Congratulations to Neil on his engagement!
Happy birthday to Diamond Geezer, now entering the terrible twos!
A warm welcome to Marshall - if his most recent posts are anything to go by, he's a man with a keen eye for a good pun - and to Has It Really Got To This?, discovered via Parallax View!
A cheery wave to old friend Our Man In Hanoi, now blogging all the way from, well, Hanoi!
And to Vik, whose blog has cost her her job - well, I'm speechless. What a prize cunt your former boss must be.
Wan's been caught up in a couple of earthquakes: "It is almost impossible to describe how it feels when you are stuck in a shaking room, where the bed is walking across the wooden floorboards, the shelf with the TV on is rocking back and forth and the bathroom starts to creak and moan under the strain";
Kenny delivers his verdict on his recent reading, including Martin Amis's 'Yellow Dog', Mark Haddon's 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time' and D B C Pierre's 'Vernon God Little';
Jonny pens "an open letter to Mr Brian Richards, Director of Customer Development, Norwich Union, and hopefully a man who Googles himself", concerning a recent item of junk mail: "‘I have been specially selected’ is flattering, but perhaps exaggerates somewhat my specialness. I would imagine you have sent this to thousands of people. If you haven’t, and it’s just for me, then I am going to change the locks and take out an injunction. Your offer of a free mini radio is tempting. Perhaps printing ‘Free Gift of a Mini Radio – APPROVED’ as if it had been rubber-stamped in red ink over the margin was over-egging, somewhat. I refuse to believe there is a man in your office with a rubber stamp whose sole job is to check each recipient to see if they are worthy of a crappy mini radio. That would be unusual business practise, even in Norwich";
Not content with analysing their new LP Out Of Nothing track-by-track, He Only Lives Twice has travelled the country to see Embrace three times in one week - now that's what I call dedication to the cause, and it rather puts my bleatings about the biannual Sonic Youth pilgrimage into perspective;
Jonathan of Assistant has been to Eastbourne, or the "Costa Geriatrica" if you prefer: "One shop was the 'World of Hair'. What a vision. Beautiful Victorian B&Bs, connecting this street to the seafront, boasted of 'hot and cold water in every room'. One even had a 'Colour TV Lounge'";
Nixon details his experiences of that modern torture chamber known as the gym: "All this needless and self-inflicted pain reminded me of the Flagellants of the 14th century who whipped themselves in public to atone for sins, but whereas the sins in the 14th century were masturbation or forgetting to pray, the gym-goers' sins were over-consumption and eating proper mayonnaise";
Dave's been to see Mozzer, and caught him in garrulous mode: "He talked about 'Constipation Street' and how he's had two songs played on the Rovers jukebox lately. Apparently he left the venue wearing a flat cap. I wonder who's cleaning out his pigeons in LA while he's on tour";
and hats off once again to Jonathan of Crinklybee for introducing his intrepid readership to Pie Club: "The Sales Office Pie Club was formed by myself, Chris and Warren, in response to the growing menace of Slimming Club, a shadowy, female-dominated organisation committed to holding interminable conversations about the precise calorific content of various brands of rye bread". (If you're worried that this post might violate the first rule of Pie Club, don't be - the first rule of Pie Club is not "We do not talk about Pie Club" but "We do not talk about Ryvita".) Is there anyone out there who still refuses to believe that this guy has sold his soul to the God of Blog?
… And finally: Alex has a confession to make: “It feels really weird saying 'vagina' down the phone to a stranger”. It’s not as bad as you might think, though…