Sunday, August 23, 2009


de sole et vento", aesop's fables. detail from illustration by francis barlow, 1666.

wid•der•shins |ˌwɪdəʃɪnz| (also with•er•shins)
adverb chiefly Scottish
in a direction contrary to the sun's course, considered as unlucky; counterclockwise.

ORIGIN early 16th cent.: from Middle Low German weddersins, from Middle High German widersinnes, from wider ‘against’ + sin ‘direction’ ; the second element was associated with Scots sin [sun.]

A wind...

howled in from the south or north this morning - up or down, I am undecided. Buffeting the kitchen window in sudden sheets of rain which drained away in minutes. I could hear it whistling through the cracks left open to allow i
n some air even as the kettle sputtered and boiled. A witchy sound; blowing hot and cold.

All day long the skies have been bruised and pewter. Autumn is just around the corner.

I have been on the caffeine again of late. Yesterday was all but dry.

Still. I imbibed a little cider. Just enough to whet the whistle. It did not do it for me, th
ough, and I left the bottle pretty much alone and opted instead for tap water. It was alright. Toxic though it may have been, I miss the dull metallic tang which comes solely from a domestic supply routed through archaic plumbing; its slow percolation through countless submerged yards of unfit lead.

I pottered aimlessly around our flat and eventually poured a bath. All the while I listened to that wind.

It reminded me, not unkindly, that there is doubtless worse to come.

What is wrong with architects round here ? They all start out with misguided preconceptions, prejudices or inherited vices. Shutters would be nice.

Yesterday morning I rose early and strode out to deliver some thank you letters to the mailbox down the street. As close as I dare get to doing the same in person. Today I slept in until 10 or so. It seemed like the safe thing to do. I lay for a while and listened to Rosa move things around. Put breakfast cereal in china bowls for the kids. No hangover behind my eyes. No twitching in the body's extremeties.

Actually, I have not gotten drunk for quite some time. Well. Not in the habitual sense. Maybe I am losing it.

Don't speak too soon kid, the wind warned me: there is a gale brewing.

DONOVAN: CATCH THE WIND [ECHO & STRINGS] from "Catch The Wind b/w Why Do You Treat Me Like You Do ?" 45 (PYE) 1965 (UK)

BOB DYLAN: IDIOT WIND from "Blood On The Tracks" LP (Columbia) 1975 (US)


Unknown said...

a big thank you for writing this post.

ib said...

Thank you, Ecaterina.

Löst Jimmy said...

I really do not enjoy heavy drinking sessions anymore, I always end up feeling shit the hangovers linger longer than an unwelcome lodger and delivers thrice the discomfort. I think it is a combination of the wracked body rebelling and the psychological knowing that I will not enjoy consuming this. In addition, I just need to peer into the abyss outside the flat and see what heavy boozing really is and I think "fuck and they call this recreation!?"

Toodle Pip

ib said...

Well, yes. you are right. It is the same here. Less Rimbaud than Rambo offcuts in shell-suits; graduating to piss stained slacks and overcoats as the weather dictates. Last night a steaming harridan caroused outside at ground level at 1:15 AM as she sought to call out her nemesis. I could hear her all the way up here on the 22nd floor. The latest on the GHA grapevine is that they do not intend to bring these flats down after all. It's the credit crunch, apparently. Not that I'd noticed any fiscal change in their tight-arsed policies.

Soon, it would seem, we will be the last block standing. An amusement for weekend safaris into the jungle.

Löst Jimmy said...

I see like me you are a denizen of Housing Association abodes; we few, we privileged few.

Word Verification = coates (seriously) I'll go and get mine

ib said...

Yes. When they declared the GHA non profit, they failed to address the issue that all monies generated from rents were intended to be ploughed back into maintenance of existing stock. For the past eight years or so they - GHA - have successfully circumvented that responsibility here by trotting out the popular mantra that these blocks are earmarked for demolition as part of a broader regeneration project.

Clearly, the implication is that we should live like animals until that eventuality.

The transference of core social housing stock from Glasgow City Council to the GHA was a foregone conclusion. Every empty house and flat in Glasgow automatically generated a 'yes' vote in the referendum.

The first step GHA took was to head-hunt (by means of an extremely generous bonus package) an individual who had previously demonstrated - in New Zealand, no less - his singular capacity to maximise profits.

We are priveleged, indeed, Löst Jimmy.