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"Blogs = nothing but trouble"

  Sat 24th November 2012

...said Unbearable in an email. They can be. Even if one can tiptoe a harmless way through a new and unstable set of protocols about privacy and openness in blogging, one can't deal with the moral-free scrapers of Fcaoboek. I'm not techy enough to know what happened, but I was perturbed to find a link to this site from my Fcaoboek page, which is published under a pseudonym and nowhere mentions this blog. I put a notice up saying that the blog would be moving to a new URL, and set about doing this.

I had a sense of foreboding as soon as I read the online instructions which described the process as "easy". It has been a struggle with "errors", "access denied", and other instances of the bureaucratic language computers use when telling you you've made a mistake. It makes me think that there is a God, one who sent computers into the world to seduce us with their apparent usefulness, before forcing upon us hard lessons in self-restraint and calm in the face of wanting to throw the fucking things across the room.

It's still a bit of a bodge--the permalinks won't work unless the site is tailed with an unattractive "index.php" appendix; the site to which I hoped to emigrate is a wasteland of broken databases. So I'm still here for the time being. I want to avoid passwords for as long as humanely possible. I enjoy the privilege of poking around the blogosphere and reading about people's lives, and I don't want to imply that mine is so significant as to need a bouncer on the door.

Right, where were we?

Kitty came over on Saturday night. I froze with alarm mid-curry. "Looby, I know you find me very attractive..." I mentally flicked through my vast catalogue of faux pas, trying to recall the clanger I must have dropped to provoke this. "...but do you think my arse looks big in this?" I don't think she noticed my sigh of relief.

On our way to the pub, trying to clear the lascivious slime of Lower Church St as quickly as possible, we bumped into The Girl Who Only Wears Secondhand Clothes and a PhDer with a strange name that means "shit" in English slang. Four young girls, aimiable enough, dressed in miniskirts and spilling over their tops, asked us to take their photos, pulling Fcaoboek faces. I think mine and Kitty's chatter at with The Girl Who Only Wears Secondhand Clothes and Dr Shit might occasionally have strayed onto the garrulous side of conversational equality.

I had two letters the other day, one as lovely as the other was horrible. I wrote to Mary-Ann a few weeks ago, a chatty letter, mentioning Trina and some other news, hoping she might like to keep in touch.

I heard nothing, and thought that was that. Yesterday, three double sided pages of handwritten A4 arrived, Mary-Ann dealing with the rough hand she's been dealt in life with her usual practical, optimistic way. I'm pleased we're back in touch, especially in a handwritten medium.

Trina and I have had a good couple of days of banging. The fire on her narrowboat has been seized up for some time, making the boat increasingly chilly and unromantic, with cold, damp sheets making going to bed a more practical activity than I want it to be. With chisels, hammers, wire wool and WD40 we finally got the thing open, cleared it of shovelfuls of ash and coke, built a fire and snuggled back into orange-lit, Muscadet cosiness.

"You were getting a bit defensive about Kim," she said, next morning in bed. "Was I?" "Yes. I was just taking the mick out of someone who is such a wild child and then spends the morning crocheting." I thought I was being told off slightly, before she said "I hope you'd be as protective of me as you are of your other friends."

We went to collect a new washing machine for my house. We got lost took an interesting route to a moribund plastic caravan park which had an air of housing people who've given up and are going quietly. We couldn't move it and the man of the house was confident in saying it wouldn't fit in Trina's little car. I engaged two burly men to collect it for me. They arrived next day with it in their van. "Wait, wait," I said. "Drive it round the back, otherwise you'll have to take it down some stairs." "Oh that doesn't matter," they said. "We can take it down some stairs."

I stood weedily on, watching them take the thing down the uneven, damp cellar steps. I plumbed it in, with only one spurt of water, then went to deal with the other letter, which makes threats about what will happen unless I pay them six hundred pounds "IMMEDIATELY".


Comment from: Tony [Visitor]

Great to see you back blogging Looby, we have missed you.
Bit worried about the poor old money situation. The rats seem to be getting nearer to the seat of your pants.

Sat 24th November 2012 @ 20:43
Comment from: [Member]

Ahh… nice to hear from you Mr T! I’ll be reet. These things always work out.

Sat 24th November 2012 @ 23:46
Comment from: [Member]

i’ve used reasonable care to keep the eff-books disconnected from my blog, for a variety of reasons. should it ever leak? i’ll deal with it, i suppose. hope you get things squared away soon.

Sun 25th November 2012 @ 22:52
Comment from: [Member]

Well, mine’s under a false name and with very little personal information. How it connected to this blog I’ve no idea. I’ve taken down the post I think was causing the problem and I haven’t had any visitors from FB for a couple of days.

Mon 26th November 2012 @ 10:52

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 60 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
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The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
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Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
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The working man is a fucking loser.
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The Comfort of Strangers

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