Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's All Gone A Bit Geoff Dyer...

...or it will do if I don't make this very short.

Anyway, it's 1993. I'm walking across the car park of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College in Egham, Surrey, with my boyfriend of the time. It's early evening, autumn time. He's carrying something, probably white camouflage netting. None of this is particularly interesting. The important thing is that as we're walking across the car park, I tell him that I'm happier than I've ever been.

The odd thing is that I don't have any memories of ever saying this at any other point in my life, even though I *must* have, surely. It's such an unremarkable occasion on which to have come out with it, walking across a car park. And if you asked me to look back on my life* and point out a time when I was truly happy, my first choice probably wouldn't be the autumn of 1993. But I remember saying it, so I know that I was.

Which is why I want to say now very quickly, because I tend to avoid sentimental stuff if at all possible, that right now, January 2006, I'm probably happier than I've ever been. There isn't anyone around to tell this to, so I'll just note it down here, and then in thirteen years' time, I'll remember (or - hey - read it in my archive), and know that I was.

Ahem. As you were.


* My life to date, I mean. Christ, I make it sound like I'm on my deathbed. I'm not. Why, quite a lot of my hair is still its natural colour. Not that I can actually really remember now what that was. I'll stop now, I'm not making it any better.

55 comments:

belladona too lazy to sign in said...

Well, go you. More of this please god(ess). On second thoughts, continue ignoring us all.

james henry said...

Have you left the top off the nail varnish?

That used to send me all funny, in my goth days.



Great times.

cello said...

Promise you're not going to turn round and say "Gotcha!"

Excessively pleased for you though. Is any form of netting involved?

patroclus said...

Bella: Ahhh, thank you. It's lovely to see you, as always.

James: My mind may have turned momentarily to mush due to the excessive consumption of peppermint tea. Which is kind of like snakebite and black for the over 30s, but without the drunkenness or the terrible stains.

Cello: I was attempting to think of some hilarious internet-related gag, but failed miserably. So, in short, no. No forms of netting are implicated in my present happiness.

mig bardsley said...

Well according to The Beep, Tuesday was officially the most depressing day in the year so you must be onto a good thing.
And very nice to hear it.

longcat said...

always prepared to read that... and better than geoff dyer...

i'm happy too

x

Tabby Rabbit said...

Aww, that's good to hear.

You should go to Cannes to celebrate - they've got some fabulous beach restaurants

Dave again said...

As I said on my blog a week or so ago, I seem strangely happy at the moment, despite the gloom all around me.

Perhaps we've picked up a virus from the internet.

patroclus said...

Ah yes, happiness as illness: an excellent subject for a little monograph if ever there were.

NB Does anyone have any idea of the appropriate word count for a little monograph? I wouldn't want to write one and then find out that it's too little, or - heaven forbid - not little enough.

Great to hear it though, Dave. More of this sort of thing!

TR: I hear Cannes is very nice at this time of year. Almost as nice as San Francisco...

Chuffy! said...

Hmm. I was at that college, at around that time. Never heard anyone say that though, in car parks or elsewhere.

patroclus said...

Bloody hell, were you really? Did you ever attend any "club" nights hosted by the Naked Peach? Better still, were you ever a member of the - ahem - Naked Peach Collective?

Ahh, the early 90s, eh? Happy days. Official.

the Beep said...

Wednesdays, for reasons already moaned about, are the worst day of my week. But this is a ray of brightness shining into my gloom. Thank you!

patroclus said...

Beep, I keep meaning to ask, what's the significance of the hyphen in your name? Or just your name in general, really?

surly girl said...

that's what i'd like to know too, beep. also i have to say that your picture scares me.

pats - happinness rocks. in your face, misery. yeah.

frangelita said...

Glad you've got something to smile about. Here's a smile from me too :-)

GreatSheElephant said...

We're touched. Yes we are.

I must report that I'm not particularly unhappy for a change and that is just as significant.

patroclus said...

Woo! Massive outbreak of joy! Official!

In your face, bird flu.

Wyndham said...

Good for you, P!

Anonymous said...

I have no memory of the Naked Peach. I do remember seeing Bill Hicks *twice*, before anyone had heard of him, thanks to the comedy-booker of the college being (then) visionary genius/ (now) clip-show mouth-for-hire. The only other words I can recall from the period are Boog, and possibly Tube. It's hazy.

Chuffy! said...

Anonymous up there was me. Apologies.

Wyndham said...

Sadly, though, as with most things, I have no recollection of saying any funny/poingant things in car parks or otherwise in 1993.Although I'm sure I must have.


Surely.

the Beep said...

Patroclus and Surly - it's so monumentally dull (how the Beep got his name) that it might even make a post one day.

Sorry about the photo SG. It's my stony face. I'll try and find one of me smiling. Not sure they've made a camera fast enough to catch one though....

The hyphen? Mmmm. Thinks.

Dash, I forget.

Betty said...

I've never been happy for more than a few seconds at a time since I was about 8 years old, but I'm a lot less miserable than I was in 1993, which is probably some sort of positive progress. At this rate I should be laughing my socks off by the time I'm 90.

Er, anyway, best of luck...

Smat said...

I was fairly miserable in 1993 due to new baby/no sleep/no money etc, but it's got better since then. No netting involved anywhere though disappointingly

the Beep said...

SG. New image for you. Still no smile though. Sorry.

ScroobiousScrivener said...

Definitely an internet virus of some kind. I have a raging cold and haven't slept properly since the weekend, I have far too much work and too little money, and bureaucratic types are giving me hell, plus it's a Big Romantic Anniversary for me and Beloved's on night shift, so by rights I should be sulking. Instead, remarkably perky. Yay the illogical happy! Take that, January!

patroclus said...

Chuffy!:

>>The only other words I can recall from the period are Boog, and possibly Tube. It's hazy.<<

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, but maybe that's because I didn't actually "go to" RHBNC so much as "hang around" it (mainly in its car parks) after I graduated.

If it's that hazy, there's a good chance you *were* in the Naked Peach Collective, possibly without knowing it. I feel some sort of secret handshake is in order.

Dave again said...

Where, incidentally, does one use white camouflage netting? Snowy regions, presumably?

Just wondered.

(Still smiling, despite some hard knocks this month.)

patroclus said...

>>Where, incidentally, does one use white camouflage netting?<<

Anywhere where there's an appreciable amount of UV lighting and a number of people prepared to indulge in the consumption of class A narcotics.

But otherwise, yes, in snowy regions.

Pashmina said...

Great news about your new improved happiness rating, P. Got any going spare?

Dave again said...

Ah. Sheltered life, you see.

I mean about class A drugs, not hiding under netting.

Obviously.

surly girl said...

beep - somehow that is scarier.

the Beep said...

There's just no pleasing some people. Stomps off to another place to say that he finds P's image a bit scary as it goes.

Hmmm: Mluxoqu. Says it all really.
stomp, stomp, stomp

Betty said...

I think the Beep now looks like Captain Sensible in the early days of the Damned (not that will mean much to anyone else because I'm the only old git here).

patroclus said...

I think you're right, Betty, although my only memories of Captain Sensible are from the (much later) Happy Talk. This might be for the best, I don't know.

I like Beep's new picture better, because it's made me laugh about 20 times today. But that might be because I'm sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated and somewhat hysterical.

surly girl said...

ohhhh yeah!

thanks betty. i'm not scared any more. by the way, aren't you up for an award?

Paul Pennyfeather said...

I went to the Waterstone's ay RHUL today and walked across the car park holding a credit card machine- I did not exclaim in joy- perhaps the netting is essential for happiness or perhaps the pretty boy...

patroclus said...

PP, that's quite a spooky coincidence all the same. Shame about the lack of netting and pretty boys, though. How our higher education institutions have declined, eh?

Kyahgirl said...

I love it when you Brits get all emotional ...the unrestrained joy is just leaping off the page :-)

Seriously, I'm glad for you. Its a monumental thing, to be happy.....a state that many never seem to achieve.

patroclus said...

>>the unrestrained joy is just leaping off the page :-)<<

Ah, an American deploying sarcasm - it's like cultural exchange day!

Dave F said...

The Beep's original picture looks exactly like Ian Holm as the android in Alien after they'd knocked him about a bit and his semi-detached head was still talking as white goo bled out of him. Hence the creepiness, I would hazard.

Dave F said...

I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth. Iwant it back!

Kyahgirl said...

uh, please don't call me an American. I may have to come over there and seriously undermine your level of happiness P!!!!

patroclus said...

Wow, neither you are. I'm very, very sorry about that. It's the little American flag in the statcounter that was confusing me... bloody statcounter. Apologies once again.

Tabby Rabbit said...

Fuck it all, let's go to SF. I know a great song we can sing on the plane...

patroclus said...

Do we only really know one line of it? Is that going to stop us singing it non-stop for 11 hours, to the delight of the other passengers?

Kyahgirl said...

No cause for alarm P. :) Bloody statcounter. Does it think there is only one country in North America I wonder?
I must say I was somewhat confused to called an American because you've never heard me speak or anything. (You would know the Canadian content by the liberal sprinkling of 'eh?' throughout everything I say.)

surly girl said...

are you letting this one get up to fifty before posting another one, pats?

Pashmina said...

49: I know all the words to most San Francisco-related songs. Just don't ask me why.

surly girl said...

i was about to say "what, even the arlo guthrie one?". then i remembered that was about los angeles.

there, that's 50. come on then.

patroclus said...

Morning all, terribly busy...

the Beep said...

and there i was thinking it was scarborough fair ...

Urban Chick said...

bloody hell

once again, i have missed out on the party when all i was doing instead was threading some large wooden beads onto a thick piece of string and a stick with ken bruce on in the background

Merkin said...

I'm jealous of the amount of comments you get - 53! Wow! I'm off to sulk...

Kyahgirl said...

here I am skulking back in to mention that P called me an American based on the fact that I do show up as from American when I'm on my work computer. That's where they're located. So, I am embarrassed. Sorry P. Now, I should look like a Canadian on Stat counter because I'm at home. *cringe* she apologized and everything and now I feel like a heel.