Monday, July 30, 2007

and you never knew how much I really liked you...

17.12 On Time
Meant to leave work early. Forgot. Had things on my mind, none of which were work related.

Tomorrow is Lovely's Big Night Out.

An air of mystery surrounds the reason for the gathering. He's only ever been Out at Christmas before, and never when he wasn't driving home afterwards. Tomorrow he's being picked up and will be on the beer with the rest of us. Except he'll probably be on Gin. We are almost certain he has an announcement to make.

Tim reckons it's a lottery win.
I think it's probably less exciting than that.

Scattered Black & Whites - Elbow
Homeless - Loudon Wainwright III
Break So Easy - Johnathan Rice
Draw Down The Stars - Tom McRae
Back To The Old House - The Smiths
She Still Loves You - The Lilac Time
Western Skies - Roddy Frame


7.31 Cancelled
8.10 Five Minutes Late
The ManWithTheBike decides it would be quicker to cycle again. Either way, he doesn't rate his chances of getting the bike on board the replacement bus service, which neither of us give much chance of arriving before the next train.

People are slinking off for regular buses, for hastily arranged lifts, for a duvet day, for whatever their 'Plan B' might be.

My 'Plan B' is to hang around and see what happens.

JuniorCommuter is worried about losing pay. He was late on Friday too and the boss isn't interested in excuses. NoNonsenseWoman is at the start of her second week in the new job - it's the second time she will have been late. She's not impressed either; particularly as she's just shelled out for two month's worth of season ticket.

The replacement bus service arrives. So does the 8:10.

Trouble Is Real - Jonathan Rice


Thursday, July 26, 2007

17.12 Right Time, Wrong Platform
It happened again.

I had to spend time alone in the office with EvilNemesis. He behaved like a normal human being. He was (whisper it) actually quite sweet.

Then, when the room started filling up with other blokes, he seemed to get an instantaneous testosterone rush and started acting like a knob.

I don't get it.

The Culling Of The Fold - The Decemberists
Open - The Cure
Shine On - House Of Love
Eli The Barrow Boy - The Decemberists
Blind - House Of Love
To Wish Impossible Things - The Cure
Angels and Angles - The Decemberists


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

16.12 Thirty Seconds Early
One Thirty: I've been totally alone in a silent office for about ten minutes now. How long this will last I'm not sure, but it's both strange and beautiful. I sit in my chair, cross-legged, shoes off and indulge in a favourite hobby which is called "gazing out of the window and day dreaming". My face, if anyone could see it, has probably gone all vacant and drippy.

A phone rings - I jump theatrically (although there is no one there to see it) and spill weak lemon drink in my lap.

The spell is broken.

"Blather blather blather ... it's horrible, we're having to live upstairs ... the front room's full of sofas I can't sit on...I have a four year old and no dining table ... blather blather"
I hold out for another 15 minutes and then I say it: "It could be worse, you could be in Oxfordshire."
She pauses, thinks for a second and comes back with: "...Yeah, well, we're stuck upstairs as well"

"Yeah, well, at least your living room’s not full of shit." Is what I don't say.

Show Me How The Spectres Dance - Liam Frost and the Slowdown Family


It's just a story

7.31 On Time
Woke up trying to catch hold of the wisps of a dream which had pleased me.
The Today programme seemed to be talking about flat pack furniture, Guiding and safe sex.

So, maybe I'm only dreaming that I'm awake?

No, if this was a dream the rain would’ve stopped by now, and I wouldn’t have almost had a row with a pensioner about whether or not the the ticket office should be open yet. My point being, if you start work at 7.30 you start work at 7.30, and never mind when the trains appear. But I forgot the golden rule: never take on the Over Seventies, no matter how irrational they might be, you'll never win.

Settled in my seat, the argumentative senior citizen out of sight and mind in the other carriage (she wouldn't have let it drop - that's how they win), I am intrigued by the man in the suit, diligently working his way through the Guardian.

Dark, blue eyes with the hint of a sardonic twinkle, stocky but not flabby, not ‘my type’ but nevertheless I am strangely drawn. A veneer of respectability disguises an underlying seediness. How much this arbitrary conclusion rests on the fact that, on infrequent but regular occasions, I've seen him uninhibitedly enjoying a can of Stella on the way home I don‘t know.

I realise I'm staring and close my eyes.

Treason - Teardrop Explodes
I Don't Know Why I Love You - House Of Love
I Don't Want To Talk About It - Rod Stewart
I'll Make It Clear - Teenage Fanclub
The Optimist - Turin Brakes
Perfect - Lightning Seeds
Country Darkness - Elvis Costello


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

7.31 Five Minutes Late
Lying in bed last night trying to get into "The Tenderness of Wolves" I was overwhelmed by hopeless bleak despair. I don't think the book had anything to do with it, it doesn't seem fantastically well written, but I am expecting a good yarn. Anyway, I lay there, unexpectedly engulfed by waves of sadness and bone aching loneliness.

There were some tears.

I'm fine now, of course. No trace left of whatever the hell that was about except for an echo of the embarrassment my emotional fastidiousness requires following any uncontrolled outpouring.
Even one with no witness.

Lightness - Death Cab For Cutie
How It Should Be (Sha Sha) - Ben Kweller
The Man Who Murdered Love - XTC
When I Dream - Teardrop Explodes
No Cars Go - Arcade Fire
Death Letter - White Stripes


Monday, July 23, 2007

Did You See Lisa?

17.12 On Time
"How was Dean?" Asked ThesaurusBoy.

Well, the RNCM was sold out, and as the fourth member of the party was set to be late, there was I trying to occupy two seats at once and hoping that the evening wasn't going to be incredibly embarrassing. See, I like Dean Friedman. I don't like him in a clever ironic way or regard my liking as some kind of 'guilty pleasure' I just really like quite a few of his songs a lot and, in the way of such things, was nervous on his behalf.

There was no need to worry. Even the unconverted were appreciative.

"He was excellent, thank you." I wanted to add "You missed a treat" but I know it wasn't his fault, so I didn't want to rub it in.

Lucky Stars - Dean Friedman


7.31 On Time
The holidays are well and truly over.
Plans A & B are scuppered with no possibility of resurrection and plan C is revealed as a non-starter. I have also finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and I was right about Snape).

It is apparent that I desperately need a new Project.

My nature is to obsess over minutiae, to dwell on detail. To check and double check, then check again. When I don't have a Project to fill my every waking hour, I become listless and peevish. Life has no meaning, my mind wanders where it shouldn't and, if I am left aimless for too long, I may seek some fire to play with.

And that would never do.

Ocean Breathes Salty - Modest Mouse
Caring Is Creepy - The Shins
Got Carried Away - Trashcan Sinatras
I Don't Need This Pressure, Ron - Billy Bragg
Exit Music (For A Film) - Radiohead
Wrong - Everything But The Girl
Say Something - James
Wolf At The Door (It Girl. Rag Doll) - Radiohead


Monday, July 16, 2007

16.12 Five Minutes Late
Super-efficiently killing two birds with one stone on Saturday we combined the trip to watch The Blue Nile at the Bridgewater Hall with the buying of a dress suitable for GirlieBoss's wedding.

Being only a couple of weeks from big day, and what with me being a bit funny about shopping, it was cutting it fine to start fretting about frocks so, really, things could've gone much worse.
As it was, Tried On 1 - 1 Bought, is not a bad result in my book.
It's long and blue and inoffensively hippie, from Afflecks Palace. I'm just not 100% sure I'm wearing it the right way round ... labels are always at the back ... aren't they?

Secretly, I imagine myself in the shiny pink taffeta 50's ballgown with the texture of curtains and the weight of a carpet, but I'm wise enough to know I could never have carried it off.

Anyhow, The Blue Nile? They didn't play 'Soul Boy'. Bastards.

More Adventurous - Rilo Kiley

Labels: ,

7.31 Three Minutes Late
GirlWhoTalksWithHerHands and GWTWHH's Older Friend have somehow been ousted from their proper seats and are directly in front of me.
GWTWHH's Older Friend discovers that she is sitting beneath a mysterious drip.
If this were a horror movie it would be a mysterious, sticky, red drip.

It is examined thoughtfully and appears to be only water.

As her Older Friend shuffles along the bench out of range, GWTWHH tenderly strokes the damp, stained, carpeted wall and says, in an 'aaw, bless' tone: "I love these trains".

Horror Movies - Astrid
Keep On Breathing - The Delgados
Everybody's Stalking - Badly Drawn Boy
The Big Guns - Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins
Don't Lose The Faith - The Dears
Close To Me - The Cure
Black Wave - The Shins


Friday, July 13, 2007

16.12 On Time
"Not HIM again. I told him yesterday I'd ring at lunchtime today if I hadn't got his sodding letter. Why has he called twice this morning to ask if I've got it??? What part of 'I will ring you...' does he not understand???"

"She's called twice??? But I'm not even dealing with the Flan, I'm dealing with the Troubleshooter!"
"Give it to me, I'll ring her"
"No! I'm not dealing with the Flan. The Flan is nothing to do with me"
"Then let me ring her..."

I was drowning in pink message slips and ThesaurusBoy saved my life.
(Although the Flan really wasn't any of our business.)

It's odd - all week I've been in control, skating across the surface, serene in the face of extreme provocation (it's even been commented on). Then today I fall apart completely.

Although, checking my diary, I see that maybe it's not totally inexplicable.

I still want voicemail back though.

No Self-Control - Peter Gabriel
Cast No Shadow - Oasis
The View From The Afternoon - Arctic Monkeys
Plastic Skull - Astrid
Baby Britain - Elliott Smith
Fruit Of The Vine - Jim White
Run Devil Run - Jenny Lewis
Everybody Come Down - The Delgados


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I also live under branches

16.12 On Time
Andrew 'bird by name' Bird supported Midlake last night. I like all that looping stuff, and you can't go far wrong with a fiddle and a glockenspiel, but.. but...but as far as whistling is concerned I'm strongly persuaded that 'less is more'. Or I was by the end of the set.

Midlake were louder, cleaner and less hairy than anticipated. They seemed like nice boys. Although who knows what might be going on
in their heads.

Leeds Irish Centre was a very civilised sort of venue. It smelt a bit of carpet cleaner, but I suspect a lot of places do at the moment. It's a shame it's 90 miles away.

Closest yet to missing my stop through being asleep.

The Trials Of Van Occupanther - Midlake


Thursday, July 05, 2007

16.12 On Time
Putting the phone down after telling someone they were making a mountain out of a molehill I reflected on how rarely, these days, I feel the need to revert to Quoting The Law.

All people want to know is if they are right or if they are wrong.
They don't care about the subtleties of the consumer protection (cancellationofcontractsconcludedawayfrombusinesspremises) regulations 1987 or those pesky torts and their darned interfering with goods. They like to spout a bit about 'satisfactory quality' (or, if they still base all their legal knowledge on what they heard on Jimmy Young in the 70's, 'merchantable' quality) but they don't want to have to listen to an explaination of exactly what that might mean, and how it is best applied, in the context of their individual circumstances.
And I've forgotten most of that stuff anyway. So I've stopped telling them.

Sometimes I will say: "You're absolutely right. This is what to do."
Frequently I will say: "You're right and this is what you should do - but - really, is it worth it?"
More often, of late, I will say: You are being stupid. Stop it now.

It seems better all round.
Although the toughest are the ones who already know they are right and ring up to confirm that they are right, but are actually wrong.

Woman Of Mine
The Letter
The Deli Song
I May Be Young
Shopping Bag Ladies


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

17.12 On Time
Today I successfully identified yet another man who was not telling the absolute truth.

I look forward to our next conversation when my baffled but, at the time, perfectly genuine observation of "But that makes no sense at all" will be resurrected. Hopefully to some effect.

In the interests of diplomacy I will not be reporting the comment that his wife is "not the full shilling" or relaying the suggestion that the information "We are Loonies" should be prominently displayed on his website.
Although he may tempt me to do both.

Last Friday I was showered with gratitude and a box of Milk Tray. The chocolates are a dim and distant memory, but a chocolate craving lingers on. This bloody weather isn't helping either - my body thinks it's time to fatten up for impending Winter.

Trouble Is Real - Johnathan Rice


Monday, July 02, 2007

17.12 On Time
I've been staring out of the window not really thinking about anything much.

Working backwards I find I've been not really thinking about how unlikely it would be to find a man in hounds-tooth check attractive. Not really thinking about whether signing up to 'Lastfm' was a good idea or whether I'll just become obsessed. Not really thinking about the smoking ban and not really thinking, at some length, about one of my favourite photos with me in it.

Unsurprisingly, it's of me & my Dad.

Butlins, Filey - '65 or '66?

I think it's the same year we met the family from the Isle of Man. They had two "big boys" and I spent a lot of the holiday determinedly avoiding looking at or speaking to them. There are a couple of snaps of them holding hands with me, in front of a fountain. I look sulky and awkward, they look kind and embarrassed.

But anyway - me & my Dad. On the Carousel.
And the smoking ban; eighteen years too late.

The World That I Wanted - Willy Mason
My Beloved Monster - Eels
Head Home - Midlake
Freetime - Trashcan Sinatras
Sorry Or Please - Kings Of Convenience
Just One Name - Astrid
Boy With A Problem - Elvis Costello


7.31 On Time
Tom Stoppard will be 70 tomorrow.

Flipping heck.

When I was doing my A'Levels (and a bit beyond) I had a massive crush on Tom Stoppard. It was sort of tied up with the obligatory crush on my English teacher. In reality they both smoked way too much, so it would never have worked out.

If you were to stop me and demand a quote from a play I would, without hesitation, produce: "We cross our bridges when we come to them, and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress but a memory of the smell of smoke and a presumption that, once, our eyes watered"

It's as true today as it's ever been.

Olympian - Gene
Slight Return - The Bluetones
Happy Heart - Andy Williams
One Of Those Days - Athlete
In It For The Money - Supergrass
Sleeping Lessons - The Shins
Far Far Away - Slade
Like Soldiers Do - Billy Bragg
Glass Houses - Get Cape, Wear Cape, Fly


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