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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 April 2005
We were walking back from the pub in the dark of Saturday night, over the bridge that crosses the railway tracks. Earlier on Saturday, we’d taken the same route, and had heard children screaming and shouting, making that noise that children make. “Oh good,” He Who Only… had commented to me at the time, “they’ve released the children on to the tracks again.” “Excellent,” I’d responded in that way that I have, “they’ve got to do something to keep the numbers down around here.” You see, and I’ve mentioned this before I’m sure, along with being frankly over run by comedians around the Stoke Newington area, there are far too many people having children. A cull is apparently necessary before these tiny people take over completely, and setting them to play on the railway tracks like a modern day Jenny Agutter meets Battle Royale seems a sporting way of going about it. I’m new to London. Who am I to question their ways?

As I was saying, night time, train tracks. The surviving children had obviously camped down for the night, and there was as much silence as there ever can be in London. But as we crossed the bridge, some new screeching began. A sound like foxes and cats being dragged down a blackboard. How you’d imagine Jordan and the Andre sounded moments before the conception of their hell spawn. Horrific screeches. Unworldly. Echoing. Unnerving. Howling. I turned to He Who Only… and cocked an eyebrow in question. He informed me that the sound I was hearing was the sound of squirrels having sex.

Ladies, Gents, Moo: I’m now in my 29th year on God’s good and green (but mostly blue) earth. How is it possible I’ve never heard that sound before? London: every day is a new experience.

29 April 2005
A new fun thing y'all can do on airplanes to amuse and entertain yourself, while at the same time horrifying everyone sitting around you and making their flight as uncomfortable as possibe: Just after all the safety proceedures have been gone through, the air stewards have closed all the over head lockers, the lights have been switched off (if you're flying at night) and you're about to go zoom up the runway, you should grab a steward's attention by any means necessary and ask them for a sick bag.

Then sit back and watch as all around you become increasingly uncomfortable at the thought of being strapped into a small metal tube sitting right beside someone who's about to barf at any moment.

Makes the whole wanting-to-vomit thing seem worthwhile. Honest it does.

I didn't throw up in the end, it has to be said. I waited until landing, because I'm very polite and ladylike, and have a surprising control over my gag reflex.

Today so far has been spent having some really surreal dreams (brought on by my anti-nausea tablets) involving armies of female jack russel puppies trained to obey my every command, and having my hand bitten off by a giant lizard, and then coming to Oxford Street for absolutely no reason other than the fact that I couldn't think of anywhere else to go and HMV seemed a good idea at the time.

London was sunny and hot earlier. Now it's not so sunny but still hot. I might go somewhere there aren't so many people for a while.

Later on tonight my boyfriend is taking me up the eye.

28 April 2005
I'm flying tonight. Ryanair. I'm not sure which flight, so please say a constant prayer between 9 o'clock and 11 o'clock of the PM that all flights to and from Dublin airport are (a) on time, (b) safe, (c) peaceful, (d) half empty, (e) filled with quiet people, (f) child-free, (g) giving away free chocolate and valium and chocolate flavoured valium-vodka and (h) fun.

Very many thanks to you all.

27 April 2005
I've been awake since SEVEN O'CLOCK THIS MORNING. That might not sound like a big deal to you but it's a HUGE deal to me. Anyone that's met me just after I've woken up - particularly those meeting me for the very first time just after I've woken up (and that happens more than you'd expect it to) - knows that just after I've woken up isn't the best time to meet me. As He Who Only... so tactfully put it last night, first thing in the morning finds me "not happy".

Although this morning? I was happy. Chipper, in fact. I think it was the shock. Mornings are weird, cos I've not seen them for some time, except for those occasions where I'm catching planes and they're stressful for a whole hulk of other reasons to do with planes and flying and suitcases and airports and other people speaking to me and expecting me to respond. But this morning, all sunshine and coffee on the boardwalk in Dublin overlooking the Liffey with Little Sister Edel and walking through Stephens Green in the opposite direction to all the office workers and even shopping - shopping! - at nine in the morning when there's NO ONE ELSE IN THE SHOP and the shop workers are all still cheerful. Mornings are cool. Especially when you know you can go back to bed for a bit and still be up in time for work. My life rocks.

So that y'all can be as happy as I am, why not go look at the movie trailor for the best Big Damn Movie ever made (and yet to be released)? It's Serenity, you morons. Try to keep up. Movie trailor here. Trailor based discussion here. Join the browncoats here. Honestly, if you don't get as excited as I am about this (and it's not just me - Anna's excited as well, and I'm starting to see that she's one of the most right thinking people on the planet) then you don't have a soul. Bad soul-less you.


can't stop the signal

26 April 2005
This post might get me in to trouble with some of my friends and family who read this blog that work for various different charities - my friends and family are very good, giving, charitable people who take the promises of the Bible about getting in to heaven if you help the needy a bit too literally - so before you read any further please go to The Dublin Simon Community and UNICEF and give them some money (but not all of your money, because you'll need to give a little more in a minute, please see below for further information, many thanks).

Richard Keith Herring is going to the Edinburgh Festival this year with a show called "Someone Likes Yoghurt". He's also producing a programme to go with the show. All of the funds for the sale of this programme will go directly to SCOPE, which is a good charity and one that should get your full support, like all other charities, particularly those mentioned above.

Thing is, Richard Keith doesn't have any sponsors to help produce this programme, and so he's asking for help and sponsorship. If you go here, you can donate around £10 (or more, if you're feeling particularly flush or in need of extra brownie points with Jesus after laughing so much about the Pope dying and that). In exchange, Richard Keith will print your name in the programme so that it will be there FOREVER and you will go down in history as someone who once donated some money to charity. You might also win some prizes including old posters of Richard Keith and his ex-boyfriend Stewart Graham Lee, old scripts for telly shows or old scripts for radio shows. You'll also get your own personal signed copy of the programme when it's produced.

Sound like a good deal? It should do, because it is a good deal. More detailed information is available here. Now, go donate, and quickly, before the baby Jesus starts crying again and then God will be cross and smite you down. Because a sleep-deprived God is a vengeful God.

25 April 2005
The quitting of my job went very well, in that I quit last Wednesday, but my boss man only came back from holidays today, and so he’s had the whole weekend and most of last week to get used to my ridiculously irrational and rash decision to leave the work place. He talked to me in the kitchen this evening as I sat eating my soup, and seemed quite resigned to the idea. He’s a nice man. I’m going to miss having a nice boss who may or may not fancy me a little bit and allow me to get away with murder. They’re hard to come by.

So, since I’ve outed myself to my boss, I have sent out an email tonight to everyone in Dublin that I know and love and also have a current email address for, I might as well out myself to the blogging community, because there’s a lot of things I want to blog about over the coming month that won’t make much sense without the giving of the context. Thusly, the following news is importantly delivered. Please read aloud in important and sombre tone.

Dear Kindly Reader(s),

You might or might not know – but you’ll know just as soon as you finish reading this sentence – that I’m moving to London at the end of May. This ridiculous decision has been made lightly and without proper care, thought and attention, and it’s one that I hope will come back to haunt me in future years. To that end, I’m giving y’all more or less four week’s notice with which you can do what the hecking crap you like. If you’re in Dublin or the surrounding areas, I’d advise you to use this notice period to get back in touch with me, go out in or around Dublin or the surrounding areas for one last time with me, give me all those presents and bits of hard earned cash you’ve been meaning to hand over for quite some time, or simply just ignore this whole embarrassing business and hope that I leave sooner rather than later.

If you’re in London, please begin making arrangements to make me feel useful and welcomed with open arms. Baking cakes is optional, but I do insist on being met at the airport in the manner of sporting team returning home victoriously from some sort of international competition. Balloons, red carpets, silly string, that sort of thing.

If you’re someone I’ve met in person in the last five years, found that we got on and would like an opportunity to visit a vast expensive city knee deep in pollution and murder statistics, please treat this as an open invitation to come visit me in London once I’ve found somewhere to live and a job to leave it for every day at the crack of dawn. I’d love you to come over, because I’m determined to be terribly lonely and homesick just as soon as I land.

There now. That’s all my news for the day.

24 April 2005
Who saw Dr Who last night? Who thought it was brilliant? Who cheered when the Dalek trailor started? Who's more excited than anyone else about the fact that our lord and saviour Eccleston is [highlight text if you want to read the spoiler] going to be tied to a cross in next week's episode?!

Me and Bobby watched Dr Who last night. We both thought it was brilliant. Bobby liked it when the Dr called Mickey "Mickey the idiot". I liked the joke about the port. Me and Bobby are both looking forward to next week's episode which includes a scene that the Daily Mail refers to as "sado-masochistic style torture". Me and Bobby both cheered when the Dalek appeared.

[Click here to read the Daily Mail outrage - warning, contains phrases like "inappropriate sexual language" and pleads for someone to think of the poor children]

[Also here is a spoiler-free review of next week's episode telling you in great detail why you should watch it cos it's brilliant.]

[Finally, here for hours of fun. Why not launch bombs at 10 Downing Street? Secure password - buffalo. Two "f"s, one "l".]

[And! Also! As well! If you put in the password "bison" you get to read the secret forum about government cover ups of alien invasions and that. Thanks to Mickey at Who Is Doctor Who.]

22 April 2005
My lesson for the day (in which I extol the virtues of being an over achiever and chronic worrier):

This morning - about ten minutes ago, in fact - I sat down, pen and paper poised and ready, to watch one of the many videotapes provided by the Open University for my combined entertainment and education. These videos are used to give us a break from all that darned reading we have to do, but are also kinda vital information wise for when we do those essay whatsits I'm constantly harping on about to the detriment of my mental and physical well being.

I've two more essays due round the same time, and so I thought I'd be a good sainted angel type lady and get ahead with the old study, due to me being insane and panicking because there's still a month and a half to go to said essay deadline, and for God's sake, what am I worrying about? I wasn't like this on my last two courses - on those courses, I'd do the essay the week before the deadline and then skip around Leith for the rest of the month feeling smug at my natural and unquestionable genius.

However. Child Development and Biological Psychology are both a lot more difficult than I thought they'd be, and I need all the extra time I can get. Cut to me sitting, all happy in my study clothes, cat beside me under the duvet, large cup of tea in hand. I press play on the video, which deals with the topic of Attachment Theory, something I'm planning to write 2,000 words on some time next week, and the worst happens.

The video. Starts shooting. Out sparks.

Sparks, people. Imagine that. I'm expecting Andrew Sachs' soothing voice over and some pictures of children painting in pre-school, and I get sparks. The cat runs screaming from under the duvet. I leap across the try to save the player. Video player saved, I do what any right thinking OU student should do - I ring the lovely, lovely ladies in the Belfast help centre.

The lovely, lovely lady at the dispatch desk has already put the replacement video in the post. Already. It's only been 10 minutes since said sparks, and there's a replacement coming already. I heart the Open University and the legions of lovely ladies that make it possible. Oh, I'm sure there are menfolk too that help out, all of whom wear dungarees and beards and have labradors and spend the weekend gardening and taking tea with their mothers, but it's the lovely, lovely ladies that always come to my rescue.

The moral of today's story is the fact that, last year, I'd've been sitting down to watch this vital piece of course work the day before the essay was due, and then it would have been too late. But this year, since my worrying streak has grown tenfold, I'll have said videotape in time to write stunning essay of great worth, and will eventually make my millions as genius psychologist to the stars, thus not having to work more than one day a month and being very rich with ponies and castles and boats.

Happy Friday to you all.

20 April 2005
Ah, birthday drinks in the middle of the week. There is nothing more civilised with the potential to spiral completely out of control. The threat of imminent danger hanging over each of our heads last night was actually palpable. One of the valued guests even ordered and ate mushrooms before succumbing to the fear and scarpered without paying. I admire her budgeting spirit. I myself stole and drank a birthday drink belonging to Little Sister Edel due to budget restrictions last night, but I was saving her from herself, and throwing myself in front of the danger with reckless abandon. I only hope that one day she'll understand what I went through.

Little Sister Edel had adopted a new form of greeting yesterday. Instead of a wave or a hello or a hug or a smile, she stood on two straight legs and thrust two straight arms at people, palms up, ready to accept whatever gift they came to bestow. This never got old. Neither did her habit of sitting in quiet moments and singing to herself "happy birthday to me... happy birthday to me..." over and over again. Little Sister Louise had entirely more dignity. At least she did up until around 11pm. After that things get a little more wobbly and blurred.

At one time, I went outside the pub to join my brother and sisters and honorary family member Moo while they were smoking their fags. (I don't smoke, I didn't smoke, don't panic) We were stood as one around lovely Hutch who had just arrived and having a group bonding session as only family members can, in that we were repeatedly telling each other that they were ugly. A man came long who congratulated Moo on her hair - rightly so, because Moo has tremendously great hair - and I realised with a frightening lurch of the stomach that this man was one of those men who comes to pubs on his own and talks to people he doesn't know for. Hours. On. End.

Little Sister Edel obviously already knew this. The moment the man began speaking, she got a look of theatrical horror on her face, as if she'd left the oven on and all the children were sat inside it. She went "Oh!" out loud - seriously, she actually did this - and then dashed back in to the pub. Myself and Moo exchanged glances. That exit would be hard to beat.

Brother Derek saved on the theatricals, and went for one better. He just said "I'd better go and see what's wrong" with stilted delivery that would put a Tuesday night am dram production to shame, and wandered off. Now we were three, versus a pub bore.

Moo looked at me. I looked at Moo. Hutch was engaged in conversation with Pub Bore. Moo looked at the ground beside Hutch. Moo grinned up at me, grabbed gift that Hutch had brought with her, and declared loudly and triumphantly "I'd better bring this in to Edel!" I tried to wrestle Moo to the ground, but she had made her escape. Damn Moo. Damn Moo to hell and back.

Now we were two.

Hutch seemed innocent to our terrible dilemma, but then I realised I had hit on a jackpot. I said to Hutch, cutting right across the conversation she was having with Pub Bore - "Do you still smoke?" "No," Hutch replied, "I gave up about six months ago!" "Well then," I responded, "I gave up three weeks ago."

This is when the going got good, as I uttered the completely ridiculous last line: "We'd better go back inside then, in case we accidentally start smoking again."

And with that, we did.

19 April 2005
Blogging: The New Porn.

I got a text message yesterday morning from lovely Moo, who told me with palpable despair that came flooding through the phone line that she could not longer access my blog at work because it was deemed pornographic by her work firewall. I laughed, and got back in to bed, because that's the kind of day it was yesterday. But last night at work I found that my laughter had come back to karmically bite me on the ass: my workplace too found my blog too porny, and I'm no longer able to read it or your very kind comments at all during work hours. What a big fat rambling shame of a thing. It's probably for the best though.

Long term readers of this blog - and by that, I think I'm only referring to He Who Only... because I think he wins the lifetime achievement award for reading this for far too long - will know that it's a tradition for me to constantly find quite good jobs and then jack them in for wildly over ambitious plans that somehow work out for the best. Such is my life. Well, some time this week - when the mood takes me, I think - I'm going to be quitting my lovely Ridiculous Job. I'm dreading this, because I think my boss might fall over dead. The girls in the office already refer to me as his girlfriend, because he seems to adore the fact that I'm willing to work stupid hours and run about with a grin on my face all day. I'm so afraid he'll cry. I'll probably blog it the moment it's done.

Finally, could everyone please wish Little Sister Edel and Little Sister Louise happy birthdays? Because it's their birthday, and they'll cry if they want to. You would cry too if it happened to you. Little Sister Louise once told me that the first thing she did on coming across my blog for the first time about six months ago was to look through the archives for mentions of her birthday. I've apparently never once mentioned their birthday in the last three Aprils I've been writing this. Sorry, Little Sister Louise. Hope this makes up for it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, THE TWINS!

14 April 2005
Woa there now! Don't all rush in at once! There's room enough for everyone to comment. Or indeed anyone. Anyone at all. Anyone?

Hello?

Anyway. Today has been a good day, in that when I got the bus to work this morning, who should be standing at my bus stop devouring her cigarette as if it was the tastiest thing she'd had in her mouth all week (and by the state of her hair, it might well have been - I'm not saying she looked all shagged out but... well, she looked all shagged out) - it was Huskey Lady!

Still resplendent in her huskey jacket. I was more than pleased. I actually had to fight the urge to walk up to her and shake her hand. She feels like a famous in my head now. I managed to remain completely sane in appearance, and restricted myself to texting a couple of people to let them know of the new spotting. They really didn't seem all that bothered. I can't understand why.

13 April 2005
The more perceptible of you might have noticed there’s a new table on the right hand side of the page. This is for things that people have said about this blog: the most self indulgent thing I’ve done yet. Please, if you know of any comments made about this pile of dreadful nonsense, then let me know via the email address above.

This is also an invitation for y’all to submit your reviewing soundbites / pearls of wisdom for future display in my review section. Say what the heck you like, either in the comments below or via my gmail address. But sign your name, and add a link if you’re lucky enough to have a website. Almost all comments will be considered.

12 April 2005
I was standing at the side of Dame Street, waiting to cross the road. It had been a good journey to work: I'd left the house on time, I'd got the Luas, I'd annoyed an old lady, I'd made important decisions, I was beginning to work on an extensive shopping list in my head of new things that I "needed" and a secondary list of justifications for all of these new "necessary" things. Life, in short, was yay.

There was one tiny doubt niggling at the back of my mind though, not a huge worry at all, but something that was itching away at my barely-subconscious. Like having a stone in your shoe, or a pea underneath your twelve mattresses. Just a minor irritation. Like a sibling that won't shut up. But it was spoiling my fun times and distracting me from my shopping list.

So I engaged my usual mode of difficult decision making, one engaged I'm reliably informed by the late Pope: I left it in the hand of the Gods. Or in the hands of God. Whatever you prefer. I like to think of a great big committee of people sitting on clouds with nothing better to do than to make decisions for me, because I'm too lazy or distracted to make them myself.

Once I've offered my conundrum up to those valiant deities, all there is left for me to do is wander about looking for a sign. Because this is a system entirely of my own making, the sign can be just about anything at all. Usually, it's song lyrics heard on a radio or overheard conversations that seem to speak directly to the problem at hand, but quite often it can be something entirely other.

Today’s sign came almost immediately, and was just - in the grinning words of the super new Dr Who, who you should rightfully worship and adore - fantastic. There I was, standing at the side of Dame Street, waiting to cross the road with joy in my heart at the recent irritation of the elderly. The lights had just changed from “pedestrians walk” to “take your life in your own hands”, and I’d decided to lean back and wait for the next round.

A bus pulled up. The bus stopped. The bus started indicating to turn the corner on to George’s Street. I looked at the traffic lining up beside the bus. I looked up at the bus. I caught the eye of the cute scruffy guy sitting almost directly in front of me on the bus. Said cute scruffy guy looked back. Said cute scruffy guy took off his too-cool-for-school sunglasses, winked at me, waved in the most effeminate way imaginable, replaced said sunglasses, looked forward straight faced as if nothing had happened. I burst out laughing very very loudly. Said cute scruffy guy looked back at me, grinned, winked (from behind sunglasses) and bus went round corner.

All with impeccable timing.

I take this as a sign that the Gods are pleased with my decision.

10 April 2005
This weekend in numbers:

Essays written and printed out: 2.
Words written: 1,576 and 1,851.
Cigarettes smoked: 0.
Hangovers: 1.
Times walked dogs: 2.
Times walked in to room for no reason and then walked out again: 11.
Cups of tea: 28.
Hours spent staring at computer screen, wishing to die: 7.
Number of times wished never taken on Open University courses: 1,000.
Hours spent watching new "I Am Kloot" video starring Dr Who: 2.
Web questionnaires completed to kill time: 1.
Hours spent day dreaming above moving to London: 5.
Text messages sent: 345.

09 April 2005
We walked in to the club after paying our ridiculous entrance fee of €8, just so that we could drink beer and dance to music we’d drink beer and dance to in our own homes. This place is the place that plays our combined CD collections, and plays them loud with a dance floor that’s usually covered in glass. The place was very crowded, and it seemed to my beery eyes to be wall to wall boys, scruffy boys with unkempt hair and sloganed t-shirts, the kind of boys who lean in closer while you’re trying to walk past and who think that “hey” is both a word and a chat up line. I was still wearing my coat and carrying my bag, and everyone seemed to be standing very closely together, and it was darker than it needed to be. Little Sister Edel and Hutch walked ahead of me, pushing through the crowd and leaving a definite pathway through which I could walk without being horrible molested.

We got to the steps that lead down to the dance floor, and the three of us spotted them as one: Mr and Mrs Moo standing by the side, drinking their drinks and grinning back up at us. We jumped down the stairs and everyone flung arms around everyone else. Right then, I realised I was a little more drunk than previously imagined.

I hugged Moo and she hugged me back, and then, placing her hands on my shoulders and holding me out at arms length, she looked me right in the eye and asked, “Did you see my comment?”

“Yes,” I responded, because I had seen her comment and wanted to let her know.

“It’s Friday!” she continued, as if that was the most important day in the world, and maybe it was. How could I be sure? I was terribly drunk, and too hot in my coat and I had a heavy bag on my shoulder, but who cared, because we were all here and we were all together. “You haven’t blogged since Tuesday!” she yelled, above the noise of the crowd and loud music that was played at the discos we used to go to together in University, me and Moo and Hutch and Little Sister Edel, who were all now together again once more.

I returned Moo’s gaze as steadily as I could and made my promise, a promise that at that time, moment and place I meant with all my heart. “I’ll blog about this,” I declared, and by Lord I meant it.

“I’ll blog about right now.”

05 April 2005
It'll be my two week anniversary tomorrow, two weeks since I gave up smoking for no particularly good reason other than the whole you-die-a-horrible-death thing. Didn't think I could be bothered to last a day, let alone two weeks, so it's all going fabulously better than expected. Although. The cigarette fairies are starting to play tricks on me now.

I got on the bus to work this afternoon, sat down happily upstairs, surrounded totally inexplicably by a massive group of Russian students who all got off at Stillorgan and just stood at the bus stop until we left, every last one of them gazing in to the middle distance and standing almost stock still. I don't know where they were going, and none of them seemed to know either. When they got off the bus, I moved in towards the wall, so as to put my bags on the seat beside me and block off any unhygenic UCD students from sharing my bus space. And there, sitting happily on the seat, and waving at me with their happy nicotine hands, was a full - FULL- packet of Russian Marlboro Lights.

Russian ones. Covered in exotic Russian writing and filled with their lovely tasty Russian tar, tobacco, wood scrapings, noxious poisons and of course lovely lady nicotine. Every smoker knows that foreign fags are the greatest things in the world. This is because (a) they're white-tipped rather than brown-tipped, leaving you all fancy like the smokers in 1940s films about crazy killer women and men who mutter and don't move their heads much; (b) the writing is indecipherable, which means that they won't kill you or do you any harm whatsoever (this is based on the same rule as "if you can't see it, it's not actually there"); and (c) they taste all funny and are loosely rolled and are just generally better all round.

And even more than all of that - they were free. Free. I'd not bought them. No one would know I had them. I could smoke them on the sly, lie to all my friends and family, have lovely secret smokes - because the only thing better than foreign smoking is secret smoking. No cigarette is better than the cigarette you have on the sly when no one is looking, it's so darned naughty.

And do you know what I did? I didn't take the moral high ground and reject the fags outright. I didn't break them all up then and there on the bus, yelling loudly about how I was saving myself and all others from their evil poison. I didn't sneak them in to my bag, and smoke every last one, one after the other, while standing in the middle of Temple Bar and weeping. I didn't put them carefully in my pocket to bring them home, put them in the drawer of my desk and leave them there to lurk until finally the temptation became too much and I'd crack and smoke them out the bedroom window, feeling giddy and alive and slightly nauseated. No.

What I did was, I forgot they were there and got off the bus, leaving them on the seat right where I found them.

I'd like to think that this was a decision I made on some level, that I've decided that this giving up smoking lark is really for me, and it's all going so well that I passed up free fags and everything, but honestly, I simply forgot they were there before coming to any solid decision.

My memory problems may yet one day save my life.

04 April 2005
I had another clear out of my wardrobe tonight, because I put on my "skinny jeans", the jeans I haven't been able to fit in since first year at University, but held on to for the perverse reason that one day it may well be possible that I'd fit in to them again, and they were my very favourite jeans ever and... they don't fit. They're TOO BIG. They're hideously large, in fact. Hanging off me. They look like clown trousers. I should have been doing a happy dance - I'm skinnier than my skinny jeans, for God's sake. But this made me sad.

I'm so very very bad at throwing things out. I'm doing it a bit at a time. All the icky clothes I've held on to for various reasons over the years, that have been sitting in Dublin waiting for my return, lurking like ghosts of wardrobes past. I have one of those brains that immediately imprints situations and emotions on inanimate objects, meaning things are drenched and stained with associations, and to throw them away feels to me like I'm throwing away that moment, that memory. It's ridiculous. It has to stop.

So tonight, among many other bits and bobs, I threw away the following: my skinny jeans, in which I kissed the only boy I kissed in first year of University (yes, Moo, I mean Richard. Shut up.); the shirt I was wearing when I got my tattoo last summer; the top from Bennetton I bought with my first paycheque from the first proper job I got after leaving University; the blue shirt I used to wear to work in Edinburgh on the days I woke up and felt like crying; the hospital scrubs I wore for an entire Girl Guide camp, and also wore every time I helped anyone redecorate.

(In fact, the only thing to survive the cull is the pink t-shirt I was wearing the first time I kissed He Who Only... I don't like that t-shirt, it's rubbish and has a picture of a cat with a bow on it's head, but I can't quite bring myself to chuck it. Not just yet.)

I was tempted just to move all that stuff to the spare room, let it lurk in the wardrobe there for a while, see if I noticed the difference, or the memories started to magically fade, like Michael J Fox's hand in Back To The Future, and then I could run in and rescue them, and it'd all be fine. But then I realised that's a sign of mental illness, and so they're all in an orange bag in the hallway waiting to be picked up by charidee. Yes, even the paint splattered hospital scrubs. Someone will love them, I'm sure.

02 April 2005
It's Saturday. It's sunny. There's less than four hours to the second Dr Who. How to pass the time? Clean the bathroom from top to bottom? Annoy the jack russells? Throw away old clothes? Wait for the Pope to die? Ramble around the internet like a mad lady avoiding her OU essay? Yes. That's exactly how to pass the time.

I may very well be the last person on the internet to have become aware of this - apparently it's been doing the rounds forever, but has increased in popularity since their telly show started in America a couple of weeks ago. But here, for your viewing pleasure, is David Armand of the Hollow Men doing a bit of Torn.

When we first saw this at the Edinburgh Festival in 2000 (I think), we decided to name our comedy website after their Edinburgh show Live At The Lounge. When David reached the "...there's just so many things..." line of the song, I used to fall over.

It's just a blind shame the whole song isn't included.