Friday, 24 October 2008

On the Buses

12 People that get on my bus

Student (x4)
From various parts of Wigan, all doing teacher training at Edge Hill College and all as thick as fuck!
Conversation covers facebook, getting pissed, planning on getting pissed and more facebook

Agent Scally
Scouser with THAT walk. Dressed in the usual all-black Ninja Scal outfit when he is too old to know better. Gets on in the heartlands of Wigan WN5 which means that he must have been doing a bit too much bouncy scouse house at Wigan Pier and got some Wigan scrotess up the duff!

Nurse Gladys
Lovely, just lovely. Little on the chunky side but this Hispanic beauty has that “I just want to mother you in my ample bosom” look about her. Probably poisoning OAPS in the care home she works in as we speak.

The Murali Twins
Get on and off at the same spot, look like each other (and like spin king Murali) and never utter a word to each other. One of them speaks to a bloke that is the spit of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank.

Catwalk Kate
The aisle in the bus is her catwalk as she shows off her latest clothes and shoes. Never seen her in the same outfit twice. Dresses wonderfully, looks great – if a bit skinny – but never has her head out of one of those celebrity magazines. Probably a scouser!

Miss Skem 2008
The undoubted star of the bus. Dumpy 14-year old, braces on her teeth and lightly touched with the Downs stick. She gets on with latest mobile fastened to her ear – never talking just mobile to ear, scowls at the driver when showing her ticket and then sits down next to one of her school mates. And then it begins…. “Yous was hammered last night”, “I gave him the best shag of his life, as he’s going the big house tomorrow”, “Don’t normally do coke but fucking hell my nose last night” and on and on and on. Great entertainment. All complete bollocks of course but…

Down-filled Dan
Big old feller – looks about ninety – still working and wears a big white down-filled jacket and woolly hat in all weather. Speaks to a lot of the young girls. Probably a lollipop man/nonce

Catherine Zeta Jones
Absolutely stunning 18-year old girl that gets on in Old Skem. You can smell the bitchiness in the air as Miss Skem and her mates get the claws out… Truly beautiful young woman. Was once on the phone discussing the X Factor auditions.

Emo Boy
Or goth, or skaterboy or whatever these kids call themselves now but known as Emo as he looks just like Emo Philiips. Ugly fucker and sits with a punky girl that has great tats if not great tits! He’s gay. Doesn’t know it yet but he’ll undoubtedly bat for Yorkshire in a couple of years.

Oh and thirty plus fucking idiot schoolkids all dressed in black Helly Hansen jackets and all fucking about!!!

the lights of love by Mike Duff

the pubs they were closin
as i stood in the tarmaced car park
an the girl of my dreams
was not quite wot she seems
as i huddled up my coat in the dark
i pulled on a cigarette regrettin
an walked behind her unseen
thinkin about hate an havin to wait
an a life that had fallen between
an the lights of love turn red
on the road to happiness
why it did fade
to such a charade
is just about any man's guess

she hesitated down by the corner
in the shadow of an old maisonette
illuminated in the light
by the last bus of the night
as i wallowed away in my regret
i knew that she was waitin for someone
an that the someone it wasn't me
followin your heart can tear you apart
but i suppose it just wasn't to be
an the lights of love turn red
on the road to happiness
why it did fade
to such a charade
is just about any man's guess

i walked by the railin's un-nonticed
an watched her from a doorway not far
as she looked all around
without makin any sound
an then she slowly got into his car
i threw my cigarette into the gutter
i knew that me an her were all through
cos a love aint even a love
unless the other person feels the same way too
an the lights of love turn red
on the road to happiness
why it did fade
to such a charade
is just about any man's guess

based on a newspaper clippin from my past.....

page 7 of the manchester evenin news july 18th 1985.......


i still have the copy...girl i was engaged to.....left me for a man with a tr7....i got drunk in the apollo on varley street in the went to her house...his car was outside....i clambered on top of it an jumped up an down on the roof.....he came out an give me a then i got arrested for criminal damage...oh love oh love oh careless love.....

she was a nice girl...i was an arsehole....she's still with the same fella...
....sorta based the song on that....only in the song the man acts more civilised


I've never been to Leigh

Hey Mrs Ives, you Mrs Ives, cursing at your life
You're a discontented mother and a regimented wife
I've no doubt you dream about the things you'll never do
But, I wish someone had talked to me
Like I wanna talk to you.....

Oh, I've been to Orrell and Norley Hall and anywhere I could run
I took the hand of a Vaughanie man and we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces because I had to be free
I've been to WN5 but I've never been to Leigh

Please MmmDonuts wife, please MmmDonuts wife, don't just walk away
'Cause I have this need to tell you why I'm all alone today
I can see so much of me still living in your eyes
Won't you share a part of a weary heart cause your Donuts ate all the pies

Oh, I've been to Pem and avoided Skem while I've guzzled cum on a yacht
I've moved like Aki in Marsh Vegas and showed 'em what I've got
I've been undressed by Finton Stack and I've seen some things that a woman ain't supposed to seem
I've been to WN5, but I've never been to Leigh

Hey, you know what WN5 is?
It's a lie, a fantasy we create about people and places as we'd like them to be
But you know what truth is?
It's that little penis you're holding, it's that man you glassed this morning
The same one who’s going two’s up on you tonight
That's the truth, that's WN5 love......

Sometimes I've been to crying for a brown baby that might have made me complete
But I took the sweet life, I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet
I've spent my life exploring the subtle whoring that costs too much to be free
Hey Jimmy T......
I've been to WN5, (I've been to WN5)
But I've never been to Leigh

Mrs Charlene Oldman

Pop will eat itself

Man cannot live on Special Brew alone so for those moments when you need something a little more refreshing here are the Mudhutters top ten fizzy drinks

1. D&G Ginger Beer

The boss can of pop. Serve cold. Fuck the chilled bit - freezing cold. Pour into glass and let the spicy ginger rush to your head

2. Coca Cola

Must have been the end of the sixties. I'd be ten or so and I'm on the beach and it's boiling and I'm just beginning to notice girls. They are suntanned and gorgeous and wearing next to nothing and I'm drinking Coca Cola out of a bottle and it's lovely. Shit out of cans

3. Dandelion & Burdock

A proper Wigan drink. Better when you were a kid as it hasn't aged as well as some but still pretty fine...

4. Robinson's Barley Orange

It will always be hot and it will always be Borg v McEnroe. Dan Maskell's in full flow and you're sat there drinking the same stuff as the Ice-cool Bjorn and Mad John

5. Vimto

Another Northern classic. Ribena was for the posh lot - Vimto for us

6. Shandy Bass

This bottle contains less than 2 1/2% alcohol. Like it mattered. We saw it as proper beer and it tasted lovely. Ditto cider ice lollies

7. Lemonade

The proper cloudy stuff you can get now. Makes the old tastless stuff we used to drink as kids seem like water

8. Dr Peppers

First time I ever had this was around 1980 after playing 5-a-side at the Michael Sobell centre in Finsbury Park. Used to serve great big cups of it with loads of ice. Never tasted anything like it at the time. Nor since. It used to be lovely - I'm not sure now...

9. Cream Soda

We weren't posh enough for this but the Tinsley's next door but one had it. Then again their house resembled a cross between Are you being served and Abigail's Party.

10. Orange Lucozade

Best hangover cure ever!!

Zaki Zaki Zaki

Should I go or should I stay… or something like that. Not that the “I” comes into at all. Cos let’s face it if he continues in this form he ain’t going to stay with us. The big four will come a calling and as much as Amr kisses the badge this season he’ll be trading in the Once a blue always blue for the red of Liverpool or United.

So where does all this leave the Latics fans and what does it tell us about the current state of football and the current state of Latics?

Firstly I have to say he looks a top, top player and all we can really do is enjoy his presence and hope he gets enough goals to keep us up. We may even get him on a permanent deal but I somehow doubt it. And that is upsetting on a number of levels. Firstly the question has to be asked as to why we didn’t sign him on a permanent deal? Well if news is correct that Bruce didn’t want to risk £7.25m on him then hmmm. If indeed he was allowed to make that decision.

Father Jack promised £7m players during the close season yet nobody really believed him. Let’s face it he has never really recovered from paying £5.5m for Koumas. Fucking hell it almost drove him to the Priory! That’s Whelan not Koumas (insert winky thing). Let’s face facts that the infamous war chest remains firmly closed. If, however, he did say to Bruce: “Here’s seven mill get Zaki” and Bruce said that he thought it was too much of a risk then what does that tell us a bout Bruce – the manager.

I really like the fella but maybe (just maybe) he hasn’t got that bit extra that will make him a truly great manager. Has he got the eye for a player? Will he take the risk on a player? Returning to Birmingham for players suggests he’s happy with what he knows. And there probably isn’t anything wrong with that but has he got that bit of nastiness? That sharp eye that says “you know what I’ll risk it with this lad.”

I’m not sure what the Zaki situation is but we (and everybody else) will have to get used to it. Happened with Rooney at Everton while Berbatov had a great season with Spurs and then pissed about for the rest of the time until United came calling. That’s football 2008. That’s why I can’t really get on with it. Never really liked people with money and that’s the way it always will be.

But back to Zaki and let's hope he contiunues this rich vein of storm because in amongst this we'll have the January fire-damaged sale when Father Jack will wave Palacios, Heskey and Valencia around like rent boys on the rack at Piccadilly Circus. Whether Bruce has indeed boobed by not signing Zaki on a permanent or not his managerial prowess will be tested thoroughly if the Father Jack sells the others in the window. If Bruce (and Zaki) keeps us up then the loan signing of the Egyptian may just be the best signing of Bruce's career...

Shalll we sing a song for you? Part 883

There is none of that "Come on sing up you wankers" around here business. They are there at every home and away game, turning around, giving it the "come on sing your hearts out for the lads" scowling at those that don't sing. Which is all well and good if I'd ever seen one of them before. You see them going cherry red in the face - to match the replica shirts in their wardrobe.

So without further ado here is the Mudhutter Manifesto on singing.
"You do not sing for the sake of it"

That basically means if you want to sing - you sing. If you don't - you don't. Doesn't mean that you care less about the team. And that's it - but if you are going to sing it MUST be one of the following:

To the Team:

That'll do every so often.

And occasionally “ER WIGAN, NA NA, NA, ER WIGAN…”

To the Coppers:


And of course the LAUREL & HARDY theme tune when they walk passed in the inevitable twos all riot-shielded up!

To the Opposing fans:




When we are pissed:

And that is about it. Happy Singing (if you insist) folks.

Put your feet upon the water and play Jesus for the day part 2

If you've more or less made it in Wigan you buy a big fuck off house on Wigan Lane. If you've really made it you buy a mansion in Parbold just outside Wigan. Mr Soft had almost made it and home for him was at the good end of Wigan Lane. He was a regular in the Boar's Head pub where he would nod to locals and talk about golf and cars. Every inch the successful businessman. They thought he worked "in computers" and that suited him fine. Mrs Soft knew half the truth. Nobody else knew anything.

Mrs Soft was a doll, a diamond. Mr Soft knew that. He had never cheated on her and she had never cheated on him and never would. She lived for the kids.

She dropped him at the station just in time to catch the 7.34 am train to London Euston. He'd be back tomorrow and she'd meet him off the 9.10 pm train tomorrow. They kiss, he buys The Guardian and the latest issue of Arena and settles down, first class naturally for the journey to London. He certainly looks the part. Paul Smith suit, polished brogues and Burberry raincoat. Every inch the successful businessman.

At Euston he hops on the Northern Line two stops to The Angel meets Raymond, does the deal, checks in to the Ibis Hotel at Euston drops his bag, deposits the crack in the hotel safe and does what he always does in London - shops.

By Six he's bought toys from Hamleys for the kids, a silk scarf from Hermes for the wife and a tie from Liberty for him self. Evening meal is taken at an Indian restaurant around the corner from the hotel where the maitre d' greets him like a long lost friend. The food is sumptuous and he retires to bed at just gone ten.
A splendid night's sleep is broken by a nine o'clock alarm call, a continental breakfast, a leisurely tube journey via the Victoria Line to Brixton to meet Stephen. The deal is done and Mr Soft is back at the hotel by eleven. A job well done. He checks out, puts the crack and the recently acquired Gruber & Litvak pistol in his bag and spends the day walking around London.

It's one of those wonderful early Spring days where the sun shines and the city looks beautiful. Mr Soft thinks that he could not live in London but he certainly admires the place. A wonderful fucking city he once told Mrs Soft. She hates the place. As he is getting the six thirty back to Wigan he decides on a light late lunch at Bar Italia in Soho followed by a drink at a newish looking bar around the corner. He orders a large vodka and lemon, sits at the bar, makes small conversation with the attractive blonde fortysomething lady behind the bar and gets an erection as she reveals her cleavage as she bends over to pick a bottle up. She catches him looking and flashes him a " do you like what you see smile" walks to the other end of the bar and brushes herself up against the young black girl who's waiting the tables. The setting sun catches the girl's gold tooth as she kisses the older woman on the mouth.

Mr Soft picks up his bag, puts his raincoat over his bar, says his farewells, takes a mental note of the bar's name and enjoys the mile and a half walk back to Euston railway station.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

ROSE by Martin Cruz Smith

I’ve had this book on my shelf for years and always intended to read it but with it not being my typical type of read I’ve never quite found the time to take it on until a recent holiday.

You’ve probably heard of Martin Cruz Smith, an American author who specialises in Russian tales of espionage and investigation how ever Rose is a story of an American explorer who gets sent to Victorian Wigan to find a missing cleric as punishment for liaising with Africans on the Gold Coast and ends up in a pickle with a local lass.

Regardless of the actual story line, if you’re from around these parts, it's a fascinating descriptive tale of what Scholes life was like in the late 19th century, when everyone went down the pit and then straight to the pub after work where boozy miners engage in shin kicking contests with the local fighting Irish. It also describes in great detail the harrowing conditions most miners and pitgirls worked amongst and the geography of the land when daylight barely broke through the smog.

It references lots of places directly linked to Wigan, meaning that I for one at least no know why Blair’s was called thus as the main character stays at the Minorca Hotel, and of course the Minorca Hotel was renamed Blairs in the late 80’s just as my boozing career started to commence and there's also other modern place names mentioned such as Jaxon's and Thicknesse.

It is well worth a read if you're interested in local history of the time or your ancestors were miners, and very scary to think the whole of Wigan was sitting on toxic mineshafts and risking their lives on an almost daily basis to earn a crust and die young. It is slightly derogatory towards Wigan in parts, not helped by endless mentions of clogs and rugby league but if you want to know what it’s like to shag a pit girl then this book is for you. The plot is pretty decent too, if a little predictable towards the end.

This book came as an Omnibus along with the better known Polar Star by the same author which I am also now half way through. Substitute Russian fish trawling and a bit of crabbing for coal mining and it's much the same story line but nevertheless it is still a good read and Mr Cruz Smith has at least succeeded in managing to distract me from the latest hoolie tome for the past few weeks.

Jimmy T

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Film Review - The initiation of Nikki Jayne

Right let's cut straight to the chase. Is this latest porn star from Wigan's new (and apparently) debut movie any good?

We went out and about to get the views of some of Wigan's finest film critics

Les Bagg: "It were smookingly good."

Statto: "Savage"

AM: "I wouldn't fuck about with vaseline or anything i'd just rip off Nikki's Primark thong and dry bum the bint!"

Zoetemelk: "Normal day in Amsterdam for me"

Golly: "Normal day in Whelley for me.
"5/10 - you want a bit of Budapest porn.
"In fact I've got some on me..."

RobT117: "She was in my class at school"

TerryThomas: "She was in my son's class at school."

Dom: "A spokesman from the Coronary Ward at Wigan Infirmary said that Dom was in a stable condition after watching the movie"

Orrible Ives: "It was like Slade Prison on a quiet day."

Tat: "If only she'd not been so enthusiastic I could have got a great cartoon of Golly and Donuts going twos up.
As it is I've just got Golly grinning away in his ref's outfit!"

Donuts: "Golly's got one spotty fucking arse!"

Migs: "Good film but it aint half fucked my sugars up!"

Father Finton: "She was an alter girl at Sacred Heart when I was there."

Jimmy: "There is no way we can advertise this in the fanzine her lawyers will be onto us immediately..."

K21: "Poor - saw more action in two minutes Srebrenica in the nineties.
"Oh and there was no Oasis on the soundtrack!"

You can tell by the way that I stalk my stalk

Just a few of the people I've done the Barry Bulsara on in London...

Back in the 80s she lived up in Highgate village - might still do for all I know. Used to see her pottering about. Always jolly, smiling away. Oh and well tidy...

Simon Cadell
Not the fragrant Shakepearian - that's Simon Callow - but the one that was the main bod in Hi-de-Hi. Was in a packed pub in Victoria, London. He was pissed and pissed-off waiting for somebody or so it looked. It was only a matter of time when the first voice went up: "Hi-de-Hi" and the whole pub replied: "Ho-de-Ho".

He got up and shouted in that actor's voice: "Fuck off you set of cunts"

Probably his funniest line ever...

Rolf Harris
Walking down Regent Street, whistling away to himself. Not sure if it was Two Little Boys or not. But my mate stopped him and said: "For fuck sake tell us what it is!"

"It's a fucking painting you daft pom" was his reply as he continued on his merry way

Tommy Cooper
Absolutely wankered in The Woodman by Highgate tube. Wife was as bad - sad fucking site

Raquel and Cassandra
The sorts from Only Fools. We saw 'em on successive nights in different pubs. Dell's bit was really good-looking - much more than on the telly. Rodney's was trying to get her husband out the pub (google his name). She had the kids in tow and it was getting very messy...

Kate Moss
For two weeks I saw here everywhere... She was/is fucking gorgeous

Boy George and his entourage
Could probably add in all the rest of that 80s London "scene" - set of twats the lot of them.

George Melly
Could probably add in all the rest of that Soho "scene" - set of likeable drunks the lot of them.

Robbie Coltrane
Fucking massive, arrogant get. Walking through Berwick Street market - he wasn't buying fruit!

Robert Smith
Sans make-up. Used to drink in same pub as us - cracking fella. Said to us once: "Do you mind if I sit with you and talk football?

"These fucking goth tourists are doing my head in."

Sophia Loren
She was doing a book signing in Liberty in London. Me and a mate from work queued up, got to the front and she said: "Where's your book?"

"Oh, I just wanted your autograph"

"No book - you can fuck off"

Got a bit of a twitch on when she said that...

More next time (maybe)

Football that is rich

Wigan Council operates this Ring and Ride scheme - provides a door-to-door accessible minibus service for people of all ages who find it difficult to use 'ordinary' transport. Keep thinking I might take ‘em up on the offer. Can’t stand buses. Can’t stand trains. But can’t call ‘em as I’ve no credit in my phone. Currently waiting for the American government to bail me out. I’m that skint.

Shopping for whoopsies at Asda. Boiling a kettle for water to wash in, as it’s cheaper that putting the immersion on. Walking everywhere. Miles after miles. Chewing gum to stave off the hunger pains. Raiding my mum’s fridge for chocolate biscuits. One crumpet a day – two on a Saturday will do me fine.

As that great philosopher Marx (Groucho) said: “I came into this world with nothing; and still have most of it left...”

“So excuse me while I light my spliff” and try not to laugh too much at brokers and bankers bawling their eyes out as they have lost their jobs. Didn’t fucking cry when you got that 100k bonus, did you? So you can fuck right off now. As can QPR with their £40 tickets for Championship football. As can Chelsea with their prices and Whelan putting his Pooles pies up 22p in 2.2 months. Oh there he is with his wife walking down Tottenham High Road. Not exactly Parbold is it, Father Jack? And what about all those darkies about, eh? And not just in the Wigan team. Bit of a fuck up for the “Wigan is white” brigade that innit. Don’t fucking bother me. I’ll drink with any man and fuck any woman. Couldn’t be arsed about creed and colour.

Me and the poor boys and girls will just put Tom Russell on the stereo and drink coffee and chew gum to stave off the hunger. Don’t bother about rich boys and Tory twats. Entrepreneurs and stockbrokers. Bores me senseless. And football’s now about money and entrepreneurs. And the stadiums are not grounds anymore and our place of worship has had the lead stripped off the roof and “offers 15 suites ranging from an Executive Box for up to 24 people to the rather unique indoor Marquee for up to 500 people. Nine of the suites offer spectacular pitch views. Two suites offer ground floor access, ideal for car launches and exhibitions. All suites offer air-conditioning. Wireless internet access is available throughout the Stadium.”

It used to be pies and Bovril and tumbleweed blowing over the Town End and now it’s fat girls in suits at conferences from Monday to Friday and fat cats in suits on Saturdays.

And it should be football that is rich with prices for the poor. But it’s over at that level. That top level where the football is poor with prices for the rich. So I’ll stick to my ideals and go the library and borrow a book and listen to Tom Russell sing Walking on the moon. And there are tears in my eyes as he touches my soul. And I love Tom Russell and I’d take a man or a woman that loves Tom Russell over brokers and bankers and new football fans and sportswear retailers any day.

“Now the lights of the town are growing yellow brown,
The moon is beginning to rise and I left momma at the door
I said don’t worry any more
I’ve seen daddy put those stars in your eyes…”

The bearded lady and Aldershot '82

“Sorry lads, you can’t come in.”

“Er how come?

“It’s eleven, your door's open.”

“No beards.”

“Yer wot.”

“You heard.

“Your mate’s got a beard.

“He can’t come in.”

We look at the Big One and indeed he does have a beard. But we aren’t going in. And we’re laughing and Tone says: “Just run this by me again Mr Landlord.

“You’re not letting us in because our mate has a beard?”

“Yeah sorry lads but I can’t let you.

“It’s an army pub and they’ll know you’re not army as he has a beard.

“End of story.”

And Tone says: “But Robert E Lee had a beard and he was army.”

“Che Guevara,” shouts Guzzling.

“Fidel Castro,” I say.

“Karl Marx”

“David Bellamy”

“Kenny Everett”

Kenny fucking Everett, ha, ha, ha.

“Jim Morrison,” says Az

And we are all laughing at the thought of Jim Morrison being refused entry at a shithole of a pub.

The Big One is doubled up. Dribbling down his beard and Tone shouts again: “Jennifer Miller”

“Jennifer Miller, who the fuck is Jennifer Miller?”

“A bearded lady.”

So Guzzling says: “Would you let Jennifer Miller in?”

“Not if she’s got a beard!”

And it’s getting dafter and dafter and we are laughing and laughing. And it’s the first time I’ve laughed since I heard that Alan had gone down with the Sheffield. Laughing my head off in this army town of Aldershot on a sunny Spring day.

“Rolf Harris”

We all turn around and there are two Wigan kids in their Braemer golf jumpers, jumbo cords and adidas pumps. Right little Ronnie Corbetts. They have seen what’s going on and they’re loving it.

I’m rolling around, the Big One is stroking his beard like a mad fucking professor and Tone is trying his hardest to think of somebody else with a beard and I shout: “Captain Birdseye, he was military.”

Still he stands there and we turn into the bright morning sunshine. And I say to Tone: “How the fuck did you know about Jennifer Miller?”

“God knows…”

We shuffle on by and the brandy in my hipflask sinks into my soul as we turn the corner to see a gang of happy Wigan fans outside a pub.

“Alright lads, do they serve people with beards in here?” says the Big One.

And they look at this daft big cockney with a beard and one of them says: “Yer wot?”

So I reply: “Yer wot, yer wot, yer wot.”

And everybody joins in and they know that I’m Wigan and these cockneys with me today are Wigan and as we go to the bar Guzzling orders five Guinnesses as we hear the cry of “What shall we do with the Argentinians?” from the growing number of Wigan fans outside.

Guzzling’s still laughing when he says: “Rich, I’m going to grow a beard next week.

“Grow it for your Alan…

From sunny New York - Clobber

Well we discussed the Torres jacket on the Mudhutsmedia forums. One of our number said the following: “Given the colour and the velcro name patch holder over the left breast pocket I'd guess you're looking at something issued to the emergency services, or at least a copy of the same.

The cut (cuffs, collar, pockets etc.) is incredibly close to the US Military BDU jacket. Google 'M65 jacket' and see if I'm wrong.”

Well he was bang on and amazingly it’s being made by Nike! Well not that amazing as Torres wore it in a Nike ad but… Well they just don’t make good clobber. Well they have done this time.

Available in New York only by the looks of things and no sign of price but a great coat

"He bought the coat from sunny Spain" or maybe not

Point to point - Clobber

It’s raining, the world is wearing K-Swiss and Henleys, you’re wrapped up in your big coat and you need a shoe to go on your plates of meat. To keep you warm and dry. Wondering what to buy? Well here at Mudhuts Towers we really like these Pointer Taylors boots.

They’re available in a myriad of mad colours but we’ll stick to this subtle brown. Cost about £70

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Levi Stubbs - Heaven has recalled another angel

Our legends and heroes leave us. But still the music remains.

Baby I Need Your Loving
Without The One You Love (Life's Just Not Worthwhile)
Ask the Lonely
I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
It's the Same Old Song
Something About You
Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Reach Out I'll Be There
Standing in the Shadows of Love
I Got a Feeling
7-Rooms of Gloom
I'll Turn to Stone
You Keep Running Away
Walk Away Renee
If I Were a Carpenter
Yesterday's Dreams
I'm in a Different World
What Is a Man
Don't Let Him Take Your Love From Me
It's All in the Game
Still Water (Love)
River Deep Mountain High
Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)
In These Changing Times
MacArthur Park (Part II)
A Simple Game
I Can't Quit Your Love
(It's the Way) Nature Planned It
Keeper of the Castle
Ain't No Woman (Like the One I've Got)
Are You Man Enough
Sweet Understanding Love
I Just Can't Get You Out of My Mind
One Chain Don't Make No Prison
Midnight Flower
Seven Lonely Nights
We All Gotta Stick Together
When She Was My Girl
Tonight I'm Gonna Love You All Over
I Believe In You and Me
Back to School Again
I Just Can't Walk Away
Mean Green Mother From Outer Space

RIP Levi, Obie and Lawrence

"When the world falls apart some things stay in place
She takes off the Four Tops tape and puts it back in its case
When the world falls apart some things stay in place
Levi Stubbs tears.."

Meet at Topshop

Meet at Topshop, Oxford Circus. All the young lovers meet there. Boys and girls and boys and boys and girls and girls in this mixed-up muddled-up shook-up world.

I meet Janet there and she is late as normal. And I’m as mad as normal and she flashes me that big beautiful smile. And she takes my arm and I forgive her. Cos I always forgive her and we walk through the backs to Efes for kebabs and steaks. And beautiful dips and pittas for a beautiful girl.

We share our joy and pain. Sunshine and rain. We eat and I drink. Jan has a Baileys that she sips. And she keeps smiling and we talk about our friends. Mutual and otherwise. I tell her I love her and she tells me the same. But this love will not be consummated. This is platonic love and we both know that. We hold each other close in our hearts. We are mates and that will do me fine. Beautiful as she is – I don’t break up relationships. My morals are low but something deep, very deep keeps me from her. But no messing I love this beautiful girl from Streatham.

And this beautiful girl from Streatham loves Tom Waits and to a backdrop of the chitter and that chatter of twenty-nine accountants and one secretary I slowly and quietly start singing:

“And you can ask any sailor and the keys from the jailor
And the old men in wheelchairs know
That Matilda's the defendant, she killed about a hundred
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You'll go a waltzing Matilda with me

And it's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on
An old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers
The night watchman flame keepers and goodnight to Matilda too”

Through welled-up eyes and a lump or six in my throat. And she flashes me that big beautiful fucking smile. The suits are bewildered – twenty nine of the fuckers trying to chat up the secretary from Southgate who will lead them on and half-listen to their tales of accountancy and flow charts. Budgets and provisions, sports cars and salaries. When all you need to fall in love is Tom Waits and gorgeous Turkish food.

We talk about growing up and Jan tells me Tom Waits’ Kentucky Avenue is the greatest song about childhood. I tell her Springsteen’s Growing Up is the greatest song about… er growing up but she flashes me that me that big beautiful fucking smile and I know she is right.

Waits once said when introducing the song: “I grew up at a street called Kentucky Avenue. Well, I was born at a very young age, and eh when I was about 5 years old I used to... I used to walk down Kentucky Avenue collecting cigarette buts. And I finally got me a paper route. I used to get up at 1 o' clock in the morning so I could deliver my papers and still have time to break the law..."

But the song is more about his best friend. This friend had polio and he used to be in a wheelchair and they’d race to the end of the road. And Jan tells me this and she sings in her sweet South London voice:

“I'll take the spokes from your wheelchair and a magpie's wings
And I'll tie 'em to your shoulders and your feet
I'll steal a hacksaw from my dad and cut the braces off your legs
And we'll bury them tonight out in the cornfield
Just put a church key in your pocket, we'll hop that freight train in the hall
We'll slide all the way down the drain to New Orleans in the fall”

The suits don’t understand poetry. They don’t understand love. Don’t understand platonic love and the way that Janet’s big beautiful smile means more to me than anything in the world and they don’t know who Tom Waits is and it pleases me no end and it would please Tom Waits as well…

Thursday, 16 October 2008

a pound, I shit a pound

Right then,

I finally decided it is time to do something about my weight and last Wednesday I went and enrolled at Weightwatchers.

I didn't know what to expect, I had images of Majorie Dawes and Yvonne from Peter Kay's Slimming World tale. It is not a million miles away!

After filling in more forms than your average civil servant, I was finally enrolled, and Danielle (the leader) invited me onto the scales. Now it is about 4 years since I last weighed myself but I thought I had a fair idea of my weight. To my horror it was almost 2 stone higher than I'd anticipated, which left me with the feeling that I'd made the right decision to attend.

As a new member, you are invited stay for the meeting and afterwards the leader will take you through how the weightwatchers points system works etc. The meeting begins with Danielle standing in front of a before and after picture of herself 'from fat munter to slim ugly pig'. She then proceed to pass around a 1lb block of lard to make those who'd lost only a 1lb realise how much that was. Lots of oohs and aahhs later, she passed around a bag with 12lb of weight in it. The challenge was in the 12 weeks up to Christmas to aim to lose a lb a week. Nods all around. At this point, my mind started to drift as she'd mentioned fish and chips wiping out a day's points....Mmmmm Fish n Chips!!

After being inflicted to a further 15 minutes of prattle from fat middle aged scrubbers talking about water retention and how one of them got so pissed her grandson had to put her to bed, I'd really had enough.

So, then it begun. My diet allows me quite a lot of scope as I get more points for being a man, more for being 35, shit loads more for being a fat cunt. Fish n Chips could be accomodated for less than half my daily points allowance. Despite a couple of early wobbles on the weekend with my niece's birthday I managed to stick to this diet relatively easily and well below my points allowance.

Tonight, I went back with some apprehension for my weigh in, as it got closer to my turn, I got really quite nervous, what if I'd not lost anything? what if my Friday night had scuppered my week?

Well fuck all of that, cos I lost 11 lb in a week, and like they do on the videprinter (eleven fucking pounds). So tonight I'm well happy and more determined than before to continue with this. I'm not comfortable telling all how much I weigh but once I've lost a bit I'll probably say what it was. My staged goals are all about losing 10% of my weight and I'm well on my way to goal number 1.

I've set my own objectives, to be able to shop at regular high street stores like M&S rather than High & Mighty as well as feeling able to fly economy!

Look out for donuts before and after picture in a sunday supplement before Xmas 2009!

More updates to follow


Monday, 13 October 2008

Things you're still doing in your forties that you should have given up in your twenties

Thinking you’ve a chance with 19-year old girls
Pissing in bottles on coaches
Actually travelling on coaches
“Doing the day”
Thinking that Heskey “has got something”
Watching MTV Base
Checking out what people are wearing at the match
Considering buying a motorbike
Talking about the performance of cars
“Turning your arm over for a few overs in the summer”
Searching for clothes that you wore in your twenties
Getting involved in a pub brawl
Arguing about God/politics/football
Going the rugby
Going the shop in your trackie bottoms and replica shirt
Willing the ball to come to you when you pass some kids playing football
Not eating on a Saturday
Listening to four skinny indie kids in a bar in Camden
Spending more money than the previous year on a winter coat.
Browsing through the lads mags section in Smiths
Being shocked by pornography
Considering taking up smoking as it’s becoming too unfashionable
Getting your ear/nipple/lip pierced
Discussing who is currently the best rapper
Cheating on the missus with some ugly trollop
Eagerly awaiting the latest adidas reissues
Trawling myspace to listen to the band on the cover of this week’s NME
(Even) Considering buying an ironic tee shirt
Playing 5-a-side football. And taking it seriously
Buying pudding, chips and peas at midnight on your way home from the pub
Doing drugs

As Pizza Hut becomes Pasta Hut here's a small tale

Nail your top takeaways.

Mine are simple

Still remember the first time I tasted ‘em all. Not cosmopolitan me. I’m from Wigan. Brought up on lobbies and braising steak and liver and chips. Egg and chips when we skint. But always a roast on a Sunday. Mum and dad made sure of that. Always ate well on a Sunday. And then on Mondays we’d have cold meat with chips. Used to love it when it was lamb as the fat tasted so nice.

Probably that’s why I love kebab. Still remember the day when I first tasted a kebab. Little restaurant up from Camden Town. Primrose Hill way. Nice little gaff and I sat down and had beer, kebab and chips. On a plate with salad and chilli peppers.

We had salad on a Sunday at home. Sunday dinner was roast while Sunday tea was salad. Grandma White insisted on it. Always said: “You can’t beat a good salad.” Never had chilli peppers in our salad though. Never had a salad like I had with the kebab. Still remember the taste. Can food taste beautiful. Well that kebab did that night. Never had it on a plate with a knife and fork since but…

First time I had Kentucky was on the County Road before an Everton game. Must have been 14 or 15. Surrounded by rapscallions, trying to disguise the woollyback accent. Letting the scouse mates do the talking and then sink the teeth into something unworldly. Breadcrumbs and chicken and spices and that taste and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m more jerk chicken now but there are no faded photos of Marcus Garvey in Muswell Hill. Jah Rastafari has not made it to N10. So it’s still Kentucky in Muswell Hill and it still moves my soul on sad and lonely nights when I’ve had too much to drink and too long to think.

And pizza is pizza. And pizza is girls. When I first came to London it was Pizza Hut at Stamford Hill. Pizza and mulled wine and beautiful girls called Rose. Laughing and joking. Big multi-racial gang of us. Me from the north with these North London folk that let me into their world. And I let them into mine. Had some laughs in that Pizza Hut. Good folk – my friends.

Still go to Pizza Hut when I’m with a girl. Was in the one around Leicester Square with Janet the other week. Straight from work and bloody Wham were in there. Made her day. All sat there. George Michael, Andrew, Pepsi and Shirley. Four of ‘em just sat there having pizza and Coca Cola. Laughing away like we do up in Stamford Hill. Flirting before the fucking. Top of the Pops and still in Pizza Hut. Sort of made me smile that.

Went over and said hello and got the lads to sign a napkin for Janet. Didn’t want to disturb them but they were fine. Took it back to the table and it really made her day. The girl with the biggest, brightest smile in the world flashed it towards me.

Might go out and buy Wham’s next single now. Made my mate’s day and you can’t ask for anything more than that...

Sonnets of Wigan - No 1

Shall I compare thee to a Wigan day?
Thou art more filthy and far less ornate:
Rough birds do shake my massive spuds of spray,
And my Johnny Bag hath too short a date:
Sometimes too hot the eye of plonker shines,
And oft' is his purple headed bulb dimm'd;
And every bird from Ince sometime declines,
By chance or more crabs changing minge untrimm'd:
But thy eternal dole cheque shall not fade
Nor lose currency of thou sweaty breast;
Nor shall Death brag thou fat arse in his shade,
When in eternal pies to belly thou growest:

So long as Brocol House gives free money,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

The Bard of Wigan

The Ghost between the Posts

A cold wind blows around the vast deserted dark stadium. The only sound to be heard comes from the scuttling litter being blown hither and thither under the seats across the concrete terraces. No one sees the pale figure in the goalmouth standing guard for an attack that will never come. John Thomson, the ghost between the posts.

John Thomson was born in the Fife mining village of Cardenden on January 28th 1909. When he left school he did what most men in this community did, he worked down the pit. Outside of work he played football for local side Wellesley Juniors and he gained a reputation for being an excellent goalkeeper. Celtic were alerted to his talent and he signed for the club at the age of 17. £10 secured his services and it was surely the best £10 the club ever spent. At 18 he made his first team debut in a 2-1 win at Dundee and he went on to become the first choice goalkeeper at the club.

He wasn’t the tallest of keepers being around 5ft 10in but he was a superbly athletic one and was renown for his bravery. That same bravery would cost him his life at the tender age of just 22.

John’s talent was backed up by hard evidence. In his short career he won two Scottish Cup medals with Celtic, in 1927 against East Fife 3-1 and in 1931 against Motherwell 4-2. He was also picked for the national team and won four caps for Scotland and four for the Scottish League side.

Sadly his promising career came to an abrupt and cruel end at Ibrox on Saturday, September 5th 1931. 80,000 witnessed it and not a one would ever forget the tragedy that unfolded that day. Rangers v Celtic one of the greatest derbies in the history of football has always been a passionate affair and it was young John Thomson’s final day of his life. Early in the second half of the game the Rangers centre forward Sam English broke through the Celtic defence and moved swiftly towards the goal. Thomson was off his line in a flash and raced out to block the imminent shot. There was a sickening collision and both men fell to the floor. English got up but the young keeper lay prone on the turf. He was obviously badly hurt and was hurriedly placed on a stretcher. One report said that as he was being taken from the pitch he managed to raise himself up and looked back towards his goal before collapsing back unconscious. A hush fell upon the huge crowd as he was carried down the tunnel but one piercing scream rang out from the main stand when John’s wife of a couple months saw her stricken husband. He was taken to the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow. At 9:25pm that night John Thomson died.

Sam English was cleared of any blame in the incident, it was purely a tragic accident. In the collision as Thomson bravely dived at the attackers feet the knee of English struck a mortal blow to the goalkeepers head. It was the first old firm derby that English had played in and it was only his 7th game for the club. He was never the same man again and throughout his career he was taunted by fans who blamed him for the death of the keeper. The fact is he was blameless, it was a shocking accidental collision with no malice intended. Sam English was 23 at the time of the accident and he retired from the game 5yrs later. He died on April 27th 1967 aged 58.

The funeral of John Thomson was attended by over 30,000 people, , including thousands who had travelled from Glasgow, some of them had even walked the 55 miles to the Fife village. His coffin was carried by his Celtic team mates. Rangers players and officials were also there to pay their respects to the keeper.

He will never be forgotten by the Celtic supporters and his name lives on. Even today nearly 80yrs after his death, his grave is visited by the fans and green and white tributes are placed on the monument.
Many thanks to the excellent website for their info.

Come all you Glasgow Celtic
Stand up and play the game
For between your posts
There stands a ghost
Johnny Thomson is his name

John Thomson 1909-1931

Tony Topping

Thursday, 9 October 2008

An Open Letter to Paul McCartney

“Oh Paul oh Paul oh Paul
Oh how the mighty fall
Oh how the times have changed
From hero to deranged”

Ok, so it’s a stanza from a poem I wrote about Paul Jewell, but the same rules apply.

You’re a fucking joke McCartney, and have been for some considerable time. If I’m being brutally honest I never really did like you. Your mate, that Lennon lad, was much more my cup of tea. There’s just something about you that I find unsavoury. It’s a smugness about you that I normally associate with one of those pseudo middle class twats who have just arrived on the [italics]upwardly mobile express[italics] from workingclassville. I used to attribute it to a more softer characteristic in your personality, maybe a touch of shyness.

You see Paul, the public has forgiven you for a lot over the years. From your fucking awful collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Michael (anal bleaching) Jackson, to the musical abortion that was the Frog Chorus. In fact, aside from a couple of songs with Wings your post Beatle career has been painful. We even forgave you when you got hitched to the wooden legged pit pony that is Heather Mills. And we stood by you during the messy divorce even though we knew she wasn’t all to blame.

We stood by you because you were [italics] OUR[italics] Paul McCartney, a local lad made good. A local lad who shook the world with his music. However, you hammered the final nail in the coffin for me a few weeks ago.

What in the name of Hezbollah did you think you were doing playing in Tel Aviv? Let me remind you Paul, as you clearly have forgotten your history about the State of Israel. Israel is a country that is flaunting every UN resolution under the sun. A short while back you may remember a little publicised incident called Gulf War 2. In that war, we, the civilised counties in the west, invaded a little known country called Iraq. And why? Because they had weapons of mass destruction, which of course as we all know now didn’t exist. Israel has been carrying such weapons for years only they wont confirm or deny this. What do we do? Nothing.

Point 2. I seem to remember you being against the South African regime of apartheid in the 1980’s, but I don’t seem to remember you breaking ranks and playing Sun City. So how does this sit with the 1.5 million Palestinians that are being held siege in Gaza and your decision to play in the land of their oppressors? Of course you said of playing Tel Aviv;

“if I go to a place it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one and I hope that the idea will spread”

So what reason did you have for not spreading yourself over the border and play a concert there? Could it be the $5m you got for it eh Paul? Because you really need it don’t you. It’s up there with one of the other natives of that region, Iscariot, in the fuck you I’m getting paid stakes of betrayal.

Not to worry though eh Paul as I see you’ve got bigger fish to fry. Those naughty boys and girls at McDonalds have been using Beatles images in their restaurants. I see your spokesman did your dirty work for you:

“What sort of morons do McDonalds think Beatles fans are? It's ridiculous and insulting to use images to peddle hamburgers. Fans should boycott McDonalds - and not just in Liverpool.”

I hope that crisp iceberg lettuce you’ll be eating for your salad lunch is noisy enough to drown out the screams of innocent, starving and dying. You’re a fucking disgrace McCartney. John must be turning in his fucking grave.


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Real-ity Television?

I’ve kept too quiet for too long but it is really getting on my wick! At the risk of upsetting 99% of chavs who watch Jeremy Kyle, whilst smoking in front of their baby and shagging their boyfriend’s mate, who is really their cousin, I really dislike reality television programs!

My interest in this as boiled to the surface after bullying racist Jade Goody was told on India’s version of ‘Big Brother’ that she had cancer. If this is true, then I hope she recovers. But it’s a wee bit convenient isn’t it? Whilst on a television show, grovelling for forgiveness from a country whose Bollywood star she had apparently bullied.

Of course all the goons have taken to the ‘brave Jade’ campaign, not realising that 1000’s of men and woman suffer with this awful disease every day with no help from no-one. They are the brave people, not self-styled thicko’s who make a tit of themselves on television just to get famous. She’ll be okay, she is now the darling of the gutter press once again and the millions of people who believe the media hype. I’m just worried about all those everyday people who can’t afford those treatments that ‘brave Jade’ will be getting, perhaps in exchange for exclusive snippets from her new autobiography, well one written in her guise anyway!

Get well soon Jade, just hope Max Clifford has covered his tracks……..

But where will it end? Will it ever end? Most of my hatred is towards all these ‘pop music’ shows. We have four numpties who know as much about music as a two year-old. Granted Simon Cowell knows what sells but he knows jack all about music. Why is Danni Minouge there? Ditto Cheryl Cole? Louis Walsh has been sacked by Cowell more times than York but seeing as his ‘expertise’ is in boybands (wink, wink!); he’s probably the only one worth keeping on.

But I can’t for the life of me, know the answer to one question. If there is one question we will never know the answer to, even if we live for another 1000 years, it’s this: Why the bloody hell is Amanda Holden a judge on, the ironically- titled, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’? What the hell does she know about talent that we don’t?

After making her debut as a contestant on ‘Blind Date’ (she didn’t win), Amanda’s career has flourished. Starring in such epics as er, er, er, okay she used to go out with Les Dennis, apart from that, I can’t think of anything!

Okay that’s a bit unfair, the star of ‘Cutting It’ and ‘Wild at Heart’ knows how to act (a bit) but crying when some big lad, who is bullied at school, sings some opera (which undoubtedly, his mother ‘bullied’ him to sing!), isn’t the sign of a judge who is fair and knows her stuff.

Infact mastering the show itself, is like a checklist of criteria you must be, to get through. You either have to be seriously ill, bullied, fat, a weirdo, a dog, a failed contestant on another related show or Holden’s dole officer. And who won last year’s contest? A comedian? A magic act? Even a dancing dog? No, its was a fucking ponce who danced in water!

There’s nothing these reality shows won’t do. You look in your television mags, singing, dancing, cooking, hunting for ghosts, jumping out of planes and eating a Kangaroo’s testicle! They are supposed to represent real life. If they are true to life, then I really fear for our future!

Anyway here a couple of my suggestions for reality television shows which I’ve forwarded to a number of different television channels:

Britain’s Got No Talent What So F***ing Ever! – ‘Talent’ show in which Amanda Holden and Kerry Katona judge a variety of acts, including singers, dancers and er that’s it! Presented by Kate Thornton.

I’m a Celebrity (apparently) Chuck Me Out Of Here! – Game show where viewers phone in, answer a question and the winners are chosen at random from our 4 year old Sri Lankan boy, who we pay 2p a day, sorry I mean a computer! The winners will get to choose which washed-up celeb that will be thrown out of an in-flight aircraft, with no parachute. (Calls cost £25 a minute + Network charge, just to take the piss out of you that little bit more)

I’m a Celebrity (apparently) Chuck Me Out Of Here! – EXTRA – Game show/drama, in which the two remaining washed-up ‘celebs’ fight it out on the wing of the plane – like in Die Hard 2! Yippee Ki-Yay m**********ers!

Straight Eye For The Gay Guy – Reality show in which a gay guy is taken to live a ‘straight life’ for a week but realises that his new found straight mates are a bigger bunch of poofs than normal gay guys. They take in a Kooks concert and drink coffee at ‘Nero’. And our guy realises that he isn’t missing out after all!

21st Century Eye for the 19th Century Gentleman – Spin-off reality show in which we transport a 19th century man into the 21st century to sample life in our time and see how much as changed in 200 years. Our man is decked out in the latest ‘attire’. His smart waistcoat, shirt, trousers and top hat are replaced by the finest Henleys has to offer. Out goes timeless sheet music by Mozart, Verdi and Beethoven and in come ‘banging tunes’ like McFly, Fall Out Boy, 50 Pence and ‘banging house anthems’. He longer as to work for a living as a fortnightly trip to the dole will sort him out. And in order to woo a lady, he no longer as to win her father’s favour and invite her to dance. He simply has to slap a ‘bitches’ tracksuited arse, shield his eyes from her orange skin and fumble for her bra. It’s touching stuff!

The Drinking Klub – Reality/game show in which 5 young people are invited to take on each other in a drinking contest. They are allowed to quaff as many bottles of WKD (or ‘Wicked’ as they are generally referred to) as they like. They are allowed just one food stop (generally a kebab or pizza) but it’s not compulsory. Its last-man standing as our contestants will no doubt turn to dirty tricks to win. Sick buckets, police officers on probation, with arrest figures to reach and ambulance crews will be on standby. Doormen will be provided if the action is a little slow. Girls will come into the game, to try and ‘mix things up’, if our lads are still standing at 2.00am.

Viva Marsh Vegas

Check out his fine blog at