Where the streets have names
I'm off, Manchester. Another week and a bit and I'm gone. Charming man leaves charmless city shocker. Not that I don't love the place, I do. Hugely. But it's over. O, V, A, H, Ovah, in the words of Kath & Kim.
No more Ordsall Lane. No more Cooper Street (I still remember why). No more Oxford Road - it was mostly for you, Jane. Bye bye Tib Street. See you Trinity. I never got to live on Moon Grove.
Darby House (you could see the Holy Name Church, I wept with excitement). Kensington Avenue (Harriet, Donna, Emma, Louise, Sally). (Dickenson Road & Mabfield Road - Helen? Claire?). Kippax Street (Spude, Cookie, Jenny Hot Tea, Cat). Mellor Road (Jane, Saffron, Cookie again). Daisy Bank Road (Jane again, Sue, Simon, Julia - are you ok Julia?). Stainer Street (Laura, I love you). Blackfriars Road. South Hall Street.
Hathersage Road. Great Western Street. Tariff Street. Dale Street. Lever Street. Thomas Street. Cross Street. St Stephen's Street. Blossom Street. Bloom Street. Canal Street. Princess Street. Stockport Road (even).
I can't remember the street my first boyfriend lived on. But I kissed him somewhere above Booth Street West and nothing has ever been that promising again.
I've just listened to Johnny Ball talking about nuclear power on Radio 5.
I have very mixed feelings about nuclear power.
But as a child of the eighties and an avid, nay fanatical, viewer of Think of a Number and his various other programmes, I am conditioned beyond all conscious means to agree with whatever Johnny Ball says.
I listen to him and my brain thinks, 'Hmm. That doesn't sound very likely, but then who would have guessed that dividing the prime number nearest to that of your phone number by the sum of the numbers of your birth date, and multiplying by 6 will give you the number of days of your life expectancy? He must be right about all things. Yay for nuclear power!'
Easter: Passion - Home - Work
Dry Your Eyes (if you can find a hanky big enough)
He's back. With a new album and a new rash of Reebok advertising hoardings.
Is there such a thing as an eye job? And has Mike Skinner had one? He looks like a manga version of himself. Perhaps it's just the hard-knock life of a stoner sleb with gambling issues and a penchant for children's TV presenters. I still love you Mike. But get yourself outside of some fruit and veg, and when you find yourself with some time on your hands, make some room on there for a bit of facial scrub too.
I've got the album on order.
It Must Be Blove
Blove is blog love - but I guess that's obvious. You internets guys are so savvy. The term's probably been doing the rounds for ages (does the internets have rounds? or is there a cooler shape to apply? like fractals or helixes/helices?) and I am the e-quivalent of David Hasselhof for not knowing. I'll get over it.
I have been in blove with Chrisafer's work for ages, and his latest post, featuring Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins introduced by Sarah Silverman, is distilled Chrisafer. I blove you, Chrisafer. [In a 'don't be scared, I have no intention of finding where you live and posting photos of myself dressed as Geri Halliwell under your front door' way. Really.]
And here's what he says about it.
It's a great track and a lovely video and a too too funny post.
In other news, I introduced a lovely event this evening with the author Helen Oyeyemi who turns out to be as interesting and lovely as she is talented.
Now, I would like to start a campaign to ensure more people are as lovely as they are talented. I've met more than the average number of authors/artists in my time and there's defnintely a bit of a deficit between talent levels and loveliness. I'm sure there is an equation out there to explain the relationship - just as I sure that the Arts Council/ESRC are funding someone right now at the University of North West South Central England to do this research that will eventually fill up valuable pieces of my Sunday papers when said space could be filled with amusing 'think pieces' by people from London who believe that not shopping for boutique heritage bread in a local organic bakery is akin to shooting tiny baby seals.
OK, I'm not sure where the last bit came from. But nevermind. Talented people should be more lovely. That's what Im saying. Except Helen Oyeyemi, who was lovely and is talented.
Signs and Wonders
I would hate to cause a delay on Maid Marian Way. I love heritage road naming. I would like to have seen Friar Tuck Boulevard and The Loxley Industrial Estate to be truly happy - but Maid Marian Way is a good start.
Off to Nottingham with JOB1. I meant to perfect the presentation on the train there, but was distracted by the 'need' to listen to four probationary commercial laywers talking about a course they were going on. Hilarious. 'It was a blatant Section 24 and she was like, well I could have asked you but you were too busy and I need to delegate more and I was like how much teflon can one person possess?'
The boys in the Robin Hood Experience were just pulling on their tabards as I passed by at 9.30 - good thing there were no rich to rob at that time of day.
[Erse - blogger won't let me upload the photo - will do it later]
The main problem was that the train was unheated, the journey lasted two hours and I didn't take a coat as I was wearing a suit and didn't want to wear a huge duffel type thing - how wrong I was. When I got to Nottingham it snowed - just to add to the misery.
I have had some very nice comments and welcome back notes from my blog-break. I will definitely blog about why I stopped blogging this weekend and see if I can put it behind me once and for all. I had a lovely visit from Daughter of the Norm the weekend before last who has encouraged me to change my life - so I will also post about that soon too.
Why accountants are the new therapists, swans are evil killers and weddings don't hurt people, but being late for them does
So I spent two hours with an accountant yesterday. I like the accountant. He's funny. He does accounts. What more could I ask for?
Answers, that's what.
I just came away with more and more questions. Every time I said, 'So, if John given me twelve apples and Janet gives me three and a half apples, and I have to give Virinder two apples per month anyway, how many apples can I give out to Derek and Siobhan when they ask if there are more apples?'. he says, ' Hmmm. Interesting. What sort of apples are they? Where did they come from? Does John require that you eat the apples he gives you or that you store them in a special apple box? Is there a sell-by date on the bag of apples Janet gave you? Might Virinder settle for an apple and two small but perfectly ripe plums?'
Just tell me how much money I can spend, please.
It really is like therapy. I thought I was paying to get the accountant to do stuff for me, but no. It seems I pay him to make me answer my own questions and sort out the puzzle for myself. Which is all very well and Plato-ish or somesuch (I did a degree in philosophy but it was a while ago and I was really never very good at it), but quite annoying too. If it turns out to be like therapy, at least I can live in hope that it will do me some good in the long run.
It was the swans (and The Manchizzle) that did it. I was about to leave the flat yesterday when I noticed some swans having a fight on the river. I thought it might be a bit of seasonal hot swan sex for a while, but no. It was a full on lynching with two big lads knocking the crap out of a smaller lad (I know the difference between boy swans and girl swans now - I'm almost qualified to be a farmer or similar). The losingest swan was in a bad way - sticking its little scraggy neck onto the bank trying to keep above the water and squeeking in a very distressed fashion. It was terrible. My initial reaction, throwing some apples from my living room window at the winningest swans while shouting 'fuck the fuck off', didn't seem to be working.
Anyway, I was heading out for a big meeting, so I went onto the river bank (the path is my way to work) and realised the full extent of the horror. The losingest swan already had one broken wing, had swan blood on its face (yes, swan blood) and was all waterlogged and desperate and looked like it was nearly dead. The other swans were still pecking and beating it senseless. So, in a 'What would David Attenborough do?' moment, I thought about letting nature take its course and moving on. Then I thought, fuck it, are swans supposed to murder each other right in front of people's flats? I don't think so. They are supposed to do graceful landings on sheets of calm water, neck in a decorous fashion, and occasionally defend their young against foxes and the like - I watch television, I know this to be true.
So I did some more useless shouting at the killer swans and leant over the railings by the river and swung my bag at them to drive them away. Now I am five ten, and a little bit chunky I admit, and I am good at shouting, so I expected an immediate withdrawal of negative swan attitude. The bastards just withdrew for about five seconds and came back for more. After a few more swings - and a slight wobble about the fact that anyone looking from the flats where I live would just see me in the process of attacking swans with my bag and would, quite rightly, consider calling the police at which point I would have to explain my attempt to fight nature's course and dishonour the name of David Attenborough - I thought, What would Rolf Harris do? A much safer option.
So I called 118118 and asked for the nearest animal niceness centre. They put me through to one very close by. As I was continuing to fight off the evil swans (with my lovely Crumpler courier bag and its contents becoming damper and muddier by the minute) and encouraging the bedraggled losingest swan not to die (mainly by saying, 'don't die, please' in a slightly weepy fashion) - I spoke to an animal expert and explained the situation. 'Will someone come and rescue the swan?' was my parting shot. Yes, she said. Possibly. But it would take a while, and the swan would probably be dead by then and swans just got like this in mating season and there is nothing that mere people (even if they care and dare to flout the laws of Attenborough and risk their lovely bags) can do. Or even should do. The red-in-tooth-and-claw speech was only moments away, I could feel it. 'So, you think I should leave it?' 'Well, I can give you the number of our inspector and you could call that if you want.' Hmm. I sensed a moral back off - i.e. she was willing to let me flout the law of Attenborough and was willing to give me the means to do it - but she wouldn't actively recommend it herself...
At that point the losingest swan moved a bit of reach (i.e. drifted a bit against its will) and the evil swans came back and started pecking and mauling it in a horrible way. I could no longer reach them with my bag - I had thrown all the bits of stick and mud I could find, and I had ten minutes to get to a meeting with some consultants who were travelling from Edinburgh specially to see me - and the meeting was at least 20 minutes away. And it was pissing down and I was soaking wet by now.
Bye bye river bank. Bye bye swan. I feel awful.
I have yet to go and see if there is a body there - but when I got up this morning, I thought I could recognise a glint of (swan) blood lust in this little bastard's eyes... it's the same swan by the same bit of river bank. Evil - like going back to revisit the scene of the crime... How could it?
Going to weddings can seriously disturb one's world view. For the better I think. I still can't blog about it properly - this is why I haven't been able to blog for a few weeks now - thanks to Rullsenberg Rules and others for their kind comments and interest - but I'm sure I will be able to at some point.