Hairy little doubts creeping in and dancing on your confidence to music performed by The What Ifs. One month to go and then what? Not a career in skimboarding, there's bloodstains on my white t-shirt from that. Likewise boxing. Howsabout the Australian Skilled Migration Program? Howsabout the English Booze Specialist Dole Bonanza? Howsabout Digging A Hole and Filling It In Afterwards? Howsabout Almost Writing A Book? Howsabout Eternally Dithering? Howsabout "re-training" and why not and why? Online applications and standard replies. No hints. Redrawing the blanks. Hungry for morsels and no nose for the future. A fool behind the eyes.
Sea-cat update: they came for the food and they left disappointed.

No Evidence of Use

The denim man poured cat food on the promenade right next to where we sat. "Protecting the animals", we learned, after a lot of not-understood French. Then he went forward to the rocks the sea was slapping and put some cat food there too. His jeans matched his jacket and his grey mullet distracted us from the sunset. We watched the sky turn inside out and the food go mushy. It didn't smell so we didn't move. The man went. We watched more of the sky and the people walking by. The noisiest sea in a long while.
The man came back with a dog that kept trying to eat cars. "Seen any cats?" I think he said. We hadn't, but if they wanted to eat the food they had to be prepared for the sea to swallow them like it was trying to swallow the children playing chicken with the biggest tide in Europe. We couldn't tell him this because our French is not quite up to standard. His dog tried to eat the cat food. "That's for cats!" he said, and followed the dog away, giving us a funny look as he left that seemed to imply "Isn't my dog being ridiculous! Hohoho!". Apparently he does this every night.

Whisper It

I tidied up Samuel Beckett's grave. Twigs and leaves and stones were all over it from the previous night's storm. I wondered if he'd've preferred it tidy or not. It's a modest grave. It was the kind of storm that left large bits of tree in the road. Get the book of weather and look it up under "Whoa". We watched it up the hill, Sacre Couer, battleship clouds ejecting orange lightning all over the city below, for an hour maybe, and a hundred people applauding the sky, and the curtain of rain approaching us, and the hundred people on the hill and the steps dwindling to fiftyish, the air changing taste, and us thinking we can withstand anything the sky can drop, and in a second the rain turned to hail the size of fifty pence pieces and it hurt like glass being thrown at you and everyone ran for cover, we ended up behind a public toilet, maybe thirty of us and a few thousand shattering splashes, and the sky twitching and the clouds gliding and the ground growling, and the whole thing passed into silence.


The circus is in town, so the Llamas are on the football pitch. They are near the goal. Ponies and horses are over by the halfway line. Camels are behind the hedge, keeping an eye on things. The elephants are elsewhere.
The whole show wurlitzed into town yesterday, five hundred fat honking lorries blocking the road for a good half hour and blasting our ears with sickly circus music and roll-up roll-up gibberish. According to the gossip of yesteryear: The Circus Folk Will Rob You So Thoroughly You Won't Know What Your Name Is Afterwards. The grapevines are bursting with tales that end with a Circus Type being chased away by One Of Us wielding a tent pole and screaming "NEVER!". Some exaggeration must've got in there somewhere. All that separates them from us is the football pitch / zoo. Which isn't any separation at all. The soundtrack for the week will be oompah-oompah and whinnying.


The body of a woman with the head and tail of a dolphin. It's kneeling on a block of ice and looking at you with its pink-lipsticked mouth open. It has a yellow drink balanced on its left flipper. Beside it is the body of a woman with the head and legs of a zebra. The rare kind of zebra that goes about on two feet. It's looking at you and taking off its pink bikini one shoulderstrap at a time. Nipples imminent. You just paid money to see it, you lonely freak, because you were thirsty and wanted a can of Orangina and this is what they put on the side of cans of Orangina nowadays.

Besides the Dolph-maid and the Sexual Zebra there is a third creature, but it's so hideous my brain has deleted the memory. Maybe it's only in France, I can't be sure, having not left the land of baguettes and delicious cheese for nearly a full three months, but could this be a new Europe-wide strain of deranged soft-drink adverts?
I hope so, but only the future knows, and I don't want it to start arriving any faster than it already does, which is quite fast, with thirteen hours a day six days a week spent clipping kids in harnesses onto ropes and telling them all they have to do is go up the rock and come back down and be careful not to smash their face off during any of it, so it's important to listen to me and watch if you like and when you reach the top you need to lean back like this until your legs are horizontal and your feet flat against the rock and your toes point to the sky and shoulder width apart or wider and slowly walk down the rock like in the Batman TV Show you don't remember, except they were going up a building and you're coming down a rock but nevermind that just remember the further out you lean the more stable you will be and there's no need to look for footholds just keep those feet flat and if you don't keep them flat there's a small chance you might slip against the rock and smash your face off, then your friends will have to run around trying to catch your face, which may well've been whooshed away by the gusting sky and have landed on a cloud, up at which faraway people will look and say "look Pierre, a cloud that strongly resembles a face" and when we're back at camp I'll have to fill out a "Face Loss Form" and that's a lot of work, well not a lot of work but it's annoying so please just listen, I'm trying to get away from paperwork and photocopiers and where's-the-file-I-think-it's-in-the-office and the water cooler needs changing and numbers are god, is that clear?

I have never said this to the kids, because if I'm not instructing them I'm serving them food, or eating the food at their table, or working in the Tuck Hutch / Snack Shed / Magical Confectionary Wonderland, from where I can keep my eyes pointed at anyone sitting on the nearby fence and ask them to please not sit on the fence, just walk around, if you sit on the fence physically and/or metaphorically it will break and you may end up on the wrong side, having done damage to both, and yourself, and I will have to repair it and send you to be repaired, and not one of us wants that, just line up to make yourself diabetic on these here tasty fruits of child labour and human rights abuse they call cans of Coke and bars of Mars.