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Monday, 2 February 2004

Tales of the Urban Burbs #1

To recap the tale I began way down in the comments...
I moved into my new, untelephonic Temporary Abode yesterday. The landlady had put in the most revolting sofa imaginable - now dubbed Pink Nasty - hideous to the degree even she had to admit it was so; she gave me permission to burn the thing, after shame made even she rip the pink frills off from it.
It's super quiet here in the Urban Burbs, there are no wires for the tv or hi fi, no phone, and nooooooooooo internet access. I hardly know what to do with myself. I've already pictured myself going quietly doolally in the pastelness of it all. I need to buy a really large, really violent dramatic looking blood red painting, and fast, or I will succumb.
I'm sat in an internet cafe in nearby Crystal Palace, clutching me a weekly pass to my undernourished bosom. I hope the cafe owner is rigged up to an invisible earpiece, because he doesn't stop giggling, except to sneeze. He seems to have African comedies feeding through his headphones. At least, the lack of clothing onscreen should indicate a temperate clime. In the absence of anything else to do with my time, you'll have to suffer two weeks of after-the-fact postings of my regrowth and adaptation in the foreign environment of downright Pengeitude here.

Despite the locale, the move went without incident, and the place still looks good (Pink Nasty aside).
In fact, the only blip in the entire place is the Great British water system. After a few years of the rare continental delights of a decent strong shower, I'm back at square one, trying to cajole the tempestuous attentions of a capricious and jealous immersion heater into giving up the love I need.
The shower attachment has an air of never having been taken seriously by anyone, and longs for a little attention and gallantry - bare untreated absorbent wooden shelves drilled into the wall directly beneath the rusted uncared for rose, an absent shower curtain vacantly gapes its protective lack, compounded by polished wood floors, lying defeated, expecting maltreatment beneath my ungrateful tread. Shyah, right, that's a power shower.
Last night I failed to communicate my needs to the hot water tank's H spot, hungry as it was for my ministrations. She retaliated sulkily, offering me an icy shoulder and a stream of lukewarm murk.
I relented to defeat and retired ignominiously to my half lit bedless nest: pillows, duvets and cushions arranged in a cocoon shape on the floor. I sprayed a familiar burst of an old perfume. Pulled out a sheepskin rug to lie upon.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:44 PM GMT
Updated: Monday, 2 February 2004 8:56 PM GMT
Post Comment | View Comments (18) | Permalink | Share This Post

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 12:53 AM GMT

Name: gary
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Vanessa, I love you. This is beautiful writing. I've posted an excerpt at

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 9:15 AM GMT

Name: Cyn
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Living in the Spartan austerity of your abode has brought out the effulgence in your writing.

(Plus what Gary said, minus the posting.)

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 9:43 AM GMT

Name: Laura
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Living in Penge, without bed and with coy shower. As the Stereophonics say, "you gotta go there to come back".

I know this as I live in Sydenham, Penge's twin sister, with no floors, walls or a sofa. But my shower's f ucking excellent.

keep smiling

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 1:36 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

No floors, walls, or sofa? Blimey. Why not?

If you see a woman with very greasy very short hair crashing her car into dark bollards and swearing, or carrying teddies home in kitchen bins, that's me.

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 1:51 PM GMT

Name: legomen
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Ah....dark bollards....know them well.

It's true what they say though, a harsh, secluded regime with no luxuries (like hot running water) does improve a writers focus.
Just don't go the whole Oscar Wilde eccentric thing with the bins and teddies though eh?

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 3:07 PM GMT

Name: e
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Surely more Sebastian Flyte than Oscar Wilde?

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 6:02 PM GMT

Name: gary
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I am probably over wordy and unwieldy, too. Your writing style rang my chimes.
Not Noir was cowritten with Cathyrn Crawford. The first few paragraphs were mine, then Cathryn wrote a few, then back to me, etc. Resonance?

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 7:19 PM GMT

Name: sarah

see, I read that a few times, and it should sound pretntious what with all them there words, but it *doesn't* - oo, well done Vanessa :)

Sleeping on a sheepskin rug sounds absolutely divine, but I'm probably wrong there. Also: cold showers are wonderful for your hair.

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 7:24 PM GMT

Name: yidaho
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Ever thought of becoming an Inventory Clerk?

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 8:03 PM GMT

Name: Legomen
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Blast. Yes. Rats, what an amateur I am.

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 8:21 PM GMT

Name: paul
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Wow, Vanessa, this is fantastically well written! Hilarious about the shower and the H spot! Sometimes, no matter how much you coax, all you'll get is a dribble, and sometimes, nothing at all except irritation. I too, have dealt with little to no pressure, and I had to buy a special attachment just to get what I needed out of it.

Tuesday, 3 February 2004 - 8:27 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Fnarr, fnarr.... :)

Wednesday, 4 February 2004 - 9:35 AM GMT

Name: Laura

Okay, i say no walls, what i actually mean is really old crumbly walls, stripped of paper and anything nice. floors are just wood with nails that stick out and rip my feet to f uck

sofa... can't afford one. a rse


Wednesday, 4 February 2004 - 10:06 AM GMT

Name: Vanessa

You know, you can have this pink nasty sofa, if you want to come collect it from my place!
Seriously, if you want a 3 piece suite - clean, comfy, but nasty pink, let me know on here, and I'll e-mail you. Doesn't sound like it would be too far to take it, either.
That sounds rough - rough but bloggable! :)

Wednesday, 4 February 2004 - 3:11 PM GMT

Name: Laura
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Nice thought and much appreciated, but you've done such a bad PR job on it in your blogs that you would have trouble palming it off to a blind man!!!

I've rigged up a single mattress and two bean bags against one of the walls and regularly find myself dozing off comfortably.

Wednesday, 4 February 2004 - 8:02 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Nice try more than nice thought!!! :-)

Wednesday, 4 February 2004 - 8:03 PM GMT

Name: Vanessa

Yours is better.

Thursday, 5 February 2004 - 4:32 PM GMT

Name: laura
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