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23 Apr 2011

Post 284: Spring!(but sadly not in my step)

Precious little has made me smile lately so you would have thought
things that made me gutturally laugh would be thin on the ground! One
such occasion almost caused me to choke, and spit out the orange I was
trying to auto-asphyxiate myself with, it was when Charlie Brooker
used this comment on 10 O'clock live last week “The press lapped up
the exciting scenes like a thirsty dog at a bukkake party.” Please
don't look up bukkake if you don't know what it means, its wrong and
I'm slightly ashamed I do know what it means
talking about the way the British media reported the largely
uneventful demonstrations in London last week against government cuts.
Brooker has got irreverent indignation down to a fine art and has
been on fire since quite rightly calling i-tunes a 'binary turd' in
the Guardian a few months ago. Another man who has been on comic fire
in my opinion is Jack Whitehall. His effected uber-poshness and
campness annoyed me a bit when he appeared last year and it rankled a
little but I have been enjoying some of his rants until he runs out of
breath on channel 4's very amusing 'stand up for the week' on Friday
nights. I'm enjoying it on several levels though because the venue is
KOKO in Camden which the new owners must have spent a fortune
restoring from the dirt soaked hard house hell-hole that I went raving
in a few times ten years ago. It's strange to see the way it's been
lovingly restored with people sitting demurely at tables when I recall
the grime-coated stairs between levels and numerous dodgy ghouls who
would try and flog you dog worming tablets for a tenner each. Jesus.
Misspent youth are the words that spring to mind. Speaking of which, a group of us have been reminding ourselves through facebook of some of the music that defined the times of our lives, it really is incredible how the music we loved brought us together and so did the music we hate [90s movie masterpiece Human Traffic]
Seeing as I was a
bit of a hanger on and knew a few people being a fledgling DJ I was
fascinated by the DJ booth, I was probably that annoying 'whatsisface'
or 'hoojamaflip' or more likely 'that bloke' who loved being in the
booth. I have to confess to being hypnotized by the power of it all, a
shameful metaphor, but it is similar (I imagine to how it must have
felt at Nuremberg). Anyway, I digress, The Camden Palace (as it was
then) is clearly a beautiful old theatre and as such is a great venue
for a weekly topical stand up show. Jack Whitehall's' hilarious
observation that the TV show Supersize v Superskinny needs to raise
the stakes and be changed to Diabetic vs Chocoholic so it's a matter
of life and death rather than just seeing piles of food making people
feel hungry! His rants about Vejjazling on 'The Only Way is Essex' are
also hysterical. In case you don't know, a Vejazzle is where a girl
looks down and goes 'there's something missing' and decides rather
than perhaps a Glade air freshener that a piece of bling/jewellery
will complete her VJJ, that Orange virtually got spat out again! So last
night to continue the laughter I went to the Albert Hall again to go
and see relative comedy newcomer John Bishop. Now I have seen Bishop a
couple of times
and despite being a scouser he has managed to file down most of the
chip on his shoulder. He ticks most of the right boxes and seems
genuinely down to earth and humbled by his rapid ascent to fame and
being recognised (at least in Liverpool). A lot of his material is
about the phenomenal sacrifice that people make being parents,
especially when kids grow up and are perhaps not as grateful as they
might be. In fact, he describes teenagers as 'twats' – which is probably
on the money. His older sons do sound like Scally f*ckers to be fair, but his
mixture of self deprecation, honesty and genuine gravitas hold your
attention even if the Albert Hall sound system was having a bit of an
off night and some of his Scouse ranting was getting lost in the
echoes. It was still a good night out.
I've got an above average number of people to be grateful to this
week, and as tautologous or circular as it sounds I'm grateful I can be grateful as I'm sure it's been clear from recent posts how disastrous things have been, and perhaps it is a little melodramatic, but it literally does feel like someone has saved my life whenever they’ve helped me out. So the first of the life savers have been the omnipotent frontline that is my Mum and Dad. Last weekend and this weekend they have put up with me at their house and pretended to enjoy having me there. Dad also stayed over one evening at my house during the week so I would have someone to help me with my morning routine. There’s something really important for human dignity about being able to shower, have fresh clothes and eat breakfast and I really don’t think I’ll be able to do this for the rest of my life without having someone there to help me. My long suffering brother also did this on Thursday. I’m not joking when I say it feels like someone has saved my life. Equally grateful am I for the company of my neighbours, Ian and Tracey on Wednesday night. One second, I was tapping away on the computer, the next I felt very vulnerable and alone so I picked up the phone and invited her and Ian for a glass of red wine. Them saying yes made my day, I’m taking them to see their favourite band, the Killers, in Hyde Park at the end of June. I am so lucky to have neighbours like them. I know they have had to put up with a lot living next to me but I need them to know how important they are. Next is Jose, my personal trainer, who as well as having to listen to me swear and curse and frequently insult him, he bought me fish and chips on Thursday before taking me to the Albert Hall to see John Bishop – he’s become a good friend over the last year, on several occasions making the trip from Aldershot to help me just with my morning routine, speaking of which I cannot not mention my new friend Jo, who on Friday morning batted off my protestations of ‘it’s too much for me to ask’ to come and help me, driving all the way from Basildon. Some people are just nice. The combination of the sun shining and having found new housekeepers (with glowing references) has made the joys of spring a joy again.

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