I’m far too old to clubbing nowadays, but since we’re all in lock-down and unable to go to one even if we were so inclined, I thought I’d bring back this series, but instead of relating an acid drop about something that happened during my clubbing days (although I might, if I remember any), I’d post an old school banger of a Saturday night to remind us of what we’re missing.
Y’know, so we can feel shit and old instead of just shit.
The first act I thought of decided to post came about when I ventured out for my weekly shopping experience, I wondered if I had walked into a video shoot for them, or perhaps just everyone in my area of North London had decided to dress like them as some kind of weird tribute.
For the uninitiated, Altern 8 used to wear what I guess these days would be considered ‘Covid-19 Chic’.
Although frankly that’s better than most of our healthcare workers are being provided at the moment, ammiright?
(I used to have a green long-sleeved top with the number 88 written on the back in exactly the same font and colour which I would often wear when I went clubbing, and it has only just occured to me that it might have been a clubbing reference. Yes, reader: I am that (accidentally) cool.)
So I can’t say I was all that surprised when I came to write this and did the barest minimum of research (by which I mean, looking for a suitable picture to use), I found that either they never went away or have orchestrated quite the most magnificently timed cash-in comeback imaginable, assuming that they ever get to play any of the gigs they hve lined up for 2020, that is. But if everyone dressed like them, why not?
Anyway, here to kick things off is a annoyingly topical tune, which I imagine sounded incredible played out somewhere in a field in Hampshire back in the day:
So, how are we all doing out there in lockdown land? Climbing up the walls yet? Or just bumbling along fine thanks very much for asking?
I think I fall into the latter category; the more astute of you may have noticed that as well as working from home all week, I’ve managed a post a day for a whole week for the first time in ages. This should not be misconstrued as me having more time on my hands – other than the daily commute to work and back, my life is very much as it was before. I just figured I’d do what most people who have some sort of public access thing going on seems to be doing: give those that are interested something to read and listen to as often as possible.
And at least I haven’t recorded myself singing Imagine yet.
Anyway, I thought what I would do with these Saturday morning posts is have a little ramble through what has happened to me in the previous week, what I had watched, seen, heard, smelt (maybe I’ll leave that one), learned, all illustrated with my trademark sort-of-appropriate song.
So, the first thing to say is that whilst I have been bumbling along for most of the week, I did have a bit of a scare on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
When I decided to self-isolate a couple of weeks ago, it was because I had developed two of the three symptoms which at the time were associated with having the virus: a dry cough and a temperature. But I’d never had the third, shortness of breath.
But that changed last weekend. On Saturday night, I went to bed, but found myself unable to settle. I’ll be honest, a man of my age is rarely able to settle in bed, the hourly mantra being: “Oh Jesus I need to pee again…how can I possibly need to pee again, I haven’t drunk anything since last time…!!”. But this time it was different. This time it was because I couldn’t breathe properly.
I spent hours huffing from bed to sofa and back again, unable to breathe or find anything good to watch on TV at that time of day to take my mind off things.
At one point, I decided that perhaps there wasn’t enough airflow through my flat – all of my windows have been closed since I self-isolated – so at around 6am on Sunday morning I opened the big window behind the sofa and lay down, hoping this would help. But it didn’t.
Try as I did to ignore it, or to convince myself that I was fine and my breathing was getting better, it wouldn’t go away. And so, I finally decided, there was nothing else for it, but to go to A&E.
I packed an overnight bag, cramming a few books, a toothbrush and toothpaste, some lounge pants (NOT pyjama bottoms, thank you very much) and, crucially, my phone charger (I’ve learned my lesson).
And then I did something sensible: I checked the NHS website for advice.
And this is what I found: shortness of breath was no longer considered to be on one the signafying factors (loss of taste and smell had over taken it), and that even if it was, the advice was to stay at home.
Bizarrely, with that information, I was able to relax and breathe again, go back to bed, sleep. I guess it must have been a panic attack, which I can only attribute to the clocks going forwards and me losing an hour in bed.
Actually, not appropriate at all. Air Supply are fucking liars. The Night was worse than the day!
What else have I learned this week?
Regular readers will know that I used to write a series about how the use of records I love in adverts annoyed me, but I think now I can expand this to the following phrase: adverts generally annoy me.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever lived with me, for they will doubtless remember me becoming apopleptic at the sight of certain ads. But I thought I’d matured and things bothered me less these days.
Here’s the two adverts that are currently flicking my annoyance banjo-string:
It IS milk. You even say so at the end of the advert. “It’s fresh milk, filtered for purity.” Well that’s milk then, isn’t it? Filter it as much as you like, it’s still milk.
Well, I’ve learned that rich people didn’t get to be rich people by being nice people.
For the past week or so, we’ve been treated to a procession of exceedingly well off people bemoaning how poor they’re going to be as a result of the necessary shutdown. And more importantly, trying to claim money from the government (and by this, I mean you and me).
It’s hard to know where to start with this lot, so I’ll crack off with Chief Executive of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley. When the instruction that shops had to shut came, with only those providing essential services staying open, Ashley tried to claim that the selling of plimsolls was essential so that people could stay fit and active. Never mind that most of his employees are on zero-contract hours and are too afraid to go to the toilet.
Popular backlash and Government intervention saw Ashley soon back down and close his stores.
Mike Ashley is currently estimated to be worth just shy of £5 BILLION.
And then there’s Richard Branson, who, now he’s not suing the NHS, has decided that his airline needs a Government bail-out.
Richard Branson is currently estimated to be worth just shy of £3.8 BILLION.
And then there’s Tim Martin, the Chairman of the Wetherspoons chainof pubs. He decided he’d release this video to show what a caring boss he is:
Yup. Go get a job at Tesco’s because I’m not going to pay you is his message.
JUST PAY THEM YOU GREEDY SHITS.
When this is all done, and we can go out again, remember these people. Let’s never again darken the doorstep of a Wetherspoons, or a Sports Direct shop, or anything Branson touches.
And then the news I had expected, but had hoped I’d never read. Daniel Levy, Chairman of my beloved Tottenham Hotspur, who was paid £4 million plus £3million in bonuses in the 2018-19 season, announced that the club would be reducing the wages of their 550 non-football staff by 20%, in some cases by placing them on furlough. (It should be noted they were not alone in this move: Newcastle United -owned by one Mike Ashley – had done the same.)
“We may be the eighth largest club in the world by revenue according to the Deloitte survey,” said Levy, “but all that historical data is totally irrelevant as this virus has no boundaries.”
No boundaries that you’ll allow to come anywhere near you wallet.
Can I make a suggestion for when we run out of food?
Motörhead – Eat The Rich
That’ll do you. (And I haven’t even mentioned how inept our Government has been in dealing with all of this – but you know that already, right?)