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Wednesday, 22 October 2003

Sixty Things

Mood:  spacey
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.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:13 PM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 22 October 2003 8:50 PM BST
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Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 9:36 PM BST

Name: jatb
Home Page:

Thats beautiful.
It even transcends Marmite being in the wrong column.

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 9:39 PM BST

Name: tess

Ok, what are the lyrics of the tea drinking song?

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 9:45 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-)

It's extremely silly and it doesn't work without the tune, I'll have to come to Belfast in February and sing it to you.

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 9:46 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

It's a very calming thing to write when you have a headache from going to bed too early.

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 10:22 PM BST

Name: tess

Vanessa's coming to Belfast
Doo dah
Doo dah
Vanessa's coming to Belfast
Oh da doo da day :-)

See, sounds ok without the tune!

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 10:25 PM BST

Name: diamond geezer
Home Page:

Good to see Marmite in the right column!
I suspect we could put our two lists together and come up with two 120s...

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 10:37 PM BST


Gosh, 120 would be like some new form of meditation, I think. Perhaps it's something to calm the road rage while commuting.

(I was going to do road rage haikus, but I was always too angry, and trying to compress fury into a haiku is quite an inflammatory experience - I feared for other drivers' safety.)

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 11:02 PM BST

Name: Paul
Home Page:

Wow! Great lists! I was gonig to do something similar, and maybe one day I will. I also think re-reading Alan Moore or Jaime Hernandez again is another great pleasure. I usually have to buy TPBs because I tatter the comics I have. Shred, actually. I also never feel bad about sleeping with someone. I usually wish I'd slept with them more before we stopped. But that could be because I'm a sex maniac.

Wednesday, 22 October 2003 - 11:21 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Hasn't there just been a huge re-release of all of the Love and Rockets series in one edition? OOoh, I wish I had that. Sie might pop up at some point and enlighten us.

The latest Alan Moores I fell in love with was Swamp Thing: Murder of Crows. Still only read one of the series, as they cost a bomb over here. If you have any used tattered ones, send em over!

Oh, I generally find myself wondering if I had to be quite so debased. Catholic upbringing - the nuns tempt you, but won't let you be afterwards.

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 1:01 AM BST

Name: dave

"cos when I was living in a Greek nudist colony"

You can't just chuck that in the middle of a paragraph with no context!

Nice to see you cancelled the pub to write the hugest blog entry ever! [1]

[1] Only joking! :-) [2]
[2] No I'm not. [3]
[3] Yes I am. [2]

Hope you feel groovy after the early night! Could have done with one myself, but it was not to be!

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 5:41 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Ooops, it does look cheeky like that, doesn't it? No, I have about five or six non-date-associated blog entries on a bit of paper at any one time, and I think about them at work and on the way home - this one wrote itself, really. God, how anal am I?

I mean, I couldn't in all conscience do anothe whiney post , could I? Dear diary, I want to go to the pub, but my throat hurts. Bah. I'm so miserable, etc.

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 8:17 PM BST

Name: dave

Hehe - have been thinking of resurrecting the blog for a retrospective date review.

Though I spotted that jatb's has disappeared (and possibly rightly so I think!!!), so I might not, unless I was able to make it funny and yet not mean at the same time!

You missed a lot of discussion on the topic last night!

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 8:41 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Wish I'd been there - topic of dates or of blogs? What was the group verdict (on either)?

I think jatb's blog is on angelfire also, so it's subject to the same inconstancy and cackhanded stupidity as the rest of their server. Although I have to admit that at least she doesn't fork out $60 a year for the privilege. So who's the monkey?

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 9:35 PM BST

Name: jatb

Er, cheers Dave.

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 10:50 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I think (interprerting), he's commiserating with potential dates who may put a foot wrong and be ridiculed in your blog, I fear.

Although in some senses, how this differs from everyday life, I don't really see.
If only my work colleagues had more interaction with me, then I could apply a bit more vitriolic venom to the @#%$! in here. Sadly, they run from me.

Anyway, yours is hardly alone on the web in utilising that topic - I found a public blog about ridiculous dates today.

Thursday, 23 October 2003 - 11:57 PM BST

Name: dav

Consider it constructive criticism! :-) (No, really!)

Friday, 24 October 2003 - 12:02 AM BST

Name: dave

Oh, I didn't mean anything (too) bad, but that could quite easily have been me in one of those vignettes. I am sure I would have found it funnier if not!

I might do a similar blog on the subject actually - was thinking about it and with crap ones it would actually be quite hard not to sound a bit cruel, and with good ones, i think it would be a bit naughty to blog about the nice bits!!!

but i would have to go through my diary and make a list, and i can't be arsed...

god, i hope my Outlook calendar at work isn't world readable...

Friday, 24 October 2003 - 1:07 PM BST

Name: jatb

Thank you. I'll bear it in mind. :-)

Friday, 24 October 2003 - 9:00 PM BST

Name: dave

Phew - I think I got away with it.

Dave, just downloaded 11MB of Mozilla cos my Explorer can't cope with Angelfire half the time.

Now that's dedication.

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - 12:58 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Phew - I think I got away with it.

Are you sure??

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - 2:30 PM BST

Name: dave

I feel I should explain further now! Bear in mind that my Internet Explorer does not like Angelfire AT ALL. jatb's blog was utterly empty for about a week every time I tried to view it, and I *assumed* that some even more horrific :-) stories had been posted and then the lot had been hurriedly deleted.

I now see (with Mozilla) that it's all still there, so I retract (some of) it!!

PS Where has web-frog gone?

Saturday, 25 October 2003 - 7:35 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Maybe NC smashed him over the head with it, pushed beyond her furthest limits?

I'm in the process of transferring the whole blog over to upsaid, hactually, cos angelfire are so cack. But so far there's not much on there.

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