2014

Made it through last year.
At one point was in hospital bleeding internally; operated on; on several levels my world was unravelling, with a worsening of mum’s dementia coupled with her erratic health and a fall resulting in back injuries… Pip has continued to grow in most ways, I’m most proud of her. Fifteen has been a difficult age for her, and teenage angst and tantrum doesn’t sit well with any of the family… However, we are all still here at the moment.
2013 that was

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Blackpool | Medic! | Cloning?

Ridiculously busy week or two, a little in the way of business, a lot in the way of life’s rich tapestry of pooh. Mum’s medical condition is weakening, her memory is almost breathtakingly bad – like a 10 minute loop of drivel sometimes. Other times lucid and happy, then in a beat depressed and confused. Sis and I have been taking her to a Memory Clinic via NHS; I fear it’s not really helping her much, though it’s useful for us to see that there are others in the same boat. Not sure how this will all play out. We have our annual trust meeting on Weds evening, which will be ineresting…

Just had a call from credit card company – a fraudulent transaction on a card we hardly use. Looking back over a year or so of use, not really anyone “small” or “vague” – and virtually no internet use. Unsure how this can have happened; the cards are stopped and nothing has gone through. Hmmm. Worrying. I needed some more worry.

We (Skinbat Scramble) will be performing something in some shape on 30th December at the Forum. Started a poster for it today, RGAF, ODB, the elusive Brutai… year ending.

Last weekend to Blackpool for P’s national Ballroom and Latin Finals. Lovely ballroom, everything great, though she didn’t get through quite as well as we expected, which was a bit upsetting for us. The judging was all a bit weird, to be honest, with some very strange decisions and eliminations. Ho, and indeed, hum. Before we got to the ballroom, we had to suffer the earsplitting alarm going off in our hotel – at 3.30 and then again at 6.30 in the morning, whipping us from sleep and sending us down the fire stairs into the deserted bowels of the Victorian building and out into a rain-spattered windlashed seafront. Something of the Dunkirk spirit was present in the sleepy and half-dressed guests as we were told it was a false alarm. Things were not quite so jolly the second time around. However… in the zombie-like walk round town the following day, we did manage to hit our favourite Blackpool shop – WHO – for lots of sci-fi vinyl figure action, which proved expensive, but covered several Xmas present vacancies.

As usual, tempers flared over the correct preparation and presentation of P’s hair. I really must go on a hairdressing course soon, otherwise I’m taking some clippers and shaving it off before the next comp.

Holiday Over | Boiler Over

Back from Cornwall holiday to unsettled weather. We had unsettled weather there, too… almost comically miserable though made tolerable by the breaks in it, and the excellent cabin we were staying in. Visited the Eden Project, which had lots of flowers and stuff.

And this http://www.paulcorinmusic.co.uk/ has got to be the strangest attraction I’ve ever been too.

Anyway, the drive back from Cornwall took too long. The boiler is not working, there is no hot water. I will be ripped off by a plumber soon, before I am properly clean again.

The Rudest Hairdresser in Britain!

I found myself at a loose end this morning, after a great rehearsal last night, and after dropping P off at school (dressed as The Mad Hatter for World Book Day). Following recent observations on the length of my flowing silver locks, etc. I decided on a visit to the barbers – City Barbers in Portslade, folks!
I went in, there was no-one waiting. A young lad emerged from the back room (the usual proprietor who does a good haircut not there I guess). I noticed an overpowering STINK of meat and garlic. Cooking smell, not just a lingering aroma on the clothes/breath. Vile, and VERY strong. I went to sit down, but didn’t think it was strange of me to enquire “What IS that smell?”
“Chicken” he said “from the kitchen”.
“What, are you cooking chicken for breakfast?” I enquired.
“Yes, don’t you like it?” – it was about here that the conversation started to wierd me out.
“Not really, it’s a bit foul” – I tried to introduce a Carry-On pun into the convo.
“Don’t you like chicken then?” – here we go. I explain that actually I don’t eat meat at all, but if I did I’m not sure I would want to smell this in a hairdressers at 8.30 in the morning.
He snapped at me – “What do you eat then? Chips?”
At this point I was sitting down ready to be haircutted. I glimpsed his fiery eyes in the mirror, got up and left, muttering about the smell.
Frankly, I’m still a bit freaked out, and I suppose the search for a new hairdressers is on…

Crashing Cars and Ramshackle Magnificence

Last evening:

A car (a flash BMW) lost control as we were waiting to go on and play a gig at the Forum in Tunbridge Wells. It mounted the pavement, scraaaaaaked along the side of a furnishing shop scattering wood splinters, glass and guttering in its wake, and was halted (LOUDLY) by friction.

The performance was the debut of Imogen as stage-bassist of the Skinbat Scramble; she was great, the band fits together well. We were a bit ramshackle, but then we are a bit ramshackle.
After we played, (I mean we were magnificent) a sheet of plate glass fell from the furniture shop window that had been smashed to smithereens by the car. The glass had remained poised for – what? – 30 minutes while we performed. Ready to drop and inch closer to its natural chaotic state.

The driver and passenger of the car (who were unhurt) stood shellshocked on the pavement. I expect their next car might not go quite as fast.

We were supporting Lebanons, Epideme, Everyone to the Anderson. Strange atmosphere, – nice, a groove there, but a bit too self-consciously cool. I was feeling a bit pallid following a bout of feeling ill, 2 players were suffering from hangovers, evidently. Psychedelic Blitz, indeed. Dave C, ex-drummer, came to see us perform and saw us perform.
The next day I am very tired out.

Travis Bickle

Everything is in a bit of a pickle at the moment.

I’ve got disastrous banking/money problems, compounded by the incompetence of Sainsburys online bank closing an account “because there was no money in it”. Yes, I knew that thanks very much. So, when I do transfer some money into it from my current account, having – for a change – made some money, I find that the transfer is rejected – the account is closed, no longer exists – so the money is being bounced back to my current account. Guess what! My current account are making a charge for a failed transfer. And further, guess what! Sainsburys won’t reimburse me for this amount. They say that they would have “written to me” by eMail to tell me that the account was closing – it probably (if they did send it) landed in with the fake rolex watches and c*ck enhancers.

I am really struggling with the OU essay, like a writer’s block. Writing about writers. And their damn books.

Gig looms on Sunday, I feel ill-prepared to rock. Or roll.

Re-watched “Chicago” last night, what a splendid movie it is.

Come Down From That Cloud This Instant

Back from our Las Vegas holiday to the grey land of England. I am inclined to write more about the contrasts between America and the UK, I can’t be bothered as so many folks will think I’m wrong;

Suffice to say that from the moment I stepped on the homebound plane and heard the grating whingeing demanding rude English voices, I cringed so hard that a little piece of Englishness within me died.

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