Thursday, 24 April 2008


Haunch of Venison...Lord Nelson's old residence...excellent opening tonight. Borderline rude with images from the Karma Sutra positioned in graffitti ridden space. Matching called Japanese Lady's Slipper. The other one...Forgot the and vodka and some secret ingredients. Gabriella, Richard, The lady who curated the show last year at the place I forget the name of across from Ham House...and Prada man was there. He had just been at a party with Claudia Schiffer and Paul McCartney. He had his Agent Provacateur shopping bag with him as usual. And tutted...."Why do they shag with robes on?" as he admired the art. Got lost in TopShop on the way home. Getty Images had a strict guest list but Adrian was trying to convince them that he was press as he has written for Time Out in the past, but didn't have an article with him. Ran into a woman who is a clothing and fabric designer who I met at Indigo in Paris a few years ago. She is planning to market knickers in a plastic you get out of gum machines. Good job I didn't bike there.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Snooze Button

Five? No...four. Who gets up at four? That's the rota for a teenage paper route. Well. It wasn't four, but it was pre-sunrise....basically too early in my memory. My parent's thought this bag of papers which I had to roll, rubber band, and deliver in the dark hours of the morning would build character. No. It just clogged up the drains on Buckeye Drive. There are so many other ways to build character. It may have back-fired. It may have put me off waking up early for life. The subliminal equation for me: Waking up early= getting bitten and barked at by neighbourhood dogs. Mind you, I got more than a year's earnings come Christmas time from all the envelopes marked "paper girl". Then I got frostbite from losing my shoe in a snow bank one morning....saved by a man who invited me in for cocoa and called my parents. That was enough for me to retire.

What kind of time do people go to bed to get up at four? Set your alarm. You won't get a wake-up call from me. Sometimes I'm up at 5:30...Do I get a star? The Rockford Register Star. That's pre-cartoon hour. Though I am woken. Does that count? I think it's reasonable to wake between the hours of seven and eight:....32....38, 39,....and still "catch the worm." I believe in the snooze button. Morning snoozes are the best followed by lemony pancakes with their tanned ripples resembling the mountainous regions of Europe. And weekend snoozes are even better. Look at yesterday. I needed a weekend snooze after that, but had to take a pre-sleep nap instead. What a workout...hands and knees for seeming hours--out of breath from a mega house tidy-- getting deja vu from picking up toys and personally hand-hoovering hard to reach corners full of miscellaneous medium sized dust.

Pump it up

Where is the pump? What is a blow up bed without a pump? Now doesn't that sound like a monk's koan. It's not a koan. It's a real live problem happening right now. No. Let's think positively. It's not a problem. It's a challenge. It's a situation. Oh well. Their dreams will not have an inflated tone this evening. Should I sit here for the next hour blowing? I don't think so. I don't think my cheeks could take it. I'm not known for hours of blowing. They'll just have tough cheeks in the morning.

OOh. A hello from the downstais nay boar. Her radar's finely tuned for any noises associated with beds. That includes the blowing up beds. Thank God for electric pumps and all electrical devices associated with beds.


The day has reached its weird peak before noon. The downstairs neighbour/nayboar is suddenly showing some talent for the recorder. "Talent" is a kind phrase. Amazing Grace wafting up through the floorboards. The polar opposite of our last conversation. Damn. I was going to buy a flute. Now, I'll just sound like a copy cat....especially if I can play "Highway to Hell" for her as she often plays it for me until my furniture and myself are vibrating.
A pole has arrived for my living room and another pole is coming later on today. Two poles in my living room. Am I a dancer?These kind gargle with vodka, bathe in absolut, and sleep with martini and olive face packs. Pin-stripped Pierogis. They're psychiatrists or psycho anna lists.

Oh , but they're not a couple. An uncouple. They just happen to be male and female. I will send an official "no frolicking" report home with the female for her boyfriend to keep. After...not before...That's a might. She drinks herbal tea, so obviously, she had standards. I mean "has". She turns down my early morning sausage for her own cold nutburger patty in a ziploc bag and a cold uncooked carrot that hasn't even been peeled. She must like the ridges.

Now, I must retrieve the second blow up bed from the shed. The other one can stay there in case of excess guests. Perhaps I should put some candles down there and call it "The Excess Suite" or "Sweet Access" Complete with gardening tools. Run a line up to the flat so they can buzz for their breakfast.

Breakfast Codes: bzz= one short buzz bzzzz= one long buzz
bzz = coffee
bzzzz = coffee with milk and sugar
bzz bzz = coffee and crumpet
Bzzzz Bzzzz = sweet milky coffee and chocolate covered crumpet.
Bzz Bzz Bzz Bzz Bzzzz = Do not disturb
Bed and Breakfast....Shed and Breakfast.
The facilities are expanding

Tuesday, 22 April 2008


0. Super scenic
1. Everything ends in I or O.
2. The sun is always out except at night
3. Romantic sunsets over Capri
4. Lago Averno and the apple orchard
5. Tall ceilings in all apartments
6. Pozzuoli and the view of tiny islands in the distance
7. Everyone has a Vespa
8. Gelato in Piazza Amadeo
9. Many Piazzas
10. People are busy going somewhere, but they are not busy
11. All unmarried men over forty and being over-attended by their mama.
12. Contracts mean nothing, especially if they are on paper.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

What do I miss about Korea?

1. The four months of paid vacation.
2. Strange men coming up to me in the bar asking me what my favourite colour is. To the first one, "Blue," I say. He runs away as his favourite colour is red. To the second one, I tell him, "red." To which, he responds, "My balloon is red," and then sits down again as we are out of conversation. To the third one, I save his breath...."Don't ask me what my favourite colour is. My favourite colour is none of your business."
3. Sunday driving a car with diplomatic plates which allows for bad parking and going the wrong way up one way streets.
4. My rabbit which was eaten by neighbours when I was on holiday in Thailand.
5. Not knowing what anybody is saying. Not needing a walkman to block out background conversation on the train.
6. Daily kimchi and bi bim bap. Opening conversations about kimchi with every new person you meet.
7. Queen Bee...the English Department Head who used her assistant mainly to hold her curling iron while she was on the phone.
8. The Scottish boy who had a harem named: Girl Friday, Girl Monday, Girl Tuesday,...and Weekend Girl.
9. The Worker Bees
10. Insadong Tea Houses: the tiny stools, the free flying canaries, the bonsai nooks of quiet
11. Korea's proximity to Thai and Indonesian beaches
12. Playing the lost foreigner in a tv show.
13. Getting lost on the way to pseudo-legal suburban guerilla housewife lessons that had to change location on a weekly basis.
14. Cutting pojagi silk shapes in Chunghie Lee's studio and sharing kimchi
15. The neat paper-clipped rows of papers on Michael Christiansen's desk
16. Marco's desk? Out to a long lunch.
17. Allison's desk? The nearest cocktail bar.
18. Rob Riski? The nearest diplomatic party or giving privates in his red kitchen.
19. Lawyer Sawyer? The nearest woman.
20. The Dutch Psychologist? The nearest man.
21. Remmert? Sitting at his desk waiting for any student to come with an enquiry of any kind.
22. Lynch? Detangling himself from a potted palm.
23. Heinz Tengler, The German General? He was never at his desk as he was always pacing the floor lecturing the staff on how English should be taught, saluting all employees as they walked in the door, and reminiscing about his days in Saudi and DC, and on the odd drunken occasion, hinting at his life as a spy.
24. Malenfant? He was there.
25. Late night soju tents with deep fried offal and live octopus
26. The ondul floors of Love Hotels
27. The pig farmer on Cheju-Do who gave me a tour of his giant shed of shit which he used as fuel.
28. Hang Moon, the monk with a giant stereo system and speakers the size of a double bed. He asked for donations in the form of cds.
29. The Psychiatrist's wife, Mrs. Kim in Yoido who lived between the gym and the beauty parlour and took lessons in the best restaurants. Her driver wore white gloves. And her living room floor was made of shiny black stones which seemed to belong more on an outdoor patio of a garden centre.
30. The Canadian woman who lived in a fisherman's house on Cheju-Do and spent the summer in Seoul until her car was washed away by a flash flood. She moved to Washington State to be with a man she met on the internet, but he died six months later.

Kinkish Kitch En

Lacy lengths of Latvian Linguine
Slippery slices of sauerkrauty summer sausage
Stroodle strapped lasses smelling of molasses
Waiting on the pasty patrons with their giant asses
Grim and grey-chinned grinning as they make their fruitless passes
At the leather-faced ladies holding glasses

Experiments in Staying Home

All is fine here....four-letter fine. We've had rain and sun, but mainly rain. A weather report--my gift to you--you people who went somewhere. I say this as you have probably been in Berlin, Vienna, Prague, or Barcelona for Easter. No...I have ESP. You've been at a pig roast in Riga. It has been a rather low key Easter experience here with not getting on a plane as we sometimes usually do. It has been an experiement in staying home to see what the appeal is for the many people who never leave the country because:

1. They don't know where the photo booth is for getting passport pictures as there isn't one on their block.
2. They prefer new kitchen lino to the shores of Kiribati.
3. They think that they can get more rest at home in front of the tv. Catching up on daytime talk shows they are unable to watch at work. Trashy slag sessions that are made up of wannabe actors and actresses killing time before their next cereal commercial.
4. They're saving their money for a rainy day, but what they don't realise is's raining!
5. They don't think that a week away in the sun or the rain of a different country or city will make a difference.

But it does. Just check the delight on the man's face last night in the local 24 hour shop as he strained his neck looking up at the "magazines" which were safely wrapped in plastic. 'Ooh....' he says..."There's my wife." I told him that he was obviously on holiday as he wouldn't even think that way at home. But his friend assured me that this little trip had only heightened his friend's usual personality. "Every man's wife is in one of those magazines somewhere. In my case, my wife has had all the copies of her edition re-routed to this shop." What a conspiracy.

Now, I can officially say the stay-at-home-holiday-makers are wrong. You can't fake a holiday. I am no further ahead with rest, relaxation, or DIY. In fact, I'm behind. Why do people stay home? Do they just not know how to get to the airport? Next time I will go somewhere with a capital G.

Simple--The Holiday P's: Passport, Postcard list, Plan, Packing and Press the "proceed" button. Otherwise, you've got two weeks of toddler explore+destroy mode. Next time, get deluxe travel insurance and have him tear up the hotel instead....Think of it as training for later when he's a rock star or football hooligan. Unless I just strap him into his little wooden chair, he's been busy. Though we have been to Whitstable, Waltham Cross, Waitrose, and worn out the seats at the Garrick Theatre---seeing Peter Pan twice. It was even in Spanish, but it ain't the same as bein' in Spain.

I've also been able to keep up with the news. I read about a smell. I haven't smelled anything...nor smelt. The poo of French cows wafting over the city? I didn't catch a whiff. Maybe it's the cheese I eat. Or maybe as we are smack dab in the centre of the "C", the congestion and pollution has shot our olfactory sensors completely.

Vincent's Trees

What's Vincent (Vangogh) Berquez up to? He's having a show at the Foundling Museum from the 16th of May. (Opening 7 to 9 pm) He's been painting trees. Nice trees. Buy one of his paintings, and you won't have to visit France again. You'll have it in your living room. Or if you're part of the Easy jet set, just pick up a postcard and stick it on the fridge. Where are these trees from exactly?His fountainesque imagination or Middle France? Not sure, but this long corridor of Seuraty Poplars looks distinctly Froggy.

Tubs or Sachets?

J. works as a food taster at Tesco. Recently, her panel was asked to identify the pros and cons of tubs and sachets. In response:

I prefer tubs to cartons or sachets as:

1. the tub will not fall over in the fridge if you don't use all of it. 2. The tub might be recyclable 3. a clear tub will allow you to see how much sauce is left simply by looking at the container 4. tubs can be reused later as containers for other things....unless they are made of waxy cardboard. They can also be stored under the sink if you have this household-hint-habit/problem 5. tubs just feel better.

What is wrong with sachets? Everything. 1. You don't know who is buying the product. You can't measure for that person. It might be one single person on a diet. It might be a family of four...or seventeen. People like to measure it themselves. Gice the consumer that little feeling of personal power. 2. There is nothing more annoying and unhygenic than a half-used sachet of a something in the cupboard or fridge--especially if it is liquid. It spills everywhere. It goes fungal. Pretty soon, the whole fridge smells of "tomato surprise tonight." 3. I have a bag of sachets in my cupboard from various boxes of sachets. It is a conglomeration of cup of soups, spices, leftover pumpkin seeds... a real lonely mix of ingredients resembling an endless loop of speed dating with no one pairing off---a completely bad dream. 3.5 They are too flimsy and they get lost in the cupboard or fridge. They can't stand up. 4. Especially if it is liquid, I get the feeling someone is making me use the whole thing...and if I don't, the waste-not-want-not police will be haunting me in my sleep as I burp myself into dream state.

Wooden Farm toys

Wooden farm toys:
A pale blue sheep
A small yellow ducky
A hot pink rabbit
A brown donkey or horse
A long peach pig

Yes. Ben has lined them up on my April calendar that was specially designed so that I could tick off all my DIY to do's for this month. But now, he has drawn dinosaurs and a chest of drawers on I guess nothing will happen this month. Moment...this month is nearly over. Ok. Not such a big crime. This month's to do calendar started on the 15th.

Autopilot Postman

I don't want another year of their magazine. I don't even want to tell you which magazine it is...but I'm tired of their quirky little bedtime a family pulled together after a disaster.... or a new disease that you could get from using too much cling film. Give me the disease...keep the magazine. I didn't want the first year. I don't want the next.

I don't recall ticking a "life member" box that puts the postman on autopilot for the rest of his life from their door to mine. No. If I want a year's subscription to anything, it might Conde Naste Traveller so that I can see the inside of hotels that I might not stay I tend to stay next door or down the road a ways when I go there. ( Ie. The Lemon Road Youth hostel in Hawaii...$14 a night and one block from the beach complete with check in clerk who also plays guitar and organises evening sing-a-long loo ows)

Or Cosmopolitan so that I can brush up on the latest 101 ways to excite your man in bed....or 101 ways to find a man to excite in bed.... the 32 ways to stay looking 29. or The 29 ways to appear over 21 if you're only 15. And finally...ten tummy flattening tips to enhance your bikini chances...There's always a number involved. I suppose as all the positions, facial creams and excercises have been tried before, they go for quantity incase you missed one.

For those tired of Cosmo's figures, there's House and Garden or Better Homes for people who have fifteen square feet of official gardening space on their balcony. Why don't I start my own magazine? Better Balconies... or Fancy Flats. Or something I have real life experience with...A how to book on how to live with children's toys....choosing primary colours that don't clash with your 70's themed wallpaper, how to discreetly throw them out if they are not in the box, how to glue all the teddies and dolls to the ceiling, and bonus star stickers for each bag of toys you send to oxfam.

Friday, 18 April 2008

The Irish Accountant

No it's not a straight job as one would think
As I'm an Irish Accountant
So I keep no notes but I keep listening
I have to keep listening
Anonymous ears
Until logic appears
Or calm sets in
Or doesn't
In which case, I've...
Only heard a few things
It's not enough for some
And for others,
They can hear me listening

Proper Pop Bands

Proper Pop Bands have Personnel
Proper Pop Bands Ban Props
Tom Jones has banned the throwing of knickers on stage
"No..we don't mind it," says the young boy band
But then scratch their heads as they wonder,"Is it wrong to be thonged? Have we been thonged for our songs?"

Happy Go Lucky

Advice from Elizabeth: Do you ever wish you had taken a book and little flashlight to the cinema? Do not go see Happy Go lucky......Mike Lee. no not Spike lee....the one who made Secrets and Lies....Unless you want to see a film that is more boring than your own life.....Young girl flits around London has a smile for what. Do you care? I didn't feel the story drew me in...some of the characters were great though...I suppose. But it did nothing for me.

Ashtray Alliteration

Simply ashtray alliteration which came to me via a kink in my subscription to Cosmic Conciousness.
Damn people keep sending me their sweepstakes invites.
They're only advertising their other magazines: Kinkily Conscious and Cosmetically Conscientious.
Or perhaps this is inspired by the post-lecture gathering of the ravenous audience at the Royal College of Surgeons this past week: people so terribly hungry for knowledge and as knowledge was not on the menu eight or nine canapes at a time will do.
A cufflink scrapes my cheek as a large hairy hand reaches over me like a crane lifting skewers of curried chicken satay directly to a mouth as this man's plate was too soggy to hold any more. Was it a Calcutta-esque free-for all; a grab and gorge session;damn the dainty--take as many as you can. Is that the undertow and motto of people who frequent political debates? I have never witnessed the candid behaviour of after hours lawyers before. Starving artists have more grace. They are more practiced at stealing free canapes. They don't attack the waitresses before they have replenished the relish tray. Maybe that's why they're still starving. And the maid in the story inspired by the maid in Peter Pan. I picture her working in a hotel on Lake Louise in Banff.

Sterling Mermaids Murmermansk
Rising tips of curly waves
Steamy Mermaids to the bridge
Meaty cabbage veiny ridges
Meaty cabbage
Carrot darlings
Dumpling trade

Gravy-boated, trimmed and shaved
Dickey-bowed and well-behaved
Toting silver-plated trays
Ocean line the stainless graves
Ocean liners from the finest of the kitchen's stainless maze

Tray out those Lacy Lengths of Loose-fit Latvian Linguine
As the Pianist accompanies the Bogota Bikini
Feather-slippered velvet songstress
Dusty plush a pink so crushed
Twitches to the sordid beat of
Summer slices....
Lemon devices
Gin and greedy tonic sweety
Please advise us
On our vices
As we tally up the sauerkrauty
Sums of summer sausage
Get the postman for this
Pastry parcel spinach as it bursts
the bottom buttons off the
Stroodle strapped oh lasses
Smelling Greek of meek molasses
Waiting tendrilly on patrons with their pasty pints of wine
And giant scented asses
Hanging low and leaking lawns of
Suburban mower gasses
Grim and grey-chinned grinning
At the fruity tarts and pastries
Which are glistening with promises as shiny as a jar
Of vaselined guitars
Cracked and yellowing with scars
strumming slowing out of tune
in the medicine cabinet of the honest virgin's room.

They make their fruitless passes
At the gin drinking masses
Of leather faced ladies clinking glasses

Chime with me. Dine with me.
Cluck and recline with me
Chime, grind, and wine at sea
The evening has a breeze

Her complexion gently rose to the surface
As she wiped the mascara with the napkin
Folds enclosing a number of a room or telephone
The metal-mirrored door
Side to side it swung
Upon one small but stable nail

Undressing from the black and white laces of service
Placing pilaf on plates
Fizzing bubbles for the bow-tied mates
Holding their last hurrah....bachelor funerals
Her hand clasped the crisp of the white of the sheet
As she good-nighted herself to sleep

Professor of Palm Trees

Marco doesn't care to keep up with the Kims
That's why his tyres don't have new rims
And as long as Koreans make kimchi dishes
He'll ABC them as long as he wishes
Four month holidays--never expire
A Professor of Palm Trees until he retires

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Peter Pan Pirates in Action

Everyone should go and see the Spanish version of Peter Pan at the Garrick Theatre before they disappear into Tinkerbell dust at the end of April. This is the most lively hats off Peter Pan you will ever see and fabulous even if you don't know Spanish. An excellent cast of vivacious dancers and singers with penetrating voices and girations. Mermaids writhe and stretch in the murky mists of the sea. The Lost Boys bellow in their furry scraggles. This Captain Hook ...the Pavarotti of Pirates. Peter Pan does not touch the ground all evening. And Mr. Smee will sword you with his swanky manner.
Garrick Thetre: 2 Charing Cross Road WC2

Noodle Man Postcard

This is the Easter Noodle Man. He is sucking noodles up in through his nostrils from a bowl the size of his face. He is holding the bowl lovingly with two hands. Arms around it like a replacement mama. One gets a warm yellow feeling from this as the background is yellow hinting at Easter. to see graphics by Yiyang Wang... No that graphic is long gone.

Who is the Easter Noodle Man really and what does he want?
He wants to wish you a Happy Easter...
Or as he would call it...
Chocolate Chick Giving Time
But wasn't Easter a few weeks ago?
Not sure. Ask Easter Noodle Man.
Oh. He doesn't know. He's Japanese.
That is the beauty of the Easter Noodle Man.
Easter is never belated with him
As he doesn't know when it is.
It's generally in March or April.
But as every other school has a different idea of when to have their school holidays,
Who can blame me for not knowing when exactly Easter is? It just seems to be this prolonged
two or three week period which ends when the chicks finally stop chirping and chocolate eggs go on sale at Woolworth's. I have a feeling Easter was a few weeks ago as I recall some chocolate eggs on a friend's dining room table and a big feast of meat and niblets.
Check calendar. Oh there you go. It was the 23rd of March. I should probably delete this entry. People will think I don't know what day it is...when Infact...I know....It's April.

What happens when your almost-four-year-old is off school for two weeks? It's a helliday. "But why is the school closed Mummy?".... Because the teachers are sleeping. "But I'm awake. I'm not sleeping." So we go to the school to make sure that the teachers are really asleep. You may find yourself fishing in the loo for one hundred unravelled aqua-tinted rolls....what happens to the cardboard tube? It becomes a wristband for a Ben Ten watch.....why did he need eight of them? for his friends..., What does he say, "I didn't mean to." Where has he learned this useful get-out phrase?
And you see Peter Pan about Pirates....and why not? Go see it again the next evening. Because this is the best Peter Pan the world has ever seen, you find the ends of your geraniums cut off and replanted...."look has more.", you find your paintings in a stack with some books now converted into a truck ramp, you make pancakes, and more pancakes, squeeze lemons, heat up beans, stick hotdog sausages onto bamboo toothpicks while your child uses pencils to do the same, then he finds that the bamboo toothpicks are sturdy enough to pry the wheels off his Lightening Mcqueen. So where does the time go? There. That's where it went.

Hardly Worth the Font

Overheard from Robotron cartoon on tv:

"Hey, I kicked more than my share of alien butt today."

Or was that a conversation in the US Embassy staff lounge?

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

In Praise of Sun

There is sun today....maybe all day.
One can even feel happy staying inside looking out at the sun.
But ofcourse, to get the full benefit, one should go out and meet it head on.
Or like Tony, strip off and sunbathe in the courtyard with a towel on the cement....mindless of neighbours.
You have to really not care what people think in order to do that.
That's Tony. No one has joined him in his cement sunbathing since he began years ago. He is known as the cement sunbather.
The more fashionable option would be to lay your head down on the grass in Russell Square with a friend or lover and take a small picnic of bottled water and grapes.
Or go further a field if enthusiasm and weather permits.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Monday Night

Groupo Lokito at SOAS a lively Congolese dance band. Odd for them to pick this group up off the street as it is usually a sit down and listen arrangement. They were very good. But they need to dress better and shake off their busking look...apart from "limo" who had a nice checkered shirt and shiny white double guitar. Yes. A good workout. One tiny lady dancing wildly in a tiny way eight steps to the four count as opposed to two or four. Someone trying to dance salsa with me which was messing me up. Some people sitting soured faced and cross legged looking like the actresses in The Adams Family. A Korean family giving the thumbs up to various dancers and smiling. They were the self-appointed judges for the evening. Their children were playing portable video games. It was a hats off night.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Saturday Night

Running Grass, an ex-monk from Seattle, is meeting the Dalai Lama in a few hours' time. The best thing at the RCA tonight was the bookstand which was constructed by a product design student. Made of wooden 2 by 2s and taped together, it bent, but was sturdy. It fit all compositional requirements: long bits, short bits in vertigo and then longish and shortish widths which were then strung with yellow string and looked like harps, but held the books well. Gave one a slanted feeling of crossing dunes.
Bearded youths read some poetry in the basement. People sprawled themselves on the floor with their free beers and Kevin arrived just after the applause.
Films were playing...Tarkovsky. No one was watching. No one had the two hour attention span necessary. An experimental film of black and white shapes took up our attention for five minutes until Ben said it was time to leave. A lot of work had gone into the construction of the film theatre. Then, for some quirky reason, a waffle was glued to the wall. ...typical art school thing to do. Ben ran around the gallery with a tiny tiny car that Richard produced out of thin air. Someone suggested that he race it down the length of the gallery, so this kept him busy for a long time. Richard pointed out the Polish Club, a swank dimly lit pink establishment that serves coffee and dinners with pierogi appetizers across from Imperial College. Popped into the Paper Tiger for a late buffet. Ben entertained the wait staff and the couple from Moscow...the lady who wears sunglasses in the evening. They are moving back to Moscow soon.


A Last Name is a Good Idea

Caller: Hello. Is Jon there please?
Sec: Which John would you like?
Caller: The John who just called from this phone.
Sec: I'm not sure which John that is. He might have rung through from his desk. No last name?
Caller: No. He's a John without an H....a J-O-N ......Jonathan?
Sec: Jon...Athan? oh...more information. Is he Taylor Woodrow?
Caller: No. His name's Jonathan.
Sec: Do you know which company he works for?
Caller: He works for himself. It might be....The "Jonathan Something" Company.
Sec: I see. There are about thirty people in this office. We have about six Johns.
Caller: That's a lot of Johns....Six in thirty...That's a one in five ratio.
Sec: You're good at math.
Caller: He's the John that's tall and friendly.
Sec: Tall and friendly? hmmmm.
Caller: He's a consultant.
Sec: Ah ha. A consulatant.... on what?
Caller: He consults.
Sec: Anymore?
Caller: He has blue eyes and he always wears black shoes.
Sec: Well. Sounds like a nice guy. Maybe next time you talk to him, you should ask him his last name.
Caller: Good idea.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Micalef knows something that he doesn't know. Spies have been murdered for less. Micalef...mispelled Micaleb..soon becomes Michelob if we digress.

Inspiring Sights

The creative buzz of Hoxton starts to peter out after Clerkenwell Green and officially ends at the dip in the traffic lights. The piano music of a ballet school tinkles down Herbal Hill Street--one of the many Hill streets off Theobald's Road, If you go up one, you find Ben Sherman's studio, Another with a flaking sign for munitions and pub--the gun club, an arching staircase, an underpass in ironwork, a studio for rent, two coffee cups neatly placed on a bridge on Roseberry Avenue--one with a napkin from a fancy Italian eatery-the other with stains. How neatly they placed them. Why didn't they just put them back at the cafe? A pricey Thai take away, a couple arguing outside the fulbright office, I think of Ilya's parents--how they met on the ship, a man leaving a mews passing a health club I have a free pass to, a gang of traffic wardens going home, people spilling out of The Lamb, people starting on cubes of parmesan at Ciao Bella, a man sits with his dog alone with his pint at the Perserverance, the Muslim clerk looks at me differently as I purchase a lone beer myself and think of Txomin, The Spice of Life before the new furniture and the official plaque that read "the best secret in town."

Rock Star Song

I want to XY XY be with you
XY XY Z with you
ABC with you

I want to beta alpha
Be with you
Alpha beta
Be with you

A you
B you
C you

B with you
C with you

This is repeated 17 times until the audience is just in a frenzy.

Rock Star Credentials

I am a Rock Star
My credentials are....

First of all. I drink every single day.
I start with a cocktail around 11.
If I am up early.....
No I am never up early....unless I am up very very late.
I do not drink before I have read the paper.


If I do not drink before 11, I make sure to have some sort of drug within a 24 hour period.
If I forget to have some sort of drug within this 24 hour period
(as my watch is so fancy that I can't read the dial) ,
I stay in the hotel so that the paparazzi can't see that I am somewhat normal.
No no no. I am not "normal". I am just having a "normal" day. Big difference.
If I am feeling "normal", I put the sunglases so that I can appear mysteriously subdued as I step out to buy my own paper.
This simple "everyman action" keeps me in touch with the people.
As they photograph me buying a magazine instead of a paper, the people applaud me as they are also reading about my recent exploits. If I have memory loss, I can read about what became of me on a certain night by reading about it in a variety of magazines. I find this only somewhat useful as it does not include the phone number of the person or people I subdued.

I do not know what day it is. As I am a rock star, I have someone to tell me if I need to know. I only need to know what city I am in as I do not wish to offend the people of the town I am playing in. The further away, the better.

I eat very plain food (if I am male). I eat it off a paper plate with no knife or fork.
I eat very fancy food (if I am female) which has to be shipped in from a country atleast six hours away by plane. The further away, the better. If the plane can go around the globe twice on its way to my stage door, the dinner is even more special. If it is cold upon arrival, I have it heated up in a microwave. It must be stainless steel and it must be.....Delonghi. No other microwave will do.

Hatless Heads

A hat salesman from Kensington Chelsea used to sing his hat songs to the many ladies with hatless heads who passed his stall. A hat monger. A sing songer. A man who used to find himself with three dates for the evening by the late afternoon. A good job, a thriving stall....but so costly, these perks. The first...a coffee, the second, a bar, and the third, he would take home to bed. A busy man.
And he even met a very famous singer. She was a back up singer at the time...for a Michael Jackson. And offered him free tickets which he declined. Then a few months later, she was back with Don Henley. With his back stage pass, he found himself inundated with press and paparazzi. They asked him who he was. He could not pretend to be spectacular. He could not forget that he was ...a measly hat monger. They wanted him to be so much more than that as they had a few more spaces in their Elvis's dead brother. Make it up. But his friend wanted to go home...and so he took that fork in the road...the one ...he doesn't regret it. He feels that he doesn't, with his background as a philosopher of political history, have the credentials to be a rock star. Rock Stars? Do they need credentials?

Happy in my Unhappy State

If you put "assholes" and "US Embassy" into google at the same time, the results are interesting. Swap them around. They are interchangeable. You still get the same information.
Then when you google "How to deal with beaurocratic asswipes", Us immigration policy is the first thing on the list.
Apart from that unpleasant start to the day, things turned out absolutely rosey. There were cock a doodle doos in Coram fields in the morning enhanced by bleating goat noises as the goats were out munching on bushes.
Italian Papa Tony made filet mignon for lunch and plaice in a buttery sauce with broccli and mashed potato. It would be five star if only the premises were more cheery. I cheerified the kitchen until his two sponges were completely taken over by a brown grease. My chipping in ends when we run out of sponges.
Adrian in Hoxton gave further Machiavellian advice on how to deal with the embassy officials. "Line them up and shoot them." This was interwoven with tidbits of Greek, Italian and American history. "What fools some of these people are who call themselves classical scholars! Ofcourse Anthony and Cleopatra spoke Greek in private. Rome was taken over by the Greeks. Why would they trouble themselves with Latin in the bedroom? They weren't at school in that department." I had never thought about what language they spoke. It had never come up before.

And a thought on the poppy fields in Afghanistan. If the government wanted to end this opium and heroin trading, they would only have to take a sunny day like today when the Afghans have put down their guns and are collecting their crops. Surprise them and machine gun them down. But that would be too easy. He and I differ here slightly as I think it would be cruel to do that. He says it's called war. Poppies are historically their livelihood. What else would they do in their rocky terrain? Sunbathe? They can't. They have all those sheetlike robes on--part of the religion. And then, there was a poster which said...."I am not happy, but I am happy in my unhappy state." which seems to partially describe Adrian who is very cautious about being happy especially as he came only in the top five of fallen mayoral candidates for the upcoming election. The people elect. And the election committee caught them out on a technicality regarding the 330 signatures they need--ten from each of the 33 London Bouroughs. Therefore, it is his new mission to scour the clipboards of the more official candidates and see if he can catch them out on a technicality. This is the first time that they have had London Elect on the internet. It is some token democracy trying to spring up. He looks forward to more elections of this kind.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Marzipan Man

(Silly rhymes for sunny times)

Marzipan Man
Is he made in Japan?
Zipping it down
He's the clown
In the band

Lily faced lady
Lashes like gravy
Flickering winks
Pouting in pink

F flat Freddy
Comes when he's ready
Don't mind the suit
Is it made of jute?

G-string Greta-
Her wardrobe's together
Dressed up in leather
With boas of feather

Hope filled Harry
As he wanted to marry
This maiden named Jane
Cause she was not plain

Innocent Ina
Nobody's seen her
Come out of that room
Since the late afternoon

Fashion on the bus

Double Door Norma on Fashion Faux Pas.... Tonight's Performance At Euston's Exmouth Arms The Upstairs Cellar Folk Night.

What was that...? that woman on the bus with her holy thigh high tights....huge rips....And a mini skirt five sizes too small. hadn't even done up the zip. Quick exit from the bathroom ? No I think she couldn't do it up. Now I forgive her if she was just coming from a party....but as it was 7:30 pm at the time, it was either a very long party or ...she had just come from a brunch brawl. And then, she didn't look the brunch type.
As she had the body of retired athlete...big track and field thighs...even though she was under twenty five....It was not a good look ...those tights...
Did she actually put those tights on with the holes and rips already in them? Did she do that herself or buy them that way. Let's hope it was a DIY job...must have taken ages. Or did she make the rips after she had put them on?
Then a straw handbag .. the kind you only buy on holiday and leave in the hotel for the maid when you leave. In her case, she looked like she hadn't been on a holiday in a while..probably an oxfam find. Bet she got the tights there too. And she had it taped closed with silver electrical duct tape....Punky maybe...
I just had to get a photo, so I was trying to snap her from behind with my mobile phone...but she turned around...just texting.

Now tonight....I'm not one to be pointing the fashion finger as I am treading on the very edge of being fashionable myself by wearing this too bright orange cycling jacket. Why am I wearing this orange get up? To distract you from the message on my t-shirt...."drugs, sex, and rock n' roll." And also, I was clearing out my closet...decided that if I didn't wear this jacket toooo night, that it had to go out. I don't mean out as in Going out...on a I mean out as in out. This is the sort of jacket it is safe to wear on holiday as you won't be seein' those people again. However, I am changing my mind about this jacket. I think it's ok.

Why is it ok? Well look at the woman in the front row there. What is she wearin'? Bright pink velour trousers? Little secret...they double as pyjamas. Only she and her husband know that. Didn't have time to change. Husband just woke her up and put her in the car. But then, she did have time to find some little socks with a pink stripes that pull it all together just in time. And the top? Cream turtle neck...not exactly a statement is it?....but it looks comfortable. And if I were wearing pink pyjama bottoms to go out, I'd need something to comfort me.

Friday, 4 April 2008

The Annual Gift Man

The Japanese word for Father Christmas: The Annual Gift Man

Alarm clock: The Get Up Machine
Toaster: Bread Burner

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Out East

Deepest Hackney this evening....Medium deep actually....Viner or Vryner street.
I get it mixed up with a place in Champaign that had excellent icecream. That was Vryner.
Tonight, I had to forego my usual cuisine for fish fingers....not that I had to. I was in a fish finger mood. But I had to microwave them as I was in a rush to get out the door. It was a choice....stay home and eat marinated spicy sesame chicken on the grill or jam some fish fingers down you. Mind you...I had them with a nice sauce of horseradish and mayonnaise. Something I would do again even if not pressed for time.
Because Victoria Miro runs out of beer before 7:30 usually. That's being honest. Ofcourse I love the art there....always painterly paintings as opposed to specially arranged piles of brick with a deeper meaning hidden under the rubble...academic goulash. And they have the best patio in town. Silver balls floating in the pond...Better than fish...or fish fingers. And San Miguel beer tonight as opposed to the usual Peroni. Inka Essenhigh tonight. A mixture of Erte and cartoons. Whimsical sci-fi.
On with Tim Flitcroft to Viner street. Tim...believes that part of his soul is missing or so deeply scarred that he can't find it. Oh well. Have a mint.(something is moving in the closet)
Marco who was performing with douglas Parks at the sun and dove said that his performance went well. Lots of profanity was used, but he avoids the word "cunt" as this is a cheating word. It always gets a result. whereas "Prick" just lays there in a fuddle. Being so well read, he didn't have to use either as that is a cheap trick. And some tidbit of information...Cheap Trick played at my high school prom. I have touched Robin Zander in passing.
I made a slight scene at one gallery trying to use the toilet which was locked and ended up...that I talked with a man Tony who had a suit on. Easy to guess that he worked there as he was the only person in a suit. Suits are subversive in Medium Deep Hackney. And I might have a show there..Who knows. Nettie Horn.
Met stylish Fabio and his friend on the way home. His friend had worked at this gallery where I was desperately trying the knob to the toilet. The knob is still in tact. Fab and his friend were disappointed to see yet another gallery was opening on Mare Street. They were hoping for a sandwich shop. "As this is Kebab land. You can only eat pizza or Kebabs. " So sorry. They will have to make their sandwiches at home.

Oh Mighty Isa

Some people think, cause you got a door, they gotta knock on it.
Well. I tell ya.....My welcome mat is for my friends.
It ain't written in seven different languages.
It don't say, "Welcome everybody and anyone. I got nothin' to do, so let's come on."
But, there's always somebody who can't read. so...
Some who-are-you
Comes a-knockin' on my door other day....
A leather briefcase
Just waitin' to take all my money.

I said, "Hey brother. It ain't gonna fit in there. I got lots o' money."
He says,"It ain't no briefcase maam. It an attache...(a tash ay)"
A tash that the French word for ashtray or sommin'?
I say excuse me Mr. Attache. What is it you want seein' as you already have a briefcase?
Looks like a briefcase to me.
I keep up with the papers.
I didn't see they changed the word for it.

"Ain't it a nice day maam..."
Don't try to change the subject.
Don't trip me up with your "nice day."
It is a nice day and I don't got all day for you.
So what you sellin'?
Girlscouts with the cookies, Jehovahs with the Jesus magazines, life insurance, death insurance, house insurance, pet insurance.
Be assured. I don't need no insurance.
"I assure you maam. I ain't sellin' insurance today."
Oh. That must have been yesterday.

"I am wonderin' if I can interest you in a 6.5% ISA. You can put up to $3,000.00 in it."
An ISA? Is that anything like Isis? Oh mighty Isis? She beat her chest and the heavens break out in thunder. I remember her. She a friend of Wonder woman.
"No Maam. Ain't nothin' to do with superheroes. It a banking term. It a special place to put your money."
I got me a special place to put my money. It called a pocket....big pocket too.
"With all due respect madame, I understand that you have pockets. However, it's my job to convince you that it would be better for you if you were to put your money in a pocket called ISA."

By this time, the man's throat was gettin' dry.
I seeeeeaid, "Young man...Are you sure you ain't just collectin' fa ya girlfriend. I bet her name's Isa. "

Bullet Proof

Double Door Norma:

I am
Bullet proof now.
Absolutely Positively
Bullet proof.

What am I all beefed up about?
I ain't tellin'
Cause I ain't beefed up in the slightest
About this..
There ain't no situation.
This a done deal.
This a cashed cow.
This a charred sirloin.
It double "well-done"
Ain't even a steak left to eat.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Declutter Guru

The doorbell rings. Declutter guru arrives at the door...One free session. Who is the declutter guru? Someone off the gumtree or craigslist? What is their usual job? They don't have one. They have just arrived from a sunny part of the world where there is more surf than secretarial positions. How long have they been a declutter guru? Since they got a mobile phone. And do they type? Ofcourse not. They just text.

So let's see. What is this exercise ball sitting on top of your dryer?
It's an exercise ball.
And...let's be honest about this. Do you use it?
Yes. In a way. I look at it from time to time. It's motivational.
Would it be better deflated?
Oh no. That would be giving up. I would never re-inflate it.
So you want to keep this exercise ball up on top of the dryer?
Yes. For the moment, yes.
Is there not a danger of it falling while the dryer is running?
I did have that problem. However, I've put a phonebook up there to keep it in place.
And the phonebook. Is it useful?
It could be if the internet is down and I want to order a pizza or phone a taxi.
And...if the lights were to go out....I could burn it so that I can see.
And...if the heating were to go off...I could also burn it, for emergency heat.
Hmm. We'll leave those there for now. I also offer counselling, private training, interior design (an extension of the decluttering)
and tennis lessons.
Yes. I see you have some rackets in the closet.
Oh. Yes. They're also there for motivation.
Well then. You won't mind if I tell my friends about them?
Your friends?
Yes. My other job. I get 10% of everything my friends steal. I'm actually doing
two jobs at once. I'm casing the joint for a burglary.

Gargle With Pimms

Yes. Science has found that Pimms isn't just a drink . You can gargle with it. Add some tonic, and you can wash your windows. Things will be more clear. Put it in a spray bottle and do your whole house....sinks, tubs, counter tops. If people think you smell like a cocktail party, say,"'s my cleaning product." And if you haven't had a cocktail party at your house for a while, then the pleasing scent of Pimms will make you feel so much more social. Infact, you can even detox with it. Try a whole bottle in one evening. Do not add mixer. And don't mix with anyone for a few days after this as you will need to remain indoors for the full purifying Pimmification.

Would you like this learned man to show you Bulgaria? He will show you the mountain homes of monks, where to sip--the coolest bars and restaurants in Sofia, where to buy the latest designer booty off-loaded by border guards, and give you a history of everything. What more is there? Catch him now before he takes on yet another masters degree. Stop him before he becomes too learned for his own good. Contact art and travel now for further details.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Ashes to Ashes

And all men kill the thing they love,
By all let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!

--Oscar Wilde


For he who lives more lives than one
More deaths than one must die.

---Oscar Wilde

Wild is the Wind

Oh You Pretty Things

Double Door Norma will be performing Saturday the 28th of June at Decima Gallery the old Peanut Factory in Darkest Hackney. This is part of the Cowboy Art Fair....and on July 30th or 31st (whichever is a Saturday) at 8pm Down Stairs at the Kings Head in Crouch End.

The Theory of Everything

Press on the title link to read the meanderings of Bai Hai Feng in Chongqing "The Chicago of China"

Broken Mode

Escalating destruction

It started with the stiff shower knob.
I should have made a sign....
"This knob is too stiff. Use two hands."

Now it is broken.
We are in broken mode.
I am in an unwashed unshowered broken mood.
The stars have all aligned themselves with mars.
Beaming down on me
"Broken broken"

Then the lift decides it's on overload.
In other words, it will not go up and down
unless there are no passengers.
Fine. I can deal with it.
I will just leave my bicycle downstairs.

This morning?
I'm riding my bike, but something seems odd.
Oh. I have a flat tyre.
Because I left my bike downstairs
For the "youths"
who have ripped off the reflectors
and let the air out of the back tyre or punctured it.
So I keep on riding as don't want Ben late to school.

Then I walk the bike to the Gray's Inn Cycle shop.
Half way there, the inner tube comes out.
So I lift up the back tyre and wheel it there
Counting the steps as the bike is getting heavier.
I get to the bike shop.
There's a "for rent" sign in the window.

So. I take out the inner tube and wheel it
to the next bike shop
Lamb's Conduit
Where it will rest in pieces
until they fix it.