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I visit a sex shop in Wales

  Sun 11th July 2021

Our holiday in Tenby, in a flat with a wide view of the harbour and the pastel-coloured crescent of houses facing it, was characterised by hot weather and an effortless harmony amongst our family and its now naturalised superaddition.

Looking for hats to ward off the Pembrokeshire sun, we wandered into a shop with an incongruous concatenation of displays: sunglasses and keyrings abutted a large glass cupboard full of murderous knives; in the back, next to the hats, were penis sunglasses and boob beach balls. We named it The Sex Shop.

We took the boat over to Caldey Island. There's a very continental looking 1930s monastery there now, a revival of a much older one. Its first abbot came to an unseemly end by falling first into a drunken stupor and then a well. They were Trappists, and he was wobbling to his dormitory after a night on their homebrew.

I had a dish of crab claws, white wine sauce and samphire, to eat which I was given a pair of pliers and a narrow shovel-like instrument. The meat was delicious, and it was good sport to crack and gouge into the very hard claws, my fingers getting greased and flecked.

But it ended badly. Almost home, on a packed train with masks and social distancing equally ditched. I was surrounded at my table by girls going for a weekend in Bristol -- "I've booked the table for six o'clock, because we've booked tables for eight in the past and by then everyone's absolutely plastered" -- and behind me, rugby club lads going to a stag do in Cardiff. One was in a complete gimp suit, a retortion to emasculate the demand for a mere face covering; another, bull-necked in a floral dress.

I chanced my outdated rail pass at the station where I was to change, in the search for more alcohol. At the ticket barrier, the guard noticed its expired status. "I'll let you out, but I'm taking this off you."

Cardiff had an airy, liberating feel. I sat girl-watching on the terrace in Wetherspoons, and texted Wendy and Kitty. "Kin ell, Cardiff girls. It's all minidresses and play suits here. I'm so appalled that I am watching them carefully in case there is any untoward behaviour."

In a way I'm relieved. The inevitable end came quietly. But up to last Saturday, I've had thousands of pounds worth of travel out of it.

I am in the northeast for a few days from Thursday, as it's my brother's fiftieth. The care home owners, frustrated now, see no legal way of preventing him meeting up with his family. I'll also be able to see Kim, who lives near Middlesbrough. A month ago, she warned me that my plan to invite Trina was "a disaster."

As Kim is a woman who talks sense, I rang to sound my worries out on Wendy. She suggested the radical option which I rarely consider -- being honest with all parties. "Ring Trina now. Go on, do it now."

I'd had a couple of pints of cider at this point so felt more able to cope with the call. We chatted on the periphery for a couple of minutes before I jumped in. "Just to put you in the know Trina, I'm going out with someone now, someone I met at Parks and Carks."

She surprised me by how she took it in her stride. A minute or so later, she moved onto another topic and carried on talking. I know she can't dissemble, so I breathed more easily after that phone call.

Since coming back from Tenby, I've been sleeping even more badly than I normally do, hardly a mysterious state of affairs for someone who pours liquid sugar down his neck before every bedtime. Yesterday at work, I served a cheeseburger "with salad please" containing just the salad.

I've got some diazepam put away for a rainy day, and took my first ever dose of it last night. It was like being pushed gently into a soft bed of ease. No worries, no guilt-dreams. And I woke up this morning with my pecker all bushy-tailed.

I am boyishly pleased with my new scooter, a more powerful one to get me up and down a hilly city like Bristol. On my way home last night I passed a thirtysomething couple. "She's a belligerent old cunt anyway," he said.

Going at less than walking pace thorough one of the large parks that decorate Bristol, I am behind an untrammelled child. His dad intervenes. "Elijah! Elijah! Move out of the way for the man."

One mustn't mock middle class children's names because that will only lead us to a useless discord.


Comment from: kono [Visitor]

Another fine tale of the adventures of looby!! shame about the rail pass though but all good things must come to end…

and when i was down and out in Ocean City i once worked at a seafood place for a few weeks, i was steam boy, steaming live crabs and shrimp, i used to nick the claws from the bottom of the steamer and eat them on the sly since the owner was a prick ;)

and having downed my fair share of those sweeties just be careful if you booze with them, something i did quite liberally and most likely dangerously in my youth, i tended to piss myself in my sleep quite a bit back in those days, lol! just some friendly advice… and speaking of good things and ends, the car park kid is no more… at least for now… more on that later.

Tue 13th July 2021 @ 12:57 Reply to this comment
Comment from: looby [Visitor]

Hiya kono

Yes they were utterly delicious. Kirsty said “you were so absorbed in eating them” :).

As to weeing the bed – well, put it this way, it’s a good job modern detergents and washing powders can handle anything you throw at them!

(p.s. proper reply re the car park coming to your inbox soon!)

Wed 14th July 2021 @ 11:52 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Yep, the truth can be helpful - glad Trina took it well.

Diazepam is the best! Better than a two week vacation somewhere hot, and far less hassle. I even concluded that everyone should be allowed Diazepam for two weeks every year.

I have a stash too. I use it wisely.

Wed 14th July 2021 @ 22:06 Reply to this comment
Comment from: Scarlet [Visitor]

Still trying to break into Loobynet!

Fri 16th July 2021 @ 11:29 Reply to this comment

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

M / 60 / 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

The Comfort of Strangers

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