“Du bist a fungi”

A young professional couple have just moved in next to Lisa. The noises that emanate through the rustic walls sound very functional, she says, even when she holds a glass to it. The same can’t be said for us. Today we were having a pot of tea, all civilised like, and we got to throwing pidgin-German insults at each other.

“Ich liebe dich!” I crow, and snigger like a red-faced urchin.

“Du hat eine kleine, kleine penis!” shouts Esther, “Du hast kleine boobies!”

(Putting on her best thesp bawl) “Du hast eine grosse VAG!”

“SHHHH!!!” hisses Lisa, her face pinkening like an ominous October sunset.

“Du bist…Macauley Culkin!” I join in, immune to Lisa’s cringing, “Wo bist meine Bjork elpee?”

“Das ist nicht…(then in RP English) going to happen!”

Esther titters.

“Ich…tick tick tick, the bomb ticking down,” I have my hand aloft like I’m Hamlet, enunciating every syllable, drunk on my own genius.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP!” screams Lisa, slapping my cheek so it matches hers.

“You silly bally fool boy,” adds Esther, using the abuse my Grandad used to have hurled at him from a Scottish secondary school teacher.

We go back to sipping tea.

Presently, it’s time to walk the hounds. When we get to the park, I realise we’ve missed the annual Mushroom and Toadstool Guided Walk and I’m overcome with regret. I used to have a mushroom city, down a valley at the end of my primary school playing ground. I had it, that is, until I told a ‘friend’ about it and returned one tragic day to find each one stomped into smithereens by zealous feet.

Anyway, now I keep my shroom love to myself. I can see signs of the Walk; there’s a tree with white stickers on it saying things like “honey shoelace fungus,” and “unidentified”. My favourite kinds are everywhere: white headed Ink Caps. They look like Terry Nutkins (RIP) rising from the peat.

I bend down and poke one with a stalk of grass. It wiggles its head appreciatively like an Indian dancer.

Everything is alright with the world.

“Front view”

“Back view”

A little while later, we walk past a freshly dug mound of peaty Earth.

“God, I’d love to roll on that,” I say dreamily, “wouldn’t you?”

“No!” says Esther.

I look at Lisa.

“Erm…maybe…” she says uncertainly.


“My Great Great Great Grandad, Lindow Man”

Could my life be any more glamorous?


A good writer always carries a notebook. Other writer like me are forced to improvise. I use the Notes app on my iPhone. However, the big round button that does everything on my iPhone only works one in every twenty presses, so I have to stick my ideas wherever I can when I get them. Recently, I have been writing them in the place that I use the most: Text Message boxes under random people’s names. And then I forget about them.

And what do you think happens next?

Here’s one I sent to my Doctor’s surgery:

“The rapid prototyping of identity is often arrested in early stages.”

To a female friend,

“My pendulous sweetmeats.”

And to our landlord:

“The awfulness of someone else’s suffering.”

So far, no-one has texted back.


Esther’s cousin Britney came to stay last week. Esther has been turning her phone off to avoid having to talk to her grandmother, who’s just got the internet (she described receiving an email as “she put her computer inside my computer”).  As a result, Esther didn’t know Britney was coming and spent the morning pulverising every spot on her face.

“It was the worst I’d ever seen it,” described Britney when I saw her after work, “like she’d poured acid over her head. When I came upstairs and found her sat in bed she said;

“Look what I’ve done to my face! And there’s a poo rolled up in a blanket downstairs…””

This was a dog poo I’d discovered just before I left for work, having already trodden it up the stairs in my socks. As always, I was running late so Esther promised to take care of it. Britney arrived about 3 hours later, by which time Esther had got as far as wrapping it up in the blanket it was on and forgetting about it.


We’ve just finished watching both series of Game of Thrones and half of the new True Blood on our laptop. Esther saves time by fast forwarding through the opening credits. All day I’ve had the speeded up theme tunes running through my head, like the incidental music to head injuries in cartoons.


One of my students missed his appointment today. I have worked with him for over a year, but when he finally turned up 2 hours later he knocked on my door looking like he’s never seen me before, and said,

“Hello, I’m looking for someone called Vienna.”

Me: (applying logic) “Do you mean me?”

Student: (his expression softening) “Yes, that’s right.”

And then he hops into the seat next to me as if he always knew who I was.


Last time long haired brunette Lisa was left alone all evening, she decided to copy the hairstyle of a small boy she’d seen earlier that day on her road. He had a blonde mullet.

“Wot yew fokkin luken at?”

Today, she started to draw on her face to see what black hair would look like. She kept one half of her face as it was, and on the other side gave herself a fringe, and dark eyebrows and eye makeup. Then, she thought she may as well see if she suited being black skinned too and coloured in the rest of her face.

At this point, Alfie knocked at the door and she had to turn the lights & TV off till he went away again. I imagine she looked like a negative Phantom of the Opera skulking in the shadows.

“Listen, I’ve told you I’m not going to turn around”

“Well at least I know I don’t suit being black,” she says.


Last night we had a mini house party. When I retrieved my laptop from the living room this morning, I find the following two Google searches open:

cricket man walks in waz


hotels in kazakhstan

I have some strange friends.