Sleepwalking my way through life: April 2007

The soft whispers of the night

Monday, April 30, 2007
There was the soft rustle of bed sheets and the mattress uttered a welcoming groan as I made myself comfortable. The room was dark with the scratching of strange creatures and reverberating thuds from downstairs, but the bed was reassuringly warm. She moved beside me, stretching her arm against my chest and lifting her head to welcome my arm under it. Her head rested in the crook of my shoulder, and I breathed in her bubblegum hair with deep risings of my chest. Socks had been kicked off, and pyjamas hung loosely from our bodies. I breathe in and out and feel her head rise and fall with my breath, and I crack a smile I can’t stop smiling. I slip round behind her, wrapping my arms round her shoulder and kissing the nape of her neck, hearing her let out quick gasps of excited breath as I work my way down to her bare shoulder and back up again. Her skin is velvet smooth and seems to shine despite the lack of light, and as I run a hand from her knee up to her flat stomach (over a pair of stylish girl-boxers) it seems to shine more intensely. She twists round and smiles at me – that smile – and I can see teeth nibbling at her lip as long black hair tumbles over her face. She leans over and kisses me lightly on the cheek, the skin on my chest tingling as it touches the skin of her arm, her hand softly caressing my other cheek with fingers dipping slightly into my hair. I can feel her heartbeat through my skin as our legs intertwine and my heart is soon audible, thumping with excitement and lust as she kisses my chest. Her beautifully shining eyes look up at me with a feline twinkle, and the shadow of a devious smile on her lips.

When I wake up I’m back in my own bed, a patch of sun streaming from the unclosed blinds and warming my face. I sit there, unmoving in the blindingly comfortable sun, and take stock of the previous night’s events. Did it happen? Did I imagine it? Was it all pretend? It doesn’t really matter, I thought languidly, not in the end.

I picked up my phone and dialled a long number, waiting patiently for it to be picked up, and when it was I laughed and I smiled.

‘You were right you bastard.’ I said, hanging up.

I put the phone back on my bedside table and let my head become engulfed by the pillow before falling back asleep.

A parting to remember

Wednesday, April 25, 2007
“Now,” he said, his upmarket English accent shining through with every syllable, “in English, it’s possible to analyse any text. Whether it be a book, a script for a film, or this…”

He switched on the overhead projector, making the wall behind him light up and a few lines of silhouetted text float in mid air. We read the words slowly before recognition dawned and muffled giggles ran up and down the lecture hall. The lecturer, looking smart in his suit jacket and pinstriped trousers, pulled out a red marker and set to work.

“As always, when it comes to poetry, we mark out how many syllables are in each line; in this one it comes to ten, nine, seven and eight – so we can rule it out as being a sonnet of any kind. However, due to the rhythm we cannot rule out it being a ballad. Now, can anyone well me what we do next?”

The hall was thick with a stunned silence.

“We look at stresses. Starting with the polysyllabic words we can easily determine if there is an organised rhythm. So the only polysyllabic words here are here, here and here,” he said, circling ‘milkshake’ and the two instances of ‘better’. “It’s easy to see that the stress is on the ‘milk’ here, because your wouldn’t get milkshake, and the same for 'better'… but what about this line here?”

He indicated to the third line.

“Would you say it was ‘Damn right’ or ‘Damn right’?” His English accent blatantly obvious at this point “If we follow the pattern, we can see that the poem does follow the pattern of a ballad, as the third line demonstrates: ‘Damn right, it’s better than yours.’”

A few muffled laughs.

“Also, when we’re inferring like this – that’s right, we’re inferring – we can speculate on the meaning behind this poem. It seems to be that this girl makes very good milkshakes, milkshakes that attract a lot of men. And, it seems to be, that she makes milkshakes better than this other girl, who she offers to teach for a charge.”

We all laugh; the lecturer’s naiveté seemingly genuine as he looked at us with his innocently bald head. For a moment I actually thought he believed that the song was only about some girl’s milkshake making abilities, until he started speculating what was meant by milkshake. His gleam of innocence was quickly lost after he gave numerous examples (including felching) as the definition behind it.

Best. English lecture. Ever.

The science of sleep

Monday, April 23, 2007
I have a Psychology test coming up within the next hour. But, instead of studying diligently, I am being forced to Blog.

I'm having the strangest dreams these days. Little situations and scenes that invade my subconscious and make my eyes dance under their lids. I experience them in complete reality, not knowing their dreams until the sun filters through my blinds and put to light the farce of my late night experiences.

There was an occasion where my brother and I were relaxing on a couch watching Pulp Fiction when we were recruited to find a missing cat. Grudgingly we searched the mansion and found a secret attic full of stuffed cats, when we confronted the owner she pulled out a sleek silver 9mm and popped a cap in Chris' ass, so to speak.

Before I knew it I was on the run, stumbling down Bergen main street in an attempt to flee my pursuer. I lifted an iron bar from the gutter and began hammering at glass door, yelling at them to let me in now. But too late, for when the doors finally creaked open an inch a bullet flew past my head and I shot off at a run.

Suddenly I was in the countryside, running down a long main road. I tried to wave down any and all buses, but they just sped off without giving me a second glance. With hope running out and my gun wielding pursuer closing the gap between us, I stuck out my thumb in the futile attempt to hitch-hike. A blue car, almost magically, skidded to a stop and opened its door. I clambered in, sparks flying from the door as a bullet hit it, and landed amongst a set of antique furniture.

The car drove off and the driver began conversing with me in Spanish. I explained I couldn't speak Spanish and he gave me the dirtiest of looks. That's when I woke up.

Can anyone analyse that for me? Please? Although the late night imaginings provide some form of entertainment, I am beginning to be plagued with their meanings. And they linger for hours, even days, on end in my head, with you fucking pathetic little cunt ringing in my ears as I sit on my couch and try to pierce their meaning.

Yes, Freud specialists are needed.

The settling

Thursday, April 19, 2007
Phone line in the flat is now up and running, now all we have to do is have the internet installed. Ha! I kid. The guy should be around soon enough to set everything up, meaning I no longer have to steal the internet from Uni and mum’s house.

I realise that it’s a bit strange that, after harping on about it for over a month, I haven’t written anything about my new flat. Well the simple answer to that is that I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted everything to be perfectly up and running before I ramble on and on about the freedom and the balcony and the room-so-big-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-with-it. But I’ve decided not to bother with that anymore – if I wanted things to be perfect then I would never be able to write about it.

To begin with; my room. This is what it looked like after my first two days sleeping there.

But after many hours of skilled carpentry and hefty rearranging (finally, all those episodes of Changing Rooms have come in handy!) I am left with this;

(click on any image to enlarge to full size)

Beautiful is it not? I only assembled the desk last night (finishing at the wonderful time of 1am). The desk used to house the old desktop all those years ago, but after that blew up we dismantled the desk and shoved it in the garage, where it sat for a year and a half. Now, when something is out of use for a year and a half, something usually goes very wrong with it. And when I set out all the parts in my room for inspection, I realised there was something very wrong with the desk. There were no screws. The desk top, legs and brace were all there, but not a sign of a screw in sight. I asked Mum if she could search out the necessary parts, and she gave me a small bag with about a dozen different nuts, bolts and screws. So me, with my infinite knowledge of desk making (!), set to work and assembled the desk that my Lapdancer is now resting on. And I achieved this by using five – that’s right five – different types of screws. I’m expecting the poor thing to fall apart any second.

The rest of the flat is really nice too. Since all the stuff was moved in when I was in Norway, Chris had to manage and arrange. He did a good job of it too, with the place not resembling a rubbish tip when I arrived home (my room, as you can see, being the only exception). Bit by bit we’ve been tidying things up, moving this and that here and there, and generally making it home.

The whole experience of living in a flat is very exciting indeed. It’s a whole new breed of freedom that I had never experienced before. There’s no adult supervision (yes, Chris and I are 20 and 18 respectively, but we don’t count as adult) and we have complete run of the house. We can have people round without asking, we can stay out all night if we want to, we can have people fall asleep on our couch and play videogames with the next morning. At the risk of sounding too childish here, it’s just so cool.

I had some friends round at some point in the weekend for a pseudo house party, and we sat back on the couches listening to music and chatting about freckled arses. One of them sat on the couch and periodically gazed around the living room before whispering in awe “my mate has a flat”.

And it’s true. I have a flat. Hell yes.

Simplicity of a sunny day

Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The sky was a colour I had never seen before, which is a bold claim for a former art student. Never in my life could I mix enough paint to concoct such a brilliant display of azure, purple, blue, indigo, and sparkling sapphire. Clouds that look as though they had been made from a bizarre hybrid of silk and cotton drifted by, their ice cream shapes floating in a cerulean sea. I could easily become lost in that sky. I’d be happy to let myself drown in that vast expanse of infinite.

The sun tumbled from the sky and landed on a hill of verdant grass and sleeping students, each person languidly laid out in the relaxed sun. Usually Glasgow is a cold place, with the towering buildings casting a shadow over the streets, but not here. In this clearing, this little hill of grass and trees, there was warmth that shone through to the bone.

We were taking full advantage of it. We flocked to the dried up water fountain, to the hardly used wooden benches and even to the precarious ledge that overlooked it all. We sat and we talked and we ate cocktail sausages – for these are things we do when it’s sunny. We smile. We smile more than we smile at any other time in the year, because when the weather is this perfect, even for a singular afternoon, we cannot help but smile. For a fraction of a moment, life’s problems, big and small, seem to flutter away in the breeze – the suns rays filtering through the black clouds hovering over people’s heads, giving them a flicker of light and happiness in a dark time.

I leaned back on the stone steps and lifted my legs off the steps below me. I gently swung them up and down in the serene air and closed my eye, letting the sun sink into my face and rest in the soft tissue around my smiling cheeks. I could feel the cold stone under my hands, little rocks working their way between my fingers, and a bush reached out a branch to stroke my ankle.

It reminded me, suddenly, of my very first day in Norway. Elisabeth and Marie took me on a tour round the village they lived and led me up a huge hill that served as a boundary to a fjord before leading me down the winding road on the other side. At the bottom, when we finally reached it, sat a large yellow hotel that fronted a very small stone beach populated by a few families with their kids waddling into the water – trousers rolled up to their knees and skirts tucked into their underwear. The beach, despite it being tiny, served as the gateway to the wide open fjord in front of us.

It was cold out, but there was no cloud in the sky and the sun shone brightly on the perfectly still water in front of us, except I don’t think I should call it water. It was as if the water had been replaced with nothing, and what I was gazing at was as solid as the tiny rocks moving between my fingers. The coast and the mountains on the far away shore, peaked with perfectly white snow, sat in the depths of the fjord, their summits balancing gracefully on another infinitely blue sky. There was no ripple or disturbance in the reflection, and I felt a small sinking feeling of vertigo.

The sounds that surrounded that beach were musical; the swish of a breeze, the pure ring of children’s laughter, the soft trickle of running water, the slow steady breaths of Marie beside me. These were the types of sounds you find on relaxation CDs, where you listen to calming birdsong or soothing waves to unwind after a stressful day. This was different. With those CDs there’s the ever present knowledge that the stress is still out there, that when you press that Stop button the noise of the cars and the TV and those screaming kids will magically come back. But not there; it was only the relaxing sounds to return to, only the crisp air to breathe, only that eye widening sight to see.

My phone vibrated in my pocket and I picked it up, the smile playing even more on my face as I answered. I took a deep breath, absorbing the summer air whilst having that same feeling in Norway; a feeling of complete awe with total relaxation.

If only life came with subtitles

Monday, April 16, 2007
Lack of updates are due to connection difficulties in my new flat (ie, the complete lack of phone line), but they’re well on their way to being fixed and we’ll have the internet up and running in no time.

-The sun shines happily down on the breezy street; the trees singing and the birds swaying in the near-summer weather. My footsteps are solid and sure as quietly ignore

[Long pause where I delete things and start again]

-Ignorance is bliss, is it not?

Out of sight, out of mind as the old proverb goes. Once upon a time the world sparkled with shining pennies and vanilla ice cream, I didn’t see the broken weeping needle on the ground, I looked away from the beggar holding his Big Issue in one hand and his dripping guts in the other, I blatantly ignored the good old buddy the pal as he dug a knife into his wrist. I was like Lily Allen in my retarded naiveté.

[Another pause. Lets start again.]

It’s like peeling off old wallpaper. Not the new kind that slides off in satisfyingly uniform strips, but the old papier-mâché wallpaper that was glued to the wall in the sixties. This wallpaper looks good to begin with, its intricate flowery patterns and little figures staring out at you – but bit by bit it begins to flake off with little suspicions of scrapes and hints of failure. Soon great gashes will score across the wall, but you ignore them. The wall is still as pretty as it always has been. But then, one day, someone comes along with a giant fucking steamer and tears the whole thing apart piece by fucking piece.



Closing time

Sunday, April 08, 2007
We are dotted around the dimly lit room, each doing individual things whilst listening to a compilation of slow melodies. I am sitting on the double-bed, the Lapdancer balanced on my lap as I choose the next song in line; Kiwi is beside me, playing with my watch on her wrist and occasionally pulling out her phone to text as she writes another line in her diary; and Elisabeth is on the floor, her attention wrapped up in Foamy (which we introduced to her). We are mostly silent, speaking only in the most hushed of whispers as we sit and wait.

It’s our last night here in Norway. A week has passed since I landed amongst the sparkling fjords, and soon I’ll be climbing a sickly plane to leave them. That’s why we’re silent. It’s our last night together in Norway and none of us really want to admit it. We’re just sitting up, all night, and doing whatever it is we’re doing. There are hundreds of pictures stored on my hard drive that chronicle the past week, each pixel shining with energy and happiness. Now we’re subdued. Not even half as much life shines out of us now.

I’m sad to be leaving. Really sad. I’ve had such a good time, and I really don’t want to leave all those memories behind in the past. I want to make more, and keep living them, and wear out the batteries on Elisabeth’s camera. I want to go to more parties and have more late night discussions and I want to find myself again in these verdant green hills. I want to drink in a log cabin, smoke while looking at the stars, and wake up to find pure and utter silence.

Not too long ago, when asked what my perfect house would be, I described a small lonely wooden house near the edge of a high cliff that overlooked the sea. The house would almost be a bungalow, with the attic being used for my bedroom, and a desk sat in front of large bay windows that held the sea; stretched out in all its glory. I always thought that that place was a myth, that there was no such place in the UK that could fit my specifications, even slightly, but Norway has it. Norway has it everywhere.

This place is fantastic, but my experience is not all due to my surroundings. Elisabeth and Kiwi have been indescribably more amazing than I could have imagined. We’ve grown so much closer in the past week, so at ease and comfortable with everything. I now read their blogs differently, and I know our online conversations will never be the same as they were. They’ve been incredible beyond words. I feel a sharp pang in my stomach when I have the sudden realisation that I won’t see them everyday. They won’t be there with chocolate toast when I wake up or there to attack me with avocado face mask when we’re getting ready or there to chide me when I pull a cigarette out of my pocket at night.

I’ll see them again eventually, but that really isn’t soon enough. God, I’m going to miss them.

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Elisabeth highjack's a blog ++ dirty confessions

Friday, April 06, 2007
Dear Flumpy

How are you? Everything mighty good and spongy? Glad to hear it. Is this thing working? Am I really guestblogging for Joe? It feels a bit strange, writing for the person you have read for about a year and stalked via MSN, emails and comment spot. This would be the time for you, the reader to think "Elisabeth is not very well preserved" (like pickles). Well, jolly good; I want you to think that, that's the charm. What charm that is I have NO idea, its just charm. Bundled up in the corner somewhere talking about that heathen TV show with Witches with demonboyfriends and babies being all magical. That's charm for you dear reader (now called Flumpy), and I'm in it.

Anywaaay, I have no idea what I am writing, Flumpy. I think I was supposed to write about Joe and Kiwiqueen being in Norway and us smothering his face with avocado, but then you got me babbling about this charm think and now you've just ruined it. I shall not forgive you, go wallop up in tuna or something.

Did you know that in one day we've had 4 seasons of weather here? Sun, Snow, Rain and Wind. One for each season plus plus. I hate it. I HATE it. I do not like to take my coat on because of the heat, then take if of because its so frigging cold and my glasses are so we and covered with rain and now my hair is all messy!!!!!1111 and so on. I hate it, they like it. This crazy stalking Scotsman likes the weather, the fjords, the hills (are alive with music ha ha ha), the little houses on tiny islands etc. The kiwieating "take it easy" girl is also adapting the Norwegian sleeping habits which warms my heart and all that jazz.

So Flumpy sweetie, is this scary you think? 3 bloggers who (almost) have never met, suddenly travels over boarders and painting each others faces with green goo and drinks coffee from a vending machine? Is that scary? Psssh. This is 2007, deary, not 1992.

Im off now, I am not good at writing to my Teddybear; so I'll just live you here, filled with questions about dirty confessions and the rumoured highjacking. I know, I am evil. Just ask Joe.

Toodles! Love ya my lovely sugarpie honeybunch coffeecanoodle!

Elisabeth Ice Cream, oh yeah.

Jack the whore

Thursday, April 05, 2007
Things that have happened in the past twenty-four hours:

My desire to own a penguin has increased dramatically.

My music collection has also increased dramatically.

I have marvelled for a full fifteen minutes at the view from someone’s window.

I have discovered that Norwegian people can’t buy hard alcohol until they are 21.

I have discovered that Norwegian people have never tried Jack.

I have discovered that Norwegian people thoroughly enjoy my friend Jack.

I have experienced my first live lesbian kiss.

I, once again, kicked ass in a theological debate.

I experienced my second live lesbian kiss (documented via photos).

I had a very deep and meaningful conversation in someone’s hallway.

I drunkenly rambled about things that I thoroughly wish to forget about.

I have decided to quit smoking before I properly start.

I listened to my first bagpipe duet.

I discovered that foreigners find Scottish accents devilishly attractive.

I discovered that I really really really hate having a hangover.

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The Bloggers Three

Wednesday, April 04, 2007
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The secret is out

Monday, April 02, 2007
Dudes, I’m like, totally in Norway.

After two whole months of keeping it a secret, I can finally let out a long sigh and tell you all about my dastardly plans over Easter. It began a while back when it was decided that I should meet with my fellow bloggers, KiwiQueen and Elisabeth, and we desperately searched for a good time to accomplish this feat. We agreed that the best time to achieve this would be during the Easter holidays, and while Elisabeth and Kiwi made plans I consulted my university handbook and returned to the conversation with dismay; my holidays were completely different from theirs!

After a few accounts of “oh no” and “NOOOOOOOOOOO”, Elisabeth and Kiwi decided to meet up in Norway without me. I was very upset at this and proceeded to wallow in self pity. It was during my wallowing that a sudden realisation came over me… that there is in fact no such thing as the 31st of April. Overjoyed by the university’s mistake I ran back to the computer to inform my friends, but only Elisabeth was on, and I told her with a flurry of garbled words that I could come to Norway (although I think that she only understood “Norway!” “coming” “woo woo”).

And then an evil idea hatched in my mind.

Kiwi was offline. She hadn’t stayed long enough for me to inform her of the amazing news. Well, my little mind thought deviously, what if she doesn’t find out?

Oh ho ho, I thought, I think you’re on to something there old chap.

That’s because I’m you, idiot.

So I booked a flight that landed a whole day earlier than Charlotte. Elisabeth and I kept the secret from her for two whole months whilst pretending that she was the sole visitor to Norway. It was a lot more fun than I let on.

Two months and two flights later, I arrived within the fjords of Norway, gazing out the window at the scenery below.

I wandered around the Duty Free shop for a bit, picking up my good friend Jack along the way, before being searched for drugs at the gate (later I was told that I ‘fit the profile perfectly’). I stepped out into the airport and was immediately accosted by a beaming Elisabeth, who ran straight towards me and encompassed me in one hell of a bear hug.

Now; a little note about Elisabeth. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of running into her on the internet or on someone’s blog, you’ll know what I mean when I say she’s… exuberant. And I have to admit, this exuberance is not restricted to the confines of the internet – in the real world she is just as bouncy and smiley and obsessed with coffee. It’s awesome.

We exchanged pleasantries (‘Oh my god! You are real!’) and headed home in the car. They took the boring route which resulted in me gazing out the windows in awe at the rolling mountains and verdant trees. And the houses! There are houses dotted about everywhere! Climbing up and down hills, hiding between trees, surrounded by the most silent, still waters; everywhere! They’re made from long slats of wood (mostly yellow) and sport stylish balconies and come free with a homely feel. Looking across the Norwegian landscape is like looking back in time, but modern. And reading this blog is like reading something that makes sense, but is nonsensical.

And now I sit in Elisabeth’s house, leeching off her wireless connection. It’s all kinds of awesome.

KiwiQueen arrives tonight. Elisabeth and I have spent hours planning how to surprise her with my presence. Do I wait with her beside Elisabeth? Do I hang back and wait for her to spot me? Should I wear a moustache and pretend to search her bag?

Only time will tell…

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What, no fool?

Sunday, April 01, 2007
Just as a quick one before I head off again. Blogging over the next week may be a bit… more sporadic than usual. But not to worry, I’ll be back in business in no time, and there’ll be a nice bonus to make up for all my down time…

See you around folks.