Category Archives: London

How to get my Chrystal Xbox back

Image representing Xbox as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

My limited edition Chrystal Xbox is still at my mate (geezer) J’s mom’s house. What happened was that ages ago, I took the Xbox down to London together with a few games (most of them belonged to my Ex. I only ever bought Fable and never completed it).

I then lent it to my mate J. who lived across the road, because he didn’t have a console and was skint, and I’d just gotten my PS3. He kept it for a few months and put it to good use, playing all the games etc.  and it was all good. He then saved some money and bought himself a 360 which means he no longer needed the Xbox. By that time, I’d already moved back to Edinburgh and eventually split up with  my ex BF.

The problem is that my Xbox is still down there, together with Fable, and I do not know when / how I will get it back. I had half-heartedly planned to go down to London in my Xmas break, see J. and his mum (whom I’ve always got on well with) and pick up the Xbox at the same time;  however this ain’t going to happen now as the train tickets were too expensive. I then asked his mum if she could post it up to me if I paid the postage but she hasn’t got back to me. I thought I’m not going to see it again.


Today I had a GENIUS idea. I’m currently paying the ex back £2500 that he contributed towards the Italy house (all a bit of a contentious issue from both sides.. not going into it) in monthly rates of £500. What I think I could do is ask him to post it up or alternatively, I could suggest that he keeps the Chrystal Xbox and Fable and I take off £100 of the last installment (which is due in February I think).

Before anyone thinks that’s not fair as it’s kinda ‘blackmail’: I think it’s only a decent thing for him to post it up and I believe in fact that he should have offered it in the first place, rather than not really bothering and saying ‘it’s at V’s (J’s mum) for you to pick up’. It’s a limited edition and after all, him and J. borrowed it for ages. I don’t see why it should now be up to me to travel to London for ££££ only to pick it up! Of course, I’d offer to pay postage, the box, wrapping, etc. – all he’d need to do is go to the post office which is a 5-mins-walk.

So, what I’m going to do after the next installment has been paid is stop the standing order and ask him if he could kindly post the Xbox up, together with Fable, in the original box and with ALL the accessories etc. Once it’s arrived here and I have assessed that it’s in full working order and not damaged, I will pay him the rest of the money plus the postage 😀

If he refuses to do it or can’t be bothered, he’ll just get £400 instead of £500 and he can sell the Xbox in a few years’ time when, being a limited edition, it’ll be worth at least the £100.

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Walking Alone in the Dark (as a WOMAN!)

I’ve gotten into a routine now where I go for a walk each night after work, for about an hour. I take the same route each night. As it happens, with winter approaching and for the fact that I live in Edinburgh, it’s now dark when I do go out. Hence I stopped the Holyrood Park – route (I walked through there a few times when it was pitch black! Rapists abound).

Now, my BF B. thinks Edinburgh is a dangerous place, and isn’t too keen on the idea of my walking alone at night. I’ve thus far dismissed it – for me, the city is a safe haven compared to the horrors of Hackney (crime pit!) where I lived last year. Here, I feel very safe and at home. Edinburgh is ‘my’ city and my home, and for some reason it’s as if it could never do me any harm.

Yesterday, however, a work colleague said the same thing – she was SHOCKED at my walking on my own in the dark, and strongly recommended I don’t do it. This has now put some doubts into my mind – nothing too major but still – do they have a point?

I always feel invincible here and very reasonable. I would NOT have left the flat in Hackney after dark – hell, I didn’t even dare walk around with my laptop during hte day as the chances of it being robbed off me were quite high (no exaggeration here – my chav mate J. had contacts to this person who handled stolen goods… and that’s the kind of thing that this dealer in stolen goods was offered, apparently).

I really don’t want to change my ways with regard to this walking. It’s refreshing and extremely relaxing, and I have a good night’s sleep every night. I may have to give it some more thought though, or make extra sure that I’m safe. Maybe not go out too late, and avoid the roads that aren’t too well lit or not busy enough. I.e. stay on the main roads 🙂

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Italy Holiday Day 10: Barter Economy

Italian olive oil, both oil and an oil bottle ...

Image via Wikipedia

Whenever I’m over here, I engage more actively in a barter economy, which I suppose is more archaic than a regular capitalist economy involving money. Briefly, I tend to do computer and/or translation stuff for my neighbour I. (I’ve even done an entire website for her), and she in return sorts out various appointments with builders and such and she also deals with things in my absence (bless her!).

Today for instance, she had a distraught phone call from an acquaintance whose 20-year-old son had gone to London and was going to have nowhere to stay tonight, as the deposit for a flat that his parents had transferred via the bank hadn’t arrived in English account yet (they only transferred it on Wednesday FFS – how is it supposed to get there within 2 days’ time?). They needed someone to phone the agency in London to find out what was going on, and try to get the keys for him so he wouldn’t be homeless. The son’s English being very poor, and the parents with no second language at all.

Little do these people realise that London is an evil capitalist shithole. No money = no fucking keys! When I phoned the agency, I knew straight away they weren’t going to budge. London is unlike the Italian countryside, where it’s fine to pay money later and where the word is enough to make people feel secure. Over there, nothing will happen without money. I understand both cultures – the UK is my home, and I have been here in Italy plenty of times – but for these poor parents it must have been quite a shock.

Anyhow, I did some research for him (youth hostels in London), explained about Gumtree (classifieds to find accommodation), and also my neighbour emailed and phoned my ex BF who lives in London (I gave her the contact details e.g. his phone no. at work and his work email address – seeing that it was really quite urgent I reckoned she must get in touch with im ASAP). He replied and said he would help the guy out, and that he could stay at his flat tonight etc. – very nice of him 🙂

The point of this post though is that I always do whatever I’m asked when I’m here, and generally speaking like to think I have a good ‘track record’ of doing things for people for free. I enjoy the idea behind barter, and I notice it’s a common feature of the culture here. For instance this week-end we were meant to go olive picking, which the neighbours do for various farmers and in return they get their olive oil for free all year.

For some reason, I get a buzz off doing things for people for nowt. I suppose it’s because I’m very very good at some things, but shite at others. Thus, I enjoy putting my expertise in certain areas to good use and to help others out (as it’s easy for me to do), so I can half expect / demand them to do stuff for me which I’m not good at, thus saving money 😛

Maybe my motivation is a capitalist one after all. I mean I’m not some Hippie type selfless ‘giver’, nor am I motivated by any religion or similar (‘doing good’). Though it does make me happy to solve something and sort out what *only I can sort out*, and no one else. Think of it what you will 🙂

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Italy Holiday Day 01: Stansted Airport

yes, I’m sitting and waiting in Stansted airport. Using some free BT OpenZone credit that I nearly forgot I had! This morning was fairly uneventful – I arrived in Euston on the sleeper train at roughly 7AM, then got the tube to Liverpool Street station to board a coach to Stansted.

Only annoyance was that when standing looking at a map @Liverpool Street stn, a fucking pigeon dropped a juicy yellow-green SHIT on me from the great heights above. I had to go to the toilets (and pay 30p for the privilege!) and try get the shit off which wasn’t all that easy. At least it hadn’t shat on my hair or face.

Last night I went to the Amanda Palmer gig. It was quite good, and the crowd was approximately lenina 10 years ago – all interesting looking folk, many alternative types but in a mostly good, interesting, pretty way (none of your baggy trousers/skaters/drunk punks or OTT gothic types). I left before the gig had finished as I got bored. Amanda’s music is great, but I’d rather listen to it from home so I can skip the songs I don’t like 😛

Also, the crowd was a little too admirational I thought, and at one point it was more like a cabaret/entertainment (? not sure) when all I wanted was to just listen to her music live, without any interaction and stories etc. So I guess I’m better off staying at home next time. Actually I don’t mind either way – I simply don’t have the same enthusiasm for live gigs any more. And I’ve been turning into a bit of a homebody hehe – that’s not too bad though. I just like having a cosy, nice home, and spending time there 🙂

My Mate Has Been Charged with ABH

Last night I received a message on msn, but didn’t respond (and I was tired and about to shut the computer down). My mate J. (22-year-old London geezer/chav) said something like

Hi babe

this morning I got charged with ABH

The thing is, he’s always on msn with his mobile and it takes him ages to type. I should have just phoned him to find out more, but it’s too depressing! I mean I should go down to London and see him some time for a drink (and pick up my Xbox that is still at his mum’s house while I’m at it!), but not now, not yet, and I have no other reason to go down to London any time soon.

I’ve actually been looking for my mate’s pic to post up here (naturally with identity protected), but it’s probably inappropriate anyway. I like J., he’s a good guy and has a good heart, but I really can’t cope with that sort of ‘underworld’ thing of ABfuckingH and such. I mean what’s the point? But I like him! Jesus christ, what to do, what to do  😐

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