Sep 12, 2019: Woke

Last night I disgracefully made the most of being home alone by staying up until an ungodly hour.

I genuinely didn’t mean to. I was waiting until the washing machine had finished what it was doing – annoying the neighbours with a late night spin cycle, if we’re lucky – so that I could take the stuff out and not leave it sitting in its own dampness overnight.

And it did that.

And I just carried on with what I was doing.

I was about an hour later than I wanted to be. I went to bed at a time past the one that I only ever reserve for when the clocks go forward so that I can use the loophole that, actually, it’s still 1am.

But you know what, no regrets.

I was really bloody enjoying myself, having a very enjoyable gaming session, playing through things uninterrupted by anything. It was lovely.

And I didn’t have anything specific to be up for this morning, so all was golden.

I was wide awake at 7.30 this morning.


I tried to go back to sleep. I put a good couple of hours into Alexa’s timer, to rouse me at an hour more suited to someone who went to bed not that long ago. But no, it was not to be. I just lay there, tossing and turning and occasionally with a cat’s arse in my face.

In the end, I just got up. It felt like I had been up for ages, and done loads of stuff when I asked Alexa what time it is – because since she arrived, why bother looking at clocks when you can have a robot tell you? – and it was five past nine.

I used several clocks to check that she was right.

I’d been up and done loads of stuff before the timer that I’d set to get me up had even gone off.

Tomorrow, I need to get up fairly early. Actually need to do it.

What are the chances of that happening happily?

Sep 11, 2019: Mouse

While the cat’s away the mice will play. That’s what the say, anyway.

This mouse, however, is annoying himself with how goody-two-shoes he’s being about things while he has the house to himself.

Today I have tackled the job that I have been putting off for as long as humanly possibly. I have resealed the bath. The bath which, since installation has been resealed about three times, I think. The leakiest bath in Britain. Which, I am sure has nothing to do with the shoddy and unorthodox way the bathroom was done by shady ne’er-do-well Matthew “the plumber” and everything to do with, you know, something else.

But reseal I have.

With a lot of sealant. So, hopefully, it’ll work. And if it doesn’t. I don’t know, I give up. Or I’ll try again. With even more sealant.

I love using sealant. That gun thing that you put the cartridges into. Pulling the trigger. The way it keeps on coming even though you’re not pulling the trigger. Trying to release the level as quickly as possible. All that makes for a wonderful and non-stressful time where you’re not constantly going “Oh God!” as you find you’ve sealed yourself to something. Or got sealant on something else entirely.

And it always starts off really professionally but by the time you get to the end of the run with the gun, you’re all wonky and uneven. And then smoothing it out gets it everywhere and…

I am not a professional by any means, in case you couldn’t guess.

What’s even better is that we have silicon tools for the smoothing. I used them today. The work on the assumption that your surfaces are at 90 degree angles to each other.

So there’s that as well.

But hey, I done it.

And cut back all the ferns in the garden. And all the straight hazel from the twisted hazel.

I’m just a jobbing machine, making the most of my free time to really enjoy myself before I’m definitely in work again.

I think I might just take tomorrow to myself though.

Apart from the ironing.

And putting the bathroom back together.



Sep 10, 2019: Lisbon

Carole’s off to Lisbon in the morning, so she’s headed over to Manchester to spend the night over there so she doesn’t have to get up stupid early in the morning.

And I am here.

And, you know, she’s get to get all this in before there’s a big wall built around the UK and nothing is allowed in or out apart from Snake Pliskin.

So I have a few days of home alone fun, during which I have planned things of a constructive nature but, honestly, will just probably sit and play video games without being nagged about it, and going to work in and amongst.

To say farewell to her, though, on this trip, we had a meal at Nando’s before we put her on a train and no-one was really upset about it. The trip part, that is. I think we were both pretty upset about the Nando’s.

I don’t have a lot of Nando’s. As Alun Cumming says, it’s take away food at restaurant prices. But the thing I understand the least about the whole thing is their need to couple up moist – and it is, generally, moist – chicken with bread you could kill a person with if you threw it.

I had a double chicken breast burger thing and it’s currently sitting inside me like I would imagine a foetus hangs around. Hopefully not for nine months. But it’s definitely just there. Just hanging around. I think the bread may have reformed into the original roll.

I shouldn’t have had the bread. I’m always suspicious of bread products which do not really absorb juice from tomato. That’s a tomato’s main roll – to add moisture to a dish. Sure it adds a touch of flavour but one slice of tomato doesn’t have people orgasming over the delicious tomato taste. But this bread was fully resistant.

And I think it continues to be as it sits in stomach acid right now.

Carole, meanwhile, had a wrap which had a chicken breast tucked away in a corner or it. From what must probably have been the smallest chicken known to man.


So that’s how I get to remember Carole setting off. She text me a picture of a huge bottle of water and a tub of Ben and Jerry’s which she’s currently enjoying. I am just mooching round the house hoping I can poo.

Damn it.

Sep 9, 2019: Drink

It scares me – worries me, troubles me – how much emphasis is put on novelty ways to stop drinking.

And then the people that take part in these, essentially, “look at me” stunts go on and on about how hard it is to make it through – say – dry January and then post a picture across all their social medias of lots and lots of drink at the stroke of midnight on the 1st of February because they’ve got a whole month to make up for.

Yesterday I heard an advert on the radio for the latest bit of drink-free nonsense.

No alco-holidays.


That’s a thing now.

You go on holiday. And you don’t drink. Oh my god, how will you even cope with your holiday? How are you supposed to enjoy yourself if you can’t get into a stupor every night.

The advert says power walking. So maybe that idea’s not 100% a winner yet.

This might just come from my jaded world view because I can take it or leave it when it comes to drink. I don’t need it to have fun. But occasionally it’s nice to partake. But equally, I can not partake and don’t feel the need to bore everyone I know with the fact that I am not drinking.

Especially on an alcoholiday.

Honestly, I bet whoever came up with the gem was held aloft among his peers and then, ironically, taken for a celebratory drink.

Sep 8, 2019: Charter

We snuck in game 4 of Charterstone this morning, in and amongst Carole’s busy day prepping for her trip to Lisbon and baking biscuits for the office.

Needless to say I, again, did not win. I didn’t even really come close to getting where I needed to be, although I did determine to give Carole as good a run for her money as was humanly possible.

Except, she’s currently enjoying a run – across a lot of games – where she gets cards which allow her to get bonus points for doing things that are part of the natural game mechanic. She did it playing Waterdeep on Thursday, and she’s been well away with it throughout her entire Charterstone career to date.

It’s bloody annoying, to be fair. You spend a few turns getting into a position to get five points on the board and in those same turns, she’s racked up double that just putting her people down because of her over-powered cards. That she always find and no-one else gets a look in with.

It’s not cheating. But it should be.

It’s quite funny, though, that we’re only four games into Charterstone and we’re already looking at getting the Recharge kit so that we can play again (and run all the inactive players using the Automa system so we’re up against NPCs as well as each other) and talking about running it in on game nights as well to see what it’s like when five crazy human minds go for it.

I mean, I’m just going to keep playing it – in whatever form – until I bloody well win a round. It’s doing my head in. I’ve got to win something, somewhere along the line.

I have to.

I must.

I possibly will.

I won’t, will I?