More trouble?

So just how did my laptop get broken then?

confused
Image from here

Weather: little fluffy clouds

Mood: little fluffy brain

Word of the day: mizmaze – labyrinth; bewilderment

Jinjing and Hamoudi were in the kitchen this morning and I needed to wash up the collection of crockery that’s been building up in my room, it’s beginning to totter. Jinjing looked slightly disapprovingly as I walked in with my pile of bowls and glasses, carefully balanced in a tower, but she was half-way through telling Hamoudi about a dream she had, so I got away with it. Our kitchen is small, and we had to do some shifting around so I could get to the sink.

Jinjing’s dream sounded disturbing, she dreamt someone was staring in the window at her. Just standing outside looking in, which is bad because we’re on the first floor. I suggested the BFG, and Hamoudi got excited about this.

‘He’s great! He can tell us stories!’ Then Hamoudi asked me how I was doing and I mentioned about my laptop being broken and how I wasn’t sure how that happened. Then Jinjing said, ‘I knew it! Didn’t I say I knew it?’ Hamoudi nodded, she had said that.

‘Knew what?’ I asked, feeling out of the loop.

‘Somebody’s been in my room, and now it sounds like someone’s been in yours,’ said Jinjing. ‘I’ll bet that’s why I had that dream, it’s a warning!’

‘Why do you think someone was in your room? Was something missing?’ I asked.

‘No, but I know. I’m very sensitive to these things. I know when someone’s been in my room.’

‘Ah,’ I said.

‘I bet it’s him,’ said Jinjing in a whisper, pointing her chin towards Neville’s room. ‘He’s a creep. I mean who cooks that much meat?’ I didn’t feel this was damning evidence, so I remained vague.

What is going on in this flat though?

Disaster! Thievery! It’s ok really.

hazard
From here

“A tragedy is a tragedy, and at the bottom, all tragedies are stupid.”  Stephen King

Weather: mottled skies

Mood: good

Word of the day: La-li-loong – a thief. Originates mid 19th-20th century.

Tragedy is befalling me like I broke a mirror or hung a horseshoe upside down, but I don’t remember doing either of those things recently.

A few days ago I noticed my laptop was damaged, the casing of the screen was cracked so that it could no longer shut. It looked like I’d stepped on it, but surely I’d remember such a thing? I stuck a note along the top saying ‘DON’T SHUT’ (because I have a tendency to forget everything) and then tried to be really careful with it. It’ll hold out for a while longer, I told myself.

Then yesterday I needed to go to the kitchen to get some popcorn for dinner, put the laptop carefully on the rug, came back in my room and kicked it across the floor. Bollocks! The crack became a split and I could see the exposed wires and gleaming metal inside. Well I ate my popcorn (first things first) and then taped it up as best as I could, using an elastic band to hold it together. So that’s probably fine now. No problem.

Then yesterday evening I went out to the pub with my work mates and was having a really nice evening, lots of drunken rambling and laughter. I left my bag under a table for a while and then thought I better retrieve it, but it had gone! We looked everywhere.  Dan was annoying strangers at the pub by picking their bag up and shouting ‘Is it this one?’ to me. My boss was ranting about the evils of modern society.

I was feeling quite smug though. Earlier on when getting changed out of muddy work clothes I thought Shall I leave my keys and phone in my bag? No I’ll keep them in my pocket, just in case. So I did. And the thief is going to be super pissed off when they discover all they’ve got is an old ice cream tub with cucumber and cherry tomatoes in it, and some biros. So that’s also pretty fine too.

Phew!

laptop

 

Can you help with this mystery?

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Sorry about the crappy photo, it isn’t easy to take a photo of a tube ceiling in rush hour.

Life used to be filled with unanswerable questions, but then Google came along and answered them all. Except THIS one.

Weather: blue skies filled with puzzlement

Mood: quizzical

Word of the day: sideral – sent from the stars; ominous or evil

Question of the day: why is there a black star on the ceiling of many carriages on the tube (London Underground)? They’ve been there a few decades at least. Not on every train, and it may be only the last carriage (which is where I tend to sit) but always on the ceiling, a black star sticking about an inch across. I tried Google, but no luck.

I asked at work and NOBODY has ever noticed it but me, they looked at me like I was delusional, until I showed them a photo.

So has anyone else noticed this too? Do any of you know why they are there?

I mow like an idiot while Mike fights for his life

pterodactyl

Brains are awesome. I wish I had one.

Weather: sunshine and little fluffy clouds

Mood: pretty good

Word of the day: loobily – clumsily, stupidly

Today I had a huge lawn to mow with the ride on mower. I love the ride on, so much more fun than driving a car, zipping around like I’m on a quad bike. The only problem is remembering everything with my faulty brain (take the handbrake OFF). Anyway, I’d done half of the grass by break and was feeling pretty smug. I switched off the engine (and handbrake ON), and then realised I hadn’t put the blades down, so I’d cut nothing, merely squashed the grass. Tragic.

In the afternoon I got a call from Mike who was laughing so hysterically he could hardly speak.

‘I’ve been attacked by an albatross!’ he said. And made squawking sounds down the phone to demonstrate how aggressive the albatross was.

‘What?’ I said.

‘In fact it was probably a fucking eagle! It shat all down my neck!’

By the end of the day, the story had grown, and a pterodactyl, probably from a Jurassic-Park-style experiment, had tried to carry him off, then spilt napalm on him. He fought the attacker off with a pruning saw. Luckily he seems to be ok.

Tackling the stench beast

What horrors lurk behind the fridge?

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Image from here: Monster jokes

Weather: drizzle, the kind that turns everything to mud

Mood: quite happy

Word of the day: Scurryfunge – frantically cleaning before company arrives

Today I decided to take control and find the cause of the disturbing smell in the fridge. The smell was a bit like rancid milk and vomit and I felt pretty disturbed imagining what kind of twisted creature would create a smell like that.

There were a few places the smell might be coming from: under the fridge; at the back of it; or from the big pipe at the side of the fridge that looks like it belongs to a tumble dryer, even though we have no such machine. I sniffed down the pipe, and Mike peered  out from behind the door to shout in horror,

‘Don’t bloody smell it! It’ll leap out at you!’ then he hid back behind the door.

I pulled the fridge out, looked underneath. Finally I pulled out the drip tray, and there it was, the nest of my rancid milk life-form. There were leaves, bits of plastic and goo. I didn’t poke too deep because some things are better left unknown, but I emptied what I could into a bin bag (I’m sure the whole construction was held together with chewing gum) and then left the tray to soak.

I haven’t quite got over it yet.

The perils of grunge

I don’t think my comfort zone is actually that comfortable.

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Word of the day: Grufted – dirty; begrimed

Weather: grufted sky

Mood: grufted in the head

Our messroom is disgusting. From the funky smell coming from the fridge, to the mice that run about the kitchen, to the rot in the windows. There has been talk of a new messroom, shiny and beautiful, but nobody believes it will happen.

‘They’ve been promising it for years,’ said Mike, kicking his locker door which had got jammed again. From the kitchen came the sound of Jessica using the pliers to switch off the hot tap. Our promised new messroom will have indoor toilets (no more dead squirrels!) and the chairs won’t stick to you. Our new messroom is the glowing oasis on the horizon, but is it all a mirage?

Then Dan screamed. Apparently he went to pick up his water bottle and found a rat wrapped around it, licking the water off the side of the bottle. I would think rats would have chased away the mice, but apparently the two can live in perfect harmony. How sweet.

Barry came to visit again he turned up loudly cheerful, singing Bring Me Sunshine as he danced around. Then he chatted about his sick mum. I did my best to be sympathetic, because it sounds tough to deal with. He said,

‘You always get my head sorted, you always make me feel better.’ Which was really nice to hear, but then he said to Mike,

‘You see? This is what women are for! This why they’re here. They sort you out, they listen!’

Good to know I have a purpose.

It’s starting again!

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Take me to a place where the dead roam the Earth and the living float above them.

Word of the day: Aeriform – gaseous or unreal

Weather: wash out!

Mood: sun dried!

 

I got up this morning to find Hamoudi looking miserable in the kitchen. He was making a tower out of clothes pegs and sighing. The pegs kept pinging across the room.

‘What’s up, champ?’ I asked.

‘I think it’s starting again,’ he said.

My ears pricked up and I had to hide my eagerness behind a veil of concern.

‘Seeing ghosts?’ I whispered.

‘Maybe,’ he said, the peg tower shot a pink peg under the fridge and then collapsed. He started again.

‘What do you mean by maybe?’ I asked, trying to not get tetchy, because seriously, he likes to drag things out. He figured out a method with his building, creating a triangle with three pegs.

‘When I was at the station yesterday, I saw this movement out the corner of my eye. A red cap, and blue jeans. I think it was a small boy. Then he was gone, just vanished.’

‘Well, if it was busy…’

‘And last night, I woke up and he was standing at the end of my bed. The same clothes, red cap, blue jeans. But his eyes were hollow, staring at me.’

‘Did you recognise him? Did you speak to him?’

‘No.’ He puts another layer on the tower, and it stays upright, but this doesn’t make him happy.

‘I left Canada to get away from all this,’ he says. ‘What if they’ve followed me here?’

It would be cruel to point out that if there are dead people wandering around Canada, they are probably  everywhere. I pat his shoulder and the peg tower falls down again. Sympathetic though I am, I’m also pretty excited about this development. If there are ghosts in our flat, I wonder if I’ll be able to see them. Maybe Hamoudi can introduce us. That would change everything.

Meeting the pigeon lady

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Word of the day: Engastration – stuffing of one bird inside another (I’m not sure why this word exists, but it’s beautiful).

Weather: patchy

Mood: patchy

I went out for a wander around London today. I like to walk under the railway tracks. I was walking towards one archway, when I saw a cloud of pigeons rise up, flutter about for a bit, then land again. I stopped to watch and this happened a couple more times. Then I walked closer and saw a woman was feeding them, whole bags of seed tipped onto the pavement. She was a bit hostile at first, but when I bumped into her five minutes later doing the same thing in the park, we gave each other a nod of recognition. It was good, I like to feel I have points of contact around the city. That I know what’s going on, the important things.

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Let the chips fall where they may

helicopter
Picture from here

Word of the day: zyzzyva – South American weevil

Weather: patchy

Mood: a bit snippy

Barry the road sweeper came to join us over break again. Everybody but me (I was doing the washing up) left the room, which upset him.

‘None of them like me, they’re all avoiding me,’ he snarled.

‘I think they’ve just gone out to smoke,’ I lied.

‘Yeah right. You don’t know what it’s like here, everyone in this place is out to get me.’

‘Take it easy, Barry. I don’t think anyone’s out to get you, people are just doing their own thing.’

Barry walked over to the sink, he leaned in towards me and said conspiratorially,

‘I saw the helicopters earlier, you saw them?’

‘Sure, I think they were air-ambulances,’ I said, wondering why the conversation had switched.

‘Bollocks they are! They were watching me!’

‘The helicopters are watching you?’

‘Yeah, but I know what they’re up to, they won’t catch me out.’

‘Ah,’ I said.

Barry the barrowman

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“Chanu spoke loudly, he weighed his words like gold and threw them about like a fool.”
― Monica Ali

Weather: frost, sunshine, rain, sunshine, rain, cold wind.

Mood: in search of calm

Word of the day: Callithump – boisterous and noisy parade

Most of the road sweepers at my work are mellow and friendly, but Barry the barrowman (as he’s not known to his face) is a little different. Today, I was trying to read my book on my lunch break when he walked up close and screamed ‘Oi! Oi!’ in my ear. Then he began to leap about in front of me, saying ‘What you reading for babe? What you want to read for?’

The problem is that quiet upsets him, he takes it as an insult. Me reading is an affront to his dignity. He needs constant noise and attention, which is tricky because he spends all day sweeping on his own. He has hours alone to think up paranoid reasons for everything: colleagues he thinks are avoiding him. Or spying on him. Plots to oust him from his job. How everybody hates him. By the time he gets to break he’s so wound up, so desperate for attention that he shouts his way around the room, scaring everyone away.

I try to calm him down by asking about his plans for the weekend. His mood drops, he drifts into melancholy and tells me about how his kids won’t talk to him anymore. Even the one who’s earning lots of money, but won’t give him any. His emotions are a roller-coaster.