Friday, August 31, 2007

The End

So everything seems to coincide, I finished Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers. The solutions to Climate Change were a bit thin on the ground; well really it boiled down to stop using coal now and this relies heavily on Government intervention, big business taking action and responsible conduct on our part. Well as we know, not all Governments have ratified the Kyoto agreement. Big business? Well if BAA’s recent behaviour over Camp for Climate Change is anything to go by I guess that BP must be the lone crusaders on that front. And responsible conduct on our part? Well I try, I buy green products, recycle, reduce my energy as much as possible and swapped to energy efficient bulbs, I don’t drive and I download music. On the minus point I then burn the CD’s for my friend’s birthday, combining the cover and the card together which I then slip into a lovely jewel case. I go to Music Festivals, now according to William Shaw at Word magazine, it’s alright that I travelled by metro to get there, but I checked the line up of Rock en Seine and Reading and Leeds Festival which was on the same weekend: Arcade Fire played Paris on Friday, Reading on Saturday and I think you can guess where they were on Sunday. So, the upshot of reading the book is that I am left feeling a little pessimistic about the future of the planet; however, I did gain a better understanding of the difference between weather and climate, why Climate Change was happening and how it will affect us. Remember the Inuit? Well, if we don’t change things they are likely to become the first people to lose their land through Climate Change.

I also finished writing my book. It closed at just over 80,000 words, which is a little bit more than I thought it would be at the beginning of the summer. Vanilla has advised me to leave it alone for a little while now. Now it’s not that I don’t take fellow writers advice, but I did then rush off and go and pick up Masello’s book, which now has a wee little layer of dust after over three weeks on the top of my pile of books to read. Rule no. 27 is Let it marinate. So I spent yesterday drawing a picture. I know that my description is a bit thin on the ground so I figured if I drew it then it would be easier to describe it when I go back to it. I also spent hours looking up Cornish, Breton, Icelandic, Faroese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish words. I changed all the place names. OK that’s not leaving it alone, but I didn’t read it, hitting the ‘replace all’ key on Word does not constitute reading.

And today is the last official day of the holiday, tomorrow is really weekend. My big wish for this weekend is that there is a freak meteor shower and a big lump of molten rock comes whooshing through the skies and splits up and coincidentally crashes into and burns to a crisp all the buildings that make up my place of work. Failing that one of my colleagues returning from their exotic holiday will display signs of an extremely rare and contagious (but not fatal) disease and when I arrive late (as I always do) the building will be cordoned off and the men in white bio suits will be milling about in a most sci-fi manner and I will be sent home. It’s not that I don’t like my job, I do, but I have spent the summer as someone else and it will be a shock to my system to put on those other cloaks. There are two; there’s the multicoloured striped one, which is rather like a Magician’s cloak turning you from scientist, to writer, to mathematician seamlessly, the other is darker cloak full of shadows and Machiavellian plotting and I hope I can get through the year without having to put it on.

Right I’m off to go a lunching and a shopping and maybe have a nice glass of Sangria!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Pulling Teeth

Sometime back in March, April, May, I can’t remember, I decided to forego my travel lust and sit in front of my computer all summer and write a book. Thankfully the summer decided to help me by taking an extended leave of absence. I have thoroughly enjoyed this empty time and if this is what being a writer is all about, then you know what? I can do it. But...

I’ve got five days left, I’m so close to the end, so why does it feel like pulling teeth? I had the ending of this book planned before I even had the beginning sorted out. I know exactly what’s going to happen, but it just won’t come out. I write a bit, I delete a lot. Over the last few weeks these sticky bits as I have come to call them have occurred when there was something wrong. When I took a wrong turning with the plot, or the characters did something wrong, or the characters were just plain wrong. So either the ending is all wrong, or could it possibly be some massive delaying tactic to put off adding that final full stop?

It’s stupid, I’m even beginning to have ideas for other books. I have an idea for a sequel to the one I’m writing, they're dying to get out there, so OUT damn words. Get out of my head and onto the laptop. Right I’m off to fetch the pliers.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Festival From Yesteryear

There’s something about Music Festivals that I just can’t explain. The sound is generally not as good as in a venue, the groups don’t get to do a full set and the toilets are nasty, but I love them all the same. I love that mixed up smell of sweaty people and grass, I love the way the music thumps through the ground each beat bouncing you a little closer to the stage, I just do.

Now call me a big fat wossy but I’ve done the whole camping thing, communal showers, hole in the ground crappers and frankly it’s all part of the experience, but I can remember it very well so do I have to do it now? No, because with Rock en Seine I can get the metro home at the end of the evening. It also means that I didn’t feel like I had to do the whole three days either. Eh yeah, the festival is actually still on, but the line up was rubbish today and having seen Bjurghk bouncing around in fluorescent yellow before, I felt reasonably justified in skipping today.

So who did I see? Well, this year the festival was like this huge blast from the past. I made Lise run around like a blue arsed fly so that I could get to the Scene de la Cascade for 3pm and then as I waited impatiently I noticed on the new programme that Dinosaur Jr were actually on at 4.20! They were very loud and finished with Freak Scene and me singing at the top of my voice: ‘So don’t let me fuck up will you, cos I when I need a friend it’s still... YOU!’ That’s quite a sweet line really. The change in times caused a little bit of a clash with Mogwai, but I quite liked them, although when the cameras scanned the serious head banging crowd it did kind of make me laugh. We decided that they are a kind of band you listen to very loudly when you are in a bad mood. After a healthy tea of ... chip butty we were drawn to Emilie Simon doing a cover of a Stooges song. She’s a French chick with a penchant for white dresses and with a drummer who played a big bowl of water and her piano. It was all a bit strange, but I rather liked it. We left before the end to catch the rock ‘n’ roll boys from Sweden. Pelle Almqvist of The Hives is rather bonkers, jumping over the speakers climbing up the set and expecting adoration from the crowd. They put on an energetic show that you can really bop along to, if you’re not wetting yourself laughing. Almqvist did all his banter in a faux French accent, stringing words together that made no sense – well I found it funny. Last up that night were Arcade Fire. I think they are a ten piece band, at least that’s how many I counted, although everybody seems to play a few instruments, horns, violins, cellos, accordions, organs, various types of drums. If you don’t know what their music is like, it’s kind of hard to describe, it’s a big sound, kind of tortured and there is always something mad going on onstage. They work brilliantly live because you are never going to be able to get sound that big out your home speakers. They finished with Neighbourhood # 1 and the crowd were still singing ‘Woo ooo ooh’ long after they had left the stage and we tootled off home completely covered in mud on the metro. There’s something quite satisfying about leaving a trail of dried mud through all the chicest ‘burbs of Paris.

Yesterday started with The Fratellis, the only song I know is Chelsea Daggers which they finished with. They were alright, but I kind of got the impression that every song sounded like something else I had heard before and they were a bit grumpy. Jarvis Cocker on the other hand started off with this fantastic speech in broken French of how we were in Parc St. Cloud, but it should be called Parc sans cloud (yes the sun finally came out yesterday) as he leapt from speaker to speaker in what can only be called an extremely ungainly fashion. Each song was punctuated with his vague thoughts – god only knows what the French understood- and then he finished with Paris Nord. At first we thought it was his terrible French accent again as he was pronouncing the d in Nord, but no, it was Black Sabbath’s PARANOID! After a quick tea of ... chips, I then rushed everyone off to see the band that I had been too young to see the first time round: The Jesus and Mary Chain. Apart from the wrinkles and a wee bit of weight gain on William Reid’s side they sounded EXACTLY the same as always! We finished the night off bopping away to some crap dance music in this lounge bar until someone pointed out the time to me... Goddamn, I had to leave to get the last metro.

Apologies for out of focus photos, but it's just to give you a wee gist of things: Dinosaur Jr. The Hives (he never bloody kept still, but I kind of like the spectral element of it) and Jarvis.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Writers' Workshop

At work I do this thing called ‘Writers’ Workshop’. It’s always a bit of a challenge because I can never remember where to put the apostrophe in ‘writer’s’ and now that I’ve done a little bit of writing myself I realise that the whole process is completely contrived and backwards. Do I brainstorm? No, I sit around for hours with empty time waiting for inspiration to hit me in the gut. And planning? No, no, no, you write first and then you get all lost and tangled up and then you go back and plan. And the first draft malarkey? And calling something finished after two drafts? Don’t make me laugh, is it ever finished? But really the bit I like the most is the editing, although I’ve been wondering whether I am a bit harsh sometimes. OK I don’t wonder I am. I suggest that whole swathes are cut; I send them back to rewrite a paragraph about a million times and when they can’t see where the story is going awry I get them to read it out loud. So I suppose it’s very different, we spend a lot of time together, these budding writers and I, I would never hurt these kids’ feelings and I know when to stop and when to push.

So it’s a bit different here in Paris as an adult writer because there are very few writing groups, and if you work there are even less that do not take place during working hours. There are a couple but they are full of transients, people passing through Paris who have heard about the group and pop along for the ride. So I suppose one of the things I’m wondering about is whether the only authentic bit of the Writers’ Workshop is the editing bit? And does editing have to be done by someone that you respect and know?

In my case I still find the group very useful. When I arrive with a piece I already have a certain idea of how I am looking for the piece to be improved. Then reading the piece aloud instantly brings out flaws (and I have taken to doing that at home when I do my first read through). There’s also a certain amount of ego caressing when you can see that your work is pleasing to someone other than yourself. The criticism is mostly useful, but at the end of the day I come home and rework a piece and either follow the advice or ignore it. I also enjoy critiquing other people’s work, and there are some real cracking pieces.

But then there are the other things like ‘poetry nights’ in trendy bars. I had a friend visiting and another friend who was coerced into going and I suppose we kind of slipped into teacher mode because some of the poetry was truly dreadful. I think the thing that irritated me the most was that the minority (the irritation is actually completely disproportionate to the quantity) who were bad were people who I had previously come across in the writing group. They had turned up with some interesting, if slightly poor pieces at the group and were not very open to criticism, yet here they were completely happy to pop open their journals in front of an audience, but I suppose that all makes sense really.

The flip side was that there were other people from the writing group who read stuff that had been critiqued and their pieces were much improved, that was kind of cool. And then there was this cool chick with a guitar that had flashing lights that told you when the strings were in tune (I could never tune my guitar properly). There she sat in this sweaty basement and for a second I had images of Phoebe from Friends and a sly smirk spread across my face until she began to sing and I kind of slipped off into folk heaven.

I’m still all confused about this whole critiquing and poetry night thing. I suppose in the end it comes down to me being a bit harsh. Having high standards? Being a teacher? Ah, who knows?

Do check out Erica's link up there. I keep listening to it and thinking WOW. Even Tibo likes its. Well I think he does, he got up and left the room the other day when I started singing!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Culture Week

After living in a place for a while it tends to become as familiar as a favourite pair of jeans; there are bars and restaurants I like to go to (mainly all up the road), I have my favourite walks and the culture that I so craved after Madrid and it’s Golden Triangle of three museums fade into the background. At the beginning of this summer I couldn’t remember when I had been to museums or stuff like that. Admittedly I’ve had my head shoved so far up my laptop these last couple of years that it’s been hard to extract it, but the combination of a nice long holiday, a friend visiting and a need to fill spare hours with something other than someone else’s fiction has drawn me out (and I explored the cupboard of crap and found my teachers card which gets me in free to a number of museums.)

First stop was the Palais Garnier or Opera. The first time I saw the exterior of the building was when I was running around it trying to find the Roissy bus. It’s a fantastic place to meet with its capacious steps, but I couldn’t tell you what the inside looked like although I had probably read about it or heard or something, but yep, the auditorium ceiling is most definitely Chagall.

The rest of it is a bit difficult to describe, it’s a mixture of styles which if you ask me seem a bit ... kitsch. I loved the opera boxes though and all the different little areas on that floor where one could meet secret lovers (that’s what happened in the early 20th century, isn’t it?) And I tried to imagine myself in some floaty ball gown in the hall of mirrors that tried to emulate Versailles.

Actually I guess what I really like about it is that for as little as 7€ I could actually go to an opera and waltz around and pretend to be some high society Paris demoiselle in those halls and corridors.

Next stop was the Lizard Lounge which is some trendy bar in the Marais that I’ve never been to. We went for a Spoken Word event. I liked the sing song at the end!

Followed by the Pompidou; I actually have always loved the Beaubourg as the locals call it. I just like that Modern Art doesn’t allow for that middle of the road reaction. What do you think of these? You see, you can’t say, ‘Mmm, it’s nice...’

But while there I realised that I had NEVER been to the Picasso Museum. Moi, who claims to worship the man, who whenever I am asked to name five geniuses starts with: Picasso, Einstein and Marquez and then because I recognise the gender stereotype spend half and hour scratching my head trying to find two women to balance it out.

Now the best thing about the Picasso Museum is that as you follow the signs there are little café’s every two steps and there is one on the corner opposite this little park that does gorgeous CAKE! Actually I wouldn’t recommend that one because it was quite expensive, but surely one of the other eleven are more reasonable. Ok that wasn’t the only best thing.

And then as Ms Maru left to go and get her bus to the airport I realised that I had forgotten the one museum I wanted to go to all summer- Quai Branly! Duh! I think it was something to do with the little bundle that has finally gone to sleep on the chair opposite after spending the morning parping like a goddun (I don't think anyone has noticed that I've slipped in another bit about the ...)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I know this is the 2nd cat post in ten days and I promise to stop very soon, but 'ah, ain't he cute?'

So far he has explored all the dark corners, behind the sofa, in the sofa, under the bed, under the table, behind the telly. Today he has discovered pegging it out the bedroom and launching himself at the corner of the sofa and hanging off it with a surprised expression on his face.

Meanwhile our bonding moments involve me pulling him out from all these dark corners (and having the scars to prove it) to put his eye drops in and his other medicine for that other thing he's got. I've discovered that waggling his toys and trying to tempt him out does not work, whereas a firm teacher voice telling him to come out NOW works very well. Dinner time is a bit of a chore too, I have to pick him up and stick him in front of his bowl and use that voice to tell him to EAT.

He seems to sleep an awful lot, just not when I'm asleep...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Vanilla has nominated me for a Schmooze award. It kind of makes me laugh because the description:
schmoozing is the natural ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.”
does not describe me in any way shape or form. I'm the one in the kitchen at my own parties. Still this is a blog award so definitions change a wee bit:

As it goes, Good schmoozers effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”

So in keeping with the great blog tradition of passing on all awards to 5 fellow bloggers, I hereby nominate:

Jefferson Davis
Jon M at Writing in a Vacuum cos he's collecting (or stealing) blog awards
Marie at Deep Thinker
David at Witnessing am I
and I don't care if she's already had one, she is the Ultimate Schmoozer Minx.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Shout in Peace

Well, before this blog turns into a forum for cute kitty pictures and discussions about how much cat food is needed, I think it’s time to return to some more globally pressing issues.

Just over a week ago I posted about the Camp for Climate Change taking place at Heathrow on the 14th – 21st August 2007. Calvin Jones from Climate Change Action Group then posted an article explaining the reasoning behind this years Camp, their aims and philosophy. In addition Calvin’s blogs provide up to date information on campaigns at the main group and in Scotland and resources. If Climate Change is something you feel strongly about then I urge you to take a look at the article and the blogs.

But if for a moment we imagine one of those wavy flashbacks to the week before last, the biggest problem about this Camp was BAA’s abuse of the law to try to silence peaceful protest; however as Mr. Jones pointed out BAA did not succeed, the Camp is still going to take place and in fact so unsuccessful was BAA’s initial action that the named protesters in the original injunction can still take part lawfully. So, one would think that for once campaigners had won a victory over big business.

Unfortunately, it seems that the world does not reserve such kind surprises, on Saturday I read that up 1,800 extra officers had been drafted to police the event and were being encouraged to use section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Section 44 gives the police powers to:

· Stop and search people and vehicles for anything that could be used in connection with terrorism

· Search people even if they do not have evidence to suspect them

· Hold people for up to a month without charge

· Search homes and remove protesters' outer clothes, such as hats, shoes and coats.

Well, perhaps using a Terrorism law is not so far fetched in this case, after all it is companies like BAA and the ilk that are terrorising the whole world with the short-sighted policies thus causing irrevocable damage on the planet we all share. But has BAA won?

This morning I read:

In four minutes and 30 seconds yesterday, two double-storey scaffolding tripod towers were erected and a banner slung between them. Within the hour, up to 150 people had come and were unloading pallets, tents, compost toilets, wind turbines, kitchens and bikes.

Camp for Climate Change started two days early and arrived before the Police did! Some protestors have already been stopped by the police, but at the moment all seems well with some policemen pointing out that they do actually agree with the camp.

So please, if there is an issue you care about SPEAK OUT. Time and time again popular peaceful protest (with minor disruptions) has proved to be successful and now with web platforms such as these we are even more able to disseminate information. So let’s do it while we still have the chance. Last week I also read that the MoD had put in place new restrictions on what the Armed Forces can publish on Blogs, e mails, websites and text messages!

And lastly Tony Wilson died at the age of 57 on Thursday night of a heart attack after battling kidney cancer. As the founder of Factory records, my hat goes off to him for creating the most fabulous record sleeves that had me sneaking into my big bros room to stroke them while blaring out Joy Division, as I sat nodding my head and being all morose.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Aw look at those big blue eyes

Oh pretty little kitty,
why can't you live with me?
For I live in a city,
and you would not be free.

Believe when I say I care,
'bout your near fateful life,
with me it would not be fair,
I'd only cause you strife.

I wish you an outdoor reign,
with mice and trees and bees,
wish you sun to soak your mane,
wish you could be with me.

copyright, 2007. Verilion

Beautiful blue eyed Bella was rescued from the bagman by a kindly neighbour when her mother gave birth to an unwanted litter. Fortunately Bella and her sister Jade have found a new loving home with a maternal rottweiler who licks Bella's belly and a parrot (a bloody noisy little bugger who everybody is ignoring at the moment). I wonder if Tess is maternal though, as she licks everything and left huge globs of saliva running off my toes yesterday! Anyway, Bella's brother Spike is still homeless and there was a moment there when I almost broke down and said YES. I love cats and Bella loved my lap, but boo hoo, I just don't think city cats kept in tiny little flats where they can't get outside is right. I'm right aren't I?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Orange Squash

Will you look at this? It’s an early morning post! And that would be because I’m off to the Normandy for the day. I picked a nice day for it, it’s absolutely peeing down! Thought I’d leave you with a little poem though.
Orange Squash
Do you remember the day
you put up the garden fence?
I ran up the stairs
and down the stairs
over and over
with the glee that only a child can muster?
One at time
two at a time
three at a time.
Sometimes there was a glass of orange squash
waiting for me,
sometimes there was a glass for you.
Who were you working with?
I only remember you
and the brilliant blue sky.
At four at a time
I tumbled round and round.
When I opened my eyes there was a halo of heads looking down.
You all seemed very tall
for I was very small.
©copyright, 2007. Verilion
It’s been up on The Pimple before, but it’s had a wee edit since. I did have some other comments about adding a couple of lines about what the orange squash was like, but wasn’t a 100% sure about that.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Stand up for your right to Camp

That’s right, me who hates camping says, 'Stand up for your right to CAMP!'

The Camp for Climate Change is going to be somewhere in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport on the 14th – 21st August 2007. The Camp for Climate Change is an awareness raising activity which aims to make customers flying out of Britain this summer aware of the damage CO2 is causing to the environment and the part that air traffic has to play in that. I’m not sure how much awareness will be raised at the airport when little Jimmy has run off with his brother’s PS2 and the lady with the highlights in front is having a hissy fit because she can’t take the ten litres of gunk she spreads all over her face in her hand luggage, but that’s not my point. My point is that BAA tried to stop the whole thing. BAA, a huge airport authority making mega wonga took on three individuals and took them to court under some ‘harassment’ law and said they would disrupt the running of the airport. The harassment law that BAA’s many lawyers spent many hours discovering to stop this planned bedevilment taking place on their hallowed grounds is intended to be used to stop ‘stalkers’ and the likes. Seeing as BAA is not strictly speaking ‘a person’ but a huge corporation I do not entirely understand who John Stewart (of the Heathrow Campaign Against Aircraft Noise) and Josh Garman and Leo Murray (of the anti-aviation group Plane Stupid) were supposed to be stalking. Unfortunately, they will now not be taking part in The Camp for Climate Change, but many others will be. George Monbiot’s article is far more eloquent than mine, but I agree when he says that this isn’t only about protecting the planet we live on, but protecting our democratic voice. If we allow big businesses to deny us of our freedom of speech we might as well accept that the battle to drastically lower CO2 emissions is lost. If on the other hand you remember the Poll Tax and you live near Heathrow, maybe you’ll join Monbiot and the others to make the people’s voice heard.

Also the results of The Clarity of Night 'Halo' contest came out. I should have mentioned it yesterday but was suffering a bad case of ‘Can’t string a sentence together’ due to insomnia! Congratulations to all of you who entered and especially those who won prizes and honourable mentions. There was a huge amount of entries this time and there was a moment there when I thought I wasn’t going to get through all the stories, but I did. And off the top of my head two of the entries I voted for were placed.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Break the Rules?

This morning I was woken up by the phone ringing. I was in the middle of this dream where this man had taken two children hostage in this kind of package holiday type place. I had the impression that the man wasn’t a bad man, but my dream never got the chance to reveal this to me as the phone was ringing.

I recognised the number as I picked up and in the time it took me to answer I had already silently grumbled to myself about what was she doing calling me at this time of the morning, and how many times have I told her not to call me until after 10.30am. My mother’s standard reply when I say hello is to ask if she has woken me up. Usually the answer is yes, but today she didn’t even ask and so accustomed am I to this being the course of our conversation that I offered up the information myself. When I heard the little gasp and the reply, “Maybe you needed to sleep,” I began to wonder what time it was. ELEVEN THIRTY! I’d slept away almost all of the morning of the second summery day in Paris! Shit. And why did I need to sleep? I’m on holiday. Admittedly I have been to the gym every other day this week, celebrated a birthday, gone to some cheesy disco thing where I left before the disco got started and almost got gassed at the Writing group (but that’s another story), plus did a fair amount of writing, but...

I’m going back to that Masello book here. There are actually 102 rules, the last one being break all the rules and generally the title of the rules tend to be a little misleading, in that rule no. 53 says set an alarm clock and is about setting an alarm clock to get to your desk, but after that sentence it’s not. But anyway, here goes, I am making a decision here. Even though it is the holidays and setting an alarm clock and routine goes deeply against the grain, I am spending an awful lot of time just generally farting around. So there it’s done, I’ve set it, I’ve reset it for twenty minutes earlier and well ... we’ll see, after all rule 102 is break all the rules.

BTW – Sunday Scribblings prompt word this week is ‘Decision.’

Saturday, August 04, 2007


The Musée Maillol is a small private museum not far from the more famous Musée D’Orsay on the left bank. It houses the permanent collection of sculptures, oils and pastels of Aristide Maillol as well as the odd work by Picasso, Kandinsky and a host of others, but more interestingly what brings me back again and again are the temporary exhibitions.

Weegee, the current exhibition is a collection of more than two hundred of Arthur Fellig’s most famous photographs. As a press photographer in the early 1930’s Fellig virtually lived in his Ford Coupé for a few years listening to the police band on the radio and turning up at the scene of violent crimes often before the police. It was this almost prescient ability which earned him the name Weegee (based on Ouija).

Weegee’s photos range from shocking to humorous, reality with a certain twist. There were times where the blood spilling over the edge of the curb or the white teeth grinning out from a carbonised body made me cringe, whereas a photo of a dead gangster in front of a movie theatre showing ‘The Joy of Living’ made me laugh out loud. Weegee’s photos are more than a press photo; in many of those murder scene photographs it’s more interesting to look at the expressions of the onlookers than at the corpse that dominates the foreground. In one shot at the opera sits a priest with thick round spectacles and because of the quality of the light he seems to be surrounded by pale faced, pebble eyed vampires (or maybe that was my overactive imagination). His portraits of the stars also have an ability to speak volumes, he’s captured Veronica Lake looking like a goddess, Dali is slightly out of focus and wobbly and Sinatra looks like a good time boy.

Weegee had an ability to convey a story with each of his photos. There’s no sense of invasion, other then when he’s trying to capture the faces of arrested criminals, and even there he manages to create beautiful shots of hidden faces.

The exhibition runs until the middle of October, just in case you happen to be in Paris before then. I would totally recommend it.

Friday, August 03, 2007

I think therefore I am

Well it all started with Poetess really. She gave one to Marie and Jon M, then Marie gave one to me and Jon gave one to Vanilla and then Vanilla gave it to me as well. What am I talking about? I’m talking about this:

Firstly, I'd like to give a big thank you to Marie and Vanilla for giving me this award. The award goes to bloggers who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. The description on the original post is a bit more in depth, and you can read it all here, but for now according to the rules I am supposed to pass it on to 5 more bloggers.

Can I just say now that if you are on my blogroll then it’s precisely because you are a thoughtful blogger that you are there and I’m sorry I can’t choose you all. Having said that, there’s quite a few of these little badges popping up, so if you’ve recently had one, ehm, I’m sorry but I want to share the pleasure of receiving one of these little things, so I haven’t picked you again.

So finally to the point, ta ta ta tahhh da da da da da daaaaaaahh:

Jude from Jude’s Writing Corner – she is a positive little bean in the blog universe, gives good advice about writing and doesn’t seem to moan about her job at all (scratching my head in confusion there)!

Kyklops – He’s a Canadian living in Japan and he’s got a bad shoulder, but he still had time to show me how to put italics in my comments box yesterday (and being such a good pupil you may notice that I’ve excelled and can now do bold too).

Apprentice at My Gap Year – She always replies to my comments over at her blog and she even comes over here and leaves lovely comments. She also takes beautiful photographs that make me think and is kind enough to introduce her readers to new things like renga and haiban.

Shameless – My fellow kind of Frenchie blogger. He writes very thoughtful posts, poems and short stories and is always completely positive and courteous and he gave away all his lions.

And lastly (but definitely not least) Mr. Moon Topples – he’s a bit quiet at the mo and maybe this might tempt him out, but if not no matter. He’s one of those thoughtful, creative, multi-talented types who has always made me feel more than welcome over at his blog.

So have a nice Friday all. I’m feeling all glowy from my awards and having a really good writing day yesterday. I was so pleased with myself that I thought I would treat myself with episode 18 of Heroes that I had been putting off because I knew that if I allowed myself to watch it, then I would want to watch 19 and it would become a distraction and not a treat. So could I find it anywhere? Could I hell. Bum, bum, bum, bum.

PS I also got this award from Scarlett as well, but I didn't realise until after I had put up this post.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Jolly Good Moan

I got tagged by Jude at Jude’s Writing Corner to do this meme. It’s all about moaning, so who am I to turn down this opportunity.

5 people who will be annoyed that I tagged them.. mmm:

Well, to be honest I don’t really want to annoy people, so shall we say that if there’s something you’re annoyed about and you want to have a go, then please feel free to moan.

4 things to go into room 101 and be removed forever from the face of this earth:
Starbucks (that one was a bit obvious wasn’t it?)

Ligne 13 (who needs to get to work?)

Dubya Dumb Bush


3 things that people do that make me want to shake them violently are:
Amble down the street very slowly and then without warning stop suddenly so that you canon into the back of them

Wear fur coats. What’s wrong with polyester? It doesn’t feel slimy and you get the added effect of looking like you’ve recently had your hand on a Van der Graf generator.

Anyone can make a mistake, the second time you roll your eyes and think oh well they’ll learn, the third time you bite your lip, but the fourth time, well you know you want to shake them and knock on that thick head of theirs and shout: ‘Hello? Is anyone In?’

2 things that I find myself moaning about are:

The state of the world

1 thing the above answers tell me about myself is:
That if we lived in a world without work, money or dumb people I would be a much happier person.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rule no. 7

Robert Masello is my new best friend. As the author of Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 unconventional lessons every writer needs to know he has claimed his ‘new best friend’ status through the inclusion of rule no. 7: SKIP THE STARBUCKS.
Now I hate Starbucks. I hate them because:
  1. They are blatantly homogenising the whole of the world with their green and black logos on every high street.
  2. They have coaxed Joni Mitchell out of retirement to record a CD for them which they will then overprice and put in a basket next to the carrot cake.
  3. They sell carrot cake and I love carrot cake and sometimes I want to liberate the carrot cake, but that would involve going into their shops and parting with cash.
  4. Sometimes I crack...
Still none of these reasons figure in Robert’s explanation of why you should not go. No he says:
Starbucks is where writers who want to be seen in the act of creation go, who treat writing as if it were some kind of performance art. They want to be admired, they want to be soothed by the ambient noise and the occasional glance of an attractive patron. They want to be asked, “What are you working on?” so they can sit back and talk about it.
Or scowl importantly and say, “Sorry, I can’t be disturbed right now.”
When, if they really and truly wanted to be undisturbed, they’d stay home and concentrate.
As one who doesn’t write in a café, I can sit here sanctimoniously and pretend I’m a serious writer. Actually it’s because there is no ambient noise in a café, there’s a cacophony competing with the voice inside my head. So what do you think about rule 7?
Oh, by the way Robert's also not saying to skip Starbucks for ever, just when you’re writing. I, on the other hand am advocating a world wide boycott.
And Lastly, the launch of The Opening Chapter Blag is not today. This is apparently due to some of the contributors not reading their e mails and watching the deadlines pass them by, tut! It will be out in September. Right, where's the paracetamol?


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