Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Little Drummer Boy

Its at this time of year my thoughts start to turn to...well Huddersfield!....For back in 1977, I decided to forego my Christmas Dinner in the forlorn hope of gatecrashing the Sex Pistols Christmas Day bash in Ivanhoes Club,Hudddersfield.We arrived there early enough to be able to walk in the place and witness the carnage that was the aftermath of the Firemans kids party.Ever the oppportunists we decided it would be a good idea to hide in the toilets.Never get found in there would we?...We were turfed out within the hour with the promise of tickets if we waited for a roadie to appear.The roadie duly appeared but wanted £3 for a £1.75 ticket.For some reason he didn't want paying for mine,so I guess mine was a freebie.Maybe I was on the guest list!
We started out in the balcony,great view but no blood sweat and tears.So I went downstairs alone.After about 10 minutes I was within touching distance of the stage, right in the middle.This was an art perfected at Clash gigs in Erics Club,Liverpool.The gig came and went with God Save The Queen at both ends.I was quite an air drummer at this time so I decided to chance my arm and jump on stage at the end and grab the last two sticks on Paul Cooks kit.Got them too! But not being satisfied, I stopped to ask John (not Johnny that would have been a bit too familiar) for the Steel Pulse badge on his lapel.He politely refused and put his left hand over it for protection.As I made my exit I paused to take the sticks from my kecks, for fear of doing myself an injury.This proved fatal, as it gave Malcolm McClaren the time to catch me(round the throat).I was nearly blue in the face by the time I let go!....The roadie feeling sorry for me, rewarded me with a 'Holidays in the Sun' poster as he took the sticks from me...the last sticks they ever played with in this country as it turned out.Still for one night only ....Huddersfield really was.. the Rock and Roll capital of the world.P.S..... Lord Roby is in the picture above.A poster for the first correct guess.And no,I am not the one in the sad Emu coat!'.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Wonderful Life

The 4th of July is notable for one thing in Liverpool; the outbreak of the Toxteth Riots.So today on local radio,we have had endless blackman bleating about how bad things were and still are for blackyouth,blackmama and blackpapa....blah....blah...blah....No mention of the white guys who were equally disenfranchised at the time and joined in to vent their anger.These were serious,full scale riots...and the plod were well and truly caught with their pants down.So lets move forward 30 years.Whats changed? Well Bob Harris has just been given a gong for his 'services' to music.Personally ,I thought the kids choir at the Palm House ,Sefton Park on Sunday did more for music in an hour but thats only my opinion.But ,what I liked,was that it was a genuinely multi racial choir, White kids,Poles,Jewish,Asian,Indian and Pakistani...only one race was missing..You've guessed it 'the blackman who got a lorra problems'....I see it.or rather don't see time and time again.I don't see blackman at the theatre,the museum.Dont even see him in B and bastard Q....Don't see him walkin his dog.....or at the summer fete or playing golf,cricket or anything for that matter.Didn't see him at all amongst 75,000 whiteys at Aintree for the Grand National.Maybe he was at dem Camptown Races....Black people in Liverpool live in Liverpool 8 'ghetto' because they choose to,,they don't get involved because they choose not to.All other races are present throughout Liverpool and it's conurbations.All blackman seems interested in is 'eatin jerk chicken and bangin booty....It's a wonderful life in L8

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Little Willy

Recently, Lord Roby had the pleasure of his attendung his first beer festival.It was long overdue.Because I was attending on my Jack Jones I was a bit apprehensive.Would I fit in? Would there be any eye candy or would it just be a bunch of old Swan types.(The Swan is a well established real ale boozer in downtown Liverpool for the uninitiated.) It turned out to be full of old Swan types and students.I didn't fit in.So there was no alternative but to talk to the beer.First up was Straw Dog.Very nice indeed.Next up Durdle Door(from Dorset no doubt).Also very palatable.This was followed by a gill of Palm.I can't remember what this one was like,but it was nice enough to imbibe.I was now racing headlong into the second hour.By this time I was also starting to practice my 'Liver Dance'.Edinburgh Gold was a reluctant choice but I felt I had patronise the locals.It was absolutely spiffing.By now I was like a kid in a sweet shop.I couldn't get enough of the stuff down my neck quickly enough.I was in a beer frenzy.I somehow had the sense to put all the names of the different brews in my mobile phone.I was starting to run out of consciousness ; and so had to pick the next brew with care.Corncrake!! That's the one for me.Another winner,I was beginning to feel like it was time to 'walk'.I had over-imbibed by some degree.I had enough cells left for 'just one more'.There it was staring right at me.Mersey Mist.No don't ask me why but this was the only beer I could remember the flavour of.Maybe it was because it was a wheat beer made by Liverpool 1 that tasted of orangesages and lemons.Delish.
It was time to leave.I had spent the best two hours imaginable and spent all of £20 and let's just say I left 'Liver Dancing' and very,very..'Mersey Mist'!!!

Thursday, 2 June 2011


The good thing about blogs is that sometimes they write themselves.As was the case last weekend during my trip back to Two Dogs.On the trip home from Edinburgh to Roby I decided to wait for the Pendolino,for no other reason than I could charge up my mobile phone.As a table seat is required for this,the only seat left was opposite a couple of guys travelling back to Birmingham,I assume.As I tried to sit down,I felt an obstruction.A case perchance,or maybe a backpack.No.It was the guy opposites legs/feet and he had no intention of moving them.Unperturbed, I proceeded to stamp on them.He grudgingly moved his feet just enough to let me sit down.Funny though,when I glared at him; he continued to look right through me as if I wasn't there.After about an hour of this I decided to go the bar for a drink.I was beginning to rise to the bait.When I returned to my dismay the plates of meat had not moved.This time I made a point of standing on them as hard as I could, while looking him in the eye.No response.All this time, the guy did not move or talk to his 'friend' next to him.He didn't eat,drink,smile,move,get up to pee,read a mag.I was beginning to think that maybe it was Ramadan.What's more,when his friend talked on the phone,(in Arabic) he had his hand over his mouth(?).These guys were not your average travellers.Sufficiently worried,I told a guard of my concerns as I went to find another seat.He did sweet F.A.In fact the just laughed.When I returned to pick up my phone about 10mins before reaching Wigan,I encountered another bout of footsie.When I unplugged my mobile I found it was jammed!Strange not even emergency calls.

Needless to say ,when I went to have my phone unjammed, I told the local plod of my concerns.They were very attentive.Now, I am no supergrass but these two definitely deserved 'blowing up'.

Contrast this with my return trip to Aberdeen.The two girls opposite were giggling,talking,ringing mom (all in Hebrew).Except for when they burst into a rendition of the chorus of 'Psychokiller' by Talking Heads.I couldn't help but laugh, mainly because I knew all the English words they didn't.Now, I don't know about you,but who are the most likely psychokillers?The one's who acted like it.....or the one's who sang about it......Que est ce que c'est ????

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Georgia on My Mind

Every year while watching the U.S. Masters from Augusta, I make a promise to myself that one day I will go there.Not necessarily for the golf tournament, but to just be at the place itself.Augusta,Georgia always looks immaculate and perfectly manicured.She is always pleasing on the eye ; and the weather there always looks perfect.Invariably, I have either got the time or the money but never both at the right time.Next year I will have both in union.Fortunately, my cousin lives only a relatively short drive from the course.All I have to do now is run it by Lady Roby.Well; it is generally held on or around my birthday, so what could there possibly be to object to.So maybe, I will be on that Midnight Train to Georgia pretty soon and it really will be like my birthday and Christmas all rolled into one.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Ticket to Ride

Last weekend The Ladies Roby came up to Aberdeen to visit Pa-pa.Now, during his time in the Scottish Highlands Lord Roby has taken to walking lot.In fact,walking everywhere.Whereas back in downtown Two Dogs there is a definate tendancy to take a cab, if the is no chauffeur on hand.So cabs it was.The first cab was duly despatched to us all for breakfast.The destination was; left at the lights and straight through the roundabout to 'Prego' for breakfast.When we reached the roundabout the taxi turned right! I duly told the driver to keep on round the roundabout until he 'understood'.We all laughed.After a very tasty breakfast, we embarked on a pleasant day of shopping and snacking and headed back to the hotel for a rest, prior to a birthday meal for young Lady Roby.After a few drinks in town we decided to get a taxi back.After the earlier confusion I decided to give the driver as much information as I could regarding our hotel.'Its the Great Western Hotel on Great Western Road,opposite the church,before you get to the Mariners Hotel and this side of Burns Road.He duly drove straight past the hotel !! As I looked at him and pointed at the hotel he just muttered 'Oh that used to be called The Clubhouse' which I retorted..'and I suppose the church was the 1st Hole'.He growled and drove off, albeit with a tip!! I was beginning to get a tad pissed off.
But after a good nights sleep we decided to head in to town for a Sunday breakfast.No problems this time, other than we were overcharged by a £1.00 for two non-existant suitcases.That cost the driver a £2 tip. I was now totally anti-taxi.Nevertheless, after a great time on Sunday evening there was no way the Ladies were walking home in heels.So, I reluctantly succumbed.We hailed a taxi and told him the name of the hotel.He set off in the opposite direction! I immediately told the thieving bar-steward to 'do a uey'.He obliged with a u-turn, while growling some gaelic curses I presume.By the time we got to the hotel....about 90 seconds....I was ready to blow.The money was thrown in his face after I had told him all about my 'bad taxi day'.The door was duly slammed.At which point;he lowered his window and gave me the fingers while pulling off.'Have a nice day' I think he growled.Needless to say I am now happy to rely on Shank's Pony.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Perfect Day

To some people a perfect day might involve a wedding or the birth of a child.To Lord Roby yesterday was a perfect day of a quite different sort.Up early on a Sunday with the obligatory hangover to walk/climb Bennachie Hill(???).If I'd been told it was 1750 foot I would have stayed in bed.Against all the odds I got to the top.Admittedly, it took an hour and a half.But the weather was perfect with warm spring sunshine and a gentle breeze.The walk was punctuated by numerous stops 'for a breather'.Oxygen debt being the norm rather than the exception.But,it did offer up the opportunity of a spot of twitching.The highlight being a Wood Warbler, that is if my eyes didn't deceive me.Towards the top I stopped to 'take the air' and I've never heard silence like it.The only people at the top were an American tourist looking for a quarry(?) and a couple picnicing.The descent took half the time.But while the ascent was arduous the descent was quite tortuous.Still it was nice to cool off with some water courtesy of the spring alongside the 'path'.Another excuse to stop.

Then it was off back to Aberdeen for some Soup and a glass of 'M and S' Rose(under duress),a nice steak and chips,some claret,a few beers and a 'Bloody Mary' for a night cap.The latter was for medicinal purposes ,you understand; to quell the bubbling stomach.Then it was off to bed and a re-run of a Roy Orbison documentary on BBC4.

I guess perfect days are like allsorts.They come in all shapes and sizes and no two are the same.Needless to say I slept like a baby!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

The Magnificent Seven

Some people believe everything happens in threes.Maybe it does.Although, of late my destiny appears to be squarely in the hands of the number 7.On 7th of January I signed on the dole for the first time.It was also the day that my Mum went into hospital in the last throes of lung cancer.On the 7th of February she died.On the 7th of March,after two years and 490 job applications I started a new job after a 10 minute telephone interview.The job,bizarrely was the first job I pulled off the machine in the Job Centre! On the 7th of April I received my first paycheck.At the time I was maxed out everywhere.The wolves weren't so much at my door-step,they had their tongues through the letterbox.I wonder what event awaits on the 7th of May.On the 7th of June I have my review.If all goes well the Jaguar XF will be on the driveway shortly after and I really will be in 7th heaven.I can't help feeling guilty about being so happy and 'on top' in the wake of all that's happened of late.But I guess thats only natural.Say La V!!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

I Guess Thats Why They Call It The Blues

Since I took early redundancy( semi retirement) some eleven years ago, I have wound up my friends with the words....'The only time I get up to alarm clock now,is Everton away games in London'.....So last Saturday morning the alarm was well and truly set for the ungodly hour of 5.15 am.The reason was the FA Cup 4th Round Replay at Stamford Bridge,Chelsea.The first thing I thought as I left home in the rain shortly after was..'I must be efffing mad'...The train down was rammed.Not even standing room for a 4 hour journey.Luckily,I got a seat.No refreshments either.The trolley could not get through.If a visit to the loo was required,the only way to the loo, was to get off at the next station and run down the platform to the loo carraige.Except when you got there you realised the queue was back to where you were sitting in the first place! Cue empty beer cans.Hopefully out of view of the ubiquitous CCTV cameras and children.And that was just the women amongst us!! Still the journey passed rather uneventfully, considering how much beer an brandy had been consumed.After a few beers outside Euston in the Royal George it was now getting late.No time to buy an Underground ticket.So it was time for a bit of 'ducking and diving'.This comes natural.
With a minute to go of extra-time Everton were losing 1-0.Then a free kick in a dangerous position.Bainsy sends it into the top corner and its pandemonium.If I ever wondered for a minute why I bother,the question was answered in full right there and then.At moments like this a kind of strange,surreal,semi reality becomes slow motion...Any worries are immediately purged from within and replaced by temporary euphoria.As it was at the end of penalties when we scored the winner.Now,way back in 1970 I watched Everton win the first ever penalty shoot out in the European Cup.I had only seen them win one more since.A curse if there ever was one.Back in 1970 I went to bed as an 11 year old boy and kicked the quilt cover til I fell asleep.
So it was off to the George for a few more beers, a few cans for the train (that rocked all the way back) and into the City for a few more beers; before it was off to bed.After another session of....'rolling like thunder under the covers', I slept like an 11 year old boy without a care in the world.Some things never change.

Friday, 4 February 2011


There has been a lot of mud slinging of late between two of Englands footballing stalwarts.Everton,who hold the WORLD record for the most seasons in top flight football,over 100;and Arsenal,who hold the record for the longest unbroken spell in the English top division.The reason is, that one of the Arsenal players,Cesc Fabregas has been reportedly accusing the mighty Everton,a bastion of English football, of bribing match officials in return for ' favours'.Cesc's manager, Arsene 'the Arse of Arsenal' Wenger has also accused the Everton manager,David Moyes, of lying In my eyes that make them Two Dogs arses!! Moyes has come out fighting and today went public.He has confirmed what the press had previously reported, namely that Cesc had in fact accused Everton FC of bribing officials.His manger 'Arse of the Arse' has also accused Moyes of pretending he heard the accusation!! Anal Arse is a man who conveniently 'never sees' any transgression by his players.Clearly a man of little integrity.Arse is also claiming a media witch-hunt against his star player.This is the same player who allegedly told a lower league player to 'fcuk off' when asked to swap shirts after a recent FA Cup tie.He also allegedly spat at an opposing manager.He also allegedly tried to get his friend and ex collegue Mikel Arteta sent off by feigning injury.He also tried to end the same players career last week by stamping on his achilles tendon,allegedly.Methinks the allegations are starting to stack up.The thing is Cesc like mud,the other thing that sticks is the fruits of your disgusting,dirty,no good Spanish lungs!! Superstar? My Arse!! Strange then, that when you look at the stats.This season, Arsenal have been 'awarded' 14 penalties, the corrupt, no good, incorrigibles of Goodison Park have been awarded...well....none!!Mmmmmmmmmmmm!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

The Laughing Gnome

One of the above is a comedian.The other is Ricky Gervais.Little Richard has ruffled a few feathers in Hollywood of late I hear.News must be slow because he is still getting airtime for it.Apparently he had the audacity to put down a few minor celebrities whilst in their company.From what I can gather, Ricky has only ever done two things.Firstly, write a series that reminds people, who really don't want reminding, just how shit and soul destroying office life really is.Particularly, when your boss is the biggest gobshite you have ever come across.Believe me I've met a few.And the thing is; the current one is always worse than the gobshite before.My last one was worse than the previous three put together! Why,once you've left 'the office' would you get pleasure out of watching yourself being drained of your soul all over again? Secondly, he wrote something that put extra-ordinary actors like Robert De Niro and Patrick Stewart(the latter just happens to be a friend of a friend) in ordinary situations.And just because of who they were,this made it profound and a work of genius.Then again so was 'The Emperors New Clothes' when I 'read' it as a 9 year old.If Ricky wants to be a comedian he could do a lot worse than take a few lessons off 'The Dame'.Watch any 'Audience with Dame Edna' show or in fact any of her shows to see the art of the gentle put down at its finest.'She's' that good that the victim is never 'not amused'.My favourite clip,in fact one of my fave all time clips is when she 'interviewed' the great Douglas Fairbanks Jnr.Now there's a real celebrity.Most would have expected some comment about the alleged madness of his wife Joan Crawford.Not The Dame.She simply asked with all due sincerety whether....'Joan had pet name for her front botty?'.All Douglas Fairbanks could do was smile while squirming profusely.That the way to do it Ricky....with a touch of class.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The Last Waltz

What you may wonder have the two handsome chaps above got in common.Well not much as you would imagine.However,the death of Pete Postlethwaite brought to mind one of my favourite show-biz anecdotes.It happened in an airport executive lounge while the celebs where being kept waiting for a Concorde flight.Both,were amongst the irate customers.Presently,a rather apologetic young hostess advised that the celebs would be called by name when their seat was available.Pete decided that this was the time for a bit of fun,realising the young girl didn't really have a clue who anybody was.When Engleberts name was called Pete immediately stood up,claiming he was Englebert.Englebert was not happy and protested, at which point Pete friends joined in 'Spartacus' style.Sadly, Pete has sadly had his last waltz.No doubt everybody will have their favourite character of his.Mine was always his portrayal of 'Obidiah' in 'Sharpe'.