Thursday, March 31

Despite being keen on neither Opera

nor Philip Glass, I had really enjoyed a recent production of Aknaton, so I accepted an offer to go and see a Harold Pinter play at the Old Vic this evening*

The show started at 7.30 - at 7.35 I was standing alone in the foyer watching a fuzzy version of Timothy Spall on the foyer screen. I hadn't been able to contact my friend who had my ticket and who I thought was meeting me early enough before the show for supper.

A thought crept into my head and I walked up the road to the Young Vic where my friend was waiting for me to join her for the show that started there at 8pm. It starred Jane Horrocks so I guessed that it would be an acting thing but it turned out to be singing and dancing thing - the sort of thing that I really don't like.

Also, before all that, my bus from Bristol to London waited in the bus station for seventy minutes before its driver turned up - I don't feel that I've had the best use of a beautiful day 

* I feel the same way about Pinter as I do about Opera - one day I will like them and then I'll know that I've grown up

Wednesday, March 30

I've been home

and I'm still here, seeing friends and the Man and sniffing round the house throwing out all the potatoes whose sprouts have encircled the larder and doing laundry and filling an enormous bin bag with my most stupid shoes (actually I kept the MOST stupid shoes for just-in-case) and then hefted them down to the charity shop. Then I wrote my next essay for school and I have forgotten to get my hair cut twice and I've been wearing my freshly knitted tank top and skipping in the spring weather.

Today I walked up the steep hill to my house as two young women were coming down - one of them handed me a daffodil as we passed each other. 

Tomorrow I return to London I will go and see The Caretaker at the Old Vic and on Friday I will take charge of a narrowboat on the canal - for one whole month I will be a Bargee

Wednesday, March 23

I ushed a film this evening

It was a film about economists and fiscal irresponsibility.  Usually I can shut the doors once the event starts and sit peacefully in the lobby but the older men in the audience were nodding off and the auditorium was periodically rent with the farty sound of raucous snoring. So my duties included Snore Control which involved creeping around and poking anyone sleeping too noisily.

It was a long bus journey back to my hipster loft with the taupe-coloured-cats-that-match-the towels-and-carpets. The Snoring Control made me hungry so I just have eaten a tin of sardines (straight from the tin of course) I now realise that was a big mistake and I am going to be eating those fish all night and the kitties want some too

Tuesday, March 22

never live far from an eel dealer

This one is opposite the end of my street

Monday, March 21

Sping is here

also noted by the local primary school

Exotic Matter

- a weekend event run in a trendy East-side location by continental young men in fashionable trousers and cardigans.

The proposal for the weekend was incoherent and the attendance fee extremely inexpensive, leading me to think two things about it:

i) it would be bad

ii) I should at least go look-see 

The event location was an hour's walk from where I'm staying via a section of London's canal system that I was previously unaware of - that in itself was worth the entrance fee.

The event turned out to be a brilliant combination of imagineering about future materials, revelations about the exotic-ness of everyday things and hearing some truly impressive people discussing their research into the subject of futuricity, materiality and weirdness.

moral of this story: I am taught several lessons in a very short amount of time and realising, yet again, how I never learn lessons that I should've previously learned about making assumptions etc.

Friday, March 18

I went to the Coliseum

 a building so gorgeous that I was dazzled at once when I walked in and then double-dazzled by the show -   Akhenaeton.

The night out was a treat offered by a dear friend who slipped some salmon pink silk culottes into my handbag while we were sipping Chardonnay in the Coliseum bar -  she'd found them in a charity shop up north and thought they were very 'me'

here's a trailer for the show

In other news 

I have moved to an über-trendy location in Hackney, the local butcher shop is fitted with mahogany-faced refrigerated cupboards - in the evening it becomes a restaurant where people sit on high stools at the marble chopping counters sucking bone marrow, discussing chitterling and comparing face-hair products.

The new cats are excitable blonde bushbabies, bouncing off furniture and leaping improbably high heights as they stalk and pounce on each other. We are housed in a heavily securitised city loft within sight of a long-established eel-pie shop  - the sort that used to serve people who worked on slagheaps or collected nightsoil for a living.

Monday, March 14

Foot Foot

is as soft as a very soft thing and she's all mine for the next 3 days

In other news I am about to embark on a survey of Thames houseboats - the weather was dazzlingly good today and I spent it drifting slowly upriver with people-who-know-things pointing at dutch barges, lighters and clippers. 

Friday, March 11

In the morning I will leave the monster house

I'm anxious about leaving this place super-correctly with everything properly clean and locked up and I've quadruple-checked that I'm leaving on the right day because I muffed my entrance by arriving a day early last week. All very embarrassing, I'd been given a key the previous week so I just barged my way in while calling out to the kitties and then there I was in the hallway and looking up to see two shocked faces peering down at me from the upstairs bannister.

Luckily I had somewhere else to go and I just went away and arrived again the next day but the cats have made no attempt to hide the fact that they think I'm an eejit.

I think I'm looking after a little deaf cat next week but the owner doesn't want to meet me until the day before she goes away and there's always the possibility that one of us is a mad axe murderess.

I did a bit of shopping

then caught the bus back to the monster-cat house. It was a busy bus and I sat next to a woman who was muttering angrily, I thought she was just a regular mad person but then I caught some words about kids and biscuits so I agreed wholeheartedly and we were soon best friends exchanging information about our tea habits:

first thing through that door I make a cuppa 

me too 

with plenty of condensed milk


and if I go anywhere on holiday my bags are full of teabags and tinned milk

Thursday, March 10

a large polar bear bean bag

has been moving around the house.  I usually have to step over it when I come in the front door, I put it back on the piano stool and in the morning it's been dumped in the hallway or the kitchen. At night after I've gone to bed I can hear frenetic cat activity - I took this to be the cats playing or fighting which seemed strange as the lady cat seems to spend most of her time snoring on her bed-on-a-pole

Last night the male cat demonstrated that the polar bear bean bag is actually a very hard-working sex slave, also the rug ... and the blanket I had put over my legs.

Wednesday, March 9

monster cats

at the new place - the lady cat exudes a muscular air of menace, right now she's snoring loudly but when she's not snoring she's glaring at me from her bed-on-a-stick, if I walk within a foot of this panoptican, she swipes at me with her slashy claws. The boy is more feminine and mews at me incessantly - they both want to know what I've done with their people

I'm somewhere near Dagenham and I'm finding it pretty exotic, the local shops are multi-purpose, selling food and non-food items, in interesting combinations. The shelves are packed with English-ey tinned things that I'd forgotten existed: potatoes, curry, cling peaches and evaporated milk. There are also loads of not-English-ey tinned things like ackee and saltfish. Sacks of many different brands of rice are piled high against the windows and the freezers have pizza and ice cream one side and bags of exotic fish the other - I got two big bags of frozen anchovies for £5.50 just because I could, I'm now stuck with how to eat that amount of fish before leaving on Friday*

*I'm under strict instructions to feed nothing but Whiskas Cattameat to the monsters

went to post office with parcels

at the counter my attention is riveted by a sprawling handwritten list of 'Useful Numbers'

a box has been drawn around one particular number, the heading in bold outlined caps


Monday, March 7

I've moved east

on the bus to my new home I sat across from a woman dressed up to go out; careful make-up, nicely done hair, a big shaggy zebra coat that tied at the waist. On her bare tattooed feet she wore blue carpet slippers with images of poo on them.

I couldn't stop staring at her feet, trying to read the tattooes, also the slippers-coat combo was interesting 

but mainly I was trying to de-code the poo.

I travelled east for most of the afternoon, to the far reaches of London - this new place contains a high level of sleepwear-as-daywear: fluorescent fluffy bathrobes, fun-fur pajama bottoms, slippers.

Can anyone tell me if this is a 'thing' (the poo, the sleepwear) or did I just stumble across an East London version of Zombie Day 

I have new monster cats, the lady cat sits on top of a bed-on-a-post and tries to flay me with her claws when I walk past

Sunday, March 6

Mother's day call to mum-in-law

she tells me that my father-in-law had a nosebleed that got out of hand last week so if they venture out these days they go prepared.

we were at the theatre last night with our pockets full of torn up underpants just in case it happened again 

she misinterpreted my concerned noises

it was all white underwear, nothing gaudy

Saturday, March 5

joining in with student socialising

I was invited for chilli  along with some other classmates by a fellow student who put it out over the facebook

any time after 3pm   

I arrived at 4.30 by which time the inviter was a little stoned, no-one else had arrived yet

we shared a bowl of chilli in the living room - the sofa was made up as a bed and there was also a bed in the room (London student houses look for maximum occupation)

a housemate was having noisy sex above our heads

the anti-empiricist

i counted an apple and an orange
it came to two  
this was on tuesday  
by thursday it was still two  
but at four minutes to ten  
it was three 

hello i thought, i'm on to something 
and continued counting  
but it was only three that once  
i must've made a mistake that one time

ivor cutler

from the jelly mountain series on bbc radio 4 which can still be heard for a few more days here

Friday, March 4

Today was gorgeous and sunny

I took a bus to Wapping and walked west along the Thames. 

There's a part where you turn a corner and suddenly see Tower Bridge and the Shard and City Hall and loads of boats with tall masts - in that sunshine and the blue blue sky it was dazzling. 

I had just recovered from my initial dazzlement and resumed walking when a young French couple came around the corner, I knew they were French because he went totally over the top and shouted

(that's French for wow!)

and then more noise and then silence while she shrugged and went


and he stared at her and there was an argument which got louder and I heard him say

Non, on n'a pas ça a Paris

and then he walked off

Tuesday, March 1


there was an academic seminar, the panel game sort where people take turns to speak for a few minutes about their research. From my limited experience these things are attended mainly by people with NHS haircuts and sensible shoes but this one was enlivened by two women, one who had come dressed as a Superhero and another as a sparkly land-mermaid.

I have finished knitting a tank top, it has a red neck area and a pink tummy area dark grey-and-pale stripes in between

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