Early alarm startles me from too little sleep after too much fun the night before. I stagger into the van and boot it up. Then somehow I’m in Kingston driving into a scene dock. Armies of people come from nowhere, casually able to singlehandedly carry huge flats. The van is packed to the gills, and it empties like a dam breaking. Everything is swarmed into The Rose Theatre and laid out on the stage ready for the build. It’s a very different feeling to the load in, which was three people versus wind and seemed to take forever. Before I even know it it’s done. I’ve left my bag at Tanya and Tristan’s so I drive back, pay for two hours parking, and fall asleep again. Two hours later I emerge to a parking ticket. I wasn’t inside the lines. Buggers. That’s £30 to better roads in Richmond.

I drive home, park inside the lines, and go and take a load of stuff to the post office. I’ve sold about fifty things on eBay. I have no idea if I calculated postage correctly. I go to the Royal Hospital Post Office, which is manned by ex-services pensioners and is a delightful place to send your letters if judged on company and location. It has extremely odd opening hours, they take a long lunch, and if you need stationery you pay cash. But they’re really helpful in there, and full of jokes, even if it’s boiling. “This is a care home, it has to be kept warm,” says one of the lovely old guys behind the counter. He’s set off an alarm of some sort and it’s going the whole time I’m there, in a high pitched blare. It’s possible he can’t hear it, but I’m packing up old phones and addressing envelopes in this boiling room with a constant high pitched whine and it really doesn’t put me in a relaxed headspace. Plus this first foray into large scale eBay selling is a learning curve. The money is in my PayPal, but I’m told on the way there by a friend that “eBay favours the buyers. “Get them tracked. People try all sorts of things.” Most of Peter’s stuff is low value but it all sold for something so at the moment it looks as if this has been a lucrative first foray. But I’m not doing another big listing until I’ve seen how much admin is needed in aftercare and refunds to keep my 100% rating. “My shirt smells.” “My belt never arrived” etc etc… Hopefully we’ll be ok.

Postage done I get home to a demoralisingly cluttered home. Today is earmarked as the start of the home clear up. By the time I walk in the door I’m feeling rancid and could easily talk myself out of this, but thankfully Jack has come to help and he just takes point. “This is what we’re gonna do,” and then we do it, and when Marie comes after work we get much more done than I could ever imagine we would. By half nine the kitchen and bathroom are immaculate and the living room is a relaxing place again and we eat curry in it. Now I’m sitting on my sofa breathing and writing and I think I’ll get an early bed. I booked off dayjob tomorrow so I’ll have to get £120 worth of tidy done. That’s a whole lot of tidying…

But what a difference. And even though there’s lots more to do I’m feeling so lucky to have friends that will do that with me, and for me. Everything is easier when it’s shared…

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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