Six Sleeps til Have A Word


So here we go to Have A Word. The event organizer, Ellis, was kind enough to describe me as a “Comedian” on the poster. And the flyer. And probably on the radio show he was on today… so lets hope that people don’t remember that before I take the stage, because NO PRESSURE to be FUNNY then!


Having a Word – OK, Don’t mind if I do!

I remain convinced that he has done this to get me back for threatening to everyone about a boring story he told me about ironing a shirt. He has no idea of my horrible history of outing people… still, best not to spoil the surprise.

I have this feeling as if I’ve blogged all this before, but probably I’ve mainly talked to you a) in my head or b) on facebook, and of course, although originally I was down for October, Ellis asked me to do September instead, so I said yes, and then it was cancelled, so then I was back on for October. And yet, in an astounding feat of procrastination I have still managed to not finish it yet. Six sleeps…

Anyway, I am grateful. Ellis is the sort of person who has an idea and then ‘just’ does it. And I, for my part, am the sort of person to say, once that person has done a lot of hard work and it has proven a success “Ooh! Can I join in?”

Hence we are at this pretty pass. As it happens, I’ve done this sort of thing before, but it’s been a good 10 years since the last iteration. Since then I’ve listened to a LOT of Radio 4 and when Ellis said he wanted 15 minutes I didn’t even consider doing some shorter things or a thing of whatever shorter length and then just stopping – I wanted to talk to time. This is proving an interesting exercise, and I am actually nearly done. Do you want to read the opening? Here it is;

Cayce, I wish my ailments, like yours, were a kind of superpower. Your allergy is the BEST allergy. People pay good money to go to design school to refine their eye and learn visual skills. You are employed because when you see a new packaging design you know whether it’s good or not. Not because you have an ‘eye’ but because you are allergic.

Cayce is allergic to branding. This means that she has an unpleasant physical reaction to the sight of logos, so she has filed the logo off the button on her jeans and unpicked the labels. The stronger the logo, the stronger her repulsion.

Cayce is a “cool hunter”. This already sounds old fashioned in 2013, ten years after the publication of the novel, which, given it’s set in ‘the future’ might sound problematic, but sci fi writers, like all successful novelists, have rules, some genre specific, and some more general about what ‘can’ happen in a given scenario. ‘Cool hunter’ has been around for some time before he writes – the ‘coolness of ‘cool hunter’ is a kind of linguistic branding.

And this is nearly the end of me ever mentioning Pattern Recognition by William Gibson again. I go off on a noodly jazz style riff about the blackberry season and my own relationship to fashion. The idea is that it all hangs together MARVELOUSLY. But I may have to wait and see if it does. Particularly since I’m clearly not writing it NOW am I? No, after not blogging for ages, suddenly it’s vitally important I stop watching TV, listening to radio, playing Words With Friends, and all the other activities and tasks I seem to be getting done at an amazing rate and blog instead of WRITING THE THING. Typical.

Reading and Writing, a Stylish Granddad, and My Slow Day


Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Where is your favourite place to read?

On a sun lounger.

photograph by martin parr – source magnum photos. click through to see more

At home I listen to audio books mostly, and radio plays, but on holiday I read. I deliberately minimize contact with the interwebs when I go away so that I have a complete change of scenery including screen time and the sorts of things I  read here. I listen to audio books then too, but on holiday I will actually read print on paper & with my eyes.

Up until recently my eyes hurt a lot and I have had trouble concentrating, so with one thing and another I avoided reading anything long. A change of medication seems to have helped the eye problem a fair bit, but I haven’t got back into the habit of reading books at home. Too much internet to tidy up. With limited spoons I have to prioritize dog, food, self care, housework, paperwork and then blogging and being online for fun, and lately a little painting, so books don’t really get a look in.

I am not a professional writer, but I do write most days, so  I love articles like this one from Brain Pickings.

click through for margaret atwood’s 10 rules of writing


So, this is refreshing;

click through to the article on jezebel

It’s a Chinese man modeling his granddaughter’s clothing line.


Considering today is the day I *might* be taking on Watson we are having a very slow day indeed. When I took Poppet out this morning she was unimpressed by the rainy weather and preferred to snoof around the estate after bread left for foxes or birds, cats hiding under cars, and her other ‘urban’ interests. We got back and I toweled her off, and she’s spent the past few hours under a blanket. Meanwhile, I have been trying to manage my pain without taking pain killers, and am still not really dressed…

The sitting room needs tidying if it is going to be new dog proof. Problem is that although I moved here over a year ago, things do not have proper places to go yet, and it’s all still a bit experimental, so there is always an excess of things. I spent the previous couple of years steadily de-cluttering in my old place, so it could all be a lot worse. Still, with limited spoons…

Right! I’m off to feed myself and the beast and do my best at tidying.

Wish me luck!

light sensitivity, writing and books, and the state of the elaine


Migraine Awareness Month #8:  “Let there be light.” Most Migraineurs have issues with light sensitivity. What do you do to cope with it?

first of all, i stick to daylight where possible indoors. most artificial light nowadays is fluorescent, and the rate at which it vibrates is just right to push me over the edge. and, certainly, public places tend to be over-lit. daylight is a lot stronger than it seems, even on an overcast day. i usually ask for the light to be turned off if i am in someone else’s space. i like those little twinkly lights, though, and have them in most of my flat. they neither seem to spark nor aggravate pain.

i had a pair of glasses treated with irlen colour – which is a personalized prescription. for me, it’s a pinky grey. these help, but they are hellish expensive on top of the rest of the cost of glasses, and this time round i will have to go without. i can use sunglasses to an extent – obviously for sun, but also for train rides and the like. some sunglasses are better than others, and i hear tell that these are good for people who use computers for long stretches. as far as i can see, on the site, though, you’d have to have perfect vision or contacts to use them, since i can’t see a lens service on the site.

it is possible to make your screen have a colour cast in the same vein as the irlen lenses but i can’t find the link. here’s something, though. might be of help. also, adblock is a must for computers. constant flickering in ads is a completely pointless overload.

it’s advisable for anyone to take breaks from screens. i think for migraineurs it is vital. i don’t always take my own advice, and at the very least end up with eyestrain, which, for me, is a miserable enough pain on it’s own. i don’t have a tv, but remember, that’s a screen, too. as an aside, because i don’t have a tv but do like to watch films i’ve got a data projector. i think because you are not looking at the source of light it’s really very much easier on the eyes. they aren’t cheap, so it’s really rather either/or for me, but it was a no brainer after trying a friend’s one for a while.

in full sunshine i really have to take breaks. oh! and also, it’s good to have sunglasses that don’t let in light from around the sides. wraparounds are good, as are aviators.

here endeth the lesson!

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


picture time! i’ve made a little tumblr post about writing and books today.

i like the look of this gizmo for writing in

i’d want a foot rest, and i’d like it to have a push button tilting mechanism. and i want the screen to be at  just the right angle for there to be no strain on my neck. also, i want a cantilevered mug/plate extension for my tea and cake. think that just about covers it. wonder what colours they used?

i can’t find a photo credit for this, which is a shame. i prefer to give credit if i can.


me and poppet are having a quiet day indoors mostly today. we’ve been to the park, of course. it’s so windy that a tree has fallen down. we still played ball, though. fair’s fair!

after my treatment from ron yesterday i woke up migraining hard, but taking a triptan seems to have made a good dent in it today.

i feel less unwell in general today than i have done for days and days. i am really glad i wrote a dozen of the migraine month entries in advance.