I HAD TWO PARTICULARLY BIZARRE DREAMS IN THE NIGHT... first one was of trying to escape somewhere, trying to travel through countryside when the railway was out of action. So I decided to get there by flowing down the river... which I did quite successfully swirling in cold water with the current... until I fell asleep (and literally did fall back asleep in my dream) only to wake up horribly claustrophobically enclosed deep under ground having been swept down a dank dark cave-tunnel. And could not get out until great fortitude dragged me shivering and freezing cold up against the current and back into sunlight (wonder what that symbolizes...? Hmmm!)
Dream number two ~ I'm sure a dream-interpreter would have a field-day with this particular one ~ I was in a large rambling house belonging to a friend, it was being cleared out and to this end they decided to throw a huge party, not caring whether the place got trashed now since no remaining possessions there... There was a vile atmosphere in the place, lots of sleazy horrible men. And lots and lots of girls. I particularly remember one who looked like her nose had been in an Apple Mac Pinnochio Elongation machine - it was so long and ridiculous. Actually all these girls were prostitutes and I'd managed to get "inveigled" (if that is the right word) in a brothel. Right to the very end I took no part in their "services" (and didn't want to either)... until, just before waking up, I discovered the only service they offered was a last-supper-style footwashing. (No I'm not bowdlerizing my own dream: that really was the service on offer. The straightforward washing of feet...) Eventually I let Miss Pinnochio Nose (who vaguely reminded me of a girl in my violin class in primary school) wash my feet and it was so good I had her do it three times. Then I woke up.
Wonder what on earth that could mean!
I AM READING CHARLES DICKENS' OLIVER TWIST. (His second book.) It is nowhere near as waffly as Bleak House (one of his last books, by which time he must have got a liking for the sound of his own literary voice and flattered himself that his audience did the same...!) It's far briefer and to the point.
But poor Oliver Twist! A ten year old boy and small for his age. (So many of Dickens' characters are little boys small for their age. I wonder why?... Does this make them more sympathetic to the hard-hearted "get up the chimney you horrible little sweep" audience of the day? Do you think..?) I was nearly in tears at some bits when everybody was being so cruel to him. I'm glad I didn't go for Anna Karenina now (though I should point out that, despite the title, AK is not really a girlie book. It has about four main characters, two of which are male and two female. It's about being upperclass in Tsarist Russia and having affairs and divorces. A very modern read!)
Tolstoy is a more sophisticated writer than Dickens. More naturalistic; less pantomime! There's little Dickens says that he doesn't verbally treble-underline in shocking pink to ensure we get the point ... I must confess I've never finished a single one of his works either!
What really put me off Dickens for years was his habit of caricaturing, quite hideously, nearly every character he portrays. Although this makes the stories a lot easier to grasp on first reading, it's not actually as "realistic" as it purports to be. For all his literary "greatness" I would say Dickens is actually a top writer of pop fiction of his time rather than the pretentious "literary" works, for example, for which the more fungoid and ponderous like George Eliot was famed ...
Reading such fiction has made my memoirs seem even more unattractive than they already were, and simply illuminated all the sparkly advantages I could gain from a fictional account of the junkie life... For one thing every other person apart from myself in my current MS is deliberately thrown into soft-focus and misted over. I have to do this bc they're all real people - and with a few exceptions all still alive! If I portrayed their faults in too fine a detail I'd wake up being garotted by my own affronted supporting cast! In a novel however - because the characters are not real the novelist has carte blanche to dig up their sordid motivations, personal secrets and inner life as much as he or she likes... I hate to shillyshally but the more of Oliver Twist's pickpocketing exploits I peruse the more inspired I am to tell my own modern-day tale of shoplifting junkies!
I will let you know how I get on.
If I do ever get on ...
I TOOK BABY ITCHY OUT FOR A RAMBLE LAST NIGHT. Problem #1 was I accidentally mistook Bashful for her and had chaos scrambling and skydiving out of the longest lavatory tube in panick!
Then Itchy finally was captured and grabbed in my hands. I don't know if she was in a bad mood or had just heard my say "you're so tiny and furry" one time too many or whether she got startled by something like my putting one foot down on an extra-crinkly and startlesome carrier bag (roborovskis startle really easily; that's just what they're like. They're never as calm as normal hamsters. They're also ten times more pingy and curious than normal hamsters so that's the compensation...) One particularly amusing time they even got terrified when I poked some fresh parsley into their tube when they were sleeping. O! The kerfuffle! Three balls of fur went shooting out the other end like bullets from a machine gun. You'd have thunk I'd poked tendrils from an evil hamster-eating space-alien in there. Not a sprig of fresh herbs!
... anyway silly old Itchy got startled and literally dived in a treble back somersault - like the high divers at the olympics. And splotted down on my pink and yellow psychedelic blanket, didn't waste a nanosecond and went straight into a turbo-ping for freedom. Thankfully I was onto her in a flash and caught the wildly heartbeating little swine and squeezed her bum at the end of her magic wand - which kind of makes her shoot up through it at 120 miles per hour, appearing at the other end just head showing and an astonished look on her furry face!
Right I have to ping myself now as I've things to do. Have an entertaining weekend everyone!!
PS Do have a look at today's vids. Esp. Engelbert. I can't work out whether it's original 1967 footage or a mixture of then and now or what but he looks like a German talk show host and it's really tacky. Utterly hilarious!! ;->...
Tunes of the Day:
Tina Turner: (Simply) The Best
Englebert Humperdinck: (Please) Release Me ...
EVER HEARD OF THAT FAMOUS AMERICAN JAIL WHERE MEN LANGUISH IN 120f DESERT HEAT IN PINK UNDIES?
Well a British guy called Shaun Atkinson has just got deported back here from there and gave an interview all about it on BBC Radio 4's "drivetime" news prog, PM.
Apparently all three years he was in there his parents kept a rolling blog about it; here's the link:
This is one I really wish I'd known sooner!
To get right back to post one from 2004 about the cockroach infestation clickonthis.
AWAY IN AMSTERDAM - Tomorrow I am going to Amsterdam to be the body guard of nearly 7 year old grandson Toby. It is about time that I leave home for a few days because I think...
1 day ago