Saturday, 31 January 2009

Picture Devon

Rox tagged me to find the 6th photo in the 6th file in my My Picture folder and to post it and explain it.

I cheated a bit, because the 6th file in my My Pictures folder is actually not a photo file at all (no, it is not porn ok? It is random crap I tried to make with Photoshop this one time. With no nudity involved whatsoever). 

So here is the 6th photo from the 7th folder.

This is Dartmoor in Devon. We drove down there for the weekend last year. Sheesh, check out that amazing blue sky. See, they happen in England too (I need to remind myself). Boy do I long for a sky like that now.

BFG was of course hunting for boulders to climb. I was broken at this stage and so not climbing. The rocks there are beautiful but very odd looking. They basically look like huge mounds of cow poo. They are all blobby and, well, splatty. 

How appropriate then that the place was full of cows, doing their thing in miniature all over the place. Don't you think it looks like this coobeastie just finished doing its business and the result is that significant mound emanating from its rear?

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Talk to the cactus.

A cactus disguised as a pineapple.

I am such an angry bunny right now. Why, why? This is so not me. It is not even hormonal.

I am usually the most passive, easy going person on the planet. And of course because I am polite and repressed I am not taking the anger out on anyone. But this is probably a good thing, because there is no specific target. I am just generally angry.

I let people take too much from me. I let people walk all over me. Because I am weak, but also because I expect and take very little from others and I assume that people all behave like me. FAIL.

I have very little to give, emotionally. I am a small person with small reserves, but I am open and certain people tend to take and take until there is nothing left and then I crack and go beserk.

I just have no life skills.

Also I am angry about being South African right now. For some reason it is hacking me off. I know this is irrational, and some would argue that I am not even one anymore. Whatever. Tell that to the visa people. It is just so much effort, emotionally and everythingly. I want to be something effortless.

French. There is something so unquestionable about being French. French people know who they are and how they fit into the world. And when they say "quoi?" it is as if they are questioning the very fabric of existence at a primordial level, not just the meaning of sandwiches. And the answer is always: "whatever is French".

Also I am just generally angry that my friends and relatives and random acquaintances don't think exactly like me. So inconvenient. It means all this admin of arguing and going round in circles, and in the end I always cave in because it is not worth the hassle. So pay attention: I am right and you are wrong, and suck on that and don't argue and bow to the master ok?

Gah. I should become a hermit on a hill somewhere. Only people seeking my infinite wisdom shall be allowed to enter. I shall tell them about how to do a handspin and how to use a pipette and send them off to impress their friends.

And slowly, slowly, I shall start to talk to my cartoon turtle tattoo until he answers back.

His name is Norm, by the way.

No he didn't tell me, I am not on the hill yet.

Bob, my pet cactus told me. He is a bit of a prick, but to the point.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

There was a Kugel, a Vaalie, and Van de Merwe...

The common or garden potato squid.

I think British people are easy to take the mickey out of. There are many eccentricisms and twee things going on on this island. But any immigrants be warned. Within about two years, the things that struck you as a bit nuts will start to make a lot more sense... you will see.

Personally I think the BFG has become more British than British people. He plots trends of the weather over 5 minute periods, gets incensed when people jump queues, finds it enthralling when a shop closes down and a new one moves in, and goes climbing alone at night, on self belay, in winter. In Leicestershire. He attaches bicycle lights to his legs in order to see. In a word, bonkers.

But South Africans are funny too (I am referring to people other than the BFG here, he is in a category of his own), although I find them more sensitive than Brits, on the whole. We have taken ourselves very seriously for too long. It is time to poke fun at ourselves:

  • All my white Saffa friends in the UK live in absolute pigsties. First time away from the maid is a traumatic time indeed. They either live with the mess or resort to a Polish cleaning lady.

  • We have no idea how to cope with cold weather. Today BFG said to me, "gloves are so cool. Why have I never worn them before?" This after being here 5 years. He still wears shorts and strops until he gets chilblains.

  • We will reason that although South Africa has terrible social, economic and crime problems, the weather is great, and the country is beautiful and so it is all good. And somehow this makes absolute sense.

  • We have no idea how to operate petrol pumps.

  • We love to think that people are ignorant about Africa and get very excited when people show their ignorance. We live off these stories for years.

  • We love to say, "but that is the way it is in Africa. You have to be tough to survive." I don't know. I managed to be a woessy little girl and survive for 23 years. Maybe the 24th is the clincher.

  • We know who Steve Hofmeyer is and can still sleep at night.

  • White people always think the maid is stealing stuff from them. "I am sure there is less air in this room since Patricia cleaned..."

  • We eat pieces of raw deer like they are manna from heaven.

  • We still think Leon Schuster humour is the peak of comedy genius.

We are nutters too, we have to admit it. I reckon non-South Africans could do a better job at laughing at us than me. But we should laugh along with them, because well, we can be lekker snaaks sometimes, nĂȘ?

Monday, 26 January 2009

"And how big is your Hubby's extension?"

I hate to think of myself as a judgemental bitch, but I am one. The meanest and most unnecessary things pop into my mind sometimes, with very little prompting.

I think it all stems from my lack of people skills. I have been to three social gatherings in the last week and every time I meet new people, I find myself prejudging them on the first things they say. Sometimes this week I was thinking, if I hear one more thing about the property market or sizes of kitchens or how to reattach a radiator to the wall I may request a lobotomy. I will sell my frontal lobes on ebay. Pickled or sauteed, you choose.

But that is so bitchy. Certain people are at a certain stage in their lives where housey things are apparently very interesting and absorbing. I am just not at that stage. Maybe one day I will be at that stage, causing premature neuron death in someone else.

And please, homeowners and other lovers of domesticity out there, do not be offended. It's not you, it's me. I am the one with the problem here. I simply have refused to enter into the normality of life, and the reason these conversations bore me is because I honestly have no idea what people are talking about.

What is the best way to insulate the house, who did the wallpapering in your living room (why wallpaper? I will never understand this bizarre and disturbing phenomenon), when is the best time to buy, which neighbourhood is good, how much is a new digital tv.... I swear I had the urge to shout "penis!" during these very mature concersations just to see what would happen.

I know the answers to none of these questions. The BFG and I are definitely not a normal couple. We own no house. We live in a bachelor flat in a neighbourhood full of druglords and arsonists. We have no TV. I have never gardened, or shopped for a washing machine and I have no idea why people would build a fireplace in their house if they then attach an electric or gas fake fire to it. Why people, why?

The thing is, I don't think I am better than these people, (ok except momentarily in my initial bitchy phases) although their conversations do isolate and bore me. Instead I am wondering, what the hell went wrong in my upbringing? I am so out of it, so far removed from being a well adjusted member of society. I just have no clue about the daily workings of life. I live in my head and am in too deep to come back down.

I accept I am a freak of nature. But this makes interacting with normal society quite painful. I miss university days when you were assured of meeting other freaks and were able to fit into your own feak microcosm and pretend you were normal.

Feel free to point me out when you hear me discussing floor tiles and loft extensions. I am sure it will happen one day. I know I should grow up and be serious and behave like an adult, preferably before I turn 30.


Friday, 23 January 2009

I sea.

Jeebus creebus my blogability has dried up. I have nothing. Nothing at all. I am scraping the barrel here.

I feel that if I stop I will never start again so I am going to keep writing, no matter how crap and arb, and hope that this blankness passes. I have had the most hecticest week. Maybe it is that. I have little white strips swimming in front of my eyes.

So bear with me, like the most bearable bear you can think of. Winnie the pooh. He was quite bearable.

Do you have a place, be it a tree, a lake, a river, a park, a library, where you go when you feel sad, or happy or thoughtful or need to be alone?

I used to. My place was the sea. Any sea, but Cape Town beaches in particular. Whenever I felt I needed some quiet time and some recharging, I would catch a taxi to Camps Bay or Clifton and be near the sea. I love the sound, the power; and swimming in the waves is one of the most therapeutic things I know. Well, if you are swimming in Cape Town invigorating might be a better word; fuckingfreezing is another one. The icebergs tend to knock you out too. The Durban ocean is better for swimming in, perhaps. 

I always feel like my soul has been boosted when I am near the sea. I need one of those boosts right now. Unfortunately I live about as far away from the sea as you can get in the UK.  I go about 4 times a year if I am lucky. And waves are thin on the ground. 

I am scheming this weekend to buy a sun lamp and a CD with wave  and whale sounds and shit, and pay someone to walk up and down outside my flat shouting "Iiiiiice crrrrreams, grrrrrenadilllllla lollllies, coca cola". No need to simulate the icebergs though. There are plenty of those in the canal down the road.

I have posted this poem before, but I love it, so here it is again. I feel like this quite often lately


the sea is so heavy inside us
and i won’t sleep tonight.
i have buckets of memory in a jar
that i keep for days and nights like these.

© 2000, Mxolisi Nyezwa
From: Song Trials
Publisher: University of Natal Press (Gecko Poetry), South Africa
ISBN: 0 86980 9768

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Can you make head or tail of this?

There once was a man. This man was walking in a valley. It is not our place to be asking why. While walking he stumbled upon a stone. He was clumsy that way. Under the stone he found a rolled up piece of paper tied with twine. He unrolled the paper and read:

Go to the river bank.

The man was curious and so kept walking towards the sound of rushing water, until he came to a rapidly flowing river. He was at the bank. What next? On the other side of the river he saw a twinkling light. He decided to try and cross the river. He could swim but the river current was very strong. He feared death by pounding, slicing, and drowning, possibly all at once.

But the light was shiny and the man was but a man with a weakness for shiny things. So in he went.

The water was very cold. He was pulled under many times. He tried swimming deeper to see if the current was weaker. It was not. Just as he was about to give up hope and dedicate his body as fish food, something hooked his arm and he was dragged to the surface.

The next thing he knew he was on the river bank. Somehow he had been pulled across. He looked around. There was a hut off in the distance.

He got up and made his way there, tripping frequently on stones. They had no messages for him, the uncooperative sods.

When he got to the hut he opened the door and inside there was an old man and that man was bald and the old man said:

You have come so far but for a twinkling that is a mere reflection of light. Is that which drives man to strive but an illusion, a trick of the light?

The other man replied:

You pulled me out of the river just to ask me that?

The old man said:

I need the answer.

The wet, valley traversing man said:

What the fuck dude. Just give me the shiny thing and quit asking all these fucking questions. I have to get back to my car. My wife will be freaking out. This is the longest piss break ever.

And the old man said:

Thanks. Just wanted to clear that up.

Then he pressed a button.

What the hell does all this mean? You tell me.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Random post

What a beautiful sunny day. 
The sky is blue instead of grey.
Even though I have not been outside,
the sight of the sun makes me feel so much lighter inside.

It may be the sign of a weak spirit, that my happiness depends upon the hue of the sky, 
                          but it does.

Sadly I really think I should be living in a country
where the appearance of the sun is a regular occurrence rather than a precious 

                    Some day.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Free willy

Ah yes. When one has nothing to say, one can always trawl through one's past for slightly disturbing overshare.

I have a bit of a phobia of train underpasses or subways. This stems from when I lived in Cape Town and used to walk everywhere. The first reason is that I was mugged in a subway by two guys with knives. Back then I didn't even own a cellphone. They got away with 50 cents. They didn't seem to want Eminem though. Go figure.

The second reason is this. One time I was walking to the UCT Medical School through Mowbray train station. Hmm, need I say more? I was fearless back then and walked through the subway instead of going over the bridge.

The station is usually quite busy but this time I happened to be alone in the tunnel. Except for this guy. Who had his penis hanging out. It was huge. It was hard to miss, is all I am saying. He saw me and started walking towards me. I ran for my life. Luckily other people came into the subway at that time.

There are two explanations for this chain of events. One, the guy was taking a piss, and got a fright when I popped up, and tried to reassure me that he was not a crazed rapist-pervert-flasher. Two, he was a crazed rapist-pervert-flasher who wanted to use me for his twisted fantasies. I am going with number one. But dude. Ladies use subways too. Keep it in your pants.

Did I mention it was huge?

So that is why when I enter a subway, even today in the UK, my heart pounds, just a little. You never know what you can meat (and two veg) down there, be it Frankenwiener, or a trousersnake.

Free is a relative term. Can Willy not be free, but in a covered-up, I don't have to actually see your freedom with my own eyes kind of way?

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Who tied a knot in my tongue?

I have a serious handicap. Well, I have many, but one of them is shyness.  I am an introvert and I hate it.

I dont think it is something I can change. I can make an effort to be more outgoing but the shyness won't go away.

When you get to know me I probably won't shut up. But when I meet new people I am a clam. I am totally socially inept in that way. I assume some people are just born to be introverts.

It sucks at work at the moment because everyone is new to me and my shyness is asserting itself big time. It can be such a barrier. I feel like a tongue-tied idiot.  It seems that words flow straight from my brain to my fingers and bypass my mouth completely. I can write perfectly coherently but half the time I can barely string a sentence together out loud.

If you put me together with an extrovert, things are great. Extroverts tend to bring out introverts naturally and easily. But if you put me together with another introvert that I don't know... oh god, the torture. My brain freezes, and, so I am assuming, does the brain of the other person. I sit there in a panic trying desperately to think of something to talk about. How about that weather? Oh crap I already talked about the weather! But there is a lot of weather, surely I can squeeze some more juice out of that one?

We usually end up in strained silence, with me still trying to think of something to say, and my brain in a total seizure. I just have no small talk inside of me.

Introverts tend to be discriminated against in life, obviously, because we don't assert ourselves. I definitely felt that my school teachers disliked us quieter folk, and they often  told us that to get anywhere in life we had to be more outgoing. Oh well, so much for that.

I used to think I should change, but now I can't be bothered. I like me, social retardedness and all. You just have to give me a chance. A friendship with me is like a good, smelly, mould infested cheese; it improves markedly with age.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Brain fog taboo

It's time I brought up an uncomfortable subject. Well, uncomfortable to some people, but not to me. I may never have another reader. Assuming I do in the first place.

Tell me, why is it not ok to talk about
menstruation? Huh? Huh? All women go through it once a month, it is almost like breathing. But any mention of it causes most women to blush and most men to run for the hills.

I suffer from a variety of unpleasant side effects from this heinous monthly plague, but every three months or so I get brain fog. Brain fog is worse than all the others. It is like my brain is being pickled in pea soup. I had a bad case on Friday.

On those days I cannot access my brain. My thought processes, memories, motor functions, all shut down. And trying to get hold of them is like finding my way through thick fog. It is just awful. It is such a weird and powerless feeling.

These are the days at work when my sample tubes explode, or I set fire to things, or my experiments prove that dinosaurs evolved from a ham sandwich. On these days absolutely anything can happen. I have no control. In some ways it is quite liberating, because I just give up and enjoy the ride. But on the whole I think it would be best if I was banned from coming to work on those days. For the health of all those around me.

So wouldn't it be great if I could say to my boss, "Brain fog day! Mad hormones have hijacked my brain! You really don't want me at work today. The rest of the time I am perfectly capable and functioning (mostly) but trust me, today you want me to go home".

But no. If I tried to explain this to him he would die, or never look me in the eye again or just fire me and hire a man. And that is just so dumb.

I spent the whole of Friday going "What? He said something.... jam. Did he say jam? No... ham... spam... exam? Oh. Leaf. He said leaf. And a leaf is what, exactly?"

I should have been somewhere safe, a padded cell perhaps. But instead I conducted actual experiments requiring actual thought power, and I am sure those results shall tell me that the moon is made of Cheddar fleas.

I also spent a good few minutes trying to put my shoe on the wrong foot. My friend just laughed and put my brain fog down to the weather. "We all get it some times."

No. No. It is not the freaking weather. I would love to just say to him that it is caused by hormone frenzy, and I am not usually such an idiot. But again, he would be embarrased and uncomfortable and it is not fair for me to put him in that position so I just gave up.

The plus side to my brain fog is that it acts as a happy drug. I was giggling manically on the train because... wait for it... we were delayed. It seemed funny at the time.

We are all a bunch of sillies and woesies. We are the ones to make a subject taboo. We can break it. And get days off work for pea soup brain. It is in the best interests of all of us.

So. Is anyone still out there? Will any male read my blog again? I'm sorry. I won't attempt such a bloody uncomfortable topic any time soon. Narf.

Friday, 9 January 2009

I am a Twitter twit

Gah. I have signed up to Twitter twice in the past, and each time I was left thinking, AND? Now what? What the hell is the point?  And anyway, I spend obscene amounts of time on the internet as it is, do I really need to find a way to use up even more?

But Facebook is so last season and Twitter is the new cool thing. Well, actually it is probably way past cool and on its way out, but that is the time when I usually decide I like things.

You know lava lamps? How they were cool in the 60's? And then they had that revival in the 90's? And then you only saw them in random shops selling dragon fountains and fake flowers? Well I got a lava lamp for Christmas this year and I freaking love it. I have always wanted one and I don't care if they are random store rejects. 

So back to Twitter. I am going to give it one last bash. Everybody who is cool and everybody who just "is", is on Twitter. And I am a sheeple and I want to become a tweeple so could some kind person please explain the point of Twitter to me? 

And could all cool people or people who think I am cool or any random bergie who wants to, please tell me how to find you and what I must do next?

I am a lost little sheeple looking for some guidance out of the rocky ravine that is my ignorance. Please shepherd me to wisdom. Or to a mental facility. Whichever you feel is more appropriate.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Round like a circle in a spiral like a wheel within a wheel

This is a cheating post because I am using other people's words. Words are giving me a buzz at the moment. Isn't it amazing when someone can use words to render the every day into something strange and beautiful?

Here are some of the random lines and rhymes that I have read or heard that are circling in my head.

First some song lines:

My global position systems are vocally addressed
The say the Nile used to run from east to west

- The Killers, Spaceman.

(Dude. And I thought my sense of direction was bad. Blame the aliens, apparently).

You came on your own, that's how you'll leave
with hope in your hands and air to breathe
I won't disappoint you as you fall apart,
some things should be simple, even an end has a start

-Editors, An end has a start

You thought you might be a ghost
you didn't get to heaven but you made it close

Coldplay - 42


Next, I have just finished reading
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

This book is just incredible. It moved me beyond tears. I cannot explain it. It is poetic and stark and lyrical. And the ending is the most complete that I have read in a long time. It just felt right. My words are not adequate so just read it.

Here are some of the lines that really struck me:

...the bleak and shrouded earth went trundling past the sun and returned again as trackless and as unremarked as the path of any nameless sisterworld in the ancient dark beyond.

Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.

On this road there are no godspoke men. They are gone and I am left and they have taken with them the world. Query: How does the never to be differ from what never was?


And after that challenging question I shall leave you with the words of my hero, Cartman:

Screw you guys, I'm going home.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Brain Freeze!

There were rumours of -9 degrees in Oxfordshire these last few days. -9! Oxfordshire is where I work. I can safely say that that is the coldest degree I have ever had the pleasure of entertaining.

Ok so it is only a measly -5 where I live. But to even survive in close proximity to -9 degrees surely warrants some kind of Brownie achievement badge or something, no?

I cannae cope, Cap'n. I doon't have the poower. I am an engine streamlined for 100% humidity and, like, bananas.

It doesn't help that we have no central heating, double glazing or other such requirements for the Northern hemisphere. All we have is a ridiculous electric heater bolted to the wall that heats one cubic millimeter of air around it. If it wasn't for BFG acting as a personal hot water bottle I don't think I would still be alive.

I know these temperatures are piddling for some people, out there with the yaks. But you yak people must surely be superhuman? How can you survive below -9? It just doesn't make any sense.

I wanna live in Jamaica.... Jamaica.... where the bananas are apparatus for the bobsled team; daylight come and me wanna go home...

Sorry, my last neuron froze and all seems a bit hazy and inc-c-c-coherent right now. Is that a tarantula going past on banana skis?

Monday, 5 January 2009

Wot I saw on my holidays

Wot I saw on my holidays.
- by Po, age (inaudible mumblings).

Hills and mountains - many
Sheep - very many
ponies - many
Irish people - not very many
Polish people - very many
South African people - 6 (too many?)
Quiet Man tourist attractions - way too many
lucky four leaf clovers - none
polar bears - 3

It has been very cold in the IrEnglandish part of the world. The polar bears mingled amongst the sheep and blended in quite well.

It was not my first time in Ireland, but as usual the most wonderful thing about it for me is that it has space. It is relatively empty. You can go out in the country and see nothing and no one. In England space is hard to come by.

The most unusual thing I saw in Ireland was this:

A thingy. I don't know what it is called. The thingy in itself is not unusual, but this is what was written on it:

A quote by Desmond Tutu. In a deserted, windswept valley that looks like this (and when I say windswept I mean "wind that started in the Arctic and stopped by Alaska for an apprenticeship, then built up speed over Siberia and then called in to blow icicles in our faces - swept"):

Apparently this stone commemorates a yearly walk that remembers the Doolough tragedy of 1849, where 400 people, while walking through the mountains in search of food or work, got swept into the sea by the wind and drowned. What did I tell you about that wind? It seems the Archbishop participated in 1991. Um, does this mean he got blown into the sea?

Who would have thought you would find a Tutu inscription in the middle of Irish nowhereness? Pretty cool.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Big Britain

I heard a statistic on BBC news yesterday that nearly gave me apoplexy. The fact that this statistic was on the BBC of course gives it a 125% chance of being 98.222% accurate.

The statistic was that 6% of British people understand the link between eating too much fat and obesity.

I am aware that this is exactly the kind of statistic that they slot in now and then as a trigger for the more uptight, self righteous sectors of society to choke on their tea and go forth to pontify irately. These sectors of course include me and this is exactly what I shall do.

Sorrywot? Are you seriaas? What-are-they-teaching-in-schools-today-when-I-was-a-young-lass-we-were-performing

I am perfectly happy to accept the excuses of greed, of being too lazy to eat properly, of having a thyroid problem, an eating disorder, a genetic predisposition, whatever, but to say that you didn't know that eating too much fat made you fat is just scary. What ARE they teaching people in schools these days?

Ignore the statistic. I am sure it is spurious. The sample population was probably twelve confused 8 year olds or something. It is still pretty disturbing that the problem is so...
huge in Britain.

I know how governments love slogans and educational campaigns and so I, a person who knows the connection between fat and... fat, shall step in to assist.


Of course political correctness shall eradicate words such as obese and fat. And so I have come up with alternatives. You can either be ATE positive or ATE negative (Adipose Tissue Excess).

Although then being positive would be a bad thing and governments hate that kind of contradictory brainwashing so perhaps SAD postive or SAD negative (Satisfactory Adipose Distribution) would be more appropriate.
But then of course being sad implies something bad... goddammit. I surrender. Obese it shall have to remain.

Did you know that eating too much, and especially too much fat, can, like, cause you to gain weight?


Thursday, 1 January 2009

Everybody hurts everybody. Sometimes.

A serious thought for so early on in the year. Just warning you. It is my first day off copious amounts of wine and champagne, which may explain the slightly morose nature of this post.

I realised while in the bath (most of my coherent thoughts come to me in the bath) that the most painful experiences I have had - the ones that still linger and come back to hurt me again and again - are never times where other people have hurt me. They are times when I have hurt other people.

Sometimes when I remember the things I have said or done to other people I feel crippled with pain for an instant.

The pain I have had inflicted upon me by others pales in comparison. I often see those experiences as things to learn and grow from.

But sheesh I have said and done things I would love to erase from existence. Maybe my victims aren't as bothered as I expect. But this does not make me feel one tiny bit better.

I would say my New Year's resolution is to try even harder than usual to not hurt people. At least in the easy, predictable ways. But it is more difficult than it should be. And it doesn't stop other people from hurting me.

And is it wrong that my main motivation for not hurting people comes from a desire to protect myself from pain even more than to protect others?

Um. A joyous New Year to you all, and stuff.