Friday, July 27, 2007

things I have not learnt despite being 40

Originally uploaded by etcher67
Dear Self,

Please desist from getting drunk. Getting drunk leads to waking up at 5.15am filled with the horror of what you might have said. Other nasty consequences include the terrible guilt of having to text Phildar and tell her that you are too ill to go dancing, and the inability to do anything much all day apart from moan gently and lie down a lot. This is not brilliant when you have people coming to stay and ought to be crisis cleaning.

Self, you really cannot take more than five normal sized glasses of wine, especially on a mostly empty stomach; and the ones they sell in the pub called 'large' are not only ruinous on your purse but count as at least a glass and a half. Repeat after me: 'I'll have a small one, please'. Also, when you look at your glass and it is half full of wine which you are not especially enjoying, the correct answer to the question 'Would you like another?' is 'No thanks'. Please remember that you do not have to match your companion drink for drink. Indeed, to do so is a grave mistake.

Now go and drink some more coke and get an early night tonight. You'll feel better in the morning. Probably.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I go to a prom. There is a lot of rushing, something which I am not at all in favour of, to the point of momentarily preferring to go home over the prospect of rushing. Fortunately it all turns out fine in the end, for reasons that have something to do with the colour of the floor, or the good humour of my companion, or the many curtains in the Albert Hall, or the space in which we stand, or the multitude of unexpectedly diverse and downright odd people around me, or the slightly nasty wine I drank in a tearing rush, or something.

The conductor walks in only a moment after we do. I admire his shirt. To be honest I don't really have any other term of reference. I also look at the sequinned sleeves of the orchestra leader, and the way that the choir hold their scores. I wonder a bit whether they have been told to hold the scores a certain way, and then find a few who either disprove the theory, or are rebels. I also look at their necklines, because it's important to see whether they are all wearing the same thing (they aren't. Quite).

The soloists are on stage. One of them is wearing a silky two-piece which is an indiscriminate mustardy-olive colour of which I do not approve, and an exceptionally sparkly necklace. I wonder whether the necklace is real, and spend some time looking at the choir's waistcoats.

The music begins. I concentrate for a while on standing up, on not fidgeting, on whether or not I want to look at the words, on the small camera-screen that I can see at my upper left, on wondering why it is quieter than I thought it would be, on the man in front's ugly raincoat and strange trouser-arrangement.

Finally, I stop thinking and get down to the elusive business of enjoying myself.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

before you go-go

Originally uploaded by etcher67
I am halfway through a long-winded post about a gig on Sunday which will probably never make it through the editor, and quite possibly had something to say about sitting on the floor of the Albert Hall listening to Haydn, too.

In the meantime, I keep falling asleep.

'When you can't figure out what to do, it's time for a nap.'

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

the good, the bad, the ugly

a shame to lose those attractive lights

It's damp; and it was fixed last year.


after 3

Well, it's only taken eleven months....

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Friday, July 20, 2007

got my arms got my legs got my fingers got my head

It's the end of term! I can make a list of 4378 things which must be done right now, immediately, and then ignore it*. I can lie in the bath and think 'Maybe I'll go to Devon. Maybe I'll go tonight'. I can forget what breakfast radio sounds like. I can stay up past 10. I can read more books. Eat less saturated fat. Play more ukulele. Speak to friends. Ride my bike. Go dancing. Sleep.

In the meantime I plan to look at the rain and wait for the carpet fitter.

* Including: not writing an article for the TES, not getting someone in to do my bathroom, not painting the front wall or windows, not not sorting out the concrete garden monstrosity and not buying any furniture for my almost finished bedroom.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

ukulele me

Wobbling up the road from the station on the way back from an evening in a cellar bar I focus on a couple in front of me. They are arm in arm, one with a guitar case slung over his shoulder and the other swinging what looks suspiciously like an ukulele bag. I am forced by an unseen hand to speed up a little until I am level with them. I eye up the case trying to decide if it contains what I think it does. The thought of someone else in my town playing the uke is very exciting. My staring shows, and I meet the eyes of the bloke with the guitar.

Dare I?

After two bottles of wine? Of course dare I. 'Is that a ukulele?' I ask
'No, it's a t------,'(I can't remember, Its all gone a bit hazy). 'It's a sort of small guitar' says the lady carrying it.
'Cool!' I say; the mistress of intelligent conversation.
'I don't play it,' says the woman, 'I'm carrying it for Jim.'

I suddenly remember that I am in London and should therefore not be having this conversation. Instead of asking the them to tell me more and finding out where he's been playing, asking them round for tea sometime and making them my new best friends like I really ought to, I smile, speed up, and continue wobbling up the road in front of them. I am a bit rubbish.

Thanks to Unreliable Witness both for the tune and the means to post it! :)

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Monday, July 09, 2007

now it's half past three

I decided today that I should like to keep chickens. 'I think I'll get chickens; yes, chickens would be good and would eat all the slugs and I wonder if I could get one of those foxproof Eglu things' I thought. I even began to imagine a couple of gingery girls pecking contentedly in my back garden. Fantasies such as these carry me through my lunch hour and help balance out the thoughts which go: 'I hate this job and want to work somewhere else and I am going to actually strangle Lance Wyatt if he doesn't stop arguing with every bloody thing I say every bloody minute of the day.'

There are nine working days to go until the end of term. I am going to have to think about chickens a great deal.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

maybe it's maybelline

Locked in the toilet I contemplate the utter unfairness of life, wiping foolish tears from my face and hoping like hell that my mascara won't run.

Locked in the toilet I contemplate the foolishness of life, wiping utter mascara from my face and hoping like hell that my unfairness won't run.

Running to the toilet I contemplate the mascara of life, unfair face locked and hoping like hell that my foolishness won't wipe.

Hoping in the toilet I contemplate the lockedness of life, mascara like hell: unfairly foolish.

Foolish life: unfairly locked in mascara.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

you got a fast car

Walking along the lines of the playground I start to dream escape plans. I shall get a train to France, I shall camp in a field, I shall go and stand and look at the sea. I will drink frothy coffee and eat cake. I will dig my garden. There will be no interruptions and finally, finally the sun will shine for longer than ten minutes. Other people will make the dinner. There will be swimming which I do not put off due to a reluctance to remove my clothes; and best of all I will not have to work quite so hard at suppressing the urge to tell certain colleagues just how much they are really, really irritating me.

It will be nice.

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