6 Objects

It’s been a while since my last post and there’s a very good reason for this. I don’t go outside much, and even though I seem to have a talent for writing lengthily on dry, insipid, colourless, grey, bland, anaemic, watery, tame, flat, lifeless, lacklustre, tedious, vapid, humdrum (and other synonyms provided by Google) subjects, there’s only so much inspiration I can scour off the stark and pale walls of the place I’m told is my home. Nevertheless, rather than brave the (unacceptably) outside world I have done my best to combine brain, fingers and household objects to rustle up a passable piece of prose. Here are six items from around my house, each with an accompanying story.

1. The mysterious mask

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This is my mask that I wear when I become Mysterious masked man of the night. I bought it for a masquerade birthday party from a dressing up shop and it was then that I realised that masks are really expensive, so I went for this one, the cheapest mask I could find that wasn’t a Batman mask, and even this was considerably overpriced. Fun tip: if you ever get invited to a masqueraded event and you don’t have a mask, do what I did at Christmas and shape a crudely-cut piece of paper around your face and fasten it with more crudely-cut paper. Or better still, just don’t go: parties aren’t fun – staying indoors is.

I always liked the pattern on this mask: it always reminded me of GCSE Physics. Our teacher told us that in hospitals, if someone has a brain tumour, the doctors often treat it with several low doses of radiation from different directions rather than one beam of high dose which would cause great damage to the brain cells it passes through. You can see in the picture how the rays are all really focussed around a pinnacle at the bottom of the forehead. So for me this mask is also souvenir of the continuing advances in modern medicine, and of my accomplishment as a GCSE scientist.

2. Fish the fish pen

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I got this pen for Christmas one year and it proved to be very influential for my social success at school. When I arrived started my lessons at the beginning of the second term, my classmates found this sea creature deeply fascinating; they just couldn’t get over the fact that it was a fish that moved and wibbled like a fish, yet could also be used as a writing implement. It was the first time that some cool people talked to me: suddenly everyone wanted to know everything about fish boy and his cool fish pen. And it was this that set in motion the constant theme of my life: being appreciated for my material worth rather than my less tangible qualities. Indeed, that was the reason I started this blog – acceptance: I knew that people had appreciated my literal pen, and so I thought they might also like my metaphorical pen.*

Unfortunately in the horrific ‘I lost the nib of the fish pen’ incident of 2011, I lost the nib of my fish pen, and that’s why Fish always carries that uneasy look of someone who has found a slug in their food but is too awkward to say anything.

3. A prised DVD

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I found out last year that when I was eleven I was known by my peers as ‘Snooker Jesus guy’ because of my obsession with that noblest of table sports and because of my profound, messianic teachings. Please note that on this DVD weren’t just any old trick shots: they were the MOST AMAZING trick shots that the game has seen. You can tell how amazing they were because of the big white bubble writing. John Virgo was a really top guy: his easy Lancashire manner and a stolid enthusiasm for snooker really captivated my young imagination. The film quality was a little dated but John’s spotted waistcoat/bow tie combination was almost futuristic.

4. My book

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Another of my fanaticisms as an infant was constellations: there was something about the random patterns of the stars that was just really swell. As a seven year old I fancied myself knowledgeable enough about the night sky to write a book, and this is a picture of the front and back covers. Unfamiliar with the publishing process I decided to start at the front of the book before devising any of the content within. As such my enthusiasm for the project soon waned and all that remains are the covers, the introduction and the acknowledgements section. Some of my favourite features of these covers include the hand-drawn ISBN code, the poor quality counterfeit of a logo I once saw on another book, and the hand-wrapped sticky back plastic lamination. I’m surprised my parents encouraged me in this young man’s pursuit in that it was unlikely to end in success and was bordering on the illegal.

5. Skirting board of doom

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There was once a programme on TV called Maestro which was a reality contest in which celebrities competed to find out who was the best orchestral conductor. Just before the second episode started I quickly got a glass of water and as I heard the opening titles emanating from the TV, I sprinted back to the sitting room, such was my enthusiasm for orchestral music. On my journey though, I accidentally whacked my toe against this skirting board and almost broke it. If you look really carefully you can just about see the blood still there, as a stark reminder that this is not a skirting board to be reckoned with. I always think it was a very middle class injury to have happened: ‘he was unable to walk because he loved classical music too much’ would have made a satisfying epithet.

6. The vegetable oil

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We’ve only had this bottle of vegetable oil a few days and I haven’t really got to know it yet but it looks like it’s going to be good. The plastic bottle makes it squidgy and light-weight to handle, so I have high hopes for the future.

*i.e. My writing. Do you get it?


Understanding Street Light Theology

When I was a small child I spent a lot of my time, as most small children do, trying to make sense of the world and myself, and day by day my understanding of the laws of nature and society expanded rapidly. In short I was like the digestive biscuit of curiosity hurtling unrelentingly toward the teacup of cognition, wherein I could dunk myself in the Earl Grey of knowledge. Still, there was only so far I could get on sensory perception alone: there were unanswered questions, the explanations of which were not self-evident without some extra understanding, so in such cases I sought the help of the people who called themselves my parents for some supplementary advice.

One such case sticks out in my mind: I just couldn’t fathom how street lights knew when it was  dark and therefore when to turn on. Turning one morning to my esteemed father I said,

‘Father, but how is it that those street lights know when to turn themselves on?’

‘Son, what a formidable question. You are indeed a genius and I love you a lot more than I do your sister.’ He said something like that: I can’t remember exactly.

‘The reason the lights come on when they do is that there’s something on top of the light which informs the bulb when it’s time to turn on. If you look at a street lamp you’ll see there is a lump on top of it.’

I looked at a street lamp. There was indeed a lump on top of it.

This answer to my astute question was very informative, and it allowed me to add my own spin on things. I drew what seemed to me to be the obvious conclusion from the information I had been given, that that lump on top of the street light was actually Noah from the Bible.

See that lump there, yeah? OK, well that’s Noah.

I’m not sure how I came to that conjecture, but if you think about it, then yeah, it makes sense. I don’t know what it is but it just feels right. At the time I was a good little Christian boy, so naturally I saw evidence for the scriptures everywhere, even in something as mechanical and ungodly as a man-made structure used for emitting artificial light. Now, if you’ll remember in the book of Genesis, Noah was the man who was called by God to build an ark of specified dimensions in order to save some animals from some water and then he died at the ripe old age of 950. But as we all know, this isn’t true: Noah actually lived a lot longer and is in fact still alive today atop every street lamp in the world, illuminating every night-stricken road and elucidating every darkened cul de sac, and in the same way that back in the day he decided which animals survived and which died, so today he decides when to turn the lights on and off.

You may laugh, but Noah was born with a terrible deformity on his forehead.
You may laugh, but Noah was born with a terrible deformity on his forehead.

In fact, today he’s still carrying out God’s work from the flood. Back then God wanted to destroy life and start anew. In the same way, Noah turning the lights off symbolises the end of a previous world, and when he turns the lights on again, there we have a fresh start. He’s just living a massive metaphor of an existence. So next time you look up at a street lamp, remember Noah, think of all those hours he has sacrificed to ensure that roads are well-lit, think of all the lives he has saved. But also reflect on how God is watching you and remember how easily He can destroy life if He chooses.

God looked quite similar to Noah.
God looked quite similar to Noah.


In my neighbourhood the bulbs in the street lamps have been changed so that they no longer emit a soothing amber glow, but are now not dissimilar to a blue, cold, Stalinist searchlight. As such, there has been an increase in fear in the Muncastergate area, with the eerie new fluorescence acting as a stark reminder to residents that they are being watched, not only by God, but also by the KGB.

Those words really are written on the road even though that picture looks like it's been edited in paint.
Those words really are written on the road even though that picture looks like it’s been edited in Paint.

The Versatility of Paper Towels


I grew up in the north of England, and therefore, when I was of the appropriate age for such things, it seemed logical for me to attend a northern primary school. Anyone who went to a northern primary school will recall the abundance of, and total dependence on, paper towels. Everyone loves a good paper towel from time to time, but I felt that their perceived range of skills and potency far out-stretched their actual prowess. For example, their status as the key and sole component of the institution’s medical kit could in many ways be seen as ill-advised and even foolhardy. Whatever your ailment, be it a scratch or indeed the common playground Chlamydia, the brusque response was always ‘stick a wet paper towel on it’. I had a friend who once broke his arm and he was given the same advice. Of course, it may well have been that the teaching assistants, themselves not qualified surgeons, wanted to do all they could to reduce the inflammation before the amputations took place, so perhaps they can be forgiven.

A severed limb
A severed limb

Of course, there were other uses for paper towels. When I was about 5, there was a small water spillage in the year 1 classroom, right next to the arts and crafts table, and there was a man there who showed us how to clear it up with the use of paper towels. I don’t know why this man was there: he wasn’t the year 1 teacher. I think he was the husband of the year 2 teacher, but still that’s not really an excuse; I still have nightmares sometimes in which I wonder whether he was legally allowed to be there, and I doubt very much whether he had been licensed in the practice of dealing with aquatic whoopsies with the use of paper towels. I say I have nightmares; he probably was allowed to be there but still, you never know.


Anyway this man instructed us, rather than rubbing the drenched floor with paper towels, to leave them there, just soaking up the liquid, and I believe it was at that moment that my life-long passion for absorption was truly awakened. I’d dabbled in absorption before but it was only then that I started asking the big questions. Is leaving the paper on the floor to soak up the water really more effective? Why is it that the surface of the towel which isn’t touching the floor also gets wet?

The answer to the first of these questions remains to me a mystery. The answer to the second came to me embarrassingly late. Previously I had been perplexed that the water, a liquid, could pass through the paper towel, a solid. Years later, and I was well into my PhD in Micro-absorptional-bananaology when I discovered the actual legit scientific reason for the absorption magic I had seen as a youth – for real. And the actual reason is actually that what actually happens is that the water, being a flexible liquid, is actually able to pass through minute holes in the paper towel which are actually too small to see, you see. So this means that the water can actually establish itself on both faces of the towel. So there you have it kids, science really is all around us!

When I progressed into year 3 I had the privilege of studying a topic on grass. This included a trip to the renowned turf provider, INTURF™ whose cutting edge slogan is ‘People who know turf know INTURF’. There we met Chris who gave us a tour of the factory which took us to the area where they store their grass, the area where they roll their grass up, and of course the area where they grow their grass. Nobody seemed to latch onto the fact that the study of grass and the insipid trip to the place where grass happens was essentially a valueless pursuit. Still, I managed to entertain myself with thoughts of INTURF’s employees and how at dinner parties they would inevitably answer the question ‘So what do you do?’ with ‘I’m in turf myself’, and similarly ‘And where do you work?’ would precipitate the response ‘INTURF’, and then both of them would laugh forever. I too chuckled at this thought, which provoked a stern stare from Chris, and contempt from my classmates who resented my disruption of their learning.


Anyway, the point is, as part of the project, we had to grow our own grass in a Tupperware® box, and investigate which was the most effective habitat for seeds to bloom. It turned out that the answer was not sand or cotton wool. It was of course soil. And why would it not be? It was ridiculous for the teacher to make us go to all the effort to find out something that was so patently obvious. Though not as ridiculous as the person who suggested the least effective habitat: a single, damp paper towel. Now, you can’t plant seeds in a paper towel, so all the hapless group in charge of that particular grass could do for their ill-fated greenery was pray  to the grass god, who was created by a small sect of our class as a result of the trip to INTURF. Some sources suggest that the grass god was in fact Chris, such as this icon, but we cannot be sure.

It's no coincidence that 'Chris' sounds a bit like 'Christ'.
It’s no coincidence that ‘Chris’ sounds a bit like ‘Christ’.

Political Op-onions


Readers from abroad – that is, outside the UK (I realise that you do not regard yourself as abroad if you are situated in your home country, but you are abroad nonetheless) – yes, hello, good afternoon, thanks. In the UK at the moment metaphorical sparks and interest are flying about as to the future of the Labour party’s leadership. There’s been lots of support on social media for one candidate by the name of Jeremy Corbyn. Jeremy Corbyn’s left wing and somewhat radical and revolutionary ideals have inspired enthusiasm for a change in the political running of this country, and in a similar vein, I feel sparked, pumped, and indeed aroused to campaign for change – culinarily.

With the current climate as it is, it is now more necessary than ever for each person to think for themselves and to question the status quo, and with this in mind, I want to make known the shocking truth about onions. Onions are one of those ‘foods’ that at some point in the distant past, a prehistoric human picked up, tried to eat, and on realising it didn’t poison them, decided it was an acceptable vegetable to eat again; the same goes for horse radish. Onions are bitter, foul-smelling, repugnant, and like the Tory party’s recent policies on the NHS, misguided; and not being poisonous is really not a good enough reason for inflicting them upon our taste buds. Who’s with me?


I just thought about how bloody awful onions are again. Why? Why do we eat them? I’ve politely endured countless meals that have been ruined by this scourge on our society, and because in Britain at least you can’t complain about the food that’s been prepared for you, it will carry on with people blindly acting out the governments orders for yet more misery and onions. People have told me that you need onions in food to “bring out the flavours”, but I don’t think that’s true because there’s no reason why that would happen, and the taste of onion is so pungent that it overpowers everything in sight. It’s a bit like privatisation, which supposedly “brings out the flavours” in the economy so that the poor indirectly benefit, but in actuality is so pungent that it benefits that private owners much more. The taste of onions benefits onions, and privatisation benefits private owners. That will go on my gravestone.

It should be obvious from the fact that looking at one makes you cry that onions are bad news, but we ignore this because we’re stupid and there’s a part of us that believes in the ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude, which is patently not true: you gain an awful lot of happiness from the meal you cook if you avoid the self-harming attitude of the bourgeois chef.

In the same way that there are some people who admit that while a Tory government isn’t ideal, we need to accept some of their policies because they provide some stability, so with onions there are some dishes which are acceptable to put them in and those which are not. As such, three years ago I issued an ultimatum to my family listing the acceptable* and unacceptable meals for onions. This photo was taken then.


At this stage the list was by no means comprehensive, and I realise I miss-spelled ‘onion bhajis’, but I was young and uneducated, and you can spare yourself the effort of pointing my errors out to me, because the resultant ridicule I suffered at the time was enough that I will no longer be affected by your insults. I included onion bhajis on the acceptable side only because onion is necessary for the snack to exist. I would of course refuse to eat it.

Three years later, the list is more extensive but looking a little worse for wear.2015-07-24 18.07.07

It’s a bit more crinkled, faded, and the sky is grey. There’s still a lot of feeling and revolutionary spirit in there, but it seems like it’s dying. And this is a good metaphor for society: any revolution, however heart-felt, will one day fade and get lost in the mists of time. But that said, at least some of the changes cause by a rebellion linger on after it has finished, so on balance a revolution is probably an OK idea.

So what does acclaimed actress and Quaker Judi Dench think about revolution?

What a great woman.
What a great woman.

So really, World, I think we can do without onions; they’re just good for nothing unless you happen to be on top of a rock shaped like a thumb at the edge of the desert without food because you’ve run away from an unscrupulously corrupt prison camp for young offenders.** And yeah, come on politics!

N.B. I am by no means an expert in politics, so please don’t have any qualms about setting me straight.

* By acceptable, I of course mean ‘not able to be ruined by the taste of onion’.

** If you’ve never read Holes this reference will make very little sense to you.

Martha’s Journey: A One-Sentence Story

I actually imagined Martha to have brown hair and less of a scowl on her face, but I had nothing to do with casting for the movie.
I actually imagined Martha to have brown hair and less of a scowl on her face, but I had nothing to do with casting for the film.

There was this woman what I knew called Martha and she used to be a little girl but wasn’t any more because of time and stuff and this now woman Martha had always wanted to become an investment banker however now she was all grown up she decided to take a taxi not only across the Rocky Mountains which are in Canada but also to the culturally diverse Birmingham suburb of Selly Oak so she put on her green and orange waterproof anorak which made her look slightly like a cantankerous carrot yet not so much that pagans tried to exorcise Satan from her flank or eat her and she slowly took footsteps towards her front door while making sure not to fall over on her way and having got outside into the cool polluted air there was conveniently a taxi parked right outside a golf club so Martha walked to the golf club and got in the car wherein the driver didn’t seem to be alive but no matter because there was a rudimentary network of strings working in tandem to lift his three remaining limbs in order to cook a really nice cut of pork loin over the car’s cigarette lighter but Martha didn’t see this because the whole operation ceased as soon as she entered the vehicle and instead the driver’s limbs were arranged in a position more advantageous for the act of accessing the various mechanisms so that the car could move to a destination of the passenger’s choosing which it began to do while simultaneously the pork loin sat atop the still operational cigarette lighter gathering dust and slowly but surely only being heated in a small area which struck Martha as sad and soon she, the pork and the corpse driver were well on their way across the Pacific ocean to Canada when suddenly the road curved and a small boy appeared in the passenger seat who exclaimed that he was hungry and demanded a cooperative cauliflower for the purpose of scraping his hair from his scalp so he could eat it and be consequently less hungry but Martha wasn’t at all convinced by the logic of this enquiry but on the other hand she remembered when she was young and being told not to ask questions about others’ eating decisions so she gave the young boy a cauliflower that she found in a mundane pocket of her carrot anorak and while the cauliflower was a cauliflower it was not in any sense cooperative so it beat up the child and dragged him outside which Martha wasn’t wholly happy about but she put it out of her mind because they were now driving through the Rocky mountains which were quite nice though not nearly good enough to warrant the detour the team had taken through most of Asia and now in the present tense the taxi is streaming or should it be oceaning haha across the Atlantic directly on a course for Worcester which is relatively close to Birmingham and therefore Selly Oak too and while the sudden jarring movements of corpse driver can be distracting nonetheless Martha relishes the feeling of the water spraying up the windows and taking away all her strife before they arrive at Worcester when a sharp turn takes them towards Selly Oak and now they arrive at the final destination where Martha takes off her coat and pukes into the bread bin the end.



I’d really like to introduce you today to my friend Maxwell. Maxwell is just one of those people who’s just there, you know? And Maxwell is Maxwell, and no one can dispute that, not even Maxwell, even though he does try, bless him! But that’s Maxwell. He’s just thereMaxwell. There. Yeah! I suppose I’ve always known Maxwell for better or for worse, in whatever form he chose to present himself to me, but it’s only now that I’m just beginning to realise how Maxwell he actually is. And he doesn’t change: he’s just steadfastly Maxwell through and through, and I love him. He’s my hero. He’s my Maxwell. Maxwell my Maxwell.

The thing that many people don’t actually realise about Maxwell is that he’s quite good at spinning coffee cup coasters shaped like the middle bit of LP records. You know, the records, the LP records, back in the old days, when life was good? “Yeah, the old days! When there were those records”. Yeah, the middle of them, you know the middle of those records, olden-day records, the LP ones? Yeah, the records. Yeah well the middle bits – you could look at them and the writing on them would actually tell you what music featured on that record, that LPolden-day, record. Yeah, so those records, now redundant in a world rife with privatisation and men in jackets saying “records are no longer welcome in this country, or indeed in this universe, and we don’t like carrots”, have found a new life. Granted it’s more lowly , but perhaps it’s good for those arrogant records. Perhaps being stripped naked and having hot coffee loaded onto their supine form will give those arrogant records an ounce of humility. I bet they’ve never even done a proper day’s work in their lives. It’s circular commodities like them that are sending this country to the metaphorical dogs.


I own a record coaster like this which was part of a larger disk that once sang Delius’ On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring from its hydrocarbon grooves, which you can hear here today.

And there Neville Marriner is basically just throwing that music at us, obviously recorded in his heyday, loving life before he got old. And what’s just really grand about the recording is that the orchestra never gives too much away, you know? It just tries to keep the beautiful imagery of the Spring season pure, and reminds us perhaps of Delius the composer as a young man, before he got Syphilis and died.

And in many ways, this is similar to Maxwell. He never gives much away. In fact he doesn’t speak at all. Yet you just have a feeling his cotton wool brain is very much still there. And that’s classic Maxwell, always there, always loving, always Maxwell. When Maxwell casts one of those coasters into the air, spinning through the troposphere, he shows us that big, toothy grin – the happiest person you ever did see – before the disk lands in his lap. He’s really good at it. He’s not always up to the throwing part, but he always smiles; he never stops smiling. That’s our Maxwell, our friend. My friend.

Maxwell also really enjoys arson. He often beckons me over to him with his sparkling grey-green eyes; I crouch beside him, my ear pressed to his dry, open lips. “Let’s go and burn down that cinema” he seems to whisper. We drive to the cinema. We quietly lay down twelve buckets of kindling to surround all four big screens of the warehouse-sized building and douse the general area with petroleum. I let Maxwell strike the match with his cold hands. Together we toss it on, and together we watch it go up in smoke. Again, Maxwell doesn’t say anything but you can see in his face that he is pleased.

And even when he was alive Maxwell wasn’t a big talker, but he did love Springtime very much, and now thanks to the Guild of  Taxidermists, he can relish the Spring forever. He can stay looking eternally at the flowers coming into bloom and his smile will never fade, though that might be more to do with the pieces of metal in his gums perpetually forcing the sides of his mouth upwards.

I’m grateful every day of my life that I have Maxwell, and I hope I never lose faith that Maxwell will remain Maxwell, because that’s who Maxwell is. Maxwell is Maxwell.


Ceci n’est pas un blog

I quite like some art: there are some pretty good canvases out there, I’ll tell you. I once went to the National Gallery in London which was OK, but I felt like there wasn’t really enough there to justify spending more than five minutes or so. Because people spend hours poring over every minute nook and cranny of the most boring paintings, often making noises of astonishment or interest, and sometimes peering so intently at the “sublime” brushwork that they fall over and die. Those individuals tend to be your nearest and dearest, meaning that you have to spend your ample time trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep on those funny futon-like things that reside in the middle of the room; you know those ones whose soft leather alludes to comfort, but without providing any back to lean against.

These benches are the biggest disappointments in modern-day art.
These benches are the biggest disappointments in modern-day art.

If I had it my way, I would throw myself onto one of those benches with a duvet and climb into a pair of  checked pyjamas. The security guards might not like that and might give you a life-time ban because exposing yourself was ‘indecent’. I didn’t even want to go back to the National Gallery anyway.

Anyway, in recent times there has been an outburst of classical art memes on the internet and I for one rejoice (no less) in this, because some of the images are downright weird. The picture that I’m going to talk about might not be that weird, but it’s all about what you make of it isn’t it? It is.


Now in this painting, there are a number of naked people running around. Five, to be wrong. There are six naked people running around in this painting. The six people who are running in this painting are actually naked, naked like the running people they are, in this painting. The three characters in the bottom right look like they are from the 1963 book Where the Wild Things Are, but that’s not the point, OK? The point is that this little rendezvous going on here has to stop because it is against God’s laws. That’s right. Bloody pagans!

Unless of course these people are in fact Christians and actually think they are in a church; that red man in the middle has evidently put his pious victims into a trance with the use of his lectern and his gravelly George Clooney voice, and is telling them they’ll go to heaven if they jive perpetually in a circular motion – you can just see it in his half-closed eyes.

dancing writing

I mean why is that guy allowed to wear clothes when the others aren’t? Does he think he’s somehow better than them? And why do the women all have flaxen hair and the men only have dark? Sexism. That’s what it’s all about.

And most importantly, why the hell is that fence levitating? The artist, William Williamson of Mars clearly thought the painting wasn’t perverse enough that these humans were apparently being kept as livestock in a not-very-secure pig pen, so he thought he’d just add in a supernatural sci-fi element. This guy was obviously stoned.

Then there are these cheery chappies.

Unhappy trumpeters

The saddest trumpeters in the world. I mean it’s fine if you don’t want to smile, but these fellas need to learn that they’re never going to make a successful career playing groovy jaaazz if they look so glum all the time. Louis Armstrong didn’t get where he is today by frowning. You’re no doubt thinking at this point “But Louis Armstrong’s dead!” Grow up.* Dead or alive, Louis Armstrong is one of the coolest people that there has been in existence. And he’s more alive than these losers at any rate.

It’s no wonder that the three trumpeters (let’s call them Christopher, Norman and Hans for the sake of argument, and indeed whimsy) are stuck playing gigs for depraved heretic parties rather than the big venues in the proverbial melting pot of New Orleans: there’s no enthusiasm there. Let’s look at Christopher. While the arduous and ultimately gruelling lifestyle of the freelance musician is obviously not helping to build his confidence, he hardly has stars in his eyes.

See it’s all about reaction; all we can really control in our lives is how we react to stimuli, and the fact that we have a choice in this matter is what makes us truly human. Think about Christopher, Norman and Hans; they can choose not to pull their heads down if they want to, and their success lies in their own hands. And that is a refreshing thought.

So, do YOU have stars in YOUR eyes?

Here are some stars. Do you like stars?
Here are some stars. Do you like stars?

*I hope one and all of you understand that when I tell you to grow up, I don’t really mean it. We’re just ‘avin laffs. We’re all friends here, and I appreciate that many of you are functioning adults.