:: blood ::23rd October 2001. Early Sunday morning I received a call from a friend gripped by the worst pain she'd ever felt; waves that shot from her stomach to her throat and caused her to vomit any food, liquids and Nurofen she tried to ingest. By the time I got there she had thrown up a quarter of a bucket of bile and was now retching air. Her condition was serious and she was colourless and distraught and crying. We raced round to a GP who gave her several variations of anti-nausea injections in the thigh. All of these failed to take away the pain which had, by now, heightened. My friend started screaming at the doctor to give her something to knock her out completely and, when this was not possible, she asked me to punch her unconscious. She believed she was going to die.

What I found curious was what the doctor said at the height of my friend's hysteria. "You're Jewish aren't you?" she smiled, injecting more Lomotil, "Try to relax and think about God." I wasn't sure if this assumption was a result of our proximity to Golders Green at the time or my friend's aquiline features or both. As she was busy throwing up, I explained that she had no faith as such. The doctor was genuinely shocked. "Think about the people you love then," she continued. "God is just the people you love."

As we swayed through the leafy back lanes of Hampstead in a blue-lit and sirened ambulance bound for the Royal Free A and E I stroked my friends head and thought about blood. For example, if someone doesn't know who their biological parents are, will they ever be satisfactorily Jewish, confirmedly gentile? Diagnosis: profound gastro e which stabilised under Maxolon and saline rehydration. Not anthrax then.

:: Blair's Death Rain ::16th October 2001. The taste of trivia. Here's a potato chip from Sweden called "Blair's Death Rain". Decidedly piquant with an unnatural, dare I say it, chemical aftertaste - it's a wildcard cousin sniggering around at the back of the uniquely Continental European 'paprika' school. And named after a never-forgotten hot sauce, I believe.

Apocalyptically-entitled bar snacks are a fine idea. There's a gap in the market for "Gaza Strip Bacon Bits", "We're All Fucked" nuts - even a maincourse "Four Horsemen" ploughmans. I've been working on an open sandwich which I think I'll call "Not A Single Star Will Be Left In The Night, Nor Will The Night Be Left, We Shall Die And With Us The Weight Of An Intolerable Universe" - halloumi, sunblush tomatoes, olives. Grilled. What d'ya think? Borges dontcha know..

:: letters home ::New readers arrive at the DPS website in fits and starts, but recently I've been referred a stack from sources unknown. Kindly explain yourselves - then keep consumer confidence alive and spirits vigorous by investing in MP3 gold. Act Three in the wings while I thrift for a new 'puter.

:: angie and stef :: Still squiffy after Stereo Total at Trash with fantastic pal Angela Penhaligon (far right), who sings on a new DPS song. A fundamentalist Pentecostal Charismatic from Kansas, forbidden to hear secular music until her late teens. Amazing voice. And yes, Trash was littered with Dazed and Confused anorexia, preening and mulletted - but brimful of decent music from yer new US clangy blues stuff to odd Kylie remixes and classics from people like Dub Narcotic and original bluesy clangers Jonathan Fire~Eater. Goodo.

::monks and fagin exit mega city one::Monks and Fagin exit Mega City One. What analysis can this website add to our experience of a devastated New York? I'm so tempted to avoid the subject but to chit chat, distract or entertain feels unreasonable. I want to sympathise to something more than a television set. Been singing on the rooftops of N19, our own Canary Wharf blinking away in the distance. A few days after it happened I had a sense that the wide shifts in perspective had softened our workaday anxieties into something communal and modest and people just wanted to drink and dance and go for a game of badminton or something. Blessings counted for as long as possible.

:: suicide bombers ::"I'm an Israeli," says a girl in NYC on the tv. "Now America knows the kind of people we've had to deal with."

The kind of people. In a crisis situation, the kind of person you are tends to come to the fore and we are all veterans of crisis situations. Most of them have been witnessed and felt vicariously but, still, we're contemplating mass horror a darn sight more often and up-close than most of our ancestors ever had to.


4th September 2001 Dear Diary. Decided to throw a house-warming party. For the first hour or so, I thought it was heading towards a total wash-out. Just myself and Chris Smith ex Culture Secretary, who couldn't touch anything pokier than a raisin and nutmeg Mullerice and kept talking about his wife's spine problems. Sheesh.

"Successful art is tedious on the internet," I tried to wake him up. "A new way of seeing is required." "The implications are perfectly crass," he choked, "Anyway, I hear you're putting a band together."

"The New Asylum Seekers," I mused. "A socially responsible collective. An Armenian, two Georgians and an Australian - from the rough part, apparently. Put the blighters to use is what I say. Russian mafia rustling up some mint. First video - get the chaps cruising up and down the Thames Valley casting tenners and supping Taittanger from the slip-ons of some well bred bootie festooned in diamond-encrusted Kruggerrands."

Thank you the doorbell went and who should file in but Chelsea Clinton, Simian, Anna Raeburn (smashing), Fritz Lang, Moldy Peaches, some Taoist children casting petals before Sir Peter and Jamie Palumbo, Erin O'Connor, Max Hardcore, K9, Daniel O'Donnell with Nancy Spungen, Crispin Glover (twice), Lady Victoria Hervey, Judge Death, Hear'Say, Karen Kilimnik, Antonin Artaud stroking a lizard in a diamond choker, King Of Woolworths with Thora Birch, Maxon Crumb and a Japanese ska duo called Dollar (weird) who performed Anti-Folk versions of US garage tunes. Anna guessed all of Max's (own) movie titles at charades, and Daniel pursuaded Chris to push out the boat (or yacht, as K9 chirped) to try one of Nancy's homespun blinis.