Sunday, 17 January 2010

Country roads

On Friday evening, having just stepped off the county bus somewhere in Derbyshire, I made the not-altogether wise decision to walk the remaining three miles to my mother's house. It was treacherous underfoot, the snow having mostly melted to slush during the day, but now thoroughly frozen and very slippy. I was in the mood for walking nonetheless, so that was what I opted for rather than a taxi or waiting for another connecting bus.

About 15 minutes into my journey I was at the bottom of a hill, and noticed that a bus was coming down the road behind me: just ahead was a bus stop. I didn't bother capitalizing on this state of affairs. What caught my attention, however, was the chap who was waiting at the stop, and talking into his mobile phone.

Well - when I say talking, it very quickly became shouting.

"Fat twat! You're a fat twat!!!!"

Shouting became screaming.


At the top of his voice.

I'd walked past him by this point, and turned round to look at him. The bus had pulled up and he got on (presumably he'd brought the phone call to an end).

I mused, as I trudged my way up the long road to the top of the hill, that I had perhaps made the right decision to proceed a pied, despite it taking twice as long as it usually would because of the care I was taking not to slip and fall on my backside.

Things got a little easier - though still slippy - when the ground beneath my feet finally levelled out and I now proceeded the straight walk along the common.

I carried on walking at as steady a pace as the conditions allowed - it was now around 20 minutes since I had been at the bottom of the hill. Half way down the common, I heard a strangely-familiar commotion emanating from a bus stop ahead of me.


He screamed these words repeatedly down the phone, practically bent double as to spew them forth with as much bile as he could muster.

"Fucking hell," I said under my breath, as though there wasn't enough swearing happening in the first place. If he'd got off the bus at this stop, he must have been here for at least 15 minutes.

Perhaps the presence of me and that of another passer-by broke him out of his reverie (if that's the right word) - he put the phone back in his pocket and exited the bus stop, crossing the road and presumably heading home (and not, I guessed/hoped, to where the recipient of the phone call lived).

Still, he wasn't entirely out of his reverie.

"CUNT!!!" he shouted at no-one in particular, followed by a strangely self-conscious "heheh!" before heading off the road and down a lane.

One can only imagine what kind of weekend he had. Mine was blighted by a stomach upset which made me feel like I had eaten a small boulder, and which left me shivery and feverish and I couldn't even feel my finger ends. Thankfully I've more or less recovered.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Limbo 2

I'm not sure what to write.

I could talk more about the trip to Berlin, or other events during the hectic part of the end of the year. Could - there would be plenty to write about - but don't feel like doing so at the moment. My time in Berlin seems like something I don't wish to look back on right now - a wonderful experience all round, but somehow it seems hermetically sealed, I don't feel ok with dwelling upon it or any of the details at the present time.

I imagine that I'll feel the urge to write about such experiences when the right triggers occur, but for now I'm happy to leave them alone, it's refreshing for once not to feel the urge to look back.

But still there's an odd sense of limbo.

There should be a few occurrences afoot in the near future, some movement (hopefully anyway). Some of which won't happen without my planning, some of which are beyond my control at least to a large extent - and there's always the possibility of events unforeseen, whether good or bad. Still, there's nothing overt or tangible which I can share here just yet.

So I'm currently left with a sense that things just are.

It's actually quite welcome, and is perhaps serving as respite: it just doesn't feel like it's left me much to write about.

Saturday, 9 January 2010


Just to turn back to 2009 for a brief moment, I realised what my favourite memory of that year is.

It's the 9th of December, which was the day after the last gig that I played, and the day before I travelled abroad. It's my favourite memory for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it was the moment at which I was able to relax - or begin to, at least - after 3 busy months, and also to feel pleased at the way the gig had gone the night previous. It was nice to be able to look back at that and enjoy the immediacy of the memory, not to mention the accompanying sense of accomplishment.

It was also good to think that I had seven days in Berlin ahead of me too: I had it all to look forward to in the immediate future, just as I had much to look back on.

So it was, in the best way possible, an inbetween kind of moment. Plenty to savour both in terms of memory and anticipation.

But the specifics of the place itself added to the appeal (and the sense of limbo). I was in a hotel which was big and spacious and which, though just outside of a city centre, was very much isolated from it: stuck in the middle of a business/industrial park, set back from the road, but with the hum of traffic serving as a constant drone in the background. Yes, I happen to like the hum of traffic serving as a constant drone in the background in such places, it served to enhance the sense of isolation, openness and distance rather than a more urban kind of claustrophobia.

Temporarily at rest between one adventure and the next, it was the ideal moment to pause and reflect before immersing myself in another set of experiences.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

First post of 2010

Right - that's that one out of the way. Hopefully the second post of 2010 will be far easier: pressure's off now.