To the person who stole my bag from the Sun in Splendour, W11:
You, sir or madam, are a total ****ing ****. Please, don’t be misled by the asterisks. It is neither modesty nor concern for minors that compels me to adorn my usually fruity prose with this stellar embellishment: it’s simply that there aren’t swear words sufficient, in volume or calibre, to express the full extent of my feelings towards you. Ire is just the ****ing start of it. I hereby list the reasons why you are a total *****ing *****jockey.
1. For a crack addict, you’re a sneaky ****. At around 19.00, I moved my bag from its relatively exposed position beside my chair to a much narrower space between my foot and the table leg. At 19.15, I looked down and it was gone. Steffi, facing me, saw nothing. Vicky, to my right, saw nothing. I, despite the fact that at some point your head had evidently been inches from my ****ing crotch, saw and felt **** all. The barman suggested that you may have been working as part of a pair. Your ****face partner is evidently an unsociable ****er: we weren’t engaged in conversation, spilt drinks over, or chatted up by anyone. You nimble ****munches.
2. You have ****ing awful judgement. With the pick of all the shiny leather satchels, branded backpacks, patent clutches and designer handbags that Notting Hill affords, you chose to ****ing thieve my ****ing bag. I bought my bag for £30 when I was in Glastonbury with my then boyfriend in the summer of 2007. It’s made of grey hemp (now patchily discoloured and stained with myriad mystery fluids), adorned with a battered, slightly embarrassing and increasingly irrelevant bisexual pride badge and sports many deeply unfashionable, though functional, zips. It is, however, my most useful bag; carrying not only my valuables but the many happy memories of the places I’ve taken it to. It has taken me everywhere: parties, festivals, workplaces. **** me, it even made it to the other side of the world and back without incident or molestation. And now some ****stain in a West London pub with no CCTV nicks it, despite the fact that only a ****ing butt**** could overlook its total lack of value to anyone who isn’t me.
3. I can’t afford to have my possessions stolen. I have zero income and literally cannot ****ing afford it. Were you listening in when I was telling Steffi and Vicky about my new flat in SW7? Did my plummy tones fool you? Were you also listening when I told them about how it wasn’t my flat? That I’m signing on? What about the part about having to turn down temp work to concentrate on getting my first ****ing real job? You total ****ing ****wipe.
4. Luckily, I cycled into town with my mobile and keys in my pockets, but you still got my wallet. This is a total ****ing **** and a half: not because of the cards, which I cancelled straight away (that was still pretty ****ing irritating); but because it contained things like my National Insurance details, which, despite having entered multiple times on various forms in recent months, I am still incapable of remembering. Also gone is my driving licence (provisional, but still vital for ID purposes given that I look like a ****ing child), gym card, Boots card, donor card, card with scatological Norwegian phrases, and photos of all my loved ones. All replaceable: all deeply ****ing irritating.
5. You total ****meister, you took my diary. The beautifully marsupial, bright red Moleskine diary given to me by my friend Pete that I treasured despite his subsequent confession that it was an unwanted present from an ex. The diary that has the names and addresses of all my friends, without which I will be unlikely to be able to locate said friends ever again. The diary containing messages from all the people I met travelling. The diary charting my increasingly interesting menstrual cycle. Most importantly, the diary into which I have successfully jettisoned ALL information from my brain regarding every ***ING meeting, every drink, every job, every rehearsal I have for the next year, and without which I am completely ****ed beyond knowing that tomorrow I have to catch the 0842 from St Pancras International for Amelia’s wedding – if, of course, I can even get my ****ing tickets from those ****face machines at the station WITHOUT THE ****ING CARD I BOOKED THEM WITH. My lovely, informative, redder than red, entirely irreplaceable diary. You total ****tard ****face ****er ****job.
6. You turned my brief drink with friends into a prolonged episode of The Wire. Notting Hill police station is ****ing rough, man. I was scared. (This is not strictly true. I was seen straight away by a very nice Community Support Officer, who even offered to leave a suitably authoritative voicemail with the heavy breather who called twice in the hour after my bag was taken, who noted my details with admirable thoroughness, and reassured me that W11’s homeless community is posh enough to return the handbags they find when rooting through bins.) The point is, I was left stranded – stranded, I tell you – in deepest Notting Hill, with no cash, no phone – ok, I had my phone. And my keys, so you won’t be able to get my address from my diary and break into my parents’ house. Also, Steffi and Vicky took me to a very nice dinner after we looked through the bins. Plus I was able to use Vicky’s spare Oyster card to get me and my bike back to Ealing on the tube as my lights were taken with the bag. But the point is that YOU DIDN’T KNOW ANY OF THAT WHEN YOU TOSSED MY BAG OVER A WALL, YOU TOTAL ****ING ***LORD.
My only consolation is that the £3.50 in my wallet won’t be enough to buy you your next fix. I fervently hope that you’re forced to purchase substandard substances or paraphernalia and have a thoroughly subpar trip, you ****ing ****er’s paradise.
Christina, Lady Dalrymple