Tuesday, October 21

I am on my way out of Spain

but not before I have become half whippet myself

Saturday, October 18

wondering if I can fit the whippet in my luggage

not sure if I'm going to be able to say goodbye - hoping that he's fold-able and I can take him with me next week.

The weather's been moody as an adolescent - the whippet made me go out and has hauled me through woods bulging with fungi but I'm far too much of a coward to pick any of it.

In the market today fierce people bullied me into buying at least ten times more vegetation than I can possibly eat - I show  them how much I want and they throw their arms up and shout something like

There's no bloody point selling that poxy amount - it's a kilo or nothing

Other market trophies include an uncooked blood sausage that I think needs boiling and some smoked cod that I think is eaten raw and some tins of smoked cod liver which is my favourite thing in the world but I'd forgotten it existed.

Wednesday, October 15

Today's weather on the forecast thingy looks like this

outdoors it looks like this

The whippet and I have mostly been inside listening to things like this

Longplayer Conversation 2014: David Graeber and Brian Eno from Artangel on Vimeo.

Virtually no traffic

comes through the village but most days I hear a parping horn that signals the arrival of a van that stops and then people come out of their houses and buy things from it. 

Today I heard the horn and ran out - determined to buy whatever was on offer - it was fish.

A man was also buying fish - I recognised his blackandwhite pointer dog that had followed me home in an elaborate game of Grandmother's Footsteps yesterday.

During the fish transaction we established that I am neither the sister, aunt nor cousin of the lady who owns the whippet


Outside the nearby house there is a bottle of clear liquid  tethered to a post with orange twine. A few paces away there are more bottles - these are untethered. The house opposite has bottles of  untethered water(?) on the pavement.

I am bracing myself to make inquiries

Zig Zag

Before setting off for Spain I went to see this Francesca Woodman exhibition focusing on the zigzagginess of her photographic compositions. I now see zigzags everywhere - even when I'm wondering about the animal that needs that nest so big but can also balance itself and babies on top of a bell tower

and the bells must be bothersome - maybe they go out for dinner on Sundays

Monday, October 13

Dog of the Week

It's cold and rainy and we're curled up on the sofa and some of us are doing drawing

The neighbours and I have been making friendly noises at each other. They can't tell what I am saying because my Spanish is appalling and I can't tell what they are saying partly because my Spanish is appalling but also because they have strong regional accents and also because all the people that I have met so far have no front teeth.

Despite this we are exchanging foodstuffs; yesterday the next door neighbour gave me a jug of milk, I turned it into sort-of-cheese and gave her half. Today I met a man on a tractor who gave me two fat green peppers.

here's a photo of the village

Sunday, October 12

Here are some things I wanted to buy at the market

but they were too big for my bag

I did buy a ham bone, it's still very hammy with what's left after they've made slices of Serrano ham.

I boiled it up and the whippet looked at me and said

I like ham ... she gives me ham

Friday, October 10

I'm in Spain - whippet-sitting

He's called Lucho and he's keeping a very close eye on me. It's supper time. I put some dried dog food in his bowl and made yummy noises but he looked at the bowl in a sad way and then he looked very directly at me at me and then he pointed to the fridge and he said

She gives me sausages

Monday, October 6

A mothball cloud followed me

home from London. I was unaware of this until I opened my suitcase and the undiluted smell filled the bedroom and I realised that I've been moving around in an odour cloud like Pigpen from Peanuts.

The napthelene hit my nose when I first walked into Doglady's house but then all the taxidermy and the tapestries and the duck-egg-blue-coloured walls and the deep-salmon-coloured walls and the pistachio-coloured walls and all the voodoo flags and the snakes and the dismembered hands took over my attention and I didn't connect about that previous guest getting set on fire and over the week I absorbed so much of the smell into my clothes and skin and hair that my nose was too stunned to notice anymore.

Tuesday, September 30

I am looking after a very sweet dog

he mainly looks like this - when I talk he looks like this with his head cocked

Sunday, September 28

Stabby and Shooty

Where I'm staying there's a massive school a few metres up the road, I ask a couple who live nearby if it's any good

The man says

I think so ... but I hear it's a bit shooty - one of the dads went in there and pulled a gun a while back

woman says
... and  it's a bit stabby too, there was that argument between the mothers - one of them got her scissors out of her bag and stabbed the other one in the forehead

Saturday, September 27

In the spare room

The duvet is naked and curled over the end of the bed

it is marbled with an unpleasant grey pattern

Doglady sees me looking at it

I know that looks bad but it's not mildew ... it's fire


the last person sleeping there set fire to herself

Friday, September 26

I answered one of the small ads

not the one that involved a dachshund with a jacuzzi and pool table in Cairo but one that involved a lady with a dog in London

I arrive at the House of Astonishing Things just before Doglady leaves for her holiday - the house is covered with lots of little notes for me but they are difficult to notice because of all the astonishing things that keep filling my eyes.

Her holiday outfit is a pink velour pant suit and she carries a tiny parachute silk holdall - she is holding out a big canvas tent-like thing

she makes a fanfare


and like the Great Splendido she swirls the heavy tent-thing onto her body and becomes enormous.

She pats the lumps that are all round her back and front and recites:

reading glasses
books-my-god-they-shouldn't-complain-about people-who-take-books-on-holiday-do-they-want illiterate-clients?

she is triumphant!

Here's a thing

The Man has been in France with a lady who makes enormous dinners and keeps dozens of dogs and who first noticed the luminous earthworms 3 years ago. Thinking this to be interesting, she told some French scientists - boy did they laugh.

Madame you 'ave no penis - it is not possible that you make observation - go back to your kitchen
and drink less absynthe

The luminous-worm story was repeated among the scientists to illustrate the stupidity of women until it filtered through to someone who did go and visit the lady and the worms who then set about finding someone with a luminosity-filming camera ...

this is just the beginning of a story

Tuesday, September 23

I've just read this

According to a study published Thursday in the journal Cell, scientists have developed a chemical treatment that turns lab mice transparent … It takes roughly two days to make a mouse’s organs transparent and one week more to make a mouse fully see-through.

and then I read this

If you can't be bothered to click through I'll just give you the end bit

The transparent mice are part of a project that would make the entire human brain see-through.

The Man Is Filming Luminous French Worms

In France

it has to be done at night

He calls me and  complains that his French hosts make him eat an enormous French supper before he goes out to do this.

I'm still checking the small ads

this is today's favourite

Pet Sitter needed for our Dachshund for 10 Days in Cairo, Egypt - Pool Table and Jacuzzi Included!

Monday, September 22

Today at the Brain Doctor's

the doorbell stopped working again - I tore it from the wall and shouted at it but it was no use

a surprising number of patients who visit have only one good eye

today a new patient parked a few metres down the road then phoned to say she couldn't find the surgery. I said stay where you are I'll come and get you but she moved and we ended up chasing each other round the block. I completed the circuit to see her standing at the bell-less door waving at me

Tuesday, September 16

I'm in a book

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, Leanne Shapton and 639 Others

I love it that in a book about clothes my contribution is about nudity

Monday, September 15

It was this kind of day today

jug: bastien aubry and dimitri broquard

Sunday, September 14

Today there was a sunflower competition

at the top of the hill

Back in May, three seeds were delivered in an envelope to everyone in the neighbourhood with a note attached




I sowed these and as many other sunflower seeds as I could find. This last month sunflowers have been blooming and fading and the house is now surrounded by crusty vegetable shower heads. Of the seeds that arrived through the letterbox two survived, on Friday they bloomed huge and tall and beautiful and leaning on each other for support - I didn't have the heart to chop the biggest away so I just took the thought of my flowers up the hill.

We brought food and there were sack races and racing toy cars and a tug o war. A flower in a purple wig won the best-dressed section and a man came round the corner pushing a wheelbarrow overflowing with a stalk the size of a lap-dancing pole, his two children carried a decaying flower which was bigger than their two heads combined

Thursday, September 11

The Brain Doctor

operates from very low-rent premises, there is no technology, no card machine, no computer - the record-keeping system is made of paper and paper clips and pencils

he charges very little for his services and people pay as they go - cash or cheque only

today a patient had his treatment and then ran off without paying - he literally ran out of the door so I couldn't catch him

I picked up the piece of paper with his contact details on

and they are all made up

this has never happened before

Monday, September 8

If you leave us can we come too?

some of us are jealous that Scotland gets to choose independence

there could be a domino effect

The tooth has gone

It feels a bit drool-ey

have bought eye patch, parrot and stumpy leg

Friday, September 5

seems like I've been in dental dread


I can't remember when I wasn't eating painkillers.

I did go to see the dentist last Tuesday,  arriving early to sit among the magazines in that shrunken scared way of someone who knows something bad is going to happen.

after a long chat with the receptionist the dentist showed me into the surgery

the dentist then spent ten minutes telling me about her overloaded schedule - finally she looked in my mouth but she was out of time and said she'd have to do the work over her lunch break today.

Wednesday, September 3

Found some metres of this

in a charity shop - I think it's the dogs

and now I know how to finish decorating the bedroom - it involves a GOLD ceiling

it's going to be F.A.B

Monday, September 1


today someone posted a notice asking for live-in help around the house, no pay but you get to stay there for free ...

It needs much work and I have limited funds. My wife left me about 7 years ago, after 25 years of marriage. She liked being a housewife, but said she had no feelings for me. I disdain housework and I'm not much at remodeling ... I'm not too demanding- but I don't have pets ( except Goldfish ) , a fence, or allow them in the house. I also can't stand people smoking- anything. I've been a health nut for many years- but don't mind others eating what they want. I don't drink alcohol or take other drugs. I'm an easy going Christian gentleman.

Saturday, August 30

My tooth still hurts

but we are in England so I have to wait until next Tuesday to see a dentist.

I receive weekly advice emails from Miranda July and this week she says ...

You know how Jason Bourne keeps on moving, no matter what? You should too. Bullet to the leg? Keep going. Don't think, just go.

good luck,

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