Thursday, June 30, 2005

For lunch, I'm having one of those new M&S "Fresh Fruit in a Bottle" drinks.

It's very, very green. And very thick. 4 pureed apples and 2.5 pureed kiwis.

I know it's good for me, and it does taste quite nice. But I'm trying not to look at it as I drink it, because it looks like green swampy sludge. Mmm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Creative Finance:

Between some eBay auctions that finished yesterday and the current prices on ones ending today, I've managed to drum up enough money to pay for my Big Chill ticket. And possibly a bit of spending money too, depending on how they finish later today.

I've also been meticulously collecting all 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins we bring back to the flat, the proceeds of which will go towards Big Chill spends as well. A bit sad, I know - but there's something quite soothing about making up the little bags, and you'd be surprised how soon you have £40.

(the photo is a weak link; 60s barbie records = music =Big Chill. An excuse to play with the new free Blogger photo feature I just discovered...)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

We recently wangled invites to a meet-the-author party put on by Penguin at the Malmaison, courtesy of the bf's mum. The posh nibbles and free booze was a nice incentive, but I'm not that cheeky - I had actually read Live Bait, P.J. Tracy's second novel. I did wonder why the nice rep from Penguin kept saying "They're really lovely authors, so friendly." Duh. I'd zoned out on the dust sleeve, and no idea they were a mother-daughter writing team. They floated into the room, dressed in fabulous, impractical, floor-length designer coats, and immediately started chatting up the room.

It was one of those surreal and cool moments where doing something completely different felt so refreshing. Chilled white wine gave us courage and we went to chat with daughter Traci first. We talked about Minneapolis, Santa Monica, how her mom used to write romance novels and their current characters.

It was all going so well - and then... I have a bad habit of gently tugging at my necklace when I'm a bit nervous, and suddenly my 50s vintage choker broke and beads sprayed everywhere. Traci, bless her, got on the floor with everyone else to help retrieve what we could.

This caught the attention of P.J., who thought the whole thing was very funny. We ended up at her table and I made her laugh some more. Apparently talking about bars and drinking is a no-no in New York publishing circles, and she kept saying how fun we were. I guess she liked the bf and his mum's northern sense of humour, and I've probably acquired a bit in the last few years. Hey, happy to please...

They were, without a doubt, what I'd call a hoot. Dead Run is a good summer read, too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My mother has sent me more chain-letter spam. This time, it's a dubious tale of a serial killer who lures his victims by pretending to return a $5 note. The message ends with:
Ladies, really DO forward this to EVERYONE you know. Even if this man wasn't a serial killer, he looked nice, he seemed polite, he was apparently doing an act of kindness, but HE WAS NOT A NICE PERSON!!!

Urban Legends clears this up as an unsubstantiated scaremail that started around the time of the Baton Rouge murders in 2003, and is still making the rounds. Oh, and it's badly written and melodramatic - so why is anyone taking it seriously?

Handling this kind of thing is tricky though. One friend had sent me an email petition against those pesky Bonsai Kittens. When I sent her a link explaining the hoax, she retorted "I just wanted to protect the kittens!" and now that I think about it, I haven't heard from her since. But hey, if you're going to send it to me...don't expect me not to try and save some future bandwidth.

Monday, June 13, 2005

This article by Germaine Greer in today's Guardian really made me angry. Although much of her article goes on about the environmental impact of the tidal wave of suburban housing, there was the underlying suggestion that wanting your own house and space is a selfish and unnecessary desire.

I've come to peace with the fact that we'll have to live in a flat for a while yet now, but the truth is that I'm pretty tired of it. Unless you enjoy hearing constant reminders that you're surrounded by people above, below and next to you, that is - doors slamming, rows, toilets flushing, bad music. Sometimes I would feel like the walls were closing in on me. I had to work really hard on calming techniques to change my perceptions of the noise around us.

So many of the city centre flats look well made on the surface, but the truth is that very little thought has gone into their construction. They're crash pads, not homes. Dividing walls between flats are hollow; doors are thin, cheap wood and don't seal anything out. Our common hall area is so echoey that when our neighbour opens their front door lock at 3 am, it sounds like they're attacking it with an ice pick.

So no, Germaine - I don't think apartments could be as much homes as houses. Unless you want to give me £500,000 for a penthouse.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I didn't think we'd manage it, but we're going to the Big Chill and I'm as pleased as a happy thing can be. If we hadn't gone, we'd be like two puppies with their noses pressed against the window as everyone rode off. Most of our friends are going now, and one mate has been booked to DJ alongside the release of his first album - so we just couldn't miss out. Saturday night we went to the Marble (try their Summer Marble ale, if you're passing) and after a few jars, we decided to stumble home and book tickets online before we could change our minds, or sober up - whichever happened first.

Now I've got an excuse to shop for fun things like girly wellies and a good festival-friendly shoulder bag. I haven't been camping in at least 12 years, but I was a pro out in the Canadian semi-wilderness so I think I can manage Eastnor.

Looking forward to seeing Nouvelle Vague, DJ Patife, Hexstatic, and DJing from Tom Middleton, Bent, Mark Pritchard and Treva Whateva - to name just a few. I've also heard good things about Tortured Soul. Dreadful name, but I'm intrigued by the idea of live house music. The line up is here - but check for updates...