apiphile: (quite enjoying this)
[personal profile] apiphile
What the fuck have I been doing? Well...

{"write down your thoughts and feelings" has disappeared into "just keep track of your movements", because really, who wants to know if I think or feel? I am straining everyone's patience here by breathing}

Tuesday: saw me a SCI FI EXHIBITION, (photos begin here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BX0VB9GhFSo/?taken-by=derekdesanges although they're better on Lindsay's phone and also doesn't include the inspiringly odd film installations that were scattered about as part of the same media/art retrospective - there was a neural network replication [haha] of Bladerunner, which was. Why do we do these things.), which was Very Interesting, and walked with Lindsay most of the way to Soho to meet Ruthi for RAINDROP CAKES (https://www.instagram.com/p/BX0rsJOB5BL/?taken-by=derekdesanges), travelling via the Garden of the Order of St John and also via the discovery that the Japanese Art Gallery on Old Street (where the McQueen store used to be) sells those kintsugi kits; the second part of Angels in America was even longer, stronger, and more magic-realism-y. In the curtain call, they brought out the stage crew for applause, which is good, because I'd been saying in the interval that god DAMN they work them HARD in that production, there is a LOT for the tech team to be doing. And yes maybe there was a certain irony in seeing a play which ends with the blessing "more life" on the anniversary (the first of many, hoo boy) of my stupid dead friend's wake, but there we go. We get what we get.

Wednesday: ah, the stress dash to Stratford-upon-Avon; ah, the Starbucks kerfuffle, where my name went from Derek to Derrick to "Derm...mia? Derria?" thanks to someone's handwriting. Ah, the surprisingly luxurious train to Leamington Spa, significantly nicer and with more reliable Wi-Fi than fucking GWR (I have to go back at the end of the month on the HELL TRAINS and lord I am Not Thrilled). Naturally S-u-A is very PICTURESKEW, as the Discworldian has it, and reassuringly Normal ("They've got a kebab house and Eastern European groceries and people not speaking English, it's okay, this place is Normal") alongside the chocolate-box "this is how England Looks, Honest" guide book half-timbered town centre. There was a barge selling ice-cream and one selling baguettes. There were gay statues and swans of indeterminate sexual preference. There was a big goddamn theatre with a cafe selling individual tiny tubs of hummus for 25p because why the entire fuck not.

We saw Salomé, and it was easy to see why it was very much For Lucian; it was signficantly less For Me (I indignantly remarked on the way home, as I bounced up and down on Ruthi's one remaining nerve like a ping-pong ball of blithe irresponsibility, "Even the blood wasn't RED"), and on the whole felt like an immature production for an immature play (I periodically forget that I hate Wilde's writing and I hate it even more when he's trying to take himself and the world seriously, as he was here), albeit a play with a troubling fixation on people's feet and entire windy world-long passages which make it abundantly clear which classical and renaissance authors Wilde was comparing himself to and failing to emulate in euphony or in interest. I HAVE SAID MY PIECE, GOOD DAY TO YOU SIR.

Otoh, a naked Matthew Tennyson is appreciated, although to be honest other members of the cast were appreciated more on account of them not having the physical composition of a sparrow skeleton. (I DID like Herdodias as a character because, you know, I can Relate ™ to Bitter Old Queens).

We had afternoon tea, I introduced Ruthi to a frankly mediocre example of a lardy cake, by dribs and drabs we trailed toward the station, the trains on the way back were packed and rather less comfortable, Ruthi went to sleep and I went to iPod; on the other hand, as we walked towards the exit at Marylebone a familiar face and gait passed us - ah yes, Mr Tennyson, on his way home. (Jess informs me he "probably lives somewhere around Muswell Hill - I used to see him up there a lot", so it's a good thing I waited for Ruthi to top up her card etc because man would it ever have looked like stalking otherwise.)

Today: I have hated quite virulently on the gym and I am seriously contemplating throwing off the instigation to go to trans/nb cabaret tonight partly because I'm very tired of all forms of theatre now (like, for the rest of the week, not FOREVER), partly because I am B R O K E as F U C K (and likely moreso after yesterday), partly because I have A Lot To Do, having not really tackled writing/editing of the trench story in my brief trip to le cafe with Jess (I did get complimented on my terrible whorish outfit by a very elderly man so THAT'S NICE); however I also partly want to go the fuck out and stay the fuck out because CHRIST IN HEAVEN I AM TIRED OF LOOKING AT NAZIS.

... I guess no one's forcing me to be on the internet and if I just did all the other goddamn things I am supposed to be doing I wouldn't be looking at them.

(no subject)

Aug. 15th, 2017 11:11
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
For a shift changeover day yesterday was surprisingly busy; I got back early, made a good six hour in-road on "sleeping like a person", got up, went for a 30 minute bike ride at the gym and, thanks to "don't eat until halfway through the cardio" as advice, was so focused on getting to 15 minutes when I could have my stupid Weetabix bottle that I didn't pay much attention to my legs not being my friend.

Naturally, when I was doing this and also on a train for a million years to go and see Doug (perfectly fine, in quite a good mood, we managed to get him to the pub next door without any drama as well, although possibly because one of the other people he lives with was being A Bit Much), everyone started responding to emails and whatnot so I have P L E N T Y of work to do instead of getting sucked into arguments with people online. Finished off by bleaching my hair.

TODAY: Got up nice and early if somewhat confused, had to do a massive detour on the way to the gym because the police had closed off the intersection due to someone being shot again (he's fine: well, he's alive, anyway, and not in critical condition) and then Morrisons being closed so I had to turn down a lot further than expected. Gym was a little taxing but not horrifyingly so.

Have just finished off the full cover for Heavy now that I have the cover quote I was waiting for, m'mate Aaron's offered me a free condenser microphone (or £5, but whatever, close enough), I think my debauchery date for Sunday is standing me up because she has to go see her grandma (I did predict this so not too butthurt), and one of the presses I have stories with has just updated everyone to let them know they're running behind schedule but that nothing is awry.

Remainder of day: Sci Fi Classics exhibition with Lindsay, second half of Angels In America with Ruthi.

... I could quite happily sleep for another six hours but NOPE.

(no subject)

Aug. 13th, 2017 22:01
apiphile: (did it on purpose)
[personal profile] apiphile
Having said he didn't want to go for dinner my man half changed his mind, so we ended up at BoneDaddies at Old Street having, in my case, poké. Which reminded me I haven't been to Tombo in ages and that Tombo is a good place for me to eat because it doesn't set off the guilt/binge/purge circuit (and is also calm, pleasant, and has WiFi, although a lot of places manage the latter).

Links

I found a suitable VERY CHEAP condenser mic (!!!) for recording things direct to the blasted computer but as I bought a rubberised backpack and *mumble*more sunglasses*mumble* and a couple of FUCKING BOOKS I am trying to restrain myself just yet.

Solar Energy Harvesting developments
this is apparently for medical reasons but I want one in general
heat-up clothing, as everyone has been relentlessly damaging the nerves that weren't already suffering from the constant OH GOD of the news by reminding me that THE DARK COLD TIMES ARE COMING (why. why would you do this. it's august. hold off until september.)
gross but brilliant energy-harvesting
not to be fucking salty but i want one of these and i don't even have problems hearing (just processing)
if i ever used my bike this would be great but currently it's just a £400 obstacle in my wardrobe due to ... things? reasons? our asshole buildings management?
finally a REASON for my sunglasses-hoarding that isn't just "I'm vain"
nice (although I've been trying to remember to practice at least some of the alexander technique stuff).
hiking joy, mainly for [personal profile] jackiesjunkie
the thing is we have problems getting electricity, so... i don't know how much this will help (on the other hand it used the magic word "protein").
this is cute and I want one but man, what cities do you people live in (there is no parking anywhere in London).

Week

monday: gym, bleach, douglas
tuesday: gym, sci fi exhibition, cinema
wednesday: stratford
thursday: gym, cinema, cabaret
friday: gym, swimming (?)
saturday: gym, duckie
sunday: deportiary (debauchery with portia)

Don't worry, I will not actually be doing all those gyms. Somewhere in there I really need to move forward with publishing this book. I'm mostly just waiting on Kieron saying something vaguely nice so I can put that on the back.

(no subject)

Aug. 12th, 2017 23:01
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
Things which need outlines:

Lesbian Space Pirates
Werewolves
Hooked
The Belly Murders (formerly Advent Chronicles)

Things:

Weird toxic conflict miasma covering everything at the moment. Tumblr has chosen today to Angrily Reblog things from me so I've chosen today to block people for making me read their bullshit. However, now that I've blocked them for being Unnecessary in my direction I'm choosing to make up the difference by checking in on various friends and giving them my time, which they deserve more anyway, by being Not Those Idiots On Tumblr.

Do I have anything to add to the rest of this entry that isn't stultifyingly dull? No. Although I'm enjoying the book I'm reading (the London: City of Disappearances anthology thing).

(no subject)

Aug. 11th, 2017 21:52
apiphile: tom hardy as billy prior (ha bloody fucking ha)
[personal profile] apiphile
I FORCED myself to sleep for 12 hours and had some weird and very very vivid dreams which focused far more on Harry Potter canon than makes sense for someone who gave up on that series literally a decade ago. Then I went for a 30 minute bike ride through the cities of US thanks to my gym, which was low-impact and quite pleasant and also allowed me to read a bit of my Loz book and have some Emotions about him, although it all got tangled up in my sleep brain along with the dream and the bits of the London: City of Disappearances compilation I'm also reading and now Draco Malfoy is a lonely repressed trainee airman working in several bookshops in the 1960s and also in the porn trade.

Also I outlined my LESBIAN WEIRD SCIENCE BODYSWAP thing since I'm in an OUTLINING mind atm and learning to go with what my brain wants to do.

Also I woke up to two effusive and enthusiastically fannish comments on my stupid trans Moran fic from AO3 and that was unexpected and nice. Also since I'm in an introspective (read: disassociative) mood it leads me again to wonder what I look like from the outside. Apart from fat.

Here is how work is going: "Please log-in into [proprietory platform] to complete self-assessment"; *platform requires plug-in*; *plug-in requires administrator privileges* (I mentioned this to my boss and his response was "well fuck it", followed by a complaint about how it had been misbehaving for him as well, and "it doesn't need doing until the end of September, make [bigger boss] deal with it").

Oh my (transport) god

Aug. 10th, 2017 21:22
apiphile: (fuck your ideals)
[personal profile] apiphile
TRAINS

anyway, I will try to avoid mentioning the fuckery (on the way down 90000000000 people were going to a festival in newquay which meant my train was very full, and in a goodwill gesture to the universe as a whole bequeathed my headphone splitter to two girls who'd been travelling since ugly-in-the-morning from somewhere midlands-y; the universe retaliated by delaying the train; on the way back the train was run together with a previous very late train, the seating reservations were suspended, and the air conditioning wasn't working, meaning a lot of people were in a very bad mood, i was in a cramped seat, and their solution to the hideous sweat hell of a gwr train was "hand out small bottles of water once"); the good news is that i had a fairly nice time in exeter - i went to five guys, i learnt how to steal from wh smith after going in there to buy a plug-usb thing (forgot mine) and the sales assistant just gave me the magnet key and told me to get it because her knees were not having it at that point- so the answer is MAGNETS- and oh also i loafed around in a waterstones cafe. did a bit of ~work~

the doctor saw me in half the time he was meant to, rubberstamped my whole "yes you can have your wang redangled" application, told me i could "tell all your friends you've been certified sane", and left me to emerge triumphant in the fug of my own lies and omissions. importantly, i can now go get my referral to st peter's, and put myself on the waiting list for wang-redangling, sac-removal, and tube-growing. exciting.

i still had some time over so i wandered around exeter vaguely looking for tiny gross 70s running shorts, but in addition to being so white that anyone who isn't white is noteworthy, exeter is - despite being a university town - also conservative enough that more interesting fashion trends from london take a long time to travel there.

(i retaliated to the travel strife by having a train picnic of really stupid pointless shit and drinking multipled canned cocktails, the first of which was at about 9.30am. only god can judge me.)

(no subject)

Aug. 8th, 2017 21:31
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
I don't know WHY I was in such a bitter mood earlier but in between having a banging idea for an alt history book/show that I need someone else to make happen [instead of re Christian conquest of saxons during dark ages in western Europe, the caliphate extends upwards from Spain to, say, Denmark. A Europe United by pilgrimage etc with kingdoms down the west African coast and through an entire hemisphere. Imagine how the culture would have developed?!] while at the gym and like, going to see Rory and Abigail and IMMEDIATELY having an argument with Rory's friend Ric about whether it's important to be out at work when you're a teacher (he said no, I said yes, and just... steamrollered him with evidence and anecdata), I decided that the point in history that shat up literally everywhere in the world was Americas/Europe contact and that basically this fucked cultures in the Americas, ultimately fucked Europe, fucked a lot of Africa, and by knock-on effects also ended up fucking Russia and Asia. It also led to more exploration which ended in Europe fucking Australia too. So, basically, bad.

i just had clementine tea, though, that's nice, and i have vague thoughts about writing stories for performance/storytelling. also i am tired right down in my booooooones and my body hates me. news at ten.

(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2017 22:24
apiphile: tom hardy as billy prior (ha bloody fucking ha)
[personal profile] apiphile
INTERNET. LISTEN. I went to this talk and it was okay I guess but it was not what I was really hoping it would be and then I had some LOUD OPINIONS in the Q&A, which were nowhere near as annoyed as some other Opinions at the end which mostly boiled down to "hey thanks for leaving trans people out again you asshats".

BUT i did write a note on my hand that involves the idea of maybe resisting the temptation to participate in the misery porn version of the trans narrative & history (in the same way that "lonely, fleeting encounters in alleyways, boo hoo" was taken as the sum totality of the gay narrative & yet there are stories from right the way back through history of couples just... shacking up and quietly getting on with it). Also just a title "Love Like That" (it was a snippet of something one of the panelists said, which I was taken with)

ANYWAY while some of the audience were like "I don't like The Kids, they won't let me be a lesbian any more" the panelists were like, "MAN THE KIDS ARE COOL, LOOK AT THEM, I DON'T UNDERSTAND HALF OF WHAT THEY'RE SAYING BUT HOT DAMN LOOK AT ALL THE ENERGY THEY'RE DIRECTING TOWARDS IDENTITY AND ACTION AND GLOBAL COMMUNITY, I LOVE THEM", so i feel i should pass that on to tumblr so they stop feeling there's a massive generational divide, maybe.

(I went with Bethan, and we had an enjoyable debate afterward re: assimilation vs differentiation. as usual, i am a wishywashy fucksicle who thinks that assimilation doesn't negate difference and is a positive step providing we always keep pushing for the definition of normality to expand; this is in keeping with my other view that, for example, it's actually perfectly fine to say "a penis is not an inherently male body part"; it may be statistically aligned with other "male" characteristics to an overwhelming majority of cases but a) our conceptualisation of what constitutes a penis is arbitrarily defined by a FUCKING RULER applied to INFANT GENITALS, b) chromosomal and physical feature expressions of genes are not clear-cut or discrete or necessarily always consistently aligned, and c) analogously, blue eyes are majorly associated with northern european and caucus phenotypes, but we don't call them a "white" body part because, well, melanesian people exist; blue-eyed mongols exist; leucism exists; albinism exists in varying degrees; and Waardenburg syndrome exists. All of which can cause blue eyes in "non-white" phenotypes. Additionally we don't scream at people who have brown or hazel eyes that they cannot under any circumstances give themselves blue eyes with contact lenses because they're "stealing blue-eyedness", d) as dali remarked on Tumblr, the "sex" of organs/gonads is really only functionally relevant if you intend to use them for reproduction. in a very real sense, sex is *also* socially created in an attempt to combine a scientific reality (combine these gametes with these gametes, TYPICALLY via the combination of these genitals and these genitals but, with increasing scientific & technological advances, not necessarily, and create, at length, another individual) with a culturally-generated variance of roles which condenses down into a power imbalance.

in fact... if you look at it from a more rational perspective it's quite baffling that (western) society decided to have these binary gender/sex categories with entire social & cultural rules attached when the physical reality is rather more gradient-like and piecemeal.

tl;dr I have a lot of opinions and none of them are coherent

(PS QUEERNESS IS EPISODIC AND ACTION-RELATED AND NOT SEPARATE FROM NATIVE CULTURE EXPERIENCES SORRY GUYS YOU'RE NOT MAGICAL)
apiphile: (i hate that thing you love)
[personal profile] apiphile
A little something like this:

After a hiccup with scheduling and Ruthi's blood sugar, I spent Saturday night and part of Sunday morning dancing in Duckie, which was more rammed than it's been for a while and which featuring a fantastically OTT piece of political commentary cabaret covered in what I described to Susanne and Holly on Sunday as "avant-gardely-constructed Eton Mess", which is 100% accurate and made the entire venue smell of squashed strawberries all night. Some might think that an improvement, even if it made the stage incredibly slippery.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXbwHOlhiFm/?taken-by=derekdesanges <-- they were called Dead Theresa and The Rapettes. At one point we were encouraged to partake in a singalong to There'll Always Be An England while waving blue, white, and red bunting, by a somewhat ferocious undead Prime Minister in dominatrix gear and her increasingly naked assistants (who started out wearing whiteface). Said "avant-garde" construction involved a mostly-naked person smashing up merangues and strawberries in a bowl with whipped cream with their fists, then smearing the resultant mess all over themselves and over "Theresa May" and also shoving into their own mouth and spewing it back out slowly. Fairly hypnotic. Ruthi was disappointed that, in between whipping the Prime Minister and the cream, there was no whipped cream-related punnery.

Reactions to me glitter spiral:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXbU7UehFk6/?taken-by=derekdesanges

I think my favourites were: "DO YOU HAVE POPPERS? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU PROBABLY HAVE POPPERS" and "How did you do that, did you do it yourself?" and then cutting across my answer to lament his own question, "oh my god that was stupid, what were you going to say NO, I WAS BORN LIKE THIS, Fuck".

The full outfit:

http://lookbook.nu/look/8801367-Daddy-Issues

Unfortunately I was too well-dressed and thus, thanks to the night tube having a hiccup at Finsbury Park, I ended up being forced into short-term friendship with some drunk and frankly quite stupid straight people who wanted to talk to me about tattoos, piercings, and uh... keigel exercises? I'm not sure. Also people need to be banned from earnestly explaining "I GOT THIS TATTOO [that says love in Chinese, even HE thought it was tacky] BECAUSE I LOVE MY FAMILY, I LOVE MY LOVE, AND I LOVE LIFE, YOU KNOW?" or indeed anything relating to "I JUST LOVE MY MUM SO MUCH" please. I can see that you're drunk, you don't need to advertise it by being a horrible cliche.

Sunday! Dragged myself to the farmers' market for brunch, then partook of a hell journey of bad decisions and bad transport (TfL hates south London and anyone who wants to travel to or from there on a Sunday) to see Susanne and Holly and the Worst Cat, Sputnik/Sputters/BiteyClaWidiot. Brought veggie tapas but had mostly eaten it by the time Susanne had recovered enough from a headache to say hello (whoops); was updated on everyone's altering work status and had a nice quiet Sunday bothering the cat and watching sloths on TV before going home via the chip shop like a normal person.

Today: Back at the gym for suffering. This evening I'm going to a talk at the British Library about the Queer History of London something something with Bethan, prior to work. And I am treating myself, as of the end of this post, to MORE SLEEP.

(no subject)

Aug. 5th, 2017 20:09
apiphile: (fuck your ideals)
[personal profile] apiphile
Perhaps ironically one of the RI lectures I listened to with half an ear recently was about memory. HARF.

YESTERDAY: final gym block for the week, a haircut prior to which I fell over and accidentally spent a LOT OF MONEY on sunglasses (£24 for one pair is definitely the most I've ever spent on non-prescription eyewear in my life and hopefully will BE the most too) and "disco dust" which ought to be a drug but isn't. I did not buy biker boots that are designed for a Tom of Finland drawing because I am not a Tom of Finland drawing by anyone's standards. Took Lindsay out for dinner at Tonkotsu as a late birthday dinner, and then he took me to Cutter & Squidge so he could have birthday cake. Mr Boyfriend did not manage to get the fuck off his phone all the way through. I aggressively played 2048 back at him. Here are photos:

haircut: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXX2dkqBeYm/?taken-by=derekdesanges
dinner: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXYch-fh3A-/?taken-by=derekdesanges
dessert: https://www.instagram.com/p/BXYdUurB78P/?taken-by=derekdesanges (it had lychees in, which i dislike a lot less than i used to)

inbetween that i finished the book cover i posted yesterday.

TODAY: following yet more terrible broken awful sleep (why. why. why is it still so bad, i am getting <6 hours a night and then i'm tired and no, geniuses, it's not because i'm napping during the day, because i don't, unlike 500000% of other people who tell me they can't sleep at night) i sat down and drummed out the blurb etc for the book, went back and fixed some minor formatting and spelling errors i'd found, formatted and blurbed the kindle version, etc, etc. then took a slightly circuitous route to the Alexander Technique class I'd paid for. Which was very pleasant (I accidentally showed up with frappe. ADMITTEDLY I was not late but I was wearing sunglasses and I think I looked like a douchebag) and informative about skeletomuscular stuff, much more than I'd expected, although there was a lot of practical instruction and also I have "homework" (try doing stuff with the opposite foot/hand to normal to reduce stress; my option was "please put the very heavy bag over your left shoulder not your right for a bit") and spent a) 15 minutes lying on the floor and b) about 20 minutes getting out of and sitting back into a chair, or watching someone else do the same thing ("I spent yesterday at Body Pump class", the woman in question said, "this whole squatting thing is killing me". I have since found out what Body Pump class involves and am surprised she wasn't fucking dead tbh); had difficulty shunting the people I was supposed to be doing one of the exercises with OFF the subject of my tattoos for five minutes and onto what we were meant to be doing. There was ONE other man person in the class, which is more than I was expecting tbh. (Also apparently I'm right and partner dance is much harder than non-partner dance and that doing partner dance with someone who can't dance well is like, well. Advanced advanced).

Stomped off for soup (Pret do this good "please don't bloat also here's some protein" option that's BONUS tasty and filling, and I'd basically failed to eat properly because I was busy) then ran-walked for a bus and came home. Am now sitting here in glitter and a "Daddy Issues" t-shirt and NO PANTS having just spent a while de-breathing an audiobook excerpt for Heavy on the grounds that maybe it will entice someone into reading the damn thing when I put it out.

http://saxifraga-x-urbium.tumblr.com/post/163837655973/in-an-attempt-to-get-people-properly-hype-for-this <-- and this is it

Everyone I know appears to be at NineWorlds, except for Abi, who is going to a gig, and Ruthi, who is coming dancing with me. My triceps hurt. Apparently I don't lean forward enough when sitting down. Wish me bears.

Mission: Photograph the Oink

Aug. 4th, 2017 10:49
apiphile: (not enough fart jokes)
[personal profile] apiphile
SUCCESS.

I thought gym yesterday, Day Three, was hard, but today kind of won and I'm lying here typing up yesterday's escapades in a generalised state of despair tbh? HOWEVER yesterday I miscalculated how many hours there are in a day, told Abi to meet me at Moorgate at 1.30, arrived there at 1, walked in a big circle trying to find somewhere to sit with my coffee (also I drank far too much coffee yesterday? far too much. I felt like a boggle-eyed boston terrier by the end) and wailing internally about my excessive gayness as all the Young Mans in the service industry jobs around there were Disconcertingly Hot and it makes me feel like my mother (not QUITE a sexual predator but definitely in that area). Abi arrived; I consumed a different form of caffeine and proceeded to talk her ear off almost immediately; I DID NOT GET US LOST trying to find Smithfields, I know exactly where Smithfields is in relationship to Moorgate station, there's just a lot of CONFUSING BRUTALISM between the two places so there may have been a little unnecessary detour because i forgot you could just go through the horrible tunnel. My way was better. >:(

Smithfields was perhaps predictably closed as the meat market runs from 2am to 10am (whoops a dick, that was never going to happen); we set out for Borough Market (Abi helpfully pointed out that you can more or less get the Thameslink from Farringdon to London Bridge, except you can't at the moment, so we went to Blackfriars and I yelled about open-air theatre for An Amount Of Time); also cut myself off mid-sentence to shriek about a bee and nearly a) frightened Abi to death then b) killed her laughing.

Got to Borough ("I'm not hungry," insisted Abi, who has been talking about using amphetamines as appetite suppressants while I attempt to mitigate this into something less damaging, "I just want to bottle the smell.") Bought more caffeinated in the form of some very swank iced mocha. Did not find a pig head, but had a nice conversation with a butcher who rang three people for me, said he could have some in by tomorrow morning, and asked a lot of questions about the book cover and was generally Fairly Charming.

Abi then googled up potential butchers, discovered that Time Out was all for Godfrey's of Highbury, and we plotted a course up to Drayton Park. By this point I was Fairly Caffeinated and swinging from the rails in the train carriage. ("I do that," Abi said, "But usually *I* am off my face.") Shortly after: "Can you not RUN up the stairs, it's disturbing."

We ploughed up to Highbury and found the butchers. Yes they had a pig head! Yes they would let us photograph it! Would we like to come into the chopping room? Here were some gloves in case we wanted to position the pig. Here was a table. Everything was in the process of being cleaned anyway. No, it wasn't a hygiene risk. No, it's okay, they didn't want paying for the photos of their pig. What incredibly nice and accommodating butchers?!

Duly furnished with about ten pig head photos from different angles we went down Blackstock Road because Abi wanted to stop in the Gunners for a drink; it was closed. I made her walk to Finsbury Park, proceeded to buy MORE coffee, and demanded we go back towards Soho. Completely missed the turning for the street I'd intended to go down, perambulated around Foyles, went back down Old Compton Street in search of a hip flask for Abi; ended up in Leon eating chicken out of a tub and trying to provide nutritional advice to someone who is determined to lose six stone without changing her life in any way shape or form (PROCESS NOT GOALS, I bellowed later, when Kieron was around to back me up. PROCESS! NOT! GOALS!), went back and bought one of the hip flasks, and finally settled into the Royal George, where we spent the rest of the evening.

I immediately befriended ... someone ... called Dan? I think? About THE TRAUMA OF BOARDING SCHOOL ... and shortly, Kieron arrived, and within two minutes we had ploughed through the implications of itinerant judges in a barter-economy and also the ideological role of gas lighting in Victorian literature, and Abi had got as far as "hell...o?" (Kieron is not a good influence on my ability to pace what I'm saying). Also met someone called Tara who is ... a comics artist I think ... and successfully insisted that Kieron "just tell a big lie and put your name on my book for cash monies, also that one you gave me the title for got published".

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXWJ5Erh5Uh/?taken-by=derekdesanges

Then Abi nagged and Kieron negged and eventually I agreed to "be in a band" to shut them both up? "I CAN'T SING" / "doesn't matter" / "But I really cannot sing, this is not modesty --" / "YOU DON'T NEED TO BE ABLE TO SING IT'S A PUNK BAND".

[K: "When I first met you I didn't like you at all and then Ali Pulling pointed out 'if they were some rock star you'd fucking LOVE them', and he was very right."]

"Do those leggings make you feel masculine because they're called meggings?" Abi asked, as I strode comically down Charing Cross Road, bellowing about being Mr Soft."
"No," quoth I, "they make me feel BENDY."

Tube: I told Abi to be an engineering apprentice and basically went Full Government Informercial. SHE WANTED A CAREER CHANGE, I WAS TRYING TO BE POSITIVE, I DIDN'T JUST START SHOUTING AT HER ABOUT ADULT APPRENTICESHIPS.

September 2011

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