I have a friend who wants me to go scuba diving. He’s been at me for years to do this, to take the leap, as it were.
I am one of those people who dislikes water, I don’t trust it… or rather I should say, it frightens me, much like electricity. It has immense power that is far greater than me. Even covering my face with the full force of a power shower unnerves me sometimes.
A lot of people disagree, in my experience, but a lot also relate. My daughter is an experimenter so I don’t want to pass on my phobia but at the same time she has had opportunities to scuba dive and something within her said NO. I hope that’s not my fault.
It’s an atavistic topic. Like snakes and spiders.
Give me a beach, with raging waves, and good company and I’ll happily dive in, and immerse my face under fantastic bubbles and glowing amoeba and I’ll stay under and swim until the stars above call me back to reality… because I know I’m in control.
… but give me breathing apparatus and a clingy wetsuit and it’s a lot of NOPE.
I believe that natural or para-natural things should be respected.
Maybe I’m just getting sensible. When you grow older, and get married, you stop yearning for bungee jumping, for exploring, for diving, for flying aeroplanes. Maybe I’m too grounded, for good reason. My good friend is trying to get me out of this but he too is a father. I’m not sure where the boundaries are, anymore.
I first wrote about Puppychild here. She was three years old then. Now she is nearly nine. It is about time that she began her own blog, because I’ve seen her writing and I think that it is excellent, and weird, and wonderful. This is a guest blog so you can see for yourself.
Hello my name is Puppychild and I am in third class. I love monsters, I wish I was a monster my self, well I kind of am. The way I always talk about monsters.
The vampire who survived the sun.
Once upon a time there was a vampire, her name was Mavis. Mavis wanted to go into the sun. Mavis went to the smartest Vampire in the world. His name was Count Smartula. Mavis knocked on the door. Count Smartula told her to come in. When Mavis came in, count Smartula asked her why she interrupted his work, Mavis said that she didn’t know, and that she was sorry. Mavis asked if there was ever a vampire who went in the sun. Count Smartula just started shouting (out out get out!). Then Mavis flew back home, and she searched on the computer. Mavis searched a story about that somewhere in the world there is a Vampire that can go into the sun. Mavis thought maybe she was that vampire.
I figured out why, it’s because it’s been about me. But me has to be censored, and me also looses the run of itself sometimes and reveals more about me than I’d like. And then me reads about itself and sighs and wonders why it bothers.
So, instead of shutting this shit down, I’ve decided to mix things up a bit.
From now on this blog shall be pocket fiction. It shall be all of the invented stuff that swims around up here, it shall be about random people or several random people trapped inside one random person. Or a dog trapped in the 7th dimension, maybe.
Like a right of passage, I think… not really a New Year thing.
Here’s me happily plodding along in my life and expecting the usual landmark occasions such as weddings, christenings, and eventually funerals, happily accepting the happenings that happen in a person’s time-scale. We all accept and expect these things, it’s a part of life.
But then! Right in the middle, when you least expect it, comes the divorce phenomenon.
I might expect an odd divorce. An ODD divorce or separation. When things don’t work out, when people are better off apart, even for their kid’s sake. I’m in the middle of a mass-exodus however. It seems that every happy couple around me; around us, all of our friends are splitting up with each other. Where once a couple were happy to smile upon each other and adore for no other reason but to be in each other’s company, now they choose to quit without a fight.
There’s our best bud, and her lovely husband… they can’t work together. Puppychild wonders if he’s still her uncle, because he is, after all, her favourite uncle of all time. I wonder if she’ll ever see him again.
There’s our family friend, he has two small girls, he and the missuz can’t get along… will we ever get to jigsaw and push each other down slides in the future?
There’s the brother of our family bud, he got married to his fella in the ‘Dam a few year back. I did love that guy, he was different. Will I ever get to compare tattoos with him again? Those boys were to me the epitome of love, and now they’re ended. They went through so many obstacles to prove that gay marriage should be fly, but when they earned their wings, they failed to soar.
Then there’s our extended in the U.S., they had it all. But now maybe not so much, because there was the affair.
Apart from these, there are three other couples close to us that have separated within the last year.
Did nobody tell these people that marriage would not be easy? Did nobody tell them how to weather the snow? It’s not as though there’s an exam to pass in order to get hitched, getting married is a very simple affair, as long as you have the cash. Getting married means more than money though. WAY more. That certificate merits your ability to toughen the worst storms of your life, it’s harder than a master’s degree. It takes temperance, acceptability, honesty, communication. It hates stonewalling and contempt. It’s a thing of compromise, of sweet ignorance.
I’m inclined to advise friends NOT to get married anymore for that reason, so few can take it.
I don’t understand why these people don’t fight, don’t relax their minds and give it all, to weather the snow and weather the rain because when the sun shines it makes it all worth it. A thing of ultimate sacrifice, it seems all to easy to quit, even if we are in the lucky age of communication and counselling. So why bother?
Because in the end, I guess it’s worth it. A way to not die alone. Donating decades to a cause which in the end, will be worth it somehow. I hope. I hope I can weather it. I hope.
This recipe is borrowed from my cousin Diddles and is completely her own work. I love it when kitchen-savvy people come to stay and play the xbox with me and provide me with munchies. This one’s genius.
– A large pot with a lid to contain the madness,
– Two tablespoons of veggible oil,
– Enough popcorn kernels to cover the base of said pot, and then some… a layer and a half for two people.
– 8 squares of cooking chocolate… or 100g of your scientific units maybe?
– A teaspoonish of salt.
I love making real popcorn. Heating the oil to sizzling point and throwing the kernels into their doom, watching them writhe in panic like Gremlins in sunlight as they’re shaken vigorously by a hungry human until that first one suddenly can’t take it anymore and blows itself up, self sacrifice for my belly. Then the lid goes on and furious poppidge ensues, possibly the most entertaining thing a five year old can experience of your average Sunday evening. Just remember to agitate the pot so that the unpopped stuff is always touching the base, that’s all it takes.
When the last few kamikaze kernels are popping and the madness dies down, she goes off the heat to relax. That’s when the chocolate gets zapped in the microwave for 3 of your longest minutes (or two if you’ve a fauncy 200W microzapper) until it reaches a creamy state.
Mix it or drizzle it, it doesn’t matter, but do add the salt, as weird as it seems, it works.
Diddle’s dirteh popcorn. Better than an attack of the Jaffa Cakes, that’s fo sure.
I walked into the room and sat on the one remaining padded chair, the one beside the window with the cracked white frames. An old man sat on my right, staring at the ceiling, breathing slowly and laboriously. He smelled of Mothballs and sweated whiskey. A lady sat four chairs to my left, totally engrossed in a blue matt of wool which she worked dilligently with a crochet hook. I removed my book from my shoulder bag and flicked towards the bookmark.
We sat that way for a while, breathing, stitching, reading. A low muffled male voice boomed from the Doctor’s surgery in the room next door, and rain patted the windowpane behind me rhythmically. The door opened.
A little girl peeped nervously into the room and cowered as her cover was blown blatantly by her mother behind her who swept the door open in a mess of wet umbrella and exasperated sighs. She chose the hard wooden seat opposite me, an old church pew rescued from furniture auction limbo, and lifted the small girl onto her knee. A children’s book lay on top of a bundle of magazines at the corner of the pew, and after a moment or two of dripping, she picked it up and opened it.
“Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Sarah…” she began.
I earwigged for a minute or two, then stopped pretending to read and concentrated on my paragraph for the eighth time. My brain fused two worlds together as I read and listened and turned pages. The lady carried on crocheting, the old man began to doze.
A story unravelled from the church pew about a fallen star which was injured and rescued by a little girl named Sarah, fixed with a sticky plaster from a first aid box and minded back to health. The little girl on her mother’s knee listened intently as she heard about the star’s decline in brighness and glitter, empathised deeply with the Sarah in the story, and sucked the knuckle of her left thumb. The mother’s voice, quiet and soothing, stopped suddenly as the waiting room door opened and a paediatrician’s face poked through the gap.
The book was closed, upended by the premature summons, and the memory of her voice was left to ring in the air. She made her exit, child in arms.
The room went back to its original state of crocheting, pattering, breathing and reading for a few moments, but a new energy resounded and flittered around the room like an invisible moth. Eventually, the old man got up and approached the church bench slowly, shuffling via the center table full of National Geographic magazines but leaving them untouched. He picked up the children’s book, leafed slowly to the second-last page, and buried his myopic eyes into its print. His breathing grew inaudible. I watched intently from the corner of my eye.
After an eternity, the old man still standing, turned the page and read the final few words of text… then he looked up. He let a small chortle escape his throat, smiled, and left the room with a slightly peppier step. I wondered if he was senile, or maybe by either twist of miracle or flipped state of mind, had just found a cure for his illness.
I never found out what happened to Sarah in the end, but then again I’m not sure I want to.
She went far far away and left her cat with Pacino, who also bought her car and promised to forward the cash. A month later, the cat got run over but survived; the car’s fender got seriously bent, but survived. Pacino lost his job, but this is unrelated. The cat recovers quietly in the garden while the hair slowly falls off its blackened tail… I think it might be a Manx cat soon. I want to take it into my house and spoil it but Pacino likes the company. He owes me money, but that’s also unrelated.
She calls me up and panics over the line, which is difficult to deal with when there’s a five second time-delay; I keep interrupting her by mistake. She demands to know why Pacino’s phone doesn’t work and pleads with me to get him to forward some money else she’s out on her ear. She would then be forced to come home and find that her car is worthless and I don’t want to be around if that happens.
I have to go now and think up some harsh words for Pacino, but I’m shit with confrontation. I want to slap him and tell him to stop being a gobshite most of all, but that would only make me feel good because I’m not the one with the problem. I could go and mother him and try to get him to admit that he needs help, but he’s a proud fucker and would take an eternity to crack. I could waft a few hundreds in his face and tell him I’ll go halfway if he can match it, only to have him owe me more money that can’t be repaid. I feel sorry for him. I feel sorry for her. I don’t know what to do next.
I may have mentioned my neighbour once or twice before… since we moved here eight months ago, she’s been a huge part of this house. Every now and then she’d bring a six-pack by and we’d talk nonsense until silly o’clock. Other times she’d bring something sparkly or jingly for Laughingboy to play with, or a pair of fake wings for Puppychild. We’d shirk housework together in the front garden under the sun and trapse through cowpats with our dogs, she gave me books on family herbal medicine, I gave her my ear whenever she had a gripe, which happened quite often.
She’s moving to the U.S. tomorrow morning forever and ever, so arrived this morning with a crateful of treasure which has kept me amused all day.
-A copy of The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
-‘For every child, a better world‘ by Kermit the Frog
-Methuen’s ‘The Beatles A – Z’
-A special (eventually collector’s) commemorative edition of TIME magazine’s view of the Obama election
–Magic of the Celtic Otherworld
-A DC comic – Catwoman, dated 1st August 1993
-A Beano annual from 1993
-A Gustav Klimt print of Emilie Flöge (who looks not unlike my neighbour at all at all funnily enough)
-Several jars and herbal teas and picture frames and a clay ‘bits and bobs’ vase covered in runic writing
-A pair of funky Moccasins
We got to Bangkok after a fag-free 18 hours of flight, entirely cranky and pretty damn sweaty with it. Considering this season is off-peak, I wonder what their ‘summertime’ heat feels like. It’s hot right now. Very hot.
After a night of stormy shopping at dodgy street markets in Ko San Road, we moved on to Chiang-Mai, in the North of Thailand. There we were hustled into sight-seeing tours that began at 6am and involved riding elephants bareback, cuddling fully-grown tigers (but not squeezing too tight), feeling sorry for women who eat, sleep and bathe with 4 kilos of iron coils around their necks (even though our pity is unfounded because they think it the sexiest thing since teabags), rafting down rivers, exploring temples in underground caves, and trying to ignore the harrowing ‘looky looky!’ pleas of small children with friendship bracelets and their mothers with tacky but pretty homemade crafts, all desperate for our Bahts. We came with empty bags, now they are full.
While all this was amazing to experience, the lack of sleep invariably led to fiery cranky Sang-Som fuelled arguments at night time, so we were pretty glad to get out of Touristville and down to the Islands on the South-East coast. Here in Ko-Samui, things are different. Things are slow, and tourists are black as coffee. I and TAT feel like milk bottles by comparison.
Night time is the best, when things cool down and Geckos appear with strange and funky wee beasties to serenade you at dinnertime. Small kids appear with candles and cloth balloons and send them soaring into the stratosphere, the sky flashes every few seconds as thunderstorms loom overhead, yet there is no boom, only lightning, like our own pyrotechnics show. Occasionally a single clap of lightning will hit a short distance from where we stand and scare the holy b’jeezus out of our eardrums, but that’s all part of the fun.
I’m not so sure I should be posting this, it’s not very entertaining and is cryptic of yawnworthy proportions, but it’s an attempt to give form to this vast confusion, the formation of written word sometimes helps. Whether it should be published for the world to see or not, that’s another matter, but the void must be filled no matter how ridiculous the content.
I got news today. It’s not bad news, bad is the wrong word, even tragic is a laughable word in this instance. I got good news too – we finally got the key to our new house. What should be a new and exciting time is really a joke, a big joke in the grand scheme of things. The emptiness of the new house is really the emptiness of the world. A world that should stop today; it should just stop turning, Christmas should be cancelled for life is too cruel for such nice things to happen.
I can’t say what’s happened, partially for the family that it’s happened to, partially because I just can’t write it down. I talked to God last night and for the first time in my life he answered. He really answered and I’m now grouped with the rest of the loonies the cynical world has refused to accept. God told me to stop praying. I didn’t hear a voice, instead I felt it. An unmistakeable block that told me my prayers were pointless, that the answer was already carved out. I could pray for anything else with the feeling I was being heard, but my true heartfelt request was denied. You don’t want to know how many tears I shed during that prayer. Today I understood why. In the midst of shifting boxes and keeping appointments and talking earnestly to strangers, there was a strange void and soon enough I learned that the inevitable had happened. Such grief.
It didn’t even happen to me. It’s a story that you’d hear on the radio or see in a film that would render you senseless with wretched melancholy, the sort you never could be ready for. It’s anybody’s story, they just don’t know it yet and that’s what hurts.
Things might be quiet around here for a while. I have said this before, and yet have found the blog addiction too strong to resist despite priorities and have posted anyway. I don’t feel that pull these days though, things really do need to be taken care of. This is the best and the worst time of my life and it’ll appear here, when the sweet smell of broadband finally comes into play. Until then there will be a void, filled with this boring and depressive drivel that nobody will be arsed to read.