Friday, February 17, 2017


We were going to watch Manchester by the Sea last night and I found I physically couldn't. The story of Casey Affleck's sexual harassment suit was irking me on a cellular level - no amount of interest in the subject matter or Academy Award nominations could take the bitter taste away. It was a man-tired feeling, a feeling of exhaustion at how much men can get away with, are getting away with, still, their reputations intact, getting acclaim, even after settling two sexual harassment cases that read like textbook shit-man-behaviour, stuff that's happened to so many women I know, so many times, throughout our lives. It's bred into us. It's so familiar we've almost come to expect it.  

Well, I think we've had enough. It's become more boring than ever, and tiresome, and infuriating, to see people like him so revered, so celebrated. Just seeing his face in the trailer was enough to make me churn. So tired of it. So tired of what women have to go through not just in Hollywood, but in any kind of working life. Paid less. Abused more. Trying to get a leg-up, knowing what they have to do to get ahead. Shhh... don't fuck your career. There is an actress called Constance Wu who is being brave and loud about it, and I comfort myself by thinking there is sufficient groundswell beneath her that she didn't just fuck her career. Things are changing. I won't watch Casey. But I will watch you, Constance Wu, though I only just learnt your name. 

This is Constance Wu

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Mermaids

The Mermaids were just emerging from the sea this morning as I arrived at Springs Beach. I always hope to catch them on my jog but am normally too late. Today the sun was still morning low and the sea lake-calm, and lit from behind the older women aged mostly in their 70s and above (the leader is 86) appeared like goddesses wading together towards the shore. In silhouette they were ageless, the back-lighting painting their outlines youthful and strong - grey hairs and facial lines obliterated by the sun. The sound of their quiet female chatter filled the little cove as they made their way up the rocks to rinse their bodies in the freshwater shower and towel off their skin and hair, waving each other off towards their mortal day.

At 7.30 every morning regardless of weather, the Mermaids swim (or wade, or paddle) from Springs to a yellow buoy and back. In the summer there can be up to 30 of them, then in the colder months the number shrinks. Rumour has it there is a small group that swim every single morning of the year, even during the freezing temperatures of high winter. These are reportedly the older Mermaids, which to me is such a clear indication that the older you are, the more you know the secret. And the younger you are, always finding an excuse to not get up and swim with the Mermaids, the less alive you are.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Old Story New

I think I am figuring out what writing a blog is all about. Like Instagram, it's about being in the moment. That is one good thing about this era - life, and communication, has become all about now. You can't tweet an old idea or post a picture on Instagram you took last week (well you can, but that's not the brief - ie, insta), and to blog is to log the moment.

I have been trawling through my unpublished posts and realising how mean I am to myself, and blocky. I had written this big long story back in 2014 about this butcher on the rue du Faubourg St Denis that had been turned into a hipster restaurant. For some reason I didn't publish it. Maybe I thought it was boring. But with two years of wisdom I could see the post was fine, and a story I wanted to tell. So I back-posted it, putting the date as Wednesday September 3rd, 2014. So the blog would be kept in chronological order. Thus fulfilling the brief of blogging.

Well, nobody read it. It died, because it was not current.

I don't want things to die because they are not current.

Here is the story. It's called No Tongue, and it's about a pig's head, and a stirring spoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Complexity of Fluffball

I don't know what to do with you, Fluffball. The breeder said at 4 months we should spay you, but someone else said 3 months was better so I took you to the vet and he said, seriously, you're too small, and besides, you don't have anyone to mate or fight with, so it may not be necessary at all. I took you home and was relieved, particularly after the image he drew in the air of your tiny reproductive system.

So that was that. It was decided, for then, but now, post 4-months, you're displaying the behaviours the breeder warned of, kicking, hiding and general antisocial behaviour. I get it, Fluffball, your only friends are us, and though we provide you with a life that seems idyllic, a backyard, nice hutch, etc, you are programmed for freedom and adventure. Also you are programmed to be devoured by a larger animal, so you are constantly in fear for your life, and you have such a tiny brain you can't remember that you are ok, that nothing can come and tear you apart, if you will just go into your hutch at night. 

Oh, Fluffball. Can't you see we only want what's best for you? 

So, what do we do now Fluffball? Selfishly, we just want you to be cuddlier, friendlier, and hutchier. We want you to be happy with us - but does that mean we have to put you under the knife? Is that the only way? Hysterectomy sounds so drastic, so mean. I don't want to, but it also pains me to think your instincts, your own desires to have babies and a family of your own, which we are most definitely not going to allow. If we are not going to give you this, is it more humane to remove the parts of you that program you for these fairy tales? Bunny sex, bunny babies, bunny species perpetuation? If I were in prison for life, no human contact permitted, would I prefer to be neutered, in order to just sit back, read and enjoy life, rather than scratching at the walls? If I know right now I definitely don't want any more babies, would I be happier doing away with those hormones and bits that make my brain tell me I do? Would life be less confusing and more ordered? Would I be nicer, less scratchy, more content to sit on knees?

Fluffball, tell me. 

Is it better to decomplexify your body, and help you lead a nice simple, garden life, or is robbing you of your complexity taking away the very soul of who you are? Should we learn to accept the moods, the floor-slides, the flips and dashes at bedtime? The weird little 8-punch combination? 

Are you happy like this?

Tell me, Fluffy. What would you do?  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Figuring it Out

I wonder if the best people have figured out what they are early, and are just that. Others of us take a long time thinking we're more something else, or other things, and try to be them too hard, until we look back and think - man, I was wasting all that time trying to be that, and I never actually could have been that. I always thought I was quite serious. But now today, just today, I realise, I never could have been. And all that time had been wasted trying to be serious. I watched a video, and in it I was trying so very hard to be serious. And it was just funny. I think of people I know, who are good at certain things, bad at others, and see at which point they figured it out. Some were only kids. Some have still not figured it out. We watch, patiently. Hopefully before it's too late they'll know. I don't want to wait until I'm old. I hope I know. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Once Upon a Time there was a Non-Allergenic Cat

Kiki wanted a story tonight about a lady who has three kids - two girls and a baby - and the two girls want a cat but the baby is allergic to cats. So they come to the pet shop and the pet shop owner - me - shows her a cat (the furry puppet Tigey) and the cat is non-allergenic. Or non-allergedic as she said. So we went through it - and I produced the non-allergenic cat which was great for kids with allergies because it had short hair and didn't mault too much, and all the family was happy including the baby, and lived happily ever after. 

Just as I was pronouncing the last syllable in 'ever after', Kiki made the baby let out the tiniest a-choo.