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Roman candles

  Mon 27th February 2012

Had a good weekend doing one of the most-postponed, messiest clean-up jobs ever, tidying up the split and busted cheap plastic shed in the yard at Jo's house. A big tin of spilt paint, a burst bag of compost mixed with matt paint, broken tiles, broken shelves, accumulated stagnant rainwater, and the black aftermath of the Misfiring Roman Candle Incident of Bonfire Night 2010 in which a firework fell over in its unstable bed of marbles in a plastic bucket and fired into the shed and ignited the paint. Satisfying manual labour. What us arty types need to do more often.

Really don't think this thing with Mary-Ann is going to work. Just sent her this.

[...] You divine accurately that my thoughts are preoccupied with you. And yes, I have been fencing about a little.

I often think this has got no future at all. We're too far apart, and I feel that I have a self that I present to you that isn't really how I am from day to day. A great deal is lovely - the bliss of being touched by you and touching you is something that doesn't occur in my day to day life. But there's a great deal of me that I will never be able to share with you. Dancing, drinking, long face to face conversations that can end up spontaneously in bed, cooking for you and so on. And my friends. I've always imagined that anyone I was going out with would be part of my friendship group. I know some really nice women and I'd like you to know them too. All these things are stymied by distance, a problem I wilfully overlooked because I just found you, at first, and subsequently, and now, so seductive, so literate, so different - and funny.

The lack of frequently seeing you has the unfortunate effect of making me feel that my contact with you is a bit staged, a performance of a relationship. Last night, knackered after clearing out the yard and smelling of paint and turps and with my knee playing up from too much genuflection, I went down the pub and bumped into my friends Kev and Neil and sighed with relief as we spread over the table with the Sunday papers and sat in companiable silence. And then I thought "Oh right, [I deleted the word "fuck"] I said I'd ring Mary-Ann."

And that moment made me feel sad. That's not how it should be, feeling that you've got to ring someone. It's a function of not being able to see you enough, of feeling that because of the fragility of our contact, I ought to add more fuel onto the relationship lest it wither, despite at that particular time, wanting to just have a quiet, peaceable drink.

Another worry I have is that I feel sometimes a little bit mismatched with you in terms of liking the quotidian, the meandering everyday natter, the directionless babble of consciousness. I sometimes try to please you by being a little more self-reflective in my speech, and in my commentary on the day, than I feel at that moment. I can always tell when I'm doing this because my accent, always an unstable thing, veers more towards RP than the bastardised Lancaster in which I more often talk. Again - that wasn't a problem when we were actually together, but *not* being together is going to be a constant.

I want it to work, but after a couple of pints, I doubt it.

Am off to see Clint Eastwood's film J Edgar in a couple of hours with my former pupil, the rather sexy Marianna. Bit tired and would rather have a wee little lay down. Oh for the days when such lethargy would be banished with the adroit use of a mirror, a razor blade, and a short white line.


Comment from: [Member]

seems something more casual with your ladyfriend would be in order. perhaps you can negotiate something less… heavy. lower her expectations?

if i got such a letter, my first question would be “why are you weighing your words? show me what you are, and we’ll go from there…”

Tue 28th February 2012 @ 03:05

Don’t you think you’re getting a bit blasé about someone who obviously excites you very much?

Every time you write about your meetings with M-A, you indicater a deep affection and almost a compulsion to keep her, yet upset her.

I’d almost say make up your mind, but it appears you may have already done so.

Instead of the metabolicaly challenging and septum destroying white powder, try a long invigorating cold shower, followed by at least 3 tablespoons of syrup of figs.
Really gets you going.

Tue 28th February 2012 @ 09:13
Comment from: [Member]

I don’t feel I can be myself with her. I’m not sure entirely why. It’s not usually anything I give a second thought to. It just all feels a bit hopeless really - the distance, the rarity of seeing each other, this awkward feeling of performing. I don’t know, we’ll see. Not optimistic at the moment.

Tue 28th February 2012 @ 09:39
Comment from: readers [Visitor]

Any chance of either of you moving closer to the other?

Wed 29th February 2012 @ 08:37
Comment from: [Member]

No, that’d be difficult, as we’ve both got children. And if I’m honest, I don’t feel enough for her to do that. I think it’s doomed to be honest. I’ve told her so. I need to find someone nearer but Lancaster is hopeless for meeting women.

Wed 29th February 2012 @ 09:01

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

M / 59 / 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

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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.
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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.

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