Friday, December 31, 2004

We Live In A Beautiful World, Yeah We Do, Yeah We Do. 

A cold sore is a salad of finely shredded raw cabbage, carrots and onions, dressed with a mayonnaise or a vinaigrette.

Coleslaw is a small blister or cluster of blisters usually occurring at the margin of the lips, and is a form of herpes simplex.

Try to remember this when asking for assistance in the supermarket.

Happy New Year to all my readers, especially those who find it all a bit much.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Donate online to the British Red Cross Asia Earthquake And Flood Appeal
If you’re a UK taxpayer, remember to tick the little box when asked.

White Christmas 

On Thursday I became a Bloke On A Train.
I joined Girlfriend and her team for an evening in the pub. Leanne was also out with her team, but there wasn’t any fighting or anything.
Obviously everybody was excited to see me, and the girls in particular were very keen to come and sit on my knee and whisper sweet nothings in my ear. They told me their hopes and their dreams for the coming year, and bitched about what so-and-so was wearing, and everybody went away feeling warm and fuzzy and pre-Christmassy, me included when I could stand up.
Towards the end I found myself on more than one occasion downing shots at the bar with a lovely young canoeing instructor. She’s going to take me out there when it warms up a bit.

On the train into town my phone rang. I thought it would be Leanne checking in to report their current position, but it was my music publisher Dave.

“Merry Christmas Tim! Listen, I can’t talk for long, I’m at a really wild party!”
“Oh hi Dave. Bloody hell, it’s been ages. How’s things?”
“I just wanted to say that… Where are you? It sounds like you’re on a train.”
“That’s because I am.”
“You’re what? I can’t hear you.”

And that’s when I committed the cardinal sin. I really thought I would have known better.
“I’m on the train!” I yelled.
Everybody else on the carriage stared at me, then in unison slapped their palms against their foreheads and tutted in dismay. I felt deeply ashamed, and haven’t dared mention it to Girlfriend.

Anyway, me and Dave had a pleasant chat for ten minutes. He said he’d lost a few clients just recently so next year he’ll be able to focus more of his energy blah blah blah, and I told him he was talking shit, but it wasn’t really his fault since he was after all only a figment of my imagination, and we had a bit of a banter about that - him in complete denial of his fictitious standing, and me trying but failing to persuade him otherwise - and that raised a few eyebrows amongst my fellow passengers, which he found amusing when I told him about it.

Christmas Day went well, thank you - and hey! I hope yours did too - and I’ve managed to wash most of my dinner out of my hair now, which is possibly a record.
For once it was a white Christmas, as the poet almost says, although in our case it was a hail storm rather than snow. Still, it was exciting enough for me to record this wintry little scene from my Attic Studio Complex window.

I’ve eaten enough chocolate to scuttle a submarine, and Girlfriend has invented a new board game, a hybrid of Monopoly and Risk where the objective is to occupy foreign territories and build hotels on them.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I’ve Just Seen A Face 

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you exceeded the daily recommended dosage of Strepsils?
Then wonder no more.

Here’s a photo I just took of Neil Hannon while making some soup.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

3..6..9 Seconds Of Light 

Girl On A Train Head Quarters.

Glorious pictures on the wall by Andre. Good, aren’t they?

Hellish arsing about remounting to make them fit in the frames, yours truly.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

High Land, Hard Rain 

It's raining it's pouring the old man is snoring, he went to Grimsby to install a Unix server, a long boring drive across the Pennines, you get past Leeds and it’s just mile after mile of nothing and he’d left his sandwiches on the kitchen table when his Mum phoned to ask him to pop round and fix the timer on the central heating sometime, so he left late and clean forgot about his lunch and his mobile phone too, and never got Stella’s message that the trip had been postponed because the IT manager there was off sick with back trouble following football and couldn’t make it in today.

He got back to the office at two thirty, but the rain was coming down in sheets and he couldn’t face the run from the car park to the back door, so he showed himself the red card, took himself off the field of play, and walked down the tunnel with his head down, defeated, unable to recover from a first minute own goal and went home for an early bath instead.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

When It Stops Being Fun 

How did this start? Where will it all end?
Can people go on like we have and remain friends?
We’ve been here before, we know all the moves.
Stripped down to the bone now, there’s nothing else we can lose.

We walk a thin line and we know every street.
And we’ve learned how it feels when the earth falls from under our feet.
And we start as we mean to go on and it ends when it stops being fun.

Gather me up in acres of sleep. Wrap me around your love silent and deep.
And when I awake and you’re gone, no taking to task.
Stay with me for one last night, its all that I ask.

Oh I know you’re going to leave me
But please please please don’t leave now.

Blog Rockers: Right click, Save Target As… (make a wish)

Monday, December 13, 2004

One Of Everything 

A shooting star just missed your head, landed in the garden in the shed, crashed and burned while you were sleeping in your bed.
You woke up to wreckage everywhere. You just showered and washed your hair, patched me up and sent me spinning through the air.

So I’ll take one of everything, I’m gonna try anything to keep me orbiting and coming back to you. But it’s as cold as hell up here, drifting through the stratosphere. I’m afraid I might disappear if I stop for a minute.

And if I don’t come round again for a while, and I don’t return your calls, and my distance offends: please don’t remember me that way, I’m thinking of you every day. I miss my home. I miss my circle of friends.

Angel headed hipsters: right click, Save Target As...

Sunday, December 12, 2004

You're The One For Me, Fatty 

In today’s shabby clip show edition of A Free Man In Preston, all the characters are played by themselves, except the part of Tim, who is played by smouldering Hollywood pin up Jude Law.

We find the hero of our story - Tim, you fools! Tim! - in the snug of a hotel bar in an exotic European capital. He is joined by his friend and colleague Terry. They are both wearing Santa Claus hats, and they are out of their heads on Malibu. A roaring log fire crackles in the background.

Tim: Well, Terry! I take my hat off to Stella and Tabs. [Tim takes his hat off, revealing a messed up mop of ‘hat hair’. He puts the hat back on again.] They certainly had me fooled.
Terry: That’s right Tim! They made a proper pair of Charlies out of us!
Tim: The genuine article.

The pair fall silent for 10 minutes, staring at the roaring log fire in contemplation. They shake their heads and tut in disbelief.

Tim: So just to recap, Terry, let me try to summarise the story so far.
Terry: Be my guest, Tim.
Tim: Alright then, Terry. Stella joined the company back in August, and immediately set about rubbing us up the wrong way. So when she got wind that Neil’s leaving do was happening in Manchester
Terry:we fibbed and said it would be in Liverpool instead.
Tim: So we had a great night out without Stella or Tabs. And then - and this is where the weird stuff began - when Stella came into work the following Monday, she kept going on about the brilliant time she’d had with us and how her friend Tabs had taken a real shine to Terry.
Terry: [Beaming proudly] That’s right, Tim.
Tim: But what had actually happened was that she and Tabs had turned up in Liverpool and realised that we’d stitched them up by deliberately sending them to the wrong town. So instead of getting in a strop about it, like a big stroppy eighties style yuppie witch, Stella got her revenge by having a bit of fun at our expense.
Terry: At our expense!
Tim: Your’s in particular, Terry.
Terry: On my expenses in particular!
Tim: That’s right Terry, because Stella warmed to her task, and pretended that you and Tabs had started going out together. Which was very confusing.
Terry: Very confusing!
Tim: But after a while, Tabs began to think Stella had gone too far. She felt guilty about Stella making your life a misery…
Terry: Misery!
Tim: … and started to feel a bit sorry for you. And that day she came in for her interview, when she first actually set eyes on you…
Terry: and me her…
Tim: … she fancied you immediately and decided “You’re the one for me, Fatty.”
Terry: I thought she was well fit.
Tim: So when she…
Terry: I had my all time best ever wank thinking about her that night.
Tim: Riiiight. You know it’s possible to over share, Terry?
Terry: That’ll be the Malibu. Burrrrp!
Tim: So anyway. When she turned up for her first day at work, while I was on holiday, she decided that since she was already supposedly going out with you, all she had to do was pretend to carry on as normal. And it worked! She asked you out for lunch, and you stayed at her’s that night, just like you supposedly had been doing for weeks.
Terry: The woman’s a genius.
Tim: And she’s got a lot of balls.
Terry: No she doesn’t.
Tim: I know that. It’s a figure of speech.
Terry: Oh yeah baby, she’s got a great figure. And a lot of balls. And fantastic…
Tim: And that’s all we have time for tonight, folks! Cue title music, camera fades to black and roll the audience applause.
Terry: … tits.
Tim: Bugger. Are we still on air?
Terry: On what? Did you say we’re on air?
Tim: No. What I said was “Do you fancy another Malibu?”
Terry: So am I! Let’s have a drink!

Cue title music, play canned audience applause, camera fades to black.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Found Myself In A Strange Town 

I’m back from an exciting business trip in an exotic European capital.
The view from my room was lovely and the surrounding area was like something out of a glossy brochure. I’d like to go back some time with Girlfriend.

Terry came along too. He was in good spirits. Over a few Malibus in the hotel bar he told me that Tabs has fessed up about the whole 'doppelganger Terry' thing.

I’ll tell you about it next time.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The Gift 

It’s like Santa’s grotto every morning in reception.
Everybody has been doing their Christmas shopping on the web and having it delivered to their work address, so at ten o’clock when the postman drops his load and Tabs sends out an email saying come and get your pressies kids, it’s like Oxford Street down there, all sharpened elbows and bruised shins.

There was a parcel for me today. I waited until the rush had passed and decided to try and apologise properly to Tabs for last week’s nonsense.

I ran through the speech I’d prepared in my head while I waited for her to come off the phone. It rang non-stop and I gave her a little “it’s OK, I can wait” smile, and she gave back a “sorry about this, it’s really busy today” smile in return.

There was no sign of a let up after three or four minutes so I leaned over and grabbed a post-it note off her desk, and scribbled, “Sorry for being a knob. I was out of order.”

She read it, smiled and passed it back to me, sticky side up. There was already a message on the other side. It read “Apology accepted. Sorry for snapping at you on Tuesday. I feel better now.”

We shrugged at each other wordlessly for a moment or two while she carried on answering her phone, then I took my parcel and walked back up to my desk.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

It's Coming On Christmas, They’re Cutting Down Trees, They're Putting Up Reindeer And Singing Songs Of Joy And Peace... 

...oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on.

When I’m on time going into work, I pass Father O’Connell on his morning constitutional somewhere near York Road. Then I’ll get stuck behind the number 11 at the bus stop by the Wrea Green mini-roundabout and overtake the cyclist with the purple rucksack somewhere near the Ford garage.
If I’m running late, Father O’Connell can be anywhere between The Fairhaven and the White Church, the bus can be anywhere between the Ford garage and Warton, and the cyclist has been known to get as far as the other side of Freckleton before I’ve caught up with him.
There’s something reassuring and comforting in the regularity of these sightings. They are like pieces in a model train set, the only variable being my timekeeping. Children need routine in their lives, and that includes me.

Today I was unusually early, so my Holy Trinity were: on St. Thomas’ Road; too early; and Lytham windmill. For an added bonus I got to watch Car Park Wars On Ice from my first floor sniper’s position, which is always a treat.

This afternoon I ‘attended’ a conference call, which meant donning my S Club Seven headset, switching my phone to mute and spending a couple of hours daydreaming out of the window.

Spike and Rex the security guards were gritting the car park. It’s not part of their job description, but Rex’s brother works for the council and can supply as much grit as they need, no questions asked, and it’s become something of a tradition.
Every year on this day, the first day of Advent, the Season of Good Will Hunting and Peace To All Men officially kicks off and manifests itself in the form of two big ugly blokes with shovels and a wheelbarrow.

They work together as regular as clockwork marionettes, steaming like racehorses, mouthing the words, “Shovel, scatter, shovel, scatter, the body of Christ, the blood of Christ, the body of Christ, the blood of Christ, do this in remembrance of me and do unto others as you’d like to be done unto yourself, and once again the Angel of Islington says “Peace be with you, and mind how you go, it’s slippy over there,” and Joseph the carpenter looks at his wife and says, “Christ, I suppose this means you’ll want some more shelves putting up,” and his wife the blessed Virgin Mary nurses the newborn bollock naked baby Jesus and says “Hush, I’ve just got Him to sleep,” and the same as last year and the same as every year, with a tear in her eye she places Him in the manger wrapped up in swaddling clothes and lovingly whispers unto Him the words of the old standard: I gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it away.”

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Copyright(c) 2004-2010 by Tim, A Free Man In Preston.
It kind of goes without saying, but this is my blog. I own it.

Slightly daft MP3 disclaimer: All MP3's are posted here for a limited time only. Music is not posted here with the intention to profit or violate copyright. In the unlikely event that you are the creator or copyright owner of a song published on this site and you want it to be removed, let me know.