Thursday, 31 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Jeff Tweedy.


Music for your listening pleasure...

All of my daydreams are disasters
She's the one I think I love
Rivers burn and then run backwards
For her, that's enough
They all come from New York City
And they woke me up at dawn
She walked with me to the fountain
And she held onto my arm
Come on, do what you did
Roll me under New Madrid
Shake my baby and please bring her back
'Cause death won't even be still
Caroms over the landfill
Buries us all in its broken back
There's a man of conviction
And although he's getting old
Mr. Browning has a prediction
And we've all been told
So come on back from New York City
Roll your trucks in at dawn
Walk with me to the fountain
And hold onto my arm
Come on, do what you did
Roll me under New Madrid
Shake my baby and please bring her back
'Cause death won't even be still
Caroms over the landfill
Buries us all in its broken back 

Super, Super.

The Case Of The Missing Alka Seltzer (Part_A).


My dear Ouseph,

I write this in some pain.

Much to my surprise, yesterday morning, as I strolled around the practice greens, I bumped into one of our former colleagues from the St Antholin Undershaft Retirement Scheme project.

No, not Denis Zadosi (fortunately), but one Jean-Patois Wildeboare

What are the chances, eh...? 

Turns out old J-P is now knocking heads together and slapping backs at the Oathnell Distillery. He was in town for the weekend, and had apparently just popped in for a pot of peppermint tea.

Well, obviously, intrigued, I insisted on luncheon, so we sauntered down to the Benet Fink brasserie by the Exchange for ham and eggs. 

The poor lamb has undergone a small degree of facial reconstruction since the incident at the bakery (which you may remember hearing about from Niamh's wedding), so he wasn't his usual ebullient self, but fortunately he's managed to retain his dry wit, to accompany his dry skin, and was in perky form. 

I'm not entirely sure how, but we managed 3 bottles of rioja over the course of the following few hours, nattering about everything... from the bonus he still owes you, to his faked death, to his brief relationship with that girl who presents the weather forecast, and more. Oh, and he still has your engraved pen, too.

It was an entertaining jaunt down memory lane, but I really don't remember much else about the rest of the day. We ended up in the Club, that much I do know, because I woke up on the floor behind the bar. Maurice made me a cafetiere, and explained that J-P had hot-footed it to some important meeting in Flutwick that he had completely forgotten about. 

He's going to be around again in May, so I thought I might act as peacemaker for the two of you, and encourage a meeting. 

That's if you're game?

He really is most dreadfully sorry, and wants to explain his actions to you over a jar, or several, and some hot broth.

Be careful though, he still drinks like a rotter!

Your thoughts, as ever, are welcome. 

I trust you are well, and have hopefully now found your missing gardening gloves.

Right, now where's that Alka Seltzer? Urrggh, it must be here somewhere...

Very best,



Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Doug Paisley.


Music for your listening pleasure...

C                 G          C
at the end of the long, long day
C                      G            C
come go with me in the blue and the gray
C                        G
there's no up there's no down
And there's no way around
F      G          C
At the end of the day

C                              G              C
i'll follow the line where the land meets the sun
C                               G        C
i looked to the hills where the dark has begun
C              G              Am
my fears are reserved for the deeds of the day
F        G      C
that are faded away...

C             F
I'm gonna get by
F             C
I'm gonna get through
C                   F
When the river runs dry
F                  C
I'm gonna cross to you
C                        G
There's no up there's no down
And there's no way around
F      G          C
At the end of the day

C                                G          C
You're heart it is worn You're a bleeding machine
C                         G           C
A ghost hand lifts you up out of your dreams
C                G             Am
See the sunlight combed on the shapes at the fray
F      G          C
At the end of the day


David Byrne: Playing The Building.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

La Fin Est Proche (Suite).

It's nearly April Fool's Day.

I feel like the cigarette butt of the joke.

Man, I could do with a smoke right now, and a large glass of wine.


Well, I'm in Milton Keynes, and I'm here for a while.

Where's my Pipe?


by Ted Baum
Ted Baum: 'We need to get a bus to the centre of town - this area looks like it's ready for nuclear tests'.

Colleague: 'This IS the centre of town'.

Monday, 28 March 2011

The Day Today (Episode 2).

The Case Of The Missing Ouseph (Part_B).


Dearest Pitkin,

No apology necessary - though, as I have learned through bitter experience, you must try to ensure that "dinner" does not become anything other than a singular juncture in your working(?) day. Having said that, I admit I also find these seasonal transitions rather onerous (you'll remember, March has never been my favourite month) and, what with the impending tribunal, I've been feeling quite out of sorts this last week. On top of this, I have discovered that my so-called "miracle" blood pressure prescription I told you about also comes equipped with a host of minor, though still undesirable, side-effects, including bloating, wheezing, hot-flushes, flatulence and nausea. When I challenged Lionel to explain why he hadn't informed me of this earlier, he said he didn't think I'd notice the difference. Either way, he assures me that those dry patches on my elbows are not related.

It's really too much for Maurice to have adopted the part of a jilted-Jemima. As you know, I wrote several letters to him at the time explaining my position and that, as far as I was concerned, the matter should now be put-to-bed (no pun intended). No doubt, he also neglected to tell you about the "back-fees" he attempted to extract from me during our last encounter at dear Alistair Cockswain's cremation. Indeed, M's behaviour (and appearance) that day was so incongruous, not to mention unfitting to the occasion that I had wondered if he might have had another relapse. I don't think he's really been himself since the raid, and the less said about that guttersnipe Choi the better. 

I have to say, I'm rather taken aback by the continuing brouhaha at BAFBA, though I'm sorry if you feel put upon in my absence. Surely it's only the board that need get a whiff of the real story (most of them probably have already), and the minnows can just be placated with a few raids on the hospitality kitty.

Finally, re: the new member. Caution, Pitkin, I advise caution. It sounds to me like he ticks a lot of the right boxes for our purposes (perhaps too many?), but we don't want another "Timmy Kranky" on our consciences. Enough said, I think.

As ever, 



The End Is Nigh...

This week I'm in Milton Keynes...

Friday, 25 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Sam Cooke.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Folks said that you found someone new
To do the things I used to do for you
Just call my name, I'm not ashamed
I'll come running back to you

Can't sleep at night, I can't eat a bite
When you were mine I didn't treat your right
Just call my name, I know, I know I'm not ashamed
I'll come running back to you

Just like a king, I've lost everything
I sit all alone on my throne
I've got my pride, but deep down inside
I'm yours, and yours alone

I try to forget, have no regrets
This love of ours could always start anew
Just call my name, wooh, I know I'm not ashamed
I'll come running back to you


Thursday, 24 March 2011

Pablo Picasso.

'He could walk down your street,
 and girls could not resist his stare... '

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Case Of The Missing Ouseph (Part_A).


My dear Ouseph,

Apologies for my tardiness, I have become rather reliant on a drop or three of Claret with (and after, truth be told) dinner.

Therefore, combined with my general lethargy, and forgetfulness, and tendency for procrastination, I have become a tour de force of scat; a maelstrom of inefficiency.

So, anyway...

I was in the club talking to Chris Choi, about his unnecessarily crass laugh and fortified footwear, when we were approached by Maurice, who started wiping his own mouth with a cold flannel.

He asked me how I was (forgetting my name in the process), before asking whether I'd seen you recently.

I told him you were busy preparing for a life with an extra mouth to feed, and he started coughing up blood. Chris Choi promptly threw up on Russell Grant, who was sat to his right, alone.

Visibly shaken, Maurice then left the scene. He was very subdued, and it was clear to all that he still holds you in high regard. It is understood that he misses your regular attendance. Perhaps you could give him a call.

Your sudden departure, and absence, from the boules training sessions and the club nights, not to mention the BAFBA Annual General Meeting, has led to more questions than answers.

Questions, it would appear, that I am having to field. 

I do sometimes wish that you had straightened things out before your hasty exit.

Anyway, it must be nice to be missed. 

I trust you are managing to dot the i's, and cross the f's.

Right, now, I really must tell you about an entriguing new club member that I met after helping a stricken Choi into a tuk-tuk. 

His name is Derek, and he looks like the projected offspring of Alvin Stardust and The Milky Bar Kid.

He asked me if I'd ever been to Amarillo.

I said 'yes', for I had.

He then asked me if I stayed at the 'Camelot Inn'.

I said 'yes', for I had.

He then asked me if my name was 'Reuben'.

I said 'no', for it isn't, and he walked away.

I wondered what he would have done/said if my name was Reuben, or at least if I told him that my name was Reuben.

Your thoughts on 'The Alvin Kid', as I will now refer to him, are, as ever, welcome.

Does he have a sinister agenda? Should I befriend him? Am I to avoid him? Should I tell him that Maurice's name is 'Reuben'?

Must dash - I've yet to finish my strudel.

Very best,



Monday, 21 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Lambchop.


Music for your listening pleasure...

The last thought that you think today 
Has already happened 
The link between profound and pain 
Covers you like Sherwin Williams 

The smokey joe is broken 
Drops into your lap 
And the big red wasp 
Makes a scan through 
My back pages 

Last night our boy was out there 
Burning up his matches 
I saw him in the afternoon 
Sporting a black eye 

The universal man 
Holds a pistol or a bottle 
Types with confidence 
As we grow out of our 

Once I had a friend 
Who had the knack of tossing 
His mind around geography 
Boy you think, you have problems 

The hunter is asleep 
At least that's what i call him 
In the afternoon 
Of the new cobweb summer


Thursday, 17 March 2011


In April 1934 many American newspapers, including The New York Times, printed a photograph of a man flying through the air by means of a device powered only by the breath from his lungs.

Kocher 'flying' and being chased by
 local businessmen
Accompanying articles excitedly described this miraculous new invention. The man, identified as German pilot Erich Kocher, blew into a box on his chest. This activated rotors that created a powerful suction effect, lifting him aloft. Skis on his feet served as landing gear, and a tail fin allowed him to steer.

What the American papers didn't realize was that the "lung-power blow motor" was a joke. The photo had first appeared in the April Fool's Day edition of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung. It made its way to America thanks to Hearst's International News Photo agency which not only fell for the hoax but also distributed it to all its U.S. subscribers.

In the original Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung article, the pilot's name was spelled "Erich Koycher," which was a pun on the German word "keuchen," meaning to puff or wheeze.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Lemonheads.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Half past 9, quarter to 10
10:15 and we're comin' around again
Hold off, are we goin soft?
Flushed my Zoloft and we're comin' around again
Found out and I almost drowned
Walked back down and we're comin' around again
If I could talk I'd tell you
If I could smile I'd let you know
If I could talk I'd tell you
You are far and away my most imaginary friend
Khmer Rouge je ne sais quoi
Replacing Mein Kampf now I'm giving the dog a bone
Slight hunch without the vaguest clue
To keep the blood balanced now we're comin' around again
Half past 9, quarter to 2
10:15 and we're comin' around again
If I could talk I'd tell you
If I could smile I'd let you know
You are far and away my most imaginary friend


Monday, 14 March 2011

TV vs Books.

The Case Of The Missing Brain Cells (Part_B).


Dearest Pitkin,

Terribly sorry for my late response - I'm afraid your last message arrived smack in the middle of another family debacle at our end. Needless to say, I'll spare you the grim details, though you should perhaps note, it appears as if your estranged Godson, Stephen, will remain that way a good while longer.

Fancy you running into Laszlo like that - I was under the impression that he was now bed-bound? Re: my encounter with him at Glenna's stag, as I said at the time, it's not so much reticence, on my part, as it is insouciance. As far as I was concerned, the evening had passed amiably and without incident. It was only after Neil Sinclair sanctioned me at the Gantry that I became aware of any perceived indiscretion. Indeed, though I hate to sound prickly about it, between ourselves, I still think the whole thing smacked of Russki hysteria - though it isn't only for this reason that I retain a degree skepticism regarding some of L's more outlandish claims.

Life at the Academy continues apace, though I continue to have difficulty distinguishing students from staff. Just last week, I found myself chastising what I took to be as a lasciviously precocious undergraduate, only to be told later that she was in fact a visiting Professor of Modern English Literature from the University of East Anglia. I suppose I should consider myself lucky that my tenured position has somehow survived the financier's scythe for another twelve months; but I do I feel increasingly exposed.

You forget that now we have moved, we no longer have any neighbours - unless you count the several thousand sheep I can see from my attic window. You also forget that nobody ever actually heard Edward make that claim for himself - it was merely attributed to him in parenthesis. Regardless, we have not remained in contact - in fact, given that cough, I should be very surprise if he made it through the winter.

As ever,


p.s. It's really business and pleasure, or, at least, pleasurable business (I trust you understand my meaning). As such, I see no reason why we should not meet at our usual spot.


Friday, 11 March 2011

Nothing Rhymes with Nothing: Sandy Denny.


Music for your listening pleasure...

Baby, every cloud has a silver lining
Baby every dog really has his day
And it matters to me to see you smiling
Why don't we blow all your cares away?

Yesterday is gone and will be forgotten
And today is where every new day starts
Got to be free as the leaves in Autumn
You may be sad but it never lasts.

And maybe, by the evening we'll be laughing
Just wait and see
All the changes there'll be
By the time it gets dark.

We could go walking out in the sunshine
Look at all the people out in the street
Hurrying away to a business luncheon
Waiting for a taxi for aching feet.

Light up your face, baby, let's get going
Want to see a change in those weary eyes
We'll have some fun, take a boat out rowing
Why on earth should life be so serious?

And maybe, by the evening we'll be laughing
Just wait and see
All the changes there'll be
By the time it gets dark.