I wanted to go meet some people for a spot of pubbing it in West London tonight, but feel really knackered and unwell, so tonight's an early duvet call.
First though, today's post is inspired by Diamondgeezer's sometimes beautifully written blog.
Sixty things that are simply unpleasant: cheese; peanut butter; buses; people who smell of cigarettes and rain at the same time; liars and the bad mannered; rejection - or rather, the feeling in your stomach like something in there is crawling; being too scared to watch a horror film alone; throwing up; a tissue in the washing machine; waking in the middle of the night and not knowing why; when friends live too far away; toast that keeps burning; fast food outlets' pathetic french fries - undeserving of the glorious word 'chip'; waking up to the close-up technicolour starfish of a cat's arsehole; being unable to say no; realising unsavoury things about yourself; candles - where does the wax go? feeling jealous; overstewed tea or instant cappucino; crying in shop changing rooms (back when I was once very fat, it took me weeks to buy a swimming costume. I had to try on one per day, with an 8 second mirror flash, followed by slumping on the floor, crying, and drawing the costume. Awful, to come out of changing rooms with red eyes); queueing for nightclubs or a taxi; long hairs in the bath; melitzanasalata (cos when I was living in a Greek nudist colony, rats in the melitzanasalata made me puke everywhere on the beach. What could I do? I covered it up with sand. Years of guilt); pretending not to notice that your friends in a couple are arguing; used matches; sports/leisure wear; playing draughts; wishing I really really hadn't slept with someone; limescale in the kettle; the cold! feeling tired or paranoid in public; fire alarms, car alarms, shop alarms, alarm clocks; administrative tasks and bureacracy; forgetting your keys; if people are too nervous to speak to you; crisps; boring bad sex that lasts way too long; being asked to be critical when you don't want to be; nightmares; your tea goes cold; stubbing your toe or hitting your funny bone; Marmite; lumpy hard painful poohs; racism; dentist's injections; aniseed; getting groped in public in every predominantly muslim country I've ever been to; when hayfever makes your eyes water; swimming in deep water when you can't see the bottom; drizzle; feeling impotent or powerless to change things; bad handwriting; the smell of bins with old meat in them; having no money; seeing little girls who've been over-sexualised - in make-up, thongs, and thigh-split skirts; confusing instructions; politicians; when someone I trust invites confidence, but I'm just too weary to take them up on it; war-mongering, hypocritical, smug politicians; trying to sleep when your feet are cold.
Sixty simple pleasures (read this one first): fried eggs; the sudden zip of energy inside when you eat an orange while feeling run down; torrid cloudscapes, whether it's raining or not; kittens and cuddlicious lap-cats; railway stations; travelling a long way home and finding a big hearty stew ready for you; the sound and impact when you dive from a height into cool water; sleeping on a fluffy rug on the floor; fresh coffee; driving; watching little kids drawing when they're too young to worry if they're any good at it yet; my |genericjob| on a good day; chatting to friends over food; variety; St Paul's cathedral - the single best building in London, bar none (despite it's terrible cafe); taking a few hours to draw someone from life, particularly if they get their kit off ... cough ... splutter ... I mean, if they don't initially seem attractive - spend a few hours drawing a face and it always begins to look beautiful; writing with a pencil or a fountain pen; farting in a bookshop; the buzzy loud atmosphere of fairgrounds - even if you don't go on a ride; finding where the Elephant House is at the zoo; the National Portrait Gallery basement; sharing an umbrella with someone you rather fancy; Bonfire Night, with Guy Fawkes, treacle toffee, baked potatoes in foil and fireworks;
when you smile at people in the mornings, and despite yourself, their smile infects you with cheeriness; the smell of brand new books; going downhill on a bike (with the brakes half on! I'm a chicken!); leaving it as late into October as you possibly can before you start wearing winter woolly gear; finding it in yourself to accept a compliment graciously; The Embankment at half past ten in the evening; Autumn; skimming a great flat pebble in front of your dad; sitting watching the action on the golf course from the quiet inactivity of the club house; doing someone a simple favour; pulling the car over into the Lane of Death - even temporarily - on a motorway; walking for hours around central London on Christmas day (it's always like a scene from Day of the Triffids - you'll see only yourself and three other poofs, all day); gorgeous European countries - Copenhagen, Cologne, Prague, Hungarian fishing villages, the contrast between Swiss lakes, green Swiss valleys, Swiss glaciers and Swiss vineyards, the Portuguese coastline, Edinburgh winters; spotting Orion's Belt or Venus, even through a smog ceiling; jatb's extraordinary/traditional Christmas lunch (beans on toast! rah!); Turkish food - the finest on earth; writing a blog; cups of tea (I seriously have a tea-drinking song); live gigs - what a rush; the mild temperatures in central London, even in winter (childhood winters in Lancashire make you really value the warmth); old forts, ruined castles, and ancient burial grounds (particularly if al fresco bonking is involved); lying upside down on the sofa to answer the phone; the feeling in your neck and hands just before take-off or landing; a morning lie-in, in a peaceful room with a fresh duvet; getting off the train after a really long journey; snow; modern classical music; watching a movie so good that you instantly want to watch it all again; going out to a heath or a forest or a reservoir to look at the moon; enthusiasm; finding a novelist who's so talented that you can only read a bit at a time, for fear you'll run through all their works too early before you die (Orwell, Coetzee, Amis, Schlink, Nabokov, Highsmith for me); dressing up; dressing down; icy cold water; no noise in your house in the evening; reading an Alan Moore or Jaime Hernandez comic for the first time; a hug.