Sunday, about 12. I’m relaxing in the bath, thinking vaguely about shaving my legs, when the phone rings. Arrrgh.
It is, of course, Work, asking why website xxx is no longer working and can I do something about it. Yesterday, I went into the office to fix things which I shouldn’t have messed up—I should have spotted that changing Z would break innumerable other things, and I should have warned the boss not to go ahead with it. But I didn’t, because I hadn’t bothered to fully investigate the way the servers had been set up, so I didn’t realise it would happen. I feel like the extra in Dilbert who won an award for spending days of overtime fixing her own mistakes.
In other news, i went to the Belle and Sebastian gig in Glasgow on Thursday and had a damn good time. It wasn’t their best gig, but it was a lot better than the last one I saw them at, in Edinburgh. Nobody was dancing much, so I jumped up and down a bit.
Hunting around for stuff this morning, I managed to find an old Auteurs album, on tape, that I hadn’t listened to for years. I put it on whilst walking to work. Ooh, it’s just like being a teenager again.
I don’t wear much jewellery. Never have. I take after my mother, who who only wears her wedding ring and has never even had her ears pierced.
The other week—after wandering round the city with The Friend From The Suburbs looking for presents for The Australian because he’s going back to Australia—I bought a ring. Nothing special, just a polished stone ring from the National Museum shop. I’ve been wearing it most of the time since I bought it.
I’ve noticed—when I wake up in the morning now, without it on—that I’ve started to realise more when it’s missing that when it’s there. It’s becoming a part of my body-image. When I wake up in the morning, hand underneath my pillows, I have a negative spot on my left middle finger, where there is something missing. I didn’t think a change like that to my mental maps could happen so fast.
In other body-image news: walking through my local shopping centre today, I suddenly realised just how mirrored its interior is. And I hate it. I don’t want to have to see myself all the time.
Oh, last night’s dream: a race of space aliens were living in Holyrood Park, which is just by my flat (see above). They were silver-coloured, a bit like Cybermen but fatter and more organic. I would look up at the cliffs, and they would be stood on the edge (see below) waving at me. They wanted me to go back to their home planet with them; they said I would be worshipped or something; but it was all a big plot and I managed to run away.
Wake up in the morning, gulp down a cup of tea, stumble towards the shower. I flick the bathroom light switch.
With a flash, the bathroom light has burned out.
This is a bit of a problem, because my bathroom is basically underground. The flat is all on the one level, but it’s built into the side of a slope, so the bathroom is below street level. No windows at all. I hunted round for lightbulbs. I was sure I had a couple of spare lightbulbs kicking around. They weren’t anywhere.
I hate having to change the bathroom lightbulb, too, because it means balancing carefully on the edge of the bath and unscrewing a heavy glass cover to get at the bulb. I’m always thinking it’s going to drop to the floor and smash, probably taking me over with it.
Showering in the dark isn’t much fun either.
The other week I was struck with a sudden spurt of enthusiasm for handicraft-type stuff, and I decided I should make myself a bag. I need a new handbag—the strap on the last one got worn through by a slightly-rusted metal loop—and making one would be fun and an ideal way to have something a bit different. It surely can’t be that hard to knock up a basic shopping-bag style thing, out of some decent thickness canvas or hessian or something, which i can sling over my shoulder. To decorate it, I decided I would get The Mother to hunt out some of my old swimming badges (the oval-pointy shaped ones) and sew them on, a vertical line on either side.
I knew this would be a good idea when, a couple of days after I thought of it, I saw a girl with swimming badges sewed onto the seat of her trousers. I mean, nowadays, two people can be a fashion movement. So, I phoned The Mother and asked her to find them, if she hadn’t chucked them out.
“Why do you want them?” she asked.
“To sew them on things, of course. What else are they for?”
“I’ll send them to you,” she said, “if you tell me the address of your website.”
So, it looks like the handbag might be off the menu for a while. I really don’t want The Mother coming here and lookin round every page on the website. And I know that if she did find it, she would look round every page and read every bit of information. I know she would. I don’t want her knowing that much about me.
So, on Sunday, I was sat around at home idly playing with Movable Type and seeing what some of the more obscure options do when A Friend In The Suburbs phoned. “I’m having a crap weekend,” she said, “want to come round some art galleries?”
So, I went out and we wandered down to Queen Street, to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, because they have three rather good exhibitions on at the moment. We got there. And it was shut.
So, we walked back the way we came—in the rain, of course—and said “I know, let’s go to the Fruitmarket Gallery, they’ll be open even though it’s Sunday.” So we did. And they were open. But they didn’t have any exhibitions on.
So, we wandered round their wee shop and ooh’d and aah’d all the books and postcards, and Friend In The Suburbs said: “Why don’t we go to the City Café and get some food?” So we did. We looked at the menu, and thought “mmm, desserts.” We tried to order pancakes.
“Sorry, we’re halfway through changing the menu. No pancakes.”
“Ummm … do you have any desserts?”
“Sorry, no. We’ve got rid of them all. We still have milkshakes, though.”
“OK, I’ll have a chocolate mint milkshake.”
“Sorry, we only have chocolate, strawberry or vanilla. No mint.”
So, in the end we went to Favorit and had lots of cake there, whilst spying on all the other cafe-users and saying we wished we’d had our camera with us so we could photograph them all.
My mother has a fairly nice stereo. It’s nothing special—not one of those hi-fi enthusiast setups with everything separate, but it has all the ordinary functions and features and is worth a few hundred quid. She won it, a year or two ago. She was thinking about buying a new one to replace their mid-70s record player, when all of a sudden she won one that was worth a fair bit more than she was thinking of spending.
I, on the other hand, do not have a stereo. Well. I have a small portable, which was a christmas present when I was at university. The CD part has been broken for a few years, but it still plays tapes and the radio. The CD drive on my computer plays some of my CDs, but not very many; it’s on its last legs.
So anyway. On the phone to the mother yesterday, she says: “Oh, by the way. What’s a micro-hi-fi system?”
“Um … a hi-fi system that’s smaller than a mini hi-fi system? One of those that’s a 6-inch cube and nothing else? I don’t know? Why?”
“Oh, I was just wondering. I’ve won one, you see.”
In last night’s bizarre dream, I was desperately trying to print out the President of Ireland’s daily schedule (so I could give it to her personally), but my printer wouldn’t work. Then, I had an argument with my dad as to whether I should buy a laser printer or not. I have no idea what any of that was about. Or, for that matter, the bit slightly earlier where people in wheelchairs kept getting eaten by giant plants.
No sooner do I post here mentioning Scholl sandals, then they get mentioned in The Guardian as an example of something that suddenly becomes popular purely because it has been featured on the telly. It must be telepathy, you know.