Friday, December 31

dinner with non-deifheids

We tend to get umpteen invites from deifheids, yet we hardly ever get to see the cellmate's non-deifheid friends. It's not a good balance.

Last night we went to a Chinese restaurant with Ted and Pam, a couple of my favourite New South Caledonians.

We took along the mother outlaw. When the dinner conversation focussed on swimming, I was about to tell my award-winning pool story but I was overruled by the cellmate. Probably just as well. I remember the story was censored at Duneditin too.

Thanks to the beer, I managed to be oafish all the same. When the mother outlaw was feeling the cold, I offered her my jumper, but as I was pulling it off I felt the chill air and immediately put it back on again.

Ted burst out laughing and said: never mind, it's the thought that counts.

At one point Ted and Pam invited us all back to their place for karaoke after dinner, but it turned out they were only kidding. I was actually disappointed.

Today I've gone out of my way to be kind to the mother outlaw, for once.

Tuesday, December 28

neighbours, everybody needs dead neighbours

The neighbours at the back used to have a dog that lived outside. I don't understand - what's the point of having a dog and not letting it in the house?

At night, it would bark at the slightest sound. I would only have to fart or switch on the radio, and that was enough to set it off for hours. So I was forced to sleep with the windows shut.

But since their dog died, I can leave the windows open wide all night, letting in all that silence and fresh air. And letting out the putrid air. It all balances up.

The downside is the dawn racket from the parrots, mynahs, and cockatoos. There's also a bell bird, which makes a tinkling noise. And a whip bird, which sounds like someone cracking a whip. It's not easy living in a tropical paradise.

Sometimes my dog joins in the racket.

Wednesday, December 22

cap'n kev's xmas present

I've already had my Christmas present from Albert. Weissbier: Franziskaner and Weihenstephaner. I opened the first bottle tonight.

Meanwhile, to avoid squabbling, cap'n kev is giving everyone the same xmas present. Everybody will receive a wee parcel, containing a holy book (clue: it's not the bible) and a box of matches.

Sunday, December 19

window on the past

On Google Maps today I happened to see the bedroom window of Denny's childhood. Actually her brother's bedroom. Possibly where the incest used to happen. I've cropped and processed the Google view to make it as Dickensian and wintry as I remember it.

It was also the room where she sexually assaulted me. It was on a visit to meet her parents, and they billeted me in the incest room. Denny and a lesbian woman from work were given the double bed across the hall.

In the pub on the first night, Denny and her lesbian chaperone wanted to stay till closing time, and I wanted to get them home and split them up. I left the pub early in a huff and walked back on my own. (I walked that road again today on Google street view). I said goodnight to the parents, and went to bed.

I was woken after closing time by Denny stumbling into my room, blootered. In the street light from the window, I saw the confident way she took her top off. She dropped the rest of her clothes on the floor, and came into bed. It was the first time I had ever seen her fully naked. So gorgeous it was scary. She climbed on top of me. It was all happening very fast: a drunk was treating me like a sex object and I didn't like it. No conversation or foreplay. No connection, no flowers or chocolates. You'd think she'd never seen a Milk Tray ad.

Well, when I didn't respond she slurred something like "this is hopeless". She picked up her clothes and staggered out. Into bed with the lesbian. The whole incident must have lasted about a minute and a half.

In all the time I knew her, I didn't know about the incest, and she never knew about the Teutonic toilet training. Amazingly, we did eventually come together over a couple of druggy boozy years. Exciting but going nowhere.

I believe the incest contributed to her ultimate insanity and demise. Sometimes I wonder if I had a positive or negative effect on her life. I phoned her old dear with my condolences. She said "she still used to talk about you a lot". These days I think about her a lot. It balances out.

Friday, December 17

typical working day this week

730. Get to work. Make tea. Switch computer on - it takes an hour or two to crank itself up and run virus checks, so forget about work for now.

8. Get changed and do yoga.

830. Lie down and read a book.

9. More tea, read the Independent or Glasgow Herald online.

930. Go out for a walk.

1030. Get back to work for a meeting. Always take along a wad of important-looking papers, and remember to rifle through them during meeting. When diary dates are discussed, switch on iPod and start a game. People think you're making diary notes.

1130. Early lunch.

1230. Bosses take a late lunch, so your time's your own till at least 2.

230. Second meeting of the day is a rerun of the first one, for the benefit of everyone who had the foresight to stay away all morning. Earlier decisions are reversed, or else painstakingly re-decided. Use papers and iPod as before.

For future entertainment, diarise what everyone has decided to do next month, so that when the time comes and people actually do the opposite, you know it's not you that's insane.

330. Back in your office, tidy your bookshelves. Then go home, happy in the knowledge that you've done your bit to make New South Caledonia what it is.

5. Take a nap, to be properly refreshed before opening a beer. Decide not to bother going in tomorrow. You can get just as much done by working from home.

- Posted from iPod

Tuesday, December 14

a woman's history of vaginal orgasm

A colleague in the feminism department referred me to a most interesting abstract from a professional journal:

"Sexologists can infer women's history of vaginal orgasm from observing only their gait."

If only I had stuck in at my medical studies, I could have got a grant for research like this. Instead, I've had to self-finance my orgasm research paper: "Women who walk in a way that makes you want to give them one". My work came to exactly the same conclusions.

"CONCLUSIONS: The discerning observer may infer women's experience of vaginal orgasm from a gait that comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom, and absence of both flaccid and locked muscles."

Monday, December 13


I woke from a dream last night, at the point where the gay skinhead high-voice scots nyaff from the Communards kept singing, in falsetto, "there's a lack of energy, there's a lack of love". It wasn't an existing lyric, it was just words that my dream made up.

When I see Doc Bob he'll have a field day, especially after the previous dream about appearing in court with an incoherent defence.

I did a lot of yoga in the middle of the night last night, after being awake for a couple of hours, chewing over events from the pub yesterday evening. Being hard on myself for the things I said and did during the send-off for the clients. It's true I was pretty socially stressed - because of the job responsibility, I felt bound to keep saying stuff, despite having nothing to say. Nothing socially appropriate at least.

It may be time to increase the bliss pillage dosage.

The thing is, I'm alright in the work setting, in fact I'm fantastic there.

Well at least the farewell feedback I got in the pub was all good. Clients going out of their way to praise me to my face and to the bosses. And that was just the male clients. Imagine if I had stayed for a second beer and waited for the female feedback! I could only have disgraced myself.

Saturday, December 11

mahler's first

A woman I spoke to at the drinks party had just been to hear Mahler's First. She was raving about it, even though it was her first exposure to Mahler.

I was about 20 the first time I ever heard it. Vinnie's Moll and I took some dope round to a house full of classical musicians in Sciennes, to get to know them. When I was well stoned and sick of listening to classical records, I trampolined on her future husband's bed, conducting the entire LP of the symphony, giggling, to the bemusement of our prim hosts. Artist's impression below. What a philistine! That's what happens when a female thinks you're wonderful and eggs you on to behave like an arsehole.

A year or two later, I bought a copy of Mahler's First, even though I wasn't sure I'd like it. And it took me many years before I could really say I took pleasure in it.

By the way, Moll's future husband was out on the night that I trampolined his bed, so it was another year or two before they ever met. By that time, he had effed Vinnie. Or probably vice versa. I was the only normal one in that crowd. I only ruined people's beds. The rest of them ended up ruining each other's lives.

Friday, December 10

ra cumming book

I'm reading Alan Cumming's book, Tommy's Tale. I think you'd call it a romp. Lots of drink, drugs, and sex, straight and gay. Alma Mater by John McKenzie was quite similar, although without the gay sex. The guys in that book never consummated their relationship, at least not on the page.

Alma Mater was funnier, maybe because it was less frenetic, more world-weary and exasperated.

The sex in this book is explicit yet not in the least bit titillating, not even when he and the barmaid do most of the kama sutra in a disabled toilet (see artist's impression above). What a waste!

Thursday, December 9

change of life

It's dawning on me that I'm in the middle of some sort of existential change.

It was brought home to me in a dream last night. I was on the way to court, where I was to be defending myself against the tax man, over a piffling amount he was wrongly alleging I owed from years ago.

I had built up a huge dossier to present in court. But now all my notes outlining my brilliant defence were suddenly indecipherable. I rifled through the papers hoping to find the one sheet where I might have written down a summary of my thinking.

Clearly, my only hope was that when they called my case and I was put on the spot, it would all become clear to me, and I would wow the judge. As if!

In the end, I told the judge I was throwing myself on the court's mercy.

And that's the point where I woke up in a sweat. So how does the dream relate to my waking life?

• Well, in reality I have all these papers in my study, in piles, in trays, in binders and in cabinets. I used to keep on top of things but these days I can't be bothered. Because everything has proliferated too far for anyone to manage. And I'M AS APATHETIC AS HELL AND I'M JUST NOT GOING TO DO IT ANY MORE. It's amazing I can still summon up the will to blog.

• Also, I'm losing the will to explain or justify myself. If people are curious why I wear only one sock, eff 'em!

Other signs of apathy and decrepitude:

• Online Scrabble has gone to pot, and I'm losing every game because I can't be bothered trying.

• Fighting with the cellmate, even when I know I'm right and she's wrong, no longer has the same appeal. Sometimes I'd rather find a way of keeping the peace than being right.

• Even the last bastion of the life force, watching fit young babes in the street, is too much of an effort.

So I did something new today after work. I did the first thing that came into my head - I jogged. Only about 500 yards, but it felt better than all the drudgery. I was held back by the heat and the dog, and a sensible caution, but next time I'm planning to leave the dog at home, and do a kilometer, but only if I feel like it. This could be the start of a renaissance of free will.

Saturday, December 4

beer taste blind testing

I've been buying the occasional 6-pack of real beer, Oettinger.

Then Cap'n Kev gave me a pack of Oettinger, but in cans. It was kind of him, but after drinking a can, I gave the rest back to him. I reckon the cans don't taste as good, even though the beer in them should be identical to the bottles.

So I wondered - could my preference for the bottled stuff be psychological? I set up a blind trial using identical glasses, which I marked but then swapped around several times with my eyes closed. There was a third glass of another German beer, just to make things interesting.

I know you're desperate to hear the result, so I won't keep you in suspense any longer. Even blindfolded, the canned stuff tasted worse. Even so, I managed to drink all three beers, though not all on the same night of course.

PS - After getting the cellmate a pig for a Malawian village, and buying her mother a chicken for an East Timorese family, I've decided to continue the Christmas Charity present theme, by sponsoring a carton of Erdinger for unfortunate people living in the snowbound wastelands of Scotland. The way the scheme will work: I buy the beer here, then send the recipient a complete set of photos of me drinking each bottle. That way, we save the climate by not sending it half way across the world in a polluting airplane. Everybody wins!

Thursday, December 2

what blissheids do

For weeks now, I've been sleeping like a babe, and taking ages to come to in the mornings. This must be what normal people are like, but it's a new experience for me.

Of course then I began worrying that this was the beginning of the end, maybe my body was slowly packing up.

But I reckon the sleep comes from doing yoga every day.

Today at work, after the yoga I even lay down under the desk with the headphones on, listening to a guided meditation. The commentary was a bit crystal spacey, with cosmic music in the background, but I liked it and it seemed to work.

I had to go to a staff meeting after that. Normally I would have pumped myself up on tea, and you'd think meditation might have the opposite effect and wipe you out. But the blissage and the yoga gave me a calmer sort of forcefulness. Not jittery like a tea high.

This bliss is a piece of piss.