While living and working in Edinburgh in 2008 I set out to write one million words in 366 days... but only managed 800,737.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Worksheet #1

Yesterday we climbed into the back of a white van to be driven to look at a flat. When the doors were closed on us, Marisa said, "This is just like being kidnapped." I think most people who are kidnapped probably have the same thought.

Our could be kidnapper was only our landlord (we're looking to move somewhere cheaper and he owns several flats). He's got a heart of gold, but I'm sure his head has a pinball machine inside it. Whatever thought the ball hits, he says it. When we first met him last year, when he showed us the room we would eventually take, he showed us a photo of his wife on his cellphone, rapped his knuckles against every painted surface and piece of joinery and said, "I did this", made a racist remark about Africans, told us all about his MS and various relapses, asked if he could smoke in the room we were about to take as our own, and ask where we came from three times. That evening, when we got back to our hostel in a converted church, I wrote a story about a couple who view a flat called 'The Landlord.' I still can't finish it because I don't know the ending.

It has been the best weather of the summer this week. They are constructing the marquees on Charlotte Square at the moment (the Edinburgh International Book Festival starts in two weeks http://www.edbookfest.co.uk). It will probably rain for the next 40 days and nights.
The seating outside the Castle has all been erected, although the Military Tattoo is still a few weeks off. I thought they were terribly prepared. Today I learnt Atomic Kitten (or is is Girls Aloud?) is playing a concert there this weekend.

All the permanent staff in my team had a meeting this morning from 8:30 to 9:30. They got bacon rolls. The rest of the morning, the office smelt like fat and tomato sauce.
On the list of things I will introduce to my bubble of NZ upon my return from Scotland, Bacon Rolls are at the top. Also on the list, vegetarian haggis (if there's any way to source them within NZ); pear cider (not especially Scottish, but I'm big on the stuff lately); saying "the now" where just "now" would do - - "I'm busy the now," "I can't come to the phone the now" - - (a better gloss would be "at the moment")...

The things I have adopted as my own after living in Australia for three years: their beers (on the rare occasion I stumble into a Walkabout Pub, a Tooheys Extra Dry wins the taste and whistful reminisce battles against any NZ beer on offer); the expression "of a ______", eg "I enjoy going for a walk of a lunchtime", "I'm so tired of a night-time recently"; double-pluggers; the Socceroos; the currency (I'm glad I kept my house deposit/emergency travel funds in Australian Dollars rather than moving it to NZD before leaving last year).

The things I miss most about NZ: feijoas, friends and family. In that order.

This post steals it's title from Geoff Cochrane's Worksheet poems.

I have been extremely tired of late. I have been short with people who are only being nice / doing their job / taking an interest. I have not been able to listen to my iPod on shuffle because all music thrown up is inappropriate and / or overplayed. I have made little oaths with myself that a rational person should not keep ("I will never read another book by an Indian author", "I will buy the next pair of jeans I try on, regardless of price, style or fit.") I have become too interested in my weight (somehow I lost 5 kgs without doing anything, now when ever I do "something" I must weigh myself). I have turned emails from my mum into poems:

I have been instructed to avoid
yawning, sneezing and chewing,
which means soft food like soup,
mashed veggies, porridge, yoghurt--

Talking is fine so long as I don’t
overstretch my right
temporomandibular joint.


Jerry's Final Thought: I wonder if kidnappers think, "I could totally kidnap this person right now," before becoming kidnappers.

No comments: