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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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