The Berlin Diaries – Robo Poetry

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Here, right so: Dave is pretty smart. His head’ll swell if I say ‘really’ smart, so it’s just ‘pretty’. He loves maths and algorithms and all those things I hate. Dave likes to fuck around and make new little formulas, and his latest thing is a programme that analyses large examples of text, then rearranges it into new sentences. And he’s done it to my site.

And lo, below you will find the result: generated completely at random from the snowfall of daft old blog posts that make up this website, a few dozen barmy snippets of prose. They actually sound like me, which is weird. They make fuck all sense, of course, but they’re entertaining. Some are funny, some are bizarre, and some read like neo-noir science fiction haikus, which is pretty cool.

Give it a read – and try not to think about robots taking over and stealing all our jobs and whatnot. It probably won’t happen. It’s going to be fine. Everything will be fine. Continue reading

The Berlin Diaries – Spoken Word, Finally!

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Oi you lot, guess what.

No wait, don’t guess, because there’s no point, because I’m going to tell you in around a hundred and fifty words’ time, and anyway you lack the means to actually respond to me beyond yelling at your laptop screen and, though it certainly tickles me to imagine you getting all red faced hollering at a small plastic oblong, in the end t’would be only a waste of both your time and mine, although I suppose I’ve already wasted my time by writing this – and wasted yours by making you read it – and so basically, what I really want to say is: I am deeply sorry for ever starting this sentence which is, to be frank, so lengthy as to be obscene, and I wouldn’t at all blame you if you logged off your computer right now and went for a lie down rather than read the rest of this god-forsaken shit-heap of an article. Continue reading

The Berlin Diaries – My Year in Music

I’ve just had a look at the Spotify playlist ‘Your Top Songs 2017’, which is a playlist unique to each listener, listing their 100 most listened to songs. It’s funny looking at it all now; you can really see where you’ve been. I love all of these songs so much. They capture everything. It’s been a brilliant, devastating, unforgettable year; simultaneously the worst and best of my life. So much heartbreak, so much joy, so much chaos and creativity and love.

I want to run through a few choice tracks and explain why they are so important. Continue reading

The Berlin Diaries – The Eggs

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Dave turned 23 last weekend. It was Friday night and I was three sheets to the wind, sitting cross legged on the floor of a colleague’s bedroom with a handful of workmates, listening to music and getting ready to head to some tropical-themed party across town. Dave called and told me to head to his flat, as everybody was there. He asked me to bring some drinks but the signal was bad; all I could really make out was that he wanted me to come over. Continue reading

Travelling Back In Time To Break My Father’s Nose, or, The Weirdest Story I Have Ever Written

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Do you think you could beat your father in a fight? What about when he was in his prime? My uncle asked this very question at my father’s birthday dinner last weekend, and my father, without a hint of irony or humour, gazed straight into my eyes and told me he would ‘massacre’ me, even now. He’s 59 years old with a hernia and a beer gut, I am 25. The hubris. This simply won’t stand. Something must be done.

I am going to break your nose, old man. Not now, not today, while you’re old and feeble and your best years are behind you. There’d be no satisfaction in that, there’d be no challenge. No, father, I’m going to go back to the 1980’s, I’m going to find you, and I’m going to make you wish I’d never been born. Continue reading

On Jeremy Corbyn and Leadership

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This post is not travelling related, but listen: shut up. This post is about politics, it is about ideologies, and it is about bravery.

The UK will have a general election on the 8th of June. Current polls have Labour some 20 points behind the Tories. If nothing changes in the next six weeks, Labour are set to take a pasting, Corbyn will be savaged, and a triumphant Right will cheer the fall of left wing politics across the Western world. Because, you know, the idea of affordable housing and fair pay for nurses is fucking nightmarish. Continue reading