Naked Blog

More famous than Susan Boyle!

Friday, September 30, 2005


Yes, it's true. Tomorrow is the next Scottish Blogmeet. Great Scottish Blogmeet. But - dear UK blogger (or even further afield) - do not despair. Do not feel excluded. Cross-border trains run at regular intervals, from places as diversely fascinating as.... London. And.... Nottingham. Boats even arrive from.... Belgium. Planes from USA and Canada. Do NOT despair. We'd love to meet you. Mucho thanko to Uncle Gordon for sorting it.

Vividly I remember the last one, in the Jolly Judge pub off Edinburgh's historic High Street. The relief when I went in and found next to no music. Or fagsmoke.

The sight of a table of earnest-looking thirty-somethings, all trying not to stare and say, "D'ya reckon that's Naked Blog?" (How self-centred am I, eh?) But I was right. And so, mutatis mutandis, were they. What a braw time we had! Even me. And this time I've got my new teeth. (A couple.) So smiling will be on the menu again. And got my camera too. Snap! Snap! What did you say your name was again?

How exciting! The last time I was out of Greater Edinburgh was October 1 last year, for the Scottish Final of the National Bingo Game Caller of the Year compo. Which I won, bigstyle. October 1 is obviously my auspicious day for travelling. (I don't get about much.) Don't need to, dears. Been to enough places to know what places are like. Other tongues, other customs, other people.

So Glasgow tomorrow will be quite far enough. I'm looking forward to it. Some day I'll tell you about the Glasgow of the early seventies, when I was but a handsome queenling. That was when I first discovered one of the great Crispisms, "Some gay men are hard, and some hard men are gay." Pity that Compton Street et al will be the summit of gay experience for some of you.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005


I'm getting really pissed off at the mice dining chez moi, free, gratis and fer nowt, without even having the decency to get caught now and again. It's just not on.

Yesterday I walked into the kitchen to see they'd sprung the trap and waltzed right off with the Aero chocolate, (twice this has happened, incidentally), but this morning really took the biscuit when I spotted the wee buggers had helped themselves to the Aero, and not even sprung the trap. See picture.

Selfset? Mair like useless piece o' shite, as we say here in Scotland. The photo shows the grim remains of their petit dejeuner, without even a single mouse cell in evidence. (Please don't stare at the slightly grubby floor - I tried to crop most of it away.)

The Empire Strikes Back

So I've changed the menu. Obviously Aero is too crumbly, too pliant, to achieve the objective of broken mouse neck. (Cruel to be kind. Cruel to them, and kind to me. At least it's not sticky board, which I do draw the line at.) So today it's ham scraps. See if dead pig succeeds where Cadbury's so dismally failed. I truly despair. But at least I got a decent sleep last night. No scrabbling, of if there was, my brain coped without waking me.

Weight a Minute

All this mouse worry and heavy cold has made me eat a bit more. (Note the main verb. Nae excuses.) Set me back three weeks, probably. But only three. And that's the beauty of keeping records - there's no need to abandon the plot. Just pick yerself up, buy another stone of apples and pears from the supermarket, and get that stomach rumbling again. I'll just achieve perfection when I die.

Gonnae Fucken Chib Yer, Pal*

I've heard there's some sort of Blogmeet on Saturday. In Glasgow, that most dangerous of cities. Plus it gets dark around eight now. Hmmm. No way am I walking those streets after dark, and not speaking the language. Just no way. It'll be just like the time I got off the train at Paris Gare du Nord, and almost died of terror - and I was only 35 then. Best wait till next summer, I reckon. Deep down I'm a June and July person - and on the surface as well.

*I'm about to stab you, my friend


Don't Look Back was the main dish last night, on BBC 4. (Sorry no IMDb - it's crashing Priscilla again.)

Loved the way he effortlessly disposed of Donovan - then being hailed as the British Dylan. (Much the same way as Sir Cliff was meant to be our own Brylcreemed Elvis.) First he outsang him (Baby Blue) and then informed his concert audience that he (Donovan) was "in the closet". Like swatting a buzzing fly. Where is the "British Dylan" now, we wonder. And were the rumours true after all?

He also disposed of Joan Baez, who now says she'd hoped he would have invited her on stage, like she'd at one time done for him. But he didn't. I think she left the tour. The movie wasn't high on narration or information like that, but does have many seminal scenes, such as JB singing while he taps on the typewriter.

But oh! The suits! The white shirts! Narrow ties! Cigarettes! How anyone could breathe in those hotel rooms beats me. I'm sure Baez now would go mental if a cig came within half a mile of her - but those days she was sitting yodelling away, almost invisible for fag-fug. It's no wonder kids of my age all started to smoke.

Establishment Backlash

I now reckon the reason he was subject to so much aggressive and unhelpful interview was simply that the 60's establishment was afraid of his influence. Influence on so many young people, at a time of huge crisis for the USA. (If you think Iraq is bad, you ain't lived, honey, compared to Vietnam.)

Young people now can't appreciate (and why should they?) how enormous and long-lasting the sixties pop icons were. The Stones too were victims of continual press put-down, and later the Sex Pistols. But it's different now. They were all pioneers of global rock, a form which is now all but exhausted.

And only in hindsight can we see that the influence, if it even exists, never really lasts for ever. There's always something better just around the corner. Groups and artists come and go, but still we've got Tories and Labour. And the telly.

They constantly asked him what he meant, what he represented, what were his views. His best reply was probably simply, "I'm a song and dance man." He wrote the songs to perform to earn a livelihood. Does there have to be more than that?

And don't miss Robin on Dylan. Nor Jonny Billericay either, with his unique village style.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Thanks so much for joining in to yesterday's comment box chat about the Dylan Movie. Really rewarding to read so many intelligent and wise contributions. Today I've little time before dashing off to work to earn my piecrust, so again I'll throw the arena open to you. Don't worry if you feel you've donated enough of your time and thoughts already.

Me - well I was awaiting episode two eagerly, but had been out chatting, drinking and hill-climbing. So the consciousness wasn't at rest, and I found the film confused, scattered, and clumsy. Asta tells me that Scorsese only came on board later, which is why the interviews are a bit crap.

You had to feel sorry for the young Dylan, barracked with so many dumb questions from middle-aged meeja types in suits, shirts and ties. He looked genuinely baffled.

What I was hoping for was a movie more about the creative process - for at core that's what Dylan is/was. A creator. Whatever instruments he employed, what bands accompanied him, and what a bunch of sixties hippies thought about it all are of only minor interest. To me. Yet that's what this second half predominantly concerned itself with.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but did anyone actually ask the mature Dylan why he abandoned acoustic and harmonica, to opt instead for electric and rock group? I can share the early fans' disappointment at that; just it was given far too much emphasis in this work, in my (not so) humble opinion.

OK - that's it sadly, for now. Bingo calls (or possibly comes to the rescue). The Last Waltz was far better. Make it a "must-see".

For UK viewers there was an interesting short programme on BBC Four immediately following, where other performers "sang Dylan". Never knew he'd written The Mighty Quinn. Dire, anyway. Oh, and the group was called Manfred Mann, not The Manfreds. Attention to detail, dears, even though none of you at the Beeb was born then. Catch it on repeat, anyway.

Naked Blog World Exclusive: No Direction Home closed at the Manchester "Judas" Concert. This man was there. Thanks Rob.


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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

(This morning's post brought to you by the Cut, Paste and Delete features. There's new Dylan stuff beneath this if you want originality.)
As part of my research for the Bob Dylan posts below, I set about checking whether his name really was Zimmerman, and not Zinnemann or other such. It would have been the height of rudeness to cast dispersions on Bobby Z's actual lineage.

This site is ace. Real Names of Celebrities. Many of them you'll know. Me too. But there were still many surprises, such as Eric Clapton being really Eric Clapp.

There's a definite trend of out with the European and Jewish, and in with Anglo-Saxon.

Some jump off the page at you, such as Patricia Andrzejewski deciding she might be more pronounceable (and saleable) as Pat Benatar. Cherilyn Sarkisian ditched everything except the first four letters, while David Hayward-Jones got rid of the double-barrel and dumbed down to David Bowie.

Sometimes the exotic is made simpler, as Concetta Maria Franconero elides to Connie Francis - but the opposite happens too, when Billy Pratt becomes Boris Karloff and Gladys Smith the huge star, Mary Pickford.

It's a very long list, and you have to wade through it a bit. So as a service to NB readers, I've provided a condensed version, illustrating all of the above and more.
Woody Allen -- Allen Stewart Konigsberg
Bea Arthur -- Bernice Frankel
Fred Astaire -- Frederick Austerlitz

Lauren Bacall -- Betty Joan Perske
Mel Brooks -- Melvin Kaminsky
George Burns -- Nathan Brinbaum

Nicholas Cage -- Nicholas Coppola
Joan Crawford -- Lucille LeSueur
Tony Curtis -- Bernard Schwartz

Doris Day -- Doris Kappelhof
Jimmy Dean -- Seth Ward
John Denver -- Henry John Deutschendorf

Connie Francis -- Concetta Maria Franconero

Judy Garland -- Frances Gumm
James Garner -- James Scott Baumgarner
Whoopi Goldberg -- Caryn Johnson
Cary Grant -- Archibald Alexander Leach

Jean Harlow -- Harlean Carpentier
Billie Holiday -- Eleanora Fagan
Rock Hudson -- Roy Scherer

Elton John -- Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Al Jolson -- Asa Hesselson

Boris Karloff -- William Henry Pratt
Ben Kingsley -- Krishna Bhanji

Dorothy Lamour -- Mary Kaumeyer
Peggy Lee -- Norma Egstrom

Marilyn Monroe -- Norma Jean Mortensen

Mary Pickford -- Gladys Smith

Joan Rivers -- Joan Sandra Molinsky

Edward G. Robinson -- Emanuel Goldenberg
Roy Rogers -- Leonard Slye
Mickey Rooney -- Joe Yule, Jr.

Del Shannon -- Charles Westover
Omar Sharif -- Michael Shalhoub
Charlie Sheen -- Carlos Irwin Estevez
Martin Sheen -- Ramon Estevez
Dusty Springfield -- Mary Isobel Catherine O'Brien

Tina Turner -- Annie Mae Bullock

Sigourney Weaver -- Susan Weaver
Gene Wilder -- Jerome Silberman
And there you are. From now on you will find me under Quentin DeHavilland. (Whadya mean - both been done before?)

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Well now we know. It was all Woody Guthrie's fault. And by the time Dylan got to see him, he was in an insane asylum, they said.

Lots and lots of musical background, which I started to feel was actually too much. Fuck everybody else, I thought after a while... interminable lists of acts which may or may not have influenced him... fuck them all and give me more Bob. Puhleeze.

But Scorsese didn't get where he is by doing the obvious. And it's a four hour movie, after all. By the time he started piling on the genuine Bob stuff we were gagging at the bit for it. And Baez, the biggest gun of all, he artfully kept till last.

So now Bob's just completed Newport 1963, Alan Ginsberg has wept over A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall, and his career is already ballistic. Me, I'm hard at work doing A Levels in double maths and physics, plus violin, and becoming increasingly neurotic as adulthood starts to kick in.

Yet still Scorsese shows us little of the man. Oh he looks fine, talks fine... but so far, apart from Guthrie, it's all "not". Not a topical singer, not a communist, not atomic rain, not a Jew any more when he changes his name. He said he had no background.

There is a possibility, which tomorrow's episode might or might not convey, that in reality there is no more. Sometimes a singular talent remains just that - singular. Just because you wrote great songs doesn't mean you give great telly - or indeed that you have anything else to say at all.

We shall see. Will he talk about the "electric conversion"? Will there be more about the "Judas" moment? Already the audience dissent is clearly there.

Naked Verdict so far: an engrossing but nevertheless workmanlike film of an extraordinary man. Whether the movie gets to where we want, or if there actually is anything at the core to film, we eagerly await. Plus he shouldn't smoke so much. But I detect from his modern voice he's almost certainly quit.


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Monday, September 26, 2005

"And now we go to Tony, who's just about to have an operation on his cancerous prostate. One slip could leave him incontinent and impotent..."

Get off my television you vulture sicko piranhas!

Forgive me, dear reader. This is that ghastly BBC creation City Hospital which I've mentioned here before. Sometimes it comes on automatically when I switch the Tetris off.

But I will say this to you. If I were about to have an operation on a cancerous prostate, do you know the one sentence I would say before going under?

I would say: "Get those fucking cameras out of here!" Idiots for consenting. God - you'd think it was Big Brother, not big prostate.

Lots of gossip

But enough. Hi sweeties! so much to tell you today - it's tricky knowing where to start! First off - did you have a nice weekend? Yes? Me, I did too - but probably more unusual than yours. But then I'm a much more unusual person than you, which is why you come here, now isn't it?

What has William Shatner done to his face, incidentally? I know he's come down a little since his halcyon days in charge of the Enterprise, and now he's punting Kellogg's cereals. But I must say it looks like there's half a box of the product stuffed inside each of his cheeks. With little piggy eyes sticking out. Take a wee deek. You'll see what I mean.

Bottoms Up!

Here's my old friend Spike who I bumped into yesterday in The Regent, right after my climb. It's not a desperately good snap of him, but I look OK, and that's the main thing.

Spike and I taught together at a somewhat notorious city High School for a more than a decade. Elizabeth the First, and Elizabeth the Second, you might say. We gave each other strength when the holocaust came in the eighties. So it was lovely to see him last night.

And hi to all the gang, if you're reading this. We should meet. Lots of them are dead, he told me. Even gladder I got out while I could.

Good Man Down

On Saturday I went back to work, although still ill-ish. On the basis that it would be for only one day anyway, and Saturday is our busiest day of the week by far. Loads of nice strokes from the managers. Thanks, guys. Coped jest fine. Better even than usual, in fact, having spent Friday resting.

But yesterday, Sunday, the yuk was back. Should have stayed in and watched Frasier DVDs, but getting cabin fever by now. Seen no-one apart from work since Tuesday. Maybe even Monday.

Teatime the sun came out and thus the Regent beckoned. I love it during the day because it's the least smoky of my three main bars. Plus whenever I step across the threshold nowadays, they whip off the clubshite "music" and stick on some Elton.

Tennents lager, Daniel, My Brother, and the New Scientist magazine. My cup truly runneth over. (Did you know, by the way, that all the dark matter in the universe can be accounted for by heavy baseballs? Yes, it's true. They weigh one million tonnes each, and you only need one of them per solar system. Be just my luck if it falls on my house.) Isn't science such rubbish! To think I used to almost worship it in my infancy.

Zimmerman and Zombies

Somone else I've long worshipped from afar is Bob Dylan, and this is his week bigtime. What a nostalgia-fest we're in for - in fact it's already started with Scorsese's 1978 movie of The Band, broadcast on Saturday BBC4. The Last Waltz. (I've searched the schedules with a fine-tooth comb to find a repeat for you, but nada.)

Enthralled I sat - transfixed - as these Godlike Mozarts of rock and roll played and accompanied. Oh, there were others... star turns writ in mile-high neon... Clapton, Waters, Young, Diamond, Mitchell, Harris, and ending with Bobby himself... but my attention was fixed, rapt, on the lead guitarist - a gorgeous man I'd never before seen in my life. Robbie Robertson, I learned from the credits. "You have to go where the music takes you - and sometimes it takes you to some strange places," he said.

Steeped in music. Fixed in music. Sat chit ananda. Why do I know nothing of The Band?

My life has been so full of discoveries like this - late discoveries by which time the band has moved to a different street, and is busy playing a different tune. It took until the next day (yesterday) for the prosaic truth to sink in - that Mr Roberston, if he's even survived, will be around my own age now, and not gorgeous any more. Gloria mundi.

Bobby's Girl?

Me and Dylan go back to my schooldays. Yes, really. One of my more avant garde schoolpals had him in stereo tape. (Tape recorders were what there were before cassette players. This friend was richer than most, so he had a stereo one while we got by with our Grundig monos. It was the first stereo I'd ever heard, and he demonstrated it with the Skater's Waltz.)

"Even the President of the United States has to stand naked." I remember that Dylan line. And "Flesh-coloured Christs that glow in the dark." That made an impression too. But - to be honest - it was his rasping voice that prevented me from investigating further. Plus I had loads already with the emerging Beatles and Liverpool in general.

But - things were soon to change. Joan Baez swept into our lives when I was eighteen, she of the golden larynx and impossible range. We adored Joanie, all through University. Not one dissenting voice, if I recall, as to the absolute supremacy of Miss Baez. Joanie rocked. Joanie ruled.

Cut to ten years later, by which time my sister was of young adult years herself, and me borrowing Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits from her. (By now my teenage ears would not have been so acute, and thus Mr Dylan's scrapings and scratchings were more bearable.) And fuck me sideways with a SelfSet mousetrap! All those songs he was rasping out - they were the ones we'd worshipped with la Baez a decade before. Now I'd met the creator!

Now I could hear Mister Tambourine Man in its shimmering glory - rather than the truncated 3 minute version by The Byrds. I still to this day only listen to it roughly once a decade - so as never to tarnish its sublime ecstasy. She lent me Cat Stevens as well, again after his peak years.

Pass The Hanky

So this is gonna be one mother of a week, Dylan-wise, for all us fifties and sixties folk. And I hope you'll excuse the odd tear on the way. Why oh why can I never enjoy someone's genius without beating myself up for my own mediocrity? Other people don't do that. I know they don't. They just buy the thing and enjoy it.

Ah well. Keeping trying is what keeps me going. Vive la prostate!

(Oh - and the Beeb are doing all the Romero zombie flicks again this week - presumably for those unmoved by Bobby Z.)

Tonight's main Dylan event is the world premiere of Martin Scorsese's No Direction Home. A co-production by the BBC and PBS, this is their first collaboration, and is being premiered in Britain and the US on the same day.

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Friday, September 23, 2005


Not really, but if only. Off work today due to predominance of upper respiratory infection. Acute. Need another day in bed, and/or browsing the interweb. Eating like a pig, and putting on not one ounce. Milligramme. Every cloud has a digital scale.

Thoughts go out, and other such cliches (but I mean them), to those soon to be affected by Hurricane Rita. And still affected by Katrina. The poor people of the United States must be wondering what they've done wrong to have so much devastation this century. One thing after another.

And no-one seems to be voicing the unthinkable - that there's no reason on earth for the hurricane chain to stop. Imagine that - a country with an uninhabitable coast. It just couldn't happen. Wouldn't run. Where would the ships go?

CRASH (David Cronenberg, 1996)

Watched it again last night, or rather part, and the rest this morning. What a creation! What a work! It makes our own feeble efforts seem like Mickey Mouse. I'm in complete and total awe of all concerned. In fact this, my second viewing, has even strengthened my admiration. Maybe call it widescreen telly. Mebbe call it surround sound.

For those who haven't seen Crash, and I can't imagine that's many NB readers, it's a movie about extreme human sexuality. A sexualisation of cars, car-crashes, disability and deformity. It is immense. The only quibble I make is that all the people, even the most severely disabled (Rosanna Arquette), are gorgeous. No-one with only half a face, for example, is shown bopping away - grunting and groaning in the back seat.

Rent it. Buy it. Can't be very dear these days. But don't, whatever you do, blame me for encouraging you.

Slate: Luc Sante Gorgeous commentary.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005


A bingo caller with a cold has a wee bit of a problem.

No, it's not (usually) his voice. The infection often adds resonance and endurance, for some strange reason. Maybe hot muscle is more pliant. That long since I've had sex I've forgotten.

No, it's something much more mundane. Snot. Or rather, what to do with snot when both hands are fully occupied. Here I'm talking about that clear, Niagara-running sort - not the green yukky stuff which comes later. (Hope you're not having your lunch, by the way.)

What's a boy to do with a microphone in one hand, and the other pressing the random number generating button - while all the time his nose gushes rivers into his mouth? (We don't use balls any more. Maybe you didn't know that.) You can't just stop the numbers to blow your nose all night - they'd go mad. And rightly so.

Sometimes, on voicing a more plosive number such as fifty-five you can see little snot drops fly off your face into the front row, and you hope they don't land on one of the old ladies. Or if they do, that she doesn't notice in her eagerness to win a substantial prize. (All of the above, and more, happened only yesterday.)

Anna is writing about her obsessive compulsive disorders, and Alan about idiosyncrasies. It sure is navel-gazing season. Me, I have neither of the above, except maybe for one - my hovel-type home. Here's how I explained that in Anna's comment box, after dissing her previous 56 commenters.
Stark, staring bonkers - the lot of you. And it was all done with Monica in Friends. Totally last century.

The thing *I* can't stand actually is a clean floor. I just *know* stuff is going to go on it and not get shifted, so I don't fight against this.

Right now mice have moved in though, so I'll have to clean up and tidy. For a while. Because I just can't stand that carpet staring up at me. Got to put a magazine on it. Then a mug. Then - oh a pair of socks won't hurt. And you get my drift.

Betcha no-one's got MY ONE.
So now you know. It's not bone-idleness; it's a condition.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Leith mice are very hard. Leith mice can chew through steel wool, then steal the chocolate off yer mousetrap. I hate Leith mice.

There's so much happening just now. Too, too much for a white lady. And even further change is in the air. Wow. Times I just lust after six months with nothing to do. Nothing. To do. But laze and get thin.

Bought new trousers yesterday from Debenhams. (Pants.) Thirty-six inch waist, as befits my new svelte midriff. And for once I could look in the shop mirror and not feel totally nauseated. Cool. So it's not all bad.

But all this animal attack and attendant loss of sleep has reduced my defences, and I feel the beginnings of a cold coming on. How sickly is that.

Drinks with Babs yesterday, while she told me much biographical info about the late, great Ju. (Julian Dunham, 1950 - 2005.) But my heart's not in it, somehow. Maybe in a day or two if the mood strikes me out of the blue. None of you knew him anyway, and I didn't ever write of him here. Drifted apart. People do. People change, and a personal friendship should maybe be kept exactly that. Your kind words in the comment box are lovely, as ever.

Tomorrow is Equinox Day, at 22.23 UT/GMT. This translates to 23.23 British Summer Time. (via) Have a nice Equinox, and hi to the southern hemisphere as we pass in the dark!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Like any other community, we have additions and departures.

Yesterday Ju died. Obituary later.

And in the early hours of today, Gwen gave birth to Emmy Dolan 6 pounds 13 oz. Mother and baby are jest fine. She was gonna have it at home, very earth-motherish, but apparently the pain was that bad they rushed her to hospital, where she squeezed it out in four hours.

I talked with Gwen just hours before the birth, and told her how well she looked - a bulge rather than a tent. She laughed. Congratulations also to proud dad Craig - even if his was the easy part.

(Gwen, you may remember, is bar manager at The Village, and some time radio presenter. A right laugh, but she can be a bit nippy. But not today though, I'm sure.) Fab news, hen - if yer reading this.

You haven't heard of Ju before, as we'd drifted apart. But he was there in the mad, bad early nineties. An influence. Watch this space. Too young to die.

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Monday, September 19, 2005


I have plugged a mousehole with steel wool. However unpleasant, unkind and unwelcoming this might be, I needed to do that for my sanity.

Visible mouse presence (VMP) has dropped to zero. (But will it last?)

Audible mouse presence (Audioscrobbling) has not dropped to zero. Woke me twice in fact, but at least I think it was behind the skirting. Probably trying to create a new way in. If only humans would be half so loving!
And that's enough about mice for a while. Thank you for your patience, forebearance, and long may yer homes be free of the wee buggers. Wee and free.


*My computer has just frozen and ditched half an hour's (well, it felt like that) stuff.*
IN WHICH I dodge green armies of Hibs and Celtic fans in Easter Road yesterday, gulp down a deliciously wicked breakfast in The Village, and then discuss why Scotland is the most violent country in Europe. (Same as all the other places - drink, drugs, deprivation, hopelessness, useless schools, worse police and family breakdown.)

But we've got something extra. We've got religious and sexual guilt thrown in as well. John Knox has created an entire nation imbued with the idea that it's sinful to enjoy yourself. "Aye - we'll pay fer this some day..." Hence smashed ootaeyerface drunkenness and nowadays the drug equivalents also.) It's a sair fecht.
Right - that's covered two lost screens in two paragraphs! (Sorry bout the wonderful plug I gave earlier for your Full Scottish Breakfast, boys.) All that sausage, bacon, beans, tattie scone, black pudding, fried egg and toast. Yummee! Could sink another one right now.

To the Port, and a nice couple of hours with Wee Robert, Little Alex and Michelle, Alex's splendid new lady. Rootin' tootin'!

And then home in woe and misery to face the demon rodents alone. How I was put on this earth to suffer. But I made lovely progress. Steel wool and rubbish bags. Peace with honour. (I bought gardening gloves to handle the steel wool with. Very Margot from the Good Life.)

So how are things in blogland? I'm neglecting everyone bigtime. Much too self-absorbed. How was the London Blogmeet? Anyone interesting there? Isn't it wonderful now Natasha is back from her honeymoon? Weren't Franz Ferdinand ace on Jonathan Ross? You almost certainly heard of them here first, you know. Peter stunned by FF and 22 20's, November 2003. (Check the comment box!)

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Sunday, September 18, 2005


There's a fun new mousehole in my living room! It leads straight to the substructure of the entire building, to next door, and - by the bizarre nature of Scottish urban architecture, even to the next street. It is the very motorway of mouseness.

Last night they were back, bigtime. I saw so many, or one so many times, that there's no longer even an adrenalin leap. I'm like, "Hi there! Please don't make a mess." Patrick Moore was on BBC 4, to add to the air of surrealness.

Then during the night they were chewing. Really loud chewing. Just beside this mousehole sits my entire set of videos since videos were invented. Entire. On the floor. Boxes in one stack, and videos in another. And you should just hear a video box being chewed in the middle of the night. Still I eventually relaxed enough to dose.
"Have you read Pride and Prejudice?"

"No, but I enjoyed the video at Peter's"
I'm going a bit mental with the strain, as you can see. Lesser men than me would have run screaming into a strait-jacket. But not me, not yet at least. When the going gets tough.

(That white cable incidentally is the very first one that Naked Blog goes in to. If they chew that it's bye-bye blog.) Maybe they'll sense the electric bugaloo and keep clear.

Naked Blog - trodden by real Leith mice. I am going mental again, I can tell now. Have a nice Sunday. I'd like to climb my hill, but I guess I should do something about the house.

During the night I thought about a cat. Thought quite hard, as the video boxes got chewed to noisy destruction. (What sort of creature eats a video box?) I could get one right now if I wanted - from the cat and dog home. Scott got one and he loves it.

Just think - no more mice ever again...


Thirty years of torture...


But cats are such a gay cliche. Like immaculate homes. And they tie you down. Not that I ever go anywhere.

PS Did I mention Kate Moss was at my bingo last night? Yes - she's heard we play for lines.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005


Today's mini-post brought to you by the weight thirteen stones, six and three-quarter pounds. Or, for most of the non-metric world, 188.75 pounds. (One stone equals fourteen pounds. Don't blame me.)

So, what's the biggie?

Well, this is something that every single dieter in Britain will recognise immediately. Six and three-quarter pounds. Six.

Because in a weight system of fourteen pound units, the figure seven takes on that magical half stone property. Over seven is one thing, below it is something else.

And today I'm below it. For the first time in years. So happy.

Proving that middle-aged spread isn't inevitable. You can grow old and thin.

So grab yer digital scales, girls, and get weighing that fat carcass. Buy one if you don't already possess. Do it every day, and then take a weekly average. (Keeps you on your toes all the time, instead of just before weighday.)

See ya at thirteen stones nowt!

(My own scale is by Salter. It's the dog's thingie.)

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Friday, September 16, 2005


Little Alex is starting his own blog!!!

This is quite serious, as it will allow him to give his side of the story. More news as it arrives.

(I had to feel sorry for the wee thing last night... him and GaryD sitting drinking non-alcoholic lager all night (Kaliber), as they've got a bet on with each other they can survive a whole month without booze.) It must be pretty damn horrible sitting watching people plummet into garbled incoherence - while you're still rock solid sober.

The Port had a staff and customers outing last Sunday to Yellowcraigs, whatever that is. Some sort of beach. One woman partied so hard they had to call her an ambulance. She had sunburn and hypothermia simultaneously. Only in Scotland. What fun we do have!

Yesterday, In Other Pubs

Nice drinkies with Babs in the Regent, but afterwards I didn't go up the mountain this time. Down Leith instead. Even took the bus, lazy bitch that I am. (Well - it's downhill all the way to the sea (usually is, except in Naw Lens), and Easter Road must be one of the most boring streets in town.) Unless you ken different. Chatted to a bingo lady on the bus.

Babs is off to Oban this weekend with beloved. Apparently there's a seafood restaurant to die for. Must check it out. Me, I've been to just about every town on the Scottish coast, in my cycling days. (The fitness!) Times they merge into one in my mind. Is this Ullapool, or are ye just pleased ta see me? Love to retrace those tracks, even if a little slower these days. Saga Cycle Tours. I can just see it.

You know - that's Business Opportunity #197 I've just thought of and discarded for others. John Macaulay and I were gonna do the Trainspotting Tours a good ten years before Tim Bell scooped the pool. And look where he is now.

In Other Blogs

Try this one. Fremescent.

Or this one, as JonnyB winds down his Save The Post Office campaign. Could be your last chance to hear this historic protest song.

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Thursday, September 15, 2005


Thanks for all your kind inputs to my mouse drama.
Stop pandering to him Alan.
Peter. Tidy up yer gaff. Stop procrastinating.
You cannae complain about infestations if yer living in a hovel!! Gordon

Oh god, Peter, that sounds awful. I feel nauseous just reading it. Traps, traps, traps. Place two together to fool them and snap their little fucking necks. And also poison. You could also borrow a cat just for a couple of days if the breathing wouldn't get too bad. anna

darling, anna and gordon are right. it's time to get those yellow rubber gloves on and get the detergent out. mice love dirt and mess. so you don't mind it. put the two together and what do you have ?


just tell yourself that you are moving to a new house...then throw everything away...then after the house is cleaned can change your mind and stay...everytime i've ever moved...i've thrown practically everything away...most of it was crap i didn't know i had... danny

buy a cat - then you'll have your very own tom and jerry show every evening. andre

There's a moose loose aboot yer hoose? Ya big feardie. Try walking through the bush from Skukuza to Berg-en-Dal, at night, for a real beastie thrill. Meecies may reduce you to pieces, but as unhygenic as they are, they can't kill you. chav gav

Or perhaps you should buy a self-help book and get seduced by the latest "de-clutter and your life will be great" philosophy. tokyo girl
Many thanks for these and the other kind suggestions also. Some great reading there.


So where are we now, in terms of mice?

Bought some poison from B and Q Household store. It's a kind of walk-through poison mall. (The product, not the shop.) Bought three of these "bait stations" as they're called. Bought Aero chocolate to bait my Selfset mousetraps, as the mice don't seem to be fruitarians.

Slept, after a fashion, but with the telly on all night (and sound). I'm getting the feeling that it might just have been one rogue mouse which had strayed from the main rodent gaff. Margaret from across the landing and one floor down is having her flat re-floored, which always upsets the eco-system of a tenement block.

Mice are endemic in all tenement subfloors. Scottish readers at least should be aware of that. The trick is to keep them out of your own particular space. The one you pay the mortgage for. Typically this is done mostly successfully, but with occasional slips. My own "half street" contains no less than three commercial food premises on the ground floor, so that is the base from where we start.

In terms of "hovel" as Gordon suggests, well yes and no. There is much stuff, but all of it paper. (Remember that thing - people used to read off it). There are no half-eaten pizzas lying around. Nor bean tins, complete with teaspoon set in the dried-out contents. Nor chicken bones, abandoned take-aways, nor anything else you'd think was of interest to vermin. (Unless they're keen on back issues of the Radio Times. I presume you could make nests from it.) I keep the place free of the sight and even smell of food. Thirty years of tenement living have taught me that at least.

I hope that makes things a little clearer. And I'm hoping yesterday's rogue mouse will have sussed the place out and made a bee-line for pastures smellier. Trouble is - I'm just about the only one on the stair who doesn't have a dog or cat.

But mess has its attendant problems - especially when it reaches the walls. Because then they can eat their way in through the skirting, and not be detected.

I was a young man when all that stuff started to accumulate - fresh of face and hopeful of ambition. Now I'm a different man to look at, but still there's a little of him left inside me. And he is in every bag of old letters and paraphernalia. The ghost of him stands in front of the still-sixties gas cooker, making tea for the dream lover who never really happened. I'm loathe to toss him to the wheelie bin just yet.

I like my mess. Sorry no photo. Peter cleans the bathroom sink (Treasures On Earth, 2001).

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005


Best enjoyed after the post below.

OK - got all that?

Then let me add the five am update - when one emerged from behind the Playstation. Yes really, and was headed for the centre of the floor. All this time I'm watching helpless from the sofa where I sleep. Shout! Clap my hands! Bang the floor! It barely registers, and the creature ambles off into the dark shadows again.

(Yes - of course I've got beds, and bedrooms, but they're too covered in mess to use.) The present arrangement started fifteen years ago, just for a couple of nights till I got things sorted out. Hah.

Sightings to date: four. This could be one mouse seen four times, or four mice seen once each, or anything in between. It's a pandemic. Full-on infestation, and I'm in the middle of it. The ultimate horror of course would be to find one in or on my bed while I'm in it. Don't know if my body or mind would stand the shock. Might push me over the edge. Thank God I've got work in a couple of hours to get me out of this verminous hovel.

To work for a day, pretending to be lively while exhausted and terrified, will bring its problems also.

Here is the news:

I discovered that having the telly on seemed to shut them up. Drive them out of the room at least. Must be Natasha. (More likely the flickering.) So I'm now an expert on today's news. Test me...
Drivers are protesting about fuel charges, mostly in Jarrow.

People are panic buying petrol, and creating a shortage where there wouldn't have been one.

Children won't eat healthy school dinners, and their parents won't make them. (Fucking idiots the lot. Probably chavs with mice in their homes.)

Freddy Flintoff has a hangover.

Cricket is going onto pay-per-view satellite for four years. (Keep Rupert happy.)

Keira Knightley is starring in Pride and Prejudice. She's nearer the right age than Greer Garson who did it last time, apparently. Mills and Boon of its day, right?
I'm off to buy some poison. That will buy time. Then engage some "help" to get the house sorted and find the bodies. Got to happen. Can't go on like this. They'll put me in a home.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Shit! There I am, just five minutes ago. (It's half nine at night and I'm mellow. Or was.) When what do I see but this shadow, this fleeting fickering shape in the corner of the room.

Well - I see flickers quite a bit these days. Elephants, pink and otherwise. Put it down to those flecks and specks in the elderly eyes.

Radio 2 I had on - The Carpenters' Story - all very bland... mouselike.
"I said goodbye to love,
No-one ever cared if I should live or die..."

Coming next week! Karen's abortive marriage and her descent into anorexia!
When suddenly there the little bugger was - darting and jumping across the room in front of the fireplace! So much space - so mouse-friendly. The room it sprang out from hasn't even been entered, far less cleaned, in over a decade.

Creatures? I truly hate them. Between mice in the skirtings and wasps in the attic, my house could double for the Kruger National Park, I tell you.

But I've set a trap. Selfset trap. Baited it with pear. Conference Pear.

Very intellectual. Let you know what happens. Creepy having to sleep in such a mousey mousey house though.

(I love the wee things really. So much more useful than pedigree racehorses. I just don't want them wild in my home. Rather send donations to a mouse sanctuary if anything.)

Shock Update!

Shhhh! Don't wake any more of them! (It's four in the morning, and I've just spotted my third - yes third mouse. Running from the glass door into a rubbish heap on the floor.) I can't sleep - because when you're not actually seeing them within a foot of your bed, they're constantly gnawing... scritch, scritch, scrabble.

I'm at suicide's door, I can tell you. How could anyone - anyone - sleep in this is beyond me. This is the most mousey attack in my thirty plus years here, and I'm terrified. How I was put on this earth to suffer. Mebbe get a cat, but I hate them and they stop me breathing. Even putting the light on doesn't stop them for more than a minute. Or hitting the floor with a slipper. Fucking fearless, I'm telling you.

Help! (Just when things were starting to go not bad as well...)

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But yesterday was great. One of those days when every wish comes true. (The secret of wishes coming true btw is to keep them reasonable. Not silly things like "a date with Shane Warne to cheer him up after his Ashes defeat".)

No - stick to items like this list, and your cup will runneth over...
  • wanted to go up Arthur's Seat. went up.

  • wanted it to stay sunny. sun shone throughout.

  • wanted to buy a loaf of wholemeal bread but still catch the number 35 bus from the top of Easter Road. bought it. caught it.

  • wanted to buy two XL and one Medium Port o Leith t-shirts from Mary. (Medium for the diva. don't ask. she's in denial.) bought them.

  • wanted Little Alex to be there to model the tshirts. he was. he modelled.
  • Do you ever get days when everything goes dead right?

    Alex models the world-famous Port 0'Leith t-shirt, as recently won by mike, alan and jonnyb. They'll be dropping through their letter boxes any day now!

    The print is a drawing of the bar interior by local artist Caroline Conway. These shirts are highly sought-after and very collectable. Pity you never entered my competition. (But there'll be more.) Plus I still owe some of you your t-shirts from last year.

    City Hospital

    Just had a huge laugh in the living room at this garbage TV show. The most fun you can have with your clothes on. Yes - they're even doing reality hospital now. That big black man off the cookery shows, and petite Sian thingie off the red sofa.

    They're in a real hospital, Sian and Ainslie, is it? With real ill people, trying to make entertainment out of real disease and ultimately death. Me, I could only watch for the duration of one chopped pork and mustard sandwich, as the whole concept was so nauseating, but this will give you a flavour...


    Foxy guy of 35 in t-shirt and briefs sitting on a hospital bed with various bracelets, wires and tubes coming out and going in...
    Ainslie: Yo dude! Whassup?

    Foxyman: Last week I got this flashing in front of me eyes, Ainslie. Then I passed out.

    Ainslie: Wicked! Then what happened?

    Foxyman: Three days later it happened again.

    Ainslie: Radical, dude. What's the diagnosis?

    Foxyman: Dunno. Haven't spoke to the doc today. He said it might be epilepsy.

    Ainslie: Good luck, mate. (Shakes man's hand and turns to camera...) This illustrates folks, the importance of going to the doctor when something goes wrong. If Foxy had gone the first time, then the second attack wouldn't have happened.
    Here I almost vomited up my Co-op Celebrity Chopped Pork. Anyone with half a milligramme of medical knowledge knows that the poor sap might very well be suffering from a brain tumour, which could lead to a series of ultimately useless operations followed by a painful and undignified death - awash in his own excrement.

    Could easily be all of that. Or something less.

    And the BBC calls this entertainment?

    Patient Observer

    It's actually all part of a process I call The Medicalisation of Society. The idea that we're not autonomous beings any longer, but instead have all become patients. Patients to support a huge and out-of-control Medical Establishment, which has our actual interests and well-being somewhere near the bottom of its scale. With careers and profits far, far more important than us.

    It's a book waiting to be written to be honest, so please feel free. Me I can't be bothered. And the BBC colludes in this by putting hospital shows on morning TV between house improvement and attic bargains. Thus subtly telling the nation that hospital is the OK place to be.

    Perhaps uniquely amongst those you, I don't actually have a GP. Oh there was one once, back in the bad days, but he retired and I never bothered to replace him.

    Because today I'm well. Some day I might become ill. Some day I'll certainly die. What's the problem? Who needs em?

    Quis Custodiet?

    Went to buy a new Guardian yesterday, so I could enlighten you with my views, but there was none. Schemie Street. So I was stuck in the pub with The Sun. Apparently, it says, gay couples married (?) to each other will take priority in army housing over unmarried heterosexual couples. This means they'd live on the army estates amongst children. (Mentioned three times.) They left the reader to imagine how shocking that would be.

    Thought briefly of composing the most homophobic letter I could muster, and seeing if they printed it. Haha. But I climbed the mountain instead, as it is even more immovable than The Sun.

    Mike writes about marriage and civil partnerships. Should be fun as his own civil partnership progresses.

    Alan writes about his forthcoming assault on Mount Everest. (Why do people assault mountains? Seems nasty.)

    It's gonna be hard for my own little organ to compete with all this real-world fascination. But of course there is no competition. Sum of the parts. Universe in a grain of sand.


    Thanks to the same mike for identifying the source of those annoying pop-ups some of you have been enduring lately. It's nedstat, now called something else, who as charge for their free statistics service have just recently begun to deliver ads.

    Naturally they can sod off. If anyone's gonna make a buck from Naked Blog, he's sitting not one hundred feet from where I am now. Today I'll decide whether to buy the pro version, which presumably is ad-free, or ditch the bitch completely.

    Apologies for that recent inconvenience, which I hope hasn't damaged your Naked Blog eperience too deeply. I hate advertising with such a passion. And now I'm off to get drunk with whomever will put up with me! Enjoy your office!

    Nice To Meet You!

    Spent an engaging hour in the Regent yesterday, chatting to Kara, a lovely young woman just arrived from South Dakota, and to Robert the new barman. Of my vintage. Almost.

    Fifty is the new twenty-one, if you ask me.

    Hi to both, and good luck with your writings. This is Naked Blog - the standard by which the others are judged.

    And you say? (12)   Link to this

    Monday, September 12, 2005


    Hello. Nervous again, after two days "off". Happy Monday. Please love me. Wasn't Muriel's Wedding great again last night?
    (Sorry no IMDb, but it keeps crashing the computer today. And blogger keeps saying "nocookies". And then won't accept that I've reset the security to Medium. Which I never unset in the first place.... Sorry again... you wonder why I get disheartened sometimes...)
    This was my second viewing, but the first - a few years ago - just bowled me for six. Scattered what's left of my ashes bigtime. You've already got one mother of a movie going on in front of you - bitch-prom-queens, ugly duckling (well - duck, to be honest), Abba music, dysfunctional family... got all that, and then Rachel Griffiths arrives! Cup runneth over. Mardi Gras.

    Talking of which - don't you think it's time they just wrote off New Orleans as an expensive mistake? I mean - the sea will go where the sea wants to go. Canute couldn't stop it. So Bush has nae chance, as we say here in Scotland.

    And, linguistic little thing that I am, I'm getting sick - pig sick I tell you - of wildly differing pronunciations for the joint. You say tomato. Well - you say nooworlins - and we say nyoo orleeyuns. Pisses me off. Say it their way, for Gawd's sake. It's their town. Or was.

    So make them another town quick. Up a mountain. Call it "Even Newer Orleans". Pronounce it how you want. At least they'll be able to get insurance then.

    Irish Uprising

    Doesn't it make you sick? After almost forty years of this, I've come to the devastating conclusion that I couldn't give a monkey's for their hatreds, their pointless bigotries, or their fucking "parades". Give everyone that wants out a house on the mainland, Fiat Panda, and then let the rest get on with it. Unite till they're green in the face. Easy. Big Easy. Plus save a fortune in tax pounds.
    (I realise this must sound a touch harsh for the law-abiding peaceful majority there, but Belfast is as lousy a prospect as New Orleans, if you think about it. Sooner or later the hurricanes of hate will quite flatten the place.)
    Religion. Hatred. Doncha just love them? Some day they'll all be done away with, and an age of rationality will at last succeed the dark millennia of ignorance. And then people will jest have to find something else to hate over. Haha.

    Home Alone

    Resting body and voice yesterday, and losing weight into the bargain. Today was thirteen stones eight, the second lightest since records began. I'm so happy with the way things are going, however slowly, because at least they're slow in the right direction. And at this rate of losing half a pound a week, I'll be at thirteen stones (182 lb) by the end of the year - mas o menos. Something real to celebrate, alone, in the darkest days.

    Discovered a great wheeze on the telly yesterday. It was the UK TV History Channel, which was showing four episodes of Alan Titchmarsh's British Isles: A Natural History, back to back. And then again. And then again. If you missed a bit, it just swung round past you four hours later.

    Tubby Toast

    Talking of "again again", I even clocked an episode of Tellytubbies yesterday - the first time I've seen it for several years. Wow! Took me right back to ninety-seven, when the Tubbies swept the land like Katrina. (The only other events of note that year were Blair's arrival and Diana's departure.)

    You'd forgotten the Tellytubbies, hadn't you - I can tell. How iconic the four names became overnight, as bit by bit adults "got it". The idea that now you can be hooked on telly long before you can even speak. And they did. Get hooked in their millions, all over the planet. But even a hardened telly-cynic like this one has to admit the production is masterful. Drama for the unable to speak yet. Sure as hell beats Muffin the Mule! (And yes - I did watch that, at the intended age.)


    Amazing how suddenly, last Thurday, so many blogpeople did introspection. What's it all about? Must be something in the water. My bingo ladies thought I was very brave - foolhardy even - to drink the Water of Leith as in the story below. I told them my readers demand nothing less than excellence in their Naked Blog.

    I've two days now to eat (not very much), drink (ditto), and be a tiny bit merry. See ya! Why is life such a self-denial?
    Self denial. Now there's a stunning concept. Never struck me like that before. Think about it. Ciao!
    (Do I want an X Box 360 when it comes out? It's got one teraflop. Will I want to play anything else on it apart from Doom 3 ? Doom goes further back than Tellytubbies even. It's iconic - the very Ninth Symphony of the medium.)

    How can I live without a teraflop?

    And you say? (18)   Link to this

    Friday, September 09, 2005


    Good morning campers! The country seems divided today by a belt of rain. Well, guess who's right in the middle!

    But it was different yesterday, when my dancing feet took me from the Shore Barbers (number three all over) down Debenham's way for work shirts (the style!), via Malmaison Hotel on the Water of Leith.

    Well, who should grab my attention in Malmaison forecourt but the lovely Alana Hood, who explained she'd set up a water refinery. Those ten huge filters, filled with Polish charcoal (accept no substitute) had rendered the very Water of Leith safe, nay delicious, to drink.

    Now, bearing in mind that the cops regularly lift bodies from this o-so-guilty waterway, New Orleans-style, this was something of a trust matter between Alana and me. But she seemed very nice, not one of those over-made-up brassy women who often frequent such demonstrations - so I succumbed to curiosity and drank the Water of Leith. And yes - we're still here to tell the tale!

    Other pictures from recent days include a copcar halfway up my mountain on Monday, (suicide climbers?) and Sandra and Johnny under a fungus tree on Sunday, after we visited Big Straight Al. He sends his love. He's making progress, and is on a Zimmer now, rather than wheelchair. I sense his mind will need some healing too.

    Many thanks for your kind comments during my recent "what's it all for?" spell. You truly are a magnificent bunch. I'd love to invite every single one of you to Leith and show you all these splendid places for real.

    Never mind Trainspotting Tours - we Got Naked Blog tours! Much more modish than Welsh.

    Johnny, Mike and Alan - you'll need to tell me your t-shirt sizes. I'm assuming Medium is out of the question.

    (Oh, and see my Flickr page for the ones that didn't make the cut! I'm wearing my line-dancing shirt, but of course I'd never do anything so common as line dancing.)

    And you say? (14)   Link to this

    Thursday, September 08, 2005



    The thought that anyone - anyone - would want to read one word of this excrement, this rotting

    Can't finish the sentence. Mebbe could if I tried, but sick of trying.

    So pointless.

    Who cares? (Please don't say "me".)

    I know you're only being kind. All six of you.

    Pop Tart

    Some of you are getting popups when you visit this site.

    Mea non culpa.

    I earn, as you know, zero bucks from Naked Blog. Au contraire, it costs me in excess of half a grand a year to fund this naked search-a-thon. Just for retards who haven't grasped the idea that when you search for words, then words are what you get. Not nekkid pics. Not ever those. Fuckwits. I despise you. You impoverish my soul and my pocket.

    NB is hosted with a premium service who simply wouldn't deliver popups. Wouldn't. However - there are many more servers in play here. Look around this page at the buttons, stats services etc.

    Mea non culpa.

    Fix it yourself. (But please do report any findings.) Plus, as Sal says, it could just as well be your own ISP.

    Competition News

    Everyone's won! Mike and Alan send me your address if you want your prize of a Port o Leith Bar T-shirt. Jonny I've already got yours (I think) from last year. Thanks to all three.

    Ta'en a scunner

    Can't remember when last I felt so negative about blogorrhoea. The insult of vomiting out my views when you yourself are perfectly capable of forming your own. The ever-harder task of reporting on a life of profound and utter alcoholic tedium. The hours and hours and hours spent sitting in front of a damn screen, for no reward other than a tiny handful of kind commenters.

    It's OK for most of you - you can steal time from your employer. Me I only steal it from my life. And there might not be that much left to plunder.

    Choose life, not blog.

    And you say? (26)   Link to this

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    GONE FISHIN' (For a few)

    *insert nice line drawing of angler lazing back on a sunny afternoon. you know the one*

    *print it out*

    *colour it in*

    *isn't that better than a silly blogpost?*

    And you say? (20)   Link to this

    Friday, September 02, 2005


    It's easy to comment from thousands of miles away, knowing nothing except the sadnesses on the telly, and the "haven't a clue" statistics, but just what's going on in New Orleans and environs?

    This was possibly the most known about in advance disaster there's ever been. It behaved almost exactly as predicted, and caused the exact amount of havoc expected. To the richest country in the world by far.

    And yet the survivors have no homes, no food, and no water. They only thing they do have is TV crews in abundance. But then there's profit in TV. None in helping the hungry and homeless. Let them eat Happy Meals.

    Of course everyone's quick to criticise the Bush administration, just as they increasingly are with our own. But even this weblog, which tries never to opine on things we have no direct experience of (unlike others I could name), is finding New Orleans hard to understand.

    Fourth Estate

    Shocked and horrified at the BBC coverage of that Yorkshire suic*ide bo*mber taped on Al Ja*zee*ra. "M*o*h*a*m*m*a*d S*i*d*i*q*u*e K*h*a*n was shown justifying his acts of July the seventh." (Those are almost the exact words the newsreader read.)

    Watch my lips, BBC, as if your life depended on it, as it may yet do. MSK didn't justify anything. What he did was demonstrate his religion-related fanaticism. By airing and promoting his views like this, you are guilty of leading thousands of ignorant assholes to follow in his vile ways.

    I accuse you. Pity my mobile wasn't on, or I'd have sent you another text. (In case there's any potential fanatics who haven't seen the broadcast, you can find it here.) I do despair. The world's gone fucking mad. For once I'm going to prefer the Sun newspaper coverage of this, and I never thought I'd live to see that day.

    Hi to all from Scottish Blogs. Your official greeting is just below.

    Competition News:

    Write your own Naked Blog:

    The response so far has been like diamonds - small and exquisite.
    Many thanks to (in order of appearance) Alan, JonnyB and mike for taking part.

    I'll let it run till about Wednesday, and then a winner will be declared. At the moment it's impossible to even slide paper between alan and mike, so they both qualify for a Port o Leith t-shirt. Alan because he'll wear it, and mike because it'll look very common and I find that amusing.

    In Bronze position (because he only completed part of the task) is Jonny, who qualifies for an exquisite Leith wristband in fashionable pale blue rubbber. They say they make excellent cockrings for the well endowed. I quite often wear one myself.

    And you say? (18)   Link to this

    Thursday, September 01, 2005


    One hundred thousand welcomes to anyone popping in from Scottish Blogs, that modern-day equivalent of the Scottish National Library. The repository of blog in these pairts.

    You probably won't like Naked Blog. Most people don't. Too arty-farty. Who does dis guy think he is. Dude. McDude. Big Gay McDude and fries.

    So what's it all about? Alfie?

    It's about me. And Leith. And Arthur's Seat. And the Port o Leith Bar. And getting old. And bingo. Just gotta get on with it. Nothing else for it. But - perhaps strangely - it's about you too.

    Because you and I are very close, although we've never met. We share human DNA, or so they tell us. We live on the same tortured planet, where hatred conquers love in all directions. Where myths of the past inspire bombs of the present to annihilate and exterminate the future. Satanic Daleks. And there is no hope for us. You need to be old, and without issue, to get through each day without screaming.

    Oh fuck, I've woken up again, it goes. Must be alive then, it sinks in. Well, just gotta get on with it. Nothing else for it. Be bedtime soon, anyway.

    Missed My Calling

    Fun and games at the bingo last night, when I missed a claim. That means, the caller (me) didn't hear the player shouting "House!". So they leave with nothing. Totally fucks them off bigtime.

    Mongos were all around her, the quiet claimant, taking her side against the posh bitch with the microphone and ironed shirt. Baying for my blood like a wolfpack. It's a jungle in a modern bingo hall: forget any notion you might have had of delicate old ladies.

    Then what do I hear from the balcony, sweet salvation in the melee? "Go Peter!" I hear, shouted in a familiar voice. Yes, it was Little Alex and his two girlfriends, out for a night out at his old workplace, which is where and how we met. (Irreconcilable differences, if you must know.) Him and the bingo I'm meaning, of course. None of that hanky-panky here, I'll have ye ken.

    "Go Peter" I hears from above, and yes, that cheered me up, calmed me down, kept me from drifting off sideways.

    Welcome to Naked Blog. One hundred thousand. And do drop in again soon - meet the gang. Now with added Atom feed. (There's a writing game in the post below, but it's probably a bit too soon for you.)

    Update: Read my feature. (The only one of these meme things I've ever done.)

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