The full moon was on the 7th, but either it was cloudy or I was deep, deep dreaming. Last night it seemed so bright that whatever I did I couldn’t avoid being woken by it. Some might say I should have pulled the curtains, and maybe so. But I didn’t: I opened the window, shoved my phone out and got this evocative—werewolf howling—snap.
This, of course, doesn’t obviate the need for shopping. One simply has to trudge and bear it—which is better than beering and staggering it, I suppose. And much, much better than Vodka and crawling. Me, I’d stone and float it if I had a choice, but I don’t. Waaay too long in the tooth for that sort of malarkey. Also, I don’t know anyone to turn me on. Sad, but true.
One thing that does turn me on and is totally without the need for a dealer (unless, that is, you count Murdoch’s Sky as a dealer), is F1. All the big teams (except Mercedes) have released their cars now, and all of them, except McLaren, have an ugly step down just after the monocoque and before the nose. Simply speaking the McLaren is beautiful and none of the others are: which is worrying. It’s worrying because I’m now thinking maybe McLaren have gone done a boo-boo. Maybe the hideous step is vital: after all, Red Bull have one, and they’re hardly slouchily slow. Oh dear. 😦
There are squirrels and birds of all wild varieties, and cats and wee snow beasties, too. Of course you can’t see them as it’s a still photograph, but they’re there.
And now. Now I have to go to the shops for to purchase comestibles of all sorts (which doesn’t mean liquorice all sorts, though it could if I happen to stumble across a packet). Pity me, for it’s cold and wet and bleak, and did I mention cold?
It’s just past 2:30am on the 5th February and it’s snowing!
I love snow. For the first few minutes it takes me back to my childhood and snowdays when school was cancelled and I could get wrapped up warm, go outside, thunder about building snow-men, get soaking wet and come back in to sit infront of a fire and have a hot bath. It’s good to get all snowed up and then, wuzzly warm, go to bed. And it’s especially good, nay, it’s the best, if it snows on Christmas eve: Christmas morning with fresh deep snow is wonderful! There’s nothiing like it. It’s special, magical, and produces wonderful memories.
So, I love snow … for the first few minutes. Then it becomes a pain in the arse. Plans change. Life changes, and quite possibly Swiss Buns double in price.
I blogged recently about supermarkets coming in, taking over, and forcing local shops out of business (crushing them financially). This ‘phenomenon’ is happening in every town—large and small—all over the country. Beware! If the supermarkets’ grand plan for world domination hasn’t affected you yet it soon will.
Above is yet another shop from the King’s Road (not the King’s Road in London) biting the dust. Not an orange, apple, potato, kiwi, or bunch of roses in sight: just bags of rubble. This shop has been like this for months. So sad, yet seemingly inevitable.
There has to be something we can do to fight the slow creep of this particular change. But what, I have no idea.
Like many other local shopping areas all over the country ours is slowly closing down as its life is leached away by the multi-national superstores.
When I first moved to the coast you could buy everything locally. There were two big supermarkets, one for each catchment area – and they weren’t close to each other. Now, there are six. Including a humongous 24 hours megastore. More recently Walmart arrived in the disguise of Asda and decimated another local borough.
And that isn’t including the smaller ‘local’ versions of the big supermarkets which are designed to inveigle themselves. They are pretty much everywhere.
Supermarkets arrive. They slash prices. Locals use them instead of using their local shops. Local shops go bust. Supermarkets put up their prices and there’s fuck all anyone can do because (QED) there is nowhere else left to shop.
Kings Road, St. Leonards is one such are. Here, shops are opening and closing pretty much on a weekly basis as shopkeepers trying desperately to survive fail. Generally there is a closing down sale followed by whitewash over the windows and a ‘to let’ sign. Then it starts all over again. It keeps the estate agents and solicitors in work, but it’s tears for everyone else.
The photo above is from a shop that has a nadge more je ne sais quoi. The papier-mâché lady in white doen’t pretend to be art (at least I don’t think it does), but it beats the whitewashed window approach. I wonder what will appear when the Lady goes? And I wonder how long, whatever it is, will last?
There are few things that put the fear of god in me. Drunken groups of oiks standing outside pubs at closing time; Chinese takeaway during an H1N1 outbreak; toothache; dirty bombs. You know, the kind of things that any sane person is terrified of. And, of course, then there is the ubiquitous ‘Engineering Works – take the bus’ signs at railway stations. There is nothing worse, especially if you have to travel. It is darkest nightmare become real.
Luckily, today I didn’t have to travel. Today I was on my way to the shop and spotted the sign. Then I saw a herd of poor people standing patiently, like zombies, waitng for a bus that probably wouldn’t arrive. Me, I took the picture and then danced up the road, giggling. I’m at home now. In the warm with the Cat, and a cup of coffee and a cake (that would have cost an arm and a leg at the station even had the buffet been open).
And as I write I’m thinking of those poor misguided people who are, probably, waiting still….
Walking to the shops you have to cross a bridge at the station. This is what I saw parked up there on the Westbound platform. Now, I’m interested in many things, but trainspotting hasn’t been one of them, as yet. To be honest trainspotting (unless it’s of the Danny Boyle variety) will probably never interest me. But a train that is made up of strange looking bits, bobs, and pieces is interesting.
I was, for my sins, going to go and see what it did, but it moved off before I could get there. Fast. Perhaps it knew I was interested and gave me the proverbial finger – I don’t know if trains can be sentient, but it left just after I decided to have a gander.
It looks expensive, too. It has design, it has purpose, and it’s nothing like the cattle trucks we get to stand up in when we save up and buy a ticket. That train has a mission and I would dearly like to know what that mission is. Obviously, it’s not going to the stars, and it’s not on its way to the bottom of the Laurentian Abysmal, or up Everest. But whatever it is it does it might be momentarily interesting. Mightn’t it?
When you Live in town your personal space and allowed privacy is very, very different from when you live in the country. We’ve been living here, now, for nearly six months, and lack of privacy is axiomatic. Not that I gave it a second thought before we moved. Moving seemed sensible: rent was cheaper and, for me, the main draw was doing without the expense of a car – stupid me. Have you ever tried shopping in a supermarket and then walking home? No? I didn’t think so. It seems to me that cars have become a requisite wherever you live. Feeble, I know. But fact.
This post, from the 13th describes the surveillance camera that ‘appeared’ in the street to the front. The picture above is the view from the back garden door. Windows. Lots of windows, and more curtain twitching surveillance.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind – and if I did there’s bugger all I could do about it – but inside each and every window is a person. A stranger. A complete and utter total stranger who might be my next best friend … or might be an axe murderer. How do I know? And the truth is I can’t know, unless I traipse around and introduce myself and then I become the local loony. Or, my luck runs out and I vanish in a newly turned flower bed in said axe murderer’s garden.
I suppose this mild, bubbling, ever present sense of being perpetually observed, is paranoia. So I’m paranoid. Paranoid and proud! I wonder if there is some sort of multi coloured plastic wrist band I should be wearing that proclaims me?
So, the upshot is – and yes, this might possibly be paranoia speaking (or writing, as you do in blogs) – we are being watched from the street at the front by some bloke in a council office with a vast bank of monitors, and by those in the houses opposite. And then we’re being watched from the back by pretty much the same demographic, except the poor bloke from the council is missing out.
Moving back to the country seems eminently sensible, now. Far far out in the country where you need a serious 4 x 4 and the nearest possible ‘surveillance’ is a couple of miles away.
Living in Bohemia, as I do, I try to live an ever faithful ‘Bohemian‘ lifestyle. Sadly, silk dressing gowns, opium in hookahs, exploring interesting sexualities and oodles of laudanum – and so deliciously forth – are out, primarily because of the cold (outrageous, the cost of heating one’s pile, damned outrageous) and the illegality. I’d move to casablanca where it’s all possible, but Kamakura – the band I howl for – might complain, the cats certainly would, and anyway, gosh I ain’t got the dosh. Casablanca is not what it once was – and certainly not what Evelyn Waugh‘s Brideshead Revisited painted it as.
Erm … where was I? Oh yes.
Sissinghurst in the Weald is known as one of the fave retreats for the Bloomsbury set: Virginia Woolf, Vita Sackville-West, E.M.Forster et all. And so from one we meander to another, to the Sissinghurst Tea. Yes, by far the best thing to take your mind off being without your little luxuries, and being straighter than a die when trying to write opiated poetry and fiction, is a Sissinghurst Tea – the scrumptious and most mouth wateringly drooling part of which is pictured above (oh gawd how delish! Infact the jam was almost teetering on ruinous).
Without doubt a Sissinghurst Tea makes for a truly magical, sensual, and creative afternoon – though for an ‘official’ tea you do need a dispossessed aristocrat to bake the cake (luckily, I had one to hand). For the sipping either Lady Gray or Lapsang Souchong will do, the latter being my preference.
So … take the day off. Relax in a hot bath during the morn (pre or post bath sweaty sexual and sensual massage nice, but not essential). A languid lubuncular lunch should follow and then, after a splendid siesta, prepare for and have your Sissinghurst. You won’t regret it. 🙂