Sir Richard’s torso glistens in the storm


He looks on in his leopard print silk boxers as his multi-million pound island retreat succumbs to the flames, the untied kimono offering a glimpse of a torso a man half his age would be proud of.  

The storm which brought the lightening and caused the fire has now passed, but the air remains warm and wet.  

Still breathing heavily from the frantic search of the estate, he embraces his family and friends.  The fierce blaze illuminates the deep blackness of the Caribbean night sky, its howling cackle shattering its much prized tranquillity.  The heat, even at this distance reddens his brow.

His wife squeezes his hand, a single tear rolls down his cheek.  This place was his sanctuary, a monument to his years of sacrifice and hard work, a place where he could truly unwind and be himself.

It was being eaten away right before his very eyes, and he was powerless to stop it.

So vivid has this image been in my mind since I learned of the fire at Richard Branson’s luxury island, I felt compelled to write him a letter.  In it, I hope he is able to find some comfort, that his steely determination returns and he will find the courage to rebuild what was once his own little piece of heaven.

I have popped this in the post.

RnR.

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Tad out of Neighbours


Today I want to talk to you about Tad.  Tad out of Neighbours.  More specifically, I want to talk about one particular part of Tad out of Neighbours’ life:

The day Tad out of Neighbours turned Harold Bishops allotment into a BMX track.

Tad out of Neighbours had been through some rough times.  His Mum Coral couldn’t handle his delinquent ways and had sent him to stay with the most respectable member of their family, his Cousin Toadfish, in Erinsborough.

She hoped that by spending some time with ‘Toadie’ who had recently started a law degree, but who himself had had some behavioural problems in his younger days, Tad out of Neighbours might see the errors of his ways.

When Toadie also couldn’t handle the young man, he asked local Mother & Father figures Madge & Harold Bishop if they could look after him.  They duly obliged.

It was soon after moving in with the Bishops that Tad out of Neighbours quickly became obsessed with BMX biking.

In what he had hoped would be a bonding exercise for himself and his troubled young friend, Hazza asked Tad out of Neighbours to help him down at his allotment.  Tad out of Neighbours, more interested in hanging out with his mates than weeding, just sat in the shed while the morbidly obese Hazza got a bead on struggling with the runner beans in the baking Erinsborough sun.

Asking Tad out of Neighbours to help at the allotment was to be one of Hazza’s biggest mistakes.  It was during this trip that Tad out of Neighbours realised that the allotment would make the perfect BMX track.

Tad out of Neighbours got to work.  He kept Hazza away from the allotment with various excuses for almost 6 weeks while work was completed.

On finding out about the track, Hazza was fuming.  He and Madge had just set up their new fast food joint “Grease Monkeys” and were hoping to yield a sizeable crop of potatoes to make the French fries, not to mention the tomato and lettuce for the kids to pick out of their burger buns.  It meant that not only would Hazza be dropping $18 a week on rent for the allotment, he’d have to bulk buy from Costco.  His overheads were going through the roof, something both he and Madge knew a company in its infancy could ill afford.

But the loss of cheap root vegetables and salad were to be the least of the Bishops worries.  On inspecting the former allotment Hazza was rendered speechless.  Tad out of Neighbours had concreted the entire area; creating half pipes, ramps and tire walls.  It wasn’t the crude amateur track that he had expected to find.

Soon all became clear.  Tad out of Neighbours had taken out numerous bank loans and credit cards secured against 24 Ramsey St and the newly formed Grease Monkey’s.  As the bills came flooding in the scale of the operation became clear.

He had flown Fernando Champonzo & his brother Jesus over from Spain to develop the track.  They were the best in their field, having designed & built the track for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  After a week of consultations and numerous revised CAD drawings, work began in earnest.

A fleet of 8 300 cubic meter batch mix concrete lorries were ordered, but in a breakdown of communication all 8 lorries arrived on the same day.  Tad out of Neighbours was insistent that it was the concrete companies error, but after their head office investigated, it transpired that Tad out of Neighbours had actually given the go-ahead in a fax the previous week.

Tad out of Neighbours was not prepared to jeopardise the integrity of the track and made the tough call to send the concrete back (minus one half load for the initial ground work), despite the concrete company informing him that the cost of returning materials would run into their tens of thousands, as they have to dispose of the load safely.  Tad out of Neighbours did not care about the cost, it had to be right.

As the initial schedule and costs spiralled out of control, Tad out of Neighbours was forced to get in more labourers.  The track had to be finished by the end of the week, Hazza was desperate for spuds and he couldn’t keep him away any longer.  Generators and flood lights were brought in so work could continue through the night and the 2 dozen men worked in shifts.

Finally, 3 weeks behind schedule, the track was ready.

Only after sitting down with their accountant did the scale of the debt become clear.  Tad out of Neighbours has blown in excess of $120,000 building a BMX track on Harold’s allotment.

Tad out of Neighbours took up DJ’ing.

RnR.

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We went to Thailand so what? – Part 2


Right then.  Where were we?  Sorry it’s taken longer than I thought, but it took longer than I thought.

NEXT STOP – KOH LANTA:

We stayed in a bungalow.  In Thailand lots of people live in Bungalow’s, not just lazy old fuckers like here.  One evening, feet up, beer in hand I was watching the sunset.  Illuminated by the magnificent blood red  falling sun, a dog squatted, looked me square in the eye and had a massive shit.  A shitting dog’s a bit like a car crash.  I think he’d been eating chicken on stick.

A sunset even a shitting dog can't spoil

We’d heard that the Old Town was pretty but it was quite far away,  so we decided to get a scooter out for a couple of days  and really explore the island.  God I had so much FUN on the scooter.  It was orange and I felt like a right playboy with the tart on the back.

Had to put about 78 Baht in petrol in it on the 1st day.  That’s about £1.60 – £1.70.  Second day I only had to put about 60p’s worth in.  You have to give it back with the same amount of petrol as you started with you see, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bothered to be honest.  The people at the petrol station fill it up for you as well so it wasn’t really a big deal.

Krabi:

Unfortunately our few glorious days relaxing in Koh Lanta had come to end and we made our way by boat to Krabi.

It was pretty grey when we got there, I said to the bit of fluff that it felt like it needed to rain.   We had a bit of rain early/mid afternoon and I thought it might brighten up a bit after that, but it didn’t.  It got greyer if anything.  In the evening it absolutely tipped it down.  Although it only lasted about half hour, and dried up pretty quick.

We left for the airport pretty early.  I thought we’d be able to grab a bit of breakfast after we’d checked in, but they didn’t really have anything.  It’s a really small airport.  Ended up just getting a coffee, biscuits and some Haribo’s.  The bird stuck mostly with Haribo’s, like she normally does.  I had a couple but they made my mouth taste a bit funny after the coffee, so I went back on the biscuits.

The flight was alright.  We got a sandwich and cup of tea.  They ALWAYS cut the crusts off sandwiches in Thailand.  It’s a bit strange, but it does explain why none of them have curly hair.  They must cut the crusts of in China as well cos them lot have all got dead straight hair as well.  “What do they do with the crusts?” I asked. “What do they do with all the crusts?”.  “What do they do with all the crusts?”.  She wasn’t listening.

Got me thinking that perhaps they send them all over to Africa, which would make sense as African’s all love the crust.  They think it forms an essential part of the sandwich.

“I think they send them over to Africa.”.  “I think they send them over……..”

Back in BANGKOK:

We thought we’d stay somewhere a bit fancy as it was the last leg of our trip……and faaancy it was.  Instead of having a wall to divide the bedroom from the bathroom, they had glass. Now I know what your thinking.  What if you’re having a whoopsie?  They’re not STUPID. They had a frosted strip across the centre.   If you were having a whoopsie you’d only be able to see feet……and a fuzzy(ish) outline of the rest.  Same in the shower.  Here is my artist impression.  It is 100% accurate.  ALL of it.

Fancy innit!?  I decided to stick with the shit roll while we were here.  It was difficult enough trying to use the bum hose behind closed doors, let alone when your girlfriend is pretending to watch TV 2 feet away through glass.  You can’t really get away with saying you were just having a piss when someone can see you sitting there for 10 minutes with your trousers round your ankles.

I’m a bit of a fucking culture vulture so we went off to see the Grand Palace.  The best thing about the Grand Palace are the thousands of people.  I also enjoyed the opportunity to get a sweaty ringer wearing a pair of jeans in the midday heat.  The buildings and that are alright.  They make a big fuss about an Emerald Buddha so I said to the bird; “we’ve gotta fucking see that!”.

Not even made of Emerald.  Jade it is.  Bollocks it was.

NEXT!

Oh you can’t go in that one.

NEXT!

Doors are locked on this one.

NEXT!

NO ENTRY

NEXT!

They’ve got a MASSIVE gold laying down Buddha.  I say gold.  You could see where they’d repaired it with plaster board tape, so it’s essentially a sculpted bit of dry wall that’s had a lick of fancy paint. That was alright.  It had massive feet.  Not sure why it’s laying down though.  Apparently it’s because he’s entering the final stage of Nirvana.  He wouldn’t have a massive grin on his face if he knew that Kurt Cobain had blown his head off.

NEXT!

Locked

Our Thailand adventure was coming to a close.  What better way to bring an amazing trip to end than by looking out over the Capital City of this fantastic country.  The views were spectacular, we drank cocktails and spoke of what had been our favourite parts of two of the best weeks of our lives.  I had to admit that being there, on that roof, with 3G reception for the 1st time in weeks was absolutely incredible.

The view from the 62nd floor roof top bar. Incredible.

 

That was that.  We returned home.  The flight back was belting.  We got to watch all of the SAME films as on the way out!

The tart said that this was her favourite picture from our entire trip.  Look at his little face.  Awwwwwwww.

Now fuck off.

Rnr!!

 

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We went to Thailand, so what? – Part 1


Done in two parts, this is everything you need to know about my holiday. If there’s something within these posts that you genuinely want to ask me about, then I’ll consider elaborating, but essentially this is it.  No need to ask me if I had a good time.

Here we go then, let’s get this out of the way.

Gemdog gave us a heads up of a nice little place to stay in Bangkok that had a pool on the roof.  The room had a 12 inch old style TV (NOT FLAT SCREEN) that was mounted in the top left corner of the room.  It had a few channels, most of which were FOREIGN.  We ended up having to watch the news most of time, which was alright actually as there were a load of other FOREIGNERS chucking stuff at the police n that and it looked a bit like a film.  It was in Choonizia.  They looked really angry and I thought “my God!, don’t tell me they’ve raised tuition fees there as well!?”.  Turns out that they were just unhappy with borin shit like corruption and human rights abuses, they didn’t even seem to have bothered making amusing placards.  Lazy.

In Thailand they have shit roll but you MUST NOT put the shit roll down the toilet.  You have to wipe your bum and put the shit roll in the bin.  As well as shit roll they have a bum-hose.  The bum hose is the more traditional way to wipe your bum.  It blasts the skids from your anus with a jet of water.  The bum hose in Bangkok was of medium ferocity.  I mostly got the back of my balls on my1st attempt.  I sat there for a bit waiting for them to dry but I got bored so just went out with soggy balls.

We didn’t use the pool.

After a couple of days we flew down to Phuket.  I could wax lyrical about Phuket.  The sights and sounds of Patong, the beach, the views……but one thing stands out….the cocktails.

 

You'd pay what? £8 maybe £9 for this in London.....£1.40.

We got a boat from Phuket down to Phi-Phi.  I quite like boats.  This boat was ok but not the best boat I’ve ever been on.  The best boat I’ve ever been on was the Folkstone to Calais Sea Cat when me and Dad went over to Eastenders to get a load of Old Holborn to knock out to his mates at work.

I thought the trip might be a bit boring but I couldn’t have been more wrong!  First they played an Eric Clapton concert and then Mr Bean.  When they cut Mr Bean mid-episode (does anyone know how he actually gets on at the dentist!!!??) I was pretty pissed off, but we were arriving at Phi-Phi.

Friends had tried to tell me just how beautiful the island is, but nothing could prepare me.  Words, or at least my words, simply cannot do it justice.  Fortunately we had the digital SLR at hand for such moments.  As I took this shot I thought our memory card might just fucking BLOW UP there was so much to take in.

Hard to believe that this was one of the hardest hit places by the Tsunami.

The place we had planned to stay was fully booked so we just winged it when we were there.  We ended up in a room with an 18 inch LCD TV with some pretty decent channels.  There was an alright film channel and we watched one where a young cheerleader is regularly raped by her Dad and another one where these kids have their throats ripped out by rabid dogs.  It was very sunny.

I thought I had cracked how to properly operate the bum hose, but the one on Phi-Phi was much more ferocious than previous ones. It was so strong that it blasted my willy out of the way and I sprayed the wall.

The toliet itself didn’t have a flush, but they did supply a bucket which you had to fill up with water from the bumhose and pour down the bog.  Luckily for me I got food poisoning from some chicken on a stick while we were here.  I quite enjoyed having to stare at my puke while I filled up the bum hose flush bucket.  I poured too much water down one time and it was touch and go whether the chicken on stick puke and the bum hose flush water would breach the top of the bowl.  It didn’t.

The sun-sets on Phi-Phi are unlike anything I’ve experienced before.  The light dances across the water, accentuainting the piercing white spray from the wake of the elaboratrly adorned long tails.  Transforming the lush green limestone hill-sides into dark arms that appear to embrace you, seeming ly offering protection from the almost supernatural ocean.

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Little known fact: Phi-Phi is backward cap wearing fuck stick capital of the world.

I’ll leave it there for now, I’m aware that it’s alot to take in.

Part 2 to follow tomorrow….maybe.


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Barge life. Alot like thug life but with chemical toilets.


Sorry I haven’t posted anyfink for a while.  I’ve been very very busy……watching 3 ugly boring Northerners fight it out for the coveted prize of Masterchef the professionals.

For those of you I’ve heard whinging about X-Factor rigging, you should all be aware of the consequences of putting the most talented people through to the final of a TV talent show.

So what if you can cook a quail to perfection.  I’d rather have an omelette cooked by a tart with nice tits if it means I don’t have to listen to the “talented” one droan on and watch them awkwardly scratch their face every two seconds.

This is them.  Not that anyone gives a fuck.  The one at the back is Northern and boring.  The one is the middle is a bit more Northern and quite a lot more boring, and the one at the front is proper Northern, proper boring, proper pig face.

Off they scurry back to obscurity…..and hopefully darkness.

Anyway. Enough of that boring shit.  I’ve got some BIG EXCITING news!  A few weeks ago I went on barge.  A BARGE! I bet none of you losers have ever been on a barge!

The most bestest fing about being on a barge is when you get to a lock.  Locks are so EXCITING!  We had to wait for a bit because a man was emptying all the poo and wee out of his barge right by the lock.  It smelled horrible it did.  He waved at us when he backed out and thought, urrrrgh, I just smelt your poo and now you’re waving at me like you think I haven’t just whiffed your innards.  The dirty bugger.  He didn’t even have a red face or nuffink.

Then Gilbey said that I could open thelock.

OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD.OH.MY.GOD!!!!!!

He gave me the big key and I ran all the way around to the other side.  Here is a picture of me half way round to the other side with the big key.  It doesn’t look like a key but it is a key, it’s just different from a door key because it’s a lock key.  The key was quite heavy, but I am big and strong and I carried the key easily:

“Hurry Up!” Shouted Gilbey.  So off I hurried.  I was still very EXCITED!

Gilbey didn’t give me any instructions about how to use the big key and he got very impatient with me when I was trying to work out how to use it.  He tutted at me and clambered over the lock to my side.  I had never been on a barge before so I didn’t know.

He took the key duty away from me and done it himself.  I don’t think Gilbey understood how much opening the lock would mean to me.

I didn’t want to get back on the barge because Gilbey had really upset me, but ginger Rich said I could have some of his Scrumpy so I thought “fuck it”.  When I got back on Gemdog gave me a hug.  She had a tiger on her coat, I like tigers and that cheered me up.  A bit.

When you pullover on a barge you have to tie it up, otherwise it’ll float away down to Limehouse and you’ll never see it again.  Gilbey gave Lewy Pooey the tie up task but he’s a bit of a pranny and forgot to untie it when we started to sink.  If you don’t untie it then I fink the roof will come off and you’ll have a cabriolet barge.  I thought that would’ve been pretty cool but everyone PANICKED.

Lewy Pooey was very quick to sort it out, but WAIT!……how is he going to get back on the barge!?  Walk down the slope and step on you say?  Don’t be knob.  If you’ve been drinking for 15 hours then you try and jump the 6ft onto the slippery roof.

I was well up for seeing him attempt it but Gemdog  (the fucking spoil sport) said “No no Lewis! Just go around, don’t be an idiot”.  Lewis is so under the thumb that he didn’t jump from the side.  Pussy.

He climbed down the algae covered ladder and decided to jump from there!  I never would’ve thought of that, but then I’m not a bright spark like him!

As if things couldn’t get any worse after being denied the opportunity to open the lock.  He made this jump.  Gutted I was.

We chugged on down to Mile End for a coffee.  I tried to bet Gilbey £200 to strip off and get a duck in a headlock but it was about midday by this point and there were families around, so we just went home to bed.

Bye bye.

RnR!!

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They stole bike, they stole my shoes.


I come to you with extremely sad news.  My bike, my lovely shiny new bike has been stolen.  It happened a couple of weeks ago but I’ve been too upset to tell you about it.  I popped for a couple Whiskey Sours with Gem Dog and Jimbo, came out and it’d gone.  Just wandered up and down for a bit on Mare St.  Not quite sure why.   I wasn’t sure what you’re supposed to do when someone nicks your stuff.

I’ve only ever had one other meaningful possession stolen from me before this.  They were a pair of black suede Air Jordan high tops when I was about 12.  I had them at the back end of my spiffy jeans phase in about 1995, I loved them.  They made me look like a right cool mother.

They were the one of the things that in hindsight I feel quite guilty about even having owned; no not because they’re absolute rascals!  My folks never had much money when we were growing up and I pestered my Mum for weeks to get them, probably making her feel really guilty and generally being prepubescent little shit to get my way.  Mum told me that if my Dad asked how much they cost I had to tell him they were on sale and were £30.  He did ask, I told him they were £30, he wasn’t happy, he argued with my Mum.  They were actually £60.

I’ve been thinking about stuff like that alot recently.  I’m sure I was no worse than any other teenager wanting what the other kids had, but now when I really understand the value of money it makes me cringe thinking about what a strain I must’ve put on my parents.

My Dad worked 12 hour shifts as a mechanic and would get up to do private work after 5 hours sleep pretty much everyday.  Mum worked as a dinner lady and done some cleaning when we were young for the extra cash.  £60 was probably a weeks food shopping for the five of us.

I never realised what a big deal a pair of £60 trainers would be for us back then.  I remember her craftily colouring in the scuff marks on the toes with a black marker pen when I came in from playing football in them one day.  She’d always give them a once over with the suede brush when I took them off and they must’ve had about 4 cans of suede proofer used on them in their short life.  All delaying tactics for the next instalment of bitching and whining and another £60 we couldn’t really afford.

Then one day on the way home from school some bigger boys from one of the rough estates stopped me and my mate and demanded our shoes.  We’d heard about some kids from the other secondary school having their shoes nicked but just thought it was one of those bullshit stories like getting your head flushed down the toilet or that film where the woman gets shagged by a horse and licked out by a cow.

So yeah.  They gave me a punch in the side of the head (made my ear bleed) and took my trainers.  It had been raining and I remember people in cars slowing down to look at the chubby ginger kid crying and pulling his soggy socks up at the side of the road.  All I could think about was my Mum meticulously colouring in the scuff marks and how up-set she would be if she found out I they had been stolen.

I recall walking in the back door of the house, my wet socks slapping against the vinyl flooring.  I walked straight up to my room, lay face down on my bed and cried for about an hour.

I never told my Mum about what happened to those trainers.  I told her that I left them somewhere.  She shouted at me, probably thinking I had chucked them as I didn’t want them any-more.  I cried again.

When I told Mum about my bike she offered to give me some money for a new one.  I am 27 and have a vaguely professional career.  I’m still her little soldier.  When I put the phone down I thought about my Mum and my Nike Air Jordan’s.

I love my Mum.

I did a similar thing after walking home from having my bike stolen, walked through the front door, lay face down on my bed and cried.

HA!  I didn’t really!  Me!? Cry!? Don’t be a prick.  I drank half a bottle of brandy and watched Babestation.

RnR.

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Bestival – The alpaca the pig and the lazy donkey


Alpaca’s are my 3rd favourite animals behind elephants and sloths, so imagine my excitement when we went for a walk and stumbled across a pets corner with a few of the cheeky little rascals kicking about.

Look at this one.  Chilling out with the horse.  Having a bit of lunch.  Enjoying the view.  Ain’t he cute!?  Awwwww.

I’m not such a big fan of horses, but this one was nice.  He wandered over and a gave him a little rub on his hooter.  I didn’t have any sugar lumps to feed him so I just picked up some grass.  That’s probably better for him anyway, I don’t really understand why you would give a horse sugar?  I remembered to keep my palm flat.  You must ALWAYS keep your palm FLAT when you’re feeding a horse otherwise it will definitely eat your fingers.

A guy I used to work with used to say that he fed a girls horse when he stimulated their female lady lips.   He used to go “Yeah I fed ‘er horse up last night, it was well ‘ungry” and show me with a gesture as if feeding a hungry horse.

Then we come across this pair.  I’m not quite sure what had happened, but the Alpaca seemed to have had some sort of accident and couldn’t use his legs properly.  From the way he was whining and screeching I think it must’ve been pretty bad.  He could barely walk!

He and the pig must’ve been really good friends as pig was trying to give him a piggy back.  The Alpaca was much bigger than the poor little pig though and she looked to be in some discomfort herself as she tried to carry him.

There were other Alpaca’s there but none of them came to help the pig carry him.  Even the donkey who would’ve been much more useful in aiding the stricken Alpaca didn’t come to help, and that’s kind of what a donkey’s job is.  To carry stuff n that.  It was very upsetting.

Lewy Pooey decided to film it.  I’m not sure why.  I think it was so that if the pig were to be seriously hurt he could show her owners what had happened and they could piece together the puzzle.

With much difficulty the pig managed to carry him all the way over to the edge of the field, but it all appeared to have taken it’s toll on the poor swine and she had to give up…..

I think her husband was due home from work.

When we were at Bestival we found a stall that sold lots of knitted stuff.

Lewy had been smoking these things he called “Bifta’s”.  I was a bit confused as I thought Bifta’s were those great big bins that you got tugged off behind when you’re at school.  Anyway.  These bifta things made him all smiley and happy and when he saw that some of the knitted stuff was made from Alpaca fluff he immediately bought one.  I think the proceeds must’ve gone into some sort of Alpaca benevolent fund or sumfink.

That’s what I love about Lewy.  Even when he’s having fun with bifta’s and stuff he still thinks about that Alpaca and his poorly leg.

xx

RnR

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