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Friday, 31 October 2003

Fizzz! Bang! Ka-pow! Crackle! Whizzzzzz! Wheee!

No time to blog!
I'm off out to a Mexican firework display.

Then a Hallowe'en party.


This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:45 PM GMT
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Thursday, 30 October 2003


Mood:  amorous
Now Playing: An episode of 'Murder, She Wrote' in which a dog is found to be the serial killer.

I was chatting to Martin yesterday about people on whom I have a crush.
Now, to stop this becoming silly, there have to be ground rules. In this post, here, today, now, a crush is someone you've entertained involuntary sexual fantasies about for at least two years on the trot.
So, no, Nick from Kajagoogoo doesn't cut it. Nor Princess Di, despite the fact that I was a founder of the university Diana For Queen society (thank god in the days before web pages), and imperiously refused interviews to a Swedish teev channel after her death (like, shyah, Swedish teev hounded her to her grave). But my fantasies about Ze Stoopid Sloane, although ribald, were not involuntary, so they don't count.

Of course, there are the obligatory lesbian baby-dyke crushes, like Nicola Cowper, Kate Hardie or Charlotte Gainsbourg. But dykes always end up blogging endlessly about women of dubious sexuality on childrens' teev, and frankly, it becomes tedious.
(At this stage, I'm not willing to enter revelatory mode regarding sexual fantasies about trees and rubber tires.)
No, I'm more fascinated by the male crushes -- and my other crushes are all seriously ancient ugly old men. Top of the list - Donald Sutherland. Close second at fifteen years crush status - Christopher Walken. Bringing up the rear (ooer, missus), Arnold Schwarzenegger, oooh how embarrassing, a relative newcomer at just five years of crush.
How come no-one fantasises about old women like they do old men? I mean, you wouldn't kick Helen Mirren out, but by and large, male mingers gain much greater sexual status as they get older. I've seen blokes who would definitely rate a three out of ten in their teens and twenties attract the attention more merited by a nine in their late thirties, purely by virtue of being either single or up for it. How come someone like "Steve" Norris can even beg a shag?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:26 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2003 3:36 PM GMT
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You do not do, you do not do / Anymore / Black Shoe

Mood:  hug me
.... in which I have lived like a foot / for thirty years, poor and white.
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

et cetera. Short, terrible warning: If you have recently split up with someone, DO NOT, repeat,


start reading poetry.

And if you do, DO NOT, repeat,


spend the day reading Petrarchan sonnets.
translated from Sonnet 134:
Peace I do not find, and I have no wish to make war; and I fear and hope, and burn and am of ice; and I fly above the heavens and lie on the ground; and I grasp nothing and embrace all the world.

One holds me in a prison which neither opens nor locks, neither keeps me for his own nor unties the bonds; and Love does not kill and does not unchain me, he neither wishes me alive nor frees me from the tangle.

I see without eyes and I have no tongue, and yet I cry out; and I wish to perish and I ask for help; and I hate myself and love another.

I feed on pain, weeping I laugh; equally displeasing to me are death and life. In this state am I, Lady, on account of you.

Ack! Shoot me now.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:18 PM GMT
Updated: Thursday, 30 October 2003 3:46 PM GMT
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Now Playing: Radiohead (spit): Everything in it's Right Place. Again and again, like some retarded obsessive moron. So what else is new?

While my blogroll sidebar is out of order, I have to point out a few blogs I've spotted in the previous few days that are shockingly well written. None of them are in the sidebar blogroll, because I can't get into it. If I just started bugging you on your site, and you're not in here, then it's because you're already in the invisible broken sidebar. You're just going to have to trust me on that.

This one is amazingly well written. Too well. I suspect a hoax, almost.

Also, I've lately been amazed at how good certain sites have been doing - here, here and here. But I think everybody knows about them anyway.

And I got into an argument with the owner of this site, who is pompous and pretentious in a heated email exchange, but can actually spell, which it turns out I can't. I promised him public obeisance (which he confused with pubic obeisance), so here it is, Sean: sorry. My weblog is spelt wrong. Unless you're a Northerner.

Plus, please read this post by yidaho. It's in the Truth Laid Bear newblog showcase, and if you join up to their ecosystem (which ranks blogs by connectivity and sitemeter traffic, yadda yadda) (I love them, because today they promoted me from Crunchy Crustacean to Slimy Mollusc, just when I feared becoming a Lowly Insect) (it's the Night Nurse, I tells ya, it does things to my brain...), and link to her on your front page, then she wins...erm... I dunno what. Some slippers?
I told you today's post would be fanwanky.
In fact, after my coffee, wanking may be the next topic, to match yesterday's effluvia. Quake, ye mortals!

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Vanessa/Female/31-35. Lives in United Kingdom/London/East London/Bow, speaks English and German. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection. And likes Literature / Movies/Food / Eating / Drinking.
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United Kingdom, London, East London, Bow, English, German, Vanessa, Female, 31-35, Literature / Movies, Food / Eating / Drinking.

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i say, "FUCK!"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 1:03 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 2 November 2003 2:19 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 29 October 2003

You Might Not Want to Read This...

Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing:

I'm full of snot. Literally a wall of moist green soft-centre tissues has formed around me.

It got me to thinking about effluvia (doesn't take much, admittedly), particularly after last night when the gorgeous Tess messaged me from Belfast to say that all the English are obsessed with shit.

And why not?

I'd have to go a long way to beat the glorious Niki's poo-obsessed posts of late, and she's from Chicago, not ye Olde Browne Country. Mind you, she's not yet gone this far. That curry does look a little fecal, does it not?

Anyway, effluvia. I have weird veins -- they pop sometimes. If you pressed my arm too hard, it would become a hand shaped bruise. (At 16, I had a fight with a boyfriend. Not a serious proper fight, we were bored and seeing how much more power you could put in a punch if you pulled back your fist into a 'claw' shape, before throwing from the shoulder. The answer was: gains considerable impact. I knocked out one of his teeth, and had to wear long sleeve sweaters / lie that I'd been in a car accident for a month.)
I blame the pasty-skin Celtic heritage (take that, Belfast!), but I bruise so easy that I sometimes don't need the original impact at all. I just feel a weird ache in a wrist or a finger for an hour or so, then ... pop ... large swollen black digits. The first time it happened, I rushed to an A & E.
Exhaustedhousedoctor: "You have a bruise, madam."
Me: [shrieking] "But it's filled with black blood and swollen to eight times the size! My artery just exploded!"
Exhaustedhousedoctor: [sighs] "That's what a bruise is."

Anyway, while working through uni in a |malecentredindustry| McJob, near Arsenal (lasting effects: a fondness for shouting "Up the Arse" at your father), I used to exploit the exploding vein syndrome in order to alleviate the boredom of dealing with tipsy bloke customers who permanently addressed my knockers, and used to while away their own boredom by seeing how red a single comment could make my cheeks go.
Only, because I worked Saturdays, and because I was twenty-one, and trying to be 'wild', I used to generally turn up for work in the most awful |morningafterthenightbefore| sort of state. One time I wandered in to McJob twelve hours after taking my second ever tab of E (ee, those were the days), gave away #120 to strangers from Perth, and had to wear a miniskirt for the next three weeks to save myself from unemployment.
The week of the exploding arse was the worst, though.

I was fortunate, I knew, to be working one of the joints with a bog, or the whole sorry tale could have rendered this blog the victim of a million scat searches.
Slow morning, only one near dead pensioner overcome with the jitters, usual regs still all in the pub next door, working themselves up to their weekly *makevanessablush* challenge.
Stomach rumblings. Nice quiet moment to excuse myself to the loo by the manager's desk. Once inside, it's a windowless fan-assisted closet. One of those situations where it's you, the Sixties spit-flush slimline bog, a ten year old crusty loo brush and the fag end of an Asda bogroll. Okay, I could tell that I was packing solids, so perhaps if I folded the eight squares then separated them carefully into tiny, pleated squares, I could make it.
I don't know what I'd taken the night before, but it was not going to agree with the tiny pleated squares theory.
Cue anal explosion. Didn't even make it to the bowl in time -- it all happened while hovering. Chris Ofili would have been proud of what I plastered on those walls.
I won't go into too much detail about the clean-up, except to say that all eight squares were prioritised for my arse, thankyou, sod the walls.
I was in that stinky airless room for ninety minutes, co-workers hammering on the door. It took many many flushes, and it was me, my bundled up knickers (the only disposible item of clothing I could bear to use as a washcloth) and the bog brush scrubbing the walls in horror for almost every one of those minutes.
Finally, I flushed the knickers, adjusted my clothing and tried to calm the raging beleisha beacon that was my face. I opened the door to face the horrified boss sat at his desk, 30 centimetres away. Behind me, the walls of the lav were clearly soaking wet.
"What? I'm fine. But do you mind if I go home now?"

A week later, I turned up after an entire week on amphetamines, speeding my tits off, latest shag in tow, to resign.
Horrifiedboss: "You're not normal. It's not normal to wear see-through tops to work, go bright red all the time and have exploding veins. You wanna see a doctor."
I've always had half a crush on him for not including in that exit line any reference to anal explosions.

1. He still invited me to his wedding.
2. I poo quite regularly and normally now.
3. And I never take drugs.
4. Vic dared me to blog a virtually unbloggable reminiscence involving old men, park toilets and a used condom, but my family read this blog, so I won't. I don't think my mum is the type to be upset by drugs or poo.
5. I half hope the longtime ex who goes weirdqueasy about shit reads this post. And recalls the other two anecdotes I didn't blog. Hah!
6. I ate all those scones.
7. Normal service will be resumed when I'm not ill any more.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:33 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 October 2003 3:41 PM GMT
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Divorce Me 5

< contextual info >
I was so upset because the ex-DH came over on Monday night and had an attack of the mean reds in front of me. I don't really blame her for that, and it only lasted five minutes, but it involved my having to confirm that I didn't want to get back together.
Saying it aloud, to her, destroyed me, it really did.

So it goes.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:41 PM GMT
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sanity regained

Now Playing: LBC talk radio, full of ranting phone-in loons

Just read this in yesterday's newspaper:
"Just been dumped? Why not lie awake at night, staring at the ceiling, and think about everything that's wrong with your life. Ah, bliss.
Don't worry about being single. Remember, swans mate for life, and look how bad-tempered they are."
I don't know what happened to my side bar on the left. I'm pretty sure that a link spontaneously self-translated itself to Japanese, and broke angelfire. Of course, it doesn't sound so convincing when I email them this story, and beg them to delete it for me. Given the abuse I've piled on the helpdesk of late, I'm unsurprised. However, that strip of brown poo along the left hand side functioned pretty much like a blog version of your mobile; it means I've lost the addresses of all the good blogs in the ether. Bah. I shall have to go out, make contact with the world, instead.

Duch came over and tried to persuade me to sell the flat last night. I managed to get a mortgage five times my salary, but have two weeks to decide if I want to take it,or to sell up. I was surprised to see that my poxy flat in 1.61 Kilometre End is roughly akin to somewhere in Kensington in price. This means as long as I live somewhere either pikey or inaccessible, I can buy something pretty. Look here, at the flat listed in SE9, which is next door to the gorgeous Eltham Palace, and take the virtual tour. It's halfway to Brighton, and officially no-one would ever visit me again. I love modern buildings (god rot Victorian terraces with iron fireplaces, gimme a purpose built 1960's brutalist monstrosity anyday). I don't think I'd have the money to furnish it with pianos, though.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:41 AM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 October 2003 1:49 PM GMT
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Tuesday, 28 October 2003

"this had bad idea written all over it"

Now Playing: Bob Dylan: 'Fourth Time Around'

Well. I had no idea at all I could cry that much, or that long.

They say you learn something new every day.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:33 AM GMT
Updated: Tuesday, 28 October 2003 12:35 AM GMT
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Monday, 27 October 2003

Easily Ignored Clues that you haven't RECOVERED yet

Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: The Chemical Brothers

1. You can't focus your moth-attention on a teev, but [sniff] you reckon that you can [cough] follow a [splutter] recipe alright.
2. Any recipe that calls for one large egg can just as easily be made with three small blue coloured ones from mutant chickens, right?
3. When cooking scones, you realise after that you forgot to include any fruit, cherries or sugar. So you dump them all on top.
4. Your tea keeps going cold.
5. Your scones are meant to look like the ones on the left. But instead, they accidentally come out shit. Like this:

6. Just one scone is enough to give you diarrhoea. You eat three, out of stubbornness.
7. You zip through pages of the shit novel you were reading, but you can't concentrate enough to read even a half page article of the Spectator.
8. Similarly, you zoom through an old piss-stained Cosmo with not one of the usual my-brain-has-been-vaccuumed side-effects.
9. While driving at 35 mph to the shops, it seems safe enough to take off your specs and fish out an eyelash.
10. If the clocks have gone back an hour, it must therefore be alright to stay up till 5am.
11. The |bankmanager| asks if you have any life assurance, and you respond: "Hunh? Eh? I have flu."
12. Everyone else in the world sounds very far away.
12. You allow the shopmidgetlady to paint a stripe of dark orange flaky foundation along the left side of your jaw.
13. And thank her for the attention.
14. Everything you see or haer begins to connect up. People ring when you think about them. The muzak in the cafe refers back to a film you once saw before you slept with someone you've not seen for years. You read a book with 'four'in the title a day before buying a Dylan CD with 'four' on it. Like, your whole life is a pattern.
15. Yup, exactly like that acid trip in '92.
16. Uh-ohhh.
17. You say to |bankmanager|: "Sorry. I'm shit at adding up." Then you steal their calculator when you think they're not looking.
18. Of course they're bloody looking. You've been miswriting the number three and crossing it out for the past 90 minutes in front of them.
19. A cup of tea seems to magically last three hours.
20. The |bankmanager| tells you you're going to be poor for some years to come, so it seems logical to spend your last coins on a few trip-hop CDs.
21. And some Radiohead. Even though you've always loudly pitied people who listen to Radiohead.
22. You invite your ex of ... oooh ... fifteen days ... over for tea. Surely you should both be past the hysterical stage by now?

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:10 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 27 October 2003 7:47 PM GMT
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Sunday, 26 October 2003

Why The Big Read Sucks

Mood:  sharp
Now Playing: Chopin. Yet again. I really should change the CD...
?I hate the opinion of the population. It has been wrong about every single thing that has mattered to me in my life. Their choice in books is bound to be emetic, and so it has proved to be.?
Andrew O'Hagan commented on The Big Read.
Finally finished reading 'The Fourth Hand' today. I used to have to admit that while I loathed books by John Irving, I'd never actually finished one. No longer.

Ignoring the two feet of unread new books at the edge of the sofa, I logged on to amazon to see what the running total of Things They Have Fleeced Me For now stands at.
The personalised frontpage adverts were thus:

Volume 2 of Billy Connolly's biography.
If there's any hesitation at all in lurching for the remote whenever I see this ugly bugger's face leering from a cathode tube, it's to wonder what the hell is funny about the guy.

Over 100 Irresistable French Recipes.
I hate France. (sorry, Toulouse)
I dislike the way grown men aren't ashamed of a hideously predictable Freudian attachment to their horrifically bourgeois mothers. I dislike the utter lack of individualism in French street fashion (jesus, if you wear a colour, you stand out there. I once went to France with hair half shaved and half braided, dyed snowy white. I got free drinks in every bar as long as I put up with thirty minutes of Frenchmen laughing at my gall/gaulle. No wonder I looked grumpy.)
By no means the least is the distaste I hold for their undercooked, oversauced food. The only French food worth stomaching is North African. Irresistable recipes, my arse.

'Monstrous Regiment' by Terry Pratchett.
While I don't loathe Terry Pratchett's books - hey I've read a whole pair of 'em! - I don't actually want to read more. Morevoer, I certainly don't want to be thought of as the sort of person who might read (or --- !horrors! --- role play) Terry Pratchett books. Save them for the day I'm partially paralysed, move to the country, ingest way too many country-boy-drugs and grow a beard like Bill Bailey, thank you.

'Dude, Where's My Country' by Michael Moore.
Amazon, you dim fuckers, I bought 'Stupid White Men' as a Christmas present for somebody else. As did everybody. It's the only reason Michael Moore books ever get onto bestseller lists - people buy his unreadable wanky toss as Crimble gifts for that hard-to-gift cranky leftwing-poseur uncle who won't stop whingeing about the state of the world, insists on a Christmas nutloaf, and actually watches the Channel 4 news to the end. You only need read four pages to realise it's entertainment for the modern, socialist-leaning Victor Meldrew.

Bloody sodding sucky marketing-whore amazon. I hate how it never fails to hide the books I want. I hate that if I need a copy of The Faerie Queene, it offers me the DVD, or the PS2 game.
You go to the search page, and it offers you an oven glove. Every single time I use it, I swear I will never ever ever invoke this pure, crystal amazon-fury by patronising their sucky website again in this reality.

And then .... at the foot of the page, I spy a cut-price edition of 'The Marriage of Heaven and Hell'. I have four copies already, but -- oooooh, there's just one copy left in stock, and look, you save even more if you buy it with Smollett's 'The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker' .....

Note: all links included in this post are negative, grumpy and sarcastic.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:08 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 26 October 2003 5:22 PM GMT
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Royal Jelly

Mood:  smelly
It's one of those crystal clear, sunny, but bitingly cold Autumn London days that nezessitates being far away from central London, certainly away from E3, and foraging in the undergrowth of some suburban heath or forest somewhere, Beckham-dodging. (Or at least primped up SUV dodging.)
(particularly SUV's with less than classy personalized numberplates - "1M W1FFY" springs to mind from last week's fruitless CNPS toils.)
There's a real snobbery gap between friends who live in central London and those who live in less salubrious outer environz. But this sort of weather defeats the zone 1 parvenus, as St James' park just can't cut it, and Hampstead Heath is cheating.
Days like today quite simply exist for kicking leaves in the Hollow Ponds or Putney Heath.
At the very leazt they impel you to purchase a fat croissant and coffee in an overpriced Blackheath cafe while pretending you give a shite what went through some overpaid journo's bleary hungover coked-up brain in the Sundays.

Unfortunately, my neck is the size of an elephant'z knuckle, and navigating two cats iz as dangerous an excursion az I can manage. Conkers are off the agenda.
Following only the first flu cure suggezted in yesterday's blog comments, the first of many not only ridiculous but often quite dangerouz elixirs (microwaved lemonade, two pints of whiskey with a cherry in, and onion slime spring to mind), I find, as uzzual, that I'm overdoing it like an anxious child dezperate to zubmit the best homework.
I feel like Timothy Wezt in Royal Jelly. Thiz morning I conzzoled myzelf for my lack of forezt leaf-kicking with a cup of tea (two teazpoons of honey) and two crumpetz (firzzt crumpet zzpread with Tazzmanian leatherwood honey, zzzecond with Duchy of Cornwall acazzzia heather honey - tazzzte tezzzzt: no differenzzzze at all).
My pubezz have already turned yellow-brown, I'm growing a zzzpiky beard and I find myzzzzelf horribly drawn towardzzzz the rotting flowerzzzzzz in the corner.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:01 AM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 26 October 2003 12:31 PM GMT
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Saturday, 25 October 2003


Fell off the blogcicle yesterday because I have really bad flu. Any minutes I'm not sleeping through the fever, I've been shaking like Katharine Hepburn on speed.
If you need any chemical compounds agitating, do let me know. Seems a shame to waste it.

Back to bed!

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Vanessa/Female/31-35. Lives in United Kingdom/London/East London/Bow, speaks English and German. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection. And likes Literature / Movies/Food / Eating / Drinking.
This is my blogchalk:
United Kingdom, London, East London, Bow, English, German, Vanessa, Female, 31-35, Literature / Movies, Food / Eating / Drinking.

Read THIS blog:

i say, "FUCK!"

<< # Gay Brits ? >>

Rate Me on!
the best pretty good okay pretty bad the worst help?

See the books I've read on my Bookshelf at

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:47 AM BST
Updated: Monday, 27 October 2003 11:07 AM GMT
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Thursday, 23 October 2003


Just read this line on a blog:
'Tennessee Williams wrote that one of the things he lived for in this life was the "broken gate" -- the rare times human beings could break down the social barriers that isolate souls from one another.' Male Librarian Centrefold.
That's lovely. Generous. Interested.
I, however, spent the day mostly wishing any |genericcolleagues| who spoke to me were just two seconds away from dead. Horribly, suddenly, nastily dead. Oops.

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Now Playing: Chopin. Again.

I am frozen as fucking permafrost.
Chilled as a glacial crust.
Algid, arctic,
below freezing,
below zero, benumbed, biting,
bitter, blasting, bleak, boreal, brisk, brumal,
chill, chilled, cool,
crisp, cutting, freezing,
frigid, frore, frosty, frozen,
gelid, glacial, hiemal,
hyperborean, icebox,
iced, icy, inclement,
intense, keen, nipping, nippy,
numbed, numbing, one-dog night,
penetrating, piercing, polar, raw,
rimy, severe, sharp, shivery,
sleety, snappy, snowy,

Okay, so maybe "I am inclement" doesn't work.
(Actually, that line might be truer than the rest....)

I've been sleeping under two duvets, in woolly socks, PJ's, a hoodie, and two hot cats.
I blame the water system - two mornings in a row there's been no hot water. I only found this out by running the showera while then sticking limbs under the raw biting jet ... agony. I've been cold, smelly and greasy for days.
It's working now, though; I tried to heat myself up by whacking the temperature up to a climax, running it for ages then jumping straight in (believe me, the mornings have taught me what a risk this is). It was squealing level hot. I sat on the shower floor in the heat, trying to accord every different bit of my body it's proportionate time under the best bits, and counting bars in the mist of how many people I'd ever been really in love with. Yeah, it was *that* good.
After, I was too happy and chilled out to dry my hair, which eventually froze into tiny ice crystals of pain, rendering me cold and grumpy and stiff all over again.
Jatb sent me some gut-rotting firewater from Iceland. (brennivin?) So if this post rambles insanely, you can blame her, cos I drank the lot. [Thank you, jatb, it's disgusting, but it makes your insides burn. When they sack me for smelling like a roasted tramp tomorrow, I'll be blaming you...]
Anyway, I tried cooking three different meals, in the grill and the oven, to maximise the heat sources. I actually hovered my cold bum over the grill. Twice.
This must be what it feels like to be really really old. I'm sure the Werthers grandad warms his bum over the grill, too. Probably in mixed company, looking at his creepily beatific smile. Nobody could get *that* much pleasure from a toffee?
The oven didn't warm the room up much, but eating three times the amount of normal food helped a bit. I've been getting too underweight, through the time honoured method of not really eating, so it's cool to stuff myself silly. Petite is buying me a slap-up lunch tomorrow, that might be warming. I gave her #2 towards it. Heh.
I also climbed over ten feet of old crap in the hallway, to totter precariously onto half-rotted old unfixed shelves and pull the attic hatch shut. Given how scary attics are in the movies, plus the perilous twenty foot drop below, this is a miracle. It was really heavy and dirty, too. Feeling proud of myself for that gave me two minutes more warmth. Enough warmth to foolishly relinquish the BPNSEA sweater, and feel only minorly frosted over in the hoodie and PJ's.
The heating is turned up to maximum, and I'm crouching to blog by the radiator. I think I might be crouched in this position for life, now. It's blistering hot (well, at the bottom of the radiator it is), and if I move even a foot away, the contrast makes it feel as if I'm trapped deep in the glacier, two feet from a mammoth.
Worlds away from this summer's heatwave.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:53 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 23 October 2003 10:04 PM BST
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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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Tuesday, 21 October 2003


Mood:  energetic
Now Playing: Chopin: prelude in E minor

I find it a little bizarre how much better I felt today, given how badly it started, with the robbery in my car. I spose I won't know the price of that till next week. And besides, thanks to the would-be car thieves, I only worked one hour today - no wonder I was feeling chipper.
I've got three days of uninterrupted |genericworkthings| to do now, though, so the cheery face may waver - ignore it! No more moaning and whingeing. Just don't read this blog till next Saturday is my recommendation.
It was all pre-menstrual tension anyway. (as a friend once put it: "just how many fucking days of the month are you not premenstrual, exactly?")
Anyway, I'm proud of my crappy sad self today, cos I opened an entire year's worth of post this morning, and dealt with every bill but one. I sorted loads of stuff out with banks and cards (couldn't really do anything but, as I'd run out of bogroll ... groogh), which left me with enough money to go buy some PJ's. Alongside the bed boiling, all part of the exorcism (that sounds mean, I don't mean getting rid of ex-DH, I mean making it possible to live here without nightmares or hearing weird voices in the middle of the night - it's hard enough breaking up, without having to wonder if you're dreaming or if you're bonkers yet.)
Today's serendipity factor is that if I hadn't gone to the bank to sort this out, this afternoon, I wouldn't have run into Chris Eubank at Canary Wharf. Celebtastic! I left him pining for more of me while I purchased my goods, but when I returned, there was a strangely coincidental bombscare. Lots of smoke and dust, and no ex world heavyweight boxing champion in sight. Either someone wants his eccentricity belt (and bowler hat) off him, or he was trying to get away without me following him back to Essex.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:39 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 21 October 2003 11:39 PM BST
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Cassandra predicts

Ah well, that'll teach me to whinge so much. My car just got broken into - third time in three years.
Henceforth, this blog must become a place of sweetness and light, as it's obviously turning out to be prophetic.

On Friday, Jatb and I were talking about when people quote their old diaries in their blogs. I s'pose people diarise things more at times of stress or strong emotion.
Certainly when you're single you journal it a lot more. What's the point of writing a diary about being in a couple?
"Dear Diary, today she left hairs in the bath AGAIN. I swear I will strangle her in her sleep. Ate cottage pie for tea. Watched teev."
I didn't think blogging old diaries would really work for me, as although I kept diaries for about five years, they're all in code, and most of the codewords are for sex.
I did sometimes diarise in prose, but after the sick situation when I read my onetime flatmate, Gremlin's diary, I stopped that.
I'd snuck into Gremlin's room and read her diary, in which I found a detailed critique, lasting around a thousand words or so, of entries in my diary. It was relatively eloquent - I was characterised as the planet Pluto, I remember, because if you weren't cool enough, I'd expel you from my orbit or something. (No, I have no idea if that ties in with any astronomy.) It was all probably more to do with the fact I used to use Gremlin's special chopping board to cut up onions, so she ended up having to wake up every morning and sniff all her kitchen chopping boards to check. Nutter.
Boy, was it hard to work out that aggression, though. I couldn't admit to reading her diary, so I couldn't confront her about it. I had to work every conversation around to it indirectly. "Have you read any Atwood? Well you know the second female character in that one - would you characterise her as cold, controlling and self-obsessed? No? Because I think she's rather more innocent than you realise. No, listen, this is really important. I really want to know what you think of these characters ..." etc....

I just had a quick look at my diary for 1993, which was the year I graduated from university, and the year I came out of the closet. I had huge torrid affairs with three or four different people that year. Two of whom I fell in love with. One of whom I was using to get the attention of the other two.
Being unemployed I also got as close to prostitution as I ever managed - I taught English grammar to a married Korean friend who regarded this as a brilliant excuse to feel me up during the more difficult grammar questions. I needed the money (my diary lists my state benefits as #40 a fortnight at the time), so I had to keep going back. Therefore, I reasoned with myself, if I was going to keep doing the job even with the harrassment, I may as well get a ritzy dinner out of it every night, on top of the feel. See what I mean?
Most of the entries, however, are about racing around the country getting pissed. (No change there then.)
No detail or even any full sentences. So, I can tell you that October 16th 1993 was the night I fell in love with Cheesy, my first proper girlfriend (as opposed to proper shag - you see how the need for categories comes about...). And that I stayed over at her flat, unbeknownst to my boyf of the time, and we did C7.
Told you it was a bad idea to raid old diaries.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:25 AM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 21 October 2003 9:21 AM BST
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Monday, 20 October 2003

Numb Eric

Now Playing: Tabula Rasa. Again. In the dark.
I'm sorry, it's another grumpybastardwhingeingpost. You might want to skip ahead now.

It's all about numbers today.
4 hours sleep, sleeping off 4 glasses of wine yesterday.
2 chequebooks went with me into work, hoping to find 5 minutes to pay off the #500 I owe the courts after last week's CCJ, but didn't take the book for the account that had money in.
I meant to ring the solicitor, but forgot the number. 1.30 is the time for my appointment with the mortgage advisor. I need 3 wage slips and a passport, even though I already have 2 mortgages with them. I'm sure I can probably find some wage slips in amongst the pile of post and letters that I haven't opened for 2 years. (hence the CCJ (court judgement) last week.)
I didn't mention the CCJ, despite the letters I'm now getting from loan shark firms offering 'cheap rate' mortgages to untrustworthy people like me, whom nobody would apparently lend money to. I'll have to trust that the huge equity in the flat sways them.
Funny how I was careful to correct the personal pronouns at the bank. "Her. Not him. I have split up with Her." They thought I'd just transfer the mortgage into 1 name. Pshaw. If only.
I consoled myself with lunch in the mall by the bank - #8. Bleedin rip-off, I thought. This was before they refused all 4 credit cards at the supermarket, and I was left scrabbling around for spare change to pay the #5 parking fee. I won't be able to afford a new watch. I realised I can't afford to drive to that bank any more.

I hate numbers.

At home, I changed out of the #160 suit that obviously now belongs to another age, and put the BPNSEA (Big Pink No Sex Ever Again) sweater on to lie on the floor in the dark, watching the patterns on the ceiling.
Most of the windows of my flat are screened by large trees. These are lit up by old fashioned carriage-lamps, in a very old-fashioned Edwardian terrace.
When I moved into this place, 4 years ago, the ex-DH was working in Brazil, and I bought my 1st piece of furniture - a blue rug to sit, eat, sleep and play on. The rest of the place was empty, and I used to watch the shadows of the tree branches moving outside as I dozed off on the empty living room floor.
In the dark, the #15000 we spent renovating the flat becomes indistinct, the fancy new furniture gets blurred. And in a small, cringey fashion, it's like going back to where I started, back in 1999.
A music box, a rug, and a tree.

I can do this. They're only numbers.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:55 PM BST
Updated: Monday, 20 October 2003 8:02 PM BST
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Sunday, 19 October 2003


Mood:  caffeinated
Now Playing: Capital Radio, but the minute Justin Trousersnake came on....
..... my cats began fighting, hitting the volume dial and whacking it up to maximum. My cats love Justin - eurrghh.


Strikes me that when I stay in most of the day, I pee a lot. I know full well that a day's work at |genericjob| involves one pee per eight hours. How many pees per day is normal? The |genericjob| volume of pee, or the loafing at home jugfull?
Is it a standard |genericjob| response, this sphincter-tightening retention of fluid?
How come, if I have a mere three hours of homework to do this weekend, I'm still procrastinating every bit as much as when I had a uni assignment to do (which were much worse)?
If there's a deadline to meet, why must I not only fail to meet it, but fail to do anything else remotely purposeful as well?
And how often should you clean your teeth, anyway?

Today I grabbed the Latest Psychotic Idiosyncracy by the horns, and used a third of a pint of bleach to boil-wash the sheets from the double bed*.
I can't fit myself, two cats and twisty schizo nightmares onto a box-room single guest bed any longer, so I have to get over my fear of the big bedroom smells. Not that it smells (the cat puke got cleaned up a month ago, I pretended it remained there for comedic effect), more that I don't want to lie on pillows that have even a trace scent of being together, when we're not.

* = I know. I do know how crazy this sounds. It's exactly seven days since my ex gf left.
Here, here, here, let me show you crazy.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:52 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 19 October 2003 10:05 PM BST
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Saturday, 18 October 2003

Unwise activities

Now Playing: Get Shorty

Still trying to work out if I have a serious hangover, or a mild throat infection.
Tried to undo the damage inflicted by eating only good good things, today - fruit, bran flakes, fresh juices, herbal teas, etc. My body is a temple stuff.
Sod that. My body is a trashcan driven by an animal lust for bacon. And coffee. And chocolate.

For your edification, the following list warns of what you should never ever attempt to do after a huge drunken sushi binge:

1. Mix your drinks horribly.
2. Dance like a loon. Imagine the sushi. Imagine the drinks. Now put them in an imaginary washing machine. You see?
3. Breakfast on bacon products. All of them.
4. Overindulge by snarfing an entire mountain of raw fish the next day.

The list does continue, but its quease-factor means I shan't.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:01 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 18 October 2003 10:07 PM BST
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