21 October 2005

Observational nonsense and the mountain of boxes

As if geeks didn't jerk off over new iPods enough, now there's this news.

I'm in London. And not getting off to a fast start. Still a bit deer-in-headlights at the moment. Not at being in London, mind, but more with having my life in boxes and a hint of uncertainty about unpacking. You see, my folks are showing the house to potential buyers quite a bit. Now, it's their house to sell as they wish, but I wish they'd told me it was being so actively marketed before I moved my life (in boxes) back down (with the exception of the 5 boxes left in my closet at Andy's flat). So I'm sure if I spend the hours (and I do mean hours; perhaps days) unpacking we'll sell the house within 15 minutes and I'll have to pack it all up again. Negative? Yeah, but I just ate 2 hotdogs. That's enough to make anyone testy.

Still. I've drawn up my to do list. That's always the first step to procrastination.

20 October 2005

The conversation...

Inner Nagging Voice: So.

Me: So.

INV: So you're leaving.

Me: Well, I've left. I'm in London.

INV: No regrets?

Me: Nope.

INV: But didn't you have the best time ever during your last few weeks?

Me: Yeah.

: With, you know, fine wines, amazing food, endless smelly cheese, well-wishing and unerring love of your friends. Don't you think that's worth sticking around for? Oh, and the sambuca...

Me: If I recall, you're the one that started this whole fucking thing in the first place, with the whole "do you really think you belong here?" and the "what the fuck are you still doing here?" so what are you bitching about moving now for?

INV: You just ended a sentence witha preposition.

Me: Oh for fuck's sake!

INV: It's my job to question. Hence the "nagging" in "inner nagging voice". Duh.

Me: Did my mother put you there?

: Whatever dude - look. Are you sure you've made the right decision? Have you started writing properly? Have you even unpacked yet?

Me: Not yet...

INV: New driving instructor?

Me: No...

: So, you're sure you've made the right choice.

Me: Give me a chance to get settled in for Christ's sake, I've only been here two days!

INV: Sorry. Got to start nagging from the start.

Me: Do you really enjoy that?

INV: That's that not the point - it's my job to nag you. It's what I'm here for; my purpose in life.

Me: Well, I just quit a job I didn't like, and I feel great. You should try it.

INV: Dude, I'm not a disgruntled worker; I'm a facet of your conscience. You can't tempt me with liberation, dumbarse. The only way to free yourself of me is to achieve inner peace.

Me: Pizza?

INV: Peace, you dipshit. Speaking of which, how's the weight loss?

Me: Ok, Ok, I'm getting sick of this. Right. You're part of me, right?

INV:. . .yeah...

Me: Well then... fancy a pint?

INV: I'll just nag you about your drinking.

Me: I stop hearing you after the fourth.

16 October 2005

I should leave more often

Last night was an absolute epic. Just that perfect combination of friends, booze, music, good cheer and an unexpected present of epic proportions. Kirsty D came over for dinner (delivery Marmaris pizza: ideal for lining the stomach) and we watched the X Factor (what a bunch of talentless people and what awful television) and drank beer and wine. First stop was Ma Bells where we managed to bag the head table (the one in the bay window at the front) and take it over. Loads of people arrived and many beers were consumed. Annoying golfers wearing the ugliest baseball caps ever (a screen print of a tacky Baxter painting of the Royal & Ancient) tried to cramp our style and pull our women but our inherent grooviness won out. We went through 2 bottles of sambuca and they were so impressed that they tried to buy a bottle but weren't allowed. Ha! We are so much galactically cooler than they. There is that sort of euphoria you get when you're out with your mates and everything just works. We were all on great form and it all kind of clicked - you know that sense of invincibility you get when everything is going brilliantly? It was that in Ma Bells, in spite of terrible service and poorly chapeau'd wankers. And then it got better.

Sick of waiting for the next round (the service really was dreadful), Andy made the genius decision to go Aikman's. Aikman's is a dive: dirty, poorly decorated, falling apart furniture, no AC, smokey, the lot. It's also my single most favourite pub in St Andrews, the only one I have consistently frequented my entire 11 years in St Andrews. It is a proper boozer, putting attention to the pints rather than the wallpaper, or image. It's brilliant. And it's also the best place for live music in town. My friend Kate used to play there, and she's just won a Q Award. We rocked in, pretty drunk I must say, and a totally rockin' country and western band were tearing the place down. So we got involved. Lots of beers and boogying. I have to confess to not being the biggest country fan. I view most of that entire scene like that bit in the Blues Brothers at Bob's Country Bunker ("Oh, we have both kinds of music: Country and Western!). But these guys were awesome. The lead guitarist was leaping onto tables for wild solos, the crowd were lapping it up, we were literally throwing people into the air (rugby line-out training comes in handy in the strangest places), narrowly missing the ceiling and driving Barbara's (the long-suffering pub-owner) blood pressure up mightily. She wasn't impressed with Andy's attempts to put her into orbit. She kept trying to calm the dancing down as it was knocking the light fittings out of their sockets in the Cellar Bar downstairs. It was kind of pointless on her part and she knew that she was fighting a losing battle: how can you calm the dancing down when the lead guitarist is can-can-ing on the tables? Many a yee-hah shouted. And then Kirsten wispered to the lead singer and all of a sudden "Sweet Home Alabama" is being dedicated to "a hill-billy named Rich who's moving down South". I'm grinning now remembering it.

So today was a slow start. Off to Naughton with Kirsty D to give James a belated birthday card and say goodbye. Lara Crawford has grown but is still puppy-tastic, flopping about and desperate to chew everything. And I really mean everything. Nibbling away at fingers, boots, hoodie tassles (well, ok, what the fuck do you call them, then?), tea towels, whatever. It turns out James had a late one as well and so we were all sort of subdued. Then someone I don't like turned up. His horse had thrown a shoe. Hm. In any case, we said our goodbyes to James, and headed back towards St Andrews for soup and sandwiches with Ben and Kellie. Kirsty went back to Edinburgh and Ben, Kellie and I went to see Wallace and Gromit. I know I've seen it. I saw it again and it's still fucking ace. Though I wanted a nap and had to drive afterwards.

Tonight was unexpected cool. Andy I decided to grab a bite at the Thai and wound up ordering their banquet (£15 per head for a LOT of food), then rocked over to the Byre where an amazing jazz night was going on. An incredible drummer, Paul Mills, was playing seriously groovy funk and jazz. We listened to their first set but exhaustion, excess beer, and the spectre of driving tests brought us home at the interval. Still, it was so cool to go for a pint and yet again find brilliant music and beer.

The last 2 days have been really touching. When I was writing about poison head all those months ago, and saying I know I'm blessed with great friends, well - the last few days represent what I was talking about. My leaving present was a hand-coloured original print of the harbour from the mid 19th century, and the obligatory card signed by everyone. At the table in Ma Bells, having just texted someone, I got a text from Millie saying to stop texting, because everyone I loved was there. Which was so sweet it nearly made me cry. But while I loved everyone there, not everyone I loved was there. But I didn't mind: if they were, I'd be leaving them all behind. I've felt very loved. It's all good. I'm just very happy, sad and excited. And the people in my life, here and elsewhere, St Andrews, London, the world, make all of those emotions, and quite a few others, more intense and wonderful. It seems that many amazing and lovely people love me and believe in me. So thanks. It's inspiring. It's humbling. And I hope to be worth it.

Now if I can only pass my driving test...