Boots Made for Walking


Boots – At £204 quid Red Wings Heritage Moc Toe Boot In Brown is an extravagance I’ll have to wait for and at this rate that I’m earning, quite a long time. Should my boat come in though I’ll be off to the gloriously named Clobber Calm in Sheffield to try some on. I like a nice pair of boots for winter street photography. The best pair of boots I’ve ever had were Timberland which I bought on Fifth Avenue, New York. That was when they were made in the States and the quality was exceptional. I thought £204 quid was massively expensive for a pair of boots until I opened last weekends Observer magazine on the Style Section Men’s boots page. Eight Hundred and Seventy Five Quid would get me a pair of Flash Trek Gucci boots or Six Hundred quid Beetle boots from I don’t think so ! These days I’d be struggling to afford Padded boots from Marks and Spencer at £49.50. One thing my future boot purchase won’t be is black ! That’s for people in the Army or the Paramilitaries and I don’t want no bother.

Jeans – The last two pairs of jeans I purchased were from charity shops, a pair of Jasper Conran jeans and a pair of brand new still with the labels on Ted Baker. Both wonderfully thick quality denim and well made. A man’s jeans should be well cut like all his trousers, simple and unfussy. I can’t be doing with fussy details, superfluous zips, buttons and pockets. Neither can I cope with jeans which hang half way down the arse. I’ve never been in prison and have no intention of doing,  so it’s a robust leather belt at the top of them. Best and sadly missed pairs  of jeans have to have been my Paul Smith with the gingham blue chequered internal pockets and a beautifully soft pair of Levi. Unfortunately the Jasper Conran’s are developing a crawling on the floor playing with the dog holy knee problem and despite some hasty needle and thread repair jobs it’s time to source some more.

Books / Poetry 

It’s been a long time coming but I’m looking forward to getting my mitts on his new book of poetry John Cooper-Clarke’s  The Luckiest Guy Alive. I’ve been a huge fan of his since I first heard the album Snap Crackle and Bop on my mate Exford’s cheap record player back in the early 1980’s. His first and last anthology book of poems Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt is proudly in my bookcase and I panic If I can’t find it anytime.


Fashion Designer Katherine Hamnett said recently “You should never meet your acting heroes. They have these incredible scripts but it’s never them. Michael Caine was a disappointment. You expect him to be like Charlie from The Italian Job, a dazzling creature. In fact, he’s narrow minded – there’s very little wit or conversation”.

Katherine Hamnett meeting Margaret Thatcher



Killer Shark


I blame Jaws !

The football in the river I photographed yesterday is not there today. I think you should know.

The dog didn’t eat his food last night. I don’t blame him. I wouldn’t eat it either. The wife blamed me for tiring him out. He usually prefers what we’re having. Chicken Tonight with rice, pizza, bread, salmon, steak and kidney pie that kind of thing. He goes mad for oatie biscuit. This morning he went outside, thankfully, and chucked up on the patio.

Oh shit, it’s the British Academy Film and Television Awards ( the BAFTA’s ) on the telly tonight. The British Film and Television industry’s annual self congratulatory mutual back slapping convention red carpet at some posh place in London bash. It’s the same as the Oscars only British. The paparrazi will be out at the red carpet and the rubber neckers straining to get a glimpse of their favourite celluloid stars. Warning this next item contains some flash photography !  Wooo look there’s pouty lipped Angelina Jolie in a stunning very expensive Oscar de la Renta dress with just enough cleavage on show to be glamorous but not too much that she looks slutty and sexually needy. No doubt Benedict Cumberbatch will be there as well. I’m sure he’s a nice bloke but I’m getting a bit fed up of seeing him. I’m beginning to think he’s got a body double, like Sadam Hussein and Alan Titchmarsh. I think The Theory of Everything is up for a few awards but seeing as the wife really can’t stand the ceremony, and I can take it or leave it, then we probably won’t be watching it. The best bit for me is when they remind us of all the actor type people  we’ve said goodbye to in the last twelve months. I find it quite moving and I genuinely blubbed the other year when we were reminded of Charlotte Coleman’s untimely death. I fancied her, she reminded me of an ex  girlfriend ( and still friend ) from my early twenties. Took a lovely photo of her on a beach in Zakynthos wrapped in a yellow towel. The girlfriend not Charlotte Coleman.

We don’t go to the cinema anymore. I can’t stand the car park, the foyer, the smell of popcorn,hot dogs and cheap candy. I can’t abide being told where to sit and the fatties we invariably have to sit next to and people who insist on giving a running commentary throughout the film while filling their fat faces with fatty foods. We bumped into some friends on the woods while out with the dog. They can’t stand the cineplex either for the same reasons as us. The last time they went there were two lasses sat behind them talking about Gary’s penis. My friend turned round and asked them if they were going to stop talking. Well he’s a policeman so he’s confident of doing such things. I’d rather just not bother going anymore.

I’ve started to make a list of things I don’t understand which I’ll publish soon under the title of ‘ Things I don’t understand’

Got to go the wife’s making a casserole and the dog’s feeling better.


Officious Personnel

If there’s one thing ( well actually there’s quite a few) that really gets my goat is officious security personnel. Especially when they’re considerably younger than me and wear their stupidity in their ears by way of a large hole which seems to be the fashion these days.  Last week while enjoying a short break with the dog and wife in England’s city of Spires Oxford, the dog and I  were rudely ejected from one of the cities oldest colleges. Fortunately the free  St Edmund Hall Visitors Guide provided me with an email address in which to vent my frustration in a low cost way.  Here is  copy of my email for your enjoyment. Take no shit from these people I urge  you

Dear Sir / Madam

In the absence of signage to the contrary I assumed it was ok for my wife and well-behaved little dog on a lead (a Border Terrier) to visit and walk around the Quad of St Edmund Hall and Churchyard.

I was therefore sufficiently annoyed (enough to write this email) when in the Quad I was approached by a balding, bespectacled man with an unsightly hole in his ear and plastic thing surrounding it, rudely wagging his finger at me from a distance of about 15 metres, and in full view of other members of the public telling me dogs were not allowed in the area. From the same distance he then turned his back on me and walked back into the reception area.

While I can accept the ruling (and my dog really doesn’t care!) I cannot accept being treated so discourteously and on another day I might have vociferously told him so. Perhaps you would like to point out to your staff

and this gentleman in particular that while my individual tax paying contribution to the Oxford University is minute, collectively as a population of which I am a member, it’s probably extremely large and therefore a little consideration, good manners and courtesy would not be out of place. I suggest you do it soon rather than wait for Annual Appraisal time before he offends any more summer visitors.

Finally I note with raised eyebrow that I am sending this to the Alumni Relations & Development Office so I hope you will consider this when reviewing how you relate to the general public

Best wishes