Thursday, 24 December 2009

The torture of a tortoise.

Met up with friends (I shall call them Mr and Mrs X for their own protection) at the village green yesterday and I naturally asked after the health of Linford.

Linford is a tortoise.

I was told that Linford is not allowed to hibernate, much to his chagrin.

Mrs x tells me that it is important that the little fellow stays awake for his first winter otherwise he might develop some problems. I would imagine that keeping a tortoise awake against his wishes is going to cause some pretty serious psychological problems let alone the foul temper.

Mrs x went on to explain that she gives it hot baths regularly as well as allowing the children to prod it, sing to it, dress it up and decorate it.

I took a look at Linford; he did not look happy.

just very, very sleepy.

But, on the bright side he is one of the very few tortoises to have seen a christmas tree or felt the splot of a snowball on his shell.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Cabin fever, murder and flight.

The 'flu has passed leaving me weak and listless. The only good to come from it has been the extraordinary hallucinations that have visited me in my sleepless nights.

Being housebound with only the bag lady for company has led to the inevitable; we are at each others throats. Neither of us will dare drop our guard lest the other attacks with a broken bottle or carving knife.
I hear her late at night sharpening things. There is a book on poisons open on her bedside table. Open at the chapter on nicotine poisoning.

She is Googling 'hit men'.

I believe there is some kind of symbolism in her choice of flatware that she bring my lunch on.

I for my part am hoarding apple pips having read that they are (in large doses) deadly. How I am going to get her to consume 8 Kilos of the things is something i have yet to work out.

I must escape... I thought of going to France but the Eurostar trains have all broken down, B A is on strike, the airports are all closed due to asuggestion of snow and traffic is at a standstill on the roads.

I must find refuge!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Cauliflower, corporal punishment and coke.

I felt a little better today so offered to cook for Moll.

There was a cauliflower in the coldbox so I decided to make cauliflower cheese. I thought it a good one; made with a good bechemel sauce, bacon and 3 kinds of cheese. Then sprinkled with breadcrumbs and parmesan and baked in the oven.

Moll (who's tastebuds have deserted her) thought it bland and inedible.

To me it called up my schooldays and was redolent of headmasters (Eric Forrester) study as he brought out his cane for the first and only time in our relationship.

'I am going to have to give you six'. He said. 'It will I am sure give you no joy and hopefully an amount of pain. On the other hand I shall derive a great deal of pleasure from it'.

My crime? My crime was to have written CUNT in weedkiller on his lawn a few days earlier. Is it my fault that I am dyslexic and was only attempting to demonstrate my knowledge of early British kings.

I feel sorry for the kids these days who have to explain FCUK to their dyslexic teachers. But at least the teachers are not allowed corporal punisnhment and they must look after their pupils as they are probably their coke dealers as well.

Is it not ironic that it is now our educators who have the learning difficulties. They have problems understanding that there is no point in an education any longer.

Best to keep drones in the dark.

Irony in a pig factory.

Fluente Maiales writes from Mexico: His career as the worlds only professional Mexican waver is in tatters. The fear of swine flu among event organizers means that all of his gigs for the christmas period have been cancelled.

Ironically he has been forced back to working in the American pork products factory on the outskirts of his village.

'So'. said the overseer when he went back to work in the pig fat rendering vats. 'I see you are no longer waving Fluente but merely drowning'!

Nurse dreams in a potting shed.

When the pig flu struck Moll thought it best that she nurse me at her place... I arrived at her little home with my overnight bag and my hopes raised. She said she had built the place herself and I was curious to see her home. Needless to say I was not dissappointed with her 'Pretty Palace' as she called it.

Her cooking was somewhat agricultural and her nursing skills tantamount to mental cruelty but fortunately such was the virulence of the 'flu I soon fell through a hole in reality and entered a new world of delirium where everyone perspired noisily and conversation consisted of grunts and snorts.

At the height of my fever Nurse Caz visited me in my sick bed.

She hasn't lost her looks.

I feel that the worst is over and I shall soon be in full command of my faculties

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Motoring with Tiger Woods.

I have just spent a few days in Florida, trying to get a bit of heat into my aching bones.

while there I had a beer or two with an old friend Tiger. In fact we had too many beers and I told tiger there was no way he was driving.

'That's cool.' He said. 'I've got a driver.'

He climed into the passenger seat, started the car and while steering with his left hand pressed the accellerator pedal with a golf club.

The result was inevitable.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A foot fetish explained.

I, like a lot of people come from a broken home

But ours didn't break when the old man left

It broke much much later than that.

When the old man left things were hard

Mum worked in bars and pubs, did cleaning; anything she could find to keep us.

We lived in a one bedroom flat

Mum slept on the sofa in the living room

My sister and I slept in the same bed in the tiny bedroom

Head to toe.

I spent twelve years in that bed with my sister

Head to toe

I came to know her feet intimately

I knew every inch, every pore, every crease, every nail, every callous.

I learned to tell the seasons by the colour of her toes

I learned to tell her moods by the colour of her polish

I loved her feet

They were the first thing I saw in the morning

The last thing I saw at night.

We did everything in that bed together

Head to toe

Homework, super Nintendo, reading, hobbies, laughing, crying

I taught her to whistle

She taught me to knit.

I gave her hand knitted socks each Christmas

She whistled in admiration.

She taught me chiropody

I taught her reflexology

I gave her pedicures for her birthday

She cured my acne

I loved her feet.

Then one day, mum was out and that awful thing happened

The police called

There had been an accident, a girl , thought to be my sister had been knocked down by a truck

Would I go, in my mothers absence

To identify the body.

At the hospital the body was still in a bed covered by a sheet.

The doctor pulled back the sheet to reveal the dead girls head.

I exhaled with relief and said: No this is not my sister

My sisters head is at the other end of her body.

She never did come home though. Not after that.

But I found comfort in her shoes.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Rusty, tumbleweed and Envy.

Another postcard from Rusty. It was mailed from Envy, Texas but I imagine he has moved on from there. He writes:
Tumbleweed; that symbol of the Hollywood Western did not in fact arrive in North America until the 1870's. It arrived from Russia mixed in with flax seeds.
Did the Russians do it on purpose?

Studio talk

Jolyon my studio assistant was in a garrulous mood last night and we sat up late talking. 'Have you ever been in love'. I asked him.

He said: Many years ago, when I was in my youth, I lived with an older woman; she was very beautiful and in demand. but I too was beautiful and in demand back then so everything seemed harmonious.

Until I said one night in bed: 'I love you.'

Don't say that she said. It is just a licence for me to abuse you.

why is that? I asked. Although I already knew the answer.

'Because'. She said. 'The first person ever to tell me he loved me then went on to abuse me and I now associate love with abuse and abuse with love... I would rather associate with shallow people who have no real feelings for me because they are safe and I am not obliged to form a real relationship with them.

'But you will get old'. I told her. 'And be alone and unwanted.

'So what'. She said. 'I will just commit suicide!'

'No you won't' I said. 'you will continue to behave as if you were a young woman and you will continue to ignore the people who really love you because they will not lie to you. And the eurotrash company you crave, because you buy into that shit, the eurotrash company will move on to the next generation and the people who really love you will have given up in exasperation.

And of course your father will be dead by then and by then it will be too late.

'Too late for what?' she asked.

'Too late to tell you I love you.'

Friday, 27 November 2009

Lost coat update

That bloody coat has got lost again.

One expects to lose kittens or small children. One expects to lose wives, girlfriends, patience, ones temper, ones bearings.

But how can a coat lose itself with such regularity. I can only assume that it is careless.

This is the last time that I saw the thing was when it was being manhandled by a karate expert from Calgary.

It was being given the chop!

Thursday, 26 November 2009


She was the most beautiful girl in the clap clinic

The first time I saw her

I thought

She has been unlucky

She was the most beautiful girl in the clinic

The second time I saw her

I thought

She had been careless

The beautiful girl in the clinic

The third time I saw her

I thought

She was promiscuous or worse

That girl in the clap clinic. 

She was the most beautiful girl in the clap clinic

The fourth time I saw her

I thought

Stupid me, she is a doctor.

I approached her then and said


You are the most beautiful girl in the clap clinic.

She replied:

I'm not a doctor

I'm unlucky

I'm careless

I'm promiscuous

or worse.

But I feel that is about to change.

We left the clinic hand in hand

Separated by the thickness of a surgical glove.

Later, much later as we lay

Her head on my chest her hair in my face

the scent of hibiscrub filling the white room.

I said I love you

And she said don't love me

I am unlucky

I an careless

I am promiscuous

or worse

And nothing has changed.


Tristan will be performing at Marquis Andreas Grant's BEAT at Peter Parkers Rock n Roll club. 4 Denmark Street, Soho. Tuesday 1st December. 7.00 - 11.00pm.

I shall be there of course. If only to heckle!


Years ago I had a penpal. His name was Bill and he lived in America.
We wrote to each other once a week. We did this for years.

Bill told me that soon there would be no need of letters (he was what you would call a bit of a geek), that we would communicate electronically through the ether. And would be able to have real time conversations.

I said: Bill. you are full of shit. That will never happen in my lifetime.

We stopped writing soon after that.

I wonder what became of Bill?


She thought he thought she was unfaithful, Watched her like a hawk

She complained as she poked her Facebook lover

Who poked her back


from across the room

As he poked his facebook mistress

A fairly typical dream scene

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Auto maintenance and feng-shui

Moll asked me to accompany her to her weekly Auto maintenance class. I will not be doing that again. Arriving home I remembered that I had been sent a link some time ago: Thanks Heads!

What do you think Moll? I asked.

It's African isn't it. Nice. she replied. As she sorted through old Christmas decoration catalogues.

She then found a Feng-Shui plan for her appartment. At present I am sitting in the marriage area. Intelligence is in the lavatory... Can't say that I believe too much of this hokum.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Domestic scene.

He said: I am fully aware of my shortcomings. I know I have no ambition, no money, no hope of money. I know I'm unattractive to you, that I'm no good in bed (not that you will let me into your bed) and I do not dress stylishly enough for you. I know that my friends are not people that you would choose as friends. My taste is not up to much and I eat crap food.I drink too much when stressed and do not deal with things the way you would. My friends tell me to move on. Find another woman. One that doesn't treat me like shit. but I say I love this woman and they say 'I give up'. I say 'we are both getting older, have idiosyncracies that no-one else would tolerate for more than three months. We are ideally suited.'

She said: Look son. You are 54 years old. You are going to have to leave home one day.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Rain, pornography, coincidence.and Dungeness.

The rain is relentless.

I decline Moll's offer of her pink umbrella and suffere the consequences as I attempt to travel across London by means of public transport; the tube system is truly awful and explains the miserable demeanour of it's occupants.

On the street I no longer get any satisfaction from splashing through the puddles although my preference for Converse in all weather probably has something to do with that. Moll is on at me constantly to get some work boots with steel toecaps...

Surely the toecaps will rust in this climate.

Moll is posing for another artist. Typical; she knows I am blocked, unable to write, yet she dresses in loose clothes (so as not to leave elastic marks) and heads off for Mayfair in order to inspire another.

I walk her to the underground station and on the way she finds a couple of discarded photographs lying damply in the street. Is this where you found the pornography the other day? I ask.

Somewhere near here. She says, passing me an old poloroid of two sisters standing fully and impeccably dressed on a beach.
I glance at the photograph then look again in shock. Moll notices my hand trembling. What is it? she asks.
I am too distressed to tell her that it is a photograph of Tilly and Buddy, daughters of a woman named Agat who had been my muse many years ago . I had once possesed an almost identical photo (probably taken the same day) of the girls.
Agat had traced me and sent the photograph with a note that read:
'The girls at Dungeness.'

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Nudity, Princess Diana and bait.

What has Tristan done now.

A month ago he told me he was helping a group of friends make a film.

He did not tell me it was like that.

the film won the jury prize in the competition and now Tristan's arse is the talk of the town.

I said: For heavens sake Tristan, fishing in the Serpentine is illegal.

He said no-one bitched at Marlon for Last tango in Paris.

But Tristan. I replied. Marlon was not fishing in the Serpentine.

For christ sake Tristan you were within sight of the princess Diana ditch. Have you no respect.

Only for my bait dealer. He said.

And if I shiver give me a blanket.

David Bowie, Iggy Pop, MC5, Mick Ronson & Jan Nieupjur.

Back in the sixties. Or was it the seventies? David came round to try the mesquite that Rusty had sent from New Mexico. Woody was there, and Mick too.

I sensed the tension that already existed between the Spiders; they may have been ready for life on Mars but they were not ready for fame on earth. We thought it a good idea to write a song together, the mesquite helped we guessed, Mick was already paranoid about being let down and dying in penury, Woody wouldn't stop playing with his sideboards.

David wrote some words, passed them to me. I ripped them up in disgust, handed them back.

Angie shot me a cautionary glance.

David gave me that toothy grin and said: There's something here Jan. He laid out the torn shreds of paper randomly on the coffee table and picked up his guitar...

All I could say was..... David. Put on those red shoes and let's dance.

Iggy came round and said: Hey man there is panic in Detroit. David picked up a notepad and said: Do you spell Detroit with a capital D?

Iggy. I said. I'm bored.

I said: Iggy. I'm the chairman of the bored...

Iggy said he missed the MC5.

I don't.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

60's revisited, mushrooms and wraiths.

My studio assistant Jolyon greets me on my return to London. He is looking somewhat the worse for wear.

What HAVE you been up to dear boy? I ask.

Oh! He replies. This and that, but mainly that... That which results from spending the week foraging for mushrooms.

And what is that? I ask.

Listen. He says:

Saturday, 7 November 2009

A careless man.

We met in an abandoned cottage in North Wales many years ago.

I had been walking through Snowdonia for lack of something better to do. One evening I found myself some distance from the nearest hostelry and rather than tempt a broken ankle in the dark decided to make what I could of a derelict farmhouse.

On closer inspection i saw that it was not as abandoned as I had thought and the glow from an open fire lit one of the windows.

I knocked and entered to find a man seated before a hearth lit by nothing other than the glow from the fire.

Good evening I said. May I please join you, I am miles from my destination and it is an unhospitable night. I gave my name and offered my hand in greeting. He did nothing with either; just sat there in silence.

'Careless' he almost shouted some minutes later. I begged his pardon.

Careless he repeated. Then went on: Careless is my name... He turned and looked at me then and gave me an almost toothless grin. He said:

"It was over thirty years ago when I got that name. I've forgotten my given name and my mother died two years ago without reminding me. But thirty years ago not far from this place my brothers talked me into trying some magic mushrooms they'd been picking on the hillside. We lit a fire out there and sat around waiting for something to happen and before long something happened and I began to take more than a passing interest in the flames and hot coals of the fire.

I leant in to get a closer look and as I leant in my teeth fell out into the fire, and being plastic they burst into flames before I could retrieve them.

Careless bugger said Ifan.

Careless bugger laughed Daffyd.

Careless bugger roared I.

That's why I'm called careless." 

He never spoke another word that night. But sat looking mournfully into the fire.

English hunting scenes. No.2

Ballooning, starlet, crop circles and prunes.

One summer, back in the sixties I had been invited to a weekend house party at the country estate of my old friend and drinking companion Bertie.

I have over the years attended many of his parties and knew that I should expect the unexpected. To that end I packed my last remaining army issue (other ranks) condom.

One of my fellow guests was a Hollywood starlet of a certain age, known for her sense of fun and willingness to entertain the boys; I shall out of respect for her family refer to her only as 'M'.

Bertie was terribly excited about his new passion ballooning and his recently purchased ex MOD observation balloon. It was helium filled and therefore required no great expertise.

I suggested, with a wink, to 'M' that she might enjoy a ride in the contraption as well as the sumptuous views of the English countryside it would afford. She quickly agreed with an equally ostentatious leer.

With Bertie acting as winch man 'M' and I climbed into the basket and were sent skyward.

It was a windy day and rather than rise directly upwards we rose at an angle of 45 degrees and eventually found ourselves some half mile from the launch site and 300 feet above a wheat field. I put it to 'M' that we might, having wrung every ounce of pleasure from the views of very small things, enjoy a little pleasure of our own making. she agreed with relish and I pulled from my back pocket my last remaining army issue (other ranks) condom. Her coquettish giggle turned to a cry of dismay as a sudden burst of wind plucked the condom from my grasp and sent it tumbling to the wheat field below.

I was not going to be deprived of my sport by this eventuality so threw a rope from the basket and abseiled down in pursuit of the condom. Once on the ground in the middle of the wheat I started searching for the thing, trampling down the crops as I went. I decided that an increasing circular search was the best plan and occasionally directed by 'M' from above I spent a good hour tramping about.

Alas I never did find that condom and eventually accepted defeat. Climbing back up the rope was a damn sight harder than the downward journey and before I had reached the basket Bertie decided that we must have had enough and started winching us in, in the process dragging me through a number of mature oaks and the centuries old Scots pine. I landed some moments before 'M' and was able to scuttle into the house to change from my shredded clothes and also avoid the icy looks from my erstwhile companion.

Dinner that night had something of the 'cold collation' about it as far as myself and 'M' were concerned.

Bertie entered the breakfast room in a state of excitement the following morning. I say everyone. He exclaimed. It seems we have been visited by aliens while we slept. The estate manager has discovered the most extraordinary phenomena in a field of wheat not far from the house and insisted that I take the balloon up to see it from a better altitude. He went on to say that he had taken a camera and photographed the thing. He then rushed off to his dark room.

Half an hour later he returned waving a soggy print. Here., take a look at this you chaps!
Is it not extraordinary. Definitely the work of aliens and probably some sort of signal to be read from high above...I must call the MOD immediately he said and alert them to this danger.

I lowered my eyes, inwardly groaned and took great interest in my prunes.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Fly agaric, woodland nymph and Never go back.

On a glorious autumn afternoon Moll and I took a walk in the woods. She gave an excited cry on discovering some fly agaric in the leafmould.
Are they edible she asked.

I tried one.

What happened after that is at best a hazy dream to me now.
Later, being just a few miles from a house I once occupied long, long ago, I persuaded Moll to drive over there for a spot of remeniscing.

I knew it was a bad idea when I couldn't even recognise the entrance to the lane. The farm buildings had all gone but for one oast house which had been converted into a home. A gigantic leylandii hedge dominated the house.

The cattle grid had gone.
we left.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

English hunting scenes. No.1

Moll with the first shot puppy of the season. Not much meat on it she said. But tasty!

Rusticated thoughts of Rusty and arson.

The drive from London was the usual snarley nightmare. Moll is a surprisingly confident driver and my navigation skills only let me down on reaching Tunbridge Wells; surely the worst signposted town in England.

The house is tucked away in a valley a mile from the road surrounded by rolling grassland and woods. Pheasants litter the garden and sheep dot the horizon. There are deer hereabouts but I have yet to catch sight of one. As I write this a posse of beef on the hoof ambles accross my line of sight and I think of Rusty.

Then Moll wanders into the room and my thoughts quickly turn to other things.
The Bang and Olufson sound system is a bit tricky but other than that this is a perfect retreat from London's excesses. The log fire brings back memories of childhood arson attempts.
I am trying not to get my fingers burnt.

Wild boar and wild night.

I normally manage to avoid photographers but got caught on saturday night when concentrating on keeping Moll upright.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Thoughts of Cliff Richard, et in Arcadia ego.

Moll the bag lady and I are off to the country for a week. After the exertions of the weekends parties it will be a welcome respite.

I am going armed with a new notebook and plenty of sharp pencils; the muse promises much and I find this time of year fecund, autumn woodland smells: leaf-mould and fungi, envigorate.

Friday, 30 October 2009

El Dia de los Muertos. A live 'Jancast'.

Fluente has flown in for a gig at a party in Chelsea. This part of London seems to have gone Mexican mad. Anyway Fluente is doing his one man Mexican wave at the party and came round to change (he normally favours a pin-stripe suit) on his way. He managed to persuade me to accompany him, as his assistant, for the night. I was forced into fancy dress although I already look like death. I drew the line when he tried, once he had got me inside a skeleton Tshirt, Tailcoat and skull ensemble to put me in a straw hat.

No Fluente I said. I'm going for the sombre not the sombrero!

We compromised with the stetson Rusty had left behind. Let's just say it was a frightening spectacle.

Fluente produced from his man-bag a bottle of tequila and some limes, then raided my 1960's cocktail cabinet for the crusty bottle of triple sec last opened for the funeral of Winston Churchill for my Maiden aunt who had a penchant for 'stickies' day or night.

'Aye yai yai yai yai' Fluente shouted. 'Margherita time!'

The party now beckons...

Virus, Hank, pies and Joy.

Things are tough at Nieupjur Mansions right now; my computer has a virus and is all but dead. I must now rely on a very old sony vaio with a busted keyboard, no USB socket and a cat eaten power cable (the result of cat sitting Oscar a couple of years ago).

Blogs may be sporadic for a while until I get the virus geeked out of the other machine. Let us hope that it is easier to remove than Hank.

Hank was a male au-pair that my first wife Joy insisted on after the incident with the naked Danish girl in the laundry room.

Hank fancied himself as a photographer and insisted on making a photo-documentary of the life of a British housewife; this required him to photograph Joy at all times of the day, performing her everyday tasks. This seemed harmless enough in essence while she was removing casseroles from the Aga and suchlike but when I found him snapping away as she reclined in the bath I felt that things had gone far enough.

It took three more months to get rid of Hank and Joy soon followed him.

I learned some time later that Hank and Joy were living together in Harmony Nebraska. Rusty had bumped into them at a pie baking contest. Joy wasn't feeling too well.

She had a virus.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

A cry for help.


I have lost my yellow plastic spoon; it was a very important part of my life and work, it helped form me and inform me.

It was a teaspoon I picked up at the Hayward Gallery when having a coffee after seeing the Bruce Nauman exhebition some years ago. I had gone with a woman called Jane. I cannot remermber what colour spoon she stirred her coffee with.

Please, if anyone knows the whereabouts of a yellow plastic spoon, let me know.

I must return to the Hayward to see if I can replace it but deep inside I know it will not be the same...

Portraits of the muse.

Muse with dead artists. (private collection)

The muse posing. (collection of the artist)

Family portraits. No3

My father was a saint.

Family portraits. No2

My parents on their wedding day.

Family portraits. No1

Sunday, 25 October 2009


93 year old birthday cake...
It was a gift from a new friend. I had seen a skip with a box of old books in it and went to investigate.

As I looked into the skip a womans head popped up; a mass of glorious curls redolent of the fragrant nurse Caz.

Hello dad! She said. She rummaged in a sequinned evening bag then handed me an object wrapped in paper. It is 93 year old birthday cake she said.

I told her I only like the icing.

That's all right she said. Just eat the icing and lie about the rest.

That''s what every-body else does.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Roof, liquorice, oboe and gobstoppers.

An evening on the roof and my thoughts turn to liquorice.
I remember, as a very young man, falling in love with the daughter of the woman who ran the village sweet shop. I would go into the shop daily to spend the pennies I had won at various games in the school yard. I went to the sweet shop in the hope of setting eyes on Marie-Anne, but she was never there, she was always somewhere else.
Practicing the oboe.
Her mother would give me an understanding look and then hand me liquorice.
It is only now, having done much research, that I realise that Marie-Annes mother was doing her best to reduce my testosterone levels to something manageable.
I learnt that liquorice was indeed used to reduce testosterone in men (not that I could then be described as anything other than a boy)
and was also a contributing factor to low IQ levels.
I had not been given enough of the stuff to make me stupid enough to not kick the liquorice habit.
I turned to gobstoppers. But where to put the half sucked suckers, when later on, Marie-Anne met me behind the bus shelter and the mood turned to love?

I cannot hear the oboe without thinking of Marie-Anne and gobstoppers.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

How Rusty got his name.

I recieved another card from Rusty; an image of a bridge I'd never lost a shoe from but wish I had.

On the back he writes:
This is where it all started. this is where I got my name; Lula-Mae and me had been down to see Richard Brautigan one summer and we all decided to go skinny dipping by the bridge. Lula-Mae laughed when I stood naked in front of the red metal and she said: Far out Billy-Bob, you are so sun burnt I can't tell you from the bridge.
Richard laughed and said: "I guess Billy-Bob's just gone rusty, and it ain't even raining.

the name stuck after that.

Rusty wrote this part of a Brautigan poem at the bottom of the card. In place of a name:

It's Raining In Love

I don't know what it is,

but I distrust myself
when I start to like a girl a lot. -Richard Brautigan

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Art or Balls.

The most natural thing to do, when you have an empty wooden fruit bowl and a pile of pool balls is to put the balls in the bowl.

I found the balls in the back of a rubbish truck in Notting Hill. The bowl was a gift from a woman who knew that I didn't have one.

What worries me is that this image would be quite happily considered 'ART' by those who think they know best.

It is nothing more than a bowl of balls.

Postcard from Rusty.

Rusty did it!

I recieved a postcard fro him this morning. that in itself is a miracle with the postal strikes we have been suffering; no doubt the postmen will be back at work in time to collect their Christmas bonuses.

The card was posted in Yorkshire (not an area noted for its rodeos).
The photo on the card is of a rhubarb mine; the caption says: Deep underground the plant is propagated by Yorkshire folk who are now completely blind. they live on a diet of batter puddings and Pontefract cakes...
Rusty writes: Hey Jan, you know it seems funny. London always seemed so big,, but you know you're in the largest county in the nation when you're anchored down in Harrogate. Harrogate Yorkshire.
He went on to write that Nurse Caz was travelling with him. They were together but not really together; Rustys heart was with Lula-mae in a tar paper shack close to a small town called Lizard Bend somewhere in North Dakota,
Nurse Caz's heart is in a specimen jar in Imperial college, London.
I listened to Michelle Shocked while I reread the card and thought of them both.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Just back from my weekly dream analysis with doctor F. It does not concern me that she has been struck off (in fact I am rather hoping she will apply some of her malpractice on me) and can now only practice as an amateur.

Each time I visit I am encouraged to paint an image of my latest dream.

Last night I dreamt I was a child. It was a stormy autumn evening and I had been milking pomkin the goat who had lashed out at me with her hooves annd rendered me unconscious for a while.

Groggily I returned to the house and entered, but somehow I had gone in through the wrong door and found myself neither inside nor outside. there was a wall of raining teaspoons clouding my view of the walnut tree and of the three beakers on the window sill; my mothers red one, my dead fathers black one and my yellow one. Each time I reached out for my beaker (I was very thirsty) my hand was stung by the falling spoons.

I gave up in the end and finally fell asleep.

I awoke some time later on the straw in pomkins shed.

If it is possible for a goat to sneer, pomkin sneered.

Doctor F chuckled and clapped her hands on hearing the dream and seeing my painting and then ushered me out of the room giving me no explanation as to what it all might mean.

Rusty, depression and horse shit.

Rusty came round for coffee this morning. He looked distressed and depressed, I've not seen him this bad for a long time. I'm worried because I know I'm not going to see him for a while.

I said go to see the nurse Rusty, she can help.

I doubt it said Rusty. I hear she ain't nursing no more, I hear she has taken up horse riding. How do you know that? I asked.

Well, he said. Every time I see her she smells like stables.

I told him he should perhaps go back on the rodeo circuit one more time before he got too old. And Rusty, I said. Why not ask the nurse to go with you, she could look after the horses for you.

That woman is every man's dream, Rusty.

Yeah he said. But not every night.

I talked to nurse Caz later this morning. Told her I was worried about Rusty, and would she help? She said she would get back to me on that one. I also said that I had heard that she had taken up riding.

She laughed then (I have not heard that mountain stream for a long time) and said; I've just been putting horse shit on my garden.
I will not pass that information on to Rusty, I imagine he would prefer to keep an image of Caz in tight johdpurs in his minds eye rather than the reality.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Advice for young lovers.

If you are going to keep bullshit in a treacle tin there is no point reading each other the label.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Mutate Britain

Rusty, Babs and Dame Nellie Melba.

Rusty called round this morning to analyse Tristans performance last night.

We decided not to talk about it.

Instead I went to make cheese on toast for us all. I could hear Rusty and Babs talking and laughing in the other room as I grated cheese and then a finger. I burned the toast and Rusty came in to criticise.

I was about to throw the burnt toast in the bin when he pushed me to one side. He then grilled the bread on the other side, cut off the crusts and sliced the slices horizontally. once toasted on the cut side he had made 4 pieces of melba toast.

Here he said; presenting it to Babs.
What's that she asked.
Melba toast!
Why is it called that?

It is named after Dame Nellie Melba, who, when not eating peaches liked to eat this stuff.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Bridges I have lost shoes from. I've lost count.

I'd gone down to the Serpentine this morning to photograph the bridge having lost a shoe there a while back.
I was astonished to find Tristan there fishing. Fishing is not permitted in the serpentine. I pointed out the sign stating this fact.
He said. I'm not fishing Jan, I'm pretending to fish.
Have you caught anything I asked.
Only an old shoe and the attention of a crazy old woman who said if I catch a tuna she has the maionnaise...
What bait are you using?

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Mountains, views and dogs.

Babs calls from Mountain view, California.

And I think is that a view of a mountain or a view from a mountain and Babs says that the sky is as high as an elephants eye.

And I say you are lying Babs

And she says I know, I heard it in a movie. And eveyone knows that the movies lie.

I left that sleeping dog to do the lying.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Horse shit. Bull shit. Holy shit.

She said I suppose you are going to use this as material for a poem or a story or something.

I said no. Personal experience is like horse shit; it needs to stand around for a year or two before you dig it into the garden. Otherwise it is too caustic to do anything other than kill everything.

So you won't be writing about me.

Oh yes! I'll be writing about you, but only the stuff I make up.

Prairie omelettes, hangovers and male bonding.

Rusty came round tonight. I thought he'd want to skirt the nurse but no.

He said, as he eyed my larder, she may be a nurse Jan but the only thing she is nursing right now is a hangover. He went on to say: Women teach us a lot of things Jan but all she done teach me is that I'm way out of my depth, and she aint teaching me to swim.

He found eggs, strawberries, black pepper and cream.

Heck, if we aint got a prairie omelette. He said.

What is in a prairie omelette I asked.

Whatever you got left in the chuck wagon at the end of a drive. He said.

Do you know, a strawberry and black pepper sweet omelette with cream is quite extraordinarily delicious.

Hey Rusty I said as we licked our fingers, let's go rent Brokeback Mountain.

Aw shucks. Said Rusty.

Tristans wall

Coincidences in nature, guns and tulips.

A mat of ivy roots pulled from a wall and a robin that watched. Is it not interesting the colours in the two images.It is as if the robin is camouflaged for stealth flying between the ivy roots and the wall. The ivy roots do not sing as well as the robin. Not even as well as Tiny Tim. And he's dead, pushing up the tulips rather than tiptoeing through them.

rusty came along shortly after the photo was taken and shot the thing with a Colt 48.

I said Rusty you can't do that and he said Jan, the constitution says I can do what I damn well please with my gun.

I said GULP.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Show business.

Things may be quiet for a day or two.

Tristan has a 'gig' (nasty word) coming up and requires my help for read throughs and rehearsals.

He is reading 3 poems with films made for the event at the Tabernacle, Powis Square on October 10th. Ditto TV are putting on the show... Probably best to be there. Just in case.

Babs says she will attend.

Swine flu. Pigs flying. what's the difference?

Shoe Trees

There appear to be many 'shoe trees' on the planet.
I am told that the first occurrance of the phenomenom was in the Herault region of France. I suspect that I might have been guilty of starting the trend when losing shoes from bridges.