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. […]

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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 […]

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The Phat Stacks

03 February 2018 | Diary

I’ve been having a frustrating time this week with taxes. As a recidivist wastrel, filing my tax return is usually straightforward. I just pop my income and expenses into the online self-assessment thingy with one hand while eating a burrito with the other. My earnings tend to be minuscule compared to those of normal, non-workshy […]

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The Station

27 January 2018 | Diary

Our local railway station must have been designed by Satan himself. Every detail has been expertly sculpted to cumulatively unhinge the once-sane commuter. It is a work of total design genius, the Mackintosh House of Hell. At first, the station seems quite charming. There’s a bucket of flowers maintained by Friends of the Station and […]

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The Reaction Test

20 January 2018 | Diary

After an unusually busy day working in the capital, I scurry to the National Museum of Scotland to meet my wife and her parents. My in-laws are visiting us from Canada and today had been their Edinburgh day. By the time I reached them, they’d already seen my favorite items in the museum — the […]

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The Netflix

13 January 2018 | Diary

Enjoying some time in bed with the sniffles, I decide to sign up to Netflix — or “Net Flicks” as I naively thought it was called until today. When did I get so old? Why can’t we live forever? A universally popular TV-streaming service, I think, probably beats staring at the formation of cracks in […]

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The Letter

06 January 2018 | Diary

Friday night and my arm is worn out. Not for the reason you’re thinking of (honestly, madam, where do you get it from?) but because I’ve been writing a letter. Yes, a proper, long-form letter with an old-fashioned pen and paper. Two sides of A4 if you must know (and you must). A friend wants […]

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Wash Your Neck

15 April 2017 | Diary

Every now and then, something from my working-class childhood floats up in memory to give me a shudder. The Nit Nurse, for example, or a scene glimpsed through a Blackpool window in 1993. And then there’s Athlete’s Foot. Whatever happened to it? The 1980s was a golden age for Athlete’s Foot, a festive dusting of […]

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Shits All Over a Nectarine

08 April 2017 | Diary

I like peaches, they’re my favourite fruit. But you always have to eat them in your least-favourite suit. Poetry! Maybe I’ll start each of my diary entries in this way from now on. Tune in next week to see if I stay true to this dream, idly cooked though it was in the fires of […]

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12 February 2017 | Diary

I found myself thinking today about Luke. You remember Luke. He was the chap who, when I was on work experience at the council, occupied a corner office designed to segregate him from the others lest he distract them with his exquisite beauty. He was the one who taught me how to skive by playing […]

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