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…

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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?

 

Someone has been in my room (again?)

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Trouble is following me around, it’s keeping to the shadows, but it’s there, its long fingernails tapping against the walls.

Weather: sunny sunny sunny

Mood: wary

Word of the day: philodox – one who loves his own opinions; a dogmatic person

We were all out today. Jinjing and Hamoudi were out being sociable with friends, and I was wandering about enjoying my own company. When I got back to my room I found the shiny pink foil of a Quality Street chocolate sitting on the floor. I don’t have any Quality Street. It was over by my desk, a good ten feet from the door. Someone has been in my room, and eaten chocolate, and not left me any. I don’t know which of these events I’m more angry about.

When Jinjing and Hamoudi got home, I told them about the sweetie wrapper I found. Jinjing claimed to have found dog hairs on her duvet.

‘This is proof! Neville has been coming into our rooms.’

‘But Neville doesn’t have a dog,’ I said.

‘I’ll bet he does! Maybe that’s why he’s cooking up all that meat. For a dog. A secret dog.’

‘Not in the flat though.’

‘It doesn’t have to be in the flat. Maybe he keeps the dog in the shed. Or at a friend’s house. He has a dog.’

‘But that doesn’t explain why he’s coming into our rooms.’

‘Because he’s evil!’ said Jinjing. And I think she might be losing all reason in the search for a villain. Neville is annoying, but he isn’t evil, and I’m not convinced he’s coming into our rooms, what would be the point? Although I don’t understand about the missing ketchup and the quality street. Or how my laptop got broken. This is all getting very odd.

Mystery solved?

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The tube seat pattern

‘I guess, just be careful you don’t wear any negative shoes, or they might get lifted?’

Comment from A gorilla’s existential crisis

Well, it’s looking like the mystery of the black star has been solved. Although the answer itself may be a diversion, a trick to pacify us. Claims of Illuminati, black holes and aliens are still under consideration.

Weather: blazing!

Mood: chirpy

Word of the day: Hypogeal – underground

So the black star update:

The gorilla blogger, Matt Johnson (unusual name for a gorilla) did some searching around and came up with a theory to explain the star (for anyone who missed the beginning of this, there are stars on the ceiling of tube trains in London and NOBODY else appeared to have noticed them or knew what they were).

The website he linked to had this comment, which I didn’t read properly at the time.

And look out for the little star on the ceiling, that indicates the floor hatch for lifting Negative shoes.

Then after posting on a London underground forum, I got lead to another post, which led to some comments under an article about the underground, and this said basically the same as Matt’s research.

The blue stars are an indication of where the shoes are on the train, in case they need to be lifted. They were on all the old Victoria line trains and are on the baker loo as the trains are basically the same.

For anyone confused about negative shoes, this is the wiki description of shoes. Somebody had fun coming up with names for stuff.

Electric railways with third rails, or fourth rails, in tunnels carry collector shoes projecting laterally (sideways), or vertically, from their bogies. The contact shoe may slide on top of the third rail (top running), on the bottom (bottom running) or on the side (side running). The side running contact shoe is used against the guide bars on rubber-tired metros. A vertical contact shoe is used on ground-level power supply systems, stud contact systems and fourth rail systems.

I suspect it’s the vertical contact shoe that needs lifting and is marked by the star (which I still say is black.)

So I’m going to leave the mystery alone for now, but it won’t be forgotten. I suspect London is full of odd little mysteries, I’d like to connect some of them up. Any ideas how?

 

 

And the competition has begun!

 “Hot weather opens the skull of a city, exposing its white brain, and its heart of nerves, which sizzle like the wires inside a lightbulb. And there exudes a sour extra-human smell that makes the very stone seem flesh-alive, webbed and pulsing.”

―Truman Capote, Summer Crossing

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Weather: apparently it’s summer now

Mood: everything is great

Word of the day: Cuniculous – full of holes and tunnels; full of rabbits (not a relevant word, this one. Just great.)

Me and Dan were both wearing shorts today, so Mike declared we had now joined the competition.

‘And I’ve got a day on you, so whenever I stop wearing shorts, you have to wear them the next day too,’ he said.

‘Ok,’ said Dan, ‘it’s on!’

‘What? No it’s not,’ said I. ‘I’m just going to wear shorts until it’s cold again.’

‘No, you’ve got to be in the competition,’ said Mike.

‘I really haven’t,’ I explained. Mike looked at me sad and bewildered so I felt guilty. But not so guilty I’m going to freeze my knees for weeks on end.

When I got home Neville was in the kitchen, I wondered if I should mention the plate full of bacon STILL sitting on the counter, but he was being so cheery and nice, I didn’t want to hassle him. And I was sort of wary it would turn into a monologue about food storage, so I grabbed a bag of Doritos and hid in my room.

Annoyingly the tomato ketchup I keep in my room seems to have vanished, so I couldn’t have sauce on my crisps. Which is odd, isn’t it? How could I have lost a bottle of ketchup?

(Update on the star tomorrow!)