We Are Your Overlords

Wednesday is not a dandified cocktail of a day. If you have no idea what I even mean read the previous post and still have no idea what I mean but realise I like the phrase so much I have repeated it for no good reason.

Wednesday is a recover from Monday and Tuesday sort of a day. Which is fine. No honestly it’s absolutely fucking fine. It’s not a bastarding problem I said. Well go back to your mother’s then if that’s what you want. Huh, last time I get an imaginary cat.

Wednesday is the word that begins the first three paragraphs of this blog post. Popping up with such insistence it becomes less a word and more an annoyance, lurking there being all stupid sounding and not even very much like the Nordic god after whom it was named. Which is odd for an allegedly Christian society when you think about it. Not that anybody does think about it. Except me and I’ve clearly got too much time on my pants.

Yes I know which word I used to end that sentence.

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You Snooze-day You Lose-day

Tuesday is a dandified cocktail of a day. A day for catching up with my son and hearing the good news that he’s been accepted onto the MA at Manchester he seemed most into taking. A day for grabbing some time with Androg, whom I got to know during my own MA. A day for talking with fascinating eavesdroppers and for eschewing all the chores I had such good intentions of getting round to today.

I won’t get round to them this evening either. All this dandying has left me somewhat snoozified and in need of not doing chores at all. Not even small ones unless they involve uncomplicated cooking. Or breathing. And cups of tea.

Sounds like quite a full evening planned with all that cooking and breathing and all those cups of tea. I’d better have another snooze to prepare myself.

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Outside It’s America*

IMG_3065If you sing that Bambi song about the drippy droppy April showers to the tune of ‘Summertime’ it’s ironic. And an accurate description of August in the UK. Europe has been basking in a heatwave so overwhelming that fears for the health of vulnerable citizens have been voiced. Britain isn’t in Europe much longer so we’re not allowed the weather unless it is rain. Plip plop splash all soaking everything bastard rain. Which I love so it isn’t even a bastard. Unless it messes up my hair in which case it is a bastard. But my hair is too short to mess with at present so it isn’t a bastard. Even.

I saw my friends Tony and Gema today. They’ve just got back from five days in New York and showed me photographs and told me tales of a city I really should get round to visiting one day. It’s never been high on my list of places to see because I’m a short-arsed son of a fuck and all them Manhattan buildings will make me feel like an ant. Or a flea on the back of an ant. Or a speck of dust in the back of a flea on the…you get the idea. It might be all too huge and dizzying. Or not. I’ll never know if I never go.

Funny that I should be getting to know America better during a period when it has had what history will undoubtedly call the worst presidency ever foisted upon it. Couldn’t I have got my shit together during the Clinton years when the economy was genuinely strong once Bill had sorted out the massive military debts of the previous Republican regimes? Or in the Dubblya years when mocking the president wasn’t likely to get you shot by a redneck as they’d be joining in to tell you all the other dumbass things he’d done that we didn’t get to hear about in Britain? Oh well. I did have a couple of weeks of Obama time and I doubt I’ll find many Trumpites in San Francisco in November.

Trumpists? Trumpeters? Wankers?

*unless you’re not in America, in which case outside it is wherever you actually are.

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Don’t Look Back In Wankery

IMG_3064Sometimes you go back to a place you haven’t been in a while and there is either the wonder of new discoveries about a once familiar place or the comforting, nostalgic embrace of a location unchanged. Sometimes the new discoveries are not so wonderful; they’re just depressingly indicative of the danger of dullard homogeneity lurking at the edges of all culture.

As I recall it from about a decade ago The Hour Glass in Exeter was a quite vibrant and thus fairly cramped little bar at the opposite end of the city with an excellent chef and some lovely spirits stacked up behind the bar all merrily imploring me to destroy some of my brain cells with them. It was also a decent location for a Sunday lunch. It no longer is.

Whether the chef remains the same or not I did not bother to ask. The food was ok but overpriced and over burdened with the sort of TV-chef induced artsy wankery that assumes human taste buds are never happier than when assaulted by just too many conflicting flavours, I’ve had better, way less pretentious Sunday lunches at a third of the price in bog standard, huge screen sporty bars, to be perfectly honest.

I was driving so a half of beer was the only alcohol likely to beseech me to imbibe it. Wanky, up its own arse beer from a rust coloured can that had more in common consistency-wise with soup than with beer. Which I only discovered once the can had been opened and a similarly rust coloured slew of too thick beer slopped out into my glass. I barely drank half of it.

And the patrons almost sapped whatever will I had left to live. In my days of hanging out there more frequently The Hour Glass was the preserve of postgrads, young couples, some interesting locals and a few folk looking for a suitably quirky location to pass their small book club evenings. Maybe some of those folk still frequent the place, maybe I was just astonishingly unlucky to share the pub with witless Pids.

You don’t know what Pids are? That’s because I’ve invented the term, an all inclusive expletive to define these insiPid, vaPid, stuPid characters who are increasingly hipsterising this quaint little city. Two rugby boys on tour with less substance to their conversation than hair product in their manbags. A family of creepily all-alike chinless fucks talking round and round the same two anecdotes without once seeming to notice how repetitive and bland their mouths were. A dandified Belgian explains the rules of Charades to a young English woman who seemed incapable of preventing herself from narrating her every single thought and action. A middle-ages couple in virtually twinned outfits posting their smug-hearted review of their own lunch to PidAsvisor while still eating the fucking meal.

Oh and the barman/owner was an aloof, priggish type with an astonishingly powerful superiority complex fuelling his apparent disdain for people like me who don’t seem to fit with his ideal of perfect clientele. I recognised him so I guess that is one thing that hasn’t changed in ten years.

Needless to say it’s unlikely I’ll be recommending the place to anyone or returning in a hurry. As if the Pids will care.

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To Boldly Split Infinitives…

IMG_3062Voicey croaky continuey. Croak croak. I am not a frog. I may or may not be a salamander. They croak too, don’t they? Scaramanga, salamander: only one of them tried to assassinate James Bond but it didn’t have a re-growable tail. Unless Christopher Lee was part lizardman.

I got things done today. Oh don’t worry, nothing of any genuine import or of concern to the rest of the universe, just stuff. You know, stuff, chores, chitterchat, wibbling about and such nonsense. Oh and some eating but possibly not quite enough eating to get me through to the end of the day. Unless I snuff it before the end of the day in which case I have ingested all the sustenance I require.

I’ve just asked Nostradamus. I don’t think I’m going to snuff it before the end of the day but it’s hard to tell with him. I once asked him what he wanted from the corner shop and he wrote me a two hundred page note in blank verse which almost but not quite entirely failed to make it clear whether he wanted a fucking Cornetto or not.

Simon Pegg movie anyone? They’re better when he’s not pretending to be Scottish. Actually that’s not strictly true. The first two in which he pretended to be Scottish were great apart from the inconsistency of his Scottish accent. The most recent film in which he pretended to be Scottish was, unlike the previous two, also co-written by him and reeked both of him over-reaching himself and of wanting to write his character some sexy and heroic scenes.

Oh sorry, have I utterly wasted your time with this post. Yeah. I do that sometimes.

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Smoke And Goldeness

IMG_3061My sore throaty voice place continues to make me sound like I’m having my larynx scraped by tiny oesophageal dredgers, all made of razors and thorn. Allegedly this means I am emitting sexy sounds. Personally I think I couldn’t be less sexy if I were to shout “Some animals give me a boner!” as the ball drops on NYE.

Yet my vocal impediment has not prevented me from having another uplifting conversation (one of several that have peppered the week) nor from laying down a commitment to my next great adventure.

The conversation this morning was with my former therapist who called out of the blue to ask if I would consider writing a testimony for her organisation’s website describing my own feelings on going through a process specifically designed at helping those with long term health conditions to better understand the mental health impact of their physical issues. And possibly also take part in a filmed interview with the boss, in the same vein.

The latter is a little more daunting but I think I would be ok with it as long as my health is relatively stable on the day. The writing aspect is obviously something I’m much more comfortable with and it took moments to agree. I’ve benefitted from my experience, this much is self-evident, but my therapist recommended me to her boss because she felt I worked so hard and engaged so well with the process that, given my ability with words, my testimony might inspire others to believe they could benefit too.

More than a mere ego boost, this recognition of my own dedication to my mental health needs as a person with two chronic health conditions is another affirmation that I was right to seek support from my Doctor last year when I felt I was struggling. Therapy has not and never will eradicate the issues that cause me to struggle from time to time but it can help me reach towards the comprehension and acceptance that I know enables me to manage my responses more effectively.

And if I manage my responses effectively I’m more confident in planning adventures such as the one I have just initiated by buying tickets to spend a fortnight in San Francisco in November. It’s a city I’ve wanted to find myself inside since I was a very young man reading Kerouac for the first time. There are other, more important, more personal reasons for going which I may or may not divulge in my blog prior to setting off.

In the meantime I shall be as poor as a church mouse who has remortgaged his cheese for the fifth time. I have an album to complete and a writing project to start planning so I guess it’s back to the more domestic adventure of making meagre means stretch and focusing on creative therapies for the next few months. For which read ‘sitting in my pants eating biscuits and occasionally picking up a guitar’ if you like.

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A Very Merry August

I’m astonishingly tired. I did some driving along unfamiliar roads, the return journey in the dark with impatient twat drivers jamming themselves and their uber-bright halogen headlights up my jacksie until they saw a millimetre gap in which to overtake. I have awoken with a sore throat or a cold making my voice sound something like a camp foghorn trying to escape Liberace’s rectum. And I’m astonishingly tired. Oh I said that bit already. I’m so astonishingly tired I already forgot I’d said that bit already.

But fatigue and Liberace’s bum passage and even the uber-lights are worth it as it was all part of the process of getting to spend many hours hanging out and conversing with very old friends. Years ago, when my life was veering further beyond the path of safety than was usual even for me, when I was lost, homeless, vagrant, witless and almost without hope of rediscovering myself, Iain and Trudie were key people in helping me to piece enough of myself together to see a new way forward. They, and one or two others, showed me the kindness and compassion I had not been showing myself for so long. They enabled me to prepare to make big changes in my life.

Our paths cross now and then and yesterday I benefitted once more from their company, their perspectives, their humour, their acceptance and generosity of spirit. It is to be hoped that on this occasion I am not lost to myself, I simply wanted to reconnect with two people who have been there, who still continue to be there. People who, like myself, have grown older with the passing of time but whose light has not dimmed nor has their friendship diminished.

Life is good. If you want it.

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