Monday, January 31, 2005

Love From Manchester

9.06 Six Minutes Late
A late morning due to having had a late night.

After a full day of crossing DIY tasks off the schedule I wasn't really in the mood for an evening in Manchester, but the tickets had been bought and it seemed churlish not to.
The start time had been brought forward by an hour but, lucky for me, most people remained unaware.

I do like being at the front. In fact, due to a combination of lack of stature and the need to have something to lean on, it's more or less essential.

Anyway - this is what we got.

Carmel: Just the band to accompany your Chilli Cook Off.
Kathryn Williams: I like. Is she just for girls?
Aziz: He's very showy.
Durutti Column: Worthy but dull. 100% bloke music.
GoldBlade: Sweet. Baby. Jesus. Still too traumatised to speak of this.
The Longcut: Manchester's hottest young band, according to Tony Wilson. They had some technical difficulties, and seemed to be lacking a drummer. Or maybe a singer?
I Am Kloot: Stupid, stupid name, but visually & aurally a synthesis of Noel Gallagher and Neil Finn.
Elbow: Looks of a vicar, voice of an angel.
Badly Drawn Boy: A surprising amount of young girls really, really like Damon.

In between, a bloke had his beard cut of by a bloke off the telly & Graham Massey & Andy Votel played some records.

So yes, a good night. If a little too much back-slapping about why we were all there.

Hey Ya - Outkast
Ain't No Sunshine - Bill Withers
I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten - Dusty Springfield
Newborn - Elbow
All Apologies - Kathryn Williams
It's Gonna Take Time - Embrace
Slow Hands - Interpol
A Minor Incident - Badly Drawn Boy

Thursday, January 27, 2005


17.12 On Time
I know it's Holocaust Memorial Day and my mind shouldn't be occupied with something so trivial as a haircut* but, guess what ? It is.

I was very brave. When I was told my usual 'stylist' CampDavid wouldn't be available I didn't just mumble: "I won't bother then" and back out of the door. I embraced change.

Partly, I hoped my leap of faith would result in an amazing transformation, like the ugly duckling into the beautiful swan, the phoenix from the flames, Eric into Bananaman or ... something. Luckily, I managed to retain a slim grasp on reality, so I'm not that disappointed.

I didn't really care so much what Sally did to my hair, after all what's the worst that can happen?
No, what I really hate is sitting in front of the mirror trying to look anywhere but at my own reflection. How come everyone else in the place looks gorgeous, while I look pasty, overweight, tired & washed out?

Also, I really need to get a better answer to the "What products do you use?" question than "Whatever's on 'buy one get one free' in Morrisons".

Jeannie's Diary - Eels
Losing Lisa - Ben Folds
Woman Of The World - Divine Comedy
I'm Not Angry - Elvis Costello
Change Your Mind - The Killers
The Beatles & The Stones - House Of Love
The North Star - Roddy Frame
In Bloom - Nirvana

* Tim doesn't seem to have spotted it yet.


A Message From Fluffy

For everyone else who has also been wondering/worrying about where Fluffy's gone, a word from the woman herself:

"due to unforseen circumstances the blogger formerly known as Miss Fluffy is now no longer able to blog. She sends her love to all who she knew, and who knew her and hope the future kicks ass."

Lots of love back, Fluff.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


7.31 On Time
Answer me this then :– Why is it OK for me not to want to talk to GeekBoy but, not OK for GeekBoy to decide he doesn’t want to talk to me?

Andy, You’re A Star – The Killers
She’s A Star – James
You Held The World In Your Arms – Idlewild
Down To The River To Pray – Alison Krauss
The Scarlet Tide – Elvis Costello
Talk Her Down – Starsailor
Lydia – Dean Friedman*
End – The Cure

*2,500 tunes to choose from and I keep coming back to Dean Friedman.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Is Sheena A Punk Rocker?

8.10 On Time
Charlie was taking a message for PerfectTeamMember.
She became a little indignant : "He says he's already left one message, ten minutes ago, and he's moaning about 'not getting any feedback'. "

I sniggered: "He wanted some feedback? You should've played him some Jesus & Mary Chain then."

It was wasted.

Sometimes I forget quite how old I am.

White Riot - The Clash
Babylon's Burning - The Ruts
Into The Valley - The Skids
Sound Of The Suburbs - The Members
Do Anything You Wanna Do - Eddie And The Hot Rods
Another Girl, Another Planet - The Only Ones
In The City - The Jam
Teenage Kicks - The Undertones
Whole Wide World - Wreckless Eric
Is This Pop? - XTC

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Friday, January 21, 2005

17.12 On Time
LovelyTeamMember thinks I'm GeekBoy's TrainFantasy.

I was bemoaning the circumstances which had led to me having to change my morning routine to avoid the possibility of GeekBoy attempting to have conversation with me on the way to work. There is a strict etiquette to which all commuters should adhere: platform based conversation is fine, conversation at times of crisis is essential. Conversation under any other conditions is crossing the line. After all, train time is me time. Train time is music time.

Lately, GeekBoy seems to have forgotten these basic rules, going so far as to change his seating preferences, alter his pace and even hang around at the station gate until, despite dragging my feet as much as I reasonably could, I had to catch up with him.

I outlined the symptoms to Lovely, his diagnosis was:"You're his Train Fantasy".

As I am a great respecter of Lovely's reading of ManNature I have no choice but to believe him. The good news is GeekBoy will also have a SupermarketFantasy, an OfficeFantasy and possibly a whole range of LibraryFantasys running concurrently.

But, apparently, it's nothing to worry about.

(Lovely makes do with a Kirstie Allsopp Fantasy.)

Meanwhile, in the real world:

It seems unlikely that good can come of
this, On the other hand how much worse can it get?

Fought In A War - Belle & Sebastian
You Get What You Give - The New Radicals
Sick Day - Fountains Of Wayne
Who By Fire - House Of Love
The Problem - Lambchop
Waiting For The End Of The World - Elvis Costello
Not The Tremblin' Kind - Laura Cantrell
You Fall - Jason Anderson


Thursday, January 20, 2005

"Goals Are Dreams With Deadlines"*

17.12 On Time
Today we have covered (amongst other things): Lipizzaner Horses, fudge vs toffee, kissing snakes, Kirstie Allsopp & Phil Spencer, hideous and pointlessly extravagant TV's and the rate of decomposition of dead bodies.

One of the above was work related.

Big Gay Heart - The Lemonheads
Don't Talk - 10,000 Maniacs
It Could've Been A Brilliant Career - Belle & Sebastian
Wednesday Week - Elvis Costello
I Don't Need This Pressure Ron - Billy Bragg
Trash - Suede
Weather With You - Crowded House
So Far Away - Stephen Duffy
I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better - The Byrds
No More Heroes - The Stranglers

*LovelyTeamMember, following an unedifying display of naked greed, has acquired a motivational desk calendar.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

She's a Star

8.10 On Time
As I am no longer allowed to read blogs during my lunch hour I am at something of a loose end. I have made half-hearted online enquires about holiday availability, read the Guardian, voted in an unrepresentative BBC poll and I've still got 10 minutes left.

So, stupified on salad, I'm gazing around the office.

Leanne is on lunch and out somewhere on mysterious errands, but, if she wasn't she would be pretending to be plugged into her ZenMicro as ThesaurusBoy has been thumping the desk and tearing his hair out over somebody's Internet Rogue Dialing problem for the last 30 minutes. Charlie is using her authoritative but reassuring voice with someone else, who has exactly the same problem, and will have them off the line inside 5 minutes. LovelyTeamMember is leafing through a low-end lifestyle magazine with an expression which fluctuates between disgust and quiet despair. PerfectTeamMember is suffering silent anguish over how to break the news that his interview on Monday went really, really well and he will soon be leaving us.
WalkingMedicalEncyclopedia Colleague has returned from sick leave and, in an act of pleasing symmetry, SmellyColleague texted in sick this morning.

Ah, time's up.

Back on the phones.

Cherrywood Eyes - Lorien
Eden - 10,000 Maniacs
Get Up - REM
Up With People - Lambchop
Everything Beautiful Is Far Away - Grandaddy
Your Time Starts Now - Cinerama
Beaten To The Punch - Elvis Costello
Do You Remember The First Time - Pulp
Police & Thieves - Junior Murvin


Monday, January 17, 2005

Police & Thieves

17.12 On Time
TheYoungerBoy revealed he'd been stopped by the police the other day.

He was rushing home during lunch hour when he'd been called over & asked if they could "have a word" (quite politely but, really, what are you going to say? "No, sorry officer, it's not terribly convenient at the moment?"). They quizzed him about where he was going & where he'd come from. They asked him if he worked in Boots, but didn't bother to check it out when he said he did.
They sent him on his way apparently adequately satisfied that he could explain his suspicious behaviour.

The bemusing reason they gave for stopping him in the first place?

It seems he was "walking too quickly" out of Boots.

Jaw-Dropping Caller Quote of the Day: "I couldn't take another 12 inches in the bedroom"

Wrong For You - Astrid
Ask - The Smiths
One Angry Dwarf & 200 Solemn Faces - Ben Folds Five
Estrella - Cinerama
Music When The Lights Go Out - The Libertines
I Want To Be The Boy - The White Stripes
Someone To Break The Spell - E
Mrs Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel
Bridge - Loudon Wainwright III
Blinded By The Light - Bruce Springsteen


Thursday, January 13, 2005

8.10 On Time
The CoupleInMatchingParkas were as affectionate as ever this morning. Sometimes I think it's quite sweet. Mostly I want to shout "Stop it! Right now! It's eight o'clock in the morning, for goodness sake!"

Still, I'm glad the "Sliding Doors" moment they had last night worked out O.K.

She: Stands on the platform simultaneously trying to keep out of the wind and keep an eye on the arrivals screen, while glancing from her watch to the flight of steps leading to the street.
He: Nowhere.
She: Anxiously peering at the approaching train to make sure it is the one. Half hoping it isn't.
He: Nowhere.
She: Waits until the last moment, hesitates, then jumps on just as the doors close.
He: Flies down the steps, three at a time - futile, the doors have closed. His anguished look follows the train out.
He says: "Why didn't you wait?"
She says: "Why? It was freezing. You had your own ticket. You know where you live!"
He: "I would've waited for you."
She: "More fool you then."
He shakes his head, pulls his parka on and goes down the pub. He drinks too much, too quickly, too early. His judgment is shot. He knows the barmaid has always fancied him. Following an inept one night stand the relationship falters and fails.
She: Remains on the platform ruefully watching the train pull away while he flies down the steps, three at a time..
He says: "You waited for me!"
She says: "Yeah, well, you would've waited for me. It's freezing. Come on, lets go for a drink."
After a couple of quick drinks with no tea he starts to feels sentimental, he gets down on one knee and proposes. She is embarrassed and tells him to get up and stop making a show, but she accepts anyway.

The CoupleInMatchingParkas are as affectionate as ever...

Today's 'Straight to the Bottom of the Pile' Caller:
"I'm going on holiday to Africa next month and I need my gun back. I've already missed two deer."

Day One - Gemma Hayes
Thank You - Dido
Walking Wounded - Everything But The Girl
Salvation Song - The Lilac Time
Fruit Tree - Nick Drake
Narc - Interpol
You Held The World In Your Arms - Idlewild
Some Of Us - Starsailor
I Go Down - Leaves
Black Sails In The Sunset - Elvis Costello


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu...(hours of 9 to 5 anyhow)

17.12 On Time
Thanks to Central IT's 'naughty word filter' software picking up on the fact that I have been visiting
Zoe in my lunch hour the blogsphere has been discovered and blogs are to be officially prescribed "off limits". Central IT, in their infinite wisdom, are classifying blogs as 'chat rooms' therefore 'inappropriate usage'. I can no longer take a quick peek at JonnyB's latest faux pas, or even try to work out which universe Tim is currently inhabiting.
I can still read the Guardian, so should be thankful for small mercies I suppose.

Meanwhile, in the real world, sense has prevailed:

To all Staff: Tsunami Disaster Fund Raising Event - The Ducking Stool
The decision has been made to cancel the above event as it may be considered inappropriate to stage an event involving water to raise funds for aid in the aftermath of a Tsunami.

I think it was the drowning element that was inappropriate, but whatever.

Too Much Love - Belle & Sebastian
Hey Girl - The Delays
Something For The Weekend - Divine Comedy
Starry-Eyed - Cinerama
Boys Don't Cry - The Cure
Newborn - Elbow
Goodhorsehymn - Hope Of The States
Hysteria - Muse


Monday, January 10, 2005

Trouble Sleeping

17.12 Ten Minutes Late
Is this the least appropriate event so far to be staged to raise money for those affected by the Tsunami?

"A huge thank you to all staff who donated items last week in response to the Tsunami Disaster Relief appeal. The response was overwhelming, and all clothing and equipment has now been delivered to the local warehouse of the International Aid Trust, and packed ready for shipping to Asia.

This Thursday is to be a day of fund raising in Town, and we would like to raise as much as possible to help with the costs of transporting aid to Asia and rebuilding lives in the devastated areas.

To this end, we have arranged a Ducking Stool, which will be sited at the front of ACouncilBuilding on Thursday 13th January between 11:45am and 2:15pm, and hope every available member of staff will be able to come along and support the event.
We are now looking for Managers and other volunteers to sit on the stool- you will get wet so bring a change of clothes!
If there is someone you would really like to pay to see soaked in public in the middle of January please persuade them to volunteer. "

A ducking stool? Think it through...

On the other hand, I am quite tempted to put some names forward.

Blacking Out The Friction - Death Cab For Cutie
Can't Stand Me Now - The Libertines
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Slow Hands - Interpol
Bloodless - Tom McRae
What Women Do To Men - The Trashcan Sinatras
Go, Or Go Ahead - Rufus Wainwright
Trouble Sleeping - The Trash Can Sinatras


Friday, January 07, 2005

Confidence Crisis Strikes Dream Team!

7.31 On Time

Charlie: 'This thing I've been told about how this Company -Thing works, it's so bizarre it can't possibly be true can it?"
Me: "I dunno."
Charlie:"Because, it seems really perverse and unfair that this should be the way things are, if this is, indeed, the way things are?".
Me: "I dunno."
Charlie: "I've got to be looking at this from the wrong angle haven't I? I must be missing something, right?"
Me: "Dunno."
Charlie:"Because if this were true it would mean the way things are is rubbish. Wouldn't it?"
Me: Shrug.
Charlie:"Shall I ask LineManager?"
Me: Dumb Nodding.

You see, yesterday PerfectTeamMember made a mistake.
A genuine, honest to goodness "but I was sure I was right" 100% mistake.
There has been an exhaustive (and totally unnecessary) post mortem, as a result of which we will probably get a dense email from LineManager on Monday morning implementing half a dozen new procedures to ensure that we never slip up in this most grievous fashion ever again.

We will.

But, as a result, I think that smug look may have been wiped off my face, for a day or two.

And I have eaten the Emergency Mars Bar.

The Libertines - The Libertines
(apart from "Can't Stand Me Now" I think this may be overrated)


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Credit Note Season

8.10 Cancelled
9.06 Five Minutes Late

The husband & wife sitting opposite each other, on the middle seats just infront of me, must be in their late seventies. They are of the pale old person genre. The ones who look as though they've been washed so many times all their colour is fading away. Their friend disembarked at the previous stop. The wife obviously still carries a torch for him. When he got on, she moved her belongings and patted the seat beside her animatedly, so that he had to sit next to her, despite being perfectly comfortable where he was. As the train pulled away and left him on the platform, she was waving. "He can't see me" she said sadly.
He never could. That was the problem.

January is Credit Note Season.
I like it. It's easy.
Question: Can I have my money back ?
a) my [insert consumer durable] is the wrong size
b) I don't like the colour of my [insert consumer durable]
c) I've already got [insert consumer durable]
d) my boy/girlfriend says my [insert consumer durable] make me look fat
a) No
b) No
c) No
d) No, and, get a new boy/girlfriend

Hot Fuss - The Killers

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

22.51 On Time
The 8.10 got in late this morning. Due to "objects on the track".

This type of "object", apparently.

The Photo Album - Death Cab For Cutie

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Read 'em & Weep!

8.10 On Time
According to Davina McCall, or some kind of Sinister Radio Two Mafia these are the best British songs of the last 25 years.
I know it's not important really, not in the grand scheme of things, but go on, vote, vote now for Joy Division and save us from Robbie.

(Robbie Williams that is, not this lovely Robbie )

So, it's bucket of cold water, no more fobbing people off, no more hiding messages under the mouse mat, back-to-work day. Ho hum.

My New Years Resolutions are:
Be nicer to people
Be less scared of people
Be more tolerant
Drink less
No hiding messages under the mouse mat

Tom McRae - Tom McRae
(I'm spending a lot of time listening to my Christmas presents at the moment)

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