Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Adult conversation, child’s play

Louise invited me to come for drinks with some friends of friends of hers. Dave and Gemma had an open house, and invited neighbours and friends to pop round. How thoughtful, given that I’ve struggled with getting to know my soon-to-be-moving-out housemate. I really enjoyed meeting everybody. It was a very grown-up bash. Dave is a scientist, Gemma works in IT, Holly for the Geographical Society, Chloe manages a children’s home, and Joanna makes TV advertisements. That’s the Chorlton I want to be part of. Dave suggested we meet up for a pint some time. Yes! What a good idea!

I got into costume, and wandered past Didsbury pointless on my way to Old Lansdowne. On the way, I stumbled across Pervy, struggling to park his car on Cavendish Road. I helped. It was nice to see him, but sort of strange too. I shook his hand and wished him well. As I walked on, for a few sad seconds I thought about what my New Year plans would have been if I were still with Liz. So it goes. Someone called out “Aye Aye Captain,” as I passed the Lime Tree. I raised my hand in a goofy salute, and smiled.

I headed for the Fordbank Cartoon Themed Fancy Dress New Year’s party. I was Captain Haddock. It was ace.




Tuesday, 30 December 2008

The story of my year, in not many words

January: Walking boots, job interview, new phone.
February: Tracy and Kate’s Manchester returns, lots of country walks.
March: The debut of the allotment, Libby and Cardiff.
April: Volunteering, a job offer, a crush on a girl in Waterstone’s.
May: The end of crimefighting, a test match at Old Trafford, a new job.
June: Woody and Clare, the first harvests, meeting Liz.
July: Mostly spent falling in love with Liz.
August: The Green Man, Vicky’s barbecue, Dr Jim’s Bank Holiday visit.
September: Lenny’s birthday, Izzy’s birth and work getting shit.
October: Mark Morriss, breaking up with Liz, ferry across the Mersey
November: The Lever Estate, Fireworks, flat hunting
December: Moving house, an upswing.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Pumpkin Soup

Kate invited me round for dinner, so I took enough pumpkin soup to be a started for the probable attendees: Kate, me, probably Dunk, Chaw, Megan, maybe Matt. It was, however, a much smaller party, just the two of us. Unfortunately, I’d brought enough wine for a larger group too. We didn’t get through all of the soup, but we had a pretty good go at all of the wine.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Buddies.




Dr Jim couldn’t make it to our big lunch this time round. Drakey is off to San Fran to look at enzymes and breast cancer in February. Big Chris continues to make megabucks as an accountant, but not megabucks enough to buy anywhere in London. He’s living in West Hampstead, which made me smile because of how close to there – Chalk Farm – I was on Monday. Lewis was defensive and aggressive at the same time, which I think is a chip he puts on his own shoulder. Ben is the same as he’s been for the last five or six years. I was glad to be there and to see them all. We went to Buddy’s for burgers and chips. Lewis asked us to order while he was in the loo, so we upgraded his burger to a 12oz from the 8oz. He didn’t even notice.

Ange called, and Lewis and I had to go. Trains were a nightmare, with cancellations and replacement buses all over the place, so I was going to travel with them part of the way. Ange was a bit egg with Lewis on the way back, so I pretended to fall asleep in the car, but I could hear every single word. He loves her, and she knows it. At Melton, given the choice of Lewis and Ange’s sofa, or a long train home and my own bed, I chose the train ride. Lewis and I had a few minutes on the platform to say goodbye. We shivered as we smoked. He waved as the sliding doors closed.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Higham Ferris



After a slow morning of wandering around Mum’s while she dozed on the sofa and the kids languished in their idleness, Caroline and Kev took me with Ashleigh and Izzy to go and see Tracy and Christina. They both looked very well. Tracy’s little boy Reggie is a gem, and Jack and Jessica are growing up very quickly. I really enjoyed being there.



Thursday, 25 December 2008

Dr Who Christmas Special

I was ashamed of my brother and sister this morning. Mum wasn’t well, visibly so, and neither of them lifted a finger to help her. Kiera sulked, stropped and guilted Mum into letting her open presents before Dad arrived. Matt came downstairs, mumbled a bit, and went back upstairs. I wrapped gifts with Mum, and wondered how the kids had gotten away with it for so long. Dad breezed in, grumpy, changed the TV channel and promptly fell asleep. I was pleased when Kirsty and Nick got there to offer a voice of sanity.

My favourite gift was this Dark Knight bubblebath. I can’t wait to clean up the streets of Bath-am City!



Later Mum called for a chair as she was cooking Christmas dinner. “I feel faint,” she said, “and kind of sick.” I took over the cooking, and sent her to sit down. It wasn’t a difficult meal to finish, as the hard work – preparing the veg, putting in the meat – had already been done. It was just a case of juggling the roasted veg around the ovens to crisp its edges and making sure nothing bubbled over or went too chewy. I tried to spice up the sprouts with chopped chorizo, but – novelty value aside – it wasn’t that successful.

Around the table sat Kirsty and Nick, Dad, Matt and Kiera, and me. Dad wolfed his dinner down, like he wished it was over before it had started. I felt sad because we just don’t connect now, and more so because it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. We pulled crackers. I was very happy to get a bulldog clip in my cracker; it’s my favourite item of stationery.

I decamped to the Fitzpatrick’s to hook up with Lewis and Ange. Roger and Jenny were, as ever, consummate hosts. We played Guitar Hero, then Lewis and I sloped off to go and watch the Doctor Who Christmas special. It was brilliant! Finally, I trooped up Brickhill Road to Owen’s for a spot of supper and to give Lenny his gift. He was very, very, very happy with his car. Can you tell?

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

We're so proud

Smoking in mum’s garden, I overheard a conversation as two men walked past.

“He’s been in the paper, and now he’s fucking lots of women.”
“I bet he is.”
“I’m so proud of him”

There was a pause. The second man spoke again.

“Of course you’re proud. You should be. We’ve wasted our lives, and so now we look at him. Good for him. And good for you.”

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Toejam and Earl

Lewis’ new house in Melton Mowbray is lovely. It’s a huge three-bedroomed semi with a nice garden and a vast kitchen. It would suit children. They’re practicing with a couple of cats for now. Lewis and Ange are very dependent on each other, I guess in part because they don’t know many people in Melton apart from each other. I was stunned by just how far this dependence went though. Yes, it was Ange’s first Christmas Day off work for ages. But Lewis had decided to spend Christmas Eve in with Ange, rather than catch up with his old schoolfriends. On Christmas Day, Lewis was planning to go to Ange’s parents house all day, and not pay anything other than a flying visit to Owen’s to see Lenny. On the day we plan to meet our old schoolfriends, Lewis was planning to leave around the time that Ange finished work. It was clear to me that keeping her happy was the most important thing to Lewis now.

As we sat and played Toejam and Earl, I pondered a little on the phrase “Bros before hoes.” I don’t know how many people that say actually mean it. Just because something rhymes doesn’t mean it’s true. It’s something that young men say, I think, single men. Nobody that’s married says it. Nobody with kids says it. Nobody with a shared mortgage with their partner, like Lewis, says it. If putting friends ahead of lovers is the meaning of the phrase, then it ought to be “Bros UNTIL hoes.” Friends come first, until you find someone who is special enough to dominate your affections. I felt happy and sad all at once. I’m happy Lewis is so in love, but sad that I’m getting a more thinly spread portion of my friend. So it goes.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Ingredients: ice, salt, one idiot



Charlie Keggins and Andy Fordham managed to convince Owen to cover his chest in salt, and then put an ice cube on it. The fool. He was left with an awful burn, and here’s why.

After winning our Mario Kart marathon, Fordham put on a Christmas cracker crown over his beanie hat and wore it for the rest of the night. He drove home in it, as pleased as punch. I bet he wore it until Christmas Day itself.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Celebrity Salad


Vin lives just off Green Lanes, near Finsbury Park. Even though I’d seen him recently, I felt pretty bad for ditching on the Ship’s birthday bash, so I gladly accepted the invitation to his Christmas meal. The house is lovely, with lots of communal space. It felt very homely to sit at the table, reading the letters page of New Scientist, as Helen made a cake and Hammond assembled mince pies. We drank champagne and watched Arsenal v Liverpool. I hadn’t seen Anna, Martin or Dave O since what felt like forever, and I really enjoyed catching up with them - even Martin, who I pretend to hate. Mulled wine followed, and then Celebrity Salad, a game.

1. Find a hat, some paper, some pens, and a watch that counts seconds.
2. Divide into two equal teams, appoint a scorer for each.
3. Each player writes five names of noteworthy people on slips of paper and tosses them into the hat.
4. Players take turns, alternating between teams, of one minute to get their team mates to guess the names pulled out of the hat, with the following restrictions:
· ROUND 1 – Players can say anything except what is written on the cards.
· ROUND 2 – Normal charades rules.
· ROUND 3 – A one-word clue, delivered with no actions.
5. One name guessed is one point scored.
6. No name pulled from the hat can be skipped.
7. A name is ‘live’ until successfully guessed, at which point it is put outside the hat until the next round.
8. A name pulled out of the hat, but not correctly guessed by the end of the turn is ‘live’ and goes back into the hat.
9. A round goes on until all names in the hat have been correctly guessed.
10. At the end of the round, all names go back into the hat for the next round.
11. After three rounds, the team with the highest score wins.
12. The non-guessing team are responsible for making sure the guessing team and the clue-giver are within the rules of the game.

It was great to see Chris Sewards and John Gripton too. Good times. Port followed, then Jack Daniels, and eventually stupor.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

“Change at Sheffield, and again at Leicester”

Wrapping took an age. Owen’s gift was easily the largest in my case, which he was very pleased to hear. The girl sat opposite me on the train was wearing all red. Red shoes, red skirt, red blouse, red nail varnish, red handbag. She was sniffling, but when I offered her a tissue, she wouldn’t take it. She was reading about critical theory, or something theoretical. I was intrigued. Well, until I got off at Wellingborough at any rate. Dinner at Caroline’s was lovely. Izzy is getting more and more fun to be around. She smiles, she giggles, she reacts - much more rewarding than my last visit. We watched Gremlins, which Kev had never seen. He and I put away the best part of two bottles of wine. He’s a gent. I’m a big fan.

Friday, 19 December 2008

“I’m not wearing hockey pads”

I’m not enjoying work much at the moment. My boss came over today to talk to me.

“You look like you’re not enjoying work much at the moment.”
“Oh it’s not work. I’ve got personal problems,” I lied, through gritted teeth.
“You’re sure it’s not the job?”

I blathered on about how stressful moving house was, about Liz, about my shock at Paul and Clare deciding to live together, about anything except how little I enjoyed work. She seemed convinced, concerned and nodding. It wasn’t totally untrue; I didn’t fabricate any problems – each of those things has bummed me out in their own way recently – but I left a pretty big one out of the mix. Work. I can come to her any time with my problems, she said, work-related or not. Well that’s a relief, I didn’t say to myself. I couldn’t wait to get out of there and get to the shops. I finally found a toy for Owen, along with a hat for NYE. Blistering barnacles indeed!

Kate and Dunk popped round for a brew, both sniffly, both bearing gifts. Dunk’s gift rattles, like Lego (I hope!), and Kate’s gift feels bookish. I wonder! Pip popped round too with some homemade chutney. How exciting! With Tracy’s and J___’s gift too, I’ll have a mini Christmas all of my own once I get back to Chorlton on 27th. I’d meant to get on with wrapping gifts, but by the time Pip had left, it was quite late, and I had to cook before I could get my sellotape out, and that was before Kate texted. “Are you going to watch The Dark Knight? We’re watching the Dark Knight, so why not come here to watch it.” How could I say no?

On a second watch, on a smaller screen, I noticed more plotting than I had before. Officer Ramirez is prominent at several key moments, for example, where she seemed inconspicuous first time round. The Hong Kong sequence is very, very cool and I love how tight the first scene is. Lean and wiry dialogue, neat ideas, enough unexpected turns to keep the interest. It sets out the tone for the film, the brutal genius of the main character, and the under-plot with the mafia. I’d downloaded and watched it several times anyway, and it never gets tired. Start with a punch? “POW!”

Buffet at work


Thursday, 18 December 2008

Helen, Cally, Chorlton.

After delivering my presents to Liz, Paul and Clare, I met up with Helen and Cally on the 23A and breezed into Chorlton for a few drinks. We nipped into my house for a look round, and then I went to collect my Batman DVDs from Dunk while they strolled on ahead down Beech Road. Dunk didn’t look very well, poor thing. After a nightmare trying to get hold of some cash – the pay machine in the shop was empty, as was the one in the Trev – I finally caught up with Helen and Cally in the Lead Station. “Do you realise how stereotypical you’re being?” I asked. Milney knew, the minx. It’s so nice to see her getting on so well with someone who knows her really well, and is gay too. I feel really honoured that Helen has selected me from her friends as the kind of person that would get on with her other friends. It’s a vote of confidence at a time when my confidence is quite low, and so very much appreciated.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

“Who watches the Watchmen?”

Pip seemed quite pleased with her birthday present. We met for lunch at the Pop CafĂ© and caught up. Had I really not seen her since the cellar bar opening? I was a right misery then, perhaps that’s why. Moving house has dominated my time for the last five or six weeks, but I didn’t realise it had been that long. We talked about New Year, about Paul, about the new house.

I zipped around the shops after work, trying to find presents for everybody left on my list – Owen is proving very difficult to choose for. The old reliable favourite, Waterstone’s covered Mum and Lewis, and as their books were both on 3 for 2, I picked up something that I’ve been looking to get my hands on for a long time: Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

Wow! What a work of genius! What a great story! What a rich sub-plot! Such great characters! A wonderful alternate reality! I read the whole book through, front to back, all twelve issues, without stopping for anything more substantial than a piss or a cigarette. Amazing! Rorschach especially captured my heart, with his stubborn refusal to accept morals other than his own… but let’s not spoil anything for the poor souls who’ve yet to read this wonderful, wonderful book.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Evensong

As I walked home from Costcutter, I passed eight or nine African women and young girls walking towards me in the street. They were singing. What, I don't know, but it was beautiful. Even as the frost settled around me, I felt warm inside.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Romantic CV

I had occasion today to compare romantic CVs with a friend. As with a normal CV, matters that are more important might be given more weight. And as with a normal CV, it might be organised chronologically by positions held, or by skills acquired or experience gained. My CV consists of five main positions held, with two extensive footnotes. As we chatted around the topic, various questions came up. “Which was most important?” “Which did you love the most?” “Which hurt the most?” We spent some time looking at the details of the reason for leaving position section of the form, covering resignations and sackings. Collating my CV reminded me of a LTLYM task that I’ve always wanted to try.

A normal CV is used to apply for a job, but my romantic CV serves a different function entirely. It will not impress anybody, and nor does it seek to, but its content shapes my core. This handful of people have together shaped my heart into what it is today. The love I knew with them, and the hopes we shared, these dear, dear things that I have lost and yet have survived beyond without – these make me who I am. If to love is be alive, it is a compendium of my humanity.

I thought back over my CV and saw that I have done just fine without people who, at the time of being with them, I had thought I could never live without. Strength in experience.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Christmas party

Our work Christmas party was at the Printworks, a scum pit of the worst kind. We had some fun with the freebies that came inside our Christmas crackers.








My boss Josie dancing with Martin.
video

I met this charming young lady outside.

Well, actually she wasn't particularly charming, nor especially young. But she was certainly outside.

I managed to stick it out until about 11.30pm. Then, with a happy spring in my step, I left. I rang Tracy on the way home, who said I should come round to Emma’s and play Wii with them, which I did. Rayman, Wii Sports, Mario Kart. Bliss! I slept on Emma's sofa.

Climbing Mount Everett

I really struggled to clean up at Everett today. The lump in my throat and the tightness in my guts overpowered me at times. Paul cleaned the bathroom as I struggled to breathe. Grasp the nettle! Dear me...

Friday, 12 December 2008

Congestion Charge "No" Vote

MCR voted to reject the TIF proposals today. A Facebook-based follow-up:

Status: Danny Bronco decries the Manchester electorate as cowards, ne'er-do-wells, and the architects of our downfall (so he does) 6:49pm
- 5 Comments

Danny Bronco at 6:58pm December 12
or just a shower of berts?

DTRMCR at 7:40pm December 12
Oh democracy, because of which the freedom to choose includes the freedom to make the wrong choice. Bah!

Buster FanClub at 9:53pm December 12
Another view is that those twats in power can tax *everyone* more if *everyone* wants a better public transport system. Some of us have no choice as to whether we drive to work or not. The congestion charge would have been yet another unfair stealth tax. I'm all for better public transport and cycle lanes etc, I'm not all for targeting one section of society to pay for it. That's just not fair. If we *all* want it, we must *all* pay for it.

Eoin Kearney at 10:04pm December 12
dry your eyes!

DTRMCR at 12:22am December 13
Everybody who cared about it voted, and the result is in. No recounts. No hanging chads. No change in the outcome. If it had gone through, it would have meant £2.7 billion pounds of investment in public transport over three years - roughly £2.5 million each day for that time. Without TIF the three year sum is more like £90 million. At the same time, some drivers would have paid up to £1,200 a year just to get to work. And the TIF plans were by no means perfect - some areas that were scheduled to receive improvements in public transport arguably didn't need them as much as other areas that were seeing much more modest plans. Does bus-heavy Didsbury need the tram more than Wigan needs a night bus? Probably not. It doesn't matter though, the people have chosen, as is their right. The people are free to choose, but they don't always make the right choice. The X-Factor single will be number one this Christmas.

Megan's dinner

After seeing Wall-E on Monday, Megan invited me round for dinner with her family, along with Kate and Dunk. I felt like Rob Brydon in Gavin and Stacey as I tucked into my first ever gnocchi, which were lovely. We had a gorgeous homemade cheesecake too, and plenty of red wine.




Dunk introduced me to an amazing game for iPhone and iPod Touch. It's called Kamicrazy, and it's ace! It's like a touch screen cross between Lemmings and Lost Vikings, only simpler. Well, on the levels that I got to at least! I hope all my iPhone friends (Paul and... er... um...) go out and buy it. Or rather, sit down in an internet-enabled zone and download it. Stay in and buy it, I guess.

Dry


Yes, The Economist is generally a pretty dense read, but now and then a spot of dry wit pokes through the gloom. I love good writing!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Three copies

I woke up cold, again. I tried the shower, to no avail, again. I left it running, and began to fill the sink with hot water. The shower trickled off and died down, so I turned off the tap on the sink. The shower came back on, and it was warm. Yes! I jumped underneath, and enjoyed a full thirty seconds of warm water before it went cold again. No! Were we out of hot water? Maybe? I was glad of the sink full of hot water. Another stand up wash then!

As I walked to Katsouris at lunchtime, I imagined a world in which I was entirely independent, like a tower in the desert. I bought three copies of the same book to give to three different people for Christmas. Including my own copy, that’s four times I’ve bought the book. It’s a gem, and it deserves to climb up the bestseller chart. Even if I have to buy more copies.

After work I met Tracy for some tea at Oklahoma, and a chat. She seems very well, and looks in good health. I gave her the present I'd bought for her, and she explained that the one she'd bought for me was really big. How exciting! Nothing satisfies like a massive present!

I went back to Everett to collect my bike, and loaded up the rucksack with my laptop, the Playstation, and the router. Quite a geeky cargo, I thought. If I get hit by a car, they'll think that I'm on my way to a nerd-herd event. It was pretty tough to balance with all that data processing power on my back, but I made it home without any trouble.

Later I met Dunk and Al in the Trevor, and then went to theirs for some FIFA09 action. Normally I'm a PES man through and through, but I was quite impressed. Not won over, of course, but quite impressed. I know that moving to Chorlton will mean certain changes in my life, but PES will still be king for me, I think. I hope.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

C-c-c-c-c-cold

I woke up cold. My heating isn’t on. Is it my room? Is it the whole house? I’m not sure. Brrr! I couldn’t make the shower run hot, so I had a stand up wash instead. I’ve left my toothbrush at Everett, so I bought one on the way to work. Calamity upon calamity! Another dream remembered, curiously enough. I am now the coach of the England rugby union team, and it is match day. Now it is the time for me to stir up the changing room before kick off. I open my mouth, but can’t speak. The players look at me expectantly. I am silent. I wake up, cold.

“Rather than attend the _____ meeting today Dave, can you order and collect our sandwiches for lunch time.” Um… you’re my boss, I’m hardly going to say no, am I? It was the highlight of my career to date. Seriously. Never before have my colleagues shown such interest in my work. Never before has the impact of my work been as conspicuous. Never before had I seen a room of such smiles as I presented what I’d done.

Monday, 8 December 2008

"Home is the most important place in the world"

I started the day wrapping plates, filling boxes and putting things into bags, kitchenware in the main. Paul helped me move it all to Chorlton, and I set about unpacking. I nipped out to buy nails, then fixed the wardrobe. I moved the drawers, and set up the stereo. I unpacked all of my clothes, and laid them out on the bed. I mocked up the location of the desk and the shelves.

Kate came round for a cup of tea and a mince pie. I’m glad that it’s mince pie season now! She was stunned by the size of my new room, and thought it was really nice. And that was before I went to Ikea.

The Fight Clubber in me wants to dislike Ikea. I think of the question, “What kind of dining set defines me as a person?” each time I enter one. But I can’t back away from how cheap and how well designed their products are. The bookshelf I bought was twice the size and half the price of one I saw at Chorlton. The desk I chose was deep, sturdy and simple to assemble. It was fun putting them together. I felt very independent.

Kate invited me round to watch Wall-E and to have dinner at hers. We had mulled wine too. Dunk has an amazing offer for Dark Knight DVDs, and I think I’m going to get two. That’s my brother’s Christmas present sorted, with one for me as well! The food was really good, a simple spicy rice dish and toffee bananas for pudding. I really enjoyed Wall-E too, particularly the first half in which Wall-E and the cockroach are roaming a desolate Earth of the future. There was a brilliant short film available as an extra feature on the DVD, involving a magician, a hungry rabbit, and a magic hat. I was glad I stayed for it.

I passed the Barbakan bakery as I walked home. The smell was amazing. I crept up the stairs, and spent my first night in my new house.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

I don't remember my dreams

It's rare that I wake up in the morning and remember my dreams. Today's was the weirdest that I've had in a long time. It was sexy and horrific and complicated all at once. I don't know who they were, but there were three women, beautiful women, and me in the dream. I don't exactly remember why, but one of the women had made a ceramic and life-size version of her naked torso, and had asked me to check its likeness aginst her real naked body. I looked out of a window, and saw the Beetham Tower, only it was creased at the top - like an open cigarette packet, the lid bent at 45 degrees. It collapsed and exploded. Nearer, in the reflection of a glass building across the street, I saw another building, curved like 3 Hardman Square, tumble in flames. We went outside, and in the streets, a massive rocket - the width of the whole road, silver and cold-looking - was moving along on the back of a vast trailer. Behind it and beyond it, as far as I could see, more gargantuan warheads rumbled on, on every road. The dream then cut to a map, as you might see on the news, with two countries highlighted. The map looked like South Africa, but the countries involved were labelled "Lebanon" and "Afghanistan." Cartoon flames burnt over a dot that meant a city. The three beautiful women and I stood in the street as the procession of missiles went on, on, on. There were missiles in the sky, shooting by silently. A building nearby burned. I woke up.

A weird start to the day. I went round to the my house in Chorlton to do some unpacking, and some sizing up of the task ahead of me. I'd been quite busy shifting stuff when I was there last, and I hadn't really noticed a few things about the room that weren't quite right. There was a lot more damp hidden beneath the curtains, and the drawers were in wrong in one of the chests. The wardrobe was much more cock-eyed than I'd first spotted, and inside, one of the doors was barely hanging on straight. I was going to have to do some DIY. I don't have any tools, so I texted Paul to see if I could borrow some of his. Yes of course, he said, come round to his new place in Didsbury and pick them up. So I did. It felt odd to go and visit Paul at his new house. I haven't ever been in a situation where seeing Paul at home wasn't in my home too. So it goes, I suppose. The weirdness really struck me as I left there.

I came home to finish packing. I've been delaying it, if I'm honest, because it's hard to think of leaving Everett and all it means. I'm scared about the new place. I felt physically sick at points as I wrapped up plates and cups. Dread engulfed me. Doom. Fear. But being brave doesn't mean not being scared. It means being scared and doing it anyway. Be brave Dave.

My friend Ed...

...is in Arena magazine. Take a look. We go way back, to my film making days. I'm glad to see him doing well.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The start of it all

A sure way to make your ex think that you're totally mental is to text them the lyrics to November Rain - link - at quarter to one in the morning. I did that last night. I woke up with no memory of sending the message, but there it was, smirking at me in my sent items like a little brother that has caught you wanking. "You should be ashamed, you're very naughty." I keep letting myself down, and badly. Shit.

I went round and signed the contract at the new place first thing. I took the bike but I should have left it at home - I was quite probably still drunk after all that booze yesterday. Ben was weird again, but I'm not living with him, am I? The back tyre was totally flat by the time I got to Didsbury Pointless, so I pushed it home from there. Durex came round to help me move the largest and heaviest of my things today. He was stunned at just how little stuff there was there. It was partly because I'd not pulled my finger out and packed everything. It's partly because I don't own much. Two loads of the Ka was plenty. As we went past 46, we went crossed paths with Phil in his silver spaceship car that can fly. Durex started talking about BMWs on the way back totally independently of seeing Phil. So it starts! Durex and I sat down for lunch in the Battered Cod, which was lovely, and then watched the Liverpool game in the Red Lion. That's the Withington I'll miss most, I think. Battered Cod and Red Lion.

Later I went to town to meet Robbie, who's been ill. On the bus there, I ran into Chubb and Z-Box, who were off into town to see some friends. It was lovely to see them on the way in, and I was overjoyed to see them on the way back too. They seemed more drunk than me. I had a chicken burger on the way home.

Piles of stuff

Friday, 5 December 2008

Red red wine... goes to my head

I went out on my bike to deliver my Christmas Cards. I used magazines to make the envelopes. I went to Dunk's, Kate's, Pippa's, Clare's, Beaver House, Tall Trees, Old Lansdowne, Cally and Ali's, and Liz's. My bike started to get a flat back tyre as I was nearly home. I rode down Wilbraham Road between Kate's and Pippa's, and down Wilmslow Road between Pippa's and Clare's, and had got pretty close to some rather large vehicles, a skip lorry, a dustbin lorry and several 42 buses. I thought it would be more stressful than it turned out to be. To me as a pedestrian, a cyclist seems tiny next to these behemoths of the road, but as a cyclist I felt bigger and somehow better equipped to handle life as part of the traffic. Must buy a helmet!

Paul was gone when I got home. I boxed a few more things, CDs, extension cables, and built a pile by the door. Paul gave me a guitar and a playstation. He doesn't use them anymore, and I use them all the time. It makes sense I suppose. At around four pm, a massive sense of impending dread and doom swept over me. I'm really leaving Everett court. Fuck me. The evening was one of TV and red wine. Lots of red wine, actually. A half bottle from Thursday night. Another bottle bought with dinner, pizzas from Iffy's. As I watched Mastermind, I noticed that one of the contestants had chosen to specialise in Jonathan Creek, so I texted Rigby. And I got a reply! It said, "Ha ha, who is this?," thought when I identified myself there was nothing else. So it goes. There was and an ill-advised third bottle too, bought at 10.15, in the middle of QI, also from Iffy's. Fifteen regular size glasses of wine. Roughly. A haze. I don't remember how I got into bed.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Dinner on Northen Grove

I went round for dinner at Cally and Ali's flat and Helen. We had risotto, which was lovely, and five bottles of wine between four of us. I was very drunk, and I had a lovely time. Ali is interested in astronomy. We might go to a talk on Monday night about it. Cool.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Bike



I've just bought this bike for twenty quid through Gumtree. I love Gumtree!

Bus

I sit on the bus, beside an empty seat. I look towards the door, and when a pretty girl gets on, I look away, out of the window, and hope that she sits by me. It’s like closing my eyes, and hoping to open them to a beautiful surprise. It doesn’t always work, but it did today.