July 24, 2005

Garlic Galore! 

Well, a lovely week of merrymaking with some very good friends has flown by and all I can remember is one thing. Garlic! Never before have I ever eaten so much of the stuff. Everyday we got together before our main meal and ate Prefou, a local garlic bread delicacy. Each loaf of this bread has an entire head of garlic smeared all over it. A good job really, given the amount of butter used. My arteries have gone on strike and hopefully the garlic will improve the circulation a little.

Anyway, to avoid some kind of garlic induced delirium tremors, I've decided to stay on another week to wean myself off gently. My brave friends have gone cold turkey. I waved them off yesterday. One already appeared to be shaking a little and so I slipped him a sneaky clove for the trip back.

I wonder if Betty Ford's does a garlic rehab programme? If so, sign me up! I'm back on Friday!

July 14, 2005

Quench my thirst 

I'm crawling on hands and knees through a desert. The sun, terrifying in its intensity, beats down on my back. My skin is cracked and sore while sand clings to my mouth and tongue. I am spent but driven forward one hand in front of the other, dragging myself through the unforgiving heat. My reserves are depleted and I have strength only for myself.

Fuck me, do I need a holiday!

Good job I'm off to France for a week then! May post something, may not. You'll just have to wait and see.

Bon Voyage!

July 11, 2005

Moving the earth 

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud

The knocking drifted into my dream and I awoke wondering what the fuck was going on. The clock read 2am.

The fog soon cleared. It seems the guy who lives upstairs has a new girlfriend and she's a bit, well, noisy. Furthermore his bed could do with being moved a couple of inches away from the wall!

There's something deeply irritating and a little embarrassing about hearing other people having sex. Don't get me wrong! I would never deny anyone the right to a bit of nookie being somewhat partial to it myself. I just didn't really enjoy lying there, awkwardly staring into the dark wondering whether to put the radio on to drown out the sounds. Eventually I drifted back to sleep.

Thud thud thud thud thud

This time the clock read 4am and I got up to find my trusted festival earplugs. These things can block out the sound of twenty kids on ecstasy blowing whistles in the next tent. Once again I drifted off.

Thud thud thud thud thud

6am. One of my earplugs had fallen out. She was clearly giving it some and so I took my duvet to the sofa where I dozed fitfully for a couple of hours before getting up.

By 3pm I was exhausted having spent the day painting skirting boards and pipes. I decided to have a quick nap before I got ready to go out. I stripped off, pulled back the duvet and snuggled in. It was bliss, with freshly changed sheets, a cup of tea at my bedside and gentle soothing music in the background. I could feel myself drifting off into a lovely afternoon doze.

Thud thud thud thud thud thud thud

Defeated, I took my cuppa to the garden and read the paper. In my tired irritability I was tempted to go up and have a word. The thing is, he's lived up there for a year now and that's the first time I've heard any noises of that nature coming from upstairs. Who am I to spoil his fun?


July 10, 2005

Waking up with Kylie and other random things 

It was with some bemusement that I awoke this morning to find myself in a strange house wearing a Crystal Palace football kit with a white cat called Kylie sat purring on my chest. I admired Kylie's purple glittery collar, tickled her ear, and she settled down for a doze.

I lay there piecing the previous evening together, no mean feat with a hangover the size of Christendom. Wine, dinner, pub, club, (bad) dancing, long, long, long walk, no kebab, pitta bread and dips instead, random purchase of The Observer newspaper from a 24h shop, Jerry Springer and bed at 4.30am. All satisfyingly random. I love nights like that, when you meet nice new people, go to nice new places and wake up with a cat called Kylie.

It seems that getting home had been beyond the limits of my capabilities last night and so Nurse Fox's flatmate's cousin's friend (quite impressed that I can remember that particular lineage) took me in, fed me and brought me a restorative cup of tea in the morning.


Today, Nurse Fox and I have been relaxing in the garden, attempting to restore the natural order to the universe... and failing miserably.

July 07, 2005

Fanning the fires of hatred 

London, so jubilant but hours ago, celebrating the news that we'd be hosting the Olympic Games in seven years time, now a city coming to terms with a terrorist attack. The first hint of trouble came as one of my volunteers turned up at the office asking what was wrong with the tube. She'd been evacuated twice on her way to the office. I checked online and read news of a power surge. We made tea and chatted about the weather.

Twenty minutes later, as everyone in the office had started either a training course or a counsellor team meeting, I got a call from my mum.

"Are you okay", she asked.

"Yeah, why?" I responded.

"There have been explosions all over the tube. People have been evacuated."

"Really? I'm fine. I'm in Greenwich today, nowhere near the centre."

After our conversation I went over to the office TV and with the help of a plastic fork, managed to get it work.

Reports coming through of an explosion on a bus in Tavistock square....

That's when it dawned on me. You don't get power surges on a bus. As events unfolded I tried to get through to my friends who worked in the city. Had it been yesterday or tomorrow I would have been there myself. The networks were down but email was working and person by person I made sure my friends were safe.

I spent the next few hours glued to the screen, watching the events unfold.

So that was my day, watching the horror in the city, emailing friends who had no access to the TV and reassuring all those who texted me to ask if I was okay.

Tonight I met with my good friend Nurse Fox. We live close to each other and have been friends since university. Neither of us wanted to just go home. Instead we wanted to spend the evening comforted by our friendship and so we met up in our local for a few beers.

We'd been sat down but five minutes before we approached by some pisshead twat at the next table.

"Oy oy ladies, why so glum?" he asked with spittle on his chin, his pint resting on his belly.

"We're talking about the bombings," I replied wondering how he could possibly ask that question.

He drew himself up and looked me in the eye.

"So how should we retaliate?" he asked.

"We shouldn't. Let's just get on with things." I answered.

"Fuck that. What about all the mosques. Let's trash 'em. I mean, how do you think they would feel if we built English churches in Iraq?"

And you know, even though I've been hearing news of the dead and the injured throughout the course of the day, that moment was the saddest moment for me. Today served to stir the racial hatred that lies as an undercurrent beneath certain factions in our city. Not all of us hold these views. Indeed the vast majority of Londoners value the multiculturalism of our city and all the richness and diversity it brings. Sadly, those who want England "English" and London "white" have had fuel added to their fire today and it makes me sick.

"Fancy a beer?" he asked, staring at my tits.

"Fuck off," I replied.


Chaos in London 

This is truly horrible.

July 06, 2005

Time Out - London 

It's fair to say that London can be a very tiring place to live. Everything is quicker, dirtier, longer, harder, further away. But it can be so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind and it's only when you take a step back that you begin to see it for what it is.

Don't get me wrong, I love London. It's a great city, full of diversity. I've lived here nine years and still there's so much I haven't seen, haven't done. But you have to look after yourself in London, you have to give yourself time out, eat well, take care of your physical and mental wellbeing, especially when you're knocking on the door of thirty.

So that's what I'm doing at the moment. Taking time out, looking after my physical and mental wellbeing.

Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not having a crisis or a breakdown here. I've just recognised that I'm emotionally and physically tired. It catches up with us all every now and again. I'm going on holiday soon, with five very good friends. It can't come soon enough.

Right. I'm off into town to buy a bikini. This could be a very interesting experience...


July 04, 2005

Good times bad times 

Thought I'd better dip my toe in my blog and say hello to you all. Hello!

Truth be told, I'm having a bit of a hard time what with one thing and another. If it's not work, it's play and if it's not play, it's family and if it's not family, it's money and if it's not money, well... you all know the score. Life's like that sometimes and you've just got to take the rough with the smooth. Bad times serve to remind us how good life can be and that we should appreciate every minute of it. Bad times, in fact, are even good in themselves. If you can accept the "badness" of them and have faith that they won't last for ever, you can learn so much about yourself, and that can only be a good thing, right?

So here I am, having a bad time, but keeping the faith that things will run their course and that wherever I land I'll be strong enough to pick myself up and prepare myself for the good times ahead.

Well, dear readers. A philosophical Jonesy, as you can see. I hope you are all keeping well and that my friends have been entertaining you. A big thank you to all of them!

More soon.

July 01, 2005

Guest Blog: Fart Parading As Art 

It was with baited breath that I prepared to watch Nine Songs last night. That makes sense - I am a gig-going indie kid in London who loves music almost as much as I love sex. The film is also about sex and relationships in London and is filthy. Surely, this film is for me, aimed at me, about me. No? Well, No.

It is unremitting pile of ape-wank from start to end.

Any pretensions of ‘art’ fail, the gig scenes are unrealistic and dull and the 'love scenes' are truly, truly terrible – inducing an intensity of cringing I last felt when hippos ‘got it on’ during Sunday teatime nature documentaries watched with my family.

‘Close your eyes and imagine you're on a beach in Thailand’ kick-started one particularly cringe-worthy segment.

The ending was an, ahem, anti-climax, leaving me stunned – my face looked like a dog who'd been shown a card trick.

You would all be vastly better off getting a couple of decent music dvds (Mozza’s ‘Who put the M in Manchester’ is rather good - sorry Bridget) and then, for your adult needs, heading off to a Soho videostore for a copy of ‘Help! My Ass is Haunted!’

The Realist

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