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Treat yourself

  Wed 25th September 2013

I've had a good sweaty afternoon's humping with Ned, the new lodger. We both enjoyed it.

It came from the excellent local freecyling group so cost me nothing apart from £20 for White Van Man to pick it up. While we were driving back with it to my house I saw a rather foxy former colleague of mine from Bloom and Doom. I stuck my head out of the window and wolf-whistled at her. "Do you mind?" said White Van Man. "We've got an image problem."


In the pub with Trina. A tall man orders drinks in an unsually formal way: "I hear that you stock toffee cider. Is that the case? Good, two pints then please." He is with a younger, pretty woman who is smiling. They sit down and start chatting. A few moments later he is leaning over her, pushing her backwards. She seems to be shaking and resisting, turning her head away from him in an expression of fright. I am fearful of what is happening, and am reminded of the response that Bertrand Russell, a pacifist, once gave to someone who challenged him about what he would do if he saw someone being raped. "I would endeavour to interpose my person." I judge it is time for me to interpose my person.

As I stand up, she slumps slowly to the floor, fitting; it is epilepsy, not rape. A very attractive woman in a black and white striped woolen minidress calls an ambulance. After it is all over, she calls us to her table. Clumsily, I say "Well, if I ever have an epileptic fit in a pub I hope I'd wake up and see an attractive woman in a minidress standing over me." We chat for a few minutes and then she starts forward to give me a farewell hug. I lean backwards to compensate for my forwardness earlier, and shake her hand instead.


To Glasgow, for Mahler's Fifth with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, but before the concert, we sidled into the back of a group being shown round the City Halls, pretending not to see the notice saying that the tour was full. We marvelled at and stroked the tallest marble staircase in Europe, which beats the pretender in the Vatican into second place. In the 1880s, the budget was £180,000; it eventually cost £500,000. As we are both aesthetes of tender febrility, we sought balm after such a surfeit of beauty in the Horseshoe Bar.

We met a train driver of my acquaintance and his Nicaraguan girlfriend in Blackfriars. She had acquitted herself poorly last time we met, doing that infantile private whispering to her husband about a headache or something to do with gluten. This time, she's pleasant, in a careful way; someone I can't see lasting long in Drumchapel.

Donald Runnicles, conducting, did his best to confirm the stereotype of the up-himself artiste, jumping up and down on the podium in the loud bits, as if resentful that Mahler and the orchestra were gaining an unfair proportion of the attention. Thomas Hampson sang some of Mahler's songs, which sounded pertly Alpine and made me think of those green hats with little feathers in.

We stay in a cheap hotel, where Trina spills half a pint of beer over the quilt, and I write my card to Kim.

11 comments

Who knew the White Van Man even HAD an image!? Nice slice o’ life there.

I’m terrible in a medical crisis. I saw a car crawl to a red light at the corner of 6th Avenue and 45th street, it’s engine racing fast. The man behind the wheel was having a heart attack. I froze.

What a waste of half a pint. But a good wank is never a waste. Especially if that’s all you ever get.

Wed 25th September 2013 @ 11:55
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

All hail Ektorp! We have the same. Only ours is now covered in cat hair.

Wed 25th September 2013 @ 13:18
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

UB: Yes, I’m not sure how that reference would cross the pond. The delivery man has become a figure in contemporary British folklore, known for his sexist behaviour–including wolf-whistling.

In extremis, I just ring for an ambulance. Which I would have done, but my phone is in a pub in St Annes. Let the experts handle it. Trina was good. Calm and unflustered, and she had the social wit to make sure the girl’s boyfriend was OK too.

Yes, I’d rather spill certain things than others.

SB: Well, early testing suggests it’s going to be a most comfy addition to my front room. The other one (also from IKEA) simply snapped in the middle about a year ago, but I just got used to having to sit in the middle.

Wed 25th September 2013 @ 16:55
Comment from: Chef Files [Visitor]

Drumchapel, the place of my childhood, now inhabited by every nationality under the sun. The oul fella and the granda would both be spinning in their graves if they knew.

What I wouldn’t do to go back in time to the mid 70’s and freeze time forever.

Wed 25th September 2013 @ 17:48
Comment from: [Member]

talk about muddled in translation – “I’ve had a good sweaty afternoon’s humping with Ned, the new lodger.” Most coarsely used meaning of “humping” here would imply you’re getting along quite nicely with the new fella…

Thu 26th September 2013 @ 04:09
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

Did you see the BBC2 thing about Northern soul last night? I kept watching, half expecting to see you busting a move.

Thu 26th September 2013 @ 13:25
Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

daisyfae, looby is the king of the double entendre !

Thu 26th September 2013 @ 15:55
Comment from: smallbeds [Visitor]

“simply snapped in the middle”

I did that once to my parents’ incredibly expensive leather sofa. After falling into it during a particularly drunken party, it had an obvious kink half-way along its back.

I just brazened it out: “how did… how did that get there?” I think because they had got this idea that it was one of my friends - who they decided were keeping me on the rails - who had done it, they eventually relented and just got it fixed.

I’m not proud. It just sprang to mind. For these and all my other sins, which I cannot now remember etc.

Fri 27th September 2013 @ 21:12
Comment from: [Member]

CF: What a coincidence, you being from Drumchapel. And there you go–QED–she’s from Nicaragua and her husband is from Clydebank.

DF and Isabelle: I’m sure I’ve mentioned at some point that at one point Isabelle walked into a pub I was working in and asked me for a double entendre, so I gave her one.

Homer: I don’t like Northern Soul so I didn’t watch that programme, and I haven’t got a telly so it’d mean a bit of an effort to do so. It’s more the housey end of Soul that I like. I have an intellectual respect for Northern Soul but I don’t like it as a music I cuold dance to or enjoy.

About the programme—I haven’t seen it, but Northern Soul seems often to be treated like a specimen in a cabinet, for the vicarious pleasure of dispassionate outsiders who are jealous of what they see as a more sensual life they imagine themsevelves capable of, just as black people’s musical and individual lives are sometimes seen.

SB: I can’t remember how my previous IKEA sofa snapped but I imagine it’s because I’m getting to the age where I make loud exhlation noises when I plonk myself heavily down on the settee.

Fri 27th September 2013 @ 22:56
Comment from: isabelle [Visitor]

You’re incorrigible !

(after you mentioned Richard Cheese ages ago, I’ve kept meaning to say check out Adam Green….. I think you’d appreciate his sentiments)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0rphN5jIDY

Sat 28th September 2013 @ 13:45
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks Isabelle – another new name to me, most entertaining.

Sat 28th September 2013 @ 14:34


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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.

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There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
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I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
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The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
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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?
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The working man is a fucking loser.
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