Diary

The Sunshine and the Penny

21 April 2018 | Diary

Lovely! It’s a bit of the old whatchamacallit. You know, the old anti-sad. Sunshine. That’s the one. Yes, the sun is out for springtime and everybody I see on the street is wearing a pair of stylish sunglasses as if it doesn’t mean a thing. Let me tell you, a Scottish person in sunglasses is […]

Read More

The Missy

14 April 2018 | Diary

We’ve been looking after Missy, my mum’s cat. She’s getting on in years now — the cat, that is; Mummy’s the same age she’s always been — and her personality has changed since I first petted her tiny cat head. Missy used to be a tremendously affectionate and cooperative cat, perfectly happy for you to […]

Read More

The Litter

07 April 2018 | Diary

One of my regular walks takes me through an alley which happens to have some truly top-drawer litter. You bet I’m going to tell you about it. First, I should explain, it is not strictly an alley. Your classic Type-1 alley would have obscuring walls on each side. This alley has a mesh fence on […]

Read More

The Queue

24 March 2018 | Diary

When you want to collect a package from our local postal depot, you have to wait in a room the size of a toilet cubicle. The walls are decorated with photographs of naughty dogs who are known to have the taste for postal workers’ hands. I assume this Rogues’ Gallery is a bit like the […]

Read More

The Whistle

17 March 2018 | Diary

One of my as-yet-unmonetized talents, along with a creditable proficiency at armpit music, is the ability to whistle quite loudly and for an insanely long time. I don’t mean the sort of whistle that requires fingers in the mouth like the wolf whistle issued involuntarily by a retired bricklayer on hearing the clip-clop of heels […]

Read More

Le Voyage en Frants

10 March 2018 | Diary

I have a longstanding campaign — fought largely in private and only, it must be said, while drunk — to have France renamed “Frants” in accordance with its correct pronunciation. “I have gone to Frants,” one might write in a note to the tax man or a loved one, “and I’m not coming back.” As […]

Read More

The Guest Bedroom

03 March 2018 | Diary

What are you supposed to do with a guest bedroom when you don’t actually have a guest in it? Just leave it alone? Come now, madam, that’s no way to milk 600 words out of nothing. Looking for a new home in 2016, we had a ludicrous number of criteria for a rented flat to […]

Read More

The Asteroid

24 February 2018 | Diary

On nights when I can’t sleep — nights like tonight — I find myself thinking about asteroids. There’s over 150 million of the fuckers up there, just hanging around and, so far as I can tell, waiting to fall on our heads. (In case you’re curious, this doesn’t help me get to sleep. It’s just […]

Read More

The Occupied

14 February 2018 | Diary

I awoke this morning — okay, fine, this afternoon — to find a Valentine’s card propped up on the dining table. Either Samara had placed it there before leaving for work, or an especially committed, Eugene Victor Tooms-like admirer had slithered through a vent in the night and left it without disturbing either of us. […]

Read More

The Potatoes

10 February 2018 | Diary

I’m 35 years old but I’m constantly taken aback by the horrors of adult life. Listen to this. A couple of weeks ago I bought a small bag of new potatoes. Wait. It gets better. We’re not exactly a meat-and-two-veg sort of household, so it was with a sense of ticklish nostalgia with which I […]

Read More