28 December 2006


Many more musical instruments, means to make musical instruments a lot louder, conributions to the demise of the earth through use of fossil fuels and rolls of discarded wrapping paper, and about 3 tonnes of Roses chocolates later...

Whilst still in the depths of Christmas fatigue, a heavy fug of alcohol soaked fruit and chocolate settled, blanket like, about me, I am attempting to flop. As in relax, do nothing, chill. But I am plagued by an infuriating cough, phlegm fest in nose, and the need for lists. Lists for leisure. Things to do when doing nothing, if you will.

It is in this interim, between Christmas day and the whole New Year fiasco, that one finds oneself experiencing a little of the anti-climax and at a loss as to what one should actually do. No present buying/wrapping/unwrapping to do, the Compulosry Family Walk over and done with (and with surprisingly low quota of grumbles this year; Christmas therefore a success!), feast preparations all done, feast consuming pretty much done (with the exception of the Christmas cake, which with a bit of luck should serve for next year's aswell), novels, dvds etc all beckoning to be indulged in. Which is what I should be making the most of and doing. Cultural stimulation, guilt free. But it isn't guilt free, and that is the nagging problem. Though I have the odd bit of homework, it isn't pressing. And room is reasonably tidy. So I should be free to enjoy the contents of Santa's sack. Except guilt is well and truly impressed upon my dna strands. May have something to do with all the religious connotations of the season, we are all born sinners, must tirelessly work to improve ourselves and must consistently feel guilty etc. God knows why it is supposed to be a time of cheer and jollity.

I will try, however, to take time out from guilt and, indeed, from outside world as books, television, dvds etc take precedence. I'll save the guilt for after New Year, when it will really be needed. That it is the time to face the consequences, after drink-fuelled revelry and the realisation of true laziness have occurred. Tis the season and all that.

17 December 2006

Festive = Frazzled

You know it is the festive season when...

1. Enough nights are spent out drinking and celebrating to start being endearingly nicknamed 'Vodka and Kirk' by fellow merry revellers.

2. The arguments, chez Kirk, increase at an exponential rate, regarding such things as bauble placement, who actually gives two hoots about the advent calendar, whether the person 'in charge' of decorating the tree is also given licence to select the tree in the first place, why people just aren't being goddamn festive, cheerful, or merry enough. The list goes on.

3. Tacky, kitsch, and overthetopness are good. Crucial even.

4. The most amount of money is needed, yet the least amount of money is available in my account.

5. Not only are people going out unattractively donning their skimpy finery, goosepimples and all, but they are doing it wearing Santa hats, red and green colour schemes, and liberal doses of glitter.

6. It is acceptable to listen to Wham. 'Last Christmas' is a classic.

7. Ditto Mariah Carey, with 'All I want for Christmas'

8. The idea of hot wine with things floating about in it is an appetising one.

9. Religious services, songs praising God and Jesus, and scenes depicting the birth of Christ are positively encouraged by the resolutely irreligious mother.

10. Overindulgence is suddenly alright. Nay, necessary.

11. 'The Snowman' can reduce one to tears.

12. The air smells of spices, chocolate, pine, and log fires.

13. Sentimentality is a must.

It's a wonder we survive it every year. And a wonder we want to do it again the following one. But, as every Kirk knows, you can never ever break traditions.

5 December 2006

I'm rather taken with this quote from a novel I'm currently reading,

'There's no need to intoduce exciting words like 'want'. It's what I'm realistically anticipating'

Ain't that just it in a nutshell. Nothing like a bit of literary summing up.

1 December 2006

It's not what you know, but who you know

A common and banal question often asked is who would one like to have as guests at a dinner party, living or dead. Well, anyone can avoid interesting and scintillating conversation when glugging booze and gushing over the lightness of the beetroot mousse or cauliflower froth. A far more telling situation would be when browsing in a bookshop, in a booth at the local pub, or sitting in the waiting room of a sexual health clinic, for example.

This is my list...
Simon Amstell
Jo Brand
Colin Firth
Paul Merton
Margot Fonteyn
Jon Ronson
Nancy Mitford

I, of course, would be far too intimidated and terrified to utter a word however.

28 November 2006

It is rare that science provides explanatons for things that happen in everyday life. Despite what the scientific folk claim. Being an arts student myself, I cannot personally see the justification of having been compelled to partake in lessons such as chemistry, biology, and (even more heinously) physics. Apart from when it comes to things such as why all the biscuits end up tasting and smelling of lemon when a packet of lemon creams are dispersed in the tin, and why my hair dryer has a cold setting to finish off the flick of my 'do. Crucial things like that.

But I am convinced that there must be some scientific explanation for the so called 'blanking out' of a certain brother of the little and eccentric kind. Perhaps it has something with the density of dreadlocks, or the dispersion of grime about his person. Maybe it is the chemical imbalance caused by excessive amounts of red bush tea coursing through his system. Whatever it is, scientific research should be carried out forthwith. I will even personally fund it. As it is beyond exasperating and the arts are suffering due to this exasperation experienced. Therefore, science will be justified.

It could of course be down to pure genetics.

21 November 2006

But are children human?

'The right to POO!'

Teaching a first school class of 36 all about Human Rights was never going to be easy. Emerging from the class an hour after entering, the three of us Human Rights Group representatives were shaking, slightly hysterical wrecks. The most stressful, yet hilarious hour, with even a little moral education thrown in for good measure.

The fact that by the time we arrived at the first school they had already heard that we had gone to the middle school by mistake beforehand was not the best start. They obviously thought we were nutcases. Nutcases who would be teaching young children about the rights that every human being should have. Though, on meeting the teacher before the lesson, she reassured us that although there was an autistic boy in the class, he could be removed immediately if he started heckling us. Rather naively, and more than a little foolishly, the three of us decided to split up and single handedly run a small group of the terrors. And with that, all remnants of authority or discipline were thrown out the window.

I took a rather anarchic approach to dealing with my group, therefore promoting rights to freedom of speech, free choice, and the problems of state intervention. That, and them just not paying a blind bit of notice except to ask why I was wearing a short sleeved t-shirt over a long sleeved t-shirt. If they only learnt one thing today then it was the importance of layering.

With one child expounding on the importance of medication, security and community (all written down and spelt correctly), and another shouting how everyone should have the right to fart, hairspray and trees, it was abit of amixed bag. Mind you, there's definitely some activists in the making... 'Marcie, you do letter writing don't you, to try and change the world?' An earnest nod was the reply. The same girl and discounted all the other rights being discussed for her own three, which had obviously given great thought to. To look after yourself, to look after other people, and to look after your environment. That kid'll go far.

In voting for the most important three rights we came up with, the children treated it as a competition, taking it personally if the right they had come up with wasn't voted. Liam, head in his hands, was last seen wailing 'Curse you! Curse you, whoever voted for the right to life!'

15 November 2006

The oldies are the best...

The problem with wanting to go to an Operetta at the local theatre (and no, it's not what you would think. I happen to be very fond of the odd Gilbert and Sullivan. Despite being teenaged. They have a lot of clever, witty wordplay, doncha know) is that lots of other people want to go to. Lots of other people who are of a certain age. Lots of hard-of-hearing, brittle-boned, infuriatingly slow people of this certain age, which hovers at about the 80 mark.

They all know the music inside out and back to front naturally. Which is fine. Just not at a low hum in my ear, vibrating at just under the actual note and causing an under the skin irritant. The man next to me (a small, solid, leathery chap) insisted on intermitently deciding to hum the odd phrase during the opening medley, flitting between under the breath mindless noise and launching into out-and-out accompaniment. The whole thing was entirely unrecognisable as what was actually being played up on the stage. But he was content, chuckling every so often, and obviously thinking himself a true Gilbert and Sullivan connoisseur.

We, in our youth (and that is including the menopausal mother) were sandwhiched between coachloads of geriatrics, which meant that it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get in or out of our seats. No matter how apologetic one is, the guilt is still instilled within you when you are forcing the poor dear to ease their aching frames, uncomprehendingly slowly, out of their imprisoning seats. That is if they see or hear you wanting to get past in the first place. Polite coughs just don't cut the mustard in senile situations.

I was spared the humming in the second half. The man didn't turn up next to me. I hope to God he didn't suffer a stroke during the interval.

11 November 2006

Be still my beating heart

Stop press. Hold the phone. Hang about. Just wait a darn bleedin' minute there.

Something remarkable has come to light. Something that will strike hope, reverie and extreme anticipation into the hearts of those fully initiated in the world of SJP. The drought may be over, and salvation may arrive imminently.

I am of course referring to the rumour circulating (discovered by my ever-dependable, trustworthy, and downright infallible associates at Glamour magazine) that Sarah Jessica Parker et al are in talks about a Sex and the City film.

Hopes for this holy grail of the shoe-loving, clothes-marvelling, New York-aspiring gal have been continually dashed time and time again, with word on the street being that not everybody involved wanted to take the franchise further. But that could have all changed. I can barely contain the excitement.

A part of me thinks that perhaps the series should stay just that, a series for the small screen. It was of its time and fabulous while it lasted.
However, just imagine those Manolos, Jimmy Choos, bling Samantha jewellery, and SJP's curls up on the cinematic screen, preserved forever in celluloid, and providing true escapism to the masses of girls/gays that so idolise the foursome.

Is it a good idea? In the immortal words of Big, 'Abso-f*cking-lutely'

7 November 2006

Sobering School Trip

Even if I were 'allowed' to, I am not sure whether I would consider learning to drive a car or not. Or monster machines of death and destruction as I shall now refer to them.

Tutorial is usually a tedious affair, a superfluous period of the week with only enthusiastic cries of 'Team Blight' and cross stitch conversation from Blighty to get us through. Not so this week however. A trip was to be taken. A trip to the fire station. Excitement barely covered the breadth of emotion felt by 13NB.

Road safety was the name of the game, with four volunteers being cut out of a car as if they had been in an accident. Though the fun actually began when we all had to don fireman (fireperson? PC but sounds less cool) outfits complete with size 10 boots, fire resistant gloves and bright yellow hats with eye protection screens. Much hilarity had, and photos taken. Not entirely sure what the point of this was as we were only standing watching the car being cut up. But anything to get into the spirit of it all. Apparantly we needed to be protected from the flying glass etc as they shattered the windows and ripped the car apart. Mr H wasn't given an outfit though. Maybe he didn't need protecting.

Kind of exciting, but very scary. Lots of talk of death, injury, 'the golden hour' (once the hour's up and you're still not in hospital then you're pretty much done for), and how all the newfangled so-called 'protection' on cars can actually prove detrimental and lethal when trying to rescue people. Goodo. When there were the inevitable sniggers at the back, the leading fireman (the one who grunted least) stated stoically and from experience, 'Oi, no laughing. This is some serious shit.'

Serious shit indeed. Many spine boards, oxygen masks and destroyed cars later we all watched a stream of those hard-hitting, graphic, heart-wrenching adverts they use to make you drive more carefully. Followed by pictures of crunched up cars from accidents the chaps have been called out to.

Two people I know have their test this week. I am never getting in a car again.

3 November 2006

Curtain Twitcher

To have a man (or a mere slip of a lad, as he appeared to be) at the window, stood christ-like with arms raised and body obstinately darkening the length of the pane, is a remarkable thing.

To have such a man observing you eat breakfast, with hair arranged in obligatory bedhead peaks and frizz, whilst concentrating very hard on pretending to read the paper, is more than a little disconcerting. Especially at godforesaken hour, when the transition from dreams to reality has not been completed in its entirety.

It is not so much the fact that he is there, on the other side of the glass, a couple of feet off the ground, more that the whole scene seems perfectly regular. Like I often have floating men looking into the kitchen over breakfast. As I walk in, sorting out file and school bag as is the norm, a mere nod in the direction of said man happens almost without concious awareness. It is good manners to say hello and acknowledge people in the morning, and it should make no difference if they are floating outside one's window or otherwise. A bit of British stiff upper lip and old-fashioned decorum is all that's required.

We both sensed the other as we went about our business (him with his frame painting, me with my coffee sipping), yet remained affably seperate from each other. He could look into my world from the outside, peering in with the security of double glazing as a distancing device. I could feel warm, comfortable, and smug as I revelled in being inside and out of the sheer-bloody-freezing-ness. A happy arrangement.

Of course the whole thing is a lot more alarming when it's the bathroom window they're stood at. Eek.

26 October 2006

Pofaced by poetry

Poetry is a thing I do not like.

So for my first scribblings properly published (be it in an anthology of 'children's' writing- beyond belittling) to be of that godforsaken medium poetry is vexing. To say the least.

Don't get me wrong, the odd witty limerick in it's place can border on being a hoot, and I'm not averse to a bit of verse in the manner of Shakespeare or Chaucer (it would be heresy to say otherwise). But bog standard, everyday poetry is just not my bag. It seems self-indulgent, conciously pretentious, and I'm always a little suspicious of something that 'can mean whatever you want it to mean'. It is, in conclusion, not a pleasure to read. Which is what reading should be.

Seeing my own two poems (the word must now be in italics in order to convey my scorn and disgust) in black and white between the covers of a real live book is squirm-inducing. I wouldn't be so annoyed, but they said that to submit any script writing it would have to be five pages long. Mine was only two, so I fell back on the poetry. Yet, on receiving the book today, there are many, many examples of people's script writing that is far less that five pages. Grrr...

So I now look like I think I am a poet, having selected what I consider to be my best work to submit to the compilers. When in reality I more than aware that they are tripe. However, the advantage of poetry is (and this is it's only saving grace) that somebody may take my poems to mean that they are actually fantastic. Suckers.

Atleast I am not the truly appalling young girl who insisted on giving a reading at the distribution of the anthologies. Brat does not cover the half of it. I blame the parents; two pushy individuals already asking what was on the course next year, and smiling and applauding indulgently when their darling had finished her reading and was looking disappointed when not presented with a bouquet. Still, the mother did shout out (rather rudely in my opinion) to some unfortunate who stumbled into the library where it was all being held 'The library is CLOSED, being a Wednesday'. It is actually Thursday today. Dimwit. I bet she is an avid reader of poetry.

24 October 2006

Tell me something I DON'T know!

The problem with being all knowing is that people will insist on telling you things you just already know.

For the pains of remaining passive and a sponge to surroundings, one must endure frequent repetitions. It is like a life on a loop.

But the lesser mortals must be humoured I suppose. Those who are built like watering cans: a large cavity where the water can be stored but a spout from which it leaks, spurting information everywhere so that it must again be poured back into the central system. One is either a sponge or a watering can, I find.

Omniscience just isn't all it's cracked up to be.

23 October 2006

I better copyright the 'anna'

Being a bohemian, individual, quirky kook is not a lifestyle choice or the result of an image decision. It is more of an image indecision.

What those words mean is synonymous to 'interesting'. You know, said in that heavy way, reverberating with connotation and issuing from a contorted false smile. Trying not to be offensive, yet insinuating distaste all the same. It is something to say when there is really nothing to say. Except, what in the name of fashionista are you wearing, you blind clotheshorse?

To be a bohemian, individual, quirky kook requires an absolute ignorance of all fashion trends currently rife on every spring chicken with access to a Primark, or alternatively wearing all of them at once, rendering each unidentifiable and the antithesis of 'hip'. Never knowing what to wear is also very important, with last minute mishmashes providing statement looks. Planning an outfit gives a polished and refined look. Piling everything on in a state of hurried panic, layers skewiff and mismatched accessories, gives that coveted kook image. Which is why it is the look of choice pour moi. Due to the sheer nature of it not being a look. Merely a 'whatever-is-to-hand' coverage device. So when I answer the door in stripy pyjama bottoms, vintage ACDC ripped t-shirt, straggly scarf, various chains and dangly earrings, haphazardly hairclipped hair, and thick woolen toasties, remember that it is the result of careful preconception and hours of perfecting.

In fact, for my next night out I'm aiming to channel 'colourblind baglady chic'. A look I just know I can pull off.

18 October 2006

Me: Can I interest you in a Human Rights badge? It's in aid of Protect the Human Week. Only £2 and comes in three jaunty colours! The height of fashion, everybody wants one. Human Rights badges!

Sullen Year 12 male tw*t: Grunt. Nah, yer alright. (no eye contact and concluded with a shrug)

Me (in my head): I'm alright! I'm alright? Yes, because it's so much trouble to accept the money that would be going to a good cause and potentially save a life. Yes, I would much prefer to bypass all financial acceptence and move straight along to the next hapless victim of my nagging and guilt tripping. Thanks for doing me such a favour by declining to cough up a measly couple of quid and enabling me to take my wares elsewhere. I really couldn't be more grateful.

Me: Ok, thanks anyway! We're here all week! (insane grin)

14 October 2006

Media Victim

My intellectualism has been violated.

I though I was being original. I thought I was being perceptive. And yes, goddamnit, I thought I was being clever. Hailed as being 'inspired', in the words of a certain English teacher and documented for all to see in the oh so official report, my coursework thesis was a masterpiece issuing forth from the deepest and most intellectual recesses of my brain.

Or so I thought. How naive I was. I am the victim of subliminal messaging. I have been well and truly had by the media machine. And I feel used.

Two well-loved novels, 'Emma' and 'Cold Comfort Farm', are to be the texts through which I am thumbing, skimming and, indeed, reading (oh yes, contrary to popular belief students do actually read texts as opposed to downloading internet summaries. Well, now that some stupid folk got caught and brought it to the attention of the education people anyway) for my coursework. How the female protagonists manipulate and control the situations around them is the basic idea. I won't bore with details, but it really is rather good.

Any roads, I have been duped into thinking that it was entirely my own concept and down to extensive reading and sensitivity to literature. But no. It is Hollywood. Well, the film industry anyway. Kate Beckinsale has starred as the main character in adaptations of both books. I must have sub-conciously retained this information and whipped it out unwhittingly through 'inspirational' (sorry, just can't help blowing my own trumpet, or stop reading my starry report in this case) coursework ideas.

Damn. My genius may not be as blindingly brilliant as I have always thought. I am in fact one of those philistines who is taken in by the glamorous and shallow showbiz world. Alas.

And damn Kate Beckinsale. Don't look into her eyes.

12 October 2006

Modern Myths

Charvs are all thick, foul-mouthed yobs.
Oxbridge students are all posh, swotty boffins.
Emo kids are all morbidly depressed.
Anorexics all want to be skinny.
Old people are all inept.
Brothers are all infuriating idiots.
Those who bear the name of Kirk are all bonkers.

People who make generalisations are all stupid.

A lone charv can be an articulate and charming delight.
I have been to Cambridge and witnessed with my own eyes that there is also a percentage (be it a small one) of 'normal' folk. Also, I am applying so there must be some cool people.
I have, at least on one occasion, seen a dark eyed, side swept fringed youth crack a smile or two.
Some anorexics would actually like an arse.
My parents can, at a push, carry out simple day to day tasks reasonably well.
Brothers can be mildly amusing oftentimes, and perform dahing heroic acts with flair.

I make generalisations frequently. (This argument is somewhat lacking, granted)

Kirk's are all bonkers however.

7 October 2006


I went to a cock show.

Ok, so technically it was 'puppetry of the penis' and an insight into the 'ancient art of genital origami'. But it was show about a cocks. A cock show.

You have to hand it to these guys, cashing in on what I imagine all blokes do and experiment with anyway. May as well entertain, have a laugh, and make some money by putting it all (and I mean ALL) out there.

And there is absolutely no point in being all highbrow and pious about it. Is it 'art'? No. It is fun. And funny. And a smidge squirm inducing. You may as well call a spade a spade I say. Or in this case, a cock a cock. You get what you're given, in that penis puppetry is essentially making objects and animals out of that oh so versatile appendage. To be snooty or superiour about such a concept is, frankly, a waste of time. If you don't want to see a bit of cock, do not buy a ticket.

But buy tickets they did. In their multitudes. I don't think, in all my years of absorbing culture, I have ever seen the Queen's Hall so busy. At the last count, four teachers from school, two doctors, and a secretary from the middle school had been sighted. Plus countless repressed Hexham housewives, young women up for a laugh and dressed to the nines, and a couple of dragged-along husbands. It was a cross between a hen party, stand up comedy night, and a naturist theatre trip. An experience unlike any other.

Highlights included 'the hamburger', 'the sea anenome' (complete with reflex disappearance when prodded), and the piece de resistance of one of the artistes being propelled along on a skateboard by a fan, using his, ahem, as a windsurfer.

I, being of the wrong sex and all, am not sure if these feats of human ridiculousness require much skill or certain, I don't know, flexibilities, but it was clear that a great deal of time, effort and practice had gone into each trick. All credit to them, they have the confidence and the girth to take them far. And lets face it, you have to be nothing less than cocky to show the world your cock (pun very much intended). They were from Australia though. Figures.

I'm sure glad the theatre is well heated mind. A chilly stage could have proved disastrous.

3 October 2006

Is that a hot beverage in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me?

'Highlighters at the ready...'

The absorbing task of highlighting philosophy jargon beckoning, Hedders glanced in his breast pocket repeatedly, obviously looking for said highlighter. No matter how many times he delved into the pocket, it failed to miraculously conjure up the luminous utensil. Getting quite distracted, and frankly frustrated, by this lack-of-highlighter-in-pocket-ness, I inquired as to what the pocket did actually contain. Curiosity killed the cat.

Or, in this case, made the cat laugh hernia-inducingly hard.

Casually as you like, a teabag was produced from the pocket. Why? Why would anyone carry a teabag around in their breast pocket? Just in case one happened across a cup of hot water, so one could be prepared? Did he have milk and sugar in his trouser pockets? Every eventuality must be catered for I suppose.

It transpires that the philosophy office does not, in its undoubtedly vast repetoire of teas, have 'fair trade organic green tea' to which Hedders is paricularly partial.

So naturally he must carry the pristinely flat, specialist teabag around in his breast pocket, all day, every day, it seems. Thereby leaving little room for such trivialities as highlighters.

27 September 2006

Ode to Despair

I am hopelessly failing in Ancient History

I am helplessly flailing in Ancient History

I am horrendously falling in Ancient History

I am humourously phallic in Ancient History
A phallus is funny and the mood needs lightening

26 September 2006

Quotes of the week, emerging from that bountious, intelectually abounding, idealogically nurturing, undwindingly nutty intstitution referred to affectionately as 'school'.

'Yes, I went to my scan. Yes, the baby's fine. Has all fingers and toes etc. Yes, it was an amazing experience. It does look like a piranha though.' Mrs M, English

'You were definitely there Joe. You were! You must have the sheet, I expressly remember you being in that lesson. It was the sheet that I then copied off you later.'
'You copying off me?! Then I definitely can't have been there! That'll be the day, when it's me doing the work and Kirky doing the copying.' Joe, Ancient History

'My report is crazy!!! Have you seen what they said in English?!!! In the target and aims section it said that I should seriously try some relaxation exercises!!! Isn't that hilarious?!!!!' Barnsey, said a million miles an hour

'I hate her! She is such a slag. The Wife of Bath really is a whore!' Harry, English

'Noooo! Not active learning again! Active learning is craaaaap.' the English class, en masse

Mr S: So, does everyone now know what they're meant to be doing?


Laura: Yes

Mr S: Thankyou Laura! The only person who ever actually listens to me

Laura: Sorry, what?
Ancient History

'Right, so the Roman Emperors, in order, were Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Keith.' Sarah, Ancient History

It is therefore worth going in sometimes.

20 September 2006

Astro physics for idealists

Warning: May contain traces of soppiness

A rather lovely notion happened upon me at meditation this evening. We are all, as humans, essentially pure and clear just as the moon is. When we behave in harmful or offensive ways, or act badly, it is a result of the passing clouds. These clouds can confuse us and our judgement can go awry. Things happen that disarm us and distort our pure natures, but they will pass as clouds pass over the moon, with it emerging with brilliant clarity once more.

This struck me as A Good Thing.

Mind you, the same school of thought also talks of rubbing only parts of the elephant. So there you go.

17 September 2006

A sore subject

Stage one of my initiation into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is under way. Having long harboured a passion to join the pizza eating, sewer dwelling, weapon wielding foursome, I am finally beginning my transformation. In that my skin is turning reptilian.

Okay, so I am trying to glamourise my rash. Rashes are not glamourous. And I don't get them. At least not until now. It is slowly but surely taking over my whole body so will soon resemble a strawberry with legs. Also becoming fidgety, scratching all the time in that distracted, irritating way that always leads folks to be suspicious of one's sanity and hygiene. Like old cat ladies. Which is what I will end up no doubt.

Anyway, I have narrowed it down to the following things to which I could be allergic...

Buses: a lot of time spent on public transport recently. Carpet seats a hazard, not to mention the pungent air freshener.

Work: am back at school and therefore doing far too much with those little grey cells.

Having fun: arguably too much of that this week what with various celebrations. My bodies reaction to a little normal life.

Bad telly: by which I mean mindless, yet brilliant, tosh. Usually straight after the aforementioned 'work' of school.

Lack of Friends: hence the bad telly. Haven't watched an episode in days. Withdrawel symptoms.

Lack of friends: all buggering off to pastures new, leaving us poor souls to aimlessly drift amongst the deserted streets of Hexham.

Cleanliness: perhaps a delayed reaction to having a clean house now that it is Pammed weekly. Body not used to this. It needs dirt, dust and festering mould for the old immune system to function adequately.

Alternatively, it could be the hairband I was wearing the other day. Whatever the cause, the bizarre mottled markings are both fascinating and grotesque. I may volunteer myself for experimentation.

9 September 2006

Hit me with your rhythm stick

I am living in a percussionist's wet dream.

Not a moment passes when there is not some inane, mindless noise emanating from some corner of the house. And not just mere mumblings or tuneless humming either, but window pane cracking, foundation shaking, ear drum piercing noise. Whistling, furniture slapping and thwacking, top-of-their-voice singing, bizarre other-worldly yelps, squeals, and beatboxing all issue forth from developing larynx's and acoustically astounding mouths of the brothers.

I suppose this perpetual noise must be interpreted as: 'Please on no account forget that I am here, notice me, pay me attention, yoohoo, hellooooo, I am here by the way, have you noticed me because I am very much present, I must make it known that I. AM. HERE.'

Heaven forbid we cease to acknowledge this.

However, it has the adverse effect as the consistent bashings and bangings mean that when something important or noteworthy does have to be said, it merges in with all the other background noise that I have learnt to live with and come to expect. Silence is rather a foreign concept, throwing me for six if ever a moment of it chances upon my bleeding ears.

I have accepted it as inescapable; noise occurs when they are in good moods (celebrating life in all its glory and revelling in the multitudinous manners of noise creation- mostly the singing is on the menu at these times), and bad moods (shouting, swearing, door slamming, electric guitar thrashing, drum whacking and all manner of other joys on these occasions).

This morning J actually took a brief break from the eternal quest to produce the highest decibel sounds from a mere mortal ever to be heard, but only to yell at N to 'Shut up, for Christ's sake!'
Nobody but nobody is to even attempt to outdo him in the noisy stakes. N gives it a bloody good shot however.

This, nevertheless, is the soundtrack to my life. The air would surely resonate with emptiness and solitude without it, with only my thoughts, doubts, fears for company.

Sounds rather lovely. Music to my ears actually.

1 September 2006

Tears before bedtime?

Within the blink of an eye, yet another party is being prepared for. What party animals us Kirks must be. It must be that father of mine, encouraging such wild child behaviour and raucous activity. He leads by example naturally.

Anyway, this is one legendary Kirk event that I do not intend to be present for. I think the boozing/smoking/drugging will be far too hardcore for the likes of moi. It is a fifteenth birthday party after all. A swig of beer (alcohol content= negligible) and the mayhem is sure to ensue. Best I stay out of it and head down the pub I say (more chance of getting myself a drink there too, without those fired up, hormone riddled gannets pilfering it all), making my return only after the house once again looks habitable, the inevitable friction, disapproving looks, and resulting argument with the homeward bound dad is over, and all traces of teenage boy smell, girlish giggles, and inexperienced snoggings are vanquished.

Sigh, they grow up so fast don't they. Those were the days. Cider in the park. Fiddling awkwardly with lighters. Vomiting, dizziness. Fizziness of bacardi breezers. So fleeting are these youthful moments of sheer delight. The excitement of really living.

Thank God I'm past that.


When bored I think in threes (or in extreme cases, fives. Threes will suffice for now however)...

Three favourite desserts:
Ginger Hedgehog (a quaint yet delicious Kirk speciality)
Mum-made Chocolate Mousse

Three effective swearword-avoiding insults:

Three things I would rather do than return to school tomorrow:
Watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice (the exact length of a school day if watched back to back - no coincidence)
Be exorcised of woes with Philip and Fern on This Morning
Prise out my toenails with tweezers then liberally douse with lemon juice

Three possible names for a future child of mine:

Three things that grate on me:
J stirring his lemsip with a teaspoon, clunking the side, then proceeding to drink it unimaginably slowly and loudly
The predictability of the state of the sofa cushions
Mum's ineptness at locating the word she requires at any given time

Three programmes that make paying the TV licence worth the money (not that I pay):
Midsomer Murders

Three of my favourite words:

Three things guaranteed to make me smile:
Anna Picard/JonnyB/Lucy Mangan
Adam Roberts (just generally, especially his face)
French in the good old days with the many Gaffneyisms

Three things I am ashamed of:
Laughing at Adam Roberts
My love of gossip magazines
That I once put a piece of chewing gum back in my mouth after it had dropped on the ground (having had one too many)

Three things I am proud of:
Coming from a liberal (if dysfunctional) family
My unceasing and inexhaustible patience with said family (I truly am an angel)
My high insteps

Three useless body parts:
Ear lobes
Tonsils (if they are so very useful, why are they always being removed?)

Three things that make me feel physically sick:
The taste/smell/thought of martini
Finding other people's toenail clippings on the sofa

Three geeky pleasures:
University Challenge
Listening to Dad pontificate on any given subject
Watching period dramas endlessly

Three things that should last forever but alas cannot:
N's excitement and optimism regarding highschool
An idyllic childhood
This list of things that have been thought of in threes

30 August 2006


I have stumbled across a miracle for the modern age. It is not of biblical proportions granted, but fairly miraculous nonetheless. It is of the male variety and goes by the name of 'Bean'.

(Of course if I do smuggle him into a cage type enclosure to parade around for paying spectators, in a scenario reminiscent of the all but extinct 'freak shows' - a derogotory phrase if ever I heard one, one person's freak is another person's treasure after all- which I fully intend to do in order to boost the old finances, I would perhaps need to come up with something a little more catchy for marketing purposes.)

This 'Bean' (and yes, the quotation marks are obligatory) is so named due to the fact that the only thing on this bountiful planet that this medical phenomenon consumes is beans. As in those that are baked.

Oh, and bread. Beans, bread, beer, and cake. With the odd tin of tomato soup thrown in for the necessary portion of fruit (or is it a veg?). No exaggeration. It has been so since he was weaned and will continue to be so for the rest of his days no doubt, especially as he is about to embark on the student way of life, which will only serve to encourage this miraculous diet. For him it will be as cheap as chips. Or should I say as cheap as a tin of beans.

This is no contained case either. There was the infamous boy who graced a few newspaper pages a year or two ago who had only ever eaten white processed bread and strawberry jam, yet was as fit as a fiddle. In your face Jamie Oliver. And of course, there is my own dear father who positively thrives on a diet of only Tunnocks caramel wafers (for, as he reminds us almost daily, they only make 4 million a week. I think this is supposed to justify the sheer amount consumed somehow). Who needs those five fictitious food groups when there is evidence that far fewer will suffice. It's surely a media created, neuroses causing, marketing ploy.

Far be it for me to comment, I am no one to cast judgement on the eating habits of others - anyone who has watched me devouring a Tunnocks tea cake (evidently it is the Kirks who keep Tunnocks in business) in my own unique way will agree that it is a marvel to behold - but surely not ever deviating from such supermarket staples is bizarre, monotonous, and frankly boring. I blame the addictive additives and e numbers, slowly mutating our genes so that the human race will eventually become entirely dependant on only one food type. At least the methane gas resulting from this pure diet of beans would solve the fuel crisis. We could just run everything on this limitless natural gas, also putting an end to feuds and wars over oil. Beans therefore could lead to world peace. Now that really would be a miracle.

22 August 2006

Update on the doooom situation

There is nothing like spending one's days in an enclosed space with a troop of nutcases and eccentrics (not of the mild persuasion) to lift one's spirits I always say. Therefore I am back on form, once again able to fight crime, rid the world of dastardly deeds, and eradicate evil. Though I'm less partial to the shirt ripping, kiss-curl, lycra fiasco that always seems to go hand in hand with superhero status. I am merely content with being referred to as the Sensational Saviour, using my perfectionist powers, ability to sense when cushions are not straight and radar for when glasses are not on coasters to right the world of its multitude of wrongs. Yes, Anna the Astonishing is well and truly returned.

20 August 2006


What a dismal day. Reasons for feeling all warm and happy inside: 1, that am immersing myself in a new book which is actually good for the entire day. Reasons for wanting to disappear into aforementioned book for entire day: numerous.
Oh yuk. It is raining. Raining in August. Raining on a Sunday afternoon in the middle of the summer holidays. Sunday afternoon being before Monday morning. Monday mornings being yuk.
Weekend which should have been fun not being fun. S mucked about with by Stupid Male Specimen of no brain (or heart for that matter) and unceremoniously disposed of. P treated very badly by Another Stupid Male Specimen causing her (and her supporters) to be very angry then her being very merciful and succumbing to tears, anguish, and disturbingly reminiscent pain. Me being A Crap Person and not being very good at the helping thing and feeling entirely surplus to requirements. The one all girl band playing at event where these scenes tragically played out being cringeworthy and an embarrassment, therefore rather depressing for the Hexham feminist movement. Finding out that (despite me resisting all competitive elements of exam results and actively despising all that carry on) the one person I really wanted to 'beat' did better than me. Realising that somebody doing better than me in a silly academic gauging of knowledge made me feel so wretched.
Knowing that things are changing and can't be like they used to be, i.e always solved with mugs of tea, cookies, and episodes of Friends.
Not a big fan of late August.
And so back to my book. Ever the escapist.

16 August 2006

Every Little Helps

Sipping green tea from mismatched mugs, perched on floral-cushioned wooden chairs of varying heights, this weeks post meditation session was being guided by the softly-spoken, chucklesome irishman Alan, intent on discovering our deepest fears and dreams over hobknobs.

As is customary, one by one we laid the burning issues and thoughts of the past week on the table (though being a Buddhist group this is played out with large, meaningful, significant pauses between each one, with nothing hurried, and endless thumb twiddling): still not being able to sell the house, increasingly uncomfortable backpain, a weekend trip to Scotland, waiting for the dreaded AS results (though that is another story, shudder), the usual day to day trivialities.

Then it came to Peter.

'Well, this week Bernadette and I have been mostly expressing our solidarity with the Archbishop of York in his fasting and praying for those involved in the conflict in the Middle East... We have been doing this by reducing our food intake* and chanting on the hour, every hour, every day. We chant the mantras 108 times, hoping to bring healing. I just can't imagine why more people aren't doing it.'

No Peter, me neither.

*Which seemed to comprise of Bernadette not having one of her usual two cups of tea a day. It is apparantly giving her a bit of a headache, poor love.

14 August 2006

Eulogy for a slug

Today is a day of mourning.

I feel guilt-ridden and wretched, and more than a little repulsed. In what shall be known as a slug of war: man v beast, I have unwittingly emerged the victor. All that remains of my unknowing adversary is a pathetic, moistly flaccid, slime splatter, gently oozing silvery phlegm and orange insides. Any buddhist aspirations go to the grave along with the poor little soul lured in by the damp and cold that is our pantry. Let us hope it will be happy in it's place of rest. Though I don't know how happy the rest of us will be with it hardening accusingly, fusing to the floor, every time we go and get some potatoes.

The least I can do is document it's last moments, immortalised in blog form. I think it would have appreciated that.

As I once again embarked on my tireless quest of consuming late-night confectionary during the advert break of Poirot (thereby giving me 3mins 27 secs to successfully brew up a mug of tea, retrieve box of marshmallowy goodness, and make it back to anna-imprinted sofa comfort before the bulging Belgian revealed all) my blood ran cold. Wetness seeped through sock and my heart sunk. In my haste to return to discover which extravagantly dressed dastardly member of the bourgoisie had plunged the knife into the victim, I myself had committed a murder. Thank goodness I was not barefoot. After having squelched the limp thing enough to cause it trauma and severe pain yet not enough to quite finish it off, it was flung from the underside of my foot in revolted panic, soppily thwacking on the cold, hard floor where it would end it's days. Not hesitating to see if it was alive or dead, the heartless murderess that I am ashamed to be dubbed proceeded to cause a bit of a commotion, mostly comprising of such bewails as 'EEEUUUUWWW!!'
Having got rid of the incriminating evidence (the slimy sock which was ripped from my foot immediately and unceremoniously chucked in washing basket), N came running down to see what drama had played out to cause such uproar. I replied nonchalantly that it was merely that an unfortunate slug had departed this world for the next. Then, once N was rectified and back in bed, I once again advanced on the wailing. Well it was quite unpleasant after all.

After the trauma of this episode I was verging on feeling myself once more when I ventured into the pantry this morning and in the cold light of day the slug corpse looked even more forlorn. The horror of the previous night came flooding back. I foresee this occurring every time supplies are needed from that fateful room. And so it should, the guilt felt being all I can offer that poor little defenceless creature. Which now looks like a congealed snot.

And all because the lady loves Tunnocks teacakes.

6 August 2006

All unpacked and ready to blog

To summarise...

The parents were mercilessly mocked (as ever, they are old and needed naps)
N was fashioned some dreadlocks (a new cause for obsession, but a cool one)
J received quite a shock (as he got his ear pierced, chavtastic)
The boys avoided sharks and crocs (as they surfed those narly waves)
I bought a super frock (with swishy skirt and everything, it's green)
Dad was close to going 'pop!' (due to awe inspiring amounts of cornish clotted cream and pasties)
Mum went all beach-blonde on top (complete with sun burnt parting)
N 'n' J were constantly in head locks (sibling rivalry in full flow)
Insults were thrown, including 'You c*ck!' (as well as things I couldn't possibly repeat)
Mum and I looked at rocks (sculpted by Barbara Hepworth dontcha know)
Ice cream was eaten quite a lot (of varying flavours and quality)
It became ridiculously hot (sunburn, sleep, and - being from the north east - surprise resulted)
A windbraker was bought, to my shock (words cannot express my hatred for them and all they represent)
Mum's face contorted into a knot (everytime the camera was pointed her way)
A multitude of views were shot ( for photos of varying success- some are real beauts though)
We all refused to join the flock (of southern yuppie sorts with their big cars and wholesome family healthiness)
I tried to resist all the shops (in favour of cool hippy-dippy stalls run by dudes)
We explored the legend of Arthur and Launcelot (at the breathtaking Tintagel castle and tacky souvenir shops)
The boys were left to run amock (on sand and sea, inexhaustibly)
All that I left there was a sock (pretty good going if you ask me, considering the amount we took)
Dad and I got stuck in a grid lock (on our return, whilst he explained the situation in Lebanon)

In short Cornwall positively rocked.

20 July 2006

Missing: Presumed Dead Happy on Holiday

Right, I have a ten minute window amongst my busy schedule of packing, watching trash on telly (for medical reasons, compulsory relaxation time, naturally), getting N's blinking birthday stuff ready despite him not actually being 13 till the end of the month, and yet more packing. Oh, and also some panicking is pencilled in, some time about midnight I'd say, when I realise that have nothing packed. Therefore, think yourselves very lucky that I am choosing to dedicate these ten minutes to blogging.

The end of an era. Le grande finale. A day to end all days. The passing of an age. All of which I could use to describe the last day of term, and indeed the year. However, I have a preferred and arguably more appropriate expression that sums up the veritable feast of emotion and high-spirited commotion of the day; phew.

And so to summer and holidays. And early starts, and forgotten toothbrushes, and irritable travellers, and cramped cars, and hot sweaty grumbling. Still, the excitement remains. Getting up at the crack of dawn (a 4am start in this case) is rather exhilerating. The intrepid explorers will embark on their adventure as the town sleeps. Ooh, what a thrill. As long as ma is pumped full of caffeine, J doesn't whitter, N leaves the mandolin in the boot, and I am still in a pleasantly comatose state it will be a blast.

Two weeks away en famille (blessing or barking? Discuss) after a day of Kia Picanto style travel down to Charismatic Cornwall. Let's hope that it doesn't turn out to be calamitous or cataclismal. A blend of curiosities and culture would be far more contenting and congenial. Shutup.
Don't know if it has wireless though so may be out of action on the blogging front. So don't ring 999, or register me as a missing person or anything hasty like that. Will merely be sunning myself in the south, being a bodacious beach babe, and hanging with the yuppie set in Cornwall. Bear my absence as best you can.

14 July 2006

Ignorance is bliss

After crawling out of an anna-sized hole, in which I have been licking my wounds (metaphorically speaking as doing so literally would be gross) and cooling my cheeks due to recent spelling shame, I have been mostly ignoring things.
You would think this was easy, but it actually requires a great deal of effort and skill. Amongst the growing list of 'Things I am Trying to Ignore' are:
  1. The fact I have to complete a French presentation for early next week, despite NOT KNOWING ANY FRENCH and hating it with all my heart and being one of only three in a class and the only reason I attend these lessons being that I feel sorry for Mr R and I thought I might actually learn something such as the actual French language but this is just a big lie as all we do is pretend to write presentations whilst actually screaming inwardly 'I hate French and could be doing something far more useful and constructive like sunbathing right now' and leaving early to do some 'research' in the library or chatting to Mr R about anything other than verbs. And why in God's name did I decide to do a presentation on Montmartre? Random. I think I was hoping that the thrills, excitement, interesting culture, raunchiness etc of the region would inject the same into French lessons. It hasn't.
  2. Having to write a comparative essay on two literary texts for Tuesday. Whilst wild horses couldn't stop me from devouring this task and gorging myself on themes, motifs, language, structure and so on, it is unfortunate that I have lost the will to live.
  3. The pressure from adults of the teaching profession in regards to higher education.
  4. Miss M's psychotic rolling eyes, wild, russet mane, ruddy, ageing skin, fidgety, manic limbs, acid tongue, and spine chilling penetrative lilt. All made terrifying to the extreme when directed at mild, meek, 'rabbit caught in headlights' me.
  5. N's alarmingly good mood. It makes me suspicious and uneasy. Something must be about to go awry, I can feel it.
  6. My stupid, stupid hair. Because it is being stupid.
  7. Vast pile of books that I really should read.
  8. The fact that I haven't seen the crew for weeks. But I have been very busy recruiting new crew. No excuse however.
  9. The gradual disintegration of my most recent attempt at a filing system.

So all in all, I am blissfully content in my state of ignorance.

Anyway, what do I care as I am off to Ecclefechan (say it aloud, give yourself a chuckle) where rural life will be experienced, the boredom of cousins will be briefly quelled, and the 'fechan bus may even be taken. Dear me, that'll never get old.

10 July 2006

The ladel? Surely some sort of tracking device...

Be not alarmed, but we have been Pammed.

I noticed it as soon as I walked through the door. Things were not where they had been left only a few hours before. Shoes all on the shoe rack (the clue is in the title, yet still the concept is not grasped), floors clear of fluff-monsters, sinks swiped of bacterial colonies, cushions plumped and in order (a like-minded soul in that respect, and one to whom I am eternally, though to many incomprehensibly, grateful), and the air heavy with the nostril-stripping scent of disinfectant and chemicals. Cleanliness truly is next to godliness. It must be said that Pam does have a certain celestial air to her, resonating halo-like as she sprays and scrubs. Though that could just be the layers of dust being dislodged and sparkling in the sunlight, creating a transcendental aura about her person.


Why, why, why would you put the whistling lid of the kettle in a ladel? And why keep the soap on top of the nail scrubbing brush? And why store all the biscuit tins in a toppling tower formation? And what, may I ask you, is with the endless plastic boxes on every surface to store things in, multiplying in number on every visit?

It is our house, but not as we know it. A parallel Kirk household where everything is very slightly different. A house that is slowly being infiltrated with Pamisms. Soon, no doubt, she will control us all, without us even realising it has happened. As innocent and amiable as Pam and her quiche eating ways may seem, I am sure some foul plot is afoot.
But fear not. I'm on to her. Just as she uses her cunning and subtle ways, so do I in returning things to how they were. It is a battle to be played out over time, the ball shifting from court to court as mind games and manipulations are scuppered. Ingleside will not be Pammified as long as I defend it.

8 July 2006

Tradition vs Twits

"Mags! How extraordinary!"
"Oh, Juuulia! I had no idea you would be here!"
"Yah, yah, I'm just up here with Daddy. Knows one of the dons, thought I'd tag along, you know the thing."
"Absolutely. Well, best be off. Do you know where the philosophy seminar's happening? Thought I'd fit it in before Mummy shows me her old digs at Kat's."
"I was wondering if it would be worth stating on applying for English Literature that one has a published poetry anthology in 'Faber & Faber'?"
"If my daughter was wishing to pursue, say, mathematics, is there a particular college that excels in the subject that you would suggest?"
"Would it make a difference to one's acceptance if one had performed works of Shakespeare for one's work experience?"
"Will there be opportunities to explore the intricacies of more recent theorists' texts such as Sartre also?"
And all I want to do is play at being Harry Potter for a bit.

4 July 2006

A very British outlook

'The heat! The heat! Oh, how it burns! Oh, how the sun's rays rage like a thousand fires of hell, setting my very soul alight!'

That is what I would be saying if I had the energy. The heat has made my brain melt however, draining every last vestige of common sense and logical thought from my clammy being. Urgh.

And I am heading further south. With a menopausal mother.

Good God, I wish I was a penguin.

2 July 2006

Read it and weep

Why can't a Personal Statement be just that: a statement of the personal persuasion? i.e, 'I am mint, pick me.'

But oh no, that great British institution that is the education system can never be that simple. Instead we are encouraged to wax lyrical for a page or so about how going on that geography field trip put my 'team work' and 'numerical formation skills' to good use, and how that I.T course enhanced and utilised my 'ability to develop organisational talents' and 'improve my evaluating credentials'. What does it all actually mean? Basically, I am mint. But in a depressingly fast spreading language that I presume university type people must speak.

An extract from Anna's Personal Statement: Draft 1
Since being but a mere sparkle in my mother's eye, it has been English Literature that has been the beating of my heart, the passion that drives me, the life force that moves me, the very essence of my soul. On completing 'Shakespeare: Complete Works' (at the age of six, in the gifted and talented extra-curricular group) I experienced an epiphany. Literature is my true calling. Therefore , I am chair of the 'Austen Discussion Club', head of 'The Classics Committee', enthusiastic contributer of our 'Budding Young Poets' publication as well as of course partaking in all sporting, choral, theatre, and chess activities in school. These enable me to develop extensive people skills, cultural appreciation, organisational, analytical, and motivational credentials, provides challenging stimulation and the chance to learn substantially about teamwork and communication... gush, gush, gush, I am amazing, yada yada, look how rightous I am, bla bla, I have virtues coming out my ears, etc etc ...

They will snap me up for sure.

And if not, then there is always plan B. 'I am mint, pick me'

29 June 2006

Just when it looked like a whole class were going to be wiped out in one fell swoop due to unexpected energy-sapping heat, eye-poppingly painful Pompey trivia boredom (and I'll passus on Crassus too thankyou. It can't be said that I rate-o Cato either, and as for Cissero? I'll give him a missero. Sorry. I'm stopping now) and having to look upon Matthew 'sociopath, sneezy, psychotic' Henderson's new pudding basin hair-do, an absolute gem saved us, one and all.

'Sorry I'm a little more hesitant than usual. I'm just having to translate from the latin'

Oh Strict Keith, your intellect knows no bounds.

Having been reading from a little, age-yellowed paperback for the past half hour in his stuttery, stammering manner, studded with deviation and diversion as normal, it had passed me by that this font of knowledge was fluently deciphering the ancient language of the Romans and making it intelligible to us. Although I shouldn't be surprised he speaks latin so naturally (aside from being a latin teacher of course) as I keep forgetting that he was actually there at the time of Caesar the Roman geezer. He may even be the great man himself, though using the pseudonym Strict Keith in order to lie low obviously. I don't think the publicity would agree with him if he was to be found out- he doesn't strike me as the kinda guy to revel in giving exclusives to 'Hello' and the like. A duddery old Ancient History teacher is the perfect disguise, as well as him being able to pass on his first hand knowlege too. Genious.

Neighbours withdrawel symptoms in full flow. It's been four days cold turkey now, and I'm feeling the effects. All the 'G'day's, 'Spiggin' hufters' and 'No worries' are working their way out of my system. Henman and Beckham can stuff it, taking their balls with them. 'Bring back Breeeeeeee!' I say. I am Anna, and I'm a Neighboursaholic. And not ashamed to say it no less.

24 June 2006


Why are some people more susceptible to midge bites than others?

Who gets the money when people buy plots of land on the moon? Where does that odd sock go everytime a wash cycle finishes? What is Doctor Who's first name?

What function do earlobes have? Why do you always most want to do what you're expressly told not to? How come those with the most money are the ones given things for free, when it is them who could most afford it?

Why is it bad manners to eat with your fingers and not cut things up except in the case of asparagus? Why do the top of tights always rest under your armpits, yet the crotch rest somewhere about your knees?

Why is it that the people who describe themselves as 'totally mad, me' are in actuality the most dull? Ditto, 'bubbly'?

Why, when eaten, is pig called pork, cow called beef, sheep called lamb, yet chicken remains chicken? Why do you always spill things when wearing white? Why does it always rain the day you wear your hair loose?

Why do people talk in baby talk to their pets when they can't understand our language on any level? Why, as we come to it, do people speak in baby talk to babies?

How come parents are always wrong, especially when they are right? Why is watching somebody fall over and experience embarrassment and pain so funny? Why is the sidekick always the clever/funny/endearing one?

What do English people sound like to foreigners when speaking their language? Why are there often more irregular verbs than regular ones?

Why do bad things happen to good people? How did 'bad' come to mean 'good'? Why do people order the Hawaiian pizza then pick off the pineapple?

Why is it that the people who need the most help are the ones who find it most difficult to ask for it? Why do things that are bad for you taste so good and things that are good for you taste so bad? Why is medicine so unappetising when it is what is going to make you better?

How are you supposed to find any answers when all there seem to be are questions? There is an infinite number of questions; is there a finite number of answers?

And why on earth is the word 'bum' so endlessly and universally hilarious? Snigger.

21 June 2006

Ting! Ommm....

'Oh, and bowing. Yes, yes, we do a lot of bowing'

Things I think about whilst meditating, when am supposed to be thinking of nothing at all:

1. What I am going to wear tomorrow
2. Why I have 'Wake Me Up' by Wham in my head
3. Whether the knot in that wood most resembles a tortoise or Ian Hislop
4. Possible lyrics and stage direction for the concept 'Midsummer Murders: The Musical!'
5. Pins and needles
6. Amusing tummy noises
7. Thinking about nothing at all. Therefore am thinking. It's a vicious circle
8. The latest plot development concerning Bree (all hail Bree Timmins! etc etc) in Neighbours
9. Blog entries

Note to self: meditation needs work

20 June 2006

Anna Airhead

I have been living a lie.

I am having an identity crisis.

And I have cotton wool stuck to my head.

As you may have gathered things are serious. After being of the impression all my life that I Am A Reader, I fear I may be mistaken. I have lost my power. All that is left is dorky, bespectacled Clarke Kent. Yet it is Superman, pants and all, who is needed.
Perhaps an explanation is needed. On being asked to come up with an anthology of six pieces of text attatched to a mere modicum of 'literary merit', I am at a loss. Me. The pretentious spoon who dares to connect the illustrious term of Reader to her name. Shameful.
Admittedly it is more the theme of prementioned anthology that is the blighter, not the texts themselves (those, after all, can be searched for on Google or the like. Don't worry, don't worry, literary parents of mine, only joking).
Of course I have a whole pile of books just waiting for me to devour and mentally digest. It sits mournfully by my bed, Joseph Conrad willing me to scan his rich prose, Oscar Wilde yearning for his wit to be appreciated. All the while I am guiltily, yet resolutely, ignoring their pleas. I keep meaning to read them naturally, it's just that the more pressing issue of becoming an absolute philistine and airhead bimbo calls for almost constant attention. And I let people think I am a well-read tycoon of the classics and critic of contemporary works. All a fabrication of alarming proportions.

I shall have to go and console my mortification steeped being by flicking through 'Heat' (only looking at the pictures of course) followed by an episode of Big Brother whilst painting my nails.

By the way, the cotton wool is due to me scratching a spot. There are times when youth is a favourable factor and advantageous beyond comprehension. This is not one of those times.

17 June 2006

The Corruption of Strict Keith

Just for the record I feel I need to document that it has now been confirmed that the boy known as David...David Who? does exist.

After months, perhaps years, of hearing about this elusive character, so much of a none-entity that his surname is a matter of perpetual mystery, a rear view glimpse was captured a few days ago. Furthermore, an actual phonecall from the enigma that is this thirteen year old was received today by ma, in reference to meeting N (at the life-affiming joy that is the middle school summer fair no less, at which a great deal of e-numbers and musty-smelling junk is always consumed and acquired).

Of course I still have no actual proof that he is a living, breathing, real-life character (Despite N being adamant that 'he is one of my best friends, I've known him for aaaages!'), as the glimpse could have plausibly been anyone of xy chromosomes and the right side of puberty. And a voice on the end of a phoneline could hardly constitute as evidence that would hold in court. In fact, the more I think about it, N could well be constructing an elaborate con. He wasn't present at the time of the phonecall after all. Hmmm... Requires further investigation methinks.

I think I may have possibly encountered the poshest person alive. Known to all as Strict Keith, he is a vision in smoky-coloured tweed and impressionist painting ties, and is the type who can derive endless chuckles from little anecdotes concerning Roman emperors and finds his subject infinitely fascinating. I hardly need add that he is of course a history teacher of the ancient variety (in terms of period and his own age). In fact I am sure we can cite him as our source material in exams as he was evidently present at the rise of the Roman Empire. Which is why his knowledge is so extensive no doubt.

Adorably stuttery and well-meaning, he stumbles through his clipped Oxbridge vowels and befuddling latin names nervously, never having been faced by such a large class of gormless, wide-eyed, open-mouthed, empty-vesselled troglodytes. Having originally come from teaching at a boys public school, then being a recluse in the toppermost tower of the Hydro building, teaching a mere handful of latin fluent prodigies, he has now been thrust into the throes of the state school in all its glory. I don't think the poor chap had even ventured out of his 4 foot square office on F floor, before having to contend with year 12 Ancient History.
All credit to him though. He handled the onslought of newly evolved charv (a new generation of them seem to have emerged, ruder than ever before, in the blink of an eye. I don't know where I've been, but this new elite charv army seems to be growing) barging into the poorly equipped, peeling classroom our humble class had been allocated to, demanding to 'lend' chairs whilst sporting multicoloured tramlines down the side of their heads as a kind of war paint.
However, when faced with the white board situation, he had not realised that teachers really ought to carry around their own pens as it is rare that there will ever be any actually at hand. An unfortunate incident with a permanent marker followed.
He has obviously never had to do anything practical in his life (that is all probably taken care of by Mrs Strict Keith, if there is such a woman) as, when another board in another classroom required wiping, he stood and stared at it for some time, scratching his head in puzzlement, before asking somebody to deal with it for him. He will learn soon enough I am sure. The innocence of the private system will duly be corrupted.
Am loving him though; once the awkward initiation phase is over I am sure the banter (of the intelectual kind naturally) will be in full flow.
That's if he hasn't had a shock induced stroke of course.

14 June 2006


Prepare yourselves for some sentimental soppy stuff guys. I usually steer clear of nauseating scenarios, not wishing to indulge in any stomach turning sap (with the obvious exception of such masochistic epic films as 'Love Story' or 'It's a Wonderful Life') yet this could not be shied away from. It is utterly adorable, in the least patronising way possible naturally, and tres tres sweet in a satisfyingly gooey way. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...drum roll please... N's song. Written for none other than moi no less. Plucks at the heart strings as well as the acoustic guitar strings.

I would like to thank you
For everything that you've given me,
You've helped me through the hardest times in my life
But you've had problems of your own
And I hope I've been some help to you
So I'd like to say, to say...
Thank you

It's been a journey to remember
I won't forget, don't you forget
So I'd like to say to say
Thank you

I would like to thank you
For everything that you've given me,
You've helped me throught the hardest times in my life
But you've had problems of your own
And I hope I've been some help to you
So I'd like to say,to say...
Thank you

Take a deserved bow Bob.
Well who'd have thunk it. It makes me go positively pink with embarrassment. When next winding him up or embarking on a fisticuffs with the young ragamuffin one must remember the sensitive poet within, prone to exploring his evident artistic temperament with flair and finesse. Yes, will have to remember this very frequently indeed. Anyhow, I figure that I am merely providing inspiration and fuelling his art when in the midst of passionate embroilment.

12 June 2006

Almost as good as scrabble

I have come up with a new game. It can be played by any small gathering, mixed in both age and gender, and is more than suitable for families. In fact this is preferable for the game to succeed to full effect. As a working title I am calling it 'It's All Relative', (subject to change when marketed)
The rules go a little like this:

1. Must be played around the dinner table (al fresco works just as well)

2. Whoever is talking must be interrupted, preferably with a completely unrelated topic, as soon as possible. Or just at the most crucial and poignant part of their vocal flow

3. If there is the merest suggestion or hint of hesitation then random guesses as to what is coming next must be shouted out clearly and unrelentingly, resulting in the frustration of original speaker and causing all threads to be lost

4. Wait until a particularly lengthy and intricate anecdote has been related to the group in it's entirity, then after five minutes, or a couple of conversations later, bring up the subject the anecdote touched on and demand to hear it again as you missed it. Act surprised and disgruntled when this is not met with enthusiasm

5. Choose a random couple of minutes, interspersed throughout the meal, to completely switch off, yet appear to still be listening. This enables you to then bring up topics that have already been covered in full. Even more effective when the switching off occurs during instructions being given, imperative to later events

6. Make at least one of your fellow players the object of your scorn and cause of immense irritation for the whole meal, (if especially skilled then could be applied to more than one other player) with this culminating in the odd shouted expletive or tearful squeal

7. Be accepting of jibes and winding up, laughing along amiably, willing to be a figure of fun, until suddenly turning this on its head and becoming a wounded victim, offended and very vocal of this

8. Always, always wait until everyone is finished their food (seconds and all), ready to move on to pudding, before refilling your plate so that the other players can sit and watch you eat

9. Repeat every story, instruction, or mere contribution to the conversation at least twice, saying it like it's the fist time it has ever been said in the history of man everytime you say it

10. Use physical irritants to unnerve other players also; don't merely rely on dialogue. Extreme slouching, lounging, stretching legs out under the table, elbows on table and in plates, kicking and placing feet on other players' chairs, inappropriate eye contact, and snorting whilst guzzling are all effective methods worth a try

The aim of the game is to still be at the table in fine spirits by the time all food is consumed, without having left in a blaze of anger, and to be able to retain even the most simplistic of social skills when mixing with the actual public.

This game is a favourite in our household and a regular fixture of an evening. A true ensemble activity, involving of everyone and the cause of hours of old-fashioned family fun. Give it a go.

8 June 2006

Have just emerged from an extremely traumatising experience. One which it is questionable as to if I will ever recover.

Was completely abondoned by entire family for at least three whole (yes, WHOLE) minutes whilst trapped in the pantry, shouting myself hoarse. It may have even been five minutes; all time was lost track of as the horror of the situation was faced. Why, why, why would the light be on and the door wide open if there was not a person in the cavern of doom, as it shall henceforth be known, innocently unearthing a tub of icecream from icy depths of freezer? The ease at which I was plunged into darkness and imprisoned (the door only opens from the outside, somewhat of a design flaw) then promptly forgotten about was astounding.
Furious bashings at the door with the mop handle, not to break it down but to cause as much noise as humanly possible to notify someone, anyone, of my existence, ensued. Along with increasingly desperate bellows and, ashamedly, girlish shrieks.
My whole life flashed before my eyes as I realised I could well meet my doom within the gloomy home of biscuits, pulses and cleaning products, half decomposed on the floor, the terror of my final moments still evident on immobile, lifeless face, with the only chance of discovery being the cats mewing and whining at the crack in the door, alerted by the smell of rotting flesh.

Except, that wouldn't happen because as soon as we were out of tunnocks caramel wafers in the biscuit tin someone would have come searching for more in the pantry. Of course I realise this now. Now I am free and have a new appreciation for life and all that it encompasses. Now that I am once again within the world of mortals and no longer of cat food and ironing piles. But at the timeall I could think was 'WHERE THE
#*@$ IS EVERYONE?!!'

You would have thought, on initiating the rescue of his only sister and giving her newfound hope in the human race, the saviour would have said a little more than 'God, what's all that shouting about?'

6 June 2006

Lady of Leisure

Dig me chaps, Carrie Bradshaw eat your heart out. Only with marginally fewer fabulous shoes. But I'm working on it. Any family member can verify this; that is if they haven't broken their necks tripping over said pairs of shoes.

Anyways, getting into the Sex and the City lingo (of which I am now fluent unsurprisingly, i'm thinking about going cold turkey as weaning myself off the four fashionistas is proving unsuccessful), 'I couldn't help but wonder'.... what the hell to worry about now.
It has been so long since at least something hasn't been nagging away at my mind, incessantly eating away, nibble, nibble, nibble (say it fast enough and sounds funny, bit like nipple haha), nag, nag, nag, pressure, stress, tap, tap, tap like chinese water torture until... kaboom! She blows. I just do not know what to do with myself now that there is nothing to worry me, I think I thrive on it. Hmmm... will have to find something or will be at a loose end. Maybe I could worry about lack of worry. Hurrah! A brand new set of neuroses to focus on. Thank goodness for that. I was beginning to worry.

Talking to N on matters of philosophy and religion (which of course happens a great deal in this ever so cultured, bohemian, intellectual household, usually as we sit down crosslegged on our Ethiopian woven mats to bowls of tofu and quinoa whilst listening to pan pipes and breathing in incence fumes) is an interesting experience. Loving it how the idea of an all powerful divine being who created everything and who cannot be seen and could well be living in the clouds, with them snuggled around him/her like big squashy cushions, seems perfectly acceptable to him, yet the Bible frankly a ridiculous notion. The boy'll go far.

By the way, just a warning to all folks in the vicinity of the Kirk dwelling. Now the sun seems to have made an appearence (hello stranger!) the sleeveless red tank top has made a long overdue revisitation also. You know summer is well and truly arrived when the vibrant vest of archaic origin is dug out once more. Shield the eyes of the innocent, save yourselves. Alas, it is too late for me, my young mind was corrupted by it long ago. Yet it may be at least a couple more weeks until the chest (and slightly increasing tummy, though this is not mentioned since it was discovered that the poor lamb is a little sensitive about it) is bared in full. We live in hope.

3 June 2006

Yet another diversionary ploy

Whoops. Have just watched an episode of Sex and the City. Whilst drinking whole pot of coffee. In bed. How did that happen? Oh dear, have once again suppassed myself in the procrastination stakes. Now if there was an exam in that then I would pass with flying colours. Was good though. Am totally living the high life with this miraculous contraption.

As if deciphering Descartes, contemplating Kant, and musing over Mills isn't enough, I still have stuffing my face to contend with. Dreaded Monday activities stop for no man, despite epic exams that are beginning to lose all proportion and swallow me up. It's enough to drive one to Spoons. Which I can do now. 'Cause I'm 18. Which I did last night in fact. No more quaking in my boots (or funky open-toed flats in my case) for me, glancing over my shoulder continually in anticipation of being thrown out, thoroughly mortified. Nope, I'm a grown up now. Didn't even get asked for ID. Bit annoying actually as was all prepared and was going to be rite of passage moment, poignant beyond belief. But I got a drink down me nervertheless. A legal drink. Even went and got a couple of the young'ns drinks (with their money ofcourse, my generosity has its limits), the poor souls, still a sober seventeen.

Isn't it funny when watching anything 3D, complete with super-sized specs, synchronised arm waving ensues, mexican wave-like. Sitting in a line at an iMax cinema, hands extended flailing around, wearing enormous geek glasses- a sight for sore eyes. The inevitability of trying to feel for objects leaping out of the screen is laughable. We live in a 3D world (obviously) yet don't go round with our arms in front of our faces in amazement. Always bizarre when watching 3D though, what with things flying at you and whatnot. Even grown adults duck and lunge in their seats. Ho ho ho. It's all an illusion chaps.
Speaking of illusions, enough with this nonsense and on with theories of perception. Or I could grapple with a bit of Plato. Or move on to another ancient, toga-ed up character from the old BC days. Beyond Comprehension that is. Don't understand a sausage. Right, onwards ever onwards.

Written on brand spanking new laptop, ooh la la!

Despite what people say, everybody naturally likes to receive more than they like to give, no matter how self rightous or charitable they like to think themselves. It's a universal truth. Well I had always been of that mindset anyhow. I'm not so sure after the astounding and overwhelming (merely being whelmed was but a distant concept to me in fact) and frankly ridiculous generosity of all that made the social event of the year so hot in rocked my socks. I mean what had I done apart from manage to make it to the momentous 18th year of my life? To get bombarded with gifts, kisses, showers of affection and whatnot for this is pretty cool; it requires absolutely no effort from me as I merely glide from May 30th to May 31st and whoosh! I am the main man. Was quite daunting actually, had to make the odd five minute escape to have a few games of solitaire. Phew. Can't cope with gratitude very well; either gush nauseatingly for too long, reminicsent of Oscar speeches, or look sullen and a bit rude as can't express how stupidly grateful I am so don't seem to bother at all. Unfortunately the gushing seems to happen with lesser gifts and the rudeness occurs with the ones that mean the most from the most important people. Irony, gotta love it.

Vast, vast improvement on previous party (clocking up a broken window, spilt tins of paint, curtain rail down, smashed picture frame etc etc) as we were all cleared up and back to normal by following mid-afternoon. Was like it had never happened. Pretty sure it wasn't a dream though. Even the parentals seemed to have a bit of a blast. Gave pa a drink quite early on and all was cool in that camp, and ma (being the social butterfly she is, as well as domestic marvel) was in her element. Once the champers was in full flow there was no looking back. J, chanelling the spirit of Brandon Flowers, worked the crowd, both when on stage and when mingling. And N was N, as ever and I wouldn't want anything less on my birthday. Even S, in his own unique way, showed his support and affection with not a little winding up but a whole lot of hilariosity. He is a one, what with his mind being the width of a hair and all. But the most amiable and endearing chavarama I have ever come across. Good crack was had by all methinks.

It will go down in the annuls of time as a not half bad night folks. Not half bad at all.