Friday 3 July 2009

A big fan of wax earplugs

14st 10lb, 4.4 units. Wax earplugs are definitely the way forward. Their successful deployment overnight made for an altogether better start to the day than I enjoyed yesterday. But then that provides an exceptionally low base for comparison, since I began Thursday by walking into the utility room and squelching straight into a huge woopsie (© Michael Crawford as Frank Spencer in Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em, 1973) right in the middle of the floor, some distance from the cat’s litter tray.

I gave what would be described in nature documentaries as a distress call, and described in vivid detail to Mrs H what her cat had done. (It is always her cat / son when anything goes wrong with either of them, though they are naturally ours if they do anything particularly cute. Not that the cat has ever managed that, come to think of it, or seems likely to do so. It’s the same sort of principle by which Andy Murray will be a great British hero in the unlikely event that he wins at Wimbledon this afternoon, but a useless Scotch berk when he loses.)

I asked, theatrically, whether there could possibly have been a worse start to the day, and Mrs H enquired whether I was wearing my slippers at the time, which I was. She then pointed out that it would have been considerably worse if I had been barefoot. With the utmost reluctance, I felt compelled to concede the point, which did nothing to improve my mood.

The worst thing that happened to me this morning, by contrast, was nearly falling over in a heap on the floor when I brought the dog back from his early morning walk, since our friendly local handyman had sent round one of his operatives while I was out to ease off the front door, which has been so stiff ever since it was installed late last year that it only opened when shoulder-charged from the far end of the front path. Mrs H was finding this incompatible with pushing a buggy. Fair enough, though it does make it imperative that we move before the onset of a winter, when there will now doubtless be a howling gale blowing through the door at every edge.

I took a routine press call for a client this morning, for the first time in years. Someone from a local paper wanted to know if there was any truth in the rumour that the client was in advanced talks about buying a former Woolworths store in Ormskirk. I bothered a busy man to check the facts before ringing back with the stock response about not commenting on rumours that I should have remembered to give at the outset, if only my PR skills weren't so rusty.

"OK," said the journalist. "How about the same rumour in Southport, then?"

Luckily I remembered in the nick of time that it is considered the height of bad manners for a PR man to call anyone in the media a twat, at least until he has put the phone down.

The improvement over yesterday in the quality of the morning was mirrored in the evening, mainly because it was considerably cooler. This could have been safely predicted because yesterday I called in at a DIY warehouse on the way home from the office, and bought a large fan in an attempt to make the house vaguely bearable. This took some time to assemble and then did not bloody work, as tradition demands, so I wasted most of the evening taking it to bits again and fiddling around with it. Eventually it sprang into life, with the exception of its remote control, which proved to be terminally knackered. The hot weather duly broke about 15 minutes later.

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