Sunday, 15 May 2016

Tuesday, Sept 29th/Wednesday, Sept 30th, 2009 (written in 2009)

I went to live abroad in August 2009, 5,000 miles away from home. It was a huge life change. I was now married, I now didn't have a job. I was quite lost. I wasn't a writer, not really any more; I wasn't a music journalist going to hundreds of gigs a year in several countries; I was in the Caribbean, trying to work out what the fuck was going on.

We'd been there a month and a bit and things moved away from the kind of extended holiday-type summer-fum adventuring into something that was officially 'real life' but was pretty fucking far from any application of that phrase I'd ever previously encountered.

Seven years after I wrote these words I found them again. 

So for what it's worth, when people ask why I came back - there's something here that might click. Not the only reason, nor even in truth one of the major reasons, but this dislocation... I still feel it. 

I saw it, more than once. You can't live somewhere for the cheese wedge of a decade and not. Let’s be honest. But I’ve surprised myself in my cups tonight by exhausting my work, sorting, soccermanagering and surfing.


Two hours ago – mas o menos – I finished my Spanish class for the day. It was boring, but worth it for the chance/being forced to think/speak a little Spanish. And back to the house for cheese on toast, Tortuga brand mango chutney and a little rum. Overstimulated, really, with thoughts of work and things to chase for the morning.

And now, here, it’s midnight. And it’s warm. The last couple of days have been humid, which made my walk into town yesterday quite an experience of water-wishing, petrol-station-stopping fun. Not so good when trying to sleep; the air-con dries you out very quickly.

But it’s cool, I sit here wondering if I should go for a midnight swim and brave being bitten by insects and lizards; probably not a good plan in the shared pool here. I can wait. So I’ve checked the Citizens’ Choice page, wished for New York trips, hoped to heave another day and smiled and breathed deep and tried to make sense of it all. It’s just so ludicrous, still, to be unreal. The whole damned thing is soaking with rum-sung rambunctiousness; scrapped and wracked, but here we are nonetheless.

And so here is midnight; an hour I know well. An hour I’ve always been friends with, like most of my friends have. And even if I’ve had proper jobs I’ve kept myself awake to see it if I didn’t crash earlier: the only times I’ve missed it is after whole days on the piss in Bangor games, or following no-sleep nights and early flights back from Iceland and cheapRyanairholidayland and fantasticville and everywhere else.

But when you can’t sleep and you’re out of inspiration for even surfing and it’s a Tuesday night stroke Wednesday morning, what is there to do aside look up webcams of places you’ve been? Places that you’d like to be, maybe, fleetingly, or for longer? It ain’t hard really: what’s most comforting is what you like and where you might like to be. Bangor. Reykjavik. Valencia. Homes, and holidays. Worktimes, wastrel times.

In Liverpool now it’s 6am. The city is waking, and there are cars beeping already. The webcam on the top of the Crowne Plaza gives a gorgeous image; a vista of the city I learned to love and loved to learn in.

A huge pang hits me. Pang for the time we’d all drunk port and made up new words, surfing on chatrooms of bands on the label we worked for or were signed to; pang for the time I drew a map on the back of a fag packet, or a bill, that led from the house to the nearest off-license that was going to be open in two hours; pang for just waking up, looking at the slate sky and then the clock through one half-open eye and realising that there were two hours more to snuggle in warm blankets and make smoke-ice-air-breath. And, above all, pang for all the people who’ve been there, who’ve left there, who’re still there. Under that dawn sky, in the snap and sharp of an English autumn. The webcam points perfectly at the Liver Building. Too perfectly, really: it’s a perfect image of a perfect time.

But nine years – just under – is far too long a time not to have seen that, once or twice. The best bit is that at the time you just don’t give a flying fuck about it, or anything aside from making a map, finding more port, talking rubbish about music or crisps, way too late and long a night to even consider that a new day is starting.

It’s always that kind of dawn, somewhere.
Noble, foolhardy and beautiful.

Tear it up, tear it up, tear it up. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The flowers of romance

A metaphor here
And a simile goes here
Because I project my longing onto you
And you seem perfect
At the moment

Hormones here
And DNA here
Ensure that humans repeat the dance
Over generations
And generations

There’s no poetry here
Just verses here
Because there’s nothing better to do
Than yawn, write and recount
Binary boredom

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Record Breaking Summer In Store

Unprecedented levels of shitness” promised

LONDON, ENGLAND – The UK is set for a summer season that will break all records, according to latest research.

Travel boffins explained that a rare convergence of conditions is in store that they are already dubbing ‘The Great British Shitstorm.’

Governmental and private tourism bodies are ready to work together closer than ever before to deliver a never-before seen level of incompetence, according to scientist Carlton Wuck of Ffossip University.

“Airports across Britain are readying themselves to close down as many gates as possible,” he said. “Whether that be half-arsed refurbishments or whole areas closed for a phantom ‘cleaning’ that will never take place, this is the most concerted effort for years by air partners.

“We have discovered that they are already working hard to leave the announcement of boarding gates as late as possible and wherever they can, moving them to the other side of the airport.”

Should travellers nonetheless manage to board their selected flight, contingency plans are in place, Mr. Wuck said,

“We are also recording a large number of aeroplane re-routings.”

“These have been specifically designed by the air carriers to cause maximum irritation to passengers by dropping them off hundreds of miles away from their original arrival destination. This will help them incur significant fines for parked cars, huge taxi fares and in some cases ruining their holiday entirely.”


A representative for the Department of Transport confirmed that all motorways would be given significant ghost refurbishments during bank holidays and times of peak traffic. Six million cones have been deployed already to close off perfectly good lanes to cause maximum disruption.

Train bosses are hoping to deploy unprecedented numbers of Rail Replacement Buses during the summer period, and have already ordered a fleet of unreliable diesel-spewing rust buckets in anticipation.

Hotels are also getting on board with the initiative, said Mr. Wuck.

“There has been a previously unheard-of level of cockroach implementation this year,” he continued. 

“Teams across the hotel sector are employing high numbers of new staff to de-clean their rooms, including staining sheets with spunk and other unidentifiable fluids. The Dust Industry has reported enormous orders for pre-grimed carpets, and British toilets look set to be the most skidded they have been since records began.”

Botched repairs are already being undertaken with pound shop sellotape on plumbing, and drains are being blocked with noxious slurry ready for the holiday season.

He added that windows and outer doors were being loosened in order to let in as much traffic and street noise as was possible, with curtains also shortened so they would not touch the floor or draw properly. This, the researcher explained, was to ensure that as much light as possible was let in to wake hungover guests in the early hours.

Breakfasts will remain continental-only, he added, with a new addition this year being tiny, sweet slices of bread that consistently burn in automatic toasting machines.

Customer service is looking to be the worst ever, with statistics suggesting levels of giving a fuck down to a record 0.9%, adjusted for inflation. Grunted semi-acknowledgements and gritted-teeth irritation are both on the up, whilst staff are being observed to disappear for vape breaks up to ten times an hour.

It all adds up to something very special, according to Mr. Wuck.
“All in all,” concluded the scientist, “The UK will be able to look back and be proud of its record of delivering unprecedented levels of shitness this year.”