Avatar Dear John

Good morning to you wherever you currently are in the world.

It is a shame when things have to move on. Times change for all of us and I don’t know about you but I always struggle to cope in some way, shape or form. You have been the presenter of Newsround, the presenter of Countryfile, you’re a household name and you never once seem to have given in to the excesses of wealth and fame. That is a shame because everyone needs to let off steam every now and then. Have you never felt as though you had more to give the world, like there was a career waiting in the shadows for you to do something about it?

Have you ever given any thought to a career in rap music?

I believe that you have the raw talent to succeed as Britain’s newest / oldest rapper. You may not have had any experience whatsoever which is fine. Did you ever seen that episode of Louis Theroux where he went to America and tried his hand at rapping? Anyone can do it. I put my hand firmly in the air to be your second in command, your “hype man” as they call it. What this means is what I will start every song by telling everyone how great you are at what you do, setting the stage for what rhymes you start spitting. I reckon that you have a viewpoint which is unique in the world of rap. We can rap about whatever you want: countries, files, antiques, rounds, news, ravens, whatever you like.

I’ve even been thinking about names and even though it could be a cartoon character desperate for a cigarette, how about Craver Crave? Or even Kraver Krave if you really want to knock it out of the park? I will be MC I because everything is a play on words, and it’s kind of like my name but not. It doesn’t have to make sense, nothing makes sense anymore when your’re in a world of giant clocks, money and lurid sex.

If it would help, because I know that you are a happily married man, I can take all the excess that you’d rather not deal with (mainly the groupies, I suppose) and put it in a box away from you. This means you can focus on the important part; the words. I bet you know all the words, I do mean ALL the words, and you’re going to hammer them down like concrete hailstones. This is going to be the best thing you ever did and it would be a supreme honour if you let me help you achieve your goals.

If you are happy to jump right into this I shall include a stamp addressed envelope with this letter so you can write back straight away. You may be a little nervous about this, you may have doubts about your rapping prowess but trust me, you were born for this. You are ready for this. We are ready for this. Now, more than ever, the world needs heroes to shoulder the burdens the others are not prepared for. You’re a good man, John Craven, and I know you’ll make the right decision.

Avatar Birthdingtons lunch

Today I became 36.

Today I had the day off work, and we actually went out! We went out for lunch, do you remember that? I barely do. Being able to go out for lunch.

Well we had to drive all the way to Harrogate to do it because we fancied going to Wagamamas and that was the nearest one that was open, but it was almost, almost, like the before-times.

That, and all the waitresses were dressed as surgeons, and there were screens on the tables, but it was almost like the before-times.

Oh, and you had to pay by using your phone via a website because despite bringing us drinks and food for an hour or so, holding the card machine for us to beep would be just too risky, but it was kind of like the before-times.

Aaaand they only had a limited menu, because… reasons, but it was a bit like the before-times.

OK so it was nothing like the before times, but we had a child free lunch out in a nice restaurant with nice food and the weather was nice.

Today I had a nice day.

Avatar Bowl

I’ve never done anything very interesting while I’m asleep, beyond rolling around a bit, occasional light snoring and a bit of sweating. Until Monday night, that is, when I did the nearest thing I’ve ever done to sleepwalking.

I was having a very vivid dream, you see, that took place in the bedroom. Over on the other side of the bed, Some food had spilled onto the floor – I think it was a large amount of sausages, but very very thin sausages, almost like noodles. Anyway, there was a ton of it and if I didn’t get it off the floor soon I wouldn’t be able to eat it because it would be covered in carpet filth.

So I rushed out of the bedroom, in my dream, and headed to the kitchen so I could get something to hold all the slender sausages. The first drawer I opened had all the plates in it, and they were no use, so I closed that one and opened the next drawer where all the bowls were.

I picked up a big bowl and headed back to the bedroom in a hurry.

It was only when I was opening the bedroom door, bowl in hand, that I realised what I was doing, and that there were no sausages on the floor, because that had been a dream. It was 3am and I was now awake, carrying a bowl to the bedroom.

I did the only thing that seemed sensible, which was to put it down by the side of the bed and go back to sleep.

Avatar Old news

It’s hard to know what to say, these days, when you talk to people, because nobody has any news. What do you talk about when nobody has anything to talk about? How do you fill a blog post when you haven’t done anything worth remembering?

Luckily for me, I am now quite old, so what I’ve decided to do is go back and see what past Chris was doing on this day years ago.

Read More: Old news »

Avatar Newsboostnight

Newsboost is going to be 11 years old this year. I watched it again recently and I’m still pretty pleased with it now, but back when we made it, it’s fair to say it was the crowning achievement of my life.

Obviously we wanted to do another one, and for a while there was a short-lived plan to follow up the news bulletin Newsboost with a late night current affairs programme called Newsboostnight.

It was going to be a special programme looking in depth at a scandal surrounding The Papples. This was when the only Papples album was “Masterpiece”, and we’d realised that all the songs on that album basically had the same tune.

Since there’s nothing in my life at the moment, and I have nothing much to write about, I thought I’d post the three pages of script that were written for Newsboostnight so you can enjoy them.

Read More: Newsboostnight »

Avatar Pointless Purchase of the Month

You know what? It’s been far too long since I’ve annoyed everyone with my huge stack of tat and as it is overdue, and I still have a quota to make up, let’s take a look at what I have been throwing my money away on. Take a gander at this juicy goosey:

In the top left-hand corner we have the original gameboy classic ‘The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening’. I didn’t buy purchase this recently, this is merely to amplify the ridiculousness of it all. I bought this in 1994/5, I opened it, played it and loved it like one man can love some plastic on a tiny grey and green screen.

The one next to it with the nifty black cover is the deluxe edition released some years later. I acquired one of these because I needed it to help finish my collection. It’s pretty much the same game but with some extra bits thrown in and parts of it in (very limited) colour. I haven’t played this one yet. I should also mention that I have a digital copy of the game downloaded to one of my 3DS consoles, which I have played through.

In the same month I bought the deluxe edition I also bought the two below it, which are the remastered, re-imagined, re-done whatever you will for the Nintendo Switch. It is exactly the same game albeit with fancy graphics and souped up music. I finished it in under five hours because I have the game committed to memory. So you can really feel the punch I bought the standard edition and the limited edition version, the latter of which I haven’t opened yet and probably won’t do. You know, because that’s me through and through. I bought them on the date they were released at full price.

So now I own (including the digital one) five copies of the same game, one of which may stay in its house forever and one which I won’t bother using because I have it downloaded ready to play whenever I want.

Oh and look, I got a free cleaning cloth for buying the limited edition boxed copy. That was well worth the money. I’m also keeping the cleaning cloth sealed.

Avatar An Apology of Sorts

Dear Everyone,

(And when I say “everyone” I mainly mean Chris.)

I have let you all down. Look at me and feel disappointed right down to your very core. For the last eleven months I have managed to crack out a steady rate of four posts per month in line with the rules decided by the Beans Board. I am not permitted to go past four posts for fear of what may come forth from my subconscious; we all remember that December where I posted something new every day and almost lost my mind in the process. That can never happen again.

At the end of October I was three posts in with only one left to go. I was on the verge of slipping one in on the last day to earn that mighty, mighty bean and keep the count going. In fact it started a few days prior, I watched the calendar move from 29th to 30th October and then the last day was on the horizon. Each evening I was poised to finish what I had started and for some reason I couldn’t. It wasn’t as though I was stuck for ideas; I have several brewing for this month, not great ones but enough to reach the quota. In the words of that Papples album title that never was, “Ticking the Boxes”. So why not?

It was two reasons. The first is simple: I was tired, I was still getting rid of my sinusitis and I couldn’t find the energy to do anything let alone type words and stare at a screen. My face stung like a blunt wasp’s nail file (it’s fine now). The second is also simple: I was struck by the quality of Chris’ posts that I didn’t believe I could come up with anything that was as good. After laughing for several days upon seeing my book covers not stacked in a pile, ready to be thrown on the bonfire, but displayed for the world to see my brain took a leap and gave up. It decided that three was enough for this month and the streak was over.

The time for giving up is over though. I am back on the horse and ready to take flight yet again. I am honking all the geese at the same crossroads. It’s going to be nothing BUT quality from hereon in. November and December are going to be BELTERS.

Before that though I am going to have to be punished for my transgressions. It is only fair for letting everyone (?) down. I am going to ask Kevin to administer this for my failure to do my job properly.

All the fun of the fair

Ian McIver