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Dreadful Nonsense

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

Raise your glasses high...

26 March 2008
Whipping through my photo archives, I've taken a lot of photos of pub interiors in my time. They are shadowed only by photos of (a) pints of beer; (b) He Who Only... looking a bit bored; (c) pictures of myself in mirrors in public toilets when I've been drinking that never look good the next morning; and (d) photos of graffiti.

All of the below are various pubs in the locality. I like them all, for a variety of different reasons. But I am not going to talk about them at all. Instead, I am going to tell you the tale of what happened to me almost a week to the day.

The morning started off well, in that I got out of bed in time, managed not to immediately burst into hot, angry tears at the thought of yet another tedious fucking day alive and breathing and having to go to work, think about money, contemplate my future, do some more study, contemplate my own navel and also answer someone else's phone calls for seven and a half hours a day. No, that morning I even managed to sing along to Dusty Springfield in the shower and raise half a smile at poor He Who Only... who has become accustomed to having to hide under the duvet for fear of missiles flying on his head most mornings. He was even brave enough to declare that today would be a good day and that "nothing bad would happen". We've had some bad days recently, you see, and it seemed like we deserved a better day, and why wouldn't it be today? It surely must be today.

I decided against wearing my brand new boots, because I've not quite got the hang of walking in them yet and by the end of the day I'm walking like someone with two ankles on each foot, and a right dose of rickets. I decided instead on my runners that have stars on them, which look like something Avril Lavigne would wear (and secretly that's why I like them). I left in good time to catch the train in, and had plans to pop into the New Look to buy something cheap and made by 6 year olds in sweat shops on the way to work to cheer up my miserable life.

So that's where my mind was at just after 8.15am when I crossed the road across from the train station that I have been crossing for over two years now, and the next thing I knew, I was thinking to myself "Oh, I seem to be falling" and then I fell and kept falling for what felt like about five long, falling minutes.

I cannot tell you in words the pain in my knee. I cannot describe for you the feeling of my knee. I can't explain to you anything at all about my knee, other than the fact that I had really, really hurt my knee and now the world needs to end because dear God, the feeling in my knee is too much. It really hurt, is what I'm saying.

But not as much as the pain in my hand. Oh, the pain in my hand. And there was blood and bleeding and the pain in my hand and my knee, and I can't even stand up. I can't even stand up, so now I'm sitting on the pavement by the edge of the road and I'm laughing because the pain in my knee is so intense that it is actually comical and the pain in my hand and it's bleeding and oh I really should have stayed in bed this morning.

The gloriously nice thing about this experience is what happened next. A man walked past me and towards the train. A second man walked past me in the other direction. And a young, black teenager, all hoody and mobile phone with tinny shitarse music playing out loud, all attitude and chewing gum and inappropriately bulky trainers, he stopped and asked me if I was okay. And I was laughing, still laughing and I said yeah, and he said, are you sure, and I said, yeah, and so he kept walking. And I wanted to hug him so badly, and tell him that I was always sure those little hoodies wanted to stab me in the face and run off with my iPod, but he had changed my mind, but I couldn't tell him that because I was still laughing and the pain in my knee was getting better and worse at the same time.

Another lady came over and knelt down beside me and asked me if I needed some help getting back up and I said I didn't, but I just needed to get my breath back, and she said she'd wait for me, and so she did, and I stopped laughing finally and she helped me back up and then asked me if I was okay, and I said yes, and then she crossed the road behind me and I limped onwards towards my train, sat on the train for 10 minutes examining the bleeding cut on my hand, realised that I was starting to shake and my teeth were chattering, and I turned around and came home again and then burst into tears in He Who Only...'s arms.

The long and short of it all is that my right knee is completely black and blue and fabulously interesting looking, and only today is it able to go up and down stairs in any comfort. My left knee, which was also left cut and bleeding, has been a lot better in comparison to it's brother knee, and is merely blue, green and yellow at this point. My right hand, when it stopped bleeding, has healed up nicely and we'll say no more about it. My left hand, however, only started being trouble the following day and a week later, I am now convinced I may have broken a bone in it.

And this is why I keep complaining about everything. And this is why I haven't been blogging recently. It's all just whining and complaining and broken bones and bruises. But some lovely illustrations, I think you'll agree.


25 March 2008
And with this kind of backward thinking comes a tremendous amount of forward planning. I've talked a lot recently about moving away from Hackney. But why, I hear you all screaming so loudly that you're scraping your throats red raw, why in Jebus's sweet, sweet name would you want to move away from Hackney, your home of the last nearly three, long years? Well, dear lovely people, sometimes you've got to think to yourself that enough is enough. This past weekend, we were visiting He Who Only...'s kind parents who were polite enough to put us up for the Easter weekend even if I do insist on being covered in tattoos and don't even eat meat, I mean, what is all that about anyway? And we spent the time building snowmen and sitting drinking tea and reading newspapers and going for walks in the country side, and there on the news spoiling all of our fun was the story of the man stabbed to death in Hackney simply because some people wanted some of his money, and he was too slow to hand it over.

Hackney is fun sometimes. I mean, look at this -

This is more graffiti that I found in the locality. This one stretches underneath a railway arch and goes all the way from here...

right the way round to here -

And since I took that, it's been embellished even more. Giant graffiti punks. I love them. This kind of anti-social behaviour I can really get behind. I love graffiti. If I stay in London much longer, I'll be the next one to publish one of those twee little books about the walking tours you can take around the rough ends of nowhere just to look at some Banksy piece of shit.

(I say that now, but when my bus went past the latest Banksy, which is the one with the kids pledging allegiance to the Tesco carrier bag, I nearly got off the bus to take a photo and lick the wall in appreciation.)

But it's the stabbing, the spitting, the traffic noise, the lack of social cohesion, the sense that, if I carry on living around here for much longer, my luck's going to run out and I'll be stabbed through the chops by some little tike who wants my iPod (and then this blog will be found, and that last sentence will be reprinted in The Fucking Daily Mail along with my MySpaz photo and the word "Tragic" printed in bold beside my name in the photo caption).

But we can't decide where to move to. We're trapped in London, we really have to stay within an hour of the centre, we need good transport links, and I want a dog more than most women want children, so we need a garden and an understanding landlord, and every time I contemplate leaving my comfortable little mouse-infested Nest'O'Love I get more panic attacks than I know what to do with. But then again, I felt the same way moving from Dublin, and I'm ever so glad I did that too.

Hey ho. Nothing ventured, and all that.

Home Time

24 March 2008
No, in answer to Lorraine's comment on the post below: this is not my way of weaning y'all off my blog, but my way of explaining the lack of posts, both to you good people and to myself. It's not that it's been a rough few months, or that I've had nothing to tell you. I've got tons to tell you all, absolute belters of stories, many, many photographs that need to come off my phone and into your computer screens, but the thing of it all is that I find myself constantly with neither the time nor the inclination to blog it all up.

For example, there was an astonishing sunset about a month ago that I dashed to a window to take photos of. I wanted to blog it immediately. I didn't. So here now are some photos of the view from my work building of a sunset over London Town, about a month ago. I will use these to illustrate a long whinge about why it's so difficult to blog these days.

For a start, I'm spending more of my time studying at the moment for a course that I'm rapidly losing interest in, but having told so many people of my life-changing career decision, I feel kind of trapped into following it through, even though I no longer feel capable of doing it. Or even willing to do it at all. I'm loving the theory, I'm loving the regular and fresh insights into my own actions and decisions, and being able to look back at other things I've done in the past and seeing the long line that flows from decision to decision that extends all the way back to THAT ONE TIME MY MOTHER DIDN'T COME RUNNING QUICK ENOUGH WHEN I FELL OVER IN THE SUPERMARKET, YEAH THAT'S RIGHT, SHE MESSED ME UP GOOD. So I'm reading, and I'm learning, and every day I'm thinking, I can't do this. There's no way I can do this. I don't even want to do this.

But every time I see someone who I've already told that I'm going to do this, this is the thing that I'm going to do with the rest of my life, they ask me how it's all going, and I don't want to burst into tears and sob "I can't do this..." into their jumpers, so I tell them it's going really well, I've applied for 6 places in 6 different universities and have already saved up one year's fees for the three year course, and I'm still thinking in my head I CAN'T DO THIS, I CAN'T DO THIS but smiling and telling them how, really, it's the course in this one university that I want the most, but if that one doesn't happen, then I'll settle for either of these two ones, because they're the most prestigious, and yes, I'll probably work in the NHS when I qualify, and it'll be a blast but I CAN'T DO THIS is still rattling around in my head so loudly that it must be leaking out of my ears, can't you hear that? The sound of someone shrieking with fear? That's me.

So I haven't really found a way to tell people that, actually, I CAN'T DO THIS and so I won't be doing it, because when I do tell people that, you know, I've been thinking that perhaps this might not be the way for me after all, you know, maybe I need to reconsider what I've been planning to do up until now, they tell me that of course I should still give it a go, though, no point in going this far and giving up and you'll only regret it in a few years time if you don't, and it's best to regret the things that you do do, rather than the things that you don't do, and then the I CAN'T DO THIS monster starts running around behind my eyes and I feel really tired and like I can't stand up any more, and so I tell them that, yeah, the studies are going well, and really let's just keep plodding down the same road because I CAN ALWAYS JUMP OFF A BRIDGE IF IT ALL GETS TOO MUCH.

The I CAN'T DO THIS monster has been joined, you'll have noticed, by the creeping slug called I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS which is making the I CAN'T DO THIS monster jumpy and hyperactive. It was okay when I could think to myself that it was just cold feet, just jitters or nerves, because it's right to have doubts about big decisions, it proves that you're giving it some real thought, that you're not blindly leaping down alleyways because it seems like a good idea at the time and damn the consequences, because, really, it's right to think that you're not always supernaturally capable of everything, and over confidence killed the cat - well, okay, not the cat, but I'm sure over confidence has killed a lot of things. So, when I get the right training, with some experience, with my own client base and supervisor, with three more years of training under my belt, of course the I CAN'T DO THIS monster will have gone away, to be replaced by the LOOK AT ME, I'M DOING THIS! fairy.

But the I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS slug has arrived and has slimed all over my brains, leaving me a mess who arrives home from work and sits sobbing on the sofa more times in the last couple of weeks than is right or even hormonally justifiable.

I'm running out of sunset photos.

My favourite bits of Tate Britain

02 March 2008
A trillion years ago, I made some kind of ridiculous promise to myself, and thankfully not to you people, that I would start updating my blog on a regular basis again. This obviously hasn't happened. My problems are many and varied, but a short selection of them include:

1. I don't have time.
2. I don't have interesting stories.
3. My nails are too long to type.
4. I've been too drunk.

I will try. I do worry about what you all do without my interesting stories to brighten up your lives. Really, I do. Honestly. I wonder what you think about on the bus on the way to or from your pointless jobs, when you don't have my latest opinions to ponder or pass off as your own to the poor idiots that are sitting beside you.

This post is illustrated by some of the things that I saw in Tate Britain that I liked. Some of them are just bits of pictures. I don't know which ones, I'm afraid. I wasn't taking notes.

Please take this, therefore, as a long and boring, but well illustrated, apology for the silence that you've been listening to on this website for so long. I can't honestly tell you if it's ever going to come back to the way it was. I doubt it. I've kind of fallen out of love with the internet, and all of its big promises that come to nothing. I've started cancelling my accounts with all of the social networking sites. The only one now left for me is F*c*book, and I've even started trimming down on my "friends" on that site, which has led to some difficult situations at work where I've had to explain to people I don't know very well why I don't want to be virtual friends with them. Jesus, that's awkward.

A slight interlude to talk about the above photo because I loved these sculptures SO MUCH I took about six photos of them. I love these ladies. These ladies are very crudely made, quite scrappy around the edges, wonderfully illdefined, standing on massively chunky and clunky feet and bit of behind and hair. Their facial features are almost non-existant, I love that their chests are not at all the focus of attention or even have any attention particularly paid to them. I love these ladies. I love that they are striking and strong, and recognisably women and female and feminine, but with the lines being blurred. I loved them.

My dinner has just arrived. I'm going to eat it now. I might post more later.