1st Driving Lesson

Well I got through my first driving lesson without killing anyone! I’m learning to drive with a company local to Lancaster called KWIKTEST.

Whether however I will be quick to get to my test remains to be seen.

I didn’t do too much on my first lesson, but I enjoyed what I did do.

I started the car and set off a few times. The process being:

  • Start the Ignition
  • Check mirrors
  • Fully depress clutch pedal
  • Put the car into 1st gear (without looking at gear stick)
  • Gently depress gas pedal
  • Lift clutch to biting point
  • Release handbrake!

I then proceeded to drive in lots of figure of eights… I also managed a little reversing. Although I stalled a few times when attempting a hill start! *growl*

The thing I found most difficult was mirroring my hand movements on the steering wheel… I am supposed to practice with a frisbee… So I hope you can all picture me sitting in front of EastEnders driving along with my yellow frisbee!

Looking? Cinematography by Peter Mettler

I’ve been delighted today to rediscover the work of a canadian cinematographer, Peter Mettler. I’ve just been reading an article which refers to Mettlerism.

My previous familiarity with Petter Mettler was limited to his 11th film The Top of His Head from 1989.
Gus a successful satellite dish salesman is entirely caught up in the capitalist material world, until he meets the mysterious and alluring lucy, who is wanted by the cops for her radical performance pieces that espouse environmentalism. …but any description of the plot really doesn’t cover it.

It’s a film about breaking away from perceptions and finding other ways of seeing the world. Peter Mettler shows us this world through his cinematography. It’s about God as a satellite. It’s about working out which side of the net the fish is on. It’s about a rust map. It’s about last looks at the world. …and it’s about giving birth on a train to a monkey with a port on the top of his head.

The visual imagery is so rich that it becomes a valid substitute for plot in the film. Although Kathryn, who fell asleep two out of the three times I tried to make her watch this film, would probably beg to differ. I remember fondly for example the scene where there is a plasic curtain on the other side of which there appears to be a strobing light. As we pass the thick plastic we see that the strobe effect is created by a half naked man swinging an enormous storm lamp around and around on a very long metal chain.

I realised that one of the reasons I’d liked the top of his head was the cinematographer-writer-director Peter’s expression of the looking (and the perspective of looking) changing the thing that it seen. The painting of Gus by his uncle for example, and the fish in or out of the nets.

This quote is from his most recent film: “Maybe there is a difference between looking for something and looking at something, when you are a part of what you are looking at, and you look at it and it looks back at you.” (Gambling, Gods and LSD, 2002).

The Top of His Head does for Mairzy Doats what Reservoir Dogs did for Stuck In The Middle With You.

Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn’t you?
Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey,
A kiddlely divey too, wouldn’t you?

What will they say of me when I die?

What will they say of me when I die? What will they write of me when I’m dead?

Reports say, as they do with all Elderly and Terminally Ill people, that he died “Peacefully In His Sleep”, which I suppose is a bit more comforting to other people than “He died gasping for breath, flailing in horrible pain as his various bodily systems shut down.”

Will I make it to elderly? Will you?

I was always petrified of aging. I could cope with death, it never held any fear. Cessation is obvious, it contains nothing to logically be feared, and afterwards, well, then we’ll see. …but slow, living decay on the other hand. My fears where not aided by my experience of old people. The smell of old people; their breath, their hair, skin and nails. Growing increasingly aware that to age meant to lose one’s faculties. The encroaching inability to hear, see, smell or taste… This filled me with horror. That the growth and developement period of ones life could reach an end and then the begining of a downward sprial as we slowly and painfully slip off the mortal coil was I guess my biggest teenage fear. Aside obviously from Nuclear War and the possibility that the State’s secret police would once more come to bang down the doors.

I just tried to check my spelling of cessation and instead was directed to “caseation” which I suppose puts a pretty good case forward for being repulsed by death too! Go look it up if you don’t believe me.

It is ironic I suppose that my role-models all seem to manifest themselves as ageless or increasingly active and alive with age.

I never thought I would live long enough to complain of growing old. I remember telling someone when I was pissed that I didn’t want to wake up one day and realise that I was too old to die young. I am still genuinely suprised to have made it into adulthood. I am starting to consider that maybe I will grow old after all. I think by so expecting my own death I was spared the consideration of my aging. Now that I am forced to consider it anew, it doesn’t seem half so frightening.

In the same way that children grow up faster and faster, old people grow old slower and slower.

In the playgrounds you’ll hear them, picturing empty cold hospital corridors, asking who wants to live to be 100.
…and giggling, like school children themselves, you’ll hear the new old folk tell you the answer, any 99 year old.

Book Lemming!

I saw this on PurplKat’s LiveJournal (nolonger exists) and it’s simplicity entertained me. So I complied.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth line or sentence.
4. Post the text of the line or sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

“He turned up the sound. The soap opera had now resumed, replacing the animated hemorrhoid.” – Philip K. Dick – THE DIVINE INVASION


Driving Lesson Warning

My first ever proper driving lesson is booked! On the 21st of April 2004 I will begin the process of leaning to drive. So if you’re out and about on the roads of Lancaster on the 21st at around 4pm… *B*E*W*A*R*E*


It’s amazing what a difference sunlight seems to make to peoples’ moods. Everyone I’ve spoken to so far today seems more alive and contented. I think I’m going to go and venture out and see what I can see. Maybe https://www.lancaster-online.com/ doesn’t deserve to be quite so grey after all!

Enough to base a movie on?

“…enough to base a movie on?”
If you’re life is a film, how do you sum up the thematic content?
Will there be American Beauties? Will the sleeper awake?
What themes run through your life?
Are the characters well drawn?
Do they have depth?
What problems and dilemas do they face? Are their trials and tribulations revisited? Over and over again?
Do they even know that they’re upon the stage?
Is yours a big part? Are you centre stage?
Would you watch? Or flick the channel?
“…enough to base a movie on?”

The program for this evening is not new,
You’ve seen this entertainment through and through
You’ve seen your birth, your life and death,
You might recall all of the rest –
Did you have a good world when you died,
Enough to base a movie on?

Jim Morrison

Truth is a complicated business

hmmm… Banita was right. Writing in blogs is especially difficult when you do not know your target audience. I mean… well… anyone could be reading this? Right? I don’t know what is going to offend. Nor do I know whether I want to tell you everything, something, the truth… That would depend entirely upon who you are. For example if you’re my boss then yes I had a stomach upset, and if you’re the lady I spent last night with, yes it was wonderful. D’ya see what I mean.

Truth is a complicated business, and blogs are public domain. I watched a friend of mine have an argument with someone before going out to a nightclub, yet despite the fact that we didn’t return until 4/5am, the first thing he did upon entering the house was to check the other person’s blog to see what they’d written about the dispute, before of course updating his own blog. This electronic feedback bemuses me. Life has become so public domain, even aside from CCTV and state surveillance we are constantly sharing our thoughts and ideas, revealing ourselves.

The act of watching changes the thing being watched. There’s a name for the theory, but my memory is blown. It’s mentioned in The Man Who Wasn’t There. I’ll find out and amend this entry… Unless someone out there wants to refresh my memory.
Then again… I am of course assuming I have an audience at all! That there is actually someone on the other side of this glass mirror listening to this drivel.

The act of revealation is a difficult one.