Personal and undiluted views
Alternative Ulster

1704 days ago

Has the Mani listened to Alternative Ulster before?

As I go to sleep in the Greek Hovel I drown out the sounds of the wildlife diversity with a bit of music. Right now this is playing, I suspect the quiet valley has never heard SLF before.

---

2179 days ago

The 57 year old Punk from The Stingrays makes my day on a train journey of two halves

Gone are the days when I could start my working day at 3.30 AM on Monday, down two bottles of wine during the day, work through the night and a full day Tuesday, stay up all night fretting about a Court case, suffer a High Court ordeal, down a pint of champagne and feel totally on top form on the Wednesday evening. I guess I am getting old. And so by the time I arrived at Paddington for the 7 PM to Bristol Temple Meads I felt like death warmed up and just wanted to get home to the cats and my bed. The Mrs is still with her mother.

I sat in my seat, wrapped up warm and tried to sleep. But life is not always easy and the first part of my journey just made me feel like even more of a grumpy old man who wants to leave this rotten country and sit on my Greek mountain away from everything that is ghastly abut Britain today.

Being the first off peak train it was crammed and the vague smell of cheap fast food wafted through the corridors since many of my fellow passengers had grabbed some junk to gorge upon as they rushed to get home.

In the seats behind me a kid was doing maths with his mum. 19 + 19 is 28 he insisted. The generation that will look after mine in retirement is not only thick as two short planks but also shows no deference or respect to its parents. The mother was simply wrong, the kid insisted as his voice rose. But I guess like all the other morons he will grow up to be a wannebee celeb so his stupidity won’t be an issue.

A drunk gave me a long gaze as our eyes met. I’m a nice drunk. He was not a nice drunk. I shifted my eyes rather glad that there was an older gentleman sitting between me and the drunk who promptly collapsed and spent most of the time between London and Swindon lying prostrate in the aisle or trying to do the sort of pointless exercises that only the totally inebriated consider demonstrate that they are half sober.  I and the other passengers exchanged embarrassed smiles at his antics.

First Great Western apologised in a blundering, we really do not give a fuck, but pretend we care way as the fast train turned out to be a very slow train indeed, all the way to Reading. As we crawled into the City where Wilde was jailed I thought lovingly of life at the Greek Hovel and my friends in Kambos and contemplated booking a flight next week and just not coming back.

Pulling into Didcot I saw that the older gentleman next to me was interested in shares. His mobile thingy device had messages from Hargreaves Lansdowne and so I piped up “I see you are interested in shares”. We started talking. We will gloss over his ownership of Afren which I warned him was not perhaps the wisest investment, something 100% vindicated today. He has a very prudent and sensible approach to creating a balanced portfolio weighted towards collectives. He knew his onions.

The chap is a social worker but not, I think, the sort that steals your kids if you vote UKIP, but what was truly fascinating is that he was and is a real punk rocker.

---

2992 days ago

Just Listening to our new music playlists at Real Man Pizza Company

As we prepare for the busiest lunchtime of the year at Real Man Pizza Company the real thrill is listening to the new music playlists that have just arrived on disc from our resident offshore music geek. I am a music geek to and so having had the pleasure of compiling our first list (80s theme) myself, I am now wading through the two new lists.

One is a second 80s list. I am just listening to I’m Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves.

The second is our punk list. As of January 8th, Monday night here is punk and pizza. Poor marks for our finance guy Nigel for not knowing who sang “I want to be free.” Hit: she is now a well padded middle aged respectable TV presenter but I suspect she was always a bit of a nice middle class girl at heart. It is not Debbie Harry ( the bird in the picture) that is just a red herring.

What is your favourite punk track? I have just discussed that with the head of marketing at Cantor Index who, it turns out is a mega music geek. My favourite single is from his favourite album – Alternative Ulster, by SLF. A close second is – from the same part of the world – My Perfect Cousin by The Undertones. I drone on… if you are into music you will understand my excitement. If not this will all be terribly boring and you will not be able to identify the chanteuse described above.

---