Thursday, June 30, 2005

Proxy Funerals, Vomitting Puppets and Misogyny in 20th Century Cinema

My brain has been turned off today. It seems to be coming round now but I’m not going to push it. I hate no brain days. Hate ’em, hate ’em, hate ’em. I get ratty and frustrated, I do passive activities like watching films and listening to radio programmes but I can’t actually follow what the hell is going on. Even in comedies – I can’t follow a joke from the start to the punch-line, it’s so frustrating. Anyway, I wrote most of this last night and quite clearly my ability to string a sentence together now is a marked improvement on earlier today. Sorry to everyone to whom I owe e-mail.

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time thinking about Jeff around the time I knew his body was being cremated. I think this was a very useful exercise. I listened to some music. I don’t really know what sort of music he was into so I downloaded some random folk then listened to If I laugh by Cat Stevens – the saddest piece of music ever written and The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams – the most beautiful piece of music ever written and one that never fails to move me. I want this played at my funeral, so somebody else better write it down.

I had a really good sob – something I would never have managed to do in a public place, especially given that they’d be people far closer to Jeff who would most likely have managed to hold themselves together. I need to cry sometimes. I don’t enjoy it and I’m not one of these people who pick a movie because it is a weepy. But sometimes, you just need to get the stuff out.

I ended up watching two films yesterday as I was to spend most of the day alone and my brain really wasn’t in gear [I thought, until today arrived and I remembered what that really felt like]. Team America: World Police is the funniest thing I have seen in probably about a year. I had been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to rent it since it’s release onto DVD a few months back, and it was well worth the wait. I know at least half the people reading this will despair of me, but I was on of the first Brits to discover South Park and I’m afraid I just dig that humour. I don’t generally go for adolescent-boy humour (although I love Mike Myers as well), but Matt Stone and Trey Parker really make me laugh. Even the vomiting puppet made me laugh. Yeah, I know.

The production was also something to marvel at – such detail, including lost of amusing make-dos like pawns for bollards and cheese-graters for incense burners. I love all that miniature stuff; I love the ambition of people trying to make films properly without blue screen and CGI – not that there’s anything wrong with that stuff, just that it’s great to see it done with love and attention and hands-on modelling.

The second film I watched I didn’t finish properly, which was Hitchcock’s Marnie. Most Hitchcocks I’m really into, my favourite probably being Shadow of a Doubt. I learnt the true power of suspense in that film when I first watched it, having recorded it and having the tape finish about fifteen minutes from the end. Aaaah!

However, Marnie I abandoned. I hated it! Well, it wasn’t bad, but it was ideologically troubling. I know what you’re thinking, for any woman of taste Sean Connery as a romantic hero is ideologically troubling. But he raped her. He blackmailed her into marrying him, and she had this major anxiety about being touched by men, begs the guy not to and although he holds back for a short white he goes ahead anyhow. And you just knew, you knew that he was going to somehow cure her of her ‘problems’ (as she says in the movie, “Men; you say no thanks to one of them and bingo! You’re a candidate for the funny farm.”)

Marnie (Tippi Hedren) was a bit of a loon. I mean, faced with a choice between marriage to Sean Connery and life imprisonment, what would you do? And she was a thief. But no actions on behalf of a woman justify her sexual exploitation, even under the eye for an eye rules – since she can never assault you in an equivalent way.

I did turn it off, but then I put it back on in the background just to make sure that the film didn’t redeem itself. As I predicted, she wound up falling in love with her assailant, her neuroses were all because of her mother, the female condition is a disease and male-constructed femininity is the cure yada, yada.

At one stage, Marnie says of some psychology texts that her husband has offered her, “I don’t need to read that filth to know that women are stupid and feeble and men are filthy pigs.”

And I don’t need to watch movies which present and promote this distorted picture of the humanity, even if they are from Alfred Hitchcock. Grrr!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

For whom the bell tolls

Today is Jeff’s Funeral. I’m not going. I did think some more about it and I’m not not going merely to avoid inconveniencing [...]. He’s being cremated in Scarborough and then there’s a do (a junk food buffet, which symbolises Jeff’s legendary unhealthy diet) at The Shambles, which involves stairs. So very long day, and it’s going to be very traumatic. To be honest, I don’t feel strong enough in myself, before we get to the risk of my presence detracting from what other people get out of it.

In a few weeks time they are going to put his ashes in a Viking style long boat, ignite it and set it out to sea. There’s an article about this in The Whitby Gazette, which includes a rather blurry picture of Jeff. I might be able to go down to the beach watch this; we’ll see.

Anyway, I don’t know what I’ll do today, I imagine it may be business as usual for me. I might have a quiet time in the afternoon.

A person called Tinbasher pointed me towards this poem which I thought I would share with you.

For Whom The Bell Tolls - John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Wedding of The Century #1

As I have mentioned before on here, my sister Rosie and her ginger-topped sidekick are getting married in August. It is going to be the Wedding of the Century; the biggest and most lavish family wedding we're going to have and the only one I am likely to have any investment in* - unless she does it again, or my folks split and remarry**. Since this topic is likely to rear its lace-adorned head more frequently, I have decided to give it its own series of blog entries. This way, everyone who is allergic to weddings can avoid these posts entirely.

Last night, R sent me the reading I get to do. It is very groovy, a new translation of St. Paul's bit about love. The commonly known version goes on about how "Love is patient and kind..." etc which has always been one of my favourite bits out of the Bible. I have already learnt it off by heart (I commit poetry and prose to memory in a flash). I tried to do recite it standing up, but it takes longer than I can stand up for, so we're going to have to work out some way I can address the entire congregation from a seated position.

In other Wedding Of The Century news, our friend H has now become involved in the fitting of the bridesmaid's dress. I didn't do this - [...] roped him in somehow. H used to make ball dresses and stuff, he knows what he's doing. This bridesmaid's dress has already become far far more trouble than it is possibly worth. I wanted to be a bridesmaid when R asked me because she wanted me to be and if I said no, it would be because of my illness. I have no desire to wear a silly dress (and it has now become the silliest dress in Christendom), but I didn't want my illness to hamper my involvement in what will be the only big wedding I am likely to be involved in.

Mind you, if I wasn't a bridesmaid I would need to find some other mainstream-wedding-oriented outfit and I had enough trouble cobbling something half decent to attend my cousin's wedding a couple of years ago. The last three weddings we've been invited to in Whitby have had a pirate-orientated dresscode. Whitby is an odd kind of place like that, but if you are yourself an odd-ball it is far easier and cheaper to conform and totally acceptable not to.

I just hope the Wedding of the Century guests can cope with a little non-conformity.

* If [...] and I ever marry we shall either do it in secret or we shall do it in some weird and wonderful way and only invite the five members of my family I have regular and personable contact with. R & A are laying on a mini-bus for the occupants of the family vault.

** When I was a kid I always wanted a brother. Now I have two brother-like figures - Adrian who has been my brother-in-law in all but name for years now and H who is also rather like a brother-in-law but in an even less official sense since he is not actually [...]'s brother and [...] and I are not married.

However, I really need a third to fully compensate my fraternal deficit, so ideally if my folks split my Mum could remarry someone just a little bit older than me - mid thirties perhaps - and I would be invested in such a wedding. I wouldn't attend their wedding if my Dad remarried at all, since that would just be odd.

If you spend so much time alone, you think about these things. It's natural. The only thing which I do not have an excuse for is writing them down.

Odd and Outrageous Websites

Three odd websites I have found for the first time this week. Nobody click on any of these if you think you are likely to be offended.

Alien Loves Predator is a photographed cartoon strip about the Alien and Predator living in New York. They're both interested in baseball. The story so far is that basically, the Yankees signed Jesus and Jesus has moved in with our two protagonists. I thought this was something to do with my painkillers.

The Landover Baptist Church Where The Worthwhile Worship, Unsaved Unwelcome. This is a somewhat outrageous response to the current wave of American Christian fundamentalism. But it is very funny and these people have read the Bible thoroughly. It's only sad that another group of people have set themselves up for such ridicule.

T-Shirt Hell
is a collection of the most close-to-the-mark and indeed on-the-mark t-shirt slogans. Some of them are very funny, some of them are shocking.

Having a generally good weekend. Bit annoyed today as for the first time ever I have actually lost money on trying to auction stuff on eBay. I know this is a bad time of the year for this, but I am still kind of surprised. I need to clear stuff out (mostly clothes) and most of the stuff really ought to be desirable to someone...

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Sunset and The Bonkers Goldfish

The Solstice Sunset, Whitby 2005

This picture is actually one that my friend Pete took. He was able to walk across the road to the edge of the cliff – all my photographs had lampposts in them which detracted from the view despite my best efforts to arrange them artfully.

Much happier at this end of the week. Trying to do some recording of my compositions today - trying being the operative word. I’m beginning to think that I’m just not that good a guitar player to play a four minute tune accurately, even if it is a tune I wrote.

My books moving on. It is very frustrating, this sense of being so near – beyond the point of no return – yet knowing there’s still a lot to do and notknowing just how much I have got to do, how much editing it’ll take, any major changes between here and the completed manuscript.

This stage in the writing process is like a sort of psychosis; you have all these characters in your head who you know intimately - better than you know most of your friends and family. You kind of created them, but you feel like they must have always existed elsewhere and only moved into your head when you invited them in. They’ve highjacked a fairly simple creative idea you had and keep replaying it in your head like a vivid dream – not a film because that’s purely visual and only lasts a couple of hours – but a fully sensual dream which seems to span a period of about a month, which is the timeframe for events in the novel.

I know the story extremely well, but it remains ever so slightly dreamlike. Even the most vivid and orderly of dreams have slight inconsistencies, bendy bits, clues that what you are experiencing isn’t quite real. Sometimes I read over what I’ve written and realise that time has passed too quickly or slowly, somebody has obtained an item which should have been elsewhere, someone has expressed a knowledge of something which they are yet to learn. Also these characters, who have become an almost demonic presence in my life, keep adjusting it like prima-donna actors interrupting the rehearsal to suggest “What if I come in through the other door and use this line instead of the crappy one you wrote?” The bastards.

The only thing I can do to exorcise them is to get it all written down and share it with someone else. But I have to get it perfect; I really have to get it right so that someone else can fully understand exactly what happened. I don’t believe that I’ll get these people off my back otherwise. I decided to give up and work on something else this time last year but they continued to haunt me all summer.

The novel’s principle antagonist is the worst because he’s so damn narcissistic. Sometimes when I am doing other things, thinking about other things, like when I’m blogging or browsing eBay or whatever, I’ll hear his voice saying, “What the fuck are you doing, Deborah? You’re supposed to be writing a book about me.”. He always speaks quite quietly but pronounces the word ‘fuck’ with great emphasis, like he uses half the breath he took for the entire sentence on it. Conversely, when I am writing lots – especially about him - he’ll say really gentle complimentary things, even tells me to take it easy and not be so hard on myself. I don’t really trust this. Frankly, the guy scares me. I want him out of my head.

I have had to abandon plenty of other projects because of my health or timing or because I realise I’ve made a mistake but I don’t think I’ve got a chance with this. I have to get it done or else in ten or fifteen years time they’ll still be bothering me.

Goodness, that feels a great relief to have off my chest, but you can kind of understand why this is not something I can easily share...

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Ruby Slippers

by The Goldfish (after Caroline Cardus)

Caroline Cardus is simply the greatest living disabled artist. You can have a look at some of her work inlcuding the original and superior Ruby Slippers at Dada South. Also her exhibition A Way Ahead for Disability? on the BBC News website.

The greatest dead disabled artist is Renoir, in case you were wondering.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

In Memorium To A Muse

Jeff Muse drowned in Whitby harbour last night. He was a really nice friendly chap, early thirties. Byronesque looks, you know, very romantic looking and quite a romantic character all round; a little enigmatic, a little misunderstood. I always considered him very well suited to his surname. He was rarely fine and dandy when I asked, but then he was always fairly cheerful and concerned about me. He was one of these people who seemed genuinely interested in you.

The last time I saw him to speak to, I was going through a period where I had almost given up on my book and when he asked me about it, I felt embarrassed about the length of time it was taking. But he said something along the lines that it would be all the better for the time and effort and just what he said picked me up and got me going again.

He was a jet carver and a bit of a whizz. Our friend H thought he was talented, and Hal dose not give such praise lightly at all. H came round for dinner tonight but arrived with his news. I was in lots of pain, drunk too much and said all the wrong things.

Apparently his death was an accident, high spirits plus water. Jeff was a strong swimmer and was often in the river or in the sea. He lived on a boat for goodness sake, I saw him pretty much every day on the other side of the river. His health hadn’t been great lately though. I kind of hope that in the cold of the water his heart gave up or something like that such that it was quick. I am trying hard not to think about him drowning.

Here is the BBC News story such as it is just now.

I am afraid that [...] is going to take this very badly. He’s been kind of low lately and this is the last thing he needs. They weren’t close friends, but they saw and spoke very often. Jeff was involved in the sword-fighting and stuff. I told him he must go to the funeral without me, because then he can just go and not have to worry about transport and access and so on.

So this, the pain, having said the wrong thing to H (I don’t think he was terribly offended and I did say “Sorry, I said the wrong thing” but still) leaves me feeling pretty wretched just now.

This isn't someone I was close to, so I feel a bit of a fraud having a cry about it. But it is one of those shocks which you can't see any positive side to, except the guy having been here in the first place. Unless of course there is a heaven, in which case the guy is sorted.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Zombie Stomp

I had a zombie movie dream last night. I often have dreams which fall into a very specific genre like this, but the zombies I don’t really understand – the last zombie movie I saw was the excellent Shaun of the Dead some time last year.

In my dream, you became a zombie by the standard method of being bitten by another zombie, but there was a novelty twist such that in a certain light all the zombies became invisible. Not sure what light - just in a certain light. Fortunately, they weren’t that strong, only as strong an ordinary person, so it was possible for me (I was a man of action hero levels of strength and fitness) to fight them off about two thirds of the time. And, luck would have it that all I needed to do at first was to make my way through town to the house of the mad professor who had both invented the zombies as well as conveniently having formulated the antidote.

Unfortunately, once I had killed (or as it was in fact, cured) all the zombies, I knew that that couldn’t be the end of it and there was going to be a sequel. It was during the third assault by the zombies – by which time they’d become immune to the antidote and I was out of ideas – that I finally woke up. Dreams like this are only semi-nightmarish – they’re kind of fun and I do know deep down it’s a dream, just I also have a sense that if I get hurt it will really hurt and if anyone innocent gets killed it really matters.

I also dreamt about something else, something about being part of an Irish dance troupe, but that was too surreal and disjointed to make sense of. No wonder I never feel rested.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Inside I'm Dancing

Disclaimer: I can’t begin to tell you what an offensive title “Inside I’m Dancing” is for a film about the lives of some young men with CP, but it’s okay for a blog entry because it is about a genuine paradox as opposed to a non-disabled person’s perspective projected onto a person who has a different kind of body to their own.

Another confessional today. This involves one of my biggest secrets so don’t tell anybody. In particular it is a secret from my beloved, but he never reads this blog and I think I can trust you lot...

Fatigue does not necessarily mean a lack of motivation, enthusiasm or a certain sort of… spiritual energy. It just makes it difficult to actually follow your thoughts through – or even remember the thought you were thinking to follow through. And painful movement does not completely eliminate the desire to move about. And in the same way that both have to be at pretty catastrophic levels before they remove all sexual desire, I still have the desire to dance despite the pain. A lot. All the fucking time.

Why? I really don’t know. I used to be a closet dancer before I was ill. I was an early developer and rather tall such that there wasn’t much grace about my large and lumpy body so I never attended discos or danced at parties. But I used to go upstairs to do my homework of a Sunday afternoon, close the door, turn my music up loud and dance. I think it has something to do with the fact that aural and physical pleasure have never been entirely separate in my experience

It’s not as if I’m keen on dance music. About the danciest thing I listen to is the Prodigy, Erasure or Garbage. Oh and I am deeply in love with BeyoncĂ© Knowles; I find R&B quite vacuous as a rule but she is so beautiful, her voice strokes the back of my neck and she is the sexiest woman on Earth so I can’t really help myself. But anyway, I feel the desire to dance to all sorts of odd music. Like the Clash. You really don’t want to know how exactly I dance to The Clash or whether indeed that counts as dancing, but you take my point; it’s not as if I’ve got a shelf of The Chemical Brothers. I do have a Fat Boy Slim album but it was a very good album (We’ve come a long way, baby) so I’m allowed, all right?

The unfortunate fact is that I can’t dance at all without significant levels of really very severe discomfort. And strictly speaking, it is a total waste of energy which pushes my pain beyond the boundaries that my meds can cope with even if I do it sitting down, which is the case most of the time. And when I do get up on my feet; well, honestly that is ridiculous. I mean how can I possibly justify doing something which causes me nauseating levels of pain, puts me in danger due to my chronic drug-induced dizziness etc, just because the mood takes me? Of course it does make me feel good briefly, but oh so fucking briefly.

I think it is adrenaline. I have loads of adrenaline. I have more fucking adrenaline than I know what to do with, which is probably why I write and indeed why I write the things I write (not here perhaps but in my novel for sure).

You can tell I’m in pain because I am swearing a lot – I must apologise. It is also taking me a long time to write this because it hurts so fucking much I am making typos all over the place. It feels like someone spilt acid on my legs. Well naturally I exaggerate; I don’t think I would be still typing if that had happened. It is like someone lifted up my skin and poured lemon juice on my exposed muscles. Hmm. Yeah, that’s probably quite an accurate description. Yup, that’s the one.

But the point is that perversely I am listening to my music just now and struggling to keep still. I can’t not listen to music because this helps. I mean, genuinely, it stimulates endorphin release, lowers my levels of cortisone and all that stuff; it lifts my mood and almost certainly takes my pain threshold up with it.

The only thing that helps with the compulsion to dance is alcohol. Being a depressant, alcohol makes me lazy. I can drink and listen to the bounciest of music and resist the desire to move. And alcohol relaxes my muscles and thus helps the pain quite a bit too. Unfortunately it also adversely effects my immune system, renders my sleep less refreshing and all kinds of other nonsense.

I think I was leading to a point, but I’m coming to the end of my productive (ha!) brain time today. I think I better sign off. Sorry if this is miserable. Is this miserable? It’s about dancing for Pete’s sake!

Oh and Becca, thanks but please don’t worry about me having a “wet and snoozy death” (I guess there are worst ways to go!). I think you’d have to be very heavily sedated with something or else very very ill before you actually drowned in the bath. The minute enough water gets into you, reflexes take over, you start coughing and rising to the surface. It’s not good, but it isn’t deadly. At my folks’ place I took showers (or at least sat under the shower) imagining this would solve the problem. But made no difference - except the water didn’t get cold while I slept. Mind you, I’m probably personallyresponsible for any droughts in East Anglia this year…

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Life: Nature's way of keeping the meat fresh

I have been programming the revolution today. All revolutions have to start in HTML these days. I’ll show you what I’m talking about in a few days, perhaps a week or two. I have also been stringing beads together again. It’s a compulsion I get every month or so. Today I made a bracelet from turquoise, jade, blue agate, malachite, sodalite and aventurine. Say them out loud and it sounds about as pretty as my bracelet looks. Also some glass and plastic, but you don’t have to say that out loud.

I love the way that Earth/ God/ Nature/ Brian From Up The Road made these beautiful things before beginning on the creation of life, organic life. Obviously once again, I’m not talking about the plastic. But it’s all good stuff.

I had a really long sleep in the bath yesterday which was very unpleasant. I just seem to have this thing whereby if I come into contact with warm water I just nod off. Yesterday I managed to turn onto my side in the bath such that I had water going up my nose and trickling down the back of my throat but not enough to choke and wake me. Just enough to give me a killer sore throat when I woke up surrounded by cold water, my limbs having stiffened, no idea what time of the day or night it was.

When I used to sleep alone, I would have this thing where I woke up so cold that I would wonder for a brief moment whether I had in fact died in the night. This is a cheery subject, isn’t it? But seriously, I would feel colder inside than I did on the outside and in those days I used to get paresis first thing in the morning so that various bits of me wouldn’t move when I told them to. Plus I guess back then I couldn’t understand that you can be very ill without your life being in any danger. If I had woken up dead (a contradiction in terms, but I was a teenager at the time) then I wouldn’t have been particularly surprised.

One morning I woke up cold like this and nothing would budge an inch. It was the scariest real thing that ever happened to me (I have been more frightened, but not about real things). I lay there for about half an hour, tears rolling down my cheeks before finally I managed to pull my toes up towards me and the gradually everything began to return to life.

It’s a bit of a life, death and the universe day, can you tell? Sorry.

So then, what’s been on the mind of the nation; the most brilliant use of an organ in a piece of music. Is it

(a) Saint-Saens – Carnival of the Animals
(b) Bach – Toccata and Fugue in D minor or
(c) Bob Marley and the Wailers – No Woman No Cry?

I know I’m a heathen, but there you have it. My feet is my only carriage so I’ve got to push on through (not my grammar, baby).

Monday, June 06, 2005

Journalistic Stardom and More Co-ordinating Crips

I got an article published on the BBC Ouch! website today. This is very exciting – the first paid employment of my adult life no less. But also, they asked me to do it. The BBC actually approached me to write for them. This is not an incredibly big deal in the wider scheme of things, but for me and my secret belief that I’m useless at everything, this matters. A lot.

Did you know that Lewis Carroll was first published in our very own Whitby Gazzette? The title of my novel is from a Lewis Carroll poem. My novel is called To Fear The Light and it's from the poem Phantasmogoria. The relevant verse goes;

“And as to being in a fright
Allow me to remark,
That Ghosts have just as good a right
In every way to fear the light
As Men to fear the dark.”

So there you go.

Recommended listening (if a touch traumatic) is last week’s It’s My Story on Radio Four. You’ll have to click that link before the next episode on Thursday or else you’ll get something else. Anyway, it was about a journalist with a heritable impairment and her decisions around starting a family. This was quite interesting because the lady clearly hadn’t got her own disability completely sorted in her head (who has?) and some of the non-disabled people featured had a much more reasonable, less disabling perspective than she did. Anyway, I could say a lot more about this but have a listen.

Spotted another co-ordinating crip at the weekend; a fairly elderly woman being pushed in a wheelchair by (presumably) her daughter, both of them wearing very bright turquoise rain macks. I can’t imagine it was the older woman’s choice to look as much of a pillock as her daughter did.

I popped out on Saturday afternoon and got effectively forced into the road by the crowds on the pavement. This is no good. Other people were walking in the road, but of course when a car came along, they could all hop to safety; I had to trundle along until the next lowered curb. I don't think I was in any danger, but the place was busy and I was worried about getting shouted at by a moody driver, or someone trying to rescue me. So please everyone let those using a wheelchair, a crutch or stick take the inside of the pavement.

Anyway, it has been kind of fun looking after [...], who is mending. They’ve given him the same tablets I take and these made him much more comfortable. Being a total light-weight however, they have induced him to sleep pretty much all weekend – I’ve never known anything like it! But basically he’s all right and since I’m not so bad just now, we’ve not yet reached the stage of crisis with stuff like food and housework. The fact he appears to have caught my cough/cold thingy – over a week since I got ill with it – isn’t exactly helpful, but usually he works through colds, has no rest and thus makes them last for weeks on end. Forty-eight hours sleep might be enough to throw this into touch.

It's good not to feel useless. With me in charge we've eaten well all weekend and the house hasn't burnt down or become infested with rats yet. So that's great really.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Paint Dries, Grass Grows etc.

Today has been almost as uneventful as the last two days, but hey, this is a blog and the lack of anything to write about is no obstacle to writing about it. I performed a really ace checkmate but [...] said I only won because he slipped up. Well, duh.

This evening a Market Research lady came to the door. It is the first one we've had here, but this is probably because last week we set up the doorbell - for the last three years, folks have had to knock on the door and we didn't always hear it. I don't think we missed anything.

Anyway, she says: "I'm from Such-and-such Market Research and we're talking to the ladies in the area. We're talking to the ladies; it will only take up ten minutes of your time. We want to ask the ladies a few questions about toilet cleaner."

Seriously. It sounds like a joke, but this is exactly what she said. Toilet cleaner. Ten Minutes? I can't think of questions about toilet cleaner that would take up two minutes, let alone ten. I was really very curious and I always feel so sorry for people who have to phone you up or knock on your door for a living. But to be honest she had said "ladies" and for this I turned her away. It's very silly, I know. In all the households I know consisting of one or more women it is always the women who purchase and administer the toilet cleaner. But me, I can't stand such truths.

So I told her, "Sorry, I use a man for that sort of thing." and closed the door.

Later I realised that we don't use toilet cleaner, we just use bleach. Why? I don't know, that's what [...] buys and that's what [...] uses and I presume he has some reason. I also presume there's a reason why he choses pine over citrus. Even so, there is never ten minutes worth of conversation to be had there. Not nearly.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Yellow Blanket Brigade

I’ve been doing a lot of sitting (well, lying propped up) and looking out the window today. The car-park on the other side of the river is packed. It’s school half-term so town is very busy. But I noticed a convoy of five wheelchairs moving along the edge of the carpark towards the town. They were all manual chairs being pushed by assistants and although I couldn’t make out a while lot about the wheelchair-users such as their age or sex, all five of them had bright yellow blankets over their knees. Not fluorescent or reflective yellow, just bright sunshine yellow fabric, like the cloths you buy for dusting. This made me sad. Why? Because I don’t think five wheelchair-users would have chosen to each have the same bright yellow blankets placed over their knees on a sunny day in June.

I wonder if they came from that bus I saw parking a short while earlier. It had writing on which I could read clearly from this side of the river saying “Jesus lives and will return.” Of course it is a cheaper way of doing things; buying a day return to Whitby as opposed to paying separate fares here and back, so Jesus obviously has His head screwed on. And I’m glad to see the King of Kings setting a good example by His use of public transport.

Why is that I connect the bright yellow blanket brigade with the Jesus bus? Why is that you are also making this connection? I need to sleep.