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Showing posts from April, 2005


So a new KP started a little while back, and I was sure I knew his face from somewhere. It annoyed me for several days until I forgot about it. Then this afternoon the KP (a guy in his late thirties, I get the impression this dishwashing gig is the last chance saloon for him) asked me where I was from. I told him and he smiled. "Oh yeah, I lived in Cornwall for a while, worked at this pastie shop in Tintagel" "Tintagel?" I enquired, intrigued, given that I myself used to work in a pastie shop in Tintagel. Can you guess where this is headed? Yep, thirteen years ago he and I worked together as bakers in teeny tiny Tintagel, Cornwall, and now we work at the same restaurant in little old Ormksirk, Lancashire. So that's where I knew him from. Cripes.

A non-perishable mania

You may recall earlier this year I decided to keep a list of the books I read this year (with the vague intention of reaching fifty by the end of it). Well, I've polished off eighteen of the buggers so far, and this increased rate of bibliovorousness has led to some interesting discoveries. I won't gush about Murakami, largely because I find myself empathising to a degree which is, if not significant, then at least an irritant. As such I'd be unable to objectively comment (and there's always the attendant fear that rave reviews can bite you in the arse when you re-read, and what struck you at first as dazzling intellectual conceits seem suddenly hackneyed), so no gushing.But suffice to say that I'm rationing them. It having been many years since I read much in the way of genre fiction it was engaging to get stuck into Dashiell Hammett's novels, I got through Red Harvest in a couple of days. The flat and cynical prose is addictive, though not, I suspect as art

Net's fucked, need a router, have a poem.

Sandbar At low tide, lying flat between two spurs of rock it avoids it’s own extravagances, what am I I am a sandbar a conglomerate what is this poem other than an outpouring what is outpouring but lack of control. Yes but it’s nonsense what is listening but waiting for a pause what is structure but attempting to discern a meaning what is appreciation but the hope of reciprocal flattery what is anger but a tool for getting attention what is a sandbar but the agglomeration of eroded particles what is your point. What is the lying quiet sat on sandbar with notebook. What is the omission of indefinite articles what is. What is the hegemony of adjectives what is what. Obviously two flat planes sky sea must I keep repeating myself there has only ever been one poem written and it is about two big blocks of colour and the contrast between them, all the rest is editing. What is editing but simple compression what is compression but distillation what is what is what is. Out on the sandbar

Interactive Coastalblog

As Philippa Forrester once said (asininely) imagine a completely interactive world! Right, now I'm aware that I don't have a huge amount of traffic passing through my particular corner of the web, but I'm giving those of you (we happy few, we band of buggers) a chance to stake a claim in the outcome of one of the weeks most important decisions. The decision is this, it's been an absolute car-crash of a week, and this evening my spirits are to be revived by a collaborative cooking effort between myself, les freres MacKenzie and esteemed housemate Jim (and anyone else who fancies coming along). The putative plan is to cook up a large mezze or tapas with a whole bunch of dishes. I've already decided on a couple, and doubtless the boys are planning away as I type but wee need your assistance. So coastalblog readers: what should Matt eat tonight to cheer himself up? Remember dishes are to be small and relatively simple, it's all about the cumulative whole. Over t

Digging up the past

The process of cataloguing and categorisation continues apace, and a very strange feeling it is too. Reading through old work the writer is often put in the puzzling position of trying to work out what s/he is driving at. I call this ISIATT (It seemed important at the time). What is clear from going back through my dissertation is that a disk with a large amount of writing on it has very definitely gone walkabout, so the manual slog of typing them in again from hard copy is paramount at the moment (I never know when I'm going to feel this organised again). Work is, as ever, an enormous amount of fun (yet another member of staff walked out after a ruck with the manager, who, I fear, is insane). Busy is good, however. Simple common sense, if you walk into a quiet restaurant, you have to ask yourself: how long has the stock been hanging around the fridge then? At least when we're busy we sell out of things, something I always find satisfying on some sad and anal level. The sight

The invisible writer

Hello. Now This hasn't been laziness on my part, I swer, I've actually been very jollly active recently, and there have been lots of exciting and stimulating events which I've yearned to mull over with you all. However the net's knackered. Ask Jim, he'll tell you. I've managed to get one of those rare windows of opportunities where the damn thing's running fine. A time devoid of internet is a strange thing indeed. You start reading newspapers a lot more closely. Ceefax becomes your boon companion. Your shoulders slope less, you stand straighter and realise that you don't actually care a great deal about the current arguments and obsessions raging the web ( I have yet to go back to ILE to test this theory out). It's been constructive though I have embarked on (and completed) the task of indexing every poem I can ever recall writing (and writing onto the computer those old ones I've only got hard copy of or discovered thast disk is bust / corrupte

A mysterious new force

Of late there have been increased sightings of strange new players in the struggle for the town. Clad in grey, and nominally resembling trafic wardens I have encountered these footsoldiers of forces unknown all over the town. That they patrol often my own street has aroused my suspicion, but I am aware that it's not me that is being singled out, I have seeen them from the far eastern woodlands, to skirting the edge of the great moss to the west. Though we are clearly meant to believe that they are traffic wardens I cannot help but notethat they seem to spend most of their time taking photos with digital cameras, and not just of cars either. One bearded specimen seems very fond of taking photographs of walls. Why, I know not, but I do know this. If, as I suspect, they mark the emergence of yet another player in the struggle for Ormskirk's soul I wouldn't want to be those walls.

Papoose, dear boy, papoose

Well an entertaining time of things I've been having recently and no mistake. Some fairly serious unpleasantness at work, a brief lancastrian interlude with my beloved and the return of along missed friend being just some of the ingredients in the heady cocktail of the last week or so. The unpleasantness I have no wish to go into, other than to note this; isn't it odd that when something momentous or serious occurs the first reaction is one of disbelief, then the thought that someone responsible should be told like, say, an adult. Then finally the realisation that, hang on, you yourself are a responsible adult these days, and it's down to you to deal with. The lancastrian interlude was a brief three day break with Mrs Coastaltown to recover from a straight fortnight in work. There was a great deal of eating and sleeping, and not a great deal else. Absolutely perfect (well, not precisely, as I annoyed her to distraction by repeatedly chewing over the incident above, but I&