Sunday, 28 February 2010


I do get myself wound up sometimes. My oh my. So I got off the tube and just cried, I walked home and cried and thought of my ethical friendly organic (read shit) mascara making eyes around my eyes. I just felt hopeless. I missed the night out because I wasn't ready for it, wasn't dressed for it, hadn't built up the momentum for it throughout the day. We went for pretty good Mexican actually, but I was thrown off by having to small talk some art types after a day in the shit that is my knotty knotty place. The colours are turned down! But ah you don't care, because you're studying at Goldsmiths, your tech-ing at the gallery, are you at the Slade, no I'm fucking not alright, and I just don't fit here!

I needed to cry for about, hmm three days? I was grumpy at work all week, with some anger left over from Dentistgate on Monday. The hot lindy hopper became a dead end. Not even yesterday's tea dance broke it, paying a tenner to see octogenarians move suddenly felt off. Anyway, I have now kind of identified this emotional stasis thing that I get. I feel physically paralysed somehow, as though my energy is in hibernation. I feel slow and fragile, with shallow breath. I am disconnected from what my eyes are seeing, and how I am processing what I see before me. I am disbelieving that this is it. This notion scares me a little, but the disconnecting of a sense, for instance when you really smell something amazing and it transcends everything, is actually quite intense and interesting.

I feel better now. I like knowing crying is anger venting. I know I'm frustrated but sometimes the body holds it in. There's no-one to shout to, no-where to hide, it internalises and builds like the pile of ironing. It won't shift itself. I wanted to cry at work for days, but when asked 'what's wrong' I had no answer, hence I couldn't let it out. I hope I will feel better tomorrow! I'm sad I missed the night in Brixton. I even stood on the opposite platform for a minute before my second decision brought me back to origin. East/west. There will be other nights. I really like that analogy of asking oneself is this the last time you will ever have this chance? Is this the last brownie you will ever be offered? (No). Is this the last pair of size 38 1/2 sample sale Church's boots you will ever see? (YES).

Another week, now two, have passed, where I haven't tried very hard to think. I have been a hedonistic thing, cooking merely on a Sunday and Monday, living the week on pitta salads and pastry melanges, dancing here, cinema there, drinking here, dating there. Here there sleep work there sleep here work there. Thinking? I have become flat. It's taken three weeks to finish the Raymond Carver. Come on! That is the least I should aim for. I can't live the whole of March just working and dancing and waiting for April! I need some goals. I shall rearrange my room and start putting action into place, shift this stagnant energy round a little. My eyes smart and I look forward to opening them afresh tomorrow.

Monday, 22 February 2010


Man did I have a cob on yesterday. And hell did it find a new outlet today. So I bought the Observer anyway, after meeting in Cafe Oto and eating some nice veg, later followed by stewed apple pancakes. I bought the Observer because I wanted a good feel for the new format, and I really enjoyed it today. A new quoted section of Seven Days, a delicious New Review with the art smacked right next up to the science (all over that), and a new poppy magazine with the lifestyle whacked straight at the front. Nigel 'sang', to quote the master.

So I had a most distressing day. It started off fine, with train and plane tickets committed to, cups of caffeine and a second breakfast. After the insurance osteopath it was lunch in the crypt cafe, shepherd's pie puy lentil-style with a side of Connie Francis, love that album. I'm happy, I'm browsing this god damn hot light range in the Conran shop, hot as hot hell. Then I'm asking Paul about their bread courses, comparing my Marc Jacobs knock-off to the real thing in Selfridges (do I feel bad, maybe) and getting a slight art fix in the basement. Then it's off to the tube.

I fell asleep slightly between Limehouse and South Quay. I was apprehensive. Edgy. Zoe please, yes that's me. Ee. Sequinned waistcoat in the dentist chair, nonchalant assistant making me uneasy. Three lots of spikes into that bit between your gum bone and the fleshy bit attaching it to your face. Ear screech pain ahhh. It's not numb yet. An hour of jostling and stress in the air, he asks the assistant if she's bored at one point and I'm thinking this isn't cool. Suddenly I'm tipped up and numb, talked at with blind eyes about failures and inlays and four hundred pound bills. It hasn't worked. I feel like ultimate shit and I'm covered in mascara tears and I want to spend that 130 quid on two more knock-off dresses not a failed attempt.

I cry most of the way home and wish I had someone to call to say I love you but shut up. I found myself browsing in Sports Direct. It was the anesthetic. I want my mum to take me for hot chocolate in Drucker's like she used to, put a human spin on this teeth drama, I can't even eat this chocolate cake I've got because my teeth smart, but the love is right here on my plate. Instead I get a plan together. I shop for French onion soup, rosemary bread, a side of roast sweet potatoes followed by a poached (in sherry) pear trifle. All of which posted through a tiny fragile gap in my mouth, taken successively and indulgently in the kitchen by myself over the last four hours. It was Nigel's soup recipe. Maybe I didn't need saving yesterday. I did today.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


Just reading Nigel, and feeling a bit, here we go again, cynical. Shocking. I know. How much longer can he go on writing a column from a pool of words that isn't the largest, the unctuous imagery and Nigel isms we have grown to love, but after a while, these words drawn like clouds around dishes of sustanance, begin to smart. Meagre, oh humble pan juices, eek, meagre, really, we're talking about one expensive beast of a bird here and you're all wanton over meagre pan juices? He bathes himself in vocab of his own creation, a language called Nigel Column if it was named. I wonder if he writes a dirty diary of swearing and Midlands colloquialisms. Perhaps I am just cynical and evil and not buying it today. Not buying that food can save my soul.

We can't all have the Nigel life. As much as I love both his passion and plainness, he for sure doesn't have to deal with this shit tip of a kitchen I've got here, when you can't put anything onto the surface without fear of contamination, no licking that spoon because it might have streptococcus. As much as I'm bitter now, there's no denying I was positively giddy on Wigmore Street last week after lindy hop, eyeing up the sexy Bulthaup kitchens from the lives of others. I am already picturing the perfect copper Mauviel saucepans for the next, successful chapter of my life that I'm not sure I'll ever get to.

Friday, 19 February 2010


I feel a lot better after a coffee. I got off the train all sleepy and weird, walked half the Euston Road looking for something quite indeterminable. It wasn't really a fake almond essence croissant from Tesco, it wasn't the escalators taking me down at Warren Street station. I love it when something I don't know is running me spontaneously, and I get to the barrier with my card, and just change my mind. It must look silly but it feels free.

Then I spotted Centre Point and it was all about the caffeine. I feel a lot more normal now. I am wasting time before folk music later on, happy that I didn't have to jar my day with the bore of going home and coming out again. Sometimes it's just so easy and smooth to carry through with things, be out in the world and float a little. Some amazing people watching on the bench. It's a beautiful street we work on.

I did England today. London isn't England is it, not really. Funny how tourists land here for a bit of quaint when it actually lives an hour up the train line. Bicester is cute. I felt like I was watching characters, the bakery full of surname terms, a lady stopped on the street by an Iceland employee, the man asking me if I was enjoying my mini iced bun, yeah but it's too small, I said, you need a bigger one, he told me, do I indeed! I swanned in the sun feeling shook up and coated in a paper bag of English sweetness.

Today has been about itchiness, and sandwiches, and heads and feet. I bought the perfect Marni platforms that I can't really justify affording. Two excellent hats. Lots of itching, which I am starting to get a bit disturbed by. I think the wool isn't helping, but why am I just so constantly, prickly at the thought of my room. I think it's damp. I didn't know it was so humid, being so airless, but it must be. Or else I'm allergic to juniper and slathering it over me twice a day is a bad thing. I was itchy before that. Going to go to bed now dreaming of cream and waterfalls and boys most likely.

Thursday, 18 February 2010


Slightly worried at how innapropriate it was to let on about my crush. It seemed a good idea on Hermitage Road, but by Ashfield I was wanting to climb back into the box of olde, reserved, safety. Where things are never different and change is a bit difficult and far away, and, I'm ok here, thanks. It made me want to draw out a binary diagram, the yes and no answers for each possible permutation, working back from the event to check I had done right, ok, mildly acceptably, only a tad wrongly. But then life's too full of ifs and buts to do a binary diagram for every time I feel I may have made a new social error.

What is a crush. Is it a safe harbour for amorous inklings, a personal space that can't be tinged with reality and second opinion? Or is it a holding bay for prospects, catapulted out into NOW when the spring is loaded and the idea light. A crush is an idea of romance, laid over a person. They swim around in this pool like the bass in the story that I haven't finished yet. I have my feet dipped into the pool, my head raked back towards the vitamin D, waiting for the right time to jump in. Dipping in is all well and good, but there's nothing like the transformation of total immersion. Washing over you.

The old me would never have deemed it proper to relay such a nugget as 'I fancy your friend'. I never, never once did that at school. Imagine that. I thought myself out of the idea that I was any good many a time. I strived to avoid confrontation and embarrassment for most of my adolescence. I didn't date, I danced and drank till deciding I was better than dancing and drinking and dicking around with some nobody just because of geography. I was looking, but my halves were not in the DY area. My god were they not. I was in the wrong place without even realising, and it rendered me ridiculous.

The new me wants to swing and dance and giggle and do the things that confidence restricted 10 years ago, before it's twenty years too late and I feel infinitely woeful. I'm solving problems a decade old, admittedly a lot more thoroughly than would have been possible at the time. I am enjoying it, but I do feel rather foolish. Picking my way through the rules, making mistakes, hoping the triumphs will cream the top of some rather messy trifle.

The triumphs. Man did I giggle on the way home last night. Four hours sleep, a 5am bacon sarnie, charging Colin Farell for 3000 pain(s) au(x) chocolate(s). Some tea, some wine, no dinner, some rhythm that got me somewhere and spun my red skirt round in the most disgustingly attention-seeking manner. Alan, Thomas, Tony, Ross, Trigger from only fools and horses, yes really, old and lecherous and as expected. Three hours later I stop the hot lindy hopper taking off his shoes to ask for a first and last dance. Delightful smiles and honest abandon, what the hell is better than boundless reciprocation. Can I have a dance next week, yes fucking please. Skipping down the street, smug giggle, snigger, giggle squeak.

I'm hoping the possible faux pas and wrong feet can be eclipsed by these flashes of pure glee. Such moments are all about me. I am not left wanton and hungry, questioning my actions and angles, but feel whole and round and gilded by something I deserve and wouldn't want to explain away. If you never put yourself out for taking, perhaps the universe won't know where to take you. Now if I could just stop stressing over releasing this crush into the wild and focus on being a ridiculously exciting future person, and the fact that he didn't have to touch my arm like that as we parted. It's all about me.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Modern morals

I'm quite the frustrated holiday maker. I'm trying to make a holiday. A quirky, ethical holiday of trains and tiny cases, friends and strange beds, a flowing circle from London to London, via Paris, Madrid and Lisbon. OOh, I get, wow oooh, when I tell the plan. The shine dulls somewhat when the price doubles in the course of a morning, and I find myself looking up flights to JFK.

The cost of travel. I have been trying to get through to eSpanish Rail(sp) on the phone for just under five days. Tiny crush on the guy actually, I picture him as the guy who gets a long black with cute glasses and a good coat at about my height. Anyway. I finally spoke to Mr eSpanish Rail (so cute!) today, and he told me the 30euro seats are now 180. This is terrible news, made extra exorbitant by having to wait nearly five days for it. I want to shout at the man but he's cute.

I am beginning to know a little more about the train booking systems than a regular person needs. I am talking about it with impassioned chagrin, the Renfe site is showing these Web and Estrella fares and they are looking at me waving the savings in my face but totally not available! Rail Europe had a £82.50 fare just this morning but the European reservation system was frozen and now it's unfrozen the price has risen to £188 just to get from Paris to Madrid! It's actually cheaper through Mr eSpanish Rail, but by the time I get through to him, eta Tuesday, the tickets will probably have been sold! I have Alan at TrainsEurope (no space) researching from an office in Cambridge as we speak, but I know they all use the same server and expect Spain will have some sort of hierarchical privileges to it's own trains. I'm so BORED and all I want to do is go on a holiday that I'm fast starting to resent!!

I had spent a portion of the morning and two breakfasts deciding how many days to spend where. I sat next to the phone, and waited for him to call. I was decided and resolute, then the problem was anew. I am bad at adjusting to change. I would never book tickets without researching all the available ways, sure of the best deal, the happiest decision made by me, not by the options presented to me in order of ease. I like a bit of slog, an effort. Amazon is pleasingly easy, but some things need an effort injected somewhere. The last few hours have been moral territory.

A weeks free-style holiday for £421 is both cheap and expensive. For this fee, I have three trains, one plane, multiple accommodations, and three capital cities. I add on food. This freedom is cheap in some respects, so why do I find myself searching dirty equations of 'Paris to Madrid' in the Skyscanner search boxes? I know it's wrong. Madrid to Palma for £4.73 anyone? But who is the loser. The world wins with one flight in three years. I lose by seeing a fake trip for £210 which doubles with availability, constraints, the rules and realities. I am going to book it of course. I just wish I hadn't seen the phantom undercuts along the way.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

(Ever Is Over All)

So I personified Fate today. I sat on the loo and just smiled to myself like a crazy person, a slight laugh, a funny, an appreciation. Fate is the skipping Pipilotti Poker girl, skipping down the street, la la fucking LAAAA, BASH into your CAAAAR. She skips and she teases, circles you, disappears, reaapers over there, a little giggle, Sophia Coppola-style, giggle giggle tease, poke and laugh, BASH. Do you want to skip with me? I'm Fate and I skip and I got rhythm going on here, and, well maybe some can rub off on you, if you skip along, la la LAAAA. BASH! Giggle! Glee!

Anyway, Fate is a woman. Sod is a man. Sod is bad. Fate is good. But she doesn't do the rules, doesn't do the World, she's got her own thing going on, and only when you are of skipping bent can you catch a tail of her firey trail, pass your hand through her entrails of influence, circling ribbons of joy and serendipity and wow. She likes The Hanged Man. She likes the opposite of what you expect leading to the perfect result, and likes that you do not yet know nor have any say in this. It fits! My favourite perfect!

He talked to me for longer than felt necessary. I repeated my question once, noticing this probably means I in fact repeated it twice or more. Rhubarb tart hand brush, yum. Oh, and I've gone to the toilet without even thinking I 'should' hang around for a perturbed laissez-faire thank you goodbye thanks for visiting see you, soon? I sat there and thought of Pippioti, the poker, the slow motion, and just loosening the fuck up a bit. I felt rather pleased with myself.

I thought about real life, and how much more rewarding and instant and, available, it is than the internet. I thought about declaring a crush, but, er, to which one? Table four was a hotbed, three in a row, front right. Really Fate? You'avin' a giggle, because I bloody am. Then what's this, quarter past six, the perfect chat opportunity planted, and then swiped clean at 6.28pm, two minutes before freedom. I mean come on. That is just cruel. I'm sorry I'm in so many italics, it must be a vain attempt at irony.

I really enjoyed my evening at Le Mercury, despite it being the worst dessert I have ever had. A cheesecake that must have been a mere 7% cheese, 93% whipped cream, 100% joke. A creamcake. I didn't discuss it. If pressed I would have torn it apart, I liked how they liked that about me the other night. I felt silly that I had felt too 'unsuccessful' (read as you will) to attend the reunion, it seemed the gloss had slipped slightly, pooling around the projections. I didn't scoff but I did somehow feel wise. And super excited about my writing, my intership, and being good at the job I like. And talking to beautiful people.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Can it be summer soon please

Ok I don't know what's wrong with me, but I was trying to put into a sentence on the street, what the problem is. I'm tired of having little direction, not believing in something, and being alone. About that. I'm tired, but about that. I was trying on unflattering trousers in Liberty when I realised again it was due to a lack of fun for the last ten days. I haven't seen anyone, haven't done anything, bar sulk at lindy hop after a 5.30 start, and be mildly insulted by a friend I trusted to believe. I didn't feel so bad about the wet not-even-vegan cake.

I am sad. Sadness or melancholy. I'm tired of excitement relying on the contents of my inbox, no euphemism intended. By the sound of tall lanky non-cupid Eno binging. Dinging. Friend. Foe. Lover. Artsadmin. Christ. Jesus isn't emailing me btw. What I commenced as a bit of fun has actually poured water over a theory of hope. I am becoming more hopeless. More pathetic. I wonder if path-os is related to path-etic. More resolved, sadly, in the hopelessness.

I'm tired of wasting energy on this. I should be an amazing vacuum worker, unconnected, ideas sparking, newness evolving, people and ideas just sticking to me like magnets or thistles. My momentum, bringing things along with it. But it's not. I spent my two days off this week, up until the afternoon, just spinning out again. So infinitely boring. Pointless. I don't do it all the time now, thank goodness, but the light I carry is so small and delicate, it can't take these knocks. It goes into a bucket of sand, dead.

I got so melancholic at Camden arts centre. Why am I thinking about the Anni Albers book, why am I so wan over Sol LeWitt? Urgh, rumbles, old rumbles of reminder. I expected to see him. I was bike spotting today, and two customer double takes. Sickness and tingly arms. They're back! OK. It's probably just hormonal, and it's good to see the truth, I just have to notice this grief passively I feel. Don't judge it, just notice it, and be my own secret foreman.

Today was actually ok at work. I drank a lot of coffee. I made good drinks and gave good chat. I overted the glances of my likes, kicking inside. I checked a wholly uninspiring message and deleted the webpage history. I did bike spotting and felt shit and suddenly there were couples everywhere. The man at Oxford Circus made me cry. The gig was too loud. I watched two likes, watched them watching me and while, and watched them touch up their girlfriends. A drunk man in Mangal got angry at me. I changed buses. I cried on the street. Here we are.