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Nothing to see here

  Tue 7th June 2022

My brother, knowing I am soon to be working in the only country that'll have me -- Wales -- sends me a touchingly unnecessary present of a Teach Yourself Welsh paperback from 1960. By Lesson 21, I should be able to say in Welsh "I was not playing piano in the parlour."

On Friday, being free from work until my return to the railway on Tuesday, I decided to scooter up to Westbury-on-Trym, a suburb that has a villagey feel, and is charming (for an afternoon anyway). I sat in a large park, stroked some friendly dogs, said some polite afternoons, drank a couple of bottles of cider and had a long phone chat with Kim. It was all calm. You expected Janet and John to come out with their mummy at any moment.

I set off to Mel's friends' house. There was a wee do going on with a couple of their rellies.

In central Bristol, on a narrow street just off the city centre, someone had set up a drum n' bass street party, more nitrous oxide than Battenburg cake. I went into the bar right outside the bottleneck created by the ten-foot-high speaker system and asked the barmaid what she thought of it. She wanted to say the right thing but clearly wasn't a drum n' bass fan. She said they'd got a licence for a Jubilee street party so it was all legit.

A bloke offered me some coke and tipped it into my hand. He said he could get me a half for twenty-five pounds so I went off and got the money, only to find he'd disappeared. Someone else was selling whippies -- nitrous oxide balloons -- which I find difficult to get the full effect from -- but I had a couple and it was funny seeing lots of people waggling them about in their mouths. It reduces people to children.

Time to go though. As I sped up a road, too fast, bit drunk, a little coked and nitrous oxide-ided, I swerved to avoid a pothole and then came erratically down onto the road. A car stopped and the woman asked me if I was OK, as did some young men on the riverbank. I so wanted to be polite to them, and return myself to sobriety that I said "yes yes", and asked the latter if they'd been fishing.

I carried on to Mel's friends' house but soon had to leave. I was shocked at the state of my bloodied hands, and was soon fading, trying to talk but making an exhibition of myself by doing so. got home, and went straight to bed. In the morning, I saw spatters of blood all over my tee shirt, and these stinging hands, short of skin, which still hurt now, four days in.

On Sunday I went to Mel's. "You kept saying 'it's a learning curve' at Tina's. You said that the last time you came off your scooter. Anyway, what are you going to do with those hands? You can't..." and she pushed her be-bra'd frontage forwards. When we hugged, I clasped her between my forearms.

I'm not over-keen on going out dancing by myself, so I post on a local forum.

There were many replies but none that have turned into an actual night out yet. Some people have said "come and say hello at my gig", but although I welcome the friendly intent, I wasn't fishing for invites to hang around a DJ booth awkwardly for five minutes before going back to the solitary condition I was hoping to escape.

Tuesday, and it's half past two now, when the second part of my online induction for my new job was supposed to start on the hour; but no signs of any activity. The company's inefficiency makes me think I might fit in.


Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Good luck with the new job, and I hope your hands are better.
Does Mel not like anything from the eighties onwards?! Oh dear. I hope you find a new dance partner soon.

Thu 9th June 2022 @ 07:06 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

It’s the one field on which we can’t play together very well. In fairness, I’ve never met a 58-y-o into techno either.

Thu 9th June 2022 @ 13:33 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Back from exile… i mean vacation and catching up… you need to be careful my friend, the world can be a dangerous place when a bit whacked and on a scooter, we don’t want to lose you to road rash!

and that last bit is pure brilliance, lol! “the company’s inefficiency makes me think i might fit in” … brought a big grin to my mug ;)

Fri 24th June 2022 @ 14:31 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Welcome back kono, I look forward to reading about your time in the escape room.

Yes, my hands have only now recovered after my “accident” (i.e., predictable crash) on 3rd. Never mind, still here to tell the tale(s).

Mon 27th June 2022 @ 18:15 Reply to this comment

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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.

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

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