Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Noele sing we clear

I seem to have hit a patch of blog fatigue. Not sure why this is, but normal service will resume - because why not? It is a way of thinking aloud (the blogging) that suits me, sitting happily on the cusp of extra/introversion.

Son of Signs is back from India and looks - how can I put it? - so much like himself and yet so changed. He has long rockanroll hair and is taller, leaner, his eyes darker, I swear they are, and I should know the colour of my boy's eyes. He has brought mangoes, incense, tobacco toothpaste (yes), saris, a statue of Ganesh. He came on Sunday, went for an interview at the Barbican on Monday (a three-month internship), got the job, is sorting out where and how to live in London, considering internship is unpaid. My head is a whirl.

Daughter of Signs has written a play and is busy with this and the musical she wrote last year, refining the one and promoting the other. It is early days, but things are looking and feeling auspicious.

Brighton flat is up and running (give or take a faulty shower) - and beautiful. If I can get myself camera-focussed I will put up some photographs, see if I can capture the windows - the light.

You see my predicament: I mean, who needs a blog post that reads like one of those tooth-grinding round-robin letters that list the year's triumphs and achievements? Because, peeps, it's all coming up roses on the Edge, and I mean this most literally, or almost, for actually we are still in blossom time - but the begonias are getting ready to burst their green corsage.

And here's another thing: I have been given an award by Noele Gordon her very self, and please don't ask me who she is. She was the Grande Dame of Crossroads Motel and is active in the hereafter as a kind of spirit guide - not to me, I hasten (very quickly) to add, but to another bloggiste (clearly what one might call a "sensitive") - through whom she has bestowed this honour.

Fabulous, and so much more substantial than the Noele I dimly remember from real life. Probably because we only had black and white TV (and I hardly ever watched Crossroads). As this comes bespoke and personalised I should really find a way of putting her on the sidebar.


Cusp said...

So pleased everything's coming up roses my dear. It all sounds tickety-boo Chez Signs.

Noele says she will see if Benny can come round and fix the shower. Of course he's not 'on the other side' yet so she'll have to give him a bit of a poke from acoss the ether but if you DO find a chubby man in a green bobble hat attacking your nozzle with a wrench, don't be surprised !

Toodle pip ! ;o)

Reading the Signs said...

I was just going to say, Cusp, that the one thing missing in my life was a chubby man in a gree bobble hat attacking my nozzle - when quite inexplicably he turned up! Don't ask, don't ask - life is really too mysterious.

Cusp said...

It's a sign, Signs ;O)

Reading the Signs said...

Where the blazes has he gone though? He's disappeared!

tpe said...


Cusp, this is good. Very good. You’ve surpassed every expectation I ever had of you. For once, I can’t think of anything awful to say to (or about) you. Clearly, you have skills. Modern skills. Computery skills. Funny skills. A very fitting tribute, well done.

I still look back with affection on those days we all spent in the company of the formidable Petruchio, you know. We were so young. Ah, the glory days.

Signs - hello. How are you? Did you notice that Cusp was down on the other thread, muttering away to herself? I’m not sure she can let go. Tragic. (I think she may have issues. Then again, you’re there, too. You need to let go, okay?)

I’m glad you don’t like those round-robin Christmas cards. They make me wince in agony – the clumsy attempts at playing down achievements, the vindictive competitiveness lying just beneath the surface, the pictures. Yes, I get cards where people put pictures of themselves and their revoltingly precocious children on the front. Straight on the fire.

Don’t worry, you manage to avoid this effortlessly, and I imagine you’re astonishingly relieved to have your son home. (I’ve told you before – you need to tie these people to a radiator.)

Still waiting impatiently, however, for some pictures of the Brighton flat. Tapping my fingers here, starting to think the flat is a figment of your poetically fevered imagination…..

I hope everything still feels like it’s all coming up roses. Always a nice feeling, that. Cusp was funny, wasn’t she? I think I may have misunderestimated her.

Almost loving regards to both etc….


Reading the Signs said...

She does have skills, TPE - and this Noele art work actually deserves to be properly seen, but I can't find a way of sidebarring it.

Perhaps Brighton flat is a figment of my imagination. I am going to try using my camera soon - just as soon as I can find someone with time to give me a camera tutorial (I remember asking the Finn and she just said she kind of clicked here and there, that's the trouble with being brilliant) - my mobile phone used to take decent enough pics. What is the opposite of gifted? Because I am that, in respect of techie skills.

It's good that someone round here has them, and this is gorgeous - worth celebrating.

tpe said...


You could drag the picture to your desktop – this involves putting your cursor over it, clicking once and keeping your finger held down, and then moving the object to a free space (on your desktop, obviously).

Then you would upload it to Blogger in the normal manner, as if you were going to do a post – only you’ll simply save the post as a draft, as opposed to publishing it. By doing this, you will generate the necessary code for the picture, allowing you to fix it in your sidebar. Does any of this make sense? I imagine someone else may be better able to describe this procedure more clearly, but that’s all I’ve got, I’m afraid. You’re right, though, it deserves a permanent place in The Hall of Fame and Shame.

You don’t know how to take pictures with your camera? That could be a problem, Signs. Is it the act of getting the pictures from your camera to your computer – and thenceforward onto your blog – that causes you the problems. Or do you find yourself stuck before even reaching this stage? Hmm. This could take some time. And if you use a PC, as opposed to a Mac, I may not be able to help you (which would feel awful).

Potentially helpful regards nevertheless etc….


tpe said...

Oh. And the opposite of gifted is deflated.

Cusp said...

You're right Signsie...he's bl**dy well crept over here now. Honestly there's no escape. I'm not really sure about him even when he's saying nice things about me...actually especially when he's saying nice things about me.

Anyroadup if you want to place Noele in yer sidebar:
go to your dashboard, then layout and then page elements, then click on 'add a gadget', that will take you to basic and scroll down to Picture. Click and it'll open a new window where you can add captions etc. and upload Noele via the browse option (always supposing you've saved Noele to your hard drive somewhere) Click save and ...done. Easypeasyemon squeasy

Mwah !

Reading the Signs said...

Well she's there now, loud and clear - but ideally I would have liked to shrink the image just a bit - not meaning to upset Noele, but the sidebar has grown wider to accommodate her and made the main part narrower. Going to the Blogger help section just threw up a lot of very complicated-looking HTML stuff.

Tutorial for techie semi-illiterates please.

tpe said...

This may help. Hope so< Signs.

Watch it, Cusp, I was being nothing short of adorable.

Helpful, if rushed regards etc....


tpe said...

Oops. That should have been a comma after the word "so". Hanging my head in shame now, for sure.

tpe said...


Don't say I'm not good to you, Signs.

Cusp said...

.......and what's wrong with my gift being the size of a bus in your sidebar, pray tell ???

oh well, if you must have it twinkling away at the same dimensions as everything else I suppose that shall have to suffice...

and then along comes old clevery clogs....oh he's so technical, he is, so masterful and strong.....Oh I love a masterful man......

Whoops ! ....think I'm channeling Dame B again...there are all sorts of images in my head now of TPE in a frock coat and cravat and wearing riding boots...yes...Dame B deffo

Off to take a cold shower !

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, this is both mysterious and wonderful, I feel as though I'm being initiated into the arcane workings of a secret society. Will try it out tomorrow as today am quite wrecked on account of poetry and wine (workshopping in afternoon, wine with dinner this eve, son visiting). I don't have a Mac, more's the pity. Son says Macs are for "people who don't know how to use computers" so clearly it's just the ticket for me.

Cusp, don't worry, Noele's personality will still be as big as a bus, a bit of shrinkage won't diminish her.

So he's finally won you, has he - with his frock coat, cravat and riding boots? You're never going to hear the last of this you know, just saying. The Masterful One may well unleash the length and breadth of his Petruchian charm on your personage. Dame B will tell you what to do, though.

Cold shower sounds - er - nice.

Reading the Signs said...

oh gawd, Gawd, this is embarassing! And quite honestly it is unbefitting for someone with my intellectual and artistic clout to play the ditsy damsel in distress, all at sea with the HTML, let alone opening the bonnet of the car. But I have to admit that in spite of the most gentlemanly gestures of assistance I had to get Mr. Signs to do the job - and even he took ages figuring out what to do. In the end he did shrink Noele, but the margin seems unaccountably wide so we may have shrunk her to no good purpose.

I will let it be as 'tis for now.

Cusp said...

Well I don't think the width of your sidebar or the cut iof your gib is down to Nolly's dimensions because TPE's vid award is the same width.

And as for suggesting I have been won over by that rascal ...well I never heard the like. It's not I who was being seduced but Dame B. and as you know I (as the one who is earth bound --- if only temporarily) cannot be held accountable for what this earthly body and mind feels or does when taken over by Spirit.

The only way to rid myself of such feelings and phantasie was to duck the old girl in freezing water: did the trick however.

Love to all

Cuspschen (*)

tpe said...

Oh dear, Signs. I think you've maybe set the women's movement back by at least twenty minutes with this girly-shaped admission. Thank goodness for your husband, that’s all I can say. I seem to remember that he’s had to jump to your assistance in these matters before.

Don’t worry, if he’s any sort of man – and he is, I reckon – he’ll love being asked and he’ll love being able to fix things for you. We’re made up this way, you know. Just don’t be coming to us with emotional stuff or feelings issues - so much harder to fix and often quite bafflingly immune to the nostrum of dear sweet logic and/or hammers and nails and glue. We only want to help, though, that’s the point. It’s just that you people often come to us with the wrong sort of problems – which is hardly our fault, to be fair.

I think I may have missed the moment with Cusp, you know. She seems to be backtracking quite rapidly, pulling out the old "I was channeling the lust of someone else" trick. I've seen it many times before. I should have got here sooner, though, and dealt with her while she still had The Fever. I’ll go and prod her in the ribs, anyway, and see what’s up.

Cusp, nonsense. You suddenly fell for me big style - everyone does eventually (just look at poor Signs, gasping there) - and then you regained your senses and moral compass and tried to cover your tracks. It's going to happen again, though - these lurches - so you may as well get used to it. I'll only rest once I've heard you admit that you love me a little bit (just like Signs). Or, at the very least, an admission of bafflement that you can't seem to hate me, no matter how hard you try. Come on, what’s the worst that could happen? (You dream about me, admit it – and I don’t care if you wake up retching and pale.)

Hello. Signs did a good job with your picture, didn't he? You must be pleased. I think it looks great.

Perfectly straightforward regards etc....


tpe said...

Your son said what about Macs?

I need to think about this quite urgently.

Reading the Signs said...

I'm just thinking, TPE, that if the someone else whose lust was being chanelled happened to be your very fave pin-up - someone like, say, Suzie Quatro - then you might feel differently about it. I think you might just be saying that Dame B doesn't float your boat.

Stick with your Mac, I hear they are lovely and good-looking to boot.

Reading the Signs said...

p.s. actually, Mr. S would really appreciate it if I just sorted all the techie things out for myself - but what can I do if we're stuck with PC?

tpe said...

Exactly. You need to get yourself a Mac, Signs. I think your son may be right in one regard, however - they are certainly simpler to use (once you get the hang of them).

They are designed so very beautifully and in such an aesthetically pleasing manner (minimum fuss), that I'm not sure how anyone can bear the "noise" of a PC. It's a personal preference, of course, but I also happen to know that most arty people favour Macs - so make of that what you will, oh poet of mine. (Cusp has a Mac. That would be my best guess.)

Looky, if Dame B was looking for some love, Signs, I'd hand it out real easy. I just happen to think that this was Cusp herself, momentarily unhinged as she allowed herself to realise and acknowledge my incredible magnetic beauty....and then, slightly sheepishly, playing the old "channeled lust" card afterwards. Just a hunch - but a good hunch, one of the best.

If it had been Suzi Quatro, of course, I would have wrestled her to the ground there and then and slaked my fell and deepening desires in a mad and deeply disturbing jiffy. That much should be clear.

And on that slightly seedy bombshell, I must get back to the sun. I hope you're having a lovely day, Signs.

Sunny regards etc....


Cusp said...

No, Cusp doesn't have a Mac ;O)

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, I would have expected no less of you. And that you'd hand the love out to Dame B "real easy" just shows what a gent you are.

Cusp, but they probably have Macs in heaven - so Dame B might have one.

tpe said...

They only have Macs in heaven, Signs. Barbara Cartland, Gregory Peck, Luke Skywalker, Mussolini – the lot of them, anyway – will all be using Macs up there. God is a significant fan of the achingly cool.

Cusp, hello. Really? You surprise me. That means I’m outnumbered two-to-one here. I honestly would have had you down as an Apple person. It’s not too late, you know? Do yourself a favour and try one the next time you need a new computer. You’ll love it. Everything makes sense and everything is beautiful – all the best people know it.

Signs - thank you. You're quite right, I'm a gentleman. It's only when I pass near the likes of Suzi Quatro that things can become a bit unsettlingly immoral.

Unexpectedly favourable regards to both,


Cusp said...

Well, come to think about it Cusp does have a Mac...a very old iMac but never ever uses it because it was baffling after so many years of PCs.

I don't think they need 'puters where Dame B and Nollie are. They simply think lovely thoughts which drift across to the recipient bobbing over the fluffy clouds.

Aaahhhhhhhhhhh ! :O)

Reading the Signs said...

well actually, I'm now thinking that perhaps they don't have Macs in heaven after all - or that Gawd is an american - because Daughter is writing a script and I am having to do spell check for her because Mac can't spell in the english way.

Just saying.

tpe said...

She simply has her settings wrong, surely, that's all? Oh, this is all turning so bad and Mac-hostile. I just wish I knew how to tell her (through you) how to change the settings, but I don't - I've never needed to do such a thing. (At least someone has a decent computer, though, so I should be thankful for small mercies. Your daughter clearly has class and refined sensibilities.)

Wait. I'm not saying that you don't have class and refined sensibilities, Signs, I'm just saying that....oh, it's a minefield, I can't see any acceptable way out of this sentence, so I'll just stop.

Cusp, hello. TPE wants to know why we are suddenly occasionally addressing ourselves in the third person? Are we being used as channels by others? Or are we maybe suddenly all premiership footballers? TPE thinks it likely that we're being used as vehicles by the spooks. He's okay with this.

He does wonder, however, in his polite and roundabout way, just what the blazes might be wrong with you that you struggled to get to grips with a Mac. TPE also wonders if you might sell it to him for £10. He reasons that as you don't actually use the thing, this will be like money for old rope.

He sends kind and dismayingly fractured regards to both lady-girls, although he feels sure he didn't just call you both "lady-girls" etc.....


Cusp said...

Cusp says of course we're all being controlled through higher powers except even they couldn't get to grips with that pesky Mac. Usual progs were fine -- same as PC --- but other stuff was a mystery and in the end Cusp couldn't be arsed and went back to PC so could get on with work.

Cusp also says ' £10..... £10 bl**dy !!!!!!!...The very cheek of it !!.'

On yer bike and away with you.

If and when Cusp disposes of said communicationery/ writing machine-device Cusp shall put it on EBay from whence it came and TPE can bid for it with everyone else.

Anyway it's a blue one and whilst Cusp reckons that blue may be a colour that TPE rather likes in certain contexts, it may also clash with TPE's frightful taste in interior decor and cause the poor chap migraine...and we wouldn't want that would we ?: 'we' as in Cusp, Dame B and Nollie ;O)

tpe said...

TPE says he ups the offer to £12. He's never used Ebay, unfortunately, and has no immediate plans to do so, although he does have a friend who swears by it. He wonders what all the fuss is about, really, yet readily concedes there may be a certain addictive quality if one were poor enough - or simply greedy enough - to have to use such a service.

He sincerely doubts you'll get a better offer for such an old, clapped-out machine. He wishes to convey that he's shaking his head ruefully, in pity.

TPE also feels it's fair to say that he would far prefer to avoid migraines at all costs and so perhaps you have a point - however inelegantly put. He was about to ask you out for a night on the lawn and some kissing beneath the moon, but now feels less than enthused by the idea. He suspects there are plenty more fish in some altogether less polluted and poison seas. He will cast his rod in cleaner waters. (He wishes to suppress a fnarr and a fneek at that last sentence, of course, but may be very hard pressed to do so.)

Signs - you probably need to go to "system preferences" and make the changes there. Your daughter, rather. It's a rum do when computers only speak yank. This problem is going to bother me now, however, so I'll doubtless do some proper research.

I hope she's paying you for your valuable time. I know, I know, it's hardly the done thing to take money from one's children, but still. Good luck with the corrections, anyway.

I think Big Brother starts tonight, if you're interested. (I'm sure you will be.)

Curiously devoted regards etc....


Reading the Signs said...

Signs is shaking her head here. No, bugger that, I'm not channelling - this is me speaking. Some of the spooky people are making mischief so here is a word of advice from one with genuine psychic attunement (and indeed I am considering setting up a stall on Brighton seafront, psychic sign-reader etc): if 'tis horribleness your ghostly voices are wanting to utter then tell them to begone for they are unlikely to be the real ghosty people. Though actually, why not? Well tell them to begone anyway, if they can't behave. Forsooth, next they will be casting aspersions on the immaculate House of Signs, and what next? A blessing on all your beautiful interiors and may your waters be as the clear stream that runneth from the mountain, and I am not watching BB and haven't for years - so watch it. Actually, don't - don't! Let them see how deeply and devotedly uninterested we, the elite, really are.

(thinking seriously about charging for spellcheck but fear that the bill may rebound and come back to me with interest - will see about the "systems preferences" though)

tpe said...

You must set up a stall on Brighton seafront, Signs, it will be a thing of wonder. People will flock to mock, of course, but we'll know better. I'd pay more than £12 for a reading.

Well, about BB, see, it's the last series ever and so I feel it would be remiss of me to ignore it. I hardly fell for it last year, true, and the thing generally disgusts me, but I sort of think I'd like to se the thing through to the bitter end. It's like starting a book, no matter how painfully awful, once I'm in I'm in. This in now way impacts on my elite standing, however. Indeed, it may even add to it.

I think you'll find that my spirits and spooks are kindly unless and until provoked. It's only really wee Cuspy there with the problem. She's always trying to start fights. (Think Charlene and Scott again, Signs. I've seen it all before. *Sigh*. I'd just like to get to the love bit, really, that feisty wee mechanic.)

Real easy regards etc....


tpe said...

Oops, typo. I meant "see", of course, not "se". Nightmare.

tpe said...

Good God. Another mistake. This is turning into the worst day ever. I meant "no", not "now". How these things pain me.

Reading the Signs said...

Perhaps I will offer my services for free though, TPE - on the other hand no, people will just think it's weird. I'll charge £20, that's half of what I used to give Shrink.

I don't know about Scott and Charlene because I never watched that. But yes, I can see the budding romance - Beatrice and Benedick, Much Ado. Actually, I feel a bit of a gooseberry, the character part, the flappy maid who provides a bit of light relief. Damn. It's my blog so I should be the Heroine. But what part is it I should play? Obviously not Lady Macbeth or something boring like Theseus's wife.

tpe said...

But you make for such a good flappy maid, a delightful comic turn - why rock the boat?

No, I can see your dilemma. It's your blog, after all, and you probably deserve a better part. When such momentously fluctuating and destabilising love erupts - as it has from the heart of teeny Cusp - it's often difficult for bystanders to get a look in.

Lady Macbeth is far too one-dimensional. You clearly deserve better than that. She's all a bit "do this, do that, you weedy little man – and quit drinking so much milk" and I'm not sure these words would trip naturally from your soft (Teutonic) lips.

But Theseus’s wife? Which one? You may have the beguiling words of poets as your guide to the life and loves of Theseus, but I’ve always taken Plutarch as my mentor. And Plutarch, perhaps unsurprisingly, enjoyed mangling his story to a pulp - so we may ponder his usefulness in these matters.

I remember someone called Perigune, I think, but I’m sure that he gave her away. Plutarch (possibly) avers that Theseus chased her (Perigune) into a shrub, coaxed her out with the promise that he would use her with a becoming respect, impregnated her and then gave her away to Deioneus – as you do. I can certainly see myself providing that sort of service, Signs, but then who on earth takes the role of Deioneus?

There was a bit of a hoo-ha with the Amazons, natural lovers of men, and then someone called Antiope went loopy and tried to take care of Theseus (in the Mafia sense) because he gave her the cold shoulder. Or did he marry Phaedra, maybe, was that what got her goat?

Hmm. Perhaps you’re more the Antiope type, driven crazy by jealousy as Cusp (Phaedra) snuggles into my boots and calls me Lord of the Amazons and Master of All Humankind. That would make sense, certainly – on all fronts - although these things are largely discredited as fable. (No, really.)

Ach, I give in, I need to go and do some research (shameful). Back in ten or so minutes. I think I know more or less what I’m looking for. Wait there.

tpe said...

Oh, my comment posted twice. Baffling. You'll need to fix that Signs (and be sure to tick the "delete forever" box. Thanks.) Back in a ticky.

tpe said...

Right. I didn’t know what I was looking for, it turns out, but I found something else (Plutarch) which may help explain my bafflement at your reference to Theseus’s wife. So…..

“There are also other traditions of the marriages of Theseus, neither honourable in their occasions nor fortunate in their events, which yet were never represented in the Greek plays. For he is said to have carried off Anaxo…. and having slain Sinnis and Cercyon, to have ravished their daughters; to have married Periboea, the mother of Ajax, and then Phereboea, and then Iope, the daughter of Iphicles. And further, he is accused of deserting Ariadne, being in love with Aegle, the daughter of Panopeus, neither justly nor honourably; and lastly, of the rape of Helen, which filled all Attica with war and blood, and was in the end the occasion of his banishment and death…”

I mean, the guy’s obviously a man’s man, don’t get me wrong, but his women all seem to be bit parts. I don’t know about “boring”, I simply don’t know enough about them, but you’re right to think you could do better. I worry, however, that by entering into these negotiations we may find ourselves creeping towards the 100 comments mark again. Nobody wants to see that happen – least of all Cusp and myself, as we’re both still reeling from having to shower you with gifts the last time (we’re both now thoroughly broke). So I’ll resist the urge to tell you why I would make such a damnably fine Theseus and why you would make an above average and dramatically gorgeous Ariadne.

You do realise that by failing to watch Neighbours, Signs, you missed out on one of the great cultural events of the last century? Did you ever wonder, incidentally, why some British people speak in those irritating tones whereby they always seem to be asking a question? So they may just be saying something normal? But their voice goes up at the end of the sentence? Like this? Well, you can trace the grisly phenomenon back to Neighbours. I hear rumour that Cusp speaks like this.

A storm knocked out any chance I may have had to watch Big Brother, you'll be saddened to hear. The reception went perfectly wonky. A sign from God, perhaps, that these things are sorely frowned upon by the Mac-using good guys in heaven.

Spookily Orwellian regards nevertheless etc...


Reading the Signs said...

I have done as you asked, TPE, but reluctantly because I am already cogitating a rather splendid plan for my next 100 comments triumph and even though I can understand why you might be a little cautious about wanting to see me achieve this (we don't have to quibble about it not being entirely my achievement) there will be a part of the TPEian consciousness that really wants to know what this splendid plan might be. So just (as they say, very often, on helplines and generally everywhere these days I find) bear with me.

ok, lots to say, but also lots to do considering all I have so far achieved is to have a swim and visit the mater. The washing is lying damp in the basket beside me as I speak, the kitchen smells of last night's smoked fish dish, daughter's script wants attention - but just to say that the Theseus I had in mind was the one in Midsummer Night's Dream - his wife was Hypollyta. Remember her? Exactly my point.

Lavinia from Titus Andronicus, now there's a part. If I remember aright she gets raped, has her hands cut of and tongue cut out - what a part. But not for me, obviously, I imagine an actress would have to become half-demented to carry it off and I am challenged enough as it is. Lets face it, there just aren't enough decent women parts - but I'll think about Ariadne.

God is clearly on the side of all right-thinking people (on this occasion at any rate). Mr. Signs was watching Father and Son on the other side and I was half-watching (four-parter, last one tonight). If it's a choice between being bored and alienated by BB or tense and anxious because of the other - well obviously I chose the other. Or Mr. Signs did, because he likes that kind of thing (and I reckon you might have too as you liked The Wire etc).

Phaedra - now that's a part. Or Phedre (I only know the Racine version). A woman of a certain age - with clout. C'est moi.

Reading the Signs said...

- though actually I think all Phedre might have done is have a massive crush on her stepson and cause no end of bother. So not sure about the clout.

WVL is ementel, which feels apt.

Reading the Signs said...

(Cusp - pssst - have you actually seen his interiors? Enough to make one want to come back as a black labrador - or ginger cat).

tpe said...



I'm cooking (then eating, obviously), but I never like to waste a chance to say hello to you. Back as soon as humanly possible to read (properly and respond to) your latest mouth/finger offerings.

Is this the shortest note I've ever left you? Could be. I hope you're drunk. (I just do, okay. Something to do with living vicariously, I imagine.)


Reading the Signs said...

I'm not drunk, TPE. But now that you've put the thought into my head I'm going to get myself a glass of wine. Or Guiness. Now look what you made me do. I'll probably keep drinking until I hear from you - so no rush, but you know.


tpe said...

Ah. In that case, Signs, I don't ever really see myself coming back. You'll just need to keep on drinking, it seems.

Mouth/finger, yes. I sort of see you mouthing the words as you type. (You did ask.)

Going to eat straight away. (These tiny notes run the risk of bumping up the comments tally at an alarming rate. I must be careful here, very careful.)


Reading the Signs said...

- that slipped down a treat - the wine, I mean. Hello, you're back - why aren't you watching the world cup? I'm all alone here with a bottle of red, artichokes bubbling on the stove. Mr. Signs is over the road with neighbours and football - probably getting drunk.

Cusp said...

Well I can see you two are having a very nice time without me Harrumph!!!! I am still not getting any of these comments forwarded to my gmail account and so I am completely out of the loop.

Ah well,I expect it's Dame B and Nollie trying to protect me from the evil clutches of a wayward Irish wannabe and no I have not seen his interiors, Signs, nor do I wish to do so. Neither do I wish to 'come back' as you put it so quaintly, as some old moggy or a slavering Lab (one of my least favourite breeds).

Some of us have standards dear and if I do decide to revisit this plane as a lesser-being it shall be as a Burmese or Saluki.

PS Glad the vino was to your taste. Love artichokes ...yum !

[I bet the Irishman was watching footie on the box in his little shorts and green jersey and waving his rattle furiously ;o) ]

Reading the Signs said...

TPE ah don't be giving me that just popping in to say hello, back later for the real visit schtick. You can come back now, I've had my half a unit. Hic!

Cusp, I thought you probably hadn't. Seen his lovely interiors, I mean.

My cat is but a common Tabby, but exceedingly beautiful in my eyes, and I once fell in love with a labrador in spain - so watch it.

When are you going to sort out your gmail thingy? And what actually is it that you do to get "new comment" alerts?

tpe said...

Cunning, Signs, cunning. Ask questions of the punters, knowing full well that they’re too polite to ignore such things. I see you racking up these comments in no time. First football, now gmail-related matters. Whatever next? Like I say, cunning.

I don’t like football, though, so that’s why I’m not watching the World Cup. If my reception comes back (still knackered from the storm), I’ll be sure to try to watch England, however. I used to really like football, it’s true – I’ve even followed Scotland to two World Cups (Italy and France) – but generally it just makes me feel abject. This has been the case for about fifteen or so years, although I still managed to enjoy the atmosphere at France 98. World Cups are the only possible football-related thing I could bear to watch these days, and even that’s a struggle. More to the point, though, why are you not watching with Mr Signs? It would have been a grand party atmosphere, surely?

Now, where were we? Let’s see. Yes, thanks for deleting the double-comment. I’m not sure why it happened, really, but you seem to have done a remarkable job in tidying up.

Regrettably, you are entirely correct about the fact that a part of me will want to know what you might have planned in the event of another three-figure comments triumph. You wouldn’t consider simply telling me and being done with it, would you? I won’t tell a soul, I promise. I’m annoyingly intrigued. I’m hoping you might put up a video of yourself singing something daring – that would be a sensation, I’m sure. Or maybe an experimental form of dance. (Oh, eurythmy. That would be a thing.)

I can’t quite believe that I went to such great lengths whilst banging on about The Wrong Theseus. (That could make for a terrific animation, a la Wallace & Gromit.) You didn’t think to stop me sooner? It gets worse, though, because I can’t even place a Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hippolyta, sure, staid and dull, everything must be just so. But she was married to a Theseus? Heaven help us all, but he must have been a marginal character, surely? I’m trying very hard to resist the urge to go and check, so I leave you with an unvarnished portrait of my ignorance. Chilling.

Puck, Titania, Bottom, Helena, Demetrius(?),, I’m clean out of names. It hardly matters, I suppose, in the final analysis, as I would never dream of having you play Hippolyta. You’re simply too good for that, Signs, too interesting, altogether, and palpably too dangerously unhinged. Nothing about you says “Hippolyta”, relax.

Hmm. You did say that I should just come back immediately and not be using the old “I’ll come back later with a proper response” excuse, so I should probably just post this and be done with it. And you do seem to be getting rather wined. (Surely the football is finished by now? You’ll need to mop up and make pretty before Mr Signs comes back and finds you in such a condition. Then again, he may be in no position to make an accurate assessment of your condition, really, lucky chap.)

My beautiful dog awaits, must go walking in the garden and make the most of the moon.

Disastrously sober regards etc.....


tpe said...

Right. Let's see (Part 2).

I've never heard of Father and Son. If it's not already a boxset, however, then I won't be watching (this is the only way I watch such things these days). If you're suggesting that it's up there with The Wire, however - a very serious allegation, Signs - then I will make an absolute point of buying it when the time comes.

Did you know, incidentally, that there is something called The Corner, made by the same people who made The Wire, using the same Baltimore setting and many of the same actors (only in different roles)? I've only watched one episode so far and found it to be fairly excellent, as you would expect, but unremittingly bleak (which began to feel like a drain).

I can’t make any sensible comment on Lavinia, of course, because to suggest you might deserve such a challenging part would be an incitement to some form of catastrophe, I’m sure. Plus, I could see you immersing yourself in the role which would mean losing your hands and tongue (for real) which would have the unfortunate effect – amongst other things, obviously – of making blogging rather tricky. I wouldn’t even wish such a fate on Cusp, most days.

You hit on a truth, however – and I have an inkling we may have touched on this before – when you say that there simply aren’t enough good roles for women. All things considered, this is a very sorry state of affairs. It’s also one of the reasons why it’s often left to people like us, I suppose – champions – to make up such roles as we go along. I imagine they’ll thank us one day, Signs. They must.

Beautiful day today, sunny and true.

Very English regards etc.....


Reading the Signs said...

Football's on again, TPE, and this time in the living room. So boring! But on the other hand Mr. Signs loves it so I don't complain - much. I just wish Arsenal would generally win matches more often, not that I give a fig about Arsenal but it would make Mr. S very happy.

You know what I'm thinking, TPE? I bet you can probably guess. Yes, that's it - you should write a wonderful female part for me to play. Oh come on, you're talented and artistic and you care (don't ask me about what, you just do). Something classical in a modern setting - Sophocles meets Stephen Poliakoff (probably in a shopping mall when everything is shut), though Euripides might be better, he wrote strong parts for women and for slaves, apparently. You could of course set it in Blogoslavia. It might not look as though I'm star-studded material, but the right parts just never came along. You can write a part for yourself too, obviously - and, er, Cusp (just hesitating because of the chanelling thing, I'm not sure I would want to be playing opposite Dame B).

Meanwhile I will carry on making myself up as I go along.

Thespian regards.

tpe said...

An intriguing suggestion, Signs, although I can't quite help but notice that this would mean I had to do all the work. Did you notice that? I'm thinking you did. I'm sort of left wishing you were Cusp. Writing a part for her would be easy.

Act 1, Scene 1:

A bewilderingly hostile Cusp enters from the left - muttering and cursing and making wild air-punches at no one in particular - and is immediately attacked by a pack of hungry wolves before she has a chance to say anything coherent. A dark stranger looks on, unmoved.

You see what I mean? Easy. I could write these parts in my sleep. In fact, I often do. With you, however, it's slightly different, as I don't want to bump you off just yet. (I think you might be useful to me in the future.)

Oh, goodness, I've just realised - I suddenly have the chance to boast legitimately for a bit (most unlike me). A few months ago I was asked to write a play - no, really - by a thrustingly admired theatre director here in Ireland. I said no, obviously - why would I say anything different? - but now I'm not so sure. You could actually be realised on stage, Signs, in an actual thing watched by actual people.

I hope you're impressed on all fronts - the fact that I'm in demand, the fact that I managed to drop this so casually into conversation, the fact that I said no and the fact that I have an open-ended offer to change my mind any time at all. I stagger myself sometimes.

Come on, be impressed - it would mean a lot to me.

But you're a complex human woman, Signs - I wouldn't hang around making such a nuisance of myself otherwise - and you'd require a very complex realisation on stage. I never feel that any task (to do with writing) is beyond me - a very good-looking and endearingly misplaced arrogance, perhaps - but this could be tricky and I may need some new skills to pull it off. If we could enhance any sadism you may feel, give you an interest in cricket and chess and a shockingly cavalier attitude towards using other people for sex, however, then we could be onto something.

I saw the England score in the papers this morning, 1-1 with the USA. Is Mr Signs still breathing? That's got to hurt, I reckon, poor soul. Hopefully my TV will be fixed by the time of the next match (I'm reduced to having an engineer come round on Tuesday), so I should be able to watch the England games - but only the England games - from now on in. With my valuable support added to the equation, I see them winning the two remaining games in their group. (Mr Signs will know who to thank if they do.)

Cusp has something pretty impressive up on her blog at the moment, just don't tell her I said that. The thought of having her fall in love with me all over again fills me with absolute horror.

Perfectly reflective and holy Sunday regards etc....


Cusp said...

I do believe we've been here before Mr TPE and as I said before

'In your dreams, Tiger'

and why in God's name would I fall for someone who wants to 'bump me off' as you put it so quaintly ????

...and now you're on here boasting about missed opportunities and only for the reason that you turned away from them. You must know my now that one of my muses is Dame B and she would never ever go for a wuss who turns down glory. Go on us your fangs, baby !!!

Oh ..and ta very much for the rather begrudging compliment about my latest post.

Yours, everso purringly ( rrrrrrrrrrrr !)

Cuspschen (*)

(Signs, why are you letting this Irish loon hijack your blog again ? Don't you know he's only using your comment box to air his own insecurities and boast ? If I were you I'd cut off his HTML and fry his C drive) xxx

Reading the Signs said...

I've come back from Brighton - pretty tired.

But not too tired to say, TPE, what an opportunity to write a splendid Blogoslavian drama - forsooth, tell them you have changed your mind! More on this anon, but really - yes, I'm impressed already. And you're absolutely on the button about my complexity, so write me in.

And perhaps also not too tired to say Cuspchen, that I like TPE's presence in the comments. This is an understatement, and my soul is not given to understating. Actually our exchanges which have been going on since - well lets just say we know each other quite well, which is not to say "know" in the Bibilical sense, but we share a sense of something-or-other that might be called humour, a feeling for the absurd, a delight in masquerade (TPE feel free to butt in here before I make a complete fool of myself).

In short, he is a true-heart (Kerouac's highest compliment I believe) and you would see this clearly if you could read his remarks through my spectacles (your blog post is impressive, he no fool Cuspie). But they are titanium varifocals and I paid a lot of dosh for them, so -

Mwah and Mwah to you and youse.

tpe said...

I have no time to butt in, Signs - once more I am chained to the stove - so you'll just need to go right ahead and make a fool of yourself.

Besides, how many times have you let me dig myself into a twisted, perplexingly complex hole? If I had one, my mind would be shuddering at the mere thought. Welcome back from Brighton, however - we've been attractive in your absence - and I'll be back here appallingly soonly to take care of both Cusp and yourself.

Cusp - hello. Sorry for sprinting off before I've even got started on you. I'm cooking. (Cooking beautifully, I hasten to add. You'd love it. You'd gasp.)

Aromatic regards,


Reading the Signs said...

Can't wait to be taken care of - can you Cuspie?

I brought back a cardboard takeaway box of vegan salady things for £6 - absolutely divine and not a scrap of cooking involved.

The comments are notching up, aren't they? Just saying.

tpe said...

Yes, the comments are beginning to stack up. I’m monitoring the developing crisis very closely. If I can time my bail out to perfection, I should be absolved of all responsibilites and obligations, leaving others to pick up the tab. (I’m thinking roundabout the 75 comment mark.)

Hello. You’ll have both been worried, I realise this, and your concern is very touching, but my TV’s fixed now and all is well. With rattle in hand and eyes on the field, I honestly don’t see how England can fail to score a super big goal shot in their next transaction.

Signs - thank you. I felt compelled to stroke my legs appreciatively as I read your words. Try not to read too much into this, though.

Cusp - think about these next few words as they might be delivered by Kevin the teenager, arms swinging awkwardly and furiously by my side, no eye contact possible:

S’okay, Mrs C. Fank you for saying fank you, I s’pose.

Signs - I think I will have won her over with that, you know. How could she fail to be delighted?

You eat out of cardboard boxes? I’d like to do that. Not so much with the vegan salady stuff, right enough, but the Chinese food you see Americans eating on police shows. It always looks so brilliant and cool and I start to resent the tin trays we are forced to eat our own Chinese takeaways from. Not that I tend to eat these things – but I would if they came in a box. I’m sure you know what I’m going on about. That’s got to be the hope, anyway, otherwise I run the risk of making myself look a fool. Can you imagine?

Cusp - “If I were you I'd cut off his HTML and fry his C drive.” That’s not very nice, is it? It’s also not very necessary, really, because if you were Signs I’d fry my own C drive.

Signs - I think I may have just undone all the good work. It was going so well. Damn. It was a funny riposte, though, if I say so myself. I’ll go back and say something nice and make things better again, so we can all get out of here alive.

Cusp - more admirable artwork on your blog today, I see. Very Munchy, Screamy, dark, anguished, angry and mildly unsettling. Good stuff.

Shatteringly attractive regards etc....


Cusp said...

Signs Oh all right. I admit it. All my sniping and nastiness is down to the fact that I know you and TeePee have a certain something between you and ...well.....I'm insanely jealous. The only way for me to cover up my jealousy has been to pretend: to become part of the masquerade.

TPE O.K. Babycakes ??? Happy now ? Can I call you TeePee now. You can call me Cuspie ;O)...but not Clasp or any of those other horrid horrid names you have used in the past.

Has been fun though..hasn't it ? pretending, I mean.

Not at all sure about the eating from cardboard thing. Blimey, if you're vegan you may as well eat the cardboard too. I deplore, and always have done, the americanisation of public eating: the McDonalds syndrome of eating with plastic or no utensils, from a piece of cardboard or a napkin on a table. Reminds me of the person who used to leave little dollops of food for cats around the feet of the statues on the PLA building in London in the 60s and 70s. Horrid !

Thanks both very much for compliments about the artwork on my blog. Do they refer to the poor bunnies or the disguised figure in black ? Why not leave a comment on my blog ? :you're both always welcome Chez Cusp

OK Sweetcheeks ;O) all better now ?

Lovely to have such harmony over at your little nook, isn't it Signsie ?

Mwah mwah ..Toodle-ooo !

tpe said...

Hurrah! Peace breaks out. We’re like those German and Allied troops on Christmas Day, playing football together between the trenches and between the murderous bombardments. Moving. Really properly moving. (Bagsy the Allies.)

It’s a shame Signs isn’t here to see it. I think it’s her man’s birthday today, though, so she’ll be busy swooning and making dainty cakes whilst wearing something dangerous – far too dangerous to wear down here, for sure. She’ll take some convincing that this actually happened, you know.

Keep your hand off Signs, however – back right off – I saw her first, okay. Just so long as we’re clear on that we should be fine.

Well, my first comments about your art referred to the bunnies and my second comments – the ones I made last night – referred to the second installment, the disguised, horrified (and rather horrifying) figure in black.

Actually, come to think of it, I’d like to see the second installment without any writing, save for the last line – “can I still see myself?” – to see if the sequence still worked for me (and purely as an experiment, I hasten to add, I’m not meaning to make suggestions – I’m not that arrogant, I promise). Stripped entirely of a guiding context, in fact, it may spook me out even more, so maybe it’s best not to go there.

Is this what the inside of your head looks like, Cusp? Does it make you uncomfortable that people get to look? This is the same sort of laying bare that Signs sometimes goes for, I feel, when she puts her poetry up for general consumption. (She may feel differently, of course, but I’m just saying what I feel about the whole thing.)

Vegans are pasty, joyless, cardboard-eating weirdos. (One of my sisters is a vegan, so I get to say this.) I’d be surprised if anone on this page had been anywhere near a McDonalds in twenty odd years, though. That’s a step too far. But you have no sneaking envy of the cool cops eating from their cardboard boxes on the move as they fight crime? Maybe that’s just me. They also used to get these things in West Wing. It just looks stylish and ordinary at the same time, rather than the fuss and ceremony of the tin troughs British Chinese (takeaway) food is served in. I may need to rethink the things I think of as being cool, however, I can see that now.

I'm also disturbed/interested to see that both Signs and yourself are veering away from (the joys of) cooking. I wonder what that's all about? I hope this doesn't happen to me. I think I'd miss it too much. Going to cook right now, in fact. Another hurrah then to end with.

Bakingly hot regards etc....


tpe said...

I meant to say "anyone", not "anone". Damn it. Must be all the excitement.

Anna MR said...

A totally nonchalant mwah, Signs, my dear schwesterlein, like I've been here all this time and you know. You do? Good, I was kind of relying on you to. TPE - I love you. Hello and good evening Cuspkins, you're lucky he (TPE) has let you off so easily after what you said about L*bradors. Deary me. I felt sorry for you when I read that, but he is benign and lenient and kind and good - this we knew, but he is it to the extreme, it seems.

You have all been sparkly and clever and poetic and intelligent and wonderful, as is your wont, and I'm afraid I'm going to bring the level of everything down a notch or several (hundred) (as is mine), by going back to the Mac and languages issue. Please tell the fair D o S to proceed thuslike. Whilst in Word, she must look at the menu of options at the top of the screen. Therein she finds one which says, Tools. She should click on that and hey presto, a wee window pops open in which she can choose to have her Maccy spellcheck the thing in English (UK), Finnish, Arabic or Catalan. Please tell her also that Maccy's are safe to play with - you can actually teach yourself to use one by bravely pressing on things which promise to contain Tools, because they do, and in a helpfully simple manner.

I sound like a computer nerd geek who hasn't seen the light of day in seven years. I am not, however, letting on that that is actually the case. Word ver says brupt. I wonder what they wish to imply with that.

Mwahs all round


Anna MR said...

No, wait, I actually left out one stage in the geeky enterprise I describe. Once she clicks on Tools (no fnarring - this is Signs' daughter), a menu drops down on which there is an option which reads, "Languages". Once she clicks this, everything works as pictured.

Sorry about the dreadful confusion there.



Reading the Signs said...

Hey y'all, wassup. I used to think that wassup was a question as in "what's up, doc?" or "what's the matter?" but it's much more fluid than that. It can be a question in the way of how's it going then, but I can see quite clearly how it's going down here so just take it as a hi there. Everyone ok with this? Good.

So everyone really digs each other everything is cool. That's beautiful, but I'm just thinking: if TPE is the Germans and Cusp is the Allied Troops then that leaves me with being either a trench or a playing field. I supposed I should be honoured - well of course I am honoured, but you know I do still hanker after that wonderful role that TPE is hopefully going to write for me when he says yes to the thrustingly admired theatre director when he realises, very soon, that this is an offer he surely can't refuse (but knowing TPE this is the very thing that will make him say oh yes I can refuse, just watch me, so tush I will hold my tongue. TPE? I'm watching you.

But on the other hand, it's as I've said before: art and poetry - the real thing goes on in the margins, the Blogoslavian drama playing itself out right here in House of Signs where there are no bums on seats, just numbers on stats (which I hardly ever look up and when I do I still don't get how it all works, but on the other hand I do sometimes see Helsinki and I think, well I wonder - )

hey there, Schwes, well of course I knew you were here - psychic vibrations (you know about my plan to set up a booth on Brighton sea front etc). And damn, it's good to see you. But listen, I reckon you should be telling whoever it is that feels they have a claim on your time - boss-examiner-whateverother important personage - that you need special dispensation (that's not the right word but you know), for blog duties. You have things to do, tellem. TPE and I will write you a note so don't worry about it - we have a bit of clout in the world, and will have more once TPE has written all about us in his play. Yes, and Cuspie will draw you, at the very least, a smiley face to lend the note a bit of weight, she being an artist.

I will relay all that you say about Macs and tools etc to D of S and carry on kicking myself and Mr S that we are landed with the PC.

Ate nothing but sandwiches, cake and biscuits yesterday - and meringue. Feel a bit - weird. But then that's nothing new.

xxx y'all

Cusp said...

Just a quickie: if AnnaMrMrMr needs special dispensation, I'm always willing to have quick word in the shell-like of Nollie or Babs. That should do the trick.

Oh and btw..

'..setting up a booth on Brighton sea front...'???

What will you be selling dear ? Candy Floss, rock in the form of the Great British Breakfast, dummies, sausages, ladies legs ? Goldfish ?

Wouldn't it be fun if I had the booth next door and told fortunes ? Sure Nollie and Babs would be up for it. We could rake it in.

Toodle pip! Mwah to all :O)

Reading the Signs said...

Psychic Sign-Reading, Cusp - what else? I could do a bit of candy floss on the side but a) it might set the wrong tone (I'm a serious sign-reader) and b) I wouldn't be able to stop myself eating all it all. You, Nollie and Dame B are very welcome to set up a fortune-telling booth alongside.

Cusp said...

Ooooooooh Ta everso!

Packing the crystal ball, hoop earrings and shawl as we speak !

Laters :o)

P.S. Can you put the kettle on now. Should be nicely boiling for a cuppa by the time 'we' get there.

(oh, and a plate of Gypsy Creams too...sets the tone )

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, probably vegans who do not get the right kind of nutrients are pasty, joyless, cardboard-eating weirdos - but there is also some kind of movement (don't know if that's the right word) - to belong you have to be an anarchist as well as a vegan and quite abnormally committed to freecycling, a bit "straight edge". I find all this rather interesting as I think it represents a backlash against the materialism that has gone so deep into our culture post-1980. But pasty-faced and joyless does seem to go along alongside, from my limited experience of those who adhere in this way. My vegan neighbour, on the other hand, is just about the healthiest, most energetic person I know - with apple-red cheeks.

The thing about feeling exposed, as an artist - well for me it's just that I use whatever is there, in the imagination, in my personal biography, my questing or playful soul (which says what if, or let's pretend). Sometimes there is a conscious intention but sometimes I let the writing reveal what the agenda might be and follow it.

I am never embarassed by what is revealed. But I used to be asked this, a lot, especially after some darkly situated stories where there was s-e-x. Some people wanted to know if it was "about me" and in not answering I wasn't being coy, it's just that the answer is always equally no and yes - it comes from oneself but oneself is also the chaneller and stands, to some extent, apart.

ok, well you were actually asking Cusp and I've butted in. But it's France against Mexico (booooring), no score yet and Mr S is supporting Mexico.

And well, I just wanted to.

As you were, as you were -

(The Finn is back, have you noticed? It is her subtle influence probably)

Cusp said...

As there seems to be a subtle change about these parts (peace and love, Finnish sincerity and lightness) I thought I might be serious for a moment (shock horror !!!)

Just struck a chord when you said 'people always ask is it about me' for I have always been asked the same question.

In all honesty the photographs/images I produced for the 'Creative for a Second' Project are not new in terms of style for me. They are typical in that I have always used myself as a model in all manners of guises and so people always seem to think that whatever I have made is 100 % autobiographical and that in apparently being so, I am all-revealing and so, they think, they know all about me.

In fact nothing could be further from the truth because some images are about other people, their lives, their problems, their situations and some images are about a version of me or about a version of me and other people filtered through my own peculiar (in the unique sense of the word) imagination. Even those images on the blog at the moment are perceived, I expect, as being about me suffering from M.E. but in my head those images represent a whole spectrum of experience of having a chronic illness (any chronic illness)): they are not specifically about my experience. I think that Nasim has/had the same 'problem' with TSOM.

At College we had a very wise, if disliked by many, tutor who once said 'It isn't truly art until you have taken the bare bones of a reality and turned that into something else, something new, something unique.' That has always stuck with me and that is what I try (very often unsuccessfully) to do. Those sorts of comments ( e.g. 'Is it you/about you?) always seem to come from people who don't understand that being an artist, in all its forms, is about using your imagination.

There...a rare occurence: a serious Cusp. Can't think what came over me :O)

Reading the Signs said...

This is interesting, Cusp - very , and eloquent (right back atcha here because actually feeling too damn ill to even go to bed though that is where I should be heading).

One can use oneself as a model, can't one, in so many ways. I sometimes feel I could put myself into almost any character, but really it's about absorbing the character into oneself: if I were that, then what? I like what your tutor said. I think that process does often happen as part of unconscious process, which is not to say that the artist/writer doesn't need to work. The work is/should be going on all the time.

I did wonder en passant who the actual model was - and of course this is sheer nosiness.

Anna MR said...

Significant Signs and Serious Cusp, hello. I'm quite out of my depth here, that much is clear, as I'm not an artist and you two are, and besides, I've been sitting in a cave for quite some time and still have lichen growing between my toes and behind my ears and in my hair, come to think of it, from the experience. So I'll mutter something fairly incoherent and be on my way (and this only because, well, I promised, k? And broken promises are vicious things, they never stop haunting you - or me, in fact, as I'm sure you never break no promises, no).

I sort of understand, perhaps, through my dabbling with the performing arts, what you are saying Signs about you feeling like you could be any and all characters. Thing is with theatre the playwright has already done it - or at least gone quite a way - and one just has to find what it all is inside oneself. Jesus. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that I think all of us have the full range of human possibilities within us, and it's the tapping into this range that produces things which aren't oneself but are.

See what I mean? I'm out of practice. Back to the cave I go. Be seeing you, sweet numbers you.


Reading the Signs said...

This much is clear: I must always remember to look and see What Lies Beneath. Brilliant.

(don't be giving me that I'm not and artist and you are schtick)

fyi - schtick is fave word of the month

Cusp said...

Sorry you're feeling so poorly Signsie --- just the usual or something else on top ? Hope you are feeling a tad btter soon -- too much larking about darn ve seaside...that's yer trubble girl ! ;O)

Now more serious matters. 'Yes' to putting oneself into any character. I have also found that when making the kind of performance images like those for C4a2nd that, after a while, something else takes over and I am surprised by the images that surprised as other people. Now that it's digital, of course, the resulting image is very quickly realised but in the old days when I used to process and print myslef it was often fascinating to watch the image emerge from the developer. I can actually remember thinking 'Where did that come from ?'

AnnaBannaMrSister..of course you're an artist. If you are acting then, even though someone else may have written the script, you still need to inhabit and interpret the words, that world etc and it takes creativity and imagination to do so well so what else could you be but an artist ?

Why is it, do you think, that so many artists think so little of themselves ? In my experience actors are the worst...and the ones that seem the loudest, bravest and most self-assured are often the most insecure beneath the surface.

tpe said...

I also wondered about Cusp’s model, Signs, but didn’t (and don’t) see anything nosey in this. It was a public display, after all, and this feels like a natural enough response, one of many; a perfectly healthy interest in the engaging subject at hand. Should we feel bad about this? I certainly don’t.

Anyway, never mind about butting in, I’m relieved that you did – it’s always nice to feel that one’s words haven’t been wasted. It’s one of the many reasons I keep on coming back here, in fact, you engage with your simpering fans.

Enough of such pleasantries, however, let’s go do us some art, Signs.


I wasn’t actually meaning (in your case) that you were laying yourself bare in the sense that you revealed specifically personal detail – although clearly this may sometimes happen - I was meaning the very act of putting forward your art/poetry for public astonishments in the first place requires a certain amount of bravery and a certain stripping away of the (safe, silent) privacy in which these things are necessarily forged. That’s where I would (and do) see the agony – letting people see what you do when you’re really trying your best. The subject matter, under these very specific circumstances, becomes almost irrelevant. Does that make sense?

Also, more generally, having lived with a practicing artist for twenty odd years – her mother and step-father are also artists (God help us all, the mess) – and having had a succession of her friends visit these past two decades (almost exclusively artists, the lot of them), some of them highly successful – if you judge great wads of cash as being the mark of artistic success – and some of them less so, I can only say that (variations on the) questions “what’s it about” and “is it about you” are amongst the very first asked in these circles when a new piece of art is being admired, considered or lacerated. I feel they know perfectly well that art is about using the imagination, of course, given the fact that they’re all, well, artists.

Personally, I find these questions are entirely legitimate (as a starting point - and if the artist just happens to be present) and they have never in any way whatsoever suggested to me an ignorance of artistic practice. (This can only be based on personal experience, of course, but then this will be the same for everyone – it’s only really important, I feel, that we don’t make potentially unjust extrapolations from these very personal encounters.)

I think it maybe suits the artist (and I include myself here, in the writery sense) to believe that something terribly recondite is being discussed – quite outwith the reach of mere civilians – but that’s just so much nonsense, I feel, and speaks of nothing but intellectual insecurity and a low-level need to try to make oneself feel better whilst making others feel bad for failing to “get” something really rather simple (if the artist has the necessary articulacy to translate “feelings” into words, of course – which is not always possible, granted).

I punish myself in the head when I find myself going wanky like this, as it serves no sensible purpose. And I’m going to punish you, too, Signs, if I catch you at it. (Try not to be too excited by this fraught and complex prospect.)

(Continued below.....)

tpe said...

I’m not sure I would share the general enthusiasm for the words “'it isn't truly art until you have taken the bare bones of a reality and turned that into something else, something new, something unique”,
I must say. (Well, no, the words themselves are absolutely fine, it’s what potentially lies behind them that worries me.)

I feel that this sort of outlook is perhaps part of the problem, a stifling of artistic intent, an attempt to make the practice seem exclusive. These attempts to pigeon-hole or impose a strict definition on the artistic imagination (or the acceptance or non-acceptance of art which may simply recoil from such an outlook or guidelines) always make me wince. And I’ve always felt it incongruous that people should attempt to define the indefinable or impose rules on the ungovernable beauty of a mind let loose (even if I sometimes attempt to make these very definitions myself) – and then somehow set themselves up as being the only people capable of recognising and labelling art.

Personal preference, of course, but I’ve yet to hear a fully convincing argument against this favouring of freedom over (even well-intentioned) diktat. It seems contrary to everything that artists (in all guises) should seek and strive to be. Or is that unfair? If so, how?

I’m not (by any means) saying it can’t or doesn’t or shouldn’t work for some, I mean to simply rail against the attendant impoverishment of freedom that such a set of rules must necessarily entail (as all rules must, logically and by definition, however broadly encompassing they may appear to be on the surface). I like to judge art on my own terms, without being told what to think – and I’m perfectly well-equipped to do so. If an artist/writer is on hand and they are decent enough to engage, of course, then obviously one would be a particularly self-regarding fool to miss the chance of at least attempting to do so. Being told what something is “about”, however, need have little if any impact on a personal response or reaction. Would you agree with that?

I also like to allow art to spill out of me (I include visual art in this bold claim, although I’m utterly atrocious – no, please, we’re talking bad) without paying the slightest heed to the strictures or rules of others. Why on earth would I do anything different? It would feel like an imprisoning cage to give the merest damn about what so and so said about such and such. How, in all honesty, could I possibly, possibly care? And how could I allow myself an unfettered freedom whilst (consciously) trying to follow the rules of others? It’s illogical, obviously, and very clearly doesn’t make sense – not if you value an absolute artistic freedom, at any rate. (This blissful freedom is like tapping into The Inner Selfish, as I’m prone to chastise myself as paint and glue and pieces of chicken found in the garden head for the bins by the windows.)

From jaywalking to murder we are constantly living under the laws and regulations of others, and so surely – surely – we must aim (and be allowed) to practise these arts unmolested by the limiting rules and the limiting imaginations of the minds of other people? Is that not what art is all about? And how dare anyone, really, attempt to impose a limiting definition on something that belongs to us all, as if only they may tell us when something is “truly art”, as if they ever have the right to do so.

If a definition is simply used as a personal tool and/or guidance, okay, fine. It’s when it becomes prescriptive that the problems (in my own head) start. And the trouble, of course, is that many do start to take these castaway definitions as being somehow universally true and subsequently applicable to every last one of us – and they make judgments of others based on these unprovable fallacies. This is anti-intellectual, anti-democratic, anti-free spirit and utterly, exhaustingly, depressing. And pointless, of course – but not in the good way.

(Continued below....sorry)

tpe said...

It’s terrific fun to debate and agonise over the process, right enough, but sometimes I wonder if this gets in the way of the artistic imperative itself. Or, put bluntly and crudely, it’s probably better to simply get on with it and leave the poncing around to others.

In other news, I have limited experience of vegans, I must admit, Signsy – save for the occasional sister. I just thought it might make a refreshing change to be utterly fierce against a particular group of people for no particular reason. It felt good. (Obviously, don't let your apple-cheeked neighbour read this thread, please. I love an appley cheek, me, and I feel sure I would love your neighbour.)

I did notice the Finn, yes. I wonder where she’s been? Did you see how she just sauntered in there, bold as brass, as if the women present hadn’t been wringing their hands and worrying themselves to death at her absence? Stark. (Hello, Anna MR. I’m very glad that you love me, obviously, although I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. It’s quite good, I suppose, to see that you’re out and about again. You had the women worried, you know – I was just saying as much to Signs. Emma says to say that she thinks you’re great – ridiculous dog that she is.)

Signs – I didn’t get to watch the England game (I was up in Kerry – beautiful, just the best – until well after the end of the match) and I’ve subsequently heard they did badly. I can only apologise. I’ll be watching on Wednesday, however, if someone thinks to remind me, so expect a tremendous English triumph to unfold.

I must stop. I didn’t even get a chance to address the issue of low self-worth in us (gorgeous) arty types. I read a really interesting study of this phenomenom a wee while back – quite depressing, really – and it certainly rang very familiar and true. It’s enough to say for the moment, maybe, that the distance between worthless and worthwhile can often feel excruciatingly small. It becomes wearying, certainly, being constantly made to feel that there needs to be some justification for things which, in a more enlightened world, perhaps, would require no justification whatsoever.

Incidentally, I don’t really expect you (or anyone, really) to address all or any of the above, Signs, it just feels nice to have a safe space to vent some hot air on a subject so close to both the heart and home.

May peace be upon you, poet.


Reading the Signs said...

swimming all the way back from Brighton to say hello. Hello - lovely indeed to find these words, close to heart and home. Back atcha soon (can you imagine me shutting up and not finding something to take issue with, TPE? Heh!).

Cusp? I'm a bit (a bit) better now, or at least capable of pretending to be. Hoping this finds you equally capable. We are heroic, what?

tpe said...

Hmm. No, not really. I think it would be a remarkable day indeed if you let me pass comment unscathed. Still, this never stops me hoping that one day you'll simply come back and say: "Good grief, I tell you what, TPE, I think you may be entirely, 100% right."

I've since been told by Charlotte, incidentally, that the thing I read (about us downbeat, abjectly depressed and permanently self-doubting arty types) was an academic paper, less of a "study" - my bad, clearly. She's trying to look it out for me, though, so that I might quote knowledgeably from it and wow you. Or depress you. Or both.

I notice, however, that I've reached my bail out point - the comments are at 75, 76 once I've said hello - so maybe this will need to be discussed in a safer environment, a place less likely to provoke celebrations and gifts.

Welcome back, Signs.

Surprisingly upbeat regards, considering....



Cusp said...

Hello TeePee . Hello Signsie.

Well I'm rather foggy today and not especially coherent but I feel motivated to just comment on your comments TeePee

'.....I’m not sure I would share the general enthusiasm for the words “'it isn't truly art until you have taken the bare bones of a reality and turned that into something else, something new, something unique”,

What that tutor was saying was really about how to judge what you've created after you've created it i.e. is it any good? does it have any worth/value to you (never mind anybody else)

It's certainly not about '....a stifling of artistic intent, an attempt to make the practice seem exclusive..' and she and I woudl agree that we woudl all want art to 'spill out of ' but when it has, in order to move forward one has to stand back and think 'Is this finished ?' 'Have I achieved something significiant ?' 'Is this art...or just an attempt at a reproduction of the reality in front of me ?' That's why photography was despised and discredited for so long --- because it was seen as just replicating reality with no skill or judgement and no really artistic intent.

As to the 'Is it about you ?etc etc.':well, of course, anything anyone creates is, in a way about themselves --- after all you have given birth to it's part of you, but the thing that niggles is the idea that (especially if a) the work is a photograph ano d b) using yourself as a model) there is no thought behind it, no use of imagination, no attempt to go beyond simple replication.

Right, my brain is too foggy for much more, but I hope I've clarified what I meant. Of course, as you say TeePee, it's all down to personal taste etc in the end.

Now Signsie, so glad you're feeling a wee bit must be if you can swim all th e way back from Brighton to home.. Did you 'goose-fat' your chest against the cold, dear ?

Brazing tally ho's to both

Mwah !!!! x

Cusp said...

That should've been bracing tally hos btw :O)

Reading the Signs said...

well, but TPE, it might have been my turn to throw the celebrations and hand out gifts - thought of that? Actually my plan had been to set you and Cusp (and possibly Ms Penguin) the task of writing a Ghazal with Signs as the repeating word - you're probably wise to have scarpered. But on the other hand there may have been prizes. We'll never know now. On the other hand, it's good to feel that we can wander to other places and continue our meanderings - we can do what we want, innit - unencumbered, us.

Fogged out today (Cuspie, it's in the air), and I never even got to the bit about laying myself bare. I will though. But leave you with the thought of Ishtar who danced (for Gilgamesh?) and stripped herself layer by layer until she was made of almost nothing. They hung her on a nail.

Goodnight sweet friends

tpe said...


You can't do that any more, Cusp - correct mistakes, I mean. It just needlessly pushes the comment total up.

Yes, well, I had hoped to make clear that I was distinguishing between the personal (good) and the prescriptive (bad). Still, you hurry the argument along nicely to its natural and sensible conclusion, really, when you say it all comes down to a matter of (personal) choice/taste. ‘Twas ever thus. We should pat ourselves on the back (especially me) for reaching such a profoundly reasonable space.

That feels true, though, that one needs to step back and ask "is this finished?" And also, perhaps, "is this any good?" I'm not sure I've ever failed to answer "no" to both questions, really, but this never curtails my enjoyments. (Oh. This is a bit like snooker, actually, now that I come to think of it – no, bear with me. I used to love playing snooker, even though I never knowingly won a game. Pool, deadly. Snooker, hopeless. But - and this made me the ideal snooker opponent, I believe - I always came back for more thrashings, simply glorying in the chance to play something I enjoyed so much, however momentously awful I was at it. The possibilities seemed endless. All those balls, they could go anywhere - and frequently did – and they could create magical patterns and ricochet wildly and unpredictably and settle into new, more dramatic formations. Beautiful stuff.)

Where was I? Yes, if, as it is with me, there is never even the slightest intention to make something public, however, then whether something is "finished" or "good" becomes (blessedly) immaterial - as I'm never going to care either way. It's all going in the bin, anyway. And even, sensation, if something was considered both finished and good, it would be going straight in the bin, too (although Charlotte occasionally gamely tries to save something). I just like the feelings. And I like having the chance to maybe clear a mental blockage or deal with a trauma creatively if words or music are failing me – everything is interchangeable, though.

Don't bring photography into this, Cusp, we'll never get out alive.

Signs - you shouldn't read anything into the fact that I'm here again. This in no way means that I went against my word and my comment shouldn’t (and doesn’t) count towards the total. I was just passing by and kind of bumped into Cusp in the corridor and it was all a bit awkward, really, as she went this way and I went that and we couldn't pass each other (hate when that happens) and so the easiest thing in the end was to exchange a few words to cover our shared discomfort. Which we did.

You’ll be gasping at how early I’m up this morning, I know. Off to Bantry in a few hours, it looks like another glorious day. I shall doubtless have Gilgamesh and ghazals going through my (beautiful) mind as I go about some attractive business. Don’t write me off – I won second prize at university for a sestina I wrote in my sleep.

Until we meet again, who knows where, who knows when......


Cusp said...

TeePee ...honestly,what can I do but 'bring photography into this..' ? It's what I do, dear. And actually, my work does 'go public'...I don't make it with that intention (if I did/was thinking about that as I made it nothing would ever get done), but since it is what we old 80s lovies used to call 'issues-based' there's not much point in making it if I always keep it to myself. Having said that the bunny pics and the draped pics are my first public outing for years.

Bantry....I remember that place Went there in about 1980 and to a cinema where we saw a terrible film with Joan Collins (Revenge of the Killer Ants' or some such...from when Joanie was desperate for work/money but before she started being so desperate she started removing her clothes). the people in front seemed to have brought their tea with them and chomped threw sandwiches, sweeties, tangerines, hard-boiled eggs and crisps. I had never seen the like. The ABC or Odeon where I lived would not have allowed such behaviour and one was restricted to Kia Ora or a nice Mivvy whilst settling down to 'Look at Like' or a good Pearl & Dean. It was raining and nothing else to do but flicks. In fact it rained a lot the whole holiday. Dingle was lovely. Cork was confusing. Tralee was hardly romantic or poetic. I seem to remember we also saw a dead pig float ashore in Bantry Bay ( I kid you not).

Have a lovely time in Bantry and don't do anything I wouldn't or shouldn't you naughty boy. Keep an eye out for wet pigs.

Signs..there still hangs a foggy cloud. Must be the heat. Sunny days --- not so good. Too hot. have a Pimms and a lie down on me (so to speak )

Mwah ! :O)

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, I feel it appropriate to come here and thank you - on behalf of the nation, really - for England being ahead in the game. Mr. Signs is saying that they should be more goals ahead than this, so obviously the only thing saving the country from disaster is the fact of your keeping an eye on the situation. Not that I care about football at all, apart from Arsenal, and then only because of Mr. S, as you know, but I suppose it would be nice for the country to go swaggering around with England flags feeling high for a space. So well done

While you're concentrating on that: well it takes all sorts, is what I say. When I am writing something my focus is on the writing, trying to make it whatever it wants to become. Then my impulse is to share it, perhaps not immediately but at some point. I never destroy anything and dusty old files and notebooks bear witness to this. Actually it would feel like a self-annihilating thing to do (not saying it necessarily is, but it would feel like that to me). Whether the sharing takes the form of simply showing it to a friend or a small group, reading it at a poetry gathering or seeing it published - the story/poem doesn't feel quite complete until it has gone from me and reached some other place.

Oh, we've won. I'm impressed, TPE. If you can arrange this then surely all kinds of other things are possible. An exciting thought.

Reading the Signs said...

I'm impressed by your having written that sestina - in your sleep. It's not something I have every managed - perhaps writing it in one's sleep is the way to do it.

tpe said...

Don’t mention it, Signs, it’s the least I could do. With my firm backing - come on Engand! discomfort the net! – and total concentration, it was always likely I’d make everything alright for everyone in the end. Tiring stuff, though, I was quite fraught during the final ten minutes.

I rarely destroy writing, although I do have a January clear-out in which I admit to myself that some ideas are simply useless and don’t deserve to survive. This is more to help me move on, though, as opposed to anything else. It feels nice to know I don’t have to go back to something – otherwise I become obsessive.

Note-taking is compulsive, however – I even take notes from those little boxes that appear and tell you what a TV programme is about. I know. I like trying to imagine who writes these things. You could pass them on the street and never know.

I don’t generally share your need to share writing, however – taking blogs and blog threads out of the equation, obviously - even though this is how I make a living. Once a piece of writing is sold, that’s it for me, the thing is entirely dead. I have never knowingly looked at anything of mine once it’s published, the thought causes extreme - extreme - discomfort.

It took about twelve years before I started letting Charlotte read (most) stuff. So, you know. I’m often happiest when I’m doing it for myself and have many, many completed pieces of writing (unlike my terminally incomplete travesties in Charlotte’s studio) that will never see another light of day, let alone be seen by another set of eyes. I’m happy to believe it fulfills it’s purpose whether anyone ever sees it or not.

Because I’m still feeling pretty happy about England winning – even though your house may be torn apart as the old German/English enmities rise to the surface in the next round - I’m going to address Cusp in an entirely separate comment, thus adding two (exceptional) contributions to your total. Never say I don’t look out for your needs, Signs. After that, of course, I’ll be gone for good, as things are simply getting too dangerous.

The sestina boast was pretty impressive, wasn’t it?

tpe said...

Ah, but do you do photography, Cusp, or should this be considered art in its own right? You see, this is one of those areas that has driven me to distraction in the past (and the historical arguments surrounding it have been fierce, you’re right).

Even if a captured shot is simply to be considered a reproduction of a reality, I’m wondering why this isn’t art (or an art form) in itself. Most regrettably, I have a picky mind and hotly love a pointless tangent, so.....

I might imagine a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, say. And then I might imagine someone painting a small moustache on this photograph and displaying it as an art piece. Yes, I know, a lame example, but I’ve seen similar (sort of) things before and most people tend not to bat an eyelid when this is described as art (although I’ve probably seen far too many degree shows for my own mental health, it now seems obvious). So far so good (in the minds of many).

If the application of this moustache is sufficient to turn it from a photograph into art, however, then so, surely, is the application of half a moustache. And if half a moustache is sufficient to turn something into art, then so, surely, is one painted strand of hair from this moustache. And if one strand of hair is enough, then so is half a strand. And if half a strand of hair is enough, then so is a single tiny dot – the very first point of impact as the brush or pen hits the picture in order to disfigure/improve it.

And if a tiny dot is enough to effect this transformation, then I think most people would agree that the argument has reached bizarre levels and it’s maybe just best to let it be.

But if this tiny dot isn’t sufficient to turn a photograph – and photography itself - into art, then it becomes a question of rather ridiculous degrees (going in the other direction). How much, exactly, needs to be done before the transformation is assured? How can it ever be possible to precisely determine where this line is to be drawn between a photograph and art? It beats me, for sure.

If someone passes me a photograph and says “look at my photograph” or “look at my art”, I’m probably not going to be batting an eyelid either way. I think I’ll always be happy enough to allow the creator of the image to make the definition. It saves me an awful lot of bother, frankly, although I’m left ruing the fact I wasn’t this gracious and heroically mature in my teens. Or twenties. Early thirties a little bit, too, maybe. But still.

Sadly, I didn’t manage to find a pig washed ashore in Bantry. I like a washed ashore pig, me, and actually saw one for myself just outside Eyeries two years ago. Oh yes I did. Massively bloated, strange, unearthly and startling. I rather wanted to pop it with a stick to see what might happen and maybe get a chance to look inside, but I’m always mindful of the fact that this is the sort of thing you hear serial killers have maybe done in their youth - and one can never be entirely sure if these things are contagious (serial-killing, I mean) - so I left it well alone.

The fact that we have both seen beached pigs in Ireland, however, rather hints at a colony of wild pigs setting up home in the sea, hanging out with fish (and the never yet seen water-leopards, obviously) and exchanging horror stories about the peculiar hungers of humans. I’ve always sort of known this stuff goes on, but I’m glad for the confirmation your previous sighting allows.

Tralee is a disappointment. Then again, I find most Irish towns strangely disappointing (with a few honourable exceptions). It’s always the countryside – on those rare occasions it manages to match Scotland in these matters – that agrees with me the most. And Kerry, praise be, often manages to do so.

Men aren’t allowed to enter The Rose of Tralee beauty pageant, which always kind of sets me on edge and may help explain my pre-arranged antipathy towards the place. I could have been a contender.

Rose-scented regards to the pair of you.....


tpe said...

Damn. I wish I hadn't made up that rule about not being able to come back and correct typos. I'm really kicking myself now as there are a couple of mistakes I'd dearly love to amend. I'll just have to trust that you both know I'm perfectly capable of spelling and that these things can happen to the best of us. Still pretty galling, though.

Cusp said... very own comment. I'm blushing with coy gratitude.

Methinks that if we get into the whole 'can photography be art ?' thang here, then we are most likely to get way beyond the 100 comments mark....more like the 1,100 mark, so I shall just say that, for me, there are photographs and art which uses photography as a medium through which to communicate e.g. Cindy Sherman's work might be considered to be art, Jo Spence's and Rosy Martin's work uses photography in a therapeutic context but isn't really 'art' as such for me.

I'm so glad you said that most Irish towns are strangely disappointing to you because I found the same. I suppose after all the romantic tales and songs etc. one builds a picture of a place, only to find it blotted and scarred by reality. Tralee was a case in point.

Pigs ..... yes..we should start a club. 'Our' pig was bloated like a ballon and grey/purple, bobbing about on the briney.

Do Irish pigs attempt to swim I wonder ? Do they group together for a day out by the seaside, swimmies packed, a nice picnic of leftovers, all setting off on a piggy charabanc with a crate of light ale in the boot. And then, on the way home, after a day of sun, basking to crackling point, licking ice cream cones, do they discover to their collective horror that there is an empty place amongst their number; a vacant moquette-covered banchette: Fred has been left behind !!! :O((

Do they return to scour the beach ?

Picture the scene .......

Fred is nowhere to be seen and then, suddenly, Clarissa gasps, a trotter over her mouth in despair. She points a piggy pinky in the direction of the horizon and there, for all to see is a dot cruising the waves, a piggy dot....a dot called Fred who has drowned-ed.....never to be seen again by the piggy party. Only to be seen again by TeePee or Cusp on a day out.

Have to go now....the tears will not allow me to see the screen clearly any longer.....sniff :O((((

Clarissa said...

Cusp. Behave yourself with your horror stories, and stop making me look like some trotter-wringing wimp. Just for your information, I swam out to Fred (the ditsy dork had lost his way, the sea is quite big) and guided him to safety. He was neither drownded nor never seen again (he asked for my trotter shortly afterwards and we have now produced several litters). I enclose a snap, taken by Albert as we neared the shore. We keep it framed on the sty wall, to remind us of our heady days of youth.

You might want to try your hand at story-writing, Cusp, though.

My best regards to both TPE (I don't rightly know how to react to your pig-popping perversions, mind, but you seem a jolly lovely gentleman) and our most gracious hostess, the esteemed Madame Signs.

I remain,

Yours faithfully,

Clarissa Pig

...for we are many said...

Oh, ye of little faith and poor knowledge of the Bible (I leave out you, Clarissa, for you're clearly a pig and aren't really expected to be much more than an analphabet grunter - I mean the apparently more distinguished partakers on this thread). Standest ye here and wonderests how it came to be that there floateth a multitude of bloated pigs upon the seas of the Earth? Hast ye forgotten what The Goode Booke sayeth?

Just as a hint, start from the passage which beginnests thuslike (and takest ye it from me, for verily, I should know - I was once there. Now, I am in a pig. A bloated pig, at that. TPE? Pop me. Please. I beg of thee)...

And he asked me, What is thy name? And I answered, saying, My name is Legion...

Pinky said...

Hey Clarrie - long time no oink. Great pic, and reminds me of all the fun we used to have (how's Albert btw - still snorting, heh heh?). will bring back a few memories for you. Me and Perks are still belting them out in organic farms, but there's not a lot of call for singing pigs these days. Might take up swimming again - haven't been to Bantry for years after what, you know, happened.

Pinky said...

Wait up - <a href=">This</a> was supposed to appear.

Pinky said...


Pinky said...

oh bollocks

Reading the Signs said...

well naow, well naow, said pc Plod - what the devil is goin on 'ere?

Pinky, you're a pathetic specimen of pighood, pardon my french. Completely buggered up the HTML - forgot it, incha?

Cusp, just look what you unleashed here with that washed-ashore pig, we now have they whose name is legion running amok all over our blog.

TPE - only (formal) poetry and Jesus can save us now, and oh look, look - for we have nearly done the ton!

- and You There - Lordess of Misrule - I'm onto you big time. Pinky might be crap at technical things and strangely enough so am I. But I have insight. Into - er - things.

Clarissa said...

Hello, Pinky, yes, it's been a while. Funny you should ask about Albert, as an email only arrived from him the other day, including some of his holiday shots (he's gone somewhere hot again this year - Bahamas, Malaysia, I can't remember). Since you asked after him, I'll enclose one of them, so you can see he hasn't lost his laddish ways.

I still dream of floating on the balmy waters off the coast of Bantry. Oh Bantry, you might be a slice of Heaven itself.

(Kind Madame Signs, please don't think me rude for seemingly high-jacking your thread for piggy reminiscing with pigs I knew in my youth. Rude of me, I know. I hope you and yours are doing very well indeed.)

Wishing you all beautiful midsummer.

Clarissa P.

Abbess of Unreason said...

Madama Signs - Who, me? You're "onto me" "big time"? I feel certain I do not understand your meaning, but surely, you've got the wrong lady altogether. I am a very sensible and noble person of the female persuasion, I will have you know, and, as I was crowned by the Holy Father himself - as you can see from the picture I come bearing - and, with the power given me by my position in The Church, I feel that instead of your gentle insinuations, you might beg for my assistance in exorcising your house from That Whose Name Is Legion.


Should you require any holy water or incantations, I remain, however (gentle and benign and given to helpfulness as I am),

Your Sister in the Lord,

Lordess of Misrule, Abbess of Unreason

Cusp said...

Oh Signs...I'm so, so sorry. All I did was write a siily story about a drowned pig and look what it has led to. He's very sweet but honestly, between thee & me, I think a screw may be loose.

Last time I felt like I started it with my silly comment about IKEA not being a suitable place for Baby Jesus and we all know what happened after that...installations, naked Nuns, astral visitations.

Obviously I am just not cut out to be a writer: when I try it unleashes bedlam.

I shall keep quiet.

Have a good peaceful evening.

(All I did was write my short story and go to Parents' Evening. How can so much go on in such a short space of time ???)

Sob :O(((

Reading the Signs said...

Clarissa, Albert and I had an affair in Bantry you know. Just thought I'd tell you so everything is out in the open. We made the "beast with two backs." Always think of it when I hear this

Reading the Signs said...

Pinky, stop pretending to be me - that's absolutely outrageous!

Pinky said...

- ok, but I did the HTML didn't I? Yesss!

Reading the Signs said...

O M G!

Reading the Signs said...

TPE, you there? Just to say that Mr. Signs would like Denmark to win, so if you could just, you know - thanking you in anticipation.

Y'all (you too, Abbess) - I think you'll find if you look at the small print that a poetic task is in order. Sorry, but we've crossed the 100 comment point and it says in black and white - more than my job's worth to argue with small print - that you have to write a Ghazal (ach, look it up, do I have to do everything?) where the repeating word is "signs". Nice for y'all because just think if it had been "periodic" or "l'ombre" - just a gift, really.

Edgy prize/s may be forthcoming after consultation with the judges.

tpe said...

But Signs, I’ve just checked and Japan are leading 2-0 and they’re already twenty minutes into the second half. You don’t think Mr Signs is maybe asking for a bit much? Plus, I’m about to settle down to some barbecued food outside. I’m not saying I couldn’t turn it around for Denmark if I put my mind to it, I’m just saying my mind is firmly fixed on aubergines at the moment. There is also the slight problem that I would actually quite like to see Japan win. As a compromise, however, I’ll go outside and eat aubergines but will be sure to switch allegiance and half-heartedly root for Denmark.

What on earth happened in here? We were enjoying a civilised discussion about Bantry, floating pigs and art and then.......well, I don’t really know. Cusp, none of these people are me, incidentally. The last time I was here was when I spoke with you, everything else is a mystery, although I suspect Anna MR (and Signs). For once, we look like the reasonable ones. As proof, perhaps – if you’re seeking proof (which you will be) - I never use the word b**l**ks, although our host and the Finn use it every second breath, and I also wouldn’t have messed up the html thing (quite so dangerously badly). That had to be a girl.

No, this is all the work of other people. We need to congratulate ourselves on our comparative sanity (unless you were secretly involved, of course). I think, although I would absolutely hate to accuse her of cheating, that Signs may even have been talking to herself at one point.

Signs - you are a terrible, terrible cheater. Still, I’ve already looked up ghazals. Not that this means anything, you understand.

Okay, aubergines and a necessarily weak woot woot for Denmark (which may be enough to get them a penalty or two).

Flabbergasted regards etc...


(Lovely picture of the pigs swimming, by the way.)

Reading the Signs said...

That was neat work, TPE, making sure they got that one goal. Mr. S says they deserved it, but clearly you were somehow involved, with the woot woot.

Me say b**l**ks? I deny it. Or if I do it is only when I'm under the influence of - did you say the Finn was here? I thought so, you know - I suspected it, saw through the disguise. She too clever by half.

Cuspie, it looks as though you are TPE's new best friend - but he's changeable you know, just warning you. But then, perhaps you are too - it's an Artist thing.

Reading the Signs said...

I'm probably the one person on these shores who knows that England is going to triumph over Jerry today, TPE - because you are keeping an eye on things. Thank goodness, because it's been a very nice Sunday so far and - for those that really care about these things - it would be rather a shame not to end it with endorphin-boosting victory.

Mr. Signs is over the road with - Carlsberg, I think.

tpe said...

Hang on, hang on. I only joined the action when England were already 2-0 down and seemingly intent on self-destruction. I’ve sorted out their shape a bit and pulled a goal back (two goals if you count the perfectly legitimate goal disallowed), but I do wish you would get me to watch (and manipulate) these things from the start, Signs. It’s an awful lot of work to switch the mind from swimming with the dog (oh yes, another beautiful day) to marshalling a World Cup defence.

Still, I’m arranging some food (as I type) and settling down for the second half, although I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch any extra time or – oh help us – penalties.

I wish Mr Signs a long and happy life with Carlsberg. And I wish you all the best that Sunday has to offer, you great big German.

Sporty regards etc.....


(Pete the Singing Pig was nicely sleazy.)

Reading the Signs said...

Actually it was Carling, TPE, not Carlsberg (what can I have been thinking?), and I've gone and got myself a can - supping it as I speak - because quite honestly it's getting to me: the look on all those players' faces, and the doomy remarks of everyone at half-time, as though they were poring over a really bad school report.

Gawd, and Jerry's just got another one and it's probably all my fault (though I'm not sure I would want to haul you back from swimming with your dog, even for this).

Well down the hatch, TPE - as Jerry score goal number four. I think the best we can do (notice how I'm trying to help the situation) is "be alongside" with the poor blighters who have to keep playing. It's just so much like real life, I almost can't bear it - can you?

tpe said...

Good grief, it's starting to look like a massacre, Signs.


Oh dear.

Let us pray. (Also, it may be an idea to nip out to the shops and get some extra Carlsberg in for the returning warrior.)

tpe said...

Carling, then. Just get out to the frigging shops. Quick. (Suppress any traces of German in your accent when you're out there, Signs. Better safe than sorry.)

Reading the Signs said...

This is apparently England's "worst ever defeat in the world cup finals" - which at least has the merit of being - you know - something. We're talking tragic dimensions here, TPE. Don't worry, there are a couple more cans in the fridge.

(WVLs are saying disaffec - they sometimes get it so subtly wrong)

tpe said...

It's pretty depressing stuff, isn't it? I don't know if I can bear to hear (or read) all the usual recriminations and gripes. Germany were simply better. (A lot better.) I suppose I'd best go and make the consolation phone calls to my nephew and niece (big England fans). A tragedy, Signs.

Keep drinking.

Seien Sie vorsichtig, Fraulein.

Reading the Signs said...

ja ja, mein herr, ich trinke ganz vorsichtig. Aber listen, liebe wimplepeepchens - don't stress about poetic task, ok? For I have been in consultation at the highest possible level and it seems that we can be creative about small print directives. Which is to say that there is no time limit on task and the word is that it may even be carried through into your next incarnation (though you may want to consider the ramifications of such a choice); and you need not feel in any way or manner inhibited from moving along to the upper commentbox regions.

And actually, though I probably shouldn't be disclosing this, you could even just say b**l**ks and ignore the whole thing.

(I wish the WVLs weren't saying arsetor - though come to think of it they might be talking about the football team)

the radif is "Signs" said...

Night after night, we long for you, we Read the Signs
Though darkness gather round, yet still, we Read the Signs

In life’s dread passage, cripples we, and lonely
Where’s comfort, company, love, hope? We need the Signs

The comments flowed like hundred years of solitude
You were forewarned! Now poets be! Decreed the Signs

The words aflame upon the wall, yet we were blind
We never realised these were indeed the signs

Now, eyes burnt out, we grope our way, we fall, we cry
our warning-call – too late! – Take heed - the Signs!

Nothing for it – to love’s great work we set, forlorn
Pray, just be auspicious, in your name! We plead the Signs

Deaf, blind and mute, we flail, inconsolable, we wail
The sought-for word escapes us – don’t recede, the signs!

We longed to be your first and best, oh pray, forgive us
This most unsightly pride, this selfish greed, The Signs

Where there is ever poetry, there you are.
No publisher will in his life impede The Signs.

We’ll stand in the sidelines and we’ll coo and clap,
As after Carol Anne, you shall succeed, The Signs.

Ah, ploughman, to be a field, ripe, nourishing and fruitful,
In our blank mind, you have thus sown The Seed, The Signs

And in our nightly prayers, the rosary falls from our hands
For in our minds, we hold but you: The Bead, The Signs

As Clarissa P, the Abbess, A*** *R, and Legion,
We thank you for the nourishment, the mead, the signs.

(PS - it's not our fault the blogger comments don't support our beher. Just, you know, saying.)

Reading the Signs said...

This absolutely four-Xing brilliant, Clarissa P, the Abbess, A*** *R, and Legion, yes, essence of Ghazal, each stanza a separate pearl but threaded onto one complete strand - gotcha! You get top marks for being first (and perhaps even only, but we have until next incarnation to see about that); and you get top marks for fashioning this into an exquisite hommage. (Carol Ann, if you're looking in don't take this the wrong way, you're the tops but clearly someone thinks I am too - get over it).

As it happens, I learned about Ghazal from this lovely poet person and wrote one too, though blowed if I can remember what - not as accomplished as this.

A prize. Clearly a night out here with Signs is out of the question for you would have to beam yourself over to beautiful Brighton. Hmmm. It will have to be something Edgy then. Anon, Schwes, I'll think on it. Mwahs abounding, oh talented Clever-clogs.

i am not this person said...

That seems like a prize heart-breaking to miss out on. Be careful, you, as summer's only young and who knows what thoughts my beam-machine may get.

(Fond as I am of travelling incognito, as it were, these days, I am delighted to have found some poor person who can impersonate me for a moment. But deary me, I hope she never finds and sues me.)

Many multi much mwahs from The Real Me


Reading the Signs said...

Well now I am not this person, that's all very well for you to say, but lets face it we live in a world where nothing can be taken at face value, so how do I know that the you appearing here is the person that you would have me believe it is? And supposing, for argument's sake, that you do, either in this incarnation or the next, decide to come and claim your fabulous (even though I say it myself and yes, summer is young-ish, or at least not on the wrong side of middle-aged and there are other seasons too innit) prize and I find myself slurping the oyster and knocking back the Prosecco opposite some alien other who claims to be you? Stranger things have happened.

I have decided, though, to give you the benefit of the doubt (the mwahs swung it). You must be just a bit pleased at the thought that you are held in such high regard that people go around trying to be you. To my knowledge this has not yet happened to me.


WVLs say allosink - they can just naff off. We have had a handyperson attending to sink this very day, so there.