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  Wed 21st December 2011

I get home and the house is as much of a hothouse as I left it at 10am. The heating is on all day, running up a bill in the hundreds - seven is my guess - of which I will have to pay a third. S doesn't understand money - Daddy's paying for everything. My only hope is that his girlfriend, who has already left for Hungary, will admonish him about the bill, of which she will have to pay a third, when she comes back. I used to have combined gas and electricity bills of no more than seventy pounds a quarter.

In town today I met someone who was my next door neighbour for eight years. We lived in farm cottages built in 1675. Just a coal fire. That was it. At night, jumpers wrapped round your head, and I actually wore long johns. We were remembering how cold it was there. "Why should anyone think they have the right to a warm house all the time?" I said. Only through endless access to money can anyone think this.

Went to get a tenner out. £9.15 left in my account till 2nd January. I'm on one of these baby accounts where you can't go overdrawn and the application form suggests your Probation Officer as a possible referee. I went to Kirsty's and presented a bag full of things I'd bought earlier: different types of cheese, a bottle of Prosecco, one of red wine, some port, crackers, a Christmas pudding, chocolates; so we won't starve. We were all chatting, tea in progress, me sitting on the sofa while they ate. Kirsty was about to throw out Jenny's half-eaten chick pea curry that Kirsty had made. "Are you throwing that away?" I said, just before it got into the compost bin.

All I want to do is to be able to go the Lytham Soul Weekender on 6th - 8th January. Gaynor and her fella in one room. John and Ian in another, and me and Gail in another. I've talked to Gail about the sleeping in a double bed. It will be sleeping, and it's all understood. Besides, we won't spend much time in bed anyway what with the drugs music. Just dancing. Dancing dancing dancing, the thing up there for me with good sex.


The thing I like about your posts looby, is the view I get, as through a glass darkly, of a completely different lifestyle to my own boring conservtive one. As well as your great use of prose of course.
I think we’ve all been through financially tough times, where even an extra bowl of chickpea curry can be morale-boosting,but you’ve got to kick (literaly if needed) into that dickhead Stefan.

Change the rules.

Everytime Stefan puts the thermostat over 16ºC he pays ALL of the heating bill. Alternatively, every time you have to turn the thermostat down, he pays for the day.

Lastly, dancing. Come on.

Everyone over 30 looks a right prat when dancing unless it’s ballroom, and then he just looks like a complete dick, like everyone else on the dancefloor.

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 01:29
Comment from: [Member]

Thank you, but I wouldn’t describe your life as “boring", at least not the bits of it we see through your glass.

My income is very erratic, so I’m used to spells like this. It teaches one to be resourceful. And it’s fortunate that almost all the expenses of Christmas have been covered.

Stefan’s just gone to get his flight home, so the heating will be put back on to my default setting (i.e. OFF) till they return, and we’ll try to claw some of the profligate expense back. You’re right, I’m going to have to have a word with him. In the meantime, I’ve drank all his expensive not from concentrate apple juice. That’ll learn him.

Dancing: oh how benighted you are! The soul scene’s dancing is as far removed from the gawky self-conscious jerks (noun and verb) of high street nightclubs as it is possible to see. If you could only be a fly on the wall at Lytham you’d see how people of all ages can put Sharon and Dave from Cinderella’s to shame.

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 11:06
Comment from: Furtheron [Visitor]

I never dance… always, always look a complete arse… not a smart move, a mate of mine who was one of those brilliant dancers from the word go got so much action when he was younger… girls love a dancer - one of my teenage friends told me it was because a good dancer makes a good lover… I won’t comment further clearly!

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 15:35
Comment from: [Member]

Well… I mean, you know… I couldn’t possibly comment on such an association! :)

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 15:44
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

Heating is interesting. Our thermostat is set to 17* and only comes on between 5pm-10pm, supplemented by the woodburner in the lounge. Due to being off-grid for gas, this still equates to well over a grand a year. I wear a thermal vest 8 months of the year and always have blue fingernails.

Damn that Stefan, damn him!

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 22:03
Comment from: [Member]

I always wear a T-shirt underneath my shirt. Makes a real difference. I cut the neckline down slightly, so that it doesn’t show underneath an open necked shirt as I think Visible T-Shirts Under Shirts is a bad look on a man.

At some point a few years ago, I lost my long johns, and I really miss them on these cold nights. They were so lovely and snug. Well, on the nights when you weren’t planning other ways of keeping warm, of course. I’m not having a woman going in through a flap.

Thu 22nd December 2011 @ 22:38

“I’m not having a woman going in through a flap. “

Words fail me.

Fri 23rd December 2011 @ 01:22

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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.
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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.
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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

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