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shadows of echoes of memories of songs
Hello! Does anybody still read this?

I am basically declaring LJ bankruptcy: I haven't read my friends feed for so long that there's just no way I can catch up, so I'm not going to try. If enough people are still around here, though, I might start reading & posting again. I miss conversations that aren't just retweets and soundbites and outrage; I miss social media that isn't centred on advertising, news, or 'news'; I miss you guys, individually and collectively.

If you want a very quick update on the state of the j4: I am typing this from underneath a sleeping 8-week-old. The rest of my life is a mess, but she is the Best Baby. <3
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So I tried to explain this to someone face-to-face, or at least side-by-side, but there are some things you can only say in the small hours of the morning with your head resting on a shoulder and your hand resting on a glass, and other things you can only write down, or at least write around, and maybe this was the other sort of thing after all. I don't really know how to get there, but here it is: I was pushing my big cargo bike up the short sharp stab of hill that I can't quite get the momentum for, and the sun was warm and the wind was cold, and I was rushing and late already in that way where a minute can't make any difference, and a red kite circled lazily overhead and I watched it until it eddied out of sight, and my heart was wishing and waiting to dance, and my head was full of a thousand things, the problems and the possibilities, and I realised: I love this fearsome cacophony of feeling, this messy tangle of compromise, the delight that trips laughing like children through the forest of spinning plates and the hours of anticipation, the needs and the hands and the faces, the unfinishedness of the poems into which I'm madly written, the songs that make me say this, yes this, just this. My fingers are full of a tangle of threads, woven through my body, leading me into the next moment and the next. Even when I'm standing still, part of me is running through the long grass, leaping into space, and silently shattering like sunlight on the river.

Current Mood: this, just this

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a poem, unfinishedCollapse )
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It's been so long since I've posted anything of substance that I've basically forgotten how to do this. HOW DO I EVEN LIVEJOURNAL. So I'm just going to type and see what comes out, and then post it and then feel awful about it for a while and be avoidant about looking at the comments and oh you know how it goes.

Seriously, though, I feel like I literally don't remember how to write anything longer-form than a tweet. A series of tweets, maybe. "(1/3)". Like trying to make a speech while struggling to keep your head above water, shouting it out in gulps of air. It feels like the internet's all broken and polluted now anyway, no air between things; we didn't used to have a word for "content" when it was all content. Not that I was, of course. I guess in some ways I'm more content now, more settled -- or set -- in my ways, less inclined to stand for certain brands of bullshit. Oh god though listen to me, puffing out hot air like a pompous great wheezing walrus, "I am this, I am that", words, words, and do you see what I did there, and besides. Is any one of us not basically just wandering around in the dark? Maybe running our hands over the outlines of something half-perceived, or maybe just petulantly kicking something and hoping it isn't a wasps' nest?

I had a voice in here somewhere.

Memory goes, but not memories. I can't always remember the name of the thing any more. (It was all there, only the names were not.) Things I thought I had stored in my head turn out to be broken links, digital husks; but the fingertips of past relationships come reaching out of the mist, too too solid (oh, for goodness' sake, stop that, you are not Lord Hamlet (no, stop that, too)), and the old music gets louder, the needle returns to the -- no, don't force it, you can hear it if you just listen.

The bits that make sense are decoupling like a slow-motion explosion. Blow the bloody doors off and see all the people.

The things in my life I want to write about have too much backstory, they're compromised by context, they're anchored to things I can't say. They're shot through with the threads of other people's secrets, and untangling my own loose weave will mean unravelling other people's hidden seams. Everything is tied to someone else; sometimes it feels like every thing in the world is a place where something, a thing I was doing when. The smell of his aftershave, 10 years later, still makes me turn my head. The arms of his jumper around my shoulders. Hooks in my flesh.

Maybe if I stack up enough half-sentences they'll start becoming.

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So there's a thing in my brain that I want to write about but it's so huge and many-tentacled that I can't possibly wrestle it out of my head in one go, and I know that if I try to pull it out one limb at a time you'll all say "but that's not a genuine many-tentacled thing" or it'll keep crawling back in faster than I can drag it out. I'm not even sure if it is a many-tentacled thing or if it's actually something more like a mist or a colour that's seeped into my pores. Maybe it's a disease, or a new skin that I'm growing. I can't tell. Maybe it's a hopeless metaphor for a formless malaise.

I also don't know who's reading this any more. I'm terrible at keeping up with reading LJ myself, so I feel I can't really ask other people to read/comment on what I write; and while I sit there chewing my fingernails in that particular dark cave of fail, lots of beautiful friendships melt away. Who's reading this? Who's out there? Have you all gone to Dreamwidth? Should I follow you, or are we all just slowly dispersing into adulthood or beyond?

I don't know where I am. Or rather, I know where I am, but I don't know where anything else is. Either way, it's a bit cloud-tangled and mapless in here. Perhaps if someone shouts or shines a torch I'll be able to figure out where the voice or light is coming from.

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I am moving my plastic-free July posts to my shopping blog (first posts there in about a year...) because that seems like a more sensible place for them. I won't delete the versions here, but subsequent plastic-free July posts will be over there instead. I've massively cut the first day's post to take out most of the rambling emo; the second is more or less unchanged, and today's is ALL NEW. Sorry to all those who've already commented on the first two here, no obligation to go and comment again!

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Day 2 of plastic-free July involved a trip to the Co-op to buy potatoes for dinner and anything else from the shopping list that I could find in the 3 minutes or so before Img got tired/bored. This was never going to go well, because the Co-op (despite its supposed commitment to the environment) wraps pretty much everything in plastic, to the extent that I'm always slightly surprised to find myself not plastic-covered when I leave. So here's my shop:



Yes, literally everything I bought is plastic-wrapped. :-( But hey, I only said I was going to try this, not succeed.

Yoghurt and cream are, as far as I can tell, basically impossible to buy plastic-free. I bought the biggest pot I could get, i.e. the best yoghurt-to-plastic ratio. (Img particularly asked for the little Peppa Pig yoghurts.)

Potatoes: now this one was annoying. I specifically wanted big potatoes for doing jacket potatoes, and normally I don't need a plastic bag for those: I only buy 3 at a time (one for each of us), they're not squishy or wet or falling-apart-ish, there doesn't seem any reason to pack them. The Co-op had some loose potatoes, but these were the only baking potatoes in the shop. I could have just bought something different, but I was relying on getting these for dinner! (Although in fact in the end we had the quiche which I'd forgotten we still had in, and that came in a cardboard box, so the potatoes were not only unnecessary plastic but the cause of an unnecessary shopping trip. FAIL.)

The fish cakes were super-cheap (67p!) because they're nearly at their best-before date (I'll stash them in the freezer). I buy a lot of stuff that's nearly at the end of its shelf life because a) it's cheap, and b) I feel as though I'm saving it from getting thrown away. This is probably a bit irrational. (The strawberries were also reduced.)

Naan bread always comes plastic-wrapped. Even in our local shop which sells about 20 different varieties of naan, they're all wrapped in plastic so they last longer.

Now for the things I didn't buy. I had a long list of fruit and veg to buy but just couldn't bear to buy it all plastic-wrapped since I didn't need it right then; I'll try to go to the market tomorrow on the way home from work or at lunchtime. I was going to buy some bread but the Co-op only sells plastic-wrapped bread (and most of it is a bit plastic-tasting too, to be honest) so again I decided to wait. They didn't have any Coke in cardboard boxes, or any Shloer (glass bottles and bonus 80s nostalgia!), or in fact any non-alcoholic drinks I could see anywhere in the shop that weren't in plastic bottles or tetrapaks (apart from a few individual cans).

So what are the answers?

  • don't buy any dairy products
  • don't buy naan bread
  • be more organised about planning meals
  • don't give in to pestering (and/or don't take Img to the shops)


I guess nobody said it was going to be easy...

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I have a big backlog of things I want to post about, but I'm going to grit my teeth and pretend it's not there so I can get on and post about Plastic-Free July.

Last year I thought "oh yes, that sounds like a good idea, I'll try to do that," and then July caught me a bit by surprise, and on the first day I bought a packet of crisps (having apparently completely forgotten that the PLASTIC BAG counted as plastic) and was so fed up with my inability to remember a) what month it was or b) what things were made of that I gave up. To be honest I think that says more about my sticking power than about the all-pervasiveness of plastic.

This year July still caught me by surprise; I guess I've only had 36 years to figure out what comes after June. However I was working from home today so I was in a slightly better position to avoid accidentally buying plastic-wrapped food; in fact I managed not to buy anything plastic today because I didn't buy anything.

Of course, that doesn't mean I didn't use any plastic... far from it. Since I didn't buy anything, I tried just to keep an eye on everything I used, and make a note of it all here.

Very very long rambling account of all the plasticCollapse )

I think the take-home lesson here is "don't buy anything, ever; but even then you will be full of fail in some other way". But that's a rather depressing conclusion.

Also, now I've written all this it's probably too late at night for me to have a bath. My shampoo, of course, is in a plastic bottle. :-/

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Happy new year! And a very belated merry Christmas, since I never posted anything for that either.

I think this is the last day I can legitimately get away with using my fruithat icon, even though ACTUALLY twelfth night is INTERESTINGLY not today but last night and we are already courting BAD LUCK by having taken the decorations down tonight. Anyway. It's 2014! There are a lot of 'review of the year' things going round but I already can't remember anything that happened last year. I spent the last 3 months of it with a hideous cough and the previous 3 months feeling faily about work and before that I have no idea, though I definitely read some books somewhere along the line.

I didn't really make any new year's resolutions this year either, which doesn't mean that I don't feel the need to improve anything in my life, but is more an indication of my current level of confidence in actually achieving anything, viz.: approximately zero. I made vague resolutions to go running more often and to have more fun, but have no idea how to go about achieving the latter and feel too apathetic to do the former (also at the moment it would be more like swimming anyway). In the meantime I guess I will read some more books and try to stop Img falling off anything particularly high.

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I have had enough of today and I have had enough of this cough and I am totally devoid of inspiration for anything to blog about so instead in a brief nod to Clovember here's an awkward & badly-lit selfie of me in a badger hat:


If even a badger hat WITH SEQUINS doesn't help then something is definitely Not Right.

ETA: image now resized, sorry about that, blame the iPhone LJ app!

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Current Location: United Kingdom, England,Oxfordshire,Oxford, Iffley

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