I have recently released a new book – From Russia, With Love – My emails to internet scammers (and other stories), in which I took on various identities to converse with scammers from around the world. Below is a small extract, with my first love, Tatiana.
Hello my dear friend Howard !!!
Again the smile on my face and joy in my heart.
All this, thanks to your answer. Did you like my photos?
on them not visible my height, it may be interesting to you, my height is 172 centimeters, weight 54 kilograms.
I value communication with you. I live in a studio apartment with my daughter. I divorced with my ex-husband, I divorced when my daughter was 1 year old. He was cruel to me, cheated on me and he did not appreciate me like woman. I have not seen him for 6 years. He does not help us with daughter and did not interest in our lives. I’m disappointed in him as a man. From family I have only mother Nadejda, Svetlana grandmother. My father died 9 years ago. He had an accident in a car. I loved him very much.
He was a real man. It is a pity that he is not with us … probably you wondering why I’m not looking for a man in my city? my city very small and all the good men are already taken
I dearly with you chat! I’m very tired of being alone.
Time goes by for me. My daughter is growing. She often asks me why her friends have a father, and she no??? I want her to live in a complete family. I want her to have, like all children have a mom and dad. I myself cannot substitute for her father.
Tell me a little about your life … Tell me about your family, work and how you like to spend your free time? I look forward to your quick response!!!
Subject: Super Mario
Oh my darling Tatiana,
I too have a smile on my heart and joy in my face. Every time you reply the clouds part, though that may be due to a brisk south-easterly breeze.
I LOVE your photos, and my friends do too! Please feel free to send some more. You are very beautiful, which makes me wonder why you would want an old, washed-up ex children’s TV presenter like me? I guess love can bridge the divide.
You seem to have such a tough life Tatiana. It makes me weep – but I can certainly empathise (understand and share the feelings of another) – only this week I stubbed a toe on the edge of a coffee table, and lost my house keys. Turns out they were lodged behind the fish tank, bizarrely.
The world can be crazy sometimes Tatiana, with many a winding turn.
What about me, I hear you ask? Well I am a bit smaller than you, but I wear special shoes, so don’t worry about that. I weigh 65 kg, and I like bird watching, TOWIE and a certain noble sport (the sport in question being badminton, of course).
I had a torrid affair for three years with a librarian – we used to make love in the military history section – but she left me Tatiana for a chartered surveyor in Harrogate. They have lovely gardens there, so I am told.
Now I am all alone, just me and the fish. And the swingers club. The looks I get when I throw the keys for a Morris Minor into the bowl.
I used to be on TV a bit, but the work has dried up – I opened a supermarket in Radcliffe last year, and that was the last media work I think I will ever do. I had to cut a ribbon and talk about the swimming baths. They gave me £50 and some vouchers for Batchelors Cup A Soup. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse (try their Cream of Asparagus – to die for!). Now I do a bit of taxi work, nights mostly, near the airport.
I have no family. My mother disappeared whilst holidaying in Bermuda, and my dad is in prison for murdering an otter. Animal cruelty is not tolerated in the UK Tatiana – my dad made the front page of the Prestwich Gazette.
But I must apologise immediately. In a previous correspondence you requested my phone number. Well I am afraid my landline is out of order at the moment, and BT say it may be for a while. So should you need to contact me please phone 969 4927. This is the number for Luigi’s Pizzeria. Luigi is sadly no longer with us (he moved to London two years ago), but the manager Mario will take any calls and pass on a message to me. He only speaks Italian though, so hope this won’t be a problem? Eccellente!
I will not abuse you Tatiana. I am loving and kind and thanks to Fairy Liquid, have gentle hands. I hope we can be together soon, just you and me, and at a push, your daughter. We can party like it’s 1999.
Harold (that’s H.A.R.O.L.D.)
You have no idea how I am glad to your answer. I’m in very good mood. I’m glad that you understand me and your intentions to me are serious. Now I know that I have a good friend. Even though we are far from each other.
Today is a very hard day at work … As I said, I I work in a local hospital … I have a lot of work. Since I’m one sometimes I need to earn. I get a call from nearby villages, to do massage for adults and small children.
Sometimes people whose children I do massage do not give me money. They give me meat, milk, potatoes. All what they are rich. I cannot refuse them. Many children have problems with backbone. Without my professional treatment, children are poorly developed. Many do not have the money, and asked me for help.
My mother brought me up so that it is necessary to help people! I like my job! I have many times been invited to work at the clinic in Moscow. Luring big salary. But the money in life is not the main thing. I hope that you have the same opinion.
And I’ve never lived in a big city. I think the big cities spoil people! I want to learn how about your life?
Now I have to go to work. In a minute the patient will come. I have to finish the letter. It makes me feel sad. When I am writing you a letter as if you were next to me.
And now I must go and I say goodbye to you till tomorrow Howard.
Subject: Die Hard
I have been in a good mood for over a week now. The hours fly by. The days merge into one. My heart skips a beat when I hear the familiar ping of an incoming email. Imagine my disappointment when it is not from you, but simply a promise to make me “bigger”, whatever that means.
I’m happy being 5ft 2” Tatiana.
My intentions could not be more serious Tatiana. They are as serious as a situation where a NYPD cop goes on a Christmas vacation to visit his wife Holly in Los Angeles, where she works for the Nakatomi Corporation. While they are at the Nakatomi headquarters for a Christmas party, a group of bank robbers take control of the building and hold everyone hostage, with the exception of the NYPD cop, while they plan to perform a lucrative heist. Unable to escape and with no immediate police response, the NYPD cop is forced to take matters into his own hands.
That’s how serious my intentions are.
Gosh Tatiana, your life is so sad. You should come and work in a UK hospital, though I fear conditions would be worse here. Can you do 18 hour shifts Tatiana? Can you remain awake for three days at a time?
You need to tell your people that massages cost money. Not root vegetables or stuff from udders, nice as they are. I’m sorry to hear of the many spineless children, who do not develop. We have similar here in UK – children have no respect. Many wear their trousers too low, so you see their grundies. It’s not nice Tatiana. They play music loud on public transport, spit a lot, and never give up their seat for me when I have gout. I blame the parents, and the Tories.
FYI, my favourite vegetable is the sweet potato. So versatile.
Money is not everything, I agree. More important to me is companionship, salt and pepper spare ribs and a full cable subscription (including Sky Atlantic – Game of Thrones IS BACK!!!).
I live in a big city, Tatiana. Here began the industrial revolution, the 1st computer was made, the atom was split and Jamie Pollock scored the greatest own goal of all time. We have a rich history. I couldn’t live in the country as all the takeaways would be miles away.
A few things about me? Well you know my height and weight. You know I live in Manchester, the greatest city in all the world. You know I used to work on TV a bit, entertaining children. You know of my love for fish, and ribs. In my spare time I watch football – do you like football Tatiana? One day I will take you to see my team – don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of room.
I hope your patient came. I don’t blame him. I must go now too – it is snowing outside (madness) and I must build a snowman with the owner of the garage next door. He’s brought along a carrot and some pebbles.
Reply soon my love.
You can buy my new book here: From Russia, With Love.