DALSTON NOIR #4 Egon Has a Plan

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Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read Dalston Noir #1 Trouble On Kingsland Road
Read Dalston Noir #2 It Was a Dog’s Life After All
Read Dalston Noir #3 The Past Isn’t a Different County

Even though it was already the end of March, the nights were cold and Egon wished his bedsit had central heating, but instead he turned on the gas oven as soon as he got up.

Munching on Weetabix he googles dog breeds and there she is – a Golden Retriever. All the dogs look cute but none of them has the effervescent beauty of Gilda. Eager to find out more about the breed, he learns that Golden Retrievers are cheerful, trustworthy, demonstrative and forgiving – characteristics he had always hoped to find in a girlfriend. It also listed mouthiness, heavy shedding and distinctive doggy odour. Still, he reckons, something he would put up with. Continue reading

DALSTON NOIR #2 It Was A Dog’s Life After All

hipster 1
Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read here DALSTON NOIR #1 Trouble on Kingsland Road

Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly takes out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He makes a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which is confirmed when he sees what looks like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must be the heart, Egon figures.
The stern police-woman’s superior is leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decides it is high time to disappear in the crowd.

Continue reading

No Business Like Snow Business

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Snowgirls in Warsaw.

Winter carries the whiff of VapoRub, running noses, parkas, Disney-inspired, tinsel-heavy wonderlands (making you wonder a lot), not wanting to leave the house, man leggings, simmering family feuds surfacing over under-cooked Brussels sprouts, recycled Christmas gifts, optimistic diets and even more optimistic New Year plans, frostbite, reindeer jumpers, pretending Christmas is not happening by loudly singing Heatwave over schmaltzy Santa songs and always remembering that most things can be solved with a glass of mulled wine and chocolate coated gingerbread. Continue reading

How to Cure the Flu or Die in the Process – A Love Story

14  Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them

men have flu too
Men have flu too

But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?

  1. Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
  2. Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
  3. Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
  4. Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
  5. Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
  6. Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
  7. Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
  8. Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.

    it can only get better
    It can only get better

    What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:

  9. Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.

Continue reading

Being a Legal Alien

fish and chips 1 croppedOr A German In London
*Warning: clichés and stereotypes  abound

I first came to Britain on a class trip in 1992 and nothing prepared me for the melting pot that was and is London. Walking down the street, I couldn’t believe the sheer diversity of faces, nationalities, religions and cultures. This was G. E. Lessing’s dream of (religious) tolerance put into practice in everyday Britain in the late 20th century. Coming from a country where there was hardly any non-German soul living/working/studying/on benefits – this was extraordinary. Continue reading

Which Muppet Are You?

Austro-Hungarian émigrés Statler & Waldorf always felt more like Animal inside
Austro-Hungarian émigrés Statler & Waldorf always felt more like Animal inside

In order to lure you onto this page I cunningly posed a question you are dying to find the answer to. Now that I got you here you will have to stay with me until the end in order to find out which Muppet you really are.

But back to the essential bits of life. The other week a friend complained about not being able to go online for 2! hours, sending her into a spiral of Weltschmerz and meaninglessness. Not a stranger to smug replies, I suggested, try reading a book.

That’s when karma got me by the derriere. Only when it happened to me, it wasn’t just 2 hours but a whole week of being sans internet. And no, I couldn’t use my phone because my data-allowance is non existent.

No. Internet. For. One. Week.

I wish I could say my sense of smell returned, or that I perceived colours more colourfully, or that suddenly there was a spring in my step and the sun shone brighter. But nay. I felt bereft. Somewhere I knew that there was still purpose to my life, I just had to find it. Quickly.

In order to maintain an air of dignified calm I kept telling myself, I don’t really need internet. Even people who think they really really need internet, don’t really need internet. They think they do, which is different. I think I do, which is not. To make sure, I looked up Maslow’s pyramid of life’s necessities, starting with the basic ones and going up to more unbasic ones. My fears were confirmed, the Internet was nowhere on it.

pyramid

Internet isn’t food. It isn’t housing. It isn’t friends. It isn’t air to breathe. It isn’t a life-partner, even though for some of us it might seem that way. To find out just how important the Internet is for you, answer this simple question (no, it’s not the Muppet one):    Would you die without Internet?

If your answer is a firm YES than there is nothing else to do but get unlimited data allowance, grab your recharger, stay close to a plug, smile at your phone lovingly, inhale deeply and hug it very very tightly.

If your answer is NO, then really I don’t know what to say. You obviously have a life. You must have found meaning elsewhere. Maybe even in the real world. Maybe in paper-bound books. Maybe in mixed tapes you rewind by turning your finger inside the serrated hole. Maybe you found it by wiping printer’s ink off your face. Maybe you are talking to real people in the real world. You might even be hugging trees instead of looking at a picture of one.

On a whole, you are wholly superior to the rest of us phone huggers. But remember, we are in a parallel universe, so don’t get bothered by us needing to be constantly online, because, after all, we are only trying to find out which Muppet we truly are.