Friday, 31 January 2014


Josh walks into the kitchen, headphones in. Immediately, I tap an open copy of Shortlist on the table.
‘You see this? I fucking told them,’ I say. Inside the magazine a guy (dressed tastefully in a navy sweater, blue jeans and blue brogues) lounges on some stairs. ‘I told them monochrome was coming back in.’ Josh doesn’t respond. Instead, he turns on the kettle and begins to stair absent-mindedly out the window.

‘Still raining.’ I take it upon myself to fill the silence. ‘It’s like an absolute monsoon out there. Went out to get my post earlier and was only outside for what, a minute? Completely drenched.’ He seems to be nodding. Either that or his head is slightly moving back and forth, I can’t quite tell. I tap the magazine again, reinforcing my point. ‘This though. They never listen to me.’

‘I think Ani might have died,’ I say. ‘I texted her to say that Space Jam is on LoveFilm. No response. Probably a heart attack.’

The kettle boils and Josh starts to make a cup of tea. I take to scrolling through my phone instead. Like a flame, a complaint strikes up in my mouth.
‘Friend on Facebook just posted a status: “omg in such a bad mood” with a little sad face.’ A flicker of recognition flashes across Josh’s face. I’m not sure if he’s just thinking about adding another sugar. ‘Why do people constantly feel like they need to notify us how they’re feeling? What’s wrong with just… I don’t know, keeping things to yourself?’

Josh adds a dash of milk and makes towards the door. I look back at the guy in the magazine – is there a slight blue tinge to his hair? This is ridiculous.
‘I’ll see you later.’ Josh says. ‘I’m going to go smash my head against the desk.’

Monday, 27 January 2014


Monday is Funday. Perhaps First-Time Friday would have made more sense given the circumstances; but nonetheless, it was decided today that Monday would be the day that we took time to chip away at the ever-growing bucket list.

Today was concerned mostly (but not entirely) with making holes in peoples bodies.

In a world largely concerned with things that are on offer, tattoo and piercing parlours have gotten smart. Too smart, in my opinion. The 2-4-1 deal that we all know and love, it turns out, applies to nipple piercing, as if a nipple piercing was something you might only get one of. That said, I can't speak with authority on the matter, never having had or wanted one myself.

Unlike Grace.

We marched along to Asgard Tattoos & Piercing of Southampton, wherein Tom booked a tattoo (His first First Time of the day) for a bear on his ankle, which is now going to happen on Thursday (a sight which I can't wait to see, given that he gets hilariously freaked out over games of FIFA.) In case you were wondering, they run a very professional and polite establishment.

Grace got her nipples pierced - yes, both of them, thanks to that aforementioned deal - an ordeal which she later described as 'It's really cold, ow, erections are happening.' I never suspected Grace of being the sort of person up for such endeavors, and am not entirely sure whether I'm a poor judge of character or whether she genuinely isn't the sort.

Whilst all this was going on, I achieved a first. The opticians called with the news that my glasses were ready - at an opportune time as well, given that I was a quarter of an hour away from a lecture, which without the aid of glasses usually results in an attention shattering migraine. I popped into the branch five minutes later, picked them up, and now I have a very trendy pair of eyeglasses.

Later, Tom appeared still in the piercing sort of mood. But the shop was closed.
'Tom, don't look at me that way. I'm trying to cook my dinner.'

Cue our second firsts of the day. This mainly involved me trying to balance cooking dinner with pushing a piece of cold metal through Tom's ear whilst he yelled at me (as though it were my idea. Which it wasn't, for the record.)

Generally speaking this wasn't my first go at ear mutilation - I harked back to a simpler time, back when stretchers had just come into fashion. That old chestnut can easily be summarised with the quote 'Lewis, I can't do it, you do it - [screaming].'

This time wasn't so traumatic.

Grace assisted with the pushing and the puncturing and the disinfecting and putting an apple behind the ear (a trick she apparently learnt from The Parent Trap, of all things.) We filled in the bloody gap with a fox/wolf/generic-beast earring that he had bought, until he decided that it looked 'gay,' prompting us to push a whole new stud through.

If I go a whole year without having to puncture another human being, I won't be saddened by it. On the bright side, this whole situation gave a great opportunity for a selfie with my new glasses.

Bis Montag,

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


I know what you're thinking. And I want
you on my Pictionary team too.
People are always asking me: 'Lewis, how do you juggle keeping up that beautiful bonnet of hair you have with the tolls of being a noncommital socialist who doesn't want to be pigeonholed but nonetheless identifies to many of the stereotypes of the modern anti-capitalist thinker?'

Well folks, I think it's about time I gave an answer.

Here's some science: hairdressing. I know what you're thinking: Hairdressing? Science? But aren't hairdressers meant to be really stupid? Don't they just want to know where you went on your holidays? No.

Here's the deal with hairdressers: they're kinda like computers. They serve a function, yes, and on the outside they look simple enough, but if you cut into them, they're full of cables and wires and circuit boards and stuff.

Back up.

What I'm trying to say is hairdressers are full of hidden knowledge.

Let's go back to the basics. Shampoo is evil as shit, right? That stuff is like heroin for your scalp. Sure, it makes your hair all nice and fluffy/shiny/sparkly or whatever, but after a day or so, your hair goes all greasy again and you have to buy more shampoo - and nobody wants to look like they washed their hair with an oil derrick just because they want to shun capitalist urges. Shampoo does this because - and brace yourselves, because I'm going to use some serious scientific terminology - chemicals fuck with your body.

If you're reading this in 1960, I'm sorry if I dropped that bomb prematurely.

I stopped using shampoo and stuff last year, instead opting for a hot water regimen to keep my hair looking lovely, because being a Marxist shouldn't mean you should be any less fabulous (Do note, when you start washing your hair like this there is a day or two of greasiness - this is your natural oils overcompensating as a reaction to shampoo). For some people, shampoo simply makes the problem of grease worse, and a shampoo-free life is the alternative to twice-daily washes.

You'd be surprised how many people live like this, because nobody ever mentions it. This is because people are dicks. As soon as you come out of the closet for not using shampoo, for about five minutes, everyone in the room treats you as though you're a homeless person who just materialised in front of them. Once, someone sniffed me.

Surprisingly, this led to me mentioning it as little as humanly possible. However, one time when it is appropriate to mention your hair care regimen, is when you're at the hairdressers. Because, like I said before, hairdressers just cutting hair is a bit like brain surgeons administering plasters.

As an example of some of the wisdom a good hairdresser can bestow upon a Fabian with an image to uphold, here's some advice I picked up upon my last visit to the beauty parlor:

1) Stroke that shit.
When massaging your hair in the shower, don't get too into it. No, not like that. Massaging your scalp opens up the pores, and encourages oils to escape. So be gentle.

2) End it on a cold note.
Warm water also opens your pores. If you have the luxury of a shower with heat controls, you can give your hair a cold rinse to close them up again. If you shower in the mornings, this also helps wake you up.

3) Drying.
The heat rule also extends to drying - use either a light towel dry, or a cold/medium temperature on your hair dryer.

Viva la hair revolution. Fuck L'Oréal, yeah?