Another chat with Neville



I’m not ready for this kind of commitment! I have Netflix to watch!

Weather: beautiful sunshine, HAIL! beautiful sunshine

Mood: yellow with a splash of blue

Phrase of the day: vrane su mu popile mozak (Croatian) he’s crazy. Literally meaning ‘cows have drunk his brain’.

I decided to take the plunge again and be sociable. I went into the kitchen where I met Neville for the second time. He was cooking sausages (I wonder what happened to all the bacon.) We got into a conversation about the whole Brexit Bollocks. It was a good exchange of views at first, but then he started telling me the history of the EU, with all the dates, who started it, why, who else got involved, why etc. I didn’t really need to know all this.

I interjected with a wrong fact (I thought Switzerland was in the EU, I was just trying to get him to stop) and so he began to list every country that’s a member.

Ok, so I tried to change the subject, but he started listing every country that wanted to be in the EU, but wasn’t. And then countries that had entered or left. At that point I edged my way out of the kitchen to end the conversation, but he just couldn’t seem to pick up on the cue. I had to close the door while he was still speaking or I’d have ended up digging my grave in the kitchen. Or his. He may still be there now, listing things he knows. This is why I don’t cook.

I’m leaving my room! I’m going into the kitchen!


When you think about it, the whole world is a ‘lifestyle café’.

Weather: the kind of wind that tries to snatch you out of the world by your hoody

Mood: adventurous

Phrase of the dayHablar hasta por los codos (Spanish) to talk non-stop, literally to talk even through the elbows

I took a walk down my street to see what changes have happened this week. There’s always something. Either somebody will have knocked down a wall to reveal a toilet in their garden or they’ll be a gathering of body builders at the church.

About half-way down the road is a furniture shop with no particular wares. Last week they had thirty washing machines, before that it was microwaves and sofas. I’m assuming it depends on what warehouse got broken into. The guys who like to hang out there are sociable and friendly, always playing music and having a smoke and a chat together. I walked past it today and it had turned into a garden centre. It had the same group of guys hanging out, but with rows of dry brown box bushes and withered geraniums.

I’m impressed they managed to change their entire product line and kill it, all within a week.

Bolstered by this go-getting attitude of can-do, when I got home I decided I wouldn’t spend the whole evening hiding in my room. I’d venture out and talk to my new flatmates. As I’ve mentioned, I tend to hide from them and only sneak out long enough to get some cheese from the fridge. I keep the crackers in my room. That’s dinner.

However, today, when I heard someone bashing around the kitchen I went out to say hi under the pretence of getting some cereal. And I encountered Neville. Neville is super woke, super friendly, and was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Feminist as fuck’. He told me about his hometown in Delaware and how he grew up poor in what sounded like a mansion (three flights of stairs and a pool??), all the while he was cooking up a big pack of bacon. Just putting slice after slice in the frying pan. Then he began telling me all the countries that are good at making bacon and I felt the need to escape the conversation. This was more words than I’d heard in a long time and my brain was also starting to fry, but it was difficult to find a moment of pause. Apparently Denmark is not the best country for bacon, that’s just PR. In the end I had to shout that I’d heard my phone ringing and run for my room.

Still, that’s a first step in becoming a fully integrated member of society. I’m on the up and up!

Stop asking questions!


“I can’t reason things. Things ease themselves out from amongst the debris.”

Weather: the tail end of Storm of Gareth

Mood: half asleep

Phrase of the day: más loco que un plumero (Spanish) meaning ‘crazier than a feather duster’

I talked a bit about Mike yesterday and I want to talk more today. He’s a lovely guy, a funny, big-hearted granddad with tattoos of all his grand kids’ names on his legs, but he’s also cuckoo and sometimes I struggle to work out the logic of our conversations. Like today, when we were talking about Easter Sunday (we get the Monday off) and the following discussion happened. It was nearly home time and we were sitting in our mess room, the rot and the mouse poo slowly seeping into the soles of our boots. I asked Dan,

‘How do they decide when Easter is?’

Dan: Oh, I don’t know. Ask Mike, he’ll know that.

A wiser person would have looked it up on their phone, but why be wise when there are so many other options?

Me (speaking over my shoulder): Mike?

Mike: I’m right behind you, no need to shout.

Me (confused, I wasn’t shouting): Ah yes. Ok. Mike, how do they decide when Easter is?

Mike (slightly irritated): What do you mean how do they decide? It’s different every year isn’t it?

Me: Yes, so how do they decide?

Mike (becoming indignant): Well, they don’t have to decide, it’s different every year.

Me (not good at letting things go when they don’t make sense): But how do they know when that is?

Mike (proudly): I’ll tell you what, I know the next leap year isn’t going to happen.

Me: What?

Mike: There’s not going to be a leap year next year. Or it might be 2040. It was a question on the Chase! [UK quiz show]

Dan: What, there won’t be a leap year?

Me: Wait minute, I want to know how they decide when Easter is.

Mike (now very annoyed): I don’t understand the question! Easter just changes every year, they don’t need to decide it.

Me (tenacity is the thief of joy): But how do they know when that is?

Mike: Well it’s something to do with astrology, isn’t it?

Dan: Why isn’t there going to be a leap year?

Mike: It was on the Chase! They had this chart.

At this point I gave up. Why didn’t I give up sooner? I often ask myself that question, it may need to be carved on my headstone.

For those who feel they’ve invested too much time in reading that and want some knowledge to take away:

In 325CE it was decided that Easter would be on the first Sunday after the Full Moon occurring on or after the 21st March (the vernal equinox).

Leap years don’t happen in Centennial years not divisible by 400. So there was one in 1600 and 2000, but wasn’t one in 1700, 1800, 1900 and won’t be one in 2100. 2040 will have a leap year.

Do you ever have conversations like the above? I feel like I have them too often.

Anyway, the Metro had a discount coupon for Burger King, so I got a burger. I hate Burger King and now I feel a bit sick. I’m going to have to leave my room and use the kitchen at some point. But not yet, I’m building up to it.



Attack of the killer bumble bees (and my hero failure)


Hellrung’s Law: if you wait, it will go away

Weather: a bit gusty

Mood: full of the joys of vim and vigour

Word of the day: vim – meaning enthusiasm and liveliness

Bumblebees never really stopped this winter.  The dreamy teddy bears of the insect world don’t seem to be bothered by cold. And there was one in our tool shed at work today. Unfortunately my colleague Mike was inside the tool shed at the time. He began screaming, flapping his arms at the bee.

‘It’s attacking me! It’s attacking me!’ he wailed, spinning round and round and stumbling over spades and lawnmowers.

‘Just come out of the shed, it won’t hurt you, the door’s right here,’ I said, encouragingly, tapping at the door like calling a cat. It would have taken four paces to leave the shed, he took five times that many trying to hit the poor, confused bee.

‘Argh! It won’t leave me alone!’

‘Because you keep trying to hit it, just walk out of the shed,’ I said.

‘Argh! It’s going insane!’ he said. Finally, by chance he happened on the door and fell out of the shed with a traumatised expression.

‘Are you ok?’ I asked.

‘Inkbiotic,’ he implored, his voice that of one who has known betrayal, ‘why didn’t you save me?’

He asked me several more times that day. Sometimes he would look at me, then look away shaking his head, I had let him down when he needed me most.

Have you ever had the hero-calling and found yourself to be lacking? Let me know I’m not alone.

Anyway, it’s popcorn for dinner again. How long does it take to get scurvy?

A big, awkward giant


‘I seem to be having a tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle’ Arthur Dent

Weather: storm Gareth turned me into a mud Midas. Everything I touched turned to mud.

Mood: tentatively anxious

Word of the day: oofless – poor and oofy – rich

My new job is sort of like my old job, in that I play with plants all day, but now I work with bigger machinery than before, and much nicer people. Today the rain and wind were let loose, so I spent the morning turning into a mud-monster, and the afternoon driving around looking for dangerous tree limbs. I’d never driven a van before this job, and I was keeping that on the down-low from my boss, but these vans are 3.5 tonnes, which feels HUGE. My old car was smaller than a mini and I’ve never driven anything else, so trying to squeeze through narrow roads lined with Jaguars feels like wearing an Iron Man suit in a climbing frame. As yet I haven’t hit anything. Except for a fence post and my boss didn’t see that, so it doesn’t count. Everyone is being very patient.

At home I’m keeping in my room. There are many people milling about the corridors outside, and they seem friendly, I assume some of them live here. I’m eating popcorn for dinner, I’ve got a carton of juice, hopefully I can hide in my room until they’ve cleared.

I’m back! From outer space!

“When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.”  ― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses


Weather: sunny with a bitter wind

Mood: happy!

Word of the day: ideolocator – the name for the ‘you are here’ sign.

For anyone who still remembers old inkbiotic, I’m back! How are you all doing? I’ll be taking a wander around to find out in a bit.

I’ve not been here for a while, and I’ve missed the blogosphere and you delightful people who inhabit it.

Part of the reason I’ve been away, is that everything has changed for me in the last six months. I now have a new home, a new job, a new goddamn attitude (actually, I’m lying, the attitude is much the same). I’m still a gardener, but working for a much smaller organisation made up of quirks and oddballs. I’m living in a house with four people I don’t know, two Canadians, an American and another Englander. Everyone seems friendly, but I’m still trying to figure out routines and moods. So all is kind of chaotic at the moment and I’m hoping this will make for entertaining blogs in the weeks to come.

But for now, I’m going to have an explore of the WordPress world. See you soon.