Thursday, 11 September 2008

In the bleak midwinter

Isn’t that photograph of Norwich RC Cathedral beautiful? Norwich is amazing. This is the smaller of the two cathedrals in Norwich! It won’t be long before we see that kind of weather again – I do like snow as it looks so beautiful, but it’s terribly inconvenient.

The nights are definitely drawing in. It’s colder, wetter and I even had to dig out my winter coats this week. I know it’s a generic thing to say but really – where did the summer go? Did it ever arrive? I remember a fortnight in May where it was beautifully sunny. Never fear – next year I shall venture abroad to somewhere I can lie next to a pool on a sun lounger and do nothing. I may read a few books. Ah, the sunshine. How I miss thee.

I got my results back – I am not diabetic or anaemic. I am allergic to some nuts, which wasn’t terribly helpful as I knew that anyway. The weird thing about the results was that the test showed an allergic reaction to peanuts and not almonds, when in fact it’s the other way around. I discussed this with the doctor, who told me that my IgE level was so high that it could, and probably did, produce false positives. Eep.

In other news, Mr Charming and I have our fifth anniversary coming up soon. We have the day off from work, which is always nice. We’re not sure what we’ll do but it will involve dinner in the evening. I can’t believe it’s been that long already, to be honest. It feels like it should be no more than about three years. It’s all good.

I had another encounter with Grumpy Man the other day. He appears to have taken rather a shine to making my walk from the train station to work as difficult as possible. He’s there when I walk to the gate, out of the door and along the road to the office. I know, this does sound arrogant but honestly, the guy just doesn’t have anything else to do. So, there I am, walking to work and I cross the road to turn into the road that my office is on. Out of nowhere, GM appears and nips in front of me. He’s so close I almost trip over his heels. I tend to walk fast and I’ve noticed that people, especially men, dislike it when I overtake them. Once, a guy even ran onto the road to get round me when I’d overtaken him. Seriously. It’s not my fault that I’m usually cutting it a bit close to be wherever I need to be.

Anyway, GM had positioned himself so he was in the most awkward place possible. Directly in front of me, on a path that would be wide enough to cross on if he hadn’t insisted on walking like a gorilla. When I moved onto the grass to get past him, he moved over too. After about thirty seconds of this ridiculous dance I shouldered past him, muttering “Excuse me, please”. As soon as I did this, he crossed to the other side of the road. Basically, he’s an absolutely giant ass. It’s a shame, because there are a few Natives like him who walk the same way and get the same trains. It’d be nice to have a bit of company. Apparently he’d rather make a fool out of himself than act like a normal human being.

Speaking of which, I had company on the train the other day! It was the homeward bound train, rather than the morning one. A little early for a shopping trip, I feel. Anyway, Miss F and I rendezvoused under the station clock... Well, outside the train station, at least. It was really nice to have someone to speak to for a change. I was a bit aware that there were a couple of passengers who were particularly interested in our conversation, like the guy who came on clutching a can of Strongbow and then proceeded to stare at us for the half hour he was on the train. When he finally got off we were treated to a whiff of him as he swept past us – it’s really hard to describe the smell – old clothes, stale BO, alcohol…. You get the idea.

A little after he left two blokes stormed down the carriage. They were typical Bad Men – loud, proud and the types who would fly off the handle if someone looked at them the wrong way. As they walked past us Miss F had the pleasure of a corner of the last one’s jacket on the shoulder. He turned back. I have to admit, I held my breath for a split second. Then he said “Sorry!”. It was all a bit confusing, really. They proceeded to have a rip roaring barney peppered with suitably Northern words like ‘div’ as well as the usual suspects (begins with mother ends with... well , you get it) but then one of them announced he was going to sit down, stormed back down the train and sat down. Politely. Quietly. He even leant across to ask me something when I was making a cigarette (“Excuse me, love?”) but then decided not to and apologised instead. I reckon he wanted to ask for some tobacco but then saw that it was Cutter’s Choice and thought better of it.

It was still strange, though. I do think that either one of them would have a go at anyone who looked at them the wrong way, but they were also aware of the social environment they were in, and nodded towards that from time to time. It was a bit like the Friends kitchen phenomenon, where anything said in the kitchen can’t be heard in the living room.

Operation Hush is full steam ahead – there will be a decision around Tuesday next week, and the likelihood of the outcome being agreeable to me is 50%. Not bad odds – not as good as I hope right now, but we’ll see.

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