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Sit down next to me

  Tue 24th May 2011

To Leeds: finished Colm Tóibín's Brooklyn on the train as the leaky window spat at me. I wish I had diacritical marks in my surname.

Everyone in The Angel was on fine form. She made a hit of an entrance, dancing into the room in her tight jeans, high-heeled boots refusing the angry weather, the man next to me making a gallant show of moving up for her, both of us glad to be next to her. Someone opposite was surreptitiously eating roast chicken and corn on the cob, ducking under the table to rip mouthfuls of flesh. I produced a couple of mini pork pies for me and Kim, all three of us righting ourselves with studied innocence when the barman came round for the glasses. I can become emotionally close to someone, or physically, she said. I find it difficult doing both.

She went to the loo, upon which I dropped a 20p piece in her beer. "Don't tell her about this," I said to the man next to me, and I fished it out. "It's your glass eye, you've dropped your glass eye!" shouted someone from the next table.

There was a bit of a railway timetable confusion and we ended up with some time on our hands. She suggested we go back to hers to stroke her cat, but we decided to postpone that to a time when less drink had been taken. We wound up the evening with Cumberland Sausage and Mash in the Scarborough Hotel, which felt like a citadel of moneyed respectability after the Angel: the painstaking hairstyles and facemasks of salaried women, the perfectly weighted vivacity of men.


But now it's time once again to iron my swimming trunks and to gather together those novels which are straightforward enough to be comprehensible during afternoons of hazy cider and mild child neglect. Grímsvötn permitting, I'm off to Brittany early tomorrow with Kirsty and the girls. The following will be true shortly.

I am here

4 comments

Comment from: peach [Visitor]

have a wonderful break, loob xx

Tue 24th May 2011 @ 21:02
Comment from: [Member]

I’ll do my best. Thanks x

Wed 25th May 2011 @ 00:07

Since I enjoy travel so much and since I am unable to actually go anywhere anytime soon, I’ll live vicariously through your trip. Hope we have a nice time.

Wed 25th May 2011 @ 11:18
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

I wish I had diacritical marks in my surname.

I wouldn’t if I were you: The Observer would just remove them. Also, Brooklyn is on my to-read shelf, so please don’t give anything away in future posts. Thank you kindly, yours sincerely, etc.

Have a lovely Brittany: do remember to drink some cider on my behalf. I mention that otherwise you might forget to drink any cider.

Wed 25th May 2011 @ 12:26


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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person


M / 56 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.


There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

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63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
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Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
gairnet provides: press of blll defunct, but retained for its quality
George Szirtes ditto
Guitars and Life
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
London's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
Quillette
Strange Flowers
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Wonky Words

"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

5:4
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Desiring Progress Collection of links only
Golden Pages for Musicologists
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NewMusicBox
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Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
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