Archive for ‘My life is a bit mad’

March 1, 2011

Random Photo of the Day 12: My Office!

In March 2010 I got some powerful friends together to help Save BBC 6Music. And they succeeded! 🙂

March 5, 2009

The Librarian, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Banana

Some people, quite reasonably really, have asked me why I now appear to be some sort of weird creature, (actually an orang-utan), on twitter. There is of course a good explanation for this – or at least an explanation – so here it is:

The Story of How I Went Ape

‘The Librarian’ is a much-loved character from the much-loved Terry Pratchett’s much-loved Discworld series of books: think Harry Potter meets Monty Python. In fact before JK Rowling came along he was the UK’s best-selling living author, & I know who I prefer! I’m delighted to have discovered he is now on twitter: @terryandrob

The Discworld city of Ankh-Morpork is a city of which it is said “When a man is tired of Ankh-Morpork, he is tired of ankle-deep slurry.” The city’s ‘Unseen University’ – run for & by largely quite stupid wizards – has a great Library, the layout of which is “a topographical nightmare, the sheer presence of so much stored magic twisting dimensions and gravity into the kind of spaghetti that would make M.C.Escher go for a good lie down, or possibly sideways.”

In the second Discworld book “The Light Fantastic” (dramatised badly on Sky in my opinion – David Jason as Rincewind, I don’t think so!) a powerful wave of magic turns the Librarian, one Horace Worblehat, into an orang-utan. At the time the Wizards were too busy trying to avert the end of existence, as is usual in these matters, & so no serious attempt was made to return him to his human form.

After the magical dust settled however he found that he actually quite liked being an orang-utan. He had already developed a taste for bananas & peanuts – a very healthy diet – & had found that having 4 strong limbs with opposable thumbs came in very handy when climbing up huge book-shelves & sorting books. It also had not escaped his attention that a very large & very strong ape can make a much more convincing argument than a weedy wizard when discussing late returns. So an orang-utan he remained.

“What’s that got to do with you?,” I hear you cry.

Well, in mid-February I began a piece of work that I had been putting off for a while as I knew it was going to be demanding, time-consuming & quite unpleasant. Time was running out for its completion so I got on with it. The more I did it the more I hated it. It seemed to drag on forever, even longer than I had thought, papers were scattered everywhere, I was losing important documents, etc., etc. It also happened to coincide with the exact date of the 5th anniversary of the death of my father. My mood could be seen from some slightly surreal tweets I made at the time, for instance: “Evil pixies are following me around nicking my stuff”.

When I’m stressed I tend to lose my appetite. For some reason bananas are one of the few filling things I can eat when my appetite is off. I also have a bad habit of staying up too late (as I keep telling my wife, there are worse things to be addicted to). Hence the occasional tweet along the lines of: “Living on coffee & bananas. Have yet to decide if this is healthy”. And people think I make this shit up!

Then one day I tweeted: “Dang! Living on coffee & bananas again! I’m going to start living in a library, swinging around everywhere & saying “OOK” a lot at this rate”, referring to the Discworld’s Librarian. It occurred to me that there were worse things in heaven & twitter, & my virtual transformation began.

So I went a bit mad & became an orang-utan.

The Librarian was transformed through magic, Drolgerg through stress. As time & the job went on when I got too stressed I found it strangely cathartic to be able primally scream-tweet (new word by the way: I claim immediate copyright) “OOK”, virtually swing from virtual chandeliers & eat lots of bananas. It was strangely satisifying when 1 or 2 others who seemed to be in the same boat sometimes joined in! (Note to self: must blog some time about the cathartic & therapeutic properties of twitter).

The job was finally all over bar the OOOKing on February 27th, precipitating a banana-dacquiri orgy the likes of which the primate world had never before seen.

“So why are you still an orang-utan?”,

I hear you gasp, incredulously. Well, like the Librarian I found that after I no longer had to be one that I kinda liked it. It definitely has it has its advantages. When your life is reduced to the wonderful simplicity of when you will eat your next banana there suddenly becomes a lot less to worry about. And any time I did get stressed all I had to do was shout “OOOK EEEK”, a virtual universal language, swing from the light fittings for a bit then eat a banana. Also it’s surprising how much mileage there is in jokes about bananas & nuts.

So on February 23rd, up until when my avatar had been blacked out in the New Zealand laws protest (by the way – Go Team!) instead of bringing my face back I revealed my new apey visage. After the Facebook thing & 1 or 2 slightly weird instances on twitter I also became a little concerned about revealing too much personal information online, especially given the nature of my work. I decided then that the world might actually survive for a bit longer without having to look at my ugly mug on a screen.

I was also enjoying being a character-twitterer, having realised that character-twittering is one of the many tribes of twitter – of which ‘Uncle Dick’ @RichardMadeley is the Chief.

Obvious now isn’t it? Well OK then, suit yourself!

(When) will I revert to being human again? Who knows? For now, I’m enjoying aping about, & I still have plenty of bananas.

Oook eek eek OOOK!

Update: twittletattle has written about alter-egos on twitter  here

February 17, 2008

Things I Do That Maybe No-one Else Has Anytime Ever

These are things that, while probably won’t make the Guinness Book of World Records or anything similar, may be unique to my existence. If any of them are not – I want to know!

1) As I at present work from home, for my sins I get to do the housework – which can mean, for instance, listening to Radiohead on the wireless ‘phones while Wielding My Mighty Duster. This in itself may be unique, at least for a (theoretically) ‘mature’ married male, but I would love to know if at any other time in human history the following 2 sentences have ever been uttered (yes I do talk to myself) together: “‘How To Disappear Completely’!” & “Where’s my duster?”. Answers on the back of an elephant please to the usual address (that would be here).

Funnily enough ‘Everything In Its Right Place’ fits in quite nicely – maybe ‘Kid A’ is actually a concept album about housework – Discuss. BTW ‘Paranoid Android’ sounds amazing if you get the vacuum cleaner to kick in at just the right moment – Rock & Roll!

November 23, 2007


Sunset in the Galapagos

Blue-footed Booby

We are not an ordinary couple, thankfully. So when we married, for our honeymoon did we go somewhere quiet, warm & relaxing on a beach in a hotel with a swimming pool? Hell no – far too easy! Why do that when you can cruise around the Galapagos Islands, spend a night in Lake Titicaca, climb the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu, then stay in the Amazon Jungle? I got mugged & had my wallet & passport stolen in Cuzco, had a nightmare getting a temporary passport from the bureaucrats in Lima, nearly missing my flight back, got very sick from the cold & the altitude in Titicaca such that I thought I’d have to pull out of the Inca Trail climb – but I wouldn’t change it for anything else! Absolutely loved it!

November 22, 2007

In-Laws, Laws, Out-Laws, Micks, Rock Radio, Beowulf, Shopping & George Michael

I’m sure you’ll be delighted to know that I’ve phoned my mother-in-law to say thanks & she seemed quite happy about it, as is hopefully my nice wife as well. I didn’t do it last night, as I became distracted by my nice wife providing dinner, by our watching Ugly Betty in bed (I know there’s a joke there but it’s just too obvious), & then my watching England being especially crap, even by their standards, at football. I will not speak of this again. I also support the All-Blacks. Did I mention that I’m not happy? Anyway, I ‘phoned this morning so at least my in-laws are.

Can you believe I’m now also being sued for sexual harassment by some spotty kid in a game shop?! I don’t understand this world any more.

By the way, my inspiration so far for this already-classic blog is my listening to what is now my all-time favourite radio station of all-time (mate) since BBC6 became Radio Silly Kids +5: “Planet Rock” (prounounced “rawk”), so you now know who to blame. Who’d’ve thought Rick Wakeman would be so funny? Least of all him, I expect. Don’t remember many hilarious gags in his million-hour long “The Legends Of King Arthur & the Knights Of The Round Table, Their Mistresses, Their Horses & What they Ate For Breakfast, Part 3” (or whatever it was called). All that stuff is just sanitised & white-washed Beowulf with the names changed which missionaries at the time used to convert British ‘pagans’ to Christianity anyway. Hopefully this will be made explicit in the forthcoming film, although it looks like it might be all mouth & no trousers. I recommend reading Seamus Heaney’s excellent translation to get the ‘real’ story.

Wow – rock radio to Anglo-Saxon mythological poetry in 1 paragraph – the pills are working nurse!

What an exciting life I lead! I did the washing-up this morning (our new dishwasher is still in it’s box due to someone called ‘Mick’ walking off the kitchen refit job halfway thru). After that I went into town to buy a heater (reason: kitchen is freezing cold due to radiator not working & cold air coming in through gaps in wall due to someone called ‘Mick’, etc…), a new cafetiere (reason: my new coffee machine broke, I can’t find my old cafetiere as it’s still in a box somewhere due to someone called ‘Mick’ (I think you know the rest), & the cheap cafetiere I bought last week seems to be allergic to hot water), & some Regucol (reason: you don’t want to know, but I blame ‘Mick’).

I’m now sitting at my desk listening to George Michael & Gorillaz (not at the same time) & trying to fax various people about my apparently growing list of court cases. Another ‘Mick’ has also just informed me that he is unable to finish my kitchen – must be a ‘Mick’ union somewhere that has blacklisted me for not being nice to (trans.: “not letting myself be bullied by”) ‘Micks’. I used to like ‘Micks’; my record with ‘Micks’ has up until now been excellent! I used to work with a ‘Mick’ & he was great – he played bass in a great local band (called “Alaska” – you can’t get cooler than that), & banged on drums at festivals – he was a cool guy! What’s happened to the ‘Micks’ of this world? Maybe he wasn’t in the union. He also lives in Brighton rather than Birmingham, & that probably helps. Bit of a ‘cool’ divide there, no offence intended (please don’t sue!).

“George Michael & Gorillaz” – that is not only: 1) a collaboration I’d love to see, 2) a possibly superb mash, 3) an excellent name for a rock band, but also 4) probably illegal in several US States – & not just “Outside”. And before any lawyers get uppity (as if I don’t have enough of that already) I love the guy – we had his (& Mary J Blige’s) version of “As” played at our wedding, & he has written & performed some of the most heartfelt love songs ever; his album “Older” is one of the saddest most beautiful albums I ever expect to hear. And I’m straight – go figure! And (on the subject of being male & hetero) the “Too Funky” video – wow! For that alone I will be forever grateful.

That’s enough rubbish for now I think – where’s my dinner?

November 21, 2007



I’m Drolgerg. I’ve just had a birthday (25 again) & I’m not happy. I got a birthday present from someone called ‘Mick’ (not his real name) – legal papers. Thanks Micky! He’s suing me for a kitchen refit he didn’t want to finish that I funnily enough haven’t finished paying him for. “Finish the job & I’ll finish paying you, no pay me & I’ll finish the job, no…” you get the picture. He’s a B*stard. In case you can read, Mick, we’re countersuing for squillions – yeah! My new boiler doesn’t work either. The bloke who put that in is also a B*stard. My legal team is being briefed (I met this bloke called Dave down the pub & I need to return his underpants – har har). Where are all these London Poles (isn’t that a basketball team – if not it should be) I keep hearing about – some of them should move here to the Midlands – I’ve got plenty of work for them!

On the other hand (back to my birthday) my in-laws gave me £50, which was nice (my wife just read this my first ever blog – her reaction: “have you ‘phoned to say “thank you” yet?”; she also corrected my spelling), my sister gave me a nice book (Peter Jackson: From Gore to Mordor) & my nice wife gave me some nice chocolate. I want a Wii – & not because my bladder isn’t what it used to be (not very good) & I drink a lot, although that’s true. The deal : my nice wife pays for it as a combined Xmas / birthday prezzie but I have to get it; I can’t however find 1 for love nor money. (Actually that’s not true: I found some for more than we/she are/is prepared to pay, & my offers of sexual favours were scorned – you would think those spotty kids in the game shops would be less choosy).

Anyway, I feel the need for a ‘phone-call to my Mother-in-Law coming on, so I’d better go.

originally posted 21 November 2007