Miaow McDonald was one of my earlier finds on Soundcloud – she has a fantastic indie pop style which suits her cool chanteuse / noir-ish voice really well. All of her songs are excellently produced and well worth your listening time.
How did you get into music?
I grew up in a house full of music, all my family are musicians and so it was a natural part of my childhood development. we had an old piano in our home, lots of guitars and a huge collection of vinyl. i would listen to everything from Pink Floyd to Beethoven… from Johnny Cash to David Bowie… from Bach to Blondie. my main influences are Patti Smith, Thom Yorke, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and Miles Davis. i admire their fearlessness, their theatre and their genius.
my brother bought me my first guitar, the same year my dad died. i was 13 and ‘Julio’…
a baby’s shoe on the window sill… a plastic vase full of pink plastic roses… closed blinds… wooden blinds… window sill stained with coffee rings… blue blinds… a blue giraffe… an array of pottery mushrooms that look like a row of tiny penises… all shapes and sizes… a stained glass window, very William Morris… grubby curtains, closed… a vase of daffodils… pro SNP stickers: “Scotland’s future is stronger” – i doubt that… a jar full of incense… more yellow SNP stickers… aluminium blinds… wooden blinds…. narrow slats, broad slats, broken slats… a dirty window… a grease-smeared window… a steamy window… a host of birthday cards, lots of hearts and flowers… an empty pint glass, adorned with a red lipstick smear… a black and white cat, licking his paw and washing his face in the sunshine… a vase of pink and yellow flowers… a statue of a dragon… broken blinds… a stained-glass window, a pastoral scene, cornflower blue sky, golden sun and rolling green hills in all shades of green… caged windows… bars on windows… a mobile of stuffed birds, i would rather see these birds alive in flight, not strung up on a piece of cord with their dead eyes and limp wings… pink plastic flowers in a pink plastic tub… four empty champagne bottles… a little wooden sign that spells ‘happiness’… a boarded up window… a ‘bag for life’ – contents unknown… wooden blinds… torn curtains… an assortment of seedlings in colourful little pots, soaking up the sun… plastic gnomes, one with a broken nose, looking out and longing for the garden… nicotine stained net curtains… an empty can of some high energy drink… pink orchids, are they real? two silver stars… a hanged leprechaun – did someone not enjoy St Patrick’s Day? plastic plants, faded by the sun… rainbows and wind chimes… a black ornament that looks remarkably like a butt plug… maybe it is… frosted glass, i can’t see inside but their garden looks really pretty… a vase full of dead flowers… bird shit on the window… baby’s shoe on the window sill…. come full circle…
this is a casual observation into the lives of strangers, made on my walk to and from work… i do not judge. i just say what i see… through the windows of peoples’ homes, their lives…
hello…. as some of you may already know, i write, i take photographs and i make music. i am a creative little sprite… most of you won’t know this as i don’t really have much of an online presence with regards to social media. i have an instagram page – mainly for my photography work; i have wordpress sites for my writing outlet and i have soundcloud and bandcamp as my main musical platforms – although i am also on Spotify, iTunes, Applemusic, Deezer, Googleplay etc etc etc… i also have a YouTube channel that i currently under-utilise. i have no facebook or twitter or tiktok or whatsapp etc. i ditched facebook and twitter a year or so ago. i found them toxic and discriminatory. i found them to be a viperpit of hate, and full of fakery. i have tried to delete my instagram account but it’s like the Hotel California… i can never leave, it seems. despite me writing a stiff letter to them on numerous occasions, begging them to delete me.
so… i, being who i am, felt compelled to write a song about all the fakery of social media and all that that festers… it is a song called The Somnambulist. it is about the toxicity of social media (hence the blue tongue) and the fakery and virtue signalling going on in there….
when i was writing the song, i could hear trumpet blaring…. i wanted the lead instrument (aside from my voice) to be loud, brash, rude and direct… mocking, if you may. the trumpet would be perfect for that, so i sent a rough mix of the song to my friend, Cameron Jay, one of Edinburgh’s finest jazz musicians and asked if he would like to play some trumpet on a song on my forthcoming album. he did. he recorded several takes and myself and my producer, Aged Choir Boy, edited the takes here and there to use the trumpet’s brash voice for emphatic effect.
today i took a walk along Kirkcaldy Promenade. it was a cold day, but the sea was a flat calm. like a black mirror.
promenade also means “to take a leisurely public walk, ride, or drive so as to meet or be seen by others…”. i found this interesting and relevant, given the amount of people walking the same walk as myself. i was walking to work but, ahead of schedule, i paused to watch the world go by. the Promenade was a busy place today. lots of people. everywhere. despite the brisk breeze blowing in from the open sea.
the tide was in. the sky was grey. the clouds hung out like giant ink blots. grey sky, grey sea, grey road, grey sea wall… a new sea wall… the result of more money invested in re-vamping this once thriving seaside town.
looking out at the murky horizon, i could barely make out the distinctive shape of the Bass Rock.
two oil platforms and one, two, three, four ships on the water. one of which looks like a cargo boat, with lots of colourful boxes stacked on top.
i giggle to myself as a Yorkshire terrier runs past me and stops to smell another dog’s puddle of piss.
a cyclist in pink trainers, sporting a pink water bottle and a pink face free-wheels past me.
it’s a busy place today.
a small child cries out for his mother. he has a runny nose.
today, there are lots of couples out for a stroll along the Esplanade. a promenade. they stop and chat briefly with other couples.
at the start of the Promenade there is a chequered line and a sign that says “Welcome to your Kirkcaldy Mile” – or words to that effect… i am guessing there must be another chequered line at the other end, to mark out that ‘Kirkcaldy Mile’. i don’t think i have ever walked that far along. maybe i have… i can’t recall. or maybe it’s just one of those things i never thought to look for as i have walked along this Esplanade many, many times… on an almost daily basis… and i have never noticed that sign until today!
another elderly couple walk past. the man is incredibly tall, rakish. they both look fit for their age… which i am guessing late 60s. they are holding hands. it’s lovely to see that they are still very much in love.
there is still a lot of construction and deconstruction work being carried out along the Prom as efforts are made to rejuvenate this strip and make it more attractive. a cold grey Riviera. new little car parks are appearing on the inland side. another revenue stream for the Council. more new blocks of flats spliced in between beautiful old buildings, although there are some architectural monstrosities… like the old multi-storey car park, built in the 70s. its then modern style has not aged well. it looks like it has been uprooted from war-torn Damask and dropped into place here. a carbuncle on the backside of Fife Council’s portfolio of architecture. i hope they pull it down.
i look out to see the sea. are they fracking the seabed out there? fuck knows.
a young woman in a black quilted coat has just walked past me, her mobile phone tucked under her chin as she tries to open a tin of Diet Coke with ridiculous long orange pointy nails. i smile to her but she does not return the smile. she has her hair scraped back from her face. she reeks of perfume. she has thick legs and her feet look like they have been shoe-horned into her black patent leather moccasins that seem to be two sizes too small for her.
a boy and his dog walk past and all i can think about is how they say that we, on a subconscious level, choose pets that look like us… i think that that is particularly true of dogs. i don’t think it’s true of cats. i don’t think that is possible. the boy and his dog could be brothers. they have the same squashed faces, squat build and short legs.
the cyclist with the pink trainers, pink water bottle and pink face pushes on past me in the opposite direction from before. she is pedalling hard this time. good for her. keeping herself fit!
a group of people approach me from my left. they have a huge Siberian husky with them, with a neckerchief around its neck. what a handsome dog, with his blue eyes. he, too, stops briefly to sniff the puddle of dog piss to my left.
i watch a seagull soar above my head. such a beautiful bird. i know some people regard them as a nuisance but i love them. to me, watching them glide on the thermals, they epitomise freedom.
all these changes must be affecting them too. more boats and ships in their sea. more pollution. more people on beaches. more pollution. more plastic. less fish. more rubbish and litter. why are seagulls pilfering kebabs and pizza?
so… if ‘promenade’ means a public walk way, to be seen or to meet… what about the collision of nature with man, or man with nature?
it’s all very well tarting up the Promenade to attract prospect and opportunity for economic growth, but at what cost to the wild:urban interface?
i will just leave you with that thought… i will leave it hanging there, like one of the dirty clouds now amassing overhead.
Kirkcaldy High Street was once a thriving, bustling thoroughfare. now all i see is decline and decay. empty shop units, their windows smeared in white grease… or boarded up with panels of damp and dank chipboard. if you stop and peer into these vacant lots you will see the past. you will see remnants of better days. you will see broken mannequins, standing like ghosts in the empty space… piles of junk mail in disarray behind boarded up doors… dirty floors, littered with broken fittings and redundant fixtures… discarded signs and price tags… abandoned cans of coke, pens and perhaps the odd glove or mask… or shoe. feathers from the units’ new residents – pigeons, who have found a way in, seeking refuge from the bitter cold winds that funnel up the many vennels from the Esplanade. sadly, you may also see a dead bird. the unlucky bird that could not find its way out again, lying rotting upon the floor.
now pedestrianised, i remember a time when this High Street was once choking with cars and leaded petrol fumes. a time when parking places were as rare as hens’ teeth. now it is empty. occasionally, cars creep along its length – seeking a short cut, or to drop off hugely optimistic shoppers.
the Mercat indoor shopping arcade still exists. its doors are still open but it is a gloomy and artificially lit space. there are no plants to offer a hint of cheer. the only signs of life are the people who venture in there to peruse the remaining shops. they shuffle around, like zombies, unsmiling. or they congregate on the seats by the bin stores, chatting or solemnly, phone in hand, chomping on their sausage rolls from Greggs the bakery. the air smells stale. the people look stale… beaten and depressed.
outside, on the High Street, the homeless huddle beneath their threadbare blankets holding out their dirty paper cups (from their last cup of take out coffee) hoping someone will kindly drop a couple of quid in there so that they can buy another cuppa to warm their hands, their hearts and perhaps, for just a moment, have their faith restored in humanity and the system. or perhaps it will afford them their great escape… a baggie of tobacco, speed or heroin. there is one homeless boy that i talk to frequently. he’s a cheeky chappie with an infectious laugh and toothless grin. he almost always has a smile to give. sometimes i buy him a cup of tea – 3 sugars and lots of milk. i don’t know his name. i asked him once and he said “what does it matter?”. the system is broken.
soon, Fife Council will be decorating the High Street with Christmas lights. a lame, vain attempt to make a silk purse out of a pig’s ear. the reality of economic decline in Kirkcaldy is incredibly sad. heart-breaking. the High Street is lined with many beautiful old buildings, each with unique facades. angels and gryffons gaze down on the street below. beautiful ornate chimney pots that once flew flags of smoke from warm hearths are now home to nesting gulls.
the gulls have moved inland. they have evolved. undeniably, they are intrinsically beautiful birds but are perceived, by many, to be a nuisance as they swoop down and aggressively steal food from the hands of unsuspecting shoppers, often children. to some, this must be terrifying. but we have been instrumental in creating these ‘monsters’… these ‘winged terrorists’. they have no desire or need to scavenge the nearby beach for a morsel of crab, or worms, when they can artfully snag a sausage roll or bag of crisps from the hands of passersby. they have no need to fish in the sea when they can have what’s left of a late night reveller’s kebab or fish supper – dumped on the street – despite the numerous bins provided by the Council. with a smörgåsbord of greasy junk food readily available, why would they exert themselves finding food elsewhere?
and speaking of fish… you can smell a queer and pungent fishy smell as you walk past the fish merchants. the stench heralds your arrival at this store front. my grandparents had a fish shop and i was always told that fresh fish has no smell so, with that said, why oh why does the air outside, on this stretch of road past this shop, reek of rotting fish? rotting fish? it is nauseating, particularly in the hot summer months.
this stench is only challenged in its potency by the smell of blood emanating from the buffalo farm butchers outlet a little further down the road.
pawn shops, phone shops, gift card shops and charity shops are the main staple on Kirkcaldy High Street these days, peppered with take-out joints and the odd and seemingly ‘out of place’ boutique or ‘specialist’ retailer.
the High Street runs parallel to The Esplanade, which has had a surreal amount of money invested in its regeneration. a face-lift… a lamented attempt to prettify, or gentrify, to kick-start the failing heart of the ‘Lang Toun’. new ‘luxury’ waterfront apartments, over-priced and overlooking the grim cold sea, are bolted onto the seaside strip in a prime location next to crumbling and derelict multi-storey car parking facilities. i find this sad, considering less than 500 yards away from these over-priced glass cubes are some of Kirkcaldy’s most beautiful and architecturally interesting old buildings, lying empty and in various states of decay. these mansions, with all their quirks and characterful stonemasonry, that could be even more beautiful with investment of time, money and imagination. but they lie cold and vacant, neglected, sad and forlorn. much like the homeless people huddled in vennels and bus shelters. and yet, these buildings – with their thick stoic walls and gracious ballustrades – remain beautiful. a beautiful reminder of better days. angels and lions look down on the empty street below with a sense of unshakeable pride. oh if only these mansions could talk…
but it is the people that break my heart every day. even before the ‘pandemic’ hit like a tsunami, the people looked sad. i see it in their eyes. i see their sadness, their fear, their frustration. they look beaten… ill… pale, unsmiling and (to use a good old-fashioned Scottish word) totally ‘scunnered’.
a walk along Kirkcaldy High Street is now, for me, a depressing shopping experience despite recent efforts to try resusitate it with pop-up markets on Fridays and Saturdays where stall-holders sell everything from bagels to beard oil… from tray bakes to trout… from artisan candles and quirky jewellery to second-hand vinyl records, knitted goods, wood carvings and printed t-shirts… despite all of this, the dark aura remains.
all the Big Retailers have, one by one, moved out to the retail parks where shoppers can park for FREE and not have to pay the £1.10 for one hour, as they do in the car parks serving the dying High Street. Marks & Spencers, BHS, Tesco, NEXT and Debenhams have all gone.
all that’s left are ghosts. ghosts in empty shops, in empty spaces, in the faces of those i pass by. ghost cars drive right through me as i walk up the middle of the High Street of my memory lane. a High Street that was once very much alive.
(c) Kat McDonald 2021 image (c) Miaow McDonald Photography 2021
there once was a fire. a fire that warmed the heart. a fire that kept us together. a fire that gave protection. a fire that welcomed kind strangers.
this fire burned bright, even on days starved of oxygen she burned as bright as she could. she was beautiful.
all that remains now is debris. memories.
all that remains now are ashes and echoes. echoes of songs, of laughter and mirth. ashes scattered on graves, the graves of my father, my brother, her mother and father. ashes upon ashes of the fires that died before her.
only a small amount remain. all that is left, of that beautiful fire, is debris… fragmented memories and near forgotten smells and images… old photographs and hairbrushes… a favourite scarf, and letters. tattered old postcards, lockets and other empty shells…
proof of life, scattered, like debris in the hearts and minds…
The arrival of the debut solo album from a female singer and musician who’s been at the forefront of a couple of the most adventurous, “out there” and completely uncategorisable bands on the Scottish music scene in the last 15 years, is something you anticipate eagerly.
As it turns out, she’s unleashed five tracks to preview the release, so here’s your starter for ten…..or make that five….. as there are five of Scotland’s finest…….
Miaow McDonaldplays, sings and co-produces everything other than the drums on all the tracks. Engineering, production, and other additional instrumentation, by Rob Davidson aka Aged Choir Boy, are credited where due.
Starting with “Ambulance” -– it’s a short burst of cyclical bass guitar that opens the proceedings as this softly hushed whisper of a vocal emanates from a darkness below, quietly emotional, then all of sudden a burst of guitars hit you, only to disappear and more bass and voice. this time, going from soft to emotive then rising into a yearning hook, as she laments a fear of loss and the drumming begins. a burning sea of guitar riffs ignite, each clipped short for maximum impact, and so the verses continue, the rollercoaster of vocal emotion that this song exudes until it comes to an abrupt halt.
“Fire With Fire” starts as a beautifully restrained slice of alt-country balladeering, reminding me of a more haunting, obviously less American, Lucinda Williams, as solid, slow drum beats herald a shimmering desert guitar, a snake slide and above this the vocal wafts like sand across the heat of the landscape; a wordless vocal chorus, adding to the texture, as the slowly unfolding song oozes with feeling and sultry passion, but still holding back as the slide guitar, performed by Aged Choir Boy, becomes Cooder-esque and this magnificent song and instrumental work just gets more and more impassioned as the theme of love hurting like crazy, rolls ever forward in its state of soft anguish.
“Pink Lemonade For A Blue Girl” is a combination of circus pop, indie strength and flowing delicacy. the moods changing from wistfully melancholic as an almost gorgeously purring vocal takes the sultry side of sadness to heartaching proportions as piano chords hang in the air, then suddenly it’s into the jaunty chorus reminding you of the time when the circus leaves town, with accordion performed by CyberneticZ, only then for the mood and time signature to change yet again as a solid guitar riff echoes and the vocal climbs higher.
“A Fucked Up Lovesong”, oddly enough, is pretty well exactly that – starting with softly strummed acoustic guitar, a plaintive vocal at the higher end of the scale kicks in, a beautiful piano melody, the voice descends, a guitar riff suddenly crashes in, the vocal moves to pleading and yearning, full of regret and angst, just as you’d expect. The sudden presence of low register strings just adds a whole new textural dimension of abject sadness and a life utterly bleak, as they all disappear, reappear, extra layers come and go, but the so-sad, heartfelt vocal just flows through it all, as what is a truly stunning song and arrangement, continues to unfold.
Finally, “Sister” washes in on waves of electronics as an echoed drum beat and percussion roll in, Miaow McDonald’s voice strides over it with emotive authority and delivers a song like some lost sixties singer in a timewarp of modern era strength. As the rhythms drive slowly forward, the harmonies and backing vocals are a thing of great wonder, flowing like honey, as patient as a saint, but with an underlying mix of menace and melancholy, as synth comets fly by, a bass resonates, guitar chords fracture – and it’s gone.
Overall, as a hymn to love lost, it’s a writing triumph, a vocal tour-de-force full of sadness and inner strength. it’s magnificent, and as an instrumental lesson in restraint, subtlety and texture, it’s perfect. On this evidence, the album promises to be something special………
Year Zero will be released on all digital platforms later this year. 2021.
Andy Garibaldi, a.k.a. Andy G, Dead Earnest Podcasts, Gee Force (Bridge FM Radio 87.7fm)
By reading this and listening to the tracks in pretty blue hyperlinks, you are supporting new music. Life is strange right now… unprecedented. There has never been a time when music and supporting new music / musicians has been more important. Music is medicine. Music is art. Music is therapy.
i have a lot of female friends. beautiful women. strong and intelligent women. i love them all dearly. they all have their struggles and face them bravely, like lionesses… warriors. we share a lot… as women, we talk about how we feel. but it’s not always easy…
these strong women in my life are my ‘sisters’… i am grateful for all that they are, and how they’ve ‘listened’ to me throughout my life… and i mean really listened. they have really cared.
women, as a sisterhood, have a supernatural bond… even their menstual cycles synchronise… isn’t that magical? women give birth to new life… isn’t that something that is beyond beautiful?
and so, i wrote a song about women… it’s called ‘Sister’ and it’s a celebration of what it means to be ‘woman’, being someone’s mother, sister… or lover… or friend.
u is for ursa major it will be four years, this July, since my mother left this world…. there’s not a single day that passes where i don’t miss her… where i don’t long to hold her close and smell her hair… where i don’t miss hearing her say my name… where i don’t think […]
a dog barks in the distance. the rattle of cups in the kitchen sink. wash them. make another cup of coffee and talk with my cat, Alf. he doesn’t say much. or it may be that he doesn’t have much to say about things. i have back ache. i have tooth ache. i have an c-PTSD, the Doctor said. but things could be worse. i should be grateful. and i am grateful. writing helps. Alf reaches out to me. a stretched out limb. a paw. a gesture. but there is a smell. eucalyptus and menthol. decongest. decongest. in the kitchen, we filter the water. it’s better that way. safer. or so they say. but these tiny impulses and intrusive thoughts colour my perception and shape my behaviour. i will resist the urge. wave after wave. but two shots fired and i would feel so much better. ephemeral. a flash. then nothing. disbelief and feeling numb. joy. complete and utter joy. bread crumbs. so many bread crumbs but still no whole loaf of bread. don’t you find that strange? remember the Cold War? of course you do. those films about what to do in the event of a nuclear holocaust, remember them? they scared me, when i was a child. the siren. early warning. where would i go? how would it feel to be vaporised. rabies too. remember when rabies was something to be hysterical about? i remember the ‘rabies is a killer’ adverts and ‘educational’ films about rabies. fear. it scared me. it scarred me. terrorvision. television. thank you, TV – you played a big part in my paranoia. my OCD. my PTSD. rabies and nuclear war. but we have new things to fear now, don’t we, eh? why is there always a missing sock when you empty the washing machine? where do all the ‘lost’ socks go? the piano against the wall remains unplayed today again. eighty-eight keys to be unlocked. still these intrusive thoughts come. i have no focus. no attention span. no joy. just rage. despair. frustration. hatred. lots of localised hatred. i say localised but by that i don’t mean i hate those around me, in my immediate locality, but by ‘localised hatred’ i mean it is focused. and close. in my face. in everyone’s face. and i think of the sound. the bang. the recoil. the impressive spray of aortic blood. thick. red. viscid. and that smell. a smell that is not easily forgotten. it stays with you. it clings to the very fabric of you, beyond clothing or cladding. it remains there. vile. the very thought brings up bile. but it’s more than bitterness. it’s more than hatred. it is beyond human emotion and comprehension. where do they come from? these demons. all appears normal. have you ever been to a slaughterhouse? or the city morgue? my cat is on the bed by my side. a hot mug of coffee steams to my left and a slab of ginger chocolate lies open, a sweet distraction, broken up in squares. one square bears my fingerprint. another Sunday. not a fun day. a day of (un)rest. my head feels enormous. it must be. to contain all that is inside it. the entire world is inside there. another world entirely. but do not go there. do not enter into that space. that head space. or you may never return. if you do, i guarantee you will be broken. you will not be the same person. these urges. they are not new. i often have these ‘falling down’ days, as i call them. but today they are out of control wild. is all innocence gone? i think of a sweet little girl i met today. she was nine years old, i think. her mother said that her little girl liked my blue hair, and that she is obsessed with having blue or pink hair. her mother continued to say that she may allow her to have her hair dyed blue for Christmas. i laugh. i am trying to remove the blue. i have bleached my head three times now and my hair is still blue. glacial blue as my lover describes it. but maybe this is how things are. nothing can ever be fully erased, just adapted… bleached… diluted… twisted and turned. i wonder… my right foot itches. my left foot is numb. i have been sitting for too long. i must cut my claws. they grow so fast and create fret buzz. i stretch out my limbs, like my cat, mirroring his behaviour. good grief. it will soon be December already. it will soon be the new year. a new year. 2021. and why is grief always ‘good’? the smell of tangerines temporarily fills the room. sweet and juicy. curtains billow, as a breeze flits through the open window. but what is that banging? what strange creatures humans are! complex, yet so stupid. well, with the exception of Tesla, perhaps. it is fifteen hundred hours. coffee. hey, you can shake your head, if you like. i see you. so what?! what of the human mind? why write this? why? random. fingers type today what my mind spews. but still with censorship. i could not possibly write disclose the truth of these thoughts. these intrusive thoughts. of such unequivocal violence, and beauty. like a tiger mauling a fawn. the blood. the ripping sound. the screams. the smell of death. the flash of excitement in the tiger’s eye. that. it is that very thing. the pure joy. unequivocal ecstasy. intrusive thoughts that paralyse me with fear, and yet tickle and arouse me and fill me with complete and utter joy. like a series of horror movies inside my head. fuck. you have to break many eggs to make a fine omelette. Shiva. death and creation. when did you last look closely at the palms of your hands? their shape. their colour. the lines and their depth. their capability? their warmth, or lack of. their softness. hands: capable of nurturing, capable of killing. when did you last look at your own hands in this way? c-PTSD, she said. and what colour is the most dominant emotion you feel today? what does joy taste like for you? right now, it is the sound of Peggy Lee’s Fever. a fantastic song. Amin… then changes to Bbm, i think… after a while and then changes again. fantastic changes. fantastic song. and that voice. it is cold, yet fevered. but does anyone really care about music? does anyone truly care that Harry Styles likes to wear a dress from time to time? who cares! i think more men should wear dresses if they feel so compelled to. who cares? seventy years, they say. seventy years. a lot of chip wrappers in seventy years. so… are you bored yet? or are you curious as to where this train of thought is heading? derailment? oooh i get it… you are a voyeur of the macabre. a ghoul. do you care where this torrent of consciousness is going to sweep you off course to next? you should, but of course you don’t care. and i don’t expect you to. i don’t expect many of you to read it, or read it all the way through. it’s just another chip wrapper, right? maybe that is all we ever are. how long until i am completely forgotten about? when will that very last memory of me perish in someone else’s memory? it is memories that keep the dead alive. please don’t be so morbid, Kat. stop it. think of something funny. Oliver Cromwell. he was a good old fun sponge, wasn’t he? funny…. did he not disallow Christmas celebrations many, many years ago? interesting. fact or factoid. not that i enjoy Christmas much. i don’t believe in Christ. but i do believe in love, and the celebration of love and enjoying the company of those around me who matter. oh hey, out comes the red pen, crossing out thoughts before they tumble out onto the screen… pixel by pixel… and lay open like a laceration from the bite of a Great White. take that any way you will. i do not care. am i losing my mind? possibly. or perhaps it was never really mine in the first place. all that is there came from outside. from other peoples’ doing. from places that pre-date me. it’s really rather fascinating… when you think about it. reality. what is that? the blue of my eyes will be a different shade of blue through your own. and those bananas on the kitchen worktop. they are too ripe and repulsive for my tastes, but to you they might be divine. how do you find memory? in flavours? in colours? in songs? in smells? in shapes? in stuttering, stammering? in dreams? in lovers? in anger, or fear? in the back seat of a car? i remember my dad’s old car. the leather seats. too hot in summer, too cold in winter. i remember the old steering wheel. huge now, compared to today’s steering wheels. or was it just because i was small, back then? it’s all relative. and irrelevant. it’s all quantum. everything. orange walls. warmth. a cocoon. i feel safe here. i feel at home here. but i really want to go to Tokyo. sakura and karaoke. visit friends. visit the snow monkeys. swim with the snow monkeys in volcanic pools. drink tea with robots. i want to go to Tokyo. but not this year. until then, there is YouTube. and there is YouTube until that implodes. until it buckles beneath its own dictatorship. do you find traveling by boat relaxing? or do you prefer rail travel? when i was 14, i wanted to be recruited by the Starship Enterprise. but at 14 we have to make some of the most important decisions that affect our future lives. at 14, we have to choose what subjects we want to study in order to enable our careers and our life path. 14 year old. a child. fuck… i hated school. on reflection, school ruined my life. school, not education. so many of my teachers were wankers. and from these wankers i learned more than school could ever teach me. not to be like them. not to wind up like them. but at 14, i wanted to be a Starfleet Officer – not a child burdened with this level of responsibility. but when should we take responsibility for our own lives? immediately, right? i would say. when did you last look yourself in the eye? is it true that your own reflection is your most honest ally? they never break your gaze. they can stare you down. and they can destroy you. do they always speak the truth? or do we accuse our reflection of lying because we cannot bear to face those truths? terrible pun there… i do apologise. the sky is darkening. tomorrow, i must photograph a tree. there are some incredibly beautiful trees in the park. tomorrow. on the last day of November. okay. cue the loony tunes music… i think it is time to jump off here while all these plates are still spinning….