Monday, October 31, 2005


Last night witnessed the triumphant return of DJ Dad as I sought to wield my authority over the district's pampered under 10s at the ritual Halloween disco.

Oh yes, dressed as a wyrd cross between Frank'n'Furter and Johnny Vegas I subjected fifty odd Paiges, Nathans, Olivers, Lillys, Freddies, Archies (...continue until sick) to a wicked conconction of Madonna, Sigur Ros, Sugababes and the Electro Hippies.

It seemed to go well. We had to send out for more beer after half an hour and I only had to warn two of the older ones for snorting their Daddies' best coke in the lane behind the Village Hall. (Posh Crack they call it round here).

Speaking of posh crack, most of the little angels had their Mums in tow. I tell you what, once they're out of their dirty jodhpurs and into some fancy dress, those moneyed Mum's don't look half bad. Funny how they can dismount a Shire horse with a swift clenching of the buttocks and a deft flexing of the thigh, but they can't climb out of a Discovery dressed as Catwoman. Grr.

Sunday, October 30, 2005


Biggest fireworks display Yorkshire's ever seen, they said. Plugged it on national TV, they did. People came from near and far, they did. It was crap. That was last month.

However, the council got a chance to redeem itself with some proper nice pyromania last night as they celebrated the 400th anniversary of Guy Nelson getting shot in the eye at Waterloo or something. It was better. Lots.

I love outdoor exhibitionists don't you? All that flashing and banging going on... very little dogging though sadly, on account of the loud noises. Scares'em.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


We had a power cut last night.

Snicket and Boo were in the bath so there was major panic as we tried to grapple with’em like fish in a barrel. Eventually they were becalmed with bedtime stories by candelight before allowing me and Mrs B to… blimey, no power.

Mrs B had planned a celebratory evening of ironing to mark the occasion of it being Wednesday. I had planned an evening of scratching my arse watching recorded Waking The Dead’s whilst trying not to get badgered into ironing my shirts. All of a sudden, all our plans sailed right though the window.

We sat not staring at each other in the dark. We dredged our memories, each certain that there was some sort of pastime that we used to rely on in times like this.

Buggered if we could come up with it so we shagged for while instead.

Three hours it lasted. The power cut that is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Staying away from home when working can be a bit miserable, especially when you’re on your own in hotels every night. Luckily, I’m not in that situation too much, but recently I found myself in a strange town.

Though I’ve only been here for three weeks now I was stuck for something to do after dinner when I suddenly decided go to the cinema I’d spotted about 300 yards up the road from the hotel. I grabbed my coat and set off, spotting that a screening of Kinky Boots had started ten minutes earlier. Confident that the first ten minutes or so is normally full of adverts and trailers I confidently bought my ticket and a large bucket of Diet Coke and strolled into the auditorium.

Trouble was, the lights had long gone down and I couldn’t see much more than a vague sea of faces in a very busy cinema . I shuffled up the shallow steps looking for a seat when I spotted, with some relief, a completely empty row. I sidled gingerly along sideways aiming for a seat somewhere in the middle of the row before facing front and sitting down.

Unfortunately, the entire row of seats had been removed for repair, a fact clear to everyone else in the audience who’s eyes had long since adjusted to the dark. So they enjoyed the sight of me edging bizarrely and needlessly along in a wide open space and then turning and landing hard on the floor, popping the lid of my Cola bucket and drenching myself with sticky goop.

It got a laugh though, which is more than can be said for Kinky Boots.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Get your mitts on Google Earth, it’s great. Using satellite photographs, it lets you zoom in on any place on earth. One bloke in Italy even spotted a Roman Villa in his back yard (mind you, he does own a large hotel complex in, erm, Rome).

Now not all places are photographed in tip top quality, in fact most of England seems to be covered in a sort of green soup when you get up close. I expect that the UK’s satellite came second hand from eBay and still uses an old Box Brownie, the film from which has to be collected by Richard Branson when he zips by in his space jet and dropped off at Boots for developing. In fact, when you try to zoom in close on, say, Fleetwood it has one of those stickers saying ‘Sorry but we think you must have had your thumb over the lens our kid… it can’t be this bad’.

However, you can see cars on the street in London, people in the pool at the hotel we stayed at in Tenerife, and I think I even saw Lord Lucan sitting in front of a pc somewhere in Norfolk.

Kept me gripped for, oooh, minutes before I went to Add/Remove Programs.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


When the World Wide Web arrived it ushered in an era of self-publishing which threatened the hegemony of the established mass media. Nowadays the corporate big-boys have all but taken over again and, whilst blogging has spawned one or two earnest but crushingly dull political commentators, mainly in the US, most of the blogosphere is full of toss like this isn’t it?

Well, I hate to tell you, Podcasting is no different. Listening to Podcasts is just like recording programmes off the radio… except a radio station run by clumsy inarticulate oafs with nothing to say, just like me or perhaps Chris Moyles. I’m sure one or two Podcasters might be able to offer an incisive insiders view of the war in Chechnya but I don’t think we’ll see a revolution.

Friday, October 21, 2005


We’ve been raising our defences at Backroads Manor. Not to keep invaders out, but, frankly, to keep Snicket in. Dry-stone walling can be very expensive and, when the stone gets delivered it makes a bugger of your lawn (ours currently resembles The Somme c1914 except messy-like). What’s worse though is when your next door neighbour starts crying that your taking down your own £5.99 piece of trellis and replacing it with a tip-top high quality wall for which they’re being asked to contribute zero pence.

Blimey, wait ‘til they see our plans for the extension. It’ll be like Helm’s Deep.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Ah! It’s good to be back in the saddle again. I think that when I do retire from blogging I’ll continue commenting on other people’s. It’s as much, if not more, fun.

By now comatose readers will know that I tend to listen to the radio on my long slog to work each day. I flick between Radio’s 4 and 5 and on occasion even Wogan who has a good line in new country singles, plus Fran Godfrey has a sexy giggle but looks at bit of a biffer when you look at her picture on the Radio 2 website (don’t lets get started on Radio 5’s Helen Blaby).

Today was different… being organised like I downloaded the new Boards of Canada record from iTunes last night. This morning I burned a CD and woo hoo, there I was drifting worry-free across the M62 in somnambulent bliss. Trouble is, the journey’s much longer than the longest of CDs so Steely Dan’s most recent effort (everything must go) kicked in and, hey, my good mood seemed to build as I concentrated on their seemingly innocuous but simultaneously bizarre and subversive brand of sci-fi faux-jazz. It’s a shame, but I got to work eventually.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Get struck down with man-flu and no-one wants to know… oh, but suddenly there’s bird-flu it’s all over the papers. It’s gone too far that politically correct bandwagon! Gone too far!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I love Strictly Come Dancing me. Thank goodness the start of the new series coincided with the week when X Factor goes live and crap. No Jill Halfpenny (grrr) this series much to my dismay but Colin Jackson looks quite fit and even that Dumberella Zoe Ball was adequate.

Shhh, now, don’t tell anyone, but I’m taking Mrs Backroads to NYC for her birthday and need ideas. Scouring all of the guidebooks and websites has proved fruitless… there doesn’t seem to be a lot to do in such a sleepy town and I’m beginning to wish I was taking her somewhere fancy like Colwyn Bay. All I’ve been able to come up with is a Bruce Springsteen hometown gig across the river which clashes with Guided By Voices’ Robert Pollard signing someone else’s book at a Barnes & Noble down in Chelsea. I’m sure Mrs B will think they’re both pretty darn romantic options, but just in case she doesn’t, have you got any ideas?

Monday, October 17, 2005


You just get to the summit of cool when out of the murk another peak looms up in front of you.  Yep, just when I was picking up all sorts of groovy chicks by teasing them with my small but perfectly formed iPod nano, Apple goes and launches another iPod, this time with video.


I've given up.  Someone I know has just spent iPod money on a Wurlitzer juke-box and a wheelbarrow and, frankly, I think they might have the right idea.  Backwards is the new forwards.


Mind you, playing DVDs by spinning them as fast as you can on the end of a pencil whilst shining a torch through them isn't as effective as you might think.  Therefore, uncool as it is, I've been feeding them into my little DVD player instead.  Why?  Well, as part of my training programme before I go the the pictures to see Serenity, I'm working my way through the first and only series of Firefly, from whence the film has sprungeth.  I've even, some would say sadly, been listening to a few podcasts devoted to (and I mean devoted to) the series and the film and, whilst it's very good in a SkyOne kind of way, I'm note sure that there'll be Vegas conventions dedicated to it in twenty years.  I could be wrong.  It is good and I recommend the series (£18.99 from Screenstars) without having seen the film yet.


You'll have noticed that I have, as they say in these circles, 'done a Fluffy' over recent days.  I'd like to apologise to regular readers (and to the computers at Google who check me out numerous times each day on account of me nicking their images which boosts my site stats inordinately but makes me feel like a fraud and so I've stopped now, honest) for this unseemly attention seeking behaviour.  I suspect it's a mid-life crisis kicking in and I suppose getting discovered doing a blog is slightly less risky than embarking on an affair...  but, y'know, just not quite as much fun...  I would have thought.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Welcome to the all new SKNOB files... There'll be no more of that Ziggy Stardust bloke round 'ere...

Monday, October 10, 2005

into the sea, you and me

Taxi for backroads...

It's been a blast.