Thursday, 4 March 2010

A premature ending... an explination or an excuse?

To begin at the beginning... well ages ago now. When I said in an earlier post about my phone being lost, it was not exactly lost. I was on my home from a fantastic gig at the Wilmington by a band called Withered Hand, really great gig, people singing along, great laughs with everyone. Anyways I was on my way home, not far from my flat when I was set upon by a group of 'youth' they punched and kicked me unconscious and took my phone and wallet and the cash I had with me. On the plus side my oyster card was 70p in deficit and I did not have much cash as it was the end of the night. Note to muggers if it is cash you are after me coming out of the pub is a bloody stupid place to look. After a weekend of lying low and feeling a bit sorry for myself I went to the hospital hoping to find out that I was in perfect condition other than 2 black eyes a cut forehead cuts on the top of my head and some pretty big bumps on the top of my head... oh and that massive ping pong ball that was sticking out of the side. Fantastically the hospital told me that I had a depressed cheekbone... the indiest injury in the world. This meant that a couple of weeks after the initial incident I was going to have to go to hospital and have my cheekbone made happy again.

The best bit about this was that my face was just starting to look normal again, but the operation (cut insidethe mouth tool under your cheek and then pop!) would make me look like I had been beaten up again. Anyway the operation was a success and my stay in hospital was ok, nurses, doctors and everyone were all really nice. Some smiles but not really many photo opportunities.

A couple of things made me smile, when asked my allergies i 'joked' Cat Dogs and feathers... this is true but i did not envisage too much contact with these things on my way to or in fact in surgery, but they still put it on my wrist. The thing that made me laugh about this was just how long it kept the 'joke' alive all the different people who come and have a poke at you and ask you questions while you are in a hospital bed... anyways the other thing that made me smile was...

The view from UCH in glorious 2 mega pixel clarity for you all to enjoy.

The much more difficult thing that as affected this final period was the trial of the young man who killed my brother Adam last summer. Adam was an inspiration in me doing this smile thing, he was someone who all the testaments, from friends, family, in fact everyone he ever met tell you that he was someone who made you smile. Anyway rather heavy on the horrible irony at the same time as I was going to the hospital to find out the extent of my injuries the trial started in Preston. The outcome was that the young man who killed Adam was found guilty and my brothers good name was preserved and any accusations that the young man made that he was acting in some kind of self defence were threw out by the court. The fact that he was found guilty and my brothers name was left untarnished offered some relief and comfort but honestly not a lot. His loss left an enormous hole in all our lives and the results of one senseless act of violence will be felt for the rest of time.

Now all the above is not by way of an excuse, it's just I lost my 100 day mojo, my crap camera replacement took bad pictures (in truth as did my first). I was not out and about and for the best part of a month I felt like the elephant man. So I did not make it to the finish line... That is not to say I forgot about the project, below is a little round up of the past 40 or so days. A conclusion to my 100 days project...

Fan Mail!!!!

You may remember my inexplicable appearance in the Scottish Sunday papers..

Well I got a note from Francis telling me he had held on to the ladies underwear but he had received a couple of letters/ poems about my project. Strange, funny and beautiful in it's own way.

Luke in Canada, Luke is a friend of mine I met on the fence records website we swap stupid stories, bad jokes and musical tips along with a 100 or so other daft folk. Peter not only sent me a great compilation cd packed with music I liked and some of which I had not even heard of he also sent me a specially commissioned picture of him smiling in a freezing lake with his nipples showing he also sent me a picture of a moose smirking. Now that is online friendship.

Leigh Campbell, Leigh has been a really good pal so when she came to visit London that I took her to a posh Coffee shop and got caked up. After half an hour we were wired on Coffee and filled to the brim with cake. On the way out I saw Terry Hall from The Specials ranting to his son about everything being f**king shit... everything, f**king shit. No smile there then.

Kim Walker, It is not really me making her smile... we are just coming to the end of a very nice meal at this point. We were at LMNT in Dalston, they have very rude Egyptian art in the ladies! Remember to warn your folks if you ever take them there for lunch and keep your kids distracted. Kim is a very good friend and is never short of a smile, we worked together for a few years and she nearly always laughed at my 'jokes' and her laugh is infectious.

Joe Briggs, This is a funny one, anyone who knows me will know that I am not a jogger! Well Joe and Leigh got me out of the flat before nine on a wet Sunday morning to run to the Tate Modern and back, I wanted to walk back because my whole body was aching but as it was raining and I was just wearing shorts and a t-shirt I decided that I would be better running as otherwise I would look ridiculous (I looked f**king ridiculous anyway) my funny vanity. As well as excellent company and a strange sense of well being and health I was rewarded with a guilt free sausage sandwich...

Johnny Lynch, I made Johnny smile by getting a load of us together in the pub for a nice Sunday afternoon booze up and catch up when he was visiting us in London from his little village in the wilds of Fife.

I slightly over cooked the smile and told him he looked good with the weight he had lost... in hindsight I regret this. He showed me a picture of a male pop star smiling and using the phone in the bath... the bastard refused to send it to me for my blog.

John Newman, John likes Sprouts... I had Sprouts... he didn't HOMO EROTIC?

Lucy, Lucy really wanted her picture taken but I could just not quite capture the moment. She is clearly smiling on the inside.

Annie and Fergus McKenna, not wanting to be soppy or anything but I love their smiles and they keep me going when things get me down, I could have done a blog of just their smiles but that is what Facebook is for.

Over the missing days there have been smiles..

People dropping things on the street or on platforms and me going after them to give then back.
Giving my seat up for old ladies
Giving my seat up for tired ladies
Giving my seat up for pregnant ladies
Giving my seat up for really pretty ladies
Letting friends stay at mine
Helping friends sort their flats out
Cooking for friends
Cooking for 50 people for a wedding preparation course
Getting great indie music back out into the world
Telling jokes/stories/lies to get a smile
Being a pal
Going to the worst nightclub in London and getting the drinks in

Basically the smiles will keep coming but not all of them will be captured in picture form.

Thanks to everyone for smiling, thanks for all the messages people have sent about this blog. It has been fun to do and I am really really glad a few of you have enjoyed it. We are all amazing.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Day 56 Picture 56ish

The Olo Worms- Mark, Gareth, Matt and James. Beautiful boys and Fence Records very own boy band. They played at the Luminaire and were really rather good. We met in the pub for a pre match drink and pulled faces at each other. Matt won at 'face pulling' but totally lost at 'not looking like a Merecat'.

I also managed a snap of The Pictish Trail looking hotter than a bag full of Take That.

Day 55 Retro Picture 7

Cara Leighton, Judging by this smile I am sure one or both of us has told a dirty joke or passed rude comment about one another... In fact knowing Cara and knowing me (ah ha) it can be the only explanation.

Day 54 Retro Picture 6

Paul McGuinness, another of Calum's lovely pictures. Me and Paul are behaving like school children as some poor sod trys to sing us a song... well school children full of Buckfast and Carlsberg. That lamp in the foreground can be seen topless in day 53, thankfuly me and Paul can not.

Day 53 Retro Picture 5

The Casino Kids... Jen and Calum Gordon, The Anstruther Mafioso's most beautiful. Jen plays songs under the name HMG Ginifore and can reduce a room of hairy rough looking chaps to tears. Calum can take photographs of that same rough looking group of men and make them look respectable with his fantastic photos. I think I am asking permission to say something cheeky in this one...

A year later and I think I may have just said something cheeky in this one.

Poor Anneliesa Jane... I have no idea what I am singing but I think that is more a look of fear than anything else... not sure why I included that picture... actually it is because I was looking through Calum's pictures and it made me smile.

Day 52 Retro Picture 4

Stephanie Gibson, I can only imagine the very lovely Stephanie is smiling at either my fat face or silly hair... actually she might be smiling because we had managed to get drunk in two cities (I had two lunches) and see The National all in one day... and still make it to the pub for a late drink. Actually with hindsight she is probably still smiling at the fact whilst running for a train laden with heavy record cases my jeans kept falling down and showing my bum.

Day 51 Retro Picture 3

John'Amino' Newman, The train back from Scotland, two hungover beardy men know just what the other needs... more beer and a little cuddle... it's a beautiful beautiful thing.

Day 50 Retro Picture 2

Random girl at the Greenman festival, pretty girl in wellies laughs/ smiles at the chubby man throwing his daughter around outside the Folky Dolky tent during a Greenman from the past. I am that chubby man.

Day 49 Retro Smile 1

Gareth Jones, The Beefball is an annual football match that takes place as part of the Fence Records Homegame festival. Basically 20 or so unhealthy blokes run around with hangovers in front of assorted woman folk and more sensible men until it is time to drink again. Gareth did not understand the premise and spent the first half tackling me and generally being good at football, to counter this at half time I stole him and got him to play for my team.

Disaster !

On Friday (day 53) my phone went walkies... given that I use my phone to take my pictures and it contained 5 smiles that I had not posted this leaves me in a spot of bother, so..... here's the plan- I am going to post 7 pictures from the archive of me and someone smiling... Retro smiles. Then from day 56 back to business. I hope no one minds too much... no? good!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Day 48 Picture 48

Jamie Rogers, Jamie is my youngest brother. Today we went to see Blackburn beat Fulham 2-0 which should be reason enough for a smile given our recent form. My friend Jane works for ESPN and managed to get me a couple of tickets for today's game, because my friend Jane works for ESPN the tickets were hospitality tickets. This meant turning up at 1pm for a 3 course meal and lot's and lot's of free drinks in a box with some lovely folk from the Lancashire Post. I will never be able to enjoy football any other way. The only 'funny' thing about today was because it's Blackburn they had a 'smart casual' dress code, because I live in London and don't go anywhere fancy I have not come across that in fifteen years... since I last tried to go clubing in Blackburn... actually I once was not let in an O'Neils in Watford with trainers on, I made a massive fuss with the bouncers, the manager and allsorts so I try not think about that too much... I mean Watford! Watford is a shit hole. I shaved my beard off... this is linked to the dress code and linked to the poor upkeep of my beard... anyway I am updating this on the train back to London full of free booze and happy thoughts, I'll stop now. Good day out with Jamie, smiles all round.

Day 47 Picture 47

David Rogers, Dave is my stepdad, he got me into The Clash, Joy Division and Bruce Springsteen way before I was old enough to be cool or uncool. He cooks amazing food and has great taste in wine... sadly he is a Manchester City fan. Tonight he cooked his Spanish pork casserole which made me smile and I sat and watched Man City on the telly with him which brought this smile... any smiles after 10pm would have been red wine smiles.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Day 46 Picture 46

The 100 Days People. I met my friend and fellow 100 dayer, Paul (or Hardsparrow as he is known to the teaming masses... ) at the pub for the 100 day social, he had to leave at 8.30 to meet his lovely sister for a curry, so my plan was if 'the social' was not any good then I was going to pretend I was invited to Paul's curry night (i was invited but had accidentally eaten 2 dinners in the pub). As it turned out Paul had to tear himself away and I got the last southbound northern line (via bank) and found myself stumbling drunk wondering where the time had gone. The 100 days lark seems only to attract beautiful people with beautiful friends. I met a man from Ratwenstawl and a man from Penmaenmawr, both were impressed by the extent of my local knowledge. I write this still a little drunk on a train. If anyone lost any ear muffs (i said muffs) please get in touch.