Friday, 23 January 2015

Seven Sisters to Highbury

There's a beautiful woman, perfect cat eyes with a black eye-lined flick from each corner and full kissy lips like Angelina Jolie having morning canoodles on the train with her red haired beardy partner. Her hair is fine and she is wearing it with one of those matty hair-knots caused by pillow-rub in the back - clearly out of bed fast and no time to put a brush through the back of her head.

A Spanish quartet, two girls, two guys, one of whom is leaning against the central pole not realising that people may want to hang on. I place my hand on the pole in the gap where the small of his back is and raise many suspicious glances from the one I assume is his girlfriend. It's just uncomfortable to hang off the overhead bar so this seems a better option. 

A man, a serious man, in work attire gets on at Finsbury Park, topping his outer wear with a blue fake fur hat with plaits coming off the end of the ear flaps and two eyes on the front with those black pupils that shake about with any motion. I find I can't take my eyes off them. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Transportation

The misery of the transportation system brought it's load to bear today. Started with continuing traumas at London Bridge station from the reduction in platforms during their refurbishment. Actually took 40 minutes for a train to my destination to actually leave - 5 services should have departed in that time. We were tantalised with trains, even sat on one only to be told it was being cancelled after all. All the platforms had trains on them. Most left without becoming an advertised service, empty. Nobody knew anything. 

Tried the alternative route this evening. Standing outside stations in the dark waiting to be able to draw up to the platform. 

Listening to two precocious 8 year old girls chatter about their day incessantly in loud voices. Watching this geeky kid on a rubic's cube. I forget about them. I was never good at them. This kid was spinning the sections around in the speedy way the puzzle genii used to, as blocks of colour built on each side. A physical fidget tool. Dextrous fingers flying around the puzzle, stopping only briefly to consider the moves that needed to be made. He then swapped to a smaller 4x4 version. Its kind if nice to see something physical rather than nose deep in a phone. 

Monday, 5 January 2015

Working

First day back to work after the new year was welcomed in. Can't quite remember what we go to that place for. There are tasks, on a computer, which were thankfully written down before we left for the winter holiday. Now I'm used to talking and socialising. You can do a bit of that at work. Catch up on each other's festivities. Mostly, at my work, that's about weight gain. And then about 4 o'clock the back and eyes give out - unused to being upright for such an extended period of time under harsh lighting. Pain in the back of the ribcage and tiredness of eyes. 

Travelling back on the tube I find my body sinking into a stupor brought on by the gently rocking London Overground train. Eyes shut, brain off, hopefully not dribbling...

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014

Roller coaster year. Began with the start of a realisation that what I thought it was, wasn't, which led eventually to a heartbreak, not epic, but in part about why and how I'd let myself get to that. I was 44. Not a youthful age. I should know better by now. 

In the middle was a brief dalliance with online dating. Many men contacted me. There were dates. There was the expectation of phone sex. There were photos of people that rendered them unrecognisable in the flesh. There was shock that I looked exactly like my picture. There was possessiveness after good conversation. There were slights. And relief at not having to carry dates through. And there was exhaustion in a very short time of demanding texts and messages from men half my age or with over-egged egos who don't know how to measure in feet and inches. And then there was getting off back to the reality of real life.

And finally when least expecting it, after a night at the opera there was a flash of love that became a compelling and urgent desire that drove the end of the year. And I sit here now on the 31 December 2014 awaiting the imminent arrival of the panther with the last of his things and will begin 2015 living with the love of my life. 

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas one and all



From the mouths of innocents

At dinner today my nephew asked me if K (the current man) was a replacement of  B (previous man), and was B a replacement of E (man before B). Um, yes, I mumbled embarrassedly thinking how this easy-replacing of men in life must look to him. Since we see each other only once every six months or so he has short experience of any of the potential 'uncles' so far. If only the reality of it was as easy as 'replacement' makes it seem, like swapping batteries when they wear out or something. 

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Dismantled

Gradually all these gasometers are being dismantled. When I was an art student I took lots of pictures of them - they were structures which you could see through, and I had a mild infatuation with them and scaffolding (in the days before they covered scaffolding always). 



Monday, 22 December 2014

Winter holiday

Today I am on leave. Until January 5th. Leaving work on Friday didn't really feel like anything. Weekend was great. But it was a weekend. Get those at the end of every week. 

But today I'm popping to the shops and left home at 12, coming through my local high street everyone is at work and at their regular duties (queuing in the post office, elders and their shopping trollies fighting to be on the bus first to bag the best seat, estate agents bored in their windows, banks open). 

And me, I'm feeling like, Yeah! I'm on holiday... It's been some time since I had 2 weeks off together. 


Friday, 5 December 2014

Open Plan Hot-Desking

I’ve always known open plan hot-desking is bad for me because I can clearly recognise the impact it has on concentration and increased irritation. Other people’s phonecalls at the top of their lungs, desk-side meetings, talking (well, sort of talking – not quite shouting) to colleagues across the space rather than going over to them, uncontrollable temperatures – blasting air conditioning or way too hot, and the need of the window-seat-hoggers to close the blinds on a sunny day to the detriment of those working further inside the building (if they don’t like the light why do they insist on sitting by the window?).

http://stevemaslin.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/place-working-vs-open-plan/ - interesting article by an architect and access consultant (access consultant – no idea what that means) which says

“Our needs vary – but are significantly influenced by:

·         Physical comfort,

·         Our ability (or not) to cut out extraneous noise,

·         Preferences for access to daylight

·         Our commonly held preference for access to views of the natural world, and…

Our need to:

·         Adjust artificial lighting intensity, position and colour,

·         Adjust what is in our visual field and to reinforce a sense of familiarity and recollection to aid our memory”

 

Its not so much the need for privacy I don’t think but I had never considered that in addition the reduction in concentration there might be an impact on recollection, memory and productivity due to not being able to see a view that includes vegetation or have natural daylight. Our office rules include not eating at the desk (you are allowed a drink and maximum two biscuits, otherwise you are supposed to eat in the designated areas), no plants, no clutter, nothing left on the desk overnight,  no fixed positions, no storing things on top of the lockers. This makes it look nice and clean, reduces likelihood of mice infestation (although we have had visits coming up the cabling of the computers from the floor to have a peek at the working desk situation, but not regularly), and enables people to sit wherever is available when they get in.

 

On top of which I found a marvellous quote from Einstein (and who can argue with him…) which is a fantastic retort to the clear-desk police (to which we had to convert when we started open plan hot-desking), “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Touche.


From The Evening Standard, 4/11/2014.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Gary Numan

So Friday night was gig night - invited to come by Bails and her fella - joining the Numanoids for a special one off at the Hammersmith Apollo. These days the Numanoids are largely ageing ex-punks or those sorts that used to wear black jeans and old men's overcoats or greatcoats from second hand stores in the late 80s and early 90s. Some attempts to still wear gel-spiked-up hair (hair permitting) but quite a lot of baldies unable to do the style of their youth. One or two brought their kids. Lots of leather jackets and the occasional denim. I'm glad I've left that all behind. I used to wear a floor length black skirt all the time. Wore it until it had holes that needed patching, then patched them and wore it until the patches needed patching. Absolutely no idea why I thought that was a good idea. My mother's friend taught fashion and wanted it off me for her project in distressed fabric. Distressed didn't really begin to describe this rag that I wore. Tortured, would be closer.

The music was good. Reminded me a lot of that time. I don't listen to a lot of punk music anymore... Numan was late on stage - he had a sore throat and had an injection in his ass a course of hours earlier to try to make it better. He apologised if his voice was croaky but did a full gig none the less. The singing only occasionally getting the better of him. 

I like being in a crowd listening to music, people singing along, joining in, doing the arm movements. It's why football crowds are exciting. I love watching when people are really getting into something. And the crowd were friendly. Only a couple of irritating drunks, and one man who went to the bar a lot and could never remember where his mates were standing. Spent ages squeezing in and out of the crowd looking for them each time. So maybe next time it would be more appropriate to dress a la the 90s and take a proper Numanoid standpoint!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Early Saturday mornings

Not a usual time for me to be abroad, most usually tucked up in a sleep worthy of a poisoned princess at 8am on a Saturday. But by 9 the high street is awash with shoppers, busy getting their chores done. Workmen are in the street holes which usually just look like traffic obstacles placed there for more interesting driving. And there is a traffic jam just like a work-day morning. So this Saturday is an extra ceramics class. I'm late already but  as I said, it's before getting up time on a Saturday!

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Full rainbow


It's apparently going to be the wettest winter in record. Oh joy. Personally I hate umbrellas - it's not the keeping you dry bit, it's the lugging it round while you don't need it that I hate the most. I think that's why I take pictures of broken ones - reminding me of the Tom Waits lyric "broken umbrellas like dead birds" - all wirey skeletons and flaps of skin, lying dumped and strewn over wet pavements covered with slippery yellow autumn leaf-fall. 

This morning there were showers. By the time I arrived at work the sun was breaking through at its low wintery level and a full rainbow stretched over Peckham. 

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Love at First Sight

I don't know if anybody believes in love at first sight anymore. It seems like the stuff of fairytales long since discredited like the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. And these stories always start with Once upon a time... Reminiscent of days before.

Anyway, I have one for you. Once upon a time. In a distant galaxy. Far far away.
No I jest.

It was October 3rd of the year 2014. (A month ago). Having just watched the opera Carmen in a church in Shorditch I was walking over a traffic island when I crossed paths with a black panther, who stopped me and said he liked my shoes. I stopped and looked him in the eye. It was a strong and solid look, held totally and intensely by the panther. I cocked my head, thanks. He said he was going into the Cornershop with his friends and he asked me to come, he'd buy me a drink. Eyes locked. I considered it. I should go home. I had to go to my brother-in-laws' wedding the following day.  My head said fuck it, you're single do what you like. My mouth said ok, the panther took my hand and we ran across the street. Standing outside while his friends smoked I considered my actions. And then we went in. I bought a round of drinks and we talked. I can't remember what about. Mostly I remember the intense looking.  Something in the eyes was telling me something. I'm unused to another person doing that. I've been in trouble before for staring too much. The panther went to the toilet. I talked to his friend Dave.  And then he was back. I'm ready to leave anytime. I don't mind leaving this drink. Say 149 and we're out of here. I finished my drink. And helped him finish his. We left.

Outside he offered me the crook of his arm and we walked that way to the bus stop. On the bus we sat with heads turned to keep the gaze while he talked about places he knew on route. And about buses. A vaguely geeky knowledge of buses. Which makes me laugh - I am a bus siren - spent many hours riding the buses from home to the end of the line and back just to be out of the house and seeing the world.  We spent the night looking at each other and stroking. In the morning he needed to leave. It took two coffees and a toilet break before he could finally tear himself away.

I slept for three hours and awoke to banging on the door. Blearily opening the bathroom window and asking who it was. A friend, came the answer. Downstairs I opened the door and there stood the panther in a sharp pinstriped suit and white shirt. I was overwhelmed and stood there in the doorway looking at him. Can I come in, he eventually asked. Of course, I said and stood aside. He said he was there to deliver me to the wedding I was going to and get some lunch beforehand. I got dressed. We left looking very Saturday night on a Saturday afternoon, catching a bus to Islington Town Hall where we found a restaurant. Over lunch we held hands across the table and he asked me if I believed in love at first sight. To which I glibly answered I didn't know. After lunch I went to a wedding. Two grooms, one in red, the other in blue. Lovely and full of love. I texted the panther.

The panther texted me on Monday. We met after work for a meal. We talked. In my head I considered the concept of love at first sight. My parents met on a blind date and got married four weeks later and stayed together until my mother died. I never heard them say a cross word to each other. It was a seemingly impossible romance to live up to. But it was real. Not a fairytale from a bygone era.

On Tuesday I didn't hear from the panther until late in the afternoon. I spent the morning in realisation that if I never heard from him again I would be upset, may even be devastated. Could that even be true after four days. On Tuesday evening he wanted to meet but I couldn't because I was at my dads having dinner. He came all the way there to stand on the street kissing for five minutes. I was totally relieved. On Wednesday I went to a classical concert with Susanna and she asked me what it was I had to tell her without me saying a word. And I told her I met this panther and I think I'm in love with him, but is that even possible? She said it can be. There was time spent again on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday morning he texted me and asked me if I believed in love at first sight. And I replied that yes, since meeting him I did. Then, he said, I'm coming home to galvanise that truth. And then he knocked at the door. I love you he said. And I love you back I replied.

And that, was that.

So it doesn't just happen in fairy stories. It's been a month.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Sandwich

There can be too much going on in a sandwich. I picked up something called a Swiss chicken today expecting some emental and chicken and lettuce in it. On opening it there was some cheeky ham and a raw onion hiding between the bread as well. Far too many different flavours and sensations. A bit of a shock to the system when the additional flavours exerted themselves. The ham and the onion had to go. 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Autumn

And it feels like winter hit us in the face. Yesterday there were bare legs and sandals. Today the clouds in the lower atmosphere race across a higher atmosphere whose still clouds are tinged a threatenly dark slate. Dead leaves blow down the streets. Birds fight against the windy current. Coats, tights, closed toed shoes. Toes cramped inside complaining and painful. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Pit firing weekend in Norfolk



Invited on a pottery jolly, back in August, to visit Fran and Georg's new straw build house in Norfolk to camp, and do a pit firing in their garden. Unlike our previous jolly we didn't make anything in advance, so it was also green firing of pots that we made and dried on the day we got there. There was a high likelihood that nothing would survive the firing.

We made pinch pots out of grogged stoneware clay. Ate lunch and homemade bread. Went for a walk while everything dried. Tents were pitched. A pit was dug and filled with sawdust. The dry green pots were placed carefully (being extremely fragile at this point) and covered with more sawdust. Rolls of paper and kindling wood were placed over the top and then it was lit. Love a big fire.  We sat round. Until we were tired and retired to a variety of beds in tents or in the house. A gale started - blowing in from a tail end of hurricane across the atlantic, and it rained. Never that keen on tent sleeping at the best of times but with howling wind and pumelling rain it was both cold and difficult to sleep.

The following day we extracted the pots, its a bit like an archeological dig. Most had survived. They were fired but not to anywhere near the temperature that they would be properly cured at. But - its the process that is exciting and the company that makes it always worth the trip, even when the pots are nothing to write  home about in the long run.

And the scenery was beautiful and I swam in the sea with grey seals.

Busy

Its been busy:
  • Watched Salvatore Guilaino by Francesco Rosi at the ICA
  • Went to brother-in-law's brother's gay wedding
  • Saw Carmen at a church in Shorditch
  • Watched Lucy at Islington Vue
  • Watched Pride at Woodgreen Vue
  • Watched Citizen Above Suspicion by Elio Petri at the ICA
  • Watched The Tenth Victim by Elio Petri at the ICA

Friday, 26 September 2014

Neighbourhood

Passing, in the morning, along the main street of the neighbourhood in which I reside. Most of the shops are not open, the bookmakers are shut but the gaggle of drunks are collecting outside waiting.

A young man, could be handsome, walks down the road talking to himself, with a beer in one hand and holding up his jeans with the other. On the brink of losing his looks and all hope. 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Hanging out

Initially we were hanging out in Spitalfields Market while Paul and Simon went to Murdocks in Hackett for some beard grooming. I'm guessing the rise of the Hoxton beard has led to a need for services to the beard. These services include massaging with oils, and moisturisers, hot towels to the face which  enliven the nerves of the face (apparently), trimming and shaping of the beard, including scissors to trim length and cut throat razor to create a neater line around the neck and down the sides, topped off with some further conditioning oils and a bit of combing. And some mustache twizzling. Who knew growing a beard involved more than just standing as far away from the razor as possible.

After that we ate some lunch and then hung out at the Southbank Centre were bails was reminding me of incidents we have had on holidays where we drive. Bails and I have been on a few road trips together. She doesn't drive. I'm always in charge of the car.

There was a trip in France where we flew to Toulouse and then drive a couple of hours to a cottage we had rented in the middle of nowhere. There was one village we passed with cars parked down the whole length of the  main street, and I clipped the wing mirrors of every single car. Perhaps 20 cars. Later that trip we were in our local town on a roundabout and I spotted a couple who I knew by sight from home - we would often wait for the same train at Haringay Station. I didn't know their names but felt compelled to shout out the window as we circled the roundabout "Haringey Folks" without ever stopping to say hi or see if they were freaked out or not. And when I got home I didn't pluck up courage to ask them if they heard me.

Before that was our big drive from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and back. First getting stopped for speeding by two cops with a speedometer. To be fair I didn't know we were in a town which is why I hadn't slowed down. On stopping us one asked me, did I know how fast I was driving? And I told him the speed I was driving. Which he informed me was 20 mph over the speed limit. At which I apologised profusely and got my wallet out asking how much I owed him. And he sternly told me not to let him catch me doing it again. No officer, I won't. Thank you very much. And sped off again. We visited Addo Elephant Park. Amazing to see these huge beasts in the wild. Taking lots of pictures while not getting out of the car. Pulled up near a watering hole with quite a few other vehicles I somehow leaned on the horn that was basically the entire centre of the steering wheel. Much evil eyeing from those around us. Embarrassed, I managed to do that at least two more times. It started to rain after that and the track we were driving on turned to a mud slick. A very nice man ahead of us got out of his four wheel drive and came back to tell me how to safely drive in mud - slow acceleration, no brake if at all possible.  Concentrating so hard on these instructions to get back to the car park I totally forgot about the brake and drove straight into the fence while parking. 

How we laughed. And still do. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Meet me in the slug and lettuce

So I'm meeting my dad in the slug and lettuce. We commonly call it the slag and lettuce due to the old rep it had of being a bit of a meat market. So I'm chatting to my sister and she's saying, so you going somewhere with a knowing glint. Yes say I, meeting pops in the slag and lettuce. Yes she says I know I was just on the phone to him. So are you the slag and he's the lettuce? Astute my sister I think. Bitch!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Hand to arse

Outside the office a man pulls up in his Range Rover. He's meeting a woman in Mercedes Subaru. She's opening her boot. He puts his hand firmly on her arse with his fingers lining the mid seam of her shorts. Uh uh she says to him in a deep throaty sound that makes her displeasure known. He removes his hand. The boot of this flashy car opens and she gets out an old lady shopping trolley filled with cheap-arse blue plastic bags tied at the tops to keep the contents in. Under the trolley are a heap more plastic bags. Someone in Lolaks distracts the man. He jogs off over the street telling the woman he'll be back. She says after him - don't be long now, we have things to do. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Towie has a BBQ

Two very good friends of mine had a BBQ jointly for one of their birthdays and a friends birthday. They live in Essex. When I arrived I felt like I had walked onto the set of  The Only Way Is Essex. All Essex accents, permanent tan, collagen lips, boys who pump iron at the gym. One of the women was footballer Frank Lampard's ex. Gradually I figured out there were sort of two halfs to the party. The women of independent means with the Essex boys and the london, northern crowd amassed from various works, and classes and old clubbing days of my friends. The women of independent means were extremely helpful - bringing out food, clearing up. The gay contingent were hilarious recounting outrageous stories of the past. And then some time after dark it felt like it was time to leave before the  last train left.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Notting Hill Carnival in the Rain

Standing on the side of the road at Notting hill carnival in the rain. Waiting for the friends who invited me down to get reception and text me back. A man in orange asks me if he could stand with me under my umbrella. I spread it towards him and he takes hold of it. I don't let go. There's a silent tussel. I say I can hold it - it's my umbrella - smiling. He says I'm a man I've never had a woman hold an umbrella for me in my life, it'll feel odd if you do that. I let him have it. You won't run off with my favourite umbrella will you? I'm joking. No I have plenty of nice umbrellas at home.  We stand silently for a bit. Then he introduces himself. And I introduce myself. Some youths ask if they can borrow some shade in the umbrella to make a call. I say I guess that's ok. They are giggling and excitable. They blow a kiss back as they leave. We stand together under the umbrella again. Watching floats go past with their associated dancers. Some are trailed by huge crowds of excited young people, grinding, moshing, singing, hands up, running. The DJs winding the crowd up as they go. People are wet through, rain running down their glistening skin. Ignoring the persistence of the rain. Despite all this jubilation he thinks the atmosphere is subdued in comparison to last year. Eventually I ask the man how is the best way out of here. He being local knows that Holland Park is the best bet. We stroll up the hill from Ladbrook Grove, chatting. He is still firmly in charge of the umbrella. I hook my hand in the crook of his arm. He saves me a couple of times when I slide on something wet. And then I do the same for him. Safely delivering me to the station - I thank him. I wouldn't have found it this easily without your help. He hands back the umbrella. I go home. Gentleman. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Drunk love

It's 5 in the afternoon. She's got a big boxer dog, she's thin, wearing jeans, smiling. The dog is leading her. She turns her head and shouts back at someone, in a slightly uncouth manner.

Coming up behind is a tall man looking like Saturday but not scruffy carrying a sainsburies orange bag which he has slung over his shoulder. His legs quiver as he is standing staring after her confused. He cautiously turns around on distinctly wobbly legs and staggers off. 

Who's in control?

So a friend was relaying a story about telling a workman that her brother-in-law liked to be in control. The workman said oh yes I know. Since the workman had barely spoken to her brother-in-law she wondered how? The workman said that when he went to shake hands he had reached out his hand palm down and covered his hand when they grasped. As opposed to meeting as equals with thumb up or friendly with palm slightly raised. 

As a woman I don't have as much experience of handshakes as I expect a man has, and frequently I think people temper their shake when they grip a woman's hand, so I'm fascinated by learning this new body-language... It's like secret coding. 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Jahovah bashing

Don't know where the Jahovah stands first appeared from or even when they arrived exactly but they are there at stations handing out pamphlets if a person approaches them for one. This is not hard sell like chuggers or traditional Standard distributors. Just a lot of meek ladies and men in badly fitting suits. 

On London Bridge today a man, quite possibly slightly irritated from a day in the bank bereted one of them standing quite close to her face - get off the street you are taking up space on the pavement with your pathetic pieces of paper. A man who had been waiting for the bus came over to tell the man he shouldn't be so abusive to her. The first man grabbed his hand and shook it vigorously while dragging the man towards himself. A bit of too-ing and fro-ing to the tune of there is no need to speak to her that way, with the first man saying nice to meet you in a passive aggressive manner. Finally the first man released the hand of the second man and stormed off down the street. The second man retuned to his travelling companion declaring his shock at such behaviour.

The Jahovah woman was shaking and tears formed in her eyes. Her colleague hugged her and told her, I'm guessing, about the evil that the devil bestows in people and we have to feel sorry for them for they know not what waits for them. And how she needs to develop thick skin because there's a lot like that around. 

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Grey seal


Sunny evening after the heavy rain and wind of the tail end of Hurricane Bertha passing over the UK. Walking on the beach near Waxham in Norfolk. Beautiful clean golden sand. Head of a seal popped out of the sea having a look around. As we walked down the beach saw another one - grey seal with silvery head.  Took a peek. Went back under. Popped up later on down the beach. Standing at the place where the waves reached up to on the beach, watching the seal float along the length of the waves, nostrils breathing. Sometimes it's head turned towards me on the beach to have a look. Followed us up the beach for a couple of kilometres and then back again while the tide came in. Total of five seals seen at one time. 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Other than work

A colleague sitting across the aisle from me in the vast open plannism that is our central office is having a discussion with a men's outfitters about when he can bring the morning suit in that he bought from them to have the jacket taken in, and a couple of waistcoats. He has to wait for a time when Monty can come. I think these sorts of things should be arranged in home time. And not in a loud authoritarian voice in the middle of the working day. I'm reminded of the wedding that took an entire year to plan where I used to work. Lots of deliveries recieved and considered in the office. Cakes, menus, kilts, invitations... It went on and on! And when we eventually went to the wedding it was ever so slightly blended polyester, as opposed to 100% silk. 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Over hung

Long afternoon drinking on Saturday - watching the world go past in Brick Lane, chatting, lubricating with sambucca. Jolly fun time. 

Woke up this morning. Head unwilling to get off the pillow. Body craving eggs. Preferably with hollandaise sauce. Struggle ensued between the head and the body. Bathed. Full submersion helps the head. Prepares the body. Still not working very fast or coherently. Get dressed. Put on sunglasses while still indoors. This helps. Until I step out the house. Bright outside. Feels early and it's midday. Self inflicted - what gave pleasure yesterday gives pain today! 

Kensington

Working day - generally walking purposefully, fast even, everyone in the tube corridors know where they are going. Bankers and office workers at London Bridge and Moorgate. Pace set by the urgent need to be making money. This pace helps to shave important minutes off a journey to enable better timekeeping. 

Meeting in Kensington. All the people in the tube, on the platforms and all over the pavement appear to be tourists. Crazy holiday outfits. Massive suitcases. No idea where they are going. Travelling from London Bridge to here I'm caught in that weird thing where you start off at one pace and on coming out the other end you are persistently tripping over people - like catching the tube on the weekend and forgetting it will be full of shoppers strolling rather than the work commuters that are usually down there. Don't know that I could cope with always working in a tourist area. 

Friday, 1 August 2014

Fitting

At the bus stop at Finsbury Square there is a man waiting. He is wearing black jeans - very slim fitting (not skinny jeans stretched over stick thin legs like gothic punks) so you are aware of the muscles in his legs and an asexual bulge a la Ken (as in barbie and ken). And a faded denim shirt - this is worn slim fitting also. Tucked into his jeans there is no blousing from excess fabric - the buttons lie flat over his stomach which doesn't have obvious abs and flat over his chest which doesn't have obvious pecs. I'm looking at him because I can't figure out why this slim fitted look is so odd. It's old fashioned somehow. None descript in its nothingness. Perhaps this is normcore. Just ordinary in a totally non-styled none-descript manner. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Trains

I'm waiting at Peckham Rye Station for a train to Victoria on my way to a meeting in Kensington. I'm at a different platform than my usual one and at an odd time of day for me. Two long long trains pass each other - trundling along carrying train track replacement materials, load after load after load. No paint on the containers just rust. An engine with a number plate that the trainspotters will probably be drooling over. A workman all dressed in high vis orange opens a room on the platform. Goes in. Comes out and locks up again. Goes away. Comes back five minutes later with a toilet roll. Staff loo. 

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Passing

An old lover passes in the street. A year has passed since I saw him last. He looks happier than the last chance meeting we had. He is strolling with a woman. Talking. It takes me a moment to recognise him such are the changes in his appearance. But OMG it is him. I wave slowly and persistently with my hand at chest height until he notices me. Oh my god he says in absolute shock. And then we've passed. 

Scream if you want to go faster

OMG Thorpe Park. Family day out with my sister, her husband and my niece and nephew. Mostly there was queuing. Between 50 and 85 minutes per ride. All the queues were cleverly hidden from view so you couldn't see how far you would be queuing until you got past the first corner. Lots of chatting and shuffling along. Lots of teenagers and young people. Most popular fashion choice for girls was cut-off-jeans hot pants and bare midriff. 

So then there were rides - big rollercoasters. Feet dangling, upside down, loops, corkscrews, really high drops, g-force 4.2 like a rocket. Those of us aged over 25 were probably not the demographic they were aiming at (as pointed out to me earlier today). Dizzy. Slightly nauseous. Bit shaky. Actually glad to be back on firm ground. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Go Cats


I got cats a couple of years ago because I first had a rat problem and then when I'd gotten rid of them I got mice. Fairly persistently. All food stuffs had to be in tin  or glass containers. And then there was the incident of the mouse falling out of my shopping bag at the checkout in the supermarket. Anyway. The cats were cute. And then they grew up. They love me because I feed them. And we haven't had mice since they arrived. Yesterday evening they caught and killed a mouse. And lay around in the kitchen with the remains until someone came to congratulate them. Well pleased with themselves they were. So GO Cats! Keep at it.