Sunday, 30 September 2007

Green dress, aching head

I've succumbed to some sort of virus thing. My head feels as though it's got some kind of balloon inside that expands and causes awful pressure that blocks my ears and gives me heavy, dragging headaches above my eyes.

Trouble is, as a self-employed person, illness is not an option. But having to work when ill means that your working days are very long as you struggle to do things that would take you half the time normally, and you don't rest. Somehow (and this has happened to me several times), the weekend, or a holiday arrives and you are laid low. I spent most of yesterday on the sofa.

* * * * *

Googlers have been searching for pictures of Cecily Tallis's green dress in Atonement. I know because a couple of them have come here.

Here it is again, on the very slim Keira. It is a backless creation and is lovely. There doesn't seem to be much information about the dress out there. But The Dress, it seems, has become a star in its own right.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Clichés are based on truth

Estate agents = wankers/bastards/moneyfornothing scrotes? Well, based on my experience this is certainly the truth. All bar one outstanding chap (who I think has left the 'profession'), they have all been useless time-wasting tossers over the past five years. I would use the rudest word at my disposal but I think the words 'estate agents' will just have to suffice as a substitute.

Long story short:

1) We see a house we like – it's one we had spotted ages ago, when we were looking for our current place. It's back on the market.

2) We put in an offer – the asking price; it is accepted. We very quickly put our place on the market with the same agents, thinking they'd have the motivation and it would be easier to deal with just one firm of twerps.

3) The estate wankers (who we feel have overpriced our place but who love it) use 'summer' and 'the holidays' to account for the lack of viewings. They bullshit us, bring a handful of people round (who mess up our lovely pale carpet with their clodhoppers) and that's that.

After a few weeks, we realise that these people can't be arsed. Just can't be arsed – they don't even know if there is a service charge, whether it is leasehold etcetera... Their 'solution' is for us to rent our place out (via their sister lettings firm – hmm) so we have two mortgages on the go. In the current climate, this is hilarious, and we do not want to be landlords or have any extra stress.

4) S tells them that we are worried about the renting option, stresses to the agent that we still want the other place and would the manager of the estate wankers get back to us to let us know what the vendor thinks.

5) I casually browse the internet this morning and search for the address of the place we thought we were still buying. It's back on the market. They didn't even tell us. I am fucking incandescent and am minded to take the 'for sale' sign outside our place and ram it up the estate wanker manager's arse.

6) Today will be interesting. I feel it's time for me to wear my investigative journalist hat – again. Excellent.
Listening to: The Source Feat. Candi Staton - You Got The Love

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Whiter than white

Hmm. So, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is being criticised for advertising a product that can be used to lighten the skin. Apparently it endorses stereotypes. Well, stereotype, schtereohype.

If people still want to spend their money on things that make them feel attractive (however misguided in others' eyes) let them get on with it. If they are buying X or Y simply because they feel that others may view them as inferior if they aren't A or B, that's sad, but what are you going to do? Impose sanctions?

Are we going to stop brunettes buying Garnier blonde hair dye? Where are the news stories about the myriad sun-worshippers and fake-tanners who want to darken their skin (and risk bloody cancer in their pursuit of a brown 'attractive' skin)?

And, while I'm at it – why aren't we all moaning about the number of anti-ageing products around? Why is being old – and looking it – a sin? Hmm.

Save the date

I received an email yesterday. It was prettily decorated with pictures of shiny red baubles and candles and chocolate.

It was an invitation to a Christmas party, telling me to 'save the date'. Heavens. First, it was the (increasingly large range of) festive biscuits and selection boxes in late August, Christmas cards in September, and now, I must start thinking about what to wear for this bash. Apparently.

I am too tired to make a fuss. I'll just get my diary and save the date.

Monday, 24 September 2007


Ian McEwan is not everyone's cup of tea (what writer is?)... I find his books either turgid or very good, a bit similar to my reaction to Nick Hornby, who failed miserably (in my humble opinion) with How to be Good. I am anal about books but that one went flying across the room and was sent to the local Oxfam store very quickly. The sight of its cover set my teeth on edge after about page 20.

I enjoyed McEwan's Amsterdam. Enduring Love was OK, but I didn't like it as much as the former. I didn't get as far as buying Saturday, but I did buy Atonement when it was published in hardback, years ago, on the strength of Amsterdam and the black and white picture of the girl on the cover.

I am not sure why I never read it but it may have something to do with hardbacks being a little too heavy to read on the Tube. Plus there was never enough room in my bag.

So, I decided to see the film of the hardback. I deliberately avoided reviews, didn't pay the blurb on the cinema listings much attention, and put away my irritation with Keira Knightley.

My friends (two men, who had no idea what the film was about) and I watched the first part of the film waiting... It was drawn out, soporific, threatened to be dull and full of ingredients for criticism, and I thought they'd slate me afterwards for choosing the film. But my goodness, it turned around. Some devices used in the film were irritating (the echoing "Come back to me...") but overall, bloody hell, that opening half hour was essential, just to contrast with what followed.

Keira did what Keira does best: fragile, posh and, when she was swishing about in that green dress, very English rose. James McAvoy was brilliant, as were Romola Garai and Saoirse Ronan.

The Dunkirk scene, which will be talked about for years (and has got to be Oscar-worthy), was compelling, amazing and somehow conveyed the sheer madness and horror of war through one shot (shot only once) that lasted seven minutes.

The rest of the story is difficult to describe without giving away too much. Suffice to say, when you realise what has happened, the thing for which the girl on the book has tried to atone (and its effects), it is unexpected. I am so glad I didn't read the book, or that moment would have been spoiled for me.

© Mellifluous Dark, all rights reserved.

As it was, I recounted the story to S the next day, surrounded by leaves such as the ones above, and surprised myself by crying as a few scenes came to mind – the ones at Balham Underground Station (it was indeed bombed during the war on October 14 – 68 bodies were recovered from the sludge; 600 people had been sheltering...); the one where Robbie (McAvoy) is with his friend, trying to sleep at Dunkirk, the revelation, the beach... among others. Yes, this may be fiction, but people have been through some of this stuff, and it really is heartbreaking.

I'd recommend Atonement – the film – for its entertainment value, for its score, beauty, sadness and its ability to move, if you are at all movable.

Cynics will say blah and blah, but cynics always do; they are never satisfied, always superior but culturally vultural. And what's to recommend that?

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Do you realize?

I didn't really know much about the Flaming Lips. They were one of the support acts at a wonderful Massive Attack concert in London's Hyde Park a year or so ago... They performed this and rendered me speechless.

I cried my eyes out behind my sunglasses.

Do You Realize - that you have the most beautiful face

Do You Realize - we're floating in space -
Do You Realize - that happiness makes you cry
Do You Realize - that everyone you know someday will die

And instead of saying all of your goodbyes - let them know
You realize that life goes fast
It's hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun don'-go down
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round

Do You Realize - Oh - Oh - Oh
Do You Realize - that everyone you know
Someday will die

Saturday, 22 September 2007


Autumn is here. This is deeply pleasing.

Mornings of sharp, bright sunshine. Breath you can see in the air, giving you feedback that you are alive.

Crisp leaves underfoot. The need to wear a coat and boots. Glossy chestnuts by the dozen, so shiny they seem to have been polished by Mother Nature... Perfectly-formed acorns, the targets of skittery squirrels.

The spectrum of colours... leaves blazing with fire before they die. Ivy, climbing up walls, turning scarlet for a few precious weeks in a scintillating display. Stunning.

The comfort of getting home from spending a day out, revelling in being warm and cosy.


Friday, 21 September 2007

Excited about curry

I am so hungry. I have just done a sort of dance-type movement, having ordered a curry to be delivered from the best Indian restaurant round here.

I stooped to the floor and told the rabbit, M, that 'we are having curry, yes, we're having curry!'. She didn't even blink. But be sure that she will want a piece of chapatti – she always does.

Ah, my saliva is at the ready. I really am very excited. Mmm...

Thursday, 20 September 2007


I didn't realise September 24th is just a few days away (and incorporates a weekend).

This means I have one working day left to write a feature that I have thus far thought I could finish in about eight days' time. Blast.

Gorillas in a twist

So, certain people think the Cadbury's advert with the gorilla playing the drums is racist because it was shown on Channel 4 after Brian (who, for those who didn't watch it, is black)... won Big Brother. What the hell?

Does it not say more about those whining about 'racism' that they go on about offending black people when they see a gorilla?????? How incredibly idiotic.

I watched that advert and didn't jump to thinking: "Oh, my, that's a gorilla – that's offensive to black people. Let's ban it." For goodness sake, get a grip, people. Get a bloody grip.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Wasp in the cooker hood

It's in there, buzzing, buzzing, buzzing. At first I thought I was going mad, or that the fridge was about to die. But no, a wasp is living (or trapped) in the cooker hood.

I switched it on for a few seconds and all went silent. But only for a couple of minutes.

I am so tired. So very, very tired. My back is aching. When I move, I can feel – and hear – the vertebrae crack.

Listening to: Editors - Escape The Nest

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Me, interrupted

You've been sitting nervously on the floor for two hours, your backside's growing numb and your lumbar spine is beginning to ache. Then your name is called. You step up. You – and the three others who have been called up at the same time – do the first part of the kung fu exam – a random combination of hand moves, turns and kicks. Tricky. Trickier yet due to the nervousness spilling from every pore.

But you try to focus. Focus. Focus. Your eyes are fixed ahead, your mind is clear, dangerously so. Your legs wobble ever so slightl
y. It's scary. Imagine around 70 people watching you during an exam. There were 60 sitting on the floor behind plus, say, 15 of the elite in front, arranged according to hierarchy [think Last Supper]...

Then – then! – just before the second (and main) part of the exam, I was called over by the guru (to carry on the Last Supper metaphor, we are talking about the most Holy one here)... I was so nervous I must have looked like a rabbit caught in headlights.

I thought he was going to tell me to leave for being or doing something appalling but instead he
whispered in my ear and told me not to worry. I'm sure it was for about five minutes. Five minutes while 75 pairs of ears strained to hear what I was being talked to about. To put this into context, no one else had such a summoning. Just me.

Maybe they all thought he was imparting some secret technique, some previously-hidden method of something or the other. Instead, he gently asked about, and advised me on, my eating. He asked whether I was sleeping well [he surely must be psychic] and generally seemed to pick up on the fact that I have been extremely stressed and needed a bit of a pep talk with regards to looking after myself well. Even though he has met me only twice, he'd noticed I'd lost weight and was concerned. I was touched, even though the context of the chat was quite surreal.

The chief is a (very tough) man who eats meat – and plenty of it – and you really do need to eat well to have the strength to train properly. I'm not a veggie but I don't eat enough protein and haven't stepped up my food intake to compensate for the thousands of extra calories I burn off at kung fu. So, he had a point. But to be interrupted in the middle of my grading was novel, surreal and made everyone else stare at me for a while. Suffice to say, I have bought a batch of meat and fish so that I can get into my size eight jeans without needing a belt to keep them up. I seriously do not want to lose any more weight. I wish I could eat chocolate but I'm still banned from it due to the caffeine yadda yadda.

Watched Girl, Interrupted last night on the box. Hmm. It was painful viewing in places. There was Winona, all angsty, but quite normal really. And there was Angelina Jolie, being very nuts. What was scary and sad is that this story was based on a woman's experience. Thank goodness the world knows more about mental illness these days.

Bits of the film reminded me of a wonderful, wonderful book I read earlier this year: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell. A moving and deeply disturbing read, and one of my favourite books.

Listening to: Kosheen - Empty Skies

Saturday, 15 September 2007

GFG: the one where she is a fuckwit

The precious peace that I wrote about in my post this morning quickly evaporated with the sound of Ground Floor Girl (GFG)'s persistent door slamming and her blaring music and television.

There is no way she can have imagined that it was acceptable. I could hear – and feel – the door slamming so loudly while I was in the bathroom that I suspected there was building work going on downstairs. When the consistency and familiarity of the sound/vibration revealed what was actually happening, my neck tightened and adrenaline coursed through me. I was on fire. I was as rigid and tense as a steel girder.

S emerged from the living room and I could see that boiling point for him was not far off. He'd been sitting there, having breakfast, enjoying what had been a relaxed start to the weekend, having worked hard all week, as had I. He has been nice to her, giving her the benefit of the doubt where, for me, The Line had been crossed a while back. He looked bemused and hurt.

All we have ever done to her has been neighbourly: pick up her shopping, take in her deliveries, give her wine, feed her, tidy up the (joint gardens), paint the (communal) areas, pay for the (communal) plants, close her huge window that she had left open when she was away and prevent bailiffs entering her place.

She has kept me awake – or woken me up – with the amount of noise she generates when coming back from a night out several times. As an insomniac (she knows this), I think this is tantamount to abuse and cruelty. And her attitude ("I don't think I should pay my share"/"I don't care about looking after the place; it's just the way I am" etcetera), stinks as badly as a dollop of shit in your freshly-coiffed hair. It's just not on. No. No, no, no.

We are nice people. We are quiet. We are considerate. She is a total cunt.

I was shaking with rage. I am fucked off with people treating me as though my good manners and general amiability are an open invitation to take the piss. I don't often lose my temper properly but when I do, I can turn the air bluer than the sky over the sea on a clear day.
I was fully prepared for this to go down that road. And oh, it's nice to throw in a bit of blood-curdling logic when such situations occur.

I don't scream, but I suppose 'fierce' sums it up. It shocks people, and I find it excruciatingly unpleasant, but it has to be done in certain circumstances to stop liberties from being taken. Such times – and I can count them on one hand – are rare. I prefer to serve a dish icy cold – if I can be bothered to prepare it – when someone really needs to eat their words at some point.

It was just as well we'd already planned to go out as the mercury hit 'had enough' for S, who joined my level of disbelief and fury as she continued to pollute our peace. S screamed at her to shut up and I said something (that I shan't repeat here) as we passed her front door. GFG is surely wrong in the head if she thinks that it is OK to behave in the way she has. What? Does she think the stupid, polite people upstairs will turn the other cheek and say, 'thanks for the fuckage, please miss, can we have some more?' Er, no. No.

As we came back home, having deliberately stayed away from our home to avoid walking into a situation (which in itself is obscene to have to do), we saw GFG and her (poor bastard) fiancé leave, with bags in hand. He doesn't live with her – he is currently based in another country. Wise man.

So, we didn't wish her 'happy holidays' as they loaded up the cab. She saw me and stepped back behind her front door. I had my sunglasses on and she couldn't see my eyes. Just as well. If looks could, they would have done the proverbial.

Listening to: Editors - Munich
How apt – the lyrics are perfect.

Dear morning

One of the good things about having to get up early at the weekend is that you feel like you are stealing time. It's quiet, no one else is around, and if the sun is pouring in through the windows, as it is today, you slowly start to feel energised and awake.

Tea, toast with butter and honey. A happy rabbit at my feet. And some melodious music. I don't have to start thinking yet.
Listening to: Massive Attack - Joy Luck Club
(This link doesn't take you to the song for some reason; see 'Collected' if you want to hear this exquisite song)

Friday, 14 September 2007


And this one sums up how I feel sometimes...
Listening to: Massive Attack - Protection


I love love love the harmonies in this song – they have a physical effect on my solar plexus, I'm sure of it. It's so clear and clean-sounding, Green's voice is like honey... the whole thing verily glitters.
Listening to: Scritti Politti - Absolute


It's a funny thing, the way I can perform some moves in kung fu and yet be so weedy at others. I went along, feeling deeply tired, a bit emotional, and worried, challenging myself to: a) be alert, b) not cry, and c) have confidence. It was a trial to maintain a, b and c, but somehow I did it, although I was acutely aware of my failings as I performed the moves.

Instructor N has become super-strict in the past couple of weeks. I regret telling him that his holiday stand-in was "Nice, and very strict" the other day... He's a good chap, though, and I think he is utterly fraught, as some of us are going for our first grading soon, and our efforts will reflect his teaching ability. He sat with his head in his hands the other day as we did our moves. Lord.

There's great camaraderie building in class. There aren't that many of us, and over the months, those of us who have attended regularly have got to know each other well enough to laugh, joke and encourage. The other regular female club member, V, whose spirit appears light, but has hidden, dark depths, has become a friend.

Lots of odd things have happened this month: good, bad and weird. I'm not quite sure what to expect next. But then again, was I ever? I know that I have become a little more resolute in the way I deal with things, even though I am still just as upset by the bad/weird. The good, when it comes – and it does – is often tinged with the vibrancy and sparkle you'd associate with seeing stars or the glistening, glassy surface of a mountainside lake. These times are not to be taken for granted; they are beautiful and peace-bringing. You can immerse yourself in their glow, but cannot hold such moments in your bruised hands.

Sometimes, strength is knowing when to just let something be, to let it drift, catch the wind and blow away so that it can embed itself where it is more suited. It may indeed float back to you (but you may have moved elsewhere).

Paradoxically, strength can also be knowing when something needs to be dealt with, such as the ghost in my nightmare. I suppose I am haunted, in a way, by something: my personal poltergeist.
When I told S about this particular dark dream, it took only two minutes to recount, yet it had managed to ruin much of my day.

That aside, I do believe in ghosts. Real ghosts. I've seen some (not just the ones that inhabit dreams). They fascinate me.

This phrase I read the other day, penned by
Ernest Hemingway, stopped me in my tracks: The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Thursday, 13 September 2007


Just when you think
Ghosts don't exist
They come for you
In the night
And tap, tap, tap
On your shoulder
Ripping you from sleep
Dragging you from calm
Filling you with dread
That lasts the day ahead

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Come back with me

Oh, it's sooooo wrong. Come on, come on... you know you want to. Bring a six-pack and jump in with me... (plus, I have just twigged how to embed YouTube vids). I'm ridiculously hyper.

And, a couple of very guilty pleasures while you calm yourself down... Remember – you're indestructible, apparently. "You knew that he was there on the case, now he's in love with you, he's in looove with you..."


God, I am mad. I have been taking photos – with the flash – of my eyes to compare and contrast them. Now, I can't see properly and my eyes ache.

I am a total loony. Fucking bonkers.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007


Yes, in Sainsbury's there are selection boxes. Selection boxes. As in Christmas. Christmas selection boxes. There were also shiny boxes of biscuits – the kind you only ever see at Christmas.

Words to lick greedily

Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast.
William Shakespeare

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

Ernest Hemingway

Monday, 10 September 2007

Three things I read today...

1) This one is sad but I'm trying my best to be philosophical: the friend who was being odd with me has turned on her (virtual) heel and gone off as one might have done at the age of 10. Can you believe that a 34-year-old ended a 12-year friendship (by email) for no good reason? Ah, life is a playground. It was depressing reading, naturally.

So, she isn't my friend any more – her reasons are paper-thin and this is probably why my repeated offers to meet and talk were ignored. She has dug her heels in and now they are stuck. Sadly, I am not a cobbler and there is only so much I can do. I would have her step out of those shoes but they are her shoes and they fit just right, even though she can now no longer actually get anywhere with them so firmly jammed.

I have cried a lot about this situation, been annoyed, hurt, all those things you felt when you were a kid and were 'left out' on odd occasions, but am now just a bit numb, as she failed – totally failed – to really try to understand why insomnia, and its extreme treatment (brain drugs for fuck's sake), may have meant I was out of sorts and not feeling sociable enough for her satisfaction. I have, apparently, 'blanked' her. There were no allowances made for my sickness, headaches, unbelievable lethargy, curfew or low periods. I have some wonderful friends (fleshy and bloggy), so I'm a lucky boot, but this did knock (and shock) me for six.

2) I read some 'restricted' notes over someone's shoulder while going home on a crowded train. I don't think they were that exciting but there were warnings about 'going in armed' and strangely, on the same page, instructions from this company about 'men and women being careful about their interactions while abroad, as it could have a negative effect on other relationships'. Oo-er.

3) A woman was sitting gazing at a list of waxing treatments: brows, chin, lip, legs, arms, bikini line, Brazilian, Hollywood, I dunno... Copa Cabana... She looked at the paper longingly for rather a long time. Then she became all self-conscious (this was again on the train) and put the pink document away in her purse. She didn't look like she needed waxing but maybe there were bits that I was shielded from, mercifully, by dint of her being fully-clothed.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

A talent for war

Yes, that's me. I open my mouth and stick my feet in. In they go. So I'm told.

I feel choked.
I wonder if I should just not talk, should find a little hideaway.
I could just write.
If I made enough sense.
Insomnia is evil.

Most people really, really don't understand it – and why should they? One of my closest friends has sent me an email regaling me of my insomniatique sins. I was/am stunned. But there we go. I have apparently been a terrible friend – an 'unhelpful' and 'difficult' person – even though I have felt as sick as a (very sick) dog a lot of the time lately. I've not been so upset by a friend's words for years.

Wow, what a great month so far.

Teenage kicks

On the shortcut home from the local Italian restaurant, we came across two young women sitting on the ground near some workshops. It was dark and all we could see were dark shapes and hear plenty of giggling.

One called out: "Hey, hello, can you wait a minute? It's OK, we don't want any money or nuffink like that. But can you open this bottle? We have the thing but we don't know how to do it. We are not alcoholics. God you must think we are such lushes."

Goodness, I cannot recall not knowing how to open a bottle of wine (obviously, I didn't open bottles of wine as a child).

S had a go but the poor quality of the opener and the manky plastic cork was a rather tricky combination, and there was a risk that the cork would be stuck and goodness knows what the girls would have done to try to extract it. So, up for holding a wine bottle, (it has been a while) I had a go and, sure enough, the old skills kicked in.

Before they could say: "We're seventeen," and I could say, "You're drinking underage and are young enough to be my daughters," I'd whisked out the corks and plonked the plonk down. They told us we were lovely, "had a great figure", and suchlike. We warned them about the rats that might be lurking nearby but either they didn't know what rats were or they weren't bothered.

We got home to the strains of a party down the road. It was obviously a post-GCSE party, or a going-to-college do, or something. But my, these youngsters were loud and happy, and very, very drunk. It was all rather sweet. Bless. Just the thing to make you feel really old, too, if you were of a disposition to worry about such silliness.

Friday, 7 September 2007

Fish heads

Just because I want to – and it makes me smile (plus, it's a little treat for all you eccentric 80s kids out there). Have a listen: Fish heads.

It's fabulously insanely bizarre and crazy.

I give up

A 'good' friend who:

a) is always too broke to meet me (but regularly goes out to get hammered)
b) is nearly always hungover (and thus was zonked when we last met – for the first time in ages)
c) has never showed me her new flat (but tells me how she's had other people there)
d) texts me at 2.30am (despite knowing I have a sleep problem) – and got frosty when I mentioned it politely – and didn't apologise – but did it again...
e) knows about my sleep horrors but never really asks about my state of mind/body
f) has made trite comments about 'everyone needing therapy' (I saw a therapist as part of the sleep programme)
g) never remembers that I travelled halfway across town to see her for years (when broke)
h) hasn't called me in months
i) didn't put a stamp on my birthday card – I had to pay to receive it when I picked it up today (my birthday was months ago)...

... has just asked me – via email – why I have been 'cold' over the past few months. Give me a break. I've felt like bloody death warmed up, that's why. Why didn't you pick up the phone and ask?

Sometimes, I really just give up. I give up. I give up. I've been happy to accommodate her choice of meeting places, bought her gifts to cheer her up, employed her, listened to stories of drunkenness and brokeness (over the cheapest ginger ale) while being as tired as fuck... So tired I could die. So fucking tired I've nearly crashed my car on a fast road.

I give up. I really do. I am lost for words.

Peter Rabbit

Should a 38-year-old really be crying into Beatrix Potter tissues?

Miss Potter's pictures, printed on the tissues, make the 38-year-old cry even more.

What a bloody stupid 38-year-old.


Ah well, the stitches are out. Wasn't too bad. Looks a bit odd, but hopefully it'll now just heal up and there will be a light scar only.

My headache, which developed at midnight, is unmoved by painkillers. I think I had two hours' sleep.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


I am working – as some of you may know – on five assignments.

I therefore need some inspiration, some reason, some sort of carrot, to keep me going. For now, it will be this that enables me to shove my nose down on to the grindstone:

I am not even sure whether I really, really like it. I love the colour. Oooh, I adore deep red (the colour of wine)... Ooh.

Thing is, I can work out how much I have earned of the fee I'm charging (for one particular piece of work) in direct proportion to the dress. So far, I have paid for the waist down. Just the sleeves and bodice to go, then...

Update (three minutes later): actually, I've just realised that I have indeed already paid for the dress (in terms of work completed). Oh damn. Now what shall I use to spur me on? Shoes? Boots? I'm just too good, me...

Lazy girl blogging

Bullet points will just have to do, as I am so lazy and also, paradoxically, so very busy. Get me...
  • Ooh, I slept better last night. Deep joy. Oh, yes. I even dreamed about NMJ. (Don't worry, NMJ, it wasn't anything dodgy.) Am still aching with tiredness though, possibly brought on by kung fu the other night. Why is this text so small?
  • S has recovered from climbing three of the land's highest mountains for charity. A splendid effort in stunningly bad weather. I felt chilled just hearing about the rain, wind and general inclement conditions. There were tales of helicopter rescues as it was so tough.
  • My stitches have one more day to cause me strife and itch and pick and stick. Yerck. Not really looking forward to doing what I always do – smile while under stress – and pretend all is well *smile, smile* when I see the nurse for stitch removal tomorrow.
  • I worked for 12+ hours non-stop yesterday. Some of it was rather dull, some rather interesting. Mostly dull. My backside is now the shape of my chair. (Well, not really, but it feels like it is.)
  • Luciano Pavarotti has died of pancreatic cancer. He looked like a man that lived doing what he loved (and who he loved). The first opera I saw live was Turandot (which contains Nessun Dorma (how apt!)) and it changed my life by shattering preconceptions I held about certain types of music. I was speechless with awe. Pav wasn't in it but the song was so his that you surely could not hear it and not think of him striding across the stage, his charisma oozing out of every pore. RIP, Mr Pavarotti. Your voice will stay with us.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007


Why do bad days always shovel in as much strife as possible? Why?

For fuck's sake.

I am working for five organisations/publications now and the phone won't stop ringing and I cannot recall who is who but they all obviously think I can recall exactly which John, Mike and Katie is which – they say "Hello" and then pause. They think I am sitting here just waiting for their call.


One of the stories I am researching is heartbreaking and it has made me cry. It's about people dying suddenly. Excellent.


I feel horrible today. My eyes are puffy. There are things I cannot understand. I feel out of kilter with things. Like a shoe that is too big or too small, it's just not right.

My life seems to be formed into concentric circles, nothing Venn diagram about them. Today, for instance, will be a tired day, for reasons that I cannot go into, for various reasons. (Also, it would be tedious.)

Oh, well. At least I have lots of work to occupy me. Thank God I'm at home today and don't have to contend with the effects of the Tube strike.

And, yes, my stitches bled after kung fu. That was nice.

Monday, 3 September 2007


I feel as though I should write stuff. I have plenty to write. But I cannot find the words tonight. There is, instead, a mush of zigs and zags within my head.

I hope my beloved words have not departed. I would be bereft. How would I express myself? I would be like the hair left on the floor at the hairdresser's: once nice and glossy and shiny, but more recently trodden underfoot and of no use to anyone.

And, to top it off, I could not transfer the chunk of novel I wrote on holiday on to my desktop. It's there, locked away.

I just don't know what to do.

(Pic is there simply as am uninspired and there is a lack of anything pictorial on this Dark page. And pictures help with such a page. Anyway, it's lazy. I know.)

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Bashful bunny

Even though Albert has been put into rabbit foster care to be rehomed after all the fights she had with M, it would appear that M fears that Albert is lurking.

She sits at the threshold to the large kitchen, a soft lump of squidgy, sweet bunny, all brown eyes and darkest, velvet fur, and watches, even though she is hungry and wants her food bowl. I just moved the door and she flew down the hallway at 40mph.

I'm sure she thinks Albert will leap out like Matt Damon (who is very, very good) in that early apartment scene from The Bourne Ultimatum (the one where the fan's behind the door, if anyone's seen it)...

Poor M.

Saturday, 1 September 2007


My head is hurting.

I feel guilty as I visited my parents but I was so zonked through lack of kip last night that I fell into a doze that lasted ages. I wasn't great company. It's my lovely, lovely dad's birthday and I didn't spend much time talking to him and I feel very bad now. He covered me with a blanket when I fell asleep. Thinking about this is making me cry.

I'm happy and grateful to be my parents' child, if that makes sense, and they'd think I was silly for feeling like this. But I just feel like a selfish cow.

A stitch in mine

I am very tired due to not being able to sleep well as I was rather too conscious of the stitches in my armpit. When I lay on my left side, I'd eventually end up stretching the area stitched. And, when I lay on my right side, I'd get all stiff and have to move, forget about the stitch situation and then wake on feeling the pinchy-pinchy thing.

As for the insomnia, which I realise I have not mentioned (deliberately) for a while, well, the sleep programme continues. No choc, no alcohol, no caffeine, an alarm call every day and, yes, I am still taking the tablets (albeit reduced).

Sometimes I have been so tired that I fall asleep, uncontrollably, (especially if I'm being driven somewhere). It's not part of the plan, and napping is in fact banned, but it's like being sat at the top of a slide – with a vat of feathers below – and being given a hefty push. There's not a lot you can do about it but let yourself slip down into its warm, comforting depths, where you lose yourself completely...