Zsoltoner of Leek

His fluffy beard and silky voice, they really got me thinkin’


That he’s the rarest fairest fellow, it’s Mandy “Montoya” Patinkin

There’s a guy who’s good at his job. He is thing-improver. Add liberally and watch something unsuck.

This has been a major getting back into the old schedule kind of week. Except the old routine no linger fits due to my rapid accrual of girth.In Canada I had a different routine.

A poutine routine.

Having been away from home for Christmas I missed one among many Boyle Christmas traditions. After the final morcel of Christmas dinner has be shovelled into our gaping gullets, my grandfather glances around the table and declares: “That’s it for another year now lads. Fucking austerity-drive.” Though intended to kill the jollity of the table (and increase his own) these sage words are now keeping me to my noble cause of having deeply boring lunches.

I’m back stomping around the quiet roads of Surrey for exercise, altering my paces so if an urban fox leps out from behind a copse or boring conversation or similar feature of English life, I’ll be able to boot him in his prick foxy face without significantly altering my stride. On a single hour long run I might see as many as 5 or so of the feckers. It’s weird. I initially thought it might be to do with my chosen profession. If you don’t get that joke… you probably don’t know where I work.


Gwen Stefani is well aware what my job is.

My main bit of news out of the week is that I have, after 312 attempts passed my driving test. I am a drivist, as I believe is the technical term. Though I had been told I was making a swervy rod for my own back, I did all the lessons honking drunk, with the theory that when I tried the test sober, I’d smash it. So to speak.

That’s my excuse for the repeated failure and I’m sticking to it.

Apart from the stress that would drive me to sweat through layer after layer during my lessons and into the arms of my local pub landlord afterwards, I had a hard enough time with the instructors themselves. My first was Zsolt. Zsolt may have been a legally qualified driver, but sure as shiz wasn’t nomal. As well as occasionally not wearing a seatbelt as his fun thing of showing me not how to do things, (use your words deathwish!) he would occasionally get spooked by my driving and reach across to the steering wheel to wrench us out of the path of a 16-wheeler. All that was fine, but he would always say “Sorry to touch you” afterwards, in case I thought he was making a move.

Eventually he didn’t turned up to a lesson one day and that was the last I heard of him. He lived around the corner from me and I could see he moved out the next day. He must have thought he got me pregnant.

His successor, who got me over the line was Nigel. Nigel had some serious digestion issues and would sit beside me gurgling up his stomach-contents and making desperate swallowing noises as he rechewed his lunch-cud. The worst part was being able to itemise his diet by the stink of the second wave of his menus. There was a guy he ate too much chorizo.

Nevertheless, I intend on never driving again as it’s really not fun here. Greater London is a sprawling rat’s nest of roundabouts and douchery, with Maserattis and Range Rovers flinging cyclists over the hedge by the half dozen like those bin vans from Soylent Green.



As about as edifying an experience as when my Japanese employer went through my bins.

As it turned out, my tester aul Pauline (ah we were thick as thieves) had her mind’s eye on the leg of lamb in her oven and was inclined to overlook the ever-increasing amount of pedestrian-sourced detritus collecting on my bonnet (a minor fault as it merely occludes my view of the humans vanishing rapidly under the front bumper).

I’m not kidding about never driving again by the way. Even made the instructor drive me home.

Preparations for Toner and Jerks (as was my pitch for the title of our new podcast) continues apace, with a recording this week. Meg is not a great fan of these recording sessions as she is basically confined to the livingroom for the duration and cannot acheive the Mariah Carey-an level of outfit changes that she needs of a morning to get her day started in a truly primetime way. Her words.

The podcast will feature general disucssions on small and unusual countries and  territories from around the world. From brief research into a few of our topics I can give this sage advice, if you’re founding a country, make it proper sized. Small ones have a pretty grim proclivity for getting marmalised when all the bigger dudes throw down.

As we prepare to start actually publishing these things, prepare to be inundated with more plugs than Wayne Rooney’s scalp. That’s the European version of that joke. For North America replace him with, let’s say Jeremy Piven.



The guy on the left, he isn’t allowed to be in movies.

In other news, Meg has begun wedding planning. She’s ordered a book that I suspect will soon be referred to as “THE” book, we’ve sent out a few exploratory emails to possible venues and we have agreed that whatever happens, nothing says best day of your lives like an orange tuxedo. See how I snuck that in there?

I don’t know what all the fuss is about anyway, I’m sure I’ve heard weddings are very easy to plan. That’s why I just bought a PS4, a new set of earphones and a “Boyz ONLY” sign that I have sellotaped to the outside of the tent I just set up in the living room.

That should save me from having decide what kind of seat-covers define us as a couple.

Zsoltoner of Leek


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