Wednesday, 30 April 2008


My poll card hasn't arrived. I have the booklet with the candidates including a spread from the BNP which I find very offensive just by its exitence. But no poll card. So I figure I can't vote. Its made me really angry.

UPDATE: At 9:30pm I was rushing along trying to figure out where my local polling station might be. An elderly woman with a trolley and very large umbrella pointed the way and told me to run ahead so I could catch it. My name was in the list but crossed out because of having registered for a postal vote. Since the papers didn't arrive they let me vote anyway. I feel totally releaved. Didn't realise quite how upset I would be about the prospect of not being able to vote.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008


Gardening close to where a honeysuckle hangs heavy over some elder I hear the feint squeaking of baby birds. Peering in through a gap in the foliage I spied 4 baby blackbirds beaks up to the sky mouths open and mother feeding them. Excited. I spoke to my neighbour about them. I resisted the urge to look through as much as possible but occassionally had a peek. Sometimes they are cheeping, sometimes their bodies just breathe heavily.

Coming back from a quite jaunt to Town on Saturday I a quick look and found the nest empty. My neighbour came out and told me there had been a ruccous an hour ago when 3 blackbirds were fighting with a magpie, they attacked him to no avail - his superior size meant he had not fear and got all four of the baby birds out of the nest and pecked three of them to death. The fourth one my neighbour rescued and put into the ivy at the back of his house but its hard to see how it may survive. 3 blackbirds against 1 marauding magpie. Perhasp thats why they call them a murder. We felt terrible.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Bus Stop Boogie

A young man practices his moves at the bus stop - later he'll be busting them down the dance floor. He likes the sandy scratching sound his trainers make against the newly laid pavement. Shoop shoop scatchscatch bo. Knees and feet speed skiiing on sand. He checks the shapes in the reflection of the glass. Then he turns it into a move that takes up space. Throws in a spin. Hikes up his customised jeans (cut at buttom seams so they hang lower down the back of the trainer, waitband cut in 3 places presumably so they slide down more) a little further up his arse - clearly the green belt around his bottom is for colour and not to hold his strides up.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Here but not here

Saturday night busy with stuff, forgot to cook dinner, ate some chilli rice crackers while watching Shawshank Redemption. Great film. Went to bed. Woke with churning stomach and had to run to get to the bathroom to throw up. And again. And again later. Spent Sunday in great agony, in bed, drifting from sleep to listening to the voices on the TV, to becoming aware of the telephone ringing and having strange disjointed conversations with people. Getting downstairs to get water felt like a test. Cold and hot. Shivers and sweats. Still hard to get up, felt pummelled inside and out. Felt bruised from the bed, couldn't find comfortable positions for my arms but couldn't stay upright for longer than five minutes. Could make more comprehensive conversation while laying down.

Finally Tuesday arrived. One last night sweat and it seemed to be over. Carefully reintroducing food. Legs felt hollow. But the delirium has gone. And the aching stomach and limbs. What a relief. There were times when it had felt never ending, day and night rolling together, endless hours, unable to get comfortable in or out of bed.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Costa Coffee Tottenham Hale

The broker gave away my 10.00 o'clock appointment at 10.00 40secs. Just after which I arrived. So I left.

Went to Tottenham Hale to buy a lawn mower. Tottenham Hale is a "shopping centre" in the loosest possible sense. Perhaps more of an arena. Anyway a recent injection of new shops (1 Boots, 1 Next) has enabled a desolate area glorify itself (new signs, new planting, new pedestrian routes with zebra crossings). It has Costa Coffee - probably the poshest cafe for a mile radius, perhaps more.

When I sit down with a tea - its just me and 4 male couples. Breakfasting, continental style. Later a turkish man and his brassy blond girlfriend come in. Her large bottom is squeezed into stretch denim with crowns embroidered on the pockets. They canoodle across the table. Her finger traces his moutache, twirling the ends. When she goes to the loo he gets out his hanky and cleans his nose and wipes his forehead. Then he brings out a walkie talkie and speaks to an operator at the other end. Maybe he's security and on his break. Perhaps he has many girlfriends - one for every break...

Thursday, 17 April 2008

3 Men Talking

Somehow the only one who wants to be on the stage is the curator, David A. Ross, - obviously used to talking about art in a critique way. The artists seem to be unable to open their mouths while talking. Peter Campus does comment that when talking between themselves artists talk in one way but when talking to critics or curators they talk in a completely different way. At which point Douglas Gordon brought up the word wank. Neither american understood the word. So he defined it. When we were at college we called it art wank. That very specific type of art bullshit designed to make the art seem ever so clever but also contribute to the fact that the art isn't getting its message across clearly enough in its chosen medium.

Peter Campus also talked about his work not having words, ever, even when created. He then became very monosyllabic. Clearly didn't have many words at all. Both artists felt that art should be transcendental but defined it in different ways Peter say art should be more than the artist intended, Douglas that it needs to be something 'else' than the artist intended.

And so it continued. The two artists chatted amongst themselves about their dinner the previous night. The curator tried to ask questions that would provoke a discussion. Peter Campus would answer with a yes or no if it fitted. Douglas Gordon would answer his questions for him. Perhaps as the younger artist being more afraid of the possible silence... Ultimately we felt a terrible talk, largely because so little discussion was had and certainly nothing leading to any great insight into art or the use of video as a medium. And the Tate Modern projected such poor quality reproductions that the artists stopped allowing them to be shown.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Clear cloud golden edge as teh sun dips behind. Closer, a large blurry cloud hangs lower in the sky - sinking towards the street - raining not too far away in a very localised shower. Blue and pink and grey.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Elevation Technician Lingo

"Independent Lift Services, can I help you"
"I wanted to find out how much it would cost to change our lift panel - let me explain what happens - a person gets in and presses the button for their floor and the lift goes to that floor but if someone is waiting at a floor between they can't stop the lift - they have to wait until it goes back down to the bottom to start again."
"Let me put you through to a lift technician... putting you through..."
"Hi, we have a funny lift that will only let one button be pressed at once and we wanted to get a quote for how much it would be to change it to make it let all buttons be stopped at once."
"So, what happens exactly?"
"A person gets in and presses the button for their floor and the lift goes to that floor but if someone is waiting ... Does that make sense?" Colleagues corpse in the background, totally confused by the first and second explanations.
"Yes perfectly - that's what is known as 'single collective only' and what you want is 'full collective'."
I am astounded. There are descriptors, simple descriptors, for what I am talking about. He understands me, I can now describe our lift workings without having to resort to long complex scenario. I feel liberated and knowledgable. When I come off the phone I teach everyone my new found lingo. They all think I'm nuts.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Tube People

Purveyor of the 3 finger nose pick - something in there definitely - index finger roots around, then middle finger has a go, and finally the ring finger. No luck, index finger has another go. Also noticed that he was a muted man (colour me beautiful) wearing a black jacket (not good).

Leadership course I've been doing had a brief session with a colour me beautiful consultant. He was a short trunked, short, longer-than-average length leg. He gave me a purple wallet full of my colours. I'm a deep - its to do with the high contrast between the colour of my skin and hair/eyes. So now I can wear all the rich dark colours I knew I could wear, and need to steer clear of wearing too much pale colour all at once (never really did like the all beige or all white look on me) - which is a good job because I really wasn't going to get rid of my entire wardrobe even if it had told me I shouldn't wear black. Punk rock.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Just to remember that it happened I'm posting this image of snow. In April. Thick snow. In April.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

While my guitar gently weeps

Heard this recently for the first time. Its a song that makes you wish you could play the guitar. Gut wrenching music. It fills me with the feelings I had as a younger person full of hope for life, expectant that stuff would happen, that it would be a life lived and not watched from the sidelines. I like art to have the same reaction in me - something that stirs you, rather than something to just look at and admire.

There was a time in the 70s when there was an advert on TV of 3 young people giving each other piggy-backs in front of the houses by Regent's Park to a soundtrack of old fashioned millionaire. To me as a 7 year old this was aspirational. My sister decided I would have a boyfriend with an open air car. No doubt in my mind that I would have a husband, children and a big house to live in. Times changed. I no longer have the same dreams and aspirations, but do sometimes regret not having followed that child's dreams (not sure I would be able to afford a house opposite Regent's Park even if it had been the one ambition driving me on, though).

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The List

Number four: Painting the hall
Part way through - managed to clear the little room (it used to be used for hairdressing, I want it to be an office), prep the walls, paint the ceiling and coat the walls twice - I also did the ceiling and walls once in the hall outside my bedroom. Its sweetcorn yellow. Very bright (its better but not sure if its too bright yet). I'm sitting on the sofa. My arms and hands are aching - rollering takes finger muscles that I don't normally exercise. Tomorrow I need another tin of paint to do a second coat on the walls outside my bedroom.