Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

May 7, 2007

in yer ear

Sat down next to gal on bus yesterday discussing her “finance” exam marks on a mobile phone. Pitiful assault on the ears as I am trying to get to grips with Mr Roth’s rumination on his losing his modern library collection and disappointing his mother or plucking the feathers out of a pigeon or peeling grapes or… that’s the point the endless humphing in my left ear about a 71 that should have been an 84 like, (that word is the equiv. of a blink in this dialect, it’s so overused) meant there was no possible way to ascertain anything from the pages of my book.

Conversations about finance marks are useless. I could appreciate you won’t come to my wedding, I have a strange worrying bump on my elbow, I don’t know which way I should vote, I only have three Christmas’s left, type conversations, but this was unfathomable, unnecessary and likely to continue for 25 bus stops.

I moved. Enraged. To the dangerous seats in the centre of the bus, which turn about, and I have been ejected from a couple of times.

On moving I note a woman who I thought might be a woman I recognize from theflower-shop, but because recognizing people aint my strongest skill I cannot be sure. Today I ran into her. Were you on that bus? She confirms she was sat there trying to repeat a Latin word for some obscure muscle or tendon in her head in an effort to drown it out.

Every time I see a mobile phone I think of Harold Pinter and his piece. Neither Literature nor Latin could tumble finance yesterday. I think the only thing for the job is sean-nos singing. One of these days I will pluck up the courage to breathe in and let a desperate ballad of unmitigated ugly wailing out from between my lips about a woman seeking a decent shampoo and set or a large bowl of pea soup. The notes will be long. One word sung in an elongated manner to mimic the husky exhales of a hungry donkey. The song belted out, will travel up that bus and every head shall turn. I will bear the excruciation of it, risk getting myself sectioned for the glory of a hurriedly uttered “yeah gotta go man”.

January 11, 2007

Pinter and wind chill

Here’s a link to a photo gallery showing the damage heaped upon Stanley Park, our big downtown park (should that be rainforest?) I’m not fluent in the West Coast vernacular, but the gallery gives a good indication of what happens when the wind shows up with this much gusto.

The latest meteorological wonder is the threat of -16 windchill in the morning. Since I’m not even sure what wind chill is, had to inquire of a person who is familiar with it all up in Yellowknife (she stated it was minus 40 up there at the moment) and then gave an apt description of exactly what one must don in order to make it intact to lunchtime. Essentially you exit the bed and wear the equivilent of a continental quilt head to foot with pertinent holes for the eyes. A sort of arctic burqa look.

It’s one thing looking at these astonishing numbers in other places on the map of this gigantic land of frozen puddles, it’s quite another when the numbers suddenly shift left and threaten the old doorstep. We aren’t equipped. The last time the temp dipped to -4 the Puffin had a fire alarm at school and had to stand outside for twenty minutes with no coat on, because obviously we never have cause to think about such things.

Anyway amidst learning this new dialect of the chills, I did chance upon a most uplifting interview with Harold Pinter  from earlier in the year. Listening to him made me excited about being a writer, or perhaps more significantly about being a human being, which is a fairly rare sentiment. Or perhaps I was also excited about the fact he’s still alive, given he’s nearly died twice. I hope it has the same effect on you if you listen to him. At the end he reads from a recent piece about mobile phones, which is both funny and eerily familiar. I find him to be a very hopeful man, (because of his clarity and his integrity), who filled this listener with a great sense of purpose, rather than my usual bumbling fogginess, amply demonstrated in previous post about wiggly tooth.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/review/default.stm