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'tis the season

Music The new slimline spaceheroes of the people played the winter warmer and were well recieved. Personally I like the new track where Tim sings like a girl robot made of electric strings and science, but mileage may vary. A mention also goes out to Jimmy Cellar's new band, Comrade Rocket -- this website is the pretty one, but the myspace is what's actually being updated -- they are also called Komrad, or Comrade. Anyway, well worth a look if you're that way inclined and in the area. Guitars and noise, songs with words, a drummer with glasses, more guitars. Ace.

Boooze I fear that I may be drinking too much. No, it's more tragic than that. I'm drinking about the same but my body is crying, poison! poison! do not punish us! I'm familiar with the drill, having observed older friends. For a while you drink less, eventually you drink nothing at all. The process takes about 20 years, so no need to panic this christmas. If I'm on a regular painkiller regime in the new year (the knee continues to annoy) I may de-booze entirely. Not detox, I refuse to call it that, although YouGov (I just did their festive survey) seem to have decided it's the standard term. For goodness sake. I eat toxins, breathe toxins, every day. I'm made of them. You might as well ask me to de-carbon.

Sister Brother-in-law has done his usual thing of buying a christmas tree too tall for his building site front room library. We visited on Sunday, and had the first properly interactive meeting with new neice, now coming up to her first birthday. She's a lovely little thing, full of wonder at everything, although apparently she'd just come out of a round of winter vomiting virus so may just have been full of wonder at not feeling rotten. Nephew had just been to a nativity x-factor, the local inclusion (and I've heard some good ones this year -- one school had dinosaurs and robots!) was a Haka (his weekly sport is rugby)! Nativity plays seem a lot more creative than they were when I was a kid. If anyone's wondering, I was angel Gabriel. Best bling, just a few choice lines.

Snow I'm tottering around like a little old lady, terrified of ice and frost and slush and melt. I suppose it's inevitable, but I feel like a bit of an idiot. The slope on Magdalen bridge where I slipped last winter has been a sheet of black ice for days now. I saw a man, with a wheelie suitcase, running across that in sneakers. I felt like shouting, Don't! It's not worth it! Miss your train! But then I remembered how much it costs to buy last minute train tickets. An arm, a leg?

On the road It's not the fact that there's snow that's causing the problem. It's how wet and sticky the snow is, and the way it's melting and refreezing into a lower layer of ice, topped with extra lubricating crystals, the way that melts into sluch, refreezes and repeats to make an icy lasagne of surpassing slipperyness. timscience gets stuck out on the road on the evening we had intended to spend eating udon and watching casiotone for the painfully alone. I wrap presents, make stew, wait, do chores. He gets home just as I'm redownloading that codec bundle so we eat stew and watch the chicken episode of Samurai Jack.

Cousin She's in town for a moment, having finished her contract in Chad. She has the look of someone who needs to sleep for three months before she does anything else. It's a look I know well, I wore it myself on my first exit from Oxfam. Unfortuntely we attract a drunk, and even more unfortunately he's obviously been listening to our (private, personal) conversation before buying us drinks we didn't want. Elderly, professorial, a talker -- obsessing about all his younger girlfriends, trying to recruit my cousin to be one. He presents her with a christmas card on the way out, which contains a proposition and his full contact details. Later that evening we use it to google him; he has a conviction for stealing a £4 bottle of wine from Iceland.

Borders I pay one last visit, with the thought of picking up christmas cards (after a few arrived for us, we decided to card the neighbours) but the shelves are picked bare. Of all the recession closures I shall mourn this the most. Fopp was always too hip for me, Woolies had long been supplanted by Wilkinsons and Threshers, well, we don't live in a time that lacks cheap booze. But Borders was an intrusion of cool into the grey British High Street -- cosmopolitan and thrilling, eclectic and comfortable, full of books and music, comics and coffee, toys and gizmos. The shop that got closest to being the internet, but failed to be bought out by it. The great experiment of an evening shop where people wanted to hang out, now dashed on the cold rocks of economic spite. Borders I shall miss; the town is poorer for its loss.

Nightmare Wore up at 3am the other morning by dream of being crushed by huge, soggy, squishy presents. Taller than me, wrapped with tough synthetic ribbons and I was somehow among them as they shifted in a huge enclosure (an ocean container?) They smelt of wet and blubber; I was sure they were full of whale meat. Every time I started to drop off the same dream would recur. It took me almost an hour to get back to sleep...

Unexpected Receive a twitter thanking me (and the far more plausible peteashton) for inspiring Glum Councillors, the online home of elected members pointing glumly at potholes, to my puzzlement. Probably mistaken for some other online witterer. Fortunately they're on tumblr, so saying thanks is just two clicks; follow, love.

Comments

( 6 worms — Feed the birds )
timscience
24th Dec, 2009 09:42 (UTC)
probably some other online witterer
cleanskies
26th Dec, 2009 10:19 (UTC)
kinda
well, freeze my keyboard! I *am* influential!
celestialweasel
24th Dec, 2009 23:01 (UTC)
Toiling in the uranium mines for our robot overlords
Is your de-carboning related to jinty's Low Carbon East Oxford? Are you transforming yourselves into our robot overlords?

I still wonder about the economics of the bizarre art magazines in Borders. Who produces them? Who reads them? Are they sale or return? There were so many of them and so few people looking at them.
Obviously Borders, like Threshers et al were victims of what someone on teh webs termed the 'leverage jihad', although it had gone down-hill, I thought. Certainly the downstairs was looking rather unloved for quite a while. I think the rot set in when they changed from their own coffee shop to Starbucks (not that I have anything particularly against Starbucks but it smacked of irksome corporate deals, and I thought it had a nicer atmosphere before).

[Fun LJ spelling checker suggestions - jaunty for jinty, car-boning for carboning - 'you should be de-carboning not car boning' - how's that for a slogan?]
cleanskies
26th Dec, 2009 10:21 (UTC)
art magazines
The audience was people who fancy contributing to art magazines, and they're all way too cool to be seen handling anyone else's
mockduck
25th Dec, 2009 18:45 (UTC)
Cousin propositioner
*shudder*
cleanskies
26th Dec, 2009 10:25 (UTC)
Re: Cousin propositioner
What hacks me off is that pub propositioners can small vulnerability, anxiety, drunkenness and trauma, and home in on it like bloody sharks.

....
( 6 worms — Feed the birds )