A wise aspiration for us ALL

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Quite a few politicians at the moment seem to be making the leap from self-interested-and-incompetent to fucking-despotic. So AI has come up with a great ambition to aim for.

Word of the day: Barbarocracy – government by barbarians

I’ve been a bit confused about how our painters have been painting the house. They’ve got scaffolding up which is attached to the wall, covering small sections of it. It also rests on the steps that they’re painting a nice cheery red. But how can they paint under/behind the scaffolding? Will they do those bits after?

No sign of Brennan, the sad walking man. It’s been days now.

The unexpected dangers of painting

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Artificial Inspiration gave me nice poster today! I feel all validated.

A couple of friendly painters put up scaffolding outside my house yesterday. It’s odd, because my house isn’t big, I’m sure a ladder would have been fine, but maybe it’s safer this way. I offered tea, but they didn’t want it.

Then today they were burning off the old paint from the side of the house with a blow torch. I’ve not heard of this method before, is it normal? Anyway, I’d been in about an hour when the doorbell rang. One of the friendly painters was at the door with a sheepish grin hiding behind his curly beard.

‘Hello, I’m sorry to bother you, but I just need to have a look at your window from the inside. You see, I think it’s on fire.’ He didn’t seem in a huge rush, so we trundled up to my flat chatting about the patchy weather.

He was right, it was on fire. Wisps of smoke were wafting across the lounge. Apparently a bit of fluff inside the window had caught alight. I got him a glass of water to put it out. He poured the water over the sill, thanked me politely and went back outside to pick up his blow torch. He still didn’t want a cup of tea.

Word of the day (one of the finest ever): ucalegon – neighbour whose house is on fire.

I’ve never been able to use this word in real life, but today I’m proud to have given my neighbour the opportunity.

 

Lucky lucky renter

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The landlady turned up before I left for work to let us know that someone would be painting the house next week. Most landladies would have sent an email, but she had some blankets she wanted to store somewhere and decided that our kitchen cupboards were a good place to do that. I found her when I went to make some toast, she was clearing plates out of the cupboard to make room for the blankets. It was too early to argue and I am a coward.

‘It must be nice to rent and not have all these responsibilities. To get the whole house painted without any effort. I’d love to just go off to work without a care,’ she said, and I huffed around the kitchen trying to make toast with her faffing about in front of the toaster. Incidentally, she doesn’t have to go off to work at all, because she makes so much money in rent. Once she’d gone I tried to fit the plates in another cupboard.

“It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.” Ashleigh Brilliant.

Word of the day: Foolocracy – government by fools

 

Be a boy!

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Thought I’d try with the artificial inspiration again, and I got one for all the lovely guys out there, I hope this wisdom can make your day.

Unfortunately the one I got a while ago for women isn’t quite so chirpy.

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Still no sign of Brennan.

“I know I’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I’ve still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you.”

 

Nature, the ultimate accessory

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I don’t even need to wait for Monday to do this, this is ongoing.

I was weeding the garden today – hard as a bone – when I heard someone say ‘excuse me?’ Often I’ll have a chat with the neighbours whose garden is next to mine, but the other side has a gap, a big fence and then flats. Although I see the various occupants sometimes, we’ve never talked. Anyway, a head was poking over the top of this big fence. I turned around and the guy chuckled smugly at my sweaty self, which I didn’t like.

‘Hello,’ he said, still smug, ‘do you pick your apples?’

Now our apple tree has many bright red apples on it, but most can’t be reached and those that can aren’t that nice and often have maggots. So we pick what we need and let the rest fall. I figure they serve as food for the birds and insects, and since they’re more endangered than me, I feel good about it. Occasionally visitors get uppity about it, ‘Don’t let them just fall! Why don’t you bake a pie?’ they say. But when I suggest they go collect some, they last about three minutes before giving up, complaining about inaccessibility and maggots.

‘Sometimes,’ I say.

‘Do you eat them yourself then?’ he asked, and I could hear the lecture about wasted apples desperate to get out of him. I’m aware I sound unreasonable, but he was oozing smug.

‘Sometimes,’ I said, ‘but they have a lot of maggots.’

‘Ah. Perhaps I could try some?’

‘Ok,’ I said, found a maggotless one, picked it and climbed the fence to hand it over.

‘Thanks!’ he said, with a cheeky grin. ‘I thought I should ask before just taking one.’

‘How would you take one?’ I asked looking at the high fence and the metre gap and my fence, he wouldn’t be able to reach.

‘Well, I’d climb over the fences!’ he said proudly.

‘Yeah, I’d rather you didn’t break into my garden,’ I replied, trying to not get too indignant.

‘Hmm, yes, I thought I should ask, so you didn’t turn round and see me right behind you!’ he said chirpily, as if he was doing me a favour and wasn’t acting creepy. ‘It’s good to eat things from the garden, isn’t it?’ he said. ‘More natural.’ Again, smugness abounded. Because, yes obviously it is, so saying it with a patronising tilt of the head isn’t necessary. I was making assumptions, but he struck me like the kind who’s never grown anything, but buys all his fruit and veg at the farmer’s market and thinks that makes him an expert on nature. The kind who believes because he’s watched Bear Grylls he’s a survivalist. In gardening I’ve met a few of these types, they like to stand about lecturing me while I’m working. A Nature Poseur.

Anyway, I went inside and told Hamoudi about it.

‘Oh,’ he said, ‘is he the one with the sword?’

‘Er what?’ I said.

‘The white guy who poses in the garden with the sword? He stands on his own doing stances.’ Hamoudi did a couple of sample man-with-sword poses.

‘I’ll bet that’s him!’ I said. Hamoudi showed me the garden he poses in, and since there aren’t many white guys in the neighbourhood, I’m thinking that yes! He’s the guy that poses with the fucking sword. Like I said, a survivalist!

 

Angry strangers

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A woman on the tube today had a high vis vest on, she wasn’t acting oddly at all, just standing by the window at the end of the carriage looking out so that her back was turned towards me. Written in huge letters across the back of the high vis was

I’m straight, get it? Yes, I’m a woman and an engineer so keep your prejudices to yourself. Even in a high vis I’m straight.

Then on the front

Straight hetero engineer

I’m undecided what I think of this. On the one hand I’m sympathetic to the hassle women get for working in what are traditionally men’s roles, because I’ve had plenty over the years. It isn’t upsetting, but it’s irritating and it wears you down. On the other, writing it in huge letters on your clothes is somewhat stroppy and attention seeking, since 99% of people wouldn’t give a crap either way, and the only reason people were staring at her was because they were trying to work out what her high-vis said. On the other hand (I have three hands now) what’s the stress about being gay or straight? Does it matter if someone assumes she’s gay? On the other hand (now I have four hands, I’m a mutant!) I don’t know the circumstances surrounding this, maybe she didn’t even write the words herself.

Any other hands people can help me with?

Word of the day: paralipsis – fixing attention subject by pretending to neglect it

More AI rules for life

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“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
― Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Word of the day: Galeanthropy – belief that one is a cat

Today I saw a kestrel. That’s it.

Walk never-ending

 

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Wise words

“Well you know what they say, put five hundred monkeys in a room and they’ll come up with Shakespeare”

The guy chatting to his friend on the train, I don’t think he thought this one through

There’s a young man who lives down my road. I often see him on my way into work and one my walk home. On the odd occasion I’ve been walking that bit of road in the middle of the day, I’ve seen him then too. He walks with his head hung low, slowly plodding one foot then the other, up and down towards the station and back again. I figure he must live in the halfway house on my road and they kick him out during the day. I always want to talk to him because it seems like a lonely life, but since he’s staring down at the floor I can’t catch his eye.

Anyway, today he was sitting in front of a house, in the driveway, on his knees, facing the building. His head hung low as always. Just kneeling there, long enough for me to walk up the road and past him without moving. It was worrying.

Word of the day – Eremiomania – abnormal interest in stillness

Nature is odd

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I’m not sure this is a good idea. Where would I put it all?

Was reducing a twenty-five foot bay tree to about twelve foot high today. I didn’t have a ladder, so mostly I was cutting huge chunks out by sawing through thick stems lower down, doing a bit of climbing so I could reach. I could see there were two nests near the top of the tree, it’s past nesting season and there was no tetchy birds around, so I was sure they were empty. After a few hours of cutting and clambering I finally sawed through the branch with one of the nests on and those whole thing came crashing down and landed on the ground. But the nest had vanished.

There was the branch with a bundle of dead leaves next to it. No nest.

But then I thought having a bundle of dead leaves in a tree was weird, not like they’d been pruned and left there, they must have been put there. I was working with Ezekiel (don’t think I’ve mentioned him, he’s very mellow and knows a lot about nature) and asked him what he thought.

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See? It just looks like a pile of dead leaves

‘Well that,’ he said ‘looks like a squirrel’s nest, he’d have built it for the winter to hibernate in. Looks like he never properly used it though, there’s no poo.’

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When we broke it open you could see the leaves were rolled up.

Ezekiel even found a nut in it. So there you are, a squirrel’s nest is made up of dead leaves rolled up.

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Ez finding the nut

The other nest was just a bird’s nest and was only used by woodlice.