Friday, June 22, 2007

Lost and found

Oh! Cas's book launch was soooo lovely. She read beautifully and I don't know where she got that calm and steady voice from but it was gorgeous and I was so proud. Will blog more about that over the weekend, I can't believe it's been a week already!

It wasn't a good weekend to be ooop north. Ruby and I needed an ark ... we worried that even if we found one we might not be let in, not being 2 by 2 and all that. I was driving over to Harrogate when the rivers started bursting their banks. The top road was already blocked by a landslide, and now the bottom road was flooding too. Roads were closing faster than I could keep track ... I had Badger on the phone doing web-searches to try to find me a clear route, but the traffic sites were behind the flow of water, the diversions were changing every few minutes as police struggled to clear broken down vehicles and accidents.

I found my way, somehow, through crawling traffic, to Knaresborough, where my friend lives. She was struggling to get back from Leeds and I was panicking that I might be stranded in Knaresborough for days, unable to get back. Waiting for my friend to arrive home I went to look for petrol and found a retail park to loiter in. I pulled up in a space and started flicking through my radio, wishing I had a clue what the local stations might be.

And then I found it. The station that would come to my rescue, running a constant update of eyewitness reports about which roads were closed and open, where the traffic was worst and which alternative routes were giving most success. Am I odd for thinking this is kind of eerie?

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

shhhhh ...

... everyone is asleep.

Except for those of us who are too excited to sleep.

Only one sleep to go til In Search of Adam launches in Manchester.

One sleep to go, if I can sleep, of course.

I have to sleep because I will be driving the dog bus up to Yorkshire, where I will collect Ms M and Bobo and ferry them to the launch party at Waterstones (91 Deansgate) Manchester ... where we will meet up with Badger and Matthew and JJ and Jude and the dancing girls from The Friday Project and and and ... who am I missing ...?

... who am I missing ...?

Oh yes. Ms Caroline Smailes (Author).

Oh oh oh! I am full of secret surprises and that is tooooooooo exciting to sleep. Even though it is the last before sleep. The only before sleep left.

D-W will be having her own special launch party over at her new blog Asynchronous Process too. She is creating a book chain and community of 100 people. Amazing.

But. We have to be excited quietly.

Because everyone else is sleeping.


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Sunday, June 10, 2007

How can I help you?

Having spent this morning being squirted in and out of an MRI tube, I'm feeling in a lazy-blogging kinda mood.

So. Here's what you're looking for - I hope I can help.

Search: what part of the brussel sprouts do you eat?

Stray says: anything except the stick.

Search: what is the difference between heelys and wheelies?

Stray says: Approximately 2 front teeth.

Search: signs of straying husbands

Stray says: I'm not sure, but if in doubt, have your husband microchipped to ensure his safe return when he does stray.

Search: rules of cornish daily life

Stray says: Minimum 1 pasty per person per day. Surfing 3 times a week. All single-track roads must be travelled at a minimum of 70 mph, unless you are in an extra wide farm vehicle, in which case a maximum of 1 mph should be observed.

Search: nun milk

Stray says: 7 points.

Search: My dog is very depressed because of the loss of her doggie friend, what should I do?

Stray says: Bring her over to play with mine? I could do with a cuddle myself ... your search term made me sob.

Search: murders in bellshill

Stray says: I haven't been there in ages. It wasn't me. Have you asked The Soup Dragons?

Search: mini cooper convertible wobble

Stray says: Consider an additional income through hiring your vehicle out to people who can't afford a vibrating belt massager™ as seen on tv.

Search: care and content label rules for socks

Stray says: Always keep in pairs. The end.

Search: boxer dog injured nose

Stray says: Oh! Kiss it better of course!

Search: Blessings on the occasion of opening of new Catholic Primary School message of congrats

Stray says: Why did you come here? Weren't you just asking about the nun milk?

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Following on from my amazing coincidental arrangement to have lunch with Ms M and Cas on my blog birthday, today my Dad requested a copy of some lyrics I wrote when I was much younger.

I have a scary memory stuffed full of the words of thousands of songs ... mostly other people's but also everything I've ever written it seems ... so I found myself typing out the words to a song that I wrote when I was 17? 18? 19? (I'm 31 now - those years are a bit of a blur despite the clarity on the words themselves). I don't remember writing it - it seems like it was always there just waiting to be written down. I know that I recorded it in the band I was briefly in when I was 20 ... with the most talented singer I've had the joy of working with. Who, of course, I came to be writing music with because she was the glass collector in a pub where I was serving drinks and I overheard her singing in the loo.


I don't think it's an amazing feat of lyrical achievement - but I do still believe strongly in the subject matter - so much so at the moment when I have so many lovely people in my life through blogging. And so, typing it out to email to my Dad (I have no idea why he wants it) it struck me that at the time that I wrote this song I had no concept of a 'blog'. Which made me think of the wonderful contractual clause for rights in TV these days "All rights in all media now known or hereafter invented... ".

I am sure when I wrote this I would have applied the same clause. I just wouldn't have known it. Because I didn't know much ... a lot of fancy stuff with numbers and the whole back catalogue of the Smiths were about the limits of my wisdom at that age.

Anyway ... er ... please add your own smoke and beer ... here's a little number I wrote when I was just a kid, and with a small nod to the late great Carl Jung I'd like to dedicate it to his fan Ms M. I call it Synchronicity ...

these interlocking interlinking hands are weaving patterns of coherence
mapping out the paths the steps the dance this rhythm, making sense
of sights and sounds and words and pictures, sketching, drawing it together
twisting tying knots the threads of life unbroken spun forever

don't try to tell me that there's nothing going on
it's all around you, believe and you will see
don't try to tell me that there's nothing going on
it's all around you, it's synchronicity

scratch the surface feel the pulse this living breathing breeding force
undercurrents shifting tides that surge the river down its course
the fluid fragile webs of plans we're spinning growing day by day by day
the ever present wind of change blows complex til they fade away

don't try to tell me that there's nothing going on
it's all around you, believe and you will see
don't try to tell me that there's nothing going on
it's all around you, it's synchronicity

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Completing a cycle

Tomorrow this blog will be 1 year old.

Completely coincidentally, tomorrow I also have a long arranged date with lovely Ms Melancholy and Cas, on a day chosen before I realised it was my blog's birthday.

Fitting though.

In the last year I have, through this blog, stumbled upon a few handfuls of valuable new relationships. With parts of myself, with my camera, with writing, with ruby, with my home, with the day to day minutae that is so different when your first thought in reaction to any quirky event, positive or negative, is "I could totally blog this ... ".

I have published about 150 posts. I have written many more - as mental drafts, sketched out on scraps of paper at the back of my mind. They have often made unbearable moments bearable.

Equally precious though are the relationships I have with real live Other People. Friends who now know me better than I used to know myself. People I have drunk coffee with, cried with, laughed with, chatted online with, shared meals with, even been on holiday with. I went into my recent surgery calming myself with the knowledge that a wonderful group of people from the meditation blog I joined were, in their different time zones all over the world, meditating simultaneously and holding me in their thoughts. How beautiful is that?

I have read wisdom, poetry, funny stories, terrible pain and miraculous insight. I have ached with others in their struggles, been made braver by their honesty and feel quite encouraged about the much larger numbers of lovely people than I had imagined existed!

It's been a pants year in so many respects - but this blog and the friends I have made through it have been so positive that I don't think I would change it if I could.

Big huge kisses and cuddles and thank yous to all of you. (Ms M and Cas you can have yours in person, the rest of you will have to take them virtually for now :) )


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