Friday, July 30, 2004


Was it really a year ago today, that first kiss with Katy? Meeting after work in a dusty bar, chattering on about this-that-and-the-other, later stumbling out of a restaurant door into the late July humidity - and her lips open in that huge smile, and her head so giggly and a touch wobbly - and the heat of it all - and those long, looping ringlets of her hair, my hand lost amongst them, as I kiss and kiss her - right there on that random street?

Or was it a year ago today that she sent me that email, explaining she'd just come out of a relationship ... bad timing ... the word 'friends' cropping up about twice a sentence?

Perhaps it was even six months ago today that we met up, as we had been doing for half a year, buddies sharing pizza and gossip, when right in the middle of nothing in particular, she leant over the table, took my face in her hands, pushed back my hair, and shut her eyes and kissed me, all out of the blue?

It was definitely today, just now, that she sent me an email inviting me to a gathering for a few of her friends, over at her place, tomorrow night. Aim for 8, ish. Earlier, if you like, Adam. And bring a bottle. Or two.

Today, a year forward from today? Who knows. Full of emails and fleeting memories? All this with Katy as distant as a dream, left for dead in the morning duvet, as the door slams behind me and off I go to work? Or something else entirely different?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


Scribbling in the diary on her lap, black scraggly hair, black skirt and grey jumper, as plain and formal as a school uniform, mid-30s, pale skin hung on jutting bones, steel-rimmed spectacles: Librarian, perhaps? That, or else it was a dead shrub that was taking the tube this morning.

As I sat down next to her, she was writing: "... Simon round again last night. Sat with M. & I; F. in the shop still. An hour or so. Tea. Why does he? To talk about the weather. Politics, work, school days. Then the gift as he said goodbye: chocolates. Awful. And that little touch on my elbow" - or pretty much. Then, later in the journey, as I remember it: "J. back from holiday today. Wonder how it'll have been. What photos there will be: him and that wife. Tenerife! What he'll say about the project. Done everything he wanted. J.'ll read it all today."

Next: "Ugly, strange man, reading (with an erection I think) you - my diary. Here on the tube. Over my shoulder this very minute. Have to stop writing you now."

And in a split second, I had blurted out: "I don't have an erection!" After which, an entire carriage of staring, unspeaking heads turned - pretty much in unison - to look at me. Heat flooded through my face. The woman next to me fixed her stare straight ahead, as if frozen.

As I left my journey early at the next station, I saw the man sat the other side of her. He had a slick of unwashed hair; jowly, booze-reddened features ... and a hand, deep in the pocket of baggy tracksuit bottoms. Good morning, London? Good morning, world?

Monday, July 26, 2004


Late last night.

Scampering down the steps at Notting Hill Gate tube - to find the last Piccadilly line train gone. Back to Katy's? Or try my luck on the Hammersmith & City - chancing the change at King's Cross? Damn Katy, all let's-be-friends- but, oh! -you-can-stay-if-you-like.

Stomping down to the platform, there’s just one drunk guy sat there, stuffing two burgers into his face. A bad sign. "Know when the next one is?" I ask him. He makes some noises approximating "no". A bit of bun falls from his mouth. A minute goes past. And another. Katy is a text message then a ten minute walk away... One more minute. One more.

And then it comes. And it would crawl round the track. And it would stop for no reason in the middle of the tunnels. It staggers into King's Cross, eventually. Out I rush. One of the tube staff is resting by a barrier. I ask the plump, aging man if it's too late to get north.

"You'd be lucky!" he says. He takes a deep, sighing breath. Then: "'course in the old days, 'fore all this PPP lark - 'fore all these diff'rent companies running all the diff'rent lines - we'd make sure all the last trains waited for one another. If you got on one, you got home, awright. Not any more," he says, shaking his head sagely, pleased with his little speech. "Sorry mate." Damn him. Damn the tube and PPP, London, Katy, the entire universe. "What line you after, anyway?" he asks.

"Victoria, Piccadilly, or Northern," I blurt out.

"Oh yeah," he says. "They're still going awright. No problems there sunshine. Lucky you." And those are the only three lines that do go north from King's Cross, incidentally.

... and then this morning, I woke feeling as blank as nothing. I wish I could remember what I dreamt about, and whether the mood was loving, insane, hilarious, or murderous, whether I felt lucky, or unlucky.

Sunday, July 25, 2004


Into the poverty of a Saturday afternoon in Portsmouth. The train shudders to a stop. Uncle Richard is staring at the floor, waiting for me there on the platform. A cigarette lolls on his lip, dots of ash and smoke dropping off and drifting away. Up on the hill behind us, he lives with his wife, evil Auntie Anna who is dying.

"Not good, she's not good at all," he manages to say on the drive up. "But, pleased to see you though, that she will be," he stutters on. In goes a home-made mix-tape of soul classics. "Over the moon, over the moon." I ask him if Jeff or James have been down. "No." Got in contact? Richard shakes his head. And for the rest of the journey, he bites his lip shut so very tightly.

Flowers bloom, as organized as ever at the corners and the borders of the tidy lawn. Here orange, yellow marigolds, there blood red roses, and then the purple punk-heads of giant thistles. But the gloomy hallway is cluttered. Canisters of oxygen. Piles of out-of-date glossy TV magazines. A heap of supermarket bags, tied up, full with rubbish. "Had to let a few things slide," says Richard. As I edge passed it all and onto the lounge, the Darth Vader breathing noises grow louder. I stop myself from saying something stupid.

I go in. Odd that I can still remember Anna, glitter in her hair, dancing away in this room, Stevie Wonder singing from the stereo. Christmas day, fifteen years back, maybe twenty. All presents and crackers and feasting and music and fun. "Hello, Addy," she gasps, clasping a tube to her lips, a big white floppy cricket hat hanging over her scalp.

I'm sure she does not know that she was evil. That she does not think back to that one day when, out of the blue, bored of marriage to Tom, the boys getting more and more difficult, there at the end of her road, a man cruised up on a motorcycle. She does not think back to how, on a whim, she sauntered up to him, and asked Richard for a cigarette. Nor roaring out of town, a week later in the middle of the night, there on the back of his bike.

She knows that Jeff and James don't visit. But she does not know that my cousins - her sons - still call her wicked. Evil, for leaving them with Tom, Tom sipping his whiskey, Tom slumped silent on the sofa, night after night, year after year. Evil for not even leaving an address, a phone number. Nor does she know that she is a Grandmother, now. Or that we have all been told to keep such secrets.

She does know that she is cold. That it tires to breathe. That she wants a cigarette. Richard lights one for himself over on the sofa, having brought me a cup of tea. And for wisdom, she knows two things. "Life, youth - enjoy it while you can. Smoking, don't start." Amazing that she can conjure enough breath, just about, to say that to me. I can't think of how to reply, and turn to Richard, ask him how work at the Travel Agency is.

Perhaps James and Jeff see this dying from smoking as her punishment. That her flares of pleasure turned into a time-killing habit (mostly on breaks with other tellers), then blackened her lungs into ash. Perhaps. I've never asked. And why should I try and judge - try and reach back into that first home of hers, to the middle of a poor estate, with the 60s nearing their end, with rock and roll still like a new star, soaring across the night sky, burning away so very brightly; with her staying in each night with a quiet man, watching it all on TV, with noisy boys running about, with others elsewhere charting the path to the moon, with "All You Need Is Love" oozing from the radio, with her young and beautiful and unharmed, and with guys like Richard in black leather jackets turning up on street corners?

Thursday, July 22, 2004


The threat of rain, the spread of heat. Katy to call, the phone switched off. My desk, my desk: Paper piled to the right, feet resting to the left. Stuff to be done, corners of the web. Click, click; click, click. A dinner party on Friday, the ill relatives Saturday. Emails read, and remaining unanswered. The end of the week near, but not yet the weekend. Adult chores, childlike moods. The whole of London, and free this Thursday night. Everything in-between, uncertain what it will become: Storms, rainbows? Sunshine, turbulence?

By lunch, a thick heat had laid across the city, like a huge duvet across a tangled bed of bodies. And that was a fleck of rain just then, falling a mile to flick across my face, like a tiny lone parachutist into an obscure stubbly field. By Monday, and one way or another, the content of those clouds will have cleared. Monday, waiting just around the corner, with new horizons and unknown skies, to sun under, to tumble through.

Katy to call, Katy to call...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Cure for a wine-hammered head? Cure for a heart, once again fluttering away? Surely, a 12-inch Subway meatball sandwich, with cheese. That was the plan for lunch. That was the plan to solve the problems.

And it was going oh so very well. Until the point at which my server, with her splintered English, said: "What salad you like in sandwich?" Me: "Everything except jalapenos and gherkins, please." She: looks confused. "This?" pointing to jalapenos. Me: "No." She: Spoons in the jalapenos. Me: Gives up.

O, unhappy head, o unhappy heart, screw the pair of you. My stomach speaks to me now, so much louder than the both of you. A new problem rumbles below my desk, this afternoon. To always be within a ten-second dash to the loo. For one whole day at least.

(And please, not for two.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Ceylon or Assam?
Lapsang or Earl Grey? English Breakfast or Traditional Afternoon? Since moving to London, the tall, pale, crow-faced South African has fallen in love - with Twinings tea. I spend more time with Deek than anyone else - bar Gabby - if watching Deek sniff the scent, swill the first sip, neck the rest, and pin notes on the noticeboard above the kettle, counts as spending time. I ask my superior how things are whilst he's engrossed in the fragrance of flowery Jasmine, attempting to decide whether it needs milk, or not.
"O, you know," he answers, distractedly.
"Umm ... no."
Silence. Then mutterings at Gabby about some copying.
"Went to feed the pigeons in Trafalgar Square yesterday," he suddenly announces. (Another new love: monuments, etc.) "But no-one was selling feed. Looked it up on the web. Illegal apparently." Then he turns to me, and stops speaking into his tea. "And you know what else I found?"
"Umm ... no?"
Another new love: London stories. Deek starts to slowly relate, sniffing and slurping the Jasmine, the well-known tale of the pigeon-postcard woman. For years each day she came to the Square to feed the grotty birds. Always alone. There in the morning. Off in a tube by nightfall. And why famous?
Because of the picture-postcards of her. You know the sort - all black and white and moody. Ones where, above a hazy morning sun, which just filters through the lifting fog, the black outline of a solitary figure stands (slightly bent under heavy winter clothing) beneath the grandeur of the London skyline, beneath the monuments and ancient buildings, lone like the statues but ever so little, and surrounded by the birds, birds swirling about her, birds following the path of the grain that pours from her hand, birds this way and that way, birds soaring above and pecking below, birds dotting the sky and tracing her path, while she wanders alone through the square. One day, the ancient little lady, who had pigeons for friends and colleagues and family, was found dead. Old age.
The authorities discovered her name and address - written in the back of her coat - and went round. Her little home had shelves up to the ceiling in every room, and these were stacked full of two things. Pigeon feed, as you'd expect - and also cyanide. Lots of cyanide. Which she had, it became clear, been mixing with the feed. Not such a lover of the pigeons, after all. She'd spent her lifetime killing as many of the things as she could.

Deek finishes his tale and I laugh at the appropriate moment, trying to read in the corner of my eye an email from Katy about tonight. He's given Jasmine three out of five, and is brewing some Darjeeling. He stands before me - this man I barely know, newly in love with an old drink, with the sights of the city, with little London stories - this man surrounded by tea, bags and boxes of the stuff, there on the shelves, by the kettle, reviewed on the board - and asks me if I fancy a cup. I think twice. I really do.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Touches of innocence and love on the tube this morning.

First, three suitcases, two tired parents, with one little girl running along the carriage, sprinting up to the door that divides them, where a drunk man holds his head out, out into the dirty, hurtling, cooling air; she wants to open the door, run through it, jump through it, keep on running, sprint the length of the train; her parents call her back, she doesn't care that the drunk man puts his hand on her ear, a friendly tweak, strokes her hair, then collapses back into the seat by him, to hold his red head in his shaking hands; and her parents don't notice, as they call her back, tell her something in Portuguese, perhaps to leave the nice man alone, and definitely to not go near those doors.

Second, the plump man in a suit, reading a book called 253, kindly holding it to his right, so his sullen wife sat there can have a view, her eyes - the crows-feet already at their edges - stare over it blankly, perhaps at the woman sleeping next to me, perhaps thinking back to the past, the day of their marriage maybe, or to the future, their divorce perhaps, and then he points out a passage, it takes a moment for her to realise her attention is required, she skim reads whatever bit he points to, smiles weakly, looks in his eyes, at his beaming grin, and as the train pulls in Holborn, as the heavy doors begin to open, she kisses him on the forehead goodbye, ever so lightly.

A touch of love? A touch of innocence?

Sunday, July 18, 2004


Saturday night.  
With London at our feet - the chains of bars, their ludicrous teenagers, all alcopops through a straw and dancing on the tables to pop music, hilarious; the little illegal bar in the out-of-the-way gallery - and which corner is it round again - and which button is it to get in - and anyone remember the code-word for the top of the stairs - and what the hell is that stuff on the wall - and is that record really meant to be at that speed - and; a call to a shady buddy, then finding the convoy of cars, poised in a quiet, shadowy car-park, waiting to power out to a warehouse, in the middle of nowhere and full of who-knows-what; the latino bars, all the wiggling hips, and a cigar somewhere going around, the limes happily fizzing away in the bottled lagers; the house parties in Notting Hill lounges where girls fondle each other and all the pretty young people pass around free drugs; the late night cocktails on a balcony, perfect to see the lines of the cars conjure the picture of a string of Christmas lights, as they charge down the street; at some point - inevitable - the swaying kids on the tubes shouting friendly hello's and staring at strangers with crazy hair; the party boats, gliding up and along the river, past Big Ben and around the bend, Canary Wharf towering, the lights towering, the monuments towering, everything towering, London massive and shiny, amazing, the quiet lick and sway of the Thames below us - yes, with London at our feet, its people, places, lights, things at our feet, this Saturday night at our feet, Alexa, 'Mitri & I, are closing our curtains. We're staying in. It's been decided.
'Mitri will cook. Meat and rice with sauce. A Greek special. Alexa goes to lie down for a bit. Her fiancé starts telling me a long story about the girls in Finland. I try and listen. Alexa returns; he giggles. Some music goes on. A mobile phone gets answered. My housemates return to their home tomorrow, for six weeks: and this is our goodbye night, this Saturday night.    
I tell Alexa she's looking better. "Not better enough to go out," she answers emphatically. Her tired, irritated eyes, wander over to 'Mitri. "The rice - it's been on long enough, no?" She looks stunning still, I realise, even in her pyjamas, that skin of hers, olive and taut below the sleek black hair. Stunning, even with that hint of a line of hair above her lip, even without her make-up or designer clothes. And those dark, intense eyes of hers are well enough to shoot a sharp, questioning look at her loved one and the rice.  
"Addy! Try some, say if it's done. Or needs salt," answers Alexa's husband-to-be. With such a jolly smile he brings me a spoonful, lumbering his big old frame over from the hob, in his green shorts and bad t-shirt, which has some cartoon of a skate-boarder, big and bold, slapped across its centre.  
An hour or so later the table is cluttered with cigarette packets, a half-empty bottle, glasses, plates, ashtrays, kitchen-paper, crumbs, remnants, debris. Someone should clean up. Long pauses. The CD drones on. Suddenly Alexa says, "Anyone know a card game?"  
"I do!" I say. "Cheat."    
The cards come down from the shelf. The clutter gets stacked to the side. I explain the rules and no-one understands properly and we play a game anyway.   "Three tens," I say, putting down a joker and two threes.  
"One seven," replies 'Mitri, slowly, laying a single card face-down.  
"No," says Alexa, "nine, ten, or Jack."  
'Mitri nods, slowly. He looks over his hand. "Nine, ten, or Jack?"
We nod.
"Jack," he says unsurely, laying down a card. It has a little tear on its back.
Alexa says she's put down two Jacks.
"Three tens!" I say triumphantly, slapping down three cards.
And 'Mitri looks up. His head twitches a touch, and he stares at me.
"Addy," he says, slowly, picking at his lips. "You laid that before! I remember! Cheat!"
Alexa seizes the cards, turning over the top three: all tens.  Surprise and horror spreads across 'Mitri's face. He shakes it, laughing, as all the cards on the table are pushed toward him.  
Then, "four Aces!" declares Alexa, slamming down four cards.
"Two Kings," I answer nervously.
"King," says 'Mitri, not for a moment considering my double bluff.
"Four Aces!" shouts Alexa.
"Cheat!" says 'Mitri. The top four cards are turned over again. Alexa covers her smile with her hand. The pile of cards is pushed toward 'Mitri. He slaps his forehead with his palm. Alexa leans over and plants a kiss into his hair.
"Four nines," says Alexa. It begins again.
"One eight," I say. 'Mitri looks suspicious.
"Two eights," the Greek eventually says.
"Another nine!" announces Alexa.
'Mitri takes a sharp intake of breath, turns to her, goes to speak - then stops, picks three cards from his hand and lays them on the table. "Three eights!" he says.
"Cheat!" says Alexa, ignoring her mobile phone, chiming from her bedroom. He gathers up the cards glumly.
Much later on, Alexa will declare three fives, while emptying her hand of around fifteen cards, and her loved one will have his moment of revenge. And I will put down a certain Jack, declare it an Ace, get caught out straight away by the both of them. And that will keep me laughing as I fall into bed, around midnight; a pack of cards having blurted laughter and painted sudden grins across our faces, as blurted and as sudden as a Jack-in-the-box, jumping out into the glimmering realms of childhood games.
... and before whatever brilliant dreams claim me, I can vaguely make out the noise of laughter and kissing and undressing filtering through the thin wall. I think forward to next Saturday. To all the London Saturday nights to come this summer. London, mad and hot with alcohol and style. The women and partying and music and everything. And me, with the whole of the flat all to myself, four walls all to myself; with the cards boxed away, put back on their shelf, pointless and powerless, waiting for new cheating hands and new flowerings of happiness.

Friday, July 16, 2004



That wasn't you? Was it? Leaving me signs? In the toilet? The toilet? That teasing scent of lavender? The radiant warmth of the seat? The little caress of the breeze? That shaft of light streaming through the window? A glowing white book called "God's Last Offer", perched on the paper-dispenser? But you don't exist? Do you? God?


has all this got something to do with that gay guy, who is right now slinking along the corridor, in and out of the offices, dressed in purple, asking if anyone's found some book about global environmental dangers - he can't recall the title - that his friend David leant him?!

(Now, God. If you and he are the same, & if I decide to keep quiet and to hold on to the book - then, please forgive me. Or thanks for the gift. Or both, if you feel like it. Whatever seems right.)

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Tonight, somewhere in a Soho back-street, I'll be staring over cheap French food, an ashtray, a bottle of house white, a candle perhaps, at Becca. Her small, marbly blue eyes. Her pursed little mouth, flashing out the occasional giggle or grin. Her tanned arms. And the top of the path of her cleavage, as tiny as a hint, there in the opening of her red shirt. Always red.

I'll be thinking back six years - me a student, her an accountant - thinking back to the sex we had - to her dressing for work, me dragging her back to my bed, tearing her buttons open, grabbing at her flesh, her neck, her hair, pulling her toward me, on to me, the skirt wrenched up, the pants ripped down, the spanking, the kissing, my cock into her mouth, her cunt onto my face, then the fucking, the quick hard wet brutal basic fucking, and her face, agonized with pleasure, beautiful, as she comes. Then, a glance at the clock. She'll be late. Again. "Fucking hell, Adam. Why push my buttons when I'm going to work? Couldn't you wait?" And, all the times on the arm chair in the lounge. The times against the wall in the hall. All the times that my housemate, working late, never caught us.

I'll be thinking back five and a half years. Me having cooked her a mediocre meal, as best I could. Another random argument out of nowhere. Politics, music, the media? Something or other. (& had she been sacked by then, or not?) I'll be thinking back to Becca leaving half the plate of that pasta. To the look of disgust, dragging down the features of her face, her head below her neck. Silence. "Going to the loo." Off she creeps. I could have just put on the TV. Picked up a book. Opened another lager. But I stormed to the toilet and forced open the door, to shout at her. And there she was, head over the bowl, fingers in her throat, the smell of vomit, her horrified eyes turning toward me...

I'll be thinking back to the years in between then and now. Sex, drunk and occasional and intense and loveless. The stabs at a relationship that stabbed back. Fragments of conversations: How it began when her Father would laugh off her left-wing arguments over dinner. The secret ways of throwing up in silence. How to get rid of the smell. She was thirteen.

Eventually, the counselling. And eventually, declaring herself over it. Happy. And then the weight-gain, the massive weight-gain. And then the job in the Labour party, the guy she met there, all thinning hair and crooked teeth, who cooks for her and writes speeches for somebody or other. Our drifting apart. The occasional emails. And tonight - looking at her again, in a romantic setting, recalling the brutal facts of distant failures, making encouraging noises about gyms, with wine-glasses clinking over vague toasts to the future, but not to the past.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


A knock at my office door. "One moment", I call, closing down a few internet pages. "Come in."

It creaks open. Over the top of my monitor, I see the head of the man who I murdered late last night. It's Beng. As we exchange hello's, I picture what happened. Sat on wooden benches, sipping Corona's with a few buddies, flirting with a few women sat nearby - and in walks Beng. On his own. Beng, who interrupts my day at work more than anyone else with inane questions he should already know the answer to. Beng, who interrupts my day at work with the same questions - having forgotten or misunderstood the previous answers. Beng, who emails me with a question, gets an answer he doesn't like, then emails five other people with the same query, all of whom forward his emails to me to answer, with a cc to them, please. Beng. Thin, feeble, head-wobbling, never-looks-you-in-the-eye, Beng. Coming over. To me. On a night out.

"I saw you through window. Hope you don't mind, I have question," he said, sitting down next to me, shifting my Corona, and opening his bag. "In this booklet," he continues, flicking through it to find a page. "Oh wait. Not this booklet..." Soon the table is covered with paper and documents. My friends are laughing. The women are going.

When that's over, Beng asks me where the toilet is. I point him up the stairs. "Bloody hell," says Mikey, a banker, "wish I had your job!" The heat in my cheeks must be turning them scarlet. I say I need the loo.

At the top of the stairs are three doors: Gents, Ladies, and a dim, empty function room the pub hires out for private parties. Beng walks out of the toilet, smiles at me. "One more thing," he begins to say. I grab him by the back of his neck, and hit his head into the wall. For a moment, silence. For a moment, stillness. Then, I can hear his short shaky breaths, thinly gasping from his throat. His head starts to wobble. Kicking open the function room door, I drag him in, by his hair. A quick knee in the gut. Twice. And again.

On the floor now. I pin his face with my palm. Then a boot between the legs. A stamp to the ribs. Crack. Stamp, stamp, stamp. Crack, crack, crack. Tears, and those wispy breaths - but no blood, yet. Kneeling on him, tearing at his cheeks, his lips, his tongue, his eyes, tearing at his face with my ten fingers and their ten nails, I notice that he his no longer moving, that he is no longer breathing. A red slick is spreading over his head, spilling down his neck, and then on to his clothes, and then his bag, which, still, is at his side. Beng will ask no more of me.

Over the top of my monitor now, Beng's pale head glides toward me. "I am away now," he says, "may never see you again." I don't manage a reply. I can feel a false, hopeful smile pulling up my pulsing cheeks. "But one last thing," Beng's head says.

A burst of wind chills my office, to freezing. The rain outside spits suddenly sharper. The traffic goes quiet. Then Beng says, "I bring you goodbye present," rummaging around in his bag for something, grinning. Moments later, out comes a CD. He passes it over the monitor. "Try it do! It is a thank you for help," he says, walking his whole unwounded body around to my side of the desk. Soon my PC speakers are groaning out track 1 of "Woodwind Favourites". Beng is jiggling his unharmed body a bit, side to side. "O wait!" he says, "maybe you prefer volume two, or three," rummaging around in his bag. "Also, I have question..."

Under the table, invisible to Beng, I can feel my fingers tightening, gathering themselves into a fist. And the chorus of "Let It Be" slowly soars up, on a lone clarinet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


"... had a very shiny nose!"

And, she's finished singing. For now. Next up, what's Fred's surname? His extension then? You know - the guy who collects the confidential waste. Perhaps one day we'll return to Evolution Versus Creation - the only serious thing we've discussed at length. (Especially now she has added ammunition there: a little book that shows her how her chosen religion has it all right, and how biology has it all all wrong.) But not yet. Instead, what should she cook for dinner tonight? Gotta be cheap, don't forget. Severed little yellow heads of baby chickens spring to mind. "Pasta and pesto," I say. Cue: questions about Italian food. Then, favourite food? And did I read that thing on the BBC site from earlier? Umm...

Next, "what do you think of Michael Moore?"

That's better. Smug, self-satisfied, fat, ugly. Someone who promotes provocative but limited facts and extreme opinions as some enlightened vision of contemporary history. Her view? "Don't know." Silence. Then, how do you make your own pesto?

Welcome to the conversations of my nine-to-five. Welcome to tentative forays into meaningless subjects, plucked from the internet and everyday life, like leaves plucked out on a solitary stroll around the wooded back-lanes: brief tokens of some contact with another living thing, soon dropped and forgotten. I spend more time with her than anyone else, fyi.