Here's a true and tragic thing, Constant Reader, I have waffled on so much that I can no longer remember everything I have told you. I do the same thing in real life, I see that polite look settle over my friends' faces and I know they are thinking "Oh for fuck sake, not this story again, how many functional brain cells do you have left anyway, you daft bint?"
I could read through my old posts, but that would involve much more time and effort than I am willing to invest. If a job's worth doing, it's worth doing as fast as humanly possible to get it over with. I must remember to tweet that under the hashtag #inspirational. Here are two of my latest inspirational tweets, I am particularly proud of these:
So anyway, I was reading Robomum's Tantrum post here : The Day I met a Talking Pig when the muse struck. I picture my muse as being a burly Scottish bloke, dressed in full Highlander outfit, brandishing a Claymore and poised to charge ululating down a heathery ben at the first hint of trouble. He doesn't so much inspire me as terrorise me into writing. The question under discussion was whether we had ever blown a gasket in public. Ahahaha. Let's just say there have been a few occasions when I was not short of a word or six. And I may have already told you all of these tales before, I know I definitely mentioned chucking a tanty here: Stung on the Nipple Twice. Well, if anything sounds over-familiar to you, just put your polite face on and nod in the right places, if you would.
Before I get going, a caveat or two. I don't claim to be hard. Many of my fellow countrymen and women would eat me alive without much effort. But I WILL keep trying to get you, until I can try no longer. Also, I rarely lose my temper. Aside from the odd curse word and hissy fit flung in the general direction of my nearest and dearest, my temper is mainly held in check by lack of interest, diaphragm breathing and middle age.
So, if I lose the plot with you, you have to be have either attacked me unexpectedly (my reaction to being attacked is, not always but usually, pretty predictable. And here's a clue - I don't get teary), or have been really really trying. Either way, you deserve it. And with that, off we go compadres, prepare to be mugged as I meander down memory lane. You may recall the tale of the likely lads at the movies in my "Not an Easter" post. These four fully grown, man-sized teenagers (approx age 17/18) seated themselves behind us at the movies and thought they would intimidate a couple of feeble women for fun and jollies. One of them decided to take the piss out of Leah when she laughed at an ad, and the others snickered. And I went from happy to homicidal in .01 of a second. My head whipped around so sharply I nearly sprung a neck muscle, my lips peeled back from my teeth and I started attempting to clamber across Leah, snarling and spitting as I went. "Have ye got a fucken problem, son?!" is one of the things I do remember saying. I think it's safe to say I took them by surprise, just a little.
Leah was pleading with me and making pitiful little comments like "It's not worth it".
As I believe I may have mentioned previously, it fucken was.
After berating him soundly in the broadest Weegie I could muster and assuring him I would get his bullying, pitiful, bony little arse kicked out of the movies if he opened his mouth one more fucken time, I turned to his friend who was not looking acceptably impressed and barked "And you can wipe that fucking smirk off your face an aw!"
And he did.
I don't recall what the movie was, but I do remember watching it in absolute peace and quiet, without any further distractions. Cinemas can be, de temps en temps, a source of annoyance to me. I love watching films, very much. And I don't like rude people. I do not accept that they have any right to ruin my viewing pleasure and I will not stand for it. They can tell their story walking.
If possible, rather than engaging with an antagonist, I will usually simply move seats. But on one particular evening, the evening I went to see Mirror, the offenders were so seriously determined to be rude little bastards that it would have made no difference where I was seated.
Mirror was a horror movie starring Keifer Sutherland. The cinema was packed, and a fair size, and we were seated down in the right hand corner when a group of "youths" came swaggering in and headed for the top left hand side of the theatre. There were about 7 or 8 of them, tiny ignorant pea brains in full sized adult bodies, chattering, laughing, swearing, guffawing loudly, despite the movie being just about to start. As the credits rolled up, instead of getting quieter, they became noisier. It was clearly quite intentional. They were ignoring everyone's attempts to shush them, and so, starting to shake with temper, I made an attempt to avoid a face off and went out and got the assistant manager. He told me he had already spoken to them. He came in and did so again. As soon as he left, off they went with the shouting, laughing and carrying on. We were five minutes in now, it was meant to be a suspenseful moment and these wee fannies (as they so charmingly put it where I come from) were, quite purposefully ruining the movie. It's a form of bullying you sometimes see with packs of people (particularly young people), they fondly imagine that because they are in a group they are invulnerable, and the worst behaved egg the better behaved ones on.
Well, I'd seen it all before. And I was not playing.
Suddenly, my temper reached breaking point. I turned, half stood and yelled clear across the packed theatre at full volume (and trust me, my full volume is fairly impressive) 'WHY DON'T YOU JUST SHUUUUT THE FUUUUCK UUUUUP!!!!'.
And they did.
I crouched there for a moment, waiting to see if they were going to attempt a rebuttal. They whispered amongst themselves briefly, and that was it. A blissful silence descended. I settled back down into my seat and attempted to quiet my hammering heart. When I get really angry, I visualise what I am about to do. I had visualised dashing across the theatre and running up the stairs at them. So, just as well that they did the sensible thing really as it would most likely not have ended well for me.
As I have mentioned in the past, you have to be simply oblivious to whether what you are doing is wise, or otherwise, in order to carry it off convincingly. Or, as the Mafioso guy said in that ep of House where the kid kept jamming things up his nose "They have to believe you are willing to hurt them." I daresay they could tell by my tone I was quite, quite willing to at least give it my best shot.
When the movie ended, a man walked past me and said "Good on ya, love" in an admiring fashion. It was a proud moment.
Then there was the day, a few years ago now, when I was turning to go into a shopping plaza, but apparently didn't turn fast enough for the woman behind me. Because I had allowed a car to turn in front of me, she started blasting her horn. She thought she would harangue me for being polite to another driver and because she had therefore been obliged to wait an entire 20 extra seconds. Not just one beep either, that beep beep be beep beep beep thing that the cowardly twat is especially fond of. With nary a second 's consideration, I flew from my car and ran full tilt towards her. I think she may have been concerned that I was going to drag her right through the window, she certainly rolled it up fast enough. I remember snarling something at her, as she stared at me, wide eyed. Then I went back to my car, turned into the car park and stood in front of my vehicle, waiting patiently for her to follow me in. She eventually did so, took one look at me standing there and drove right out the other side of the car park. I guess she decided she didn't need that pint of milk, after all.
But perhaps the moment of white hot fury that best sticks in my mind is the night at the Cat House when a drunken arse tried to steal our seats. We were all in our early 20s, just out for a bit of fun, and far from sober. Seats were at a premium at the Cat House (a dance hall in Clydeside, Glasgow), it was always tough to find anywhere to rest and so we were very pleased with managing to procure a small table and four stools and were taking it in turns to guard our drinks and bags, going off in twos to dance and mingle (for dance read head bang and otherwise leap around in a ridiculous fashion). H and I were seated at the table when a bullying drunk strutted over and plonked himself on one of our seats. This was a technique often employed to good effect by gutless wonders on nights out in The Town, the idea being to annoy and intimidate the girls into giving up the seats. Well, he picked on the wrong duo that night.
We told him to move. We told him the seat was taken (which was plainly obvious anyway). We kept telling him. Eventually he replied that he would move when our friends came back. Shortly thereafter we spied Lindsay and Ann Marie starting to wend their way back towards us and H turned and told him now was the time to leave. He replied with a torrent of drunken abuse. H started wagging her finger at him as she vented angrily. At this point I stood up.
As I stood, my thought was to go and get the bouncer. I swear this is the truth. But somewhere between sitting and standing something went "boing" in my brain and I stepped around to the back of our abuser, grabbed his shirt at the shoulders and yanked him backwards onto the floor with all my might.
Unfortunately, what I had not spotted was that just at that moment our tormentor had grabbed H's arm, presumably because he did not approve of the finger wagging. H, being fully focused on her assailant, did not notice me stand up nor was she aware that I had just jerked him backwards. So, as far as she was concerned, he had grabbed her arm and was pulling her off her seat. She went down on top of him, her right arm gripped by our assailant, punching him ferociously with a serious left hook all the way to the floor.
It was a thing of beauty.
I ran nimbly to the door, grabbed our favourite bouncer, Mr Bastard Sir, and told him a man had threatened to hit my friend and was abusing her at that moment. Mr Bastard got him in an arm lock and tossed him into the dark night. I remember Anne Marie's plaintive cries of (and I kid you not) "On a cosmic level, is it really worth it?" I remember H and I smiling in a self satisfied fashion and saying "Yes, Anne Marie. Yes it fucking is."
Don't try this at home, or in a night club, gentle reader. I recognise that we were lucky. I also recognise it was fully deserved. And I just bet the vile little coward didn't try that again any time soon.
As I say, I am less inclined to go straight Defcon 1 scorched earth these days, probably because I have my anxiety under control (mostly). But if you poke me long enough, or hard enough, or threaten or attack me when I am least expecting it, do not expect my response to be a mild one. I have no doubt it will end badly for me, one day. That won't, however, stop me.
I suspect my tombstone will either read "She lost her temper" or "She was a bit vague." This in reference to my habit of accidentally ingesting poisonous substances and taking the wrong tablets. A few weeks back I absent mindedly swallowed 5 year old worming tablets, and the following week I was simply unsure what tablets I had swallowed until the effects kicked in. I used to say I wanted "They never proved anything" on my grave - but one look at my Twitter Time Line would quickly put paid to that lie. As I believe I may have mentioned, it's either going to be used by the Counsel for the Prosecution or the admitting Psychiatrist, one of these fine days.
Anyway, the moral of the story is this - don't start fights with people unless you are absolutely willing to reap the consequences, including the possibility of coming to blows. And never, ever assume that because someone looks sane and harmless that they actually are sane and harmless. I will never start a fight or argument with a member of the public. I will generally try to avoid conflict. But if you attack me, I am going to do my very best to defend myself. The fact that I might very well not win does not receive a second's consideration. The fact that you are much bigger, stronger, or better armed than me is irrelevant at that point. My reptile brain takes over and lucid thought flees.
So remember that, if ever you feel a pressing urge to get aggro in public. And perhaps pass the message along. You might want to think twice, or thrice before employing stand over tactics, to even the mildest looking female.
Someone may well present quite a placid exterior. They may look quite normal and even act quite normal.
But, Constant Reader, take a moment to reflect. You just never know who you might be pissing off.
(Addendum, I don't lose my temper when in charge of children. My responsibility to them seems to override the crazy switch and I will bite my lip till it bleeds rather than involve a child in a fracas.)
We bloggy types love it when folk share, comment, subscribe and all that other interactive stuff :)
There was a post here before about a friend of mine. It is going back up in a day or two, once I have added a few things :)
Meanwhile, here's a little quote from Anais Nin (whom I happen to know my friend loves too):
Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
And an absolutely beautiful song, just because it is beautiful. And because it always makes me think about the value of friendship. My friends, mostly, take the place of the family I no longer have (Al being an exception of course).
Thank you, as always, for dropping by, Constant Reader. Fair winds and a following sea.
It is a supreme source of irritation to me that I am unable to judge myself - more particularly my writing - from the outside. I clang around in this space between my ears, leaden footed. Sometimes I have an inkling of what might be entertaining, and sometimes not. Right now, not.
Being mentaly different doesn't bother me much, overall. I look at what passes for sanity and I know for an absolute certainty I don't want to be on the same planet as most of those types, let alone wish to emulate them. So shuttered and blinded by their own deliberate ignorance. People live in boxes they construct for themselves, all the time blaming those around them for their own torture, when often they are simply torturing themselves. And they are so very, very afraid. As I said here, every day I see many folk voluntarily climb into cages, fashioned by others, which crush them into a shape that pleases their jailers. And for what? To avoid someone not liking them, or not approving of them. I am not innocent of this myself, entirely. But with every passing year, I learn better how to free my thoughts from the constructs and desire of others.
I hear it and see it to a frustrating extent, this fear people choose to spend their lives feeling. Afraid someone won't like them. Afraid the false face they present to the world will be recognised as such, and stripped away. Afraid of their own thoughts and feelings. Afraid of any person or thought that is not completely "ordinary". Clinging desperately to conventions which are fashioned only in our minds, as a sort of collectively cooperative delusion.
A caveat, when I am very depressed, or suicidal, I often long for normality. But when I am not in great pain, simply confused or (insert word that does not yet exist) I am so used to being whatever this is now that I mainly sit passively on the raft, as it rushes over white waters towards whatever destination I am bound for.
All of the tussles, tangles and wranglings are invisible to the naked eye. I often feel that I am on a voyage, and yet here I sit in my earthly body, which is slowly disintegrating around me.
So I opt not to post anything too wordy for a day or two until the ping pong ball that is my mind settles down slightly. And who knows, it might be this afternoon, tomorrow, or never.
Maybe one day I will just step right off the cliff of sanity into the waiting arms of utter delusion and never come back. I oscillate between believing that is an outcome greatly to be desired and being afraid that it might really happen.The main thing I miss when the carousel is spinning wildly is humour. I can't seem to express myself humorously. I hear it as funny in my head, but that is not the way it presents, apparently.This is not depression, or like none I have ever experienced. It is not anything I have been able to pin down despite extensive reading and discussion. And regardless, even if there was a handy label, there is no vocabulary to explain it properly to those who inhabit the land of the sane. I can point to the colour blue and say blue and you can learn that is what I mean. But I cannot point to something you are not mentally equipped to see. I can't describe a sound or a smell which to you does not exist. So, I will stop trying, for the nonce. Talk to you again, Constant Reader, when things are less unsettling. When things are less - whatever this is.
Subscribe, comment, share if you love me - you know the drill :)I am super stressed today, as I am due to have another echo cardiogram in a couple of hours. The parking will be a problem, I am not a happy driver at the best of times and doubly so when I have to go somewhere as annoying as Southport, and then there's all the fun and frivolity of letting some stranger grope me for an hour or so to look forward to. I can recall when people used to have to buy me a drink at least before I'd let them play with my breasts. My arm is like a pincushion from all the blood they have taken in the last week and I am rattling when I walk from the various medications they have me on. I am, you might say, a little grumpy today, in the same way that Pol Pot wasn't really a people person.So, I will take my mind off my impending woes by doing what I love to do most these days, which is write to you.
For some reason, perhaps my gloomy frame of mind at the moment, I was thinking about Friday the 13ths long past as I drove home from the blood suckers. There are none impending, which pleases me. I KNOW logically that there is nothing spooky about Friday 13th. I understand that our brains are just set up to remember the patterns - the hits and not the misses. I recognise that my superstitions are pointless (you may recall I wrote about some of them a while back here) and I am well aware that there have been many, many Friday 13ths where nothing untoward happened to me at all. But of course, it's the one that was a bloody corker that sticks in the memory.It was, I think, 1996, and I was living in Southern California. I had gone home for a holiday to Scotland and was due to wing my way back to sunny So Cal on Friday 13th. But the universe had other ideas. I got as far as nearly boarding the plane at Heathrow when the chap noticed there was something wrong with my Visa. I can't recall what, I do remember I had known I should go to the Embassy and get something stamped, but hadn't - that anxiety thing again, if I can avoid something that stresses me out it I will do so, to the point of ridiculousness. So, he turned me back despite my desperate pleas (and serve me right really).I trudged my sad and crestfallen way to the American Embassy, to have my Visa sorted. Only to find that all of their computers were down and they could not help me till the following day. I had approximately two pounds fifty to my name and one suitcase. And in this suitcase was my grandmother's tea set. Gran had given me her china tea set as a memento and, not willing to trust it to the baggage handlers, I had packed a toothbrush, some make up, a bar of chocolate and a change of knickers in a handbag and decided that my carry on luggage would be these lovely antique cups and saucers, carefully and individually wrapped in newspaper and bubble wrap. I have them still and often admire their fragile beauty. But they are not, and this is key, useful for shampooing your hair or wearing in lieu of your one manky blouse. I might have been able to fashion them into a bikini of sorts, I suppose, had the thought occurred.At this point, I did not realise I could actually take money out of a hole in the wall at a London machine using my American bank card, as I had been cashing cheques for the last 4 weeks - remember the days when everything was not completely electronic? Fortunately, I did cotton on to this before the day was out, or it could have been a long and hungry weekend.I phoned So Cal and informed Bruce I wouldn't be coming home, just yet. I phoned my mother and lied and said all was well. I just couldn't face her making it all about how worried she was. Then I phoned my big brother, who was living in Manchester or Birmingham (cannot quite recall which) at that time, and said Help! Which, gawd bless his cotton socks, he did. He directed me to a place where they could find me a room in a decent hotel and paid for it over the phone with his credit card.
I interject to point out that I did not want or generally need a credit card of my own, back then. Oh, glorious and innocent times.
So, after a long and tiresome day of tramping all over London, I rocked up at a quaint little hotel, grubby, dishevelled, my hair standing in clumps, my clothes sweat stained and my feet sore, with my tatty little bag containing my gran's bone China tea set clutched in a death grip. They put me in a room approximately the size of the bed which cost, for two nights, about a month's rent for a flat in some of the less salubrious areas of London. Any cat swinging efforts would have met with a swift and gory end. What to do to pass the time till the Monday morning? I know, thought I, I'll drink. Baileys and a book and the TV whiled away the next 24 hours. I still couldn't rest though, the anxiety was rattling around my head like a pea in a drum. Resulting in me over sleeping on the Monday morning. It's not the most pleasant of sensations, Constant Reader, to open your bleary eyes on a Monday morning in a strange city and realise you have fucked up, again. Barely stopping to brush my furry teeth I dashed to the airport, arriving half an hour before the flight. Sadly, you must arrive at least an hour before an international flight as the girl at check in informed me breezily. Still, this was before September the 11th so at least nobody stripped me naked on the spot or tasered me for being grouchy. I called Bruce. Erm, won't be coming back on that flight either, sorry. And hung around the airport like a terrible stench for many tedious hours, me and my bag full of bubble wrapped teacups, sporting my hand-washed with toilet soap undies and blouse, hair styled by Chip Pan. As I recall my hair all that weekend was rocking the sticky, not quite properly rinsed look that always seems to result from using the free shampoos which hotels dispense. I have a theory they replace the shampoo with Fairy Washing Up Liquid, which gives much the same result. I know this from personal experience, sadly. I tried hanging out with the homeless people and bag ladies, but they were embarrassed to be seen with me, so I sat quietly reading for most of the long day, till they finally put me on a flight to Chicago. Which had the benefit of at least being in the correct country.
As a final little kick in the teeth from the cosmos, I nearly missed my connecting flight to So Cal too. They called it while there were approximately 20 people in the queue in front of me. I think I managed to finally disabuse Americans of the notion that British people are polite as I quarterbacked my way through that queue yelling My Flight's Been Called in a broad Weegie ululation, kicking the feet out from under old ladies, ducking under the hairy armpits of taller gentleman and shoulder smashing the clavicles of anyone else who got in my way.There is no question that I have never been happier in my life to arrive in the United States of America. I nearly got down and kissed the landing strip when we got to Southern Calfiornia. And the end result has been that I do have to suppress the foolish notions that gather like devilish dust bunnies in the corners of my sanity when Friday the 13th looms large. On the plus side though, I rarely notice what day of the week it is, let alone the actual date, unless it is pointed out to me. So, Constant Reader, do me a favour and mention it AFTER the next one, if you would, and we can compare notes then.
Right, the clock is ticking, off I go to get felt up. Time was, that thought would have filled me with anticipation, rather than dread. Until the next time, compadres. And may all your Friday the 13ths be happy ones.
Addendum. The tech had nice and warm and extremely hairy arms (he was leaning over me from behind which was actually a lot less intrusive and embarrassing than the full frontal the other guy did) and great personal hygiene. He smelled good, in other words. I have a very strong sense of smell and I was very grateful for this. I did think of telling him his arms were nice and warm and I liked his personal hygiene products, but thought better of it.
I look at the clicks on the sidebar, rising week by week and I am without the words to describe my thoughts. We are nearly at 10,000, Constant Reader. In a week or two someone (not all the same person, mind you) will have logged in to read my wandering, semi-lucid and often deviant ramblings 10,000 times since last October. Holy Shitballs Batman, to coin a Tegan phrase. 10,000 times that people took time from their own time to spend time with me. I wish I had the words to describe how that makes me feel. Honoured is one word.
When I look at the stat counter and I see people from countries all over the world are logging in - well, if only I had the capacity to explain how strange that is to me. How sublimely and wonderfully ridiculous. "Words are like water. They slip away, laughing. I cannot grasp them long enough to sculpt my thoughts."
So to all of you, thank you for deciding that amongst this worldwide deluge of information, these cries for attention from every corner of our world, this veritable sea of thoughts, thank you for thinking my words were worth pausing over. It gives me a wee chill, when I really stop to consider it.And to those of you who landed here by accident - especially you, strange person who Googled "stinky sweaty jack off" - thanks for joining us anyway. Pull up a chair. I can't promise you any porn, but I will scoop out the insides of my brain and tear chunks out of my heart and smear them all over these pages for you. What, too much?The truth is, I'm more naked than naked right here. And I don't just mean because I often write from the laptop, in bed, sans vetements. I'm just an intermittently demented and generally unsafe bletherskite, standing in front of a world full of total strangers, demanding their attention.
If by some marvel I ever become rich, I am going on a world quest to meet at least some of you, and buy you all a Suicider.In the meantime, you can have my love. Here 'tis.
People are amusing, they have more fun than anybody, except horses, and they can't. Do they think we're not onto them and their obnoxious little ways? Or do they just think we won't call them on it? I call bullshit on the following (and yes I know I have mentioned some of this stuff in previous posts. It annoys me):
You say you've just seen a movie/read a book/whatever and a certain type always has to let you know "I don't have time to read/tweet/whatever": By which they mean that they are so much busier and more productive than you. If you love it, you make time for it. Ergo, if you're not reading, you don't love reading. And I know, without a trace of a doubt, you are making time for things that I would scorn. However, I would scorn them openly instead of pretending I didn't have time for them, or simply keep my gob closed. Next time you feel the need to remark on my reading/tweeting/emailing, don't. Just ask how the book is, or change the subject. I don't need your seal of approval.
People who say "Oh, you're so photogenic!": By which they mean, you're a bit of a dog in real life, but you always seem to manage to fake a good picture. Fuck you.
People who say "What do you do?" and if your answer is not work full time at something you hate to pay the bills go on to tell you how lucky you are. Half yer luck, as they say here in Aus. You know fuck all about my life and the things I have had to do, so just because I am getting a bit of a break from working full time don't assume you know anything about what I do during the day, or have the faintest idea about my life or me.
People who say "I know exactly how you feel." No, you absolutely do not. Even if - for example - my mum just died and yours just died too, we still feel things differently. You might have a better idea of how I feel than, say, someone who has never lost a parent, but I would never be so rude as to tell anyone I know just how they feel. Just say you're sorry they are suffering and sound like you mean it.
People who say "Everything happens for a reason" to someone who is going through a struggle. No. It doesn't. And even if we somehow find out that it does, indeed, happen for a reason, that still does not negate the suffering of the person at the time. It's not for you to tell someone how they should deal with issues. This sort of phrase is said solely to comfort the person saying it, and is deliberately dismissive of the person who is struggling with a problem.
Keep your envy and your unhelpful comments to yourselves. They are most unbecoming.
Do you have particular pet peeves on the comment or conversation front, Constant Reader? Statements that make you just want to biff someone? Well, perhaps that's just me. Something you find a little irritating then?
And, for those who want to know, as of 5 minutes ago I have nothing whatsoever to do from now (1pm) until 3.30pm. Well, there's plenty I COULD be doing. But nothing I'm going to be doing. I choose to fluff around instead. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
I think about dying from time to time. I just snorted out loud at the serious pomposity of that sentence. But I do. Especially as my heart issues have worsened. I wonder what would happen if I dropped down dead of a stroke or heart failure. I don't worry about the afterlife. If there is one, nobody knows what it is. Anybody who says they do is kidding themselves. I'll either find out, or I won't, either way pointless to stress about it. Hopefully the heart stuff they are planning for me in June will work and then I can get back to being the careless, thoughtless person I am naturally inclined to be. Please also note, if I don't die, but do have a stroke or some such and am seriously fucked up, kill me. All of you. You can take turns if you like, I know some of you have unresolved issues with me. Then email Yahoo on my behalf and tell them to delete the FUCK out of my email account which is email@example.com. Especially the drafts folder. Anyway, important bases are covered I think. Tania has my death list. It's a list of people to email if I do suddenly cark it, people who might not otherwise find out what had happened, or if they did would find out with difficulty. She's also admin on this blog, so she could post you all something lovely along the lines of Alison is dead. Keep your bloody prayers and get hammered instead on her behalf while listening to Snow Patrol, Foo Fighters or Nine Inch Nails. No flowers please, just pick a fight with someone in a pub in memory of me. Get Leah to go with you, she can hold your jewellery (trust me, in a fight, it's all she's good for...) I will also task Tania or Lynn with the serious responsibility of tweeting my death tweet from beyond the graaaave, if I have time to organise that. There are lots of friends I could trust to do this, but few I could expect to laugh while they were at it.
There is very little I would be sorry for if I dropped dead just now. My children know I love them. My friends know I love them. I have done a lot of very stupid things, but mostly I don't give shit one about that. Here are some things I am sorry for:
Here are some things I would have done differently:
- There was a person I hurt, deeply, long ago and far away, and I am sorry for that. I would like the chance to say sorry to them in person before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Just that one person. As for the rest of the "you hurt me mob" they can swallow a spoonful of cement and harden up.
- I'm sorry I ever bothered my arse with Facebook, but I am seriously glad I found Twitter.
- I wish I'd had more casual sex prior to meeting dh. I was always in relationships, and I'm not saying I didn't have ANY, but not being a person who is very comfortable with lying, I was forever saying no. Less relationships, more shagging until I settle down and do the children thing, if I get a do-over.
- There were some lies I did tell. I wish I hadn't. Not because they were generally all that bad, but because I have discovered truth to be exceptionally liberating. It really does set you free.
- I would definitely do more drugs before I got all sensible and had kids.
- I would not have moved in with Sharon.
- I'd tell my friend who became a prostitute not to do it and bug her until she either stopped, or stopped talking to me. I should have tried harder.
- I would have had a caesarian straight away with Jake, instead of torturing us both for a day and a half.
Here are some things I would still like to achieve, if possible, and assuming I get another decade or so at least:
- I'd like to go home.
- I'd like to meet the Three Musketeers in person, and Phil.
- I would like to finish this fucking psychology degree before I die of frustration.
- I'd like to know a week in advance of making my exit so I could then publish the name and address of the psychopath plus lots more details - a) because they deserve it and b) as a warning to others.
- I'd like to see my brothers - or failing that at least the one who is still talking to me - and Jane again. Plus several other friends, the two Tricias, James, Heather, Jim P, a few others.
- I'd like to find out exactly where my ex stalker lives (I have a good idea, and I know his workplace) and get one of my more masculine Scottish friends to punch him for me. Just walk up and punch him right in the kisser. And say nothing. Just walk off. His latest TL includes half naked photos from women who are tweeting them to him publicly and his slabbering all over them. This married man. He's a fucking pig.
- I'd like to visit Gavin from Hull's local pub. Gavin is a twerp I follow, he's bloody hilaire, and completely bizarre. His local sounds like a Hull version of the Penny Geggy (in the Shaws when I was growing up). Here are a few of his recent offerings:
There you have it. About as deep and meaningful as you have come to expect from me, I dare say.
- There are a bunch of twerps I would like to meet too, before I cark it.
- I'd like to learn to play the guitar.
- And I would like to live on a boat. Permanently.
Any death list wishes you wish to share, Constant Reader? Or am I the only freak who spends much time thinking about these things?
Show me you love me, in case I kick the bucket :) Subscribe, comment, share.
WARNING. The following post is genuinely disgusting. I am not joking. If you are weak of stomach, I beg you, go no further.I am short of time at the moment, so am simply re-posting a couple of old favourites. I know it's cheating - but are any of you actually surprised? ;) If you like (or are utterly revolted) by what you read, please share.
Have you ever seen that movie The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind? The resounding no I always receive in response to that question is a little dispiriting. Well, it’s a great movie, I like quirky, clever, unusual movies that force you to think. Leah* doesn’t like The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Leah watches McLeod’s daughters. Leah asked the chef what you get in spinach and feta ravioli. And she thought Ireland was called Island. Because – said she - it was one. Really. So, whose camp would you rather be in, I ask you?
Anyway, the pretext of the movie is that you can go in and remove certain memories with a high tech, highly illegal machine. So, you can remove people from your memories altogether. Just think of the folk you could delete. The P.E. teacher who used to shave her eyebrows off and draw in fake pencil ones, and never did any actual sport but wore a pink velour tracksuit with high heels and called instructions to us from the sidelines. You would wheeze past her, gasping up a lung and she would call out, whilst taking small sips from a suspicious looking silver bottle “Keep your knees up, you can go faster than that!” Not because she abused me or anything, she was just really annoying and I hate that she is taking up valuable disc space in my memory drive, which is frankly overloaded with all manner of bunkum, claptrap, dribble, hogwash and twaddle. (I just went and had a look at a thesaurus, one of my favourite pass times. Yeah, I know it’s odd and nerdy - bite me). Anyway, the memory thing is at a critical point now, when I try to remember a new password, for example, I forget something crucial like my home address, or what time I am supposed to be picking the kids up. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) I could use the room that Miss McDade is currently occupying with her pointy shoes and snooty attitude, that’s all I’m saying.
But the movie got me to thinking about memories you might actually, genuinely want to delete. Nothing too valuable, but certain things that make me wince and flinch a little every time they tunnel their way through my defences. Off the top of my head, here are a few I would definitely scrub (abrade, buff, cleanse, rub, scour) from my brain with a wire brush if I had my druthers:
· The time I stepped on a cockroach. In my bare feet. It was so abhorrent I can feel my legs tingling, my foot itching and my guts heaving just thinking about it. I was already morbidly afraid of these revolting things anyway. (Aside, did you know that cockies in Qld often fly? Fly. Pause for a minute to digest the true horror of that. Talk about gilding the fucking lily.) Queensland is full to the brim of these repugnant, putrid, vile, awful, sick-making monstrosities (oh no, those epithets flew easily from my fingertips, let me assure you). I’m not fond of cockroaches is the point I wish to make. Here in Queensland, no matter where you live, no matter how clean your house is (and let’s face it I am certainly not claiming that), come the summer you are going to see a couple at least. Our cat keeps the numbers down, in the most revolting manner possible, and I am not going to talk about that or I will be scraping sick off this keyboard and will have racked up yet another memory I wish I could delete. Let's just say it is not uncommon to see a spiky little cockroach leg lying on the tiles of a morning. Shudder.Anyway, one morning I was walking through to the living room ( in our last house), when I felt something sort of smoosh underfoot. The horror I felt when I looked down, saw it and realised what I had stepped on is beyond description. Oh, it wasn’t dead, not by a long shot. It was running now, in circles, no doubt damaged in some indescribably nauseating way. I stood there making mewling noises for a few moments, then gagged and ran for the shower. I ran my foot under the hot water for maybe ten minutes, got out the Dettol and disinfected it and then ran it again with soap for another ten. The whole time making whining, gagging and sobbing noises not dissimilar to those you might make if a zombie was chowing down on your brain. I would love, genuinely love, to be able to eradicate that particular memory for all time.
This image belongs to Microsoft Office Imagery
. The toenail incident. With thanks to Tan for reminding me of this horrific episode yesterday. I had thrown one of my dh's old Tshirts on in order not to traumatise the children (again) and was sitting watching TV. I noticed something jagging into me, thought it was a loose thread on the shirt, explored with my fingertips. Realised it was something in the pocket. Reached into the pocket and, with a yell of horror that brought the kids running, discovered the pocket to be home to half a dozen clipped toenails. Who the fuck does that? My children laughed until tears ran down their merry little faces. They'll keep.
· That young man who kissed me when I was maybe 20 and had a sticky mouth. Or tongue. Or something putrid. Oh, vomit, another truly gross memory. He was ok, nice enough chap, reasonably attractive, had long hair and a motorbike which was always a draw point for little Miss Sensible. But when he snogged me… Well first it was a bit like a runaway train, but worse still, after a few minutes I came up for air and found my mouth. Hang on. Pause to try not to throw up. Filled with kind of sticky little bits from Christ knows what. Pause again to stop retching. Lucky I am a touch typist since I am not looking at the screen now so as to avoid reading the previous remarks by accident. Anyway, serious health or hygiene issues, god knows what was wrong with him, but whenever I think about the fact that THAT tongue was in my mouth, however briefly, I have to fight the urge to boke. Thanks, John! He called to ask me out again a few days later. I declined.
· Birthing room blues. I was in a birthing room a couple of times. On one occasion, curiosity overcame me and I went and had a look to see if the head was crowning. Firstly, I had never seen another woman’s bits before, up close and personal. Interesting that it could look so different from my own, who knew? (We use a mirror, what did you think? No, I'm not a contortionist.) Secondly, I never wanted to know that. Especially about someone I knew well. It makes conversation hard, at least initially, when you are looking at their face but visualising their private parts, and not at their best either. Thirdly, when you are bearing down hard to move a baby down the birth canal, sometimes you push out shite as well. You know, poo. Faeces - just to be absolutely clear. I sort of did know that, but knowing it and seeing your friend’s blood-spattered parts ornamented by a pulsating head jammed into the opening and embellished by a tube of shite being squeezed out a mere inch or two below, these are two different things. Every now and then I will be doing nothing in particular and a flashback of that moment materialises in what passes for my mind. You will know by the momentary discomfort on my face. I have some advice for you, and for once it is sound: If you are in a similar situation, for the love of god, stay up the fucking top.
NB - if you are ever a support person in a birthing environment, apparently it is also poor form to choose that moment to point out that your friend has ears like a Vulcan. Save that for later, would be my tip.
When I started writing this, I was feeling quite light hearted. Now, I feel squeamish and revolted. I had a number of other memories in mind, but you know what, I think that’s about all I can take for today. And probably all you can take too, constant reader.
And so, with a song in my heart I am off to brush my teeth with something abrasive and shove my itching right food under water just slightly north of boiling.
*Leah is an old friend, I often refer to her as the sister I never wanted. Sometimes she's very cool, but other times hanging with Leah is like going on holiday with Aunty Agnes to a really awful boarding house. Even when she knows she's wrong, she's right. It pleases me endlessly that I get the last word on the shite she sometimes talks on my blog :) Beware, being my friend comes with penalties...
George Square circa 1900. Not quite as I remember it, but I like the picture.
I am homesick, Constant Reader, increasingly, desperately so. Yes, I know that Queensland, Australia is a dream come true for many. What you have to understand about me is that I never, really, had any great urge to travel. I would most likely have lived and died in Scotland, but for a strange confluence of events. Travel rather just happened to me.
I don't mean for that to sound ungrateful - though I know it does. I have seen such sights, have done such things, as I would never have dreamed of in the Council housing of my youth. As for my children, I genuinely believe their childhood (and now teenhood) here has been a joyous and richly textured one and a lot of that is down to the Australian way of life. Barbies, beaches and theme parks are what they will remember about being young. We can drive to the glow worm caves in the rain forest in 20 minutes in one direction, and to some of the world's best beaches in 20 minutes in the other. We have a choice of SeaWorld, Wet and Wild, DreamWorld and several other theme and ride parks about the same distance away. We can paintball, laser skirmish, bowl, surf, dance, jet ski - if we are so inclined - and eat at some of the finest restaurants. Or we can simply park the car and saunter along the sea front and eat fish and chips on the ocean in the sparkling sunshine and feed the pelicans. I could go on, at length, about the attractions the GC has to offer and I don't mean to imply that it is not a nice place to be.
But I want to go home.
And it is irrelevant if Glasgow has changed or not as the nae sayers keep trying to tell me. The last time I was home, 15 years ago, everyone kept pointing out how much the place had changed, but actually all I could see was that it was still vastly the same with a few superficial alterations. Buildings don't make a place, the people do. It doesn't have to be Glasgow, there are plenty of small towns in Scotland that would fit the bill. And I LIKE the cold, bleak weather. The perpetual heat and blazing, glaring sun is starting to get right on my last nerve.
What it boils down to is "My Heart's In the Highlands, my heart is not here."
However, for multifarious reasons Scotland is not on the horizon any time soon. So I thought I might remind myself of a couple of the more - shall we say interesting - occurrences of my life in Scotland, and ponder on those instead the next time the rain sends me into paroxysms of melancholic memory lane hopping.
The other day, I chanced to recall the afternoon that Jane and I hitched a lift from Luss. The summer I was 15 we saw some scorching weather, and this day was an absolute cracker. Everyone was skimpily dressed, so the driver wearing no shirt and having a towel around his waist did not ring any warning bells, lots of people were going swimming that day. We had walked from the train (Drymen station? Maybe not, my memory for names is legendarily poor) to Luss and intended to walk back, taking turns carrying the little rucksack I had borrowed from elder sib. But it was SO hot and we were SO tired, the heat melted our common sense and we thought we might try to score a lift back to the train. We stuck out our thumbs and almost immediately four cars screeched to a tyre burning halt within a few yards of each other. Right there we should have reconsidered. But we naively hopped into the back of the nearest chariot with effusive thanks. I was on the passenger side and could see the driver quite clearly. Jane, lucky bastard, was behind him. During the mercifully short journey I glanced towards him only to realise, rather to my alarm, that he was stark bollock naked and now merely sitting on the towel which he had flung open to reveal his purplish/red appendage. After scooping up my eyeballs and closing my gaping jaw, I began rummaging around in the rucksack for our glass bottle of Irn Bru to use as a weapon should the occasion arise, and attempted to alert Jane to our imminent peril by rolling my eyes rapidly in the driver's direction whenever he wasn't leering at me in the rear view mirror. Jane wiggled her eyebrows back at me. She told me later she thought I fancied him. Sherlock fucking Holmes eat your heart out.
Whether he thought I had a knife in there, or had never intended anything more than scaring and revolting us, the driver let us out a little way down the street from the station. I could not get out of that contraption fast enough and was nearly dragging Jane behind me by the scruff of her neck as she chattered away insistently "Thanks very much, mister, that was very kind - Alison, stop that! Thank you again - Alison what the hell is WRONG with you?! Cheerio! Have a lovely day, and thanks again! Alison Tennent, where are your manners?!" I nearly galloped down the street, hauling her protesting form behind me and when she'd finally ceased rabbling long enough to hear the story we commenced laughing hysterically, and continued to do so pretty much the whole way back to Glasgow, to the delight, I am sure, of the other British Rail p̶r̶i̶s̶o̶n̶e̶r̶s̶ passengers.
It didn't stop me from hitching lifts on several more occasions, mind you. But I always checked to make sure they had clothes on first.
On the subject of men's willies and their penchant for showing them to strangers, I might mention the afternoon I was seated on a bus, number 45 or 57, heading into the town. I suppose I was about 19. The bus was pretty empty, and I was all alone, up the back, gazing out of the window. A man had seated himself a few feet away from me. His seat faced in a different direction to mine - thusly:
And, as I shortly noticed, his eyes were tighlty closed in concentration. He was using his left hand to tent his coat and thus obscure his activities from the driver, while with his right he was engaged in furiously masturbating. For my benefit, I suppose.
Trying to keep as wide a distance between himself and myself as I could I very quietly fled, got off at the next stop and walked the rest of the way. I like to think that when he'd completed his task he looked up for the applause only to find himself disappointingly sans audience. I also like to think that at some point in his career someone gave him a good, sound kicking. Revenge is a dish best served with steel toed boots.
The trenchcoat looked a bit like this one. I did not go searching for an image of a man masturbating on a bus. I figured my Constant Reader's imagination would serve just as well.
I could mention the various glassings I witnessed, the head kicking outside Central Station, the slashing of one of my boyfriends in Queen's Park, but that might be a little gruesome for the Constant Reader. I do recall crouching under a table in a booth at a pub in Sauchiehall Street (with, I think, Tricia Ness) while chaos broke out all around us, trying to decide over the bedlam which pub we should try next and when might be a safe moment to make a run for the door.
But no trip down memory lane would be complete without this one from the vaults.
It's not always sunny in Glasgow, you might have gathered. And back in the day, we city central office dwellers used to beat a hasty path to George Square when the sun peeked through the cloudy veil. To paraphrase the great Bill Bryson, the low hanging and semi-permanently grey skies made it rather like living inside Tupperware. On those happy sun-kissed lunch breaks, we'd plonk ourselves on the grassy edges of the Square, or if you were lucky enough to grab a seat, make yourself comfy and contemplatively munch on your sandwich while people-watching and gazing reflectively at the statues. (Yes, I have heard, George Square has changed too, thanks).
One fine autumnal lunchtime, I was sitting on a bench, quietly reading a book, when something caught my attention. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed an unusual happening. One of Glasgow's numerous drunken hobos had wandered into the space between my seat and the next one along to my right. A young couple were entwined on the next bench, deeply immersed in trying to reach one another's tonsils with their tongues. And between us was this white-haired, raincoat-adorned trampish type of person. Who had lifted his coat, dropped his trousers and his knickers and was vigorously engaged in taking a shit. Right there. On the ground. Five feet away from me. Straining quite hard too, if memory serves.
I let out a little "meep", grabbed my belongings and fled to the other side of the square where I waited in fascination to see how long it would take the couple - who were struggling to keep their eager fingers out of one another's undies at this point - to notice him. A few minutes passed. I smirked each time a passing pedestrian jumped in shock and detoured madly around the silver-haired old scamp. I was no longer chewing my sandwich as I seemed to have lost my appetite, and merely sat there, trying to avoid focusing on the straining man. It's quite hard, it turns out, not to watch someone taking a dump in your field of vision. Eventually, the girl surfaced for air, glanced in the direction of the hobo, who by now had produced quite a satisfying pile of manure, glanced away again and then her eyes, like iron filings to a magnet, were drawn back to the stupefying sight. It was everything I could have hoped for. Horror was writ large upon her features. Her beau's face when he turned to see what was affecting her thus was a mask of disbelieving revulsion. I've rarely seen anyone move so fast, it was almost worth having to throw my lunch away. I've often wondered if that couple are still together, and if they recall the day one of life's unfortunates took a giant crap 5 feet away from their passionate embrace in the invigorating autumn air, in full public view.
I suppose I could have warned them, but my method was much more entertaining.
Of course, if I ever did return to Glasgow, the next question would be, what on earth could I do for a living after spending so long away?
I was thinking I might apply for a job with the Tourist Board. I'll send them a link to this blog. I mean, how could anyone resist?
Sunrise in the estate, on a morning walk last October.
So I was just chatting with a tweep. Wait, a quick interjection here.
Tweep is THE uncoolest word ever manufactured but what the fuck else do I call them? Twittites? Tried that, they all thought I was doing a titty joke. I don't do titty jokes just by the way. Twerps? Half of them don't get it, no offence Americans but you are not very good at non-American specific slang. Twonks? Kind of rude, plus it's ripping off Gervais big time. Ideas, anyone? Sometimes I call them a fabulous flock of freaks, but the tweep in question is actually fairly normal and sane. Anyway, let's go with tweep for the nonce. So, I was chatting with a tweep about my various mental and physical peculiarities - as you do - and the brain chemistry thing came up.
You know what's a total pain in the arse? Mornings, when your brain wants to sleep all day and be awake all night, but life won't let you. Remember my post on insomnia? Here 'tis: On Insomnia and Blog Hop Blues - well, there is something else about crappy sleep that is tres annoying - aside from it making my mornings even more unbearable than absolutely necessary - and that is the roll of the dice every single night.
I sit here, enwrapped in my trusty sarong, seaweed crackers in my lap, at 5.35pm on a Sunday evening, trying to decide if I should just go for it and drug myself to sleep right now. If I do this, I will be asleep by 8 or 9pm and I might, just might, be able to get up early enough to go for a walk and get a few things done in the am. But maybe not. Sometimes I do "wake up" after drugging myself to slumber, but at least half the time I more or less just come to, like that scene in a horror movie where the victim rubs their eyes, groans, sits up and clutches their aching head, with no clear idea of how they got there, or where the hell there even is.
This is a spiffing way to start the day, in case you were wondering.
Because the thing is, though I am pre-programmed to keep Vampire hours, I love the possibilities inherent in being awake at 5.30am, IF I am alert enough to accomplish a few tasks. Go for a walk, put the dinner in the slow cooker, finish some emails, pay some bills, put on a load of laundry - and all in silence and peace (aside from having to feed psycho cat to hush her yowling), before the rest of them surface around 7am. If I can manage these things, my schemata stop howling at me, the inner monologue turns off for a bit, the endorphins kick in and by the time they are all awake I am then usually semi-pleasant. These are my ideal mornings.
If I have chosen not to drug myself it is likely that I will conk out somewhere between 10pm and 1.30am. If the latter, I will awake in a state of grumpiness around 6am, basically functional - but not feeling chipper enough to actually attempt anything useful until 6.45am and some caffeine, by which time the window of opportunity for walks and other useful pre-daily rotuine and endorphin raising activities is closed. There is a lot to do between 7am and 8am, when we all go off on our daily journeys.
Or, even worse, it will be on of those nights. I will stay wide awake, staring into the darkness, or at the inside of my eyelids, fretting more and more and doing that countdown think in my head - "Oh Crap I have to get up in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.... hours". At around 2am I might panic and take something to knock me out. Which will mean I do get 3 hours sleep. Believe me, having survived many many days on no sleep at all, 3 hours is not to be sneezed at. But it also wipes any hope of anything perky or useful prior to mid morning off the map as I will still be suffering the effects of the drug till then.
And I never get to know in advance. It's a great big game of roulette, every night. Admittedly, if I have been doing something physically strenuous, I will usually sleep better. But - here's the thing - not necessarily. I once walked all night at a charity walk-a-thon thingumy, came home, lay down and did not sleep for another ten hours. Sometimes avoiding caffeine helps, other times I can drink 4 cups of coffee and conk out at nine. I plan to leave my brain to medical science, assuming they want it.
So, what's it to be tonight, I wonder? Around and around and around it goes, where it stops, nobody knows.
Hope you have sweet dreams, Constant Reader. One of us should.
Yes, I have used this image before. Will it drive you mad trying to remember which post? One can but hope!