The Daily Mumble April 2004 Archive
Yet another appearance on television, unemployment, bankruptcy - yes, April 2004 was just another normal month in the life of a Tame gone Wild...
You know, last night I went out to the BIG City (otherwise known as 'Hereford') and didn't drink a sausage. No, they get stuck in my throat. I didn't drink any alcohol either for that matter. Driving you know.
Despite this remarkable show of strength (whilst all those around me ordered pints of Stella I sucked on a lollipop) I still feel remarkably hung over today, which I feel is really not fair. Hhhmm.
AND THEN SUDDENLY AN URGE TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT ENTIRELY FLASHED ACROSS THE NIGHT SKY:
Last night when using the loo at the pub I overheard one half of a phone conversation.
"Hi mum, yeah, it's me. Can you make my bed for me? Ah, cheers, thanks!"
Bizarre. He must have been at least 25.
AS SOON AS THE 3-LINE STORY CAME TO AN END JOSEPH'S MIND RACED ON TO ANOTHER TOPIC:
This morning I've been going through a few of the millions of photo albums mum's collected over the years. Check out these beauties:
The first two were taken 20 years ago... crikey, 20 years?!! Photos of me exist that were taken 20 years ago?!! I really am getting old. The third hideous exhibit was taken 10 years ago I believe, when I was much troubled by troublesome things.
Anyway look, you're distracting me. Today's entry was titled "Old Friends", so that's what I should be writing about.
It's been almost 10 years now since my class of 8 left the Hereford Waldorf School. Since then I've occasionally bumped into the odd one or two of the bunch (and believe me, we are all pretty odd), but Saturday night saw an unprecedented 50% of us all end up in the same place at the same time. Myself, Marc Cove, Ben Allen and the until-now elusive Billy Salisbury (of billysalisbury.com fame) found ourselves, through mild organisation, bullying and a healthy does of fate, in a very nice bar in Hereford's St. Owen Street, just across the road from the legendary Barrell House.
It was fascinating getting to know these people whom at one stage in my life I'd spent about 6 hours a day with. I still had an idea of who they were, you know, you think of someone and it conjurs up certain feelings, associations etc - but I'd forgotten what they were like (a) on the surface and (b) inside.
By the end of the night I was smiling both inwardly and outwardly. Inwardly at the happiness that Marc has found partly through his lovely fiance Angela, and partly through the sheer volume of experiences that have led him to this point. Outwardly I smiled a great deal due to the amusement caused by Billy through his travel tales and renditions of some songs destined to be classics, penned by his own guitar-playing hand. It was also great to see Ben again, the one member of our class with whom I've had the most contact as I always know where he is! Friendships such as that take years to develop, and I'm very grateful to be a part of them. They really add an immeasurable quality to one's life.
Now I must go and shave.
Oh look, Joseph's on the TV ...again
It should be noted that a right hand belonging to Tim with whom I house-share also made a guest-appearance on the program - it was fidling with some seeds. Tim's onion managed to get a few seconds of air time too, making the perfect backdrop for some credits.
a horrendous traffic accident
Today I decided to go the library to study.
When walking through the centre of Bristol three fire engines went blaring by…
Nearing the library I saw a strip of police tape closing the street off in front of me:
CRIME SCENE - DO NOT CROSS
The other side of the tape was an ambulance, paramedics and police, and a little further on, a double-decker bus stood skewed across the road. A car had ploughed right into the side of it – the bonnet had completely disappeared, crunched up by the force of the impact. Beyond the bus, the three fire engines had screeched to a halt.
I stood in shock and confusion. Why did the tape say “crime scene”? And why was everyone so calm? There was no screaming, and most people didn’t appear to be at all concerned. Was this a gross case of bystander apathy?
Why were only the firemen doing their job? They’d all run into my college (which stands next to the library): moments later the entire building had disgorged its human contents onto the road.
Starting to feel pretty spun out, I glanced again at the ambulance. Only when reading what it said on the side did I doubt the authenticity of the situation...and hang on, isn't that the most famous paramedic in the UK, Josh? I looked again at the bus, and my fears were further allayed by the advertisment slapped across its side...
For those non-UK residents out there, I think an explanation is called for.
Holby is a fictional city that plays host to Casualty, BBC TV's long-running hospital drama series. I knew it was filmed in Bristol, but until today had never stumbled across the crew. Mind you, they were very elusive - I didn't see a single camera.
Turned out the fire engines were on completely unrelated business – there had been a false alarm at my college, initiating an automatic emergency response from the brigade.
What a funny day.
At 10.35 this morning a court order was made, adjudging me bankrupt.
It wasn't that my statements weren't true (they were), it was the fact that I was being asked to swear by something that meant nothing to me. Actually, to be completely honest, the Bible has negative connotations for me. I associate it with the Catholic Church... which I do not feel at all comfortable with. I guess I felt a bit like the religion was being forced upon me once again, there in the County Court. I have a general aversion to all organised religions - look what destruction it is currently causing in Iraq (don't forget to include Bush-ism there).
I do feel the need to say however that I have absolutely no problems with God (Oh, thank you Joseph, so gracious of you). No - God, no matter what term he's known by, is fine by me. It's just organised religion that makes me feel uncomfortable.
Anyhow, having sworn my affidavit I was asked to return in one hour to find out whether my petition was succesfull or not - which thankfully it was.
The next step was to visit the Official Receiver, a civil servant whose job it is to deal with my assets / debts, ensuring that all creditors receive their fair share of any money raised by the selling off of my property etc. Of course in my case I have no assets, so their job should be pretty straightforward. The one thing they will have to investigate is my selling of half of my home in Torquay in 2000 to my ex for £1 - understandably that is a tad suspicious!
** Incidentally, my former partner-in-Torquay would like to set the record straight. "I may have only given you £1, but you walked away with your freedeom... and I was left to struggle to pay the mortgage (for a further year I may add) with a wacking load of debts. Just remember, you got a clean break and I was left with the debts..."
You always need to hear both sides of the story (AHH!! Phil Collins!).
Today I had a very short interview with the Official Receiver. The real interview (lasting about 30 minutes) will take place over the phone in a couple of weeks - that's when they investigate how I managed to get into this situation etc.
Long term then, what are the consequences of my being declared bankrupt?
Although bankruptcy now only lasts a year, the effects do tend to be much longer term. I;m not overly concerned about any of the above however due to the fact that I intend to be a student for the next four years, and then move to Tokyo. If I were then to return to the UK the bankruptcy will be history.
That was my day today. Oh, and I was very hung over throughout. Nightmare. I'm never drinking Stella again. It's evil.
my little nephew
I just wanted to share with you two photos that I took of my dear little nephew Jamie last week. As you can see, he's already learnt what the good things in life are: Tilley hats, and beer.
Whilst we're on the subject of photos - and I know that most of you are far too idle to click on any of the numerous links to my latest photo album - here's a couple more of my favourites taken in the last few days. You have to imagine them being about 15 times the size of these copies.
a fun weekend
Eeee by 'eck 'ave we been 'avin fun!
Me girly came up from the deepest darkest depths of Devon on Friday for a w/e break. In addition to getting up to lots of mischief, we had a lovely time amongst one of my favourite collections of trees - Westonbirt Arboretum, a few miles north of junction 18 of the M4. You may recall that I popped along there back in the autumn when the maples were in full bloom... or you may not. I do as I was there. And you weren't. Unless you're Colin, or Emma, or Melanie.
Ah, I digress.
Much fun was had swinging around on the branches and generally misbehaving. My Tilley had it's first taste of a sweaty brow, we drank cocoa, looked at each other through funny glasses, laughed, smiled and congratulated ourselves on being clever. Going home I drove at under the speed limit on the motorway, and even managed to not miss the correct exit. At a supermarket we avoiding the huge queues by paying at the pharmacy counter; on leaving the supermarket I took the wrong exit off a roundabout and had to do a U-turn under a huge sign that read "IKEA".
It was a very happy, lovely weekend, with only the non-Japanese "Japanese" rice served at Wagamama (which incidentally is Japanese for "selfish") casting a slight shadow.
Anyhow, I must be brief as in 50 minutes I'm being picked up by my good friend Jo, and together the two of us shall make the long, arduous journey to Pembrokeshire, a country that lies in the west of a strange country known as Wales.
we had a wales of a time
Three hours west of Bristol a big sloping field full of dandelions plays host to a large green caravan that for much of the year lies dormant. Tucked beneath a protective hedge, it's the focus of a sizeable chunk of Pembrokeshire, Wales, belonging to my landlady. Equipped with a double bedroom, kitchen, dining area and wood-burning stove it is about as luxurious as a caravan in Wales can get. The only thing it's lacking in is running water, which has to be collected in huge containers from a hose attached to a neighbours garden tap. The water is browny-yellow, tastes yucky, and reminds one of how much we take for granted in the industrialised world.
Thankfully we found quite a bit of beer that was nearing it's Best Before End date in the cupboard, and so drank that instead of afore mentioned water. Hence the photo. And this video (Master, we must investigate).
trust a man who when left alone in a room
So spaketh a wise women I know.
Melanie and Tim aquired this land some ten years back. Since then they have restored much of it to its former tree-coated glory, although one field has been left to provide hay for local farmers every summer.
Jo and I went there with high hopes of many hours spent walking the local landscape and admiring the sheer beauty of it all. As it was, having dug a drop-toilet and restacked all of the firewood on the first day, we were shattered, and spent the rest of the time eating, drinking and playing cards, drinking and eating, drinking and cooking, drinking and drinking, and drinking.
One card came we played was "guess which card I'm holding up". I'd never played it before and was therefore very excited, especially when on the 14th card I guessed correctly. We started again, and to Jo's sheer amazement once again I guessed the 14th card correctly (thus winning the key to the double bedroom - Jo, as loser, was assigned the sofa thing with the gap down the middle).
In a drunken stupor I then set about trying to work out what the odds were of guessing the 14th card correctly twice consecutively. I came to the following conclusion:
Not bad for a drunken stupor eh? Actually, I didn't quite get that far at the time. I managed the first bit, but then scribbled on a piece of paper "this has to be invesitagated when not off my face".
Other things I scribbled down included "N.B. Bed with brakes and wheels driving down road (because we're lazy)". I think that one stems from the time that we were thinking about how we ought to go for a walk.
There was also the debate about the beer can: it said "13.5% extra free - 500ml for the price of 440ml" - was this true? I eventually decided that it was having spent ages trying to divide 160 by 135. Not sure why, but there you go. Oh, that's right, I calculated that 500 - 440 = 160...
We played some other great games too, like taking it in turns to say swear words, with no repetition allowed (the first person who couldn't think of one lost). I won.
I also won the name the celebrity game. And the card game Shit Heads which Jo had taught me that afternoon. 6 - 3 was the final score was.
Despite all this thrashing, Jo remained as angelic as ever and cooked us a great supper of pasta (cooked in brown water), pesto, cheese and stuff. She's a superstar.
It's all very strange being back here, by myself, after all the fun of the past few days.
Mmm I can't write anymore. I've just had a phonecall from a friend in dire straits - I just don't know what to do to help them. Aaaarrggghhh. feel bad. bye bye.
oh to be a singleton
Look, if anyway ever hears any rumour that I might be getting involved with anyone in any way that isn't purely friendship, would they please email me, text/SMS me, write to me at my home address, phone me, fax me or come round and visit me personally and simply say DON'T DO IT JOSEPH! Too easily led astray by carnal urges. At the end of the day the stress far outweighs the benefits.
last day of the holidays
On the wall in front of me is a list of college work to be done by 18th April 2004 (today).
I've managed to do none of it. I've tried, I have really. I sat in the library for 3 hours leafing through copies of the Sunday Times Magazine dating back to 1996 looking for mobile phone adverts (fun stuff), and yesterday afternoon I watched Akira Kurosawa's 1954 three-and-a-quarter-hour epic 7 Samurai. Looking for western influence in it you know.
Today I'm going to attempt to write a 2000 word essay on Deviance. I was going for the one titled "Examine the view that crime is predominantly a working-class phenomenon." However, I've just had second thoughts and instead will go for the easy-peasy option, "'Deviance is in the eye of the beholder', discuss." That's as long as I don't get distracted, like I did yesterday when I suddenly decided that it was vital that I download some software for my scanner.
My mind was elsewhere.
Last night a very good friend of mine (whom a few of you may know of!) in Tokyo called. Boy was I happy to hear from her, it's been ages since we last spoke. She's such a precious friend, a great support to me. I'm very grateful.
You see? It's now 12.56pm, and what have I done since this morning when I wrote the above? What I should have done is write a few hundred words on deviance, but instead I've been playing around in Photoshop creating those 3 little icons above/below which I suddenly realised were absolutely vital for The Daily Mumble...
30p to last me until 7th May
Well, your hero on his beanbag managed to get the afore-mentioned essay completed 20 minutes before the deadline. Whether it's any good or not is another matter. I now have 12 level 3 credits to my name - I need 18 to gain entry to Sheffield University, shouldn't be a problem.
The bankruptcy has been proceeding ok. This morning I received another couple of letters from creditors who are a bit miffed as to why they haven't received their payments yet, and are unaware that I'm bankrupt (I'm on the phone to them as I type, nice on-hold music...). A couple of days ago I had my telephone interview with the Official Receiver - she was a nice lady, very friendly. She's now looking into my affairs, and I guess I'll hear from her sometime in the near future.
Meanwhile, yesterday I submitted my application for a student loan to the Local Education Authority. I think that should all go through without a hitch. In addition to the full £4095 loan, I should get a £1000 grant (doesn't have to be paid back) plus all my fees paid (they don't have to be paid back either). With that support, I'll probably only have to work part-time once I start my degree course. It's all fitting into place.
One thing that bankruptcy has taught me is the value of money. Since all of my accounts were frozen and credit cards destroyed, I've been living on a cash economy. It's literally a case of if I don't have the money in my pocket, I can't do anything. No more going to ATM machines to get some notes out, no more using my debit card to pay for food or a cinema ticket.
I'm currently living on £55 a week, which is a novel experience. No more social life - I can't afford a bus into town let alone a beer at £2.50 a pint! In fact, having just paid my bills and made allowances for food this week, I find I have 30p pocket money to last me until the 7th of May, that's two weeks away! No kidding!
Still, I'm enjoying the challenge. It's a good job that I'm Joseph-no-mates - I don't have to feel guilty about turning down invites out to pubs etc.
Ah, all this idle banter. I really must get on. Do something constructive with my time. Like eat. Eating is good, makes me feel better.
a real this is what life's all about day
Outside the supermarket down the road there's nearly always someone selling The Big Issue. For those of you who don't know it, The Big Issue is a magazine produced by a homeless charity. The (homeless) vendors buy a stack of magazines off the charity for 60, and then sell them on to the public on the street at £1.20.This helps them to get back on their feet etc.
The other day there was someone there whom I hadn't seen before - someone I was sure I recognised. Having walked by him once, I racked my brains to try and remember where I'd seen him before. Then it struck me - I went to college with the guy 10 years ago.
He's had a real rough ride since then. Made me think.
I've seen him quite a bit since then. Made me think.
up on the roof
This morning I decided that it was time for a spring clean here at Garfield Villa. Well, in my room at least. Good job too - when I moved my little table to vacuum underneath, I found a whole load of little grey "things". I thought they might be some kind of droppings or something, so split one in half (as you do). Imagine my surprise when out popped a little maggot-type thing! Moth larvae apparently, bloody hundreds of them. I think I've wiped out the whole colony now.
Anyhow, that little spring clean prompted me to open the bottom-half of my sash window, something I'd never done before. Daring, I know.
Several hours later (it was a complex process) this was the result:
Yes, the flat roof is mine! For the whole summer!
not a great start to the day
Somewhat bleary eyed, this morning I solloped downstairs with a pillow case full of clothes to wash. Popped them in the washing machine... and then caught myself adding floor cleaner.
Well, these things happen. I am 26, getting on you know. Melanie was saying how the other day she found herself walking upstairs to the bathroom with a tub of margerine - she'd meant to put it in the fridge.
I am quite forgetful though. Last night whilst debating the merits of a formal eduacation at college I found myself feeling a little hazy, and realised that I hadn't taken my epilepsy medication since last Saturday when I re-arranged my furniture.
This year I've started to become aware that proper adults (by that I mean over 40) are actually the same people that they were when they were younger. That's obvious, you may say, but until recently I'd always assumed that there was some kind of cut-off point when you stop being young and adopt a new, adult personality, with adult commitments. So what's changed? Well, my peers are becoming parents, and behaving in other ways that result in them being labelled as adults. I think my own involvement in a recent pregnancy scare added to the notion that even when you are an adult, you still have the same soul, the same personality (be that slightly more educated etc) (hopefully) that you had when you were in your early twenties.
My thinking on this one is still under development. I'll keep you posted.
the latest gadget to come out of Japan
sums it up nicely
I wanted to share this photo with you. It's from the May/June issue of Resurgence.
The following article sums up very nicely how I feel on the issue of authenticity in life.