Something for the Weakened

Archive for November, 2006

Tour Day Two – Edinburgh (still)

November 30th, 2006 by

My e-mail continues to refuse to function in any way. This is poo. Messages shall be sent to people when I assume they are awake and I have actual battery power.

Awoken at 6:20AM by the sounds of some nob on Radio 2. This does not fill me with joy. Mine associate has work (as any real human being would have on a Tuesday), so has to rise at such an ungodly hour to get out to it. I am left in the room to fend for myself and resolve to be up and around town by ten at the latest so to meet him for lunch.

Having reprogrammed the radio station, I find myself listening to Woman’s Hour and, knowing the Radio 4 schedules as well as I do, realise it is some time well after ten. Proceed to properly rise, relieve and ablout myself. Just as I’m about to release myself onto the town I get the call inviting me to lunch in ten minutes time. I mutter a little about my oversleeping before agreeing to join my temporary landlord for an early lunch. His workplace being barely ten minutes walk from his domicile, I arrive in plenty of time and find myself hanging around, looking shifty outside expensive banking houses for five minutes. I receive odd looks from the banking community. After a bit my pal emerges and off to lunch we trot – into a small bistro some way down the hill from The Stand. I tuck into a baked potatoe with haggis, he into some sort of haggis and dumpling confection. It is good. Scoffing over, Thomas has to head off to some sort of meeting with South African fishermen, so I am left to my own devices, which I set up and prime.

Inevitably my first stop is Forbidden Planet (it was never going to be anything else, now was it?). As ever their selection of back issues dissapoints me, but the all new section of reduced stock more than makes up for it. I depart with a considerably heavier bag, but not much of a lighter wallet (a rarity in my world of collecting I can assure you). Next I attempt to visit the Museum of Scotland, but genuinely take a wrong turning and find myself back at the Royal Mile. Next to both Fopp and Avalanche Records. Deciding that this subconcious accident is no gift horse, I decide to have a quick wander round both. This sadly dissapoints – apart from a brief temptation of the latest Schneider TM album for six quid, nothing catches my eye and I leave without outlaying a penny. Having realised my directional error, I head toward the Museum again, taking a quick detour down a level onto Cowgate, to see if anything interesting is happening at the Underbelly that night (it having always been an interesting venue during festival season). Instead I find a mass of chipboard over rooms that are presumably only opened to fresh air for a month a year. Undeterred I press on towards culture.

I had been to the Museum of Scotland (Royal?) a couple of years before hand, so over the first half hour of wandering found an increasing sense of familiarity coming over myself as I strolled around the permanant exhibitions. The temporary ones I found were so minute as to barely warrant my attention. I had just about run out of interest and was about to haul off somewhere else, when I happened upon an entire wing that I had never noticed before. This contained all of the actual Scottish based artifacts that the museum possessed and quite how I’d missed this before is beyond me. The next hour was filled with new and interesting artifacts and, more excitingly for me, some original works of art by Andy Goldsworthy (look him up, do). Just as I was reaching the end of my tour around the wing, I received the call that Thomas had finished his working and was demanding mine attencion (that is possibly the campest thing I have ever typed. I don’t know whether to be proud or not).

A couple of swift coffees in the Museum cafe later and we were prowling the streets. I demanded that we went up to the castle which, despite my many festival escapades, I hadn’t visited since I was about eleven. By this point it was pitch black out and actually going into the castle was out of the question. But the view from the esplinade of the city’s lights was worth the trek up the hill. Trekking back down again took us into the camra award winning pub of the year, whose name escapes me. First time up there I walked into a public house and noticed that it smelt only of stale booze and not at all of fags. Odd. First pint was nice, second one tasted of old bandages. We left for Monster Mash. It was monstrous, bangery, mashy and gravyy good. Also tried deep fried ice cream (wrapped in cornflakes) which was squidgy and unpleasant. Here we were joined by the lady Alexandra and proceeded onto the public house named Doctor’s (which I knew from before).

Within Doctor’s we had slightly more joy with the quiz machine than the night before, but not as much as we could have following an over zealous stab on ‘Who Want’s To Be A Millionaire’. There was drinking, chat, mirth and more besides until after far to short a time Alexandra left us to fend for ourselves once more. Liquid intake continued, someone behind the bar ended up showing an episode of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’(about which I proved to know to much) and many inappropriate things were said. After a shot of MacCallahn’s (sp?), it was time for bed. Walking back we came extremely close to The Pleasance, which like the Underbelly I was fascinated to see out of season. Unlike the heaving throng of liquored up festival goers in the courtyard I was used to seeing, I was instead greeted with the sight of a heavily underused car park and the sound of tumbleweeds. Then it was off, away, back to the flat for some much needed, slightly less fleeting kippage.

Tour Day One Part Two – Edinburgh

November 29th, 2006 by

Sorry, ran out of coins to put in the metre. E-mail seems to have definitely died, causing me frustration. Text messaging shall be the order of the day. Anyway, the end of Monday follows for your delectation.

Managed to sit through four of the comedians, two of whom were reasonably amusing, the other two being pretty appalling if I’m honest. Competent and funny compere was probably the highlight. Having been sat on a stool, sandwiched between two tables full of strangers, we departed at the next interval and needlessly caught a cab to another pub under half a mile away (Edinburgh taxis costing less than replacing the rubber you’d scrape off your shoes walking any distance across marshmallows). This pub was in the process of hosting a particularly unimpressive open mike night, so Thomas and I amused ourselves with alcohol and losing money on the quiz machine. After an hour or so’s convivial chatter and woeful knowledge, we hailed away a little further down the hill from the city centre to my lodgings for the night and the sweet embrace of kippage.

Tour Day One – Edinburgh

November 29th, 2006 by

A quick note before I launch into my half arsed travelogue – my e-mail appears to have died. Quite possibly for the very last time, what with it being an account with a firm that closed about three years ago. Hopefully it’s just this internet cafe or Orange being shit, but if not I shall begin trying to contact people by phone for fun and frolics further along the tour. Now, on with the tedious detailling!

The first leg of my journey didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts. I arrived at the train station a quarter of an hour early (I tend to get paranoid about these sort of things so am much happier being early) and was informed by the boards that the train was on time. After gunning a couple of fags, I mounted the platform. No train appeared. About twenty minutes later a train did finally appear, having been delayed by a fire on a goods train that had stopped everything in the area moving until it was extinguished. This was a bit of a blow to me, as I was due to change trains in Birmingham, giving me only about ten minutes leeway. Fortunately, due to a stroke of happenstance, the cheapest ticket for my journey was in first class, a novelty for a cheapskate such as I. The chap waiting on me in the carriage informed me that it was very unlikely that I’d make my connection, but not to worry – there’s a first class lounge in Birmingham New Street.

And indeed there was. Free grub, tea, coffee and clean areas of trains and their stations seemed very strange to me and are things I’m unlikely to see again in the near future. But very pleasant they are to be in. After waiting an hour in Birmingham, I hopped the next choo-choo heading straight for Scotland. This leg of the journey was fairly uneventful if I’m honest. More free tea, biscuits, nicotine cravings and attempts to learn Spanish (the first two hours of an eight hour course) passed the five hours easily. Eventually I pulled into Waverly just before seven and met my good chum Thomas, with whom I immediately decamped to a pub. After a couple of pints and plenty of banter we whizzed round the corner for a curry in the restaraunt next to The Stand Comedy Club. I’d been there for my birthday a couple of years before hand and, aside from the poppadums (sp?), it was all rather tasty. Nipped into The Stand afterwards – a quid for ten comics. Continued later . . .

Touring Time

November 26th, 2006 by

‘ello gals. So tomorrow I begin my week long trek around this gr’t nation of ours. If you’re in any of the following places on any of the following dates, do get in contact and buy me liquour. If you’re not, contact me anyway and I’ll send a postal address where all booze can be forewarded too. Here’s them dates!

Monday 27th – Wednesday 29th – Edinburgh.

Wednesday 29th – Thursday 30th – Glasgow.

Thursday 30th – Friday 1st – Cambridge.

Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd – London.

Admittedly, if I already suspect we’ll be sharing city space during this period, I shall be contacting you in the near future if I haven’t already. Unless of course I’ve forgotten you, in which case you really ought to contact me while I still have time spare. Capital city readers please note that I’m probably going to try and play on the slides at Tate Modern (if I can push some kids aside and get on), which seems like it might be quite a fun place to meet. All being well, I’ll try and keep anyone who cares to read this site regularly up to date with the tour as it happens.

Unless I’m too hammered or locked in a Scottish prison for smoking in a pub.

Updatery

November 22nd, 2006 by

So here are some things that have happened recently.

Saw a thin looking bloke, with hollow, bagged eyes wearing a baseball cap in a bookshop the other day. ‘Fucking junkie chav scum,’ went my brain to itself as I awaited the sight of him trying to nick something. Instead he asked the assistant where the books on AIDS were kept. My brain is evil and pre-judges you all.

Someone has anonymously described me as looking like Vin Diesel. Should I find out who, they will be entering a world of pain.

I shall be touring around the country next week, staying on the floors of those foolish enough to let me. Confirmed so far are Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, with one day left free to fit another city in and someone refusing to respond to my phone calls, e-mails or letters to let me know if I can visit or not. I’ll hand out dates when they’re all definite and if you’re in one of those cities you’re presence will be required at some pub or other.

I thought I saw Chris Addison yesterday, but I might not have.

That’s all for now. More later.

The Beast With No Gammon

November 17th, 2006 by

So, there was this lass sitting on my bed last week.

She asked me to play backgammon.

Through my drunken haze, I soon realised that this wasn’t a euphemism.

I don’t play backgammon or own a board.

She left.

Arse.

The Wonders of Technology

November 15th, 2006 by

So, it seems as if we’ve got wireless internet working in the house. So what are we doing with this fantastic technology. Alone, squirrelled away in our rooms using the wonders of the ether/inter/uber web (I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s called – long live the new Luddism!)? Course not. Sitting on the floor of the living room playing with a pair of laptops, barely inches apart? Afraid so. Next week I shall be buying an Ipod then throwing it away when I discover that it won’t play vinyl. Thank you for listening – news to follow shortly.

Invasion

November 6th, 2006 by

ha ha i am jimmy carr ha ha you are a gay ha ha gypsies ha ha i am jimmy carr ha ha ha ethiopia ha ha i am jimmy carr ha ha cancer ha ha ha i must be stopped

Part Eight

November 1st, 2006 by

“Actually I’m really lowly strung. Which might be a euphemism now I think about it.”