Everything’s gonna burn, we’ll all take turns

1. Imaginary boyfriend Marcus Parks is going to be devastated to learn that thanks to Tinder (thanks Tinder!) I’m now dating an actual real-life human male. Will wonders never cease. He’s from Essex, but I try not to hold that against him.

2. Since I’ve suddenly become a podcast person, I’ve become aware of the enormous range of podcasts on offer. Everyone has a podcast, although possibly not everyone should have a podcast. There’s a podcast where the hosts invite comedians to discuss scientific discoveries, because who better?? There’s a podcast entirely dedicated to masturbation. There’s a podcast where two guys who like wrestling try to convince another guy who doesn’t like wrestling that he should really like wrestling (I guess Guy 3 is going to have to hold out indefinitely, or it’ll just be three guys talking about how much they like wrestling, and that is a WHOLE DIFFERENT PODCAST).

Faced with this orgy of choice, I have expanded my listening repertoire somewhat, but it’s still at least 90% true crime. The best podcast in the world, though, is My Dad Wrote A Porno. It’s just what it sounds like. A dude’s dad has written an ‘erotic novel’ and he reads it out loud and takes this piss out of it with his friends. It is the best thing. The best thing.

3. The world is a goddamn dumpster fire right now. As bad as I imagined a Trump presidency would be, this is far, far worse. In all my life I have never hated another human being as much as I hate Donald Trump. I would pay up to five thousand pounds (I don’t have five thousand pounds but I would happily go into debt) for the chance to kick him once, really hard, in the nuts. I would train for that shit, too. There would be a full training montage where I practice my run-up in slow motion. And I’m pretty sure I still have some punk-rock steel-toed boots lying around. Oh man, I would kick that fucker so good.

4. On February 2nd, my Spanish colleague asked me “Today is Marmot Day, yes?” From now on it damn well is! Get Bill Murray on the phone!

5. On my walk to work I go through a major-ish junction where there’s a button you can push to activate the pedestrian crossing. Except that it doesn’t. The lights change and the walk signal comes on at exactly the same intervals whether you push the button or not. The button is a placebo. Is it even hooked up to anything? I don’t know. I guess it’s good of the traffic control engineer person to attempt to give me the illusion that I have some power to effect change. I’ll take that where I can get it right now.

6. I’ve been working on my graphic design CV (with a view to maybe one day getting a job where they pay me a living wage), and I think it looks pretty good. Fancy hiring me? I’m very reasonably priced.

Robin Camps CV 2017

She was writing his name in blood

1. Congratulate me! I’ve got a new imaginary boyfriend. We’re very happy together. Here he is:

Marcus Parks

LOOK AT THAT FACE. Don’t you want to squeeze him? That is Marcus Parks from The Last Podcast on the Left, which I’ve been listening to obsessively over the past couple of months (although…do I ever consume media non-obsessively? Not really. I’m a natural born binger). He’s the main researcher for the show and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of serial killers and cults and weird phenomena, which in itself is pretty hot. He also has a goofy little-kid laugh and a slight Texas accent and plays drums for a rockabilly/alt country band called The Cowmen. On various episodes of Last Podcast, he has admitted to all of the following:

– Digging a proper six-foot grave just to see how hard it would be. DUDE. Right???
– Eating a jar of pickles for supper. More than once, I think. Pickle supper!
– Collecting bones and skeletons.
– Eating some cow feed out of curiosity to see what it tasted like.
– In high school, having had a set of badger paws strung up in his truck. (True story: when I dissected a frog in high school, I stole the eyeballs and kept them. They were like weird little marbles!) (…What?)

He’s generally adorable and the perfect combination of nerdy weirdo and laddish lad and I’m low-grade stalking him. Soon I’ll start sending him handmade collages with cut-out photos of the two of us covered with glitter and my own blood (which…actually might not turn him off). We’re meant to be together and ONE DAY SOON HE WILL REALISE THIS. HI MARCUS. HI.

2. On my walk to work I take a shortcut up a disused access road, which cuts about five/ten minutes off the journey. In the lighter seasons it’s actually a nice, pretty, innocuous wooded area, but this time of year it’s dark and secluded as hell and I’m basically ignoring all the common-sense How Not To Get Rapemurdered rules that all women absorb from birth. I call it the Rapist Wonderland, and every night as I’m navigating through it using the torch on my phone like the opening scene of a horror movie, I sing a little song in my head to the tune of Winter Wonderland. Here’s what I have so far:

In the lane, a perv is lurking
Check it out…I think he’s jerking
He’s waving his dong
As I go along
Walking in a rapist wonderland!

It’s a work in progress.

3. I saw La Femme in Shepherds Bush last month. Being at the gig made me feel very old and very un-hip (and very poor: £5.60 for a plastic cup of crap lager? Seriously, suck a dick, London), but they put on an epic show and were very cute and very talented and very very French. (“Sank you Leundeun!”) Go listen to them and give them your money.

Of course I wore my leather jacket to try and look cool (end result was probably more like “formerly cool mom”). It was cold outside but I figured I’d be hopping from the train right onto the tube and then walking like fifty feet to the venue, so I decided to risk it. This would have been fine, but on the way home there was some sort of train cancellation issue (never explained. Why bother explaining these things to the hoi polloi? They can go where they’re herded!) which meant that I got stuck at Stevenage station for well over an hour. There was no heated indoor waiting area and it was COLD. I asked the very helpful station attendant if there was a warm place to wait, and he let me stand next to him under a mini-heater in his little station attendant area, which was awfully kind, but WOW, socially awkward in eighty different ways. I made some fumbling attempts at small talk but I’m rubbish at small talk and it was incredibly painful and if it wouldn’t have been even more awkward I would have gladly gone back outside and just got hypothermia. Hypothermia I can deal with. I’ve never been more relieved to see a train in my life.

4. Christmas occurred. It was not unpleasant. I hope yours was similar. And here’s to a better 2017, right? The world has been ALL WRONG since David Bowie died.

Everybody knows the good guys lost

1. So if you play an album on Spotify, after the album ends, Spotify will carry on playing tracks from other artists that I guess it thinks are similar and you might like. And you know what? Most of the time I like them plenty. Apparently my musical taste can be predicted by an algorithm.

2. Remember the guy I kept having to say hi to on my way to and from work? This got so annoying that I actually started getting up earlier, and believe me, it takes a LOT to make me get up any earlier than I absolutely have to. I now arrive at and leave work ten minutes early just so I can avoid the uncomfortable half-hearted greeting twice a day. I guess social awkwardness trumps sleepiness on my personal Maslow pyramid of irritations.

3. My last two online dates have been especially fun. Date number one was a conspiracy theorist. And not a casual, what-if, weekend conspiracy theorist: no, a full-on, hardcore true believer. (I asked if he believed in lizard people, expecting him to say “No, of course not, that’s ridiculous” but he said “Well…the lizard thing is a metaphor to describe how ruthless they are.” Of course! That makes sense.) I put up the usual “three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead” arguments and basically sat there with one eyebrow raised throughout the conversation, trying (and often failing) not to laugh in his face. He said that he used to be as skeptical as I was, but that he’d seen an incredibly reasonable and well presented documentary with one particular piece of evidence that he said went through him like an electrical shock and made him start shaking. Of course I asked him what this irrefutable lynchpin of evidence was, but he refused to tell me on the grounds that it had messed with his head so much that he’d nearly had a breakdown, and he didn’t want to be responsible for the same thing happening to me. What a gentleman. I guess I’ll have to stay in the Matrix. No red pill for me.

Date number two was a nice enough guy, if a bit dull, but he had some sort of unfortunate patchy skin condition and a VERY lazy eye. I spent the evening trying to avoid making eye contact because I wasn’t sure which one was looking at me. I mean, I like to think I’m not shallow about looks, and poor guy, but maybe use some clear and accurate profile photos? This is not a few extra pounds. You are goddamn crosseyed as a Siamese cat.

I’m starting to feel like my whole online dating experience is an elaborate prank.

4. Jidenna is weapons-grade cool. And doesn’t he look like he smells good? I bet he smells good.

And man, what a tune. It gets a lot done with very little (ditto the video, actually).

5. I’ve read Wuthering Heights at least three times, and every time I’m freshly amazed at how brutal it is. If you haven’t read it, it is not a sweet love story. I’m astonished it even got published back then. Here’s some of the more fucked-up shit Heathcliff does in Wuthering Heights:

  • Kidnaps a sixteen-year-old girl while her father is dying and forces her to marry her cousin
  • Pins a dude down and bashes his head against a stone floor until he’s unconscious
  • Hangs a dog
  • Beats seven shades of shit out of his wife, including throwing a knife at her head
  • Digs up Catherine’s grave and crawls into her coffin

If you haven’t seen the 2011 film version of Wuthering Heights, do. It’s primal. It’s like the raw, scraped bones of the story. It got right into my head, to the point where I had messed-up dreams afterwards.

6. So. I guess I have to mention Trump. (Do I have to, though? Can’t I just pretend none of this is happening?) I have honestly never been so glad that I don’t have children. I’m worried enough about everyone else’s kids. The leader of the free world is stacking his government with LITERAL FUCKING NAZIS. I know that every generation since the stone age has been convinced that the end is nigh, but for real, the end is extremely fucking nigh.

There’s a party up there all the time

1. A few months ago I had a falling-out with my only proper ‘ring them up and go for a pint’ friend in the local area. This was very much for the best, believe me, but since then, for a combination of reasons, I haven’t been going out in town at all. I socialise virtually never, and I take a weird pride in the fact that this degree of self-inflicted solitude would very likely cause mental health problems in a normal person. It’s interesting to know this about myself. If I wasn’t so insistent on being able to walk to the shops, I could be one of those forest rangers whose whole job is to spend six months sitting at the top of a tower looking for fires. Or a biologist at a research station in Antarctica with only penguins to talk to. Or JD Salinger.

2. I do still go on the odd date, of course, mostly for comic relief. My last date involved a heated argument about whether institutionalised sexism exists. Basically this dude thought that women experience no overall disadvantages at a social level, and that any suffering endured by women due to pervasive unrealistic beauty standards is our own fault because a) it’s mostly women writing for fashion magazines and b) it’s up to every individual woman to just rise above and ignore this stuff. Nothing I said even made a dent (why wouldn’t he know better than me about the lived experience of women, right?). In retrospect I’m not sure why I didn’t just get up and leave, but I have this stupid residual built-in female desire (which I’ve obviously just made up in my silly little head) not to be perceived as hysterical and overreacting. I wonder whether he tells black people that racism doesn’t exist. Anyway. There will not be a second date, but maybe I’ll send him a singing telegram from Germaine Greer. Or a PUNCHING telegram! Do those exist? If not it will be necessary to invent them.

I actually did make it to a second date with one guy who was funny and cute and smart and nice and who had great taste in music, but he turned out to be the worst kisser in the whole wide world. (It’s true! I found him later in the Guinness Book of World Records.) It was so bad that it triggered my fight-or-flight reflex like AUUGHHH WHAT ARE YOU DOING GET OFF ME. Damn shame. I might keep that one as a friend, though, since I’ve got a vacancy in the friend department and a very empty social schedule.

3. I may have officially given up on my French pen pal. Writing to her really was helping to improve my French, but she was just so, so awful. After Brexit she sent me a horrible schlocky pop song that she said expressed how she felt (sad, apparently!). She never pointed out any of my French errors, even though I asked her to and that was like the whole point of writing to a French person. She never responded to anything I said about myself or my life. Most of her messages seemed to consist of copied and pasted Wikipedia articles about France or Alsace (where she lives) or places she’d been on holiday. She never, not even once, NOT EVEN ONE TIME, made anything resembling a joke. That’s always the final nail in the coffin for me: we may have different views on religion or politics or life in general, or you may believe in chemtrails or think the moon landing never happened or that 50 Shades of Grey is a good book, but I will nevertheless attempt to carry on a polite conversation with you; but if you don’t make even the slightest attempt to take the piss? That’s it. I cannot relate. Go bother someone else, you weirdo.

4. Here are a couple of sample yearbook covers I did at work. I had fun making these.

Yearbook cover - neon sign

Yearbook cover - motel sign

Hit me with your flashbulb eyes

1. As I’m running out of true crime podcasts to listen to, I’ve subscribed to a couple of public-domain audiobooks. It turns out that when it comes to audiobooks, you get what you pay for. Awkward narration can really ruin a good book. I started listening to a recording of Oliver Twist read by an Irish guy who mystifyingly gave the characters Brummie accents instead of Cockney accents. Like…maybe he didn’t realise? Maybe he thought he was doing a Cockney accent? But a Brummie accent is very specific and hard to do. Inexplicable.

2. Here’s something I’m tired of reading on dating sites: “I’m tall enough for you to wear your heels.” News flash: women are allowed to be taller than men! My choice of footwear is not going to be affected by the worry that I am going to intimidate you or whatever!

Volkswagen even made an advert based on the whole “Uh oh! She’s taller than him! WAH-WAHHH!” bit. Remember this?

Ugh. I’ve developed my own personal version of the Bechdel test where I mentally swap the roles of the men and women in a given scenario. The more ridiculous the result, the bigger the fail.

3. True crime all the time! I’ve been watching a lot of Homicide Hunter. It is brilliant and has all the awkward reenactments you could ever wish for. Every episode starts the same way: first, the body is discovered (“April 4th, 1989. It’s a quiet morning in Colorado Springs, and Bob Jones is walking his dog in a scenic local park. Little does he know he’s about to make a gruesome discovery.” YESSSS). Then, every time, they say something like, “Meanwhile, across town, Lieutenant Joe Kenda is [catching up on paperwork/practicing at the firing range/giving a course on identification/attending an autopsy/at the zoo/having a wank/trying on ladies’ underwear/whatever] when the phone rings.” OK, this is like thirty years ago. There is no way you remember exactly what you were doing when you got called out to every single murder case you ever worked on, and even if you did, we really don’t need this information. Let’s just assume that Lieutenant Joe Kenda was somehow informed about the presence of a dead body and subsequently attended the scene.

4. Dear colleague: here’s the thing. I’m sorry you have allergies all day every single day. That must be no fun for you. But if you’re in an office in close proximity to other human beings, could you maybe leave the room before blowing your nose, rather than messily and wetly snonking into a Kleenex every five minutes while you’re sitting two feet from me? I’m worried my face is going to freeze like this…

…or that I’m going to damage my hearing by constantly turning my headphones wayyyyy up to drown that shit out*. Gross. GROSS.

*Incidentally, should you find yourself in a similar situation, I’ve found that Arcade Fire provides a nice solid wall of sound that covers up background noise very effectively.

Boy, nothing is good enough for me, is it? No wonder I’m single. How about I talk about something I liked for a change?

5. I was in Islington the other day and passed a sign for an estate agents’ called Hotblack Desatio. I assumed that the company was founded by someone who (like all rational human beings) really really loved Hitchhiker’s Guide, but it turns out that the estate agents’ came first and Douglas Adams stole the name (it is an undeniably cool name). I feel like I stumbled across a little piece of history there. This happens to me much more often in England than it ever did in Canada, funnily enough. (I stumbled across Abbey Road when I was living in Kilburn. I’d had no idea I was living like a mile away from it.)

It’s hard for thee to kick against the pricks

1. I’m actually done with summer now. I’m over it. For the first time in many years, I feel like I’ve had a proper summer. I went outside. I did summery things. Apart from one overcast day, the weather in BC was sunny and glorious for my entire holiday, and it’s been mostly sunny here in England since I got back, and I’m tired of sunny now. My eyes hurt from the glare and I’m sick of being coated in sunscreen. Can we return to our regularly scheduled gloomy British drizzle now please?

2. As previously stated, BC was spectacular, as it always is. Margaret Atwood (an Ontario native) once described British Columbia’s landscape as show-offy (but more eloquently than that, obvs), and if I wasn’t born there I’d probably feel the same way. Everything is so over-the-top, ridiculously beautiful. Riotously lush forests! Pow! Tumbling waterfalls! Bam! Soaring craggy mountain ranges! Whammo! Since I grew up around that shit, most other places now seem underwhelming in comparison. BC has spoiled me for, like, the rest of the world. (THANKS A LOT, BC.) While I was there I had my usual ‘why don’t I live here’ crisis. I’m finding it harder to come up with credible answers to that question.

3. I’ve started listening to true crime podcasts. And because I never do anything halfway, I’m listening to ALL the true crime podcasts. Don’t believe me? Behold my iTunes feed:

True crime podcasts

(OK, true crime and My Dad Wrote A Porno. You need to be listening to My Dad Wrote A Porno. Breasts are compared to pomegranates. You will laugh and cringe and laugh.)

(And before you even ask, yes obviously I’ve listened to Serial.)

If you fancy some true crime but don’t know where to start, never fear! I’m here for you.

Sword and Scale is the best by miles. The host’s narration style can be a bit dramatic for my tastes, but my tastes are extremely spartan in that department (BE MORE ROBOTIC), so please listen and judge for yourself. The content is interesting and varied and meticulously researched. There are hours and hours of recordings of 911 calls* and police interrogations and trial testimony. It is the Krispy Kreme of true crime podcasts. I binged all 70-plus episodes in less than a month, and felt slightly ill afterwards. People do some fucked-up shit.

Criminal and Detective are next in terms of quality and professionalism. Most Notorious is great if you like historical crime. Casefile and Felon focus mostly on crime in Australia (brace yourself before you listen to the Snowtown episode. Did I mention that people do some fucked-up shit?). The rest are all fine, except for True Crime Japan, which is sort of amateurish. I listen to it when I’m caught up on all the other ones.

*Man oh man, the more of these I hear, the more I realise that 911 operators just do not give a shit. You can be sobbing and screaming “OH GOD HE’S COMING FOR ME” and they will roll their eyes and be like “Can you speak more clearly please?”

4. As promised, here are some photos of BC showing off. Chill, BC.

2016-07 canada view
This was the view from my bedroom at my parents’ place.

2016-07 canada thetis 1

2016-08 canada thetis 2
Thetis Lake. This is within walking distance of my parents’ house (and within Victoria city limits). I swam here nearly every day.

2016-07 canada tsawwassen ferry
Tsawwassen ferry terminal in Vancouver (edited in Snapseed).

2016-07 canada victoria
Victoria harbour.

2016-07 canada chinatown
Chinatown, Victoria. I miss having a Chinatown around.

2016-08 canada kira
My niece, Kira. She scores pretty high on the cute-o-meter.

2016-08 canada sidney spit 3
Me and my crazy sister at Sidney Spit.

2016-08 canada mom
Trees grow pretty big on the island. Cute mom included for scale.

2016-07 canada wittys 6
The fam at Witty’s Lagoon.

2016-07 canada wittys 5
I love the Pacific. That blue…

2016-08 canada china beach
China Beach. A typical Vancouver Island beach. I love how the woods come right up to the water.

2016-07 canada wittys 1
Hey little crab dude!

2016-08 canada woods
I took about a hundred variations of this photo.

2016-07 canada wittys 4
Arbutus tree. These only grow in the Pacific Northwest.

2016-07 canada wittys 3

2016-08 canada sidney spit 2

2016-08 canada sidney spit 1

2016-08 canada sandcut beach 2

2016-07 canada wittys 2

Damn your love, damn your lies

1. Some advice from me to you: when sending an R-rated text message, make sure you send it to the correct person. Ha ha ha ha ha yeah. I might have to move to Antarctica now. I am the Picasso of finding creative new ways to humiliate myself.

2. Things I’ve come across in Huntingdon market square recently:

One night I passed a guy rummaging around in one of the bins. Like, up to his armpit. Full rummage. I didn’t see his face, but he was wearing a blue shirt. Five minutes later I ran into a very drunk acquaintance of mine, who was wearing a blue shirt. “Were you just rummaging around in a bin?” I said.

“No,” he said.

“Really? Well, it was someone dressed just like you,” I said.

“…Yes,” he said, and turned and walked away.

(It turns out that he had drunkenly bought some chips from the local shitburger, then drunkenly decided he didn’t want them anymore and chucked the closed container into the bin, then drunkenly decided he DID still want them; hence the raccoon act.)

The following weekend, leaving the pub with a friend at a slightly unreasonable hour, we came across a girl passed out cold with a couple of dudes clustered round her. We stopped and asked if everything was OK – the dudes seemed nice enough, but none of them actually knew her, so we carried the chick back to the pub (closed by this time, but the landlord is a sympathetic sort with multiple daughters). The girl could sort of talk, but wasn’t making much sense. We found her phone and had to plug it in to charge it, then we managed to call her mum, who’d been expecting her home a few hours previously. We asked if she could come pick her drunk-ass daughter up, but she was disabled and didn’t drive. We called a taxi, which took over an hour to arrive, during which time I had to basically carry the girl to the toilets and pull her stockings up for her afterwards. (We did get some minor revenge by taking pictures with her phone of her passed out.) When the taxi arrived (which we paid for, by the way), she was still nowhere near compos mentis, so I had to go with her. The second she arrived at home, however, she jumped out of the taxi like a jackrabbit. It’s a miracle! Not a word of thanks, of course.

I was meant to take the taxi home, but I realised I’d left my phone charging in the pub, so I went back there and pounded on the door. No answer. I walked back to my place, knackered and sober, and found my friend waiting for me: he’d brought my phone and had intended to put it through my letterbox, but had put his own phone through instead. The sun was coming up by this point. Christ, what an agg. No good deed and all that.

3. I pass a certain guy every day on my walk to and from work. One day I saw him at the pub (source of all trouble in my life) and we recognised each other and ended up introducing ourselves. How I regret this. Now we have to say hello to each other every single morning and every single evening when we pass each other on the street. You can tell that neither of us are into it anymore – the greetings are getting less and less enthusiastic. I would honestly take another route to work, even if it was longer, but there’s only one road into town (no need for more in a one-horse town I guess). Minor social obligations will be the death of me.

4. I went to the dentist last week for the first time in six years. Good news: my teeth are fine. Bad news: my dentist is extremely hot. Like, you’d stare at him in the street kind of hot. Dentists’ visits are awkward and embarrassing enough without having to worry about dribbling on a goddamn Calvin Klein model, you know?

5. As of Wednesday, I’m going to be on Vancouver Island for two weeks visiting family. Well, I will say a perfunctory hello to my family anyway before running headlong into the Pacific Ocean and splashing around for two solid weeks like a much less cute otter. There will be many photos of water and mountains and mountains reflected in water. You have been warned.

Life was easy when it was boring

1. The stuff I used to do as a kid amazes me now. I climbed things. I jumped off things. I auditioned for things. I signed up for clubs and lessons. I skied and swam and did gymnastics. These days you wouldn’t catch me dead doing anything involving any sort of public performance, and a brisk walk is about as physically active as I get. Where did that fearlessness and enthusiasm go? Woe is me, for I am so crotchety and embittered.

2. FYI, reading Raymond Carver short stories is a terrible idea when you’re undergoing a Series of Romantic Misadventures. Happiness is transient! Connection is illusory! Life is a series of small tragedies! Pass the whisky!

3. I’m watching a show called Mafiosa. It isn’t great, but it’s French, and it’s hard to find stuff to watch in French, so. It’s about a Corsican crime family that is taken over by (gasp!) a woman, and the description of the show on ITV’s website is “Godfather meets Sex and the City“. What? The show is like 100% explosions and guns and vendettas and undercover agents. Literally the only resemblance I can see to Sex and the City is the fact that there is a female central character who sometimes wears high heels. Dear ITV blurb writer: get fucked.

4. Do you want to keep up with my online dating shenanigans as they happen? Why of course you do. I’ve started a Tumblr where I’ll be posting my own dating disasters and reblogging funny stuff from other people. All Schadenfreude, all the time! Click below or on the shiny new link in the sidebar.

Online Dating Disasters

5. La Femme are the most interesting band I’ve come across all year, and I’m itching to force them on people. Sometimes they’re all frantic electroclash, sometimes they’re sort of coolly retro-futuristic like Stereolab, then there are elements of twangy spooky surfy carnival-psychobilly…and of course they’re French, so add an automatic fifty cool points right there. Go listen to Psycho Tropical Berlin. Go now. I’ll wait. It’s all on YouTube, so you have no excuse. Start with these, though:

6. So. Fucking “Brexit”. (The fact of it having such an annoying name makes it worse.) I’ve never felt relieved before that I have the option of leaving this country. I’m ashamed of the UK right now. They’ve had to send round a mass email at my work because some fuckers have started harassing the Eastern European employees since the referendum results. This is LOATHSOME.

This tweet made me laugh and cry, which is a big ask for 140 characters or fewer:

The bells are ringing themselves

1. So, a couple of Saturdays ago I did not have the best day. Well, most of it was pretty good – I met some friends in Cambridge and spent the evening listening to live music at the incomparable Flying Pig. I caught the last bus back to Huntingdon, which is always busy on a Saturday, and a fairly good-looking guy ended up sitting next to me. I was mildly pissed, and cute guys on the bus to Huntingdon are not an everyday occurrence, so I thought hell with it and struck up a conversation. We got on extremely well! He laughed! I laughed! And then we arrived at his stop and I asked if he wanted to exchange numbers and he made an awkward face and went “Uhhhhhhh…” and I died of embarrassment. I’m dead now. Goodbye.

So THEN I decided to go to my local to have one more drink and lick my wounds. The doors were locked but the lights were on, and there’s usually a lock-in on offer at weekends for the select few, so I knocked. There was no response, but I could see people moving around through the frosted glass window in the door, so I knocked again and leaned in to peer through the glass. Right then the landlady opened the door quite quickly (it sticks, so you have to shove it) and it bonked me in the face and broke my glasses across my nose. I guess that’s what you’d call adding injury to insult. I’m having to make do with an old pair of glasses until I can afford new ones. Most expensive lock-in ever!

2. Hell is Other People, part one million: in Subway the other day, the woman behind me in the queue was RIGHT up in my personal space. Like wayyyyy too close. My fight-or-flight was at Defcon One, or whichever the worst Defcon is. I pointedly shifted away and hoisted my bag on my shoulder a few times so that it bumped her, but she didn’t even seem to notice. Then when it was her turn to order, she kept tapping on the glass barrier with her fingernail to show what she wanted. Ugh. People are the worst.

3. I’m not too bothered by most silly TV conventions – every phone number starting with 555, nobody saying goodbye before hanging up (“Hello? HELLO?”), ‘private’ conversations taking place at normal volume five feet from everyone else in the room, people shouting “STAY WITH ME” instead of calling an ambulance – but for some reason, exaggerated sound effects irritate me. Everything has to make a noise! I’ve never stabbed anyone (YET), but if I did, I don’t think it would make a loud metallic “shhhhink”-cum-squelching sound. And you know that sort of rattling noise that guns always make on TV? My American friend (an expert of course) informs me that if your gun makes that sound, there is something wrong with your gun. I’m watching Arrow right now (I don’t know why – it’s terrible, but not terrible enough to be funny), and every time one of the eponymous arrows hits someone it makes that shhink/squelch sound, and this combined with the terrible writing and terrible dialogue (“I’m not afraid to die.” “No…you’re afraid to live.”) and the endless, tedious discussions about people’s FEEEEEEEEEELINGS are getting right on my nut. I should probably stop watching Arrow. (But I’ve started now!)

4. Good luck getting these out of your head!