I had the most extraordinary crop of bad post this morning.

1) Confirmation that my payment's gone through for this seminar wotnot, which would be good news were it not for

2) Perplexing, grumpy, unsigned letter insisting I owe more tax

3) Quite straightforward letterette explaining that bailiffs can't serve warrant on those who owe me because it's only a registered address, and after four attempts they finally figured out that there was no one actually physically there. A shrewd lot, those bailiffs, you want to watch them.

4) New council tax bill, probably with pence added for the Olympics since it's already hilariously yet disgustingly spiralled out of controoooooool.

How Very Depressing. Still, with regards 2) I've managed to find another address, so I can apply to reissue the warrant. Which I shall. Only another £25. Bargain!

If and when I get any or all of the escalating amount back, I am going to put on a dress and go somewhere for a cosmopolitan. Perhaps in these. Unless anyone would like to buy them for me first, in recognition of my heroic struggle which is not just for me but for all freelance worms who have ever not been paid by a person. But then I'd probably have a heroic struggle trying to get them on, and they would win, and I would cry and stomp, but the stomp would be less than impressive what with the bare feet and all.

Fuck the bootmakers. Some of us have calves.

Garden is now not so neatly but more pedantically bisected, straight down the middle of the path, which means neither of us can use it any more. Next time it rains I won't be able to slop out there in my slippers. It is mildly infuriating. Since the weather has gone all beautiful TWU has been out there every daylight hour, looking for things to destroy. She's put some green bristly doormats on her side, like stepping stones, at jaunty angles. There are bamboo arches and metal filigree frames and shit all over the place. Woman needs a bumper selection of jigsaws.

Oh, and they're knocking down the Hammersmith Palais. They are cunts.


Size 6, by the way. And I also fancy myself in this. Even if it has something to do with Sienna 'Pfft' Miller and would look ridiculous in a 14.



"Just a young man who was good to his mother"

Almost forgot. John Inman, the Grace Brothers Marilyn, is dead.

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Duracell Minus

This week I has

* talked late

* sat up late

* curtain-twitched

* made hamstrings complain

* not done enough

* learned the child sign language for 'pig', 'tiger', 'sheep' and 'biscuit'

* signed up for a screenwriting seminar

* gone "aaargh" with regards above

* partly because of the £

* interviewed one of favourite bands in a sort of shock last-minute who'd-a-thunk-it scenario

* gone "wheeeeee" with regards above

I can witter about that one now (and don't think I won't) but I'm planning to write it up on here properly and interminably, in a way that no sensible editor would print. Which will be sort of emancipating. They've done that for me before anyway, making me break free from the shackles of supposed creative endeavour that's actually like a prison of the mind, man. When I used to go and see them and jump about and shout and smile, all the other nonsense I was embroiled in that had to do with seeing bands and writing about them and trying to talk to them when they just wanted to go back to bed seemed utterly superfluous.

I suppose I wish I'd had the balls to interview them when I had the chance for one of the mags I used to write for - which I might have linked but there is no trace online of its brief life except mentions of its demise. I might have been able to write about them in the way I wanted to, but then again it would probably have turned out bad. I almost don't want to write about them at all. It spoils it somewhat. I have to start justifying myself - which is hard in this case as they're almost a guilty pleasure - and it's just a lot of bollocks. But yes.

But yes! It's not often you feel like you get the chance to tie up a very long sort of shoelace-thin but trailing loose end like this. I probably couldn't have done it a few years ago. My problem with interviews - well, one of the many - is that I can't bear to come out of them thinking I came across as a knob. It's a pretty sterile environment, these days, and I'm uncomfortable and awkward. The whole 'never meet your heroes' thing implies 'because they'll be crushingly disappointing and boringly human and not like they fell out of the sky at all', but it's so much more likely that you will disappoint them... and they have no expectation of you to start with. You can feel utterly negated by a dismissive glance from someone you admire. I know, I'm too susceptible to the whole myth of it all, but then I always wanted to be. Like a stupithead.

Fortunately, I came out with most of my dignity intact; and as immature as it may be, with the hint of a sense that they could actually have fallen out of the sky still in place too. It wasn't a very good interview, I don't think, but things were said into dictaphone, and although they

* got up and wandered about the room occasionally

* sniggered

* sighed deeply

...somehow it didn't seem personal.

Almost anything you build up to be a big deal is stunningly prosaic when it happens, but I never find that disappointing - it fascinates me how that works, as if your brain dumps a load of calmative chemicals to enable you to deal with it. This thing had spent years deflating in any case, but it was still kind of special. I never thought it'd ever happen, and that always gives you a bit of a celebratory feeling, giving rise to noisy TWU-bothering singing upon getting home. The staggeringly normal feeling of the moments you think will be otherworldly is actually sort of lovely. It's uniquely pleasant after the anxiety that precedes it. I think it's the element of surreality that you get with it. I don't know. But I did sit there and smile like a fool. Part of my pleasedness must have come from the fact that I do care a tiny bit less now if people think I am a fool. A tiny tiny bit. They aren't as important to me as they were, but they were important enough that they'll always have that resonance for me. So... yeah. It was daunting, but they were fine, and I was so relieved I was nearly giddy.

I got them to sign something - I've only ever got one other autograph for myself, because he was such a thoroughly amiable bloke. This - I don't know, I'm strangely unmoved by the thing that's now stuck on the wall by my desk with three absolutely illegible signatures on it, even as it pleases me to look at it. Oh - no I'm not, I am a bit moved. I just thought about what it means, and what it would have meant if I'd had it four years ago. I suppose it is a belated sign-off on a part of my life. A really good part. In parts. A sign of happy times.

They're playing on my birthday, in a venue I've seen them in twice, which is soon going to be turned into offices torn down. Good God. I will need wheeling home.

Once I've transcribed the thing and finished kicking myself for how terrible I sound and the questions I didn't ask, I'll write it up here. I suppose I should try and use it as some sort of line, marking the end of me writing sentences like the previous one, but those sorts of lines tend to be a load of unrealistic arse, like some genetically-modified monster of an ultra-new year resolution. Maybe you're just supposed to come to terms with your own imperfections. Man.

Ugh. What a thought.

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Passive-aggressives anonymous

TWU has just been out in the garden scattering blue crystals along the boundary of 'her' fence. Several of these have found their way, due to her erratic scattering technique, onto what would still be my half of the path even if she had divided that straight down the middle also. Pettiness is totally infectious.

I assume they are some sort of internet-bought dog repellent, and not dog poison. He took no notice, in any case, and snoffled about his business on 'my' side as usual when I let him out. Like a good neighbour who doesn't want to give bad neighbour a fucking inch, I had snatched up said business almost before it plopped softly onto the grass.

Now, this I just find rude. True, the dog has nicely ploughed the garden on 'my' side with his giant paws, but it's not as if her side is pristine. It presently contains

* some junk of the plastic sheeting/large box variety, dumped on what was a nice brick-built compost heap

* a single long thin piece of something rubbery, meant to 'protect' the grass it is surely suffocating

* with an old watering can on top of it, containing some bits of plant matter

* some pots

* some broken bits of tile

I mean, he did figure out how to get in there, and has had a little recce twice. The first time I got him out through the 'gate', and the clatter of the rusty pipe and my soft but navy-grade sibilant cursing may have alerted her. But the other time, it was daylight, and I successfully got him to leap the fence (that's good leapin') and no harm was done. Nor was any Business. How does she know? And why does she care so much? And what, exactly, fresh happy horseshit is this?

Next, I predict some sort of forensic marquee will be erected.

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Search for a hero inside Will Self

The truth about pit bull dogs

disembowel a rabbit

waiting all my life for this moment

paragraph about optimism

Search racism's secret bonding

you and your ipod are just rude

i have been waiting i have been waiting for this moment all my life


this ain't a scene, it's an arms race should be taken off the radio

i have been waiting all of my life for you to make


Subject matters

What pretty day. I really ought to go out in it, but it's Saturday which is my day for total indolence. I'll have to give it up at some point. I mean, I really enjoy Doing Stuff, it's just that there is something magnificent about the Doing of No Stuff.

TWU has retreated and retracted and all that. Thank frick. She did this by proxy of the managing agent, having by the sound of it had a bit of a talking to by my actual proper bona fido neighbour. Typically, I felt a bit rotten and was going to go round and make nice, but while I believe in the sorting-out-of-things and the making of the nice very deeply, I've also learned that with some people it isn't worth it. Not that I'm going to be hostile. Just as neutral as an inoffensive colour on a rental flat wall.

I was going to paint these walls, in fact (my literal actual walls - keep up), if only because it's great to be allowed to do it by a landlady. When I also asked if I could knock a few nails in the walls to hang pretty things thereon, she agreed without a moment's calculating hesitation. Yep. Go nuts. Fill your boots. And your rented walls. With pretty. This is wondrous in a world that frowns on tenants' use of Blu-Tac and knocks the little smudges off their deposit to the tune of hundreds. Even though they should damn well give a place a lick of paint before new tenants move in anyway.

So, yes.

Oliver James has a new book out called 'Affluenza', about how capitalism makes us miserable. I've had a sneaking suspicion for yeeeeeeears. Sometimes I want things that I don't even want. It's nasty. Someone now needs to do a book about how the media make you miserable. You can't escape it - even mostly avoiding the papers, as I'm having another phase of doing (and it really is very relaxing), makes you feel terribly Guilty. Surely the price you pay for your complacent fatness and frivolity and relative comfort is being made and kept aware of the misery of others. But then a lot of the time you can do nothing about it. So what kind of an obligation is it? Are we just supposed to bear witness to it? I think to an extent we should. And yet and yet.

Still, the papers unsettle me in a hundred different ways aside from their actual content. I hate reading good writers because it makes me feel like a worm. I hate reading bad writers because I want to know why they are getting work at all, and then start to fret about the dumbening of everything and all. I hate the sensationalism and the pandering and the wankiness and posturing, and how there isn't a single paper I really feel I can align myself with at the moment (I mean, you expect it with political parties, but come on, how many papers are there?) I can't bear my own tiny attention span, and skipping down pages and skating across paragraphs makes me feel queasy. The stuff I can focus on often makes me flappingly incensed, and then I have to find someone to rant at, and they have to put up an umbrella, and no one benefits.

I suppose it all comes back to capitalism and the whole too-much-choice-is-no-choice-at-all thing. This probably goes for people as well. Just too many. No one has enough time to adequately maintain all the friendships and acquaintances they'd like to. I'm constanly guilt-ridden or perhaps guilt-stricken or guilt-nibbled by my neglectfulness. If I get in touch with people I haven't heard from in ages, and send them a lot of breezy wiffle, I make them feel guilty. It is horrendous!

Sigh. The only solution is the boringly predictable one of mild hedonism and indulging the lower instincts. Which I will be doing in the usual polite and legal Saturday-approved fash as soon as I've done the washing up and something about my hair.

The Book is in mock-up form. I am sort of thrilled and sort of not, as usual. There are going to be several things I am going to have to Let Go, I can tell. Writers are always going to be tiny scrabbling worker ants, and ultimately we just have to feel grateful that we haven't been fried to an ant-crisp by the cruel magnifying glass of the universe.

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