That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Minus 6 all day.
The first sniff of a deep frost is always profoundly evocative for me. It’s an acid flashback is what it is. I am returned to the bedroom I had as a fourteen year old, God knows why I am transported back there, it’s just where I am taken is all.

It was a cool bedroom, everyone said so. I had painted a big Oor Wullie sitting on his bucket on one wall and a big version of the face on the King Crimson LP on the other. I had posters from Sounds and pictures cut out of NME, especially Frank Zappa, tacked and sellotaped to the wall and I played my records on a huge valve radiogram the size and shape of a chest freezer. I bought it at a scout jumble sale and they, the 72nd Troop, brought it round in a van and bustled it into the house in their kilts totally ignoring my mother’s embarrassing objections.

And then there were the fabulous mobiles that I made out of tin foil hanging from the ceiling. It’s a thirteen foot ceiling so they worked really well. I had painted the ceiling and frieze deep blue and stuck white stars on it. I loved those mobiles. They were an excellent embodiment of some-sort-of-Roger-Dean-type-mysticism.

Back to the green microdot. On just such a cold night as last night then, I sloped back in, having dropped some LSD. Well I ask you. There I was, fourteen and a half, eyes like organ stops, sitting up in bed listening to Wishbone Ash considering the mobiles and the soft focus girls in Mayfair, when God unexpectedly turned up in my head to tell me everything.

I mean the lot. The whole meaning, the structure, the point, 42, everything. I felt very pleased with myself. It was a marvellous privilege having God explain everything. After an hour or so, once God was sure I understood all these marvellous revelations, they were gently withdrawn, in the way you would remove a book from the hands of a sleeping child.

By December the room was emulsioned white, the mobiles, posters, and radiogram were gone in favour of Habitat Scandinavianism and I had inveigled my way into the 17th birthday party of a girl whose boyfriend never turned up. Obviously I kept the Frank Zappa pictures, because he, more than anyone, I realise now, was who I wanted to look like! Can you believe it? Frank Zappa. Me.

35 years later I was floating through Tate Liverpool on its disturbing sprung floor, tutting and sighing to myself at their utterly pisspoor mobiles when I was arrested by something much more to my taste; the altogether breathtaking sight of a beautiful woman. Well, who would have thought it?

If you are very, very, good, I will tell you what the smell of woodsmoke does to me. RZZZZZ!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I cannot believe the gall of David Miliband.
Instead of putting his shoulder to the wheel on the home front, he rushes off to Syria to kowtow on our behalf. Syria is at war with Israel with the avowed intention of invading the Golan Heights (Israeli sovereign territory) in order to launch terrorist attacks against innocent civilians.
He must know that you cannot have any truck with despots like Bashar al-Assad so what is his game? In what way can this nauseating appeasement of Hamas and Hizbullah and the Sunni insurgents advance Israeli or our own homeland security?
I hope Miliband’s road to Damascus takes him through Tel Aviv where some sense might rub off on him.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I have a Geraldine who helps around the place sometimes; she it was who had the misfortune to answer a bailiff’s adamant knocking upon my door yesterday.
It being just noon, I was still foetal under a downie on the chaise longue; a shelled clam of a man, my bulging eyes peeping out on a fearful dangerous world. I listened.

“Is the old devil in?”

(Please God, do not forsake me now. Stop up my ears!)

“I’m sorry?”
“You will be; is he in?”
“I’m afraid Dr Maroon is incommoded today.”
“Is he pissed?”
“I really don’t think…”
“No, you probably don’t. Is he fearful pissed?”
“You cannot measure genius by such a yardstick.”
“Oh yes I can. Where is he?”

There was a two second absence of sound, then eager footsteps. Christ, she’s coming this way! Duck! Incoming!

“There you are. Or are you? Why are you trembling?”
“Stop croaking.”
“I may feel like it but I hadn’t thought to croak just yet.”
“Yes, très drôle. Your voice, what has happened to it?”
“I have been singing.”

She stared at me an uncomfortable minute then busied herself at the sideboard. There is no finer sound than the preparation of a complex drink by an expert.

“Drink this.”
“What is it?”

Another uncomfortable minute and perhaps the beginnings of an impish smile.

“A cure.”
“Some verse springs to mind.”
“What? The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.’?
“No, I was thinking of ‘…And when the Angel with his darker draught, Draws up to Thee - take that, and do not shrink.’.”

My hand reached out of its own volition.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I see I haven't lost my touch.
What day is it and where is Clarissa?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I can’t keep it in! I want to tell everyone, shout it from the rooftops!
Not five hours since, the most beautiful and magnificent human being it has been my privilege to know, paid the singular honour of asking if I would join them in perhaps the most sacred adventure remaining to me.
To say I am overjoyed would be an obscenity.
I am jubilant!
It is fitting that you, my dearest friends, should be the first to know.
It was here after all, on these unworthy pages, that I tentatively introduced the individual in question. There was some friction at the time, I remember, a natural anxiety that my attention was being diverted from you, but nay, for my part, that was never the case. At any rate, we are a family at peace again, all water under the bridge and I hope you will join me in offering a Cape to Rio welcome.
I know you will.
I have been engaged previously in similarly uncertain circumstances but I have given my assurance this time that I will not drop the ball.
James (Jimmy) McGlinchey, the Cumbernauld Cat, wants me as his ghost writer! That’s right! ME! Can you believe it? I haven’t slept.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Three nights in another town.

Jimmy Page kept a better hotel room. I was not embarrassed by the premium TV channels on the bill but £14.40 extra for laundering the bed linen was a first. Just desperate. Desperate.

I questioned everything on the bill of course, (Scrooge) big mistake. They would not listen to me as I tried to explain that the stains were chocolate. Just that. Chocolate: and how I had obviously fallen asleep on a Fry’s Chocolate Cream.

I was mortified, just mortified.

I don’t think they approved of my torn carrier bag of munchies on the second night either. A trail of Monster Munch and Wotsits across the lobby floor will exasperate the most taciturn of concierges. I had an excuse; before leaving Perthshire I had been given some top notch pollen to try out and had developed an insatiable appetite for corn based snacks at around 4 am.

Le weekend had gone so well up till then: the very best of company (a truly magnificent woman) copious strong drinks and a benign city eager to welcome us.

What day is it now? Thursday, right? Jesus. 72 hours.

72 hours and that’s me just coming round, that is to say, able to face a hair of the dog.

Where was I? Why, Heaven of course: dolts!

I promise to explain.