspots for a few days or a couple of weeks, in which case 100 quid on meds doesn't seem too bad.

Loulou reckons the Bermondsey Mission is dishing them out to her free. Hmm... 

How much?

This travelling lark ain't cheap. It's already starting to cost a fortune; I know once I get there everything is dirt cheap, but getting there may skint me out.

What kind of food do you suppose they serve here?

A gem of a restaurant I walked past this morning in Hove...


I immediately snapped the place with my phone and sent it to my Frenchie flat mate, who previously had been asking me about decent places to eat in town. 

Obviously I was being well cheeky... 

Her reply?

'I hear it's quite good'...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All at sea (man!)

August 29th.

We've had confirmation that we are due to set sail August 29th from Le Havre aboard the CMA CGM RIGOLETTO for about 25 days, arriving at Port Klang in Malaysia at the end of September.

Very exciting. We'll have a twin-bedded cabin about 24 metres sq, which isn't a bad size. The boat also has a little gym, swimming pool and library (although as a French freighter I suspect a lot of the books will be in frenchie).

Keeping busy

Being at sea for almost a month is going to be quite the experience, and hopefully a positive one. I've previously never been at sea for longer than 12 hrs. I'm fairly certain i don't have sea legs so I imagine at first puking will be a big feature during choppy weather. I read an article by some dude that had also done this crossing who said that you puke until you think you're about to die, and then you realise that you won't. Most reassuring. 

I am taking my laptop on the boat and intend to do some writing during the trip. I already have a couple of ideas, but I'm going to settle for nothing less than the 'Great British Novel', tentatively titled -

"I tried for a bit, but it was exhausting, so I gave up" by Herge Smith 

That should capture the national zeitgeist; should be a belter. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My idiotic pre-conceived ideas about South East Asia and that.

It’s very tempting when writing about travel to give the impression that you are a worldly-wise right little know-it-all. This is the reason the majority of travel writing is so infuriatingly smug;

“As a seasoned traveller I was certain that the earthy and indigenous gentle folk of Clacton-on-Sea would welcome me into their midst as long as I got totally ratted on Friday night and tried to frisk up an over weight slapper…”

I am not the least bit worldly wise and consider myself to be fundamentally thick and/ or naïve when it comes to places other than Worcestershire and East Sussex (and I’m not much of an expert on East Sussex). 

Despite all the information I have read I do still have a lot of odd/ ignorant/ ridiculous pre-conceived ideas about the places I am about to travel to. And despite telling everyone I knew that I was going without any expectations I actually had some crazy ideas about both Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa, both of which proved to be entirely inaccurate. 

Typically, I would keep these daft ideas to myself for fear of ridicule, however, that really wouldn’t be much fun would it?

So here they are:

(I may at a later date return to these ideas and compare them to my actual experiences thus proving what is already highly suspected, I am a nobber).

The freighter – I am a bit worried about getting held hostage by pirates

Malaysia – Nice, but junglely (not Roni Size)

Singapore – Very western and clean. No chewing gum.

Vietnam – Lots of paddy fields and a bit scary.

Cambodia – A bit depressing and scary. 

Laos – Basic, bad toilet facilities, lots of mozzies.

Thailand – Touristy, like Blackpool but with more convincing transsexuals.

Philippines – Very scary.

Indonesia – Packed, like Oxford Street on xmas eve, less stabby though, I hope.

East Timor – Scary, war torn, people with arms off and stuff.

Papua New Guinea – Junglely.

Australia – Noice, noice, different, unusual.

New Zealand – Hobbitty.

Hmm… this really demonstrate what a total ignoramus I am. 

Let’s hope travel does broaden the mind, at least a bit.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A missed Dogumentary

I really haven't been paying enough attention to the movie scene over the past couple of years, which is why this absolute gem passed me by.

I only found it on IMDB after doing a quick bit of research on Wikipedia  regarding the controversial and increasingly popular sport of Wiener racing

Weiner takes all

I will now make it my (mini) mission to see this film and report back to you all.  

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Art Fraud!!!!

It’s shocking isn’t it, Art Fraud?

Hubristic people and institutions with too much money and desire to own envied art being scammed by unscrupulous blaggers, typically more talented and ingenious than those they scam.

Ripping off old geezers and regular twits like me is one thing, and extremely distasteful too, but when these bigwigs with stuffed wallets get taken for a ride it doesn’t seem so bad, in fact it’s often seen as oddly heroic.

I have no problem with art being copied, as long as the artist doesn’t lose out. If for example, Mr Spleenal was being ripped off and his work sold for a fortune to the Tate or some such bods I’d have a problem with it, as would Mr Spleenal no doubt. But generally Art Fraud is almost a victimless crime, with only these daft sods who place such ridiculous stock in artwork feeling hard done by. Typically the artist that’s being copied is dead/ and or the piece of art lost anyway so that doesn’t matter, and if those that are scammed never find out, then so what?

On the other had, I have an original piece by Spleenal so I’m very keen for him to get real famous so I can flog it to some nonce for a stack of dosh – actually I’ll flog a badly photocopied version to the nonce and keep the original just for myself.

And on the subject of great art...

This fab picture was emailed to me by edwaado - any guesses why this appeals? 

at the races

Sadly, they do shoot the biker scouts if they break a leg; the winning dachshund gets a Dentafresh chew (most need 'em after a heavy pant).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Childcare - a proposal

Following on from an interesting debate over at the wonderful beyond belief Cakesniffers regarding the popular subject of children, and this article on the Guardian website which made me want to kill,  I have decided to make a serious proposal about this common pest, erm I mean joy.

Baby timeshare.

This is how it works. Everyone is forced to look after a random child for at least a couple of weeks a year.

Technically, no one will be allowed to own any more than 1/26th of a child – again a great way to prevent us hitting the 9 billion mark in 50 years time

Now don’t start jumping up and down about there being no way you’ll lend out your kids, or your indignation at having to look after someone else brats, just bear with me…

This could be good –

1. It will socialize the child early in life.
2. It will put a lot of potential parents off, slowing the impending population crisis.
3. After a couple of weeks with a screaming child, the remaining weeks of the year will seem so much more enjoyable.
4. No parent will ever again be able to say, ‘You’ve never had children so you can’t possible comment on how they should be raised.’
5. It’ll bring us together as a society.
6. The child will be passed around a real mix of socio-economic and religious backgrounds, thus grounding it and (hopefully) preventing pig ignorant views in the future.

I think we should at least give it a try, could be a laugh right? AND if you sign up now I’ll do my best to make sure you’re last on the list to get one.

Of course, as the creator of this scheme, I shall be exempt. Only fair I reckon. 

Friday, May 16, 2008

Bloody tourists, yeah!


Yes, but which one will make me look like a twat?

Spent the evening in the basement of a Thai Restaurant just off Trafalgar Square in the company of ‘Travel Indochina’, a tour operator who, for exorbitant fees, take lazy (mostly aging) bastards who can’t be arsed to organize their own trips round Asia – booking them into the best accommodation and generally making sure they don’t ‘rough it’ in any way whatsoever.

We initially had a slide show presentation on Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, which simply whetted the appetite even more for the impeding trip. After which we stuffed ourselves on the platter of absolutely yummy assorted Thai starters. The second half of the evening was dedicated to China. 

We’ve not really planned to visit China, but seeing the presentation there are definitely a few parts of the country we’d like to go to, in particular the Silk Road, (east to west China) and Shanghai – which looks absolutely amazing.

The only reason we sat through the slide show was to get some additional ideas on places to check out and to see what accommodation they recommended – obviously it’ll be significantly cheaper to dead the tour operator and book everything directly. 

We also got that ace free Thai nosh, which to be honest I’d have sat through a presentation on Eastbourne for.

The Travel Indochina bods proudly stated that the area of the Great Wall they would take you to would be far away from the tourists.

Far away from the tourists… wha wha hat? Aren’t we all bloody tourists?

I don’t know if it’s just Asia that elicits such travel snobbery but it seems to be rife. All the books I’ve read and all the websites I’ve visited constantly say ‘don’t go here, full of tourists – you really need to go to this unspoilt area’ – not unspoilt for long I think if you’re recommending to all and sundry. I guess this is why if you take a rucksack anywhere round the world you instantly have to refer to yourself as a backpacker and not ‘god forbid’ a tourist – imagine how dreadful that would be! You would be just the same as ‘those’ that haven’t tried to enjoy their ‘holiday’ as much as you have.

I understand that certain sections of the Great Wall now have McDonalds and Starbucks along with the usual array of postcard and tat peddlers which is ironic, as I was under the impression that the Wall was built to keep the barbarians out.

Hmm… perhaps I’m already a travel snob. 

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You may feel a bit of a prick...


Captain America juice

I’ve just had the first round of vaccinations for my trip. The nurse at my conveniently placed local practice (literally 30 seconds from where I live) has given me an extensive list of potential hazardous illness I will need to be protected from if I’m to emerge at all from my hermetically sealed suit whilst in South East Asia.

This feels like the first real step to going traveling, before it was all talk, now I’m getting dosed up with drugs – yeah! 

So, today I had Tetanus, Diphtheria and Polio in one arm and one of three syringe full of Hepatitis B in the other, presumably both arms were used so that I don’t become unbalanced with all the extra fluid in each arm – not sure you can tell, but I’ve had no formal medical training.

I now have the following to look forward to over the next two months – 


Hepatitis A

More Hepatitis B

Japanese B encephalitis (I asked for the British one but it wasn’t available)

Malaria (actually just tablets)

Yellow Fever (an absolute must and a pre-requisite for freighter travel through the Suez Canal)

And good old Rabies

Had a discussion with my Girlfriend, Loulou, who suggests that we give Rabies and Japanese B a miss on the basis that it would cost us to get the jabs despite the fact that we probably don’t need them and in the event of a bite from a rabid beastie (you’re okay-ish if you can get medical treatment within the first 24 hours of a mauling) the Rabies jab would only give us an additional 24 hrs to get help.

I had a think about it then I pointed out that we rarely if ever complain about the cost of stuff we routinely waste our money on, like over priced meals, ridiculous hotel rooms or indeed socks (more on socks another time), so to give the jabs a miss - these things that would potentially protect us from illness and death, due to the cost was a bit daft.

“Hmm…” was the reply.

It’s so rare that I’m this logical or rational, think maybe the DIP/TET/IPV + Hep B are having an effect already. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What's up with Michael Haneke?

Michael Haneke
Explain yourself, Haneke!

I’m just not sure about Michael Haneke. I’m just not sure whether his work is genius or it’s the ramblings of a nobber.

Michael Haneke is a Austrian filmmaker and he has made a number of foreign language films in Germany, Austria and mostly (for the ones I’ve seen) in France. His most recent, a remake of an earlier film is in English and set in America.

It’s not like I’ve just written him off after one film; I’ve now sat through almost half a dozen of his films and I’ve still yet to have a, ‘Oh my god, that was amazing’ moment. It’s not that I’m hopelessly cynical either, I have loads of ‘Oh my god, that was amazing, moments when watching movies, most recently with Planet Terror.

YES! Planet Terror – who couldn’t love a film where a mother gives her a child a gun insisting that if he sees his father to shot him, and to be careful with the gun whilst she leaves him momentarily in the car, only to have the child almost immediately shot himself in the face.


There was another reason I liked this movie...

Of course, Haneke’s films are as far from the type of zombie/ action/ comedy/ violence that Planet Terror represents as it is possible to get, and I’m obviously not comparing the two, but they are both movies and they are both designed to be in equal measures art and entertainment (although in both cases Haneke and Planet Terror director Robert Rodriguez miss balance the art/entertainment to varying degrees).

It is also interesting to note that the depiction of violence in Haneke’s movies is far more disturbing than anything Rodriguez has ever and will likely ever come up, him and Grindhouse mate Tarantino.

Here is a brief synopsis for each Haneke film I’ve seen –


Middle class man is (not really) terrorised by videotapes left at his home demonstrating that he is under some sort of surveillance – the purpose of which is never fully disclosed. Middle class man miss appropriates and blame and spirals into guilt ridden introspection.

Funny Games 

Recently remade in the US with Naomi Watts – Middle class family is terrorised by two young politely spoken psychopaths who murder them one by one, child first. Very nasty and very uncomfortable viewing. 

Code Unknown

5 or 6 different story lines, only vaguely connected for a few minutes, progress throughout the running time of the film with little or no resolution.

Time of the Wolf

Middle class family flee an undisclosed potentially apocalyptic event, are initially terrorised (for the first five minutes) but slowly become part of an adhoc (although benevolent) community of refugees waiting for supplies and a train. Again, no resolution offered.

The Piano Teacher

Uptight middle-aged and middle class Piano Professor, lives with her mother and spends her days chastising her pupils and visiting peepshows where she views hardcore porn and sniffs the used tissues of the previous booth occupants. She also cuts her vagina (I think) with a razor blade and pisses on the ground next to a car in which a young couple is frisking about. She ends up having a torrid relationship with a youthful and eager to please student but freaks him out with her list (literally a list) of sado-masochistic demands.

piano teacher

This scene, not as erotic as it looks.

Hmm… I still have the Seventh Continent, Benny’s Video and 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance and I will have done his entire film oeuvre, more or less. 

There are two important questions I am asking at this point –

  1. What is the point of his movies?

I think Haneke is trying to portray extraordinary events and people with as much attention to the ordinary as possible, hence no music, little in the way of close ups, long takes and no heightened sense of reality. This isn’t to say his films are either boring or un-cinematic, typically they are neither, with Funny Games and Time of the Wolf out standing as both great visual pieces and dramatic gut-wrenchers.

All of them end with no real conclusion or resolution for the characters (other than Funny Games in a twisted way) and their messages are somewhat oblique to say the least.

Funny Games is probably his most notable and well known, yet it is almost the most detestable simply because the message is clearer and than the rest and for that is much more shallow – the message being ‘Hollywood movies are unrealistic and your vapid desire to see violence and revenge driven satisfying conclusion to these films is pathetic’.


Definitely the best way to shut the kids up

  1. Why am I bothering to watch them?

I think partly because I have a bit of time on my hands with the run up to disappearing to SE Asia, I also have this ‘Lovefilm’ 3 month free rental thing and partly because I’m curious when it comes to movies – I’m just twisted right?

I’m like ‘The Piano Teacher’, except I’m not taking a razor blade to any part of my genitals, well not again, anyway, genital mutilation is so passé.  

Monday, May 12, 2008

To recap...

Just what have I done in the last 12 months that has kept me from writing anything longer than my address?


I sold my house (just before all the selling house issues started).

Drove a Ford Mustang from the west coast to the east coast of America including spending a week in Death Valley during the summer where the temperature was circa 50 degrees C  (makes the weather this week seem mild).

Moved to lovely lovely Dog Poo, erm... I mean Brighton.

Went to Paris for a bit (très bien).

Went to the US again, this time to work in Pittsburgh (PA) for a bit.

Quit my job (about the 3rd time in 2 years).

Visited Dublin – was okay.

Got the worst flu ever at Christmas (the 4th or 5th time in recent memory that I’ve had flu at Christmas - no turk or stuffing for me).

Went to a bunch of gigs (including the Breeders – Pod, Trump - Pod).

Sat next to Gillian Anderson during a performance of Glengarry Glen Ross in London.

Stood next to Harold Pinter in the lobby of an Anthony Gormley exhibition (actually I stood, Pinter was sitting in his wheelchair, lazy bastard) - actually that's something I hadn't noticed before, where's my avatar thingy gone?

Went to South Africa for a bit (Cape Town lovely, Johannesburg a bit scary -  stayed at a guesthouse in Johannesburg which had a smooth miniature dachshund running about.

Completed more videogames than a man of my age should have any right to do (not going to list them, frankly it would shameful).

Became a Pro at bowling, boxing AND tennis on Wii Sports.

Bought a MacBook – Yes, a MacBook.

Read a stack of J G Ballard - Crash, pure filth.

Visited Cambridge, Oxford, Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham, Reading and others.

Spent a small fortune on hotels, am now a Malmaison expert. 

Went to a lot of restaurants - the best was in Manchester.

Think that’s about it. 

I’ll go into more detail on some of the places I been during the past 12 months later, obviously makes sense now that this is a *cough* travel blog.