Monthly Archives: January 2007

The long dark…

It’s on the top deck of the bus home, sandwiched in next to the anaemic teenagers smoking at the back. It’s under the squashed cartons of Macdonalds french fries blowing along the high street and clogging up the gutter. It’s the 3:30 work lull and tea break, somewhere at the bottom of the biscuit barrel, it’s essence soaked into the crumbs of the rich tea biscuits and flakes of custard creams. It’s the dead zone between the Antiques Road Show, Songs of Praise and Gardeners World. It’s the long dark afternoon of the soul (An idea plagarised shamelessly from Douglas Adams) and on days like this it can eat you.

I think I start to feel this way around the fourth cup of tea (caffeine paranoia) at the moment I realize I can achieve nothing more useful with my day other than to pack up and go home. I’ve been trying to find a cure for this since my a-levels. I think I’ll try tidying my room, it might have just enough sense of purpose to shift my existential funk and give me a sense of achievement. Or I could have another cuppa.

Peasant

Work is starting to dry up at the moment. I thinks it’s just the post christmas lull, but being a temp in our office right now is a bit like being a medieval peasant facing a famine. Our crops have failed (in terms of analogy – not many people are returning questionairres, which the temps have to process) and we are starving (in terms of the analogy – there isn’t much work).

I’m still on the look out for A Satisfying Career. Maybe this week could be the week that I throw of the shackles of my feudal overlords (ie the company). hmm

Slack

I’m having a slack week at work (in as much as there is little to do). For some reason this means that the quality of my day dreams have taken a hit and hence it’s been a slow week for blogging…

here is a top five types of cheese as a blatant space filler:

1. Wensleydale (my prefered regional variety for obvious reasons. The Vale of York doesn’t make it’s own cheese but if it did, it would be top of the list)

2. Cheddar (an all rounder this one, the workhorse of the cheese world and a constant companion and friend in the harsh world of post-student cooking)

3. Camonbert (oven heated untill it starts to melt, then dunk large pieces of french bread in for insta-starter, serve with red wine)

4. Fullers beer cheese (fullers london pride + some kind of cheese that I’ve forgotten about. I had it one year at christmas time but haven’t seen it anywhere since)

5. Edam (the peelable cheese, kind of like an apple, but inside it’s cheese!)

We apologise again for the poor quality of his blogging. Mistakes will be recitified.

Liquid Meat

I went to a meat fondue this weekend. Having never attended one before I was expectin a giant bowl of molten liquified beef which people could dunk assorted food stuffs in (babybel cheese coated in cow goo anyone?, what about a carrot?).

The actual event was rather more prosaic but did involve a hot bubbly cauldron of oil (just add booze for insta-danger) which we could dip hunks of beef into. There was salad as well to provide a buffer between bouts of the bovine onslaught (Nice use of alliteration huh?). Thankfully no one was injured even when we started washing down the meat with red wine.

The God delusion

[A Rant, of highly specific nature]
I came across an excellent review of Richard Dawlins latest opus (by an atheist nontheless) who said "Richard Dawkins just likes the sound of his own voice, why is the book (the God delusion) any more interesting than a book about why vampires don’t exist?".

As a philosophy grad I heartily agree with the above reviewer. The ability to *do* science doesn’t correlate with the ability to *do* philosophy and there are much better atheist philosophers of religion than Dawkins. Wittgenstein and Russell being prime examples. There is also one glaring logical fallacy underlying most of Dawkins thought. Go through the above book and replace the word "God" with the word "Memes". I’ll bet good money that most chapters will still make sense. Memes are as much an unprovable concept as God is.
[Rant over]

In the waiting room

(NB this was composed last friday, but is written in real time to given the illusion of immediacy, spontaneity if you will)

So the man sat next to me has a hole in his hand. Not a regular cut, but a deep circular indentation seeping blood. For all intents a hole, a pit. He holds a ragged kleenex over it. "I’ve had deeper cuts shaving" he mumbles, catching my eye. He is accompanied by a woman who would not be considered beautiful by any culture’s standards. She has a very swollen (possibly broken?) ankle. I’m wondering did she do that to him? Did he do that to her?

Every now and again the door to the main area of the medical centre opens and a name is called. The hole in the the hand and the swollen ankle disappear inside. I’m here because I can’t hear (pardon the pun), I’ll spare you the details, but my hearing has become..muffled over time. I only realized quite how muffled it was when I woke up two weeks ago unable to hear. Now I am about to hear a lot better.

Waiting rooms are great places for watching people. Everyone here has something wrong with them, their bodies conspiring against them. Aside from Hand Man and Leg Woman, no one else has any obvious flaws. Maybe the man over the other side of the room has found a lump this morning? A strange new parcel of skin appearing in an otherwise familar place. Or the woman with the frayed trousers and cheap jewellry has chest pains, but she felt fine an hour ago? Difficult to tell. Mentally smiting people with diseases for a hobby is a bit strange and I eventually have my ears done and find myself out in the street. Nothing seems louder but everythings a bit sharper

Redisplaced

I’m back in Liverpool having endured the gauntlet of relatives and craziness that makes North Yorkshire special. Coming back to Liverpool makes me feel a bit like Anakin Skywalker must have felt when he succumbed to the Dark Side of the Force (except without the asthma and need for robotic legs). I always feel a slight unease when passing between Huddersfield and Staylebridge, you don’t notice it at the time but something in the natural order is upset…

Musings about the preternatural evil lurking in the heart of Lancashire aside, work has been quite dull this week. I’ve been breaking myself back into the habits of the daily grind and shopping for a new computer. Also I have acquired turntables (of the DJ kind) which take up far too much space, but which are keeping me busy (hence the lack of blogging recently)

2006 – The year in newspapers

By cunningly scouring our great British tabloid headlines over the last few months, I’ve created a cunning amalgamation that should tell you what middle-england was really thinking over the last 12 months or so.

I think…

"Asylum seeking islamo-paedos seek to steal Princess Di’s tomb and turn it into WMD, paid for by YOUR taxes!"

…is the best I can do.

I think it captures the curtain twitching blend of paranoia and hysteria, of the Mail/Express jugend. Meanwhile more leftwing or centrist (and worthwhile) broadsheet newspapers chose to cover the problems in Sudan and the fact that climate change is inevitable.