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Marbles

  Sat 21st October 2023

I am a bit worn down from too many events.

My uncle passed away recently, so it was off to Brighton. I'd forgotten how attractive the centre of Brighton is. It still has a pleasure gardens feel to it; as long as one doesn't think of the economic cleansing caused by the uncontrolled rents.

The relatives, some of whom are in steep decline, gathered in a brick-built crematorium whose harsh geometry had an air of the concentration camp about it. My mum didn't hear a word of the service, as she refuses to take her hearing aids out with her. In the pub afterwards her sister-in-law asked her who she was.


The flat has dried out now, but it wasn't Alpine dew seeping in from upstairs -- it was water filtered through the clothes and cigarette-strewn carpet of a Bulgarian alcoholic who walks up and down the street in his pyjamas drinking vodka -- but the housing association might be giving me vouchers with which I can get new fitted carpets. I still have no light in the bathroom: the workmen who said they were coming yesterday to fix it didn't turn up.


Then on Wednesday my bank informed me that my current account is frozen. Yesterday I spent an hour on the phone trying to find out why.

A friend, whom I think is bipolar but who reacted violently the only time I suggested that to him, has accused me of defrauding him. We used to have a commercial relationship, that worked fine until recently. I've got £150 of his which I am trying to return to him, having told him that I'm shutting up shop (for him, anyway -- I can't be dealing with his 4am rambling voicemails, endlessly changing orders and loony bin messages), but he's refusing to give me his bank details and his phone number doesn't work. I've told him, through Farce Book, that as soon as my account is unfrozen I'll make sure he'll get his money back. I'll deliver the cash by hand to his address next time I'm back home. And make sure I film or photograph myself doing it. In the meantime, I'm suspected of fraud and the bank is holding on to £490 of mine.


On Friday I was working in the first class carriage. I get flustered and forgetful. I served four or five meals, then, after everyone had decanted at Manchester, I realised that I'd not taken any payment for them (passengers in first class on Transport That Fails don't get meals for free any more). That evening, at Mel's, I got rather upset and and self-dramatising, to the extent of saying "I'm losing my mind Mel." As they usually do, things seemed a lot better in the morning. And it would appear that the error hasn't been discovered.

I very much want to find another job though: I have no interest in what I do; it's devoid of any meaning or purpose. My first aim every day, is to do the least work and if possible, get out of it altogether. Little things, like a colleague saying "amazing" as a customer paid for his coffee, rile me.


Mel's birthday: I got us tickets to the opera, and we sat through, and nodded off in, a dull modern work supposedly about the life of Lorca but which was eighty minutes of wailing and lamentation in the most banal Spanish, tepidly bathed in a modernism-lite soundtrack. The evening's highlight came before curtain up, with a couple nearby having one of those tight-lipped domestics in which the middle classes excel. It was a relief to get to the pub next door and watch the last third of England v Italy.

4 comments »

4 comments

Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Oh my god, what a dreadful time you’ve had. I think you should go dancing to cheer yourself up.
I hope your bank account is now unfrozen.
Sx

Wed 25th October 2023 @ 11:47 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

It’s OK Ms S, I’ve had far worse. Could do with my money but it’ll take a couple of weeks at least I think.

But you’re dead right about the dancing cure – that’s being sorted next Saturday.

Thu 26th October 2023 @ 00:02 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

I think my aim in every job i’ve ever had is to do the least work possible :), it’s why my employers seem to like me, want to be efficient? find the laziest guy and ask him how he does things… of course in these days of “late capitalism” i feel meaningful work is a bit non-existent, at least if you want something that pays a living wage… shopping and delivering for the Bougies these days is quite pleasant and when i deliver to the elderly and have a chat it always makes me feel a bit good about things…

Banks are always a pain in the arse aren’t they? i guess it’s great that they want to be “cautious” about things but the usually have shit backasswards as we say… hope the dosh is unfrozen asap!

Sat 4th November 2023 @ 15:38 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

And I bet the elderly people really enjoy it too.

I don’t like my job at the moment because there are a lot of things wrong with how it’s organised, but I like the chatting to the passengers – and occasional flirting!

Anyway, I’m glad to say that I’ve just got in after a few days of getting spoilt at Mel’s, to find a cheque for the balance on the mat. At last!

Tue 7th November 2023 @ 12:45 You are currently replying to this comment


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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.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

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?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
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La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
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Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
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The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

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