And the mome raths decided to have an effing beer

Alright, alright, I'm going to have a moment. Because needs must.

Figured out the other day that the junk is actually a cunning makeshift fence to protect the other fence from the dog. Interesting. Dog got stuck in the little corral made by the larger makeshift fence shortly after this revelation, and calls for him to come in were met with soft whines of caged bewilderment. Finally I made out his flapjack-coloured legs in the dark and had to go out in really unsuitable post-bath attire and free him.

Today the individual I shall politely refer to as That Woman Upstairs (hereafter 'TWU', which is kind of nice in that auto-fill-in-the-gaps-with-your-brain way) made a complaint about me, or at least the beast, to the managing agents. Which I appreciated so much more than a simple knock on the door or a note as a prelude to the kind of neighbourly discussion we've enjoyed before. Nothing has that personal touch like a call from the people who collect your rent, while you're trying to finagle a magazine page into a shape it is strenuously resisting. I mean, short of receiving a bunch of slithery rotting stems at my desk, I don't think I could have been any more moved.

The other element of the day that stuck it in and broke it off, removing a slim buffer that might have cushioned the blow of neighbour-betrayal, was the sudden and likely fatal indisposition of the Non-Pod. Alas and afuckinglack. I know it's a crutch. But people need their crutches to get about. This is why there are crutches. Especially when the tube is stuffed with people who make horrid noises with their noses.

On the way home - oh the silence and the shufflings and throat-clearings and inane witterings and tinny headphone seepage of it* - a man attached himself to the single tube door of my carriage as the train moved off from one stop. He didn't look concerned, but I thought he must have his jacket caught, for a long surreal moment of pre-panic. The train picked up speed. Mental images of screams and splattered glass. Then he smirked, and dropped onto the platform, jogging. Idiot.

Yesterday on the tube I saw a man reading The Economist. He was moving his lips as he read. I thought this was brilliant. If I got the tube every day I'd keep some manner of terribly popular blog of ink Polaroids of tube tableaux or some such piffle.

They're small things but they can't half make you feel defeated and crumpled. It was at least cheering to get an email with the rudest subject line I have ever seen in all my born days.

I am currently mainlining or speedballing or meatpasting (n shit) the below. Yeah, I know, but it's so pretty, and Cameron 'Mr Neneh Cherry' McVey produced it so it reminds me of goodness and truth and shamelessly big production that has no place in decent modern society. It's like Goldfrapp and Kate Bush and something else that's probably Natalie Imbruglia. And in the middle, she does a cartwheel, and it kind of makes me want to burst into something like tears.

*See, I have swanky in-ear things that don't leak anything at all, so no 'possible hypocrisy' tag here. Although it is always possible.

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Loud + clear

Findy-term of the day - you are an idiot dancing rabbit. Surprising number of people arriving here with variations on 'I have waited for you all my life'. I bet they're disappointed.

Weekend of pleasant and unpleasant surprises, which still weren't quite proper surprises in that I could have figured them out or extrapolated, projected, or wotnot. Sad stuff and happy stuff in dizzying proximity. Terribly melancholy Saturday rescued in its final hours, followed by pretty fucking good Sunday which lasted about three days - although it didn't involve Chinese New Year, because evidently I'm destined never to experience it. I think it has been Written that I shall be trampled by an over-enthusiastic dragon or something, so the universe is trying to keep me from it, at least until 'my' book comes out.

The sad stuff is a rotten deal out of which I have got lightly, which always makes for Guilt. But it can't be helped. Being a control freak, of course, I resent this enormously. At least it was preceded by nice things, even if there aren't going to be more of them. Shows the very serious and pressing need to appreciate people and situations and all while you are fortunate enough to have 'em in yer orbit. And a bit of Coleridgey melancholy never hurt anyone. Much. As long as it doesn't descend into Keats, obviously.

Woman From Upstairs is continuing to be a bit batshit. I've got on OK with her previously, although she is a cantankerous, kvetching, self-centred sort of an annoying neighbour. But she will complain about me and the dog with relation to the garden to neighbours outside within my earshot (alright, so I had to stop eating my cereal so the crunching didn't obscure the poisonous gossip, but that still qualifies as earshot). And then she will proceed to dump some junk at the bottom of the garden, which is arguably worse in petty terms than a stray bit of poop. She has pedantically divided our shared garden into two halves, with a flimsy fence ensuring the dog gets 50% less gambolling/mooching space - part of the fence is fine netting, in which a squirrel nearly met a harrowing dolphinesque end the other day. (I would have presented its contorted corpse to her and made her think, as they say in the north, on.) But the junk - bits of old bed and wood and stuff - are in 'my' half. Which begs the question - why doesn't she just fuck off?

I can't grumble though really - it's a lot less bad when it's someone you know and have spoken to and can get on with who's being obnoxious. I've generally been lucky with my neighbours, and just as I don't think WFU has any real reason to complain about me considering how awful and selfish and abusive and evil neighbours can be, I don't have much reason to whine about her. She occasionally crashes about upstairs swearing and being industrious, but then I crash about downstairs getting the dog to leap over my legs (fun and good exercise) and getting annoyed about the lack of hot water or telling the dog to stop savaging his toys when the post comes. (In fact most of my crashing about is by proxy, or at least assisted.) So we're probably even. And my other neighbours I know by name and they are proper, good neighbours, the kind everybody needs but usually has to suck up not having. Their benign presence makes me very happy, because I know how rotten it is to have nasty tensions or just massive indifference from people you hear, if not see, every day. It's sad. I want to start some sort of Scheme. Cakes and tea and little considerate notes and trust and engendering of the sort of minor fondness that is unique to neighbours, who will never see each other again once one moves.

Oh! I will never see Lovely Woman Next Door and her boy again when I split, and there will be no one to be the keeper of my spare keys. I must try and appreciate them while I have them, and I do try. With whatever new ones I have it will be charm offensive ago-go, which is the minimum necessary when you have a giant lumbering creature with the canine equivalent of the 'TOXIC' symbol on his head in your care.

Two - count 'em - instances of inverted-comma-ownership in this post. And also the neighbours aren't really mine, and nor are the spare keys, or the main ones either. Alas! Nothing is quite mine. I just lent out a book, one of my favourites, which I half-inched from my first London flatmate, so it's never really been mine. If I ever see it again, it means karma has not been correctly installed in this supposedly improved but actually quite rubbish version of the cosmos. But this all prepares me for the bizarre concept of house 'ownership', which still seems like a hilarious misnoma. Latest figures show that only five people in the UK actually own their property, and are blissfully mortgage-free, and are so posh that you need a translator. I find the whole thing quite daft, but as long as things don't start to own me, I suppose it's not a big deal.

I have a new project to start on, which isn't mine either. Once you start to think of things in these terms, you realise that the only thing you can actually lay full and permanent claim to is a small pot sheep with one chipped ear. It's quite liberating, although I suspect all that clutter that doesn't quite belong to me is still going to require sorting out soon. Bah!

Incidentally, did anyone else immediately think of this when this was shown everywhere? Oh, and whatever she's done and however much of a fuck-up she may be, headlines like 'Grab a front-row seat for Britney breakdown' are not cool, asshole.

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Seek and you shall reveal yourself to be a bit odd

One of the most stupid fun things about having a blog is nosing through the search terms that brought the bewildered and pervy to your little corner of the net. Like sex tourists blundering onto your porch. Or fools. Fools without pants.

Hello! And welcome!

a dog breed that's half dog and half rabbit

would we care if shilpa looked like the back end of a bus

freaky things do to dead people

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Pretty internet

It's a wonder I ever get anything done. Oh wait.



"What is undervalued in the sale pitch of this item (and it's overall sense of delight while you sun-bathe on the car-port covered in at least six of these freshly delivered delights) is the wonderful "SPAK" sound it makes when you throw it to the linoleum."


"That's right. Instead of the London Astoria, we get a hole in the ground. A building site. Fuck all, basically."


"I tried to laugh off the fact that I was going to eat a chocolate sandwich - embarrassing, when he was living on miso paste and seaweed. He gave me two-fifths of a smile and started rummaging around in the silverware drawer."


"While Vickie danced, J. Howard tried to grab her breasts. Thus began J. Howard's aggressive pursuit of Vickie's affection."


Up your hoohaa, America!


First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no verbs.

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Explain to me how this works

(Gratuitous dog shot, but he is miming my current feelings, so it's allowed.)

Anna Nicole Smith, the Wal-Mart Marilyn, is dead. Ian Richardson the actor is also dead. Mark E Smith has made another album with The Fall. Oh well.

Draining afternoon, being reminded of a) the proliferation of casual skulduggery in the media b) the honesty and goodness of some of the people in it who don't conform to said gruesomeness and c) what a thorough and sneakily perennial pain in the psychic arse some issues are. I mean, come on, enough. I have been good. I'd like my Joy now please.

The snow's given way to boring old cold, but I'm still waiting to get sick of 'Lovelight' which may actually be the greatest pop song of all time.

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This I have been waiting for

I've got this fake nasty finger jobby I've been waiting to use for ages. It's just not the kind of accessory that goes with most things.



(Taken through a hole in the bubblewrap what is stretched across one of my picturesque yet completely rubbish 1930s sash windows which would make Al Gore cry. The bubblewrap doesn't do a lot to stop the cold breeze from wafting onto my dainty hands as I type, but what do you expect me to do? A? What?

It kind of looks like a bullet hole though doesn't it. Ooh.)

It have snowed! Country is in chaos, naturally, and news is all of a fuffle about it, but I am quite happy as I don't have to go out. The dog went out in the morning and galumphed hither and thither flinging snow everywhere with his nose, which is in fact the most amusing sight in the world. I threw snowballs for him and when they vanished into the rest of the snow, as snowballs tend to, the look of utter bewilderment on his solemn face was priceless. He was Adrift in a Senseless Universe. But then dogs are used to that, living as they do with us and trying so hard to grasp what the fuck we are on about all the time. No wonder they sleep so much.

Other than that I am still footling about post-book, toying with ideas, and being a greedy oaf with people's valuable time and lips. Also doing some drinking, which is in fact a wonderful traditional pastime and I think it should be revived.

The sleek and efficient hunter in his wintery domain, having just performed the time-honoured act of making yellow snow. Although it's somewhat wasted on him.

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If you set your iPod to shuffle in the woods, does it play 'Pet Sounds'?

A beautiful faux-spring day. I spent some of it sitting in a churchyard talking about books and sundry related issues with the ice-cap-melting sun in my eyes. I saw a heron and two dancing tortoiseshell butterflies. (There was actually someone else there as well. I wasn't crouching over an ancestor's grave telling them about the mixed feelings of giddiness and shrugginess I'm alternating between over this here book, about which I'm thrilled and not really much bovvered at once.) It was bliss, frankly, even if it made me fret about stuff as the world is really meant to be doing more. (That first link's really good, by the way.)

Previously, at about 1am, I was on Oxford Street when a large sleek heart-coloured American automobile slouched by. I admired it - I like a bit of car occasionally. I did ogle a VX220 earlier - you almost never see them as they never caught on, but apparently they're brilliant. They are properly sexy cars, because they have a certain wackiness and humility about them. People just didn't want them cos although they're basically modified Lotus Elises, they still said 'Vauxhall' on them. People are shallow. At least the ones who buy sports cars, it seems. So someone with one of those I might infer could look past the superficial and I would be immediately Interested, whereas a knob with a Porsche could take his pretentions elsewhere. Most cars that are meant to be sexy leave me cold. But yes.

I was trying to figure out what it was (something wide and American, in any case) when I noticed it said 'WESTWOOD' in big silvery letters across the top of the windscreen. So in fact more like


And lo, as it slunk by I clocked that still really not entirely unyouthful face in profile. Despite having met quite a few quite famous people and all but witnessing that they go to the toilet just like the rest of us, I am filled with a certain helpless unapologetic childish glee upon sighting a Famous. On this occasion the glee was somewhat enhanced because well, it was 1am, work it out for yourself. So I did shout, or rather holler, "WESTWOOD!" Or indeed


If I'd had my wits about me I would have gone


But y'know, I think I made my point clearly and concisely. Then I made to my companion the neither concise nor clear point that Westwood is actually brilliant, because while many many claim to, like, Not Give A Fuck what people think, he is one of about three living individuals who actually Don't. He must be one of the most ridiculed public figures ever, but he continues to be ridiculous without a blink. It is hard not to believe he's not putting it on, but I think if he was then the enormous number of hip hop artists who give him mad props would have nothing to do with him, and would probably go out of their way to insist that he's a laughable assbag who insults their culture every time he loosens his chiselled white jaw. And, y'know, surely the fact that he was popped in a drive-by shooting in 1999 gives him credibility in his field. Unless someone just thought he was a laughable assbag, of course, in which case the rotten bastard should have put their gun away and just posted something rude on the Radio 1 website like any normal idiot.

I'd just come to London for the first time to live (excepting when I was born, because I was born in London and am a proper actual Londoner and deserve some sort of prize dammit) and was staying in Kennington when said incident went down. (Ooh look, and that's the hospital where I was born that they took him to as well. In London.) I was aghast. The guy doesn't even allow swearing on his late night show and dubs noises over all the fucks in the stuff he plays, which means some tracks just consist of a smattering of phat beats and loads of birdsong like they have on Big Brother when someone says "Adidas". He's just a nice bloke. Bonkers, obviously, but nothing warranting a cap in the ass or even in the arm.

(Heh: "police think he may have been followed". Oh, really?)

So I am down with Westwood, due to his setting of a beautiful example of how to be yourself even when white middle-class tossers who would probably love to be a bit more like you like Toby Young and Marcus Brigstocke smugly deride you as a fraud, and everyone else thinks you're a bit of a silly embarrassing twat. I salute his indefatigability.

Go hard, brother number one. N junk.

A bit of a week of new excitingness, really, aside from celebrity hollering (I also saw Neil Tennant in Soho last week, although I didn't holla at him, it would have been inappropriate.) This year is looking at least some shade of fine. 'Fine' in the urban sense, I mean.

Could someone tell me why they silence out the 'god' in 'this ain't a scene/it's a goddam arms race' in the Fall Out Boy song of the same name when the video is on the telly, but not on the radio? I suppose Nietzsche would listen to emo.

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