Tag Archive: Blog


The Long Way Home

Hello everyone!

In a few weeks, my other half Lisa and I will be going abroad to travel for nearly seven months.

As you’d expect, posts on this blog will probably be less frequent until we come back in April 2013.  I suspect that the next “Journal RSR” post will be the last one for good.

Until we return there’ll be plenty of updates on our travel blog:

http://overunderpants.wordpress.com

…Where you can read about our adventures in India, Nepal, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Bali, Australia, New Zealand and California.

Don’t forget to subscribe so that you get your e-mail notifications when we make a new post.

Until then, see you in another life.

—db

 

Is this a blog or an essay-station?  It’s a blog, so maybe I should blog.

*          *          *

If a city changes and your perception of the city changes with it, has the city really changed at all? 

*          *          *

Sheffield is a different town lately.  There’s an increased bustle around the marketplace, new stalls popping up all the time.  Food.  Culture.  This morning, the last day of September, is the strangest yet.  A market for electronic goods.  There are fridges and washing machines in the street, right now, under green and white awnings.

*          *          *

The big wheel that can be seen from my office window, looming over the surrounding buildings like the Eye of fucking Sauron, is to be dismantled some time in October.  The monstrous thing, so long a fixture of the city centre, will leave a big empty space where it once stood.  On a sunny day, the rotating spokes cast their moving shadows over all the buildings across the street from my window.  I often sit on a bench under the wheel in the morning, if I have time to snatch a few more pages of a book before work.  It’s almost like a giant creaking shield; we may well feel vulnerable in its absence.

*          *          *

The main shopping thoroughfare is routinely packed with charity workers.  They’ve all obviously been taught to apply new techniques to their particular brand of begging.  It’s as though the same workshop leader has been all around the different charities and said the same thing: ‘Say something funny to get their attention.  Flatter them and they’re more likely to talk to you.’

I found it strange the first time I fell victim to this new species of hyenaism.  The guy hopped in front of me, like they usually do, looking like chirpy little gnomes, and said, ‘Rugby player, right?’

I thought, ‘What?  Why would he think that?  I don’t look like a rugby player.  I look like I spend all my time reading and not doing sports.  What’s he getting at?’

Gnome

I’m usually busy when I’m in the thoroughfare.  Whenever I’m walking, assume that I’m going from A to B.  The only reasons for me to do this are, firstly, I don’t want to be at Place A and intend to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible.  The other reason is that I want to get to Place B, and therefore have something to do. 

Why charity workers think this is the best time to harass someone is beyond me.

I said to the gnome, ‘I’m busy,’ and walked on. 

I caught on properly when I saw the same worker the next day (It was the food market.  I ate an ostrich burger).  He pounced on somebody else and said the same thing, ‘Rugby player, right?’

Another girl, for the NSPCC: “Well-dressed man.  Hello.’

‘I’m busy.’

A guy for OXFAM: ‘Tell me the truth, do you like my beard?’

‘It’s great.’

The latest, for St John’s Ambulance: “OHMYGOD!  No!  Brad Pitt, really!?”

Brad Pitt.

She missed the mark, I think.  Going for “flattery” and throttling “insulting” instead.  My own floppy-haired, pointy-nosed, girly-mouthed phizzog in no way resembles Mr Pitt’s.  In fact, it’s so far from Mr Pitt’s that the comment merely draws attention to just how not-Pitt I am.

*          *          *

Evangeline, the soul-singing Bible-basher who regularly wanders the streets pouring out her heart at the top of her voice, has taken on a new look.

She sports a red and white jogging suit, a red felt beret and–

–and an electric guitar.

With an amp.

Motherfucker’s organised now!

*          *          *

Someone sent this fax to my office:

 Incoming fax

 It doesn’t say who it’s from, or why they want to contact us, or what their business is.

So I sent this reply, to which I have not received a response:

Outgoing fax

I get these little moods.  One time, I put tiny pin-pricks in the bottle of washing-up liquid by the kitchen sink.  The holes are too tiny to let the viscous fluid leak out when the bottle is left standing, but as soon as a hand exerts pressure …

A couple of months ago I drew a giant smiley face on the counter in salt.  It had Tetley tea-bags for eyes.

The other day I made the following wonderful work of art out of sheer boredom.  This happens regularly and nobody’s figured out that it’s me yet.

 Tumbler Tower

 I can’t take responsibility for this one, although I wish I could:

Percy Plant

 *          *          *

One woman in the office apparently has a home filled with contents so pristine and uniformly matching that it’s been dubbed ‘the white house’. 

It must feel like that first step into Narnia.  Blinding, wondrous, otherworldly.

The sight of a single leaf on her lawn is supremely distressing and the situation must be corrected immediately.  Woe betide the birds that keep dropping small twigs beside the tree in the garden – but there’s no way to get them to move on.  This is very upsetting.

*          *          *

Before I die, I want to understand why it’s not littering to drop your fag end in the street.

*         *         *

A therapist asked me once how I feel about the dark.  I said, ‘With my arms out, like this.’ 

He thought that was funny, which made me feel a little better about myself.

*          *          *

The cat with the white-tipped tail that walked so nonchalantly into my flat the other week has not returned.

But a ginger one chased Oscar all around the bushes last night, the little shit.

*         *         *

But if a city changes and your perception of the city changes with it, has the city really changed at all? 

If you are different but the city goes on as before, is this the same thing?

*         *         *

You are one of 6.8 billion people living on Earth.  You occupy one of 195 recognised countries, on six continental landmasses.

There is a lot of world to see.

If there are tides in the soul driving us to travel, then there need be a moon pulling on the tide; any innate need to see the world must be the result of a cause.

Ishmael’s opening chapter in “Moby Dick” struck a chord in me years ago, and continues to do so to this day:

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”

–db

Website Down

Hi folks,

The main website spinninglizard.co.uk is currently down for maintenance and renewal, but should be back up and running within a couple of weeks at the latest.
Meanwhile this blog is (obviously) still available, as well as the Forum.

Happy reading!

–db

You don’t know who I am.

It’s not too surprising.  There are probably lots of people you don’t know – or don’t care to know.

People ask me what I do and I say that I find myself in insurance broking.  It’s surprisingly interesting actually, I will tell you.  You’ll say, oh? and I’ll smile inwardly, because I’ve deflected the next question about what I’m really interested in, which would be the writing.

Lockin' lizards

I don’t call myself a writer because I don’t like sounding like a pretentious dick.  Sometimes I sound like one anyway.  Sometimes I’m called one unfairly.

Most of the time I’m the kind of dick that hides it.

Hides the dickiness.

I’m not so comfortable with the blogs.  With computers.  I sit at them awkwardly, bent like Laughton in a continual ‘fuck you’ to my spine – inducing self-consciousness when my body replicates this naturally at work, at the library, on the netbook in a cafe somewhere like some Parisian tosser.

As such, the thought of blogs make me a little ill.

I won’t pretend I had my arm twisted.  Be it recent life changes or the writer’s block or the need for a sounding board, it’s a good idea if you want to integrate with the modern world.

Watching Casablanca on the telly this strikes me as rather incongruous with the rest of my life, being the type of dick that remains old-fashioned according to most, stubborn according to others.

One might adapt but there’s adaptation and there’s adaptation.  The problem with jumping the latest in the endless queue of bandwagons is that you could get a lovely 1up in the world of contemporary whatever but just as easily fall flat on your face in a crusty cowpat and come out looking like a total cunt.

Pick and Choose

As I’m  here anyway, I might as well make the best of it and hope I at least go some way towards the former and neatly side-step the latter.

The reason I’m here in the first place is because people at the website e-mail me personal questions, the kind people hanging around on the forum like new teacher’s assistant wandering the corridors wondering where the hell they are won’t stop asking ‘what’s happening now?” and the lunatics here kindly encouraged me to pick up the spade and look for a shady spot to bury my own self-mutilated corpse.

As the website’s journal is html-based and monstrously accommodating when it comes to quick updates, the SPINNING LIZARD blog will be the place to come for quickfire updates on recent writings, musings and ramblings.

If by the end of it you still don’t know who I am, you can drop me an invoice for the inconvenience.

— db