Posted by: okathleen | November 26, 2008

Naming Names

It’s early evening and I have just arrived home. The house is silent and dark. Switching lights on and lighting a fire, then sinking into the sofa with a cup of witches’ brew, the steam curls around my nostrils.

What a very long day. What a tired, ashen face. Where did those bruised bags come from? I look like a Basset Hound. Mull over last few hours:

6.30 Irritating alarm trills on mobile phone under pillow. Never had to use an alarm before but twice last week overslept..

7.25 First load of washing on. Flo is served runny egg with buttery soldiers and hot chocolate. Panic attack as she searches for Parent’s Evening form to fill in and flash point as I persuade her to take a banana to school CBA CBA CBA CBA CBA her new mantra. I turn into my mother again (twice in 3 minutes) as I mind her to put a coat on – chilled kidneys etc, and clean her teeth properly.

7.35 In car drive to Hale for Flo to catch bus. Flo is excellent in the mornings, ie, chatty chirpy and very awake. Unlike me, who is grumpy and grinchy and prone to severe road rage. I try to tune in as she asks me what a fair appeasement would be for a new baby in the family. Eh? God, try to re focus, who’s baby? Anyone’s she says grinning. It’s just like an ethics question like. Like like like. Flo’s time for abstract thoughts and mine are poles apart. If she lived in Australia, and I lived in Egypt our creative time zones would overlap, but not in Warrington. Right, fair appeasement, erm dunno. Too busy concentrating on total gridlock and the day ahead to delve into appeasement issues.

7.59 Just make it in time, and Flo saunters off without coat or banana, but on mission to find Mr Snowden re ethics chat when she gets into school.

8.25 Back home, paper for Eli and bacon and egg sandwich before he leaves for Manchester to meet Daniel, a friend/client from Kenya. Scan the kitchen and hope Daniel doesn’t need to see a place in the country. Washing out, drier on, more washing in, soup on hob for later although chicken stock smells suspect. Eli insists on the asking of the Times2 quiz questions, a little habit which amuses our easily amused selves. But now he’s cross because he didn’t know in which state was Barack Obama born. 1 – 0 to me.

8.55 Bath

9.05 Computer on try to access reading for Postmodernity lecture. Computer now makes grinding sound, maybe to compensate for total lack of sound in other areas. Link fails, so google Stuart Hall, and forget that before he became an eminent academic he was the host on It’s a Knockout (only kidding!). Google again but add Culture and Identity. Realise time has run out as I have Site Meeting at 10am back in Hale.

9.40 Back in gridlock.

10.05 THIS IS THE NIGHTMARE BIT My home in Hale is now an empty shell. Bare brick and raw new timber. Utter destruction and Armaggedon. Three industrial sized skips just to remove the roof joists. Three complaints from neighbours so far and counting. Architect has been away for 3 weeks on holiday and trying to run the job by text. Do I sound like Kevin McCloud, think I sound more like Deirdre Barlow. Chaos reigns. Tension between architect and client mounts, ‘with 6 weeks to go before Christmas, will the concrete set in time…’. Sparks pounce as I walk in where do you want the smoke alarms love, and this LED lighting in the bathroom, how are we sealing it? The joiner joins the queue with queries about plaster board and veluxes. The architect shows with brochures on bleached white bathroom fittings and staircases in glass. Little does he know I am about to soil his ivory tower. I have decided to buy heating and bathrooms at B and Q on OAP day (15% off). Not sure how he’s going to take this. Think B&Q might be a swear word at the RIBA. Blahblahblah, very stressful, dull, and intimidating actually.

11.30 Back in gridlock head for Didsbury, park where I shouldnt really park and adopt ridiculous posturing to avoid jobsworth car park police.

12.00 Lecture. Library

3.15 Drive back to Hale to pay sparks. Listen to their banter, humour them ha ha bonk, drive to Altrincham to sort out next payments for job and look in B&Q for any lookey likey stylish Italian ceramicware – not. Then to Habitat Clearance outlet as Wednesday is delivery day. Scour floor for dissertation desk following depressing bidding at auction on Tuesday. (left several bids for oak pedestal, elm bureau and Victorian desk chairs, all failed). So now maybe glass desk and perspex chair. No permeation or potential osmosis, but needs must. No, needs must not, pursuit of junk will continue. Glass desk means looking at feet.

5.00 Food shopping, soup sounded like a good idea earlier, but now I think pasta, although greed/consumer terrorism/selfishness at front of mind following Sennet and fragmentation. Buy fruit. Listen to Sam Thompson on Radio 4 discussing his 5 routes to well being. Most topical if a little Pollyanna. Interesting spar between himself and American academic on the quality of research surrounding how happy are we. Grades of satisfied. American says happiness directly linked to GDP. So stuff does make us happy? Sam tries to proffer that social bonds and learning are the way forward. I agree. But, why do I keep going into Help the Aged in Withington to accumulate more ‘Toot’ as Eli says? Back to identity via my objects. But my objects are random at least. I don’t have an MP3 or an Ipod or a Nokia NNNNN333333 or a blueberry or any gadgets. I have chipped plates and raffia handbags. Hooper Greenhill sees objects as our self or reflection of. Mmmm, chipped plates – toot, I buy therefore I am. And I buy crap therefore I am what?

6.30 Ashen faced, knackered, 2 mins for cuppa and more laundry, soup inspection, before I heave myself back to gridlock and head for Parent’s Evening in Withington. Eyes, tits and teeth, grin and bear it and appease my child.

Oh, the naming of names, I am reading Dry Store Room No 1, Richard Fortey a sort of behind the scenes at the NHM. I liked the chapter on naming. How the process works, the language process involved and the thoroughness of the research. A book to dip in to. So far I loved that following a terrible bomb explosion in the war (1942), water gushed through one department causing seeds from a silk tree (found in 1770) to germinate. Back to the naming of names. I am two friends removed from Tracey and Mandy. Names to conjure with, and more so after they married:

Tracey Pacey and Mandy Gandy. so this is the taxonomic record of species. The naming of names. I looked up Tracey and Mandy. Nadda, but there is a Kathleenella, a quite recent trilobite discovery of 1982. Can you get you breath.


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