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Carmen round the mountain

  Sat 29th October 2011

To my surprise, a debt collection agency accepts my offer to reschedule a debt.

"Dear Sir, Thank you for your letter of 14th October. We are prepared to accept your offer of £5 a month in respect of [a credit card]. Please find enclosed a standing order mandate which you should complete and return immediately to your bank."

The standing order instructs my bank to pay £5 on 10th November, "followed by 536 monthly payments of £5, and a final payment of £8.41". So that'll be paid off when I'm 91 then.

Someone was in the local paper this week for possession of The Chemical With the Unfeasibly Long Name. He was fined £65 which, to my relief, seems to indicate that the local magistrates have more important priorities than obscure "research chemicals".

I had a free ticket to see Carmen as my friend Neil is a reviewer but his boyfriend isn't into opera. It's a rather silly piece and I wonder how it ever became viewed as high art, but the singing was gorgeous, the girls were pretty, the costumes were excellent, and the theatre itself is a beautiful building of 1782, renovated and cantilevered in the early 1900s by the great theatre designer Frank Matcham.

Grand Theatre, Lancaster

It was an elderly audience and in the toilets at half time, a murmur of sighed schwas of relief accompanied the collective micturition. I had taken some of The Chemical With the Unfeasibly Long Name, and in the pub afterwards it suddenly came on and I was garrulously sociable, chatting to a couple of Neil's friends with what I hope didn't come across as tiring, one-sided energy.

Last night someone threw a party for the PhDers. The hostess, who has a policy of not buying any modern clothes at all, looked glamorous in red lipstick and a beautiful green vintage dress which few modern women could wear, unforgiving and requiring her rationing-era figure to carry it off. An international crowd from Eastern Europe mainly, bright, un-arsey, socially adept people in their 20s and 30s, and the hostess's boyfriend, very attractive in a rural poet kind of way, wearing what seemed like a dozen layers. We got to taste some pálinka, the renowned fruit-based firewater of Hungary which is served on the merest occasion and which my housemate's Dad, in common with many of his compatriots, has with breakfast. It was delicious, a hotly alcoholic taste of stewed apricots.

I left at 11.30 because me and Mary-Ann had arranged to talk on the phone. Her voice was intoxicating, sending me off into heady and bodily desire. I was pressing the phone hard against my ear wanting to catch everything, her breath even. How will it work when I see her, I constantly wonder.

This afternoon I'm meeting my beautiful friend and partner in sexting, Denise. The way I feel at the moment it's going to be all I can do not to lead her up to Vicarage Field to undress her. But the plan is for a coffee somewhere.


Comment from: [Member]

quite reasonable of the debt collectors to accept your offer! as a measure of your appreciation, perhaps making that final payment a double!

hoping that the afternoon coffee goes well… and that you aren’t arrested for public nudity in the coffee shop!

Sat 29th October 2011 @ 16:04
Comment from: Daddy Papersurfer [Visitor]

I love the film Carmen Jones mainly cos I’m in love with Dorothy Dandridge … and yes, I do realise she’s dead. *looks worried at self*

Sat 29th October 2011 @ 18:00
Comment from: [Member]

DF: My only regret is not caning the card harder before they took it off me.

Me and Denise managed not to end up just doing it on the table and paying for any broken crockery, but it required a stiff, er, resolve. But then, knowing you *can’t* - not simply because we were in a pub, but because she’s happily partnered - makes my ardour harder.

Daddy: Blimey, I thought I in the past have been silly developing passions towards partnered women; dead ones though - you’re on a hiding to nothing there mate.

Sat 29th October 2011 @ 18:01

Are they insane?

Accepting any sort of debt (or even a promise) from a grduate student is insanity personified. Well done, you must have the abilities of a con-man extraordinaire. Mind you the wway things are going, the retiremnt age in the uk will be approaching 100 by 2025. Will you make it in time?

Mary Anne AND Denise. Why don’t you try and make it a jolly threesome?
Wouldn’t that be fun?

BTW I reckon the best breakfast drink is a fortified Port; fortified with Brandy; it cetainly makes the whole day look much rosier.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 05:09
Comment from: [Member]

I can talk debt collectors to sleep. I’m quite good at talking but saying nothing. Eventually they notice the clock and exasperatedly ask me what I am offering.

One day I will experiment with the way of starting the morning you recommend. It sounds excellent.

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 11:09

Really? A gay man who doesn’t like opera? Do I need to go there and spew my stereotypes all over your comments section?

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 14:13
Comment from: [Member]

Neil’s boyfriend isn’t keen on opera, but he is very “musical".

Sun 30th October 2011 @ 16:13

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

M / 60 / 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
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
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George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
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Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
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