are the stars out tonight?

life and stuff


i had this great dream last night, and while i generally try not to go on about my subconscious too often, this one was really too good not to mention. belle and sebastian were having a house party, and for some reason stu and i were there. it was in this old victorian house, a bit like the house i lived in in second year. i was really drunk, and i ended up getting off with struan, trying hard to pretend i wasn't really as big a fan as i am in case i embarrassed him. then it was the next morning, and sarah from the band found us in bed together (in this room that was full of books - books on the window ledge, books on shelves above the bed, books on the floor in piles as high as your knee.) and giggled knowingly. i slipped away as the rest of the band gathered by the open door smiling at each other and struan. later i was in italy reporting on an old couple who had decided to sell their home to move back to england. when we got to their new home the woman insisted on cleaning all the plants in the garden with a broom. there was a clematis and a bougainvillaea left there by the previous owners, but she didn't seem very happy about this. i tried to help her clean using my toothbrush, but it didn't do much good.

this evening i watched igby goes down, which i enjoyed somewhat. sometimes the problem with these art house films is that they try too hard to be detatched and end up alienating their viewer. the film could easily have been a cross-over with cruel intentions, although that may have been because ryan phillipe can only play one character regardless of the film. it also presented a similar view of wealthy america to the one provided by harold and maude, although i liked it less than that film. nonetheless it was a good night in sort of a film, helped by amanda peet as an edie sedgwick alike. mmmm messed up.


i have just faxed my mp about the issue of top-up fees. i'm not generally a very political person (well y'know, except for occasionally running for women's officer), but this is an issue i feel quite strongly about. i know that not all people (not even all students) are against top up fees, but i am, basically for the reasons laid out in this letter. i did think mr tony blair did a very good job on newsnight last week. but i still have serious doubts about the issue, and i think that to decide in favour of it now is a mistake. here's what i wrote:

To: Mr Clive Soley
MP for Ealing, Acton and Shepherd's Bush
House Of Commons

Saturday 24 January 2004

Dear Mr Soley,

I am writing to ask you to vote against top-up fees on Tuesday. I am a Shepherd's Bush resident, and I voted for you in the last election.

I am concerned that students will suffer under the proposed legislation. Having completed my three years of university last July, I am now £10 000 in debt. I decided, despite this debt, to continue on to a Masters degree. It is only thanks to a loan from my parents (with whom I am presently living) that I was able to afford this. I fear, however, that such a debt would discourage the majority of students from continuing their education beyond the Bachelors degree.

The fact that students under the new system will face even more debt suggests to me that not only will graduates think twice about further study, but sixth form students will be forced to reconsider whether they want to go to university and be saddled with debts aged just 21.

I don't believe that the government has considered the psychological effects of large amounts of debt on young people's decisions on higher education. I also believe that universities should be funded by general taxation, or a more specific 'graduate tax' so that, as Mr Blair put it 'the dustman needn't pay for the doctor'.

I hope that you will consider this point when you vote on Tuesday, Mr Soley.

Yours Sincerely,

Feather Boa (except for I put my real name here)

edited 26/1/04 - stu points out that clive soley has a blog, which makes pretty interesting reading. but also suggests that he's unlikely to go against the government on this issue. yarbles.


like matthew i had to profile the reader of a magazine. mine was fortean times, and this is what i wrote:

keith has bought fortean times every month since he was 15. he is now 32, but he still lives at home, just outside dudley, with his mother in a bedroom decorated with star wars posters and lord of the rings memorablilia. he keeps his back issues of the magzine neatly in cardboard boxes in the attic.

his friends from work (he's a file clerk for a local accountancy firm) might describe him as a bit of a conspiracy theorist. certainly he's very fond of quoting back issues of fortean times: "have you heard about the death ray? they're trying to keep it under wraps, but i read in my magazine..."

what he loves about fortean times is that as well as being good pub-conversation fodder, it also backs up a lot of his own theories. he once sent in a letter about an unearthly experience he'd had walking home one night: he'd seen flashing lights above barnitts in town.

keith really comes to life on the internet - he can't imagine living without it now, and his most prized possesion is his computer (he can't afford broadband at the moment, but he's saving up).

he posts on the fortean times message board on a regular basis with the username "tom bombadil", but it was on the message board of a role-playing website that he met his last girlfriend, julie, a wicca from warrington.

keith thinks of himself as an outsider, a bit of a loner, but he knows he's not alone. he's read that more than 100 000 people read fortean times each month.

my apologies to those of you who come from just outside dudley, or who otherwise answer in to this description in any small way. if it's any consolation, i do too, since i've met a fair number of friends on the interweb.


the sky was a stunningly beautiful red as i walked back from the tube station this evening. sort of bruised around the edges and just lovely. plus red sky at night shepherd's delight. so y'know lots of happy guys in da bush ce soir.

i had a very fun weekend hanging out in york with the indie soc massive. on friday night there was dancing and drinking and heavy lifting, and a good time was had by all (although the kids from the soc played some quite random music). saturday there was lunch with asm and then cake with sarah l. and i got to rekindle my obsession with clea duvall since she appears in the faculty, which was on the telly. huzzah.

ooh, and my work experience is like totally sorted now: smash hits and uncut go me. not painting myself into a corner at all. plus it should make an interesting essay.


i had ever such a lovely day yesterday. it started quite early at seven o'clock when my radioalarmclock went off and my dreams were filled with the today programme (john lennon international airport, suicide bombers), which is always strangely pleasurable, if a little scary.

i went into college to send off my cv to people who might maybe offer me work experience (so far uncut is looking like my best chance). in my brother's discman i had the alex parks album, which is better than i thought it would be, although i think i'm damning it with faint praise.

then i met jony and we went all the way to kew pumping station to see the lighthouse 4-real this time. it was nice walk because the weather was still sunny and it wasn't too cold, and i was wearing my woolly hat.

finally i went and saw grant and we had dinner and repaired to the pub. it was quite a boozy dinner but nice. and i talked to ben elton because he was standing next to me in the queue for the bar. he'd just been to see tonight's the night the rod steward musical, because he wrote the book for it. then he asked if i'd seen it, and i had to mumble something about it being on my list. but he was remarkably friendly and generally a good guy. so he's shot up in my estimation.

when the pub shut i went home and talked to dan for about an hour on the phone and went to bed. it was a good day.


so looking back at last year's resolutions i can see that i have achieved approximately, er, none of them. not because they were particularly unachievable either. ah well.

so this year it's a rollover, and in addition to last year's resolutions (namely: get fit, eat more healthily, drink less alcohol and more water, see more live music, work really hard at my degree) i shall add some more:

*get back in touch with people i like but don't see very often. some of you read this blog, so brace yourselves for a phonecall in the next few weeks.
*keep proper budgety-type records so that i stop spending all my money on random shit (like this uber cool campbell's soup flask, which i got from urban outfitters).
*take up a dance class, possibly at danceworks, where i used to rehearse with the minipops (a totally disturbing troupe of prepubescent kids dancing to the pop hits of the day on tvam, think of sparkle motion and you're nine tenths of the way there).

is that enough? do you think i need more?