Archive for July 2003

Best of luck to Jeff   Leave a comment

I was going to have a quiet night yesterday and then I heard that Jeffrey Archer had been released, so I drank some cheap red wine and then some Stella Artois. By about 9:30 I felt the urge to regain an albeit skewed clarity so I reached into my pocket for the floral wherewithal, only to discover to my dismay that it had somehow relocated itself elsewhere. The most likely time and place for this to happen had been about 5 minutes hence when I was in Blavs buying a further can. After cursory checks in my immediate surroundings I engaged myself in a wild-eyed trot to the aforementioned corner shop in a seemingly hopeless quest to rediscover my doobridge. Inside, Old Mrs. Balv was sweeping the floor. “Hello my dear”, she said, “what can I help you?” She had a disquietingly knowing attitude about her, so I narrowed my eyes and then left wordlessly. On the way out it occurred to me that since I knew that she had also spent time in Southern Africa, I might come straight out and ask her if she had come across any dagga. Luckily the bit of my brain as yet unreached by the idiot Stella molecules dismissed this as a potential risk of some sort, and I continued home. Later on I found the troublesome packet of mind leaves in a completely separate place, for indeed they had never even been in my pocket. This morning I woke up with my eyes stuck together, livid with myself that I had almost asked an aged Indian woman if she had some grass.

Posted July 22, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

I felt like a 16 year-old girl   Leave a comment

Jesus. Yesterday was hard work. Instead of feeling like a grown man with a wife and a child and a clear-eyed view of the world and his place in it I felt like a 16 year-old girl who has pitched up late for her A-Level Sociology class and then burst into tears when asked a question about post structuralism. This is because Simon Baker made me do the compeering for the Midsummer Alldayer at The Boat Race on Sunday. The father of a prominent local DJ had helped me hook up with an old friend of mine whose company I had not enjoyed for several years. He always boosts my confidence and seems to precipitate long drinking sessions. So yesterday I woke up with an eerie sense of not having been to sleep, plus the especially taxing duty of coaxing the masterfully reluctant Syd to eat, dress, be pushed to nursery school and stay there, plus a doctor’s appointment to catch at 9:40AM. This was because I was under the impression that I had cancer again, I’m afraid. I also wanted to see him about my agony of the tongue, which isn’t going away despite all my best efforts to drink and smoke it into submission. I felt very awful, and very afraid. Turns out that the bleeding black mole is not a melanoma, but rather a traumatised blood vessel, and the good doctor Farrant offered to whip it off there and then. I thought I’d better take the opportunity rather than worrying about when it was going to fall off of its own accord, so I peeled off my sweaty shirt and quivered a bit whilst he fetched his scalpel. I wasn’t quivering too much, however, because it wasn’t cancer. The good thing is about Farrant is that I keep going to see him about odd growths and he just says, “That’s just your left arm Mr. Gregory” or whatever. The man has a reassuring air about him that makes me wonder whether if you went in there with a nasty head wound from a shark attack he’d tell you it was perfectly normal. He prescribed me some steroid pills for my tongue – everything you get from a doctor seems to be steroids of one type or another – despite being seemingly incapable of coming to a diagnosis beyond “it doesn’t look like thrush” and then I felt obliged to stagger out into the sunshine for another go at real life.

Posted July 16, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

My great hatred is working   Leave a comment

Apologies once again for the ugly dearth of diary entries lately. Ironically this is often due to things happening in my life. I am particularly apologetic to those who have been trying to waste time at work and have found themselves wasting their time. I know I experience a deep sense of loss when I come home drunk and find that Jamie Vichy hasn’t written anything new, and I can only offer by way of recompense the news that the Hate Figures section in “Lists” is up and running again.

Posted July 14, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

Fatty treats me like a monkey   Leave a comment

Had to go back to the job centre on Friday, which felt like a salmon’s journey upstream to the spawning point. Not sure if I’ve got my zoology correct there but that’s what it felt like anyway. Kept trying to remind myself that, within certain parameters, I was in charge of my own destiny. I was locking up my bike when I saw a young guy cycle up, drop his bike on the floor and stride into the entrance where the drinkers/druggers sit. I was frowning at the risk he was taking by leaving his bike there when he almost immediately re-emerged with a handful of banknotes. If only it was that easy, I thought to myself. Somebody must have owed him money I guess. I went into the other entrance (for general jobsniffer processing), took a ticket, and sat down to watch the human interest. I soon found my gaze drawn to attractive young woman in a pair of tight-fitting slacks. She was stylishly dressed in a high-street sort of way, and, I dunno, some people just look good in clothes. Then I noticed that one of the client advisers, a guy who I regard as bit of a sadsack because he’s been there for years (stop sniggering at the back!) and they tend to have a bit of a desperate air about them after a while (as well they might) staring at this woman in a similarly mindfuless and Id-driven manner, and I snapped my attention away. Then she gets called up to the reception bit to be seen by the well-bred, moderately good-looking but haplessly overweight flak-catcher at the desk, who tells her that she won’t be seen that day because the computer’s fucked up. Immediately it becomes apparent that she is one of those types of people, and you see a fair few down at the dole, which believe that bureaucracy is something that can be shouted out of the way. In many cases, of course, they are absolutely right. The funny thing was my high street goddess turns out to have the voice of Paul Whitehouse’s Ted from The Fast Show. Now, I know you’re thinking that I’m using amusing shorthand for saying that she has a strong Irish accent, whereas what I am actually telling you is that she SPEAKS WITH THE VOICE OF TED FROM THE FAST SHOW, and that although she is angry with Fatty at the desk, she repeatedly calls him “Sor, just like Ted does. Anyway, somehow by being fit, shouty and saying “Sor” a lot, she gets her way, but when I go up there matey treats me like a monkey.

Great to be back though.

Posted July 6, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

and someone I knew had brought Ray Reardon as a special guest   Leave a comment

Today feels like a writing day, since I always write better with a hangover. My perception is all spiky and brutal and I get kind of manic. A series of unlikely events led me to drink an unwise amount of Stella Artois last night, although the way I’m feeling about Stella today makes me think that a molecule of that poverty-juice is an unwise amount to drink. I feel like the devil has kicked me eighty times in my sleep and then pissed in my brain. I dreamt I was obliged to watch some sort of Shakespeare-cum-snooker play (don’t ask) that a member of a minor local band was appearing in (I barely know this bloke but he seems a decent sort). All sorts of people from my so-called real life were in the audience, and someone I knew had brought Ray Reardon as a special guest. Because of the snooker connection people were pointing and whispering “…Ray Reardon…” Anyway the play was like, really, really painfully bad, and everyone was sitting there with gritted buttocks, and in the end I think the actors decided to give up. At this point minor band matey comes over to where Richard Rippin is showing me his expensive new acoustic guitar, and, obviously completely unhinged by his disastrous theatrical debut, proceeds to come over all nasty and threatening, and completely detunes Richard’s acoustic by way of making an aggressive gesture. I decide to leave, and ask to be dropped off outside the bookies (never even been in a bookmakers in real life). At this point I am woken up by my mother in law who wants to know whether a friend of hers can borrow a fridge freezer that I know absolutely nothing about, and my voice makes me sound like a gila monster on smack. Then I have to do my usual comedy routine of hustling a two year old through the breakfast scenarios and then depositing him in a room full of short, loud, innocent people and their seemingly-not-much-older and presumably not-much-more-experienced carers whilst looking and smelling as though I sleep in the basement of a pub every night. Lord Charles almost married this young American would-be-poet once who used to wistfully say “Oh, Life…” and sigh in a sort of rueful way. You fucking wait love.

Posted July 2, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized

The Plan is…   Leave a comment

Spent a portion of this afternoon wandering around charity shops with a young monkey in an effort to increase his video collection and expand the amount of time that I wasn’t answering the questions that occur to young monkeys with machine-gun curiosities and almost no idea of what is going on. Bought one video which he doesn’t like and is actually a piece of propaganda for The Dairy Board or whoever it is that runs cow tings in this country. In between a couple of fairly charmless stories about a Little Red Tractor is a sort of short documentary about dairy farming in which the milking process is described as a sort of cow’s “tea party”. Obviously I pride myself on a moral ambivalence that is one degree short of total spiritual corruptness but I work in a fucking wholefood shop for fuck’s sake. Not for much longer however. The plan is – and we’ll see how it pans out obviously – but the plan is: to have a few months off over their lean summer period, get straight back on the traditional funding program for artists in this country, and get some fucking Um shit done. I have to/would dearly like to:

Finish up and polish off all the stray shit on my hard drive.
Do a new album, tentatively entitled “The Old Album”
Complete the “Perverse Series” 15 CD retrospective, but with a firmer hand on the tiller than thus far.
Get really deeply and madly into video, particularly to produce some kind of video demo of Um live, but also to produce VHSs of formless nonsense for the Um live experience. This has been put off for an insanely long time.
To try and conjure up as much awareness of Um outside of this room and this town as possible, particularly amongst those working in various branches of the entertainment industry. Gigs would be good, the further afield the better. Also some kind of official release would be, uh, great, but I’m not holding my breath on that one.
To learn to drive. I took a test when I was about eighteen. I don’t think it would be too soon to have another go at it.

These are the records I bought today when I was trying to buy videos for my son:

Place Vendome – The Swingle Singers with The Modern Jazz Quartet
The Red & The Black – Jerry Harrison (quite good in a sort of Mutant Disco way if you forget about the existence of David Byrne)
Games – Synergy (dodgy orchestral 1979 rock wank with entirely “electronic music production” – some Peter Gabriel connection means it sounds like Genesis scored for synths)
It’s Over E.P – Roy Orbison (in the book for 20 notes, ta)
The Fabulous Platters E.P – The Platters (18 quid, I think)
The Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini (useful little 7″ picture sleeve)
Big Apple Noise 7″– Trans Lux (The Chemical Brothers rate this one, so there you go)

Posted July 2, 2003 by peteum2013 in Uncategorized