Am I an Oat?

Yesterday was a bit of a rag-bag of events, but a good mix for all that; a bit like my Josephine jumper.  First, poetry.  The mornings are for poetry, the afternoons for prose – it just seems to work that way – and so yesterday I practised my Artbeat Opening Ode (nothing will induce me to give you a taste) and worked on a couple of upcoming poems.  Then, as I often do, I foundered, hovering between Facebook and short stories like a woman hovering between life and death and unable to commit to either.  I have a couple of stories which are almost ready to go and a couple which are just starting; plenty of work, you might think – but I just couldn’t settle.  I switched back and forth between them, pausing only to check my Facebook status every few minutes.  Then I hit on oats.

During one of my frequent tea-breaks I had turned on Woman’s Hour and heard an item about making oat milk at home.  We seem to get through an awful lot of soya milk, specially when Thingy is on a cereal kick, so the idea of making oat milk at 20p a litre seemed quite appealing.  The first stage was to soak the oats.  No, the first stage is to look in the cupboard and realise you have no oats and send Thingy out to buy some.  Then you soak your oats.  After that you blend them and strain them – and voila! oat milk.

I’m still at the soaking stage so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

After that I resorted to knitting whilst editing a story and for some reason that seemed to trigger more creativity.  There’s a group called ‘Knit and Think’ and whilst it might sound cosy and trivial, there does seem to be some connection between knitting and thinking; and in my case, between knitting and producing prose.  Hence I finished the first draft of a story called ‘Josephine’s Jumper’ (yes it really does all hang together) and started another called ‘Thursday’.

After that I headed off to what proved a very useful workshop on taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe.  I came away with the thought that a) this sounds like fun and something I’d like to do and b) it’s impossibly expensive.  Conservative estimates start at £1000 – and that’s without eating anything!

Still, Christine and I came up with an idea for a show which I said should be called ‘Juice-box Jury’.  This was because half the workshop was punctuated by her attempts to wrestle her way in to a small juice box and liberate the drinking straw from its container.  We were both in hysterics.

After that it was a quick whip home to gather knitting and head out to the Knitting and Crochet Group at Fingerprints cafe.  They were a pleasant and friendly bunch who helped me with my cabling difficulties and much admired my Josephine Jumper.

Here it is again, just in case you missed it:


Oh, and can anyone tell me who said the words in today’s title, and to whom?

Kirk out

Between You and Me and – Erm…

Our gatepost has gone AWOL.  For years it sat there inoffensively, helping to close the gate, not doing any harm to anyone; and suddenly it’s gone.  I know what’s happened: next door are having an extension built and as well as taking down the fence the builders have removed my gatepost.  I told the neighbour about it and she was very apologetic.  She says she will talk to the builders about it: unfortunately the builders themselves have gone AWOL this week.  Dontcha just hate it when that happens?

Right now I am waiting for a possible call from Woman’s Hour.  The trailer this morning said they were talking about relationship difficulties and how they can be resolved.  ‘Aha!’ I thought.  ‘Sounds relevant to me.’  So I phoned the number and a voice said ‘Hello?’ in a bewildered sort of way.  I must have the wrong number, I thought.  ‘Is that Woman’s Hour?’ I asked.  She said it was, and we had a really pleasant chat about my situation.  She sounded very interested in my story, but I guess her producer didn’t agree, because the phone has remained silent.

Chiz chiz chiz.

Aaaaaanyway, onwards and upwards… today I shall be staying in, which means a radical reorganising of plans: the reason being that earlier on a couple of unnervingly loud thumps from upstairs turned out to be son falling out of bed and son nearly falling into the bath.  He is seriously sleep-deprived, due to his habit of trying to stay awake for as long as he can: he also hasn’t eaten enough.  Since Mark has to go to Loughborough today, I will not be able to make it to Sound Cafe or do most of the other things I had planned.  No biggie.  I shall do the weeding instead.

Have a good day.

Kirk out

A Better Class of Insult?

I’d like to thank two people: the person who knocked on our door at 1.30 this morning, getting me out of bed and then driving away before I got to the door; and the person who left yesterday’s enthralling comment:

You’re a fat, bourgeois bohemian and your blog sucks like a size-queen.

And I quote.  I don’t really know where to start with that one, except to say that Kevin, if you’re listening, you should really put a lot more thought into your insults.  I mean, ‘bourgeois’ hardly goes with ‘bohemian’ now does it?  You can’t be both… and I’m not fat, not by any stretch of the imagination.  And so what if I were?  Also, just to make sure he wasn’t calling me ‘queen-size’ I had to look up the phrase ‘size-queen’.  And no, it’s not the same thing as ‘queen-size.’  Frankly, I’m not sure I want to tell you what it means, but here’s a link if you’re really interested:

So if you want to insult me, please put some more thought into it than this guy did, otherwise I’ll just laugh and delete you.  Although, let’s face it, I’ll probably do that anyway.  Moving on… this comment reminded me of a recent news story about Mary Beard.  She’s an academic who you’ll probably only have heard of if you listen regularly to ‘In Our Time’ on radio 4

(just me then…)

Anyway she had the temerity to appear on television NOT looking like a babe and was subjected to horrific comments about her appearance via the internet.  What makes people think it’s OK to do this?  It’s like pelting someone in the stocks – except that if you’re in the stocks at least you have supposedly committed some crime.  Mary Beard was later talking in a very dignified way on Woman’s Hour about her response to the abuse.  Here’s the original story:

and here’s the Woman’s Hour programme:

So if you want to insult me go ahead – but be creative.  Use words thoughtfully – otherwise your insults will simply be trashed.

Kirk out

Here’s today’s poem

POsted a short story, One Day in Paradise, to a group I belong to called Author’s Attic (I’ve given up posting links as none of them seem to work, I don’t know why – however, it’s on yahoo groups.)

Here’s another limerick.  I can’t seem to stop writing them.  This was a response to an item on Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4) about the macho culture at work, which inspired in me a number of mixed feelings, paramount among which was the sense of the damage that overweening capitalism does to people.  Don’t go jumping to the conclusion that I’m a communist though – I’m not!

Advice to all women in work

don’t cry – you’ll be seen as a berk

If you are sage

you’ll storm and you’ll rage

– avoid the misogynist’s smirk