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Haven’t you got better things to do?

Inside keithlard

As a famous international person now obviously I get a lot of requests for interviews. I have granted one to Whalefish as I respect his serious journalism and he is unlikely to badger me with the usual questions about my imaginary relationship with actress Amita Dhiri, my drugs hell ekcetera.

If you like it you can comment and ask me to interview you, whereon I will send you a series of explicit demands for information which you should publish the answers to. If you do not YOU WILL GO TO PRISON FOR FIVE YEARS.

  1. George or Mildred?

    I have no idea what this means really as I am totally divorced from popular culture, like a High Court judge, I can only conclude it is a reference to some type of visual wireless broadcast eg Celebrity Pop Brother Factor… Dancing. Also if it is asking if I am homosexual I can confidently say ‘No I am not… not that there’s anything wrong with that.’

  2. When was your lowest point in your whole life? What happened?

    That is an intresting question as my life is not over yet, so there might be bigger low points to come! However up to now, I suppose it depends whether you are asking about when I subjectively felt the most depressed, or when a dispassionate outside observer might have concluded that my life was at its most worthless and miserable. The first one I am not going to tell you about, the second one was probably around New Year 2002 (I think) when I had recently been dumped by my girlfriend of 5 years, and my employer was about to go bust and make me and all my friends redundant. I was sad about the girlfriend but sometimes when you know something awful is coming, it is actually a relief to have it happen. The same is true about the job, once we all knew that the end was definite, there was no more stress and worry. In fact the last two or three months were basically sitting around chatting and job surfing and getting paid for it!

    Also during that very dark time in my life I felt as though I was being dismantled and rebuilt; when the worst that can happen to you, happens, you discover that actually it is not that bad, and that knowledge makes you fearless. It was around then that I started having a major re-think of my aims and values, and realising that making a lot of money and having a big career were much less important than really simple things like being happy, and making other people happy. It is a bit sad that it took me 30 years to figure that out really.

    That was also the time that I discovered (or rediscovered) Yoga and Taoism and things like that which resonated so strongly with me phillersophically, that I realised this is what I had been all along only I did not know what it was called (I still am not quite sure). It sounds all scary and religious except it is not, basically just the common-sense realisation that it is up to you whether or not you are happy. Once I understood that I made the choice to be happy, and I have been ever since!

    So serve you right for asking a serious question really.

  3. I’m in charge of casting the roles in the film of your life, and John Thaw is playing you. What do you reckon?

    No. John Cusack for my teens and twenties, Daniel Craig now.

  4. Have you ever stalked anyone over the internet?

    Ooh yes, almost exclusively. It’s so much easier than stalking people in person, and involves less going out.

  5. If you had a choice of absolutely everything foodlike, what would your ultimate pizza topping be?

    Chinese chicken, tandoori chicken, spicy beef, jalapeîo chillis, pepperoni, garlic, egg, extra cheese, and curry. (I actually made this pizza once.)

So now it is up to you whether to subject yourself to my insistent probing.

How to cheer yourself up through books

I have been reading the most depressing books lately. First Tony Parsons’ Man and Boy, which is so sad in places that I started snuffling on the Tube and then when people looked at me suspiciously, pretended I had a cold and blew my nose in a theatrical manner. Then Star Turn by Nigel Williams, the story of a disappointed man’s pointless and miserable life, which practically made me feel like topping myself. Now I am re-reading David Baddiel’s Whatever Love Means, which was a mistake as Baddiel’s merciless dissection of a moribund relationship, intertwined with horrifying illness and death, is hardly calculated to perk you up.

I am sure it is just statistical clustering but I really feel that I need to read something cheery like Asterix books to redress the balance. Only knowing my luck it would be Asterix and the Malignant Tumour or Asterix Discovers That His Life Is Basically Worthless. It is OK though as I am quite happy at the moment, especially as I had a super night out with Steve and Matt and some others. We went to a sekrit pub that I will not tell you about in case everyone wants to go there, and then for a curry. Then mysteriously to another pub where we managed to chat up a couple of exceptionally attractive girls using only our native charm and a folding bicycle.

I am a bit drunken now but it does not matter. I am happy due to having lovely friends, also I have the world’s warmest and fluffiest jumper. This is more important than you might think if you do not understand about things like jumpers.

London!

It is quite an attractive city really, and one day a fresh-faced and talented youth set out with a camera to capture its beauty, and ideally some modest amounts of Belgian lager. Me and glamorous assistant had various intresting adventures including finding one of those magical disappearing shops that is full of sinister occult artifacts such as eg a cursed monkey’s paw, or a banjo. This is us loitering suspiciously on the South Bank.

Enjoying a sophistercated drink in the NFT film café, which is super posh and full of arty cineaste types, still one does feel rarther superior drinking in there a bit like Noël Coward or someone. I should get one of those smoking jackets. Unfortunately I cannot afford it now due to the beer being about fifty million pounds a pint.

It looks like it is leaning but it is not obviously, that is just the drink kicking in. This is the famous BT Tower, which lights up at night and subtly shifts and changes its colours, a bit like a giant expensive lava lamp, that is a critical hub of modern digital communications. What I like is that if you look really closely, you can see a bored office worker getting ready to gob on the unsuspecting millions below.

We walked across the all-new footbridge to Embankment, replacing the old one which looked like it was nailed onto the side of the railway bridge by a bunch of drunken students as a joke. Whenever you walked across it you were wondering whether a passing train wouldn’t just dislodge it altogether and send you toppling into the Thames’ murky riverine maw (good writing). This is obviously one of the most valuable graffiti in the world, as it is artfully floodlit and protected by such as razor wire.

Bikesploring

Well as I have given my bike its Spring Cleaning I thought I should probably get it dirty again. If there is one thing that engenders deep suspicion in the cycling fraternity it is a nice clean shiny bike. It is a bit like those people that have a really expensive bike hanging on the wall of their immaculate designer flat, and you know in your heart that they never take it down, or indeed dream of soiling their crisp, dazzlingly white yachting trousers.

I went on a big adventure down the Dollis Brook where there is all sorts of birds, trees, and especially MUD. This is Hendon Lane Weir where the Dollis flows underneath the Great North Way and you can bikle through a sinister dark passage into a mystical land of wonder, populated by unicorns. (I did not see any of these in fact, so the guide book may be out of date.)

Some super Canada geese that I saw. It is grainy cameraphone photos sorry, as I did not bring the real camera and I do not have magic computer eyes like the Terminator. This is a shame in several respects.

This is a pond near Bell Lane with wizzo coots and moorhens ekcetera, the brilliant thing about this is that you can enjoy the peaceful idyll of the lake ruffled only by gentle zephyrs (good writing) while a few feet away, hundreds of cars and lorries thunder past along the North Circular completely unaware that any of this is here. In a way I suppose that is why it has not been built all over.

The most curious things end up stuck in a weir! This is a shopping trolley if you cannot tell. Obviously someone was walking home with their weekly shop and was just overcome with fatalistic or existential thoughts and realised, what is the point of it all basically? So they chucked the trolley in the river and went home. I feel like that some days.

I do not know what this is, but have decided it is a sinister witch’s cottage. There are a few clues which give it away to a trained eye, eg traces of gingerbread, but the main one is probably the sinister witch (not pictured).

The river path goes down about as far as where the A502 Brent St crosses over the North Circular, and from there you can bikle along the pavement as far as the dystopian concrete lacework of the Brent Cross Flyover. There our journey must end as it is the gateway to Brent Cross itself where only horror, madness, and surprising winter bargains await.

High above the North Circular itself at the Brent St junction. I was on the pedestrian footbridge in fact although it would be great if I had a magical flying bicycle like E.T. For one thing it would represent a considerable saving on tyre wear, and possibly get me closer to Drew Barrymore.

Your intrepid correspondent. On the way back I took an intresting detour via the River Brent up to Henleys Corner and the muddiest path I have ever found! It was flooded out in some places and the surrounding grass was heavily waterlogged; at several points I was pedalling super slowly in bottom gear and the back wheel was still sliding and sliding. It is a good job I was wearing my nice new Caterpillar boots (do not laugh it is obvious they are not made out of caterpillars; that would create more problems than it solved) as I had to get off and push the bike through lakes of mud occasionally. When I got back there was no question of even bringing the bike indoors; I had to get a bucket of soapy water and wash it down outside for fear of basically redecorating my flat in mud.

I had a super day out though!