The alternative name for Dionysus who was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, and of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. He has had a mention in the forthcoming book; he is exactly the sort of Stokie who could forget he owned a Porsche.

Second Century Roman Statue of Dionysus, after a Hellenistic Model

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Iconic prescient eulogy song

I never mentioned much on the passing of Gil Scott-Heron earlier in the week. He was a key artist for me in the eighties, representing a number of essential musics and ideals, he was the Godfather of hip-hop, a jazz singer, a soul man, a poetic political protester (Winter in America is the best of these songs, for me, a proper elegy – it will make you cry). He was very cool too, of course, like drug addicts can be. When Red Ken was in charge of the GLC he had a habit of setting up free gigs on the south bank just across the river from the Houses of Parliament, expressly designed to inflame Maggie, Norman St John Stevas, and the Daily Mail. I saw Gil Scott-Heron and the Midnight Band down there a couple of times (‘And to my left welcome Brian Jackson on flute!’ – you don’t here that one at too many gigs) and on one of these occasions GSH himself smiled at me. No, I didn’t imagine it, he really did: I was a twenty year-old in a trilby on a summer’s day. I wrote my first published work about him – a letter to the NME, and at my height of dope smoking I listened to his album Reflections a thousand times. I can still recite the thing if you like: B-Movie is the great tune. I am sad he has gone; but he has taken everything a man can take in his time and that will always cut you down short. Sometimes artists are just like that because that’s the way they are. He has left a piece of himself behind, a real legacy; can you ask for more?

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Coming soon

In the second half, on the seventieth minute, the mood changed. A cold white panic swept through the crowd as the young Arsenal player Jack Wilshere went in on Pennant with his studs up. Our winger took exception to this by shoving his forehead into Wilshere’s face. It was not exactly a headbutt, but these moments are judgement calls, and it could easily be interpreted as such. It was not a certainty for a sending off, but that was a definite possibility and if the possibility came to pass then Pennant would be suspended for the final. Here was a disaster in the making, a turn of events that would strip us of half of our available width and flair. And, as things stood, we could be without the other half anyway: Matty Etherington was on the treatment table where he’d been for a couple of weeks; there was nothing in Stoke-on-Trent that was causing more concern than the state of the left winger’s hamstring. The confrontation between Wilshere and Pennant took place on the touchline right in front of us; Shawcross came over to speak to the referee. We could not hear what he said, but anyone could guess. ‘It’s the FA Cup final you’ll be putting him out of ref, please (hands together, gesture of prayer), please don’t do that.’ As he awaited his fate and the crowd held its breath Pennant put on a virtuoso cameo along the touchline. He is slight, he has many tattoos, including a selection that rise from his neck, he is rather beautiful and he is very cool. He is so rich that he forgot he owned a Porsche which he had left behind him down in Spain. One change of outfit into a sequined bodysuit and he could step directly into a British seventies soul band. His cameo consisted of an exasperated mime along the touchline. He was being persecuted here, for sure, for being ex-Arsenal, for the goal he had already scored, for the one he had set up, for having the nattiest hair. But, be that as it may, most crucially, and beyond any reasonable doubt, he was innocent. The ref fingered his card pocket and went walkabout.

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Blog rantline

It’s come to the Blogmeister’s attention that there has been some displacement activity followed by some digression on the Booyakasha Comments thread. As follows. Do join in if it might help. But first of all we need to ask you some questions for security purposes under the data protection act. How many letters are there in your dog’s first birthday…?

OS says:
June 1, 2011 at 11:12 am

Today, rather than cleaning the windows, I wrote two letters in an OS Moment. One to Carphone Warehouse telling them they were bunch on con artists and utter
tossers, and the other to their insurance company telling them they are bigger swindlers that those who swindle them.

Katie lost her phone. I went to The Carphone Warehouse, gave them chapter and verse on how it happened and a police crime number, and expected them to replace the lost phone because it was insured. The matter was ‘referred’. I then received a letter from ‘Geek Insurance’ asking me for further details, including all the minutiae of what type of bag it was in; what sort of clasp it had; who was the last call made to, and why; a copy of the police report; etc. etc. etc. The bloody thing is an 18 month old LG Cookie, and I told them I was withdrawing the piffling claim because I have an impeccable insurance record and I have no intention of allowing a company that calls itself ‘Geek Insurance’ to ruin my reputation.

What I didn’t tell them is that I’ve stopped the last six direct debit payments, which will just about get me a phone like for like to the one that is lost. I expect another letter from them in due course asking me why I’ve stopped the payments, and I’ll enjoy not cleaning the windows again.

markelt says:
June 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

The mission statement of all insurance companies is ‘give us your money, then f*ck *ff’. I’ve had those questionnaires when I was burgled twice. The subtext behind every question is this: give us just one reason not to pay you.

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The joy of Utensils

When I was at the Elms Catering College, Stoke-on-Trent, 1978-80, I was in a cohort of about twenty students who each had to buy a set of chef’s whites and a wrap of knives and implements prior to enrollment. We tended to have our names sewn into our clothes and engraved onto our knives so as to know whose was which when it came to having a mass scrap before clearing up after a frantic service in the training restaurant (opposite the North Staffs Poly campus, pints of mild for 30 pence at lunchtime). I still have my ten inch chopping knife which, to be true, won’t really take an edge now how ever much you hone it, but my favourite item is my flexible spatula which has served me for turning omelettes and loosening the edges of pancakes for thirty years. I’d be lost without it.

I may put up a picture later.

And now, Ladeeys n Genelmen (drum roll) the blog gives it up for…

These fragments I have shored against my ruins; still though, you don’t always see how beautiful an object is until you transform it into another medium

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Lewis Hamilton has made a joke about being punished for using the bus lane and for driving with bald tyres saying that these are not the real reasons he is repeatedly getting his collar felt for RTA violations. The joke has not really worked according to the Guardian here. I don’t know, it may just be that the F1 Flics lack le sense of le humour but on the other hand it may be that if you’re going to try it you have to get the line right.

The Hozzmeister and the Young Mogul

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Rust Never Sleeps

This is part of my collection of corroded metal that I pick up from on the beach.

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