Friday, 2 November 2007

Joy Division's Greatest Hits (boxed set with free counselling session)

It's all Joy Division innit.
I can honestly say I have had several conversations
about that band from the 80's, this week.

" My favourite song is
 She's Lost Control. " - This came from a seven
year old.

"Hey y'know Joy Division were like a really cool band?"
This came from a thirteen year old.

"Shall we go and see that film about Ian Curtis?"
A forty seven year old said this.

So.  - With depression, suicide, nostalgia and
monotonous base riffs, Joy Division have something
for all the family this Christmas, folks.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Do we Know We're born?

Debi Alper has been commenting on aspects of
NHS care as it exists in London today.

As I recall it was crisis management at St Thomas's
hospital nine years ago - but there was still a sense
that the show must go on. I emerged from it's
double doors with perfect double babies, which
although born two months early had been
given the best possible care. I was in 
an interesting, fairly grubby ward with a variety of new mothers.
Ranging from traumatised teenage parent (also of twins)
being treated for psychosis, to a woman with learning difficulties
who twice dropped her baby. But I was so chuffed my kids
and myself, were alive. And the staff were very smiley.

Last March I was a little bit ill - and then more ill.
The GP prescribed antibiotics for a chest infection but
when I said I couldn't really breathe - listened and couldn't
hear a 'rattle',  so declined to investigate further. He grumpily
signed me off from work for five days.

At home I phoned out of hours service and described
intensifying symptoms - couldn't breathe without feeling as if I'd
been stabbed. Advice: Carry on with antibiotics. Take painkillers.
Several types at once. Couldn't move and had to sleep sitting up.
Too ill to feel sorry for myself, I just hoped I wouldn't stop breathing
completely. Entered strange grey world and wondered how soon 
I could leave it. Wondered if lungs were tiny, deflated party balloons 
and what sort of salary GP was on.

Looked up Pleurisy on internet.

And yet we do have an NHS.

Apparently Michael Moore said 'the only place you can get
free medical treatment in America is Guantanamo bay'.

What is the reality. How do different systems compare?
Global comments welcome - even from Aberdeen. 


Odd things happening in the NHS ( Thanks, James Thurber).

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

The Divine Comedy 1: L' Inferno

After a strange summer of jumping and wondering
if the parachute would open - we hit the ground running.

To celebrate, we did a bit of tidying up. Painted some walls
took things to the charity shop. Then we thought a smart new
desk would make us think we were organised.
We would still have piles of paper - but they'd be important
and not covered in jam.  

So we found ourselves, on a mellow Saturday afternoon
approaching the Croydon Ikea....

" Ho!  thou comest to the house of pain
Cried Minos when he saw me, the appliance
Of his dread powers suspending, think again. "

Have they changed the road layout - this roundabout
wasn't there last time. Can any one see a parking
space. No? Keep looking. What! it shuts in half an hour?

"How thou dost go, in whom is thy reliance;
Be not deceived by the wide open door!
Then said my guide - wherefore this loud defiance?"

Round and round we wandered - in ever increasing circles.
Passing unsustainable potted ferns ripped from the Amazon
basin. Averting our eyes from hideous printed fabrics and
polyester rugs. Feeling the static rise from a hundred
mass produced orange plastic camping forks. Ooh they'll
come in handy. Entering a zone of soft furnishing despair....
and then a bright and jolly halogen lit kitchenette hell.

Mum. I really really really want a fluffy cushion.
You'll get a hot dog if you're lucky!
It's closing now. I'll get the desk. See you at the checkout.
They haven't got the legs that go with the top bit.
Get it anyway.....

"And now the sounds of grief begin to fill
My ear: I'm come where cries of anguish smite
My shrinking sense, and lamentation shrill "

The coffee place shut five minutes ago.
But  I REALLY wanted that fluffy cushion!

" When they are borne to the rim of the ruinous path
With cry and wail and shriek they are caught by the gust,
Railing and cursing the power of the Lord's wrath." 

The shop is now closed, will customers please make their
way to the checkout.

"Hither and thither, up and down, outworn,
Hopeless of any rest - rest did I say?
Of the least minishing of their pangs forlorn"

Yeah, though you gain a toughened glass table top (with no
legs and as yet unpacked) - verrily you shall lose your soul.

......... And still not get a fluffy cushion.

( Apologies to Dante Alighieri )

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Pots and telescope at Castle Hill Pottery (see side bar)

Campers that blog: part 3. Wales

Finally caught up with Lois, who lives Far Far Away
in the land of historic battle re-enactments and quality roadkill.
Yes folks it's called the Countryside.

Lucky them. They live on an archaeological hillside with no
KFC's lining their peripheral vision. Lucky them
they can actually breath without increasing their cancer risk by 30%.
Lucky all of us while we were there. We could see stars.

We built a cairn on Castle Hill and in the gathering gloom it took
the shape of an ancient cloaked king, arms folded.
Watching us as we shook earwigs from our sleeping bags
and failed to light waterproof matches.

Watching as our camp fire sent sparks to dance with shooting stars.....

And as we snored, empty Murphy's cans as pillows... a thousand warriors
slept under the hill.....

So - what do you do all day in Wales?

If you are Lois and Tony you do great drawing and make cool pots -
(having learned your skills from French potters.)
you also look after Billy and Kate who are four. 
You get to eat the veg you've grown and the eggs your 
hens have laid.

People visit you expecting Shangri - La ( actually it was
when we where there) - but it's raining and anyway you have to

The visitors remove their thornproof tweeds and settle down to
watch Spongebob Squarepants with the kids.

We are under no illusion. Life's what you make it.

I would give anything for that sky.
But I quite like being able to buy Japanese vinegar
from the corner shop.

Bye says Billy, cheerily.

'See you at Halloween.'

Scary fanged people head back to London.

Back to popcorn
and  another Pixar film.
It's raining here too.....


Bloggers that camp: Part 2 - Our tent in Tony and Lois's back garden. Cnwclas, Powys (from Castle Hill)

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Bloggers that Camp. Part 1: Gathering of the Clans

Well we've got the family toothbrush and the family towel.
Got the meths stove and the old guitar....

Heading off on that blue highway.

Here's one we did earlier......

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Three bloggers on a Sphinx. Crystal Palace Park, London 2007

When shall we three meet again
in thunder, lightening or in rain.

I'd say more than likely - rain.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Real Life/Virtual Life - and that interesting space between them

Go on get a (Cyber) life!

I'd been saying it for days but the other life.
So called real one, wouldn't shut up - so I couldn't hear
myself think. When you try and print out, and it's not
working - and you get a queue. Then it works and 
suddenly you have 20 pictures of a Cat that Looks
like Hitler because the computer can't stop itself.

Now real life can be like that. 

I couldn't stop.

And on one of the evenings that I couldn't stop
I found myself gazing at Mark E Smith's ravaged
features at the Carling Academy, Islington.

The Fall  - at Angel. Ha.

Those Smiths of Rock. How very fabulous they are.
Bessie, Patti , THE Smiths, Mark E -  and do I include
Will? He has done a song. And do Aerosmith count?

You have to be feeling psychically strong. I can understand
this could be dangerous if one is tired or stressed.

If you're feeling chipper though, it makes for a remarkably
good value evening. One of the reasons I do like The Fall
is because, although they've been going since A was too young
to shave - (me too actually) - they haven't sold out and only
want £15 off you.

MES, a cross between Albert Steptoe and Toad of Toad Hall,
lurches about greasily in an ASDA shirt creating
sounds of such inventiveness that one's eyes water.
Very tuneful it is.  Very layered. And very loud in
it's textural intensity.

(What was that Hemingway said about not trusting adjectives?)

You try jumping up and down in a half remembered pogo.
But you are 47 with 3 children and a nectar card - and your
plimsolls stick to the floor. There is beer. There are Germans.
There are people who could be or do almost anything but
probably work with computers. Punks, Bankers, Bakers and
Candlestick makers.

Should I even be here? Isn't it rather sad. No. I belong to the
Patti Smith school of aging and will go on having badges on my
lapels forever.

So - hooray. Though cyber life has been shrivelled and neglected,
Real life is excessive and persistant .... the space between
this world and other worlds... there is music!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Testing... testing.....

Debi Alper blah blah Nirvana Bites
blah blah Trading Tatiana .......
blah blah ..... is your google alert
awake Debi?

HEROES: Revised version for Shameless Lions

" Joe the Lion - made of iron"
         said David Bowie
          influenced by
         Dylan Thomas
         Walt Whitman

    William Shakespeare







        his wife Theano
        - who discovered
      The Golden Mean
       magic number in

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Heroes (For the Shameless Lions Writing Circle)

' Joe The Lion - made of iron.....'

Said David Bowie.

Who was influenced by
Bob Dylan

Who was influenced by
Dylan Thomas

Who was influenced by
Walt Whitman

Who was influenced by
William Shakespeare

who was influenced by

Who was influenced by

Who was influenced by

Who was influenced by

who was influenced by

Who was influenced by

Who was influenced by
his wife, Theano who
discovered  The Golden
Mean. The principal on
whch the ancient Egyptians
and Greeks based their 
architecture. A number
found in the spiral of a
Nautilus shell and in the pattern
of a sunflower.


Sunday, 27 May 2007

Chocolate a la Murakami

A man awoke on his 48th birthday.
It was cloudy, rain forecast. What had he expected?
A glorious May morning, coloured envelopes on the kitchen table
illuminated by a shaft of sunlight?

Just a normal day. A day like any other. Everything happening
slightly later than it should. Bathroom clamour, the brushing
of teeth and hair.

A hurried bowl of cereal and there were cards. Some expected
but one a surprise. It changed the day a little. And the children's
felt pen greetings. Their misspelt words stayed with him as he 
gathered speed, joining the traffic,  forehead damp with city drizzle.

He could see his office block ahead. He imagined the purposeful
atmosphere. people already at their work. Phones ringing.
The hum of the computer sytem.

He would buy chocolates. Make an effort. Today would be
be different. He cycled to a railing, locked his bike to it
and entered a newagent. He chose quickly, struggling outside the shop
to pull the rucksack clips together, careful not to crush the boxes.

They would turn from their screens to thank him. They would stop
writing and talking just to taste his chocolate. There would be a moment 
when everyone would be thinking of him and his birthday.

He padded across the unpleasantly squashy office carpet, smelling the
scented, aftershaved morning. Slurped the froth from a cup of machine
coffee. It lay on his upper lip as he tore open the usual, large format
brown envelopes that lay in wait for him each morning.

He replied to a couple of urgent looking emails. Then fetched a pale yellow
serving platter from the office kitchen. This was really just a cupboard,
a sink and a fridge. If you wanted to make a snack you used the top of the
cupboard. This was not a place for serious food preparation.
He arranged the chocolates, with some thought, on the cold china.
They were proper Belgian ones, not just Quality Street.

Then he turned to his computer to compose his birthday announcement.
As he hovered the mouse over 'send' he noticed
a new message alert. He opened it:

' could all staff assemble in the conference room as soon as possible
thanks, Roy.'

He slid the sweets, still on the plate, into a drawer on to a pack of
printer paper. And there they stayed for a week.

Everybody had been a little anxious. Joking over
their nerves. Gatherings could mean sackings or serious financial problems.
There were faces, staff from other departments that he'd barely
spoken to. No one had put out chairs. Soon the entire practice
shuffled expectantly in one room, waiting for Roy.

Roy wasn't smiling. He pushed his hair back from his forehead.
His words faltered:

' Thankyou everyone for your attention. I erm..I have just received
news from, er, on behalf of, our colleague, Paul Kinley.'

Roy paused and seemed to swallow hard.

' I regret that I have to pass on the extremely distressing news
that Paul suffered a fatal heart attack at 6.30 this morning '.

There was a collective gasp, a murmer, then complete silence.

In this silence he thought of Paul's crumpled shirts.
The train journey they had once shared on the way to a meeting
and the photo Paul had shown him of his nine year old son on a 

But mainly he thought of the china plate in his drawer. And
the sweating chocolates now slowly gaining a whitish bloom.


Friday, 25 May 2007

Lost In Space

I lost my post. An hours worth of words.

My Seven Pillars of Wisdom that I didn't
leave on a train.

Where is it ?
Where is it !

It WASN"T automatically saved by blogger.

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Monster Moths From Mars Ate My Past

For weeks, months, the house has been full of teeny silver moths
fluttering about their mothy business.

I found out their evil plot.

Opened an innocent looking army holdall.
In it I keep my collection of ethnic and historic textiles.
There is a long, indigo Gambian dress.
Bedouin embroidery.
Rajasthani mirror work.
An Afghan gold threaded table cover.
Tibetan woven apron.
My old bedroom curtains from when I was 6.
Some pieces of 1930's silk
Pieces of material that I just liked the pattern of.
Bits of Turkish kelim.
An Indian sari, block printed with vegetable

All ruined.

I unzipped the bag. A cloud of the little bastards
hit me in the face. There lay my shredded past
in a mass of frass and moths at every stage
of development. Vacated, gossamer cocoons,
grubs and full up, healthy looking, contented adults.

Well it was curtains for them - but not
as they knew it.
Yes this was definitely a lesson in letting go of worldly
objects. The transience of all things....
( which is why I think I gave up Textile Conservation
as a career several years ago.)

Anyway, I gave them Ariel hell in the Hotpoint.
Full voltage UV on the washing line. 

I don't care. I'll get over it. I've learnt the lesson.
But now I fear I may come back as a moth.

Ghost Jeans.......

.....In that if your ancestors were gold digging, jeans wearing pioneers
out west, you could inherit er, perhaps a liking for baked beans
or a tendency to fart.

Or if your distant desert forefathers had
given their lives to pyramid building, possibly
suffering scorching sun and a limited diet of beer and chicken
you might then be partial to chicken in a basket and half a
shandy on the veranda of your Marbella villa?
(With a dash of green eyeliner)

I was going to explain further and talk about past lives
and deja vu but my daughter just HAS to meet her friends
on Club Penguin. Sheesh maleesh...Now those Arctic

So if you want to know more you can. Just look up
'Epigenetics' and 'Ghost Genes'.

Go on then.

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Join the Club

Club Penguin? Small girls chatting online to
men in their fifties called wozzle or flappit

We are now coughing up to virtually furnish
a virtual igloo and buy virtual petfood for virtual
pets. What madness is this?

Whatever happened to the Puffin Club?

Saturday, 21 April 2007

The Potala Palace (not)

A  new term in the hallowed portals of learning.

In the cool, labrynthine depths of this temple to education,
young children are being schooled in life by wise, patient sages.
A mountain breeze wafts the sweet scent of sandalwood
through still, orderly rooms where peace and contemplation
pervade. Children sit calmly, alert to instruction from their
venerable elders......

A ragged croak breaks the silence. Could it be the cry of a
bald Eagle? Or perhaps a Snow Leopard on heat.

'How dare you talk in line!
Do that again and you'll be missing playtime for the rest
of the week.....'

Outside coloured prayer flags flutter like butterflies
on the bodhi tree
'..and whoever dropped that litter can stay in at break'

A football slams against the flyblown staffroom window.
' The year 6's are playing up again'.

The ancient stone architraves of this cliff top edifice
frame the ice capped purity of the sacred Kailash.
Below, voices. Students eloquently debating
a philosophical point......

' Oi minger! '
' Loser '
' Double loser '

'.for it is only by shedding our ego that we can realise
the illusory nature of existance..'

' Can of Red Bull dahn the park anyone? '

Saturday, 7 April 2007

What do they teach them at school?

The Easter bunny is a genetically manipulated animal
with the the DNA of a hare, chicken, cow, cocoa bean
and sugar cane. A small, long eared mammal that lays
chocolate eggs.
Now what would happen if it escaped from the lab?

Short (very) story competition for 8 year olds and
over. Enter in comments.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Technoflop 3

Go away. Just get lost.
Why do these pictures not stay with their correct post?
Stop following me!

Saturday, 31 March 2007

knock knock. Who's there?

Tonight's the night. You can feel the sonic crackles of

A new series of Dr Who will hit the screen at peak 
viewing time and the only families that won't be watching
are those where the adults spent their 60's childhoods in
Hong Kong or Sao Paolo, haven't a clue what the fuss
is about and didn't spend their Saturday evenings lurking
behind the legendary purple draylon sofa.

Dr Who hysteria is clear psychological evidence of how
parental values influence young children.

This British institution is rooted entirely in the reactionary
nostalgia for all things past that is part of our culture.

....And yes, we'll all be glued to the set, eating fish and chips
round our Victorian fireplace.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The Prisoner

I walk down the street. I turn the corner. I walk. I cross the road
Iwalk down another road and I'm back where I started.
The buildings look strange but familiar. I know there is no escape.
I am not a number, I am a free person.

There's the posh sweet shop...and the shoe shop, the poodle
parlour - I mean hairdresser and the triple gift shops that smell
of parma violets. I stop by the knick-knacks-for- the-home
-that-can-be-purchased-with-disposable-income shop. Sinister
people in 60's style suits approach me.

'You are middle class. You cannot leave. Your world view is
based on received information from the Guardian newspaper.
You buy organic butternut squash, you think omega oils will
make everything alright. You think there are more interesting things
to do than housework, but you don't like humus on the carpet.
You have never been hungry. You believe reading is more
improving than watching TV, but you crash out in front of
unfunny game shows. You like your children to have interests
and you drive them to and from their interests leaving a carbon
footprint the size of Greenland. You would like to live a stylish life
in a house gutted by minimalism - but there is ketchup on the walls
and old socks and crisp packets under the sofa.'

You cannot leave.
Here comes the giant ball.....rolling down the street, squashing
art gallery owners and people selling unusual olives. Teenagers
in pink crocs run screaming.... Japanese bottled beer spills
onto the pavement outside the tattily trendy bar.

There is no escape

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Taking Health for Granted

Sorry, everyone I've not blogged as been rather poorly with an orrible illness
that used to be very good at reducing the size of Victorian families.
Some kind of lung thing where you feel as if you've been stabbed every
time you take a breathe - and so drift around in a toxic miasma of
painkillers and antibiotics.Thank heavens for antibiotics.
Or Alexander Fleming (Phlegming) actually, but I expect
he was divinely inspired.  

You could have partied at my blog - but the ambience might have been
 that of old tissues, daytime TV....and me upstairs- mad aunt rats-taily
and wheezing about noise levels.

The point is that one day you can be running the London Marathon
and the next day feeling to weak to pop a Nurofen out of it's plastic

Another of life's little reminders to get on with it while you can.

And thanks everyone who rounded up, fetched and fed small
people. What would I have done without you!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

'From Kuzhnisk, the world appeared faded as if through a nurses stocking'

Have just finished 'Ludmila's broken English' by DBC Pierre.
So I do actually read - not just manage children and their 
homework. Feel that literary types, apart from those that know
me better - are deserting this blog. Arggh have been labelled a
saddo that writes about kids as nothing else in life.

Anyway, right. I read this book right. (And it did take me weeks and
I did have to renew it 3 times. And once upon a time could
have finished it in a day....and been hunting round for something else.)

It was worth hanging on in there - because this is a novel you can
stand your spoon up in.

The story is a mere posturing, anorexic clothes horse, but it wears it's
prose like Kate Moss. Each page is packed with bizarre similes that seem
to have escaped the refining process and jump instantly from instinct to page.
Boy are they quick. Loads and loads of living description and conversations
that are still writhing on the paper as you attempt to pin them down.

After a while it is totally indigestible and you just have to stop to process everything.
Sort of the opposite to reading a children's story.

I think it has a happy ending.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

We are all in the gutter but some of us are doing our homework.

Was Oscar Wilde ever a teenager? Did he ever have conversations like this?

Me: Got any homework?
Son: (silence}
Me: Have you got any homework?
Son: Uuuunnnghhh?
Me: Homework?
Me: No homework?
Son: No. Yes.
Me: Have you got homework?
Son: Yes.
Me: What is it?
Son: Dunno.
Me: WHAT is the homework that you have to do?
Son: Er.. well...erm. I've got to do a thingy about a wotsit......

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Fashion Victim

I went into a shop today and looked on a clothes rail. Is it me or
is current 'fashion' designed to make you look like a glum, baggy
extra from a BBC WW2 costume drama.

I know I am a jeans type - but if the alternative is a brown ruched
nylon above the knee skirt or some kind of vile spotty big girls
blouse that ties on the HIPS! Then I'll stick with denim (and some
pre-Columbian Primark jewellery.)

Guardian Angels

Last Friday A was cycling home from work. A journey
that takes him from London Bridge to East Dulwich
via two monster three-lane roundabouts at Waterloo and Elephant
and Castle, then through Brixton to Herne Hill.
Coming into Brixton the traffic is funnelled into smaller, slower

A had stopped at the lights in Brixton.The lights changed. As
he put pressure on the pedals and pushed down on the low
racing handle bars, the metal snapped. The bars had sheared
suddenly into two halves that crashed to the tarmac throwing
A forward with them. Miraculously, with only grazes to elbows
and knees, he picked himself up as the cars behind him
remained stationary at the lights. A few people asked if he was
OK as he dragged the bike to the pavement to begin a shaky
trudge home.

This could have happened absolutely anywhere along that route.
But it didn't.

One of our favourite films is 'Der Himmel Uber Berlin'
by Wim Wenders - the one with the guardian angels.

Monday, 19 February 2007


What do all these spanners and pencils mean all over
my blog?

PS check out

All Work And No Play.....

So our kids are the unhappiest in Europe.
Why? we know how to show 'em a good time.
We spent half term researching their Egyptian project
when it was too rainy to go out - and we did all that
maths and literacy homework that had been set for the
week. We even found time to visit family in Cambridge
- and ended up in the museum's Ancient Egyptian section looking at
dead cats. Wow it were great.

Thing is, when you are an eight year old boy - what you
remember most about the Fitzwilliam Museum is 
that to get to it, in Cambridge on the train, you have to
pass the new Arsenal Emirates football stadium.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

My Funny Valentine

So in he comes.' Honey I'm home.' ( says Homer
simultaneously and quite amusingly from the telly.)
A rustles in a plastic bag- and reveals a dozen
red.....four cans of Carlsberg and today's paper.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Totally Wired

I'm back. Seem to have momentarilly flickered back into existance due
to A having reloaded Windows for the 5th time in 2 days - a shimmering
figure in the transporter room. Not him, me. He doesn't shimmer. Sparks
are flying as he finally makes it to 'The Fall' website to offer obscure
comments about his nylon clad alter ego.

I'm surprised at how much of a pain all this is. While in post office
looked longingly across road at a sign saying Cyber Cafe. It sounded
good. In there in the warm with state of the art machine - no smeary
old moniter recued from a skip. And a frothing cup of, nothing.
Peering into it's depths could see no sign of coffee. Just feverish
geeks tapping away. Feel like marching in.
Trade Description etc...Cheese shop etc
Realise am in England - where word cafe could mean,
possibly, slight hint of an atmosphere of someone having put
the kettle on 3 blocks away. Depressed caffeine addicts shuffle past
the cyber non cafe in the rain. I wend my way to the library with two
kids for another English experience. Library computers. First of all you
have to give the librarian your card so they can register you. Then you
log in with your number. Then you google interesting facts about the
Rosetta Stone. Interesting but not as interesting as the incendiary
count down that seems to be going on in the top right hand corner.
' I've got 8 minutes and...3..2..1.. 7 minutes...' ' Right 7 minutes..
quick, mummification.'. 6 minutes now to learn
about funeral rites that existed in a corner of North Africa several
thousand years ago. Was that before or after the Tudors?
Oops- time's up. And even if you have got a few minutes left after all
that study..and you didn't spend it paralysed by the clock like L.
The protestant work ethic pooter won't let you play games on it!

Just go home. Just go home to a Laurel and Hardy film.

Friday, 9 February 2007

Something and Nothing

Been away for a while. P.C says it can't read the C drive.
Does not recognise itself. I think this could be curtains.
Am prepared for the worst.
Anyone have any advice or techy words of comfort for
a dying computer
It is going out. It may be some time.

Anyway......I'm sure people are going to do daft things
to save the planet.
Like this idea of releasing some sort of shiny particles
into the stratosphere. Why? To deflect the sun away from
the ice caps. All I can imagine is permanent gloom. We
maybe saved from climate change - but it'll be really
Or building huge billion dollar orbiting disco mirrors.
Another great idea from Fat Boy Slim and Norman NASA
We were going to colonise another planet or invent time
travel, but we didn't have the imagination. (Too much
Playstation.) Instead we worked out how
to speed up built-in obsolescence in washing machines
and computers.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Teenage Pregnancy

From the corner of my eye, I see a small girl cradling
a 2 month old.
Now, not only can I NOT get to the computer, listen to
Steve Reich, cook searingly hot South Indian food,
collect glass animals or take class A drugs,
I also have to be quiet in case I wake the baby.
The children have had children.What madness is this?
Most people have grown out of dolls by the age of
6. When you are approaching 9 and serious about burping and
4 hourly feeds - one's scalp begins to tingle......
Chillingly, the Baby Annabel wears the same gear H
was taxied home in from St Thomas's. Premature girl
twin Church wives knitted pink polyester bobble hat. 
How easy it is to produce an Eraserhead atmosphere
of domestic unease....
Now she's putting it  to bed.
Baby Annabel snores her recorded snores in bed with
her mummy.
'Don't you think she might keep you awake?'
'No, I'll take her batteries out - and look mum
her dummy glows in the dark!'

....And while on the subject of dolls, teenagers and plastic,
does anyone think Amy Winehouse resembles a Bratz doll?
(or is it the other way round.)

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Blair, come out from under that Bush!

Why doesn't it surprise me.

That Britain hadn't quite managed 
to pay off  that 
multi-million dollar debt
to that best friend.
At the time of loyally 
supporting it
in the invasion of Iraq.


Thursday, 25 January 2007

Burns Night

Why not, I thought, they're a quarter Scottish.
Give the kids a haggis.

"Some hae meat
and canna eat"

It's a kind of sausage - ketchup anyone?

"Auld Scotland wants nae
Skinking Ware
That jaups in luggies
But if ye wish her grateful prayer
(don't!) Gie her a haggis"

The Essex genes remain dominant, closely
followed by the Teutonic ones.
Flecks of nicotine coloured neep rest evilly
next to the freshly heated orange fish fingers.

They eat the potatoes.

I scrape ketchup bloodied haggis into the
bin - to the sound of fading bagpipes
in the glen ( overlaid with Eastenders theme tune.)

It's early nights all round.

(What rhymes with haggis then?)

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Interesting yet unrelated facts

 In September 2006, ten million websites were being
censored by the Iranian authorities. Many bloggers 
were arrested.

School catering staff get paid for the number of meals
they prepare each day.

No word in the English language rhymes with
Orange, Silver or Purple.
(prove me wrong)

Thursday, 18 January 2007

That's just SAD

I know it's not that interesting and in the grand scheme of things, not even important
and that I thought I was going to escape it this year. But No.
 Have tried these things:
Zap self with caffeine.
Turn on lots of lights when get up.
Stand in shafts of weird, transient, midday sunlight you see fleetingly
on the sides of buildings at this time of year.
Decide that being grumpy can be quite endearing and even trendy.
Be in denial about the fact that people will just want to punch you as they
too are SAD
Shake self and realise self absorbed, trite blog is symptom of condition.

It's a feeling of never entirely waking up. Of early onset Alzheimer's
and morphine overdose crossed with sleep deprivation.
So, not really fully functioning until late March and can barely speak
or drive a car. Walk silently everywhere, sporting  silver foil collar
to concentrate rays on third eye. Life for four months based
on wearing a huge coat, bluff, avoidance of issues that require
 thinking and cat naps at every opportunity.

A peculiarly Northern European syndrome. Would far rather be 
dozing next to flickering firelight on layers of fur in smoky hut,
following nature's cycle - than having 
modern life drilled into brain.

Ah well.. as Frank would say " pass us the remote, Sheila"

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Good evening, I'm from Essex.......... case you couldn't tell.
Wot's the difference between an Essex girl and an Alsatian?
A bag of chips.
It's obvious to all that it's Sa'dee night and I'm IN.
Thanks to that man and his Microsoft
I remain cyber-gaged incommunicado.
Yeah forget the bedtime story my blue eyed son.
And where have you been my darling young one.
(round to Callum's for band practice).
This precious pearl moves in a cloud of humid Lynx,
struggling in the hormonal cusp between
Horrid Henry and muscley hairy.
Meanwhile I'm eyeballing the screen
as their lives pass me by
on jet propelled heellies.
Time's Winged Chariot etc.
Speaking of which, Googleguyhas
threatened to
disengage me if
I remain idle.
"I'm afraid you can't do that, Dave"
(yet again)
Hurray for Linux.
Here come the Microsoft Police.

Sunday, 7 January 2007


 I'm wanting to comment - but can't. Can't see where to
do it on Minx's. Help?

Thursday, 4 January 2007

My Name is URL

.....Although apparently only sometimes. If I don't have caps lock on.
Much of my time has been swallowed by cyberspace this week.
(Is it my time. How can one own time? Comments invited.)
I'm not that techy and the initiation of this blog coincided with children's 
MSN and  "Oh , I just downloaded some smileys". This resulted in 40
Trojans and a surge of computer led hysteria that led me to suspect
that I may not have many windows (ho ho) of opportunity to blog.
So. It will be sparse but it will be good. I've never got used to the
computer tone of voice. Not as solemn as HAL. "I'm afraid you can't
do that Dave", just cheery chappy transatlantic male. Computers aren't
female at all.
 Anyway, huge thanks to female friends and bloggers for all your (?)
(Bill Gates has just given 29 billion dollars to chariddy.
 I guess we give what we can afford.)      

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Nappy New Year

In with the new. Baby Ed born within earshot of waves crashing on Brighton
 And out with the old. Old friends older parents and older parents old friends
 taken by that eternal tide.
A final text message blinking on the knocked about Nokia.
Christmas and other deep midwintwer (but unseasonably warm) festivals of
 striplight and shopping thankfully over, I can go back under the covers til
at least half eight, when woken sweetly by ball of wrestling, screeching children.
R has returned to Aberdeen, where they had to defrost the plane
before takeoff, and found she didn't need her bearskins and plaids in London afterall.
Holbein (a Christmas present) was brilliant.
So now, unfashionably reactionary, I declare there is more Art in John Moore's
right arm than in Turner Prize offerings. Can relate to 16th Century better than 21st .
Could be that space/time rift. Must do more drawing. Use it or lose it.
If I put Ritalin in their spag bog, would they sit for a portrait? No - instead
sketch " Man With Can of McEwans Export Watching Life of Brian".
" He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"