I was just watching another perfeckly crafted episode of Grange Hill there, while enjoying a refreshing fajita, and who should pop up as Pogo Patterson’s reluctant love intrest, but Sharon out of EastEnders! Also known as TV’s glamorous Letitia Dean.

Grange Hill is one of those programmes like Casualty which everybody who went to stage school in Britain has to be in at some point. Or it was as apparently it is cancelled now, that is OK as I do not know anything that happened after about 1990 anyway. That is as true of real life as it is of Grange Hill.

Of course everyone else out of Grange Hill later went on to EastEnders as well eg my lookalike Todd Carty, Susan Tully, and some other people.

It is mad when you use the power of the modern Internet to investergate what has happened to people out of Grange Hill. Ziggy Greaves is a playwright, Zammo Maguire owns one of those little shops that mends shoes and cuts keys, and is fat, and gruff PE teacher Mr Baxter is a successful novelist.

Fay Lucas’s son was the scary child with a gas mask out of Dr Who, Claire Scott posed nude for a magazine, released a bad cover of ‘The Locomotion’, and now works in a shoe shop. Pogo Patterson is a pub landlord. Gonch Gardner was the president of my student union when I was at UEA, where he continued to raise money by ridickulous business schemes eg selling toast in the playground. That does not work at university, as students cannot afford luxury food like toast.

Mr Bronson of course was in The Empire Strikes Back, where he frightened Imperial storm troopers by shouting ‘YOU BOY!’ at them. And his arch-nemesis Danny Kendall is now head of communications for AOL, if that still exists.

So if anyone laughs at you for watching bad 1980s TV eg classic era Grange Hill, Blake’s 7 ekcetera, do not listen to them as it is good.

Single and lonely

And likely to stay that way. The people who write in to the commuter newspapers about people they have seen on the Tube I mean. It is always

To the beautiful young woman in a red dress, I was the overweight sweaty businessman with a bad combover staring intrusively at your tits between High Street Kensington and Wimbledon. How about meeting up some time?”


The fit boy called Dave or Damien, or something beginning with D, or N, I was the pissed-up slapper that snogged you on New Years Eve on the platform at Charing Cross. You gave me your number, but you must have made a mistake writing it down, because it turned out to be a pest control company in Hackney. Please get in touch!”

I often wonder if anyone ever actually replies to those ads. This one is stranger than ficktion though that I saw in the paper the other day:

You: the guy throwing up on the Northern Line at East Finchley on 9 Feb. Me: the ginger girl whose jeans got in the way. Wish I could’ve told you how the remnants of WKD Blue brought out the blue in your eyes. Drink?”

What is the thought process here? She’s wondering why she never meets any nice guys, and then a lightbulb goes on. “What about that drunken tramp who spewed over my clothes? Why didn’t I get his number!”

The secret pictury

It is photos of mine which have never been viewed on Flickr. So yours will be the first human eyes ever to see these stunning images, except mine obviously. And I am only taxonomically human. As usual click on the pictures to see bigger versions, and automatically donate money to the Keithlard Pie Fund.

You do know I'm an evil hypnotist?

This looks quite intresting:

Eye Gazing Parties

Here’s the idea: An even number of singles meet in an attractive space over drinks and world beats.

After a fun mini-lesson in the art of eye contact, the group splits into pairs, and each pair spends two minutes looking into each other’s eyes, no talking, just soaking in each other’s essence through the windows to their soul.

The pairs switch up every two minutes, for a total of 20 gazes during the evening with ample mingling time between the gazing sessions.”

I have to say, you lost me at ‘world beats’, but the whole prospeckt sounds terrifying anyway. I do not want anyone soaking in my essence, or least not till we’ve spent a bit of time together. Eye contact is a very powerful thing and somehow having too much of it would put me off I think. Surely that is part of the excitemint of being with someone that you fancy, and you do not quite know if they like you, and then you find them unexpecktedly looking at you over the mayonnaise. Or having a peek at your legs when you go to the bar. Surely gawping into each other’s face like a pair of mentals would ruin that fun.

Tim Ferriss wrote about this in his Experiments in Lifestyle Design blog: Dating Without Speaking: The Weird World of Eye Gazing Parties.

I first met Michael because I was studying Cuban salsa in South America at the time.” Thank you Tim. Tim is also the national Chinese kickboxing champion, TV actor, breakdancer, Princeton engineering lecturer, holder of the Guiness World Record in tango, businessman, author, speaks six languages, and is cordially detested by everyone he knows. I should imagine.

If you go to such an event, as I did for the first time last Tuesday night, it becomes clear how uncomfortable most people are doing this. I don’t think it’s necessarily the best way to meet your match (and it can attract some strange people, especially in SF), but it’s a very telling social experiment.

For the next two days, test gazing into the eyes of others—whether people you pass on the street or conversational partners—until they break contact.”

I don’t think I will actually, because if you try that in London, people will probably kick the shit out of you. Or if it is a girl, get her brother to kick the shit out of you. The unpleasant alternative is that if they like you, they might try to follow you home.

Quisiera estar en España ahorita

High-speed to the Spanish coast

The combination of the high-speed rail link from St Pancras… and a new high-speed service from Madrid to Malaga has now made it possible to travel, luxuriously and relatively swiftly, by train from the UK to the Costa del Sol.”

That is quite exciting actually especially if you are like me and love Spain, but are dead scared of flying especially on budget airlines. It is a funny thing but sometimes you go to a place and you just know straight away that it is magickal and where you need to be. I have been to France a lot of times and not felt that, nor in Belgium, Greece, Iceland, or any other frozen food stores. Spain is my place and when I went there three years ago I fell in love with it.

Of course I went to Andalucía which is glorious, vast, arid and mountainous, and full of delicious tapas. You have got great beaches, good climate, flamenco musick, architecture, all the girls are beautiful, what’s not to like. I know in reality it would not always be like a holiday and if you go to the Costa del Sol it is full of polyester-clad chavs binge-drinking WKD. The Costa Almería is nicer. Ideally I would avoid all English people, this is slightly easier as I speak quite reasonable Spanish. Except I once asked for a Coca-Cola in a bar and despite this being the world’s most internationally recognised brand name, the man gave me a hot chockolate instead. I do not think that is a problem with my Spanish though as Coca-Cola is the same in Spanish.

I would not mind living there especially if I could hibernate in a mountain cave during the withering heat of summer, curled up in a little ball and waking up every three weeks to eat some tapas.


Know now that you are born along with these
clouds, winds, and stars, and ever-moving seas

—Kathleen Raine

Much have I travelled in the realms of gold

Well on Sunday I had a super day wandering in the spring sunshine and taking photergraphs. It was a glorious sunset and I climbed up the path beside the A406 where you can overlook all of northwest London, and watched the sky shading from crimson and gold into rose and peach and then darkest blue. It is a beautiful evening moon at the moment as well so there is the curious specktacle of me communing with Nature, sitting beside the North Circular Road as heavy lorries thunder past and surrounded by crisp packets and empty fried chicken containers. You have to take communion with Nature where you can find it around these parts.

Youth is wasted on the young

This is a nice article from the Zen Habits blog, about 20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life:

Looking back, there are some lessons I’ve learned that I would probably tell my 18-year-old self. Do I share them now to share my regrets? No, I share them in hopes that younger men and women, just starting out in life, can benefit from my mistakes and my lessons.”

They won’t though. I was talking to someone yesterday about how you live in a strange distorted world when you’re, say, 25. Anyone over 30 seems impossibly old. Smoking seems cool. Pensions are places you stay when you’re Interrailing, and compound interest means you like pharmaceuticals. You can’t figure out why your relationships always seem great at first, then after 4-6 months you start having more arguments than sex.

Also, you think you know it all, and you have no idea how irritating this is to those around you. You probably like social networks and binge drinking. You still have not figured out that wearing unusual clothes or having enormous hair does not mark you out as a glamorous rebel, but as someone who is worried they might not have a personality.

Also, you listen to your music too loud on the Tube!

keithlard, Pillsbury Doughboy

It was a busy day yesterday and Romany and I had a big Italian style dinner in the evening made of mostly tomatoes, and a delicious lamb, also fresh basil, garlic and pasta, and wine. And choclet, that was afters though not mixed in with the rest. A culinary artiste like me knows when things do not go.

Today was full of adventures, including getting lost in East London due to my satnav accidentally getting set to ‘Evil’, but the best adventure was chomping pizza in front of the telly. I do not normally have pizza, or telly, or Romany, so I think it is allowable to be excited.

I also played piano, that’s right look impressed I can play the piano! Is there no end to the boy’s talents. Musician, cook, poet, dreamweaver, explorer, bird noticer, master driver, crisp inventor!

I love you