Something for the Weakened

Archive for August, 2008

Service Announcement

August 29th, 2008 by

Moving went relatively smoothly, thanks for asking. I’m still living out of boxes at the moment and am without t’internet at home, but new house is in remarkably good nick. But now, before I can empty all me boxes, I’m having to make my way back to Cornwall again. Thus, things shall be quiet around these parts for another week I’m sad to say. Rest assured, service will be resumed. Whatever that might mean.

Can’t Talk, Must Pack

August 25th, 2008 by

Though I will say that it’s mighty fortuitous that all my posessions have right angles and are extremely easy to box. That is all. For now.

Toady

August 19th, 2008 by

Today is my birthday.

I am thirty-one.

You must all die to preserve the wonder that is me.

Off you pop now.

Scum.

Call Me Eric

August 17th, 2008 by

I did a spot of gardening today. Well, sort of. With the upcoming move happening soon, the fact that none of my co-habitees or I have really touched the garden over the past twelve months had left it in a bit of a state. In fairness to us, we haven’t been provided with any tools to maintain it, short of a shitty push mower that refuses to actually cut any grass and an electric one that spent the winter in a leaky wooden hut and (oddly) seems not to have worked since. Hamptons truly are the most incompitent letting agency I have had the misfortune to deal with, and I’ve had to deal with Homefinders!

I did find that gardening sans tools is surprisingly satisfying. Seeing as it was mainly weeding that needed doing (I’m not planting anything for strangers benefits), I donned my wooly gloves and ventured out into the wilderness to start uprooting things. Apart from the odd brambley bit, this proved to be remarkably easy. The majority of the weeds seemed to have very shallow roots, even the ones that were approaching triffid size. A swift yank at the base of the stem and they came out a treat. What? The main surprise for me was quite how many dead, slug scoffed leaves there were amongst the flower beds. I had realised that we were suffering from something of an infestation of the sliy beggars, particularly after spotting near to fifty of them partying on the gravel part of the garden back in June, but seeing the damage they’d caused still came as a bit of shock. Thankfully it did mainly seem to have been weeds that they’d been feasting on – possibly because they were closer to the ground than the shrubs that should have been growing there.

At least I assume that those were shrubs that were meant to be growing there. My botanical knowledge has never been that strong, and I don’t think that we had an inventory of what was supposed to be growing out there (unlike for every other square inch of the building – fucking Hampton’s tossers). It is faintly possible that I have just uprooted and shoved into Tesco bags all the actual plants, only to leave the weeds to grow vaster and vaster. I did at one point find myself absent mindedly tugging up some ivy (there were a lot of little sprouts of it about) before I realised that it was directly underneath a trellis which it was presumably meant to climb. Ah well, I’m sure no one’ll notice until long after we’ve high tailed it out of here. So long as I get my deposit back . . .

Mover

August 14th, 2008 by

I’ve spent much of the past week or so in various levels of panic over my near annual house move. More activity should take place when I’m slightly calmer. Or angrier. That’d probably better wouldn’t it. Must go rest now . . . so tired, so very very tired . . .

Wednesday, May 19th 1999, 10:25

August 10th, 2008 by

What follows is another archival project in lieu of my having the energy to form any cogent arguments at the moment. This may prove to be a horrible mistake, in that this time around it does take the form of a journal I kept over the course of a fortnight’s holiday. Like the previous archive projects, I’m only reading this as I type it up, so don’t really know what I wrote next and will not be editing for anything except grammar (and possibly extreme embarrassment in this case, though probably not). In the case of this one, I can assure you that it will be quite dull, unless I’ve forgotten some interesting details of the holiday. Annotations are unlikely to follow, unless I have a massive change of heart. I have taken the liberty of missing out the original title on the grounds of it being far too dull (‘Two Weeks Away’ – really, couldn’t I come up with anything better?) so subsequent entries will simply be titled as the dates on which they were written. Lets have a delve into the muck then.

I very nearly wrote this last night, but ended up reading Joe Sacco’s Palestine II graphic novel. Please accept my abject apologies, dear reader, though, in my defence, it was very good indeed. Anyway, yesterday – my first day completely on my own. Following writing yesterday’s entry I succumbed to my omnipresent desire for masturbation – after a break of 5 days, something of a recent record for me. The backed up semen exploded in a plume of milk white fire with a veracity I’ve not managed for some time. I don’t want you to stop altogether, lots of it is good fun to read, but please stop saying ‘dear reader’! Also, how on earth do you ‘perspire pusillanimously’? That makes no sense to me. Anyway, I’m keen to know what happens next! But I digress . . . Following a pleasant wank, I investigated the television more closely, discovering a couple more English channels – MTV + the Cartoon Network! Following a quick wash, I made for the bus stop, catching the last 189 before 14:00 cut off point. My initial plan was to go and embroil myself in the culture of the casyle throughout the afternoon. I almost managed this, were it not for my passing a museum I had been meaning to visit which was having an exhibition of avant garde Czech photography, 1914 – 1948. I decided to go in and spent a fascinating hour or so immersing myself in the strange geometric designs and the occasional lady plunging a dildo into herself. Well actually there was only one of those in a very odd photo collage, but the exhibition as a whole was excellent. Also, a thought, or rather a series of thoughts . . . I reckon your blog was more gripping when you were content to stick down a few lines every other day on what you were up to. Partially of course, it was gripping because it was regular, but still, now that you concentrate on the longer pieces, the ‘cogent arguments’ (which in any case you say you don’t have the energy to produce regularly), it seems to have lost a little of its swagger. Write more about the mundane things that you do (and smell – one of my personal fave entries was Smell Box Jury, not sure why) and try a bit less hard to write – for me your best writing is that which concentrates on the apposite phrase not the cogent argument. Also, interesting although all this serialisation is, it is striking how much of a better writer you now are, so in a way they are a frustrating distraction. That done, I was peckish, having skipped breakfast. I decided to make for Bohemian Bagel, a nice deli of sorts that Ian had pointed out to me, just opposite the fenicula railway. Following a walk through a pleasant little walk past a wall covered in John Lennon realted graffitti and the through a lovely little park, [not sure what happened there] I eventually arrived and took a seat. About five minutes later I spotted the self service sign. Oh, poor blind fool that I am. I got a coffee while some chap filled a bagelwith some nice turkey, salad and some kind of cream cheese (I had actually requested a sandwich, but got a bagel anyway). It sated my hunger and only cost 150kc (

Tuesday, May 18th 1999, 10:20

August 6th, 2008 by

What follows is another archival project in lieu of my having the energy to form any cogent arguments at the moment. This may prove to be a horrible mistake, in that this time around it does take the form of a journal I kept over the course of a fortnight’s holiday. Like the previous archive projects, I’m only reading this as I type it up, so don’t really know what I wrote next and will not be editing for anything except grammar (and possibly extreme embarrassment in this case, though probably not). In the case of this one, I can assure you that it will be quite dull, unless I’ve forgotten some interesting details of the holiday. Annotations are unlikely to follow, unless I have a massive change of heart. I have taken the liberty of missing out the original title on the grounds of it being far too dull (‘Two Weeks Away’ – really, couldn’t I come up with anything better?) so subsequent entries will simply be titled as the dates on which they were written. Lets have a delve into the muck then.

I must try and start to get into the habit of writing to you in the evenings dear reader. Doing these first thing in the morning seems to wipe about 2 hours off my day, but we shall see this evening. Anyway, to the events of yesterday. Following a bath and the incredibly powerful shower – which did drench the wall behind me and quite a lot of the floor – I spent a while writing this, smoking fags on the balcony ‘n’ just generally faffing about. Eventually, at about 13:55, I finally got my act together and left the flat, with my satchel full of bumpf. It was a far sunnier day than Sunday had been, so i only wore the little cloth jacket that Jason gave me a couple of years ago and which has served me well. I arrived at the bus stop – awaiting the 189 which takes me from here to Kacerov, my nearest metro connection – and stood around for about 10 minutes before actually looking at the timetable, only to discover that the 189 doesn’t run between 14:00 and 17:00. Undefeated, I attempted – successfully – to find the outgoing bus stop for the 215, a bus that stops just around the corner from the and the one that we had returned on on sunday night. With this acheived I made my way to Muzeum, the metro station beneath Wenceslas Square, to begin my first solo excursion into Prague central. I bought a 15 day travel pass from an odd looking girl in Muzeum’s station and then dashed over to the American Express office to change some money – a

Monday, May 16th 1999, 11:00

August 4th, 2008 by

What follows is another archival project in lieu of my having the energy to form any cogent arguments at the moment. This may prove to be a horrible mistake, in that this time around it does take the form of a journal I kept over the course of a fortnight’s holiday. Like the previous archive projects, I’m only reading this as I type it up, so don’t really know what I wrote next and will not be editing for anything except grammar (and possibly extreme embarrassment in this case, though probably not). In the case of this one, I can assure you that it will be quite dull, unless I’ve forgotten some interesting details of the holiday. Annotations are unlikely to follow, unless I have a massive change of heart. I have taken the liberty of missing out the original title on the grounds of it being far too dull (‘Two Weeks Away’ – really, couldn’t I come up with anything better?) so subsequent entries will simply be titled as the dates on which they were written. Lets have a delve into the muck then.

Sorry I neglected you yesterday dear reader, but I had rather a lot on and had I tried to write anything before going to bed I would have fallen asleep. As I write this I am sitting in the bath of Uncle Ian’s smallish and frankly box like flat. “But how did you get there?” I hear you cry. Well . . . The bus journey continued in a much similar fashion of uneventfulness punctuated by brief fag breaks. The Belgian town of Leige was pretty, but that was the last point of interest in Belgium (one more than I thought there would be). We passed into Germany at some point – no passport control again!!! – and as night descended I decided to attempt sleep. Oh, poor fool that I am. I tried many positions in that immediately uncomfortable chair – each eventually turned out to be worse than the last. The one time I did approach a restful state, the bus stopped and one of the allegedly trilingual drivers fired up the P.A. waking everyone up. I gave up trying to sleep at about sunrise – which was the same time as we eventually entered the Czech Republic. Finally someone decided to look at our passports, so after 15 minutes or so we were in the country (Hang on, I’m just going to have a wash). And what a beautiful sight it was. Numerous copses of woodland, encompassing dozens of shades of green, interspersed with fields of either no apparent use or of full flowering oil seed rape. It was about 5 minutes before encountering the first building (not including passport control) – a branch of McDonald’s. Yes dear reader, the west has certainly met the east. We next stopped in a village named Strlbo, where I finally managed to get a mouthful of water to abate my dehydration. [I'm surprised that I hardly bang on about the dehydration here. Due to the unexpected Chunnel trip, I had nothing but sterling on me and no opportunity to change it during the journey. When my bottle of Dr. Pepper ran out, I had nothing else to drink for the journey, and it was only a small bottle. Half an hour before arriving at my destination, I noticed a free water tap that was available to all passengers. I think I continued to go thirsty as a sort of protest and because I wouldn't drink water back then. Didn't like the taste. Still don't. Anyway, back to the inaction.] When we left the drab looking service station and drove a little further (past what appeared to be an army base judging by the man in camouflage gear mopping the pavement) the scenery opened up into a beautiful valley dotted with wonderful houses amongst the trees. I dozed for the rest of the journey, never fully falling asleep, until we arrived at Prague’s Florenc bus station at about 8:25 – over half an hour early! I waited about in the main information hall, where Ian had said he’d meet me, along with a rather attractive French girl (I think she was French), whom I failed to talk to due to my built in shyness. Ho-hum. Ian turned up at about 8:50 and we immediately set about making our way back to his place. This was my first introduction to the strangely logical Czech public transport system – by which tickets cover the amount of time spent on buses, trams or the Prague metro system. I have half a dozen one hour passes, though hopefully I’ll buy a two week one today. Following a short metro ride followed by a shorter bus ride and an even shorter walk, we arrived at the flat. It is on the 12th floor (of 12) in one the many hideous concrete blocks that litter the city (and most of Eastern Europe, so I’m told). It has more or less all mod cons and had a satellite dish when he moved in, allowing access to Sky News, CNN and dozens of free German channels, but nothing else as he has no decoder. The view (which I can see now as I look from the little balcony) is bizarre and unlike any city I have seen before. Just beyond this estate (another three, smaller concrete blocks) lies what appears to be a rather dense area of woodland,

Saturday May 15th 1999, 17:30 – 19:40

August 3rd, 2008 by

What follows is another archival project in lieu of my having the energy to form any cogent arguments at the moment. This may prove to be a horrible mistake, in that this time around it does take the form of a journal I kept over the course of a fortnight’s holiday. Like the previous archive projects, I’m only reading this as I type it up, so don’t really know what I wrote next and will not be editing for anything except grammar (and possibly extreme embarrassment in this case, though probably not). In the case of this one, I can assure you that it will be quite dull, unless I’ve forgotten some interesting details of the holiday. Annotations are unlikely to follow, unless I have a massive change of heart. I have taken the liberty of missing out the original title on the grounds of it being far too dull (‘Two Weeks Away’ – really, couldn’t I come up with anything better?) so subsequent entries will simply be titled as the dates on which they were written. We shall begin after the acknowledgements featured on the journal’s title page.

Acknowledgements

Dad – for suggesting the idea & fronting cash for travel.

Nik Lucey – for suggesting I try ‘n’ write this.

Uncle Ian – for enduring my presence for a fortnight.

Mr. J. Organ & the Oxford branch of the Jesus Army – for temporary lodgings & offers of sossies.

Good day to you dear reader and welcome to the beginning of my two week voyage to Prague in written form. You join me sitting in a pretty central seat on a luxury coach somewhere in France, so please excuse the shoddiness of my handwriting, as the road is considerably bumpier than I had expected. [the handwriting is quite wobbly at this point, even by my own dubious standards] Ah, according to a sign we just passed we are just coming up towards the town of Gent, which means more to you than it does to me. Anyway, as you have hopefully surmised, this is not the beginning of my journey. Oh no, dear reader, that began yesterday, the Friday of great preparations. I awoke initially at 8:00 – well, was awoken – by the sound of my brother leaving for college. “Aha,” thought I, “just have a little lay in, get up around 10:00 ‘n’ sort everything out.” Oh poor, foolish me. After what seemed like 20 minutes catnapping, I checked the clock on my video – 13:00. “Shit.” Thus began the Friday afternoon of hurried dithering. Following showering, polishing my boots (black polish – brown boots – works quite well I think), the rapid consumption of a Knorr Pasta Meal (just add boiling water!!) and some final packing (thankfully I did have the foresight to do most of that last week), it occurred to me that I would need to go to a bank and obtain some traveller’s cheques (Czechs Ha Ha) ‘n’ hopefully some Czech crowns. After a brief search for a working bicycle ended fruitlessly (I did locate Frags’ bike, but not it’s wheels) it seemed I had no option but to stroll to Witney – European city of culture for 6 years running now – a walk of 2 miles or so. This proved no problem, though wearing my overcoat on what turned out to be a surprisingly warm day caused me to perspire pusillanimously. The traveller’s cheques weren’t a problem, but sadly the hard currency eluded me. Ho-hum. While awaiting the cheques I happened to meet Kerry (surname not included for reasons of my own amnesia) who was paying some bills and wished me well. Which was nice. Then, after buying some hygiene products (shit, forgot to buy johnnies (HA! Like I’ll need any . . .)), I strolled back home. 4 miles in just under an hour in a heavy coat isn’t bad for me. I arrived home to find Frags ‘n’ his crowd cranking up the pooners again (hold ona moment, I think we’ve just arrived in Antwerp – which unless I’m mistaken is in Belgium – without passing any kind of border crossing that I noticed. Weird!). Sorry, where was I, oh yeah, pooners. I partook in a quick lug or two ‘n’ then went to fix me ‘brolly – with partial success – it’s holding together now, but I feel my shoddy stitching won’t last long. There then followed an hour or two of dithering, a habit I am particularly prone to I’m afraid – please bear with me dear reader. Following a crappy microwaved chicken casserole, I went on an uneventful bus ride into Oxford. The only thing resembling an event was a scary looking, chubby, bespectacled Asian bloke in an orange lined Parker, who sat behind me ‘n’ talked to himself – a little worrying, but hardly an event. I then dragged myself ‘n’ my case from Bonn Square half way up the Woodstock Road to the abode of Jake Organ ‘n’ the Oxford branch of the Jesus Army – my stop off point prior to boarding this infernal bus (which as I write this has decided to stop in what I have decided must be Antwerp ‘n’ is taking on more passengers. Ahem). Right, so I found the place without any problem and after dragging everything up to my room and collapsing briefly (it was another 2 mile walk), I was informed that we were going to a barbecue. Before I go any further I would just like to state that I know Mr. Organ through his being my su(a tram just went past my window – cool)pervisor at work. I do not subscribe to his beliefs or his cheerful, well meaning fanaticism. Now to get to this barbecue we called into use a couple of the commune(ity)’s bicycles. This led to further overcoat related problems dear reader, as it became repeatedly entwined in the rear brake block, a problem not resolved until the return journey (this place is full of cobbles – at every bloody junction – it’s a nightmare to write – see) [indeed - the handwriting here is all over the place] by tucking the lower half into the upper half, making me look like I had a tyre round my waist. The barbecue was something of a let down – it was made on a cooker, presumably due to rain. Jake’s usual band were present and were pleasant, as always (I wonder if the fit ones are celibate too . . . sigh, there’s no justice in the world . . .). Little of much import was said, though I arrived at the conclusion that as a movement they’re sort of doomed to failure. Despite the attempts to breathe contemporary hipness into an otherwise unhip subject, the ever growing climate of moral laxness will always eclipse their moral evangelising. No matter how good their intentions it seems to me that their only prey would be those with weak spirits or highly drig addled brains. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows or for that matter cares. But, my dear reader, I digress. Returning to the commune(ity), I spent most of the night fitfully attempting sleep, my mind locked in the painful duality between thoughts of carnal abandon and trying to suppress the desire to have a wank (a suppression, you will be pleased to learn, that was successful). I was already awake when the various alarms went off around the room at 6:00 (unheard of by my standards) and I proceeded to walk to the Gloucester Green bus terminal, pausing only to buy a bottle of Dr. Pepper ‘n’ a copy of Mojo, due to it containing an interview with Viv Stanshall (which includes some more photo’s from the Oz shoot of Viv with Germaine Greer with her tits out – I think I might have the whole set now!). The bus ride to London was thoroughly uneventful and got me into Victoria station about an hour earlier than when boarding the connecting bus to Prague commenced. (I believe that I might’ve just arrived in Brussels now. Which is nice). There then followed another hour of dithering, though slightly more organised than the previous bout – in fact most of it could have been averted if the stop my bus was scheduled to arrive at wasn’t the only non-smoking area in the building (hold on, we’ve just stopped for a break in the middle of Brussels, so I’m just nipping out for a fag) (that’s better). So, the bus turned up on time and I, along with only half a dozen other British passengers, though not all of the are British citizens, embarked on the ‘alleged’ 24 hour journey. Leaving London, the passed through one Lupus Street – Toylor’s current residence? I must find out when I return. The bus, so I’m told, ran down to Folkestone, I don’t know, my nose was buried in a copy of Empire throughout the journey and stopped next to a huge duty free building, wherein I purchased 200 B&H (I only wanted 100, but it seems these places only cater for the hardcore smoker). Then, following a considerable wait, we boarded the ‘Chunnel’, not a ferry as I had been led to believe, which was hideously dull, but very quick once you’re actually on it. We then carried on driving to the stop apparently outside Gent, which is where you joined me. I’m now sitting in the middle of Brussels wishing I dug out my foreign coins so I could’ve bough some food. Or porn. Though mainly porn. Still, I’ve got the sweets my Nan got me to keep going on, so I should be alright. I’ll keep you posted if anything happens.

Well, that’s a lot franker than I thought it was going to be. Trust me, it will get worse. Tell me to stop if you wish. I might well heed you.

Next time – Monday, May 16th 1999 (and what became of Sunday . . .)