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Irish Sea

  Fri 16th May 2014

I spent Wednesday out with Trina delivering Labour Party election leaflets, jumping out of her car and haring up pathways and drives, in the ugly uPvC'd flatlands of rural Lancashire. When possible, I filched the Conservative party's leaflets out of the letterboxes and threw them away. The leaflet I was delivering contained an article, illustrated with a picture of the invertebrate Ed Miliband in his anonymising suit, pointing upwards somewhere, to make him look authoritative I suppose, about how Labour will "make work pay". What about making idleness pay? When you read the detail, it amounts to some trivial change in tax relief. And to think, this is a party which, in living memory, advocated the common ownership of the means of production.

It was hot and tiring work, for a party I don't support, so I was compelled to repair to the pub in Preston to gather myself. A man at the bar was wearing a T-shirt which recast the Nike logo and typeface to say "Pikey. Just nick it." I settled down to read a bit more of The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch, my choice -- because Kim recommended it to me -- for our book club next month. "Emotions really exist at the bottom of the personality or at the top. In the middle, they are acted." I texted texted Kim to thank her for putting me onto it. "It's like having a talkative, interesting but meticulously self-obsessed person sat opposite you."

Last month's book club was even more drunken than they usually are, due to the plentiful supplies of Prosecco. The following day I had to text another bloke (it's chaps only) asking him to remind me what book I had chosen. "No idea, date or book. Too pissed at the end," he replied.


This was the scene a year ago in Morecambe, and we're doing it again this year. The weather is gorgeous here at the moment, so some of it can take place outside. There's an excellent video on YT which one of the regulars made, which gives you an idea of what we'll be getting up to. "They were blatantly enjoying themselves. Some of them must have been at least fifty," said one eyewitness.


I've had one or two enquiries about the room, at last, and someone came round last night to look at it. I think it's important to give everyone a fair chance regardless of age, looks etc. However, at the same time, one has to be very careful about EU discrimination law, so I'm going to give first dib to a gorgeous twentysomething Italian brunette glasses-wearing nurse, for legal reasons.

3 comments

Comment from: [Member]

A glowing cloud is drifting towards you from the right. The lady has two monstrous zombie flesh wounds in her back. Must be the Temple of Light.

Fri 16th May 2014 @ 21:44

I don’t think idleness will ever pay. That’s anathema to capitalism.

You must forward a pic of your new tenant. For legal reasons, of course.

Mon 19th May 2014 @ 11:49
Comment from: [Member]

Well yes Trev, being with that girl does seem to put me into a strange time warp.

Exile: The Green Party have, as one of their manifesto commitments, a social wage. So everyone gets paid it, regardless of what you do. It’s an obvious, simple, humane idea, and therefore will probably never get implemented.

Unfortunately the Italian stunna didn’t want the room!

Wed 21st May 2014 @ 13:04


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M / 57 / 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.

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