Sweaty vindaloo

With my rented van sleeping behind me, filled with the Rotterdam set, I’m lying on my bed waiting for the bath to run, listening to the traffic through the open window, and far below me I can hear the tinnitus shriek of the overloaded entryphone system in my block. It has been like that for months. Nobody knows what to do.

I stink.

When I was clearing out the attic the other day I found a great big electric fan. It must’ve been mum’s. It’s 1980’s style. I’ve been running it all day in the living room while we worked, although Pickle isn’t used to it yet. She would occasionally come and glare at it, but avoids it for preference.

Today was one of those rare summer days where you are glad to have a fan. It’ll go back up in the attic before long, but now I know what’s in the attic I’ll be able to get it next summer for the day or two that it makes a difference. Unless Pickle attacks and destroys it, which I’m not ruling out the way she was sizing it up.

Tristan came round armed with kneepads, a breath mask and industrial gloves. Together we put large amounts of stuff into multiple boxes and threw them up into the attic. Then we got enough plates to run Christmas Carol for about 1000 people – or anything else vaguely Victorian themed for that matter – and we got them out of the flat. Finally.

I had to run a load of boxes to the Gatsby storage and left Tristan working. I realised that over the years I’ve done a lot of strange things for money, but my heart and soul aren’t in it if I’m not being paid properly. So I’m paying Tristan what I’d want to be paid myself for that kind of work in order to make it good for both of us. He’s been a great help, especially as I’d have lost ages driving to Gatsby and back had he not been beavering away at home. He even roped in Anna, who is staying on the sofa a few days. She ended up helping take some almost impossibly heavy boxes full of plates down the stairs and out of the flat.

Then we had a vindaloo – stock image.


On this hot day. I told Brian this morning that I’ve never had one. It was a gap in my knowledge. I tend to avoid them as it sounds like they’re endurance curries and I usually prefer to enjoy my food. But I hate not knowing, so the opportunity came up and I took it.

I won’t say never again. Maybe on a cold day when I feel a bit under the weather and really want a damn good sweat. But after hauling boxes up and down stairs and precarious ladders on a hot day it was ill advised. I’m slippy like a newt.

I was sweating through my ears. I was weeping but I didn’t want to wipe my eyes in case I blinded myself. Now I’m waiting for a hot bath to run so I can lie in it and sweat a different sweat. Glutton for punishment. At least it’s all good for my skin. And I’ll come out clean, ready for another hot day of labour tomorrow and then two nights in a fecking Travelodge.


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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