Friday, November 28

At tonight's art event

Woman enters the room guiding an elderly lady

This is my mother - she's ninety-one

Another woman steps forward head tilted in challenge

My mother's ninety-one

When's your mother's birthday?


mine's in October

(sotto voce) My mother's older

Sunday, November 23


today I'm printmaking again

Saturday, November 22


My mother-in-law likes us to just stick arms out and help ourselves without waiting to be served so at the start of a meal as we are just sitting down she bellows above our chatter;


Friday, November 21

Head fiddling

My friend was trying to explain the notion of opposites to his son: wet/dry, light/dark, heavy/light ... the boy moved swiftly into advanced extremism and asked

... what's the opposite of a frying pan? a tree?

during work-avoidance today I wondered what the opposite of a dinosaur might be and came up with a feather, bracken, a woodlouse and flu.  BUT ... if the dinosaur was a metaphor for Venice then it's opposite could be an Asian stilt village or the Gobi desert... I have no idea where this is going

I was also thinking of Andy Goldsworthy because I think he's fab

Wednesday, November 19

Since yesterday

I can't stop thinking about all those musicians released through the Berlin wall

Tuesday, November 18

Today's surprises at the Brain Surgery:

A surprising amount of patients either forgot to arrive or arrived late

One of the people who didn't come was someone we thought had died last year - we were surprised that she made an appointment at all

A surprising amount of Italian patients, one of them had a tiny baby, another used to be a concert cellist. When the Berlin wall came down the musician market became flooded with cellists - the Berliners undercut the Italians and my new friend was unable to find enough work

The free car park is less than five minutes walk away, despite this a surprising number of people borrow someone else's disabled badge so they can park just that little bit closer

Between patients I managed to darn a thousand bite-holes in the moth-eaten jumper

Sunday, November 16

The man came into the kitchen

wearing a jumper dotted with moth cocoons -  fine merino wool - last year's christmas present. Normally I would have jumped around on account of the scattering of cocoons and baby hatching moths as the man moved around the house but  the cottonwool in my head has stifled my ability to react.

I'm trying to shift the cottonwool by boiling my head over a bowl of steamy water to which I have added rosemary and mint - if there is any medicinal purpose in doing this I don't know because, despite my telling some other people to the contrary, I am not actually a doctor.

Friday, November 14

My favourite patient

at the Brain Surgery is a hundred and fifty years old, tiny as a wren with orange hair. Her wardrobe is fabulous.

She came in yesterday - a hairy tartan scarf tied round her neck in a manner that I am definitely going to try later, we talked about her new husband:

Is this your first marriage?

Yes, I've done a lot of weird things in my life but until this year I've never been married

Wednesday, November 12

Rabbit's handwriting

is neat and regular and strong like a properly formed grown-up. My handwriting is chaotic and varies from day to day.

When Rabbit is bored she does mirror writing in the margins of our shared notebook which is exactly as neat as her non-mirror writing.

Friday, November 7

Rabbit was in the reception room

fulminating about a sportsman on the cover of a magazine then about various other people who I think also played sport - Rabbit asked what I thought about them

I said that I had no idea who any of the people mentioned were

We agreed that we should meet out of work - the negociations went like this:

We could go for a drink

I don't drink alcohol, we could go for coffee

I don't drink non-alcohol

Do you like cake?



I hate cinema. A play? I love theatre

I hate plays. There's a cafe over the bridge where I go to for lunch sometimes, they always do a really nice dahl

I love dahl

our common ground is dahl, the Brain Doctor and a fondness for Neil Pearson

Thursday, November 6

I have a new colleague at the Brain Surgery

today Rabbit and I took our lunch together and discovered that we are actually Jack Spratt and his Wife, we each detest everything the other one adores, it was wonderful and I think we should get married.

Tuesday, November 4

It rained so hard

I wore my new pointy boys shoes which are a bit slippy so I had to fight my way to the Brain Surgery this morning, my hands were too occupied with my bag and umbrella for air-punching.

When I redecorated the Surgery a few months back I rearranged the artwork in a way that favoured waiting patients. In my absence the Brain Doctor has put all the good paintings back into his consulting rooms - the reception area, and my view, is once again blessed with cheesy floral arrangements and faded sailing ships.

it is also cold

How's this for spooky

I usually cycle to the Brain Surgery but this morning felt like a walking day

then Miranda July sent me an email

More walking is called for today. Or if you are caged, regularly pace your cage, shake the bars, punch the air.

good luck,

and I shall punch the air as I walk

Sunday, November 2

Last night I had supper with a rock star

at a restaurant - it was a birthday party for the rock star's right-hand woman

towards the end of the evening a waitress arrived with a tiny candle stuck in a chocolate truffle surrounded with Smarties and we all sang the Happy Birthday song and then the rock star wanted to make a speech but at the exact same moment that he stood up and started speaking the couple at the next table who were having a difference of opinion got really really shouty at each other

so we watched them instead

I resisted endless tempation

when shopping in town yesterday;

First I walked past this crocheted poncho at the charity shop reduced from £20 to JUST FOUR.

It was also World Vegan Day - the local vegans had set up trestle tables outside the supermarket.

Guessing that Vegan World might have off-putting aspects they cunningly lured people over with a sign written in biro on an old cardboard box announcing FREE FOOD. A cross-looking lady septuagenarian in harem-pants and rainbow hair was transforming piles of dry-looking vegan 'sausages' into tasty bite-sized chunks and a pale man was handing out photographs of baby chicks in a blender and some bloody sheep heads.

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