About Me

Emailing my mother

My mother sends me emails quite regularly. She clearly expects regular responses. I do my best to respond to the vast majority of her emails, pretty promptly.

And that’s okay, but the problem I have is one of content. Once I’ve answered any questions that she may have posed, I will start writing a little bit about what I’ve been doing lately. Which is generally a good thing, because it makes an email much more interesting to read.

But then I realise that one of the things that I’ve written could be misconstrued, as she does have very delicate feelings, and will take offence at the drop of a hat. So, to remove the risk of upsetting her, I will edit out the paragraph about the computer speakers that I’ve bought in the post-Christmas sales, because she may read it and think that I am implying that she failed as a mother by not buying me the computer speakers for Christmas.

And then I’ll edit out the paragraph about the nice Maglite torch that someone else bought for me for Christmas, as she may read it and think that I am implying that she has again failed me as a mother, for not buying me the torch herself.

And before you know it, I’ve edited my message down to the bare bones, facts and figures, no subjectivity, as if I were writing an email to a client at work. No risk. Because it wouldn’t be worth it.



My power of speech has suffered greatly in the last two weeks. I wandered into Dixons and found a set of Harman Kardon Soundsticks II plugged into one of the demonstration computers. I switched them on and was instantly transported to heaven, that famous place which strips you of your ability to make interesting conversation. Here follows an actual, real, genuine hypothetical conversation:

“Hi, Pete. This is Abigail. She’s really fit and totally digs computer programmers who play the bass guitar.”

“Hi, Pete. I’m sooo hot for you.”

“Really? Have you ever heard of the Harman Kardon Soundsticks II? They sound absolutely awesome!”

“Uhm… I have to go. I think I left my cat under the microwave. I can hear him wailing now.”

“Well, shucks.”

Anyhow, I couldn’t buy them straight away, because it was only a few weeks to Christmas, and it’s just not worth the risk, as I have been expressing for some time that my existing computer speakers are old and muddy-sounding, and were basically the cheapest set of satellite speakers that I could get three years ago when I built my computer. It was possible that someone may take it upon themselves to get me a new set.

This year, I’ve been replacing bits of my computer, and have been moving from beige to black/silver. New keyboard and printer in summer. New tower case in autumn. Just the speakers and monitor to go.

When it turned out that I hadn’t been bought some new speakers for Christmas, I had a decision to make. Do I buy the fabulous sounding H/Ks, or do I get a nice pair of Logitechs that will match my black/silver colour scheme, cost half as much, but not sound quite as jaw-droppingly, pant-wettingly orgasmalicious? And LOUD.

Silly question. I think my neighbours may want to move out now.

*Originally posted here*


An apology

From all at Uborka Towers, we would like to apologise profusely, both to old friends and to new introducees, for our behaviour last night. Our conversational skills were wanting, and we are both very ashamed of ourselves. We’re sorry if we appeared to be rude or dismissive, but the truth is that due to a rather beverageful Friday night, the words were taking a long time to form themselves into sentences.

Said Dragon to me, “You’re more laconic than I thought you’d be.” I replied, “It’s actually just that I’m a bit poorly.” Laconic is a fabulous word.

So, to anyone who was there for their first mogbleet, and saw a guy stood by the bar *all night*, sipping from a glass of clear liquid (which could have been a gin and tonic, but was really just a lemonade), looking like he thought that he was too cool for this pub, and giving one-word answers when people tried to start up a conversation with him: that was me. I’m not normally like that.

And to anyone who was there, and knew me beforehand, and now thinks that I don’t like them anymore, then I want you to know that it’s not like that. You’re ace. You’re my friend.

I was just even more fragile than I was expecting.

Here’s the Uborka Christmas Tree 2004. It’s more tasteful than last year’s, but that’s because Karen constructed it, and I’ve always had a tendency towards shedloads of tinsel and jollity.

The Uborka Christmas Tree 2004

*Originally posted here*



The smog over London


St Paul’s Cathedral

St Pauls Cathedral