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Bring out your dead

  Sat 16th January 2021

On the bus on the way home from work on Thursday, I get a text from Cath. "You're not going to work tomorrow! Ha!"

I assumed that there had been another slalom in government policy and that those of us whose lives are very boring because we're office clerks had been indefinitely released from our bondage. When I got home it was revealed that Cath's daughter had tested positive for the lurgy. Cath immediately placed us all under house arrest, her mood brightened by the thought of wiping everything all the time. Inwardly I was wailing for beer.

Work said they'd sort some online homework for me next week, but yesterday was bliss: I was put on "special leave".

And I had news of my own. I have been offered a tenancy in a housing association studio flat for which I just qualify by reason of my age: it's in an old folks' block safely equipped with grab rails. It crossed my mind that they might have removed a plague-struck corpse from the flat recently.

It has a huge communal room with wing-backed pink armchairs and bored plants. The neglected website advertises "bingo nights, a luncheon club, and outings," an attractive programme, in which I'd play around with that mildly suggestive banter that English old dears enjoy. It's in the close of a church, so I hope that Sundays are marked by ineptly rhythmned campanology. The most succulent pleasure there though, will be Mel, keeping me firm but supple.

After a year's probation, I will have a tenancy for life if I want it, and should I wish to move (it's a wee bit further from the city centre than I'd like to be ideally), I can seek a swap with any council or social landlord tenant in the country who'd like my flat. No more will I carry around, like a dormant virus, the insecurity that comes from relying on private landlords.

None of this solves the problem of how we are to escape our tenancy here five months early, but I imagine Cath to be a dogged negotiator, and she can now tell him that we have all found the exit.


Comment from: Jonathan [Visitor]

This all sounds tremendous, Looby- I can see you taking to the world of the pink-wing-backed communal room arm chair with aplomb (and indeed, if you were ever to seek to effect an overhaul in the stale workings of the residents association’s social committee with a view to livening up its noticeboard/annual calendar , I would be pleased to provide in my professional capacity a consultancy service- at preferential rates, of course).

No, seriously though- what a fantastic turn of events! Like you say, once you’re in with a social housing tenancy like that- you’re in. Grab it with both hands and both legs etc- I’d say. Because like you say- if this particular flat whatever isn’t perfect… the opportunities to exchange etc are very accessible, and not just locally.

Sat 16th January 2021 @ 01:38 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby Snr [Visitor]

Oh yes, I’ll be there with my dabber pen. I might even play two cards at a time. We’ll get you down one day as a guest organiser.

I’m happy in Bristol, it’s an interesting city with plenty of opportunities to get into trouble, but it’s good to know I could if I wanted, return to Lancaster when the decay starts really setting in.

Sat 16th January 2021 @ 09:32 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Echo and the Bunnymen? Thanks for the ear worm!!
Meanwhile, congrats!! I remember seeing my Dad’s itinerary for the first time, it included: Fun with Julie, every Thursday morning. We did laugh!

Sat 16th January 2021 @ 08:24 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Oops - it’s Martha and the Muffins!

Sat 16th January 2021 @ 08:26 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby Snr [Visitor]

Oh, I hope Julie’s sister will be round to entertain us too! I hope she kept your dad most amused and happy in his ending. I just love the idea that people still use the word “luncheon” too.

Sat 16th January 2021 @ 09:35 Reply to this comment
Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Excellent news on the flat my good sir!! And what better way to stay fit than having Mel keeping you “firm and supple". Though i believe that can be taken in more than one way, lol!!

And beware the lurgy my friend, i know a few people who’ve had it now and it seems to run the gamut from mild to bad cold to absolutely miserable…

Tue 19th January 2021 @ 13:30 Reply to this comment

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

M / 57 / 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.
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I am here to change my life. I am here to force myself to change my life.
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The Comfort of Strangers

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
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