Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Serry Story

Excuse the lull in posting, dear readers. I was about to say sorry for the lull, but we need more clarification on the word sorry in our language. There is sorry as in, it's all my fault and I messed up. If you want to go the whole hog, you can think, sorry, it's all my fault and I'm generally rubbish. (Not recommended)
Or there is sorry as in, I regret that...The two meanings get blurred all the time. We should have different variations on the word, like I'm serry (regret but no guilt).
My weeks have settled into a decent enough pattern. If I get sufficient sleep and rest I can get out for an hour or two, most days. I love my creative writing class on Tuesday nights. I love talking and having opinions. At times I feel quite cheerful. For this, I am not at all serry.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wur selfs

Sometimes I wonder if it's a bit cheesy to put here we are photos on my blog, but I had a request so here are myself and the Frankster at the recent wedding.

Competitive Spirit

Years ago I went through a phase of entering competitions. I'd read that it was easy to win, once you'd learned the formula for writing winning slogans. I tried to win a Valentine's weekend in Amsterdam with Cross pens. My slogan was something desperate like...When our tulips cross I'll have something to write home about. I got third prize which was a Cross pen worth £30. The pen didn't write very smoothly, so I'm ashamed to say, I took it to a pawn shop. They offered me a tenner and I declined. I think it's still hiding in a presentation box in a bottom drawer, beside old passport photos, an empty deodorant bottle and a tartan hair scrunchy.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Glasgow popster weddings

These are some photos of the guest house where I have booked a room for this weekend. I applaud a good website that makes the place look inviting. Francis and I are invited to a wedding nearby which will have a high percentage of guitar strummin' C86 Glasgow indie popsters. I didn't even know what C86 was. I still don't. You don't either, huh? Apparently it's a tag for some of the lo-fi Glasgow indie bands of the '8o's. Now most of them are Glasgow lo-fi popsters in their 40's.

It's just a weird coincidence that my close pals are musicians. My friend Stuart took me to some of these gigs before his band Belle and Sebastian had their break. If I wasn't tone deaf I'm sure I would have ended up playing or singing with him somewhere along the line. I draw the line at shaking a tambourine in a desperate manner.

I was once offered to fly to New York with B&S to take photos but I wasn't well enough. When their American label boss flew from NY to sign them, I made him a cup of tea at my tiny flat and offered him some maltesers. His stretch limo was parked in the back lane and I offered to bring out a cup of tea for the chauffeur too. The chauffeur politely declined. I think he felt he had to.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Cons and Pros and Never Knows

When babies are born in soap operas or TV dramas you can always tell it's a month old baby with a bit of make-up gunk on its head. When I see real births on TV, my eyes usually water with tears. Before I got ME, I always presumed I would have children one day. I never questioned it. With ME it is a very difficult, almost impossible decision. I am nearly 39 so timing is not on my side.
I am more philosophical about everything in life though. My aim is to look for the positive in whatever life does or doesn't throw at me. Perhaps people underestimate the value of freedoms that come from not being a parent, and for others parenthood is hailed as the best thing ever. It should be possible to make the best of either path. Surely? I'm enjoying reading a blog by a new mother with ME called Sofamum . I haven't figured out how to post permanent links on the side of my blog yet, so I'll flag this up here.


Sunday, October 15, 2006

The tilt of October

Well, I am always heartened to receive I like your blog emails, so thank you amigos. You've spurned me on to another miscellaneous posting.
I'm enjoying the unaturally mild October weather. I said today that October was a tilt month and Francis looked at me quizzically. You know...that pleasing tilt into autumn? A sense of planetary motion absent in other months. February doesn't tilt so flagrantly. Or July.
I found a great site where you can listen to poems in bite-sized chunks, as if choosing sweets from a tray of Milk Tray. (It's been years since I ate those '70's chocolates - but I remember relishing the variety of the plastic tray before narrowing the choice down to Coffee Cream or Caramel Keg). Anyway, this link is to a Billy Collin's poem and you can browse the selection by theme or by poet.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Tell me this...

My late granny used to prefix her questions with the phrase, tell me this and tell me no more... She would ask the same questions over and over again. You're not one of them oul' vegetarians, are you? Are those shoes comfortable? (with an expression that suggested the answer couldn't possibly be yes). If she didn't like a new food she was offered, she'd say, I wouldn't die if I never saw it again or, them to their fancy and me to my Nancy. If she forgot your name in a moment of confusion, she'd refer to you as Fanny Bluehole, or occasionally Fanny by Gaslight. She was a gay icon without realising it.


Monday, October 09, 2006

ET Phone Home?

Just a quick post to say I woke up to find my landline kaput, which means I can't get online at home and/or chat to friends. What an uncanny vacuum. Lord have mercy! They are trying to fix it and warned me it could take up to a week. I refuse to entertain that timespan. Oh speed ye digital engineers. I am trying to read more, inbetween the usual 'comatosing'.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

That Weird Head Thing

Thank you to those of you who have written to say you recognised aspects of yourselves in my posts. Today, I'm living the delayed response to The Springer Spaniel Hyper Phase, otherwise known as That Weird Head Thing. It approaches slowly but surely like a rumbling storm - the hot and cold shivers, the dizziness followed by an acute 'sea sickness' and finally a steady inflammo-head for a day or two. Oh, it knows what it's doing alright. It's a master of stealth. One could almost applaud it's Machiavellian ways. I felt bad at having to cancel an invitation to dinner with friends.

Still, Francis cooked us a mean prawn and chilli stir fry. And he does look good with that new haircut. Blessings be counted.

Friday, October 06, 2006

This is Planet Earth

I'm the kind of person who loves poring over maps so I enjoyed my first spin on Google earth. If your PC has a high enough spec, you can download satellite images of the roof of your house - or anywhere else in the world you want to nosey at. Amazing technology.

I had a lovely evening with two great girlfriends. We have so much to talk about. Sometimes I get a bit hyper and am the conversational equivalent of a Springer Spaniel: excitable yet lacking direction, in need of benign discipline.

After yesterday's house-swap desires, my wish has been speedily granted. A kind and generous friend has offered to lend me his house on Islay for a few days at New Year. I feel much Springer Spaniel type gratitude.


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

House Swap Ideas?

I have a policy that if a neighbour knocks at my door to ask about some communal matter, I'll invite them in to sit down, as opposed to discussing it in the doorway. I've noticed that this isn't the norm and usually people do not invite you in. Scottish people seem to be more guarded about their homes. Another friend agreed with me, that as a child and a teenager he'd be left waiting on a doorstep for his friend to come out. Perhaps he'd be invited to stand in the kitchen, but never in the living room.
I don't want to be this guarded. In fact I was wishing that there could be more scope for informal house swapping. For example, I could swap friends of friends, and they could have a few days in Glasgow at the shops and city attractions and I could have a few days in the countryside. Yin and Yang.
There are many official House Swap sites, but I think most of the people who register travel widely and lavishly. Who wants to swap a 10 bedroom mansion on Long Island for a one bedroom flat in Glasgow? I'm thinking on a more accessible scale. I can cat or dog-sit as well. Log fire and a sea view? Now we're talking...

Monday, October 02, 2006

If you say so

Regular dialogue inside my head -

C: You haven't written poems or stories for ages. You really should apply yourself...

C: I feel wiped-out right now. I barely have the concentration to read, so why should I be expected to write?

C: Well, given the choice, you occasionally get out to meet friends and drink herbal tea in cafes. You should have written a novel by now.

C: But I'm alone most of the day and I like my friends...

C: (Folds arms, sighs). Okay, I'll let you off for today. Call me tomorrow.

I sometimes try to use a method called The Work, which challenges every stressful 'should' thought. 'I should write more'. Is that actually true? It doesn't have to be. For an Irish Catholic, I carry a lot of Calvinism.

At least I'm not suffering from the delusion of X factor contestants with their wholesale hysteria that their mental health hinges on just getting through to the next round because fame means everything to them and they 'eat, sleep and breathe singing.' How did fame come to be valued as the panacea?
I'm going to cook corn on the cob. I was afraid of it as a child - it was too unwieldy and yellow-tasting. Now that's the good part.