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Friday, August 3

A Grand Day Out

I'll tell you this. Being unemployed seems like a lot more work than being in a job. I woke up before 8 this morning after a general lack of sleep and fitful sleep when it came. After morning coffee I was on the road to Newcastle. I had time on the journey to plan my attack. In fact I took that time to listen to a couple of musicals, but my attack was planned aswell. I multi task.

Problem one was the very bad smell of dog poo. Some motorway service station sandwiches are terrible. Joke. I hadn't eaten the poo. I'd stepped in it, apparently. It's odd. I noticed a sort of bad smell when I got in the car in London to head up north. It was on my shoe. I drove without the air con on up to Newcastle so as not to aggravate the smell and get any more of it into my nose. As I have an over step, the poo was on both the underside and the rear side of my right shoe. I reasoned that some baby wipes from the supermarket would help me to a convincing clean up operation. Either that or I'd have to pick up some new shoes in town when I went in, around lunchtime in order to meet someone for coffee whom I used to meet regularly when I lived here.

At the supermarket I bought a load of cleaning materials. It wasn't because I was going to go mental on the shoe. I reasoned that I had three prospective tenants to show around the house and it would probably look nicer if I gave things a damned good cleaning. I also bought the baby wipes. At the car the shoe proved too much for the wipes. Oh Yuck.

At my house I had a good look around and worked out a plan of action. I needed to vacuum everywhere and clean the bathroom, porch and kitchen sink. In general the place was in good condition, except the garden, which I planned to do some major clearing up in. As I was moving stuff around, prior to cleaning, I found some shoes of mine that I'd left behind. Most entered the bin, but one pair was elected new shoes of the day and the poo shoes were shooed out of my life to shimmy down the chute to get their final shallute. In other words, I threw them away.

I worked on the cleaning for a bit and then went for coffee. I was going to get a haircut, but there wasn't time to queue. I did buy a new pair of shoes. Just like the old ones. Minus the shit, of course. No pre soiled shoes in Newcastle shops yet.

Back home I completed the cleaning, working at a sweat inducing pace. I had first put the shower curtain into wash, knowing it would have mildew on it. I used some cilitbang on the tiles but ended up throwing the malfunctioning bottle away after the first use and a load of pink solvent all over the place. Still the tiles got clean. Then I changed into rougher clothes ready for gardening. I trimmed hedges and bushes and then my first viewer came, closely followed by my sole tenant.

There then followed a bout of garden tidying punctuated by viewings. This continued until the last viewer left and we finished putting the remainder of the garden waste into bags. Then we went for a curry.

As lunch had been a bagel, and since I'd been working up a sweat all day, I reckoned I'd be okay with a bit of curry and a couple of beers. I'd earned it. My tenant, also a friend, bought the curry, reasoning that my work on the house was to help him. It is, theoretically his responsibility to clean the place, not mine. Likewise the garden maintenance. The thing is, that I saw it as a part of showing the house in a good light for viewing, which is why I took it on without question. What is interesting is that I cleaned the place as though I was doing it for someone else, rather than for myself. Though it is the same building, the same cleaning tools and the same technique used, I can't clean this house like a home any more. It's not my home. I have a home elsewhere, I suppose.

Aside from that the day was punctuated by texts and calls, some from recruitment agents missing the boat and the point, and I had a lot of coffee and water to drink. I even managed to laugh good naturedly when the pay and display parking ticket, for which the machine had been selective about which coins of mine it would take as payment, was snatched from my fingers by the wind and delivered onto the railway tracks below. Well these things, like poo on the shoe can be solved by buying new.


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