Thursday, 26 August 2010


An interesting time in Paris despite being under the weather with a chesty cough that is about to get some encouragement with a tour of the catacombs. ok no science museum

Hmm what happened in Paris?

At 5am I realised that Ben's bike was still in the living room with the wheels off. Riense had left it there saying it was easy to put back together, but it wasn't. I managed to get the chain back on and caught a little sleep. We rode to the station. It was a great feeling with the backpack on the back of the bike and Ben peddling away.

We arrived and rode to the meeting point Bon Sargeant finding the girl there waiting. She was nice and lead us to her flat...a dusty stairwell...the fourth or fifth floor. A small place she apologised for but didn't have to. She'd been in Turkey all summer. We hadn't talked over the phone. I told her I never do this without a phone call...and who could I be? But realized quickly that questioning in that direction was silly. She left her laptop for us and departed. And mentioned a boulangerie she was crazy about. Sadly we left that til later in the holiday. It really was good bread.

Everyday we rode around Paris. Down the Canal Saint Martin son and Mum...Ben maybe the youngest cyclist in Paris. Stopping by the local park along the canal early morning pain and glan...a custard filled doughnut for Ben that he would half of then leave for me. Marbles in the park. Chats with mums. One stylist with two a bmx fiend, the other with a skateboard. Both in private in Paris 250 a semester. She said all the state schools were bad with kids spitting in the playground. I know the feeling. Spitting is awful. Some gypsy kids from Bulgaria joined in. They lived in the van parked by the side of the road. He was a spitter and a litterer. uhh. But he shared his sweeties. And another fine. I have her address. She lived on the square-Republic. two girls. And an invitation to lunch. Opening the door to her flat, I was shocked. One room just big enough for a double bed and a round window that any child could easily fall out of, a hot plate, a fridge...student quarters. Why did she live there? Why didn't she live on the outskirts in a larger place? Three of them in that room. I sat on the one chair and had a cup of tea. We'd been at the marche...had a great time finding all sorts of bargains all for one Euro...leather pants for fifty centimes. a few t-shirts for Ben. We met them often in the park before riding around for the day.

One day we rode up past the millinary district to Pere la chaise then back towards Bastille where we met a biker doing wheelies. We chatted and Ben tried his bike. Raphael Chiquet. He was friends with Mattias Dandois and was a pro bmxer himself. Ben swung in the hammock. The Seine...a quartet on a bridge, a lady with a dog who took long walks, a family in Place Des Vosges. The Marchand Gallery still there waiting for my proposal. A sandman sitting at a cafe with kind eyes followed us to Jardin de Luxembourg. Many dinners with him a heart shaped potato we found, and talks of coming to England, up the Eiffel Tower. Didn't do museums.
Ben City of sciences surfing on a board with green pneal behind reflecting Hawaiian waves...would have stayed there for hours. a band set up, a media section he enjoyed the on to a video of how birth works...he was transfixed. I was wondering if it was a good idea. But he had to know and so watched that a few times. Wanted the claw in the gift shop. Still talks about it months later. Impressionable. disneyland ... I cried...Maybe because when I was a girl, it was magical, but now it was a nightmare....waiting in line, losing the child at the treehouse, finding him watching a cars video in the lost child centre happy to stay there the rest of the day...what a chum, parades a spot of rain a long day a long trip home with two other kids equally out of control due to the last phases of the summer holiday taking their toll. Worn out parents. an odd man in the station in a bright pink suit. Our Luxembourg man waves us goodbye, gets a happy meal for Ben It was a good goodbye and thank God we got out of Holborn for once that summer. The only thing I will remember apart from the fiasco with the camping.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Packing List

Where can we put this?
Ahh. In the drawer.
Days of cleaning and uncleaning.
Some kind of Hotel California from Hell.
Tie it up into a bundle and he cuts it open.
Put his train box out for recycling twice and twice he got it out again.
Do or die we are leaving tomorrow even if we just go with the basics which is what it is looking like at this point.

Ticket printout
Bike reference numbers
tools for dismantling bike
paints, paper, paintbrushes
cup gift
camera thing for uploading
food for the train

Rest of flat to clean:
toss the rest of it in a suitcase and put it in the shed
Lock the filing cabinet
Hide the dildo

So where's my fucking Pony?

I don't think we'll send it to Grandma.
She might find it funny. A little girl praying with the thought where's my fucking pony. We laughed. Her dear little grandson. That's the card he liked the best. And when I suggested something a little more appropriate, he chose the card with a little boy on it. It read...When I grow up I want to be....a famous homo-sexual. She's not big on ponies but given the choice...I think she'd prefer the pony. Well, it was a gay bookstore. And Jim is nice. We got chatting about house swaps. I gave him all he needs to know to do it himself. He started to wonder what I was getting out of it. Do I work for craigslist? No. No commission. It's my religion. And the girl in the cafe from Milan. She went to IED where Alex teaches. I gave her Richard's list. So a good walk back from our excursion that didn't happen.

The dried up hunched over woman with the clip-board said we weren't on the list. I was feeling a bit like a Jew in wartime. I just told her to speak to Riense. He arrived late and said we could go. But one driver was ill. Imagine letting down over a hundred people for a trip as you have no other drivers available. I've never seen that happen, but so glad to not be going. Half on half off an hour later...who was really deserving of going to Brighton for the day. Pitiful. A full on debate continued as we left.

We have had a constructive day painting our pony grey and covering up the mildew. So many other essential things to do but passports and the's enough. I am so done with this place. I barely have the energy to leave. I told her my address. She hadn't heard of Boswell street so I told her it was in Chicago. Fuck her and her fucking clip board.

And the lactose intolerant lady who said I couldn't leave my backpack in the room for twenty minutes while I sorted something out. Get yourself a child and see if you have time to worry about the health and safety of what might happen if a backpack is left unattended. These fascist council idiots. I never told her to fuck off, but the whole time I was doing my essentials, I was giving her a silent piece of my mind that would have ended me up in a fucking court case if I said it out loud. I just used the non-violent approach and left my backpack there.

Summer rhymes with dummer. There has been a lesson in it. It's called forward planning. Thinking a few months ahead. Thinking I could survive the summer without getting out of here. Don't I know myself by now? I don't know how much longer I will have this flexibility and freedom. It comes at a price.

The biggest high this year was being stranded in Valencia on a deserted beach. And it wasn't even our fault. We had every right to be there. The same address for five years. That is a record. Many people stay in the same place all their life. It's normal. They accumulate things. They have good friends. Making good friends in London has been like trying to grow a palm tree in the arctic. Maybe I just don't have time. We could easily be at a picnic today at the Tate, but we just didn't go there. A tomb of invitations. Social grave. But gravity when I go out. I love it.

My biggest problem lately is the crap computer I'm using and the lack of a proper website. Something very simple to some people. All I think about is Ben and what he needs. I am trying to think about myself again. It is like winding a watch backwards. I did it. I bought some new shoes for myself for his birthday. Two pair. And then even a third. I think my family don't realise that in order for Ben to be happy and healthy, I have to be a little bit happy myself. The happy. Where is that happy?

Little Stick Man

Is this London?
No that was India.

That was not real.
That was real?
That was real.

I was still in some kind of twilight zone when I ran into the woman who looks like Shilan and she said she'd have a spare computer for me at the end of September.

Maybe that is what it's like to go there.
I will go just like I always wanted to--I reckon that might be the core of the world.

I just want to mess up his hair
I just wonder if....

No, if you can't hear, you are not are deaf.
Deaf and dead are different.

No, some months have more than 31 days...and some days have months inside them.
Such is the jumbled up duvet of time.

If you can't sell it, give it away.
If you can't give it away, sell it.
But if you have a secret, don't tell it.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Spatula sketch

Reaches into purse...after a few ingredients, pulls out a burned spatula.

I bring you this burned spatula. It always burns in the same place...right along the neck. Third degree burns from the looks of it, most recently from making blue pancakes. Why blue? Not enough yellow to make green.

I like suspense... little surprises. It's burned, but it hasn't snapped yet and what better place to snap a spatula than right here with you. Just a moment please.

(snaps spatula)

Ok. Didn't snap. That was surprising. My Tae Kwon Do's a bit rusty. You were excited. There was tension...expectation...and....that's can go home now...tension and expectation...better than nothing. Utterly climactic.

Then again, not all is lost. Still in one piece. I can give it to my sister for Christmas. I give as good as I get. Wash it first ofcourse. It's been places. Paint over the burn. What did she give me last year? Was it not discount panties? A fortnight's worth of panties in two parts....There was a five pack of do you say...period pants...very plain. Black cotton--no pattern...hides everything...beyond non-descript. And then a few obtuse triangles of lace strung together in a sweat shop by someone making 1000 panties a day. Irregular uninspired ill-fitting up the ass polyester.

Sexy panties from your boyfriend? Yes.
Sexy panties from your sister who you see once a year and get on with for about three minutes? No. Not the crotch cover I'm looking for.

So. I took them back. I don't like something riding up my ass all day reminding me of my sister. They were irregular. It would be alright if my clit was off to the side, but actually it's straight up and down. I think the seamstress was falling asleep when she made these. And when my sister found them, she was obviously jumping for

The line was long. So I started guessing about how much I'd get once I returned them. Ten pair...five pack maybe five dollars. The lacey ones...ten dollars. Ok. Fifteen dollars. That's three trips to Taco Bell. ...or Some Aveda hair gel.

It's my turn. The woman beeps the barcode. (In Midwestern accent) I'm afraid you can't return these. They were on discount. Seven pairs at 30 cents....two dollars ten. Three pair for a dollar...and the five paaaaaack....was discontinued so no return on thaaaayaaat.

Two dollars ten? Not the taco I was looking for. Uhhm. Are you sure? I thought you could return everything to this store. Can you check again?

Woman goes in the back to ....whatever with the panties...comes back.

Uh uhhhm... Madam. I'm afraid I think you've worn these panties. We don't take back worn panties at all.

What was she doing back there? Sniffing them? Holding them up to the light? Isn't that beyond her job description? Does she know how much you can get for worn panties these days? I just added value to them. Did I wear them? Well. I tried them on.

I'm afraid that trying them on constitutes wearing them maam.

It was a rather deflating experience. She had her finger poised on the security alarm ready to alert the guards of an irrate customer. But I surprised and just said...I hope you've had a nice day.