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Cover up

  Mon 13th April 2020

My drinking is coming to the attention of my live-in landlady Cath, now that I don't have the omertà cloak within pubs. The betraying sibilant gob of a tin of lager as a housemate occupies the adjacent room. Yesterday I bumped into Cath in the off-licence as I packed away, just too late, a couple of bottles of lunchtime cider.

This morning, she drew my attention to a book she left out for me which she had said I could borrow in a conversation of the previous evening. "You won't remember; you were pissed," and no, I couldn't recall anything about it. Hers is at the moment a benign noticing, but it would be prudent to redouble my efforts in the alcoholic's unpaid job: concealment, not of the fact of drinking, but its extent.


At the very unHayley-ish hour of 8.30am, I get a text with her new number, suggesting, unarguably, that I could "save it under 'sexy Bristol blonde'."

Until today the story had been that she'd lost her old phone, but she said that she'd broken the previous one by dashing it over The Abuser's head; they still live together most of the week. Last week she offered me her flat to rent, for the same amount I'm paying for this room. It's on a quiet street on the edge of the city centre, with a large garden, but Hayley would be too unreliable a mistress, financial or otherwise.

I'm going round to hers tonight. I went to the loo just now, looked at myself, and went to have a shave, before realising that any effort is pointless: not only does she not fancy me, she thinks I'm gay.


Standing around in Kirsty's (née, our) living room, Jenny said that she sometimes steals things, and gave some examples of recent unpurchased items. "I got this from House of Fraser," she said, indicating a glitter-coated plastic water bottle of the type that are de rigeur amongst people who wish to reduce the use of plastic.

"How much should it have been?" "Fifteen pounds." "Fifteen quid? Well, you did right to nick it then." I can't condemn her. Shoplifting is the easiest, most immediately rewarding method of wealth redistribution available to the poor, the hazards of which are diminished now that the police will only come out if you can provide a live stream of someone gouging your eyes out whilst he looks at child porn.


Except when someone is sitting alone in a park during a mild touch of the plague. In Castle Park yesterday it was so hot I had to seek leaf cover. A panda car drew up and an official leant out.

"You can't sit there. You're allowed out for exercise, and sitting on the grass isn't exercise."

"But there's no-one near."

"That doesn't matter."

"Doesn't this count as exercise?" I said, moving the arm holding my bottle of cider up and down.

"If you're going to be funny I'll give you a ticket."

"I'm not trying to be funny."

"You are."

I wandered about the park a bit, then settled under the remnants of the church of St Mary-le-Port, twice bombed in the twentieth century, once by the Germans and once by the natives in 1962, who shoved a grey office block against St Mary-le-Port's thighs, grudgingly acknowledging the five hundred-year-old neighbour her legal right to remain unmolested.

Image reproduced without permission from https://manchesterhistory.net/architecture/1960/NUbristol.html which gives a copyright notice but no information about how to contact the owner and I am so locked down I can't be arsed with a whois.


On another of my mapless walks, I was clawed by out of control brambles many yards long and a centimetre thick, in a dell next to Lidl. I gave up trying to tramp the brambles down, and felt my way up the nettled bank, and back to the sudden flat tarmac. People standing apart for show, before they revert to type in their bottom obsessions with no care for distance.

Ringing Trina, I learned that the flicky-tailed bird I saw at the bottom of what charitably looked like a culvert's inlet, although had something of the sewage pipe about it, was a yellow wagtail, and the bee with a proboscis interested at something at my feet was a burrowing bee.

Back in our front garden, the message isn't getting through to these tarts.

2 comments »

2 comments

Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Nah, you can’t stop nature.
I think you may as well save Hayley as Sexy Bristols - shorter, and more to the point.
Sxx

Wed 15th April 2020 @ 13:13 You are currently replying to this comment
Comment from: [Member]

“Bristols". That’s you showing your age there petal :) Where’s Benny Hill when you need him?

Wed 15th April 2020 @ 22:01 Reply to this comment


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


M / 56 / 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.
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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.
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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.
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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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