diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hello to all of you who, like me, live by yourself. Not for us the chance of a friendly chat over breakfast, nor a natter in the bedroom, nor an entire evening sitting in front of the TV offering a running commentary on everything you watch. Our inner monologue stays private, remains unleashed, unless we spend time on the phone or make a particular effort to be sociable.

Don’t worry, I've not cast myself out like a hermit. I have a long chat with my dad twice a week and a weekly appointment on BestMate's sofa for gossip and pizza. I even found myself having a three hour conversation in Shake Shack in Westfield last week, have you been to Shake Shack recently, sheesh, it's like Argos do restaurants, they’ve essentially done away with the waiting staff, you type your order onto a screen like it's McDonalds, then go sit at some bleak table, no cutlery, no condiments, nothing, and wait for your order number to come up on a big screen, then you actually go up and collect it yourself, you're doing all the work for them, and it's presented in a cheap paper wrapper rather than on a plate, the size of the burger when it arrived was pitiful for the price it had cost, maybe half a dozen mouthfuls, meanwhile the drink was just flavoured concentrate in water for £3.40, admittedly I didn't have the food myself, I just watched, which financially proved to be a lucky escape, but the whole place seems to run on a skeleton staff of two, there are literally no corners left to cut, this must be what millennials think proper hospitality is, just a bench and a burger. But I digress.

The thing is I have all these internal conversations and barely anyone to share them with, not in real life. As a singleton I just end up talking to myself, metaphorically speaking, millions of people do. But millions more spend their lives in company communicating about every small detail instead, did you see what she was wearing, I can’t believe what's in the news today, mind that kerb, I’ve put the mug in the dishwasher, looks like rain, who actually drives like that, you'll never guess what I dreamt about last night, did you feed the cat, oh I like this song, I'm not sure if this colour suits me, my leg aches, what's in this sauce I like the flavour. I live by myself so I get none of this opportunity to vent. I could just blog about it all I guess but nobody wants to read that, not a mundane stream of consciousness, it'd be tedious as hell.

Look they're retarmacking the road, is retarmacking even a word? That must be disruptive for everyone on Vicars Hill, yes look there's a sign saying vehicles will be towed away for three whole days, on both sides. It looks so freshly-laid, and wow you can actually feel the warmth of it even on a mild day, the heat coming off is amazing, like standing beside a radiator. It's one of my favourite smells, bitumen, I absolutely love it, always have, so maybe this is a job I'd enjoy. I wonder how often they have to do this, or more to the point how often it's actually done. There are a lot of workers here and a lot of trucks, that one's reversing through a narrow gap, oh look it's just run over a traffic sign and broken it off, I'll take a photo. They didn't like that did they?

Look at that cherry blossom, blimey, it's only the middle of February. That is full-on pink bloom like spring is here, those trees have been totally confused by all the mild weather. It's everywhere too, not just this street, all across the capital, such a shame we’ve hardly had any sunshine to go with it because it always looks better brightly illuminated. I even saw a magnolia tree bursting out yesterday, seriously, that was up in Hornsey, the weather's totally buggered at the moment. It might not be 100% the effect of climate change, this seasonal shift, but what are the chances otherwise? Londonist hasn't even got round to republishing its annual "Generally April is cherry blossom month in London" article yet, they'd better hurry. I hope Saturday's frost doesn't kill it all off, yes hadn't you heard, things change quickly. I wonder if the bluebells will be early too.

What's this wizardy advert for, oh it's Trainline. Ticketo spliticus, honestly. But how on earth are they making that claim, "Use SplitSave sorcery to save on average £13 per trip", I can’t believe that's true. Splitting tickets is a rare thing, only for certain longer distance routes, not your typical commuter journey or dash to the coast. No way would you save that much regularly. Oh hang on there's an asterisk, what does it say in the smallprint? Oh it's right at the end, "Subject to SplitSave Fares being available", that's sneaky. So if you can save money you should save an average of £13, but it's very much not a £13 saving every time, nor even most of the time the cheeky bastards.

It's the spacing between the digits that gets me, look, this bus stop has the old style and the new style, the new is on the left. In the new style they're spaced apart, I'd say unnaturally so, but in the old style everything’s closer together. I presume they changed it for reasons of clarity but it always looks so artificial, unnatural even. And it always looks worse when there's a 1 in the number, actually this isn't as bad as it could be because there are two 1s. But normally you get one big gap and one small gap and it looks like the designer was half-drunk when they did it, like someone's applied a blanket rule even in situations where it looks bad. Sorry am I boring you, bit of a bugbear of mine, good to see it so clearly illustrated, I wouldn't have done it like that.

I didn't know Maze Hill had a pottery in the old station house, that's the numberplate I’ve been looking for since January, I see they’ve increased the price of Tesco own brand choc ices again, she shouldn't have brought that bike on the DLR before nine thirty, haha the giant mouse painted on the wall is hiding from the giant cat, I wouldn't do tai chi on a basketball court myself, I really hope the cough stops soon, I think they built it to impress Dome visitors, shop-bought daffodils really do open quickly, oh come on Madame Tussauds of course a better line up is possible, how do homeless people know the banking bus is turning up, which way did you think it went, I never noticed that memorial to a Spitfire pilot before, oh it thinks my bags are collectively too heavy, they can squeeze flats into any gap now, wow the service is properly buggered, thank heavens for library toilets, looks like a nasty accident, the sound of all that water under the escalators always unnerves me, hurrah right on cue, oh they do low sugar apple pies now, I'm not carrying that upstairs, I'm sure it said platform 3, why is this the lead story, well you should have indicated, great book I thought, that's cleaned up well, I will sit down and focus on it soon honest, yeah that'll do, this is what living alone does to you.

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jack of diamonds
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