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Father’s Day – Bladerunner, Summer Holidays and Suicidal Sheep

 

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So, it’s Father’s Day once again. That’s a photo of me and my dad back in the day. Yeah, yeah, I know. He’s smoking a cigarette right next to me. You have to bear in mind that this photo was taken in 1977. Only vegans and yoga teachers gave a fuck about that sort of thing back then. He did look after me, I promise. Read More…

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want – How To Turn The Tartan Trousers Of Disappointment Into The Shark Attack Of Happiness

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That’s a photo of me at my big brother’s wedding. I am not the tall fella on the left and nor am I the bearded chap in the middle. I’m the one in the tartan trousers. The bearded chap with his hands on my shoulders is my big brother, Paul. Read More…

The Magic Cooking Pot – How To Make Happy Memories With Lots Of Time But Very Little Money

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 When I was a kid, around about this time of year, there was one little treat I used to look forward to more than anything else. I always knew this treat was coming because my mum would wash out The Big Black Cooking Pot. It looked a bit like the one in that picture, but a lot less fancy and a hell of a lot more battered. It must have held a good couple of gallons and you had to put it across two gas rings to use it. And The Big Black Cooking Pot being washed out could mean only one thing. Home-made soup. Read More…

Jackie Paper Isn’t Dead – How Rolf Harris Can Tell You If You Are Sad And Puff The Magic Dragon Got A Very Raw Deal

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That’s Jimmy Savile. The most prolific sex offender to stalk the corridors of the BBC. And that was up against some pretty stiff competition, as Operation Yewtree has repeatedly revealed. For the last four years, I have had my fingers crossed, repeating the mantra “Please not Johnny Ball. Please not Johnny Ball. Please not Johnny Ball.” The entire edifice of my happy Seventies childhood would fall down about my ears if any terrible revelations about Johnny Ball came to light. Nothing so far, thank goodness. Read More…

The Hole In The Wall – How You Shouldn’t Annoy Farmers And Why It Is Unwise To Pay Attention To Thoughts You Have At Three In The Morning

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When I was in my early twenties, I became terrified of a door. It wasn’t one of those spooky, haunted doors you used to get in Hammer Horror films. It was a perfectly ordinary, perfectly functional door. But this door scared me more than any portal to a room full of ghosts or monsters ever could. Read More…

Black Bullets And Big Daddy –  Why The Seventies Weren’t All That Great And How A Comic Strip Taught Me What I Really Am

 

I used to visit my Grandma every Saturday when I was a kid. We didn’t call her “Grandma” though. We called her “Nana”.  There was one question she would always ask me at some point during these visits. “Do you want a bullet?” she would say. Don’t worry, she wasn’t threatening me or anything. She wasn’t “Gangsta”. She wasn’t pointing “nine” in my “grill” because I’d broken one of her Royal Doulton china poodles. Read More…

A League Of Your Own – How Peter Cook And Voltaire Can Help You Get Any Woman Into Bed

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Fellas. Have you ever been out on the town and looked at a woman and she’s caught your eye and then she’s quickly glanced away? At that moment, she’s maybe turned around to one of her friends, apparently casually chatting but also playing around with her hair a bit. Have you recognized that sign and prepared yourself to go over and talk to her, then at the last minute thought “Nah. Don’t bother. She’s out of your league mate”? Read More…

Sorry, I Didn’t Quite Catch That – How People Continually Miss The Point And Why I Am The Worst Offender

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When I left Higher Education in the early Nineties, I did what many recent graduates did at that time. I went on the dole for two years and then eventually found a job that I could have got without any qualifications whatsoever. Read More…

Spies Like Us – How A Man In A Brightly Coloured Jumper Trained Me In The Art Of Espionage

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When I was nine years old, I wanted to be a spy. Hell, I’m 46 now and I still want to be a spy. Sadly, the arena for my boyhood dreams of being a secret agent no longer exists. The cold war is over. There is no square-jawed and deadly man called Yuri for me to tie to a chair and beat information out of. Read More…

A Brief History Of Hong Kong Hip Hop – How Bruce Lee Invented Everything And Audrey Hepburn Liked It Rough

It is a little known fact that Bruce Lee invented Hip Hop. Like most people, I had assumed that Hip Hop came Straight Outta Compton and was hammered into shape by Dr Dre and his crew. Not so. Scratching, mixing, beatboxing. All invented by Bruce Lee.  Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof: Read More…