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Random Thoughts & Warblings

October 15, 2006
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I’ve always wondered how my friend Jamie can do this as he is very skinny and you just wouldn’t think he had that much spare flesh.

Things I have done this week that I have never done before:
ear candling – I let someone put flaming candles in my ears in a bid to clear blocked ears without having to ingest antibiotics. Strangely enough I fell asleep when she did the second one. It seems to have worked.

fallen asleep mid-comment on a blog – woke up five hours later with the laptop still open at Billy’s comment box but precariously hanging off the side of the bed – serves me right for coming home a little tipsy and trying to blog from bed

attempted to teach myself an editing programme – getting there! (can you sense the frustration?)

Books I have read in the last 10 days:
Baggage by Janet Street-Portah! As Lyn Barber writes in her potted review “she’s infuriating” actually Lyn not half as irritating as you love! I really enjoyed it. Baggage is the first book old Janet from another planet (Perivale via Fulham) wrote about her childhood. She recounts growing up in 50’s London in a very vivid, engaging and witty way. Her childhood and more so her parents have undertones of an Ealing comedy in parts. I can thoroughly recommend it.

I loved that so much I felt compelled to get the next one – which quite bitterly at times documents her 20’s – 30’s I suppose. It’s called:
Fall Out: A Memoir of Friends Made and Unmade.

Again very vibrant and un-putdownable. She is not afraid to admit that she might be a bit of a harsh perfectionist at times and found it virtually impossible to be faithful to either of her slightly long-suffering husbands. But underneath Janet’s teflon-clad rambler exterior there is a very bright, clever and interesting person lurking there. Her descriptions of endless party’s dripping with then emerging artistic talent such as Allen Jones, Patrick Heron and fabulous clothes mainly a la Zandra Rhodes are not only fun because of the time but also because they are set against the backdrop of her determination to make it first in architecture and then the male-dominated world of Fleet Street. There’s a real vital energy there which I think she does very well. She doesn’t know this or know me for that matter but I went to her house in Clerkenwell once. I even went for a spin in her zero gravity chair which left me most discombobulated (thank you Will Self for that word which none of us know what it really means but it sounds good in this context).

I have just started Joan Didion‘s new book ‘A Year Of Magical Thinking‘ – it’s basically an extended essay on death and grief which was written as a reaction to the sudden death of her poet/writer husband John Gregory Dunne. I am a huge fan of Didion ever since I picked up ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem‘ as a teenager. It had been on the family bookshelves since it had first come out – 1972 in paperback I think. I had seen it on my parent’s friends bookshelves too so one day the penny must have dropped – I picked it up. It’s a wonderful, clear account of the Californian hippie movement at the end of the 60’s. Not only was it a great read but her picture on the frontispiece was an inspiration – a beautiful, gamine woman in some sort of an understated garment smoking a fag – and she looked so cool! I really wanted to grow up and be her. I did grow up and I didn’t really become her at all but I have made sure that each time she has published I have sought the new book out without much delay. In saying that – it is her non-fiction that I enjoy and remember. The fiction I could take or leave. Anyway, for the first time I have not been able to whizz through her writing at all. Instead of devouring and chomping my way through it I am having to approach it in little morsels bit by bit. I think a lot of this is to do with the subject matter and the terrible red-rawness of her contained emotion which staggeringly brave and exquisite at times. I think it would serve as a very useful manual for those training as grief counsellors – just to really get into the nitty gritty of grief and understanding how it re-shapes everything around you.

I was going to work on this a bit more and post up tomorrow – in it’s place I had blogged something from youtube but…..yet again…it has still not made it to blogger within 48 hours – crap. So that will come after this no doubt which will be very confusing. Sorry.

Finally, mainly as fall-out from the great Stiff Records night on BBC4 the other week I have been mostly playing Larry Wallis ‘Policecar’ on constant rotation – expect to hear it on the next podcast which is in my head but not yet uttered and squished down into switchpod yet – coming to a blogworld near you shortly – I’m just not sure when.

Finally finally, some of you might have read The Whales rather terse rant last Monday which then ended up with him deleting himself. It’s a shame – hopefully he will be back soon.

Nighty night.

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21 Comments
  1. First Nations permalink

    *scribbling titles on a yellow stickie notee*

  2. realdoc permalink

    Your friend has probably got a low grade type of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. This is an inherited disorder of collagen (the elastic stuff in skin). It is probably worth his while having some genetic investigations as he may pass the condition on to his children to a greater or lesser degree. A dermatologist should be his first port of call. Hope this is helpful rather than intrusive.

  3. SimonHolyHoses permalink

    I read something about winged cats, and that is often down to them having skin that is very stretchy so they develop "flaps" on their sides. Serious scientific stuff, winged cats!<br/><br/>This may also be the same thing as the syndrome that Realdoc mentions?

  4. Istvanski permalink

    Fight fire with fire?<br/><br/>Fight wax with wax, more like!<br/><br/>Ingenious!!

  5. Arabella permalink

    What would Joan Didion do?

  6. JDA permalink

    I read a novel recently by Kate Mosse (no not the coke sniffing model) it is mainly about the ‘grail’ and incorporates two time periods (1209 Carcassonne) and the present day version. The Cathars and their religious inroads are the main plot and it is a very good read! THE LABYRINTH

  7. Pod permalink

    does he have very mobile joints too or any pain? that needs some attention if he does. i think he would know about it if it was anything to worry about (family history etc). i agree with realdoc 9and i hear she keeps spare toes in her bag incase any of his should fall off). otherwise, just take him to parties as entertainment.<br/><br/>i have the joan didion book too, cant wait to start it. <br/><br/>love tip-offs for books, thank you<br/><br/>(plus, dont you have a strange deforming condition? i am sure i saw a pic of you somewhere with great big eyes….?)

  8. rockmother permalink

    Firsty – ooh I can hear you scribbling<br/><br/>Realdoc – goodness from party trick to syndrome – I’ll let him know – thank you<br/><br/>Rev Holyhoses – yes – I was once standing under my cat as he literally flew from the honeysuckle to another bush on the other side of the garden. From underneath he looked like a large flying handbag!<br/><br/>Istvanski – it’s bloody clever you know – nothing goes in your ear – it creates a vacuum and draws all the crap out of your ear. I used to feel dizzy when I bent over to tie up my trainers – it’s all gone – brilliant<br/><br/>Arabella – hhm – I’m not sure<br/><br/>Jifdump – sounds interesting – thank you<br/><br/>Pod – no – apart from the party trick my friend is fine. I’ve got a few hyper-mobile joints – can bend my elbow backwards and dislocate my fingers and ping them back – I can hear a chorus of ugh. As for my boggy eyes – no – that was on munterspace (myspace) and was courtesy of photobooth (mac prog.) – but you knoew that really didn’t you! Didn’t you?

  9. Annie permalink

    Ooh! He looks like Jake Gyllenhaal.

  10. realdoc permalink

    Jake Gyllenhaal in a wind tunnel, maybe.

  11. baggiebird permalink

    I have to admit I haven’t heard of any of those books, but I will have a look at them at some point. I am just re-reading Jane Eyre, and after that I have Wicked to read.

  12. rockmother permalink

    Jane Eyre is one of my all time favourite stories.

  13. Billy permalink

    THE LABYRINTH always makes me think of David Bowie as the Goblin King.<br/><br/>Yes, Jane Eyre is brilliant!

  14. ‘Jane Eyre’ is amazing. The only book that ever made me cry I think. See rm I’m a softie. And there’s no sex in it.

  15. rockmother permalink

    Yes – Jane Eyre was the first book ever to make me cry. And every time I re-read it I still cry. It’s just a brilliantly crafted story.

  16. Anonymous permalink

    hi i like the characers on your friend’T-shirt

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