Tuesday, 11 January 2011

December Optimism

Ray Tango: I've got good news and bad news.
Gabriel Cash: What's the bad news?
Ray Tango: We're almost out of gas.
Gabriel Cash: What's the good news?
Ray Tango: We're ALMOST out of gas.

Ray Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and Gabriel Cash (Kurt Russell) discuss optimism while using a monster truck to smash their way into a drug baron's high-security crib in the 1989 cheese-fest, Tango & Cash.

Other than writing review site Urbis.com biting the dust- other than me losing a shitload of writing when this happened…

Other than Facebook’s Live Blog application disappearing, making it difficult to show people the writing I’m doing…

Other than checking out review site greatwriting.co.uk and finding out that the writing advice provided there is far from great…

Other than thousands of films that I’d transferred to DVD not wanting to play for me, meaning I might have lost 90% of a film collection that I’ve been amassing since 1997…

Other than decorating grinding to a halt over the Christmas period (I TOLD you it would take ages…)

Other than the fact that there are no jobs…

December has been pretty good. I found a twenty note on the floor in the snow. I got a “token payment” for my erotic story “Afterwards”, the first time I’ve been paid for a piece of writing.


I visited the Manchester Evening News offices with work. I added the word “braggadocios” to my vocabulary. (You could describe me this way on the basis of this blog.) The first publication to accept a story from me, Flash Fire 500, has reopened to submissions and already has some fine new content.


I went to free cookery class in Oldham, ran by Granada Tonight’s resident chef, Dave Mooney. He’s got my blog card. Hi Dave! The vegetarian stir-fry he taught us to make was delicious. The event was part of the Love Food Hate Waste campaign. You might have seen the ads featuring the people who bear a strange resemblance to the food they are promoting.


The site says “The campaign aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste. The campaign shows that by doing some easy practical everyday things in the home we can all waste less food, which will ultimately benefit our purses and the environment too.”

There may be more classes soon. Get involved. You even get a free meal!

This year, my work’s Christmas party was held at the beautiful Vermilion bar and restaurant in Manchester.


The great Thai food- small samples of a range of bizarre sauces and fine cuts of meat add to a flurry of tastes and smells, making Vermilion a fine choice. To get to the restaurant, you need to be escorted to the first floor in a lift. On emerging into the table area, note the stunning carved woodwork décor and tower of florescent multicoloured Buddha heads (stretching through a gap from the floor below).

After the feast, make your way downstairs to the dance floor where the spherical lighting and lack of hard lines in the décor are very reminiscent of the Korova Milk Bar in Kubrick’s Clockwork orange. Instead of synthesised Beethoven, Vermilion’s DJ pumps out quality house music. You can even reserve a pod- a semi-cocooned sofa with a seat the length of a double bed. Very suggestive.

It was quiet when I went on a Thursday. I may check the place out on a Saturday to get the full feel of the place. As you’d expect in a bar this fine, you get what you pay for. So I’m going to have to go wadded.

I continued living the socialite existence- something I can’t really afford to do- through Christmas. Manchester was dead on Christmas Eve. Christmas day was a great time, even though I was almost blinded by a remote-controlled helicopter. On boxing day I toured the pubs and bars of Saddleworth and Oldham, along with thirty mates, all of us dressed in Christmas jumpers. I got so drunk that I started demonstrating MMA moves to people, and put one of my friends (who happens to be a police officer) into an arm triangle, momentarily cutting the blood off to his head.

Okay, okay. He was asking me about it, and wanted a demonstration. I’m not THAT type of guy! Jesus!

It looked a bit like this, only we were standing up. And the pubs of Oldham don't have padded floors.

Just to cancel out the joy of finding that £20, I go and park in Manchester and forget to pay and display. £35 fine. I amaze myself sometimes. On the way home, the radio tells me that Boney M’s Bobby Farrell has died. Fuck me. What a bad day. I didn’t even buy anything!

New years eve… was awesome. Saw it in at Rififi Stalybridge. Great music, great company, great women, great midnight balloon drop. I also got a hard copy of Bar and Clubbing magazine, featuring my article, from the magazine editor, Richard.

Here’s the E-version…


A spectacular round-off to a pretty good year, all in all. More of these moments to come, hopefully. Much love to all my friends and family. You made it the month- and the year- it was.

1 comment:

Gordon Bennet said...

Some inspiring optimism there man, great blog again. Twenty quid?! What I wouldn't do for twenty quid!

I am so glad I read this - I totally forgot that Kurt Russel is in Tango and Cash. Evening sorted!