Tuesday, April 16, 2013  

New songs and blue songs #30

The 30 day song challenge.

Day 30 - Your favourite song at this time last year - Candy - Paolo Nutini.

I discovered this album a while back, every track is a winner, but this one is just pure class.

| posted by Simon | 7:30 pm | 0 comments


Monday, April 15, 2013  

A tingle remarkably pleasant.

A good few months ago I was mooching on the internet and I came across a Martini recipe, I only had one of the ingredients so I mooched on. Over the past few months I have managed to get all the ingredients for the ridiculously named “Condor”. I spent a couple of days trying to find the correct recipe for it, and then on Saturday morning I stumbled upon it once more.

3oz Gin
1oz Whisky (A smoky one).
¾ oz of Apricot liqueur.
3 drops of Mole xocolatl bitters

Shake with ice and strain into a Martini glass, no garnish.



I was very nice, the only issue was the fucking awful name. Any suggestions?

| posted by Simon | 5:21 pm | 0 comments


Sunday, April 14, 2013  

New songs and blue songs #29

The 30 day song challenge.

Day 29 - A song from your childhood - Leavin' on a jet plane - Peter, Paul & Mary.

I have no idea why I remember this one, maybe my mum and dad played it, maybe it's the catchy tune. I still love singing along to it.

| posted by Simon | 1:54 pm | 0 comments


Saturday, April 13, 2013  

Dubious histories #12 - Runcorn.

The earliest known mention of dwellings around what is now Runcorn, were troglodyte caves in the late Bronze, early Iron Age. These were mentioned in the Anglo Saxon chronicles as a place where the Vikings wouldn't go. The Troglodytes were hoarders of local villagers' waste, a sort of retarded womble covered in shit. The whole place was an olfactory no go area.

The Romans named Runcorn Stercilinium, literally "a place where shit is stored". All the Roman outposts and garrisons would empty their human waste and transport it to the area that would be become Runcorn. Situated as it is on the Mersey, it would wash into the Irish Sea, but over the years a mountain of fecal detritus accumulated, earning the area its unfortunate title.

Long after the Romans left, the stench still lingered, to such an extent that the Doomsday book has no record of the place; preferring not to mention, what had become, one of the smelliest places in Europe at the time.

In Shakespeare's time Runcorn had become a place of punishment, worse than gaol, worse than the workhouse. If you found yourself on the last stagecoach to Runcorn it meant you had been caught doing something deeply unpleasant, and the punishment was to exile you to somewhere equally as deeply unpleasant. Old Bill found himself there for a six month stretch after being found in a compromising position in a neighbour's livestock pen. During his time in Runcorn he penned part of Hamlet's soliloquy, describing the air around him as "a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours".

The stigma, like a bad smell, hung around for many centuries and as the industrial revolution gathered pace, Runcorn became home to a new type of factory, the stench mill. Stench mills manufactured bad smells for other Northern towns not lucky enough to have their own factories, if you didn't have a tannery or a chemical works, Runcorn would ensure you didn't feel left out. Runcorn led the world in stench.

Little wonder then that Paul Simon wrote his seminal sixties masterpiece "this place stinks of shit" whilst sat on the platform of Runcorn railway station.

Today Runcorn is a shadow of its former self, the factories are shut, the compacted crap was used as foundations for the Jubilee bridge and the smell is only a fraction of its previous eye-watering worst. The town is now studded with dog shit and littered with Greggs bakeries, a fetid festering carcinoma on the rotting perineum of Cheshire.

Next in this award winning series, Widnes.

| posted by Simon | 8:47 am | 0 comments


Sunday, April 07, 2013  

A drink with something in it.



There is something about a Martini,
A tingle remarkably pleasant;
A yellow, a mellow Martini;
I wish I had one at present.
There is something about a Martini,
Ere the dining and dancing begin,
And to tell you the truth,
It is not the vermouth -
I think that perhaps it's the gin.

Ogden Nash.

That Martini was made for me at Malmaison, Manchester.

| posted by Simon | 8:47 pm | 0 comments
 

You'll have to wait til yesterday is here.

It feels very strange being back here at the moment. I was never really one of those "dear diary" type of bloggers, and I didn't use Facebook to inform others of the minutiae of my life.... Unless checking in at a restaurant counts as that? Anyway, I thought I would maybe write a catch up post, interspersed with a bit of dear diary type stuff. This might work, and then again it could be fucking tedious. Let's see.

My last meaningful stretch of blogging was March 2007, Jesus that's 6 years! A lot of stuff has happened since then, and the handful of times I came back here it was just a dust down and see what was happening. At least once I had forgotten my password and a couple of times forgot the HTML tags for links and images. How things change. I will attempt a sort of potted history of the last six years. Tracy is making beef Rendeng and I can smell wonderful aromas wafting up the stairs. This could take a while, but I have beer.

For the remainder of 07 and all of 08 I was working for a local training provider, and generally having a good time going on holidays and eating out. We went to Jamaica for Christmas 08, it was amazing... We watched the sun set from Rick's cafe, got a tan and discovered the "Bob Marley" a triple layered drink of red, green and gold. Wonderful. Then in 2009 things changed, work started to go off in a direction that I didn't want to follow. It all ended quite acrimoniously and I found out quite a lot about some people that I thought were my friends. Sometimes you just need a push though, and on the 10th of August 2009 we started our own training company, still going strong to this day.

2010 was one of those best and worst years. The business was flourishing and we had decided to go back to Jamaica for our wedding anniversary, but that damned Icelandic volcano scuppered our plans. We ended up going to the Dominican Republic later in May and my dad died whilst we were out there. Probably one of the worst things that you can go through made worse by being thousands of miles away. We managed to get back for the funeral after a delayed flight. The day after the funeral was my brother-in-law's wedding and I decided to have a cigar, my first ever. The rest of the year we were chasing a none paying customer through the courts, we came very close to bankruptcy but as ever, our tenacity and Tracy's impeccable attention to detail won the day and we got our cash. Cuba at Christmas, so bad I wrote a book.

I was hoping 2011 would see a turn in a more positive direction, and I wasn't disappointed. I managed to get a very nice contract with a national training provider, and I'm still working for them to this day. They seem to like me and I have made some very good friends along the way. With it came a change I had not banked on... Working away. In May City won the cup, a year and seven days after my dad died. It was a very emotional weekend, I wish he had seen it.

2012. What can I say about last year, it was amazing. We had some great holidays and City won the league with the last kick of the season. The business went from the strength to strength and in the depths of the worst recession since the 30s we seem to have had our best year for a long time. Everything was positive as we saw in the New Year in Mexico, a year that will see our 30th wedding anniversary.

Let's see what the rest of the year brings.

| posted by Simon | 7:55 pm | 0 comments
 

New songs and blue songs #28

The 30 day song challenge.

Day 28 - A song that makes you feel guilty - Sell out - Levellers

In the 1990s I worked for a small chemical company in Stalybridge, I was in my 20s, idealistic, deeply socialist and not yet made jaded or cynical by years of Political let downs and the constant battle of trying to provide for my family only to hobbled and tortured by a capitalist system I abhorred.

The Levellers were my favourite band, they were political, fighting for the underdog, but their music was, and still is, excellent. My guilt comes from agreeing with their fight, but not weighing in, not going on marches, not chaining myself to a Harrier jump jet, not getting involved. I sold out.

The thought of living in a tent in the middle of a roundabout filled me with dread, it just isn't me. The traveller life looks ace in summer, but just imagine in the middle of winter, living in what amounts to a tin can.

I made my choice happily, my family came first. You can't afford principles when people are relying on you, and I would do it again. But I still feel guilty because my political opinions are still strong, but I didn't do everything I could.

Now, now in a land not far away
There's men in prison because they say
The colour of your skin is not a question
Did you rally to their side?
No, you sat back and let them die
Don't know how you get to sleep at night

| posted by Simon | 11:35 am | 0 comments


Saturday, April 06, 2013  

The shrine



Tracy has agreed to an upgrade to a glass cabinet. I can feel an eBay weekend coming on.

| posted by Simon | 8:11 am | 0 comments


Friday, April 05, 2013  

New songs and blue songs #27

The 30 day song challenge.

Day 27 - A song that you wish you could play - Feelin' bad blues - Ry Cooder 

I love blues guitar and this is just a masterclass.

| posted by Simon | 10:15 pm | 0 comments


Wednesday, April 03, 2013  

Another false dawn?

I feel I should explain my absence from what was once a place I came every day, like a shed or a local pub. The strange thing is I still love writing, maybe it just got boring.

Whatever the real reason, I would find myself staring at the “new post” box and I wouldn't have a clue what to say. I’m not saying this time it will be different, there have been a few false dawns on here over the last couple of years, in fact one of my very good blog friends who died a couple of years ago has posted more in the intervening two years than I have. Sad but true.

 So, in mitigation, I think I fell in love with Facebook and then twitter, but I've decided to come back with my metaphorical tail between my legs to see if we can give it another go, rekindle the long-dead fire. That and a wider potential audience to upset with my bile and vitriol filled rants on religion, politics, moths and anything else that foolishly wanders across my field of vision.

 Let’s give it a crack, what do you say?

| posted by Simon | 6:53 pm | 0 comments


Tuesday, April 02, 2013  

The unholy ones.

The time is nearly here my friends,
When warmer evenings lengthen
In sinister cocoons they bide their time,
Their foetid wings to strengthen.

They roam the land in evil hoards,
by moonlight hunt their prey.
Heed my dire warning friends,
you’re only safe by day.

I hear them planning quietly,
plotting their evil schemes.
Collecting your teeth while you slumber,
and stealing all your dreams.

 Simon Morris

| posted by Simon | 4:25 pm | 0 comments


Tuesday, January 17, 2012  

They fill my cup up in the cage.

Every night I watch the news and every night I shake my head at the new depths that are plumbed by the feckless hoard at Westminster, they who purport to have our best interests at heart. The news this week that Michael Gove thinks we should buy the queen a new boat in a year that has seen cuts that would make Draco himself suck air through his teeth, just illustrates what complete fucking cretins these people are. But why am I surprised? The news is the same now as it was in the bad old days of Thatcher with the miners’s strike and the poll tax riots. Do we succumb to a kind of political amnesia? Maybe it’s just apathy. Whatever the reason we seem to keep putting up with a continuous shower of shite, sometimes we even ask for a sponge. Dead soldiers are still being brought home from a conflict designed wholly to ensure oil companies keep pumping, big business avoids tax of sums that would solve our current financial crisis while the government seem happy to take money from disabled people. The list of injustice carried out in our name gets bigger by the day, when will we decide we’ve had enough? When will we find our line and know that it has been crossed? Maybe when the turkey twirlers run out, till then we’ll just plug ourselves into a reality TV show and presume that someone else will fight the cause for us.

What happened? Is there no hope? Maybe the ants will look after the planet better, it shouldn’t be that long till they get their turn.

| posted by Simon | 6:42 pm | 2 comments


Friday, December 02, 2011  

Some clarity.

I thought I should make my position clear. You see, the term atheist is quite a combative word, it makes a statement and puts people on the defensive from the outset. To me, the term atheist says “I don’t believe in god and I think anyone that does is a cretin”. This couldn’t be further from the truth, I don’t have a problem with people who believe in god, even the ones who stand on a box in the town centre, berating me for my sins, and assuring me that I will spend an eternity in a fiery realm paying for them. You see, at least the weekend evangelists berate me because they care. My issue is with organised religion, and the control freaks that pretend to care but really just want to protect their interests. These people incur my wrath frequently.

My hatred of organised religion isn’t why I don’t believe in god though, despite the pain and suffering that they cause around the world… and I’m not picking on any one of them in particular, they would all have questions to answer if they ever met their god, and I sometimes think it would be poetic if the Westborough Baptists actually had to stand before a deity and explain their disgraceful conduct, that’s a rapture I would buy tickets for.

I can no more say to a believer that god doesn’t exist as they can say to me god does. My complete and utter refusal to accept that there is a supreme being is based on empirical scientific evidence, or the complete lack of it. Are we to believe that an omniscient being monitors our petitions and alters the universe accordingly? The circumstantial evidence is manifold, from miracles to faces appearing in tortillas, but there has never been a single shred of testable evidence that a god has ever existed. In my opinion, when Darwin published origin of the species, we, as a species, should have collectively face-palmed and got on with creating an egalitarian secular society, bent on scientific advancement and ending want. But we didn’t, so here I am.

I am quite content with idea that I won’t be reborn, that my death will be the end. I love the fact that every atom in my body came from the centre of a star, and that every atom in my body will one day return to space to become another star. The irony of that vision of eternal life isn’t lost on me by the way, I just love the fact that one day in some far distant future atoms that may have been me or you will meet in the vast emptiness of interstellar space, or the fiery furnace of a star’s core… scary how close to reality the fairy stories are really isn’t it? It’s just the god bit that’s the problem.

I’m going to leave you with the words of an inspirational man…

I'm gonna share with you a vision that I had, cause I love you. And you feel it. You know all that money we spend on nuclear weapons and defence each year, trillions of dollars, correct? Instead -- just play with this -- if we spent that money feeding and clothing the poor of the world -- and it would pay for it many times over, not one human being excluded -- we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever in peace.

| posted by Simon | 9:25 pm | 1 comments


Friday, November 25, 2011  

Football quiz.

1. What do you eat whilst watching football ?
a. Munchies in front of the TV.
b. A pie from the kiosk in the ground.
c. A prawn sandwich.

2. How far do you live from the ground ?
a. I used to live in a nearby town, but I’ve moved.
b. I bought a house on the same street as the stadium.
c. I live in Pnom Penn.

3. Do you have a replica shirt ?
a. I was bought the 1990 away shirt as a present.
b. I buy the new home shirt every other season.
c. My wardrobe contains 48 replica shirts since 2005.

4. Your club directors piss you off, do you ?
a. Write a why oh why letter to the BBC.
b. Carry on regardless, it’s the club you love not its staff.
c. Spit out your dummy and form a new club.

5. Why do you support your team ?
a. It was the closest ground to my home.
b. My father, my grandfather and all my family support them.
c. I was looking for another team after Liverpool went shit.

6. Other fans invade your forum, do you ?
a. Log off and have a cup of tea.
b. Give as good as you get with your vast knowledge and wit.
c. Shut the site down and go and tell your mum.

7. What do you think of opposition players ?
a. I don’t know about them, as long as we win I’m happy.
b. I check opta before each game to see who the danger men are.
c. Anyone who doesn’t play for us is shit.

8. You get a free ticket to see your team, do you ?
a. Give it to one of your mates, he would appreciate it more.
b. Offer it to a fellow fan on the forum, you have a season ticket.
c. Sell it on eBay, it’s too far to travel from Singapore.

9. How much do you read about your club ?
a. The Observer sport pages on a Sunday morning.
b. I have a library, I even read past player autobiographies.
c. Janet and John go shopping, then I’m on free reading.

Check your result:

Mostly A’s:
You’re an armchair fan, it’s a while since you went to the ground but you at least you could find it if need be. You might not spend time and money on following your team, but you love your club. Well done.

Mostly B’s:
Congratulations, you’re a proper bone-fide fan. You follow your team through thick and thin, rain or shine. You are the one everyone else phones to answer the quiz questions. You’ll probably have your ashes scattered on the pitch.

Mostly C’s:
You’re a rag ! Your team play in a swamp just outside Manchester. You’ve never been to a game in your life and the only reason you support them is because your mates do. The fact that Cornwall has no premier league teams isn’t a proper excuse.

| posted by Simon | 11:05 pm | 0 comments


Sunday, May 29, 2011  

I feel as though you ought to know….

Work and other more pressing matters have kept me from here lately. I intend to finish the 30 song challenge, and carry on posting.

Before that happens I have more work and a week’s holiday, but hopefully both of those things will give me something to write about.

| posted by Simon | 6:08 pm | 1 comments


Saturday, May 07, 2011  

New songs and blue songs #26

The 30 day song challenge.

Day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument - Happy Mondays - Step on.

| posted by Simon | 6:12 pm | 1 comments
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