1. ART

    I like art that isn’t like this. 

    I like a different kind of art, you know, proper art. 

    I like art which solves problems and heals the sick.  I like it when art has a function, and a purpose.  I don’t like art that tells me what I need, or what I like.  

    I do like art to make suggestions about what I might like. I like art that can cure minor illnesses, that can clean up the sick from the floor of the waiting room.

    I like art that cooks me dinner, and does the washing up afterwards.  I like art that isn’t too noisy, or too bright or smelly.  I don’t like art with too many big ideas, but I want something that looks nice, that lots of people can enjoy.

    I like art that understands me, that respects what I’ve been through. I like art that wants to learn from my experiences, that wants to help me, but not in any way which undermines my existing achievements.

    I like art that tucks me in at night. I don’t want art that tries to wake me up by smashing my wing-mirror off as it speeds past, or causes a disturbance whilst I’m having quiet time.

    I like art that is like the art that happened before, a kind sort of art, with soft edges, like a jelly.

    I like art which helps me feel better, that stops bad things from happening in the world.  I want art that everyone likes, that everyone can enjoy.  I don’t like art that damages the environment, or art that could upset people.  I like art that I can understand, that speaks to me in my own language.  

    I like art that cats make, and the poor, and the blind.  I like art that takes the time out of its busy schedule, just to check in with me and see how I am. I like art that can be by my side at all times, but also knows when I need my space.  I like art with the same music tastes as me, and the same dietary requirements.  I like art that votes for the same party as I do, that agrees with my thoughts on the economy and immigration.

    I like art that stops me from choking at a Christmas party, rushing over and squeezing my diaphragm in just the right place to dislodge the vol-au-vent which would surely have ended my life. 

    I like art that my children can play with, but safely, without risk of harm. I like art that does not offend war veterans. I like art that doesn’t offend anyone. I like art that comes in a hygienic cellophane wrapper, see-through so you know exactly what’s inside.

     
  2. Pizza Toppings //

    Mozzarella

    Tomatoes

    Olives

    Anchovies

    Jam

    Pepperoni

    Spinach

    Beef

    Courgettes

    Salt

    Coal

    Beer

    Cigarettes

    Disappointment

    Rage 

     
  3. Years//

    You woke up and you went downstairs, and you went into the kitchen and then you had breakfast and then you got dressed and then you found your keys and your wallet and your computer and then you left the house. And whilst you were walking to work you realised, with a sort of innate sense, that everyone that day was 55 years old and overweight. And at first you didn’t pay this any mind, as there are lots of middle aged and overweight people in the town where you live, but some feeling, some creeping feeling snuck upon you, and by the time you reached the supermarket (around halfway to the train station) you were certain you knew what it was, and by then the absurd and terrifying reality was unavoidable. They were all over 55 and overweight. The children on their way to school were middle aged and fat, teetering on their cheap leather loafers, rummaging in their handbags. And a dog pissing against lamp post stopped, mid-flow, to answer the loud ring of a mobile phone. Heavy, tired teenagers lugging briefcases scudding along on skateboards, and that’s when you knew that it was all over.

     
  4. Dear Sirs,

    I am writing because I am rather concerned by the recent news that I have read about in my local paper. No doubt you have received numerous letters similar to this regarding the horrifying revelation that there has, for some time now, been a scheme in place to build a perimeter fence encircling the town.

    I was disturbed, as were many of my neighbours, to discover that not only was this plan approved by yourselves some time ago, but that significant work has already been completed in the installation of the fence. In the newspaper, you refer to an “extensive process of consultation followed by a meticulously coordinated evacuation and rehabilitation strategy”, but neither I nor my neighbours were invited to participate in any of this.

    Frankly, we are rather confused as to quite who you invited to participate in this “process” as the town has been very quiet for some months now. But then that’s not surprising considering the terrible decisions made recently by yourselves. My neighbours and I feel strongly that we would like for you to hold another meeting, so that our views on this monstrosity may be heard. I’m not against a perimeter fence per se, but I’m deeply confused as to why I was not consulted at its inception, as it is well known that I spent several years as a fence-erector.

    We have been to your offices to discuss this matter in person, but we were dismayed to find that the premises were boarded up. We went around to the check point on the fence but were told (quite rudely I might add) that we were not permitted into the holding zone, and that it was dangerous to be out of doors. We have now been without electricity and running water for a month and there appear to be large animals roaming the streets after dark, which is very distressing. We would appreciate a response to our concerns before we take this further.

     
  5. Cuisines //

    I’m so terribly depressed. But not for the reasons you think. You think I’m depressed about failing my cookery course. You think I’m depressed because I had such high hopes about becoming a chef, and you know how much cooking means to me. You think I’m depressed because I stayed up all night, every night for a week in order to perfect the delicate and nuanced techniques required to become a world-famous culinary impresario. You think I’m depressed because I will never be a TV chef, never own my own gastro pub, never release a series of best-selling yet timeless cookery books. You think I’m depressed because before being able to do any of these things I was expelled from the cookery school because of that terrible thing that I did that night, that awful and horrible thing that nobody must ever mention again. But that is, actually, not why I am depressed.

     
  6. Dogs //

    You stole my dog, and I want it back, and I wrote to you about it, and you still didn’t give it back, and then I went to the police and you still didn’t give it back, and then I called and I called and pressed my finger down hard on the doorbell so it just rang and rang continuously and I could hear the echoing doorbell noise ringing through your house and then I could see the newspapers thought the glass panel in the door and the post piled up on the floor on the doormat and that’s when I realised you had taken my dog away, and I would never see you again.

     
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  8. Debates

    I don’t claim to have an explanation or any answers but what I would like to do is open up a debate, about how we can go about getting those answers. There have been a number of issues raised, and some allegations, some of them could be true, but some of them could also not be true. I don’t wish to comment on any if these things, but what I will say is that I’d very much like to have a free and open debate on some kind of forum. On the internet, you can open a discussion if you like, or not if you don’t want to. I’m not saying that we should or we shouldn’t, just that we could, but don’t have to. I’m very concerned however that if we are not seen to open the debate in a free and proper manner, that we shall all be engulfed in nuclear waste that rises up from beneath the Tarmac as we’re driving into work one day, and swallows us up.

     

  9. An adventure with Nina.

    Climbing up to the top, it could be Spain.  Or maybe it’s Cley Hill.  I can’t climb up Cley hill because it’s too steep and I get vertigo.  Nina is on the phone.  She has dyed her hair.  It’s longer than before, and the dye has made it sleek and very smooth.  She waves her fringe around like a forelock. The woman in Marks & Spencer says that she’ll give me a lift to the pub at the bottom of the hill, but this idea is a bit awkward.  

    Nina is waiting for me.  It’s sunny and we start climbing up to the top.  There is a pub at the foot of the hill.  Everyone there we know. Some of my school friends are fighting with some irish travellers in the pub.  They break it off for a while and chat to us about a play they are starring in.  Whilst they are talking to us, the Irish Travellers lie down and go to sleep.  Nina and I carry on up the hill. The sun is out, and people are looking out at the view, someone points out a long ridge of hills on the horizon.  It looks unreal  but I realise that this is because it is unusually bringt and clear today.

    We get to the top and inside there’s another bar.  There are people asleep at the bottom of a steep metal slide.  Nina hops over the people and up the slide, through the hatch to the loft.  I want to go up there too.  So I try but tread on some of the sleeping people.  they shout at me, but I try to heave myself up into the loft.  It’s at this point that I relise I’m wearing a long skirt, made from thin fabric and my underpants are made from white bread.

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  10. Corvonia nights.

    Max and Chloe and I are good friends.  We go to school together, but it’s a woodworking school, high up in the mountains.  Max has always been very quiet - I’m the only one he really talks to.  People think he’s a bit weird, but as we grow up, girls start to notice him.  He isn’t unattractive, and his silence makes him mysterious.   The girls want to be my friends too because I can talk to Max.  That’s how we become friends with Chloe, she starts talking to us - to Max - and he talks back.  

    Max becomes fixated with Chloe, but I know that I am his best friend really  Although he starts to forget things, like my birthday.  He gave me a card afterwards to say sorry.  His Dad (played by John Goodman) puts his head around the door and says that the card has some money in it.  He and Max leave.  I shake out the card, but there is no money inside.

    Max, Chloe and I are leaving after a day at school.  The classroom is long, and wooden.  I walk out with Max, but he is not saying anything.  We walk down the street, but I realise he’s walking really quickly. He catches up to Chloe up ahead.  He gives her a card with some money in it.  I have a pygmy goat on a lead.  Our friend Archie runs up and catches us up too.  The pavement is too narrow for us all to walk side by side, so me and the goat walk behind the others.  We pass a field with some angry looking sheep in, and they bark at the goat.  The goat gets nervous and relieves himself in front of a house, squatting down like a dog.  The front door opens, the occupants of the house are preparing to leave - a mother is telling her children to put their shoes on - but they haven’t seen the goat faeces on the front step yet.  Quickly, I pull on the goats leash and we jump over the next fence into the field.  My friends follow me, and we roll down to the bottom of the hill.