Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Thousand Days Like Sunday (4)

I can hear the grass growing.


It's slowly getting on top of the tinnitus like background hiss in my head, a residue of the rage and fury of the week just passed. I only notice this sound when I'm out here, up on my hill with just the crickets and the wind for aural accompaniment........... It's blissful purity as long as I don't do anything other than look at the deep blue sky above me. I don't want to see hedgerows or houses or trees, anything with physical form, not right now anyway. Only me, the ozone and the odd wisp of cloud meandering lazily past my line of vision. I shift myself drowsily backwards in time by about five days and remember the vile scenes in the pub on Tuesday night..........................

We were in some flash dump of a style bar near closing time, one of those joints with the comfy sofas and faux fireplaces that can't quite hide the fact that it was an evil rip-off wank hole owned by the sort of people you would cross a six lane motorway to avoid. One of the guys in the group, someone I barely knew, possibly a friend of a friend took it upon himself to drunkenly flirt with a couple very attractive young ladies sitting at a nearby table. I say flirt but what I really mean is slobber, letch and leer. I'm sure in his mind he was some kind of Clooney/Cassanova hybrid. He didn't have much time to ponder the comparison though and within five minutes of him propositioning the obviously bemused and slightly repulsed women, he was on the floor having his face hoofed in by three black clad Yule Bryner doppelgangers. I sat and watched it all unfold and felt somehow like I'd missed several lectures on 'the way of things' and wanted desperately not to be there.

.............And then I wasn't.

Here's a thing. The pollen some people frequently complain about and the resulting hay fever it brings on, well it's never bothered me. I can snort it in and blow it out all day long. I always feel a bit bad when I call on someone I know who suffers from this horrible affliction and ask them if they fancy coming out on a walk on a warm late-summer day like this. I only want their company but I'm sure they think I'm a total bastard. Like most of my mistakes, it's not carried out with malice, just a general lack of thought. It's that kind of day though, the landscape wobbling and vibrating ever so gently in the mid morning heat haze as I climbed the hill to my favoured spot.
I turn over on my front and rest my head on it's side on the grass. It's still a little cool and as such it's fairly pleasant to lie there, closing one eye and then the other alternately, changing the perspective as I watch two tractors below, ploughing their furrows and slowly working their way towards each other in the middle of the field.

Vision blurs and the noise returns.........

The subway train burst into the station in a brief storm of light and echoing abrasive clatter. The gusts of stale subterranean air being pushed through the tunnel in front of the tube train blew my paper in on itself and forced me to give up on any hope of re-organising it any time soon. The carriage was sparsely populated and dimly lit, a faint urine smell wafting under my nostrils as I took a seat near an elderly woman. It seemed like the constipated look on her face was probably a permanent fixture, but I doubted the ever increasing stench permeating the caboose was helping matters. At the end of the carriage lay the slumped figure of a middle aged man, passed out drunk with a Special Brew can clutched in his left hand. A puddle of piss that had formed at his feet was running down the grooves on the carriage floor towards the rest of us. At first I hoped it was spilt beer but a glance at the dark stains on his ill fitting cheap blue denims told me otherwise. That and the smell..................
I needed out before I puked, but the other carriage was no option either. A group of aggressive looking teenagers in offensively coloured shirts were busy using it as an impromptu play-room ahead of a night on the town, a night they would doubtless spend trying to get into pubs and nightclubs with very little success. I needed that even less. I thought of Karen, waiting in the freezing cold outside the subway. I was already late and she had sounded distinctly offhand when I'd phoned her as I made my way out of the office. I felt sure that if I got off at the next stop and waited on another train she'd be long gone, but I was in need of fresh air more than sane human company at that moment in time.

Two minutes later I was on the platform watching the red glow of the trains tail lights disappear around a bend in the tunnel. I pulled out the crumpled paper from under my arm and set about putting it back in order. It was going in the bin anyway but I needed something to keep me occupied until my new carriage arrived..............

Things come back into focus again and I'm three hundred feet in the air instead of forty feet under ground. Thank Christ! The two tractors are now parked either side of each other in the centre of the distant field. I imagine the two drivers admiring each others work and maybe having a crafty fag or two before setting off back to the farm. It looks like a private steading, maybe they're brothers, maybe father and son, maybe husband & wife. Who cares? looks like fun from here anyway.

I'm sitting up for a while now, observing the crows circling the fields to the south. It's an insane avian choreography, rising and falling and circling continuously against the green and gold and brown of the patchwork landscape. They land for a while and then start over again, their coarse croaking caws only a faint disturbance at that distance. I pray the fuckers don't decide to come and roost up here. I also pray that time stops and the sun halts in the middle of the sky. It's not a big ask, is it?

Tomorrow all this will be washed away. No longer the minor deity observing his kingdom from on high. It won't exist. All memory of it will be submerged in the motor-hum of the city, the flash of glass and steel, the chatter of voices and the squeal of brakes.

And the buzzing in my ears that never quite went away will return to sing me to sleep at night again.

A Thousand Days Like Sunday (3)

The tatty old pier seemed to have emptied of all human traffic mere seconds after he arrived. He had actually been leaning against the barrier at the end of the pier for about an hour but he had a habit of going into trances and losing all track of time. Two years in this place had brought him nothing but grief and boredom. The pier was where he went to switch off. A distant and only vaguely remembered aunt had bequeathed him a small house in the town and he had jumped at the prospect of leaving the grimy confines of his home town and his miserable night watchman job. He hadn't banked on the insular, suspicious natives, nor had he imagined how hard it would be to make a living in such a place. He knew now. His current job was every bit as crappy as his last. He worked in Mr de Giacomo's ice cream kiosk during 'high season' and worked in the old man's chippy during the long, cold rain lashed winter months. There was little to choose between the jobs as far as was concerned. His desire to spit on every ice cream cone he made for the mewling little brats that queued up on saturday mornings with their pocket money was equalled only by his desire to piss in the vinegar bottle in the chip shop. In fact, he had done just that one friday night. None of the loud, boorish drunken fuckers that came in during his shift had the slightest clue that their suppers had been drizzled in urine. He had laughed about it to himself at the time. He was literally pissing on their chips, as much as they were metaphorically pissing on his. He had nobody to share the joke with though and his sense of triumph wore off alarmingly quickly. Staring out to sea as the sun finally began it's evening descent, he realised that he had two choices. Get on the train and go back to the hole of a town he grew up in, back to his sadistic father, valium and gin addicted mother and his deranged sex offender brother or stay put and count his blessings. Even getting out of the family home and into a flat wouldn't be enough to drag him back. The local hard men knew who he was, knew who his brother was, would ensure he didn't get a nights sleep ever again. Every memory he had of home consisted of a shroud of grey filth and dullness. Even sunny summer days were shit and when you got home it might as well have been pissing down with rain for all it mattered. There was no contest really. He turned finally and wandered back along the sun dappled walkway towards the promenade. His existance was shite, a trial, endless boredom. It just wasn't life threatening anymore.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Really Should Get Myself A Saturday Job

Fragments of a weekend
.......................Friday 6pm...............A never ending hike around the the West End of Glasgow looking for a cash machine that works. Then buying stupid amounts of booze. I always tell myself in these situations that it's to last the weekend. Yeah, sure................Saturday 9am...............The inevitable consequences are never pleasant at any time of day, but they are positively vile this early in the day. Pop some Nurofen and sleep for what I hope will be the rest of time..................Central Station 1.30pm............... I realise I've missed the last train to Dumfries and the next one will get me to the game just as it's finishing. No bad thing given the end result.....................The Necropolis 3pm ...........................Fine views but the light is rotten for photography. All I manage are standard issue silhouette shots of grave stones and mausoleums. The enormous statue of John Knox watches over the city and I scuttle off before the weather closes in..................Sunday 4.30pm...............Aimlessly walk through Hyndland and Partickhill. It's better than the usual toddle through the Botanic Gardens but not much.......................5.30pm.................... Feel clammy, grimy and unwashed so I don't make my usual refreshment pit stop when I'm out this way. Not in the mood for conversation either.....................8.45pm.........................Watch small man crash a giant rocket powered roller skate on TV. Definitely the highlight of my weekend........................

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Once again, The Ill Man gets ahead of himself a tad by having his hangover on a Saturday instead of Sunday when he has a bit more use for it. Anyway, I'm tired and can't be arsed right now. Heres some shots I took today and a link to my this place instead.


The Great American Album

Ok, I've not given this one much thought of late, but I did pull out about forty or so CD's to whittle down, so I might as well follow it through. Some of you may remember I made a post a few days ago asking people for their 'Great American Albums'. Well, here's mine......(Oh joy!)

My list is a bit pish, I have to state. It's maybe a little too modern compared to Alan and Bock's lists submitted in the above link. This of course might raise the odd eyebrow and provoke reactions such as "Who the fuck is Sufjan Stevens?" It's also entirely subjective, as these things ought to be. So there....

If I've missed anything obvious, feel free to let me know.

In no particular order....

GP - Gram Parsons
Marquee Moon - Television
Fables Of The Reconstruction- REM
Ease Down The Road - Bonnie Prince Billy
Our Endless Numbered Days - Iron & Wine
The Trials of Van Occupanther - Midlake
Underfed - Plush
Smile - Brian Wilson
Deserters Songs - Mercury Rev
Under The Western Freeway - Grandaddy
Greetings From Michigan(The Great Lake State) - Sufjan Stevens
The Blue Moods Of Spain - Spain
American IV: The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
Red Headed Stranger - Willie Nelson
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain - Pavement
Music From The Big Pink - The Band
Cold Roses - Ryan Adams
Through The Trees - The Handsome Family
Whatever Mortal - Papa M
Songs About Buildings & Food - Talking Heads
The Black Light - Calexico
On The Beach - Neil Young
Forever Changes - Love
Song Cycle -Van Dyke Parks
Highway 61 - Bob Dylan

Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Bottle And A Friend

"Here's a bottle and an honest friend
What wad ye wish for mair, man?
Wha kens, before his life may end,
What his share may be o' care, man?

Then catch the moments as they fly,
And use them as ye ought, man;
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes no ay when sought, man!"

Robert Burns

I Didn't Know My Mother Had Such An Evil Sense Of Humour

................ Or that she has a sense of humour at all..........

Seven thirty yesterday morning and I'm in that lovely Never-land between being asleep and being awake. Then the phone goes. Cursing a bit I stumble to the phone labouring under the mistaken belief that it may be a call of some importance.

It's mother, calling from deepest, darkest East Lothian wanting to know if everything's Ok. Bloody Hell!

"Are You Up?"


"Good. I'm just having my morning tea"

"Lovely!, couldn't this have waited until tonight?"

"No!" (laughing)

I hear my father in the background grumbling about wasting money on calls to shiftless sons at ungodly hours in the morning. I take this as my cue to wind up the call.

It went again this morning but it seemed to be some automated voice telling me I had a message waiting. Text message maybe? If I'd bothered to find out it would probably have read:

"It's your mother. Time you were up! Have you done a washing? Make sure the dishes are done by saturday.

Crazy thing is, she'd be 100% correct.

Where's the Acdo?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mr Lambie Rides Again

Ok, Blogger's just swallowed my post. Same old story. Think of it as a blessing, I'm not on very good form of late.

Here are some photos from tonight's John Lambie Testimonial game.

Approach to Firhill

The man himself, greeting his public

Goal-mouth action

Thanks for the good times and the good memories Mr L.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Since I've Been Gone...........

The weekend had me floored before it had even begun. I fell asleep in front of a Monty Python DVD at about 7pm and didn't awake until midnight. Cue lot's of swearing and general grumpiness. What to do for the next four hours?

Mooch about peoples blogs?

What do you think?

Saturday saw some success in locating a much coveted pair of brothel creepers and then out for the Ill Mothers birthday party. It all rumbled off in a bit of a blur and I got decidedly drunk again and ended up sitting up at about 2am listening to Mozart with my dad. Why? Don't know. Like I said, I was very drunk.

...........and so they're away. Off to Haddington the two of them, staying in some posh hotel. Envy doesn't even begin to scratch the surface............ Todays weather made me feel a little less grim but at this time of year such days are the exception rather than the rule.

Plug time: I know nobody will be remotely interested but the Messiah of Maryhill, the Maestro of the Malapropism, the Whitburn Pigeon Fancier and self confessed 'Mad Bastard', the one and only John Lambie will be having a belated testimonial match in his honour tomorrow night against a Rangers select. Expect a few well known ex-hun and Thistle faces to stroll out for a while and show off their beer guts too.

Details of the match are HERE.

The Surreal World Of John Lambie.

"Our first goal was pure textile."

“His name was Declan Roche and he was talking back to me - so I got these dead pigeons out of a box and slapped him round the face with one.”

Trainer - "Boss, it's concussion, he doesn't know who he is"

Lambie - "That's great, tell him he's Pele and get him back on."

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, a short(ish) report from Amsterdam is up on THE GYP. Pictures too.



Friday, January 19, 2007

Relax.......And Enjoy Your Hair

Your Band Name is:

The Heterophobic Cafeteria

This is going to be my mellow country-tinged harmony group project. Keep an eye out on MySpace folks......

Anyway, I'm compiling a list of "Great American Albums" Any suggestions? It's kind of like the notion of the 'Great American Novel' but a little less tedious and more open to interpretation. Unless you nominate Hootie & The Blowfish or The Dave Matthews Band, in which case you can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut for all I care.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bring Back National Service!

.........or 'Reality TV Osmosis Syndrome' And How To Live With It.

Ruddy hell! I've barely watched the rotting thing but I know who they all are and what they've all been up to. Big Brother has that effect, it pulls you in even if you don't watch it. Or want to watch it. Or even have access to a television..... Do you have an opinion? Who do you love/hate? Shilpa or Jade?

Let me answer these quickly. I love Dirk Benedict (steady on there!). He sounds slightly drunk when he talks and sits smoking cigars in the garden. Class! Neither Jade nor Shilpa amuse me. I imagine Shilpa can be a little trying, maybe a tad haughty. She is a Bollywood star after all. Is she like that? Dunno, never watched it................

See what I mean?

It's all my own fault of course. (Warning! Self Analysis Segment Ahead) I try to make out I hate soap operas and the like. I actually secretly love them, but I have to remove myself from the room lest I get too involved in the fiction. I don't mind submerging myself in a film for instance but that's just 90 minutes of yr life. Soap is a full time habit. If theres a responsible adult in the room, I'm fine, but otherwise, soaps disturb my mental balance greatly (poor dear!). BB is the same, but it's even more visceral since it involves people in genuine(if manipulated) situations. You empathise and despise all the more. You're aware all the more of the injustices and impossible situations that the (admittedly well paid) housemates get into. You take sides.............

Jade Goody of course you all know as a mentally subnormal Millionairess. She's also a deeply unpleasant human being. Ain't life lovely? The racial abuse issue raging outside the house seems to be capturing viewers though, as they team off into 'We Love Jade', 'We Love Shilpa' or 'We Love Dirk Benedict' (Naturally) camps. To be honest they're broad churches, encompassing a variety of perspectives (with the exception of the Dirk camp, for whom the issue is not in doubt......)

Go Dirk!

Or is this just another product of my now almost completely BB addled mind? God I hope so................

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Thousand Days Like Sunday (No 2)

The distance to the end of the cobbled lane was nothing much, maybe three hundred metres. Hannah's legs were beginning to buckle. She had been running like a lunatic for the past five minutes and the pain of such strenuous exertions had started to overwhelm all other feelings. It had even overcome the soul draining fear she had felt as she strolled down the street just a short time earlier. She was about to throw up for the second time in as many minutes. The first time had been the result of a random thought connecting with a scene in the street and leading to a sudden and gut wrenching sense of terror. She suddenly realised that she had been in a trance for the past half hour and had no recollection of leaving the house. The first thought was "Not Again!!", followed very quickly by blind panic. The world started to warp and rotate around her. Several people stopped to ask her if she was alright but she brushed them aside and staggered off towards an alleyway to relieve herself of her lunch. Then the adrenalin kicked in and she found herself running faster than she believed possible. Her ungainly lope had doubtless turned a multitude of heads but it wasn't until she was in sight of the flat that everything started to turn to lead. Her feet, legs, arms, head.......all felt like they were being subjected to three times the normal force of gravity. She retched and gagged, one hand on the left hand wall of the lane. Nothing came up but the foul acid stench of bile. She convulsed uncontrollably, this time from physical exhaustion rather than mortal fear. Hannah's sincerest desire at that moment was to die. Her body did the best it could to oblige but she merely blacked out for a few minutes. She came to and got to her feet before wobbling weakly to the end of the lane. She stood outside the red double doors of the flat and wondered what would meet her on the other side. Her two year old son was sitting contentedly in the green bean bag in the corner of the living room, thoughtfully chewing the edges of a red stickle brick. She stared at him like he was from another planet. He glanced up at her and gave her a look that seemed to her at least both forgiving and admonishing. She slumped in front of him and removed the red plastic brick from his mouth. He gave it up with little resistance and happily exchanged the tasty morsel for the arms of his mother. She walked around the house continuously with the boy in her arms until they began to ache with his weight and her own exhaustion, at which point she plonked him back in the bean bag and sat ashen faced in the couch opposite. She called her mother and asked her to babysit. She hated giving her mother any more control over her life than was needed, but somehow that all came a distant second to getting herself the longest nights sleep she'd ever had.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Well, Thank The Lord For That.................

My Fortune Cookie told me: There is a radio in your head, but Henry Kissinger does not have the controls. Get a cookie from Miss Fortune

Not sure how this applies to my life, but it's nice to know anyway......

Todays Scotland On Sunday has a wee booklet giving Zodiac compatibility charts. Complete bollocks of course but like all these things, theres a fascination in figuring out just how close to your star sign traits you really are. I'd say I'm only about 50% which can only be a good thing as the 'full-on' Aquarian sounds like a right twat.

Anyway, I'm on day two of a rather shocking hangover. My mothers retirement do (or "Attack Of The Middle Aged Ladies") was a great success and for the first time in ages I lost the place with regard to my alcohol consumption. Beer, wine, spirits, a bit of puking...........Terribly amateur of me. Anyway, feeling better today but I feel a bit fuzzy still. A good long walk with my trusty camera would seem to be in order.


A Thousand Days Like Sunday (No 1)

The beer in the bottom of the glass had barely settled from the swirling motion he had been making absently for the past five minutes when he raised the glass to his lips and swallowed the flat, foamy liquid. The woman to his left looked hopefully at him, her coke glass long since drained, the lemon slice looking ugly and dirty in the fingerprint and lipstick smeared glass. 'We for the off?' she said more in hope than expectation. She felt like a bored child pulling at it's parents coatsleeves. 'One more' he said flatly, almost with a belch. She would have gone long ago but he'd promised her 'a night'. He always did on a saturday. The cinema maybe? A nice restaurant? Even a walk in the park and a go on the swings................. The pub actually. She knew where this was leading though. Drag the late afternoon hours in the bar, dividing his time between her and the pool table. He'd then take her through to the lounge bar for some perfectly palatable but supremely dull fish and chips before returning from his ordeal to meet his mates. He usually never bothered to come back from the pool table by this point. That was her 'night' She didn't drink. Didn't like the taste of the stuff. On one occassion she had consumed several Baileys but found the sensation it induced in her deeply unpleasant. How she had landed up with a congenital pisshead she couldn't quite fathom. Sods law probably covered it....... It was about seven o'clock and she was now on the station platform. She had gone to look at the trains. She always seemed to end up looking at the trains. It was a terminus station and she always liked to watch the people boarding and disembarking, coming from the world and going back to it, the deisels rumbling and hissing, the guards whistle, the way the train seemed to take forever to disappear from sight on departure. It was only one train an hour but she was rarely pushed for time. Somewhere to the north and west was the rest of the world. Every time she sat on the platform, the same thoughts rushed through her head. Thoughts of escape. The city, another county..................hell, another country even. It wasn't like she was trapped as such, but she had been a definite case of arrested development in a variety of ways. All she had was her man and a small rented flat and a job in the post office. More than enough for some she supposed but little more than small town status symbols in reality. She was beginning to see why the station always seemed to 'suggest itself' in her wanderings.............. The 7.30 pulled in beside her and snapped her out of her thoughts. By the time she had gained full control of herself she was on the train and the doors were shut. She was perfectly calm. What could possibly happen? It was a train, it was going somewhere and it would take her back eventually. It would probably take her back that night but the spell had been broken.............

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Farewell Harry Horse

Really sad news. Not sure what else to say......

And now........

File under: Oh For Fucks Sake!

From this weeks Radio Times letters page.

"I know she's a popular character, but I'm pleased to see Sonia in hot water in EastEnders (Christmas Day, BBC1). Killing someone by hitting them just once may seem unlikely, but it's perfectly possible. Often, the very same dramas that, admirably, go to great lengths to highlight the problems of men beating their wives think nothing of showing women slapping each other senseless, or men punching each other to the ground. The victim usually suffers nothing more than a small social embarrassment, and the perpetrator of the violence is too often seen as acting normally. But, in the real world, even small acts of violence can have horrible consequences. Well done, EastEnders!."

A wind up, surely? Even if it's not, it's still a nugget of unintentional comedy gold. The sort of person who would think nothing of making passengers on buses and trains wear crash helmets.

Just pray he doesn't have a job at your local council

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Morrissey? Eurovision?

It's times like this that make me realise the summer months simply cannot come quickly enough. Obviously the weather will be better, but theres also the thought of Mr Moz providing the UK Eurovision entry to look forward to. Madness, I tells ya..............

Then again, why not? All he has to lose is his dignity. It's such a cumbersome affectation you know.............

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wake Me Up When It's Time To Go Home

Shush now! The Ill Man is busy. For the next few days I shall be sticking up revised versions of some short stories. Like it or lump it folks, I have a Gyp report to work on. Look at them as new items, I've taken the rubbish bits out so they should read so much better. This is my first effort minus the interludes.

The wind whipped between my legs as I sat on the slightly damp grass of the little outcrop, giving me the irrational sense of being less secure than I really was. I had scuttled and scrambled onto it like a drunk man making his way from lamp post to lamp post at closing time on a saturday night. Having made it this far I wasn't about to go back just because I didn't have a tartan rug to park my arse on. It was 8AM, the sky was indecently blue and the water shimmered in the sunlight as it was contractually obliged to on these 'perfect' late spring mornings. The lodgings had been a great disappointment and the landlady an indifferent and offhand woman who made no attempt to disguise her discontent towards the world and her boredom at seeing yet another slate faced city dweller alight on her front porch looking for a room late in the day. I wasn't really in a position to complain or even blame her. I had taken her last room, a tiny, slightly damp attic room that looked like it had been converted for human habitation only recently and in rather an ad-hoc manner too if I may say...... I slept fitfully and woke at 6.30. I decided to make a break for it, bodyswerving breakfast and the inevitable and demeaning 'chuck out'. The local cafe was open and I parted with a little loose change in exchange for some ham rolls and a cup of tea. I was still gripped by the compulsion to move though, that old city vice............ An hour later I was as far east as it was possible to get on this particular part of the world and listening to the sound of life, albeit life detatched from everything I knew, getting out of second gear and getting ready to go about it's day. ...........and it reminded me of everything I hated, everything I had run from. It reminded me of people and places I had hoped to erase from my memory forever. A fool, escaping from something that can't be escaped from. I second guessed myself and decided not to have a look over the edge of the cliff. I laid back on the ever drying grass and hoped to catch a lethal dose of sunburn instead.

I wasn't aware that my actions were being watched. I wasn't aware, solipsist that I am, that anyone would be interested in my aimless maneuverings. Principally because I wasn't interested in theirs. It would seem someone had picked me out from the crowd anyway, because my belongings were in front of the B&B when I got back. I don't consider myself to be an awkward customer on the whole, I let more things go than I really ought to but this was all a little much. After a few minutes of ringing the front doorbell, the landlady appeared, about as pleased to see me as she had been the previous day but with the added menace that came with brandishing a wooden broom. She enquired as to exactly what my business was and why I was bothering her in her housekeeping duties. I pointed at the old suitcase and cloth satchel sitting in the street, by the front wall of the guest house. Didn't she know that they could have been rifled by any old vagrant or passer by? She snorted with contempt and offered the opinion that even the tramps wouldn't lower themselves to raking through such disheveled looking items. I caught myself before I called her a dried up grasping old skell and smiled serenely at her before asking why they were on the pavement rather than in my room. Ten minutes later I wished I had just let rip, for all the good my attempt at charm and diplomacy did me. It would seem she wanted my room for someone more important but used my early departure and failure to hand my key in as the perfect excuse to be rid of me. I had been rejected before, naturally, but there was something degrading and soul crushing about being considered unworthy of an attic room in the worst digs in town. It was still early, about 10.30 am and I was a little tired. An hour was spent wandering like a ghost through the town. The high street had a certain charm to it, as did the esplanade. I found myself edging towards the arcades on the seafront. I immediately regretted this as the baseball cap in the booth of the first one I arrived at gave me the eye the moment I stepped in. I went to a fruit machine and stuck some loose change in. I felt a prescence behind me almost immediately and turned to see the guy leaning on a support pillar and staring at me like he wanted to disembowel me. I almost asked if I knew his daughter, but thought better of it for the second time in as many hours. It was definitely a good idea this time. He followed me to the door in silence and was still standing there as I turned off the main drag and headed up the nearest side street. The hunt for new lodgings would begin in earnest later in the day but I wanted away from the seemingly strange inhabitants of this town, for a while at least. A small 'private garden' with it's gate unlocked(therefore only private in the loosest of senses) presented itself to me as I walked aimlessly and with increasing fatigue. A nearby wooden bench beckoned and my weary legs collapsed towards it. I sat and relaxed unmolested for what seemed like the first time in an eternity. I wasn't sure how I had come to be in the police cell. I was alone, much to my relief and still prone to rubbing the rather painfull lump on my head as if I was convinced such an action might make it go away. The cell was a brightly lit and featureless little room with a small bunk on which I sat and a toilet and wash basin in the corner. I had used the basin to take a drink and splash cold water on my face. The water obviously wasn't terribly potable, but I was thirsty and I would have wrung the sweat out of a tramps sock at that moment in time. I gave up trying to sit up straight and swung my legs up onto the little bed and gave my brain a rest from trying to piece together the past hour or so.

The one thing I was certain of was that I had fallen asleep on a park bench and had a strange yet not unpleasant dream. In the dream, which I still vividly recall, I had made my way back to the guest house I had left that morning. By this time it was getting dark and a streetlights were coming on. On ringing the bell, I was faced not with the embittered old swine that had kicked me out that morning, but the young woman that had served me in the bakery soon after. Her face had struck me a little dumb at the time. Very fresh, smooth pale skin, she was what you might call plain in certain company, but I considered her to be quite entrancing. She also had the most astonishing pair of pale blue eyes. She looked me over from the doorway with a quizical smile and asked if she could help me. I told her I required a room for the night. She informed me the house was full but said she would organise something. I foresaw myself returning to the attic room. Instead she led me into a small, tidy, well furnished room on the first floor. It being a dream I failed to question the logic of me sleeping in what was quite obviously the land lady's quarters and promptly got ready for bed. I was in the bed when she appeared in the doorway wearing absolutely nothing. She clambered in and as is usual with any pornographic dreams I have, I couldn't contain my excitement. She made the first move by undoing my pyjamas and I responded in a fashion usually reserved for predatory animals and desperate schoolboys having their first sexual encounter. It was at about this point I felt the crack of something hard on my head. The room and the woman disappeared to be replaced by a tarmac path and a lovely view of a pair of shiny black boots. I also felt something trickling down the side of my face. I concluded that it was something that would be resolved in time and I probably shouldn't worry about it. I passed out again but failed to dream. The sound of the cell door awoke me from my shallow slumber with a start. I stared incomprehensibly at the large figure in the doorway, trying to regain my bearings and remember where I was and what I was doing there. "Ok pal, yer free to go" said the figure in the doorway. He had come some way into the cell and I could now identify him as the police officer who had manhandled me into the police station. I could prove nothing, but I felt sure it was he who had administered the blow to the side of my head too. "I couldn't have a cup of tea could I?" I rasped, my tongue still stuck to the roof of my mouth. "That will be bloody right son, you think this is the fuckin' Hilton or somethin'?" He looked at me like I was vermin. I suppose I was in a way. I had certainly looked better in my time, though not much. "I only asked..........." "Lucky not to be up in front of the magistrate mate" he continued warming to his theme somewhat. "I had you in here on an act of public indecency. Playin' with yerself on a park bench........" "I was asleep, I had no idea....." I butted in, not liking where this was going. "Yeah, heard it", he snapped. "Thing is, I don't make the decisions around here. You can go now." He looked wistfully at the light fitting, a little smile coming to his lips for a moment, probably imagining for a few seconds a world in which the cracking of strangers over the head with his truncheon was the kind of thing that got you promoted. "You said I could go?" I ventured. The officer snapped out of his little bloodsoaked reverie and directed me to the door and down the hallway to the desk sergeant to collect my belongings. The desk sargeant was a glum looking and rather stout man in what I took to be his mid fifties. He glanced up at me then back down at whatever it was that had been consuming his attention prior to my rather rude interruption. I cleared my throat, trying not to sound too theatrical but also wishing to gain the portly chaps attention. He sighed and put his pen down, his weary eyes taking in my crumpled appearance with disdain. "You'll be the pervert on the park bench then?" I opened my mouth to correct him, then I thought better of it and nodded like a scolded child. "It's a wonder nobody saw you. If PC Grainger hadn't taken that route, then lord knows who would have been subjected to your lewd behaviour..........." The thought of outraging some brainless inbred cur in this benighted little hovel suddenly appealed to me greatly and I basked a little in the knowledge that my very prescence in this seaside slum was causing some consternation. After eyeing me up one more time, the desk sargeant passed me the few things that belonged to me and asked that he never see my face again. I had never been one for taking orders from anyone, much to my detriment I might add but on this occassion I was more than happy to oblige. I slipped out of the grubby little station building into the late afternoon sun and headed for the nearest bus stop. Chances were that the next town along would be just as miserable but I wasn't in a position to be fussy, my whole life had been based on the premise of "Whoever will have me" and I reasoned that the law of averages would dictate that I be given a fair crack of the whip eventually.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

When All Else Fails, Read The Instructions

..............Ruddy hell! New mobile phone seems to have locked itself to the outside world.


Anyway, back from Holland. Amsterdam was grand, but Rotterdam bummed me out a bit. I hated it, then I didn't mind it, then I hated it again. The accommodation for the last two days did nothing to improve the mood. So, what did everyone do at New Year? I drank beer, got deafened and watched Jools Holland on TV in a Rotterdam B&B. Top that ya fuckers................

My full and frank thoughts on the matter will appear here in due course.

Naturally, I hope never to set eyes upon an airport ever again..............