Paul Wandason has been alive since 1970 and spends most of his time trying to stay that way.
He was born in London and for reasons not yet understood, wound up living in Holland. He lives with his wife and two daughters, terrified of the threat of tri-fold synchronised pre-menstrual tension, as well as potential threats from each of his daughter’s heavily tattooed boyfriends who have more studs than a horse farm in Ascot, piercings than an acupuncture training college in Glastonbury and more ink than an average adult octopus.
In fact Stubby, the youngest’s boyfriend, tried showing his affection for her with a dedicated poem written in his own blood – except that he didn’t have any. What he did have was ink. Once the alcohol had evaporated, the scratched handwriting read, in clear Indian blue:
“Roses are red
so is my blood,
compared to you
everything is crud.”
It didn’t look very impressive, but neither did the poem (or the handwriting) so it was par for the course really.
A marine scientist by profession, Paul works in an office in Holland, wondering what bizarre sequence of events it was which brought him to a country where stamping around in over-sized wooden shoes and bright orange T-shirts is considered normal. When the sun has set and the orange T-shirts have been clomped inside by their owners, Paul likes to spend time outside looking at the stars and other wonders of the universe.
He feels lost in awe at the vastness of space and time; but also safe. Safe in the knowledge that he is beyond the reach of PMS related issues, and the misnomer of his wife and daughters’ stand in their toilet seat anti-verticalism; trees are bad for astronomy, but good for when you’re caught short.
Paul suspects that the heavily studded, pierced and tattooed would-be boyfriends also like it when he spends time standing outside in the middle of the garden on his own and in the dark. Sometimes, he doesn’t feel quite so safe. Octopi do most of their hunting in the dark.
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