Monthly Archives: February 2012

A song I like, when I remember

I am interested in the unfixed teeth (having them in a state of un-fix-ed-ness (say it like a sonnet) is retro if you ask me, having them myself) and the guy’s voice reminds me of another singer. I think it might be Peter Gabriel. I am not sure; someone from the 1980s anyway.

Not being able to place a certain tonal quality in a vocal drives me more crazy than when I can’t remember the right word, or the name of a song.

Neuroscientists say that the human memory can crash and reboot when you leave a room and enter another one. That’s why we often forget what we came in here for. It doesn’t even have to be a room to trigger this response – just a threshold, perhaps even a metaphysical one. Taken across the piece, this post sounds like it’s a good argument for living alone in a one-room garret.

When you are in a deep pit of doom…

…the obvious thing to do to lift oneself out of it (when all the usual suspects fail to work) is to make bunting.

The fact that I have never attempted the feat before, possess only minimal seamstressing skill and little practical aptitude for crafts are only minor hindrances to overcome. The idea came about when I was in a dance shop buying the second pair of Irish Dancing Shoes in a week, in preparation for my twelve trips to and from school tomorrow afternoon (see last Wednesday’s post if you care for an explanation of that one). The dance shop has a material concession in the right hand corner manned by, well a man. One suspects he runs up all kinds of sequinned numbers for ballroom dancers but he was a slightly aggressive shopkeeper for the customer wanting a few offcuts and a bobbin of thread. There are a lot of passive aggressive people out there you know. Watch out for them, they often come disguised as mice.

Anyway, the proposed bunting sewing activity follows on directly from demolishing a wall at the weekend; stage 1 of converting the mudbath that is the garden to something that the neighbours don’t have to wince at over the fence. Well, the neighbours on the left hand side anyway; I don’t think the ones on the right care.

Stage 1 is not yet complete as there is the small matter of half a tonne of soil to move which was held back by the ugly and stubborn wall.

Here’s some aspirational bunting, to brighten up the blog. There’s no need to have triangles all the time is there?

Tomorrow I might dazzle the blog readers with where I am now keeping my clothes pegs. Life – you couldn’t write it.


It seems that the hardest learning opportunity you can present a student with is: to learn about themselves. Without that though, it always seems that a lot of the rest of any other learning is going to fall on stony ground.

It sounds a bit up itself that paragraph, but after a morning in the classroom and an evening ahead of me I suppose I am only reminding myself of these lines from the T.S. Eliot poem ‘The Rock’


Or a brace of black dogs, one child and l’Espagnol.

Taken by my sister, Wray Barton, down Devon way. I found the composition irresistible.

I will spend the rest of the day playing ‘Spot the Mitchell Bruvvers’…

Three things that this lad will Never Do

Gain a pound
Read the Sun on Sunday
Vote Tory

I like the way his ears are blowing in the wind here.

Pity you have to take a treacherous walk half a mile out into the estuary to achieve The Look…

Moving out, moving in?

I don’t know.

There’s a man who walks some Staffies in the cemetery nearby. He’s often fairly drunk, and often fairly drunk early in the morning after an all-nighter. He supports Arsenal and we used to have a chat but his new younger Staffie and Rudi didn’t really get along so I started to keep a distance.

Now these boots are lined up along the wall outside where he lives. I haven’t seen him for a while, and he always wore trainers as far as I recall, usually with an Arsenal top, so I don’t know what the shoes and boots mean. None of the indiviudal pairs quite have the pathos of Van Gogh’s ‘A Pair of Shoes’ but as a collective they come pretty close

Alcoholism is a sad business. There’s another hard drinking man on the street who also has Staffies. The dogs fling themselves around in a frenzy of barking when you walk past the flat. The tv is always on and even when the windows are closed you can hear the dogs being yelled at to ‘Shut up!’. If the windows are open you can smell the beer. Sometimes the man goes off to prison for assaulting someone. Then he comes back and picks up where he left off. I see him, or his partner who cut off all her long hair like a penance, walking round the corner to the offie to stock up on beer from time to time. In five years, I haven’t once seen them walk a dog.

As yet there hasn’t been a row of shoes in their front garden.

Southend’s Bottoms

I am obsessed.

With the bottoms of boats (if there is a technical term for them I shall be enlightened I’m sure…).

One of them (down below) reminded me of Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone.

Others reminded me of nothing more than themselves.

People can be like the bottoms of boats ~ layers upon layers are revealed if they are weathered hard enough.

It’s a new record!

Of backing and forthing to the school in one day. Six visits – that’s twelve to and fros in a day.

07.50 Go to school
08.00 Return
15.10 Go to school
15.15 Return
15.55 Go to school
16.00 Return
16.50 Go to school
17.00 Return

This is where we are now. The dog has been with me on three out of the four occasions and is now refusing to leave the house again today. Unbelievably, I still have to:~

17.50 Go to school
18.00 Return
18.50 Go to school
19.00 Return

I have written this post mainly as an aide memoire to myself. I am so dizzy I am worried I might forget one leg of the marathon relay race thingummyjigummy and end up:~

leaving a child at school overnight
leaving both children at school overnight
leaving myself at school overnight

What’s to blame for all the trips? Irish Dancing. And when St Patrick Day finally comes around next month I will have more than earned my Guiness.

A stolen hour

The tide goes so far out in Southend-on-Sea that it is a rare day that you can walk along the water’s edge. Even more unlikely is the sound of the surf slapping onto the sand, like you really were on a bona fide beach, not merely the estuarine edgelands of the Old Man River Thames.

Today there were both those things; the double whammy transported me.

Amygdalae & Anger

I can’t seem to write much at the moment.

I am spending a lot of time thinking about the amygdala x 2: the ‘fear’ centre of the brain.
I am of the view that anger is a fear-based response and I am re-starting my classification of emotions from the inside to the outside which is the reverse of the language-based approach I took before.

I may be a while.