Wednesday, 30 October 2013


I would like hair like this please. Le Chop! Yes, let’s do it, I’ve had the same hair for a couple of years now, time for a change. Snip, snip, snip. And there it is, not quite what I had in my head, now on my head. Artfully messy. Short. Right. Last time I had short hair I felt un-feminized, I looked like a little boy. I was travelling at the time, had no body fat from stomach upsets and no space for skirts in my rucksack. This time I am too fleshy and too old to be a boy. There is no need to wear lipstick, though I still put more make up on than usual. It resolutely does not want to remain dishevelled and keeps flopping into order. I buy wax, which is fun but smells funny.
   When I venture out I am self-conscious, smaller, unsure. I have no curtain to hide behind. I used to celebrate a new haircut with delight, similar to the excitement of a new tattoo or a piercing. What has happened to me? When did I timidify? It is a good cut, I like it but at the same time I am Samson and have no strength to walk at my usual pace. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Package of Possibilities

While I am watching my dog sniff and circle this lunchtime, nappy sack in hand, a man I sort of know hails me. We talk about the perambulations of pooing dogs; how they have to find exactly the right spot and how that can take many minutes. He and his magical mountain dog then go on their way. But he looks back and he comes back and he says ‘You’re a real person aren’t you? You’re creative.’
   ‘Thank you, I try to be,’ I say.
   ‘You might appreciate this.’ And he hands me a jiffy bag.
   ‘Thanks,’ I say.
   ‘I hope you find it illuminating.’
   I take the package and thirdly thank him. I don’t walk with the man for at this moment my dog has finally found the optimum spot. While he does his business I remember that the last time I saw this man he told me he may be the next Dalai Lama and that his wonder dog had chosen him. I sort of know him from creative writing. He has an extremely vivid imagination which is admirable for a writer but possibly his is so great that it’s taken over his reality somewhat. I recall he asserted that all his stories were true. He also told me he was Uncle Bulgaria; the womble. I think he was talking metaphorically. Sometimes he has made me cry with laughter, especially his Emperor Penguin story and sometimes too, he has unheimliched me.

What is in the jiffy bag? I feel it. Maybe he is the sane one and maybe his sideways take on the world is correct and us conventionalists have got it wrong. I inspect the package again. The answers might be within this brown paper, bubble wrap could be cosying around magic, the glimmer, madness. I put the package in my bag and save it for later. 

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dark Day

It starts a dark day. I don’t really remember this morning. I remember hearing the news from the suited, somber man. A stranger has gone, a name on a spreadsheet to me but behind that is a person, a life, a universe. A premature full stop. It brings back my own dead friends and disappeared people. Sadness surrounds us, people I know teach him. Taught him. For them, the could I have? should I have? followed by loss. New to the UK, seemingly happy but unknown, alone. Did anyone in this country really care about him? Later the guilt of laughter.

I walk home, heaving in the fresh air. The rain has been replaced by pink clouds. In the sky I see angels and am comforted by the infinite.

As I type, the bells are ringing. It feels late but it’s only 8.30.

It is so sad that someone can be so sad. I hope in between there was some joy. Good bye Stranger.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Bad Bear x 8

‘It’s Octo-Bear,’ I cheerful announce, ‘a bear with eight legs!’ And then I remember my dream with the evil teddy bear that kept growing legs. I tried chopping them off but he just made more. He was full of malice and menace and he looked like this:

Later my eyes slide through channels, looking for something to settle on when I see a Channel 5 documentary, ‘The Eight Legged Boy’. I do not stop to watch but I do wonder. I hope they help him, or he is happy with his many legs. I cannot possibly watch those docu-voyeur-mentaries with their tabloid titles. Do the subjects see some money or get some good from the experience? 

Even later I see a spider playing dead, pretending to be a raisin and I realise that I never saw my many-legged teddy bear walk. 
Would it walk like this?

 or like this?
Happy Octo-Bear!