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Saturday, 10 July 2004

Recap 2

Now Playing: Bernard Bresslaw as a cyclops in 'Krull'. Creepsville!

Topic: Vic Jameson

So I got home, and rang my family, then whinged.

They pointed out that I can't keep driving the car if it's untaxed. I'd assumed I had a 14 day leeway where double jeopardy outruled clamping my car again. Not so. What if I only leave it parked off the public highways? Nope, they changed the rules from it being illegal to use the highways untaxed, to it being illegal to own a car that's untaxed. Damn. That's suddenly made going to visit my family this weekend a lot more expensive.

A package has arrived, a present for someone. Something Creepy plays with. It seems important to drink copious quantities of wine (two glasses = paralytic) and play with the present.

Oopsy. It's two am before I know it.

My jaunt to central London having been cancelled by peachykeenyboyBoss in revenge for yesterday's insurrection, I have the assignment from hell to end the day. I figure with a cunning plan of switching offices three times, and leaving very inept notices directing people to the wrong place, I can weasel my way out of confrontations for 45 minutes at least.

To my very great surprise it works. Hurrah for invidious weaselling.

Duch rang, and cheered me up no end - Havaianas is going to oversee all the repairs on the flat in Bow so the sale goes through, and he's going to do it for an incredibly reasonable price. I immediately offer to tip him #100. I don't have #100 but his quote is so low that I feel evil taking advantage of it. She reassures me that I'm not Job, I'm not plagued by boils, that I'm right to avoid meeting old flames when I'm feeling less than robust, especially when they were never known for their tact. She also points out that no holiday for the last two years may be affecting my response to hard times, and that when the money from the house sale does come through, I have an unparalleled opportunity to change my life permanently, if I choose to take it.
She's right. How many times have I wished I had the money to travel again, to work abroad without becoming trapped into the first job I accept, to study a different subject, to retrain as something else? When will I ever get this opportunity again? I'm reminded how much fun Duch is when she's buttering me up. ;o)

After work, I had to collect documents from my flat in Bow to get my car taxed so I can use it again and reclaim the #120 wrung bloodlessly from my empty wallet the day before. Bearing in mind I'm on the breadline already, (mortgage on one property, plus rent on another) my credit card is taking serious beating to cover this.
Going back could be difficult - one set of keys are trapped in the unopenable glove compartment of my car, another with Tybalt, another with the estate agent. This could easily take four hours of travelling from place to place just to get in.

When I do get in, after hiding the front of my car and it's offending tax disc by parking it half way into a bush, it's the first time I've seen the place since Tybalt redecorated it in neutral colours. It's horrible. Really horrible. I feel like one of those people in a makeover show who sees the 'improvement' and starts wailing that they liked the squalor.

Joy of joys, a letter to the owner of the red VW Golf. A #100 fine for driving in a bus lane when I was lost in Dulwich last week. Payable within ten days. Still, I got a nice photo of my car blatantly crossing a bus lane.
A red letter from the gas company, based on an estimated reading from back when anyone lived in the flat. I'd correct it, but I can't remember where the damn gas meter is. I think we walled it in when we built the kitchen. Then a #3000 bill from the freeholders for repairs - some done, some not.
How does that work? Pay us a few thou, and we'll pretend we're going to fix things? Pffft.

With the help of an old candle, I eventually find the documentation for my car, and the insurance certificate I need, only to find the car insurance ran out last Wednesday.
I don't give two fucks about the government's car tax, particularly, but driving without insurance? Sheeeyit. That's norty.
Ringing the insurers, they assure me they renew automatically. So where's the certificate? It was posted to the Bow address this morning. So: assuming I don't live in Tower Hamlets, the district on record with the slowest postal service in the country, I can pick it up tomorrow morning.
Oh, yeah, that's right. I do.
Make that next Thursday, then.

A week of skulking and hiding the car in bushes.

Seems like a good time to update my insurance details, and try to get a few discounts. I lost my no claims bonus when I wrecked a car a year ago, but now I should be able to barter a bit.
I move the address on the insurance details from Bow, where cars are burgled on average once a fortnight, to Sydenham, where it's parked offroad, and I don't even need to use the wheel lock.
But apparently more people claim in Sydenham. Well yeah, they do drive like maniacs, but surely there's more car crime in Bow?
Thinking about it, I only claimed for one in ten break ins to the car - it wasn't worth losing the bonus. Fuck.

Okay, so take the second driver off. Tybalt isn't going to drive my car ever again, and never paid for the benefit of doing so anyway.
That'll put your premium up by forty pounds Madam.
What? You pay extra to put another driver on your insurance. Surely it shouldn't cost extra to take them off?
Apparently, single people tend to put in car insurance claims more often than couples.

I think about how bloody knackered I am, how if I had a partner, I'd have promised them anything to get them to drive me back home after all this. Yeah. okay. So #70 a month premium it is. Fuckers.

I can't get south across the river any time between four thirty and seven o'clock - the rush 'hour' traffic stretches back into Essex, so she delay and delay and delay, to quote Van Helsing.
I took a few photos in Bow and the Isle of Dogs, then popped into the cinema in Crossharbour for an early showing of Mean Girls.
Docklands cinemas are great, specially on kid's films. Everyone in the area is there to work, or is a yuppie with no kids yet, or a loft living gayer. There's never a single child in the auditorium, much less other adults, and it feels like they're showing the film just for you. I doubt you could repeat that experience at many other auditoria in the country.
Well - you could - but you'd probably have to have sex with Michael Winner afterwards.

I'd forgotten how much my love of the movies restores wellbeing. Mean Girls is all about having the inner strength not to be limited by other people's expectations of you to look perfect, but behave badly.
Just what I needed this week.
On the way out, two size eight thirty something women totter down the funky bluelit escalator, in Manolo shoes, Harley Street noses and boobs, professionally applied makeup and designer outfits, reassuring themselves the film was crap, that they're not that impressed by teen movies anyway. I resist the impulse to tell them they didn't like it because they could easily have played the villains.
But the cinema restores me, it always always makes me feel better about life, no matter how bad the film. I'm singing on the way home, and decide to go back to the Bow flat on the way and pick up some of my more flashy clothing and furniture. Rah.

I'm deliberately banning myself from watching Big Brother this week, even though it's the best series ever - because chatting on usenet boards about BB conspiracies after the late show is interfering with my ability to get out of bed at half six and do my job properly.

So it makes total sense that I stay up till two chatting on usenet BB boards while drinking two glasses of wine till I'm paralytic any old way.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Too Much and Too Little
"I think I've been to a church twice in my life, thanks to the prompting of James, who promised that they could be "fun", and indeed they were, compared to getting a root canal without anasthestic as performed by a coked-up dentist having an epileptic fit. In other words it was so painful I could have sworn - but couldn't, because God doesn't like people to use naughty words like AHHH FUCK ME LET ME OUT OF HERE OH SHUTTHEFUCKUP WHO ASKED YOU ANYWAY - A BORING BASTARD IS YOU while in His house.
I was in Sunday School when I was in kindergarten and it was a horrible experience, involving many picture books of white people in heaven mingling with tigers and bunnies and stuff. It was part of my mom's nefarious plan to make sure I would never be religious and it worked."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:21 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:09 PM BST
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Monday, 12 July 2004 - 6:49 AM BST

Name: Lux
Home Page:

One of my friends was pulled over for speeding last year, and it turned out that her insurance had been cancelled for 6 months (because she "forgot" to pay it) and her car registration had been automatically cancelled, as well as her driver's license. So: she was driving an unregistered, uninsured vehicle with no license- a couple of misdemeanors and a violation, I think. Her cousin, who's a lawyer, got it reduced to a parking violation. A non-moving violation. Which means no marks on her driving record. I don't know how she does it.

Monday, 12 July 2004 - 8:03 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

* gobsmacked *

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