Monday, February 25, 2008

2005-08-31 004 In limboThis week I've been mostly listening to Beirut. No, not Radio Lebanon. Instead Rufus Wainwright mixed with Belle and Sebastian (with a small dose of Amelie soundtrack), but from Albuquerque. Having said that I just stuck a RW track in the middle of a Beirut album to see how seamless the blend was and the usually overblown, grandiloquent and oft too flamboyant suddenly sounded quite inhibited and comparatively ascetic.

So possibly not for everyone. But I like it, although I liked that Embrace album that usually is slated for being inconsiderately orchestral for a drums and guitars band.

Anyway, this is just me staking claim as a friend on Facebook fanned them, only that was months after I first heard about them, so I'm trying to claw back the appearance of groundbreaking (yes, I know this way leads to people claiming to have seen the Beatles despite being born in the same year as me, but I was there first, damn it). Admittedly I'm not sure why I'm seeking to be in competition with someone who is so fantastically cool that people tried studying her to crib ideas and realised that the effortlessness in all spheres conforms to a strict formula and she's only beguilingly charming when she wants something. But then she did provide quite a lot of entertainment that time she clicked 'remember me' on a shared computer. Taking a break from some literature trawl I was rather surprised to find out that a certain guy felt that way about me, although some of the references eluded me and the attached REM duet was a bit odd. But then I saw the time he'd sent it and assumed that either he was very tired and emotional or he intended it for someone else. Clicking next brought up a similar fealty, yet was from someone I'd never met but knew to be charming girl's fiancé. Oh, hang on...

A swift application of "mark as unread" and suddenly my mistake and hers disappeared. As did all pretence of decency. So if he's... and he's also... oh, um, er. Very charming girl. So that's why I'm not sure competing with her is worth it. And turns out that saving the REM track to the desktop and leaving it there might have been a little tactless, but judging by the concerted silence of the rumour mongers when aforementioned parties were around I'd guess I wasn't the only one to forget I hadn't logged-in yet.

Hmm, and once again a passing reference (did I not blog it at the time?) becomes most of the post.

So decent taste in men she may have, if poor use of such taste, but she does have reasonable taste in music.

Hmm, how curious. When adding a link for Beirut-the-band I search not Google or Wikipedia. And when asked for examples of X in London I resorted to Flickr first (I wanted extant not theoretical). Does this mean unalloyed Googledom is over?


Monday, February 18, 2008

20051115 - 13 Red MornPeople aren't very quick on the uptake. See if you are.

This view might be more helpful in part.


Monday, February 11, 2008

IMG_1336So many people did you sending crashing to the floor on Saturday night?

It wasn't entirely my fault. Basically, having been left standing on the dance-floor at the end of the final official dance the girl I'd just been dancing with and I found ourselves marooned amidst polkaërs, so naturally I grabbed my partner by the waist to haul her out of the way of over-zealous middle-aged peril, which she took as a cue to start dancing, which gave me little option but to join in, and so we found ourselves trying to learn to polka in the clearing in the middle of a hall of very mixed abilities, working round the room like a single line drawing of a holly leaf, or possibly ineptly used Spirograph, occasionally having to gallivant to freedom but equally as often bouncing on the spot embedded in the crowd, and naturally intermittent collisions pinged off one another, except just as we'd changed direction I was shunted into my partner clavicle garrotting carotid, and we spun staggeringly round to see, hear and feel the couple who'd charged us initially toppling across one other couple, before landing the legs of another, bringing them down too.

Er... we stand there like lemons, or other still-lifes, not quite sure what to do. I mouth 'sorry' at the woman whose beams of fury are threatening to cremate the floor, and then realise the main knot of dancers is rapidly approaching the half-molten Burghers of Calais, spilling round it directly towards us, thereby blocking our rubbernecking and putting us at risk of a second ramming. We dance on, ceaselessly trying to find a safe way out of it.

Did I mention that I was only there under duress, in line with the three line whip and on pain on in-communication? And that I can't dance? And had no partner, hence having to resort whoever would have me (wives of the band, girlfriends of the injured and IVCers).

It all started because my mother asked her new fiancée-in-law (that doesn't quite work does it? Daughter-in-pending perhaps. And what an odd spelling 'fiancée' has. French -ay sound, English uponned double e) if she'd like to go to a barn dance on Saturday, assuming that young person plus folk does not go and equally that because it was fairly late notice the B and the SIL would have plans. My mother was then forced to protest "I didn't think she'd say 'yes'", thus demonstrating that it's not only when when quantifying an LD50 that one shouldn't make assumptions.

And so a weekend en famille was hastily convened and then endured. Highlights include the SIL absenting herself to watch the Celtic game via some internetted live-feed (a fillip in lieu of my brother's refusal to get Sky), thus cheering the wrong bits of the rugby and occasionally shrieking 'Shit'. Or that's what we all hear through the clutchless shift between accents. Turns out she was mostly crying 'Shoot', but in near Gaelic (although from the intonation on a couple, and the proximity to a very Ruth-from-The-Archers-esque 'Oh no', I suspect what we heard was what was said in some cases).

They also include me being the one to cook on both days, thus discovering roast swede is a really bad idea (and still tastes like swede), as is trying to do roast vegetables for five in the time it should take when we have to be out soon and dancing not much later. I've also discovered my brother interprets the instructions "keep an eye on that" to mean "put a lid on that, turn it down and put the spaghetti on", which isn't really how I'd normally go about reducing down bolognaise that's all gone wrong anyway because it's two pounds of mince in a bloody great cauldron, and yes I'm still sulking because my mother dared to criticise it, albeit in a woolly positing suggestions to add taste way, and probably had a point, but then she was the one who insisted a lid went on when I'd left it reducing and promptly complained it was watery, whereas my brother was the one who stuck the pasta in half an hour too early, assured me it would be fine then admitted to not having tasted it and suggested serving it with a slotted spoon, all because he was hungry because he hadn't had lunch yet didn't think of any of the bread he'd seen other people helping themselves to earlier, and yes, I was reading on the loo while the unravellage occurred, but then had been cooking for bloody hours, due to a combination of doubling everything compounded by the world's bluntest knives which no one may sharpen as the knife sharpener ruins the knives (bizarrely Firefox's En-UK spellchecker thinks 'knifes' is a word... [checks and remembers the verb]).

Cue sitting morosely while having to try very had not to throw mine at my mother, who for some strange reason has decided that now she's sixty she can chop the spaghetti up with her fork like a six year old.

So I think we can conclude that too many cooks turn it into broth. And that my brother infuriating knows precisely what's wrong with me, if not the bolognaise.

But then I'd been wound up earlier by the quick walk to show the SIL the town in daylight, which somehow transformed into everyone bar me dressing for the snows of if not Antarctica at least Kilimanjaro, wearing hiking boots because the SIL was (they were all she'd brought), and somehow deciding this would be a great hike to Pembrokeshire, instead of the brisk trot into town to point out the High Street, the old-new-old oddity, the church, the ancient canoeing bridge and where they shot that film and those adverts. So not only was I forced to endure the local history tour (I must try harder not to correct either parent when they are in absent-minded but authoritarian mode), but my mother managed throughout to find something negative to append to everything my brother pointed out. Belatedly I resorted to antisocial cameradom, having grown tired of counting the countless acts of 'vandalism' thrust upon the town by the incompetents that be, have been and always will be as recounted by my mother. Oh what larks we had (by the way, there are no such birds near the town, nor are there any nightingales despite the place being christened since time immemorial [so probably some Victorian] the valley of them; and for the Googlers out there, I don't mean the one on Samos).

And I'd stopped writing there and can't quite think what else to say. There was the jollity of the dominant dance partner very obviously loitering near me at the end. What should one say to girls who while perfectly pleasant if perhaps a bit not quite intelligent enough tend to have rather too many breasts to interest me? And who persist in lurking nearby, not being courageous enough to approach me yet are very noticeably focussing on me? Eventually I was despatched to put her out of her misery (well, I think my brother and the SIL were expecting the opposite outcome). And so I found myself steaming the frost, the tail having vanished. I wait for the others to come out, the first of which is my brother, with the words "you're rubbish", just steps ahead of girl.

There then followed one immensely fun conversation where very little of any consequence was said, with my brother and the SIL both trying to be discreet nearby, thereby barring me from using my effective Get Out of Wooing Free card. Hmm, it would appear they haven't twigged either. Obviously Plan Osmosis isn't quite worth its name. I came fairly close to just dropping it in, but the weekend of my brother's engagement engagements might be seen as a tad selfish and either oneupmanship or upstaging. So that all went haltingly, stiltedly and awkwardly, with my brother assuming my failure to get a phone number was down to social incompetence rather than by design. He really doesn't know me, as if he did he'd know I'd be even more incapable of useful speech were after a means of contacting someone I liked.

I'm trying to think of what else to write about, but there's not much to tell. Weather's been nice. Not any more (yeah, this is now Thursday, sorry). But it was very un-Feb, especially considering half-term usually means snow.

And Dan, will you kindly improve your musical taste just a little. Having grown tired of the available radio stations I've been listening to output. So far I've learnt that Dan must really like one song by The Cranberries. Either that or there's only one song by them on the server. Anyway, it's currently playing Bonnie How-many-a-day? Tyler. I'm not a fan. And now it's that oooh-oooh Snow Patrol song again. I think I may have to go back to my internal radio, which seems stuck on a West Side Story medley at the moment.

Oh, and before anyone asks, I'm not on because, firstly, I suspect the software would cause my computer to complain it's run out hamsters (when things get difficult I can normally hear it running around its wheel), and also because thanks to the influx from my brother "Track 1" and co would all feature prominently. Suddenly getting that Kid Galahad one too because I can't remember what they sound like doesn't seem like such a good idea any more.

Oh, and someone at Google has too much time on their hands. Google Docs is appears to have nicked Glitter for Brains's template. But then Google Documents is good for spelling, as right-click brings up a GDocs specific menu without suggested alternatives, so the red underline shows the wrongs but the rights aren't easy to find, so the quickest resolution is often to work out what is wrong with the spelling. It's bizarre having to correct one's own mistakes.

Hmm, the end of this post's not as good as the beginning, is it? I'm not sure what else to add. A-ha is now on. That's about as interesting as it gets. Sorry, I think I'm still out of practise, so just am not think "oh, must blog this" at the moment.

Now Shirley Bassey. Except this is a Bond theme and the last was too. Such a cold finger is one of the worst lyrics ever scrawled, is it not? Just unpleasant and probing. And not really conjuring up images of Midas, more medics.

And boy does the boy like Enya.

Sorry Dan, I think I may have to desert you. Sorry all others as I ought to do likewise.


PS. Still haven't got the hang of this actually posting things thing.

Friday, February 08, 2008

2006-10-20 016 - Paddle, creek, do the rest yourselfOooh fireworks.

I've no idea why they're there, but never mind. This - and typing's going to be hard peering over my shoulder at burning sky. That one was good, and yhjse match the street;ohjts/ Sorry, not looking as typing. It's not helped by alt-tabbing to Dionne Warwick at the same time. But I've finally figured out how to fill the Top of the Pops slot (yes, I know it used to be on Thursday, but so was Scouts). Last week's Later iPlayered. And yes this does mean I tend to find myself hurrying to watch programmes before they vanish having declined to watch them on first broadcast and only remembering I still haven't seen them when the next one is about to be on. Making the unmissable likely to be missed. And of course the iPlayer does let one skip anything too folky or people like that bricks woman who isn't Kate Bush. Wrecked the NYE version. Kate Nash.

Anyway, not sure what to type now being grossly out of practice and supposed to be prepping for familial joy (there's descending upon due). The occasion is practical Mohs testing due to the SIL being a bit more likely to be what it appears most other people read that acronym as. There shall be dancing, fortunately outsourced (my parents' isn't really designed for such eventualities; I'd best not comment on whether my parents are).

Oh, and do not go exploring between scudding showers, trying to follow a path across a thoroughly destoned ex-potato-farm, so one where the ground flows, as you may feel like you are playing Frogger in the ruts, gauging the success of each choice by the new high tide mark; just as well I wasn't wearing my new Converse. But I did get to see the utterly disconcerting sight of a tractor edging slowly forward mammoth tyres turning faster than the world was passing. One doesn't normally think of tractors skidding but it would appear to be entirely possible.

By the way, when is Honesty meant to flower? Because I have a hunch that it's not pre-Valentine's Day. And yet some of those I saw seemed to be half over.

Anyway, this is supposed to be an explanation of other posts - there's two detailing the same event because I forget I'd started one and can't decide how to merge them (i.e. haven't the inclination to attempt to do so). Still haven't done the remaining backlogged, but c'est la vie a la me.

Hope y'all been being good little boys and... no girls read this, do they? Not many of any other sex do either. Hardly surprising though.



PS. Yay, I'm not scrawny or gangly; I'm fashionable.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

DSC_9527 - Dakers on BlueHe lives in a house, a very big house in the country.

I've no idea who does, but it's the song stuck in my head that isn't a chunk of Carmen (and I can't even tell you which chunk as Realplayer's data-grabber refused to work when ripping, so I know it's somewhere around track 5, of about 40. I could read the CD to find out, but it's in my remote storage facility whose caretaker just so happens to be my brother. Yes, of course it's a legit copy [ignoring the whole own-personal-use thing which apparently never was legit, cassettes seemingly being sold as purely decorative items]; I don't have a receipt for it only because I make cavity wall insulation from them, and it was a present, came free with the Guardian and was rescued from the surf of a Devon beach anyway. This excuse is equally true of the rest of the hastily 128-VBRed collection).

So when I wasn't enhancing the spread of musical knowledge I've been being the temporary custodian of the aforementioned remote storage facility. This meant much discovering that everyone buggers off out of London during late January, much watching of Hitchcock films to fill time (the SIL's presumably, given they were on the not-standing-on-the-arm-of-the-sofa shelves) and discovering the foresight demanding nature of cooking without a microwave. Oh, and wandering strange bits of London which aren't all that strange (well, actually...) because they were there and I'd never quite figured out where those particular theres were, slowly getting more infuriated with each Guilford [sic] Street sign (why not 'Gilfud' and be done with it?).

The films:
Spellbound (diverting enough, but I'm not sure what the point of it was), Strangers on a Train (the longer British cut version, because the DVD had two sides and I didn't notice), Fargo (I can never use 'yah' again), Mean Girls (I hadn't seen it, and no one was around to notice me watching it), Team America: World Police (sometimes funny, sometimes missing badly, being what it purports to mock), Hot Fuzz over tepid curry when the B and the SIL got back. I've never had a biryani before which came with a barcoded pot of 'biryani sauce'; I suspect they've missed the point. SIL promptly ill, blaming the orange juice on the plane. Odd girl, but at least she didn't blame my reduced-frozen-defrosted-kept-on-hold-in-oven sausages. For future reference do not cook while waiting for the jet-lagged to wake up, holding off the almost blanching of the accompanying vegetables until both are showered and dressed, whereupon the last one through will decide they're not eating. Also, do try to remember how to use cornflower* and not expect to be able to break up the lumps with a floppy, detachable silicon spatula; the permanently invisible upstairs neighbour started mocking my small saucepan peals.

* Fruedian typo, but it makes better imagery and would have enlivened the onion gloop.

Other happenings included camera induced accostions (so is a word). Two random groups wanting the photograph taken using my camera (makes a change from people with the same model asking me to do the honours). One of Spaniards (or descendants) at the end of Snigger Alley in Soho (incidentally I've discovered Berwick Street Market ditch their unsold and potentially unsellable stock at the end of the day, so I had a bag full of apples and apricots by this stage, having rejected all the tomatoes and not known what to do with butternut squash except rugby); it was taken without a flash by the local neon, so is a bit blurred, but then they were a bit too far gone to wait round for another or to pass on an contact details.

The others were two little, black girls (or does inoffensiveness dictate that should be 'black, little girls'?) who pestered me for a shot when I was mentally cropping the chimneys of Eclectic Avenue (you should try it sometime. Apols for Googlefudging). Cue two huge grins, which faded slightly before the shutter went showing the nervousness of the younger. The shot again was fractionally blurred because the low sun was only just scrambling over roofs and I don't like using the flash. Cue the mother arriving cross, having children babble about chimneys, attempting to rage against me but not quite being sure whose fault it was and whether anything was actually wrong with people taking photographs of other people by mutual consent. The only words I spoke, which possibly highlights my inability to discern words within strong accents and dialects (imagine the jive-talkers in Airplane) hence follow the family's conversation, were "they asked me", which isn't really the greatest of killer lines, but diverted the inquisition to the eldest daughter, allowing me to slink off. I was going to offer to send them a copy, but the incomprehensible diatribe put me off.

The other stoppages were police based. Having been completely ignored by a van full of police just moments before, I was stopped by the taxi rank of St Pancras Station (you know: big, new, shiny, every third person has a camera in hand) for the crime of "male taking pictures". So after quarter of an hour of the light going, him - who turned out to be a British Transport Police Hobby Bobby Community Support Officer, so not a real policeman on two levels if one chooses to look at it like that - admitting the reflections in the blinds was a 'nice effect', me offhandedly leaning against the suspicions-raising window chucking out the occasional 'yah' (yep, I got all Home Counties on his arse, and yes, I do substitute 'arse' for 'ass' in all such phrases*; an ass is either a donkey or the law. Anyway, it's good to confuse policemen who pick on the easily-tanned, dark-haired and Dorset-nosed), supplementing the necessary information when the radio kept pointing out the failings of the man on scene and generally treating the whole thing as an utter bore to be borne. He chose not to search me - and even told me to carry on, which is a rarity - but instead gave me the usual foot of paperwork (ooh, pink this time) all filled out in his best-termed distinctive handwriting.

* Apparently shouldn't attempt to do so in proper nouns like "Jackass". Yeah, it's not just policemen's arses I go all Home Counties over. And that sounds disturbingly like a euphemism, admittedly an insanely implausibly derived one. Hmm, spellchecker doesn't know 'arse' (how about callipygean? Or perhaps callipygian? Dough! Yes, that's sic, although the HCer version would probably d'Eau), so I've just added that along with 'yah'. Ah, I think may need to something like 'bampots' in, just to balance the lexicon out. It's odd, thinking about it, because typically when I ought to scrambling up social strata I'm aware of sounding as state school as they come; I seem to have the unintentional ability to use the opposite accent to that prevailing (perhaps it's just the one accent and it's only my perception of difference that changes).

So off I went, having discovered that showing and explaining disrupts the script within a policeman's head so much that he quite forgets to be suspicious, cynical and thorough. And emboldened by the pink slip, which I saw as a permission form despite saying no such thing, I went off into the main part of the station, to flaunt my potentially terrorist abetting camera in front of the the tastefully tabarded rentacops entirely unhindered. So why one can yield a camera with impunity at the current Eurostar terminus but not the former? It was only because I was in the shadows round the back that I got stopped, whereas the reverse is true of Waterloo; skulk in the obscure and they don't either notice or can't be bothered to walk all the way over to remonstrate (ah, memories of being too young to sell alcohol on till twenty-something at Sainsbury's), but get a camera out on the concourse and get evicted from the station.

And then the next police incident was by M&S on Oxford Street (I was using my camera as an anti-consumerism device, i.e. I'd just needlessly spent money in HMV [it had Jake Givemeajayorageellenhall in, so can't be very wrong, despite him only being cute in Donnie Darko] so needed something that would stop me wandering into shops). Because it was night I'd just noticed the green neon outside said "The Pantheon" at the top, which reminded me of a Turner I'd recently seen of the Pantheon on Oxford Street the day after it burnt down, and whose caption confused me because the angle of the sun didn't match the time of day stated given the possible orientations of the building. So seeing the site of the building meant I knew it was on the south side, so the image is of early afternoon in winter, not early morning, so the caption was bollocks (as I suspected and as they often are). So while thinking "Oh! So that's where it is" a policewoman [cue Hot Fuzz style "Police Officer"] said "Just a tourist?", which is a bit of an odd thing to say. Am I meant to reply "No, I am a SMERSH operative". Guess who's just started the Bond book boxset and can't remember the baddies in The Man from UNCLE (or UCKLE, as the godless college is sometimes known). Except I've just remembered; they all wanted to catch THRUSH.

Anyway, I made some comment along the lines of "Er... yes, probably, sort of" thus demonstrating my erudite manner, was warned that as this was "a high terrorist area" (are we talking 7ft here or just one on stilts? Perhaps one on a ledge above, about to do one half of a suicide bombing? Maybe both halves if using the swimming pool sense) I should... something or other that got lost in the sound of a passing bendy bus (why do they sound like street-cleaners? Do they incorporate one, thus explaining why they hug the ground, dislike speedbumps and are unable to overhaul mobility mobiles?). There were a few more words I couldn't hear and off they went, leaving me bemused and unsure if that was a check, a friendly warning or a cease-and-desist. Still at least I didn't have to wait while they filled in yet another form explaining that they did nothing but fill in a form.

What else? Do go round the Hunterian Museum (hurrah, I get to type it, not fail to pronounce it once more) by Lincoln's Inn Fields. You have to get a pass from the main desk, but the guy there is quite good at chasing people looking for the signs should you neglect this step. It's free and delightfully security unconscious (due to negligible amounts of visitors, excepting the occasional school group who fluster the chatty woman by the desk only slightly more than a single person wandering in; she just looked so surprised anyone should seek admittance). It's freaky, often literally. And you may end up sitting cross-legged on the floor gleefully watching surgery. Surgeons are disturbingly cavalier, deploying cartilage-mauling crocodile clips, scalp folding paper binders and mini-flailing red hot pokers when they're not stitching the sheets to the patient or being let loose with a stapler. It's probably best to go with the most medical or biological person of your acquaintance, as it's not very inclusively displayed; given I (and I watch ER, oh, and have a biology-based degree) occasionally could only read "word worded wordy word" on the caption next to something brown in a jar, would probably selected 'animal' from the AVM options, but been hard pushed to tell if it was entire, healthy or edible, prior knowledge is an advantage (unless you loiter within earshot of a school tour, although pretty much the whole place is within earshot; it also probably contains one). The only fault I could find was I could only find the disabled loo (and dyslexia counts, right?). But then I am of a mindset that sends hours editing MP3 file names and attributions to make it all match, so probably have quite a high monotony threshold.

It's an entertaining place, but not for the squeamish or unimaginative (there's quite a lot of visualising required trying to figure out where a specimen comes from and how the hell it could fit in there).

Oh, and the Transport Museum expect people to pay, which completely scuppered one plan of mine (how dare it not be free? If the Barber-Surgeons can manage it, why can't TfL?).

Hmm, I didn't really do much museuming when I was there (I've omitted the usual flit round the NLA), partly due to eeking out the contents of my Oystercard, and so only going somewhere one bus away, which was not South Ken. Such are the repercussions of being told by an un-National-ed ex-building-society that I needed a statement from the last three months to get cash out from my going-the-wrong-way account, which as they only send them out every 6 months, and the newest, assuming I've had it, would be buried somewhere many miles away (and getting there and back would literally bankrupt me), was as unhelpful as it turned out to be untrue.

So when I wasn't watching DVDs, wandering and scavenging food from the streets of London, arousing suspicion with each winding on of film, or hoping it'll be easier to place if I cock my head, I invited all and sundry to explore the becellared* wonder of the borrowed flat. All was otherwise engaged and Sundry had a prior engagement which he would make at his soonest convenience.

* Or bebasemented or becoalholed depending who is doing the description.

However Dan was foolish enough to agree to spend an evening so far from his base near the start of the Monopoly board that it's not even on the Monopoly board, and that was without having to resort to the chocolate bribery.

The cooking went well, oddly since me entertaining usually means just that, though frequently unintentionally. I completely forgot the mushrooms and by completely I mean didn't even think of buying any. And the spag bol was fusilli bol because I overlooked the necessity of buying spaghetti if one is to serve it. But it had cooked tomatoes in it so I was happy (yes, I am very easily pleased; lycopeneasily pleased). So food was served and wine was drunk (ta muchly the Dan man of Man; yet to see his Can-Can and no known van) and talk was conversed, largely by me, but 'twas ever thus. And somehow it came to pass that the raspberry schnapps I had been given permission (if not outright instruction) to finish was sampled by my guest to confirm just how much of an acquired taste it was. And being Dan he refused to throw alcohol away, so wincingly drained his glass. Only after he poured himself a good glug did I read that it was from Lidl and the copy on the back starts with the words "Traditionally made" which we took to be as malleable as my old school's statement that they "had no problem with bullying".

The schnapps incidentally gives off a smell of a chemical approximation of raspberries when the bottle is opened, but curiously no such taste afterwards, being largely raw alcohol with a few evocations of a garage forecourt. I've had vodka with more, and better, taste (well, it was in my brother's freezer and Hovis was on multibuy and I know at least one of the bottles was extracted from the freezer of his old, old flat so a rate of knots does not apply and so he's equally unlikely to notice or miss it, having not done the pencil marked label thing [my grandfather's anti-grown-up-children device. My uncle topped it up with water, my mother rubbed the mark out and drew a new one]).

Hmm, and those comments all make think I said this before. Whereupon I've just discovered I started a post about getting stopped before. To nick a quote from that post, buggity.

I'm not sure whether to merge one into the other, or just say sod it and publish both copies (look, it'll make it seem like I'm blogging more and numbers likely to notice the repetition are minimal. And you get to examine the change in attitudes between the post-stop post and the post-post-stop post).


Just because it's an anagram that hasn't yet been done (spot) and also it reminds me of Jenny Agutter shouting it at a train backing away from her (tops).

Anyway, Dan eventually disappeared into the dark of tomorrow (yes, I kept him up till after the last tube) and then tomorrow brought meeting with the nameless Monsieur Cue.

And Dan, again.

Dan who froze by the Transport Museum, because I said I'd be in it to M. Cue, but I got there earlier to find they wanted money, so milled round the shop (oh, New York subway tat too) worryingly spotting potential presents, then run out of things to pick up, price, frown at and put down again so went photographing. Which is how I came to be huddled in an underpass within Covent Garden, aping a NSFW video were a guy in a coat very like yours, M. Cue, is, er, solicited (look, I was handed it, sight unseen, in, er, a hotel bedroom at five in the morning). No solicitations for me, simply odd looks, one wink and a deafening amount of classical clichés (someone needs to tell the quartet that dirges don't pay. Stick with Vivaldi; it may make the place sound like a hotel foyer [or Brickston station, who strangely prefer the music from A Clockwork Orange; goes well with sick fluorescent light shimmering on wipe-clean surfaces. Apparently classical music reduces crime in the station, although there's no word on whether the stats include ultra-violence] but Covent Garden is a just a big holding pen for bored tourists).

So eventually the Cue-man rang to say he was no longer late,

And I thought I'd finished this.

Er, the Cue rang seeking directions from Aldwych to Covent Garden (go up a round, any road, probably beside a theatre and turn where you see another theatre) and panicking slightly because I'd yet to meet Dan, due to standing out of the wind. Then into the oppo-Opera pub, glaring at table pinchers, dancing round a handbag, although it was a handbag only in that it was carried by hand (well, two much of the time) and dancing in the sense of shuffling and leaning to let other pass (and I don't miss having to dodge people bearing through crowds of drinkers with lit cigarettes used as people-ploughs). The Cue informed me I was on soft drinks, which at least shows he took the effort to remember, even if it was only what I had previously drunk, not that I stuck with Coke because last time I was nervous, being indecisive and don't like beer, which he was drinking.

So that happened. Er, what an insightful sentence. We find seats opposite the stool pinching woman, who somehow ends up engaged in an iPl... iPhone without the phone bit, whose name I've - iTouch, no, iPod Touch. Anyway, Dan sat round stroking his new (bought the day before) iTouch Myself or whatever it's called thing often enough that the people over the table started talking to him about it. Cue Cue and I being faintly bewildered because not only can we not quite hear the conversation but we can't quite work out how it came about nor why it has been going on so long. Then the overtables leave and after a bit so do we at my instigation, being hungry.

Then it's all back to mine, via Sainsbury's, where we bicker over vegetables (no broccoli, Dan vetoed cabbage, the Cue wants the presumably Fabergé courgettes whose price has me reacting like a horse affronted by an adder). Back to the flat where we spend about the cooking time of the lasagne trying to get the mortice lock to turn more than halfway (it'd been giving me problems all week. When I later asked my brother about it he later claimed that he never had any problem, then when I pointed out I was using the spare keys he claimed he meant to show me the knack but forgot; he still hasn't). Then it's on with the Get Carter soundtrack (oh, just me then?), out with the drinks (one water, one squash? But we have beer, wine and spirits) and in with the lasagne (tomato-beef pasta, again: yay me) and hacked about potatoes. A brief chat then the Cuemeister does something involving a frying pan, dried herbs, 1.5 courgettes and two half peppers. And thus dinner was served on my brother's best crockery, as I hadn't washed up the day before so only had two clean standard plates, ignoring the fact the best was my grandparents' everyday.

Not terribly long after eating the both buggered off despite it being the weekend (M. Cue had some labyrinthine route planned to get home simply so he could prove a point to some rail company), with the Cue urging me to guide him, and so them, back to the station, despite them both being and an ugly enough to cope. The Cue's theory that it wasn't safe for single men to wander these streets at night was rather undermined by him realising that's precisely what I'd have to do having found them transportation (and that Dan managed it twice the night before and yet is no more harmed than he had been).

Having dumped both at the station, I headed back to the half locked flat, and then buried myself in cleaning, washing, washing up and backing-up music, with appropriate bouts of sleep.

And when I say appropriate what I mean is I spent so long scrubbing on the last night, that I went to bed long after the central heating had turned off, so failed to notice I spun the thermostat up to the maximum to get the water hot enough to wash up with (don't ask why it's the same control), which meant the next morning I was far too dehydrated and overheated and knackered to wake up long enough to anything more than turn the alarm off, so was only finally woken by my brother returning and the SIL complaining about the heat (they were dressed for the conditions they'd just left, something Narnian; and having found outside stifling the Arizonan interior was too much). And then because they were jetlagged I had to relinquish the bed, despite having had about the same amount of sleep as them.

They slept while I found more traces of me to remove (the SIL seems to cope with jetlag by sleeping through all the daylight: novel).

And that's about it for that expedition.


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