Soundtrack for reading (sorry the embed went wrong, will attempt to fix it) :

Blue Drag – The Hot Club Quintet

This week I have been occupied by being back to skool, back to work. It is about equal parts exam countdown (upper years), easy-peel units on poetry (lower school) and mordant commentary with colleagues about where work might be next year. Motivation is sketchy. Sometimes little moments can be a reminder of why teaching is such a lot of fun, but a great deal of it is just the same stupid job territory as every other stupid job.

Depends on how sunny it is, mostly. Maintaining a positive demeanour in the teeth of the things with teeth.

There are multiple projects having nothing to do with earning money with which I would be far happier to engage. However, on a day-to-day basis, they are all just partially-recalled dreams, forgotten in the waking to maintain the project of watching numbers apparently related to my worth appearing and disappearing from my bank account at the same time every month.

Some Gormenghastly ceremony, the meaning of which is long since lost, that participants go through with little enthusiasm.

That’s the teeth. Ach, it’s not all lugubrious pondering and late capitalist mope! Pretty sure I shouldn’t be keeping myself up late writing… Sweeping out the mind before turning in is a highly valuable process, though.

I’ll put the chin-stroking down to a definite post-holiday blue drag. Last week it was all frolicking in familiar precincts. I remembered there was a typewriter somewhere in the house and got that out. The four year old (just picking up on an interest in written letters and numbers) now asking if they can ‘get on with some paperwork’…

lore preschoolsum

I love the faint suggestion of millennial significance, that this is a cipher holding arcane truths about the underpinnings of things.

I also love that it means “today i helped put a tent up in the garden and then did some important paperwork on the typewriter’. Or something different but also fabulous, depending on how the light hits the runes.

Infinite monkeying about! There’s a career goal. Keeping that in mind should see the rest of it fall into place.

This article is great, and you will gain far more by reading it this evening than anything I might offer.

Our society needs a new outlook, presto pronto.


To rephrase a Douglas Adams line:  time is an illusion, term time doubly so. Saturdays have become a particularly precious day in the week. Devoted to family time, catching up with my eldest time, some light pottering time (garden update imminent), then quality relaxing time, before next week starts getting all watch tappy, meaningful glances at itself on the calendar signifying a brusque ‘oi you, time to get back into work mode, it’s Sunday.’

Today has seemed especially elongated. This evening, we found ourselves hankering for some vinyl. After much rampaging toddler risk assessment, wires were untangled and we finally got the turntable going again.


This was £2 particularly well spent at a car boot sale, a compilation of early Blue Note.


The song playing in the turntable pic above is the Port of Harlem Jazzmen, a very mellow number. Here is the song that kicks off side 2: ‘Profoundly Blue’ by Edmond Hall’s Celeste Quartet. The group features the wonderful Charlie Christian on guitar, and is quite the soundtrack for Saturday night red wine and kids asleep time. Nice!

With a little work busyness getting in the way, the only thing I have to offer today – the only thing I need to offer today – is a link to this article at the fabulous Clickhole, entitled ‘7 things women wish men would do during sex’.

The first one alone is worth the effort, but number five also had us dabbing tears of joy.

Right, back to the other thing…

To mark the unease of the night before heading back to work following a deliciously lengthy holiday, here is a piece from the archives, from 2001.

It was a time when my dreams were being stalked by demented monsters emerging from the nightmare world of Porcelanas Lladró.

Lladró’s art “recreates a whole world of emotions”, depicting simple, innocent figures. Yet these porcelain figurines suffer in dark, hidden lives, their surface innocence masking subtler evils, whole worlds of dread, and misery, and panic.


Pillow fighting children. What could be more evocative of the innocent tangles of youth? See the standing figure bringing the pillow down on the recumbent figure, a sibling. Eyes sparkle in merriment. Hear the shrieks of laughter.

But wait! That oddly-shaped pillow reveals the truth of the horrid cameo, for in it is hidden a whole jamón ibérico. Who can know what fell porcine rites and mind-bending indoctrination has led this youth to commit such an act of savagery? The raised hands of the supine infant struggling in vain to fend off the attack by the enrobed elder – the glint of dead-eyed indifference – the shrieks fearful.


Here is young Juan, chubby-cheeked, cherubic, a child playing with a toy aeroplane. He looks perhaps a little awkward, at three years old still oddly out of proportion… until the viewer realises with a chill that this gargantuan ogre-child is not playing but plucking a plane from the air, 340 screaming holidaymakers plunged brutishly about the sky in airborne torment. His other hand seems poised as he waits a moment in thought, not sure whether to crumple the plane as he might a tissue, or to break off one end and down the contents like Smarties.


A similar speculative sadism is on the face of the young girl with a butterfly nestled in the palm of her upturned hand. Her left hand is held to one side, to some connoting grace and care, but is that not a wicked glint in her eye? Is it not evident that this sinister hand is but poised with intent, to flatten the flying beauty as wanton children do?


Do not even contemplate the abominations to be inferred from this duo. Do not let the haunted expression of the lugubrious hound wake you howling powerlessly in the dark of the night.

In Andalucía, hunched around a candlelit potter’s wheel, the Brothers Lladró laugh maniacally as they birth fresh hells of deranged horrors.

If you celebrated Christmas with decorations, tradition has it that you are supposed to have taken them all down by now.

Twelfth Night, whenever you think it should be marked (indeed, should you think this), has passed. Here, the decorations are safely boxed until later in the year, when the festive cycle of tinselly joy will begin anew – possibly sometime in August depending on where one shops.

Taking down the cards, we had a dewy-eyed re-read of the lovely wishes from those of our pals who like to still indulge in a stamp. It can be really hard to find suitable cards, though. The wording on this one struck us as a bit odd. A bit… well, passive?


“It’s hoped…”? Words are very rascals, as Feste the Jester suggests(-ah)!

Fortunately, a perfectly happy Christmas was had. That’s it over officially now, though. Back on your heads…

Hey, look, I’m sorry, o my readership, for the dilatory updates. I am. There are many reasons why I scarcely float anything remotely ducky here in the Mortal Bath of late. No home internet, working too much… and I was just saying to Mr Ward, of the superb Eb’s posterous, the other day how I sometimes feel like my blog, indeed, writerly mojo has been bottled and nabbed…

Then I think: the best bits, such as they are, tend to emerge on the page unbidden anyway, so I’m not going to force it. It’ll come when it’s ready, as Mao Zedong once shouted through the cubicle door. I feel as though I may at last be beginning to accept that just because one can say something about something – anything – it does not necessarily mean one has to.

And anyway, I ain’t complaining. It’s summer, which means when I do get to leave the office (as I do frequently, being an independent note taker about town), I get to indulge one of my favourite activities, which is snapping reflected glories such as this:

8 Canada Square: chosen for its auspicious numerological position in the pantheon of filthy lucre at Canary Wharf. 8 is also my lucky number, as it happens. [Insert own interpretative readings here… consider the 8 of Coins, The Sun reversed] Why! One might commence a blogworthy babble about ‘beliefs’ from such a prompt… but not today, for the sun shines and I feel favoured by fortune. And alliterative, which means it’s time to stop this bibble bobble and get on with some actual paid work.

“Tea break’s over, back on your heads!”