Tuesday, 2 October 2007

No shepherd and no bush

So, it took me two weeks to put the BBC texts I had to translate through Babelfish, sentence by sentence, sometimes word by word. It was horrendously slow but it was very rewarding and, thanks to this new – and much more accurate – way of translating, I managed to meet my very short deadline – again (see More of the same below). Now, after taking a few days off, I’ve resumed my daily struggle with the big book I have to do for next year. I can’t Babelfish it, though: it’s much too long. Shame.

Anyway, I walked down to Hammersmith, the other day: I thought I might celebrate my new-found semi-freedom by buying some tat in TK Maxx, as is my wont. On the way, I encountered a big fridge, plonked in the middle of the pavement. It looked familiar – probably the same one I’d seen on that very same spot several days earlier. A couple of B&Bs along Shepherd’s Bush Road are being refurbished and their front gardens look like enormous skips. On the way back, I pinched a nice piece of new carpeting to use as a doormat sometime in the future. With the amount of stuff they’d chucked out I could in fact have re-carpeted my entire flat. I’m a bit of a scavenger, me. The fridge wasn’t in working order, unfortunately, otherwise I might have taken it too – it was still there.

Apart from that fridge and the lengths of carpet and underlay, I also saw one of those pathetic LOST notices that desperate pet owners pin on trees. That one was particularly heartbreaking: a cute five-month-old puppy had been taken from his owner under threat, in Notting Hill Gate. The fact that the guy was now looking for him in my neighbourhood showed that he obviously thought the villains who’d committed such a horrid deed couldn’t possibly live in upmarket NHG. Yeah, right! Like it’s not full of drug addicts and rogues of all kinds – and I’m just talking about the denizens of NHG who gather at the posh Electric Brasserie...

Still, he’s not the one who deserves to be slapped, obviously, poor man. Losing a pet is bad enough, but having to give it away yourself to criminals must be unbearable. Who would put someone through this kind of ordeal? And for what? Money?



  1. I'm glad that you've finished your project, and on time. Good job.

    It's amazing what gets thrown out, isn't it?

    Stealing animals is a new one to me. I'm sure it happens here, but I just haven't heard about it. Amazing that someone would take an animal right from the owner! I'm surprised that it isn't easier to just take one that's out in a yard unattended.

  2. Glad the job is completed - hope the next one comes along soon.

    Since you started the blog mentioning the BBC I just wanted to point out that they are at last repeating House of Cards - on BBC4, starting this coming Sunday evening.

    And about time too!

  3. Central London - no yards, right, Bela?

    I wonder what your flat would like like carpeted with an assortment of different bits of flooring!

  4. I am certain that your TKMaxx exists in a parallel dimension to mine.

    How awful about the puppy. That's horrific.

  5. Nostalgic memories...

    In my BBC days, I often used to ponder on Shepherds Bush and speculate about how it might have looked in the days when there were, presumably, shepherds watching over their bushes by night...

    Strange how only the names remain to haunt places long changed out of all recognition...

  6. Thanks, TLP. The rush I get when I meet my deadlines is great, but I wouldn’t mind the deadlines being a tiny bit longer.

    I hate waste more than anything. There is no excuse for it. It’s just as well I have a tiny flat... you can furnish an entire house with what gets thrown out in ‘affluent’ areas.

    Stealing animals is a lucrative business here, I believe. I think the puppy in question was a rare breed (can’t remember what it was). And, as Lulu points out, there are no yards in Central London and a dog needs to be walked late in the evening so the risks of getting it stolen are quite high. If you’re going to get a pet get a boring, ordinary one, not a ‘desirable’ one.

    LH, thanks. I'm already working on a longer project at the moment.

    I don’t have BBC4, unfortunately. I really wished I had when they repeated Private Schultz. I have the very last episode of House of Cards on tape. I probably will buy the DVD in the future. Hope you’re enjoying it. :-)

    L, indeed, no yards.

    My flat would look, er, original and ‘busy’ – visually. I already have a largish piece of carpet on top of a very old, scratched fitted one. It’s nice; the colour matches my small armchair. My pussycat used to love rolling around on several layers of carpet. My next one – where is she? – will too, I expect.

    GSE, I know it does. What would be nice would be for me not to be somehow made to feel responsible for the failings of yours. :-)

    I knew you would be horrified if you read this. What I didn’t mention in my post was that I cried when I saw that notice. It stayed with me all evening and I still get tears in my eyes whenever I think about it (like right now). Awful!

    B, sorry I haven’t visited you for a while. Hey, congratulations, btw! :-)

    It’s such a disappointment to be living in a place called Shepherds Bush that is so dull-looking. I’m sure it must have been lovely in the old days. Sheep are cute. Meeeh! (I watched all the repeats of Shaun the Sheep on BBC1 recently. Can’t get enough of Nick Park’s work.)

    My last address in Paris was Rue de la Pierre-Levée: there was no standing stone there either. :-(


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