BY Bel

07/01 Direct Link
Ok, ok, so I didn’t round to June. But hey, excreta occur. And just so The Powers That Be know, I did try… but I am crap at deadlines and I got removed. I am wholeheartedly ashamed of myself. But now we should press on. This month, not only am I determined to finish all 31 days on time, but also write about something other than myself, stuff that other people may actually be interested in. No more online spleen venting. Now I’m stuck for ideas – methinks maybe I’ll write about all the bizarre people who I meet round here.
07/02 Direct Link
THE GUINESS GENTLEMAN The Guiness Gentleman is one of the stranger inhabitants of the pub. He always wears exactly the same – an old tweed suit and flat cap. He has the most astonishing whiskers I’ve ever seen – they resemble two white brillo pads strapped under his nose. He comes in every night at exactly eight o’clock, and orders half a pint of Guiness. He then stands at the bar, never sits down, silently nurturing the glass, then orders another, then another. Never a pint and a half, just three halves. Well, they say old people get stuck in their ways.
07/03 Direct Link
KIT. Kit is a guy I used to work with. He claims to be Evil. Well, he is a pretty good salesman. He has dark hair, and wears black suits with red shirts underneath. When he gets promoted he wants to call his marketing crew ‘Demon Divisions’. The image is slightly spoilt by the fact that he is short, very skinny and quite baby-faced. This aside, he sits with me on the Metro planning the perfect murder, which involves stabbing someone with a sharp icicle – leaving no murder weapon or fingerprints. What sort of person thinks up things like that?
07/04 Direct Link
THE TECHIE GURU. Ben is the guru of all things technical. He epitomizes the role by wearing head to toe black all year round, growing a huge bristly beard, and having spanners and screwdrivers bulging from his over-packed tool belt. He is often to be found scurrying around the theatre looking hot and bothered at odd hours in the night. At the Doscars night, the biggest event in the theatre’s calendar, he appeared in a black tuxedo, black bowtie, black shirt, and black DMs. After presenting the award for Best Technical Effects, he disappeared to fix the hall’s PA system.
07/05 Direct Link
NORWEGIANS. Vikings and Valkaries definitely do exist, I’ve discovered. Whilst on a mini-cruise to Norway, we met a genuine Nordic warrior. Well, ok, a Norwegian guy on the ship with a long plaited up beard. He looked magnificent – completely bald on top, but with a beard that came down almost to his waist, all braided. The women were all HUGE too. Not as in fat, but very tall (At 5’10” I was under-average height there) and generally large all over with cleavages you can ski down!! And of course, blonde pigtails. Generally pretty terrifying. Never did hear them sing though.
07/06 Direct Link
This week, I finally got to meet D. D had been described to me as my mate’s “slightly dodgy” new boyfriend. D likes getting stoned, clubbing, and house music. So far, he sounds like exactly the opposite of my friend. However, D works at the BBC, doing everything technical. When they came up to visit, he spent ages gazing adoringly at model Star Trek figures in the games shop. He then decided to buy a laser, just so he could make groovey patterns on his ceiling at home. They have my approval – they are officially as bad as each other.
07/07 Direct Link
The Black Horse Inhabitants occupy territory in Chester-le-Street in Northern Britain. They are essentially a bilateral society, consisting of two classes known as ‘Barstaff’, and ‘Customers’. The Barstaff are the ruling elite in Black Horse culture. When interviewed, members of the Customer class admitted the Barstaff have power of life and death over the Customers. The Barstaff are matriarchal. The matriarch not only exercises power over the other Barstaff (she can control them economically), but also has the authority to extradite members of the Customer group, and deport them to the wilderness area, called “the pavement” in the local language.
07/08 Direct Link
ROBIN Robin has been mentioned before on this website. I won’t embarrass him by publicly venting all his problems, but suffice to say, he is one screwed-up puppy. However, I think his problems stem deeper than he lets on. I think he is too sober by nature. He is mentally hyper-active. He will analyse every single thought that runs through his mind until he is so totally confused by his emotions that he can’t handle them. He has got too tight a grip on his own version of reality that it is impossible for him to relate to anyone else.
07/09 Direct Link
This summer is becoming more and more bizarre. I began to resign myself to the idea of working some monotonous office job all summer until my brains slowly disintegrated through lack of use. I did three weeks at SH Marketing, doing door-to-door sales. Before that I had never thought of myself as a salesman. Woman. Whatever. Then I did “housekeeping” in a hotel, when I am the untidiest person I know. Now I am telemarketing for Autotrader magazine, when I can’t drive and know nothing about cars. On Saturday I’ll be behind the bar at a nightclub. All very surreal.
07/10 Direct Link
ANTIONETTE Funky Aussie chick. Four months pregnant and already absolutely enormous. She's one of life's permenantly cheerful people. Despite the sheer amount of abuse you get when you're doing telesales, she's always positive, smiling, joking and talking to her belly. Maybe she's just more thick skinned than the rest of us, or maybe its being pregnant that makes her so carefree, even after the fifth person has slammed the phone down on her. The only things she worries about are walking downstairs without losing her balence, and whether the baby will be confused due to being half-Aussie-half-Geordie....
07/11 Direct Link
List of things I ought to do with myself instead of sitting round watching crap on TV: 1. Write these damn words. 2. Learn a little self-discipline 3. Finish my website 4. GET A JOB!!!! 5. Finish writing my letter to Vicky 6. Do the washing up 7. Get my hair cut and dyed 8. GET A JOB!!! 9. Get my watch fixed 10. Pay my phone bill 11. Do something vaguely intellectual to stop my brains from melting or dissolving into the gloop that is Channel 5. 12. GET A JOB. 13. GET A JOB 14. GET A JOB.
07/12 Direct Link
KID ON METRO I was on the tube – (I must call it the Metro not the Tube, otherwise I give away my Londonishness!) There was a little girl sitting opposite, staring at me intently. She could only have been five or six. She had blonde ringlets, big blue eyes, and huge round bottle-bottom glasses, balanced a little skewed on her nose. She was totally unable to sit still, and her Dad struggled to keep her in the seat, whilst talking at his mobile and trying to look cool, sophisticated and businesslike. It was so obvious that he adored her though.
07/13 Direct Link
I’m running out of people, it seems. (Should that be worrying? That I can’t find 31 interesting people in a month?) So, there are plenty of other weird and peculiar things I can write about. Quick quiz for all of you in 100WordsLand: What are the following? No Place, Pity Me, Wide Open, and of course, Spital Tongues. Answer: They are all bizarrely named villages in the North East. And that’s not including Dragonsville, Killingworth, Cruddas Park, Stoney Heap and Whitesmocks. We also have a Canada, Quebec, Washington, Columbia, New York and a Tasmania Road. There’s also a Paradise apparently!
07/14 Direct Link
The temping agency have got so fed up with trying to find me work, that they have actually given me a job themselves, doing admin in their office. I get to read all the comments they put on the screen about everyone registered. Mine says I’m “nice”. Found one today which was more than a little sardonic, about a bloke who registered in January: ‘Is looking for temporary work but, and I quote, “can’t be bothered to sign off the dole just yet” Wants to do computer things but can’t type.’ Perhaps unsurprisingly, they never found a job for him!
07/15 Direct Link
Managed to thoroughly freak out some woman this morning. I'd gone to an interview, and I don't think I was exactly what she was expecting! She'd gone through my CV ? didn't know what Anthropology was, so I had to explain that. She asked what Carl was doing, and gave me a hopeless look when I said he's studying Geophysics.Then she started to get rather nervous because the CV still says I go fencing. She asked me about Peru, and my travelling. By this point I'd started to play along, so I told her about eating guineapig. She hasn't called an offered me the job yet.
07/16 Direct Link
Hola todas. Para los dias proximos, yo probaré a escribir en castellano. Yo pienso que, despues seis meses en Peru, puedo hablar la lengua bastante bien. Pero, he llegada a la relizacíon que no puedo escribir fantastico ahora. Cada tiempo yo probo, es mas dificil. He olvidado muchos sin el opportunidad á practicar. Mi gramatica esta muy mal todavia, no puedo usar el condicional o el pasado complicado. Tambien, mi vocabulario esta bastante pequeñito. Necessito, y quiero practicar un poco. Bueno, esté estará un ejercio en castellano por un mes. Cien palabras cada dia. ¿Pienso que no esta muy dificil?
07/17 Direct Link
Esta solamente el dia segunda, y estoy demasiado cansada a continuar en castellano! No puedo recuerdar palabras basíco, mi cerebro piense en Ingles todo el tiempo. Yo probo muy fuerte, pero el idioma esta escapado entre mi dedos. Necessito aprendar otra vez, pero no sé donde a empezar. Nadie que yo conozco en Inglaterra hablan castellano. Mi familia peruana estan milliones de kilometros desde aqui, demasiado lejos por contacto. Este piensamenteso me hacen triste. No quiero olvidar tan rapido. Por seis meses, castellano era mi lengua, mi cultura, mi vida. No quiero perdir esté partido de yo.
07/18 Direct Link
TODO SOBRE TRABAJO: Yo lo disfrute muchisimo. Trabaje por una compania de relaciones publicos. Es mi labor a buscar y encuentra clientes por una compania de abogados. Ellos se representan los inquilinos de viviendas de alquiler subvencionadas por el ayuntamiento. Cuando ellos necessitan ayudar, por ejemplo, cuando el servicios socials no functionar o cuando sus casas necessitan reparaciones. Tengo que preparar informes con todos los detales de las problemas por los abogados. No tengo que vender nada, porque los inquilinos no necessitan a pagar por el servicio. Estoy pagado mucho dinero, basico, por hablando! Creo este es el trabajo perfecto para yo!
07/19 Direct Link
En mi trabajo, nosotros aprendamos como a mantener nuestra attitudas positivas, todo el dia. Una attituda buena esta muy importante ? si tu estas positiva, tus clientes estaran positivo tambien. Siempre hay negativos, personas sin entusiasmo, dias lentemente, y pies cansadas. Nuestra attitudes necessitan a ser constanto. He aprendado a no notar los negativos, y no sacar nada personalemente. Tengo mis piensementes feliz, como Carl, mis amigos, y mis ambiciones. Tengo mi libro, mi musica, todos en mi mundo prividad. Finalmente, puedo sentar bueno sobre yo. Entonces, despues una dia mal, despues hablando con mujeres viejas y locas, todavia, estoy felizimo.
07/20 Direct Link
WARNING! Have to quit Spanish now. I used to work for SH Marketing, building housing disrepair claims, and collecting relevant information for solicitors. Basically, door to door sales. SH Marketing pay commission, but not a basic wage. Somehow they've managed to pay me NOTHING, not even minimum wage, which is not legal. We were working 53 hours a week, which is also not legal. I had to pay my own transport costs. Now, I'm trying to get something back through a tribunal. So be warned, don't work for them unless you're prepared to sue in order to get paid!
07/21 Direct Link
Bueno, aqui es el verano. Hace sol, y los dias estan caliente, bonito y muy aburrido. He terminada mi trabajo despues las problemas y ahora tengo dos meses libre. Sin dinero y sin companiones. Todos de mis amigos en universidad iremos a las casas de sus padres por el verano, en muchos lugares differente y lejos de aqui. ¡Me abandonan! No quiero alojarme aqui solo por todo el verano, y no puedo ellos se visitar sin dinero. Necessito a trabajar muy fuerte, a viajar, y a sobrevivido. Esta serioso - ¡le debo circa £1400 a mi banco! ¿Que voy hacer?
07/22 Direct Link
A hablar un otra idioma, necessita a pensar en la idioma. Yo no puedo hablar o escribir castellano muy bien si yo oigo Ingles en mi cabeza. Tambien, mis transluciones estan muy literal, no estoy fluenta. Por ejemplo, hay palabras en Ingles que no existe en castellano, y la reversa tambien. Creo que castellano es mucho mas exacto que Ingles. No hay una palabra por "any" - solamente "algo" que significa (literal) "some". Esta muy dificil a tener una conversacion sin este palabra. En Ingles, esta possible a ser muy indefinitivo. Possiblemente esta porque los Ingles son mas evasivo en general?
07/23 Direct Link
A viajar, para mi, esta a ser libre. Pero, primero, hay trabajo. Sin trabajo, no hay dinero. Es un piensamente triste, pero Sin dinero, no hay liberdad. Bueno, ahora, yo tengo trabajo. Pronto, yo tendra dinero. Proximo, yo sere libre. Entonces, yo puedo viajar. Pero para que yo estoy libre si hay nadie con quien a compartirlo? No hay un razon a viajar sin companiones. Con trabajo, no hay tiempo libre. Sin tiempo libre, no puedo salir. Sin salida, no hay amigos. No hay opportunidades a conversar, o disfrutar su vida. Sin amigos, no hay un razon a hacer nada.
07/24 Direct Link
Quick interruption to the character sketches. I’m seriously seriously mind-numbingly gutted. I am TOO broke. I adore doing technical work in theatres. A friend of mine has just emailed, offering me tech work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Ordinarily I’d have leapt on the train five minutes ago, but the problem is, this work is voluntary. I’d give anything to do that, but I’m so utterly bankrupt that there’s no way I can afford to go. I need to sit here in boring little Durham, working shitty jobs just to pay off my overdraft. God I hate my life sometimes.
07/25 Direct Link
It’s weird how songs and music can sway your mood so dramatically. In town this morning there were two barmy people wearing Posh and Becks masks, and doing a very energetic dance to YMCA. I never did find out why, but it made me laugh so much! Then I went into a shop and immediately I started to get pissed off – they were playing that crappy Eminem song which irritates the hell out of me. Outside though, a busker was singing ‘Julie’, which is quite a sad song, but I love it because it reminds me of happy times…..
07/26 Direct Link
I WON! SH Marketing have finally coughed up the money they owe me, without me having to take them to an Employment Tribunal! Got a big fat cheque for £360 this morning, along with a snotty little note saying “This is paid without admission of liability and without acceptance of your arguments.” But hey – they paid!!! Woohoo! Which kinds implies that I had them worried a bit, and they didn’t want this to go to court… possibly cos they wouldn’t have won anyway!! Not sure how much of this I can publicize, so I shall shut up here. But I WON!!!!
07/27 Direct Link
I’m typing this using Word. It is beginning to do my head in. Ok, so it corrects my spelling as I go which helps, but the word counter is hidden in some obscure place that seems to move every time I need it. But the worst thing about all this is THAT DAMN PAPERCLIP!! It turns up unexpectedly, slows up the entire system, makes weird noises, and pretends to fall asleep when I pause to think about what to write. It even scratches its head when my grammar goes peculiar. I HATE IT!!! It is evil. malevolent, designed to infuriate!
07/28 Direct Link
Scene 1: Dialogue begins between the barmaid, Bel, and Pissed Bloke 1: Bel: What can I get you? PB1: erm… 7 straight vodkas please, one double, and four cans of red bull. (pause while Bel skids around on a sticky floor getting the vodkas) Bel: Anything else? Pissed Bloke 1: Yeah, 12 bottles of WKD, and a lager. And a Smirnoff Ice. Oh, and how much do those shooter things cost? Bel: a quid. PB1: ok, four of those then. Bel: That’s £65.80 please. (PB1 shoves £70 in her direction, then mysteriously vanishes, leaving Bel to discreetly pocket the change…)
07/29 Direct Link
There’s someone in the world who is very special to me; I think she is partly aware of this. We hardly have any contact now, yet our friendship has endured nine turbulent years. We’ve coped with all the hormonal imbalances that adolescence brings. We grew up together, she helped me through a hell of a lot and I hope I’ve helped her too. She is the only person who really knows me; she can see through me, knows when I’m lying. She will know who is she is if she’s reading this, and I just want to say, Thank You.
07/30 Direct Link
Oh crap! There’s THIRTY-ONE days in July, not thirty!! Which means I have to think of another 100 words to put up. And I have absolutely no idea what to write! I hate getting to the end of the month and totally scraping the bottom of the metaphorical barrel for things to write. I can’t even write about what I did today because it’s soooooo boring. People who write online diaries must have far more interesting lives than I do. So. Today it rained really really hard. And guess what? Our roof leaks. The gutter’s split. Talk about pathetic fallacy.
07/31 Direct Link
Having spent the past two months severely unemployed, there’s now too much to do. I have a long-term (ish) telesales job for a photographic studio, but it’s evenings only. The temping agency find me occasional work during the day. I have to have a day off from telesales next week in order to work in the cricket-club bar after a match, because I promised I’d do it before I got the other job. I’m also working at this nightclub on weekends. Finally, I have some money to spare. But I don’t have any time to do anything interesting with it. Life is cruel.