D’oh!

ride on

Weather: pretty good

Mood: not bad

Word of the day: Bufflehead – a duck, an idiot (I feel this is rude to ducks)

I was out on the ride-on mowing the lawn again. I think I said before how much I love that, whizzing about making lovely straight lines (straightish, anyway). When I’d finished I had to clean out the mower, that means getting a blower out to clean off the grass, putting the huge bucket at the back up into the air to clean inside it. So I blew away all the grass and left it all sparkly and new in its cheery green and drove it into the shed.

The shed is only just larger than the mower, so you have to edge in around shelves full of junk and step ladders. But once I’d got the front end in, it stalled. I’ve not known it stall before. I started the engine again, there was a grinding noise, and I stalled again. I started to panic, tried one more time, it felt like I was stuck. Something beneath the wheels maybe? So I got out, walked out of the shed and realised the huge bucket was still up and had been in the process of ripping the roof off the shed. It hadn’t succeeded though, and no one had seen. So I put the bucket down and drove in, then crept away. All fine. There will be a point I get caught fucking up.

I also chickened out of calling the landlady today, and then hid and ate popcorn in my room, so I didn’t have to face the others. Still not sure how to play this.

Time to draw straws/breadsticks

breadstick

Day of reckoning: Who is going to speak to the landlady? We agreed to each pick a breadstick, whoever got the short breadstick (we didn’t have straws) contacts the landlady to ask why she’s visiting while we’re out.

Weather: bit nippy

Mood: foul

Word of the day: Jigamaree – a thingamajig; a cunning manoeuvre

Yep. I fucking lost. I thought I had method – I thought the wobbly breadstick was the short one, so I avoided that one. But now I’m thinking Jinjing also had method, and she made the long breadsticks wobble to catch out smart arses like me.

In other news: At work the shorts competition (who can wear shorts from now until winter) is getting tense between Dan and Mike. I was going to work with Dan out in a garden and Mike pulled me aside before I left.

‘It’s cold this morning, make sure that Dan doesn’t change into trousers while he’s out, won’t you?’

‘How would he even do that?’

‘Just make sure, I’m trusting you,’ said Mike.

‘But I don’t care,’ I tried to explain.

Half an hour later I was digging up some ground elder, when Mike called my phone, ‘Is Dan still wearing shorts?’

‘I don’t know, he’s on the other side of the garden,’ I said.

‘Go and check! Go and check! He might have changed!’

‘But I still don’t care,’ I said. Mike wasn’t listening. He wouldn’t get off the phone until I’d made sure Dan was still wearing shorts.

I’m finding out! …Oh.

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Finally we find out who’s been invading our rooms and leaving dog hairs, sweetie wrappers and moving my ketchup.

Word of the day: Heuristic – helping to discover by trial and error

So it was tense when me, Jinjing, Hamoudi and Neville sat down beneath the watchful eyes of the cat picture. Did I only imagine that those eyes followed us as we sat down? Yes, I did, but it would have happened if this was a horror movie. I tried to keep things light, but Neville looked shrivelled and wary, Jinjing was cool and sharp and Hamoudi was a big innocent bear, as always. I suspect I looked like I’d wandered in by accident, that’s kind of my thing.

Jinjing started by saying we all had to remain calm and honest and work out a resolution, fair enough. Then I shared my news about the perfume wafting around the flat when I got home.

‘Isn’t that just the landlady though?’ said Neville. ‘She always makes the place smell.’

‘What?’ we all said. Because of course we know the landlady, we each met her before we moved in, but she shouldn’t be in the house, not without us knowing, not without 24 hours notice. And here is Neville talking like it’s a common occurrence we should all be aware of.

‘What do you mean always?’ asked Jinjing.

‘She comes round quite often in the afternoons,’ said Neville. ‘I guess it’s when you’re all at work.’

‘Why didn’t you tell us?’ said Jinjing, she was getting shrill, which summed up how I felt.

‘Does she have a dog?’ I asked.

‘She had a dog when I had my interview,’ said Hamoudi.

‘Does she eat sweets?’ I asked.

‘Does it matter?’ said Jinjing.

‘Well, yes, because she if she eats sweets, she’s been in my room. And if she’s been in my room, then she’s the one who broke my laptop. In which case,’ my turn to get shrill now, ‘I want some bloody money for it.’

‘Why didn’t you tell us that she’s been coming in the house?’ repeated Jinjing to Neville, I think she wanted to continue blaming him for something.

‘I assumed you knew,’ he said.

After that there was some general annoyance and tetchiness. The only thing we could agree on was that one of us needed to tell the landlady to stop turning up when we were at work, but that none of us actually wanted to do it. Stalemate. We left it at that.

So, aliens, Illuminati and sleepwalking are out, and a small middle-aged lady with a bad perm and a yappy dog is in. My life just got 43% more dull.

Discussion tonight…

fella 2

Weather: bitter winds that cut through the scowling clouds.

Mood: clearly melodramatic

Word of the day: mazy – dizzy; confused; labyrinthine; convoluted

So after hiding in my room for the last two days, I thought I should face whatever music is playing, whatever trouble is brewing. I could hear somebody in the kitchen and so I steeled myself.

It was Hamoudi listening to Joan Armatrading and shimmying about the lino while  cooking soup, which is as nonthreatening as it gets. We did the usual hey-how-you-doing? and then moved onto what had happened while I was away. Well, not much. Neville went into hiding, to the extent that Hamoudi was convinced at one point he was dead.

‘Except, then I would have seen him,’ explained Hamoudi, (Hamoudi has talked about seeing dead people before, for anyone who hasn’t been following.) ‘So nothing is sorted,’ he said, and shrugged. Then I told him about the mysterious perfume smell and asked if he knew where the cat picture came from. He knew nothing.

Finally, we agreed we need to properly sit down, the four of us together, and talk it over. When Neville gets back tonight, we’ll do it. Not sure how late it will be, so I’ll probably save writing about it until tomorrow.

Anyway, this feels like a dull blog, so I’ll put up some photos from my trip.

 

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Remember not everyone is a womble

The Wombles

When it’s foggy on the common and you just can’t see
And I womble into you and you womble into me
Just remember we’re so lucky to be wombling free

Weather: yeah, not bad

Mood: generally chipper

Word of the day: quisquilious – made of rubbish

I suspect a lot of people won’t understand that title, so for those people –  the wombles are fluffy mole-like creatures who live in burrows. Their life’s work is to help the environment by collecting and recycling rubbish in creative ways. They reuse whatever junk they find. They are ace, although sadly the ongoing documentary about them ended many years ago.

Now, me, I’m akin to wombles. I have a tendency to find things. I hate waste, I love being a magpie and picking out treasures from the undergrowth, but I need to remember that not everyone feels the same way.

Today a resident using the gardens had left their fancy coffee mug on a table (it had a closeable lid and a satisfying mix of rubber and plastic.) I don’t really drink coffee, but Jessica does, so with my exciting find, I walked over to where she was working.

‘Jessica, do you want a fancy mug?’ I asked.

She gave me an appraising stare and said drily,

‘Did you buy it in a shop?’

‘Ah. No,’ I said.

‘Did you find it in the gardens?’ she said.

‘Ah, yes,’ I said.

‘Then, no,’ she replied gently.

Jessica is not a Womble.

I am a womble, not everyone is a womble. Remember this.

So I got back and I found…

 

 

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Picture from my trip away

Today I returned to London from my three day escape, feeling much calmer, if totally knackered. I was nervous about what I’d find at the flat. Would Jinjing and Neville still be fighting? Would the walls be splattered with blood?

Actually, they were all at work, as normal. However, what I noticed on opening the door was the smell. Sickly perfume. The kind that station toilets leak into the world. Then I noticed the Quality Street sweet wrapper on the kitchen floor – of course, that’s a communal space, so Neville is free to eat chocolates there. Then I went in the lounge, and did a double take to see these eyes staring at me from the wall:

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Where in merry Hell did that come from? It’s like something my nan would buy, surely not Neville, Jinjing or Hamoudi. It this some kind of home decoration housebreaker? I’m too exhausted to work this out now, I’m going to bed.

 

I think I know where the ketchup went…

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You know when you’re away from a situation and suddenly a detail comes back to you? It’s like your head has emptied out of all the daily mess and that one detail is sitting there alone and obvious. Well, now I’m away from home, I’ve realised something.

(To anyone who’s not been following this drama, my flatmate Jinjing thinks our flatmate Neville has been sneaking into our rooms for unfathomable reasons – not stealing anything of value, but with definite signs left).

One of the clues that someone had been in my room was that my ketchup went missing. But today I remembered there was some ketchup in the fridge when i left. I assumed it belonged to someone else, but thinking about it I  don’t remember anyone else ever using ketchup. It was a squeezy bottle, half full like mine was. I think maybe it was MY bottle.

Which means someone took the ketchup bottle from my room and put it in the fridge. Which CAN’T be Neville, because he never puts anything in the fridge, not even bacon. Does that even make sense? Or is the clarity in my head just a new type of nonsense?

And if I’m right who moved my ketchup? And why?

Am escaped!

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As soon as the huge bus trundled away through the streets heading out of London, and I could watch the world from up high in my comfy seat, I knew running away was right.

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Today I felt like I was abroad, with boats and buskers and infinity skies. Turning the corner in an ordinary back street to find an ornate church or colourful building like a gold tooth in a mouthful of stained yellow. Just exploring, getting lost, chatting to strangers.

I already feel like my head is clearing and I’m starting to understand what’s going on back at the flat. It’s so easy to get caught up in drama and feel like there’s no alternative.

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A brief see-ya-later…

Calvin ballon
Calvin and Hobbes

The problem with running away is that you always have to take yourself.

Word of the day: Drapetomania – intense desire to run away from home

So at about 9am this morning the battle started. Jinjing picked an argument with Neville about the shower (something to do with his shaving foam leaving a rust stain) and then escalated it into an accusation that he’s been coming into our rooms.

‘Just mine and inkbiotic’s of course!’ she said with super sarcasm. ‘You don’t bother with Hamoudi’s, do you?’

I listened through my door while Neville  insisted that no, he’s never done that, he wouldn’t do that, that would be terrible. I felt pretty sorry for him. Then she started banging on my door, demanding that I tell Neville he was a creep. I needed to wait a bit so it wasn’t obvious I had my ear against the door, then I went out and tried to remain as vague as I could. Neville looked scared, Jinjing looked terrifying. I probably looked bewildered, but I mostly do anyway.

So that’s it. I need to get out, just for a few days. This flat has become too intense and I don’t understand what’s going on. I’ve packed a bag and I’m running away. I’m taking the first bus out of Victoria. Wherever I end up, I’ll stay until my mind stills. Just thinking about it makes me feel free, I’m going on an adventure!

I’ll post if I can. I think my phone does stuff like that. Although it might do it badly, so if I ignore comments please don’t take it personally.

From the sublime to the ridiculous

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Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.

Hans Christian Anderson

Mood: up and down

Weather: up

Word of the day: plenilune – time of the full moon

Couldn’t sleep so took a walk as the huge, full moon was hanging at the end of my street with a quizzical expression. While pigeons waddled in the gutter and foxes walked in the shadows at my side, all of us quiet. It was the glimpse of sanity that I needed.

Since then it’s been downhill.

At 10am, Neville cooked up a batch of pork chops while lecturing cheerfully at Jinjing about women’s rights through the ages. I went into the kitchen at one point and she was glowering at him over her cereal while he remained blissfully unaware, chattering without pause.

As soon as he went out, Jinjing  put tape over her door, sparkly sellotape so she knows if anyone has been inside. Neville had left some pork chops on the side, and she threw them in the bin. I tried not to yelp, that was a lot of food.

Does that count as an act of war? Are we at war now?