October 12th, 2001


(no subject)

My oldest surviving friends (14 years) have just had their first baby, and Im
trying to find ways of congratulating them with some degree of sincerity,
despite the fact that they know that Id rather die than have a child myself.
Good phrases include "Congratulations", "best wishes" and "what a lovely
name" (Arthur). Bad phrases are "dont make me hold the fucking thing",
"whos the father?" and "let me know when its old enough to do chimneys".
Spent most of yesterday wandering around York with Nigel, a buddhist
friend from Norwich who had somehow made the trek up. (The train was late,
now Railtracks gone bust theyre having to tow them along the motorways.)
He told me about a buddhist temple in France (I think) which now has its own
bar, and has all night parties that get so rowdy that they have regular
complaints from the campsite down the hill, and the local Mayor has now
ordered them to turn the music off at 2 am. We spent the day haunting
second-hand bookshops and cafs. I think I confused Nigel when I ordered a
bacon, sausage, black pudding, egg, beans and mushroom sandwich, since
hed got it into his head that I was a vegetarian. In fact Im mostly a
vegetarian, but I eat meat every now and again. This gets quite annoying,
because its a deliberate choice which I think is best both on health grounds
and environmentally, but people always think Im just a vegetarian who isnt
very good at it. Can we not have a word for nearly-vegetarian that doesnt
make it sound like a cop-out?
In the evening we went to the local pub for the music night - they have
bands on quite regularly, and Anne and I do the door in exchange for free
beer. The bands are seldom my cup of tea, but its usually fun, even with the
pissed bloke saying "hey, its a Goth!" and stealing my hat as some kind of
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