Category Archives: my readers

the witch – an apology

this blog wishes to apologise to its readers.

to one reader in particular.

and to witches in general.

i realise it’s a pollution of the term; that witches are benign strivers for wisdom. apologies.

and to ‘the witch’ (she knows who she is) nothing but respect, mum.

we apologise that by using the term we may have given the impression that these people are even the same species as the late baroness you know who. (as someone once said ‘even sharing a planet is more related than i want to be’) don’t want her name on here more than i have to.

love to you all.


hopes and dreams: may you never make your bed out in the cold

i wish you all well – i wish us all well.

as the wheel turns, the winter king is slain and the summer king is born, whatever you call him, proserpina has had her pomegranate and you start to hope more. this year i feel i have no real hopes … oh the usual, i hope the world deals kindly with those i love most, gives rich experiences to my boys and returns softness for the softness of the clp*.

the hope is for others. and before there are cynical rumblings from the boathouse, it’s not just blether. i don’t think i can be happy in a society where there is unfairness. apart from anything else, it just bloody annoys me. there is no point in having things in such a state that some people get screwed; it’s not even as if it makes anyone’s lives better, it just makes others’ lives worse.

this year, among the many pointless cuts, have been big cuts to legal aid. the law centre where i volunteered is likely to close; the people who work there will lose their jobs. lawyers, eh! tough… many comments i have seen about the cuts to the legal aid budget are based on the notion that lawyers are all the same. the city boys (and even occasionally, whisper it low, a girl!) on their large salaries doing whatever it is they do for big businesses who do errr … whatever they do too. and the law centre solicitors, who after maybe 20 years in practice probably earn less in a year than a city partner earns in a month. their law is getting repairs done for someone living with hiv in a flat with a sieve for a roof and ‘damp’ just doesn’t cover it; stopping an attempt to recoup £40,000 of housing benefit from an unemployed single parent because they say she is married to the landlord – without actual evidence; fighting for a domestic servant who was made to sleep on a floor, was beaten and so maltreated she drank bleach (like a bloody priestley play innit?). the clients aren’t all likeable, they aren’t all right – but they all deserve a shout.

and the law centre solicitors keep people in their homes and fight for people everyone else disregards. when the law centres go – and they will go, despite the will of people to work in them for less money than they could get elsewhere – people, families, will become homeless. and we could have stopped it.

and we didn’t.

and i sit here happy with my lot. the world has looked after me again. there have been potatoes, beans and raspberries… god there were raspberries! and the garlic will soon pop its head through the snow. the world turns and my boys grow towards the sun. i give thanks to the world for another year where someone has looked after us.

i’ve saved some hopes for you: if you’re faced by a senseless system that doesn’t appear to understand your true value, well, i just hope you get pupillage. i hope you find where you need to be and the quiet that goes with it. i hope you find a place … for us … for you.

i hope you remember that this time we didn’t (couldn’t?) help these people. and if that worries you, resolve that when you next have the choice, you choose to do that small thing that brings whatever you believe in just a step closer. if not, may you never make your bed out in the cold – you may be short of room. and may i not be there first – but if i am, i’ll let you share my blanket and offer you a shrivelled raspberry.

i raise a glass to your dreams for 2011.

* ‘chosen life partner’: for those of you who weren’t reading about 4 years ago

new year, new heaving thrusting naked attempt to get traffic

a very belated happy new year to you all. i know it sounds precious but i love you all and i’m grateful for what you have given me in the past year – violet, aradhana, sarah, witchy (who started me on this nonsense), ehj, paul, softcentre, tartette, talldoc, kingcod, sparkle, stormy, broke – everyone who has bothered to leave a comment here even the ones who don’t exist (i have new spambot chums!).

in blog terms, my thanks go above all others to the two people who have with their illimitable, inimitable, impossible, unstoppable ideology of idiocy written way more of this blog than me (not that hard, i suppose) the inseparable and insuperable infidel and daisy.

respect to you all. i hope the world is kind to you and those you love. you deserve it.

i have no idea whether i will be able to blog much at all; here is a post i started at the end of last year to explain matters (it appears to contain some capitals – can’t imagine what i was thinking):

It is clear I have not been putting in the hours (or more usually minutes) to keep this blog in the state you, my dearest readers, might wish.My comments have been sparse as good ideas in the mouth of the Dave (I do hope you noticed….hmmm?). Posts have flowed from this keyboard like voters rushing to join the conservative party. While it does mean there is generally less crap to wade through, you might have been prompted to worry about me.

No? Oh well. (small stoical sigh…)

But I am OK – be still your beating wotsits. Call off the search teams with their unnecessarily cute, cocaine-addicted dogs (actually, my car got searched the other day. It was a peculiarly British stop and search in every way. I was at King’s Cross station picking up my Aunt off the Durham train. A policeman came up and bid me a good morning. In the most sheepish tone I have heard outside a sheep farm, he informed me that he was going to take some details and search my car under the prevention of terrorism act. I expressed the fervent hope that his searching my car might indeed help prevent terrorism. I asked him what he was gong to put down under ‘hair colour’ – he said ‘grey’. I told him the last time I was stopped it had been ‘fair’ – tho to be realistic it had been rather late at night. He removed his helmet to reveal his gleaming pate and said ‘you have one on me’. The sniffer dog dutifully hopped in my car and had a good sniff at my dirty cricket kit – I apologised for the obvious lack of drugs or explosives.He gave me the pink form detailing the details he had taken and we parted amicably as my rather surprised aunt arrived all silver hair and smiles. (It could only have been more English if we had shared a pot of Earl Grey.)

Ok, we were calling off the search teams. Or even cancelling an international googling campaign to see what the heck I was up to – less effort all round and equally unproductive. Well, in a turnaround as unexpected as Big Dave suddenly being handed an open goal by Gordon, i decided to become a lawyer…
i started a law course in september and from having initially had a lot of work to do, i now seem to have more. i will be thinking of you all and will post as and when i can. no doubt if ever i throm the merest scrap of a train of thoughtlessness daisy and fidel will devour it like me with an overwritten simile. or not. forces of nature and all that.

and in the meantime i hope the tories’ soft parts go a nasty shade of green and drop off.

over a period of months.

a perfect eight – wot no cheap sexual xxx innuendo?

which is a random way of saying i got tagged with a meme (which you will know, if you read the awesome dr socks at reclusive leftist, i don’t yet have a definition for, but i imagine someone is e’en now writing one for me). too many whiches (as the mayor of salem was heard to mutter) and not enough woo (as i would add). i hope you are all following this – though of course my readership is sufficiently small in number and broad of imagination to allow for endless in-jokes. and in the spirit of collaboration i would love fidel and daisy to complete the task with me: we have been tagged twice, both by the fragrant dr socks above and sarah of ethically speaking. let’s give more than we are asked to and do it three times. and given our propensity for randomness without encouragement, i am almost afraid of what may soon be written here.

random facts about me…

1 i like not using capitals when i type – despite being a grammar and spelling nazi; i believe they (grammar and spelling) are what give us control over language and allow us to communicate more forcefully; and without command of our language, there goes a large part of our ability to have any power over elements of our daily lives.

2 i do not physically possess a soapbox, though i may one day consider making or acquiring one.

3 i bat left-handed and bowl (when asked – which is rarely) right arm; this is not particularly unusual.

4 one night i slept on the sand (actually this bit was rather stony) in the open in the sahara. that same night, i unloaded and changed the tyre on a beaten-up old nissan pickup. as i did this the elderly female relative of the guys giving us a lift got out her mat and prayed towards mecca.

5 i think visions of johanna is the most sublime piece of music i have heard- or the slow movement from beethoven’s 5th piano concerto, or rainy night in soho, or the bit of mozart played at both my parents’ funerals, or… no i just don’t know

6 i have no real idea where my life is headed – i don’t even understand the concept of a life heading anywhere.

7 part of me yearns every day for the north east of england … or is it the past?

8 i believe “god” is, in fact, people.

if fidel and daisy would like to add their facts, it would be delightful. if they choose randomly to do nothing or to do something entirely different then that would be almost expected. the ball is in the air – catch it if you wish…

bloody homework

well apparently i have to make some list of stuff about things – why do i participate in such blog-related chain-letter stuff which means i have to write about me… ahahhhh! i have just realised it is an illuminating and artistic exercise that will be of interest to my vast readership. how can i deny my public?.

A – Available or Single? no idea; ask my CLP and see what response you get.

B – Best Friend? CLP as above.

C – Cake or Pie? pie eternally, pastry being the food of the gods. (preferably with potato and onions therein)

D – Drink of Choice? tea – virtually any style any way any where, but preferably no teabag and no sugar

E – Essential Item? probably my cricket bat (or should that be my box?)

F – Favorite Color? you know… i’ve never really been able to decide. it’s all so visual and (as one may deduce from an entirely word-based blog) i’m not. let’s say whatever colour you, my readers, prefer. it’s so interactive round here.

G – Gummi Bears or Worms? worms – liked them as a kid and we never had gummi bears (filthy german invention); anyway, they are so good for the soil and leave the door open to the possibility of a really weak mediaeval christianity-related pun. (diet of worms – for the one person on the planet who is yet to groan at it)

H – Hometown? North Shields – always in my heart (no really – sad but true)

I – Indulgence? good wine; doesn’t have to be expensive, but made with care and dedication and drunk with friends – but not champagne, that’s just muck with bubbles in it.

J – January or February? January – you get more for your money and there’s less of the year gone so less guilt at having done nothing with it.

K – Kids? horribly, stupidly in love with mine

L – Life is incomplete without… art – specifically theatre; not the rsc stuff, particularly, but small productions with good actors up close where you can see their eyes, working inventively and honestly. it lights up life and has been lighting up mine ever since i first went.

M – Marriage Date? nobody’s told me about it…

N – Number of Siblings? classic spoiled only child

O – Oranges or Apples? apples – off my tree on the balcony in my urban oasis

P – Phobias/Fears? – i’m not sure i fear anything. when my dad died i decided if i could handle that i could handle it all – i’m not so certain that’s true, but i don’t have anything to fear as such. we deal with anything – that’s what my mum managed to do and she had so much more to deal with than me, so i should be able to have a go at that too. there are a lot of things i would hate to happen, but oddly i don’t feel like i fear them – what difference would it make?

Q – Favourite Quote. none or too many and as this is my choice, i shall opt for too many:

‘ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re trying to be so quiet…’ – and the whole bloody lyric, damn you, bob

‘the moving finger writes, and having writ, moves on: nor all your piety nor wit

shall lure it back to cancel half a line nor all your tears wash out one word’

prospero’s speech beginning ‘ we are such stuff as dreams are made on …’

‘let’s go’ ‘ we can’t’ ‘why not?’ ‘we’re waiting for godot’ ‘ah yes…’

ode to a nightingale – one long quote; it’s so good it’s like dylan

‘and now abideth faith, hope, love; these three – but the greatest of these is love’ (sorry; i’ve bastardised the king james because i want sugar on my jam on my chocolate)

R – Reasons to smile. CLP, the boys being good, the boys being bad, coming back and seeing the boys after a week, a day, 10 seconds…, friends, that first pint on a summer evening, taking a good catch, taking any catch, people who enjoy writing and reading at my blog, someone being kind for no apparent reason, reading over a piece i’ve written or edited and thinking it’s as good as i can make it, walking round the boundary at a certain time as the afternoon just starts to become evening with a pint in hand, seeing my chillis grow, having been up against it on a tricky pitch and finally hitting a ball for four after overs of grafting, anyone getting my sense of humour, the cork coming out clean from a bottle of 40 year-old port, dylan, moments when for no particular reason you feel the shaft of sunlight hit your soul, a successful run chase, just breathing sometimes, life, death, anything, nothing, everything

S – Season? summer – the first half of the cricket season when you remember that you can still score runs after all and stiff limbs manage to move quicker than you dared hope

T – Tag Three. do i even know three who haven’t been tagged? i’d love to tag daisy and fidel, but you’d have to do it here, so i’ll try teacup newt, manxome and aradhana. i don’t even know how you tag someone – great playing a game without quite knowing the rules…

U – Unknown Fact About Me. i have appeared naked on stage and screen

V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? i am frequently nasty to pigeons and imprison small dogs to power my home using treadmills; would probably make cutting remarks about cats but i fear their powerful lobby of supporters.

W – Worst Habit? laziness, lack of concentration (probably laziness) – or agreeing with people putting almost directly opposed viewpoints

X – X-rays or Ultrasounds? who cares, but i really hate the conservative party and wish the blight on the planet of right wing politics and hatred would just fuck right off and leave anyone who cares remotely about people not money to try and run this place a little less horribly.

Y – Your Favorite Foods? potatoes, onions and anything that contains them… also everything else in quantity please with just a little more of that thank you very much – oh i couldn’t … well if you insist, just to be polite (oh yes alphabites and potato waffles – that’s for me online mum and her boring friend sarah and her annoying kids who are so not as grown up as me, whatever she says)

Z – Zodiac? scorpio – couldn’t you guess???

big hot sweaty love

i have been accused of not loving my regulars enough. and this despite the fact they are sufficiently few in number to allow me to feel (nay, demonstrate) a deep personal (if not actually moist) affection for each one.

you who write here are my brothers and sisters; you put up with my endless soapbox ranting about why i hate the tories, why things that annoy me slightly somehow threaten the existence of all worthwhile members of this species, and why cricket is the clearest expression of the eternal soul of humanity; you listen (virtually) without visible yawning or derisive laughter (please don’t feel you need correct me on this one) as i bang on about how the north east of england is the land of lost content where the sun always shines and happy naked children run carefree through the giant rhubarb native to the region; you smile good-naturedly as i regale you with efforts at amusingly quirky stories about ‘life’ or some such, about isinglass and drunken friars who never existed; you suppress your snorts of incredulity as i maintain that dylan can actually sing (and not in the same sense a tortured corncrake sings); you pick up things that are barely ideas and run with them to produce vast surreal screeds of narrative about … well frankly i couldn’t begin to say what.
you indulge the (for me) pleasant fiction that what i write has the slightest shred of significance. you wonder simply with me and together we whisper into the void. i am grateful. it’s good to know you all and you truly have my big hot sweaty love. is my tongue in my cheek? (mmfgh … gruggh … ahunngj … checks quickly) well only partly.

xxx – fidel, you have your answer.

and breaking news: the guy who nicked a bolivian spider monkey from chessington world of adventures (well that was an adventure) gets a year in prison – a tory councillor who prostituted a woman with learning difficulties (gratefully plagiarised this from sparklematrix) got a suspended sentence. so does that mean that the monkey is more or less important than that woman? hmmm tricky one.