Wash Your Neck

15 April 2017 | Diary

Every now and then, something from my working-class childhood floats up in memory to give me a shudder. The Nit Nurse, for example, or a scene glimpsed through a Blackpool window in 1993. And then there’s Athlete’s Foot. Whatever happened to it? The 1980s was a golden age for Athlete’s Foot, a festive dusting of […]

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Shits All Over a Nectarine

08 April 2017 | Diary

I like peaches, they’re my favourite fruit. But you always have to eat them in your least-favourite suit. Poetry! Maybe I’ll start each of my diary entries in this way from now on. Tune in next week to see if I stay true to this dream, idly cooked though it was in the fires of […]

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12 February 2017 | Diary

I found myself thinking today about Luke. You remember Luke. He was the chap who, when I was on work experience at the council, occupied a corner office designed to segregate him from the others lest he distract them with his exquisite beauty. He was the one who taught me how to skive by playing […]

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Except My Genius

19 January 2017 | Diary

The customs officers at JFK do not take kindly to flouncers, flaneurs or fops. If you ask me, they’ve had it in for us since Wilde’s “nothing to declare” jibe, or “Geniusgate” as they call it now. Back 2009, I was rather full of myself. I’d been recognised a couple of times as a comedian, […]

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Mr Peanut (MD)

25 October 2014 | Diary

A few weeks ago, in downtown Montreal, we noticed a large truck emblazoned with the festive colours and corporate iconography of Planters Nuts. I wouldn’t like to describe it here as “a truckload of peanuts” because I have no idea. For all I know, there was just one single, highly pampered, peanut inside or maybe […]

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The Anti-Fuhrer

18 October 2014 | Diary

My wife is away for a week on business, so I’ve done what all men do when they get a long stretch of time to themselves. I grew a beard. Needless to say, I was envisioning a kind of Zach Galifianakis or Commander Riker situation: a thick and lustrous fuzz in which you could lose […]

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A Sketch of Montreal

11 October 2014 | Diary

Montreal! Where albino squirrels run amok, Mr Peanut is an MD, the hockey team can be controlled with the mind; and (soon) my blimp will patrol the skies. Down in the parks: topless men, bottomless drinks, bits of stadium, visible panty lines. Out on the streets: beret-wearing women riding side-saddle with cigarettes, peg-legged pirates, cross-eyed […]

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Silverfish Pedicures

04 October 2014 | Diary

Dogs, cats, gerbils: all socially-acceptable fauna to share a home with. There aren’t many people who have pet silverfish. In fact, the only reason I’m able to pick out a silverfish in a lineup is that we used to get them in our outbuildings when I was little and Dad always insisted they be given […]

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My Blimp

27 September 2014 | Diary

While I was idling in the hammock today, an airship passed overhead. Next door’s pug and I were equally delighted. It was a lovely thing to see on a quiet autumn day, drifting proudly across a backdrop of cirrus clouds. Oddly enough, we recently enjoyed a curious BBC documentary programme called Cloud Lab about a […]

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Our Saturday Mornings

20 September 2014 | Diary

I awoke prematurely this morning from a nightmare inspired by the hit anime series Attack on Titan. It was 10am. Early enough for me, but Samara had been long awake and was sitting right next to me, showered and coffeed, reading a book and generally firing on all cylinders. Anyway. Attack on Titan is about […]

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