Monday, October 30, 2006

Let's get lost

Soundtrack: Elliott Smith

Oh dear, here we go again...The annual two months of hell has arrived with a big flourish at work. Recent statistics: two members of staff left the company on Friday; a new member of staff arrived today; another member of staff is off on compassionate leave for the foreseeable future.

The weird thing is, despite feeling very stressed when I got here this morning, that's beginning to ebb away. Right now I feel only a mixture of ennui and belligerence.

So, the last few days. On Friday night I went to yet another leaving do, and got royally wazzed. I was told an extremely funny story by Lambo, which has been making me laugh all weekend (wish I could relate the details here, but they're so preposterous you wouldn't believe me). DL and the Bell of the Ball were with me at the pub until chucking out time, from which we went to Waterloo and ate bad fast food.

As for the weekend...although I was hampered by a hangover for 50% of the time, in the main it was pleasant and low key.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine

Soundtrack: Swervedriver

This weekend we were in Devon for the baptism of Bailey, my great-nephew. Here he is, trying to grab my phone as I was taking his photo. He was on top form during the church service, banging the pew with both hands and shouting 'ruhh ruhh ruhh ruhh', which sounded a bit Krautrock. When the lady vicar made the sign of the cross with water on his head, he seemed very pleased. He loves water and so immediately looked into the font, as if to say 'Excellent - now can I get in there?'.

There were only modern hymns in the service, none of which I knew. They were all very cheery and 'faintly like a New Labour manifesto' (JJ's words) - the one directly after the baptism was about parenting skills, which I thought was a bit dubious. What's wrong with the old hymns about swords, lambs and fiery pits of hell?

I was baptised in the very same church, as a matter of fact. It's apparently a fine example of a Norman church and it does a great line in rood screen. I'm C of E, which essentially means I only set foot in the house of the lord when I am forced to (weddings and funerals). I find the church thing intensely embarrassing.

I recall very clearly the day I announced to my father that I would no longer be attending Sunday School, because 'God doesn't exist, does he?'. I was just 8 years old. As he was an agnostic, I am convinced that this rejection of religion was one of the happiest moments of his life. Because my Mum worked on Sunday mornings, it also meant that he'd have some help to make the Sunday dinner, which may have accounted for some of his glee.

I think part of my problem with going to church was that everything was about being happy. From a relatively early age, given what my family went through in the late 70s/early 80s, I was acutely aware that life was, in general, a bit of a pisser.

On a related note, the family feud shows no signs of healing itself. But I'm now way past the stage where I want to fix it myself, and feel it's about time that my two eldest sisters stopped behaving like teenage girls and sorted it out.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gossip folks

Soundtrack: Respect M.E. by Missy Elliot

Feeling groggy with another cold, but I've had an interesting few days. Today at work I've been passing news with DL about this and that. Always good, but far better when we're discussing over a pint or two of bitter, rather than in the office.

Yesterday I was suffering more from said cold. We went to the allotment and did some much-needed weeding. The nasturtiums had run amok, and pulling up the flowers left that lingering peppery smell in my nostrils, against the smell of damp earth. The weather was perfect, clear and crisp. We have a vast amount of squashes and pumpkins at our disposal now.

On Saturday I spent making soup out of the pumpkins we had picked last week, as well as feeling pleased that we have finally got our broadband connection sorted out. The chilli-hotness of the soup erased the pain from my throat.

Friday night, I was in the pub celebrating yet another leaver from my office. It feels like the rats are jumping (although the leaver this week was a sweetheart, not a rat). Hoping the next rat will be me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Just buggin'

Was out getting cultural the other night with The Boy Radish. We went to see a new production of Metamorphosis at the Lyic in Hammersmith. It was pretty good all told: solid performances and an inventive set design, as well as an original soundtrack by Nick Cave. When the show had finished, we had a pint and chatted - and talked the usual guff. That's always my test of a good night out, that you can see the best piece of art ever and still talk absolute bollocks about in the bar afterwards.

It's possibly the first time I have set foot in a theatre since I worked here: about five years ago. Cripes.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's worse for carrots

Soundtrack: Soon by My Bloody Valentine

I was out last night with my old pal Copenhagen Paul and his friend The Lovely Monique. Don't be fooled, reader, Paul isn't Danish - he's from the Wirral. We met in said capital city of Denmark, and so that is how he has become known to me. [There are lots of Pauls about, and as such, there's always a need to differentiate between them.]

We hadn't been out for an evening in over a year and a half, which is fairly poor, but no matter - we snapped back into conversation as smoothly as if we'd seen each other last week.

Some of the topics that were covered, in no particular order:

Novelty records of the 1970s (incl. Captain Beaky and The Floral Dance)
Badgers - the title of this post relates to these pests, but I can't be bothered to explain
The game 'Sock', as invented by the band The Teardrop Explodes
Metal Machine Music, and the possibility of playing this out of a mobile on a bus
The Mighty Boosh - 'I've got to turn my back on you now'
A Hawk and a Hacksaw
Quadruple CDs of jazz-funk workouts
The pointlessness of Michael Stipe
Richard O'Sullivan starring in a dramatisation of Dick Turpin's life - again in the 1970s
How mediocre The Libertines were
Look-In magazine, including the photo stories

As an added bonus, pub we met in had a black cat prowling about the place, who made herself at home with us for most of the evening. Purrrfect.