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2009
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July 31st; Some very vivid dreams last few days. A new online friend in Cuba sends me her presentation about immunology. I watch lots of video clips from the lunar landings forty years ago. Such as six objects being thrown on the surface of the moon. Is this really original speed? Another version of this clip on YouTube is sped up 2 X, looks more normal and yet... Some olde-style sci-fi synth + drumtrack from Human Blue: Beautiful Stranger.
July 30th; Central banker sends in text for book.

July 29th; Philosopher in biscuit factory. Listening to others.
July 28th; Vodafone apologise and we are all friends again. Pop over to photo place, collect image of Ganesha. Some wire-wool-on-tabletop action in the small hours.

July 27th; Two distinctive visions of American cities. None Shall Pass, and The Art of Walking.
July 26th; Round off work for Onlinet.

July 25th; Party at Jeremy 2 & Csilla, where I bump into Kath, Gretchen, Mary, & Nannette, then hear all about gas pistols & demolition rifles from the slightly intense {"I'm a gun freak"} police interpreter Tamas. I drink lots of punch and go home in a bad mood.
July 24th; Something about eating dried figs reminds me of licking old lacquered furniture. Partly the taste, partly the way the figs look like they're made of sawdust, varnish, and veneer.

July 23rd; The corridor balcony outside my flat has a sound or motion detector on at night so feeble I can leave my flat & double lock my door and stay in complete darkness. This does mean, however, that I can reach a hand into the air and snap my fingers to turn the light on, like a wizard. Magdolna reveals she mixed up two families last week, so one of the Vukovich girls has not been murdered by a down-and-out after all. Oh.
July 22nd; Supposedly, a giant bee teaching Arab children that Jews must die. The Mickey lookalike miming grenade-lobbing and AK47-firing also seems to offer under-tens' television new directions.

July 21st; Late-night energy drinks + Adrafinil = True Skool.
July 20th; Girl behind counter at Vodafone cannot hide her glowering rage that this customer won't meekly do as he's told but tries to reason with her.

July 19th; Still no internet connection from Vodafone. Odd. At the late-night shop, when I walk out onto the street, once she thinks I'm out of earshot one woman says to the other, "He's a nice kid." Finally, somebody notices.
July 18th; Saturday. Late at night, I find a small beautifully-coloured beetle in my miniature herb garden. It would be a ladybird if it was red with white spots, but it is yellow with black spots. It walks around the rim of a terracotta saucer, temporarily at a loss for what to do next.

July 17th; Friday. In befuddling heat, I am an hour late for dinner at Marion & Paul's, where I rant about central Asia being essentially a Fascism Pump. Meaning that, as a region, it has done little for 10,000 years but repeatedly send out tribes of vicious, self-centred looters like Avars, Scythians, Huns, Slavs, Osmans, Tatars, Magyars, Mongols. They then settle down in Europe and India, struggling sullenly over successive centuries to forget glory & booty while learning to do a day's work. Clearly still not as much fun for them as stealing someone else's or finding some slaves to do it for you.
July 16th; Thursday. In the evening, strange tale from Magdolna. It seems that one of the Vukovich girls, perhaps Daniella, died in the last few months. She had apparently set up a charity for homeless people, and one of them killed her.

July 15th; Wednesday. Warm. Work for Vanese.
July 14th; Tea with Marion at the hotel patisserie she admits is a bit mumsy in style.

July 13th; Looks like it's time to invoke Babar again.
July 12th; Sleeping & working odd hours. Editing for Vanese. More monochrome e l e g a n c e.

July 11th; At the all-night shop I cannot put the items in my bag as quick as the big lady rings them up on the cash register. We both start shaking with laughter. Curious website of the day: yes, Bosnian pyramids. Maca root sounds fun. If this clip does not cheer you up, you are made of stone.
July 10th; Make it to Amanda's party. At the end of the day it's a game of two halves, Brian.

July 9th; A wonderfully nifty invention - shrinking the bulky British plug: the inventor explains. See Angela. Buy more pots & seeds. Cocktails with Magdolna in the evening. I slate the fortune-teller she took me to 7 days ago. She insists I do a Tarot reading for her, and the spread comes out with exactly the same prediction this woman gave Magdolna last week.
July 8th; Lunch with Martin. We talk about social control. Five ditties from The Herbaliser: Ginger Jumps the Fence / Shattered Soul / Lord, Lord / Sensual Woman / Song for Mary. Five tunes & mixes from the erratic Hexstatic: Drummed Up / Roll Over / George Michael mix / The Horn / Perfect Bird.

July 7th; Get to Mariann & Phil's new flat to measure up one of her frocks. She gives me a usefully simple top she is throwing out, composed of only six panels of fabric stitched together, no tucks or darts. As she is out of the room making some tea, I pick up a magazine that appears to be entirely about carp fishing. Several pictures show men proudly holding up enormous fish they have caught. One picture suddenly makes my eyes well up. A fisherman in his 50s is hugging a huge carp up against his head - the cheeks of hunter & prey are touching - and it is clear that this is one of the most precious moments of his life. Something vulnerable in the man's face touches me inexpressably. The futility of our ambitions, the pathos of our hobbies, goals, rivalries, our dreams of glory, all flood in on me. I don't actually burst into tears, but the poignancy of this man's proud catch, the vindicated hurt in his eyes, the awful contrast between this dreamt-of moment and the rest of his life affects me for the whole day. Both Phil and their baby Charlie are ill. Charlie is very fond of a soft toy shaped & sized like a rather large rat. They direct me to a shop which still sells seeds.
People who clean floors at the School of Oriental & African Studies in London have been deported in the forceful style of the new British state. According to these campaigners, it's because they had the temerity to extract a wage rise from the contracting company that employs them. One woman, they claim, was dumped in Bogota in the clothes she was arrested in with only the 75 pence on her to get the hundreds of miles back to her home town. Sounds like the Home Office all right.
July 6th; Cleaned up the inverted table top, moved it back against the wall, and cleared an empty work area on the floor several days ago. Make an effort to start gluing bits together for the bookcase. Looks like my cutter blades aren't straight enough. Another beguilingly simple print image

July 5th; Drink with Dallan in the late afternoon. He has some intriguing stories about Gerald Ford & Jimmy Carter, not to mention an odd incident yesterday when he saw riot policemen chasing people down the street below his flat, smacking the runners' legs with long batons from behind to bring them down. Later, I buy varnish. Another calming picture.
July 4th; On my short bus ride through hot sun out of town to the Chinese market to buy magic potions, I sit alongside a middle-aged white man with greying hair and a three-inch-high solid black tattoo the shape of the African continent on his upper arm. A restful Sugimoto photograph of the Black Sea.

July 3rd; Lunchtime drink with Vera. Later, in my repeatedly mocked search for a flower shop which might sell flower seeds, I find a girl in tight white trousers relaxing outside the flower shop she is minding, reading a book. She is wearing a shirt with text in two-inch-high yellow letters across her breasts. In English her shirt says 'I am the most important thing in my life'. Somehow, I don't doubt it.
July 2nd; Meet Magdolna az Ors Vezer square for a bus out to see her psychic. As soon as I see the card reader's sly face, my heart sinks. She uses an extremely battered 22-card pack of just the Major Arcana to deal from, without a doubt knowing all the scratches and blotches on the back of each card. There are spreads where cards are not nailed down to positions, so she can extemporise more easily, and of course using 22 rather than 78 cards means there are a lot of seemingly significant repetitions. The cartomancer is visibly annoyed when I start off asking questions about friends, not myself. She noticeably grows relaxed & smug as we move onto my sex life, where she can suss out exactly what I want to be told.

July 1st; Interesting Pepe Escobar article about Iran.

Mark Griffith, site administrator / markgriffith at yahoo.com

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