Marmiteboy - Urbane Warrior.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hanging On The Telephone.

I'm not a happy Marmite today. Not even Marmite served thinly spread on Keira Knightley could lift my gloom (okay that last bit was a lie).

I'm having a bit of trouble with access to the internet. My telephone company has a fault with it's Voicemail service which means that the signal that tells you that someone has left a message on your voicemail is there, even though there is no message. This broken signal stops access to the internet for some reason and although this has been going on since I got back from Cornwall on Tuesday, it is still not resolved!!

I have rung them on three ocassions now and have been told that the problem will be resolved 'as soon as possible', which means precisely nothing. They told me that I could change the modem settings on my computer to bypass the problem, but I've tried that and it didn't work.

I can't see it being resolved very quickly either what with New Year and all, so I am current without the facility to surf at leisure. I'm currently in the library and only have about 20 minutes left on the clock. It's a right bummer.

Anyway I hope you all had a great Christams and have a fruitful 2006.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Look Into My Eyes, You're Getting Very Sleepy.

After another bout of increased anxiety, which has made me feel pretty shit agian for the last two weeks I have decided to be proactive about some treatment. I have got a referral to a local counselling service via my GP, which I attended last year without a great deal of success, but the wait is at least 8 weeks. Last year it took nearly 6 months to get an appointment and their treatment was group therapy which I found to be no use at all. When I asked for further treatment (which I would have had to pay for) the clinic advised me that there would be a wait and that they would contact me. As you've probably already guessed they never did.

This time I know that another 2 or 3 month wait will do me no good at all, so I rang a psychotherapist last week and went along for a free initial consultation on Friday. The lady was very nice and easy to talk to. She practices both psyhoanalysis and hypnotherapy and has said that she will combine the two. I have never been under hypnosis before and it is a bit scary but apparently hypnosis taps into the subconcious and can be very successful. I am self aware enough to know that my anxiety and low self esteem stem from my childhood and that taking the drugs and trying to put on a brave face will not make me feel better. I have been told that I will have a few bad weeks when the stuff I'm talking about will make me feel really down, but I am prepared to go for it. It will be expensive and could take a while (there is no instant cure for psychological problems), but if it works then it shall be worth it. Just feeling confident again and waking up in the morning not feeling like I've had a nightmare will be fabulous.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas and Santa brings everyone lots of lovely presents. Thanks to everyone who has sent supportive e-mails to me throughout the year and to anyone else who has taken the time to read my blog.

Cheers, I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Marmiteboy Superhero.

The wonderful Gimpy Mumpy has done it again. She has designed a superhero all for me. It doesn't look exactly like me (I am taller and I've bigger muscles, lol) but apart from that the resemblance is startling.

Thanks Mumpy, what with your superhero self we can become the Terrific Two, or something.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Best of 2005.

This year has been one of those years when I've needed some retail therapy. Luckily this has coincided with a good year for music. I have bought an outrageous amount of albums this year and I really should be ashamed of myself. At the last count I had bought 32 albums released THIS year alone. I don't think I should count the albums that I've got this year that were not released in 2005. The result of this is that it's been more difficult than normal to compile a best of, but never one to shirk where there is a list to be drawn up (it's one of the only blokey things do well), here goes.

Best Gigs of 2005

1. Ben Folds at Cambridge Corn Exchange.
2. Bob Mould at Mean Fiddler London
3. Dinosaur Jnr at Koko Club London
4. Editors at The Junction Cambridge
5. Echo And The Bunnymen at Reading Festival.

I went to about 20 gigs this year (Reading is counted as one) and seen well over 70 acts. A good year for live music.

Best Song of 2005

1. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole by Martha Wainwright - Like The Goldfish I have been completely captivated by the wonderous Ms Wainwright. This song is surely up there with Ben Folds Five's 'Song For The Dumped' as a the best song ever for someone who has just been chucked. Despite repeated plays it always sends a shiver up my spine. It is quite frankly a work of a genius.

2. Mr November by The National - A Reading Festival discovery for me. This band are all that is good about US indie. If there was any justice they would be massive.

3. I Predict A Riot by Kaiser Chiefs - Great song for leaping about the front room (in a crip fashion) pretending to be a rock star. Ricky Wilson is, in my opinion, the best front man of all the new wave of bands this year.

4. Monkey by Low - Opening track from the kings of Soft-Core latest (and maybe last?) album The Great Destroyer. I saw them twice this year and they were as great as ever. The year has been somewaht curtailed by Alan Sparhawk's mental illness unfortunately and what with the departure of bass player Zak Sally we don't really know what the future brings. I hope it gets sorted as this is my favourite band (especially live).

5. Rock 'n' Roll Queen by The Subways - There has been quite a bit of hype surrounded this bunch of whipper-snappers and I was pleased to see just how good live they are. It may not be hard core but it is great fun and oh Charlotte is soooo cute ;-)

Worst Songs of 2005.

1. Beautiful by James Blunt - I wish this bloke had stayed in the army then we wouldn't have had to hear this shite. God knows why he is held in such esteem and has sold so many records. He is a fourth division Damien Rice.

2. Nine Million Bicycles In Bejing - Katie Melua - Katie shocked her loyal fan base with this dirty and dangerous death metal tune. The sublimal satanist message had the religious right up in arms. Er...just kidding. More drival that is like LISTENING to paint dry.

3. I can't be arsed to write anymore about shite music.

Best Albums of 2005

1. Martha Wainwright by Martha Wainwright - Why do the British public listen to insipid nonsense like Katie Melua when they could have music from the soul like this fabulous album.

2. Illinois by Sufjan Stevens - I was unaware of his music until quite recently but I'm completely sold. The man is a musical genius. He plays virtually all the instruments on this album of quirky, uplifting songs. A contender for the crown of the king of Americana.

3. The Back Room by Editors - Birmingham's finest have been a bit overlooked in my opinion but then they do offer something a little different than the rest of the new 'art-school rock' bands. They sound a little like U2 when they were good 20 years ago and are an excellent live band. The next big thing? Maybe.

4. Ozona by Goldrush - Hard to categorise, Goldrush are another of my favourite discoveries this year. They are part Americana, part indie and even remind me of Orange Juice at times. Well worth a listen.

5. Alligator by The National - There is a lot of quality music coming out of North America at the moment and The National are no exception. Their sound is definitely influenced by the 80's indie scene in the UK and that ain't no bad thing.

6. Government Commissions by Mogwai - A bit of a cheat this, as it's a collection of Peel sessions recorded for the great man's show over the years. However, it shows just how bloody good Mogwai are live. The control they have over their complex sound is astounding. I cannot wait to see them at the ICA (capacity approx 300) on 11th January.

7. Funeral by Arcade Fire - There is something weird going on in the Kingdom of Canada. There is so much bloody brilliant music coming out of the country. For years we've had to put up with Bryan Adams and Celine Dion and for the last few years the scene has exploded. There are The Dears, God Speed! You Black Emperor, A Silver Mount Zion and Do Make Say Think. Now we have the wondeful Arcade Fire. They stole the show in the Radio One tent at Reading and this album was a joyful, uplifting experience. Next year should see Broken Social Scene arrive to try and take them on. Canada is fast becoming the place for great music.

8. The Great Destoyer by Low - Minnesota's finest export since Bob Dylan, Low have been around for 11 years now. This may not be their finest album but there are enough great moments to keep the fans happy.

9. Cold Roses by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - What can you say about Ryan Adams? Well I think the guy is a genius. He has produced three albums this year alone. The third, 29, isn't out until 19th December and is reportedly the best one, however, this was a wonderful slice of alt-country. And a double album at that. How Adams writes so many quality sonngs is beyond me, but he keeps on doing it.

10. Ambulance Ltd by Ambulance Ltd - Another quality slice of US indie with a definite British feel. I saw them supporting The Dears in London this year and thought that they were the better band. The release of their debut album later in the year didn't disappoint.

Well that's it. It's been an excellent year for music this year and that despite the shite that is in the charts. If you cast your net a little wider and are prepared to take a chance on a few things you'll bound to come up with a winner.

I'm already looking forward to new albums by Broken Social Scene and Belle and Sebastian and gigs by the later and Nick Cave, Mogwai, Bob Mould and Sigur Ros in 2006. Happy days.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

There's No Limits.


We have a TV star amongst us. A real proper TV star. This person has not been interviewed on some shite daytime TV show (well she might have been, but that's not the reason for this post), she is a presenter on a show on Australian television. Our Stella is part of the team that broadcasts on an Australian cable channel to Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Her show is called No Limits and is a show we could do with in the UK again after the demise of such shows as On The Edge.

No Limits is a programme for disabled people by disabled people and one look at the website shows what a great programme it is. It is about time that we had a similar programme back on UK television. We still have See Hear on TV and In Touch on the radio but Does He Take Sugar is long gone.

All hail to Stella and her colleagues for putting together such a great show.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side.

I still feeling frazzled, anxious and low. This situation has been going on since June 2004 and I was hoping for some improvement by now. Even if the drugs had started to even me out a bit and had started to make me feel less anxious I would be okay, but they're not. The pain I can put up with. I've had it for 20 odd years, in varying degrees and although it is draining it's part of who I am so I can handle it. However, this constant feeling of anxiety is a different matter.

When I had my first episode about six years or so ago I was but on beta blockers and sent for some counselling. I don't think the beta blockers did fuck all to be honest but for a time the counselling did help me. Although I didn't suddenly become this self confident person full of self esteem it did lessen the anxiety a bit.

When I started feeling bad again some 2 years ago (it took me 6 months to go to th edoctors) I was given Prozac. This just made me sleep all day so I suppose in some way it did help the anxiety and depression ( although it may have been the depression that made me sleep. I also went for some 'counselling'. This consisted of group therapy, which I didn't find much use. We got four sessions and I was just starting to come out of my shell a bit when it ended. I asked if I could continue one to one with a counseller but she never contacted me again and I wasn't in any state to pursue it. Her not contacting me just added to my feeling of rejection (although she was probably just too busy).

I went back to the doctors on Monday, my new drugs have not helped. The doctor has increased the dosage (but only after I asked if I could take more than one pill a day) and I have been referred for counselling again (only after I asked if I could be referred. I'm going to try and get one to one counselling this time because I think it will be more beneficial for me. I need to explore why I have such low self esteem and why this causes me so much anxiety.

Hopefully I can extract the thorn in my side.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Papa's Got A Brand New Bag!

This is my new bag. I'm sure you'll agree that it is a fab new bag. It is designed by our very own Hip Crip and cartoonist extraordinaire Gimpy Mumpy. There are loads of fab goods over at Gimpy's site in
  • Gimpy Mumpy's Store Cheers Mumpy. I will have Mumpy wherever I go.