Category Archives: TASTY YUMMINGTON

Lovely Spuds

Simon Wan / Love and a Dozen Roast Potatoes

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Finish the effing book!

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What’s the difference between someone who sells books and someone who doesn’t? Simple.

They have finished a book.

That’s all there is to it.

Now, finishing your book may seem like the most obvious thing in the world but time and time again, since having managed to get my book published and sold, I hear people with stories of years and years of blood sweat and tears devoted to an unfinished pile of words. Don’t get me wrong if you are enjoying the process, keep going. If you love watching the seasons come and go as you hover over the words ‘Chapter One’ then that’s cool. Who am I to tell you different. But if you want to sell books and become a writer that people read, for fuck sake finish the thing. Slaving for months over a character description or an intricate storyline is good if it pays off, but chances are, it won’t.

Now I don’t want to come across as a negative nelly, what I’m saying is complete. Don’t try and write the perfect book. No books are perfect and if it’s stopping you actually getting to the end then it’s doing you no good. Precious. Forget it. Your book will take up a few days at most of a stranger’s attention. Hopefully they’ll love it. Your well manicured prose and delicious payoff will delight the reader and if they’re a kind soul, they’ll tell their best mate to buy it too. But this will never happen unless you finish the thing. Be honest with yourself. Does your writing excite you? If the whole process has become a mind bending chore, stop. They say everyone has a book in them, yes. Not everyone can get it out.

Don’t be afraid to absolutely fucking love what you’ve written. If you don’t love it, no one else will. The magic thing that happens when you finish your book is that all of a sudden you transform from just another someone ‘writing a novel’ to someone who has ‘written’ a book. It’s a very powerful difference. Don’t worry if it’s good or not. Worrying if your words are sizzling and tremendously clever takes away from the fundamental point of writing something. Telling a story. Conveying an idea. Communicating. I read a lot of blog posts from tortured writers, ten years of toil and rewrites and convolution and pain. And still only on page 21. Waste of time. If you can’t finish a book in a decade and you hate it, for fuck sake jack it in.

If on the other hand the thought of a blank page fills you with a manic glee. If the spirals of coincidence and poetic grace feel like they have to explode from your fingertips. If you honestly feel that you have something to say, or a unique point of view that might change the world, then finish the damn thing. Then someone can read it, and your second book will be even better.

 

My first book, which I finished, can be delivered to your door with this magic click…

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Dozen-Roast-Potatoes-Simon/dp/1910692905

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I’m totally getting mugged LOL #callthepolice

Six ways to tell the world you’re somebody.

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Having decided to become a writer and get a book out there, it’s probably quite important for me to spread my social media wings and fly.

Great, this is going to be easy, a couple of well timed cheeky tweets and a thought provoking Instagram pic and I’ll be the centre of the digital playground. Wrong. So very wrong. I have managed to gain an extra 5 twitter followers in a week. Boom! Eat that Kanye, but as much as my five new shiny followers are probably the best people I’ve never met there is a large part of my brain that’s telling me that this is all just bollocks. Let’s have a look at the very basics…

Facebook. Great. I like Facebook, check on my little bro and watch cat videos.

Instagram. Good. I like photos, lots of lovely square photos.

Twitter. Okay. I like twitter, lots of influential people to connect with.

Pinterest. Yeah yeah. I like Pinterest, lots of interesting random finds.

Linked In. Really? I liked Linked In, lots of well, C’V’s and corporate mugshots.

Snapchat. Oh, fuck off. Erm, I mean,  I like Snapchat, lot’s of lovely teenage cock shots?

Six, repeat SIX. Streams of mindless drivel that I now have to not only engage with, but delight. That’s six separate log-ins, six sets of email updates, six sets of anxiety about how much attention my digital cheap lunch is getting. Frankly, it’s gone too far.

Anyone pursuing a career in the media will be well aware of this cyber dance, but the problem is that it’s all the same content, give or take a post or two. It’s a recycling of trends and marketing campaigns that have taken over our lives. We have to puke our everyday monotony into as any electrical devices as we can now, just to feel normal.

I’m aware that I’m writing a blog, I’m adding to the ever growing bucket of computer junk, but I think I have a good reason. I wrote a book and I’m trying to sell it. I need to engage with an audience and subtly court them into eventually buying the fucker.

As much as I do love it when I get a poem or an inspirational Jpeg popping up in what ever feed pings first, I don’t want to hear about how you hilariously, “Thought the light was on, but then when you came home it wasn’t, phew crisis averted #alwayshappenstome”. It’s just boring toss. It’s boring toss, I know it, you know it and everybody else knows it. Six ways to tell the world that you are someone. Six ways to let people know that you are glad that little Gerald is okay after he closed his eyes when he was tired. Six ways to let people see what you had for dinner, no one cares! Hang on, I’m actually really interested in dinner, but I’m half Chinese and my yellow half has been taking food pics since they invented digital cameras somewhere in the Ka-Ching dynasty.

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Rather than moan about the problem, I am going to offer a solution.

If you need to post something on Facebook, make it interesting, lie. For example.

“Totally robbed an Arab today in Harrods and spent all the money on cocaine and ended up marrying a horse”

If you need to post something on Twitter, make it sexy, lie. For example.

“Just shagged Ariana Grande in the Arsenal ground. #shejustwantedabiteofmyhalftimepie”

You know, that kind of thing.

I’m not trying to badmouth all the ways that we can communicate. Communication is the very best thing we can do. Once you stop talking, you fill up the silence with paranoia and uncertainty, but it doesn’t mean we have to just constantly talk shit.

If you feel an overwhelming desire to say something, if your passion for something is bursting so intensely that you have to scream it from the top of the world, then by all means, do it. I want to hear it, if it’s that important for to you share it with me, it would be an honour. If you have just had a baby, I understand it’s an adventure, new life, little footsteps, show the world. You had a really shit day, you got mugged, you feel lonely and scared, of course tweet about it, vent #justneedtogetitoutofmysystem, you’ll feel better. If you saw the most beautiful sunset or the most hilarious cat poo that looks like a statue of Ghandi for god sake, post it! I really want to see. But don’t and I repeat don’t feel like you need to post something. You are much more than your profile picture.

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#gangsignsoverbogroll

Don’t let the invisible claws of social networking force you into having an opinion.

It’s quite alright to NOT give a fuck about refugees, and it’s quite okay to feel shit and ugly and want to stay in bed and ignore everyone. You don’t have to tell the world you want to ignore everyone, just ignore them. If telling someone makes you feel better, thats good. Sharing is caring they say, but instead of instantly swiping or clicking or reposting or pasting, use the telephone you have in your pocket for what it was designed for. Talking. Bob Hoskins and all that shit.

 

 

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When did men get so pretty?

The rise of the Uber Man Babe….

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I used to think I was good-looking when no one cared. Now I’m a bit worse for wear and everyone digs a looker. It seems like men need to be attractive these days more than ever. When did all this start? When I was little I was teased because I looked different, Chinese eyes and English lip. Luckily for me, one day a small group of girls decided I was ‘cute’ and from that day on I lived my early years as a ‘good-looking boy’. When girls are pretty they get free stuff. When boys are good looking they get called ‘gaylord’. At least these were the rules in the early eighties.

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As a teenager, John Bender blew my mind. He was so cool it hurt my brain. I wanted to be just like him and I think that’s where the shift began. Rather than be inspired to ‘be’ like someone, I think young men these days just want to ‘look’ like someone, and it seems that if you’re a ‘someone’ these days, you better be ridiculously good-looking. I hark back to my youth when the idols that would potentially shape my self confidence were so outrageous there wasn’t any pressure to conform. No pressure to be as good as or at least a little bit like them, I could worship them from afar.

 

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Teenage boys were allowed to be weird when I was young. There were trends, yes. One year I foolishly rocked up to the school disco with pink and green neon socks. Chinos rolled high so I could dazzle. I hadn’t realised that they were now ‘lame’ and glow-in-the-dark laces were the shit. I’m no scientist, having chosen to mainly burn irons filings rather then actually listen in class, but I do wonder what effect todays ‘uber man-babe’ is having on innocent teenage boys. The desire to be attractive has never been so powerful. Attractive people live longer, earn more, get more friends and are better in bed. It’s true and I know it’s true because that’s basically all I can see. Everywhere I look. All men now have to be hot whether they like it or not.

I’d never really cared what people thought about my looks, as I long as I thought I looked cool. Now this sounds a bit egotistical but it’s not. As long as I felt confident in either my hair, or my face or my body type or my clothes it didn’t matter what you thought. I didn’t care. Now I see young men, and old men squeezed into clothes that simply make them look like a sausage and I can see in their eyes they know they look a bit of a twat. I see so many awesome tattoos that it’s unusual to see a lad with bare arms and I see so many beards and top buns I imagine jet loads of Greek barbers taking wild lavish holidays on hipster cash.

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Now there’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance. Men have always done it. Dandy’s and Mods and Punks and Rockers, even ravers with pork pie hats and stupid whistles, all sharing identities because of what they loved. There was a reason for the primping and a purpose for all that hair spray. It meant something, but this was for rebellious reasons. You did it to stand out from a boring crowd. Now, emulating the latest screen idols and pop stars is simply a basic requirement. You do it so you fit in to a neon circus.

Up until now, being attractive was generally only important if you were a woman or a chippendale. Simple. Beautiful women will have beautiful babies and everything will be great. I learned that from the TV and magazines. Today it seems that how a man looks is very important too. Important because it get’s those beautiful women who will have your beautiful children and no one wants ugly kids. The only trouble with all that, is that I don’t feel like an “Uber man babe” and I haven’t for a long time now. I haven’t felt like a good-looking boy ever since I saw a kid wearing skinny jeans who wasn’t riding a BMX. Thats when it all went wrong for teenage boys. Skinny jeans and beards.

Skinny jeans, a fashion tsunami that meant one thing. Skinny legs. I couldn’t get them past my calves let alone my bulky thighs so I gave up in a sweaty flap in Top Man, Oxford street. I was annoyed. I saw all the cool guys wearing skinny jeans and I wished I had thinner legs. Shit, what was that? Someones trousers were making me feel bad. Now by this time I was in my mid thirties, I had a fairly confident view of myself. I’d even had a facial injury that left me slashed and stitched, but even that didn’t affect my ego. Everywhere I went I saw the jeans getting skinnier and skinnier. Phases come and go, I’d been around long enough to see stuff change, I was always happy with how I looked, this will pass. Of course it didn’t. Next came the hair. So much hair. I’d slipped back into an Edwardian acid trip and no one had told me to stop shaving. Which wouldn’t have helped. I had the same yellow Bic razor from 16 to 30 there was no way I’d ever be able to rock a sweet sexy beard. I even felt so ashamed of myself I photoshopped a beard on my face, just to see if I did look hotter. I think the results are conclusive.
I look totally bangable, but it will never come true.

 

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Fuck. I went from ‘good-looking boy’ to ‘nothing-special fella’. All because my trousers weren’t that tight and my shameful smooth chin was on show. I was doubting myself on my appearance alone. I wanted to hide. I over heard a couple of young women talking, ‘I’d bang anyone with a beard and a man bun’. Her friend laughed, and I saw a few of the other girls in the carriage nod. I caught my reflection in the window as we chugged out of the station into the darkness of Blackfriars tunnel. No bun, no beard. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I was being judged inferior to another man because of the way I looked. And then it struck me. This is what it feels like to be a girl. So many times I’d sit next to a young woman on the tube who was expertly avoiding blinding herself as she put on her most business like eye’s. Yes, it’s a skill but let’s put that another way. If I told you I spent twenty minutes every day applying paint and inks to my face with an assortment of sharpened pencils and metal tweezers on a crowded and unstable carriage 50 metres underground, I hope you’d say, ‘why the fuck are you doing that?” and I’d have to answer, ‘because I have to look good you moron”.

Looking good doesn’t come cheap. Beauty comes armed with a juggernaught of chemical and electrical corporations. The average British woman (according to a one-second web session) will now spend around £100,000 on hair and beauty products in her life time. That’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of money going into the pockets of greedy people who are really only selling paint and soap that you could be spending on treats. Women have been caught in this trap for decades and I will in no way try and address the issues that generations of the pursuit of beauty has created but if they are a sign of things to come for the future boy, we need to do something about it.

Girls have their screen idols and heroines endorse make up and face cream and are told if they buy it they’ll look like them. Wash your hair with Pantone Pro V and you’ll look like Shakira. If you wear the same eye shadow as Keira Knightly, in many ways, you are Keira Knightley. Which is a large bag of bollocks.

I don’t know how to save the women of this world, the beauty hooks are dug in so far that even anal bleaching is a bum story. I can instead try and help the fellas. If you’re devastatingly handsome, great, if you love the latest fashion, double great. If you’re not good-looking also great, do something interesting instead. Define who you are by the things you do, not the way you look. If you want to wear skinny jeans and rock face fuzz go for it, but for please also have a personality which exceeds, ‘like yeah man, totally agree and shit’. If you want to devote your life to lifting weights and having enormous tanned traps, boom, eat that chicken and smash those reps, but dude, don’t be a meat head. If you love making your own Japanese school girl outfits and wearing mascara, sweet, but for fuck sake don’t be an awkward pervert. Don’t let what you look like define who you are because if you let it go too far, someone will make you pay for it. Either with your self esteem or your wallet. Boys of the world unite.

What you have to do, is be good at being you. Luckily, Proctor & Gamble haven’t bottled that. Yet.

 

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http://www.simonwan.com/book.

@iamsimonwan.

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THE NUCLEAR FAMILY 3.0

 

We’ve all seen the Father and Daughter beat box video and for those of you who delved deeper or boy the b’s from back in the day (or from just being interested) then you know they both have skills. Nicole simply smashes a blend of old school and stupid robot porn SFX with a secret jazz voice under all that swagger.

What I love about these two is that I often wondered what it would be like to have a relationship like this with my Dad, which didn’t involved much hip hop at the best of times, but a lot of fresh crispy duck.

When I found this clip I was so pleased, not only are these two on POINT in the kitchen but the resigned agony in the Mothers voice has tinges of pure pride and SHUT THE FUCK UP! I bet she loves them both, and so she should. They are amazing. If they lived with me and started doing that shit when I was watching Dr Who, well, that would be another story, I wouldn’t give a fuck what they were cooking.

Either way, enjoy the clip. They smash the shit out of supper.

 

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INVISIBLE GIRLFRIEND

  
Watching Jeremy Kyle as I do in secret, I am always amazed by the level of personal outpouring these people do. Airing bedroom antics and sibling rivalries for the world to see! Who would do that?

Shit! I guess I would.

I’m starting to worry a little about how my books going to be received. I’m sure it will offend someone along the way and selfishly I used the experiences that shaped my past to fuel the pages, but what is a story without experience? A comic strip adventure perhaps? Who knows. I certainly don’t. All I do know is that I love watching Jeremy Kyle and in less then 3 minutes I’ll also know if he is the Father. 

I wonder if it will look like the mum?

DON’T SNEEZE OR THE WHOLE INTERNET WILL EXPLODE!

slow-computer.jpgI spent all my life playing video games and playing with things with buttons and lights that made noises so why is it so hard to design a website that isn’t a compromise. Okay, I haven’t paid for the ‘Premium’ version and I’ve chosen to make it myself, which could be part of the problem.

I wish I ticked the box that said ‘web design’ instead of ‘massage’ when I chose my Uni timetable. Don’t get me wrong, spending an afternoon with a class full of hot nubile students was a delight, but now as I sit here and hold my breath each time I try and change one single full stop in this self promoting vanity fest of a website, I wish I’d ticked the other fucking box.

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Secret passwords.

 

passwrods.jpgHaving spent most of today trying to fadge together a presentable website so I can hopefully sell this book I wrote and get my old face in at least one episode of Dr Who before I knock off to the big beach skatepark in the skizzle, I feel that the world is now too full of passwords.

Secret phrases that stand between you and your money, your details your train tickets and your sanity.

Even the polite friendly lady on the phone laughed when I said that calling an eight digit number a ‘secret word’ was possibly confusing.

It was good she laughed.