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November 29th, 2014

I had a conversation with my mother yesterday*, in which we discussed the fact that she had recently told a family friend what she thought about them (short version: nothing good).  And why the friend had not appreciated this - and by extension, why my mother should perhaps stop telling people what she thinks because that is radically reducing my parents' small pool of viable friends.

My mother maintains this is unhelpful british repression and that people need to express themselves.  And other people will ultimately appreciate the truth.  I'm not sure about this.

And then my best friend sent me this - http://www.tickld.com/x/30-things-british-people-say-vs-what-we-actually-mean-9-is-perfect - with that equally complimentary and damning phrase I saw this and thought of you.

So, some of my recent adventures in britishness:

1. On being given the wrong meal in a restaurant (Cote, where I go all the time.  All the time.  It doesn't matter): thank you, that's perfect. Inner monologue: this is the worst thing you could have given me on a plate, but I won't complain, I will just come back here month after month and stare at you with reproachful eyes until one day you dive headfirst off Richmond bridge without really knowing why.

2. Getting onto a bus at the end of a long queue of people, all of whom have tried and failed to use their oyster card on a clearly broken oyster reader: *presses card repeatedly against clearly broken card reader, saying sorry at regular intervals*  *driver waves me on*  sorry, is it broken?  Sorry.  Has that worked?  Is this okay?  Sorry. Curse you and your broken machine of social embarrassment and your stupid big red bus and your stupider big red face.

3. Caught in an infinite no-please-after-you cycle in a shop doorway: *sees shop is still open, thanks the gods of retail, dashes towards shop with uncustomary hope in eyes, prepares to go through door - pause - confronted with another human, equally eager to go through the entry portal into shop - holds door open, half in, half out of shop - we both say no-please-thankyou-after-you-please until I am 96.  I give up and leave.* I hate you, fellow ten-minutes-before-closing shopper, I hate you wish a passion that will burn in my soul until I am withered and dead, and into the next world.  You are all that stood between me and delicious macaroni cheese with leeks, and I swear on Nigella I will be between you and every whimsical not-just-comfort-food-it's-M&S-comfort-food meal that you try and use to fill the gaping void in your meaningless life until we both expire.

So, basically, I suspect my mother is right.  But will not tell her this. Except quietly in my own head, in blue font to demark the difference from my outward social-convention-dictated speech.

* This is not the story.  I have on average 2-3 conversations with my mother a day.  Most of them are roughly like this: hello.  hello.  what are you doing?  trying to have an independent adult life.  that's not going to work out.  okey dokey.  so, the cat did a thing, it was funny, let me describe it to you in great detail and possibly email you some pictures of it..... 

November 25th, 2014

Regrets of the day

*  The casual, breezy email that I sent to a new friend.  The words casual and breezy may have been in the heading.  Does this negate the casual/ breezy tone of said email?

*  The spontaneous photocopier chat gone wrong.  My director of finance: so, any exciting plans for the weekend?  Me: yes.  A long silence follows, in which I do not elaborate.  Eventually he leaves.

*  This cardigan.  It is pink but a different shade of pink than I believed.  It does not match my nails.  This upsets me every time I see my hands and attached sleeves.  Like now.  And now.  And – well, you can imagine.

*  Bus journey to work this morning.  Saw the very old lady get on the bus.  Waited slightly too long to see if someone else would get up.  Spent a lot of rest of bus journey trying to get her attention to give her a seat - eventually determined she did not want seat - tried to persuade her she did.  Had invested too much to give in.  Finally had to get off bus early and walk, as social embarrassment too great.

*  The amusing cat-in-heat picture I sent to our designer to illustrate my frustration and growing desperation re. the brokenness of our website.  Scores highly for friendly office banter.  Less well when forwarded in group email.

*  TBC
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November 7th, 2014

Back from the dead

A Libertines’ ten years reunion tour has saturated my Tumblr dashboard.  So baffled and bewildered is a fandom that had long since accepted their ship as sunk, they have entirely obliterated my daily dose of cats doing amusing things and Benedict Cumberbatch moving his face, with a sea of emotional outbursts and gif sets.

The frenzy of getting something they wanted so desperately has left them too paralyzed with the anticipation of disaster to feel the joy of getting what they wanted.  Perhaps I have found my spiritual fandom..  But how I long for a simple picture of a cat with an ironic caption.

Reunions are in the air.  Lost university and school friends are emerging from the dust.  Live Journal and me (don’t look at me like that, you didn’t write either).  Even Blue have got back together, despite promising Simon Amstell that they wouldn’t.

So, some thoughts about reunions:Collapse )
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November 6th, 2014


The next post is running four years late.  We apologise for the delay.  This is due to the wrong kind of metaphorical leaves on the track.


September 29th, 2010

On being blunt

Have been eyeing up my two Dixon No. 2/HB orange-coated pencils for some days now, thinking these pencils are becoming a bit un-sharp.  Yesterday, finally decided these pencils are too un-sharp! I must find some better, More Sharp pencils...

This morning, I realised I could Sharpen them.  So I did.

July 9th, 2010

Some thoughts

...after hearing Jeanette Winterson at the Southbank Centre, and why I don’t like questions and answers.

Perhaps JW suggested that we leave our jobs and stop buying things, that we take to the streets and protest vocally, that we be personal and political, that we stop using words which need to be explained because they mean nothing, and read and write the work and stop talkingandtalking about and over it, and that we forgive or take revenge or die.

Perhaps these are just the scraps that remain in my head because they are what I want to remember. Perhaps pasted back into their context, they are part of a much less revolutionary talk of books to take to a desert island and happiness and god-children.

When she was a child, books were forbidden and so she hid a stash of fiction beneath her mattress. She slept on the spines and fleshy pages of fiction. Her mother found the treasure trove and flung each book out of the window, and built a paper and paraffin bonfire in the yard below.
  In the morning, the embers still pulsed with heat. Scraps of writing were scattered around the yard like leaves.

On questions and answers: do we ask questions because we want to hear the answer or to show that we know a lot of words? And is a question still a question if you cannot deduce the query from a length of speech purporting* to be one?

* Did I use the word ‘purporting’ just to prove that I know it?

November 17th, 2009

Almost seriously

considering Twittering.

a) because it's a silly word and I enjoy this.

b) because it suits my thought process: brief and pointless.

June 30th, 2009

I have...

Watched the second half of series 2, Ally McBeal - was previously put off by a run of frog episodes early in the series, following the misadventures of john cage's ambhibian friend (which largely involved him/it ending up in a toilet bowl).  Why the writers felt the need for several separate frog-centric episodes mystifies me - but then they got over it, and the rest of series 2 is really very enjoyable.  I do enjoy a nice neurotic self-obsessed protagonist.

Also started watching series 3 of Ally McBeal (spotting a theme here?).  In the absence of katy, I worried that the TV might get lonely without its regular fix of attention, so have been acting as proxy.  Quite enjoyable, might consider taking up this TV watching lark on regular basis.

Had more driving lessons.  Booked theory test.  Not crashed.  None of these things make me any happier about operating a big engine on wheels maneouvring around other mad motorised future-vehicles.  Nonetheless, will dutifully fail test this summer, if only to stop my grandfather popping up and muttering "still not passed yet?" in helpful manner.

Seen gillian.  Exciting.  Ate unfeasably large "snack platter" at Slug & LEttuce, who had amusingly decided that the vegetable crudites had to be deep fried (presumably they thought they wouldn't fit in with the other snacks and might be taunted by the onion rings).  Temporarily flooded in so had so drink many frozen margaritas. Basic survival skill.

Been to a very scary new tango class, where they actually dance in an ocho-tastic twirly swirly frenzy.  Was much like one of those nightmare sequences where you find yourself flying a plane and realise that you have neglected to take any plane flying lessons beforehand... It will, apparently, get better and less terrifying. In the meantime, I can enjoy feeling incompetent (and that, at least, I do well).

Spent week managing office while boss is away on steam train holiday (I don't know exactly what this entails, but assume.. looking at/riding on lots of steam trains?) - if picking up piles of paper and moving them to slightly different places in room can be called managing.*  Working in legacies has the advantage of being fairly laid back; everyone being already dead and unlikely to get deader tends to remove any sense of emergency.  Started talking to self on tuesday afternoon... full two-sided debates by friday.  Boss back today, so am spared from developing new personalities to entertain myself.

Not written anything, apart from this, which clearly doesn't count.

Been baffled by trickly topshop sizes.  There is no consistency in the world.  This troubles me.  And makes my after-work-sixteen-minute-shopping-gap problematic.  Generally, I don't try things on in shops.  I find getting dressed once a day quite stressful and don't like to repeat it under pressure in public.  Thus was forced to buy skirt in three different sizes.  Stupid topshop.

So far, failed to return two rejected skirts in wrong size.  Stupid me.

One week to go of solo living.  Strangely peaceful - once I have got over initial coming-home-terror, turned on all lights and checked inside wardrobes for gremlins.  Ally McBeal proving good flatmate, although a tad whiny.  David also there a lot, so alone very little really and rarely have to make my own tea.

Started watching Twin Peaks.  Have never had much fondness for David Lynch, but this could change.

Developed insatiable desire for cherry pie.

*Realised that when left alone in any domestic/work situation, I spend an impractical amount of time picking things up and putting them down again in a slightly different place.  Repeatedly.

June 21st, 2009

Testing, testing

Aim: to investigate whether this internet world (in which I only sort of believe) is a fitting substitute for contact with three-dimensional people.

Methodology: to share the relatively random and insignificant thoughts, that I usually inflict on my (currently awol) flatmate, with the internet community (or the ethereal space where they might reside) on a daily basis.  Editing and fictionalising will be kept to a minimum in order to maintain authenticity (obviously some degree of fabricating is always present).  Failed to establish any kind of "control", so *shrug*.

Context: in this world of palm-top technology and almost constant and mobile internet availability - virtual contact is fast becoming a norm, and perhaps a substitute for real-time human interaction.  This exercise is an attempt to explore the uses, motivations and effects of this medium of communication (and fill time while my flatmate is away, and save me from having to talk to myself).


June 12th, 2009


KitKat for breakfast = -good idea. 

Realised too late that the slogan I had in mind was "have a break (full stop).  Have a KitKat."  Not "have a break-fast KitKat"....

It does not keep hunger locked up until lunch*. 

Although, it does a reasonable job until the next KitKat...

*Unlike Shreddies, apparently.  Can't imagine how, unless the tedium of chewing way through a bowl of shredded wheat parcels puts you off the whole food idea for several hours. Possible.
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