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I bought a typewriter last week so this week's column will be about that. And, in other news, I'm also writing it on my typewriter – though I'm sure when it comes down to it my editor will insist that I "type it up" as a Word document; we'll exchange two or three emails about this before I will fall on my sword and do as he says and send it to him as an attachment.
Last Sunday, I went and watched Whiplash with some friends. No, that's not fair. I didn't do that. But then again, in many ways I did. Well, it's a grey area.
I need to sharpen up on my lying. Last week I found myself in a situation where I needed to lie and I panicked and told the truth. And in doing so I cheated myself out of four days of free, live snooker.
Today – for the first time in my life – I've done some plumbing. I'm 38 now – though I look closer to 36 – so I was beginning to think that this kind of thing would never happen to me. But an hour ago I was confronted by some rogue liquids and an exasperated neighbour and, as a result, I found myself squatting under my sink and literally fiddling with a washer. Plumbing.
I went to get some engraving done this week on a metal box thing that I've bought for a special lady. I'd not been engraving for a while so I experienced a real frisson of excitement. That feeling of anticipation you get when you're clutching a metal box thing in Timpson, and waiting for a man to carve your sentiments on to its base.
When is a joke not a joke? Not sure, really. I suppose when one person thinks it's a joke and the other person thinks it's just a normal bit of life. I'm pretty sure I've just experienced this phenomenon.
I find myself in the wilds this week. Stuffed up in the UK countryside, miles away from anywhere, I am huddled in the corner of a rudimentary cottage. This is an isolated bolt-hole; somewhere to get away from it all and knock out my column without distractions. That was the idea, anyway – but after three days it has done for me. Grey from the isolation, I worry that cabin fever is setting in.
Cat and mouse. That's what I am currently playing with Amazon. I am the cat: writing notes on my door, tracking my order online, trying to respond to emails where you're not really allowed to respond, being bounced back, weeping. And they are the mouse: continually attempting to deliver pink roller skates to my address, constantly finding me out, bunging the box back in the van, being on their way. This dance has lasted a week now. I am becoming tired of it.
I sent a Spaniard packing last Sunday. Well I didn't, but you know... I was in a group of people who did and I didn't step in and I didn't stop it, so as far as I'm concerned, yeah, I sent a Spaniard packing and I'm as bad as the rest of them.
Bloody taxes. That's my current situation: doing my bloody taxes.
I awoke last night at 3am, in dire need of water. I was in an Ibis Hotel – a fairly mild example of a hotel – and I was dehydrated because I'd earlier drunk five pints of continental lager with a Scottish dancer. My eyelids were sagging down over my cheeks with tiredness as I waddled, mole-like, in search of taps and cups. After about 15 minutes of fairly broad slapstick I found what I was looking for. Only it wasn't what I was looking for. Because Ibis do something very weird with their cups. And so, even though I'd found them, the challenge of quenching my thirst had really only just begun.
You join me live, at a very delicate moment. I am nestled in the vortex of a highly sensitive social tornado and have resorted to pulling my collar up and burying my nose in my pizza. I daren't look around. The girls I have offended to earn this situation are still muttering about me on the next table. I fold another slice of meat feast into my mouth, and I will them to leave. I am in Hell.
I'm 38 now, so I had a dinner party this week. Stuffed a couple of lemons into a bird and stuffed the bird into the oven for a couple of hours and served it up with green beans, green broccoli and scrumptious golden-brown roast potatoes. It was as delicious as it sounds, but it's the reaction of one my guests that I want to talk about. He was fervent in his appreciation for what I had achieved in my modestly-sized kitchen. It was the way he showed his appreciation that I had a problem with. I'm still having flashbacks.
I'm sat in my kitchen looking at a bag of rice. It's a large bag, and inside, hidden deep, deep among the brown grains, is my mobile phone. I'm hoping that the rice will draw out the moisture and it will start working again. Occasionally I tut or curse or slap my palm against my forehead. I blame myself for my sodden phone. It's sodden because I walked through a fountain last night.
There is nothing more disorientating or more demeaning than finding you've fallen asleep on a sofa. And no more dismal age to do it at than 37. But, stiff-necked and gummy-eyed, that's the situation I find myself trying to adjust to right now. Contorted, sprawling and unclear what the time is, I am squinting like a mole. There's sailing on the telly.
I've just ordered 'off menu'. I think that's the phrase I'm after. What I'm saying is, I've asked the guy for some stuff that's not written down, he's given me the nod, and now I'm sat here waiting for it. And I am feeling very, very alive.