Sunday, 30 March 2008

If Hell exists its not other people...

Its having a cold. Seriously. I caught the cold from hell at the beginning of the month from a generous friend. The combination of the constant cough, the inability to breath or clear my sinus and the headache was torture, in fact so much that on a couple of days death was a viable cure - no it wasn't flu, I had that once and on the midst of the horror death was the only cure. And this cold goes on forever.

I've also been working like mad, this is generally my busiest time of the year as everyone wants to film in the summer so I've been trying to get everyone set up with everything that they need. We don't film because the weather is good, no one here is that stupid sunny days are always a bonus, its for the long hours of daylight, although its not really daylight when you can't see the sun and the rain is beating down. People wonder why I chose an office based job! I know the world thinks that the British are obsessed with the weather, but as on any day you can easily see three or four different weather conditions, its always a debate as to how to dress in the morning!

I have been reading constantly through the month, although the cold slowed me down somewhat and there are a couple of books on the list that I need to shout about:

I love Zimler's writing and this book is no exception as it is superb evocation of the events before, during and after the Lisbon massacre of 1506. But atrocity and its aftermath are only part of this story, what Zimler is really concerned with is humanity, however it is expressed. I am really looking forward to reading the other books in this series.

If you only ever read one book by Agatha Christie read this one. It is rightly considered her masterpiece as she subverts the genre without comprising the narrative. I don't want to give too much away, but read it and enjoy!

I read this in one sitting. This is a superb memoir as Ballard recollects aspects of his life. The descriptions of his childhood in Shanghai are evocative and I found his feeling of alienation from Britain when he arrived here in the late 1940s fascinating. The passage about the death of his wife is moving without being sentimental and what is particularly lovely is that as much as Ballard reveals he conceals - it is clear that his children are important to him, but he doesn't feel the need to reveal all about them.

I'm spending today catching up with the news by reading everyones blogs I usually read and am really looking forward to seeing how you all are.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Breaking the silence...

Sorry for the long silence, I have, as usual, been busy working. Its one of the perils of self-employment that after four long relatively quiet months on the work front things kick off all at once and its been so quiet I won't turn anyone away. But I am really annoyed because I am still waiting for the money I am owed to land, and am living from cheque to cheque and on handouts from friends. But so the cash flow should start to err, flow, once the gigantic stock-exchange listed company I've been working for starts to pay me weekly, as they promised ro do several weeks ago, but an HR cock-up means that I am still waiting, but once the money starts to come in my friends will be able to stop crossing the street to avoid me.

Its been a busy few weeks. As some of you know Cailleach stayed with me the night before her poetry reading at the Pipe and Slippers, it was a lovely evening full of chat and tea - oh yes and hares, my latest obsession, well it is March after all and I have a feeling there will be a hare immortalised in clay soon, I bet you can hardly wait, did you know that you can see Irish hares racing aeroplanes on the runway in Belfast, oh the ambition... Also the fox and phantom rider stayed away, so a good night's sleep was had by all. Then we set out for Debi's...

OK so first of I can I say that I so know where Debi lives, I've been there before, but somehow on Sunday morning I drove off confidently in absolutely the wrong direction and we were a couple of miles around the South Circular before I realised my mistake. So I turned around, tried to make a sneaky pass past a car at a junction and hit the kerb.

How you react to a flat tyre shows the true worth of the woman, Cailleach started rummaging in my boot for the tool thingy that releases the spare tyre, while I, truly being my father's daughter, called the RAC - 45 minutes they said, but we needed to be at Debi's, now. So Cailleach called Debi, to get someone to pick her up while I rummaged in the boot until I found something black and tool like which I wafted in the air in triumph. C grabbed it out of my hand and proceeded to release the spare, unpack the jack, pull out the tiny spare tyre that 'looks as if it came off a go cart' that comes with all Peugeots apparently, and changed the tyre, whilst I floated around getting in the way. OK I did make a contribution, I slung the spare in the boot and we proved the rule that just because someting came out of a tiny space it doesn't mean its going back in - so we left the jack bouncing around in the boot. The only offer of help came from the local launderette, after she'd tightened the last nut of course, just in case, 'we could go in and wash our hands if we liked' - so we did, with enough washing power dispensed in each hand to destroy the entire eco-system of SE London and wash the dirty football kit of the entire Premier League, twice over. Oh yes and then we got lost two roads from Debi's, OK I was still driving so it was me, just what you don't need before a poetry reading.

But Debi's was lovely as always, and one of the benefits of my high pitched piercing voice was that the deaf one could hear me, oh yes and Minx told a story that I cannot repeat here, but means that I will never ever look at hedgehogs in the same way again. Debi's lovely husband, um, tightened my nuts... so that I stopped having visions of my tyre bouncing down the road ahead of me, which I am sure was an offer he could have refused, but didn't, so when the cashflow starts to flow, fingers crossed, I will be sponsoring him in the London Marathon for SOS Africa

Oh yes and how many Kwik Fit fitters does it take to change a tyre, five, seriously, I counted. Oh yes and they couldn't get the jack back into the box either!

And I have been reading, and writing poetry as well as working, but more of that later.