I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Liquid dynamite

SIPs - simple inexpensive pleasures. An occasional series.

It's no use, I just can't remember the difference between "sensuous" and "sensual". I've looked it up a dozen times, solicited help from bloggo like-minds, but it just doesn't stick. So you'll have to take my first paragraph today as read.

As the descent into oblivion gains speed, here's one thing that keeps my family from booking the Humanist Society guy who does eulogies. A bottle of alkaline-flavoured fizzy water always at the ready in the fridge. It used to be 1½ litre capacity but now I prefer this pinch-waisted 1 litre shape; its ergonomics fits my sense of aesthetics.

Do you snore? I probably do but it's like quantum mechanics; waking up to check  disturbs the experimental conditions. When I do wake my throat suggests I snore for England; children could use my guzzard as a sandpit. Downstairs I go.

The bottle rests in the fridge's door shelf, that's an absolute must. There's a hiss in the dark as I unscrew the cap and already I feel slightly more human. I swig from the bottle-neck because, after all, it's my bottle. What follows is not drinking as such but an all-out ICBM attack on my dryness; fizz plus bitterness plus chill combine in a shocking pain. It's too much, I tell myself, it's... ecstasy! No other form of hydration (not even the 1945 bottle of Richebourg which cost £500-plus) comes anywhere near. I am simultaneously Smokin' Joe Frazer and Alan Rickman. I am Dick 3 who, as we all know, is himself again.

A litre of Buxton costs 60 p. My soul remains doomed but my body's ready for more work on Opening Bars, my take on singing lessons, another source of ecstasy. Words done: 10,592; target: 25,000


  1. We call it seltzer water here. I've always found seltzer bubbles to be too harsh and prickly, and I steer away from beer with similar carbonation, or in a pinch stir it or shake it to tone it down.

  2. MikeM: The harshness/prickliness is where the love/hate lies. I suppose you could say it's also tangible confirmation I've made it through the night. These days I don't get get up (at 06.25) with the same enthusiasm, one reason being I'm having to flog myself through the novel, now called Rictangular Lenses, and this tends to encourage doubts about the book's worth. But the non-fiction book about singing lessons, Opening Bars, is going like a train and earlier this morning I had a sudden "visitation" about the structure and I can't wait to incorporate it. Net result: I didn't need the fizz.

  3. I don't run across much about "roundish" lenses or frames in your work. I generally prefer them for myself and on others. Wire or at least thin plastic. Not the cartoonish bold ones.

  4. MikeM: The origins of the novel are almost a year old. On November 14, 2015 I posted:

    Step one on two-year road

    Possible central character for new (fifth) novel. No plot as yet.

    Seen in Brasshouse pub, Birmingham. Pair late twenties, early evening meal. He faintly resembling Ewan McGregor, lightish beard moustache/chin, leaning low towards her across table, quiet voice.

    SHE. Hair imperfectly dyed blonde (irregular dark streaks) swept up from neck with largish bun on top, loose strands of hair, petite face with pink/white makeup, black mascara, prominent convex cheeks, glasses with slot-like lenses and black and white sidebars (wider near lens, tapering to ear), white tight-fitting knitted pullover/blouse buttoned up to scalloped collar detailed in red, thin upper body with prominent, seemingly spherical breasts, hands with coloured nails regularly in motion.

    Speaks conversationally yet assertively, even shrilly but – strangely - not unpleasantly. Not in charge but talking/acting with conviction. Ate salad.


    You even commented twice:

    She's fallen for a guitarist in a punk band. She can lead them to stardom.

    I didn't know you were leaning toward parody. Thought you might try to bluff your way through a shorty using less of your auto-bio database. Surely the punk scene and your working class sympathies have some overlap... the guy's got a day job as a rubbish collector (he has use of a compactor truck!!) but she's taken with his musician aspect. She WANTS him to succeed, wants THEM to succeed,they explore his giftedness....and hers, but they are NOT YOU. The banter and dialog would be different, the accents and colloquialisms spelled out. You succeeded with a character in the short about basic training....I wonder if you could do a story with ONLY such characters...leaving yourself out.


    As the story developed - at a dealership devoted to supercars - the importance of the glasses grew and grew; they were not only a dominant aspect of her appearance, they expressed her ambitious personality. The adjective in the title is deliberately misspelled; the phrase is first pronounced by a successful New Zealand businesswoman working in the UK.

  5. I remember that now. And I suspect that rounder lenses do convey a sort of wide eyed vulnerability. I guess you've avoided going the full bore "Rictangula Linzes" (probably phonetically closer to NZ's accent)so as to maintain recognition of the subject. It's got good scientific (Latin? Italian?) feel though doesn't it? You do have a fascination with feminine eyewear. Can't say that I don't.

  6. MikeM: Feminine everything, more especially hair.

    "Linzes" - good point but needs to be examined further. It's extremely easy to overdo the accent bit, aiming for authenticity one ends up irritating one's readers. George Eliot, author of Middlemarch, perhaps the British classical author I admire the most, fell into this trap. Her novel Adam Bede is about rural folk and sustains authentic accents throughout, leading to a forest of apostrophes where word endings are missed off. After a while you lose interest and reach for your machete.

    In my case there's a further problem. I have - for the moment at least - chosen these two words as the novel title. People glancing at the book for the first time might well swallow the misspelled rictangular but adding linzes might be a confusion too far.

    Here's the relevant passage:

    (Gayle said). “But it’s yours that interest me. Those narrow rictangular lenses as if you’re looking out of a tank. Long, black triangles for sidebars with white swirls of decoration. What were yew thinking of? It looks planned and I like that.”

    “Cheap and vulgar?”

    Gayle stared. “Nah. Bread to your face’s jam. To me they say: look out!”

    (Lindsay said) “I haven’t got your height, your hair or your success. My face is heart-shaped; on its own it qualifies as pleasant which is another way of saying passive. But not with these glasses. They make me look active, confirm I’ve got stuck in.”

    “I could have told yew that.”

    “I decided I needed to be remembered. Gold studs might have done it but they’re stationary, they stay put. These specs move but don’t dominate. They prove I’ve got the guts to look right through the lenses.”

    "Yew" combined with terse sentences do just about enough (I hope) to keep up the antipodean link.