* 200 articles. Two years. Whelk. The best of Upsideclown. Might be reprinted.

Blind weed

10 September 2001
Victor's down by the water

A once great river, the Leen. An aorta proudly serving the city. No longer. Now the poor cousin of the canal, waterway to nowhere. Until the dawn of the last century two thirds of all industrial traffic used to pass this way. You'd have to advertise for ducks.

I've spent most of my life by it. Fishing as a kid with my dad, mostly for algae - wasn't much else. That didn't matter: as with all fishing it's not what you catch, it's the time you spend in quiet contemplation. Then there was the phase when I chucked anything I could into it - bike wheels, drink cartons. I admit that I haven't done my utmost to halt its demise. Sneaky fags down by the reeds on the way home from school, buoyed up by our fear of being discovered by parents, teachers, parents' friends, teachers' friends, the school grass.

Here, where the path forks off up to the industrial estate, I dumped Kim. We must have been going out nearly six months. Then one day I found out she'd been copping off with Pete Simmonds all that time. I can't say I was surprised - I wasn't much of a boyfriend. I didn't even want to split up with her, so I can't have liked her that much. I mean, I didn't really care that she'd been with another bloke. I just knew that the slighted man was supposed to get rid of the cheating girlfriend. I should have realised sooner that you don't have to do things just because you're supposed to.

It looks a bit different know: ten years ago they tried to they tried to turn this area into a nature reserve, with wildfowl, decked walkways and the like. There was a viewing gallery, too, a kind of caboose. As with most such projects, the site was never maintained: the viewing gallery, an enticement to my successors in juvenile smoking and an obvious relief to the homeless, burned down. The decking, rotten and crumbling and all too often pilfered for makeshift cricket, cries the death of fun through nature. God chucked them out of a Chinook, and they were scattered.

It's hard to create a haven in the shadow of a ring-road. I am aware that herons do not react favourably to juggernauts. Funny, in my youth I was desperate to get away from this estate - the violent, depressive boredom and drudgery, the petty squalor. Now I'm just passing through, on a daily basis, with all the other media types from fashionably natty-tatty homes on the cute side of the river. Don't stop to have a look. Keep going.

To work, where I watch the women fitting small parts to the kind of gifts which come free with children's confectionery (SMALL PARTS: UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 3 YEARS). Rows of fluorescent strip lights on chains in the style of a sports hall in the early eighties, or an industrial kitchen. I didn't work my way up the company for this. I didn't work my way up. I was drafted in from head office to "facilitate the streamlining of resources in middle management". Middle management went; I stayed and replaced them. One man can now do the work of eight, apparently. And in my more relaxed moments I have the leisure to fret about my failing eyesight, my inability to read the time on the clock at the far end of the hangar, the perils of VDUs.

Goes the siren, and seven hundred tabards file out of the day. Back on the path the bind weed turns my head, a beautiful Keefian trumpet on a stem of strangulation. I may not be able to see to well, but I can still smell, and this place smells of failure. A graffito on the wall warns me, "Wacth ya back". No more.


This is the fucking archive

Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
27 October 2003. Victor writes: Our Tune
6 October 2003. Victor writes: Sucking face (in a public place)
15 September 2003. Victor writes: You got any ID?
25 August 2003. Victor writes: Blood on the Boulevard
4 August 2003. Victor writes: In (paren)theses
10 July 2003. Victor writes: Island Fling
19 June 2003. Victor writes: Back (back) and forth (and forth)
2 June 2003. Victor writes: 300 clowns, 13 eight-year olds
12 May 2003. Victor writes: The swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune
21 April 2003. Victor writes: ...just sitting there quietly contemplating suicide
31 March 2003. Victor writes: Victoria
6 March 2003. Victor writes: Relevant experience
17 February 2003. Victor writes: You will eat chips and go nowhere
27 January 2003. Victor writes: A bushy fish for fishy Mr Bush (after Juvenal)
6 January 2003. Victor writes: The Accidental Voyeur
16 December 2002. Victor writes: Gripper goes bang
25 November 2002. Victor writes: Bediquette
4 November 2002. Victor writes: Where have all the spastics gone?
14 October 2002. Victor writes: An Immodest Proposal
23 September 2002. Victor writes: Fastscan masterplan
2 September 2002. Victor writes: Dry Humping Social Club
12 August 2002. Victor writes: Beat the Mongol
22 July 2002. Victor writes: What life is not
1 July 2002. Victor writes: Stupor heroes
6 June 2002. Victor writes: Dry
13 May 2002. Victor writes: Muppet Suite
18 April 2002. Victor writes: gingermingeninja
25 March 2002. Victor writes: Sodomize with Pukka Pies
28 February 2002. Victor writes: Dave's problem
4 February 2002. Victor writes: King of the Aisles
10 January 2002. Victor writes: Here come the decorator gimps.
17 December 2001. Victor writes: Make war, not supper.
22 November 2001. Victor writes: Cough
29 October 2001. Victor writes:
4 October 2001. Victor writes: Green Gauges
10 September 2001. Victor writes: Blind weed
16 August 2001. Victor writes: Snout!
23 July 2001. Victor writes: You're not going to put this in a clown are you?
28 June 2001. Victor writes: What is a droll?
4 June 2001. Victor writes: Burt Pakamak
10 May 2001. Victor writes: Board to Death
12 April 2001. Victor writes: Tricolon with anaphora?
22 March 2001. Victor writes: Point of View
26 February 2001. Victor writes: Goth's Dinner
1 Feburary 2001. Victor writes: Les Miserables
4 January 2001. Victor writes: Flat-packed furniture
14 December 2000. Victor writes: Deliverance
20 November 2000. Victor writes: Bottomry: Exorcising Ghosts
26 October 2000. Victor writes: Body Art
2 October 2000. Victor writes: Disney must die
7 September 2000. Victor writes: Ice-cream in Offworld
14 August 2000. Victor writes: I like sweets that taste of medicine
26 June 2000. Victor writes: I've seen the future, and it's feathered

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