Saturday, 27 June 2009

When the party's over...

My birthday weekend was lovely, remarkably sweet and chock full of splendid people, venison burgers, vegan salads and Cava by the bucket. Massive thanks to the inebriated vicar who provided all the scrumptious food and the calm and careful Mum and John who helped me set up the garden and did the never-ending Sunday brunch.
'Sally on Sunday' (c) T. Bush

On Monday, the remnants of the guests staggered blearily off to catch trains and buses and I took out the last bag of rubbish and by Tuesday I wanted everyone to come back again.
Post party depression they call it.

On the train home from London yesterday the evening sky was moody blue and punch drunk with early summer storms. I was feeling sad and shy, evading the commuter’s incurious cow like gaze behind my dark glasses and wondering, as always when I feel so scared by my overindulgent English spinsterhood, if there was anywhere in the world I might actually be of use.

What if I used my birthday money (supposedly set aside for my dental surgery) and jumped ship to join forces with some romantic cause like the dark Lord Byron, Che, Lorca, Sampson or Sacajawarea …you won’t have heard of the last two..they’re a chicks and we know most history was written by men; some with remarkably small penii and huge imaginations..(The Trojan army was HOW big?)
Then again you might only have heard of Sacajawea because of the film ‘Night at the Museum’. If this is true I cannot judge…I am also this culturally inadequate but I am losing my drift net-all rubbish line of thought.
What can I really offer with no technical skills and no languages? Would I be useful getting a flight to Tehran and offering hugging ‘aww let it all out’ services to the Guardians in the hope that they suddenly feel less uptight and nuclear and more prepared to chat about it all. Or a quick dash across the border to North Korea to see if there is anyone in the militia who want to try permaculture, sustainable living and local trading systems. It's really very good for drought proof vegetables. .

Anyway – just so you know I got for my birthday - amongst other marvellous things from jewellery to paella pans, sunflowers, martini glasses and Buddhist prayer bead - a subscription to a ‘blog redecoration service’. They are going to help make my blog site funky and more enticing which is a good thing because you may have noticed I have been slacking off badly and indeed was thinking of pulling the plug – this will be the much needed ‘re-boot in the behind’ to get me writing consistently again! It may take a few weeks but please do let me know what you think!

Also before I go to closing party photos – do check out ‘Siren Voices’. He is a paramedic who writes up his strange encounters with such tender, mesmerising prose his blog quickly becomes addictive. Real modest, melancholy genius.

And thank you VAL from 'Monkeys on the Roof' for passing to me the Lemonade blog award! Whoo hoo! More on that next time.

And lastly farewell to the deeply troubled, brilliant and tragic Mr. Jackson. My childhood would have been strangely empty without some of your music.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Summer of '69.

I was born on Midsummer’s Day in 1969, which makes this Sunday a rather large birthday. I think I am finally on top of the dizzying G-force effect of hurtling through time towards an age which tops Zambia’s life expectancy....which occurs the first time you actually realise that no one will ever call you ‘young woman’ again ....and which gets you ‘that look’ when people ask you if you have children and you reply ‘not yet.’

I did initially decide to hide under my bed weeping for the year but luckily have been convinced a celebration of survival, friendship and family might be appropriate and would certainly involve more sparkling wine.

I had wonderful birthdays as a pre boarding school child. My mum and dad would organise amazing fancy dress parties with themed food and remarkable cakes. Once – when I was obsessed with The Arabian Nights – we had a party with Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Sheherezade (my own personal spelling) , Turkish delight, storytellers and pink and blue rice. My pal Sasha, dressed as Sinbad had a long wooden recorder attached to a huge stuffed snake in a man sized reed basket. He would play the recorder and gradually pull the string and therefore pull up the snake and we would all fall about with hysterics.

Sadly I don't have those photos but as a teenager in the late Madonna infested '80's there was the infamous 'Poseur and Tart Party' we threw one holiday....'High School Musical' it was most DEFINITELY not..but the less said about that the better...

ehmm...moving swiftly on...

Later my birthday was always mid exams…until my third year and my 21st birthday when my beautiful friend (she of the barge) bought tickets for Glastonbury. My parents sent a side of smoked salmon and two bottle of champagne and we guzzled them in most unhippy fashion in the Fiat Panda stuck in the three hour-long queue to the entrance. We arrived in the dark and I, desperate for a pee, leapt out and ran to a corner of the field and squatted down just as the battalion of parking attendants directed the next slew of cars to my very spot. In a thousand headlights my bare bottom was lit up like the full moon. My friend nearly stopped breathing she was laughing so hard….

When I turned 30 there was a total eclipse of the sun. In Zambia, in the bush on dad’s hill, with a motley collective of marvellous friends and several tourists weighted down with binoculars, cameras and special glasses, we waited and sure enough at 3pm in the afternoon a huge eagle and flocks of birds suddenly flew towards us to roost and the sun was eaten. It was a mind blowing, terrifying, humbling three full minutes of unearthly shadows and the strangest silence and even the dogs stopped howling. As we gazed at the blackened sun with its flaming, exploding aura there was a slight coughing sound and then a man behind us started singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ Dad had chosen that very moment to light the candles of my melting birthday cake.

The sun came back (phew) and the euphoria carried us for weeks.

Tomorrow my big sister is preparing lovely food, my Mum and John will be over from France and the garden will be full of friends and family. In the evening those still standing will go to the pub.

I will, at some point, toast Teelo and other absent friends and have a bit of a wail but someone will pick me up, brush me down and hand me a shot of tequila and onwards and upwards to more adventures, more love and maybe many more birthdays! A toast to all my readers and if any of you are near Cambridge this weekend do come along!
All images (c) T. Bush and family

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Polls and Poles.

Wonder what’s going to happen in Iran. It would seem the encrusted sandal of the religious right is about to crush any spark of reform. Do we hope for revolution or do we wish for people to stay safe and hide inside? Image from internet

From the Sunday sunshine of a Cambridge morning with doves cooing and church bells in the distance, a country fair on the green with the sweet smell of fried onions and burnt sugar on the breeze, riots, rage, death and demonic demagogues seem far, far away....

Image from internet

Having wafted off into an advert for the English tourism board I do have to pull back and have a rather serious perturbed winge about the state of play here in UK. After all how can we stand up against the sleaze and toothless, pink faced sweaty stupidity of the British National Party, shake fists at the greed of the banks, demand equality for all when at the same time condoning the vast gluttonous indulgence of the football industry. Ronaldo is transferred for 80 million and on a salary of £500,000 a week. This vain, young man may well be a great athlete, he may well have come from a tin hut in some mosquito ridden favela but please don’t fall for the line that this gross amount of money is a ‘symbol’ of hope for the oppressed masses hoping that they too one day will rise from their hovels to kick a ball in Manchester, marry some botoxed apparition, get embroiled in some ugly rape scandal, and disappear off at the age of 35 into broadcasting obscurity and alcoholism. That gross amount of money is purely that. Gross.
Image from internet

Anyway I withdraw growling and fully aware that greed is what makes the West go around and around and my firm belief that no one in the world should be able to earn more then £100,000 a year is never going to be popular..

And it’s sunny…
So quit thy harridan’s witter woman.

Actually there were a couple of endings this week. On Tuesday the photographic workshops came to the close of the first phase. The participants had selected a photo and we had made them each posters and the ensuing exhibition was joyful in the extreme. Their friends, family and colleagues wandered around the room continuously saying how astounded they were. how they had never imagined that blind and visually impaired people could take such remarkable shots (sorry i can't show you yet but I hope soon some will be on an on -line exhibition!)
‘This is my photo of a thrown away piece of wood,’ said Mr. O. ‘When I saw the photo I realised it had bought out something beautiful in the wood and it made me think that all thrown away things have something beautiful still to be found. I have called this photo ‘Hope’. ‘

'Nuff said.

My beginner’s pole dancing class also came to an end and there will sadly be no whipping around shouting ‘wheeee’ on poles until the intermediate class starts up next month. Just so you know this class wasn’t about sex..nope..this class was not even about grace and style..oh no oh no! This class, being beginners, was just lunatic gymnastics mixed in with the child-like memories of climbing trees..OK that was me. I shall have to take it more seriously for the intermediate class....point toes and stuff. .....but for now…‘WHEEEEEE!’
' pole' (c) T. Bush

Saturday, 6 June 2009


There is no getting away from the endless prattle and waspish cynicism seeping septic from the news. Government implodes and flights disappear and French students are tortured to death.

Thank goodness for the historic and remarkable speech by Obama in Saudi Arabia. At that point all across UK there was a rush on green cards. He is like an outstanding professor, Armani model and Gandalf combined. I wish he would invade England.

I can’t concentrate and time is ticking but instead I sit empty and stupid watching the yobbish starlings decimate the suet balls on the bird feeder. They shriek and peck at each other; like the Labour party really. It would be a better metaphor if they were a ‘parliament’ of owls… wonder what is collective noun for starlings..hang about. .Ahhh Google! A ‘scourge’ of starlings..a 'murmuration' of starlings. Personally I would go for a ‘UKIP’ of starlings…but that’s just me…
Starlings (c) Machrihaniol birds
I am fascinated by their rough pecking. I am riveted by everyone eating actually. I become still and attentive when I see people chewing gum as they walk past. I drift off and drool horribly when food adverts come on to the TV; the reason being that I am only a couple of days into a ten-day detox. The first three fast days are worst and I’m already dreaming of melting cheese, chips and dirty martinis. The detox is just to reboot my liver before my birthday in couple of weeks and I know once I am on the raw food bit I shall feel marvellous but right now I ache for Bounty ice cream.

So this post is short and full of prattle and no substance because neither am I (full of substance that is.) I leave you with a photo I took in Trafalgar Square the other day, which I feel expresses my current mood exactly.
T x

'Girl on a Pole.' (c) Tanvir Bush '09