Friday, February 03, 2012

DSC_0242 - Precocious CaesareanI forgot to mention that the other day I got asked if I knew where to buy any "grass".

Cue terribly polite, utterly unhelpful answer.

But the other odd request recently was someone asking to use one of my t-shirt designs on a 24-hour sale site. Initial elation has been followed by encountering poor web design (they ask for a password then say they're emailing one to me and won't let me log in with the one I chose. I'm still waiting for their email), discovering the design threshold for that site is a little low (which is not to say they don't sell well), I get the impression they're fairly newish and of course there's the trade off in royalties against the supposed increase in sales. Though it's non-exclusive, but somehow... I'm stuck between disappointing a real actual human and trying not to notice that what it is they do is disappointing.

But of course if they've asked for something that liquefies the usual first hurdle of having to expose myself to the potential rejection that submitting usually brings. I'm not really keen on submission—volunteering for decapitation—and it's such a loaded word; quiescence is more me.

It's odd, the taint of whoredom and harlotry (see Christianity does have a use), the enduring falsity of promotion bores through me. Somehow I've come to believe that success ought be effortless, by which I mean it's only true success if it's borne on the Brownian motions whims of my fellow man, so a pure recognition of good: merit-driven. Somehow I suspect this is neither accurate or useful. But as I was taught early "'I want' doesn't get".

It's frustrating when the world declines to notice, but they idea of purloining a tug beneath Liberty and belting out "Hey world, here I am" would render all following victories Pyrrhic.

As I said, odd.

And now a comment on trusting to the instincts of others:

In other news this week I skipped the choir, through being in a land that smelt of jacket potatoes in the oven (and malt when the wind swung further to the east) and having the world's best toy to play with (though she'd forgotten me and was no longer impressed with the whirling cups trick).

Again the maternal tendency to abdicate all responsibility kicked in (is it a good sign that I worry what she'd be like if I weren't here?), with her blaming me for our late arrival, having spent the whole journey winding herself up about the stupidity of the world around (does being a little bundle of fury help? Does hating the world change it? No? So why keep on doing it? It's not arguing with a fool, it's fighting a brick wall). And then she grumbles while there, but these erode in frequency the longer the exposure to other people.

I'm not sure what to say about a few days in Very Faint Headwounds (the cousin once removed has a stronger head than I do). Played with a giggly, occasionally grisly, 18-month-old still high on the newly discovered idea of walking. Discovered why one should never be nice to a cat (oh, hello, you're very keen suddenly, oh, and you've been outside, and have walked across a room to come and use me as a doormat. Thanks for that. I knew I should have defaulted to hissing at you). Failed to take photographs of the pleasing bleak parts of town (the new shopping centre, all flat greys upon greys beneath a mute sky broken only by the beet billows), failed to take photographs in the endless mediaeval streets or the Henried abbey, instead invaded by ducks and chasing the local youth off the slide (ok, so they retreated swiftly when faced with a gleeful hurtling bundle, reins not withstanding). Lost my mother, discovered that the overrated patisserie has spawned again, displacing the sausage roll shop, and generally loitered in the cold while someone took baby steps.

Later we decided on looking out at the foggy murk which was shedding snow that the North Sea seemed tempting (well, it can't be any colder than the air) and off we wove, through pink flushed villages, braking for peacocks until we got to Auldbrr, where we parked in the first space we got to, and as we looked round to get our bearings found we were outside the tourist information centre, who were friendly but struggled to think of anything that would be open.

So we wandered down the High Street, the mothers meandering through shops, refusing to pay that much, while I distracted myself with architectural quirks. Eventually we ran out of town, except I was distracted by the beaten, beached and sometimes broached boats on the river side of the land, so didn't notice which way they'd all gone. So I carried on, because there was more land still to see, and more boats, and a Martello tower, and who wouldn't, and therefore they must have done.

Cue a phone call saying they'd had enough of heading up the sea front and were heading to leeward to find some food and would let me know where that was. Turns out the sixty somethings and permanently tired hadn't chosen to keep going to the ends of the earth see what was there, instead had struck northwards up the front.

So I wend, scrambling about the beach and defences tank and sea, camera ever ready, active. A chirrup of text. A number, some directions and a way point or two.

There now follows a period in which I ran round a town I didn't know trying to find number 125 of some uncertain street, which was on the right, from some unknown direction of travel, beyond the blue house (bear in mind it's next to the North Sea, so houses tended to be wrapped in water and wind-proofing render, and being an arty town, these tend to be in many colours, and a lot seem to have gone with the nautical theme of model yachts and lighthouses in the windows and the palette that that dictates).

About now the sudden ravenousness kicked (thanks medication), along with a complete banishment of energy (thanks medication and the symptoms it's treating), along with dual being too hot and cold (thanks easterly off the North Sea in January and thermals), along with shaking which was nothing to do with being cold (thanks symptoms), along with hands too cold to use my phone (thanks improving light keeping the camera out), along with eventually getting through (thanks mother who never knows her phone is her phone), along with useless instructions repeated and being handed over to my cousin, who just kept saying 'come back', though neither knew where the other was, and then hanging up in frustration, tears, sitting huddled scared, furious, ashamed, foetal, hand in glove glove in hand phone in other, wanting equally to damn them all to hell and Mummy, to sulk in the car, but unable to move.

Then hard shoes running behind me, presence beside me, an arm wormed inside mine, a cousin, the knee with the grin beneath Wolfe, and the world creeps back, warmth beside the hut, out of the wind, not the sun.

Then late to lunch, discovering my mother is dyslexic too, and even realised 125 is not in that order, but didn't bother to send a correction, because how many blue houses can there be?

And so straight to the main, fish and chips, because it was top of the specials, and I didn't want to try reading, deciding. It was good, if expensive. The conversation was good too at the table behind us, so only other people in the place. Ladies who lunch, and bemoan poor bridge players, and drop lines like "the hounds of spring are on the traces of winter", and elicit snorts fortuitously timed with theirs from the table next door.

And then the sisters/mothers methodically worked through the bill, assigning items and totals, each within a pound of a quarter of the total, but it's the only way either of them will not simmer with resentment over it for a good many years.

Then a flit round the rest of the town, interest fleeing before the easterly, and running out of buildings to hide behind, so driving off, first down to explore the spit, me gambolling with a Nikon, gulping blazing skies, waves on puddles, the light running Thames-like through the bouncing browns of the sea, up round the fort, stalked by the car, finding it has a moat, through the beach now runs through it, and that it's for rent, then back in, northwards, past Hambling's shattered scallops with Venus missing, past backlit reeds gilts ever shifting, through the rippingly spiffing village, mentally in black and white and jaunty music bedding the jovial male voice of authority narrating, past the house from Up (not that I've seen it yet), and so home, skipping Rickman-playing-Rickman to get back for the nursery.

And then we left on the best day, bright sun with heat in it, skies coagulated into one pure crystal.

So what did I learn? That when I'm not crumpling I like children. I sometimes like contemptuous animals. I like adults, mostly. And I like, but only because it reminded me why I largely don't listen, and because it amused me, Radio 2 doing a hour of Wurlitzer, which we kept listening to purely to see how much worse it could get (Rhapsody in Blue stands out for more wince than snigger [can /= should, and clearly it took skill to play that, but it isn't running up escalators]).

I left this to go to bed. There this morning I remembered the -1's tiny frozen hand gripping my thumb and realising that my thumb must be to her very big and very hot, just like yours, oh, you're not there; I forgot that was an option. But his hands always were huge and hot.

But then I also remembered the reins, and wondered how old I was when I last wore them. Could it be that my earliest memory is mostly the fury, indignity, irritation of having to wear them? I loathed the imposed restraint, but more significantly couldn't stand the texture of them, a tacky, spongy, rubberised surface. I still can't stand textures like that.

And it's odd how generations shunt their way round. In my past future I'd expected to start having children now. For all the playful fantasy children have remarkably little imagination (well, some of them some of time).

And back to the present child. Not speaking much, but understanding a lot, knowing by some unascertained cue that it's time for her bath so doing the rounds of the room kissing people goodbye before hanging from the door handle waiting for her mother to follow. Though when I say kissing she tends to approach with gaping maw and tries to lick (well, I suppose that's what an adult kissing her feels like). She looks surprised by the feel of stubble, brows knitting as she tries to work it out. And struggles to stay still when rubbing noses because she's giggling too much. And the look of bafflement followed by delight when I'm walking in front of her but doing walks adults don't normally do* is, well, delightful (you can see the process: something's wrong, that man is moving differently, oh, it's the odd tall one, he's still doing it, he's being... silly, he's being silly for me!).

* Walking in front because I always end up at the vanguard in any group, so usually have to resort to walking backwards, and bouncing round on the spot, and walking as though I'm in dressage, killing energy and impatience waiting for people to catch up. Ok, so it's not barely toddlers I do silly walks for, but some of them were intentionally for her amusement.

Have I said she's the best toy ever? So much fun, especially when there's someone else to do all the attending to her other needs.

Anyway, better shut up at some point. Still trying to think of alternative blognames for BSE. That last bit's hard because Merry Quaint Jedwards just is too distracting, and I can't think of much else that keeps the same rhythms. Nary and Mayn't are both good words but it's the last the scuppers things.


'Braking for Peacocks' - nice phrase - good name for a book, maybe.

See Up! See it immediately! Had me in floods, and I don't even do cartoons.

Alternative blognames for BSE - Mad Cow Diseasington? Fairy Taint Eddies? Jury St Jesmonds?

Remember, the reins are long gone...
How do you pronounce 'jury' then?

Do you promise about the reins?
I pronounce 'jury' like everybody else. Are blognames not allowed to look the same instead of sound the same?

Well, they may still be in place, but if you check, you'll find that no-one's holding them.
Apparently not (but I've never noticed before).

If no one's holding them they that explains why I keep getting tangled in them.
Leave my metaphore alone!
*Metaphor* Funny how even knowing how to spell doesn't avoid misspellings.
Just as long as it's not a metaphwoar.
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