Smile! No one can see it anyway!

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wondermonger – one who promises miracles

vincible – that which may be overcome

Tried wearing a mask out today, but no one in my part of London is wearing one. It means everyone stares at me and i feel as if I’m the outsider insulting strangers with my foreign ways.

Some of you might remember me writing about being on a journey to work last year and some guy started acting like he was going to punch me. I still see him around. Sometimes he’s following people. One time he waved at me, so I waved back. He can be a bit scary, but clearly has serious problems to deal with, so I always wish him well (in my head anyway).

Today I saw him sitting on a mattress with a lady friend (who also had difficulties to deal with). They looked like they were having a picnic in the park – a couple of cans, some snacks, plenty of sunshine. Except they were at the side of a busy road on a mattress in the middle of a pandemic. They looked happy.

It’s not an ideal situation, but take your smiles where you can, I think.

 

little Corona life

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The most interesting things of my day

Parent fox left the three cubs alone in next door’s garden where they climbed over each other for a while. I guess they’re getting big enough to be left alone.

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Went to the little Sainsbury’s since it’s the only one that usually has a combination of food and no-queues winding up the street. Which was the case again.

I bought some veg and bread and milk and although there was someone at the checkout, I figured the self-checkout is fairer because it doesn’t put the cashier at risk. Anyway, I happily beeped through my items until I got to my loose potato. It has no bar-code, so I pressed the Look up other items button and Veg. No sign of potato. I pressed the Popular items button. No potato. I pressed the help button and a Sainsbury lady cautiously approached, I did my best not to breathe and explained about the lack of potato options.

The cashier shouted over from the tills, ‘You can’t buy a potato at that self checkout till. You have to use that one.’ He gestured at another self-checkout that was occupied. ‘Or this one.’ He gestured at his own till. The Sainsbury lady gave me a Whoops, that’s foolish! expression and I had a chuckle and then bought the single potato at the front till. It cost 39p.

It’s these little moments of the ridiculous that make my day.

Oh and the foxes.

Life’s entertainment has got much smaller, but I don’t think it’s got any less entertaining, although that might be my simple brain.

How about you? Any small moments that made you smile?

 

Me vs. Tree. I lose.

Red Fox cub
As you can see from the watermark, I nicked this from Warren photographic

I’ve been keeping busy in the lockdown.

I was hanging out at the end of my garden today. I pruned the apple tree in winter and I’ve been terrified it wouldn’t bud. However, it’s sprouting like a trooper, blossom abounding, so I was getting a close up look. Then I noticed a fox the other side of the tree, standing staring at me. So I stood and stared at her for a bit. And she stared at me. I thought, This is nice. We’re having a moment. Then she ran over to the fence where a small animal was trundling through a hole into my garden. It looked like a puppy, squat and dark brown, with a stubby tail. I’ve seen fox cubs before, but they didn’t look like that. The fox tried to nudge the pup back through the hole, and when it wouldn’t go she gripped it with her mouth to try and pick it up. I shifted around the tree to get a better look and saw there were four or five of these little puppies squeezing through the hole, ignoring the fox trying to get them back out again. They were crawling underneath her while she tried to sit on them so they couldn’t, all the while still gripping the one pup by the neck. She kept looking over at me warily, no doubt thinking I was up to no good.

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I decided I needed to get my phone to try and get a picture and quickly turned, smacking my face straight into a thick tree branch of my lovely pruned tree. I didn’t knock myself out, but had to sit on the ground for a bit with my head in my hands. When I looked later my eye had gone a bit purple, and there were scratches and bumps across the lid and up my forehead in a clear line.

Anyway, now I’ve looked it up, those dog-like pups are exactly what fox cubs look like when they’re very small. No wonder the fox was protective and suspicious. Hopefully, having seen me walk into a tree she’ll have realised I’m not even slightly a threat.

In London in the lockdown (everything is fine)

dont stop panicking

So my boss has sent a few of us home, while the rest stay working.  It’s ridiculous that many people with non-essential jobs are still going into work, but the problem is how contradictory the gov.uk information is.

Here it says:

Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work

From gov.uk

But also:

Following on from the government’s guidance on social distancing in relation to COVID-19, people should avoid travelling unless it is essential.

Also gov.uk

So, draconian measures, but for any boss with a construction or gardening company who wants to keep his non-essential business open, the line saying you can travel to work if you can’t work from home is a get out.

More frustratingly when Gove decided to clarify things, he only added to the misinformation. Reported in the Guardian

Gove said construction workers should still be going to work while staying two metres apart and tradespeople, such as plumbers and electricians, could attend emergencies in people’s homes.

Ok, so construction workers should carry on. But then in the same article:

Gove issued a series of stark warnings about the consequences of flouting the ban. Shown pictures on Sky News of construction workers gathering close together, he said: “Unless you stay at home, then the people you love most may die.”

Which is just a way of giving the bosses an excuse to carry on while demonising the actual builders doing the work.

With an economic depression looking inevitable, I get why the government are trying to keep it vague. Maybe it’s time the grand rulers of the world tried sorting the flaws in our economy. People shouldn’t starve while food is going to waste. If A.I. and robots can do our jobs, why is it still a problem for anyone to get fired? How can a global recession happen anyway? If we’re all broke, then we’re all equally rich, right? (Note: my understanding of economics is patchy.)

Do you have any solutions?

And to soothe my rattling brain, I did another http://weavesilk.com/ painting.

The Citadel

 

I am a ghost

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Do you sometimes question if you exist in the way you’re supposed to? I sometimes wonder if I’ve died already and what’s wandering around as me doesn’t look completely human anymore.

Today I was feeling faded out anyway, still ill with some bizarre virus that gives me a low level fever and makes my face feel swollen up from the inside. I haven’t been outside my room except to get water and occasional snacks, but I needed more food, so I went out to the supermarket. And on the way people were staring at me oddly. They often do stare at me oddly, it’s true, not nastily, just curiously, but today they weren’t even trying to hide it.

Then I was in the supermarket, using the self-service screen and it wouldn’t recognise my finger. I was pressing and pressing different buttons on the screen, trying to get something, but nope. So I called the supermarket guy over, I know him, he’s usually really friendly, but he barely acknowledged me. He pressed the button, it worked first time. So I think it’s me, what have I turned into? Am I just waiting to fade away?

 

Word of the day (I think this one may be a joke): Gawdelpus – helpless person

 

Nah, screw you artificial negativity brain

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I refuse to be cowed by my robot masters of the future and the message they have chosen to bestow on me. While it wouldn’t be difficult to make a case for my huuuuuuuuge loserdom, I really like my life. I like its oddness, and all the green nature-y stuff in it. I like that I get enough time to let my mind wander to wherever it feels like going. And that the people I know make me laugh a lot and seem to like me. And today, I  have given the book I’ve just written to a friend to read. Of course, when he reads it I’ll find out it’s not finished at all and I have a shit-load of work to do again, but for now, I can revel in the delusion of believing it’s great. So on the other hand, maybe that’s the point, I’m a huge loser, but it makes me happy, so that IS my style 🙂

Note to self: I think we all function by keeping ourselves somewhat deluded, delusion is essential for survival, nothing wrong with it all. However, other people don’t think this and won’t react well if I tell them they’re deluded. As I discovered a few weeks ago at a party. Don’t do that again, me.

‘Oh frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’

Alice in Wonderland

Foxes’ playground

I get a lot of wildlife in my garden. South East London is greener than North London which entices nature to set up home, and then my garden is mostly left to its own devices so animals get to settle in. Parakeets swoop round in a gang every morning, drunken blackbirds sit on the lawn with their beaks in an apple, and I’ve had a family of foxes visiting for the last few years. What I like about our foxes is that so far they only visit, they don’t crap everywhere or dig holes. Aside from a few squashed plants (which might be the fault of cats) they only come to play or lounge around. Sometimes they bring toys.

This is the shoe they left in my garden last night. I don’t want to remove it in case they want to play with it later.

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And a picture from last spring, this is the baby fox who came all the way up the fire escape to sleep on the roof under the kitchen window.

 

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It’s raining it’s pouring, Inkbiotic is boring

Andrew Android 2

Andrew Android Jones

Today has been a day of rain, paranoia and headaches (I don’t fair well when I’m stuck inside). So this just going to be a hodgepodge of happy pictures, funny things and interesting words.

19C jobs

Several words of the day

Blague – humbug; pretentious nonsense

Xanthippe – ill-tempered woman

Chasmophile – lover of nooks and crannies

Wappend – tired, incontinent, unchaste

fractal37
Silverb’s The Icon of Hecate

All bow to our new robot masters…

 

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I quite liked turning up to work this morning and seeing the robo mower trundling about, it’s like a pet. Myself and Dan tried playing with it for a while, standing in robo-mow’s way so that it turned around. But I guess it got annoyed, because then it started charging at our feet, little blades whirring away. Mike just shouts at it like it’s a disobedient dog (‘Go on! Get back in your hutch!’) or complains about its mowing skills (‘Look! It’s cut the grass too low!’ ‘It’s wrecked those edges!’) Mateo sneers at it, (‘You fuckin’ bastard!’)

While I do like the innocent nature of the robo-mow, I’m not sure it’s going to work out as a new member of our team. It has no method to its mowing, just trundles in a straight line until it hits something, then turns at any old angle and shuffles off. Such a random method takes ages to cut all the grass. That’s fine on a small, fairly regular patch of grass, but we need it to cut one of the huge, oddly shaped lawns that continue across paths. I’m not sure it would ever finish.

My plan is to see if I can retrain it as a robot dog. I’d enjoy the company while I’m working, and if any of the residents start to give me trouble, little pooch can scare them off. Not sure how to do this though, any ideas?