Skyfall scuffle

October 15, 2012

I don’t know what the title of this blog post means. I must find a diversion.

Look! James Bond’s legs!

Did that take your mind of things? They’re his legs! James Bond’s! He even has a slightly pointing-in right foot; like I had as a child because I was weak, anaemic, in need of sun ray treatment. I used to walk like a pigeon (or like James Bond it seems). After a few months of clinic visits I over-compensated, walking like a Salfordian chimpy Charlie Chaplin (years before Liam looned and looped along).

My walking style has settled now. Over the years a happy compromise has been reached.

I wonder how many happy compromises are reached when the Bond directors are picked? (There’s a jump worthy of a blogger stunt double!)

Fans may yearn for a Scorsese/Nolan/Tarantino 007, but it will never happen. Take Skyfall, the 50th birthday Bond. The Bond People have picked that well known action director, Sam Mendes. Oh… is this my scuffle arriving?

I’m sure it will be great. It looks great. There’s enough people behind Bond (the Bond People) to make sure it works. That’ll be why it’s never a Scorsese or a Ridley or a (RIP) Tony Scott; they just couldn’t bear not having the control (the directors, that is. Oh, and the Bond People!)

Stop! Don’t let yourself get in a tizzy. Let’s relax. Here’s Adele.

It’s just that… he directed Away We Go. I… really… am at a loss. I feel weak. Pigeon legged. I just can’t go through that again. You can read my thoughts on that film here.

Maybe (like I said in that thing you might have clicked on, even read) it wasn’t his fault. American Beauty was good. Maybe he’ll prove to be the new Lewis Gilbert; at ease with both Shirley Valentine and The Spy Who Loved Me.

It’ll be great. The Bond People won’t have it any other way. He’s 50! Not that he looks it.

I’m 50 too! So less miserabilism Hickson. It’ll be great. you know it will be. You’ve even bought tickets. For the bloody IMAX no less. It’ll be big, that’s for sure.

Let’s end on one of the best Bond songs, by Marvin Hamlisch (RIP). Sung by Radiohead.

Away we go.

Do you like driving around? I do. I know it’s bad and we shouldn’t do it; not just for the hell of it anyway. I do my best by to try and tie it into a trip.

I’m staying up in Manchester, looking after my mum as she recovers from an operation.  Over in Sheffield lives my lovely Zoe. So last night I drove there, and today I drove back.

And it’s one of the best drives you can do. It’s 80 miles long and 80 minutes long. And you only use two roads; the M62 and the M1.

How do I even begin to describe how joyous this journey is?

Of course, for me, it’s a win-win situation; either coming or going. On the one hand I get to see Zoe and on the other hand… Wait! Let me tell you about my mum’s car.

I’m using it while I’m up here, and, if you’re thinking of doing any driving around, I recommend you use my mum’s car too. Or, for the best, your own mum’s. Here’s why: Free petrol!

Also, you can have fun rooting through your mum’s cassettes. Who knew my mum had Home by Terry Hall? Most likely not my mum. I doubt she’s ever listened to it.

I should have known, since my writing was all over the old TDK thing (the other side was a hideous mix of M People and Blur; what was I thinking? Did I really make this compilation? Yes! When? IDK).

So… get into your mum’s Toyota Starlet, put in Home, and head off.

Here’s the main joys:

1- It’s a sunny journey. The weather is absolutely beautiful.*

2- No matter where you are;  on the M1 or the M62, coming or going; you can always see Emley Moor transmitting station.

It’s foolish to take photos whilst driving, so here’s one of the majestic big stick thing by Tim Green.

Emly Moor (Image: Tim Green)

It’s dangerous on so many levels to take photos at 70mph. It may well be illegal. That’s why I didn’t take these photos this morning.

not taken by me today, as I drove

Nor this

These pics bring me on to joy 4:

4- The bridges. The ones above are good, but they’re not the best. There are some truly beautiful bridges along the M1. I think they were built during stage 2 of the M1’s construction, in the 1960’s; gorgeous and simple asymmetric, white concrete designs. In need of a coat of paint, yes, but in the sun they still shine. I didn’t get any pictures, but take a look at them here at The Motorway Archive.

5- The M62. A glorious road from Liverpool to Hull; this stretch taking in the highest point of any motorway in the UK at Windy Hill. And also passing Stott Hall Farm, immortalised here by John Shuttleworth:

6- The pigs. I only caught a glimpse of them. But as the M1 joins the M62, look to your left, see the free range pigs.

I’m sure there’s lots more to enjoy.

Oh yes! One of those motorway lighting up signs declaring Think bike; think biker. Now, the thing is, the truth, I don’t really like that. It’s just that it reminded me of the original Think once, think twice, think bike.

Years later I adpated the slogan for my own entertainment, coming up with think once, think twice, think nice.

Here’s what I was listening to. Terry Hall proving he’s the best James Bond we’ve never had.

*not always.

Angry at an advert

February 9, 2009

Maybe it’s because I’ve not had the best of weekends.

Saturday; a three mile journey to a surprise birthday party for a friend took four hours. The RAC visited me twice. I ended up getting the bus. At one point I was whizzing towards a roundabout at 40mph in a car that had no power; no breaking, no acceleration… even the cassette player was out. That was fun. I left at 4.45pm and got to the party at 9pm. And I was meant to be helping set up the surprise. Sorry Sarah.

Sunday; off to JFK’s for a pool tournament. By train. In the first round I was beaten by Frank Costello 5-0. Not the gangster Frank Costello, nor the other gangster Frank Costello played by Jack Nicholson in The Departed.  This Frank’s scarier. Frank plays for the England Youth Team and I was never going to win. But one or two frames would have been nice. Then, in a competition for the losers called The Plate, I was beaten by Lee Mager 4-1. I’m pleased to say that Mager is pronounced Major. Other players who have walked through the doors of JFK’s include Keith Richards, Peter Pan, Dan Brown, and Michael Clayton. That’s Lee below from when we (JFK Rejects) played the Pineapple two weeks ago. We won that match 8-4. And I won both of my games. See! I don’t always lose.

Alan Day, Tony Bailey, Lee Mager, Andy Law

Alan Day, Tony Bailey, Lee Mager, Andy Law

So maybe that’s why I’m angry at this advert.


Do I need anger management? Should I let such a thing fester away? And I’m angry for so many reasons.

Yes, Leningrad changed its name to  St. Petersburg. Yes, Norwich Union has changed its name to Aviva (making it sound like a duff car from the seventies). But no, no, no! Pierce Brosnan hasn’t changed his name to Daniel Craig! It’s just wrong. If they’d have put “Brosnan’s Bond to Craig’s Bond” I may just have accepted it, but “Brosnan to Craig?” What? What does that mean?

That’s my first cause to anger. Then I became even more angry as I realised I couldn’t stop thinking about it. And every time I thought about it I thought of Norwich Union and Aviva. Those damned advertising bastards had succeeded.

But wait. As I get even more angrier I see that they’ve succeeded in planting their campaign in my brain, but it is such a shit campaign, I will now forever think of Norwich Union/ Aviva as being a company associated with shit.

And to think I have an endowment policy with them, but no house.

Oh, what the hell, let’s have a poll on this one.