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Plastered

  Sat 20th August 2011

Not for the first time, I have cause to be dissatisfied with a member of the lower orders.

A plasterer having mucked Kirsty about with a series of feeble cancellations, I suggest she tries one I know.  Kirsty's bedroom ceiling is now flawlessly smooth. But what a mess he left. The bedroom carpet is going to be replaced anyway, but it is thick with encrusted black dust which he has trodden through to the bathroom and up and down the stairs. The doors are streaked with wiped staves of dirt. He's managed to get plaster on the shower curtain. The floor of the bathroom is muddied with a tide of black, and Kirsty's bed frame is pocked with the blackstuff and grey plaster. I have just spent three hours in her house trying to vanish the worst of it.

Doing such a work leaves me feeling affronted. I am a doctoral candidate farting weakly into the doldrums of a subject which I am relieved to see, according to the person being groomed to do my viva, "has seen little progress in recent decades." I am employed on a Canadian journal of feminist theory in which the first article I was sent to edit contained a word so rude that it had to be disembowelled with asterisks for fear of offending Québécois feminists. I consort psychotropically with eye-tuggingly bosomed women who are on familiar terms with the more secretive chemists of Yorkshire.  I cannot possibly be expected to do manual work.

And yet there I was this afternoon, in my former lover's bedroom, not with an expectant cock, but a scouring pad.


I've been chatting on the dating site for a few weeks with someone who has worked for the EU and who is now on some mysterious self-employed thing in Huddersfield, obviously well off and carefully not talking about her money. A few emails, what a great place Brussels is, but I'm getting bored now. Let's end it now before it descends into a dance of manners.
Danni I hope you won't mind me being completely honest but in this terribly cut-throat situation that we're in I'm not sure if there's enough in our conversations to make it interesting enough to pursue. I hope you won't take that as harsh - it's the alchemy, of which I am a part, which fails, rather than either of us individually. Best wishes, and thank you for your patient replies.

3 comments

Oh, I’ve been dumped on much more violent terms than that! You’re being perfectly reasonable. Please post her reply.

I am useless around a toolbox. The only difference is that I lack the doctoral candidate excuse.

Mon 22nd August 2011 @ 12:27
Comment from: homer [Visitor]

Apropos of nothing, ‘Looby in 20 years time’ lives on a narrowboat in Milton Keynes. It was quite startling.

Mon 22nd August 2011 @ 20:21
Comment from: [Member]

Hello Homer, I was thinking about you the other day, rather wistfully, about Melton Mowbray, and pies and so on.

I like the narrowboat idea, but could we moor it somewhere a bit prettier?

Tue 23rd August 2011 @ 09:55


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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

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
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