cleaning the office where I was concussed


First, a practical tip.If you are a proper cleaner and get down on all fours to scrub the floor,  this not only gives vibe that says “Wow, she gets down on her hands and knees to scrub the floor. Is it sexual, ( it would be if I were sporting stockings, high heels and a knowing grin, and were 30 years younger) or is it really the only proper way to clean a floor?” It is the only way to clean a floor, properly.  Your knees go funny, you get cankles, but still, what price to pay for dimishing sexual attraction for paying the bills ? Last night at the office clean, amidst the handcreams, ergonomic desks ( am I the only one who wants to punch a person who leaves his desk at standing level, a real look how seriously I take this fitness shit sort of guy) slight smell of dead mouse, congealed coffee cups, emtpy Pret boxes, home lunches consisting mainly of goji berries and Brazil nuts. Loads of Lempsips ( cold season) loads of herbal teas, a bizarre but compelling spray paint of Shiaparrelli pink paint round the bins. Loads of mind maps and flow charts. I thank my lucky stars that someone has left his computer on, and on Spotify. I play Joy Divsion’s She’s Lost Control, because it makes you clean more fitfully, jerkily.Not well, but interstingly.  Plus, it’s a great song. At one point, exhausted, I flop on the floor, spent, readly to pass our, and my floor eyes few reveals at least five more IKEA style overflowing bins. My work here is not really done, but I am done in. Soon, I will walk home, past the guy under Shoreditch overground station. The guy with a well fed dog, who sell his etchings of his well fed dog, til the cops move him on. I smell the lovely pizza smell from Rays, who sells it American style in slices. I don’t have to experience America in London. If I want, I can go back to Queens, and go to Danni’s house of pizza, for I am bound to find a roach on my pizza and bound also not to complain, ever, as I feel there are mafia connections.

Next week you will find my cleaning musings in broadsheet, voted best newspaper of the year. Am I a writer, or a cleaner? I am a cleaner who writes. Last week, in same office, I found a bit of old cake that said “Eat me”  Very Alice in Hipstervilleland.  This week, the most interesting find was the missed the target pink spraypaint. These kids are so young, I bet they think they’ve discovered. pink. There must be flow charts, business plans and mind maps and strategies and interface to spread the pink word.  I finish the clean by pulling all the dead leaves off the office plants, which are most of the leaves. Soon the plants will be no more, but I’ll still be here, not crying over spilt milk.

Quentin plays recorder


THE TRICK IS NOT BLOWING SO HARD, says Quentin, back on form after last week’s trip to Siberia to wash his dirty pants.
Now there were several ways to take this. I could have gone all Round the Horne on him, the dirty pun hanging in the air between us.

Of course, he was talking about recorder practise. His favourite thing to do is play me a song and then I have to guess what it is. It is an easy game, for whatever he plays, whatever the tuneless tune, it is Don’t Cry For Me Argentina.

So I said, hmmm, I think it could be Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, and he said, to his credit, “I’m surprised you got it. Doesn’t sound a thing like it.


Quentin goes to Belfast


Quentin’s ever complicated travelling plans and his refusal to even contemplate a cheaper or more convenient mode of transport to Belfast makes my feet ache more than they do anyway, from being on them most of the day. The first involved an overnight coach from Victoria , a ferry crossing, another long coach trip then a taxi.

He is a man of slender means. Even though he was unable to get a refund for this ludicrous plan, he made alternative arrangements through, his words, the I said doesn’t sound like an airline I’ve ever heard of, but perhaps a travel agency. He said no no no, it was totally an airline. He was feeling a bit down , so was watching an Abba tribute band on youtube.

My painful feet informing my bad mood, I said, why not just cut to the chase and get real Abba, followed by an equally irate , “Let me see your travel plans.” Now he showed me a better plan. This plan by the very famous airline involves getting six am flight to Luton ( which is a billion miles away) to Dublin.

I actually put my head in my hands and said, “Why are you going to Dublin , when you are booked into a hotel in Belfast for nearly six hundred quid” He said that is what cheapo.comadvised. I said but then you have to get up at three in the morning or earlier to get to Luton, then get from Dublin to Belfast, as well as pay the money for the fares you can’t get back.

He said it’s fine, he had a better plan.

I just didn’t give a fuck at this point, not about his plan or lack thereof, but of my throbbing foot ) the toenail has gone black, this does not bode well for a very physical job) so I sat down and said so how are you going to get to Luton that early. He said he would go the night before and sleep in the airport.

I said how is that better than sleeping on the coach, in fact how is any of this creeping up to 800 quid plan for five days in Belfast better than flying directly from London to Belfast?

And he said it was his mistake, confusing Dublin with Belfast. And I felt sorry for him, and felt like killing the people at for not realsing he was old and confused and ripping him off. I mopped leaning on the less painful foot, I was in a really bad mood. He showed me the Stephen King novel he was reading, which had musical notation in it. He had a go on the recorder and he said can you tell the tune, and I said, probably Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, and he said yes probably, it does seem to crop up rather a lot.

He said this was his last holiday apart from one Age Concern or some army vet thing will lay on at a reduced price. I said where to. He said Bloomsbury. I said oh, that’s good for the British Museum.

He said no that was in Kensington. I said no that’s the V and A and two others, he said no no no, he knows for sure it’s there because that’s where he saw a prototype model of Robert Louis Stevenson’s railway.
Every single bit of my right side hurts, from the blackened toe upwards. I am going to dose up with paracetamol and plasters and hobble to my next dumb ass job. I think I might not say a word for the rest of the day. How the heck do dancers dance when their toes turn black? Why has my toe turned black? I don’t even wear heels. I asked Quentin if I could leave early. He said yes. Small mercies.