Tuesday, 8 May 2007


I read a comedy article in the Observer this week about how insomnia is just one of those made-up diseases from a non-existent pathology that middle-class people use to make themselves more interesting (like wheat allergies etc). I wish. The author also said that insomniacs write too much on their blogs about it and it's boring. I guess this is true. But tapping away into the ether is preferable to staring at the wall. What happened to old cures? [Old cures were: any trashy murder story (not good literature: that requires a heavy bout of flu); the World Service; Something Too Dirty To Write About Even For The Ether]. They don't work anymore (actually books work less and less in any sense for me, something else for me to worry away at as the hours tick by -- is this the real thing about aging? A creeping anhedonia? I was thinking about this walking back from the Lido today ... I am fairly sure that when I was younger I was more or less interested in everyone who swam into view in front of me; but now I find it hard to care about anything out of my immediate perspective. I suppose the advantage to this is that one becomes more focussed with age but oh my goodness you could easily become very blinkered. Anyway hope that's not happening to me (yet) so I tried talking to the woman in the sandwich shop where I bought my caprese roll (don't ask) (oh, you didn't) but she just sort of grunted. Perhaps narrow perspectives are easier. Where was I? Oh yes. Not sleeping. New cure which does work but which terrify me because of tolerance (growing ineffectiveness over time) is to antagonise (pharmacologically) one's histaminic receptors until one glides into slumber. Unfortunately (apart from my terror that I become tolerant to the therapy) this is what tends to happen to me the next day:

Anyway why should I worry? There was a news report a few weeks ago that this BLOODY government is going to make it illegal to purchase such mild sedatives over the counter (or any cold remedy which contains them: goodbye vicks sinex inhaler; goodbye night nurse) and leave them prescription only, which since I can't get on a GP's list because of this BLOODY government etc means that they will be as elusive to me as sleep itself.

Monday, 7 May 2007

When Did You Last See Your Conservative Government?

BBC Parliament is re-running its 1997 General Election coverage ... where were you when the bastards stormed the Citadel? And did anything good come from 1997?

It taught me that I'm not always right about everything (this came as a shock :-0)). I had an election party at my manky student pad in Glasgow in 1992 and suffered hours of socialist friends saying "Och weil it's a shame for you Tories", only to have to run to the kitchen to stuff spoons in my mouth and shout for joy when it became obvious we were going to win again (Stirling! Galloway!). Then in 1997 I attempted repeat though by this time was expat in Italy and perhaps me and my other right wing expat friends were a little out of touch ... there were no Labour voters present to jeer but we fell silent, one by one, leaving the spumante untouched (that last bit is made up).

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Antisocial Irresponsibility tackled head-on by Mayoral Candidate Boff

There I was, congratulating Mayoral Candidate Andrew on his great showing in the Conservative Home members' poll and discussing the themes for his platform, standing on the corner of Broadway Market, Saturday Farmer's marketing in full flow all around us, and just as I was making the most arse-y statement of the week ("I watched a really good videopodcast from Cameron about social responsibility, in the car that brought me back from the airport last night"), waiving my recently purchased organic leek around for emphatic effect, when a hooded youth threw away a half empty can of fizzy pop, which landed at our feet. Oi! I shouted, and Oi! I'm glad to report, also shouted Mayoral Candidate Andrew at said youth, and what's more, he went after and upbraided him. Social Responsibility in action!

Later during the same marketing trip, Mr Keith and I were asked to sign a petition to help protest against the erection (oh for goodness' sake) of a phone mast on London Fields. I signed, happily, but fear I was unable to resist pointing out to the earnest young environmentalist that you get the sort of local government that you vote for, and while indeed much of Britain will today be waking up to a brighter, greener, Tory-er borough, here in Hackney we Labour on (geddit) under the crushing boot of municipal failure/socialism.

What joy it must be to be alive in Gedling this morning, for example! Unless one works for the BBC. My favourite This Paper Is So Crap You'd Be Better Of Looking At The Back Of The Bogs In Your Local For Political Insight Than Parting With Money For This Shit headline was in The Times yesterday: Conservative Limp To Finish was how they described: an increase in Tory councillors of more than 800; the complete wipe-out of socialism in the south; the destruction of the Liberal Democrats; the highly respectable new showing of our party in the North (a quarter of the Tory gains were in the North); &c &c. Not sure what planet Times political writers are on (Planet BBC?) but it's not one which contains the UK.

Well time to scrub the squash I think. I'm making roasted squash and beetroot, with roasted sesame seeds on top (I got the recipe from a Sainsbury's packet!). Am beyond belief amused that if one types "butternut squash" into the Google image search engine, one is presented with a range of photographs which would have kept That's Life chortling away for weeks, viz: