Monthly archives: November 2008

NaNoWriMo first draft – Big Night Out

Notes This is actually a partial chapter. The longer version will have reunions with all the other guests.

The best clubs are in the buildings that would otherwise be most carbon negative. They bought back what they fed the grid to power their sound systems. The one we were in was powered by a barrage on the Irwell. And hosted by that demi god Clint Boon.

God, I’ve missed him.

That old staple of fading the music down whilst the crowd sings serves the low energy club night well. A version of I Am The Resurrection that’s practically choral has me in tears. I’m a bit pathetic about that kind of thing, so I try to hide from Sally. That doesn’t work, and she soon has me wrapped in the biggest hug her little frame can manage. “This was a bad idea.”

“No, this was a great idea. I’m just a big softie.” I kiss her, “Let’s go and see who else has turned up.”

Amongst the people who weren’t surprised that I was still alive, though he had not expected me to be back in Manchester, was Mark. He’s one of the organisers of this night. He put us, and a bunch of other people, on the guest list.

The music of the post apocalypse isn’t the grinding techno or overwrought Rock we were threatened with. After all the turmoil people want something familiar. For tonight the Boon army is wishing itself back back to the nineties and early noughties, with tunes from the sixties to the eighties thrown in for good measure. There are nights for other tribes as well, maybe there’s even one for the grinding techno and overwrought Rock fraternity.

The club is packed. It smells of drains and sweat and spilt beer. Weirdly, the smoking ban still holds. The majority don’t want their clothes to stink because of the minority’s disgusting habit and the club has a policy which reflects this.

Mark’s at one end of the bar, pretending not to be keeping an eye on the staff. With the crowd he doesn’t see us until we’re almost on top of him. Before I know it I’m trapped in a bear hug. I don’t remember Mark being so affectionate, but then I used to see him at least once a week, maybe he’s just missed me. “The war hero returns!” he holds me out at arms’ length, “You’ve lost weight. Did they starve you?”

“Lots of marching around the South of France. The food was fine and plentiful.” Most of the time. But I leave that observation out of the conversation.

Good host that he is, Mark turns to Sally. “You must be Sally. I didn’t know Keith that well, but I’m sorry to hear what happened.” They hug, a lot less physical than mine. “Have you been here long?”

“A few songs. I wanted to have a look around.”

“It’s incredible what you can do with an old industrial unit. Come on up to the Very Important Prick room and see who else is already here.”

NaNoWriMo day by day

Here’s a day by day breakdown of how I’m doing/have done with this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’ll try to forward date it to the end of the month so that it will stay at the top of the page until then and you can lambast me for the number of red days that appear on it.

Update At the moment (3rd November) the day to day widget isn’t working, so I’ve inserted my running total widget instead.

Update 5th November. It seems to be working now, So I’ve pasted it back in.

They’re building a snow slide in Piccadilly Gardens

This looks like it could be fun. Who’s up for a go when it’s finished?

Report Empty Homes

Does exactly what it says in the url- allows you to inform councils of empty and abandoned buildings. They have teams and powers dedicated to bringing empty homes back into use, but often just don’t know about properties they should be dealing with.

There are estimated to be over 840,000 empty homes in the UK and bringing even just a few of them back into use would save millions of pounds and cut the waste associatd with building new ones.

Tweets today

06:32 Off to hospital to have papillae excised. You don’t want any more details, trust me. #

07:10 Where’s the bastard 109? I was meant to be at the hospital by now. #

07:51 Phone off now. #

11:48 Waiting, waiting, waiting. Bloody hell I’m hungry. #

21:11 Considering I’ve spent most of the day napping or sedated I’m really tired. #

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Perhaps I should change my name to Robert for a few weeks

Just as an attempt to get more hits. Robert Pattinson is the male lead in Twilight a tale of vampire love that wants to be the next Harry Potter franchise. Everything I’ve read suggests that I’m not its demographic, but I could always try to steal some of its attention.

A letter to my MP

Using the website I’ve sent an email to my local MP, John Leech-

Dear John Leech,

When the Government announced earlier this year that they wouild be investing several billion pounds in renewable energy there was a hint that there would be a new round of grants for home owners to buy solar panels and other energy saving/ generating technologies. However, I have not heard any more about these payments since.

Would it be possible for you to raise the issue with the relevant department or official and find more details of the proposed schemes? This may not seem like the appropriate time to be paying out such grants but I believe they would help stimulate the economy by giving money to an important sector of industry and saving homeowners money.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Pattinson

Hopefully the grants have started up and I just haven’t seen the announcement. If not then I’ll have to think of ways to get the issue raised more forcefully.

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NaNoWriMo first draft – Balance 1

Several of the figures in my bank statement don’t make sense. I trace them across several pages to confirm that they are recurring regularly.

“What’s this fee about?” I ask my new financial adviser.

He runs a finger down the debits column and nods. “That would be tax.”

“I don’t remember setting up a direct debit to the tax man.”

“You won’t have. It’s just included in your banking fees.”

“How does that work?”

“Do you remember the bail outs? You left the country after those had begun?”

“Yes. So, the government owns the banks?”

“A controlling interest. They decided it would be easier to tax people from their bank accounts than by traditional methods. Especially with all the local currencies that have started up.”

I check the numbers again. “I’ve only just found out about this and I think it can go wrong in so many ways.”

“Tell me about it. It only affects people who keep their money in a bank. So there are a lot of over stuffed mattresses out there. However, most of the local currencies are still given to volatility, and hoarding is a great way to destabilise one. So it’s in your best interests to exchange your scripts and bank them after a while.”

“I guess it’s too hard setting up a foreign bank account at the moment to make that a worthwhile tax dodge.”

“As you are finding out as you jump through the hoops to make a currency transfer from abroad. How is that going, by the way?”

“It’ll happen a lot faster when I have a confirmed British account to pay into. What are they holding it up for now?”

“They want more details of your activities during the, ah, recent unpleasantness. They may yet demand biometric data. If they do, refuse. That system was compromised before it even went live.”

“I don’t think they ever got that information off me anyway. What’s this all in aid of? Are they scared I’ll turn out to be some sort of fifth columnist?”

“They are. Or a war criminal using a stolen identity. Or a common criminal escaping from the continent. You are none of these things, I hope. It would do great harm to my reputation to be caught working for the wrong type of person.”

“I’m one of the good guys, honest.” I fact, I was co-opted as an agent of the British government during the recent unpleasantness. Of course, communication was one way and I have no idea how I could get in touch with my handlers for whatever passes as a reference. So I’m stuck in this protracted legal battle to get my own money back.

“Do they just not want to give me back my money?” I have to ask, “It’s not a huge amount, but each account they can keep frozen is a bit more money for them.”

“That’s a commonly held belief. I doubt it is a conspiracy theory but a true conspiracy. Or as near as the bumblers in the Inland Revenue can get to a conspiracy anyway. I have dealt with a lot of frozen bank accounts in the last few years and they always pay out in the end. Do you think you can stay afloat until this is resolved?”

“I’ll find a way.”

In many ways my stock is quite high around town. I’m known to enough well connected people that I have a line of credit and promises of work. My landlady hasn’t demanded any rent yet, though she is wearing me out with payment in kind. And I still have cash in my money belt and a container full of stuff I can sell.

I can survive for a while without my bank account, but it would be nice to get it back. Amongst other things, I’m starting to get enquiries about my memoirs. Would I like to take all my posts from the war years and expand upon them for a healthy fee? Of course I would, but where would they send my advance?

How much would I put in a book about the secret war? Could I write about Sachs? The SAS men? What really happened in Apt? Or is it still too soon?

Secrets were still being revealed about the Second World War fifty or sixty years after it ended. I could hold on to mine for a while.

Reputations could be damaged because of what I could reveal. International relations could suffer. Britain is key in negotiations with the Divided States to bring America’s new civil war under control and reintroduce the country to the civilised world. Revelation of British Army involvement against American forces in Europe, despite protestations of neutrality, would likely bring the peace process to a halt.

On the other hand, someone’s going to make the revelations sooner or later. If I’m the second person to reveal covert British involvement in Europe then the value of my bombshell is greatly diminished. It’s quite a dilemma- my bank balance against peace in the former United States of America.

NaNoWriMo first draft – Family Planning

Notes Not so happy with this bit. Sally’s progression from recluse to sex bunny will be a more gradual thing in the finished version.

“I want to ask you some awkward questions.” Sally announces.


“About sex.”


“You’re suddenly very eloquent.” she pushes the pot of nettle tea to me, indicating that I should pour.

“Ive spent a little too long in my own head today. It usually reduces me to grunts.”

“It turns you into a man? How wonderful.”

“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. But you have a lovely smile so I’ll forgive you this time.”

“Okay. Now I’ve lost my train of thought.”


“Oh yes. How many women did you sleep with in France?”

I actually have to think about that for a while. “Four.”

“And before France?”

“Eight. I think. I’d have to work my way through the names to be sure. What about you? How many men?”

“Eight. Well, eight and a half.”

“A half?”

“A hand job and then I dumped him when I realised he was a prick.” she fiddles with the tea cup, smiles that winning smile, “What I’m trying to ask is- have you ever had anything? Anything sexually transmitted.”

“Nope. They gave me a full check up, nether regions included, before letting me come back to Britain. Full flying colours. You know I have to ask you the same question now.”

“I guess it’s only fair. I thought I had something once, with this one guy. But it turned out I was having a mild allergic reaction to the spermicide on the condoms. I’ve had check ups every so often since, just because I’m paranoid. I’ve not needed treatment yet.”

“This conversation is managing to turn me on and turn me off at the same time. How does that happen?”

“You’re a man. My point is I want us to have lots more sex. But I only have so many condoms, and they’re expensive. So I’ve been thinking about other methods, where we don’t use them. Okay, now you look scared. Am I moving too fast? It’s just, I haven’t done this in so long. And I do tend to over think things. And I’m talking too much aren’t I?”

“I’m waiting for you to take a breath. It’s good that you’re thinking about it, because I haven’t been. What have you come up with?”

“Well, the Pill’s available again, but supplies are limited. I’m going to ask my doctor but I think I’ll be put on a waiting list. Until then we could try the rhythm method and only use condoms on the days when I’m fertile.”

“And how effective is the rhythm method?”

“Not as effective as I’d like, but it only has to work until I’m on the Pill or we buy a bigger batch of condoms.”

“And what if we get the timings wrong?”

“I don’t know. I mean, I’m trying to behave as if there really is a future for us all. But I’m not that sure of it that I’d like to give it to a child.”

“We’ll have to be careful then. How do we use the rhythm method then?”

“Well, I am perfectly regular, so that makes the prediction easier. Based on my last period I’m currently not fertile.”

“There’s only really one way to test your calculations. And we won’t know if you’re right for weeks.”


It’s easy if you try

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

John Lennon – Imagine

Tweets today

23:26 Blog: Christian Contraception- it’s not just about praying #

00:26 Blog: Tweets today #

10:23 I was going to leave the house today. But then I started cleaning the kitchen post plastering. #

18:04 Nearly kicked an Audi in the door because the driver was on her phone and not paying attention. #

18:29 Blog: Something I might like for Christmas #

18:29 Blog: Manchester Christmas Markets are back #

22:42 In the Venue. Little to no reception. #

22:58 Can’t hear Who songs without wondering which CSI they’re the theme to. Pinball Wizard? #

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