Monday, July 30, 2007

fall apart in my backyard.....

For reasons I can’t fathom a friend of mine is planning a trip to Canada in order to complete a 600km cycle trek.
This morning he received an email from the organisers from which I have pulled the following text because it made me laugh:
Bear Safety
"Local bear expert Jay Honeyman will be giving a bear safety presentation as part of the pre-race briefing on August 12th. Jay will also have bear spray ($30), with holster ($40), and bear bangers ($40) available for purchase following his presentation. Sale of these safety items will go to support the Karelian Bear Shepherding Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and research to reduce incidents of bear human conflict."

First off, he’s called Jay Honeyman. Bear experts should be called Mike Grizzly or Frank Claws or Hardcore Muscles – Jay Honeyman sounds a bit, well, fictional, no matter how apt a name it is.

Bear Spray ? Brilliant ! That’ll keep a charging half ton grizzly at bay. At least you get to wear a holster as your throat is ripped from your neck and your head flung twelve feet into the undergrowth. Holsters make you look cool. Fact.

Bear Bangers ? Aces. I can only imagine these are thrown at the bear’s paws in order to scare it off, but surely the only effect this will have will be to make it dance on it’s hind legs. Which is surely illegal ?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I write this with apologies to Amy Mead

I have many many many lovely friends. One of the loveliest and shortest is Amy Mead, aka shortarse, pixie mead or in my case Moo.
I am known for my fickleness, it seeps from me in unusual ways - I say I'll be somewhere and I won't, I promise something only to get the fear of commitment and dash it against the rocks of loyalty at the last minute - I can barely trust my own promises to myself.
I made a very quick decision in March to go back to university this year and in an unsurprising turn of mood yesterday have decided to defer, at least for a year. After all, I don't want to commit to not going either. Today I broke the news to Amy, while standing on the grimy pavements of London Road, buffeted by swarms of wretched hags and harridans, each screeching insults at the other as they passed me. Therefore the conversation went something like this;
Amy: "What do you mean you're not going to university, Dooks ?"

Me: "Stupid fucking bitch."
Amy; "Ey?"

Me: "Sorry not you. Some twat - yes you, you twat - is trying to push past me. Yeah, like I said, I think I've changed my mind about university."
Long, long pause. I could almost hear the depths of Amy's knowing, stupefied mood.
Amy : "Are you joking ? You're joking, are you ? Are you ?"

Me: (quietly) "No."
At this point Amy's language turned the air so blue I could practically swim back to work.
Me: "Look. I've really thought about this."

Amy: "I am never going to believe anything you say again."
Me: "Yeah you too, arsehole. Sorry, someone was trying to get past again."
Amy: "You always do this."
Me: genuinely affronted "Not all the time"
Amy: "I'll talk to you about this later."

Me: " Seriously I know what I'm doing this time."
Amy: "Whatever you want Daise."
Me: "I'll stick it up your arse in a minute mate. Sorry, someone was - Amy ?"

Nope, she'd gone. She's right of course, I do do this all the time, and the fact that she cares means a great deal to me. So I just want to say to Amy (and Lenny, who said he'd kick my face off if I didn't go, and possibly Big Al B who may read this at work and come downstairs and kill me) I'm really sorry.
Not that sorry obviously, just enough to get back into your good books.
Update : As an afterthought, a huge cheers with off licence beers to Mitton and Jason who put 'poo-shaped cake' on my list of reasons to stay. I just need to know...why ?
And next time, it'll be all about ME obviously.

Monday, July 16, 2007

kick 'em in the vice magazines

Being a westcountry girl a fairly large part of me is superstitious. Cows lying down ? Rain. Red sky in the morning ? Rain. Starlings flocking to the left ? Uhhhh....rain.
I’m terrified of lone magpies the way some people are of diseases and letters from the council. Lone magpies are an omen of sorrow, or in the case of Saturday night, indecent exposure and surrealism on a massive scale.
My favourite pub in the world is in north London - I found myself outside there with Alex on Saturday afternoon. I was going out later that evening so I was wearing the funsuit (shorts on the bottom, halter-neck on the top, bit like a waistcoat. business at the top, party at the bottom, I’m sorry.)
Alex was at the bar. A magpie swooped into view and strutted about briefly in that peculiar way they have, occasionally glaring at me with it's onyx eyes. "Good afternoon mister magpie," I intoned. It stared back so hard it was like being crushed by black ball bearings.
Oh dear, I thought, that's a bad omen.
The problem with funsuits is getting them off, and if the funsuit magic is working properly you will have someone willing to do that for you in no time. However, this was not one of those times. so as I struggled back into mine in the toilet I heard a tiny sound.
There was a button on the floor.
Shit, I thought, picking it up. shit. Oh, it's alright, it's a concealed button at the waist. No-one will notice. I’ll just do these top two up, and...
I look down with mounting horror. On the floor are the top two buttons, gazing balefully up at me looking for the all the world like the eyes of a magpie. I groan. Looking down at myself I notice two things, and they should really not be so noticeable.
Clutching the top together I scurry through the pub and outside. (smoking.) Alex is looking at me.
"What ?" he says. I show him the clutch of buttons in my palm.
"So ?"
"Alex," I whisper, "you can see my bra." (it is a good bra though, but still.)
"No I can't."
I show him the affected area.
"Jesus." he says, averting his eyes. "Jesus Daisy, I did not ask to see that."
"What am I going to do ?" I have a scarf with me, so I put it on. It is very narrow and hangs limply down. Alex shakes his head.
"If anything that's worse. It looks like a fucking arrow. You'll just have to keep your coat on."
Good idea I think, as I make my way to Camden. I’ll just keep it done up all night.
At the venue I am greeted by Dan and The Drummer Whose Name I Do Not Remember in the garden. Dan gives me a hug.
"You look hot."
"Thank you," I say, giving him a little twirl.
"No, you look hot. You're sweating. Take off your coat."
"I can't. I’ve had a wardrobe malfunction."
"It's alright, how bad can it be ?"
I show them. The Drummer Whose Name I Do Not Remember takes a step back.
"Yeah, keep the jacket on."
At this point I want to say that Anne performed as ever, superlatively, despite being pregnant and claiming to feel tired. She looked and sounded glorious and rocked the place out. Anne, you were awesomer (you see Philip ? I do listen to you) And aces. I threw some shapes to Apple Pie despite being perilously close to overheating and smiled smugly at everyone because Anne and I have known each other a long, long time.
At the end of the night I thought I’d catch the last train back to Brighton for a drink with Odge, so I made my excuses and left.
It was eleven o'clock as I reached the bus stop to take me to King's Cross. One hour and fifteen minutes later I am still sat there, surrounded by drunk students and the entire cast of Blazing Squad, also drunk.
Just as I’m gritting my teeth to nothing more then a fine white powder the bus pulls up. I get on. Blazing Squad do the same. The bus driver starts shouting about travelcards. They start shouting back. There is much to-ing and fro-ing of disses and accusations and the bus driver hits the switch. At this point the engine dies and the entire vehicle turns into a strobe factory, complete with klaxon. By now my head is in my hands.
Grudgingly, after a full ten minutes more of protests, Blazing Squad dis-embark, muttering darkly about popping caps in asses and generally sounding like the stroppy teenagers they are. And that's fine, but not on my time.
By the time I reach King's Cross I have missed the last train and have to travel to East Croydon, a journey which is slightly marred by the man opposite, gurning and licking his own eyeballs. I try to tell him when we are at East Croydon as it is the last stop. He reaches out to hug me into his sweaty chest. I scarper, and I’ve never even known what scarpering was before now.
Finally, the train to Brighton shrugs into East Croydon at twenty five past one in the morning. Odge is guiding me home through the magic of text messages, despite the fact I’m a full two hours late, and if it hadn't been for him and his amazing words ('anyone in Camden gives you grief, kick 'em in the Vice magazines') there would have been actual tears.
On the train I sit opposite a man so old and tissue skinned I kept checking the rise and fall of his shoulders to make sure he was still alive. He gave me a bit of a scare at Purley when he caught his breath but luckily he made the full journey without the intervention of the grim reaper. Opposite me to the left was Reggie Kray, at least as he looked in his fifties, all slicked back hair and clunky jewellery. Kray meets Saville meets, as it turned out, Rain Man. He kept muttering and cracking his knuckles and clutching his head. perhaps he was thinking about Barbara Windsor, I know I was.
An hour until Brighton some Welsh dimwad gets out his phone and proceeds to play tinny versions of the Star Wars theme, whooping joyously along with the Darth Vadar march and occasionally increasing the volume in case they couldn't hear it in the next fucking carriage. The resulting buzzing, unlistenable, unrecognisable mess was so far from the original film score I found myself looking hopefully at Reggie Kray, wordlessly pleading with him to go and do the gentleman's thing of smacking the Welsh bloke in the head.
Alas, Reggie was preoccupied with clutching his head and muttering. Too bad, Reggie.
I fall off the train and practically commando roll into a cab which takes me to Odge's. Poor the Odge. He has been waiting up for me for four hours with Man Flu and cheap beer. When he opens the door I am so slump shouldered, utterly dejected and quiet that he gives me a hug, plonks a can in my lap, puts on the first series of the Mighty Boosh and gets me a t-shirt to hide my modesty.
I sleep on his sofa, warm and safe and happy at last. On the way home in the morning I see two magpies, pecking around in some scrubland. two.
...and do you know what ? Sunday turned out to be an aces day. Bloody birds.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

aces outer spaces

I had to write this. I went for dinner last night with teena (who makes badass fajita, and that nearly rhymed).
talk turned to our respective ages;

teena: "…I just really feel that I’ve matured since then"
me: (snorting derisively) “Really ? where do you hide this new found maturity then ?”

teena: “Up my hole.”

One day I hope to be as mature as teena.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

all the things going bump in the night....

my sleeplessness is out of control, and when i do eventually drop off i’m treated to the kind of dreams usually only seen in cartoons starring talking mice.
(you thinking what i’m thinking brain ?)
currently my bedtime is like a form of extreme sport - the kind only whooping idiots do - and i’m genuinely surprised at how resistant my brain is to actually fucking switching off when i ask it to.
the way this has manifested itself is mainly in the words, in the writing (see the duck-legs story, and a particularly shite early effort of mine which spoke of tigers and white russians. think i destroyed it, it was a solemn cremation – poof! up in flames) and also revealed in my vacant expression as i float through the day like an embryo. i’ve no idea how far my threshold will stretch before i end up the walking comatose, snatching sleep from pockets.
the french for sleep translates as ‘the little death’.* that sinisterism alone keeps me awake at night.
if anyone has any remedies for this sporadic insomnia let me know. but knowing you lot it’ll be booze and valium.

*update - thanks to AaA for telling me i am wrong. he can expect a prize of sorts. sorry, did i say prize ? i meant chinese burn.

Monday, July 02, 2007

roosting in the eaves of the mind

Many, many things scare me. Many, many many things. My age. Flying without valium. The fact that our sofa doesn't lie flush with the wall so that if I'm watching anything scarier than Doctor Who I can imagine how easy it would be for someone (or something, thanks Stephen King) to crawl into the triangular gap and wait amongst the dust and the dark, waiting for me to relax a little, or for a lax curl of my hair to spill within it's clammy, callused grip. The eventual death of my cowboy boots. Zombies. Voodoo. The diabolic creaking outside my room between three and five every morning. This is true, it's like a bothersome spectre running up and down the corridor. In fact that last one wouldn't be frightening at all, it would just be annoying were it not for the fact that it happens in the dead of night, where your tired, overstretched mind will believe anything. It's why it's called the dead of night, not the 'lovely comfort zone' or 'the hour of rapture and good cheer.' No, it's the dead of night sunshine, just past the witching hour, and that noise isn't a tap dripping it's the slow steady hammering of the evil leprechauns breaking in through the cellar to steal all your toes and teabags and because it's the dead of night suddenly that idea has more plausibility then it would at any other time.
I am writing this late, not quite the dead of night but certainly day is in it's terminal stages.
My room is on the ground floor, facing the street. Our road is very posh, and very quiet and there is rarely a squeak after say, ten o'clock at night. The other night a cat miaowing on a window sill just past midnight received a record number of residential complaints and a petition to have it's voicebox removed. I signed it.
There is a man whistling outside my window. Perhaps it is a solitary drunk tunelessly picking out the notes to 'Two Little Boys', heading home after another late night. But the crashing dark doesn't want me to think that. Oh no. I have him in my head now, tall and stooped and irregularly shaped, like an amorphous shape squeezed into a man costume. His puckered lips are wet and his nose is bleeding. His shifty eyes don't leave my lit window, and his hands are deep in the pockets of his long coat which falls into pools of shadows by his feet. In the gloom you can almost see him smiling a little, a grin like a slit throat. Each note withers and dies as he croons it out.
And he's probably controlling the fucking leprechauns in the cellar as well.