Book Update No.15

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It’s nearly over. The little seed that germinated on January 7th will be made flesh on 20th November, and what better way to celebrate than to throw a party. And what a party it promises to be! The godlike Flame Proof Moth (aka Tim Siddall, a contributing artist) will provide some of his hilarious, bone dry tunes; Richard Amp and Donald Ross Skinner their ambient wizardry. I’ll be reading out a few posts with the help of a few special guests, books will be available to buy (c’mon, it’s nearly Christmas!) and some of the book artwork (originals and prints) are up for grabs, kindly provided by the artists. The DnA Factory will also have their 25th anniversary exhibition running alongside all of the above, more than worth the journey in its own right. And all set in one of the most beautiful members clubs I’ve yet come across, just a stone’s throw from London’s iconic Tower Bridge.

If you’d like to come along, please make contact at the RSVP address/number on the invite. Obviously we want it to be well attended, but the club will need names and numbers so we can plan ahead and make it a comfortable night for everyone. If you don’t/can’t make it, I’m deeply sorry but you can always say you were there, like the 5000+ people who claimed they saw the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club in ’76. Lying is one of the most creative things you can do when you get past forty. Unless you’re me, when it becomes a default setting.

Finally, a mahoosive thank you to all those who helped make this happen; you know who you are. A less mahoosive one to those who actively didn’t; you also know who you are and yes, you will be judged; in this world or the next. I don’t make the rules.

Idle Eye 174 : The Tic

I’ve developed a tic. Nothing at all to do with nits, lice or any other parasitic insect erroneously selecting my decomposing cadaver to lay their eggs in (if only!), but that of the more irritating, involuntary variety. As with the other ailments I seem to have accumulated this year, I’ve spent a bit of quality time getting to know and learning to live with it, but I’ll be straight with you: this one’s a hard baby to like, let alone love. Because the tic, unlike Samantha (who you may remember from a couple of months ago), thrives off everything I don’t:

  • Stress? Bring it on! 
  • Anxiety? Eat it for lunch!
  • Exhaustion? Fill my boots!
  • Heartbreak? Mine’s a pint!
  • Increasing awareness of the pointlessness of existence? Yum yum!

Anyway, I was in the supermarket earlier, loading up with few enough bottles of Pinot to avoid suspicion but a sufficient amount to get me through the evening, when I realised I couldn’t get the bloody things into my bag. I was shaking like Mr Stevens, and to make matters worse, quite visibly to the queue behind. At which point, as an unwitting performance artist, I had to make a decision: do I let them think I’m a chronic alcoholic, or do I go the route of a hapless somebody life has chosen to frown upon? The latter seemed disingenuous, the former too candid. So I went the extra mile: looking straight into the eyes of the lady closest to me and channelling my late father, I smiled winningly after having completed the task, and made an almost imperceptible bow. Combined with a slight wink. The look she returned was a cocktail of pity, incomprehension and disgust.

When I got back indoors, I wikied the DTs. Just for the sheer hell of it. Not that I can possibly have them, because they only kick in when you stop drinking. But oh my stars, it made for uncomfortable reading: nightmares, agitation, global confusion, sweating, fast heart rate, the list goes on – it’s enough to keep you on the wagon for good. Fortunately, the tic I have has nothing to do with the above, despite the similarity of symptoms. I’m under a lot of pressure right now, and I could do without the snide remarks, thank you.

Tomorrow, I’m up at 5.50am to take four trains to a town which sucks the marrow from my very soul. If I stayed at home, I’d be privy to the dulcet tones of builders improving the flat beneath me, or witness to the owner dry shampooing a dalmatian next to the bins. Is it any wonder I’ve got the shakes? Or that I occasionally take to the bottle in order to blot out such horrors? Judge me not, for the cause is greater than the effect.  And if you think that depression, paranoia and anger are part and parcel of the same, you can all fuck off. The lot of you. Seriously, take a hike…