Saturday, November 28

Thanksgiving meal

My fellow students are much younger than me and frighteningly competent. On Thursday I was invited to dinner by one of them.

out of her tiny kitchen she conjured

squash with walnuts and pomegranate
roast new potatoes with fig
fig and kale stuffing
roast cauliflower
macaroni cheese
green beans
roast chicken

ten of us hunched around the coffee table each armed with a single utensil and an item that could serve as a plate  and we devoured this feast

when we couldn't eat anymore, the coffee table was cleared and a perfectly square Austrian cake appeared: layers of chocolate sponge alternated with layers of chocolate cream and topped with a slick of molten coffee/chocolate.

utensils were rinsed, we crouched, encircled the cake, then spooned/forked (sporked?) this glory directly into our greedy mouths

Saturday, November 21

This week I'm in Haggerston

where the porridge is fancy and the cat is disguised as a giant growling puffball with ears

It's not just porridge that's fancy around these parts, the cake is fancississimo, I have just bought and eaten a big slice of cherrycustardcrumblecreamtart

The weather has suddenly become freezing. I came to London with only two jumpers and a rubber mac that is now torn in so many places that I can't make out which are the armholes so I have been raiding the charity shops bringing home more jumpers, a wool scarf and an excellent box-pleated navy wool skirt who's only problem is that it has flappy woolly wings attached to the thigh area (in case the wearer wanted to appear fatter) but these can be cut off.

This weekend I am preparing for a week ahead that will be mainly full of Pierre Bourdieu

Thursday, November 19

I have been talking to a vet

about animal nutrition, specifically elderly cats with kidney problems and he said

You'll often notice that a black cat with kidney problems has brown fur around her sides and shoulders, that's where she's grooming herself most

Soft Molly is an old black cat with kidney problems, she has gone a bit brown around her sides and shoulders

That's the effect of the ureic acid in her mouth coating her fur and then the acid reacts with sunlight

I said that I had noticed that cats rarely ate anything that looks like actual food these days

That's partly convenience but mainly it's due to a conspiracy between vets and pet food companies

Tuesday, November 17

Today we had a school trip

to visit the store rooms of the Horniman museum*.

The location is so secret that we had to promise to turn off our phones and be blindfolded on the way in so we can't reveal where it is.

The store-room building is enormous and used to be an institution. It is entirely (and beautifully) institutionally tiled inside, the windows have all been tiled over. Most of the rooms are entirely filled with huge cupboards that have to be slid open with little steering wheels, these contain thousands of drawers and shelves with carefully packaged clothing and puppets and poison arrows and shrunken heads and dolls and teapots.

One floor holds the really big things; shelves with big wooden crates full of mummies and mummy-sarcophagi, the crates are chalk-marked with the weight of it's contents. Piled up beside the mummies are harpsichords. Big items like the harpsichords and elephants that don't fit into crates are covered with fitted shrouds to keep the dust off, there is a volunteer lady who has been going to this secret building to sew big fitted shrouds for the last ten years.

The Horniman was created by an Eminent Victorian, having filled his home with collections from his travels and opening this to the public, he built the existing museum for the collections which he left in perpetuity to be enjoyed for free by the British Public for ever.

Monday, November 16

This is Soft Molly

she spent the entire weekend sitting next to me helping with my homework

today's lectures are all about bones, exhumations and leaky bodies

Saturday, November 14

Delaying my essay-writing assignment

I visited Verbatim Poetry

and found this song to encourage Singaporeans to procreate

I’m a patriotic husband,
you my patriotic wife,
lemme book into ya camp
and manufacture life.

Only financially secure adults
in stable, committed, long-term
relationships should participate.

Friday, November 13

The weeks have flown by

my highlights since the bum-crayon cat

i) visited sister-in-law - we talked so hard the roof started leaking

ii) attended lectures on themes including:  'Dirt and Excrement as Political Resistance', 'The Game of Rugby as an Embodied Phenomenon in Tonga', 'Polynesian Funeral Wrappings', 'Why Merleau-Ponty is Worth Considering' and 'Look How Useful Archives Are!'

iii) returned to Bristol for a few days, two young women are now living in my house, one of them is Japanese, she dresses in stylish monochrome and sews beautiful textiles, the other is an Indian film-maker, she wears long jewel-bright skirts.

iv) visited friend in Newcastle: three months ago her heart stopped for no good reason and for two weeks she was almost dead but then she made a miraculous recovery - this is partly due to Kate Bush

currently back in London and have embarked on a whole new cat-cycle - starting with Soft Molly in Hackney

Tuesday, November 3

Going back to school

has sent my my menopausal body barometer into orbit. I have to dress in a way that I can be almost undressed really quickly at any time - even jewelry burns me when I'm blazing

Currently I am staying with my mother-in-law she watched me fanning and sweating and said

I've got some left over HRT patches from when I was a girl would you like to use them?

I said yes please and stuck one on last night

today I am almost a normal person

Sunday, November 1

I've run out of cats

until mid-November

to fill the void in my life I went online and arranged to look after some pigs

in Italy

over Christmas

One of them is dangerous - his food is lowered down to him in a bucket!

New Language

I've been struggling in this country of Ackedemia with its words that sound like words I already know but which have been ascribed completely different meanings - the made up words and words that mean one thing when one man is using them and something else entirely if another man is talking

Here there are miles upon miles of corridors in which I clatter around like a extra from a Monty Python movie saying the sort of things that made sense in my own country but apparently no meaning here

I need to assemble the appropriate audio-visual equipment quickly - before my head drops off

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