My father died last Friday, after a short illness, in Bedford South Wing Hospital. It’s still too much to come to terms with, so for now it’s just the facts.
My elder sister and brother and I had been to visit him on the Thursday. We met the consultant then, and he said that it was a matter of days. We went back to my bother’s, feeling rather numb, and made plans to visit again the next day. But the next morning at about 9.30, before we got down there, we got a phone call saying he had died.
The Funeral is next Tuesday, 25 July, at Norse Road Crematorium. Family flowers only – any donations to the Primrose Oncology Unit at Bedford Hospital, care of Arnold Funeral Directors, 48 Roff Avenue, Bedford MK41 7TE.
After that, who knows? My siblings and I will be in Bedford a lot, sorting everything out. Expect lots of reminiscences and nostalgia.
Thanks to those of you who sent cards, phoned or emailed. Thank you – I guess I need contact right now.
Those of you I haven’t told yet, I’m sorry, I barely know what day it is. I’ll be in touch soon.
So it goes.
My father died yesterday, 15th July, in Bedford’s South Wing Hospital after a short illness.
Not much to say about it at the moment – lots to take in, and I’m not sure how much should go up here.
It seems that fans of German avant-garde metal-hitters Einstuerzende Neubauten are quite the gourmets, if this site of fan recipes is anything to go by. In addition to a wide range of delicious stuff, from veggie dishes to sweet snacks, the band themselves have submitted recipes, which are pretty tasty sounding as well. I love the idea of Blixa Bargeld perfecting his recipe for squid. Perhaps while waiting for the quinoa to simmer they could jam along on the pans with wooden spoons.Inspired by this, I decided to find out what other Mute Records artists think about food.
It turns out that Laibach share their name with a South African vineyard – about as far away from stereotypical Eastern Europe as you can get. But maybe that’s the point?
In addition, Diamanda Galas makes a mean coleslaw and Die Krupps make a mean range of coffee grinders.
As for Throbbing Gristle, that’s a recipe in itself.
The US has 9/11, we now have 7/7. But in the UK, 9/11 would be 11/9, because it makes more sense (to us) – day, month, year. Increasing unit size, in line with the INTERNATIONAL STANDARD 8601.
But with 7/7, there are no such worries! We can bandy ‘7/7’ around at will, without any danger of confusion. So that’s a bit of a silver lining.
We will never forget 7th July, or the 9th of November.
Talking of silver linings, the environment got a boost last Thursday.
London Mayor “Red” Ken Livingstone said that the ‘7/7 Attacks’ were not aimed at a particular group, but rather at,
“…Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew…”
Hey, Ken, what about me? I have Sundays off – don’t I count? It was only when some Muslim Council spokesman said that Londoners must come together, both “those with and without faith“, that I started to feel included. I don’t know what the percentages are, but I like to think there are large number of people in London who don’t live their lives trying to impress invisible superheroes who live in outer space.
Actually, that “without faith” shit is beginning to annoy me. Sounds a bit negative, you know? A bit disparaging. Let’s be controversial! Let’s just divide everyone up into THEISTS and ATHEISTS.
I can’t tell the difference between all them Theists anyway.
After yesterday morning was spent trying to contact people and figure out what was happening, Paddington station and it’s offices were evacuated at 1230. So we wandered (actually strode purposefully) down to the junction between Sussex Gardens and London Street, and pondered what to do. It had started to rain by this point. After managing to get through on my mobile to Mairi, despite Vodafone’s emergency protocols, I decided to just head home.
So, I walked south through Hyde Park, getting wetter and wetter, stopped at the Serpentiene for a sandwich, and eventually hit Kensington Gore, which was cordoned off. I asked a very helpful policeman which way I should head to get back to Tooting. He suggested I buy a stout pair of walking shoes (ha ha – my compfy work shoes were already soaking by this point) and head down Queensgate.
This I did. It was funny to see groups of tourists with umbrellas and maps – “Welcome to London, you poor sods”. Now, I’ll hand over the narration to this fantastic GMaps Pedometer tool, based on the fantastic Google Maps. Click the links below to see my journey stages…
So there you have it. I got in at about 1530, dried off, had a cake that Mairi had bought for me, and had a nice nap, while the TV news played a video loop of a Retriever sniffing around a Porsche Boxter at Kings Cross.
From my office in Paddington station, you can hear sirens. We’ve been asked to put the blinds down over the windows. My Vodafone mobile is receiving texts, but replying doesn’t work. It’s not receiving any calls.
I’m fine, but feeling a bit nervous. Info is a bit sparse. One colleague was on the Edgware Road tube train.
I’m still not carrying a fucking ID card.
Tonight on Radio 4, in the 6.30 comedy slot, The Hudson and Pepperdine Show spews forth. It may be quite funny, but I won’t be listening after hearing the desperate ad spot over breakfast today. The two female perpetrators bicker about trying to find a tagline for their show, but keep using other advert taglines like “Every Little Helps” and so on, and the whole thing is so funny that I rinsed my cereal bowl, brushed my teeth and went to work.
But I want to help, being the charmer that I am, so here’s some suggestions.
- The low-rent French and Saunders
- The even-lower-rent Mel and Sue, if that’s possible
- Not in the least funny
- How the fuck did this get commissioned?
- Your license fee in action
- So funny, you may well self-harm as an excuse to leave the room
Oh by the way, I also won’t be listening because I’m off straight after work to help Esther and Bill celebrate their engagement! Congratulations guys, looking forward to a good Pre-Nup Sup.
I heard the happy shouts on Paddington station from my window. London wins something! Wonderful, I guess. Not much of a sports fan at all, but it’s still cool.
And the celebrations begin!
Unfortunately, this means lots of crappy comedians, and the kind of people who email PM on Radio 4, will be telling all sorts of crappy ‘Urban Olympics’ jokes about what events will be added, for example
- 100m dash carrying a stolen car stereo
- Synchronised Happy Slapping
- 1500m Trying To Be Funny in an email to PM on Radio 4
And so on.