The office where I work, tucked away on a pleasant little industrial estate in Northampton, is surrounded by natural beauty. The area itself is called ‘The Lakes’, which gives you an idea of what to expect, and one amazing side effect of it’s location is that we get an abundance of wildlife – more than you would ever expect to see so close to busy roads and office buildings. Continue reading
Okay, so last night you REALLY fucked up. You’ve woken up in a bad place – possibly both mentally (oh the paranoia!) and geographically (wtf why am I in a zoo!) – and you’ve finally decided that enough is enough. The booze buzz is more hassle than it’s worth. You’ve ruined too many relationships, wasted too much money, knocked over too many tables, bruised too many knees, and shagged too many mingers. Continue reading
I’ve spent a bit of time recently mulling over the reasons that I ever got into this unhealthy relationship with the booze. When I look back at some of the lads I grew up with, and have known since being six or seven years old, there’s no huge difference in the way our lives progressed. So why was it me that ended up taking the whole thing a bit too far? Why did I think it was funny to drink an entire bottle of Jagermeister and then expose myself to a packed room of rock fans in a pub in Scotland? Why did I get landed with the drinking problem? Why not them bastards?
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Johnny Ultraviolence is a legend in the circles in which I move. Those among us with a penchant for extreme music – specifically the melding of punk attitude and rap with hard-hitting techno and gabber – will undoubtedly hold a soft spot for this man and the noisy gifts he brought us back in the 90s. Known simply as ULTRAVIOLENCE, he was one of the first guys to ever get electronic dance music into the hearts and minds of balls-to-the-wall rock fans, and even scored a tour with bald vegetable-enthusiast Moby in the process, as well as peaking the interest of some big record labels – signing a deal with well known Nottingham heavy metal record label Earache Records. Continue reading
Despite the most widely-known way of maintaining sobriety being ardent AA attendance, I’m surprised by how few of the sober people I talk to have actually had success with Alcoholics Anonymous. Most have tried it, but almost none have felt the need to stick with it. This could be for any number of reasons, including me just talking to the wrong people, but certainly my own experiences with AA weren’t anything hugely groundbreaking or inspiring; the whole “higher power” thing felt a bit preachy, and the general approach of sitting around with old men drinking coffee and talking about “feelings” (pffft) felt like it needed a bit of updating – if not only to appeal more to the younger booze-hounds. After all – the earlier people recognise a problem and get help, the less further down that path of destruction they will have traveled. In other words: The less fucked your Ford Fiesta is, the easier it will be to unfuck it. Especially if it’s a cylinder head gasket issue mate. Okay.
When I got married last September, my best man Ben and his lovely missus Hattie bought us the coolest of wedding gifts – a private cinema screening of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, which is one of mine and Emma’s favourite movies to watch together. Actually, it’s pretty much the only movie we both agree on. I like PROPER films like Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction and Kickboxer – stuff where folk get to kick the fuck out of each other and shoot big guns – and she likes obscure Japanese romcoms with bizarre theme tunes that sound like kids sweetie adverts. Continue reading
A few days ago I was on Facebook looking for bad grammar to correct, and other things to feel smug about (what of it??) when a picture popped up, posted by a mate who was sat on a train in Manchester. The picture was innocent enough – I think he was waiting for the choo-choo to leave the station and take him to a faraway rock gig or whatever – but the thing that caught my eye, even caused a sudden jolt to pass through my knackers, was the open can of Boddingtons Bitter sat on the table at the bottom of the picture.
There was a point, around 20 years ago, when I’d just turned 18 and I did the whole ‘rite of passage’ thing where you go out with your parents for your first ‘legal’ drink in a pub. Obviously it was a long time ago, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the 20 years since pickling my brain with all sorts of interesting beverages, but from what I can remember it was a local pub (oop narth) with my mum and my stepdad, and after a few pints and some scran we ended up back at home. At this point I’d usually disappear out of the door to meet my current lady-friend, or up to my bedroom to blast some loud sweary music, but my lovely mum – ever pleasant and encouraging, even when faced with a pretentious little pube of a son – invited me to join them downstairs for a post-pub drink and a bit of Saturday night telly.