Grrrr

grr

Word of the day: hackle – pluck or spirit; to show hackle – to be willing to fight (originates circa 1860)

I used to be quite confrontational, you know? People were scared of me. Sometimes it would be useful to have that power back. I spent a good ten minutes just staring at my phone. Then half an hour straightening out my cupboard. Then ten minutes growling at myself. Then I realised I’d lost the landlady’s number and had to get it off Neville. Then, fuck it, I called her.

For anyone reading who has no clue what I’m on about, I drew the short straw [breadstick] to call the landlady and ask her why she thinks it’s ok to go into our rooms when we aren’t here.

She’s very nice, but she’s one of those people who seems able to use niceness as a tactic of war. Along with guilt. I’ll try to represent this as well as I remember…

Landlady [launching into unstoppable niceness]: Oh hello, how are you doing in your lovely new home? I got it painted freshly for you all, you know? I didn’t want you living in a hovel, and the last tenants left it in such a mess. It nearly broke me when I saw what they’d done.

Me [trying to interrupt]: Yes…well…we won’t do that…

LL: But it’s a lovely flat, isn’t it? I don’t think you could find cheaper in London.

Me: Yes, but we’re a bit concerned…somebody has been coming in our rooms, moving things around, we’re a bit worried.

LL [suddenly quite sharp and shrewd]: Well, did you leave the door unlocked? That’s very dangerous, I don’t want someone breaking in and causing damage. That makes my insurance invalid, you know?

Me [a bit sick of the softly softly]: And Neville said that you’ve been coming round while we’re at work.

LL: Hmm? I need to go in a minute, I have a hospital appointment, I’m a slave to my knees, they say I have to have an operation.

Me [sod the softly softly]: Have you been coming into our rooms?

LL: Only if I need to.

Me: Like when you moved my ketchup?

LL: Well, it should be in the fridge, I’m not sure why you put it your room. You’ll bring in ants!

Me: You shouldn’t have been in my room to know that I had ketchup in there.

LL: Oh you don’t mind me visiting my own flat, do you? The previous tenants didn’t mind.

Me: But-

LL: Well, I’ll come round at the weekend, and we can all discuss it then.

Me: Discuss what?

LL: See you then! Bye!

I was still trying to argue into my phone, but she was gone.

I have no idea how to discuss with someone so blatant about lying and manipulation.

 

 

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.

 

IMG_20190423_115645IMG_20190423_141706

IMG_20190424_081359

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.

I think I know where the ketchup went…

IMG_20190424_081339

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?

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?

Tackling the stench beast

What horrors lurk behind the fridge?

monster-1297726_640
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.

Barry the barrowman

IMG_20190317_123306

“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.

 

One of those weird coincidences?

You know that dead cat we found..?

IMG_20190330_131445.jpg

Weather: a monkey’s wedding

Mood: tottering along

Word of the day: Bletherskate – a garrulous talker of nonsense

We were sitting in the smoking area before work this morning, chatting about the cat’s head found earlier this week (Jessica found it in the children’s playground, the police deny foul play), and Mike said,

‘Here’s a strange coincidence, I saw a poster for a missing cat yesterday.’ Our ears pricked up.

‘Where was the poster?’ asked Jessica.

‘It was further up this street. Isn’t that weird, when we just found a cat’s head and then I see the poster?’

‘What did the cat on the poster look like?’ I asked.

‘I don’t know, it was just a cat, it looked like a cat,’ said Mike, dismissively.

‘What kind of cat? What colour was it?’ Jessica was starting to lose her temper now, imagining the poor owners of the headless cat scouring the streets.

‘I don’t know, do I? It was just a cat!’

‘What do you mean it was just a cat? What did it look like?’ we all asked.

‘Why are you shouting at me? I just thought it was an interesting coincidence, we find a cat’s head and then a poster appears for a missing cat.’

‘WHAT DID IT LOOK LIKE?’

Eventually he said the poster was for a ginger cat, but the head found was a tabby. I find Mike very difficult to fathom sometimes.

 

I’m sorry, you said you see what?

IMG_20190307_120553

Time to re-enter the world of other people? Or time to rearrange my sock drawer?

Word of the day: Bewray – to reveal; to betray; to divulge

Weather: nondescript

Mood: curious

The hedgehog cake face is still in the fridge at work. Every time somebody goes to get milk you hear a cry of dismay as they see the disembodied face staring back at them.

It’s been a few months now since I upended my life and shifted across town. Since then I’ve been in hiding. I work, and it’s healthy superficial fun. I go out exploring London and talk to strangers. But I’ve been careful not to make friends. I can’t go on like that forever though.

Thinking this inspired me to leave my room and spend time with my new flatmates. I met Hamoudi and Jinjing, two Canadians who travelled to England together. They were in the kitchen preparing food for some guests they had coming round.

‘We’re just friends,’ said Jinjing, ‘everyone thinks we must be sleeping together, but we’re just friends.’ Hamoudi looked at her adoringly while she said it. He looks like a huge friendly bear. I asked why they came to London, and their demeanour changed from perky to hollow.

Jinjing said intensely, ‘Sometimes you have to get out, you know? You just have to leave.’ Hamoudi nodded, his eyes haunted.

‘What happened?’ I asked.

‘Well, we worked together at the local Walmart, and we had this boss and she was a super bitch. I mean she was awful. She used to bully us, make us do all the horrible jobs, shout at us. We both used to hide in the stockroom so we didn’t have to deal with her. And that’s how we became friends. But there was a point where we said, “No, we have to get out of here”.’

Hamoudi nodded, ‘And I had started seeing dead people, anyway,’ he said.

‘What?’ I said, but the doorbell rang and it was their friends, so I went back to hiding in my room. But, dead people?

I’m back! From outer space!

“When you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible.”  ― Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses

IMG_20190307_125913
Helleborus

Weather: sunny with a bitter wind

Mood: happy!

Word of the day: ideolocator – the name for the ‘you are here’ sign.

For anyone who still remembers old inkbiotic, I’m back! How are you all doing? I’ll be taking a wander around to find out in a bit.

I’ve not been here for a while, and I’ve missed the blogosphere and you delightful people who inhabit it.

Part of the reason I’ve been away, is that everything has changed for me in the last six months. I now have a new home, a new job, a new goddamn attitude (actually, I’m lying, the attitude is much the same). I’m still a gardener, but working for a much smaller organisation made up of quirks and oddballs. I’m living in a house with four people I don’t know, two Canadians, an American and another Englander. Everyone seems friendly, but I’m still trying to figure out routines and moods. So all is kind of chaotic at the moment and I’m hoping this will make for entertaining blogs in the weeks to come.

But for now, I’m going to have an explore of the WordPress world. See you soon.