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November 2004 was basically 30 days of mad stress interspersed with mad drunken exploits that got me into all sorts of trouble. Oh, fireworks and porridge figured quite prominently too...


Monday 1st November 2004 - 00:10GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

ten minutes past october

gosh, how about that, another month gone, and it had only just begun.

Oh, there's something I just HAVE to tell you, dear mumblers.

It's an ability I have, call it a party trick, something that I never knew that I could do - until tonight. Something that I bet not many other people in this world can do. I discovered it purely by chance when dialling my sister's telephone number.

The Indian Rope Trick is nothing compared to this.

Professional memory artists would quake in my presence if they knew of my ability.

Well, like I said, it all began when I dialled my sister's phone number.

Now, picture the situation: I've got the phone handset in one hand, and am pressing the buttons on the base unit with my other hand - but I'm looking at my address book. Can't see what buttons I'm pressing, right?

Got that picture in your head? Sure? Ok, I'll continue.

Ok, so I think I know my way around the telephone key pad without looking, as many telepholics can. I dial the first 6 numbers, ok. Then, I read the next number written in my address book.

It's a 3.

Time suddenly comes to a screeching halt (just like in my film of a few years back, The Matrix, in which I stop bullets in mid-air) as the camera zooms in from the helicopter in the sky (as opposed to the helicopter underground that is). The music, which until this point has been all very jolly and fun in an Austin Powers type way suddenly takes on a dramatic dark, black, gruesome rumbling form - and then a fork of lightening, as bright as the sun in the daytime with a thousand torches powered by Duracell batteries pointing at it (that's bright), shoots down from the epitaph of heaven and delivers a scorching blow as my finger moves to what it thinks is the number 3 button on the keypad.

With all the force of a finger, my finger comes crashing down on the number 1 in error. I am two digits out, and the fate of the world is thrown through a Sam Beckett style time tunnel of blackness. Will anyone survive? Will the pressing of the number 1 button instead of the number 3 button be noticed by Joseph's ear, or will the universe be sucked into the confusion of a wrong number?

Suddenly, the cuckoo clock of life whirred back into action within Joseph's brain. He'd heard the tone emitted by the phone as his flesh had met with raw plastic. That tone, that tone... there was something about that tone..

yeah, so like, I realised I'd dialled the wrong number, cause like, I realised when I pressed 1 that the noise the phone made wasn't the noise for the number three, so basically, my party trick is I can tell the difference between the noise that the "1" button makes, and the noise that the "3" button makes.

Ho hum. Virgin Mumblers: I think that pretty much sets the scene for the kind of astounding rubbish you'll find round here.


Monday 1st November 2004 - 01:25GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

halloween ghouls

Well, we certainly had our share of scary characters on the streets tonight, what with it being halloween and all.

Mind you, if, when you'd been asked "trick or treat?" you'd said "trick", the ghoul in question probably wouldn't have put toothpaste in your doorlock. No, this character would have smashed you over the head with a beer bottle.

If you'd said "treat", and asked him what he wanted, he probably wouldn't have said "liquorice allsorts" or "a toffee apple"; he'd have said, "I want to F***ing smash you over the head with a beer bottle, now come a bit closer so I can get a good whack at you".

Yes, I actually called the Police. Well, I say the Police, but it wasn't exactly. It was the university emergency Security Service who pretend to be like the proper emergency services by answering the phone with "Emergency, which service?". They then call the fire/police/ambulance on your behalf. Anyway, I told them about this guy just outside our flat. He was completely mad. Really shouting, F***ing this and F***ing that (the security guy wasn't swearing, no, that was the guy on the street, just in case you were getting confused). Running up and down the road throwing glass bottles. Security said they were monitoring him on the CCTV - bugger the CCTV I thought, that won't be much use when he's stabbed someone!

He disappeared after about half-an-hour. I heard him run off into the heart of the red light district.

That's one thing I've noticed about people up here, up North. Although on the whole they are a lot friendlier than down south, the mad angry ones (nearly always men with shaved heads and piercings in their willies, which probably accounts for their angry state of mind), are EXTRA mad and EXTRA angry. Admittedly it doesn't seem to be as violent as Torquay, and I guess I do live in a dodgy area of town (as opposed to the posh end of Bristol)...

Anyway, look, it's 1.45am, which by yesterday's time is actually 2.45am, so I really should be going to bed.

night night.

Tuesday 2nd November 2004 - 19:10GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield


Made another great leap towards senility yesterday - picked up my first ever pair of glasses from the opticians.

It all started when I took my Minibus driving test a couple of weeks back. Upon my first attempt, I realised that I could barely make out the number plate that I was being asked to read. I got it right, but only just.

I then spent the next six days practicing my number-plate reading skills. I realised that they were much better if I avoided looking at anything close to me for a while, and instead concentrated in the horizon. Admittedly this did cause a few problems, but I swear that if I had looked at the pedestrian crossing lights they would have been green. Anyway, that's what trams have brakes for, and as for the driver behind the tram, well, he shouldn't have been driving so close, and if people are going to refuse to give up their seats for old grannies it's only inevitable that they end up having to clear up the remnants of a crushed wicker basket and a couple of broken hip joints.

On the actual morning of my 2nd test I must confess to leaving home half an hour early in order that I could walk around the Safeway Supermarket car park practicing my number plate-reading-skills. I then deliberately went in to the driving centre courtyard through the exit, as that's the furthest point away from the test building itself, and that's where the van had been parked whose number plate I had been asked to read the previous time. Walking past the vans, I made a note of all the number plates, in preparation for the actual test.

Sitting in the foyer awaiting my examiner I stubbornly refused to look away from the artificial ski slope on the distant hillside. As my examiner and I stepped out of the building I was all ready... all that preparation, and then he said, "ah, well, your eye sight was ok last week so we'll skip that..."

This traumatic experience prompted me to visit the opticians. For some reason I was expecting some really high-tec computerised camera thing that would focus on your eye and make it's own calculations. It would be attached to a machine not unlike Bertha (she's making jumping kangaroos today, as seen here) that would, after a few grinding juuug jjjuuug noises produce my new glasses - they'd emerge form the machine on a red rubber conveyor belt.

When I was led into the wood-paneled room at the back of the opticians I thought, *oh, how lovely that they keep all these antique tools around! The big rack of little glass lenses set into mahogany casings, the huge metal spectacles that look like an instrument of torture, the ancient grandfather-clock like thing on the wall with letters printed on a scroll...*

I was somewhat taken aback then when the torture-glasses were handed to me, and the optician proceeded to play around with all these different lenses, slotting them in and out, until I wasn't quite as blind as when I'd gone in.

I had a huge choice of frames to choose from. 1 in fact.

As I'm a student, the NHS (National Health Service) paid for my eye test and the lenses, but not the frames. These had to somehow come out of my budget - my weekly food and entertainment budget, which is £40. Having spent £20 on vegetables that morning, I only had half left. I knew I was going to Alton Towers, and so allowed £8 for that (in the event I only spent 46p there after the ticket!). That left me with £12. And one style of frames to choose from. Well, there were 3 actually, but they were all identical except for slight changes in the depth (?height) of the lenses.

This is the result. Yes, for the first time in the whole history of the universe (this time around), Joseph Tame wearing glasses of the going-blind variety.

Admittedly not a very good photo, but it's the best my keitai (mobile) can do from the angle at which the alien's were taking photos from.

Oh gosh tiddly pom I really must write my essay.

Or take a little nap maybe. Can concentrate better after that. Right? Yeah? Good idea hey?

I'm having training in how to be a tour guide tomorrow by the way, thought you'd like to know that.

bai bai!! (japanese for "bye bye")

Thursday 4th November 2004 - 00:43GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

tour guide or not tour guide

I got lost today when trying to find the tour-guides' meeting venue.

I eventually found it - half a hour after the meeting had begun. In fact, I only found it because I saw a whole load of people exit the building at once, when the meeting finished.

What do you think that says about my suitability for a tour-guide position...?

Sunday 7th November 2004 - 18:54GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

this morning's porridge (part 1)

Went out to a fireworks display the other night at Sheffield Arena. One of those city council things you know, hosted by the local radio station's cheesiest DJ, in this case, the typically named "Big John". Apparently there was some famous girl-group performing live too - thankfully they were drowned out by the exploding rockets.

Masa and two other uni friends whose names I cannot recall (pictured below) had invited me along. Despite the sheer volume of Edam (the over-processed variety you see) I had a really good time. We went on a couple of fairground rides, including the one that you can see pictured in action below, which was fun - my apologies to the people in the car behind - if it's any consolation the porridge had been freshly made that morning from organic oats - the dark chewy bits had been organic raisins.





...and faster, and faster...


until they shot through the sound barrier and boomed
off into the night sky


I like fireworks, as you can probably tell.

I don't like being very tired at 7pm on a Sunday evening with the knowledge that I haven't done any of the homework that I have to hand in tomorrow morning. I also don't like having an arm that is recovering from it's fourth adventure in to the world of dislocated-tendons. Ouch.

Katsura came up from London to *see* me on Friday. Little hiccup though - she ended up in Leeds instead of Sheffield due to a misunderstanding when the bus broke down. It was midnight and there were no trains. Yet, fortune was on her side, for the old lady whom she'd been sitting next to offered her a bed at her house. Isn't that kind? If only there were more people like her...

Katsura finally arrived on Saturday morning, and after 26 hours of exercise, returned to London this afternoon. We had a nice time. Except I dislocated the tendon in my right shoulder again. I know I told you that before, but it hurt.

Ho hum, I'm not feeling very mumbly as you can probably tell. Not feeling terribly RAAAry either. AND, my bread went mouldy over the weekend, which I'm a bit miffed about as it's almost a whole loaf. Mind you, I think it'll be ok to eat tomorrow - I brushed the biggest of the green spots off.

ooohh, ooh, that was it, that sentence above has tipped the balance, I think I'm now in the right frame of mind for a good old RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Wednesday 10th November 2004 - 15:31GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

this morning's porridge (part 2)

Bah Humbug. Curse you, the lot of you.

I only know 3 *real* people with weblogs.

Two of you haven't updated your weblog for at least a fortnight, whilst the third one of you only offered me splotchy skin and an inability to breathe, which makes me feel squeamish. - and sympathetic of course, just in case you thought I was just a cold heartless selfish bastard. Which obviously I'm not because otherwise I wouldn't be able to eat cacti by the dozen. Ah, bet you didn't know that eh? Mind you, I only found out this morning that I had this ability, and am yet to go to the toilet. Ouch.

WOOP WOOP!! Wow, check that out, it only took me 6 sentences to get from Bah Humbug to Toilets. Not bad eh?

Anyway what's new in my world? Ah yes, I know:

1. Clean sheets on the bed. After 7 weeks of sleeping on my favourite tie-dye sheets, I have put fresh ones on. Only because Katsura insisted. But the thing is, they weren't even dirty! I really don't see the point in changing bed sheet sunless they're dirty! You see, I am naturally clean, and therefore everything around me is clean too. Except Simon in my Japanese class. He's not.

2. erm, I think that's it actually. Still, the bed sheets were quite exciting.

Oh yes, porridge, that's what I wanted a word about.

Not only is it good for meditating on (as shown above left), but also, the process of making the stuff results in the production of a fantastic slimy white pancake-type skin that can, after several hours of soaking, be peeled off the base of the saucepan in one piece. This has become a lunchtime ritual that I have started to depend on for my mental stability. Imagine my horror then when today I find that someone else has washed up my saucepan - and there are remnants of my precious porridge skin in the strainer that sits atop the drain...

Here's a poetical contribution from a regular Mumbler that fits in nicely with today's topic:

Scouring out the porridge pot
Round and round and round

Out with all the scraith and scoopery
Lift the eely ooly droopery
Chase the glubbery slubbery gloopery
Round and round and round

Out with all the doleful dithery
Ladle out the slimey slithery
Hunt and catch the hithery thithery
Round and round and round.

Out with all the ubbly gubbly
On the stove it burns so bubbly
Use a spoon and use it doubly
Round and round and round.

I can just imagine the pain that it must have endured as the metal scourer ripped through it's very soul, sending the sodden oats flying in all directions, wrenched from their neighbouring oatymates. At least with MY method they can all sit in the bin together. That would make a great TV series, "Adventures of the Porridge Pancake". Episode one: Born on a Hotplate. Episode two: Liberated from the Pan by the Giant Hands. Episode three: Rescued from the Bin by one of King Arthur's Knight's who's had the fantastic idea that if he plastered himself with soggy porridge Pancakes and waited until they dried he's have an impenetrable suit of Armoured Porridge.

Hmm, what else can I think of that will help me avoid my Understanding Japan essay?

Oh yes, I know - something quite extraordinary.

Since my sight test my eyesight has deteriorated a great deal. I kid you not. I am now unable to read a sign just 30 metres away, and I swear that that wasn't the case a few weeks back. Why is this? It can't be physical, it must be psychological, right? I have only worn my new glasses for a maximum of about 5 minutes in total, so it can't be that my eyes have adjusted to them and thus given up on trying to focus on distant objects. It must be my brain, saying,

"Oh, right, you HAVE got poor eyesight! Well, if that's the case, what's the point in me continuing to make up for your physical inadequacies? It's not my fault. I'm just going to channel exactly what your eyes see without putting it through Adobe EyesightShop 8™ (the brain 's equivalent of Photoshop™). I thought it was just me before and have been working like mad to present you with a clear picture, but well, now you know it's your eyes I don't have to worry about you replacing me anymore..."

I've tried telling my brain that I'd really appreciate it if it would continue to make adjustments to the visual input signal as it had been doing up until a fortnight back, but it's having none of it. I'm also avoiding wearing my glasses (as advised by the optician to avoid a quickening of the dependence thing). This does however mean that I have been having trouble seeing things. People's faces are quite hard to make out if over 10 metres away - I smiled broadly at a complete stranger this morning in the belief that they were in my class. Not a bad thing, as we don't smile at stranger's enough these days. However, I did get a bit embarrassed as she then came up to me and said, "you trying to pull me or what?". Well, she didn't actually, but that's not the point - she might have done. I suppose this could be the secret to my success with English Girls, that strange breed that have so far succeeded in eluding me.

Ok, I feel able to tackle this essay now.


Two Hours later...

amazing what you can get done when you're trying to avoid something. I've even managed to update the secret password-protected bit of Tame Goes Wild (devoted to Japanese Studies, including material that our tutors may frown upon for legal reasons)... I've been avoiding that for weeks.

Speaking of which, here's an extract from it. The art of Chindogu - Japanese UNuseless inventions.

Chindogu of the Week - 5: Walk 'n' Wash

# Makes washing day
a stroll in the park


Some choices are hard, especially when guilt enters the frame.

You'd like to go for a walk, but you ought to be doing the laundry. Well now you can do both.

The Walk'n'Wash comprises a pair of polythene tanks, one for each leg, with the capacity to hold two litres of laundry and water.

So it's wash on the right leg, then rinse on the left (or vice versa, according to your personal preference). The weight of the tanks turns walking into a workout, making this a triple-barrelled Chindogu.


Ok, right, essay. The title is...

"Contemporary Japan is often presented as exotic, unique and difficult for ‘the west’ to comprehend. What are the reasons for this and to what extent is it a valid perspective?"

Off we go...

Thursday 11th November 2004 - 10:08GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield


Tame Goes Wild attracts almost 1000 visitors per week, 30% of whom are from Britain, 25% of whom are from America, and 8% of whom are from Japan.

No wonder the world's in such a mess.

Thursday 11th November 2004 - 10:21GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield


Just remembered a bizarre dream I had last night about a friend down in Bristol, who, in the dream, had come up to visit me with her boyfriend.

When she arrived, the three of us walked under an underpass at the railway station. Halfway through the dark tunnel my friend asked her boyfriend to demonstrate for me the fact that her bra played the old 1990’s BBC theme tune when it was undone.

Then I woke up.

Thursday 11th November 2004 - 10:21GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

itchy feet!

I've got it bad for three reasons:

1) 2 exams on Monday, 1 on Tuesday, my first essay also due in on Tuesday (still unwritten)

2) News that one of my classmates has chosen to leave university for far more relaxed pastures (France). John, you shall be sadly missed.

3) a mega-long email from my old friend Jason who I first met in Paignton, back in the days when we used to make lasers. Can't remember if I've mentioned him recently, but anyway, he's having an amazing time in Thailand and has met someone who is possibly the most beautiful girl in the whole world (click here for proof!).

Big respect to him for finally getting up and going. I'm privileged to be on his email list.

I'm tired, very tired of being organised. And of having to think.

............... <line goes dead>

Sunday 14th November 2004 - 01:21GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield


my avocado's back in my life. my friend drove for almost 6 hours to bring him to me.

I ate the mother-fruit back in February. I soaked the stone for a couple of weeks, then planted it.

Look how grown up he is now.

Sunday 14th November 2004 - 15:23GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

inflicting pain to prevent a greater pain

Well, the essay's done, the reference list complete and my desire for a celebratory bottle of Baileys or two very strong. Sadly, it won't be happening as I've now got to revise for the exams tomorrow.

<Click here to read about my result...!)

Yesterday I bought the most delicious apples I've ever tasted. Organic English Braeburns. They taste so good they are almost exotic. So exotic in fact that it if I were a Rhino I'd consider leaving my African game reserve and moving to Sheffield. However, as I'm not a rhino the chances of this happening are slim. The fact that I already live in Sheffield further enhances the likelihood that this will not occur.

The feeling of stress generated by the essay has been lifted... only to be replaced with another stress. That caused by guilt. Earlier in the week one of my friends was in a bit of a state, and was talking about doing something that I considered to be really quite daft, an action that if carried out would merely cause them further grief. So fearful was I that they were going to do such and such, that I had harsh words, words that I hoped would have the effect of helping them to realise that they needed to step out of the highly-strung swimming-pool of unhappiness and anger before the situation could be viewed for what it really was.

Well, in the event he didn't do what I had feared he might (thankfully). Whether or not my words had anything to do with that I don't know.

Unfortunately though the result of this highly-charged encounter at the Gates of Mordor is that he was hurt by my words.

To what extent is it ok to inflict pain to prevent a further greater pain? Judging from my reaction, and my conscious beliefs, my tolerance level is extremely low, perhaps zero in fact.

I'm unsure as to what I have learnt from this situation yet, as I remain too close to its heart at this moment. It may be a few weeks, a few months or perhaps years before I know the result of this artichoke harvest. In the meantime though, I feel very bad about it all.

Monday 15th November 2004 - 01:11GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

all is full of love

Björk, I never tire of her. She has that ability to move me, no matter how many times I listen to her. I'm currently listening to Selma's Songs. I have seen it all hit me hard. It shot a arrow of love through my heart. For a moment I felt that deep, strong, golden love that you feel when absolutely and totally and utterly in love with someone. It's a feeling that cannot be compared with, except perhaps that when the neighbours finally turn their stereo off after keeping you awake half the night by listening to Black Sabbath.

Music, as we all know, also has that ability to take you back to a time, a place. As Selma's Songs, the soundtrack to Björk's musical Dancer in the Dark, does. It takes me back to Tokyo. I still remember actually picking the video off the shelf in Koenji Tsutaya (the Japanese equiv of our Blockbuster), almost three years after the event. An earlier work of hers, Venus As A Boy, sees me on a train that was just pulling out of Hereford Station when I was on my way to Birmingham to see an epilepsy specialist, not long after my diagnosis. The album Vespertime reminds me of being in Osaka, the day I left my former partner. For a long time I had to treat that album with great caution, until it was superceded by Coldplay, as revealed during my BBC appearance earlier this year. I love Björk.

During my first two weeks in Japan in 2001 I decided to deliberately associate U2's Beautiful Day with my time in that freezing cold tin shack in beautiful isolated eastern Hokkaido (appropriate window circled below left. Dressed up for Halloween with Holly and Louise the Killer doll, who we drowned later that night in a hot spring. I listened to it every morning and every night whether I wanted to or not. Now, whenever I play the song, I am back there, freezing my arse off. Great.

I wondered why all this has been on my mind today: I've just hauled my 39th diary out of my trunk, and I see that it was exactly 4 years ago that all of this occurred. I note that 4 years ago to the day, and quite possibly to the hour, I was sitting in Starbucks at the top of the Hep 5 building in Osaka. Gosh, I remember that day!! I remember where I sat. facing the escalator. I sat there deliberately as I was on the look out for my new friend, Gerilynn, who'd said she often when to that Starbucks. She didn't turn up of course - but I was able to write a lot about my first impressions of metropolitan Japan.

Hhhm, I actually have a photo taken that very day, in that very Starbucks, at the very table where I wrote my diary, of my two other new friends, Harry and Larry.

hhm, computer's thinking about crashing, and so am I.

Monday 15th November 2004 - 17:39GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

but the parsnip told me it was true!

Tuesday 16th November 2004 - 07:08GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

I open my eyes... and it's still dark outside!

Joseph: Body! Why did you wake me up at this ungodly hour?!

Body: Mua ah ah ah ah ah ah (said Doctor Evil Styleee)

Joseph: It's only just after 7am and you didn't go to bed until midnight!

Body: Mua ah ah ah ah ah ah

Joseph: You don't even need the toilet or feel dehydrated!

Body: Mua ah ah ah ah ah ah

Joseph: Is that all you can say?!

Body: Mua ah ah ah ah ah ah

Joseph: Well, I 'spose there's not much point in me talking to you then if that's the extent of your English language capabilities.

Body: That's right. Now be quiet or I will force you to pay me TEN THOUSAND POUNDS!!!

Saturday 20th November 2004 - 12:25GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

friendship smashed to smithereens

What a week.

The good news: I, along with most of my class mates did very well in my mid-semester exams and am currently in line for a first... not that that means much as we've got another 4 years to go!!

The Bad news: in celebrating the end of the exams and the handing in of the dreaded first essay, in addition to marking the departure of a now muchly-missed classmate for pastures not quite as snowy as Sheffield, a few of us got together for a wee drinky. I shall but touch on it briefly: several hours after I'd drunk my first pint of white wine I did something that whilst great fun and very lovely was also utterly deplorable due to the timing and location and has since caused the splintering of what had been a strong unit of friendship. I'm shocked by my own actions, and can only hope that with time wounds will heal.

Anyhow, no more on that...

The evening leading up to that was however great fun - wonderful to get to know each other better, wonderful to share stories about Japan, and reminisce about the tunes that are played at Japanese railway stations. There's a whole web-site devoted to them, and when I was pointed in the direction of this particular file I almost burst into tears:

It's a recording of the announcement made on Platform 14 of Shinjuku station, the Sobu Line, bound for my many homes along that railway in western Tokyo.

So yes, it's been quite a disturbing week really. I guess it's early days and things will get better. The emotional hangover will ease with time.

Spose I'd better do some homework. Take my mind off things. Gosh, I really hope we can all get through this without it impacting in the extreme long term. I'm not sure though. Friendship is such a precious commodity, and so to see it smashed to pieces is really quite disturbing.

I guess in the grand scheme of things it is but a blip. It's just that blips tend to be very big when viewed up close.


Sunday 21st November 2004 - 16:13GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

snorting pepper and the resulting act of sternutation

I tell you, the ice at Sheffield Ice Rink must be made of frozen concrete. My hip is killing me after I fell over (just) twice during last night's disco-fever ice-skating party!

It was a laugh... I haven't been ice skating since I was about nine-years-old. Took me about 15 mins to warm up, but after that I let go of the side, and sped off into the distance (it was then, when I was feeling a bit cocky, that I fell over). What I don't get is how all those bus-stop chav-scum kids are so damn good. I think it might be connected with the ice rink's smoking room; the only place they can all look so damn cool by passing round their stolen Marlboro Light's without their parents seeing. I tell you, some of them couldn't have been much over ten-years-old. Shocking. When I were a lad...

Feeling mildly better today. Just trying to prevent the onset of an obsession. I loathe obsessions. They take over your whole day and night and there's not a thing you can do about them. It's irrelevant what the obsession is over because, well, obsessions take on a whole life of their own. They become completely detached from the reality of the cause. My obsession may as well be over fried eggs (although as I'm vegan that's unlikely, unless they were dairy-free Easter Eggs, although that's also quite unlikely because the chocolate wouldn't take too kindly to being fried). Erm, yes. well, you see what I'm saying. I'm intrigued to know how my obsession will develop this week. I'm hoping that it will dissolve in the mug of carbonated green tea that is the week ahead.

Some might say that I have ultimate control over my obsession, which for argument's sake, we'll say is that of snorting pepper. Snorting pepper, for those of you who have not tried it, causes a great reaction within the human body, that of sternutation, or, in everyday English, a symptom consisting of the involuntary expulsion of air from the nose. Sternutation, as I'm sure you are aware can be quite a pleasant experience, 1/8 of an orgasm they say, unless it follows the eating of scrambled egg, in which case it can be quite embarrassing. I remember one occasion when I had over-peppered my breakfast, which led to a great big sneeze, in which not only saliva came flying out of my mouth but also scrambled egg flew out of my nose. (I've also seen that act performed as a party trick with spaghetti).

I digress.

So, whilst snorting pepper can result in pleasurable short-term consequences (including, according to the Dalai Lama, low-level near-death awareness), in the long term it is highly damaging as your nasal hairs become dislodged by the frequent hurricanes that whistle by (an average sneeze sees the air travel out of your nose at 100mph - for more on that click here). Ok, so I think we're clear now on the nature of my obsession, yes? If not click here and start again.

When cooking I cannot help but raise the pepper shaker to my nose and inhale. When making my porridge I forfeit the salt, and instead grind a handful of black peppercorns into the gloop. I've emptied my t-pot of Earl Grey and refilled it with this. I have reset my Internet Explorer homepage to this. It's just getting to be too much, but I can't stop it, the attraction of pepper resulting from its consequential association with Mr. Sternutation are too much for me to resist, despite the threat of the stripping of my nostrils of their protective hairs.

I just have to get a grip. I shall not ban pepper from my life, but instead make a conscious decision to limit it to it's rightful place. That is, in my peanut butter sandwiches and stir-fry rice.

Oh, I've just remembered why I opened Dreamweaver. I wanted to mention a couple of friend's websites:

the first is that of Billy Salisbury, world traveler extraordinaire who has just hit the road again after spending the summer in the UK. He's currently in India, and as you can read, has already taken over Bollywood:

The other site I'd like to mention is that of Brandon Steep, the Herefordian Band (with Steiner connections) who are on the rise having played at Glastonbury and made it onto Radio One's Unsigned Bands list. You can download a couple of their songs from the site and admire their rather groovy photo:

Tuesday 23rd November 2004 - 00:47GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield


i absolutely love this course, and I can't wait for tomorrow's lessons.

Tuesday 23rd November 2004 - 21:16GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

on TV again...

I just heard I was on TV again tonight... for the 5th (?) time... that brings my total airtime to 90 mins I think (excluding Japanese appearances). Or is 105? I forget, such is the way with stardom...

ooh, I even get a mention on the BBC website...

oh crikey, and there's a photo too...

Wednesday 24th November 2004 - 19:49GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

chav scum strike again

My friend had his car broken into yesterday. Knackered the lock. Smashed the window. Stole his stereo, his sweets... and my digital camera that was locked in the glove compartment.

Not really a problem for me as I have insurance, and the Student Union lends out digital cameras for free (on the condition that it's not used for study-related stuff) so I can get by until it's all sorted.

Different matter for my friend though. He's only had the car a few days, and the excess on his insurance is more that the 120 pound replacement cost for the window.

Like he said, no respect. Something I know only too much about.

Tuesday 30th November 2004 - 17:00GMT The Red Light Cupboard, Sheffield

hisashiburi desu ne

As usual it was only a matter of time before the mails started pouring in (all one of them) complaining about lack of updates to the Mumble. My apologies oh loyal fans, but life has been somewhat hectic this past week.

The past 24 hours has been somewhat surreal, seeing me vault over the wall that divides singletonhood from coupleville. Yes, although somewhat unexpected, it's all very nice. Anyway, I choose to say no more about it than that.

to be continued next month...

The Daily Mumble November 2004 Archive

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