Saturday, 18 July 2009

You Scream We Scream We All Scream For Ice Cream

I'm going to be reading at the Summer Sundae Weekender on Sunday 16th August. Woop! Phrased and Confused very kindly invited Hello Hubmarine to come along and do our thing, so me, Biff, Nath, Jonezy, Joe, Aimee and Catherine have been working on stories and poems and things for the last month or so. I've been checking the website every day, hoping it's not some big joke, but today, Hello Hubmarine appeared on the programme, (very bottom right corner) so now it's official. Nerves are being rotated with amazed excitement at getting to see Bon Iver, for free! Nerves will probably win out on the day, though. But till then - YAY!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Let's Talk About Salt, and/or John Cusack

I once did a five minute talk at school on the subject of salt. Everyone else did their talks on their pets, but at that point I'd never had a pet, other than fairground goldfish, and a red admiral butterfly with a torn wing that I'd rescued from the brambles near the railway line, and kept in a nest of grass in an ice cream tub, until it sadly passed away. I made a lolly-stick cross for poor 'Ruby' and buried her tearfully under our laburnum tree. The fish just got flushed.

So, pet-less, and still to develop my fascination with giraffes, I looked to my trusty Encyclopaedia for a suitable topic. For some reason, I decided salt was fascinating. I decided salt was so fascinating, in fact, that I had to tell everyone about it so they could share in my marvelling.

I talked for five minutes. I talked about sodium and chloride, and how our bodies needed them to survive. I talked about Roman Centurions being paid in salt because it was so precious. (This is now known to be incorrect, but my Encyclopaedia told me it was true. Bad Encyclopaedia.) I talked about how Gandhi led his followers to rebel against the British salt tax by making their own salt from seawater. Yay! I even talked about towns ending in "wich" or "wych" being near salt springs. And of course I mentioned food preservation. Where would we be without kippers, eh? Strangely enough, no one else seemed particularly awed with salt.

If I had to do a five minute talk now, I don't know what I'd do it on. There are probably a lot of things I could ramble on about, though I'm not sure how interesting it'd be for whoever was listening. Possible topics include:

1) Books. (I could quite easily natter away about books.)

2) Libraries. (Libraries are ace, rah rah rah, etc.)

3) Music. (Mostly about which bands/songs I love, but I could also go on a bit about how music affects our brains (man!) a bit as well.)

4) Vegan/vegetarian cooking. (Not just lentils my dears. Cakes and everything.)

5) The Industrial Revolution/British social and economic history from 1750-1950. (Though I think that might be up there with "salt")

6) Star Wars. (Not the new ones, though.)

7) Greek mythology. (I have a habit of only remembering the punchlines from jokes, and one that's haunted me for years is the one that goes: "Euripides pants, Eumenides pants." If anyone knows the actual joke can they let me know please?)

8) Eighties films, notably the ones John Hughes made, or John Cusack was in.

9) Survival. (Just the basics: making wee into water, not eating polar bear livers, that kind of thing.)

and I'll have a think about 10. Maybe I could talk about aromatherapy massage (rose oil makes you happy, juniper oil amplifies the effects of alcohol, so getting drunk is lots cheaper.) Hmmm. Perhaps I'll keep quiet about that one. I'll figure out number 10 some other time. At least I feel like I have something to talk about now, if ever I'm stuck. Aren't lists brilliant.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Lady of La Mancha

I've had a story in my head for about a year, and it happens in a windmill, but I've always put off writing it because I'd never actually been inside a windmill. I'd read up on windmills and looked at pictures, and even learned about the secret language of their sails. Fascinating stuff. But until last week, I'd never stepped foot in one. Now I have. I ended up on holiday in Partridge country, and got to stand near the Norfolk Broads and saw hundreds of windmills (well, about ten or so), and I spent a morning inside a lovely one called 'Horsey Mill', where I edged myself up and down the ridiculously steep stairs and took lots of 'research' photos of the round rooms and the giant cogs, and stood on the balcony at the very top and got excited by everything.


on the roof

the 'Broads'