Monthly Archives: September 2009

“That’ll be two crowns and thruppence, missus.”

I had to go to my local sorting office yesterday to pick up a parcel I needed to pay customs duty on (an occupational hazard when you buy so many DVDs from the USA). When I pulled out my card to pay the £12 fee, the guy behind the counter looked rather embarrassed.

Post Office Guy: “I’m sorry, we don’t accept cards.”

Me: “You only take cash? Seriously?”

Post Office Guy: “There’s an ATM across the road.”

Me: “But why don’t you take cards? What is this, the 19th century?”

Post Office Guy: “We’re the Post Office, you know. I’m surprised we don’t still use horses and carts to deliver letters.”

Me: “In that case, you won’t mind if I pay you in shillings and farthings, will you?”

Post Office Guy: “It’s only fair.”

Honestly, the Royal Mail are trying to position themselves as an organised 21st century business but they don’t even accept Visa? How dumb is that?

Sometimes it amazes me this country even has the internet. Or the wheel.



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Tea and Sympathy


This is what happens when you pick up a takeaway cup of very hot black tea in the cafe at Future Publishing’s London office and the lid isn’t on tightly enough so you end up spilling scalding water all over yourself.

What also happens is that you get first-aided by about nine different people because it happened in the workplace and they’ve all been trained in first aid but rarely get to use their skills so they get all excited, and you get burn gel smeared all over you that smells like raw alcohol and tea tree oil and sears the inside of your nostrils, and when you go home that afternoon because you can’t do any work you discover one of your favourite fish has died (sigh) and the filter in the tank has stopped working and you have to take it apart to fix it while trying to keep your bandages dry. Eventually you remove the bandages completely to have a rather painful shower and then discover you don’t have any fresh ones afterwards, so you have to wrap your arm in a tea towel and hold it in place with Sellotape because you are really sad and pathetic.

And then you’ll wake up in the night with burn gel all over your nice clean sheets, and you won’t be able to sleep at all, so you’ll go back to work the next day feeling like crap and you’ll get first-aided again and receive a nice new bandage, which becomes less important during the course of the afternoon because your burn’s improving underneath it, but it DOES come in handy when you end up having an impromptu shoving match on the Bakerloo line on the way home when a woman goes to sit in a seat at the same time as you and you accidentally knock her out of the way. She’ll take one look at the bandage and think, “This woman’s hurt! She can have the seat!” And then she’ll apologise profusely for trying to steal your seat and tell you she really likes the ring you’re wearing (ring not pictured above) because she feels so guilty about almost knocking you over, even though you were the one who almost knocked her over, and it feels really bloody weird having a stranger looking at you so guiltily when really they haven’t done anything bad at all.

And then you’ll arrive home and remove the bandage and marvel at the giant red stripe around your arm and be very thankful you don’t have hideous blisters or anything.

And then you’ll watch the third episode of Supernatural‘s fifth season, hear the Lynyrd Skynyrd song ‘Simple Man’ being played over the opening credits and wonder HOW THE HELL YOU GOT TO THE AGE OF 37 (38 NEXT WEEK!) WITHOUT EVER HEARING IT BEFORE BECAUSE IT’S POSSIBLY THE GREATEST SONG IN THE WORLD.

See? TV makes everything better. I’ve been saying it for years.


So, in conclusion: always make sure the lid is on a cup of boiling hot water before you move it. Or, at the very least, put milk in the damn thing.


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This is my last post about fish, honest guv’nor!

I’m becoming a fish bore, so I’m shutting up about my finned friends after this. But seeing as I got so many comments on my post bemoaning the fact that I wanted to give my tank a makeover, I thought you might like to see the results!

I went with a ‘Monument Valley’ theme in the end:


…although now I desperately want a Marlboro Man-style cowboy figure in there, too. Darn it.

Oh, and I finally managed to snap a nice shot of Bobby the plec:


I’m sure you’ll agree he’s both rather pretty and also rather grumpy-looking. That’s Ruby the shark poking her head into shot, by the way.


It’s been a crazy week. Each year around this time I sit down, look at my workload and think, “Bugger! I have nothing to do this month – how will I pay my bills?” And every year, by some miracle, within a day or so of having that panic, I suddenly get inundated. This week I’ve written six features already and have three more hanging over my head; I’ve written an advertorial and it looks like there are more on the way; I’ve written so many reviews I’ve actually forgotten how many there were; conducted a fun phone interview with an actor and arranged an email interview with a casting director; and as of Monday I will be working for three weeks as a sub-editor on DVD & Blu-ray Review. So I can pay my bills next month after all. Phew.

Thank you, oh Lord Of The Freelancers, for looking out for me! I’m very grateful.

I’m also cat-sitting my neighbours’ kitten for them this weekend, which at the moment seems to involve popping downstairs every few hours and dangling a feather on a stick in the air and making the cat leap up and down trying to catch it until I wear it out. Which was all very entertaining, for both me and the kitten, right up until I came up with the idea of shouting, “Wingardium leviosa!” every time I made the feather fly in the air, and now I can’t stop giggling. Even the kitten’s looking at me as if to say, “What’re you, six years old?!”

I hope my neighbours didn’t leave a webcam running to check I’m not stealing their stuff. How embarrassing.


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This is what happens when I purchase fish

Friendly man at the tropical fish store: “Wow, how can you possibly be in such a good mood on a miserable Sunday afternoon?”

Me: “It’s because whenever I leave the house to buy fish I always make sure I snort a lot of coke first. It really helps take the edge off.”

Friendly man at the tropical fish store: “…”


Nobody gets my humour.



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