30 June 2009

Minnis Bay - 17th June ...spent most of the night sucking some chaps face off...

The day dawned bright and warm and sunny. Yes, at last. After many a rain lashed month a window had appeared in the bizarre weather patterns that have been afflicting these Sceptic Isles. A window open just enough to permit our first and severely belated excursion into the deepest Kent countryside. I say 'countryside' but really it was as much seaside as it was countryside. Stand with your back to the sea wall, all you could see stretching out as far as the eye could roam was a chocolate box perfection of the garden of England. Scale the gentle incline of the sea wall and you were transported to the edge of the North Sea, with waves lashing an impressive stone flecked shoreline, the sky pink from the last dying gasps of a wonderfully warm and vibrant sun.

It was on this stretch of wild, windswept beach just down from Reculver, that we set up camp for the night, erecting the tVC love tent with the ease of those practised in the art of their labour of love. Despite bringing unmatching halves of two marquees, we managed to do the usual tVC bodge, that enables us to stagger dramatically from one near disaster to another, whilst having a damn fine time.

It wasn't until limping groups of weary, whinging party goers started arriving, saying that it had taken them about one and a half hours to walk (Emily) that we admitted to our loyal and faithful followers, that the whole episode was really a sponsored walk, followed by a party as a reward for those who completed the walk. Some resolutely blanked us for a couple of hours, until the beautiful countryside, the gently litlting music and the excellence of the company started wreaking its usual seductive charm, and they forgot their long 4 mile trek and allowed themselves to be held within the warm embrace of the love tent. And how nice it was not to have cars littering the dance floor.

Those that did make the effort were rewarded with the a string of lame excuses along the lines of 'oh, we couldn't get the vehicles with the marquee and rig very far up the coast line because of the ferocious ruts cased by the rain' or 'it only looked like a mile or so from the Reculver end to us' or 'we wish we'd told you about the secret pathway that crossed over a railway line' (what fun that would have been to see a stream of cars frantically racing across open rail track eyes shut and knuckles tight hoping not to die). They were also rewarded with a great site and fine, nay great, views and ambiance cupping in the bay, a sunrise to behold and rolling farmland if you looked landside.

A masterful stroke of decorum, a platform to fall in and out of love, to fly high, to lie low, a squishy quagmire of turbulent emotions laid bare on the lanscape, a fruit and nut embrace of stolen moments, of fulfilled expectations and a wallow in the power of the beat: the sunrise replenishes spirit, provokes spontaneous smiles and hugs the world and old friends with no shame.

A great bargain at Sainsburys (12 squid a crate or "slab" as Tone would say) ensured plenty of free beer for the "crew only" which, miraculously had grown from 8 to 28 in the space of a couple of hours, and the whole lot was glugged in double quick time. You thirsty minxes.

It all flows like wine and pours torrant like ether bound socialisation.

Those spotted in disarray both on and off, often, on the dancefloor;

Bendy and Huge developing a fine collection of grass stains on Huge's bended knees, after they had disappeared for long time periods in the gentley billowing grass. Manchester 'Fish market' Nicky, just out of hospital after a very complicated knee operation, probably fucked for ever after the long hike, with her 'boyfriend' Dave the Burner. Rachel and Ben, fitting as much in as they could in 48 hours (well they are still newly weds, don't ya know. Someone with their bare legs hanging out of 'the' van, whose face was never revealed, but of whom Michael took one look at his hairy legs, and declared "Ooh, I've sucked him off". All we know is it wasn't Richard, because as on his head his legs suffer from a severe dearth of hair-like cover, after having been 'rubbed off' by his 'wellies' (!!?). Nadia, Chris and Jim still basking in the warm afterglow of their Splendid party the week before, and not suffering trance withdrawal too badly. Charles and son and chums and new, young, beautiful girlfriend. How does he do it we ask, especially when we saw the size of his beer belly when he had his shirt open as the sun rose. Let's just say he gives Huge a run for his money in the 'men who look pregnant' nursery stakes. Emily and Sara in matching pedal pushers. Sara seems to be the only person in the tVC circle who could wear bright white trews, have almost constant sex all night, and for there still not to be a stain on the aforementioned pedal pushers. These lapsed catholics, really, you can't take them anywhere.

Tim still plastered, didn't have to walk the walk as a rescue posse organised by Jes and Shaun drove him to the nearest gate. These snow boarders, they're just sooo crazy. Lots of people from Herne Bay and very friendly they were too. Jenny starting to come out again now Robbie is of school age. Conrad and Sue, although "The Radical" didn't stop moaning and whining, so no change there then. Oh, and Steve's mates. All of them. En masse, especially Toby who seizing the tVC spirit didn't stop his drunken shouting all night. Kap on speaker duty. John minus Jane. Chris and Terrance gurning like good 'uns, groin strain forgotten. Gazzer and Shelley who despite living in that neck of the woods perhaps had the most trouble finding the site. Oh, and Austin who sat in a pus ridden lumpy hell hole of his own making in the back of the car all night, frightening himself with his own dirty habits. But not as much as us. And Mr and Mrs Friendly, with Mr looking very slightly pink in the warm caressing rays of the sunrise.

Things kicked off with Steve playing his usual cool and excellent hip hop set as a reward for his long and arduous trek, and he soon cheered up as the mellow beats permeated the warm night air. Tim played a scorcher of a set, right back on form. Mike didn't show. Apparently he and Trace walked half way and then gave up, turned round and walked back. Oz the vocal queen gave it welly in the sweet sweet badass stakes. Jes turned it up a tad in the wierd beatness abounds. And Rosie spent most of the night sucking some chaps face off, interested in a few extra inches over and above the 12 she was meant to be playing with. So all in all, a normal night out.

So by 11 as it started to get hotter and hotter (that Sunday was the hottest day for 60 years, actually managing to get above 60 degrees without raining) as the dance floor started severely flagging and still before a visit from the boys in blue, we pulled the plug and started the long and drawn out process of clearing up. And it's funny how everyone disappears when it's time to do some graft. However, we can't really complain about the unexpected stamina of all our little chums. Most would end up walking 8 miles and still manage to dance like loonies all night. They don't even realise they've got it in 'em.

29 June 2009

T19 - “I feel like the captain of the Titanic”

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So, sitting in the canteen after the meeting I, my boss and S are watching the lunch queue.

“Oh, that reminds me,” says the boss, “I gotta meet with LH after this”.

I ask him to point her out to me. Last week at work, Friday it was, I walk in and someone goes ‘ah, LH is on the phone and wants to talk to you’. She says a few things but mainly wants my project out of the ‘main area’ and onto laptops in the back room; wants me not to use the SPC (in house) paperwork and to design our own booking-in form and provide a list of all the learners contact numbers ‘in case I’m off sick and we need to contact them’.

So anyway, I did do that for her but it was our first encounter and it could have gone better. The boss buggers off to talk to LH across the canteen on the sofas whilst Suki talks about his (Sikh) family argument this morning, which subsequently made him half an hour late for the meeting. Some cousin who was a relative of his ex wife said he disgraced and shamed the family. She’d spread rumours that he’d physically and mentally abused her – which he hadn’t he assured me. He was at this family gathering and there were about 200 people there. “All of them,” he said, “every single one of them didn’t say one word to me all day. I hadn’t heard that she’d said those things about me and I was thinking ‘why’s no one speaking to me?’"

I tell him about the DSU business with J and how she wants me out and all that guff. He said he hadn’t seen her for 8 months. He said she was ‘grooming’ him and getting him into situations that would flow into certain scenarios. “I was gutted. I thought I was her mate! I was having none of it”. I mentioned that her grooming worked on me and how I regret it now. He comes over all ‘hey! Geezer!’ on me, slapping my hand. The boss comes back.

“Thought I should let you know that LH has just said that a learner has just made a complaint about you in Sheppy. Don’t lose any sleep over it but she saying that our project is ‘stealing’ her learners, SPC learners!”.

“You’re fucked,” says S. “Look around.” He pans with his hand at the canteen full of lunching staff. “All educated, middle class, middle-aged women. Look at us bruv. The wrong sex and the wrong colour”.

Ju comes over. In the building for a ‘fire wardens’ course. Her and a TA on a little day off from the grind of the SPC. Ju, who has the manager’s position at a different Centre to the one I’ve applied for mangers job at, leans over and says in my ear that “I think I have the questions from my interview at home. I’ll email them to you if you like? Oh, and get a management how to do it book out. It might help.”

I nod; “I will do. Thanks”. And off she goes saying “I’m gonna learn how to use a fire extinguisher now! Bye!” The meeting was about the end.

“I feel like the captain of the Titanic,” says the boss. And he was. Project ends end Dec 06, maybe 6 months early if the targets aren’t met. But if the targets are met; then it’s the end of the project. Looking like the end of the summer.

Literacy and numeracy needs are higher now than ever. Surely the project should be expanding? We cite growing class sizes and waiting lists. How the paperwork’s running smoothly. How we love the fucking job. How the learner’s love it!

“Start looking for another job now is what I would recommend. I wouldn’t mind if you had to leave the project.” Anyway, so much for Paulo Friere’s ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’.

Curry last night with JP was a hit! Nice food - chick pea and prawn madra, sag paneer, peshwari rice and nan. Nice wine. We toast the 'curry club'. Me And You And Everyone We Know and Infernal Affairs III on DVD. A few nice texts from S finished off a lovely night. Off out now for P&J's farewell meal at the Morroccan restaurant in Canterbury.

Living in a moment like that. Man what a day. At work one of my learners said to me ‘I don’t want to be nasty…’ just before she was. She’s been studying for 6 hours over three weeks this same bloody thing that won’t sink into her fucking head. I repeat it to her every week. Show her. Ask her write it down. Ask her explain it to me. Give her a hand out with it written down. Show her how to LOOK THE FUCKING SHIT UP! Yet, every week, she to me goes; ‘how do I save/print/save as/format text again?’ I’d just got back after recovering from a bout of bad-throat-so-can’t-speak-itis and wasn’t on my best form anyway. I said ‘look you gotta use your fucking loaf' (I’m paraphrasing here you understand), 'and think about what you want to do and how you’re going to do it’.

Ah man. Going to have a curry round mine tomorrow. Invited JP as I was at his last week doing the same thing. Nice home made curry and a DVD or 2 to watch. Should be a nice chilled midweek thing. JP will probably talk about CM and how their relationship went pear shaped at the weekend. Mustn’t bitch about T or R to him as he’s their chum. Although he doesn’t have that much time for T these days.

Going to cook something out of Claudia Rodan. Was going to text or email T about her birthday on Saturday and say that if she didn’t want me to come because of the R thing then I wouldn’t go. I changed my mind and decided not to. Best not make a fuss. Remember you’re over her! So stop fucking obsessing. It unbalances me when my friendships aren’t right and aren’t on course. I’m ok now. Glad I didn’t sent send it though. Or compose it even. I’m going to buy her a birthday card too. And a nice plant for her lovely flat. Reading back over some of that stuff that I wrote the other day I was in two minds whether or not to take the whole bloody lot out and pretend I never wrote it. But I thought if I lie to my blog then I’d lie to anything. Oh, I’ve got to revisit the JPH thing that I mentioned the other day. She and I nearly had a thing together. Well we do have a thing together but not the thing it could have been. Well I say that. We had the makings of a relationship there but I pulled back because she was going through stuff with her ex; shall we get back together; shan’t we get back together? It was too confusing for me. They had three kids too. It was complicated. She liked dressing up in S&M clothing and dancing in specialist club nights put on by fellow enthusiasts. We used to have food and film nights at hers. She is funny, intelligent and independent. Studying for her degree in Religious Studies. Loves techno free parties in the woods. Loves hugging trees. I liked her a lot. We met through a blind date. Well, I say a blind date. I mean a ‘blind date’. My mate Timo, a ‘veteran’ of this scene recommended I try a dating website www.match.com. He’d got a few email relationships kicked off after a few months and he said it was great getting to know these new people and building up a connection. Fine, I said. Went off. Joined up. Spent ages filling in all the various fields; being as honest as one could be in such a scenario, then published the profile and started playing around on the site. The button ‘10 Best Matches’ brought up my first glimpse into this world. Hang on a second. Who the fuck is that at number one? That looks like JPH. Her profile says she’s a tree hugger looking for someone, oh fuck, I forgot what it was now. Some big deal in my life ey? Anyway I texted a mate who I knew had her number. Once I’d got her number I texted the old tree hugger comment in her profile to her. She sent back a 2 page text just going ‘hahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahaha!’ We arranged a meet. She said she’d wear a flower. I said I’d wear a lime green baseball cap with the legend ‘if it feels good do it!’ on the front. We had lunch and talked for, ooh, hours. When we parted I took a phone picture of myself driving and sent it to her. She sends a similar one straight back. Oh, how we laughed. Living in a moment like that.

The Smack night was a blast; rammed as usual with great people despite there being a split in town for the available crowd. Hip hop at the Fountain, the Crazy Fucking Bitches at Dukes (yes, that is what they call themselves and yes they are!) tVC at the Smack and The Happy Accidents at the Horsebridge. Friendly Pete was playing his last set with us before him and J head off first to Thailand then Australia for a year of partying and travelling. Lucky bastards. DJ Molly made her debut appearance on Saturday, doing warm up for MDM who did warm up for FP. Warren was there pissed up and on top form. T turned up (my ex). She was her usual sniffy self, all hunched and quiet and worried about something but unable to talk to anyone. I’ve given up trying to talk to her and dropped all pretence of the ‘lets be friends’ deal we had when we split. As long as I keep it shallow; keep it nice; keep it polite she is well cool with me. As long as I don’t ask her where she’s been, where she is going and what are her thoughts and plans on anything; don’t mention what I’ve been up to (particularly with other women) and don’t ask any awkward questions about feelings or our past relationship or the future; then we’re cool! That’s what I call balance! Instead we politely kiss each others cheek; say ‘hiya!’ (god, I fucking hate saying that god-awful phrase, and hate people saying it to me). ‘Alright?’ ‘Yes, I’m alright! You?’ ‘Yeah, I’m fine!’ we’ve done our duty. Everyone can see that I still ‘endorse’ her; which I do. What anoyed me with her was her keenness to show me pics of her trip to Cyprus with her mate T.
‘These are the pictures of the two guys we picked up on the plane and fucked stupid for the week’ she said. I'm papaphrasing there.
‘Get the fuck outa my face’ I thought. And aside, to myself; 'Still quite funny though.'
‘Oh you should just fuck anyone’ she says; ‘just so I wasn’t the last girl you did it with…’.
‘Get the fuck outa my face…’. Maybe she's right?

Anyway, took a quick half hour out of the Smack to go see the Seren Deputies debut gig at the Horsebridge in Whitstable. A bunch of fat, middle aged men nervously churn out some nice chilled out ‘Balearic’ style beats. Bear, their lead singer, gives it a bit of Ian Duryesque vocals on top of some gentle beats. He’s the best bit of it all. A bit of presence there. My mate JP giving it a real bit of solid bass action but very uneasy. Stage fright I think. They only really pick up when the drum machine is switched on and they have overcome the technical difficulties of a feedbacking loudspeaker. Well done boys! I know how difficult playing for the first time publically can be and, speaking as a fat, middle-aged has been myself, or as Nero used to say; ' a sad middle-aged sack of shit', I thought you all did rally well. Obscurity and some gigs way down on the bill at the Glasto Green field festy tent awaits you in 2010. This is exactly the market they are aiming at anyway! I'll be there whatever.

So I walk in, after paying a fiver, and right in the middle of the crowd is a bunch of the local women, all of whom I know. I, get me, work the room and say my hellos to them all; who are all pleased to see me and are grateful for someone observing the ‘greetings protocol’ properly and for genuinely making a big fuss of them. I do this to all of them except R who has blanked me out again. I pretend this doesn’t bother me but it does. I talk to CM who tells me her and JP are ‘having difficulties’. ‘Oh’ I say. ‘Yes, I told him to fuck off the other day. He’s not supporting me enough. I’m trying to give up smoking and drinking and it’s been very hard for me’. Poor CM; she’s quirky and kooky and very difficult to understand. She has to produce some artwork for some big feminist show soon to be on. It’s about woman’s empowerment and the theme is ‘vaginas’ I think. She’s thrilled and honoured to be asked but hasn’t a fucking clue what she’s going to do yet. I look over at JP on stage. Now I understand why he’s looking so worried.

I end up staying here longer that I should coz I end up talking too much. I take a few shots of the band and chat to EF who shoots some footage. ‘You should have said!!’, she says. ‘I’d have put you on the guest list!’ Damn! ‘You never know’, I say, ‘this footage could be worth a bomb when in the future we talk about how we were at the Seren Deputies debut gig. Could be like that footage of the Pistols at the 100 Club in 1976?’ ‘Could be!’ she says. We both laugh… Coz of that, and the fact that PD was an hour late with the rig, I missed most of Molly’s set which Mike said she did very well and didn't miss a mix. He really likes her and I’m glad he’s happy with her. She’s a kook but we love her energy and friendliness. So, good one on her. Mikes ex, TW, is a total psycho or pretends to be. Is that the same thing? Coked out of her tits most of the time she’s paranoid and aggressive. Her little son’s life must be hell as she denies him access to his dad. Who am I to comment on that state of affairs. I love both of them and want to support both of them. Made the mistake of inviting T back to the chill out at mine after but she didn’t turn up. She was at the usual ‘walk with Mitchell’ on Sunday however, mouthing and miming her usual platitudes but keeping everything at a good arms length with everyone. Which is just how I like it now. A part of me still worries about her a lot but I have emotionally pulled very way back from her now and have absolutely no intention of ever revisiting that land again. What a fool I was. She invites me to her birthday party at J&J’s in Margate next Saturday. I’m going, but after buying her series 5 of Six Feet Under for her for Christmas and her not getting me a prezzy in return, I don’t think I’ll be visiting the card shop in a hurry .

Besides the lovely S and I are going ‘out dancing’ on Friday night. Blimey, finding something to do local is going to be a nightmare. S and I wake up at 4.30am today and start talking about ourselves. It’s the first real conversation we have had, She wanted to hear my ‘problems’ so I bitched a bit about these women she doesn’t know; J, T and R. Then I bitched a bit more about the job I’m applying for and how I probably won’t get it coz I’ve got a caution for ‘cultivation’ of cannabis i.e. I had a plant. Even though I’m more than capable of doing the damn job.

So, T fucks off from the pub after coming from the Horsebridge to ‘check us out’ (probably coz of R and her distancing attitude to me), Molly plays a great set as does Pete, JP’s band get through the nerves barrier unscathed and I invite a select band of close friends home to mine after the pub to cane the 2 crates of beer I have and the 6 bottles of wine. Decks are set up, sofas occupied and we all get on with the job of having some fun.

Highlights for me; the 2 convo’s I have outlined above. I get also lots of advice about how ‘mad’ J is and always has been and how stupid I’ve been for fucking her. Oh, well. You never listen to your friends’ advice do you? Especially when you know damn right that what they are saying is the truth. Good to see JPH to, who came over coz PD was there. She and I nearly had ‘a thing’ last year but it didn’t happen. She wanted long term commitment; I didn’t. I think. I dunno. We should have talked more but didn't. Maybe sometime in the future? Could have give it a bit of bullshit and got laid but I’m not that kind of guy. Really!

28 June 2009

T18 - the vilest most despicably amoral

Well, feeling quite confused about things at the moment. Not really having anyone to talk to about it either I though I’d just go back the old running stream of consciousness and let my shit photos, but taken with love, illustrate what I have to say.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty of loving friends who would listen to me if I chose to talk to them; it’s that having someone who can be your confidante and still let you be yourself wholly. A lot to ask from friends who have their own life and inner thoughts to experience and sometimes, like at J’s birthday party, I want to talk but somehow my life and feelings are sublimated to the greater good of the coolective. I must sit and muse and observe and be alone in a crowd. Something familiar. Something comforting. In this mood though people talk to me about themselves and their lives and concerns and I love them being themselves. These people expressing themselves out loud. I genuinely feel pleasure in their pleasure and their hopes and dreams. My fears, concerns and the bits of my life that I can’t control but still hurt me must take a back seat.

The party is the mask where hurt is banished, where love is all. Fuelled, in my case anyway, by mediocrity, blandness and routine of the everyday world we must live in. The work, the bills, the blame. The loneliness.

Well. Main issues first. J, T, R; 3 women I my life who I love very much, and more dearly in a way than any other women I have known. Problems of relationships and ostracise shaped holes. These 3 women who I have relied on, craved their love, their support, desire, cuddles, all having deep issues with me that only their silence can communicate. Anger, misunderstanding or just plain can’t be fucked with my emotional life anymore. Women who I socialise with and even photograph unwilling to talk or in one case even look at me. Who can I talk to about this?

Who will understand and listen to me? Why do I want someone to do that? Why can’t I just get on with it like everyone seems to do? Why is it such a problem to me? All I can do is be strong in myself and be resolute. I still have my life to live and objectives to reach despite this hostility I feel from people I love deeply. A love I crave yet do not receive. Behaviour not tolerated. Loose words used like flagellating whips to hurt and destroy. A glare, a disapproving stare. A head filled with hate.

Thank love for the beautiful S. In my life and accepting in a way that none of my other friends are. So open. No moral judgments. A relationship? A voice in the dark.

T doesn’t seem to want friendship on my terms; only hers. A difficult friend who I’d dearly love to be closer to me but isn’t. Never was and never will be. Must be honest about that really. Emotionally void of any depth but hurt to the quick by her husband; caught sleeping in her bed with one of her friends. Not nice. Not forgivable. I was kidding myself. Or was I? She says things like I do love you you know? The exact same phrase N used to use on me when she was being unfaithful to me, her patronised cuckold. She’s not the person I thought she was. I guess I'm just learning about who she really is. I still hold out a hope; but me focusing on preserving an emotional state of mind that doesn’t really exist is something I cannot do. I still hold out hope that an understanding can be reached; that we can connect and remain connected on a deeper level than we have so far achieved. We won't though. Meanwhile i feel violated by her hate.

On R I have given up with her for now. I had to. I was being drained emotionally by her and her words of malice. Her negative energy is destroying mine, and other relationships, in her sphere. What can I do?

J, a love so strong in me; now dead. This grieves me the most as of the 3 she is my longest friend but her treatment of me is something I cannot bear any longer. Such a loving person when she wants to be; the vilest most despicably amoral person the rest of the time. She’s done this before to me, and others, but no more. Negative energy is to be avoided.

For now a respite in mediocrity with a focus on the people in my life who are positive.

27 June 2009

TV sea April Bank Holiday or May Day by any other name.

Yes, a daytime extravaganza on the trendiest beach this side of Cambodia. To be held on a Sunday with the bank holiday Monday in celebration of May 1st as recovery day, it was eagerly anticpated by all and sundry. It being the first sojourn to the beach after Nick and Val got their heads kicked in on the last little outing, courtesy of one of the new species littering the beach at Whitstable, the DFL's. Anyway, enough about that.

So Saturday was a glorious day of most magnificent sunny proportions. In the sun stakes it was definately one of the most well endowed days we have had the fortune to have looked upon this moist and damp rain sodding year. Everyone diligently saved themselves all day Saturday, refusing the overwhelming urges to go down the beach with a few tinnies, kick back and enjoy the rays, knowing they'd be there the next day avec chums enjoying the heat of the day in style. Even that evening not a can was opened or bottle finished in antipation of the next days pleasures. All weather forecasts had predicted a day of gorgeous sunshine, and we retired early to bed, smiles on faces, dreaming..

On waking, however, whether it was face down on someone's carpet, or in a warm nest of pillows in ones own boudoir, the view out of the window was met with universal disbelief. Fucking pissing down. Again.

And so the rain continued all day. By 12 we had decided to pull the plug on it all, reasoning that we had the genny all weekend and as tomorrow was a bank holiday, we'd do it all then. Then it was round to Chris and Terri's where ridiculous amounts of very cheap vodka were drunk very quickly. Luckily P and I left before all the really strange behaviour started kciking off, preparing ourselves for the next days jollities.

The next day dawned. Well, it wasn't raining, but fcuk was it windy. Also those that had been to C & T's who were still talking to eachother spent the whole day in bed, puking their guts up. Those who were still talking, and not puking were so quiet and hungover that I've seen Tony more animated. Plus that bastard wind didn't really help. Especially when Tarnia started her twisted fire starter routine and dragged down various garden fences that had all been painted in some noxious chemical waterproof material and proceeded to start a fire to keep us a little warmer. All very well and good, but alas, the fire was lit right next to the decks, where it blazed away merrily and most intensely for the next few hours, coating all the very expensive equipment and records in a very fine black and filthy smelling film of soot (which still clings resolutely to it 3 months later.)

As darkness began to hug the coastline, there appeared a posse of young spotty youths, obviously just a few of the local smack proteges, many of whom have probably been helped into their choice of carreer with a helpful push by old Lost It himself. They started to slink over asking for some kickin' drum and bass tracks rinsing the charts at the mo. Then they asked us to turn it up, but we only had one speaker, and that was at full pelt. Then some of them appeared over the horizon with a couple of speakers, decks and a genny that they had probably just stolen and set up two groins along, and soon the old coastline was ringing to drum and bass, very tinnily. Unfortunately this was at about 10 right in front of the row of houses in Wavecrest, so within half an hour or so the gavvers showed up, demanding that all sounds be turned off, or 'the equipment would be seized'. The young chancers instantly complied, pissing themselves and were packed up and gone within minutes. It took us old codgers to party on till one minute past 12 when the genny at last ran out of fuel. Now we could pack up and get out of this fucking wind. The police never came back though.

26 June 2009

Lizard festival Part 4

Return From The Dark Side
of The Moon

The Aftermath

Imagine the scene. All other pitches in the market area have packed up and gone leaving mounds of discarded rubbish strewn across the whole area. Marauding, menacing looking gangs reminiscent of some sci-fi nuclear holocaust movie picking over every pile searching for scraps of food or anything of any value. Richard, Rosie and Arsewipe (the 3 “R”s?) sitting in an extremely overloaded van that’s going nowhere in the middle of this desolation. The sound system and the majority of the catering equipment have left the exhaust literally millimetres from the ground.

Prior to the departure of the rest of the crew a call has been made to the AA using a Bendy membership card and secure in the knowledge that they are going to attend everyone leaves at staggered intervals with cheery goodbyes and a “see you back in the bubble”.

2 hours later a mechanic arrives in a truck obviously far too small to transport the groaning Mercedes and declares that the problem cannot be resolved in situ. Rosie breaks down in tears for the first of many occasions to follow over the next 2 days. The AA man looks a trifle embarrassed and reassures her that the Bendy yellow card she holds in her newly acquired role as Miss Reckitt (hope she spells the name right when she has to sign)will get us all home when he has arranged for a suitable sized transporter to come and tow us off. After calling base and describing the load to be collected, including the state of the suspension he departs leaving the 3 of us sitting in the van in the rain wondering what to do next.

We have the added problem of a shortage of battery life on all three mobiles we have in our possession but Arsewipe discovers a bonus number of credits on a SIM from a phone that had been left in the Café and it fits his phone. We settle for a long wait and Arsewipe goes on a recce for coffee and food leaving myself and Rosie to contemplate our situation and wonder how far the others have managed to travel and whether it has occurred to anyone that we might have been better off if someone had waited to ensure that we got away OK.

Arsewipe returns with three pints of coffee in Budweiser cups minus sugar so we search for the pot of honey that we remember packing near the end. No joy finding it though so those that like their coffee sweet have to take it bitter on this occasion. The least of our worries really. Meanwhile Rosie had stumbled across our till, empty bar receipts, that had been stolen from our K hole the previous night momentarily brightening an otherwise indescribably dark mood that had settled upon us.

After a couple of miserable hours sitting in the rain watching the litter pickers and the dismantling of the massive marquees that stood at either end of the arena we at last get a call from the AA which Rosie answers as Miss Reckitt. As soon as the call is over she is in tears again. Between sobs she manages to tell us that the AA have refused to transport our van as it is far too overloaded. Things are going from bad to worse, or as Paul put it in a later phone call, “turning from a complete nightmare into a daymare”.

We sit, all of us in post festival come down, pondering our next move. I think it must have taken us over 5 hours to come up with a possible solution in that we unload the van to the point where it is no longer over capacity, get the AA back to take us in a legal condition and get a fresh (blissfully ignorant) driver from Kent to brave the Cornish traffic and come to fetch Arsewipe and the remaining equipment (Rosie and myself gallantly offering to travel with the sound system thus ensuring its safe passage). This decided we duly call the AA who assure us that if they return and the van remains overloaded they will immediately turn around and leave us again. We find an abandoned mobile home and proceed to unload all the catering equipment until the van ceases to resemble a sitting dog.

Another call comes through on the AA hotline informing us that they will not be attending until the following morning resulting in another flood of tears from our Bendy impersonator. We try to settle for the night with Rosie on the bed in the mobile home, Arsewipe across the front seats of the van and me on a makeshift bed constructed from the box of leads, a couple of wet pillows from the ground outside the caravan and backdrops forming substitute sheets and blankets in the back of the van, all of us determined that the rig will not meet the same fate as the till the night before.

During the night, at roughly the same staggered intervals at which they had departed, calls came through from the people who had successfully navigated the horrendous traffic out of Cornwall and arrived at their respective destinations. Everyone expressed their commiserations at our predicament but tones of unwillingness were detected from all with regards to exerting any effort after their arduous journeys to undertake any determined effort to alleviate our situation. Presumably they all settled for the night at home and safe in their own beds.

The allotted time for the AA mechanic to arrive (8.00 am) arrives and passes without any sign of a recovery vehicle and Rosie is getting very close to hysterical. At about 9.10am we receive a confused call from him saying that he can’t find us where he left us. This is because we had managed to drive the van (stuck in 3rd gear) near to the exit in order to unload into the caravan. After finding him and directing him to our new location he says that he his only there to tow us off the site and it will be that evening before we even attempt to leave Cornwall. Cue floods more tears from Rosie who appears to be teetering on the edge of a complete breakdown. A call from Paul in the middle of trying to hook up the van to the winch gives me the perfect opportunity to hand the job of support worker/mental crutch over to
him by giving the phone to Rosie.

We discover that Shaun, having only landed back in Kent the previous night, proposes the return journey to The Lizard in order to retrieve Arsewipe and the hired equipment which is due back to the hirers on the Monday. We marvel at his commitment to the cause and pray that he will make it OK. The van successfully loaded on the back of the transporter we bid Arsewipe our goodbyes leaving him with our entire stock of bread rolls and honey and set off in the cab of the lorry to sunny Falmouth for a 2 and 1/2 hour wait for it to be loaded on the vehicle which will be journeying to Kent via Salisbury to drop off a Metro with collapsed suspension. After departing at around 1.00pm we pick our way through the tiny country lanes of Cornwall in an attempt to avoid the worst of the traffic until we finally arrive at a country mansion on the edge of the New Forest with a teenage party in full swing to drop off the Metro and our four young travelling companions.

11 Hours after our departure from the recovery depot we eventually arrive back at the Mansions at around midnight hardly able to believe the endurance of our driver who is readying himself to return to Cornwall to collect another unfortunate breakdown victim and ferry him safely home to Liverpool. We unload the equipment then at last we are able to make our weary way to sleep in comfort for the first time in well over a week. Cabbaged Café was a blast, the return journey a fucking nightmare but how glad are we that we undertook what we now realise was a vastly ambitious project. Love and respect to all who came together to make it possible.

25 June 2009

Lizard Festival Part 3

If I read, once more in the papers, or more specifically in magazines, or hear once more, on telly about what a "disappointment", "wash out" or "write off" the eclipse was. About how it was "obscured by cloud," (rather than crowd) how all the festivals were wastes of spaces because "no one was there". Instead of getting annoyed, I shall just smile fondly to myself and to all the others who were there experiencing it, and remember just how shit we thought it was. When you hear people harping on about quantity rather than quality you always know they are barking up the wrong tree. We all knew in the Cabbaged café what was going down. And it wasn't a "write off." Yes we got soaking wet. Yes we had to put up with clueless security trying to turn us off, not let us light fires and telling us to go to bed when all we wanted to do, and were going to do was party. Because we all knew that we were at a festival and despite the rain, the cloud, the reduced numbers, we were going to party, have a fucking good crack, meet new people and spread the vibe. And we did.

And if I watch one more recorded live coverage of the eclipse I shall weep. Big Breakfast managed to severely destroy the magic of it all by having some stupid girly choir singing "Night Fever, night fever," in loud, untrained voices all over the majesty of it's admittedly cloudy but still awe inspiring cosmic magnificence. Followed by "Here comes the sun," when yes, you've guessed it, the sun came out. With Josie the presenter twittering about how it was the most amazing experience, ever, yet none of the girls singing seemed to be even aware of what was occurring in the heavens above, only being interested in the cultural event of television and getting on it. TV didn't like the eclipse, because it looked crap on TV. You had to be there and see the sun and moon in context with nature that surrounded it. Feel the cold as darkness descended, appreciate how dramatic all those clouds made it look. Be with people, real living people, not the excuses for ones we see on TV. You see I am an eclipse convert. Pissed out of my head on copious amounts of Emily's vodka, the first time I've got drunk on vodka since my g(l)ory days 12 years ago, the eclipse held little allure in my imagination. "It's all fucking bollocks, I'm going to bed," I shouted repeatedly locked firmly in the alcohol come down train that was pulling into the destination station very rapidly. You know that feeling when all you want to do is crash out face down in a pool of (preferably your own) vomit. So twenty minutes before the event I was crashed in the tent. Emily was to wake me up at 11, but I knew that once I was asleep, no one would be able to wake me. However, I didn't allow for Emily's pissed up powers of persuasion, and got me up she did, and even my cynical snipeings were starting to dry up as I looked at the great black cloud creeping across the sky line, like another huge rain cloud. Except it was darkness. In the distance the horizon was a livid yellow wheal, as the darkness enveloped us. And yes it was cloudy, but did those clouds part at just the right time or not? And wasn't it eerie? And spectacular and quite the most weirdest cosmic occurrence you've ever witnessed? With all the sound systems turned off for the moment of totality, it felt spiritual in the truest sense. Not in the religious, God like one, but in the one that connected to everyone's ancient collective consciousness and tapped into the ancient that still dwells within us all. As the clouds cleared at the moment of totality and gave us a full, unhindered vision of all the majesty of the cosmos, you couldn't fail but to be deeply impressed. The cloud's actually served to work as a massive pair of viewing glasses, meaning we could all look straight at the sun without it blinding us. Well apart from Eldad, who sat there with an empty organic cornflake cereal packet over his head, with black plastic in the front to filter out the rays. All very well and good but he actually couldn't see fuck all.

Basically I think it was the same as with the way you live your life really. If you're someone who buys into societies perceptions of how it all is, you'll have been disappointed. If you are someone who is capable of making your own mind up about things, developing your own entertainment. If you thought, "Well, I'm somewhere that I have spent a lot of money and effort getting to, with a lot of other excellent like-minded people, experiencing a once in a life time event," like us and everyone I met in that magical week, you had a crack. For me, it was more than a crack, it was a life affirming experience that reminded the jaded part of myself that had started to overtake all my other selves, just what it's all about and how fucking great it is when it happens. What a great fucking life.

24 June 2009

Lizard Festival Part 2

I'm... I'm Waitng For My Van

I've never believed in (or had any reason to) this supersticious mumbo jumbo about the number 13, or Friday the 13th in particular being unlucky, and as I woke that morning from an exhausted slumber I had no reason to believe that things would be any different, nor did I have any awareness of it being Friday the 13th. However, on hearing Cagey's not so dulcit tones, declaring mid phlegm "We seem to have misplaced the till", the cold fingers of ice started to gently squeeze my heart... Yes, Cabbaged Cafe once more had lived up to it's rather apt nom de plume. The till had been stolen. Unfortunately full of £1 coins. Probably because it had been left in an unlocked van, under the care of someone we barely knew...

Actually Cabbaged Cafe lived up to it's name from it's first inception on a scrappy bit of paper, through it's very short gestation period, during it's long and fraught birth and continued to do so as it took it's faltering first steps through it's short, but rewarding life until it's sudden (but temporary) death. Maybe if we'd called it something else, like the Sorted Cafe, it would have lived up to it's name in a more positive way, but Cabbaged being the name, cabbaged was what we got.

From waiting around in the rain (pissing), with the rig getting soaked on a trailer and no ground sheet in our 10 man bell tent, with the amps, decks and mixer literally floating around inside on a bit of plastic we'd procured; to all our 'little' spats with the (dis)organisers who kept threatening to throw us off the site for various accused misdemeanours; to when the cafe finally turned up a week later, the birth was a long, tiring and weary one.

Having secured our site next to the Nutters, which we grimly hung on to through the most atrocious weather you could imagine, we were eventually forced to move, once more under the threat of eviction. Then we heard that the van had been broken into before it had even left London and the steering lock broken. All little signs perhaps, warning us against our foolhardy decision to go legitimate.

By the time the van finally turned up we were bored rigid after sitting in a rain lashed field for 4 days. We'd pissed the organisers off mightily, who rather suspected that we weren't a cafe at all, but a sound system trying to skank on site. Not having anything with us to prove our credentials, and being caught leaving site and coming back with an Indian take away, which we had to eat with our fingers as we had no plates or cutlery didn't really help matters. By the time the van finally turned up, Friday morning, everyone was so bored that it was all hands on deck and the marquee got erected in double quick time, the equipment was unloaded and set up, everyone just grateful to fianlly have something to do. I started to feel those old icy fingers again when I looked through the kitchen stuff and couldn't see any pots and pans bigger than a pot noodle nor any of the items one would have thought essential for the smooth operation of a cafe type scenario. You know, little things like something to cook on and chairs for people to sit on. Apparently the pots and oven were to arrive the next day with Wal, but the chairs couldn't be squeezed in to any of the vehicles, so horror of horrors, had been 'left behind'. Imagine a cafe with no chairs. How would we sell food when no one had anywhere to sit?

Anyway, not letting such major matters put us off, we set up in the still raining rain, in a quite remarkably speedy time, and the first cups of tea started coming from the kitchen. Well, at least we had an urn. Maybe a pot noodle stall would have been a better option. We had no gas bottles, but there was gas supplies on site. However we had no adapters for the gas bottles, and no piping either. Luckily we had met Wim Nutter when we'd spent a rain sodden few days clinging precariously to the rain lashed land, and he was a bona fide gas engineer, so he set up the one piece of cooking equipment we had wihtout blowing us all up. We were in business.

We managed to make a couple of chairs out of upended containers and arranged them hopefully amongst the 630 tables we had. We chalked our specials up on the one blackboard we had, which had in tiny 4 inch high letters, Cabbaged cafe proudly (?) painted across the top, the only place our name could be seen. Our coca cola fridge arrived, which we immediatley filled with lettuce and orgainic veg and 3 cans of diet coke, followed in hot pursuit by "the organisers" threatening to throw us off site for "stealing" the above mentioned fridge which we'd actually been told to take. Not for the first time that week we had again heard the refrain, "If you were at Glastonbury, you'd have been thrown off. This sort of behaviour is unforgiveable". Luckily however, as we later found out, we were the only cafe who had actually paid for their pitch, so this gave us some leverage, which we exploited as the week progressed.

With the rig up and running, everything was starting to take shape, people were wandering in, cups of tea were being produced almost professionally, and so began another swift learning curve.

22 June 2009

tangentopoli - issue 2

"Jay Jay" went on to promote Inner Vision, London.
"Mark Sinclair" - Pendragon, London.

21 June 2009

tangentopoli - issue 1

"Jon" was John of the Pleased Wimmin.
"Deep" was our night at The Penny Theatre in Canterbury which ran for exactly one year.
"Bunkum" was Andy and Toni Bunkum, Performance and General Creative Artistes extraordinaire.

"Wadhurst" - In Kent: a party we done for Sharon and Chris to celebrate her birthday. Our first real meeting with DiY.

20 June 2009

T16. Or are they stronger than we are?

So, got a call off Katrina yesterday whilst I was on Whitstable beach having a ‘meeting’with Nick Dent from the local ‘Stop the War’ coalition. We were having a couple of pints and watching the sunset. A brave 5/10 effort; too cloudy! Still real nice to be out there on such a pleasant evening. 'Stop The War' are organising a festival in Dane John Gardens in Canterbury on 17th June and want us to provide a marquee, some DJ’s and run a little café in order to raise funds or consciousness about how naughty the war in Iraq really is.

Well, it’s fucked Tony Blair’s career hasn’t it? 108 dead British soldiers to date too! So, Katrina’s going “are you in a pub? It sounds really noisy!”. “No, no”, I assured her, “I’m in a meeting!” Which I was. “Two things”, she said. “One…” then started babbling on about her TV and speakers and how it made her screen go funny and would it interfere with her DVD player? I suggested she move the speakers six feet apart and no, it wouldn’t interfere with her DVD. “Two! Where did you get that tin opener you gave me as a house warming present? My sister loves it and wants to buy one”. So I told her that it was from a hardware shop near to the Cathedral gate in Canterbury. She was chuffed. I was chuffed.

And she signed off “see you soon!” Get in! Back of the net!

Went to see The Proposition with Tort on Monday night at UKC. A pint and film for a fiver. She’s very squeamish where violent films are concerned but I’d taken her to see Kill Bill when that came out and I’d told her it was the most violent film ever made but she lapped it up describing the violence as cartoony and fun. “You are my violent film partner”, she said. The Proposition was violent, visceral and dusty. She loved it. A nice night. And she grabbed my arm on several occasions during the film. "It's the horror/creepy film violence I don't like", she says. The western making another comeback?

Having a meal, a curry, with B last night he described Tort as the sort of person who is just out for what she can get and as being selfish in that respect. Yeah, she is. A bit. But she’s only looking out for herself and has developed a defence mechanism that doesn’t really allow herself to be touched by emotions. Heaven forbid. That makes it a bit awkward for human beings like us to connect on a deeper level to these people with mild ‘sociopathic’ tendencies. Ah, bless them. They are afraid of being hurt but what they don’t realise is that being hurt is such an important part of being alive that I think they are missing out on things a bit. Or are they stronger than we are? Is being hurt such a bad thing? Is coping with this hurt the actual experience that strengthens you and you then moving on; is that the thing that actually makes you stronger? Not allowing yourself to be hurt anymore is where you can fall over because you are denying yourself a feeling life experience.

Christmas Chris is being a total 'fuckwit' at the moment towards me. I'm expecting him round my house any day now to give me a beating with his bicycle seat! He beat up some guy who fucked Terry one year and put him in hospital. Only it wasn't the guy who had fucked her it was the girl. Sasha Bishop; now a full on traveller junkie. He's been ringing me up and sending me hate texts. Here's his latest one "tvc. deep house for shallow people? tvc est mort! Right!" Kinda funny really. May use it on our next flyer. Sorta knew what Terry had to put with all along anyway mate. The poor thing. She should have left him 5 years ago! Or more? He was particularly miffed about me taking Terry up london on NYE and out on a day trip when we were in france a few years back. "You ain't ever gonna get anywhere with her" he said. Whatever that means? Maybe that I won't be fucking her perhaps? "Don't want to" I said. "She's a mate!". Which seemed to make him more agitated. He also said some horrid things about me and Nicky and how she needed love and I didn't give it to her and how she went looking for it elsewhere. Which is probably true. Good job I'm so shallow otherwise I may have been offended ;-)

Chris has been trying to have another go at blaming me. This time it's because I purportedly "sold drugs and put on parties that enabled" Terry to do her thing. What? Express her unhappiness at being with him? What a twat. I tell you I'm finished with that guy. He's looking for someone to blame and never ever looks at himself. I had to blow out lunch with Louis and Josephine yesterday because he would be there and I can't be fucked with his shit anymore. How did Terry put up with that for so long?

Anyway, gossip from last w/e... Jenny and Charles got back together. Maybe just for the w/e. Who knows? She was a bit shellshocked from the Conrad shit and I think she just needed something familiar to rest on. Conrad has now gone back to Nottingham with his tail between his wife beating legs. She was on great form anyway and it was good to see her recovering so well. Naughty Nicky Nursey kept saying "Who wants children; coz i do!" I offered to be a sperm donor for her but she would have to come to the toilets of the Neptune with me NOW! Funnily enough she never mentioned it anymore after that. To me anyway.

Finally saw Sarah again on Wednesday night. The first time in nearly four weeks. She was late. We watched a bit of TV and then fucked. After we had finished and I'm panting on the bed, knackered, she says "I could sit you on the edge of the bed and start that all again". She's insatiable. She could fuck for England and suck my cock for hours on end. I could have a kip for a bit, wake up, and she's still going with her deep breathing, deep throat thing. Not that I'm complaining mind you but there's more to life than sex...

19 June 2009

T15. Dan was pissed

So, at Jenny Pitt’s house warming party on Saturday Rosie was very upset about the news that her ex, Dan, had slept with my ex, Tort after one of the Smack nights in Whitstable in January; a month after they had split up. This coming after T had given me a lecture about sleeping with your best friend’s ex and how wrong it was! The rule is that if you want your best pal to remain your best pal don’t sleep with their ex.

I’ve been emailing T to try and get her to talk about it but she is totally blanking me out at the moment. Apparently she told Rosie that she was on E at the time. Like that’s a good excuse? She had actually been out with me that night and we’d gone to the Smack and then down to Dukes for a bit of a boogie and came back to the Smack for last orders. It must have been then that she picked Dan up. Predatory? Perhaps?

Dan was pissed and had apparently blabbed about his encounter, only last week, to Aurelia who then promptly told Rosie; pumped her full of white wine and then had brought her down town to JP’s party. They had been split up but only the month previously. Ironically, Rosie had cancelled her planned wedding with Dan because he’d been having a dirty text exchange with Aurelia. The end was always on the cards after that.

T, who had always taken the moral high ground with me, was crumbling before my eyes. Her carefully constructed world falling around her ears. What with me, Timo, Dan, Terry and now Jay she was methodically working her way through the men in our little social circle leaving trails and broken hearts on the way. That’s why I used to love the picture of the iceberg she used to have on her bedroom wall.

Now, if that’s what you can see above the water…

18 June 2009

Lizard Festival Part 1

Lizard Festival
Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall
August 7th - 14th August

Once upon a time there were twelve hopeful and maybe slightly illusioned young(ish) chums, who after a chance (?!) remark from our favourite follically deprived DJ decided that they would 'blag' their way into the Lizard by 'pretending to be a cafe.'

Our naivity levels have reduced in a spectacular learning curve since then.'Go on, try it, it'll work, here's Biff's number.'

Oz: "Hi Biff, we got your number of a mutual Lazy Baldy Chuff of ours, Iain Lazy Smith, and were wondering if it would be OK to bring our sound system down to the Lizard and, er, basically, play house music, loudly, 24hrs a day for a week?"

Biff: "Yeah, the guy with no hair to speak of warned me you were going to ring. I met you at a party you lot did with DiY about 6 years ago on the Kent-Sussex border."


Biff: "That's the one. Around a thousand people wasn't it? DiY didn't show till 2 in the morning. Your tent fell down."

Oz: "Zion Train played on our rig at 6am and chilled it right out. As they left they asked for £50 'expenses'. I said 'it's a free party man' but still coughed up."

Biff: "You gotta get in touch with Magnus the Markets Manager. Here's his number. Pretend you're a cafe. It'll be a piece of piss."

We have to send a presentation of what we do, what our set-up is, which apart from the sound system side of it is zilch. So, we pass the details to a computer whizz kid chum of ours, so she can do a 'mock up' of our 'caff'. She then proceeds to forget about it for four weeks. Four weeks later, after repeatedly trying to email a Mac document to our PC, she comes round to the flat clutching a crinkled bit of paper which has on it a clip art picture of a box van, with a cabbage leaf on top, saying 'Cabbaged Cafe', accompanied by the proud boast that we have two tables and a chair (which actually turns out to be a gross exaggeration on the chair front, but that's a whole other story). Suddenly we get an offer to have the stall as long as we pay £1,800. By now though, we have people who have realised that if they buy their tickets through us, we can use the ticket money to take the cafe. Suddenly we have a chef and people willing to pay in and do the work. Miraculously we are now a cafe. We raise the money, send off the cheque (another steep learning curve was experienced here too, but more of that one later) and we're actually going to do a cafe at the Lizard and there's no backing out now. Not at all.

Pulling strings and trawling through our contact book we procure a 'kitchen' (thanks Burger Dave), hire tressle tables and a till, blag the use of a Merc van for a week (thanks Andy), pack the whole fucking lot in it and blat down to Cornwall. Meanwhile, already in the Exeter area, is 'the rig' doing a Fruity Antics Free Party for 1000 in a cowshed only recently vacated by its former inhabitants a mere two hours ago. But not most of their 'grass conversions'. The party is for Josh's 21st and what a lovely little party it is. Accoutrements of the finest order abound and the extremely generous nature of these fine West Country people is most appreciated by the 'tVC Maaasseeve'. Ahem! Afforded wide spread and open use of the facilities on offer greatly enamoured our host upon our heart. Drinking Pims and ice cold Sprite cocktails with Josh's mum and dad in the kitchen of their well appointed farmhouse we talked turkey and chased the breeze in a most uproarious fashion till, well, till the cows came home. Setting the equipment up in the usual 10 minutes (oh, them free party workouts do wonders for shaving minutes off the setting up time don't they) our host remarked that the last party here the rig turned up at 11pm and promptly took two hours to set up. At 7pm we had ignition. At the first sounds coming out of the speakers the herd of cows ran like fuck across the field and formed a bustling if somewhat monosyllabic crowd at the fence. They were gurning for England and we were well chuffed. So this is what its like in the country ey?
The party went extremely well. Fruity Antics DJ's Dave Duvet, Bazil, Iain 'Baldy' Bastard played the majority of the night.Even birthday boy Josh slipped a few in and Oz managed to squeeze out a few tunes to warm them all up.

After a few hours rest in was down the pub to laze and doze away a hot Sunday afternoon on the grass with Chris Doze and his jolly chums. Come early evening, oh dear what's happened there, the restaurant has opened. May as well have a quick meal before heading for Exeter and a few deliciously lazy days of chat and riverbank pub lunches in the company of our most respectable and adored chums Tara and Iain.

But, inevitably, the call of the Lizard became too great. We had to secure our pitch and wait for the café to arrive. Coz we hadn't done this before we were well keen and arrived Tuesday (the festival started Friday afternoon) full of beans and well refreshed. Once the 10 man bell tent was up we, er, did nothing. Nothing at all. There was fuck all to do. We talked to the Nutters (a large vegetarian cafe) next door. Met Dave and Wim (a gas engineer who later helped us set up the café without blowing it up) the potato man ('aarh! Threeee pound a saark') the dairy man ('I do deliveries every day') and a lot of already bored out of their skull Scottish security people.

Turning up at the gate this security person briskly sticks his head in the car window.
'Got any bottles?' he asks in a thick Glasgow accent, eyes boggling and a silly grin on his face obviously enjoying himself. 'Er, no,' we reply.
'See that?' he points to a metal container, the same sort that goes on the back of a train or a transport lorry, 'I'm gonna fill that up with bottles of booze by the time this festival finishes'.
'Nice', we reply.
'Y' see, there's no bottles allowed on site. Y' can bring cans in but no' bottles'.
'I see. Can we come in now? We're The Cabbaged Café'.
'What's this?' he says pointing to the rig on a trailer attached to our car, 'It doesn't look like a fuckin' café t' me. It looks like a fucking sound system'.
'Well, it is a sound system but it is only part of the café. The rest of which is coming on Thursday'.
'Och eye!', he says, winking, 'I understand. Park over there'.
Over there is a car park behind the red container. After parking up I go round in front of the container to chat to them. The container is empty apart from three cases of French Blond beer; the first casualties of the upcoming bottle purge.
'All dodgy vehicles without passes, sound systems and everything else that is not coming in we put in that car park', I'm informed. It's not a good start for the Cabbages.
'How do I get the rig in?' I say in between bouts of the security playing their favourite game (picking each other up roughly and then throwing each other onto the grass, guffawing in loud Scottish laughs).
'Aye. Y' hav' t' get (this guy) to write a letter giving you written permission to get on the site. He is the only person delegated with this task. Without his say-so and without the letter of permission you do not get the rig onto the site.'
'And how would I go about getting (this guy)?'
'See him over there? He's got a walkie-talkie. Ask him to send out for him'.
It takes an hour and a half and three or four reminders to finally get 'the Guy Who Can Let Us On Site By Writing a Letter' to appear. By this time there is another three sound sytems all stacked up in 'The Pen'.
'I can't give you written permission to get into the site unless you have a letter from Magnus (the Markets Manager) giving you permission to get permission'.
We don't have this letter. 'Magnus said we just had to turn up', I say feebly, which he did, 'and it would all be sorted out on the gate'.
'OK', he says nodding, scenting a blag, 'I can't write this letter here, now, without permission from Biff who was booking all the acts. And I can't get hold of Biff because he's not on site at the moment. He's coming tomorrow. You'll have to wait till then'.
He turns round and starts to walk away.
'Why don't we ring him?' I shout after him. 'Have you got his mobile number? No, well, does anyone have his number?'
By this time there are a good half a dozen people standing around, some with clip boards, some with walkie-talkies, some with mobiles and some with Scottish accents.
I ask all of them in turn. All blank faces except one.
'I do', she says scrolling through her mobile till she finds it. It is written down on a piece of paper which I attempt to give to 'Letter' man.
'I ain't got a mobile'.
'Has anyone got a mobile?' I say looking round at about four mobiles in various people's hands. There is no reply. They all avoid eye contact.
'Will anyone let me use their mobile for two minutes?' I plead. Still no eye or voice contact.
'Will anyone let me use their mobile for two minutes for 50p?', I try.
'Me', 'Me', 'Me,' They all say. Suddenly there is a face full of phones and someone finally gives 'Letterman' their phone. I give 'Letterman' the piece of paper and then give 50p to the phone owner. Letterman calls Biff.

Three hours have now past and it is starting to get dark. It has already been raining for the past hour and it is also getting a little cold. We all huddle inside the container to shelter from the rain. Our voices now have a strange metallic echo and everyone has pulled their hoods up. The security start to crack open a few bottles of the confiscated blond beer and a few cigarettes and rollys are lit up in the gloom.
'Biff, we've got The Cabbaged café here with a rather large rig and they say they have permission to come in.' Pause as he listens intently. 'Yeah! Yeah!' Pause.
Letterbastard turns with a smirk. 'He says he's never heard of you and you can't come in'.
He's about to press that red button on the phone.
'Hang on. Hang on' I shriek. The security men bristle a bit upon hearing a raised voice.
'Let me speak to him.' He hands the phone over. The container is silent. Everyone is looking, expectant. Representatives from the other sound systems trapped in 'The Pen' huddle round to see what the outcome will be.
'Hi, Biff?' (Don't be stupid! Of course it's Biff you idiot. Don't lose it!)
'It's Oz from tVC…'
'Hey, how are you doing? Why didn't he say it was you? Put him back on'.
'Biff wants a word', I say as the phone is passed back. All eyes switch to Lettertwat.
'Uh-huh.' Pause. 'Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yep.' He pulls the brainfryer away from his ear. 'I can write you the letter'. 'Yeah!!!', everyone shouts and punches the air in relief. Or was that just me? I think it was just me. He wrote the letter with a pen I lent him onto a piece of A4, also supplied by me. He gives me the letter, I then give it to the security guy (who had to put down his bottle and cigarette) who then puts it into a clip board. 'Y' can go in now', he says pointing to the entrance.
'Thank you', I say.
'Y' welcome', he replies.

As I walk away I hear someone from the other systems shout out: 'Can anyone let me use their mobile for 50p? And where's Biff number? 'Mr. Letterman' don't go. Don't go'.


17 June 2009

Lizard Festival intro

Lizard Festival
Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall
August 7th - 14th August 1999


There was a young(ish) sound system
Who thought,in their infinate wystem
"It would be a good laff
to set up a caff"
So they did and it was and I missed 'em!
; )


We are a vegetarian cafe run by a non-profit making communal group that tries to use organic, wholefood ingredients wherever possible.

We draw on no particular ethnic influences, but rather are inspired by great food from around the world, with the emphasis on fresh home made dishes.

The café is organized on a buffet basis, with the day being split into three shifts, breakfast, lunch and evening meal. Breakfast, for example, would include home made baked beans, veggie sausages, mushrooms, etc as well as a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, juices, home made organic vegan cakes, bread rolls, croissants all available on a fill your plate for a set fee basis. In this way the customer is free to choose from at least 20 different dishes what they wish to eat.

Lunch would follow the same sort of process, but would include a wide variety of salads, nuts, baked potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, home made hummous, falafels, some middle eastern dishes, curries from both India and South East Asia, fresh chapattis, fresh fruit, home made cakes, Mexican food etc. The evening meal would follow the same path with different dishes. Basically there would always be new dishes being made, with a huge variety of choice.

We operated this sort of system at The Lizard where it worked very successfully and we had enormous feedback off of people saying how nice it was to be able to pick just what they wanted to eat, with wholesome natural ingredients, reasonably priced too.


16 June 2009

Summer break

Sunday was the last Cabbaged til September so what we done was get all the DJ's down and have a mix up. Oz, Shaun, Rosie, Mike and James all went on a two's up bender of deep delicious delights. The digital camera was out and pictures duly taken (see below). The mock up for the tVC cafe are nearly done and the sample menus will be printed soon. We're trying to get into the Lizard Festival as a chill out cafe! The guy who books the caterers remembered us from a party we did with DiY five years ago! 'Please don't bring too much equipment',he pleads. We promise we won't. Honest. More updates on this soon.

T13. What a fabulous weekend!

What a fabulous weekend! T and R are chums again. D is 'falling in love' with Jessica; man, those sparks are flying. He’s gagging to get hold of her phone number. T is going to dump J. There’s ‘no spark’. Looks like her ’17 weeker’. M has been talking about dumping C. 15 years down the pan. I’ve been propositioned by A and don’t know what the fuck to do with that expression of feeling. I can just about handle the plethora of all the other revelations but that one has left me speechless.

It all began the moment we were setting up the gig in Herne Bay. M had, as usual, forgotten something (two leads) and made his leave to pop back to Whitstable to pick them up. I was lamenting, as usual, about how whenever we do some thing together, like a gig, it always ends up as a rough draft for a Laurel and Hardy sketch. As he left I spot Jessica and Esther sitting on the sofas. I was real glad to see them over from the Bubble. Thought J was here for M but she was just here for the party. Later, when I introduced her to D, as you do, she goes ‘are you single?’ and he goes ‘yeah’ there was no stopping them. At the after party at Charlie's it was eye contact, back rubs the full shebang. It was only because Esther was a bit tired and needed to go home that I offered her a lift. Of course J had to go home with her too. D was on to me all Sunday down the beach and at the Ben’s Ego gig at the Wall Tavern for J’s number. I said I had it but I didn’t. Said I couldn’t possibly give her number out with out permission. The saga continues at the Smack on Saturday.

Ben’s Ego gig at the Wall Tavern on Sunday night I got R one side of me and T the other. Both good friends. Once. Spoilt by sleeping with R’s ex, D.

Yep, that D.

I ask T Face if she and R had had a little chat. ‘Well’ she says, ‘I'm not going to say anything’. And I said ‘that’s what R’s said too. Looks like stalemate.’ ‘Guess it does’, she replies. Much later, 1am ish, we’re all still up because we’ve been going for it, but we’re all in our own houses, but texting and phoning each other. I phone R who tells me T pulled her up outside the toilets in the pub and apologised for her ‘behaviour’ and proceeded to explain to R the circumstances of her encounter with D. R, being the good natured soul that she is, forgave her indiscretion on the spot (after all it’s only a man, darling) and that was that. 4 months of no speaking; over.

I'm ever so glad they’re chums again and would humbly accept a small, yet discreet walk on part, in the rebuilding of their friendship. However long it now lasts. Which, if it can survive something like that, shows true strength and fortitude. Lucky buggers.

T was also the centre of another storm tonight. After her trip abroad to Marrakech with J she has decided that ‘there is no spark there’ and I suggested that I agree with her assessment that it would be better to let the poor dear know now rather than later as she mentioned that he was beginning to form somewhat of an attachment to her. Sad I know. I’ve been there myself. When you’re looking for your prince, as T so obviously is, you got to kiss a few frogs. Ribbett!

15 June 2009

Or so my therapist said.

Yeah, it's not going that good on the women front. I seem to have pissed off or be having trouble with most of the women in my life. That's before I start on my mother abandoning me when I was 5 and being fucked up about my relationships with women ever since. 

Or so my therapist said. Maybe I want my relationships like that? To avoid intimacy. To avoid the one thing I seek? Naw, can't be that. Or can it?

Then I'm always whinging on about my job and how shit it is. yet I really do enjoy it sometimes. Not the DSU stuff at the Uni but teaching people a skill that they get a buzz out of learning. Perhaps I just want T to be 'intimate' with me again. I miss her. Not just sexual but on a friendship level like what we talked about when we split. She helped me through that more than anyone. didn't have to. But did. Now, it seems like she just wants to distance her self from as much as possible but can't because she socialises so much with my group now. I think she really just goes through the motions with me now so she can be part of my social circle and, I suppose, part of hers and not get any grief from me; which I don't give her. At all.

Perhaps I don't want to be 'intimate' with her again. Overcoming this fear I have of abandonment means I have to play out my life with this difficulty 'till it is resolved.

If she doesn't start being friendly with me again I'm going to have to re-evaluate my position there becasue there is only so much effort one can put into something whilst not getting any return before they just give up and give up the ghost. if I continue to see her out in my cirlce and i'm getting the blank or the minimum 'hiya' like I always do then, then blanksville thereon in i'm going to have to avoid her like the plague. She's sending a deliberate message to me that she doesn't care how I feel anymore and is therefore not liable to socialise with me. Why do I overanalyse? Do I? I just think what I do is normal behaviour. Reading through other peoples weblogs I know there are other people out there who constantly talk about their inner life / outer life dichotomy.

So decided to try and clear the air with T.

I'm getting sick of this increasingly fetid air between us and it's starting to ruin my social life and i can't let that happen. Can I? so we begin post Peg / London weekend where i think her and my mate T got off with each other....

She sent me this email;-
Great weekend eh? Glad I didn’t have to go to work today though. Tx

Hi, Yeah, great weekend. Good little party. Very busy. Just how I like it. You got home ok then? Good to see you. Shame that our relationship feels likes it is so awkward and is relegated down to ‘nodding acquaintances’ (makes me feel v. sad it does) and we don’t talk or socialise as much as we promised each other we would. Still…Take care. Life moves on. No doubt I’ll see you around and about… I’ll keep the jokes coming on a Monday though! Don’t want to lose touch with you completely… Oz x

Yeah, lounged with Jane and Zoe till Sunday afternoon (they’re such lovely hosts) then got the train back. Only made it as far as the Neptune for the early evening gig, which was a great end to the weekend. Bit of a major session for me. Still a bit spaced today. I do love it though. The last few times I’ve seen you I did think you seemed a bit uncomfortable. Maybe you were a bit worried about Sarah…? I don’t know. But there’s really no need. It was fine wasn’t it? Whether it’s the same girl or another it’ll be fine next time too I’m sure. Thought I remembered you giving me a flyer and saying something about this coming Friday. Haven’t got it now or did I imagine it?
Tort x J&Z are great hosts aren’t they?

Have spent many a post drugged up w/e in their company over the years… Yeah, things are fine. But could be better. I do have a few concerns though. Nothing to do with Sarah:- Felt extremely uneasy because we didn’t (don’t?) talk, I think. Or don’t seem to anymore. Have we lost something there? I see you out; you ignore me! I get upset. Not nice. Especially if we are in a group. Or so it feels. Makes me very uncomfortable when you’re there and don’t interact with me as you do with others (like Sara’s b/day). I’m new to this ‘let’s be friends thing’ as you know! Makes me think things aren’t working out for us as we’d planned or arranged or agreed. Maybe worried about you withdrawing from me even further and how I might cope with that potential feeling of loss. It’s soo important to me that we get on, that things are good and positive and that there’s no bad feeling between us. Especially if we’re to continue socialising with each other. If we didn’t socialise together within the Whitstable group it wouldn’t matter so much. But we do; so it does. Torn between wanting to give you the space you want and wanting to be your friend but not being allowed to be; or it feeling one sided from me to you all the time. I genuinely pick up from you vibes that you don’t like me. How are things going to be at gatherings in the future? At gigs/parties/meals out? At the big chill? In France? How could I live with more of that uneasiness? I couldn’t. It would ruin my little life I’ve built up. Just working through and jotting down feelings here; nothing concrete. It’s how I feel though. I’m being honest here. What do you think? You must have noticed the dynamic has changed? Oz x

14 June 2009

T11. breaks my stony little heart to pieces

Saturday saw me out and about with the ‘nazi rambler’ crew. We were desperately avoiding the pub before the walk, which we did, before we picked a visit to the largest oak tree in Europe, which is in Fredville Park Manor grounds in Nonington village in Kent. The tree, called The Majestic Oak or The King FredVille Oak, is on private land so is not widely publicised because of this. It's over 1000 years old and rightly deserves credit as being the finest oak in the British Isles. Us locals know about it though. Introduced to the crew through another friend JG; a man who knows a thing or two about all things Kent. Upon approaching the estate we had to ring on the gamekeepers cottage, Rottweilers barking in the background, to get permission to walk through their wood to visit the tree. Which we duly did. The tree is 38ft in circumference and hollow inside, doesn’t produce acorns and has been recorded in historic literature as growing healthily in 1540; so it’s bloody old. Carole climbs up it to look inside the hollow and accidentally rips some bark off.

Poor C. I’d got a phone call off her the night before around 1 in the morning. I was already in bed after the debacle of the early finish gig the night before but dressed and went round to see her immediately. She was very distressed. Her boyfriend M had uncermoniously dumped her after the gig on the way home to his and she was in pieces the poor thing. He left her crying in the street. I just sat and drank tea with her; listening, nodding, shaking my head, agreeing. Letting her get it all out. Eventually, a few hours later, she calmed down a bit and after another cup of tea and an agreement to meet the next day for a walk in the countryside I left. It's so hard for long term couples. Their dynamics are entrenched and difficult to analyse.

We continued on the walk with J&E discussing the fact that it was E’s birthday the next day and what we might do to celebrate it, eventually deciding on a walk and a pub lunch on Sunday. I do love my beer guzzling artist friends. They accept me unconditionally and never criticise. As I do them.

That night I had an invite to visit a ‘private view’ art show in the Bubble. Rupert and Gaz and J&E were showing some stuff off in what used to be an old bakery in Norfolk Street, now owned by a guy who runs an antique shop in town. The art, which I'd seen most of it before anyway, was interspersed around the usual antique shop ‘collectables’ such as stags heads, wild boars heads, crappy water colour paintings from the Victorian times and Welsh dressers. We sat on old church pews and sipped cheap wine which was served in plastic cups AND in wine glasses – most unusual for this type of event – and everyone partook with gusto.

I chatted to Alistair about Cagey and how he’s fucked up a bit on booze and fags and how he shouldn’t have just moved out of town but how he was otherwise OK. John Altman, AKA Nick Cotton from EastEnders turned up. Apparently a friend of the owner. He had on a Cromby coat that looked just a teensy bit small for him and everyone was commenting about he’d ‘put on a few pounds’. Cruel. All I wanted to do was stage whisper ‘’allo Ma!’ to him but he probably gets that all the time anyway so I didn’t and left him alone.

Heading out into the chilly evening for the Smack, I had Shaun booked but he pulled out because he was having a ‘roughy’ as Penny called it. I’d arranged to meet my recent ex there for a little night out. She’d been blanking me something terrible for a few weeks and it was getting to the point where I couldn’t even look at her because I thought she was being so hostile towards me. Anyway, a few emails exchanged, and a night out was booked. She turns up at the pub, I buy her a drink and play a few tunes while we wait for Mike SU to come and take over. I was looking forward to talking and clearing the air and just, i suppose receiving a little reassurance that things were still on track for us, which they were. I do worry about her and it was nice to hear her moan about her job, which may be finishing if this restructure in the NHS happens. She's a senior clinical auditor and her job is a boring as it sounds. She's hoping to finish her management course before the axe falls though. I wish her luck and in a way hope she she can find a better job that interests her more.

BenzEgo, a local pub band who we see virtually every week down the Neppy for free, were playing at Dukes. I took Tort down there for a bit to see some of our other chums. Tried to get in on the guest list, as you do, but failed and had to pay a fiver. It was nice down there. Quite full. Everyone was dancing to cheesy old covers from the band. Don’t know why people love that so much but they do. I fucking hate it and see it as soulless, emotionless, talentless dirge but there you go. If you want to hang out with your chums you have to go where they go don’t you? The
band, despite their choice of tunes – even J, who plays trumpet in their band says he has ‘issues’ with their repertoire – was, I must say, as tight as a gnats chuff and quite enjoyable all the same.

Julia was there. Must have been funny for Ben out the band too becasue she's fucked him as well. I easily ignored her and she me but all her friends came up to me one at a time and gave me big hugs and a little chat which I of course fucking loved. The sad J could only hurl looks at me which I fielded by not even having eye contact with her. I'm still so angry with her and her attitude to me that it's going take a few more months of melting before I will even entertain the idea of talking to her again. If I ever will.

Another breakthrough. After weeks and weeks; maybe months of cold shouldering Rosie came up to me and said ‘hello Paul’. ‘Hello Rosie’ I reply back and we have a little hug. Next day I sent her a text; 'really relieved that we connected again last night. Thanks for making the effort.

I do love you loads and have missed you terribly. Please forgive me’. When I saw her the next day on the walk we had a lovely chat and it looks like we might be friends again soon.

T was her usual impassive and unimpressable self. She never gets excited about anything and always seems bored by everything around her. She talks in a really shallow way about most subjects but I don't care. If she makes a fuss of me she can talk about how green the grass is and I won't mind. I'd join in.

I nearly gave up the whole thing there and then but persevered and we ended up having a dance at Dukes and a chat at the after party round Adeys house. Missed out on an invite back to Ben’s after gig thing because I went back to the pub for last orders but watched the film footage of it on the Sunday walk in the pub. Didn’t miss much but it was good to see J who has just split up with her abusive husband.

She was full of her new life and how she is getting a place with her daughter and how things are going to be great again. She looked well and it was nice to see her happy again. Wonder what happened to Conrad though? He was a bit of a junkie and you know how the junkie stereotypealways wins through and destroys relationships?

Took T home after the chill out and stayed with her at her flat for a cup of tea and a smoke whilst listening to her tell me about ‘cuddles’ and how she loves them; her exploits the week before where she was down the Neppy after the Peg free party sandwiched between E and D on the sofa; more of D the sex pest (I hope she doesn't like him 'too' much); her lover from when she went on holiday; how promiscuous I am (I'm not!); she rambled on for ages but I wasn’t listening too intently anyway. But still following along; enjoying her words and the sound of her voice. I was thinking of how much I'm still sexually attracted to her body but not too keen on what she talks about. But, you know she makes an effort which is always appreciated. Then she mentioned Russell: ‘oh you know him. I’ve seen you talking to him at the Smack. He likes me but I’m not sure about him.’ My heart sank. Why? Because I secretly harbour fantasies of us getting back together (or is she, quelle horreur, abandoning me and thus kicking in my difficult to control 'abandonment strategy'?) or is it that old ex thing about not wanting her to fancy / love / have sexual relationship with anyone else but me kinda vibe? Which when I think about is stupid. If I like her I want her to pursue her happiness?

Hey, if she likes this guy she should go for it I said. I was pleased she was talking about him. Means she's recovering. Oh god, she also mentioned how it had been nearly a year since we split up. Maybe it means I'm recovering?

I was just enjoying being with her but resenting a little how much work I had to put into getting these few hours with and how I know that things will just slide back into ex and ex land and how ultimately I’ll just be as unhappy with her as I was before I made all this fuss to meet her. If you know what I mean. I said that I hope she makes the right decision and why not go for it? What you got to lose? You may actually gain something? I was saying how all my sexual encounters since our break up (and before and since?) have been shallow and ultimately unsatisfying and trying to find redemption through sex or even trying to find anything through sex with people who don’t care about you can actually be quite damaging. Maybe.

I only want to see her happy and still love me, even if it is just friends, and if not with me then hopefully someone she likes or loves, and seeing her going around without anyone to cuddle or love her or to care for her feelings breaks my stony little promiscuous heart to pieces.

It really does ;-)

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