So it seems a lot of men have no idea what women actually want, making some fairly serious mistakes in the whole dating game. So here’s some advice on how to get a woman interested. There will be a corresponding post for women wanting to attract men too. So don’t panic.

Step One: Picking your woman

It is important to know what you’re aiming for. Why do you think serial killers are more popular that spree killers? They take their time, it’s a very caring approach. Say for example, you are at a bar. Instead of trying to attract every woman there, sit at the bar, staring at one of them. Time your cigarette breaks, so when she goes outside, you follow. Similar with going to the toilet, wait for her to go, even if you don’t need to. While in the men’s, wait to hear the hand drier before you leave, so you will exit at approximately the same time. This shows the care and attention you possess. It is important to stare at her constantly, never breaking eye contact, This shows persistence.


This is the seductive look you need to go for. Chanting: “Ave Satani” is advised.

Step Two: Breaking the ice

It’s important to say the right thing. Assuming you followed the advice in step one, she should now be aware of your attention. The standard reaction to this will be to hide amongst her friends. This is a test of your courage. To impress her, you must get through this group of friends. There are a few methods of doing this. The best is to have a team of wingmen, equal in number to her friends, all utilising the same methods. Other methods include politely asking her if she would like a drink or a dance (This never works, more on this later), sobbing into your pint (women love sensitive guys) or, best of all, soaking everything in petrol and torching the place. This shows your burning passion.


The Ultimate Wingmen. Bitches love fire.

Step Three: Be Assertive

It is widely known that confidence is sexy. So once the victim lady is talking to you, you now need to impress her. She may ask a variety of questions, the most common of which are:

Who are you?
Why did you set fire to my friends?
Stop or I’m calling to police.

The best reaction to this is to laugh like a madman until your throat bleeds. Women love a man with a sense of humour.


This is the kind of sexy smile which guarantees success

Step Four: Moving On

If you’ve followed my advice so far, you should have no problem finding somewhere the two of you can be alone. The simple question: “Would you like to see my van?” should suffice, but as mentioned earlier confidence is key. Thus the phrase: “Get in the van if you know what’s good for you” is recommended. This lets her know you are in control, and that good things will follow.

Presto, how to attract a woman!


Seems Legit

Before we begin, a quick recap is in order. Bournemouth Unplugged started with 30 musicians all tasked with playing a set of fully original songs.
This has now been whittled down to 20, who must now include a cover in their sets. 
On 16th April, five of the remaining musicians played, so we pick up approximately halfway through the competition, with Hannah Robinson kicking off Round 2, Heat 2.
If you’ve ever heard the phenomenal “Paint it Blue” Hannah should be a familiar voice. Unlike her blues work with the band, her solo writing is of a slower, folkier style, although still with her Motown inspired voice (Those too young to know Motown, think Amy Winehouse) which is best shown off during her cover of The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” This is unfortunately at the expense of some guitar proficiency, which is corrected with the addition of a second guitar and a cajón (A Peruvian box/drum) which fills out the sound perfectly, especially with penultimate song “Monster.”

Tim “Afroninja” Somerfield comes next, so named because he has an afro, and presumably a whole wardrobe full of martial arts black belts. His set can be summed up simply as laid back angst, although experimentation with a loop pedal works well for him, resulting in a sound best described as acoustic Iron Maiden. His choice of cover, the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” goes down well amongst the crowd, although it is not as strong as his original music.

Louise Wade provides a very rock and blues based set, and at the same time manages to screw up the heads of most of the crowd through one of the most inventive publicity stunts ever seen. On entry, the audience are asked which act they’re here to see. Those who arrived to see Louise were rewarded with glow-sticks and “rainbow specs”, the later of which has to be experienced to be believed, but could be described as watching a Pink Floyd light show through a kaleidoscope. Her best moment is undoubtedly one of her original songs: “Love to be Lonely”, for which she is joined by a djembe (African rum) player and a tambourine player.

After these three very strong acts, Tom Clements unfortunately doesn’t stand out quite so much, despite his excellent guitar and vocal work. He does manage one of the stronger covers of the night however, using a loop pedal to play a version of Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” that Mark Knopfler would be proud of.

Unfortunately, Johnny Neeson closes a night of upbeat, generally happy music. A superb guitarist and a great vocalist, Johnny plays a set bleak acoustic rap which doesn’t suit the laid back atmosphere, and on the whole is an incredible mood breaker. A cover of The Doors’ “Spanish Caravan” is the musical high point of the night, but still doesn’t completely fit. 

This originally appeared here:


However, I wrote it, and need to do something with this blog. Here is the unedited version.


Krista Green is one of the nicest people in the known world. Slightly behind Michael Palin in fact.
She specialises in soft, gentle, poppy folk, has a voice as soft as a marshmallow massage, and sings about love and peace and general happiness.This makes it very difficult to say anything bad about her, but thankfully that’s not needed as she is incredibly good at what she does.
Friday night’s gig at the Portsmouth Hoy was one of the stronger ones she’s played, showcasing a mix of original music and covers, all of which seemed perfectly chosen. There were some definite stand-out moments however, including spot on covers of The Black Keys’ “Tighten Up”, All Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and Free’s “Alright Now”, the last of which had the crowd abandoning their pints to join in.
Krista’s main strength however, lies in the quality of her original songs, which have lyrics more akin to poetry than pop songs, for example “Cherry Pie”, which is as sweet as a vat of Smarties, and the heartbreaking “Barry’s Song”, which could have the most cynical individuals needing a few moments to compose themselves.
An old hand of the local scene in Bournemouth, she performs with an understated confidence, allowing her natural, somewhat ditzy personality to shine through while she talks to the crowd. 
It might have been thought that the Portsmouth Hoy would be a bad venue for Krista. It has to be said that she’d fit in better playing some sunny outdoor stage while hippie girls make daisy chains and beatnik boys try to distract them, but she wins most of the venue with little trouble, even getting the hard drinking tattooed dudes at the bar to stop talking about rugby and birds, and have a bit of a singalong instead. 

Well, first things first, sorry for the delay. You know how it goes, you try to keep a blog, and immediately you get distracted by spending your riches, tuning your ’69 Firebird, and the hordes of women keep badgering you for sex, so you don’t get time to type up rubbish.

I've been practicing genetic surgery too. Haven't made a flying pig yet

But apologies aside, time for another advice column!

How to get good Customer Service

Everybody, at some point in their life, needs to phone a call centre, in order to sort out whatever problems they appear to have. This is a tradition which dates back to Ancient Egypt, when even the Pharaohs would shout abuse at some poor sod who really doesn’t give a shit about how they’d ordered a Pyramid, and been built something completely different.

Being buried under a prawn doesn't have the same level of dignity apparently

But here is how to be assured of some genuine help:

Be nice. Strange as it may seem, the person answering the phone is just like you. Chances are they have their own hopes, dreams, loves and losses, just like all of us, and unless his ambition as a child was to be shouted at from dawn until dusk, while trying to learn from Charles Manson’s mistakes, he doesn’t want to be on the phone just as much as you. So the resentment in his voice is completely understandable.

Above: The average call centre employee

Have everything ready. I cannot stress this enough. Picture yourself at a nice restaurant. You go to place your order, and the serving wench must scoot off to find a notepad. She comes back and realises she needs a pen. While on these extended trips you hear her cursing your very existence. This is what the average call centre slave goes through all day, but they don’t have a nice meal to look forward to as a result. Just sorting out your silly problem.

Speak clearly. This may seem an obvious suggestion, but for a poor skivvy chained to a phone, it is an important one. Most places will assign you a customer number or something similar. While to you it may not seem important (“I’ve told him my name’s John Smith, can’t he find me using that?!”) to the aforementioned skivvy, it makes life much easier. As such, mumbling such details will not win you any friends.

This man has an excuse to not speak clearly. You are unlikely to be the rightful King of France, so you do not.

Call at a logical time. Think about driving somewhere. You really, really want to get to your destination. Maybe you have a train to catch, maybe your wife is putting out for the one time this year, or maybe you have only a few minutes to save the orphans from Dr Sinister and his Machine of Death, whatever. The traffic light you know only changes for 8 nanoseconds has just flashed onto green. Now you have to wait as the swine in front of you doesn’t notice the change. Then there is rage. This is what happens at 4:59pm in call centres. The skivvy just wants to catch their train/save the orphans, and when you call at the last minute, you are personally endangering the poor children.

Now you have learned how to be assured of good customer service. Follow these simple rules, and the employee you’re talking to will still think you’re a dick, but might be a bit more efficient about dealing with your rubbish problem.

Whilst another post on this topic is like pissing into a sea of piss after the polar pisscaps have melted and Kevin Costner has evolved gills, I’m going to try and explain how to understand the opposite sex.

The system will be simple. The statement will go first, followed by options for men, then women. Right.

“I’m fine”
This is a simple statement, often false in its nature.

Men:  Your options here are simple. Either simpering, grovelling and spending time/money/effort to console your woman, or saying “OK” and letting the resentment build.
Women: If women’s magazines are to be believed, your man is lying.  Assume he’s cheating on you and exact revenge in a furious yet comical way that a man would be imprisoned for.

"I'm fine"

“I don’t mind what we do”
Again a falsehood.

Men: She really really does mind what you do, but as she’s said this take the opportunity to request steaks, beer, football, going out with the lads, violent films,  fellatio, or any combination of the above. Let resentment build.
Women: Get angry when he hasn’t suggested the thing you wanted to do. He should know what you want to do, and his failure to suggest this means he didn’t get the universal man memo that he’s not allowed to say or do what he likes.

Sometimes, extreme measures must be taken.

“. . .”
The dreaded silence. Bad in 99% of all cases.

Men: Silence is bad. Fill the silence by whistling the theme to “Bridge Over the River Kwai.”
Women: Silence is bad. Fill the silence by starting an argument on him not interested in talking any more. Again, he is not allowed to say anything derogatory about you, soon to be made legal by the 2011 Andy Gray Act. *

In Space, no-one can hear you argue.

“We don’t talk any more.”
A product of silence.

Men: Stay silent. Women often say they like a man with a sense of humour, and this is comedy gold.
Women:  Accuse him of not understanding you.

"We don't talk any more"

“You don’t understand me”
A regular argument.

Men: Speak in tongues.
Women: Learn to speak in tongues.

"English Motherfucker, do you speak it?"

*Andy Gray Act 2011: Parliamentary Act dictating that men cannot say anything bad about women. Despite this, Loose Women continues to broadcast, and Jo Brand is still allowed to perform her highly creative and varied stand up routine.

I should start by saying that Charlie Brooker is one of my idols, one of the folks who got me writing, and generally I agree with his views.

But what the hell happened?

How TV Ruined Your Life is his new series on BBC, described by the Beeb as:

“Comedy series in which Charlie Brooker uses a mix of sketches and jaw-dropping archive footage to explore the gulf between real life and television.”

And now we’re two episodes in and all we’ve seen is Brooker shouting at us that we’re doomed, but with none of the originality, wit and intellect that came through during Screenwipe and Newswipe.

If anybody else did the exact same thing, word for word, they’d normally be wearing a wedding dress and ski boots, and would alternate between shouting at traffic and attempting to shiv you.

This man also started life as a TV critic

I’ll keep watching the series, but I don’t have a great deal of hope.

Similar criticism can be levelled at Channel 4’s abysmal 10’o Clock Live, a hopeless attempt at being a comical current affairs show, which comes across as a far weaker version of Have I Got News For You combined with it’s own bastard offspring Mock the Week.

Fronted by Brooker, David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne and ubiquitous sod Jimmy Carr (Who is on TV more often than Top Gear is on Dave), the show comes across as desperately clawing at some semblance of being worthwhile, and despite the admiral beginnings, it would be altogether more humane to take it out back and give it both barrels.

Charlie Brooker isn't rabid. Yet.

So, How TV Ruined Your Life. It may have done, but it’s made Charlie Brooker’s life much better. Definitely biting the hand that feeds.

Shit...maybe he is.

Romania: A travel guide

February 1, 2011

Waves crashing gently on a white sandy beach, ruins upon a hilltop beckoning you to explore, and snowcapped mountains against the horizon looming with majestic grandeur.

Romania has none of these things. It does have mountains, but they aren’t snowcapped. They just tend to have a lot of dry grass and a few bushes dotted about.

We touched down in Bucharest at midday, leaving the plane and torching cigarettes with something akin to religious ecstasy. Two hours later, in a rented Toyota Corolla, we ventured into the crippling heat of a Romanian summer. Those snowless mountains off in the distance rippled in the air, like a vengeful God had shaken the sky, and it was a genuine surprise that the petrol in the tank didn’t just give up and explode.

Romania as a holiday destination doesn’t have a lot going for it. It would be a beautiful country if Nicolae Ceausescu hadn’t gone to war with nature. Everywhere you look are rusting oil pipelines, concrete towers with crossed hammers stencilled at the top, and factories belching out smoke and Dacias in equal measure. The mercury is good and high there, but without a beach it won’t be winning the Thomas Cook holiday of the year. It does have castles. Which are great, for about an hour. After the hour is up you begin to realise that all castles are the same, all the souvenirs are poor quality rubbish, and seeing the spot where Vlad Dracul Tepes beheaded somebody and put the result on a spike really isn’t as interesting as it should be.

It is cheap, and you can live like a mighty king on the pennies in the jar on your desk if you’re so inclined. It’s also the most dangerous place I’ve been. Apart from Birmingham.

Wandering around some of the smaller towns is like something from a Spagetti Western, and excluding the disconcerting feeling that everybody wants to kill you and make furniture out of your remains, there is also the minor issue of:

Wolves, snakes, vampire bats, perilously high cliff tops, jagged rocks at the bottom of said cliffs, hepititus B and C, Bubonic Plague, Typhoid, polio, tetanus, dipheria, tick-borne encephalitus, and cows.

There are thousands of cows in Romania, usually to be found pulling carts along busy roads, or just wandering around like half-ton hitchhikers with hooves. You may be wondering what possessed me to go to such a desolate place, and may have leapt to the conclusion that I’m a terminal vampire nut, determined to get to Transylvania at any cost. This is not the case.

What Romania has, more than cows, is orphans. Naturally, after a night at the pub with a charity worker, I decided to go along and perform my good deed for the year. So there I was, in the middle of Eastern Europe, the sun baking the salt out of my body, clutching a cigarette that reeks of cow dung on my way to a holiday camp for orphaned children. How sanctimonious. Hunedoara, the region we were based in, is one of the poorer parts of the country.

Previously Vlad the Impaler’s holiday home, it is now the habitat of street urchins, farmers, and the old man in the City of Deva, who will insist that you smoke dope with him if you sit by the fountain in the middle of town. Any attempt to leave or say no results in him bursting into tears.

There are some essentials for travelling Romania. Before you leave, get your doctor to immunise you against everything up to and including old age, and make sure you pack long-sleeve shirts, jeans, decent boots and a hat, the insects there are relentless. Sun tan lotion and bug spray are also vital.

My time there passed quickly, spent acting as entertainment for the kids and rushing out at a few minutes notice to fetch supplies from the nearest town, 25 miles away. The children spend a week there, a summer holiday away from the orphanage and schooling. When the time came for them to leave, the tears were in full flow. It wasn’t until then that I realised the impact of the English visitors.

It had been great fun being a cowboy in Romania, cracking jokes and playing music as my black fedora gets passed around from child to child. But I would be headed back to comfort, a big bed, and Tesco value BLT sandwiches. The kids would probably never afford that. They boarded the bus crying. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the last episode of M*A*S*H.

One girl, Georgiana, found me before she got on the bus. She was one of the older kids, in her final years at the orphanage, and had spent most of the week translating for me and fetching my hat back from the smaller kids. I’d avoided the sad farewells, and was hiding in a secluded area having a cigarette . Hastily stomping the burning tube into oblivion as she rounded the corner, I saw her tears. She hugged me and pressed something small and metallic into my hand, a necklace she’d been wearing the week she’d spent making my poorly pronounced Romanian understood. After making me promise to return, she stepped onto the bus. I still have that necklace.

A few observations

January 8, 2011

So hanging around in the box under my desk, along with dust, Xbox detritus, old copies of entertaining magazines, and Emily, is my notepad of ideas. These thus far haven’t been worthy of a post all to themselves, but here are a few things I’ve noticed in the last year or so.

Little things in games: Lately I’ve spent a lot of time adjusting how I see video games, and what makes, in my mind, a good game. Storyline is vital, but little details are good too. Bioshock had this down quite well, with things like the Plasmid instruction videos (see here) as well as the various things dotted around Rapture, one particular favourite being the man and wife you find in a ruined apartment, an empty pill bottle lying abandoned next to their still bodies. It’s things like this which upgrade a game from being fun (for example Borderlands) to great, such as Bioshock.

Sexism in adverts: There’s an advert dicking about on TV at the moment, where two women with a cold talk about their woes, how one needs to get little Timmy to his rat hunting class while the other has her two children fighting to the death with pitchforks. Then the caption comes up (Something along the lines of “Because you need to do all the work” referring to men being useless apparently). This gets on my nerves somewhat, as the alternative advert wouldn’t get shown.

Dave: Alright Geoff!
Geoff: Alright Dave!
Dave: Gotta pick up a few things.
Geoff: Where’s the missus?
Dave: Not doing it because she’s useless and ill.

This probably wouldn’t get shown.

Music has got a bit shit: One of the best albums of 2010 was Katie Melua’s “The House”. Enough said.

Talking about coalition government: This is not a meaningful expression. The true way of phrasing this would be “The Conservative government, plus the boy who makes the tea.”

Facebook: Apparently the most important thing in our society at the moment. This is kinda hypocritical of me as I use it myself, but I’m sure there are much better things we can be doing. Like setting fire to new phones.

New phones: Things like iPhones, Blackberries, Androids, that bollocks. Anybody who has one of these overpriced bastard things almost certainly spends 80% of their time awake playing with it. Those who are without are left slowly drinking their pints in quiet contemplation of how satisfying it would be to take a hammer to the communication equivalent of Fisher Price, and considering taking up smoking as standing alone outside is somehow more social.

Michael Bublé: He has no soul. He’s been called the “Heir to Sinatra.” Only if he is inheriting a blocked up toilet bowl after Frank had one too many Martini’s the night before. But, technically good he may be, he has no soul, no feeling in his singing. It’s like a Coldplay themed musical.

A few notes on Family Guy

October 16, 2010

Comedy is a strange thing. Everybody laughs at different things, some like slapstick comedy, others prefer wordplay and punning, and there are some people who claim that Family Guy is the funniest thing to ever grace the screens of TV worldwide. These people are mistaken. (This post is about Family Guy and its failings. If you have never seen it, I recommend watching some first, then coming back here.) Here are my notes on Family Guy, and what’s wrong with it.

  • Timing. More specifically, Seth MacFarlane needs to learn when to end a joke. One example is the endless repetitions of the principle tosser Peter Griffin falling and hurting his knee. This just keeps going, it wasn’t funny in the first instance. This leads me nicely on to…
  • In jokes. There are too many of these things. Whilst occasional in jokes can be good, and a fine way to reward fans, you can’t base your entire series on it, which later seasons have done. Newer episodes consist almost entirely of references to other episodes and reused jokes, and to a new viewer remains an impenetrable mass of shite.
  • Endless repetition. This was touched upon in the previous point. In order for something to progress, new things must be done. Showing the same thing over and over again is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying. Is just annoying.
  • Stealing. Family Guy is famed for being a deluge of pop culture references and parodies, which is can be a good thing, if it’s been done right, one example being the truly faultless Airplane!. Family guy embodies the idea of bad parody, to the extent where it steals jokes from the parodies themselves. I mentioned Airplane! on purpose earlier, as Family Guy has ripped this off on multiple occasions, which only endears itself to obsessive fans of the original material, and cheapens the whole realm of comedy for all and sundry.
  • Peter Griffin. Has there ever been a character as totally rubbish as Peter Griffin? A poor Homer Simpson copy, Peter Griffin frequently beats his wife, makes crude jokes a 4 year old would turn their nose up at, abuses his children, and to top it all off has a laugh so annoying that the most easygoing of people would rip out his spine and beat him to a pulp with it if he were a real person. We’re supposed to root for someone like this?

I don’t know if many people have seen this yet. If not, float along to and have a read. It’s a link to the Daily Mail website, and a column debated whether Druidry is a real religion.

Horrible discrimination aside, the article somewhat amused me. “A bunch of eccentrics who annually dress up in strange robes” could quite easily refer to any other religion, in the case of Christianity the word “annually” would need to be replaced with “weekly” and “eccentrics” would frequently need to be replaced with “Child Molesters.”

“Elevating them to the same status as Christianity is but the latest example of how the bedrock creed of this country is being undermined.” This part resulted in no small number of chuckles from me. It was said, earlier in the column: “Druids have been regarded indulgently as a curious remnant of Britain’s ancient past.” In other words, Druids were here first.

As for Christianity being the “bedrock creed” of the country, it’s nice to see the Daily Mail, a newspaper frequently bemoaning immigration, happily promoting a religion from the Middle East, rather than something home grown in Britain.

But one thing stood out most for me in the whole stinking terrible jumble of words phlegmed up by Melanie: “For it is all of a piece with the agenda by the oh-so politically correct Charity Commission to promote the fanatical religious creed of the Left — the worship of equality.”

Is equality a terrible thing now? Or is Melanie Philips so upset that somebody disagrees with her chosen religion that she’s willing to attack a group of people whose creed consists almost entirely of “Be nice to people and make sure the plants are watered.” Advice often given to children by followers of pretty much every religion known to man.