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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Disco at the Dreen

It's a good job I'm not easily spooked. Unfortunately, Ziggy is and I pay the price for that. Yesterday Ziggy, Sprollie McAuley and I came out to my mum's. Nellybert are away spending Christmas with Katkins and her little one. I have the Banjos coming to keep me company but they won't get here until sometime today.

Ahhhhh, the peace and quiet of the countryside. Aye right! 'Twas blowing a gale last night and Ziggy insisted at barking at every leaf rustling on the ground and every creaky floorboard in the house. We managed to sleep despite. I woke up wedged between Sprollie McAuley and Ziggy. I'd lost all feeling in one side of my body. Was this not meant to be some kind of relaxing holiday?

The first thing I did when I got here was light the fire. I am not sure what Bert does most of the year around but he says his pot bellied stove is no good. This is lies. It just needs to be cleared of it's ashes every onest and a while. I took to this task with great glee. I happened upon several large black screws and a small square piece of metal. Perhaps if Bert tired burning wood and coal instead of metal his fires might go better. My fire was a fire to champion all fires. Not quite as good as the one in the treehouse when the stove glowed red. But good enough to keep me and Dirt Bird warm.

Dirt Bird joined me for a few hours. Before she arrived I used the kitchen as my own personal disco hall. I played my tunes full blast and made shapes all over the place. I felt alive. I had toyed with the idea of joining my work buddies for the staff night out but I was enjoying my company too much.

It was lovely to see my dear friend. She had a cold lurgy going on. I had the Christmas Rush lurgy so our frame of minds complemented each other perfectly. I told her about the really nice thing one of my tutors said about my course work and she felt a tear come to her eye. She's the kind of friend that swells up with pride on your behalf. I miss her when she's not here.

Now I have to be brave and go outside and look at things. Y'know, make sure that the treehouse hasn't blown away, all livestock is well, bonsai trees haven't died, etc. Then I will light another fire because big country houses can feel cold and lonely without one.

Friday, December 18, 2015


Last week went by in a coursework frenzy. Well, actually, it wasn't really that frenzied as I just chipped away at it all week but it was pretty all-consuming. I handed it in on Monday, went for food with my classmates then had a couple of drinks with the two other musketeers who have become dear friends through this course. On Tuesday I came home from work and sat on the sofa realising just how drained I was. Ziggy had an extended stay at mum's due to transport issues. He arrived back filthy. As always.

I've had to work extra over Christmas. I have grumbled a lot about it. Tomorrow I start at four in the morning. I don't grumble over nothing y'know. Tomorrow night there is a reunion gig. Jobe, the 'real' guitar player of the GCDCs has turned 40 and his former band mates thought it would be nice to get back together for the occasion. I am hoping I stay awake long enough to see them play.

As always, when I go to write a blog post I am convinced I have something funny and witty to share and then I get there and wonder where those awesome ideas have gone. Have I forgot them? Did I really have them? I'm sure I had something funny and witty to, I just wanted to moan about all the hard work I've been doing.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Super Han

As Ziggy and I walked along the river path today the sun was just going down. The world looked nice. I thought about how we're all just doing our best in life. Made me think of a preliminary line for Russian Alcoholic Zest, "Wear your vest, do you your best", which then reminded me of the time that my two elder sisters created Super Han. I wasn't overly happy at the time but we learn to laugh at ourselves as we get older. Super Han wore a vest, 'y' fronts and fishnet tights. It's true, I did wear vests for a long time but this was because I didn't want to grow up. Plus, they kept me warm. So I let them laugh at my expense and I decided to recreate Super Han so everyone else can laugh at my expense (including me).

But, you know what, we all have to be adults sometimes too. This evening I made the very mature decision to cancel music night so I could get coursework done for the end of term. I got some feedback from work yesterday which was really positive and uplifting. This puts me in good stead for starting placement in January. What I actually ended up doing tonight was 10 per cent course work, 20 per cent counting change from my change jar, 20 per cent drawing a really bad picture of Super Han (at least Z was an artist) and 50 per cent cleaning gunk out of the washing machine. A productive evening for sure!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Russian Alcoholic Zest

I'm struggling to keep my Zen at the minute. It has been replaced with the jitters. This is what happens when it turns December and you check your bank balance and get a quare shock because you had forgotten all about the £120 payment for course fees. They come out in four instalments during September, November, December and February. Combined with the extra cost of oil and electricity at this time of year it is no wonder that I find the winter months a struggle. In January and February the overtime at work will be cut so it may take me until March next year before I get back on track. This is the cycle. And it's not even like I'm rich in the summer, I just don't have that same pressure. This year I had planned to save up during the warmer months because I knew the winter would be hard. This would have worked out ok if I hadn't failed my driving test 3 times and had to buy a new camera for the wedding.

I do not really want this blog post to be a moan about money but I just felt a little dsiheartened when I cheked my balance. On the plus side, we had another fantastic music session on Tuesday. Gus has fitted back in nicely with the new set up. We are all a lot more open and honest in sharing ideas and feedback. We have really only a couple of complete songs but plenty more on the back burner. There's the Dessert Song, the Vervey One, the One About the Lesbian Artist, the Anthem, The Roadtrip One and the New Sound. The New Sound is based on a bass riff Tobe had come up with and it sounds really good but I think it's gonna be a hard one to sing along to. My well of creativity kinda dried up when I had to do loads of school work so I haven't been in the flow of writing.

Gus and I are working on something on the side. It's kind of an ode to Tojo who used to live here and the song is played, of course, to the chords G, C and D:

I'm possessed in my chest,
With Russian alcoholic zest,
Bathroom messed, flatmate stressed,
Eating spicy chicken fillet breast,
I've assessed, cardiac arrest,
With Russian alcoholic zest.

It is pretty much a nonsense song that could go on and on for ever because there are a lot of words that rhyme with 'zest'. Oh yes. I'm trying to persuade Gus to open a coffee shop called Ziggy's Palace of Earthly Pleasure. Another good idea for the museum of good ideas.