I'M OVER THE MOON about my new home on the one hand; very subdued on the other. I'm going around being awfully polite to people ("these are my new neighbours") and explaining to the important shops that I need two copies of their menu "because I've just moved in up the road" (you can tell what shops are important to me then! Yes!! Chinese takeaway, Jamaican takeaway, Pakistani takeaway... etc... I really must get to grips at improving my culinary command of foreign food; I'll save myself a fortune. I wasn't exaggerating the other day when I said the aroma of jerk chicken comes wafting from every other house. Either I was hallucinating floridly the other night or it really did! Anyway it's takeaway for me tonight (boo-hoo! (tee-hee. Ha-ha!!)) as I seem to have blown the 13A fuse on my "cooker" which is NOT the workman-installed unit you probably think of as a cooker (don't they call it a "stove" in America? I'm not sure. But it's the clumpy big white thing you usually cook on...)... 4 gas or electric rings on top, grill then top oven then main oven. No! That type of cooker is far too posh for me. Mine looks like a microwave. In fact, looks just like one at a glance. It's actually a grill (possibly with oven facility but I'm not getting my hopes up) with two rings on top for saucepans etc. Yes! And after tripping off my main power three times so far, it's now failed somehow internally so I've invested in a packet of these 13A fuses. I'm hoping they'll get me cooking through the next week.
(Cooking food of my choice, that is. Not cooking to death in an electrical fire... (ooer!))
It's so exciting shopping for my new home. I feel all bourgeois and normal and have sudden insight into my parents' endless chattering I endured as a six year old kid from the back of the car as they prattled on about what colour three-piece suite they would purchase and what sullenly drab shade of magnolia paint would go on the walls. (This was the 1970s... and one resolution I took back then at a very young age on viewing the paint chart with all its exotic hues, then seeing the dismally boring off-white my parents chose was never to deny myself colour in the home decorating experience. And I mean the full-on colour. If you want banana yellow walls - go for it! You can live with primary coloured walls, if you want them. My ex-university friends had a sunrise yellow living room and it was beautiful. Lifted the spirits every time I entered. It did not glare on me. Never encroached on the psyche. And I spent many a happy hour in that room... My colour of choice is duck-egg blue or turquoise. I think that shade looks fantastic with bookshelves against it. Very North London. Very funky-bourgeois!)...
... yeah and I've been getting that "buying a new sofa" excitement. Only I was just popping out to purchase a fresh pack of joss-sticks.
Oh no! I've got to get my trotters some bird seed desperately. Before I forget. All hammy food's been nibbled up. Yesterday I put Pingpong the Chinese hammy in the diggery. He's so laid back (like a Chinese version of Grandfather Roborovski, my youtube film from the other day) he simply excavated a cavern at the bottom and sat there looking faintly bemused.
I took my last case of records home last night. That was the classical music collection I've mentioned on occasion. Mother Hubbs's housemate chucked out about 100 classical albums on vinyl. She gave them to me saying get what you can from them and spend it on gear. How vulgar! I thought. I'm hardly a classical music afficionado but that's the point. Like the rest of you, I know a good few tunes - from television shows and commercials and the movies. But I barely know what a single one's called. Don't know who are the best singers or performers (except for really obvious, all-time classic names). At my first secondary school we had a really good music teacher who was something of an expert. The best advice she gave was, don't write off a piece just because it's badly performed. Listen again to another conductor and the orchestra will breathe a whole new life into the story. This advice came alive for me in a branch of Waterstones the bookshop some years ago as the most dismal rendition of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus came piped into every corner of the shop (so no escape from it)... "and he shall reign for ever and ever..." chanted the choir in tones that suggested the second coming of Jesus Christ was to be the worst tragedy of recorded history since the fall of Satan the devil! Honestly I've never heard such inspiring words pronounced with such drear. Another conductor with other performers could make take those same phrases to sublime heights... This is what my music teacher was saying.
Right and there, dear reader I have imparted the sum total of my classical musical knowledge. Suffice it to say the Berlin Philharmonic's supposed to be the world's best orchestra. And the very thought of returning back to that old dump I used to live in, the one with NO LOCK ON THE FRONT DOOR, the one where Evilstein had given me NO KEYS TO MY SECOND ROOM so my stuff was completely inveiglable from the street at all times, except when I barricaded myself in behind a heavy chair and a latch that did work (most unusually for THAT house!)... the sheer thought of returning and hunting through the mounds and binbags and piles of stuff I had to leave behind - and I know I'll find stuff I want, but nothing I shall miss... just the very idea of going back there makes me feel physically nauseated.
And that, my dear friends, surely says everything!
WEEKEND August 19 - HOLLAND/MACRO MONDAY - Bad weather or not, I followed the invitation of my old schoolfriend and went for a long weekend to Holland where they have a cute little holiday house. My...
9 hours ago