Sunday, May 28, 2006

Yes, but is it better than a bar of chocolate?

Trouble, they say, comes in threes. So do buses, which might explain the lack of enthusiasm for public transport.

Those who keep a close eye on the financial markets may be aware that, collectively, the stock markets have all gone mad. Bull and bear are caught in a fight to the death. Record falls one day, rebounding rises the next. And the computer systems don't like it.

Nerves are stretched thin. Management decisions are leapt to, sometimes unwisely. People grit their teeth. The busiest days are yet to come.

There is an old adage in the city, sell in May then go away.

I want to go away. Until it's all quiet.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I am not yet officially dead

The combination of stress, jet-lag, illness and technical problems have conspired to stop me blogging for a while. The literary world has been trembling with anticipation.

I get an e-mail from new boss asking "are you ok? we're worried".

Isn't that sweet?

My early communications on the subject of not turning up were somewhat brief, a text along the lines of, "ill, please do my earlies, bye" before turning off all communication devices (which brings to mind the people who were sacked by text message, I wonder if other serious messages have been delivered in such a trivial format, "resigned, sort out my job, bye", or perhaps, "dead, sorry"). Still, the-deliver-the-news-and-run format seemed more professional than "ill, please do my earlies, don't call, will be too busy vomiting or shivering in a heap feeling sorry for myself, bye" and so was marginally preferable.

New York was nice. Hotel was super, if slightly mad (like stepping into a nightclub, very bizarre). Conclusion on business travel: nice to have done it, not nice to do.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Magnetic poetry

Recently I bought one of those magnetic fridge kits: the idea being that you re-arrange the supplied words into your own poetry.

When would someone spend time in front of their fridge, when they could spend time delving for food inside it? One time is guaranteed: when you have to clean it.

These poems stick to you. But so did some of the noxious substances in the fridge.
poem #1
man and device
never vivid
they haunt
poem #2
I was epic like
his soul
covered by drama
beautiful and sad
I almost speak
"take this love"
but romance laughs
it marks my heart a villain
empty of life
full of difficult wisdom

Monday, April 17, 2006

Start spreading the news ... London! London! Doesn't have the same ring, does it?

I'm going to New York!!! My old manager gave me a very strange look at the news of this business trip.

"It's nothing frivilous, is it?"

I declined to mention the last team meeting, when he speculated on ways to get one of his other managers over there (where she pointed out without hesitation there was no justification for it).

"Of course."

"Well as long as it comes from your other manager's budget."

The phrase "teamwork", delivered with heavy sarcasm, almost makes it past my lips. Fortunately I show restraint.

New York! All those people in the New York office who thought they were safe ...

Beat me on the bottom with a woman's weekly!

While some rather bland and predictable songs make it to the top 1,000, here is a work of poetry from Victoria Wood which really should have been in the top 10:
Freda and Barry sat one night.
The sky was clear. The stars were bright.
The wind was soft. The moon was up.
Freda drained her cocoa cup

She licked her lips. She felt sublime.
She switched off Gardeners' Question Time.
Barry cringed in fear and dread
As Freda grabbed his tie, and said:

Let's do it! Let's do it!
Do it while the mood is right!
I'm feeling appealing.
I've really got an appetite.
I'm on fire with desire.
I could handle half the tenors in a male voice choir.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

But he said:
I can't do it. I can't do it.
I don't believe in too much sex.
This fashion for passion
Turns us into nervous wrecks.
No derision! My decision—
I'd rather watch The Spinners on the television.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

So she said:
Let's do it! Let's do it!
Do it till our hearts go boom!
Go native, creative
Living in the living room.
This folly is jolly.
Bend me over backwards on me Hostess trolley.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

But he said:
I can't do it. I can't do it.
Me 'eavy breathing days have gone.
I'm older, feel colder.
It's other things that turn me on.
I'm imploring: I'm boring.
Let me read this catalogue on vinyl flooring.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

So she said:
Let's do it! Let's do it!
Have a crazy night of love!
I'll strip bare. I'll just wear
Stilettos and an oven glove.
Don't starve a girl of a palaver.
Dangle from the wardrobe in your Balaclava.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

But he said:
I can't do it. I can't do it.
I know I'd only get it wrong.
Don't angle for me to dangle.
Me arms 'ave never been that strong.
Stop pouting. Stop shouting.
You know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it! Let's do it!
Share a night of wild romance,
Frenetic, poetic!
This could be your last big chance
To quote Milton, to eat Stilton,
To roll in gay abandon on the tufted Wilton.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

I can't do it. I can't do it.
I've got other little jobs on hand.
Don't grouse around the house.
I've got a busy evening planned.
Stop nagging. I'm flagging.
You know as well as I do that the pipes want lagging.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it! Let's do it
While I'm really in the mood!
Three cheers! It's years
Since I caught you even semi-nude.
Be drastic. Gymnastic.
Wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

I can't do it. I can't do it.
I must refuse to get undressed.
I feel silly. It's too chilly
To go without me thermal vest.
Don't choose me. Don't use me.
Me mother sent a note to say you must excuse me.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it! Let's do it!
I feel I absolutely must.
I won't exempt you, want to tempt you,
Want to drive you mad with lust.
No cautions, just contortions!
Smear an avocado on me lower portions.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

I can't do it. I can't do it.
It's really not my cup of tea.
I'm harassed, embarrassed.
I wish you hadn't picked on me.
No dramas! Give me me pyjamas.
The only girl I'm mad about is Judith Chalmers.
I can't do it. I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it! Let's do it!
I really want to run amok.
Let's wiggle. Let's jiggle.
Let's really make the rafters rock.
Be mighty. Be flighty.
Come and melt the buttons on me flameproof nightie.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

Let's do it! Let's do it!
I really want to rant and rave.
Let's go, 'cause I know
Just how I want you to behave:
Not bleakly, not meekly.
Beat me on the bottom with a Woman's Weekly.
Let's do it! Let's do it tonight!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Stability is for wimps

My mood fluctuates, casting around like a flock of birds. It has been a long time since I felt anything this strongly.

A death in the family last week. I am unmoved. My ruthlessness surprises me.

Monday, April 03, 2006

A hint to contentment and inner peace: avoid annoying people

Message from person (who we shall name 'A') to another person (who we shall name 'J') on mobile phone: "J, you're supposed to be here for this meeting with Laphroaig; if you don't get back in the next three minutes you'll have to apologise to Laphroaig." 'A' then winks happily at me and says, "that'll get him here." Which it does.

Realisation: 'J' hates my guts.
Adendum: I don't give a shit, because I don't really like him either.

It's peculiar to realise that without really trying I have managed to pluck exactly the right tautly drawn strings within 'J's character to draw out a merry tune of disharmony. A more youthful version of me might have been rather sensitive about this, but I find myself examining 'J's superiority complex with something bordering clinical amusement mostly because somewhere, deep inside of me, my arrogant bastard side is accompanying 'J's merry tune with a less than subtle trilling of, "I have power over youuuuuuu". Two years ago, 'J' was my peer; oh how he hates this fact.

Sometimes I think arrogant people have all the fun. My moments of arrogance seem so .... refreshing. Arrogance: like spa treatment, but cheaper.

There's nothing and then there's nothing, learn to spot the difference

The important thing to remember is not to panic. That's a bit of a conversation killer, but a useful tip nonetheless.

I did not do anything this weekend, which is exactly the way I like it. Watching the weather wander past, the big clouds proud and haughty like wealthy dowagers, the sky flipping between sunny and grey like a carnival ride. And books, how I miss you when I am not well; how could I ever forget the wonder of reading books?

Some weekends I do nothing and nearly weep from frustration. This weekend I do nothing and almost melt with contentment. To quote no-one specific, it's a strange old life.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge

My new/other manager thinks I'm a genius. I have to say it's rather nice, if slightly unnerving.

My old/other manager stares at me every so often thinking "is this like turning down the Beatles, or is his other manager mental?"

The juries out.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt

I am back. It's been a while.

It would be lovely to say that I've been off on a charity mission to the Congo (not bloody likely, I've read The Poisonwood Bible) or something equally worthy. Clearly not. Which begs the questions: what have I been doing?

I don't know. I've been somewhere. I'm back now.

God, I'm glad to be back.