Saturday, May 31, 2008


Yesterday was a very decadent space in time in that when there were three of us a round of coffees cost over 6 quid! At one point we were four and included crisps; £10 later, we sat in a window in comfortable armchairs, advertising our affluence - even though we're all as poor as honest working folks. If we were more like the general public we would spend our free money on £100 trainers, if we had free money.

So, it was Sea-salt and Balsamic vinnegar crisps for brunch; ZaZa had made beautiful merangues with cream and gave us three each - those I took to work with me and had for dinner, after a first course of chips. Wot a life.

There was a lot of sauntering between cafes; the sun was present; we peered in stylish windows at stuff we could never afford; I took photos but they didn't work out as perfect as I'd hoped. In Royal Exchange Square we fell upon a vintage jewellery shop, only opened three weeks ago; I had to buy myself a little pair of 30s earrings for £10 - I discovered the limitations of the phone camera; it doesn't do macro, so the beautiful jewellery came out blurred.

Tilly and I slagged off the cost of crafty things dangling from strings in a shop on Queen Street, so I've got feathers and sparkly bits on my mind, ideas for future projects; of course mine will be better than theirs and have more value for money - I might ask them to sell them for me.

I had intended on going home to write a little before I went to work but ZaZa was late, of course, and I hadn't seen her for a few years so the afternoon stretched like a cat in the sun, and we were all content with our place in the world, in Glasgow's coffee houses.


Trains growl through tunnels;
a promising presence deep
but ordinary.

I cafe-culture
from Nero to Nero, one
solvent afternoon.

I should be sticking
feathers and glitter on things
that dangle from strings.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This is Balloch, on the River Leven, which flows into Loch Lomond. Yesterday I took myself on a date, my Artist's Date, and bought an all-day bus ticket in Glasgow for £3.20; it took me 90 minutes and three buses but I eventually got there - it's only about 15 miles from where I live and maybe 25 minutes in a car.

Ooooh, lovely fish and chips out of the wrapper, sitting by the river; you can't beat it, especially if there's sun glinting off the water.

There are two dogs here, having a paddle but by the time I got to them with the camera they were leaving.

I just missed the ducks here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I am sitting amongst copious amounts of chocolate, at last. I've been good for a whole week - didn't know I had that much will-power! But today was the day, and I deserve a treat. Now I'm stuffed but happy. Happy too because I had an idea for a new project this morning and let it control me all day, which has ended in the creation of a new blog just for it; the blog-novel will be an interesting (I hope) development to watch. It's called THE POST and can be found in my links or profile, or click here. I am planning a twice-weekly delivery of posts, so let's see if I can keep that up.

Sylvia called me this morning and we babbled on for more than two hours; that's probably one of the reasons I keep either forgetting to call her or putting it off till there's more time - because I know we're at it for hours! But these little bits of time just multiply into years. We usually just pick up where we left off, as if we'd met up only weeks before but it will have been years - this time it might be about four. It's good to talk. She is well and is the proud gran of three. It's so hard to believe that we'll be 60 in six years; where the hell did it all go?

UPDATE: still going the Artist's Way and doing my morning pages; Morag is coming along nicely so we're leaning towards optimistic again; but I haven't really cleaned anything for a while, so am living in the valley of dust. Can't have it all, I suppose.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


If music be the food of LIFE sing along with this...


March 2003
(Just found this mad letter I sent to my old school friend)

Hello hen

Seeing as you’ve lost my address and fone number I thought I may as well send it to you along wi a letter full of tripe! ….first break…just going for my bath….back soon.

I’m back. Gave the dead-ends a walloping as well. Maybe I should take a wee course in shoemaking, it’s the only thing I don’t do.

I joined that ‘FRIENDS REUNITED’ on the net. If you want any contact you have to pay £5 for the year. I paid because I saw the first boy I ever kissed was there. You lot made me kiss him through the railings between the boy and girls playgrounds. I think I was about 13! So I emailed him, telling him what I remembered and he emailed back! He said he remembered a lot worse events from his school days and that a kiss should be one of the nicer memories. He’s in New Zealand, got his own business, a wife and 2 daughters. He also told me that he’d bumped into an old schoolmate a few years ago who told him that 4 people from his class were dead!

I’ve had loads of work this week, so next month’s wage should get me out of debt - well the debt I pay…I mean there’s debt you forget about and debt you run away from. Mind you, I think most of mine’s fell so far behind me I completely forget about it. Well, time for another break, I’ve got to go and tape something for Amazon…I’m always late taping things for her and she goes mad. Time also for a cappichino with scoooshy cream.

I’m watching Kevin Costner and nipping in here to write this. Adverts are over, I’ll be back. That film, ‘A Perfect World’ it’s really scary…the thought of that kid with a man who doesn’t know if he’s bad or not. The whole way through it you like him and accept his faults, like murder, but then it hits you. Makes you think about how much you let people away with, how much you forget. I was watching Law and Order last night and a woman mentioned date-rape and how she’d always thought it was her own fault. I remember that happened to me, but I wasn’t traumatised, I just shrugged it off and learned a lesson. And Roseanne used to berate me for laughing at her cause it happened to her in my house. We were young then, and thought that a woman changing her mind half-way through had to just get on with it. Well, I think I must’ve thought that. I don’t know. How’d this get so serious? And now I come to think about it, when it happened to me it was in Carrie’s house and she laughed at me when I told her about it, she said I imagined it, or that I was drunk and it hadn’t happened like that. I remember I couldn’t look at the guy again. We used to see him in our local pub. She’d talk to him, but I wouldn’t even look at him or acknowledge him.

It’s late now. I’ve been watching the last ever episode of the X-files…the last words ‘Maybe there’s hope’. Not a chance in hell is what I say…we’re all doomed!!!

       *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
NOW, 2008 You'll never believe this: I edited this find earlier today, planning to post it tomorrow (today now) this old letter I wrote to Sylvia (remember only the dead have their real names). Well, when I returned from work I found a message waiting for me on yes, wait for it - FRIENDS REUNITED! from Sylvia. We haven't been in touch for a few years - probably since I sent her this mad missive. W~ow. I just love stuff like this.

Friday, May 23, 2008


These adds just killed me. Do people actually pay for this stuff?


'a gentle yet powerful therapy to help the body's natural tendency to find health and optimum balance...for life's experiences such as birth, accidents, toxicity and emotional problems...that affect the body and cause disease.' (you may need 1-3 treatments to gain the full benefit) Cost is £40 per session and £180 for five.

1 day seminar £110 per person.

1 day seminar £110 per person

From the Kinharvie Institute of Facilitation.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008



‘Let me clean your carpets
your toes will think they’re in Persia’

His top lip stretched
and crumpled, stretched
and kissed.
I sorted my face into a quiet smile
the one my mother used.

‘Be bad luck to say no’
He had wrists
like emergency room doctors’
long brown hairs curled
at the strap of his watch
I couldn’t get away
from the thought of his fingers
inside me.

‘I’ll trim your hedge then’
His eyes kissed my feet
a laughing mouth
into the shade.

‘You’ve a couple of loose tiles’
It was cooking on the step
a breeze sauntered through the house
and flapped cotton against my legs.

‘I could save your life’
He leaned nearer
and spread his hands
under my eyes.
I watched the sun spin
on gold sleepers
while the smell of me seeped
out of the neck of my dress.

Published in Iron Magazine 1995

Sunday, May 18, 2008



I've been trying to learn the workings, or some, of my phone; beginning with photos and the whole editing suite that comes with the package. I am slightly more informed than I was a couple of hours ago, but still clapping my hands at happy accidents and insights but confused most of the time. Now, I am able to twist and turn upright; I suppose it's always a good thing to be upright. The images from the phone wouldn't let me edit them on the computer's software, but now I'm a wiser woman. My god, the places that photos can hide on a phone is amazing, but I got the little buggers.

These above are from the Art Galleries at Kelvingrove, and the fireworks from my bedroom window maybe at New Year; I really can't remember, but I thought the phone camera had done a great job here.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Here's a little bit of something I posted a while ago:

I was reading a blog about secrets and came across one which was a photo of a very fat woman, and written on it was, ‘I am eating myself to death because I don’t have a gun’. It wasn’t till an hour or so later that the whole concept suddenly dawned on me; suicide by overeating. How long would it take and how many diseases and chronic conditions would you pick up along the way? I never thought about eating myself to death; although it might be quite evident to some people that I am on that path whether I’ve planned it or not. On one hand it might seem a good way to go but not if you arrive at the stage that you can’t leave the house because your legs won’t hold you up, and you can’t fit in a car, bus, train, plane without having one specially made for you! And, is it still suicide if it takes 20 years?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I’ve gone ‘The Artist’s Way’ which might be detrimental to the blog for a while, but the great thing about it is; I’m writing and actually getting something done. In the last two days I’ve solved a problem with the section of the novel I’ve been working on, so it’s almost finished – the section I mean, not the novel.

I’ve been kind of stuck here for a while but I hadn’t thought of it as being blocked; I don’t know if I believe in artist/writer’s block, but something has happened and I’m only on day three! I’ve done my morning pages every day (I don’t do mornings) and I am beginning to look at what I’m eating and doing. You never know, I could be reborn within a month. Agents and publishers look out, ‘cause here I come!

Monday, May 12, 2008



I’ve teleported myself back to The Muscular Arms; this was a pub in Glasgow, not the nickname of uber-hunk. I was 18/19 and working in the super-coolest bar in the city; life was absolutely marvellous, and after my deflowering I was some kind of confident, as a woman. It’s a Pizza Hut now, but back then there was nothing like it. They’ve changed the name of the street and it’s now Nelson Mandela Place; my brain can’t retrieve the old name. A lot happened in my 1973; the main thing being the death of my father. I’d spent most of the time mooning around in the deep and meaningful words of The JeanGenie, Daniel and Happy Xmas War is Over

I don’t know what the theme was supposed to be in the main bar, probably just whacky: there was half a car (yellow beetle I think) on one wall; Rupert the Bear hung in a corner; and a dummy dressed like an old man leaning on the bar, became the cause of many one-sided arguments because he wouldn’t accept drinks or cigarettes or join in a song. I grew up in that job; that was where I learned to love coffee. For years I’d tried it with and without sugar or milk but just couldn’t get on with it, and then suddenly, coffee was the new chocolate! I felt at home and surrounded by family; there were parties somewhere every weekend – my mother reported me missing because I’d been gone for days…but she hadn’t contacted work. I’d either borrowed or bought clothes and continued life as normal but ended each night at a different party, waking up on strange sofas.

The Starlight Lounge, upstairs, had an ornamental stage with Fred ‘n’ Ginger stepping out in a dance (it might not have actually been them, but dancers anyway). It was all romance, sparkle and shadows up there. I think I only ever worked lunch in The Starlight. The specialities I remember were hot beef sandwiches and oxtail or tomato soup – fabulous combinations. Then we would go round to Diggs (the other coolest place to be seen) and eat cheesecake; their cheesecake was a seriously crumbly base and very soft creamy-cheese with great dollops of strawberry or cherries and sauce. My father was in and out of hospital every three weeks; he loved my long skirts and laughed till he couldn’t breathe at the make-up. We had to lock up the dog whenever he came home because he couldn’t take the weight of happy animal. I loved telling him the tales of my many mistakes.

When the new bar on the second floor opened, the theme was a surprise; even we didn’t know what it was going to be. They had opened up the old close (stairs and landings), keeping the original tiles on the walls and the old wrought-iron banisters; it was a journey into the past, to a version of old Glasgow. Oor Wullie’s Bar had a gigantic mantelpiece as a gantry, complete with a pair of wally dugs on each end, and high up on the wall was a beautifully decorated toilet cistern – you pulled the chain to ring the bell and call, ‘TIME.’ People would wait by the bar, hoping to see us pull that chain. Across the ceiling there was a pully (washing line) hung with huge bloomers, vests, bras and socks. I loved working up there but never used the toilet to call time.

I often ended up in the tiny basement bar by myself; it was a kind of mellow and quiet space that I was definitely too young to appreciate; I wanted to be in the midst of all the action. My father was the only one who could answer my question, ‘What’s a pink gin?’ A couple had come to the bar and while she sat down he got the drinks. Well, I searched that bar for a bottle of pink gin and neither he nor she told me any different; they obviously hadn’t a clue what it was either. So she had to have something else. None of the other staff knew; we were all too young to know something as dead as pink gin.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I’ve got two lots of homework to do: Morning Pages, and 20 lines of iambic pentameter. I suppose the former should be done first, otherwise it’ll all end up iambic. Of course I do realise that this is not morning, but that kind of thing doesn’t matter to me; my life has its own time zone.

Still reading bits of books - can’t seem to get a whole one to stay still and on my mind for longer than fifteen minutes. I discovered a little pile of lit mags with me inside them somewhere (they stink of the fire) and it was fun browsing work that I’ve either discarded or lost; I must type the viable ones up to file. Funny the things that survived that fire; I mean, all my old notebooks, my clothes, shoes, books, art materials, photos, negatives, furniture and I hate to think of what else went up in smoke…and some scabby old poems make it out.

I don’t think my memory will ever be able to recall everything that was in that cupboard – fate has me in its grasp and I must continue with what I have now. I had an email from Lulu in Spain last week. She said that the Spanish police have her car but I don’t know which car she meant; the one she uses or the old black one that’s full of our junk! So that would be more of my possessions going PUFF! Mind you, I haven’t seen that stuff for eighteen months, and have no clear idea of what is or isn’t there, so maybe I don’t need it.

What I need is to live in the present and concentrate on my future; I need to write, to position myself either with a pen in my hand or my fingers splayed across this bloody keyboard!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


These have been very hard to capture; the gold embellishment glares back at the camera – I’ve tried it from all directions and this is the best I can get. I haven’t got a scanner. The art is just wonderful but there is no explanation as to how they’ve created them or who for that matter; I assume that Klimt is dead and these seem to be collages of his collages – some kind of insightful collaboration.

I’ve been browsing the cards at work – not using them yet; I need to know them a bit better for that. Angel and I were discussing the interpretations of some of them last night; for example the 4 of Wands is a woman with a baby – we are more used to the house image here, but I suppose you would have to feel secure and safe to create a family…barring accidents. And I love the way the women swim under the 7 of Swords, with that knowing and clever manipulation. The 9 of Cups is satisfied indeed but the absolute beauty in the overall picture of the 5 of Wands takes my breath away; you have to allow yourself the freedom to see the fragility of bones here as strength and determination to overcome obstacles – the background is stunning.

The 10 of Cups is a true representation of the life I lead in my early thirties; it was all wine and beer and 'Does my bum look fat in this?'

It’s always amazing to work with a new pack of cards; there is suddenly space inside your head, room for reaching out and catching new inspiration – time also to discard familiarities and lazy readings. I’ve got about six but used to have a lot more. There is always more than one way to read a card so replacing the usual image in front of us frees our minds. I spent time with a spiritual mentor many years ago and she taught me to read from nothing; the cards are just tools and we take notice of the details that are meant to capture our attention – that’s how the connection or bond is made between the reader and the questioner, that’s how we can pick up and describe parts of their lives that we could never know.

I’ve found reference to the designer in the little book (I hadn’t looked properly). It says, ‘Klimt and his strong allegorical subjects inspired the Tarot designed by A.A. Atanassov…The symbolism inherent in the Tarot is perfectly coherent with that symbolist culture that also gave origin to Klimt’s artwork.’

Friday, May 09, 2008


Tilly and I treated the city to our most scrumptious lunch outfits; we sailed our considerable ships out into the flash of a Glaswegian summer – and heads did turn. She sported a walking stick with a crystal ball clasped in a bronze hand, and my bag dazzled the streets with mirrors – we left the bells at home, on other accoutrements.

It was an amazing escape from the cave and my hermit existence and I made great use of the phone camera. Isn’t it fab? We were disgusted with the Gallery of Modern Art; it is a bare place, littered with someone’s idea of Art - neither mine, nor, I suspect, any of the general tax-paying public! I was very vocal in my opinions, as always, especially when we found fabulous art in a little gallery in Prince’s Square. I wish I had taken some photos there.

We had several sit-downs with coffees and drinks, and eventually, lunch, before I went to work at five. I remember a great conversation about one of Tilly’s old neighbours hanging condoms (and other interesting objects) on the washing line; she whispered most of this tale, sniggering, because there was a very small child only inches from us - in a pram I should add.

The day started well with the arrival of my lovely books from Amazon; The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron; The Ode Less Travelled by Steven Fry; and Now That You’re Back by AL Kennedy. It ended with the absolutely fabulous Klimt Tarot cards I had to buy from Borders; they are a whole gallery of art that I can play with anytime I want – completely amazing, and inspirational; already I am imagining the collages I can create with my old photos! Oohhh , life is a minestrone indeed!



Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Dear Pam

If I sent you something belonging to someone, would you be able to tell me who they were and what kind of people? I’ve bought something that was supposed to have belonged to Dean, on that ebay place, but I need it confirmed before I’ll really believe it. Oh, maybe I shouldn’t have told you that it was his. Well never mind, I trust you, and you’d have known it anyway I’m sure. I’ve enclosed it with this letter.

Also, Sonjia said something the other day that really got me all wound up; she said that Dean was seen with a woman in a London restaurant...she’d read it in one of her stupid magazines. Is it true? He told me that he wasn’t going out, that he spent all his time reading up for the next show, or just watching TV. We like a lot of the same things; he loves Midsomer Murders too! I realise that he is a man and will do all sorts, sometimes, but I got the feeling that he had kind of grown up, and therefore learned something since his divorce. Sonjia still doesn’t believe that I’m working for Dean Webster Live! She is very old fashioned though, and doesn’t keep up with modern technology. I’m taking a course - a computer driving lesson thingy, and then I’ll be able to email you instead of waiting for the post...though I do love the postman bringing letters to me: not just bills.

I was startled by your photo on the website yesterday and felt very close to you because of the resemblance to my mother. It always worried me that I looked nothing like her and she’d say I was my father’s living image; he died before I was born. It was also very interesting to notice that our dates of birth are close. Are you sure that yours is right? And do you know if you were adopted or not? I think it might be possible that we are twins. I know that might sound pretty mad but if you look at this picture of my mother (which is also included) you’ll see what I mean. You really could be her daughter. Maybe we were separated at birth...or maybe had the same father, but that wouldn’t explain why you looked so much like my mother, would it?

There must be an explanation. Maybe we could meet and talk about it. I’m free pretty much all the time so could make any date you suggest, though I suspect you’re madly busy. So, if we were really sisters, maybe that explains my interest in the Tarot and all that stuff – maybe I could be psychic too!

Ooooh, this is getting exciting. I can’t wait to hear from you. Now, don’t be afraid of my feelings, I can take it; I would love it if we were sisters, but it isn’t the end of the world if we aren’t. But maybe we could get a DNA test to make sure.

Love Isabel X (sis)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Thinking about Sex and The City, and how some people don’t like it because of SJP or whatever. I don’t think I see SATC so much as hear it; it’s all column and my mind seems to be fastened on that – it probably wouldn’t matter to me who played the parts as long as the acting didn’t get in the way of the words (is SATC a blog?).

My brain is a very mysterious thing; sometimes it doesn’t recognise and add up the total of what’s being said – it just concentrates on the melody. I’ve been singing certain songs for years but only recently noticed that I don’t really know what the song is about; I haven’t been listening to the words, well not completely – think I stop somewhere before the middle so that I can never sing a song by myself right to the end.

I’m faulty; a broken computer – not in control of my faculties. It must be the kids; they made me what I am – they turned me into a monster. It was in fact them who helped me discover the switch so I could turn the abominable noise off; when Carrie came over to mine she couldn’t bear it and was amazed that I, obviously, could – she only had one child. I could read a book in the middle of screaming, whining and complaining (as long as I didn’t have a hangover). Having three kids was just insane.

So has that switch come a bit loose over the years? Can I only focus on one thing at a time? I can still multi-task but only if I talk to myself. There was a time when I couldn’t read or study with music on: now I can sit in my own little bubble of silence in the middle of football and sport conversations. When this happens my daughter will say, ‘Mum’s gone.’ And I used to have a problem with noisy neighbours, barking dogs but even their kind have receded – I have no need for ear plugs when I have that inner world as a retreat.

Does all this mean that I’ll be barking before I’m seventy? Or am I already there and just don’t recognise the signs? Should I be slipping into my purple and choosing a good walking stick?

Monday, May 05, 2008


Reflections of TopCat on the laptop and a venture out of the cave; beautiful architecture in Argyle Street. For the tiny sum of £25 I got: 2 lamps; 1 single bedding set; 2 beautiful notebooks; mother-of-pearl photo frame; fancy mirror; and 2 square plates (red) for my bottom drawer. When Oracle told me that Au Naturale had gone bust my first words were, 'Oh, a sale!'

SHOCKING SIGHT - GLASGOW FOLK BARE ALL BEFORE MAY IS OOT! Sunshine all day, so far, and people showing white skin - though I did come across a tanned little thing wearing lots of bling; mostly on her bag. And for my travel-log, a young woman on the subway with black and white striped hair, not very well done I might add. All this excitement and no chocolate! Must send an urgent message to Musician in the next room to get on his bike.

The photos were taken by my phone; after six months I am finally able to get them transferred to the computer – don’t know how I couldn’t do it before, duh! I’ve been forgetting about the camera on this phone; it was the reason I got the bloody thing, and I’ve never even tuned in the radio! Or used the little Bluetooth ear thingy. When I go up country, I’ll give it all a go; I’ll be sitting in the highlands somewhere, scribbling beautiful sound-bites in my new notebook while listening to Classic FM, after a chat on the Bluetooth thingy with thingy.

Sunday, May 04, 2008



Lazy, creative, pragmatic, experienced runaway granny
Quietly-verbal, outrageously-opinioned, crafty crazy manic dreamer
Optimistic, spiritual, obsessive, cynical, determined hermit

I, voluntarily, picked up this tag from WomagWriter’s blog but I’m not passing it on – if you want it just do it. It reminded me of the 30 second pitch of your novel to an agent you meet in an elevator. Lots of magazines ask for little biogs and I’m always unsure as to what people want, so maybe an experience in snippets is in order.

Here’s one I did earlier:

I fell into middle age when I was 40; sensible overnight – payback for the years of sex, alcohol and trashy high-heels. I’ve been flat-shoed since I was 35 while my idiot pal stumbled around Gateshead in the snow, falling in and out of her multi-story footwear. Now I am soooooo the sparkling, intelligent, unruffled and together older woman; it all depends on where your priorities lie. My friend (of the high-heels) has a problem with self-esteem – and she’s slim and attractive: I’m fat and bursting with laid-back enthusiasm for life, and death - in order to feel happy with the outside body you have to live happily within it.

There is another one full of bragging publications which I won’t bore you with; I think it’s definitely time to spice myself up in a more amusing package, with a sprinkle of everything so watch this space. So, have I just set myself on yet another tangent? Perhaps, but who’s counting tangents? It crossed my mind yesterday to tidy up my pile; to list the novels, short stories, flash, poetry, plays, sketches blah blah blah; don’t forget the autobiography; the blogging; the ideas; the future projects; the half-done synopses; the floating bits; the old bits; the morphic bits; and always, the sneaky little tadpoles tickling my memory with half-remembered dreams…like the one last night where the bird leapt onto a (huge) motorised butterfly and began to attack it like a woodpecker! How did I get a brain like this? And what would it be like if I could remember all the dreams?

Saturday, May 03, 2008


So, sometime next week I have to spend lots of time lounging around Waterstones with piles of animal psychology/behaviour books and Earl Grey. Oh it’s a hard life indeed; my very bad guy from the Josie & Rita novel is going to be some kind of expert on both. I’ve just been reading Susan Hill blogging about writing in cafes, but there’s no need for me to report on Costa because it’s the same all over and everyone knows that Waterstones is Paradise.

Interesting week coming up then, and TopCat is going into heat, see the vibrating tail! She’s vocal again, and rubbing herself on anything that’s not flat; my old shoes; bags; tables; my feet; and don’t forget the galloping through the flat in the middle of the night, leaping across me in my bed, up onto the windowsill above my head, THUMP, down again. For a little cat she makes some noise landing on the floor. Also, I’m planning on getting her a collar and lead; she’s never seen another animal (except my grandchildren) and I want to see what she thinks of grass – when the weather is warmer of course.

I got lots of bits of work done in work last night; been taking The Writer’s Workbook in with me. I buy these books and don’t use them, so now I’m giving myself a real slap – this is a good workbook, with some great ideas for writing…I think I’ve had it a year and barely looked in it.. Here are two exercises with potential:

‘Keep a travel journal for a week. Detail every journey you make. Include maps and illustrations, snapshots or sketches. Talk about the souvenirs you bring back, like fluff from a carpet. Make the smallest, most banal or disgusting detail amusing and alive.’

‘Describe a barn as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, the war or death. If worked hard enough, a wonderful image will be evoked, a real barn would stand before us but one filled with mysterious meaning. And another of his suggestions: a lake as seen by a young man who has just murdered his girlfriend. Do not mention the murder or the girl.’ (This is from John Gardner 1984) Change gender if you want of course [me].

This book has been catching my eye all week, from the bottom of a pile on the unit. Already I’m thinking of the travel journal and am cleaning out the camera, rubbing my eyes and preparing my lazy self for an onslaught of writing practices.

Friday, May 02, 2008


I'm spitting fur; the postman has just slipped a card through my door, saying that there was no answer. NO ANSWER my bloody foot - I've only been sitting here for two days waiting for my lovely books from Amazon! I called and complained, again. There were apologies but no delivery till Tuesday because it's bank holiday weekend. Ooooh, I want to string them up, these bloody lazy postmen...and there's a bloody lift!

On a pleasant note, I'm reading a wonderful blog called Maya's Granny, in my links below. I wanted to read it from the beginning so I don't know too much about recent posts, only that she's moved from Alaska to California because she's ill; actually in hospital quite poorly right now. But what a wonderful blog; very interesting and readable posts. I just pop in now and again and read a few - am at July 2006 and the one called friendship is lovely, funny.



D: 26.10.07 at 12.06 - Mum, what the heck am I doin. I can’t even get the court date rite. Wats gona happen now – it just feels like I’ve already lost him. I’ve got nufin. A wana just curl up n die.

D: 26.10.07 at 16.24 - Sorry 4 yellin at u mum, a don’t know wats the matter with me. I’m going now to collect hero. X

M: 26.10.07 at 16.41 - I understand. Don’t make a habit of it. Try not to worry.

D: 27.10.07 at 12.10 - Hi mum, gona do me a fava n loan me £25 til tues, a need to get gas n fags n sum food, n I was gona take hero 4 a mcdonalds. I’m in bed now – horable headache.x

M: 7.11.07 at 11.40 - Anser ur bluddy fone.

M: 7.11.07 at 16.53- If u dont let me no ur alive I’ll call the police tomoro.

M: 8.11.07 at 16.21 - So wats all this about. Bring my camera round here tomoro.

D: 8.11.07 at 16.27 - For goodness sake, why cant I be left alone wen I dont want to see or speak 2 any1. stop takin offense wen I dont anser the fon. Am just havin a bad week. I’ll b up tomz wi ur £ just like I said I wud.

M: 8.11.07 at 16.40 - U’ll be a long time dead bfore I do that again.

D: 8.11.07 at 16.44 - Wats that ment to mean.

M: 8.11.07 at 16.51 - Dead wi nobody caring to call to c if ur ok.

M: 9.11.07 at 20.13 - U let me down. I need the camra and the muny.

M: 10.11.07 at 21.34 - So I dont matter it seems. Wen did u turn into this selfish bitch.

M: 11.11.07 at 11.47 - Take my camra over today. I need it…as if that matters to u.

M: 11.11.07 at 17.31 - Bring my camra up here rite now. Wat part of I need it dont u understand.

M: 11.11.07 at 19.19 - Gimme the camra. U really dont want me comin up there.

M: 12.11.07 at 14.01 - I can only assume u’v lost it. Is that wat al this is about.

D: 13.11.07 at 15.16 - I got home n my neighbour said ther was sum guy shoutin up at my window. U’d better control that lazy good 4 nufin son of urs mum! I no it was him! I have bn hidin. Ur camera is fine. I went bk 2 the doctor, he asked if I had family support…I said NO. I’ll b up tomoz wi ur camera.

M: 13.11.07 at 15.19 - U dont anser ur fone or door to ur fuckin family support.

D: 16.11.07 at 13.36 - Hi mum, so I got a new job. Starts nxt wk. u ok x.

M: 16.11.07 at 16.02 - I’m goin to work in a haf hour. R u still comin up.

D: 17.11.07 at 23.32 - Mum, need a fava. I started work last nite – nite club – they want me again tonite. I need £10 to get a taxi n that. U will get al ur doe nxt wk. I swear.

M: 17.11.07 at 23.34 - Thot u wer comin over last nite.

M: 21.11.07 at 15.32 - Who r u and wat hav u dun with my dotter. How can we comunicate.

M: 21.11.07 at 19.50 - U’v turned into ur father and thats not a compliment.

D: 21.11.07 at 18.18 - Hi mum. Sorry a’v not got bk to u, I’m really tryin to get bk on my feet n bk to my old self, got debts everywhere but I’m workin n tryin. x

M; 22.11.07 at 11.46 - I need my camra 4 the birthday party on sat.

M: 23.11.07 at 16.10 - My camra and charger. Party cant be dun anytime. Its tomoro. I wont forgive if u dont bring it. And I’ll be at yours first thing in the morning.

M: 24.11.07 at 11.06 - Times up. Ware is the camra. This is unbelievable.

M: 24.11.07 at 12.09 - I’m at your door now. U want to get round here before I get arrested.

M: 24.11.07 at 12.50 - Battry dead. Thanks.

D: 24.11.07 at 12.56 - U wernt nice today n dont turn it round on me. U say ur bankrupt as if its my fault. I asked u 4 £ cause I hav 0. I’d ask any1 else but thers no1. av no gas no food n now what, ur batterys dead! I’m in a mess. Ur even getting my last txt. Thanks.

M: 24.11.07 at 13.03 - U never bother to ask how I am. U always want sumthin. Its obvious now u’v cut me out of ur life.

M: 25.11.07 at 16.31 - I take it ur not bringing hero over today so I’m going to asda.

M: 27.11.07 at 14.28 - No need to worry. I’ll never fone u again.

M: 27.11.07 at 15.43 - Ur breaking my heart.

Isn’t that the truth! Families; who’d have them? They’ll kill you every time. Life is like a musical scale and within a family your head will certainly bang on every step of the ladder.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Hailstones, blundering rain and more hail made me take a taxi to work. Glasgow comes to a virtual standstill because everyone jumps on buses and taxis; I waited twenty minutes, thinking I’d be late for work - I didn’t have an umbrella left and wouldn’t want to be fried under one thank you very much. My God, the lightning! And enormous thunder right on top of it. The cat is too young to have experienced this before and her eyes were like marbles; as if it was them hearing the thunder, not her ears.

I wasn’t late; had time to pop into the shops for a bag of potatoes so I could bake one for my break. Another quiet night down the psychic mine; I’ve just spent the last 45 mins flicking through OK magazine – no idea who half the people in it are, but it’s nice to look at the lovely pictures…is it for people who can’t read?

Pink is top of my crocheting class. She created a hat and scarf in just a few sessions – think I’ve got her addicted too. So far I’ve got four of my co-workers crocheting and two have sloped off in the direction of cross-stitch. Welcome to the Psychic Knitting B. Angel is the baby; she’s never even held a crochet hook before; her efforts might stay willy-warmer-size.

It’s always great when you get a real connection with someone; I was talking to a woman on the phone and she was doing me! She asked if I had something pink and white around me. I was crocheting white on a blanket and yes, there was pink in there; it’s for my pregnant niece – a snuggling rug for her and her new baby later this year.

Amazon is pretty happy this week, even though the custody battle is still going on. She and PowerRanger got caught in the storm. He loved it! Just like his granny; I always ran outside to twirl in the rain while my friends cowered in fear. In my earliest memory I’m standing with my father, me on the sofa, laughing at the thunder and lightning.

It feels like this is some kind of turning point: summer arriving; Amazon and Him coming to a better arrangement; and me, finally on track. BLAM! Thunder wakes me up and forces me into movement. ZAP! The electric storm shoots a bolt right up my epiphany. I hear you; okay…I’LL DO IT IN A MINUTE!