Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seeing is believing

So this is the novella, all printed out and ready for proofing…
…And these are the are art pages ready to be submitted.

I'm a little bit excited. Or, in the words of a teenage chav: "I is a 'ittle hexcited, innit?"

Monday, May 26, 2008

The postman only gets crushed once

When I got home from work on Tuesday I found a Royal Mail card on the floor informing me that they'd tried to deliver a package but I wasn't in. Odd, I thought; I'd not ordered anything - and even when I do I have it sent to work. Was this another case of stupid previous owner of Sparky Towers having something sent to my house again? I was momentarily outraged until I noticed the name on the card was definitely mine. 


So I hopped online and arranged for the package to be delivered on Saturday. And on Friday night I set multiple alarm clocks because I have a habit of sleeping in until about 11am at the weekend.

Saturday morning arrived and I woke at just gone 8am, rubbing my eyes and yawning like a newborn kitten. Then I glanced out the window and saw postie just over the road. Eeek, I thought, jumping out of bed and pulling some trousers on while somehow managing not to fall over in a comedy-stylee. Then I ran downstairs, and put the kettle on just in time to hear:


OK, postie-dude, I know from past experience that you know I'm highly unlikely to be up at that time in the morning, but really, that was just a little excessive. I did, however, manage to get my own back because the postie was evidently unaware that Sparky Tower's front door opens outward, and as he was leaning down to perhaps try and hide the mystery package behind a malnourished tree I recently bought, I opened the door and crushed him between the door and the front of the house.

"Huk!" he muttered, before extricating himself and handing me two packages in a somewhat disgruntled fashion.

The sender of the first package was evident from the name on the box - my electrickery company. 

But what the hell had they sent? A hamster and a wheel so I could generate my own power? I did what any intrigued individual would do and opened it.

Ooo, two free* energy-saving light bulbs. Wicked - I needed some of them.

The second package was the more mysterious of the two. An unmarked jiffy-bag… I carefully eased this one open just incase it was some sort of incendiary device from a disgruntled blog reader - but no, it was in fact a response to a request I made a few weeks back.

Someone had sent me the Batmobile I so desperately yearned  for.

OK, so it's not quite:
But beggers can't be choosers, so thank you very much, not-so mysterious stalker stranger. The chances of me following through on my promise to dress as Batman though, are, it must be said, slim to none. And by 'slim to none' I actually mean 'none.'


Always one to pay an unwanted, unnecessary, backhanded compliment/insult, Big Bro turned round to me on Saturday evening just as I was leaving the parents' house and told me I looked like fast-talking, semi-retarded Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. I'm not sure I see it myself.

Oh, and for anyone unfamiliar with Zane Lowe, imagine reading this post, and in fact this blog in its entirety, without any full-stops, spaces between words, or pausing for breath and you'll get the gist of his style.


After waiting what seems like an age since it was released in the States (a month ago), the new album from one of my very favourite bands, Phantom Planet, finally got a UK release today - so I rushed out first thing this morning to pick up a copy. And my verdict on Raise the Dead? Awesome. I really think this is their best album to date - 12 cracking, catchy, pop-rock tracks of a consistently high standard. Their last album, the self-titled Phantom Planet, has been a constant presence in slot 1 of my in-car CD player for the last four years, but it's just been displaced by the new one. I'm going to encourage you all to go to their MySpace page to check out their stuff, and if you're too lazy to do that, check this out:


My brief shopping expedition was also well worth it for another reason - I finally got the gorgeous new Incase Slider case for my iPhone! Problems arose, however, when I got home and tried to remove my iPhone from the chunky case I'd bought when I got the phone: it was stuck.

I tried for ages to get it out (not surprising bearing in mind how difficult it had been to get it in in the first place - which is why I'd left it in there since buying it back in February), and in the end I had to resort to twisting the thing until it broke off. It's now so twisted that it won't shut properly; it looks a bit like Burt Reynold's face. Which is a bit of a shame as I was going to offer it to a fellow iPhone user - the case, I mean, not Burt Reynold's face.

Still, mine now looks even more awesome than before. Good times.

*Note to self - make sure they haven't invoiced you for them on the next bill.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

16 months and 22,948 words later…

…And I've *finally* finished my book. 

I'd set myself a to-do list for this weekend, and 'finish the book' was my main priority. As many of you know, I'd actually planned on finishing it last year during my epic February writing month. That kind of … faltered, and then - and I'll openly admit to this - I got a bit complacent. But now it's done, and I'm happy with it. Really happy, in fact, as Willowc cajoled me into letting her read it and described it as "fab." And at 22,948 words it's slap-bang in the middle of novella territory where I was aiming for it to be all along. 

To be honest, it actually sprang out of several different ideas I've had over the last few years, all of which never quite felt like they worked properly, so I decided to ram them all into the same narrative in the hope that they would all end up making some kind of sense. There was the one about a day in the life of the people of a small town where every chapter would focus on a different person in an overarcing storyline, a story about two friends from different and seemingly incompatible backgrounds, one about a kid desperate to get out of his home town but somehow unable to leave, and then there was the one about a guy who drives around in a battered old car trying to make the world a better place. None of them seemed to have any focus until that day I was driving to work and I saw an old bike leaning up against the railings on Twickenham Bridge. It was such a strong image - there was no one near it, making it look like it had just been abandoned. And I wondered who would leave a bike there for no apparent reason?

OK, so just because it's written doesn't mean my job's done; it needs a bit of a proofread, and some tightening here and there (I've got a half complete proof copy beside me now, and there's a fair amount of red ink scattered throughout the first part, so lord knows what the second half will look like), and I need to condense the storyline down into an interesting single-page synopsis that is going to intrigue a publisher enough to want to see more. 

But regardless of what happens to it from here on in - I can say I've written a book! And here's it's title.

Now I'm going to go rest my fingers. They're a little sore from typing.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I love Crystal Meth

Whoa! Not the narcotic crystal meth, I hasten to add - rather the new movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Meth Skull.

Meth, skull - it's all essentially the same thing.

First up, a fun Sparky fact: The last time an Indiana Jones movie came out it was 1989, and I was 11 years old and massively obsessed with Tim Burton's first Batman film.

Anyway, back around Easter time I did my revision in preparation for the new Indy movie by going back and watching the previous three, which BBC Three conveniently showed on consecutive Sundays. And after much "ooh-ing" and "aaah-ing," I decided that I looked just great in that waistcoat I bought a few weeks back because it makes me look dashing and suave. Oh, and I decided that the Indy films ranked in this order:

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
2. Last Crusade
3. Temple of Poon

Which surprised me because I always remembered preferring Temple of Poon more as a child. Anyway, the idea of a fourth installment scared the tits off me a tad, because we all know how George Lucas raped our childhoods just a little bit with The Phantom Menace and the last thing we needed was an ageing Indy with added Jar-Jar-hijinks.

I needn't have worried. This is a proper-good Spielberg popcorn movie.

Yes, Indy is older, but like Harrison Ford has been saying in interviews everyone ages - and to be honest I've always thought older action heroes are a more interesting prospect; Captain Kirk in Star Trek VI, for example, was far more interesting to me than young whipper-snapper Kirk in the original series.

The return of Karen Allen as Marion Ravenwood did nothing to dispell my notion that she's a considerably less insane Margot Kidder facsmile, but she didn't really get to do much aside from … well, it was nice to see her again, because lord knows I can't recall her being in anything since Raiders, which was 27 years ago. As for Shia LeBoeuf, I always think I'm going to find him incredibly annoying, but have quite honestly enjoyed all the films that he's been in. Go figure. But let's not hand the franchise over to him just yet, huh?

OK, if I'm really nit-picking there wasn't nearly enough whip-action in this Indy film, but as summer blockbusters go, Crystal Meth busted my blocks rather satisfactory. I think it's right up there in the list just after Raiders, and before Last Crusade - hell, the first 15 minutes alone guaranteed it that position.

This is totally my favourite movie of the year so far. Let's hope we don't have to wait 19 years for the next one, mainly because Harrison Ford will be 84 by then and that might just be stretching it a bit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Whore (or how I found out how to market myself)

I've just had the most fascinating evening. Usually when I say that sort of thing I'm being sarcastic - y'know, the kinda thing where I'd write it as 'I've just had the most *fascinating* evening,' or use italics or something equally patronising like asking you to read it in the style of Stewie Griffin, but this time I'm being genuine.

Really, I am.

Why? Because I've just been to one of the events at the Kingston Readers' Festival, an annual, month-long series of events geared towards people like you and me who actually still read rather than sit around getting bladdered every night and happy-slapping people. In recent years I've been to a number of events at the festival, the most memorable being an evening with Danny Wallace, which was hilarious and ended up with him naming me Timbolina for reasons I shan't discuss. 

To be honest, I'd actually planned to attend another of the festival's events at the end of last month called How to Manage Your Time as a Writer, but I'm pretty poor at managing my time (as shown by the fact that I still - I mean *still* - haven't finished my book), and forgot about it.

Anyway, the event I attended tonight was entitled How to Market Yourself as a Writer, and was conducted by a real writer named Alison Baverstock. I'd probably have felt a little ripped off if they'd just used some random off the street, but she was definitely a real writer so that was OK. I was all on my lonesome because both Willowc and Yaz who'd planned on joining me dropped out - Yaz because she's feeling a little under the weather (described as feeling like she's "constantly pushing an invisible person along in front of her"), while Willowc was off doing something exciting and dramatic like engineering a perpetual motion device using only a mid-1980s portable television and a hyperactive kitten. Not to worry though; I rocked up reasonably early, was promptly ignored by an elderly fellow on the door who actually turned his back to me and had to be told to give me a flyer for future events by an elderly lady to his side (possibly because I wasn't wearing my Sunday best), then secured a good seat.

I'll cut to the chase: for what could've been an incredibly dry, boring subject, this was a thoroughly interesting evening, so much so that I actually hung around at the end to thank Alison for the quality info she divulged. The gist of it is that in this cutthroat world we live in, authors really need to put themselves out there; you need to be interesting, articulate, and eager to promote your work. You can't really just write something then be all reclusive like J.D. Salinger - unless of course you're J.D. Salinger.

What I really found useful, though, was the fact that I've actually already got a few things going for me aside from studly good looks, toned pectorals, a quick dry wit, and modesty. Why? Because I've already been published! OK, magazines aren't quite fiction, but the point that Alison was trying to make is that someone has actually put faith in your work - you are, in essence, already a 'successful writer' if you've actually managed to carve a niche, however small, for yourself.

So that's cool - as  is the fact that she mentioned a few other things I've already been thinking about and which I'm definitely going to act on. Another interesting point she made is that in this celebrity-worshipping culture we exist in, authors are themselves a marketable commodity above and beyond their book; imagine, for example, that some crack-whore hauls herself off the street to write an acclaimed account of her hardship - her real life is a key component of what makes the book. Your own families, relationships, hardships - they're all fair game in promoting your work. So now I just need to get it on with a celebrity. Um, Autumn…?

Anyway, to sum it all up - I feel positively energised!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tagged to the max

Right, because you all seem to have been doing meme thingys and have insisted on tagging me, I've decided to do them both in one foul swoop.

This is me swooping. First up, the 'five' thing.


Five things in my bag:
Geez, the only bag I ever carry around with me is my work bag, which is, um, exciting. Let's have a rummage…

• Two notepads - one for work, one for my own writing. I like to keep these things separate, y'see.
• Two biros - one blue, one black, both were freebies.
• A flyer for Nada Surf's latest album that I was given at the Nada Surf gig back in February and haven't gotten around to throwing away yet.
• Some old headphones.
• The latest draft of my book, two-thirds of which has been proofread.

Five favourite things in my room:

Well, I do have more than one room, but for the purposes of this I'm going to select my bedroom - mainly just to taunt certain people who shall never see the inside of it.

• My bed. This was a bitch to make, but it's unbelievably comfortable, so I'll forgive it.
• A big foam Rolling Stones lips logo that you're supposed to wear on your hand. Although I suppose it would fit on other kinds of protuberances.
• A signed picture of William Shatner and Patrick Stewart from Star Trek Generations. Unlike T-Bird's signed picture of Han and Leia, the two captains are not kissing.
• A groovy colour-change lamp that Marcosy bought me for my birthday just before I moved into Sparky Towers.
• A long-box containing the few comic books I've kept over the years, rather than take back to the shop for credit.

Five things I have always wanted to do:

• Write an awesome novel/story/script/graphic novel. I know, I know - I'm working on it!
• Climb a mountain. Blame Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.
• Be in a big movie or TV Series. I had a brief chat with Tom Hardy (yes, Shinzon from Star Trek Nemesis) a few years back, and he asked me if I was an actor. I said "no," when my response should've been "no, but do you think I should be?"
• Autumn Reeser.
• Have kids. Seriously, I really hope that one day I can have a family of my own. I would totally want to give up work and be a house husband (well, I'd still write, but it would be cool if my wife was the real bread-winner - not because I'm lazy, it's just that I'd love to be the one to pick the kids up from school, etc. Or maybe I could be so filthy rich that neither of us had to work?).

Five things I'm currently into:
Oh, this should be easy…

• Gossip Girl. Good lord this series is addictive. XOXO, LOL!
• Cycling. I've got my bike groove back and I just want to go out cycling all the time. I'm thinking about getting some lights so I can stay out when it's dark.
• Scrabulous on Facebook. This is totally addictive, and I think I'm getting rather good at it. I might even have to have a Scrabble evening round Sparky Towers!
• Gardening. An odd one, this. I've suddenly developed a bit of a thing for plants. I don't actually have a garden, so I'm having to make do with rubbing myself in compost house plants and tubs.
• Your mum, but she's playing hard to get. Cheeky!


Right, let's move on to the iPod one. Or in my case, iPhone one. Ooo, touch me!

1) How would you describe yourself?

Prophecy by Remy Zero. Oo-er!

2) What do you like in a girl?
Argue by Matchbox Twenty. Well, that's kinda fitting bearing in mind my track record…

3) What is your motto?

Drunk with the Thought of You by Sheryl Crow. WTF?!

4) What do your friends think of you?

Inside Out by Vonray. As long as I don't loose my spleen that's OK.

5) What do you think about often?

Fortune Teller by The Rolling Stones. 

6) What do your parents think of you?
Unwell by Matchbox Twenty. Wahay - spot on!

7) What do you think of your best friend?

Flip the Switch by The Rolling Stones.

8) What do you think of the person you like?
Overdrive by the Foo Fighters.

9) What do you want to be when you grow up?

Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones. Yeah, I'd like to be satisfied.

10) What do you think when you see the person you like?

Golden Skans by Klaxons. Yes, I immediately set my tricorder to Golden Skans.

11) What song will they play at your wedding?

Bad Best Friend by Nada Surf. Uh-oh…

12) What will they play at your funeral?

We Used to Vacation by Cold War Kids.

13) What is your hobby/interest?
All I Need by Matchbox Twenty. 

14) What is your biggest fear?

Honky Tonk Women by The Rolling Stones. Yes, when they've necked one too many camparis they can be a bit in yer face.

15) What is your biggest secret?

Busted by Matchbox Twenty. 

16) What do you think of your friends?

Heavy Boots by Cold War Kids.

17) What is your theme song?

Thursday's Child by David Bowie.

18) What do you think of your family?

Up in Arms by Foo Fighters.

19) What is your best friend's theme song?
Wishing Well by Phantom Planet. None of these songs are even remotely fitting, are they? 

20) What is your mood right now?
DOA by Foo Fighters. *Gulp!*

21) If your heart could talk what would it say?
Happy by The Rolling Stones. Yay!

22) What do your co-workers think of you?
When Doves Cry by Prince. Thank god it wasn't Bitch by The Stones.

23) What does your future look like?
Fortress by Pinback.

Well, that was all rather … cryptic and bizarre. Would anyone like to get all Freudian and delve into the secret meanings of all this tripe?

I won't appoint any further taggees, as I think everyone's already been covered… Oh, aside from TaraWillowc, and Watch*Paint*Dry if they're up for the challenge!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Right, where were we…

OK, so as anyone who cares can tell, I've been a bit hit and miss over the last week or so when it comes to blogging. And I know that at least two of you care because you left irate comments berating me for doing a bit of a vanishing act. So where have I been? Well, we'll come to that as part of - and you asked for it, so you're getting it - what could be THE LONGEST BLOG ENTRY I'VE EVER WRITTEN!!!

Seriously, I think I'm going to divide this thing into chapters.

Strap yourselves in, bitches: here we go!


Chapter I: What Sparky did next!

The last you heard from me (prior to the emergency 'technical difficulties' post) I was on a week off from work and had just had an awesome haircut, bought some gardening materials, and was off to a Death Cab for Cutie gig. The gig, it must be said, was great, and Camden wasn't half as scary as I thought it could've been, mainly because the tube station was ideally located close to the venue ready for a quick getaway. To be honest, I wasn't really too fussed about this gig when Yaz first mentioned it to me, but I kind of felt compelled to go with her because she sounded so disappointed when I initially said no, and I've dragged her to lots of gigs where I've said "we really should see [whoever]" and she's gone "who the f**k? Oh, OK." 

So yes, it was great. On the other hand, I did see, and hadn't previously mentioned the fact that I'd seen, Matchbox Twenty at Wembley Arena on the first of the month, and that (sorry T-Bird) was simply *awesome*. Seriously, I have a big ol' rock man-crush on Matchbox Twenty, and almost did a special wee when I found out they were touring. Best Pal Jo came with me to that one, and she loved it too, despite being a tad disappointed that Rob Thomas appears to have toned down the crazy arm-swinging antics that she hearted so much when we last say them together about six or seven years ago. And to make awesome even more awesomer (new word people - add it to your vocabulary, use it, abuse it, teach it to others), they recorded the gig and you could buy it as a download. I totally did. And I totally took some photos.

Here's one.

Look - you can see a tiny Rob Thomas in the beam of light!


Chapter II:  Things that occurred on the day of Wednes

On the Wednesday of my week off I didn't have any plans, so I just pottered around a bit in the morning. One thing I did notice, however, was the fact that the receipt for my gardening materials listed my Yukka as a 'spineless Yukka' which I thought was a bit rude as I can't think how you would gauge the heroic qualities of a house plant, and it also said that the cashier had verified my age as being over 18 for the purchasing of the trowel. Now, I wasn't aware that a trowel was actually classed as a dangerous weapon, but significantly more alarming is the fact that the woman on the till didn't actually ask to see any ID that verified my age, which I might suggest is a sackable offense bearing in mind that she claims in writing that she did. Nor did she compliment me on my sexy new haircut. 

OK, so I know I'm not 18, but it would've been nice to be asked. Although no doubt then I would've been writing here at how outraged I was that she dared to ask.

A spineless yukka, apparently.

In the afternoon I decided to make the most of the abnormally good weather and head out on my bike. I'd gone out on it the previous Sunday for the first time since the ride in Central London last September and struggled a bit due to lack of bike fitness and crowds of people, so I figured I'd hit the trail while everyone else was at work. And goddamn it was good. The towpath along the Thames was freakin' empty, and I shot along there at something nudging warp speed, remembering the good time-evening rides I did last year, when loads of bunnies could be seen in the grass and bushes. 

And that's when I saw a little grey lump by the side of the path.

I skidded to a stop and glanced over my shoulder. It was still there, unmoving. And because I'm a boy and we like to look at roadkill, I turned round and went back for a closer look. 

Turns out it wasn't roadkill, though; it was a little baby bunny nom-nom-noming on some grass. I was about half a metre away from it, and although it glanced at me a bit nervously at first, it pretty quickly shrugged off my presence and carried on noming. It was cool. I was very close to poking it with my finger, but didn't want to enrage it unnecessarily just in case it massively hulked out or something, so I sat next to it for a minute or so, complementing it on its coolness before heading off.

Bunnies rock.


Chapter III: It was the best of times … it was the worst of times

Thursday was the day on which Sparky Ma and I had arranged to do one of our much-loved shopping expeditions to Kingston, and I must admit I woke up damn early because I was looking forward to it so much. And because I was up so early I thought I'd jump online and do my blog rounds while kicking back with a cuppa. So I headed downstairs, hit the power button on my computer, then set about making my tea. Turning back to the computer, though, I noticed that the screen was blank. Doofus, I thought, I'd not actually pressed it.

So I tried again.

And again.

And again.

I tried various different ways, and various different combinations of swears, in an effort to fire it up, but to no avail. And then I almost crapped my pants because it suddenly occurred to me how much stuff I've got on it - contact details, photographs, music, various bits and bobs I've written over the years and OHMYGOD MY FREAKIN' BOOK!

I hadn't backed anything up in … months.

Slightly shaky and just a tad worried, I jumped in the car and headed over to pick up Sparky Ma. After the shitty year we've had I decided that nothing was going to stop us from having a great day shopping in the sunshine. And a great day we had; she bought me the new Futurama DVD movie, Bender's Big Score, and I bought her the new Rolling Stones CD, Shine a Light. We had a delicious lunch in Nandos, and two trips to Starbucks for Grande Mistos and cappuccinos.

And I also popped into the Apple Store to quiz a genius on what I could do, ultimately booking myself and my ailing Mac in for an appointment with Dr. Genius the following day.

On the plus side, that evening my Mac did actually boot up, so I seized the opportunity to back up EVERYTHING before it went kaput again. Then I boxed the bugger up and watched The Inbetweeners, one of my new favourite tellybox shows.

Right in the face!


Chapter IV: Everything stops

At 9:40 Friday morning I heaved my mighty Mac back to the Apple Store from where I'd bought it seven months ago. Dr. Genius tried a variety of ways to jump start it, but nothing seemed to work, so he eventually gave in, and booked it in for a thorough seeing over; it seemed, he said, to be a faulty power supply unit.

So, at 10:10, I walked out of the Apple Store without a computer, seriously wondering whether I should just buy the cheapest MacBook to tide me over. I eventually vetoed that idea, and went for a consolation coffee in Starbucks, where I surfed the net and checked email on my iPhone. 

Thank God for iPhone.

When I got home I thought I might jump on Facebook and play some Scrabulo- Oh bugger. Maybe I could write some of my boo- Shit.

It was then that I realised just how dependent I am on my computer. I actually glanced over at my empty desk with a wistful look and sighed.

Then I watched Bender's Big Score and the episode of Heroes that I'd taped the previous night while sulking.

On the plus side, everyone loves Hypnotoad.


Chapter V: Half naked weekend begins

I awoke on Saturday to the realisation that I was going to have to make significant changes as part of my life without a computer. So I surfed the internet in bed using my iPhone, then went downstairs to make a cuppa. 

With nothing else to do and nothing good on telly, I decided to fill the gaping hole in my schedule that would otherwise have been taken up by sitting in front of my computer wiling away a number of hours doing nothing of any significance by washing my car, because it was downright filthy and looking a bit miserable. So I filled up a bucket, grabbed a sponge, and set to work.

Saturday, as it turns out, was an incredibly hot day and by the time I started washing my car it was about midday. Within about 20 minutes I noticed that my shoulders were turning red, so I decided my best course of action was to take my vest off because I really didn't want vest tan lines.

About an hour later, and having resolved that next time I should sell tickets to my sexy car wash, I was done, and I still had unbelievably distressing tan lines. I had a shower, sulked for a bit, then read my book, and surfed the internet on my iPhone.

Thank God for iPhone.

I later made my second trip of the week to Homebase where I was again not asked for age verification documents, but was over-charged for a small cactus in a Mexican-themed earthenware pot.

I seem to have a bit of a thing for small cacti in Mexican-themed earthenware pots.


Chapter VI: Half naked weekend continues!

Determined to rid myself of the damned tan lines I decided to head out on my bike on Sunday afternoon with my manly torso on full display. Somewhat distressingly, the tan lines remain undiminished. I may have to resort to some sort of bottled tan to even everything out. Or failing that, this.

On the plus side, after so much cycling throughout the week, my thighs are f**king huge.


Chapter VII: Return to work!

Yeah, so, um, that was fun.

Monday evening, though, did rock immensely because Sweatband and I met up for a run up Richmond Hill which was awesome, despite the fact that the towpath alongside the Thames was swarming with little flies and we both swallowed at least three - and to top it off she's a vegetarian. We did do a respectable time, though, and all that cycling seems to have paid off because I was running like a pro-marathon runner after downing a cocktail of internationally-banned steroids.


Chapter VIII: The wit and wisdom of Sparky Nan

Popped round for dinner with Sparky Ma and and the ever-sparky Sparky Nan. Conversation turned to Amy Winehouse, and the fact that she was recently photographed walking down the central reservation of a motorway after her car broke down.

"What on Earth did she do that for?" Sparky Ma asked.

"Silly bitch," my sweet and innocent grandmother replied without missing a beat.

(Incidently, I note from the motorway signs in that picture of Amy that she was actually not too far away from my stomping ground. Evidently she'd heard all about my sexy topless car washes - rawr!)


Chapter IX: Back in the saddle

Wednesday evening I got home after beginning a dispute with a well-known beverage manufacturer at work, only to find my iPhone vibrating in my pocket the moment I stepped in the door. 

"Is that Tim?" Said the voice on the other end.


"Hello, I'm phoning from the Apple Store - your computer's ready."

"Oh brilliant," I replied. "I'll come and get it."

"Oh, you can't - we're just closing."

Seething ever-so-slightly, I told the guy I'd be in Thursday, wolfed down some dinner, then as the light was still good (loving the summer evenings), I headed out on my bike for multiple bunny encounters on the Thames towpath. Trust me when I say: those things are *fearless* this year.


Chapter X: Return of the Mac

After leaving work bang on time I headed over to see Sparky Nan for a cuppa, only to find that she was in the final moments of what she would later describe as a "soiree." It turns out that all the lovely people down the road used the money left over from the collection they did to buy flowers for my Grandad, to buy my Nan a rose bush in honour of him. The variety is called, rather fittingly, The Generous Gardner, and they held a little ceremony today to plant it and remember him. Their generosity left me feeling a tad emotional.

An hour or so later, I was back in the car, and heading over to the Apple Store to collect my computer. Kitted out free of charge with new gubbins and whirring insidey-bits, and boxed up like new, a smiling me headed into the lift to take me up towards the car park. A lift that was soon invaded by two chavvy teenage girls.

"Whoa!" one screeched. "Is dat a noo i… iFone scrrrreeeen? No wait. I means, is dat an i … tee … vee fing?"

"No, it's an iMac."

"Wow. Dat is sick man."

"Well, it was. But it's all better now." That confused the padded tits off her.
She soon recovered.

"Is day hexpensive?"

"Depends which one you want. They start at around 800."

"Is dat good, innit?"


And then she followed me out of the lift despite the fact that she wanted the ground floor and I was getting out on the second. 

"Jeen-uh! Dis is da wrong flor, innit!" Her dense mate shouted.

Silly bitch, I heard Sparky Nan say in my head.


So that's it - we're aaaaaaaall back up to speed.

Good times.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Coming soon!

Right, sorry for the lack of updates - I'd planned on writing something the other day, but certain technical issues have conspired against me...

Don't worry though! I hope to be back soon with exciting tales of my most recent exploits, including:

• An exciting bunny-based encounter!

• Some amazing tanlines!

• And some other stuff I haven't quite thought of yet!

In the meantime, I'm still waiting for my Batmobile. Pull yer finger out!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Hair update 06: Fail!


First day of a week off, and what do I do. I get a haircut. On, the plus side, I did say when I started this whole hair-growing thing that I was aiming to go without a haircut until the beginning of May and - whoa! - it's the beginning of May, so Mission: Accomplished there. And it was actually seven months to the day that I last had my haircut. My regular lady's been promoted in the meantime, which means I have to pay more. Still, I think you'll agree you just can't put a price on such raw animal sexiness. Oh, and what about the head massage they give you when they wash your hair? Worth any price. I'm not lying when I tell you I totally get a semi shivers down my spine when they do that.

Sorry to everyone who hoped I was going to end up looking like Fabio or something, but it was beginning to curl in unexpected places and was really getting on my tits (not literally). Anyway, I think I've finally well and truly decided that I prefer short hair better.

Perhaps the only downside is that I think my regular haircutting lady (I can't bring myself to say 'hair-dresser') has something against sideburns; mine come down to the bottom of my ears or thereabouts, but she always politely suggests that she trim them off. And I'm too stupid to say no. These took months days to grow, don't ya know!

Anyway, on the whole, is this deserving of a "rawr" or what?


Having a haircut hasn't been the only thing I've been up to today. Oh no. I've been to Sainsbury's (it's becoming apparent that I have an irrational fear of running out of toilet rolls - I've just bought eight more), and Homebase, where I bought some compost, a trowel, and a big plant for my small living room. For some inexplicable reason I'm actually getting rather interested in plants and garden stuff; I bought two small trees in Tesco a couple of weeks back for a fiver (they've been named Bill and Ben), hence the need for compost and a trowel. And the plant (something from the yukka family, I believe) looks awesome in my living room, even if it was a complete bitch to get home in my car.

Later this week I intend to re-pot my work plant, which I brought home at Christmas and haven't taken back yet. I think it looks awesome in my bedroom, and the sheer fact that it's flowering seems to suggest that it agrees with me.


Right - must dash; I'm off to see Death Cab for Cutie in concert tonight and I don't have a clue what to wear. It's really warm at the moment, but I suspect it'll drop down cold later - what a sartorial dilemma!

In the meantime, you can discuss amongst yourselves who's going to buy me this. I will dress as Batman if you treat me to it. PROMISE. 

Friday, May 02, 2008

What happens in Vegas…

… Stays in Shepherds Bush.

This is what happens when *this* much coffee is shared between two people at lunchtime.