This post is really a stop-gap between piss-takes, specifically asked for by Rachel who is fed up with people talking about her oral sex-life every time they come here for an update. I may have unwittingly kept the attention on it with this entry though, and for that I am very sorry (I lie). Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
I have been doing my best to entertain T2, as well as struggling to keep up with work events, which all seem to have fallen on the same week, despite having waited about 2 months for one particularly expensive and important item to be made for me.
I picked it up the day before yesterday and measured it yesterday, only to find it is the wrong size and unusable. I made a surprise visit to the maker, so he could not blame it on me by destroying the drawing I made for it, but when I checked I saw the incorrect dimensions my own handwriting, and I had to bite the bullet.
You would have thought that with the clocks going back this weekend Stephenson would have set his on his blog so that we know what time he wrote the bloody thing but as always he has not touched it and I don't know why. Fucking hell why do I find it so irritating that he refuses to set his clock maybe I should take no notice but somehow I can't stop myself from getting angry about it maybe I should just ignore it but I can't. I had decided that I was not going to talk about football at all in this post but did you see that amazing goal by Scholes where he tucked his leg behind the other one and and just flicked it in it was amazing and has to be mentioned. P has gone off to plough a field or something and I cannot go to have my hair done today because it is Sunday. Fucking hell why don't hairdressers open on Sundays like everyone else does these days. M asked me the other day if P and me had oral sex and I said yes we do. We have it every day. He says 'fuck you' and I say 'fuck you too'. I will not be eating any vegetables today unless you count tomatoes as vegetables which I do even though some people call them fruit. Fucking hell they are not fruit. Why do people call them fruit when they are not. I was throwing a box at P yesterday as he went out of the door and it hit the wall. Loads of my old drawings from art school fell out and I looked at them for about an hour forgetting about the argument with P. Some of them are really good and I don't know how I ended up as a stock broker but I was very good at that as well which is how I got to own this lovely cottage in the middle of nowhere. I am wearing a hat as I write this and I don't care if you don't like it because it is a good hat no matter what Stephenson thinks about it. Fuck him.
I am knackered. A long and difficult night shift followed by three hours on the end of the phone talking to practical jokers, and I get home to discover that all the chicken sheds have been blown over in the wind, and the badger has eaten all the chickens which have escaped into the churchyard, with a little help from the fox.
Oh well, I think, I might as well collect the last of the eggs to deliver to the old ladies of the village, but - bugger me - one of the dogs has got to them before I did.
Just as in The Archers, all of the flowers have been flattened in the hurricane as well, so this year's show is going to be very sparse indeed.
I thought there would be just enough time to squeeze Millicent's anal glands before Chris gets back from his very important meeting at work, but what do I find when I go up to change the duvet? One of the dogs has had an extremely loose bowel-movement all over it, and the cat has settled down in the middle of the stinking mess, purring away as if nothing has happened.
What we call decent breakfast in my part of the world, NOT some lefty nonsense involving hummus or seaweed.
I didn't have to pay 35 Euros per kilo for those mushrooms, I picked them myself THIS MORNING. 5 o'clock this morning, in fact.
Every time I go back to Brighton I time it for the annual Baked Bean Festival there, because you just CANNOT get a decent baked bean anywhere in France, so I fill the Compact Royce with them. Lady Magnon isn't too happy about being squeezed in the back with five boxes of the things, but - like I say - finding a baked bean worth the name in France is like trying to buy a flat-packed wheelbarrow in Blighty - it CAN'T be done. You have to buy the wheelbarrow in one piece then disassemble it just to put it in the car. Even then you find that there isn't enough room for both it and the beans, so Lady Magnon has to take the train back.
What am I going to do with all these quinces?
(What fun! Don't hurry back, Darling Tom - we are going to do Rachel next!)
This is the avatar I have chosen for H.I. when I write on a forum pretending to be her and not Tom Stephenson. It's rather charming (as my German friend, T1, would say) don't you think?
It doesn't fool anyone because they all know it is me, and when I write as myself, my avatar is Father Jack so there is definitely no confusion.
Both images encapsulate the essence of me and H.I. - one being the quintessence of femininity and the other a stark reminder of what can happen to a man when he lets himself go.
The other dear German friend arrives from Bremerhaven this weekend to stay for a while, and this will be about the 15th visit to Bath he has made over the last 20 years or so.
The first time he came, I was living in a tiny cottage in a small village just outside Bath, and we all had to sleep in the same room.
This was the first time I met him and I - understandably - thought he was T1's latest boyfriend, so I put them in the same bed. Both of them didn't sleep at all, because we had all gone to the local pub to eat and drink, then drink some more and, although I have no recollection of it, they told me that I snored louder than anyone else they had ever heard - all night.
In the morning, T2 took me to one side and quietly informed me that he was not - like T1 - Gay, and requested his own bed for the next night.
T2 spent about 15 years studying to be a dentist, not because this is how long it takes in Germany (though it is quite a long time), but because he kept failing one particular exam due to running out of money. He was supported by his 'extreme-rich aunt' for the whole of this period, and is now a very good and popular dentist in Bremerhaven.
T1 has been a graphic artist for many years, starting off as a Marxist and eventually graduating to a Catholic lay-priest, doing the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on the way. Outwardly, he doesn't seem to have changed at all, other than wearing a small, silver Coquille St Jacques around his neck in the place of the Hammer and Sickle.
He is still as obsessed with the Eastern Block as he was before the wall came down, but now you can buy all those Russian sub-mariner's watches for peanuts, whereas before they were exotic and mysterious.
T1 lives in Hamburg, where I first met him when he was assigned as my helper for the theatre company I worked for at the time. Occasionally, a Soviet Navy ship would berth in the harbour there, but the sailors were not allowed to leave the ship and visit the Reeperbahn as generations of sailors had before them, so T1 would have to hire a rowboat and pull up alongside them to exchange gifts and trinkets, all the transactions carried out in broken Russian. How he lusted after those sailors.
The salt water laps up against both of their lives - T1's access to it is down the broad beginning of the Elba river to the Nordsee, and T2's practice is right on the docks of the old Fish Harbour.
The U-Boat bunkers in Hamburg still stick out of the water like jagged islands, having been bombed out of existence in WW2, but - like the Flak-Towers - are too solid to completely demolish and forget.
The 100 year-old fish-packing factories in Bremerhaven were the only buildings not to receive direct hits in 1943, but now they are all restaurants that specialise in fish, rather than processing and packing them. All that is done on board the factory ships these days, so is already packed in ice when it comes back to the ice-factory. The ice factory is still working though, and it is amazing to watch it disgorge tons of white slush into the boats via a huge overhead conveyor.
T2 used to live in a small apartment over his practice next to the harbour, and one day he had T1 around for lunch on the open-air balcony.
T2 took the plate of seafood to the table where T1 was gently sleeping in a chair, then went inside to fetch his own. In the few seconds he turned his back, T1 had woken up, eaten the entire plate of food, then gone back to sleep again.
He woke him up, astounded at the speed he finished it off before returning to his nap, but T1 had no recollection of having eaten anything.
They looked up to the roof to see a huge Gull staring greedily at T2's full plate...
Did I say I wasn't going to post for a few days? Well I was lying. I used to live here - a few hundred yards from a prehistoric stone circle which only me and a handful of others know about, and that handful is the Bradford on Avon Amateur Archeological Association.
This is one of the original standing stones, now prone and lying there, waiting for cars like mine to be parked upon it.
Others lurk in the undergrowth,
... like this one. Nearby there is an ancient earthwork and stone conglomeration called 'Jugg's Grave'. Look it up on an OS Map.
And closer again, someone has dumped the second most expensive vacuum cleaner in the world.
I once tried to rent this cottage, also close by. The outgoing tenant advised me not to, because the place was haunted by the entire family of an axe-murderer who killed them all in it, and I later found out that this was true.
I see the current tenants are getting into the Halloween spirit quite nicely, and also quite early.
I will respond to all your lovely comments from this morning tomorrow, honest!