Thursday, 30 September 2010

A handy cut-out-and-keep guide

You know how you read newspapers, right? Well in my newspaper they like reporting on new buildings, vehicles, planes, planets etc. To illustrate the amount of superlatives they can give whatever's new they have to use a chart comparing the dimensions of whatever they're talking about with something else. So I thought I'd come up with a standardised table so that people who work in newspapers and magazines who think we're too think to understand what they're talking about can use it without having to think of anything new. So, here goes:

Height in descending order
  • Mount Everset: top of the shop there
  • The Petronas Towers: these twin skyscapers in Kuala Lumpur have replaced the World Trade Centre
  • Canary Wharf Tower: Used to be The Empire State Building for this scale but we've got our own now so ner!
  • Nelson's Column: You're taking the piss now
  • A double-decker bus

Volume in descending order
  • The O2 arena: never got a look in when it was the Millennium Dome, now everyone loves it
  • The dome of St. Paul's cathedral: Wren would have loved his greatest work to be used like this
  • A swimming pool: pretty vague but usually means a competition-sized pool, like what they use at the Olympics and shit
  • A bathful: fairly straightforward
  • An eggcupful: as a child I used to know how many eggcupfuls of water it would take to fill the dome of St. Paul's. I was an annoying little tit
  • A drop of water: used for describing minuscule amounts, like 'a dose of paraquat the size of one drop of water can be fatal to an idiot.'

Length in descending order
  • Around the world: used for something that measures a lot. Example - if you laid the amount of chewing gum that gets spat out onto the street outside Rock City in Nottingham on a Saturday night it would stretch around the world two and a half times
  • A football pitch: bit of a drop there from around the world to a football pitch, but hey-ho
  • The wingspan of a jumbo jet: the standard jet being used here is the Boeing 747 (211' 5", fact fans). Can also be used for volume. Example - 'The Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Cape Canaveral site is big enough to hold four jumbo jets stacked on top of each other.'
  • A double-decker bus: yawn

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Obligatory annual X Factor post

Have a look at these two videos:

Two fantastic songs, I think. My take on the Adele song is that it's told from the perspective of someone who has an unrequited love, an unrequited love for someone from a distance (have you ever experienced that? I have. Perhaps some of us are right now), nobody else knows. They want to keep it a secret, and because they want to to keep it a secret, ssshhhhh, they don't want to shout about it.

The second one is just a tender love song. From one person to another. You don't need to shout because they're there with you and you just want to let them know how you feel. I love the way Flack separates her words. For example there's a very clear division between the last 't' of 'first' and the first 't' of 'time'.

So why do these idiots on the X Factor have to go on and sing "TOOOOOOOOOOO MAKE YOU FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL MY LUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRVE!!!!!!!!!" or "THEFIRSTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIME EVERISAAAAAAAAAWWWYERFAAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Ugh! it's horrid and needs to be stopped. Singing it like that doesn't make a better song, indeed for most people you're just spoiling the whole thing and making a bad atmos. Indeed I bought down the atmos at a friend's house I visited on Saturday night where it was on in the background, I mean I don't watch the bloody rubbish. I tutted and sighed all the way through it, and let me tell you, my drum tutor says he's never heard anyone tut the way I tut.
When is this X Factor thing going to stop? It's hateful, staged nonsense where Danni Minogue, that's right, Danni Minogue gets to tell people whether they're talented or not. That can't be right, can it?

Friday, 17 September 2010


Have added a Twitter widget to this blog. If any of you would like to, ugh, 'follow' me on twitter I'm @BrightAmbasador. Though why anyone is interested in anything I've got to say is beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, have this, it's Friday and you need to get yer arse onto a dancefloor. They never bettered it:

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Do the Shake 'n' Vac

What gives with air fresheners? I don't smell. My house doesn't smell. The only bit of my house that may smell is my bathroom after I've been for a no. 2. And even then I'm the only person who uses the bathroom so I know to leave it for ten minutes afterwards. The few guests that come can use the downstairs 'cloakroom'.*
So why do we have this relentless march of air freshener technology? The HQs of Airwick and Glade must be 75% new product development. Every time I switch on the TV there's some hot new thing to get rid of 'unwanted odours.' I don't have unwanted odours, and if I've cooked something smelly I put on the fan or open the window. That normally shifts the bastard. In my day there were two types of air freshener: 1 - Air Ball. A round plastic thing with slits in it. My aunt always had those. Blue Peter showed once how you could use them to make a handy holder for your 7" singles. Yes, really. 2 - Glade. Glade was a plastic thing with some coloured blancmange-like substance inside that shrunk over the weeks. Mum always had those in the bathroom even thought the window was always flung wide open 365 days of the year.

This has all come about by this innovation I saw advertised in the telly the other night. My first thought was that it looks like one of those weird mannequins you see in shops that specialise in underwear and hosiery. No, not like La Senza or Knickerbox, but like those creepy shops you get in the backstreets of small towns that have that awful yellow film on the inside of the windows. You know, those mannequins of a ladies stomach and legs designed to show off corsets (or 'roll-ons' as they were called in our house) and big pants.
Then, if you look closely, look where the smell is coming from. Your home would smell like a knocking shop.

*Why is the downstairs bog suddenly a 'cloakroom'? I don't want to hang my coat where someone might go for a shit, thank you. When I went with my mother to see some estate agents about selling her house, they asked if she had a 'cloakroom.' Mother wasn't aware of this new development and said yes, she had a cloakroom. At which point I had to step in and explain that what the agent was driving at wasn't a room under the stairs that used to be a pantry but now housed, amongst other things, some coat hooks. Cloakroom, she thinks it's a bloody dance hall...

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Love in a time of bubble perms*

With all this talk about Wayne Rooney and prostitutes, I think it's time to hark back to a much simpler time. A time when footballists weren't on mega wages and they had to find much simpler pleasures. A time when football philandering was seen as something quite quaint.
I give you, as an example, Nottingham Forest legend Mr Peter Shilton. To furnish those of you who may be unfamiliar with the fact, here's something pasted from The Observer website:

"Shilton was arrested for drink-driving after being found at 5am in a country lane with a woman called Tina in his car. When Tina's husband Colin arrived he said the pair were partially clothed. Shilton hurriedly drove away and crashed into a lamppost. He admitted 'taking a lady for a meal' and was fined £350 and banned from driving for 15 months. He then had to endure countless terrace chants of 'Shilton, Shilton, where's your wife?'"

Now isn't that just a gorgeous little tale of love in the 70s and early 80s? Shilts was obviously missing something from his marriage so he took 'a lady for a meal', did you get that? A 'lady'. His respect for women knows no bounds. And he's put his hand in his pocket and treated her to a slap-up dinner. What a gent.
Now, Shilts obviously couldn't be seen to be booking into a hotel in Nottingham with which to entertain her. No, no, he's too much of a face in the city and his cover would be blown. So Pete has a Jaguar. A Jaguar has nice reclining leather seats. Throw the guy a bone here, he's trying his best. Now, when Colin arrived, down this lane round the back of Nottingham racecourse, near Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre, the couple were partially clothed. Isn't that just a beautiful image? Shilts's little white bum flashing up and down? This was an age before sex became exotic and women started demanding mutual enjoyment. Bloody women. I think the term that could be used here is 'having it off'. This is the time before 'dogging' had been invented so Shilts doesn't hang around, no sir! He's off and crashes into a lamppost, probably with his Farah's Action Slacks and nylon Y-fronts still around his ankles. This is thirty years ago, so there's no Mr Loophole to get him off the charge. Pete takes his punishment like a man and takes his ban and his dreaded returns to the City Ground with Southampton like a man.
Come on, ladies, could you resist a man with a bubble perm, large hair and some blingy medals in the cabinet? Course you can't.

So there's a lesson for today's footballers: you don't have to spend thousands on hookers and Marlboros, just treat a lady with a little respect and she'll deal out what you want in the back of a flashy car round the back of Nottingham racecourse, near Holme Pierrepont National Watersports Centre.

*I love the way the names Colin and Tina are involved in this story. They're names that are so 'of-the-time', do you not think?**

**I know these little footers can be annoying, but you try reading Stewart Lee's new book. They're on every page and go on and on and on and on.... But I kinda like 'em.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Booker for music (yeah, right)

Have a listen to this:

That lot won the Mercury Prize last night. I hate to sound like a boring old fart who'd probably say, like that judge in the 60s "Who is this...erm...Lady Gaga?" but I don't think much to that at all. I know that not everything has to be tailored to my taste, but I have they never heard of, you know, a tune?
And why the misery? You're young people for God's sake; jump around, take acid, shag your fans. God, the pained look on their faces. And, I hate to get personal, but that lass could get pickles out of a jar with that chin. I think they'd do well to wear spangly capes and sing songs about inter galactic space galleons. or something. I could be their manager and show them how to do it properly.
Still, at least Paul Weller didn't win. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

"H'aint you ever met a toff before?"

Phil Collins then. Where do you stand on him? He makes it very difficult to love him sometimes. As a prog rock aficionado, with an interest in drummers, I should be unremitting in my praise for him. He is, correctly, regarded as one of the all time great drummers (although lesson one, when you have drum lessons, is not to hold the sticks as he is in that photo. One mishit and you'll break your index fingers). The problem he has is that instead of just sticking to the drumming, and singing, with Genesis, he has to do all the other stuff. The stuff that gets people's backs up.
There was a chink of light in his recovery in public perceptions of him last month when he told Mojo magazine that he realised in the 80s and early 90s he could understand why he was viewed as an annoying little turd, and, looking back, he even thought he was himself. How can anyone look back at the cover of No Jacket Required and think it was a good idea - looking like a baked bean with a face?
Why then does he have to undo all that good work by releasing an album of Motown and soul covers? I've heard tow tracks from it, Martha & The Vandellas' (Love Is Like A) Heatwave and Stevie Wonder's Uptight (Everything's Alright). I'm of the opinion that unless you're going to bring something new to a cover, then DON'T DO IT. Both of those records are pretty damn perfect as they are, why does he mess with them and put his voice all over them? Phil, Phil, Phil, is there any way back for you? Just as you were getting everyone else on side.
He can't play the drums any more so he might as well retire. Or go back to Genesis and just sing. But no more covers albums, pur-lease.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Not so Big Yin

Sorry about that, I've been away again, and work's turning to a pile of steaming shit at the minute so I haven't been arsed to blog.
Anyway, while I was away at the Edinburgh Festival I met Billy Connolly. Well, when I say met I shook his hand. I don't normally hold with approaching famous people for number of reasons: 1) they probably don't want to be disturbed and you might get a 'fuck off' 2 ) I'm incredibly shy 3) I hate massaging egos 4) there's that old adage about meeting your heroes - you'd only be disappointed.
I can count on the fingers of one hand the famous people I've met, they are Mickey Dolenz (a former resident of this town whom I used to serve on a regular basis), Brian Laws (former Nottingham Forest player, now manager of Burnley. His appearance fee was 1.5 ltr bottles of Gordon's gin, Bell's whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Courvoisier brandy. Thing is, we found out later we could have had Stuart Pearce who was the England captain at the time but Laws got in first. Groo!), Bill Maynard (at the height of his "Oh No, It's Selwyn Froggatt" fame. His catchphrase at the time was "Magic, our Morris" and that's exactly what he said to me), John McGovern (former Nottingham Forest twice European Cup-lifting captain, the only man to have captained a European Cup-winning side more times is the great Franz Beckenbauer. It was at a book-signing, my mate asked me to take along his Forest shirt to be signed, when he asked me who it was for I said "Steve" and from then on he addressed me as 'Steve'.).
The only person who I've always said I'd approach is Mark Radcliffe. My admiration for that man knows no bounds. He's my generation's John Peel. I'd just like to shake his hand and thank him for all the great music he's introduced me to and for all the listening pleasure he's given for the past sixteen years. Let me tell you, when you have a job supplementing your income by delivering Chinese takeaways at night in this town his, and Lard's voice, were always welcome. Especially as it was on his show where I first heard Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett. You'd also get poetry mixed with comic turns and top notch session guests. He's still great and whoever decided to put his show down to three nights a week should be shot. I also believe that Radcliffe buys anyone who approaches him as a fan a pint. So, happy days!
Back to Connolly then, I was walking in the Grassmarket area of Edinburgh's Old Town at about ten in the morning. I saw this bloke walking towards me with long white hair and a small pair of spectacles on the end of his nose. I thought to myself "'Ello" I thought "This bloke looks a bit like Billy Connolly". The giveaway was a banjo pin badge on the lapel of his jacket, by this stage he was a few feet in front of me. I just stuck my hand out, he took it shook it and I said "I'm a massive fan. Thanks" to which he just said "Thanks very much" and carried on walking. That's all that was required, no trying to stop and get a picture or chat, I met my ultimate comic hero. End of. The thing is, if I'd had chance to think about it I wouldn't have done anything, I'd have just thought to myself "Oh God, there's Billy". No doubt he completely forgot about it a minute later and went about his business, although I like to think that he hasn't washed his right hand yet. And why he's called 'The Big Yin' is lost on me, he's no taller than my 5' 11".
I know that they're a probably people reading this who meet well known people all the time, who'll think "Wow, you met someone famous" but it was a big deal to me (as someone who spent far too much of his youth listening to his records and watching his videos), and to which I say this, it's about the quality of the personality, not the quantity

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Just remember...

...he's most definitely NOT gay. Okay? His mum always told him to stay a bachelor boy.

Isn't Photoshop a wonderful invention..?