A moment of sheer joy

Only people who have experienced a lot of unpleasant episodes in their lives really understand how important moments are.

Grumpy Dude gave me a moment of sheer inexorable joy this evening, and he didn’t even have to stop and say hello.  I didn’t want to ruin it.

We had a brief conversation earlier this week, but tonight was quite remarkable.

I took a night off sewing this evening, I was feeling stale, a bit sad, and it was busy at work for most of the night.  Near the end of the evening, I was enjoying some supermix and looking at the world go by, and Grumpy Dude appeared out of the night, in much the same place that I was sitting last week or so.

I have found over the years that beautifully dressed men – and when I say beautifully dressed, I mean they have taken their shape and emotional self into account, and have chosen very carefully –  are extremely thin on the ground. This is as much because very few women appreciate it as because they don’t consider it worth the time or lack taste.  Male clothes horses quite rightly often choose to be with other men who appreciate them, so finding a fabulous dresser that is heterosexual is something that happens only rarely.

Anyway, out of the night emerges Grumpy Dude, in a quite marvellous outfit, detailing his curviness rather beautifully.  He was quite clearly aware that he looked particularly magnificent, and my eyes duly popped out of my head as I drank in this vision of loveliness crossing the road.

He smiled, I smiled, he sailed past.  It was perfect.  After the miserable day I had, I drove home perfectly content.

Thank you grumpy dude, although I may have to rename you Foxy Dude if you keep up this level of sartorial brilliance.


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Old School

Learning a job on a fast track career path when very young is fast and furious, especially when you work 20 hours a day.  It took less than two years to batter the bad habits out of me as a chef.

This is because, as a high pressure job, you have to learn really fast how to get the best out of people you would not even talk to in any other situation.  I used to say that catering should be like national service, since you learn about prioritisation, teamwork, forward planning etc very quickly.

Offices, by comparison, seem to foster a malignancy that is almost tangible at times, to the point that home workers are said to be some of the most experienced and highly qualified office workers you can get.  One outsourcing company, whose name I unfortunately forgot, cited the statistics and it was quite staggering.

These homeworkers saw the light.

As someone who has done a very wide variety of jobs, 80 hours of something you enjoy is a lot easier than 35 hours of something that sucks your soul.

I wrote and removed a post on the art of management when I first met Little Shiva.  It became apparent in the following weeks that he probably didn’t understand a word of it.  He was being dictated to by a person with a fairly advanced disorder, however, and given the stature of this person, I am not surprised that I was not to be listened to.

A good manager empowers their staff rather than intimidating them into doing things out of fear.  This is very basic.  In order to do your job well you are supposed to take things like retraining and staff turnover into account.

It is also your job as a manager to make yourself dispensable, that is to say, to ensure that if you have to be somewhere else, the work is getting done.  This means that throughout your day, you should be ensuring that your team are aware of the tasks required and doing them without prompting.

A manager’s function is to be a buffer between staff and senior management, not to generate friction.  This means as a functional adult, you should be prepared to mediate between staff and to deal with your own problems.

In a banking situation, of course, you have the complication of the bank.  Any relationship in a bank is between you, the bank and then the person.  This, however, does not negate your responsibility to communicate with your staff.  In fact, you should be making sure that everyone understands that their relationship is also with the bank before anyone else.  It is a basic principle of risk management.

In the event that you are hiring, you should have received some bias training.  Most of the major banks provide this, although I have been discriminated against because of my previous experience as a carer, because I am female and likely to procreate, because I am too interesting twice now – the first time I was told that the bank did not need cultural change (I had not mentioned any plans to single-handedly change an international bank, this was apparently a charisma issue)  because I am creative (this time I was chased by a woman screaming), and finally because I am not a mother.  At this point I made a complaint, knowing full well that the only likely response was that the bank would repeat the same rubbish that their demotivated interviewer had made up.

Because my first career was as a chef, I find it extremely easy to prioritise tasks as back burner or front burner items.  It is a very simple analogy and a question of time-management.

The most difficult thing about offices generally, however, is that people in a seated position are vindictive and lazy after quite a short time.  Cliques form, and self-interest creates deep suspicion if you express any interest in work whatsoever.  This is something I have found extremely boring over the years.  Nobody wants to deal with enthusiasm, nor do they understand why their assumptions about you are wrong.  They just invent something else to bitch about.

So, if your office staff turnover is high, and your staff look miserable, replace the manager, because they are not doing the job effectively.  Employ someone with some leadership capacity that actually likes working, not someone that looks like you.  That would be a first.


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Explaining yourself

I think we are into double figures for narcs and other cluster B candidates staring at the website now.  These are just the ones I know about.

The latest addition to the mob doesn’t understand what is going on and tells me that this is my fault. He doesn’t seem to understand that it doesn’t actually matter.

So, for those drop-ins that wonder what is going on:

I actually live a very quiet life, mostly focusing on work since I used to believe work was a comparatively safe place.  It isn’t, but it is still more interesting to have adventures at work than directly emotional adventures, which are also more hazardous.

A lot of the posts contain very little overt information, unless you happen to be the other person.

Little Shiva gets a lot of posts, because he is lonely and a little OCD and we have got into a habit.  He likes looking at it, and I like to see him looking at it. Things could have been very different if he had made different choices, and I am happy for him that nothing was really disrupted his end.

Bawbag drops in if I happen to talk about his artwork, because bawbag expects me to be like him and indulge in very negative feelings.  He has never understood, for example, that it really doesn’t matter to me whether he finds me attractive or not as we don’t have that kind of relationship at all.  I did try to explain to him that all my friends have always been male, but he didn’t really get it because he thinks in terms of women as unruly cats and men as rather inept custodians of said cats.

Wolfe likes to check on me every now and again, to see if I have made progress towards the biggest goal, which was rather curtailed by Little Shiva and Twisty preventing me from doing the Boris project.

Boris checks rarely now, but was very kind to me and I am happy to see he doesn’t need me at present.

Grumpy Dude is busy having an actual life, so I don’t expect he is looking at it at all.

Whether you personally understand the line of thought does not matter in the slightest. It isn’t actually designed to particularly appeal to other people.

Hope that makes things clearer for you.

Normal people do not rant for over a month at people for disagreeing with them on a facebook thread, by the way.  That is obsessive behaviour.



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This beautiful man stopped by the car for the second time. I love looking at him, but if he knew that I think he would be extremely surprised. He is very welcome to stand and be looked at at any time.

I do wish he wasn’t drunk, however as he has a terrible tendency towards talking nonsense, and he has now told me that he is Jewish about 97 times. I am not sure why this is quite so important, but he has a a nice wicked thing going on that I evidently like seeing.  Like a raven haired Wolfe.

Apart from that, almost finished sorting out some practical problems, and am doing some work towards the reclusive lifestyle I mentioned yesterday.

Bawbag has finished his shopfront, I am sure it is a work of artistic genius.  I am not sure that mac owners will quite believe it.  It is certainly different.

Finished a lot of ephemera for Haram Bawbag the artwork, too cold to do much with it at present.  I will see if I get a day off this week whether I can find enough jumpers to persist with it.

Cushions moving forward at pace, but very time consuming and I have had to purchase specifics for them, which is a pain.

Looking forward to moving things on shortly.

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Humanity is not worth saving

Many years ago, after the island I built for Patrick McGoohan, I started a book.  It morphed over time into a kind of state of society critique, and when I first met Wolfe, he was the person I wanted to discuss this book with.

I never did get to discuss it with him, because he was always in trivial mode when I spoke to him, and despite being extremely helpful in other ways, it proved impossible to get a simple direct conversation online.  That is Ok, he wasn’t to know.

I had a massive crisis in confidence after the incident with him, to the point of almost a form of breakdown.  I was taking care of my mother and working various tiny contracts, did some geo work for GPS systems and such, wasn’t idle,  but could not bring myself to write the book until I could fathom what exactly the stuff with Wolfe had triggered.

I am very glad that I was patient about that, because it created a lot of new work, worked through a number of things although it did not allow me to actually do the initial job of writing the book.

Likewise I still have work to do on the visual novel, although I will need to data scrape a hard drive or two to get moving again on that.

Since my mother died, and even as she was dying, I learned a lot about humans that I had tried hard to forget.

With a very small number of exceptions every single person I have met since 2016 has been venal, stupid, vitriolic and has made absolutely no attempt to even appear to be anything else.  I am now quite satisfied that humanity should wipe itself out.  Probably the sooner the better.

Be aware of the effect you have on other people.  I was originally a cynical and shy lady, after Wolfe I became a positive, relaxed and confident person.  Apparently this offends stupid people, to the point it is now impossible to even do anything well and avoid censure from them.

I am now seeking out ways of avoiding people altogether and instead of having the career I worked for, I will be prioritising the avoidance of any more worthless people. They are a waste of time.

I am not entirely unhappy with this outcome, but it seems rather a waste of some very good material.


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The deadline for Haram Bawbag

At last we have a deadline upon us, so I am busy making oodles of things for Haram Bawbag.

I will be attempting to remove it from the studio to figure out if I have to dismantle before doing too much more to it, as it would be a shame to make it only to have it trapped in the studio.

This may seem like a rookie error, but it is the nature of the work that I had to attach the top whilst working on it.  Fortunately the style I seem to be developing is such that it will not be hard to reassemble in the other studio.

The cushions are going well, but there is a long way to go and I think the Grumpy Dude Collection is not likely to be complete until the spring.  The shoes are likely to be spring/summer, even with constant work.

Little Shiva is in the pile for heavy work before going down for resining,  so it is at a standstill at the moment, which is driving me a little bit crazy as I would love to see it finished. You can’t rush these things though, and I have several stained glass windows to make.

Yes, I am aware that you are in London.  Nice to see you.  This is becoming ridiculous.  It has been 18 months since we last saw each other. Have you found your balls yet?

Anyway, since Haram Bawbag is likely to be the first to finish, and I am planning on doing some posters/stickers of absolutely everything since people are too lazy to click on the website,  I will be starting work on the story of Haram Bawbag, which is way stranger than anything I could come up with.

Nevertheless, I will add my usual gloss to it, and so it is likely to be comedic.

Bawbag managed to attract my attention for 30 seconds today.  Since he is likely to follow this up by getting someone to read my post:

We were friends for three weeks, during which you were extremely selfish and for some reason seemed to want to take things from me even as I was giving you a gift.  Given your outrageous wealth, I have absolutely no idea why you felt the need to do this, but it was entirely unnecessary.  You now own a piece of work which I do not give a shit about as it is unfinished and substandard.  The piece of work I am now constructing in its place is neither of those things, and I will be retailing it at £15,000. I will be using power tools and rolling around on the floor if I feel like it in the course of making it.

I imagine you are trying to insinuate yourself into my attention bubble because you think I will come and do your shopfront.  Ain’t gonna happen, not even if you offered me a huge wad of cash for doing it, which of course you wouldn’t.  I have every respect for your parsimony, but you aren’t going to be taking anything from me ever again.

I do not know why you seem to want negative reactions from people, but it is not helpful.  You would have to want to change to be worth talking to, and you neither want to, nor see the need to because of your tedious money.  Therefore I do not think we have anything further to discuss.

I am sorry that’s the way it is.  I am not your ex wife, nor am I interested.  You are mildly cute and once a month or so you are amusing.  The rest is a disaster.

One of the happiest moments of my life was removing your toilet.  Unfortunately you were there.



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Another terrifying day

The usual rubbish, with strangers making assumptions varying from:

  • They are married, so anybody that works with them ought to also be married in order to have something in common with them.
  • Artistic ability measured by ego – it sort of is, but not in the way you expect.  The people who approach it as being something only they can do and therefore very special tend to be crap.  You have to enslave yourself to improving to get good at anything really. These people had evidently encountered artistic types that think they are the only person doing whatever it is they do.
  •  I am committing some sort of crime by having a brain.
  • There is something odd about me.
  • Looking at the world in any way other than as a Sky TV addicted moron is obviously dangerous.

I spent the rest of the day working on Haram Bawbag to cheer myself up. Wrote to him, but I’m not sure why I bothered as I was just saying go away. It doesn’t matter how much money you have, especially if you are a twat.

The bottom line is:

Being nasty to other people just because they are different from you does not make you special, quite the opposite, it makes you stupid and ugly.  Stop doing it.  I am used to it, from birth actually due to my deranged siblings,  but it is extremely tiresome.

I hope Little Shiva is enjoying India and I wish I could say what I wanted to say without being selfish.


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Someone asked me what I was doing for a living, and I replied that I am a slashie. I have been a slashie for longer than the term has existed.  I am very interested in work, and jobs that other people would probably sneer at always have some interesting new feature to learn.

Over the years I have covered a lot of different areas, and I am usually pretty confident about the actual work side of things.  The problem with most workplaces seem to be the people.

Over the last twenty or so years, this problem seems to have been reduced by making most of the staff temporary, the idea being that the managers need some experience and get to stay, whilst everybody else is replaced frequently according to the needs of business or whether they are regarded as nice chaps, or whatever.  One company I was told about, a surprisingly household name sized business, was running an entirely illegal financial project, on the basis of temporary staff who could not answer bonus seeking managers back without losing their jobs.

Unfortunately what I have seen since returning to work after taking care of my mother, is that the longer term staff tend to be actually less experienced than the temps, because they have done the same job the same way for far too long.  Personality disorders abound, because they were the people nasty enough to get these ‘safe’ roles, and the workplace is hazardous for anyone with any empathy or intelligence, since these individuals inevitably get rid of anyone who is a challenge to them or who might show up their inevitable weaknesses.

This trend has been enhanced by the steady reduction in rights.

Ageism has massively increased, and now that the Conservative government have passed the responsibility for pensions to employers, it is likely to continue to increase, which is not good news for Gen X or millennials, neither of whom get to retire at all.

The solution to this for business is to create self-employed roles for people who will not be considered for full time employment because it is simply too expensive to pay into their pensions.

Therefore, we have an army of underemployed and paradoxically self-employed slashies.

I have about five jobs, a couple of other projects, and I am not that unusual. When I am asked whether I am available for yet more work, I simply move the times for things around.

Other people focus on one slashie role at a time, and burn out relatively quickly. It is far better to like work sufficiently to spend almost all of one’s time seeing what is available and making sure you are there for it.

Personally, I would ban employment agencies altogether, the cumbersome and antiquated method of employing a middle man is simply foolish when all you want is to

  1. soak up your departmental budget to ensure it for the next year, or
  2. bring in a team to complete a boring job nobody else wanted to do, or
  3. fill a skills gap

There are far more efficient ways of doing those things, and people could be far better off if they were simply contracted out via the many available ways of doing it so that slashies could earn a decent living.

HR departments are also poorly managed, although how you could be expected to read 700 CVs for one job, as happens regularly now, I do not know.

The software available for reading people’s CVs so that agency or HR staff don’t have to bother is also very poor. This is not helping business find the right people at all.

Part of the reason for having an unemployed portion of the population is to enhance choice for business.  It has most certainly gone rather too far if they can’t even read the CVs.


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Ina the living statue

A policeman dropped by the car the other night, and remarked that it seemed strange that Bawbag had knocked on the car window back in December.

People now knock on my car window every day.  I am a living statue, although my colours are more entertaining. I was stopped in the street the other day and identified as ‘the sewing lady.’

Sometimes they want to ask about my work, today’s wanted to tell me I was amazing.  Sometimes they mouth that they love me through the window.  International tourists have sent photos of me back home.

I have also overheard people coming out of the pub and remarking that I am clearly having a better time than they are.  They are correct, although I am beginning to wonder if I should take up listening to non-fiction audio books rather than dance music.

Dancing whilst sewing in my car actually started because I was extremely cold, and concerned about possible DVT.

Since then it has become something of a statement.  Had the owner of Two Grapes not been an asshole, he would be getting a weekly dose of it for nothing. However, like all the others, he was an asshole.

Although all of this happened by accident, largely due to the actions of Little Shiva, it has been most educational.  I would never otherwise have known how intoxicating sewing is to men of all ages, for a start.  I am particularly fond of the sporty ones, who check the sewing as if they are watching a match.  Note that they aren’t checking me out, it is definitely the sewing.  Ages of men drawn to sewing have varied from 9 – 90 and social class is entirely irrelevant.

Women are more diverse.  I get a few who applaud the logo, whom I like very much, some who also sew, who like to check what I am doing in passing, preferably without me noticing, and some, remarkably are extremely jealous and actively avoid looking even as their partner nudges them to tell them to.

I have had only two directly negative responses.  One was a guy who objected to his date watching me work and who was actually quite frightening in his contempt for somebody who wasn’t harming him at all.  He actually stormed out of the restaurant they were in, pushing his date in front of him, so I hoped that she was in the process of dumping him before he started actually hitting her.  The other was a young drunk, and his equally young companions were gratifyingly horrified by his verbiage.

An interesting feature of this accidental survey is that a frighteningly large proportion of the population have never actually seen anyone sew before, and so they have no vocabulary to talk about it – they see wool, so they will ask if it is knitting, I will say no, it is sculptural embroidery and then we usually talk about colour.

Grumpy dude has been the cream of the crop for creative chat.  He took a photo of my yeti boots this morning and seems to be just entertained by the fact something is happening.  He isn’t as grumpy either, so perhaps I will have to come up with a new name.

Sometimes all you need is for someone to listen to you and say yes, that’s good.  Sometimes that means a lot to you.


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Honesty and Cowardice

I got to thinking today, about the last year or two, and pondered a lot of what ifs. I am a bit of a hypocrite for using the word coward, when I am usually so busy standing aside to avoid confronting emotions.

What if the first job had stopped punting corporatism and started recommending actual education, for a start?  I would probably still be doing it, and never leave the house. That would be a relief on one hand, and on the other, look at all the interesting stuff I would have missed.

What if Little Shiva had not been married or otherwise bothered by other people’s opinions?  We might still be at the bank, living together and fighting incessantly.  Perhaps we would be expecting a child.  That is quite an odd thought.  I certainly wouldn’t have time to be making anything. I’d probably be a lot thinner, on the plus side. My capacity for sex, along with most other things, is limited only by waking hours. That is why I tend to avoid it. My patience for cricket probably wouldn’t last long.

What if there hadn’t been a psychopath at the next bank I stumbled into?  (to the point that I honestly thought I was going to have a stroke and was glad to leave) I might be enjoying a giant call centre.

What if Bawbag hadn’t been the way he was?  My work might be getting some actual exposure and I might have actually got to finish it.  In the event that I hadn’t managed to drag Little Shiva back to my cave, I might be engaged in some bizarre love square. I doubt it, I still prefer the belt sander, sorry bawbag.  You are so nice 20 percent of the time, but the other 80 is just not worth it. You told me that yourself.

I am kind of tired of being lonely to be honest.  Little Shiva came as quite a shock, because I honestly did not think I wanted a real person until the evil chemistry kicked in.  Real people hurt.  You miss real people when they leave the room etc. I’m still not over it.

Where is my single cute grumpy dude?  I think it is probably time I met one.


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