Gay Nazi Sex Vicar in Schoolgirl Knickers Vice Disco Lawnmower Shock!
« MorecambeSit down next to me »

Les Vacances de Mr Wool

  Mon 13th June 2011

Meet "Steve", as my children named "him". It's a merluchon, a small-tailed hake, from the market in La Trinité Sur Mer. The girls watched half-revolted, half-fascinated, as I made an amateur's job of gutting him and his equally unfortunate friends, before chasing them round the caravan with his severed head, making him talk.

Gutting the fish was absorbing, and I wish I knew more about piscatorial anatomy. The small flat pale brown lungs were obvious, as was the tough optic nerve which resisted the caravan's sharpest knife, the attempts to cut which only resulted in the eye jerking to and fro strangely, making him look like a fish in a circus. Much of the rest of it was a bloody mystery. A few days later I saw a master at work in the same market, slicing a yard-long fish under its gills, holding it by fixing his fingers in its mouth and drawing his hand down along its cut body to remove the entrails.

We ate Steve at a barbeque with some quasi-relatives and a couple they knew whom I'd not met before. I couldn't help wondering all night why the witty deadpan provocateur Mark had decided upon the precise, taciturn Mary. She briefly dealt with our enquiries as though conscious of a need to be courteous, and ventured a total of one question all night, asking Kirsty whether her top was "vintage". After a litre or so of cider I couldn't be bothered to make much more of an effort with her.

Each Monday there's a "Pot d'Accueil", during which plastic cups of cider are dispensed in a gloomy anteroom of the 1830ish farmhouse around which the campsite was developed. Men talk about either "the drive down", or how glad they are to be have been made redundant; women revert to children. I chatted to Florence, the stagiaire, a breathily-voiced 19-year-old girl from Rennes, dressed in layers of opaque and transparent black.

A couple of days later, feeling trapped in a social evening in semi-relatives' caravan, the iPod blaring and a sparing allocation of drink delivered with fractional but unmistakable reluctance, I was mentally searching for an escape plan. An idea came. "Right, you must excuse me, I've got a date with Florence. No, no, not really," I said, lyingly adding plausible detail. "We're just going to meet down Les Terraces and she'll talk in English and I in French and we'll help each other out."

In the silent gap afforded by their incredulity that I had arranged a night out with a 19-year-old French girl, I nimbled out of the caravan and walked into town to my favourite bar for an evening's reverie with some Belgian lager and the harbour water's beautiful glistering.

Dolmen de Kermarquer

No Breton holiday is complete without a day of sunburn and multiple mosquito bites to accompany a meander around Iron Age burial sites, so we cycled our way round some dolmen and menhirs on a circuitous route to one of the best bars in the area. The dolmen above dates from about 5000 BC and is interesting for some regular short corridors leading off it, the function of which is as much of a mystery as is my apprehensive face in the picture.

Eventually we got to the bar. Punk and chanson album covers and a literate library round the walls: Malraux, Molière, Edward St Aubyn, and a booklet presenting a translation of Allende's last speech on Chilean Radio, before he met his death in circumstances that were the subject of an investigation whilst we were in Brittany. A few doors away, in my decade-long search for an outstanding Breton cider, I bought some "Extra Brut" (trans.: "medium dry") of François Séhédic. Not bad, but no matter how "biologique" and "artisanal" the methods, the Bretons cannot resist carbonification.

Whilst we were out, a Dutch couple had moved in next door. At dusk, me and Kirsty outside drinking M. Séhédic's overnamed cider, I turned and saw them through the hedge. She, in a red and white polka dot flared dress, gently laid herself down on top of him on the plastic lounger, before kissing him, open-mouthed, slowly.

Arriving at Manchester Airport, we were suddenly outnumbered by a much larger group of passengers who appeared to be coming back from a colloquium on "The Body As Advertising". Most people bore brand names across their chests or handbags: HEN LEYS PRO JECT in silver letters at 45 degrees; others seemed anxious to ensure that something called G STAR was to be taken RAW; and several women displayed their affection for an evidently popular person referred to only as "PB". At the carousel it all became clear: there was an arrival from Malaga ten minutes after ours.


That poor fish. Subject to your relentless amateur hacking. My father was a butcher and he was a maestro around a roasted turkey. Well done on the spying, though.

Mon 13th June 2011 @ 11:59
Comment from: [Member]

Yes, there’s room for improvement in my fishmongering skills. I mightr get one of my foodier friends over to show me how to do it properly.

Mon 13th June 2011 @ 13:02
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

Nice to have you back, esp as you now represent 25% of my blog-reading habits and Fweng Ebola NEVER BLOODY BOTHERS these days.

Mon 13th June 2011 @ 18:03
Comment from: [Member]

I know, that is developing into one of the biggest bloglosses of 2011. He’s brilliant at it.

Mon 13th June 2011 @ 18:59

Form is loading...

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

If your comment box looks like this, I'm afraid I sometimes can't be bothered with all that palarver just to leave a comment.

63 mago
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
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
Strange Flowers
Trailer Park Refugee
Wonky Words

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

Bristol New Music
Desiring Progress Collection of links only
Golden Pages for Musicologists
Lauren Redhead
The Rambler
Resonance FM
Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
Talking Musicology defunct, but retained

  XML Feeds

Run your own website!

©2020 by looby. Don't steal anything or you'll have a 9st arts graduate to deal with.

Contact | Help | Blog skin by Asevo | Website builder