Thursday, June 26, 2003
"Please don't encourage me to open my mouth. Bad things might happen. Bad, bad things."Woke up this morning and realised
1) Woman of Wales, newly returned to the British Isles from her sojourn aborad in Italy, was alseep next to me
2) I was still drunk
3) my alarm setting had wiped itself in the powercut yesterday and therefore hadn't gone off
4) I was late for work
I am now at work and I am
1) not drunk any more
2) not doing any work
3) drinking bright yellow lemon flavoured Resolve
4) trying not to be sick
We had a barbecue at work last night to celebrate the work of our volunteers. It was great sitting in the sun, having drinks and basically relaxing together. I was due to go to a birthday dinner later and so determinedly did not eat anything. And I don't like beer so there was a bottle of wine for me, which I enjoyed almost entirely on my own. Then the event was wrapped up and I had just under an hour to kill before the next event so ended up sitting in The Chilean's kitchen, sharing a beer and watching the opening of Big Trouble in Little China, him packing for Glastonbury and me putting on my make-up. Then I was off to BlahBlahBlah for a gorgeous meal with gorgeous people, none more gorgeous than the birthday girl herself. Was quite entranced by the young man sitting next to me - he looked exactly like Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and fronts a rock band. I've somehow committed myself to seeing him play his next gig, which for the life of me I cannot remember where, or when, though I will endeavour to be there. How very Velvet Goldmine of the both of us.
And then it was back to our flat with the Woman of Wales to stay up far too late chatting and catching up. All of which explains the green and wobbly state I'm in now. And... ohmygodit'snotevenlunchtimeyet. ::sobs::
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
"Sheikh Rattles Royals"A picture caption gem from Metro, yesterday, accompanying reports on the "comedy terrorist" intruder at Prince William's birthday bash. I don't think he's funny but I can see already that that is of little importance in a career based on embarrassing, harrassing and intruding on people, some who deserve it and some who don't. All it takes is courage (of a sort), a lot of cheek and two strategically placed false beards. Hurrah for the Edinburgh festival (or not).
I'm reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix whenever I can gather the strength to lift the damn thing - it is a rather large and heavy edition. Though excited, I'm not tearing through it as I did with the others, perhaps because of the weight and bulk of the book which prohibits carrying it around with me, but also perhaps because of fanfiction. I am an unabashed follower of fanfiction, especially Harry Potter fanfiction, and yes, especially slash fanfiction and I've read a lot of it, some very very good and some extraordinarily bad, between the release of the "real" books. Two particular fanfictions have kept me hooked as powerfully as the "real" or canon books and have actually started to confuse my reading. The characters from the fanfiction are proving more familiar than the ones in canon, and at the moment, more appealing: Order of the Phoenix is *so* much more serious and dark than the previous books with a lot of brooding, blood, bad temper and other things beginning with B. It's growing up as well as growing on me but there are some teeth-grindingly shite moments of petty schoolyard rivalries and the usual saccharine school story stuff juxtaposed with moments of very definitely grown-up terror, forboding and apocalypse. This fifth book in the Potter universe is clearly bridging that tricky moment when things go from bad to worse, from kid to adolescent, from confines of the school to end of the world as we know it... and it is certainly tricky reading. More ranting / reviewing to come...
In other news, last night Life is Beautiful for the first time. The numerous tall, skinny, pale and sensitive boys I knew at university all raved about it when it was first released and their glowing tear-filled eyes (always brimming over with poetry and pain... always. Gosh, I miss those boys...) and I've only got round to watching it now. It deserved all the awards it got - it is a truly remarkable film, and so utterly winsome without trying. Charming, funny, subtle yet overwhelming at times, I can't believe it took me so long to rent it and watch it. Go view; go view again if you've seen it already.
In other news I've rediscovered the joy of reading. At the moment, Flatmate B is hard at her books for the next set of exams in her medical career and Flatmate A is hard at her books as she is writing more reviews for the Observer. And me? I'm pissing them both off by coming home from work and lying on the sofa with the TV on, my dinner simmering away on the stove, gin and tonic sloshing about and books piled up aroudn me for my reading for pleasure. No deadlines, no note-taking, no looming exam or essay... I looked forward to the time I could read for pleasure all the way through three years of uni and one year of post-grad and play-writing/reading madness, and I am now enjoying that much longed for time. Recently, I've read:
Some of Tennyson's poetry
The Sandman: World's End
The Dreaming: Beyond the Shores of Night
The Talented Mr Ripley
Moab is My Washpot - Stephen Fry's autobiography
I've just started Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixand Carry on Jeeves.
I've not read any Wodehouse before and am really looking forward to discovering the Jeeves and Wooster universe, full as it is of comic misunderstandings, tea on the lawn and aristocratic silly twits. Rah. Tally-ho!
What are YOU reading? Tell me...
Friday, June 20, 2003
"... [chews]..."112 hours without smoking. And amazingly: 0 temper tantrums, 0 anxiety attacks, 0 moments when I wanted to fling myself against a brick wall for the love of a cigarette... Much to the amazement of everyone including and especially myself, I've been leaping out of bed, bright-eyed and feeling fabulous and doing yoga in the evenings, sleeping like a log at night and cooking and eating very sensibly. I've been smoking for (wait for it... ) seven years and in all that time, I've not managed to go without for any prolonged period of time. Seven years of not even considering breaking away from it all, seven years without even making an effort to try. Well...I'm trying now. It's still a novelty, so I'm sticking to it, and enjoying NOT smoking.
The gum works a treat, btw. I hadn't realised how much I had cut down in my smoking until I invested in a box of the lowest strength nicotine gum... and found myself tripped off my nuts after two pieces. It is very curious stuff, powerful and quite repellent - I only chew it now when I really need a hit, so can probably come off the gum soon too. And then I will be a non-smoker. How very... extraordinary.
Would I be evil and wrong and defeatist if I crack and have one on a Friday night in the pub? Just one? Or would it be a sensible and fair way to learn how to live as a non-smoker who gets tempted like anyone else at times and otherwise has no interest in the filthy habit?
Either way, life is indeed changing. Oh yes. Updates to come...
Tuesday, June 17, 2003
"I'm back!"Yep. And experiencing a surprisingly even 50-50 split between being glad to be back and wishing I was still in France. I'm browner, fatter and happier than I have been for a while. And I will show you all pictures very soon. Of course, I would like to still be by the pool, digesting yet another lunch of crepes and cider as the sun bathes me in its benevolent, nourishing light. And of course, I would love to be with my sister, basking in the glow of her nuptials. But then again, certain things appeal about being back here. My god, I lived a week without The Guardian, my computer, the internet and PG Tips, and I lived to tell you all in this posting. However, I did *not* manage to live without cigarettes - yes, yes, the nicotine gum plan went tits-up within seconds of getting into my little chalet in the French countryside and remained in the mammaries pointing norht position until Sunday of my return. But it was a wedding, a French wedding, my sister's French wedding at which it was impossible to not smoke - it's a national pastime for Christ sake, as is eating cheese and drinking wine... ugh... no more cheese for me, thanks... so now I am back, I'm on the gum again. Over 24 hours now...
The first thing I did when I got back into London was to call up my darling August Dangerlove and demand something that I definitely could not get in France. I knew exactly what i wnated from him and, I am pleased to say, I got it. I got it goooooood. However, if my imagination ever starts to flag and I find myself at a loss as to what to demand of him next both orally and aurally, this will prove invaluable. As will this little piece of animated joy, especially when the darkness descends upon me and my soul goes down the hole to the pit where my heart has gone to die.
Gosh, I had fun while I was away. But its good to be back. Huzzah!
Saturday, June 07, 2003
"I'm off!"Back in a week: I'm off to France for wedding goodness, hopefully some sun, some swimming, some good food and wine... and a hell of a lot of nicotine gum. I've got a box of 105 pieces of the stuff. Let's see if they become My Next Big Thing. Or the Next Hurdle at Which I Fall. Updates to come, and no doubt lots of photos, lots of temper tantrums and cold sweats, shaking hands, and mild forms of withdrawal mania...
Monday, June 02, 2003
"As if we were still twenty-two..."
It was your birthday, we had drunk and dined
Half of the night with our old friend
Who'd showed us in the end
To a bed I reached in one drunk stride.
Already I lay snug,
And drowsy with the wine dozed on one side.
I dozed, I slept. My sleep broke on a hug,
Suddenly, from behind,
In which the full lengths of our bodies pressed:
Your instep to my heel,
My shoulder-blades against your chest.
It was not sex, but I could feel
The whole strength of your body set,
Or braced, to mine,
And locking me to you
As if we were still twenty-two
When our grand passion had not yet
My quick sleep had deleted all
Of intervening time and place.
I only knew
The stay of your secure firm dry embrace.
-- Thom Gunn, The Hug
Some Thom Gunn to mark the appearance of some birthday photos here. And Happy Birthday to James, with whom we celebrated his 23rd year on Saturday, in traditional "tearing up the streets" style. Ah, aren't bithdays great? Wazzo times, my friends, full of delightful norks. Brill!