Wednesday, 28 June 2006


A stinky man sat down next to me, despite there being plenty of empty space, which seemed odd to me. He had a big bag which he arranged on his lap and then did that thing that pickpockets do where they stretch their arm across their chest under their jacket so its hidden as it slides into your bag or pocket. Becoming outraged at this I told him to move somewhere else because I didn't want him trying to pickpocket me.

Pickpocket must have pricked up the ears of a man a bit further back who stood up and said loudly, "are you alright, love, is he trying to dip into your bag?", to which I replied, "he's trying to pick my pocket".
"Oi mate", he says, "I think you ought to move now." Pickpocket man refused. So I stood up, but he wouldn't move his legs. The woman sitting in front of me turned and told him to move out of the way. I squeezed past.
"Hey everyone! This man is a pickpocket," the loud man announced to the bus. I went downstairs for some refuge. Upstairs the furore carried on for a while. Pickpocket man came downstairs at Manor House and got off the bus.

The most notorious route for pickpocketing in my neighbourhood is the 29, particuarly between Finsbury Park and Wood Green. It doesn't help that the bus is a bendy one and there are always lots of people standing. Almost every time you ride it there is someone dipping pockets.

Sunday, 25 June 2006


So I was never going to be a winner. That was clear from the start. I had to pick early since I was party to hatching the plot to build some team spirit (a bit like flogging a dead horse, but that doesn't dampen our resolve). And then the woman with responsibility for the picking bag and fairness decided that under no circumstances would anyone be able to have another dip, either throwing back their first pick or for an additional £1. I dipped in deep, shaking the bag up, tossing the tiny strips of folded up paper around, until I felt that I had shuffled the pack, as it were. I felt lucky. And then I drew out Togo. Like I said. I was never going to be a winner. I set my hopes on a flurry of extraordinary results, playing out of their skins (like the Cameroons last time, or was that the time before last?)

Several days later, the woman responsible for picking took pity on me, and in an attempt to help me find some optimism from the crushing world that was work that week, she let me pick another, having totally exhausted all other staff. There were two left in the bag but she wouldn't let me see what had already gone. I crossed my fingers and picked out Croatia.

Like I said, I was never going to win. I thought with a lot, and I mean a lot, of luck I would have one team go through to the next round... I think I might be in with a chance of winning the worst team £2 award, so things aren't that bad.

Thursday, 22 June 2006

Juicy Gossip

Is he good looking?
No, but he's very rich.
I could never do that. I suppose she can run away after five years...
She had a lovely wedding in Russia.

3 middle-class women. Hippy chic clothes. Beaded jewellery.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006


On the stair halfway between ground and the platform is a perfectly formed footprint. Drawn out in pinky orange plaster dust. Outlined with small circles from the tread. There are no others leading up to it or walking away.
Rush Crush

In the crush of a train that had only 3 coaches when normally 6 we stood, arms pinned to our sides, swaying in unison unable to hold on, faces in the hair of those in front. Details became apparent in my limited field of vision. Washed but not dried hair, a bit of pinstripe, a diamonte broach, a woman wearing her cardigan inside out.

Sunday, 18 June 2006


This word reminded me of that film from the late 80s which was about a futuristic society (blade runneresque without the rain) - a woman lived in a flat and never went out, she was being spied on by some fat man with a telescope and something came and got him (I think) which made her have to go outside. It was very yellow. It was the first time I heard Ministry - they had done the soundtrack. My favourite one was Stigmata. Not related at all, just sound similar.

Looking at that website I'm reminded of the fact that I was more hardcore then, I had pink hair, I wore all black. Actually I'm forgetting that I still wear all black and my hair has red in it.

The film was Hardware, I suddenly remembered.

Saturday, 17 June 2006

Bah Humbug

Its gloriously hot outside. Sun is intermittent. Garden is looking rather thirsty. Great day for relaxing after a long week at work. Sadly I have, once again, left an essay to the last minute (can't seem to find the time to fit them in until its desperate). So this weekend will be given over to that. Also have a job application to put in. Doesn't help that I'm feeling desperately short of words at the moment. Written or spoken. So on all fronts it feels like its going to be a bit of a struggle. Wish I could go outside.

Perhaps its a state mind thing. Maybe I need to think about it as an interesting task (essay is on a relatively interesting subject - relative to one's interest in the topic, of course).

So lets rephrase. This weekend I will mostly be writing a paper about what research can tell us about the transfer of learning and its implications for the design of instruction. (probably not selling it to you yet!)

Tuesday, 13 June 2006


The sky is full of threatening cloud, over towards the horizon it gets lighter and brighter. Yellowy grey. The ground is dry even though there have been heavy downpours today. Its going to rain again. Electric. I expect thunder and lightening.

Friday, 9 June 2006

The Weather is Hot

One shoulder is peeling. I fully expect the other one to join in judging by the texture of its skin. Remember peeling? Used to be a sign of an excellent summer holiday. Together with a prominent cross of white skin on your back from your speedo cross-over swimsuit (before we reached bikini wearing age, which was before the preferred all-over tan with no lines at all). I stupidly sat outside last weekend enjoying my breakfast in the sun and was burnt before I knew it.

Today its hot. Not as bad as yesterday when it was also strangely still. The heat felt sort of physical - touching you, while today with a better breeze blowing it doesn't. On my way back from lunch I picked up an icepole for everyone in the office. Remember them? They used to be in better 'flavours' (I use flavours in the loosest sense of the word, what it really equated to was colour) - my preference was always for the red or dark purple ones - better colouration of the tongue, today there weren't even any blue or illuminous green ones. And I've discovered that with age I'm much less keen on grinding the plastic open with my teeth. Good for cooling down though.

Thursday, 8 June 2006


So it appears I've turned into a total slacker virtually blogging to a halt. Its just that I'm in this treacle waiting for things to happen on the house front, work continues in its own irritating manner, its too hot to sleep (must remember to put up the winter duvet) and big brother is rotting my brain. Ah the great british summer. I have been to see Fuerzabruta though - it was good.

On a total tangent,I woke up this morning remembering two instances which led me to realise that a. London wasn't as it once was and b. things are different for men in the city. My dad used to walk to work in the 70s, when I was going to St Leornards Nursery school I used to walk with him, every person he passed on the street would exchange good mornings with him. In the 90s when he started working from home he gradually started to get to know the people in the neighbourhood we lived in because he was around a lot in the daytime and he used to say hello to all those people. Me, I took the lead from pops and it got me into two embarassing situations.

In the early 80s,on my way to school I used to call for Romana and we'd walk together. Near to her house there was a dishy older boy and he lived with some curly haired man who we thought was his dad. I used to say hello to people I passed on the way to school (perhaps a bit forward for a teenager). So one time when I was probably 14 this curly haired man came to meet me at the school gates and asked to speak to me alone - he said he'd seen the way I looked at him and he just wanted me to know that he couldn't have a relationship with me due to the difference in age. I was aghast. Partly becuase I had no idea anything I did could be so misinterpreted and partly because this ancient hideous curly haired man could think that I fancied him. Needless to say I changed my route to school and started only looking at the pavement when walking - perhaps leading to the onset of the teen angst years.

One time I had been walking with pops and he stopped to chat to the man with the airdale dog. When I next say man with the airdale dog I said hello to him and he totally ignored me, in fact seem very much flustered and bustled along up the road. Confused I later brought this up with pops and he said the man was of an age where he probably considered it inappropriate to speak to young women in the street. So, I never spoke to him again.

Men it seems can exchange pleasantries. Women can't unless its to other women - for fear of it being mistaken for flirting. Sometimes I don't want to chat to the women on my street - theres a scottish woman with a dog and a teenage son who always calls me hen and once talking won't stop (I pretend to be talking on the phone sometimes to avoid her), then there's the irish woman with bleached blond hair who still wants to talk about my pooor mother (who died over a decade ago). The widow of the man with the airdale (both he and the dog have since gone) is nice to speak to - brief hellos, and the old spanish lady (sort of square - as wide as she was tall) was also good to chat to but she's moved to Southend to be with her son, his wife and their children.

Thursday, 1 June 2006


It was my birthday recently and the boyfiend bought me a rather marvellous interactive electronic board game of Dr Who, complete with a battery operated tardis (flashing blue light and ominous sounding instructions) and lots of miniature daleks, which incidentally I haven't had an opportunity to play yet. It reminds me of the pre-video game era when really up-to-the-minute board games had some kind of electronic gagetry included (remember late 70s and early 80s really good games like Operation or Simon - online version - they were the business). He also bought me a Dr Who Sticker Collection. Another blast from the past. The only disappointing thing is that I suddenly started getting duplicates of the stickers and had forgotten that part of the joy of a sticker collection is the bit where you swop with the kids at school. I'm 36. I'm not at school. I don't have any kids. So if anyone out there is collecting and would like to do some swops - I've got:
2 x 27
2 x 125
What've you got?