Month: October 2012

Letters we are not going to send.

Dear JC

I miss you, baby. I hope you miss me just a little bit. It’s been 10 days. I forget the record number of days for us not speaking to each other, I should look it up. I have in mind that it is about 3 weeks, so I could have another 11 days of silence to look forward to, or perhaps even more, who knows.

If you are interested, this time around I found the first nine days not too bad. Day Ten has been … interesting. I miss you a lot.

I could date other people, and obviously I do, in fact, do this consistently. Other people are all right. They exist in real life, which is quite good because you can go to nice bars and restaurants with them and sometimes have sex with them. Sometimes I try to replace you with one of them but that doesn’t work so well because the thought of anyone in real life being that close to me freaks me out.

I want to be with you always, if you let me, I will never leave you. I don’t care if we never see each other. All I want is to talk to you every day, tell you all my secrets and have you smile on me. That would be great, as U-Roy say. Great great great.

U-Roy: Things You Love



None of the things I want to do are actually that difficult, motivating yourself to get started is the biggest hurdle. I realised that I was being pathetic about exercise so I immediately put on my shoes and coat, went out into the rain and walked six miles, which took the best part of two hours.

It was great actually, I didn’t want to come home. I’d forgotten how much I like walking. You can build up to a nice, bouncy pace, your body temperature rises, you find you don’t need your hat. The neighbourhood looked pretty in the dark and wet, with the city lights reflected in the wet pavements.

For two hours of exercise outside in the rain you’re going to want some big music and so naturally I spent the whole journey with Burning Spear. You know I speak the truth when I tell you this is a heavy tune. I could have walked all night. 1 Health point.

Burning Spear: 700 Strong



Joie de vivre

I don’t know how anyone copes without reggae, it should be prescribed on the NHS. I can feel normal-temperature happiness and optimism slowly seeping into my bones, like coming indoors from the winter weather and standing in front of the fireplace. So much love for U-Roy. This is dedicated to JC and to all of us who are dealing with any kind of adversity. Hang on in there.

U-Roy: Tide Is High

So the wind blows

And soon the tide gets higher and higher.



It has been a funny time, the last couple of weeks. I find it fascinating how the various activities that comprise TLYW ebb and flow. Recently it has been like this:

  • I hurt my arm a couple of weeks ago. It is better now (hooray!!) but at the time it was quite nasty and it robbed me of my usual vigour and sense of physical strength and vitality. I just wanted to stay in and not move.
  • In turn, this led me to cancel all upcoming dates except for that one date with Blondie, and to cease prospecting for new dates.
  • My friend had health problems, which made me sad.
  • JC and I are on a break.

I am obviously getting a lot of Chinese homework done and in fact I am taking a break from some right now (1 Chinese point). There is so much. If I had done this much homework from the outset I would be fluent by now. In general I am not smiling a lot, I am rather unconcerned with my appearance and for a while I stopped listening to any music, which is a bad sign.

During the last couple of days I’ve been tentatively searching through the musical archives for something to lift my spirits and here we are at last. I can’t quite believe I’ve never played you any Dr Alimantado. OK, here’s what we’re going to do. It will be therapeutic. You don’t have to sing or dance to this. Just stand up and stretch. Turn your face to the sky, stretch your back, raise your arms in the air. Feel your chest fill with hope and belief in happiness to come as he delivers the line “As hungry and as poor as we might be!” So beautiful. This is a song about guns but it’s also a song about courage. Enjoy.

Dr Alimantado: Gimme Mi Gun (1978)

I didn’t graduate high school.

I saw this the other day, in a collection of funny images titled ‘If Tattoos Told The Truth’.


I wanted to know if that’s what it actually says. So I looked it up, and it does. Although I’m not sure the last two phrases are in the right order. I think maybe it should say 我没有高中毕业. “I didn’t have high school graduation.” Then again, what do I know.