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Preston 1 Cambridge 1

  Sun 16th March 2014

Back home to mine, and as usual on a Sunday night when I've been away for a bit, the toilet bowl is speckled with shit and there's a smell of bleach. One of the first things you learn in a shared house is other people's schedules of micturition and defecation, and their personal rites of its elimination.

Trina came over as usual, on Monday, and perhaps because I felt I'd won the argument about her staying only one night at a time, we ended up fucking within five minutes. Then we went to Preston (still a shithole, as segregated a city as I've ever been in in the UK), because there was a guided talk at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery round the Bruce Nauman exhibition. Someone who probably has the word "accessibility" in her job title asked us if any of us needed the services of a lip-speaker or signer. She said nothing about the inaccessiblity of putting the tour on at 1pm on a weekday afternoon.

After the tour, we were nobbled at the door by somone--possibly a volunteer--who asked us if we'd enjoyed it. He allowed us the briefest of replies, but could hardly control his communicative urges. "That art like the one you've seen, a lot of people don't want to get it. I mean, you see, I don't know about you, but when I was at school we were taught that art, a picture, well, it had to be of something, take an apple for instance, if you seen an apple as a round green thing, well that's OK but it doesn't really do that now that things have changed, in more modern times and so when you see an apple in a gallery or in modern art you don't have to see it as something that looks like an apple but it could be just something that the artist---it's the thing, the thing is an apple and I think the more people understand that an apple, or I mean, not just an apple, ..."

I held my hand up apologetically and looked at Trina. "We're going to have to go.... Mum'll be waiting." "Yes, I'm sorry," I said to the man whose epiphany of non-representational art had rendered him incontinent with enthusiasm, "my mother's out there and we ought to go and pick her up. Thank you very much, it was very interesting."

In Wetherspoons, we found a sunny, glassy table in the corner. A man with very high-waisted trousers--often an indication of lunacy and the ambivalent consequences of the care in the community programme--came over. "Oh... oh. Are you sitting there? No-one's sat there for half an hour. No, not for half an hour." I talked to him with the amiability that one has to signal to that breed of lunatic for whom violent aggression is but a sliver of a wrongly-judged sentence away. Trina stepped in and deftly shooed him away, and we spent an afternoon under the greyed sun; more affectionate than it's been lately.

There was a group of sixtysomething women, locals, next to us. Trina said how much she likes the Preston accent; I do too. It has a softness missing from the Manchester and Liverpool ones in the south, as though everyone is thinking about adopting the rhotic "r". Ours here, more northerly, is sing-song and the most euphonious of them all.

Trina smiled and wagged her head girlishly, to indicate that she was about to ask something she knew would receive my assent. "Yes, stay tonight too," I said, waiving clause 1a) in our Agreement for a Harmonious Future. In bed, she wore this plastic mouthpiece effort that looked like an oversize set of dentures to try to stop herself snoring, and we had a laughing time with her pretending to scare me with it.

This weekend, I have mainly been stuffing my face. Fiona, my eldest, made some delicious cheese scones, and then today, a splendid Swiss roll. I'm glad I kept my mouth shut and didn't interfere; I thought it'd be technically beyond her and there'd be some teenage humpiness to deflect, but it turned out very well. I made a couple of types of bread, child's play in comparison with Fiona's production. When I went to bed last night I could smell the yeast in my urine.

Tonight I finished a proposal for a festival in Cambridge about text-based art called art:language:location. The piece is a performance and an installation, and it's about debt, using the fact that typography is used as a bullying weapon on debtors: red blocked ink and underlinings, cowing, graphical fists. It'll also be a chance to see me old pal from The London Years (in which Chris also figured), whose drum n'bass producer-cum-drug dealer sartorial image (he's missing his goldie looking chain in this pic) hasn't prevented him becoming a Research Fellow, or something, at the University there.

Here I am doing my approximation of a manly pose in June 2002, in which my elbow is more intrusive a visual element in the composition than was intended at the time. Those pints were poured at about 10.30am. England were playing Sweden in the World Cup and the pubs could open early. It ended 1-1. "Sweden hold drab England", said the BBC at the time. I tried chatting up this Scouse girl, despite not being, in those days, really sure what "chatting up" anyone meant or involved. I think I was partly doing it for my audience.


There’s no denying you two have that rare chemistry in bed that doesn’t come along very often. I’ve had a couple of affairs like this–when you can’t keep your hands off one another–but I’ve had plenty of dull ones, too. I even faked an orgasm once because I was so bored and I just wanted it to be over.

I like Bruce Nauman! You’re lucky. Did you like the show? Don’t say you did just to patronize me. If it was boring, say so.

I do like the elbow. The appendage. It seems attached to your body the wrong way.

Mon 17th March 2014 @ 10:50

Your blog is an education.

All these years and I never realised that “r” was erotic.

Mon 17th March 2014 @ 13:09
Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

As TSB says I come here for an education I never get anywhere else… you do realise I’m vicariously living out my wasted years through you?

Cheese Scones and Swiss Roll!!! That girl is a fine example of modern womanhood … best way to seduce me is through my stomach clearly

Tue 18th March 2014 @ 10:41
Comment from: [Member]

E on PS:
Yes, I’m very lucky with Trina in that respect. She’s always in the mood (although, I’ve found that women generally are.)

The exhibition was OK - there was some of his text-based neon work, which leaves me cold, but I liked the durational performance videos in which he repeats an action over and over again. Slightly underwhelmed on the whole. It was a very small exhibition and there wasn’t much of the type of thing he does that I like.

R, yes.

Thank you–I think :) You should have tasted the Swiss Roll–it was really lovely!

Wed 19th March 2014 @ 08:10

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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.
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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?
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The working man is a fucking loser.
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