…and the next day

Warrior Square Station

 

No more snow, though temperature low.

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. 😦

Hmm. I wonder what tommorow will bring?

 

…later the same day.

Back garden

 

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?

Brrrrrrrr.

Snowing!

It's Snowing!

 

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.

Wrap up warm, take care, and have fun! 🙂

F1 – the magnificent!

Formula One - 2012 season calendar

Everybody follows a sport, right? Wrong! I didn’t follow any sport until the mid 1990’s, which is, apparently, a pretty heinous crime.

Football I loathe: I can’t see the point. Cricket is really too slow and a sport for statisticians: besides, it appears that nowadays they cheat for shedloads of money. Rugger I quite like, but is better played than watched. Ditto for Squash – though there isn’t any television coverage of Squash as far as I’m aware.

Baseball is a sport I could have got into. Once, back in the 1980’s, when I was in the U.S.A. working my way around selling T-Shirts at rock concerts, I got taken to see the Ney York Yankees vs the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The game was fantastic, full on, energetic and bloody amazing! By some fluke of fate I caught a home run ball that had been belted into the stands. From then on until the game finished I was protected by two hulking American friends in order to stop rabid fans from taking the ball off me. Later, I got a vibe off the same friends that they were quite upset I’d caught the ball. One of them had been going to watch the Yankees for years and had never managed it. Still, they were happy for me and that night we got drunk and tried to knock over a street light outside a bar in Queens.

Sadly, Baseball isn’t televised in the U.K., So that put paid to that. I suppose Tennis was the closest I came to following a sport, but that only for the Wimbledon fortnight. So that was me and sport …

… until 1996 when I was howling in a band with the name ‘Split Pyramid.’ Don’t ask me why we were called that, I have no idea. The other band members, to a man, followed F1. And they all played the Playstation F1 game. I took up both, and F1 still has me avidly in its clutches even though I’ve never been to a live Grand Prix:

“Maybe this year,” is what I say in January every year. Who knows, maybe it will be this year?

I also follow Joe Saward’s blog for the inside scoop and gossip, ’cause who doesn’t need a little scoop (two scoops and a flake, please) and gossip, these days?

Rear windows

Watching them watching me watching them

 

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.

Oh, I wish I hadn’t recently seen Alfred Hitchcock‘s ‘Rear Window‘.

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.

Hmm, maybe an idea worth pondering. 😉

 

Where have the children gone?

Nature vs Swing. Nature wins.

 

As is, untouched: this swing set in a neighbours back garden is virtually unrecognisable.

At one time, in the not too distant past, children must have been oh-so-excited as daddy assembled the swing set for them. Complete with its orange slide they must have spent many happy hours and halcyon days mucking around on it; chasing each other around and around as they battled for king of the slide. as they discovered who could swing the highest.

Where are they now? And why has nature been allowed to take control?

07:00 – the shock was shocking

07:00! Are you mad?

I used to work in film. In film you have, HAVE, to make early call times, and by early I’m not kidding. Then, I used to get up at 03:00 or, with a late lie in, 04:00. Of course it was season dependant and sometimes it was later and sometimes earlier.

Then I moved out of London and gave film work up. Don’t ask me why as I have no idea. Stupidity, probably.

So it was that this morning that I had to get up and be out of the house by 07:00. Not early I have to admit, but for me it was like the crack of sparrows; like ‘bloody hell this is early how am I going to cope?’ I did cope and I did sort out a friend’s email; I got driven home and my body, seriously unimpressed, crashed.

Evocative.

Evocative.

 

I walked by this and had to take a photograph. It brought to mind ideas for all kinds of  stories. Admittedly, most are dark. 😉

  1. The nouveau-riche neighbours who feel the garden is bringing down their property value and will do anything to get it sorted out. Anything, up to and including murder.
  2. The house has been owned for generations by a warlock. He’s frightfully polite, never seems to get any older than his apparent thirty five years, but has recently — some twenty years ago — given up on gardening.
  3. The old couple suffer from dementia. She, who used to take the car out mini-cabbing, and he, who was in the SAS and has taken to wearing his jungle uniform complete with weapons, pack and machette. The postmen keep disappearing.
  4. Sometimes the house is there, sometimes it isn’t. Two boys, who are looking for their football, stumble into the garden just as the house decides to transmigrate.
  5. There are layers, and there are layers. Underneath the garden are tunnels that lead to other worlds, but passage is strictly one-way only, and anyone stumbling into the tunnels had better have a map.
  6. In the lean-to on the side of the house, an old man sits, whittling. A young boy, playing truant, befriends him. Their relationship flowers as the young boy grows up; the old man tells his story, and one of the figures he has carved finds a soul.

If I’d stumbled upon the garden walking miles from anywhere out in the woods I’d probably think it was even more strange, dark, magical and odd. As it is there are quite a few dilapidated spaces around, if you only look for them. The gardens that butt onto the back of my garden, for instance, are equally unkempt. Three doors away a swing is almost completely covered by brambles, and I wonder what happened to the kids who used to play on it.

Mankind thinks it’s tamed the planet, but beware! Plants, given half a chance, will have their day.

Ringneck Doves and the PX

The Ringneck Doves

The big fat Pidgeon wasn’t there today. Instead, a pair of Ringneck Doves occupied his branch. Maybe they put him off, or maybe they take it in turns to branch share, who knows? I say ‘Ringneck Doves’ with caution, because the dove website says they only live in captivity and the tree in my garden isn’t.

I’m writing this having just got back from the shop where I bought a packet of Oreos. I’d forgotten quite how much I dislike them and that brought back another vivid memory.

When I was a young teenager my best friend was Dan, an American whose father worked for the U.S. government. In those days we had nothing American  other than Levis and Kojak. Consequently I loved hanging out at his house where they had a weird cornucopia of fantastic comestibles. It was there I was turned on to root beer, discovered the delights of salsa and corn chips, became addicted to Reeces Pieces (and the ever sickly but moorish Reeces Peanut Butter Cups), and found out that Hersey chocolate wasn’t the be all and end all, but was actually rather foul – though not as foul as Cadbury’s chocolate was to the American palate, apparently.

And then, once I’d been thoroughly inculcated into their strange and enticing foreign ways, I was taken to the PX! OMFG! I thought it was better than sex – though at the time I hadn’t the foggiest idea what that was and I’d now like to officially retract the sentiment. The PX was amazing, though. A supermarket full of American goods not available in the U.K.. I was a pig in heaven and spent all my pocket money.

Now, of course, there’s nothing you can’t get either in your local corner shop, where I bought the Oreos, or via the net. In a way it’s sad, because you really don’t need to meet new people, or travel, to try the weirdly strange – Amazon will deliver.

Cat, Cats, the Fat Pidgeon, Kamakura, and some odd thoughts.

Percy dreaming of foreign climes

Not the best picture I’ve ever taken. Still, it’s a picture taken today, which was the original point of this blog. That the idea behind ‘Congenerous’ seems to have become ever changing and fluid should allow me to leave out the daily picture, if I feel like it. But I don’t feel like it, yet. Besides, Percy rawks!

There was going to a photo of an amazingly fat Pidgeon who sits on a branch in the tree outside my bedroom window. There was going to be, but by the time I stumbled about finding my phone he (or she) had gone (how do you sex a Pidgeon without getting up close and personal?). You’ll have to wait for that treat, then.

I’ve been listening to the recording I made of our rehearsal yesterday, and, considering it was our third proper rehearsal, it’s damn good. Maybe you think I would say that, being the vocalist. But being ‘real’ about my music is a definite seachange. Normally, even if I know deep down that something is good, I’ll shrug it off as a fluke. I wish (wishing is something else I have to change along with je ne regrette rien, which is utter bollocks and futile) that we’d carried on after the Pestalozzi festival. I wish I’d had the balls to have a go twenty years since. Humph. Obviously I’m an arse for hiding my light under a bush for so long. Obviously. Duh.

Odd thoughts.

  1. I’ve suddenly realised that even if I spent the rest of my life doing nothing but reading I wouldn’t be able to read all the books I have, or those I want to read. Especially now that eBooks are with us. This led to a mild panic. But as there’s nothing I can do about it – I can’t suddenly start reading at a gazzilion words a minute, or give up everything else and do nothing but read – I have to accept it and be more decisive about what I do read.
  2. I’m a lazy git. I want to write – at least one decent novel – and consequently have to stop being a lazy git.
  3. Money doesn’t grow on trees.
  4. ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ is balls, as is Je ne regrette rien. Accept what you can’t change and get on with it.
  5. This list of odd thoughts seems to be getting horribly close to New Years resolutions. Stop it!
  6. Cats really make wonderful friends!
  7. ‘Cats’ could be our next single.
  8. Relationships are fragile things; butterflies have stronger wings. Do not take friends for granted.
  9. Patience! F1 2012 will begin sooner or later and there’s nothing you can do to hasten the 1st race.
  10. Must better my punctuation; Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a wonderul book.
  11. Cease waffling.

And that’s that.