Good God. Here I am at the end of another week. I’m in my deconstructed kitchen, cooking in the oven that Currys couldn’t take because “sorry sir but we are just too lazy”. The new oven isn’t connected yet.

I’ve had four shows in two days. Spare time is an interesting concept that I heard about once. I’ve been trying to work out pick up for Christmas. As it is every year, it’s a hotch potch of glorious human beings. The last five years, including this year, it’s been harder to organise because I’ve been Scrooging it, but I’ve had a partner, in Brian. We are both extremely busy though.

I wish I had a car this year. Last year I limped around in a dying Jag. This year I’m borrowing my brother’s wheels. Hopefully that’ll work out. Who knows? I’ll find out on the morning.

It’s looking like it’ll be a good day, Christmas. I’m shopping for it tomorrow. I have no idea what the dietaries are for my guests and I have no firm idea about numbers whatsover. But that’s fairly normal for this point in proceedings. I’m still looking out for anyone who would rather be in Christmassy Christmasland than on their own, thinking about all the fellowship and cheer elsewhere. If the last few years are anything to go by, it’s a lovely day and full of joy and light and people. But right now there isn’t a single bauble up in my flat. I do things better in partnership and I’m currently out of partners. Brian will be coming on Christmas Eve, but before then I’ll have to be the light putter-upper and then reassure myself that they are in the right place. It’ll be good for me. It’ll push me further into the self-sufficiency trap. But…

I’m home now. I’m writing this while I listen to my boiler fighting an airlock and wondering how long I’ve got before the fucking thing just dies and leaves me with more fuckery to deal with. I’m hoping I can get the shower put in first. This city… I’m wary of workmen, as well I might be after the two pointless humans who appeared in my flat yesterday. Even if there’s money for a shower, I’m not happy about the idea of finding somebody who won’t attempt to to rip me off when they hear my postcode. I got skinned alive by a guy I met once and used as a plumber for the bad boiler install that I’m listening to now.

He was going out with my girlfriend’s friend. He did some work in my flat and he literally stripped me for everything he could. We live and learn, of course we do. But I got in a friend of a friend because I was cautious, and Stuart Walkely notionally fucked me up the ass as much as he was capable, and then – I think – came back for my meter. He cost me about £700 by sending his bullshit mates to take my old gas meter.

He wanted it because he knew it was an old model and he could slow it down with a magnet. He sent some mates masquerading as official and I was naive enough and not bothered enough to let it happen, but of course EDF didn’t know, so I was charged for the notional difference in usage where I assumed they had record of the meter change but they didn’t. I got a £700 gas bill out of the blue. Took me years to work out why as I’m not instinctively a selfish manipulative sociopath like he is. It took years to work out the extent of what he stole. But it was a lot.

He even took out my immersion heater to sell for copper, promising me that the new boiler would sort the water pressure. He made my water pressure worse. He is and remains the reason why it takes 45 minutes to run a bath. Stuart Walkely. Liar and thief. His name is still on my boiler. If I die, someone might call the bastard and give him some work, God forbid.

Here’s the boiler he badly installed. The filter was added later by someone who actually gave a shit.







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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