Its very early morning and quite blustery today in Perth, not
an ill wind of change but a friendly, warm breeze of opportunity,
the sort that would be really good for drying clothes in, not big,
thick wool clothes obviously but excellent for cotton, nylon and socks.
Barrack Square is getting ready for a full-on auction of Salopian
memorabilia. Up for grabs are some signed (by me) postcards and polaroids
of Moreton Say, a little snowstorm from Oswestry, my sunglasses, a
packet of Polos (I bought them in Shropshire but Id be the first
to admit the link is tenuous) and me.
stage platform is being set up and the MC I hired has just arrived.
met the MC before now and it seems to me his advert was a little
misleading. I booked "Crazy Mick - Perths most dynamic,
bombastic, happening master of ceremonies. Perfect for all your
major events, receptions, auctions, parties and functions. "
Micks real name is Cyril who looks a little bit like David
Dickinson might if he really let himself go. He is mahogany, 53,
overweight, balding and admits this is his first ever gig. He does
look the part in his mauve rhinestone jump-suit though.
is auctioning the snowstorm now. It would be an exaggeration to
say that things are going spectacularly well. No one has actually
bid on anything yet, the postcards and polaroids failed to fire
up the enthusiasm of any bargain hunters, though a small crowd has
just bought the snowstorm, there was a minor bidding war, one man
bid $1, then someone else bid $1.50, then the first man came back
with a bid of $1.75 which proved too rich for the other bidder and
won the auction. Exciting stuff.
are really hotting up now, the Polos attracted seven bids and finished
at $18.00, they must be hard to get hold of here or something. I
hope no one notices I ate one and folded the silver foil back over.
Im up for auction next, whoever wins gets my exclusive services
for three whole days and nights, I hope someone nice wins.
a bit nervous now; Crazy Mick just introduced me as "a lot for
the ladies, Shropshires answer to Mel Gibson, the original Crocodile
hunter, Morris Telford." I have to go now and sell myself.
This is the first time Ive had chance to type anything since
the auction ended.
apparently, worth $17.50
for three days and three nights of Morris Telford. I wouldnt
mind so much, but the Polos sold for more than I did.
Still, fate has once again smiled on me, the auction was won by
a man called Chip Roland who looks a bit like an young Todd Carty,
just after he left Grange Hill but before he got Aids. Chip owns
a stationary supplies company ("Chips Clips, Paper and
Staplers, Perth WA") and I am once again up to my elbows office
paraphernalia, no one could be happier at such a fortuitous outcome.
Except possibly Chip who has employed an experienced office consumables
clerk for less than six dollars a day.
yesterday morning and immediately set about reorganising the stock
allocation and ordering process so that it conforms to a more modern,
indexed system. I felt almost guilty enjoying it so much, sat surrounded
by box upon box of poorly organised stationary supplies, its
like a little holiday. Would you believe I actually found a box
of the pre-code banner twist file ringlets?
work finished at seven, Chip took me home with him. On reflection
I was leaving myself open for abuse by pledging 24-hour days, but
Im a man of my word so I went home with Chip and it wasnt
so bad. He did make me wear a giant teddy bear suit and kept me
up most of the night making me sing Waltzing Matilda while he stapled
pictures of his ex-wife to the furniture. Chip cried himself to
sleep at about 6am so I left him to sleep and got back to work at
the stationary suppliers. I changed out of the teddy suit first.
is day 100 of my Salopian Opus. A centenary of sacrifice, a milestone
of personal triumph and a red-letter day for all lovers of Shropshire.
I suspect the streets of Moreton Say are ringing with the cries
of rejoicing and celebration, thats probably why no-one answered
when I called home, they are all busy doing parades and waving flags
and things like that.
postcards and polaroids that didnt sell at auction are being
put to good use; Im slipping one into each order that is dispatched
from Chips company, spreading a little Shropshire goodness
along with the paperclips.
I worked for Mr Magson I used to put signed photos of myself in
any stationary orders I was particularly proud of but he made me
stop it. No one appreciates professional pride anymore.
have to stop typing, Chip has arrived.
Last night after work, Chip made me paint his house, unblock his drains
and cut his hair.
opened up a bit while I cut his hair, apparently his wife Sheila
left him last year and he never really got over it. He seemed to
love her very much.
a long chat with him, tried to explain to him how important it is
to move on, start a new chapter of his life, perhaps move to Shropshire,
I think it really helped him having someone to talk to. After I
cut his hair he made me wear one of Sheilas old dresses while
I read to him. He couldnt decide what he wanted me to read,
so I chose the 2003 Stationary Supplies Catalogue of Western Australia
and read through the pages of new stock items. Chip fell asleep
about halfway through the desk diaries on page 57, but I kept on
reading anyway until the sun came up.
I changed back into my own clothes while Chip slept on and opened
the business up for him. He called me just now and thanked me, its
the first full nights sleep he has had since his wife left.
I hope Chip will be able to cope without me.
Last night was my last night of auction servitude, Ive not had
much sleep for three days and Im going to check into a hotel
left Chips stationary business in better order than it has
ever been, Im not sure that Chip himself is much better though.
I kept telling him that if he only relocated to Shropshire he would
be much happier, he was foolishly sceptical about moving to Shropshire
being a panacea, how little he knows of the deep happiness you enjoy
just by being in Englands finest county (Shropshire, not Devon).
is deeply unhappy and uses the business as an excuse for staying
as he is, Im very worried about him.
actually got a bit out of hand last night with Chip, suffice to say
I had to use an industrial staple gun to protect my virtue. I shant
be auctioning myself again.
Ive just seen this on the Morris Telford BBC messageboard -
am sure that your feet will be thanking you for every step in your
pilgrimage towards the Holy Grail of bingo halls, on golden sands
of beautiful Perth.
address of The Biggest Bingo Centre is 496 Guildford Rd Bayswater...I
only hope this message reaches you in time. "
Today I shall play Bingo like never before.
Biggest Bingo Centre stands on Guildford Rd like a radiant bastion
of pure joy. Inside the air is thick with warm love and the nostril-arousing
aroma of freshly opened bingo markers. After the past few days I
think I deserve a little self-indulgence, I intend to play until
my arms go numb and my eyes bleed.
to popular opinion, Bingo, like life, is not about winning; its
all about the journey. The chair you sit in, the tone and performance
of the caller, the marker you use, the type of grid your numbers
are in; any one of these factors can totally change the bingo playing
moment you walk into the Bingo Hall a galaxy of possibilities open
up before you. Who will you sit next to? How many cards will you
play simultaneously? What colour maker will you use? Is the method
used to select the numbers a genuinely random system? Can you hold
out to the end of the game before going to the toilet? All these
exciting forks in the Bingo road are just as important as "will
all this, I did scream like a banshee when I won $132,568.28 just
now in the national game. Bingo, like life, rewards people at random.
Ive put my winnings to good use, Ive bought Chips
Clips, Paper and Staplers, Perth WA. Its always been a dream
of mine to own my own stationary company, and now I do. I gave Chip
a one-way airline ticket to the UK and directions to my old home in
Moreton Say, my bedroom is free now that Toby has moved in with Sophia
and Im sure Mother wont mind if Chip stays with her for
I hastily assembled a ragtag fleet of jobless, homeless and in a
couple of cases hairless people to run the office supplies business
for me. Once the twinkling magnificence of stationary ordering grabs
them Im sure the business will thrive in my absence.
called the Filthy Mug and Im going to have Meat brought up
to Perth to help run the business. Once he learns to speak Im
sure he will make an excellent stationary operative.
I would like to settle here and run Morris Telfords Clips, Paper
and Staplers, Perth WA, I have a greater calling to attend to and
must once again forsake the lure of the paperclip.
My new team get to keep all the profits; the only stipulation I make
is that all orders sent out have a free Ordinance Survey Map of Shropshire
sent with them, with a little red ring around the location of Moreton
Say. Soon every office in Western Australia will know where Moreton
After my time with Chip I feel ready for a change, Ive been
thinking about where to go next and saw that Deuan Jones had been
thinking about the same thing on the message board -
been wondering where on earth Morris would go next - which part
of the planet most needs his unique touch, which harbours the most
urgent problems, and then I'm sure I spotted him the other day in
Amsterdam! I do hope he deals with that dreadful 'dance music' everybody
seems to be into here, and maybe takes home some of the embarrassing
British who have defused over here!"
that wasnt me, Ive never been to Amsterdam, its
not a bad idea though. I was thinking of going to Devon and proving
to myself just how wrong Country Life really were, but if Amsterdam
is where I am needed, then that is where I shall go. Im very
sorry to hear about the dance music and that some British people
are being embarrassing, you have to remember that not all British
people come from Shropshire. Ill pop over and see what I can
they speak English in Amsterdam? I do hope so. Ill admit I
know absolutely nothing about Amsterdam. Except, of course, that
it wont be half as nice as Shropshire.