I’m back home. Enough of his nonsense. Staffordshire? I was there for just a moment. A flash. A Premier Inn, way too much red wine, 6 hours of snoring, a careful shower, milky porridge, three coffees and a yogurt, scrape the ice off Bergman, short drive.
Park, stand in a cold corridor saying hello to young engineers. Go upstairs. Help Ben run a workshop.
Then a tour of the campus conducted with great will and small competence by two young men in branded red hoodies. “This building is full of cool stuff. It’s locked.” “This building serves great coffee. It’s closed.”
Then bundling up materials for another workshop to come, and we are done. Back in Bergman and back to London.
Three and a half hours seems nothing after Uruguay. There’s less to look at out the window in this country. But the drive flew by even though I stopped for a brew at Oxford just as I was flagging. All the wine last night, then all the energy. I’m home and my flat is so cold. Jacket potato and into Bed once more, with the successful experiment of putting the electric blanket UNDER the mattress topper. No more sleeping on wires. All the warmth. If the flat burns down you’ll know why.
More workshops on Monday. Tis the season. I need to prep for the Monday ones as well, so I guess it’s an early bed before missioning out and into the big world. My face is a great big scab now after I sandpapered the front of my face off. Hello you lot. I’m back in London and active again. Hopefully see some of you soon…
A terrible upset in the world of bed. The magical global warming button malfunctioned. Normally I travel to Kitchen where I push a button that warms the world in exchange for everything you will ever own. You can learn more about the land of Kitchen from previous blogs. Last night though, the roaring global warm machine that they have there packed up. Pressure error, it says. Filthy foreign machines. Those kitchen people need to make things like we make them in Bedroom.
Coincidence is strong today. In September I booked my annual boiler service. The man came this morning.
“It’s like an old car,” he says. “One thing gets fixed and the next thing breaks. I could condemn it?”
“Fix it. It’s worth it to try.”
There’s a part, he tells me, that needs replacing. This part exists in “the wide world”. Yeah right. We all know he’s just an agent of the “wide world” theory, trying to win new recruits. But I humoured him. He is going to go to Corridor. And there he will just hide for a few days before coming back with the part that he always had. It’s worth the effort for him just to try to trick me into buying the “wide world” theory. Like the idea that we all live on an island surrounded by sea, all of us, and we don’t sink? Ha. THINK ABOUT IT, SHEEPLE. The weight would sink us immediately? How can you be so suggestible? It’s almost as if you’ve got no critical thinking. Lol.
Still I followed him to the door in Corridor to see if I could spot him hiding. He’s hidden well. I couldn’t. But knowing that there is no wide world, I “drove” Bergman to “Stoke on Trent” where I’m staying in a “Premier Inn”. All hallucination of course. Mixed with an elaborate show put on by boilerman.
I’m no sheep. I know how it is. The windows of my “car” are video screens and people jiggle it to give the illusion of movement. I appreciate the artistry. It must be a lot of work to keep the truth from me. More work than you’d think it’s worth until you take into account the New World Order who want us all to think there’s a wide world out there for their nefarious bad reasons and I’M RIGHT AND DON’T THINK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH I’M NOT LISTENING I’M NOT LISTENING AAAAAA.
So here I am. In this idea of Stoke on Trent. And what do I find in his Premier Inn? Oh look. Goodness me. It’s a bed. They don’t want you to know. But beds happen here.
Three beds. But each of them is just Bed. Proof, right here, that there’s nothing outside of bed despite what the msm want us to think. I’ve arrived here in supposed Stoke on Trent and yet here is Bed, just like in the only place that actually exists. For obvious reasons. Bed is the only place.
Now I have proved that bed is the only place that exists, it’s time for me to ask you to follow the breadcrumbs. You’ll find so much more that is just as true. Follow. FOLLOW.
In previous posts I know that I stated clearly that there is no world beyond the bedroom. I stand by this statement. Some of you have attempted to discredit this by sending me forged images of other places, or fluffy animals. I am not so much of a fool as to believe your msm narrative. I have only experienced bed. I have watched other people who I admire telling me how there is only bed. There is only bed. And the loo, or “Bathroom” as the sheeple call it… But I made one small error. I said there is no kitchen.
Even geniuses like me can be wrong sometimes. Despite what they told me on the internet, I have made a discovery for you all. There IS a kitchen. So, the world is a tiny bit larger than we thought, but I’m still right. Bed is the centre, of course. Then the bathroom. The things in the bathroom are different from those comforts of bedroom of course. Foreign things happen in Bathroom. It’s wet there, whereas it is only very rarely wet in bed. They make you get wet in Bathroom. Bed is better than foreign wet bathroom. But… Sometimes it is nice to have wet clean warmth from bath, and often it if necessary to make use of the facilities they provide. I can allow Bathroom to continue. It’s close enough to bed. You can still lie down and be warm, even though it’s a different warm. The corridor to the imaginary outside I covered yesterday. I stay away from that door though. We don’t want to challenge what we know to be true. Spend too long looking at that door and you start believing the mainstream narrative that there’s a great big world out there, and you get swept up.
In avoiding the door I stumbled on The Kitchen though. I know I said it didn’t exist, but that doesn’t count now. It’s not that I was wrong. The narrative has changed. Kitchen is very distant from bed. It is not like bed at all in Kitchen. They have no clothes there, just scraps of towel, and it is wet sometimes and hot sometimes but unlike Bathroom they don’t mix their wet and their hot so readily and you can’t lie down and be hot.
They have a machines though with buttons and the buttons make things hot. Despite my terrible fear of the unknown, I pushed some buttons in that distant and foreign place. I made some food warm and consumed it without becoming unwell. Then I pushed a button that exchanges money for general warmth. I don’t know how they do it, but there’s a machine that roars, and when you operate it correctly it empties your bank account, gives all your assets to huge fat stinking liars, and makes the air warmer in the whole world.
Bed room is warmer now. So is Corridor. I have much less money. This is why Kitchen should be avoided. It is a scam.
Living room does not exist and I know this will always be the case.
I streamed made up digitally forged highlights of a cricket team playing a test match in place that isn’t bedroom bathroom or corridor or even kitchen. Obviously it’s a made up place, and it is certain that they were making up the highlights as both of the computerised England opening batsmen got over 100 and we all know they are supposed to get 0, or a duck. One of them was even called “Duck-it”. He didn’t.
I’m too clever to be fooled by anyone who tells me there’s a world beyond this. There is nothing but Bedroom and the distant outlying foreign terroritories I’ve described.
Still, I’m glad of Kitchen. That button has made a difference.
Beneath me there are wires. When I switch them on they heat up. The mild discomfort of the wires under my bum does nothing to affect the joy of the heat rising up.
Ancient tales speak of a land beyond the bed. We call it “The Wider World Theory”. It is a lie. There is no world out there. We have all we need in this bed. There is a loo next door as well, yes. That exists in the place with the bath. I have visited this bathplace and returned unscathed and warm and clean. Other rooms though? Merely legend. The door to the “outside corridor” exists, of course, because I entered it in a dream and the Deliveroo man manifested bringing curry to it. But the place beyond? I am not such a fool as to believe the mainstream media. The outside place is a lie designed to fool us into thinking we have options. That “travel” thing was just a strange dream. Nothing started until I closed that door behind me. The door closed and WORLD. A spot of corridor. A bed. A loo. The kitchen? Mere hearsay. The living room? Absurd. A room for living? I live perfectly well in his bed. This talk of rooms for living – it is the fantasy around which the Wideworlders build their myth. We need no room for living if we have the room of bed. What I have experienced personally is the sum total of everything that there is. Nothing else exists.
In the room of bed I have everything that I could ever want. I have an iPad for computer games, on which I can play the fabulous Inkle text game “80 Days,” the excellent geeky starship game “FTL” and the bizarre and challenging roguelike “Sunless Sea”. Three game recommendations there for people who, like me, enjoy a bit of relatability and reading in their games, as well as an economy that only requires you to pay once. 80 Days in particular is a charming and strange piece of writing, with so many hidden secrets, all about travel – it’s the most perfect long haul travel game ever created. The flight to Sao Paolo from Montevideo flew by by on one playthrough where I was just experimenting with making as much money as possible. It’s a game about the playing, not the winning. It’s brilliant.
FTL is just good repeatedle noise. It’s hard. You think you’ve got it all sorted and then everything is lost in moments.
Sunless Sea is more chaotic. I enjoy it although I paid for the Kickstarter and never got registered for my benefits. There’s a world that exists that makes what sense you might want it to make.
And so my life passes by. In a dream once, I travelled from Montevideo to Sao Paolo and slept on a plane fitfully. I got a tube from Heathrow airport, and then walked home from South Kensington, stopping at Waitrose to buy food so I didn’t order a Deliveroo. I slept for two hours. I then ordered a Deliveroo regardless and sat on my bed eating curry. My bed. The bed. It exists. Blessed be the name of the bed. The bed is true. Research “Bed”.
One of the biggest supermarket chains in Uruguay is Tienda Inglesa. English Store. Now I’m in the airport and the place the sells overpriced tut is called Brit Shop. There’s the legacy of our failed state. Shops in South America. A reputation for being good at capitalism despite the fact that we are on fire. Three different types of banana all year round, and a plastic hat.
This is gonna be a long flight back to the cold. This is gonna be a long flight back from the hot. I bought an electric blanket in the heatwave this summer. That’ll come in handy as I don’t want to put the heating on at home. Who knows what sort of state I’ll be in when I land at half six in the morning on Wednesday but I can tell you for absolute certain that I’ll be feeling the English winter. Blazing Sol outside the windows here at Carrasco International Airport. It’s glorious. Can’t I just stay here?
I like it here in Uruguay. The weather, the optimism. The people are friendly. I doubt I’ll ever come back here again though. Big old world. Only so much time.
Now I’m in Brazil. I’m not sure if it really counts as being in Brazil but I exited security and have two stamps in my passport even if I then went straight back through security. Stopover in Sao Paolo. Sometimes they load out your luggage onto the conveyor belt. That happened to Amelia but seemingly not to me. Hopefully that means it’s gone to London. It’s raining. I’ve had a beer and it has made me sleepy and given me indigestion. Or maybe that was the pizza. But… we board soon and I’m burpy. Window seat again. Hopefully not quite so boxed in by large males this time as I am planning on trying to get some sleep on the long haul. London will happen at 6.30am. Then it’ll be a tube home.
I think I’ll sleep for a week when I get back. I’m not ready for it to be cold though. And I feel very odd. Maybe I’ve been holding something off and now my body is beginning the stopping process and no longer holding it off. England are about to start playing Wales. If I can stream the second half in the plane that might replace my bedtime reading, as my Kindle is in my checked bag.
Onto the beach and into the sea with a little bit more vigor than necessary. Here on this stretch of strand overlooking the boat and the Saint Helena, I miscalculate my shallow dive assuming a deeper shelf. I mildly sandpaper the top of my nose and forehead. Salt water is an antiseptic. I’ll just look like I’ve been in a fight for a few days.
My last evening was perfect but for the loss of skin. Now I’m lying in bed in the San Marcos listening to the crickets and trying to make sense of the fact that it’s winter in London and I’m going back to it.
Such a lovely team, so hanging with them on the beach tonight felt the right closure. Then I went off for a steak. They are all here another week or more on the graft of the derig. With the final few hours of my day I was on site with them stacking the heras and getting the pegs out. Familiar tasks now.
I like Uruguay, with the weather and the happy people. They got beaten by Portugal in the football today and I was sorry for them. Happy friendly people here, with good weather and great seas and sharp sand.
Long long flight coming up though and I’ve left it too late to write this. Gonna turn in and bank some sleep. Rest well yourselves.
Big old party happening right now. Noise. DJ. All the crap.
They tried to fuck us over with the bar. They DID fuck us over with the conversion rate, quoting in US Dollars and then charging us in Pesos converted on their terms. 200 people though and a big party. I didn’t like parsing the card on that basis but I’m aware that most people who parse the card wouldn’t even have that thought.
Everybody is on it now. It’s the night out wagon. I’ve found a corner below a speaker that can’t cope with the decibels. It has shorted the lights out around me and cuts out for ten second intervals pretty regularly, giving me a break from the thump thump thump. It’s a little haven, and with my navy suit I’m mostly invisible so long as I don’t move. I realised I need to write this before everything goes south as it publishes at 2am my time and we are pushing to midnight.
Done. A good race. Very fun. Good people. A successful season and I very much feel like a useful part of the machine now. People know what I do and how I do it. I’m beginning to make actual friends, which is an impossibly slow process for me but one that cements over time.
I’m sure someone has clocked me by now though, sitting in the darkest place on my phone. This shit doesn’t write itself dammit. And even though I’m at a party and not in the thick of it, it’s totally fine as I’ve got no real reason to get stuck in. Nothing to prove. Done that already this week.
This broken speaker has started working better now which means I get a flash of noise right at me every few seconds. Awful. I might have to just go and dance randomly to this mess of music. But the DJ is mostly playing bollocks.
Yep, I’m tempted to hide under the table or go sit on the loo for an hour. But it has to be done. People have noticed me in the darkness. It’s only a matter of time before they send an envoy and the whole “I write a daily blog, it’s not for general consumption, I don’t care who reads it, I’ve got nothing to prove” kinda dialogue comes up.
Pump up the Jam? Are you kidding. I’m gonna pump it. I don’t want a place to stay.
I just hit the boogie. For a glorious moment. We started ‘aving it large, but then Abba happened and now I’m on the beach. An empty strand. There they all are. Haddaway is asking “What is love?” but he’s not waiting for the answer before he tries to protect himself which makes sense of why he’s asking. The Atlantic waves are lapping over my boots. How the hell have I made this role work? But I have because it is needed and I’m good at it. As Suzanne Hansen observed in Tabuk, right man in the right job. I secretly balked at it when she said it more than once because I’m an actor etc etc. But yeah. Actually yeah. This work makes sense with me and the world. I’ve done it Arabic and South American and both worked well. So long as I can get some filming in the gaps it might become a thing. Never count on anything though, eh? I’ve learnt that the hard way. But for now, a lovely thing and lovely people. Win.
My jobs list has taken me back to CasaPueblo just before sunset. You could argue that it’s a combination of my jobs list and my cunning arrangement of said jobs list. The unusual requests are overlapping the mundane requests, and often the mundane ones are harder to fulfill.
“Can you get a strimmer?” Yes. Petrol or electric?
“We need twelve umbrellas.” In Uruguay? Yep. Just walked past a row of them.
“A few more black sharpies?” … I can get you a rainbow pack of 24 multicoloured sharpies one of which is black. “We just want the black one. Times 24.” Nope. Can’t be done. This is Uruguay, the country that defeated stationery. You’ll get what you’re given.
“A print with a local bird on it by a local artist that can be rolled up and put into a suitcase?” Fuck yeah, I saw one of those in CasaPueblo, the beautiful sunset place that takes your money and then takes more of your money and then takes more. Come to think of it I should’ve put my entry on the Coutts card I’m carrying around but honestly I’m too happy in his job and I like it here. I’ll pay eight quid to catch one more sunset from this terrace, and listen to that lovely poem that I’m not allowed to quote or post and think about things.
The birds are coming home to roost. It’s an hour until sunset but they know it’s coming. The sun is falling, tracking that golden pathway across the ocean to the horizon. There’s red in the scattered clouds already. A mild breeze. And of course they are playing the sort of Mediterraneanish downtempo electrotwot music you’d expect from a warm place near the sea that sells beer.
I’ve just told Clayton I’m here. He’s staying in my hotel. Corridor buddy Clayton. He arrived a few days ago. Helping with the fan zone. Ex rallycross director.
I forget what a big deal this all is. If my CV was a thing, this would be doing wonders for it. We had the qualifiers today. Very good racing and now they are letting fans in for the first time. I went down to the big area they’ve prepared for them. It’s like a festival site there, but with big screens showing those incredible Odyssey machines racing. I have been off site but local today mostly and bringing things in quickly. Nice to have a day without the big long drive.
Fifty minutes until sunset. I’m gonna switch my head off again and just be. I had to go to Uruguay to find myself in a position when I’m willing to try to meditate. On my own terms right now. But it’s a start. Om fighting with NMHRK. Likely there’s room for both and more. I don’t think this will be my last time round the wheel.
In Tabuk airport in Saudi Arabia there’s a little office the other side of security that deals with left luggage. If you can talk your way through the barrier you can talk to a patronising overweight misogynist and you can get assurance that works that your bag is coming. He will tell you when it will arrive. If you go at that time he’ll belittle you a bit and give it back to you. He seems to understand on some level that people’s bags are quite personal and they might want to have them. Even if he likes to rummage through the women’s bags thoroughly and he honestly can’t countenance women with crash helmets in their luggage.
In Carrasco airport in Uruguay there is an information booth staffed by disinterested smiling people who want to prevent you from actually getting anything done. There is no dedicated lost luggage staff, so it is the responsibility of the airline staff, on top of everything else they do. They are only on site for check in and for flight arrivals and probably paid shorter hours than they work based on somebody’s projection. As soon as there is no activity related to their airline, they grab their stuff and get the hell out of Dodge. If there is a lost bag then it is the very very last thing they consider. If they consider it at all. They might leave it there. They might pull it out but only if they know there’s somebody waiting. Lost luggage is perpetually an SEP. Somebody Else’s Problem. There is no equivalent of me on this job at the airport, trying to hoover up the SEPs, make them ABPs and yo I’ll solve it check out the hook etc. I don’t have to make this my job. Nobody will ever look askance at me if I DON’T make it my job. But I make it my job because somebody has to.
I was waiting today for over two hours again though. That’s the shitshow of it when you’ve got a jobs list that needs to be finished before the shops close. I was getting more and more frustrated.
Information changed shift and the new one with no idea how long I’d already waited eventually told me I had to wait by a door and someone would come. Nobody came. After twenty minutes I went back to ask for a time frame. “No no you must wait by the door,” she said. “How long?” “Twenty minutes.” So I went back and waited twenty minutes with expectation. Then I went back and mimed a telephone to her from a position where I could see the door. She just shook her head and her mouth moved. I went closer to hear what she said. “By the door.” I went back to the door and waited another fecking twenty minutes. There’s an hour.
The shops were getting closer and closer to closing and it’s a two hour drive to the port. The extent of the not giving a fuck about people’s lost bags here started to bother me. Surely they must understand how much thought went into that bag? These people are a long long way from home. It’s so badly organised. It’s so laissez-faire.
I got so angry with the nothing that I decided it was time to try to meditate just to bring my temperature down. All I could do was wait. Might as well wait well. I’m crap at meditating. I sat cross legged before the door, not in anyone’s way. For maybe ten minutes I managed to be still. Then my phone rang and my brain went back into gear so I switched to the old familiar Nam-myo-ho-renge-kyo of the Nichiren society of simplified secular Buddhism. Not loudly mind you, I wasn’t being passive aggressive here, I was trying to remain calm in an increasingly frustrating situation. I chanted at the door, and the people behind it, at the shop I was going to where they HAD to have what I needed or there would be no time to look elsewhere. Another twenty minutes. From walking in before 6 full of optimism because that’s the time I was told, we are now passed 8pm.
I try another tack. The door is busy. It’s a staff door. I smilingly ask everybody going in or out if they are Latam, always as if I expect the answer “yes”. Eventually someone looks momentarily perplexed and says “yes”. I explain the whole situation again. I show him all the paperwork. I even have a letter from a lawyer giving me permission to collect on her behalf as honestly they’ll try anything to avoid just getting the thing.
He photographs it all from my phone and asks me to wait once again. I wait. Then he comes back and actually appears to be the first person I’ve met who appreciates the human side of this lost bag thing. He understands I’m waiting on somebody else’s behalf. He just seems to actually give a fuck. He gives me the bag. We check it against the claim number. It works. I thank him. I hug him a bit. And I’ve got the bag. I don’t think he’s the person I was waiting for. He’s just a good person. The person I was waiting for was likely having a fag after a long shift and phoning their mum.
Shopping and a long drive through darkness gets me to the port just in time to see the tender leaving without me and a call from a PA to tell me that’s what’s happening. There was a VIP on the tender. VIPs don’t wait for bags. So I hung out at midnight at the port with snorting sealions and the bag of a woman I’ve never even met and kinda let myself settle into the fact that, when I’m not at that airport, my slice of Uruguay is a pretty quirky and happy place right now. It’s warm enough in the evening to hang out. The sealions are friendly. I’m a valued team member, capable in my own specific way. The skill of some of the global crew is way above my level, but you learn by doing. On the rare days when I’ve got time to plug into them I probably don’t speed things up much but I upskill myself at an astonishing rate.
Then through these thoughts, the tender showed up. Mark took the bag.
I went to the next hotel to persuade the night porter to help me unload the rest of my cargo. Then… Well I went home to write this to you and sleep. Just an account of the last few hours of a busy day cos it’s freshest in my mind. The rest of the day … you get the gist.
Today I went and sat in a work of art that responds to nature. My day was finished. Sunset was at 7.33 this evening. A few days ago, driving Christine Gutierrez to her hotel, I turned a corner into Punta del Este and she told me about a house on the right as we went in. CasaPueblo. HouseVillage. In Punta Ballena.
It’s the work of a local artist, now deceased, Carlos Páez Vilaró. He was born in Montevideo. He bought this incredible home with a view of the sunset sea. He built unusual whitewashed sculptures and gradually created a remarkable place that responded to nature. His legacy has been to leave it to the Uruguayan government, with the understanding that it stays open to the public. He has a poem to the sunset that he recorded with Spanish guitar. It plays to every sunset, and people come and participate. I had to pay an entry fee and then I wasn’t allowed to sit on the terrace without buying something. So there was no stipulation in the bequest that his art was meant to remain free. This happy-go-lucky country can be happy go lucky because of these taxes and charges everywhere. The Uruguayan government is very very good at extracting taxes, but they give back and it works – because the population is low. At some point the balance will tip to too many people as it always does, but right now there’s opportunity here. It’s too late to buy property unless you’re from here in which case there are workarounds. A lot of the tax is for visitors. If you say it’s a company you pay more. But also I think this whole bureaucracy exists now as a wedge because this place was built on laundered money and they don’t want to be what Rishi wants us to be anymore.
But I paid and sat in a fine seat at Carlos’ old gaff. I looked out over the ocean. The beautiful sun dropped into the sea. The poem played and I found myself thinking about time and about endings. I thought about how happy I am right now, all the way over here. This one -time loner is integrated with a group of humans who are trying to lead change by example in a traditionally dirty industry. I thought about happiness, generally. I thought about my parents today as I watched the sunset. I thought about all the sunsets they saw. I thought about how they both would have severally engaged with this work I’m doing here. Nuts and bolts but in one of dad’s old industries. “The Godfather of Speed”. Ha. And mum would’ve loved the sunset even if she had internalised The Daily Mail enough to worry for my safety in the foreign place. We watched so many sunsets together, holding that hand that is now a ghost of a memory.
Carlos made CasaPueblo into a work of art. He could’ve been robbed or burnt or something. He wasn’t. And this is why we have to make. It still stands and helps pay for the fact I can stagger home tipsy and clutching an expensive phone in South America and still have both my arms and all my money and my phone in the morning. Bad things happen occasionally in the world. But if we don’t risk anything in case something goes wrong we eventually atrophy to bitter little stumps. I’ve seen it.
I watched the sunset. A poem played in Spanish. I understood some of it. I let it wash over and let my own thoughts come in. I wept with joy and loss. I was happy and sad and I knew both deeply. I could not tell you if the tears were joy or grief. They were sunset tears, knowing the losses, knowing the privilege, knowing the luck I’ve made. We all stand between what we have and what we don’t. All we can control is the direction we face.
I was going to post an extract of the sunset poem now. It’s lovely to hear and to read in translation. Like much great poetry it is simple thoughts well expressed. One of the surprises for me is that the poet knew many would weep about the parents and the grandparents that saw other sunsets. As I say, I was going to post… But looking at the internet, sites get taken down for quoting it. There is no way in hell the poet intended his home and work to be turned into a moneymaking exercise, but the safety in this country has to be paid for and this is part of it. If I post an extract some bastard will ask me to pay or cut the blog. It’s not Neruda…
I’ll give you the gist.
Sun. There’s like loads of sun all over the place yeah? Other countries get sun too. It’s leaving us but you know right like other countries will have it still yeah I think um yeah. So like goodbye and all that huh. I mean my parents must have had these feelings too yeah? Like watching you go into the sea and knowing you’ll come back. Cos you always do come back, sun. And we all have eyes and our eyes see things different but the same or something. Great. So there it goes. Sun go now. Bye bye sun. Go Go sun. Sun here now gonegone.
That’ll be 400 pesos. My PayPal is email@example.com.