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The Body Electric

  Wed 10th January 2024

I've just got off the phone to a woman who said "I'd really like to see you again," and "you know, it's not a sexual thing", and "I know I'm not that attractive," and "you drink every day? I thought it was just me."

Before Christmas, Mel had to take her mother up to the Infirmary for another set of tests to discover why she's getting old. I went with her, but left them at the doors, at Bristol's largest open-air smoking arena. I went to a pub I'd never visited before, full of inescapable televisions showing people with clipboards standing up talking about Gillingham v Swindon, or something equally as niche.

The place was filling up, and a woman about my age, or a bit younger, came in and looked in vain for a free table. I waved her over and opened my hand towards the chair opposite me.

She's been barred from four pubs, but I couldn't get precise details of any of the incidents out of her. Admirably, she went up to the bar to ask that one of the ignored televisions be turned off, to be told "no, they want it." When she went to the toilet, she said "you will be here when I get back won't you?"

There's a rough plan to have a drink together on Friday.

A couple of hours to kill in the beautiful town of Ludlow.

I perch somewhat uncomfortably, on a narrow window-sill. The man standing near me at the bar has one of those externally-fixed hearing aids consisting of a disc attached to the skull. He attributes his deafness to working at Wooferton, the UK's last remaining shortwave transmitter site. It was stolen from the BBC -- I think the term in economics is "privatised" -- in 1997.

For many years, as a boy, I thought I'd become a broadcast engineer, so I know a little about Wooferton, but nothing compared to the volumes of first-hand information and social history my new friend possessed. He said that the intense, invisible but audibly thrumming electromagnetic fields caused many of the employees to become clinically depressed. The farmer in the nearby farm burnt his hand on an invisibly radiating metal door catch; one of the secretaries spent some time in the loony bin after working there.

I kept revising my time out of the pub until I caught the very last train back to Bristol.

Since I came back from Tenerife in February, I've been saving my £2 coins up.




Comment from: monkeyman [Visitor]  

Happy year!

Wed 10th January 2024 @ 16:40 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Gelukkig nieuwjaar to you and yours Mr M!

Thu 11th January 2024 @ 05:04 You are currently replying to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

I see feel that 2024 is going to be a mischievous year for you Looby!
Happy New Year!

Sat 13th January 2024 @ 06:54 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Why change the habits of a lifetime Ms S? Hope it’s a good one for you too x

Sat 13th January 2024 @ 11:09 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Good to have you back my friend, seems you kept yourself quite busy in December ;) wish we had pound/dollar coins over here as that’s a brilliant idea! i guess i somewhat do it but with .25 and .10 it takes a lot longer to get any real funds…

barred from four pubs? be careful my friend, she might be quite the handful!

Tue 16th January 2024 @ 06:41 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

You’ve got her sussed kono… next entry will be about our next and final meeting. All the best!

Wed 17th January 2024 @ 04:30 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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