Gay Nazi Sex Vicar in Schoolgirl Knickers Vice Disco Lawnmower Shock!
« A driveKnickers? »

I prefer Lancashire to London

  Thu 30th January 2014

Meta: Could the person reading this apparently from the Maldives on Dhiraagu Internet Services, drop me a quick line and introduce yourself please? Thanks.

A French couchsurfer has been here for a couple of days for a conference at the Uni. He arrived on the same night as I was hosting our book group, and I was nervous about what I would do with him.

He turned up with a man he said he'd just met in the pub. I assumed he was a co-presenter at the conference but he literally was someone he'd just bumped into in the pub. We were halfway through our drunken discussion of anything but the book, but they both settled effortlessly, as we discussed Hollande's infidelity, fracking, borderline mentally ill flatmates and, most interestingly to me--as it's a career option with great appeal--fraud. It runs in the acquired family. I think I've mentioned before the time when Kirsty's Dad strolled out, acquitted of such a charge, from the Old Bailey. "That's a good job," he said to her. "Because I did it."

I told everyone of a night when some friends and I, the right side of a few pints, were collectively poring over the problem of how to garner a bit more cash, and were talking out loud, to see how it sounded, about getting a carousel fraud together--a very small one, way under the radar of HMRC--which would net us about £20K each for a couple of weeks' work.

Edward, a forensic accountant, told us of a couple of frauds going on now in Lancaster, and about a lucrative case his firm refused to take on, trying to trace and freeze the assets of someone who defrauded the Bank of Kazakhstan of between three and six billion dollars. One such property is a port in northern Russia known for its blind eye. "No, we didn't want that one. They'll just shoot you and pay the judge ten times his annual salary to record it as an accident."

On Sunday me old pal Keiran rang me to see if I was around. He went from pipe fitter to Philosophy lecturer and is now about to retire from a university in London. I'd never met his wife before. I was dog-tired, and stared at her for what I knew was an impolitely long time, arrested by her ineptly applied black eyeliner.

They're trying to decide where they'd like to spend their retirement. I suspect Keiran would like to come back here, but wifey isn't keen. "I know this sounds very Southern," she said, "but I'm from London and have lived in London all my life, and this 'Northern friendliness' you like and are recommending to me--it can sometimes come across as a bit intrusive or nosey. People start talking to you and you can't get rid of them."

Hearing the case for hardline Southern individualism stated so honestly was a surprise. "Well," I said, "you just learn techniques for telling them to go away. You can say something like 'Anyway, you'll have to excuse us--we're just grabbing an hour off between looking after the children', or something like that." Or you could try being friendly to strangers, perhaps? Living like that would send me mentally ill.

Here in Lancaster, though...

Next to me, at the bar. Mid, late forties? The loveliest hair: brown going on ginger in a longish bob; purple woollen crew neck jumper; inverted box pleat grey skirt, ending just above the knee; black tights and flatties. She's struggling to remember someone's drink.

I'll have a double (long pause), Jack Daniels and Coke. She looks at me and says "I thought it was you next."

No, it was you. Although I was thinking of ordering while you remembered what you wanted.

--It was a senior moment.

You're too young to have those.

--No I'm not. You and me went to the same school.

Really? Did we? I went to --- High School.

--So did I. You'll be fifty this year then.

Yes, in March.

--Ha, well I'm younger than you then.

I look at ourselves in the mirror at the back of the bar and make a gesture like windscreen wipers between our two faces.

Well, I think that's obvious. What's your name?

--Doesn't matter. And your daughter's had orthodontic treatment. I'm a Dental Nurse.

Oh, you work with Mr --- then?

--Yes sometimes.

Blimey, there's no secrets round here are there?

--Not many. Anyway have a nice evening.

You're fucking gorgeous and I love that skirt and you've got beautiful hair. Yes, and yourself.


Comment from: Leni Qinan [Visitor]

Nice to read you from the Maldives, Looby. I’m spending here some days, swimming, surfing, diving and touring the islands.

I know you expected a gorgeous blonde, but it’s just me. Sorry to disappoint you, Looby.

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 15:01
Comment from: [Member]

Is it you? Oh–I’m terribly sorry Leni, I blocked a load of your IP addresses. Thank you for taking the trouble to get round it, and I will now head over to the land of .htaccess and pull your knic…. er, I mean, delete that line from the file. Sorry my lovely, I thought it was some stalker person. I don’t mind you stalking me of course.

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 15:08
Comment from: Hipster Yaya [Visitor]

There are no secrets in my little town either. I’d love a bit more of anonimity instead.

Have a nice evening you too! ;)

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 15:09
Comment from: Leni Qinan [Visitor]

You won’t get rid of my so easily, Looby. There’s nothing to pull down/off/out/under because in the Maldive islands it’s allowed to swim/dive/surf stark naked, honey.

Too bad videoblogs haven’t been invented yet, hahahaha.

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 15:13
Comment from: [Member]

I went to live in London because the lack of anonymity in Lancaster was too much (and I was absolutely stuck for work). Now I’m older, I love–need–the familiarity of walking down the street and meeting two dozen people when you’ve just nipped out for a paper.

Also, as you get older, it becomes easier to learn the art of the presentation of the self in everyday life.

Oh shite… I’m now thinking about my old classmate in that skirt, bent over a table, me pulling her knickers [That’s enough–Ed.]

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 15:15
Comment from: Suzy Southwold [Visitor]

Different strokes. If I go to Aldeburgh with my dad every other person seems to say “Hello Bob!” Personally I’d find that level of scrutiny unbearable - but then I know virtually everyone in my village so… [Fizzles out without reaching a conclusion]

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 18:59
Comment from: [Member]

Conclusions… fuck em :)

Thu 30th January 2014 @ 21:41

I’ll bet they thought you stared for a reason other than poorly applied eyeliner. I would have loved to hear the after-conversation. Christ, I hate snobs. Perhaps more than murders.

Fri 31st January 2014 @ 12:01
Comment from: [Member]

The staring wasn’t my finest moment, and I wanted to create a good impression in front of a good, old, friend. I was just stultifyingly tired, when your brain can’t cope with decorum or the procedure of meeting people.

Snobs don’t last long in Lancaster. They get ostracised.

Fri 31st January 2014 @ 19:34
Comment from: [Member]

i like the size of my little town. small enough to run into people you know, yet large enough to always have the opportunity to meet new people, outside your existing circles of friends!

Sun 2nd February 2014 @ 19:57
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

I like living somewhere big enough I’m not notorious or known at all… anonymity suits my mind set

Sun 2nd February 2014 @ 20:29
Comment from: [Member]

Lancaster’s just the right size for me too. New people are always coming and going, although what tends to happen is that friendships wax and wane with the same large group of people. I can’t live anywhere and be anonymous. I tried that in London and honestly, after a few years, I felt I was going to go mental.

Mon 3rd February 2014 @ 11:20

Form is loading...

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

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
Another Angry Voice
the asshat lounge
Clutter From The Gutter
Eryl Shields Ink
Exile on Pain Street
Fat Man On A Keyboard
gairnet provides: press of blll defunct, but retained for its quality
George Szirtes ditto
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
Leeds's Singing Organ-Grinder
The Most Difficult Thing Ever
Strange Flowers
Trailer Park Refugee
Wonky Words

"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

Bristol New Music
Desiring Progress Collection of links only
The Rambler
Resonance FM
Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
Talking Musicology defunct, but retained

  XML Feeds

Multiblog engine

©2024 by looby. Don't steal anything or you'll have a 9st arts graduate to deal with.

Contact | Help | Blog skins by Asevo | Community CMS