Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Still Here

Three years since my last blog post? Oops. I blinked and missed that one passing by. No new excuses apart from that I’ve been a bit busy, a bit lazy and a bit distracted and the usual random clichés about time passing and all that.

I’ll do a quick update. It’s a bit like one of those American series where they say “Previously on…” in a deep voice then regale you with a recap from the last seven seasons.

I bought a flat in London

In my twenties I had recurrent anxiety attacks that I’d never own a property, wouldn’t have any capital or pension and would end up old and alone and living in a grotty council flat in a tower block with a bizarre set of neighbours who played loud music and urinated through my letter box. Fast forward twenty years and I’ve paid an obscene amount for an ex-council flat in London. I could have bought a three bed detached house back in the Midlands for the price I paid for this flat. It’s actually quite lovely too and not in a grimy tower block. It’s in a conservation area on a tree lined Edwardian street. It was built in 1951 over a hole left by a bomb in The Blitz. We’re twenty minutes from Charing Cross by train (an all important stat in London).  

It was a bit of a hole when we moved in. There was a hideous smell of fried fish and the kitchen had a carpet that defied all rules of science and was simultaneously slippy and sticky. After months of scrubbing, bleaching and painting it’s not looking too terrible and apart from a dicky boiler that needs careful coaxing; things are good. We’ve even got our own garden that we’ve hacked into a semblance of order.

The neighbours have yet to urinate through my letter-box but give it time.

I bought a poodle

They’re the third cleverest breed of dog, according to some dodgy research. Mine is wise and sly. She can outwit Paul and I and has uncanny powers of anticipation and deduction. She’s destined for fame and (completely unprompted by us) walked across the kitchen floor on her hind legs one day. I feel that a tutu, a flaming hoop and a rousing soundtrack are needed (for the poodle, not for me). The circus beckons us. I also now know the names of all the poodle trims and am a complete poodle bore.

I bought a lot of theatre tickets

I’m still obsessed by theatre and pour all my spare cash into seeing plays. I also won a competition to be a public panel member for a year for a well-known West End theatre awards. This was a great experience with up sides (I saw some amazing plays, met some lovely and interesting people and broadened my knowledge of theatre). There were also unexpected down sides (I saw some terrible plays, I met someone who I found unbearable and had to be polite to and I spent time in the torturous bench seats at The Globe). The awards process was somewhat bizarre too. I’m also still reviewing plays, still telling people to shut the fuck up for talking and still have a creaky back and dodgy knees from spending too much time slumped in uncomfortable seats.

I bought some alcohol, diazepam and a lot of cigarettes

The emotional distress of moving house twice, moving jobs twice and leaving behind my friends took a minor toll. I ended up having some issues with anxiety again and fell back into having destructive drinking benders and messed up a little. I smoked a lot, paid to see a private psychiatrist who charged me a lot of money and gave me boxes of benzodiazepines to chomp on. I’ve ditched the shrink, I’m back off the booze and pills and have regained some equilibrium again. Let’s not mention the ciggies for now, though.

I didn’t buy a ring

Paul and I are still together five and half years down the line and we’re happy sometimes, irritable occasionally and very nonchalant at others. The whole wedding thing isn’t for me currently. My views may change but I’d rather get taken Up West than down the aisle. I’m not one for a fuss and I’m waiting till we need a new set of pans or for my ancient toaster to give up the ghost before we think about all that.

Three years in summary but naturally I have a lot of tales to tell and plan to divulge a few. Maybe next week, next month or next year. I’m not promising a thing.


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