Thursday, June 29, 2006

roll up, roll up

Inevitably, I now want to run away and join the circus. I've flitted in and out of the tent during the week and apart from taking well over 250 photographs (most of which have children in and are therefore frustratingly unpublishable), I have picked up basic devil-stick and plate-spinning skills. I've also spent time on the tight-wire (oh, rope is the layman's term, darling); which take it from me is really hard on the shoulders (it's the fan thing that you use to keep from falling off), and tonight I was upside-down in the fabrics. These are lengths of red fabric like those that people tumble down for BBC adverts. Imagine me tumbling gracefully please, an entirely better mental image than the one I have of myself with my arse up in the air.

I cam home from work tonight and looked up circus schools on the 'net. Truly, this could become my new obsession. I could add it to the lengthening list of things I do slightly well but cannot commit to actually doing properly.

No sign of me growing up yet, then.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I am in a rotten mood. I can't decide whether I hate everybody else or actually they hate me. One thing is certain, I hate feeling this way.

That is all.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

top that.

Originally uploaded by etcher67.
I have tried and tried to write about this - the meetings, the emails, the manipulation, the costs, the schedules. The letters written and unwritten, the plans and prizes and worry and excitement. The wonderful fun of working with friends who make amazing things seem possible, and the frustration of those without that vision.

The blind panic of it so nearly not happening. Nine months of planning almost abandoned because of a twelve-foot gate. Sitting in the twilight and laughing because what else were we to do in such a ridiculous and awful situation.

On Monday morning it rained, and I stood in the carpark looking at the above view and cried, while a colleague of mine looked at me as though I were mad. She may well be right, but I feel sorry for her that she couldn't feel it.

Monday, June 26, 2006


Last night I spent three hours sitting on my school's playing field. The sun went down, the beetles buried themselves in the grass, and Erialc and I giggled; quite sober.

It's not something I ever expected..though as it happens the giggling is fairly standard.

In the end I insisted that we come home, though I strongly suspect that once she'd dropped me off at my car she went back for at least another hour.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

just when you least expect it

Originally uploaded by etcher67.
My first ever gardening experience was probably dead-heading roses in my Grandfather's garden, unless you count laying on the grass under the pyracantha looking at ladybirds - also in my Grandparent's garden. While I'm wandering down that particulr lane I also remember hearing a blackbird sing for the first time there. One of the most beautiful sounds in the world. My personal childhood Eden, that garden.

I never really think about him, and yet I find myself planning madonna lilies like his and dead-heading my own roses. I smell his greenhouse every time I eat a good tomato, or his workshop every time I oil something.

I was six when he died. Some people cast a long shadow.

[Edit: I am tempted to leave the last line of this as 'He was six when I died', just because it's probably the most bizarre typo I have ever ever made..]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

why don't you get back into bed?

1. It's Thursday, which is my Friday, only sooner.
2. My sign language class has been cancelled.
3. I'm going to eat pizza to celebrate both of the above.
4. Poppy seeds germinating unexpectedly.
5. The Thursday thing again, because: really.
6. Unexpected stumbled-upon compliments.

7. (late entry) 'Your Amazon order has dispatched'



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

strange fruit

Originally uploaded by etcher67.
I come home from work and fall dead asleep on my bed, finally woken only by the insistant ringing of my mobile phone. When did I start forgetting to turn the bloody thing off when I fell into bed? Lucky I didn't though: I could do without another sleepless night contemplating the ugly purple beading on my fitted wardrobes and the insistant barking of the angry dog.

I lay in bed at night struggling to sympathise with that poor abandoned angry dog when in reality I'd like to strangle it with my bare hands. How dare it be so vocal about its distress? During my sleeping time, no less. Rude.

This post wonders whether it has a purpose. It doesn't. Sometimes I just like to make the words, spill random and unrelated thoughts, knit with vocabulary. There is almost definitely something I ought to be doing instead but Wonder Woman has gone, leaving only a sick headache in her wake: so procrastination is once again the order of the day.

Monday, June 19, 2006

what's that coming over the hill

I have been at work all day rushing rushing rushing and fixing things up, telling my boss how he ought to do his job (opinionated? mee?), making phone calls, cleaning, spending money (in an establishment where a £500 budget is regarded as generous spending £700 since last Thursday is extravagance beyond compare), chasing, sending notes, organising, having meetings and chatting like a speed-dater on heat.

Now I am home and I feel like blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah blahblahblahlahblahblahblahblahblahblah blahblahblahblah - blahblahlahblahblahblahblah
blahblahlahblahblahblah!blahblahblahblahblahblahblahhblah? blahblahblahblahblahblah
blahblahblahblahlahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblah. -Which without doubt is a major headache in the making.

I'm compulsive commenting (sorry about that if you get hit because boy they are going to be inane), and seriously considering going to the gym for a run. A run? For the second time in 6 no 12 months? Feh.

Bloody Wonder Woman's back.

(Also I am having a punctuation criss about the apostrophe in the sentence above...I don't mean her back I mean she's back...*nngfh*)


Saturday, June 17, 2006

fumbling deaf, dumb and blind

Go to a party where you know no-one except the host. Arrive a little late, after a couple of courage-screwing drinks. Walk into a room full of people talking, people with their backs to you: confident, assured, rich, fashionable, successful people. They must be, mustn't they? People are talking to them. You can't belong to this, can you? The falafel-munching BoHo loft-conversion dwelling classes?

Lift up your head, throw back your shoulders, smile and dive in. Ask the questions 'How do you know...?' ' What do you do...?' Be aware that no-one thinks the answers to these questions are fascinating; they are merely keys to further conversation, to acceptance. Don't reject people who ask you the same things by cutting short your answers. Talk about the food, the weather, the pattern on the carpet: anything. They are only people; people who have trouble with taxi drivers, whose children wet the bed, whose hangover cures you just might actually want to know.

You might even begin to enjoy yourself. Someone might fill your glass, tell you about their boyfriend's anti-smoking policy, count the number of English people in the room for you. It could be good. It really could. You might belong.

Incidentally - Wasabi peas. You heard it here first.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

more fear than desire #2

I'm trying to find a course or a summer school or something to kick-start my creativity/printmaking again. It feels so dead in the water at the moment, and I feel the lack of it terribly. Where has she gone, that printmaker? I miss her: she was more fulfilled than I am today, even when she was mainly leaning against grubby surfaces and drinking tea. I miss wearing a filthy apron. I miss the irritation of ink stains on my clothes and the dry and brittle nails. Most of all though, I miss the process and the satisfaction of making things, and the feeling that I might actually be good at it.

Not doing it has become bigger than me, though. I can find a million and one reasons not to start printmaking again...the cost, the hassle of getting materials, the pointlessness of creating decorated pieces of paper which end up stacked under the bed, the fear of it all being rubbish. Mainly the latter, admittedly. I've actually had ideas for prints over the last year or so, but somehow I lack the courage to throw myself back in the water and start swimming again. In the meantime it's too easy to be wrapped up with going to work and the every day minutiae of living and to just keep putting it off and putting it off.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

won't you stay, we'll put on the day and we'll wear it til the night comes

I signed up to MySpace for some unfathomable reason. An urge to join things in moments of lonliness, perhaps. When I imported my address book I was surprised to find twelve of my friends are already members. I am proud to announce that not one of them had done a thing with their profile pages. I win the obsessive compulsive prize, then :) It really was the most unlikely group of people. I've sent 'add me' requests to all of them and will be amazed if any of them (apart from the LJers) respond.

I did find one picture of an ooold old friend and was surprised and pleased to see that he looks exactly the same as he did twenty years ago. Sometimes stuff like that is comforting. The continuum.

I have spent much of the weekend laying about on the strip of grass in my garden contemplating the fence where I haven't yet planted my birthday rosebushes, or hunching over the border digging out miles and miles (and miles) of bindweed. That stuff is evil. I'm trying to get as much as possible out before planting the roses. See? It's all connected. I have also been watering the garden with the bathwater. I'm a responsible citizen, me. I shall have tired of the constant watering by the end of June but hopefuly by then my new plants will have established. Looking at the window boxes which I planted up makes me feel as though I am absurdly middle-aged and turning into my parents but they are beautiful and I grew them so I don't care much.

On Friday night I heard that a printmaking friend of mine has separated from his very long-term partner. I have therefore spent the last two days going 'Printer...single! Good grief!' After I'd done this five or six times within the space of an hour it occurred to me that this is what people must have said about me and The Ex. Realising this has made me feel oddly normal. It's not just me that fucked stuff up. I knew it already but now I also believe it. I hope the feeling lasts.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

more fear than desire

This morning British Rail very kindly sent me an advert for interrailing tickets which had me working out how much exactly was less than £9 a day for a month's ticket (about £300) and fantasising about getting the Eurostar to Paris and the TGF to Marseilles and then something connecting to Nice and then off down through Italy...or maybe across into Spain...

In my fantasy I have enough money for food and hotels after the £300ish quid, and the chutzpah to travel alone.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

another year older

Obviously I had a lovely time. Obviously. Little Friend Susan's mum kept raising her glass and proposing toasts to how nice my friends are, which I wholeheartedly agree with. What lovely people. Even the ones who couldn't come.

I don't even really have a hangover. I am SUCH a grown-up.

Friday, June 02, 2006

birthday girl

It's my birthday.

With the exception of the annual 'Oh no not another year older' dread (which seems to start six months into my year recently), I always think that birthdays are a jolly good idea about a month or so before the event, at which point I start making grandiose plans for nights out. About a fortnight later I realise that grandiose just isn't on the cards and come up with sensible plans involving nice people. I then settle in and begin looking forward to the event.

Two days before the event I generally change my mind and decide that socialising with others in groups is deeply stressful and I've made a terrible mistake in organising stuff because it's all going to be awful.

So, at this point I am currently wishing it were any day other than June 2nd. I fancy July 1st right now, and am in fact planing a small party (just ponder if you will for the moment the fact that I am distracting myself from my social anxiety by planning a social event. I really am completely bonkers, aren't I?).

I will keep reminding myself that I felt precisely the same last year and in the end I had a completely lovely time with my friends. I am sure that this evening will be no different but let's pretend for a moment that it's all about someone else's advancing years.

Conveniently, I have a friend whose birthday also falls today, and I owe him a wish of the birthday, so Happy Birthday Gareth!

Let's all hope that Gareth has a lovely day and pretend that I was thirty bloody nine several weeks ago.