Sunday, 27 September 2009

Week 3

Your grand-mothers! One admitted with pneumonia at nearly 85, the other one had a carotid artery operation at 75. Both were out of hospital within 48 hours. -- I fear they threw away those moulds!!

Yesterday, the dining table was empty; today it’s covered in books:

Madhur Jaffrey’s Ultimate Curry Bible, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lectures on Don Quixote, Carol Ann Duffy’s Selected Poems, F.G. Klopstock’s Oden, Heinrich von Kleist’s Pentheselia, Friedrich Hebbels’s Judith, The 200 best novels in English since 1950 by Carmen Calil & Colm Toibin, Tom Sharpe’s Ancestral Vices, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Lebensansichten des Katers Murr, John Updike, Pigeon’s Feathers and other stories, GEO Special: Baltikum, The Brotherhood, Ernst Bloch, Widerstand und Friede, Bertolt Brecht, Die Dreigroschenoper, Gottfried von Keller, Der Landvogt von Greifensee.

I was looking for Birdsong - alI I found was the book of the Millais exhibition, and the masterpieces of the Rijksmuseum, they made your Dad’s day.

What connects an oak tree, Che Guevara, Paco Rabanne and the footballer Lizarazu? Basque – the country, the language.

You weren’t thinking lingerie, were you??!!

Week 2 - Late Summary

Glorious sunshine breaks relentlessly through filthy windowpanes, but unlike the wind, it doesn’t challenge the rotten frames. I sweat, and the carpet stinks of decades of incompetence and ineffectual mothering.

Could I have been an innovator of processes without compromising on principles? Badly paid women and children, alienation of the workforce through division of labour. Marx called it Entfremdung. Boulton “revolutionised” the shop floor. The celebrated Brummie was (and the VC of one of my Almae Maters is) a member of the Lunar Society. I am more destined for the Loony Bin. From the serenity of the Victorian Bath House to the Tower of Boxes on the second landing – ghosts are lying in wait for me, ready to pounce with questions. Questions as conventional as they are unanswerable.

Magic hands dispersed the crazy vaudeville in my upstairs chambers for the duration of the weekend. Facials should be prescribed on the NHS. The Gods favoured us as usual. Greasemonkeys at Jyoti’s but basking in sunshine at Halfpenny Green Vineyard, we were eagerly anticipating Rioja and Almería.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

First Photograph from Berlin

This is, I believe, the last squat in Berlin.

Day 3

With reference to our conversation about tribes and differently organised social forms: have you considered the study of anthropology or ethnology? Have a look at this ethnographical account of the Inupiat in Alaska, for example. I came across it through Qarrtsiluni, an online literary magazine, the title of which translates to "sitting together in the darkness, waiting for something to burst". (I thought you'd like that!)
The description of the tribe is particularly interesting with regard to hostilities and strangers; I also thought "the mantle would pass on to more fortunate or capable families", referring to the process of determining power bases, was pertinently evocative.

Other than that, there isn't much to report. I have made a lame attempt at rediscovering the floor space in B's room, which is indeed a testament to filthy adolescence in all its glorious vulgarity, and have renewed vows to lose weight as there are a number of serviceable jeans in W30 languishing at the back of the wardrobe just waiting to be inherited.
I can dream, can't I?

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Day 2

Domestic Misery intact. The mammoths still reside in their abode, neither slaughtered, nor sliced. The lady, soon to be awarded the Black Belt, 5th Dan, in Household Mismanagement, spent the afternoon in a Trans~, while the spouse in the house dealt with the car's cardiac arrest. The tank’s vital organ was happily humming away in the hall when JD, carrying gargantuan red onions from the allotment, came by and commiserated. I wish my batteries could be recharged so easily.

The growling grump recited Charlie Brooker on Dire Shit Man (anagram courtesy of BalkanBob) and Young Cartrain. She squealed with delight. Later, fittingly pickled in Shiraz, they remarked on the sorry sight of Keith Floyd. Equally fitting, if somewhat eery: this morning the news of his death. Did the booze up with Keith Allen (a mate, perchance, of the artist mentioned above, and like DH, a piss artist in his own right – for more on the connection between Art and Urine, check out orpheusintheworld), barely survived when filming, cause last night’s heart attack during the broadcast?

Monday, 14 September 2009

Day 1

My own sadness and dejection, addressed and fuelled by avoiding the necessary, i.e. facing your room and the discharge of the past. Mostly mine, not yours. But in any case a painful exercise of looking into the yawning abyss of my continual failure while simultaneously admiring my involuntary commitment to more than the material, ironically represented by such heaps of material…
Instead, I lounge in my blue dressing gown, ignore the coat-muffled sounds of J’s mobile, and read up on Adorno, Horkheimer and Reich, all of whom I recommend to you, despite the knowledge that this very fact could materialise into reasons not to touch them. Interestingly, Reich was discredited by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the States, which I believe ties in with the forces you were exploring in the last few days. As I have just re-read in ‘The Perfect Five’, Max Frisch, the Swiss author (Biedermann und die Brandstifter, Homo Faber, Andorra), believed that there are no coincidences; that what happens to us is biographically necessary and timely: das “Fällige”.