I’ve had two cold showers today, and spent most of the day in my bedroom. But it’s not what it sounds like. I’ve been tidying. My bedroom is now like the bedroom that a real human being might have, so it’s another element of my cunning disguise in place. It’s not as comprehensively done as the kitchen, but it makes sense and there’s space. I’m sitting on the bed now. Pickle is slurping from her great big Stein of water – the one that sits at the head of my bed and stops me getting a mouth full of hair in the middle of the night when I go for my pint glass. The flat feels peaceful despite only 2 out of 5 rooms being habitable. Despite all the showers, I’m hot. Tidying and cleaning is sweaty work.


So much so that I decided to bite the bullet and go to Peter Jones to buy a fan. It’s not the most logical place to get a fan – “Never knowingly underpriced” – but it’s the nearest. But oh hell no. Weeks into this heatwave, and they haven’t restocked their fans. “There are no ordinary fans mate, they all go immediately there’s a heatwave;” says attitude on the stairs; “as soon as the heatwave is over, just you wait. They’ll all be back saying it’s faulty.” So they don’t restock. Because they reckon they’ll get most of them back. They know everyone in Chelsea doesn’t want a fan all year round. They don’t need to restock because they’ve been selling the same stock for years. Fine. I’ll just sweat rather than buy a fourth hand fan. The only other option was one of those Dyson air-bastards where because they’re unfamiliar and aesthetically pleasing they slap a £400 price tag on them and wait until they see you coming. I considered risking buying one and taking it back saying it was faulty. But I didn’t want to gamble £400 on them not having mister Dyson employed in the branch as soon as it gets cold saying “So what exactly seems to be the problem sir?” £400 is a holiday to Tromsø. I’m not spending it on a plastic loop that blows at you. That’s for offices where they are deeply invested in presenting the idea of wealth. These poisonous working environments where everyone is throwing their new Rolex at one another and shoving branded chemicals into their own faces and skins to send signals to the converted about relative merit.

And now I’m sitting on the sofa and there are good people alongside me. The living room isn’t done yet, but the swinging door policy is still firmly in place. I love how things work in this flat, that different energies from all over the place come in and fizz alongside each other. They’re totally different and they’re getting on brilliantly. “I’m talking way too much,” says one of them.” She’s been in the car for 8.5 hours. I should probably stop writing and do some of the talking instead.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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