samedi, septembre 30, 2006

Interesting things seen on a walk in the English Countryside this morning:

A rabbit hopping through a hedge.

Two pheasants.

A fox running across a field, chased by a murder of crows.

Teeny tiny transparent mushrooms. They had a long thin stalk and circular flat tops that were accordion-pleated.

Many slugs.

Some snails.

A hare, which loped toward us and then hid in a grass knoll until we were close enough for it to figure out what we were. Then it bounded off across the pasture and up over the hill.

Six llamas. Not roaming.

An old abandoned church and its overgrown graveyard.

Two thatched cottages. One called Grange Cottage, and the other called Pig's Nose. Pig's Nose has topiary rabbits hopping out of the top of its hedges.

A farmer feeding his cows.

Three gates that needed to be climbed over. Well, actually, two gates but we hopped one twice.

A scare-crow made of a mannequin dressed in a ball gown and a denim shirt.

One hardy daisy.

Quite a bit of mud.

lundi, septembre 25, 2006

steaming piles

The blog writing muse has been absent lately. Perhaps because I spend most of my days reading stuff and writing stuff, I am written out.

My job description at the moment is one word: writer. I send emails on a semi-regular basis to a fair amount of people, so even though I am crap at keeping in touch, I have a high gross level of correspondence. I over use the postal service sending letters and postcards. I keep a pen-and-paper journal that I write in almost every day. Periodically, I blog.

I don't consider myself a writer. If pressed, I grudgingly acknowledge that I am "a person who writes", in much the same way I used to say when I worked in restaurants that I wasn't a cook, I was a salad architect.

I am not exactly sure why I duck away from the mantle of writer.

For one thing, I don't think I am particularly brilliant at wrestling the english language into sentences and prose. I am a verbal person; mentally I am at my best when in the middle of a conversation with smart, quick, interesting people. I love the energy of good conversation at a dinner party. The idea of sitting alone in front of a cataract-inducing computer screen gives me cramps.

Including myself in the pantheon of writers seems to do them a bit of a disservice- diluting the genius, so to speak.

Also, my mother is the writer of the family. Delayed teenage rebellion dictates that I must run away from family occupations even if, secretly, I covet them.

However, since I am locked into being a writer for a year at least, I had better amputate the irritatingly self-absorbed angst and just get on with it. Practice. Writing. Bite the bullet and churn out the shitty first drafts. Torment the blog readers (do you really exist?) with aforementioned shitty first drafts and half baked ideas.

Since this particular forum has no special theme, randomness is endemic.

I am encouraged though. An email that recently landed in my inbox concluded thusly:

"I always get email-envy when I read your lines as they are so well crafted, unlike my steaming pile of email poo."

Email poo. Random self-absorption could get a lot worse.

mercredi, septembre 20, 2006

mercredi, septembre 13, 2006

Not Boring

Last night, after a day of dealing with incompetence, Cooper, the graphic designer and one of the housemates, and I sat in his room and drank beer and talked and talked.

Evidence that the universe has a sick and twisted and tender sense of humour: Coop's father died this summer too. A consequence of a motorcycle accident.

The two of us are like the survivors of a bomb blast. The ones who stagger from the wreckage apparently unharmed and head off down the street. The ones with wide empty eyes and shaking hands.

Most of the time we function passably. Some days we crash. Other days, like yesterday, it is a slow descent into awfulness: the way a leaf skates across the breezes before gently landing on the pavement.

We are our own therapy group. We drink and talk and smoke and talk. We compare weird relative experiences at the funerals or the most insensitive things people have said to us. We ask each other if we are crazy, or try to decide if we are crazy in the same sorts of ways. Because if we are the same kind of crazy, then maybe it is normal and will pass. We decide we are assholes for being far away from our families. We decide that we would be insane if we were at home. We laugh like maniacs.

For an hour or two we gently salve our wounds and we relax.

The best part of yesterday was when we were talking about how fucking emotionally erratic we are. Apparently, one of the ways that grieving manifests itself is by shortening my temper. Also I have zero patience. (Stop laughing. I had patience before, I just chose to override it.)

"Well," said Coop, "You know, the thing about this is... It's never boring."

jeudi, septembre 07, 2006

My editor looks like...

Jack Nicholson.

Circa: The Shining

mardi, septembre 05, 2006


So yes. I am in England again. Buntingford, to be specific.

So far the weather has been damp and gray.
The beer has been good.
Lots of tea has been consumed.

On the list: Fish and Chips. Punting on the Cam. Gin and Tonics or Pimms and Lemonade.

Trying to avoid: Mushy peas. Salad cream. Rude children.

I am here working for a magazine, but I don't meet my editor until Thursday, so work-wise it's been mellow. Rest-of-life-wise it's been a whirl of travelling meeting people, unpacking, pretending to be sane.

I miss Canada like hell. Still not sure if this was my best plan.

"homesick, 'cause I no longer know where home is."