Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I got excited yesterday. For the first time since my back went I had a couple of hours that appeared to be pain free. Obviously it was just lulling me into a false sense of security, but for about two hours I really thought I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

When I say 'pain free' I mean that in a relative way. Bearable was actually a better description, but it gave me hope that perhaps I'm getting over the worst of it. You see, I'm normally a fast healer. I get a cut and it's nothing more than a scar by the end of the week; so I'm not really used to constant, unrelenting pain or things that just show no sign of improvement. Yesterday was even more welcome as over the weekend the pain in my groin seemed to double in intensity - I thought that perhaps it was having one final sadistic fling.

Then I got up this morning and it was back to 'normal'...

It seems that my insomnia has also returned. As I hurtle towards a month off the fags, I had that first week of constant long dark nights of the soul; but once that was out of the way I went into full scale bizarro dream mode and for a fortnight I actually looked forward to going to bed, because the dreams were better than any hallucinogenic drug I took in my yoof. Dreaming disappeared from my life around the same time I discovered cannabis and stayed gone long after I stopped smoking it. I know other smokers who have the same problem - they don't dream; or to be precise, they don't have vivid enough dreams for them to remember, even fragments. My dreams have been full on Luis Bunuel adventure films and to date I've only had one full on nightmare. It was so bad, I woke the wife up. She said it sounded like I was terrified. I remember the dream still and while there was actually nothing in it that one would think of as nightmarish, the tone and feel of it was sinister and scary. The other night I dreamt about chicken noodle soup and the continuing discussion with the shop assistant trying to sell me a packet; she claimed it didn't have chicken in it, well not chicken meat, just chicken brains and her argument was, "Everyone knows brains are not real meat..."

But, yes, the insomnia is back and over the last five days I've had about 3 hours sleep a night. Like back trouble, it seems to be a Hall thing. Both my brothers suffer from it, my mum was terrible and it seems that one of my nephews and a niece are both suffering bouts. weird.

Also, without putting too fine a point on it; I'd like to have a decent dump. My back has precluded me from, you know, having a real good clearout, so to speak. I'm pretty sure that none of you wanted to know that...


I mentioned in an earlier blog that I downloaded a shedload of 1950s SF B movies. Last night I watched X the Unknown. The first thing that struck me was the cast list - it starred Dean Jagger (General Waverley from White Christmas), Leo McKern (Rumpole of the Bailey), Anthony Newley (who apart from being a very famous singer in the 1960s, was also married to Joan Collins), Kenneth Cope (Randall & Hopkirk: Deceased; and who died in the first 5 minutes), William Lucas (ex of Coronation Street), the ubiquitous Michael Ripper, Ian McNaughton (most famous for being the producer of Monty Python), and a very young Frazer Hines (famous for both Emmerdale and some programme called Doctor Who). It was written by Jimmy Sangster - another ubiquitous name always associated with Hammer films and was notorious for having originally been a Joseph Losey film, but Dean Jagger refused to work with Losey, believing him to be a communist sympathiser, so he was replaced by Leslie Norman (another name associated with Hammer and Bray studios).

It was/is quite a dreadful film, yet when I saw it as a 6 year old, it scared the shit out of me. I'm not going to give you the reasons why this is a truly awful movie, but it is so bad you have to watch it to believe it. Jimmy Sangster obviously knew little about atomic energy - this was 1955 after all - but having Leo McKern playing a man from the Atomic Energy Commission who freely admits that 'all this science stuff is way over my head' has to be heard to be believed. Some of dialogue and situations are so contrived that if it were to be released today it would surely be seen as a spoof - and a damned sight funnier than most spoofs of the 21st century are.

You have to try and see it at some point. It is a masterpiece of shit (which is also a great way of describing X, the 'monster', too).


To keep my sanity and stop myself from becoming suicidal from boredom alone, I've been baking. Last week I made a really funky apple pie, yesterday I cooked a truly excellent (the wife's words, not mine) apple, mixed fruit and cinnamon cake and a stodgy lump of pooh which was originally designed to be a banana loaf. I wouldn't eat either; I don't like ripe bananas, don't like cooked apples, hate dried fruit and only like cinnamon in samosas.

Today I baked a chocolate cake. It was wonderful. The best chocolate cake I've cooked in two decades. One of the dogs thought this too; as when I went back downstairs an hour or so after icing it, I discovered that a third of the icing had been licked off...


There's a Tory government (of sorts) and some twat has shot the prize stag on Dartmoor - no coincidences there then. Animal rights campaigners are calling it exactly what it is - a tragedy. Old Blackadder Cameron is probably measuring up over the fireplace at No.10 to see if the head will sit there nicely.


As much as people are going to think I'm embarrassing myself here - I'd like to see Take That in concert next year. I think it would be an experience; I think Robbie is an excellent showman; I think the first Take That album on reforming is pretty much as good a pop record as you can get and the only thing that puts me off is the simple fact that when Take That were a five-a-side team, they didn't actually produce any decent music...


My good friend Roger reminded me that the worst day of the year is fast approaching. The day the clocks go back. Considering it would save this country over £3billion if they left us at GMT+1 and then put it forward to GMT+2 during the spring and summer; you would have thought that the miserable shower of shit in government would have bitten that particular hand off; but no; we're stuck with the sun going down before 4pm in December. I hate this time of the year at the best of times, but this just makes it even worse.


Currently listening to a 1997 album that I can only describe as Prog-Ambient. It's by an artist called Alien Mutation (or a chap called Jake Stephenson). The album is called DNA and this is a man who obviously was brought up by a family that liked it's weird and wonderful. It certainly isn't dance music. makes the Orb seem a bit commercial...

Talking music; people who keep up to date with my Facebook bollocks will see that I've been leaning heavily towards Polish Prog-Metal band Riverside in the last week. I'm a bit of a fan, I just wish these metal bands would steer away from screaming RAUS or however it is said or spelled; it's really not necessary. But then again if you listen to some of Swedish Prog Metal band Opeth, you wonder why they even bother with a vocalist - musically it's really rather good and then Mikael Ã…kerfeldt screeches down the mic and you wonder just who he's trying to impress. The thing is when he actually tries to sing, he doesn't have a half bad voice...


Might see if I can get an adaptor for my old keyboard to see if I can use it with the new PC, as this new keyboard is really doing my head in...

In fact, this new PC is doing my head in. It appears to have a mind of its own. It does things without asking me; it appears that it doesn't like Flash Graphics or whatever it's called and it goes to places I don't want it to. I've run every virus, bug and wanker check I can possibly find and there's nothing 'wrong' with it and I'm pretty sure that the operator, who has had 20 years of PC experience, isn't doing anything wrong either.


Got a new modem from Virgin last week. I'm really impressed, also slightly miffed. The old modem was installed in 2003 and technology has advanced considerably. A 700 meg file now takes about 6 minutes to download as opposed to 45 minutes. However, dealing with the 'helpful' staff at Virgin Media central has become so labour intensive and difficult to understand that you feel like switching to the far poorer Sky service just to fuck them off...

1 comment:

  1. Virgin Media is Sky now, isn't it? Or is it just the TV they sold to Murdoch's crooks?

    but having Leo McKern playing a man from the Atomic Energy Commission who freely admits that 'all this science stuff is way over my head'
    That doesn't sound too implausible. I can just imagine Cameron giving one of his chums a job there.

    "But David, I don't know anything about nuclear energy."

    "That's okay, what do you know about vast pots of cash, kindly donated by our friends in the energy business?"