Thursday, 27 November 2008

A Day in the Life of a Nobody

Idly wandering the internet, for no apparent reason I fed into Google 'A Day in the life of''. You have one or two choices, 74,000,000 to be precise! As I couldn't think of anything else on which to blog I thought, as a one off only, I'd make it 74,000,001.
Got out of bed, as usual reluctantly, just before eight o'clock, an early start for me. Found the bottle and gave a urine sample. Too much information, I know, I know, but a diabetic check was due. Even grumpier than usual, hungry due to the obligatory fast, I watched my wife having tea and toast. Cruelty comes in many forms.
Wandered up to the doctors surgery, obtained a ticket, number forty three and waited my turn. Question, if I was number forty three, I got there at one minute past nine and the clinic opens at nine, how come I was number forty three on the list. I'm new to this surgery and there's obviously something I don't know. Eventually called in and gave a right armful of blood. Tony Hancock would have been proud. The nurse reckons it was nothing, I don't call three bottles full, however small, nothing!
Travelled to a local garden centre, now in liquidation to collect my purchases from their internet sale on Monday morning. (The modern way, years ago you would have attended a proper sale and bid along with dozens of other addicted bargain hunters.) Not so much of a bargain, VAT plus other premiums puts over thirty per cent on the purchase price. Collected one pub type, humorous 'no smoking sign' which evidently attracted ten potential bidders and cost me a fortune. No matter, we are easily amused , it will be my most prized possession, at least for a few days. Come on, surely everyone has somethings they especially value.
Collected also my second purchase, four plastic garden tables and one chair, faded, used, price, £2; I could not resist them at that price. Again, hand on heart, have you never bought a bargain on impulse?
Home again, fed and watered, a little less light headed. A young man arrived by arrangement and tested the camera I had put in the previous nights paper. One of the cameras we had unwittingly bought in a previous on line auction. (We don't do these auctions regularly, honest. In fact we have only just discovered them, hence our bungling.) My visitor, a young Muslim obviously knows far more about cameras than I do. He tells me he owns a kebab shop and is only nineteen years of age. Hard working and technically proficient he puts us old 'uns to shame. He buys the camera, I am happy if he is happy.
I spend time on the phone contacting Citizens Advice and a solicitor on behalf of a relation. A son has been involved in a serious accident, the landlords response is to threaten eviction if the rent is withheld for whatever reason. Some people have more than their fair share of trial and tribulation.
We, my wife and I go into my 'pretend' bar and proceed to put my new sign on the wall. I am concerned that my wife might fall off the stepladder, it never looks over safe! She follows my instructions quite well as the place I choose is rather high on the wall. Too high, in fact and I decide to place it elsewhere. My wife says nothing. I reposition my sign in a place that does not necessitate the use of ladders. I admire my handiwork and feel right proud!
I fetch an old school colleague, Kenneth for the afternoon. He is unusual, somewhat eccentric, a lifelong bachelor and ninety two years of age. Ken too has his problems. He lives on his own in a poor neighbourhood. This year he has been targeted three times, almost certainly by children and has windows smashed on each occasion. Locals would like to buy his house and pester him to sell. He tells me one shouts after him in the street, "Please, please, you tell me when you die." In other circumstances it would be funny.
We have a convivial afternoon. We, my wife that is feeds him chocolate biscuits, beans on toast and cups of tea. He tells me the beans on toast remind him of his childhood. He claims he eats well at home but I do wonder, he has no help whatsoever. He bemoans the fact that due to lung problems he can no longer ride his bicycle. I am secretly not sorry as he used to fall off it frequently all of twenty years ago. He tells me he will not go on the roof of his house anymore as his crawling board is not safe and he is unwilling to spend on another. He is, though, he tells me, quite happy to use a ladder where necessary. (I have known him to use carpet squares on his roof instead of slates.) His lifestyle is his choice and he is sadly a dinosaur in a not always nice age; but the least he deserves is respect and safety. I take him home after dark. I do not enter his home; if he wished me to do so he would ask no doubt. He returns to his dimly lit solitude I to a brightly lit home and a loving wife.
Sister in law has rung in the meantime. Roger her husband is holidaying in Thailand. On the television comes the news that the main airport, Bangkok has been taken over by militants. A volatile country at best, Christine is naturally concerned. There is nothing you can do but I confess it goes through my mind that we never get problems holidaying in Skegness!
I spend the rest of the evening enjoying my 'bar' with sixties CD's playing in the background. Enjoy a bottle of Thwaites Lancaster Bomber. 4.4%. Elvis booms out, to my delight. Its the first time in my entire life my home is not physically attached to another. Someone sings 'You don't love me no more.' The teaching bit never goes away and I wince at such ungrammatical sloppiness but for once it doesn't really matter. Enjoy a bottle of Bavaria Holland Beer. 5.o%. I hear 'Sheila said she loves me, said she'd never leave me.' Didn't catch who was singing but does it matter. (any answers, 1960's music.) Enjoy an 'Extra Cold Carling' 4.1%. Note the warning on the tin 'UK Chief Medical Officers recommend men do not regularly exceed 3-4 units daily.' Sorry, chaps, but it's been a long day!
And eventually, reluctantly to bed. This blog was not meant to be educational but I've learnt something. The old TGA has not finished me off quite yet; I like my life and who needs to go to work when you don't have to.