Saturday, May 29

half way through the weekend

I've been living on my own for 3 weeks now, past the point where you start going bonkers. Another 3 weeks to go. The dog and I are sick of the sight of each other.

I've just had a bottle of the home-made German style lager. Six months ago, when I bottled it, it tasted rough. But it's come good in the meantime. A bit hoppy for my taste, but if you drink it on an empty stomach, you almost get an effect.

I planned to do yoga and read this weekend. So far I've done neither. Pathetic! But if I stop blogging I can do some stretches and warriors right now.

Bugger it, I just burned the curry while I was blogging, then spilled some of the bubbling mess on my toe. I should never have started a blog. Now I need to scrub the pot and start again.

Friday, May 28

friday night

The weekend. I think I'm supposed to meet Cap'n Kev for coffee, but otherwise I'm free to read. I've got one and a half Irvine Welshes, a recent J P Donleavy, and something recommended by Dances - The Stornoway Way. He says it's like a Hebridean Trainspotting.

Listening planned. Best of Soft Machine. I missed out on them at the time, but have been reading about them, ancestors of some great Brit prog rock bands. Also CDs by Lightning Hopkins, whom I used to listen to stoned with Angie and her pal. And an Ahmad Jamal CD of standards.

Must remember to also do some yoga and a long walk, to balance up the cerebral activity.

Saturday, May 22

free excitement

One way to get a cheap buzz is to walk through a hospital when there's nothing wrong with you.

Another buzz is visiting a university when you're not actually a student. Especially around exam time, when people are in despair and self-harming.

The other night I was sampling another cheap buzz, when it all went wrong.

Here's how it happened. There were two anatomy programs on TV, one after another. First, they cut up a large crocodile on-camera, to show how it works. One of the best bits was the massive muscles for snapping the jaws shut. The muscles for opening the jaws were tiny, which is why it's easy to handle a live croc if you hold its mouth shut. Not that I've tried it.

Anyway, after that there was a program with the mad Bavarian anatomist carving up a dead body, allegedly in the name of education.

Because I was a mad anatomist myself for a year, I'm used to dead bodies, and I can enjoy seeing them taken apart on TV. Back then, as a hapless student I spent every Friday morning chopping a body under the critical eye of a vindictive teacher, in a freezing ancient dissecting room, doing my best to ignore the acid flashbacks.

Compared with that, sitting in a warm living room watching someone else doing the messy business with a body in the studio, is a breeze, especially when the last molecules of LSD are long gone.

There was a dead naked woman standing up while they removed the back of her head and took out the spine. The camera was behind her, and they were shoving lumps of food into her mouth so you could watch the process of swallowing from the inside of her mouth.

And I was enjoying the broadcast until I noticed that, from the back, she looked a bit like Denny.

Suddenly it was no longer clinical. Now they were humiliating and desecrating this poor naive young woman who used to be an adorable sweetie. I felt sick and had to switch off. There would be nightmares that night.

Sunday, May 16


The cellmate's flight to Ireland was cancelled due to resurgent ash. So we had a last-minute panic to get her to a ferry.

Now I'm alone again, things are simpler but it takes some adjustment after several weeks close together.

One thing I always appreciate about transit lounges is the solitude. There's time to slow right down, drink the last bottle of Weissbier, and prepare to die, just in case. Nothing matters. All farewells have been said. A good time to die.

Tuesday, May 11

tips for survival at blockheid HQ

I'd like to be able to tell you my family are lovely people but they're not. They are neurotic intolerant bullies. (Of course they're also very likeable, so they tell me. Everything balances up.)

Staying at pension fund HQ you have to always think one or two steps ahead. You imagine the next accusation and how to counter it. And you're forever thinking of creative ways to get what you want. Say you want to have some peanut butter. You can't just come right out with it, unless you want to be accused of selfishness, vegetarianism or simply being difficult. Instead you say you've read somewhere that peanut butter is very good for .. [choose any of the pension fund's own ailments] and would she like to try it?

Or if she serves some food you don't want to eat, you daren't just say you don't like it. No, you make sure you always have an empty plastic bag in your pocket. Then you say "oh, what's that noise in the kitchen, is something burning?" and while she goes to investigate, you shovel the food into the bag and stick it in your pocket. Then later you go for a walk and dump the food in a bin. Make sure no neighbours see you dumping it - they're quite capable of shopping you to the pension fund.

As a general rule, it's better to lie than to tell the truth. You'll be attacked either way, and it's easier to defend an absurdity than your authentic self. That way, she never really gets to you.

Occasionally you find yourself not under immediate attack. That's the moment to go on the offensive. For instance, try a mind game - pretend you think one of her precious appliances is kaput. Or say you've just seen the neighbour's cat in the garden, looking like it's going to eat the goldfish. That's guaranteed to get her in a tizzy, and keep her off your back for a few glorious minutes.

After the night she was burgled in her sleep, the pension fund has had a panic button installed in the bedroom. Two minutes ago, I pressed it by mistake. Well not by mistake, I thought it might be an extra light switch.

The cop shop is just round the corner, so I've got maybe another 30 seconds to think up the best possible excuse. So far, the best I could come up with is "I was tidying up for you and knocked it by accident".

Dearie me.

Saturday, May 8

pension party postives

Everything balances up, and the party wasn't all negative.

For one thing, the servants kept bringing more plates of vegetables - a rarity in Bavaria. Broccoli. Real peas. Fresh asparagus ad nauseam. I was able to avoid dead animals altogether, while insensitive meatheads slagged off vegetarianism.

I made a point of speaking to everyone I knew, and several I didn't know, even some insufferable blockheads I have avoided for decades. And you know what? Once you talk to them, you end up pitying rather than despising them.

I chatted to a distant rellie who is also a hottie. Not just physically, but she has intelligence and integrity. Someone you could honour and adore for a good while before the rot set in. I only see her every ten years, but each time I realise that, if I wasn't already happily shackled, I would be pestering her. You know how once in a blue moon you meet someone you go gaga for, and you know there's a certain amount of reciprocation, even if only platonic? She's a class act, and as she was leaving she gave me her card - "any time you're in Hanover look me up".

Thursday, May 6

pension fund party

The PPP birthday "celebrations" went on all day. Imagine a room with a hundred blockheids, some of them also deifheids and probably all flatheids. Including speeches and toasts, the sit-down meal lasted nearly 5 hours.

My own short speech was the best of the lot, which isn't saying much. It was the same speech I gave 10 years ago but nobody seemed to recognise it.

For weeks the pension fund had tried everything to force me to agree to speak. Emotional blackmail, whining, guilt tripping, flattery, and simple Bavarian rank-pulling. But there's no appeasing dictators, and I was steadfast in my refusal. I said it was time for me to hand over to a younger generation.

Then when I surprised her and stepped up to the microphone she tried to stop me. "Wait till after the soup, then you can do it". Some people are just born bullying bastards. I ignored her and went ahead.

Here's what I said. See if you can spot the sarcasm that went over her head.

Liebe PPP.

Wir sind sehr stolz, hier mitzumachen beim geburtstag von unsere PPP. Auch die Familienmitglieder die heute nicht hier sein konnten, schicken ihre Liebe.

Du warst, und bleibst, ein sehr bedeutenswerter Einfluss fur mich, sowie fur viele Anderen.

Vielen dank fur deine Liebe und Groszugigkeit, und dafur dass du immer versuchst, uns zu akzeptieren, so wie wir sind.

Happy Birthday PPP.

Did you spot it? The heartfelt last line says "we all thank you so much for always trying to accept us just as we are".

Sunday, May 2

sexual inequality

In the web cafe in Berlin. The cars outside are having a mass horn honking for May 1. If only they'd been sent to a good school they'd know better.

Have survived the week at PPP HQ, mainly by doubling the bliss pills.

When we got to the hotel here, we went wild. Jumped on the beds, showered without wiping down the shower, left a mess on the floor. Yes we know how to have fun.

Decided to treat the cellmate to a show, without knowing what it was about. In a majectis old opera house. Turned out to be 8 bare arsed guys doing their yoga. Cellmate loved it. I hate dance stuff. The 8 women kept their gear on. What a swindle.