Monday, 30 April 2012

Oh, all right then.


I don't like being told what to do much, especially by an illuminated sign in Bournmouth airport. It rather reminds me of that bit in Hitch hikers guide to the Galaxy when our heroes discover a plane full of people in suspended animation who are woken every 40 million years or so . . .'return to you seats, coffee and biscuits will be served, return to your seats . . .aaaahhhhhh!!!!!
RELAX, EAT and SHOP.
Suppose I'd rather get very tense, abstain from food and save money? Its my choice.
Perhaps if you are seen not to be doing at least one of these things they will call security, and make you wait outside in the rain. I did drink a paper cup of hot chocolate - which incidentally was made by Eddy Grant - didn't know he lived in Bournemouth. Then I looked at sunglasses until a shop assistant came and told me I looked nice in a pair which made me look like a deranged fly. I didn't relax as I had to keep looking at the board in case it said, 'put that f-ing sandwich down, and run very fast to gate seven.'

Schools out.


More like crushed and removed.
On my trip back to the mother rock I went up to my old school to swim in the gym's pool. I was grieved indeed to see my beloved lieu of learning as various, size-assorted piles of rubble.
Actually, I wasn't. The clutch of buildings had represented a fairly desperate example of early 1970's architecture.  I do have a few fond memories of my time there, such as gazing at Mr Bewley's handsome features in A level geography, hence my grade F.
It was also quite good fun roaring across the playground on my Puch grand prix moped - when it would start. And, Mr Hough, the art teacher was an inspiration, 'Crud' the headmaster - not.
I'd been glad when it was time to move on.
On the way back from the pool, (still operational) I took this small chunk of concrete from the site as a memento of those long-gone days.
A man wearing a plastic yellow hat came over and asked me what I was doing. I, in return asked him what he was doing and was going to happen to all the rubble that was passing through a most impressive crushing machine. He said it was going to be the base of the car park for the super new building. We stared at the craggy lump in my hand for a bit.
"I bet you can't identify which classroom it came from,"he said.
"Geography" I replied, and headed back to the car in the pissing rain.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Bistro hothouse


Ezra took over the kitchen the other day to make Mark a 'thank you meal'. I was allowed to join in too.
Above, an elegant roast and fresh tomato salad with a sauce of molasses and balsamic. Followed by salmon cooked in some hper-complicated way—and was worth it. Desert of raspberry and orange jelly. All fantastic.
As we couldn't afford the massive bill. we, in the time honoured fashion . . . did the washing up, which was copious. Fascinating watching your child growing and passing through the different ideas of what they might do . . . the food thing has been off and on and around for a very long time, helped by watching endless episodes of Gorden **** Ramsey shouting at people, and master chef. Well if we get nice dinners, I'm not complaining.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Praise the base.

Post for no great reason


Yesterday I met a philosophising tyre-sales man.
I showed him the balding front tyres of our filth-mobile, and said 'are these dead or nearly dead'. He said, 'we are all but close to death' and smiled serenely. He also didn't try and sell me any new ones on the spot, but said they would be all right for another month or so . . . this is unusual surely. I put it down to the end of the world myself.
I feel odd today: just had a haircut, I think she cut off some optimism strands with the hair. Good cut though.
I know I have blogged this before, but . .  . the words come back sometimes—on days like this.
My dear friend and partner on advertising nightmare photo shoots once mentioned how strange it is that one can experience so many moods in one day.
I slept badly, leaning heavily to the left imagining clinging to a scratchy hillside in the wind. Woke at 6.30 as the train passed, drank tea, wrote in bed with hot water bottle, did exercises—all good. Ate toast - good, cleared up, boring but life-affirming; hoed weeds, excellent.
Depressing but useful email arrived with regard to my current artistic endeavors. Day suddenly full of what is it all about questions leaping up and down like dog fleas. Sat in bed again as the wind was too cold to do things I had promised myself I would do. Started a difficult letter, then it was time to go to the hairdressers and confess the reason I have a chunk of hair missing above one ear was to do with saving money.
Now at home after dog walk and cake - a little better, but a certain hysteria seems to be hiding in the corners of the house. Yes, it's got me. Will have to post a very silly thing that makes me and Ezra laugh—thank you Nick!

Postcard shot


Mark took this in Paris. No words required really, perhaps, aaahh . . .

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Halfway house



Missed the first onslaught this morning, but it's all very exciting with the road closed and drivers ranting.
One old man standing next to me told me he lived in a house a couple of rows back; he looked rather tearful, or could have been the dust. Got told to sod off (In French) for walking around within the fenced off area. Fair enough but there's lots of free firewood I can't get at!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Important public announcement

Aw . . . the vid's been removed from youtube. Anyway, I've left the post.

Hello there,
inspired by a link of how to peel a potato in seconds via the Daily Mail sent to me by Penny, (I assume in irony . . .) I had a quick look for other vital time saving items on youtube. Thought this could help anyone planning a party event: I particularly like the slip of speech around the middle somewhere, and the use of the words 'feeding each other' - oddly creepy . . .
The newspaper also helpfully told me that I might spend two and a half months brushing my teeth in my life, or three years cooking. Makes one think . . . four months in the loo? four years in the loo? depending on your digestion; seven years queuing in the post office, if you happen to live in our town.
Just as well we don't actually have to lump whatever the activity is into one time slot. Imagine, having to sit in your bank manager's office for two months explaining why your account is out of control, or . . . a hangover that lasts for eight months, or eight years, again depending on your alcohol consumption . . . six years looking for your wallet/keys/dog/where you parked the car.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday


What better than a little stroll to your local demolition site. Suitably gloomy day too.
They said they weren't starting until tomorrow . . .about a third of the block has gone. This poor old house stands like a rotting tooth waiting for extraction.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Last requests.


I passed by the clutch of houses this morning, (see last post): there's a weird air of impending endness. Lorries are gathering, the roads are sectioned off, signs have been pasted on doors warning of asbestos.
I had a chat with another onlooker, like myself, curious to know when the deed was going to start.
The man knew: '8.00am Monday. End of the day . . . all done,' he said.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Remember us.



Opposite the hospital in Limoux is a whole block of houses about to be demolished.
Literally a whole block. A game of monopoly—sorry, you lost, I'll just sweep away all these little buildings.
Perhaps the mayor will show up in some weird reverse non-opening event—I declare these buildings to be well and truly . . . closed.
Most of the doors are standing open however: to let the last bit of fresh air in? spirits out? I had a good poke around in case I could find any last object from a previous occupant's life I could take with me - a vase, a teapot . . nothing really, just a dead bird, a dried rat, a bit of old net curtain.
Some of the houses have their shutters and windows open, straining wide like arms, a last desperate imploring—I was a good house, save me, someone could enjoy living here again.
Sorry I'm getting over emotional, BUT, there is something pitiful about the destruction of part of your town, especially when you have walked past the same row of houses almost every day for years, observing little details: the way someone put a little piece of corrugated plastic over a drain pipe to protect it from the elements, wires that served as clothes airers, a colour that someone chose for a door.
I shall document the destruction and watch the gleaming new car park or whatever it is rise from the dust.

Bees blossom birdsong



I think we might be in for a good fruit year. The cold probably killed of many bugs, and the blossom seems extra . . .what's the word, can't think of one, but the image of that woman in La Dolce Vita comes to mind.
What a beautiful time of year: to be woken by birds, once again to watch the leaf cutter bees making for the holes in our table as we eat on the terrace, and the mad Parma violet-pink of the Judas tree blossom adorning the front garden.
Today is grey and damp after yesterday's rain, much welcome after June-like end of March. We are proud owners of two more water butts. It was crazy to not harness water from the 'abri de jardin' roof, it's only taken five years to get round to it . . .

ça pique, aieee!!


Sad day at the hothouse.
Had to remove about half of all cactus material, after the intensively cold snap. The big stripy mama one seems to be hanging on (now 14 years old). Some of her offspring perished, along with a lot of prickly pear. I have souvenirs of these beasts in my hands; they have horrid little hairy spines that hang around long after the job has been done and surprise you by hiding in trouser turn ups or glove fingertips.
The Argave type merely lacerate your arms and gouge holes in your limbs, but I still love them. They were the first thing I remember about the house when we came to view it: Cuboid cream house with grey-green spiky guardians.