Delayed coverage from Wellington NZ


Archive for December, 2002

Happy New Year

I paid a visit to the transport museum in Covent Garden yesterday and this is what I saw:

The Metropolitan Line hasn’t changed much….

New Years resolutions:

  • drink more
  • eat more
  • smoke more
  • do not go to the gym
  • gain weight
  • pick my nose whilst travelling on the tube
  • fart in crowded lifts
Maida Vale, London, Tuesday, December 31st, 2002

Consumer Madness

I made the mistake of meeting Tash near Oxford Circus last night. I thought it would be quiet, but instead the streets were packed with a frenzied mob of consumers with sale-lust. There were couples fighting, tired looking people laden down with lots of bags, mums with too many small kids. It was a disorganised and confusing scene. I don’t think I have ever seen Oxford Circus that busy (and I have seen it just before xmas). I wondered for a moment if the universe was about to desend into chaos .

I started to reread the first draft of my novel a few days ago. I became aware that I have written an outline of a novel. At the moment it reads like a detailed log of actions with a little creative writing here and there. I wasn’t downhearted when I read it through. I realised that it is a rough first draft, and that there is still plenty that needs to written to make it feel more complete. I’ve also had another idea for a short story – this one is about faith. It will be another sci-fi, set in a prison. The ending will be a cynical bastard.

My brother has written some interesting observations about the season at his site. The discussion he had over his xmas dinner about picking up small change off the street reminded me about a similarly obscure topic that we talked about after our dinner. I raised the question about the likely outcome of a battle between the Roman Legions and Maori warriors. I found myself a minority of one in the belief that the Maori would give the Romans a pretty good run for their money. I mean, if you look at the Gaulish village in Asterix, the Romans weren’t much chop.

Maida Vale, London, Saturday, December 28th, 2002

Hat People

Christmas Night – What the hell are these people doing?

La la Land, Friday, December 27th, 2002

Xmas in Piccadilly Circus

This was taken on Friday the 20th in the circus. It was cold and wet but I was fortified by a pint of London’s finest.

Maida Vale, London, Tuesday, December 24th, 2002

Only in Little Venice….

Spotted on the canal last week.

I’m currently working on the next skin for this site. It will consist of slimmer style sheets (the current ones are a little too bloated) and some new colours that will make reading the entries a little easier on the eyes! And some new colours that will probably make it harder to read. Hope to have it up by Feb.

My favourite TV program at the moment? Sorious Samura’s “21st Century War” takes a look at the real victims of contemporary war. His calm, rational and yet humane narrative is both informative and moving. This man should be on our screens a hell of a lot more. Unfortunately, Channel 4 have chosen a saturday night slot for the show (I can’t imagine a much worse time). And they don’t have a page for the show on their web site. But, I have to congratulate them for the program – it’s really brilliant.

Maida Vale, London, Monday, December 23rd, 2002

Otherwise fine

Another great day in London. Getting just a tad chilly for these south pacific bones though.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, December 19th, 2002

We are the Cheeky Girls

Over here they have this thing (which, shame of shames, was originally started in NZ) called ‘Pop Stars’. The idea is that it’s a kind of talent quest. Audition thousands of people, form a group, make a TV series out of the whole thing, and the producers make a fortune when the accompanying first single goes straight to number one on the charts.

Here in the UK they went really nuts over the concept, and it has even sporned evil spin off shows, including ‘Popstars – The Rivals’ . This show can be summed up in one word – arse. The Rivals is twice as bad as the result is two awful groups, competing for numero uno on the charts. A campaign called Slap Waterman has begun in an attempt to get another song, the dubious Cheeky Girls with “Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)”, into the number one spot instead. Irony – this pair auditioned for The Rivals but were rejected outright. Yes, I would definately prefer them at number one.

I was thinking of going along with it and buying the Cheeky Girls to spite Waterman and Fat Spice – but give me Tool or Pacifier any day.

Dream – 18 Dec, 2002-12-18

I used to record my dreams – I still have the book somewhere, tucked away in a cupboard at my parents place in NZ. I had to stop for two reasons, firstly, I was remembering up to seven or eight dreams a night, secondly, and worse, I was confusing dreams and reality.

So anyhoo, I’ve climbed a cliff to almost the top. At the top is the guru like figure of Sam Hunt , the famed kiwi performance poet (who incidentally I met once, when I was a school boy). I am trying to get across to him, but as I look down to check my footing I am gripped with fear at the precariousness of my situation. I finally mange to pull myself up to see Sam Hunt. He is sitting on a plastic cafeteria chair. I then realise that I could have walked thru the cafeteria to see Sam instead of going the hard dangerous climb up the cliff. A sense of relief overcomes me and I wake up. I wake up thinking ‘what the fuck?’

Now – an update on the “Withnail and I” article – Tash saw the man himself, Richard E Grant, on the tube with his mum! Alright! That is rockin’ – Tash is stoked.

Maida Vale, London, Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

Taking the red pill

This t-shirt got me thinking about how different things could be if we all took our red pills .

This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Now I know what the Penguin gets up to at night.

Maida Vale, London, Tuesday, December 17th, 2002

Lost in Brixton

We went to a great party in Brixton on Saturday to celebrate Melina’s engagement. After having a beaut dinner at Claire’s amazing house, where we got completely smashed, we were driven into Brixton by a pretty cool cabbie who cranked his stereo right up. We went to the bar, and got completely annihilated and then found ourselves on the street when the bar closed. Most people headed across the road to another place, and I went to get cash out for the cover charge. But – my bank is rubbish, and so between 2 and 4 in the morning you can’t withdraw cash from money machines. I knew about this when I opened the account, and knew that one day I would get caught out by it.

Great, stuck in south London, can’t pay the cover charge, it’s below zero (I’m wearing a t-shirt and a jacket), and we can’t find a caf? to sit in to pass the time until the cash machines will start giving me money again. We ask people, “is there a caf? around here?” Answer (from more than one person), “Mate, you don’t want to go to the cafes around here!”. Super. We are frozen. It occurs to me that we could get a bus. Tash has been saying this for a while. I accept that we are not going to be able to wait on the streets in this freezing weather and we head for the bus stop and back to central London. I never realised how warm and cosy those night buses are!

Maida Vale, London, Monday, December 16th, 2002

Withnail and I

I saw “Withnail and I” yesterday. Funny as fuck. Unexpectedly camp as well. A strange thing about the film is how it feels like a kind of trip. It passes through phases. At first I didn’t see the homosexual nightmare Uncle coming. It seems as though he is a harmless and rather charming old man, but I found that I was drawn into the paranoia of the character “I” and whatever the hell he was on at that stage. I was unsure if it was paranoia that made it appear as though Uncle Monty was on the pull or if he actually was. Or was I just being naive. When it finally becomes clear that the Uncle has other intentions, the playoff between the characters seems to enter a new phase of insanity.

The crazy thing about “Withnail and I” was that it manages to capture the surreal nature and conscious experience of being out of it. Someone wrote of Seamus Heany that his writing is like consciousness itself. The blend of paranoia and lateral thinking/conversation almost convinced me that my consciousness had also been altered. I guess the viewer is the “I”, hence the title of the film.

I’ve often wondered how it would be possible to express to an audience in a fictitious work (or even a documentary) an atmosphere of being under the influence of something. Is it enough to record a series of stoned episodes and then cobble them together into a drama? How does the author allow their thinking to mimic being in that state while actually being sober so they can record it? And create situations with it? Am I too repressed or self conscious to do it? Or is it because I have never tried? Probably a mix of them both.

I was also surprised to learn that Richard E Grant is apparently a teetotaler.

Maida Vale, London, Saturday, December 14th, 2002


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