The Weblog
(Never let the truth get in the way of a good story).


Like my mind... In no particular order. This is a page for my inane outpours and rants...
This is updated every time I manage to beat the writer's block.

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The Great Non-Smoking Exercise: Days 1&2
ednesday 02/03/05

Yesterday was the first day of me being a non smoker and for the first time in my adult life I have realised how much extra time and money it takes to be a smoker. You non-smokers don’t know how hard it is for smokers. Ignore the fascism of being shunned by employers, non smokers and reformed smokers, huddling outside buildings in the wind rain and snow. I read some anti-smoking propaganda that mentioned that in ten years of smoking you could have used all the money on 50 odd trips to Australia, now that’s a hardcore habit. I’ve decided that I’m not giving up smoking ‘cos basically that’s a bit cruel, I mean… Smoking’s always been there for me, who am I to give up on it? I am simply no longer smoking, I haven’t even quit, ‘cos I’M NO QUITTER!!!

Unfortunately I always had a theory that smokers were more interesting people based on my home-spun philosophy that "If you’re not afraid to die, you’re not afraid to live" and to be honest I think it actually holds water. Smokers tend to be more outgoing and more likely to take risks, therefore they tend to have more interesting stories. It’s (kind of not really) true(-ish) that vicars & priests don’t tend to smoke and how often do you fall asleep while they’re talking? (John being the one exception that I know). Does this mean that I’m about to enter the world of the boring? Read on to find out…

The Great Non-Smoking Exercise: Day 1 - 1st March 2005
I woke up after having my last cigarette about 9 hours ago… piece of piss this quitting malarkey, I can do it in my sleep!
First problem encountered when I picked up my fags & lighter to go in to the living room , hmm I don’t smoke anymore do I? Anyway I had enough presence of mind to put them back down and go and find my patches.
Second problem encountered, where the f**k are they??? Finally find them about 10 minutes later under a bag of apples that my dear heart had considerately placed on top of them, I considered pounding her head in while she slept but thought better of it as I walked into the door frame. I never quite realised how much you depend on a ciggy to wake up.
Back in the living room trying to open the f’in patches (should have done some research into this first) consider which is easier? Walk back into the Kitchen and open the drawer to get the scissors, come back into the living room to open a patch then stick it on or simply walk through to (closer) bedroom and light up a ciggy? After walking into the doorframe to the bedroom I come to just enough to go and get the scissors.
Living room again, on sofa waiting with a patch on my arm to turn into smoke and fill my lungs up. Upon reading the instructions I find the patch works on some "slow release" thingamy (or hingwy to our Scottish cousins) which releases no smoke at all, I do note however that they should not be used by children under 12 years.
When will this f’in thing work?? I console myself by munching away on a nicorette chewing gum and sucking on a pen.
The worst is over, the pen & gum trick worked to the point of me waking up enough to grow some resolve. I decide that I should change some of my morning habits to confuse my inner-smoker and read my book instead of watching the BBC news and go and make some breakfast to have with my tea (decaf by the way – I have no vices!).
Fart around the house trying to do anything to keep myself busy to avoid wanting a ciggy (even to the point of doing some work!).
Farted around so much I am extremely late, decide to go to work but give my wife a lift to the station on the way (hopefully this will stop me wanting a ciggy in the car at all the normal places by going a different route).
Oh yeah, trust everyone to come out on the roads and snarl them up, don’t they know I’m not smoking anymore? What’s is the ONE thing EVERY smoker does when there’s a traffic jam? Eh? EH!!!???!
Arrive at work (late) but ready to go to the daily battle. Log in again and action all those emails, delete the annoying ones and check my phone for messages. First good sign, my phone is faulty and the day will hopefully be a quiet one. Apologise in advance to my colleagues that I no longer smoke and I may be a bit nippy with them for a few days (I had decided before not to tell anyone but figured it was safer for them to know).
Sandwich lady turns up and I buy the whole trolley (I might need it for my worse moments). I don’t really want to substitute one vice for another and become a chubster but better safe than sorry.
So far it’s been surprisingly easy while I’ve been at work so time for a fag break! I get my coat on and go downstairs to chew some more gum and have a read of my book for a few minutes. Not too terrible and the weather’s bad enough to remind me why I don’t want to smoke anymore.
Lunchtime, could be tricky this, so far I haven’t eaten because I’m thinking if I’m hungy I’ll be more concerned about having some food and not about ciggies.
String it out a bit more and decide to get some food and head straight back, at least at work I can keep myself busy…
Food on and starving hungry, not even thinking about the you know whats. Mind you I did walk past a bloke smoking a cigar on the way back and managed to get a lovely passive smoke, it felt sooo good! I eat my lunch and surprisingly straight after I’m not really that bothered.
The afternoon went well but not as good as the morning (at work at least), I suppose that’s just because I’m naturally a morning person. I drive home and don’t even think of ciggies during the journey. On getting home the Wife is in bed asleep, when I ask why she says it’s that this way she can stave off the boredom and avoid smoking.
A can of beer later I’m feeling OK, I play the PlayStation to keep myself occupied and I’m doing good although every time the PS2 loads a bit of the game I reach down out of habit for my fags.
I’ve just had a massive dinner (Steak and Sausage Pie with Cheddar Mash) and the Missus and I congratulate ourselves on being so good by putting on the new CSI Miami DVD and having a cigarette each… Bugger!
Our friend calls to see how well we’re doing. We ignore him and let the answer phone pick it up, he tries the wife’s phone, we ignore that too, This is probably the BEST cigarette I have ever had in my life.
Feeling only slightly guilty we call him back and let him know how well we were doing. I’m not too disappointed as I know I could have gone the whole day without. We watch the rest of the CSI episode and I decide that I’m too tired to stay awake so "Can we watch in bed?".
Watching telly in bed, Patches pre-snipped and ready for action beside me. Looking forward to these fabled weird dreams…
Missus wakes me up to switch off the telly and the lights.
DAY ONE COMPLETE, Success rate - 96.67%

The Great Non-Smoking Exercise: Day 2 – 2nd March 2005
Eh? What? erm oh nothing…
Er what? Oh it was probably just something outside! No weird dreams yet…
Fuck I dropped my camera, look the lens is all broken, bollocks!… Oh, thank f**k for that! Maybe there is something to these dreams after all. Think, Kylie Minogue… Kylie Minogue… Kyllliiii e M i n o g u e………….
Look Mate! If you want a fight? Right let’s er, take it erm, outsi… Oh, right, oh bugger, I’m wide awake now. As I lie awake, trying to get comfortable, my charming wife tries her level best to give me ear-ache (I know even while asleep, is there no end to her talents?) by snoring in my ear then blowing her expended breaths into my ear’ole!
STILL AWAKE, this isn’t working, I take the f**king patch off and within seco n d zzz…
Morning!!! again!… still at least I know why I want a fag straight away in the morning, it’s my lovely morning breath, decide to brush my teeth first thing and hock up some lovely phlegm, lovely!!
Patch on and PlayStation on, this morning hasn’t been too terrible either. I think it’s because I know I can do it now.
Stomach full on hot cross buns, I only now realise how much free time I have which was once filled with smoking.
In to work with no urges, bloody hell this is easy!
11:00am: Nothing, Not a dicky bird, not a sausage and work is almost too quiet "the Devil makes fags for those with idle hands". Time for a fag break, downstairs and outside for a gum, this weather is horrible! Why do I do this?
And time for lunch, I walk past a few girls smoking outside their office and sneak an envious glance at their cigarettes, they smell fab! Temptation passed and I get myself some Bangers and Mash from Marks and Sparks.
Back in the office and food eaten, I waited till I was famished before I ate and I’m still good, I can’t believe how much easier it is today, I haven’t even been slightly tempted there must be a slippery slope coming up. I think it’ll be when I’m surrounded by loads of smokers in the Pub, well I’m away this weekend so I guess I’ll find out.
The computers have crashed and off for a gum break…
getting ready for friends to turn up, I could have definitely had a nice old ciggy at the end of work on the drive home but I held firm, what a hero! I've just started my first beer and had to have a gum break to tell my mind "no".


Holidays are coming
Tuesday 11/05/04

We’ve got two holipops booked so far this year, The Island of Ischia in 2 weeks (come on you beauty!) and Mallorca in September and the clock is counting down.

Work is it’s usual dour mundanity which I pride myself on getting through each day but only for 10 more days. What makes it even more welcome is that over the past few months we have had hoards of invading Scots with us (sometimes with only 2 days reprieve between them) and now we’re looking forward to some well deserved “Us Time”. Get ready for some lovely photies in The Gallery section coming your way soon.


Wednesday 10/03/04

I have been known at one point to call over 10 pubs my regular/s at the same time, and sitting here listening to some old tunes it occurred to me to date the downfall of my old local.

The Pub (Railway in Blackheath) was a fantastic place and served me well (literally) for about 4 years. My first memory was trying my chances to get a drink aged 15, “excuse me mister… Can I have a pint of beer please?”. Now in hindsight I can see the 2 fatal flaws in my line of attack but fortunately back in those days it was dealt with in a kindly “F**k off sonny, before I set the dogs on you”. Still a year later on I tried again with better ammo, “ scuse us miss, can I have pint a lager please?” “No, you’re not over 18”, the young lady behind the bar replied (no threat of dogs this time, on to a winner) “Yes, I am!” I replied and showed her my fake ID that I had made out of fuzzy felt and showed that I was 27. “Look Tich, I KNOW you’re not 18, I worked with you brother last year” ooh err scuppered… “But I like him, what do you want?”…

So began many memorable years of drinking in the Railway. Well… not actually memorable, but I have a warm fuzzy feeling about the place and I seem to recollect a lot of good times there.

I remember old Jim who is sadly no longer with us who used to entertain us with our favourate story of “Wella wella boom boom”, to this day I have no idea what he was saying but he said it in such a humorous way and had us in tears of laughter, he was such a lovely bloke. There was the horrible old shit with the Jack Russell who used to pinch the dog’s bollocks whenever anyone came near him just so the dog would go off it’s head at the nearest person. There was Delores the charmless barmaid who we originally campaigned to the fabulous managers Bill and George to sack, but eventually used her famous “Cork” directness to worm her way into our hearts (or bar us fer feck’s sake). Finally there was the much loved fruity that acted as a cash machine because I swear it paid out 3 times more than any of us ever put in to it!

Music was the key to the pub though, when I first went there it was as we were finally growing in to music and the pub used to have a tape machine and play the music that we gave them. This would involve anything from someone handing over a tape from the pirate radio station to the local DJ putting on his tape and handing round flyers to his Rare Groove night “The Overground at the Goldsmiths Tavern”. Often if you kept a keen eye out to see who was handing over the “party” tape you knew who was holding a party afterwards. I went to many a party ranging from grubby bed-sit with a red bulb in a second hand 60’s table lamp to those held in huge mansions while “Mummy and Daddy” were sunning themselves in the Maldives.

Bill & George left and the Pub got taken over by McEverypub Corp and the newly installed manager decided on a CD jukebox to make a few bob from the unwitting punters. Soon after I made an enemy of someone at one of the after-pub parties when a chap left the toilet door open and I walked in on him having a piss (back to me by the way) which naturally enough to the BNP membership carrying chap made me a “poof” and thereby threatened to “cut me” (I took this as a load of macho posturing until I heard that he had “petrol bombed a paki shop” after they had deliberately asked him to take his pitbull outside to stop it from mauling that poor babies head). Our croud had fallings out and friendships lapsed, the chap who used to walk round the pub playing his guitar for all the “beautiful” ladies finally had his guitar smashed over his head and fights broke out regularly.

I decided to call it a day and gave up drinking for a year and a half (after I came to the pub from a works night out to have someone ballet dance on my chest after I had fallen over shitfaced) and moved onto clubbing.

The glitter that the railway once possessed had finally tarnished, maybe it wasn’t anything to do with the pub but my age, but everyone I speak to about it, seems to agree that the lifeblood started seeping from the wound that was cut in to it when the tape deck went. 

Music Memories from The Railway Tavern:
Mr Big Stuff - Jean Knight
Got to get your own - Wilson, Reuben 
Rebel Without A Pause - Public Enemy
You know I got Soul - Eric B. & Rakim
Rock Lobster – B52’s
Paid in Full – Eric B and Rakim
I don't know what it is but it sure is funky – Ripple

Let me know of others that I’ve missed out in the comments section…


It's the blind leading the blind.
Wednesday 04/02/04

I think the reason the Government send Blunkett in whenever they have something despicably evil up their sleeve, is 'cos they play on his disability thinking that just because he’s visually impaired no-one will shout out "Don't believe that blind bast**d, he's f**king mad!". Just think about it, I don’t think even the dreaded “Thatch” would have kept her job by saying that Britain was being “overrun with immigrants”.

Although I must admit that I am a fan of his way of introducing new laws…

Scene 1 Act 1
Party political junket somewhere in some northern “working class” town.
Blunkett climbs up the podium to face a crowd of murmuring locals..

Blunkett: “Where’s the feckin’ mike?
*sound of loud feedback as Blunkett hits himself in face with microphone*
Oh cheers… Where was I?..
*clears his throat*
I am here to tell you that we have announced a law to kill anyone who looks remotely foreign in an attempt to cut down on terrorism”.

Crowd: “Boo, get ‘im off” (general throwing of cabbages etc.)

Blunkett: “Ooops sorry I read that wrong, We’re not going to kill anyone who looks remotely foreign, (that would be barbaric!) We’re just going to kill every actual foreigner”

Crowd: “Oooh, that’s not nearly so bad, hurrah for the Government, long live King Tony!!”.

Blunkett, trips on climbing down from podium, “Who put left damn dog there? This wouldn’t have happened under Der Fuhrer! Exterminate them all!” fires gunshots off in vague “anywhere” location.


It's snow bleeding cold!
Wednesday 28/01/04

It's not warm you know. In Scotland the full 1cm that fell tonight would have been little more than a slight hiccup, but we're in London and that means the Scottish equivalent of 3 metre drifts. A simple 1 hour journey turns into a 2.5 hour journey, and all because of "adverse weather conditions", BOLOX! The Met Office has been telling us about this for three days, and all of London's might can't do something simple like grit a hill? The 4th economical capital of the world, can't watch out for half an inch of snow? Red Ken mate... You're failing us.


I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!
Saturday 17/01/04

Yeah right, If you’re a celebrity I’m the bleedin’ Queen of Sheeba. As this year’s contestant’s names are scraped from the bottom of the Z List barrel, I thought I’d second guess the short list for next year in advance, so go on, put your bets on now! (on the understanding that a proportion of any money that you may win from the bookies should be forwarded to me).

James Whale, Debbie McGee, Keith Harris, Bobby Davro, Gareth Gates, Rusty Lee, Richard Bacon, Will Carling, Gary Glitter, Bruno Brookes, Jason Orange, Sue Pollard, Aneka Rice, Anthea Turner, Cheryl Baker, Daniella Westbrook, Jenny Powell, Tamara Beckwith & Nigel Lithgoe.


Another Update!!
Tuesday 07/10/03

Sorry this is late... I have an excuse, in fact I've got loads of excuses. They are (in order), my wife was ill and had to be carted off to hospital, we had to rescue the next door neighbour from a fire, we had to rescue a friend who was stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken collar bone, and finally I am ill (bubonic plague and flu) however you'll be glad to know that I'm on the mend).

After 3 days in bed I can whole heartedly recommend a cure for the symptoms of boredom; Season one of 24 on DVD. At 6 x 4 hour long disks, it's the movie equivalent of War and Peace (without the mind numbingly boring passages). I finally finished the final episode late last night and if ever I've had a feeling of achievement, this was it.

I have also been busying myself with other more/less geeky hobbies (since the wife won't move from the PC), I have found the enjoyment of building scale model cars to near perfection, equipping it with remote control and a non scale electric motor capable of speeds nearing 30mph (therefore 300mph at 1:10th scale) and then smashing fuck out of them. Mrs Helm was so delighted to see me turn up with my £150 freshly made exact replica Mini, scratched to buggery after a good old run!

On the subject of vehicles, my colleague at work found another new one for me, which I thought would be quite handy as I work so close to home, an electric powered micro scooter. What better way to travel? quiet, economical and ecologically sound (obviously ignoring the acid in the batteries) and Mrs Helm gets the use of the car while I'm at work, although why she would need the car after she turns up plastered from the latest "lunch with the girls" is a separate question. Never mind, I placed my order for my new "Commuting Vehicle" and first impressions were good, the scooter was called a "JAM BUSTER" and on the side of the box it said "CAUTION, THIS IS NOT A TOY" that'll tell the wife, and she said "Oh, you've bought another toy", Pah! what does she know. Out of the box, and the build quality is pretty good. All assembled, screws tightened, bolts fastened & ready to go, and does it work?? NO, of course it doesn't. How hard was it for the wife to keep the smile off her face?? Bleedin' impossible. Still... I got on to the supplier this morning and the very friendly Glyn has organised another one to be sent out to me. We shall wait with bated breath for the replacement. News on which to follow in next update.

CD of the week - Athlete: Vehicles and Animals

The Jean Paul Satre Award for Rhetorical Questions
Why not?
Who cares?
Just 'cos

View current results

An Update!!
Thursday 18/10/03

Yup and you thought I'd given up on you...

My Apple-oh-gees for taking so long to get back to you, but I ran out of disk space on my webserver, then I had to find more, I fixed that by breaking it(?), then I had to repost it, Oh, and re-update my very old back-up copies, and then finally split my site over three servers and ensure it all worked (which it doesn't), Oh, and I was abducted by aliens too... Nice chaps, had a good line in cheap duty- free tabs (if anyone needs some?)... anyway, where was I?

Hmm Yeah! Sooo... I got married and thinking about it, I should re-register the site as, but it kind of loses it's snappyness.

As many people have asked "So how's married life?" Well, it's just as I expected it... A life full of misery and no sex, only not just as soon as I expected!

We were was completely surprised by how lovely the company were to us during our marriage/honeymoon period, within two days of our return my little flower was told she would "possibly" be made redundant, and six weeks later was. I was told my services with the Special Project Team in the salubrious St. Katherine's Dock area was very much valued however I was much more in need back in dull as dish water Hither Green . Still there have been benefits, Jus has found the wonders of Television and staying awake till the early hours and I have found the wonders of H's Cafe! Lovely company... In fact my mother summed them all up in one word...

Wifey is now fully over the honeymoon period and is now in Mallorca with the folks while I am stuck in sunny Blighty on my todd. How soon it ends!

Still in the short time that we have been back we have had new windows installed in the flat and new curtains, a new kitchen is kind of on order (if John ever gets back to me) and we've yet to get the painters and decorators in. New pictures will eventually be posted in the Loafing section once I can be arsed.

Finally... I would like to thank all of you who made it to the wedding, most of you for the gifts, and none of you for the hangover, and if anyone of you feel like going to Maui, I would thoroughly recommend it!


Thank you Pt 2!
Tuesday 20/05/03

Stag Pt 2 was done and I was alive (just), this time round, the following morning I was like Death warmed up, still it was a good night (I think)? Thanks work blokes!

I'm getting married in just 4/3.5 days. This may be the last time I post for a LOOOOONG while, but hopefully I'll annoy you with the wedding photies and possibly snippets from the speach (maybe even photies of the fights after the speach).

My Dear heart asked me earlier if I was getting her a present for the wedding, I said "It should be me who's getting a present not you, you're the one who gets the perfect day, I just end up with a life of misery".
She didn't think it was funny...

As as my last ever post as a free man I will leave you with these two gems...

Men marry women expecting that they won't change & they do
Women marry men expecting they will change, but they won't

Why do women smile as they walk down the isle?
'Cos they know it's the last blow job they'll ever give

I WILL pay for those.....


Thank you!
Monday 06/05/03

The Stag was done and I'm still alive, and believe it or not I suffered a minimal hangover, just a day of being knackered. I would like to say thanks boys, you did me proud. Richard I, The Griffin, Spiga, Oxo Tower & The Gardening Club. All remembered (just), and no humiliation... I may just have the right friends after all!


Oh Crap!
Friday? 02/05/03
Watch out boys, here they come!

I'm getting married in 22 days, and the other half is off for her second hen night so far, in fact we're going to the same place for my stag tomorrow... and I'm NOT looking forward to it at all!!!

If truth be told I'd rather not have a stag night at all, the thought of me being old enough to suffer from a hangover for the better part of a week puts me off the idea, also having friends/enemies like mine and the photos appearing on priceless420 worries me even more. Still I suppose me being utterly wholly and totally humiliated is what it's all about.

Joke of the week:
A Frenchman walks in to a bar and says "Barman, one of your finest ports please?"
The barman replies "Dover, now fuck off"



Marathon Man
Monday 14/04/03
Did I do it?.. Did I fuck!!

A friend of ours took part in the London Marathon yesterday, and I must say I have great respect for any one who can run/walk for 26 miles in the space of the time that you could drive there and back seven and a half times.

Overheard Quotes:
"It was a fucking nightmare, EVERY fucking mile of it" - Anon
"If I ever think of doing that again, do me a favour and whack me over the head with a mallet will you?" - John Clark

It's enough to make you think about why they do it? 

Tonights TV pick:
BBC Scotland - Cannie Cook, Willnae Cook: The'night we tek a wee keek in some lassie's messages an' deep fry it aw. wi' Ainsley Harriott, Gordon Ramsey an' Henrik Larsson.


I Saw the Death
Monday 07/04/03

There's a black cross painted on my front door & the lady of the house is ill. I reckon all she's got is a touch of hypochondria, where as I on the other hand seem to have picked up this Hong Kong Flu (I can feel it tickling in my throat), however I am made of stronger stuff will not be forced down with it, I will carry on regardless.

N.B. Next weeks transmission may not come at all if I feel too poorly...


Too Much of a Good Thing
Monday 31/03/03
BEER !!!!

There's a saying that goes, "You can't have enough of a good thing". Unfortunately this is often sometimes slightly altered (and shortened) to "Too much of a good thing..." with a veiled threat at the end which changes the whole meaning completely. Is it good to have too much, or not? It's as simple as that... I think this needs to go before the "High Council of the Old Wives" for clarification.
All that I'm saying is, can we please have some sort of consistency here?  I'm doing my own research in to the above subject (at my own cost I might add) and my body may or may not hold out much longer.
I need this issue cleared up before I do myself any (potentially) permanent harm.

It's getting to the point where I'm actually looking forward to work 'cos at least I can relax there... (Boss, please take note: This is a figure of speech only and in no way indicative of my work ethic). I'm off to see Beth Orton at The Royal Albert Hall tonight and I'm knackered already! 


Bush and Blair take note...
Tuesday (not Monday) 25/03/03

After taking a close look at the surroundings of Saddam's Hidey-hole and the lovely 70's furniture, I can now confirm that Hussein and Son are now holed up at my Gran's in Coventry. Contact me for her address, if you can promise that... either there will be no "friendly fire" on my dear Granny or alternatively that no Americans will be taking part in the capture.
P.S. If you break her best china, I won't be happy!

Just watching the Chelsea v Arsehole replay. I wish I didn't have to follow footie, life would be so much easier...

So far today is not going well...
a) I can't find the piccy on the BBC website that makes the first comment above hugely comical.
b) Chelsea are 2-0 down (at home!) with the first being an own goal.
c) I spoke too soon and too confidently about the above result and am now a fantastic target for humiliation. 
d) I'm sat here miserable & on my own, and all I have for food is 12 cans of Fosters (actually that's not too terrible).

It's times like this that I'm reminded of the quote, "Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean that they're not out to get you".


Final comment.... We fell over!! 

We Fell Over!


Bar Work
Monday 17/03/03

While I was in my teens I found that although I could get in to pubs and get served, without a job there was very little use being in one without the money to purchase said beer (like going to church and not praying). a drastic step had to be taken and I carefully chose a "state of the art" (it had a plaque outside to commemorate the opening and the marriage of Charles and Di on the same day) supermarket to work in, and from then on in I found myself in a poncy white and red hat every Saturday and three other evenings a week.

Now there were great set backs (having to work or at least attend) but there was also great opportunities, like getting to take the piss in every which way we could. free food, free drink, cheap cafe, good boss and even better a colleague Gavin who worked in one of my fav pubs, which enabled me to get a kind of "buy one get one free" deal (long before Iceland came up with the idea)!

Ok so we used to have to work with a few cretins but the benefits of working on a Deli meant that whenever they got out of order you could always mix up a bucket of vomit (Coleslaw, Humus, Mediterranean pasta salad, and various others) and throw it over their head. There were times however when "vomit" wasn't justified with the top boss (not birthdays or leaving do's) where the walk in freezer came to it's own. hosing down items then freezing them was the favourite trick (I lost my buy one get one free deal from deep freezing Gav's work shirt one night and then leaving it "hanging" upside down on the rail in the changing rooms the next morning.

One time was when a keen, helpful (and also a complete arsewipe) member of the workforce called Tarquin (or something equally atrocious) required justice in a certain way that wouldn't attract accusations of bullying or victimisation. Physical torture was just soooo passé so we decided on the age old mental cruelty... As a complete affront to our liberal standards (and also as a great excuse) he used to tie his bike up to the gate of the car park therefore leaving it permanently open so that the poor old codger who ran the car park couldn't lock up & go home until Tarquin unlocked his bike.

Me, being a bit of a safe cracker (or at least a £2.50 combination lock cracker) was tasked with the job of freeing the offending bike and dispatching it to the getaway team, which I did in record time and the bike was away.

I raced up to the gents changing room and chatted innocently to old Tarq while the other lads secreted the bike quickly to join us with big grins on their faces.

"Didn't see your bike outside Tarquin, did you leave it at home today?" Rob said.
Tarquin's face was a picture, He did a quick double take and shot off downstairs.
"BASTARDS!", we heard from outside...
"Think he lost his bike Matt, don't you?" Rob asked

Tarquin ran upstairs taking three steps in one, he burst through the door looking like he was going to kill each of us twice over "Where is it? Where the fuck did you put my bike?"
"Dunno what you mean Tarq old Son" Rob said, cool as a cucumber. "Although, if you're looking for a bike I think I saw one like yours in the the freezer".
"Bastards...." he disappeared though the doors.
"Little twat, It'll take him ages to find it, and even when he does find it, it'll take him ages to get it".

This I had to see, I waited a good 15 minutes till the red faced Tarq, stormed out of the freezer, and had a good shufty around... The bike was absolutely nowhere to be found!

I went back up to the changing room "Where is it then?" I asked...
"In the freezer" Rob said, looking at me like I was an idiot.
I went back downstairs and had another look around, still nothing to see, "Sod it" I thought, "I'm off" I got my bits together and headed off for the pub with the others.

Tarquin was still not very happy at all as he blocked our way out "right you bastards, tell me where it is, or I'll tell my mum"
"Ooooh, you got me really scared, now get out of the way you numskull, before I wipe the floor with you". Rob growled, (NEVER get in the way of a man and his beer).
"But where is it?" Tarquin said as he moved out of the way.
"I told you, in the freezer!" Rob shouted.
"But I searched everywhere" Tarquin simpered.
"yeah, but did you look up?"

We walked out of the shop and down the road as Tarquin went into the freezer and found his prized bike frozen solid to the ceiling.

"BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!" he screamed.


I AM kid at Christmas!
Monday 10/03/03

Our Baby...

We finally got our new car last Saturday (above) and due to various great big huge mockeries of scandals that the garage got up to I may be publishing a parody site similar to theirs documenting the lengthy trial that should have been the delight of purchasing our now beloved car (we'll see how the letter of complaint gets on before I publish who these jokers were)... 

I will keep it short seeing as I'm due to go to my parents to see if we've missed another 55 nearest and dearest friends for the wedding (as happened with the outlaws) but I would like to do a quick and dirty award ceremony...

Award for "The most fantastic drive it like a go cart with a smacking great grin on your face" goes to....
BMW for the Mini Cooper.

Award for "The best and most suited in car music for driving around like a lunatic with a smacking great grin on your face" goes to....
Quincy Jones for "The Italian Job Soundtrack".

Award for "the most shite customer "service" EVER for a BMW/Mini Franchise" (in my opinion) goes to...
*****Possible Link to be added*****


I feel like a kid at Christmas!
Monday 03/03/03

We're getting our new car on Saturday and having seen it parked outside the garage yesterday, it reminded me of waiting to open your presents at Christmas time, they're that bloody close but you can't have them! Especially when we drive past one it's "water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink".

Thinking about this made me remember the fantastic roller coaster of a ride that was one Christmas at my Aunt and Uncle's.

We were staying up in the dim and distant North in my rellies brand new house. My Uncle being a man who works with his hands had transformed this normal 3 bed detached in to something Austin Powers (or even Matt Helm) would be in awe of. In fact the colour scheme of my front page was similar to the one in their living room, although theirs caused my eyes to cross and my brain to vibrate if I traced out the orange and white spirals around the fireplace for too long.

We (Mum, Dad, my brother, me and the cat) arrived up a day or two early and the cat, my brother and I spent the days exploring our new surroundings. Down in the stream at the bottom of the garden I taught my cat how to swim, and she in turn returned the lesson by teaching me why cats have claws. My brother and I built a tent out underneath my uncle's spherical "Blofeld" chair with a bed sheet, and generally messed around, argued and fought (a tradition we still carry through to this day).

Christmas Eve, and after a busy afternoon tobogganing down the stairs in our sleeping bags and a hefty fish and chip supper, we were dispatched to our bedroom (turn right at the newly built sauna). We played at trying to get to sleep but what with us being so excited we couldn't sleep, so we decided to wait up for for Santa to come and bided our time playing I spy, until we got so bored and tired that we started arguing which led on to pinching each other, then scratching, then punching, kicking, strangling, and smothering. Dad comes through the door while my I'm trying to dig my teeth into my brother's shin while he sits on the side of my head.

"What the bloody Hell's going on here?"
"It's his fault..."
"Yeah but you started it..."
"I don't care whose fault it is just get to bed"

He turns the light off and leaves the room and we crawl back into our sleeping bags promising to go to sleep. We laid there in silence until Mark got up and quietly tip toed to switch the light back on. This time we agreed that if we were going to make it until Father Christmas came, we had to be quiet. We played with our Matchbox cars until yet again boredom set in. Fortunately the elders were starting to enjoy themselves downstairs so we could afford to a little louder so we found a new game, which involved me zipping my sleeping bag to the top and Mark holding one end of the sleeping bag and dragging me over the smooth floor. All was going fine until Mark lost his grip (or so he says) and I'm projected into the wall. A yelp comes out of me that sounds like a dog being trodden on, and we hear the thump thump thump of Dad coming up the stairs, Mark switched off the light and jumped back into his sleeping back.

Dad Switches the light on
"wooooooooooooOOOOOOOOH.........." I cried.

Father Christmas wasn't coming, Mum was sent up to placate me, she gave me a drink of juice and I swore to her (and I really meant it) that I would go to sleep straight away.

The next morning, I woke up to find a full stocking at the foot of my bed, inside was a tangerine, a plastic car and a shiny new fifty pence piece... Now I know that 50p doesn't really sound much now, but back then...  probably 25 years ago, you could have bought a couple of comics and a curly-whirly with it if you were lucky, and now what could you buy with it??? Erm... probably pretty much the same actually... Tight git that Santa!

The rest of Christmas was a great one, we opened our presents, I played with the huge box that mine came in, the cat ate the turkey while it was left out from the oven, the vampish woman from next door came over and Mark played all coy got cuddled and ended up falling asleep with his head between her cleavage (I'm sure that he was pleasantly haunted by that image in his teenage years) and the Indian chap from over the road popped over and got pissed watching Parky on the box telling us that "That Mike Spilligan is a very very very funny man".

Even to this day I think it was one of the best Christmas's I've ever had... and thinking about it now I wonder how I can remember it all so clearly but vaguely at the same time, all the colours, the smells, the sounds, the whole spirit and enjoyment of the time when I was probably only about six or seven. It only just occurred to me that it was probably the very large vodka and orange that Mum slipped me to get me to sleep.


Monday 24/02/03

I’ve just come back from sunny Scotland visiting the outlaws and I can honestly say that I have never been happier to be back.
Let me just tell you that I for one have quite enjoyed sorting out the wedding stuff but it’s the other people’s opinions that really get on my goat.

We sorted… The flowers, the kilts, the suits, the waistcoats. the cake, the invitations, the hotel, the bride’s hair, the priest(s) and the wedding rings.
What we couldn’t sort was the chief bridesmaid, the bridesmaid and the mother of the bride.

I sometimes wonder if it’s our wedding or someone else’s. We do get a choice but the ones we seem to end up with are the ones that we didn’t want. Don’t get me wrong, we have to ask other people’s opinions and see what we’ve forgotten, but I don’t remember forgetting 40 extra people on our “close friends only” small wedding – of whom 10 of them I know.

We once shared a joke that we would get married by Elvis in a drive-thru chapel in Las Vegas but the more we think about it, the more we wish we had.


I got the feeling that something ain't right.
Monday 17/02/03

Paranoia's a funny old thing... I spent the whole morning what can only be described as shiting myself. I left the house with a sense of dread, fearing that when I said goodbye to my beloved it would be for the last time.

Now normally when I get "the dread" feeling there's something to back it up, an important meeting where the wrong thing could leave me without a job, a bit of public speaking... That sort of thing... you bluff through it, get on with it & live to fight another day.

Today was different, this was was an all encompassing "you will not see the end of the day" kind of worry. Well
this simply wasn't on, so I thought what it could be...

It had something to do with the Congestion Charge, I knew that, so does it affect me? Nope, not driving. So what was it?

Simple!!! Death by mad militia bombers.... Fantastic! Problem solved, just a few simple questions to put me at my ease. Who? How? Why? Where? When? and the clincher... Why me? Disclaim any of those and I know it's an unfounded, stupid, idiotic idea, and can get on with my day.

Who? - Erm well that's quite easy, dunno if you've watched the news lately but there's any number loonies who don't agree with Tony Blair's viewpoint on the Middle East. Ooops! Hold on I meant Bush's view.
How? - A bomb on a train would do it...
Why? - Well I think I answered that one earlier.
Where? - Docklands, go with the money shot.
When? - Monday morning 7:00am on the morning of the first congestion charge, when thousand of Londoners are forced on to public transport.
Why Me? - A simple case of wrong place wrong time.

Easy that's all sorted then... all of them disproved, I can go on with my day without a care in the world...

The train journey involved me with my collars up (to protect from shattering glass) head down (so I can't see when we're in the heart of the soon to be ground zero) reading my book (well scanning it really) and not very happy at all.

The day got mildly better once I got to work alive, and continued calmly although the irrational panic was at the back of my mind constantly.

I made it through somehow and the train journey back was surprisingly nice and peaceful, what with no school kids on the train. Mmm that reminds me, Ban school for kids, my next campaign!

All was fine until I got outside my fiancées work, with a big bight shiny police car outside... Oh, that was me kicking myself. How selfish of me, (me, me, me) I thought it was me would die, it turns out I was so wrapped up in myself that I couldn't see it, it was her.

I panicked as I walked in to the office, the security guard was OK, maybe she's just been beaten up... legs turned to lead as I walk in to the office to see her happily chatting away to a colleague.

You can't imagine the relief!

As I got home and picked up a beer, put it to my mouth and took the first sip, I knew what it was that had been bothering me all day......!!!!!

A hangover and 5 hours sleep.


National Clintons Day
Monday 10/02/03
(Mild Rant Alert!!)

Only a few days away and yet again I’m on the search for the ultimate Valentines day present… When I say search, I was pointed in the direction of the jewellers and reminded it’s almost upon us.

Why is it that because I did well last year, I’m expected to do better this year? It’s the equivalent of the female g-spot, for years men (and some women) didn’t know it even existed, but now not only are we supposed to be able to find it, but the result is supposed to be bigger and better each time!

The presents? It’s not exactly a fair swap, jewellery, clothes, choccies, and battered rose for £10… What do we get in return? A couple of cuddly toys and a saccharine sweet card. I don’t mind a nice meal, but paying over the odds for a set menu and having to book the table weeks in advance? Not for me I’m afraid. What I’d really like is much more simple…. Cheap beer, a good film to watch (I’ve done my fill of the chick flicks throughout the year), a bj and if you really want to buy me a present?… Toys! If you don’t want to spring for a prezzie, you could keep me happy for a tenner (really I’m not that fussed).

Call me unromantic but surely romance is when your lover does something completely out of the blue for no reason… Takes you to lunch, finishes work early to meet you at work & takes you out for the evening, or pours you a candle lit bath for when you get home? Not because some greeting card company says it’s the day to be romantic…

I do like the little things, the giving and the taking but maybe the whole point of Valentines day is not for people who appreciate those things, I like making a fuss of my other half, and I like it when she does me, maybe it’s for the “wife beaters” to remember that “She’ll leave you one day, so you better let her know how much you appreciate her”.


Why worry?
Monday 03/02/03

It’s only war you know. How badly did the Gulf War / Falklands affect me? Not one iota I tell you… not a jot.

The Gulf, “The Late-Night Televised War”???? didn’t touch me at all, apart from some great TV, although I did wonder that if Old Saddam was watching what I was, he might be able to stop that “surprise” attack on his headquarters at 9:00am. In fact the only thing I can remember being deprived of was not hearing Frankie Goes to Hollywood belting out Two Tribes, Bomb The Bass being re-named Tim Simenon and Massive Attack became Massive.

Which brings me to think which side I would rather be on. Admittedly I don’t really think Two Tribes is the best song in the world but you should have a little explore to see the types of music considered to be rebellious or Anti-American (oops should that be anti-British? I don’t know, all I’m sure of is the President of the UK is called Tony “dubya” Blair). I’ve done a little looking on the interweb and found the following music to be found “inappropriate” by the powers that be.

KRS-One, Primal Scream, Rage Against the Machine, Mos Def, Common, Talib Kweli.

Of course you’ll have the Beeb banning the usual suspects…. ABBA: Waterloo, Kate Bush: Army Dreamers, José Feliciano: Light my Fire, Queen: Killer Queen & 10CC: Rubber Bullets

However, if you consider the music(?) that the American “Psyops” are broadcasting to the Iraqis… 'My Heart Will Go On' by Celine Dion… I think we’ll win!

As an after thought… The CIA has “The George Bush Center for Intelligence”… Now there’s a contradiction in terms.


The Day I Blew up the Science Lab.
Monday 27/01/03

When I was at primary school, I was rather well taught. When I was at secondary school I wasn't. This led to a rather bright mind being rather bored and as any good kid does when suddenly denied any mental stimulus, he creates stimulus of his own.

I was always a bit of a inquisitive chap so when we were in the Science Lab, I did a few experiments of my own. Mostly these were highly boring failures (obviously with great results expected) but some were quite exciting. One was the bic biro water jet, followed through to it’s logical conclusion to the more terrifying Bunsen burner water cannon, these were hugely popular with the other kids but unfortunately not as popular with the Teachers, also having to stand nearest the taps always let you down when trying to pin the blame on others.

It was the electronics experiments that really got my mind working, and more so the lesson about fuses. Well I got it into my head that our electronic lessons of piecing two bits of wire from a light bulb to the terminals on the end of the desk were not exactly the most exciting... I mean, I can switch on a light at home. Where’s the experimentation in that? This is the country that produced great legends of engineering Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Robert Stephenson, Charles Babbage or even one closer to me Sir Nigel Gresley (a distant relative). So me being me, I wondered “If a fuse melts when a powerful current goes through it, what would happen if I stuck a paper clip in that terminal?” Well as mentioned above I was bright enough to realise that the terminals were far too dangerous to touch when the power was on, so I’d have to wait till before class next week to deposit my little experiment.

Next week arrives and I’m rushing off to the front of the cue to get into class. I sneak to my place by the terminals on the end of the desk, I open up a paperclip while “Miss Bullet-Tits” calls out the register and I carefully place it into the waiting terminal. My gun is primed, and now on safety, all I’m waiting for is Miss to stop calling out for Billy who’s off in Hospital with a broken arm (sorry Billy, but it WAS a good game!).

As she went through the preamble of the lesson, I’d never paid her so much attention. “Today Class, we are going to study resistors….” 10 – 9 – 7 – 6 “So, If you’d all like to turn to page 73 in your books while I switch….” 2 – 1 Zero……………..


A mild surprise at the end of the table as the paper clip jumped about three foot in the air. No great “ZAP!!!!” or anything, but to me it was a moment of eureka!

Well, as you do, I decided to experiment to no great success, obviously I must have had the optimum material for the job. So where from now? I couldn’t do bigger, I couldn’t do louder, But Hell… I could do more!

So now for “Operation Manhatten”… four desks, two terminals at each end, 16 paperclips and what I expected to be a great laugh.

As with any great attack the element of surprise is a great ally, and as with comedy, timing is everything.

I arrived early so I could put my plan into action, I was first in to the lab, and ready to go, I planted my little babies into their launch sites.

As before, I waited as “Miss” went through her pre-teaching warm up and hit the switch then…..


All of these didn’t happen, in fact nothing happened, the teacher walked back and asked us to get on with whatever it was that I was too distracted to listen to.

The class went on… and on… and on…

“Miss?” someone asked, “Yes?” she replied, “Miss, there’s some smoke coming out of that box on the wall there”.

And so there was, a slight waft of smoke, sneaking it’s way out of the big transformer by the door. “SHIT!!” I thought “that’s me on report, My Dad’ll have to pay for that and I’m grounded for the rest of my life”, in seconds there was piles and piles of thick gray smoke pouring out of the machine. I was in deep deep doodoo... Miss ran for the transformer and switched the big red switch to off.

What now? Well thankfully complete panic broke out, Miss Bullet-Tits sent the first survivor out to get the lab assistant, and in the ensuing chaos I ran around like a nutter to get the paper clips out.

The smoke kept on pouring out and that was it, Miss decided it was time for the evacuation.

The entire school was out on the playing grounds, and we celebrated, saved from a double Physics, (me saved from expulsion).

As we stood there my old best mate Duncan asked eagerly “Was that you mate?”

“Nah, dodgy wiring I s’pose.” I replied.


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All written stuff, photos, sounds (none yet but eventually?) images, graphics and the whole experience are created by and copyright of Matt Helm 2002/4. Obviously I didn't create what you see in the photos, like clouds an' that but you get the idea. Be warned - Anything that you read hear may have an element of truth in it but not necessarily.