Wednesday, May 27

advanced education

Great day at work today. Not a single student turned up for the afternoon class. Presumably because I had encouraged them to email their work instead of coming in. The same thing happened at this evening's class.

All classes will be run like this if the pig flu takes off and everyone's under house arrest. Bring it on. Over in Australia, it's spreading fast in the winter weather, and they're expecting 2 million people to get it. I may have to resort to hanging out with sailors down at the harbour to try and get infected while it's still benign. And if I can time it for July when we're supposed to be going on holiday, I might not have to go away at all.

Monday, May 25

life and art

Yesterday I finished reading Jock Tampon. All blog life is there in a one-act play. Guns, money-making schemes, non-sequiturs, idiocy, there's even an allotment and a hut.

REMO: They've taken my house. And my car. I'll have to rationalise, McGuffin. Make tough decisions. That's it! You're sacked!

GUFFIE: You can't sack me!

REMO: Get off my property! Get off it, or you'll get my toe up your arse!

GUFFIE: Keep away from me, you mad bastard! I've a good mind to set fire to your hut!

REMO: I was pretending to get drunk and go mad, but I'm as mad as a hatter. If I don't get help soon, I'm going to hurt someone, or hurt myself, or hurt the hut.

But is art imitating life or the other way round? And it's not obvious which character matches which blogger. At first I thought albert was Guffie, because he's a hut manager and he actually does stuff and has a pocket full of money, despite being owed back-pay by Remo. So hotters would be Remo which makes psychological sense too. But on the other hand, Remo is a Tory or even a fascist like me, so how could Remo be based on hotters? So could albert perhaps be Agnes, because of the dog, but then Remo would have to represent mingers, and I don't think there was any cricket in the play at all. Besides, Agnes is the only female character, so the obvious thought is that she is ion.

So I'm back to square one. But I've had an idea. If we look at the sanity levels of the four people in the play, we should be able to work out who is based on who.

The maddest character is clearly Remo. So here's a suggestion. We appoint an independent panel of judges to decide which blogger is the most genuinely insane, between albert, hotters, mingers and ion. Whoever wins is clearly Remo.

I'm willing to put up my share of the prize money. I'm donating my entire back-pay from hut management and the taxi job.

Friday, May 22

from the diary - age 21

I found an old diary.
Monday night. Drank in both union bars with Vinnie and his moll. Played cards till 4 a.m. Next morning Moll burnt the black pudding.

Friday night. Met Mac at Yellow Carvel. Then Wester Hailes party with Vinnie and Moll.

Saturday night. Mac reminds me of the time we drank at Vinnie's and I threw buckets of water over Vinnie and Neil, then made fried Cream Crackers with onions. How does he remember things like that?

It didn't seem to occur to me to wonder what I was doing to my brain cells in those days that meant I had no memory of my own actions.

I have been researching Scottish fiction, by uploading it to a private web-page then downloading it from there into the ipod, for reading under the covers.

So far, I've loaded Alma Mater and Jock Tampon. Like Guffie in the book, I've had one of my brilliant ideas. Get the writer's permission to make one of his books publicly downloadable on the ebook site, then if enough people seem to be downloading it onto their ipods, make the other titles available for money. We'll clean up!

Monday, May 18

thoughts of a dirty old man

This post title should bring in the customers. Last year I included the phrase "elephant sexual position" quite innocently in a post, and the blog stats went through the roof.

I've just come in from hanging out the washing, a job that takes hours these days, ever since the tropical jock-rot took hold and I started changing my drawers daily. And sometimes even more often than that.

I'm typing this on the toilet, thanks to the wifi ipod. The wee screen is beautiful, but since I'm now getting increasingly long-sighted to balance up the short-sightedness, I need to wear a cheap pair of old person's reading specs from the chemist. As myopia and the opposite -opia converge to blur distant and close objects, eventually I'll only be able to see things that are about 3 feet away. I feel I'm being squeezed at both ends and not in the biblical sense. Dearie me!

Tuesday, May 12

a porker lips now

Whatever happened to the swine panic? In Australia where onan lives, the media feeding frenzy has moved on to the next big issue, about a rugby league player involved in group sex 7 years ago. According to onan, there's saturation coverage on TV, radio and newspapers, and about 26,000 posts have materialised in the last few days. Who says nothing ever happens in Australia?

Thursday, May 7

Darwin and I

Charles Darwin and I both dropped out of medicine in Edinburgh before roaming foreign lands to observe unusual biological specimens.

This creature is clearly dead. If there was any life in it, the dog would have taken an interest in it. It may have been electrocuted while running along overhead power cables, but the dog is wearing a protective muzzle in case it may have been possum flu.

Tuesday, May 5

the road

I've just finished reading The Road. I didn't dare mention it while I was still reading it. Some people can't help spoiling a film or a book. "I've just got to tell you about this one bit, it won't spoil it for you ... you know the bit where he discovers that she's really his sister? No? Well now you might as well know, the butler did it."

People like that need a few sessions with Doctor Robert.

But what a great book! For the first half, I was freaking out with the tension. What would happen when they met someone? Then towards the end, I was dreading that things would just carry on like that, with them just disappearing into the sunset (sunless).

The occasionally-archaic language didn't work for me. I had to look up words like windrow. And the number of times he said "in the floor" meaning "on the floor".

But what a fantastic story, and the man was a brilliant father. Makes me think of my own father.

Now that I've finished reading the books on my list, at last there's time for some other enjoyment. Today I found time to make an apple cake from a recipe I had months ago badgered a student to give me. Tomorrow I'll be able to tell her I baked it.

And I might even have time for another trouser post, before the next book, a Kate Atkinson, arrives.

Saturday, May 2

developments around the world

One of the reasons my friend Albert says he likes living in Australia, is that he can ignore the rest of the world. Australian media only report local news. Well Albert's blissful ignorance has now been shattered. The Aussie newspapers have published an item of world news, and even a second one.

And there's been a health warning for all the people planning to be intimate with Albert this weekend - if you notice herpes-like symptoms, stay indoors and keep quiet about it. It's swine herpes.

Meanwhile here in New South Caledonia, there have been developments. This morning I skipped porridge, and the dog forcibly skipped her biscuits. I re-routed the walk through an area of bush adjoining the freeway, where there's a branch of McUnHeardOfs. I scheduled it so that I would arrive there famished and in need of a jolt to rev me up for the rest of the expedition. I would order a repeat of Thursday's breakfast menu. Then with raisin toast, hot butter, and black tea inside me, I'd be able to walk for hours.

When I gave my order, the guy said the tea was off, and they no longer offer raisin toast. There's no demand for it. The dog was more fortunate, finding an abandoned half-eaten burger and chips, but I had to walk all the way home without fuel.