Saturday, September 24, 2005

Here Comes The Hotstepper

Hello there, how have you been, my moonfaced lickle cherubs?

Life here has been pretty tolerable lately, nothing much to complain about, you know? The local football team have hauled up their socks, extracted their fingers and generally started to act as though they are being paid for what they do rather than it being court imposed community work. True, they have only piled up one win thus far and while one swallow doesn't make a summer it can certainly make an evening. Just ask your mother.

Tish and pish, let us not be bogged down with lowbrow raillery and downbeat smutmongering, let us instead turn our attentions to the noble craft of the physiotherapist.

This fine body of men and women have, for the past couple of months, been giving of their all in order to complete the rehabilitation of the Knowledge right leg, of which you have heard so much this year.

Indeed, so successful have their efforts been that I have recently been promoted from my "Ankles 101" class at the local infirmary, where I would confound and astound all-comers with my proficiency in walking backwards, between cones and over wooden wedges and where I would regularly balance on my injured leg for upwards of a minute without falling over. These prodigous feat don't go unnoticed by the nibs and so it came to pass that I joined up with the "Intermediate Legs" class.

Yeah, look impressed. It doesn't get much better than that, eh? The only people above that class is normal people who haven't been in hospital with a bad leg. Impressive stuff, I think you'll agree.

It was with not a little apprehension I turned up at class on monday morning. Would I be able to do the exercises? Would the bigger boys take my locker money off me? Would I do a wee in my shorts? I know, it's tense isn't it?

Well, rest your sphincters, folks. The answers are "sort of", "no" and "definitely not and anyone who says I did is a big fat liar!".

The class starts off with an aerobic warm up for fifty minutes. Now, there may be more awkward things in this world than doing all manner of sidesteps, leg raises, curls and assorted frou-frou dance moves to the sounds of Kylie Minogue, Billy Joel and Cher with a bunch of strange men, but if there are I wouldn't like to encounter them. Not that my classmates were strange per se, just that I hadn't met any of them before.

At least, I half chuckled to myself, there weren't any ladies present to witness my shameful, sweat-drenched antics. That would be rather embarassing, eh? Alas, I had half chuckled too soon, as in wandered a late-comer, a beautiful little foreign girl who I later found out was called Anna (or Ana) and who is from Poland.

That just about put the tin hat on it.

The aerobics over, we proceeded to the circuit training, which involved balancing on various wobbleboards (not the Rolf Harris type, think a round disc with half a football stuck to the bottom, that type of deal), doing shuttle runs, standing one-legged on a miniature trampoline kicking at imaginary football and numerous other undignified callisthenics. You're probably ahead of me here, but yes, I was paired with the lovely Anna (or Ana). Despite my best efforts on the beams, the wobbleboards, the bench and the mat, I did sometimes catch her looking at me with the bemused wonderment of a small child gazing on it's first baboon in the zoo.

All things must come to an end. From the gym we proceed to the fitness room for some mat-based floor exercises the physio refers to as "specifics". I prefer to refer to them as "torture".

I will not bore you with tales of "sets of ten", "finding thirty, sixty, ninety" or "pulsating it on ten", you'd only find them distressing. "Keep it light" has always been my mantra, there are enough tales of suffering in this world without harping on about the sadistic cruelties imposed by certain physiotherapists I could name. Suffice to say, I was eventually invited to "stretch it out", gather up what was left of my dishevelled corpse and head for the showers, a broken man.

Remarkably enough, I came back for more on wednesday and friday. I even managed the infamous friday morning step class that has ruined many a better man than me.

So, in summary, cheg on Billy Blanks. You can stick your Tae-Bo oompus-bumpus where the sun doesn't shine, I'm rolling with the Intermediate Leg crew.

One! Two! Three! Four! Let's step!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Home of the brash, outrageous and free

That London, big isn't it?

My previous dribblings regarding London High Street and all that were simply so much jibber-jabber. In reality everything is miles apart and you have to go on the smelly, disorienting underground tube system or pay a taxi driver ten english pounds to take you to where you want to go, even if it is just round the corner.

What a disappointment our cabbies were, too. I had anticipated some high quality pig-ignorant shitwitted opinions that I could relate to you, but no. They just talk incessantly but quietly into their mobile phones and barely interact with the customer at all except to take their extravagant fares. It seems that Viz's "Cockney Wanker" strip has lied to us. I feel cheated.

A few words to any prospective groom or best man. A stag do is a fine old tradition, a heady mixture of male-bonding, putting aside childish things before settling down to life as a husband and provider, and a final blowout to remember as one slips into a contented groove of matching knitwear, nights in with a pizza and a DVD and dinner parties. With this in mind you need to go somewhere with lots of titty bars, strip clubs, sex shows, knocking shops and opium dens. Them's the rules, bub.

What you do not do is go to Old Compton Street.

A word to the wise here from an old soldier: It's a place for the gays. Now I'm all in favour of this type of thing. They seem to have things sorted out very well, you drop in, get a beer, get some cock, bish bosh, everyone's happy. All I'm saying is that there are better places for a couple of dozen lairy, booze-using geordies to go in search of a high old time in the big city. A special mention to the young Irish cousin of the groom, who, several scoops to the good, was showing off his muscles to a group of assorted pooves in the Admiral Duncan pub. That's the bright pink Admiral Duncan pub, filled to the rafters with gay fellows.

The incredulous "Wha'? Is this a gay pub then?" when the news was broken to him was a joy to behold.

Anyway, the stag was happy enough with his night. The next morning, struggling to get outside his gargantuan sunday breakfast and still warm from the embrace of the booze fairy, he told us how much he was looking forward to "a pretend saturday, some cans and a game of cards on the train and stopping out until last orders on a sunday".

Simple pleasures, my friends. That's what it's aal aboot.

Friday, September 09, 2005

It's a right old cockney knees-up!

Hello there.

Welcome aboard the all-new, revamped and updated weblog thing. Pretty swanky, what? It seems somehow indecent to be sullying this smart webspace with my lowbrow medium-jinks and tiresome stories of drunken behaviour.

That's what's going to happen though. In fairness, having looked around at what the rest of the "blogging community", as they rather pompously refer to themselves, are up to, I feel this old vessel isn't so bad.

I think we can all take it as read that "The Simpsons" is an excellent television programme. It is scarcely bringing anything to the party to labour this point at great length, illustrating one's views with great lists of quotes from the show. We get the picture.

Similarly, most people will have concluded that George W. Bush is not the brightest chap on the planet. There is really no need to doctor a photograph of him to resemble a chimpanzee to drive home this rather obvious point. The world has one Rory Bremners already and I feel that is the absolute maximum we need. Many observers would set a lower figure, but then it has often been said of me that I am tolerant to a fault.

Anyhow, enough with this petty sniping, some say infighting. At least the blogging craze keeps these oddballs out of the public houses, which can only be a good thing. Let us move on.

This weekend I will be travelling to our nation's capital for the stag party of one of my closest and oldest friends. As you know, the Colonel is quite the globetrotter. I've been to Nice and the isles of Greece. Furthermore on occasion I've moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo and quite the splash I made too. Yet despite all of this, I haven't spent a great deal of time in London over the years. The Smoke, as very few people call it, remains a closed book to me, but I am greatly looking forward to visiting the old place this weekend.

The nightlife in London city centre is apparently top notch. London High Street, I'm told, has more than fifty pubs, imagine that. There are posh bars, rough taverns, pubs where ladies take off their underwear and even a couple of inns where the gays can go. What a place, eh? Something for everyone, I'd have said. If one wants to continue drinking after eleven o'clock, I hear there over four nightclubs open at the weekend. Cheg on Amsterdam and New York New York, you am twarts.

Still, when visiting the big city it pays to be watchful. The bouncers at London's nightspots are all huge fellows, who carry brass knuckledusters and are skilled in the art of kung fu. Any messing on their premises and you'll get a swift roundhouse kick upside the head. Also, the drinking water in London is not to be trusted, having been filtered through at least eighteen sets of kidneys before returning to the water supply. For this reason it is best to give the draught beer a wide berth too. Mind you, the price of drinks is so reasonable I will probably just drink champagne while I'm down there. It can't be any more than a tenner a bottle, I reckon.

Anyhow, there will be thirty of us travelling down on saturday, so keep an eye out for a large group of northerners wandering around King's Cross, looking for a CIU affiliated social club, shouting on about Newcastle United and asking the crack whores if they "do a turn".

Gertcha , you caants!

(I have learnt a little of the lingo already, impressive, no?)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Alcoholiday - Postscript

As the after-effects of an almighty toot begin to fade, there is the temptation to question one's behaviour while under the influence. One becomes conscious of having made something of an ass of oneself. Embarassment and shame come a-calling.

Then something quite unusual happens.

A telephone call out of the blue. From two girls I had engaged in conversation while riding the omnibus to Blyth, one a local, the other hailing from London. It is clear that whatever state I had been in at the time of our meeting, it is a mere bagatelle compared to the "wired to the moon" degree of intoxication and inebriation my erstwhile companions are currently enjoying.

"I want ya cock!" "Ya fucken fit as fuck!" and "Give us a shag!" are just some of the imprecations being bellowed at me down the wire. Were the situations reversed, this would probably constitute an obscene phone call. Instead, I find it all rather jolly. It seems only right and proper that those who live by juiced-up pestering see it from the other side. What's good for the gander and all that rot, eh?

Also, for all their crazy talk of chillums and ecstasy, the fact remains that I have had ladies ringing me up informing me of the fact that I am "fit as fuck". Giddy up, what?

Until later mes amis, keep it orthodox.