scribbles tagged ‘relationships’


Monday, May 25th, 2009 | tags: , , , ,  |

A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in front of my building, and there was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn’t know much about him, but he just seemed set apart from these other children that I would see playing. And his character is what I based the song Luka on. In the song, the boy Luka is an abused child — in real life I don’t think he was. I think he was just different     Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega sang Luka

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fun factor analysis

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 | tags:  |


Long long ago,   in the days when I truely believed that  inspiring psychologists to understand the potential value and common abuses of  advanced statistics, I wandered to a male colleague’s office seeking  feedback on a teaching strategy of machievellian proportions.    He was talking, né, laughing and giggling, with  the department manageress.     I watched from the doorway and admired her relaxed jovial open nature.      After she left I pulled out my teaching plan,   as one is wont to do on such occasions, and asked for my colleagues feedback

He smiled and said


Colleague: Wendy it’s SO easy to work with you


Wendy: urgh?   what do you mean?


Colleague:   the department head who was here just now,   I HAVE to flirt with her,   I have to,   its hardwork to both flirt AND get the work done.   I don’t have to flirt with you, I can just focus on the work.   You make it easy


All around me I’d seen what I took to be social fluidity, rapport, even maybe affection.   This one colleague had put it all into a different perspective,   the semblance of social rapport was sometimes an effort tailored to the perceived preferences of the colleague.   This colleague didn’t percieve that I needed flirtation or social niceties so he could just get the work done and help me to do a good job, no marmite sandwich bribes  necessary.  


That said,   am I lovely or what?   Give me a marmite sandwich NOW!

fun factor analysis
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Saturday, November 8th, 2008 | tags: , , , ,  |

chap:   I have to smoke in bed,   I wake up at 3am every morning regulalr as clockwork just to have a fag

wendy: oh  (signifying:   failure to segue effectively into another topic)

chap:   I  can’t give up,   I have a fowl temper if I do (his hand  is shaking as he scrunches his face while taking a long deep draw from his hand-rolled,  warped, filterless cigarette)

wendy: oh (recalls him  slamming  doors, stamping his feet and throwing things  all with  a fag  balanced in  his mouth)   I’ve locked myself out,   got to go and pick-up my spare key.

chap:   do you want a lift?

wendy: no, I’m alright (signifying: no way am I getting in a car with a chap demonstrating signs of emotional instability)

chap: where are you going?

wendy: not far, bye   (signifying: no way am I  letting this chap know  where I store my spare house key)

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3 bits of fabulous banter »


Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

space blanketchap: it’s not easy being a poof over 40

Wendy:    oh!   (signifying: suprise at being informed of sexual orientation)

chap: my boyfriend’s an artist,   he’s built like a brick shithouse, 6 foot 5, paints the same pictures again and again,   never makes any money, I’m getting tired of it.

Wendy: Oh   (signifying: the height is suprising)

chap: last night he smashed a chair on the bed right next to me

Wendy: OH   (signifying: violence is suprising and concerning)

chap:   he’s always been such a gentle giant before now, he says its my fault, but I don’t know what I’ve done

Wendy: oh (signifying: I am not qualified to help), I’m off to homebase to get some cheap loft insulation from the sale (signifying:  BYE)

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4 bits of fabulous banter »

Jacksons accessories department

Monday, June 30th, 2008 | tags: , ,  |

There are two customer entrances to Jacksons.   One entrance goes into the main foyer and is lined by accessories.   The other entrance goes directly into the Mens department.   A girls entrance and a boys entrance.   This weekend I went in through the girls entrance and got no further than the handbags.

Senior Scottish Shop Assistant (3SA): I must ask you to come out from behind the counter,   it’s against shop policy

Wendy: Oh,   yes,   of course.   Could you show me the black bag on the 2nd shelf down,   2nd bag in from the right, left a bit,   next one along, yes,   that’s the one.

3SA: this is Navy Blue not black

Wendy:   its certainly very dark,   I’m looking for something to carry my passport , money  and camera when I go on holiday.

The 3SA gets enthusiastic and starts pulling out all sorts of bags from the shelves,   talking knowledgeably about her stock and even suggests that  I try looking in  TJMaxx!   A car  at the traffic lights outside loudly rev’s its engine.

3SA:   Oh dear,   we see all sorts here you know

Wendy: Oh?

3SA: All the criminals pass by here,   with two police cars before the van and 2 police cars after the van,   the Crown Court is just around the corner,  recently  one of the prisoners escaped you know.

Wendy:   Oh!

3SA:   yes, they all come past here you must check your insurance.

Wendy:   Insurance?  

3SA if you are taking your camera on holiday   check that your insurance covers your camera,   my friend didn’t and regretted it.   Make sure you check your medical insurance,   my friend broke her arm on holiday and her insurance only covered her for one hundred pounds,   she had to pay for a hospital stay over night and to fly home early.

Wendy: I’m going to Greece,   they have a National Health Service and as members of the European Community…..

3SA:   Spain is in Europe and my friend still had to pay,   check your medical insurance.  

 Wendy:   I’m covered for repatriation and the same level of service as Greek citizens…

3SA:   Read the small print,   always check the small print (continues delivering advice based on her accident-prone  friends’ experiences)

About 20 minutes later I emerged from Jacksons.   Smiling.   Armed with lots of extremely useful holiday advice, and a ‘Navy Blue’ handbag that looks black to me, feeling as if 3SA is already my honourary Aunite.   She is certainly more than a familiar stranger.    I should pop in after the holiday to show her some pictures and confirm that I got through it without needing an insurance claim.  

Jacksons really is quite the friendliest of stores as long as you stay the right side of the counters and  know your bag-colours.


Jacksons accessories department
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familiar strangers

Monday, June 23rd, 2008 | tags: , , ,  |

Since moving to Reading I’ve found lots of familiar strangers,   I see them on the bus everyday during my commute,   in the local cooperative store when I’m picking up milk for my tea,   behind the counters in Jacksons,   in the local internet cafe.

During my 1986 final year degree course Environmental Psychology classes I  learned that people are more likely to exhibit altruistic behaviours to familiar strangers (than complete strangers)  when meeting those familiar strangers outside of the normal context.   Each will recognise the other easily but have difficulty placing the source of this familiarity.

This means that when I meet someone who normally rides on the  same  bus as me everyday,   in Jacksons,   I will think I know them and be nicer than I would be to someone totally unrecognisable.


More familiar strangers means more oportunities to be squishy.   Given  my natural  curmudgeonist tendencies this can only be a good thang.

familiar strangers
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bald with glasses

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008 | tags: ,  |

wendy:   which one was he?

colleague: the one sat to my left at lunch time

wendy:   with glasses?

colleague: the guy who sat in the front passenger seat in the car

wendy:   cute older man?

colleague:   (sharp intake of breath while smiling and moving hand to cover mouth,   meanwhile several colleagues nearby swing their chairs round and look at me while smirking)

wendy:   damn, that was both sexist and age-ist in one fell swoop.   sorry.

(giggling colleagues)

bald with glasses
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