Gay Nazi Sex Vicar in Schoolgirl Knickers Vice Disco Lawnmower Shock!

Going, going, gone

  Wed 4th August 2021

I don't worry about my drinking when all it jeopardises is a job. I've lost a few through it, including the very good one I came to Bristol for, in which I could now be on at least 30K for doing little. A friendship, however, is more serious.

As is often the case, I'd already had a couple before I started work on Wednesday afternoon at The Big House. Feeling too confident of my position there, I offer the judge's clerk a glass of wine when she comes in and then overstep the mark by pouring one out for myself.

Sexy Ex Boss comes into the room, makes some remark about dinner, and leaves. Me and the clerk jabber away until it's time for me to start sorting things out for the evening meal.

I'm stood at the dumb waiter and Sexy Ex Boss comes up. "Looby! You mustn't have a drink with the clerks. You mustn't drink at all. People have got sacked for that!"

I trudge smilingly through the treacle of my shift, desperate to go home. "I'm sorry about tonight. It was just a spur of the moment thing when T--- came down." "Ok, we'll have a chat tomorrow x".

I was worried: what kind of "chat"? I don't give a shit about the job. It's making things difficult for Sexy Ex Boss I'm worried about. It was a warm evening, and I collected three for a fiver from Tesco and went and sat in Castle Park. I started chatting with a Bulgarian and a man from Zimbabwe who share my rung at the bottom of the catering workers' ladder.

After an hour or so I took my leave of my new friends. With the clarity that alcohol bestows, I decided that I would shorten my journey home by a few seconds by going across the slippery wet grass instead of walking to the path.

I came to in an intimate embrace with my scooter on the wet earth as peals of Afro-European laughter rang about me. Adrenaline got me home and into bed. I went to turn over in the night, and gasped with a pain democratically shared between my groin, my right shoulder and my right toe.

The following day I thought I'd walk it off by going to our de luxe shopping centre, white bread soft to the last slice. I edged along my road with the walls for support and a slowness that irritated me. I rang SEB and said I couldn't come in to work. I said with little exaggeration that I could hardly walk. She was driving; she was pleasant, short, it's OK looby, let us know.

The following day I scootered down to my local and chatted to Mel on the phone for a bit. Hayley then rang saying they'd had a back payment bonanza and wanted to take me out to a couple of gin bars. Not really my thing but I was sick of feeling sorry for myself. I lopsidedly got back on the scooter and met them outside a place where there was a copper still and middle class couples who can afford drinks around ten pounds a pop.

The cocktails were delicious, like sorbets; the two brothers running it were the interesting in their explanations, and Hayley's boyfriend paid for everything. They had their eyes on us, not our usual types, might do a runner. We moved on to the second bar and sat outside. They went inside to order. I nipped in for what must have been under a minute to tell them what I wanted.

A big thump on the window. Someone at the next table was pointing at a man making off with my scooter. I chased him ineffectually, painfully, an invalid, my hi-vis vest swishing, and saw him ride my scooter away irretrievably off over Bristol Bridge.


Boom and bust

  Wed 28th July 2021

I've got work later at The Big House. The Facilities Manager and various underlings are having a "meeting" there tonight, the purpose of which is unclear.

As we sat round the dinner table last night in the same Italianate villa. the husband of Sexy Ex Boss said "it's a meeting so that no-one can say what they think. So if someone says 'what do think your problems are here?' and someone says 'shit micromanagement' -- well they know they can't say that."

Sexy Ex Boss got a bollocking recently for overspending on flowers for the drawing room. In the meantime the MoJ -- read, you and me -- are paying thousands a months for scaffolding up the back of the house which can't be utilised because the roof repair hasn't been signed off yet. It's just sitting there, with the scaffolding company coining it in whilst doing fuck all. Anyway I don't care, I'm getting ten pounds an hour for it, serving canapés and Prosecco and chatting, but not too much. Thanks, we've got our food now so fuck off.

I'm having an affair with my new scooter, so zoomed down to the harbourside. I sold the old one off last night to a roofer from Keynsham, a miserable little town near Bristol. Me and Mel went to Keynsham once and sat on a bench outside Sainsbury's drinking, and saw two of its staff chase off some harmless young people who were sat with us, one of whom was making this staged but charming attempt to chat up Mel.

I was relieved to get rid of the old scooter. The suspension is too hard, the acceleration is aggressive and difficult to control at low speeds, and the stem lurches back and forth. I got a message from him this morning saying "great fun!", and how he'd had it up to 28mph down a country lane, so that's him off my back.

Me and Mel had a good day and night in. We were talking in bed and I said I was a member of the loony left party. "I like how education is important in the Party. If you want to learn about basic Marxism they'll always help you." "What's basic Marxism?" "Well, it's about how to suck cock in different positions." We then proceeded to a reification of the materialist basis of human relations. The development of the bra from a practical to a sexualising item of underwear has been a great advance of the twentieth century.

Mel has got lovely tits. As has Cath. Cath is my ex-landlady from my previous place in Bristol. We met up in the pub on Sunday. Grim-faced men staring at my scooter as I wheeled it in. The barmaid, attractively fat in a black vest, waved me and my vehicle in.

Cath was there already. She was in the tight jeans she sometimes wears, but was wearing a long shirt that covered her arse, which was a disappointment. I once walked into the kitchen whilst she was bent over the recycling boxes, the seam of her jeans dividing her arse tightly, a sexy constraint. No it's OK Cath, carry on, just push your arse out a bit more if you don't mind. She wants to meet up again, with Mel. A woman friend to tranquillise the man.

I texted her afterwards. "It was a delight to meet you today Cath, and I look forward to some one man - two girl action soon x". I hoped it would sound a bit flirty. I'm fond of her, despite all the problems we had when we lived together in a power relation determined by a landlord.


What a bummer!

  Thu 22nd July 2021

To Middlesbrough, for my brother's fiftieth. He's in a home that has housed, through time, lunatics, imbeciles, spastics, people with learning disabilities, and now, clients. "Differently abled" doesn't seem to have caught on.

Trina was supposed to come up, but emailed me with a couple of days to go with a Carry On accident tale. She'd spilt some coffee, slipped on it, dropped the mug, which broke into shards, then landed on it, causing a deep cut which will require a skin graft, and in the meantime, daily changes of big antiseptic nappies in hospital.

"Oh thanks for reacting in that way," she said, after I'd expressed sympathies and regrets. "I was worried about what you'd say, and I've been putting off telling you." I don't know why she would worry like that. Strange isn't it, how people you think you know well surprise you.

At my mum's house, (she doesn't own it), it was a bit of a gender-bender fest. One of my nieces came out as gay a couple of years ago; her and her girlfriend slept in a tent in the garden. I'm glad my mum doesn't give a toss about anyone being gay. A nephew has decided he wants to be considered as having a non-binary gender. We've got to call him a female name, which I don't mind doing, but it's difficult to remember in the moment. Playing a game one evening, I pointed to me, my brother and him, to mime the word "man". Backtracking, I tried to erase his inclusion with my hands.

I go along with it all, but what a privilege it is, fannying about with gender definition, a leisure activity of middle class self-absorption for those who aren't daily affected by lack of money, sexism, violence, racism.

I spent Monday turning red on the beach with Kim. Kim was a wee bit boring, complaining about things, going on and on about her possible diagnosis for ADD, or ADHD, I don't know the difference, and how she gives so much to needy people whilst listening to them in her job... I wanted to say "I know exactly how you feel Kim."

A group of young people were waist deep in the sea, taking photographs of each on their phones. After we comforted ourselves in our old folks' criticism of the modern addiction for photographing and recording everything one does, and how memory is considered an invalid repository of events, she jumped up to photograph a dolphin curving its way in front of the wind farm.

All day long, thick black smoke bulked up from what we later found out was a timber yard. It's not a proper holiday in County Durham without an industrial accident.

At my brother's care home, they'd decked the garden with balloons and happy birthday banners; yards of food in the summerhouse. One of the carers asked my niece's girlfriend when she was due. I turned round to where one of the carers had been sitting a minute previously and said "have you got any recycling? For the bottles?" It was just the loonies clients sitting there and the only one that responded did so with an indecipherable staccato syllable.

The Northeast is different though. Everyone is considered an extended family in the pub, and as long as you understand the social boundaries, people include you, in a way that doesn't happen down here. I went to the rough pub a couple of times. Met the bloke who put me in his phone as "Fucking Lunatic" when I stayed up there for three months with my mum. "I've got cancer of the spine, but I'm a fucking ex-Royal Engineer so I'm going to stick a finger up its arse and it can swivel on it".

On the train I met two lads who lived in Hartlepool. I gave them a can of my Old Speckled Hen. They'd been in Halifax demolishing something and we had an interesting chat about how you demolish a building. I was a bit nervous about the masked girl sitting opposite me, worrying whether they'd say something sexist or intimidating in her direction, but they didn't.


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.


Wela i chi cyn bo hir

  Sat 26th June 2021

It was meant to be the little seaside town in Brittany, the eleventh year with Kirsty and me girl gang, but Tenby is stepping up to the plate. See you in a week or so.


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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.
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

23.1.16: Big clearout of the defunct and dormant and dull
16.1.19: Further pruning

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