The Garden Has Made These

16 April 2017


Which is kind of it.

The Blue Versions

08 April 2017

the blue sky version the sun was in the incorrect position

Might start documenting the seasons and weather by taking photos from these same two weird angles every so often. Next time I will try to choose a time of day when the sun is in a more sensible position, though.

I Am Having Freecycle-Based Communication Difficulties

05 April 2017

a grey day more grey, with lines

I am trying to Freecycle a door. I have been trying to Freecycle this door for several months. It is not going very well.

The first person to request the door told me all about how stressful her life was and how helpful it would be if she could have the door, and then didn't turn up at the arranged time because of a child's football injury (described in intricate detail via text message when I asked if she was having trouble finding my house). Which was a fair enough excuse. She asked if she could get back to me later, and then ...didn't. When I sent her a friendly reminder after two weeks, to ask if she still wanted it, she said she hadn't heard from me and she'd thought I had changed my mind (huh?), but arranged another time, then didn't turn up again, and didn't respond to my attempts to communicate further. So I stopped. It was starting to feel like I was harrassing her. With a door.

The next person to contact me during my new attempt to Freecycle the door (after I had recovered, several months later) rather refreshingly just asked if I still had the door. I said yes, gave my address and asked when he'd like to pick it up. Then he never replied. Which felt really creepy, like, there is a stranger out there who knows where I live, and what my email address is, and now that he has this information, he doesn't want my door any more. WHY. Because he can't really be bothered after all, obviously, but still.

Right, I thought. The next person is going to have to work for receiving my address. I'm not going to give it out until we've made a time. Then there will be more at stake. They will care more about getting the door, I thought.

So, finally, when another person requested the door, I told her that if she sent me some possible times, I would give her my address. She replied. She asked if she could collect it "at dinnertime on Thursday".

And thus I was filled with horror. I was so close, but now I had two options: either say that was fine, give her my address and wait in between the hours of 12 noon and 9.30pm, twitchily listening out for the doorbell for the entire time except between, say, 3 and 6pm, or, essentially, demand to know her socioeconomic class by asking what time she called "dinnertime". OH GOD. OHGODOHGOD.

I mean, you'd think from all the different ways you can be slightly wrongfooted by people and society, eventually the same scenarios would start repeating, and I'd know how to deal with them by now (or at least be sort of used to them, even without a workable solution). But no. People are always coming up with brand new mini-nightmares.

I decided I wasn't keen on the idea of an entire day of wondering when a stranger was going to deem it dinnertime and turn up at my house. Surely we could clear this up with a bit of simple, brief communication using the extensive communication infrastructure that we have these days. So I asked, very politely, if she could give me an approximate time in hours, because "dinnertime" means different things to different people and I didn't know whether she meant midday or evening. All she needed to do was write "12-2", "6-8", "midday" or "evening". Literally one word, maximum.

WRONG MOVE. I have not heard back.

It's beginning to feel like a computer game that I'm really not very good at.


A true story about bureaucracy, race and friendship. (Although - spoiler - the fact that they work out a way to deal with the broken bureaucracy between themselves, rather than the case bringing the brokenness to attention and getting it fixed, is rather naggingly dystopian.)

The Problem With Facts (Contains actual ideas for starting to try to fix things!)

Rookie editor's letter, April edition - a cathartic joining-up of all sorts of things

Remember the Internet? - a comic by Mary Shyne.

31st March

31 March 2017

Rhubarb Snowdrops

I have cleared out the mini-shed, which contained a massive pile of piles of things on top of piles of other piles, and now contains neat stacks of plant pots, gardening tools and probably the same number of huge spiders as previously. Does anyone want any plant pots? My accumulation of them occurred during the process of discovering that I'm not really very good at growing things.

29th March 2017

29 March 2017

I knew perfectly well that today was going to happen, but it still feels like a punch in the gut.


What a Time to be Alive