Because I’ve been partly deaf since birth (a hemi symptom) I watch television using subtitles. On Saturday evening – after Kris Doolan came even closer to achieving his milestone this season – the live subtitles on the BBC News Channel called Scotland’s oldest professional football club “Inverness Partick Thistle”.

Some people find errors in live subtitles annoying, but I find them funny – especially if they’re in an item about noxious politicians. About two or three years ago I was watching Channel 4 News when they were about to interview Tony Blair live. This appeared in the subtitles as “Tony Blair lies“.

One thing that does annoy me, however, is when subtitles suddenly disappear, as they did while I was watching the 1983 TOTP on BBC4 on Saturday night.

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I entered the Wolverhampton Literature Festival poetry competition with a poem about hemiplegia awareness. My poem addresses the issue of people, because of hemi symptoms , wrongly assuming I’m drunk / hungover / stoned – even though my GP and everybody who knows me well knows that I’m teetotal (and I’ve only taken illegal substances once in my entire life – at a reggae party when I was 17). It also addresses the fact that I often get people not wanting to sit next to me because of my hemi.

Last night I had a dream about this event that I’m hoping to go to at Wolves Lit Fest. It was the first Ned’s Atomic Dustbin-related dream I’d had for about 22 years and the first Neds-related dream I’d had that wasn’t all about dishy bassist Matthew Cheslin (second-left in top photo in the link). I really hope I go to Jonn & Martin’s talk and Miles’ book reading – and that my poem wins (which it probably won’t).


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My 43rd birthday

So 2016 is finally over. The positives from the screwed-up year: I discovered that my Game Boy and all my games for it are still working, Thistle Weir Ladies (Partick Thistle’s women’s team, for those not familiar with them) won promotion, Thatcher didn’t rise from the grave, Theresa May put three clowns in charge of Brexit (so it could still fall through, but I’m clutching at straws here), Planet Earth II and Still Game were fabulous and Prince left all these unheard songs in his vault which I’m looking forward to hopefully hearing eventually. I was also amused by the James Joyce Tribute Diving Pool  – snotgreen and scrotumtightening – at the Olympics (incidentally, I’m planning to read A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man – which I first read when I was 13 – again soon).

Sunday was, of course, my birthday. I got two books – Bill Bryson’s The Road To Little Dribbling and Stuart Maconie’s The Pie At Night – , a big bar of chocolate and £30.

Later this month I’m hoping to go to the Wolverhampton Literary Festival, to hear Miles Hunt read from his latest book (which is his diaries from the early ’90s, when The Wonder Stuff had a number one single). If the discussion between Ned’s Atomic Dustbin singer Jonn Penney and author Martin Roach (whose book The Eight Legged Atomic Dustbin Will Eat Itself – the 2006 edition of his 1991 book about Pop Will Eat Itself, The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin – I read in July / August 2016) is still going ahead I’ll go to that too.

Happy 2017 x

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I’ve finally seen Frozen

Until Christmas Day, I was probably the only person on Earth who hadn’t seen Frozen. And now I love that film as much as everyone else does. I especially love Olaf.

As usual, I deliberately made too much bread sauce in order to eat leftovers of my favourite thing in the world. Present-wise I got a Bentley Rhythm Ace CD, Alexei Sayle’s latest volume of autobiography Thatcher Stole My Trousers, a big bar of chocolate and £30.

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Christmas greetings


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Earth Hour 2017

I will, as I do every year, be taking part in 2017’s Earth Hour – which is on March 25th. Sign up here: Earth Hour 2017

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Most Annoying Movie Characters Ever

I’d like to begin this with a disclaimer. I’ve never seen the Star Wars prequels so I am unqualified to comment on Jar Jar Binks. So without further ado:

VIVIEN WARD (JULIA ROBERTS), PRETTY WOMAN: There is a word missing from the middle of this film’s title – “Annoying”. As well as the fact that the film glamorises the world’s oldest profession. Ms Roberts is also annoying in Hook.

THE MARINER (KEVIN COSTNER), WATERWORLD: I actually believe that Waterworld could have been a good film if they’d let me into the editing suite and the world had seen my Costner-free cut of the film. The Mariner is almost as dislikeable as Rob Titchener. I also believe that Cutthroat Island could have been a good film if it had a completely different script.

JOHNNY FIVE, SHORT CIRCUIT AND ITS SEQUELS: I’ve only seen the first Short Circuit film, but Johnny Five has to be the most annoying movie robot ever (unless there’s an even more annoying movie robot in a film I haven’t seen).

THE ENTIRE CAST, THE CARE BEARS MOVIE: I was dragged along to see this film when I was 11. It is a very boring film and all I can remember about it is the awful songs.

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