Dynargh dhe'n Blogofrob

Tuesday 21st June 2005

Yesterday, stumbling through my morning routine, I reluctantly grasped the heavy curtains, to let daylight into the bedroom. Within a second the curtain rail had collapsed, the heavy fabric strewn across my bed, a riot of chintz and dust, the tall windows naked. Despite a slightly whiny email to the agents, when I arrived back from work the room was in the same sorry state. Pausing only to be pleasantly infuriated at the psychotic antics of greyhound lookalike Jayne Middlemiss on Celebrity Love Island, I started trying to work out how to cover the windows for the night. Anything to stop the unwelcome early morning sun waking me. There's also a high wattage floodlight fixed to an office directly opposite the flat, which blazes away all night.

Eventually, after rooting around in my laundry basket and raiding my pinboard for drawing pins, I hammered a bed sheet and duvet cover into the window frames, feeling a bit like Al Pacino in Insomnia (or Stellan Skarsgard for those of you with a more Scandinavian take on things). This morning, a boss-eyed maintenance man blundered into my bedroom (no knock on the front door, no phone call to warn me of this potentially terrifying intrusion) and told me he had come to fix the curtains. I left him to it, and just hope he wasn't a quick-witted burglar who had broken into the flat and, seeing the state of the curtains behind me as I challenged him, come up with the ideal explanation.

But I shouldn't be getting too precious about curtains and the other trappings of a comfortable bedroom, given that tomorrow morning I'm heading west to Glastonbury to spend almost 5 days in a tent. This morning I printed off the indispensable Glastonbury Clash Finder and, after a few minutes with an orange highlighter, worked out that this will be the most clash heavy festival to date. Friday is fairly clash free - only Willy Mason and The Killers compete for my simultaneous attention. On Saturday it all gets horribly heart-wrenching, with not just double clashes, but triple and even quadruple clashes rearing their Hydra-like heads. New Order, Kasabian or The Magic Numbers? Ash, The Futureheads, The Departure or Chas'n'Dave? Sunday is just as bad - particularly as night falls. The Clashfinder informs me that Primal Scream, Bright Eyes and Tori Amos are all playing at the same time. It's a toughie, but I've done a bit of detective work, and found a solution. At the same time Tori Amos is squirming awkwardly on her piano stool, over on the little known Tadpole Stage (not covered by the Clashfinder) Louise Rhodes will be continuing her post-Lamb career. There's no contest.

73 - posted at 07:06:37
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Wednesday 15th June 2005

Ah well, I suppose I had better post something, given that people have actually started to pick up on the absence of anything new here - although if you look carefully you'll see the films on the right change a bit and that there are a few new links fill to the interest vacuum at work. What you won't have noticed, even if you cared to look, is a steady change in the books I'm reading. I used to plough through a book in a few days but recently I've regressed to my pre-school speed. Granted, in those days, reading consisted of focussing on words printed on white card held up by my demanding parents. I stammered my way through "Backhand Volley", "Sainsbury's" and "Aga" terrified they would carry out their threat and leave me out for the wolves. I currently volunteer at a primary school, nudging 8 year olds through stories about child detectives or loveable pigs. Exposing them to the same threats isn't effective - in fact threats in general are redundant and I have to resort to bribery. The key is that by the time they've read the passage to me, they've forgotten that I've promised to draw them a picture of Harry Potter with his hair on fire or 50 Cent with his hair on fire or me with my hair on fire (etc etc).

It's taking me so long to get through books because I don't get a train or bus into work - I walk. As a result, getting into work, I don't have time where I can sit down (or more realistically bundle myself into the awkward gap between two other angry, sweaty commuters) and read. I've decided this has directly contributed to the fact that I find it harder than the 8 year olds to grasp that Darius the Pig is unhappy because his Master doesn't give him sugar lumps. As a result I have decided to move house.

So at last, maybe, I will have something vaguely interesting to blog about. Because, to be honest, since I got back from East Asia things haven't been particularly interesting in my world, and work seems to monopolise most of the time I dedicate to sitting in front of a computer. But now the rich experience of crudely painted-over rising damp and offensively inflated deposits beckons - like the gnarly finger of a brylcreemed estate agent at the door of a delightful basement flat (cellar) a short walk from the amenities of West Hampstead (there's no public transport, Kilburn).

I'll miss Clerkenwell - mainly for the food. There are some great restaurants on and around St John's Street, hairy fish peddlers nothwithstanding. It was Claire's birthday on Monday, and we went to the Clerkenwell Dining Room and Bar, where I ate tongue for the first time (not a euphemism - this was the tongue of a calf) a rather salty, and not particularly pleasant experience. Aside from that I recommend the place. Before I desert the area for good I hope to force Claire to join me at St John, the offal restaurant a bit further down the street, to see if I can find anything that beats silkworm pupae as the oddest thing I've ever (knowingly) eaten.

72 - posted at 13:23:54
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