Thursday, November 29, 2007

we want a shrubbery

drum roll.......drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr......

ladies and gentlemen, introducing, for your entertainment, your consternation, amazement, bewilderment and stupefaction, the one, the only walking, woofing, wagging grow bag.

yup, Toffee's in the wars again.

He's had grass seeds growing between his furry toes before, but who'd have thunk that he'd get one lodged in his ear. That's right, in it, down deep and rooting into his ear was the leaves and sprouts that gave it away, not tangled in his hair, but somehow attached.

Actually it was more comical, (unless of course you're Toffee), than that.

He shook his head so violently that he burst a blood vessel in his ear. By the time I saw it in the morning it looked a big hairy balloon on the side of his head.

The upshot of which is that the vet has drained and cauterized it and put a criss cross pattern of stitches in his ear so that it can't happen again - and of course removed the offending shrubbery.

And Toff - has a shaved ear and will spend the next two weeks with his head in a bucket.

He's looking a wee bit post anaesthesia at the moment?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

bed head

My achievements for the past few weeks are very quick and simple to list.

I've read.


"Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition"

"A Pirate of Exquisite Mind"

and finally, finally finished Pynchon's "Mason & Dixon"

Something to be proud of eh?

I've been confined to bed again you see, but fortunately at home this time. After years and years of being absolutely bullet proof I'm forced to admit mortality, or at least susceptibility. I had thought for years that no self respecting virus would come within a thousand yards of me, that any sensible ague would look for a more robust host. And then, oh bugger, when they come they come in force.

I'm blaming it on biorhythms or just being at a low ebb, but the pneumonia was completely unexpected and knocked me bandy.

For four, (five?) days, I surfaced for just long enough to visit the loo or get a glass of water, and once a day, in extremis, I put on as many clothes as humanly possible and took the dogs to the park - like a walking, coughing, muttering, shivering mobile sauna, shuffling around a circuit of the outer path, I must have resembled a pedestrian Oxfam parcel.

The first time I went to the doctor I couldn't actually wait long enough to be seen. I had to go home, to bed, to steel myself for another attempt in the evening. I've never actually felt anything like this, I thought I'd felt poorly in the past, but hot, cold, hot, cold and then asleep on the toilet.

It's a hell of a way to lose weight.

And the poor dogs, what amazing company. I now have an intimate knowledge of what dogs do during the day, and most of it involves snoring.

Though I did have a dream one day that I'd passed away and they were eating my leg.

Sounds like I’m moaning doesn’t it? I just don’t have anything else to tell you.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I was going to write. Not of things past but in the present tense, the real immediacy of life.. I just had to stop to go the toilet...but I find I'm writing and smoking and trying to make caps all with my left hand...because I've just woken Charlie up from his snorting slumber and forced him under the covers next to me...and he was pretty pissed off, so I'm having to rub an hairy ear with the other hand at the moment.. I wanted to tell you what it's like not to want to get up in the morning, but I suspect that very few people need to have it described, and that life is...about beauty, not about ugliness, so at the very least share some, plagiarism of course, but beauty nevertheless...

It is Spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the
cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courter's-and-rabbits' wood limping
invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing
sea. The houses are are blind as moles (though moles see fine tonight in the
snouting, velvet dingles) or blind as Captain Cat there in the muffled middle by
the pump and the town clock, the shops in mourning, the Welfare Hall in widows'
weeds. And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now.
Hush, the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and
pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the
fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cocklewomen
and the tidy wives. Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with
rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the
organplaying wood. The boys are dreaming wicked of the bucking ranches of the
night and the jollyrodgered sea. And the anthracite statues of the horses sleep
in the fields, and the cows in the byres, and the dogs in the wet-nosed yard;
and the cats nap in the slant corners or lope sly, streaking and needling, on
the one cloud of the roofs.

You can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing.
Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded town fast, and slow,

And you alone can hear the invisible starfall, the darkest-before-dawn minutely
dewgrazed stir of the black, dab-filled sea where the Arethusa, the Curlew and
the Skylark, Zanzibar, Rhiannon, the Rover, the Cormorant, and the Star of Wales
tilt and ride.

Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in bonnet and brooch and
bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow, coughing like nannygoats,
sucking mintoes, fortywinking hallelujah; night in the four-ale, quiet as a
domino; in Ocky Milkman's lofts like a mouse with gloves; in Dai Bread's bakery
flying like black flour. It is tonight in Donkey Street, trotting silent, with
seaweed on its hooves, along the cockled cobbles, past curtained fernpot, text
and trinket, harmonium, holy dresser, watercolours done by hand, china dog and
rosy tin teacaddy. It is night neddying among the snuggeries of babies.
Look. It is night, dumbly, royally winding through the Coronation cherry trees;
going through the graveyard of Bethesda with winds gloved and folded, and dew
doffed; tumbling by the Sailors Arms.

Time passes. Listen. Time passes.

Come closer now.

Only you can hear the houses sleeping in the streets in the slow deep salt and
silent black, bandaged night. Only you can see, in the blinded bedrooms, the
combs and petticoats over the chairs, the jugs and basins, the glasses of teeth,
Thou Shalt Not on the wall, and the yellowing dickybird-watching pictures of the
dead. Only you can hear and see, behind the eyes of the sleepers, the movements
and countries and mazes and colours and dismays and rainbows and tunes and
wished and flight and fall and despairs and big seas of their dreams.
From where you are, you can hear their dreams...