My first photo applaud!

Just like Ayers Rock, the house across the road glows spectacularly at sunset.

A significant omission is Cat

I have not yet mentioned Cat, the cat. A significant omission. I have enormous fondness and respect for Cat, although she wants feeding five times a day and is always asking to be let in or let out, she seldom rests and so neither does anyone else. I think maybe she has a tapeworm, she doesn’t get fat but she refuses to eat the food I put tapeworm-killer in, only the other stuff tapeworms like.Or maybe she has another lonely person somewhere feeding her, you don’t know.

When Cat spends a rainy night on the bed she takes care to pay rent: one mouse. She has two games, one where she leaps high on to the wardrobe from my bedside table, then plummets down onto the bed just as I am going to sleep; the other where she likes me to pretend to step on her as I am going downstairs, and goes all wiggly and flirty and purry and I can’t get to the kitchen.

My heart is in my mouth when I am sitting typing in the window and see her race across the main road between cars that hurtle past doing 60, through our 30 mph zone where you seldom see a policeman. She spends a lot of time across the road, hunting in the scrubland around the railway behind the flooded houses, that are now having nice new kitchens put in. But she always knows when it is going to rain, like now, and stays in, restless and bored.

I wish I had not had to bring her here from the country estate where we lived. My father moved beside a road in France with his little cat that he loved and it was soon bye-bye puss. But Cat was first of all a town cat, I guess she knows how to look after herself here better than I do.

And whatever happens, Cat is the cat.

Introducing the Mindbogls Information Hotline

I have discovered there is another blog on this website! It must explain why I have had only 10 Comments in four months, five of them mine, since this other blog has had 159.

Of course, it has been going for much longer, and is chocfull of valuable information. To increase my traffic, I propose therefore to introduce the Mindbogls Information Hotline. Among the first interesting facts to become available are some things I have learned on my teacher training course:

1  We say ‘A apple’ but ‘An university’. This is because University begins with a J.

2  The Gaelic word for ‘tea’ is ‘ti’.

3  The capital of Liberia is Monrovia. (That’s one I knew before!)

Remember, you can subscribe to the service for only $14.95 a month (PayPal accepted).

Like. Don’t like. Didn’t notice


A apple fer the Teecher

The end of week one of the teacher training course. Only four more to go. I had never realised teaching was so easy. All you do is stand there and tell people stuff you remember. Then they play a game running around with little slips of paper while you write more stuff on a big board. Then you tell them to break up in pairs to discuss the game, and you know what? THEY DO IT!

Finally, you get to write a report on how many left-handed students you taught, and how you felt positive about the whole experience, to hand in to your supervisor before the next funding round. Before you know it it’s one a.m. and you don’t have to be up to clean the kitchen floor until six. Great life. I put down the fact that I have started walking into walls to having given up alcohol only seven months ago.

The guilty pleasure of posthumous celebrity

One gains a certain weary satisfaction from writing possibly the least-commented upon – and, thence, possibly least-read – blog on the interweb. For, with the excision of items of interesting and not entirely misdirected Spam, my Comments tally has fallen to ten. Not bad, for three months’ work. (I should mention that five of them are my own, customarily jocose dismissals of the banal Comments of the other four, each of whom is, I am sorry to say, a person I know or love. Plus, that is, one item of Spam I have kept because she seemed so nice, even if she hasn’t read the blog.)

Themindbogls stands therefore quite, quite alone as a substantial body of work, slotting the author firmly into the pigeonhole of colleagues down the centuries whose efforts have gone unsung in their lifetime. I can look forward with pleasure to posthumous celebrity, without the bother of having to turn up in person to festivals and awards ceremonies, book-signings, dinners, readings, late-night TV crit. shows, panel games, fatwas and all the paraphernalia of modern literary success.

The one thought that troubles me is reincarnation. What if… there is a small group of souls doomed forever to return to the world as unsuccessful writers in their own lifetime, and I am one of them, the spirit of Thomas Chatterton, Kafka, Vasily Grossman, Bramwell Bronte and  “what’s-‘is-name”? Gordon Brown.

Suddenly, life feels more than ever like a Greek myth.