Friday, 28 December 2007

return journey blogging from my phone on the free wifi provided by gner, sorry, National express (train crew keep making this mistake as wall) - so its taking a damn long time to text all this in - phone has a very limited vocabulary as well - it doesn't even know the word vocabulary. I also wish they would invent a system that would recognise punctation usage (like fact there is a good probability that the next punctation i will need is a close bracket). The train is half an hour late. On a 5 and a half hour journey thats getting to beyond most people's threshold of being able to handle it. They had double booked some seats. Some people have been standing. There's a man who seems slightly asbergers sitting behind the girl across the table from me - he has one of those evil laughs that make him seen ever so slightly deranged - shoulders shake mouth laughs eyes look like they could kill. He's a figet i'd hate to be sitting next to him. I dropped off somewhere near darlington and woke up to find a man had eased himself into the seat opposite around my sprawled out legs - i was very apologetic - likely very unladylike - i just hope i didn't do any of those snorty snores that slumped in seat sleeping can make happen. . ,

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Toy Cars

Joseph played with his toy cars, a lot. He liked them to be in traffic jams and move them on in lines very carefully, one moving from the front to the back so each one had an opportunity to be first. Being first is terribly important in a 3 year old psyche.

I didn't know that most toy cars are now made foreign - of all the cars the only ones which were right hand drives were these old fashioned looking ones from Corgi.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Happy Christmas Everyone

Having a breather - been cooking up a storm all day, niece and nephew have had all the expected highs and lows when Santa has been, too much chocolate has been consumed and lots of presents have been opened, admired and discarded. Our cracker jokes were expectedly rubbish:

Q. Where should a dressmaker build her house?
A. On the outskirts of town. (groan)

Q. What did the beaver say to the tree?
A. Nice gnawing you. (not even worth a groan)

Q. Why didn't the skeleton go to the New Year's Eve party?
A. He nad no body to go with. (groan again)

Q. What has a bed but does not sleep and a mouth but does not speak?
A. A river (hardly a joke at all)

Q. How did the human cannonball lose his job?
A. He got fired (this was guessed)

Q. What does minimum mean?
A. A very small mother (groan).

How were yours?

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Train Journey

Outside the frost clings to the fields and trees, white, stiff, outlining detail. Thick fog.

There's a weird screeching from the table seats behind me. What I thought was a miniature puppet show that a woman was attending to with great concern turns out to be some kind of bird in a cage with a specially made quilted silver fabric cover.

A portly man in a grey suit ahead of me plays with the underneath strip of his tie, twirling it as if it were a stripper's tassel. He has a missing front tooth and ate his lunch with great haste. Crisps, but he doesn't seem like a regular crisp eater. Bit like my grandad when he ate crisps. Reminded me of spitting image depiction of Roy Hattersley - all lisping and spitting and large bubbery lips.

Tables are awash with laptops - I'm wondering what the plug-ettiquette is when there is only one between four. If you're the first there and plug in, is it acceptable for someone else to want a shot at some electrical input?

Angel of the North high on a hill - all heavy metal solid and earthbound.

And then Newcastle - a city which looks interesting every time I pass through - its a testamont to industrialisation and modernisation and tradition - bridges, levels, warehouse rennovations, steeples of churches and turrets.

Weak winter sun tries to break through the mist and haze. Bright across the hazy landscape - it hasn't the strength to melt the ice layered on patches of water in the fields.

And then the sea, grey against a grey beach. Sandy coloured houses with red roofs pushed up against the hillside. The clouds out to sea rise up like mountains in the distance. the train flashes over a glassy river with arched brick bridge reflecting and a heron on the water's edge.

The bird lady is wearing a pale blue sweatshirt with a janty parrot emblem.

After five and a half hours I'm losing the will to live. Finally getting off the train and standing in the icy Dundee wind, face pink and burning, breathing deeply. Relief to be outside.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

End of Term Ceramics Class Roundup

Over for another term, spent more time experimenting. Experiments don't always work out - sometimes they end up ugly!

Slabs painted with coloured slip and allowed to harden, then formed around a tube and slurry glued together. Colours come out stronger after glazing.

Long necked vessel made with extruded coils.

The stack of donuts pot, also made with extruded coils - big fat ones. Probably the least successful pot after glazing. Didn't quite look how I wanted it to...

Friday, 14 December 2007

Christmas is coming

Been to the Montpelier with work. Encouraged to drink one too many baileys (nice at this time of year - xmas and everything), now beginning to regret it as they wash around my belly on the bouncy bus on the way home. Pissed bloke is ranting incomprehensibly in the corner. He starts making a noise that is somewhere between growling and retching. "Easy," commands some man from the back of the bus. I get off at Newington Green. There's a man with a christmas cracker hat perched at the obligatory jaunty angle. Can't quite figure out whether he remembers he's wearing it or not.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Gilded Lilies

73 bounces along Albion Road, over humps, through traffic with frosty exhausts.

A girl in a red jacket has wide open stare-y eyes, her iris' flicker manically across the eyeballs.

I'm sitting next to a man with a similarity to Alan Rickman. He leans forward as a girl opposite him brings out a black eye lining pencil and warns her that she'll have her eye out putting that on as the bus lurches up Albion Road. She points out that she's an expert so he needn't worry. He persists, albeit on a different tack - you don't need it anyway, gilding the lily.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007


To make up for the lack of content recently I'm going to paste this in from an email a colleague sent me (it made me laugh at the time).

The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words.

My favourites of the winners were:

  1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

  2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

  3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

  4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

  5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

  6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

  7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

  8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

  9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

  10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

  11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

John said, "I remember having something to look forward to," droll, semi-ironic. Me too I pipe up and at that moment I really mean it. My shoulders slump. Outside I buy a coke to drink with my lunch hoping the bubbles will pick me up.

Maybe its the time of year, maybe I'm in need of a holiday, maybe.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Jump Around

Christmas lights along minor high streets signify the real start of the festive season (as opposed to the first sign of season-specific goods in the shops). These are not the big overblown artistic displays from Regent Street (supposedly pulsing colours according to street traffic) - just a few yellowy lamp post decorations, the repetativeness along the street adding up to quite a dramatic effect, well, not really and they're only working on one side of the road. There's nothing else christmassy going on in the road yet - no trees or wreaths for sale, no foil decorations.

A man gets on the bus with some shopping bags. He's heavy with gold - chains thick enough to secure a motorbike with.

A year after moving into my house I'm still not sure it feels like home (too many unpacked boxes and chaos). Doesn't even fully feel like mine (far too much of it is owned by the bank!) I feel like I'm pretending. There's still much to be done to help transform it further into mine. Small steps.

I've got a cold that is manifesting itself in my teeth and gums. Roof of my mouth is itchy. Teeth feel numb and gums keep feeling like there is tomato skin stuck on them. Strange feeling.

So anyway, Christmas is coming.