Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Gledwood TV!

I GOT ON TV LAST WEEK!!!! Yes!!! I was waiting at the bus stop, minding my own business when the police drew up. I noticed an exceptionally dodgy paedophile-looking person in the back looking very miserable. I wondered what on earth he'd got nicked for. Suddenly the car screamed to a standstill, police jumped out and the paedophile escaped from the back! A dodgy looking man was being wrestled to the floor and suddenly the paedophile had whipped out a camera and was pointing it straight in the homeless drug addict's face.

The police were yelling and screaming about a "machete" the homeless man was supposedly carrying, though I couldn't see it. All I did see was splinters of matchwood flying all over the place (probably from the invisible machete).

So the police got him to the floor in handcuffs. The man seemed to go exceptionally woozy. I now know, from watching too many of those reality cop shows that a full 25% of arrestees feign illness once nabbed and all I can say is that this one looked really ill. Next thing I knew they were yelling at him: was he on any medication for seizures?

A huge crowd gathered around and the paedophile-looking guy filmed us all. Instead of bundling their prey into a van and roaring off as per usual, police kept this man handcuffed, legs akimbo for a full ten minutes yelling back and forth and reprimanding the surging crowds to go away. (Even though the entire set-up was obviously being played out on their part as dramatically as possible.) Eventually my bus came but I was so excited! I'm going to be on one of those docu-dramas! On Sky or Pick TV (I think). Looking like a fool in the background! How amazing is that!!

Illustrated: various stills from British police reality series...

Monday, 3 March 2014

84 Hours Awake ~ and Scarcely Fatigued!

LAST WEEK I got "insomnia" so bad that I stayed awake constantly between Monday evening and Friday morning ~ that's about 84 consecutive hours! And I was barely even tired! And noI had not been taking speed (I wouldn't even know where to get speed.) Binky said that I was "manic" during this time, but I felt normal. A bit elevated, maybe. But I thought I felt pretty normal. I spent most of the time pottering about and scribbling shorthand into a notebook. 

Everybody wonders why on earth I would want to master the dying or almost dead art of shorthand and the answers are these: 1. because it's very handy to be able to write quickly and 2. I love the idea of nobody except retired American secretary types being able to read my scribblings. 

Apart from the fascination I've always had with writing, secret codes etc, I gravitated to shorthand back in my late teens because I was interested in a career in journalism and back then all journalists were expected to know shorthand. Then, in the late 1990s I saw a job offered in one of the music magazines for a "techno correspondent" and I thought "there's no way I'm going to be able to use a dictaphone at a rave, so I'd better perfect that half-arsed shorthand I picked up a few years ago". And that's why I learned shorthand. 

I never perfected the method, however and that's why, the other day when I was poking through boxes of stuff still unpacked from when I moved in, I found a sheaf of print outs of a 1929 shorthand manual I found myself filling notebooks with pages of scibbles all over again.

The style I write in is the American Gregg's shorthand. I happened to chance upon that method because my Gran was a school secretary and that's the system they taught her back in the day. It's far faster than the British Teeline method which is still taught to trainee journalists over here; and much easier to grasp than Pitman's. Pitman's is the traditional British shorthand and it's extremely fast but requires a pencil and lined paper. When I've had cause to write shorthand I have never ever had a pencil to hand and quite often had to resort to scrap paper pillaged from a bin, so I think I was right in choosing Gregg's shorthand over Pitman's.

Anyway I think I'm sleeping normally now. 

But my shorthand is really good!

"Donk Mix 2014" (Otherwise as Bounce or Scouse House.)
I love this type of music...

Illustrated: samples of German (Stolze-Schrey), Dutch (Groote)  and American (Gregg) stenography