Here comes summer… There goes summer

Well, that’s about all I need to say, really.

‘Bye!

Joking.

Massive apologies for the absence. I’ve been cloud-chasing. An occupational necessity when you’re a vampire.  I’ve probably already mentioned this before, but sun doesn’t affect vampires the way you see in the movies. They don’t go ‘boof!’ into a readily cleaned up pile of dust when hit by the sun (any other vamps out there, please feel free to disagree. No, wait… you can’t…).

I’ll tell you want happens. The moment the sun hits you, you feel all your energy desert you. Ever picked a sponge up from a bucket of water and watched the water simply pour out of it? Sponge = me. Water = energy. Hand = er, not sure. Could be the sun… Okay. I’ll stop that analogy right there. And it was going so well too.

The turning into dust thing is just a very handy plot device so that Van Helsing / Buffy / Blade don’t have a landfill-worth of skewered bodies to explain to the local constabulary. Nothing more. Plus it gives the excuse for some really cool SFX.

Now, normally I’d still be gone, but I’m kind of stuck here at the moment, due to a little mishap with my travelling papers. Or, as you call them in this century, my passport. I blame the Referendum. Remember that? A couple of months back everyone in this country voted whether or not we still wanted to be part of the European Union (no, don’t worry, I don’t do politics). I think it might have been more of a bluff by one of the main politicians to prove to all his mates that the country loved him bestest and it kind of blew up in his face, and everyone ran around chewing the furniture and horribly over-reacting. Sadly, some people did get burned over the whole affair. Badly. I just don’t understand you humans sometimes.

And I ended up needing a new passport.

I went to the post office the day after and announced to the rather nervous young man behind the desk that I needed to replace my passport. The look on his face was one of “Oh $*[&! I really don’t want to get involved in this!”.  I imagine if his boss had asked him to perform a rectal exam on a diarrhetic camel and sorry, they’d run out of rubber gloves, the expression would have been pretty much the same. But I got my form, took it home and had the mandatory humiliatingly appalling photos taken (yes, I do show up in pictures and video).

I filled it in, got it checked, sent it off. A whole three weeks later (with about two to go before I needed to travel!), I got a form asking me why it needed replacing. Which begs two questions.

  1. If you knew you needed to know that, why didn’t you just put a question in the relevant section of the application form?
  2. Three weeks? Seriously? It took that long to ask? Three weeks?

All that done, I sat back and waited. And waited. Panic… Thankfully, the department that deals with such things has discovered the recent delights of text messaging, which wonderfully allayed my fears while I awaited my precious. Which turned out to be an extremely short time in the end. Bravo.

Then they delivered it. Special delivery. Oh yes.

And I wasn’t in.

Typical.

But they did leave a lovely little card.  And I can tell you, the delivery service was so fast, the card was actually dated the following day! That’s right. The card was delivered on the 4th, but dated the 5th. Now that’s speed for you. So I rearranged delivery. I was given the delightfully concise window of between 9am and 5pm on my chosen day. Because as a vampire, naturally I have nothing to do all day but stay indoors. Actually…

Anyway.

I was warned in the email that I would need to show identification. Luckily the lovely delivery guy didn’t press me for such stuff. Which was just as well, because the only possible i.d. I would have had was…

The passport.

So. To explain the young post office man’s apprehension. What did happen to my passport? I think he assumed my need was something to do with the Referendum result. It wasn’t.

Simply put, this is why I needed to replace my passport.

On the night of the Referendum, I decided to combine going to vote (yes, vampires can vote. We’re very modern like that) with a nice run. And it was raining. Even better. I love running in the rain. Having misplaced my voting card, I took my passport along as identification, should it be needed. It wasn’t. I got soaked. Soaked to the skin. Literally. E.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. got wet.

But that wasn’t what killed my passport. Oh no.

That happened when I got home.

And I decided to put my wringing wet running kit into the washing machine.

And switched it on.

Without checking my pockets.

If only the myths about us were true. Sometimes I think it’d actually be quite useful to turn into a bat. I bet bats don’t need passports…

 


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I mean, why not?

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Bats, breakages and bodices

So! You’ve made it this far. Good. Welcome back.

About that bat-like vision I mentioned last time… It’s made me exceptionally clumsy… I walk into walls, I trip over my own feet (which is a talent in itself – I have teeny feet) and of course, stairs look flat to me. And escalators! Don’t get me started!

But then – clouds and silver linings… there is the advantage of advanced healing. No, wounds do not instantly close up like they do in the films. That would just be creepy. All righty… I’ll tell you more about this later but there are several incidents of this happening. When I wrecked my ankle and broke a finger. When I lacerated my face and broke a rib. And the first really notable event was in my teens, when I fell off the bike, hit a hedge, cracked my skull, lacerated my scalp (practically scalping myself) and broke a collarbone. Injuries heal up roughly 3 to 4 times faster than normal.

Funnily (Do I mean ‘funnily’?) enough, two of those three incidents happened because the sunlight was in my eyes and I couldn’t see. The other one happened because of the rain…

More about that another time.

You want gruesome details? You’ll have them, I promise.

Illnesses, viruses and the like, when they do catch up with me, are liable to either go unnoticed or have the impact of a mild chill. Heck, I even went to work with Swine Flu and carried on working. I didn’t even realise I had it… Bad. I just thought I was a bit coldy….

If you’re interested, I can share some of my secrets… things that anyone can do. But you’ll have to ask nicely.

Did I get picked on at school? Of course I did. I always stuck out from the crowd a little bit. Hey, even the nerds picked on me. I was too white, too blonde, I had crooked fingers, I had a big nose (“Concorde”, anyone?), I sounded funny, I had a weird accent, I spoke a strange guttural language (no, nothing outrageous, just Welsh), and of course the sensitivity to sunlight, coupled with those teeth.

But I think the thing that made me stand out more than anything else, and made me most ‘deserving’ of everyone’s suspicions and antipathy was the fact that I was more intelligent than the lot of them put together. Sorry if that sounds a bit arrogant. But that’s how it felt at the time. Reading at 3, writing sonnets at 4, reading (and understanding) Shakespeare when my classmates were still working out which end of the crayon was best for stabbing people with…

I was determined not to go to nursery school. I was holding out for Big School.   So, at the grand old age of 5 years and 2 months, I turned up: a poodle-haired moppet in sensible shoes and a coat 2 sizes too big. And a liberty bodice. Dang those things! They were supposed to be a comfortable, fleecy alternative to a vest that originally started off in the 19th century as an alternative to the corset. I’d have rather had the corset any day. Actually, I have something of a penchant for corsets. Oops, off on a tangent…

Anyway, this liberty bodice must have been made of inch-thick roofing felt which I was strapped into every day, like some kind of infant body armour. I was barely able to lower my arms due to its thickness. I had to walk around with this perpetual tough-guy gait, looking like I was looking for a fight.

Luckily for me, I found plenty!

 


Follow me on Twitter @EverydayVampire