Wednesday, April 30

News From India

The man went back to India two weeks ago. I don't hear from him often but today I got a news update . . .

Had to stay behind today - our driver got petrol in his ear and had to go to the doc. (No petrol at petrol station, so we had to go to mate's house and get petrol from old water bottles. Driver under car).

Filmed amazing dog argument in town this morning - two opposing packs lined up and barked at each other - all really fit healthy good looking dogs. Not strays, but truly feral dogs.

Tuesday, April 29

Small Mercies

The car needs it's annual health check so I took it to a garage in an on-the-edge part of town.

I left it to be examined and walked over to a sort-of-café to get a cup of sort-of tea while I waited for the car to be looked at. It was nearly School Time so there were lots of noisy children being escorted to school by parents and grandparents.

The sort-of-café has a strip of melamine against a wall which acts a bit like a counter top and there are slippy high stools which are hard to get a purchase on but I gripped with my feet and looked at all the stuff on the melamine which included two cellophane-wrapped gift packs with tags on - these were products from the 'Nappy Cake Company' - inside the cellophane were toweling baby things, wrapped in a way that resembled cakes. I wouldn't want one unless there was rich fruit cake inside.

When I leave the café the children who didn't go to school are riding the pavements on battery-powered mini-motorbikes.

The car has failed the test and will need replacement parts. I ask what the cost will be and I wait while the mechanic phones around asking for prices of things - every now and again he puts the phone down and says 'we won't get those then' and tries another supplier until he's assembled a list of parts that add up to the least money possible, but it's still a big list and it will still take all day to put them into my car so I will still have to give him five hundred pounds at the end of this week.

The good news is that he can fix my broken battery lid with superglue and there will be no charge for that.

Monday, April 28

Taking My Monsters to Work

I felt a sharp pinch on my shoulder blade when I got dressed this morning. I assumed it was something to do with eating toast in bed and gave the area a light brush with my hand before putting on a sensible jumper and setting off to my job at the Brain Doctor's.

There were little pinches on my back during the day but it would've been unladylike to fiddle inside my clothing so I ignored it.

I have just had a bath. When I got out and started to dry myself SOMETHING REALLY STUNG ME and in the mirror I could see a thing on my red red back - I swiped at it and screamed like a girl and on the floor dropped a very damaged ladybird.

Sunday, April 27

Train Theatre

I missed my first choice of train to Stafford due to leaving home without a wallet but got on the next one and listened in to the phone conversation of a man in the seat across from me

get two nice fillets of hake

yeah skin on's fine

will we have to sign in or anything?

I'd like to see the kitchen first

anyway it'll be good to meet you love - bye!

Two women discussed the effect of the menopause

I can't make my mouth say the right thing anymore, I went to the butcher for smoked bacon and asked for half a pound of smacked bottom, he said 'Sorry love we'll not have any more of that til after Easter'

By the time we got to Birmingham it was goinghometime everywhere and people were choccabloc in the aisles.  Pam Ayres* was operating the snack trolley I know that because her voice came over the intercom

A static refreshment facility is operating at the extreme front of the train

I've got lollies and mars bars, sandwiches, cheeses, I've got coffees columbian, cakes, teas, chocolate and biscuits. I've got sevenup, orange juice, coke and angus jumbo burgers. I've got buns and butter, peanuts and maltesers and if you can make your way here I will be delighted to see you

* to hear Pam

Friday, April 25

Off for an Awfully Big Adventure

my new brown vanity case is all packed with:

spare knickers
custard tarts from the best baker in town
a pen
two books

it was a bit full so I've had to eat one of the tarts

Visiting the Apple Vet

This week, my computer became possessed, the trackpad refused to move the pointer at all and when I plugged in a mouse the demon inside the computer flung the pointer around, dragging away screens I asked for, while screens I didn't want to see came up shuddered and laughed at me then disappeared.

You can only make an appointment to see a Genius* via their website and the computer-demon wasn't going to allow that so I trudged into town and waited in line to make an appointment, I went away and came back again four hours later and stood with all the other worried people stroking their broken Applepets.  The Genius* did stethascop-ey things, made sympathetic noises and said

we'll keep him in overnight for observation

I went home feeling anxious - were they going to phone and say

we can't mend this one, why not get a new, more reliable Applepet - one that makes toast

But they didn't, they phoned to say

your Applepet is better now

I've just collected him and he's got a whole new shiny keyboard - one that keeps licking my fingers and wanting to go for walks.


Wednesday, April 23

Drunk Trike is all Packed Up

and ready to go off for a little holiday with her new boyfriend - a recumbent tandem who's taking her to Ashby de la Zouch. She got the large black valise into the luggage rack the little brown vanity case has to stay behind.

I'm not projecting at all - no I'm not - but it just so happens that I will be heading away from here for a couple of days myself.  I'm within 24 hours of starting to pack and getting quite excited.

Just looked at the details of this post and read that it was published at 5.04pm 'Standard Athletic Time' that's because my eyes won't read properly anymore.

Monday, April 21

This Easter Weekend I Tried To Fix Things

Bedroom by Geraldine Pilgrim

I bought special non-drying paint for the window sill but only discovered this marvellous thing when  I attached my newly made window box onto the newly painted window sill and the paint wrinkled up. This happens to me when I paint my finger nails and I suspect it has everything to do with lack of patience on my part.

I have mended a sheet and a pillowcase and dyed a huge duvet cover the wrong colour - the sort of pink that will hurt my eyes if I sleep under it - this is because I tried to make one pack of dye stretch too far and now I have to go and get another pack and do it all over again.

Last night I dreamed that I was in a strange basement apartment. I wasn't supposed to be there and I didn't have any clothes on but I'd promised to feed the man's turtles which were on the floor in the kitchen. They were very thin and almost transparent so I had difficulty seeing them and I was worried that I would tread on them. The cat was normal so I fed that instead and then the daughter came home and was surprised to see me standing there, naked in her house. I wanted to ingratiate myself so I told her.
I fed your cat

she said
We don't have a cat
and left the building

Saturday, April 19

Jesus The Musical!

This year's Easter happiness is brought to you courtesy of my nephew

I want to stage his version of the Passion

This is his cake-decorating video

Thursday, April 17

Yucky and Owchy

While in Hungary I loved going to the bath houses. During one visit I saw a translation of the hundreds of available treatments. I copied part of the list in case I was talking to someone and they suggested we went for galvanaram kezeles.

The Indian Film-maker told me that every day she practises 'oil-pulling'.

She fills her mouth with oil and swills it around for TWENTY MINUTES before spitting it out. This is an ayurvedic treatment to rid the body of toxins and is considered excellent for oral health, the skin and lots of other things.

The Indian Film-maker saw my face as she was telling me this

Oh you will definitely vomit the first time you try it, maybe also the second and third time but I promise with practise you can do it.

This made me think of a friend who washes herself regularly in her own urine  and a family member who has her face acid-peeled.

Sometimes I pay to let a heavy woman lean on me and rub pieces of thread around my mouth to eradicate my moustache and goatee beard.

Wednesday, April 16

Spigot Staff Needed

Our house maintenance standards might be considered sloppy.

I was thinking  such things while the Indian Film-maker stirred the milk for paneer-making on my stove, she didn't like the look of my gas.
this is the wrong colour - the flame should be blue only. orange is bad.

She stirred on and considered my gas rings

I think it is the burner, you must scrub the spigots 

a bit more stirring

of course we have staff to do this

Bouncy Cheese

Trampoline Bridge for Paris designed by Atelier Zundel Cristea 

The Man came back from India.

After a few days he was suffering from paneer-withdrawal symptoms

we should make some paneer

I said yes we should

I found a recipe:

bring whole milk slowly to the boil. as it rises in the pan add lemon juice. stir until properly separated then pour everything through a muslin to strain off the whey. compress the curds and refrigerate.

I did this

The Man ate it and said that it was almost as nice as Indian paneer but the Indians made it bouncier - could I make it bouncy?

Last night the Indian fim-maker came for supper, she and I made paneer together and when it was finished it still wasn't bouncy. The Man asked why.

You have to make industrial quantities and put a lot of preservatives in to make it bouncy

Monday, April 14

Still trying to get a room

for Summer School, after my conversation with a child last week.

I called the house again I wanted to speak to a grown-up and feel properly booked in - I also need to know what the cost will be.

The Father had no idea so he told me where his son goes to school (very expensive) and all about his East Anglian roots (very posh).

I press on the question of charges

He asks me what they charged last year

I have no idea - and I have no idea if we are talking about a bunkhouse, a bedroom or an apartment - I ask what sort of accommodation they are offering

Well ... there's a long view out over the fields, we have chickens - we're not very modern, but you'll find us great lateral thinkers.

Is there a bathroom?

Oh yes and we can leave you some cereal to have on your way out in the mornings - or orange juice

Saturday, April 12


In front of my house is an area of concrete that, up until this year, has been barren. I've been setting up containers for planting, arranging my irrigation system and sowing things.

I spent most of today making a wooden planter to sit on the boundary wall, there are lots of weird joints and additions where I've patched up mis-saws and mis-screwings but it isnow  full of soil and seeds. I ache all over - in a good way. I'm hoping I planted stuff that makes binding roots.

Yesterday my friend returned from her travels and came to see me.  I left the front door open and went to the gate to meet her, we got waylaid by my seedlings. While this distraction was going on - Big Pigeon slipped in behind our backs.

We finally went into the house, shut the front door and went downstairs. We headed into the back garden and heard an enormous thumpsmash sound. We looked up and saw the bird inside the house, hitting the upstairs window for a second time.

I ran up to let it out. Closing doors behind me as I went expecting a panic. But Big Pigeon was just standing patiently by the window waiting for me to open it.

Wrong house - he said as he flew out

Friday, April 11

Talking to Children

I have booked a week away at a summer school, there is an accomodation list. I dial one of the numbers, a young person answers with supreme confidence.

I say

Hello I'm calling about accommodation in the summer

we don't do that

is this Nicholas Greshington's house?

he lives here

it's for the Summer School

oh yes we do that

do you know if you have a room available?

yes you're the first to call

how much do you charge?

less than average

I'll take it - thank you sir !

On Tuesday, our family converged on my parent's house for a reunion. I slept on the sofa in the living room and my two-year-old niece came to inspect me in the morning.

Usually an attempt to wake me up involves little fingers peeling back my eyelids but she saw the pile of my clothes and picked through it with great interest. Discovery of my underwear halted her  - she held up an astonishing thing and and looked at me open-mouthed.

Are these your knickers?

Sunday, April 6

An Evening With David Sedaris

The girl with the collection of penis bones called me to say that she had a spare ticket for David Sedaris - did I want to go

DID I ...?!?!?!?

Mr Sedaris' early books make frequent mention of his OCD and now that he has moved to East Sussex  he talks about how he spends as much time as possible picking up litter in his neighbourhood. This includes a wooded area where people go for fried chicken and sex

They leave behind masses of those styrofoam coffins with chicken carcasses in - and strewn all around are several used condoms

His friends are amazed that he picks up the condoms

Of course I do, I put leaves between my fingers first - I don't pick them up with my mouth

I came directly home but left my friend standing in the queue waiting to meet the famous author - she wanted to give him one of her penis bones

Feeling the Cold

David Hammons Bliz-aard Ball Sale 

About a month ago there was a day of sun. I went into a mania of seedling-planting, filling several soily trays with my winnings at the city seed swap.

The weather returned to coldandwet. I finally had to accept that most of my treasures had rotted in their little cardboard cells.

The six pea plantlets and single dwarf bean that have grown enough to go into the big soil were put out yesterday, fenced around with razor wire to protect them from the beasts.

Friday, April 4

Took My Poorly Wrist

to the GP this morning.

The drop-in surgery consumes a whole morning, but there are no available appointments for the rest of the year so I took knitting and a book to while away the hours but there is so much entertainment laid on I can't concentrate.

Some parents do homework with their school-uniformed children. Others use the opportunity to catch up on a bit of slush-reading, bringing their children in fancy dress to run around putting out fires and rescuing each other.

The children understand that this a place full of poorly people so they have to scream quietly which is why the vinyl fartseats are such fun, only some of the waiting room chairs behave like whoopee cushions - so we wait and stifle our sniggers as a tentatively lowered bottom triggers one of the loud ones.

Thursday, April 3

Wednesday, April 2

Wednesday is Gardening Day

at the Community garden. 

I drew quite a crowd, three schoolgirls shared a potent spliff and watched me screw labels on the planters. The Park Seating made themselves comfortable on the other side of me but said nothing.

A Single Glass of Beer

  has provoked the sort of hangover that is only excusable if one has consumed several bottles of wine followed by generous dosing of hard liquor.

I baked a self-pity loaf and put it with the work-avoidance-food mountain that I have created this week.

Luckily it is the day for gently hoovering the oldies and visiting the man-with-no-voice.

Now I am home trying to focus  on being creative but I have a headache, I am blurry and bluebottles keep buzzing on the window next to me.

The window is a big attraction for big flies, I have a newspaper handy and I like to think I can finesse the swat just hard enough to knock them dead but cleanly off the window. I just picked up the paper to deal with the new buzzers and yesterday's 'death  toll' crawled out of the pages and  back onto the window. Not having the motor skills to attempt clean carnage my window is now covered with squashed bodies.

Tuesday, April 1

April Fool

I am pitching for a job - an actual proper job where I must have ideas and thoughts and opinions.

A brief has been sent, a problem to solve, it arrived last week and I must deliver my solution at the beginning of next week.

I opened the brief for the first time this morning and spotted the first problem.

Being breakfast time, I had an excuse to break off. Breakfast is surprisingly elaborate for a weekday but I have always held that champions need a proper breakfast:

sweet potato, lentils and rice made into rissoles

fresh tomatoes chopped, simmered to pulp, then add lemon juice, salt, pepper a little sugar and a big spoon of heavy cream.

put sauce on rissoles then fried eggs

serve with yoghurt, parsley and red chillis

Back to the drawing board and ran into another problem.

An hour later - just come back from digging in the garden.

When I've done this blog post I will go back to it

... but there's laundry to do

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