Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday 23 January 2011


Sunday 23 January 2011

This morning I feel sucked from my slumber, sucked out of my dreams.

Why does the past appear so much brighter in my recollections than things are now?

Andrew Marr gets Nick Clegg dumped in his lap today.  Of course it begins with the tuition fees to which he continues to flog a dead horse by putting a positive spin on nonsense.  In a way he reminds me of a former boss that would emerge from meetings proudly proclaiming “bullshit baffles brains”.  Apparently the loan for the fees will be written off by the government eventually.  This is news to me.  At this rate though I doubt Mr Clegg will be “in power” at the time of the “eventually”.  From here things move onto the issue of the banking system to which the government are still blaming the previous government.  Fair point but realistically I want to hear that the people running the country are looking forward rather than towards the past.  “The banking system needs to be made safe”.  Define “safe”.  On the subject of VAT Clegg says that he doesn’t like to see the percentage go up.  Perhaps he shouldn’t have been part of the rise then.  Just a thought.  The man bores me, he has nothing to say, his party is redundant.  As he sips his glass of water knowing the “grilling” is coming to an end a smirk of smugness arrives on the right side of his face, the Conservative side.  I wonder if I will be charmed and brainwashed by the mainstream right?

You know you are watching bad quality porn when you can hear a dog barking in the background.

With this shit ringing in my eyes before I long I begin pulling myself together with view to leaving at 9.45AM to head up to Bury St Edmunds for a free screening of BARNEY’S VERSION at the Abbeygate Picturehouse.

Once on the road it takes about fifteen minutes to get out of Colchester and onto the A12.  So many Sunday drivers.  As ever driving on the A12 and then the A14 sees me putting my foot down and blowing the cobwebs from my Focus as I enter into Suffolk and strange territory.

In the end I actually make pretty good time initially but as soon as I am balls deep into the A14 it suddenly dawns on me just how far into Suffolk Bury St Edmunds actually is.  I may have messed up with this.

Eventually I reach the place where the air smells sickly sweet as sugar from the beet factory becomes all consuming.  Living in this atmosphere could send a person crazy; it must at least make them fat.

As Bury St Edmunds begins to frequent the road signs as I close in on the exit I pass a field of pigs and it is an amazing sight.  There are just so many of them and against expectation and reputation they are incredible creatures.  They are hardly glowing but they still project a charm and sincerity that too often I sense missing from humanity.

Soon after this I am off the motorway and finally in Bury St Edmunds.  Obviously I get lost on my way as I wind up in some kind of industrial estate.  Industrial estates all look the same, run down and smelly, the kind of place you wind up working when your career and life go wrong.  When I worked on Butt Road I had many clients based in such places, I think/suspect this is why I now find them so depressing (almost disgusting).

By this point I am beginning to look at my watch in worried fashion.  In addition to this my Google map appears to have failed me as I resort to relying on Maps on my iPhone.  Handling this while also negotiating a steering wheel must be illegal.

In the end I wind up in a supermarket car park that forces you to pay for the privilege of shopping.  I guess this is the future now where everything costs you something; anything can have a nominal value.  However as I head over to pay for a ticket the menu of cost is not clear.  Do we have to pay for the privilege to park on a Sunday or what?  As I maintain Suffolk is backwards.

Eventually with time running out I just shrug and leave it heading towards Bury St Edmunds town centre in search of the Abbeygate Picturehouse.

Suffolk remains to me very much something of a foreign land.  Its nothing like London and not necessarily comparable to Colchester either.  The streets of Bury St Edmunds are cute, almost picturesque but to live here I can’t help but feel might be too quiet to cater.

With time running out it is with a sense of panic that I stumble through the streets of Bury.  If I were without my iPhone and its map I would be completely lost.  Then by accident I find the street.  Then I find the cinema and as I take my seat it is at the exact second the lights go down and the movie begins.  This was within a cunt’s hair.

As the opening credits of BARNEY’S VERSION roll people continue to filter into the darkness of the free cinema including a couple of people who mistake my shoulder for an arm rest.  This is a particularly frightening gesture as an arm emerges out of the dark and grabs me.  Both times the people apologise but the damage to my nerves has already been done.  A human armrest – that’s my life!

From here BARNEY’S VERSION turns out to be a pretty decent piece of work although I did make the mistake of hoping for (expecting) something more along the lines of Sideways or American Splendor.  Is this the Giamatti curse?

Being Canadian the movie possess those subtle and slight differences that the culture tends to hold compared to America.  Sometimes this adds, sometimes it takes away.

The story of BARNEY’S VERSION is a lengthy and often unique one, one that is not necessarily tangible or easy to associate with.  At times it is all too bourgeois  but thankfully the many decent performances help to keep the piece rolling even if the narrative necessarily does not.

Opening with an old man reminiscing for the lifestyle of writers slumming it in Europe initially it is invigorating to watch people living out their literature fantasies in a manner I was unable but unfortunately quickly the characters prove somewhat unlikeable.  As the first marriage of Barney (Giamatti) goes wrong Saul Rubinek pops up and as ever storms and owns the screen.

Moving on Barney continues to act questionably but somehow still manages to justify his actions, not least when looking after his handsome smack addicted (but not necessarily addled) friend.  Do characters like this really exist in reality?  By this time Barney has met up with Minnie Driver who looks incredible (that’s what being rich will do for you) while at the same time being a complete and utter nightmare.  Their marriage is fucked from the off.

Then Barney goes into self destruct mode as Rosamund Pike arrives on the scene (well, at his wedding to Driver).  With this he begins immediate pursuit as it stretches his whole existence.  Meanwhile back at the party (and generally in the background) his father played in charming fashion by Dustin Hoffman is stealing the show (at least all the scenes he appears in).

After initial early laughs the movie soon establishes itself as not actually being a comedy at all after something of a confused opening for the viewer.  It is only once this direction of drama has been established that I begin to harbour anything for the movie and inclined to make an effort.

Eventually it the film scours the entire breadth of his existence and by the end I finally do feel something for Barney.  When the movie ends I come away feeling that what I have just gone through was a worthwhile effort.

With this I exit the cinema just after 1PM feeling thirsty and hungry.  At this point I wonder if Bury St Edmunds has a Starbucks (although I very much doubt it).  I do spot a Caffe Nero but looking inside the queue is just too lengthy to consider/contemplate this day.  They must like coffee in Suffolk.

In the end I give up on getting a drink noting that I have a long drive home ahead of me.  As I head back to the car it is in hope that it has not been ticketed, clamped, towed or violated.  Thankfully upon return it has not been.

From here I get behind the wheel and exit Bury St Edmunds with little in the way of intention to ever come back.  Once out of the town I rejoin the cursed A14 as rain drizzles down and I set sights for Essex.

It feels as if it takes forever to get to the Toys R Us at Ipswich where I swiftly rejoin the A12 and finally out of Suffolk and back into Essex, glorious Essex.

When I return and step through the door of our building yet again it has not been closed.  For a door that slams so regularly it sure gets left off the latch a lot too.  As I step up the stairs to our landing the rubbish still remains on the steps and then once on the landing I notice long drag marks along the carpet.  Those were not there when I left this morning.  What on earth are those people (mainly Caroline Geary) in 15 Hollytree Court doing?  I would like to think they are moving out but in reality they are more likely to be selling their furniture and fittings in order to fund/fuel some kind of drug addiction/dependency.

As usual I head to my parents for 3PM where we chow on mum’s Sunday lunch before looking in disbelief at the prospect of the game on Sky which today is Blackburn v someone (West Brom it turns out).

Hardly excited by this I instead endeavour to pull open (pull apart) my ailing Maxtor external drive.  As ever pulling these things apart is not an easy task and soon the old man is over helping me tear it open also.  Haven’t I outgrown running to dad for feats of strength yet?

In the end we both make a royal mess of it.  Before long I have ruined the ridges of the screws, why do companies screw these in so ridiculously tight?  And this is then also hindered by the fact that dad can’t actually see the screws due to his old man eyesight.

Eventually we just rip the thing apart, we screw the screws.  This method resembles something Bart and Homer would do.  Then finally smelling victory as I go to put the drive into an enclosure I only discover that this drive is SATA while my enclosure is IDE.  God hates me.

With this I give up and linger around long enough to blag some dinner before heading home to Sunday night.

When I return again there are more movements at our building.  For starters there is a car parked in my neighbour’s parking spot.  Who is this?  Then outside the front door there is now a discarded box of doughnuts to accompany the shit left on the stairs.  Nice.  Once inside the building I notice that the door to my neighbours flat is wide open.  With this I waste no time in scooting past and avoiding any potential confrontation.  I remain a fanny.  To reiterate this fact from here I stand by my door for a moment trying to eavesdrop on proceedings.  Then there is a knock.

For once curiosity gets the better of me as I answer the door to be faced by nothing.  Are they playing tricks on me?  Am I about to be smashed over the head?  Then suddenly Stu the owner emerges and says “all right dude”.  From here he tells me that “she is now gone”.  This comes as a surprise and a pleasant shock.

With this he begins to tell me what has happened.  She hasn’t quite scarpered but she (Caroline Geary) wasn’t around this afternoon when they were supposed to meet up and return keys.  Soon the reason for this becomes apparent as he tells me of the damage that she has done to his flat.

Firstly there is the entryphone that has been ripped out of the wall.  I guess this would explain why her friends used to ring mine so much – they had too.  I can only imagine that this was ripped out of the wall during one of their classic Saturday night arguments which disrupted and blighted my existence.

All in all she has left things in a broken state, a physical gesture that clearly matches the madcap life she was living.  With his discovery Stu looks dumbfounded.  At this point our neighbour from downstairs chips in and expresses relief that Caroline is now gone.

And with that I post my 4000th tweet, a celebration of my nightmare neighbour moving out.

Onwards and upwards.

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