How to get yourself killed in one easy step….

Follow this simple tip from the “mayor” of Stroud Railway Station.

I can’t decide if its here out of pure stupidity, malice, or the ignorance of his belief that no one could possibly follow his tip because its so obviously stupid.

All of the above make me sad.


Worth noting that once notified to my local Foursquare rep, all of his posts have been flagged for removal. Apparently it’s not on isolated case with this user.

A tiny little glimmer

Of hope, of strength. of something.

Don’t get me wrong, despite all of my outbursts, and the blackest of days I am a strong person.

I know because of where I am now, after everything I’ve gone through over the last few years. I’ve gone from having everything worth having, home, marriage, lifestyle, and a reasonable amount of disposable income. To nothing, no home, no marriage, no money etc. etc. I won’t go on, I’ve been there, done that and bought the t-shirt, towel, and souvenir snow globe, but if you’ve been through divorce then, you know.

However, despite the fact I’m still deeply indebted to the blasted banks due to the ex, I have managed to get myself a brand new home, and get back on the property ladder. I’ve built a new life with a new man, which in itself has been extremely difficult and challenging due to my own selfishness and insecurities that stem from my failed marriage. I’ve also done a lot of growing and changing, and I’ve done it all on my own, because the stubborn part of me that comes from my Grandmother won’t allow me to ask for help, it just expects you to know when I need it, and if you don’t? Well hell, you’re all rubbish, and sod you I’ll do it on my own anyway, I always do.

Yet still I suffer the darkness, there are things I want in life, goals to achieve, that I can’t have or won’t let myself have. I feel I am ‘undeserving’ and that I’m not entitled to be good at what I do, that I am not the sort of person good things happen too, and I never will ‘amount’ to anything.

Then there are moments, like today, when I’m driving home in my car and since I’ve just finished the book I’m listening to I switch to music, and I sing along loudly and badly to something I love and a strange little feeling creeps over me, just for a fleeting moment. I feel positiveness, happiness and hope.

I am just as worthy of success as anyone else.

I am just as capable of achieving my goals as anybody else.

I can do this.

It only ever lasts a minute, but for that minute I am a god. For a tiny glimmer of a moment I can do anything I set my mind too, and no one is going to stand in my way because I deserve this as much as anyone else.

Now, how do I make that moment last a lifetime?

A body of corpses

Is that the right collective noun? it certainly sounds it.

When the first chalk outline appeared at work, it was all alone.


I thought it was an interesting way of my company to remind people to be careful on the stairwells to avoid slips, trips and falls.

Then they began to multiply…


I think they spoilt it all this week though when the decided to accessorise the corpses…..


And with each corpse having different accessories, I have to admit that this tweet I got from a colleague certainly had me smiling.

Cosy cats, or dark doings?

At Harrogate last week I was enjoying a pint of Theakston’s Crime Of Passion ale, and discussing with a fellow writer the distinct red tinge that the brewers have given the ale. I described it as like being infused with a hint of redcurrant cordial, whilst he was wondering who’s blood had been poured into the pint as a dye….

It was a flippant comment, but it was enough to give me pause for thought. I don’t generally think in these dark terms on a day to day basis, and I don’t find myself looking at everyday objects and wondering how I could use them to aid me in nefarious deeds.

What it did make me wonder was, since I don’t think in those terms, am I destined to write the sort of fiction where cupcake makers and cats solve the puzzle of who killed Colonel Mustard with the lead piping in the library? because I really don’t want to end up doing that. Or do I need to just look into the dark, dusty, unused recesses of my brain and find that devious, and deadly part of me that can figure out seven different ways to make your death in a nearby disused metal foundry look accidental?

Maybe I need to just get some lessons in Eskrima, which has recently been brought to my attention by a work colleague who is unnervingly brilliant at turning anything you give him into some sort of weapon.

Just thinking

Because I don’t want to be working and you know what? I’m sure there’s a book in here somewhere.

There was a programme on TV this week called ‘Madness In The Fast Lane’*, which I caught on replay following a recommendation from a twitter fiend.

The show ran through the strange tale of Swedish twins Sabina and Ursula Eriksson.  Back in 2008 they caused chaos on the M6 motorway, by running into oncoming traffic.  Ursula was run over by an articulated wagon, and Sabina was hit by a car.  In the following days as Ursula lay in hospital, Sabina was charged, jailed and released for assaulting a police officer.   She then proceeded to stab to death a local man who had come to her aid when she was spotted walking at random down a road by his home.  She fled the scene, and was picked up on CCTV by police who went to apprehend her and in an effort to escape she jumped off a 50ft bridge.  She was arrested and taken into custardy after the leap caused her to break both her ankles and fracture her skull.

She was sentenced to 5 years in prison, because the defence argued she was mentally ill at the time of the incident.  The judge however, was unable to sentence her to jail in a secure mental hospital for treatment as she was declared healthy at the time of the trial. Sabina has to this day never spoken a word about her actions over those few days.  Experts have narrowed her mental state at the time of the attack down to one of two ‘illnesses’.  The first being Bouffee Deliriante  (short lived psychosis) the second, and preferred diagnosis being that of Folie a Deux (the folly of two).

Folie a deux is the simultaneous occurrence of symptoms of a mental disorder (as delusions) in two persons who are closely related (as siblings or man and wife). Or, as it was described on the show, ‘one person “infected” the other.’  Ursula was the ‘primary’ case who ‘infected’ Sabina when they became close again after a period of separation.  Sabina became ‘better’ when she was separated from her twin, due to her hospitalisation following the incident on the motorway.Sabina is eligible for parole in 2011.  It is unknown if further problems will occur if she reconnects with her sister once she is released, and this is what fascinates me and is what has set me off thinking.

We all suspect that there are unknown links between twins, but the idea that one person can ‘infect’ the other just by being in close proximity amazes me.

Just imagine, someone who was mentally ill being able to make you the same (albeit temporarily) in almost the same way that they could pass you the common cold.

Imagine, if they could do that to anyone, not just a sibling or someone close.

Imagine they could do it at will.

Imagine they could do that to you.

Just imagine…




*it’s available on BBC iPlayer until the 17th August

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a.k.a. today’s method of procrastination.

I have a huge propensity for daydreaming.  It’s probably my next best tool for, and skill following, my ability to procrastinate. Today I am daydreaming not just as a method for avoiding whatever the hell it is I’m supposed to be doing today (I can’t remember off hand what though I’ve been putting it off for too long), but also the one thing at work I hate above all others, my quarterly performance review.

You see, it doesn’t  matter how many of these things pass me by in a flurry of “well done’s” or “carry on as you are’s” I always approach them with a growing sense of  dread.  Between being initially told of the date & time of my review, and the arrival of that date and time I spend way too much time obsessing about how the whole thing is going to go, and thinking up responses to all the different things that might get said to me, and how all possible the conversations will pan out. I’ve spent so long doing it now that, I must  have  envisaged every single scenario there is, (apart from any good ones – because they’ll never happen)  so if they come up with something I haven’t worked out how to respond to then fair play to them for thinking outside the box.

That said, in order to try and stop myself from thinking about things that stress me out, I have spent the rest of my time today thinking off all the lovely things that could happen to me that would get me out of this place, and how I would pass on the news to those around me.

I have imagined the usual, you know winning the lottery type thing, and thought about how I would stay at work until the day someone pissed me off a tad too much and I could just turn round and go ‘you know what? I don’t need to be here, here’s my notice.’ But then that wouldn’t really make any difference to the management around this place, they’d probably just be a bit ticked that their overtime budget was going to up for a while, as they recruited and trained someone new.

So I’ve been daydreaming about the whole book thing.  When my brother-in-law died tragically at 31, the same age as I was at the time, I promised myself that I would have my first manuscript completed by the time I was 35.  I turned 35 eight weeks ago, and I have nothing other than two chapters of a trashy erotic novel that I wrote back in 2008, to show for the last four years.  Today however, at least in my head, I have four consecutive manuscripts under my belt with a serial character, which I have just been told by my highly paid agent, have been contracted in a ridiculous six figure deal by a major British publishing house, and an option on the film rights, from an American film outfit.  Oh and I’ve just managed to drop that fact into a conversation at my performance review.

Would be just great wouldn’t it?  Couldn’t you just imagine the looks on their faces as I dropped out that stupendous little piece of news to them? Well it made me smile, and certainly kept my mind occupied for a while.
Unfortunately, it is nothing but a daydream. It’s hard enough in this life to get an agent, let alone get a book deal, and it does generally help to have at least *written* a book before any of that happens.

So, that said, I’m off to start writing my book.  Or at least I will be, when I get home from work, and I’ve finished filing all my ‘How to write a novel’ books in alphabetical order, by author. 😉

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