Hello again. Thank you very much for your patience.

A few days after I posted the last entry, I left my computer in the pub. Thinking that no-one would want a slow, old machine running Linux, I expected it to be handed in, but it's been reallocated. I have only in the last couple of days bought a "new" one. Bristol's libraries give you only half an hour a day of access, which isn't long enough to polish my despatches. So thank you for bearing with me.



Wednesday evening before my first pay day on the Friday, I received a message from my boss. It was written with the degree of consideration I am coming to expect from her. "Looby, you won't be getting paid on Friday." I had already put the landlord off for a fortnight, and I had a weekend in Lancaster planned as soon as my money dropped in.

In her apology-free message, she said that someone had entered my name incorrectly into the payroll. Manual transcription errors, doggedly persisting into the digital age.

I checked my contract for the company's obligations, and replied to me manager, saying that if I were not paid in full on Friday I blustered, saying that I would start an action against the company in the Bristol Small Claims Court. I capitalised "action" to make me look threatening, although the actual effect was probably closer to pompous frustration. "We'll do our best to pay you," she replied.

I woke up at 4am and checked my account. It was all there. Later, I thanked my manager for sorting it out. She replied by stressing that a functionary in the payroll department had stayed late to get my wages to me, as if I owe them gratitude for their efforts in remedying their own fuck-up.



I jumped on the first train to Lancaster and got to Wendy's at half past ten. We performed a clamp, a kiss shunted into the cheeks; tense with the imbalance, both of us spending the long moment trying to turn it into something else. She opened the wine and sat fiddling her fingers, but chatting openly. I sensed my weekend release probation I must not fuck this weekend up going round in my head. But already, I was falling, drinking too fast.

On my way to check in to my B&B in Morecambe, I fell in with a DJ pal who asked me in for a couple at The Shipbuilder's Arms. I left to go round to Kitty's, where the plan was for the whole coterie, and Wendy's auntie, to convene in a convivial convening.

But in Wendy's words, "[I] turned up absolutely shitfaced and went to bed, when you knew that wasn't was Kitty wanted." I'd come off two weeks of shifts which involved getting up at 2.30am, but I can't use that as an excuse. It would have been better to have had a nap at my B&B.

I was woken with them drawing something on my face. I went downstairs to join the conversazione. I thought things were going reasonably well. Then, from a trigger I can't remember, I stood up and said "I'm not welcome here. These constant criticisms," and attempted to stomp off, an act hindered by the fact that I couldn't find my shoes.

I located them in Kitty's bedroom, came back down and slammed the door on my way out. A more graceless leave-taking I have never pulled off.

The following morning, I sent: apologising texts to Wendy and Kitty; a note to Wendy's auntie, and the following day, a letter to Wendy's dad, saying with a genuine force of meaning, that I am fed up of what my alcoholism is now doing.

The place towards which I am steaming is a lonely place empty of my friends, whom I put so much unmeant effort into alienating. I've got to break this alcoholic's scratched record of mood-wrecking behaviour, followed by contrition, and flimsy promises which convince no-one.

Self-censure doesn't work; neither does that of others. Admonishments about health and cancer risks don't work. Leaving my debit card at home and not taking any money out with me is ineffective: I shoplift from the shops that are easiest. There is always money for drink.

The one thing that has worked in the past, when I tried it briefly a couple of years ago, is microdosing with LSD. It's indicated in the more marginal psychiatric literature for alcoholism.

I'm not interested in a redemptive, quasi-religious conversion process which conflates moral improvement with the a relinquishment of pleasure. Microdosing doesn't ask for an heroic narrative of the non-drinking alcoholic, trumpeting every drinkless day as a triumph. Reformed alcoholics are as boringly prolix as the loosed drunkard, but less interesting.



We were in Oxfordshire, so I should have expected trouble.

He asked me if I had iced coffee, and then, peppermint tea. He made a great show of sighing about their absence. As I am a courteous person, I said "yeah right, we've got both of those, you fucking poncy-arsed Oxfordshire wanker," which fortunately came out as "no I'm sorry we don't have either of those. We've got normal tea though." I deliberately chose the word "normal" because I knew that he doesn't want to be seen as normal in front of other people.

The highest award of stupidity is not knowing when other people see you as a self-important wanker. But then, in another way, it's a win-win situation. He feels a pride that someone he sees as inferior in class can't cater to his fine choices, and I feel a corresponding class superiority in him being too thick to understand that I see through all his fragile pretension. Getting off the train, we were both pleased with ourselves.