Exhausted after my night in Bristol airport, I went for a midday kip, and set my alarm for a couple of hours hence. I didn't need it. Ten minutes after I'd got into bed, I had a phone call.

"Hello, it's Resources at Name of Company here, about your assessment day yesterday. I'm pleased to say..." She asked me if I'd like some time to think it over.

As rash as it may sound, I leapt at £24,000 p.a., every sixth week off (on top of 5.5 weeks' holiday), and free rail passes for myself and the girls. I start on 13th August. The first thing I want to do is to start paying back the people who have helped me get this: my mum above all, but also Trina and Kim.

My delight in being offered the job, however, was muffled under a big cloud: what to do about my criminal records check -- or, in the company's strange usage -- "criminality check". I have in the past misunderstood some of the finer exigencies of The Misuse of Rugs Act, as well as being asked by a policeman once "do you like wine then?" as I had been intercepted on my way out of Marks and Spencer's without going to the till first. "Well, this is going to be the most expensive bottle of wine you've never had."

Two long weeks dragged by, during which the postman must have thought I'd started fancying him. My certificate arrived; I was felt heady, distant and sick as I cut it open. A surge of disbelief, then relief, then an urge to run as fast as possible to the pub. "Convictions, Cautions, Reprimands and Final Warnings: NONE RECORDED".

"Mum, I have news. My police check is clear. I've got the job now. I'm going for a drink."

"Well, just have the one, looby."



Wendy sent me one of the most coruscating texts. I wish I could repeat it all, it's scatalogical, literate, witty, admonishing, and kind. It began, "OK, let's snort a line under all this."

I've got work to do though, to restore things. Kitty told me Wendy had been most hurt by me severing relations with you. "It's always the same with her and blokes who want what she can't give." It made me ashamed to think that I am like all the others.



In the charity shop, a man walks up to the counter. "I can't remember if I've been here before." The assistant replies "Well, you're here now." "Yes but have I been here before?" "I don't know." "Oh well, I'm here now."



I'm flying from Newcastle to Bristol tomorrow, for a couple of house viewings -- that is, rooms in houses -- £24K doesn't go that far in Bristol -- and to have my medical, which should be an effortless hurdle.

I told Fitbit, who was trying to get me over to Lancaster this week for a couple of days, something I cannot afford to do. "Well done looby, its a descent job. Defo when u get paid cum thru!!! Xxx".

I'd love to cum through you, Fitbit, but I suppose you're using the Lancashire vernacular for "visit me".