9.10 a.m: Email from the managing agents of our rented flat encompassing an ongoing goonery of such staggering accomplishment it is acquiring its own peculiar beauty:
‘Yes, you’re right, we did receive your cheque, rendering the second demand we sent you a paper joke. And while you’re at it, forget about the other demand for 5 billion pounds to paint the exterior of the building because you and the other tenants sussed we are the Wizard of Oz and so now we need to start the process all over again. Lots of love.’
9.30 a.m: Pick up undelivered mail from Royal Mail delivery office. Divine feelings of antipathy towards my fat car blocking those of busier, more important people.
Enter office and question wisdom of sign requesting customers not to abuse staff when they clearly need a thorough bludgeoning, along with every evil warlord in the queue in front of me.
10 a.m: Materialise at leisure facility where I am a fresh member. Have photograph taken for membership, looking like a pregnant police-custody Hugh Grant.
Dip toe romantically in rainy outdoor pool. Flee screaming indoors to hot sporey sweat-box. Begin lengths feeling hatred towards:
a.) woman swimming too close to me, forcing me to do palsied breast-stroke when she passes;
b.) the well-intentioned oversized beasts doing aqua aerobics and causing me to swallow large gulps of the resulting undulating water;
c.) the mother and baby class because of all that pure love and joyful clapping with flat hands, in the style of Hollywood actresses.
Experience maths exam anxiety trying to calculate how many more lengths I would have to complete if I switched mid-way from the 15 metre indoor pool to the 25 metre outdoor pool, based on the number of lengths I used to do at my old 20 metre pool. Plus 2 OCD roly-polies and 2 lengths of backstroke. While remembering what length I am currently on. While hating all the people above.
11.45 am: Go to Westfield shopping behemoth to return a pair of shoes, standing next to a woman wearing so much make-up I can’t help studying her, like a disease under a microscope. Wonder how she can be bothered to apply it. Wonder if her lips will stay that colour all day. Wonder if this is attractive. Observe that it’s an exuberant hue, so maybe.
Realise she is arguing with the assistant, who keeps repeating that the shoes in question are not in the sale, until her mother pitches up and tells the assistant, ‘Your record is stuck’. To which the assistant replies huffily, ‘Well, I’m sorry if that’s how you feel but they weren’t in the sale section’. To which the mother says, ‘No, the tune on your duke box..Oh, my mistake. It’s just that modern music’.
Which I find quite funny.
12.00 pm: Walk back via Levi’s to see if there’s anything on which I can spend a credit note and decide this is a brand stuck in the past.
The one where people looked cool wearing tight little Michelin-man zip-up jackets over enormous lumber jack shirts.
12.15 pm: Discover there is threadworm at Bruno’s nursery, which is bad news for everyone except Bruno, who finally has a legitimate reason to expound on his favourite subjects, bottoms and poo, lit-up from within with the charisma of Mario Testino.
12.40 pm: Eat Heinz spaghetti on toast followed by a walnut whip, for lunch. They’re retro, they’re populist, they’re Wogan.
So I follow them up with Terry Jacks singing ‘Seasons in the Sun’ on youtube, in all its catchy, story-telling, key-changing, melancholic glory.
And I’m a lisping, gap-toothed kid messing with my sisters’ vinyl singles until this rainy Monday morning becomes a rainy Monday afternoon.