Saturday, 25 August 2007

want/need #2

Oh. Oh. I have one Tales from the Earth necklace already.
Now I want another.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

more sex chat

Two days reading about orgasms in the university library is not as exciting as you might think. Even though the name of the building I study in carries the delightful acronym of A.S.S., leading to predictable insinuations about one's sexual preferences (and there is a connection in there somewhere about how best to achieve that Big O), the necessary groundwork for writing my dissertation this year was far from scream-worthy. Reading about other women's orgasms is rather like discussing how tight your vagina is with your friends.

That initial queasiness that you are feeling imagining me and my friends chatting about muscle walls and stuff (this is presuming you're not indulging in some girl-on-girl wank here; I've got better material than that if you're interested) is not really the reason we don't gossip about it. I'm fine with frank sexual discussion, as long as I know what I'm talking about. And most girls have no idea how many Kegel exercises her friends do to keep it all happy, just as they have no clue what another woman's orgasm feels like. There are some aspects of sex talk that are just so personal (and this does not necessarily equate to private, kittens) that unless you have made the effort to explore such differences in width, length, depth, whatever, you have no basis for comparison. Vagina-wise, this doesn't apply to lesbians, obviously, but understanding how an orgasm feels for someone else is still presumably intangible.

This is why we talk about the size of your cocks, gentlemen, because as most of my friends are straight and sexually active, we have collectively seen more penises than we have pussy.

I'll leave you with an anecdote from my travels.
While beyond wasted one night in the Czech Republic, my Favourite Aussie Ever turns to me and says "Have you ever been with a guy who describes what he's doing to you while he's doing it?"
Weirdly enough, I had. "Yes" answer I, stumbling vacantly into the bar and waving money at the man until he gives me more Becherovka "I have." I drink some of the clove gin and realise I have ordered two. Or maybe my appearance grows more like an AA member's by the day. I think about what she has said and eventually add, "It was fine when I was slaughtered, but when I sobered up it did seem a bit fucking weird."
"What did he call your..."
"...My cunt? Pussy." I remember and something tightens in my lower belly. It was good sex. "I guess it's a bit Daddy's Little Girl porn-y. Maybe why I found it odd."
She looks as ponderous as her colourful cocktail will allow. "And what do you call it?"
I grin, because this is a near replay of a conversation I have had with a man of great interest to me in recent months. "Depends who I'm talking to."
(In my head, I always say cunt. With a man, I would say the same. The conversational situation has not yet arisen with my girlfriends.)
I do not expect the fully grown nurse sat in front of me to say what she does next.
"I call it my flower."

And that, dear children, is the other reason why we don't talk about it.
Because hysterical laughter makes other people feel bad.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

extra!: Vilnius

The day after I sent that last dispatch from Vilnius, we crept into the sleeping town early to visit a district called Uzupis. This slightly run-down part of town declared itself "independent" in 1997, and has its own flag, currency, president, and all the other tidy tasteless little factoids that you can munch on at Wikipedia.

On April 1st each year the residents set up border guards on the bridge you must cross to reach the district and you can have your passport stamped.

The upshot of all this tongue-in-cheek, er, cheek, is that they have their own constitution, posted on Paupio street near the statue of an angel standing on an egg. Oh, yes.

I was possibly particularly struck by the following points of the constitution, because I copied them into my notebook, but you can never rely fully on my reasons for writing things down. For God's sake, I wrote the words TUK TUK TUK in my notes the previous day and expected my later self to recall why.

Anyhow. They're really rather lovely:

10. Everyone has the right to love and take care of the cat.
13. A cat is not obliged to love its owner, but must help in times of need.
24. Everyone has the right to understand nothing.
27. Everyone shall remember their name.
32. Everyone is responsible for their freedom.
41. Do not surrender.

I have searched for a link to the whole list, but failed to find anything sensible, so I suggest you book your flights now.

You think I'm joking.

want/need #1

Two for tea? Fuck, yeah.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

swindon sexy time

As it has been a long week (mostly spent cleaning things and putting IKEA flatpack stuff together) I took myself off to Swindon today for a touch of retail therapy. I knew, even before I decided to go, that it was a shit idea. Especially as I had to go to PC World first to buy a printer, but that foray into the gutter of technology is quite another story.

All I wanted, all I crave right now, is new underwear. Something black, with boning that makes me sit up straight, something in the 50 quid plus market. Something classy. Well, as classy as Sex Underwear gets, anyway. In the absence of suitable garments on another shopping trip this week I purchased Amazing Shoes with a six inch heel and inch and a bit platform, a black leather jacket and tan leather boots. Not finding what you want during retail therapy is an expensive business.

Anyway, as stupid and pointless as searching for pretty pants in Chavland seems to everyone who possesses more than one brain cell and less than one council flat plus BONUS! screaming illegitimate child I thought I might at least have some luck in Ann Summers. However, the Swindon branch seems to have gone more for the penis party accessories market than corsets to make my healing rib twinge in a satisfactorily masochistic fashion.

I even, in a fit of ugly people induced insanity, tried Primark. All that happened is I bought a t-shirt for four quid and wondered whether the top advertising one as an "80's love child" is in fact anything to be proud of; think about what your (presumably united for the briefest of shags in neon spattered club loo hell) leg warmer clad ma and pa would have been like. I am an 80's child myself, but as far as I'm aware the glowstick movement didn't really reach the be-guncrimed depths of Nottingham.

So. My Swindon sexy time was a waste of time. But wherever you are in the world, and even if you haven't heard of Swindon, you could have told me that in the beginning.

Sunday, 12 August 2007

travel snobbery

I was going to write about my time in Marbella this week, but it will have to wait until tomorrow, as this has turned into a big (and, let me point out wearily, tongue-in-cheek) rant about why I hate airports.

Spain was good and I shall write proper travel shit about it soon.

My irritation with the Stupid People of the planet is never more venomous than at an airport in high season. I don't just fly at UnGodly AM because I'm cheap; I also do it because the demon children of the world are likely to be dopey from interrupted sleep and their pramface parents mute in surprise, celebrating with 4am pints of wifebeater in that cozy traditional fashion.

I had the misfortune to take a flight home from Malaga yesterday that coincided with every awful Brit on the Costa del Sol attempting to flee Torremolinos, or wherever they'd been munching through plates of chips and sizzling their skins to a perfect hog roast red, at the same time as your delicate author was merely trying to make it to the Easyjet flight with one smug hand luggage bag full of all I had needed for five days in Marbella intact.

Malaga airport, as it happened, was relatively free of the zombified stupids. Bristol airport, it was not. The queue for immigration was dismally enormous. They didn't open the Non-EU passport lane to ease the rush because, well, we're British, and if you put a sign up that says "Jump" we're programmed to bleat "How high?". At least this time they didn't ask me to remove my glasses when they checked my passport as they did at Heathrow when we flew in two weeks ago. Spectacles! they're the way forward for the terrorists, don't you know.

There were three policemen (three!) patrolling the luggage reclaim hall, guarding a trolley of bags that needed to be pawed through by customs. There were children on those demonic wheely trainers, flying into pillars and making a noise that twisted my shrivelled soul still further. There were even more children, clambering on the belts that your bags, if you're lucky, appear on after a wait of a day or more. Every time I pick up my hold luggage I make it my aim to swipe as many hellspawn as I can as I swing it away from the belt; the record so far is two. Could Do Better. There were more children and more children and Oh God why do people have children?

And why arm the policemen if they're not allowed to use totally reasonable force to subdue the little shits? (Just to point out, in total seriousness, if one person, but one, gives me the "excuse" that such children are unable to behave because they are "only three, what do you expect?", I will smack you into next week. I was a very well behaved three year old. I know plenty of well behaved kids that age. Hence the call for arresting the children. And more on that point another time.)

We made it home after a trip through Bristol city centre during which I saw far too many men wearing women's clothes (was there a special festival?), and far too many women wearing clothes that were at least ten sizes too small (that, I am aware, is a totally average sight in any British town).

And yet, I am sat here, browsing through flights for the next year, wondering idly where next.

Oh, the trials we face.

dispatch: Vilnius

This is a quick update, in theory, as my sister is hassling me to get off the computer to go and get icecream.

Vilnius is wonderful. I get the feeling I am repeating myself in these descriptions, but today is not the time to think like a thesaurus because the idea of icecream is increasing in importance the longer I sit here. The Old Town is mostly Baroque style, which led to a wonderfully confusing conversation between the Swiss and the German yesterday:

German: "The town is Baroque style."
Swiss: "Rock?"
G: "BA-roque."
S: "Erotic baroque?"
G: "What?"

And so the day passes, with language barriers making a multitude of churches (even I didn't go in every one) much more interesting.

Today we have been to Trakai, the ancient capital of Lithuania. There is a castle on an island. Those of you who have had the misfortune to visit a stately home/palace/castle with me before know that this is the one type of historical exhibit that makes me want to scream. Too much furniture and not enough archaeology. Given the wealth of medieval evidence for the site I was disappointed that there was so little on display. Instead, room after room of furniture. The lake surrounding was beautiful though, and the short hike along the shore later the highlight of the afternoon.

We've also visited the former headquarters of the KGB, now home to a Genocide Museum. It was fascinating, though mostly about the Soviet invasion and the Lithuanian partisan movement. They have preserved the prison in the basement, and that is truly harrowing. The padded cell was particularly grim, with a straitjacket still hanging on the wall. I felt very odd making notes in the very place that such activities undoubtedly carried a death sentence.

Tomorrow we move on to a national park, still in Lithuania, for a couple of days canoeing and hiking. I can't wait. Although the cities are gorgeous, the weather is starting to warm up and it will be great to see some of the countryside.

Icecream time.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

chit chat

We take a break from our regularly scheduled sniping to snark instead.

My grandparents are staying.

The tone in which I am thinking this, and in which you should be reading it, is one of mild dread and definite foreboding, laced with just a dash of merriment that my grandmother's love of cooking means I do not have to Do Something with a chicken tonight that will somehow add up to that great British institution of Sunday dinner. The feathery filth within that sentence is unintentional.

No, it is not the food (though Shepherd's Pie in this heat does seem, well, mad) that makes my insides curdle. It is my grandfather's conversation. And we use that charming term "conversation" loosely, loose like the knickers of a crystal meth addict.

The problem is, he tricks you into thinking that the chat is going to be pleasant and within the realms of normality. He is, after all, a Norfolk farmer, and has a similar vocabulary to the Shire folk. Example: calling mute objects "he", e.g. buildings, radios, screws, and anything else that cannot move of its own accord and definitely does not have a sex. I can deal with that kind of weirdness, having lived in Hobbit central for an Elven lifetime. But, no.

Today he asked me whether I'd ever been to Bournemouth. See, normal.
I said, no, I haven't. Why?
His reply was the standard kind of odd, the odd where the elderly start talking about people you don't know as if they are a close family friend. Because a man I used to work for used to fish down there.
Why this would make me want to visit Bournemouth I don't know.

But, it got worse. Oh, right. Said I.
'e used to make us dig up worms to pack into moss so he'd have enough bait for his trips. Grandad replied merrily, settling in for the ultimate thrill of describing, in detail, how to find lots of worms for fishing.
The closest I have ever come to fishing is falling asleep after too many beers by the lakeside and waking up to discover my shit of a friend had put maggots on me.

Later: (after ten minutes of worm catching lessons) I might go down there to see where he used to fish. Oh, God, I am thinking. Oh God I am glad I am going to Spain tomorrow.