Thursday, 13 December 2012

During reading of Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

I defy anyone, anyone at all, to not suffer unquenchable thirst.

- jawj

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

5 As, 3 Bs, a C & a D

Cycling home today..
Stand By Me comes on.
Ponder Be Here Now.
The year it was released.
That was 15 years ago.
The day it was released...
Woah, that was the twenty-something of August.
The 15th anniversary is approaching.
Wait, Be Here Now was released on the 21st of August (a Thursday).
(Checks watch) - It's the 21st.
Jesus, today is the 15th anniversary of the release of Be Here Now. And GCSE results.
A significant day, mainly for the music...
(Went to school. got results, delivered results to dad [who was so shocked that he would have to pay out the cash promised for decent results that he backed into and cracked a mirror], went to Magpie Records, bought Be Here Now, headed to Wooly's, put it on and simultaneously made a copy on tape, lost in the music, magic day...)
They say Be Here Now was Oasis's worst album, mainly as it had a lot to live up to.
Don't tell anyone, but Be here Now is my favourite Oasis album. All the songs are wonderful and fits together beautifully.

This seems appropriate:
Bit of a tear-jerker actually.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


In the summer of 1989, Alice Cooper released a single of some musical significance. The song was 'Poison', and it's full impact & influence would not be felt for 22 years...

The single sold well around the world, apparently even attaining the #1 position in the Yugoslav charts, but it was held from that coveted place in the UK by... Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers. As an adult, and ardent admirer of Alice's art, to look back at my childhood and ownership of at least two Jive Bunny albums during the late eighties is... embarrassing. Did I really once prefer remixed golden swing and rock 'n' roll to the blinding bastion of brilliance that is hard rock? I blame the parents.

Moving on, and having already brought shame upon my name once, it seems but a small step to admitting to rather liking this piece of cheese:

(And for the bike geeks, look out for the left-hand-drive blooper at

Good riff, huh? Catchy, no? Played a little air guitar there did we? It certainly sticks in my head for hours and days afterwards. Long enough, in fact, so that the next time 'Poison' was played, 47 seconds in, I had a bit of a revelation:

So dance music trumps rock in the charts, initially, but then, if not actually sampled, relies upon it for a hook 22 years on. I guess one could say...

So endeth the lesson.

Oh, go on then...

Friday, 30 March 2012

Interminable Transit

Truly perfect spring weather
Potential "fuel shortage"
Less people using private motorised transport
One would think. Why the opposite appears true is something of a conundrum.
Relatedly: this.

- jawj

Sunday, 25 March 2012


Seven Months Of Summer start here & now!

If only this fact could have been recalled last night I perhaps would be a little less late for work...

Actually, it has been a rather trying week what with earlier being egged by a gang of, it turned out, wholly unrepentant underclass subhumans and then riding my bike into the back of a car yesterday.

Still, Seven Months Of Summer!

Sunday, 18 March 2012


When one wakes to to a window containing an unexpected vision of a realised utopian future, a view that frames no less than thirty-six cranes and a constant flow of widebody jetliners, one wonders what wonders the future has left to reveal.

But, wonderous bollocks aside, I would like to rename Europe's tallest building: after, and in honour of, the Swiss Re Cucumis sativus I bestow the title of 'Swiss Chard' upon this spire.

Mmmm... gherkins & beet tops; I wonder what delicious vegetable will be the next to grace the London skyline's garden of Earthly delights.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Worth The Effort

To sprint yer arse off for a train and make it with seconds to spare: is there anything more gladdening?

Also, the imaginary band's new name is now 'Ply Faced Chip'.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Treating myself

Today, I fed some pigeons.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

An Apology

Those who have engaged in any sort of moderately strenuous aerobic physical activity, particularly in the colder months, will perhaps be familiar with the need to expel, on occasion, a snot rocket. Unfortunately it is necessary, but not pleasant, hence why I always try to be away from pedestrians' sight & hearing when launching.

Just two days ago, riding home in the dark, I committed such a rocket to the ground. It was not the first or last that was launched that day, but it was the first to be witnessed: at T+1 second I noticed a person in the vicinity, just across the road.

A cheery wave in their direction.
A call of "Sorry!".
A cheeky & embarrassed grin.
A quick wipe of the nostrils.
A glance back in their direction.
A gap in the fog.

I had apologised to a parking meter.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Foolish Frangos

To be found in Kingston upon Thames:

 Nope, you feckless purveyors of carbonised poultry,
I think you'll find that "The World's Favourite Chicken" is actually this chicken:

Saturday, 18 February 2012

'The Day I Killed A Pigeon' or, 'Why I'm Vegan'

Fucking crows. I used to have a bit of respect for them; they're intelligent and rather majestic birds with those black feathers and that huge, out-of-proportion deep, dark beak. Then a week ago I saw what that beak was for.

Riding to work the other day, through Wimbledon "Village", having survived the kick-in-the-balls that is Wimbledon Hill, there was something aflutter on the pavement: a pigeon, that must have been hit by a car, but not killed, harassed by a crow. Even from across the road the blood was evident.

"Jesus...", I thought, and rode on.

But not for long. I couldn't leave the fat little wood pigeon to suffer a slow death at the beak of that murder of one. "Come about", came the order and I went back to the scene. The crow had pissed off, the cowardly devil, leaving blood splashed across the pavement and the pigeon to ineffectually attempt to flee from my approach. I'm no ornithologist (though neither was this guy) but I could see the pigeon was broken. Fucking cars. And the fucking crow had left its mark in the form of a deep wound on the back of the pigeon's neck; interesting from an anatomy point of view what with muscles and perhaps bones visible, but probably of interest to the pigeon for different reasons.

<melodrama>I knew what I had to do.</melodrama>

It was quite quiet that early in the morning at the weekend, but there were still a few people about and I was strangely ashamed of what was coming with them around so I hesitated to act. A lady approached and saw the pigeon flapping at my feet. She concernedly asked after its well-being and the blood. I expressed that it had been hit by a car and that yes, it did look pecked at by the crow that hanging around.

"What are you going to do? Kill it?"
I nodded.
Grimly, "Good luck."

As she walked away I knelt down over the pigeon and rested my right hand on its back. It tensed and stopped flapping, sensing a predator it could not fight off. Comforting, cooing words would have been lost on a wild animal and merely prolonged the time of suffering. Pressing on its back, with its small head between my fingers, I twitched my left hand out and felt a pathetic little parting of vertebrae. The whole body immediately went limp, the head lolling, the feathers near there ruffled and separated on the extended neck.

Like words of reassurance before being euthanised, a decent burial would have meant nothing to the bird, and I had to get away anyway. I didn't feel sick, or disgusted, or proud, or cruel, or merciful, just... weird. I mean, I knew I had to do it and don't regret it but it was the only vertebrate I've ever intentionally killed and it felt, as I say, weird.

I thought of nothing else for the rest of the ride to work, and throughout the day. Cycling home took me past the site again and I was slightly shocked to see the pigeon's body still there, but in a different position to the one I had left it in. There was a niggle in the back of my mind that perhaps I hadn't killed it, only stunned it; after all, what did I know about slaughtering animals. I should have made sure it was dead... I forced myself to dismiss the idea; someone had likely just toed the pigeon toward the back of the pavement to spare the sensibilities of Wimbledon's women & children. It didn't look eaten either probably because the craven carrion crow couldn't get near it as the day's traffic increased.

A strange day for a vegan, that's for sure. I had killed a creature, and I'd intended to, but there was consolation in that I did not feel I had stepped outside my personal vegan mandate (lah-dee-dah).

Recently a conversation arose with a new acquaintance on the subject of why I am vegan. I must admit I am never very good initially at fielding that question, despite having, understandably, to face it fairly regularly; my first thought when the topic arises is a restraining order in my brain placed upon my mouth from merely blurting out "Well, why aren't you vegan?!" which would merely sound militantly supercilious. So I composed my thoughts and fell back upon my one true reason for renouncing animal products: it is how I reduce the amount of suffering in the world.
The pigeon was suffering, its suffering was silenced, the amount of suffering in the world was reduced.

Bizarrely, I quite like the fact that the first, and hopefully, last animal I killed was a pigeon, being as how they are my favourite animals. Even in such circumstances, to help a favoured critter felt as though I was giving something back to the species that entertains me so.

Relatedly, it brings up the issue of the speeding that occurs through the area. A 20mph speed limit wouldn't go amiss; I'm sure my life wouldn't be the only one to be greatly improved with a London-wide residential 20mph limit, especially with all the schools around. Won't someone think of the children, etc.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Oh, bollocks to it.

I was most of the way through composing a fine piece of work (well, I thought it was rather fine), when this delightful blogging software's interface failed to recognise a simple, universal command: apparently, Ctrl+Z is interpreted by Blogger as "delete the whole of the text and then save"...

Therefore, I can no longer be arsed to write about life-saving inventions and rant about pathetic motorists; a mixed blessing if ever there was one.

It's something of a relief actually, akin to desisting with that facebook. It's one less thing for me to pressure myself into doing. Next step: keep phone on silent in bag and only use it to check train times


<<18/02/12 - We can rebuild; we have the technology.>>