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Saturday, 17 July 2004

Better than an alarm clock by far

Topic: Eurotrash

It was very nice to hear some new voices this morning - thanks for calling. Made me get up and move my damn car to somewhere away from the wardens, which enabled my extra cappucino and croissant at l'Hirondelle. You croissant enablers, you.

If you feel like helping out tomorrow, now that Harv is staying in Hamburg I shall be annoying my parents by sleeping in their spare room all day, and could do with a reminder to get out of bed before ten o'clock. Or some nice music on my voicemail, I need to vary my influences. Perhaps a text message, if you're not in England?

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See, there's no depths I can't stoop to for attention, are there?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Peeling Wallpaper
"I have this idea for a soft porn novel. You know the kind of book people leave behind at bus stations and train terminals, the ones with the covers torn off, the ones that catch your eye because of the provocative language, starting on page one, with very creative parts of speech for very intimate parts of the body. You?ll look down from your seat at the train station at the abandoned book on the seat next to you and the words ?swollen hamlet of love? will jump right up at you and you will think, ?well, this isn?t Tom Clancy.? "

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:09 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 3 March 2005 8:21 PM GMT
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Friday, 25 June 2004

Avril Ravine

Topic: Eurotrash

A Friday in April:
Insulted many people at genericjob by asking them to do pointless crack-papering tasks way below their capabilities - was surprised to note that they really enjoyed the lack of pressure, and I ended the day laden with easter eggs, chocolate gifts, impromptu cards secretly bought at lunchtime, and bottles of wine. Jeez, I should lower everyone's standards more often.
Then I realeased Martin from his Penge prison, to go look for the dinosasurs in Crystal Palace. Buggered if I could find anything even worth looking at, let alone rubber dinosaurs, so we loafed for about three different rush hours in my favourite battered leather window sofa in Cafe Ponce. Was fab, really fab to sit and stare at people walking past, in the sunshine, with just enough patch of blue to throw your mind into.

A Saturday in April:
Went to meet Toulouse before Duch's big (cough)tieth birthday dinner. I was about 45 minutes late, which considering he came from France, is a little unforgiveable. We met in a cafe basement in Bumboy Street (Tybalt always used to aver this was a homophobic name for it, but I disagree), but as I'd decided to exercise my short sighted eyes by wearing spectacles as little as possible, I first spent time in the wrong cafe, then in a men's basement toilet, then when I finally found the right location, accosted the first reading student I saw with a very familiar forearm stroke, accusing him of being Toulouse. I all but broke into a hug. He looked so shocked and horrified that I was halfway across the place, backing away before I realised Toulouse was actually sat next to him.
Like, duh.
I've documented the rest of the evening. Venison goulash combined with jaw grinding rage, politely suppressed. Quite fun, actually.

Best Blo'te of the Century So Far: Light From an Empty Fridge
(bears a longer quotation than usual, because, typically, it's brilliant)
"There are people who will always answer questions while eating, are happy to make and take calls at any time of the day, will check their work mail during the weekend, and who often assume that this is what you do as well. What does this say?
I am so terrified of losing my job and/or desperate for the approval of my superiors that I will prostrate myself pathetically in this manner in front of the Gods Of Work for any tiny, tiny advantage that it might bring, despite the fact that 90% of the time nobody notices and 10% of the time they think "useful idiot, give him some more to do". I would probably do better rolling on my back and pissing all over myself, but I might get fired for staining the carpet.
I have become so blinded by my own concept of the work ethic that selling widgets to morons is more than a job to me. It's more than a career. It's a calling, it's an intrinsic duty. A contract of employment is an oath of fealty stronger than anything any samurai ever swore. Making money for other people matters more than anything else in the world, and I can't believe it doesn't to you too.
N.B. When my job is outsourced I will likely shoot the entire office and then myself, so you might wish to invest in some sort of ballistic protection.
I'm a self-important arsehole who enjoys feeling superior, and "hours worked" is a scoring system that lets me rate myself higher than you.
or maybe just
I hate the rest of my life.
or any combination of the above."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:42 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 25 June 2004 3:00 PM BST
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Office Politics

Topic: Eurotrash

The run of bad luck continues.

Don't you just hate it when people walk into you, just assuming you'll get out of their way if they're bolshy enough? I try not to respond, but if they haven't mastered the art of walking in a world that contains other people yet, I draw the line at moving out of their way.

At a work lunch today, they not only reduced the size of the plates for their damn buffet (dirty trick! boo!), people would spend ages leaning over the cheese finger sarnies, choosing (oooh! cheese! or - ooh! wait a minute! other cheese!), and not letting me sidle past with my carefully constructed tower of cocktail sausages. So, in a damn mood, again, I decided I'd wait, but I'd not get out of their way, too, unless they asked politely. Passive aggressive, moi?

So the Head of Pointless Mumbling, on her third course already, decides to march up and into me aggressively, in the - vain - aspiration I'll step neatly out of the way of her superior firepower. Stupid old cow, her muzzle is drooping, and her ammunition is not what it once was. I'm not moving unless she speaks to me. What does she do? She shoves.
I can't believe a forty five year old woman has shoved me, throwing strawberries, cherry juice and cream all over me in the process. So she wouldn't have to say "excuse me".

I look down, at the spoon and dish still hanging from my white and pink pinstripe jeans, clinging on by cream stickiness alone. I don't speak. The Head of Pointless Mumbling begins to berate me. "It got caught in your scarf" she says, in lieu of an apology. I have a striped blue scarf tied at hip level. When I inspect it, there's a sticky red spoon now embedded in its folds. I know I'm tall, but for her to be carrying her dessert at hip height is ridiculous. She defensively asks for her spoon back.
I remove it and throw it onto the dinner table. Then sigh. The jeans are ruined.
In typical bitchy older woman style, she offers me a fresh spoon. "Don't worry about it," I say. (I so love the moral high ground, can't you tell?) The damage is done - anything else is just making the old cow feel better.
"No, here, you can use it to scrape the fruit off."

What is it with women in the generation above me, anyway? They've been like this since school. Competitive. Bitchy. Up themselves. As if someone's videoing them and counting the score. As if apologising for acting like a dickhead would lose them a weeks' bonus points.
I dunno what I've done to fuck her off, but I kind of suspect it's something along the lines of exist, be younger than her, not care too much about her obsession with her own authority, not pay obeisance.
Fuck this crap at work. I hate office politics.

I may have fruitshit all over my trousers, but I know how to make way for others and I know how to open my mouth and apologise when I fuck it up for people.

Footnote: I'm probably only really ranting because then I fell asleep in front of the England v Portugal match, and dreamt I was Nadia from BB, taking penalties. Don't even go there, there's nothing good or fruitful in those few moments of delirium.
Blo'te of the Day So Far: Stefan Geens
"Margaretha married Rolf, the man she broke up with Bengt for; they've had two children and lived in Luxembourg and Gothenburg before settling in Stockholm. It turns out that when I called, the children were under the impression their dad was her first love. But how many of us know the details of our parents' pre-marital love lives? I certainly don't, and it will stay that way unless somebody calls me with news of a long-lost love letter addressed to my mother from somebody patently not my father.
After I called and Margaretha saw the letter online, she looked for Bengt M? online, found him living in the area where they grew up and called him. He remembered her without prompting."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:52 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 25 June 2004 1:34 AM BST
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Thursday, 17 June 2004

News from the House!

Now Playing: BB webfeeds

Topic: Eurotrash

No, not that house, although I have to admit to being a shade knackered after watching listening to them break every item in sight till four this morning - from *my* house.

After five months on the market, I marched in and sacked the estate agent, got a new one last Saturday, and today I accepted an offer!
Of course, it's not that simple or that easy, but after shopping at Lidl, living in Penge, having lukewarm baths and walking to work since February, this was certainly a new-knickers occasion, I can tell you.

Two working days to get an offer. I'm jazzed and tired and soooooo relieved.

So I won't blog about how they offered me five hundred for all my furniture, the cheeky bastards. (or how I would have accepted, either.)

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far:OnePotMeal
"You couldn?t remember buying the suit, but there it was.
People came into your office sometimes but never asked about work, never knew about Yees, only about the shirt(s) you were wearing, and you wondered how long you could get away with changing shirts all day long and doing no work, how long until you could retire and commit full-time to the search for a poet named Yees.
Meanwhile the poet who rented your old bedroom downstairs got a sunburn because your old room had so many windows. The spines of his books all faded until the titles and authors were gone.
You rubbed aloe into his peeling back, asked if he knew the work of a poet of Yees, but he said, No, no, I?ve never heard of this Yees. Are you sure he?s a poet at all."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:30 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 22 June 2004 11:48 PM BST
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Monday, 7 June 2004

The Last Chance

Topic: Eurotrash

Be warned: this post will progress from honour, to shame, to the unspeakable. I never promised you tasteful.

This article, 'Honouring the Brave', memorialises the final celebration of fourteen different nations' effort to defeat Hitler in the D-Day landings.

THEY came together for one last walk with old comrades and the ghosts of their brothers who stayed forever young.

They're smaller now these survivors of the Longest Day. Frail, stooped, white-haired and wide-girthed are the great liberators today. They hobble more than march, deep breaths puff out their cheeks and many need a stick, an arm or a chair to fight the ravages of time.

But they still have razor-sharp creases in the trousers and shoes they can see their lined faces in. Their barrel chests still fill with pride at the medals they bear. Medals which set them apart from us lesser men who will never be tested the same. They still attempt a ram-rod back, the chins still jut. They may be slower of foot than they were when they raced from their boats 60 years ago into ferocious German fire but there is still the same determined steel in their stride.

Age cannot wither these legendary veterans of Operation Overlord.

And as the survivors, now in their 80s and 90s, defied the heat of the French sun to officially walk together for the last time in front of the sands of Arromanches, they still looked like the callow young men who landed here to free the world from an awful tyranny.
Read More
It was the first time the German chancellor was invited to the D-Day Landing ceremony, the men who survived are edging eighty now, and there will be no more large scale official ceremony in their honour in their, or our lifetimes.

I post the link not only to pay respect to the men who lost their friends, their family, their health and occasionally their peace of mind in the conflict. I post it also to point out to American readers the scale of heavily loaded references to Bush 'arriving late' - an obvious attack on American involvement in WW2.
[Context: Some time ago, I found myself on Anne's and Cyn's comments, having to explain the extent of anti-Americanism in Europe that stems not from Iraq, but is simply ever present and taken for granted at all levels. I felt real shock at the discovery that Americans weren't aware of this.
I mention this antipathy not to condone it, or to propagate it further - god knows, jingoism is execrable in any form - but because it dawned on me that American bloggers simply did not know about it, and were shocked when detected. Their shock, in turn shocked me
This sort of denigration is culturally unremarkable - so much so as to go unnoticed everyday in Europe, and nobody here has been 'invaded'. Essentially, any imperial power creates enemies - but it seems important to me that America lose it's feigned innocence about how the rest of the world perceives them. Nobody's happy with you guys. They never will be. You can't change that. Get over the shock.

Secondly, tomorrow in the UK is the first and last chance to see Venus cross the face of the Sun.
Nobody alive and in England this century will have had or will have again this opportunity. (The last occurrence ws 1882.)
At around half six tomorrow morning (earlier in the north, later in the south, according to the local rag), if you're outside, and you've not lost the art of making pinhole cameras, you can witness another ritual which won't be seen again in this generation. Try to see it with the naked eye, an' your eyes will be stuffed.

Edit: it's ok, I took the unspeakable references to poo out.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Bandhag
"What if, contrary to the popular saying, you can take it with you?
How gutted would you be to get to the Other Side and find that even there you were priced out of the property market and that it was only the pious fuckers who'd sunk all their disposable income into ISAs and bonds instead of pissing it up the wall on booze, drugs and thousands of impulse-purchases that could afford the biggest, fluffiest, whitest clouds and the fanciest gold harps, while you had to share a flimsy Cirrus with your mates and fight over who used up the last of the manna?
Aetheism - you know it makes sense."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:59 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 8 June 2004 7:27 PM BST
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Thursday, 20 May 2004

More deeply weirdo searches

Topic: Eurotrash
lovely colourful teddy's greetings
how to wank a boy
sarsparilla vanilla
sarsparilla vanilla
arsehole shaggy
'can't do it now either (at the age of 22)'
'charlotte dymond' poem
+enema + shop +london
fish allergy weal on chin
'weird places to live'
belly button sex blog
sidsel endreson
video of Berk decapitation
Nanna's beautifully rich recipe for yoghurt
peter andre having sex with katie price
self brease exam male
Ass smells bad...any medicine?
ophelia dahl lesbian
chilli rose spider
when a dog lifts leg in affection
enema receipt
sexi calendars 2004
embarrassing story wank
definition 'flirting thrills'
ex-girlfriend slag knickers
amy handcuffs blog
boring idiotic give me fun website
drama queen - Vanessa - No Angles
cooked tits boiled girl
'vanessa's lunchbox'*
*think I've had that one before....

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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.

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Updated: Thursday, 20 May 2004 12:12 AM BST
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Friday, 30 April 2004


Topic: Eurotrash

I can't even begin to explain to you how tired I am, now. I reckon I've worked forty hours of overtime this week.
Despite being so sluggish that I keep catching myself sailing along in charge of a lump of dangerous metal at 60mph while looking somewhere right and thinking about cloud formations, I'm going out to have a blogmeet now (I was toying with the idea that every time I go for a jar with someone I know who happens to have, or have abandoned, or heard of blogging, I have to hop around overexcitedly and call it a blogmeet - could get confusing when I visit my blogfamily), with Martin and Looby, who no doubt will be terribly polite about how I'm too shattered to actually form anything but excruciating run-on sentences - although I do have a plan, see, I haven't drunk whiskey for 16 years, perhaps now would be a painless time to see if it restores sanity; I mean, the odds are doubtful, but it may be enjoyable trying - anyway, I'm late, and although I've lived in Lamb's Conduit street, my overstressed brain won't let me remember where it is, and I'm not going to get very far asking strangers if they know the way to Jo's house, am I (they'd helpfully point out that she moved to China years ago, I'm sure).
Oh fuck, where did that full stop come from?

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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.

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

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Is my Blog HOT or NOT?

See the books I've read on my Bookshelf at

i say, "FUCK!"

The Weblog Review
Vote for this site at Freedom Forum

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:47 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 2 May 2004 3:06 AM BST
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Diary of Mrs. J. S. McCorkle (Elizabeth (Lizzie) O. Clements

Topic: Eurotrash

Friday, Mar 4 , 1904

Dr. has a very bad cold from standing on cold ground planting potatoes. I read and worked on drawn work and a bonnet --- I was not well at all. Mrs. Harris went to town trading and bought a nice rocker ? Ludith sick todayd. Bro Rody and Vergin Pace came ? The cemetery association was reorganized today ? Letter from Sallie.

Saturday, Mar 5

Dr. sick on bed part of the time ? I am 61 years old today. Willie and Albert gave me a set of silver spoons. Mary some sugar, Ludith some domestic, Iola a waist. Dr. a silver dollar. Bro Rody took dinner with us. Iola cooked a cake. We paid 75 cts. To have washing done. I am not well. Took medicine. Dr. not able to go to his office. Albert came to see Dr.

Sunday, Mar 6

Dr. too sick to go to S.S. too rainy for me to go. Iola, Scott, Mr. & Mrs. Harris went. I kept Charlie, ------ Dr McConnell came to see Dr. Dr. got up and wrote a letter to Beatrice.

Monday, Mar 7

Dr. still has a bad cold with some fever ? went to his office and made three dollars --- Iola and I ironed --- read and mended --- churned ? sold 3 gallons of milk. We sent a letter to Sallie, Beatrice, Bro Joe and Bro Mc___ for the second Sunday School revival plan. We are giving Dr a course of Calomel.

Tuesday, Mar 8

Dr. in bed all day -- fever and bad cold. Bro Joe came to see Dr. ----- Willies little baby Ruth is sick. Rec?d a letter from Verlmer C-----

Wednesday, Mar 9

Dr. McCorkle grew worse at three o?clock ? Iola was painting at Mrs. Parks. I sent for her and two doctors came at once ? he suffered all night. Mr. Spencer, Iola and I set up to wait on him ? he said to me don?t think I am afraid to die, My way is bright. Mr Spencer read two books while sitting up, yet he helped us when he could. This was a bad night for Dr. was so very sick all night. Cherry and Sherril were both called in to wait on him.

Thursday, Mar 10

Dr. was still sick worse and said telephone for Sallie and Lula, I can?t live. I did and phoned for Bro Joe and sister Sue to come which they did. We did all we could to relieve him, but all in vain ? in the night he suffered very very much with cramp which results in his right side being paralyzed ? At twelve thirty Sallie came ? he knew her, but could not talk. At 4 he breathed his last.

Friday, Mar 11 Dr. died today.

I have things mixed as I am so bothered. This is the day Sallie came and Dr died. This the darkest day of my life when all is gone. Sister Sue was not here when he died but all of the children and grandchildren except Cicero and Iola May. Cicero came by night and my two brothers Henry(?) and Rufus who loved Dr so much, but doctor .......................

Saturday, Mar 12

Sister Sue, Eula, Eudora and many others came to Dr?s funeral. Bro Brown and Cousin Ellie conducted the service. Bro Evans also led in prayer and talked. Mr. Flora Wilson played the funeral march, Asleep in Jesus, and All is Well With My Soul was sung. The house was crowded with people ? crepe was draped beautifully in the church. There were many beautiful flowers brought and place on the grave.

Sunday, Mar 13

All of us staid at home. Bro Henry and Bro Rufus went home at 10:00. George and Little Maurine left on the twelve train. All of Lula?s family spent the day with us. After dinner we all went to see Willie and spent the afternoon. Elie McCorkle & Hiel came to see us. This is the first time we have all missed goint to S.S. in a long time. All of Lula?s folks spent the night and we all studied the will left by Dr. making me the executor of the will.

Monday, Mar 14

Mr. Cockroft and Albert helped me to read Dr.?s will and look over his papers. I am appointed to wind up Dr.?s business ? Mrs Mattie Brown, Dr McConnell ----- etc came to see us. Mrs Cockroft and family went to Memphis, Beatrice staid. Cicero applied for a position in our bank so as to stay with us for company ? Cicero bought some groceries for me, paid some of our debts, was very good indeed to us. Cicero is a fine boy. Beatrice gave me a black calico dress ? all of my children were here ? all are well today.

Tuesday, Mar 15

Rec?d letters of sympathy one from sister Phares, cousin Mamie McCorkle, of Eminence, KY. We rented our three rooms to Mr Harris for $5.50 -------- (visitors named) ... Sallie and Beatrice are with us. Little Gladys is a sweet interesting little girl, just three years and three months old when her grandfather died.


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A Diary of Napoleon's Life in His Own Words

Topic: Eurotrash

1804 March 1st. Pichegru was arrested yesterday. He was not able to use either his pistols or his dagger. He fought with his fists for half an hour against three or four picked policemen.

8th, Malmaison:
We are making arrests every day. I think it is certain that Georges and a few of his men are still in Paris.

9th, Paris:
The case against Moreau and Pichegru is being worked up by the Criminal Tribunal of the Seine.

10th. (To General Berthier.) Please give orders to General Ordener, whom I place at your disposal, to start to-night for Strassburg. He is to proceed to Ettenheim, to surround the city, and to seize the Duke d'Enghien, Dumouriez, an English colonel, and any other persons in the party.

12th, Malmaison:
(To General Soult.) Paris is still held closed by the police, and will be kept so until these ruffians are all under arrest. I may tell you, in the strictest confidence, that I hope to get Dumouriez. The rascal is near our frontiers.

(To General Marmont.) As soon as you reach the camp, form a line of battalions, and spend eight hours in reviewing the men one by one; listen to their complaints, inspect their arms, and see that nothing is missing. These reviews of seven or eight hours are very profitable; they accustom the men to remain under arms, and show them that their officers are not dissipating, but are concerned for their welfare, a thing that inspires the soldier with much confidence.

14th. In the present situation of Europe my policy aims straight at England. I have at Boulogne 1000 gun-boats and flatboats that will carry 100,000 men and 10,000 horses.

19th. Citoyen General Murat: I have received your letter. If the Duke de Berry were in Paris at the house of M. de Cobenzl, and if M. d'Orleans were staying with the Marquis di Gallo, not only would I have them arrested this very night and shot, but I would also have these ambassadors arrested and make them suffer the same fate; the law of nations would not be seriously affected.

There is no other prince in Paris than the Duke d'Enghien, who will arrive at Vincennes to-morrow. Get that well into your head, and don't listen to anything you may hear to the contrary.

20th. The ci-devant Duke d'Enghien, accused of having carried arms against the Republic, of having been and still being in the pay of England, of plotting with that Power against the security, internal and external, of the Republic, shall be tried by a court-martial of seven members appointed by the governor of Paris, assembled at Vincennes.

4 P.M.
(To General Murat.) The Duke d'Enghien is to be taken to the fort of Vincennes, where arrangements have been made to receive him. He is travelling under the name of Plessis.

4.30 P. M.
(To citoyen Harel.) A person whose name is to remain unknown to you is to be sent to the fort which you command; place him in the room that is vacant, taking proper precautions against his escape. The intention of the Government is that everything relating to him should be kept very secret, and that no questions should be addressed to him as to his identity, or the reason for his arrest.

(To citoyen Real.) Apparently the Duke d'Enghien started at midnight on the 17th. He will therefore soon be here. I have just issued the decree of which I enclose you a copy. Proceed to Vincennes at once to examine the prisoner. Here are the questions to put to him:

Have you borne arms against your country?

Have you accepted the pay of England?

What knowledge have you of the plot formed by England for overturning the Government of the Republic? On that plot meeting with success, were you not to enter Alsace, and even march on Paris, in given circumstances?

You must take with you the public prosecutor, who is to be the major of the special gendarmerie, and you must instruct him to put things through quickly.

21st. Execution of the Duke d'Enghien.
I will respect the judgment of public opinion when it is well founded; but when capricious it must be met with contempt. I have behind me the will of the nation and an army of 500,000 men. With that 1 can command respect for the Republic. I could have had the Duke d'Enghien shot publicly; and if I have not done so, I held back not from fear, but to prevent the secret adherents of his House from breaking out and ruining themselves. They have kept quiet; it is all I ask of them.

I will not consent to a peace with England unless she expels the Bourbons, just as Louis XIV expelled the Stuarts, because their presence in England will always be dangerous for France. Russia, Sweden, Prussia have driven them out.

22d. These people wanted an upheaval in France, and by killing me to kill the Revolution; it has been for me to defend and to avenge it. I have shown what it can do. The Duke d'Enghien was a conspirator just like any other, and it was necessary to treat him as any other might be treated. The Bourbons will always look at things through the ?il de B?uf, and are fated to live under an eternal delusion. Ah! it would have been a different matter had they appeared like Henry IV on a battlefield, all covered with dust and with blood. Kingdoms are not won by letters dated "London" and signed "Louis." I have shed blood, I shall perhaps shed more, but never in anger, and merely because bloodletting enters into the practice of political medicine.

1804 April 5th. Mr. Edward Livingston, President of the Academy of Arts of New York: I have learned with interest of the formation of a literary society in New York; and as your Academy has been so kind as to elect me a member, pray inform it that I accept with pleasure, and that I am grateful for its good opinion of me.

6th. (To Pauline Borghese.) Madam and dear sister: I learn with regret that you have not enough good sense to conform with the customs and habits of the city of Rome; that you show contempt for the inhabitants, and that Paris is your constant model. Although busy with matters of grave importance, yet I have thought it best to inform you of my views, hoping that you will conform with them.

Love your husband and your family; be obliging; accustom yourself to the habits of the city of Rome; and be persuaded that if at the age you have now reached you give way to bad advice, you can no longer count on me.

14th. The General Councils of Departments, the Electoral Colleges, and all the great Bodies of the State, demand that an end should be made of the hopes of the Bourbons by securing the Republic from the upheavals of elections and the uncertainty attending the life of an individual.

15th. It is not as a general that I rule, but because the nation believes I have the civilian qualifications for governing. My system is quite simple. It has seemed to me that under the circumstances the thing to do was to centralize power and increase the authority of the Government, so as to constitute the Nation. I am the constituent power.

I can best compare a constitution to a ship; if you allow the wind to fill your sails, you go you know not whither, according to the wind that drives you; but if you make use of the rudder, you can go to Martinique with a wind that is driving you to San Domingo. No constitution has remained fixed. Change is governed by men and by circumstances. If an overstrong government is undesirable, a weak one is much worse.


This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:32 AM BST
Updated: Friday, 30 April 2004 12:42 AM BST
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Tuesday, 20 April 2004


Topic: Eurotrash

Never never never go to the shops and spend a HUNDRED SQUIDS on food on a day where you're dizzy and your teeth ache from lack of sleep. You will wake up the next morning and cringe (or shout 'oh fuck!' in my case) every time you open a bulging heaving cupboard and watch all types of ridiculous inedible crap tumble out on top of you.
Worst buy: a new sauce that combines Soy with Sambal Oelek. Just because they can. Sigh.

PS: managed five hours sleep. Go me. < end sarcastic >

Turn Off TV Week ~ I'm spending a week living an imaginary life as a couch potato, to see if it's any more fulfilling.

Daily Selection: I might have watched ~

1. 8pm, BBC2, Happy Birthday BBC2 ~ a three hour celebration of 40 years of BBC2, with clips from BBC2 classics such as 'The Likely Lads', 'I, Claudius', 'The Borgias', 'Little Britain', and 'The Office'. Arrgh, I really want to see 'I ,Claudius' again, adn I remember being too young to get all the sex references in 'The Borgias', but knowing they were there somewhere - all those half remembered worthy dramas from my ancient youth in the late seventies are proving worth a retelling. Although I could do without another bloody outing from 'The Office', which I'm sick of, Beeb 2 was amazing before it went all Permo Time Team docu on us. This would even beat out 'A Life of Grime' on Beeb 1, which seems, from friends' comments, to be entirely set outside my flat in E3. Aargh. I seriously am tempted by this.
2. 9pm, C5, CSI ~ the team is duped by a hoax electrocution at a casino, distracting their attention from the theft of antiquities. Gadzoinks, this is actually the only programme I do watch on teev. And, with the slow demise of C4, Five is increasingly my favourite channel. Aaargh, etc, to a repetitive degree. If I don't watch it, I'll only end up spending 136 hours next week, abortively trying to download it.
3. 11.55pm, C5, Angel ~ Fred gets infested by evil bugs. I'd stay up late and watch this old ep just to see the really revoltingly irritating Fred cop it. Angel's about twelvety-two series behind in the UK, and it gets aired at fucking stupid times of the night. I tend to wait to buy the video and watch it then, or download wonder about episodes if the storyline gets notoriously good while it's airing Stateside. My god, that reminds me, the latest ep aired in America on 14th April, which means it's had time to get ripped and put on the web. What an intriguingly theoretical thing to ponder (rushes off).
Verdict: That's actually tempting. Well, the first two are. I might begin to regret this exercise.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:58 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 21 April 2004 6:13 PM BST
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Thursday, 15 April 2004

That Girl Got Juice You Know

Now Playing: Dizzee Rascal vs Vitalic
Topic: Eurotrash

I have certain friends, who, when I talk to them, I grow. Growing as in becoming wiser. In the sense that I learn about myself, I understand more about the world, I work things out, and god knows it always takes me a long sodding time to work anything out. Everything I say to them gets reflected back, but wiser. Of course, this happens with all your friends, that's what truly good friends are for - but some people, it happens every single time we meet. They're Derby, Krystal, and mostly, Duch.
When Derby left London for good, I remember one of the last things she said to me was an instruction 'stay in touch with Krystal. She's growing faster than any of us.'
So, anyway, I now have nearly two and a half weeks of unblogged stuff I've been avoiding catching up on here (because for some reason I still want this place to be a diary for me before it dies, of what happened in the year that I blogged it all), not really having made sense of any of it.
I don't like it when I don't write in a diary style - without those moments, the blog feels like it's become a radio show, just so much babbling into the ether.
Last night I went and learnt ten tons about myself with Krystal, and a lot of things have clicked into place.
Bsides which, I blame her entirely for making me drink again, it wasn't as if I walked into the cafe, sank into the lumpy leather sofa and ordered the waiter to bring me a cocktail instantly, either. Oh no.

Will I stop procrastinating and write about what's happened to me lately? Or will I write some more crap about cooking chickens?

In the meantime, if you're not reading Countin Flowers today, up there in my top blogs section, you should be.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:54 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 15 April 2004 5:33 PM BST
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Sunday, 11 April 2004

Barely Restrained Greed

Topic: Eurotrash

It's four in the morning. Can I eat my Easter egg now, or do I have to sleep first?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:18 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 April 2004 4:21 AM BST
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Saturday, 28 February 2004

Let's catch up with the damn calendar, hey?

Now Playing: The Grey Album / Yo La Tengo / Grateful Dead
Topic: Eurotrash
Thursday: Derby turned up in the ten minutes I thought I had to myself, and we collected Krystal from Crystal Palace (hence the pseudonym - there are methods to some of the bits of madness, you know), which not a palace, to go look at Eltham Palace, which is almost a palace. Confoozled? You will be. I've been trying to get to Eltham Palace for three years now, along with Kinky, so we can ooh and ahh at the Art Nouveau fittings.

We never made it, but this time, hell, I got there five minutes after closing, which as close as I've ever gotten, and at least got to look at the gardens. I ignored Krystal and Derby (okay, it was the other way around), and noticing a weird parallel between the Art Nouveau carvings I could see, and the heavyset figures in William Blake prints, done about 150 years earlier, I set to taking pictures that might look Blakeian.

First prize (of a nearly new refrigerator that I have nowhere to put) to the first person to spot which Blake print it's meant to remind you of. With a tie-breaker (where whoever can help me move my washing machine down three flights of stairs or fix my car) wins. What, me, manipulative? Desperate?

It was buggering freezing (hah, this post was written a fortnight ago, remember, before I actually knew what poverty and cold were), and we wandered over to Blackheath, for coffee, cake staring and pottering around the bookshop. I continued to take too many photographs (dunno what it is about digital cameras that means you take three hundred snaps when two good ones would do, but heck, I have bandwidth to spare this month), of skies, of hands of speakers animating their coffee shop conversations, of reflective shop frontages, of tulips, delicatessens, fruit. I really need a bright, preferable violent coloured large canvas in my beigeious flat, and Selfridge's will upscale a phot for #500, so I figure some print shop somewhere will do it for way less.

In the shops, something about the pompous, discreet middle classness of the place worked on my coffee high to transmogrify me from a mild mannered seeker of art nouveau bibelots into a raging cultural snob.
In the deli, I took umbrage at the request not to take pictures and resolutely took around fifty more covert snaps. Hey, Harv didn't introduce me to the world of commercial espionage for nothing, I can do spy stills.
In the tiny independent bookstore, I held forth loudly about Philip Roth's annoyingly gratuitous wanking passages. (Can't be bothered to explain.) I raged at the bloke working in Starbucks about the mispellings and grammatical errors on his door sign for fifteen minutes.

Later, there was a Thai meal in Crystal Palace with a load of people who all do the same job as me. Most of my friends eat Thai fairly often, but I'm the sort who finds a food they love and eats nothing but for the next six years, gorges on it till she explodes, and can't face it ever again - so I haven't gotten around to Thai gorging on more than a few occasions. Plus fried food, however exotic its point of origin, never much appeals when there's nothing else on the menu.
And the menu was the problem. The weirdness of poring over two sides of A4 and not knowing what a single dish might be is usually only something that happens on far flung climes. To find it in Gypsy Hill is disorienting. And the speed with which four out of six fellow diners ordered suggested they had just three dishes they knew weren't fried seal brains, also - though I wasn't brave enough to say.
I stuffed myself, then spent way too long - noticeably, oddly long - in the toilet. There was this weird silver ball in there, see, and I wanted to get it just right for a Mirror Project piece.
The evening ended with Derby staying over, then staying up till five in the morning chatting (I hadn't seen her since last spring; she's a trained counsellor - a dangerous combination.)

Friday: Derby was up and out for breakfast with an ex colleague and a six hour drive home after three hours sleep. Me, I slept all day, and when I did get up, it was to snuggle under a blanket on Pink Nasty and watch the entirety of CSI series one on DVD.
There's something enervating about living quite so quietly, then slamming yourself back into a social life that makes you feel a tad invaded after two or three days of socialising. My car had broken, and it was the perfect excuse to sit back and veg, crawl back into my shell, and hide from the world, happily.

Saturday: I thought I'd resolved my differences with Duch. I'd cut her for two weeks, she'd cut me for two weeks. I'd resolved never to get pissy about why - if anyone's unaware that shouting 'you donkey' repeatedly at people isn't going to increase their popularity, then it's not something I'm going to change by whining about it, and I swore to accept my mates for what they are. The week before had involved a five hour phone call, so we seemed quits, all bets off, as it were. Friday had involved mucho trauma by phone call too, and I'd arranged to travel the 25 miles and back to hers this night.
I reckoned without every single thing in the flat deciding to break that day. The AA guy fixing the car decided to take five hours to turn up - JatB got there quicker, and she was coming from the opposite corner of London. As soon the car it was finally fixed, I could rush out and get some urgent Jaffa cake replenishments. So the car repair guy says 'only drive it to a garage, it needs repairing NOW'.
Pfft. We all know that women's cars magically mend themselves if you leave them in the car park long enough, right?
Meanwhile, am running round the hypermarket, trying to get back in time to meet JatB, who's bringing a warm coat (it's getting colder...), and some small painted canvases for the beigeiousness, plus ringing fmc to see when I can visit her new place in Pantydrawer (or whatever the Welsh word for Swansea is).
Rang Duch and asked if it was okay if I didn't come over - fifty mile round trip, damaged car, rushed off feet, bloody frustrating day, JatB waiting outside my door, plus Duch was already going out earlier on with someone else. She agreed, and I thought that was that.

Get back to find the answerphone message from hell.
I am the devil. I am unsupportive, mean, have abandoned my friends.
I am thoughtless, and worst, guilty of not being kind.
Oh shit.
So I pressganged JatB into coming with me for moral / normality support to Duch's, and set off. An hour's drive to NE London. Another drive to the pub, where I got sick of drinking cheap, flat cola, while others downed exspensive Belgian Trappist fruit brew. Can't pubs serve proper coke? Cinemas manage it. A restaurant in the Village, too much food, and watching people downing Sambuca after Sambuca. Lifts home to NE London, lifts home to NW London, 2am dash home to SE London. And the car dies.
Still, at least I cleared my name.

Sunday: spent in bed, or watching dvd's under a blanket, freezing my socks off, recovering from spending all night driving the car to its knees, and wondering why I feel obligated to nutters.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:06 PM GMT
Updated: Sunday, 29 February 2004 4:32 PM GMT
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Wednesday, 25 February 2004

The Continuing Dull Diary of Last Week

Topic: Eurotrash
Wednesday: Got up too late to meet Krystal and Derby at the British Museum (thank god, had enough seminars in there/at the museum tavern while at uni to last me a lifetime of damn Egyptian mummies and olde englyshe caskets), and rolled into Seven Dials at the crack of three pm to meet up for shopping and... erm... walking and sipping coffee. No fucking at all. (theatre joke, okay?)
It was freezing brass monkeys, and I had to wait forty minutes at Seven Dials so the whole afternoon involved lots of racing about the West End - tea in Neal's Yard, snacks in Chinatown, wandering through Soho, Golden Lion Square, Bond Street, Selfridge's, Marble Arch ... all very normal, although I have to wonder how come since I moved out of reach of a London Underground station, I've spent more time in central London than any point since I lived there?
Ah yes, the touristical fun and games started when I tried to board a bus at Marble Arch. I had cheap tickets to see Bombay Dreams (which troubled my brain exactly as much as watching an opera did, fact fans) in Victoria, and needed to get there fast. It's over a year since Derby moved Oop North from London, so I was trying to look all hard-nosed London local, by charging up to the third bus stop without checking the schedules, and hopping straight onto the first bus that came along. Mistake. Seems that Mayor Ken has introduced bus token stands, so that in congested areas, you pay your money to a machine, then simply wave a slip of a ticket on the actual bus. Didn't tell me about it, though, didya, Ken? Even though I pay #1600 a year in council tax, ya bastige.
Red-faced, I suffered the indignity of bus-driver-rudeness, getting off the bus again and watching it speed away, and most gallingly of all, German Tourist pleasantly showing me how to work the token machine. Sigh.
Next bus was a Routemaster, so I brushed off the shame, left the German vandalising the token machine (hah!) and thought I'd be able to regain my Thirteen Years in the Inner City Local's Demeanour.

You know the answer already, don't you?
Two minutes into the journey, having fought weary battles, red in tooth and claw, to gain seats on the bus, I looked up at the route map on the wall. Wrong bus.
Cue every single person on the bus telling me how to get off and get a bus to Victoria. This is London. This is wrong. People in cities this big don't talk to each other. They're not helpful. As Quiet Writer put it the other day, long spells in big cities breeds disconnection of the strongest sort. Come to London, where we ignore you because We Prefer It That Way. You don't chat on the bus!
Red faced and more like a tourist than ever, I fought my way over the help-offering throngs to get to the exit. Routemaster buses have an open platform at the back, meaning you can jump on and off any time the bus slows down (except if you're paraplegic of course, when you can only fall off, no jumping on there for you). Only this is no bloody use to you if the bus is speeding around the Hyde Park Corner junction, in the middle of eight lanes of traffic all doing 40mph at the time. And leaving by the exit lane diametrically opposite to the one you want. Lovely traditional West Indian bus conductor did his best to cheer me up by encouraging me in a hysterically-pitched scream to jump off and dart amongst the traffic via a strip of dirty grass verge every time we skimmed a traffic island at breakneck speed. I was nearly crying as I protested that I would break my neck because of the breakneckingness of it all. Eventually, my cowardice meant we ended up back at Marble Arch, and having to walk for half an hour to cross back over Hyde Park Corner. The fascination for the entire lower deck was palpable, all craned their necks to see my crestfallen trudging as we got off, still brassily debating how I should best have managed the transfer to a Victoria-bound bus. Glad I lightened their day. But by now I don't think I'm going to shed the feeling of being a tourist in my own city.
One hundred yards from the next bus stop, three Routemasters heading swiftly towards Victoria skim past us. At exactly the right moment, Derby whips out a hand and leaps onto the passenger platform of the last one. She screams encouragement at me. I leap.
Mid-leap, I begin The Wail. The one that the widows in Palestine do on telly. The heart rending "NOoooOOOOoooOoooooOOOOOOOooooooOOOOOooooooo" that makes every single head on the lower and upper decks turn to see me miss the platform and land in the gutter.
Derby keeps my nerve up by uttering encouraging whooping and screaming noises as the bus pulls away, accelerating. She's joined in this by one or two amused London commuters on the seats nearest the doors. I run.
I can run. I just can't be gainly about it. Or fast. Or successful. I was always the one who gave up in the hundred yard dash at school, and not only came last but walked the last half, whingeing noisily. But now, I ran. It was like Chariots of Fire and a heart attack, crossed.
As the bus got to the stop, I was a mere thirty yards away. The lower deck roared to the driver to wait, as one, I swear. Panting, sweating, wheezing, I hurled myself towards the platform. Derby did some celebratory whooping.
And I desperately tried to control my raging redfaced gulps, groans and unfit gasps as I oozed past faceless solicitor type forty something blokes. All of whom were giggling.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:14 PM GMT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 February 2004 9:18 PM GMT
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Tuesday, 24 February 2004

Borrrrrring Diary Post Again....

Topic: Eurotrash
Tuesday: Trying to get phones, electricity, voting rights and gas connected, I come up against the age old problem of the esoteric password you can't remember. That, and the claws scraping against iron Glaswegian accent of my interrogator:
GHN [Glaswegian Hard Nut]: Ah give yez a clue, iss a freevurb.
GT [Gullible Twat]: A what?
GHN: A flee burr.
GT: No, I'm sorry, I didn't understand that.
GHN: A feemur.
GT: Um. Ahhh, right.
GT: No, I'm afraid I didn't get it.
GHN: Ah'll spill it feyoh; iss a F.L.E.B.O.U.R.
I'll give you a clue: look at the URL up there.

Then an expensive meal out at the Cafe du Jardin by the Royal Opera House, with yidaho. I ate steaks of rare ostrich, washed down with quantities of champagne (well, a few glasses). Unforch, I got a cheapo internet deal on the food, so (it's not necessarily subsequent, but I hold strong suspicions) the service, timing, seating, delivery, and refreshment was all shit. One hour and fifteen minutes between bread roll greetings and ordering your initial drink is not really on, is it? I've had better meals at bloody Nando's. And better customer service in Tesco. Still, the table was too dark to see your food, that may have been a bonus.
And the ostrich steak? Well, it wasn't as tasty as the time Toulouse fed me a pig's ear, but it had the texture of beefsteak, with the taste of a peculiarly tasteless porkchop. And knowing I had bloodied ostrich inside me gave me the queasies, all right. Still, company was excellent, and not knowing the way home in the slightest, I set off driving without a map and made home it through pitch black wonder-where in thirty five minutes flat. Amazing.
Still don't know the way home from Covent Garden, though.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:20 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 28 February 2004 6:05 PM GMT
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Monday, 23 February 2004

Me, the Internet Palace, and a Diary Open. Less Than Fascinating

Topic: Eurotrash
So what's been going on?

Sunday: I did my washing. That may seem simple, and if I could work out a way to get my washing machine from the third floor of a flat in East London to Pengeistical Paradise, then it might actually become simple. However, currently I'm at the mercy of Service Wash Mistress, who is one who likes to scold excessively. This week I returned ten minutes later than the time she suggested. I should have known she likes to go on a break at that moment, it turns out. That in fact she's quite entitled to shut the shop and go home during that break if she wants to. And that would show me to turn up at the right time. Plus, manmade fibres in pillow protector cases will melt in a hot dryer, so I'm a terribly, evil soul, for asking her to wash some. She bundled the wet ones in a bag with my dry washing to teach me the error of my ways.
It's not me being rude or overly middle class (in that bullying wheedling kind of way that sets my teeth on edge when I hear other pushy middle class types complaining) - I'm passive to the point of supine in any confrontation that I don't care about winning. (Note the implied codicil, please; I love real confrontations.)
Fourteen pounds, correct change please. Next instalment this Saturday. Let's see what she can think of for me to do wrong by then.

Monday: my parents came to visit my new flat. I tried to make them walk the two miles uphill to Dulwich or Crystal Palace (and ergo any cafe that doesn't serve a side order of melted lard with any order, drinks included), but they moaned and whined and complained. Blimey, i thought my parents went yomping on the Wiltshire Downs every weekend. Was I surprised. And not a bit relieved.
So we decided to grab some food - from the nearest pub, because my mum's poor shell shocked tootsies were hurting (snnnn, would never dare say this to her face, but as she'll be reading this from home, she's out of thumping distance). So we went in the pub whose grammatical horror of a name: "The Two Half's" has me wincing every time I pass it, where the horrible seats and chairs of yore have been ripped out, and replaced by a caribbean pool parlour.
Ordering fish n chips, you don't expect that much - you do, however, expect not to catch them pulling a plate out of the freezer to go straight into the microwave, and you certainly don't expect to find a wimpy burger salt packet nestling secretly underneath your mouldy damp chips. Sigh.

Ack, a fight breaks out agaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaain in the internet palace. I'll finish this tomorrow. Arrrrgh.

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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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This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:12 PM GMT
Updated: Saturday, 28 February 2004 6:05 PM GMT
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