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(Taken from Arnold Schoenberg: Letters, ed. Erwin Stein, trans. Eithne Wilkins & Ernst Kaiser)

Vienna, 2 August, 1910

My dear Herr Direktor

I can scarcely tell you how awful it is for me to have to write this letter to you of all people. But you cannot imagine what impossible things I have tried, but also what possible ones, and it was all no use. I am really in a position of desperate need, otherwise I could never have brought myself to write this. And the fact that last year you offered me this does more to stop me than to encourage me.

The fact is that I have no money and have to pay the rent. It was doubtless very rash of me to take a larger flat when I was earning less. But there are many circumstances tending to excuse me, disappointments of hopes that were so near fulfilment that anyone would have counted on it, and such things. So I must beg you to lend me from 300 to 400 guilders. I shall quite certainly be able to pay it back next year when I am at the Conservatory.

I cannot tell you how unhappy it makes me to have to tarnish my relationship to you by bringing up such a matter. And I must say: I should not have done it on my own behalf; I can get over such a thing all right. But when one has a wife and children one is no longer the only person who counts.

May I ask you to telegraph letting me know whether you can grant my request. And – if it is not asking too much – if you can help me, if possible to telegraph the money or at least send it express.

I earnestly ask you not be angry. And I have only one wish: that your attitude to me will not be unfavourably influenced by this.

Hoping to have news soon,

I am, as ever, your devoted

Arnold Schönberg

As usual when I’m completely broke, I decide to wander aimlessly around Manchester.

I get caught in a shower of sharp, cold rain, and head for Waterstone’s, where I find five pence on the floor.

When the sun comes out I head off again.

Later, I am strolling past Chetham’s and the Cathedral when a pretty girl catches my eye and smiles. I smile back. She approaches me. “Drunk,” I thought. I think she was, a bit. She was the kind of girl you’d want to get caught in the rain with, you run for cover, perhaps a shop doorway, art gallery or coffee shop, laughing because she’s wet and you’re wet, your eyes meet, she doesn’t look away …

“Excuse me, I’m not a tramp or anything, I’m from Eastbourne … I’m trying to raise £34 to get back there.”

She holds out her hand to reveal she already has five or six pounds in change, enough for a couple of drinks. Perhaps I could invite her to Sinclair’s Oyster Bar or the Wellington? Does she have to get back to Eastbourne today? What do I say?

I look straight at her.

“I’ve got five pee,” I say bluntly and truthfully. “I don’t suppose that’s any use.”

She wanders off.

Coincidentally, I stayed in Eastbourne one summer a few years ago when I was teaching English. What a hole.

So I don’t blame this girl for coming to Manchester in search of thrills.

The Duchess of York with the Maharaja of Jodhpur

Sarah Ferguson shamelessly plotted to sell access to her trade envoy 19th in line for the British throne ex-husband fat bastard Prince Andrew for £500,000.

She was filmed taking a £27,000 ($40,000) cash down-payment from an under cover News of the World reporter.

She claimed that she does not have a pot to piss in. Boo fucking hoo Duchess, you greedy fat fucker.

Did she seriously believe that a man who hands over £27,000 in cash out of his safe could be anything other than a reporter?

Related:

Why I feel sorry for Sarah Ferguson
Shamed Sarah Ferguson sobs as she apologises

Black Dogs Defined

This is the best of me; for the rest, I ate, and drank, and slept, loved and hated, like another: my life was as the vapour and is not; but this I saw and knew; this, if anything of mine, is worth your memory.

(John Ruskin, Sesame and Lilies)

Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not.

(Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)

This is my letter to the world, that never wrote to me.

(Emily Dickinson, This is my letter to the world)

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!

(Edna St. Vincent Millay, Second Fig)

R.A.D. Stainforth

I was born before The Beatles’ first LP and brought up in the reeking slums of Jericho. I am in love with a woman called Hazel and in love with her daughter, also called Hazel, both of whom I met at Alcoholics Anonymous.

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