Friday, 22 October 2021

Overheards 13



In the caff.
It all builds up. "I don’t f***in’ like you," I said. You’re so self-centred. When you have known someone for a long time you kind of go into denial. I’ve got rid of all the people in my life... I have got to get a grip on this.
Very rare that anyone changes. [Gives another example.] He was a workaholic – she was married to a ghost.
What’s 'e banged up for?
Knockin’ er about.
Everybody needs everybody. Keep you up to reality.
I’ve lived ’ere for 70 years – still haven’t got the hang of it.
I’m reduced to being a loner.

There was a lot more of it – the violent “workaholic”, who had five kids with two women, turned out to have another girlfriend and was no more a workaholic than the Man in the Moon. The self-centered friend was always checking his phone (“addicted to the internet”), and talking about going to the gym.

Man shouting into phone: You can’t tell me they moulded the clay and engraved it and baked it and buried it just for someone to find thousands of years later in 2021!

Conversation witnessed today, British tourist at vineyard:
"These vaccination checks everywhere, it's like bloody Nazi Germany"
From elderly German man who overheard,
"No my friend, I can assure you it's really not."

Man in the street shouting “BUT I SHOULD HAVE NO REASON TO SHOUT!!” (@Andr6wMale)
A couple share rice-cakes on the bus.
Man: Nice aren't they?
Woman: No Nathan. I'm sorry. I'm going to stop pretending I like them.

Overheard today at the gatehouse to Highgate East Cemetery, a volunteer explaining, in exasperated tones, to two women who mistook it for Waterlow Park: "No, this is a cemetery ... [sigh] ... it doesn't lead anywhere." (@VictorianLondon)

When the opposite ends of London meet: guy from Arsenal on the bus between Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park. On the phone to his mate: Putney, Wimbledon way. Nah man, it's fuckin' scary. Too many trees. (@Mole_9)

Have just been privileged to witness the most east London moment of my life. Spoken by a woman kayaking frantically down the Regent's canal towards a pedestrian on the towpath:  "Oh my God. Francesca is that you? We met in Goa! At the breath workshop! Remember?" (This sounds incredibly made up but it’s a verbatim quote.) (@j_amesmarriott Of course the parties to the conversation were on Twitter and chipped in to say they were real.)

I had to take the handles off after the Lulu incident. (From FB)

Two oldsters across the way.
Did you go?
Yeah. Did you?
Yeah. What did you think?
Not a lot.
It was like McDonald's with alcohol. I came home.
So did I.
I'll never know.

I did actually overhear one woman at the races in around 2011 wail: ...and we've had to move into the gatehouse!!! (LW)

Woman at the cafe near my flat giving advice to a friend on the phone about honestly Lord knows what: “Make sure your tattoos are covered... wear a polo neck ... and bring some fish.” (@rosalyster)

He's not idiosyncratic, Alex. He's a f***wit. (@rupertg)

Supermarket checkout assistant, handing me 2 slips of paper:
Here you are, love. Your receipt and a random bit of advertising. (@Dymvue)

Woman walking past my window: I wish I had this Bible on that day, because I would have dashed it at her... (@VictorianLondon)

There was a big police raid in South Norwood last week. Overheard: ...that barber's that's always empty, the juice bar by the railway bridge, and the charity shop that's not a charity shop. (@Andr6wMale)

At the community project: The London I grew up in has gone... just little pockets left... places like this. What’s the odds this place was started in the 80s?

In the café: She put a ring on my finger and said “You are going to be my husband and I am going to be Mrs Watkins”.

At the V&A: I can tell you now that Korean inlaid lacquer leaves me cold.

In café, man talking quietly and reasonably to nobody: What do I have to do? Why ain’t I included? I’m asking you, where’s my family? I have often wondered. What do I have to do now?  What do I have to do to be included? How far do I have to go? (Possibly the saddest speech I have ever heard. Feb 2020)

More here, and links to the rest.

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Inspirational Quotes 103: Relationships

Looks don't matter, cultivate inner beauty and anyway women don't need to get married any more now they can have jobs. E
njoy the moment, don’t make plans, don’t compare yourself with others.

They concerned themselves, as people always do, with birth, education, love, marriage, money, property and death. (Stephen Fry on the Regency novels of Georgette Heyer, 2021)

A single man over 30 is a big red flag! Especially with no kids. (SP via FB)

She hadn't met a suitable partner in her 30s... unlike with romantic heartbreaks, there was no promise of eventual redemption. (Hadley Freeman on childless women, (Guardian Sept 2021)

A few days later a couple of our German friends sheepishly announced that they had just got married in secret. Only the two of them in a registry office, with no witnesses other than a city official and their three-year-old daughter. There had been no sudden epiphany of imperishable love; it was just that they’d worked out during lockdown that getting hitched would save them about €300 a month in taxes. (Oliver Moody, Times Aug 2021)

At the age of 37 felt he was staring down the barrel of a lonely bachelor life. (

Until the 1990s it was common for hormone treatment to be offered to girls to limit their adult height. It was felt that girls who were "too tall" would be unhappy and would never get married... One classic reason for families wanting their girls to reach a shorter adult height has been that parents were worried their daughter might never marry. But the US study also found that height made little difference. Even the tallest women were likely to be in a relationship. (, paraphrase)

The young woman’s burden is always wanting to be liked. (Carol Midgley)

There is no one there to converse with, to build with, to make memories with. There is no one there to listen when you need it the most. You feel abandoned and forgotten. (Birdstreamphotos on being single)

Musa Okwonga “was embarrassed at how his penurious life as a single writer nudging 40 compared with his fellow alumni, by then wealthy executives with houses and families.” (Guardian 2021)


Peg Bracken writes about a friend who couldn’t be bothered “setting” her hair all the time (as all women did in the 50s), and just let it grow. Bracken adds that she has grown a different personality to go with it.

I know a lady who – if she could dress the way she’d really like to – would wear nothing but gypsy clothes: full swinging satin skirts, bare legs, high heels, bracelets to her armpits, and a sleazy chiffon blouse. But she knows as well as you do how fast she’d get kicked out of the Parent-Teachers’ Association.
(Peg Bracken, I Hate to Housekeep)

At my school there were popular kids in every activity, the thing that made them all hang out with each other was wealth first, then attractiveness.

Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart. (Kahlil Gibran)

Now that I’m in good shape, people offer to carry my groceries to the car and hold doors open. (Rebel Wilson)

Men have only one criterion for judging partners on Tindr: how attractive the woman is. (Times 2021-02-10)

I know someone who once showed up for an interview dressed in orange and green. This type of behavior verges on self-sabotage. (Psychology Today)

In Barbara Amiel’s recent memoir (Dec 2020) she says she had a disastrous nose job when young. “I was an ugly girl. Nobody held the door for me, nobody asked me out.” Her nose was eventually rebuilt using bone from her hip.

Chris looked different from other kids. Would he be able to make friends? (Anne Reinking on her son, who has Marfan syndrome.)

Six out of ten jobseekers thought their looks would hold them back. (Times 2020-11-30)

More here, and links to the rest.