Hello! You may remember me from about a decade ago when I last posted something on here, I’m Matt, Lord of Beestonia, I’ll explain my absence, but first a massive reminder about
It’s a HUGE event at The Uni, open to all. It’ll be showcasing the best of the Uni to the public. It’s totally free, full of incredible stuff showing what goes on in those sheds on that park to east of us do, and if you take a child it’s virtually guaranteed that they’ll become a world-renowned academic with a brace of Noble Prizes and STILL retain a Beeston accent. Visit. It’s like a brainy Alton Towers without queues. And not shit.
It’s been a hectic few weeks, thus my lack of getting round to post anything up here. I hope you didn’t mind: after all, I did leave up on the front page a very well written piece by a proper journo, rather than the usual guff written by a bloke who was kicked out of journalism school 21 years ago for bankrupting the college cafe (it’s a long story, saved for future autobiography).
Most effort has been thrown into turning The Beestonian from its four-page format into an eight-page octogreat. I’d just got comfy with filling two sheets of A3 a month, so, in the terrible nature of one who fears comfy for no discernible reason other than a diagnosis of ADHD, doubled the task and moved up to eight pages. This took some metal. Some steel. Some staples.
However, we did it. We being myself, the utterly resourceful, lyrical and determined wonder that is my new assistant ed, Tamar. I’d bang on for a paragraph about how great she is, but she called me a ‘bell-end’ on Facebook earlier so must serve imposed penance. Prof J, the inspiration behind the whole thing (he suggested making this blog flesh over a meal of brown ale and squeaky cheese) has also proved invaluable, even to the extent of making regular trips to Australia to meet with a town magazine that we’re going to be twinning with (he even went to got engaged to one of the locals there, in some sort of Medieval patronage thing). And our writers: Jimmy Wiggins, Nora, James Brown et al…I always knew Beeston was stuffed with talent, but I never realise they’d one day be letting me send them passive aggressive emails about deadlines.
Right. That’s the stuff I have to write on-line every issue in lieu of actually paying them for their dedication.
But OH MY GOD WHAT AN ISSUE. If you’ve already seen it you’ll understand my excessive hyperbole in the preceding sentence: simply, I’ve never been prouder of anything I’ve ever published or been published in as Issue 8 of The Beestonian. I decided to theme it, and chose ‘Pubs’ as the subject. I’m so happy I did. How else can you claim sloping round Beeston’s finest boozers with Beeston’s finest booze-hounds is work and not feel an utter liar? By Inn-crawling in the name of journalism, that’s how. The resultant centre-spread is still a work of art that will resonate down the ages and provide a handy template for your children to cut down to one kidney within weeks of impersonation.
Not picked one up? Well, first accept my mortified face: how could you not visit our distributors, The Bean, Belle and Jerome, The Crown Inn, The Greyhound, Beeston library, Metro, Cafe Nero, The Treasury (now double in size, and an incredibly beautiful interior-have a gander), The Flying Goose, various taxi offices and, of course, The Guitar Spot, home of Beeston’s own Stratocaster and Son, Derek and Jimmy Wiggins : more later.Well, you really should go visit the joints we stick our esteemed organ in, but if you really can’t, then canter over to this ‘ere website and voilà, it’s there in all it’s glory. As are all our back issues. For free. Do we love you? Possibly too much.
To summarise: Issue 8 is of such wonder I did spend several wistful days considering becoming bethrothed to it; yet knew in my heart-of-hearts that I’d only have a lovely honeymoon period before legging it off with Issue 9 mere moments after it drops off the presses.
Go find one. Tell wherever you pick it up we sent you. One day it’ll be worth something. Y’know, after the future collapse of civilisation triggered by Osbourne’s austerity project that will throw us back to Neolithic times and anything that helps light a fire to cook stray dog gruel over is welcome. See? Might be busy, but still churning the considered, analytical political commentary.
I was lucky enough to eschew my normal post-work habit of Simpsons/ cooking while Lady Beestonia watches Hollyoaks this Tuesday with a sojourn down Rylands Hindu Temple for a pooja , a Hindu ceremony that is, even to a heathen like myself, a brilliantly interesting spectacle. With the chanting, the bells, the hypnotic background music, a riot of colour, priests pouring coconut water and mango juice over beautifully carved gods and incense burning, burnishing all in a sandalwood brilliance…it’s a sensory joyride. You’re welcome, as well. In fact, on the 26th of May, the final opening ceremony will take place. I urge you to come along. Your mind will be at first opened, then blown.
A great tour by one of the brainchild of the Temple, the exquisitely sari-ed Sharmini. She points out the various Deities, and their significance. Ganesha is by the door: he forces all through, therefore is the perfect bouncer: you’re straight in, no messing. Further down is a representation of Shiva, or Lingum, which is the representation of masculinity. How does the temple represent this? Well, Sharmini sees that I’m, errr, equally shocked and impressed by the huge sculpted ebony protrusion towering flagrantly in front of me and says ‘We Hindus don’t do anything by half’.
There’s free, utterly scrumptious vegetarian food and sweets to savour afterwards. If that hasn’t convinced you enough, it’s possibly time to try Prozac.
I will be writing less than usual here in future; as well as running the mag I’ve also signed up to run the marketing/promotion for this years Oxjam; am working on getting a new website together, am moving house in a month AND by some tweak of fortune have been employed on a full-time, permanent role in a job I actually really enjoy; I get to talk all day. Ideal.
This is an open space, remember. Want to fill it? Send me submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org , everything and anything considered.
In the fine tradition of variety entertainment, I shall leave you with a song. The aforementioned Jimmy Wiggins, of one of Beeston’s finest independent stores, The Guitar Spot, recently stuck on his blog a Blues lyric which needs a wider audience. I’m still a committed neutral on the tram, on the grounds that once one expresses an opinion it’s like running into no man’s land in 1917, shouting ‘British banger-fans! Teutonic sausage-grubbers! Do your wurst!’. So over to Derek, and a lyric that I challenge you to stick a riff behind, vocalise, and stick on YouTube:
SO COME ON CATS, JUST KEEP ON BUYING’