Tag Archives: manchester

Garrogance

I’m working on a theory in my Mindtank. It’s about arrogance – something I’m all to familiar with – and gigs. Not as in spectacles, though some of them can be quite the spectacle – no, I mean music gigs. Concerts. Shows. Whatever you want to call them. This Thinktrain has popped into my head a few times before, but it’s been re-ignited since I went to see The Gaslight Anthem last night.

See, being well cool and all that (ahem…) I’ve liked the band for ages (see here for the best interview I’ve ever done), but they’ve gone and done that thing that very few of the bands I like bother to do – they’ve got a bit popular with the plebs. What this has resulted in is an increase in the size of the Gig Bastions they play their musical notes in. No longer is it 150 smelly people in a reasonably small pub together – it’s now ten times that many cramped into a big smelly auditorium of furious Sound Wrangling. Also they smell worse, as there’s more of them.

What this means is that there are more people from different backgrounds, different walks of life and a broader selection of people that have taken bites from a different Decision Pasty to what we may be used to. Oh, and they dress differently too, like they’re real people or something.

Even though this is undeniably a good thing – Gaslight are a fine band, deserving a ride on any Success Minecart they may be offered – it does make for some interesting kneejerk reactions from the likes of myself and Anna (who accompanied me to the Harmonious Cabaret). Along the lines of: “they don’t look like the kind of people who would normally go to gigs”, or the more contentious “they look like they shouldn’t be at this gig”.

I call it Garrogance, and it’s something I’m going to hold onto til the day my Lifewell springs a leak.

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I blame British Rail. And Thatcher

Train rant. Woo woo! See, it took me a total of seven and a half hours to get back to Bournemouth from Manchester. Normally this takes about five hours. A 150 per cent of standard journey time is not something that makes me very happy, to say the least, and I would like to know just a few things.

Why the fuck do we have to go via Reading? Why can’t we fucking well go in a fucking straight fucking line? What the fuck is the point in going to that fucking place? I mean, yes, there is a point in going there, but only for people who want to go there. A train from Manchester to Bournemouth should have two stops: Manchester and Bournemouth. That’s it. Cut hours off the ridiculous length of the journey by not doubling back on yourself halfway down the country. Stupid bloody direction.

Then there’s the endless engineering works. Build the fucking tracks out of something that doesn’t degrade – adamantium, or something. Get it prepared for the future, then you won’t have to replace the bloody things every single weekend. I was supposed to catch one train – one train – and I ended up getting three and a coach. I also ended up standing in Winchester for 35 minutes for no fucking reason.

But hey – surely it’s okay? In all seriousness, I know engineering works can’t be avoided. Problems come along with the fact that the cattle being shipped across the country (also known as ‘passengers’) are not told a bloody thing about what’s going on. The most you get is “sorry, engineering works” and then you’re electrically prodded off the carriage. I’m sorry – yes, the British trait of apologising when you’re the one who should be apologised to – but I would like to be told what the hell is going. WHY did I have to get off at Winchester? WHY was it a coach from Banbury to Oxford in the first place? WHAT the hell is Banbury anyway?

Then there are the things I’ve mentioned before, like the complete lack of space – hence making me sit in the disabled seating and thus making me feel quite bad. And the astonishing cost of a ticket across the country – I would like to, at some point in my life, at least think I have some money left over to spend.

Still, I am happy I can get from here to Manchester. If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be able to go and see the girl who makes me cookies and bread. And that’s not a euphemism.

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My week off work

Can anyone tell me what good use of a week off work is? Or at least what is considered a good, well-spent week off work? Because it would appear I don’t know. I decided it would be a good idea to visit my ladychum in Manchester and desecrate her flat for the week: good idea. That’s where they end.

In this week where I could be productive, fun, catch up on sleep and generally sort myself out a bit I have done nothing of the above. I’m surprised I even managed to arrive in Manchester without falling into a coma or something.

Instead of doing things I should be doing, exercising my brain or anything of the sort, I have spent the last couple of days – for example – finding old games to install on my netbook. I have also spent a lot of this time locating newer games that can successfully be tweaked enough to run on the very same netbook. Have I even played any of these games yet? Oh god no. You have to remember it’s the chase that’s the exciting part. After that it just gets boring. It’s the sitting, trawling through reams of half-literate nonsense all over the interspaz that gets me excited about the possibilities of these things. Then you finally load up a functioning version of Daggerfall and realise it’s slow, clunky and resoundingly old. Not at all like you remember it.

I haven’t been fun, though this is pretty much par for the course when it comes to post-2006-Leeds Ian, which was pretty much the cut-off point for me bothering to go out very much anymore. So surely with a lack of pubbing and drinking I have managed to catch up with some sleep? No. Awake at about half nine every morning, up at about half ten after staring at the walls for an hour. In a week where I have had no responsibilities whatsoever I have failed to even do the thing that is most important to me: to sleep.

Many would consider this a wasted week, but then many insist on doing things like going outside, talking to people and whatever else they feel is “normal”, whatever that is. I actually consider it a good week off.

Anyway, I have to go see if Oldblivion makes Oblivion playable on this tiny thing.

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My predictions for today’s train journey

By the time you read this, I will be dead. Well, not “dead” per se – more “on a train”. This is a part of the ritual I and my girlfriend, who shall remain nameless throughout, take part in quite often. She doesn’t remain nameless to protect her identity, it’s just so I can hilariously refer to her by comical pseudonyms throughout this non-stop folly which I have been crafting for a couple of weeks now. It’s a hard life…

Anyway, I would like to make a few predictions covering what I think will happen on my train journey as I travel up the country to meet Melvyn Bragg’s Soggy Wart, as I lovingly call her.

1. Some idiotic knobends from the Army will get on around Brockenhurst, or somewhere like that, and spend at least until Birmingham talking loudly to each other, drinking four cans of Stella between ten of them and talking about which girl they managed to get pregnant last time they were ‘on leave’. Don’t get me wrong, I have a fair few mates in the forces, and while I respect the job they do (while not really supporting what/why/where they do it, bar the obvious humanitarian work and blah blah I don’t have to justify myself to you), I cannot abide by morons.

2. I’m not going to tell said morons anything I’ve written here, nor am I going to complain to them or politely ask them to keep it down. I value my life more than I value not being irritated for a couple of hours.

3. There will be a girl sat either directly behind or in front of me and she will be crying. Sobbing her eyes out. Really taking the train to tear town.

4. I will not care about said girl to my front/rear.

5. Some idiot sat nearby will stare at my home-made sandwiches with a confused look on their face. It won’t be disgust, pity or sadness – nor will they be coveting my poorly-made near-meat and cheap-cheese surprise. No, they will just look at it as if I had just pulled a hammock full of pre-filleted haddock from a sling. Confusion tinged with delight, really.

6. I will get PSP Claw, leaving my hands in a small amount of pain for an hour or so post-journey.

7. I will never want to make the journey up the country again.

8. I will remember about Captain Cous-cous and her veritable jamboree of a personality and realise I do actually want to make the journey up the country again.

9. I will remember I have to get back down the country before I can come up it again, thus reminding myself it’s a two-way trip and wondering why the fucking hell Bournemouth appears to be the most remote place in the country.

10. I will vow to abandon all pretence of environmental consciousness (first step: stop reading the Grauniad, second step: burn tyres) by deciding I will now fly from Southampton to Manchester and back.

11. I will realise this costs too much and is a bit of a ball-ache, so will instead get back to playing on the PSP/DS.

12. I will pity the fools without PSPs/DSs’s’ss.

13. I will think of Mr T.

Then, once arrived, I will have to deal with Manchester. That’s a whole other post in itself. Probably a better one. That’s actually funny. And has more casual fucking swearing. Nevertheless, I will arrive and demand tea from Ego Destructis, and she will refuse and I’ll have to make it.

It’s a hard life.

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