i have to speculate that god himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from t

The summer term involved all sorts of fun. Ian proved his excellence by rubbing a raw egg into the hair of Radeel moments after she'd washed it and then eluded her in a barefoot chase that encompassed most of the college. Mere days before he successfully stole a 12 ft wide canvas banner from the dance floor of the Fez club and smuggled it out past the bouncers by stuffing it up his t-shirt. There was a dazzling array of gigs and parties including Sect 63, Alternate Perception, Editors, The Fuzzy Lights, 65daysofstatic, ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Chris T-T, and Fell City Girl. Term also involved kissing a girl I never dared to even hope to be with. That’s another matter entirely, but it meant that I smiled all the time, even during a catalogue of exam failures. Term culminated with The Rocks, drum ‘n’ bass, accidentally causing Ian to break his knee on an inflatable and the arrest of tompsci at six o’clock in the morning.

And after all that, public transport which plagued by a litany of failures carried me to the Glastonbury Festival Of Contemporary Performing Arts. Everyone failed to acquire tickets so it was just me, Radeel, TD and my leaky tent. Still, once we’d mopped up our sleeping bags with our t-shirts, a lot of fun was had and I caught the following artists:

The Undertones – it was raining and I daren’t venture into the mud baths to watch them properly.
Editors – a band approaching the peak of their popularity, they filled the Other Stage admirably and impressed me immensely. Deserved a better slot.
Maxïmo Park – pop perfection and the crowd outside the tent was overflowing into a river, but no-one seemed to care.
Dark Angel – not enough rinsage for my liking.
M83 – simply beautiful. Play any of their records at full volume on a massive sound system, close your eyes and dare to disagree with me.
Shpongle (DJ set) – this got pretty wonky and I wasn’t even tripping. Barefooted mud stomping added to the ambiance.
Bloc Party – the indie snob in me was yawning already but they do have excellent songs.
Röyksopp – wow: bouncy and anthemic exactly how Fat Boy Slim should have been.
Fatboy Slim – the set was drab, uninspired and littered with mistakes. Even though I was on the front row with magic specs I left after half an hour.
British Sea Power – not at their best, but they were still magnificent and didn’t fail to lift my mood immeasurably.
Hallucinogen In Dub – mmm: bassy and deliciously groovy.
Art Brut – their wit finally made me realise why these guys have such a big following.
The Rakes – I liked them.
The Departure – they played a better set in Cambridge and I’d been overlistening to them recently. Needs more charisma.
The Subways – catchy and poptastic.
The Longcut – simply epic.
The Earlies – just as epic in a different, bigger way.
Kasabian – we couldn’t really get as close as we’d have liked, but there’s no denying the quality of the tunes.
The Go! Team – despite hearing raves about their live show, I wasn’t feeling it at all. Finally technical difficulties rounded off the weekend’s biggest disappointment.
Liquid Ross – I know it was early in the morning, but it’s always the right time for high-BPM insanity.
Chris T-T – played a lot of songs from 9 Red Songs and convinced everyone there that the man’s a genius.
The Dresden Dolls – as brilliant as you might expect.
The Dears – the acid had kicked in which gave them a whole new (but still excellent) perspective.
The Bravery – Radeel dragged me directly in front of the bass bins and I found it hard to deal with overshowmanship and having my ribs rattled out of my chest too much so rushed off to the Dance Village.
Ans – squelchsquishboshreally.
Joti Sidhu – nibblenibblenibbleclackwoooooooooshBOOMBOOMBOOMfucking.
Tristan – blatblatblatlovely.
Son Kite – wohohohooaaaohbeatsbeatsbeatsacid.
Ott (DJ set) Spannered In Pilton.

On the Sunday afternoon the clouds lurked beautifully as though the world were going to end – a mezzanine of water droplets hung like soldier puppets on strings preparing to bring about armageddon. It was glorious. That night I realised I’ve always been in love with Glastonbury: sitting under the stars in the Green Fields listening to drummers and watching firepoi; wandering through the Lost Vagueness; being serenaded by bubbles and a kid with an electroacoustic after stopping off at some shop on the way back to the tent; the London squat crew emerging from nowhere; hilarious short films in the cinema field; stomping my legs off while on a marvellously pitched hill from where I could see the rolling hills around, the thousands and thousands of tents, the amazing sky, a billion smiling faces and god himself.


So, following recent purchases and creations, I decided to change my room this term.

Apologies about the dubious quality of the QuickTime VR panorama - the entire format is completely bugged to death. Only Apple could create a proprietary format that cannot be read or created properly by their own custom code. The actual stitching was not particularly time-consuming (albeit very memory intensive) but, after a full day and night's futile haxoring, I've only just given up. No matter what compression settings or rendering method I employ, it seems that I'm completely unable to create a functional QuickTime VR file with a slightly less woeful resolution.

[large spherical-projection JPEG (211 KiB)]
[cubic QuickTime VR panorama (84 KiB)]

we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know

Hitchhike from Cambridge to Morocco

Distance covered: over 2000 km
Time taken: 100 hours
Lifts required: 13
Longest wait: over 7 hours
Shortest wait: 15 minutes
Police encounters: 4

On the 20th March James, Radeel and I set off for Tangier, Morocco from our rooms in college. After thirty minutes with the only people even slowing down being morans abusing us, we got bored and started walking for the motorway. Somehow this posh Downing alumnus driving his decrepit father around picked us up and, with the help of him and a friendly pig, we made it to the M25 for lunch. The rest of the day wasn't very eventful and progress was painfully slow. It got dark and cold really quickly and we were getting pretty damn worried about where we were going to stay overnight before a lovely couple picked us up. They got us chatting about their hitchhiking adventures back in the day and, to our immense gratitude, phoned their kids up to say they were going to be late back as they would drive us all the way to Portsmouth.

We only had to wait a couple of hours for the next ferry to France so stocked up on a delish curry while waiting. The overnight crossing was far from comfortable and when we got out at Caen it was revealed that Radeel had already lost our French road map. However, our spirits were immediately lifted when a British trucker picked us up and promised to take us all the way through to Spain. He was an excellent man named Mick who was able to simultaneously drive in a straight line, boil a pan of water on a camp stove, add milk to his tea and tell us about his eastern European mistress he was visiting on his journey. He also informed us that the only French words it was necessary to learn were "ham-bon", "frow-marge" and "bow-coop der van".

That evening we got drunk and, wisely or not, talked our way into a horse box bound for Burgos currently occupied by six hitchers from Sussex University. As a way of saying goodbye to Mick we secretly photographed ourselves on a camera we found in his cab and promptly passed out amongst the hay. The next morning we were dropped off at a truck stop a few dozen kilometres inside the Spanish border where the Sussex hitchers (including a housemate of David's) eagerly ran off and stole the only lifts available. Seven hours later it was night time, there were still two sets of hitchers waiting in a deserted lorry park and the next truck to arrive wasn't due until six in the morning – by then we were a little sceptical about our horse box driver's promise that this was a really busy part of Spain. I decided to take my life in my hands and risk the wrath of the nearby cops by running into the motorway and desperately trying to flag someone down. Brilliantly, a kindly gentleman stopped for us and, after a few communication difficulties we'd blagged a ride south. Anywhere would have been better than the godforsaken dead-end that is Burgos.

My brilliantly-constructed phasebook cut-and-paste jobby must have contained some syntax errors because instead of leaving us "outside of the city, por favor" the dude drove us right into the centre of Madrid. Despite every piece of hitching advice we'd seen containing the words "DON'T GO INTO ANY BUILT-UP CITY CENTRE AREAS EVER EVER" we were glad to get a decent night's sleep at a nearby aulberge de juvenile and profusely thanked our driver who claimed to be called "Frank". In the morning we shamefully cheated and used public transport because we were fully aware just how painful it would be trying to hitch out of Madrid. Even using the metro turned out to be far from simple, although it was infinitely better than the story we heard of a pair who were stuck in the city for half a week before they gave up and got a train. We found ourselves in Aranjuez where torrential rainfall promptly started and continued for the next four hours. Even when the precipitation ceased we had only moved 40 km all day despite catching three lifts and being busted by the police twice. What's more, the road we were on had been at a standstill all day because everyone was heading south for the Easter celebrations. We knew that if we didn't get out of Spain in a couple of days we'd be stuck there for another week because nothing happens in the country for the entire Easter weekend.

Desperation took over and we got in a white van with some very drunk Spaniards. We had to sit around some dude who was passed out on the back seat and share beers with the guy driving who seemed keener to talk unintelligibly at us than watch the road. To Radeel and James' great relief, they dropped us off fairly soon in the middle of absolutely nowhere. There was zero sign of habitation and no places to stay or hitch from. Just as we set off walking south in the hope of finding a small village where we could spend the night, someone pulled up and offered to take us up the road a little way to a hostel or something. Chatting to our driver, Hassan, it turned out that he was Moroccan and that, as he was going home the next day, he might possibly be able to take us to Algeciras. Woot woot. He spoke French, Spanish and Moroccan Arabic but with none of our group being linguists, communication was strained. Several broken sign-language conversations later, we thought we'd blagged ourselves a ride all the way to our destination. However, it wasn't to be so simple - after several misunderstandings and a lot of confusion about where we would meet, he dropped us off in a dead town and said he was very sorry but that he couldn't take us with him. Our devastated incredulity prompted a garbled explanation something along the line that he was worried that customs would think he had us as hostages. Unable to face the prospect of being so close to getting there, we desperately begged and pleaded with him in our best GCSE French. He couldn't seem to make any sense of us but merely drew a watchface displaying the time as 2 o'clock (morning or afternoon?) before speeding off.

The nearest bar closed at 11pm so we camped out there with tapas and beers until we were chucked out. Then, we waited outside in the cold on a petrol station forecourt until 2am in the hope that he would come to collect us. 2am came and went and it got colder. At quarter to three, just as we were about to give in, James got a phone call from him from which he only managed to decipher the phrase "en route". Almost an hour late, Hassan rolled up in his van piled up with possession as well as his sister and friend. We squeezed in between planks of wood in the back and he paced it through the night all the way to Algeciras. It was ace. He even helped sort our ferry tickets and, once in Morocco, dropped us of at Tangier train station. Here we avoided all the other hitchers milling about and booked a sleeper train to Marrakech.

Once in Marrakech, we booked into a pretty hotel for a few quid a night and spent a couple of days smoking shisha, oversleeping and eating the nicest food in the whole fucking world. Then we caught a bus around the back of the Atlas mountains stopping off at Todra gorge where my companions got ripped off and groped while all I could think about was eating mushrooms. Another two nights were spent being touched up by sweaty men at a hammam in Fès (gorgeous) before we shared a train compartment with a wanking man back to Tangier (less gorgeous). Here we accidentally hitched to a hotel in the medina opposite where William Burroughs stayed whilst writing Naked Lunch and partook of our last few cups of refreshing mint tea before heading back to Málaga for the flight home.

'Sup fags?

Word up, yo. Get ready for something even better than a "I've got a new journal" post.

Everyone who's cool must go and add my new [info]turkeygobbling feed to their flist. Trust: it's the best thing ever. It contains sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll so you better like it. What's more, it's updated at least 100 times more regularly than this journal and includes pretty pictures every now and then.

For more info, feel free to refer to my  .

life is full of possibilities

Yesterday we were accosted by a terrifying drunk on the train back from userinfoSophie's. userinfoDavid and userinfoDean abandoned me at Redhill and he spent the thirty minute journey home continually propositioning me. The two-carriage train was empty except for us and the prospect of having my sphincter reamed by this man's deformed penis was not made any more appetising by his insistence that he shouldn't really be asking me back to his. It was laughs.
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evoking a hazy blend of cheerleader nostalgia

I spent New Year's Eve with my friends at the best party I've ever been to in a squatted office block at 120 Cricklewood Lane, London. It was spread over three floors and included two massive rigs, projections, live bands and performers as well as a truckload of décor. So many people turned up that there were a few hundred still queuing at four in the morning. There was an overwhelmingly positive vibe which I loved so much I spent over twenty hours in there. For the first few hours I chatted to some fantastic people, danced and was unable to score some 2C-B. Then, over the rest of the night, I dropped some mushrooms, a tab of d-lysergic acid diethylamide, 100 mg of caffeine, 120 mg of ephedrine, and 350 mg of methylenedioxymethamphetamine and had the time of my life.

I lost count of the brilliant people I met up with and the friendly strangers I spent time with. I continually failed to get over the sheer beauty of the place and of what we had going. The pigs briefly visited at about seven in the morning, had a quick boogie and then went back home. Thank fuck I didn't notice them because, at that stage, I might have freaked out seeing a friendly policeman dancing next to me. But still: I really can't say anything to help you comprehend what a fantastic time I had. Thank you all who were involved.

2005 has started well.

and our lives are forever changed we will never be the same

2004 AD, Sunday 19th September, 18:43. The Hobgoblin, The High Street, Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom: 51.2812°N, 01.0822°E.

Sos: it's me and userinfoDean and userinfoDavid sat round the murky back of the pub after being moved on (thank fuck) from the gaudy Wetherspoons down the road due to lack of ID (the cunts). It's been a long journey this weekend, too long to even gloss over. But sweet hotdamn has it been fun.

I pick at userinfoDean's paprika crisps in an attempt to retain just enough energy to survive the rest of the afternoon. My cider tastes bad and we're too emotionally/physically/etc. tired to speak. I don't hear the jukebox shuffle up its CDs.

Then, all-suddenly-like, a new tune comes on. The music fills the room. It seems to get a little brighter. This song is oh-so-beautiful and, best of all, it's shared.

userinfoDavid claims that the chorus is too anodyne, injected with the artificial happiness of those rising, shimming, positively glowing strings. I don't care. It was fucking fantastic.

believe, believe in me, believe
in the resolute urgency of now
and if you believe there's not a chance tonight
tonight, so bright
we'll crucify the insincere tonight
we'll make things right, we'll feel it all tonight
we'll find a way to offer up the night tonight
the indescribable moments of your life tonight
the impossible is possible tonight
believe in me as I believe in you, tonight

Thank you Alternate Perception.

do you believe people only live their lives for themselves?

So it was a Saturday evening and userinfoDavid and I summoned userinfoDean, userinfoTD and userinfoKappo to his house where we chilled for a while. After a few hours on several trains, a nice doner kebab and one suicidal man and his dog, we were in Victoria train station and the Collective Futures infolines still weren't up. Bollocks. Nobody seemed to know what was going on (though Bill did mention somewhere) so we counted our losses and, since the tube had long since closed, hopped on a bus to some marshes for the OCB party.

An hour passed and we were still stuck on a packed bus somewhere around King's Cross. We were all terribly knackered by the time we reached our destination and had found our bearings, but set off toward the party regardless. I was still pretty pissed off at missing out on Collective Futures and, to make things worse, no-one was particularly psyched up for an outdoor party because it was so damn cold.

After narrowly avoiding getting horribly lost and what seemed like a three mile walk, we could just make out a thumping doof doof doof in the distance and spotted lights flashing through the trees. I love that feeling just before you turn the last corner of a track and make it to the party in a magical clearing – our spirits were instantly lifted because, after all, it wasn't raining and hey, I adore outdoor parties. It was a tiny party and we never found any other rigs out there, but it was fluffy and fun and we talked to loads of people there. userinfoDean popped his first pill which he seemed to love and even the apathy of userinfoTD and userinfoKappo were overcome by lovely vibes and a stunning sunrise that lost nothing to the waterworks, jetliners and pylons silhouetted against it. I wasn't quite in the mood to trip but dropped some really old phil stos anyway. They didn't work.

The music wasn't really what I'm used to and could have been a bit darker, but it was great to dance to all night and David was particularly impressed by the vinyl mixing. In the morning, I finally found out where the Collective Futures party was and, as it was becoming fucking freezing, we headed off to the tube station which opened at seven.

It took as another bloody hour to get to there and, although we lost userinfoKappo and userinfoTD to sleep on the way, boy was it worth it. A smartly dressed but nice man accosted us somewhere in the West End to ask where we'd been to which was only stopped at eight. userinfoDean starting talking to him and it turned out that he'd been using MDMA for about three years and had just come out of a club himself. They chatted about their experiences and outdoor parties for a bit but he couldn't be persuaded to join us and set off home. At the tube station, there were about two dozen people coming back from the party waxing lyrical about it. To be honest, we weren't expecting it to be still going all that strongly but we shared a taxi with a friendly Turkish guy who just about got us there. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough room for the other hott guy we met and he was made to walk by the bastardly driver, but I made it up to him later with his first ever balloon of nitrous.

Upon begging and borrowing for the cash to get in, we cursed everything under the sun that conspired to mean we didn't spend the previous evening at this party. It was awe-inspiring, utterly overwhelming – just the most amazing thing I've experienced. This one was bigger, better, longer, louder, and far friendlier and magical than all the parties I'd been to previously combined. We wandered around the plethora of fantastic rooms just trying to absorb the vibes and soak it all in. Seriously, it just felt so wonderful – I cried with joy when we stepped into the Goa Chillout room and the DJ dropped Massive Attack's Teardrop.

We explored, met people, chatted, watched and handed out fliers for a few hours because we were too knackered to dance. A mindblowing band were sonically assaulting one room, documentaries were being shown in a squash court while opposite some experimental music and spontaneous art creation was taking place. There was a massage room, two full-on rigs, a kids' area full of sleeping toddlers, a "green" room, stalls, food, sculptures, a swimming pool and stalls.

After we had learned our way round, a mission to the town was undertaken. This took far longer than it ought to and every person we met stared at us ravers in disbelief, wondering to themselves who all these strange people were who'd invaded their peaceful suburb. After half an hour of sleep on the sunsoaked grass that was only interrupted by the choppers that kept buzzing us (nice try, piggies) I got up, scored acid for my stash and found someone to crack open my box of nitrous cartridges.

I don't know where I got the energy from (too many bottles of generic Red Bull clones) but I danced so fucking hard that afternoon. For about five hours I stomped with the best bunch of peeps I could have hoped for – god knows how that floor didn't collapse. After each and every hit of sweet gas my frenzy grew. The sound was crystal clear and having come from an 8K rig at OCB, it really blew me away. We grudgingly had to leave at six pm, but the party was starting to wind down everywhere but the main soundsystem by then. I'll truly remember this party forever – it made the end to my best ever summer that much better. So much thought and effort must have gone into making this party so damn beautiful. I really want to highlight just how special an experience this was. I always heap encomia on party organisers but these guys were something special – the cleanup was amazing and the place was left tidier than they found it. Thanks to all the kids who smiled at us, supplied fruit or handed out free mushies and made this the most perfect party – I loved it all.

I didn't ingest any psychoactive substances and never expected to enjoy myself so much.

suck, suck your teenage thumb toilet trained and dumb when the power runs out we'll just hum

I went to my friends' gig in Croydon. It was a massive laugh and, somehow – I have no clue what happened – I ended up almost boning soda_dreamer_. I swear I didn't consciously think about it at all; it just occurred and there we were listening to some of my favouritest songs of all time. Afterward I was forced to listen to The Curry's The Perfect Girl all day only vaguely swamped in irony. For some reason, she was the first girl to have made me emo (albeit briefly) in what seems like years.

Oh how I've missed alquihole...
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