i got back an hour ago and they still hurt. plus i have chafing in a sensitive area.
a busy day all round. i was determined to get some curtains so wandered to what i thought was a run down retail park but found myself in portsmouth’s dirt mall instead. couldn’t find the place so walked around looking (and found a butcher – actually i found another one further away, yesterday but i’ll post about that tomorrow) and asked for directions. i was pointed to a little shop selling home furnishings when my phone rang. it was hsbc.
i’m always cautious when they call, ask me to confirm something (“no – you tell me my sort code” etc). this guy ‘fel’ (his name) was calling from the collection agency because i bounced a cheque and i’m overdrawn. “i know” i said. “i called you on tuesday to let you know that i would be transferring money from another account so don’t charge me any fees please”. he didn’t seem to understand and ending up asking “how can we be sure that you have transferred the money”. it was a 10min call and after about 5 mins i’d had enough of this a-hole and asked to speak to his supervisor. he wouldn’t transfer me and kept asking the same questions (“can you pay the full overdraft now” “when are you going to get the money” “how much more money can you transfer” etc). by this point i was stonewalling and kept asking to speak to the supervisor. after the 5th time of me saying this and ‘fel’ saying he could deal with it, i asked to make a complaint (because he refused to tell me under what conditions he could transfer me to a supervisor). again he refused but said if i wanted to make a complaint i could phone the banking service (bearing in mind hsbc was calling me) or go to a local branch. i hung up after saying “i’ve asked you to transfer me to your supervisor a number of times, you haven’t, i’ve explained my reasons so i’m now terminating the call”.
i felt sorry for the little old lady whose shop i happened to have this conversation in (me pacing up and down, making annoyed faces) but apologised and explained what had happened. having worked in complaints, call centres et al, i know the routine. never – raise your voice. never -swear. be polite and calm otherwise you get labelled as abusive and they won’t help (or at least i never did when people called like that).
after being embarrassed by the little old lady after she tried to tell me a number of times ‘how buying curtains works’ i took my purchase to the till. i picked out curtain lining apparently, but it’s white, keeps out the sun, and cost £30 (credit card).
so off i went into the dirt mall asking for directions to hsbc. tucked away behind some scaffolding i sweated waiting for ‘donna’ to come and talk to me. she was quite nice, gave me a class of cool water and we chatted about what had happened. on her computer she could see the money i was transferring and apologised for the call. i asked for someone to call me back after listening to it, just to make sure ‘fel’ was as big a douche as i thought.
i got back for lunch and started a new game of fallout 3 (in which i killed the entire first town you come to) then felt i should go outside since it was still sunny. i packed a book, camera and sunglasses and began to chase a pavement. i walked a fucking long way, as far as i could go and then turned around. it took about 2.5 hours and the return leg was me saying to myself (“never give up, never surrender” – being surrounded by ww2 stuff puts the churchill in me and the pain was getting worse every step). along the journey, which was lovely, i passed and re-passed joggers doing the same route, a minimal acknowledgement of recognition by a few, but mainly it was busy with kids, families and couples playing in the sea and taking in the attractions of southsea. the further i walked the less crowded it became and soon enough the pavement had run out. but i went onto the pebbled beach with the dog walkers and kite flyers. i passed them and saw a group of people right at the end of the beach so thought “i’ve come this far, may as well keep going”.
and then something weird happened. in my sweaty vision i rounded a big boulder and saw a bloke in his 30’s, bollock naked, sunbathing a few feet away from me, looking at me (he was ass up). i did what i assume most would, veered off sharply and looked in any direction but his. i carried on, thinking that was a bit weird (there were kids not that far away) and focussed on the path ahead. then i saw a man in his 60’s, naked – balls up. and another -standing up. i saw about 10 cocks in the space of as many seconds as my head turned wildly trying to find a safe place to look. i thought about carrying on but the thought of staring directly at the ground as i walked through sunburnt cock ‘n’ balls didn’t seem that enjoyable, so i turned around and walked away. i felt sad that the whole time i had been walking, i had been walking toward wrinkly balls, so my expression dropped and i made a mental note not to go back. thinking about it as i walked away, i didn’t see tits, so i either wandered into the gay nude beach, or it’s just a regular unofficial nude beach but the women were scared off.
x marks the spot if you’re curious.