Sunday, June 17, 2012

Once more unto the breach

I've been eating incredibly healthily for the last few's been all salads, vegetables, fish etc. No junk whatsoever.
However, not an ounce has been lost.
I did some research and worked out that since Euro 2012 started, I have consumed 20 cans of Strongbow cider.
That's over 9 days...don't judge me!
However, that works out at approximately 5000 calories, which is 2 days worth of calories for an adult male.
I think I can see what the problem is here.
I will have to pick 2 days out of every 9 that I will not eat anything at all.
If my resolve weakens and I drink a can of cider on one of these days, I will need to go on a 2 mile run to burn off the 250 calories.
No more mucking about for me, I am now serious about weight loss.
I'm not morbidly obese or anything like that, but a stone lighter would be good.
Hopefully then the calendar work might pick up again.
I am a lot fitter than I've been for a while, although last week I knackered my knee as I inadvisedly ran down a steep slope in the Pentlands.
I was supposed to be going away on one of our traditional wild camping endurance events this weekend (to Ben Alder and surrounding tops), but sadly had to call off.
I also managed to do my back in 2 weeks ago.
Falling apart.
I did some gigs for the legendary Agraman down south which were ridiculously great fun.
Before that there was a gig near Dundee which went so badly that the promoter avoided making eye contact with me at the end of the evening.
It was just one of these nights that happen every now and then, when the audience just does not know what to make of me at all, and the gig becomes akin to me making a 15 minute speech at a sombre memorial service.
I also recently did a comedy tour of a Degree Show at Edinburgh Art College.
I loved doing this, and it went really well, but the paranoid part of my brain still worries that I offended some of the artists with my cheeky remarks.
I probably didn't, but part of me will continue to believe that I did.
Because that is the way I am wired. Ken.
I'm doing a show at The Fringe this year with the incredibly talented and funny, Graeme Thomas.
It'll be on at The Beehive in the Grassmarket August 1-19 at 7.30pm.
The show title is still being decided...the frontrunners are "Not For The Easily Amused" or "Last Tango In Harris".
Any preference? (directly addressing person who regularly reads this even though it hasn't been updated for 4 months. You know who you are)
Why not follow me on Twitter on @jimpark99? (btw that's a rhetorical question)

Friday, February 10, 2012


I'm now back in Edinburgh after my 3 month tour of duty in Portsmouth.
The first thing I noticed on my return was that the big plant pots outside my front door had been moved around.
I considered that there were two possibilities as to why this had occurred.
Either a kindly stranger had observed that my Feng Shui was a bit screwed up and had deigned to correct this, or, more likely, an opportunist crook was looking to see if a key had been concealed somewhere.
From what I gather there have been a few prowler incidents in the 'hood.
It made me feel a bit of an arse for putting updates on Facebook to the effect that I was working away from home in Portsmouth.
This may have had nothing to do with the incident, but it made me ponder on the wisdom of talking shite on the internet in relation to your movements .
So anyway, hear this, you crooks and ne-er-do-wells...I am NEVER leaving Edinburgh again...

I've also been getting pissed off with all the flack Billy Connolly has been getting for the heckler incident.
Most reports neglect to mention that he'd already been on stage for approximately 2 hours, and had just ended the show abruptly, rather than doing a Roy "Chubby" being heckled then walking off at a gig in Glasgow when he'd only been onstage for about 5 minutes.
I've been enjoying the "Late'n'Live" show on BBC1, although at the same time it does slightly glorify the act of heckling.
I know that it tries to take a balanced view, and has comedians describing how idiotic heckling can ruin what could potentially have been a great show...but you just know that a certain number of twats will watch and take this show as a validation of their annoyingly crass behaviour at comedy clubs.
I totally sympathise with Connolly's exasperation.
I remember going to see Chris Rock at The Edinburgh Playhouse, and having to stand up every 2 minutes throughout the whole show to let people get past...either to go to the toilet or go to the bar.
It seems that no-one can just sit and watch a performance these days without drinking or taking pictures on their mobiles.

Anyway, was supposed to be writing some "good" and "bad" stuff for a podcast.
I'd thought of referencing an experience I had in Arrequipa in Peru with 3 of my friends.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and we decided just to go our separate ways for a couple of hours and meet up later.
When we met up, my 3 friends were sitting ashen-faced and obviously upset.
It turned out that they'd all been subjected to a "choke mugging" in three separate incidents.
This basically involved, a gang coming up behind them, and then being grabbed round the neck by one of the gang, and held in a head lock until they passed out due to lack of oxygen.
They were unconscious for less than a minute apparently, but this was enough time to rifle through their belongings and grab any cameras, cash etc that they were carrying.
Of course, I thought this was all a big wind-up at first...but their demeanour indicated otherwise.
I was just glad that they all seemed ok, and that what they had had stolen was not too disastrous.
Of course, I initially felt relieved that I had not been targeted as well.
However, I began to ponder why I was the only one who was not considered worthy of a "choke mugging".
Had my natural scruffiness and tramp-like holiday sartorial elegance come to my aid?
I couldn't understand it...especially as I alone had visited the dodgiest part of town.
I also had a tinge of regret, that my friends now had a killer after-dinner anecdote from the trip.
This is all a mixture of "good" and "bad" really...neither one or the other.

Anyway, we went ot the police and were surprised to find out that the police are generally not working on Sunday afternoons.
So it turns out that obvious tourists walking around Arrequipa on a Sunday afternoon are like hens being guest speakers at a foxes convention.
Thankfully, I was later involved in an terrifying extortion incident with the Colombian Military Police, and did get my anecdote in the end, but that's another story.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Flying high!

I was quite surprised when the announcement came through to board my flight to Southampton from Edinburgh Airport on Tuesday morning.
It was all beginning to get a bit hurricanish outside, and I'd more or less convinced myself that I was going nowhere.
Then el capitano announced that the flight was likely to be "a bit bumpy".
Shortly after this slightly unsettling news, a male passenger decided that he didn't want to fly any more and disembarked.
I can now understand why deserting in the face of the enemy is viewed as such a serious military offence.
It IS very bad for the morale of those left behind.
I'm sure I wasn't the only person imagining this man being interviewed on television later that day answering questions such as,
"So Mr Custard, what made you suddenly decide to leave the doomed flight shortly before taking off into gale force winds?"
Although, on reflection, it probably was only me that was thinking this, as I have quite a warped imagination.
His action just seemed wrong though.
Surely one of the flight attendants could have forced him to sit down and then slapped him hard across the face.
I paid a bit more attention to the safety demonstration than usual.
It was a horrible being trapped in a cocktail shaker for an hour and a half.
I wondered if I might make it on to the front page of "Chortle"?
Probably not.
I particularly disliked the take-off as we were swaying violently from side to side on the runway before getting off the ground.
I was reassured to notice that a baby was on board.
Everything was going to be ok.
Helpfully, the baby seemed to find the worst turbulence moments hilarious.
Southampton has never looked so (relatively) beautiful as we landed (after some impressive aeronautics on approach).
I kneeled down to kiss the tarmac in classic John Paul II style, and then got a bit of a surprise when a flight attendant
pretended to kick me on the arse and told me to get into the terminal.
And we all lived happy ever after.

Monday, January 02, 2012


So anyway, for me, the funniest moment of the Festive season occurred when my brother brought my sister a cup of tea, and on presentation of the aforementioned hot beverage, inquired "Is that too much milk for you?".
My sister replied "yes".
Cue a hilarious look of resignation on my brother's face as he turned around to take the cup back to the kitchen, in the knowledge that he would have to make another cup.
It was the most fantastic, non-verbal "Oh, for fuck's sake!" I have ever witnessed.
A truly beautiful moment, and one which ,for me, captures the true meaning of Christmas.
In situations like this, one should follow the lawyers' rule of thumb, ie never ask anyone a question that you don't already know the answer to.
My brother also gave me the idea for a film.
We were all having dinner, and the other five people had been struggling for a couple of hours to get a word in.
This prompted me to suggest the idea of a film called "Talk".
It would be inspired by the Sandra Bullock film "Speed", except in this case there would be a bomb under a dinner table which would go off if there was ever a one second gap in the conversation.
My brother could play the film's hero, by talking continuously without stopping to take a breath, for 14 hours, at which point the police bomb specialist manages to disable the device.
I also had an argument with a confidence trickster in Juniper Green over whose round it was in a pub.
(This is an annual's a beer nativity play)
I was lucky this year, and narrowly managed to escape by just paying for the same number of beers that I'd consumed.
And, yes I am "Ebenezer Scrooge".
He was livid!
Tomorrow, I am heading back down to sunny Portsmouth, to resume my hard labour custodial sentence.
I've managed to get out of B&B purgatory and now stay in a lovely house with two amazing people,
(I have to be careful...they might read this).
I've been pretty sober for most of this Festive time, having been slightly put off Mr Booze, by an ill-advised cider frenzy
(on an empty stomach) with some work colleagues before Xmas.
The following day brought the worst hangover I've ever experienced since I drank a whole bottle of advocaat when i was 14,
(the yellow bottle still strikes fear into my soul when I see it).
This day was rounded off with a severely turbulent flight back to Edinburgh.
Cruel and unusual punishment does not begin to describe it.
Happy New Year!