Thursday, 6 August 2015

Everything Is Okay

Still the best way to pass a day on God's Earth.

Everything is okay.

Monday, 3 August 2015

In A Bit

Robert Frost said

Sometimes the only way out, for the time being, is... out.

I wrote something about happiness recently. 

The vague gist of it was to disregard happiness, and perhaps aim lower. I don't know if i believe absolutely in what i wrote, but something seems clear to me now. When you're wandering the Gobi desert of positive emotions, a drink from the oasis of happiness seems like a nice pitstop. I'm off on my bicycle. Seeing the world from a bike is my favourite thing in the world. It doesn't give you all the answers. If you go away for just this purpose you might fall short.

Answers won't magically appear lying in wait over the crest of some hill.

But more than anything what you find is the space to ask the right questions.

To add to this, you realign yourself with some really fucking fundamentally important things that you so easily lose touch with, things that if we're not careful we're in danger of not realising we were ever without. Nature, daybreaks, sunsets, solitude, silence. And many things in between.

t o u r i n g  t i m e

My friend Laura's father sent her this letter, which she gave me permission to share.

If you do nothing else, watch this.

Don't worry about me mummy. Before you're old and grey i'll make you proud of me.

Love, before i'm old and grey i'll do you proud.

Lyndawg before we're old and grey we'll go for that fucking beer.

Kiss Me Kate

 Any birthday kept in the company of Kate makes getting one year older extremely painless.

Last tuesday i went to see her in the fine company of seƱorita Skye.

She recited an entire book of her poetry, off the top of the dome. 

Without looking.

This poem is called...

These Things I Know

Language lives when you speak it. Let it be heard.
The worst thing that can happen to words is that they go unsaid.

Let them sing in your ears and dance in your mouth and ache in your guts. 
Let them make everything tighten and shine.

Poetry trembles alone, only picked up to be taken apart. 

Instead of an elephant, roaring and shaking its ears,
it's one of those handbag dogs, yapping and scared of the rain.

The clever folk talk in endless circles and congratulate themselves on being so untouched by passion.
But since when did the clever folk ever know anything?

Sometimes things are as simple as they seem.

It's as much about instinct as it is about intellect
And if you feel it, it's alive.

Let it be magic.
These are not engines we're making.

Wherever you come from is a holy place.

Do not love the idea of life more than you love life itself.

The world is a terrible place for sensitive people
but the closer we come to losing our minds, the harder we'll work to keep them.

If you're not fighting for it, you don't want it.

Taking things for granted is a terrible disease. We should all be checking ourselves regularly for signs of it.

Sensitive people are frequently beaten up by things insensitive people can't see.

If you've been beaten up, good for you.
If you've never been beaten up, good for you.
If you get beaten up all the time, you should take up boxing.

It's ok to feel alone.
Usually you are.
That's what poetry's for.

It's good to care about things so much you feel exhausted.

Don't read women's magazines. They're bad for your stomach.

You've only yourself to blame when someone half as talented as you ends up achieving twice as much.

If people judge you badly and misunderstand you, 
it's good for you.

Fame is the worst thing that could happen to your reputation.

If you want to know your worth, ask your lovers.
Especially the ones who don't talk to you anymore.

You can't be a good person and treat your lovers badly, 
no matter how much you give to charity.

Better to have been a dickhead and seen it,
than a cunt all your life and not know it.

A thousand fans screaming your name is nothing compared to one lover who whispers it and knows what it means.
Although of course both would be nice.

The world is getting stranger every day; you're not strange for noticing.

You don't have to be young to be good at what you do. You just have to be good at it.

There's nothing wrong with dogs being dogs and baring their teeth at each other.

The pain of having fucked things up so bad will never leave us.

If you say something funny on Twitter, it doesn't matter.

If you've been an arsehole today, acknowledge it.
Try not to be one tomorrow.

Never underestimate how nice it is
to make someone a cup of tea without them having to ask.

If you have a shit job and you don't love your girlfriend and your life is killing you, take a fucking risk for once.

If some people don't hate your work, you're not doing it right.


It made Skye cry, twenty minutes after the gig finished. Chicks man.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Coldest March

Our bike film made with Brother Cycles, directed by Ben Pickett, narrated by me...

is finally out.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Double Take

It's a sad fact that forevermore, the old market town of Stoke Mandeville...

will be synonymous with one man. 

Rattling through Buckinghamshire this weekend as the drizzle fell upon the verdant Chiltern hills, for two minutes the train stopped at the sleepy station in question. And one could have been lulled into thinking that with Jimmy now six feet under, his murky past might also have been laid to rest. 

Let's keep our fingers crossed then that Jimmy hasn't found physical form... in anyone else.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

True Happy



Happiness strikes me as some smarmy piece of shit prince from a Pixar film i pretend not to know the name of who's just busted in the room and begun spewing smarm all over the place from his eyebrows.

Hey buddy.


You can't count on this buttmuncher. If you let him, he'll make you feel good about yourself, but experience will tell you to be wary of him. As quickly as he comes around, he'll drop you and move onto the next coolest guy in the banqueting hall, while you're left there on your tod thinking what the hell happened. The problem with happiness is that it is transient. Or to smash the Word Of The Day bomb that landed on my desktop this morning, it's ephemeral. Like the smarmy piece of shit Prince's affections, it doesn't last. Coming and going like you know who.

Interesting thing about happiness is that you only really begin to investigate it, once you start feeling like crap. You only start deconstructing the fickle piece of shit Prince once he's deserted you. It strikes me that happiness can't be a constant. Because happiness is not a permanent state. Contentment might tick that box, but contentment is a different thing altogether.

Happiness is a high

And from great heights we must inevitably descend.

People who are perpetually happy are morons.

And it's probably a cover up anyway. 

I mean one hundred per cent, off-camera, i bet even the Chuckle Bros had beef.


I've got some fresh2death ink on my left arm. It's the last line of a poem called Desiderata.

Tat is straight as an arrow. Guns just make it look crooked.

Out of context, the line smacks of some homo mantra better of written in Hindi. But what makes it interesting is that it's the parting shot of a very long poem that touches on all sorts of incredible stuff; silence, love, death, truth, courage, and more. But the author chose to end with this.

When all was said and done, badman Ehrmann still deemed personal happiness as the grail of all our worldly objectives. But crucially what he was saying wasn't be happy. He was saying more than this. He was saying strive to be happy. Because the world is a cruel playground, and much of your time in this playground will be spent running from the 6ft 8 skinhead with the thyroid problem who's constantly throwing shit at your melon with unerring accuracy. Every single break-time. Whether you like it or not. The striving is important, because odds-on there'll be times in your life when you'll have forgotten what happiness feels like. 

You can't be happy all the time. Just look at the Chuckle Brothers

Actually it seems that they can

Whatever. My point is this.

I think we should be wary of this hallowed Pursuit of Happiness.

You can't just be happy. Perhaps you shouldn't even strive to be happy. Because happiness should never be an objective. Happiness is a by-product of something else. Happiness isn't the beer garden of some country pub at the back end of a 36-mile hike through the Lake District. Happiness is the fleeting moment when, rounding a corner into a glen, we clock a host of golden daffodils. It's something that creeps up behind us and taps us on the shoulder, and just as quickly as it appears, it's gone again. If all we aim for is the beer garden, we run the risk of disappointment. The beers won't be cold enough, and some bell in flip-flops will be working his way through the last 4 yorkshire puddings left in the kitchen.

If we set out our stall on happiness, we'll never have enough of it.

Same thing as chasing a high. 

And that never ends well, however good your shit is. Toni ever strike you as that happy?


Contentment on the other hand is different. Contentment doesn't need highs.

Contentment counts its blessings, and is fine with the way things are.

Contentment is looking in the mirror, and the mirror looking back and saying yo.

Contentment is The Fonz.

I watched a lot of Happy Days without ever understanding how Fonz got to be as cool as he is. He was just cool. I don't remember any montages of him busting around in a leather jacket as a kid, or his moms telling Richie and Chachi how her little Fonz had a tricky adolescence. All i remember was whenever he walked into a room, chicks on the soundtrack went fucking mental. Fonz was cool. He was cool because he was content. When he looked in the mirror, he didn't need to do shit. Not because he looked great already, but because when he looked in the mirror he knew who and what was staring back at him.

This is all a question of semantics, these are all just words, but if the search for happiness can be downgraded to being cool with contentment, then Fonz can teach us a lot. 

Fonz was cool because he was true to himself. 

And contentment, ergo happiness, has a lot to do with personal truth

Like Shakespeare said..

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

The truth is one of the most difficult concepts to get our heads around, because we spend so much time trying to force-feed it with what we want to justify. So it becomes blurred and indistinct. But at the end of the day, the truth is so obvious. It's so clear. Nothing is more simple than the truth. Our problem is that we've become experts at pulling the wool over our eyes and blinding ourselves to it. In 1953, a Palestinian diplomat at the League of Nations smashed it out the park. When asked a question by the League, on the rack, he replied simply... 

that is a very difficult question to answer, so i will tell the truth. 

Deep, deep down, 20,000 leagues under our posturing and day-to-day fronting, we know what our truth is. Each person's truth might be unique to them, but it isn't anything else. It's just the truth. Like the fruits of 83% of my flatmate's well-intentioned stints in the kitchen, the truth isn't easy to stomach, which is why we soften it with self-pity and cheapen it with our protestations. But it's still always there.

Kate Tempest:

And then... on the skies we can sail.


Every King, every councillor, every CEO, every underground carpark attendant, every Neo-Nazi, every pious priest, every Sunday League ref, every mother, father, son, daughter, pet hamster blahblah, resting their heads down on their pillows at night, in the depths of their solitude, knows what the hell is actually going down. I think so. Beneath layer upon layer of justification and erring our inner voice is ever-present, softly whispering to us from a private interior room, what is right and what it is we know we must do. Whether we can hear it just depends on how hard we try to listen. Perhaps this is what is really meant by our moment of truth

And guess what sets you free, apparently.

- to chief the wisdom of pretty much the only other blog i read -

The happiest people in the world are those who have just been freed from some sort of shackle.

Fuck happiness, aim for contentment, through truth. Then we'll get closer to radness.

Heard it here first buttmunchers.