Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Crosby Beach.

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Been to Crosby Beach again today. I took loads of photos but unfortunately can't seem to upload them more than one at a time. So, here's one to wet the appetite whilst I try and sort out the problem.

I went with a mate Vanessa and we walked virtually the full exhibition length (approximately two K by the way). The beach was wonderful, the exhibition superb, the weather loverly and the public loos grim. About that I'll say no more.

It was impressive to see so many children, adults, even dogs enjoying the statues. On statue 99 there was dog pee which I thought typical. You expose them to a bit of culture and if they can't eat it, fuck it or wee on it then no meaning is possible. Dogs, can't live with them... er, can't live with them.

The Mersey was busy with big ships coming and going, most probably related to the high tide that occured as we arrived. Not that I'm implying the tide had anything to do with us, oh no.

Back in Manchester I now think of that tide carrying ships into port, its steady swell easing ships out of port, it's gentle waves washing the feet of statue 99...





Thursday, October 26, 2006

Today a structural engineer...

visited my little home to look at a wall crack. Five years ago the gable end to my house was becoming detached and had to be re-pinned. These blokes came round with a van and lifted floorboards, drilled holes, poked things through, twisted metal into brick, secured rods onto joists, one per metre front to back on the first and second elevations. They had certificates and letters after their names, were members of guilds and stuff. One of them arrived today (fulfilling his obligation to their 25 year guarantee of workmanship) and declared my wall unmoved. Said he thought the crack (to describe it as .5mm would be generous) was a bit of shrinkage on some duff plastering I did a couple of years ago. Hey, the man's in a guild, he speaks the truth. It was a relief.

I called the engineers originally after becoming worried the gable end might fall away when I was on the loo. Think of how distressing that would be. A double whammy, house wrecked and eternal shame in one fell swoop. Sod those crushed under falling masonry. People might see me doing my business.

The current crack is situated opposite the loo in the bathroom. I sometimes worry that I'm being watched, maybe through the crack. I tried explaining this to the engineer but he said it was unlikely. Unlikely? I took comfort from the fact he might be an expert on gables but knew bugger all about ga ga.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sanity has temporarily prevailed...

in Liverpool as the burghers of Sefton vote to reprieve Anthony Gormley's exhibition Another Place on Crosby Beach. Hurrah! I'm going on Sunday to look at it once more but this time with my new Nikon D50 camera that I've finally purchased to replace the one stolen. Boooooo! So I'm happy. Hurrah and a downright almighty Huzzah too!

Not that I wish to appear materialistic but as mentioned passim I loved that camera more than life itself and once stolen it was as if a limb had been lopped from my withered frame. Now I am restored and once again photographs shall grace this old blog of mine. That is, as soon as I can learn again how to use the damn thing.

Mini huzzah!

It's really complicated...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I returned to work...

with a song in my heart. Of course the innards are not quite right but that's innards for you. In my experience innards can be tricky so it's best to take care of them. Take care of your innards and they'll take care of you I'm sure someone once said. Amen to that.

In Catholicism the Sacred Heart is an important icon with which I was often confronted as a small child. Bluntly put, the image is of Jesus chest cracked open to reveal his glowing heart. The holy organ exposed not for gory but glory. One shudders to think of how they'd represent the sacred colon. Some might declare it sacriligous to raise such an issue but pourquoi? Doth the scriptures not proclaim, "No blessed innard shall be higher than another. And thrice nay?"

Or as John Wayne so wisely observed in The Greatest Story Ever Told, "This colon truly was the sump of God."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I'm feeling...

better today. Remarkably, despite being as sick as the proverbial mutt I've not been drawn to daytime tv. Phew, at least the power to live has not yet fled, which probably means I'll be okay and am through the worst. I posted this last year and really haven't changed my opinion regarding the mindnumbing banality daytime television represents. D/tv reminds me of those straws used by ancient Egyptian embalmers to suck brain from the skulls of dead Pharoahs.

Don't get me wrong my criticism is not of the audience, it's of the producers for making this crap.

I'm going to lie down.

Grrrr.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Since Friday...

I've been a sick as a dog. Bleurgh!

Monday, October 09, 2006

I really like beetroot...

pickled or otherwise. I'm a lover of all things pickled except sparrows. Once in Cyprus I happened upon a shop with jars of what I took to be misshapen pickled eggs. The owner said they were pickled sparrows. Returning to the UK I feverishly sought out pickling books but found no mention of the humble sparrow. Recently sparrows in the UK have been in decline, much to the puzzlement of scientists. Hmmm. Might be time to look once more in the pickling section of my local bookshop. Might find an answer, save sparrows, maybe win a prize. Become known as Sparrow Dan.

Maybe not.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

My mate...

Jo's cellar is flooded. Me and Sean are going for a tattoo each next Saturday. At a works do on Friday night I told another friend I had the hots for her

I'm currently reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss because I was struggling to get into John Banville's The Sea. Not sure what the Banville problem is but I'm on page 43 and still haven't got the novel's rhythm. Most frustrating. On the other hand the Krauss caught me on the first page.

Yada yada yada.



Just come across this. Earlier last week Government Minister Jack Straw (one of the architects of Britain's disastrous involvement in Iraq) made a statement saying Muslim women should not wear the chador or full veil. He insists such women who attend his surgery remove their headwear.

I like this response from the Respect Party.


Straw should hide his face in shame
A woman's right to choose. Defend diversity.

Anti-war campaigners will be amongst those protesting outside Jack Straw's office in Blackburn tomorrow (Sat).

And Stop The War founder and, longtime womens rights campaigner, Lindsey German, believes Jack Straw's remarks will do nothing to serve the cause of community relations in Britain. "Nobody could see Mr Straw's face when he chose to "communicate" his views in a newspaper column or again on the Today programme, a radio programme, this morning," said Lindsey.

"He knew perfectly well that we did not see his eyes, ears, nose, mouth or indeed any part of his body to make his uncomfortable views plain. "To expect some Muslim women to make him feel more comfortable by disrobing is both a sleezy and racist attack.

"His own, less than sartorial, dress code does not appear the epitome of good manners to victims of the illegal war in Iraq to which he was so central.

"Britain would be alot better off if Jack Straw were to hide his face in shame!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Some autumn poems to set the post summer mood...

Autumn by William Carlos Williams

A stand of people
by an open

grave underneath
the heavy leaves

celebrates
the cut and fill

for the new road
where

an old man
on his knees

reaps a basket-
ful of

matted grasses for
his goats.

This is a wintry one by Seamus Heaney but I like it for the mood

Sloe Gin by Seamus Heaney

The clear weather of juniper
darkened into winter.
She fed gin to sloes
and sealed the glass container.

When I unscrewed it
I smelled the disturbed
tart stillness of a bush
rising through the pantry.

When I poured it
it had a cutting edge
and flamed
like Betelgeuse.

I drink to you
in smoke-mirled, blue-
black sloes, bitter
and dependable.


Burning the Small Dead by Gary Snyder

Burning the small dead
branches
broke from beneath
thick spreading
whitebark pine.
A hundred summers
snowmelt rock and air
hiss in a twisted bough.

And of course the great Matsuo Basho

Autumn moonlight

Autumn moonlight--
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.