Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Me, Myself and I

Hi folks! Still on a learning curve with this but here I am in my natural working environment - outside the Tollgate pub (Wetherspoons) Turnpike Lane, North London. Bloody well couldn't connect via the pub's WI - FI network though. It turns out that it will only work with MS Explorer. Well, I am running Linux on the portable machine so bollocks to them, that's all I have got to say on the matter. I have been working on the new volume by the way, so I thought you might like a sneak preview of an early version of the foreword to it - intended to get the new reader up to speed as it were. I have to say though that this piece has changed quite drastically since its original conception. It is what I was working on yesterday when i took this pic but then the bloody batteries ran out in the computer before I could upload it via email or transfer it to a data stick and the charger / power supply thingy is at my mother's house so for the time being it is all in limbo. See you later - I'm off down the pub (probably in Enfield or Palmers Green, for you North London-ites).

Foreword to New Volume
St Mary's Hospital School - the motto: through obedience comes learning, through discipline comes obedience. It was humiliating enough that it should be proudly emblazoned on the front of the gymslip, let alone that it should be repeated on the breast pocket of the stiffly starched, high-collared blouse, the little open-fronted waist-length cape that fastened so tightly at the throat and that she wore on occasion over the top - and just about every other item of clothing to boot. As a statement of intent, that fine red and gold threaded embroidery spoke volumes. The crossed crook-handled canes, as a heraldic device, was of particularly questionable value; it practically openly stated to the world that here was a young lady kept subject to the kind of physical chastisement that most would have assumed had long been consigned to the history books. But then again, the uniform, in itself, was a thing of the past; an anachronistic throwback to long-obsolete values and the Victorian mentality of seen-but-not-heard, quite-as-a-mouse submissive femininity. Bad enough, then, that she was way past school age - worse still that the institution in question, was little more than the outcome of the gleam in the eye of a misguided, if not downright twisted, psychologist.
Uncomfortably perched on the narrow bench seat of the cramped Victorian-styled school desk, its plastic tackiness adding to her discomfiture, a furtive glance up and to her right and those dulled eyes would meet with the equally soulless gaze of the window, one of three identical lining the wall. But she daren't - and besides, there was no relief to be had from monotony there, only whitewashed frosted glass cowering behind a guard of similarly whitewashed steel bars. To the front, no more than a couple of meters or so away, hung the reason why she daren't.
A single glimpse of the supple rattan, its heavier bamboo cane sibling and its leather-strap cousin and her eyes fluttered quickly back to her schoolwork; already she was falling behind with the dictation. Tears welling in those pretty deep violet eyes the realisation was finally dawning that there no matter how hard she tried, there always seemed to be some obstruction to her terminating her tenure, some excuse, some reason they could cite to justify extending her residence.
She was learning the hard way that freedom could be as tenuous as a spidery signature scrawled on a crumpled document - and the longer they kept her there the more likely it would be that she would docilely sign on the dotted line


Colin said...

What's your Weatherspoons like? The ones in Nottingham are crap, they're like drinking in a cinema foyer.

Madmonkey said...

What are you drinking? It looks like tar.

R Humphries said...

Good to see you're keeping up with the latest hair fashions ... have a pint for me ... RH

Toyntanen said...

I can think of at least three Weatherspoons that actualy were cinemas at one point here in London. The one I am pictured outside used to be a car showroom and is full of old alcoholics from 9 in the morning onwards. They are all pretty dire though! I used to drink a lot in Nottinham in the mid 90s, mostly in the Salutation inn on Maid Marian Way - in its heavy-metal heyday at least. I was at Notingham Uni - Sutton Bonington Campus (talk about out in the sticks) - doing food science and stuff.

As for what I was drinking - all I can say for certain is that it would have been some sort of real ale and deff not tar but I got too pissed up to remember exactly what. Yesterday I was in Enfield imbibing a beer that was made with blueberries in it - blueberywishes, think it was called. I'd like to be able to claim that I was in disguise and that it was a wig - but I wasn't and it isn't. I'm afraid I your standard aging heavy-metal man, stuck deeply in the seventies some place.

sixofthebest said...

Whatever you are drinking, here's to you and your blog, and your forthcoming book. I believe naughty woman in institutions should undergo corporal punishment, be they given 6.12, or 25 of the very best strokes of the cane, on their bare bottoms. So once more a toast to you. And 'knickers down to all naughty woman, may they feel the pliable stinging cane on their naughty voluptous bare bottoms.