The Last Few Days Then…

I have been having a few days off work; just for a change there wasn’t any gigs or DJ nights for the past few days so I have been resting and spending time with Erin and Conner (in a virtual way of course). I have also sorted out my passport, finally managed to get my application accepted by the check and send service at the Post Office. But of course it wasn’t as simple as it should have been due to ineptitude on the part of the main Post Office staff in the city centre. I went to the Post Office yesterday handed over my form and was told without even looking at the form that I would need to get a ‘full’ birth certificate with my parentage on before they could process my application. Understandably I was fuming as they hadn’t mentioned anything about this before when I had applied for a passport. But I later find out that because I was born before 1st January 1983 I don’t need a full birth certificate. It only applies to people born after that date as that’s when full birth certificates with parentage were introduced. Erin found out the information from the IPS; which I was a little annoyed about as I specifically told her I would deal with it, but she meant well and it ended up fine in the end. So armed with the Email printout from the IPS confirming that I don’t need a full birth certificate I went to the Post Office again, this time a different branch as the main post office staff are clearly useless. This time there was no issues with my application and they actually took the time to read my application thoroughly and accepted it without any need for me to produce the printed Email. So now the application has gone off to the Identity and Passport Service and with a little luck in the next few weeks I should have my passport. So that’ll mean that it’s all systems go to finding true happiness.

Last night was Wednesday night which means it was Alternation again and it was better than in recent weeks but still not great really, people just don’t seem to want to come out on a Wednesday night anymore. I could promote more and spend hundreds on promo materials but it would be a waste of time. Plymouth has changed a lot since the smoking ban has come into force and unless you’re an a established night such as JFK’s or C103 if you are new to Plymouth, you stand no chance in hell. I am glad that I am leaving this country as I am more disillusioned than ever with Plymouth and this country as a whole. But that’s besides the point I was trying to make, people come in very late, after 1am and start requesting songs and then get narky when I don’t play the song they want straight away, or people that come in earlier requesting songs and leaving within 15 – 30 minutes if they don’t hear their song. To be honest I am less likely to play a song if the requester keeps on pestering me, I try to make the music flow from one genre to another rather than playing random songs all over the place. At Alternation at least one of their requests will be played whereas in places like the Quay Club and JFK’s; you’ll be lucky if your request gets played at all if it’s not one the ‘popular’ playlisted songs of the moment! But at least I am getting some help at the moment from Mike who I got talking to a few weeks back when I was downstairs for one week. He just enjoys DJ’ing and takes some of the load off me and I don’t loose any money!

At least there was some good news from Voodoo, two of the subwoofers are now working again, but we have paired them up in the same enclosure so we don’t end up blowing more speakers because of driving the cones too hard. But the bad news is that because we haven’t had any bass bins for weeks; another one of the mid cones has failed because of being driven harder than they were designed. So before I could start the night I had to swap the bottom and top cones around so the sound would be at ear level to provide clarity of sound as the internal crossover means that only low end comes from the bottom cone. I knew that the top cone was on it’s way out as even at reasonably low levels it was making some horrible noises like the paper has been torn; so I wasn’t surprised when I heard about the failure!

I played ‘Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues & Kirsty MacColl as the last song of the night as it seemed appropriate being the last Alternation before Christmas. But little did I know that it had been re-released again this year and upon further investigation noticed that several other Christmas classics had re-emerged. Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’; Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’; Wizzard’s ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’; Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’; Andy Williams ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’; and Shakin’ Stevens ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ were all re-released! Does the music industry seriously have a complete lack of writing talent that they need to recycle old songs?.

In news; Harriet Harman has told the BBC that she wants prostitution outlawed in the UK. Right now paying for sex and providing sexual services for money is completely legal but soliciting for business in public or running a brothel is illegal. Now what I say is that if that’s the way a women want to earn a living, then that’s fine by me. Brothels should be legalised; that way men would know where to go for ‘paid’ sex and it wouldn’t bother anyone else. The model works well in Amsterdam and after all these women are only trying to make a living; I’d rather they provided sexual services for men to make a living than be sponging off the state. If brothels were legalised then it would make it safer for all concerned, women wouldn’t have to walk the street touting for business and there would be a certain amount of protection for prostitutes if they worked in a registered brothel instead of operating out of dirty rooms or back alleys. The other side I see while these women are providing these services, some sexually frustrated man is less likely to go rape someone, either someone from a pub/club or just some unlucky woman walking home. I’ve never personally felt the need to use a prostitutes services, but I really don’t see why is it so different to hiring someone to clean your house, they provide a service and they get paid for those services.

More disappointments; the English cricket team are likely to go 2 – 0 down in the test series in Sri Lanka. England lost the first test and managed to salvage a draw in the second test and now have been made to follow on in the third and final test. Sri Lanka knocked up 499 runs for 8 wickets with Jayawardene hitting an unbeaten 213 with Dilshan and Vaas hitting 84 and 90 respectively. To say England’s batting display was woeful is an understatement and a half being bowled out for just 81 runs; only three of the England XI managed to get into double figures. Michael Vaughan, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen all fell for a single run while skipper Paul Collingwood top scored with a frankly rubbish 29 runs. England will follow on tomorrow still needing 418 to reach Sri Lanka’s first innings total. The best England can hope for is a draw and are really staring down the barrel of the gun of defeat. Either way the Englishmen have lost the series as they are already 1 – 0 down in the series.

After being beaten in the league on Sunday by Manchester United, Liverpool have been knocked out the Carling Cup quarter finals by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Neither team could get the upper hand in the first half with both teams missing easy chances. Frank Lampard broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a deflected shot off Liverpool’s Jamie Carragher. Peter Crouch saw red for a rash challenge on John Mikel Obi a minute later and suddenly Liverpool were on the back foot. The game was put beyond Liverpool’s reach in the 90th minute; Andriy Shevchenko unleashing a rocket from 12 yards out. So It’s been a week to forget for the Merseyside team, let’s hope for better results this weekend hosting Portsmouth at Anfield. It’ll be a tough tie for the Reds as Portsmouth are only behind Liverpool on goal difference and have been playing some excellent football, let’s hope that Liverpool aren’t complacent; or they could find themselves on the end of another defeat!

New Argyle manager Paul Sturrock is about to release a number of players from the squad in the January transfer window. This is the problem with not having a long term manager; as soon as the new manager is in place, he’ll start shaping his team getting rid of the ‘dead wood’ that the previous manager had signed. The problem with this is that you’ll never build a decent team and without stability how can we expect consistency from our players. With a little luck Sturrock will stick with Argyle for a long time in his second stint at Home Park. Sturrock was the architect of Plymouth’s rise through the divisions, let’s hope that he can build that sort of team again and doesn’t leave when something better comes up for him. But to be honest, it seems to me that there is no honour or loyalty in football with Plymouth being screwed by two successive managers making promises to the Plymouth fans then dumping the Home Park faithful at a moments notice. At least Sturrock did say that he had premiership aspirations and would take a premiership managerial job if one was offered, Tony Pulis and Ian Holloway made pledges to the club and then deserted us in a heartbeat!

And finally: Burglars broke into South Hams District Council offices and stole the presents from under the Christmas tree. But the funny thing is that offenders only managed to steal boxes full of fresh air; the wrapped boxes were part of a display, all the thieves got away with was a few bottles of wine and boxes full of South Hams offce air, but they did cause 300 pounds worth of damages breaking into the building. What’s the world coming to when people are willing to steal children’s Christmas presents, but in this case they only managed to steal some wrapping paper, and a box full of Devon’s finest fresh air. Idiocy isn’t dead!

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