I thought if I spent another day tidying the house that it might be finished. I thought wrong.
Though by the end of today a couple of the rooms looked a bit like what they should be looking like. But with a bit more mess in them. It's properly hard work (not like the actual work that I do for a living) and I could tell you all about it if you wanted, but I am not sure how much you want to hear about me carrying boxes upstairs and then taking things out of them, before putting some of the things in other boxes and then taking them to other rooms. So many boxes. I know someone who'd like those. But only those of you who've been following this blog for nine years will know who I am talking about.
But more of you will have an idea if I ever get round to publishing the pretty much completed second volume of Warming Up - "The Box Lady and Other Pesticles" (I think that's what I decided to call it). I'll try and get it finished off when I have a moment.
I am meant to be on holiday. That was the idea. It's not working out like that, though it's lovely not having to work in the evening.
In fact tonight after putting out about a dozen bags of rubbish or recycling for the binmen (we're being quite ruthless about what we're getting rid of) I went to the pub with my wife and a friend.
Pubs were once pretty much the only place I socialised but now they are a novelty for a night out. Maybe because I spend quite a lot of time working in or above (or below) them.
I had intended to have a glass of wine, but once I was there I felt a hankering for a pint and then I saw there was a bitter called "Somerset and Dorset Ale" so I had to give that a try. It was quite a dark, almost reddish colour and was a little bit stronger than some of the ales and I downed it quite fast (I had worked a full day of man's work -and yes tidying up a house is man's work because it's the 21st Century now) and found I partly lost control of my ability to speak. Or at least to say the words I intended. That's a Somerset drink. If it hadn't had that woosy Dorset element to it then I wouldn't have been able to talk at all. I don't think the brewers of this ale had even put a single rat in the barrels to add flavour. The lightweights.
I wanted a second pint, but when the barman tried to pour it nothing came out - the barrel was empty. I suspect it was a one pint barrel and I was the only person to have ever ordered it (why would a Londoner drink a Somerset beer when there were London ones on offer). I had a less alcoholic beer which might be the only reason I am capable of putting together even a written sentence today.
But sitting in a pub drinking bitter reminded me of being 18 and downing pints of Butcombe Bitter in one at the Swan pub in Rowberrow
before going home to be sick. My dad came into the bathroom to find me vomiting on the floor and I recall that he was resigned rather than angry. Just saying, "Oh, Richard" in a slightly disappointed tone of voice before kindly cleaning up the mess I had made. I don't know if he even told my mum who was upstairs in bed at the time. One of those eight pints must have been off.
Tonight I didn't quaff quite as quickly and wasn't even a little bit sick, though I guess the days of drinking a gallon of beer in an evening are now behind me. Maybe I should do it one more time before I die. Probably immediately before I die. How easy it was to drink then (I wasn't always sick) and how mild those hangovers were.
Funnily enough this week's Metro column is about my usual resolution to give up drinking in September. Well I lasted one day. Apart from the half a bottle of wine I had yesterday.
Astonishing to think that it's a week since Talking Cock ended. And that after five days of being at home we're still what feels like a few days away from having our lives in order.