More alone than usual

Somehow it feels that I’m more alone than usual this week.

Yes, I’m in London but my house back home is empty. Sophie is also away this week. She’s at Aberystwyth on a week’s study course for her MSc.

That extra bit of distance between us, it’s added a slightly more melancholy flavour than usual to my week of being apart from her.


She’s either working her cute little bum off, or she’s being a student. If it’s the former… Awwww. If it’s the latter… [chews fingernails].

I’m keeping busy, it’s 22.55 and I’ve just finished work. Well yeah, I did have a break for tea around 19.30. Twenty minutes.

Since then I’ve written a UAT schedule and a draft plan for system testing.

And I’ve spoken to Daughter. We laughed. She soon hiccuped. I got the blame – go figure!

And an idea for a short story has occurred. I like it, but I can’t see a market for it. Perhaps I should just write it for fun and see where it takes me?

The trouble is that would take my writing away from Helicopter which is where it should be. Sigh.

I’m sitting here sipping cold tea listening to ATSBO – a piece of music I’ve fallen in love with in the last fortnight – thinking I should be doing something else.

I should be doing something more.

I should be doing something.

I know what this is.

This is not working with Vin; this is not working my arse off. This is being unfit and this is not getting any exercise.

It all changes in two weeks when we do The Move.

I feel it’s fair to do the Init Cap thing there; it is a phrase in its own right with a weight and magnitude behind it that is, somehow, more significant than any of the International moves I’ve done before. It is bigger than two words being side-by-side on this electronic piece of paper.

And I don’t know why. It just is.

I suppose it’s related to my own insecurities; natural enough really. And none of the other moves I’ve done had this new insecurity haunting me, following me around like a scary black shadow.

Tired.  So weary.


Unpredictable predictive

As I sit here cutting CDs for distribution to various music industry personages (a necessary but boring task), my mind wanders to the vagaries of predictive texting.

Did you know that the word ‘lick’ uses the same keys as ‘kick’?

And did you know that the word ‘aunt’ uses the same keys as ‘c*nt’ (without the asterisk, natch)?

It’s a good job that no-one sends sentences like ‘I’d like to kick your aunt’ isn’t it?

How awful would it be if the wrong predictive words were used?


Ciampino lost property

Found in the departure loung of Ciampino airport:

One A4 refill notepad with a huge amount of hand-written work inside and various photocopied notes.

The airport management were just going to throw it away when I brought it to their attention so I rescued it.

If this is yours please contact me with a brief description of the topic/theme of the work and I will post it on to you.


Pssssst… wanna buy a pistol?

It’s a beaut.

* Beretta M9, 9mm (so it’ll take NATO, Russian and Chinese 9mm ammunition)

* Semi-automatic

* Single or double-action

* Handle up to 15 rounds

* 1,200 feet per second muzzle velocity

* List price = $263 each

It’s very similar to the 9mm Browning Hi-Power I carried around with me for four years, but with a loaded weight of 2.55 Lbs it’s significantly lighter.

And terribly (sic) accurate.


We might be able to get you up to 80,000.

That’s the number that the US troops have misplaced in Iraq.

Eighty thousand?

A couple of hundred weapons AWOL from the armoury might be fair enough given the scope and duration of the conflict in Iraq.

But… eighty thousand?

Given the proximity of Turkey to Iraq, I wonder how easy it would be for an enterprising European to do a little shopping in the region?

Smuggling automatic pistols in to the UK would be ridiculously easy.

Hell, if I can smuggle a person in to the UK, getting in a bunch of Berettas would be child’s play.

And 9mm ammunition almost grows on trees – if you know where the picking’s good.


But that’s only the UK.

Suppose these 80,000 beautifully engineered weapons of individual destruction turned up somewhere else?


In the hands of the enemies of the US-led coalition?


Do you think we should add to the arsenal of the enemies of democracy the 110,000 AK47s that have also been misplaced?

Which are, boringly enough, weapons of 7.62mm calibre (and after Bosnia there’s enough 7.62mm ammunition swashing around the planet to keep us all happily killing each other for decades to come).

We’re all doomed, Captain Mainwaring, doomed!


Monday evening blues

The Lovely S.


And I can’t be there – in Worcestershire – to give her the support and comfort that she needs.

This sucks.

It’s official.

You can quote me.

My poor girl, she sounded so… cast away, isolated.

And there’s other stuff…

I discovered this evening (I’ve been doing my books – break out the rum rations!) that the agency I’m working for down here has been paying me Net of VAT.

So I’m going to have to ring them tomorrow and sort it out.

I hate talking about money, but…

If these people don’t cough up my VAT I’m probably going to have to hand in my notice; there’s no way I can sustain paying 17.5% tax on a Net earning on what is the lowest rate I’ve ever accepted.

So all in all I’m feeling a little subdued too.

Wish I could just get in the car and go home.

We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.