Snake, zoom and early bed

I was just settling down calmly to write this when another six fire engines screamed into our little crescent yet again because somebody in sheltered housing at Chelsea Court has burnt the toast and the smoke alarms calls the fire station. I’m not sure if it’s happening even more than usual at the moment or if I’m home more so I catch it every time it does happen. They’re all shouting at each other now as they’ve established it’s another false alarm so they all have to reverse out again. It’s a regular pantomime and they all know it, just as they know that the first time they don’t show up mob-handed like this will be the time that there’s a chip pan fire and the whole block goes up.

I’d be screwed in a fire here. There’s a fire escape that goes nowhere and I’m not allowed to put a ladder up to my roof. I was told that I’d be fine no matter what because they made us all pay to have our antique doors replaced by crap ones with no letterbox which are apparently magic. Never live in a leasehold. It’s a fucking stupid system, and the management companies are all on the take. Added to which, in 26 years I lose my home unless I can pay some astronomical fee between now and then to renew it.

Hex and I are hanging out in the early evening. It’s hot in his home so I like to let him clamber all over me so long as I’m happy I won’t forget he’s out and lose him in the upholstery of the sofa. It’s some sort of company for both of us and it stops me worrying that he’s cooking. I never really thought I’d have a snake for as long as this, but he’s very low maintenance apart from the eating disorder, and he’s a living being. Right now he’s having a nap across my legs with his head on one of my feet and the end of his tail on my belly. I’d take a photo but I’m just in my pants so it’ll look weird. Instead I’ll share this snap from more or less this time yesterday evening.


The tide was out, and there was that ozone smell of the end of a warm clean day. The clear sky was shifting up dark, with the new moon presiding. Putting aside all the inconvenience and death, it’s probably been good for this planet. The road outside is back to normal traffic volume now, although I’m sure all the drivers are being “alert”. It’s good to see we can have beautiful memorable balmy summer evenings here in London as I don’t expect there’ll be much opportunity to go on any holidays for some time yet, which is a depressing thought as there is such a huge amount of world left for me to see.

I’m tired far too early, considering my indolence today. I’ve just been lounging around with the snake. Zoom meeting in eight minutes and then, sod it, I reckon I’ll be asleep by ten…

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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