Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Morning

Outside all is Monday drizzle and February dissatisfaction. Inside is peeling hands, radio jollity and books about bread. My hands are peeling because I cleaned some bits of the housing co-op we live in yesterday and didn't wear gloves. My hands look interestingly elderly, much like the time I tried to dye some hot pants (I was not wearing them at the time) and managed to get black dye all over my hands so had to soak them in bleach. They turned from black to red pretty quickly.

The radio is bordering between annoying and merry.

Ben wants to know whether or not I like rye bread.

Someone is banging and crashing around outside, but I cannot quite face the walk to the window to investigate.

Last week was half term so I didn't have to go to any of the schools I am currently doing projects in, which was a total joy. I swore to myself that I was going to Make The Most Of The Time by being extra creative and probably making some quite staggering leaps in the worlds of science and maths. As it turned out I was a bit creative and did nothing to further scientific progress whatsoever (unless the whole peeling hands thing can help somehow?).

Today, though, all is back to normal, and I must go to a school to run a drama club later on. Oh, you are thinking, that sounds lovely! How sweet! Well, yes. I am trying to feel that way about it too. (WARNING: DO NOT BLOG ABOUT WORK IT IS DANGEROUS! ABORT TRAIN OF THOUGHT NOW.)

Before that I am going to go swimming. After going swimming last week I wrote about my very mixed feelings towards it. Here, for your procrastination, are those thoughts.


I just went swimming. I love it. I love sinking my head underneath the cool surface and then pushing out, chin up, to feel my hair sweeping back from my face. I love pushing off from the wall and aiming deep, with long, frog-like strokes pushing me towards the bottom until I have to come up for air. Before I started wearing goggles I never realized that swimming for exercise could be fun, but I love having open eyes in an underwater world. Watching the shimmering white webs of reflection on the bottom of the pool, stretching my arms towards them as I pull myself, suddenly light, through the blue water. Before googles I would have to swim, neck craned up, eyes squinting and ears pummeled by the echoing pool shouting and splashing. The difference is immense. I can hide in goggles. I feel in disguise, like I am shielded from normal interaction by having my eyes covered. I am a superhero of the slow lane.

I hate, totally and deeply loathe, every single moment until I get into the water. I hate queuing at the front desk. I hate the sodden, half-way between pool and outside world changing rooms with their sometimes muddy floors and the pants someone has accidentally left behind having inexplicably forgotten to put them on. I hate having to shove my stuff into a locker, something always threatens to leap out at the last minute, leaving me scrabbling on the wet tiles for a stray sock or pair of knickers. I hate that half the people are dressed and half are not. I hate the men, who appraise half-heartedly and leave me wanting to put many, many more clothes on. God, I hate walking along the side of the pool, covered only by the thinnest of purple sheen. I stare upwards and tell myself nobody cares, nobody is looking. Sometimes I see other people strutting, trotting or loping along, chatting or dreaming, and I wonder whether they too feel agonized by those transition moments.

Once I am in and my eyes are covered I am anonymous and dive through my imagination, back and forward. I watch the clock with half an eye.

Time spins and I swim, and eventually I have to get out, so I swim to the edge and cling with one hand to the steps while I adjust my swimming costume, pushing breasts under material as each one in turn tries to float helpfully to the surface. Hooking my thumbs into crucial bits of costume and tweaking, I push my chin in the air as I exit, and pretend to be rubbing my neck as I walk, covering my chest and trying to seem relaxed.

In the shower I stand facing the wall until I am finished, and walk, fake-relaxed, to my locker, around which three teenage boys have clustered. They are dressed for the outside and poised in strut-mode, confident and uproarious. I push through them, dripping and feeling horribly, painfully naked. I breathe in and pretend they aren’t there, they fall silent but do not move. I get my towel and wrap it quickly, then retrieve the rest of my things and make my way to a cubicle.


So I will swim and then face the most difficult bit of my week at the moment (weirdly enough for something that seems as innocuous and adorable as a drama club - like a firebreathing puppy). Then it will all be over and I will have lived through it and the rest of my week will feel easier.

I am watching the clock in agony, knowing that soon I have to leave and then it will all nearly be happening. Time is being hugely unfair by refusing to skip past the shitty bits. Time is a bastard.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pink, With Sparkles

Hey! What's this in my hand?

Yes. It is a glass of pink sparkling wine.

(Actually I just put it down to type.)

(I just picked it up again, sipped, gave the sort of smug, tinkly laugh that makes fairies burst into flame, then put it back down.)

Last post was all WOE WHINGE HALP ME THE WORLD IS GANGING UP ON ME WAH, but this post is some grotesque opposite version. This post is tra la la, isn't life wonderful, raindrops on kittens and whiskers on roses, etc. Today I have discovered that even when you have a really, really awful work-related day, if someone lovely runs you a bath with bubbles and candles, gets you your book, waits until you are in said bath, then sneaks in with some pink sparkly wine and SNACKS, life can really pick up.

Did you get that? Snacks! In the bath! Imagine!

For some reason I feel like that is totally scandalous.

Last week I played my guitar in public, for the second time ever. I was still terrible, still fumbling hopefully around the thing like I am trying to give the Heimlich manoeuvre to a swan. I tried pretending that the desperate, chord-search pauses were deliberate, hoping that people might think I'm over-dramatic rather than crap. Naturally, nobody was at all fooled. However, some people said that my total lack of skill is "endearing", which is nice. I bet nobody ever said that to Jimi Hendrix.

I have written about four endings to this post, but all seem weird and not in keeping with the pink sparkly feeling.

Maybe I will do some guitar practice, probably I will just see whether I can find any more wine.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

If You Like Childish Whining, You'll Love This Post!

The rain just won't stop falling. There is all this bloody weather going on and I feel well and truly under it.

Under darkened skies I trudged for ages today, alongside a duel carriageway. All the cars careened hilariously past, all bright lights and Radio 1 (I expect). I muttered unwarranted obscenities at them but they didn't care. After fifteen minutes of trudging I remembered the umbrella in my bag, and so put it up, only for it to flap wildly about like a oversized stick insect having a fit. I wrapped it back up. My boots chose that moment to dramatically stop being waterproof.

Maybe I would be no drier on my bike, but probably I would be less wet for less long. Being a cyclist is more fun than being a pedestrian. At least when cycling I can look forward to a few thrilling brushes with death under the wheels of a Preston-bound Megabus. The only danger with walking is that I might get so bored I attempt to ram my umbrella down my throat.

I will get my bike fixed when I get some money through, but until then I will be sporting worn-down boots and a frayed temper.

Probably I am totally fine, but I feel a very strong urge to throw things and sneer at innocent creatures. If the cat was still alive I would definitely be showering him with scathing comments whilst stroking him in case he did really understand English. (I wouldn't have put it past him.) As it is I can either be really mean to Ben, which I don't want to as I am fairly sure that he actually does understand English, and anyway he is making me dinner, or find some other way of venting. I am casting about with narrowed eyes to find something to soak up my crossness, but nothing is presenting itself.

Probably this is why people have children.

Oh, I give up. The world is stupid. If there is an innocent creature in your vicinity, please swear at it for me. Thanks.