Monday, 28 July 2008


After the sweltering heat of the day I sit outside in the dark watching moths flicker in the garden light, listen to the clatter of my neighbour's cutlery in their washing up and the distant rumble of cars on the new road, and relish the cool on my skin. Two silent flashes of lightning. No thunder or other dramatics.

Reminds me of driving from Chicago to Madison on one of those long straight american road the whole land stretched out ahead of us, lightning flashing a third of the way up the sky way way off in the distance.

We could do with a storm. It would clear the air. Make sleeping easier again. Lighten the air.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Sunday Morning

Woke with a jolt at 8.00am convinced my alarm had not gone off and I was late for work. Convinced. Only when I was sitting upright on the edge of the bed did I realise it was Sunday. Hate that.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008


Well, a genteel sort of party. A house party held by someone who lives at Westminster Abbey. (!!) Different world. Fabulous old buildings, lovely gardens, Palace of Westminster poking up over the wall as a backdrop.

The lay vicars (not sure what that means exactly, apart from the fact they sing with the choir) sang a version of the Beatles' When I'm 64 (it was a 64th birthday party), in the style of Barbershop - a quintet rather than the usual quartet. The light fell over the grounds. There was a mass party saying-of-grace and then we ate. Some sixth formers (sons of the clergy) had been drafted in to be waiters and kept topping up the glasses. On the way out the halls were very quiet, we walked over gravestones embedded in the corridors, lights came on as we passed. I wouldn't have liked to have to do the walk on my own. Stepping out of the cloisters there was a bat flitting overhead. Back to the 21st century and the hubbub of the city.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Head in the sand

Clearly these days I've been going round with blinkers on - work, home, work - and have missed finding out about the London Festival of Architecture until I stumbled across these structures in Bedford Square, then saw another one pinned to the corner of the Canadian Embassy.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Talking on the phone while on the loo

Would you/could you/well you wouldn't really would you?
At home (maybe...)/at work (I don't think so)?
Flush or wait for the call to end first?

Its not nice really is it. Somehow worse at work. I went into the toilet today and someone was having a conversation on the phone in there. It puts me off being in there at the same time as someone anyway but when you think someone on the phone may be hearing you...

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Eye Test

Walked over to 20/20 and found they were offering walk-ins again (some time since I've been). They made me look at the long road with the hot air balloon going in and out of focus, puffed air in my eyes (but kept warning me so I started closing my eye before it came - pavlovian responses and all that), made photos of my eyeballs to see how healthy they were, made me read lines of letters (this or this, this or this, a or b - sometimes difficult to tell the difference). Overall one eye has gotten a little worse.

I was very good afterwards and didn't buy the lovely Alain Mikli's that the salesman picked out for me - tortoise-shell and mauve and a mere £325 (the most expensive pair I tried that day - isn't it just always the same - always drawn to the dearest) for the frame alone. I think I may just get my old ones reglazed...

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


It rained all day today - sort of drizzly at first wafting up under the edge of the umbrella and gradually heavier and heavier. Sky a misty grey. Reminded me of holidays at the grandparents on the West Coast of the Highlands. It could rain for a week solidly without letting up. We'd stare out of the huge picture window longing for it to stop, leaning elbows on the sills and mess with grannies knick knacks - china animals, metal bowls with the odd loose button. Watching the distance with the binoculars searching for some blue sky on the horizon which disappeared in and out of the rain haze, occasionally a boat would slip past. No where to go and nothing to do until granny got the card table out and we'd play a game of whist (she was a card demon - always had an ace that she'd play with a flourish at some deadly moment). Or we'd be made to go out in it - cagools and wellingtons - walking with the rain stinging your cheeks until you were wet through to the skin. Come home to change and spend the rest of the day washing and drying clothes. Top loading dryer made the whole house smell of hot cloth. Only Grandpa dealt with rainy days/weeks the same way as dry one - out fishing in a big sou'wester, tending vegetables in a beaten up old Barber jacket, tying up fences, bringing in coal. Coming home smelling of wet wool.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Tube Details

  • One button on a pink shirt with a blue check is sewn on with yellow thread.
  • Hem of a summer coat pulled up because of a lining that isn't long enough. Gathers and puckers.
  • Yellow teeshirt under blue and white shirt - vague greeny hue apart from collars, cuffs and yolk.
  • Smart looking in a natty lemon waterproof jacket, apart from very old shoes covered in grass clippings worn without socks.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Men's Singles Final

I woke up dreaming about my mum and my sister. We were going to a wedding that needed 6 changes of outfit. I didn't have six options and thought it was OTT so was refusing to go to all of it. My sister was upset with me and ran crying to our mother, who was dressed and ready to go in a silk shirt dress, lying down in bed with my Auntie Jennifer. She was trying to placate my sister while saying that I was allowed not to attend it all if I didn't want to...

I went round to Dad's in the rain for breakfast. He made pancakes (which were exceptionally good) and we watched the men's tennis final. I wanted Nadal to win. Pops was conflicted - head wanted Federer, heart wanted Nadal. I have always found it hard to really root for Federer because of his striking resemblance to Quentin Tarantino.

I came home in a rain break which was lucky considering the fact the match didn't finish until 9.15. I vacuumed the living room while watching - kept disturbing the house spiders' routine. Then I took a chunk out of my knuckle while grating Parmesan. It bled so profusely that it came through the plaster immediately, so I had to change it. By the time I got back to my dinner it was almost cold.

Cleaning my teeth before bed I looked at myself and thought it had been a good hair day today (its a lot on the dry side these days which makes it difficult to manage) which I felt was a shame since it was Sunday and nobody would have seen it much. And then I was gong to crush it by sleeping on it.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Friday Evening

Out-of-towners are swarming around West End Theatreland. Waiting to go into overblown musical extravaganzas in garish dresses. Tourists are intermingled in their Euro-summer threads - three quarter-length sporty shorts and pale jackets, or white trousers and tans. Trying not to get run down by errant bus drivers whose vehicles lurch forward alarmingly in traffic. London workers relax after work drinking outside pubs. Mostly pale and black suits, chugging larger.

She wore her VPL proudly as she strutted along the Walworth Road, tall in wedge platforms, cool in her short tan shirt dress. A passing man turned around to watch her arse walking on by. It was going to be a glance but it turned into a stare.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Credit crunch

Reading the London Shite this evening I didn't manage to supress a giggle when I read the headline [cue cloyingly irritating breathy female voiceover] This is not just any credit crunch, this is an M&S crunch.