Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Flights, flying, spacemen


 I dream about these things. Often my first inkling that I am stressed, a dream pops up where I am sitting in my car at traffic lights and a passenger jet flies over my car, so close I can see the landing gear. The whoosh of terror wakes me as the aircraft flies into the town ahead of me. Another is an alien craft landing on flat ground, a mile or so away. The sky fills with odd shapes, gatherings of more and more aircraft, and no one around me thinks there is anything strange. I am shouting - we need to leave! And people just potter around, giving me sideways glances. The mad woman. 

Last nights was a strange one. The red arrows formation team are performing a split palm manouvre, the smoke is thick and greasy and I am shouting "This isn't the arrows! This is not them!" People again look askance at me, when two of the arrows fly into each other, causing the entire display to explode in an almighty bang... but the pilots all eject, and land in 9 neat parcels next to me. I watch the parcels and they (in an arrow formation of course) all pop up at once. They are Jack in the Box men in uniform, all with mannequin faces, identical plastic features. I wake, shaken. The first time that the Red Arrows have featured in a stressplane dream.
I love the Arrows. I live in the city, where, by luck, they are based. Often (unless they are in Cyprus training, or performing a display somewhere in the world) I get to spot them, flying over the city in formation, drawing giant hearts in the sky. Every time I see them, my heart soars with them.

I don't really know exactly why they move me so much. Perhaps it was when, as a child, my father (ex RAF) used to take me to the beach to watch their fly past over the sea. He'd put me on his shoulders, and help whip up my excitement by pretending he could hear their engines as they neared. Of course, he knew what time exactly they would appear over the point where sea met sky. By the time they appeared as a tiny triangle of dots on the horizon, my delighted expectation was a palpable huge bubble of excitement. They neared, and my four year old self was so sure they would scrape the top of my head as I perched on Dad's shoulders, that I screamed and ducked, as they whooshed over at 400mph, trailing the vivid colours of the British flag above me.

So, maybe that's where part of it comes from? There was a recent BBC documentary which showed them training, two new members. As my imagination was lit and my disbelief was suspended, I got to sit in the cockpit with them and listen to the language they use when forming patterns in the sky.
Awww, I love them. 

Now, how to deal with the stress?


Inside the Bubble

Saturday, December 14, 2013


You Will See Me.

You are my new inspiration...
My muse
And I mean that not as a compliment

I will use you to cruise through any writer's block

Any lazy daze when a glazed gaze invades my mind's cave of creativity
I will think of you…and what you did to me
I will take negativity and make it inspire me
I was not a book from a library

As I stand here alone, I declare I was not a loan
To be picked up and dropped off at a later date
And you barely even made my spine bend
Just skimmed through some of the interesting bits then skipped to the end
The notes you left in my margins turned from scribbles to scars
But here's the best part:
You didn't even realise you were reading the first draft of a best seller
The manuscript of a future Nobel prize winner
This book you discarded as a pamphlet will ignite shit
I will write ten times harder than before

I will create art, I will create beauty
I will create so many things that you can't ignore
But I will not do them in your name
I will not shout you from the roof tops
I will tap your name out in morse code on my outer thigh
As I casually accept plaudits from on high
I will not to try to win you back
I do not want you back
I just want to show you
I just need to show you what you fucking walked away from
I will achieve all my goals ten-fold
I will achieve your goals too, casually
I will have happiness and joy in my life
I will fall in love; husband, child and wife
I will shine brighter than I could ever have dreamed to be
And you will see me
And you will see. Me
I will make rivers run red in your anonymity
The screams of nations will echo our affinity
My wrath will be relentless
My path of destruction will be momentously momentous
I will change the face of history and paint it in my likeness
And I will like this
I will destroy everything that you hold dear
By simply destroying everything far and near
My footsteps will be impossible not to hear
I will watch you from afar and taste each tear
I will wipe out entire races
I will erase faces and displace with great haste and no graces
This world will become my plaything
Embracing my ways and then just breaking
I will burn this entire world to the ground
I will leave a mark greater than any have ever left before
I will lay waste by land, air and sea


And you will see me


And you. Will see. Me


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Skyscapes

I don't write much these days. Taking photographs seems to have taken the place of words - I say what I want to say with an image, or a stream of images. Sometimes though, the two go together, I take an image and as I see it appear, the words start to jostle and prod for attention. Today in the city where I live, we had a remarkable sunset. The colours changed minute by minute as I made my way home from the centre. I always have my camera with me, and as I stood taking photographs of the sky, people streaming past glanced up briefly, short bursts of interest as to what I was photographing. One woman though, stopped. "I never noticed that!" she said, "thank you for making me look."

That's the thing - we don't look up. We stare ahead, and sometimes down. We miss all that natural beauty - nature performs free aerobatic displays, at times we have, for free, a sky full of glitter, of fireworks, of ruched satin. In winter, we get shiny skies sometimes. Filled with swoops of distant starlings, it is a silver sheet dotted with dark clusters of marcasite. Split, sliced in half, there is cloud and clear sky. As the sun shines onto the cloud from the inside, we get something like the ceiling of an Arabian prince's Bedouin tent. Looking down gives you dog shit and gum spattered pavements.

I'm currently working on producing a 365 of sky photographs, all taken from my top-of-a-hill bedroom window. There are many things wrong with my house, my view is not one of them - a beautiful, fantastic gift to wake to every morning. I think about how many people over the centuries, have stood at the top of this hill and looked out over the hills to the sun and the sky. The view stays the same for us all, yet ever changes.

We should look up more. We should.






Tuesday, July 02, 2013

FaecesBook

Well it is, isn't it?

I've decided that it is time to snap my addiction to BookFace. It is a time snatcher, a motivation muncher, an anger creator. For some time now I have berated myself for coming in from work, scrolling down my news feed and discovering that before I knew it three hours have passed by and my house is still a tip. I wake in the morning, look who is on chat, waffle about not much (unless it's Jenny, then I laugh, and think). I waste three more hours looking at my friend's cousin's dog with mange, then I go to work. Leaving my house, a hastily tidied tip.

I was recently subjected to a colleagues photographs of a recent holiday - "my suitcase!",  "My right flip flop", "my left flip flop", "pre party drinks" (yes, actual photograph of a group of glasses) "my airport chair" (sad face) ". I have spent far too long hiding, blocking, deleting those that offend me (far too many in my intolerant old age), raging about the fabulous argument starting upgrade of messaging "Message seen at: 10:05" *glances at watch, 10:10, RAGEHUFF*.

I can't stand the bad spelling, the poor grammar, the hashtags imported from twitter (why???), the inane groups, the ego massaging, the mortification of seeing my kid spew a volley of f-bombs to her friends - "they're only words mum!"

It is words, and photographs, and cartoons. All the things that I like, only on twatbook, diluted and diluted and diluted of all meaning and sense and beauty, until it is nothing that I like. "Hey, read this poem! (followed by shit, terrible poem, liked by 25 people, gushed over by the 5 of those that could be arsed to leave a comment. Instagram? Stoppit. 

Please. Really.

It is too instant. I am losing my ability to disseminate, to consider, to learn, to concentrate, digest. I have always been one to want to know everything about something, right this instant. But, I used to care enough to swallow that impatience, and slowly learn.
I find it hard to read a book these days. I feel as though Pesk is vanishing.

 I keep clicking onto my newsfeed to see updates. I get alerts - send Paul some coconuts for his farm, join Sue's army of avengers, help spot Pamela's hidden mystery, bake cakes in Tracey's cafe FUCK OFF.

I lost my eyelashes to racism, as my beautician outed her bigotry in an instant blaze of rage.  I did, really. The (hitherto quite lovely) woman who beautified me every month, posted that she voted BNP, after the horrendous killing of the Woolwich Soldier. How could I have not known that about her? That she was filled with ignorant, racist hatred? Because the thing we talked about as she coloured and fixed, was facebook. She must have known her opinions were a bit dodgy, she focused all her postings on photos of her in wellies at a million and one festivals. No BNP rallies though. I cancelled my next appointment. 

Othertimes, facebook makes me laugh, as I marvel that my erudite pals are fans of The Oatmeal, Dexter, Abba Tribute Bands. These are things I don't know about them, either. 


Scrolling through Facebook is like hiding in all of your pals wardrobes. It is standing against a wall with a glass pressed to my ear, and I don't like it. 

Lately, it makes me despair more and more. I see slights where there are none, and I am now not only too lazy to write a letter, I am too lazy to send an email. You don't use facebook IM? Chances are I don't speak to you often then. How terribly lazy facebook has made me.

I am addicted, and I am beginning to despise my drug. I have no doubt I will return - all my photographs are stored there, but I'm changing at least that, slowly, by returning to Flickr. 

Much like when I stopped watching television, and started doing (as instructed in the 70's) something much less boring instead, I shall keep doing less boring things instead, until the addiction is gone. I still barely watch TV, but now (20 years later) when I do, I enjoy it. I actually just bought one for the first time ever. Get me! So, I am certain I will return, but only when I don't care about it as much as I do.

I have picked up watercolours, I am making things. It really is, much less boring, and I am not drawn into sadness or anger anywhere near as much. My actual friends send me a text message, call me - I've had more phone calls today than I got in the whole of last week. No longer will colleagues I barely know, know me far too much. No longer will I dread seeing the man I still adore change his status to "In a relationship". No longer will I be privy to stuff that means more than it should, likewise stuff that I don't really give a shit about will remain unseen. 

When the addiction is broken, or when I can bear the wilderness no longer, I will go back. 

In the meantime, I will get over not being able to post to my status - "I just saw a crow mid flight with a MASSIVE pretzel in it's beak!" 

Instead, I will photograph it, paint it, blog it or write a poem about it (move over Ted Hughes).


And, breathe.

PS - my house is no longer a tip. May even get the staircase stripped at this rate...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Aaaand another one gone and another one gone, another one bites the dust.


So, HMV is about to be no more. The biggest of all the high street music retailers, joins Tower, Our Price and even Woolworths as it finally falls to the floor, beaten to a bloody, pulpy death by the piracy revolution, and the lure of mp3s, Mr owneverything apple and it's iTune store, Amazon and it's track for 10p, have they killed the disc? After all, no one really wants a bulky piece of anything anymore. Some people tried to whip up a retro love for the 7" vinyl single a while back and grainy photographs of old Dansette record players adorn Facebook's reminiscent groups, but really - who wants to make space for them, or worse, for the hardware that takes up more than say, 4" these days? Who wants to have a shelf full of - well, full of anything? The Kindle says - no more books. The mp3 player says - no more CDs. 

No more arguments about the arrangement of CDs - should they be sorted alphabetically by artist or album title? Or genre? (answer; alphabetically, by artist. Last name only.)  No more inviting in ones latest limerent fancy and watching with bated breath as he or she casts a surreptitious eye over your music of choice, wishing you'd put the Best of The Carpenters in back to front, and left Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures askew by the player, casually of course, not deliberately placed for that justontheoffchanceheshemaycomebacktonight. 

Mind you, neither will there be the saddest cardboard boxes in the world sat by the front door as your ex leaves with half your collection, insisting that he/she bought that TalkTalk import album (thanks David, actually, *I* bought that. I bet you still have it, you arse).  

Books have gone the same way - no more "Anna Karenina" left artfully abandoned on the bedside table. A leatherbound kindle doesn't have the same look of studious intelligence, the same smell, or the same fallingopenatafavouritepassage way about it. No one can point at your copy of "Andy Kaufman - Revealed!" on your kindle, and flicking through it, casually ask "Can I borrow this?" thus prompting a joyful realisation that this person wishes to return to you (Or, steal the book). No, you can't borrow my ebooks. Not unless you register your own as Pesk's 4th Kindle, and send it, whizzing through the ether in a maze of vowel and consonant to your own ereader. 

Sigh.

The first single I bought, was Spacer's Magic Fly. I'd had 7" singles gifted to me throughout my childhood from my fabulous Uncle Robin (R.I.P) - the opening bars of T. Rex's "Ride a White Swan thrill me to this day, the last he passed to me was The Knack's "My Sharona". And Aunty Belinda and I used to loll on the floor at Grandma's house with her collection of KTel soundalike albums, picking up the needle and moving it back onto Pilot's "January" over and over again, rattling and creasing our copies of Popswop and fab 208, going over and over the lyrics until we were word (if not tone) perfect. 

The first album I bought was Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene. How I loved that album, played it to death before I moved away from electronica and towards punk. I loved the sleeve (there's another thing - no more cover art - on anything!) and would lay on the floor listening again and again, the swirling music promising something a million miles away from my green bobbly bedroom carpet that gave me static shocks as I slid across it in my popsocks and the neighbour who loved to listen to Errol Brown inbetween shouting at her brother. Jean Michel Jarre was romance, was brilliance, was bloody FRENCH.  I bet he didn't have a neighbour called Shazza either.

Last week, my daughter's boyfriend bought me the album again, new, wrapped in cellophane, the greens and blues of the cardboard cover - oh! The beauty, the memories.  It sits now on my bedroom BOOKshelf, where I can see (if not play) it. He bought it from HMV.

As the kid that bought the original, I didn't have access an HMV, a Tower Records, an Our Price. I just had Woolworths for singles, and a locally owned shop called Herrick Watson's. They also sold posters, TVs and stereos. There was the dad, all serious and slightly mysterious with his grey hair and stern face, and his son and daughter working the music section with their cool hip BestJobInTheWorld faces on. The shop is still there, but I can't help thinking it won't be for long.

Shame that.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Moving.

Where I live now, is smack bang in the middle of the country. My drive to get to work is endless, and adds many hours onto my job - and two days ago, I did an eighteen hour shift on top. I'm exhausted. I will miss the views though. In the morning, as the sun rises particularly. The views at times, make me stop my car and get out to look for longer. My friend John Byford is a proper photographer. He makes me want to punch him and kiss him, in equal measure. Yesterday he caught this image, close to my current house. I absolutely love it. It epitomises everything that is occurring for me right now, and ties it in with my history here. The rosy horizon, the storm clouds parting. I will really miss these views. 

Check this out. Gorgeous. 



Monday, August 13, 2012

Recovering the Heart.

The contractions of the heart are controlled by chemical impulses. They fire at a rate which controls the beat of the heart. Unlike other organs, the heart survives for a while without stimulus. The heart continues to beat rhythmically.  After a time, it stops.


I think of me, without you. Not now, but then. Before.
I set my own pace - too slow, careful.
And now, filled with the sense of you, I hold
the echo of far away cheers in my mouth.
when you are here, I lean into you,
my heart fires into movement.
you are marking the pulse, setting the beat.
charging me back into life.
when I cannot see you, you are under my skin
The pacemaker.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Snap Decision.


I got me a new job. And, a new house - eventually. The house was harder to be accepted for... I failed the stringent credit check on application. The landlord wanted me to have the house, I wanted the house, the credit agency were adamant I was a big fat fail as far as being a good credit risk went - this was puzzling to a woman with no debt to speak of. So, I joined a credit agency to see my report, and yes, a big fat fail. On closer inspection, it is because I fell off the electoral register (deliberately, I'm moving), I pay off my credit card every month (bad, apparently. Leave a fiver on it), I had the ridiculous idea of changing to a new bank account after the Nat West debacle last month, and the most appalling of all, I do not use all the credit I have available to me. Eh? Printed it all off and took it to the estate agent who showed the landlord, who said - bollocks to that, the house is yours.
Hurrah! To celebrate, I used to available credit I have, and bought me a Canon EOS D600. 

This camera - I. Am.In.Love.
Here, is sunrise over  North Shore, two days ago.  No editing necessary. Mm.






and the gorgeous Neo...







Saturday, July 21, 2012

Always Hiding?


                         

Friday, July 13, 2012

This, this, this...


What Is To Be Given

What is to be given,
Is spirit, yet animal,
Colored, like heaven,
Blue, yellow, beautiful.

The blood is checkered by
So many stains and wishes,
Between it and the sky
You could not choose, for riches.

Yet let me now be careful
Not to give too much
To one so shy and fearful
For like a gun is touch. 
Delmore Schwartz



Thursday, July 12, 2012

1.What was the last thing you put in your mouth? A fingernail.

2.When did you last have your photograph taken? At the SO festival. My daughter took it. 

3.Can you play Guitar Hero? No. Do I care? No.

4.Name someone who made you laugh today. Anna, a sister on the ward I work on.

5.How late did you stay up last night and why? Til about midnight. Because I'm a grownup, and it's up to me.

6.If you could move somewhere else, would you? Yes. Lincoln, it's proving remarkably difficult to do so though.

7. Ever been kissed under fireworks? Not that I recall. Seen them occasionally during a kiss. Well, I say occasionally, once. 


8. Which of your fb friends lives closest to you? My daughters and Teresa

9. Do you believe exes can be friends?Yes absolutely. The best ones take the longest to become friends though.

10. How do you feel about Dr Pepper? it's ok.

11. When was the last time you cried really hard? A long, long time ago.

12. Who do you miss? My best friend, Martin. The one person that I know who if I said I needed him, would crawl over shattered glass to get to me if I asked him to. And he'd only ask why when he arrived.

13. Who was the last person you took a picture of? Jay.

14. Was yesterday better than today? Much, much better. Yesterday, was a day I felt full of grin.

15. Can you live a day without TV?  I barely watch it

16. Are you upset about anything? Not at the moment.

17. Do you think relationships are ever really worth it? Good ones? Yes they are. Yes.

18. Are you a bad influence? Hell yes. 

19. Night out or night in? depends on the night and what's out and who's in...

20. What items could you not go without during the day? phone, laptop, car

21. Who was the last person you visited in the hospital? Hrmmm. I visit a lot of people in hospital... being a nurse and all.

22. What does the last text message in your inbox say? "You are fuckin' hilarious."

23. How do you feel about your life right now? Change is sleeping with one eye open and looking at me.

24. Do you hate any one? No. I dont care very much for some people though.

25. If we were to look in your inbox, what would we find? emails. Or is that a euphemism?

26. Say you were given a drug test right now, would you pass? Yeah. I'm old now.

27. Has anyone ever called you perfect before? Oh, everyday. So tiresome.

28. What song is stuck in your head? Spellbound, Siouxsie and the Banshees

29. Someone knocks on your window at 2:00 a.m. Its probably a very tall person. Hopefully with wine under one arm

30. Do you want to have grandkids before you’re 50? Don't mind.

31. Name something you have to do tomorrow. Show someone around my untidy house.

32. Do you think too much or too little? Too much.

33. Do you smile a lot? I do, yes.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Ridiculeyes

Elle has extended my eyelashes. If anyone does not need eyelash extensions, it is me. I can't blink when I wear glasses as it is.

Wibs says "You look like a tranny". Lovely child.

 They do fall off sometimes. They are not applied en masse, they are carefully put on, one bit at a time. Each one, has a little spray of four hairs on it. Elle gave me a tiny tube of this special adhesive, and instructed me to dip the end in and apply, with tweezers, should one fall off. I found one on my pillow after the first morning, and dutifully grabbed a hold of the glue and the tweezers, and after some difficulty (no glasses, which at my age, are definitely necessary every time you have to view anything smaller than say, the taj mahal), I reapplied my eyelash, dipping the dot end in the glue, and pressing it to the base of my own eyelash. Job done! Doddle. I went into the kitchen still without specs, and was bobbling around making a cup of tea when I spied another bloody eyelash clump in front of the kettle. "tsk" I said, going back to fetch tweezers to pick up the lash. Couldn't find the glue, so popped my glasses on to root around in my makeup bag - got it! Went to dip the lash into the glue, and discovered it was a gnat.
So, if you see me out and about with gnats, spiders, bits of tobacco glued to my face, don't laugh. Take pity. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Introducing ...


... Neo.  My dear friends over at Ameeka, Stacie and Ian, had Neo for two years as a stud cat - imported from Sweden. Neo is an Ocicat Classic, and has fathered many of their litters. Now retired at the age of two (soft git) he has been gifted to me by them. He's had his vitals removed though - as if anything less would be tolerated in THIS house! He is very very demanding, headbutting me so hard that my spectacles fall off (and onto his head) when I attempt to pick up a book to read, and sitting, glaring at me with his massive green eyes, his backside on the keyboard if I open up the laptop. He is content only when everything is set aside and all concentration is on ruffling his belly fur.






Neo Scrumptious, as he has been renamed (sing it to the tune from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) has made himself at home, firstly by opening hostilities with Harriet McFlap, Boxer of Little Brain, and secondly by peeing on my goose feather duvet.
"Oh no!" says Stacie, appalled. "It's his safe place - lock him in a room with his litter tray until he feels more confident" 
Safe place? It wont be if he does it again, says I.


Today, the warring factions (team Cat and Team Dog) continued displaying openly hostile behaviour. The ruling Militia (me) is managing to maintain peace in the short term. Just.


Hello Neo. You are gorgeous, and you are staying. I always fancied a Swedish Stud.



Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sartorial flim flam.

Or jim jam. Bought Livia a nightdress with this design on it.













Oh, hardeehaaar, she said. 
I should have one too, I said, with Frumpy Cow written on it.
Yes! she said, you should!
Apart from...? I said.
Apart from, you are not frumpy, she said. Cough, she said. 

Hrmmm.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

I've got another job, on top of my first. Money is very, very tight, dreadthepostman tight. Anyway, I am pulling pints. here -






Is it not beautiful? My right arm is growing stronger, pulling pints of real ale in the base of that windmill, running round with Sunday roasts in the attached restaurant..


Just think - I am now a nurse that also works in a brewery. Line up lads.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

House of Women ...


and one of them, is a monster at the moment. Veering wildly between adult and child, she manages to spend most of it displaying a personality just a smidgen less possessed than Regan MacNeil's.  Since Christmas we've had a vitriolic spew of mother hatred on Facebook, two all night parties that saw no return for three days, orange hair, pink hair, green hair and now black hair that hangs like a curtain over her sullen features, a scaffold that was executed so badly she ended up in A & E on Boxing Day, and now the same ropey back street piercer has struck again (thanks to her dad RETURNING her to same piercer) skewering her lobes with some dodgy teeny tiny silver studs, one of which vanished inside its own hole the other night. I was working on a monumentally foul piece of academic nonsense when she tentatively pushed open my bedroom door and whispered "I can't find my earring". She came closer for inspection, and it looked as though the ball of the stud had fallen off, though I couldn't pull it through from the back. Big fat tears welled up in the dip between her eye and the bridge of her nose as I gently tried to get the back of the earring off. Horrified, her wee sister stood there and allowed Regan MacNeil to squeeze her hand to distract from the pain. I couldn't get any movement so went to fetch ice and a syringe from my work bag to a background of wails from the bedroom. Hopefully I could try and proggle the back off, or make the hole bigger to pull it through. Once the lobe was numbed, I was able to push it hard enough to pop the earring which incredibly was still in situ, out of the front of her earlobe again. Bloody thing had shrunk back inside and the skin was forming over it. I will be popping the piercers head back inside her neck if she touches my child again. 


After the deed was done, I saw a flash of my gorgeous, funny, sparky girl as she stood in my doorway and thanked me, asking would I like a cup of tea. I was agape. A request for as much as a walk of the dog or a  brush of her teeth has resulted in a snarling ball of fury for weeks... I said yes, I'd love one. Five minutes later she came back in my room and handed it over. "I love you" she said.


And yes Wibs, I love you too. It's hard work sometimes, but dammit I love you. You and your rainbow head.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Time's gone by...

A friend of mine is home for Christmas. Hilariously, he is posting a great raft of pictures (onto Facebook) that he took almost thirty years ago, of me and our friends. Luckily his privacy settings are pretty high, so my boss, colleagues and anyone who isn't a mutual friend, can't see them. For your amusement, I am reproducing one of the photos below. Another friend of mine, said "thirty years ago eh? Why dont you make some copies and we can pass them around. We could title it - 'Thirty years later, can you spot thirty differences?' ". Cheers pal.


Other insults;
Bonny - Wow, look how thin you are mummy!
Wibs - Yeah, We ruined her. Heh.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Caz.
Just wanted to say that. xxx