A man came round to service my boiler. I didn’t have to pay him. I pay monthly. Boiler insurance. When the last one blew up it was thousands I couldn’t afford. It’s pretty much the only insurance I pay for and once a year they send over a bemused man with a box.
Last year he was grey haired and sharp. He spent a lot of time telling me how he was the foremost Vaillant boiler service person in my area. “Some idiot’s turned the output down,” he said. “No leave it like that, the boiler’s too big for the flat. If you turn it up it loses pressure.” “I’m the foremost Vaillant etc etc” He turned it up again. For a year now I’ve had to top the pressure up every few days. Because it’s a law of nature that the people who immediately tell you how good they are at stuff are the ones who are shit at that stuff and lots of other stuff too. “Braggates non Capabili sunt et probabilis shitbaggus twat” as Ovid said to the Etruscan legate.
This year I had a stocky little friendly chap. He laughed at the piles of crap. “Your boiler’s too big. Are you losing pressure?” He’s turned it back down. It’ll save me money and it means I can have somebody stay in winter without having to teach them how to add water to a boiler. Makes it easier to Airbnb. Which is still on the cards. I’m hatching a plan.
I think I want to go back home to The Isle of Man for a bit. Send in work by greenscreen and voice. Write the great British Screenplay by the sea, and maybe a novel or two. Catch fish in the morning. Fly over to do a week at the BBC every month or so. Learn sea shantys. Become internationally celebrated for my mercurial talent on digital media. Sort out the flat which sits there empty as a shrine to my father. Live different for a while before returning to London encrusted in salt with a burr in my tongue and a dream in my heart.
I probably won’t. Lockdown makes a lot of peaceful things seem viable that the previous non-stop hand to mouth “how the hell did he fit it all in” version of me, steeped in coffee and booze and spreading himself atom thin – that he wouldn’t be able to countenance with his London ways.
I’m in the bath. Thoughts like that are more frequent in the bath. It’s harder to type as dropping my phone would be a disaster. But I’ve got it sussed now. It’s nice here. I’m staying. Aquarius starts in just over a month. It’s a time for water, surely. I’m going to see if I can dissolve myself like an Alka Seltzer. I’ll either come out shiny or go down the plug. I just wish I could remember to buy bubble bath some time. Mmmmmmm