Thomas Thurman

An author of magical realism and a formalist poet. When he was a child, his ambition was to write storybooks. Many other things got in the way, including owning various cats, ringing tower bells, writing sonnets, moving to Cambridge, unexpectedly emigrating to Pennsylvania, learning to make fudge, maintaining interesting but obscure parts of computer systems and unexpectedly moving back to England. Nevertheless, he is still writing.

Now, Sherlock stares, and stops to think, and in the pantry, by the sink,
He sees the hidden clue in what he’s found,
That’s when the story could begin of Abernetty’s kith and kin,
A rather dreadful business all around.

And he said, the parsley’s sunk into the margarine.
The speed it melted was evidence how hot that day had been.
Now he’s calling the police, and pointing at the grease,
To show the parsley’s sunk into the margarine.

(I woke up with most of this in my head)

On it’s true that breaking up a multi-year relationship in a two-minute phone call, as she did, is generally disrespectful, generally rude. But then he went on to try to persuade her to come back, or to annoy her if she wouldn’t, over and over again even when she’d told him to leave her alone: he wanted some sort of civil court which can try her for the tort of dissing him, and (since we abolished breach of promise) there is no such court— which is probably for the best. Whatever disrespect she showed him doesn’t excuse him subsequently behaving as though he had a right to her attention.

(my comment elsewhere on the Cord Jefferson article in the Guardian)

An hour-long video of an hourglass. I made this for my own use, but I’m posting it in case it’s useful for anyone else.

I was talking to a woman from Lagos at church today. She told me, “The important thing is hope. I fell and broke my ankle when I was ill, and I was going around in a wheelchair. So I went to the shop and bought myself some high heels, and I said, Lord, I’m going to wear these one day. And I did.”

I have been thinking about IFR and VFR. VFR (visual flight rules) means you fly a plane by looking out the window. IFR means you fly by looking at the instruments. If you fly VFR you cannot fly through clouds, or in bad weather, or in some countries at night at all. And large airports like Heathrow require pilots to fly IFR.

In my head, VFR is a metaphor for emotions. Some people say you should follow your emotions, but decades of clinical depression mean that I can’t trust mine to be accurate or even present. I’m flying in the dark in thick fog. So I have to fly by IFR; I work out what I should be feeling and act accordingly.

I suppose I’m an extreme case, but I suspect that it’s also true for others: your emotions aren’t to be trusted as much as some people say. At most they’re a useful lead, or confirming evidence, towards what your rational mind comes up with.

At Warrington Pride, a man with a rainbow banner is having a conversation with a man with a “WHOREMONGERS” sign.

Are you hectic tonight, like a vast building site,
Do your taxis still swerve round the Strand?
Does your centre hold sway over everyone’s pay
In your suburbs, and all through the land?
Are you wistful for smog in your smoke-laden sky?
Do you stare from your streets at the Thames rolling by?
Should I come back again on an Underground train?
Tell me, town, are you London tonight?

I once bought a milkshake from someone whose badge said she was called Trail. I said, “Trail’s a lovely name— I’d never heard it before.” She said, “Oh, no, it’s supposed to say Trial. I’m a provisional employee.” I said, “Oh! I was imagining that maybe your parents were hikers and named you after where you were conceived.” But she didn’t have an answer for that.

The Aubergine Song

Probably the most risqué song I’ve ever sung on stage. Now with dynamic text: tell your friends!

When I met Sooty (I forget the year)
He just smiled and stuck his head in my ear
But I soon found that’s what he likes to do
And I moved to his house within the week
And I met his friend who could only squeak
I tell ya, life ain’t easy for a bear named Soo.