Friday, 31 July 2009


Sir Bobby Robson has lost his fight with cancer.

Football in particular, and the world in general, are the poorer for it.

I found out on a train this morning. If I'd been on my own I would have shed a tear.

This article has some beautiful tributes.

That wedding video

I thought this was interesting. Because while watching that wedding video, I could not get out of my head the fact that Chris Brown (whose song is playing) beat up his girlfriend Rihanna.

It's particularly interesting, as D absolutely detests Michael Jackson. He believes the rumours were all true, and can't separate the art from the man (cf G@ry Glitter - how often do you hear one of his songs these days?). Whereas I can see them as different. (Although I do take on board that Glitter was found guilty and MJ wasn't.)

But not in the case of Chris Brown apparently.

Either way, I can't help wondering. Couldn't that couple have picked a song by a different artist?

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Holy Island

I was fascinated by this story on the BBC - particularly as we actually spent some time on Holy Island this week.

Basically, on average one car a month ignores the huge number of warning signs and doesn't bother to check the tide times before setting off to or from the island. The cars end up cutting out when they hit the rising water and the people are stranded and need to be winched to safety by helicopter. At a cost of around £4000 a time.

I checked the tide times before we left Newcastle. Twice. I knew for sure that we were driving over right in the middle of the safe period. And I knew we were leaving about 20 minutes before the safe period ended. And both times I had to stop myself from actually stopping to check the tide times where they are posted at each end of the Causeway - it was quite clear that it was safe.

So I don't understand what makes people take chances like that. It's not even people on their own - often there are children in the car. It's bad enough if you take chances with your own life - although I'd love to see people billed for their rescues if they have clearly been negligent - but why would you risk the lives of your children?

Having said that, I'd hate to see the Causeway raised, or a bridge built. The first time we visited the island, we stayed on while the tide came in and wandered round. The islanders are right - it's the thought of being cut off from the world that gives the island its magical quality. No ferries, no cars (where is there to drive on such a small island?) - just peace and quiet, maybe a drink or a meal in the pub. A walk in the solitude.

I'd highly recommend a visit there if you are ever in Northumberland. But don't say I didn't warn you about the safe crossing times.

More information on Holy Island from Wikipedia.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Monday, 20 July 2009

In Lidl before.
D: Oh. Cilit Bang's half price.
B: You want to get some?
D: (after considering) Yeah, go on.

Our flat, a little later. D is reading a magazine I just bought.

D: Oooh, an article about turning into your Mum!
B: Go on then, let's hear the worst.
D: Starts reading out random suggestions, proving the inevitable, before coming to number 9, which reads: Cilit Bang's on offer... and you're genuinely quite excited. Puts his head in his hands
B: Oh my God!
D: It's true! I'm turning into your Mum.

Which is obviously far worse than me turning into my own Mum. I feel much better now.

Saturday, 18 July 2009


I used to be someone else.

But didn't everyone, really? People change. Things happen. Your clothes change, your hair, your taste in reading and music and even friends, sometimes. You can't remain the same forever.

I used to wear Doc Martens and ripped jeans. A leather jacket. I used to wear earrings like this in the three holes in one ear. I used to dye my hair black or red. I used to wear band t-shirts almost exclusively. (Ah, Metallica t-shirts, where did you go? Even though I don't really listen to them any more, I'd still like to see you one more time.)

The thing that makes me sad is that I don't even know when I stopped, or why. I can tell you when and why I stopped wearing makeup - and roughly when I started to again, albeit only occasionally. I can tell you when (near enough) and why I cut my hair really short (and nearly made my mum cry). I can tell you when and why I went veggie, when and why I stopped eating dairy (although noone ever really understands so I'd rather not get into it right now, thank you).

But when and why I stopped being that girl? I haven't got a clue.

It started to come back about three years back. I started going to see bands again. Got some band t-shirts. Started to dye my hair red again. But...

I still wasn't the same me. The old me.

But then. Eighteen months or so back I got back in touch with an old, old friend. One I haven't seen in years, who I've known since I was 16, or thereabouts ( quite a while ago). She has cool parents, who have good taste in music and are pretty laid-back - but I introduced her to a certain band (who we both still obsess over now) and through that she ended up with her now-husband. And she still wears docs, and when she's not at work she still wears goth-inspired clothing, although I would class her (like I did myself back in the day) a "too-happy-to-be-a-goth".

We hadn't been in touch for years, before I saw her outside the Manchester Apollo after watching
that certain band in 2007. I'd suspected she might be there, and I suddenly realised how horribly much I missed her. We got back in touch; we've met up a few times since then. It's good to see her again.

And then she and I (and her husband) went to see
that certain band last Tuesday. And in preparation I put on a DVD last Sunday. And suddenly - quite, quite unexpectedly - I was throwing myself round my living room. And moshing.

I haven't moshed in years. Let alone at home on my own in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.

I was so excited to go and see the band. I was standing - two people back from the barrier by halfway through, and I stayed there til the bitter end. They were amazing. Excellent. Awe-inspiring. I was bouncing up and down on the way back to the car. My friend and I obsessed (mostly about Trent) all the way back to hers, where I stayed before coming back home on Wednesday morning.

I feel like I've suddenly rediscovered who I really am. I'm using all three of those holes in my ears again. I want some boots again. I even went to Kathmandu today. It's not that I want to reject everything I've done over the past few years - I can wear heels now, I can wear makeup or leave it off; I'm doing quite well for myself, really - but I need to incorporate the two together. I need to be me, again.

I'm quite happy with hole-free jeans though. Some things really are better left behind.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A public service announcement

I love Nine Inch Nails.
And I love Trent Reznor. The guy is sex on a stick.
And I'm sad they are going away.
But they rocked last night in Manchester. They were amazing.

Edited to add this vid. It's from the gig I was at. I was too far to the left to touch him though. Oh well.... :o)

Friday, 3 July 2009

Friday night.

It's been pretty nice weather up here this week.

I haven't been enjoying it. Events have been conspiring against me, as they say. (They? Who are they?) On Monday my hayfever was joined by a cold. On Monday night they partied together in my brain, keeping me from sleeping; by Tuesday, I felt so grotty that I had to take the day off sick, which I was not happy about. I needed to go into the office first; I got the bus back home and the sun was glorious as I walked up my road.

But I didn't appreciate it. I drew my curtains, lay on the sofa and slept.

Wednesday I felt better, and the sun was scorching again. I made it into work, did as much as I could. I had the afternoon off, but by the time I left it was raining. There were stormy showers all afternoon as I wrote, first in the new library then Starbucks. In the evening we went to Asda. (What a thrilling life we lead.)

Yesterday was beautiful once more, but I was ensconced in work, unable to enjoy the sunshine. Today I worked well over ten hours, didn't leave work until well after seven. Not what I'd choose for a Friday. I barely beat the cleaners out of the building.

It was nearly eight by the time I got home. I had tea, watched Scrubs with D. Decompressed. By the time I decided that yes, I did want some wine, it was past ten. I drove to the supermarket, Sisters of Mercy on the stereo. Got my wine, left the store.

Breathed in the cold. It felt like forever since I'd been out in fresh air.

I drove towards the pregnant moon, hanging in front of me like a beacon. I left my CD off, opened the windows. Let the night in.

It felt good.