Weighting for New Year

December 27, 2007

My body has officially reached the point of ‘what the fuck?!’

Not even a full 12 days of Christmas and I feel like I’ve gone up 2 dress sizes. Hopefully, I’m exaggerating. The feeling is perhaps intensified by the recent lack of exercise?… and…well, moving in general. Nonetheless though, I have consumed not insignificant quantities of pudding, cake, chocolate and pie….not tiny amounts of the famous Towsey ‘early heart attack inducing Christmas stuffing’…. substantive units of alcohol, sugar, fat and girth.

Christmas appears to have given me the ultimate gift – a new years resolution to get down the gym.

Still. Irritating, but I suppose not the end of the world. This morning, I am resolved to take  myself off on a long bike ride. Up into the county to visit the folks, then along to the Park of Fosse and the Borders Sale. It was and perhaps still is a good plan, of course, nothing’s ever that simple…

Lydia: ‘Hi mum, me and Damo are going to come over on our bikes later today – ride out to you? Perhaps get coffee round at yours?”

Lydia’s mum: “Oh good, that’s great – I’ll wrap some more pudding for you to take back.”

Lydia: (internal screaming)

Ah well, at least I’m trying.

 

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Cold for run

December 26, 2007

Cold feet, cold arms, cold nose.
Hole in the top of a sock: one –
with the black, blue, red and
pale ribbed stripe. Need
to put more clothes on.
Considering run.
Black glass pane at 6pm.
Fairy lights
multiplied,
double glazed
in triplicate,
ghosting landscape,
strung across the snow plough
sound of traffic.
Need to stay in.
Need to go out.
In. Out.
In. Out.
In.

3 5 7 (2)

December 23, 2007

Found a graph on landing two,
as the stairs swerved
to take another floor,
on it’s own – no name,
mark or explanation,
just the careful list,
stark equation:

3 5 7.

I would have written
just beneath it
ruby marker
bought from wilkos:

This wall is
scrawled with – odd haiku
wrong syllables, brooding ants.

but the person who lives
in my block of flats –
who’d listed numbers,
swift and sure as flying ducks,
might have been meant
a different sort
of semiotic relevance –

3 5 7:
number bus
ideally taken

3 5 7:

number times
too long waited

357
days apart
357

poems lived
crouching tigers,
beating wings –

Hard to say.

3 5 7

December 22, 2007

Found a graph on landing number two,
on its own, as the stairs
swerved to take another floor
on its own, no name,
mark or explanation, just
the careful list,
stark equation:
3 5 7.
I would have written
just beneath it
ruby marker
bought from wilkos:

This wall is
scrawled with – odd haiku
wrong syllables, brooding ants.

but the person who lives
in my block of flats –
who’d listed numbers,
swift and sure as flying ducks,
might have been thinking
on a different kind
of semiotic relevance –
3 5 7
number bus
ideally taken
3 5 7
number of times
too long waited
3 5 7
days apart
3 5 7
days lived here
3 5 7
poems written
3 5 7
poems read,
crouching tigers,
beating wings –
Hard to say.

Egyptian Mafia

December 19, 2007

At the airport
the tour guide mentioned
‘The Egyptian Mafia‘.
The people
looking for money –
for guiding, carrying,
showing around.

Later,
we met a guy
razor scar across his eye.
He showed us the room
where he lived –
his pregnant sister,
nine kids.

In the Supermarket
on the shelf,
between the soap
and the juice, a small sachet
for clean up jobs,
translated from Arabic –
‘for removal of blood.’

Egyptian Mafia

December 19, 2007

When we got off the plane
the tour guide said:
“when we go through these doors
you will be met

by our Egyptian Mafia”

By which he meant
a number of people trying to live
by collecting the money
for carrying suitcases.

He said –
“Hold onto your bags.
and don’t let them go
whatever happens, say no.”

Egyptian Mafia

December 18, 2007

When we got off the plane
the tour guide said:
“when we go through these doors
you will be met

by our Egyptian Mafia”

By which he meant
a number of people trying to live
by collecting the money
for carrying suitcases.

He said –
“Hold onto your bags.
and don’t let them go
whatever happens, say no.”

Later that week,
arriving at Karnak,
we were met by a man
in a white shirt and jeans.

The pale vein
had cut cross his eye,
sliced down his cheek,
on it’s way to his chin.

He said:“Whatever you want-
I’ll get it for you”

When we asked where the loos were
he showed us his home

down past the stalls
with pashminas and hats
into a room
where 12 people crammed,

a pregnant woman,
her children, himself
no light – and a toilet –
a hole in the ground.

Towards the end,
we found the market
following the Nile
to buy our soap

There were numerous sachets –
for cleaning up stains, one
was translated from Arabic –
‘for removal of blood.’

Mince Pies

December 18, 2007

I tried hard
to avoid eating
the mince pies.

Didn’t work.

Fantasist (3)

December 18, 2007

I saw Father Christmas earlier today.

He was standing in the Bike Park
on the edge of The Square,
fully decked out in a red velor suit

and a curly white beard.

I’d said: “Wow, Santa! –
you here for the Sleigh?”

with a tilt of the head

and wink of the face
and he’d looked –
vaguely startled –

the way someone would
who’d forgetten
they were wearing

a bright red suit.

Recovering himself
he’d smiled with a grunt
and turning away, said to a guy

with an oil stained front

something about
the theft of a bike
and a cheque in the post.

And I’d thought – my god –
people today – even Santa
isn’t safe – and my god –

if I was a different kind of girl
I’d hunt the guy down
with a ‘K47 or a

long range gun.

Then I’d remembered
that I’d probably watched
too many seasons

of Tony Soprano
and Buffy
The Vampire Slayer.

I paid for my wheel
and took myself off.

Things I didn’t do

December 18, 2007

Ride a camel. Feel
the rough hewn hair
beneath my nails, soft pelt
against my Braille of palms,
fingertips around
tuft topped
ears.

Tell a man:eeb alee
which is Egyptian
for having shame,
when they said:
I had nice breast,
ten thousand camels,
lucky man.

Wear a veil, get a tan.
Swaddle over
chinks of skin,
milk-bright arms,
throat,
wrists.

Drink from taps.
Swim the Nile.
Win a haggle.
Play Draughts.

Rescue the boy
that lived in the door
who said Backsheesh
and had no shoes
and slept all night, beside
the Sheratan.

See the Pyramids.
I’m sick of the asking.
They were in Cairo –
I was in Luxor.