Saturday, December 20, 2008


It may be a little pre-emptive, but I fear I may be preoccupied when the time comes...

Mewwy Cwistmas to all and their grandmothers

Friday, December 12, 2008

Give or take?

Should I have helped or taken the picture?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Not to be forgotten

I know it's been quiet of late, but there really has been so much going on. There are lots of things to talk about, one of them is my aunt Myrna. She's pretty poorly really, so much so that it's getting to that point where you think about how you will try and not to forget. So I had a look on the inter-trap and found this article from the Yorkshire Evening Post. Pretty amazing what you can miss in the world.

Myrna Wilson has always had stars in her eyes – if anyone can tell you about A-list celebrities, she can.

The 73-year-old grandmother-of-two from Moortown has worked with all of the greats. She convinced Frank Sinatra to play a gig, two of the Beatles once borrowed her car (and one of them her sunglasses) and she coaxed Gracie Fields out of retirement in 1970. She's also met Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Spike Milligan, among others.

She said: "The Sixties was a wonderful era and is even better in hindsight. When all this happened to me, I don't think I appreciated it fully. Some of the big stars were absolutely fantastic."

Belfast-born Myrna Malinksy was the youngest of two daughters to father Joe, a cabinet maker and mother Dora, a furrier. She was educated at convent school and in 1948 moved to South Shields.


She began working for a credit drapers in South Shields in the 1950s, then in 1956, star-struck and adventurous, she went to London to see if the streets were paved with gold and by 1963 she was a theatrical tycoon.

She became secretary to variety bookings manager Alec Fyne on ITC (Independent Television Corporation), which made and sold programmes to ITV.

Two years later she became Fyne's casting assistant and worked on shows such as Sunday Night at the London Palladium and Saturday Spectacular with Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers and Alma Cogan.

"I booked everything and everyone from a St Bernard dog to Spike Milligan. When Jonathan Routh of Candid Camera fame requested such bizarre casting as a girl prepared to lose her skirt in a door or a chimpanzee who wouldn't mind being measured for a suit, I took it all in my stride and delivered the goods."

Plum job

Myrna was head-hunted in 1961 by impresarios George and Alfred Black and returned to the North East to work as casting director of light entertainment on Tyne Tees.

"This led to me being approached by Brian Tesler and eventually landing the plum job of casting director for all light entertainment programmes with ABC in London at Teddington studios."

Apart from working on big TV projects with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, Myrna secured the Beatles from Brian Epstein for Blackpool Night Out, which took over from Sunday Night at the London Palladium in the summer.

"It was 1966 and they were staying at the Imperial Hotel. I will never forget John and Ringo borrowing my car. They asked to take my Hillman Minx convertible, which I always kept in immaculate condition. When they somewhat sheepishly returned it the whole interior had been ripped to pieces by hysterical fans."

A big feather in her cap was when Myrna persuaded Frank Sinatra to make his British TV debut for ABC TV when he was doing a show at the Royal Festival Hall.

"I practically camped outside the Dorchester Hotel, where he was staying, just to meet his manager. After nearly six months of negotiating I succeeded in booking him – I just wouldn't give in."

The thrill of the scoop proved to be heady stuff; after Sinatra said 'yes' it cost Myrna's office £10,000 in fees – and Ole Blue Eyes donated it all to three charities.

"As a reward I was invited to afternoon tea in his Savoy Hotel suite. I threw caution to the wind and bought a new suit, white leather gloves and a new hair-do. It was all worth it – just to look into those amazing blue eyes, the handshake alone turned my knees to jelly."

In 1968 Myrna, now married, started a family – two boys, Scott, now 39 and Kyle, 34 – and shortly afterwards was approached by Yorkshire TV to come to Leeds and freelance for the Les Dawson Show for six months – but six months became 10 years.

It was Myrna who finally coaxed Gracie Fields out of retirement in 1970. She also recalls meeting Bing Crosby, a "gorgeous and very unassuming" man, who appeared on Stars on Sunday and arrived with a toupee in his pocket.

Lovely time

She said: "He went and met all the people in the canteen, but went to say hello to the kitchen staff first."

After that, she formed her own company, before retiring.

See you soon x

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A tokenization of gratiude

I'm really busy at the moment, so it's always great when the stupid person within me escapes and reaks havok. Yes they say, you want to delete and not rename that file you've just saved, the one that took you three days to do, delete, DELETE! Bugger i say.

So it's especially nice to know that somewhere in this virtual world there is someone so much more intelligent and sensible than i, that they actually took the time to design freeware that will find these files despite the fact I have just hidden the path and may never find them again. So you ring up the handy University helpdesk and they say - try this! Oh yes, yes,, you are brilliant. I don't suppose you exist for fame and accolade, but honestly I, and probably many others, appreciate you. You quite literally made my day.

So then, when I get home to find that my good old lap-machine has died for some inexplicable reason, it is very nice to find an old bit of paper which says you have some kind of magic insurance to fix him. Oh yes, yes Tecguys, i think you just made my night!

It's strange because I have, really, honestly tried to learn HTML. The progress is extremely slow. I guess it's not my naturally bent, but it's nice to know that the virtual people out there who can, will help. I just hope they didn't look through my pictures.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Going and coming

I disappeared for a while from here, which if you noticed probably warrants an explanation.

Living alone, and being alone most of the day, means that your thoughts are your own, and with no-one there to distract you with this or that, they certainly can take a wander. There is a lot I have done recently which I feel I should apologise for, not that apologising any more will make things any better, in fact it may well make everything worse. The trouble is that knowing what you deserve will make you fear what is to come. All the time, every moment between the seconds you are being reassured that things are ok. This can make you a little highly strung. I felt that this feeling was spreading onto this place. So I stopped.

Tonight, I took a wrong-turn when walking from work and got to thinking. Our thoughts being all we have, it is no wonder we cling to them so. Every moment is spent trying to make our thoughts 'be' something, a play, a song, a book, an article, a building, a painting, a photograph. All in the hope that the thought won't perish with, if not before, us. In making these things, however, we do not acheive our aim. We do not crystalise our thought into anything at all. All we do is make something new. Decartes would tell that all these newr things instantly become tricks. Illusions of our intepretation. It is true that after some time we look back at a photograph and feel a vague warm feeling of familiarity. But it is probably a familiarity with the picture. We are no longer there and those thoughts are gone. Funny how we always think we will remember but are forever forgetting.

So I guess this is why this place has been put back, because it is a special thing in it's own right. These are not thoughts but words, they will mean something else at some other time, but they are still necessary.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Watching as the clock face changes

I've been staying up too late and getting up too early of late. There is, as ever, an endless fear of time running out, but sometimes it's more apparent than others. Now is one of those apparent times (in more ways than one i suppose). When you say that, if someone (specific) met you now, they wouldn't be attracted to you in the way they were when they did happen to come across you, it's hard to know what is meant. Perhaps it's that the past is always far away, and hence blurred to give the appearance of romanticism. Perhaps you are just older and less (attractive) than you once were. Whatever it means, it's probably not great.

Timely then, that when watching the above video, i received an entirely unprovoked message from a new (but good) friend that read 'I know we will. I really enjoy working with you. If you love neil wait. Follow your heart. It is hard, but time passes quickly'. I don't know what all of it meant, but it certainly meant something.

Indeed it does pass quickly, and the leaves all around us are serving as (not such) a constant (but a) reminder.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

things you don't know, teapots, and finally...the point

I've not really seen anyone for a couple of days, which has provided plenty of time to have a think about things (and to try to do some work).

Thoughts have come back to things that are not known. I only recently found out, having spent a good few years with the same letter, that he was in a film that I've watched many times, with many people. Weird.

Of course you only get a chance to realise how strange it is that you didn't know, once you do.

I realised too, that I actually harbour quite strong feelings about teapots, courtesy of same letter.


And finally the point - I am (currently) working in research. I have to think about the things I don't know. How in the name of < insert deity > do you do that?!

P.s. I also now know, having written this, that writing things in triangular brackets makes them disappear. I also realise that I don't know what these are really called. I also realise I am a bit special.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Slow down for that cyclist

You know me well yes you do. I’m the one who’s edging past, squeezing through. That perpetual irritation, that’s in your way, and wasting your time. Why am I in the middle of your path
Going too slowly.

Tell me, those pennies you’ve been spending. They are ours. And how much farther will they get you? Here I am. My head surrounded to protect me from your kind. I am shining like a fluorescent light bulb. It was your idea to get further and go faster and all for free. And where will it get you? Not to point B.
A total waste.

My fuel is me. And maybe I don’t want to inhale the festering fumes, which you exude, whilst I fly. And tell me why do I have to dress like a clown, just so you cannot refuse to see me? And still you do, don’t you? Still you will not see that you’re movement is not free. You keep proclaiming that you cannot. But I say yes you can, you just don’t want to. And I say it as I pass you by, in your dirty queues, day after day, round and round. So please, do not park in my path. When I am going so fast,
In the right direction.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Recycle this message

I've never wanted to use this place as a source of shameless vocalisation (typolisation possibly) but the long and short of it is that I want to build a recycling centre in a country that I have been to twice and have no idea how to do it or who to ask. If you think anyone can offer advice please send them here or tell them my email address.

In Ghana, as in many countries where clean water-sources are not readily available, water is sold in small plastic bags, which are then discarded, generally into a gutter which then becomes blocks and floods. This is stupid on a number of accounts, not least because people die during the floods, the plastic could be remade into bags or alternatively used to make things (like gutters). There are no recycling centres (that I know of) currently in Ghana. I want to get one built and then use it as an example to build others. Not only will this provide a source of income for many people in the area but it will save expenditure on clearing drains. I have no expertise in this area (other than going to Ghana and picking the bags out of gutters on occasion). If you can offer anything to this, even if it is a sentence of advice please contact me. Thanks.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Tonight I went to a talk about Rita Levi-Montalcini, one of my personal heroins. You may already know that she won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1986 (the year of my birth amongst other more exciting things for you). This prize from the peace loving dynamite inventor was in honour of her work in identifying Nerve Growth Factor, a protein that makes neurones do pretty and perculiar things like stretching out and talk to other neurones. She did this as an Italian Jew in the middle of the second world war witb the use of a laboratory in her bedroom consisting of a microscope and a few chicken eggs (which after using in experiments she cooked and ate). When moving to work in America she included in her hand luggage two chick embryos with transplanted tumours to begin work on (certainly beating my current record of a swiss army knife, a soft-toy rat and plenty of literature). She was, in short, a bit alternative in her technique, and a complete inspiration to me. If anything she has taught me to do whatever you think is important, no matter what people think, even if your father is raving victorian luddite. The talk was followed by some Italian snacks and wine, but being on my own I felt somewhat awqward and hence soon left. Walking past plenty of lairy medical students in pyjamas i kept my eyes down, which meant they easily passed over the chap sitting in the entrance of Manchester Museum. I don't know if he asked for change because I had already told him I didn't have any and apologised. At this point it struck me that I had just left a table full of biscuits, crackers and grapes that he probably wouldn't mind. I didn't really want to go back because I would look odd coming from outside and I would have to wrap things up and I was already on my own and so felt naturally displaced. I went back. I went back because Rita Levi-Montalcini did what she thought was important. After a few inquisitive looks and some half-decent wrapping I headed off with a small package that I quickly passed on with a brief explanation and a smile. It felt great! All I had to do now was to get passed the pyjamas without anyone noticing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

On seeing the light

The dark road

In the last couple of weeks I have made my way back into the enthralling world of lab-based academia. Aside from the more obvious benefits of things that go funny colours when you put them together, getting to wear a lab coat, and comments such as ‘oh yes, that’s just the wee of death’, it has also led to my placement firmly back in the bosom of my favour building in Manchester – the Stopford building.

There are many reasons that I love this place. Not least because there are so many nooks and crannies that I have metaphorically peed on, that is to say that I’ve made my own. There’s the corridor which I jittered down before my interview for University ( flying low throughout I might add), there is the chipboard walling on which I frantically searched for my first year exam results, the wall at the bottom of a shallow flight of stairs that I casually walked passed (oh yes, I am damn cool) and then returned to one particular evening. There are so many places that most of them I don’t remember, I have just gained a vague familiarity which it’s corridors. Oh it is ugly, ugly as hell, brown and grey and lacking windows in most walls.

But one of my favourite things about the Stopford building is something I found out in my first year of Medicine. It happens that if you stay late enough, as I often did, and you walk the corridors, as I also often did, then the lights behind you begin to turn on. It’s probably a feature of many buildings, but there was something about being here late at night, just a bit of magic I suppose.

So tonight, after more than one frustrating day at this new place in this old building I decided to go for a walk. There were other things to do, but I’d put them off long enough that it had become a habit. I walked along the corridors and looked forward at first. Everything was dark and unclear, blurry not least because I need glasses and I wasn’t wearing any. I was feeling pretty low, like there didn’t seem to be any light at the end of all this. So I walked backwards for a while, must have looked pretty stupid had anyone seen me. I realised that the light is behind you, the clear things, the things you understand have passed and can now be appreciated. The corridors which you have already walked are the ones illuminated. Sure it does mean that you will bump in to things and feel like rubbish on the way, but it’s necessary to gain anything at all.

Perhaps that’s what the end of things is like, perhaps once things are coming to a close you can look at things in the light you have created.

The lit path.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Instead of sleeping

Here's a list of things that have happened in the past few weeks (in no particular order of importance or chronology)

1. I had my first cello lesson
2. I saw the library we built in Ghana (see below)
3. I moved into my flat
4. I booked a flight to NY (leaving in approximately 6 hours)
5. I started a masters in research
6. I decided I'd had enough happiness (should a black-hole be created)
7. I started Hebrew classes

It's no wonder I currently feel approximately 70 years old.

Anywhere here is a beginning of a poem. Please finish it, because I can't...

How will I look after you? In the aftermath. After all. That has past. As I come, as I go, as I please. How/will I be careful? What do you see, in all that is before you? In the aftermath.

And finally, some pretty(ish) picatures ...

At the bottom of the valley
At the top of the mountain
At the library
At the Durbar

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Square one

I'm very angry...honest

I haven't written here in a good while. This mostly has to do with me 'busying' myself. And what a lot of busying i've been doing.

There is a theory that if you keep yourself busy then things don't get on your mind. It's one of my personal favourites. But today, having protested in London, met a few hundred people i didn't know, been to the Zimbawean embassy, had a 9 hours meeting about the charity and slept for fifteen hours I found myself with the dreaded DAY OFF. dun dun dun.

First i busied myself going in to work and printing necessary things, practising the talk i'm giving, reading things. But i just couldn't do it. I'm too tired. So mostly i ended up sitting still. Sitting still is most definitely bad for you. Listened to some old records - had been reminded of the Throwing Muses so found them again - but still the stillness catches up.

Where do i find myself? Right back at the beginning. Square one. Which, having checked, is definitely, one. Why do things end up this way? There are so many decision to make, none of which i have, so many things that i know are important. I wish square one was two.


Hoverflies are great. I've always like two things especially. Firstly, they spend so much time and energy (whose relationship i realise i never understood) just staying in the same place. Do you think they wonder what exactly it is that is dragging them down all the time? Those busy little birds and bees chasing themselves in circles and the hoverfly is steadfast. Busy being still and looking like he's looking. It's nice.

Secondly is the stealth insect tactic of looking like something altogether nastier. Much easier than actually stinging people is just to look the part. It's always been my method of choice. Not wearing yellow and black little numbers.

These two look particularly happy with themselves too, I've never found insects romantic before now.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Losing my patients

I've been feeling poorly in a funny kind of way recently. Couldn't tell you that I had a pain or fever or weakness, only that something funny is going on. I've been spending a lot of my time staring at a computer screen at numbers and figures and names and lists and not speaking to people until the sun sets each evening. Last week when things were at their worst I wandered on to a hospital ward. It's something I'm allowed to do, honest. I just felt useless. I introduced myself to a nurse that I've met at least ten or so times as one of the (many) medical students. I asked if there was anything to be done. I was soon contracted to put in a cannula and help with the meals, which I did gladly. I don't know why but I need people, but not just that, patients. I need a uniform and a job and a time when I have to get up and don't want to. Things got much better after this. The gentleman I was helping to eat was greatful, he nodded his head to reveal a head of matted grey hair and said thank you. He probably didn't know that I had benefited as much as he. That's not wrong is it?

After that I admitted plenty of things to myself and felt much better.

I think there needs to be some more pictures around here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Thinking of you in the garden

No pain.
No failing.
Not a falling.
No bruising,
Or torn skin.
Just a slow and gentle,
The fading of a fragrance.
With a rose,
A pink stain.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Pandas - they're a bit crap

Yesterday evening I was watching a programme about 'the complex relationship between china and nature'. During the programme there were plenty of pretty things, including quite a few pandas. There were also these points made
1. The female panda is only fertile for 2 days of the year
2. Pandas cannot hybernate owing their inability to store energy from their diet
3. Pandas will only eat bamboo - during the winter the leaves freeze so that they panda must defrost them by rubbing the leaves on their faces

Based on these, an other, facts I came to the conclusion that pandas are quite frankly crap. Infact the only thing that is keeping pandas alive is the IVF treatment that 'conservationists' are using to breed pandas because even when you put a lady and man panda together you just can get them to mate.

This was my original conclusion anyhow. After a little more thought it seemed that despite the ridiculousness of doing panda IVF and then bottle feeding (and burping!) them it does say something about human-beans. Even though we made do the most senseless, ideotic, stupid things (i mean really, you don't see a monkey trying to breastfeed a turtle do you?!) it makes us different. The fact we can be upset by another animal/persons suffering is our most redeeming feature.

2 days a year?? why?! how did they even get this far?

Saturday, June 07, 2008


I thought about a dream i had last night in between viral-induced snuffling and rolling around.

I lived in a little flat somewhere. The walls were a dark red-purple colour, with lots of things from lots of places all around. I had a different guitar (that was correct-handed) and lots of happy plants. I was reading a book, fiction i think and sitting with my feet out the window because it was warm. I was waiting for someone, don't know who but I was looking forward to them. I'd been places. I had a job somewhere that I could do. I hadn't neglected to eat or sleep to the point where I constantly ached.

It's pretty dull probably so sorry. It just made me smile when i woke up.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

On a summer evening

A still woman
Pink chiffon dancing all around you
Eyes shut to the wind
Someone else is driving
But you are so still
This jealous affection

He might own you
But I can sit small
And watch the back of your head
Pushed by the forces that turn the car
Not knowing if you notice
Still motionless in the middle of commotion

His possession of you makes me tired
The red triangles blur before my eyes
So I shut out the sun
I didn’t need to wait for that edge
We were already gone

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A few things

What, did I hear you? But I can't be too cool.

Things I've noticed today ...

1. You can't get Wikipedia in Hebrew
2. Cat's eyes (the ones on the road not in the heads of cats) were invented in Halifax and I've not seen any actually IN Halifax.
3. The average person uses 57 pieces of toilet paper a day (???)

(It's that revisiony time of year)

Monday, May 05, 2008

I am not content to say

Today I've come home, I have a self inflicted exam tomorrow so it just seemed like the right thing to do. Not that work has happened but playing I Am Kloot or Tonight You Belong To Me by Billy Rose/Lee David/Gene Austin...Steve Martin was just too tempting. I've been reading things to Hallucinating Foucault in one place, Life of Pi elsewhere. It seems to suggest I live in two places. I suppose I'm not really living in either at the moment, just keep taking exams, just keep moving, keep reading, keep talking.

So, you wish your best was better? I do hope that wasn't tosh.

I recently found out that Madeleine McCann had a coloboma. That holds a strange interest for me that I can't really explain.

And here is proof that i am neither pale nor interesting ...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

If the spring fits

Sometimes you notice things, and sometimes you don't. Then again, sometimes you aren't sure quite what it is you've noticed.

I've been pretty busy recently what with the blind, the deaf, the hungry and the tortured. Not that I've done much to fix things, but still, I'm giving it a go. My birthday passed, it was great in fact, one of the better. Thank you. A few days later (today in fact) I got round to playing with things, and it fits. Now just how can that be? I assumed sizing up fingers was simply a sham of a reference to proposal at the time. Is this a coincidence? If not, how do you make a spring to a specific size? And why would you? Bizarre. Either way, it fits.

In other news I shall soon be running 3-legged down Oxford Road in Manchester, care to join me?

What have you been spending your seconds on?

Oh Fiona I do love you

Monday, March 24, 2008

6310 miles full circle

Strange weekend. It's been said that I lack apathy and that is a fabulously good thing, but I'd pretty much whittled my way down to two options last week, and lacking that protective inertia it was all looking a bit grim :-

1. End my life.
2. Fly to America on someone else's Mastercard to ruin theirs.

I'm selfish, ever noticed?

I mostly had a lovely time, lived a little dream for a little while and stuck my feet into that crystal snow with you. Met some lovely people, really lovely. Somewhere was a dinner party in soft candle-light. We were all laughing like there was a gas leak (of the non-carbon monoxide variety). There's always the down's in between though, the shaking and the tears. There are some pretty pictures for those that like to see pretty pictures, I'll add them if they aren't placed elsewhere.

On the flight home they were playing Beethoven's 5th Piano Concerto. I love that song, reminds of another body I kicked into the gutter. Hey Alasdair, I'm sorry, you wasted so much on me.

Planes, they make me think of Jose. I always say hello. I could have at least sent you something back in the post couldn't I? It probably wouldn't have fixed everything for you, but it wouldn't have taken much. Maybe it would have been something to keep going for.

As I stared at an old couple clinging to each other in their sleep, I wished this wasn't happening. I wished that that house you're in was ours, and it was always like it's been for a couple of days, but it just doesn't seem to be falling that way. I got scared that the old could would wake up, so put my head down, but no sleep was ever going to come.

I hadn't really thought about coming back, but here I am, back, here, doing the same as before. The phone rings out again.

'...I can't talk right now.'

'I know.'

'Let people help you.'


I've been awake for nearly 36 hours now and I can no longer talk, or walk, in straight lines. So I will have a shower, and learn about personality disorders and hope for the best.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Awoken from sleep
of a peaceful quiet world
by Jokisen tea;
with only four cups of it
one can't sleep even at night.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Uh oh.

There are 2 ominous things in this world -

1. Flies
2. French people talking in the library

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Have you ever...?

So, Psychiatry, that's a load of fun. Today, I spoke to a nice young girl, bit Schizophrenic, but lovely glassy eyes. Stared right into me. 'Have you ever thought that life wasn't worth living?' I ask. 'Have you ever thought life wasn't worth living?' says she. Hmm the chance for honesty, but I've noticed that psychiatrists seem to keep their personalities in their pockets, so I guess I'm supposed to do the same. 'Well, I think, I mean, perhaps everyone thinks about those things sometimes, have you?' says me. 'I think about those things just like everyone, sometimes.' says she. She stares at me a little longer, we both know we are lying, and that blue man in the corner is laughing.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Is it me, or is the new Russian president just a little bit camp? (I do wonder where someone is Putin it.)

Sorry. Honestly, I couldn't help it.

Also today -
Naomi ringing about the charity Gold Party - "The DJ has cancelled"
Five minutes later, from an unknown number - "Do you have anyone DJing at your event on thursday?"

Seriously, is someone watching?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Reasons to be cheerful

There are so many, the guilt will break my bones, I'm sure of it.

There have been grey moments of late, blindingly happy ones too, but certainly some grey. Yesterday I was in the rather perculiar situation of being watched by twenty people and asked the question 'Am I going to die?' by a man pretending to have terminal cancer.

The answer, of course, is yes. The silence that follows drags me to the floor, I'm squirming around though I know no-one can see that. Soon the actor is thanking me for answering his questions and I'm heading back, sweaty, to my chair in the crowd. This is so bloody hard. One of the faces around i have an affinity for, their presence makes me more and less nervous simultaneously.

So I go back to a computer screen, sure that I will do all the many things that I've decided need doing. Instead I watch All About Lily Chou-Chou , great film but I've lost reality completely now, walking back from the hospital at midnight through the council houses. There are a few empty cans around, for some reason i don't pick them up. I'm sure at another moment I would have. They'll be gone tomorrow anyway, although I don't know where or why, rubbish just doesn't seem to accumulate. Perhaps that's why people leave it around. I hate that.

Another conversation on the phone. Sometimes I hear the talking and I wish it wasn't me, wish I wasn't ruining things, but it just goes on and on regardless.

Monday, February 25, 2008


If I can't be you can I at least kiss you.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It's been a while

Sorry time has passed without anything having been said. I did, however, notice that someone is playing tetras really really slowly in the background here. Other than it's more obvious relation to four, tetra are also fish. Ok so it might not be so interesting but i enjoyed it.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Motor neurone disease

If you're still reading after the title you have my utmost respect. Not many people want to think about motor neurone disease, on account of it representing the opitome of one of our fundamental fears, uncontrolled deterioration so that we have no function left and are completely aware without any control over our life.

I met a woman this week with motor neurone disease. 60 or so, with fluffy grey/brown hair. She laughed quite a lot, I'm told that was emotional lability due to suprabulbar palsy. She was a lovely lady, not at all frustrated about having to talk to a bunch of attractive/healthy/going-to-fix-the-world/can-do-anything-they-want-to medical students, and having to do it using a hand-held keyboard. I wanted to do something to fix it so badly. I wish I was better at this, certainly as good as the reputation would suggest, but more than that. One of the other's said they couldn't do neurology because it is too depressing. What's the point? Really, what are you in it for?

Oh, and I truly believed Stephen Hawkins was American, silly computer programmers.

Also, this man poked me, who are you? you cant do that!

Friday, February 08, 2008


Why are cholinergic neurones lost preferentially in Alzheimer's?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Squash it away

Just the next street along

Pam was busy today. Bugger. Never mind. I can do this, I CAN DO THIS. Toddle back to the hospital, give a presentation on depression and dementia. I CAN DO THIS. Go talk to a person who's liver seems to be failing. IT WILL BE FINE. Squash, my first lesson. First girl there (other than me) so we stand awhile wondering whether or not the other is there for the same reason. Each decides that the other is looking in the same way and therefore is likely to be. She says hello. Hello. Are you here for squash? Yes, are you? Yes. Are you a student? Yes, are you? No, I work for the University. Oh what do you do? I work for STAR, they organised sports and halls (a strange combination but ok). Are you in halls? No, I used to be 3 years back now. Where did you live. Ashburne hall, I liked it a lot. Oh did you know Michelle? Erm, no. Oh I think she was the warden then, her husband is the warden now in Richmond Park, so we all had to move. Oh. Did you know Brian? No. STOP IT, I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT, GO AWAY. So it goes and I'm soon standing on my own smacking a ball against a wall. Think I'm ok at squash, aside from the serving.

The thing is I'm keeping it at now, I'm forgetting all that and quite frankly I want all those things to become cold shadows in the hope that they will eventually slowly fade to nothing. It's my way of making things work, because it isn't at the moment really.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I can only make it this far

Shame that I can only get to this point in the week before needing to talk to someone. I have spent every effort trying to get this fly out of my room without killing it; he seems intent on tormenting me.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Today it appears not much made sense. When you speed through a slick neurological examination, deciding on your shiny new diagnosis, only to be told that the patient is hysterical and has nothing at all wrong with her. Well then.

Finish with the day to get home tobe told that you were being led somewhere you had no idea you were going at all, let alone somewhere you wanted to go.

Most of the time things swing along nicely, in the belief that the eyes are catching everything that is going on around them, when of the surrounding reality what proportion is actually being received?

How can it feel so different in here than the way it must be looking on the outside.

Oh and I found this, it is disturbing but quite pretty.

Monday, January 28, 2008


Getting back to my car, after a morning of sitting in the office of a GP somewhere between delusional and disallusioned, I found that someone had lovingly carved a star into the side of my car. Lucky because the poor little minule had been uglied by her recent run in with the fridge, closely followed by the bus.

After that I was late for the next place where no-one would notice whether I was there or not, but instead of setting off immediately, as I would normally, I sat in my car a while, ate my sandwhiches and fumed gently.

The conclusion I came to; there is no justice. There is no specific right or wrong. It's wrong to destroy what is someone else's. It's wrong for us, as a whole, to fail imbed that knowledge into each member of society. It's wrong that I've got a fancy car having not (yet) done a hard days work in my life. You can pick your morality like brightly coloured sweets, and then you can be happy with the sweetness of your choice. You will always be right and you will always be someone else's wrong. If you believe in god you are right, well done. If you think it's bollocks, you're right as well. Even if you think that the important thing is not deciding, you're still right. Just make your choice be happy. I suppose the people we like are the ones who are willing to consider someone else's position on what right is.

Oh yeh, and I love you Rae Spoon!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Someone's poem

Ho-hum. Drum. Eerie feeling, early morning.
Off to wake. You've left me. Quietly. Soundlessly.

Applying someone else's rules

1 10 11 100 101 110 111 1000 1001 ... 11111
But I don't understand why 11 becomes 100.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Someone said something to me today that made me think.

"I don't want anyone to have the ability to upset you"

Funny you should say that, I would consider it completely necessary. If someone has the ability to make you truly happy don't they, by definition, also have the ability to upset you, simply by withdrawing whatever it was that gave you joy. That's the trust isn't it? It's saying I know you can beat me at Chess, but I'll still play, and if you asked me I would even let you win, but I know you won't ask, and I'd prefer to lose anyway if that's what is required.

If you never lay yourself truly open, you can never really be reassured. Of course it's a gamble, but anything worth anything always is.

I don't, incidently, think this is what love is remotely.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


nolens volens

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Session 2 - Waaaa??

Ah lovely Pam, I think you are as nutty as me, but then again that makes the whole process a little easier.

Pam: So it sound like this third eye of yours can say some pretty cruel things.
Me: *looks a little bewildered*
Pam: I think you need to work on that inward looking eye
Me: *thinks - do I have a squint?*

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In the early hours

I used to know someone and we used to talk at 4am. At the time I thought that I was the only person in the world (apart from you on the other end) who talked at 4am. Of course I was seventeen and thought that I had sufficient gravitational pull such that the rest of the universe was orbiting me (and I was 'studying' physics, sheesh). Since then I have realised that somehow 4am is actually a time when people who are disorientated and in love talk. Why is that?

I also know that since I paused knowing you I have never been rung by anyone emotional or upset in the early hours of the morning.

Not that I expect you to call (either of you), and that is possibly because you are not emotional or upset (of which I would hope you were not upset but suspect it not to be true every 4am), or some other option along the lines of 'you don't think I'm the right person to call'.

For that I matter I don't suppose I call either. Perhaps I am not upset. Perhaps I'm too afraid to call. Perhaps it would be selfish and I shouldn't.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Fears and fairies

As a child I used to love the flower fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. My grandma had a little book that a teacher had given her at school for being good. It was tiny and on the edge of falling apart, but all the colours inside were still there and I used to look at it for hours. I remember closing my eyes when I was alone and imagining the little Buttercup, Zinnia and Lavender fairies dancing all around my head. Come to think of it Lavender was my favourite. Somehow, at some point, in some place, this image changed and morphed into a strange and unreasonable fear of pigeons (it's actually most birds and flying things but pigeons are always bleeding there). Now when I am alone, and my eyes are shut, I image them swooping and squawking around my head. I wonder where our fears come from.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lesbians and the neural tube

Instead of learning about Neurology (which is definitely what I should be doing) I decided to talk a little here. Today I have mostly been homosexual, and as such came across this lovely site, it's brilliant! I just decided that on evaluation, girls are just nicer, see examples. I realise that the social stigma and inability to create people could make life less easy but you know, they have smaller shoulders and their hair is softer. I think you should agree.

On a marginally more academic subject I have been marvelling at the neural tube. For those who may not already know your brain starts out as a tube. It goes something like this...
Week 1: sperm reaches egg, starts to divide
Week 2: Fair few cells in a big blob
Week 3: Blob has organised into a sheet of 3 layers of different cells (endoderm, mesoderm and ectoderm) which will for all the different tissues and organs
Week 4: Sheet begins to fold up with a groove in the middle
Week 5: It forms a tube
Week 6: one end of the tube begins to grow massively and fold up - this will be your brain, the other end will be your spinal cord (all the other organs are growing too by the way
Somehow at week 9-10 there is a person about the size of the end of your little finger will fully developed organs which will then simply grow in size.

I like the idea that complex things are simply a long sequence of simple things stacked up on top of each other.

Tricky one

A woman complains that she can't eat her peanut butter sandwiches. She says even if she does eat them she can't taste anything anyway. You notice that she has horrible halitosis and her eyes look awfully sore. What's the diagnosis Doc?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Picture perfect

One of my all time favourite paintings, Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth, has been dancing around my head for the past few days. His appreciation of the beauty of weakness and nature almost make me want to contract TB and be schooled at home on the wide expanses of Pennsylvania. Almost.

Here she is, in all her beauty, dragging herself across the fields

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You know

you're in trouble when he says...

Him: I do like to talk, when I'm excited about things.
Me: Like what things?
Him: Well, you know, all those things you aren't interested in.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Owed to youth.

Little girl,
Little girl,
Tell me of your woes.
For I am old,
With time to spare,
And nowhere else to go.

Dying man,
Dying man,
I've not a thing to say.
The days are full of hazy sun,
And I've got time to play.

Think I'll always drink too much coffee.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Session 1

Excert from my first 'session'.

Nice enough room, though I did find the lizard on the table a little distracting (no there was a metal lizard on the table, I'm not completely losing it). Pam was nice (as expected), blonde with big eyes, just like all the woman you want to talk to.

pam: what would you like to achieve by coming here?
me: to be happy enough not to have to.
pam: and what is happiness to you?
me: erm...I suppose I have to know that.

Spoke to my grandma today. She's a woman I'd like to be in a few years, think I stand a good chance of that too, think i'll enjoy being my mother first though. Something she said, naturally scraping a little close to me - 'Any feeling is a risk'.

Also, in an attempt to understand this crazy mixed up world, I sought to find out just exactly what all the things in my shampoo do...

An accidently terrifying picture

aqua - deionised water (also known as 'water')

sorbitol - makes it shower gel rather than shower water

sodium laureth sulphate - acts as a surfactant, which basically allows grease to come of you in the watery environment of a shower (and it makes it foamy)

cocamidopropyl betaine - does the same greasey thing as the one above but also makes the one above less irritating

decyl glucoside - and the same again, but this ones from plants

coco glucoside - same, but this ones from coconuts!

disodium cocoamphodiacetate - and again!

Polysorbate 20 - and again!

prpoyene glycol - moisturiser

sodium chloride - makes it thick with the sodium laureth sulphate (because it's a straight-chain alkyl benzene sulfonate surfactant)

tetrasodium EDTA - binds to the Ca and Mg to prevent reaction with the surfactants

citric acid - low pH to around 5.5 to cause hair follicles to lay flat and make hair look shiny (i have no idea why that happens!)

glyceryl oleate - moisturiser (from glycerin and oleic acid from vegetable oil)

Dilinoleic acid - has a funky anti-inflammatory effect on the skin

Lauryl methyl gluceth-10-hydroxypropyl dimonium chloride (bloody chemists) - supposed to increase water content in the skin, but in reality gets rinsed off

dipropylene glycol - what the perfume is diluted in

linalool - smells like flowers

hexyl cinnamal - smells like chamomile

butylphenyl methylpropional - another smelling thing

Parfum - it's just perfume

So there you go (or probably already have, well actually you can't have, wait!) That was Tesco's finest own brand (not suprisingly much the same as all the other ones).

See you tomorrow, if you'll still have me.


Gone today, here tomorrow

Strange how a relationship can teach you to be alone, but hey, I'm willing to learn. Tomorrow I give myself in. I was 'well' today, whatever that means, and tomorrow I will be 'ill'. I don't know how it will feel, but I'm told (and probably believe) it's the right thing to do. At the moment I hate the people who can live happily on their own, I hate them, and that's a sorry state of affairs really.

What you are, or more correctly what you think you are, really is a very powerful thing. Your fears about where you will fail determine what you attempt, your confidences determine success, which of course breeds confidence (well generally).

Part of me wants this to be an academic exercise, I'd like that, but I suspect that it won't be, and that is more disconcerting.

There are plenty of people around here who talk about this sort of thing, so chances are I won't be including much of it here, but possibly, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Maori karaoke?

Yes indeed.

Fainted heart

Soft curved skin
Gentle, thin
Am I?
Will I let you in?

Looming broad
Driven down
Do you?
Will you anyhow?

Tiny air
Squeezed between us
I will, you know
Words are worthless

Fears played out
And silent dreams
Into time
Under sheets

Monday, January 07, 2008

If I were mad enough

"Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

So, I've been thinking about death.

There are a number of reasons for this:-
1. I am morbid
2. I see dead people (real ones)
3. I love people, I worry about them dying
4. I have some non-descript higher function

How do we know we are going to die? I suppose by extrapolation we see him die, and him, and her, and them and sooner or later you are told you are going to and it just becomes a truth, the only inevitable thing.

Take a swan, if you see ten swans that are all white, some would say thats enough, swans are white. Perhaps you need more convincing, perhaps you need to see a hundred or a thousand white swans to say swans are white. The only problem with saying that swans are white is that the next one might be black. You haven't seen all the swans. Perhaps it's a fundamental, but necessary, flaw of the mind to extrapolate.

Why do we need to? Well I suppose chiefly to learn. You can't discover everything that is known now again, you have to accept a theory to add to it (an ability I've been told I lack). We are inherently accepting, and it takes an awful lot of effort to resist it and think.

All I'm saying is just because they died, doesn't mean I'm going to.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

More on idiocy

They lay iggs!

Well today, amongst other things, I drove into a bus. Yes, I hear you say, I'm an idiot. I'm a woman, yes. I have no spacial-awareness, yes. I wonder why I cannot manage the normal things. Why can't I check my bank balance, or drive a car, or clean the house, or eat normal things?

Suppose intelligence was measured in terms of functionality, which oddly in this particular part of town it doesn't seem to be. Well then, quite frankly, I'm an idiot.

Interestingly, an idiot is a stupid person with a mental age below three years, while a moron is a stupid person with a mental age of between seven to twelve years. I hope to qualify as a moron in the near future.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

shrewd shrew

I looked at this poem when studying my GCSE's. There's something more to it these days. You should be careful who's dreams you stand in the corner of.

You rang your bell and I answered.
I polished your parquet floor.
I scraped out your grate
and I washed your plate
and I scrubbed till my hands were raw.

You lay on a silken pillow.
I lay on an attic cot.
That's the way it should be, you said.
That's the poor girl's lot.
You dined at eight
and slept till late.
I emptied your chamber pot.
The rich man earns his castle, you said.
The poor deserve the gate.

But I'll never say
or 'thank you ma'am'
and I'll never curtsey more.
You can bake your bread
and make your bed
and answer your own front door.

I've cleaned your plate
and I've cleaned your house
and I've cleaned the clothes you wore.
But now you're on your own, my dear.
I won't be there any more.
And I'll eat when I please
and I'll sleep where I please

and you can open your own
front door.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And so it begins

Love can be ir-rat-ional

It's that time of year isn't it, where you think about what you are and what you should be doing.

I had a good time the last week or so. My best friend (I'm accepting of the theoretical one-sidedness of that) turned up and reminded me of a few things, it all got warm and blurry, and I cried more than usual.

I stayed with a family that is not mine, though mostly I feel that on a technicality. I am so lucky to feel welcome there. To feel that I can share moments both joyous and deeply sad, and may even contribute something of worth to those times, is a wonder, and I am more grateful than know how to say.

Mostly I've remembered the ways that I slip. Everyone has their lazy ways, their trying-to-do-it-in-the-cheapest-easiest-shortest-way kind of ways. I remember that those arent necessarily the best ways. I went out to the pub instead of studying, and contrary to the belief of some I wanted to, I wasn't sacrificing what I 'should' have been doing. I should have been there, with you and your friends, playing pool and enjoying life and people. It's not a waste, and I remembered that.

I went to church and sang songs with an athiest, a jew-christian hybrid and another of yet unknown religious outlook. It was interesting. I played games and talked about winning and drank a little.

In summary, a good time. Sometimes I know there is a guilt to be felt in wanted to do nothing, especially when everyone seems to enjoy doing things so much, so I guess I feel that too.

I hope this year is full of stories, perhaps even some nice or interesting or strange enough to put here.

Here are my resolutions (i've never made any before now)
1. Dance more - (re)start my salsa
2. Dont take short cuts - do things now because its easier than remembering to do it later