I’m barely getting the chance to sit down for five minutes at a time before something (or someone) interrupts me, so if I’m conspicuous by absence anywhere it really isn’t my fault. If you remember my irritation at possibly having my brother come to stay, along with his family, then I’m pleased to say they have found somewhere. It’s smaller than they wanted, but it will suffice in the interim. I’m less pleased to say they have roped me in to the idiotic rush to do everything over the course of two weekends (which is why I’m not in the best mood), and this decision means that, alongside the Herculean efforts I’m making to be everywhere I’m meant to be, I also have more work when I ought to be relaxing.
At this point I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to untangle myself from all my commitments once March rolls around – a month in which, historically, I have been able to catch a breather. I’ve already missed a doctor’s appointment, left books on a train (three, count em’, three), lost my chance to attend Angoulême, fried a classic games console, and mislaid a handwritten manuscript. Things don’t appear to be settling down any, as there is no time set aside next week for myself either. Is this a rant? I don’t know any more, because my short-term memory is fucked. My vision is also being affected by the lack of sleep or rest, though double-vision can be kinda fun if it isn’t permanent. Don’t ask me to re-wire anything though.
Ach. I’m ahead of myself. Backtrack to the last paragraph… The doctor’s appointment was for the nasty evil nipple on my wrist. I’m still thinking that it is needing taken care of, but as I can’t drag myself off to take a shit in peace, I don’t know when I’ll have enough time to take a couple of hours away from the neverending madness. The books I left behind – The Herald Of Coming Good by Gurdjieff, Newton’s Wake by Ken MacLeod and The Chemistry Of Death by Simon Beckett – which I have been half-reading on my journeys, were forgotten as I tried valiantly to stay on schedule. I was offered the chance to travel to Angoulême by a friend who was travelling South for the festival, but with everything that is happening I’m in no position to escape for a few days to read BD, as much fun as it sounds.
The games console… Oh man, that deserves it’s own paragraph. I got a hold of a small stand-alone unit a couple of years ago – a battery-powered unit with screen, controls and a single game loaded onto the hard drive. They were popular back in the eighties, and I thought it might make an interesting addition to the collection of games I’ve been amassing. It had (or had) it’s own adapter for mains usage, but there was something wrong with the unit and I decided to check whether the problem came from the unit or the adapter, so I used a multi-purpose adapter with various power outputs. Of course, being deprived of sleep makes even simple jobs horrendously complex, and I forgot to check the output before switching it on. Cue faint smell of burnt plastic and metal.
The manuscript is less important than you may think, mostly because it is (was, dammit, was – I keep using the wrong tense) a parody of eighties horror, teen comedy and action films. There were references to everything from the Stallone and Arnholt brain-dead canon, Hughes teen comedies, Freddy (Jason, Myers, et al) right through to the Stephen King novels of the era. I think I made point of a few television shows as well, because I vaguely remember writing a monologue about The A-Team. I don’t consider parodies less worthy than ‘straight’ novels, and the reason I’m not cut up about the loss is simply because most of what I wrote wasn’t very good. It is also rather weird to consider an entire era worthy of parody, but if any decade deserves scrutiny for artistic and fashion crimes then the eighties is the decade I would turn to first.
I should mention Wednesday night here as well, because things started going wrong then. That is the night I spent four hours sitting, alone, in an empty apartment – no television or radio, no kettle (and thus no coffee), no seating of any sort… I was waiting on an electrician (or a plumber, or gas engineer, or someone else) to turn up while my brother sorted out other things. Needless to say the idiot never turned up, and I had to make my way home at an ungodly hour. The guy did show up eventually… After 8am the next day. I’m pretty sure that was around the point when my week went wrong. Having been unable to recover the time from such a pointless task has pushed everything else, concertina-like, into a time-frame which is impossible to deal with.
This is also where I’ll ask everyone to be patient. I know I’ve said I’ll do stuff (and I will), but there’s so little time that isn’t occupied by something else that I don’t know when I’ll be able to get around to doing anything. The epic lists – back when my spiralling OCD was out of control – are all still on compressed Win 98 disks. The dictionaries and media guides which I spent so long accumulating and indexing are going to be decompressed when I have the chance. I have the disk now (got one yesterday) but I have no way of knowing when I’ll have the chance to load the OS onto a spare laptop. There are so many things on the To Do list that it might be the middle of April before I’m in a position to think straight.
I mentioned the giant ice-trail down the side of my house, and the £210 it cost to get the drip repaired, but it seems that the idiot repairman sent to do the job was a bit hasty in getting me to fork out cash for the repair. It is back, and with a vengeance. There’s a growing puddle of water in the pot below the drip, and I’m getting a migraine just thinking about how much it will cost to get fixed a second time. The financial pressure on keeping this house from falling down around me is beginning to piss me off. If I had managed to get half-decent repairs done five years ago (when I spent upwards of £20k on the building) I wouldn’t be so annoyed, but it seems that all of the so-called experts in this country are taking liberties with their qualifications.
I’ll be busy, just in case anyone needs to get in touch. My mobile is on mute, the house ‘phone is unplugged and I’ve got half a mind to tape the letter box shut while I’m out. And don’t bother calling when I am home, because you’ll just get yelled at. Or water poured over you from an upstairs window.
[This post took five hours (on and off) to write. Don’t think I’m slacking off here.]