Graffiti – the modern Dickens?

I am a huge graffiti fan – NOT a perpetrator, though. But the wealth of information (usually ‘rumpy pumpy’-related) to be found in railway station ‘conveniences’ (a misnomer if ever there was one – have they not heard of toilet paper, soap, handtowel, nay, even the ultimate luxury of a hand-drier?) is something of which Charles Dickens himself would surely be envious.

In recent months, as a result of my occasional visits to the Shenfield Station lavvies, I have learnt that one young lady (I shall conceal her name to spare her blushes) is an excellent provider of personal services to the gentlemen of this parish. I have also been impressed by the tribute to an unspecified person that reads: “You’re a dirty whore – and I love it.” I do believe the author even managed to get the apostrophe in the right place, as Greater Anglia’s vain attempts to paint over the etching (for it was more of a scratched than a written message, but what is wrong with a sub category of ‘etched graffiti’?) were not entirely successful.

My only contribution to public scribbling has been to delete with biro the Greengrocer’s Apostrophe in the plaintive request “Please turn off the tap’s” in a public toilet in Basildon’s Eastgate Centre a few weeks ago.

Finally, a free biro (maybe) to anyone who has picked up on the toilet theme here.


Peas release me

Peas on fire….rolling down the road….Well, not on fire, but could have caused one. As if tomorrow’s bus strike wasn’t enough to bring backward shadows of pain to my poor feet, today was a Bad Bus Day (BBD), indeed.

BBD incident Mk 1: Unwise attempt to bag seat on overcrowded bus by essaying unfeasible (due to buttock dimensions) manoeuvre in moving vehicle into strange ‘side seat’ resulted in emerging bruise that has left me feeling like left buttock is sitting on a golf ball.

BBD incident Mk 2: Unwarranted enthusiasm on return journey led to joyous waving of hand to try to flag down ‘Driver Under Instruction’ bus. Not only did DUI Bus not stop (surely they used to? how can they be ‘under instruction’ if they are not picking up the great unwashed of Harold Hill. And me. ??). Shopping contained in bag held by joyous waving hand escaped, the mushy peas (50p from #PoundTown – yes, wrong, I know. They were ‘chip shop style’ too) rolling into the road. Cars rattling their way over it. A motorbike carreening precariously around it. I want my mushy peas back before a ‘real’ bus comes! Is it worth doing death dash into road? Yes! I do death dash! I recapture mushy peas! They are heavy to carry home, along with other Pound Town purchases (Harpic, talc, mouthwash, hairspray. I SHALL be clean and coiffeured!) and once I get them home I realise the priority roughage-rich foodstuff to eat is my wrinkly leeks. Not a euphemism. Peas on worktop. Leeks consumed. Bed calls. No-one on whom to inflict Dutch Ovens. Goodnight.


Waiting for the man with a mini-woodchipper. He won’t be here for a few days (and his arrival at all depends on obscure shift patterns, but my excitement knows no bounds. It is also tempered by a worm of worry: what sort of person has their own woodchipper (no matter what the size)? No matter – I need to have pulverised the unappealing results of Woodchipper Man’s sterling efforts in cutting back the tree that was making my garden look tenebrous.

Talking of nature, and men who are helping me deal with the less edifying aspects of it…when I stepped out of my front door a couple of days ago, it was to the sight of what was once (I think) a frog. On the pavement was this semi-clad (with oozing flesh) skeleton being enthusiastically devoured by winged creatures of some sort (bees, wasps, flies? I couldn’t look any closer). Feeling that I had been whisked into a David Cronenberg film, I frantically ran through in my mind how to remove the object from the pavement outside my house without touching it. Having rejected dustpan and brush, kitchen roll, even a bin bag, I espied a macho neighbour mowing his front lawn and pleaded with him to pick it up and get rid of it. Yes, ‘pick it up’, not boot it into touch (well, to the far side of the road) with a well-aimed kick. He used to own a Rotweiler. It died. No wonder his current pet, a rescue greyhound, always looks so miserable.