The Natural Order

Goodluck Jonathan

Hola. Hope you are all well.

I had a busy week. I was doing some poetry workshops in a couple of schools, including on in Clitheroe, which meant I had to get up at 5:50am. That’s 5:50 in the MORNING. Writers aren’t built for such things, do you think proper writers like Katie Price gets up at this time?

In fact last week I was up before ‘Her with one permanent job’ four times. Things like this shouldn’t happen. For starters I don’t overly embrace change and secondly I worry when the natural order of things are messed around. Something as simple as me getting up before ‘HWOPJ’ could lead to the World imploding, you never know. Those who share my concerns, needn’t worry any further as the natural order of things has been restored as of this morning, when ‘HWOPJ’ left for work at 8am. Woohoo! In your face imploding Universe!!!

It was something of a grown up week for me as I even listened to a programme on Radio 4. I’m not really a Radio 4 kinda guy but a fellow poet Kate Fox was on the show so I thought I’d listen. Occasionally I like to hear/see what my peers are up to, only occasionally, mainly I’m more interested in what I’m doing. It was a nice programme, quite informative but I doubt I’ll become a Radio 4 regular. I see Radio 4 rightly or wrongly as for adults, (I know technically I’m an adult), I feel the same way about broadsheet newspapers and drinking coffee. Is there anything you view as adult, despite you being an adult? Feel free to let us know via the comments button.

In other news, I was interested to read that the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan is going to ban his national football team from playing for 2yrs due to their poor showing at the World Cup. (It’s been announced he’s gone back on this situation) What really stuck out about this story was that the President is called Goodluck Jonathan. What a great name that is. Inspired by his name I’m thinking of calling myself All the Best Julian. Having said this it wasn’t that long ago that I was toying with the idea of calling myself inspired by of the Black Eyed Peas. Or before that, when I moved to Didsbury calling myself P Didsbury inspired by P Diddy. Sometimes even I think I have too much time on my hands.

And Finally… As we were talking about football, what with the Nigerian team, may I direct you to my latest football post on my football blog, which considers England’s exit from the World Cup. I genuinely think it’s a good piece of writing, so feel free to check it out. Having said that I genuinely think All the Best Julian would be a good name for me.

                                                           Til Next week, Stay Safe!

                                                               All the Best Julian

(original post 5/7/10)

That There London

shoreditch house

Hola, Hope you are all well.

I had another varied week. On Friday, I opened the Manchester Independent Book Market, in St Ann’s Square. I say opened it, I just happened to be the first act on, but opened it sounds a whole lot better. It’s always interesting doing outdoor readings, mainly because the passers-by have a certain level of interest before moving on. I think people see a man with a microphone in a city centre and think it might be a religious zealot, only to be disappointed to find out it’s poetry.

On Saturday, I reviewed the papers on the radio show and then straight after headed to London to meet up with a couple of my uni friends, Amanda and Yin  (previously Mandy and Jackie). I was literally in London for 24 hrs. It wasn’t as exciting as a Jack Bauer 24 hr period but we did fit in a fair bit of drinking. You know it’s going to be messy when you have tequila before you go out and then decide to have more tequila when you get back and in between that, you have a cocktail with an egg in it plus some beers. We also went to a private members bar, Shoreditch House, which has a swimming pool in it.  How London i to is that??? I can’t imagine the pubs I go to in Manchester deciding to install a swimming pool.

Now onto to Sunday and cut to me feeling rough on the train back to Manchester but in time for the England/Germany  match. The England performance and the result did nothing to aid my recovery. The only positive I can think of about England going out, is that any women who had stupidly booked their wedding day on a day that clashed with the World Cup Semi-Final or Final can now rest easy. Guests are going to have to come up with another excuse to get out of your big day. Feel free to let us know if your wedding day clashed with a big football match.

Talking of such matters, a few weeks ago I mentioned I was working on a new project with the co-author of How to Dump your Boyfriend, Kym Cooper, looking at (funny) relationship stories. With Kym being younger than me and more knowledgable on such matters she has set up a Facebook page, at this stage we are just looking for people to join the group. So if you are on Facebook, feel free to get on board.

And Finally… Something weird seems to be happening to me in recent times when travelling on a train. The last few trains I’ve got I’ve booked the tickets online and when I come to find my seat it’s always been a priority seat. I don’t know if there is a rumour in the train industry that I’m a man in need of assistance. If Richard Branson or anyone else who works for a train company is reading this, I just want to say, I might  be getting on a bit but I’m still ok in the normal seats. Cheers

                                                 Til next week, stay safe! 

(original post 28/6/10)

Losing my religion

debit card

Hola, hope you are all well. I’m good.

On last week’s post I half joked about how being absent from doing the radio show I do was dangerous because in this business there’s always someone willing to jump into your position. Well this became a reality when I got an email from someone who works on the show who said my stand-in, had her eyes on doing the show full-time. I could understand if she was trying to muscle in on replacing Jonathan Ross, what with his £6m a year wages. But I’ll be honest, I get paid significantly less than £6m a year, and I have to get up at 6am.

On other radio news, I recently found out that BBC Radio Manchester has a Facebook page, see here. So if you are on Facebook (I’m still not) you can become a friend and if you have any positive comments about any shows you hear you can always pass them on. In some unrelated information the show I do is Sam Walker’s Saturday Breakfast and my section is called the Paper Chase. cheers

Let’s move on from that blatant call for positive feedback. Last week, I lost my bank card, I have no idea what I did with it. The worst thing about losing something, isn’t the realisation that it is actually lost. That is bad but the worst thing is that it is your fault, there’s no one you can blame and that’s what’s so annoying. It’s only when you’ve lost something do you realise how much you rely on that thing. Without a bank card, I had to physically go into the bank and write a cheque to get cash. For any young people reading this unsure what a cheque is, ask your parents.

Yesterday, I compered a Father’s Day event. I was arguably the least qualified person at the event, for starters, I’m not a father and have no intention of becoming a dad anytime soon, plus none of my writing has anything to do with fatherhood. I mentioned this to the organiser (Akiel) and he said, “but you have a dad“, which is an easy way to get someone to an event about fathers. It’d be like someone asking me to speak at a dentistry convention, by saying, “but you have teeth”. As it turned out the event turned out to be very pleasant. Ps. I am available to speak at a dentistry convention.

And Finally… I must tell you something I did last week, before I disclose what it was I did, I don’t want you to judge me, after all, we are all adults. With this in mind, I must confess to buying a razor with just ONE BLADE. I know it’s truly shocking. If you feel like you have to confess to anything you can do it on this blog, without judgement.

                                                       Til next week, stay safe!
(original post 21/6/10)

Back Home

minack theatre

Hola. Hope you are all well.

I’m back from my break away, to St Ives. I have to admit it was nice getting away but it’s also nice coming back. I’d never been to St. Ives before and what struck me was how picturesque it is. There are so many great views, of hills, of the sea, of beaches and everything else good, coastal resorts have to offer. I do wonder that if you live in a place like this, when you go to a big city are you like, “wow, big buildings, over population, traffic jams, pollution, this is amazing, we should retire here one day”.

On the way to St. Ives, my train got delayed at Bristol, where I befriended an elderly couple. I saw the couple again on the last leg of the trip, where the husband told me, someone had taken his suitcase, presumably because it was similar to his, resulting in him having someone elses. This must be a nightmare, especially at the start of a holiday. Let me know via the comments button if this has ever happened to you. Did you find anything interesting in the suitcase/bag. Did you get your bag back?

Arguably the best view during my stay was when watching the Kafka play, Metamorphosis at the Minack Theatre . It’s an open air theatre and has the sea as its backdrop, (see pic at the top of this post). At one point, a group of dolphins swam past, which kind of distracted me from the play. Not that it takes much to distract me, in fact I must confess that at one point I did fall asleep, for 5mins. In no way was this a reflection on the play, it’s just with it being an outdoor venue, you can stretch out, as you are not restricted by a seat. So I took advantage of this and lay down, what with the sea air and the sun, I just dosed off. In the spirit of fairness, if any of the actors are reading this (I doubt they are) feel free to fall asleep at any of my events.

The last thing I will mention of the holiday, is that at one point I was able to point a couple in the right direction. I overheard them telling the bus driver that they had parked their car at the rugby club, but then they set off in completely the wrong direction, up a hill. So I thought should I let them know, my brain said, “yes”, so off I went after them, catching them at the top of the hill. I don’t tell this story because it shows me in a good light  (honest), I just think that when you do something nice, you feel good about it and the people you help really appreciate it. That’s why I thought if you’re reading this and an opportunity arises this week to help someone out, go for it.  Let us know how it goes. Again use the comments button.Cheers.

And Finally…I thought I’d remind everyone i will be back on the radio this Sat (BBC Radio M’cr 8am-9am). I have to admit that whilst away I did wonder how the show went without me. In this business, I like to call show, you’re always wary of giving your competitors a chance to impress. It’s akin to leaving your girlfriend alone with John Terry, well maybe not exactly the same.

                                                Til next week, (Mon) Stay safe!                                  
 (original post 15/6/10)


ringo starr

Hola. Hope you are all well.

I’ve had another varied week. On Friday I was doing a charity collection at M’cr Piccadilly train station. Before people start thinking I’m a good person, I should disclose that I was collecting for Retrak, the charity ‘Her with one permanent job’ works for. So as well as raising money for street children in Africa, I was also collecting ‘boyfriend points’. But as we all know boyfriend points are more volatile than the stock exchange and can be as easily lost as earnt. So I need to cash  them in soon.

Also last week I met up with the writer of ‘How To Dump Your Girlfiend’, Kym Cooper, as we are talking over the idea of doing a joint project. Our thinking is we’ve had limited success promoting our respective books individually, so if we join forces, we can have limited success together. We’re looking at relationship issues, some inspired by surveys in the newspapers and others involving stories of when relationships go wrong, for example texting saucy pics to the wrong person. I will give you more details in the next few weeks including how you can contribute. cheers

I read in the week that Lembit Opik did his first ever Stand Up gig. What stood out for me was that he was paid £115 for 15mins.  I started doing stand up comedy in 2001 and recently did 20mins where I was paid last than half of what Lembit was paid. This has made me think of how I can increase my earning potential. These are my findings, firstly I need to become a political lightweight, then I need to get engaged to a cheeky girl and finally I need to get a slightly wonky face and then hey presto, I’ll be in the money.

In something unrelated, I was thinking that if a person got their entire view of the world from the tabloids and Britain’s Got Talent, they would think that every young person was either high on Meow Meow or in an urban dance group. Because it seemed every other act on BGT seemed to be an urban dance group. If you’re a young person and you’re not in an urban dance group you may aswell give up now. The act I didn’t get on BGT was the drumming boy who finished 3rd. From what I could see he was just drumming. No disrespect to drummers but drumming on its own is not entertainment. if it was Ringo Starr would have ditched John, Paul and George and replaced them with the Gorilla from the Cadbury’s ad, the drummer from the muppets and Phil Collins. I’m sure if he had done this then his history would have been a lot different.

And Finally… I’m going away for a few days, I’m heading to St. Ives (I need to get away from the executive stress), As I am coming back next Mon, it means I will be updating this blog next Tues. It also means I will not be reviewing the newspapers on the radio on Sat Morning (12th June)  so feel free to have a lie-in. Cheers

                                                  Til next time (tues), stay safe! 
(original post 7/6/10)

Are you the comedian guy?

ronan keating and his wife


Hola. I hope you are well. Apologies for posting on a Tues, it wasn’t because yesterday was a Bank Hol, it was due to a technical difficulty and me being an idiot. I typed the blog late last night, put on all the links, published it and then accidentally deleted it. The moral of this story is don’t try to do anything that requires concentration late at night whilst watching Graham Norton

I’m sure you’ve all been waiting in tenterhooks to find out how my gig at the Iguana bar went last Mon. For those that weren’t there, let me tell you it was a rip-roaring success, by the end of my set the punters lifted me onto their shoulders and carried me through the streets of Chorlton, lauding me as a comedy God. Those that were there will know it went ok. I went on first, which is always tricky as the audience isn’t warmed up (i.e. pisssed). I got laughs throughout my set, but there were also periods when it was just a man chatting on stage. Having said that, I really enjoyed it, which isn’t always the case when I do stand up. 

Also last week, I went to a free screening of new film, ‘Death at a Funeral’, starring Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence. I felt it had all the ingredients to be funnier than it was, there was slapstick, poo, a dwarf and as is obligatory with a film with a mainly black cast, an ‘idiot white boyfriend’. The best way to sum up this is to say if I’d paid £7:50 I’d have been disappointed, If I’d got in for half price courtesy of Orange Wednesdays, I’d have thought it was alright, but as I got in for free I enjoyed it. 

After the film, whilst waiting for the bus, a woman came up to me and said, “Are you the comedian guy”? I responded with a “Yes”, whilst desperately trying to rack my brain, to workout who she was. My brain was giving me nothing (not for the first time), which must have been obvious, as she then said, “You don’t recognise me do you”? I didn’t, so I had to admit to this. Then my friend Nadeem (the poet, not my other friend Nadeem) came along and said “Hi Dee”, making me look like a totally self-absorbed idiot, who can’t be bothered to remember people they have met. Cheers. Feel free to let me know if anything like this has happened to you. 

Regulars to this blog will know that a couple of weeks ago I emailed a train company complaining that the last train back to M’cr from Liverpool on a Sat night was too early (23:38) and they should put on a later train. I got an email back from the train company, Woohoo!!! Unfortunately it was bad news as apparently train companies don’t work their schedules around unknown comedians, they have boring rules and regulations they have to adhere to, Boohoo!!

I also found out I’ve made it onto YouTube. About a month ago I was asked by Literature Northwest, to take part in a scheme to promote Northwest writers. It basically involved me talking to a camera, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Check it out here. (tis only 2mins 54) 

And Finally…I read in the Sunday Mirror, (so it must be true) that Ronan Keating has managed to grovel his way back into his wife’s affections, after his 7 month affair. It was also claimed he was writing love songs for his wife. My advice having heard Ronan’s music, is to say,

“Don’t do it, quit whilst you’re ahead”!!!


                                             Til next week (Mon), stay safe!
(original post 1/6/10) 

When will I be famous?

the sun

Hola. I hope you are all well and enjoying the sun. Everything seems better when the sun is out. ‘Her with one permanent job’ was off work, so we ended up having a picnic and eating middle class foods.

I am making my return to stand up comedy, later tonight (Mon 24th May). It’s at the Iguana bar, Chorlton, Doors 8pm, Show starts just after 9pm, £3 (pay on the door). For some reason and I’m not sure why but I’m not nervous, normally I would be. I’m sure in a few hours I’ll be cacking myself.

I’ve had quite a varied week, for starters, the place I lodge is getting a new bathroom. Due to my ‘relaxed’ working hours, I’ve been in whilst the plumber/electrician has been working. This has meant I’ve got to know him quite well. I’m one of these people who other people feel quite comfortable in my company. This usually means people either tell me about their life history, not long after meeting me, or they feel they can mock me not long after meeting me. I now have a third scenario, cos day two of knowing this workman, he was stood in front of me in just his boxer shorts. I have to admit, I didn’t realise we’d got to that stage of  our relationship. I’ll let you know if things move on between us.

Also last week, I watched a couple of films, ‘In the Loop’, it’s a funny film, taking a behind the scenes look at high level politics. I really enjoyed it, although if high level politics is anything like this, then I feel sorry for politicians. (well maybe not all politicians)

Talking of politicians, I’m still having my email discussions with my local Lib Dem MP. I’m not sure how this is going to end but I’m thinking either with me as the first ever black Prime Minister or with this MP being a guest on the radio show I’m involved in and it being a little awkward.

The other film I watched was new film ‘4 Lions’, again I enjoyed it, although it may sound a bit odd to say about a film about British based suicide bombers, but I did think it was going to be funnier. Mainly because it was written by Chris Morris, him of ‘Brass eye’ fame.

And Finally… I was at a party on Saturday night, and apparently when I walked in, one of the other guests said, “Is that Julian Daniel”. ‘HWOPJ’ said “How does it feel to be famous?”
So I said, “Pretty much the same as I did when I was getting up at 6am, earlier in the day to get into the radio station”. This fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

                                                     Til next week, stay safe!
(original post 24/5/10)