The Only Thing That I am...

Lymphoma moves the goalposts 'this is the only thing that I am sure of, and that's all that lives is gonna die...' a Lyric by Arthur Lee from Love's 'Forever Changes' just about this life really

Monday, November 05, 2012

Happy Anniversary Darling

Today is my wedding anniversary so when Barney swept into our bedroom just after midnight I wasn’t entirely expecting his first words… “The cat has done a poo the size of a dog!” That’s not my cat of course: it’s Juno the Bear who we’re catsitting while her Proper People are in Stockholm.

Never mind, I thought, it can only get better and it did for a while. Nice card from the octogenarian, (Coral eh? Well I know all about coral…), greetings from near and far, nice bag of paper shreddings for the hens.

Dinner is ready to serve. The telephone rings. Apparently an acquaintance who is sixty today warrants an essential pub visit on the way home. Now I think about it... the acquaintance is no longer a married man, nor is Barney’s partner in crime (my brother on this occasion). Hmm, I’m wondering about that one – not for long.

Shame the catpoo’s been disposed of…

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rain and Tears

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at
dawn looking for an angry fix,”

It was a question on University Challenge and it brought with it some memories of Allen Ginsberg in Newcastle woven through me.

The reading I recall was unusual. For some reason the Morden tower was shut, so instead of sitting around on the floor we were in a kind of Victorian lecture theatre at the Miners Institute on Neville Street. It started with Tom Pickard, then Tony Jackson, who seemed to try very hard to look like Mr G. There were some really good friends there that night – everyone I’d have wanted. Tina, Jane L, Duffy… Hell we were cool.

Bladerunner – my Big Film
“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die”
Just echoes that bit at the top from Howl

So how did someone like Ginsberg come to be reading in Newcastle (more than that one time too)? Basil Bunting was the Newcastle Poet whose reputation in America attracted some of its greatest poets here, along with many home grown greats too. Tom and Connie Pickard were instrumental in getting BB back onto the local scene. He lived in Wylam and commuted by train to the Toon. Last week I was talking to a woman who happens to live in Basil Bunting’s house in Wylam. Coincidence.

Now I’m going to try to find some lines that have come back to me from others:
“Tony Jackson is a walking Jungle…. Tony Jackson can cry.”
(could be Adrian Mitchell)
“I’ve seen darryl adams cry.”
(possibly misquoted)

I can’t find any web reference to the Miners institute reading. Shame. It used to be on University of Northumbria’s website and I put a link to it elsewhere, but it’s gone. I must remember that internet sources aren’t permanent like reference books…
Tears in rain.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What I have learnt from the snow

It's never too late to learn. It's -8C here at 5pm and we've had a fortnight of snow cover. I'm still learning.
1. That fake snow icing effect on Christmas cakes is realistic after all.

2. When they say "where there's poultry there's rats" it's true. Footprints in the snow confirm, right up to their hidey holes in the bonfire heap.

I'm not sure why they did a flag though.
3. Clearing the front step will only ensure it is icy as anything tomorrow and make the Lady of the House slip (unless she's very carefull and haha I am).

4. The next door trees, though not directly above the polytunnel can shed branches that wriggle as they fall to make holes. Boo.
5. My 17 year old gutters may have given way and tumbled, taking tons of snow down with them but even the Big New House Next Door Down the Garden has problems with theirs.

(not to mention their 4x4 getting stuck halfway down their drive - allegedly - complete hearsay from another neighbour).

6. I can see a lot of tracks in the garden - pheasant, Mr Foxy and the Longtails (see 2). As well as other birds, cats and the odd seagull. Mr Foxy may well chase the rodents, but ... what about the hens? So far the electric fence continues to click, despite being bowed down by sheer volume of snow (see 5) . Nobody's laying yet - 23 weeks Gingerbread - I'm counting.

7. The hens are OK. Their water just needs the ice layer removing and they're fine. Barney's cleared the snow (no mean feat) so they can scratch, Moses is bossyboots still, and they're pooing for GB.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Meet Les - the pet snail

Ellie has had her sight restored. Mr Mackley - optician to the Special Ones has boosted her lens power again. While she was parked under the trees a snail with travel aspirations set up home on her car window - driver's side because (obviously) he had designs on becoming her Number One Pet. Also, knowing she has perfect vision, he expects she'll be a safe driver etc. and look out for him. Snails not being the speediest of creatures when it comes to avoiding Danger.

I noticed him as soon as I saw the car. Handsome chap. He hasn't moved - she thought he may be dead, but I said they drop off when they die, clearly he is attached to her...

We think he may be French on account of his attachment to cars and desire to go.

Yes, he's Les CarGo

Boom Boom.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome News

Finally I got my money back from Welcome Finance after a year's phone calls and letters and tears. I had to get The Rottweiler Woman from the Observer Newspaper onto them though.

It's a bit sad that these companies only spring into action when the press gets involved. At least I don't have to wait for the Ombudsman.

Wedding in London

Now that's what I call a wedding.

It was a kind of Barnett Family gathering and shindig in the Mudlark by London Bridge. The street outside full of Zombies and lost souls from the Dungeon etc. There were a lot of wee kids dancing and doing the limbo under a green pashmina, the grown up bridesmaids wore black and the priest sounded just like Colin. I was not the largest woman in the room either, but I may have been the rowdiest sing alongest at times.

We stayed at The Hilton in Canary Wharf which was good - most of the other guests were there for the wrestling at the O2 arena, lots of tattoos and interesting tee shirts. Pete and Sue stayed too and had a room with rose petals in the shape of a heart on the bed. We sat in the lovely bar and had pizza and stuff, but it didn't stop us doing justice to the magnificent breakfast and in a room of wrestlers nobody looks greedy haha.

A stroll around the wharf, checked out the docklands museum, drank lots of tea then off the rest went and I got out my oyster card and got on the DLR towards home.

Capital. Thick and Thin

I've been to a wedding in That London. It was great. A Proper London Wedding. Barney wanted all of us to go so he drove Els, Colin, Nick and Yvonne down on Sat am while I swanned down by train and had a couple of nights at Jackie's in Dulwich first.

Jackie had a prior engagement at Kensington Palace the evening I arrived, so i arranged to meet her in a nearby pub. I got an Oyster card and took the tube to Green park then walked the rest since I had an hour to spare. On the way I stopped at Harvey Nicks to buy Red lipstick and black tights to go with my wedding outfit. HN is a shop full of beautiful creatures with me in my red coat, huge bag slung across shoulder. I decided in advance that Wolford Tights would be The Ones. The assistant was wonderful, showing me some very elegant slight sheen near sheers but no, I wanted matt black. She was apologetic: the only size available was large. (is this woman blind? I thought. If anyone is Size Large in this whole emporium, it is I). I took them. They were fine, and still are and I'm hoping will be for at least 5 years - at £18 they need to be.

I got to the pub, something to do with a goat, got a cider in and waited for Jackie, then we had a lovely meal next door and took a cab to her house. It wasn't a quiet weekend in the Mountains: a NZ pal was visiting and checking out some of her old man's fine wines. When in Rome... Jackie's number one son was moving out that weekend and also packing for a fortnight in Switzerland with his new employers - nice work. I stayed in middle girl's room - lovely in the attic. Both children so far have recently achieved firsts at Oxford. No pressure on Lovely Youngest then as he approached his 18th.

I had Lunch with ladies in Blackheath and heard a scurrilous tale from a woman who knew a journalist who had worked at the Scotsman in the 1920's or 30's. Every day as he walked along Princes street on his way to work, he saw an Old Woman who sat on the Scott Monument mutterning to herself. One morning she beckoned him over with a crabbit claw ( I made that up for effect) and whispered that if he crossed her palm with silver she'd tell him something she'd told no one before. He pressed a tanner intae the claw and leaned close. She croaked " I wes. (insert appropriate coarse word intimating scenes of a sexual nature) by Robert Louis Stevenson". That was the highlight of my trip. I'm sure it's true too.

On the way home I went into the British Library to view my assets (as a taxpayer) and bought a postcard showing the cover of Treasure Island. Then to King's Cross for the Edinburgh Train.