Monday, September 29, 2003

Last night I was supposed to go to Sydenham and check on my big sister’s house, as she’s away for a week. But did I? Did I nuts! Me and Steve got wine and a mushroom garlic pizza, and lay on the couch. Is this a sign that I am getting old? That all I want to do after a long day at the office (sitting on my ass) is go home and sit on my couch? I know that fatigue breeds fatigue and that if you exercise you have more energy, but I just don’t have the energy to start… and thus the circle of sloth is complete.

This morning the alarm went off at the ungodly hours of 6am, cos someone (okay, me) had accidentally set it an hour early. I went back to sleep and dreamed of Gwyneth Paltrow having a psycho killer boyfriend who was trying to kill her. Also dreamed about taking something to be dry cleaned, and getting it back and being convinced they’d just put it in the washing machine on a very hot cycle. Got up, showered, and woke Steve with some fruity cursing. The reason for my potty mouth? My clean underwear for the day ahead were warming on the towel rail (well, who doesn’t like warm knickers?) and dared to slide off, onto the damp and, I admit, none-too-clean floor. Calling them ‘motherfucker’ and telling them in no uncertain terms to ‘stay on the fucking towel rail’ awoke my beloved. Alas, he is used to this sort of thing.

Went to Tim’s house on Sunday night for dinner and talk, and to pick up the painting of Richard Hell that Marcus Oakley did for me, as a wedding present to the fragrant and soon-to-be-wed Therese. It’s not traditional portraiture, let’s say, but that’s what you get when you ask a creative type to stick to a brief. And besides, it’s growing on me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Oh I have been bad at updating. And Emerald has given me details of Wordpad, a new blog thing with pictures etc, so your blog can look more like a web page. But I haven't signed up for it yet. Instead have obsessively been checking Friendster and about 15 times a day.

Weekend was spent filling a giant skip with the contents of the attic and shed, which have lain largely undisturbed for the past 45 years. No Picassos, first editions or fabulous diamond-encrusted brooches were discovered. I guess I’ll have to continue to work for a living. Saturday night there was an Actionettes show, at the Water Rats again. Bring back Upstairs at the Garage! Water Rats is a bus ride from my house (good) but no matter what the outside temperature, it’s always 90 degrees at the bar (very bad). Also, as I knew Kyle was going to be there, and as I have talked up my vintage Dior jacket to mythical proportions, I decided to give it an outing. I had conveniently forgotten that we were having an Indian summer and that there really was no need for anything other than a sleeveless T-shirt at the freakishly hot Water Rats, especially not a fully-lined tweed jacket. So ended up standing at the front, clutching the jacket in my sweaty mitts, and glaring at anyone waving a cigarette or raising their pint glass within 20 feet of me…

Sunday the boy cooked a lavish roast dinner, while I went clothes shopping. I don’t know why, but H&M and Topshop are just not thrilling me these days. All the stuff in there makes me thing ‘yeah, it’s nice, but…’. There’s nothing that I can’t live without. After trying on about 15 semi-okay items, I got a pair of trousers suitable for work, job interviews etc, which I’ll probably wear three times a year.

After scoffing the roast, we were settling down to a pleasant evening with a bottle of Merlot and ‘Practical Magic’ on the telly. (Well I was: Stephen was not much interested in Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman’s love curse, which mean that any man who fell in love with either of them would die!) The sound of a door being smashed and a voice yelling ‘armed police!’ alerted us to the fact that the neighbours were having a far more eventful night. Crouching on the floor and peeking over the windowsill, we saw police officers with dogs storming the building, with one officer crouched behind a car aiming a gun at the door to the house. After a quiet few minutes, two people were brought out and led to the van blocking the street. From the next-door garden emerged several black-clad Special Branch and yet another hungry Alsatian. After the rozzers had driven off, the other inhabitants of the house were allowed back in.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

What sort of a pirate are you? Here's me:

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?
brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Monday, September 15, 2003

Help! Help me, I’m trapped behind this giant baked potato! Yes, Shelton’s, the sandwich shop across from where I work, officially has the Biggest Fucking Potatoes Anywhere in London. I saw the lady behind the counter making mine, and she poured an entire bowl of chilli on to it. And let’s not forget the cheese. So how I am expected to work all afternoon with this giant bolus (have you any idea how long I’ve been waiting to use that word?) of carbs and grease in my stomach I do not know. Maybe if I just slither under my desk for a few min…
Almost a week old post

Last night me and Stephen went to see a film. We haven’t done this in about a month, mainly because all the cinemas near work charge at least £8. But we decided to treat ourselves, and see this. It was fantastic, and I recommend it unreservedly. Plus, we went to Fopp, and even though I have a backlog of nearly a shelf of books to read, I bought a Diane di Prima memoir, Everything is Illuminated, and a Taschen book on 1950s advertising. Total was £11, and you can’t beat that.

The film was short, so we were home in time to watch Jump London, which promised more than it delivered. A bunch of blokes in tracky bottoms and scuffed trainers leaping on railings and buildings? I can look out my window and see that! The programme was basically one long advert for Groovy 2003 London: they got permission to ‘jump’ such landmarks as the Royal Albert Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe and HMS Belfast. I suspect permission was granted on the condition that these places got to plug their events (the spokesman for the Globe actually said 'We don’t usually endorse anything that isn’t Shakespeare, but…'), and there were numerous shots of treetops and sunny streetlife. Made me want to visit this fabulous city, until I remembered I live here. Best bit was when they ‘jumped’ the Millennium bridge and the Tate Modern: this entailed running across or past the structure, very fast. Blustery cries of ‘well I can chuffin’ do that!’ were heard all over town.

This morning I got dressed in a state of fear, cos scary author is coming in, and I have to take her for lunch. I have no idea how this happened, but I look uncannily like Mick Fleetwood today. Shirt and knitted tank top? Check. Hair in ponytail? Check. Tight pants? Check.

There’s a guy at work who I am locked in a power struggle with. He fawns all over my bosses, and anything they ask for is done within the hour. But if I make a request for say, a piece of artwork or an author pic, there’s a whole lot of heel-dragging going on… This attitude was best summed up by Therese as “Oh I could help you but I really can’t be bothered”.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Having a hating-my-job day. They are increasingly frequent.

Am checking page proofs. There are nose hairs (proof reader's, not mine) on them. Got an irate email from an author this morning, berating me for sending him (at the behest of Sales) book plates to be signed. Shoot the messenger, why don’t you. This day is shitty.

Plus my clothing is all wrong. All wrong I say! Have a sort-of interview at lunch, so could not be a scruffbag today. Started with a pair of smart trousers, and a plain top. Realised I had run out of pop sox, and did not own a single pair of black socks, so could not wear proper shoes. So am wearing ballet shoes, which while being very comfy and chic, don’t really go with suit trousers. Finished this with a red trench coat, and was walking to work feeling like I was in my pyjamas and dressing gown. Unbeknownst to me, I also had my fly undone all the way to the office.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

This from Therese: ‘Went home and didn’t exercise again. Bad bad. Made chicken with onions and bacon. Can you say YUM. Have decided that EVERY LIVING THING tastes better with bacon and then fried in bacon grease. Yes, everything. Might even try Marmite if it had bacon in it.’

Got me thinking… want to open a restaurant called BACON. Every dish will contain bacon, and there will be pictures of Kevin Bacon on the walls.
This is my hair today. I look like the guy at the front, but without a hat. I am sporting the Always Ultra of hairstyles: with wings. GROW, DAMN YOU!!!
The weekend was nice, and three days long. Friday my couch arrived in all it’s squishy magnificence. I christened it with a two-hour nap, and we are now inseparable. Saturday I went to see the Gossip and the Battys, and drank four beers and danced like a loon. The bands were amazing, and the gig sold out quickly and after about 10.30pm the venue was running a ‘one out one in’ policy. It was the first Homocrime gig night/club night, and it was a roaring success.

[Three days later, sorry]
Well now it’s piggin’ Thursday and I have not had a chance to write all week. My trip to Chicago is sneaking up on me, and I still have things to get for the hen night and wedding. I am planning a traditional British hen night for Therese, but will not write any details here as she reads my blog…

Last night I met with Rachel to discuss the Independent article about Ladyfest Bristol. Everyone I know who’s read it has been taken aback by the writer’s snotty tone and her comments about shoes, hairy legs, and dungaree-wearing lesbians. Oh, and her assertion that it’s socially more acceptable to admit to being an alcoholic than a feminist… Ladyfest London 2002 organisers are planning a strongly-worded rebuttal. Rachel gave me a copy of the Unskinny Bop zine, written by Tamsin and Ruth, the best DJs in London (they played at Homocrime on Saturday night: Beth Ditto is a fan). These ladies need a blog/website NOW!

Overslept this morning and woke at 9am. Didn’t leave the house until 9.45am, and I am supposed to start work at 9.30am… oops. Nearly got hit by a car as I skipped across four lanes of traffic to reach the 159 bus. Normally I wouldn’t risk my life that way, but as it was travelling in a pack of three, I knew it’d be about half an hour before the next one rolled up. A van driver braked to let me across, but made his displeasure abundantly and fruitily clear. I couldn’t hear what he said, but I didn’t have to know how to lip-read to tell that there were a lot of F sounds.