I’d Love To Turn You On #7

With tracks from A Tribe Called Quest, Stevie Wonder, Monica, Les Amazones d’Afrique/Angélique Kidjo and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

I’d Love To Turn You On #6

With tracks from Zapp & Roger, Hieroglyphics, Cabaret Voltaire, Abraham and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

I’d Love To Turn You On #5

With tracks from Pere Ubu, Cos-Ber-Zam, Purple Disco Machine, Gruff Rhys and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

I’d Love To Turn You On #4

With tracks from Alter Ego, SOPHIE, Patti Day, Little Dragon and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

We’d Love To Turn You On

Life is like a broken record right now, right? Doing basic things, like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, cooking good food, washing the pots, talking with civility to other people in the house and going out for a walk feel like monumentally difficult tasks. We’re living life in a loop, every day is a repetitive struggle, tensions are mounting, time is simultaneously dragging and moving at great speed. And fuck knows how we’ll feel when we are allowed to return to normal. Will we remember how to behave? How to talk in a large group of people? How to dance in the company of others? How to order a beer at the bar? Will we even want to do that shit? And how did we find the time for all that socialising pre-March 2020?

Lockdown’s getting fucking tedious. The lack of sunshine doesn’t help. The snow was fun though, eh?

Some of us are extremely fortunate, in that we’ve got subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime to keep us occupied. And lots of books. And large music collections. So all that stuff we’ve been promising to watch/read/listen to has filled the hours where otherwise there would have been nothingness.

What the world probably doesn’t need right now is another podcast. Yet, as a project to develop an in-house album listening club failed because nobody was interested in sitting still and exercising their ears for 40+ minutes (I think Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue was the end of the road), we still kept sharing what we were listening to with each other thanks to scrapping over whose device would connect to the bluetooth speaker. We’ve taken our music sharing and attempts to be persuasive over why our respective songs should dominate the sound waves to its logical conclusion, by taking the somewhat extreme next step of recording our chats and making them public. That’s what lockdown makes you do, people.

Sharing music with others in an effort to get them to like it too is nothing new, of course. It’s what the basis for several thousand skips full of discarded mixtapes was all about. Yes, we’d pretend that we’d lovingly put together two sides of a C-90 for someone else but what we were trying to do was influence their listening in order that they comply to our tastes. Or fall in love with us. Or be our friend. Or whatever. But our painstaking selections between pressing record and play said more about us than anyone that might have been the recipient of our ironically labelled TDK tapes.

Still, it seems like a good idea, to record these things. It justifies, in a small way, my purchase of several tonnes of audio equipment from various online retailers. It gives a sense of purpose to the sorting and sifting and categorising I was carrying out on the hard drive where my music mostly lives these days. It’s an excuse to purchase some tracks and albums I don’t own. It’s another reason to listen to music, not that one should need an excuse to indulge in an activity that releases a healthy amount of dopamine and, as my podcast co-host Sarah says, tickles the serotonin, and share one’s love for the tunes that get us going.

A few weeks ago, after I’d gone on for a couple of weeks about how great an idea this was that I’d had, we set up some recording swag, sat down, played each other four tracks each and babbled almost incoherently between the songs, threw the mp3 recording up on Mixcloud, and that was that. We enjoyed it so much we recorded a few more. And we enjoy it so much that we’re going to keep going for a while longer. Quite whether anyone will listen to it consistently or actively isn’t something we consider, unless we say something stupid (often), factually absurd (often) or mispronounce an artist’s name (often). We’d like people to listen to it, of course, but we’d probably be doing something similar even if there wasn’t a microphone in front of us.

I’d Love To Turn You On is a simple format, cribbed from other successful formats like, um, every fucking radio show where people play records and talk about them. The pitch goes along the lines of, “it’s basically Desert Island Discs meets Mr and Mrs. We each pick four tunes we love and try and persuade each other to love them too.” Pitch over. Although sometimes we forget to do the persuading bit, or we both like the song a lot, or we dislike the artist so much that we’re having none of it.

Neither of us, naturally, know what we’re on about. We take solace in the simple fact that music’s not supposed to be talked about. It exists to be listened to, enjoyed, adored, danced to, and to invoke all manner of emotions that in no way can be articulated. To paraphrase the mostly pointless Billy Joel, you can’t get the sound from a couple of music fans jabbering on about the pretty music they love. Still, it’s got some charm, has our podcast. Most of the time we like a tune and, like a lot of people, can’t really explain why we like it beyond repeatedly saying “I like that. I really like it. I like how it makes me feel. I like that funny sound although I don’t know what it is.” Besides, I have to go easy on my co-host because my choices are clearly the best.

The good news is, cos of the way Mixcloud works, you get to hear the songs we choose in their entirety. Which is the most important thing. In the absence of chats down the boozer about what songs/bands/albums/artists you’re listening to at the moment, it might fill a gap between going back to your latest boxset immersion on Netflix/Prime.

Perfectly timed for an early-morning Valentine’s Day spooning your lover/partner/betrothed/husband/wife/ANOther, you can listen to a special treat, from our ears to yours, available tomorrow (Sunday February 14) morning from 8am.

With tracks from Ciccone Youth, Taylor Swift, Damien Rice, Magnet and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

New episodes of I’d Love To Turn You On go live every Sunday from 9am and you can listen to all episodes at the link below.

I’d Love To Turn You On #3

With tracks from NoName, Sergio Mendes, Metronomy, Tirzah and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

I’d Love To Turn You On – #2

With tracks from Crass, Bicep, The Field Mice, Crumb and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

I’d Love To Turn You On #1

With tracks from Rilo Kiley, In Flagranti, Pavement, Neneh Cherry and more, all interspersed with silly conversation and efforts to articulate what we love about music.

2020 vision

Disjointed notes from a Tier 3 north east coastal town.

2020 has been a challenging, clusterfuck of a year for everyone. If we’d had the vision to predict what this year had in store on December 31, 2019, most of us that live in the disunited kingdom that rotten old no deal Brexit-lovin’ England is a part of would probably have elected to fuck off to the sunshine, where at least we could have stocked up on Vitamin D while we were isolated from the friends and family that make life worth living.

Everyone has lockdown misery to share but still not that many people, right now, to share it with. We’ve lost people, we’ve lost work, income’s gone down, bills have piled up, short term plans have become mid term plans at best, long term plans can’t be made, we’re miserable, we’re alone, cut adrift, and a lot of us are still trying to work out ingenious ways to stop our glasses steaming up when we don a facemask. Still, at least our hands have never been so clean. Nobody has escaped this, even the nutjob “it’s on the internet, it must be true” coronavirus deniers, conspiracy theorists and anti-vaxxers going out of their minds trying to put a date on the day of reckoning, stupid fucks (I do hope they come out of this ok, then go on to learn how to discern fact from fiction).

Of course, when all this started, it had that sense of fun of 1970s three-day-week power cuts, that previous occasion of Britain’s Blitz coping in a crisis spirit rearing its pathetically arrogant head. Except those power cuts didn’t go on for almost a full year, did they, nor prevent you seeing anyone outside your immediate circle, while gathering around a candle collectively humming the theme tunes of Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em and The Generation Game would hardly have eased the sorrow and heartbreak of not being able to visit your old mum in her care home when she was dying. An article on the Express online about the jolliness of Britons throughout the winter of discontent, in a rather predictable ra-ra-ra ain’t we an amazing nation manner, points out that “With no late-night television people went back to doing things they used to do. Nine months after the blackout winter there was a baby boom. The three-day week also enabled families to spend more time with one another.” So, there’s a symmetry with that bygone era, and I’m sure you’ve spent several months copulating like rabbits between either getting on each other’s tits in a more understandable stir crazy way or watching boxsets via that contemporary version of the contraception that is ‘late night television’ – Netflix. I’m sure those that live alone and have struggled much more as a result can hardly wait for the rise in births in the coming year. Although my gut instinct is that there’ll be a rise in separation and divorce once one can get hold of the required legal representatives.

As for weird changes and surprising moments… Now, I’ve embraced working from home for the most part of two decades and I’ve never got on well with being in an office of any description because, mostly, I dislike having to indulge in inane conversation with people I haven’t chosen to be around. Part of me is somewhat aghast that everyone else is suddenly seeing the benefits of remote working – people muscling in on territory I’ve quite clearly crafted a delightful pissy circle around – while part of me is very pleased that office life will never again be regarded as normal. As my youngest son, whose various computer, console and online device screens are merely an extension of his eyes, pointed out, we were made for this. I do hope other people are made for it too, because it’s nice being able to work within easy reach of the fridge, not get dressed, smash a day’s work and then fuck about. Yet that lack of social interaction can take its toll on mental health, so it’s not for everyone. And obviously employers struggle with trusting employees when they’re out of sight, so the biggest change is yet to come, and, rather than getting that, employers are no doubt already cooking up plans to further their exploitation of the people that fill up their bank accounts.

The biggest, and most unfathomable surprise during all this is that, amid attempting to learn the piano (rather than busk a few chords and indulge in one fingered noodling. Sort of getting there, still grappling with lines and dots), promising myself but failing to get through a pile of unread books, promising but failing to watch all the films and TV I’ve missed out on, promising but failing to be creative but, other than Discomposure, stuttering along blindly and mojoless, especially when it came to writing a collection of short stories, promising, but failing, that I’d blog about this everyday, promising but failing that I’d write a series of essays capturing the spirit of these times, mostly abandoning the noise of social media, admiring how bored I look in zoom and teams meetings, missing dancing and live music more than I thought I would, missing mates, the pub, holidays, my old mum, is that… is that Taylor Swift’s album folklore has been my cultural highlight of the year.

I know. Weird, huh?

Not sure how it happened.

Not sure why it happened.

Not sure what it means.

I mean, I’ve eaten a lot of music in the last few months. Should my favourite album of the year not be one from a more ‘credible’ artist? Should I be banging on about the brilliance of IDLES’ big shouty unit shifter Ultra Mono? Proving how down with the youth I am by giving an immediate response to Loski’s Music, Trial & Trauma: A Drill Story? Convincing you how much I adored Ed O’Brien’s debut solo album Earth? Providing a breakdown of Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela’s Rejoice which, it has to be said, did keep us company in the garden during the summer months (along with Michael Kiwanuka’s 2019 eponymous effort)? Pretending that Nicolas Jaar’s Ceniza, Caribou’s Suddenly and Autechre’s Sign all shook me to the core? Should I not be wittering on about all the glories to be found on the Super Deluxe reissue of Prince’s Sign O’ The Times? Shouldn’t my choice be more aligned to my self-confessed constant craving for heart-pumping, hip-shaking, arm-raising, foot-stomping funk, disco and big beat? Or as angry as any anarcho punk I’ve digested? Is it even acceptable for a grey-haired old white man to adore the mature work of a 30-year-old who released her first album when she was 16, an artist whose only previous work that has lodged in my brain the god-awful nursery rhyme, teen-targeted We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Some indie record that’s much cooler than hers would have been a much more obvious, nay sensible and street cred-enhancing choice, here. Or at least convincing you of the merits of some rhythmically mechanical, industrial crunchiness at 120bpm.

Still, there it is. Taylor Swift’s folklore. An album that’s arrival was announced 17 hours ahead of its release. The timing caught my attention and I bought it in a moment of boredom, to add to the pile of tunes I was working through in the hope that I’d find something to wallow in for a while, or at least to add to an ironic playlist, learn on the piano for a Christmas singalong or simply dismiss from a position of high art superiority – “you’ll never guess what shit I listened to during lockdown”.

I sat down with a cup of coffee and pressed the play button on the expensive device one now plays these things through. I was expecting plenty of pop hooks and stupidity, tunes that would work in a distant future when stadium shows are allowed again, and loads of stolen elements from current genres hoovered up and blasted back out of the commercial homogenisation tube, post misappropriation, in a slightly wonky fashion. I wasn’t quite prepared for the intimate, haunting and cinematic journey that starts with opener the 1 and continues right through to closer hoax. From the opening soft touches on the piano, the lo-fi glitches, clicks and pops, rattles, flutters and wackiness that could have been created in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop of yore, the odd sounding pads and wobbles, the fragility of the vocals, the ghostly under-production, the ‘why use too many notes when three will do’ approach to melodies, through to the space that’s left hanging in the air, the mix of reality and myth held in the lyrics, and the fine storytelling, all of these tunes demand attention – and close your eyes while you listen and you get a rather fantastic accompanying film. In an era where sitting down and listening to anything from start to finish often feels like a chore from which any distraction is welcome, and from someone who’s trajectory to singer-songwriter pop stardom was pre-paved, mapped out and hardly a struggle, pretty unexpected. Isolation’s been good for Swift, she should be left on her own more often if this is the result, while continuing to collaborate with The National’s Aaron Dessner. The use of lowercase titles, annoyingly ee cummings as they are, is a reminder, in case you missed it on listening or simply by looking at the cover art, that this woman is in a mode of stripped back understatement, aside from the occasional ladling on of strings or unnecessary doubling of vocals. Taylor Swift is searching for something, all on her own, in the same way that we are. She’s looking backwards, forwards and contemplating what it means to be here, now, with or without people. “Look at this godforsaken mess that you made me.” Existentialism has never been so listenable.

Obviously I’m happy if you feel the need to laugh out loud at me, part of me realises how silly this might all read. But I wonder if, when I look back on this clusterfuck of a year, and all that was snatched away from us, whether I’ll continue to hold Swift’s effort in such high regard.

Like everyone else, I’m bracing myself for a raft full of dystopian efforts from creatives working across all artistic disciplines trying to make sense of a world coming to terms with the impact of a global pandemic, the twisted ideology of neoliberalism, mass unemployment and what a great big looming depression will mean to our lives, and a planet doing its best to dispose of what’s doing it the most harm – us – but I reckon this slice of what is, essentially, escapism, and more of this ilk, is what I’d prefer to spend my time with. I’ve had enough of politicians in the UK failing to answer direct questions on their mismanagement of the nation’s health and wellbeing and bunging millions/billions to their mates in this corrupt chumocracy, and all the stupid fucks on social fighting each other rather than the targets that deserve it. These are worrying, challenging times. So more folklore, more tales of compassion and understanding passed through generations, more holding hands and holding on to each other as this unfathomable juggernaut picks up speed, more stories and art that connect and protect communities. Yes, more folklore.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me. I’ve just read that Miley Cyrus has released a new album.

Blogging cycle

There was a time, many moons ago, when I wrote a blog entry each and every day. It was mostly during my heady days at the local newspaper when, if one was seen typing furiously, you could get away with pretty much anything, including blogging every day and also writing editorial for other publications on a freelance basis, merrily in opposition to one’s contract of employment. If you look busy and have somewhat oblivious and self-centred managers, they think you are busy. Life hack, all yours.

The daily blog was the result of interviewing Richard Herring on his Talking Cock tour, when he told me that the reason he blogged daily on his site Warming Up was that, well, it’s obvious now given the title of the blog, it warmed him up. Richard has written 6,500 consecutive entries (I’ve just had a look). So, having marvelled at his screen saver during the interview which announced ‘Richard Herring is Gay’ (recently changed to read such, Herring claimed, by Stewart Lee). So I started blogging every day to ‘warm up’ although the only thing it warmed me up for, in reality, was firing off 1,000 words to some magazine or other and an accompanying invoice for same, whilst ignoring all of the tasks that my employers assumed I was busy with.

Richard Herring, incidentally, gave me one of his sandwiches during the interview (maybe to distract me from his screen saver). When I interviewed Stewart Lee a couple of years later, I mentioned this and Lee was a little taken aback, “I’m surprised you got anything out of that fat bastard, well done,” and also denied any knowledge of the screen saver. A harmonious double act, those two. I have sat next to and within stroking distance of Stewart Lee on a couple of marvellous occasions – once on the back row of the Pleasance, at Edinburgh Festival, when he directed the Mighty Boosh’s Arctic Boosh, and more latterly at a gig in Brixton when he was working up his material for Content Provider. On both occasions I wanted to touch him and tell the real life, actual Stewart Lee of my love for the on-stage character Stewart Lee but didn’t because, well, I’m sure he didn’t want bothering because he was a bit busy. I’m nice and empathic like that. Lee is, perhaps, the only hero I have left in my life and the next time I find myself sitting next to him, which I probably won’t, I will tell him.

Anyway, blogging. We’re all told that the internet keeps things forever but, pleasingly, a lot of those daily entries have evaporated to an unavailable corner somewhere and, lo, my internet footprint is less than it should be. Some of it is still there, on an old blogger, but even the old wayback machine can’t find a few years worth of later entries. Most of my efforts in the ‘blogosphere’, as many a fool thinking diaristic daily writing was the future once described it, charted irritable encounters in corner shops and supermarkets where retail staff determined to hold conversations with each other left me waiting for more time than was necessary as I stood at the tills with a hot and spicy Peperami stick and a can of San Miguel. Occasionally, I’d document my interactions with the many racist Daily Mail and Express readers of York. That, or stuff about people coughing loudly in theatres (mostly the people I went to the theatre with).

I started writing this blog post, if they’re still called that, with some sense of where it was going. For last night, I had an encounter that reminded me of the stuff I might have blogged about and I thought, oh, if only I had a blog to capture this moment, then realised I do and that this is it.

It was a cycle-related incident. Now, cycles are a big deal in Hull right now as the council just splashed a load of government money on creating, at a fast and furious pace, pop-up cycle lanes here, there and everywhere. The money came from the £250 million emergency active travel fund, at the point when the new normal was being envisaged as a utopia where we’d all cycle for the rest of the limited life remaining for humanity on planet earth, before it’s done with us, and cars, rather than simply being convenient metal death traps oozing carbon and other toxic filth, would be consigned to the scrap heap faster than a nation could extract itself from the European Union. The first stage, I read, of an eventual £2bn investment to encourage alternative ways to travel, such as walking and cycling, thus relieving the pressure on public transport, which doesn’t and never will, serve the people that might like to use it if it ever turned up on time, got you to your destination and didn’t smell of wee, armpits and faeces.

Any efforts to encourage cycling and the abandonment of motor vehicles shouldn’t be contentious. Certainly not in Hull, a city so flat that there’s no excuse not to take to two wheels, other than the population is incredibly wary of any ride out involving an encounter with an object known as the Anlaby Road flyover, one of the few gradients on the city’s road network, a whoppingly insignificant climb that is to be avoided at all costs, as if it were K2, Everest or Kangchenjunga, lest there be a requirement to shift down to a low gear on the stolen bike you bought off some gadge at Walton Street market. There is some talk, among the city’s cycling fraternity, of the pleasure of freewheeling back down once the summit is reached – people, often those that wear clothes purchased at Sports Direct, or those with Kestrel lager fuelled self-confidence, or some with self-evident dietary problems, and often those with a combination of all three – push their bikes up to experience this thrill – yet this is an extremely rare occurrence.

Yet the recent pop-up cycle lane has been met with much criticism, some of which even makes sense.* Even from me. It appears, in the haste to create these new lanes, and in the giggly excitement around the bright future on the horizon, that the safety of all road users has been somewhat cast aside. Not least by the council, who, in a moment of temporary insanity and once the green lanes had been painted on the existing tarmac, promptly (and mistakenly, they said quickly afterwards) also painted some parking bays that meant the ‘cycle lanes’ were also parking bays and that cyclists would have to zip out of the side of the road they had been bequeathed and back into the carriageway containing a load of frustrated drivers, irritated not only by having to watch folk on two wheels sailing by much faster than their expensive cars leased via confusing personal contract hire and personal contract purchase deals but also looking at a bus lane, recently extended to 11 and a half hours (a move “to protect cyclists and encourage more bike travel under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order.”) with very few buses in it. Grinding slowly, as they did so, on a journey towards the city centre, while also wondering why, at a time when there has been a reduction to cars on the road because a) people are still working from home and b) those that aren’t working from home have been made redundant, an effort seems to have been made to recreate the type of traffic we might have experienced back in the good old days of pre-Covid 2019.

Now I like Hull City Council, they’ve done some great things over the last two decades but on this, this road madness, they’ve fucked up majestically. It’s almost as if nobody at the Guildhall has ever been to the Netherlands – despite it being a simple hop away on a P&O Ferry, or via a quick flight from Humberside Airport to Schipol that is now faster than a trip down any of the city’s main arterial roads into the city centre – and experienced what actual cycle lanes are all about. A place where cycling is prioritised – which it should be – and a place where they haven’t simply painted green paint onto tarmac and a load of accompanying, accident-baiting white lines. No, in the Netherlands they have separate bike paths that run parallel to the roadway and everyone is very happy and safe and nobody is thinking, as they drive alongside the cyclists, I know I’ve got a blind spot but I’ll be fucked if I’ll slow down to let that man in extremely tight cycling shorts nip in front of me because he’s having to leave his cycle lane behind. Separate bike paths that run parallel to the roadway would be a very wise investment of £2bn. Green paint and white lines and endless zigzagging fuckwitery are not, government money or no. It is only a matter of time before a cyclist is killed, sadly, due to this scheme.

So there’s the context. There is friction between road users in the city at the moment and those of us, and there are many, who are both car users and cyclists, are no doubt caught up in very serious conversations with ourselves.

Anyroad, I had navigated my way past this new vehicular and transportation madness last night and, as I almost hit the home straight, I witnessed two junior cyclists ride out of a park nearby, straight onto a zebra crossing sans looking left, right, left, because it’s been decades since Kevin Keegan or that bloke that played Darth Vader reinforced the message, forcing a car to swerve around them, although in doing so he saved them from a nasty accident and certain death. Such is contemporary life that the lead young cyclist, a rather stocky, ugly looking child with an enormous, potato-like head and riding a bike that was a not cool several frame sizes too small for him, shouted abuse at the driver.

I turned a left after the zebra following this incident and, lo-and-behold, the same potato-headed youth, having crossed the road, rode his cycle across the pavement, over the grass verge and onto the road I was traveling down at a speedy but accelerating 17 mph and right into my path. I applied the brakes, as you do, as I don’t like riding over cyclists because, remember, I am one too.

I stopped and wound the window down to have a chat with Potato Head Kid, whose little friend was now at his side. Now, back when I was watching a lot of Curb Your Enthusiasm I might have been somewhat more Larry David about it, hurled some abuse to make me feel better and driven off smugly in my protective steel can. But, given that there is a lot of animosity between road users on the streets of Hull right now due to the aforementioned reasons, and that, while he was Potato Head Kid, he was also an actual child not a character I had swiftly invented with very little consideration, I thought it better to impart some wisdom, politely. I saw myself as a diplomat in this instance, the man that would, magnificently, bring road users together, one that the city would talk of for years to come.

“Hey lads. A word of advice. If you are going to pull back onto the road, don’t forget to look over your shoulder to check for cars. It might save your life.”

Potato Head Kid smiled at me, then laughed. I took him in. Having dismounted, his disproportionate body was revealed. Not only did he have a large head, like a potato, and a stocky frame, his torso was much shorter than his legs demanded. If this was an art school and I’d turned in this creature as a portrait, I’d have been asked to leave immediately, escorted off the premises and be banned from the purchase of any sketching materials for eternity.

“Did you hear what I said?”

“Fuck off, you cunt,” came the swift reply.

I liked his candour. It had no doubt been fuelled by all of the reports he’d read – if he could, in fact read – about the new cycle lanes in the city and the reaction to them from motorists.

“Seriously, just pause and take a second to look over your shoulder, that way everyone is safe and sound and you’ll get home in one piece.”

“Who the fuck are you talking to?”

“It’s really as simple as being aware of other road users. It just requires you to open your eyes.”

“Fuck off. I said fuck off, you cunt.”

Clearly this wasn’t the moment that I would unite the city and all that travel around it. Although I wasn’t giving up. I must have the final civilised word.

“It would be good if you listened to me. And opened your eyes occasionally, as you ride your steed through the streets of this fair city.”

He threw his cycle, way too small for him, despite his lack of height, down to the ground. I considered suggesting he purchase, or steal, or buy a stolen bike from that gadge at Walton Street market, a bike that wouldn’t accentuate his alarmingly weird aesthetic. Then thought, no, Potato Head Kid deserves some love. He clearly lives a life devoid of affection, he has no positive role models, he is left to his own devices on these tough avenues and alleyways. So I pondered suggesting to him that, rather than throw it to the floor aggressively, he take care of his cycle, and then it would take care of him.

“Fuck off. Fucking get away from me,” he shouted, winding up his arm like a cliche from a first generation console game fighter, “fucking get away from me now, drive on, you fucking cunt, drive on.”

So there we have it. When I blogged on a daily basis, often events like this would happen and I started to wonder if I was making them happen just so I had something to write about. For example, I was rear-ended, had my car written off and was hospitalised by a Kwik Fit lorry once, and once I’d recovered from the shock of said lorry introducing itself to the interior of my car, almost breaking my wrists due to clinging like fuck to the steering wheel on impact and had the glass removed from my hair, I thought, hey, what a great blog that’ll make. Which is why I don’t blog so often these days.

*But not that recent criticism from an ‘actor’ who was affronted by cyclists choosing to ride on the pavement because they didn’t want to risk their lives by riding in the cycle lanes, and shouted at them “there’s literally a cycle lane, right there, next to you,” as if they didn’t know. They did know, they just didn’t want to die that day, and would much prefer Netherlands-style bike paths that run parallel to the roadway and for every road user to be happy and safe.