They’re Packed Pretty Tight In Here Tonight

IMG_2863Succeeding at Saturday is going grocery shopping and not murdering anybody. Not even a tiny bit. My Saturday is therefore a success and I have earned the right to laze about tinkering with musics and watching science fiction for the remainder of the day.

Sometimes on a Saturday I like to look at my feet. Not intensely, just to make sure they’re still there, still pointing the right way, still own the requisite amount of toes and haven’t been wearing tap dancing shoes thinking I’m not paying attention. Sneaky things, feet.

Other times on a Saturday I like to write the most significant blog post the internet has ever seen. Or eat ice cream and spend the day in my pants.

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Stay In Bed, Float Up Stream

IMG_2859Tiredness. It’s a thing. Normal people get it when they’ve slept too little or overstretched themselves. I get it too, it just takes less stretch to become an overstretch, eats into me even when I’ve managed a few hours of sleep on a hot summer’s night.

So I took the rules of Thursday, screwed them into a tight ball of fuck off and lobbed them into a corner. So far I’ve watched seven episodes of Star Trek Voyager and eaten easily constructed foods. And snoozed. Snoozing is the new being awake. Only snoozier.

Don’t judge me, you’ve got chewing gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. And you killed the Kennedys. Yes you did, your butter wouldn’t melt doesn’t work with me. Also, butter is yuck and smells weird in the heat. Even though it’s been less heaty today than some of the other days of this week.

Blah blah blah. Imagine I bothered to write about something that matters.

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I Know A Whoopee Spot

guitar_thumb800I did some world today and have plans to do some more later. If I’m honest I’m feeling less courageous about it than I was yesterday when being of the world was theoretically achievable. The practicalities still stump me: connecting my brain with my mouth so that I don’t sound entirely like a self-conscious idiot; trying not to stop completely dead on the sidewalk when somebody coming towards me looks even remotely as though they might invade my personal space; eye contact. And all that jazz.

The world I have already done today had some of that jazz but not all of it. And by ‘that jazz’ in this case I actually mean music as I went to a music workshop at Apple run by my lovely friend Si. Do you know Si? He knows you. He’s got recordings of you on the toilet and we’re going to broadcast them over the top of the Queen’s speech this evening during the news.

I learned some valuable things about the GarageBand app I use to record my music on, including where to find the noise gates to hopefully crisp up the vocals and tighten drums. Aww yeah, just like we did back in them old days of analogue noise making only with digital accuracy. Plus I can autotune my voice to sound like Lady Gaga. But I don’t want to autotune my voice to sound like Lady Gaga. Unless I do a song called ‘Lady Gaga’s Lady Garden’ in which case it might be appropriate.

Si is a clever man. You should get to know him. Then he might not record you on the toilet. Then again, Chuck Berry was fairly nice and he did that too. And in the interests of libel law I should point out that Si hardly ever records people on the toilet. (So aren’t you special?)

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Back Of My Neck Getting Dirty And Gritty

IMG_2855Look at the still hot weather imploding itself on Britain. Go on, look at it. Go outside and look it in the eye and tell it you’re not perturbed by a bit of sunshine, that your grandfather once bummed a hotter celestial body than Sol. I’ll wait for you to come back inside.

Tum ti tum. La di da.

Ah you’re back, I was just singing something awful by McCartney. What did the sun say? Told you to put what where? How terribly rude.

It warms. Blood is warm. Toes are warm. Underpants are warm. Root vegetables are warm even when they’re in the bloody fridge. It’s like the summer of 1976 all over again (legal requirement, remember) and we must all bath with a friend. Or was that to save energy?

If you can remember the seventies you weren’t there. But if you can convert this recent addiction to the wrong temperature gage back to proper Fahrenheit you’ll find seventies and even numbers in the eighties. Sex crime. Or was that to promote a movie?

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The Heat Is…On


Hur, hur, hur.

British law demands that any heatwave be compared to the summer of 1976. Even millennials who weren’t born until five minutes ago are expected to refer to the summer of 1976 during a contemporary heatwave. If you do not mention the summer of 1976 you get burnt at the stake. Well, people steal your sun lotion which is pretty much the same thing in this sort of weather.

So yeah, it’s all hot n junk. I’ve defied the torturous temperatures as well as my predilection for avoiding humans today and actually went into town. There were chores needing doing. I did them reluctantly and with loud music in my ears but I did them. I win at reluctant activity.

When I got home I had a short walk along a secluded lane nearby, seeking the shelter of large, overhanging trees and a lack of humans. I got both. I win at secluded lanes.

There’s no point to the final paragraph of this blog post.

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Seemed A Harmless Little Fuck

IMG_2848Lemon yellow sun. Arms raised in a vee. It’s either full on summer or I’ve walked into a Pearl Jam song.

I’ve just asked a piece of seaweed – it’s summer. But as solstice is only a few days away the nights will be drawing in very soon and we’ll all need our thermals next week. Ha ha, you think I’m joking because you forget I live in England.

I sat under a tree in the grounds of one of my favourite Exeter pubs today, ate an yuge lunch of roasted comestibles and drank a single pint of beery liquid. All very sociable eh? Not really, I went on my own and apart from ordering food and beery liquid I spoke to nobody. I listened to people’s conversations instead and on the whole the mundanity of their exchanges made me increasingly content not to be involved.

There was that guy plotting to murder John Lennon. I don’t think we need fear him, Lennon is already dead. Or is he? Maybe he’s on a tropical island with Elvis and Diana and Andy Gibb and the plotting man knows how to get to the island? I still don’t think we need fear him: he’s a figment of my imagination.

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Couldn’t Look You In The Eye

IMG_2844“You’re weird.”

I’ve been told this, in various ways, all my life and my response has perhaps changed more than I might have imagined it would when I was young. At first I hated being non-normative: I went to a lot of different schools (because my father was something of a dick is the short reason why) and the last thing you think you want at school is to stand out like a strange thumb.

Until you get sick of being known as ‘the new boy’ and begin to revel in your weirdness as you’ve worked out it means people remember your name much faster: “Have you met that guy Steve yet? He’s a fucking weirdo.”

And then puberty arrived and weirdery was a powerfully unattractive quality when being sized up as a potential boyfriend by the opposite sex. Actually even the older gay guys that tried hitting on me were slowly put off by my unorthodox brain. (If you’ve ever been a slightly awkward and youthful looking seventeen year old guy drinking underage in English bars you’ll know the experience of a guy your father’s age trying to hit on you. And hey, if you’re interested in men it might be the beginning of a whole new chapter in your life. For me it was the beginning of conversations that always concluded when I pointed out my not gayness.)

And after puberty, rock and roll. You’re sort of allowed to be weird in rock and roll. Keith Richards anyone? David Bowie? But you pretty much have to be a chameleon, fake enough to be interesting onstage but ordinary enough so record companies think there’s a chance pre-pubescent girls will fancy you and buy your music. And your tee-shirts. And the posters. And locks of your hair. And all that scarily commodified crap.

If you decide to walk away from rock and roll you realise you’re now super weird. Like so super weird you think nothing of constantly changing tenses in the same piece of writing. You are unsuited to any normal career and have a drugged-up, fairly child-like perspective on life that real grown ups utterly resent. Grown ups hate weirdos..

My search for normality led me to academia where once again I was out of step with most people, though largely because I was in my mid-thirties and they were all fresh from home teens and twenty-somethings. Which is fine, older isn’t weird. Some think it’s boring but few think it’s weird. And then a very few discover the rock and roll stuff and celebrate your weirdness by just accepting you into their cliques and circles.

But crawling into your fifties still being weird is no picnic. There are no cucumber sandwiches and some fucker has drunk all the fizzy pop. And no-one thinks your metaphors are any good.

So here I am, fifty-one for another month, weird as fuck yet quite content with the apparently normative pastimes of making food, hanging out with friends from time to time, breaking wind and blaming passing dogs, complaining about my health. Yet still I shun some of the tokens of achievement dangling like millstones round the necks of ultra-normals: unrepayable student debt, huge mortgage payments on a house that’s sunk in value since the 2008 banker’s fuckfest, two weeks a year in the Algarve, immaculately trimmed lawn…

…Oh my god, how fucking bourgeois. However much I sometimes crave normality a quick reminder that for many people it is a bourgeois blanding out of experience, a bleaching of culture, and I’m happy again to be a bloody weirdo. Anyone for buttock tennis?

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