Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Bright Eyes: A Bushy Tale

Just wanted to say thanks to the friends who pointed out that I made it to number 35 in the “Most Annoying People Of The Year” ,on BBC TV3 last night:


- beating Heather Mills who only managed number 36. If it’s any help, we froze most of the rabbit meat from the rabbit cull on my “vast” country estate and are donating it to charity, and the fur coats we made were sent to Oxfam. Actually we only shot 5 of the little buggers, the other rabbits took the hint and f****d off round to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s place on the real Watership Down, near Newbury, 20 miles to the West of here. I’m sure they’d rather be shot by the man who owns Watership Down than the man who wrote “Bright Eyes”.

The TV people actually invite you on the programme to talk about what an annoying git you are, but you’ll have noticed I was not present in the flesh, having refused to partake, forcing them to use “younger”, better-looking footage of me. (I was even better looking when I was younger; I know it’s hard to believe).

Anyway. Happy New Year.

What a laugh. Pass the 12 bore and the vodka, and some ammo. And some ice. That’s it, I think.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Get Yourself a wife who can mend things.

Christmas isn’t always Christmassy but this year is, at our house because for the first time my 4 kids and two grand daughters are all here. My elder daughters are the mums of the two toddler-girls. If you think I am not old enough to have grandchildren, you are right. I was a child bride when I married for the first time, - and a cradle-snatcher the second time.

So we get up in good time to put the turkey in the Aga, only to discover it has conked out for the first time in 13 years we’ve been at this house. What a bastard.

Julianne, my pulchritudinous next of kin, spent half an hour lying on the kitchen floor with a screwdriver. After she’d finished her cocktail, she set about trying to mend the Aga. I’m not really into technical stuff like hanging pictures and mending Agas, so Jules is the one with a tool kit of her own and a certain Aussie “three wheels on my wagon/never say die, make my bloody day” attitude, useful for times such as these. Luckily we also have an electric oven. Our butcher does four sizes of Turkey: Pathetic, Normal, Huge and Fuck Off. We had a Fuck Off one, so it was going to take 4 hours, and the Aga had thrown a tantrum. Luckily, after a short prayer service in the kitchen and all of us holding hands and thinking lovely thoughts, the pilot light popped on, and the turkey was doomed.

If you’re not married yet, don’t marry one of those pooffy little wives that can’t mend washing machines without calling a bloke and who keep squirting perfume on themselves. Get one like mine, she smells nice without perfume (saving a fortune) can come in from shopping and change into a ball gown and full make-up in five minutes, AND knows how to set the burglar alarm or jump-start the car with those funny red and black wires, which I don’t.

Anyway, so she’s got dinner (lunch) for ten on the table, hot, with everything perfect and all I’ve got to do is carve Horace. I thought I’d give it a name this year. One of my two four-year-old grand daughters throws a fit because the other one has pulled her cracker first, - and is now howling and screaming the place down. She is banished upstairs, by her mum. We’re all trying to ignore it, and ultimately it’s Grandpa Mike who goes upstairs to calm the furrowed brow and coax the unfairly pre-crackered child down to the lunch table.

Now I’m on piano duty. The little kids have both got fairy outfits on (good job they are both girls) and are grand-jete-ing around the front room as I play selections from Coppelia (which they don’t know) and Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (which they do). Next year, they are getting tool kits.

Have a great Christmas, you guys. Don’t grumble unless you really deserve to. I’m off to escalate myself to the next level of alcohol poisoning ready for this evening. My son –in-law, Peder and some of the rest of the family enjoy a bit of a jam, so I bet the ukeleles will be coming out.

Don’t forget, - Christmas is when you have to be nicer to each other than usual, so if you feel like kneeing someone in the bollocks, do it with a smile and buy them a drink afterwards.


Postman Batt

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mozzyman's Restaurant


Places To Eat in Southern Italy – for gourmet Mosquitos


It could be a scene set in any new restaurant. Anton Mozzy, proprieor of Mozzyman’s the smart new place for Mosquitos to visit in Positano, Southern Italy, patiently takes another order as the place fills up to heaving point. Mozzyman has chosen as his location - Mike Batt’s body, asleep at Villa Maura on a hot August night. And it’s a happening place. The clientele includes bog standard Mosquitos, flies and more importantly in terms of cutting edge (and we mean cutting edge in a flesh-tearing way) - some of the top movers and groovers from the new strain of Tiger mosquitos now prevalent on the Italian Riviera.

“I’m afraid we have only two servings of Mike Batt’s left knee, there’s been a run on it” says Anton, to a frustrated group of the Tiger Mosquito in-crowd, - “ but the ear lobe, lightly marinated in sun-tan oil is very popular and full of vitamins. A warm bum cheek salad with mixed leaves complements it very well”

Here's a blog from KATIE

Hi all,

This one is a PIGGYBACK BLOG, - I'm just passing on Katie Melus's latest note that she sent me today and which is now going up on her own site (http://www.katiemelua.com)

'Ere it is..




Hi Everyone,

I'm such a poor 21st century candidate, I haven't done a blog a tweet or even taken a picture of my pet dog for anyone that might be interested. Please accept my apologies. I know I need to catch up on a few things. First of all thank you for all my birthday cards and wishes back in September. I received and read them all and I was so touched by the effort and time you put into them.

Since September, things have been pretty crazy leading up to the studio time and it's now been two weeks since we started recording. Iit’s been suggested that to take small bites of pictures while we're in the studio- (as William does) - as a way of staying in touch. I think I'll try it. Otherwise it's so easy to go underground and stay hidden in the recordings. For some reason the studio we're in and the way the control room and the live room are set out really remind me of the Star Trek Enterprise Star ships. I keep picturing us flying through space and time!

I don't want to talk too much about the album as you'll hear it soon enough but one thing I'm working on at the moment is a song which has so many words but no breathing space and I am totally adamant not to cheat with protools so just now I've been practicing getting my lung capacity to be bigger and get through a whole verse with just one breath. I'm not too far, there are ten lines and I can do seven so far. I'll let you know how I manage!

Ironically I had a small incident with air supply last Saturday. Mike (@Mike_Batt) tweeted about me nearly drowning. I told him about my little "episode" the other day in the studio cafe, when he came to visit and see how it was all going. The incident was all my own fault. What kind of nutter goes scuba diving in December in a lake near Heathrow airport? I did! You see, I'm really keen to get my drysuit diving qualification done. For those of you who don’t know about diving, - people usually dive with a wet suit, which is just like skin. It keeps you warm but you get wet. With a dry suit you stay totally dry, and they're usuful in extreme cold waters. I want to quilify as a drysuit diver so I can fulfil my longtime wish of diving in the Arctic or Antarctic circle and see penguins, whales and ice!

So there I was last weekend shlugging my airtank, BCD and the heaviest rubber suit you've ever seen! One thing I forgot to mention is that your neck is where the drysuit ends so it has to be super tight round you neck. My neck was so small they had to add a rubber band round the opening to make it extra tight! Getting to the water was both extatic because the gear becomes much lighter, - and horrifiyng cause the water is 7 degrees. We swam out to the middle of the lake and when we first descended I was shocked by the icy water hitting my head; it felt like the North Pole in my brain. We reached the bottom which was luckily only 15 meters down.

Once there, we were practicing standard procedure, taking out the regulator from your mouth (your air supply) and replacing it. I don't know what happened, I think I was stressed by the cold, the tight rubber ring round my throat plus the visibility was very poor - the water was pitch black - so I wasn't concentrating. When I tried to replace my regulator I didn't do it properly, so I breathed in and choked on a lungful of water. I tried to stay calm and clear the regulator but I kept choking on water. Because of the pressure, the force and speed at which the water invaded my mouth was such a shock. I did start to panic, especially as you can't go to the surface because of the bends. It was the first time (out of 40 or so dives that I've done) that I had to pull the "out of air" hand signal. Luckily my teacher was right there helping me through my sorry state of horror. She replaced the regulator in my mouth and I managed to summon up the strength to breathe out any tiny bubbles of air to clear the water out of the regulator, and when I next inhaled I finally had some air! Looking back at it now I was such an idiot! There's a button on the regulator that clears the water and it's probably what my teacher used to help me, as well as having it properly in my mouth. I really hope this hasn't put anyone off diving, it's still one of my favourite things in the world to do and I’d recommend it to anyone.

Hope you are well, wherever you are. I’ll try to get some pics and more frequent blogs going from now on!

The new album is scheduled for next May, so we have a busy time ahead.

All the best,