Tuesday, September 27, 2005

26/09/05 Flu (again)

Still got flu...
still got nothing interesting to say, other than that I don't like having flu...
got some new gigs though in case anyone is interested in seeing me do my hilarious "flu" routine...

9/10/05 "The Stand", Glasgow
24/10/05 "The Stand", Edinburgh
06/11/05 "The Stand", Edinburgh

Hopefully, I'll be well by then...
I just saw Tony Blair come on stage to the old Sham 69 hit "If The Kids Are United".
I found that more than a little weird.
I laughd in a similar way when supermodel Kate Moss was exposed by tabloid reporters as having been guilty of cocaine useage.
Now that is just so funny on so many different levels...

Anyway, back to my flu....

25/09/05 Flu

I am ill...
and therefore have nothing interesting to say about anything...
no change there then?
ha ha

24/09/05 Jam Tarts

My old mate Jamie has a bet on Hearts to win the SPL title for 2005/06. I think he put on £25 at the start of the season at odds of 250/1, (the odds are now 7/4 for Hearts to win the league)
Even though I am a Rangers supporter, I was pleased to see Hearts beat Rangers today, as I would love it, love it if they won the league (he said doing a Kevin Keegan impersonation).
Jamie has promised to hire a pub for the day and have a free bar if/when the Jambos triumph. I think it'd be also good to hire some hilarious comedians for the day, and I personally would be willing to donate 5% of my fee to the "Hearts' Supporters Welfare Fund" to get involved in the spirit of the occasion.
It would be a great way to erase the trauma of 1986 when Hearts lost the league calamitously on the last day of the season, and fittingly it would be the 20th anniversary of this event.
I remember it very clearly as I lived near Tynecastle stadium at that time. There was so much optimism in the community. Shopkeepers had their radios on listening to the match ; they were cheery and whistling and talked about bottles of champagne in the fridge and a "big night" ahead.
Then it all went wrong. It was Gorgie's 9/11. It was awful. Despair. Tears. Terrible. And Celtic had won the league, to make it even worse.
Anyway, sorry for dragging all that up...
I hope this season is going to end up differently.
My only other thought is how Jamie's sphincter will cope as the season builds to its conclusion.
I suspect that it has started slowly vibrating after todays win against Rangers, but is probably still relatively under control.
Should Hearts beat Celtic at Parkhead in the next Jambo crunch game, then I suspect the "slow vibration" of Jamie's sphincter will evolve into something more akin to a humming bird in full flight.
Of course, he could now lay off his bet, ie put £3000 on Celtic at even money to win the title, thus guaranteeing a profit of £3000 whether Celtic or Hearts win the league. (of course this is based on the assumption that Rangers are out of the race. I think they're too far behind now,11 points off th pace, and that McLeish has lost the plot. In fact he never really found the plot as far as I was concerned.)

23/09/05 Oh Dear

A "Category 5" hangover...
Cycled in to work but still felt completely pissed.
Managed 4 hours "work", then got the bus home, feeling physically incapable of cycling up the big hill.
tsk tsk tsk...
I should have known better...
I'll never drink again today

22/09/05 Cheryl's Birthday

I met up with Cheryl and her band of merry friends at the Blue Parrot in Stockbridge for a birthday meal.
It's a really nice, relaxed little place with excellent simple, mexican fare. I always enjoy it there.
We tend to favour the litre jugs of Margheritas on occasions such as this, and saw no reason to deviate from this established tradition.
It's always difficult to establish how much you're drinking though, as the glass never gets a chance to get to the "empty" setting as there is a continual topping up thing going on.
It's the most jugs I've seen on display since I was at a "Festival Of Toby Jugs" in Scarborough in 1983.
They just kept coming. It was reminiscent of the Sorcerer's Apprentice scene from Walt Disney's "Fantasia" where Mickey Mouse magicks the broomsticks to start fetching buckets of water, and he chops them up to try and stop, but they form new broomsticks and keep bringing more and more...ahem..."jugs of margherita" to the table...and so on...
We didn't have an elderly sorcerer to put things to right and stop all this mayhem though, (where is Paul Daniels when you need him?), so we just kept on drinking them, secretly hoping that the restaurant would eventually run out of them.
It was a simply marvellous evening though and a good time was had by all.

21/09/05 Anthem

I was just wondering. When the queen dies, do we immediately have to start singing "God Save The King", or is there a Royal protocole to cover this situation, in which "God Save The Queen" is maintained for a respectable length of time.
It seems a bit harsh to immediately revert asking God to save the King, although the saying "the King is dead, long live the King" suggests that it kind of goes with the territory.
However, just because the Queen is dead doesn't mean to say that she is no longer in need to be saved by God. I suppose you could interpret being "saved" as being guided safely through to the next level, after having shuffled off the old mortal coil.
So maybe singing "God Save The Queen" for a month or two after her death would seem quite a nice gesture?
Anyway, does Charles become King immediately, or is it only when the Archbishop of Canterbury plonks the crown on his napper at the coronation ceremony?
This would take a while to organise...mainly due to the fact that it's been so long since they did the last one.
Maybe there's a period when we don't sing the song at all, as there is an offical limbo time between the monarchs, (perhaps the odd chorus of "Ding Dong The Queen Is Dead" instead?)
I always thought that "God Save The Queen" was a bit of strange request. It implies that she's in imminent danger, and that is slighlty discomforting.
Why not swap "save" with "help" for the new monarch? That way, it's more of a request for the deity to assist our monarch, and is less likely to cause unnecessary anxiety. Just a thought anyway.

20/09/05 An Appeal

Writing a Blog can start out as a harmless bit of fun. A therapeutic exercise to distil thoughts and activities into an "entertaining" insight into the Blogger's daily existence.
I write a Blog myself and am aware of the pros and cons of such an activity.
You can often be accused of pompous self-indulgence. It has been compared to "vanity publishing". Yeah, yeah, yeah...but the bottom line is no-one generally gets hurt and it's not doing anybody any harm.
But like anything else Blogging can become addictive and its use can spiral out of control if not sensibly monitored.
At this point I feel I must draw attention to the plight of my friend Dave who has fallen victim to "Bloggers' Syndrome".
(See Link at end of this Blog entry to access Dave's Blog.)
This is the most acute case of this phenomenum which I have ever seen on the Internet.
To make matters worse a Digital Camera is also involved. (sharp intake of breath)
It started off with photos of CDs, then there photos of the interior of an Edinburgh Corporation Bus, the odd photo of his garden slabs...nothing too alarming there, but we are now at the level of seeing a collection of photos of Dave's weekly groceries, (see Blog entry for 25/09/05)
It is of great concern to myself and Dave's many close friends that this descent into madness seems to be gathering momentum.
I worry that I will soon see him outside Marks and Spencers jumping up and down in his underpants, taking pictures of people's sandwiches and making ear piercing squawking sounds as he takes each snap, then shouting "One for The Blog, One for the Blog!".
This is the next stage.
However, if you send me cash donations, I will set up a clinic where Dave, and others who suffer from this Internet based condition, can be treated...
I'm hoping to get one of these spots after "Scotland Today", where people talk in black and white about a worthy cause.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

19/09/05 Small Change

Since I discovered that I have approximately 800 squillion pounds worth of loose change in my flat, I've used this ridiculous surplus to initiate a clever new training regime.
On a daily basis, I fill a rucksack full of change, (in proper little bank bags), and then proceed to cycle (rather unsteadily) to work.
If I was to get knocked off my bike, (as nearly happened this morning), I would hit the ground with a great thud carrying all the extra weight on my back. In all likelihood the bag would burst and thousands of coins would cascade all over the road. I'd be suspected of being a suicide bomber, using the coins for shrapnel.
At lunchtime, I walk up the entire length of Dundas St to the bank.(It's a steep continuous hill, reminiscent of the south-west face of the Eiger, in case you didn't know...)
By the time I get to the bank I am puffing and sweating like a racehorse. I usually make it to the bank just before midday and manage to avoid the busy lunchtime queues.
As I waited in the queue yesterday carrying my bumper load of change, the bank suddenly became very busy with about 15 people waiting behind me.
One teller was occupied in an intractable debate with an Italian female who was trying to organise some complicated transaction involving a large number of ravelling cheques.
There was a clearly audible groan from the queue as I strode up to the teller and began to load a multitude of loose change bags onto the counter.
There was nothing I could do to improve my popularity in this difiicult situation.
I sure as hell wasn't going to carry all the change back down to the office again. I'd no choice. I felt like turning round and explaining this to the rest of the queue, (possibly through the medium of song?)...
However, I didn't do this. It seemed a risky strategy. I was comforted by the realisation that the majority of people in the queue were obviously "fresher" students opening new bank accounts. If they weren't waiting in the queue, they'd just be sitting in cafes, smoking cigarettes and talking animatedly about "pop" music and computer games.
I was relieved to feel that I wasn't causing serious problems to the economy by my selfish change conversion practice.

Monday, September 19, 2005

18/09/05 Another Scotland Triumph!

Scotland became the recipient of another dubious honour at the weekend when it was categorised "most violent country in the developed world". This can be added to our existing portfolio of market leader in Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Strokes and Alcoholism.
We're also apparently improving our obesity rating as well. By that I mean we're getting fatter, not getting slimmer.
I've made my own personal contribution to this trend over the past few weeks. (So much for my spectacular loss of a stone through using the revolutionary "Fringe Comedy Show" diet. It's all gone back on. Been coming back late from work and lapsing into the murky world of junk food. It's a slippery slope...(mainly due to all the grease)
I think Scotland's main problem definitely is our diet . We smoke a lot and drink a lot. But so do the French and the Japanese, and their life expectancy is miles better than ours. They eat lots of fresh fruit & veg & fish, whereas we exist on smoked sausage suppers, Irn Bru, Scotch Pies, Crisps, tinned macaroni, dairylea cheese slices ("they're Dairlylea mad, them kids...!"), turkey twizzlers, square sausages (the sum of the squares of 2 sides of a square sausage is equal to the sum of the squares of the other 2 sides...that's something we get taught at an early age in Scottish Primary Schools during "Home Economics" lessons) , fish fingers, pork pies, greasy chips, white bread and "ready meals" saturated with additives and hydrogenated fat. And that's just for breakfast...
Not that I'm one to talk. I'm constantly starting new "diet regimes" which last a couple of weeks, but inevitably lapse into a visit to a "Deep Fried Theme Park" for a few days...
My latest attempt to establish a healthy eating regime is to order a weekly box of fruit and veg from an organic farm. This will cost me £30, which is quite lot I suppose. However, this will be a lot cheaper than eating junk all the time, and should encourage me to create healthy, wholesome fare .
Or will it turn into a weekly "Jim's Festival of Vegetable Decomposition" event in my kitchen. The world holds its breath!
Four people died yesterday doing "The Great North Run". It's supposed to be a "fun run"! I always did find that expression something of a contradiction in terms. It's over 13 miles! Fun? Are you crazy? I suspect it's dangerous doing these events without enough training, and feeling the weight of friends' expectations and being pressurised into finishing the race to secure the sponsorship cash, even though your body is screaming at you to stop. Four dead is a lot.
Couldn't we have a "Great Pie Eating Challenge" instead where the object is to sit in a pub and eat as many pies as you can in an 8 hour period. It would be a great way of generating funds for "eating disorder" charities, as well as a viable means of raising general awareness of the problem.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

17/09/05 The Aristocrats

Saw this film tonight. It is very funny. I like a good helping of complete filth occasionally. There's something vaguely joyous about it.
It reminds me of how I pissed myself laughing uncontrollably as a teenager when Kenny Melrose played me a "Derek and Clive" LP for the first time. I could hardly stand up.
Just a couple of reservations. Most of the participating comedians are American, and a large percentage of them are unknown to British audiences. Most are very funny, but a few suffer from an annoying "amn't I the FUNNY one!" smugness which grates after a while.
Billy Connolly's contributions are consistently funny, yet they omit to show him actually telling the bleedin' joke! Why oh why oh why?
My other observation, was that towards the end of the film, an "older" comedian is filmed in a jacuzzi with an attractive young lady, who appears to have no clothes on, (although only her shoulders are exposed above the waterline).
In one scene, the comedian lunges at her in an attempted embrace and sets up a wave motion in the jacuzzi, with the resultant water displacement causing the young lady's left breast to be exposed.
However, the breast is pixellated to prevent her embarassment.
I find this a peculiar illustration of America's attitude to nudity.
I cite the hullaballoo surrounding Janet jackson at the Superbowl as another example.
This is bizarre in that for the preceding hour, we have listened to a large number of comedians discussing members of a family fucking each other "up the ass", felching, shitting on faces, shitting in mouths, bestiality, paedophilia, slithering about in shit and cum on stage...etc etc you name it, they talked about it... it was the largest compendium of uncensored filth exploring the extreme outer limits of sexual taboos ever filmed.
That passed the censors ok.
But a lady's bare breast! Pixellate it...! Pixellate it...!
That's obviously taking things just that little too far...

16/09/05 Let's Have A Look At The Old Scoreboard

I worked out how to check the stats from the Web Host today for the usage of www.toecurler.com
At the start of this year I was just getting an average of 150 hits a month.
However, since the Blog began, the numbers have soared, and for the past 4 months I've averaged 5700 hits a month.
I don't know whether they are all unique hit ids (probably not), but it's still fairly heavy traffic and a lot more than I imagined.
All in all, there have been 38 862 hits on the web site since it was created.
I feel a bit self-conscious now!
I watched a bit of that "Art School" thing this week.
It's nice sometimes to have your prejudices confirmed, ie that John Humphries is a pompous, self-important, irritating, self-obsessed arsehole of the first degree.
Sometimes I felt as though my views on him were maybe a little harsh and over the top. Turns out they weren't. He's even worse than I imagined.

15/09/05 It's For Charidee...!

I had another gig at The Stand last night. It was a charity fundraising event for "Enlighten", an Epilepsy charity.
I was happy to waive my standard massive fee and perform for free. There was a fairly big crowd there, although it felt slightly different from a normal Stand night. I think most of the audience had some connection with the charity rather than being the usual random crowd of comedy punters.
I got a good reaction though, and I sure was pleased with the way it all went. I'm definitely a lot more unfazed now about doing comedy club gigs. I feel confident that the audience is highly unlikely to be as tricky as a few of the ones we had to deal with during the record-breaking Fringe run of "Park's Circus".
One feature about last night's audience was that I got big laughs which would last a couple of seconds, but then it would cut out to complete silence again.
The best audiences are those that laugh big, but then there's a kind of ripple effect where there's pockets of laughter in the room, that just keep going way beyond the first big guffaw.
When this is happening, you get a domino effect, in which people are laughing out of sync with other people, and that this in turn can start people who'd stopped, laughing again.
When it just cuts out completely, it feels like you're starting all over from scratch again, rather than building on a continuous laugh foundation.
There should be a term to describe this comedic phenomenum, but unfortunately there isn't, so you'll have to make do with my anorakish description for the time being.
Anyway, although I waived my large fee, I didn't waive my willingness to accept free drinks from the bar, and ended up getting ever so slightly pissed. Not big and not clever. At all...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

14/09/05 Gaelic Bread? Gaelic Bread?

I was watching a kids animation show in Gaelic before I left for work this morning. It was the strangest thing. The characters were animals (eg a duck, a frog, a badger etc), but they were dressed up in human clothes and spoke Gaelic to each other. What a bizarre concept! I've never seen anything like it in my life.
Whoever heard of animals dressing up as humans and speaking to each other in a human language? the creators of this so-called "entertainment" must be on drugs.
Should we really be subjecting our children to this surreal, maverick nonsense?
I'm often curious as to the size of the audience that actually watches these gaelic programmes. Not very many, I would hazard a guess.
Surely, it would make the programme more accessible to a larger audience if they included sub-titles with the Gaelic?
This would give people an opportunity to learn a bit more of the language as they could match up the spoken language to the on-screen translation.
I can't understand anything of it. It's like listening to Kath after a few glasses of red wine. Completely unintelligible. You just can't isolate any words or phrases at all, (Jim exits stage left and runs to take cover)...
I've learnt quite a lot of Spanish,French, Italian dialect just by watching sub-titled films. It seems hopelessly eccentric to put shows on in which 99% of the potential viewers haven't a clue what is going on.
I'm not anti-Gaelic though. Not at all. I think it's important to preserve our culture. That sounded quite sensible there didn't it...
Oh my giddy aunt! I must be more stupid and fatuous in the Blog for the rest of the week to make amends....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

13/09/05 Stressful Day

I'd arranged to take my Dad to a funeral of an old friend of his in Motherwell today. We had to be at the Funeral Directors for a little service at 9.45am, before we headed to the Crematorium.
This meant an early start. I had to leave my flat at 7.45am! (sharp intake of breath from around the world).
My internet map printing and navigational skills paid off handsomely, and we arrived in plenty of time. It was after this service that things began to go horribly wrong.
I lost the cortege. It was tricky driving out of the Funeral directors car park as it was on a main road and we couldn't all keep together.
Eventually I found the Crematorium after asking about 5 different people in the street,( who each had slightly different interpretations on directions.)
It turned out it was the wrong Crematorium.
Running low on petrol, I stopped at 4 separate petrol stations and found out that they had no petrol left. This was caused by panic buying by people worrying about industrial action on petrol duty by freight companies scheduled for this week.
I eventually found a garage with some petrol left.
It looked at one point that I was going to have to ditch the car in Motherwell then get a train back east.
We missed the service. I felt terrible about it, but my dad seemed philosophical about the whole thing.
After another long search of Motherwell, we found the hotel where the funeral reception was on. Phew... It turned out that quite a few people had got lost and missed the service. This made me feel slightly less idiotic.
I collared the minister and managed to borrow the transcript of what he'd said about my dad's friend Barr at the service. My dad enjoyed reading this, so at least he had experienced a written account of the sentiments expressed at the service.
I'm sure Barr would have found the whole scenario of us tearing around Motherwell looking for the right crematorium, running out of petrol, as being classic Park mentalist behaviour, and he'd have realised that we mean well, in spite of all this incompetence.
Anyway, I enjoyed the banter and the scones. Although a pednatic old gent sitting next to me informed me that the scones were not scones, as such, ....but that's another exciting story that I will tell on another day.
We promised Barr's widow Kathy that we'd be in touch soon and would bring through some old photos of Dad and Barr in their prime.

12/09/05 Someone said

"it's cheap at half the price" to me today.
What the fuck does that actually mean?
It makes about as much sense to me as "the meek shall inherit the earth"...
and "what's for ye will no' go by ye",.... yeah right!
"Don't regret the things you've done, just regret the things you haven't done!"
Hah! I don't believe anyone who says that they don't regret certain things they've done. I certainly have a few regrets, and probably not too few to mention...
I understand the point that this saying is trying to make though. It's a subset of "fortune favours the brave", "who dares wins", "it's better to be a psycho than a shrinking violet", "in for a penny in for a pound", ie if you've murdered someone, you might as well become a serial killer, and use this popular saying as part of your defence case at the Old Bailey etc etc
Sometimes "less is more", so I'm now signing off, and heading off to my Pedantry evening class.

11/09/05 Remember Remember the 9th of November

I did a gig at The Stand in Edinburgh tonight. This was my first appearance on stage since "Park's Circus" on the Fringe.
I have to say it was very nice just to turn up somewhere with an audience already in place, with no other chores rather than to order a pint of lager from the bar.
This is in contrast to the Fringe where we would have to spend a couple of hours flyering before every show, gamely trying to sell our wares to the great public at large.
Pleased to report that it all went very well. It was a nice big audience for a Sunday night, and they seemed to like my stuff.
Blunt talking Stu Whittle came along to witness the spectacle and he described my performance as "excellent!"...yes, really! This is good as Stu is not the sort of person who would hold back if he thought it was a load of old shite.
Rob Deering was headlining. Very funny set, and also I just love hearing someone accomplished play a lot of classic, nifty lead breaks on an electric guitar.
It has a timeless joy to a sad old rocker such as myself.

10/09/05 Blairgowrie

I'd been invited to take part in an annual golfing outing up at Blargowrie organised by Colin Crabbie and his mates.
I'd underestimated the time I'd need to get there. Not like me at all really. I screeched into the car park, had the golf shoes on in less than 10 seconds, then had to run carrying my clubs to the first tee where my 3 golfing partners were anxiously waiting for me.
No time for a warm-up. Not even enough time for a practice swing. I jogged onto the tee, swung my driver, and hit probably the best drive I've ever hit in my life.
Unfortunately, this is real life and this fantasy wasn't destined to continue.My 2nd shot was sliced deep into the surrounding forest, and I ended up with a disastrous opening 7. You see, there are no fairy stories in golf. I played like a twat for most of the round, although did get a birdie. Hurray!
I also narrowly avoided getting hit on the back of the head by some lady golfers behind us who understimated their distance capabilities.
It was a shame they missed me, as being stretchered off the course would have eased the torment of being forced to endure my golfing performance at first hand.
Beautiful course though, and it was all very convivial and cheery hanging out with the Crabbie Gang.
They were all going out for a meal in Blairgowrie and getting rat-arsed. I headed back to Edinburgh. I was feeling zonked and needed an early night.

09/09/05 ROTFL

I literally did "Roll On The Floor Laughing" at an episode of the Mighty Boosh last night, entitled "The Legend Of Milky Joe".
If you haven't sampled these guys yet, then try to catch them.
They're the funniest thing since sliced bread.
And, remember just HOW funny sliced bread was when it first came out?
You do?
Well, they're really just AS FUNNY AS THAT!
Can you imagine?

08/09/05 POETS Day

Of course that is an acronym for "Piss Off Early Tomorrow's Saturday", in case you didn't know...
I did indeed leave early. 3.30pm. It doesn't get much earlier than that. Although 3.15pm is ,strictly speaking, earlier than 3.30pm, and is, as such, the exception that proves the rule.
I had one of my work colleagues in hysterical laughter for about 10 minutes after he read my "weekly status report" which we have to add to the Intranet (are you following all this Grandad?).
It was just something about the way I'd described how I was "investigating" something which seemed to set him off. It was definitely unintentional humour on my part, and I'm not quite sure what it was all about...but a laugh is a laugh...!
Maybe I should include it in my set...
It was bit embarassing at one point, as all the office people were looking across, wondering what all the fuss was about.
I'm pleased to report that my puncture repair has been an unqualified success, and that my bike is back on the road again, enjoying a new lease of life.
I feel like a real man, in that I have performed a slightly tricky practical task successfully. I almost feel like having a fag and a pint and then going to have a bet on a greyhound.

07/09/05 Good And Bad At Games

"Brothers and sisters have I none,
But that man's father is my father's son"

Attempting to work out precisely who the narrator of this verse was referring to
used to cause my brain to short circuit as a child.
Of course as an intelligent adult, I can now see that the solution is patently obvious and that the narrator is referring to his second cousin,( twice removed), on the maternal side of his family. Simple.
This conundrum occasionally appeared as a Park family "keep the children entertained" travelling game.
We used to make a weekly visit from South Queensferry to Glasgow to see my mum's parents. This trip generally took about an hour. To 4 small children this represents an extremely long and boring journey.
The most popular in-drive games option was usuaully a "General Knowledge" quiz, where we would all compete against each other.
Questions were tailored by my parents to suit the relative ages of the children. This was a good idea in principal, however the game often ended in raging controversy, as play was suspended due to a barrage of complaints, (usually from my brother or me), about the ridiculously easy questions given to my younger sisters.
On one occasion, I was tied in a cliffhanger of a game with my youngest sister Janie. We had one question each left. The atmosphere in the car was electric.
I was given a tough geographical question which I had to pass on, leaving me devastated.
Janie (aged approximately 5) was then asked what noise a duck makes. I was outraged, and, to rub salt in the wound, was then disqualified for my unabated, vociferous complaints. It still upsets me to this day.
I was denied victory in the cruellest of circumstances. The confidence that victory would have given me could have led me to win "Mastermind" or even appear on "University Challenge", but I was left broken, bitter and defeated with a smouldering sense of injustice.

06/09/05 Flying

Very much my sentiments as well when I'm on board a "great iron bird".....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

05/09/2005 Deflated

My bike has been sitting in the car park at work with a puncture for the past 4 days. I can't make up my mind whether to attempt to fix the puncture or just buy a new bike. It's that tricky "back wheel puncture". Obviously, if it was a front wheel puncture there wouldn't be such a dilemna, and even someone with my limited practical skillbase could easily fix it.
I've been taking the bus. I ask for an 80p fare then put a £1 coin in the slot, making my customary 20p donation to the Edinburgh Bus Drivers' Xmas Drinks Fund. This is crazy as I have about 50 tons of loose change lying around in my flat. I have probably enough cash in loose change to buy a "round the world" flight, or even buy my own bus that I could drive myself to work free of charge, and maybe go on a holiday like Cliff Richard did and try to get off with Una Stubbs.
I'm mulling over when to get back in the stand-up saddle again. I think I might re-group, work on some new stuff and go for an October re-launch.
If someone asks me to do gigs, I'll do them but I won't go hunting them down...
I must drink less in September than I did in August. This won't be a hard objective to realise. A bit like Adolf Hitler making a New Year resolution to be "a little nicer" in future.
I watched "The Man Who Predicted 9/11" documentary. Very disappointing. I thought it was going to be about someone who had a weird, mystical vision of everything that was going to happen. Instead, it was just the story of a guy who was responsible for security in one of the towers who was very twitchy about the continuing threat to the buildings.
It wasn't exactly Nostre Damus stuff, as the towers had already been bombed in 1993 by someone taking a van into the underground car park, obviously with the intention of bringing the tower down.
What the programme was really about was using this bloke's story as an excuse to rerun all the 9/11 footage of planes crashing into buildings, people jumping from the buildings, the buildings collapsing, the panic on the ground etc etc
There's been an unwritten agreement in the past 4 years to not show these images any more on TV. At the time of the event, they were repeated over and over again hundreds of times. It became almost pornographic. I think most people felt after a while that they really didn't want to see these images any more, and the TV Networks duly obliged.
Last night was the first time I'd seen the images getting multiple showings again. I thought it was a fairly shoddy and sensationalist documentary, not worthy of Channel 4. But I still watched it. It's still all horribly mesmerising, and it reminded me of how I sat for hours gawping at the TV on the actual day, thinking that this was the end of the world.
On a more serious note, I've now decided to have a go at mending the puncture. I laugh in the face of adversity.

Monday, September 05, 2005

04/09/05 A Full Working Day

We played at the Mela down Pilrig Park. It was another glorious sunny day. Unfortunately one of the 2 Indian dancers was ill and couldn't make the show, which was a pity.
Nevertheless, Nikita put in a sterling performance on her own. She's 13 going on 25, and seemed completly unfazed about performing on her own in front of thousands of people.
We had some technical difficulties with the sound, and were overall a bit wobbly. However the crowd seemed to enjoy it. I've definitely played better though!
I arrived home and was slightly alarmed to find my brother Gavin wandering about the back garden in his pants. I don't have a problem in people wearing pants in their gardens per se. However, he was visible to just about all the residents of Coates Gardens. And also, being my brother, there is undeniably something of a physical similarity between the two of us.
My worry is that Gavin could have been mistaken for me, and I now have a reputation amongst my neighbours as the weird eccentric Jim Park who routinely parades in his pants in his back garden oblivious to the consternation this flagrant display is provoking in the neighbourhood.
I'd rather be known as Jim Park the successful, hilarious stand-up comedian and local genius.
Perhaps I should place notices on lamposts in the street confirming that I was not the offending pants person. I could photocopy a few at work tomorrow, perhaps.
At night Debbie was having a posh do in which we had to dress smart, so it was on with the old suit. Another opportunity to imbibe copious quantities of Champagne was seized upon.
We then took a carpet roll down to Bruntsfield Links and watched the Fireworks. I was later subjected to another viewing of the "Scotland Today" Harvey Nichols fiasco. I still find it very difficult to watch...
It was a very enjoyable, funny soiree though, and didn't everyone look luvverly in all their finery...

03/09/05 Oh ma heid!

Not one of my most active days.
Lazed around then went out with a crowd at night to a Moroccan restaurant on Dundas St.
I don't think it was the right option. The music was deafeningly loud, and there was a bit of bellydancing going on, with a "veiled" (geddit?) threat of coercing people up to have a go at it.
I think everyone would have preferred a nice quiet mellow restaurant.
Anyway, we managed to avoid making twats of ourselves, thankfully.
The food was pretty average and overpriced for what was very basic fare.
We had a bit of banter with a very pissed hen party outside the restaurant as we were leaving. Very funny.

02/09/05 Ding Dong!

It's the day of my sister Janie's wedding to Max. It's a glorious
sunny day.
I'm on ushering duty and manage to cope well with the tricky tasks of issuing hymn sheets and directing the punters to the Bride or Groom side of the Church.
Max and his best man Miguel are piped in, ie they are led in by a
bagpiper, not fed in through the church plumbing.
My Dad then leads Janie up the aisle. Janie is looking radiantly
beautiful in a stunning green velvet dress.
Father Mike leads a jolly, informal service and has the assembled
masses chuckling along merrily.
The vows are taken and the rings are installed on fingers.
Outside, adhering to Italian tradition, large sugar almond sweets are thrown at the happy couple, as well as confetti. There's definitely a potential for injury here, but fortunately both are unscathed by the missiles hurled at them.
There are also a few handfuls of coins scattered for the local kids to
chase. I resist the urge to compete for the cash.
I could justify it as an understandable reaction, bearing in mind my upcoming roof repair bill. Did I mention that already? Yes I probably did.
It's then back on a chartered bus to Orocco Pier in South Queensferry.
The speeches came before the meal. A good idea in my book. It lets everyone enjoy the meal leisurely rather than shitting themselves thinking about their upcoming speech.
It was a great ,happy occasion, but there was an underlying sadness that my mum wasn't there to see it. She'd have been singing a solo in the Church, and lapping up everything about the day.
At one point, Max hesitated and choked slightly in his speech, and I knew instinctively that he was going to pay tribute to the mums, (His mum also suffered an untimely death.)
He just mentioned that "everyone thinks their mum is special" but that he had no doubt that his mum and Buddy were genuinely special people and that it was to his and everyone's great regret that they weren't there today to be part of the occasion.
That was it for me, I buckled and shed a few tears. Time really isn't a great healer. You get used to dealing with things, but when your emotions get stretched, it still all seems very raw.
He got back on a humorous track though as he wound things up.
All the speeches from Max, my Dad and Miguel were great though. A really nice balance of humour and moving sentiments.
The meal was a bit of a marathon, but extremely delicious. 8 separate courses and a continuous topping up of the ole wine glasses.
A lot of prancing around to ceilidh music followed, as well as smoking an expensive cigar. Although not inhaling. Obviously.
Back into town on the hired bus, and adhering once again to the motto "if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing", we decide to have a last drink in the Argus Hotel on Coates Gardens, often referred to as a "Royston Vasey Theme Bar".
All in all, a top day...!

01/09/05 Mela

Spent the evening rehearsing with some samba people and Indian
dancers for a Samba/Indian fusion
performance at The Mela on Sunday.
The church hall acoustics are chronic. It feels like we're playing in a subway.
I still feel knackered all the time.
I'm not looking for sympathy though, in case that's the impression I'm giving! :-)
My illustrious brother Gavin is up staying with me, as he's in town for the upcoming Park wedding involving my youngest sister Janie.

31/08/05 End of the Month!

It's the end of August. Before you know it , it'll be the
beginning of September.
Who would have predicted that? It's a topsy turvy world we live in, that's for sure.
I noticed that the rhubarb is ready for harvest. It's all go...!
This Blog is deteriorating badly isn't it?

30/08/05 You Couldn't Make It Up!

Had a lovely day at work. I also met Jeff Stewart in the street
as I cycled to work.
It doesn't get much better than that...