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Writing In Green Ink On The Piccadilly Line

August 31, 2008

23 Aug 2008:

I love my Dad so much. He is a funny old hotch-potch. A bit like me really – which is encouraging seeing as we are directly related. This morning he is a breath of fresh air in this age of the separated communication of text and electronic mail.

‘The next stop is South Ealing’

He lives a simple life and appreciates real things like a bit of nice cheese here and there, old picture frames and writing with old fashioned ink pens.

‘Acton Town is interchange only. Passengers wishing to alight at Acton Town must cross the platform and take the next train to Ealing Common where there is a replacement bus service back to Acton Town’

Thank christ my Dad isn’t travelling with me – he would spontaneously organise a furious sit-in, a noisy riot. He would scale a wall to get out of the station or would start shouting at the guard. But he is with me – I am reading one of his wonderful, scratchyfluent hand-written letters which prompted me to write this. Being a chip off the old block I boarded the train rather agitated as I realised that I had nothing to read for the next 15 stops.

‘The next station is Hammersmith’

Nothing – not even last night’s discarded and stale free paper. Sitting still with nothing to do except stare at other passengers is just too boring to imagine and I am not in the mood for playing the fallback option ‘who in this carriage would you shag if you had to’ game. As it happens, I am glancing around – ugh – no – none of them. What if the world depended on it? More people are coming on. Let’s see.


Four massive guts, two extreme double chins, four sensible shoe wearers and a 20-something who is wearing sunglasses inside and um..excuse me…we are in a tunnel now.

Yes but the world depends on it!! Oh, hang a push I suppose I could muster…oh no…he’s reading The Daily Record. It looks worse than The Daily Sport. Anyway, my Dad saved me. I remembered that I received a letter from him this morning and shoved it in my bag as I left the house.

‘The next station is Gloucester Road. Change here for the Circle Line’

What a beautiful letter and how funny. He does the same thing as me – writes like this – with lots of dashes – and exclamation marks! Like this! We have the same sense of humour and both write very fast. Perhaps that is what it is. It’s really nice to get a proper letter, written in proper ink on proper thick paper. He even does little drawings too. So lovely. I used to write letters all the time – and postcards. Now I just seem to e mail and text copiously. I worked on a big international media project last year and from Feb to July I received 9,483 e mails – absolutely ridiculous. I had a day like that yesterday – received around 72. We are filming next week so lots to organise and lots of last minute questions/stuff to sort – but even so! Can’t you just pick up the phone? I did that yesterday and the person on the other end sounded genuinely shocked as if spoken communication was an odd thing to be involving yourself in these days.

So here I am writing in a book (black moleskine with squared paper) in fine emerald green pen which I could scan and post up but very few of you could read my ‘I should have been a doctor)’s writing. So I shall be modern and type it all up. My Dad’s great letter was the seed which grew into the sapling of an idea and despite the fact his letter and this is handwritten, it has all been processed and become part of the technologyjam that is giving us all pinksore eyes and bloggers bottoms.

Adieu. I’m off to work with Terry Callier, Iggy and the Stooges, and Sparks. I’m so excited.

‘Covent Garden’.


I’m here. I’m here. I’m here.

LISTEN AND VOTE FOR ALL MY PODCASTS HERE – new one coming soon…promise…just don’t hassle me…it makes me nervous!

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  1. GreatSheElephant permalink

    blogger’s bottom – lol

  2. Howesy permalink

    Thanks for the b-day wishes, I’m afraid Ister helped to lead me astray and all plans for the evening were changed due to being held captive in a pub garden by about a bottle and a half’s worth of JD and coke. Yum yum, I must say, I’ve had worse days!<br/>Just off now to massage me bottom…

  3. oyebilly permalink

    I like the Piccadilly line, I used to take it to work when I was working in Hounslow.<br/><br/>For some reason, on all tube trains when they do the announcements, for example "The next station is Northfields" I always find myself adding in my mind "…where this train terminates". Obviously I’m a bit of a pessimist.

  4. Axe Victim permalink

    Yes and whenever I call you up all I ever get is your blasted answering machine AND you never call me back – I just get a text. Next time I’ll write you a bloody letter!!!<br/><br/>Hope you’re not disapointed by your heros.

  5. Annie permalink

    I love getting letters, it’s the best isn’t it?<br/><br/>Hurrah for Iggy Pop, Terry Callier and Sparks! Have you worked with Iggy before? One of my former flatmates, (a photographer’s assistant) worked with him and said he was the loveliest most down to earth man. V exciting…

  6. Arabella permalink

    Oh, the crush of the lift at Covent Garden – I quite miss it.<br/>I loathe texting and refuse to send or receive. It seems to me that it prevents talking as well as letter-writing. Hey ho I’m a fuddy-duddy.

  7. rockmother permalink

    Great She – yep – bloggers arse – like plumbers arse but possibly not quite as bad…we live in hope<br/><br/>Howeserness – hope you had a good one – oh dear – trapped in a beer garden – how awful. And on your birthday as well? No! Just off to apply acupressure to my glutious maximus.<br/><br/>Billsterness – yeah I like the Piccadilly Line too – pessimist or realist?<br/><br/>Axeminster Man – oh stop whinging! Be thankful for texts – oh a letter would be lovely. Sorry – my life has been like ramming a square peg in a round hole of late. If I could answer I would. No – my hero’s did not disappoint – they were totally inspiring and charming – each and every one of them.<br/><br/>Gorgeous Annie – yes – letters are great unless they are from the government or parking fines people! I’m good at writing killer ones back. Iggy and his Stooges were the most charming and lovely people you would ever want to meet. Inspiring.<br/><br/>Arabellakiins – oh you don’t miss it – sweaty people with bad breath breathing over you and jabbing you in the leg with their shopping bags. I texted the other day and showed it to a guy with headphones blaring out shit tin music on the train who was standing over me – it was most effective. It said: <br/>your Iron Maiden is doing my head in<br/><br/>Oh how how he fumbled with the volume control and oh how I smirked for the rest of the journey.

  8. Roman Empress permalink

    My Dad has always been a thrifty soul, never spending much money on himself, but much like your Dad, loves a bit of nice cheese or a glass of champagne. Other than that, he’s happy to observe the world and carefully guide us.<br/>He has a lovely wit and writes more confidently than he speaks. In a way I’m just like him.<br/>He doesn’t get the whole blog thing though. Far too showy.

  9. Bock the Robber permalink

    This post made me send a text to my daughter.<br/><br/>It said …<br/><br/><i>Fuck!<br/><br/>I’ve just realised we’re directly related.<br/><br/>Fuck!</i><br/><br/>Sentimental or what?

  10. Viagra Sex permalink

    looks like you and your father really enjoy a good trip, in my case this is a little hard to do, my father abandon us a long time ago, nine years to be exact, and in this moment I don’t know where is he.

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