Thursday, 8 October 2009


I'm sitting next to this girl on the train. She's talking animatedly on her mobile and all eyes are on her. She has a folder open in front of her with a book lying at its centre. The book is a textbook about psychotherapy but she does not sound like a psychotherapist. She might be talking about her course but it's boring so I've tuned her out. I'm trying to read and I'm doing just fine even though she's talking loudly and all the eyes on her suggest she's got everyone else listening. What actually distracts me is her smell. What is that scent? It smells fresh and familiar. It's not a scent I would wear, I wear subtly intoxicating perfumes day-to-day or olfactorily offensive ones like Coco Chanel to interviews. I think of my sister and realise that I have worn it because of her. Then I remember that it's Clinique Happy. And now I'm no longer reading my book but thinking about the scents that are important to me. I'm going through my olfactory memory. Beech trees in autumn are my primary school playground. Bleach my nursery school. Home is the scent of home, it isn't the washing powder or the food but us. My friend's homes all have scents that are them. suncream is the beach and coffee my Grandfather's house. the smell of overheated drains is Greece and the smell of dried fish Bangkok. The smell of white musk is (embarrassingly) my father, yet so is the smell of imperial leather which he washes his weather leathered face with.

Thursday, 8th October 2009

2pm Thursday

I'm making pasta with Tuna and tomato sauce in the kitchen. I get oil over my fingers and wash them. Though my hands are clean I can't resist eating some of the tuna, satisfying myself by separating the layers of steak, sliding them up and over one another to create a pyramid which rises above the can. I wash my hands again and turn the radio tuner to a random station. 'We have a guest on in a minute but't remember the name,' says the presenter. 'We have a telephone number you can contact us on but can't remember it off the top of my head.' What station is this? I think. I'm answered by the presenter eagerly remembering the website, unsurprising given that it's and the channel is BCFM. The station is run by volunteers from the Malcolm X Centre in St. Paul's. A Welsh ska band are put on with lyrics that are something along the lines of 'you can't know what it is not to stand until you've lived in the Mumbles,' followed by a Russian guy reading out a beautifully written comparison of Chaplin and Hitler. The elderly sikh couple who go for a walk up my road, through the park and back again every day go past the window. She wears a mustard coloured sari and walks as elegant as ever.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Crying over £2

my boss keeps me a few minutes later than usual because she's stressed out. This means, if I'm going to make dinner, I have to run down the hill to the station.
When I get there, I run onto the platform through the gate by the carpark. I think I've missed my train as one is just pulling away from the platform but mine is a minute behind so I make it.
Relieved, I plonk myself down in a seat at the end of a carriage.
The ticket man comes by and I end my phone convesation to be polite. I start taking my money out and he asks, 'where to?'
I say; 'Redland, with a railcard.'
He says 'you can't use your railcard because you didn't buy the ticket before you got on the train.'
'Because I was running to catch it,' I say, 'I didn't have time.'
But he only repeats what he's just said.
'How much is it then? I ask.
'£5.90,' he replies.
I want to say, 'I split up with my boyfriend of four years yesterday, even though we still love each other and my boss kept me behind when I'd worked a nine hour day for near minimum wage FUCK YOU.' But I just say 'whatever,' push a tenner into his hand, wait for my ticket and change and stare out the window. Prick.