The Dreams of the Crazy Canyon Puppets

Post CCCXII

Here’s the story of burning trolleys, time travel, and Brum.

Did I ever tell you about the time I time travelled? Well, I mean, I probably haven’t because it’s not actually true. And that’s a fact. It’s a fact that it isn’t true that it’s a fact I’ve time travelled, but is a fact that you’re now completely confused, much like I was that night I time travelled. Or didn’t. Who knows? All I know is that I once time travelled. Perhaps. Allow me to explain. It was a dream, but a lucid dream, and I don’t get lucid dreams very often in that, that was my first and, to date, only. In fact, one could, rather easily, delve into a metaphysical odyssey regarding whether or not our reality is reality or if the lucid dream realm is actually the reality, but, let’s face it, it’s July and we’re all too hot for any kind of odyssey. Except to the shop in the dark hours of the morning to acquire lots of ice to dump in the bathtub so you’ll have somewhere rather a lot more comfortable to sleep…

There is a credible theory that time travel has always been possible in our sleep. I know it’s credible because I once saw it on that documentary about that fella who whizzes around the cosmos in that giant police box. I think he might be on to something.

When I was little, I lived in a different house in a very ‘60s British estate. Honestly, it looked like a giant concrete monster had melted on an arboretum full of angry bees and abandoned shopping trolleys. My room was at the front of the house and it was tiny. We couldn’t find a bed to fit in it, so dad bought a regular bed and cut it down to size. Now, I know what you’re thinking. The mattress wouldn’t fit. And you’d be right. So he also cut that down. With an actual saw. In the back garden. It was the type of upbringing I had. “Dad, what are you doing?” “Sawing your mattress in half.” “Okay, if you need any help I’ll be inside watching Brum.” God, I loved that show. Not the new animated bullshit, the proper one…

That said, Brum wasn’t my favourite television show as a child. I quite liked that one about that girl who used to run around half-naked in the olden days. And then there was that one with the crazy puppets in the canyon. And then there was that one with a woman who owned a plane and a dog but I was never entirely sure what the premise was. It just seemed to me like a woman taking her dog for a flight. As you do. I also vaguely remember one about a backstreet takeaway, but that might have been the dog one. I did like Sooty. That name I do remember. I bought all the puppets and used to put on little shows at Christmas for the family. I say that. Only mum ever showed up to a production. Ha, I remember this one time – oh, you’ll love this, right. I invited my brother to come and watch, and… ha, ha, ha… oh this is so funny. He – right – he showed up and, when six-year-old me asked him afterwards what he thought, he said, with a straight, very serious face, “It was complete shit.” Ha, ha, ha – oh how we all laughed… actually, that’s not funny at all. Oh. It was rather mean, in fact. Never mind, I had my beloved S Club 7 in Miami to enjoy. You know, most have a thing for Rachel Stevens, but I had a real soft spot for Hannah, must be said…

Of course, one of my favourite shows was the ball shrinkingly frightening Jeopardy. Now, I know Jeopardy is some shit huge game show over in America, but, Americans, nobody outside of America knows what that is nor has a care in the world regarding learning what it actually is. No, when I say Jeopardy I mean the time travelling alien show, filmed à la Blair Witch style. That scared the bejesus outta me. Between all the Tracy Beaker and SMART malarkey, that was the show that scared me the most. It was terrifying! Even now, it still frightens me. Basically, some Scottish school kids got the trip of a lifetime to go ‘searching for aliens’ in the Australian outback, filming the entire thing on handheld video cameras, and the aliens actually showed up and start hunting and abducting the kids! And doing weird shit to them. Probably. It ends with the few survivors going back in time to the day when they left for Australia to tell their former selves not to go! It was brilliant! And it was on at half four in the afternoon! I got no sleep! “Ally, why aren’t you asleep!” “The aliens are out to get me, mum! They’re gonna probe me in strange, new places, in strange, new ways.” They never did, of course. That I know off. I often wake up rather sore. Hmm. You know what else I loved? ChuckleVision. You know, I met the Chuckle Brothers once in Blackpool. That’s a story for another day. I never met Brum, though. I met a replica in Cumbria, but again, a story for another day…

21 years the Chuckle Brothers ran for. Remarkable, really. Sorry, the point about Jeopardy was time travel. I just really miss Brum. Anywho, there I was. Fast asleep on my half-plump bed, the other half rather saggy on account of all the sawing. I still wonder what dad did with all the discarded springs. Probably flushed ‘em down the loo. I would.

Suddenly, in the middle of the night, I was awoken by a strange and loud thundering noise coming from the hill near where I lived. You know the one. The one where the teenagers often used to congregate with stolen shopping trolleys, packing them with lit fireworks, before rolling them down the hill and running like hell. Ah, I remember many days I had to outrun a burning firework strewn shopping trolley…

I got up and looked out of my window. There, atop the hill, a huge tornado. Huge for England. I think it was a tornado. Someone could’ve let off a smoke machine in a gentle breeze, for all I knew. It certainly looked like a tornado amongst the darkness and gloom of that winter night. In a panic, I ran into mum and dad’s bedroom, but the people in there weren’t my parents. I didn’t recognise them at all. I ran downstairs, realising, along the way, that all the decor was different. And the furniture. The house no longer had the extension on the side, either. And the front door had moved.

As I headed outside, passed the poisonous berry bush my brothers once made me eat from because, let’s face, I don’t think they liked me very much, I noticed half the houses in the neighbourhood weren’t there. The storm was raging harder and harder. What the hell was going on? I ran back inside, up to my bedroom, and hid under my bed, where I fell asleep. When I woke up in the morning, still under the bed, everything was fine. Back to how it should be.

I asked my dad about this, not giving him many details about what had happened to my younger self. “Ah yes, there’s a story, more of a legend, around here, that, when the estate was being built there was a tremendous storm and a huge tornado touched down on the hill.” Seriously and honestly, I had never heard that story before. I had no idea. The really creepy part is, that, years and years later, dad got some old photos out of the loft. “Here son, I’ve never shown you these before.” They were pictures of the house when it was bought, looking just like it did in my ‘dream.’ I didn’t even know it had an extension before then! The wallpaper and everything matched. And the creepiest part? A photo of that night, the night of the storm, a photo of the hill with the tornado atop. And there was a little boy standing in front of the hill… No, that bit is not true, but the rest is…

To this day, I don’t know what happened that night. The logical mind naturally assumes I was told about it and shown the photos, but I don’t think I was. And I’ve never had a lucid dream since. Hmm. You might be wondering why I’m telling you all this, and that’s because I enjoy my sleep and I’m not getting any lately, what with this neighbour’s garage still being built, starting work at ludicrously early hours and carrying on until the dead of night. Being British, I’m not above complaining about this, but definitely wouldn’t do it to their faces, so, in a way, I suppose I’m trying to do two things. One, hope they read this and get the hint. And two, use it as a cautionary tale. Dreams are not just dreams, but windows into our very souls. I don’t get my precious, precious beauty sleep, I would’ve never found out about that storm. I would’ve never remembered the poisonous berry incident. And I would’ve never married Nazaneen Ghaffar. She’s my celebrity crush. Shut up, I know she’s the Sky News weather girl…

Admittedly, it was a pretty long-winded way of telling some irritating arseholes to shut the hell up, but what’s the alternative? Find a huge sheet of fabric and write ‘SHUT UP, YOU NOISY JACKANAPES!’ across it, draping it over the half-built garage in the middle of the night so when the builders arrive in the morning, they’ll be so startled by my unusual protest they will, indeed, shut their noise? Actually, that’s not a bad idea, but I couldn’t do it alone. Sounds like a job for the Chuckle Brothers.

I think I still have their number…

English writer, author and blogger, the wonderfully named Brian Lovestar (b. 1972), once wrote: ‘When you go to sleep, where do you really go?’

Peace Out :|:


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My Begunklement of Vengeance

Post CCCXI

Here’s the story of gnarly walls, a lot of anger, and boombox malarkey.

You know what really bumfuzzles my tayberries? Admittedly, it’s a long list. Mismatched paving, for example. Grumpy bus drivers. Mismatched bricks too, come to think of it. Street signs that cover the entire street, because, as we all know, it’s extremely bad luck to walk under street signs. Put ‘em over the whole street, I have no choice but to inflict bad luck upon myself. I once contemplated carrying a ladder over my head, opened into its triangle shape, so I’d be under a ladder, a potent symbol of bad luck, then walk under the street sign, also bad luck, in an attempt to counteract one act of bad luck with another, in effect, two negatives creating a positive. I then realised it would be easier if I just crossed over to the other side of the street. Still, could be worse. When I was little, I used to avoid walking on the cracks in the pavement, as I believed they were a portal to hell. Or, at the very least, a Morlock orgy…

I’m probably coming across as rather a superstitious person, but really, other than the street sign avoidance, staring at a clock with ‘13’ on it until it changes to ‘14’, my rabbit foot menagerie, the fact I read my horoscopes, and the fact I have a yin/yang necklace constantly around my neck, I really don’t think I am. I mean, my brother found that little metal disc with the yin/yang symbol engraved on it, in a field in the ‘70s in the middle of nowhere. As for the rabbits, they had it coming. And, really, I don’t read my horoscopes to ‘discover my future,’ but not to do what they say to see if I can screw up the universe. ‘If you don’t do this, this week, then a lot of bad things will happen to other people.’ Good. I won’t do it then. Ha, ha, ha… screw you, universe! You’ve spent 27 years screwing up every facet of my life, now it’s time for some sweet revenge! VENGEANCE WILL BE MINE! MINE! Mwa, ha, ha, ha… Shouting at the universe is probably the first sign of madness, but, let’s face, we all knew it was coming.

Actually, now I mention it, I haven’t had a grumpy bus driver in a while. Nor a woman one. What happened to all the female drivers? There used to be so many canny young ones, who didn’t drive like lunatics. I miss them, but not the grumpy ones. The closest thing I think I’ve encountered to a cute bus driver recently is this butch bloke who’s actually rather lovely. Sure, I don’t think he’s that cute, but his wave is adorable. All the bus drivers wave to one another, you see. Most, all seemingly being men, do this very manly, flat hand in the air, maybe a nod of appreciation. The women tend to go for a more traditional wave, although I did see one once blow a kiss to another driver. I still maintain there was something going on, there. But this driver, this butch bloke. Yeah, sure, he has the flat hand in the air thing, but then it transforms like a beautiful butterfly into this very jolly and rapid wave, proper left to right, full of gusto wave. It’s lovely. So cute. And he has this little smile, too. It might seem insignificant, but in this harsh world we live in, when was the last time someone smiled and waved at you, huh? Or gave you a hug. Or told you they loved you. Didn’t spend every waking second telling you how much you reminded them of unpleasantries. Sigh. Just me?

Oh.

This is the sort of thing I pick up on, you see. That and walls. I do love a good brick wall. Especially the Victorian ones. So much detail and intricacies in the designs. And the handmade bricks are to die for. As you can tell, I’m a very interesting person…

Adorable hand waving and smashingly neat walls aside, as I say, there is a lot of anger in the world. And I may be the source of quite a bit of it. You see, our neighbours are having a detached garage built. Most normal 20-somethings wouldn’t dwell too much on it, but I haven’t stopped complaining in about a week. The first thing I did was check the legal limit for building work in the UK, because they’re being bloody noisy, what with their grinding machines, huge lorry loads of shit, and general loud boombox malarkey. Ah, it’s all this modern pop gubbins. Now, if they put on some of Mamie Smith’s 1920 classic, Crazy Blues, I wouldn’t be so bothered…

You can’t start work before 8am and you must stop at 6pm. Not that lot of cheeky buggers. No, they’re outlaws. Total rebels. Flouting the law at will because they don’t give a damn about the man. Bah. They’ve started every day at 7:30 in the morning and, some nights, have gone on until 11:00. If this were America, we’d have called the fuzz, by this point. No, not in England. We say we’ll call the police, but it’s more of an empty threat. “IF YOU DON’T STOP THAT, YOU’LL GET AN ALMIGHTY FINGER WAGGING!” Then, later on. “Oh, so you’re still at it, huh? You know that’s illegal, right?” Then, “Oh, I’ll show some parliamentary legislation proving I’m right – oh, you’re still working away? I’m opening my laptop… I’m going on Google… I’ll do this, DON’T THINK I WON’T!” Then, “Oh, so you’re still going? Right, that’s it. The final straw. I’m going to Google your planning application, find a pair of binoculars and watch everything you’re doing. Just one little thing that isn’t on the planning application, and I’m ratting you out to the council!” AHA! YOU’RE PUTTING A DOOR IN THAT WALL, WHICH ISN’T IN THE PLANS! You’re dead meat, buddy! I’m going to call the council and destroy your entire life! Ha, ha, ha! And, you know what, we never do. We love to complain and threaten to call the cops, but we never do…

Throughout the entire build, the other neighbours have all been complaining. I see some almighty finger pointing but never any action. A lot of tutting. “Tut, tut, tut. I can’t believe they’re pulling down that tree.” I know, I know! It only leaves us with 57. That’s an outrage! The bricks don’t match the house, either. That’s also an outrage, even though the difference is only really noticeable under a microscope. They actually have a garage already, but in the UK, if you convert a garage that’s built in to the house into a habitable room, as they intend to do, you must, legally, replace it with another garage on site otherwise you won’t get permission to convert the original garage. It’s a stupid rule of course, but this is the country that won’t let new houses have a conventional washing line, genuinely, because it’s a ‘potential hanging threat,’ failing to realise the alternative, rotary washing lines, are more dangerous than a North Korean despot. I don’t even know why they’re bothering to give their kids a playroom, which is what they’re gonna do with that converted garage. I mean, I’ve met their two little boys. They’re both dicks.

And it gets worse! The neighbours on the other side are building an extension that overlooks our, at the moment, un-overlooked back garden. It says, quite clearly, in their planning application, ‘We have consulted numbers 65, 66, 67 and 68, and they’re all fine with it.’ No, they didn’t. They lied to the council. Have the council done anything about this? No, because they’re also dicks. But I will congratulate them on finding matching bricks…

You might think I have a weird brick fetish, and you’d be right. We have lots of grand old houses in my town and some pretty ‘50s and ‘60s ones, too. Many have been extended, and, oh boy, the state of some of them. I mean, honestly, some of the quoin work is a flipping disgrace. Half on, half off. Brand new that doesn’t match. Bricks that are horribly miscoloured. Gable roofs morphing into hip roofs and vice versa. Misaligned windows and doors. I mean, really, THEY SHOULD BE IN THE CENTRE OF THE WALL, YOU LUNATICS! You monsters! What are you playing at! The poor quoin work gets to me more than anything, but seriously, misaligned windows? Oh, boy. The worst part is the bricks on the sides of old houses in the UK are different to the ones at the front. The ones at the front are all fancy and expensive, so your house appears all fancy and expensive but the ones down the sides are cheap and nasty looking. This rule should be followed in new extentions, and it never is. It’s infuriating and a total waste of time! Like this entire paragraph for you, I’d imagine…

At the end of the day, however, it’s just a garage. Yes, it’s far too tall. Yes, it’s sad all the lovely trees are gonna be pulled down and the lovely garden is gonna be concreted over. Yes, it’s sad they’ve changed the plans and haven’t kept the neighbours involved. And yes, I’m not apologising for what I called their kids. Seriously, just last week, a new family moved in the estate and they have little girls. I was walking past when they went over to say hello to the two boys. What did those boys do? Punched the little girls really hard and pushed them over. Bloody Kray Twin wannabes over there. Sod the playroom, it should be a kiddy jail…

It’s all insignificant though, really. Life can be cruelly short. All you can do and be is the brightest possible flame. We shouldn’t be angry over the little things, should we? We have but one life and we spend most of it complaining, endlessly. I know I do. Although I did manage to get some of the garage anger out of my veins by jumping in a couple puddles this week. What?

No, I’m not 27 in two weeks. Ahem…

American doctor and author, Dr. Edward H. Stieglitz (1899-1958), once wrote: ‘The important thing to you is not how many years in your life, but how much life in your years.’ RIP Bradley…

Peace Out :|:


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The Tetley Ruckus

Post CCCX

Here’s the story of moolah, Yorkshire, and bloomers.

It may be a clichéd thing to say, but really, England is the only place where you’ll find people engaged in a row about tea so fierce the police have to be called in. Especially here in Yorkshire. I mean, we gave the world Tetley and Yorkshire teas, and, to be a brutally honest, you can’t call yourself a fan of tea if one of those two isn’t your favourite. Tea says a lot about a person. For example, if you’re in Yorkshire and you’re not drinking Tetley or Yorkshire, you’re not from here. Of course, which you prefer is enough to split entire communities, with bloody tribal battles inevitably ensuing. I’m a Tetley boy. It’s older than Yorkshire, tastes and smells nicer, and it’s round, so it fits in your mug. Of course, dad stopped buying Tetley, amongst other things, such as real butter, in favour of low fat gubbins, in an attempt, in his older age, to lose weight and cut back on fat. But, you see, my parents won’t buy food for them and food for me. It’s one for all, like a forced Musketeers convention. I have low blood sugar and I’m two stone underweight! How’s that fair! So when they went to Australia, I started buying Tetley, in favour of this Bolshevik elitist inheritance scrimper’s magnet, low fat ‘Earl Grey.’ But when they got back from Australia, oh boy. “WHY THE HELL HAVE YOU BOUGHT TETLEY!” “BECAUSE I’M TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT AND IT TASTES LIKE A ROTTEN SOCK!” “BUT IT’S NOT LOW FAT! WE ONLY HAVE LOW FAT IN THIS HOUSE!” “YOU HAVE LOW FAT, I’M TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT! THAT EARLY GREY WILL KILL ME, YOU FOOL!” And I don’t want to die with a cuppa Earl Grey in my hands, oh no. I want to die with a mouth stuffed with bacon, my heart literally deciding it prefers death over another 10 rounds with a loaded bacon sandwich…

In case you’re wondering, I am writing this with a cup of Tetley, and it tastes magnificent. And no, I’m not hankering for some free Tetley. Actually, if they are reading, it would be very nice to receive several crate loads of the stuff. Imagine the look on dad’s face when he goes for his morning paper. “OH FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, THERE’S TETLEY EVERYWHERE!” Mwa, ha, ha, ha… love my tea! LOVE IT!

As you can imagine, this sort of ruckus is about as British as viewing 16 degrees as ‘shorts weather.’ I never wear shorts. I mean, dad always says it’s good to let one’s legs breathe, but I’ve never encountered a pair of legs with a pair of lungs. I mean, it’s not like they’re gonna stop being legs, is it? I don’t think I’ve owned a pair of shorts since I was 16, and even then, they were so long they were more like a pair of bloomers…

I did win the argument, but it’s left me in the foulest of moods. There dad was, telling me all about why he would not even contemplate buying two types of tea and telling me the low fat butter we’ve been buying will soon be replaced with an even more low fat butter, before topping off his health kick with a long diatribe against regular Coke in favour of this Coke Zero bullshit, and there mum was. Standing behind him, mouthing ‘ignore him.’ Shaking her head. Pulling funny faces. Dancing around like a clown. You see, they’re completely different, mum and dad. There dad was, I mean, properly angry about the Tetley, and there mum was, shaking her head and sticking her tongue out at him, behind his back. And there I was, trying not to laugh. Dad, of course, cottoned on to the fact mum was up to something and so turned around only to find her smiling ear to ear. “What? Me? I’m not doing anything…”

Of course, I’m not going to spend all this post talking about the merits and pitfalls of certain types of tea. I really want to talk about what happened at work this week. That said, A ROUND TEA BAG! That’s the work of a genius, really. Somebody who makes a square tea bag, COUGH, YORKSHIRE, COUGH, is only out to make moolah. Tetley were the first tea company ON EARTH to make a round tea bag. And the first to make ANY kind of tea bag, back in the ‘50s. The fella who did that looked at the tea bag and said, “This should be the same shape as the cups we drink tea from!” That is a genius right there, people! He should’ve been given a knighthood for services to magnificence. It’s the same story with the digestive biscuits. Somebody looked at that and thought, “What is the optimal shape for a dunking biscuit?” Why aren’t there statues of these people everywhere! Should be part of every Yorkie’s curriculum in school, that should…

Now, back to that thing that happened at work. No, wait, actually… talking of biscuits, dad wasn’t happy I’d been buying Kinder Buenos. ‘Buenos’ is literally Spanish for ‘good ones.’ But ‘oh no,’ they’re not ‘healthy’ and they’re ‘expensive.’ HAVE YOU TRIED ONE! Seriously! Have you actually tried one! It’s like sex in chocolate form! I’d assume. I saw a video this week of two American girls eating Kinder Buenos an English friend sent them. Their reaction can only be describe as orgasmic. That’s what will bring our divided world together. Chocolate! I ate the last Kinder Bueno in our fridge this week, a tear solemnly strolling down my bedimpled cheek. “It’s the last one. Sniff. I almost don’t want to eat you, but I must, you’re just too tasty.” Got home from work, boom! Mum had bought 20 more! Dad was not pleased. “LOOK HOW HAPPY HE IS, JOHN!” “BUT THEY’RE NOT HEALTHY!” “HE’S LITERALLY IN TEARS OVER THERE! LOOK AT THOSE TEARS OF JOY!” “I DON’T CARE! IT’S GONNA MAKE HIM FAT!” “AS HE KEEPS TELLING YOU, HE’S TWO STONE UNDERWEIGHT! WE WANT HIM FAT AND CHUBBY! WASH YOUR LUGHOLES OUT!” And so on.

Speaking of work, there’s that thing that happened this week that I really wanted to tell you about. You see… what’s that? Some of you are on dad’s side? WHAT! WHY? You can’t gain weight with apples and strawberries! Have you ever seen a fat vegetarian? Or one that does not look so ill they’re about to keel over into their tenth bowl of porridge of the day? They have about as much get up and go as a three-week-old baby after a feed. I have no criticisms of the lifestyle, but if I started eating healthy low fat shite, I’d be dead within a matter of minutes. My heart is mostly bacon. My body without bacon is like a pair of shoes without a sole. I mean, it’s still a pair of shoes, but your feet are all soggy…

I fell asleep on the bus this week, and on one day, several times. You know that thing where you can’t keep your eyes open and you only wake up when the bus driver slams his breaks so hard your head smacks off the window, not being the thing that wakes you up, but being the thing that causes the blood to trickle into your eye, that being the thing that wakes you up, because, let’s face it, blood in the eye is about as painful as a certain brand of tea. And you know why I’ve been so damn tired and stressed out, so stressed out I’ve actually fallen ill with a cold, IN THE MIDDLE OF BLOODY SUMMER! Damn you fate, you miserable wanker.

I was the only one in on Monday. I had to open up, take the deliveries, deal with the customers and close up. And I had to put up with that most of the week. Not my job, but we’re understaffed. So that’s the really interesting thing that happened to me at work this week. I had to go it alone for the first time, and with all that’s going on back home, I mean, really, it’s no wonder I feel like utter dog pops. What? That nugget of information didn’t live up to the hype I gave it? No, it didn’t really, you’re right…

I just didn’t want to spend an entire post talking about tea. I fear I may not have lived up to that promise I made myself and I also fear you might be pissed off about that. I understand. You need your spirits lifting. I have just the tonic for that, as it so happens…

Could I interest you in a cup of Tetley with a Kinder Bueno?

Japanese scholar, Okakura Kakuzō (1862-1913), once wrote: ‘Tea… is a religion in the art of life.’

Peace Out :|:


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Lo and Behold, a Hotchpotch of Bullshit

Post CCCIX

Here’s the story of shameful peeling, ludicrous heat, and naked printing.

What is the point of a suntan? I mean, I’ve never been overly attracted to a girl with peeling skin. It’s like looking at a painted wall in an abandoned wooden shack. I do ask because it’s been very warm in the UK in the last week. I had to take my jacket off at one point, and I rarely do that. I don’t really like my arms. I hate looking at them. Also, last time I took that jacket off and carried it home I lost it on the bus. I did make an effort to tie it around the strap of my bag, but it still fell off. It’s almost as if it’s trying to get away from me, like everything else. Sniff. 30 degrees in the northeast of England is not normal. I mean, really, this truly is arse-sticking-to-toilet-seat-when-you-try-to-stand-up weather. Thank heavens I don’t have a hairy bottom or that really would be an unpleasant situation for the next person to use the loo…

I decided to throw logic out of the window and headed to the back garden for a few hours in the sun. You see, the problem with Britain is that we’re not really used to the sunshine. A couple of hours in 30 degree heat and you think you’ll be fine. What a clement day indeed. The Sun is high in the sky. The birds are busy tweeting. The noise of the neighbour’s digger beavering away constructing his new mega triple super tall garage like a mallet being repeatedly smashed across your face. Lo and behold, two minutes later, you’ve evaporated 90% of your body’s water, the rest is streaming across you like a waterfall, your skin has gone a lovely shade I shall call ‘alarming pink’, and your hair is so frizzy you look like you’ve just been electrocuted.

No one ever tells you a suntan itches like hell, do they? Sadly, I didn’t arrive at the peeling stage. It’s one of those things we all enjoy, like picking a scab off. You’d never admit to it, but there’s something real satisfying about peeling the dead skin off, isn’t there? We all love to do it, but none of us would admit to it. I particularly enjoy it when you get a real big chunk. Oh, and that noise is lovely. You know, as it comes off. To me, it sounds like using a real old chalk eraser to clean chalk off a blackboard. That’s a reference for the kids…

We’re also not very good at judging weather, are we? The amount of people I saw on my way to work on Wednesday in shorts and summery t-shirts. One fella had a Hawaiian shirt on, and yes, I’m really not kidding. It was like being back in the ‘90s. He even had the vintage shades on to boot. Even I fell victim to the misplaced forecast. They all told us it would be the hottest day in what, 40 years? My arse. Why do we listen to weather forecasters? I haven’t trusted ‘em since they were dancing around on that floating map of the UK they used to have in the Thames. That also happened. I’ve had a very ‘90s week.

Then came the rain. And the hail. And the thunder. And the lightning. Went on for hour after hour, it did. All the roads and pavements flooded. My blue jeans turned black they took on so much water. My thin grey jacket also turned black, and my hair was… well, let’s just say, submerged in a barrel of water for several hundred years doesn’t do justice to just how wet I was. I had to sit at my desk for seven hours with soaking wet jeans stuck to my hairy legs. Heck, I even had to dry my long hair with toilet paper. So you might say, “Well, a woman would take spare clothes.” True. “A woman would also take a hairdryer.” No, she wouldn’t. Nobody would do that. I seriously contemplated spending the entire day in my underwear. But I decided against that in the end because they too were so wet they’d also have to come off. And sure, I don’t work in Curry’s, but I still have to deal with customers. “Hello, I’d like some business cards.” “Certainly, let me just get up and get a quote form.” “Okay, and can I – OH MY GOD, WHY ARE YOU NAKED?” “Oh, have you… have you never been to a naked printing company, before?”

They did try that once, didn’t they? I vaguely remember a television show where the aim was get all the workers to show up to work one day completely naked. I’m not entirely sure why. It does feel very European. I have it on good authority that they have board meetings in saunas in the Nordic nations. Terrible idea, if you ask me. Wouldn’t the paper go all soggy? I know that’s not strictly the point of the saunas, but my logic has un-defenestrated itself and is now back tucked up in its cosy little bed in my mind, with a lovely cup of cocoa and a neat water bottle under its adorable little head. I miss water bottles. They were all the rage in the ‘90s, like terrible British pop bands and Tamagotchis.

Mine died after around 30 seconds, but there we are…

It’s remarkable, really, that, by Wednesday afternoon, it was up from 15 in the morning to around 28. How the hell does that happen? I really thought global warming would give us lovely warm weather all the time, not this hotchpotch of bullshit. You know what, I’m starting to think global warming isn’t as great as we in the north of England have been led to believe…

Mum and dad returned home this week after their five week trip to Australia. It’s their winter. 25 degrees. How the heck is that a winter! I’d love that winter! Mum and dad were the only two people in the whole of Sydney not wearing a jumper. They went to a park a couple times with the three grandchildren. They have barbecues in their parks that anyone can use, so they did. “Why is the park empty?” dad mused. “Well,” said my sister-in-law, “it’s because it’s the middle of winter.” IT’S 25! I would’ve loved it if it were that cold here in England! I remember being in Ibiza once and I walked passed a restaurant with the outdoor seating area surrounded by heaters on full blast, warming up patrons wearing huge coats with jumpers underneath. 35 degrees Celsius. One local said to me, “I just… I don’t know what’s happened to our summer. It’s normally really warm.” Oh, I feel your pain. 35 is just awful. Oh, dear. We had the beach to ourselves. The locals were baffled. It was a fantastic holiday, though. Go somewhere warm but colder than the regional average and you’ll have the place to yourself. And people say I don’t hand out great advice. I mean, sure, all the animals in the zoo in Sydney were hibernating for winter, but, who cares? You’ve seen one monkey, you’ve seen them all. Do monkeys hibernate? I don’t know. I failed biology. Is that biology? I failed English, too…

So I’m sunburnt horribly. I gave it a try. My brain was telling me ‘no’ and I ignored it. Some people say that one shouldn’t hold too tightly to things like logic and order if one is so predisposed. I agree that such a condition doesn’t always work in life. There are moments when you consult your logic and it turns around to greet you with a shrug of the shoulders. I just Google it in that instance, usually. I don’t know why I gave it a try. Everyone else seemed to be doing it and I’ve long said I have no idea what it takes to be a normal human. Everything I do is a simulation of it and none of it comes naturally. ‘Hmm, it’s a sunny day, everyone is in the garden, so I too shall go into the garden. Okay, I’m in the garden. Now what?’ I actually found it quite relaxing, but considering I’m redder than any cooked lobster in history, I don’t think I’ll be giving it another go.

One woman once said to me, “Things like a suntan show others you care what you look like.” I do get that. Women do love a guy who clearly takes care of himself. But I’ve never had a girlfriend nor do I want one. So I don’t really care what I look like or, indeed, what anyone thinks of me. I know I look like a hobo. Well, this is how God made me, so if you don’t mind, I shall carry on looking like said hobo.

A slightly sunburnt one, granted…

Spanish novelist, Carlos Ruiz Zafón (b. 1964), once wrote: ‘Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.’

Peace Out :|:


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The Endless Knight

Post CCCVIII

Here’s the story of mouldy cheese, juicy bacon, and a Syrian hamster.

I’d quite like to be a hamster. I mean, I haven’t given it a great deal of thought, but, you know, as I was walking to the bus stop from work the other day, I just started thinking about my niece’s hamster and how swell life must be for her. I mean, okay, hamsters rarely live beyond three years, which sure, is around 0.15 human years, but still… they don’t have a worry in the world. They just spend all day rolling around in a plastic sphere and eating carrots with their strangely miniature human hands. I wasn’t having a good day. I’d already fallen over on the bus, covered in hot grease and attacked by a dog trying to steal my bread, so really… all I’m asking is to be reincarnated as a hamster. Is it too much to ask, really? Don’t tell me people don’t come back as things. I swear my old creepy neighbour has come back as that cat that keeps following me around…

Oh, really, you don’t need to worry about me after my tumble on the bus. No, no… stop it. Come on, stop it. You don’t need to worry about me. Not at all. Please, don’t… oh, you actually don’t care? Oh. Okay. Sniff. I’m not too bad. I think I need a new elbow, but apart from that.

I’m still on my own. So not being able to bend my elbow made for an interesting trip to the shops. I haven’t grown too fond of shopping, something mother normally does, in particular because the shops are a 25 minute walk away, I needed so much stuff, and it is 30 degrees and climbing. Honestly, I was ridiculously hot when I came home. The amount of steam coming off me would have been enough to power London…

You shoulda seen the state of me. I had two huge bags packed with drinks, meat, chocolate, and… erm, more meat. I mean, so much meat. I got that from one shop. And I then I went into another. Ending up with a paper under my arm, a packet of chocolate between my teeth, some stuff under my left arm, and a hand full of stuff. Now, some would say, “Why didn’t you get a trolley?” I don’t like paying. And they don’t have those cute little handheld ones. I know you have to pay because people keep stealing the trolleys, but still. “Oh, but you know everyone has those little plastic doodads nowadays, right?” SHUSH! They’re illegal! My mum has loads of ‘em. These little plastic discs you put into the coin slot so you don’t have to pay. Yeah, the shops aren’t happy about them, but I now have enough trolleys to make a very strange house out of them. So why didn’t I use the plastic discs? Erm, I… erm, forgot. Ahem.

I had to give up my shopping and do the rest the next day. When my arms had reattached themselves to the sockets. I’m not entirely sure how mum and dad are going to react to the money I’ve spent on food and drink. They only gave me a fiver. “Here, this is enough to live off for the next five weeks.” Hmm. In retrospect, I perhaps shouldn’t have bought as much bacon as I have done. Looking at the receipts, I’ve gone through four packs, 62 slices, in just five weeks. That would be 644 slices in one year! That’s, roughly, 27 pigs in a year. I mean, vegetarians might be horrified by those statistics, but I feel nothing but pride. At least I think what I’m feeling is pride. I taste copper and my left arm has gone numb…

I have enjoyed living on my own. These nearly five weeks have given me a glimpse into a future where I’m living on my own permanently and have to do so much more than I do now. Id est, nothing. I know some would say that feeling pride for being a normal adult isn’t anything to write home about, but even the thought of going to the shops terrified me. And I can’t tell you why. All I know is that I’ve learnt a lot.

I’ve learnt not to be afraid of a tired till lady at the end of her shift literally throwing a packet of sausages at me. Seriously. She flung ‘em right at me! I don’t know if you’ve ever had a Cumberland sausage thrown at your noggin’ but it doesn’t half hurt. Although, on that note, I’ve also learnt that Danish bacon wrapped around Cumberland sausages is the second nicest thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Honestly, give me the opportunity to be the first man on Mars or to eat the last Danish/Cumberland combo anywhere on Earth, I’d take the latter, I really would. Oh, yes, I’ve also gotten through a lot of sausages. Four packets, each containing 12 sausages. 48 sausages in five weeks! Still, that’s only, what… a seventh of one pig? I tell you what else I learnt, too. Danish bacon on top of homemade quarter pounders slathered in homemade cheese is, quite possibly, a challenger for the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten. And, hey, I only went through eight of those…

It’s amazing I’m two stone underweight, isn’t it? I should be 12 stone for my age and height and I’m nowhere near it. Food just goes right through me. Speaking of which, I’ve also learnt that, if you cover pasta in a whole load of cheese that you immediately realise tastes a touch ‘funky,’ for the love of God, don’t keep eating it. I have a hell of a mess to clean up in the bathroom.

I’ve also learnt that putting washing on the crummy clotheshorse from the ‘80s outside dries said clothes far more effectively than putting them in the dining room. I’ve learnt when one is having a hard day, one should not throw ones keys really hard at a wall, thus completely snapping the keys into little tincy pieces. Also applies to the fan. Yeah, I’ll need a new one of those now…

I learnt that the lawn mows itself. It’s been mowed several times, but not by me. And none of our neighbours has admitted to doing it. We have a mystery lawn mower! Lovely. I mean, he caked mother’s car in grass, but apart from that. I hope, when they come home later this week, she doesn’t walk into it thinking it’s a hedge.

I’ve learnt important things, too. Like managing my time and money. Not being as afraid of Iceland. The jury’s still out on Tesco. I’ve learnt that cleaning bathrooms is a necessary evil, albeit a disgusting one. “HOW IS THERE SO MUCH HAIR IN THIS DRAIN!” I also learn that Syrian hamsters are adorable. Yes, my niece’s hamster was adopted from Syria. Apparently, that’s now a thing. She really liked my shoes. When she was in her ball. She kept going back to my shoes, trying to grab them with her weird and freaky tiny human hands. I don’t know why. Maybe Sketcher’s have started making shoes out of hamsters…

I’ve learnt to rely on the kindness of others. That the Stagecoach bus company are, simultaneously, bastards and the loveliest people in the world. I’ve learn that stress can become you and, actually, even I get a little lonely, now and again. I mean, I swear, at one point, I started hallucinating. Oh, it was a horrible world I was seeing. Pigs were rebelling against me, for some unbeknownst reason.

I also learnt that pigeons really like cheese. Oh, you know that rancid old cheese I ate, which I mentioned earlier? Yeah, I don’t like throwing food away, so I put what was left of it in the back garden for the wildlife to eat. I couldn’t think of any other animals that eat cheese apart from humans, but, as it turns out… pigeons really, really like cheese.

Every day is a learning day!

British politician and Member of Parliament, Helen Joanne Cox (1974-2016), once said: “While we celebrate our diversity, what surprises me time and time again… is that we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than the things that divide us.”

Peace Out :|:


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The Funk of the Steam Pantry

Post CCCVII

Here’s the story of frizz, moss, and badgers.

Ever fancied a cheap, homemade sauna? Here’s a real good tip I discovered this week, all in the name of achieving your very own steam pantry. You see, what you do is cook yourself a lovely dinner in the oven. Pork chops work best. I mean, sure, a sauna is all fair and well, but a sauna that smells of pork must be even better. Anywho, you have your lovely cooked pork chops, you take them out of the oven, you eat them and… you forget to turn the oven off. Which is a bit of a problem if it’s for… an hour. Or two. Perhaps more. Still, look on the bright side. You have your very own sauna. I actually think the worst bit of all this is that my extremely long hair goes all frizzy in hot and steamy places. And I don’t look so good with an Afro. Honestly, I walked into that kitchen, completely unaware the oven was still on, my hair nice and flat like that of 1990 Kate Moss, and I came out looking like 1970 Diana Ross. It’s not a good look readers, it really isn’t…

Yes, mother and father are still away and they’ve been dumb enough to leave me on my own, which, sure, doesn’t sound like the end of the world, especially considering I’m nearly 27. But I’ve never lived on my own and I don’t know the first thing about living on my own. In fact, at 16 days and counting, this is the longest I’ve ever lived alone. Sure, a pork chop is still stuck to a freezer drawer. Sure, the white bathtub has turned black because it’s coated in so much of my hair. And there are a rather large number of funky smells coming from various places. I’m often rather amazed by the fact the bleach we buy doesn’t come with instructions, other than, ‘put in toilet.’ Okey-dokey. Cut to two minutes later. Well, I’ve been pouring this in the toilet for two minutes now, is that enough?

And sure, the garden is horribly overgrown because dad didn’t teach me how to use the new lawnmower because last time I used it, it was the old one and I ran over the cord, ripping it, and father’s trust in me to use a lawnmower, absolutely to shreds. It’s so overgrown, it really is. I think we have a family of badgers living in it.

Still, it’s not all bad. Remember that precious hoodie I lost on the bus last week, you know, the one my nephew bought me in Sydney? I got that back this week! Yea! Eee, I spent a good portion of a post two weeks ago praising the Stagecoach bus company, then most of last week’s post slating the Stagecoach bus company for not finding my hoodie, and now, I guess, I’m spending far too much of this post praising the Stagecoach bus company. Again. I guess I should wait until events have concluded before commenting on then. Regardless of this small victory, I’m exhausted. How do people live on their own? Siri isn’t helping. “Siri! Fire! Fire! Fire!” “What would you like me to do?” “Oh, I’d like to write me a bleedin’ ballet, you muppet!” I guess I’ve had an up and down couple of weeks. I couldn’t, for the life of me, open the front doors at the Stagecoach depot. ”Ah, it says ‘pull’.” Silly me. The receptionist had to come and help. I wouldn’t even be that bothered by this faux pas, except she was the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen. Why do I always make a complete tit of myself in front of really pretty ladies? It wasn’t even the end to the mayhem. Only moments later I found myself careening into one of those wire basket things on legs they have in the middle of supermarket aisles. As I said, up and down, up and down…

Saturday was the day I was dreading. You know how much trouble I have with public places, what with my social anxiety, complete lack of knowledge of the world, and, you know, general dislike of being around people. I’ve seen mum do this a thousand times before. A big shop. It’s a script, and one I must follow if I’m not to be seen acting like a total maniac. Which is, rather often, my default setting.

What do normal people do? Erm, write… write a shopping list! Yes, that’s what normal people do. Is it meant to be depressing? “Ah, I only need the essentials. Milk and bread. Just that really. Ah, and here I was worrying about all the money I’m about to spend on food. Oh, crumbs, I almost forgot, I need more bacon.” I’ve been alone for two weeks. I’ve already worked my way through three 14 rasher packets. Seriously. “Oh, and I need more pizzas. And mash. And pork chops, come to think of it.” Two weeks. Must be about 18 pork chops I’ve munched my way through. It’s amazing I’m only ten stone, isn’t it? I’m officially underweight. To reach my desired weight I’d need to put on another two stone, which is… OOH! More bacon and chops!

My shopping list grew exponentially, meaning now, with three weeks until mother and father return, I have… ooh, £12 left from the £30 mother left me. “Don’t worry, you won’t spend more than a fiver,” she told me. Hmm. I was starting to wonder if I could do without food, but my blood sugar levels were crashing so I made the decision that breakfast was probably rather vital to, you know… keep me alive. I’d hate to think what’ll happen if I die now. The badgers will probably have me for supper…

Since the shops are 20 minutes away, through thick woods and up steep paths, and considering the day was very warm, I knew I wasn’t going to have a pleasant time of it, primarily because I’m on foot. I can drive, but not well enough that I trust myself behind the wheel of a car.

Learning the script became vital information as I arrived at the supermarket. I had it all mapped out. Those of us unfortunate to live a sheltered life hate not knowing what we’re getting in to. So I had it all mapped out in my head. Walk in to the supermarket. Bread on right. Basket on left. Pizzas five yards on the right. Bacon and pork chops end of the aisle. Milk on farthest aisle to the left, along with the crisps. Checkout three often has the smallest queue. Bags in one hand, money in the other. We need logic and order to function or, without, the world is like a Salvador Dalí painting. Melting. And full of clocks.

Of course, the bag situation is uncontrollable. You see, you have a checkout lady swiping your items and you’re at the other end trying to get them in a bag as quick as you can, whilst more items are being thrown at you, whilst you have like, a billion people behind you growing increasingly impatient because they think you’re taking too long! And you find yourself, in a panic, stuffing as much as you can in your bags because the pressure of a thousand angry people is growing by the second, only realising later on you’ve put the bloody milk on top of the bloody bread! ARRGH! How do people do this every week! I’ve never been so stressed out in my life!

I say I’ve never been so stressed out, that was until my walk home. Honestly, my bags were so heavy my arms felt like they were about to fall off. I have very skinny arms, by the way. No idea why. And you know what the worst part was? It was so damn hot my pork chops were starting to cook in the Sun, and you know what the worst part of that, was? The smell had attracted a hoard of bees. Honestly, I ran home surrounded by a swarm of bees trying to get at my food, and when mum and dad have asked the neighbours to ‘keep an eye on me’, it really can’t look good from their perspective to see the person they were meant to keep an eye on, running with two shopping bags, covered in bees, screaming, “BEES! BEES EVERYWHERE! GOD, SOMEONE HELP ME, PLEASE!” I counted 10 bees! THAT’S 10 MORE BEES THAN I’M COMFORTABLE WITH!

I honestly think that, by the time mum and dad get home in three weeks time, the entire house would’ve descended into a tribute to Mad Max…

American aphorist, Mason Cooley (1927-2002), once said: “Living alone makes it harder to find someone to blame.”

Peace Out :|:


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The Minister of Mayhem

Post CCCVI

Here’s the story of celibacy, pregnancy, and a donkey.

I’M AN EGG MURDERER! I admit my indiscretion! Are you happy now! It was hardly my fault! Barely my fault. Almost not entirely my fault. Oh… shucks… it was my fault. I didn’t mean for it to happen! It just… it just happened, okay? Like many people, I can’t cook eggs. I like to think I’m in the majority of people who struggle with this most… basic of tasks. Then again, for a long time I argued most people can’t swim or ride a bike or swallow pills, but now I realise, I’m pretty much the only one and therefore, as some would say, that makes me a touch ‘weird’. But not this time! I can’t, I can’t be the only one who can’t cook a fried egg, right? I’ve always gotten my dad to do it, which, considering I’m weeks off 27, is a bit depressing. But dad is in Australia. He left me an egg and the instructions to cook it with my pork chops and chips. It didn’t go well, readers. It didn’t go well at all. It took several attempts smashing the damn thing against the side of the frying pan to get it to crack, and then it did, and then I hovered it over the pan, pushed it together to break it apart and… oh, God. It shattered into a million pieces right into the frying pan. THEY DON’T TEACH YOU HOW TO DO THIS IN SCHOOL! They should teach you life skills, like frying a damn egg. It’s far more important to know that than who the heck Shakespeare is! They should really make me the Minister of Education, they really should…

To give the UK board of education some credit, they did launch a newfangled class in school named ‘citizenship lessons,’ and to this very day, I can’t even begin to tell you what the hell it was about. I remember a lesson on pregnancy. I remember a lesson on finance. I remember a lesson on managing one’s money. Well, I was told about them, because, erm, yeah, I couldn’t be bothered with those lessons so I just didn’t go to them. So lax was the pyramid of management in my school, you could bunk off a couple lessons each week and nobody would notice. Come to think of it, they may have taught frying an egg in the one lesson I missed. THE ONE LESSON I MISSED! As a responsible adult, I’m probably obliged to tell any kids reading to stay in school and attend all your lessons. Yes. I’m not going to though. When you start attending school you’ll play a role. Anarchist misfit was my choice and I still maintain it’s the most fun role you can occupy in school, it really is…

You see, the problem with that education is that was too ‘adult.’ Financing wasn’t made easy for the children; it was at a level only an accountant with an incredibly boring personality could understand. The type of thing kids will struggle to maintain focus on, instead distracted by the butterfly on the window. I was always getting distracted by butterflies. Bloody butterflies. And as for the pregnancy, I mean… we were 13. We’d just watched a ‘70s porno in science sex-ed class, and trust me, most of the girls in my class at the end of that video were seriously considering a life of celibacy.

Suffice to say, I’ve had a difficult week. I always do when mother and father go away. I’m really not well equipped to live alone, in that, in living alone, things have a habit of going wrong. Oh, it’s not just the egg. I mean, sure, the egg is a big part of it, but… oh, that poor egg. It didn’t deserve to die. Dad had even drawn a smiley face on it. It made it even worse. It was as if Humpty Dumpty hadn’t been put back together again…

We’ve had a very hot week in the UK. Six days in a row it hasn’t dropped below 20, for three of them, it hit 25, and for one it hit 30. I can’t cope with this heat. I’ve had my ceiling fan on most days, but it’s not really that effective. So I’ve had my standing fan on during sleeping times. That was until I was woken up in the middle of the night by an almighty thud and crashing noise. Yes, it fell over. No big deal, right? Yeah… except one of the legs had buckled and several of the screws have snapped. Sigh. Right in the middle of a heat wave. They always say the heating breaks in the middle of winter. Not in my life. No, in my life, the fan breaks in summer. Bloody typical.

I hadn’t reached the end of my tether, yet. I mean, sure, an egg disaster and a dodgy fan aren’t too much to worry about. I think that, at this point, I was preparing the tether. Then my sausages exploded in the oven, the oven stopped working, and then so did the freezer. They’d only been gone three days! I mean, fair enough, people have bad luck, but why did fate wait until I was alone before throwing it all at me at once like a giant cow pat?

Then I couldn’t get the padlock off the back gate, so I had to climb onto the conservatory to get at it, because it’s the only way if the lock has broken. But at least it went better than the last time I climbed on the conservatory roof. At least I didn’t fall off this time.

I was trying to get the garden waste bin out for collection, full of grass and very sharp thorns dad had been trimming. Yes, it did fall over, right on top of me, but at least I managed to keep the lid shut. By this point, I was getting increasingly annoyed with my week. So annoyed I threw the huge bunch of keys dad had left me, for various things. Several of the key tags broke off and two keys snapped. Yeah, I’m gonna have a great time explaining that one when they get back. “You’ll never guess what happened! You really won’t believe this, right. Well, there was a goat, right, and it broke in, somehow, and ate the keys. What you’re holding now is all I could recover.” They won’t be back for three more weeks, so I’ll have a bit of time to work on that excuse. It does need a bit of refining, I admit. Maybe a donkey.

At least nobody has broken in. I accidentally left the back door wide open earlier this week. Went to work, eight hours later, returning to discover nobody had stolen anything. Which is either remarkable or incredibly depressing. I mean, I do feel a little hurt that our house is so full of crap nobody even wants to steal anything. I also forgot to turn my ceiling fan off. “Ally, why’s the electricity bill on May 26th incredibly high?” “Ah… well, erm… remember that donkey?” Yeah, I’ll go for the donkey instead. Far more believable, I think…

It wasn’t the last time I forgot something, either. As I said, it’s been a hot week and sitting on the bus in a traffic jam every day for the last five days hasn’t been pleasant. Why do they do road works during heat waves? Hmm? I thought the heat was supposed to make people nicer, but everyone I’ve encountered this week has been the total opposite. A complete arsehole. Seriously. Let me tell you the story of my coat.

You see, I may have underestimated how hot it was. And I may have decided to take it off and carry it. And I may have put it on the seat next to me on the bus. And my fellow passengers seated right next to me may have not mentioned that, as I was getting off, I forgot about the coat. Hmm. I was singing the bus service’s praises recently, but after several phone calls and emails, they haven’t recovered my coat. Somebody’s gone and nicked it! My nephew bought me that in Sydney. 3,000 miles it came. I’m not having much luck at all with gifts from Australia. I lost a coat my nephew bought me and I had a really expensive engraved metal pen stolen a few years ago that my brother bought me. Basically, the moral of the story is, don’t buy me gifts. I appreciate it, but I’ll end up losing it or accidentally setting fire to it. Like I did this week with the oven gloves. Oh, yeah, that happened, too…

But it’s not all bad, I suppose. I’ve done a bit of food shopping, normally something mum does and you know what my social anxiety does to me. I hate being in public, around people. They act weird. That said, it’s a bit rich me calling others weird. I mean, it’s 30 degrees and I don’t have a pair of shorts, so I’m sitting here, writing this in my underwear. I mean, they’re like shorts. Only much tighter. More like hot pants. Mmm… hot pants.

It’s amazing the amount of things mum and dad do and I don’t realise. It’s amazing how much work and effort it takes when you live alone to… you know, not to die every day. What? Just me? Nah. Don’t believe you. It’s amazing the things you can get away with, too. Like wandering around in your pants or spending the best part of an hour curled up in a ball in a freezer you took all the drawers out of. Erm, I mean, I didn’t do that. Ahem. I didn’t do that at all…

All that said, this has been only my first week alone, and, as I said, there are three more gruelling weeks to come. And I’m still having problems and, I’m sure there will be many more to come. They didn’t tell me how to work the lawn mower. There’s a funky smell coming from the fridge that I just can’t pinpoint. And then there’s the pork chop debacle.

Oh, yeah. I tried to get a pork chop out of the freezer. We keep them there in plastic bags. Slight… slight problem. Erm… it’s stuck to the bottom of the drawer. Completely. Why didn’t mum and dad write down what to do in the event this happens?

It’s almost as if they didn’t think it possibly could…

American Baptist minister, activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), once said: “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hated darkens life; love illuminates it.”

Peace Out :|:


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