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April showers

  Thu 5th April 2018

I had a shave in preparation for an internet interview for a TEFL job in Kraków, spotting my jawline with a dozen toilet-papered cuts. Dashing downstairs unready to answer the phone I tore off my improvised plasters and was interviewed -- blessedly unseen -- naked from the waist down. They offered me the job but I turned it down on seeing the contract: an hourly rate rather than a salary, no accommodation or flights. More applications awaiting a response: Hungary, Italy, Finland, and the best one, adults and business English only, in a walled city in Aquitaine.

Trina and I went out dancing in Glasgow on Saturday. Everything was going fine until I left the room to iron my shirt. She took her chance to go through my phone and read all my exchanges with Wendy, with predictable results. She threw my bag and coat at me and told me to fuck off and sleep in the station. With the diplomatic skills which her unpredictable character has honed, I talked her down and we had a thoroughly enjoyable evening, but the rift the following day was only thinly papered over with determined smiles avoiding the issue.

My Licence to Occupy expires on Friday. Trina has yet to complete on the purchase of the house, and the solicitors and agents are being stubbornly uncooperative, refusing to grant me an extension to the Licence. Having exhausted civilised, negotiated avenues, we will have to force the issue by inviting them to initiate legal action to remove me, and hope that by Trina will be the freeholder before any practical action is taken.

Kitty, in the course of a text, said that she was round at Wendy's; a little stab of a reminder that The Injunction is still very much in force, one of its provisions being that I do not visit Wendy's house when The Little Dictator is in residence. In my more self-pitying moments, I imagine that Wendy quietly welcomes The Injunction, in giving her a way of holding me at a safe distance, a notion driven into nonsense by her ringing a day after I wrote that sentence to arrange a drink.

Trina is doing her best to get the vendors to let us leave all the furniture in the house, rather than move it all out and move it back in two weeks later, but five o'clock arrives and the solicitors can be badgered no more that day. We go for a drink. Everything is cordial, until she hears me on the phone talking to Kitty about how I am planning to sever contact with her. In a repeat of the episode involving Wendy, she had been hiding behind the door, listening. What she hears -- about me not wanting her here -- sends her into another fury.

In one of the gaps in her rage, I text Kitty asking if I could stay at hers. "No. [Daughter]'s here. Can't you ring the police?" Her refusal upsets me far more than Trina's obloquy. In the morning Trina drops her keys off and says that she will be back to collect some stuff she has left in the ginnel. Knowing that it is final this time -- the unintended consequence of a terminated contract -- still provokes some irrational weepiness.

I am in the pub, my excuse being that she's taken the mobile wifi hotspot we have been using. I have twenty-seven hours to clear everything out of my house; nowhere to stay after tonight. Back to the same position I was in this time last year.

I tell the barmaid I'm moving. The man next to me is a removal man and gives me his number. They've been staying in a hotel for a month while their premature baby is in an incubator. Someone joins me at the table. "You're as dodgy as me, looby. Now listen, you've been in the frame for a year for this." If it comes off, I get £5000.


Comment from: kono [Visitor]

5 large is a tempting bit of dosh there my good man, the flip side is what happens if it doesn’t come off? what are the repercussions legal and otherwise? I used to have a career in that sort of thing, make sure you give it much thought and vet and ponder the crew, one fuck-up in or by the gang and it’s all tits up… otherwise good luck ;)

and of course i have some thoughts on this gaggle of women you surround yourself with but i’m still working it all out, lol!!!

Fri 6th April 2018 @ 11:34 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Actually it’s not the usual line – so to speak – of work. It’d be a nice change, and would involve a bit of travel.

If it is true that he has been quietly scoping me out for a year before he offered the job to me, that’s both reassuring – in that he’s a man who doesn’t rush into things – and a bit flattering.

Fri 6th April 2018 @ 13:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: daisyfae [Visitor]

nothing will ever be final with Trina. until the “final final” for one or both of you. she’ll be back.

Fri 6th April 2018 @ 14:00 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Well, we’ve been here before, and I’ve thought it was the final final many times. If she does come back it’s up to me to be strong enough to reject anything beyond friendship.

Fri 6th April 2018 @ 15:07 Reply to this comment

If you end up in Aquitaine I might bang on your door and request shelter from my idiot life.

Why is she grabbing your phone when your back is turned!? And hiding behind doors to eavesdrop? That’s low behavior, at the very least, and might be boardline psychotic.

Kono’s comments are the best. Put mine to shame.

Sat 7th April 2018 @ 01:29 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Well, she said she wanted to see what I was saying about her. As bad as all this is,at least she doesn’t know about the blog!

Sat 7th April 2018 @ 10:39 Reply to this comment

I *pray* she never finds out about the blog. That’d be the last we hear of you. A tragic turn of events.

Sun 8th April 2018 @ 20:11 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Leslie Philips [Visitor]

The 5k sounds intriguing.Could be:
a)translate this rare work by Kalashnikov and there’s 5000 in it for you
b)look after this Kalashnikov for me and there’s 5000 in it for you.

Mon 9th April 2018 @ 08:06 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

That would indeed cause quite a shitstorm and it would hurt her terribly. It’s a miracle that after all these years that news hasn’t leaked out. It would be a hell of a task redacting it all.

How did you guess?

Mon 9th April 2018 @ 10:51 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Eryl [Visitor]

Holy cow, I just dropped in to make sure you’re surviving Astana and find everything has changed; your life seems to be like one of those old fairground rides with metal fatigue and too many loose bolts.
And you drove past my door to go dancing in Glasgow, I’d have waved if I’d known!

Wed 11th April 2018 @ 23:08 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hiya Eryl

Yes, the bones are creaking now for sure and stability, peace and quiet seem as remote as ever.

I’ll be back up bopping in Glasgow soon – will give you a wave when we pass through your home town!

Thu 12th April 2018 @ 11:48 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]  

That was some prose in the first paragraph, excellent writing.

I’m away from my computer and thought I would catch up with your musings and life. It took me half an hour putting in things like gay, nazi, schoolgirl, lawnmower. Looby was the trick got there in the end. Well worth the effort.

Wow things have moved on. Lots of reading to go. Keep finding those pubs.

Tue 17th April 2018 @ 02:16 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Tony [Visitor]  

Haha the last comment was meant for your latest blog. I’m in Barbados at the moment a freebie apart from the airfare visiting my sister. I think the posting is as laid back as the Barbadians.

Tue 17th April 2018 @ 02:19 Reply to this comment

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looby, n.; pl. loobies. A lout; an awkward, stupid, clownish person

M / 55 / Bristol, "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England" -- John Betjeman [1961, source eludes me].

"Looby is a left-wing intellectual who is obsessed with a) women's clothes and b) tits." -- Joy of Bex.

WLTM literate woman, 40-65. Must have nice tits, a PhD, and an mdma factory in the shed, although the first on its own will do in the short term.

There are plenty of bastards who drink moderately. Of course, I don't consider them to be people. They are not our comrades.
Sergei Korovin, quoted in Pavel Krusanov, The Blue Book of the Alcoholic

I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
Chinese man I met during Freshers Week at Lancaster University, 2008

The more democratised art becomes, the more we recognise in it our own mediocrity.
James Meek

Tell me, why is it that even when we are enjoying music, for instance, or a beautiful evening, or a conversation in agreeable company, it all seems no more than a hint of some infinite felicity existing apart somewhere, rather than actual happiness – such, I mean, as we ourselves can really possess?
Turgenev, Fathers and Sons

I hate the iPod; I hate the idea that music is such a personal thing that you can just stick some earplugs in your ears and have an experience with music. Music is a social phenomenon.
Jeremy Wagner

La vie poetique has its pleasures, and readings--ideally a long way from home--are one of them. I can pretend to be George Szirtes.
George Szirtes

Using words well is a social virtue. Use 'fortuitous' once more to mean 'fortunate' and you move an English word another step towards the dustbin. If your mistake took hold, no-one who valued clarity would be able to use the word again.
John Whale

One good thing about being a Marxist is that you don't have to pretend to like work.
Terry Eagleton, What Is A Novel?, Lancaster University, 1 Feb 2010

The working man is a fucking loser.
Mick, The Golden Lion, Lancaster, 21 Mar 2011

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