Monthly Archives: December 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful

 It’s impossible to walk in the city centre without small children careening into my kneecaps at high velocity. There is no snow, just a persistent rain blowing in from the Irish Sea. The British Genetic Queuing Instinct becomes crippled in these situations, we stand confused in shops like carrier pigeons that have been dragged off course by powerful magnetic fields. Sensible queries like “Excuse me ma’am, are you in the queue?” garner baleful looks and possible hatred. My neck retreats further into the interface of my scarf and coat. I wish I could hibernate. I wish I was a big shaggy Kodiak bear.

I wish I could say something trite about how shopping in the cold and the wet taught me a life affirming message about the true meaning of Christmas. I wish I could say that I stopped to help a homeless person and my dark calloused heart was made clean by simple goodness. That’s a lot of wishing. I didn’t do those things. I purchased some presents, possibly ones that will sit in other peoples’ dark cupboards, forgotten, maybe wasted. I got cold. I drank tea and thought about going back to Yorkshire to see my family with all their combined quirks, neuroses and flaws. I wonder how they cope when this lanky son returns with money problems and ‘relaxed’ employment prospects.    

 The weather outside is frightful and I wish I was a kodiak bear.

Its a cold and its a lonely hallelujah

I don’t generally approve of meme-spam but I don’t generally approve of X-Factor either. I do however approve of both Jeff Buckley and Leonard Cohen and the news that Simon Cowell is producing some soulless cover of Hallelujah makes me deeply sad.

There’s a facebook group called  Jeff Buckley for Xmas no 1.

Also if you feel so inclined you can buy the Jeff Buckley version from & digital or itunes or some such

I wouldn’t normally include commercial links in my blog but I’m making an exception just this once.

The lifestyle of a professional beatnik

I’ve been living out off my friends’ spare room now since last august (due to circumstances beyond my control). All my possessions reside in large plastic crates or in piles. In twenty seven years on this planet I have acquired a lot of books, various assorted and ill paired socks and other garments and some musical equipment. In the event of an epic and uncontrolled conflagration, I’m not sure what I would rescue from this pile. Frankly I’m not even sure if any of it would be worth saving. Maybe this means I have achieved a zenlike state where possesions are meaningless and fleeting. Maybe this means I’m poor. I’m not even sure of the answer myself. 

 With any luck in the next few weeks I shall be moving into a nice new flat which features leather sofas and a jacuzzi bath. Needless to say, this will a step from the accidentally nomadic to the vaguely stable. Perhaps now I will decide that my life is not, nay CANNOT be complete without an Ikea rug, matching throws and crystalware. I hope that my desire for security doesn’t come at the cost of my soul.

I’m having beans on toast again for tea tonight.

100% Velociraptor blend

Many words have been typed on internet forums, blogs and newfeeds about oil. It’s effect on the environment and economy. There is one thing that both green groups and rightwing think tanks always forget about in these discussions. How oil is created.

 I’ll spare you the geology 101 but most readers are probably aware that oil is created from super crushed organic material that has been compressed over millions of years*. That organic material was once alive.

 The stuff that currently resides in the petrol tank of your car or the bus you rode to work on was once a velociraptor or a giant fern in a cambrian forest or an early rodent or**…. well you get the picture. Oil seems a lot more precious when you realise you’ve been burning velociraptors to get to work doesn’t it?

* Unless you’re a creationist

** Okay it probably wasn’t actually a velociraptor or a T-Rex but I’m trying to be poetic.