Friday 6th April 2018
Dear Diary,

Feel lonely and neglected no longer. I’m here for a chunter.

No more March, it’s been and gone and with never a word from me. Sorry, Houseboy fanciers, but I’ve been busy and when not busy I was bone-idle and couldn’t be arsed. So, it’s April already and still we’re in danger of suffering frostbite as winter persists. It’s been bloody cold and miserable weather wise. I hope Spring gets her arse into gear soon. Easter was a wash out with the horrible weather. I can’t say I agree with these early Easters. Easter is supposed to be about sunshine, flowers and little chicks and bunnies, not arctic conditions, penguins and igloos. The holy powers that be need to move Easter permanently to June where it will stand a chance of at least glimpsing sunshine in Britain.

Talking of Easter, we’ve had Ruby, Shane’s niece, staying with us over the holiday since she broke up from school. To be honest, much as I love her, I was thrilled to wave her off yesterday afternoon when her parents arrived to collect her in time for her going back to school on Monday.  It’s exhausting being a child minder. Her parents claimed to be having some ‘problems’ and said they needed time to sort themselves out. Why they couldn’t sort themselves out while Rube was at school I don’t know. If you ask me, and no one ever does, they’re a selfish pair who put themselves first. I bet they spent their ‘sorting out’ time lounging by the pool at some fancy spa in preference to entertaining their daughter over the holidays. She’s no bother, not really, not if you discount the endless demands on your time. The house was a tip as well. She’s kind of past playing with dolls and such, but she does like arty stuff, so the lounge and dining room were awash in pens, pencils, paint, glue and glitter. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of glitter myself, but it gets a bit much when every surface in the house seems to be scintillating with it. Even our meals seemed to have a suspicious shine due to the amount of fairy dust in the atmosphere. She’s not too keen on tidying up either, which brought some grief from uncle Shane. He won’t put up with any shit or lip from her. Subjecting him to a Paddington (a very hard stare) she told him he was a horrid man and she didn’t like him. He matched her hard stare and said he didn’t care and if she didn’t do as she was told he’d show her the real meaning of horrid.  She did as she was told. It’s funny, but she loves being around Dick and me and she knows we’ll play and do stuff with her, but it’s Shane she goes to for reassurance when she’s upset.

Shane’s sis, she who must not be named, along with her hubby and Shane’s pop were also scheduled to spend the Easter weekend with us, but the old man has been struggling to throw off a chest infection for weeks, so they stayed home. He doesn’t deal well with winter any more and always ails in the colder months. I was relieved by the no show to be honest, it took some pressure off me on the work front. I still had Leo and Mike to cater for, but it turned out good. Rube was in her element, a princess among attentive courtiers. She was presented with several chocolate Easter eggs. Having already scoffed my egg ration by Good Friday I was a bit jealous, until Leo presented me with a Caramac egg saying he couldn’t give to one child and leave out another. Ha-ha!

April Fools passed without major trickery this year. For one thing the men folk were too alert to it after last year and for another there was Ruby. I didn’t have time to plan anything. We settled for Ruby telling the men folk there was a bear in the garden, which they went along with for her amusement. The bear in question was her favourite soft toy, which we perched on a bush. She loved yelling April Fools when they ‘fell for it’ and rushed to the window to look. I reckon I may have helped create a new generation of prankster.  

Besides Easter and Ruby, I’ve been busy with this and that. I travelled to Pembrokeshire with Shane for a few days at the back end of February. It wasn’t a planned holiday. A royal herald had brought a message calling Dick to his ancestral homeland on some family matter, coinciding with Shane having business to attend to in deepest darkest Wales. Eileen was away visiting her nephew and his brood. I’d recently had a fizzy episode and Shane didn’t want to leave me home alone, so he insisted on packing me up along with his socks and underwear. I wasn’t best pleased to be honest. I didn’t fancy being incarcerated in some dreary hotel room while he was engaged in round after round of meetings. I sulked, but it fell on stony ground and resulted in a stony hand falling on my nether region. Pembrokeshire is beautiful, but it wasn’t exactly the weather for sight seeing. It was bitter cold with strong winds and heavy flurries of snow. As it turned out, I enjoyed myself. We were billeted in a nice hotel with plenty of facilities and a good restaurant. I took the opportunity to chill and pamper myself. It was also an opportunity for Shane and me to have some couple time. We took to having a morning and evening swim together before breakfasting and dinnering. It was good.

Well, folks, that’s me done yattering today. I must attend to household duties. Before I go, a cautious word on mythical book Revs. It does exist. I’ve completed a couple of chapters, but don’t get excited. I don’t want to raise hopes. My writing doesn’t so much flow as stutter these days. I was thinking I might post the first chapter by way of appeasement to those who have waited so long for the follow up to ‘Christmas at Leo’s.’ Keep an eye out, but not for too long or you’ll never get it back in.

Ciao for now.

Sunday 8th April 2018

What a shit day it was yesterday and not just weather wise. Some days are just toilet paper and need flushing away. Anyway, I didn’t step in to moan and complain, which makes a change I know. I’ve got Sunday lunch to make, and I’m not in the mood. Now and then I get effing sick of cheffing, but folk must eat and it’s my job to aid and abet the process. I’d be quite happy with a bag of crisps and a hunk of cheese, but the men folk would feel robbed, so cook I must.

By the way, while I’m here, ta very much for all the recent communications and greetings sent to my inbox.

So, Gilli, I hear you say, why did you step in, if not to moan and complain as you usually do? Well, I’m glad you asked. I stepped in to post the promised chapter of houseboy scribblings. I’ll just preamble a bit before sloping off to slaughter a duck for dinner.

‘Revs’ is essentially an account of 2009 and 2010, but not a day-by-day, month-by-month account, as written in the actual diary. For a start, not a lot was written in the diary for those years. ‘Revs’ is, or intended to be, the stuff that didn’t get documented at the time. Anyone who visits these pages on a regular basis knows ‘Revs’ has long been promised, but never delivered. I’ll be honest, I don’t know if it ever will be delivered in its entirety. Too much time has passed and then maybe not enough time. For me, they were turbulent years. However, like I said, I feel I owe stalwart fans at least a glimpse, a chapter or two and who knows, a few chapters might lead to a few more and even completion, if you believe in miracles that is, ha-ha. I can but try, Peeps. So, here’s the first chapter for your delectation or disappointment (you choose, each to their own.) It follows on directly from ‘Christmas at Leo’s’, which was always meant to be the first chapter of ‘Revs,’ but evolved, into its own little book. Click here to read - Home Again, Jiggety-Jig


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