Sunday 31 August 2008

Bloody painful

14st 2lb (a distinct improvement, though Not Good Enough); 1.0 unit of alcohol yesterday (see previous comment); 1,254 days to Get It Right; Pantoland.

Of course, my welcome weight loss may be less to do with the practise of some much-needed self-restraint yesterday evening, and more with the reduced volume of blood circulating around my body as a result of it being sucked out of me in multiple locations. I woke early, itching like crazy, with bright red insect bites all over my arms and legs. Luckily I had a tube of soothing insect bite cream on my bedside table, so I applied it liberally to the affected areas and went back to sleep. When I woke again a couple of hours later the bites still itched like hell and my arm smelt powerfully of chicken. On closer inspection I realized that I had rubbed myself all over with the dog’s poultry flavoured toothpaste. No wonder he was giving me such a funny look as I applied it. I wonder whether this means that I have been trying to clean his teeth with an antihistamine cream. That might well account for some of his recent failures in the sense of humour department.

The good thing about a day which starts like this is that it cannot possibly get any worse. So I got up and put all my bedding on a very hot wash in the hope of (a) killing any bugs that might be lurking there, and (b) stopping it from smelling like a superannuated chicken and mushroom pie which was rather short on mushrooms. I also re-potted the banana plant which arrived in the post as a tiny seedling only a few months ago, in return for two foil caps from Blandy’s Madeira; a promotion so weird that I felt bound to break the habit of a lifetime and participate in it. Already the bloody thing is filling about a quarter of my conservatory and lending it the atmosphere of a tropical rain forest as water constantly drips from its huge leaves. I half expect to come down in the morning and find an orang-utan swinging from a branch, or Jimmy Krankie teetering perilously at the top in a production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

After a bit more cleaning, tidying and plant watering I managed to spend the entire afternoon struggling to write a newspaper column. This inspired two gloomy reflections. First, that if I had taken about 15 minutes longer I would actually have earned more per hour in some minimum wage job stacking shelves or picking vegetables, which would also have provided me with some beneficial exercise. And, second, that the end product must of course be crap because all my best received contributions are the ones which I dash off in the 45 minutes before the deadline, with minimal effort and inspiration.

How better to cheer myself up this evening than by consuming the plastic pouch of Tesco carrot and coriander soup which had been lurking at the bottom of my freezer since mid-February 1993? When I was still the right side of 40 and John Major was in Number 10. Oh yes. Those were the days, albeit only with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

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