Getting up requires a bit of a run-up. I start making plans for it at 6:00 and revise them at 6:30, 7:00, 8:00 and 8:30, that is to say whenever I wake up.
I’m not a prime physical specimen, it has to be said, even at the best of times, which this is certainly not. I am aching all over, and the leg that had the infection in it has decided to join in the fun by turning dark red again. Through some force of will, and/or superego I drag myself onto a bus and up to Virgin.
I used to be a lot better at buying presents, or at least I used to put a lot more work into it, but these days I find myself doing it all at one media store or another. Age-related imagination failure, no doubt. Despite the fact that the process is very shallow it does take an inordinately long time, partly because I spend at least some of the time just staring into space.
I suppose with my dishevelled appearance and tendency to walk into things I must have appeared to be some kind of drunk to the people behind the counters (all the more surprising when I whip out a credit card and buy Stuff). That is to say my excessively dishevelled appearance and increased tendency to walk into things.
The gift for myself that finds its way into the pack is the soundtrack to The Wicker Man.
When I get home I find that there’s a letter from the telephone company telling me that I really should have paid my bill several years ago, so I set off in search of a PayPoint (to no avail – a complete waste of an hour). On returning home again I discover a large stream pouring into the hallway from my flat. Arse.
It appears that the ceiling where the drip is has finally given way and a large chunk of plaster has landed on the ball-cock, precipitating a tumultuous flow of water into the tank, from there into the overflow pipe and the sink. It appears that the sink very quickly filled up and overflowed itself and that’s where the water downstairs is coming from. So some minutes are spent pulling chunks of soggy plaster from the water tank. Joy.
Having put the plaster into plastic bags, I run some water through the tank (to try to get rid of the plaster contamination) and put the water heater on for a bath, which does get rid of some of the aching. Then I wrap the presents (since they’re all rectangular, that makes the task a lot easier).
Pa comes over to collect his and runs me up to the station. He also brings a gift from New York, which is a bag for the iBook. Hurrah! It is dead groovy, with all sorts of pockets and things in it. This is what I want from a bag: all sorts of pockets and things.
I have missed the 7:35 by a minute or so (although my organisational abilities are at something of a premium at the moment, particularly my ticket-buying skills, so I’d have had to have been a lot earlier if I’d wanted to catch the earlier train. Like yesterday). It’s a good job I didn’t go off yesterday or there would have been a semi-permanent water feature in the hallway.
There may well still be, actually, since there’s a bit of as yet unfallen ceiling that I’m suddenly remembering.