Friday, 24 July 2009

Feedback Friday :: Sometimes There’s No Poison Like A Dream

bicycle rides :: 4
punctures :: 1
bicycles ruined in effort to fix puncture :: 1
days remaining till return to London :: 37

Yesterday I went to London and spent an hour and a half in the belly of the behemoth. It’s still not sure whether they’ll let me do the job, but I do hope so. It’s a one-off thing, making some tiny films for a giant accountant. It seems easy to me, but just because something seems easy doesn’t mean you can do it. It’s about getting the tone right. Fingers crossed anyway.

On the train on the way back up North last night, I realised I was sitting painfully close to a girl wearing a face mask…

I don’t honestly know if she had Swine Flu or if she was trying to protect against Swine Flu or if she merely had SARS in her eyes. I do not know, and I didn’t wait to find out. Rather, I took the advice of the Daily Mail and fled to the other end of train, screaming, ‘Black Death! Black Death! The Day of Judgement is upon us!’

Speaking of Swine Flu, when my bike broke the other morning roughly seven miles from home and I walked back through sporadically pissing rain and filthy temper, my ire was soothed – or at least temporarily cloaked – by listening again to Under Milk Wood in my ears. In one scene, Mrs Ogmore-Pritchard dreams that she is lying in bed with each of her dead husbands – Mr Ogmore, and Mr Pritchard – and she addresses them thus:


Soon it will be time to get up.

Tell me your tasks, in order.


I must put my pyjamas in the drawer marked pyjamas.


I must take my cold bath which is good for me.


I must wear my flannel band to ward off sciatica.


I must dress behind the curtain and put on my apron.


I must blow my nose.


In the garden, if you please.


In a piece of tissue-paper which I afterwards burn.


I must take my salts which are nature's friend.


I must boil the drinking water because of germs.


I must make my herb tea which is free from tannin.


And have a charcoal biscuit which is good for me.


I may smoke one pipe of asthma mixture.


In the woodshed, if you please.


And dust the parlour and spray the canary.


I must put on rubber gloves and search the peke for fleas.


I must dust the blinds and then I must raise them.


And before you let the sun in, mind it wipes its shoes.

Put me in mind of it, you see.

Dylan Thomas had just turned 39 when he died.

Christ, I feel miserable today.

It could be the panic of poverty building up. In 39 days I’ll be back in London, and living in London is not as easy as living with your grandmother, wallet-wise. And she’s going to miss me, and I feel bad about that. Or it could be because I’m going to the hospital this afternoon to get the pain in my stomach checked out again and what really worries me is that yet again they won’t fucking find anything and that in less than eighteen months I will die of gastric cancer. I know thinking about this stuff probably doesn’t help... but I can’t stop myself.

Whenever someone dies at an early age, people say, ‘Oh, it was tragic – he never achieved his potential’ – but what if I die in my early 30s and I did achieve my potential?! Eh? What about that?

Alright, alright, no more whining, no more thinking about death.


Doing anything nice this weekend?

I’m not.

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Nickelpic said...

Any excuse to re-read Dylan Thomas is a good one. But don't leave us; we all love you and your blog. I do hope you are wrong about your future but in any case, I knew you when!

(I'm @Jinglesmom on Twitter)

clairevision said...

Doing anything nice this weekend?
Since you asked...

YES! Giving a gong concert in a beautiful village in the Pyrenees with fabulous views of the mountains.

Will be joined by a sitar/tabla player.

We call it "A voyage in Sound"

Sorry to hijack your blog to self-publicise ourselves...but you did ask!! :)

People find what we do very therapeutic.On both a physical and mental level.

The nearest airport is at PAU.

You´re on the guest list mate!

Nicky said...

Bless. I'm leaving a huge virtual squishy hug here on your comments page for you to pick up and use whenever it seems appropriate (multi-use mode is enabled).

Brian Pike said...

Re "but what if I die in my early 30s and I did achieve my potential?"

The great thing about dying young is that nobody will actually know whether you achieved your potential or not.

Suggest you scatter enigmatic notes hinting at unspecified Grand Projects. This should cement your reputation in (hopefully unlikely) event of untimely demise.

clairevision said...

Hmmmm wierd.

Why is a post about a GONG concert by the GONG man attributed to someone called Clairevision ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

This is identity theft!


gongman said...

Just a test to see if I have my proper identity back.....

La Bête said...

Hi Nickelpic. Thanks for your alleged love and your unambiguous frivolity concerning my death.

Clairevision, I was about to ask you if you are a friend of Gongman, then because I was slow, someone else – also claiming to be Clairevision – has suggested that you are in fact Gongman and that you’ve stolen Clairevision’s identity. Can I suggest that you are both Gongman and happy though I am that you’re banging gongs this weekend, let’s not allow this comment thread to be derailed and the very important subject of my potential impending death to be overridden. Good luck with the concert.

Nicky, thanks. Hug is use. Virtually.

Mr Pike! I already have those enigmatic notes, yes. I suppose I need to despecify the Grand Projects, lest they be correctly identified as immature ramblings.

Ah, Gongman, you’re back. Now stop messing about.

AndrewM said...

Watch the F1.

Watch the Moto GP.

Drink beer.


La Bête said...

I do not care for motor sports, AndrewM. Thank you, however, for your suggestion, which was rubbish.

I'm going to the toilet now, to start a new book. Elmore Leonard I think.

Oh, sorry, I seem to have confused this with Twitter.

Anonymous said...

Fucken pissin down in Laaandan. Just got soaked on my way home from work. Twattin summer sods.


I'm off out for a home cooked meal the morrow. With Sicilian mates.

Stop hypochondriac ing, Stan. We'll all be dead by the winter anyway. Innit.



Anonymous said...


As long as she kept the mask on.

CarolH said...

I agree, I'd really rather you didn't leave us just yet, I'm enjoying your blog too much.

Re the lady in the mask, she looks like she may be Vietnamese - they all wear them!

Doc said...

This weekend, as if reading about yours isn't depressing enough, I will slide to the downward side of middle-age. My birthday, of course, shall go unnoticed by those who supposedly love me, as it's the harvest and the farmer-husband-thing will be making sweet love to his combine harvester all the while bitching he's not getting any from me. (When dammit? That's what I'd like to know! I'm practically a widow, with only the laundry he produces daily to keep me from believing he's gone into the light.) The spawn will most likely not mark the occasion either, as they're a bit young, and dragging a five-, three- and two-year old out to buy a present for their selfless mother seems a bit... well, not so selfless, eh? So I shall lie here on the couch, whenever the beasties give me a minutes peace (unlikely), writhing in self pity, and wondering where the hell more than half of my life went.

confused said...

Im going to an ann-summers party tomorrow (im male but allowed as ill be the token gay) and then out on the town, will proberably drink way too much and look like im having some kind of seizure on the dance floor all the while thinking i look dam good, not 'pull' and go home with the biggest pizza i can find and possibly a kebab, wake up on sunday feeling rough drink loads of sprite and eat cold leftover pizza, spend the entire day in bed and then wake up on monday in a panic because i wont have ironed any of my work clothes and ill be running late yet again.... :-)

the fly in the web said...

Problem with hospitals is when they tell you they have found something but
1) don't know what it is
2) proceed to treat it, but it's not what they thought it was and the treatment really mucks the rest of you up for what remains of your life in their hands.
And don't go thinking French hospitals are any better.

Anonymous said...

Your last comment really makes me feel as though I'm missing out by not subscribing to Twitter.


Anonymous said...

You are right. If you died I would feel terrible. So please don't die. The world would be a lesser place

Anonymous said...

If die young and reach your potential people will say "What a shame he never found true happiness/settled down/had a family etc"

Zoe said...

use iPlayer listen again to hear the Friday afternoon play. It was about an American private investigator tailing Dylan Thomas on a trip to New York. It was quite an eye opener. You might enjoy it

PurestGreen said...

Please stop watching ITV. I'm sure even your stomach will feel better. Is there anyone you can see besides the regular "I don't know the answer so it must be nothing" kind of doctors?

I am sorry you feeling miserable. If you were here I would share my watermelon with you. I bought it at Aldi because I'm poor.

La Bête said...

AnnAnon, I like Sicilians. Are they beautiful? I bet they are.

Don’t be vile, Keith.

CarolH, is that a fact? Why do they?


Have a good time, Confused, and good luck. And iron your clothes.

Fly – I do think French hospitals are better and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Wellington, are you being bitingly sarcastic again? You’d be ace on Twitter. Get on there immediately so I can unfollow you.

OK, Anon. I will never die. I promise.

Handy, yes, and they would be right. For every excellent there is a corresponding shame.

Cheers, Zoe. I’ve got it lined up now – will check it out shortly.

I’ve stopped, PG, don’t worry. I just got sucked in after the glorious You’ve Been Framed. Doc-wise, the guy I saw yesterday was cool. He stuck a finger up my bum and has promised to book me in for a internal photoshoot. I feel like I might finally get somewhere. And thank you for your kind words and would-be watermelon. I feel much better already.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. Sicilians are stunning. My grandad was one!


However, the food was cooked by a Panamanian. Patacones, Tajadas and Carimanolas. Plantain and Yucca, basically.

Well Tasty.

Time for some cocoa and a bedtime spliff. Innit.

Night night, Stan.


middle name said...

Thomas drank himself to his very early grave, and found his potential, I think, before he did so, or while he was doing so. He might be with us still, or only recently dead, if he had found a bit of moderation.With Moderation, Bete, I'm sure you've got a chance :)

What a writer, though. I love Under Milkwood. You're pretty good too!

the fly in the web said...

Yes there is...I can suggest that you go to one.

Bekki said...

Hello, I've been enjoying reading back over your blog since my friend pointed me at it last week - thank you!

Reading this entry I just felt i had to say - get the hospital to give you an endoscopy if you're worried about gastric/colon cancer, they can do a biopsy fairly easily and give you a yes/no answer in a couple of weeks. The stuff you're worried about may not show up easily on an xray or CT scan.

My boyfriend was diagnosed with it last October, and the NHS is pretty good once they acknowledge something is wrong with you (it's getting a diagnosis which is the uphill struggle); they cut it out and gave him chemo and 9 months on he's as good as new, as if it never happened. The whole process was much less distressing than we'd thought it would be.

Good luck, you may have to kick up a fuss to get your diagnosis (we found our GP was particularly uninspiring) - perhaps bring soembody good at shouting along with you :)

La Bête said...

Hello, Middle Name. Well, I’ve just been reading about Dylan Thomas and there is some doubt as to whether he drank himself to death or not. Apparently he was foolishly prescribed morphine, which did no good at all to his asthma and bronchitis. Although the alcohol had helped swell his brain, which is apparently what he died from. And I’m sure it didn’t help matters in general. Jesus, my head has just started to ache. Just reading the words ‘swelling of the brain’ was enough. Balls. I used to be a hypochondriac, but I’m alright n… owww!

Fly, I’d love to go to one. I’ve heard they’re so much better than English hospitals.

Hello, Bekki. Yes, an endoscopy is the next step apparently. Glad to hear your boyfriend got better. And thanks for your words.

Antipo Déesse said...

Your sparkly cleverness ('SARS in her eyes') just makes life worth living.

We couldn't do without you now. So keep on keeping on!

Catofstripes said...

hey bete, where've you gone?

La Bête said...

Here I am!

CarolH said...

Sorry Bete - they wear them because of the fumes from the millions of mopeds!!! No-one walks in Vietnam, they all drive mopeds.

Hayli said...

hey, ive never commented your blog before but i think HERE is a good start haha as this post caught my eye.

the weekend just gone i flew out to bermuda to see my dad. This may sound odd to some haha but my father is a very spiritual man who believes in meditation and does reiki (which is a form of natural healing) whether it be an injury or emotion.

now im not suggesting you pick up the art of reiki haha but one thing i have seen my dad do is channel all his negative energy to positive energy making him feel good and alive again...

may be its time to find your own method of channeling that negative energy you hold on to so much and releasing it to form positive thinking :)

but for all i know i could be jambling shit... haha i hope this makes sence and was not all rubbish :)
good luck!