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Smokin’ and Chokin’: Eighteen Days in Europe


Smokin’
London pubs
Chokin’
London pubs

Smokin’
The Arctic Monkeys album
Chokin’
The Arctic Monkeys album cover

Whatever People Say I Am, That\'s What I\'m Not
Smokin’
Record buyers who put teenage working class poetry back on top of the charts
Chokin’
Cynics who can’t believe you can be 19, working class, and a poet

Smokin’
Talking of teenage working class poetry, All Mod Cons gets the special reissue treatment
Chokin’
Snap gets the cash-in treatment

Smokin’
A memoir by David Lines called My Life With Paul Weller
Chokin’
A biography on The Jam by Dennis Munday

Smokin’
So many books on The Jam
Chokin’
I haven’t written mine. Yet.

Smokin’
The cover story on All Mod Cons in the new Uncut reminds me of my introduction to the music business
Chokin’
Did Paul really once look that young?

All Mod Cons

Smokin’
Sitting in the directors box at Crystal Palace
Chokin’
The lack of atmosphere compared to the Holmsdale

Smokin’
The free half-time buffet in the Director’s Lounge
Chokin’
Sharing it with Sven Goran Eriksson

Smokin’
Steve Coppell is back at Selhurst Park
Chokin’
With the visiting team, who are top of the league

Smokin’
I finally get to watch Celebrity Big Brother
Chokin’
It’s utter and total crap

Smokin’
Ditto Little Britain
Chokin’
Ditto

Smokin’
British real ale
Chokin’
I’ve gone off the taste of it

Smokin’
Good wine stores in England
Chokin’
Only had time to step inside the one.

Smokin’
Running on the Westwood in Beverley
Chokin’
Running past a tree where two 19-year old lovers recently died in a car crash, seeing all the freshly laid flowers from the previous day’s funeral, and remembering how precarious is our daily existence

Smokin’
Tea Tree Bay in Beverley: Animal, Fenchurch and Bench, along with the requisite US/Aussie surf and skate clothes
Chokin’
Not enough time and money to buy the shop

Smokin’
My Beverley-born mate Pascal Wyse has a music column in The Guardian
Chokin’
He calls it Jamming

Smokin’
Beverley has 500-year old pubs
Chokin’
I didn’t have a pint there

The Monks Walk, Nellys, The Sun and about 200 other pubs all had to do without my custom this January. No douby they’lll survive.

Smokin’
iJamming! Pub nights out
Chokin’
The pubs we hold them in

Smokin’
Good wine in English pubs
Chokin’
The price of it

Smokin’
Good food in English pubs
Chokin’
The price of it

Smokin’
Attractive foreign bartenders at Horse in Lambeth North
Chokin’
Because they don’t speak English, a request for a white Muscadet results in a red Côtes du Rhône

Smokin’
Seeing so many old friends after so long
Chokin’
Not for long enough

Smokin’
All night sessions in recording studios
Chokin’
Bands that chain-smoke in them

Smokin’
The modern-day Brill Building that is the Fortress
Chokin’
Some bands live there. That is, they live in their rehearsal rooms.

Smokin’
The Elephant and Castle is being torn down
Chokin’
But not yet

Smokin’
Free CDs with monthly magazines
Chokin’
Free monthly magazines with your CD

Smokin’
Running, like Jeni suggested, past Tower Bridge and out to the new London skyline around Docklands
Chokin’
I didn’t bring the camera

Smokin’
The bottle of 1982 Pol Roger Extra Brut that was still drinkable after almost 20 years in my hosts’ cupboard
Chokin’
It would still have been better ten years ago

Smokin’
Bringin a bottle of Ridge Lytton Springs – a proper bottle of American wine – as a gift for my hosts
Chokin’
They don’t drink wine

Smokin’
They open it late on a Tuesday night, when one glass will certainly suffice
Chokin’
Only then do I find out that they don’t drink wine

Smokin’
Camden Town by day: a tourist’s picture postcard of a colorful rag-trade London
Chokin’
Petty drug dealers on every corner – and a gang murder by the tube station the day after I visit

Smokin’
Most of my friends have kids
Chokin’
Half of them no longer live with the other parent of their kids

Smokin’
Sunny January days on the English south coast
Chokin’
…That pass too quick

“Only one thing ruins this view,” says my mate Pagey. “What’s that?” I reply. “France?”

Smokin’
Friends having me round for dinner
Chokin’
We’re all too busy raising families to stay up all night

Smokin’
My best mate is not too busy raising a family to stay up all night
Chokin’
He just invites his kids to stay up all night with him

Smokin’
Singing karaoke in Bexhill
Chokin’
Choosing ‘Come On Eileen’

Smokin’
British trains: every single one of them on this trip ran on time – including all three that got me from Bexhill to Herne Hill on a Sunday evening
Chokin’
The London Underground: A crap shoot even at the best of times

Smokin’
The Eurostar to Paris
Chokin’
That anyone would still fly there

Smokin’
A hotel room near the Eiffel Tower
Chokin’
Haven’t been up it since I was 8

Smokin’
Getting taken out for a lovely dinner in Paris by the Seine
Chokin’
The French idea of a vegetarian entrée

Smokin’
The Parisian creperie stall holder who practiced his English on me
Chokin’
He preferred it to me practicing my French on him

Smokin’
No-smoking hotel rooms
Chokin’
The French obviously smoke in them anyway

Smokin’
Going to Berlin
Chokin’
Getting up at 6.30am French time (5:30 English time) to do so

Bonjour Paris. Auf wiedersehn Berlin.

Smokin’
The newly mature me is checked in exactly one hour before my Paris-Berlin flight
Chokin’
The flight is delayed almost two hours due to fog

Smokin’
Berlin is still a great city
Chokin’
I never got there when it was REALLY a great city

Smokin’
Berlin prices
Chokin’
It costs money to get there

Smokin’
Making instant new friends in Berlin through the internet in New York
Chokin’
The smoke at White Trash: the Brits don’t have a lock on lung cancer

Smokin’
Berlin is a great city to walk around in
Chokin’
But not when the winter wind is blowing straight in from Moscow

Smokin’
Stumbling on a nice little wine bar, Lilli Divine, in the heart of Berlin
Chokin’
The only other customer in there is chain smoking

Smokin’
Thinking that the wine bar’s price per bottle is an acceptable price per glass
Chokin’
The wine I’m served is crap anyway

Smokin’
The wine bar owner plays New Order, PiL and ESG off his iTunes while I’m there
Chokin’
I don’t have anyone to hang out with and share a bottle for the evening.

Smokin’
The ArtOtel on Wallstrasse: 79Euros gets a room twice the size and twice the cool as any of Ian Schrager’s poncy New York fashion-conscious pads
Chokin’
In-room porn not included in the price

Smokin’
Berlin traffic, what little there is of it
Chokin’
Paris traffic, far too much of it

Smokin’
Seeing Corin from Zeitgeist in Berlin, after 20+ years
Chokin’
It’s 3am before we know it and I have to be up at 8.

Smokin’
The Euro currency
Chokin’
The Brits still resist

Smokin’
Brits cutting back on cheap air travel to reduce carbon emissions
Chokin’
British-based oil giants Shell announces an all-time record profit for a British company: approximately $1.5 million an hour last year

Smokin’
Football on the telly all the time
Chokin’
Players who think having their salary doubled to £28,000 a week is grounds for a transfer request

Smokin’
London Traffic – ever since the congestion charge it’s been moving freely
Chokin’
London Traffic – the Jam song is now less a protest than a vision

Smokin’
Managing to avoid benders in London: too much work on
Chokin’
Having to avoid benders in London: too much work on

Smokin’
The Specials are reforming
Chokin’
Simon Jordan will surely take the credit

Location for the likely Specials reunion?

Smokin’
London Taxis: were they always this easy to catch?
Chokin’
The cost of ‘em. No wonder I never used to catch ‘em.

Smokin’
London Taxi Drivers: Some stereotypes just never change
Chokin’
I even ‘ad one in the front of me cab ‘oo got straight onto ‘ow “‘anging’s the solution.’”

Smokin’
The bulk of the modern British newspaper
Chokin’
There’s so much copy in there some of it’s bound to be crap

Smokin’
Ditto the British music press
Chokin’
Ditto

Smokin’
Excellent meals at Furnace and Home in Hoxton, the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, Wagamamma in Camden, Quai Ouest in Paris and that nice little luncheonette in Berlin
Chokin’
Eating out costs money, you know

Believe it or not, this vista houses one of the better new restaurants in Britain

Smokin’
The British are all ski fiends; I don’t feel so alien talking about my addiction any more
Chokin’
Missing two weekends of my ski course at home

Smokin’
The cost of Skype calls back to America
Chokin’
The cost of mobile-to-mobile calls across London

Smokin’
Texting: keeps those mobile-to-mobile charges down
Chokin’
Text dating: what’s wrong with a phone call now and then?

Smokin’
Hosts putting you up – and putting up with you – for two weeks
Chokin’
Waking up your hosts with loud late-night phone calls back to America

Smokin’
Getting regular pictures of the kids sent over by e-mail
Chokin’
Not being with them in person

Smokin’
My mum’s gone on holiday somewhere warm this winter
Chokin’
…To Jordan in the midst of Muslim anti-Western hysteria

Smokin’
The Gatwick Express – a 30 minute journey from Victoria, every 15 minutes
Chokin’
The day I use it, they announce they’re going to cut back the service.

Smokin’
The array of duty-free shops at Gatwick
Chokin’
Who ever has the time to shop in them?

Smokin’
The British Smoking Ban in Pubs
Chokin’
It’s not enacted yet

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