Monthly Archives: May 2012

Bournemouth’s burning

I felt like I was the hero of the hour; like I was taking the role of beloved TV actor Richard Walsh from ITV’s flagship series London’s Burning. Except without the nickname of ‘Sicknote’, because I’ve only had about three days off in three years. So screw you.

Anyway, I awoke this morning to a faint smell of smoke. I ascertained it was coming from outside, across the way, and decided it was nothing to pay much attention to. Also, on leaving the house, I looked up the street and saw it was the people who lived there burning some things. At 9am. As you do.

Disaster averted!

But on arriving home at around 1833 hours (6.48pm in real time) I was confronted by a lot more smoke and flames licking up toward a tree on the street. It was clear something had happened, and I needed to leap into action.

Inside I scuttled as fast as I could without actually running or really hurrying up at all. I burst into my room and was confronted by exactly what I expected: leaving both my windows open all day meant my room now smelled a bit of smoke. Disgraceful.

As I went to shut the windows I noticed the tree on the street had indeed caught fire and that the flames were quite clearly out of control. Oh, and a crowd had gathered and people were starting to look quite worried by it all.

But fear not! I did indeed close my windows and no more smoke got in. Once the fire brigade had extinguished the flames and the smoke and ash had dissipated, I once again reopened the windows in order to let the fresh smoky smell of my room air out a bit.

Disaster averted!

I am a hero, just like Bonnie Tyler always wanted.

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We all do it, and we all have varying degrees of success. But today, for me, it was an interesting one. It looked like it was going wrong; like the fates had conspired to put me in a situation only ever seen in sitcoms. But it turned out… okay.

I got on the bus. I paid my fare. I was three pints deep and in no mood to walk 30 minutes home and need a wee 95% of the walk (because that is what would happen). I wandered along the empty vehicle, eyeing up where to sit, and decided on my usual spot: the disabled/access seat. There are five on the bus I was on. The bus I was on was empty. If anyone with less physical ability than myself was to get on, they would have options, and they would have them sooner than when they got to where I was sat.

It was perfect.

But then a man got on. Doddering is a good word to describe him, and I don’t intend it in a pejorative sense. He was old, but not that old, but clearly with some physical disability that prevented him from walking – or really moving – with any great ease.

He entered the bus premises and hobbled forward. I glanced, but looked away as I assumed he would sit straight away on the first, easy-access seat he came to.

Not so.

He pointed at me. I edged to the side to give him room to sit. He looked annoyed, but threw himself onto the seat I had given him space for.

I took my earphone out to hear what he was looking like he wanted to say.

“That’s my seat.”

I worried. I thought ‘great, he’s body and head-mental. Bus journey ruined.’ But I actually responded: “Sorry, would you like me to move?”

“No, it’s fine – I can’t move now anyway. I’m too buggered.”

“Oh god, I am sorry – I can shift over if you need. It’s no worry at all.”

“No, don’t worry about it. Just remember in future: when I point, I want to sit there.”

“My apologies. I will.”

The bus lurched to the side and he grabbed for a pole to steady himself, missing slightly then correcting and eventually getting it. A simple act, rendered very difficult by age and inability to function. I felt like a piece of shit. He sensed this.

“Really, don’t worry about it. I’m on for two stops, that’s all.”

“Ah, that’s alright then, I suppose.”

“It is – because it means I’m very close to home and then I can break out the brandy!”

And on this, I laughed quite loud. I pressed the ‘stop’ button for him, he exited the bus and saluted me while walking past. And I smiled.


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RECIPE: Ultra-Snack 9000 (will change your life)

It’s time for another one of my fantastical recipes, allowing you too to eat like a king (“me”) and enjoy life to its fullest. By eating. Like a king. By which I mean me. In case you didn’t figure that out. Shut up.

For this rather complex concoction you will need a metric fuckton of things:

Some Ryvita, or other brand rye crispbread snacks

Some vegetable spread if you can be arsed

Some tuna if you want to buy some for the extortionate price it costs these days

Now you’ll notice two of the ingredients are optional – all will be revealed in the step-by-step cooking instructions. GO:

Take Ryvita (or other brand rye crispbread snacks)

Spread with vegetable spread (do not do this if you don’t have any)

Cover with tuna (do not do this if you don’t have any)

Repeat about five more times


Dream of a world where you ate more cheese

And that’s that. These days I tend to be eating more and more of this recipe without the optional ingredients. Some call it ‘plain crispbread’ and ‘boring’, and they would be right. But then, who can be bothered cooking?

I will provide you with more recipes next time I can’t think of anything else to write. Bon appétit!

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I am a masculine man, in touch with my incredible masculinity and totally able to be all manly – so much so that passing lumberjacks often remark “my word, sir, thou hast an manly face and manner about thee”*. One time a bear tried to steal my pickernick basket and I just stared at him so intensely he exploded in a shower of pulped yams.

That’s damn manly.

I grow a beard by clenching hard. I eat gravel and shit fire. I survive on a diet of anything I can hunt and kill with my own hands, especially human beings**. I know so much about football the site Zonal Marking was named after me (it’s the latin for ‘manly Ian manly Dransfield man’) and Gary Neville cries himself to sleep every night knowing he’ll never be anything more than a shit pundit because I exist.

The Japanese tsunami and earthquake the other year? I flexed my manly chest. I don’t crack walnuts in my bicep: I crack biceps in my walnut. Burt Reynolds once openly wept at the sight of me, thanking the lord above (he meant me) for the fact I exist.

Chuck Norris is afraid of me.

On an unrelated note, I’m going to this on Saturday.

*Lumberjacks are known for having a poor grasp of speech.

**And, as previously stated, gravel.

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I am totally drawing blanks right now. I have a fair bit going through my head, but a combination of not wanting to talk about things and not being sure how to talk about things means I’m confused and then my brain tells me “oh well you can’t actually think of anything then you idiotic git” and then I remember I’ve not slept much and have drank too many boozes this weekend so maybe that’s why I can’t think of anything and oh my this has turned into even more self-indulgent tripe than it normally is and I wonder if anybody has actually read every single thing I’ve put on here and if they have why they bother and why they don’t do something productive with their lives like anything else at all and oh right I’ve gone into a bit of a train of thought here or stream of consciousness as I actually meant to say and it’s not even funny or interesting so I should probably stop it now.

There’s a film called Journey 2: Mysterious Island. That’s the best they could come up with? Fucking hell. I was watching Andromeda earlier (1. Shut up. 2. I’ve never seen it. 3. Sci-fi, bitcheeesss) and I genuinely predicted a dozen lines well in advance of them being spoken, which either means I’m incredible or that people who write TV shows are predictable and boring meaning I could probably do it.

And this advert where the photographer is taking snaps while falling through the air and he’s using a phone is really fucking annoying because that would not happen unless he wanted to take shit photos that aren’t as good as they could be if he used dedicated hardware it’s nonsense like that that makes me want to burn down all adverts because they’re so utterly full of shit and oh it’s happened again.

Anyway, that’s today.

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Finger: on the pulse

I’ve just discovered this brand new televisual and movie-viewing experience that I’d like to let you all in on. It’ll be our little secret – so tell no one! – and remember to give me credit where it’s due, because I am brilliant and benevolent and wise.

I also accept due credit in the form of cheques.

So I was snooping around the Dark Net, because that’s the kind of cool 90s hacker I am, when I found this service known as “Net” “Flix”. It sounded silly, but with some codebreaking that would put the spies of the Second World War to shame, I found my way inside its welcoming chambers.

What I found there was… well, nothing short of magnificent.

I know you literally can’t imagine it, but try and imagine a world where loads and loads of TV shows and films are available for you to “stream” – as is the parlance of the internets – into your telly and then into your brain. It’s like magic or something.

What it means is you no longer have to live in the past like a nerd (from the past) using downloads and DVDs and Blu-rays and other such outdated shit. You idiot from the past. Past idiot. Stop being so stupid, past bastard. Godddd.

Unfortunately we don’t live in the world I want to live in, so these ragtag little upstarts Gary Net and Oswald Flix demand payment to use their damnable thing. I’d almost be tempted to pay it too, and I probably will do one day when I have money.

So the year 2343 then.

So you should all thank me for letting you know about this, because you definitely found out about it from me and I definitely wasn’t slow on the uptake SHUT UP I WASN’T.

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Striding through the ridiculous heat that shouldn’t be stridden through (I cannot believe stridden is a word) it became apparent that, in spite of having cashflow issues, I would have to take drastic hair action.

The mane was too thick. The sweat was too much. The discomfort was irritating me. Truly, my life for half of today was worse than anyone in the world could ever imagine.

So it came to be that the decision was made: my mind not dulled by the blanket of heat wrapping it so snugly, the decision-making process swift and nimble; a balletic choice made in a split second and executed with the cold, ruthless surety of a hired killer.

Basically what I’m saying is this morning I looked like this:

And now I look like this:

Sorry ladies.


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Shopping without many shops

I do prefer shopping online to shopping in Real Life for a number of reasons – not least of which the facts that it’s usually cheaper and is always a lot easier. But there are some things that tend to go wrong with it. Things I really could and should learn from.

This dawned on me when I just sat here and counted: I now own six pairs of prescription spectaculars, and I don’t think I actually like any of them. There’s old faithful, purchased alongside my now-residing-at-the-bottom-of-a-lake megapair back in 2007/8, then there’s the other five.

They were all bought from a couple of websites offering cheap specs. Now the problem isn’t that – the lenses work, they are as advertised etc de blah. The problem is I am an idiot who doesn’t think, or really look before buying.

What this means is a pair that make me look like (more of) a 1950s nerd, a pair that also do that as well as being a bit too wide, a pair that make me look like Dame fucking Edna, a pair that are so narrow they squeeze my head and give me pressure headaches and a pair of prescription shades that make me look like I belong in the 90s teen tech-romp Hackers.

I do not belong in the 90s teen tech-romp Hackers.

The same goes for shirts, jeans, shoes – loads of stuff I have bought online. I’ve had some successes, but there are so many pairs of shorts and jeans I’ve given away or binned as a result of picking them up without paying attention to the fact they were skinny fit, or a horrible colour, or didn’t go past the knee (SHORTS SHOULD ALWAYS GO PAST THE KNEE UNLESS THEY ARE FOR SPORTS).

I’d complain more, but the grand total of what all this shit has cost me is far less than what it would be were I to just buy one or two things in the flesh. Especially the glasses. We’re talking about £80 for five pairs – less than old faithful alone cost all those years ago.

I mean, none of them really suit, but so what? CHEAP.

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Hair today, hair tomor.. wait, I think I used that before

I’m at a point with my hair now that I haven’t been at for a fair few years now. It curls up at the bottom on the back, which is weird and annoying because sometimes it brushes against my neck and tickles me and… wait… no… I mean… umm… I was powerlifting houses while fighting Nazi bears the other day. Yes. Manly.

Anyway, as those who see me on a regular basis in real life might have heard me saying – repeatedly – my hair is too long. It’s not tenable. The sudden heat has made me realise this bouffant mop needs to be hacked down, lest it continue its growth, spiral out of control and take out Western civilisation as we know it.

But what to do? Yes folks, it’s that blog I’ve done two, maybe three whole times before: the Ian haircut blog.

Choice one would be the simplest and best for a quick fix, especially as I could probably do it to myself at home: the all-off. This would make me look like this:

Except not really. But I can have that thought in my head and that makes me happy. PROS: Cheap, easy. CONS: People think you’re about to immediately fight them.

Choice two would be a visit to some kind of ‘hair stylist’ or whatever they’re called, so they could take the blank canvas that is my thick, beautiful mane and sculpt it into something the beautiful people would deign acceptable to their ranks. PROS: I would be sexy and immediately find a rich wife. CONS: I don’t have a rich wife right now and my normal haircut price of £8 seems a bit steep, so paying more than that makes me want to laugh. Then vomit.

Choice three would be a traditional visit to a traditional barber for a traditional short back and sides with a traditional bit of forced yarning with the traditional haircuttist before paying a traditional low amount of money for your now traditional hair-look. PROS: traditional, affordable, no fear of everything going wrong. CONS: boring, too much pressure to yarn with traditional barber, feel a bit twatty going in there with hair this long in the first place as will have to put up with barbed comments (from barber) about having ‘girly’ hair.

Choice four would be to leave it alone and let it grow even longer, to the point I have silly long hair and look like 2005 all over again. We call it the 2005 Standard. PROS: I have better hair than most girls. CONS: I look like an absolute twat and I want my hair lopped off.

Choice five would be to kill myself. PROS: eliminates all problems with hair growth/cutting. CONS: Mum might be a bit sad for a week or two.

Rogue choice six is to get someone to cut it for me, which I used to do quite a lot back in the day. This resulted in a free haircut with, let us say ‘mixed’ results. I would err on the side of ‘mainly amateurish’ rather than going for a full-on ‘wanky shitballs’, but that’s because I’m kind. Needless to say, it never looked amazing afterwards. PROS: free, makes Mike’s dad think we’re gay. CONS: usually ends up looking… off, not everyone is willing to drop everything to come around and cut my hair for me you selfish bastards.

The choice will be a difficult one.

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Beer me; I offer services

It seems as of yesterday afternoon it officially became summer around here.

See, Bournemouth has this crafty way of making you forget it’s actually really nice in the middle of the year. It’s often sunny – a lot more so than in my previous homes of the north, annoyingly – and parts that aren’t Boscombe or most of the centre are actually (whisper it) nice.

But that matters for little, because it’s sunny. And what does sunny mean? It means I want to drink delicious chilled beers. But I am poor, as I may have pointed out to one or two of you four billion times and you have my apologies if the fact I can’t live a normal life thanks to a lack of monetary support somehow annoys you but FUCK OFF. Ahem.

Anyway, to counter this I have decided to offer some services in exchange for different amounts of beer. Feel free to take me up on them.

For one (1) bottle of beer (of my choice), I will write a nice letter to you telling you how great you and how everyone thinks you’re super-rad, even if it’s all a massive lie (which it will be).

For two (2) bottles of beer (of my choice), I will send you a code for guest access to Diablo 3, allowing you to play the game up to the point you take on the Skeleton King. Also, as a bonus, the code has already been used.

For six (6) bottles of beer (of my choice), I will read over your CV for you and laugh at all the stupid mistakes and idiotic shit you’ve put in it.

For one (1) crate of beer (of my choice), I will send you a flirty message to your OKCupid account, which will make you feel better about yourself and less like you’re a pathetic ball of snot that nobody in their right mind would ever even consider going near, nevermind actually want to go out with you horrible, terrible piece of shit why don’t you just die. Yeah, it’ll make you not feel like that.

For two (2) crates of beer (of my choice), I will do you a really good drawing of a bear. And by ‘good’ I mean ‘good by my standards’ and if you judge said standards to be poor then you are a wrong idiot.

I am open to other suggestions, too. My choices of beer will likely be of the BrewDog variety, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Sam Adams Boston Lager and maybe some others I can’t think of right now. Not Carling.

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