Tuesday, November 30, 2004

give it up one time, in the place to be, etc

Bo! It's the new style. Next Saturday it's the big one. Oh yes... DJ Backroads will be playing out. Tickets only. Private Party. Your name's not down you're not coming in.

You got it. It's Snicket's birthday party and I'm top of the bill. Ay! The backroads massive will be having it large with 32 of the surrounding area's most deffest bangingest toddlers. Yep, they'll be sorted for E numbers and whizzing around the dance-floor on their knees like the best of'em.

The question is, what to play? Now obviously I'm down wiv ver kids and have got a solid playlist of anthems, classics and, indeed, crowdpleasers together already but hey... there's always room for improvement. So come on blogstars, let's have some suggestions on how to warp the nation's youth.

Anyway, here's a few I won't be spinning:

Komputer : Bill Gates
15.60.75 : Animal Speaks
The Golden Palominos : Prison of the Rhythm
OP-L Bastards : Scorpius

I'm not scared: MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know. Availability is limited.

Monday, November 29, 2004

and all the ladies in the house go.... oooooh!

Stand by your beds chaps, because the whole Christmas shopping nightmare is over (and you can keep your iPod minis). For Bloggers Wives and Bloggettes everywhere, especially those who travel to work on public transport... this is a must. I got your number.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

classic backroads - limited edition gold font

In the first of an occasional series (and because I've completely run out of ideas), here's another chance to read selected vintage posts from the sknob archives.

Today's episode, originally broadcast May 28th:

the other side of summer

I could be wrong but this feels like summer. The sound of leather on willow at the weekend. A jaunty treasure hunt round the village in the evening. Chelsea on the telly. Play-offs coming up. Wimbledon round the corner. Also, I slept not a wink due to having a somewhat demented nurse stabbing me viciously in both arms yesterday with all manner of tropical diseases in miniature. Not only was I reeling due to the nanobot style fevers racing around my brain but I couldn't turn over at all due to my swollen arms. I felt like Fatima Whitbread. Not a peep out of the kids after thir jabs, mind. It must be my age.

Anyway, the treasure hunt went quite well. A tootle round the village and through a load of fields. We were told it was buggy friendly by someone who's obviously never had to heft one over a five foot stile with a sleeping infant on board and then chug it through three acres of oil seed rape along the ruttiest of tracks. Still, we made the most of it, counting windows, reading numbers off grids, collecting feathers and syringes etc. We had to find out the number of a busroute from a particular bus-stop. The bus-stop had however been shunted about a hundred yards down the road since the quiz was set due to a boy racer in a Vauxhall Nova levelling it and his car last week. Had it not been for the weight of the sub-woofer in the boot, they say he might have gone into orbit.

Friday, November 26, 2004

jackals, false grails: the lonesome era

I head away from home along a country lane. It's cold. It's dawn. Haliborange clouds rip the sky apart over cottages, farms and the huge tv mast on the hill. Travelling east there's nothing higher than this until you reach the Ural Mountains in Russia, which might as well be Mordor. There's no eye of Sauron here though. The tv tower beams CBeebies directly into the bedroom of the milk gurgling child I leave behind.

It's cold in the car. I'll be miles away before I can turn the heater down to something steady. It's too early for music. I listen to the news. It's about the roads, the congestion, the cars, the trucks and the white vans. I turn it off. I don't need telling. I drink hot coffee from a metal mug. I drive to work in silence.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

bubble pop electric

The new Gwen Stefani record is quite simply the best pop record made anywhere by anyone since Madonna's Music. Even the mighty Girls Aloud can't touch it. Madge must be crying herself to sleep this week... GS is at the height of her powers. It has everything from Tommy Boy/Salt'n'Pepa era hip-hop, Confusion era New Order right up to Sugarcane era New Order as Hooky and Bernard play on The Real Thing. Some of the other stuff is unclassifiably great contemporary pop. Bubble Pop Electric with Johnny Vulture peels back your eyelids and pulls them right back over your head.

Can we just have a minute's silence in memory of Madonna's career.


If you only invest in one golden pop moment this year you know what to do.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

how to dismantle ‘how to dismantle an atomic bomb’

1. Obtain copy of said over-rated disc, preferably the limited edition with free DVD and booklet.
2. Remove extraneous rain-forest killing card sleeve, soak with lighter fluid. Ignite.
3. Slide booklet from jewel case and carefully extract staples. Feed individual sheets into paper shredder, grinning as you watch four smug, shit-eating grimaces being torn asunder.
4. Separate the three jewel case components (perspex cover and rear, perspex ‘double’ CD tray). Using a toffee hammer smash all three items to smithereens (guidance: smithereens = smaller less successful smiths).*
5. Using pinking shears cut around the edge [ ;-) ] of the free DVD which actually cost an extra £3. Construct festive decoration. Go on be creative... this little disc deserves to witness some creativity in its short life.
6. Finally, using cook’s torch, melt CD until it buckles and splits. Toss remains in nearest bin.

Alternatively send to following address:

The U2
Never a Pleasure, Always a Chore Tour

* Heel of effete motorcycle boot may be utilised if toffee hammer unavailable.

Having listened to the above record in it’s entirety and listened to Paul Hewson blab on about it on endless TV and radio interviews, I have to say that the success of The U2 continues to elude me. Technically, there’s nothing wrong with the record, same as there’s technically nothing wrong with Skodas. However, o-h-m-y-g-o-d they’re unsubtle.

It’s like someone gave them a card when they started out in the late seventies which said
‘Go Straight to Pastiche, DO NOT have measured career, DO NOT split up over artistic differences only to reunite for gritted teeth reunion tour in the late ‘90s with Simple Minds and Echo & The Bunnymen, DO BORE THE WORLD with end-of-the-pier style ‘we’re only in it for the money’ unswerving bombast-by-numbers from your VERY FIRST RECORD.’

Let’s face it, has there ever been a The U2 record which hasn’t involved Hewson going from singing quiet and very whiny to SINGING VERY FUCKING LOUD INDEED? Also, people say that Dave Evans has such a unique and distinctive style that it’s immediately recognisable the world over. Can I just remind you that crap has a unique and distinctive smell that is immediately recognisable the world over.

Other than that, it’s very nice. They’re such lovely boys y’know.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

fashion crisis hits new moston

We're S H O P P I N G, we're shopping. Question. Is it better to shop before or after a bottle of wine? A friend of mine says it's a waste of good shopping time, but I enjoy the influence on purchasing decisions, as does Mr Egg. Before is better for your wallet, there's no doubt about that. That 'must have' expensive spotty tie which leapt into you bag after lunch would have stayed resolutely on the rack had you seen it in the morning. However, prudence never pays, nor does she even have money. I, however, like shopping just as much as your average shandy drinking jessie bloke.

Anyway, a splendid lunch was enjoyed here. Also, I bumped into Sir Philip of Oakey here. I said to him that I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar last time I saw him, but that was a fib. It was a Pizza Express.

Friday, November 19, 2004

you're fit (but my gosh don't you know it)

I've been out pounding the streets this morning. He wasn't very happy as you'd expect. I said 'dry your eyes mate', but it still didn't make a lot of difference.

Seriously though, I've been pounding the streets. However, it's only because today, due to last night's adverse weather conditions, I woke up in 'flat northern seaside town' rather than 'hilly northern pennine village'. It's so much easier to run round the block than up hill and down dale.

Mind you, got to be on the look-out for black ice, according to the weather forecast. I'm not sure such a substance really exists though. I've never seen it.

Tonight, weather permitting, I am taking in a 'works do' in 'rainy but musically prolific northern city'.

Technically, it's an 'ex-works do' with people who used to work together but don't any more. This is good in that the unwritten obligation to remain soberish and semi-politically correct, so as to avoid any nasty repercussions come appraisal time, is lifted. Doubtless the evening will therefore involve eating, drinking, talking crap, drinking some more and then dragging frowsy faux-naive older women round gay bars and lap-top dancing establishments.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

i get around

What with going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark and spending most of every day in the dark I feel like I’m mutating into something that lives in the dark. Or something nocturnal.

What happens when the clocks go back that makes people drive like wonkys? Now I can cope with sitting in traffic for and hour and a half each morning and the same at night. It’s a long commute, but that’s my threshold. What I struggle with is two and a half hours in traffic morning and night. Twenty five hours a week I spend sitting behind that white van, Once ‘If my wife was this dirty I’d be at home’ was funny. Frankly, I wish his wife was that dirty because then he’d be at home and not sat in front of me. Mind you, his van is filthy, so even if she’s only half as dirty as his van, she’s probably still worth staying at home for. He should be more attentive to her needs. His mobile number’s on the side of the van… perhaps if I call him he’ll let me know her address. A woman like that shouldn’t be left alone. Besides, I’ve nothing else to do… I’m just sat behind a white van on the motorway.

Has anyone ever phoned up one of those ‘How am I Driving?’ numbers that they put on trucks and vans? I wonder if you get an Interactive Voice Response system when you call them:

“Thank you for calling…your call is very important to us…however, we run this haulage operating company on a shoestring and don’t have ‘Customer Service Advisors’… the drivers answer the phone when they’re in, having a brew… unfortunately, all our drivers are stuck in traffic at the moment… as soon as one gets into the depot they might answer you… your call is very important to us…if the driver your are moaning about is travelling above the speed limit please press 1… if the driver you are moaning about has been stationary for more than 10 minutes press 2 or even better tap on his window, he’s probably nodded off… if the wife of the driver you are moaning about is as dirty as his van please press 3 to speak to her directly…”

Monday, November 15, 2004

if carlsberg fed the world...

It was 1984 and Christmas was approaching. My memories of that time will always be played out to the soundtrack of this great tune. One of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.

Oh yes…

It can only be…

Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love of course. (Oh and that Band Aid single was also out at the time.)

Actually, I was a bit worried when I heard rumour that Ol’ Dirty Bastard was dead, but luckily Bob Geldof is still around and sets out once more to fight for Dad’s rights by pulling together another stellar line-up for Band Aid III. In case you missed it, here is that line-up in full:

1. Black Francis – Pixies 2. Kim Deal – Pixies 3. David Lovering – Pixies 4. Joey Santiago – Pixies 5. J Mascis – Dinosaur Jr 6. Lou Barlow – Sebadoh 7. John McIntyre – Tortoise 8. Doug McCombs – Tortoise 9. John Herndon – Tortoise 10. Cheryl Tweedy – Girls Aloud 11. Nadine Coyle – Girls Aloud 12. Sarah Harding – Girls Aloud 13. Kimberley Walsh – Girls Aloud 14. The minging one that they always stand behind a dancer – Girls Aloud 15. Letitiia Saedier – Stereolab 16. Neil Hannon – Divine Comedy 17. Kim Gordon – Sonic Youth 18. Thurston Moore – Sonic Youth 19. Steven Malkmus – Pavement 20. Liz Phair – Liz Phair 21. Marcus Eoin – Boards of Canada 22. Michael Sandison – Boards of Canada 23. Terry Hall – Terry Hall 24. Marc Riley – Marc Riley & The Creepers 25. Mark E Smith – The Fall 26. Jamie Cullum Gollum – LOTR 27. Jack White – White Stripes 28. Meg White – White Stripes 29. Stuart Murdoch – Belle & Sebastian 30. Laura Cantrell – Laura Cantrell 31. P J Harvey – P J Harvey 32. Gillian Welch – Gillian Welch 33. Daniel Bedingfield Jack Black - Tenacious D 34. Natasha Kaplinsky – Blogababes 35. Jill Halfpenny – Blogababes 36. Kirstie Allsopp – Blogababes 37. Bob Mould – Husker Du 38. Grant Hart – Husker Du 39. Greg Norton – Husker Du 40. Lemar A plank of wood – A plank of wood 41. Melissa Auf der Maur – Auf der Maur 42. Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield 43. Sean William Ryder – Happy Mondays 44. Kristin Hersh – 50 Foot Wave 45. Tanya Donnelly – Tanya Donnelly 46. Bernard Albrecht – Electronic 47. Peter Hook – Revenge.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

danger of death

Not much to do today except wander round the village taking pictures. Cold and bright. These are days.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

i smell winter

I’m getting quite few visits from people Googling for nude pictures of Natasha Kaplinksy and Kirstie Allsopp. In mentioning it now, I’ll perhaps get some more such visitors, so apologies in advance, much to my regret I don’t have any. I do have a few saucy snaps of Jill Halfpenny though, so I’m ahead of the Strictly Come Dancing lust curve there. In fact, and I know this is rather old hat now, but I've 'bought' some Jill Halfpenny shares on Celebdaq because I think she's this years model.

I've been shopping tonight. This is what I've bought.

1 x Mont Blanc ballpen
1 x CD - Morel 'Lucky Strike'
1 x 350g tub of Jelly Belly beans
1 x Molton Brown 'thai vert' soothing hand lotion
1 x 750 ml Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Rose Swarovski edition
1 x pkt Pieter Woudt invisible playing cards
1 x pkt 'Ouch!' Deluxe First Aid plasters
1 x CD - Broken Social Scene 'You Forgot It In People'

Blimey, it's like American Psycho for the new Millenium.

Finally, if you search for 'onion garstang' on Google, it brings up listing for both secret knowledge of backroads AND A Free Man in Preston. Nothing about Garstang being home of the World's Largest Onion though. Sorry.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

gotta lotta bottle

I remember mentioning this in someone’s comments box once, but when I was at school, the father of one of the lads in my class bought a second-hand electric milk-float. You’d have though this was a fairly sensible thing to do if his Dad was a milkman.

His Dad was a joiner.

He bought the milk-float to convert into a mobile home. I used to walk past this work in progress on my way to and from school and, as you can imagine, we all took a great interest in the conversion project, cheerily supporting the man and his son in their quest to be different (at least that’s how I remember it). Sadly, the end result looked like something the Slaggers from Scrapheap Challenge would reject. Thankfully, so as not to draw any unwarranted attention to it they covered it in woodchip wallpaper and, using normal household emulsion, painted it bright orange.

We all knew that the day would come when they would want to go on holiday.

With great fanfare, the whole family including, and this is true, two guinea pigs, set off for two weeks in the Lake District, a distance of fifty miles or so. Sadly they never got that far. In fact it took them three days to get as far as Garstang (Home of the World’s Biggest Onion, fact fans) where the milk float’s battery eventually gave out.

There they stayed for the remainder of their holiday, in a lay-by off the A6, before being towed home… by another milk float.

Monday, November 08, 2004

trompe le monde

I've been working with this bloke. He's an IT contractor... a very well paid one. He's American and full of tall stories. He used to work for the NSA... He used to work for the FBI... He used to be on the President's staff...

Specimen A: When he worked for Jimmy Carter he went with him to an undisclosed destination in the Catskill Mountains. At some point Jimmy's entourage stopped. They were a few hundred yards short of a tunnel cut into the mountainside. Past this point only the President could go. This was during the first days of his tenure and part of the induction process. Mr Carter walked along the road leaving his cars and his guards behind. Three days later he emerged. He looked a good three years older. He looked like someone had just placed the weight of the world on his shoulders.

Specimen B: He was in a stealth helicoptor circling the Nevada desert. The helicopter lurched towards the mountainside. Suddenly half the mountainside shifted out of the way and the helicopter flew straight inside. It landed alongside jets, more helicopters and military vehicles on a car park the size of several football pitches. The door in the mountainside closed behind them. The floor gave way beneath them and the whole 'car park' dropped over 100 storeys in a matter of seconds. It was a gigantic elevator leading down to a hidden city.

Speciment C: Flying in an military plane this time, again over the Nevada desert. This time the plane got lower and lower. All that could be seen was brushland and scrub... not a runway in site. Those not in the know got into the brace position. Those in the know stayed put as the aircraft landed smoothly on a camouflaged runway invisible to the naked eye.

It's all crap, but I tell you what... it's more fun than your usual contractor tales of Little Chef breakfasts, hotel porn and lousy motorway journeys every Monday and Friday.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

they drive by night

Do you ever wonder where 'fair people' live? Maybe they live near you. Maybe you're all 'fair people'.

Each year the Family Backroads ventures to the village bonfire and firework display and last night was no different. As always, a small fair accompanies the goings on. It's nothing much... Hook a Duck, a little Ghost Train, a few Roundabouts, a couple of DogBurger stands and the obligatory Ice Cream van.

Wandering round the fair after watching the fireworks... (we seem unable to tell a story with fireworks in this country don't we? When you see displays abroad there's light and dark, the sense of gentle build up leading to a momentous crescendo. Over here it goes SHOCK AND AWE, b i g g a p, MORE SHOCK AND AWE. a n o t h e r b i g g a p, MORE SHOC... oh, it's finished.) ... I notice the same faces. Not the locals, but the people running the stalls. They walk in an endless circle around their little stalls handing out prizes, collecting money, arbitrating between skriking kids and obstreperous chavs, always wearing the same world weary expression whilst sucking the living death from a Berkeley Light.

They dip in and out of filthy denim pouches, giving out tokens, making change. In many cases, lashed to the corner of the stall is a 1960s Silver Cross style pram complete with witless staring infant, sucking the living death out of a grubby dummy and absorbing the job description by osmosis...getting ready to man the stall from around 2020 onwards.

After the fair, no-one thinks about the fair people. This morning, looking over at the Rec, they're all gone... back to a little Brigadoon where it's always Bonfire Night for somebody.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

the mighty fall

The above view is normally marred by a fridge or a three piece suite. Fly-tipping is something of an art-form round here. Mind you, the local scum aren't as proficient as those in other parts. I was in Liverpool the other week where the local povs had taken time out to do some fly-tipping with style. In the middle of a roundabout was a three piece suite, coffee table, tv and standard lamp, set out just as they must have been in their previous abode. I felt like calling Rachel Whiteread up and telling her she'd missed a trick with this one.

The South's new CD arrived last week and is a set text in the art of the cover version. It's had plenty of press so I'll go no further. However, I'll trouble you with a few other covers that are bothering me right now (in a good way). Mary Lou Lord 's version of Richard Thompson's 1952 Vincent Black Lightning is a pleasure. Get it from iTunes. I can't work out whether or not Minnie Driver has murdered Springsteen's Hungry Heart but it's worth a listen (iTunes again). Back to Richard Thompson and he makes Britney's Oops I Did It Again all his own. It's on 1000 Years of Popular Music available from his site. Lastly, Feist do Ron Sexsmith's Secret Heart on Let It Die.

I saw that Apple launched a U2 branded iPod. What a sickening thought. Still, at least you'll be able to keep decent music on it as well as U2. Can I just acknowledge the prescience of the late John Peel for recognising how dire U2 were/are from day one and for never, ever, ever playing their turgid crap on his show.

Now, here's another one from Napalm Death.

Friday, November 05, 2004

hot dogs die in cars

It smells like something has crawled into my car and died. Usually when I get a whiff of something like this I find a half-empty toddler-cup tucked neatly behind Snicket’s booster seat . Where there was once milk there’s now a cure for bird-flu growing nicely. Otherwise there’ll be a discarded sausage sandwich or half a burger shoved unceremoniously under the passenger seat and left to fester alongside a free Buzz Lightyear following a MacDonalds drive-by . This time… nothing.

What is that smell? I’ve cleared out everything, right down to the car park tickets and chewing gum wrappers. Everything’s gone. Except the smell. I notice that Alley has left her Jamie Cullum CD in the glove compartment and, believe me, it really stinks… but even that isn’t this bad.

I’m getting paranoid now, particularly as I have to give someone a lift from one office to another later today. What will they think? What will they say? Probably something along the lines of ‘I can cope with the smell, but you can throw that bloody CD out of the window straight away’.

I once worked with a bloke who had no sense of smell. Each Wednesday he’d leave work early to go and play five-aside with his mates. After each match he’d buy a pint of milk to drink in the car on the way home. He’d sling his kit into the back seat and off he’d go. This particular week, he’d bought his milk and was getting into his car and about to open the carton when someone suggested going for a beer instead. So he put the carton on the floor of the car behind his seat. And forgot about it. For three weeks.

Eventually, he offered to give someone a lift home from work. They did have a sense of smell unfortunately, meaning that, not only did he have to clean up the remains of an exploded carton of three week old milk, he had to clear up his colleague’s sick from the passenger seat. And the floor. And the dashboard.

After a while he was forced to sell the car for scrap, but not before he’d been caught short one night and, in need of a ‘number two’ pulled up outside his mother’s house. Finding the house locked and with no-one at home, he snuck round the back and squatted over a carrier bag which he had in the car. Once he’d finished he put the bag back into the car with the intention of flushing it at home.

I don’t need to tell you that he forgot about it… Not only did he have no sense of smell, he had no sense at all.

Thursday, November 04, 2004


So, what was I thinking is that exercise is clearly a bad thing. Every time I try it I end up feeling ill, so I take that as my body trying to tell me something. Instead I’m thinking of doing a diet. No not a ‘healthy eating plan’. A diet.

I thought I’d try one of those that get handed round the office on a piece of paper that’s been photocopied a million times. You know the ones; they look a bit like the Turin Shroud, except faint. These diets are based on those they give obese people in hospital who have to lose a lot of weight very quickly before having an operation. They involve eating cabbage soup for three days solid followed by one full day of bananas after which they reckon you should have lost about 20 lbs and produced sufficient gas to power a medium sized housing estate for a week. Big Sharon in Reprographics swears by it and she should know. She does it every summer so she can fit into the seats on Easyjet.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

new dawn fades

I’ve been to the gym. I was sick and had to wait for my legs to stop shaking before I could drive home… there was no way I could go back to work.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

exercise one

Blimey, MPs have opposed moves to ban the smacking of children, but bizarrely they've backed legislation which makes smacking Jamie Cullum compulsory.

Anyway, and more to the point, there’s a gym near work and I’m going at lunch time tomorrow. I’ve already put my kit in the car and boy is it fancy (my kit, not the car).

This gym is £2 a pop and a bit rough and ready, but least I won’t have to sell Alley and Snicket in order to get fit. I’m hoping that it will be like the exercise room in the Eric Prydz video for Call On Me, but somehow I think it’s more likely to resemble the galley of a slaveship, except full of tattooed scousers each one built like a brick-shithouse. There’s only one shower apparently, although Surly Kev the owner reckons that’s not a problem as “most people who use this gym don’t bother with a shower”!

That’s not a good thing is it?

Now the trouble with me is I’m all or nothing. Well, usually nothing actually. Last time I went to the gym on a lunchtime from work I did 1000 metres as fast as possible on a rowing machine, fell off, was sick and had to wait for my legs to stop shaking before I could drive home… there was no way I could go back to work.

Ditching that idea I decided to go swimming instead. The local leisure centre at the time had split the pool into Slow, Medium and Fast lanes for people doing lengths during their lunch-hours. Now, I’m not a great swimmer by any means, but neither am I that bad. So I plumped for Medium and went for it. Big mistake. When I crawled out I was sick and had to wait for my legs to stop shaking before I could drive home… there was no way I could go back to work.

A lot of people run at lunchtime. I could do that I suppose, but last time I tried it three separate people asked me if I’d been attacked.

So the gym it is. I’m going to set the pace by wearing my lycra-thong-unitard-combo so at least all the other customers will be put in mind of the Eric Prydz video and it might inspire them to buck their ideas up.

Monday, November 01, 2004


Today I have been mostly eating flat food. Snicket, Alley and Mrs Backroads have seen nothing of me as I have been locked away concentrating. Even meals have been delivered to me under the door where there exists a gap of approximately one inch. I have eaten two pancakes, a thin crust pizza and am looking forward to some After Eight mints later on. I suspect being cooped up in here is a bit like being in prison, but with less chance of a blow-job.

I’d love to tell you that this is because I have embarked upon my great quest. The novel. Sadly, I am merely revising for what is commonly described as a ‘professional qualification’. Loosely translated though it’s a complete ball-ache which will look good on the CV but offers no appreciable insight into the way I do my job. It’s some years since I studied for a qualification like this and I remember vowing that I’d never put myself though it again… and here I am. Rose tinted spectacles, etc.

Qualifications that are irrelevant on purpose are much more enjoyable as a rule. I did a course in 'film noir' once at The Cornerhouse in Manchester. All good stuff about the Maltese Falcon and The Postman Always Rings Twice, but to be honest I also found that there were some intellectual young laydees also on the course. I blew it when, instead of saying 'Well hello! I work in advertising and interactive tv' which was true, what I actually said was 'Hello, I work for a Building Society' which was equally true at the time, but much less alluring. The young laydees never looked at me again.

I also did a short course in animation but, frankly, I thought it was a bit Mickey Mouse.

Anyway, cooped up in this box, my attention span lasts for about ten minutes before I get distracted.

Today’s Top 10 distractions are as follows:

1. Eating pancakes.
2. Reading Unknown Pleasures by Chris Ott.
3. Thinking about Ian Curtis.
4. Playing Closer and listening to all of the words.
5. Eating a thin crust pizza.
6. Googling for nude pictures of Kirstie Allsopp and only finding AFMIP.
7. Jotting down blog ideas.
8. Commenting on other peoples blogs.
9. Looking forward to eating After Eight mints.
10. Buying a TV-B-Gone.

I will be released later because Mrs Backroads' long lost cousin George is coming round. I've been excited for weeks about this because I was told that "he's something big in the Homeland Security department", so I was imagining tales of shoe-bombers, Anthrax and other shenanigans. I now find out that George is "something in the big Homebase security department", so it's more likely to be tales relating to the petty theft of hosepipes and light fittings. Ah well.