Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I have recently acquired a copy of Football Manager 2005 so you’ll understand why the date shown above is so distant from the date shown above my last posting. Hmm, actually I wouldn’t want my friend Rob to leave a comment revealing that in reality I got the full version of the game only yesterday so I’d better alter my initial comment: I have recently acquired a copy of Football Manager 2005 so you’ll understand why the date shown above is likely to be some distance from the date shown above my next posting.

I’ll try not to let this happen too much.

So, it’s been a while. Apologies. You’ll understand I’m sure that on my return I had much to do. Including getting my old job back – although now in freelance shape and appearance. I had many friends and family to contact and much photography to exhibit. Sadly I returned home in time for… Family Karaoke! But it was good to see the people involved. Out of the usual pathetically poor choices on offer I felt the least offensive was "Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me", I sank to my knees in mockery as I warbled. Seven months abroad and karaoke had loomed large. In a guesthouse in Saigon my room appeared to be situated next to a rather loud karaoke-singing man who was consistently far less tuneful than a cats chorus. Any karaoke CD production company who produces a CD with anything approaching half-decent music rather than this vacuous clean cut middle-of-the-road shit will surely clean up. As will any camera manufacturer who markets a mid-priced camera that actually takes a photograph the moment one presses the button rather than three seconds after. Who wants to capture a moment three seconds into the future?

When that same karaoke-plagued room in Saigon was infested with over thirty cockroaches I took the situation calmly: for it was a silent afternoon. I’ll never forget the cleaner somehow cramming dozens of cockroaches into a cigarette packet before drowning them with ‘roach spray – many legs stuck out the top of the packet all thrashing about furiously as the spray took its deadly effect.

Karaoke wasn’t the only thing I came back to which cushioned my return. In Asia I had been eating much rice and noodles. And since restaurants are actually cheaper than buying food and cooking it, I hadn’t eaten home cooked food since Australia – and that was my home cooked food. So it probably doesn’t count. So when I met my dear Mama she offered me two options: a trip to the Chinese or a trip to the Indian restaurants. Not that I want to complain – I was very grateful. Actually I had missed a good old English Indian curry. Nothing beats it I assure you. The next day my Mum prepared chicken with rice…

Another reason for my posting ineptitude was that there was a certain laziness there – a desire to lay back and enjoy the comforts of home. So I‘m not too depressed to be back. I actually enjoy a quiet evening catching some television, although I’m disappointed to have spotted few changes for the better. My Playstation 2 was unpacked with great relish, and my bass guitar has been cradled somewhat. Plus it’s been interesting to stalk through London with fresh laser corrected vision. Marvellous really.

I lucked out on my flight home. Cheapo cheapo Kuwait Air aren’t exactly the most luxurious carriers I’ve travelled with and their food was as gross as I have had on a long haul flight, but I had a window to my left and two empty seats to my right. Up go the arm rests, every blanket is taken out of its wrapper and I bury myself under a sea of pillows. Bliss.

And so I’ve seen many of my friends. And almost every one of them, plus many members of my family said:

“You look thinner.”

“I didn’t realise I was fat before.” I replied in almost those exact words every time.

“You weren’t.”

“So do I look very thin now?”

“No. You look good.”

“Did I look bad before?”


“But my stomach was flat then and is flat now.”

“Don’t show me that.”

I still don’t understand. Perhaps it is something to do with the fact that I had a dodgy tummy for about a month before I returned. It was such that I felt both hungry and full up constantly. So probably my present ‘healthy’ condition is as a result of an illness. Such are the pressures of today’s society that one has to become gaunt from sickness to look attractive. No wonder the world is rife with anorexics and bulimics.

Either that or the small bit of facial hair I’ve cultivated on my bottom lip – a kind of Hitler moustache but underneath the mouth – lends a kind of stripy look that helps to make my face look thinner. Vertical stripes and all that.

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