Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Feedback Friday Tuesday :: Upheaval, Distraction, Renewal of Vows

bulk :: 15st 13 (slowly but surely)
alcohol units imbibed :: 10ish (surprisingly few, considering)
cigarettes smoked :: 0
joints smoked :: a thousand
runs run :: 1
bets won :: 1
promises broken :: 1 (I’m very unhappy about it but I can’t start training for the marathon until a) the weather gets better, and b) my back gets better. I feel like bad about it, but there it is.)

Well, here I am in sunny Peckham where - thanks to Keith’s disturbed, effervescent rage and my own idiotic sense of pride – I have been disconnected from the internet for an entire week. In fact, today is my first day back online, and while it’s obviously a relief, I suddenly feel like I have a terrifying amount of work to do. It’s like I’ve been constipated for months and then all at once – with a slow creak and a hefty crack - I’m flowing like Enya’s Orinoco, close to drowning in my own backed-up effluent.


So, catch-up. On the whole – although not exactly what one might consider a move up in the world - the transition from Herne Hill to Peckham went fairly smoothly, albeit in some of the heaviest downpours this side of Noah’s Ark. I hired a van for the weekend so managed to get it done in four shifts. Or was it fifteen? I can’t remember, but it was all staggered over the bank holiday weekend and included a couple of trips to IKEA to stock up on still more beautifully designed but absolutely one hundred per cent completely unnecessary stuff.

One thing I realised when I was packing up to move was that I already have far too much stuff. I hoard. I can’t throw anything out, but both Keith and Sally did their best to make me feel bad about this, so I ended up acquiescing and chucking lots and lots and lots of stuff away. In the end, this actually felt rather good. It was like a spring clean. A spring clean of the soul. But then I went and spoilt it all by buying lots of rubbish from IKEA. I couldn’t help myself.

The most exhilarating part of the spring clean incidentally, was giving away lots of clothes that don’t really fit me any more. As I dumped them in a supermarket recycling bin, I felt ever so slightly like a snake must feel after shedding its own skin, except of course that when a snake sheds its skin, it grows larger. I felt like a snake in reverse. Like the Incredible Shrinking Man in fact. And not like a snake at all.

So anyway, by Monday evening, it was all done. I closed the front door, opened my extremely cramped bombsite bedroom window for Pablo to slink onto the stairwell and start exploring the back garden, and I slumped down in the living room, like a great big lump of sweaty lard. At which point Keith revealed that he had three surprises for me.

He said, ‘While you’re here, staying in my humble home, we are going to have fun. I’m going to make sure of that’, and then he produced the first surprise, which actually wasn’t so much of a surprise as he’d already warned me it was coming. It was a large bag of grass. I pulled a face. I was trying to convince myself that I didn’t want any more of that. But in truth I did want it. And I was grateful. Sorry, Sally. Sorry, Curly.

The second surprise was a brand new box of Wii, which I have to say, was a wonderful and glorious surprise. I’d only ever played once before and I loved it. I was very excited. In fact, surprises one and two very nearly made up for surprise number three.

‘I’ve killed the internet,’ said Keith.

‘Excuse me?’ I said.

‘It’s gone,’ he said, shaking his head. ‘It’s gone.’

Keith had an account with Virgin Media, but apparently: ‘…they were really, really shit. The TV was always going down and I seemed to be paying loads and loads more than I originally signed up for. Then every time I phoned them up, they annoyed the shit out of me, keeping me on hold for hours, making me pay for calls when it wasn’t my fault, refusing to phone me back and refusing to let me speak to anyone who was in any position of authority or even in the same continent, so in the end I just told them to fuck off.’


‘I don’t know. Last week sometime. I know that the person I told to fuck off was just some poor call centre bogey and it wasn’t their fault at all so I explained that hopefully this would be one of the calls that they were recording for training purposes and somebody else, somewhere down the line, could take the brunt of my ire.’

‘Did you actually use those words?’ I asked. ‘The brunt of my ire?’

‘I dunno,’ said Keith. ‘Might have. Anyway, I tried to go online a couple of hours ago and it was down. So I think that’s probably it. No more internet.’ He nodded sagely, as if it were a good thing. ‘So,’ he added. ‘Let’s bowl!’

I pointed out that I had very important proofreading work I had to get on with all week, work that would eventually enable me to pay Keith rent money.

Keith pointed out that I didn’t really need the internet for that. Surely all I needed was my laptop and my brain? I scowled.

I then pointed out that I needed to blog urgently, that I hadn’t even managed a Feedback Friday post this week, which was basically the only thing that ensured that I blogged at least once a week.

Keith pointed out that I had become addicted to the internet and that I should make an effort to participate more fully in the real world.

I pointed out that smoking grass and playing video games was not necessarily what a lot of people might consider ‘participating more fully in the real world’.

Keith pointed out that a lot of people needed to get with the programme.

I pointed out that using terms like ‘get with the programme’ was probably going to cause the two of us to fall out.

Keith pointed out that I should probably wake up and smell the coffee.

At which point we fell out.

Then Keith suggested that while we waited for a new ISP, this would be a good opportunity for me to test his theory that I am now officially addicted to the internet. As an added incentive, he then bet me £50 that I couldn’t stay off the internet for an entire week. Rashly, I shook his hand.

This morning there was £50 waiting for me on the kitchen table.

I have to say, it really amuses me that Keith genuinely seems to believe me when I say, ‘Honestly, Keith. Cross my heart and hope to die, ram a chisel in my thigh, I have not been checking emails on my phone.’ Which is not to say that I lied, for I did not. Or did I? No, of course I didn't. Or did I? No, no, no. But if I had of course, he would never know. He can be so childlike sometimes. And he still leaves his oven chips just lying there in the freezer.

Anyhow, I’m going to put my winnings toward buying a Wii Fit just as soon as they become available again. I really want to be told I’m fat by a machine. I’m sure it will inspire me. Like it did this guy. (I’ve just got off the phone to a man in HMV who explained to me that there is ‘a national shortage’ and they have no idea when they’ll be back in stock. And meanwhile the rain continues to fall and us chubbies are just getting fatter and fatter and fatter.)

Anyhow, today we have a new internet service provider and I am prepared to bet Keith £50 that they will be every bit as shit as Virgin were. If not shitter.

In other news, Pablo didn’t come home this morning. And Pablo hates the rain. I can’t help feeling something is horribly wrong. Usually he comes home in the middle of the night, bringing me the intestines of some rodent as a gift. Always he wakes me up some time around dawn seeking food. But not this morning. I am worried. If he’s not back in a couple of hours, I may have to attach signs to local lampposts.


Until tomorrow.


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Shimacat said...

Oh, poor cat! You were quick to let him outside in his new place - I hope you find him. Lost cats are the one thing that always makes me want to weep.

Which is unusual, as in everyday life, I can make grown men cry.

Wishing Pablo home for you.

Shimacat said...

I should have said - welcome back online. I missed you.

La Bête said...

Thanks, Shimacat. I did carry him outside at first and show him around in my arms, and when I let him out on his own, he did the old exploring a bit further every time thing. And he has been coming back every day for a week. Oh, you've made me feel a bit bad. I'm going outside to shout for a bit again.

Michael said...

About bloody time!

Misssy M said...

And you do realise that whilst you were in "the real world" you won Post of the Week.

I am off to India in four weeks on a school trip with 23 teenagers and may have internet issues. Something so blogable may not be blog-able. I'm a sweating just thinking about that.

Glad you're back. You're my new fave.

La Bête said...

Thanks, Michael, you great big stroppy cow you.

And thanks, Misssy M. Yes, I saw! Thank you so much. I'm going to judge this week. I'm greatly honoured.

Hendo said...

I'm worried about Pablo.

DJ Kirkby said...

My cats always go out as soon as they ask when we move (I figure once they ask then they have had enough of an oppourtunity to inspect the inside of their new home) so I hope Pablo is ok and just off exploring. Very happy to see a new post form you, it was hilarious (except for the Pablo vanishing act bit). Someone at work has the new fit Wii and she goes on about it...a lot! She likes it...a lot!!! Tired of it already adn I don't even own one.

Selena said...

YES, you're back!

You may not be addicted to the internet, but next time please think of all the people that may just be addicted to you.

However, I figured the lull was due to the move. I definitely feel for you; that you had to relocate in a sin purging flood...that sucks.

Yet at least you can say, "hooray", for 2 awesome welcome home presents from Keith. Wii'ing is so much fun and the Wii fit is awesome. If you get that you should definitely get the "Ninja Relex" game.

I'm going to buy it for my friend so that we can be two pleasantly plump Ninjas, who look docile enough, but are in fact deadly weapons- with the reflexes of a endearingly overweight pumas.

Speaking of felines- I'm sorry your Pablo has gone MIA... I'm sure he'll come back; i'll wish on a few stars for you and he to be reunited later on tonight(it couldn't hurt.)

Welcome Back!

suburbanhen said...

I'm going to be a right sour c*nt and say I think it is daft for people to welcome other people 'back' after they don't post on their blog for a bit. Perhaps that makes me quite impolite, which may be the reason I only have a handful of friends. They are obviously the only ones who can put up with me.

Right, now that I have proper alienated myself I just want to say that I sincerely hope that Pablo comes home quick smart and that when he does, will you please keep him inside for the next week, you daft bugger?

Also, even though I think that POTW is a bit odd and don't quite understand the point behind it (oh, fuck me I'm a grumpy cow), congratulations. We've got one more thing in common.

Vicky said...

Bete, have you spoken to your former neighbours in Herne Hill and asked them to look out for him?

Cats often go back to their old territories, so it might be worth putting up some posters in your old neighbourhood too.

I hope he comes back soon.

Anonymous said...

God I thought you'd eloped or something! Thankfully you're back, in one piece, and in Peckham - blimey!
Anyway, one of my cats has also done a runner, (so to speak), should we bet £50 on who's returns first?

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Oh no! Poor Pablo, poor you. I hope he's already back, Bendy Girl

Anonymous said...

"meanwhile the rain continues to fall and us chubbies are just getting fatter and fatter and fatter"

Oh great! You've just given me yet ANOTHER excuse for my obesity -- now I can blame it all on the lack of Wii Fits available to buy !!!

Are you sure there are no internet cafes in Peckham? (You mean you didn't even do any sneaky peaking of e-mails?!)

Well done on the weight loss. I just found out tonight (courtesy of Trinny and Susannah) that the average UK person weighs 169 lbs (12 st 1 lb), so you are a lot closer to the "average" than I am, Bete.

Hope that makes you feel slightly better! :-)

Je ne regrette rien said...

damn, after reading some of those comments I'm half scared to say good to see you again. Someone might fling a shoe at me. ah well. good writing deserves more than a weekly post, so get busy.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Welcome back :) Hope Pablo turns up.

Boz said...

Don't go to BT! They are shitter than shit!

Moving is an intensely stressful experience. I hate it from start to finish, so I say well done for getting through it.

I'm sure Pablo will come home. Probably just having, like, a really good explore.

suburbanhen said...

*flings shoe at je ne regrette rien*

curly said...

had to laugh when i saw 'sorry curly'. As if you have to apologise for something you enjoy doing (unless its serial killing, eating cabbage or other deeply unpleasant stuff). I shouldn't have said what I said anyway - i'm not qualified, so if I may, I'll take it back.

Hope Pablo returns - am sure he will. He knows who butters his bread. When my pal moved in with me and brought her cat he dissappeared for a couple of days. I think it's what cats with attitude do.

Amy said...

I really missed you. And was worried. Glad you're back.

La Bête said...

Thanks for all your concern for Pabs, and thanks for all your kind welcome backs, and thank you Hen for your cold cynicism and shoe-flinging.

Vicky, I’ve been on the phone to my old neighbours but I’m going to go over there and have a nose around his old hangouts in a moment. I can’t bear the thought of him being lost and growing increasingly desperate.

Good luck with your cat too, Penelope. How long’s it been gone?

Curly, Pablo is definitely a cat with attitude. Or ‘cattitude’. If you will. (And consider your remarks taken back. Come and have a toke, you old rascal.)