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It's a bit of an anticlimax, starting another month on 100words. The sense of achievement and self-satisfaction for having finished the last batch evaporates, and you realise the writing is becoming just one more daily chore you have to face up to. This windy morning however any procrasrtination device which will allow me to postpone writing this bloody boring article on food waste is welcome. Even reading through my emails properly is too much to ask. I took half a day off yesterday and it was glorious, went for a long run and was flying back, in the sun.
They're getting married! My man can't understand why I think it's a big deal - after all, they've been together for eons, and have been living together for a good few years too. But they're my closest friends, and they're getting married! My first thought - great, so I'm the last one left on the battlefield of anticonformism am I? I laughed at that thought, but boy, is social pressure getting to me. I want to believe this is social conditioning, not nature; and he did ask me, but I said no. I want to have a life together, not a ring.
I've just sent off an application for what could be my perfect job, and I'm more than a bit nervous. It would mean moving to Holland, starting at a new university, and being involved in a whole new area of studies - exciting things. The Green North is beautiful, and I could see myself spending my life in this town; but my love is suffocating with the lack of possibilities, and I am unsure of the future, especially under Tories. My love's dad is a worry, but making a move to the EU could be a great idea. Well, fingers crossed.
Making friands along the way, never know who's going to turn up from life's bag of tricks! He was very quiet, very well scrubbed, polite, and nice - niceness was beaming from him, especially from those transluscent blue eyes. He told me he had cancer, and I felt so devastated, and later so relieved to find it was under control. After a lifetie as a miner, he now dabbles in computer graphics, and has an amazing eye for patterns an geometric doodles. I encouraged him to set up a blog, and now I'm getting regular updates. Makes me feel sunny inside.
Funny how underwhelmed you can be when you meet in person the people whose work you know well. I remember when this brilliant landscape theorist gave his talk half a year ago: I just ended up doodling throughout. Similarly this practice theorist turned out to be a self-obsessed Northern American who constructed his whole career on the back of one abstract idea - not even his own, and whose circular philosophical arguments, and the unwillingness to relate and engage with anything which was not directly related to his theory drove me mad. But he's a dean, and I'm not anything.
Loud loud bangs flashing lights and noise and a huge crowd, perhaps it was better to keep to the pre-firework traditions of just having a big fire, preferably with a few fat polititians thrown in for good measure. Nice dinner at the Canadian's, but tense, for reasons unknown, it's not like they're my family, how many hugs do I need to believe I don't need to be on the defensive, to let go of perceptions others may hold? Feel so immature, but then the drunken offensive loud so bloody loud group at the pub makes it a bit worse.
Home-bound day, most unusal. I divide my time between QI, sipping tea, doing the laundry, mending some clothes and looking out of the window. The day passes by incredibly quickly and effortlessly. I need to do hardly anything at all; like sand the minues slip between my fingers. I often think about time before cheap entertainment, and the people who had the terrifying luxury of boredom. The horror of empty hours has led people throughout time to hights of creativity, both in beauty and in despicability. We will do anything to fill time - how shallow, how crude, how stupid.
Yeah, I can't go to the protest 'cause I've got a spinning class.
Well that is a lie actually. I would have gone, but it turns out it's in London - and the bus they've organised is already full. The Canadian was saying it would be interesting to see a British protest, after having participating in so many French ones, where the marching activists are sustained by coffee and croissants from local vendors, marching with them. We talked about the cuts again, and about the reasons why Britain is not up in arms. I think the 'other person's problem' thinking still prevails.
Let's try this. One more mile, just one more mile and I'll be done, I'll be done, a sing-song hum in her mind, awfully clear in spite of the bloody drumming and the flecks on black in front of her eyes. She know the sing-song is a lie, and that the moment she crosses the road, the moment she starts climbing this fucking awful hill (again!) she'll give up (again!) in front of the house number 64, only once has she gotten past that number, what a day it was, proud day, or wait it's 80 already?? Victory!
Difficult to take always smile and be positive. It may be just the body, cold outside, cold without the covers, difficult to get up when you're not looking forward to your day, I know. I climb back in and hug, but is it enough? A cat comes in and the kids are around and the smile is back, perhaps that's what we need, a little kid to wake us up and bounce around the house, a sparkle for you to focus on. A new job may help, I will be there to support you, always, knowing you'll do the same.
Swoosh swoosh swoosh. Rows and rows of windows were rushing past her with a head-bursting noise. Not at all like she imagined, a quiet quick flight and than nothing. The wind was ripping at her clothes, the ground was exploding into view, brown and boring. She brought one arm in, to her belly, and the motion jerked her around; now she could look at the sky, much more peaceful. First time she's seen the sky. The windowsill was not even visible now, took her so many weeks of planning to break through the security system. It was worth it.
If the figures in this book are true - and I can easily see that they would be - if we truly put half of all the food we produce straight into the bin, by one way or another, well, this is bigger than greenhouse gases, human rights and neoliberalism combined. This means that the idiocy of our species has reached unprecedented levels.
And yet it is so logical: more waste means more work means more money means the whole bloody machine can keep rolling until there is nothing more left for it to squash under those big ugly rubber tyres.
It's poetic, dramatic, the sheer valley sides of green and grey, the snaking river, the cottage crouched by the water, the geese flocking on the pasture, and the tall, elegant viaduct throwing it all into perspective. The river is so full that when we come to the mill we can't hear one another over its roar as it crashes down the weir and thunders in the narrow gulley. Ducks paddle accross the dam, meters away from certain death, oblivious.
Difficult to get going after the rich meal and refreshing beer at the cozy Pack Horse, could settle in for good.
The spacing out is ocurring regularly now. Sometimes it persists throughout the day, from the moment I'm jerked out of a deep sleep. It's as if my mind continues to dream, while the body-automaton goes through the motions and does an impression of a regular human being. It's deceptively easy. The mind, freed from the petty tasks, observes the world through the looking glass of my eyes, removed, and can't fail to note the patterns, the routines, the repetitiveness which seeps the colour from even in the most loving gestures, flattens the tone of my voice; I've become tepid.
It worries me, actually. Without the stress of the the next event I become placid, I don't work as hard as I ought to, and it seems I don't live as hard as I want to either. What to do, the everydayness of existence can drive you mad if you stop for long enough to really think about it, we're all just counting the minutes to till it's time to lie down, filling our time with nonesense.
And then I see my love play with Corie and there is something real there. Something solid and non-celebral. Real.
Everyone's starting to get worried as the cloudy skies of Gloomy Island are getting more overcast. Even on the way to the pub the munchinks can't avoid speaking in hushed voices about the terrible Dragon down South - it seems to have endless biting heads, they say. The heads seem able to travel massive distances underground and emerge suddenly, attacking invidual travellers and groups alike, taking massive bloody chomps and gorging on the flesh while they look at the victim writhe on the ground. Most of the victims survive to lead a miserable, armless, legless lives. Watch out, it's behind you!
Funny how it works, it's like an elastic binding us together. A very quiet evening yesterday, too tired to even touch one another, let alone speak, two perfectly spaced out individuals, badminton as pure excercise, not fun, so tired, inhumanly tired and just 26 years old how does that work?? And then intense dreams, of losing me while looking for a flat to rent in Manchester, hugs in the darkness and so much closeness this morning and nw we're sitting in respective offices missing one another. Stretch it and it snaps back, this elastic relationship.
Lied about having seen the queen.
So the Queen popped round today. Funny, I knew there was something going on, there was just a strange atmospher of excitement on the campus - my empathy is bloody amazing, I can pick up a crown of Royalty-struck teenagers from miles away. And, there was a helicopter circling over the University most of the day, making an unbereable noise - I mean, does SHE not mind it? How must it feel to have your life constantly accompanied by the THUMP THUMP THUMP from the sky? Bloody annoying. I nearly saw her too, but my natural aversion to crowds took over.
Some days I honestly can't believe myself. What the HELL am I doing watching youtube ghost videos at work??? It doesn't matter if they're fake or not, what matters is that I'm petrified of the very idea of ghosts, I suffer from an over-capacity of immaginaiton, it's enough for me to even think about a pallid face looking at me through a dark window and my heart stops, my muscles sieze up and I'm unable to do anything but cultivate this consuming fear eating into me, exploding in my veins. This fear is the most overwhelming emotion I know.
On the 6th of December we celebrate Santa Claus day; it's basically another excuse to have a day of festivities at school and eat chocolate. You have to put a shoe outside your door in the evening, and in the morning it is full of gifts and sweets; we always used to battle over who gets to use dad's wellingtons, ignoring the fact that there are two after all. So I sent the boys a package of goodies (spinning tops and kaleidoscopes) to be stuffed into their hopeful booties on the 6th, I'll not see them for Christmas after all.
I agree, they must have been home made. The wood used is thick but cut at odd angles sometimes, and the backs and the insides of the drawers are clearly made of wall panneling. They were a bit grey and battered-looking when we got them home, but love's dad got immediately excited about restoring them to their former glory. We started around ten, and by four they had all been scraped with steel wool, power-sanded, and would have been waxed as well but we ran out. Two small and one large chest of drawers, for the attic bedroom.
The house smells of beeswax and pine shavings now, and as I lie in the bed I immagine the new furnishings in our bedroom already, and I tear up a bit. Having worked on them with love's dad, having put in a whole day of hard work so that my back aches and my nails are yellow from the wax, and then the lovely dinner with pork and cake which I made in the meantime, and now I feel the warmth of our home nest around me, shabby chic it may be, and the warmth inside from being in it.
So yeah the new beautiful honey coloured chest did not fit up the bedroom stairs. I don't know what kind of twisted mind designed that staircase, but it practically ensures that anything you want to have up there, you have to construct in-situ. In the end we swapped, and now we have a monster of a chest from A's room. The havoc I unleashed! For 2h there was no floor to be seen in our room; I moved and hoovered (entire generations of spiders had lived and died in that chest) and organised. They must love having me around!
A bit like thinking in custard actually. Words don't leave mouth properly, sentences never get fully formed, thoughts operate on the lowest capacity making full use of stereotypical turns of phrase, nodding and avoiding insights. Critical capacity at its lowest. The room is too warm and the weather on the brink of snow. It gets dark. Sand under the eyelids. Incapable of even keeping up with the menial task of answering emails,short term memory failure, do the same thing twice and then stare at the screen absetn mindedly for a minute. Perhaps another coffee. Only hope. That or sleep.
There was a student strike yesterday, and another today against the rising fees. In fact The Star tells me three thousand gathered around town hall today - when exactly I don't know, I was in town at lunchtime and the only attraction was an in-construction Santa's Grotto (for a grotty Santa I assume). Must have been early risers. There were no voices of dissent in my workshop class, to be expected as most of them would not know a political opinion if it kicked them in the ass. I've given up trying to teach them anything and resigned to babysitting.
A huge concrete Jesus spreads his arms into cold, windy nothingness of the Polish countryside. He's standing in the middle of a field, and can be seen from the highway, a bizzare structure warping all perspective, coming to getch ya. Expression is crudely severe, and the outstretched arms puzzling - it's not an embrace, it's not a command, is he trying to take off, with this Superman-like chest of his? He's stuffed with mineral wool, and he hasn't passed the safety assessment yet, you can just see the headlines: 'Sinner Killed by the Hand of God, Fallen from the Sky'.
Earliest snow England's had for a long time. We wake up to a handsome 3 inch covering, the skylight is all white. It's early but even K can't stay in bed. We have a borrowed thermos to keep us warm. Only dogs and mad Englishmen in the park, jogging, at us. By the time we're at the top of the valley brilliant sunshine is turning the landscape into a wintery delight. Less delightful on the windy edges, and I can feel my left eye beginning to freeze. Long descent into town, and 15 miles later we're back, cold, at home.
It's movember at the union in three days. My top hat - rather flat for a top hat I have to say - has arrived, my pink wig awaits, but no chance of wearing heels, not in this weather! Leather boots will have to do. The moustashe i bushy and ridiculous, I have a load of raffle tickets, and I'm planning to have fun. 'Live staff waxing' (as opposed to 'dead staff waxing' or 'some staff waxing we've recorded earlier', as my love pointed out), raffle, beer and a steamy, packed pub with Brits bemused by their level of conviviality - good times.
The hillside is jewelled with lights, each encapsulated in its own misty bowl of hazy whiteness, the falling snow. I open the window and a load slips over the edge of the roof and I hear it hit the pavement with a soft, heavy sound, snow on snow. The cars are immobilised, thank goodness. Streets become dominated by small children on sledges, pulled by enslaved adults while their small loads chatter and observe. Nothing strange about this for them, nothing to compare it with, and you are told to expect snow before Christmas, so why the long faces oh adults?
It's still at it, the snow! Must have gained another 5cm during the night, and just as we were reaching university today the hoods had to go up as we faced an incoming blizzard. I look through the windows of our hexagonal office at the flurry soaken feathers, settlingon every branch and rooftop, and it's very calming. Doesn't feel like the end of November though. I'm worried about the conference tomorrow too, I bet than when push comes to shove people will retreat into their homes rather than treck to uni to participate in some odd event. Well, we tried.
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