A Very Moving Story

I am currently moving house, from a very shabby student house to a slightly less shabby one. Just down the road. On a slightly smaller hill. Which I haven’t actually seen yet (more about this later).

Suffice to say that Esther has made me give away tho thirds of my belongings and I am in mourning. Except all my black clothes are in the Age UK collection van on the way to the HQ, so I am wearing normal clothes and looking miserable.

Here is the solemn body count:

  1. 15 black bags of clothes
  2. 4 boxes of records (farewell Duran, Spandau, Wham, early Beatles and late Bowie).
  3. My priceless collection of The Face and ID magazine from the 90s (which Esther isn’t even impressed that I threw away “They’re just rubbish. You shouldn’t keep rubbish”)
  4. Countless accessories and shoes and things that are neither one thing nor another but are just nice to have around.


Next week I shall be back with more exciting tales of boredom and ugliness.


"Toodlepip my faithful friends, I'll never forget you."


Bloody Students

Valentines Day


Valentine Buns of Love

“Because you’re gorgeous…” Esther sings as we climb into bed.

I smile at the compliment.

“Not you” she snaps, “I was talking to Goldie”

She gets in beside me and hacks at a spot on her thigh until the artificial sun SAD light dims too much to see.

Happy Valentines.

I get more love off Goldie and Linda. Sometimes I pretend I’m having an orgy by stroking them both at the same time and snogging their faces. Now that’s some heavy petting.

Has the world gone mad? At the Metro Elle Style Awards this week, Cheryl Cole was given the Best Music Award, and Emma ‘Hermione’ Watson was presented the Style Icon prize…by Vivienne Westwood! What on God’s black earth is going on? The high Queen of punk endorsing the low princess of LARP fantasy? Elle, you sick fucks.


Emma: "Grandma" Viv: "Foetus"

Have women won the war, or have men just let them? I am sat on the 88 next to a young man in white trainers and a quilted jacket with the collar turned up, listening to N-Dubz (probably). A stylish blonde woman (one half of ASBO A GO GO in fact) gets on and stands near us. After a short while of internal cog whirring, the boy jumps up and says to the girl “Can’t have you standing up, can we?” Rhetorically, I presume.

(“No we can’t, can we” is not what he wants to hear, because it takes the power away from the him martyring themselves. Some blushing and eyelash fluttering is what’s asked for. She half complies)

She comes and sits down next to me, and he stands where she was, looking around to see if anyone noticed. What do you want, fucking applause?

Is this a rare act of chivalry by the ASBO generation or is it plain trad chauvinism? Was it a masonic ASBO clan thing?

Esther always says that if a man opens a door for her, she refuses to go in because he’s only doing it coz she’s ‘a woman’. Although she has been called sir a few times.

I hate when you’re walking behind someone and they feel obliged to open every door for you. I try to make each ‘Thankyou’ sound different, so it’s not too dull for them. There are many variations: Cheers, Thanks, Thankyou, Ta, grunt, silent nod.


"Doctor Doctor, I can't stop wearing shorts and flip flops"

There is a custom in Sheffield for thanking the grumpy-ass bus driver when you get off the bus. As I file off, I always want to say it differently to the people in front. Most of them are chavvy students, and they come out with a right load of macho/condescending bullshit like ‘thanks boss’, ‘cheers mate’, ‘nice one geezer’ like a bunch of cockney rejects. The driver usually feels obliged to return the favour and acknowledge each praise.

Sometimes I take this as a test of masculinity- if he says ‘thanks’ to the blokey ‘how’s your father’ students, and not to me, that is because he is disgusted by my flagrant effeminacy and shudders as I pass. This is what I tell myself.

There are a few seats left on this bus, but the students that get on next decide instead to stand at the front of the bus, blocking the aisle for other people getting on. Idiots. When I was a student, I used to feel mortally offended when locals muttered ‘bloody students’ as we passed. They’re just jealous, I’d reason.

Now I am completely on their side: I’m righteously jealous and tetchy as hell.

Bloody students, prancing about, having fun, walking around in flip flops in winter, high on life, or to put it another way:



"You're just jealous of my joie de vivre, you small-cocked stuck up blogger"


The Stockport Shenanigan

Finally, Lady Gaga has released a new single. I play ‘Born this Way’ and am chronically underwhelmed. I can feel the wool being lifted, the spell being broken- from  this moment I have ceased to be a Lady Gaga fan. I no longer know what I ever saw in her.

Her lustre has fallen away like clothes off dyspraxic stripper.

My dream started this defection- I picked a side and joined the Madonna Army. It’s like the Jesus Army, but with a better God. Born This Way is a Tesco Value Express Yourself.

"Oh fuck, the gods are gonna kick off!"

This weekend, I had a reunion with the only 2 friends I had at school: Harvey (because he looks like JFK’s assassin) and Dave (because he’s an everyman, a cipher).

As we sat round a pub table in Heaton Moor, a suburb’s suburb, I got to thinking: we each represent a different lifestyle, and each of us is a sloppy mixture of failure and achievement. I am drifting through life, chasing pleasure and numbing myself to pain. Harvey took the genius-savant route, wearing wolf masks to Cambridge and flying high in Hong Kong. Dave took perhaps the most stable route, finding a career and starting a family. Next to Dave, we both look like fuckups. He has brothers and sisters- we are only children. Fantasy is always preferable to reality for us.

"sweet and sour?"

Harvey went to Cambridge and had Stephen Hawking as his personal tutor. His method of teaching often involved ordering in Chinese Takeaway for the class. Then he got addicted to online gambling and rogue physics and was kicked out. He went to work for a major banking firm on the nth floor of a Honk Kong Skyscraper. He is a FILTH (Failed in London Try Honk Kong), a dirty capitalist, a purveyer of CEO’s wet dreams and sticky pauper’s nightmares. He always carries around a book on theoretical physics. This time he also has with him ‘Traders Guns & Money‘, about

“the mega-trillion-dollar derivatives market, the one economists say might be next to collapse on our heads”

Harvey may be sticking his celery in the next double dip. He tells us how he has had to run for his life from a ‘beast’ in the outskirts of Hong Kong. “I was out walking at dusk and I heard something in the bushes. It sounded like a growling monster, and was shit scared so I ran and ran and tripped over and ran. I called a cab and as I waited on the road, I could hear more of them out there in the bushes. Logic would say it was a wild boar, but I think it was a man-eating beast.”

"Please get bigger, I promise I wont look"

We rounded the night off with a little boundary bashing. Dave had gone to bed and I was sat drunkenly with Harvey. I decided I wanted to show him my penis. I warned him beforehand, and tried to get a sychronised pants-down on the count of 3. However, on the first attempt, I was alone in my nakedness. My penis had been replaced by a cocktail sausage lying in a bed of straw.

“I can do better than that”, Harvey said with relish. He unearthed a beached brown whale, languishing on tanned thighs.

“I’m a 7.5 incher” he said matter of factly. My cocktail sausage shrivelled in agreement.

We watched some porn on his Ipad, marvelling at the high definition and sleek finish. An asian girl was being impaled. As my sausage stirred, I said “Quick, look, this is more like it”

As both our pairs of eyes fell on my crotch, the growth reversed and it hid amongst the straw like a spooked mini guinea pig. Speaking of which, Dave had a guinea called Alfie. He thought he was a dog. What’s it all about, Alfie?

Well there was no getting away from it. Harvey had a big cock.

“May I?” I said politely, reaching across, and lifting it. It was a thing of, if not beauty, then wonder. It felt heavy and warm, substantial and soft. I laid it back down.

It was a bit of a non-sequitur so we went to pass out in the guest bedroom.

Another box ticked? One can go through life without ever touching a same-sex sexypart. We see them, thanks to Channel 4 and YouPorn, but they are mythical, massive, virtual. It was a moment that made sense, holding Harvey’s helmet.

We went to sleep in a bunk bed. The next day it drizzled and my head hurt. Dave was monosyllabic; I was morose, and Harvey marvelled at the weather.

“This is amazing!” He said, eyeing the sky. “You just don’t get this kind of weather anywhere else. Let’s go for a hike!”

This chipper celebration of our mundane Northernness was irritating. “No thanks” we replied. Holidaying in misery is the only way to enjoy it.

Instead, I turn my attention to Alfie.

“Make him make that noise that guineapigs make” I say.

Dave goes over to a draw and pulls out a carrot. Alfie sniffs the air. Dave starts to peel the carrot, and Alfie starts

“Weet weet weet weet”

Simple pleasures.

Don’t look at me with that tone of voice

"Look mummy, she's having tarantula cunnilingus! Doesn't she know that spiders don't have tongues?"

I was just in Spar. A family came in, and huddled round the newspaper stand.

“She’s been in Playboy” says the precocious 14 year old daughter.
Ok, I’m dealing with Liberal parents. I leaf through Heat and try to ignore them.
The girl takes her tweeny sister over to the lad’s mags.
“Oh my god look at Nuts!” she lisps, “I can’t believe she’s on the cover!”
I start to feel a bit sick in my feminist/prudish parts, and I have to walk down to the freezer section to cool off.

"Oh God! I haven't tried this flavour. Who am I??"

While I zone out with the Viennettas, I think ‘Should they know this stuff?‘ They know more than an (admittedly late flowering) 30 year old man about the Glamour Industry. Maybe their parents are porn stars, or refuse to have a lock on their bedroom door.

I often dismiss things as ‘just wrong’ because I wouldn’t want to do it. But who the fuck am I? Some kind of taste-maker?

"Another box ticked"

Is it right to cut yourself off from certain experiences?

Is it right to say ‘I will never try this’ and have done with it?
Fair enough, you may say, if we’re talking something BIG like heroin, or murder?

But where do you draw the line? If it’s legal? If it’s moral? If it’s mentioned in the Guardian?
“OMG, if you haven’t eaten Basking Shark buttocks, you’ve never tasted food”
Part of the middle class world-view is that everything is there for the taking: foreign countries provide interesting food promotions in Waitrose, and other cultures provide amusing anecdotes at dinner parties (“We were captured and raped by the janjaweed. It’s simply divine!”). Keeping up with the Smyth-Headingley’s requires single minded dedication to seeking out new experiences. A pathological need for MORE.

“1001 movies you must see before you die” “The Bucket List” “Must Haves”:
We’re constantly being told that we’re missing out.

Fuck off and leave me alone. If I go to my deathbed without having watched Citizen Kane, have I wasted my life? If I die before I try the Backwards Cowboy position, am I losing out?
Am I fuck. I refuse to believe your hype. I refuse to bully myself into trying stuff for the sake of ticking a box. If I’m not careful, I could lose faith in my own judgement- “I like this because NME gave it 10/10”.

I would quite like to be happy more than 50% of the time, and find a way to go bald gracefully, but that’s where my ambition for the future ends.

Getting older is a shift of perspective- you go from instant gratification (now!), to a 5/10/50 Year Plan (then!) where life becomes about Big Stuff: how to get to where you’re going, and whether it’ll be worth it when you get there.

"I'm a clean living motherfucker"

Also as you get old, your face becomes weathered. Your life is written in crow’s feet and saggy jowls. Your face betrays you, the fucker.

Apparently, Esther can instantly tell when I try to suppress my emotions. Apparently I have whenever I am mad, I get an “anger chin” and whenever I’ve done something naughty I get “guilty lips”. I wonder if each of my features is associated with a feeling: a horny nose? a peevish eyebrow? a cringing cheek?

Damnit, this means that she can read me like a (picture) book.

George Michael had the same problem. Poor bloke, his transparency made him the object of ridicule at discotheques.

“Dogs are people too”


"Mummy, do I look pretty?"

Lisa bought matching rain coats for Devo and Goldie. One is red, the other yellow. Both have detachable hoods. Today they swapped the hoods over, and took them proudly on their walk.

Halfway down the road, they kept getting very odd looks, especially by men. They looked at each other and then down at the colour coded dogs. Suddenly they realised what they must look like to other people: two 30 something women who have dressed up their dogs to look like children. Two crazy spinsters living a fucked up fantasy world of anthropomorphic perversity.
Quickly before more people noticed, they took the coats off and hurried on their way.

The dogs got soaking wet, but at least their owners reclaimed their dignity.

"Nudes are so this season"

Money Making Scheme no. 14: I want to open a trendy clothes shop called ‘The Emperor’s New Boutique’, and all the mocha sipping, Clogg wearing, utility chic-ing, Honda driving, wallet overflowing neo-yuppies that these ridiculous hair salons and ugly clothes shops full of ugly clothes keep popping up to cater for will pile in and throw their AMEX plastic at my laughing greedy face. And I will sell them NOTHING! Hahahahahahahaha!

I am getting very pissed off with birds. Every time I walk past a tree or bush, I can hear hundreds of them whistling, tweeting and blogging all over the shop. But can I see a single feathery fucker? Can I Bo Diddley! I demand to see your cute fluffy faces now!

The worse thing is that some fuckers know when you’re looking for them- woodpeckers and treecreepers walk around the other side of the trunk when you try to catch them. How infuriating!

Everything else has been tamed and commercialised, why can’t they do that with wild birds? I want instant gratification with tits, thrushes and blackbirds. (All of which sound like euphemisms and innuendos.)

There should be a law against things looking cute if you can’t touch them. Only ugly, featherless and slimy things should be allowed to be wild.

“Naff off you ugly little fucker”

Sheffield Shit-kickers

In the last 2 days I have witnessed male anger from unexpected sources, manifested on or at the number 88 bus.

"You eat the last Werther's and I'll fuck you up, kidda"

Yesterday, I was waiting at the busstop outside Republic (with window displays to slit your wrists to). An 82 came along. Then an 88. I didn’t want to rub shins with ruffians (the curse of long legs on buses built by midgets), so I opted for the 82.

A sweet old grandad type was at the front of the queue for the 88. The bus driver seemed to not want to open the door.

“OPEN THE FUCKING DOORS YOU PRICK!” he yelled, his surprisingly loud voice echoing down the street.

Thank God I chose this bus, I thought. Even the innocent are corrupted on Stagecoach.

Today, I had to brave an 82 packed with schoolkids on their way to freedom. I had to stand next to a jolly rasta who kept me entertained by singing a medley of reggae hits with little or no tune to get in the way of my enjoyment. After some of the kids had got off, he took his massive beanied head and went and found a seat near the back. Bear in mind that they are sat at opposite ends of the bus.

“Bus stops at Arundel Gate” called the driver in his calm FYI voice.

“YA FUCKIN WHAT MAN??!!!” tuneless rasta bellows

“The bus stops on Arundel Gate”


“No, just to Arundel Gate. It says that on the front”


“No, we stop at Arundel Gate”


“you should look at what it says before you get on”


“I’m just telling you that this bus is not going to Ecclesfield…” etc etc ad nauseum

An old lady pushed her way to the front. ‘Shouting like that, it’s disgusting!” she mumbled

“Shut ya face woman get back to——(couldn’t hear this bit despite straining but it was rather discouraging)”

So let’s hear it for Sheffield Buses- the last rampart of neanderthal man…here’s an informative slideshow of Sheffield buses with a tasteful soundtrack of Ellie ‘flash in the pan’ Goulding:


Parental Guidance: No Olds Beyond this Point

Hear Ye! Hear Ye! I made it to Esther’s fifth base last night (how many bases are there?)- the final one anyway. I was a free-baser. I covered all the bases. I was totally addicted to base.

"Stop: Are you over 18?"

After a quiet weekend, the girls were craving some socialising, and around 7, Esther got a conspiratorial text from Lisa, and she went down to hers for a wine-fuelled girly chat. I started to get very bored, and before I knew it, I had accidentally Google the word ‘showering’ and selected the video format. Oh no, I thought, as I watched, I can’t get these images out my head now, I am like a biased jury, so I’d better use it to spice up my own well overdue shower scene. I did this instead of ringing my granddad, which I had been ordered to do by my mother. I tried hard not to think of either family member as I touched my member.


A little later, I decided to watch Less Than Zero, the film of Bret “American Psycho” Easton Ellis’s first novel. Robert Downey Jr. spends the whole film fucked off his face, sleeping on beaches and puking down toilets and getting darker and darker eye bags. It’s all about the vacuous, nihilistic, decadent club scene in Cali in the 80s. It’s about much the same mental turmoil as is laid out in this blog- being young(ish) and bored and filling the time with self-made misery and danger in an attempt to provoke some emotion in our dulled creature-comforted brains.

"I'm wet and wild"

Anyway, it was just getting to the bleakest bit with dying and crying, and I get a text from Esther:

“I’m coming home. Meet me at the door with a blindfold. Don’t say anything”.

Christ, I was scared! As I have told you before, I make a clumsy and ineffectual lover, and the thought of being blind and dumb while trying to maintain Esther’s sexual interest made a chill run down my spine.

Time for a wee I though, and as I was finishing, I heard her come in the door. Shit, I wasn’t ready with the blindfold. I’ve failed again.

Quickly, I put a scarf round my head and felt my way gingerly out of the bathroom. I could hear Esther walking slowly up the stairs.
After what felt like ages, I felt the end of the wall and pulled my self onto the landing, thinking that I look more like a mime artist than a lothario.

(Listen to the voiceover in this video. And they say teenagers don’t believe in magic any more…)

Esther’s footsteps stopped abruptly. She giggled. My penis shrunk a little more. Or my little penis shrunk more.

“The blindfold was for me, stupid!” she tittered.

Oh God. Oh Jesus why am I such a fool. everything below the waist started curling up. I uncovered my pink cheeks and put the scarf on her, and we made our way to the bedroom struggling to get past a confused dog blocking the doorway.

‘What the hell are they up to now?’ Goldie was thinking. ‘Some more monkey business no doubt’.

What happened next is rated 18+, and you will have to make the dog point to the relevant bits on a doll to find out the details. Suffice to say, that I made 2 deposits into the bank of wild oats that day, and today I am chafing.

"Swing Your Pants"