Monday, 31 March 2008

Alternatives to work.

Each morning, my housemate and I talk. 'I don't want to go to work today. Let's:

  • Go to Brighton'
  • Steal some sperm from our boyfriends, have three or four fat babies and live on benefits'
  • Ring each other in sick'
  • Watch all the DVDs we own'
  • Lie on the sofa with the curtains drawn'
  • Pretend it's snowing and we can't get down the path'
  • Have a drill for what we'd do if the door swelled shut'
  • Just quit'
  • Sit in a coffee shop'
  • Drop out'
  • Forget it'
  • Have a duvet day'
  • Hold each other hostage'
  • Bake banana bread and muffins and sell them to hungry office workers'
  • Wait in for the boiler man'
  • Go fishing'
  • Buy a stack of women's magazines and make bitchy comments about celebrities'
  • Make another pot of tea'
  • Go back to bed'
  • Pretend we've broken up with our boyfriends and need to have a day off'
  • Drink a hot chocolate in every coffee shop in town'
  • Eat a second breakfast'
  • Miss the bus and fail to catch the train'
  • Lose our keys'
  • Have really bad women's problems'
  • Claim a cat that we really like has died'
  • Watch daytime TV'
  • Go back to sleep'
  • Pretend we are too posh to work'
  • Acquire some sugar daddies'
  • Sit in the window and sew'
  • Clean the kitchen until it shines with an Arctic whiteness'
  • Work from home'
  • Knit yards and yards of scarf'
  • Embroider our lives on a table cloth'
  • Look after our parents'
  • Go to the cinema when the sun is shining'
  • Watch a film and cry'
  • Suffer from non-specific malaise'
  • Light an aromatherapy candle'
  • Call up our burlesque teacher and ask for a class'
  • Doze'
  • Go and see our beauty lady'
  • Wait in for parcels of clothes'
  • Have absolutely nothing to wear'

  • But we never do.

    Wednesday, 26 March 2008

    Sounds during Sunday lunch at a quiet restaurant

    Plates clattering
    Traffic outside
    Faint music
    Gentle conversation
    -- Everything all right?
    -- Today we've also got...
    -- I'll just get the card machine
    A glass put down
    Cutlery on plates
    Eating noises
    Things being crossed off and things being written on a blackboard
    A cork removed from a bottle
    Wine pouring
    A hunt for change
    The card machine printing off a receipt

    Thursday, 13 March 2008

    What I am reading.

    Joe has asked me to record the sixth, seventh and eighth sentence on page 123 of a book I happen to be reading:

    ...spun gold, added a good foot and a half to his height.
    Lord Tywin had given him that crown to replace the one that was lost when the mob killed the previous High...

    Sunday, 9 March 2008

    List of sounds heard during the interval at the theatre

    Everything is deadened
    Music that has nothing to do with the play
    'I must say...'
    'To me it seemed...'
    Tip-up seats creaking
    Things being unwrapped
    Newspaper cutting rustling
    Plastic sandwich bag whispering
    Bag of sweets pulled open
    Cellophane unwrapped
    Very quiet conversations punctuated by laughter and sneezes
    Deep or high voices stand out
    A sudden laugh
    'Excuse me... excuse me...'
    Stiff paper flapping -- programmes used as fans

    Thursday, 6 March 2008

    Sounds heard in a secondhand bookshop

    Traffic passing outside
    A polite enquiry
    A strip light buzzing
    A cardboard box slid across a gritty floor
    Foot steps across a wooden floor above
    A box being untaped
    Till bleeping and cash draw opening
    A mobile phone ringing

    Wednesday, 5 March 2008

    How to be mopey


    1. Put-upon -- this can be achieved by having someone ask you to perform small tasks; and also by doing many tasks that they do not ask you to do.

    2. Anxious -- ensure you are always waiting for a phone call, and believe that life cannot continue until this phone call comes.

    3. Blocked -- something is preventing you from doing what you want to do; it could be lack of money; or it could be the phone call; or it could be your to-do list of small tasks.

    4. Hungover -- or dehydrated. This is achieved by drinking too much, or too little.

    5. Frustrated -- an erratic internet connection.


    1. Go to bed later than you meant. Stay up doing something that you don't really want or need to do -- channel surfing, or playing Mine Sweeper.

    2. Sleep in for at least an hour -- but feel guilty about it. Have local radio playing during your lie-in.

    3. Instead of getting dressed, waste some time, either channel surfing again, or reading a book you don't enjoy but think you ought to read.

    4. Eat something for breakfast that you don't like because either you are too lazy to go out and find something you do like; or because whatever it is needs finishing.

    5. Turn the computer on and launch Mine Sweeper. Close Mine Sweeper. Launch Minesweeper.

    6. Phone your mother.

    7. Get dressed in clothes you dislike.

    8. Start a project. Become bored with it.

    Tuesday, 4 March 2008

    Fifty things neighbours do that annoy each other

    1. Move boundaries
    2. Put up fences and hedges that cast shade
    3. Rev engines
    4. Park in the wrong place
    5. Allow their garden to run to weeds
    6. Having noisy children
    7. Play loud music in their garden
    8. Play musical intruments outside
    9. Work with a car stereo playing
    10. Let their dog bark all night
    11. Sit on their porch and just... watch
    12. Allow their children to run free
    13. Leave footballs and bikes out on the drive
    14. Form cliques
    15. Argue loudly
    16. Have thin walls
    17. Do building work without discussing with neighbours
    18. Let their car alarms go off
    19. Build an aviary next to the fence
    20. Steal fruit from your garden -- not just the stuff that drops on their side of the fence
    21. Not look after parcels
    22. Pilfer mail and newspapers
    23. Drive over planters
    24. Cause a flood by leaving the hose on or by water gardening badly
    25. Light lots of stinky bonfires
    26. Have noisy sex
    27. Have parties and not invite you
    28. When you complain, turn the TV right up
    29. Talk about you behind your back, rather than coming out and saying what you're doing to upset them
    30. Complain about you
    31. Have a noxious compost heap
    32. Smash milk bottles
    33. Instead of asking you not to park in a particular place, put a barrier up or vandalise your car
    34. Borrow things and not return them
    35. Angle their outside light so it shines through your windows
    36. Send anonymous notes to complain about things
    37. Ignore planning permission rules
    38. Allow their children to scream all the time, and yell at them
    39. Refuse to bell their cat so it frightens off your wild birds
    40. Spy on you
    41. Zap your TV with a universal zapper
    42. Shoot your porch light with an air rifle
    43. Dump junk mail through your letter box
    44. Kick your bins over so the bin men won't collect them
    45. Refuse to pay for shared maintenance -- cess pits, shared paths and so on
    46. Pile old recycling up on the kerb and then do nothing about it
    47. Drive across the corner of your front lawn
    48. Sweep up leaves that blow out of your garden and dump them in your porch
    49. Refuse to look after dangerous trees in their garden that overhang your property
    50. Run a brothal or a crackhouse

    Monday, 3 March 2008

    List of everything I can hear at my desk

    The hard disc whirring and croaking
    My keyboard tapping
    Bird song
    An aeroplane circling
    A car going past.
    My neck joints crunching.
    My chair creaking
    The creak of the desk
    My metal buttons hitting the desk.
    The return key, which makes clunk, rather than a clatter-tap.
    My own breathing.