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  Tue 5th September 2017

In The Shipbuilders Arms, the dwarf, who has attached himself to the group of darts players with a degree of camaraderie slightly in excess of that with which he is welcomed, shows his hurt too openly on his face when the landlady brings out drinks for the darts team, of which he is not a member. In the toilets, men lean against the wall as if exhausted, sighing as they stare down at their penises.

Kim came over for the Bank Holiday weekend and stayed here for three days. I can't think of anyone else who could be in my house that long without me inventing lies to get rid of them early. We got up late, took picnics out, went to Morecambe and had chips and Sauvignon Blanc and trawled the secondhand bookshop.

Back at home, we had the comfortable silences that are the mark of closeness. Reading. "It'd never have worked out between us looby. You don't realise how much I want to be dominated."

In the pizza takeaway, an acquaintance is looking at his watch, asking why his order is taking so long, histrionically sighing, the breath of his own self-importance adding to the heat in which the employees were working to serve privileged people like ourselves. A burn of class consciousness lit the alcohol in me.

"Why are you moaning at them? Give them a break -- they're doing their best." "I just want to know exactly how long it'll be." "For fuck's sake Kevin, do you think they're not trying hard enough? This is the difference between working- and middle-class life. You have absolutely no fucking idea about how most people live. They're doing their best. They're on the minimum wage, so fucking leave it."

He's a stuck-up prig, and this is but an extract from a rant I had at him, of which I regret not a syllable. When he passes me in the street now I make a point of looking at him with disgust. The satisfaction of severing relations.

Kitty said that Wendy and her daughter were coming round for tea; the little twisting hurt of my exclusion, the looming of her ex. Today, she texted me saying that her and Wendy were going out for lunch. "Can I tag along?" I asked. "Yes! No Little Dictator!" (her daughter), both events driving home how obedient Wendy is to her ex's controlling, jealous command that she must never meet me when her daughter is with her.

I told them that I had worked out at the weekend that I was being paid about £5 an hour in my new job, and that I was going to ring a local business development agency who can offer help to start-ups, because I am being exploited to an extent that marks a new nadir in even in my own tatty career. Wendy's gorgeous smile as she suggested a pun on my name for my business.

I had to get back to work. "I want..." and I dipped a finger at Wendy, alarm and the moral imperative to be sympathetic struggling for supremacy on her face, "...well, you know what I want Wendy, but failing that, another dinner date would be great." She smiled and concurred. No woman, apart from Trish when she ended it, has ever made me feel so rejected.

Spending my £5 an hour in advance of receiving it, I went to Manchester for my techno fix. Everyone my age thinks their raving days are gone -- which is a decision, not some kind of chronological inevitability. It always works out OK at Hidden though, as I always get adopted by someone. Last night it was these two lads from Stockport, one an accountant and the other on the dole, brothers. I sometimes feel like a bit of a curiosity at techno nights, but they were charming. "Who are you with?" "Well, no-one." "Right, you're with us now," and we all danced together and sat on the settees together.

I love nights like Saturday, even despite the constant wish that Wendy could be with me. An 8am finish. E'd up people dancing and chatting and flirting and stroking. A cool black security guard at the afterparty who couldn't resist dancing with us, a pleasant change from the ones in the main venue, who couldn't resist imposing themselves on the most harmless group of people. As I was talking to the brothers from Stockport, a group of people were crowded onto one of those sofas which has an extendible foot rest. A "security" guard came over and kicked down the footrest. Once he had turned his back, we all looked at each other and laughed.

Afterwards, a stagger to Piccadilly Wethers and a veggie sausage roll and a pint of Mordue at 9am, where I wrote postcards to Wendy and Kim. A disappointing pie and chips in Wigan at midday waiting for my train home. I got into bed at 2pm, a distaste at my own sweatiness, but too tired to shower; the drive of fantasies and stories with a compliant and desirous Wendy.


Fuck Kevin and all the Kevins of the world. We could do without their lot.

Still pining for Wendy. When will it end?

I wish E had been around when I was young. It sounds like the most fun. More fun that weed, which isn’t saying much.

Tue 5th September 2017 @ 11:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: daisyfae [Visitor]

Opening paragraph would make a lovely opening scene for a novel or film!

Oh, and Exile? You can fuck right off with that! I’m quite fond of one of those fellas!

Tue 5th September 2017 @ 14:10 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Exile – yes, I can’t stand it, that middle-class sense of entitlement. He’s been like that for decades. I’m glad I finally had a go at him. Hurrah for a wine-loosened tongue!

The Wendy situation grinds on, harming no-one but me.

E is *great*, the party drug de ne plus ultra.

Daisy! Well, well, well – thought you’d dropped off the blogworld! Hello again. And yes, I’ll have to start writing up my gritty northern novella based in a down-at-heel pub which starts with a rejected dwarf and collective micturition :)

Wed 6th September 2017 @ 09:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Way back in 1994 i used to get quite pure MDMA, i was in a small town and flunking out of grad school and i’d get off my tits on it and go to parties and it was a right laugh, until the next day when i realized that i was a misanthrope who spent the previous evening being nice to people, lol!!! then of course i’d take some more or some acid and get right back to flunking out…

and i once arm-wrestled a dwarf in a bar, they’re stronger than they look you know, i was the only person he didn’t beat, we called it a draw after 5 minutes and the next day my arm was fucked!! ah yes that wine of youth!

Thu 14th September 2017 @ 02:54 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Ha ha… are you really a misanthrope? Only a selective one, surely?

Yes, it really is lovely stuff. It breaks down that carapace that one learns one “has” to have in order to interact with people. Of course…I wasn’t the only one using it and it does help if it’s shared about a bit. It’s lovely stuff round here at the moment, big coca-cola coloured rocks like brown quartz that it’s almost a shame to crush (and you can put a big mark-up on it too).

I feel sorry for the dwarf. He wants to big himself up and make himself wanted, included, the centre of a social circle. But the more you try to do that sometimes, the less it is likely to happen. And actually, it’s got nothing to do with his height, but he’s a fucking dickhead.

Thu 14th September 2017 @ 07:55 Reply to this comment

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

M / 56 / 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
Guitars and Life
Infomaniac [NSFW]
The Joy of Bex
Laudator Temporis Acti
London'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
Golden Pages for Musicologists
Lauren Redhead
The Rambler
Resonance FM
Sequenza 21
Sound and Music
Talking Musicology defunct, but retained

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