Paris stays with you.

June 13, 2013

You can hear the World, in a coffee shop.
It is shapeless rumbles of noise that emanate from all corners and they crash into each other and I think the human mind learns how to drown it out without knowing that’s what it’s doing, dismissing it all as dreary, though it is anything but.
I sit with a book.
Hemingway’s ‘A Moveable Feast’.
It’s a quaint little book that reminds me of Paris, and Michigan and I read it with the desire of a wealthy traveler but the wallet of a beggar.
I first drank a Mocha in Michigan. I’m drinking one now as I write this. I drink one in the coffee shop. If I drink two in the coffee shop, I wont sleep much that night.
But I feel as if I am being judged, if I only have one, yet expect to be in there for an hour or two. So I buy two. And then I don’t sleep much that night.
… and then there’s 37 rue de la Bûcherie.
With its Tudor-style beams overhead, and its drooping book shelves under the weight of so much genius. The staircase has books running up it. There are old typewriters too. Quintessentially Parisian, with a nostalgic charm, as you climb the little wooden ladder to your chosen book.
Hemingway knew it when it was on rue de l’Odéon.
Joyce stayed there. T.S Eliot. D.H Lawrence. Larbaud.
We owe this to the wonderful Sylvia Beach.
On a step, you read “Live for humanity“.
A wonderfully simple yet beautiful command.
It reminded me of Aeschylus, the Greek Tragedian:
To tame the savageness of man, make gentle the life of this World“.
Parisians don’t like you paying with notes. They like coins. Notes seem to offend them. I don’t know why. The man at the Eiffel Tower, selling crepes huffs and puffs if you hand him a note. Maybe they don’t offend him. But they seem to bore him. Bank notes are boring. I’m huffing and puffing just talking about it. Pay with coins. But always buy a crepe on the cobblestoned lanes of Montmartre.
The walls are thin and cracked and the tiny balconies with the black metal frames of the hotel rooms are the beautiful lookout of millions of lovers in the morning, passing through Paris on their way.
She has pale skin, and freckles, and reddish hair which she often brushes behind her ear and she smiles as me. I smile back. It is easy to fall in love with a smile. You can fall in love on a train station platform three or four times before the train arrives, all for a smile.
And then forget it all by the time you sit down.
Even on warm days, I choose to sit inside the coffee shop.
I seldom contemplate sitting outside on the terrace, as I stand in line.
Because when I do contemplate it, I exaggerate the significance of it.
I am convinced that it is reserved for Macbook clad, cigarette’d business people.
The ‘yar…. yar, like… totally‘ people.
And that the busy shoppers walking by would look at me in disgust if I were to sit outside.
And they’d all stand still, in shock.
And they’d cover their children’s eyes.
And they’d go home and recite to their friends, that the man without the Macbook, who didn’t sit cross legged, smoking a cigarette, was sat outside the coffee shop, and their friends would recoil in horror as thunder crashed dramatically over head.
And then I’m back in line being asked what I’d like to order.
So I seldom contemplate sitting outside, as I stand in line.
Because when I do contemplate it, I exaggerate the significance of it.
You can sit outside the coffee shop in Paris though. It is almost necessary. At least it feels necessary. And I like that. You are surrounded by lovers in their romantic dream, and a faint sound of an accordion player. You are surrounded by cafes and shops with dirty old verandahs, and nuns walk by on their way to Mass. You are surrounded by the shading trees and bicycles with baskets on the front. You are surrounded by Paris.
The soft light of sunset that glistens the Seine, and that hugs the Pont Neuf, makes it hard to place the terror of Robespierre’s reign, or the riots at the Bastille, or the Napoleonic era, in such a serene city. But it happened.
Hemingway speaks beautifully of the Jardin du Luxembourg before reminding me of Chicago.
But as hard as I try, I can’t focus in a coffee shop on the book.
The people are too distracting.
But people are fascinating.
Intimate detail of lives are expressed so openly, as if no one can hear.
And so I thought I’d learn to make order from the chaos, and take my little black notebook, and write down the odd snippets of conversation that distract me and make distinction between them.
And not know which face belonged to each voice.
And not know the context of the stories.
And not know the turn the conversations would take, or the ending to the conversations, just a line here and a line there.
Mixed together.
The result – that I have so far written down – is exceedingly mundane, yet fascinating to me.

A metre. I told him. No. …. Yeah. A metre but He never fucking listens. I hate squatting… oh… before I forget… do you have Fletch’s number? With a big fat cherry on top? There are usually seventeen but I swear she stole one. Yeah things aren’t going too well for me at the minute. No reason for us to stay together when the cat died. Two coffees too many dad. I can’t believe it was 2, I didn’t think there’d be time. Tell her we can go ahead with terminating his contract… yeah he deserves it. Sometimes you’ve just gotta say fuck it, you know? It’s a shame, he seemed nice enough at the time… I never thought he’d do it. Some solids. Walked home until I had a car. Cream on that? I swear mate, she doesn’t even get off the couch, fucking lazy. People die, it happens. They don’t do curry sauce with the chips any more though. Nah Liz told me that it’s likely Jen will be cautioned for it but probably not Bek. Blatantly gay. What if he finds out? They don’t teach manners at the fucking border agency. She ain’t even sucked his dick yet. Twice but sometimes if it’s raining there will be more. Sensed it. Two brake lights I think. Yeah Dave’s had it with Sky, never fuckin’ works when it rains. A girl? Daisy? Or not?. Isn’t it though?. Season 4 was the best so far but. Does it smell funny in here to you?……… oh. Birmingham is quieter I think. Three massive blokes just fucking…just…came out of fucking nowhere. I don’t think they’ll get married. Repping in Mabella I think.

Sometimes I wonder who these people are; their names; what comes next; if they have terrible secrets; when their parents first laid eyes upon each other; their favourite subjects; if they talk to themselves when they’re alone; if they’re in love; if they ever called their teacher “mum”; have they ever ran from the police; how old they were when they first smoked a cigarette; if they play the piano; what expletive do they shout when they stand on an upturned plug?; where they will be when they’re 80; what pressures they’re under; do they write? sing? do they want children? are they scared of spiders? do they have an incredible family history they’re yet to uncover? do they drink? What insecurities plague them? What did they do on their 18th birthday?

Sometimes I imagine their stories.
The old man who sat three tables out from me, wore a grey beanie hat.
He looked cautious and uneasy.
I imagined he was hiding out. I imagined he’d fled to Vegas in the 60s in search of a piece of the pie. The small Nevada town exploded into a heaven of seedy gamblers and quick-buck gangsters in the 50s. Grey beanie wanted in on it. Being a young hothead, believing the World was his to take, he just pushed his luck a little bit too far. He now owed millions of dollars, that he lost in a string of bad luck, back room, smoke filled poker games, surrounded by strippers and the smell of desperate nobody’s, in the mid 70s. He borrowed more and more to try to win it all back. And now he owed. Having packed up in the middle of the night in August, ’76, he fled eastward. Having walked for miles, hitched for miles more, snuck onto trains, and slept with one eye open in the dingiest motels that lined the route, he spent the 80s hiding out in a tiny one roomed shack in the Shenandoah valley in West Virginia, just outside of Jefferson County. He had a stove, and a stream near by to collect water. He hunted for food. He learned to love the basic life. He would sit outside every morning with a coffee, and just listen. Listen to the soft, mellifluous sound of nature. He would close his eyes and the sounds seemed more prominent. They made him feel alive. This is what it was to be living. Vegas didn’t exist. Money didn’t exist. Nothing else existed. Reality though, reality is indifferent to the dreams of absolute serenity of one man. His creditors caught up with him. In 1991, he fled to England. He’s been here ever since. First, in the Welsh valleys; in a town called Hirwaun in the Cynon Valley, before marrying a girl in Yorkshire. He wears the beanie to cover the scar from a barroom fight in Vegas; an easily identifiable scar. His wife doesn’t know his past. He thinks it’s safer that way. And all of the places he’s been, from Vegas, across the midwest, to the Shenandoah Valley, I want to see.
It is me, living vicariously through stories that I attribute to unsuspecting faces.
And here he is. Cautiously watching the World go by, in a little unknown coffee shop, in England, as if any second could be his last, as if Michael Corleone could walk out of the bathroom at any moment and end it all in a flash. I watch him as I take a sip of Mocha.

These are lives. It is a World that you hear in a coffee shop.
We all share a single ancestor. All of us. And yet here, in a coffee shop, we are all a rich tapestry of easily forgettable, beautiful mundanity, dreaming with stories that aren’t real, and Paris stays with you.

The Myth of Monotheism

May 9, 2013

“Sinners receive pardon by the intercession of Mary alone.”
– St. John Chrysostom

At the summit of Montmartre in Paris stands the basilica of Sacre Coeur; a late 19th, early 20th Century political and religious prodigious Catholic Church dedicated to Jesus, and the decades following the French Revolution. Crowds flock to look out across the beautiful city from the highest point at the foot of the basilica. At night, the brightly lit Church illuminates the skyline of Paris quite wonderfully.

Last week, I sat in on mass being spoken at Sacre Coeur. It’s my second Catholic Mass in Paris. Previously I’ve sat in on mass at Notre Dame. As an outspoken Atheist, one would assume I would be quite averse to all things ritual with regard religion; and yet, I find it strangely alluring. To me, it reveals something about the human condition and its desire for guidance from ‘outside’. A sort of, lack of belief in ourselves. In much the same way as the air fills with the sound of the Islamic call to prayer from the stunning Blue Mosque of Istanbul multiple times every day, Catholic rituals intrigue me. If we start from the position, as I do, that there is no God, that Jesus was not divine and may not have actually existed at all; then the rituals I see at Catholic mass seem fatuous, almost child-like, and very alien. And yet, here we are, surrounded by throngs of people, beautifully crafted stone monuments, brightly coloured windows, inspired art of the geniuses, nuns, cardinals, priests, people kneeling before the altar, so passionately enthralled in prayer that somehow the pointlessness of the ritual becomes irrelevant and the human aspect of a desire for hope, a feeling of belonging, and outside interference becomes prevalent.

It is true that those who follow the line of the three main Abrahamic traditions insist that their one God is the key to salvation, and that believing so, makes their Monotheistic faith altogether different from the Polytheistic faiths that have inspired generations before them. But it would appear to me, that the idea of ‘one God’, is not enough for those who deeply require ‘outside’ guidance and the hope for a grand plan. Polytheism seemed to have all bases covered. The single God of Monotheism, regardless of the ‘omni’ attributes applied to it, still struggles to fulfil the very basic desires that religion is supposed to inspire. And so the religious work on ways to get round that problem, walking a careful line between Monotheism and Polytheism.

Catholicism is quite spectacular at subtly blurring the lines between Monotheism and Polytheism, whilst insisting on the faith being entirely Monotheistic. This blurring of the lines between the two ‘theism’s is not new for Christianity. Let us not forget that Satan holds great power over mankind, the only key difference between Satan and God appears to be the attributed ‘good’ and ‘bad’ concepts. Other than that, they are essentially two Gods, in much the same way that Hades of Greek Mythology, and king of the Gods of the underworld, was as much of a God as Zeus. Satan occupies an important and rather central place in the Pantheon of Christian icons. It is through a single conversation between Satan and Eve, that the entire ‘plan’ of God was forced to take a dramatic, and time consuming turn. The Christian defined plan of God, is one great attempt to undo the apparent ‘harm’ created by Satan in Eden. Satan is a rather powerful being, able to circumnavigate the apparent omnipresence of God. Christianity, in its entirety, exists through the actions of Satan, and the long, drawn out reactions of God. Perhaps we could call Satan a minor deity, but a deity nonetheless.

We must also note the veneration of Saints in Catholic tradition. They may not be ‘Gods’ in a very strict sense, but they play a key role once reserved for Polytheistic Gods of old. The Saints give us a human face to a faceless religion. They surround the square of St Peters in Rome. They appear in Catholic Churches and Cathedrals across Christendom. Saints days are celebrated, and intercession of Saints is a key doctrine in many Churches. They provide an example of how one ‘should’ live according to the faith. The Saints replace the minor Gods in the old Roman Pantheons, in charge of, and able to intercede within the realm of certain human causes, that a single God seems to lack sufficient time to commit to each. Saint Peter is the Saint of long life. Christina the Astonishing (able to perform miracles) is the Saint of Mental Illness. Florian is the Saint against Fire. Gerard Majella is the Saint of expectant Mothers. The Saints play an important, supernatural role in the running of the World; a human, Earthly role that we find easier to relate to, than a faceless, mysterious ‘one God’ entity.

Crucially, according to Catholic doctrine, the Saints also hear our prayers. They hear the silent prayers, of millions of believers, in many different languages, all at the same time, from all over the World.
The importance placed on the ability of the Saints in heaven, to be able to intercede on behalf of Christians on Earth, naturally elevates the Saints to a status beyond that of human, but just below that of ‘God’.

“All those who seek Mary’s protection will be saved for all eternity.”
– Pope Benedict XV

Popes throughout the ages have placed great emphasis on salvation through Mary. She exists on a platform as close to a ‘God’ as one could possibly get. The blurred lines are evident. Popes demand her worship, without actually using the term worship:

“What will it cost you, oh Mary, to hear our prayer? What will it cost you to save us? Has not Jesus placed in your hands all the treasures of His grace and mercy? You sit crowned Queen at the right hand of your son: your dominion reaches as far as the heavens and to you are subject the earth and all creatures dwelling thereon. Your dominion reaches even down into the abyss of hell, and you alone, oh Mary, save us from the hands of Satan.”
– Pope Pius XI

If Catholicism, with its God of the ‘omnis’ were truly Monotheistic, it would not require the intercession of Saints on behalf of humans. It would not require Patron Saints suddenly able to hear millions of prayers, in different languages, in different places, all at the same time. It would not require Mary having any dominion. They would need no control, nor need to intercede within a certain realm. The Ave Maria, the rosary, would be meaningless, and yet it holds a meaningful and rather curious centrality within the Catholic faith. This represents the careful line, mentioned above, between Polytheism and Monotheism, and an interesting way to reconcile the problems presented by Monotheism, with some of the comforts offered by the Polytheistic past.

Similarly, we see Muslims often living by and focusing on the sayings and life of the Prophet Muhammad as opposed to just the Qur’an, despite the great emphasis placed on the worship of just one God, in the Qur’an. Islam does not accept the ‘worship’ of any other God, but Allah (an old Pagan God). They seem however, to play rather fast and loose with the term ‘worship’ when it comes to the Prophet Muhammad. The entire concept of death for apostasy, comes from the Hadith, and not the Qur’an. Muhammad’s life and sayings occupy a key space in the faith of Islam. There is no need to live by the words and life of the Prophet, if the faith is Monotheistic. He is simply a man. He makes mistakes. He is fallible. The Hadiths are pointless, if the Qur’an is the true word of the one God. If the only requirement of Islam, is to live by the words of the Qur’an, then the faith can be considered far more Monotheistic, than it is the moment we introduce Hadiths into the equation. Muslims undoubtedly hold the life of sayings (even outside of revelation) of the Prophet, in high regard. To question the actions of the Prophet, is to insult Islam. To negatively depict the Prophet, is to insult Islam. They may not call it ‘worship’, but it is as close as devotion gets to worship. Mehdi Hasan of New Statesman fame once told a crowd during a debate that he loved the Prophet, more than his own children. That is devotion, closer to worship than any other form. It places infallibility on a person, but simultaneously claiming not to. Again, it blurs the lines of Polytheism and Monotheism. The Islamic faith, like Catholicism, goes ‘beyond’ the simplistic ‘one God’ notion. Not quite enough to make it outright Polytheistic but certainly enough to render the concept of Monotheism in Islam suspect.

I don’t think it is possible to apply the succinct terms ‘Polytheism’ or ‘Monotheism’ so flippantly to the Abrahamic faiths. There are recognisable problems with Monotheism for the devoutly religious. It lacks a human aspect that can only be fulfilled by human actors; human actors who slowly become ‘worshipped’, relied upon for the continuation of the faith and as close to Gods as one can be without acquiring the name. Their lives and words are just as central to the faith, as the ‘revelation’ of their God. They are deemed untouchable. Polytheism did not die with the growth of the ‘Monotheistic’ religions. It simply shifted focus, blurred the lines, and the product of that blurring, can be seen when we sit in the dimly lit Basilica of Sacre Coeur and witness the unwavering and passionate devotion of the believers.

Adolf, by Smith

January 8, 2011

Ash fashionised me in Paris.
I have cleared out my wardrobe.
Seven bin bags full of crap.
Six bin bags full of clothes to take to the charity shops.
That’s probably letting it get a bit too far isn’t it?
I’m a boy though.
We’re not known for our pro-activeness when it comes to clothes.
I have a new pair of trainers that don’t actually fit very well.
But they cost me £50, so they’re going to get worn.
Even if it makes my feet look like crow’s feet.
I had not been in my wardrobe for about five years.
It is now looking like a grown up’s wardrobe.
I feel like a real person.
I have a beautiful new cardigan from Zara.
£90 it cost.
It is hard not to get slightly fashionised when you’re in the fashion capital of the World, with a girlfriend who adores fashion.
Everyone just looks amazing in Paris.
Actually, there are two extremes in Paris…..
Amazing, and definitely a sex offender.
Ash knows every bag on the shoulder of every girl that walks past.
It makes me want to fall down to the floor and grab my head in pain, crying, when she tells me the girl who just walked past is holding a £15,000 bag.
On our last day in Paris we found a shopping mall.
It was an up market shopping mall.
I saw a plain white man shirt, for £900.
I cannot possibly comprehend that.
It is just a plain white man shirt.
Unless it doubles as a car and a speed boat, I will not be paying that much for a shirt.
It inspired me to create my own label.
“Smith” it’d be called.
I came up with four fragrances.
Molestation, by Smith.
Nonce, by Smith.
Faeces, by Smith.
Adolf, by Smith.
The TV adverts would involve Naomi Campbell running through a darkened Paris, searching through candlelight for a man.
He would be played by Johnny Depp.
They’d say something in French.
Faces would be close together, as they embraced.
Then a whispering voice would say “Faeces, by Smith”.
I think it’s perfect.
Ash took me into Primark yesterday.
I told her it was worse than genocide.
She bought things.
Two things for about 20p.
For 50p, she could have bought most of the shop.
God bless child labour in third World countries.
Today, I am going to dress well and criticise others for not matching.
I will also smell of “Faeces”.

“A socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore…”

January 7, 2011

At 37 Rue Bûcherie, just across the river from the Notre Dame in Paris, stands a quaint little English bookshop called Shakespeare and Co. At this bookshop, aspiring writers are allowed to live above it for free, working a couple of hours in the shop itself, as long as they agree to write their life story, on a page that the owner would read. The old owner, who recently passed the shop to his daughter, still reads all the short biographies, and has kept them all since he started the place in 1951. The life and the aspirations of young travellers, from all over the World, over the past 60 years, he has written on pieces of paper. It is rather brilliant.

The bookshop itself is old school in design. It isn’t like Waterstones, with a computer in the middle and a minimalist style with a beautifully modern feeling and ordinary human beings free of immense pretentiousness roaming the different sections. It is quite the opposite. It is small, and the wooden shelves in such a small cramped space, with old ladders that run the length of it on a metal runner, coupled with old carpeting, red velvet curtains, and books arranged in an odd set up gives the whole place a very nostalgic feel.

The old owner, who is now around 98 years old, and who played host in the shop to the writers of the Beat Generation, once referred to the shop as “A socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” You could use your full creative tendencies, in private, surrounded by an aura of creativity, living there for free. It was obviously going to produce some of the greatest literary minds in history.

Upstairs, is a room for people to sit and read, with a piano in the corner. As I was walking around downstairs, I heard the playing and singing quite beautifully and softly of Mad World coming from upstairs. I stopped to listen for a second or two, and genuinely loved it. Every so often I am pleasantly surprised by unforeseen talent. The bookshop has so many positive points.

The problem is, it’s full of wankers.

As we walked in, a man with an accent of what I can only imagine a character in a Dickens novel might have, as if he had just found his way out of an episode of Bleak House and lost his way home to the 1800s was sitting just outside, waiting to finish his fag, which was being held up by an elbow balancing in a supremely camp manner, on his knee which was crossed over his other leg. He had red cords with white socks. He had floppy blonde hair, and a turtle neck jumper. He also used the word “yar” instead of “yes“. When he entered the bookshop, he walked up to a lady looking at the back of a Virginia Woolf novel. She looked plainly agitated by this random man, when he spent the next five minutes telling her, for absolutely no discernible reason, why he disliked Virginia Woolf and her style of writing.

The shop was full of people who seem to seriously presume in the most intense show of self delusion possible, that they are DEFINITELY the next Hemingway, but must stay in this one shop in Paris in order to fully utilise the genius that the World would surely soon come to adore. They couldn’t possibly prevent the entire show of extreme pretentiousness and stay at home with a laptop on Microsoft Word and a unique concept and story like the majority of successful authors do, they instead have to dress like what they perceive a writer must dress like, in a World of cliches, in the hope that maybe by looking and talking with an air of arrogance and self assurance the literary Gods will magically shower them with talent.

I wish they’d just resign themselves to accepting they will grow old, fat, and become a Tory MP.

The shop itself is now far too commercial. It has a commercial feel along side its nostalgic feel. As if the nostalgic feel is profitable, so the owners have simply created that feeling, because it attracts idiots, and they like to feel as if they are living in an historical period, when people will look back as visit the area, because they were there! People visit the Latin Quarter in Paris, because Sartre and Camus frequented the cafes in the 1940s, along with other great existentialists. They created that World. They were the originals. They are a World Universe away from the pretentious idiots frequenting a commercial bookshop in 2011 simply because a few successful writers once stayed at the bookshop.

The curse of commercialised “creativity“.

An American guy ran into the shop, and said “oh my god, is she here?” referring to the lady who runs the shop and allows you to stay if she’s impressed with your work. The problem here is two fold. Firstly, the American seems to think its mightily important for “her” to recognise the literary genius he clearly needs to show to her. If I were such a great writer, I would be able to get myself published and adored without the need for a woman who is clearly trying to cash in on the historical significance of a shop that has long since lost its beauty. Secondly, the checkout girl replied to “oh my god, is she here” with “…she doesn’t just see anyone, you know“, which suggests the checkout girl considers herself far more talented than she actually is, given that she was allowed to live there, and secondly, that “she” is some mystical, all-knowing literary Godess, yet the “her” in question, the lady who owns the shop, is not an author, she isn’t an established poet or even journalist. She’s simply the daughter of the guy who started the place. He hosted the old, long dead bohemian life of Paris’ left bank. Bohemia, across much of the World actually, is commercialised Bohemia. It really doesn’t exist quite like it did. It is nostalgia more than anything. He hosted the genius of Hemingway, Ginsberg and Burroughs. She hasn’t yet had that level of success, because the bookshop is now simply a tourist attraction for literary mediocrity. (I will happily eat my words, if the next Orwell says he was inspired entirely by a little English bookshop in Paris).

It is no longer a place for budding writers and unknown creative geniuses to produce something new. That era is finished. It was real. It was not contrived. Now, it is contrived purely for commercial tourism reason. This change is reflected in the people being accepted to stay in the bookshop. Under her father, anyone could stay, as long as they produced writing that the owner considered good enough. The most creative juices could flow. Now, the new owner typically only allows published authors to stay, in an attempt to boost the reputation of the bookshop….. for commercial reasons.

I have crossed Abbey Road, it doesn’t mean I walk around as if i’m going to be the next John Lennon, sitting in a camo jacket, at a piano, with a little Japanese lady ruining every song I decide to sing.

Despite the apparent commercial contrived atmosphere, and feeling of horrid arrogance that streams through the shop; there is still a sense of hope and uniqueness that is missing elsewhere across the World. It is certainly something different, and a great idea. In a World where creativity is hindered by the desperate chase for money, a place in an exciting, beautiful city, free of charge, dedicated to creativity, is essential. It is a haven. If only it focused on attractive young creative minds, and not on the economic benefits of appealing to the tourist market, it could again be a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.

More Parisian blogs to come.

Another summary blog

October 4, 2010

I am working on a George Orwell blog. I am reading a lot of Orwell recently, and trying get into his mind. Over in America, he seems to be massively misunderstood, and so expect a blog from me on my take on Orwell in the next week or so.

It is has been quite an interesting week so far. About a week ago, I played football and threw my back out within about ten minutes and had to go home. Then it got better. Today, at the gym, it just decided to stop working again, and now it hurts when I walk. Quite badly actually. It is annoying, because I have a goal at the gym, and this is severely impeding that goal. I can’t work my stomach because it hurts my back to try. I don’t want it to get to the point where I lose patience and give up.

Secondly, The EDL march in Leicester has been banned, which means my city being invaded by a bunch of racist xenophobic useless thugs has been prohibited.

Thirdly, last Thursday Leicester City’s Chairman Milan Mandaric told manager Paulo Sousa that he had the full backing of the Board after a terrible start to his managerial life at Leicester. On Friday morning he was sacked. On Saturday morning, the Board had appointed ex-England manager Sven Goran Eriksson as our new Manager. I’m not sure what to think. Sven hasn’t exactly had the best track record. Granted he wasn’t too bad at Manchester City. Sky News played with our emotions over the subject, on the Friday night by telling us that Leicester City had been in contact with Martin O’Neil over his possible return to Leicester. O’Neil is by far our most successful manager, having taken over in 1995, a struggling first division side, and by 2001 when he left, we were finishing 6th in the Premier League, and had won the old Coca Cola Cup and played in Europe. A massive achievement. Since then, we have been awful. Don’t tease us by suggesting he might have came back!!! I hope Sven achieves what apparently in less than 10 games, Sousa couldn’t. Our board tend to give managers about ten minutes to prove themselves, and if we haven’t won the Premiership and the Champions League in that time, they’re fired. It’s Monday now, i’m surprised Sven still has a job.

I am currently obsessed with Pineapple juice. It’s like a slice of heaven. Although I don’t believe in heaven. It needs to be Atheist/factual. So, Pineapple juice is a little slice of the event horizon.

It took Baroness Warsi 36 seconds to say “due to Labour’s terrible legacy“, in a question totally unrelated again, to the answer she gave. This isn’t a record. She has to up her game. Although, if Kenneth Clarke is correct and Double Dip recession hits, the Tories can no longer use that as the start of every answer, because it will be they who caused it this time. I have emailed Baroness Warsi to tell her she is slacking, with this bandwagon thing.

EDIT: As I wrote this, the Transport Secretary when asked what he feels about the Child Benefit cuts, said “We didn’t want to inherit the mess by Labour”. Three seconds! BLAM! RECORD!!!

The most important part of this summary blog, is the last part. Today, I booked flights for me and Ash to Paris over New Years. Which means, by the end of 2010, I have met the person I wish to spend my life with; I will have spent ten weeks in Australia; and I will have spent New Years in Paris. All in all, 2010 has been a pretty perfect year so far. The best of the decade, i’d say. I am supremely looking forward to introducing Ash to my friends. They will love her. I have never been to Paris, and the thought of visiting the Louvre, and Versailles, and Sacre Coeur excites the life out of me. Ash has been before, and loved it. My mum and dad have been a few times, and loved it. I cannot wait. Plus, we will be there for New Years and I can’t think of a better way to spend it, than in Paris with my Aussie. New Years 2008, I spent in London whilst living down there. A street party at Embankment, and then back to my student flat and our attempt to sneak friends in (which succeeded), whom then had to hide when some idiot set the fire alarm off at 6am the following morning. So, to have spent New Years in London and then New Years in Paris, is something not many people get to do during the course of their life. A little on the morbid side, Paris has a few grave sights i’d like to visit. Ash has been to Jim Morrison’s grave. I would quite like to see Napoleon’s and Chopin’s. I believe Sartre and Beauvoir are buried in Paris too. Whilst in London, I would like the visit the grave sight of Karl Marx. Purely because he was a genius.