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Saturday, 17 July 2004

Better than an alarm clock by far

Topic: Eurotrash

It was very nice to hear some new voices this morning - thanks for calling. Made me get up and move my damn car to somewhere away from the wardens, which enabled my extra cappucino and croissant at l'Hirondelle. You croissant enablers, you.

If you feel like helping out tomorrow, now that Harv is staying in Hamburg I shall be annoying my parents by sleeping in their spare room all day, and could do with a reminder to get out of bed before ten o'clock. Or some nice music on my voicemail, I need to vary my influences. Perhaps a text message, if you're not in England?

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See, there's no depths I can't stoop to for attention, are there?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Peeling Wallpaper
"I have this idea for a soft porn novel. You know the kind of book people leave behind at bus stations and train terminals, the ones with the covers torn off, the ones that catch your eye because of the provocative language, starting on page one, with very creative parts of speech for very intimate parts of the body. You?ll look down from your seat at the train station at the abandoned book on the seat next to you and the words ?swollen hamlet of love? will jump right up at you and you will think, ?well, this isn?t Tom Clancy.? "

This page graced by sarsparilla at 3:09 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 3 March 2005 8:21 PM GMT
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Friday, 16 July 2004

Demonic Possession

Topic: Shy Lux

Jesus K-Riced! Is there any other job where you have to deal seriously with demonic possession before nine in the morning? ! I know I've been a tad irascible of late, but - really!
I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn't help suggesting referral to a mental institution, which isn't going to help my customer-niceties reputation. Nor the parting comment of "get out, please, you're creeping me out now."
Argggggh. Just call me Basil and put me out to seed.

I'm going out to Duch's to get my brain fuzzed, and a parking ticket for over sleeping. If you see a mad woman on C4 throwing flip flops at The Med, it's Another Sarah. Whereas if you pass an internet cafe and see someone wailing and gnashing at the screen, it's a poor misfortunate Blogger blogger, frustrated by their decision to change their editing screen to make sure it doesn't actually work. Way to go, Blogger.

No Blo'te today, just Brendan's Ace Meme:
"This morning I woke up to the sound of the telephone ring. On the other end, a person who cares about me asked what the hell I was doing in bed, and whether I thought I could write in my sleep. In which case, she submitted, then I was surely talented.
I'd like to think that I write everday, but you know what would be great? Is if every now and then someone checked in. Even a total stranger. "

I'd appreciate a wake up call around 8, tomorrow morning, please, if you're about. Ask for Vanessa.

07too late now16


This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:30 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 18 July 2004 11:38 PM BST
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Thursday, 15 July 2004

Beckham's Balls

Topic: Casino Avenue

News just in from Tristan about Beckham's bollocks:


26 people so far are bidding on this, which isn't for the ball but for the CONTACT DETAILS of the guy selling the ball.
So far the bid is #510

Some chancer has set up an Ebay auction in which he starts saying do you remember that penalty miss by Beckham, and then if you bother reading it it explains that this is not for the original ball, but for a ball signed by some Scottish actor pretending to be Beckham in a reenactment! #41 with 24 bids and still going strong with 9 days to go.

Meanwhile, the guy selling the real ball is currently on #2.3 million and 6 days left with 123 bidders.

It is about his bollocks, isn't it?

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Vanessa/Female/31-35. Lives in United Kingdom/London/East London/Bow, speaks English and German. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection. And likes Literature / Movies/Food / Eating / Drinking.
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This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:47 PM BST
Updated: Friday, 15 April 2005 12:36 AM BST
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Yeh, so about Not Watching BB, right

Now Playing: Jason singing on the live feed - He Just Wants To Feel Real Love, apparently

Topic: BillyWorld
I love the nervous pre-eviction night chats - suddenly they switch out of their delirium and start to ask each other questions. Jason and Victor are like those comedy cockney blokes talking shite on Smith and Jones years ago.
And Ahmed chips in just to be talking, completely missing the point:

Jason: Do you feel like home is just an hour away, or is it another world?
Victor: It's another world.
Ahmed : Ees not an hour. Ees thirty minutes. Forrim. Ees haf' an hour.
Jason: Aye, even from Manchester.
Vic: It's half an hour.
Ahmed: Unless it's rush hour.
Jason: It's another world.
Ahmed: (firmly) Haf' an hour.

Then they chat about London.
Jay starts repeatedly mouthing "It's a harsssh worrrrld, London, a harsssh worrrrld."
Inbetween the dips in sound caused by the potential for the entirety of London to take offence at Ahmed's suggestion that people who live as near to Heathrow as Elstree Studios must endure a living hell (sic), you garner the information that Jason's worldly knowledge of London comes from a journey once where the bus was rather crowded.

Vic, of course, sticks to unintelligible "pfft", "pshaw", and lip sucking responses, thus coming across as 'street', as 'London', and simultaneously being careful never to challenge Jason's interpretation that complete bollocks-talking is justified.

Ahmed proffers the wisdom that you should never buy a woman a drink because all women earn more than men, who are all on the dole. Jason points out that he only buys people drinks for twenty minutes of chat, or if he really really fancies someone. Vic says he doesn't buy people drinks (the charmer), and Ahmed goes on to issue his direst warning of the evils of the female species yet - if you buy a woman a drink, she will expect another drink the next time (unless you warn her, buts in Victor - nice technique, you smooth talking lad you), and before you know it she will be used to you opening the car door for her. Jason points out that it's only gentlemanly to open a car door, and the others dissolve into giggles at this break in ranks from the pussywhipped pompadour. "Doorman! Doorman!" they giggle.

Even the jungle codgers get bored of their own mutual wank society, though, and fall into mumbling and gently singing their favourite songs. And what a choice of songs! Jay's off in his own world, singing Madonna's latest, enthusing about her past albums, then quietly segues into Kylie Minogue's early hits. Can he act any more gay?
Victor tries to rescue Jay's masculinity by gently crooning a little R&B, but the Jungle Codger is oblivious to Victor's subtle remonstrations - he fires up the Kylie, and turns up the volume on his voice.

Brilliant. Please please please vote out the boring ones, and leave these self deluding nutters where they are this week.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Breakfast Any Time
"There's a lot of things I've been meaning to tell you, but I lost my notebook and now I can't remember how to spell any of those things. If you're in the Chicago area, be on the lookout for a small black notebook. Then start your own website where you just keep posting the things I've written down in my notebook. Then give me the address. Seriously, it'll save me alot of time."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 9:34 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:06 PM BST
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Wednesday, 14 July 2004

Dozy, disorganised, lame posting ahoy

Topic: Lactose Incompetent

I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open to type this.
Last week of work before my birthday opens the holidays (two presents already, one bearing a Cayman Islands postmark - hurrah!), so I have to get everything done in time, which means long hours at work, and even longer hours at home trying to shake off the feeling of actually having worked.
I managed about three hours per night of shuteye so far this week (it was rather an inopportune moment to decide to download imagine the entire series of Kingdom Hospital, when I could have just been organised enough to watch it on telly).

But being organised isn't my forte. I finally taxed my car, only for post office clerk to tell me she's never even heard of someone actually being clamped under the new tax rules, yet. So that undisturbed street with no parking regs, and barely even any pedestrian traffic where I park my car was the one spot the DVLA chose to implement their new national programme, huh?
I attended my detention with Hippyboss yesterday, and have been grounded, now for the first morning of my holidays. It turns out my resentment and paranoia were resentment and paranoia, and she is punishing me to save face towards others (I'd rather just be slapped on the wrists than meaninglessly slapped on the wrists, but, meh), and now I get little cards and notelets all day at work to reassure me of how wonderful she thinks I am, with my idle, lax, renegade, unpunctual ways.
I've managed to refuse to see a whole horde of people, including refusing third and fourth dates from Second Dater, and still haven't taken my dad's mid-June birthday present round. Perhaps I should eat it... ;-P
I've buggered up the blog persistently for the last three months, and now seem incapable of not offending people, either via content, quoting or comments. The readership is diving dramatically. (from average 140 per day to 80 per day - god knows who reads this rubbish), although for some reason the linkage is rocketing (167 links? Double the amount of readers?) How does that work?

For some reason, though, despite the hideously disorganised exterior, the interior is kinda girl-scout right now. I've baked a lot (new knowledge: stewed rhubarb tastes foul unless you put all the sugar in), cleaned a lot (hurrah for toilet disasters and having to clean up the raw sewage!), tidied a lot (it's only clean knickers on the floor now, I'll have you know).

Perhaps I'm trying to subconsciously prove to myself I am organised, I am capable of selling my flat without going mental defective.
It would have helped reaffirm my sense of strength of mind if I hadn't forgotten to lock or shut my front door since last Friday.

It's seven pm. I'm going to bed.

Best Blo'te of the Day so Far: Conazo
"If you accept the premise that cinema provides us with vicarious experiences through which we can live out our dreams, then it would seem reasonable to suppose that you can work backwards from the movies to figure out what our innermost desires might be.
Movies tell us that love conquers all and bad guys always get their comeuppance, but what about darker, more fringe beliefs? After all, isn't the collective subconscious less Disneyland, more Arkham Asylum? What do movies tell us about half-thoughts so disturbing they have to be manacled in a reeking cell?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 6:50 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 17 July 2004 4:11 PM BST
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Tuesday, 13 July 2004

then I'll MAKE it my party...

Topic: Hurtling to Obscurity

Blegh. I made my own London Bloggers blog. Now I'm going to vote one off each day till at long last after a weary battle, it's me, Saltation and Unlucky Man battling to the death at dawn with razor sharpened toothbrushes, graoning and bleeding over the haplessly strewn corpse of Random Acts of Reality.

So there.

Watch your goolies, lads. I could blog below the belt. But in a fluffy way.

Yesterday's Scores~ UnluckyMan: 7/10, Sal: 0/10, Reynolds: 7/10, Sarsp: 3/10. Two people not really trying! Suddent death: London Metblogs, for its photos of Soho Square.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Feeling Listless
"Will it really have power to sway the voting habits of a country?
What is startling for me is how little Moore has changed the way he presents the story. Although I missed the original release of Roger and Me (I was reading about robots in disguise at the time), for some reason I caught all of TV Nation when it turned up on BBC Two and that took me into my university years. Considering the controversy, it's interesting to note how close the new film is to the short ten minutes stories which appeared on television and his previous work.
Throughout, there is still the mix of old tv footage, stunts and illustrative contemporary interviews. The proportions of each have been reduced and increased depending upon the story being told but it is very much Moore's style and just as distinctive as latter day Woody Allen."
"I saw the film at a Saturday 3:45 showing and it was full. Many journalists and writer who have been to see the film with the public to see their reaction have talked about the heckling and the applause. At my showing the only time anything happened was when a clip of Britney Spears appeared in which she was asked about the Iraq war From out of the darkness deep male voice shouted: "Whore!" He was utterly silent through everything else ..."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:13 AM BST
Updated: Wednesday, 14 July 2004 12:35 AM BST
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Monday, 12 July 2004

The Job of my Dreams

I'm shattered. Hedgehead at work ended the day gossiping at me about weird single women who drink too much wine and have twenty cats in one ear, while Hippyboss decided to exercise her right to the odd Gestapo moment by upbraiding me in front of 200 colleagues in the other, because she thought I looked as if I might want to leave her sucky meeting early. What I was actually doing was craning my neck to see someone's data and work out who'd fucked up, me or them, on it.
So, for that, and for skipping the 8.15 Monday morning meeting for 52 weeks so far, and for other sins which I cannot remember, I have a detention tomorrow. A penalty meeting at the end of the day, with Hippyboss. Who will no doubt at best say something barbed that could be interpreted wrongly if you gave a fuck what she thinks she could do to you, and at worst decide to be nice, clasp you to her unrestrained heaving bosoms and stroke your face till you pretend you're grateful.
Ageing hippies are far more trustworthy when they're doing the decent thing and stabbing you in the back.

I must be a very very naughty co-worker. I felt thoroughly ashamed of my lack of team spirit and went home to sigh heavily at my twenty cats.

Far away from the guilt circus that is a job you have no interest in politicking over, in reality news, I have the opportunity to retrain as anything I want (bearing in mind I'm shit at maths, though). The sense of choice is overwhelming.
What would you do if you could have the job of your dreams?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Looby
"The "pub" nearest to me (I say pub, but it's really a community centre and venue with a bar attached), is somewhere I never normally go, partly because it looks like the set for a pisstake TV sitcom about yoghurt knitters. It has a strange attraction for 50-year-old weirdy beardy men, and people who suffer from imaginary illnesses like ME, (a strangely class-specific virus which somehow affects university lecturers and psychotherapists more than it does catering assistants and people working in care homes). They also have a rule of not serving alcohol before 4pm, although you wouldn't want to be in there at that time anyway, unless you want to hear Proud Mum noisily cooing things like "Ooh, seven today! What a clever boy! Yes, Leo, we're going to go and paint our ant faces now.""

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:42 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 13 July 2004 1:54 AM BST
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Sunday, 11 July 2004

Does Donald Sutherland Have Curly Hair?

Topic: Yidaho

No doubt I've blogged about my crush on Donald Sutherland before.

But Don't Look Now is on telly, I've eaten too many boiled gooseberries in sugar, and it occurs to me to wonder if his hair is really curly, and straightened now, or if he felt the need for a demi-wave for both this film and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. To be right for the theatrical demands of the part, you understand.

So I looked for a split screen comparison - fat old grey beard Donald with the straightening irons clamped to his silver barnet, versus permanent waved virile frizzheaded emu-faced Donald of the sixties. And found a startling reality behind the hair.

So startling, I can't even pin it down. But there's something going on - something very very wrong - with Donald Sutherland's hair.

Can these all be the same man?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Shy Lux
"I'm only linking to this because the guy lived.
Crapweasel of the day: Kenneth Smith, author of An Open Letter to My Deep Fear That My Girlfriend Will Be Really Fat Later in Life. Kenneth, I hope you go bald, slowly, in an awkward, non-pattern baldness kind of way. And I hope your girlfriend makes partner in her law firm and leaves your skinny ass for a younger, more attractive gentleman with a smokin' bod. And that they have lots of gorgeous children, while you grow old all alone and have to move in with your mother and start wearing shorts with black dress socks that offset your pale, skinny, hairy legs. And I hope Kenneth Smith isn't your real name, because eventually your girlfriend will google you and find this public declaration of love."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:18 AM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 July 2004 12:59 AM BST
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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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Recap 1

Now Playing: The Prisoner of Zenda, starring Stewart Granger as Rupert of Rassendyll, and James Mason as Rupert of Hentzau. Brilliant.

Thursday: Wake up determined to weather the storm, post apology on blog, go to work.

While at work get told to fuck off x 12, called a dickhead x 5, punched in chest x 3, shoved x 2, kicked x 3, and told repeatedly by manglement that any extra unpaid time I spend on projects is a treat that I must earn by attending pointless extra (unpaid) training days on subjects in which I hold no interest.
It's what you'd call a difficult day.

Ruin things further by telling them 'don't fucking bother', which is hardly textbook manglement, but which seems to work: I don't have to do any extra training, any extra projects I'd offered to do are cancelled in revenge, so I don't have to do unpaid extra hours, and Peachykeenyboyboss (who's temporarily NewBoss since I refused to be) is suffused with silent resentment at how I managed that one.

Sheer negativity makes me join in the Resentment Huddle that occupies a corner of the Coffee Area daily, and which I usually scuttle past in case they infect me with their impotent rages. Joining in makes me feel self-righteous, brave, and ultimately negative and shit.

Big surprise.

Wander out of work at four to find my car has been wheel-clamped. Uh-ohh.
There's no parking regs on that street, but it was parked right next to some roadworks that had a 'no parking here' sign last week, it was parked halfway on the pavement (but that's the general way of doing in Lewisham, it seems - so are all the other cars), and the tax is out of date.
There's no sticker on the window or phone number on the clamp, and thus begins an hour long hunt to find out who clamped the thing, so I can pay the no doubt few hundred moulah it takes to get it unclamped, and quick, before all the authorities go home at quarter to five.

I could walk home I suppose, but I'm wearing T shirt, jeans and flip flops, it's intermittently pissing down with grey icy drizzle, and a storm is brewing. Plus I need to find out what time it was clamped, so I don't overrun the 24 hour rule that sees it towed away.
My one advantage - I have a phone.

At least I thought it would help, until I try to remember the number of the new Directory Enquiries service. 118 118, isn't it? I seem to remember a fairly odd advert employing gym teachers from the seventies with it emblazoned across chests.

Gullible Twat: Hi, I need the number for Lewisham Council parking department. The main switchboard number will do, though.
118 Monkey: Lewisham Council. There isn't any number for them.
GT: Yes there is, they're the borough council. Of Lewisham. Try London Borough of Lewisham.
118 Monkey: Aha, yes, here we are, London Borough. The council of Kent.
GT: No-oh, Lewisham is in London. Kent isn't. London Borough of Lewisham. It's the local council.
118 Monkey: Ah. Hold on. Okay. (adopts patronising tone)There is no Lewisham Council. There's only one council in London, you know. I've found the number of London Council for you. Shall I put you through?
GT: No. There is no such thing as London Borough Council. There's only different boroughs who are councils within London. Not London Council.
118 Monkey: Oh. I'll try again. Here: Borough Council of Lewisham?
GT: I'll try that, they should be able to redirect me to the right extension.
118 Monkey: shall I put you straight through at 9p per minute?
GT: Er, ohk-- (blip)
Complete stranger: Hello, ******* School, Borough of Morden, here. How can I help you?

Thankfully, the nice lady school receptionist in Morden, Surrey had a phonebook to hand and found in ten seconds the number 118 118 had taken five tries to fail to get. She also told me the real, BT service is 118 500. Phew.

Cue a million referrals through Lewisham's phone system to the bins and waste control department, who were getting heartily sick of me, till someone offered the info that the DVLA clamp cars if the tax is out of date.
DVLA it is. They pass me on to a Clamping unit in Thamesmead, and tell me I'll have to book them to unclamp it, except they've probably all gone home by now (it's an hour later, five o'clock), and if I leave it till morning, it'll be towed.
Oh joy. I try my best Sarf Eest Lahndahn accent, crawl my way into everybody's good books by being craven, and extract a promise that the car will be unclamped at least within the next three hours, at worst, by midnight.

All I have to do is wait in the area. It costs me #80 fine, and #120 deposit, repayable if I collect it from Kent in person within 14 days, showing my up to date tax. Compared to Tower Hamlet's on the spot #200 parking fine if you're ten minutes overtime in a bay, it seems reasonable, although I'm not going to be shopping anywhere better than Lidl anytime soon.

It's cold,the locals (who all know me from my job) are larffffing at me, and sympathising in that 'but I'm not gonna get you a cup of tea, you fucker; payback' way, and I haven't eaten since yesterday.
I wander back into work and do some more.
I get a train down to Bellingham, get some money out, and eat some chips, then walk back.
I pick up a paper, sit in the car reading it in the rain. Chat to passersby.

Come ten o'clock, six hours later, it's getting dark, the area's not that salubrious, there's an impromptu teenage motorbike rally up and down the surrounding streets, I'm starting to think about the three different yellow murder boards in the neighbourhood, and trying not to read the SubStandard's scarifying reports about a Catford rapist at large who preys on his victims at nightfall from his motorbike.

The bloke who eventually unclamps my car is wordless, doesn't meet my eye or return my greeting.
He unclamps, then runs back to his car. Only when safely locked inside does he risk a parting wave and eye contact. I have to dash out of the car and flag him down to ask him where I have to go with my new tax disk to reclaim my deposit.
He winds the window down to a large crack - enough to pass me a note with the address on, but not enough for me to grab his neck or clothing or to punch him. Not that I would, but shit, what a hairy scary job he has that he has to take those precautions.

I get home fifteen minutes past bedtime. Know what I'd been going to do tonight? Take myself out to dinner, construct an elaborate date with myself in a transparent attempt to feel better.
Oh well.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: He's Welsh, You Know
"I have a recurring anxiety dream in which I get the opportunity to work for Radio 1 legend John Peel. I suspect the pay would be miserable, but I would drop everything for the opportunity. However, in this dream, John eagerly asks me to book for Maida Vale my "mate from the pub" who sings an amazing rendition of the gospel tune "Salvation on Faith."
"That is such a beautiful song. I really look forward to hearing your friend's rendition of it," John says excitedly in his gravel voice.
"Oh fuck," I immediately think to myself.
That's just a song my mother used to sing to me when I was a kid. I've never heard anyone sing a particularly stunning version of it. Then I wonder if perhaps I had at some point drunkenly bragged to John about having a friend who does a sterling version of the song. Because I would do something stupid like that -- tell an all-out lie just to garner the attention of John Peel."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:37 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 10 July 2004 4:48 PM BST
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Friday, 9 July 2004

Call Me Job

Topic: Shy Lux

Eeek! It actually got too shit to blog. I *whip* must *whip* learn *whip* the word "worst" *whip* just provokes *whip* her. *whip*

Fate, I mean.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Light From an Empty Fridge
"As I said, nothing happened today.
Nothing significant, anyway. Nothing that, when it comes to adding up lives at the end of the universe, will even produce a pause of the pencil. ?Alive, alive, alive, yes yes, same again"? flick through the pages? ?ah! he fell over a bollard in August! That?s plus one funny points. Another four hundred and ninety and he gets a toaster".
I wouldn?t mind a toaster."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 11:06 PM BST
Updated: Saturday, 10 July 2004 12:16 AM BST
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Thursday, 8 July 2004

Red alert over. Had some sleep, able to deal. Tried to drink myself into a stupor, but felt better after two glasses of wine. Just caught me at a bad time. It's all grist for the resume.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: 3rd Engine
"Only a few minutes later, my math utopia was compromised to reality. You know the kid who no one really wants to sit by, but one unfortunate soul has to because they straggled into the room too late to choose their choice seat? Well, this was me and my friend ?Big Popa?, as he likes to be called I guess. The lad is about 6? something-or-other, and he?s about 180 pounds of pure wigger. He had it all: the velvet jumpsuit, the sideways baby blue baseball cap, and more ice than the Atlantic ocean. About five minutes into class, we had to create our own name tags for our designated area of the tables. I spent about two minutes on mine, merely writing ?Ty? at first, in big, smeared, black mechanical pencil-y letters. I guessed that at a point, someone may inquire as to what my last name was, chiefly the teacher, so I promptly wrote another line of sketchy letters a few spaces away from the freshly created disaster to the left after much deliberation. ?THURSBY?, all in caps. Now they?d know I meant business. My wigger friend decided however to take the high road by writing ?(Big Popa)? above his real name, which based off his funny glasses and towering white kid frame was no doubt Arthur or Clark. We?ll just have to assume because I never actually saw. The only words of conversation this kid would provide was cursing everything under his breath. Any excessive direction from the teacher, any assignment given by the teacher, any stupid joke made by the teacher. Essentially, just anything the teacher did prompted a good, ?What the fuck?, ?Shut the fuck up?, ?Fuck this?. This kid is clearly oozing with substance and I can?t wait to see him everyday now."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:16 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 8:19 AM BST
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just when i think i got out - they pull me back in

Topic: Lactose Incompetent

"I play this game.
It's pointless and annoys me, yet I'm compelled to play on"

I was doing okay, I was cheering up, I was rationalising my fears.

Then .... something happened. I ignored it. Something happened. The 'worst thing'.

You never know the worst thing till it's here, and the worst of the worst thing, is your absolute certainty that this is only the worst so far.

Thank christ I was with other people, and had to keep a lid on it, act unconcerned. It felt like I was falling into a cavern. How could this be happening to me, now, here? Didn't I just spend two years dealing with this? Didn't I just get to the point where I could maintain civilised defences?

I left, I sat in darkness in my car for a while, staring blankly at an empty church. I screamed at someone and averted an accident. See, not evil. I'm not evil.

It's been a while since I've been evil. The year before I wrote this blog, everything I did was interpreted as malicious, every stray thought that flickered over my face was assumed egregiously wrong. The standard interpretation of anything I did was: you did it to hurt me, you bitch. I'm not talking about one person feeling this way about me. I'm talking about almost all of them.

I'm a terrible one for not taking criticism well. As I was doing the punishment anyway, I decided to enjoy the crime.

The last year, it's been normal. Mad, draining, emotional, but- hey - normal. I can walk across a road without feeling like I'm doing something wrong, hurting someone somehow, being wicked, not caring enough about everybody else, showing my true, nasty nature by walking across that road.

In the darkened car, in the driver's seat, I turned on the CD player - the soundtrack to 'The Hours' came on. Philip Glass, violins, music from the moment where Nicole Kidman drowns herself, fifty years later and at the same moment, Julianne Moore takes too many painkillers and river water floods into her hotel room, over her bed, as in another age Meryl Streep watches her beloved friend Ed Harris die of AIDS. It really wasn't pick-me-up listening.

Of course the moon had to be out, like all those so many nights, so so many many nights, when I used to drive to the Heath and cry where no-one could overhear me.
Of course it had to be raining with stormy destructive winds, branches flailing to the ground. Of course.
Of course I had to be in London. Not Hawaii. Not South America. I had to be in Catford, the moment that I had to deal with this. In Catford, eating out with some colleagues, going home to a blank anodyne empty flat, three weeks before my thirty fourth birthday.
Why would fate make it any other moment? Why would fate make this something I had a hope of dealing with well?

I looked at the water lying deeper than you think on the oily surface of the road, the hunched shoulders of people scared as they rushed to safety from the street, the rain, the dangerous unknown. I wondered what could be more scary than the thing I was now considering.

On the way in to the restaurant I'd had one of those flash moments - those moments where a voice in your head speaks briefly. Your limbic brain, your sub conscious, your 'you', something, and it tells you an insight, but it might also be just a fear. Looking at a street sign that symbolised a road narrowing, then a junction, I thought about how late I was, how I didn't really feel like this meal, and a voice inside said: 'but you're not happy.' And I know it's not talking about the meal.
I pushed it away. Course I've not been happy. Why would I write all that shit on my blog if I were happy? The blog and the life have an inverse relationship - write shit, live good; live bad, write good. I've been doing better, I pleaded with my id, my ur, my limbic brain. I got out of the car and ran. Running creates endorphins, it stops you thinking depressing thoughts. It worked. It was gone.

Till the phone call. So, after, I sit in the dark on the same street, in front of the same street sign and I try to rationalise it, tell myself it's an understandable response to be falling into a pit with only mud and dirt for sides, where no-one will find you again. It's okay.
What a bland and stupid statement is 'it's okay'.
I try to connect things up - if I find patterns in my behaviour, my state of mind, I can find ways of dealing with an unexpected attack.

The worst moment? Right, if I'm not happy, the answer is to know why I'm not happy. What's the worst that could happen scenario. Forget that it's taken me a year to be able to cope with written references to what happened, forget that I can't even - I write four blogs and I write every fucking day for god's sake! - I can't even begin to articulate what happened and god knows last night - last damn night! - I tried. Worst case scenario.
What worst moments have I had this weekend? where I enjoyed myself, where I had a good time - what scary worst nasty moments did I live through, so I can tell myself I can live through it again.

I was scared of working too much last weekend. I passed over another promotion, again, the third this year, because I know my own tendency to be obsessive, to distil concentration out of all proportion to time, because I know if they ask me to do things, I'll always say yes. I feared trapping myself there - yeah, there in the job that I enjoy, that I look forward to doing. So I passed.

I was scared of being bored by people last weekend. I stood in a garden surrounded by strangers making small talk, getting on with it, using their myriad vile fat toddlers to prop the gaps in the conversation, and I refused to speak, or make it easy for anyone. I just scowled my way through it, wondering if I could go now. Or wait ten minutes. And go now. Ten more?

I was scared of meeting Tybalt and having to endure her at Pride. Make no mistake, if I went to Pride, it'd be to pull. I was scared of what she'd do if she saw that. What exact way she'd find to quietly punish me. I was scared that if I didn't go, I'd lose all my friends. Again. Somehow every social situation involving Tybalt, and I always come away feeling like carrion - like I've lost all my friends to her. If a friend is someone who listens and does not judge - someone who can bite their tongue just a few months and not say 'well, no, I think you're being unfair to her on that detail' - yeah, okay, that would count as having lost them all.

I was scared of making past mistakes, of restarting relationships that were already dead, had always at some level been dead; and I was also in the same weekend scared of starting new relationships that I didn't feel invested in, had no compulsion to continue, just to avoid being alone.

I was scared when I stayed out late for cocktails on a date last weekend, missed the train home, had to get a night train then a night bus from Lewisham. I was so scared I flagged a bus down on the street - I felt drunkenly confident, but the driver commented on how 'lost' I looked, which made me focus on it, start to feel scared all over again. I knew I'd have to get off by a gas tower, walk through an industrial estate, down a deserted high street that's had three murders in the four months I've lived here. I saw seven foxes, one madman who screamed at me to 'shut up shut shut shut up stop talking to me shut up', one hooded figure just standing beneath a blasted leafless tree in the centre of a council estate, and not one single lighted window, not one single car. I was scared that if something did happen to me, nobody would notice. For a few days.

All these fears. And that's just four days worth.

But mostly I'm usually scared that being scared makes me not do things that I should, makes me lose out. Lose out on a promotion, meeting the woman of my dreams at Pride, reconnecting with my friends, being calm enough to make smalltalk, put people at ease, take risks with new relationships, and forgive the criminal other of the old ones. And walk home tall.

So this is what's beneath tonight's bad news. Do I follow all my instincts - run, hide, stay away, don't get involved, avoid these people, these situations forever. Just a few people in a really big world. Do I need to beat myself up by going through it all again with them?
Can't I just walk away, live my life without accusations, or jealousy, or the underlying itching permanent scab of knowing that someone thinks I'm evil?

Or am I just saying that to myself to make me brave? To distract attention from the fact I always run?

"You're pretty convinced that you like the parts of your life that trap you
But you worry that your usual tendency to sell yourself short
Sold that to you."

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Oeillade
"Quietly, softly, it finds its way in
To play down your virtue and highlight your sin.
The weights are all hung and the tunnel's in place,
We'll help wipe away that fat smirk from your face.
How long can one spend intending to fly
If two in the hand is worth one in the eye?
Come in from the outside, come in from the cold.
What use is your pride if you're not bought and sold?"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 12:21 AM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 12:58 AM BST
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Tuesday, 6 July 2004

Things to Do While Waiting for Your Fibonacci Numbers to Come Around

Now Playing: Sidsel Endresen: 'Do Do Do'

Topic: LondonLifer

Stuart of Kitchentable was blogging about things to do before you die. Or become 40. Feh. Same diff.

So which ones are still on the list to get done afore I peg it?

Tick these off, they're done:
-go out of your way to befriend someone entirely new who isnt already in your friends circle
-quit one of your worst vices (cut drinking last autumn)
-have an orgy (come off it, who's gay and hasn't?)
(PS, if my mum reads this, I'm lying)
-naked photoshoot (got that one covered several times over already)
-fall in love (over-done that one)
-Buy a new leather jacket, put tweed patches on the elbows, and try and claim that you're "being gracefully punk rock."
-sponsor a child in the third world on a monthly direct debit so he or she can go to school
-Get a love-bite.
-Wait around after a gig to get an autograph.
-Hang out for an afternoon in a bus shelter with your mates, a bottle of cider and a ghetto-blaster.
-Whip your top off on a podium while mouthing all the words (it's been a while).
-Cover your bedroom wall with a collage of magazine photos.
-Write a love-letter on pink notepaper drenched in scent, with a "secret" acronym on the back of the envelope.

Nah, nah, nahhh, yew ain't done nonna these:
-a balloon trip
-pose naked for an art class
-write a novel
-see all seven wonders of the world (Mostly becuase I don't really know what they are)
-get a tattoo (Ewww, tats are ugleeee)
-learn to play an instrument from scratch (not the blue veined piccolo)
-Run with the bulls in Pamplona.
-Grow a moustache, and try and claim that you're "being ironic." (this one might be hard)
-Buy the Franz Ferdinand album, and claim - ah, it doesn't matter what you say, no one will believe you.
-Carve ____WOZ ERE on a tree-trunk.

Right, better get cracking on some of those. I'm not going to be 33 (the year of the sideways boobies) anymore in a few day's week's time, and the blog at least, is dying.
I've got me pen knife. Where's Pamplona?
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Van Mega
"One of the main ways listeners propelled artists was through the art of the mixtape. According to George, mixtapes were huge, and shared extensively (don't forget CD's and the internet was kinda rare and still quasi-cutting edge back then). George then argued that today?s music climate was now in a position to take on the same exciting diverse traits of the early 90's. He the presented a challenge to the viewer to not just get back into making mixtapes, but getting selfless about it. He challenged everyone watching to regularly make mixtapes and mix CD's, featuring the bands which they personally felt were vital and interesting, regardless of if they were obscure indie groups or glossy major label types. Most importantly, George challenged us to share and give away the mixtapes *to strangers*, as a way to spread the word. You know, just leave them lying around in a classroom or wherever, and see who picks them up, and see how they get passed on. Kinda like a pay it forward kinda thing, but the currency is sonic.
[ ... ]
I challenge other bloggers to publish a mixtape. Do it up, you've got an audience, spread the word (or whatever). Get in touch with me and let me know when you step up and publish a mixtape. I'll cherish your mix and link your ass, like whoa."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:01 PM BST
Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004 12:50 AM BST
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Monday, 5 July 2004

The Most Annoying, Alarming and Appalling People, Places and Things in London and the Nation

Topic: Empty Fridge Light

Infighters, bitchers and troll-baiters. Okay, it's a release every now and then, but if you're slagging things down all the time, then you need to check yourself, get some psychological help from somewhere.

Shit drivers: culprits in Leiston, Suffolk; Blackheath, London; Sydenham, Sarf East London. Those pretty flashy things on the side of the car? They're mirrors. Those twinkly fairy lights on the other cars? They're signals and it's the damn law that you use them.

London Magazine Editors. For the madness of plastico fantastico celebrity culture. Hey, let's take a bunch of overpaid self obsessed over achievers whose worst fear is that they have no innate talent and are valued for their looks alone, then stick them on the front of every magazine in a bathing suit with none of the usual blatant airbrushing. That'll do wonders for our eat-till-you-feel-better, bitching-helps-me-forget-my-woes, never-judge-myself-harshly-when-judging-everyone-else-is-so-easy populace to feel the self esteem they need to not buy shit mags, not buy fad diets they won't stick to, and not walk around secretly hating themself. Have you ever met a woman who doesn't secretly hate her body in some way? Have you ever met a bloke (who's not BB5 Jason) who doesn't fear he folds the flab just where he wants muscle? Isn't that just a peachy culture in which to start publishing banner headlines like 'Best and Worst Beach Bodies 2004'?
The weird thing is, if you look at a spread of these Sleb-Bitch-Mags, you see the same outfits / bodies appearing on one mag's 'Best Dressed' page, and another one's 'Most Mingin'. Yep, they're quite quite sure that we are That Stupid as to swallow it.

Every single person who's ever been responsible at a senior managerial level for the crap that is our transportation system. Especially Mister Norris.

The London Eye. You order tickets in advance, queue for thirty six years, to get into a pod half the size of a London single decker bus, equally as crowded, and moving almost as slowly. If it's moving. Is it moving? I can never tell if the thing's broken down or not. Why is it such brilliant engineering? It's only pods on a ferris wheel, it's nothing particularly new. If the same engineers could work out a decent checking in system at Heathrow we'd improve the lot of twice as many tourists and locals. That I'd call engineering. There's no view as such, because it's uniquely situated in a spot where there's nothing in the distance to see. They should have put it up on Hampstead Heath or somewhere with a vista.
The single positive redeeming feature is when it's lit up in blue, it looks pretty from across the other side of the Thames. Which is the only place you see it from, because wandering along the South Bank is just unpleasant. But fuckit, we could light up any old building along the Thames in blue. I vote Buck House, and the Lords. It'd be descriptive, at least.

The Nanny State. For a gazillion reasons. Look at the news, there's practically a new reason everyday. Today's reason is their attempt to force through a ban on smacking children, only just reduced to a compromise by the Lords. Because that will stop child abusers, won't it? We all know they're exactly the sort of person to worry if an action's illegal before carrying it out. (Pity the same aversion to perpetuating a culture of violence didn't apply in Iraq, huh?)
The state has no reason to criminalise activities when it is patently to no effect. I almost imagine them sitting around the focus group doughnuts, responding to a rise in the city's murder rates, and plotting how they'll be seen to act strongly and decisively, by outlawing murder.

Even worse, the wankers who've moved seamlessly between politics and entertainment. And then back again! I mean you, Portillo, Kilroy-Silk, Widdecombe. Can they not at least pretend there's a difference?
The topic of getting away with murder reminds me: Shirley Porter. Nuff said.

In fact, I'd like a few artists and writers on that list. Damien Hirst, Charles Saatchi, Richard Rogers, Germaine Grrrrrreer, Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, trading on past glories the lot of them. They're no more active artist than the personality-free jobbing radio DJs who plague the airwaves. But DJ's at least are moronic and talentless, they have somewhat more of an excuse. Add to that the partisan, nepotistic biased load of luvvies who run the Booker, Turner and Orange Prizes.

And why not the vacuous attends-the-opening-of-an-envelope-debutante-detritus that clogs up the more boring London clubs and means the floor's crowded with rich wankers who can't dance? Put every model, ever on that list, then top it with Sadie Frost and Sienna Miller. Snorting coke in a miniskirt is not a career.

The gayers. Okay so at one point in the eighties and nineties, gay culture was interesting, invigorating, loud, reinventing itself, ahead of the crowd. Now we're the most repressive group in society bar none (middle england: never despair! vote us! vote the gayers! we want to marry, join the army and become a priest!)
Our music's shit, we have no decent politics left to speak of, we fail to stand up for any other minority group because it just doesn't mesh with our citizenly rights to snort cappucino, leer at McFly, gossip in an infantile fashion about Franz Ferdinand and mad musical old biddies who are probably incontinent by now. We (we the gayers) have too much money to fritter it away on pretending we're still seventeen and the extra twenty years don't show. We don't have children, we don't have pregnant partners, we don't have commitments. We're potentially a massive, untapped economic force for change. And what do we do with it? Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and late night cloney bars that straights queue to 'patronise' because the drugs are better. Do we mind if they give the snogging couple dirty looks? No, take the money, quip a few one liners, lust after the ones who look like they might be brutal. Pathetic.
The scene sucks. It sucks because the gayers suck. I leave the obvious one liner open to you for completion.

Finally, a pertinent reprise:
Infighters, bitchers and troll-baiters. Okay, it's a release every now and then, but if you're slagging things down all the time, then you need to check yourself, get some psychological help from somewhere.

I'm off to follow my own advice.

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Exhibit 5a
"Ah yes, there is really nothing sweeter than coming into the office after a long weekend. If by sweeter you mean sucktastic, of course. I've never understood the logic of making your employees work the day after a long weekend. You should never have to work the day after you have more than one consecutive day off. Think about that for just a second and you'll see the brillance of my plan."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:30 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 9:15 PM BST
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Sunday, 4 July 2004


Topic: Looby

It's been pointed out to me that I got more than a few details wrong in the previous post. Firstly, I was going to Suffolk, not Norfolk. Apparently, the two counties/areas/whateverthehelltheyare have loathed each other since time immemorial, and the mere fact that I'd never heard of them and had no idea where they are is no excuse or reason not to feud for a few centuries. Well, millennia, probably, thinking about where they are. (Viking territory, right? Anglo Saxon collaborators, hisssss)
Also, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was going away for a weekend with Martin - I was of course going to Alistair's wedding, and Martin, Zobo, Louiz, and fortunately Alistair's new wife were also going, but only Martin has a blog.

My car broke down on the way, then I got lost because of course I didn't bring a map with me, reasoning that every town in the South of England has a 'London Road' that points downward, and surely that should be enough to orient me. Surprisingly, this method of navigation usually does work.
Which meant I missed everything but speeches and cake. All the jokes about the female vicar's peep toe shoes were therefore lost on me.
Between the reception and the barbie, knocking on the bride's front door resulted in a set of ten fingers through the letterbox and a small voice informing me that 'mummy is upstairs'. Cue much shrieks of 'oh no, they're consummating! We'll come back later.' And that is the honest reason why I was caught red handed outside the chip shop twenty minutes later. Honest guv'nor.
I've never seen a newlywed husband leave his bride at home on her wedding night to go down the pub with his mates, before. I'm presuming the aforementioned consummation will be withheld for a further eight years as punishment?
Apparently I was scowling or looking miserable most of the time, or so I was repeatedly informed by those who had access to alcohol when I did not. I restrained myself from pointing out more than once that I was missing Gay Pride, (these days rebranded as 'Pride' - we'd not want any nasty 'GAY' clogging up the name, oh no, no room for all the PC acronyms there), aka my one serious chance to pull this year, and it's hardly my fault if they couldn't remember to try to look like 12,000 rhinestone trannies. Nevermind, toasting hot dogs more than made up for the opportunity to have random drug sozzled al fresco sex with a sequence of strangers.
It was very sweet to have a pub conversation where when talking about computers (geeks, eh?), someone blushed and admitted in a quiet voice that they mostly liked reading blogs these days. Oh what conversational suicide that was. Couldn't shut me up. Pub Blog Bore.
There's been a lot of Weather, innit? It veers through flash storms, gales, then back to raging summer within the space of forty minutes. Surely no other country's this changeable. In windscreen wiper flicker terms, I drove through 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 on the same stretch of road.
Okay, maybe describing my journey in windscreen wiper ratings is less than engaging.
The journey up was enough of a nightmare to make me navigate via tiny country 'B' roads most of the way back. I bet you can't wait for all my photos of quiet market towns A through E, alongside the old ladies I helped into church, my chats with the garden centre woman who makes her own Disney costumes for adults, the dog I had a walk in the dunes with, the cinema I popped into to catch Fahrenheit 9/11 (which didn't mention Ray Bradbury once!), or the sixty acre piggery I explored. On the basis of a three hour lazy lunch during a downpour, I'm checking out derelict property prices in Aldeburgh (aka North-London-by-the-sea).
Before I left London, I mused over a lightly browned English muffin with two teaspoons of French compote that B & B breakfasts are always revolting. True to form, the next morning I grinned a watery grin and told lies to the help about how lovely my limp, damp, whitebread 'toast' was. What the fuck do they do to it? Wave it around the fridge freezer, then run it under a tap? And it cost #6. Bastards.
I found out that some other blogger who shall not be named, ups his stats by trying to predict the next day's search terms. Gasp! I'm glad to tell you that I would never never exploit events of the magnitude of the sweaty underdog Federer's Wimbledon glory, of Shapapova's very tight knickers, or Greece's 1-0 Euro 2004 success, or of the rebuilding of Ground Zero, merely to inflate my own sense of self importance.
Not blogging the date. Aren't I discreet?! Who knew?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Unluckyman

"Fuelled by alcohol once again, just when I should be exercising the restraint I?d shown in the cold sober light of day, I?m doing the exact opposite: I?m obtaining ?cashback? on my credit card to pay for a private dance in the ?Penthouse suite?.

Sitting in a ?de luxe? vibrating leather chair watching a young Brazilian divorcee undress in front of a fake, illuminated city skyline, I suddenly realise I?m literally sitting in one of those ?dark corners? I reserve for soul-searching questions. Even at the end of a surreal, escapist, ostentatious day, I?m sober enough to realise this is excessive, not moderate, behaviour. Why am I here? I wouldn?t normally do this kind of thing. Haven?t I got a good, healthy social life already? Do I really need this? (Of course, I stay. It?d be rude to walk out)."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 10:04 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:56 PM BST
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Friday, 2 July 2004


Topic: Yidaho

Okay, thanks for the advice and comments on the manic depressive posts of the last few days. I liked Looby's suggestion that drinking helps you not to think about such stuff, but unfortunately, when I drink, I don't process things - I just remain static, at the same impasse I was first stuck on, never admitting the road's blocked. When you've ditched a nine year relationship in the previous year, you gain a perspective on putting up with intolerably depressing circumstances, and drinking to forget doesn't help me to move beyond.
Took me a week, but I've almost figured it out now. I've worked out the physical cause (delayed withdrawal from some meds, which I unfortunately decided to combine with drinking, with dieting, and with trying to stop drinking so much strong coffee, all at the same time as going for a promotion. Stressful much?), and the emotional trigger (summer, and fearing the isolation and boredom of last summer recurring - I like my job, and without the pressure and instantaneousness - and sometimes the danger - of it, I tend to retreat into myself).
I've got the root causes sorted out - it's just a matter of time, now till I work out how to beat it.

In the meantime, I'm off out for a drink with Second Dater, then up to Norfolk for the weekend to meet this guy and attend a wedding of someone I met via t'internet (I know! Geeks aren't meant to marry, are they?).

Can't go to the eviction tonight, but a woman dressed as a chicken may put in an appearance. If you see her on your screens, point out to the dozing form by your side that you read the blog of the woman whose Big Bruvva photoshops got their own double page spread in a national newspaper today!
Marco to go. I trust you to make it so.
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Rubbish Gays
(You really need to see Rubbish Gays' BB themed pictures to get full impact...)
"Hi, I'm Jason from the Big Brother house. I'm not gay. That's me in the first picture bending over for a gay housemate (I'm not gay). There I am in the second, mounted on top of the same housemate. He's gay, but I'm not. Did I say that already? The last picture, just a bit of fun, nothing remotely poofy going on there. Did I mention I'm training to be an air steward? One more thing, I'm not gay."
[I wish I got search strings like "steven you ginger knob" ....]

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:41 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 July 2004 8:32 PM BST
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Wednesday, 30 June 2004

I'm a blogger and I live in London, me

Topic: LondonLifer

I feel compelled by jealousy of other London bloggers, and the awful feeling that I may be simply a blogger in London, to mention the tube strike.

That's all I can do, though. Mention it. I walk to work. Didn't make a rat's fart of difference to me.

It ... erm ... it made me wary of driving down the M4 tonight, but so did not having had more than an hour's sleep, and the fact that windows kept rippling.
So - no. The London tube strike didn't affect me at all. Get off your fat rich twentysomething arses and get to work the old fashioned way, you London bloggers, you. And stop whingeing.

Oh fuck, they'll never anoint me a London blogger, now, will they?
Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Creepy Lesbo
"But what's the point in regretting things?
Where does it get you?
I've written WorkshopLeader an email.
And I sent it yesterday.
And it was harsh but less offensive and accusatory than it could have been.
And now I have to face the consequences.
So I should storm into the front room and turn on all the lights and plug the phones back in and prepare for the inevitable onslaught.
Face it like a hero, right?
So why am I still sitting here?
Why indeed..."

This page graced by sarsparilla at 8:55 PM BST
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apolutrosis, or redemption

Topic: Creepy Lesbo
Reading and watching and listening and thinking has me, well, thinking.
You'll forgive a rambling, disconnected hiatus while I try to work out what to do with my life. It won't make sense to you. No apologies for that. The point has ceased to be intelligibility. Stop reading it.

I play this game.
It's pointless and annoys me, yet I'm compelled to play on

Searching for reasons isn't the point
The process is the answer
The journey, not the destination
We're all seeking redemption in some way

looking to forget our past

am I just here to be haunting the place?
depressed, trapped, helpless?
wandering about, unable to change

unable to change the situation

And what aobut my soul - do I even have one?

But redemption is a recovery
of something

something sold, or lost

"(Theol.) The procuring of God's favor by the sufferings and death of Christ; the ransom or deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin and the penalties of God's violated law.
In whom we have redemption through his blood. --Eph. i. 7."

salvation from sin? What sin?

"the purchase back of something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom.
The Greek word so rendered is _apolutrosis_, a word occurring nine times in Scripture, and always with the idea of a ransom or price paid"

A price paid.
A recovery
of what's been lost.
Yes, I can see that one.
But through blood?

Where do I have to bleed?
Where do I have to go?
How hard will it be to
move myself
to pay the future's ransom
to purchase my freedom from all this?

And if it can be done, then why can it be done?
And what does permanent mean?
What do I do?
How do I forget the things I did
but make room for the things I wish to do
How do I forget the things I am
and make room for the person I will be

And is it possible?
To change that much?
What is redemption, is it a bribe?
A serendipitous, spiritual bribe?
Blood money to shut your soul up for another ten years?
How is that possible?
Why is it possible? how is that fair?

Do I stay in this hole, hiding
haunting myself

Do I assume inviolability
That the past doesn't matter?

Do I plague myself
with questions
in the hope
the assurance
the inevitability
the hope of stasis?

What do I do / what did I do / what shall I do.
Here / there / maybe nowhere.

Redemption. Buying it back.

If nothing we do matters, then . . .

all that matters . . .

is what . . .

we do.

This page graced by sarsparilla at 2:23 AM BST
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Tuesday, 29 June 2004

Rising action - Climax - Resolution

Topic: Casino Avenue

What have you learnt about this person during your one year on the blog?
What have you learnt that you know for sure?
What do we know for sure?

I learnt that you're preoccupied with trivialities of the most trivial sort, Vanessa.
You like being preoccupied like that. It stops you from thinking.
I mean, there's no need to go do charity work in Sudan if all you're worried about is eight pounds of fat on your belly.

You're not immortal.
You're not compelling.
You're not the centre of it all.
You're not even necessary.

You surprised me when you found out you can't deal with routine.
Can't open letters, answer the phone, answer the door
Well, on bad days, anyway.
Because you've stubbed yourself out
dug yourself in
on a life filled with routine,
and somehow you think that's going to save you

I learnt that there's more rage than you think in there.
That even if you put a lid on it,
We can hear it echo.

I learnt that you can't deal well with music any more.
Listening to music means you can't hide.

I learnt that you have more issues than you realise.
I learnt that there's a lot of emotion wrapped in a sarcastic shell.
That your evasions and lies are all too believable.
That you're scared. Of being alone.
That you're scared. Of being with others.
That you're hard on yourself, expect to solve things just like that.
There's a symbiotic relationship going on, but unfortunately it's only with your own sleep rate.

You're pretty convinced that you like the parts of your life that trap you
But you worry that your usual tendency to sell yourself short
Sold that to you.

You hid things from a lot of people
It's almost second nature.
But you don't hide yourself. Openness is all very well
If you can articulate what's wrong.

There's this big sore area of red that you daren't go near

And as well: you're ashamed.

What do I know for sure?
Just the shame.

But that's not knowing. That's a cop out.
Exaggerated emotion for reader effect.

What have you learnt?

Best Blo'te of the Day So Far: Billyworld
"jude, you'll never guess where I am
no, @sd@
yeah, well they have a sign on the door - have you seen it
it says "admittance will be denied to anyone improperly dressed"
yeah, well I've just realised I'm not wearing any knickers - wouldn't it be funny if I got thrown out"

This page graced by sarsparilla at 4:42 PM BST
Updated: Tuesday, 29 June 2004 10:16 PM BST
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