Iris - symbolises good news (hilarious) or a message - like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Derives from the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris - the messenger of the gods who would ride on the rainbow to and from earth, in her beautiful multi-coloured robes.
Orris root is made from the iris and is used as a herbal medicine, a magickal potion and in perfumery - Frangipani. The flowers and leaves used to be strewn in front of the bride and groom at weddings (like trip wire), and it was believed that if you were foolish enough to bite the iris root you would stammer for the rest of your days. (yes damn your teeth)
Tonight’s full moon will appear smaller as it is as far away from the earth as it gets this evening. The moon will orbit 252,518 miles from earth, the closest it gets is 221,577 miles away from earth. The moon will appear to be 15% smaller, the tides will be less affected and the mad among us may be able to get some sleep.
Full Moon Spell For Riches
Fill your cauldron half full of water and drop a silver coin into it. Position the cauldron so that the light from the moon shines into the water. Gently sweep your hands just above the surface, symbolically gathering the Moon's silver.
While doing this say...
"Lovely Lady of the Moon, bring to me your
wealth right soon. Fill my hands with silver
and gold. All you give, my purse can hold."
Repeat this three times. When finished, pour the water upon the earth.
(or on drunk people on Charing Cross Road in my case)
It most certainly is not ! Commonly 'love' seems to be an act of compromise entirely motivated by lack. I saw a couple in Gloucester Road this evening. The woman was young, pretty and vile the man was old, ugly and I guess wealthy. She carried a medium sized Birkin bag in Orange - I was perplexed as to why having gone through what ever he put her through in order to secure a £3000 handbag she chose to get it in orange. Orange is my least favourite colour in the world - on the rare occasions that people have given me flowers, if the bouquet contains orange blooms I have always snipped off their ugly heads or plucked them out and dropped them in the bin. This brings me to on to 'hand tied' bouquets - florists always refer to a bunch of weeds with a string around them as 'hand tied' - how the hell else would you tie something - in my minds eye I am seeing Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot but I digress... Seeing this strange couple earlier - it occurred to me that they fitted together exactly like a jigsaw puzzle - what each one had going for them fitted perfectly into the space the lack of it left in the other. It's a beautiful thing.
I dreamt at the weekend that I was staying at The Ritz in town with an old boyfriend (using the term advisedly). I used to really like him, then I really hated him, then he died and death being a great healer and all, now I quite like him.
Anyhow, in my dream we checked into a grand room on the top floor of the hotel. The place was divine with fine upholstered french furniture, plush carpets and wonderful drapes. A magnificent bed was made up with grey satin sheets and a tapestry throw.
Two things made me nervous however, firstly the thought that I was about to get into bed with this man was quite rightly disturbing me and secondly the room had no roof at all. All I could see above me was the night sky, deep black and littered with stars. I called down to the conceirge:
'This room has no roof'
'That's correct Madam'
'But if it rains there will be a cover for the roof?'
'So if it rains we can change rooms right?'
'There are no other rooms available'
'So if it rains ....'
'You get wet'
I have been working on a dissertation for the past few days now it’s starting to feel like I am writing it in my own cold blood drawn from my wounded corpse with a rusty quill. Like most borderline personalities I oscillate from thinking I am completely useless to believing I am no less than genius. I totally underestimated how long it would take to write up an 8000 word academic report. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I realised that I am actually not capable of producing a year’s work in 3 days.
One of the issues I am discussing at the moment is the changing educational profile of the average student. It used to be that you had to be literate and reasonably bright in a bookish sort of a way to go to university. In the late 80’s the government decided that pretty much any public building with young people over 17 in it was now to be called a university. They then decided that everyone had the right to attend university and soon after that revelation they decided that higher education was no longer going to be free. Cunning!
Simultaneously British manufacturing companies decided that they would stop producing their products at home and in order to maximise their profit margins, outsource production to unpleasant places in the East as it was cheaper. Banks, communications businesses & service providers did the same thing and rather than provide employment in Britain they set up call centres and processing centres in far flung corners of the globe where life is cheap and employees even cheaper.
So basically Britain has very few employment opportunities for unskilled young people who haven’t done particularly well at school. The government makes it very hard for these people to get benefits or training but has no problem offering them a loan so they can pay the fees at their local university. Universities are happy to take on these fee paying students, in fact they expand so they can offer places to more of them. They drop entry requirements in the name of ‘equality and diversity’ in order that they can justify offering a degree programme to a teenager who couldn’t write a note for the milkman.
Many of these students claim to be dyslexic but the reality is most of them have been completely failed by the school system and some of them are just not that bright. I can’t imagine why a dyslexic person or someone who just can’t read and write would want to take a course that requires them to do the thing that is most difficult for them. Of course there are exceptions to every rule but I have always been inclined to take the path of least resistance. Hence I am not performing with the Ballet Rambert at the weekend or modelling lingerie in Paris come September! In the world of political correctness it has become sacrilege to suggest to someone that maybe they are unlikely to do well at something they can barely do at all.
So I am writing about ‘issues of diversity and equality in higher education’ or more accurately ‘how the fuck do we get all these illiterate people through a 3 year degree program so we don’t loose their fees?’
Hilarious – I just got an email from friend asking if I would like to attend a workshop entitled ‘Would you marry you?’ On clicking the link I discover that the evening is hosted by a man named Tom McCabe who looks a lot like Percy Thrower, and is according to himself, Britain’s only Radical Happiness therapist.
As Frankie Howard used to say ‘neigh neigh and thrice neigh!’
And actually ... I do know that sentences shouldn’t begin with conjunctions by the way ... I would marry myself, I really like myself, for all my idiosyncrasies, for my dark sense of humour distilled through years of misery, for my compassion and grace, my wit and tenacity and above all my ability to not give a fuck. I would only marry myself in fact, why on earth would I settle for less?
Each morning I feed pigeons on my window sill. I live near Trafalgar Square so I am lucky enough to have plenty of pigeons to play with. The same ones come every day – really beautiful ones, a white one who I guess is almost a dove and my favourite a little grubby skanky one with bright orange eyes. He looks like he needs a bath and has a few bald patches – I love him the most; perhaps he is unwell, he may not make old bones but he will always have few seeds if he sits on my sill. Pigeons are sexually complex creatures; in many ways watching them in breeding season is like watching human mating rituals. The male puffs himself up and circles the female, the female acts disinterested and walks away quickly and yet not quiet quickly enough. He leaps on her if she concedes then great if she protests he moves on the next pigeon. Pigeons rape and even commit acts of necrophilia. I actually witnessed a number of birds having sex with the headless corpse of fellow pigeon. Dark.
My love has turned to hatred
Sleep escapes me still
God please take this heart of mine
Cos if you don’t the devil will
Hearts on fire
My love for you brought only misery.
Hearts on fire – Gram Parsons
Today’s theme is Gram Parsons, I had to trek all the way to Waitrose in Russell Square to buy my favourite beetroot soup (I just can’t enjoy life unless my pee is pink). Anyway I was listening to Grievous Angel over and over on my i-pod laughing at the sad country and western style lyrics.
My friend John once said 'The problem with pornography is that it is prohibitivley expensive!' Feminist Angela Dworkin famously stated 'pornography is the theory and rape is the practice', in the above clip excuted serial killer Ted Bundy discusses his thoughts on the subject.
I have excellent news : just as I was about to give up the ghost all together, tonight is a new moon!
New Moon Love Spell / Wish Spell
Piece of paper
On the night of a new moon, write your dream/wish on the piece of paper. Light the candle and simply look into the flames as they dance in the darkness of the room you are in. Close your eyes and visualize your wish coming true. Look to the moon and request that the Lady of the Moon grant you your wish. Thank her. Now take the piece of paper and burn it in the candle. Repeat this 12 nights. If you happen to miss a night you will have to start all over - but not during a waning moon.
Having spent the day updating my CV’s and applying for about 100 jobs that I really don’t want I am left to reflect on the reality that I really do seem to have wasted my life away. I don’t appear to be qualified for anything much at all. There is a whole 20 years that I can’t account for other than there’s a 18 year old boy living in my flat who says he is related to me. On paper I appear to have haunted rather than actually lived on this planet. In reality this is true.
Yesterday I saw a man wearing a simple black t-shirt and written on it in white type was the phrase WONDERFUL WORLD BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE. It really stopped me in my xenophobic tracks because actually deep down I believe this statement to be true. In the past I tried ineffectively to take my own life on a number of occasions, I wanted to want to live but I simply did not know how – death seemed appealing as life became harder to endure. My thinking at those times told me that my life was hell and that I would never find a way to make it better. Lately, reading on issues of Spirit versus Ego I found this passage in A Course In Miracles ‘The ego teaches that Heaven is here and now because the future is hell. Even when it attacks so savagely that it tries to take the life of someone who thinks that it is the only voice, it speaks of hell even to him. For it tells him that hell is here as well and bids him to leap from hell into oblivion. The only time the ego allows one to look upon with equanimity is the past. And even there, its only value is that it is no more.’
This week and its Sunday night so I mean tomorrow I am going to begin a week of doing all the things that I really don't want to do. I have become an ACE procrastinator over the last few months. I may have ADD, I can't concentrate or get anything done, I might go to the Dr but everytime I do that (twice every 5 years) I am reminded what an idiot he is and how much more likely it is that I will find my cure on some hocus herbalist website or spell casting service than from him. The problem is I seem to spend my life in a trance.Time is slipping through my fingers and I have nothing to show for it. My average day has been; drank coffee, walked dog, ate lunch, walked dog, read blogs, ate dinner, walked dog, read book, slept. I can't stand myself any longer the gap between my potential (or could it be my imagination) and my productivity is ever widening
Things I really don't want to do,
Clean flat, excercise, revise lecture I have to give, finish work on post graduate qualiication that I can't remember the name of such is my academic prowess, update CV, somehow figure out how I can get from poverty to riches overfuckingnight, pay bills, do work on ancient writing project, get boots heeled.
Things I do want to do,
Stay in bed, begin decomposition process, buy macaroons from Laduree and see Coco & Igor at Covent Garden Odeon
Today I realised how much I dislike being around couples, although I respect that people have every right to pair up and let themselves go I find it hard to be in the company of heterosexual partnerships. Not all my friends but quiet a few of them become really dull when they are in relationships or perhaps what is annoying is that they either disappear altogether for the duration of their tryst or worse insist on bringing their ‘partner’ everywhere with them. Very occasionally this means that you get two friends for the price of one but usually it means that you get 30% of the friend you once had and the inconvenience of having to talk to someone you could not give a fuck about. Gay men don’t seem to do this at all which I think is why I am always so comfortable around them. Although most of my gay friends are absolutely preoccupied with sex they never let it interfere with friendships or other pursuits. Most of the straight women I know are just depressing around men allowing them to paw at them while they are in compnay or rest their fat hairy arms around their shoulders like Orang-utans. I find it really distressing, its not that I have never taken a gentleman’s arm, Soho is full of cobbled streets and believe me ‘any port in a storm’ when you are tottering about in high heels but all this unnecessary grappling is just unpleasant.
Today I have relaunched writing letters! I purchased fine paper and envelopes in Laid Champagne, (beige to you) from my local stationers and wrote two fabulously witty and touching letters in the manner of a Bronte sister. Popped them into envelopes squirted them with Diptyque Jasmin and dropped them in the post box. Of course its Sunday so they will be sitting there all night scenting all the prolitarian mail with flowers (one does what one can) quiet strange that we don't have a collection on our day of rest as the postal service is hardly run by a Christian brotherhood and everything else is open.
This afternoon I went to The Wosley one of my favourite restaurants in London. I love the huge grand dining room with its gothic cathedral style chandleirs. The thing I hate about this and all restaurants actually is the food. I never really want to eat anything from the menu except maybe a couple of the deserts. Today I ordered and ice cream sundae and left most of it because I dont really like ice cream. I was in Scotts last week and ended up eating chip butties for my main course. I find mid range cafes easier to negotiate.
Here are a few of my favourite places and foods.
Boorak Goldborne Road, Mezze Plate of humous, babaganoush and tabbulei
Ranoush Juice Edgeware Rd (as above)
Carluccios, Gardineria Pasta with deep fried spinach balls
Pain Quotidien, cheese board, red fruit crumble, maybe tuna salad but mostly I dont eat fish
Snog Classic plain frozen yogurt
Laduree L'Ipisan cake and all macaroons except licorice & mint flavour
Patisserie Valerie Mille Fuille
Maison Berteaux (as above)
Tonights full moon is called the Thunder Moon, I will lie in bed with the blinds open and leave a glass of water on the window sill to absorb the energy so the pigeons who come for breakfast and I can drink it in the morning, hopefully I will get there first.
Saw Gainbourg yesterday at The Electric Cinema in Notting Hill. I loved the movie, I love the music and I adore Serge ( I have always had a passion for promiscuous alcoholics). I am reminded of a story my friend told me about meeting Jane Birkin (overratted in my opinion - like some 1960's Patsty Kensit type ) anyway she was at some perfume launch where Jane having got to an age where having more children with wealthy men was out of the question had decided to collude with Miller Harris to 'create' a cats piss cologne. So my friend spots Jane and runs over really excited and then kind of freezes at her feet since she is not sure what to say. ' I love Serge' is what came out of her mouth and Jane looked at her like she was fucking nuts (she is) and said 'So did I' and walked away.
All chances pass me like dream,
I neither sing nor pray;
and thou art like the poisonous tree
that stole my life away.
Love & Hate , Elizabeth Siddal
I saw Lizzie’s grave at Highgate Cemetery at the weekend. She is often referred to as the first supermodel as she was the muse and model to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood painters and later the wife of painter and poet Dante Rossetti. Dante apparently drove her half crazy with his philandering ways and having been addicted to Laudanum for a number of years she finally took an overdose and died 1862. Dante was so full of grief (GUILT) that he buried a new manuscript of his poetry in the coffin of his lost love. Unfortunately they didn’t have photocopiers in the 1860’s and 6 years later when he hit a creative dry spell he appealed to the home office for permission to dig them back up. One moon lit night (like tonight) his lawyer and a team of workmen went to Highgate and by the light of a fire they exhumed Elizabeth and retrieved the book of poems while Dante stayed on terra firma a few miles south of the scene. His officer told him that when they opened the coffin they saw that Lizzie was as beautiful in death as in life and that her famous auburn hair had grown to fill the coffin.
I used to live in a big house in a leafy suburb of Manchester, the address was Number 4 Chatsworth Road, Ellesmere Park. The house had seven bedrooms and I lived there with my adoptive parents, a rabbit and an Alsatian dog. My mother rented the upstairs rooms to medical and musical students, we had a piano in the dining room and some of the junior Dr’s had skeletons in their cupboards, however not quite as many as my father .
One day after a holiday we all drove home in his Vauxhall Viva (bench front seat) and he told us that he had sold the house, that he had been having an affair, and was leaving my mother and taking everything except me. I don’t remember what he said to her I just remember thinking that we were going to get out of the car and we didn't. I never again saw my room, nor my animals, my toys, my garden, school or friends.
Sometimes I think I made this story up, that there never was any big house, parents and pets. I checked on googlemaps and the house is there, it existed then and it still does.
I am just loving having Spotify on my computer at the moment. Years ago I sold my record collection to buy finance and bad idea and I just never got around to replacing it. Now I can put together a play list of all my favourite tunes.
What I love about summer is how big and blue and high the sky is. In winter (the other nine months of the year) the sky always looks so close and heavy and gray like a rotten unwashed duvet laying over England.
So far this month I have provided assistance for three baby birds. The first one was a tiny Bluetit, I kept long enough to call Edward, I found him in Covent Garden on Monmouth Street alone outside a hotel, I took him home, created a small apartment for him out of a shoe box and fed him soaked meal worms that I purchased from the hardware shop on St Martins Lane. Eventually I took him to the Blue Cross animal hospital who transfered him to a bird sanctuary a few days later. Later that week I found another older Bluetit baby under a tree with his mother frantically flapping away in the branches. I picked him up since he appeared not to be able to fly back into his nest unaided. A tall man was passing by and he pulled down a branch which I lifted the bird back on to. Gentley (as to avoid any black comedy error) he let the branch back up into the tree and we left the bird mummy to take it from there. This morning I found a baby Blackbird sitting on my step, I have seen him before as he lives in a hedgerow in the recess between my building and the offices behind. I would evaluate his flying skills as poor - intermediate so I left him alone as he bobbed down the steps. I kept looking out of the window, he was sitting alone in a corner, his mummy came to see him but was unable to coax him back into the nest. After an hour I picked him up and popped him back into the hedgerow that his mother disappears into, I gave him a fruit'n'suet ball to be getting on with he seemed happy enough when I left. It's a tricky thing finding baby animals since if you look on websites they always tell you to leave them alone and the last thing I would want to do is harm them but I find it impossible not to help if I think the alternative is that they get trodden on or die alone and frightened.
I spent yesterday afternoon eating sweet little black cherries picked from trees in Tower Hamlets Cemetery. More than half a million people lie in the over grown 36 acre grounds, many in mass graves reflecting the poverty of the area. Lots of stories of sailors and rope makers, much of the grandeur is lost to bad decisions made by various London councils. The lady who showed us around was lovely though she told us how Tower Hamlets council had decided to level the cemetery and make it into a park until locals protested. The chapel where services were once held has been demolished leaving no access to the catacombs below. Many who lay here were lost to Britain’s two world wars, victims of The Blitz and the Bethnal Green tube disaster, soldiers and sailors who fell abroad were brought back to rest in the East End where their lives had begun. The sense of East End pride was clear in the ladies patriotism – she laughed as she discussed recent proposal to reopen the ground for use by local Muslims, apparently to avoid the problem of being buried on top of another body which is against religious tradition the councillor were suggesting squeezing new graves in between the old ones. When we came to one part of the cemetery she visibly stiffened and accelerated ‘German’s – we don’t bother about them!’
My ideal job would be ‘novelist’ , I would sit at my computer in a vintage night gown tap tap tapping away while cheques written in all my favourite currencies fluttered on to my door mat every morning. Unfortunately I can’t get it together to write more than a paragraph a month and it’s very hard to negotiate a publishing advance with that kind of output in this kind of economy.
Looking for comfort in all the wrong places as usual, I returned to the Spiritualist Church last night. The medium was a trembling charlatan who alienated the congregation with her vagaries and generalisations. My dog has demonstrated more evidence of clairvoyance than she did. It’s perhaps not surprising that an attempt to find meaning in life by contemplating death proved futile. A friend of mine who used to suffer from depression told me that his melancholic disposition cheered considerably when he realised that death was inevitable.
I went to Highgate cemetery this Sunday and I think it might possibly be the most beautiful place in London. You have to take the tour if you want to see the divine West Cemetery but its very interesting and worthwhile to do so. It really is the most magical, exquisite, fairy tale, Gothic graveyard ever. Sadly the catacombs are far less romantic than those at Kensal Green as they are made up of just one recessed tunnel that runs underneath the cemetery wall, they have a slightly abandoned wine cellar feel to them and they are actually on ground level which I didn't like. Now I am conflicted (in death as in life) as I would love to be interred in a catacomb at Kensal Green but if I were to be buried in the ground I would want to be buried at Highgate West.
Later we went over to the more modern Eastern burial ground to pay our respects to Malcolm McClaren. Most of the visitors were busy having their picture taken by the huge Karl Marx statue but we don’t agree with communism, ( Richard works in fashion and I don’t like being told what to do) so we didn’t bother with that. We walked past Jeremy Beadle (who knew??) and then Patrick Caulfield’s witty headstone that just says DEAD. Richard asked the attendant how much it would cost us to be buried there. He looked a bit suspicious at first but after pause said ‘four figures’ , then ‘ and we don’t take advance bookings you have to be dead or at least terminal.....’
Guru took me to the Highgate Murugan Temple today. Interesting place in that they operate a ‘pay for pray’ system whereby you can ask the priests to pray for you by filling in a chit at the entrance to the temple and making a small donation to the clerk. The clerk writes your name in Hindu on your prayer ticket and then you take the ticket to the altar of your choice. The altar priest prays for you and you bless yourself with the heat from the candles lit in honour of the god. Then they put sacred powder in your ticket (like wrap of heroin) and give it back to you with some blessed flowers and fruit from the gods. You can also go downstairs and have vegetarian lunch for no charge at all.
1 cup of ice
1 cup of low fat soya milk
1 teaspoon of honey
1 medium banana that has been placed in offering to Hindu deity Ganesh, Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. God of education, knowledge, wisdom and wealth. Prayed upon by the temple priests and then given to you for your home alter in honour of your prayers.
I spent Sunday afternoon in Kensal Green cemetery. We took the guided tour of the catacombs which was pretty exciting except that we were forced to stay close to the well meaning but rather dreary tour guide. The guided cemetery tours are given by ‘The friends of Kensal Green’. As you can imagine any person who considers a Victorian grave yard his buddy is likely to be somewhat socially challenging. And so it was that he led us down the dark stone stairway from the Anglican Chapel into the cold damp dark catacombs below. He showed us the mechanical system that lowers the coffins from the church above to the resting place below. I ascertained that I could get a signal on my Blackberry but the church insists that catacomb coffins are lined in lead which means I now have to totally rework my precautions against being entombed alive strategy. While the ‘friend’ was banging on about the hydraulics of the ‘dumb waiter for the dead’ my mortal friend and I stepped back from the tour to get a better look and a little touch of the tunnels lined with arched recesses full of coffins. We cracked open a bar of Green and Blacks and discussed what an excellent place this would be to A) get laid and B) get buried. Apparently it costs just £5000 to leave your earthly body in Kensal Green catacombs and there are still places available!
The amazing thing about my teeth is that they are still in my head – a minor miracle given the way I speak to people. As a victim of commercialism I am currently cleaning my pegs with a cocktail of toothpastes. Recipe to follow: 1/3 toothbrush Sensodyne Total Care Gentle Whitening 1/3 toothbrush Colgate MaxFresh with Cooling Crystals 1/3 toothbrush Arm & Hammer Brilliant Sparkle Crystal Clean-88 Plaque Removal for ULTRA CLEAN teeth. Topped with a frosting of Hollywood Smile Pearl Drops Whitening Toothpaste.
I have always been interested in rock stars of the late 60’s and 70s and even more fascinated by the women who slept with them. I found this amazing website dedicated to a woman named ‘Iggy the Inuit’ a girlfriend of Syd Barrett.
I suffer occasionally from night terrors and sleep paralysis. It started when I was young and has recurred with decreasing regularity (thank god) ever since. When it happens I awake in the night paralysed with a real sense of a disturbing presence in the room. I have had the sensation of being squashed and even pulled out of bed and across the floor. It used to frighten me a lot and now it just frightens me a bit. Many cultures believe that night paralysis is an indication of a demonic visitation, in this country it is a condition attributed to stress (ironically few things in life are as stressful as a demonic visitation). Of course it is possible to die during sleep and I once read that Nightmare On Elm Street was based around the condition. Terribly comforting.
Since my last teaching contract ended (thank fuck) I ricochet between joy that I don’t have to be in that hell hole anymore and terror that I will never ever have any money again. This confliction is reflected in my erratic spending patterns. Yesterday I spent £34 on Diptyque , £300 on Botox, £50 on Clinique and £10 in Laduree. Today I just ate a hideous microwave curry from the fridge as it was near its sell by date and I am feeling too cheap to throw its £1.99 ass in the bin.
I just heard a great story about a friend who after 4 days on the floor of Madrid airport was finally put on a coach home to London only to spend the 36 hour drive seated next to a schizophrenic who had run out of medication.
At the age of 6 I was given an LP record of The Singing Nun by a friend of my mothers named Ruth. Although I didn't realise at the time I guess Ruth was a radical left wing lesbian, she had short dark hair, was vegetarian in 1971 and collected ethnic musical instruments from around the world. All the signs were there but I didn't click till just now! My mother, who's own life would have been vastly improved by a Saphic shift used to take me to visit this woman who lived at the top of Albrighton Road. At Ruths house dinner was made from ingredients and recipes at our house dinner came from adding water to sachets and opening cans. I played my album over and over for a short time trilling along in a language I didn't understand. Of course when I raised the issue of me becoming a nun of the singing variety over a Fry Bentos dinner with my grandparents back home I received little by way of encouragment.
I was at the Chelsea Curzon last night watching Lourdes (sick girl gets cured and has shag) and I saw the trailer for Sex And The City 2. I am so excited I cannot wait for May 28th I will be a the first showing on the first day of release. Despite my affection for the dark arts I really just want to be Carrie Bradshaw..