Sep 26 2013

I have been mugged by Hugh Grant. Typical.

Today was going to be A Nice Day.


I was getting mildy bored of Terrible Days where Marmite flung itelf out of cupboards to dash itself to a sticky oblivion on the kitchen floor, the toddler would lie rigid, stiff and angry on the floor of Home Bargains, seemingly covered in Teflon when I tried to lift him out of the pathway of shame and curiously flavoured crisps, my cardigan would not only be inside out but also upside down and suddenly too small.


Today was going to be a Nice Day. The bank account details were certainly Not Nice but I bravely decided to carry on having a Nice Day with the help of a bag containing a fivers worth of ten p’s saved for an emergency. I felt almost rich with a weighty old-fashioned feel to carrying around a bag of silver. That was me Being Positive.


I decide to take the toddler on the bus to Lancaster University. I like going there because it is £2.40 for a longish bus ride, Lancaster University seems very Other, huddled away on its hill with its weirdly seperate but the same shops, like a familiar yet unfamiliar dream. It also has the best charity shop ever, consisting of awesome International Student garb, often involving anime and priced at under four pounds, cheap food and drink and a park where no other children are to be found so I do not have to apologise for the toddler’s Death Stare when someone tries to engage him in conversation or give him an imaginary ice-cream.


I am expecting much for my five pounds worth of ten p’s.


We board the bus and sit down to hear a well spoken voice arguing desperately with the bus driver. ‘Please, please, I am being met at the other end by someone with my bus fare. Today is the first day of my new life! Please, I beg you!’ A student is clearly desperate to begin his new adventures in learning and has not yet been given his loan. He is being met by someone with money. I am having a Nice Day and thus am feeling full of happiness and benevolence.

I am also aware of how precarious our finances are but put my trust in humanity.


I give him two pounds in ten p’s. He smiles and thanks me in a Hugh Grant accent. Then realises he is still short. The only other passenger gives him the rest. He beams at her.

I spend the rest of the journey worrying about why he has not phoned his friend up. Before the main stop at Lancaster Uni, a dark Hades like underpass, he leaps off, smiles and me and vanishes- I then notice he has a smartly folded copy of The Times under his arm.

The Times! The fucking Times!

He has given his cash to Murdoch in the expectation that someone will give him his busfare.

I feel conned and cross that I have given two quid to a lieing Tory upstart blagger who can spend a quid on the Times when I have thirty quid to last the weekend.  I suspect he will almost definitely  become an MP.

Lancaster University is shadowed by the loss of my two pounds and my money bag loses its jangly promise. I purchase some 50p sunglasses from the excellent charity shop and try to console myself with the idea of them being worth at least £2.50 but they were clearly a promotional freebie from a downmarket magazine retailing at less than two pounds.


I put my card in the bank machine with that sick hollow feeling of not being allowed any more money but ten pounds comes out so the toddler and I go and buy cheesy curly freis for £1.65. It could have been an enchilada dammit. Tory Boy has ruined the day.


I am embarressed by the thought of people looking at me and judging what my child is eating so I keep loudly saying, ‘what a naughty treat! Aren’t we naughty! We’ll have nice healthy  Hungarian Goulash tonight!  You love Hungarian Goulash don’t you?’


The toddler looks at me as he has never heard of Hungarian Goulash before. That might be because we have never once had it.


Sometimes Performance Parenting is not parents showing off. It is to try and cover up the fact they are actually a Bad Parent by lying in public.


With another two pounds, my child might have eaten a toasted sandwich with curly cheesy fries.

I see a tramp on the way home and can not give him any money because I have given what I could ill afford to an entitled posh boy with a copy of today’s Times. I feel like telling him to stop shivering and looking sorrowful because nowadays the way to take money is to be wealthy, jaunty and well-spoken.

Or maybe I have just met the Dickensian ghost of David Cameron on the X1 on the way to Lancaster University on a breezy smoky September day.

Sep 22 2013

Nothing has happened-err, hold on.

Oh bugger. It’s that sort of the time when I see I have not written anything on my blog for a while, no-one has bitterly or evenly politely complained as the most eager searchers for this blog are wanting the undead or sex.


This is probably something which is not unique to my tiny part of the internet.

I wrote about not being able to access Chingle Hall, the allegedly most haunted house in the UK and also a couple of years ago, mentioned on a post about Blackpool, that you could could get lighters that stated, ‘Fancy a F*ck’?’ The lighters were so classy that they were  not asterixed and the picture on the lighter was such that looking at the lighter should have been enough to ahem, extinguish the flame.


Most of my readers now leave saddened at the lack of actual ghosts or actual fucks (this sentence is purely a prostitute one to embiggen my hits)

I hoped for discussion about stone circles, abandoned manors and folklore. But more people are interested in fucking in Blackpool, and I would like to mention if you have to consult obscure blogs if you want to get a fuck in Blackpool, then you clearly have no idea what Blackpool is like. I was offered a fuck in Blackpool when pushing a pushchair along at 9.30 on a Sunday morning.


I tried to think of something exciting in the North to tell you about that I have previously banged on about to a disappointed brief audience of those who want sex or the supernatural.


Yesterday I went to Kendal museum, a place I have already written about but even as admin, I can’t find many old posts lost in the dark dusty tunnels of WordPress.


I still disliked it. It consists of a lot of animals that have been shot in the head and taxidermied. The baby elephant reduced me to near tears  when considering its mother and the stuffed dodo with dodo egg made me go and read The Westmoreland Times in the gift shop and consider spending the last thirty quid in my bank account on a pleasing necklace featuring a fake bronze age arrowhead instead.


My toddler loved the museum and thought it was a ‘zoo but the animals were quiet’. It was also a considerably cheaper entry than to see actual live unshot ones so we might go there on his birthday with a CD soundtrack


We went to Heysham last week, another place I have previously written about but might be lost in the dark annals of WordPress (see, another spelling and I would probably get a lot more hits) and I frolicked joyously in Viking graves, was surprised at the lack of people picking the luscious juicy blackberries before I saw the big fuck off Nuclear Reactor I always forget about and spent some time looking around what must be the tiniest most local museum in the world, chatted to some elderly ladies and was infused with a love of humanity until they told me about the thefts.

Today, I wandered through the streets of Lancaster and thought of how there is nothing new to write about and what I have not already seen. I did not see the ancient mounting block because it was a road I was used to walking down and thus I saw it but did not witness it or comprehend it.


I had soup and cider in a pub which had 1688 scrawled across its low entrance but I had seen it before (maybe quite a few times to be honest) and it left me unmoved.


I walked home past Lancaster Castle, an ancient fortified site and prison that sentenced so many people to be hung, it was second to only the Old Bailey. I only found out recently that  the hill I walk home on used to be known as Sobbing Hill, due to the despairing cries of those witnessing their loved ones slowly and publicly die.


What shall I write about I think?

I have been nowhere and done nothing.


Sep 3 2013

It’s all over- the internet has won. Preston versus the recession and the internet.


Christ, this is depressing. The only lights on in the ‘mall’ are on the unrelenting flashing of the empty multitude of children’s rides. An Asian  woman is setting up a stall of wooden motorbikes and smiley long limbed cats that nobody is going to buy. Her face is impassive. Her movements are slow.

There is yet another e-cig stall staffed by a man in a turban but no newsagent to buy an actual pack of real fags. The shops are all closed or about to be closed. I feel for the staff behind the Perfume Superstore, Schrodingers Cats waiting to die. Everything with a slight aura of desperation, futile hope and half price ‘Intimate’ by David Beckham.


The market is rammed, people rifle through piles of clothes that fashion and Lenor has ignored for a decade or more.Chelsea Girl clothing still exists here on a Tuesday morning for a pleasing price.

A sign reads ‘Gooch for Gold’. A woman in a niquab jokes about ‘sexual harrasment’. An outraged female voice retorts, ‘ I was just kissing my cousin!’ The cousin is female and laughs quietly as they all disappear down an aisle of sun bleached Early Learning Centre toys.


Like a sleep walker I stagger to a a favourite place or shop to find it gone, wander around like a zombie to find something familiar, safe, nice.  Preston is interesting, unique and wonderful if you know where to go but someone has changed the map and I am dyspraxic and confused.

I can’t cope when the goal posts are changed, removed and covered in a ‘To Let’ sign.

I am happy enough wondering around, gawking at poverty and modern ruins in a JG Ballard style and The New Continental Pub still exists so  I sit with a large glass of wine and think about how Preston will look next time I pop over on the train.