Well fancy seeing you here...

Hello and welcome to the rambling rollercoaster of useless ponderings, strung together in what the internet calls a "blog," and the voices call a waste of everyone elses time.

Please check your sanity at the door (along with your dignity, logic, principles, good taste and prejudices against daftness.)

"I am here to seduce you into a love of life; to help you to become a little more poetic; to help you die to the mundane and to the ordinary so that the extraordinary explodes in your life." -Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Caller ID

Today was the 1st of March, and the welcome sunshine heralded the forthcoming spring. There was a freshness to the world, promising to breathe the colour and life back into all those too-long warmed by radiators and thermal socks. The trees have begun to bud, daffodils have started pushing golden trumpets skyward through the slowly thawing ground, and birdsong’s returning to hedgerows as the hardy winter species take advantage of insects enlivened by the unexpected sun. It was a day of beginnings.

Once home, as buoyed by the fresh air and sense of optimism as any good cliché expects, I smiled at the shrill ring of the house-phone and made sure to grab the mug of freshly-brewed tea on-route to answer. There are only a few who’d call the landline at that time of day, and I assumed it would be my friend Chris, wanting to catch up after a few weeks of radio silence from us both. A good cuppa and comfortable seat are a necessity when such a lengthy chat’s anticipated, and as I picked up the receiver and settled down with both, I’ll admit to being unprepared for the female voice on the other end. As soon as she introduced herself as his mother, I knew I wouldn’t touch the tea.

Chris and I met seven years ago through his wife, Elaine, when we found ourselves thrown together on a hospital ward full of elderly ladies. We shared a sense of humour, and quickly formed a friendship forged through long days spent in opposite beds, with little else to entertain us but each other. On her way back through the foyer having been out for a cigarette, she’d passed the charity stall and bought me a squishy little elephant that was full of beans. Someone had told her many years ago that because elephants never forget, if you give someone an elephant, it means they’ll never forget you. We laughed about it and stood it on the windowsill with a little grey cat visiting family had brought her, and which she’d named after me. One day after a trip out on “day release” I returned so tired that I could do little more than curl up on the bed fully dressed. Without a word she padded over and unbuckled my shoes, doing the only thing she could think of to make me a little bit more comfortable, hoping I’d relax enough to sleep despite the increased pain and nausea that I’d been admitted for in the first place.

Elaine's gift.

We were all surprised when her condition deteriorated overnight, and though she clung to life for a few more days, when I saw her in the private room she’d been moved into there was little left of the vibrant, giggling woman I’d bonded with on the ward. Her husband kept in touch because he thought it was what she would have wanted, and over the years we became friends.

Although my only contact with Chris has been through regular phone-calls, he’s always been interested in what I’ve been up to, and always cared very much that I remain healthy and happy. His career in the forces left him with scars deeper than those which had previously hospitalised me, and occasionally he’d recount some of the nightmares which had outlasted his service. Those tales weren’t always easy to hear, but were tempered with anecdotes about his time in Germany, the antics of the five cats he’d raised from kittens, and his enduring passion for science and astronomy.

Several attempts have been made throughout the years, by me and by his friends and family, to dissuade him from drinking as heavily as he began to following Elaine’s death. But he never slept soundly without her, and couldn’t imagine spending his life with anyone else. Until today I’d never spoken to his mother directly, simply heard him speak of her, often mentioning how robust she was for a woman of eighty who had still cared for her own mother until recently. I can’t count the number of times Chris joked about the longevity in his family, and talked about outliving me despite being thirty years my senior. Thirty years to the day, as the same date in April birthed us both, and made the annual well-wishes much easier to remember!

As the very last of the sun streamed through the window, warming the seat I’d curled up in to chat with him, his mother quietly explained how her son had been found dead. It was a strangely civilised and emotionless call; her supplying the details, me offering the condolences, us both agreeing that the news wasn’t entirely unexpected. I felt sorrier for her than for him in many ways, because he’d been very philosophical about his lack of desire to live without Elaine. He’d lost a life he no longer wanted, but she’d lost a son she’d never given up hope would learn to cope on his own. The tears that followed the click of the receiver flowed for so many things. The shock of the news after expecting his cheery refrain to greet me, the familiarity of the hurt I knew his family would be feeling, and the uncompromising contrast between the afternoon’s positivity and the sadness that was creeping in with the evening shade.

Long ago I’d had to accept that I couldn’t “fix” Chris. That none of the people who cared for him could do that. The best I could offer was to be his “little friend,” as he always referred to me, mainly to wind me up. I listened to him, laughed with him, and let him cry when he needed to. In return he cared, and repeatedly reassured me that he’d always be there if I needed him. Despite his flaws and failings, and all the people he had let down over the years – including himself – he really meant it. In a funny sort of way I always knew I could rely on him. He was determined to do right by me because of Elaine, and never went very long without giving me a ring to check that all was right with my world.

The only wobble during today’s call came when his mother asked me if she could phone me from time to time, to keep in touch, because she thought it would be what Chris would have wanted. I assured her that she was welcome to ring at any time, and I was always here if there was anything she needed. I’ll do my best to listen. I’m sure we’ll laugh sometimes. And I’m sure there will be times she’ll need to cry.

The weather report for tomorrow says it’s turning colder. Spring isn’t beginning yet after all. First, winter must end.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Conversation with a Spamwhore

I have neglected this blog since I started getting the insomnia under control, but was reminded of it tonight when I received the most convoluted unsolicited email I've had since somebody passed my details on to the Nigerian royal family. And genereous as they were, boy were they difficult to shake off! I told them I couldn't handle the responsibility of millions of pounds being transferred into my bank account, but I guess people raised in privilege will never understand my life. When I wish that I could win the lottery, I always work out what the minimum would be that myself and my family/friends would need to live comfortably, and hope for that. If I had too much money I'd probably spend it on shoes. ...Well, shoes and every Big Issue seller with a dog. I'll sometimes walk past a Big Issue seller if all they have is a risk of pneumonia, heartwrenching sadness emanating from their person, and a distinct case of malnutrition. But if they have a dog, I crumble. If they're keeping it warm inside their coat, there's every chance I'll hand over the keys to my house and move into the shed.

This email failed to appeal to that conscience, warped as it is. In fact, it may not even be worthy of the derision contained within this post. I should have just deleted it and moved on with my life. But because I was bored I wanted to feel like I was doing something more constructive than daydreaming about not winning the lottery. So the correspondence is faithfully reproduced here (though fragmented for comic effect) with my thoughts as it progressed toward its agenda.


"BABE... i guess your not getting any of my email huh? ive been
tryign to email u so many times but this dam laptop is such a piece of
garbage and keeps freezing.."

HI! No, this is the first email. My laptop can be a bitch too. So... who is this?

"anyways how u been? In case u dont know
who this is its ME ADRIANA.."


"we used to chat a bit on facebook and then
I think u deleted me :( "

Probably for repeatedly abbreviating the word "you".

"haha.. anyways guess what... I got 2 things to
tell u.. both good news.."

You're getting sterilised and joining a silent order?

"1) im single now.. yup me and my bf broke up
about 3 months ago..."

Don't tell me, he found out that you're actually the age suggested by your reading level?

"and 2) guess where im moving? RIGHT EFFING NEAR U.."


"lol... ur actually the only person im gonna know there.. well 3
cousins too but i cant chill with them"

Why is it awkward, are two of them unhappy that you're marrying the 3rd?

"lol..I remember when we chatted u told me u thought i was cute and u wanted to chill so now we finally can"

That doesnt sound like me.

"HAHA! im kinda scared to move.. im hoping this email addy is still the one you use and u can chat with me ebfore i get there.. maybe even help me move my shit in...are u still on facebook? i cudnt find ui was soo confused"

That means I blocked you. And your shit.

"...anyways im gonna need someone to show me the town and take me out so u better be around bebe...we only chatted a couple times but i remember thinking to myself i wanted to get ot know u better when i was single..a nd i thoguth u were cute too but cudnt tell u cause i wasnt single lol..."

You're not the weirdest person to have called me cute this week, but he's still more my type than you are.

"ok so more info about me.."

I think I know everything I need to already.

"well im 23.. virgo.. love the outdoors and love to socialize, go out for drinks, restaurants, movies etc.. travel.. "

Maybe I shouldn't judge a book by its crayola-scrawled cover. You really don't sound that bad.

"i have a lil kitty named BOO and i luv her to death... "

I take that back.

"uhhh oh im a super horny gurl too but every gurl is they just wont admit it."

That's more information about you than I need. I can't vouch for the legitimacy of your generalisation, either, as I'm not familiar with the supposed reticence of "gurls". Women, on the other hand, are far more candid about our needs than you seem to appreciate.

"so ilove watching p0rn and all that.. love sex etc blah blah blah...who doesnt.."

You actually seem rather blase. I'm not convinced you enjoy it very much at all. Maybe breaking up with your boyfriend was for the best. He can't have been very good.

"I really hope we get a chance to chat for a bit either online or on the fone before i get there enxt week."

If you think I've deleted and blocked you on facebook, what do you think the chances are that I'll answer your calls?

"OH YA also.. i need to find a job when i get there.. do u have any hookups or know anybody hiring? id LOVE to work in a bar or osmehting like that...really anythgin cause my current job is fun and all.. and technically i CUD keep doign it but i want a change.. i currently work from home and well thats cool but i need ot be out meeting people.."

The person you have me confused with must work for the Jobcentre. I can see why they've been ignoring you.

"oh wait. i dont think i ever actually told u what i
did? hmm shud i......????"

Not unless you work for the Samaritans, because I'm already losing the will to live.

"ok WELLLL... and dont get all weirded out on me.."

I'm chatting to an email, you'd be surprised what I consider sane.

"i work on a webcam chat community site and i get paid to chat with people and get naked HHAHA... BOMB right :)? I KNOW.. like i figure iim horny anyways why not get paid to chat with people and play with myself heheh...anyways i hope u dont look down on that"

Not as much as I look down on your grammar. If you're recruiting, then ask me again if we hit a secondary recession.


Well geez, I'm no supermodel but there's no need to be quite so sure.

"lol... i actually need help once i move and i remembered u live there so im reaching out....like i said before this computer is a complete piece of CRAP and freezes NON STOP.. ive tried ot send this email to u maybe 3 times already and im hopign this time i can hit SEND before i run into trouble lol.."

I don't see how I can help. I've neither a van nor a qualification in IT maintenance.

"ANYWAYS.. heres the deal....every month natalie (my boss) gives each of us 3 VIP codes to give out to whoever we want.. so with this code u can lgoin to watch me at work for free and dont have to pay like everyone else..."

Good for Natalie. I'm sure that will help you break the ice with your trio of cousins.

"i figured u cud always email me back instead but my email account doesnt even let me login half the time.. so the bets palce ot chat me is my chat room..."

It sounds like it'd be the worst place to chat with you. You type awfully as it is, I dread to think what state your penmanship (or keyboard) would take if you were engaged in your work, and I'd prefer not to fraternise with your clients.

"so the bets palce ot chat me is my chat room... if theres anyone else logged in when u sign in ill boot them out.. but remember DONT SHARE THIS PASSWORD PLEASE BABE IM BEGGING U.. I TRUST U... "

Can't you just give me a number, then I can confirm that I'm not who you think I am without opening my laptop up to the viruses and malware that are making yours so buggy?

"im online most of the day now to try and save money for my move..
also since im in such a huge debt already form my student loan :("

Media Studies or beauty therapy?

"I really thingk we need to chat before i get there and make sure u evern remember me hahha.. anyways ive rambled on and on now and ur probably soooo annnoyed with me so ill stop now.. im gonna go start work.. i really hope u come chat me. it wud make my day and releive a lot of my stress about the move... REALLY i mean that"

I have no recollection of you at all, and would discourage you from moving. Especially if it's closer to me. Relieve all the stress by staying put.

"once i see u in insdie ill shoot u myc ell number and u can gimme yours.. if u dont wanna come chat i understand but its really the only palce to find me now days.."

Just email your number, then you needn't deprive one of your future uncle-husbands of their VIP pass.

"hahahahha...k babe im out for now... chat ya soon..."

I really hope not.


Anyone looking for the link contained within the original email should click here