scribbles tagged ‘silence’

whine bar

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 | tags: , , ,  |

What makes you think you’re saying anything that I’d actually want to listen to?

Smoking ladiesI hadn’t thought. My conversation was indeed trivial. We sat in silence while I pondered something worthy of conversation and he revelled in having silenced me. During the silence I decided his lack of engagement in conversation as a team effort, and the mean spirit of his conversation stopper meant that I didn’t care for his company.  I took my leave. An abrupt way to end a relationship. It had been short and definitely lacking in sweetness. When he’d told me that his ex-wife had attacked him with a meat cleaver I had wondered why, that wondering had wandered into potential victim blaming. His mean comment felt strategically placed to start a heated meta-level discussion about our relationship with a theme of my being inadequate. I’m prepared to engage in that type of conversation but only if handled in a manner that clearly, mutually, uncovers ways in which we can grow as individuals, or a couple. Clearly not the case here.

Putting on my coat, finding the money for my share of the bill and leaving the wine bar seemed to take forever. Maybe I’d overreacted, but the type of person I’d like to spend time with would not have created that situation and would have managed the end of the relationship with more grace and style. I cried while I walked home. Because, despite many clues, I’d not recognised his mean spirit.

whine bar
4 votes rating 4.75

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my fish are dead

Friday, May 10th, 2013 | tags: , , , ,  |

I’ve been never knowingly suffered from depression. I don’t know what it’s like. I’ve listened to people who are probably suffering from depression, taking their calls to helplines.

I’ve listened to their long silences.  There’s something peaceful and reassuring in sharing a long silence over the phone. I’ve heard their curiously monotone voices. I’ve listened to them repeatedly describe their situation as-if they’ve forgotten what they said before their last silence. A brief auditory glimpse into what may be depression.

Scary Duck pointed out this blog post:

Allie’s story captured my attention, held it with wit and comic engaging sketches. It’s helped give me an insight into one way of experiencing depression. I’ll be following Allie’s writing from now on, once I work out how to replace my google reader….

my fish are dead
1 vote rating 4

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short changed

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Morning cup of teaRecently I spent a long weekend on holiday with a friend – seeing the local sights pottering around in Thomas and on foot, eating local delicacies, and sharing a room in a thatched cottage.

I learned that I am more comfortable with silence than my friend. It felt like my friend talked almost non-stop. They didn’t, but it felt like it. As if they needed to fill every silence with words.

At first, I listened to all the words, then gradually my mind wandered away. Their words like a radio programme chattering in the background as my thoughts wandered around the fabulous autumn Devon views. My friend didn’t appear to need my listening, no input from me needed.

Normally living alone, with much silence, I found this stream of talking most strange. On the occasions when my friend was silent they were tapping away into their phone, or computer, presumably social networking. They would read, with verbal annotation and explanation, the text’s they’d received.  This total sharing is not something I’m used to. Unsolicited, it felt somehow inappropriate. I suspect it was actually some kind of generous gift of openness, non-exclusion. A sweet generous friend.

If I said something, made a statement, it would be followed by my friend’s analysis of the topic of my statement. I learned a lot about my friend. They learned about my silences and way of being,  little more.  They didn’t ask. I wonder if they felt short-changed.

short changed
1 vote rating 4

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the Gladstone club

Sunday, October 21st, 2012 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Gladstone Club Gladstone clubI’ve always admired the wrought ironwork on the porch of the London road side of the Gladstone club. It’s a grade II listed building.  The listing mentions that in 1887 the house was the home of the recently founded Reading High School.

It’s easy to notice the Gladstone club, without actually noticing it. It’s a substantial building in a significant location facing out onto both  Reading’s London Road and Kings Road. The club is next door to the Abbot Cook pub on the Cemetery junction on the southern edge of Newtown. Newtown is where the Huntley and Palmer factory employees lived.

Once it was a grand building. It’s namesake William Gladstone was a record breaking 4 times (Liberal) Prime Minister of Britain. The link with Huntley and Palmers is more than the proximity of the club to Newtown. The Huntley and Palmer website says:

In 1878 George Palmer became a Member of Parliament for the Liberal party. He was nicknamed the ‘silent member’, although he did make a few contributions to debates. In his maiden speech he supported a bill to grant women the right to vote “

The Acacias (London Rd)George Palmer lived on London Road in “The Acacias” about 500 yards west of the Gladstone club. An easy walk.

Sadly, the Gladstone building now stands empty with a for sale sign on it.  Until 2010 it was a delightful Indian restaurant and wine bar called the “Sardar Palace”.  Now it looks forgotten, overlooked. Grass is moving into the gaps in the forecourt paving.




the Gladstone club
1 vote rating 4

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Sony Viao Performance Enhancement Software

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 | tags: , , , ,  |

Performance Enhancement SoftwareJust incase you thought eveything in the Cupboard was running smoothly, here is error of the day – the dialog text just never arrived, I waited about 5 minutes and the dialog eventually just disappeared of it’s own accord. It’s as-if the performance enhancement software just couldn’t be bothered to enhance performance….  ….a software equivalent of “whatever”


Sony Viao Performance Enhancement Software
2 votes rating 5

3 bits of fabulous banter »

thumbs away

Monday, June 6th, 2011 | tags: , , , , ,  |

First Great Western train commuteRiding the 6.45pm First Great Western fast commuter train, peak time, from London Paddington to some exotic location in the west. Standing room only, though some people are sat on the floor in the isles. I choose a place where fresh air can shift the almost rank stench of warm and stale sweat.

I lean against the toilet door.

Surrounded by besuited men with unimaginative ties and gently bulging stomachs. They all wear identically styled black leather shoes that are only differentiated by the size and degree of wear. I run my gaze up their bodies, risking eye-contact. No, not risking eye-contact because they are all immersed in their phones, silently thumbing their importance to others.

No fear of eye-contact, even though I’m the only woman present and dressed in bright-blue with flat shoes conforming to neither girliness, motherliness, nor business attire. I am invisible.

The new factory workers are crammed onto this train like chickens in a battery coup. I thank an undefined diety or two that I am not, and may never be, a conformist – no matter how painful noncomformity can be.

thumbs away
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Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 | tags:  |

captive silenced female mannequin[censored]*

 * please use twitter to investigate the unpublishable contents of this scribble:

  • @WendyHouse
  • #superinjunction
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full stop. stop

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010 | tags: ,  |

stop stopMatrix

Rest In Peace

She had a perky, chirpy, well travelled life from the back streets of Southsea through to the suburbs of Seattle and back to the UK. We spent 15 years together. She will be missed by Sampo and I.

There will be a 7 day blog posting silence in respect of the silence your absence brings into the wendy house.

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mountain mary

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 | tags: , , , , , , , ,  |

wendy: i think I must be lonely

mary: rubbish, you are the least lonely person that I know, you just spend a lot of your time on your own

We met several months before.  We both started a ‘mountain glacier hiking’ course.  At 60 Mary was the oldest person on the course. She had not signed up as part of a couple nor was she treating the course as a mate-finding opportunity.   How refreshing. I soon started to seek-out Mary’s company while hiking and during the rest breaks.  I quickly tired of the chattering from other hikers, normally affluent couples considering what gear to purchase, what restaurant to recommend.

At 60 Mary’s love for her terminally-ill bed-ridden husband was not stated, but it beamed stronger than a lighthouse.  She recorded our hiking sessions, the beautiful scenery and laughter,  for him with her new digital camera.  He could feel part of an active interesting life because she sought this life out and carefully bought it back to his bedside with love. What a fabulously generous heart.

I fell in love with Mary. Not the love that hungers for sexual validation. Not a love that needed to be returned.  There was deep peace in her company. Knowing this I invited myself to her home in the foothills of Mount Ranier. The home she had built with her husband before his death so noticibly stepped towards him.

wendy: can I help you gather the leaves from your garden?

Mary: yesthey  will fall as fast as you’ll be able to gather them

After a morning gardening, mostly in silence, we went inside and Mary finished the home made french onion soup.  She talked while she stirred. Talked of how her father raped her and how the authorities didnt believe her story. Talked of how her sister committed suicide. How she left her bilogical family and built her own new family.  How she worked to help abused children and beaten wives. Clearly she has known and seen more loneliness than I could feel.

The cedar dappled autumn sun played on her face.  No tears, no frown lines.

It seems we have both found some form of peace amidst life, in the silences

mountain mary
2 votes rating 5

14 bits of fabulous banter »

sound of understatement

Monday, April 5th, 2010 | tags: , , ,  |

After the party, lights turned off,  John played a favourite Moody Blues album, closed his eyes and audibly sank into the large armchair.   On the floor, resting my head on the seat of his chair, I  listened to the lyrics as the spinning in my head gently wound down.    

I  never understood you and the prop, he didnt seem like your sort of guy

 I didn’t like him

I wondered whether this loud understatement would silence John’s curiosity.

The Moody Blues sang nights in white satin

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not talking therapy

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 | tags: ,  |

chatty person: I’m waiting to start talk therapy. I’m not sure if they’ll want to talk with me

wendy:  [silence]

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University education

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010 | tags: ,  |

They said:

46 yr, self-employed, parent:       where did you get that top?          
19 yr, university student, child: Primark      

They meant

parent: are you spending your  scarce supply of  money on clothes that you don’t need?   You have plenty of clothes.   You are so bad at managing your finances you really should not spend money on how you look.   When you started the course 2 months ago you  had a full student loan and money from us for your rent and text books.   Now you have nothing in your bank account, are in debt to your new  college friends  and to top it all you don’t have any text books at all.    For heavens sake, you are not stupid, pull yourself together, get your priorities right and start studying.

child: Just leave me alone. I have enough to worry about without you being on my back aswell,   there’s nothing good in my life,   I’m crap at college, I’m fat, I can’t cook, I’m being bullied and just for a moment I felt good, in a new top that didn’t cost much but for a moment it made me feel special, worthwhile.   Then you have to go and spoil that fragile moment by telling me that I can’t manage my money well.   Thanks.    Even my parents make me feel like shit.

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violent lover – her story

Saturday, September 12th, 2009 | tags: , , ,  |





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auditory ‘allucinations

Sunday, September 6th, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

Caller: are you real or one of the voices in my head?

Answerer: I’m real

Caller: are you the lady that I called on the phone?   Are you on the other end of the phone?

Answerer: yes, you called me, I’m on the other end of the phone

Caller: (silence)

Caller: was that you or someone else?   is there anyone with you?

Answerer: I didn’t say anything, there is noone with me

Caller: it’s very noisey with all the people talking in my head, I can’t tell which one’s are in my head and which ones are real.   Are you real?

Answerer: yes, I’m real, you called me on the phone

Caller: yes,   you’re on the phone


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not on the radio

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009 | tags: ,  |

Sometimes I’ll drive the hour commute home from work without noticing that the radio is off.   The conversations in my mind are so fast and rich they more than fill the silences left by the lack of radio programmes.

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Monday, June 22nd, 2009 | tags: , ,  |

subtitles are silent

Yazoo sang Nobody’s diary

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friendly society

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Wedding CertificateQuaker weddings.   Highly recommended.

The couple marry each other.  No third party symbolic proxy as a represenative  of a god.   No-one gives the bride away.   The couple make a public commitment to each other in a way that suits their own personal relationship with their god.   Everyone shares meditative silence, interspersed with thoughts, poems  and music as the spirit provides,  followed by tea and cake.      Then  all the guests sign a wedding certificate for the couple to keep.

There is a fabulous peacefulness, equality and equanimity about the occassion.


Reception venue  The couple used a classic VW camper van to take them from the ceremony to the field that hosted the reception.   The same camper van  provided the bride and groom with a place to spend their wedding  night.

Wedding Car

In the reception field,   a marquee tent hosted a blue grass band,   bands with brass sections, inflatable chairs,   and oodles of wedding guests.   The field also hosted the guests tents,   fireworks, fire and pathways of candles carved through the grass.  During the fireworks I snuck off to keep warm by a fire where I was leant a  much needed  pair of long,   black, thermal leg warmers.   All around excellentness.


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shared silence

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

captive silenced female mannequinLunching with an hearing impaired friend (HIF) who uses spoken words rarely, with good effect:


HIF: you are the only person I know who talks less than I do

Wendy: is that good?

HIF: yes (laughs)

Wendy: (laughs)


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behind the imitation window

Thursday, November 13th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

fake windows in courtyardIn a small Siena courtyard the walls mimic windows,

forgetting to mimic shutters or reflections.

Silence and darkness within the windowless rooms.

Protecting the people within from too much colour,   too much light,   noises from neighbours and the street,   from the prying eyes of passersby.

In the silent darkness occupants can float on siestas unseen, unknown.

Freedom to dream of the luxuries of everything  and nothing

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watch the silence

Friday, January 25th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

currently catless

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graves marked by hats

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007 | tags: , , , ,  |

In Spains Catholic religious capital Cathedral, Toledo, the burial places of Cardinals are marked by their hats being suspecnded from the ceiling above.   The hats hang until they decompose.   They add an eerie feeling to the cathedral as they gently swing in the silence.

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2007 | tags: , , ,  |


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cute accent #2: dumb struck

Friday, April 27th, 2007 | tags: , ,  |

Wendy:   How-do-you-do (handshake)  my name’s Wendy

My  self-introduction to a boy who could prove a useful work contact.  

Wendy:   Blah-di-blah-di blah, blah, blah…….does that sound reasonable to you?

I pause to let him reply.   Silence.

He’s still actually holding my hand and just gazing into my eyes.   This behaviour is not unusual amongst US boys when they first hear me speak.     I slowly removed my hand and decide to let him recover speech on his own time.

Wendy: I’ll arrange for us to meet for 30 mins or so to work-out the details of blah-di-blah-di-blah,   does that sound ok?

Sometimes people snap-out of it when they realise I’m  going.   He smiled and nodded,   I smiled then  pranced out of the room….

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has someone strangled the dawn chorus?

Friday, May 5th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

was their compulsive  chatter too cheerful to swallow?  

it drowned the silences in someone’s life  

that someone,  using a  taut silk scarf,   stopped the air to their songs  

now their silences float in, riding the morning tide


Dunlin's fly over the incoming tide at dawn


note:   inspired by the theme of a night-long converation with a drunken suicidal anarchist circa 1988.    My dawn chorus is loud and clear every morning in my inbox

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