Wednesday, December 31, 2008

big ben

Have you ever tried to stand up straight in the middle of a see-saw?

There's not a day, or an hour of an day, a minute of an hour, a second of a minute, a … little bit of second when there's no choice to make. The crafted leap second between today and tomorrow is the space into which a flipped coin falls.

Head's up, or tail between our legs?

Nano, that's the word.

wet haired and undecided.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

adapt or die

You know, I said to the group back in January, I'm looking forward to the last gasps of this transit being over. I would like my mind back.

That's if it comes back, replied the lovely Bernadette, merrily portentious (who'da thought those two words would fit together just so - not me, til I heard her).

It was the last time I'd think of a major transit like tablecloth or duvet cover – something thrown on for a period and then removed. It's more like Miss Haversham's bridal gown. On for eternity with an elegant, uncomfortable permanence of unreachable hooks and eyes.

I have to adapt with it. This year has been a numbed sort-of stunned greying dullness of gown. I've had a Haversham year, regretting, replaying the loss of my wits. With a dry, rhythmic rustle I haunt the corridors of old thoughts, scrawling a senseless morse of morphemes into the dirty windowpanes.

Adapt. Grab the Glo White™, the Stardrops™ while I'm at it. Hot water in a bucket, lace cuffs rolled up high. Scissors would make short work of these webby skirts, there's always thermals for my draughty knees. Red ones.

A lot of scrubbing and some sensible underwear. Let's try for a single, polished thought. Next year.

Monday, December 29, 2008


Thumbs up for the gammon. Not too sweet, surprising that, considering the gross annual dentist's income of cola it was cooked in. Not overwhelmingly wondrously good, but certainly edible. The Fortnum's Christmas chutney from dahling borrowed Uncle Bob helped.

Thumbs sideways and wavering for our gerbils. I hope and I hope that I'll be able to don that toga and give the gerbils a resolute thumbs up to live. We've had them since Saturday and took one to the vet today. The pet shop paid the bill, however they gave us the choice of vet visit or gerbil return. The gerbils have their tunnel here, remember. I don't know what would happen to mister sneezy red bogies (mebbe a cold, mebbe an allergy) once absorbed back into the pet shop monolith, so here he stays. He's a gentle soul. They are good gerbils, the vet concurred.

G took them for their vet visit, spooling the possible diagnoses tickertape into my distracted ears. I could hear the vet's faded scottish burr form the words G relayed to me, with his very syntax. I could see his dark to greying hair and his glasses, his confidence and reassurance, his prescription pad.

It wasn't until I went to smear Zig's eczemaed arms with his latest cream that I realised my head-vet wasn't our ginger, white cat-disliking vet at all, but our doctor. Well, their practices are on the same road, thought there is a little less poo in front of the docs. What's a species between patients?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

nigella intervention

It's my annual seasonal Try a New Nigella today. They are a historical hoot. The woman herself is magnificently, fascinatingly, grotesquely beyond self-parody these days. Her recipes? Weeell, some work, some don't; some work sometimes, some work other times.

I have a lump of gammon needs cooking. Thought I'd have a go at her surely too simple ham in cola recipe from How To Eat's White-Trash Lunch For 6 (I kid you not). We have a bottle of tooth-furring, full-on full sugar cola for the purpose. That, with an onion, was to be that for cooking liquor, until, on Christmas Eve, G dropped a pricey bottle of cider destined for his uncle. (How many commas?) The lid knocked and the cider had a little fizzle to itself. Hmm, couldn't really give that, and since I haven't raised a cider to my lips since The Unfortunate Cider Incident Of 1990, a use for it had to be found. Gammon in cider, then.

After pouring away the gammon's soaking water today and adding the cider instead, the liquid level was far too low. Water and aromatics would top it up. As would cola, wouldn't it. In all my time as an excellent bar person I never served cider and coke, but I never had a gammon waving a tenner at me. So, I topped up the cider with a good litre and a half of evil cola, popped in an onion and some peppercorns, and simmered it gently for a couple of hours.

The kitchen air became a fairground of hot sugar, hotdog, and onion, the cider initially adding an authentic tang of vomit which eventually sweet-surrendered to the evil cola.

Then out came the gammon, off came the fat. I lattice-scored the remaining white blobble, studded it with cloves, rubbed in some hot mustard and dark brown sugar (not Nigella), and finished it off in the oven.

It's late, even for supper. We were going to pick at it with some crackers and cheese but this seems somehow disrespectful while it's hot; I fast-tracked potato peeling duty and dug peas from the freezer.

And that, dear reader, is where I am at. The spuds are boiling, peas are waiting, and the rub is caramelising into the gammon fat. I'll tell you tomorrow whether queen Nigella and a cider intervention is thumbs up or down. Now, where's my wine?

Saturday, December 27, 2008


We all have a place we feel at home. I have three: bed, Suffolk, and my deep, dark corner of our elderly sofa. I rarely go back to the middle one, as nothing screams Home quite like the spikey, dysfunctional tumble of people I left there nineteen years ago. I manage to visit the other two homes daily.

Although there have been times when my bed has been my sofa and times when my sofa has been my bed, I've always had at least one touchstone. Somewhere that recalls a primal, bone memory of cave or hole where I, or the thousand thousand bits of others that make up me, rested and fed, warm and relaxed after the hunt and the harvest.

Imagine I never had. Imagine I had never curled under a heavy duvet, rootling a down pillow into a head-sized brain nest. Imagine I'd never tucked my feet under my bum just about exactly in my corner of the sofa where my feet are tucked up under my bum right now.

And then imagine that all of a suddenly I was given both.

Today we went on a fair to moderate quest, at the end of which lay a hard choice for our Mol. There were four alert, interested, lively and engaging young men, only two of which she could bring home. Coins were tossed, conversations held in corners, walks taken to clear minds, more coins. Eyes were checked for brightness, gonads checked for gender.

She thought, we discussed, she thought some more. Finally she made her choice and carried her two young men home. During the journey noses and whiskers appeared at small holes. In a silent, friendly, confidential gerbilspeak, a silver young gentleman with a white patch on his head introduced himself to her as Harvey, his reddy brown companion with the biggest, blackest eyes you ever did see, as Ron.

They came from the petshop, they knew, and a breeder beforehand. A series of cages with a couple of centimetres of sawdust to kick around in. What they didn't realise until the second we gently introduced them into their new gerbilarium, with its deep, warm substrate and subterranean tunnel, was that they or the thousand, thousand gerbils that make up them, come from the desert. And that they burrow.

Be patient, Mol; be patient, camera. You'll see them some more tomorrow. They have a tunnel, and it's home.

Friday, December 26, 2008


We gave the girl her present. It was empty. The girl cried some happy tears.

It's not much of a riddle, the why of the happy tears for an empty present. It doesn't take the back-scratching of an Odin, a Mercurial backflip, or the slaying of a sphinx to work it out.

It's not what it is but what it will become. This is our Mol's empty present. Tomorrow the quest to fill it begins. Tallyho.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

V for Ve

ry Happy Christmas.

v for very happy christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


By the time I finish this Eve will be out of light, our Close a baby Blackpool blitz of bulbs.

O Come All Ye Faithful is on its final, huge, Carols from Kings verse. Cha cha cha.

An hour and half ago a solo boy with a solo verse ripped my doing head apart for just a few seconds, leaving my eyes all stingy and my cheeks wet. He gets me every year, the git.

I wupped the hand mixer on full when some other poor public school puppet chanted some stuff about snakes, sin and suffering. Extra rum for the iced rum sauce.

Oven is warming, the star cutter is as sharp as the angel; veggies are piled to peel, pare, prepare.

Egg whites chilling, pomegranates ready to spill.

There's a bottle or four to open, or so a couple of oranges and a scatter of cloves have told me.

Smoked salmon, gammon, turkey crown, all know their lines though their parts might be new.

The bacon remembers to wrap a sausage scarf, the choccies to shrug off their coats.

Satsumas and stockings make their rendezvous. They would giggle if they could.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We caught one in seconds.

worked in seconds.

Monday, December 22, 2008

boxing day

back aches;
eyes are puffy and Bronson-squinted;
thighs muscles have forgotten how to relax - relax, dammit;
fingers have cramped into mitten shapes;
neck wouldn't be loosened by whiplash.

My adversaries are scissors, selotape, ribbon, tags, bows, nigh on a dozen rolls of paper (assorted designs from jolly to tastful, quality from tear to look at it to roofing felt), and a biro.

Six boxes to go. That's boxes of boxes, packets, tubes, whizzes, fizzes, meltings, mouldings, readables, seedables, maleables, pallatables, scrapables, playables, sayables, displayables, drinkables, thinkables, thimblefuls, nimbles, bakeables, anti-acheables, scratchables, hatchables, hackables, packables, wearables, swearables, bewareables, jokeables, soakables, elopeables, watchables, socksables, gloveables, loveables, containables, maintainables, sustainables, ports, stardusts, at least two varietals of wind ups, four giant toblerones, and a sausage. Not just boxes.

Seconds out.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Today our earth leans furthest from the sun. The days will get longer now; life begins again. We washed the windows the better to see it.

We fed the birds, swept the paths, and finally chipped away the hefty guano of mortar left against the chimney breast by, we assume, dodgy roof workers from long ago and soon far away.

Sticky from winter dales and fens of royal icing, I stroked herbs in from the garden to flavour a stew. It breathed with a spiced apple cake to smudge our house with incense.

Old scents unconsciously conjoured. Not a one unfamiliar along the warmth of time people have been pulling the suckered ivy and mistletoe into their homes, welcoming the succubus.

Word got round, as round words do, that there was a welcome here. Something short of two thousand years ago they began to move in, hootching us up for a seat by our fire. We shared the stew and the spiced apple cake; we shared stories. Such stories.

Our songs hooched up too: ivy made a little room for Mary, holly berry for a baby, winter sun for winter Son.

Their caravans arrived. They unrolled the longest extension lead you ever did see, plugging it into our waking solstice hills to light their star.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

bright light

I think I might sort of have this Christmas thing in hand.

Most of the cards are out or written or I'm aware that I've yet to write them.

Some stuff to make the bracelets is scattered across the table. The rest of the stuff is somewhere else.

Pressies are in or out of the loft and thrown into our bedroom. One is even wrapped.

The cakes are cooked, stoked with booze and marzipanned, ready to royal ice.

We know where to buy sprouts.

The bird possibilities are in the hands of the random god of Christmas Eve reductions.

G and I are fed and have wine in a glass and in the garage.

The kids are relaxed, excited and watching Gremlins.

Christmas this year is a furry, warm thing. Companionable. I just have to remember not to get it wet or feed it after midnight.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Secret Santa gave me a lovely scarf today, lovely and tasteful. A nice thing. He had put it in a pink gift bag and attached a friendly label.

I was made up. My Caliban soul struggles so in its ooze, it's a marvel to me to be given something so pleasant so pleasantly. I want to say ugg and dab at it gently with my forefinger and opposable thumb.

Some people can do it, can't they. Their Venus is doing this right thing somewhere in a good place, making things more pleasant for them and one and all, while my ole Cappy Venus in the 2nd is busy digging a hole for a few smudged coins.

Take A, again. Father Christmas came into school today, for carols (and Last Christmas) round the tree. Every child glowed. Every one. Even the doubters queued for their selection box and glowed. When it was over and the children were watching the reindeer fly from the school field (they said) a pleasant faced man in jeans poked his head into the staff room. It was A's dad. It was Father Christmas. This woman has got the Venus so much her father is Father Christmas. Father Christmas!

The Venus types in the staffroom (those who can put a lovely scarf in a giftbag and make someone happy, and those whose father is the big F.C) were talking about Jo Malone the other day. I should, they urged, try some stuff. It's lovely, they assured.

This evening I looked. I had a blurred idea that it was black on white, like an Everton mint, but it's not, is it. Jo Malone is black and cream. Creeeeeeeeam. Clear shapes, clean shapes, taking up a certain allocated space. Predetermined and determinably priced.

I filled my eyes right up to the back of my skull with those clean lines and clear spaces, black on cream, trying to snuff it up through the monitor. Tommy came in from the rain with piss in his long fur, stomped across the keyboard and bumprinted companionably on the arm of the sofa. I lost the page and felt the ancient despair of hovel life.

Please, good reader, note that at no point during this entry have I said FORTY QUID FOR A CANDLE? FUCK ME!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

in season

G groping a bigger, fatter belly under his jumper. A belly making thick, brown paper noises.

A cardboard box beneath the old school desk. Look three times, notice it on the fourth.

Quick, thin plastic and thick boot noises through the hall, up the stairs.

Nothing to see here. In biro.

A spilff of London cash withdrawals on the online statement.

He's having that affair.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I forget the other glitter trauma. Not broken laminator liability indicator nor glam rock noddy nit tiny traumas, the other one, the proper trauma.

We inflict homemade cards on people we like and people to whom we are related. Would have stopped years ago, but bizarrely the poor inbred monstrosities are repeat requested from relatives we never, ever see. I like a bit of glitter on a Christmas card. It stays put on the shop-boughts, detaches on homemades.

You'll know or suspect how much glitter a ten and a seven-year-old sprinkles on a homemade card. (Think of a 1970s child with a bag of sugar, a big spoon, and a bowl of cornflakes. Double it.) This was our 2006 Christmas card effort.

Arrh, we thought, if it spills out of the envelope they can hoover it, brush it off, or just glitter. It's Christmas.

G gave out his work cards. A chap ripped open his envelope, pulled out his card, was showered in the rebel unstuck glitter, and froze. He froze, his face froze.

He had a glitter phobia. A loose glitter phobia.

Seems that, as a very small boy he had been in a car accident. Glass had exploded as car glass does, glittering him into his very own puddle.

I've printed off this year's card. It needs a bit of Fabulous. I bought two pens at the weekend: silver and gold.

I passed the marvellous Mrs Ch today, rubbing her scalp as she chatted to Year 1/2 about the stuff she's finding on her pillow in the mornings. Hair? I asked. Glitter, she replied.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I think I sort of filled an industrial laminator with PVA today. I think I sort of might have broke it. A bit.

There's nothing to incriminate me, luckily. Nothing but both school administrators and the Year 1 teacher. Oh, and the head. The head, and the tail of glitter that spooled with me from the pool of glitter I sort of might have rippled around my boots.

Glitter incriminates. You! You were doing Christmas! You have glitter on your cheek! And in your hair! Where? Where in my hair? There in your hair! Right there!

One class has Visitors. The parents have been informed, told, and Told. Heads brush when you're helping, so teacherly hair is brushed with conditioner of an evening, and combed through and through again with a small steel comb with tight tight tines.

Comb, wipe, clear. Comb, wipe, clear.
Comb, wipe, clear. Comb, wipe, clear.
Comb, wipe, clear. Comb, wipe, clear.
Comb, wipe, clear. Comb, wipe, clear.
Comb, wipe, wait. Speck, squint: glitter.

Monday, December 15, 2008

bad or good.

Zig went to bed usual time, unusual for the last week of school. A bit grey under the eyes after three trips to the loo. No book, lights straight off. Unusual.

Corrie on, fleecy blanky up to my neck, I settled into the sofa. Mol's pattern down the stairs:

Mum, what's that music?

I knew. I couldn't hear it, my ears are poor, but I knew.

I don't know, love. I can't hear anything.

It's loud upstairs. Hang on.

Mol's pattern up the stairs. Mol's pattern down the stairs.

It's that van thing, that float thing. It's coming down the Close, dead slowly, with loads of lights and stuff.

Just as I'd settled.

Awrugh. I've just settled. Zig's in bed.

It doesn't matter. Zig's in bed.

Mol's pattern up the stairs.


Mol's pattern down the stairs.

Mum, there are people coming to the doors with buckets.


I'll do it mum.

Okay love, just get the pot out of the Schweppes jar.

The pot is got and brought. The knock's just before I sift half a hand of change into Mol's.

She disappeared into the hall and opened the door. I heard the man with the bucket ask if anyone would like to see Father Christmas.

No thanks.

Okay love, he said softly, thanks.

Thanks. Bye!

Back to me.

Did you not want to see Father Christmas, Mol?

Nah. And Zig's in bed

Big smile. Mol's pattern up the stairs.

I had a sudden gulletful of warm, reaching sadness. I wanted my girl to see Father Christmas. I wanted my boy to too.

Mol's pattern down the stairs.

He's not even fat! Father Christmas is not even fat!

I wait for my window-watcher's newly adolescent comment on men in suits.

He must be making room for all the mince pies.

A smile. Mol's splendid pattern up the stairs.

I'm shocked at my grief. Corrie is Eastenders now, the fleecy blanky is down to my ankles, with a cat atop. I can't seem to stop crying.


Stripping the shiny blown vinyl (magnolia) off the walls was a slow thing. The stripping bit was quick, we all joined in the strippage, giving the kids thick breast slices of job, I took a wing and nibbled the ribcage, Gareth working solidly at the parson's nose.

The job, as I said, was not a long one. The lengthy bit was the months of living in a shiny blown vinyl (magnolia) room before we got around to strippage. I think it was shock.

Where was I? There was a bit of a vague point to this. Oh yeah, the strippage? That was months ago: a summer job. We forgot to allocate sanding and painting to autumn. Which is why fabulous Who Deer Me Deer No Deer has had an open challenge issued by the wall:

who deer me deer no deer

and why the baby cheesus has a headache.


What do you think? Too much?


Saturday, December 13, 2008

it's not fair

Mol has a friend round for a sleepover. Before teknoligee crossed the atlantic in 1998, it was called 'staying the night'. The shiny new term stipulates that at some period between the giggles of 2:53am and the grumps of 5:73am the two girls should, you know, sleep, instead of just, you know, stay, so it's a comer-in phrase I don't get so ferocious at.

Mol and friend were all cool at first, cool, slumped, and unimpressed on the sofa. During the evening they ran the levels from lip-curl to zombie/vampire-chase, embracing made-up-dance-to-show, decorate-the-tree, eat-lots-of-chocolate, and snort-cola-out-the-nose-during-You've-Been-Framed.

They are now upstairs, watching Mamma Mia. Again. The ups and downs of the nearly teens. I must grasp these moments, throttle the treasure right out of them. From March she'll be old enough to sign up for suicide bomber duty.

Friday, December 12, 2008

virtual reality

Snow again this morning. Cold again all day. Wind is wuthering away at the garage (wuther + garage = oh, 21st century, how I adore thee) door. Again.

Mol set off for next door but one, dressed appropriately in grass skirt, garland, headband, flower appliqued sleeveless top, and flip flops.

It says something to give a birthday party a hula theme twelve days before Christmas. What, am not quite decided, but something. A desire for contrast? A faith in your central heating and/or insulation? A derring doo ha HA and en garde to the Current Economic Climate? Mebbe just a daughter turning eleven who has asked for a luha?


While my daughter confronted the elements with her fury of faux grass and faux flowers, I tucked my double-socked feet under a sleeping bag and ordered the shopping. Because, supermarkets in December? I can't be arsed. People say, I've heard them, they say oh yes! I do my food shop online because it stops all the impulse buys! You only buy what you need!

Do you bollocks.

The slight delivery man works shifts with himself to dump a fat elephant's weight in crap in my kitchen whenever I order online, his eyes an unspoken Missus, why did you buy this, this, or this? All this? Because. It. Wasn't. Real. It was a button I pressed, and then another, and then again, and again. The supermarket knows this about me. They know that while in their shop I might be a forensic expert of the aisle label smallprint, a honed cynic of a fighting machine who trigger fingers the oranges, but an emailed code for free delivery makes that finger trigger happy, repeat ricocheting off Add To Trolley into the beating heart of Place Order.

Right, says the slight delivery man, shaking out my receipt and his strained shoulders in a single, practised move, there's just the one substitution today. They were all out out Credit Crunch two-for-one, so they've popped some Doom Pie in instead. That okay, or shall I take it back?

That's okay. Thanks.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

i acknowledge mine

I don't have a primary school staff fit. Am not possessed of a primary school staff head. I don't have primary school staff mouth. I growl along full fathoms below primary school carol pitch. The children might all burp, fart and mouth breathe because their noses are busy, busy with fingers, but is it on for the staff?

Take, for comparison's sake, A, a teaching assistant. Off Tuesday with her diabetic son as he needed a few hours stabilising in hospital after chucking up his dinner and chucking out anything like a reasonable blood sugar level; off yesterday chucking up herself. How does she appear after a day of stress, heart worry and National Health antihygiene, and another of nose vomit? As tall, as slender, as artfully, simply glam as ever is how.


Does she have the morning's outfit, perfectly simple black top and trousers, elegant silk scarf for the neck, ready and hangered to pull from the wardrobe? Is it slung artlesslessly across a 1940s padded bedroom chair, to slip into at 6am, or could it be – oh, the injustice – that A has to riffle to the elbows through the laundry for something ANYTHING to struggle into, before a dash to round up the kids to the car to their three different schools then to work – on time – and still manages to look coutured?

And, the red, red cherry atop the perfectly iced, delicately spiced bun: she has the impudence to be a pleasant person with a strong wit, and capable of a filthy nose snort laugh that deserves respect.

Am not a bitter cherry here, because I too can pull from my wardrobe a choice of two outfits for every day, both of which reflect personality through image. Hmm ... today, shall we have the Gollum or the Caliban? Thing of Darkness 1, or Thing of Darkness 2? But of course, it's always both Things of Darkness; I know enough, at least, to layer.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

spastic fantastic

If there is anything more novel than a nine-year-old with cerebral palsy scooting off ahead down the cul de sac to demonstrate the moves of his Friend Who Runs Weird (and who doesn't have C.P), I haven't seen it today.

Zig has been walking to and from school for, oh, two months - three? As well as building stamina and teaching Dog Poo 101, it allows for greater, um, freedom of expression than the chair. A passing driver, startled by seeing someone who moves differently and whose mum is looking right at her, presses her lips down into the familiar startled Isn't He Doing Well smile. Yes, he is, and he's also being a little sod. Does she realise, I wonder, that my wonky boy is wonkier because he's taking the piss out of his absent FWRW?

He does it all the time. The outward jerk of his arms as he lines up for assembly isn't so involuntarily – he's thinking about the size of the universe. Those unformed yodels that made the man in the Asda queue jump? He was the Undead.

But oh, the prize must go to his performance in one end of year play. He and his mates were just edging out of Year 3 and some genius had decided they would make perfect Von Trapp children. Their turn arrived, onto the church stage they clambered, Zig getting a hand up:

There's a sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too

Aww, look at them all, the audience sighed, aren't they lovely, those satin frocks, the bow ties, the shorts ...

And up in the nursery an absurd little bird,
Is popping out to say

... and isn't that disabled one doing well! Look at him trying so hard, those stiff legs, those clenched fists ...


The disabled one's mum peers through a one-finger gap, shoulders shaking, eyes running.


The disabled one's dad points his camera and wishes for video.


Those stiff legs? Those clenched fists?

He's being a fucking cyberman.

so long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, delete!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Two by two, two by two, the animals board the coach.

The girls twitter, squawk and preen. The boys dead arm and competitive fart, misting the windows and striping the underpant.

A Leo Sun girl's index finger, faithful to her friend, writes Becky and Gemma Rule! The boys write bum. You can see Bolton through it.

Two by two, two by two, the animals enter the Octagon. They try to be orderly, two by two, but still, cats are suddenly herding beasts. Seats down, coats off, hoot at the buzzing school of brown and yellow that share the audience.

We watch a small space become a garage, a forest, a community, a victory. We join in. The only play in Greater Manchester where audience participation is pheasant beating. Stamp, clap, ululate.

Monday, December 08, 2008

we'll put it on in the barn

Knock Knock. Knock at the door.
Knock Knock. Is anyone there?
Knock Knock. Knock at the door.
We need a place to stay.

One snow day, a winter vomiting, and a half-attendance. Beautiful, blue, smile-eyed Mary has tonsilitis. We worry that it's a census too far: after two months of late pickups and one parental complete no-show, Mary won't come back to us even after the manger's restuffed with lambs and packed back in its attic space.

Three rooms left- all the other rooms are full
Three rooms left- sorry that is all.

Adults glazed, dazed with the stoned look of mild panic.

Two rooms left- all the other rooms are full
Two rooms left- sorry that is all!

Nightcap. Where's the nightcap? Who can run up a quick nightcap for the innkeeper?

One room left- all the other rooms are full
One room left- sorry that is all.

Looting kitchen cupboards for bacofoil, ravaging santa hats for pom poms.

No rooms left
There’s no room for you at all
No rooms left
We’re completely full

Fingers needle stubbled, the nightcap fits.

Sunday, December 07, 2008




Mum. I thought you said the two sides of the family should never, ever meet.

I did say that, Zig, yes.

Well, they've just met.

Ah, well, that was okay. We just got away with it. It was only a little meeting. It was quick, chance, and all smothered in this gungy layer of manners. We did well.

Still, somewhere something will have been knocked out of order. A puppy will have hurt its paw, or there will be strange weather, or something.

Oh. Kay.



Violence erupted as unholy creatures materialised in Ramsbottom today. Scientists are confounded.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


I went shopping.
I went shopping in Manchester.
I went shopping in Manchester on a Saturday.
I went shopping in Manchester on a Saturday before Christmas.
I went shopping in Manchester on a Saturday before Christmas, with my sister.
I went shopping in Manchester on a Saturday before Christmas, with my sister. We went to Primark.

Friday, December 05, 2008


In a tight, dark, hush crowded space a hiding seeking eight year old would pay good rolos for, it takes a bit of a wriggle to reach the shepherds.

Kings gleam, stars gleam, the angels' angles catch my knees.

Lambs flock the manger, stacked on pots for gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Teatowels, tinfoil, tinsel, glitter, card, sacking, satin, smocks, pots.

Camel heads, Buddha-lashed, not needed this year, are left asda-bagged and contemplative in the dark.