Be Llŷrious

This is the series where I remember my recently passed friend Llŷr by posting a song which reminds me of him.

The first time I went to see Llŷr after the diagnosis he got last year, I went with a couple of friend, Mike and Mark.

Afterwards, we drove back to Mike’s house in Neath, ate some chicken, drank a lot of beer, and sat, chatting, catching up. It had been over ten years since I’d seen Mark, slightly less than that for Mike.

At some point, Mike’s brother Rich arrived. I’ve known Rich for almost as long as I’ve known Mike, and he knew Llŷr too, but work commitments had prevented him from joining us on our road trip up to Brecon that day.

“I’ll tell you what I’ll always remember about Llŷr,” he said, as we moved to that passed just a couple of pints stage. “Mike’s stag-do.”

Allow me to fill in the blanks. For Mike’s stag-do, around fifteen years earlier, a bunch of us had hired a mini-van and gone down to Brighton for the weekend.

I’d just come out of hospital following an operation (I know! Me! In hospital! Who’d have thought it!) and was *ahem* taking it easy, so I think I must have gone back to my hotel room to rest up, hence me being completely oblivious to the story Rich unfolded.

I’m paraphrasing now, but this is what he (pretty much) said:

“We were in this bar, and there was a karaoke machine there. Loads of pissed-up lads were staggering up on stage, making fools of themselves, trying to show off their vocal skills. They came on to either silence or a reluctant, supportive handclap, and left the stage to even less.

And then Llŷr got up on stage. And he sang a song that none of us particularly liked – Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams – and if the mic drop had been invented back then, he’d have done it, ‘cos he absolutely belted it out, and everyone in the pub stopped to watch and listen and then went fucking mental when he was done.”

Whilst I missed that particular example of him singing in public, I was witness to him at a friend’s wedding, around the same time. There was karaoke there too, and of course Llyr couldn’t resist showing off. And of course, he bloody nailed it. Yes, even that bit.

This song, which I cannot hear without immediately thinking of him stepping away from the karaoke machine that night, grin wider than an Australian fast bowler’s dubious delivery, cheers erupting all around:


Sisqo – Thong Song

Man, that boy had a set of lungs on him.

More soon.

Leave Right Now!

The chap who sits next to me at work does all of the risk assessments for the local borough council I work for. Every now and then, and with increasing frequeny, he is asked to speak about Brexit, where we are in the process, and what might happen next.

At least twice this week, he’s given me a nudge and asked me to explain – or rather confirm, because he’s been correct – the current state of play. As for predictions, well that remains anyone’s guess.

No, really, I’m trying really hard not to keep posting about Brexit, but it really is the gift that keeps on giving. Every cloud, eh?

Sometimes I genuinely wonder if Theresa May is part of a sleeper cell, activated every couple of weeks to try and cause as much damage to the Conservative Party as possible.

This week, in a last-ditch desperate attempt to get the deal she negotiated with the EU through the House of Commons, she announced that, were sufficient MPs to back her deal, she would stand down as Prime Minister.

Just imagine how desperate you’d have to be to make that offer: “If you support me, I will quit.” And by desperate, I mean desperate to have your legacy be something other than ‘worse than David Cameron’.

And so like cats enticed by catnip, over the paparapets came the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg, who immediately pledged their support for a deal which they had both actively slagged off days earlier, and for months before that. “Worse than Remain”, they had said of it. “We’ll be a slave state [to the EU]” they had whined, banging that increasingly hollow-sounding Brexit drum. And now: you know what? Suddenly it’s a really good deal, worth throwing their hefty weight behind. (By hefty, I of course refer to Johnson; there’s no weight at all in a Victorian pencil.)

Do you remember when the Conservatives claimed Labour thought they had a “magic money tree” which they could just shake in the direction of any problem? The gall of these people to then give £1 billion of our fucking money, money raised by way of cuts to integral community services, to the DUP to try and buy secure their support, makes me really quite angry. I know: really quite angry. How terribly British of me.

But on this occasion, here’s some words I thought I’d never say: thank God for the DUP. I do not share their politics at all. Their views on same sex relatonships and abortion are reprehensible at best. But for them to have trousered £1 billion from the Government, supposedly in return for their support for such crucial moments as these, which they now steadfastly refuse to give, shows an almost commendable level of bloody-minded integrity.

Thus Johnson, Rees Mogg et al were exposed for what they are: shameless careerist charlatans, who put their own bank accounts and well-being before the good of the country. But we already knew that, didn’t we? Still nice to have it confirmed. By them.

And they then had to perform the most spectacular and humiliating a climb-down when, after May’s vote got beaten again, it became apparant that she wouldn’t be leaving her job after all. Not yet, anyway.

Priceless. Almost makes the £1 billion for the betrayal worth it. I never used the local (now closed) library anyway.

On top of that, yesterday there was a march in London of pro-Brexiters. I support their right to march in protest about whatever it is they think they should be upset about. But their was an unwitting moment of hilarity when UKIP MEP – and leader of the party – tweeted this on Thursday:

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Well, heaven forbid that I should accuse the leader of the UKIP party of trying to stir up trouble (or of suggesting he should spell-check his own tweets *shakes fist at those aggregated Brexiteers*), because Gerard: your wish came true. It wasn’t true. And how do we know it wasn’t true? I’ll leave it to the Metropolitan Police to explain:

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They used to have a water cannon though. Three of them, in fact. Boris bought them when he was London Mayor. And then found out they couldn’t be used. They were sold off for scrap in 2018 at a net loss of £300,000. We’ll add that to the list of his successes. shall we?

And I’ve not mentioned the bookies favourite to replace May, Michael Gove. On him, all I can say is: never trust a man who claps like this:


In the name of balance, today a song for the Brexiteers, and with apologies to Will Young for making the association:


Will Young – Leave Right Now

More soon.


So On And So On….


As I wrote my piece about the #PeoplesVoteMarch last weekend, something nagged away at me.

There was a song which I heard during the day which I thought was very appropriate, but which I couldn’t remember as I was writing.

It’s only taken me a week but: Got it!


Sly & The Family Stone – Everyday People

More soon.