The blue snake was the belt I wore round my Gi after passing Fourth-Kyu grading exams in Wado-Ryu Karate. After this I moved to a new job and had to abandon training…
Journal Entry, 13 Feb ’13:
Well, it’s 2013, the Chinese Year of the Snake. About twenty years ago I briefly shared a house with a landlord who kept a pet snake (called Sid), a four-foot long Royal Python who spent all his time curled up asleep like a heap of bronze chain-mail discarded by some Medieval Princess.
Journal Entry, 22 Mar ’92:
Well, last Sunday went to Dad’s and then on Mon morning went off to Small Heath to start work at Carrs. Too late I checked my letter and realised I should have gone to West Heath instead. When I eventually arrived there I was asked for my P45, which I didn’t have.
Was introduced to the Chief Accountant; ‘Which company have you come from, then?’ he asked, under the impression that I had been poached from a rival firm. When I explained that I had been a full-time student he was very dubious…
Went to Jester and spotted an ad on the notice-board for a room to rent in Ward End, so I rang up and went to look at it. Following night went back to pay a deposit, and the landlord introduced me to Sid, his pet python.
Journal Entry, 11 Jun ’92:
Today at work had a phone call from James G inviting me to his birthday party on 25 July. Alas! I cried, no can do; I’ve been invited to Julie’s wedding that day.
Last night Sid was very restless so we took his gerbil out of the freezer and popped it in the microwave so it would be more appetising and lifelike. Unfortunately it stank the kitchen out.
Yesterday at work had great clap of thunder – I thought one of the barrels had exploded – and there was a tremendous deluge.
Journal Entry, 26 Jul ’92:
Before the service the vicar explained to us that it was a wedding, not a funeral, so could we all move up to the front and try to look happy? Anyway, in came Julie on her Father’s arm preceded and followed by bridesmaids in peach. (Or was it shrimp?)
The service went okay until Julie came to giving her vows, when she dissolved into high-pitched tears (along with one of the bridesmaids and half the congregation). It was deeply moving, and when the vicar had calmed her down he looked up at us and said ‘She’s really very happy under there’ which dispelled the tension.
Journal Entry, 3 Aug ’92:
Of course, when Mr D returned on Wednesday night sans keys, he was accompanied by Ivan the Terrible. Yesterday I was lying in bed recovering from Saturday night when Mr D came into the room with Sid, who he popped under my duvet. I remarked that he felt cold, and he lay there enjoying the warmth of my mattress until I suddenly realised that he hadn’t been fed for two weeks…
Anyway, off we went to the Fountain to meet John and Ed; Mr D turned up later with Erica and Joan, while I went off to Partners to meet Craig and give him his love-letter from Malcolm.
This morning arrived at work to be told by the doorman ‘Try not to be too jovial today’, and eventually it turned out that one of the workers had died while working at the weekend.
Journal Entry, 30 Aug ’92:
Last week had a phone call from Geoff C saying that Craig (on hols in the USA) had sent me a postcard, but unfortunately to the wrong address. So I went up the road to number 44 and asked the nice elderly couple if they had received any post for me. ‘Yes, of course’ they said, and handed over a postcard showing a line of a dozen nude men on a beach flaunting their arses.
Anyway, who is the Alien? Is it Ellen Ripley entering the all-male world of the prison planet? Or when she finds the egg colony during part 2? And is she a criminal herself when she condemns the Alien to total extinction? In part 3, all the people are ugly – bald, scarred, dirty – while the Alien is quite glamorous, being agile, shiny and black.