Archive for the ‘All Blocked Up’ Category

I’ve been in such a strange mood all day, without really being able to figure out why. I’m struggling to articulate the feeling; almost wistful, but not quite, and over absolutely nothing. It rendered me unable to even contemplate writing, which was my agenda for the day. Hmm… what to do?

I gave the oven an overdue clean, but that failed to stir up any sense of achievement. Then, I watched The Three Doctors followed by Arc of Infinity, but neither were able to distract me, and not just because they were both a bit rubbish. As evening descended, I tended towards Morgan’s Spiced Rum, followed by Triple Sec, Morgan’s Spiced Rum and Triple Sec with Coke*, and a desperate snifter of Peach Schnapps to quell the malaise. It barely touched the sides.

Ultimately, the only action that managed to lift my spirits was sitting in the garden, in the gushing rain, listening to Teen Dream by Beach House (10 Mile Stereo, twice). Deep exhalation, music booming through headphones, rain pounding. So, unexplained disquiet, eventually vanquished. At least it dispels my own personal trope that I have to be gloomy to write, so that’s a positive lesson.

Actually, I don’t know whether it is due to my improved demeanour or because I’m a bit tipsy, but The Caves of Androzani is pretty damn good so far. Well, apart from the guy in the gimp mask. Now there’s a cheap-looking armadillo monster. Maybe I spoke too soon.

* I blame Nic for this. I do well to avoid drinking Coke since it is a nasty, body-shocking concoction, but my efforts usually consist of little more than not buying it, which is easy. However, Nic came home with two six-packs of Coke, and when it is in the house I find it very difficult not to partake.

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

  • Causality (hornfingerproductions.wordpress.com)

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I like apples. I wanted to eat apples, so I bought some apples:

As you can see, they are Jazz apples. I was naïve to believe purchasing such fruit would be anything other than problematic. I unbagged the apples and, as is tradition, placed them in the fruit bowl:

A Modern Jazz Sextet

However, when I returned to munch one they had all scarpered from the bowl:

How the Hell do apples move? Where had they gone? Well, I found one in the fireplace:

One in the oven:

A further apple was discovered playing with the rabbits:

Another one was posing as a lime:

"Hey, cat: I'm a bebop lime."

And, predictably, the last one was found tinkling the ivories:

"Atonal? Damn straight!"

The final apple eluded me for a while, but a little later I received a phonecall from it pleading with me to pick it up from the local police station. It also told me that it was “done with this shit,” that jazz “so mid-to-late-Sixties,” and asserted that “prog is making a comeback.”

I don’t much care for rebellious, improvising apples. I want my fruit to play by the rules. Maybe next time I’ll opt for some MOR pears.

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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Real Mahjong is rubbish. At least with Patience (Solitaire) it takes barely a minute to redeal. My first game was uncompletable. So was the second. And the third and fourth. Seven failed attempts in total. Have you ever had to restack a Mahjong table? It’s at least a ten minute job, placing each individual tile in a predetermined arrangement. I think I’ll stick with virtual tiles from now on. Or employ a tile monkey.

Instead of huddling in the living room with the curtains drawn over a wordless monitor, I went into the garden to enjoy the clement weather. Being outside is exhausting. I don’t think I’ll be doing that again any time soon. I mustered just enough energy to whip up some beer batter, which I used to coat haddock and onion rings and chucked (I actually chucked it. Made a right mess) into my new deep fat fryer. It was tidy (in the colloquial sense. As I said, I made a substantial mess).

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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I swear, if I see another drug-induced trip sequence set to White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane I’m going to freak out, and I can assure you that my freak out will be more imaginatively scored. It has become such a cliché that it should never feature in film or television again, not even in a knowing, post-modern way. The Simpsons seems to use it in that capacity at least once every season. It upsets me how bad that show has become. I think I’d pick something like Astronaut by Beach House instead.

Speaking of Beach House, their last album, Teen Dream, was my writing soundtrack today. Excellent, and set the perfect tone. I just wish I’d managed more than a page, but I know why I didn’t. I foresee another problem ahead, say another page or two. The reluctant protagonist needs to be convinced to remain with the ensemble.

Only problem is, this will be the second time I’ve had to work out a reason for him to stay. The first time is plausible, and a good fit for the story. I’m afraid that the second time might come across as contrived. Maybe that because it’s the same character, both times, that talks him around. I need to step away from the original source material and be a bit more imaginative.

Ooh, I think I just solved it. Maybe this blog isn’t so pointless after all.

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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I’m sat here in front of a blank page at 02:00, yet again. If this blog was meant to ease my script Writer’s Block, then maybe I need to develop a different practical coping skill for this. Maybe doing something of interest would help. I think I need a Totoro costume:

Irked by my torpor, and influenced by the Arkansas teens who turned a vat of mercury into their plaything – including one special champ who dipped his cigarette in it and smoked it – and then inexplicably fell ill, I’ve been moisturising my skin with napalm while sat in front of the fire. It offers exfoliation you wouldn’t believe, and my normally pale skin now has a healthy crimson glow.

Napalm™: Inspired by the indiscriminate maiming of yellow people.

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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Remember my fear a few days back that my coconuts would be too mature to contain coconut water? Well, I received them. They sat in my fruit bowl as I pondered cracking one open to view its contents. Then, a brainwave: I could simply shake them! So I shook my coconuts

…to hear the satisfying sloshing I was hoping for. Hooray! But look at what the idiots at ASDA did to my bottle of Morgan’s Spiced Rum:

Incompetent bastards! I’m waiting for them to return to replace it with an untagged bottle. I don’t often drink any more, so this was meant to be a special treat and ASDA have ruined it. Boo!

My replacement has just arrived:

Hooray again! Now, since I don’t own a machete, does anybody know how to effectively remove the top of a coconut?

Yay! New track from Battles! More news for celebration! Oh… That’s not quite what I was expecting. I’m not sure I like it. It’s intriguing enough for at least one more listen, though.

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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Well, it is, but it wasn’t at 01:00 (and I felt like being dramatic). I’m having to post this the following day, as WordPress am a twart (cheg on). I half-considered submitting a voice blog instead – WordPress offer you the option of posting an audio file via a free phonecall; I’ll do it one day – but the main benefit of writing this, rather than performing it live, is that there are no apparent pauses – umms and errs – and I can go back an edit afterwards, although I try not to edit and redraft here too much.

Instead of stubbornly and insistently attempting to post, over and over and over again – for about two hours – I decided to learn a new skill. Earlier in the day I learned about the Kahn Academy which is a rather unique not-for-profit educational organization. It’s mission statement is to “[provide] a high quality education to anyone, anywhere”. So, I have decided to take advantage of this free resource and learn how to dance like Mr. Chrome from The Rubberbandits (the chap in the flat cap).

Do they offer blog writing courses?

© 2011 Ashley J. Allen, All Rights Reserved

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