Archive for February, 2013

Recipe book ideas for Tina

Posted: February 28, 2013 in Home

This is a very old recipe book but I used to like to read it as much for the little snippets as the recipes; I’ve scanned random pages and the writer talks about random stuff:) like Russian girls’ hairbands, eating with Strauss, references to some old noodle maker who performed his cooking and knew Hollywood stars, D H Lawrence etc etc.

I thought you could perhaps use a kind of pastiche of this, and create places and people and market places etc to go at the top of each recipe?

It’s a pdf let me know if it doesn’t work and I’ll try again; the book is in a really dreadful state, sorry!

cookery book for tina


This is the latest version (I feel it is still evolving!)

my pamphlet mirror margins 2cm, gutter .5,top 2.54, bottom 1.27


We have been playing with taking the style of Richard Brautigan in ‘Trout fishing in America’ and making it our own. Because he uses a strange mixture of extremely plain statements and elaborate metaphors it is almost beyond pastiche. However, after I wrote it I decided I quite liked some of my metaphors so I turned it into a poem

After Richard Brautigan

Friday was the last day they missed the turn off the auto route to their hotel at Mollet del Vallès. The day was a blind furnace. The sun sizzled along the tarmac with a graceless light and the road boomed through the open windows of the car.

They drove to the garden called Pinya de Rosa where cacti, as fat and round as barrels, displayed their sharp porcupine hulks. The sky was as blue as death. He took photographs of agaves because he said, “These are a definitive collection”.

She darted from one sorrowful pool of shadow to the next. She closed her eyes and the world span. The staggered hillside, starred with the leather rosettes of agave after agave, disappeared.

“Good,” she thought and she had a vision of grey skies, drizzle, and smiled.

They ran down the steps together into the deep valley’s throat and found a rectangular pool, where classical statues struck attitudes in the silent green water. Trees black as despair crowded at their backs.

Owner or Gardener of Pinya de Rosa saw their red faces and turned a tap. The fountains sprung up and thousands of glass splinters leapt and spangled before them, the air was full of mist. Owner or Gardener of Pinya de Rosa had given them permission to be cool.

When they drove back to the hotel they missed the turn off the auto route to their hotel for the last time. On Saturday they drove to the airport and flew across the other countries to their home.


Our hotel was always fugitive; we missed
the exit from the autoroute each time until
we found there was a slip road on but not
a slip road off at  Mollet del Vallès

Every day was a blind furnace; the sun
sizzled along the tarmac with a graceless light.
The Pinya de Rosa cactus garden was studded
with the unkind spheres of  ‘stepmother’s cushions,

‘mother in law’s pillow’, ‘Golden Barrel’. In Latin,
Echinocactus grusonii,  We say – say what you see,
phonetics.  Fat as porcupines they bristle with stiletto
spines. Don’t fall. One pool of shadow to the next.

And this is a definitive collection. Leather rosettes.
Sky blue as death. The world spins on a staggered
hillside starred with agaves.  I close my eyes
and, smiling, think of grey skies, drizzle.

We run together down the valley’s throat.
Statues preen in green water; black trees
at their backs. Now our faces glow with sweat.
Red. Hot. Someone turns a tap.

A thousand shards of glass leap from
fountains;we have been given  permission
to be cool. Tomorrow we will fly over parched
countries to the chill of home.

Pamphlet problems – font sizes

Posted: February 22, 2013 in Home

I would be grateful for any thoughts on font sizes:)

If the font size has to stay consistent throughout the pamphlet (I thought the font had to all be the same, in this case Times New Roman, but not the size:( ), then :-

1. using normal margins, font size 10 throughout the whole pamphlet (apart from titles), this happens to some of my poems… I think it looks horrible

font size 10

2. using normal margins, font size 9 throughout the whole pamphlet (apart from titles), the longer poem lines look OK, but the font size is a bit small

normal font 9

3. using font size 10 and custom margins at the sides of 2cm then it looks like this – would this have any effect on binding the pamphlet?

custom margin

This is version 1; it is not the final version (well, I don’t think it is). I hope the pdfs I have inserted load OK, please let me know!

I am hoping to add more poetry to replace some of the found poetry/illustrations but I wanted to order a copy from Lulu to see how it looks and what changes to make to layout etc. so I filled the 32 pages with everything I have got so far.

I got the printed pamphlet today 19th Feb; it was ordered on 11th Feb and only cost £8.76 which included first class delivery. It looks OK, there are a couple of formatting issues, I also forgot to add page numbers and a contents page :(.

Two pages have a faint stripe so I have had a moan about that and am waiting for Lulu to get back to me. Also the perfect bound spine seems a bit flimsy. – update, Lulu has repeated my order free of charge and with enhanced trackable shipping, so their customer service is good.

It is very cheap though and I think the actual pamphlet (as a physical thing) looks quite good.

I changed the cover but I still don’t know whether I prefer my rats in trouble cover picture… see pics below…

13642374_cover lulu 2

final_version_11_02_13 downloaded from lulu

dolly lulu cover image 2_edited-4

rats in trouble lulu cover image 2_edited-1

A vampire sonnet for Steve!

Posted: February 7, 2013 in Home

A Vampire Sonnet

I had not noticed, for the sticky sun
had turned me dull and unobservant.
A honey of unseeing. It was done.
And I was stolen in an instant.

It was a childhood summer when she took
my life away, after she had waited
in a place that would defile a prayer book,
and where every hunger could be sated.

From then into my mislaid future days
she was there in the corner of my eye.
She was the one who ruined me in ways
that stopped the tears I always tried to cry.

Now I am grown, and it’s my time to wait
for another child to carry to her fate.


Posted: February 6, 2013 in Home

To a burnt out love

Now that you are dead on this page to me
I am raking over useless embers.
In a fitful dream that I may still see
if either one of us now remembers

what we were, had or hoped for in the past,
in all the time before that fire died down,
that ever could have made our romance last.
Or were we always predestined to drown

its light with endless bucket loads of scorn?
To suffocate it to a smoking heap
of ash and clinker, so it was stillborn?
Almost before it had a chance to leap

and spark into such an unstoppable blaze
that could have lasted till our final days.