The Eggsfiles

The EggsFiles: my ironic commentary on social networking in 2010 – I’m fairly convinced people don’t want to know what I had for dinner, breakfast or high tea, however Eggs have come to symbolise not only the daily struggle (or not) of breakfast on tour, but on a wider level the cultural differences that bind or separate us, all symbolised by The Presence or not of the Fried Egg on our Breakfast table, which serves as a symbol for so much: our whole eggistance in fact. Just think of me as the Mulder and Scully of Breakfast Perplexities, trundling across Europe. Because the Eggs are Out There!

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Life on Mars?

My name is Natasha Maddison. The world had a pandemic and I woke up in 2020. Am I mad, in a coma, or forward in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

Every day for the last year and a bit I have woken and – just as in any bereavement – I have had that blessed few moments of thinking it was all a dream. A few seconds of having forgotten this strange new reality in which we’ve all become immersed.

I don’t feel I’m unique in this. I’m sure that you too have experienced this pretty repetitiously .

To be honest in the beginning there was a certain sense of luxuriating in waking up and knowing there was nowhere to go and nothing to do. A conferred legitimacy in lounging around eating snacks and just not doing a thing.

But once upon a time – not long ago really – I travelled the world as the manager of a legendary musician, saw places, travelled on buses and planes across the roads and skies of the planet.

Dressed up every night, announced the band and watched night after night after night people being given pleasure on a grand scale.

Once upon a time I sat on a bus with a bunch of people – some of whom I loved unreservedly and some, well, with a greater reserve but like any families we were full of weirdness and dysfunction, and it was our mad family and our weirdness and dysfunction.

The bus pulled through the night, across borders and bridges and autobahns and motorways, on and on sometimes stopping only for breaks or driver changes.

We would pull into parts of the world that were exquisite and parts that were – well, shall we just say less than exquisite- some of us would walk the streets, when we could, stretching our legs and minds to what was around us. Once we walked to Red Square and back (10 miles) counting classic Russian cars along the way, sheltering somewhere from the mother of all hail storms.

Other times we ran across highways to visit some dusty charity shop; a SallyArmy repository of treasures; sometimes a whole city of shops worthy of any Aladdin’s cave. I walked back with a peacock under one arm to the complete embarrassment of my compadre that day.

Now dear Reader I gather the up those finds and turn them into brooches.

I fashion jewelled hair clips from the feathers of Salvation Army Quarters. I make Strange Fasinators as headware, and next weekend- weather willing- I am going to the coast to ply my wares. I shall arrive in the same place where William of Normandy landed 955 years ago and set up a stand and it will feel like selling merchandise at a gig and I shall even more miss everything.

Half my life has been on the road

Now I am crafting myself inside out as a way to “get through” this. .. Get Through! now there’s a laugh, we are in a Global Pandemic, a Collective Trauma, something unexperienced which we cannot even see the damage done. I don’t know if the phrase means a thing against that backdrop.

In some attempt to connect with my musical life I have named each brooch for a song or a lyric. This one is called “Want You to Blow”… most of you will get the reference given who my boss (still) is.

you can find it and the others here

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AstralAnemones

https://astral-anemones.square.site/

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astralanemones/

(thanks to the writers of Life on Mars? )

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Get on Up (I wish it had): in which I argue we all deserve better and so did Mr Brown

I’m watching a movie on a plane. It is a story of a young Black man coming from nothing without a real mother or father, who went on to become the champion of the world. It could have been the James Brown story but it’s not. It’s the documentary The Undisputed Truth made by Spike Lee about Mike Tyson. I laughed and I cried and I didn’t want it to end. That’s what I should have felt watching the James Brown movie.

The problem with Get on Up is that it never does get on up to the heights it should. As I write this the police are lining the streets of Ferguson with military equipment in their hands. I think America, particularly Black America deserves better, and needs better than this poor film.

And I am sorry it is just that. A poor film. No, not the acting; Chaswick Boseman in particular does a fine job – it is simply a poor film in terms of its construction, its editing, directing and most importantly for this movie, in the way it fails to deliver the story it really should be telling.

Quite naturally I come to this from a biased perspective and I know I can’t put aside that bias when watching and discussing this film. But my bias has turned into something substantially broader than whether or not the film does “right” in its portrayal of some the members of the James Brown Band. Or even a grumble that so many are missing entirely from the story. My bias has now become much broader because James Brown – for all his faults and flaws- really deserved better.

The storyline of  Get on Up is basically: Black kid who came from nothing, from poorest of poor, made a lot of money in the music business, went a bit crazy through drugs, lost all his money and possibly his mind and waved a gun around.  Is this the important message of the movie for 2014? I’m hearing a lot of “at least kids will learn about James Brown from the movie” – but learn what exactly?

In the 1960s the two most powerful Black icons in the world were James Brown and Mohamed Ali. What each contributed to Black Power and to Black Pride would take a longer essay than this, and I am certainly not the person to deliver it.

Even now in 2014 with a Black President sitting in the White House, the shadowy side of the USA is playing out on the streets of Ferguson.

I’ve been talking to people who drive the shuttles to and from the shops and airports, the radio DJs, Cops on the street, and the families of some of the band members,  to hotel staff and Sky Caps. Most African Americans over a certain age will tell you about the first James Brown concert they went to. I just spoke to man whose mother took him to see James Brown in concert at 5 years old, he’s going to be celebrating his 45th birthday this weekend, I don’t know him – may never meet him again, but he still remembers that concert and wanted to tell me about it. And it is that aspect of cultural influence: the degree to which James Brown is embedded in African American culture – indeed in American culture per se, which is completely absent from this film.

The film lets down the generations who were growing up with James Brown  and generations to come, it lets down every single person who can remember their first James Brown concert, and- believe me they remember it for a reason. It lets down a massive chunk of the Civil Rights Movement. It lets down that Airline employee in New Orleans who asked Maceo not for a handshake but a hug when he realised whose passport he was holding.

This film doesn’t know if it’s a comedy, a biopic, a musical or a love story, and consequently fails at really being anything, except possibly a love story but we will arrive at that in due course.

Characters from real life are misrepresented or entirely missing, and if you fail to see why that’s important then watch again that superb roll call moment in Spike Lee’s  Do the Right Thing

Mister Senor Love Daddy: WE LOVE ROLL CALL, Y’ALL! Boogie Down Productions, Rob Base, Dana Dane, Marley Marl, Olatunji, Chuck D, Ray Charles, EPMD, EU, Alberta Hunter, Run-D.M.C., Stetsasonic, Sugar Bear, John Coltrane, Big Daddy Kane, Salt-n-Pepa, Luther Vandross, McCoy Tyner, Biz Markie, New Edition, Otis Redding, Anita Baker, Thelonious Monk, Marcus Miller, Branford Marsalis, James Brown, Wayne Shorter, Tracy Chapman, Miles Davis, Force MDs, Oliver Nelson, Fred Wesley, Maceo, Janet Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, George Clinton, Count Basie, Mtume, Stevie Wonder, Bobby McFerrin, Dexter Gordon, Sam Cooke, Parliament-Funkadelic, Al Jarreau, Teddy Pendergrass, Joe Williams, Wynton Marsalis, Phyllis Hyman, Sade, Sarah Vaughn, Roland Kirk, Keith Sweat, Kool Moe Dee, Prince, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Reeves, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Bessie Smith, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, Steel Pulse, Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson, Jackie Wilson, Cannonball AND Nat Adderley, Quincy Jones Marvin Gaye, Charles Mingus AND Marion Williams. We wanna thank you all for makin’ our lives just a little brighter here on We Love Radio!”

People care about the accuracy and the missing elements of the sidemen because they have always loved those people; the ones whose contributions helped to create and define the James Brown sound.  They are real and beloved to many. These are people that more than one generation can identify with,  they are “regular” guys who compliment James Brown because they seem real whereas James Brown  will always be a bit larger than life.

Maceo Parker tells a story of going to Africa with James and everywhere people are chanting “Maceo! Maceo!” thinking it to be a greeting. That’s what they knew from the records, it must be a greeting. Then at a conference James explains that Maceo is in fact a person; does this mean they are less excited? No, they are MORE excited, now they want to know everything  about Maceo where was he born, where did he grow up, they chant his name outside the hotel, he can barely set foot outside for the whole trip.

But aside from missing Fred Wesley, Martha High and Danny Ray and the horrible misrepresentations of Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis (again I stress not the acting but the script), the crux of the matter, the very saddest bit is that James Brown himself is so badly represented. In the film his contribution to the history of music, not just R & B but all music that came after James Brown is boiled down to “everything being a drum”.

In his excellent review of the movie Nelson George points  there’s no joining up the dots to explain why and how and wherefore James Brown became the linchpin of the Hip Hop movement. Indeed there is no explanation at all for why he became who he did. James Brown’s great talent was the pulling together of talent; the whole was always greater than the sum of the parts, but all musicians in this movie are reduced to a miserable bunch of moaners. With no sense of their musicianship either. I was going to say yeah, “shame on you Mick Jagger” but why would one expect that kind of insight from someone who has only ever been a mega-star?

We are supposed to understand the importance of  Live at The Apollo without seeing the queues round the block at the Apollo Theater- for the 6 shows a day! Yes, you read that right, SIX shows a day. What does that tell you about wimps who do 60 mins and cry off?

“There isn’t enough time to show the conflicted nature of James and the the historical background” I’m told, but wait –  isn’t that the job of a great movie to do just that? Whether it’s Ray, or Malcolm X? Surely it should be possible to draw a picture of a conflicted person, a contradictory person, and understand that against the backdrop of the USA and its dark history. Recently The Butler managed to give us the history of the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one person more than adequately.  If Get On Up had  a little less returning to the same motifs of abandoned by mother (over and over and over again) would have given more time for the other stuff. Several of the lingering looks between Bobby Byrd and Vicki Anderson could have been cut at the end to make more room for a bit more history.

In a poor attempt to be like Ray and yet not like Ray, Get On Up fails because the confusing flashbacks lazily try to explain things, treating us often as if we are idiots, certainly talking down to us.  Repetitive motifs bashing the point home, with no attempt to ask us to try understand either James Brown the human with all his complexities, or James Brown the arch manipulator, the unafraid Mohamed Ali of music. Certainly nothing to show how this man with the all the power he had, went from rubbing shoulders with Presidents to turning up and firing a shotgun into a ceiling for apparently very little reason except to get a cheap laugh. Quite frankly if this had been a movie warning us of the dangers of drug use it would have served us all far better.

I’m no apologist for James Brown, indeed because of fmy privileged position I’ve heard more stories than most. But part of the James Brown story is the massive contradictions that made up James Brown. His life story is less “poorest boy ever imaginable makes good” and more the story of how we as human beings are complex creatures who do both amazing and cruel things. It is quite possibly the story of how we get into this mess over and over again, but even without such a broad canvas we could have at least had some measure of the complexity of this character.

Get on Up is really a love story. Between Bobby Byrd and James Brown. No, not a love story in a sexual or romantic way, but in a buddy sort of way. Friend sticks with friend through thick and thin; they fall out; make up; fall out and eventually make up. This is also a long way from the truth, but at this point who’s counting? It’s nice for Bobby Byrd to get some props even if we have to wander into HollywoodHappyEndings to get it.

At the end of the day this film doesn’t make us care about anyone at all except possibly Bobby, and seems to be missing a thread to explain the last falling out only to be reconciled and Wow! invited to a concert, what a treat! As if  Bobby and Vicki had never been at a concert before? Suddenly we are watching  James Brown on stage in the least exciting period- musically speaking – of his life and it’s all so wonderful that Bobby forgives everything ever done to him?

The family influences which purportedly halted Spike Lee’s involvement as the original director by giving a mandate that no-one outside the family can be talked to, have mauled this story into their own making, that much you can  work out from who is portrayed and who not. But once you start messing with the truth then the story itself becomes obfuscated and we end up with no succinct thread to the story of James Brown’s elevation or his fall from grace.

Yes it’s “just a movie”, but there’s something starting to bother me and it ought to bother you too: there’s slew of biopics with iconic figures from African American Music coming to a movie theatre near you very soon, and in the absence of verite things are being reduced to a very, very low common denominator which is quite possibly offensive to all of us.

Are Maceo and Pee Wee supposed to be grateful for being in the movie – never mind whether their characters are true or not? David “Fathead” Newman was hardly grateful for being untruthfully portrayed as the person who got Ray Charles hooked on smack. He was upset about this to the end of his days. Don’t kid yourselves Mick Jagger is not doing a Sam Wannamaker and giving us the Globe Theatre.

I’m tired of the line “the movie gives people more exposure to James Brown and young people will listen to the music” because it’s just so reminiscent of the line : “there’s no fee for this gig/tv appearance/documentary but it will give you loads of exposure”.

Maceo, Fred, Pee Wee, St Clair, Martha, Lynn, Marva, Clyde, Jabo, Melvin, Catfish, Jimmy Nolen, Kush, Waymon, Sweet Charles and so many, many more all have already made the history books. The records you can hear them on are that: RECORDS. Records of a time and place and a history which this movie fails to deliver.

So yes, of course this film should have had an African American Director because the Civil Rights Movement needs to be present here. We never saw a moment when band having played their concerts and then having to spend the night at the bus station because hotels and restaurants were segregated. We were never really subjected to the sheer force of nature that James Brown was for a period in history, that kid dancing barefoot outside the local brothel met Presidents and was quelling riots on the day Dr King was assassinated. He influenced everyone in music who was to come after him.

It’s the anniversary of Do The Right Thing  this year. I challenge Spike Lee to make the real James Brown movie- here’s an idea: make it through the eyes of Maceo Parker. (yeah that’s my bias- but it can’t be such a bad one!) Take us from Civil Rights movement to see how we get to Ferguson in 2014. That’s the movie we need to see.

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Undisputed Champ – a note on Boxing, Tyson, and the great Spike Lee

I have always loved boxing. Heckit:  the love of my life was a junior Russian Boxing Champion.

My brother and I watched hours and hours of Ali fights and interviews together, I adored Chris Eubanks and I routed for Frank Bruno against Tyson even though I knew he would loose once I saw the terror in his eyes.

My brother rightly predicted Lennox Lewis would go on to become the champ he did and I watched his fights with sadness because my brother was no longer there to watch with me.

The only heavy weight champ I never felt strongly about was Tyson. He never caught my attention, I felt he wrongly convicted but I never felt strongly about him til now.
I am at 32,000 feet and have just watched The Undisputed Truth.- Spike Lee’s documentary about Mike Tyson.
It is superb. Spike Lee has made an exquisite documentary. Affirming even further that he should’ve made the  James Brown movie. (that review is coming).

tyson 1

Watch it.

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Egguinunk: (A Hippy No More)

somewhere croppedI have recently spent two days of my life at yet another “Hippy Fest” which was so full of potential contact highs, but mainly lows, that I have  finally realised that I am in no sense of the word a Hippy any more, and nor am I an aspiring Hippy, nor will I ever be.

You know it’s not that I aspire to never be far from the lap of luxury. I have explored elsewhere the reasons why  I quite enjoy housework. But I feel it’s not quite right or kosher that 6pm on a Show Night finds me cleaning my own shower before I feel able to use it. With the best will in the world – and believe me I do more often than not, have the very best will in the world – I really don’t want to be living like a Girl Guide at camp, not at my ripe old middle age.

Furthermore, although I don’t wholly mind living the “round a campfire singing Kumbaya”   I do really really mind NOT having a normal bedside lamp to read by.

You know what? I don’t even mind living like a Girl Guide for 2 days, after all it’s all it is only two days. But over and above any hardship fathomable I do mind not having a bedside lamp.

I simply cannot read by overhead strip light.

I can live without TV, even without interweb – I can just write this blog in my head for two days, even without much of a mobilecellphone connection, but I do need to be able to read in comfort, in a soft gentle reading light not a blasted and blasting strip light.

Furthermore I’ve done five years at Boarding School,  I know how to live the sort of life that’s life on the road too.

Boarding School, in fact, prepared me very well for this last 23 years of living with people on the road, but the one thing on the road is that I can get into my hotel room and close the bloody door and that is it. Or that is pretty much it. Bar those phone calls which wake me up with” did I wake you?” and “can you just let me know which hotel we’ll be staying in when we play New York in 5 months”.

With the exception of those incidents my time in my room is MINE . I am unused to being in the camp dorms where every whisper is a loud shuffle. I don’t really appreciate after going to bed at 4am, to be woken by a couple of loud musicians talking about women with big breasts (I’m not going to quote verbatim here) and it’s only partly the buxom aspect of the conversation (if shouting at each other across the hall can be called a conversation) that I found so annoying.

I just wonder why everyone at this festival -bar anyone like me who having conniptions about being back at summer camp or something similar (we are a mixture of Brits and Americans bonded not by language but by the awful scenario which we find somewhat tragi-comic as the days wear on.)  Yes, yes they are only two days but how they drag, oh boy you see how they drag. I just wonder why everyone at this festival bar those aforementioned SHOUTS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AT FULL VOLUME ALL THE TIME. Just about every other person (goodness gracious) yelling and interrupting me when I try to say anything,  and everyone smoking weed and tobacco and oh deary me. In order to check social media and emails I went to a place called the Artists Lounge, where limp burgers, and inedible chicken sit side by side with anemic tomatoes and something resembling coleslaw. (not much Hippy wholefoodthing there then) There was a guy there, his name was Beef, I wanted to kill him. Sod my Anti-NRA feelings, gimme a damn gun I’ll shoot myself then him! Some kinda tech to someone, so latches onto whomever will even say hello back to him. REGARDLESS of the fact one chap is trying to speak to his son on Skype in England, and the rest of us would like to gently check our twitters and facebooks and so forth and do a little work to boot. We are subject not only to escalating drivel, but drivel which by the end becomes so offensive that I am even ready to shoot him, then myself and then hand the gun to anyone else wanting to join me. I was restrained from actually jumping up and throttling this creature, (far too fair a word) when he started to hold forth about people with peanut allergies should probably be allowed to die because Darwin was right and it should be survival of the fittest. Somehow I managed to merely mutter “be very careful what you say next” as the Boss (gotta love him) ushered the idiot out of the room under some pretext, before I made the natural references to Hitler and slavery and any evil nuts always being gung ho for a master race.) So farewell finally to that 15 /16 year old me. the one with the waist long hair and the cheesecloth maxi dresses, and the barefeet and lovebeads.

Farewell to the Hippyness that never was.  

This bright promoter idea of a festival in a summer camp where everyone lives in the huts took place area just on the Penn NY State border called, believe or not: Eqinunk. (oh and no Eggs)

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Eggspletive

“You can’t handle the Ruth”: There’s a Rant to be had about being in Entertainment

My first job was in the HMV Shop Bond St,  many, many moons ago. IMG00305-20110312-1955When one of my best friends left to go into Advertising, he pinned up a cartoon  of the Nipper Dog being snapped in two by the EMI shark, with the slogan “just when you thought it was safe”. On that alone, he deserved to become the next Big Thing in Advertising, and it is that image -more than the Jaws original- which has remained in my mind’s eye many decades down the line.

This blog is not however going to be about the demise of the record  store or further reminiscing about my HMV days, Dave Hepworth, Tony Parsons and a bunch of others whose professional life involves the heady mix of music and  journalism have already heavily marked this territory as their own, in their ruggish boyish fashion.

My HMV days will be for the memoir (which Won’t Write Itself  but May Get Written One Day.) Today however  all I am addressing is the”just when you thought it was safe” syndrome because it is just that syndrome;  the fin above the water line syndrome which I seem to fall foul of.

Clamouring for Glamour might be another title for this topic, The perceived view which the uninitiated imagine this life to be. Even those who know better are still caught up in the puffy, posturing that is more contagious than a Novovirus on speed. ( For some reason  alliteration is falling from my fingers today,  although puffy posturing just makes me think of someone marching around in a puffa jacket being a bit of a plonker – see! even plonkers are alliterative today).

So what’s my point? It’s this: whenever  I give myself a small pat on the back for achievement; at that ABSOLUTE same moment  the universe seems to give me some crashing indication that I’ve transgressed some law about self -aggrandisement* which applies only to me, no-one could call this anything more than a little pat but in my case it seems to be that unless I remain broke and humble I must  must be “punished” by someone out there going bonkers and blaming me for ooooh, everything.

Not only that, but for all the perceived glitter – the moments I actually experience sheer unadulterated satisfaction are limited to an odd email from the Smithsonian, an award finally bestowed (on someone else not me!), and the odd moment of meeting someone whom I admire.(d) that last “d” is for Clint Eastwood whom I finally met last year, and then let me down so badly with the chair-talk! Everything else is a constant jumble of trying to keep everyone happy; (impossible), and trying to get through one day to the next when it all might be better oh and gambling. … gambling on taking a date because others might come with it, or not taking it and dropping out a good fee which may become worthless if other dates don’t come. oh and being called every name under the sun behind one’s back and sometimes to one’s face. yeah, love my job, but I labour under no illusions: the moments of glory are utterly few and far between, and most of you don’t even know the half of it. The course, of well, absolutely nothing did ever, ever run smooth.

So yes,collecting Eggsfiles along the way is just another form of escapism, better than drugs,- well at least less harmful – and running, running running is my actual escape, no phone, no distractions, and every day I feel a little more up to handling Terminators as they come tumbling over the horizons to greet me.  brno2 eggsfilesbrno eggsfileregensburg egggggg *and WordPress for goodness sake can you possibly stop “z-ing” all my spellings? I am not American and do not wish to be while their gun control is so lax. It’s completely messing up any natural spelling sensibilities I might once have had. Oh and in unrelated news can anyone let me know how to stop the squirrel stealing any bulb or anything I try to plant. IMG-20130124-00326_1359045224633a_l

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Eggsuberant – last tour in pictorial form

these feet were made for running

These are the feet that ran nearly every day …

ivry sur seine (18)

this is the face that certainly didn’t launch a 1,000 ships, ( there were some gloomy days)

goodbye red bag (3)

this is the luggage I said goodbye to after years of faithful service (sniff)

ivry sur seine (2)

this is the luggage that took its place

Aalen hotel

some sheep  in a hotel somewhere!St BrieucSaint-Brieuc-20121127-00171Hannoverzurich catering

L'Aigle Eggs

this is  a selection of the Eggs we saw in all their guises

Choletst brieuc cathedral (5)

we also saw many cathedrals and carousels

Zurich Dar and Sax (4)

Is  this a new horn player – nah it’s just the super wonderful Darliene exuberant about holding THE saxophone

 

 

Saint-Brieuc-20121127-00181_1354105921427_l_1354106803691_la rainy day in St Brieuc

st Brieuc (8)

more St Brieuc Eggs just for me!

Bearable and Mizzythe two who make life bearable my two ol’ faithfuls: introducing Bearable and Mizzy tara!

zurich nearly home

Final Capp of the tour: Zurich Airport

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Eggspansion: Bad Clock Day, 101 and the Twirly Family

Bad Clock Day

Yesterday was Day 101 which seemed like a good day to be blogging, as One-Oh-One in American, Canadian and Australian means the basics, the first course in a subject taught at a college or university and although it was Day One Hundred and One it has felt at times like the very begining.

This was going a direly serious blog-post about stopping smoking, and the weird feeling of bereavement that I could scarcely put into words. Thank goodness I got so bored with repeating what I am going through that instead I checked the interweb  found out that this is a tediously common experience.

So all I wonder now if everyone is secretly not that happy that I have ceased to smoke because the change to my personality  is  so downright bloodyminded and bloody awful that I was prolly much nicer before and it’s that nice person everyone is glad has stopped smoking not this raging witch.

Back on day 101 it was a Bad Clock day. We have a Pepsi More Bounce To The Ounce Clock of which the Aged P is inordinately fond, and it is for this reason I have kept the thing in spite of it stopping for no reason other than the weather.While I was trying to take the More Bounce from the wall to adjust it YET again  it slipped or bounced or something and broke the Lovely Fox Clock which I had got the Aged P for Chrimble.

This was the final straw.  I had had it dear reader, and threw the bloody Pepsi thing across the floor, screaming that it was its last chance and if it didn’t behave then I would get rid of it forthwith. I then kicked it and felt much better,

sob

In that lovely post-trantrum lull I cleaned up  all the earth scattered over the floor where an innocent cyclamen had fallen, and went on to clean and wax all the kitchen chairs with some wax I discovered which really must be from 1942.

Today – whatever darn day it is now- is turning into another weirdo day in which your protagonist experiences resentments going back to 1973 and wonders what it’s all about. Is Alfie around? Maybe he can help.

Sometimes the only lovely thing about quitting smoking seems to be never having to worry if you have a lighter with you.

The Mother of All Twirly Things!

not a cigarette at all! but a biscuit!

my full range of Twirly relations,

Blue Twirly Things looking so orderly

Patches I’m depending on you some, to pull this person through, it’s all left up to you, (and the Blue Twirly Things and Their Relatives) ( and all that yogurt and fruit tea)

I have previously warned you  my lyric writing talents are lacking, anyway it’s time to post this post as we are now at Day 115 and I’m getting tired of people thinking that if I just change my email server I will magically never, never, never want a cigarette again.

time to go back to the Eggsfiles I think.

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Eggsceeding all Eggspectations: Cancun

Dinner at the Buffet: row of EGGS

My breakfast as told in photos:

first course: bread 3 kinds of butter inc. truffle butter and two kinds of jam/marmalade including chili

Second course: melon in tea. (also melon on stick, but had eaten already oops)

third course: chocolate mousse (yes early for that but delicious!) mandarin foam yoghurty thing with chocolate

fourth course: potato with a whole load of breakfast tasting stuff, (dig in spoon to bottom) – lost track a bit there

fifth and main course: poached egg in mushroom porridge with tacos…

sixth course and final: tiny tiny breads, pancakes, cakey things

all rounded off with small cup of perfect chocolate

– I forgot one course in the middle which was a ham and cheese sandwich, and some salmon cracker things

all interspersed with IMMACULATE Mexican coffee, black sugared with a taste of orange peel and a dash of cinnamon

now that’s what I call Breakfast!

more from last night’s buffet

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Eggsplain: ahhh! now it all makes sense

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago I went to a Progessive School in deepest Surrey. The countryside was beautiful; the time I spent there priceless, the education I received, and I mean education in the broadest sense of the word, has stayed with me for life. I made friends who are still some of my dearest friends, and I wouldn’t change any of the time there one bit, well not many bits.

But the food, oh my goodness, the food was simply awful and it was reminiscing thus over foods that brought me the Eggy Epiphany that perhaps the whole of the Eggsfiles rests simply on this early experience of Eggs both Good and Bad.

“Worse meal ever?” asked someone on our little school page on the social media network thing. Without missing a beat I had it: Fried Eggs and TinnedSweetCorn for High Tea.  Prolly the most disgusting thing you can think of, and the only way round it was to arrive at the serving hatch at the last possible moment before it closed, when all the eggs in their congealed state of curling yoke and white flab swimming in fat were finished and the cook had to fry you an egg from scratch. Then you could simply pass on the TinnedSweetCorn, the smell of which is liable to render me extremely ill even unto this very day. Favourite meal: Sunday breakfast. Firstly coffee, by my high standards today (the bar having just been set  even higher by the Deliciously Girlie coffee I was given in Hawaii) it would probably be undrinkable, but it was the only day of the week when we got coffee for some reason.  I am only just wondering now why we got coffee just that one day – or at all.

Secondly, it was the only day of the week we could lie in. I have always been -and  to some extent continue to be – completely hopeless when it comes to getting out of bed with a spring in my step; a personality often referred to as a Lark. I am an Owl.  I have always been an Owl, and little is about to change on that front since my job relies on me being more Owly than a Larky. To have one day a week where I was not shaken, roused and rustled out of bed was sheer bliss.  Except that not rousing oneself meant missing the best breakfast of the week. I cannot remember what the other breakfasts were, only that they encompassed stewed tea and toast, but the third great thing about Sunday Breakfast was that it was Boiled Eggs, and the appealing thing about these Boiled Eggs, was that they were not just any Boiled Eggs, they were boiled so long in advance that they were Hard Boiled Eggs by the time we got them.  This was a source of complete satisfaction to me because until I was 17 years old and no longer at Progessive School, I would not eat a Soft Boiled Egg for love, money or the secrets of the Universe.

So there you have it. Best and worst meals at school involving Eggs.

Meanwhile in other News there is Internation Egg Day! Yes! It is 12th October and there will be more Eggfiles on this very topic coming to you soon.

Because the Eggs are Out There.

Posted in Eggsfiles, great Eggspectations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Eggshale: 28 days and counting. (Or how I learnt to stop worrying and love the Blue Twirly Thing)

Everyone in Paris smokes. Everyone.  Except me.

Babies in pushchairs, dogs, habited nuns, ancient ladies with string shopping bags, policemen.  I swear I even saw a pigeon with a gauloise in its beak. Am I delusional? No it’s merely (merely?  ha!) that it  is Day 28, which means, my fellow Eggsfilers, that it is 28 days since I put a stick of nicotine to my lips.

How did this come to pass ? Probably the only way it could, I became so sick with a chest infection that I spent 10 whole days simply lying on the sofa, consuming nothing more than soup and yohurt and an awfully, awfully large amount of tv. My big meal of the week was a boiled egg (of course) and I cannot begin to express (eggspress? sorry!) how terrifically exciting that was.

I have watched everything under the sun.  Even every Midsommer Murders, after all it’s doesn’t really matter if you doze duing an MM does it? Everyone ends up dead anyway.  Then there are those twilight hours when it seems impossible to sleep but there’s nothing on t’telly except Bingo or that great American import: The Infomercial.  I have watched demonstrations of everything from bright green steamers which clean floors, windows and grout; body shapers which replace bras; crafting kits which stamp and emboss and glue, all of which are dangerously poised to become entangled in my mind as one kind of giant idea which encompasses all of these functions.  For 10 whole days, non-stop, I lay on the sofa while a pack of Marlboro Lights lay on the kitchen table with its last cigarette untouched.

So on the Eleventh Day when I descended from my sick bed, it seemed to make sense to seize the day and continue not to smoke, one little day at a time. I know that’s a convoluted way to express stopping smoking but one of the things that really worked for me is rather than saying I’ve quit, to announce the number of days it is that I haven’t smoked.

Once I rose weakly from my sick-bed I was fearful, dear Reader, utterly fearful that I would not be able to last very long.  Screaming emails scorched my computer screen once I had strength and courage to open up my laptop. They were even more screechy and flaming hot than usual. Instantly my pulse quickened, my breath (still shallow) rose and fell in disorder, my temperature which had not been significantly high during the days when I was lying prone, shot to a point of producing a feverish sweat. Oh and my mood: I was running right out front for the Irritability Oscars. How was I going to cope with being on tour again the following week? I would surely kill the first band member to ask the first asinine question of the tour in a frenzied stabbing, while singing that mad violin piece that ushers in the shower scene from Psycho.

T’were patches what saved me, patches dear Reader, patches saved me. Patches, and the Blue Twirly thing.

to be continued…

and thanks to Dr Strangelove…

Posted in Eggsfiles, Even Managers have their say now and then, quitting, smoking | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments