10 September 2005

A September Miscellany...

A few strange things have been happening of late. Some of them my business, some of them not. I try not to comment on the stuff that isn't my business.

First off, I bumped in to the mother of an ex yesterday. Talk about feeling violated. It's not that I don't like her - she's a lunatic and that often inspires affection from me. It's just that she wasn't meant to be here. She's meant to be in Ireland. And there she was, strolling down Church St as though she owned it. I desperately tried to seem as delighted to see her as she seemed to see me. I think the look of shock on my face pleased her. So we chatted on the street, me grinning like an idiot and then she followed me to the shop. It turns out my ex's entire immediate family are in town. Now granted, this is an ex 5 years since. It's still weird. I think it always will be.

Secondly, there's yet another house guest. And he's an old mate and huge amounts of fun and a corrupting influence of high standing. But I just don't need it right now. The night before last was a fun opportunity to catch up, eat well and drink well. But I need to hide now. And hiding in St Andrews isn't as easy as it looks. Especially when I have to be at work for 8 hours, and as such people will know where the fuck I am.

Thirdly: extrovert clothing. A friend and I were catching up and the subject turned to a mutual mate whose dress sense was nothing but straight-laced conservative. Fine shirts, ironed to a razor point, cords, chinos and jeans of the non-worn variety. Nice, classic jumpers - you know the type. However, underneath this rigid ensemble were, without fail, the most outrageous socks you could imagine. Bright, flamboyant and generally silly socks that could hurt the eyes depending on design. Brilliant.

I think it's healthy to have a bit of extrovert clothing. I'm not a fashionable person. I wear various combinations of jeans and t-shirts. In the summer it's shorts and t-shirts. I'm in a perpetual state of being slightly underdressed. I'm happy with this. It means I'm comfortable. But I too have my extrovert item of clothing. Boxers. It's fun. It's like that Calvin & Hobbes cartoon where Calvin is strutting through each panel with a massive grin, his mother looking at him as though he's insane. The last panel has him reflecting that not everyone appreciates how amazing he is when he wears his rocket ship underpants. Or something like that. So I wear outrageous boxers and it sometimes prompts a small grin. It's not like anyone's going to see them, the way things have been going of late.

So - what pieces of clothing do you wear that are that little bit silly? Socks? Boxers? Thongs? T-shirts? S & M gear? Trousers? Hats? Sarongs? Answers in comments. I'm curious.

I've moved my driving test to 17 October. But now it's in Dundee. Ugh. Still need something sooner. Just want it over and done with.

Summer has left Scotland. It is dark, grey, cold and ominous.

I haven't packed anything yet. I should do, I know that. I should pack up the massive amounts of books and clothes that I am neither going to read or wear between now and when I leave. Soon.

It's my mother's birthday today. I remembered to send a card yesterday. I sent it Special Delivery. I hope it gets there today. I've already phoned to wish her a happy birthday. She sounded like she was having a good day so far.

I bought an iPod nano. Compulsive and stupid when one's income is coming to a halt in a month? Compulsive and stupid when I have not one, but two other iPods? Yes. To both. It hasn't arrived yet though. Monday. Really looking forward to it.

09 September 2005


There's a lot of washing up to do. So I'm hiding in my room, not packing.
I have this idea that if I pack a bag every day and ship it down to London, there won't be any mad rush when I actually leave. This is delusional, but I'm happy with that.
Hiding is being made easier by my newly acquired copy of The Magic Numbers' cover of Crazy in Love (yes, the Beyoncé song). It's so cool.

Anyone can now comment on these posts by the way. I've changed it. Now all I need is someone to read the posts to comment on them.

08 September 2005

Balancing act...

The feeling has returned to the tip of my right ring finger. To this day, Thursday, I have no idea why it went funny in the first place. But it's fine now.
The meal I referred to in my last post was indeed as wonderful as I'd hoped. The wines were indeed exceptional. I have a rule about wine chat on this blog though, so if you want to see what we drank and how it tasted, check it out here.
To be honest, my favourite part of the evening was the end, with Pete W, myself and Pete C sitting on the floor of the cellar, merrily chatting nonsense. I'm sure we solved the problems of the world. We lost the piece of paper we wrote them down on though.
The next day (Monday) was pretty lazy. Not really hungover, just kind of slow. I took this picture (above), which still makes me laugh. Tiny, the oriental shorthair, looks so totally unamused; a nice contrast to Pete C looking totally amused. We drank champagne with bacon butties, did a partial stock take of the cellar and then went riding.
The riding was wonderful. That part of Northern Fife has no shortage of stunning scenery and the horses were lovely. I rode Pico, who seems to know that I'm effectively a beginner, and is very patient with me. We cantered, slipping occasionally into a gallop, and it was brilliant. I hadn't been that fast on a horse for 15 years and while there was the hint of fear, that made it all the better. I whooped and hollared a few times, I can tell you. Hanging on for dear life brings that out of me.
We rode as the sun was going down and as the haar was coming in. The surrounding valleys being slowly over run by the mist coming in from the sea. Sadly it's not easy to take great pictures from the back of a horse, so they didn't come out brilliantly. But this should give a bit of an idea. We managed to avoid the fog throughout. The sunset was incredible, the mist on the horizon turning the sun itself almost red. But I was riding too fast to get my camera out. Sometimes memories are better than photos anyway. I had my stirrups too short, so my legs felt like rusty stumps by the end. It was worth it though.
We went for a curry that night with Jo & Ellie, who seemed in pretty good form. Great food at the Balaka but the coffee is shite.
The last couple of days have been a bit of a see-saw. I've had more great food, some dreadul whiskies and some lovely whiskies. I've tidied my room a bit. I've contemplated packing. One second I'm ready to jump on a train and fuck off home, the next I'm standing on my balcony, wondering what I've done and wishing I could stay there forever. It's a bit of a see-saw; up and down. It's going to be ok.

04 September 2005

More cool & uncool (Or, "Is There Balance In The Force?")

This is from my back garden in London - it had been pouring with rain all day but began to clear up just as the sun was setting. I really like this shot.

I'm mildly frazzled at the moment. Everyone's asking me to explain, precisely, what I'm going to London to do. And I don't really know. Ok, that's a lie. I do know. I'm going to write. But just saying that is a bit embarrassing. I don't know why. So instead I say I'm finishing some writing "projects". Which sounds like a bunch of bullshit and more pretentious than if I just said, "I'm going to write". It's my own insecurities creeping up on me.

Anyway. The number of people who've been supportive warms the heart. I never expected to be congratulated for leaving my job. But it's apt. And the genuine interest it's generating is enouraging.

The tip of my right ring finger has suddenly gone numb. I have no idea why. It happened while I was moving laundry from the washing machine to the tumble drier. Unaware that there must be some complicated series of finger stretching exercises to prepare for such exertion, I just leapt in an did it. Silly me. Having said that, if prep were actually required for every action, no one would do anything. And action is worth a few numb fingertips. Even if it is weirding me out.

What's cool at the moment:
Dinner - I'm cooking tonight. Wild smoked salmon to start and roast gigot of lamb as a main course. The wines will be exceptional.
Kaiser Chiefs - New album. Enjoying it a great deal.
Moving to London - Is very cool. I'm giddy. I've said that before. I'll probably say it again.
My friends - Have been, are, and always will be truly amazing people. At the height of self-doubt, you realise you must be a good person for such wonderful people to like, love and care for you. Even when they act weird. Especially when they act weird.
The haar - The sea fog is in today, and usually I hate it. But it's fighting a battle with brilliant sunshine. It provides calm entertainment.
My cuppa - I didn't have any beer in the fridge. Odd. So I made myself a cup of tea instead. It's tasting ace. Really. Instead of beer; who'd've thought?
Atonement - reading a new book. It's very good. And I actually have some time to read it. To be honest, I've only just started it, but it's starting well.
Ireland - fate is bringing me to the emerald isle twice in a week (my brother-in-law's 40th and my mate's wedding). So I think I may go once and make a holiday of it. This is where I hope I have both a driving license and a car. I've not been to Ireland since my nephew's christening. That was 5 years and 2 girlfriends ago. And I've been single for 2 1/2 years. So it's an overdue trip.
My "Summer 2005" mix and my "New Mix 2001" - great tunes for walking around London, or indeed anywhere. I may even post the playlists if people want to know what's on them.
The person who set this up - live information on New Orleans. Totally non-profit. There are some truly good people in this world.

What's uncool at the moment:
War - in general.
Numb fingertips - Seriously. It's weird.
The haar - An example of the duality and hypocrisy of life.
The aftermath of Katrina - An act of nature in itself cannot be uncool. The devastation compounded by human error can be uncool and is uncool. As is the suffering. In fact, it's not uncool, it's horrendous.
Failing - My driving test. The epitome of uncool.
Single for 2 1/2 years - I'm not that bad. Honest. What's up with that?!

Once again there is more that is cool in the world than uncool. Or in my world at least. Aside from weird fingertip issues.