Thursday, April 27, 2023

Butt Soup


Sleeping so much. Easily for 9-10 hours per night. Tossing and turning for hours. A terrier yaps in the garden below. It must be Stanley, but I then realise I’m in Wells and it’s the neighbour’s dogs.

Every morning I awake not knowing where I am, around about 9.30am.

Wells is lovely and quiet but nothing much happens here, apart from the odd murder. Lots of heroin too if that’s your thing. And arts and culture and god-stuff with that Cathedral and all.

It’s funny when you see a place change over 50-odd years. The awful new houses - little boxes cheek-by-jowl, no new services; schools, doctors’ surgeries and sewage pipes all overflowing

I’ve considered moving back here for the first time in 30 years but I’ve concluded that even as I am it would be a retrograde step for me - just as it was in my 20s.

Failures #23

Whilst I was here at my parents’ (now in its 10th day) I was supposed to read and prĂ©cis a ton of first edition Dungeons and Dragons adventures, make them meals every day and clean for them.

I read the adventures several times but failed to make much more than introductory notes. I read some of my other books. I read The Times most days but far more selectively these days, rather than just cover-to-cover.

I listen to Podcasts.

I watch Anthony Newley. 

That’s it. I made 3 meals my parents were rather indifferent about, did no cleaning apart from the dishes and my own laundry.

Social life - I go out for lunch every day so I get out of the house.  I see my sister, I’ve met up with old friends Tanith, Paula, Clare, Franca, Stuart and Mark. But I had 2 nights of back-to-back heavy drinking and still haven’t recovered 48 hours later! #middleage

More Memories of Martin

My reminiscences of the enigma who was Martin Duncan-Jones went down very well with those who knew him. More anecdotes…

“An architect is an artist whose pallet is your wallet.” This was Martin’s view on the fact that architects get paid a percentage of the cost of a build, so it’s in their interest to not save you money.

He once accused me of being Rupert Murdoch when I was trying to get a website together where we could all publicise our work.

“I’m keeping my head below the parapet.” This was his stock phrase when people were trying to ‘make him do things’ in his words. What that translated as was ignoring phone calls from his one client (The Diocese of Westminster) offering him work.

On rave culture: “If those were factory conditions people would complain.”

“Er, no.” His response to anything I said whenever I was out of favour. Mary Mary…

He had great anecdotes. One of the things he was very proud of was never having bought rubble bags but using the empty sand bags instead and these were to be reused as well. “Ollie once…ripped…a bag. I remember it well…” and on and on about some great transgression when Ollie had cost Martin by ripping a plastic bag.

He also had the worst vans in Britain. He had an old Citroen van for years that bled brake fluid. He had to stop every 40 miles to put break fluid in but he’d worked out it was cheaper than getting it fixed.

One of the last jobs we did I would start at 8 and then go to pick him up at 9.30am from the station (he would be up till the early hours fighting online with people on blogs and comments sections) and he was reading a book in ancient Greek “Dual text dear boy, but it’s all coming back.”

I could go on but will stop there.

The Disney Democratic Republic

The supermarket at the end of the road. It was all in Disney colours. I went in with the intention of buying a special chocolate biscuit. I knew I was being monitored by an unseen entity. The last of these biscuits were on the shelf. They were intended for consumption by infants, but they were so good I just had to have one. 

This was strictly forbidden behaviour.

So I took it. I realised then that the die had been cast. I needed to get out of there. The entity was intent on my capture.

I went through colourful yellow and red doors onto a platform where I took a very new yellow and red train which hurtled along and ended up in a huge colourful resort with around 12-15 other people. 

Our hair was all silvery grey. We knew the entity or entities were in another metaverse to our own and they were looking at us. Trying to grab at us through the phlogiston. I suggested we all stick together but some people didn’t. One woman went outside and started cleaning - sweeping the floor. But the entity came and touched her. You could see she had been affected as her hair had turned from silvery grey to silvery purple and she could no longer see or hear you. 

Others went out to save her but one by one they went to their doom, mindlessly cleaning as automatons, with their newly purple hair. Then it got me.

That was a dream by the way.


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