Thursday, 28 February 2013

Eat me Drink me

The breakfast crepe was a bit disappointing but that might have been the Modifinal. I sat in Soho Square with the other builders and considered the pigeons. People were down on pigeons but I thought they were sort of fine, some of their colours are otherworldly and there's nothing wrong with that.

There is a little house in the middle of Soho Square that no one ever talks about. No one knows what's inside but I do- it is where they put all the visionaries that get out of hand. Slowly they get smaller and smaller, like eat me drink me but on a one way ticket.

A man in bright orange overalls was staring at me. In the olden days I would have thought it meant he was in love with me, but now I knew better. I think he was ruminating on the butterfly effect, and whether if the same butterfly decided not to flap its wings at all whether the effect would be just as dramatic.

If you don't throw a brick in a pond and there are no ripples then is the pond somehow less good? I will have to ask my jobadvisor.
A pigeon looked at me. He knew my game, though he knew nothing at all. Women click-clacked past me on their way to work with heads full of spider diagrams and pie charts, maybe with a very small piece of pie in. My coffee was cold.

Today I had to buy some popping candy and a map of the world. It was a busy day so I had better get going. I smiled at the man in neon and left.


Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Yellow Tree

I put on my wizard coat and sunglasses and walked quickstep to the jobcentre. In some ways I was an oddball I knew, but in others quite normal. I had green knitted gloves with bows on and felt ok about it. I looked a bit apocalyptic in my head, but in real life I was just a person walking along.

The highlight was a bright yellow tree for which I took off my glasses. My neck did a click when I looked up at it.

We all sat on the sofas and waited. There was a drug addict getting annoyed at the shaky hands advisor. I liked that one best, it was something in his eyes, like a horse in fire. The addict was full of self-pity, I felt sorry for him and hated him too. He was shouting but nobody heard so he shuffled off back to his crappy life.

When I heard my name I was surprised. It’s surprising when someone says your name out loud. I gave old shaky hands my most winning smile and got out my job search. ‘He was interesting’ I said. He went on about it for a bit and I said stuff like ‘you don’t make the rules’ etc to help him along. Now we were friends.

There was a picture of him at a football match pinned on his cubicle, it made me sad I don’t know why. I think he was disabled in some way, he had a special keyboard with big letters on. I was keen and signed the thing and was set free.

Go here for more Job Centre Adventures.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Weeley Festival 1971

I grew up in Weeley- a blank three shop village in Essex with a caravan park, a crematorium and a concrete merchants. It is nowhere, not really countryside thanks to the big road running through it, yet with porn-strewn woodlands and orchards too.

You would think that this odd and listless Sunshine Coast dwelling non-scape had never seen a remarkable day in its life. I had the same opinion that most kids have about their hometown- I wanted to get out. I stared at the three seaxes with a kind of longing, back-combed my hair and jumped fences with the assistance of BASS BOOST.

If only I had known that
in 1971, right there in those fields a massive rock festival had taken place, at which some of my favourite bands had played- bands that I thought existed in an entirely different dimension, then maybe I would have given Weeley a bit more credence. Have a look at the running list:

The idea that Marc Bolan and Rod Stewart nearly got into some kind of brawl near my little house would have been too much for me to imagine- on that day 110,000 people flocked to Weeley thanks to the Alan Partridgesque Clacton Round Table who most years ran a Donkey Derby.

‘It was almost an exodus,’ said Steve Harley of Cockney Rebel. ‘Thousands upon thousands of us coming from all over Britain- hitching, walking, anyway you could to get to a place most of us had never actually heard of.’ 

How did this r&r thing happened? The bands played all day and all night, the Hell's Angels got into fights and the hippies spun round like lawn sprinklers. It was a far cry from white-haired Mrs Starling next door and the cracker lady who walked around with a toy monkey in a pram

I was minus 5 at the time so missed out, but to get with it I've made a playlist. I hope you like it. Even if you didn't grow up in Weeley it's still a glimpse into a time where a small town commitee can organise a huge depraved rock festival. It's this mix of quaintness and hedonism that sums up a kind of Englishness that I'm very attached to. 


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Beginning

The sunlight shone at me through the blinds. You’re stuck it said and put its finger all in my eyes.

I idly wondered about cutting the grass then immediately forgot about it. It was not for me. Maybe I should sit out in it and drink tea. Staring was ok- not one thing or another, and those were the things that were problematic.

Some old people rumbled by. The cat tried to sit on the keyboard again. I saw my screwed up face in the screen and thought this is not even depression.

I sat in the garden and looked at the grass. It really did need a trim. I’d left the tea bag in the cup- a development. A squirrel ran across the fence and did a spin and stopped, its beady eyes looking at me. ‘Hi’, I said. ‘How is it?’

He didn’t reply. I leant back in my chair; I had found it outside in the street- it was a wicker one with creaks and royal as hell.

The tea was stewed, with those dirty rim bits. The sun was pretty weak and winter was all in my bones but it felt ok, like a sensation. It was the jobcentre later so I should stock up.

‘How real are you?’ they would ask, and I would reply ‘Yes, I am dreadfully real’. Then they would give me some money. If I let it slip that I don’t exist then I’d be in big trouble.

I tipped the tea bag into the compost and headed back into the dark house, I’d had an idea for a poem which was probably a waste of time, so in that respect pretty appealing.

Squirrel, why are you stuck there like that?
What makes you go?

The phone rang- it was British Gas. ‘Hello, is Miss Hammond there?’
‘No’ I replied, ‘I haven’t seen her for ages’.

I hung up and went back to the poem but the mood was all broken. It was obviously time to start a blog.