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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

30 April 2003

Finally - a Fleet Street awards ceremony which each prize is thoroughly deserved - The Guardian's report on The Shaftas.

A lesson for us all - you should never eavesdrop on someone else's conversation, as you'll only hear what you don't want to hear.

"In another transcript, Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair's chief of staff who has always been seen as an impartial player in the peace process, refers to an Ulster Unionist MP as an ass and agrees with Mr McGuinness that there are quite a lot of Unionists worthy of the insult."

25 April 2003

This stupidly brilliant stupid site makes a poem out of the contents of your webpage. My poem reads:

Drugs Make Me more fantastic propoganda here in my life.
I can tell you may remember Jonathon Glasgow
from representatives of a London marathon
His socks. Which, he mistakenly reported
meeting myself and would like
I made a journalist reporting from
the last person you may remember
from the plastic cat richard herring run
the allies have been Television Without Pity
Ben Jason Turin Brakes David Gray
Aqualung The 2002 Edinburgh Evening News,
just gone into a diary during the HR department
at least, because I
also wear, but still taking place. Posted
3:03 PM by pretty good positions
and Susan.

Did it. It's done now. In four week's time, I won't have a job. And I'm feeling pretty good about that. If by "pretty good", I mean anxious, slightly nauseous and wholeheartedly uplifted.

Friday Five

1. What was the last TV show you watched?

That was Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 5, episode 15. I can be that specific because I had just watched episodes 13 and 14 before it. I bought the box set, you see, and because I couldn't afford to, I decided that it was best I tried to watch it all at once, in an attempt to pretend that it was worth going without food for the last week before pay day.

I'm quitting my job today, people. I'm waiting for my boss to come out of meetings so that I can tell her that I'm quitting, but I've told a lot of other people before her, and now you, the collective crazys that read this, know before she does. I'm getting quite nervous, I can tell you.

2. What was the last thing you complained about and what was the problem?

The last time I made a specific, registered, proper complaint was when the train I was on broke down for three hours in darkness in the middle of nowhere with no air conditioning or lights or toilets and no information about how long it would be broken down. I wrote a three page letter (the days at work have to be filled somehow) and I got my ticket price back, but no extra compensation for the psychological damage it caused.

She's not going to be out of meetings until 12.30 today at the earliest. I want to go down and tell the HR department at least, because that would give me more satisfaction, but I think she should probably be told first. I've written a letter, and would like to just leave it on her seat, but then as my friend pointed out, I wouldn't know if she'd read it or not.

3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say?

I have no idea, I'm not a big complimentor. I probably said something about somebody's shoes. Or if I noticed that someone had something new, I'd compliment that, even if I didn't like it. I don't have to be sincere all the time, do I?

I just heard her voice in the corridor. I think she might be between meetings. Eek. I should probably run and do it now and get it over with, but suddenly I'm covered in a cold sweat. Why is this making me nervous? It's not like I haven't done it before.

4. What was the last thing you threw away?

Clothes. Sack loads of clothes, all sitting in black bags in our hallway waiting to be taken to a charity shop and into a new life. I have tons and tons of clothes that I don't wear, and no room in my wardrobe for the other clothes that I also don't wear, but still want to keep, so I decided a cull was in order.

She's just gone into her office. She's got coffee. I must just dive in and do it. Do it now.

5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited?

Ananova or Chortle, I think. Could have been Television Without Pity either, actually. Or a whole list of them. I just blindly follow my favourites round and don't really concentrate on what I'm doing. Such is the way of my life.

I chickened out, incidentally. Went in all guns blazing (not literally) and left with the same letter in my hand, because she looks all frazzled and I don't think it'll help much if her secretary quits just before she goes into a day's worth of meetings. So I'm going to leave it for a couple of hours and do it before lunchtime, when she's got just as little time, but slightly less pressing meetings. This is pathetic, isn't it?

17 April 2003

As soon as I'm able to, which will probably be tomorrow, I'll do a quick burst of a review on the fabulous Aqualung gig from last night. In the meantime, a flapping chick -

16 April 2003

Divvy Dave Marks had a marathon. His last entry is now up, and if you've not been reading it, read it all at once right now. I have nothign to tell you. You should read this instead.

15 April 2003

This blog has literally just begun. Let's see what she does with it.

This, more than anything else, feels like stalking.

11 April 2003

10 April 2003

Just received this at work -

> We received a visit this morning from representatives of the City of
> Edinburgh Council Environmental and Consumer Services. They are going
> round all the businesses in the area advising on the legislation
> regarding smoking in open spaces. It is not an offence to
> smoke in the street. However, under current legislation it is an
> offence to drop litter, which includes cigarette ends, in the street.
> The Council are advising that their Environmental Wardens are
> monitoring the situation and are empowered to levy an on the spot £25
> fine on anyone caught contravening the legislation.

Hm. So much for our traditional fag breaks. We'll end up behind bike sheds again. Which, come to think of it, has something of a nostalgic appeal. Even though we didn't have bike sheds at school. We used to smoke in the woods behind school, where the flashers used to lurk. Ah, memories.

09 April 2003

More fantastic propoganda here - Saddam's statue toppled in Baghdad.

"The civilians eventually attached a rope to the neck of the statue and pulled it over using a US military vehicle." Yep. Civilians. Pure coincidence, then, that the media cameras were all present, in good positions and able to broadcast it live in a city where fierce running battles are still taking place.

Two new diaries that I've been meaning to bring to people's notice, but have been too lazy to.

1. Today this site is called I have knees but happily that changes as often as he changes his socks. Which, I'm sure, is quite often. It's a London marathon diary, written in the style (today at least) of someone who really doesn't want to run the London marathon.

2. A diary being kept by a journalist reporting from the war. You may remember Jonathon Glasgow from his diary during the 2002 Edinburgh Festival, in which he mistakenly reported meeting myself and Susan. This site gives a brilliant insight into the mind of one man who accidentally travelled with British troops right into the heart of war.

Sample entry -

: : : : : : : : : : : : : :

March 20, 2003
None of us know quite exactly what is going on. Least of all me. I just spoke to Rageh Omar on the telephone. He is actually in Baghdad and I'm attempting to link up with him later today.

I said to him: "It's an evil thing war". There was silence. What sounded like a man crying. I said it again, "it's an evil thing war". Rageh said something about officers and gentlemen and unconditional surrender. Then the line went dead.

I think he thought I said, "Evelyn Waugh".
: : : : : : : : : : : : : :

This site is brilliant. My entry reads:

There is


Person with this name.
This name is unique like a yeti or some form of Magic Chimp.

The war is over, apparently. Or, at least, the allies have "won". This news just in thanks to the Edinburgh Evening News, which has seen fit to celebrate this news by printing all their posters on yellow rather than white paper. The cover page on the site isn't the same cover as the later editions, declaring war over.

It's officially spring here in Edinburgh - this lunchtime I saw no less than three men bravely sporting kilts. It is actually quite warm out - so long as you keep your coat on.

04 April 2003

Last night we went out for dinner, as we'd forgotten to eat all day in the excitement of buying runners and shopping in the French version on H&M (which is exactly the same as the British version of H&M). We picked a cafe that had the menu in kind-of English (the courgette flan was translated as 'custard') - that's very important when you don't want to inadvertently order duck or horse or pigeon. I asked if there was a vegetarian option and the lovely little waitor, in all seriousness, recommended the chicken. Susan had to explain that we meant no chicken, no fish, no meat. In the end, I got a big dish full of the things that everyone else got to accompany their food - green beans, over cooked rice, grilled tomatoes. But it was quite nice anyway, and better than cheese baguettes, which is all that I've had to eat for two weeks. No wonder I'm feeling all grumpy today. Tomorrow night - quorn. Quorn everything. Bring on the quorn. God bless the quorn.

The cyber cafe is playing Girls Aloud.

We are now in Marseille for the day, on our last day on holiday. Down the south of France, in the second most popular holiday city in France for French people - what shall we do with our time? Ah, cyber cafe! Actually, the weather is a bit pathetic and drippy, the city isn't all that it's made out to be, and quite frankly we'd rather not stare at any more French buildings if we can help it.

Avignon is likewise a bit of a let down - I think seeing things outside of the normal tourist season has it's advantages, but one of the main features of the South of France is supposed to be the weather, so constant gale force winds in Avignon, and rain in Marseille means that they're not quite giving their best to us.

We spent some of last night in one of the two Irish pubs we have spotted in Avignon so far, as it seemed to be playing some quite good music, and was full of young folk with their chat and merriment. But it smelt funny after a while, so we left. The girl behind the bar was Irish. I found that quite confusing. They also played a Joe Dolan cover of a U2 song, which I thought was just great, and made me feel homesick for about 2 seconds until I came back to my senses.

The one thing I think I would always find disturbing about living in France - other than Bigdil - is the way that virtually every French man feels that it is well within their rights to unashamedly STARE at every woman that happens to be in their eye line. We've had every kind of stare, the sly glance all the way up to the out-and-out turn your head as you're driving your car up the road kind of staring. It's really really annoying more than anything else. I've taken to staring back, but that doesn't seem to make a difference. This morning in the train station, two men stopped what they were doing, stood directly opposite us and stared at me and Susan for FIVE FULL MINUTES while we drank a cup of coffee. I don't know what they were waiting for us to do.

Tomorrow, back to London, proper telly, our own beds, vegetarian food (thank God), understanding what people are saying and driving in a normal manner. We are both quite sad to be finishing our holiday, even though it has lasted forever plus an extra couple of days.

01 April 2003

Peter Dibdin's Order and Meaning Of The Traffic Lights Sign
(for all non-driving idiots)

Red is the colour of the apple so fine.
Red and amber is the sunset in the evening time..
Green is the frog all covered in slime.
Amber is the sunrise in the morning time.
Red is the colour of the apple so fine.
And that is the order of the traffic light sign.

Look at how anti-social we are. Tonight a man in the hostel started talking to us in broken french and english, mocking the fact that we were tired. He was from Columbia, and all I could think about was the Simon Munnery line about chocolate, coffee and cocaine. And Shakira. We ran away from him and his constant attention and came to the cyber cafe to read about old Lee and Herring jokes, and the Aqualung tour diary which we are not mentioned in, and who therefore we now obviously hate. Not really. Well kind of.

Every time we are walking around town or talking we both keep yelling that we must blog things, if only so that we can remember in the weeks to come, but when we get here inspiration leaves as I struggle with the keyboard. But one thing that has struck me out of the many things that keep striking me is the fact that I really do listen to a lot of music every day, and really really miss it when I don't have the chance to. So in the blind Vs deaf stakes, blind is in the lead today, for what it's worth.

I have also noticed that my sense of direction isn't worth a damn, whereas Susan could probably find her way out of a paper bag quite easily. Me, I'd be stuck there for days.

Finally, our adventure this afternoon involved us getting on the tram/ski-lift (which is called the Fin-Ick-You-Lare) four times, while only paying for one journey. And three out of the four times were from the same station, and all were in the same direction. Make of that what you will. But the final score in Comedy Lounge Vs Lyon is CL 3 - Lyon 1.

One of the many anti-Moore sites springing up around the web, this one seems by far the best informed and most thorough. Very entertaining for anyone not completely convinced by Moore and his continued bleating.

When I posted that yesterday, the smart comments about walking up the hill, little did I know that we actually would have to walk up the freaking hill. I thought we'd get the tram/ski lift thingy that glides up through the hill and arrives on top, but as we couldn't find the tram/ski lift station, we had to drag our sorry asses up there instead. It happened just as I imagined it would, except for the celebratory fag at the end, as my lungs were trying to leave me.

It is too hot to be a tourist today. We walked around shops this morning, I found the perfect pair of runners (but alas there is no room for new shoes in my tightly packed suitcase), we got attacked by a wasp, I bought a ring with a little yellow duck that matches my bracelet and now we are in the geeky cyber cafe that smells like sweaty boys and my last flat in Edinburgh (which also smelt like sweaty boys. You see?).

Trying to sleep in youth hostels is a skill that I seem to have lost with my recent spate of B&Bs, hotels and staying on friend's floors. I bought a CD walkman yesterday as my old one (which was 6 years old - some kind of record? Someone dig Norris McWurter up and ask) died on the journey to Brussels. I tried to block out the noise of English girls coming in and out of my hotel room by dousing myself in Aqualung, but it didn't work. While we were trying to get dressed this morning, a man kept walking in, staring at my boobs and asking if it was time to clean the room. Maybe he thought my breasts were clocks. I don't know.