Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A big bag of twiglets

RUSSELL CROWE may come across as the most honest cop that ever walked the planet in his latest film American Gangster, but he is a distinct shade of grey when compared to whiter-than-white Wren.
On the way to the Cinema at Atlantic Wharf on Tuesday afternoon we had first popped into the local Tesco to buy some goodies. We loaded up with miniature pork pies, handy-sized quiches and pasties for our lunch. Then I had an idea.
"Instead of spending outrageous prices at the cinema why don't we buy our snacks here?" I suggested.
"Good idea," said Wren as we started to fill the cart with nuts, crisps, chocolate and a big bag of twiglets.
When we got to the cinema I turned to see Wren trying to stuff all the food into her dinky black handbag. She finally gave up when it came to the twiglets, returned them to their plastic bag and put the bag on the back seat.
"What are you doing?" I inquired, suspiciously.
"Well, we can hide all these, but that bag won't fit."
"And why do we have to hide them?"
"Well, we don't want to be caught taking food into the cinema," came the reply.
Gordon Bennett! Surely we could just leave all the food in the carrier bag and walk straight in, as if we had just been shopping. Wren was having none of it, so we reached a compromise. I HID the giant bag of twiglets inside my bulky raincoat and, like some naughty petty criminal, sneaked in passed the ushers.
Moments into the film Wren had a nasty surprise; some semi-blind old biddy mistook her for a chair and tried to sit on her, almost breaking her glasses. She was not best pleased, particularly when her box of Roses was also in danger.

It has to be said that Siouxsie Soux (aka Wren) and Sid Vicious (aka me) had a wonderful night at Evans' 30th fancy dress party in Southend (oops, I mean Leigh on Sea).
On Friday night Wren dyed her hair black, though after plenty of moisturising and rinsing it came out a dark brown. C'est la Vie. Then on Saturday lunchtime we set out on the four-hour drive to the chilly south East.
The journey was pretty uneventful and there was a warm welcome from the Fat Kid, Vin Man and the Big Boy, who is now walking around and talking... well, to a fashion. I do believe he said Grandad on Sunday!
After a quick bit of nosh it was time to get down to business and we disappeared to the bedroom to work on Wren's hair. The Fat Kid almost died of shock - "I could never, ever do that to my hair," she said as Wren did the best she could to back comb it and create the necessary tangle and split ends required by a punk goddess.
It was easier for me, though, with my lack of hair. On went the Mohican wig and I then ripped an old pair of black jeans to shreds before putting them back together with safety pins. I also customised black bin-liners for us both.
the Fat Kid, meantime, had found an old skirt and tie, and bought a white school blouse. Putting her hair in bunches, she was Britney.
All that was left to do was call a taxi and it was off to the party. We picked up the Fat Kid's mate, Jenna - dressed as a cowboy - on the journey.

It was great to see Evans again, resplendent in pirate's uniform (she knows the way to a Gashead's heart). Boyfriend Matt was dressed as his hero Dr Who, and among other creations were Geri and Posh from the Spice Girls.
The Fat Kid walked straight into a terrible fashion faux pas - three Britneys! And all in her school uniform faze (not sure they were all wearing the necessary underwear, mind). Among them was the Bermondsey Bird (former journo with that fine upstanding agency Wales News), who had just landed a staff job after more than two years at the Daily Star. She was keen to celebrate, too, downing what looked like three quarter pints of water but turned out to be rather large vodka and lemonades - or some such. The home made punch was also pretty effective.
Like all good parties it soon degenerated. The Fat Kid and Jen went off to town promising to return with a taxi by 1am, while others disappeared into various parts of the house. One girl, dressed as an air stewardess, made Wren immediately. "Oh my god," she declared in excitement, "You're Souixsie Soux! My sister wants to be you at a fancy dress this Christmas."
At this stage she started taking posed pictures of Wren, who was now a celebrity in her own right, while the good Doctor had collapsed on the decking outside and was oblivious to the freezing weather in his long trench coat.
The Bermondsey Bird had tweetered off to bed after fighting a losing battle with her balance, while another of the locals, who claimed to be Madonna, lost her blond wig soon enough and stropped around declaring that no one really liked her. Didn't even know her personally, but she did a good job in hiding the coats.
By 12.30 there was Evans, Wren, myself and another straggler who bore a huge resemblance to Chas from Chas and Dave and seemed to be dressed as the snooker loopy singer, too.
Finally, the Fat kid, talking far too much as usual, arrived and it was time to go home. Good fun, though, and a nice change. Oh, and my mood was helped no end when the Gas won their first home game for six months with a goal three minutes into injury time at home to Millwall.

Sunday night and the hangover had set in during the journey back down the M25 in pouring rain. Wren was suffering, too, with the onset of a heavy cold and we opted to hold up for the night in a Premier Travel Inn at Bracknell. A good eight or nine hours kip and it was back on the road again. I had to stop off at Bristol to visit my dad and collect my stepmum Jean from hospital where she had been interned since contracting a nasty chest infection.
I sent Wren on ahead as the scouting party and when I arrived back in Cardiff at around six it was to be greeted with the news that there was no heating in my flat. Never mind, we made ourselves comfy in scoobies' place, getting out his giant bean bag and settling in front of the tv.

Tuesday afternoon and American Gangster. Terrifically enjoyable film with great performances from Denzel Washington and Crowe, who plays an upstanding copper who lifts the lid on the corrupt nature of the New York Police Department. At one stage he finds £10,000 in the trunk of a car - and makes himself public enemy No 1 by handing it in. Puts my twiglets offence into perspective, I reckon.
Headed off to see the Stereophonics in the Cardiff International Arena that night. On the way we bumped into Smashy, Danny (the poipes, the poipes) and the Prince of Darkness - the hardcore members of the boozeday Tuesday crowd.
They were cosily ensconsed in the Yard, and the Prince "had a buzz on", meaning he was onto the double vodkas. A short while later we had to prize him away from a tough Slovakian lady who could not believe he was a journalist because "he doesn't know which countries border Slovakia". Didn't help that the Prince kept referring to her beloved country as Slovenia, nor the fact he was staggering forward and backwards going "I know it, lovely country, sloveenivakia."
She came up with the pretty clever reply, "I reckon he must be a designer."
Spot on.

Later saw the Stereos, but wasn't hugely impressed. The CIA is a terrible venue with queues going around the block for the bar, like a breadshop in post-war Poland or a post office on pensioner pay day.
By the time we managed to buy a £3.70 pint of watered p*ss, the band was already on stage going through some tried and tested numbers. These days people seem to spend more time taking pictures with their mobiles than actually enjoying the occasion. A bit of a damp squib, I reckon.

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