It’s a weekend without the lodger as he’s gone away until Sunday evening – all the way to Edinburgh and back on the train for a day and a half, rather him than me – and it’s nice to have the house to myself. Don’t get me wrong, as lodgers go he’s not bad and I’ve certainly had worse. Yes, he’s very noisy leaving the house at 5am to go to work, but at least it’s only twice a week. It is also temporary that it’s so early. He works at Waitrose which is a two-minute walk away so for his 6am shift he wouldn’t be leaving the house until 5:55am, but because Waitrose is currently undergoing a refit he is working at the Waitrose in Newmarket – a small town about twenty minutes away. Not having a car means he must catch the train so must leave at 5am as the only train that will get him there on time is at 5:20am.
I’ve had a few lodgers in the past that had early starts or worked night shifts and never yet encountered one who understood the concept of trying to be quiet when leaving or entering the house at unsociable hours. If it’s a work day for me as well, then I don’t mind so much, but if it’s my day off – which Thursday was – and I’ve not been sleeping very well so am exhausted, being abruptly woken by a heart attack because someone has loudly slammed the dining room door right under your bedroom, stomped along the hallway, jingled the door chain and lock as noisily as possible, then slammed the front door, that’s not so tolerable.
Lying there trying to persuade my heart to start beating again, I desperately wanted to go back to sleep but my bladder got in on the act, so I had to get up and go downstairs to the bathroom. He’d left the hall light blazing away – again! Staggering through the kitchen with my eyes half shut I didn’t bother to put on the light and banged my hip on the dishwasher door he’d left open – Again! I reeled around the corner into the bathroom and bounced off his bathroom cabinet door which he’d left wide open – AGAIN!
What is it with men and cupboard doors? I’ve had this issue with almost every single male lodger I’ve ever had. And thinking about it, my ex was the same. Go to cupboard/drawer, take out or put something in, almost shut the cupboard/drawer but then walk away without finishing the job. Why? Why!? Is it sheer male stupidity that they don’t understand the concept of how doors and drawers work? Is it laziness that they can’t be bothered to finish the job? Or is it more why should they have to tidy up after themselves when there’s a perfectly good woman in the house to follow them around and do it for them?
I have spoken to him about it. He promised not to do it again. He’s done it again, and this time I hurt myself twice because he couldn’t be arsed to simply shut the fecking door! I also had to talk to him about putting sharp knives in the dishwasher pointed end up – very nasty when you’re unloading the cutlery tray and a knife point goes right up under your fingernail!
He’s clearly not going to respond to a “chat”, no matter how many times we have one, and to be honest, I’ve asked him once, having to constantly have a go at him about it will simply lead to resentful feelings on both our parts.
No, there’s nothing for it, the sticky notes are going to have to come out. Please shut and please switch off light notes strategically placed. We’ll see how that works. I don’t want to lose him, but neither can I let it go. Leaving the dishwasher door down is dangerous, any further down and I wouldn’t have banged into it I would have tripped over it, and then that could have been something broken – either me or the dishwasher – neither of which is desirable.
So, I’m enjoying my quiet weekend. Whilst he’s gone I shall vacuum right through the house as I’m reluctant to do the lounge and the stairs knowing he’s underneath and possibly napping – see, consideration, it should cut both ways!
I have the tortoise Poe to bathe and clean out. If animals are as smart as people claim they are, why do they always poo in their only source of fresh water? I checked that his heat lamp had come on this morning and noticed a monster turd floating in his pool, so I have that to sort out. Deep joy.
Then there’s the bathroom and kitchen to clean as usual. I took Mr M through the cleaning routine last weekend, but it made sense for me to clean this weekend as well because he’s away and then he can clean next weekend. I’m working both days plus Miss F is home so having someone else do the cleaning will be helpful.
I can’t believe that Miss F is coming home next Friday. On the one hand, it feels like ages since I last saw her, but on the other, it seems like only yesterday I was helping her settle into her dorm room. She’s coming home for six days and unfortunately, my shift pattern crapped out and I must work for four of them, which is just typical.
Oh well, we’ll still have two days together plus the evenings. She certainly has a lot to pack into those six days. Two sets of grandparents to see, friends to catch up on, hairdresser and optician appointments to attend, her second Covid jab to get, and on top of that, she will have a ton of online coursework to do as it’s not officially a half-term holiday but a week of self-directed study. That means she doesn’t have to physically be at the university, but she’ll still have work she’ll be expected to complete.
It’s not been a bad week, there’s been work of course, which was work. I’ve also been to the theatre twice, which was wonderful.
The first trip was last Sunday when I went to see the Irish comedian Ed Byrne at the Theatre Royal with M, one of my friends from my local author group. We’d arranged to meet on the corner of a road between mine and hers and on the way to the theatre. I got there first and stood under a streetlamp until I realised it looked a bit dodgy and there was a chance I might earn a few bob whilst I was waiting for her, so moved to the opposite side of the street.
The bar at the theatre had removed the plastic-lined runways since the last time I’d been in July, so we didn’t feel like sheep waiting to be dipped when we queued up to buy drinks and order ones for the interval, although the bar staff were as slow as ever. For October it was a beautiful evening, so we sat outside until the curtain bell rang, and it was time to go in.
Ed Byrne is hysterically funny, but a bit of a potty mouth and it was funny watching the mostly middle-class, middle-aged audience reactions. They wanted to laugh because what he’d said was relatable and funny, but oh my goodness, he’d dropped the F-bomb three times in one sentence! M and I were in the back row of a side box and as the first half wore on and the row in front of us remained empty, we exchanged considering glances.
The interval came along, and the people in the front seats were still a no show so when we’d collected our drinks and were once again sitting in the garden, we decided to nab those seats when we went back for the second half. The sightline from those ones was better, plus they were slightly longer so there was more space.
After the interval, M went for a pee, and I went back to our box. It was still empty, so I slithered into the front row. Two seconds later, of course, the door to the box banged open and it was a man and his son. They’d arrived late and the theatre staff didn’t want them to disrupt the performance by making them climb over us to get to their seats so had sat them elsewhere for the first half. Bugger. Apologising, I slithered back out of the front row and sat in my seat, exchanging a resigned look with M when she came back.
It was a great evening. There is something about watching live comedy with an audience that makes the comedian even funnier. I think the audience feeds off the energy and humour of everyone else. Laughter is infectious – anyone who has seen that fabulous YouTube clip of a man suddenly bursting out into wonderful laughter on a crowded tube and within minutes has everyone laughing with him, even though they have no idea what he’s laughing at – will know that.
Friday evening was my second trip to the theatre of the week. It was my belated birthday present to my friend S, so I met her from work and we wandered down to the Dog & Partridge which is the pub closest to the theatre. We got there at 5pm and didn’t need to be at the theatre until gone 7, so we had a nice long leisurely meal with a bottle of wine, coffee, and Amaretto chasers. It’s a nice pub, lovely atmosphere, friendly staff, spacious, good menu, and the food is delicious. I had the scampi and chips last time we were there, which was delicious, so this time I had an Unruly Burger. Not sure why it was unruly, but it was fabulous – a thick burger smothered in cheese, bacon, barbecue sauce, and mayo, with crunchy onion rings and sea salt and rosemary fries. Yum.
At about seven, we paid our bill, used the facilities in the pub rather than queue forever to use the ones in the theatre, and wandered the fifty yards into the theatre to order our drinks.
Again, we sat outside as it was mild enough to do so. Bearing in mind we were there to watch The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; the moon was suitably full and creepy with clouds wreathing it in true Halloween style.
The play was very good, although it did feel like the first half went on forever. At one point I was wondering if there was even going to be an interval. Luckily there was, and we were able to retrieve our drinks and once again sit outside to drink them. We could have sat in the bar, but there were a lot of people crowded in and it felt safer to avoid them and besides, we won’t be able to sit outside for much longer so we might as well enjoy it whilst we can.
The lodger had already left for Scotland by the time I got back, so I was able to lock the door, switch off all the lights and go to bed safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t be rudely awoken at silly o’clock by him trying to get out.
As it’s just me, the heating went off yesterday before I went to the theatre and won’t go back on until late Sunday evening just to warm the place through before he gets back. It’s not that cold yet, and a thick cardigan and an extra pair of socks are all I need to keep me warm during the day. I’ve laid a fire, so once it gets later and the temperature drops I will sit and eat my dinner in front of a roaring log fire and save a few essential pennies by not putting the heating on.
I’ve taken a fillet of smoked haddock out of the freezer and will make a creamy smoked haddock risotto for dinner. I’ve been eating so much more fish since Miss F left and I’m enjoying the fact my diet is now so varied and healthy.
Tomorrow I’m back to work for a couple of days. I don’t mind my job, but it has become very high-pressured and wears me down to the bone some days. At least tomorrow it’s only a six-hour shift though, so not too bad.
And that was my week, that was. A quiet, jogging along, kind of week. I did manage to write a few more thousand words of my current work in progress, but I have resigned myself to the fact that it won’t be published this year. I may have time to finish writing it, but that is merely the start of the process and there probably wouldn’t be time to do everything else necessary to launch before the end of November. Besides, it wouldn’t be fair to put my beta readers under that kind of pressure. It’s a big book, so it’s going to take them a while to read it thoroughly and pick up any parts that need amending. No, it’s better to wait and do it properly.
I hope wherever you are that you’re staying safe and keeping healthy and look forward to chatting with you next week. It may be a brief visit next time though, what with working all weekend and having Miss F home I will have to write it on Friday, and I don’t suppose much of interest will happen between now and then, so I won’t have much to tell you.