The displacement effect, or: How I lost 6 Oyster cards in 2 months

I’ve been meaning to write this one for a while. Read on and you’ll probably figure out why it’s taken me until now to get around to it…

Here are some facts:

  1. In January, I started an awesome new job at Coney
  2. In the months of January to March 2018, I lost a total of six Oyster cards
  3. I suffer from what’s probably best described as moderate clinical anxiety

I have a little theory that links those facts together. But first, let me expand on each one.

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F*ck February: A few reasons the shortest month is the worst

WARNING: RANT AHEAD

I do not like the month of February, when everything is dead. And now that February itself is gone (for this year, at least) I’m going to speak ill of it. I’m also going to complain about the weather, and grumble about public transport, and generally whinge and mope. If you’re looking for something uplifting, I suggest you skip this one…

So, for you hardcore miseryguts who’ve stuck around past that preamble of woe, here are a few of the many reasons February is a pile of crap. There are seven of them, because that’s my least favourite number. *Flounces out of the metaphorical room*.

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#Adulting: the perks of being a grownup

Hello there. Happy New(ish) Year! This is just a quick ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ to get me back into the whole writing thing, but I’m going to find time in my busy busy schedule for some cartoons just as soon as possible. Continue to watch this space.

Here are some facts.

  • I live in a flat in London, to which I only sometimes lose the keys
  • I have a full time job (a new one, which is great by the way)
  • I pay taxes
  • I have conversations about spreadsheets on an alarmingly regular basis
  • I manage OK on the whole paying-bills, keeping-appointments, cleaning-and-tidying front
  • I get my five a day and take vitamin supplements
  • In recent times, I’ve actually been known to get excited about vegetables

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The 12 days of Christmas 1: Mystery Meat

Merry Christmas! I’d like to clarify right from the beginning that I am not, I repeat not, promising to do twelve of these posts. I’ve learnt from previous years not to hang that kind of millstone around my own neck again – I have sleep to catch up on, thank you very much, and I don’t fancy being lambasted by Archers fans again. But in the spirit of Christmas, I’ve decided to generously gift my hordes of fans just one cartoon. Or maybe two or three, if you ask really nicely… Merry Christmas. 

This year, I’ve been trying to eat less meat. I’m some way off going full veggie – I just don’t have the willpower – but I’ve been leaning more towards pulses than poultry. The main motivation for this is environmental; like many, I’ve been experiencing a growing sense of guilt and existential dread, thanks to all those videos of starving polar bears, forest fires, dwindling wildlife populations and, most crushingly of all, David Attenborough’s deep disappointment in humanity as a species.

Despite all this, I’m letting my half-hearted ethics fall by the wayside for a couple of weeks, Pam-from-Gavin-and-Stacey style. After all, Christmas is not a time for thinking about your fellow creatures. In fact, in the Lyster household, Christmas is mainly a time for eating your fellow creatures in copious quantities. Our house is full of meat. It’s a carnivore’s paradise. There’s no room for beer in the fridge because it’s full of bacon and sausages. I’m reliably informed that the freezer contains ‘the best part of a deer’. And then there’s the centrepiece of our Christmas dinner.

I’m a fan of turkey. I don’t understand the complaint that it’s a dry, flavourless version of chicken – I think it’s succulent and delicious. Nothing makes me happier than living exclusively off turkey sandwiches in the week between Christmas and New Year. My parents, on the other hand, are somewhat indifferent to this fine fowl, so our Christmas dinners are often a touch unconventional. In the past there’s been goose, venison, beef wellington, and on one memorable occasion, a raised game pie.

Nearly all of these meaty masterpieces are the doing of my father, who likes to channel the banqueting spirit of Henry VIII. And this year, Dad has surpassed himself. Right now, filling the entire oven, mid-way through its six-hour roasting time, is a terrifying creation that has become known as The Beast. It’s a multi-bird monstrosity: a turkey, stuffed with a duck, a chicken, several pheasants and a pigeon. It’s the size of a house. It weighs as much as a toddler. Those are going to be some sandwiches…

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True(ish) Facts About London

In case you weren’t already aware, in January I became an inhabitant of That London. This is a very different living situation from the wilds of Herefordshire, but it’s generally proving pleasanter than I had expected. Cheap art and easily available friends are a good consolation for the constant lack of time and money, even if they don’t help much with the oversupply of diesel fumes.

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Rowan Recommends: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead

Thanks to Kate, who follows some excellent mailing lists, I managed to get a cheap ticket to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the Old Vic theatre on Thursday night, the same day it was broadcast as a National Theatre Live showing. The play is basically an Absurd take on Hamlet, and it’s very entertaining. You can still catch a repeat of the NT screening, so read on for why you should see it (or, if you’re so inclined, why you shouldn’t). 

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