Blog Archives

‘You Wish’

In my case, I wish I was good at shopping. As everyone knows: I am rubbish at it. Still, there’s always this song to groove to after looking at literally thousands of products, with NO SUCCESS. If you’ve had a birthday recently, all I can offer on the gift front is: I am behind. Sorry!

You start with a bit of recreational pigeon haikuery…

And, before you know it, you are onto the hard seagull seventeen-syllable gear, imported from Japan.

A seagull pimp rolls
the street, glares at pigeons. Then,
stops, to window shop.

Down Town

After swearing I would never go into the town centre ever again on a Saturday the weekend before last (wherein I had trouble containing my temper with the rank inefficiency in one shop), I found myself back there again last Saturday.

This weekend I was forced out clutching an eclectic list of necessary items: keys cut for the allotment, postcards, sepia (it’s a homeopathic remedy not just a tint) and another vain attempt to sort out my online banking. The point is, none of this could be done unless I returned to the hell that is Southend-on-Sea High Street. It was heaving too. At the estuarine end BBC Essex had a dreadful live singer, at the other Heart Essex had dancers and singers on a stage. Absolutely horrendous and all manner of personal space invasions too for me and my daughter. The key-cutter tweaked her nose for Christ’s sake and then charged me a totally arbitrary tenner for two poxy keys. I should’ve punched him. In some degree of shock, I instead quickly dragged my poor child away before she twigged on that Father Christmas (complete with real live reindeer) was due to arrive to turn on the lights in his sleigh. On the 14th November. In Essex. I ask you.

Before I completely lost the plot I took a photo of this new university building with my phone. I don’t know if I much like it, but I am quite pleased with the phone.


That’s what’s in most shops as far as I am concerned. Tat, crap and rubbish. And what I can’t understand is why there are so many people wandering around them looking so happy to be diverted from life by all this shit piled high. I tell you, that really is one of life’s complete mysteries to me.

Christian Boltanski and "No Man's Land"

More on Boltanski here

Old Bags

To keep me company whilst I work on becoming one myself (my children may have a different take on my progression) I keep a selection of old bags all over the house. I have them in the kitchen, the dining room, the garden shed, the landing, the porch and in the car. All in aid of not being unmasked as a heretic in the placky bag department when at a checkout.

“Do you want a bag with that?”

“No” I can say brightly “I’ve brought my own”

Except for a long time I didn’t. I would forget. I would shop on the spur of the moment and get caught short, bagless and be forced to accept and/or pay for a new bag to join the colony back at the crib. As a result, I have bags with ladybirds, flowers, “Roys” which enjoys a certain rep in the Broads (don’t ask if you’ve not been to Wroxham), a tree of life bag, rather a lot of Co-op bottle bags, Recycle for Southend bags, Waitrose bags for life which look knackered after a shop, a bag with elephants on (Indian, British Museum exhibition), a Morrisons bag with rosy apples, a Tesco bag in blue (I forget the motif) – I could go on but I won’t. Thank me later.

So when the kids came home (real thanks to Mary :-))with a string bag for me I did not hold out great hopes for it, but it has been a revelation.

It dwells without demur in my real handbag (I had taken to going out with only a black Tesco “Finest” number in desperation) and pops out eagerly to contain vast quantities of heavy shopping. I love it. Buy one!!!

Not this small, but perfectly formed

Not this small, but perfectly formed

Pale and Wan

I have lost a few hours to sickness and debilitation this week, although for the most part I have soldiered on…

Is that a comma splice?  I am told they are BAD but I think I go in for them rather a lot.  In fact I am not averse to the odd comma splice so there.  And, yes AND to start the sentence, I am not “averse” (not “adverse”) which I seem to hear used incorrectly so often on R4 as this morning on Today.  Unlike the comma splice that is a hanging offence lol.

Clearly my niggles have put me in a scratchy mood.  Today I have to go to a “Designer Outlet Village” which is where I imagine some of the lower grade fashion designers plot up to purge their really bad designs.   This is obviously a good opportunity to try and aspire to diva ness but I know I am going to fail the test already.  Not least because the destination is Braintree.  I also have to take my passport, but that’s another story – now that comma IS naughty but never mind.  The commas (or lack of) that I really object to are the ones that significantly change the meaning of a sentence, the rest are for pedants and editors.

Brain drain?

Brain drain?


P.S. OK I admit it – I am a pedant-in-training.  The comma referred to is joining independent clauses and is in the right place.  Does a comma splice join two clauses that should be sentences.  I can’t remember.  I shouldn’t speak or blog before noon as it all comes out rhubarb.

Sorry, Ill go to Braintree now :-(

Sorry, I'll go to Braintree now 😦