Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Bethany left in November. I feel like I'm ready to talk about things, but this is only going to work from a distance.

I'll watch the movie again and again, and I'll tell you whatever you want to hear about the lighting and the cinematography; the structure and the direction. But not the actors, and not the ending.

Not yet.


She said stop acting weird. Be yourself.

I stopped acting weird. I was myself.

She started acting weird.

It got weird. I was by myself.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Day One

After an atrocious winter, I'm back. Hopefully.

Things have changed; things are the same. Much to tell you.

For now though, it's Day One, and I'm taking things slowly.

Monday, October 04, 2004

A la Besmirch du temps perdu

The clocks will go back in a little under four weeks, and a single extra hour will be added to my day.

If I had an ounce of imagination I could use that time to commit an audacious crime or ignoble misdemeanour. I would be simultaneusly cheating the law, and cheating time itself. Although if one were to cheat time, would it be technically possible to do so in simultaneity with any other event?

What fun would those 60 stolen minutes contain?

What illicit pleasures could I enjoy?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Cry havoc! Let slip the dog of War(minster)

Stevie's brother lives in Warminster, and while it's not too far away, family differences have meant that neither Stevie nor his brother have seen one another since Whitsun 1998.

Stevie has been unwell recently. He has suffered from stress-induced alopecia for a couple of months, and while he's still not 100%, he's certainly coming through it better than Mrs. Samwell, the creative arts teacher at my secondary school. Just six weeks after the intial symptoms set in, she looked disconcertingly like Yul Brynner. But that's another story for another day.

Anyway, the brother (thickset, furrowed) turned up at The Readways this morning, and Stevie came down to meet him. The two were obviously pleased to see one another, and chatted happily for half an hour or so. Stevie's brother (by now known to be called Lee) then said he had to fetch something from his Mk2 Mondeo. He returned shortly afterwards with a lead-grey whippet on a grey lead. The whippet, he informed us all, went by the name of Daschle (pronounced Dash-ull: it turns out Lee was something of an American politics afficonado).

Lee was heading to Germany for eight months on business, and needed someone "to take care of his dog" (his exact words - fears of a Derek Bentley-esque misunderstanding immediately crystallised in my panicked mind).

Upon which he handed his dog to Stevie, bade us all farewell, and left. Stevie, who from behind looked like Mo Mowlam, clutched a stainless steel food bowl in one hand and a 30mph coursing hound in the other.

Dashcle and Guido eyed one another nervously.


I have discovered that I can type 'Wilkie' using only the top two rows of keys on a standard-issue qwerty keyboard. 'Peter' can be constructed using simply the upper row, but 'man', in its sloppiness, spills over both the middle and lower rows, ruining what could have been a beautiful economy of typistry.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bon Sigh

As I came through the entrance hall this morning, I saw Guido and Stevie wearing chin-strap, visorless helmets and abdominal harnesses. They looked like gimps from a paralympian S&M club. I was informed that they were going to help Dafyd trim the large privet hedge in the garden. This wouldn't require them to scale any particularly vertiginous heights, but such safety precautions are mandatory nevertheless.

Five minutes ago, some three hours since the two of them ventured out, I heard a commotion outside.

When I went to the back door, I saw Guido, still brandishing the Black and Decker Navigator saw, standing next to the remains of three rose bushes. Each had been cut down to a barely visible stump.

Beside him, Dafyd sat on the grass and rubbed his eyes through his old gardening gloves. As Stevie laughed, Guido sung a song:

"Buy - My - Bon - Sai!, Buy - My - Bon - Sai!"

Even when Guido finished reciting his verse, Dafyd remained slumped on the floor.

Agrarian Revolution

I suppose I should explain myself. (I know Disraeli said 'Never apologise, never explain', but when you no longer hold all the cards, maybe that's not the right maxim to live by.)

A brief precis of the past two weeks:

1. I was officially reprimanded for accusing Logan of being unprofessional when I overheard him agreeing with Phil from the Post Office that Guido is a "sex crime waiting to happen".

2. For this, I was barred from the computer suite until today, and transferred to the outdoor activities group instead. Dafyd, a retired gardener who volunteers here three days a week, watched a historical programme about crop rotation the other day, and had us swapping potatoes and radishes from one bed to another. Hardly the Norfolk System, I know, but I'm sure ‘Turnip’ Townshend and Thomas Coke were smiling down on us, even if this year's 'harvest' (we must dignify their achievements as they dignify ours) may be a barren affair.

3. Logan is on holiday for two weeks in Gran Canaria. Bethany is not.

4. I have resolved that I must steer my ship (its hull freshly patched and tarred), in a new direction. Like an ancient mariner, I will hoist my sails and follow the stars.

5. I know nothing else in this world, other than that I need to find happiness.


The Sun today features an in-depth article about the new-phenomenon of wearing one's v-necked T-shirt with a tear at the front, a la Wayne Rooney.

It is a good look, and one which I am minded to copy.


Hello. I've been gone for a while, I know.

After an incident a couple of weeks ago, my computer access was limited to non-internet usage, but now I'm back in business, baby.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


I sent Bethany a short letter last week. It arrived this morning, unopened, on my door mat (I bristled; the mat bristled)

I saw little point in poring over the letter again, and placed it on the still-wet draining board by the sink.

By the time I came to throw it away, the Quinked address had become blurred. I opened the envelope and the letter itself had also become unreadably smudged.

When I had written it, I had been unable to read it clearly because of the cloudy tears in my eyes. Now my eyes were clear, but the letter itself had become a blurry mess.

I slumped forward on to the granite-effect work surface, resting on my forearms, and felt my eyelids pregnant with tears again. As I looked at the corrupted letter through my lacrymose eyes, for a second I saw the words as they had orignally been written: clear and vivid, distinct and sharp.

But then the tears became cataracts and I saw nothing but my own precariousness.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Midsummer Night's Dream

Summer is gone and then Summer is back. Just when I'd gotten used to it being Autumn, Summer is back.

Summer used to be a respectable, contract-abiding type. A gentleman footballer, sitting in his 1950s parlour while his unassuming wife swept the doorstep and broiled a joint of meat. OK, so he might occasionally barge the keeper over the goal-line, but as long as he got his wage on a Friday night ("'ere's your housekeeping, Mary - be careful with it"), he was a fundamentally decent man. A team player. A good egg. His word was his bond.

Nowadays, Summer is like a professional footballer. Contracts mean nothing to him. He will renege or renew dependent upon his pinheaded whim (and kick some upstairs for his fat-necked, clammy little agent).

June 21 till September 21? Fuck that, mate.

I'll do what I want, or I'm outta here on a Bosman at the end of the season.

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