I see Adrian ‘Ace’ Buchan has launched a children’s book, which is great news. I am actually launching a book too, of all his blogs from this site as well as a free DVD of the Factory interview we did together, so maybe ask for one for your birthday and the other for Christmas and that way everybody’s happy.

Two days ago I took a jet aeroplane from Biarritz to Stansted, and then a train to London town, and then a tube to Farringdon. Then I walked along the Farringdon road until I found the Travel Lodge, and checked in. It was a bit like a concrete fear cage/jar full of screams with unsightly people in white Donnay tracky bums with regional accents eating bar snacks of paninis with a side salad garnish of ready salted crisps for just £7.99 behind frosted glass.

I plugged the kettle in to make a cup of tea but the kettle made the electricity in my room go off. I went to reception and asked the lady and she came upstairs. She was about 35, of Indian extraction, slender and very helpful. I liked her voice. She tripped the switch down the corridor and then hung around for while to ‘See if it goes off again.’ She hung around by my door for quite a while and I thought about inviting her in for a cup of tea, but I didn’t. We shared a moment though, and that was enough. Besides, I had to prepare for my meeting and Eastenders was on.

The purpose of my visit to HQ was to be trained as a journalist, which is interesting since I’ve been working on the fucker for 5 years and never had so much as word of advice on what I’m supposed to be doing. There were two dudes giving the talk on how to be journalists and a few of us editors listening in.
The first thing one of them said was ‘This talk is basically about how to sell your ass…’ ‘This’ll be easy,’ I thought, ‘I already know how to do that. I’ll grap some kip now and wake up this afternoon when they get onto the part about ‘How to do reach arounds.”

I went to the pub after work with a few of the gimps and had pints. Whilst I was at the bar getting a round in I heard two chaps talking beside me.One of them asked the other if he’s found a job yet. He hadn’t. Neither had the other one. Then the bar ‘man’ came over, he had one of those really English haircuts with it all gelled down and brushed to one side and one of those really English expressions on his face, which kind of looks gormless and apologizes for the hair at the same time. ‘God this is depressing,’ I thought. ‘Is this what it’s come down to?’ The pub is on the corner in Smithfield, a place where they butcher and sell meat under the cover of nightfall. It’s also the very palce where William Wallace got hung drawn and quatered for being Scottish some time ago.Smithfield is also a place where they used to have ‘wife sales’. You could bring your wife along and sell her, and then get another, better one the same afternoon. Looking at the barman and the credit crunched Cockney Arfurs swallowing pints they couldnt afford with bloodshot eyes I wished I was William Wallace’s spleen, lying on the cobblestones with the blood and the horse shit while an angry crowd of toothless medievil peasants bayed and crowed for the head. Sophie Marceau would then pick me up and put me in the folds of her tunic and then we’d gallop on horseback to the South Downs where she’d eat me under an English oak tree with garlic and fine herbs. Apparently there’s a proposal for the London Olympics to actually do the same to Mel Gibson in Smithfield, which if you ask me is a much better way of spending public money.

Tomorrow I’m getting the big metal boat from Portsmouth to Cherbourg where Peter Donkey is going to pick me up in his van and take me to his home village, Digoulville, which isnt far from the actual village where Asterix and Obelix held out against the Roman noses. I am pretty excited about that. After that he is taking me out in Cherbourg to meet the ‘nouveau generation’. Even though he is 30 and has gray hair he went back to school last year with mostly 18 yr olds and worked the magic. ‘The nouveau generation is mental bro’ he would constantly report to me after various adventures in babysitting. There is even a swell coming to the channel so my timing couldn’t be better. Cheerio!


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