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  Tue 4th April 2017

Yesterday, five in the afternoon.
I am sozzling, with two fellow sots. FS1 goes to the bar to get us all a closing pint each of a beer at 8.5%. "We can only sell that in halves, I'm afraid." "OK, I'll have six."

Today, a quarter past four in the morning.
I'm in my kitchen at the back of the house, and have been staring out at the back of the row of houses opposite. One gas ring on to refuse the voracious central heating. A house opposite still has their lights on and there's someone moving around the house. Perhaps they're blogging about someone in the house opposite moving around the house. There's a spider, working, working, working, on my window frame's right-angle.

Kitty rang and we went to the Fur Coat And No Knickers Arms with Wendy. Wendy said that in the techno club in Manchester on Friday, I had fallen over "at least fifteen times". I was mortified, thinking that I had now ruined the possibility of going out with her again. She said that she'd come outside to see how I was and I was on my hands and knees. I don't remember it like that at all. I remember going a bit wobbly for what I thought was about half an hour, being taken outside, and then feeling fine again.

She said that her ex had noticed her new dress on the line. "He [her ex] is trying to hold on to me, but his fingers are slipping down the glass," she said, making a sliding gesture with her hands.

"Wendy," I said, pushing a hand towards her (which I knew wouldn't be touched, let alone held). "I'd like to say..." "There's nothing to say, looby. At least now I've got my own looby story." She's so forgiving, and I think we will go out again.

She only had an hour or so. After she left Kitty said that when Wendy had finally told her possessive ex where she was going, Wendy had told him that Kitty was coming as well. I was re-saddened that she hadn't told me that -- she'd told me that she'd said that she was just going out with me. She's got to manage him I suppose, lest he becomes even more obstructive about looking after The Little Dictator, but I was dismayed to know that despite her occasional meaninglessly phatic text in which she says "and I love you too", she still holds me at the distance at which she can't even say a small detail like that. My thin mood sank through the cat-ice upon which it stood, and I was pleased I was with Kitty to force me to suppress showing how upset that made me.

We went to another pub, where Kitty was as irritated as me about the muzak colonising your ears like the drone of a half-deaf pub bore. We tried to stifle it by putting menus over the speakers. The last time I was in there I yanked the cable out of one of the speakers and bent the connector so that they couldn't plug it back in, but they've replaced them by ones that are recessed into the area behind your seat. I wished I'd had a bradawl on me to drive it through the cone, but that's probably an irascibility too far.

Half past two in the afternoon.
I'm on the train to Preston; fifteen minutes with Ulysses. As many others have noticed, it is a work of genius. You're the essence of vulgarity, she in gliding said. Shells on beaches "chatter"; men in pubs have "ruined mouths", and the description of them eating is so supernaturally repulsive, it's difficult to read without a similar horror with the grisly act of mastication turning into sound and vision. The sustained invention, over seven hundred pages, is stupendous, and Joyce, this afternoon, helps me, indirectly, with Wendy.

His descriptions of outwardly banal events, in its seasick transcription constantly telescoping from an excessive, impossible sharpness, to cloudy, lost, drunken, sing-song absurdity -- together a lambent song of love for life -- makes a parallel in my head with the improv acting for micromanagement of going mystery shopping in Preston, and telling the assistant a story about being engaged to Wendy: mystery shopping -- this imaginary theatre, the only place in which I will ever have the chance to talk about her, the real descriptions of her jewellery as a surrogate for an unreal love, the unaffected warmth of sympathy in the assistant's eyes.

Four o'clock.
I'm in the budget pub in Preston with its small but first-rate collection of nineteenth-century art: Millais is next door. Middle daughter, the one of all five us in the original family who works hardest, rings me to tell me she's been accepted for the BA in Drama at a University in the real second city of England. Sod Birmingham.

I go to the bar, partly to stem the welling in my eyes; a girl over there has noticed me wiping them. I will miss my daughters when they leave Lancaster, with the churning nausea of separation that starts in your stomach and spreads everywhere. The one on the left.

If this appears on another site other than loobynet dot co dot uk, some twat has stolen it

Sure I can trust you, but be nice: it's my daughter; no downloading.


Okay, not your daughter. Jesus Christ. What do you take me for? Some kind of lout? Who are the other two…

In my previous comment, I didn’t mean to imply that Wendy was unkind. I don’t think that’s the case at all. But there is a perfectly normal, perfectly understandable pleasure for her in your longing. That’s who I really want a photo of. W.

Tue 4th April 2017 @ 22:46
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

You can give up right now if you think I will ever post a picture of her here for yours or anyone else’s delectation.

Sorry Exile I’ve had a few at this point in the evening (11pm here) and I don’t really understand your first paragraph. The other two girls in the photo are her friends. The picture was taken at a party she was at last weekend.

And yes, Wendy does like me liking her. But she’s used to being liked. It’s not special to her, being liked, she’s had it all her life. Wendy neither fancies me nor has an affection towards me strong enough to overlook the lack of physical attraction. Nothing I can do will make her change the way she feels towards me – not changing how I look, how I dress, how I act, what I say, how I behave. Nothing will work.

Tue 4th April 2017 @ 23:03
Comment from: Homer [Visitor]

Just one thing for when your girls leave, and I can’t imagine you doing it but I’ll say it anyway - don’t make them do all the travelling. Visit them some of the time.

My parents took the unspoken stance “She’s the one who left, it’s her job to come and see us” and two decades later we still haven’t broken that pattern. It is a source of ongoing resentment and frustration as J bombs down the A14 after another 50 hour week at the hospital.

Sat 8th April 2017 @ 19:29
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

The tough thing about kids is if you do it right they grow up and off they go, i know i get misty-eyed just thinking about the boyos leaving, they’re such a huge part of my life that it’s hard to imagine not seeing them every day even when they’re driving me crazy, good for the daughter though, she’s doing what she set out to do and that in itself is brilliant…

As for the Wendy question you take what she gives, that’s all you can ask and you can’t ask for more, yes it’s a very Zen approach i take but it helps lessen the pain of want and longing (maybe) though isn’t the conundrum of life the pain of want and longing? what does this stoner really know about things… acceptance of a situation isn’t weak or cowardly it’s an understanding that in an existence constantly in flux things will turn, but not always the way we want… shit, i might need to put the bong down for a day or two…

Sun 9th April 2017 @ 14:03

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

M / 53 / Lancaster ("the Brighton of the North").

"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

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

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

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"Just sit still and listen" - woman to teenage girl at Elliott Carter weekend, London 2006

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