Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Where the Wild Things Still Are

I grew up with Maurice Sendak's 'Where the Wild Things are'. There's probably a little or a lot of Max in me. I love the Wild Rumpus, but I also love the coming home to the hot dinner. When did I fall in love with the line: 'and he sailed off thorugh night and day and in and out of weeks and almost over a year to where the wild things are'? Was I five or twenty five? I was without the book for many years, but I always remebered that the last five words were: 'and it was still hot'.
So Floppy Moo. Well the other day she was in here with her reading group and they were reading it. Did she read it because she had heard me claiming it was my favourite book of all time a couple of days before? I don't know, but the group sat and read it and pulled it apart to reconstruct meaning and then she did it, she ruined it. The book has been around all my life and never has anyone asked: 'What happened to Max?'. She asked with such persistence over and over that finally she provided her own answer. And every cell in my body screamed out NO!
As a child with big eyes and slightly open mouth, I just believed. As an adult I still believe in Max. Maybe I believe now more than ever. Maybe as a writer I have to believe. So my plea is just believe in Max.
And would someone somewhere please end my nightmare with France Telecom. I am at work using their phone and their internet connection in the hope of sorting out this rubbish SOON.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Beware the Phone Snatchers

For Your Information...

Miss V will be unavailable until further notice as someone has stolen her phone line. She has spent the morning going round in circles being passed from France Telecom to Orange and back again only to discover that Free have taken liberties and freely stolen her line. She is now feeling emotional and exhausted and really should be doing some work but is unable to concentrate as she contemplates the full weight of the possibility of a week without a phone line, no internet, no MSN, not being able to check the weather forecast during this tricky autumnal season so that she is not over or underdressed, no...

Miss V has been disconnected.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shop till you drop

2nd August 2006

Ubud is definitely the place to do this, but first we spent the morning trying to plan our next move. Wayan – Ketut’s wife – informed me that our route via Gunung Batur (a volcano which will feature more later) was not the best. We ummed and ahhhed and booked things and cancelled things. Estrella came up with some alternative routes and then Ketut turned up and sorted out our Bali light trip. Driver to Amed with a wee tour thrown in, a hotel booked and all this in time for us to go and sample another of the restaurants down cheap street. The toilet was out back through this labyrinthine family compound and you needed a guide to find it, but man the food was good.

So with full stomachs and wallets we hit the streets of Ubud. Shopping tally? Estrella? Well this could be difficult cos boy that girl can shop: there was definitely a skirt, some trousers, a couple of tops and then I start to lose count. Kim: wedding present, a couple of pictures and a wedding outfit which was a whole experience of wrapping her up, unwrapping her, pinning her up, tying knots here and there and then just to make sure she gets it right on the day a whole step by step photo shoot. The shop assistant was well into the step by tiny step so in the end I had to pretend I was taking the shots. Me: two barong pictures, some cushion covers, a pair of trousers which could probably fit me and a couple of friends in and a nice new ring to replace the one that got too big and the one where the stone fell out.

Exhausted by the last few hours Estrella and I stopped for a fruit juice and a few moments to plan how we were going to pack all this shit, sorry I meant stuff. Meanwhile Kim went all the way down Monkey Forest Road to the Monkey Forest to commune with the nice friendly monkeys. She returned a wee while later with two more sarongs and the promise of two for one mojitos. It turns out they were a drink and snack all in one, lovely bits of mango and lashings of rum (yum). The girls had ginger ones.

So after our penultimate running of the gauntlet with the barking dogs of Ubud, we packed, checked our departure time, settled the bill and somehow ended up in the same restaurant as lunchtime. Well you know you can never get enough of a good thing...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Unexpected Expectorant

I may have mentioned in one of these past posts that I have a cold. Or rather, had a cold, it has now developed into a humourless hacking cough. I may also have mentioned (in more subtle tones) my ongoing love affair with Julian Barnes. I suppose it could be described as inevitably tragic as eventually I know I will be left wanting more, but soon the last page will have been turned. So you may be wandering what colds and Julian Barnes have in common. Well, as the narrator described the feeling of losing his virginity: ‘And why didn’t they tell you about the football fan in the back of your skull, the man with the rattle and the scarf who shouts Yippee and stamps his feet on the terraces? I began laughing so hard that I nearly phlegmed up on the rather dishy passenger who had got on an empty carriage and smiled and sat next to ME, who I was discretely pretending not to eye up.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Rise of the Doozers

While fishing for sympathy because I have a cold, Minx told me: ‘a cold is often a symptom of a dip in the mind state’. Well, I have to admit that I have dunked, dipped and slapped onto the bottom of my state of mind. No, I’m not depressed, just very disappointed and feeling stupid. But somebody else told me that women were conditioned to forget pain which is good, because you see I’m pretty god damn sure that I am a humanitarian. I googled it and it seemed to fit in with my slightly shorter belief system that we should treat each other with dignity and respect. Hey I don’t always live by that belief. Choice phrases like: “What a complete an utter Fuckwit,” And “Jeez, that person should just go out and play with the traffic,” Have also passed my lips. But that’s because I’m also contrary and do not suffer fools gladly.

So why the dunk? Dip? Slap? Well the dunk has been ongoing. I may have mentioned the choice phrase FUCKWIT in relation to someone before (quick scan through the archives and you’ll see who I am talking about). Well, I’m still talking about the same fuckwit and for humanity’s sake maybe this fuckwit really should go out and play with some serious articulated traffic. Of course, this raises questions and dilemmas. This will cause pain to the remainder of the family and wishing death on someone else is not a very nice thing to do. Also being realistic no matter how much of a fuckwit someone is they tend to have picked up the rudimentary skill of crossing roads safely.

Dip. Fuckwit is a bully. Fuckwit is stupid as implies the name I have chosen. Fuckwit will never say: I am sorry, I was wrong. Fuckwit crossed the line that separates us from animals (belief systems, imagination, creativity and opposable thumbs) and is now just a pair of opposable thumbs sitting in an office.

Slap. We doozers are aware of all of the above, but will we doozers stand together and do something about this, will we hell.

The problem with being a humanitarian is that there must also be a slight amount of blind sight attached to this belief system. Even though there may be evidence to the contrary, you still have to believe in the underlying good of humanity. Perhaps my -5 myopia is not enough at times, but I want to believe and that stretches the blind sight a few notches down. The next thing is that once you have hit the bottom there is only one direction to go. So I will arise from my sea of snot and tissues and strepsils this Monday with new plans afoot. The Doozers will rise.

Footnote – In the end it doesn’t matter who the fuckwit is, the thing is are you going to be set of opposable thumbs, or are you going to do something?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Inspired by Parenthesis

Every day I fall in love,
as your voice whispers in my ear.
The melody of sounds
turns the corners of my mouth.
My eyelids flutter downwards in delight.
The construction of phrases so carefully placed.
My fingers follow your body;
caressing, lingering, underlining.
And as I trace patterns on your front and back
my love comes to an end
as I turn the final the page.


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