Deck the bells with walls of holly

Living roomNo internet in my new place yet. I caught a heavy cold just in time to move house for the 15th time in 30 years. I almost enjoyed the extra misery. I am a man for whom the assembly of shelves rarely happens without a stream of blasphemy.

My new neighbours have heard me cursing the figureheads of all the major religions, as well as some of the more obscure ones. I have cursed everyone’s God. My mouth is an equal opportunities employer.

My best temper tantrum came at the end of a short car journey during which I’d been reading a chapter of a book I got at a Buddhist monastery in Vietnam. The chapter was about achieving peace and calm no matter what the circumstances. Two minutes later I had a messy sneezing fit at a critical moment in the removal of a bulky tv from a small car while a thunderstorm broke around me, as a result of which I said some things that would have offended Jimmy Carr.

Moving is rubbish, but the end result is the reward. My new flat is a triumph of modernity, all wooden floors and white walls. Everything is unpacked; I’m home. I have nothing to move, remove from a box, assemble, plug in, tune, straighten, hammer, configure, or dial for the foreseeable future.


I think Larry David has raised comedy to an artform in season seven of Curb Your Enthusiasm. The final episode is a masterpiece. It exists in stark contrast to the utter shit that the BBC commissions, but that’s another story, and in the time-honoured traditions of Asian travel veterans, I’m trying to eliminate negativity from my life. Speaking of which:

The News

Did the media ever get more mileage out of a non-story than they got out of the British sailors detained in Iran? The coverage was ludicrously over the top. The sailors were sent on their merry way a few pounds heavier after a couple of days. What did they think was going to happen?

Of all the possible scenarios discussed ad nauseam by the talking heads, the question I didn’t hear asked was this: What would have been the likely outcome if the situation was reversed; if five Iranian sailors had inadvertently strayed into US waters? Something tells me they wouldn’t have emerged well-fed and smiling a couple of days later.

Eggs in the morning

I’m always getting the song from that Tropicana advert stuck in my head. You know the one? It’s a call-and-response duet, as if improvised. Girl sings ‘How do you like your eggs in the morning?’; Guy sings ‘I like mine with a kiss’.

I kind of wish he sang ‘I like mine with an orange’. That would bring the song to a swift conclusion and make it less likely to inhabit my subconscious for the rest of the day.

(Nothing rhymes with ‘orange’, right? Apart from maybe ‘door-hinge’.)


fender telecasterMe and Guy got started on a new recording session. We’ve put down building blocks for four songs, all of which sound full of life. The session was fuelled by a keg of German beer, although I was tempted by a drink called Scotsmac.

It’s three quid! It’s a blend of wine and whisky. It literally mixes grape and grain. The vintage is irrelevant, its sole purpose is to provide a quick and cheap solution to alcoholics.

Maybe I’ll try it next time… but anyway. There will be some new music on this site in a few weeks. Yippee, right?

Listen to the new Down I Go song, a Christmas treat on Ben’s blog in which I’m happy to have played a small part.

Mr Kleenex and social tourettes

I’m always blurting stuff out that I immediately regret, but I may be showing signs of improvement. One of my quieter, shyer work colleagues was telling me about getting free tissues outside a train station (yes, that is the level of conversation in my office) from a handsome man dressed as Mr Kleenex.

It was obvious my colleague had been sexually aroused by Mr Kleenex. I started to say ‘Well, Mr Kleenex is, in a sense, fuelled by your bodily fluids’, but managed to edit it into something more innocent at the last moment. Progress.


6 Responses to Deck the bells with walls of holly

  1. Ray says:


    In the olden days, a product like this was sold under the brand “Whisky Mac”. With hindsight, it was an early alcopop.

    Your Ma loved it. Quite accidentally, she managed to get seriously drunk on it round about 1974 time. Her dad was much amused – in a quietly disapproving sort of way. I don’t think she’s touched it since!

  2. Recoder says:

    I’d suspected it’s popular oop north.

  3. Celia says:

    Hmmm … it wasn’t called Whisky Mac, and now I’m racking my brains to remember what it was called. I had some at a party at the end of Xmas ’74 with no ill effect. It tasted like wine but had a whisky component. Then on my 22nd birthday I had – well – most of a bottle. Got quite happy. Then was sick. Don’t remember my pa’s disapproval so much as his laughter. I was at home so didn’t have to stagger home. It was a birthday to remember. But what was it called …???

  4. celiawarren says:

    BTW, the flat looks great!

  5. Nas says:

    The flat IS great!

  6. mieke says:

    don’t you love the internet for letting all your friends know your mom got so drunk in the 70s that she can’t remember what she was on?

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