Archive for September, 2003

johnsonville west

I’ve always been a fan of the whole Friends Reunited thing, so you can imagine the excitement round blogjam towers this evening as I discovered a New Zealand derivative, It seems to be a pretty successful version of the UK original (much more so than that site’s own Find a Kiwi service) and, rather delightfully, it hosts a couple of class photos that feature yours truly in my pre-teen days. The first thing I noticed is that these are pictures taken during an era when it was fashionable for boys to sport their hair long, and I wore mine short. Today men are more likely to wear their hair cropped, of course, whereas mine is… you get the picture – I’ve obviously always been a contrary bastard.

Also present in both pictures is my very first crush (I won’t reveal her name on the off-chance she stumbles across this site one day), and a boy I knew called Patrick Moore. I only mention this because another of my friends was called David Niven, which used to create all sorts of hilarity round the Lewry household. Where are you going tonight, Fraser? Oh, I’m off round David Niven’s place, then heading over to Patrick Moore’s to watch the Gary Glitter special.

He was the only person I knew with colour television. But no telescope.

me and kevin shields

I don’t know what it is. I go out, I watch bands (in this case Edinburgh based New Order-meets-Fugazi riff-wizards Degrassi and “New York’s next important band” (NME) Ambulance Ltd, when some drunkard approaches me thinking I’m a celebrity guitar genius: “Hey Kevin!” he splutters… “I saw you play with Primal Scream a while back… I can’t believe you did what you did without using samples. How do you do it?” Being not terribly eager to oblige, and having figured out he thinks I’m maverick axe-slinger and underground legend Kevin Shields, I mutter something darkly about not being able to get any privacy and scuttle off to the bar. Still, at least it wasn’t Joey Tempest this time.

And by the way, if anyone is interested, in real life I actually look like Bonnie Langford. With added bulk. No, really.

yes, i have no kittens today

Blogjam is not a pet shop.

This may be obvious to most readers, but I feel I have to make this point clear following some recent correspondence. The first e-mail arrived yesterday:

hello do you have any more of those white cat the fluffy ones with blue eyes left because i want to
buy my friend one and if you have any can they please try to get us a kitten and how much woould it be

How odd, I thought. Today, a second missive dropped gracefully onto my desktop:

hi it’s me again and do you have any more of those cats that are big fluffy and big blue eyes that are cute left well it you do you can contact me at 724 745 ****

I’m sorry bubbafif (I assume that’s your real name), but my kittens are strictly virtual. I can see from your area code that you’re based in South West Pennsylvania – might I suggest you try the branch of Petland at Franklin Plaza on Route 888, Ellwood City (724 752 2633)? My understanding is that they carry a range of animals to delight most needs. Most importantly, however, the store operates puppy and kitten socialization rooms which will give you an opportunity to play with the pet of your choice and get better acquainted. Good luck finding what you want.

guarded by monkeys

So anyway, I’m standing in The Borderline this evening watching a band I love, Cracker, and the monkey thing begins to bother me again. This is probably of interest to absolutely no-one, but it’s the kind of thing that prevents me from sleeping at night. It all stems from the album Forever, which came out a few years ago, and the lyrics contained within. I’ll give you some examples:

Brides of neptune
Brides of Neptune
Brides of Neptune
Guarded by monkeys


You are so beautiful
You should be guarded by monkeys


You’re so shameless (you should be guarded by monkeys)


Protegido por monos

Four different parts from four different songs, four references to being guarded by monkeys, one in Spanish – what the fuck is that all about?

As I said, of interest to no-one but me…

edinburgh penguins

Bollocks to this. I’m heading home to London.

Edinburgh: famous for its Castle, the Royal Mile, the Medieval Old Town, the Georgian New Town, and… penguins. Yes, penguins. Edinburgh Zoo apparently has the largest collection in captivity, a fine mixture of Kings, Rockhoppers, Macaronis and Gentoos, and every day at 2pm they go for a walk. The Penguin Parade is strictly a voluntary affair, and a few minutes before the appointed time there’s already an orderly queue forming of wannabe participants. About two dozen take part, split evenly between the Gentoos, who scurry round the circuit quite briskly, and the Kings, who take a more leisurely lap, stopping to examine things on the ground and chatter with the giraffes.

and they're off...

More pictures are available here, including a trio of bonus animals for those who aren’t so keen on our penguin friends.

Elsewhere in Edinburgh I spent a lot of time wandering round rather aimlessly, caught a film, and ate at a Mongolian restaurant. The latter, although reasonably tasty, was a little disappointing in terms of authenticity. Osterich? Kangeroo? Cajun sauce? Olive Oil? Pineapples? Tuna? Shark? These are hardly typical Central Asian ingrediants – this is a nation where vegetables are only a recent addition to the national diet, after all. And where was the fermented mare’s milk? And the bbq’d marmot? Nowhere to be bloody seen, that’s where.

off again

Bollocks to this. Im off to Edinburgh, and this damn phonebooth keyboard doesnt have all the correct punctuation keys – theres no bloody apostrophie.