17 September 2005

Cozy clothes time

It's wet, windy and horrible at the moment. And I don't really mind. It's my first day off in 11 days and I'm enjoying a cozy jumper, comfy jeans and flannel lined slippers. I can take the rubbish weather - even enjoy it. I would have a nice cup of tea but there's only skimmed milk in the house. It's just chalky water. And while I can enjoy the rubbish weather, enjoying it is based on looking out the window rather than actually going out in it.

I packed. Finally. I sent about 100kg of clothes and books down to London yesterday. At a guess, I'd say it was close to half of the stuff I need to send. The secret was drinking a bottle of nice wine with dinner, then having a couple of beers while packing. I also watched the "Sahara" DVD, which was huge amounts of fun. Just straight up outrageous adventure.

I would be lying though, if I said I didn't get a bit choked up while packing my stuff away.Up to 11 years worth of memories. That's a lot.

I got some pictures back from the developers. There were a few from the tail end of the polo, and the rest were from Shorehead. I'm pretty proud of this one. I know lense flare is meant to be something to avoid but I think it looks cool in this. I'm also not entirely sure how to avoid it yet (still very new to this). But that's St Andrews pier and East Sands in the morning sun with the clouds doing some crazy panoramic stuff. It's a good hangover cure, that view.

This was a total spur of the moment shot from my balcony. I really like the colour in it. If I'd taken my time, I perhaps could have framed it without the white van. But then I would have lost the bottom corner of the poo bin. I dunno. I'm just really pleased because I wasn't trying to take pictures of fishermen, I was just hanging out on the balcony and as soon as I saw this guy loading up I just thought "I need a shot of this". I feel pretentious now. Because I like a picture I took of a guy wearing yellow wellies.

Dinner last night was nice. I did lemon sole instead of haddock (the haddock didn't look all that great to be honest). Fish is still a mystery to me, so when I get it right there's a smile on my face.
I promised myself I wouldn't talk about anything that was upsetting my guest. She's been low recently and has had a lot of other people helping and sometimes not helping with their opinions and advice. I've done the same. I figured the best thing to do was to just have a nice dinner and talk about life otherwise. It wasn't easy. I like shooting my mouth off and I hate seeing friends hurt. This combination has lead to vitriolic rants regarding the causes of hurting that can be unappreciated when I (obviously) don't know 100% of what's going on because, to a large extent, it's none of my fucking business.
So we had a lovely evening instead of a rant. We also had ice cream. Ice cream may well be the physical antithesis of a rant.
She asked me what I thought of Katrina and everything surrounding it.

My thought is this: shit happens. That's why we developed sewers. If the sewer is fucked when shit happens, then shit gets everywhere. It turns out that our sewage system is a pre-Victorian haven for otherwise failed and incompetent public works officials who, while knowing that shit happens, hoped that it wouldn't happen on their shift as they don't know how to run a fucking sewer. It happened on their shift. And they are the sewer. So they should all be sacked. Especially the head of the Sewage Works. Then of course, the sewer needs to be rebuilt.

Sorry about that. Don't often get political here. I usually have better things to do.

The rain's stopped. Might go get some milk for my tea.

15 September 2005

Morning tunes and some notes

"Modern Way" - Kaiser Chiefs. I just really like this tune and this album (Employment).

"Hounds of Love"
- The Futureheads. Brilliant cover. Who'd've thought Kate Bush could sound so punk?

"It's Oh So Quiet" - Lisa Ekdahl. I have a lot of different recordings of this song by many different artists. Commensurate with my mood of late, this version is best suited as it is actually quiet and reflective.

"Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio)"
- Miles Davis. From Sketches of Spain; this is brilliant music, and is perfect to play if you're somewhere you don't really want to be, such as work.

I found out that almost immediately upon my return to London, my parents are going to the States for 6 weeks. Be careful what you wish for; some time on my own to write has become more on my own than I'd planned. Well, aside from when I was thinking about marooning myself on an island off the West of Scotland. That would have been pretty "on my own" to say the least. Still, I'll have a massive fucking house in West London all to myself. That'll be nice. And not lonely at all, honest.

Still no nano.

I ate a whole Marmaris pizza last night. It was big. Then, I pretty much went to bed - around 10ish. No writing, no packing (still yet to happen). I think I'm getting some rest while I still can. Or, I'm being fat and lazy.

The only emails I've been getting of late have been trying to sell me wine that I cannot afford.

A friend is coming over for dinner tomorrow night. I think she needs some cheering up. Pan-fried haddock with home fries, roasted tomatoes with something green on the side. Honey ice cream with homemade butterscotch sauce for dessert. How could that not cheer someone up?

Part of me has already left St Andrews. It's waiting for the rest of me.

14 September 2005

Wednesday morning notes

My iPod nano has yet to arrive. The longer it takes to get here, the more I question my decision to buy it in the first place. The turmoil, the angst.

Go and see the 40-Year-Old-Virgin. It's surprisingly funny, well-written, well-performed and a genuinely good film. My current drought is no big deal compared to this. It's good to have perspective.

The Ashes. I have actually been excited by cricket the last few months. I have lived in Britain for 16 years and have resisted it. But this has been a remarkable competition, and I'm glad England won.

Shop cricket. Yes, we play cricket it a wine shop. It's silly - we played last night accompanied by port followed by beer. It is the best way to play cricket. I personally smashed over £60 worth of stemware. Oops. A bottle of non-alcoholic beer was destroyed, but that was Andy throwing a bean bag at Veronica. Nobody cried over that one. My spin-bowling needs work but my slow ball is a killer.

Sox lost to the Blue Jays last night. They beat them the night before. I suppose there's balance in the world.

I've been looking at digital SLRs online and drooling. With everything in my life at the moment I cannot justify it. But that doesn't mean I don't want it.

I cooked sausage and mash with my homemade red onion gravy. It tasted ace. I'm hungry.

This pic is from the Highland Ball last month and is of myself and the now-married Victoria Ross-Taylor. Just thought I'd put a pic up of people as opposed to ruins. I was pretty ruined the morning after this was taken to be honest.

A friend of mine seems to be tightening toothpaste caps. Or something. I got a text saying she's doing the worst job in the world, quoting from Willy Wonka, where the dad tightens caps on the toothpaste. I'm not sure if it's metaphorically comparative, in which case she's doing something as bad and as mindnumbing, but not actually tightening toothpaste caps, or if she's literally tightening toothpaste caps. Either way, it sucks, and I hope that Chacchus, Bacchus's brother, the Chocolate God, visits fine chocolate upon her.

I remember one job having to make over 600 grilled cheese sandwiches in a morning. And not nice cheese either. No, this was pure plastic kraft slices. It was horrible. It took a very long time before I could enjoy a toastie or rarebit again.

13 September 2005

Night walks and beer...

One of the problems with being a rambunctious and, well, loud, individual is that when you don't behave in such a manner, people think there's something horrendously wrong with you. I'm in quiet mode right now. I'm actually a pretty quiet person in general, though I make a lot of noise to hide it. It's just I don't have much to say right now. There's only so many times I can explain to people that I'm excited and nervous and there is a lot on my mind. And it's not all bad. So I've had a lot of "Are you ok?" with heartfelt concern thrown at me. It is heartwarming. But I am ok. I may not be behaving to type, I may be in my own little world, but I'm fine. I am preparing to write a novel. Much of my dialogue will internal at the moment.
Anyway, these shots were taken the other night on an extended walk to meet people in the pub. They bailed because they suck. But I did get some nice nightshots of St Andrews. I don't have a tripod or a monopod, so for the first picture I used my knee to steady the camera. It's from the beginning of the St Andrews pier, looking towards the castle ruins at sunset. I thought it was a good idea to take some night shots as a great deal of my novel takes place in St Andrews at night and while I have many vivid memories of the town at night, writing the book in Chiswick means that I won't be able to just pop out and make sure I've got things right. This shot of the chapel came out quite cool. I took it holding my camera through the gate entrance on Butts Wynd.
I spent a lot of the time considering what places meant the most to me and how best to represent them. I walked by my old flat, a slightly fictionalised version of which will be where the main character in the book lives. I haven't lived there in seven years. I know that the best years of your life are meant to be this one and the next, but looking back on my life I certainly see academic year '98-'99 as a very close run third. The flat was called Castlegate.
It was a short walk to the cathedral so I decided to take a couple of shots. It's important in terms of the book. I can't really say why yet.
Then I got a text from Andy saying he needed a beer, so my voyage to the pub was resurrected. Which was good as I really did need a beer or two. He'd been down South helping his mum out with some personal stuff and needed to unwind. I'd been walking around St Andrews for 2 hours and was pretty drained.

I received a wedding invitation this morning. It is the third I've got for a wedding in November. November, it would seem, is the new May. These invitations do a fantastic job at reminding me that I'm single at 29.

If you see me, and I'm acting quiet, say hi. Please don't ask if I'm ok.