Bye bye sweetie poo-ie

Day 88, the last day.

When this morning I went to poo I realised I only had one plastic bag left. That made me smile. How perfect. I love when stuff like that happens. It means that even the god of plastic bags knew this was my last day and my last poo on the boat and made sure I had one last bag to perform the final act.

So anyway, that’s it. I’ve packed those 15 bags of clothes and paraphernalia I had brought with me, of which I used only about half bag (the rest is now all creased and smells like mould) and I’m gone. Tonight I won’t sleep on the boat. The boat owner has taken back control. And I’ve Boatexited. At least for us it was a smooth transition. And no backstop, as attested by the unequivocal brown matter that, if small, came out this morning.

If there’s something I’ve done, relentlessly, over the past three months – apart from shitting in plastic bags – is try to find the funny side to some not exactly funny times. Is there always a funny side to tragedies? Maybe. Maybe not to big big tragedies. But to small or smallish personal tragedies there almost always is, though. And writing 3 mesi di merda has certainly helped me get through shit times.

Giving myself permission to be silly has helped me. Giving myself permission to talk about what I thought I ‘should not’ talk about has freed me a great deal. Because while I’m deeply worried about Brexit and the rise of fascism and climate change and plastic pollution and many other things, the sense of loss I felt at times was so pervasive that it overrode everything else – including the efforts to be useful in the world, or recycle the wine and whisky bottles I drank, or the same willingness to write this. Also, I’ve started to make art in my thirties and so I’m still a baby in art-years. I wanted to do something about love & heartbreak for so long. Then it happened – what great luck uh! – so I didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity. Soon I’ll do something about my mother. And then I can get on with the serious stuff. Isn’t it. Whatever!

I always tend to worry and apologise too much about stuff that needn’t apologising for. Of course doing so is just a way to insulate myself from criticism. So fuck it. As my friend says, own it. So yeah: I’m proud of my shit-in-a-bag stories. Because, no matter what, I’ve stuck to it. And this is what, ultimately, has kept me sane and given me strength. And my readers, friends and family, of course. Knowing that if I didn’t write a post I’d get a message from Greece saying ‘where’s my post??’ has kept me going even on those days when I just wanted to attach as many bags of shit to my body as possible and sink to the bottom of the canal. Although probably my head would have still stuck out of the water, I don’t think it’s very deep. And then what. You go back to the boat and you can’t even shower and you smell like shit for a day. Great.

I’m exaggerating about the sinking and all – I like big dramas (if you hadn’t figured that out yet) but you get the point. So a massive thanks to all of you who have decided to follow me on this scatological journey. Knowing I had an audience has made all the difference. Thanks for reading me at the cost of having your Facebook algorithm quite literally going to shits, thanks for reading me at breakfast time despite the graphic content, thanks for sending me stuff, thanks for giving a shit. Which takes me back to the beginning.

I’ve just gone back to read my first post and I remember so well when I wrote it, how I felt, what the boat looked like in the faint light of a candle. It was when I didn’t know how much battery I had left until boat armageddon, and I kept walking back and forth to the electricity meter. I was unaware of how the boat worked, and of how deeply in denial I was. Not that I’ve now become a pirate of the canals, or that I can call him up to talk about life and his lovers and say LOLOLOL, but still, everything is all a little bit more clear.

It’s clear that if there’s someone who’s losing out here, that’s him. Not going to find someone as funny as me. And yet, what a real shame to not even try. It’s clear that friends’ love is one of the most valuable things ever. It’s clear that people who can’t look at their shit should go see a shrink. Really. What do you do when you shit, you turn your head? And it’s clear that I’m just finding it difficult to write this final post!!! I don’t want to let go! I’m gonna miss it. But this is only the beginning of some new writing adventure, because as I have re-discovered thanks to this, I absolutely love to write. So stay tuned. And I hope that whenever you see 2 clementines or half a fennel or a roll of plastic biodegradable bags, you will think of me.

Much love and healthy guts to you all!


I know my shit

Day 87: 2 clementines, a bowl of porridge with blueberries and banana, boiled potatoes, pumpkin with rosmarin, half avocado, half fennel, some cabbage; 1/3 of margherita bufalina pizza and 1/3 of prosciutto e rucola pizza;

I couldn’t bring the bag all the way to Tate. Imagine the smell on the tube. So I took the programme back on the boat, to the bag.

As many of you already know, I was at Tate to speak about my latest performance, called, prophetically, Know your sh*t. It’s sort of about Brexshit. And because today was the day we were supposed have Breakfast (but we didn’t), Tate thought it was a good day to chat about this performance of mine. And I’ve realised I know my shit. And I’m proud. I am indeed. If I had a bag at hand I would have pooed there and then, in front of everyone, so much was the excitement to be invited to speak at the event. It was only day 42, if you remember, when I said I may never get the chance to show my stuff at Tate and look at me now!

It’s important to remind yourself you know your shit, when you know that you know your shit. Of course it’s difficult to know if you know your shit, especially if you’re not listening, or if you keep telling yourself that you’re a fraud. But today I think I can allow myself to say I know my shit. Especially because after three months of pooing in a bag, I’ve got to know it quite closely.

Street bags

Day 86: 1 orange, a couple of handful of crunchy oats, fried egg on toast; rice noodles with broccoli; loads of nachos with cheese and guacamole, fried calamari, beer.

I’ve done loads of miles in these three months. With the boat, moving West; walking around to discover the new locations where I moored, or to clear my mind and avoid going mad sitting inside and thinking about him over and over again in loops; and I did quite a few miles going back and forth to Hackney, my home, where many of the people I love live. All this moving around has been exhausting, but also good! To walk the streets is good. Because, among the other things, you can find bags to take pictures of when you don’t have a picture of your bag of shit. #surrogates #wearenearingtheend #soonnomorebags


Day 84: 1 clementine, a bowl of porridge with honey and coconut flakes; focaccia with hummus, 1 fennel; beef shanghai noodles, vegetables spring rolls, stir fry vegetables; beer.

As if the Brexit soap opera wasn’t taking a dark enough turn, he’s been appearing in my dreams every night recently. A bit like the Madonna appearing to the three shepherd children of Fatima – carrying bad news – but with a beard and glasses. The little steps my conscious mind does to let him go, my subconscious throws them out of the window. And so there he was, arm in arm with his mother, pointing to her as to say – this stuff is better than you. Then he was, mysteriously, the boyfriend of my work colleague and they lived in my parents’ flat in a small town near the sea. I didn’t really have a place in all this. I just sort of jumped around, filled with anguish and anxiety as I unsuccessfully tried to have his attention. I guess I’m finally beginning to process this whole situation. I just hope I’m not going to dream him again, this time arm in arm with Theresa May, drinking champagne and telling me they’re doing Brexit but I’m not invited. Personal nightmares fade into the national nightmare and I really wish I could wake up and they have both magically disappeared.


Day 83: Too much bread and pasta and not enough greens. It was difficult.

Poo at work. But you’ve seen plenty of pictures of my work toilet by now. So here’s a picture of Screwfix instead. It’s a popular view, here in the last secret location where I’m moored. There’s also a lot of Sainsbury’s, but not the supermarket, the warehouse. And there’s quite a bit of house building by Galiford. There’s Tata global beverages too. A very pretty pub. And plenty of nothingness. The canal is rather bucolic though.

New Horizons

Day 82: a glass of cold milk, 3 hob nobs; English veggie breakfast with hash browns, 1 banana milkshake; chicken caesar salad, kefir.

When it’s sunny, as it was today, after a week of matt grey sky, I feel tentatively hopeful. Even if it’s a Sunday. And that’s really something, considering how much I struggle on this day of the week. Poo is hopeful too. Look at her looking straight ahead and bathing in the warm light. I think she knows she won’t be spending Sundays on the boat no more. There will still be Sundays, unfortunately, but just no more Sundays to be spent on the boat. There will be Sundays to be spent in a flat. Or somewhere else. With someone else. Or alone. Not on the boat though. Which maybe I will miss. Who knows. I’m sort of getting a bit emotional and excited about the idea that each day of next week will be the last I spend on the boat. Just as the weather is getting better. Just as I was learning the secrets of the trade and had mastered the art of shitting in bags. But many new exciting things are coming, or I’m going to them. And I guess that whenever I feel saudade, I can always shit in a bag at home.

Naked Poo

Day 81: 1 apple, a bowl of porridge with honey; fish & chips; red wine, peanuts; salad, KFC.

One week left to Boatexit. This had to be done. My friend said I had to do it. And since I’m very good at blaming others, relinquishing responsibility for my actions and complying with rules, there you go. A NAKED POO. I’ve added some red hearts and those two charitable hands to make it fun. Is it fun though?

I hope you can accept it as my gift to you, as we approach the end of this fantastical shit journey.

The Poo Road

Day 80: 1 orange, a bowl of crunchy oats; ham & brie sandwich, half fennel; beer and peanuts; spicy kind prawns with mint and shallots, bit of Thai green curry, jasmine rice.

It does have to go through a long road before it comes out. It’s fascinating.

This scientific image was sent to me by a friend. She said it made her think about me. Another friend the other day sent me a story about toilet paper rolls. He also said it made him think about me. It will take some time, or some other scandalous piece of art, until people will stop associating me with poo and its cousins. Not that I mind it though. I quite like it actually!


Day 79: 1 orange, 1 clementine; a bowl of crunchy oats with milk, salmon on sourdough; 2 falafel, baba ganoush, pitta bread, some lamb and chicken cubes; tomato soup, mixed salad leaves, half beef burger, 1 custard doughnut; beer.

Confetti in Italian doesn’t mean those small pieces of paper. It refers to little sweets, which wikepedia says in English go under the name of Jordan almonds. It’s custom to give them to people who come to your wedding. Or to the christening of your baby. But because I don’t see myself getting married or having a baby anytime soon, I’ve dressed my poo as a confetti. Take it as my humble offering to you, my readers, for your loyalty. Especially you, one person in Greece, and you, one person in the UK, and you, one person in Italy, who no matter what, are reading me everyday. But to all the other ones too who catch up weekly, monthly, or oddly. When I see you in person I will make sure I give you some special confetti.