Wednesday, February 28, 2007

9.24 Cancelled
9.27 On Time.
I am out of my comfort zone.
There are no familiar faces.
This train is full of people on trips out; over excited by the prospect of a day at the shops; hyped up on energy drink; laden with suitcases and on the way to the airport. They chatter, they laugh, they bubble over with enthusiasm. Worst of all they are unpredictable.

I am relieved that this journey lasts only ten minutes.

Whatever - Oasis
Paint It Black - Rolling Stones
Exit Music (For A Film) - Radiohead


Monday, February 26, 2007

17.12 On Time
The weekend contained
some very good
things and I am in a very good mood.

Sweet Adeline - Elliott Smith
Paid To Smile - Lemonheads
Stay At Home - Johnathan Rice
On The Bus Mall - The Decemberists
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles
The Man In The Iron Mask - Billy Bragg
More Adventurous - Rilo Kiley
It's Gotta Be That Way - House Of Love
Say No - Teenage Fanclub


Friday, February 23, 2007

It Starts Stoppin' When It Stops Stoppin'...

7.31 On Time
Mornings like this I could travel forever.
Yesterday I saw the owl (twice); the day before the fox; this morning there were lambs. I keep threatening to stay on till the end of the line 'one day' along with every other thing I'll do 'one day'.

I really love Anne Tyler's "Ladder of Years".The first three quarters anyway, until the unsatisfactory “your family knew where you were all along and were keeping an eye on you till you’d got it out of your system” ending. The idea of ‘just walking’ is one which has held great appeal. Reconstructing yourself, trying on a different life, being the person you thought you might be - just for a while.

It's unlikely to happen in Colne though, this much I do realise.

In Other Words - Ben Kweller
My Favourite Girl - King Creosote
Queen Of The Coast - Laura Cantrell
Late Night Grande Hotel - Nanci Griffith
Break So Easy - Johnathan Rice
The Impossible Dream- Jokers Wild
Road Trippin’ - Red Hot Chilli Peppers


Thursday, February 22, 2007

8.10 On Time
The BagLady, for whose pushy, discourteous ways I have developed an irrational hatred over the last few months, spots someone she knows sitting behind me and abandons her usual seat at the other end of the carriage to join him.

She bundles her trolley down the aisle, uncaring or unaware of who she swipes in passing. Shortly after she takes her seat I become aware that she smells warmly of unwashed clothes, cheap biscuits and ancient face powder. Close up, the creases in the sleeves of her jacket shine with grime. There are white stains on the purple velour of her long skirt. Her voice manages to both rasp and wheedle as she and her friend discuss park homes and compare ungrateful daughters.

I had an irrational hatred for her, now I just feel mean.

Bright Lights And Promises - Janis Ian
Dust Bowl - 10,000 Maniacs
On The Road Again - Canned Heat
Here At The Western World - Steely Dan
Pink Bullets - The Shins
Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far) - The Thrills
Desperado - The Eagles


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

17.12 On Time
Feel sandbagged, press ganged, blind-sided, out flanked.

This morning I had a diabolical meeting at which I was out numbered four to one by Senior Officers who proceeded to tell me, with varying degrees of hostility, that I was pissing on their chips by not being in a position to produce a ring binder full of bits of paper for them to look at by April 1st.

I believe this is called a "portfolio" of "evidence" and is something to do with my "continuing" "professional" "development". Unfortunately, in a weak moment some time last year, I signed another bit of paper (which is now securely fixed within a ring binder and can be produced if required) promising to do it. Apparently the fact that I wasn't in possession of the full facts at the time of signing carries no weight - but then I of all people should know that!

I did ask "If I don't do it - what happens?" and was told by GoodCop would be a "tragedy" (it most definitely will not) and by BadCop that I will have to cough up (at least) £295 and will never "progress". We'll see about that.

I've got a week to think about it. What I think is, I need to talk to ExLineManager.

Wild Like Children - Tilly & The Wall


Hey, Jack Kerouac

7.31 On Time
I've been giving "On the Road" another chance, but I think it's causing me to dream strangely.
Vivid, Technicolor dreams that don't pause for breath, from which I wake abruptly, over heated and still tired.

But I'm three quarters of the way through it now - is it worth persevering?

A simple sequence of results was required from last night: We beat QPR. Barnsley & Hull draw. Wednesday beat Luton. Palace beat Southend.

Apparently it was too much to ask. There are no grounds for optimism, but I remain optimistic.

Hey, Jack Kerouac - 10,000 Maniacs
I Remember California - REM
Behind The Frontlines - Johnathan Rice
Tequila Sunrise - The Eagles
Big Sur - The Thrills
Phantom Limb - The Shins
Letter To Bowie Knife - Calexico
Songbird - Fleetwood Mac


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

16.12 On Time
Came home early.
I’m so dull at the moment I can scarcely bear my own company.

A man sent in pictures of some dead mice to prove his point.
It wasn't very nice.

Brothers On A Hotel Bed - Death Cab For Cutie
Born Of Frustration - James
He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother - The Hollies
Songs Of Love - Divine Comedy
She Just Wept - Starsailor
Between The Bars - Elliott Smith
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted - Jimmy Ruffin
Werewolves Of London - Warren Zevon


Monday, February 19, 2007

8.10 Ten Minutes Late (previous train delayed by some idiot walking down the track)
A raw, grey morning. Didn't sleep much last night. Drank woefully too much on Friday.

Took me a second to appreciate that when TicketSellingGuy said "Alright luvvy?" He was only saying 'Hello' not asking "What's up?"

Station Approach
Scattered Black & Whites
Fugitive Motel
Forget Myself
Great Expectations


Friday, February 16, 2007

8.10 On Time
I can’t work out the story of the Woman Who Looks As Though She’s Going For Hospital Treatment. Late 50’s/early 60’s. Impeccable grooming (she never leaves the house without her face on). Her timing is unpredictable. About three trips a week, but not regular days. Usually the early train – but not always. She appears to carry a small overnight bag – but it could just be an oversized handbag.
I’ve never seen her on the return journey.

The reason I name her “Looks As Though She’s Going For Hospital Treatment” is down to the way her husband is always, always, there to wave her off, and the way he always, always gives her a hug and a kiss before she leaves. There is a look behind his eyes which says: “You’re very brave. Take Care. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

I Fought In A Was – Belle & Sebastian
Down To The River – Alison Krauss
Trusted – Ben Folds
Help – The Beatles
No Better Place - Fountains Of Wayne
The Salt Wound Routine – Thirteen Senses
Svefn – G – Englar – Sigur Ros


Thursday, February 15, 2007

17.12 On Time
Any thoughtless fool can pick up a telephone and book a table at a cozy restaurant, or order an extravagant out of season bouquet; it takes a special kind of mind to come up with the inaugural session of an open mic night in the middle of nowhere as a Valentine's treat.

The room was large, cold and bathed in unfriendly light, but the sound was good.

The Von Trapp Family gave us an enthusiastic ‘American Idiot’. Scott on bass has improved beyond recognition, but his mother’s vocals are scary and wrong

The ruddy-faced lad behind the bar looked like a farmer, and, in spite of my love/hate relationship with farmers there is always something comforting about a drinking environment which encompasses those who spend most of their day in the cab of a Massey Fergie or swearing at sheep. I feel I know where I am with farmers. I hate them, but abstractly and without passion.

Things being what they are, I had much more fun watching Tim perform 'Crazy' in a Back of Beyond Social Club than I would’ve had sitting at home watching the Brits, so (even though I don’t think I’m totally restored to full health yet as I had just the one drink all night and was quite happy with it) the evening turned out pretty well, considering.

You Do Something To Me - Paul Weller
Everybody’s Talkin’ - Nilsson
On & On - Stephen Bishop
Always On My Mind - Willie Nelson
Subterranean Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
Woman Driving, Man Sleeping - Eels
When The Roses Bloom Again - Laura Cantrell
Shivering Sun- Lorien


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

7.31 On Time
One of those mornings where the alarm is especially cruel.
The dream is too good to leave, and the fuzzy realisation that it is a dream is hard to take. I'm fighting the alarm and wanting to slip back into the warm fantasyspace where something really interesting was on the point of happening, knowing if I don't drift back now I'll never ... It's too late.

I'm awake.

Still, if I get up now I can make the early train. On the early train it's easy to slink back into that comforting pre-woken state. At this hour the line between the dream and the day dream is fine and, anyway, what difference does it make?

Back In The Car Park - The Lilac Time
Fox In The Snow - Belle & Sebastian
Wow - Cinerama
Heartbeats - Jose Gonzales
The Past And Pending - The Shins
Street Lights - Josh Rouse
Famous Blue Raincoat - Tori Amos
And Then You Kissed Me - The Cardigans


Monday, February 12, 2007

17.12 On Time
I had imagined that the best thing about returning to work today would be the opportunity it would give me to bask in the warm greetings of the colleagues who had missed my sparkling banter, rapier-sharp wit and immense intellectual presence.

I had to make do with: “Are you better? You look awful!”

I am better.
Not 100% better, but enough better so that I can stay awake for more than 30 minutes at a stretch and am no longer off my head in the twilight world of Night+Day Nurse flu remedy, scattering baffling, unfinished, anti-Wise email rants hither and thither in place of my usual wail of despair concise, considered, post-match analysis.

As it turned out, the actual best thing about returning to work today was the post-it note ExLineManager had stuck to my desk: “Finance Company Unwinding Deal. Ring C”.

I rang 'C' (my CurrentFavouriteConsumer) to tell him he was, at a stroke, no longer in debt to the tune of £9,000. Now there’s job satisfaction.
On ringing I discovered something else about my CFC which made me even more pleased to be bringing him joy:I dialled his mobile number and his phone sang to me “Marching on Together, we’re gonna See. You. Win…na na na na na na …” turns out he’s one of us, and I never even knew it!

...which brings me back to Wise, going off half cocked again

No Dancing - Elvis Costello
Buck Rogers - Feeder
Dreamer - Supertramp
Rise Up With Fists- Jenny Lewis
Mushaboom - Feist
My Love - Wings
The Mariner's Revenge Song - The Decemberists

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

8.10 On Time.
Well! That was good.

You know when you've been really looking forward to something and you build it up and up in your head till it assumes a significance so huge that there is no way your unreasonable expectations can possibly be met and you end up disappointed?

It wasn't like that with The Decemberists.

Incredibly - and had I been any more excited I would've wet myself (sorry, but it's true) - I wasn't disappointed. Not for a minute (unless you count the minute when, somehow, it was eleven o'clock and they said 'Right, that's it we're off now '). There was certainly none of that surreptitious glancing at someone else's watch about seventy minutes in, when a band insists on playing three new songs in a row and time starts to drag, and you realise not only how much your legs ache but that your back's starting to go as well.

We got drama, we got enthusiasm, we got a Smiths cover. I think we got a hurdy gurdy.
In return we engaged gleefully, we sang with gusto, we were considerate to our neighbours (well, all except the two who used the crowd participation bit of '16 Military Wives' to cheat their way to the front and then refused to go back).

Apart from an extra hour or so - what more could a girl wish for?

I empathise with the boy standing slightly behind and to my right whose plaintive cries of "I love you!" punctuated the evening. I think I love you too, Colin Meloy.

Mardy Bum - Arctic Monkeys
Take On Me - A-Ha
Everyday Is Like Sunday - Morrissey
Ether Sings -Laura Veirs
All Over Again - The Lilac Time
Wild Wood - Paul Weller
Living Alone - Loudon Wainwright III
Part Timer - Young Knives


Monday, February 05, 2007

8.10: On Time.
Me: in bed.

Who would have a Friday off when you can have a Monday instead?
Be off work on a Friday and there’s every chance you’ll find yourself spending half the day in the shower scrubbing at grout with a toothbrush and some harmful chemicals, then the remainder wrestling with a duvet cover until you collapse weeping, exhausted and defeated in a heap of resentment and failure.

Take a Monday on the other hand and, not only can you spend the afternoon watching the Superbowl ‘as live’, you can saunter down to your local shops to enjoy the privilege of still having local shops by paying a premium price for your toilet rolls. If you’re really good, and can time it right, you can pick up a still warm pork pie from the Delicious Pie Shop for lunch.

I found myself in WH Smiths, for reasons that escape me, sighing over the Insight Flexi-maps and stroking the note books with a faraway look in my eyes. Then I came across a whole section dedicated to activities to complete ‘before you die’ .
Obviously, I’ve seen these in isolation before, but, en-masse it was terrifying. ‘1001 places to go/films to see/books to read/albums to hear/pickles to bottle/diseases to beat/adversities to overcome and then write a memoir about …well, you get the picture…

First up - Who Says ?
Second up - No, really: Who Says?

Third up - I feel inadequate enough already, and am fully aware of the ticking of that particular clock, without some LondonType feeling the need to list the ‘1001 Top Party Hotspots To Party Till You Drop In’ Before You Die. Anyway. I’m staying home and reducing my carbon footprint so there.

I think it’s time for my pie.

Oh, yeah, which reminds me - that’s why I was in Smiths in the first place.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Erm….OK, on reflection, just in case, and on the off chance that someone reading this might have, at some point, contributed to any of the above... you know...nothing personal. *Blush*.


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