15 November 2006

From the archives

This post is strictly entre nous. Because if Madame finds out I’ve done this she’ll be mildy irritated. I’ve decided for today I’m going to share with you my favourite Froosh Bamboo post from the archives. 'Of closets and cabinets' is ruled out, and widely read I expect. So, I couldn’t decide between ‘Vouchers for Honours (or squirrels eat Tony Blair)’ or the window on her world post ‘Some things I learnt at the weekend’ or a squirrel post 'A surfeit of Squirrels (3)'.

I think we should start a campaign to bring back the squirrel posts and for that reason the winner of today’s post from the archives is ‘Vouchers for Honours (or squirrels eat Tony Blair) which is also nicely topical still:

The doorbell of Froosh Towers rings. Froosh opens the front door
Froosh: Hello? Oh dear.
Man: Hello there, happy voter. My name, is, Tony Blair. You might recognise me from, such television shows as; Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Tony and June, where I proved, myself, to be a man, of the people.
Froosh: No. But I do recognise you from such atrocities as the Iraq War and Crisis in the NHS where you proved yourself to be a complete twat.


Tony Blair: Well. Never mind, that now. Yeah? I would like to; speak to your, daughter. Please.
Froosh: What for?
Tony Blair: Well, I have the offer of, you know, a lifetime for her.
Froosh: And that is?
Tony Blair: I’m aware that; recently, she has come into a bit of money. Right? Yeah?
Froosh: Are you talking about her child trust fund voucher?
Tony Blair: That’s right. Thanks to Gordon. Well, you know, I was thinking that if, she was to give that to me, I would give her a peerage. What do you think? Yeah?
Froosh: A peerage?
Tony Blair: Yeah. Why not?
Froosh: You want her child trust fund voucher and in return you’ll give her a peerage?
Tony Blair: Yeah. What? It’s a win win.
Froosh: So it’s vouchers for honours now is it?
Tony Blair: Yeah, the whole; cash for honours thing? Didn’t really, work out. Poor, Lord, Levy. Terrible business. But. The party or whatever it is, won’t fund, itself. Will it? Do you know what I mean?


Froosh: Why can’t you speak properly? It’s virtually impossible to understand anything that you say.
Tony Blair: Whatever. Yeah? Anyway can I speak to your daughter or what? I’m a; busy man, you know. Busy. I’ve got to get back to number ten, Cherie will have finished, warming the toilet seat for me, by, now.
Froosh: No you can’t speak to her.
Tony Blair: So, you don’t want her; to have a peerage, then?
Froosh: No. I don’t.
Tony Blair: I see. Can I have the voucher anyway?
Froosh: I’m closing the door now.
Tony Blair: No, don’t. Please. I need, the money. Cherie wants, me, to buy her some, polo ponies.
Froosh: Get your head out of the way.
Tony Blair: You know. Please.
Froosh: No. Are you crying? Jesus, don't cry.
Tony Blair: What about; Leo’s school, fees? Please.
Froosh: No.Tony Blair: Give me; the voucher. I’m the Prime Minister, you know, you have to; do what I say.
Froosh: I will not hesitate to set the squirrels on you. They haven’t tasted human flesh in a while.
Tony Blair: I’m not, scared, of a couple of; squirrels.
Froosh: That’s fighting talk, you know.
Tony Blair: Bring it, on, yeah?

(A cloud covers the sun as the birds cease their happy chatter. The sound of thousands of tiny footsteps is audible in the distance. It is a sound to chill the blood; menacing and portentous.)

Tony Blair: Oh, dear.
Froosh: You could try offering them a peerage each. There’s more than one way to reform the House of Lords, after all.

13 November 2006

Okay. It is brilliant.

It is easy to let people ruin you day, I’m sure we all know that, but it’s also easy to make sure that you have a good day too. I’ve had a lovely day today. I got up early when they weather was still crisp and went for a walk. Then I did a bit of work. I get paid to be e-nosy basically. There is no such thing as anonymity on the internet you know. But this is a subject for another post. Anyway, then I went to my new favourite café – Brilliant Kids in Kensal Rise. I know that Madame has told you all about this, waxing lyrical about how magnificent it is, and took some photographs but I had such a fantastic late breakfast there I thought they deserved another plug. I had the most fantastic Eggs Benedict I have ever eaten. Even better than Penks in Queens Park. I think this is Madame's actual favourite but I can't remember. I will check for you if you want.

The best thing about Brilliant Kids is that you can sit there for hours with a latte and they don’t make you feel like a sex pest. I think I worry about this. A man with my hair has to be concerned about these things.

So, I’d turned down trips there before. There was always something better on the television you see. The food is great, the people who run it are lovely, and it puts you in such a great mood it’ll carry you through the day. It’s worth a trip even if you aren’t local. Even from Penzance I’d come. If you are one of the increasing number of people who arrived here by searching for the café, we really, really recommend it. Turn of this blog and run there, run like the wind.

Don’t tell Froosh I love it. She’ll give me that look and say ‘I told you so.’ Over and over again.

10 November 2006

No sex please we're Pablo

I notice that on the full and forceful list of instructions I got from Madame she didn’t write ‘don’t turn FB into a sexblog’. Not a fan of the genre, our Froosh. She didn’t put it on the list I suspect because she knows me so well.

You see I dislike sex. Intensely. I never have any and I never want to have any. This is unusual for a man of my age and vigour. And, if I may be so bold, considerable attractiveness. I find it gruesome. A gross intrusion of my emotional and personal space.

The last sexual encounter I had was a few years ago now. He was on shore leave and lived with his mother. We went back to the mother’s and his single bed had a gay pride flag duvet cover. ‘The action man one is in the wash,’ he said. I didn’t hang around long enough the next morning to find out if he was telling the truth.

I always describe myself as bisexual, if asked. But really I ought to say asexual. I’ve tried this honest approach a couple of times and, believe me, it’s not worth the aggro – how ever accurate it might be. People either think you’ve been abused (I haven’t) or you’re some kind of sex pest on the run for the law (I’m not).

I think this is because our society is so obsessed with sex that people find it unfathomable if someone says they just aren’t interested in it. Not as an activity, not as a concept and certainly not as a marketing ploy.

I haven’t been in marks and sparks since those adverts started up. And since Madame pointed out that the lady who does the announcement on the Bakerloo line does it in the style of the marks and sparks lady I can’t travel from Kilburn Park to Charing Cross without wanting to poke my eyes out. This is not just Maida Vale….

09 November 2006

Square eyes

I love television. I will watch anything, I’m not fussy. I only have two rules: no game shows and I’m not allowed to switch it on before six o’clock. I have been known to get round rule 2 by not switching it off. Sort of like drinking yourself sober. Rule 1 I bend because really Strictly Come Dancing is a game show but it’s for charity and it’s reality television as well. Therefore allowed. And come on, Anton du Beke? The man is a god.

Although I can not bear Big Brother. I can manage Celebrity Big Brother, but only if there are no civilians in it. If I want to expose myself to the detritus of humanity I will go to a Wetherspoons pub.

I have been known to turn down a perfectly respectable night on the town for a night in front of the great black teat in the corner of my living room. Flat, wide screen just gagging to reveal all the digital delights. Even a night on the town with Madame.

It is my love of television that makes me so incensed when presented with the shambolic programme making that the (Russell) Brand Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) are so fond of. No to Robin Hood, No to Doctor Who and No, sweet jesus no, to Torchwood. Who is responsible for these aberrations? Do they have no idea? You should put people who actually watch television in charge of making it, not people who only do the job so they can tell people at dinner parties.

They, the BBC, have redeemed themselves slightly by introducing Ros to Spooks – surely everyone loves Hermione – and the miracle hour that is The Amazing Mrs Pritchard. Fabulous. I can’t wait for the DVD.

Channel 4, what ever happened to them? they used to be so special. I mourn for them. I really do. More 4? less 4 more like.

07 November 2006

An angel at the table

La Madame Bamboo is currently, how shall we say? Indisposed? Curiously absent? Whatever it is, and you may choose just make it glamorous and mysterious, I have been given the keys to the kingdom and shall be your Guest Editor for the next couple of weeks. Maybe longer, who knows? I may get my feet so far under the table they never see the light of day again. She’ll never get her blog back. Mwah ha ha ha ha.

I make light of a heavy responsibility, of course. I have been left with a set of full and forceful directions. Beginning with ‘don’t annoy my regular reader’ (singular – I don’t believe that, for a minute), moving on to ‘don’t make my regular reader like you better than me' and ending with ‘fuck it up and I’ll kill you’. Nice. And she looks so harmless in actual life. Not real life. It isn’t a real life you know, we are at most merely actual.

Hang on, I’m just checking to see if ‘don’t get all high falutin and philosophical’ is there. No. No, it isn’t. That’s good news then.

Anyway, to summarise: trust you flourish, sorry there’s been no posting and I’ll be back shortly with some devilish distractions for you, most esteemed regular reader.

I've got a label, now I'm off to get myself cartoonificated.

31 October 2006


An Amnesty International appeal, launched on Sunday, is calling on people who use the internet to sign a pledge supporting an end to internet censorship and oppression. Irrepressible.info is a web based campaign seeking the release of a number of prisoners of conscience, people who have been jailed for using the internet to voice their opinions. They are also calling on IT companies like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo to do more to protect people’s right to ‘seek and receive information and to express their peaceful beliefs online without fear or interference’.

People like Shi Tao. A Chinese journalist who is serving 10 years, doing forced labour in terrible conditions in Chishan prison. He emailed an American pro-democracy site about warnings from the Bejing news authority asking news outlet not to cover the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Shi Tao sent the email from his Yahoo account. A year later he was in court standing trial for ‘illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities’. Evidence provided by Yahoo’s Chinese partner was used to convict him.

Shi Tao’s wife now endures frequent bullying and interrogation by the authorities and her work place is demanding that she seek a divorce. His parents have also been watched and harassed at work and at home.

Although cases in China are currently receiving the highest profile there are similar abuses reported in Tunisia, Israel, Vietnam and Iran.

I am adding a badge to this site to show my support for this campaign. The issues of (real) freedom of speech, oppression and censorship are obvious and important.

But we can not have a two, three or four-tier internet either. I can’t believe that we can have a global economy, that we can force all the negatives of capitalist systems on the world but we can not do the same with the positives. The internet is a great thing and it is important that people are allowed equal access to it. Particularly as it is now bound to progress and development and will increasingly become a mechanism for people to participate in the global market place.

The internet is one of the few media where people, ordinary people, can act, ask and access equally. We should protect that right.

Imagine not being able to stand up and say that you disagree with something your government are doing or saying, that it offends you morally and ethically. Not being able to alert other people to the injustice and violence faced by so many people every day. In the 21st century.

Imagine not being able to say you think Ruth Kelly looks like a lesbian. Yesterday I used this blog as a minor force for evil. Today I restore the balance.

Also, PKblogs provides access to banned blogspot addresses in India, Pakistan, China and Iran.

27 October 2006

Verily, it is now thusly

The good

Oh, wait. This is good. Excellent in fact.
I’ve got some merchandise. T-shirts, mug and badges. Shout out to Carol who has the know-how. I’m sure that my regular reader will be shipping a crates worth of gear over. Christmas is coming, reader, Christmas is coming.

The bad
Well, I don’t know about you but I’ve had a shitty week. You know those ones where you think it’s just got to better but somehow it never does? One of those. I’ve given up now.

The BB is teething which means that she is miserable most of the time and we can’t do anything to help her. This is soul destroying in ways I have never experienced before. And there is no sign of teeth yet. It’s just her gums preparing themselves for the horror to come. Teeth. What a ridiculous design flaw. You’d think that we would have improved them through evolution by now. You go through agony grow the first set, which then fall out. Then you get another load which take an immense amount of looking after and cost a fortune. Then they fall out and you have to have pretend teeth that hurt. And don’t even mention wisdom teeth. I don’t have wisdom teeth. I know – you’d think I’d have a mouthful.

I’ve had a headache reaching from behind my eyes, up my whole forehead (temple to temple) over to my crown for five days now. It comes and stays. What do you think? Terminal? I think I’m stressed. I’ve never been stressed before. It’s an interesting, and highly unpleasant, phenomenon. Are there tablets you can take? Does it go away on its own or do I need professional help?

The firework problem is ongoing. The neighbours seem to be taking it in turns to taunt us with their fun incendiary devices. I am toying with the idea of calling the police every time one goes up and telling them I can hear gun shots in the shrieking tones of a panicking woman.

Parsnips gave the BB the wind. Terrible, terrible wind. We all suffered equally though.

The ugly
Also, we’ve had an ‘incident at work’ that it has put my thoughts about veils into sharper focus. Actually they're more thoughts about thoughts about veils since I really don't care either way. I think that many people who would like Britain, or more specifically Eng-er-land, to be white would like people of any different ethnicity to disappear, to not have a voice, or a place in our country. And if they are here then they should be invisible and silent. My issue is that unlike the sari, the turban or the even Buddhist monks’ robes the black shrouding of some Muslim women renders them, for me, invisible and silent. That’s exactly what a minority of people want them to be. So it is like the ouroboros which eats its own tail to sustain its life. But as I said in the comments below there is no place in our society for debate on this subject any more and that is the fault of the media, fundamentalists, racists and the government so I will be quiet now. Sssshhh.

25 October 2006

A bit of verbal about veils

I am now thoroughly bored with the debate about veils which it seems will never end. If one more damn person asks me what I think about the niqab and hijab I don’t know what I will do but it won’t be pretty or mature.

Before I make a brief, and final, statement I would like to make the following clear:

1. If I were in charge I would ban ALL Religions, even the pretend ones, making it illegal to overtly practise ANY Religion outside your own home. Street preaching would be akin to manslaughter in the eye of my law. Faith would be a private matter.

2. When people start to go on and on about things, any things, I go through four distinct phases. The not really listening because it’s become boring phase, the finding it all quite amusing phase, the this is totally oblivious are you all stupid please be quiet phase and then the holy shit are we still going on about this it’s making me quite angry now phase.

3. I am fundamentally opposed to most Religions on the grounds that they are nearly all inherently homophobic, and none of them seem to find this blatant bigotry unacceptable. Or, in that case of some, ironic.

4. I am fundamentally opposed to most Religions on the grounds that very stupid people are able to use them as an excuse for getting their kicks by killing people, invading countries and generally behaving in ways that would shame the killer chimps of the Mahale Mountains. If a child can’t play with a toy responsibly then a good parent takes away that toy until such a time as said child’s behaviour improves. Same principle should apply.

5. Having said that, although I don’t believe in a God, I believe in believing in one. Or four. Even more if you like.

6. Although I am minded to belive that Religion has very little to do with faith anymore. If it ever did. It has plenty to do with money and power, but not too much to do with faith. Or perhaps that should be Faith.

Anyway, here is that brief, and final, statement:

I am not a huge fan of that black niqab and hijab ensemble you’re wearing. This is because only 7% of communication is verbal.

I’m not concerned that wearing it might be an infringement of your rights as a woman. I’m not worried about what statement about Muslims you are making to the non-Muslim population of Britain.

I just find it very hard to relate to you because, by burying it under swathes of cloth, you are denying me the 93% of communication which I, as a human being, rely on to form any response to our interaction. And I consider learning one of those responses – be that language skills in a classroom or something about you over a latte in a cafe. So, I’m not really bothering to engage 100%, just the 7% which covers being polite in the post office or the supermarket.

Maybe this is sheer laziness on my part. Maybe it’s just that with so many fascinating things in the world and only so many hours in the day, unravelling the thoughts and feelings you’re choosing to hide behind that veil, that you’re choosing to only express 7% of, are simply lower down on my list. And that’s not a reflection on you personally, because that would require some of that other 93%, it's a relfection on me.


Don’t start me on Freedom of Speech. Really. Or Merely the Freedom to Insult People as it’s called nowadays.

24 October 2006


I have signed up for this years’ National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo as Mork and Mindy nearly said. What on earth has possessed me to do this I shall never know but it is too late now – I am properly enthusiastic about it.

Beginning on 1 November, and not before, I have to write 50,000 words of a novel by 30 November. You can follow my progress here.

Relax – it’s only 1,666.66 words a day. Easy. I can fit that in between a job, a writers' group, a fledgling social life, sleeping, eating, being a better half, blogging and having a five month old baby. I foresee no issues with that.

I’m going to enter into the spirit of the thing and write without too much planning and rocket through a first draft as fast as possible. This is a good way to get me through the tough bit of starting and getting into a draft of a new novel.

You’ll not be able to read anything more than a 10,000 character extract, that’s around 1,600 words. So there will be no out of the blue book deals flying around to over-hype or envy.

Working title: Hot Pursuit.
Genre: Literary fiction, but only because the other options weren’t right and I didn’t want to put Other Genres in case people thought I was writing a cowboy pastiche. Hey, there's an idea.

I’m going to go and introduce myself in the forums shortly. See if I can’t make a complete arse of myself over there as well.

Then I’ll have to rustle up some kind of plot I expect. Oh hang on – literary fiction’s my genre. No plot needed.

23 October 2006

Ban them, ban them all

I hate fireworks. I’ve never liked them. Loud, banging, burning things. Imagine then the horror of living in north west London this weekend. With a five month old baby.

Bang bang bang bangbangbang.

I popped out on Saturday night, to put the rubbish out you understand not to enjoy myself in a bar, and the air was thick with the smell of gunpowder and smoke. The sound of fireworks was constant. There was the thick rumble from very far off in Central London, the nearer more distinguishable boom from out Harrow way and the distinct sounds of individual display in Neasden and Wembley. And the nice people over the back blotted their copy book too.

Bang bangbang pheeeeeeee bang bang bangbangbang bangbang pheeeeeeee pheeeeeee bang bang.

I imagine that’s what the blitz must have been like. With a similar fear of hot things raining down. I hid indoors, under furniture, with my ears full of toilet paper. I will be doing that in the event of war also.

‘If only Diwali was a Muslim festival,’ I said from beneath the coffee table.
‘Why?’ said tD as another £2,000 of money well wasted exploded in a deafening burst of green and red above the garden. She was calmly stretched out on the sofa.
‘Because if it was a Muslim festival they would have banned fireworks by now.’

Pheeeeeeeeee BANG bangbangbang bang bang bang bangbangbangbangbangbang pheeeeeee bang BANG.

And now ‘tis the season of kids throwing fireworks into busy newsagents and the constant sounds of fire engines careering up and down Walm Lane at all hours. Joy.

19 October 2006

Fun with solid food

I keep finding little smears of pureed organic root vegetable in unexpected places. This is not a usual occurrence. We are weaning. BB is in the 99.8th percentile height wise so we had to start her on baby rice three weeks ago, rather than waiting until the recommended six months, which was a bit stressful bearing in mine that she is not five months old until Sunday. It seems like only five minutes ago I was telling you she was four months old. Tempus fugit, etcetera .

Fortunately she has taken to eating like a happy little duck taking to water. She thinks that feeding is hilarious and enjoys a good chuckle half way through. Particularly if it is a vegetable she likes.

Thoughts on food so far include:

Baby rice is delicious. We are looking forward to moving on to fruit puree so we can have some alongside the rice. This will be like a Muller fruit corner, but without the nasty additives.

Potatoes are not delicious at all. They make us pull a funny face and purse our lips very tightly. We refuse to eat them.

Carrots are excellent. They are very tasty and also our favourite colour. Orange is marvellous and we strongly believe that more things should be orange.

Although sweet potato is orange we are not fooled for a second and can detect that the potato force is strong in this one. Not as bad as actual potato but not winning as many friends as the carrots.

Butternut squash is fantastic. A nice mellow shade of orange and a little bit sweet too. Delicious. Even better than carrots. Squash makes us giggle with delight and also wave our spoon around causing an enormous mess.

Swede is our absolute favourite, despite not being orange. We love the swede beyond all reasonable bounds. If we could eat swede all the live long day we would.

I don’t understand this swede thing. The swede is an evil, evil vegetable. Tastes like... I can’t think what. Hideous. As I say; evil. But she likes it. Next thing she’ll be liking apricots and curly kale. Gruesome. Give me a nice brussel sprout any day.

Never mind, we are doing well with the vegetables. Our doctor, who is also a mother of the gay persuasion, said her daughter would only eat butternut squash.

We do each vegetable in turn for two days and then stare anxiously at BB for any signs of adverse effects of said vegetable. Tomorrow it is parsnip (semi-evil) and then we begin the green vegetables on Sunday – courgette, broccoli and cauliflower. I know cauliflower is white but in our book (I recommend it, but only if you are weaning. It’s probably of limited interest to the general reader) the noble cauli counts as green.

Then, green vegetables dealt with, we can mix different purees together like potato, swede and carrot. This is called a medley. We can also give her fruit puree, as a pudding, or side order at breakfast. You have to do the vegetables first because they are savoury and some babies get hooked on the sweetness in fruit and then won’t eat the nasty swede. I don’t blame them as I am a fan of the sweetness.

Also, we keep the purees frozen in the traditional white ice cube trays. We have about three weeks in advance. They look fantastic all lined up in the freezer. Particularly the courgette which you leave the skin on. They look like little bars of soap. All organic from the nice organic shop on Harlesden Road where the man with the thickest glasses in the world works. Nice man. Blind as a bat.

18 October 2006

Podcast # 1