Sunday, 28 June 2009

From the 'Stock to the 'Shire

My laptop smells of fire. Hardly surprising, though I should like it more if it smelt of hot man or Turkish delight, but that would just be distracting. Fire's good. It's a strangely pleasant smell don't you think? Takes you back to good times I wreckon. Anyone else who was a Girl Guide will know what I'm talking about. Good times indeed. I had my first 'shmore' in the girl guides (toasted marshmallow squished betwixt two chocolate digestives) and my first toasted choc banana (not quite as tasty as the former but a delicacy none the less). It was never the same in winter toasting marshmallows over tea lights. They were always to neat with a distinct lack of charcoal and green stick flavour. Give me the hard stuff every time.

Anyway, let's talk about sand for a while. I took myself to St.Anne's beach this afternoon in pursuit of some me and God time. It didn't disappoint. I was however deeply perturbed by the sinister ability of sand to just get literally everywhere - I mean I was fully clothed darn it! Whatever, if I have to pick sand from my ipod and car for the next however long I can handle it for the worth it factor. A surprise meet up at Wrea Green with my beautiful friend Abi then followed. Oh how I love her and her gorgeous house in the sticks. I would like a house in the sticks but as I have said before, I would also like it to be made of sticks. Well, not actual sticks, wood but we all know where wood comes from.

I am heading down to Oxford tomorrow to spend time with my homeboys. The three of us are Blackburnites but some of us are more true to our routes than others - they'll know what I'm talking about. One's back from his new life in Australia and we're visiting the other in the 'Shire so I'll let you do the maths. But I forgive them. Besides, they didn't do punting trips in Blackburn last time I checked. So bring on the heatwave I say and some messing around on the river. And as for the 'Cat Empire' gig on Wednesday, they're gonna be SWEEEEET. I could evangelise at length about this lot but I'll let youtube do the talking if you'd care to get acquainted. I may have to give myself holiday grace on the blogging front too. With a mere two days to go and an unblemished record that's nearly killed me, it seems a shame to 'fail' at the last hurdle but that's grace for you; it counts not your wrongs. We shall see what the next days bring. I hope for grace.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

I need an axeman...

This evening I blog from the great outdoors. Some might not think two feet from the back door is anything to write home about but perhaps you will be more impressed when I tell you I single-handedly built myself a fire in the chiminear with only one match and no firelighters in sight. Nope?.... just me then. It’s so lovely being out here at night time. There are no stars to speak of but fairy lights hang from the canopy above me and I hear the sweet strumming of a guitar playing Roo (Emma’s boyfriend) from the living room. But just me and my fire is making me happy. My only concern is the lack of mediocre sized wood. There’s a log pile here and an axe but a distinct lack of brawn for the chopping. As is, I have to get enough of the little fellas burning before I can hope they will set the mother log on fire. Like going from first to third gear without stalling I imagine – a risky business I think you’ll agree. The leg of an old chair is bridging the gap nicely for now though; thanks for lending us those chairs for our Christmas party Lydia, seems their real season pleasers.

The earth smelt good today too. I was foolish in thinking the air would be fresh following the storm this morning and set off on my usual running route with a spring in my step. Turned out, fresh not so much but a deep muggy heat quickly engulfed me or perhaps it just felt that way a couple of K’s in. Either way, it was a heat almost rising from the ground; a thick, lingering heat. A heat I would have much to whinge about if not for the richness in scents it brought. As I approached the shadowed tree lined walk way, the smell of garlic and wet wood mixed was truly beauteous and I was a little bit thankful to be alive and free. I used my freedom to walk and explore a little bit more than usual and fuelled my running of the home stretch with some Coldplay anthems. We all need them from time to time – Coldplay and home stretches I think. For now though, my blog is home stretching as I see to this lovely fire of mine. It is very lovely.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson - my initial thoughts.

Of all the blogs in all the world, I'd say there was a pretty good chance that most of them today will be paying tribute to the late Mr Michael Jackson.

It was late last night that I heard what had happened as I came downstairs to find my house mates watching the breaking news. I just saw 'Michael Jackson, heart attack' and it took me a few seconds to realise he had died. It was so hard to believe. Such strange news almost, so unexpected; a fact without a feeling. I felt very little apart from bewilderment. Sharon too was strangely unperturbed. I reminded her how only a few months ago we were busy attempting to learn the moves to his Thriller routine (not just the two of us I have to say - a group strange enough to incline.) It's like Michael Jackson was just this guy who existed who none of us knew but everyone knew. My other house mate, Emma, commented on the strangeness of it all when a celebrity passes away because you aren't close to them but they're so ingrained into your culture you can't help but wonder just how affected culture will be. Sharon also mused over a link between Michael's death, Jade Goody's death and the general collapse of the economy and all the leadership that goes with it. An icon, the 'people's princess'/celebrity and the very structure we placed so much financial faith in. Is it merely a coincidence that so many whom society have looked up to, have left a gap which seems to be widening fast? Perhaps not. Sharon wondered if now was the turn of the 'little' people. Of the stories of those living in hardcore realities; kids smuggled through Afghanistan and the like. Will we start to look outward and not the perceived upward? Caz knows not.

A different reaction to my house mates hit me though once back at the parental units. When I asked how my Mum's day had been, she replied how sad she'd been about Michael Jackson. As she pointed out, he was her age. A weird thought but I guess it brings home how young he was. She had always felt for the guy, felt he was a tormented soul, never knowing who to trust. She was angered by the media and their total admiration of him now he's gone. How could they be so two faced after the sheer number of lies and mileage they got out of harassing him? "If only Michael could hear their kind words now", she said. Even if he could though, he wouldn't be too impressed I doubt. The media are fickle and have to do, say and print what sells. And while I don't mean to be the biggest cynic, I hope many too will note the media's lack of backbone. An 'upward' lesson I think for all, an outward one I hope for more and for those with a genuine admiration for the man, you have my heartfelt condolences.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Does anything wait anymore?

Darn it. I see blogger is set to an American time frame and it therefore appears I failed in my quest to blog yesterday, but I know the truth. On a positive note, I see I have had a 20% increase in my followers over night. Not to be sniffed at. I sniff at you not.

Blogs though, they wait for no one. I'm realising this. After my one a day phase ends, I will get to be more selective about what, when and how I blog. I propose quality over quantity, the stakes will be higher. Though I have to say the whole daily write thing has shown me a thing or two. It's taught me some stuff and reflect I will...just not right now. My sleep waits for no one.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Words are good

Oh look, it's Wednesday already and here I am making my entry for the day as first thing as it possibly can be. It might not be coffee fresh but you can't knock me for trying. Besides, I can now chat about "last night's" open mic in a bit more length. I say a bit more because Helen, though I embrace your plan, my eyelids appear to be opposing it.

I have the feeling of £3 well spent. A good feeling indeed. I much prefer it to that well know £3 poorly spent feeling. I think we all know what I'm talking about. For £3 was the amount I paid to spectate and partake at the live lit night/Word Soup 3 held at The Continental pub. I have never ventured into the room we used before. Very comedy club i felt with people strewn around tables lit with tea lights (the tables not the people). A lovely low light to be inconspicuous enough to have a wee go at reading myself I thought. Better wait till the second half though I reasoned, check out the standard first. And very good it was too so perhaps it was against my better judgement to put myself out there. Good judgement also reasons that you only live once - in this life at least.

Two verses in I found my hands shaking so violently I had to actually physically shake them out, apologise to all for my nervousness and attempt to redeem my rocky start. Now, most people probably wouldn't have me down as a nervous sort. I wouldn't have me down as a nervous sort but it turns out the bright lights of the stage affect my heart in a way that not many things can. It shall perhaps be my new nemesis, since I have conquered my laser eye fears and have never looked back...ey, were on the top, we're goin' higher. I digress.

So I finished my poem to lots of happy clappers, or perhaps just clappers, but it was a nice sound to my withered heart. My heart now hears. You know what Helen, I'm not sure I concur with this method of blogging... I value my followers. But anyway, I can't sign off without giving a special mention to a man called Gary Bridgens and his ukulele. What a jolly performance he gave us. As a kids lit developer who writes songs with kids and is a puppeteer (Like my library job but with more music, puppets and less admin I'd guess), we sang along with him to a song he'd written with the kids about ducks and sausages, heard a heartfelt poem about his little boy somewhere in the middle and ended with a song on the ukulele about Margaret Thatcher being paraded around in hearse. Fun times. No one could argue he wasn't eclectic.

Finally, I was most pleased to meet a fellow blogger named Viv (a boy). I do like it when boys have girl's names. I like even more the stories behind nicknames. Anyway, I think Viv will be a very good blogger because he works in a bookshop and has just helped to edit a published book which can be bought in 'all good bookstores'. Viv writes satirically. Perhaps if Viv has been kind enough to remember my blog address and is reading this, he will be kind enough to remind me of his. That way I can introduce his stuff to you and you can see for your good selves. For now, I hope for pretty dreams but for those there tonight, not ones with legs ;)

Smarter not harder

It is with regret I find the evening has left me a mere seven minutes to get characters on screen. When I say the evening what I actually mean is my evening of open poetry/spoken word goodness, a boy who keeps me talking for time periods which even I know are wrong and two bowls of crunchy nut cornflakes prior to laptop switch on. I have however been shown the error of my blogging ways (see comment made by Helen on yesterday's blog). So watch what I'm about to do - it's very clever. That's how you know I couldn't possibley have come up with it on my own.

Monday, 22 June 2009


With the lovingly and immaculately perfected discipline of an amiba, I have successfully managed to remain in the cusps of in depth conversation with a beautiful friend of old ,in her beautiful house, overlooking the beautiful river. I had made a mental note to leave by 8.30pm, 9ish at the latest. It comes as no surprise however, to myself or indeed those who know me well, that I have had to dive onto her laptop at this late hour. My day begins far earlier than I would like it to tommorow therefore my blog ends far quicker than I would like it to this evening. I am officially poop at daily blogging. Must get better.