Listening to: New Teller – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

I have a knitting question, to which I should really just look up the answer myself, but anyway: if I want to block a hat to make it a little bit bigger, do I just do it flat? Will that create weird side creases? I don’t know what else I’m expecting – some sort of papier maché hat-blocking solution? Should I just find someone with a bigger head who wouldn’t mind wearing it for a bit? The first Saartje’s Noro Hat I knit is completely lovely and fits nicely, but I don’t like it quite as much as the second one, which had five extra stitches and is that little bit roomier.

Today: Shepherd’s Bush (I’ve missed it! I got a bit nostalgic for that first London house), a haircut (I look so weird with my hair blow-dried straight – there will be no pictures) and sunshine (I had to take my coat off on the walk home!).


Listening to: Freedom! ’90 – George Michael

I’m feeling quite whingey lately. Let’s dance around our kitchens (or other appropriate venues) instead:

Freedom! ’90 – George Michael

Deceptacon – Le Tigre

Listening to: Teeth – Kristin Hersh

Oh, no. I’ve given myself a stupid haircut.

Listening to: Cut Your Hair – Pavement (hey, I voted for this in the 1994 Hottest 100 – ah, memories…)


Good reasons to go jogging in the dark: last night I saw an owl. I don’t know if my excitement over this is silly – are owls habitual suburban dwellers? – but holy cow. I went right past it and then had to stop and turn around and stare at it. It was sitting on a fence at my eyeline, and it was brown and compact and very still, except for its swivelling head and eyes, and it was amazing. No tawny frogmouth (which have their place and everything, but are not pretty) – a proper owl (i.e. very Harry Potter). I was giddy. I hope it’s out there again tonight, eating all the big scary cockroaches that are out roaming our pavements in abundance for the summer (they’re the size of mice [oh, how I wish they were mice], and they freak me out).

Because my parents are going off to Taman Negara in a couple of days, and we’ll have various aunts and uncles staying with us from tomorrow, we opened our Christmas presents tonight. I got a whole stack of Virago Modern Classics from Alice’s Bookshop, a biscuit press, some chocolate and Rough Guide’s Off the Beaten Track CD! Everyone else seemed happy with their stuff, too – L and T got a bunch of boardgames, and Mum and Dad got the stuff they requested (wind chimes for Mum, Waterson:Carthy’s new CD for Dad [who would’ve thought my dad’d ever own a Christmas album? But it is really good]). (I also scored Tom Waits’s Orphans today, thanks to my dad – it’s a long, complicated story involving lost CDs in hire cars – and it’s really good [especially Road to Peace, on the first disc].)

As for my new haircut…well. I nearly cried when I first saw it – since when does “I want to keep a bit of the length” translate to “Please give me a pronounced mullet”? – but I pinned up the back when I got home, and blunted the weird jagged fringe, and I’m learning to live with it. Hopefully it will grow out in a more dignified manner than before, at least.

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell today, and I’d been ploughing through it for so long that I really miss it now. I feel quite sad to be leaving it behind. I’ve started on the second of Anthony Marshall’s books, and I have all those Viragos, but still…I’ve had it on the go for weeks, and I’d become quite attached. Have you read it?

Listening to: Hairdresser on Fire – Morrissey

I played soccer tonight, for T’s team (7-a-side, 40-minute game). I have been so reluctant to in the past, because I assumed I would feel out of my depth and it would end up being a huge blow to my self-esteem, but actually I had a lot of fun. Our team played really well – we didn’t score any goals, and I lost count of the other team’s, but we kept at it. Absurdly, the other team remained aggressively competitive throughout (once it’s 10-0, why not just enjoy yourselves?), and, in the pettiest move ever, offered us the limpest of post-game handshakes (if you’re going to shake hands at all, shake hands – if the most can manage is a snide brush of the fingertips, just don’t bother). Anyway, I really enjoyed myself.

I have an appointment for an expensive haircut tomorrow morning, and I’m nervous about it. I have no idea what I want (which is why I’m not cutting it myself), except that I don’t want anything trendy, I don’t want anything that requires me to style my hair (or use, ahem, “hair product”), and I still want to keep more or less growing my hair out. Is this doable? I don’t think I’ve had a professional haircut since before I got my dreads (and I’ve never had a good haircut).

I borrowed the first eight episodes of the first season of Carnivàle from the library this weekend, and I’m totally hooked. I couldn’t get into it at all when it was on TV (I missed the first few episodes and was lost), but it’s really terrific. That whole Depression/dust bowl thing, carnies, good-versus-evil, an excellent cast – get it, if you can.

I’m feeling very indifferent about Christmas.