Friday, February 27

Miranda July





is my big girl crush, I love her writing, her art projects are brilliant and she is very good at titles -I am particularly fond of  Eleven Heavy Things 


As we have both contributed to Sheila Heti's book Women in Clothes - I feel like we are colleagues if not actual friends.

Miranda visited Bristol last night to talk about her new book The First Bad Man (which is great!) and I have spent the last week suppressing my excitement in case it didn't happen*

Just in case she really did show up I resisted eating kippers for lunch as I hoped to get to speak to her.

She showed up, she was patient with the embarrassingly awful interviewer and she was funny, she also signed my copies of her books and was charming.



*last time I went to see a writer at this same venue he didn't show

Tuesday, February 24

Progress report

It might seem that not much is happening in my life but  I am actually being very productive:

Firstly: I underwent bicycle light training and have now successfully mastered 'switching the lamp on and off' and also 'blinking mode'

Secondly: I have received a package of moth pheromone strips to lure male moths away from the girls and into a sticky trap I also have some scented pads to strew among my rugs and jumpers.

I heard on the radio that when a pest controller comes to your house he uses a pencil to test if a hole is big enough for a mouse - I'm not strong enough to think about mice yet.

Thirdly: I have embarked on a new reknit - someone gave me a nude-colour cashmere jumper saying that the colour was ugly. It is a bit raw-meat-like but I can't resist the softness. It was also a bit small for either of us so I am reknitting the top part on extra big needles - if it ends up looking like chicken mince I shall have to dye it.

Monday, February 23

Giant, slobbery, affectionate dog lover required!

yet another job ad where I am simply failing to meet basic requirements.

This is a shame because if I was a slobbery giant I could be in a town which boasts major attractions:

Tesco Express, fish & chips, chinese takeaway, Dominoes, Indian restaurant, hairdressers, coffee shop and Vets are all within a 2 minute walk.

Tuesday, February 17

Today at the Brain Surgery

We remembered that the patient who was about to arrive had invited us (me and the Brain Doctor) to a Valentine party that was rather expensive and involved music we didn't like and was too far away and anyway we're not a couple...

we had discussed this party last week

... and we thought we could attend and enjoy the party if we were cross-dressed because he likes wearing women's clothes and wigs and I have always wondered what it would be like to have a sock in my trousers - not the sort I don't know about - that yesterday-sock that leaks out of the end of the trouser-leg but the sort I do know about that gets in the way of walking.

in the end we did not attend so as not to compromise our professional demeanor

Monday, February 16

I had another assignation with Rabbit

I like being warm but she hates it and she had arrived first so we sat in the draught.

I was late because my new bike light wouldn't switch off so I had to wrestle the whole lighting apparatus off the bike and hide it,  blinking on, in my pocket.

At the end of our meal the battery was exhausted so I had to push the bike home.

Sunday, February 15

Video of the year

Tuesday, February 10

A neat gentleman

in tartan slacks waits to see the Brain Doctor, he's a visiting hairdresser and he always wears a particularly nice cologne.

we're talking about the cold weather and he asks to see my gloves

They're no good get down to the Pound Shop they do really good thermal ones

For a pound?

I expect they're from abroad

Monday, February 9

While waiting his turn in the Brain Surgery

a large gentleman talked about the pub across the road

It used to be an abattoir - my mum made me go and work there when I was thirteen she said go there and learn how to be a butcher and you'll never be out of work

Did you become a butcher?

No I became a printer, lithographers were very well respected in those days we wore bowler hats

Saturday, February 7

Three bus stops up the road



from my house there's a prison and all around the prison are streets and streets of samey-looking houses.

One local nosey parker devised a scheme to get a peep into as many people's houses as possible, she suggested that the whole neighbourhood did art in their windows for three hours this evening and let the rest of everybody in the whole world walk around gawking into their houses

AND THEY DID!!!!

This evening I have been peeping into peoples houses - whole front rooms have been transformed into a disco or an aquarium, someone made several little illuminated boxes of glass animal scenarios and many children made Lego-worlds and cardboard Minecraft Worlds in their windows.

One house was bathed in a projection of flames - the house next door had a giant puppet sausage-on-a-toasting-fork tipping towards the flames.

There was a house that had made it's front garden into a beach with a punch-and-judy show and a beach hut and a flock of seagulls on the washing line guarded by a Cliff-Richard-singing-light-flashing dalek.

There were houses that looked like they were full of balloons or full of a forest and lots of people just left their curtains open so you could look at their stuff

and it was great!



knitted bedspread


All those charity shop jumpers have yielded tons of odd assorted yarn so I've used it to make a knitted patchwork blanket. It's all in thick ribby garter stitch which is very springy and lovely.

Friday, February 6

I made a cake with rapeseed oil

It was delicious and I have just eaten another piece

then I carried on typing and noticed a dark flake on my keyboard - thinking it to be a missed piece of cake I popped it in my mouth.

IT WASN"T CAKE!!!

horse-and-kangaroo eating cat. sitter wanted

I checked out the details but unfortunately I don't fit the profile;

... We are looking for a reliable animal lover. A single gay man preferred but not exclusively so. We are not looking for couples or families however, sorry. We would prefer someone based in Europe please.

 The female cat has a food allergy so she can only eat fresh horsemeat or kangaroo meat, ... You have to be OK with that and with keeping an eye on her so she doesn't eat anything she shouldn't...

Sunday, February 1

On the train home


I looked for the quiet carriage and sat opposite two young women, an enormous pile of make up was tipped out on the table between us and one of the girls was picking up a succession of pots and brushes and attacking her face with them while narrating her endless anxieties;

...I'm really worried about being stuck in a taxi for - like - three hours with a random frenchman

Not in an 'I'm-scared-for-my-life' sort of way but in an 'oh-my-god-what-if-he-tries-to-talk-to-me' way

My niece has just learned to write her name


Saturday, January 24

The Brain Surgery is feeling a bit end-of-days




The low-voltage-long-life bulb that hangs from a cord in the waiting room has half burned out. The half with a tiny bit of light remaining is begging for mercy.

Also black spots started growing on the carpet in one of the consulting rooms, this was another of the things about which we must not speak.

When the spots had joined up and one large area in the consulting room was really quite swampy I asked the Brain Doctor if he was concerned, he said not and we continued not to speak of this thing, and all the other things.

Last week two ladies in matching hats came for treatment and I directed the eldest one to that room.

She came straight back out and asked if we knew about the wet monster. It seemed shocking her saying out loud the thing that we must not say but I said yes we knew and she went back in again and her daughter smiled at me as if to say

My mother, she imagines all sorts of things

Friday, January 23

Last Saturday my hot waters broke


and didn't get fixed until Wednesday

FOUR days washing in a cold basin

from Wednesday onwards I took THREE baths per day - in case it broke again and I needed to get in-credit clean

until today - now I'm back to the normal amount

Tuesday, January 20

Limpy, Lumpy and Shaky

Today Whiplash became part-owner of a poor abandoned little dog who got run over and now only has three legs

also we were visited by a friend who is looking after two dogs, one with tumours on it's face, the other one trembles uncontrollably.

The conversation has turned marineward ...



... at night parrotfish make themselves a mucous bubble to sleep in

this stops predators being able to smell them

it also stops lice settling on them when they're not looking

Monday, January 19

Immortal Jellyfish please

email from Nature Picture Library

Dear all,
We’ve had a request for either / both stills and footage of several creatures. The most important / difficult to find of these is the wolverine frog, but new images or footage of the other two would also be useful. (Immortal jellyfish next most important, and pistol shrimp less important).

Wolverine frog (also known as hairy frog or horror frog) - Trichobatrachus robustus
Immortal jellyfish Turritopsis dohrnii
Pistol shrimp

The wolverine frog has already given me the shaky horrors but I really really want an immortal jelly fish so if anyone has a spare one please send it to me.

Wednesday, January 14

I'm back at the knitting


 this one's by Agata Oleksiak

Wig Lady moved in last night, I cooked roast vegetables and bouncy chicken for us.


She says that men go around eastern europe buying the hair off maidens, the destination for much of this hair is the heads of people appearing on really bad television shows (I'm not allowed to tell you which ones or she will have to kill me).

Wednesday, January 7

wiggery pokery

A wig-maker (operatic) has just arranged to move in with us for the next two months. I'm ridiculously excited about the idea.

At the garden meeting this evening I told my gardening friends about the wig-maker  - one of the other gardeners revealed herself to be a wig mistress in real life.

I want to be 'in wigs'

Tattoo Man is back







He and the Brain Doctor dealt with the biscuit situation over new year

and now he's busy clumping in and out, using heavy machinery and making sure that I can see what fine muscles he has.

Wednesday, December 31

Biscuitlandia


I am back to work at the Brain Surgery

In my absence, biscuit-gifts from grateful patients have filled the waiting room.

Anyone wanting to see the Brain Doctor will need to eat a path to his door - also he needs rescuing as he's too small to push his own way out.

I hand a LUXURY SELECTION BOX to a waiting patient, the man-who-is-always-grumpy

No thank you, I got a pile of my own at home, people keep giving me the buggers I don't know what they think I'm going to do with them. I used to get them wholesale - Family Circle - that's a quality biscuit that is - I could get  two boxes for a fiver. That was my Christmas present for everyone a few years back. Then they put the price up  - kept the box the same size but reduced the goods inside - so I don't bother buying them anymore.

Tuesday, December 30

My nephew attends a knitting club

he has already made a fabulous range of jewelry, helter skelters, monsters, money-holding-things and this divine gun


last week he asked me to knit a very specific sort of scarf that he could decorate





He is still working as a pastry chef, he and his sister made the Christmas tree cookies;



Saturday, December 27

The cats have challenged each other


to find the highest most wobbly thing to get on top of. The tops of doors are ideal.

I spent Christmas day with my sister and the rest of the family, when I returned to the cat house the kitchen door was closed and the bath full of poo.

The cats had worked together to prise open the airing cupboard door, this had banged the kitchen door shut, the kitchen is where the litter trays are and also the cat flap to the back garden.

They have shown me the trick several times since. It takes a lot of frantic scrabbling to get the cupboard door open, the cupboard is mainly packed with towels and spare bedding - on one shelf is a  clear plastic container half-full of pegs. Once the door has been opened the cats take it in turns to leap onto the door, the game is then to get from the top of the door into the plastic peg box which has exactly enough space in it to contain most of a cat.

Tuesday, December 23

The cats have emerged



from their bunkers and are now mainly perching on things higher than us. When they think we might not notice, a paw reaches over to pat an ear or someone's hair gets nibbled.

Monday, December 22

Lawn Sausage


I heard talk about Lorne Sausage before I saw the packaging - until then I assumed that it was the Scots euphemism for what happens when you keep dogs

I've moved into a house

close to my sister's house


I shall be cat-sitting here for the next few days.

The cats hide from me, in boxes, behind furniture, in the bath ... when they feel brave they raise a periscope and report my movements to each other via walkie-talkies

Sunday, December 21

it is our big solstice celebration

we are staying in Scotland with my sister and her children. My three-year-old niece is very keen on biscuits -  I asked which were her favourite

Jammy Todgers

Friday, December 19

it's knitting season again

I knit to while away the hours at the Brain Surgery; people arrive, I knit we chat, when we've chatted for the right amount of time I direct them to a consulting room, when they have closed the door some of them take off their clothes and lie down.

Yesterday I did not pay proper attention to the schedule and sent a lady to a room to take off her clothes and lie down. and then another lady arrived .... who had an appointment before her.


I'm blaming my inattention on over-biscuiting
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