Coming Up

10th December 2011. If everything seems a bit static at the moment it’s because I’ve been in hospital for three weeks. On 15th November I had a six hour Deep Brain Stimulation operation, courtesy of The Functional Neurosurgery team at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square. At the moment, I am going through the long and complex process of finding the optimum settings for my particular symptoms – a process which may take up to six months or more. My thanks go to the team, especially Professor Hariz, Mr Zrinzo and Dr. Limousin and to the nursing staff on the David Ferrier Ward (not to be confused with the nursing staff of a certain ward in another of London’s hospitals which will remain nameless.) So, I’m going to put ‘Sitting Comfortably’ on the backburner over Christmas, while I recouperate. It’s early days yet, but I’ve been able to significantly reduce the amount of medication I need to take already. So here’s hoping … In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an exposé of Virgin Media and festive tall tale from deep in the archives. (Sorry if you’ve read it before)

31/10/11: Apologies if posts seem to be coming slowly. The reason being (rare  bit of inside  information here) I have come off the Dopamine  Agonist component of my drug regime, because of the severity of the side effects (See: 20/07/11) also to ‘optimise’ my suitabilty for potential DBS (Deep Brain Surgery) This is a significant reduction in medication to combat the Parkinson’s (and, incidentally an illustration of the power of drugs which work on the brain) – I have been ‘clean’ fully four weeks, yet my symptoms, the symptoms of advanced Parkinson’s, continue to get worse by the day. So I haven’t even ‘bottomed-out’ from the withdrawal yet. After 28 days! So everything’s slow.

23/09/11: Actually it has occurred to me that on the subject of Dreams it really would be remiss of me not to tell you the epic tale of The Baron’s naked sleepwalk along the A11 Mile End Road. Bear with me (as the Baron said) It will be next week at the earliest.

22/09/11: All this nonsense about recurring dreams! It started chatting to an ex-student of mine who has the misfortune to have a recurring dream. So Farhana, it’s all your fault! Nevertheless, once you’ve digested the ‘Dream Sequence’ and its summary (summery? It doesn’t seem very summery to me; have you been out lately?) ‘What would Freud make of all this?’ I’ll tell you a genuine dream my eldest had recently and the bizarre ‘prize’ he won in it. Plus so much discussion of DIY and the pros and cons of ‘flatpack’ furniture, I think warrants a repeat airing for a post about Sweden’s greatest export (after Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Anne-Frid of course) I refer to the unstoppable force of Nordic aesthetics and design that is IKAE.

24/08/11: Dick’s Out!

25/07/11: I hope all the cheapskate tabloid and  gossip rag hacks who tormented and took the piss out of her are happy now. This is what they wanted. I plan to say a few more words about Amy.

20/07/11: Expect me to disappear from your computer – if not your radar screens for a little while. ‘Sitting Comfortably?’ is about to take its annual leave: two weeks in Morecambe at the ‘Solway View’ (Bed and breakfast, inclusive of rain, sleet and snow. No animals unless by prior arrangement.) By happy accident, this fabulous fortnight is going to coincide with my going ‘Cold Turkey’ as I attempt for the third time to come off a type of drug (Dopamine Agonist if you’re interested) which in some way shape or form I have taken for nigh-on ten years. Yippee! Poor neighbours at the ‘Solway View’ – especially when the terrors pay a visit (which they invariably do) and I wind up with a dose of the Screaming Ab Dabs in the early hours. Can’t wait.

I will attempt to post, so keep visiting: maybe use the opportunity to catch up with previous posts in the archive – there’s plenty there!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with an E mail I received yesterday:

‘I came across “Are you sitting comfortably” and read some stuff about your Dad. I am still in touch with him regularly – in fact saw him at Easter. He
taught me Latin at Bishop Henshaw (School. Rochdale: author) – I left sixth form in 1977. The Vauxhall Viva he had when I knew him was green, and we had a lesson in the car once because he needed to pick up some books in Manchester from Sherratt and Hughes.

Your Dad left Bishop Henshaw  in 1976 and broke my heart – you can tell him that. He was a real inspiration to me – he knows that as well! He is very clever and there were too few pupils (and staff , I might add: author’s note) who truly realised that. He has probably told you how he used to write on the window with a board marker because there was no board in his office, and that is where he taught me. I have done the same myself as homage to him…

Your Dad is a ledge. Love him.’


See? I told you he was above average (way above) as far as schoolmasters go.

21/06/11: About to gallop over the horizon, as part of ‘a series of unfortunate events’ – ‘Going Over The High Side’ AND a review of Bobby Womack’s opening gig of a four night residency at the Jazz Cafe in London. Don’t Miss ’em

10/06/11: Coming next … absolutely no idea.

08/06/11: Two stories my Dad would rather forget – Sorry Dad!

18/05/11: On its way: ‘Up Pompey: Study casts new light on antiquities found in Portsmouth and Southsea’ Part of the BBC’s ‘Making History Hip’ series. Tonight presented by Danni Minogue

05/05/11: Imminent! Maybe even tonight – ‘Diamonds are forever: The Royal Wedding’! …

03/05/11: Watch Out! ‘The Royal Wedding- How was it for you?’ is nearing completion. Soon to be followed by a funny tale which the  centres on an in-depth discussion of the view that Latin is a ‘Dead Language’ and has ‘Portsmouth?’ as its Punch Line. Bet you can’t wait.

Here they are, cornflakes in beards and ugly faces which look like nothing good has shone out of  them for a very long time. ‘The Twits’. Now I’m off the radar for about a week. See you then!

As you may have noticed, posts have been a bit thin on the ground lately. Reasons: Decorating (and it’s still not finished) plus I’ve also been recording/photographing all my artwork. More of this should start to see the light of day soon. In the meantime, I’ll try to hurry along ‘The Twits’

‘Well – Presented’: I’ve looked at smaller flats, back in the day … Remember waiting for the Evening Standard to come out? (It’s the only reason anyone would have wanted to snap it up hot off the newstand – unless there was a shortage of bog roll perhaps …) Checking the flat rent/share pages, catching the first tube, bus, cab to Streatham, Balls Pond Rd, Muswell Hill, Lewisham or wherever, to join a queue of people waiting to be told ‘Sorry, it’s gone’

My best Steak and Kidney Pie recipie: (Treading water, I know) Let us know if you have any success with it!

The Carbon Fibre’s in the Kitty Litter! (Re-visited)

I thought it would be a good idea to mark the opening of the World Superbikes, Moto GP and Speedway seasons and the imminent kick-start of the British Superbikes circus next month, to revisit a post from last year. One which speaks from the rareified atmospheres of the commentary boxes belonging to British Eurosport  (Moto GP and British/World Superbikes) and Sky (Elite League Speedway) and six of our favourite commentators, who inhabit them. In ‘The Carbon Fibre’s in the Kitty Litter!’ We take a cheeky look at their commentary styles, their grasp of the fundamentals of their particular motorcycle sport specialism, weaknesses (… possibly…) and their foibles. In case you haven’t  figured out who I’m talking about, they are; in no particular order: Julian Ryder and Toby Moody who cover Moto GP, Moto 2, and the 125 class, for British Eurosport. Jack ‘Old Mother’ Burnicle and former rider James Whitham who commentate on World and British Superbikes, also for British Eurosport; and Nigel Pearson with former England rider and ex-World Longtrack champion Kelvin Tatum, who cover the Speedway for Sky Sports. Here’s wishing everyone – spectators: trackside and armchair, commentators, teams/mechanics and most of all riders an exciting, rewarding and safe season’s racing. May battle commence! (Non-motorcycle enthusiasts, don’t be turned off! This post contains many universal truths and signposts we could all do well to follow in our own lives. All we need to do is look for them. Very hard. Very very hard.)

I’m over half way on ‘The Twits’ after a major re-write at the weekend, could be out within the week

Here is ‘Why its not a good idea to answer the phone when you are ironing’ Please note this post contains some strong language, and may not be suitable for people of a nervous disposition or fear of ironing. ‘The Twits’ are still bothering me as are one or two other bits and bobs.

3rd March: Two on their way, ‘The Twits’ and ‘Why its not a good idea to answer the phone when you are doing the ironing’ – ‘As a rule I try not to laugh at other peoples’ misfortunes, but the day Chawkey ironed his stomach, I very nearly pissed myself.’

21st February:  A brief and long – overdue ‘Thank You’ to those of you who (God knows how! ) find the time to read these indulgent meanders. Be assured that though the size of readership is small *- I like to think of it as ‘compact cosy group’, your interest is much appreciated, especially when a comment is added too.  Had planned a little rest, but guess what? 2 new blog ideas! … Bollocks!

*8,244 visits in a little over a year (mind you, 7,600 of these are mine) Busiest day Feb 23rd 2010: visits – 252.

18th February: Finally… I present a long-winded analysis of my time training in Taekwondo, which coincided with my diagnosis of PD. Hopefully it’s not as dismal as it looks. It bloody took me long enough to write, anyway. Still a couple of things to add. I know … proof read ….

7th February. Home-bloody-wireless-bloody-network: I’m thinking of putting it all out for the binmen tomorrow. Genuinely shocked to hear about Gary Moore’s death. I hope no connection with my comments last week. I’ve chucked ‘Tintin’ in for a bit of light relief. Taekwondo post is very very imminent.

27th January. Chaos reigns. Unable to resolve ‘Home Wireless Network’ (Thanks ‘CRAPGEAR’) am having to do a lot of buggering about to get on the Inet. AND my bloody Links don’ t work AND my Archive menu is playing up. (If you try to use it and it disappears behind the page, use the same menu located at the very bottom of the main page.) On top  of which, I decided to ‘thin out’ and re-post “Love And Other Drugs” I felt it was just a bit too self-indulgent. Which means that “Tae Kwon Do” is still in its final phase. (I might even post it in 2 parts, just to get it  moving) And, as promised, there’s a live music review (with a twist) on the way. Phew!

Oh! by the way it looks as if I’ve made it onto the surgical list for Deep Brain Surgery … sometime in the next 6 months

21st January 2011. What NETGEAR laughingly refer to as a  ‘Home Wireless Network’ – and which has given trouble since day one, is again the reason why I’m looking at reels of spaghetti (yes, It does say ‘Wireless’) and the PC with components all over the front room. Net result? Lots of wasted time. So the Martial Arts epic is on the backburner once again, and instead for those of you who didn’t see it first time here’s ‘Houston, You got a problem?’

4th January 2011. Last chance to read  ‘A Christmas Carol’ Feat. Noddy Holder, cos it’s up in the loft with it anytime now, and all the other festive bits and bobs. All of which nonesense has held up our trip into the world of Martial Arts. With you soon.

14th December: With you, probably the end of this week, tales of martial combat, mental and physical discipline. That’s right! Get your copies of ‘Enter the Dragon’ ready – or go and rent it over the weekend. Daly hits the Do-Jang.

Bad Influence. Its not big and its not clever. Nevertheless – Don’t mess with the best because the best don’t mess !

17th November: Not that I’ve got anything against IKEA.

11th October: In the meantime, here’s one from the vaults, “Mirror Mirror”. Treat with caution. You have been warned!

11th October: Story 2 from “Coat Tales” which tells of an afternoon spent at St James’ Park watching “The Toon” Season 1981- 82 is bubbling under. Also, think the Spanish are winning too many world titles? (Jorge Lorenzo and Toni Elias last weekend for example Moto GP and Moto 2 respectively) Then look out for… err… Look out for “Untitled” Coming up soon!

27th September: “Coat Tales” (With you shortly)

22nd September: ‘Throwing the Baby out with the bathwater’ indeed! Hope ‘Carbon Fibre’ was worth it. Off into hospital  for a series of tests to determine my suitability as a candidate for Brain surgery for my Parkinson’s. I hope my current hospital is prepared to let me go on a free transfer. Mind you, I could always go out on loan ….

15th September: Motorcycle madness in ‘The Carbon Fibre’s in the Kitty Litter’ (Any day now)

27th August 2010: I think the time has finally come to tell the story of  East Ward  … A grisly tale if ever there was one. To be recounted over the coming week, a ‘snippet’ every day.

3rd August 2010: I knew it! No chance I would  stay offline for long. 2 Tales – 1) My Dad knicked in fuel scam 2) For fans of the random another in the occasional series ‘Recurring Dream – what does it mean?”

28th July 2010: ¨Sitting comfortably…etc… etc.¨ hereby gives notice that as of now, it is shutting up shop for two weeks for the traditional Blog Annual Holiday, whereupon bloggers congregate to share stories and nick each others´ ideas. This year I´ve got the mucky end of the stick, and consequently am hosting aforesaid Blogging Jamboree in our back garden: Fish, Chips (Fries if you will) Kebabs and non-stop Curry supplied by Harrow Tandoori (better get the bog roll in the fridge and other jokes) plus all the Liquorice Allsorts seconds you can stomach, thanks to a promotional deal with Bassetts.

No cooking for two weeks! Whoopee! Time for a rest. Bye!

On the other hand I may not be able to resist the temptation and blog! regulars (all 8 of you) might therefore want to keep a wachful eye…..

20th July 2010: ‘Getting a Kick out of Picasso’ Final draft and ready to go!

14th July 2010: Updated galleries on the photography website – Guitar gallery Five and new gallery underway with photographs of Skylights.

8th July 2010: Yes, yes I know…. I’ve been promising a Picasso tale for what seems like weeks now. It is on the way. The reason it’s taking so long is because it, in common with a number of the more recent ones, it is a ‘bespoke’ piece of work, written in ‘real time’ (as it were) specifically for you, my trusted, nay esteemed audience.  It’s not an off-the-shelf piece that was written years ago and has been preserved in a vault (okay, stored on my hard drive) until needed.

In fact when you’re sitting in your airline departure lounge at the mercy of French Air traffic controllers, ‘Thiefrow’ baggage handlers or al-Qa’ida I think it’ll make a great family game and while away countless hours to try and work out which of the posts you’ve read were, as I say ‘bespoke’ and which from the vaults.

Anyway, I’m a busy man: I’ve got doctors to see (3 last week) then there’s my ‘offs’. I need to fit in some Diskynesias, a couple of hallucinations. Not to mention the Paranoia and delusions  …. and the shopping! So bear with me. Also I’ve re-discovered a ‘blast from the past’.  Written some time ago, I’ve resurrected ‘If You Only Ever Read One Book’  Basically, because I think it needs another airing.

30th June 2010: Here’s the last two from this month’s trawl into the ‘Golden Oldies’ archive. Don’t forget: if you haven’t yet read it – Convince everyone you were actually there. All you need to know about Green Day live at Wembley Stadium. Also ‘Irony’ a peek back in time to when Cumbria was the hub of the irony business. ‘Getting a kick out of Picasso’ Still ‘bubbling under’

25th June 2010: As you can see Green Day got in the way a bit. I started writing it the moment I got home ….It’s only taken 5 days. (you wouldn’t think so!) Picasso coming up next. This one will make you think twice about visiting a gallery with children ever again!

19th June 2010: Phew! There’s ‘Irony’. ‘Getting a kick out Picasso’ next. I need a breather though!

And as soon as bloody ‘Irony’ is finished, it’s on to: ‘Getting a kick out of Picasso’ Want to know what happens when you accidentally kick one of the Tate’s most well known,valuable – and fragile pieces of 20th Century art work? Tune in ( – at this rate in about a month’s time)

6th June 2010 On it’s way:

‘Irony’ : “Although evidence exists to support the belief that the exploitation of minerals in the North West of England dates back to at least the late medieval period, our story starts and finishes in 1977, some 170 years after the disovery  of extensive deposits of Irony  all over Cumberland and Westmoreland ….  a certain Harold Manning, a Flookburgh man posted to Iceland  during the Second World War found that as well as having unlimited access to Black Forest Gateaux, mini Raspberry Pavlovas and Petit Fours  they were able to understand his Cumbrian dialect and claims to have come ‘without any pennies (félaus um peninga )  ….

4th June 2010: ‘Timeless Classics’ – A very special offer. Yes for the whole of the month of June, ‘Sitting Comfortably?’ is proud to offer you ‘Timeless Classics’ Their price? As you are a valued customer, you can recieve ‘Timeless Classics’ absolutely free. All you have to do is click your mouse button. Who could forget ‘Timeless Classics’ such as ‘Gasman’s Crack’? ‘The Softest Cushions?’ Or fail to thrill to ‘Wildlife Photography’ ‘Greedy Greedy Guts Guts’ or ‘With George Michael at the Wag’? For four weeks, ‘Timeless Classic’ old posts and stories will be made avilable to enjoy again. Remember, ‘Timeless Classics’ is not available in shops. ‘Timeless Classics’ – You’ll be glad you stayed  little longer …

29 May, subject to approval  2 more Ickenham funnies.

26 May 2010: Ickenham trio of funnies are ‘bubbling under’ Be patient, my friend. In the meantime let me introduce you to ‘Buck Rogers’

20 May 2010

Bloody Hell. This one’s nearly killed me. I hope it’s readable. There’s a few more things I’d like to add (Links and photos) but I thought it best to get it up and running asap. I think I’m suffering from ‘Blogwriters’ Burnout’.

A trio of short funnies all the way from Ickenham next. Don’t go away!

17 May 2010

‘Let me take you back … ‘ Hopefully today.

12 May 2010

How many of you were taken to see Speedway as a kid? This might bring back some memories. On its way.

5 May 2010

Rest? What rest? Sorry ‘Iggy’ took so long to churn out. I’ve had a wobbly few days and Mr. Osterberg had to be sidelined once or twice in favour of more important themes. In case you’re interested I have steadfastly avoided reading any sort of review (as I did with Rundgren) of the Hammersmith shows: so I’ve no idea what sort of reception he got from the media. Can’t wait to read them.

A tall tale, ‘The Key’ starring heart-throbs Simon Clatworthy and Duane Evans-Parker and an ill-formed lump of alloy is fast approaching. It could even be on the platform by tomorrow morning … midday … close of play … Fuck knows … Night night.

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9 thoughts on “Coming Up

  1. very funny! haven’t laughed so much in along time (might need to get out more). good preperation as i sit at home wating to take my grandad into hospital for an operation (which wont be much fun). look forward to reading your next installments. liked the one about denise…and thinking what the old place would be like with her in charge…(think i left at the right time)

  2. Hi Andy and Marc..

    Good to see that you are busy logging down all those….important… events in life like DF’s joke… !

    Interest bit about your great grand great grand mother had bind feet. Those were the days..NOT.

    • Did you hear her make this announcement? Nobody else seems to recall it, but I swear I’ve not dreamt it up.

      The bad news is there’s tons more of that sort of crap, waiting in the wings …

  3. Andy thank you.
    Whenever I think I’m having a strange day, I’ll only need to imagine you on your bike….in camouflage gear…weaving round dog doo (my mental amusement is enhanced if it happens to be pissing down as well) …armed with camera bag and being led a right old dance by something (as you put it) with a brain the size of a pea…kind of makes playing Summer of 69 wearing kilts to a load of drunk hockey players seem fairly normal and humdrum really.
    Keep it up, I’m amused.
    Trevor 🙂

  4. Hi Andy

    Great to read about your time in Rochdale – I spent the first 18 years of my life in Bury, next door, and returned to the area years later- grim landscape – but teaching at the Bolton School of Art was the best fun ever. My brother was out in Oz recently for 5 weeks – haven’t laughed so much in ages. Lancashire humour can’t be beaten.

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