A Little Bit Of Routine

Today I am bereft of ideas so suddenly thought, “why not try and write about having nothing to write about?”.  Make yourself comfy as this may be excruciating. You tell me.

My day so far in a series of observations with vignettes:

  • One of the neurotic cats, Claude, decides – after last nights inexplicable love in he now likes me and, no you sick bastards, it was nothing more than coochy coo noises and lots of behind ear tickling – that 0530 is the appropriate time to stroll back and forth at the side of the bed making pretty insistent mewing noises to reinforce our new bond. Pity he is an indoor only cat or I would have upped his flying hours for him right over the balcony. My foot being his newfound means of propulsion.
  • Claude, not realising that I have mentally ejected him at speed, then jumps up and backs towards me, because who doesn’t enjoy cracking their eye open to be greeted by puckered cat’s rusty bullet wound with attendant litter tray aromas at 0530? That’s the last fucking tickle he gets. Reminds me of this: 
  • My daughter was staying with me and was v keen that I drive her to school in the most environmentally unfriendly manner. Mostly it is my fault because I failed to check the buses. Remember, I am flat sitting inside the Oxford ring-road and she goes to school in Oxford. Becoming another car and emitting, I suspect, more than my share of CO2 was not my plan. It is a nice car and I suddenly realised that she was after dropping-off kudos. This was confirmed as we pulled up and she checked and waited a moment to casually emerge in front of a classmate. The parting remark was not, “goodbye Daddy, I love you.” but rather, “you will be picking me up in this car, won’t you?” She is ten years old for crying out loud. That’s girls for you.
  • The fact that the flat has a Nintendo Wii seems to have influenced unsolicited and quite transparent remarks such as, “if I were to get all my homework done at lunchtime can we play Wii Bowling tonight?”. The problem for her is I now know that homework can be done at lunch. A small fact I shall be sharing with her mother.
  • I then went swimming, and due to receiving some pretty shabby news about a friend last night, just got my head down and swam up and down until I suddenly realised that I was the last one there and the staff were waiting politely for me to hop-it as the pool shuts for three hours from nine until twelve. It is a good way to block out shitty thoughts, even for a time.
  • All my shower behavioural theories were then torpedoed by an Asian lad going into the private cubicle and then prancing out butt-naked into the main changing area. At least he seemed aware of the no eye-contact rule when getting changed. I think he may have grown up in the middle-East and then lived in the UK for a while. There is simply no other logical explanation for such obviously aberrant behaviour.
  • Usual quick trip to Rick’s for a double-espresso and fresh croissant. the Spanish girl with long dark hair is v sexy. No chemistry however as she had discovered that I had got up – Claude’s puckered and quite possibly faecal encrusted cyclops eye notwithstanding – at 0630. This seems to be only a few hours after she goes to bed. It’s those workshy Spanish again. No wonder their economy is going (gone?) down the pan. They stay up too late having too much fun. What is life without a bit of self-inflicted (or moggy inflicted) early mornings? No room for fun, we’re British.
  • Not wishing to disappoint my little girl I did my bit for the illegal immigrant (Albanian) population of Oxford and went and got my car cleaned for a fiver. I cunningly let one lad drive it the ten feet from the cleaning bay to the drying bay – totally unnecessary as I was the only car there at 0930h – which ensured it received gold star treatment. I stood beside the chap that runs it and he bitched and moaned about the fact that he can’t employ any English as they don’t know what hard work is. I suspect the entire operation is actually a money laundering front for the proceeds of prostitution and that the young Albanian lads are working so hard to free their sisters from enslavement. I then snapped back to reality.
  • Back to flat and domestic procedures took over. The kitchen is smaller than a yacht’s galley so more than a glass and fork clutter it up to the point where entry is an issue. So I washed up, emptied the bins and then had a delightful ten minutes emptying the cat trays. They pee a lot and poop a little. Small mercies I suppose.
  • Still bummed about my mate – who is now in major surgery as I write- so I did what any slacker would do and watched an episode of Mock The Week on iPlayer to cheer up. There is something about turning the telly on in the middle of the day. I feel that if I do that there will be a crash as the door is blown from its hinges, and Jeremy Kyle, Oprah and Judge Judy will effect a tactical entry and then demand to include me in some schizo version of a bare your pikey soul episode on a daytime telly threesome. The behemoth TV stays off an I use the Mac. Safer that way.
  • Troughed on the remains of last nights Kraft Mac Cheese. It was disgusting then – daughter refused most of it, wisely – and cold today. Didn’t stop me eating it all in a one-er with a bit of Mango Chutney spooned from the jar. Mango Chutney improves almost anything apart from biscuits. Now I wanna hurl.

And here I am now…

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A Younger Woman’s Bed

I went to Stories Aloud last night for their first birthday. Yay Sarah. Good work. There were two authors there who both agreed that – newsflash – writing needs to be worked at. It is probably arrogance ( I am reminded of the famous Thatcher reply when asked if she was pretentious – who, moi?) but as writing is one of the few things I seem to be happy plugging away at and quite enjoy I have decided to give a slightly longer piece a go. I have a thing about slightly edgy titles as I believe it accomplishes the internet version of a flashy cover in Blackwell’s et al. The bed bit is coming. I promise.

Her name is, well, that’s not important and I met her through a friend. She has two neurotic cats that I think I am allergic to, in a nice little flat in Oxford. Being the all round super guy that I am I stepped in to cat-sit when she had been let down at the last moment and they had already paid for their tickets.

On the surface it is just fine. A seven-day sideways step can’t be that tricky. Can it?

I have turned on the slightly baffling monster telly two or three times now. Turns out that it is possible to watch all-day police pornography shows with satellite TV. Who’d a thunk it? 20/20 cricket is ok, though not as soothing as Test Match stuff but the gem in all of this is a channel called Sky Arts HD. I didn’t know the Dirty Digger thought culture was anything other than something that grew on old yoghurt.

Opera’s, organ recitals and the like. organI was fascinated as they tried to sex-up an organ recital by placing cameras inside the organ and then doing tight-in shots of  hands and feet playing the beast then immediately cutting away to the corresponding action shots from within. I am now much better informed as to what happens inside all the guts of the organ. Strangely though, I was just enjoying the impressive panning shots of this behemoth of an instrument and the up-skirt internal organ shots added nothing. Still, I guess they are trying. However, I can take about 20 min then it’s telly off and back to my book, or more usually my keyboard.

I have shopped for what I eat and drink in Waitrose so am more comfortable that I don’t need to survive on Kraft Dinners kraft dinnerand an odd little coffe machine. Proper espresso, industrial strength from a Bialetti stove top type thing. There is always that slight frisson of “will it explode and kill me with some cheap cast aluminium shrapnel?”. I find the post-brew survival adds to the caffeine buzz. Cheese, red wine and bananas were also lacking. No fear Waitrose is here so all is good on the comestibles front now.

In my bedroom I have an old mattress that needs changing, an orthopaedic pillow – that also needs changing – but most importantly of all I have a lovely down duvet with nice John Lewis Egyptian cotton bed linen. In her room it is a nice but slightly too firm mattress, bed linen with a bit of synthetic fibres making me sweat like a man on death-row capped off with a synthetic duvet. It doesn’t drape very well but rather it just uses your body as the apex point to form a mini circus tent. Due to my increasing years and general softness – I talk about Rule #5 but don’t always follow it – I want the duvet to settle over me and form a nice and gentle hermetic seal all around my body.

I am not used to waking up in a young woman’s bed slightly cold and sweating on such a regular basis.

Back To Life, Back To Reality

A few things;

  1. A massive Happy New Year to all my friends.  A bit late but I’ve been on planes.
  2. Home from Canada, all de-aeroplaned (read nicely showered), changed, Radio 4 playing, proper coffee ingested, fire lit and people I have never met being properly surly and dismissive at Heathrow. Ahhhh, home at last.
  3. News broken face to face with my dear mother. Can be open with everyone now without the fear of it getting back via a third party.
  4. Lucy and I are separated and the paperwork is in for the divorce.  Why are people so amazed that we are civil and unprepared to enrich the legal profession ? We are adults and can sort things out in a civilised manner. Sure there are differences and things that grate – hell, we are getting divorced – but nothing that can’t be discussed and agreed. We are both relieved to be shot of the annoyances and frustrations that each brings the other. Lucy has been kind, helpful and supportive when I needed it and for that I will be forever grateful.
  5. I have been in another relationship since mid August and I now live with Rebecca. We met long after Lucy and I decided to separate and Lucy and Rebecca have met and get on, which is very nice for me and Héloise.
  6. I had a great catch-up with my 94 year old Grandmother. She is doing extremely well and it is very pleasing. If I make it to 70 like she is at 94 I’ll be a happy bunny.
  7. 2012 hasn’t been a stellar year. I have been getting divorced, writing sweary ranty blog posts (I promise to try and make it less offensive in 2013), having really really bad bicycle crashes, got filled with surgical steel,  got a good job only to be made redundant 2.5 months after I started, moved house, nearly lost my marbles, had about 4 months of functional memory loss thanks to the painkillers blah blah blah.
  8. Resolutions – pah.
    • Get a job – Really, that is priority 1
    • Reconnect with some friends that I have not given appropriate attention to and try to rebuild the relationships
    • Go on a couple of good holidays with Rebecca (am thinking Canada and Italy)
    • Read more books (not having a telly is a definite advantage)
    • Get the metal out of my shoulder and start regular swimming
    • Cycle properly
    • See more opera

Here is to 2013 being a great year as it can’t be any worse!