Thursday, February 21, 2019


“You can’t hear the dog or anything can you?”

My new next door neighbour and I meet in the back lane. I’ve long decided that he and his other half seem quite pleasant.

“No I can’t hear a thing. The walls are pretty sturdy I think.”

He seems happy with this and I return to my home after putting the bins out. We both know he isn't talking about the dog.

The Sunday routine (all times are approximate and do vary) of my new neighbours consists of:

10.00am – 11.00am: Not for a full hour (that would be insane) but at least twenty-to-thirty minutes spent giving each other ten-nowt. Vocally. My word they thoroughly make the best of it. On the day of our Lord no less.

11.00am – 12.00pm: A good hour of acoustic guitar strumming and soulful man-singing. He’s feeling understandably chilled and wanting to express his inner-self.

12.00pm – 1.00pm: Mid-eighties power ballads blasted at more than usual volume. I assume this is the choice of the lady of the house after having to tolerate a solid hour of ‘man-feels’. Usually consists of Fleetwood Mac. Some Peter Gabriel thrown-in to mix it up a bit.

1.00pm – 2.30pm: During summer months this involves the lady of the house sitting on her patio in the back yard speaking very loudly to who (whom?) I assume to be her mother in a broad Wiltshire accent. Subject of conversation tends to begin with “I’ve had three bottles of rose already”.

2.30pm – 5.00pm: What I only assume to be Call Of Duty or similar being played on whatever console with a full hi-fi kit – it genuinely sounds like the Gulf War is happening again next to my sitting-room.

5.00pm – 8.00pm: General dog yapping as I imagine it’s not a fan of human heterosexual sex, gaming, appalling guitar strumming, binge-drinking or power-ballads and could do with a bit of attention before everyone passes-out.

8.00pm – Rest Of The Week: Peaceful.

And if I'm honest it would grieve me but I quite like them and I genuinely think there are probably worse ways to spend one’s Sundays.

Friday, February 01, 2019

I Nearly Died And Everything

Of the many things I find wearing about open-plan office work it’s the ‘tea run’. Committing myself to making a dozen hot beverages for people with which I have only a fleeting relationship several times a day only to receive a half-filled mug of unsatisfactory tea on ill-judged occasions that I then discard is not my thing.

As such I refuse to be involved in the whole routine. I don't make tea.

My Boss: How’d it go at the hospital?

Me: More a follow-up than anything really. I’ve got to go back next month…

The conversation goes on for a while and I learn that my insufferably Fussy Colleague had called the ambulance.

My Boss: It was good she did really. From what I can gather you’d be dead otherwise. If the paramedics hadn’t took you to the Critical Care Hospital I mean. One time her fussing-on was a good thing.

Me: Oh. Yeah. Spose. [I look through the glass window of my boss’s office at Fussy Colleague, busy faffing around and making everyone’s life tiresome for no good reason] You could say she saved my life.

We discuss other stuff for a while and five minutes later I’m sheepishly stood at the end of Fussy Colleague’s desk.

Me: Hey.

Fussy Colleague: Mmmph?

Me: So. Ehm. Fancy a cup of tea?

F.C: [Without glancing from her screen] No, Dave’s just made me one thanks.

Me: Oh. Ok.

Whatever, I tried.

Go to newer posts