Tuesday, October 30, 2007

400 Up

This is the 400th post on this site so I’m not going to waste it telling you how I have to wait another 8 f#cking months till next June to see the rescheduled Police gig in Manchester... let’s just hope they’re all still alive then.

Instead, let me tell you about an even greater musical event happening next year which I’m obviously going to talk about A LOT nearer the time but it’s only fair to inform you now so you can organise baby-sitters / hair appointments / ‘Ugly Betty’ recording / sat-nav programming / flights / accommodation etc.

On Friday February 8th 2008, The Signals will be playing a “triumphant” homecoming gig at Behind The Wall in Falkirk, a venue steeped in memorable memories and strong continental beer. Entry is free and the band will be squeezing themselves on to the less-than-roomy stage sometime after 9.30pm, having first skived off their respective “proper jobs” to secure a much-needed afternoon nap.

In preparation for all the triumphantness, rumours are rife that the band may be undertaking some “low key”, warm-up gigs in either Edinburgh or Glasgow or both (or neither) before the end of this year. Details are scant at this time but if they become less so (scantless?) I will attempt to leak the news here with a cryptically-worded post followed by several dozen subtle reminders direct to your individual in-boxes.

Meantime you can find more details by clicking here for the band’s myspace page. And when I say “more”, I mean “the same”… which you’ll be able to read again once the myspace geniuses fix the bug on their site.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ladies, Form An Orderly Queue

The ever-popular “Dear Dave” segment will return next week if I can finally stop wallowing in misery and find the energy to turn off the country and western music. Meantime, here’s a treat for all you ladies out there. (And for you Dave.)

By day he’s a mild-mannered construction / engineer / surveyor-type person; a veritable Isambard Kingdom Brunel for the modern age (he built that “squinty” bridge over the Clyde in Glasgow “with ma own f#cking haunds, singal-haundedly like”) with a rock-hard jaw line and, I’m sure you’ll agree, a very impressive helmet.

But by night he’s the drummer with “the greatest pub rock ‘n roll band ever”, The Signals, pounding out his own rhythm method with a level of stamina that defies logic and all rational explanation for a man of his age.

Ladies, I give you Ronald Douglas Grant… appearing in a Scottish beef advert on a television near you soon.


(P.S. This is post no. 399 on this site so I’m going to try and put a bit of effort into the next one. If you’ve any thoughts as to what should be included in post no. 400, let me know.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Something For The Weekend 31

Dear Dave,

This week I… I… um… I… sorry, it’s no use… I’m still gutted... don’t have words suitable any that are… gotta run… seem to have something in my eye…

Smile at this thing here instead…

Later… Edge

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hole In My Life / Driven To Tears

23 years, 10 months and 7 days after last seeing them play, the big day finally arrives for me to hop into my car and head south of the border to see The Police play in Manchester tonight. Only… I’m still at home because 23 years, 10 months and 6 days after last seeing them play, I get an email from their website telling me the Manchester shows are cancelled because Sting is “suffering from a throat infection”. A fucking throat infection, Jesus! Shoulda reached for the Lem-Sip instead of doing all that fucking yoga, you auld git.

If you know me at all, you will understand why it’s probably not a good idea to call or talk to me today but if you’re swithering – perhaps thinking that dropping off a sponge cake might be the tonic to cheer up - I suggest you look up “totally fucked off” in the dictionary where you’ll find the definition “Neil… 15/10/07… back away slowly. Then run. Like the wind.”

Anyway, at least I’m not at work. Although if I can find my box of doughnuts, that might not be a bad idea…

A quick apology to my Uncle Hamish & Auntie Annie in Illinois. Earlier this year when I met them at my brother’s wedding in Austin, they politely informed me that they have, on occasion, enjoyed the writing “but honestly Neil, there’s a bit too much bad fucking language in it for our taste.” I might be paraphrasing but you get the gist so sorry for the cussing. I will strive to do better. Just not today.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Always Thinking Of Others

Work Colleague: “Hey, I thought you said you were going to put me on your blog?”

Me: “I know, but I thought better of it and decided your ‘episode’ at the Blood Transfusion Van might be a little embarrassing. Besides, I make it my policy never to make fun of anyone, especially nice ladies like yourself, in my writing. Can still include it though if you’re feeling left out?”

Work Colleague: “Nah - just kidding. Don't really want everyone to know that I was flat on my back with my legs in the air, sweating profusely and panting heavily while the whole of the Makro car park got an eyeful of my pop socks!”

Me: “Okay then.” *thinks*.. "like they haven't seen that before..."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Billy's Boots

How would you like to see a photo of my raw, naked flesh reclining in a warm bubble bath of lavender and fairies? I know that’s something you probably get regularly from subscribing to a different kind of website but I just thought that… hey… what do you mean “No thanks, I’m just about to eat and I don’t wanna ruin my appetite.”? Fine… be like that then… see if I care…instead, you can just sit there and read about my latest bargain purchase.

For a good few years now I’ve been playing five-a-side football once a week but increasingly I get frustrated by the length of time it seems to takes for me to move around the pitch trying to retrieve the lung I just coughed up. Some have suggested that this might be explained by my advanced age, nicotine addiction, excessive pizza diet, inherent laziness and general aversion to physical exercise of any kind but of course I’ve always suspected that it’s because I’m not wearing the correct footwear.

My traditional, flat-soled trainers – or “gutties” – whilst comfortable and functional for “dress down Fridays” or short walks to the corner shop for a pint of milk, have not provided the stability and grip required for modern, artificial turf pitches. So on Sunday, when I happened to be passing a local sports store, I went in to see what type of 21st century technology might be on offer and approximately three minutes later I emerged with these impulse-buy babies.

Now at this point I’d like to explain that they were on the “everything must go” bargain shelf and were priced at an unbeatable £10. That in turn, I’m sure you’ll agree, allows me to gloss over the fact that they seem to be adorned with the *ahem* national flag of England, a design feature I didn’t notice until later that afternoon when I was marching round my garden admiring them in the autumn sunshine.

But I wore them in anger for the first time last night and WOW… my theory about why I’ve been so slow and cumbersome in recent years was proven correct. Journeys across the pitch which used to be measured in minutes now seemed to take mere seconds and such was the constant speed and associated wind-rush generated that I had real trouble trying to light my mid-game cigarette. (Just kidding kids… mid-game cigarettes are only for flat-soled losers. Obviously.)

The effect of the in-built Super Moulded Stud-Like Thingys™ also caused great confusion with my team mates as they attempted to pass the ball to me only to find a space filled with dust ‘cause, as if by magic, I’d already shot off in a different direction. And that’s when it happened.

I was heading towards goal at a speed which could only be described as “breakneck” and spun round to receive what turned out to be a severely underhit pass. In the past, my flat-soled gutties would have slid to a gentle stop but in trying to apply the brakes and collect the ball, the Super Moulded Stud-Like Thingys™ dug into the turf arresting the progress of my legs whilst the momentum of my upper torso sent me into a spin. Confused by the achievement of flight without wings, my brain decided to abandon all thoughts of a safe landing and chose my already scabby knee as the first point of body-to-ground contact when I returned to Earth.

Man, the blood was gushing so bad I though I might need another transfusion but I managed to grin and bear it and I avoided cleaning it up too much so I could get home and take a photo of it to prove how brave I’d been. And here it is.

Hey… you were right… it really does ruin your appetite…

Friday, October 05, 2007

Something For The Weekend 30

Dear Dave,

I’m very sorry for not having written in a while. The reasons are many and varied but if I tell you that I went to give blood on Monday and the nice nurse only managed to pump out half a pint because the rest had already been sucked dry by… um… life, you start to get the picture.

It was my sincere hope to be able to bring you a graphically detailed review of Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” this week but when I informed Bruce that our local multiplex wasn’t showing it until 9.30pm, he was all… “Aaawwww, that’s the time Linda starts making my cocoa” so we didn’t go and see it.

If you are looking for a film to see, please avoid the one I managed to catch on Film 4 the other night called “Keane”. This was the single most depressing film I’d seen since that one about the Polish girl who had to surrender one of her kids in a concentration camp – “Something About Mary” I think it was called – so I don’t want to even hint at the contents of the miserable plot about a schizophrenic, homeless, drug addict father whose daughter had been abducted, in case I start searching for a high window ledge. Again.

Anyway, on a cheerier note my Dyson suction machine thingy broke down this week due to the shock of being taken out of the kitchen cupboard and I also contrived to sell some of the shares I hold in the company of our mutual employer, the very instant before they shot up in price.

Still… mustn’t grumble… things could be worse. I have my health (after an emergency transfusion on Tuesday) and a roof over my head and my cool Police jacket. And of course, whenever I refuse to eat my Mum’s “broccoli surprise”, she always reminds me that little brown babies are starving in Rhodesia and Ceylon and the like, so I guess I dodged a bullet there. I had a Big Mac instead.

So apologies again Dave for not writing. I’ll try to do better next week, I promise. And if that doesn’t work, I think it’s about time we all went out and got sh#tfaced.

Cheers, Edge