50/50 share in proceeds for Northern lass and Southern lad able to match mouth noises to written symbols

Red Roger Red Hat's White House
The colour of Roger Red-hat’s hat is not a trick question but with no mention of his face, I coloured that red too – thinking outside the box, you see, means sometimes colouring outside the lines. On the next page, my teacher used my pencil to write in large letters that Roger lives in a white house then watched as I traced over each letter with my red felt-tip pen. Pleased, she moved on to another child in the class and left me to draw Roger’s house. Once satisfied, I put down my pencil and picked up my red crayon. As Pollock described it, ‘When I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing.’ There is no hesitation in those crayon strokes, just the determination of a willful boy with none of the doubt that would come to define him as a man. While I am incredibly fortunate to have this piece as a testament to an innocence once truly free, there does remain, however, one nagging concern with regard to the difficulty Red headed Roger Red-hat’s wife would have faced whenever looking for him in that red house. In retrospect, my mother clearly wasn’t hitting me hard or often enough.

How’s your reading? Does it give you headaches? Perhaps you need glasses. Do your lips move? Doesn’t matter, because I need a couple of people who can match the noises coming out of their mouths with the corresponding symbols on the pages of a book, just like back when books were thrilling accounts of all manner of adventures  which people in coloured hats were having. Continue reading “50/50 share in proceeds for Northern lass and Southern lad able to match mouth noises to written symbols”

Middlesbrough Boro Ironopolis

Trying to free up space on my hard drive, found some old footage of Middlesbrough I shot before I left (yes, I used a potato – very funny.) Decided to stick it on YouTube with a Ghostbusters tune behind it.


The Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable and don’t check pupil dilation. Paul Daniels is from Middlesbrough.

Every man, woman and child should try a Parmo before they give up the ghost.

I wish I’d filmed more; there’s another video a comrade and I made for Teeside University: it can be found here.

Please ensure that you write at least 200 words per box.

A photograph of a poorly finished Gibson.
They taught us to always include an image with an article so here’s this one of the guitar I’ve just stripped down and finished. It has nothing to do with the post itself, but then nor does my sex life, which is what it pretty much replaced for a fortnight. It doesn’t have any strings because I was an idiot and thought I’d save a pound by ordering them online.

I remain connected to my Teesside classmates through Facebook and Twitter. It’s fun to see the relationships between them growing; strangers becoming buddies, flirts becoming fucks – all that dirty romance. Continue reading “Please ensure that you write at least 200 words per box.”

Lukewarm turkey and an ode to the single-bed

The height of Summer 2000 in the north of the great State of Victoria. Cells like these were home for itinerant farm workers. On moving in to this one I discovered my bed was home to a Redback nest. It was too hot to cry.

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.

– William Gibson

It’s good that, isn’t it; I love that sentiment. Saw it on a t-shirt the other week and looked it up. Not familiar with William Gibson, but from scanning his wikipedia entry he sounds interesting. I think Rickerby told me about him, back in the day.

Anyway, it was with this thought in mind that I decided to radically cut down on the little white pills proffered by a long line of GPs with an angle on going straight. None of them have ever been able to adequately explain what is ‘wrong’ with me anyway; and, oddly, most seem to lambaste my desire to find a label, calling them ‘unhelpful’. Continue reading “Lukewarm turkey and an ode to the single-bed”

My return to university and another death in the family

Cities of Gold and Mirrors: Got a little high and went along to MIMA before I left town. Not as big as it looks but definitely worth a look if you like your art modern and your staff friendly.

A girl I developed a debilitating and unrequited crush on once called me a drifter down her perfect nose. We’d met at a staff party; I’d been drinking warm beer in a friend’s apartment, watching England lose to Germany with the sound off, A-ha on repeat and bag of something expensive went up my nose before I could leave the house.

I’d just broken up with my girlfriend and everything was a mess, then this divinely sculpted creature asked me to dance. I took offence at the drifter tag, but then again I was younger and stupider back then – now it seems to fit.

This week marks the 11th time in seven years that I’ve bundled my life into a van and driven off at speed. I moved to Middlesbrough from Glasgow six months ago on an awkward and ill-planned mission to grab a bachelor degree by the balls before the price went up; I seemed to be doing quite well but somehow it didn’t seem to fit. Continue reading “My return to university and another death in the family”

The future’s bright – the future’s dinosaurs

Middlesbrough, one afternoon.
Polishing the brass on the Titanic? – An economy in crisis; cheap, out of town hypermarkets; and the ease of internet shopping could change the UK high street as we know it forever.

Middlesbrough town centre’s future as a shopping destination has received an eleventh-hour reprieve in the form of two exciting initiatives.

The projects come at a time when the town’s failure to secure city status in its recent bid has disappointed many locals; the first is a ‘Portas Pilot’ town bid and the second, a proposal to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID). Continue reading “The future’s bright – the future’s dinosaurs”

The monsters we turn into or marry

More Human than Human - Forever hungry, ill-disciplined and overly protective of those he loves; Mum's dog, Alfie, brimming both with stupid exuberance and the pathos of not nearly enough treats or tummy rubs, is the latest hairy testament to her parenting methods. God, I miss him.

It’s been a while – how’ve you been? I’ve missed you. David? Sorry I forgot your birthday. Love, etc.

Those of you who read my hilarious, insightful and downright sexy posts on twitter and facebook will have got the gist of what’s been going on dayn sayf so forgive any repetition.

My Nan passed away peacefully – well, as peacefully as you can, struggling with pain and confusion, surrounded by powerless ‘strangers’, your conciousness rattling around a stubborn husk – and her ashes are now interred in the grave of my Grandfather.

Father Paul’s eulogy was uplifting and pure of heart – a real comfort for us and an experience with the church without parallel for me (I went to a Roman Catholic school in my teens.) If you’ll forgive me for opening the homophobia door, his awesomeness is proof positive that gays should not only be allowed in the church, but that they should be running the fucking show. Continue reading “The monsters we turn into or marry”

Exclusive: Cleveland Police ill-prepared for apocalypse

I don’t want to alarm anyone living in Middlesbrough any more than they already will be – having woken up and, rubbing the sleep from their eyes, remembered that they live in Middlesbrough – but far from ‘Putting People First’, Cleveland Police doesn’t have your back; in fact it would appear that they are perfectly content for you and your loved ones to burn in the fires of prophecy.

I put in a Freedom of Information request last month to their HQ; I found a popular template, which helped make me sound smart, and added my query, which didn’t: Continue reading “Exclusive: Cleveland Police ill-prepared for apocalypse”

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