Wednesday 12th January 2022

Dear Diary,

Thought I’d jog in and open a new page for 2022. I wonder what covid variants this year holds for the world? Not so much Happy New Year as Miserable New Variant. And there it is already - a breaking of my resolution to be more positive and less sour and snippy. Oh well, New Year Resolutions are made for breaking, or at least watering down, and possible pretending you never made them in the first place. Stupid things. Every year’s the same. We make promises we can’t possible keep, not without having a complete personality change. We are who we are, warts and all. Not that I have warts. I am unblemished in the wart department. Dick claims he had a wart when he was a kid and his nanny cured it by rubbing a rasher of streaky bacon over it and then burying said bacon in the garden. Dick’s mother confirmed the story, but also confirmed that nanny was a loony and the wart was in fact cured by a swift visit to a posh private doctor who dispatched it using liquid nitrogen.

Christmas? Let’s not go there. It wasn’t the best. In fact it was horrible. To be honest, I didn’t help matters. Shane often says that nothing I do can surprise him, but I think I caught him off guard prior to Christmas, and Dick too. I had an epic melt down. It surprised me never mind them. It was a shocker, and a Christmas tree triggered it. I won’t moan on about it here, because I know some of you had far worse Christmases. Maybe I’ll stick it in my little book of bits and bobs when I get around to it.

Anyway, just a brief visit today. Many thanks for all recent emails. Your kind thoughts are appreciated. Take care, Peeps. I wish you all the very best in the coming year.

Thursday 27th January 2022

January eh? The longest month known to humankind! I’m sure it should be at least March by now. I’m not wishing life away or anything. It’s just January gets on my wick. You hype yourself up for Chrissy and then bang, it’s over, and all you have left is the dregs from the Quality Street tin, and January, the longest slowest dullest month in the year. To be fair, Shane’s birthday offered a brief respite. We had a small and rather delectable dinner party in his honour. I enjoyed planning it. It wasn’t quite the busy gay gathering of pre-covid times, but it was better than nothing.

Sad to say, there’s been an explosion of effing and jeffing in the quasi mansion of late, and not from me for a change. Dick is the guilty party, though he claims it’s my fault he had to resort to using naughty words. According to him I’m guilty of waging some kind of vendetta against his left foot. He’s exaggerating of course. The appendage in question has had a rough time of it, and while I admit inadvertent involvement, there was no malicious intent.

The ‘vendetta’ began with a rather beautiful blanket box I bought for our recently decorated bedroom. Eileen’s nephew is a nifty carpenter and aside from the mundane he supplements the family income by making and selling bespoke items carved from wood. He made Eileen a gorgeous blanket box for her last birthday and when I saw it I had to have one too. He’s a craftsman, so it took a while, but I finally took delivery of it a couple of weeks ago. It’s made from oak and it’s big, too big really. I couldn’t decide where to put it. It didn’t quite fit anywhere in the bedroom, so in the end I opted to place it at the bottom of the bed. All seemed well, until Dick got up in the night to use the facilities and on his return to the bedroom forgot the box was there and banged his foot on it. Shane and I were shocked from slumber by an unearthly scream. Honest, we nearly shit ourselves. The scream was followed by a torrent of bad language. You’d be forgiven for thinking Dick was caught in a steel mantrap. Shane, cross, told Dick not to be such a baby and to get back into bed pronto. Sympathy ISN’T his middle name.

Poor Dick. Next morning he hobbled down to the kitchen and, much to Shane’s disgust, plonked his left foot on the kitchen table, pointed at his middle toe and announced: ‘it’s broken, it’s bloody broken I tell you. Look at the bruising and swelling. Black and blue it is. It’s throbbing like a bastard.’

Shane gave the toe a thoughtful tweak and after peeling Dick off the ceiling said: ‘I think you’re right. It’s broken. I’ll take you to the hospital for an x-ray.’

Dick, eyes watering, growled: ‘what’s the fucking point? There’s nothing to be done for a broken toe. I’m not sitting in a crowded A&E for twelve fucking hours just to be sent away with some sticky tape and another dose of covid. I’ll have to put up with it.’ Turning to me, he snarled: ‘that box is a fucking death trap. One of us will end up breaking our neck on it.’

Me, defensively: ‘it’s big enough to see, Dick.’

Him: ‘not in the fucking dark it isn’t. I want it moved.’

Shane, impatient, said: ‘stop fussing and cussing, Dick. You just need to train your brain to remember it’s there.’

Under protest, Dick allowed Shane to strap his damaged tootsie with strips of medical tape and, with ill grace and several painkillers, hobbled off to work wearing trainers instead of his usual smart shoes. It was a good week before he began to walk with anything resembling a normal gait.

I did move the box in the end, on Shane’s orders. He clearly forgot to train his brain to remember it was there and walloped his shins against it. His roar of pain topped Dick’s scream by a mile. The box was banished from the bedroom with immediate effect. I put it on the landing, and to be fair, it looks handsome there. I told the men folk it will serve as a handy resting place when they’re so decrepit that climbing the stairs wears them out. Shane said he’d wear out my rump with his hand if I didn’t curb my lip.

A further ‘foot incident’ occurred last weekend. I was in the bedroom getting dressed on Saturday morning when Dick emerged from the ensuite and demanded I take a look at something. Seeing as Dick was stark naked my brain went on red alert. What on earth could he want me to look at that I couldn’t already see?

Turned out to be his foot, his left foot, the one he had stubbed on the box.

Pointing, he said, ‘it’s really tender.’

I said: ‘well, its bound to be, Dick. It takes a while for a break to heal.’

He said, impatiently: ‘not my toe, the top of my foot, there, it looks like the start of a boil.’

He was right, there was a red spot on top of his foot. I prodded it, making him squawk. I said: ‘sorry, Dick. Do you think it’s something to do with your broken toe?’

He said: ‘in what way?’

I said: ‘I don’t know, a side effect of some kind, maybe sepsis.’

Clearly panic stricken he decided to consult the Household Oracle.

Shane, rolling his eyes, dismissed the sepsis theory out of hand. It was, he said authoritatively, an ingrown hair and nothing to be concerned about. Leo had once suffered with one on his leg. Laser treatment sorted it in no time at all. It removed the hair permanently, thus no further problems. He told Dick to book an appointment with Leo’s dermatologist to have the hair zapped.

Dick doesn’t like seeking treatment, be it from a doctor, dentist or whatever. He will um and ah and generally procrastinate until the cows come home. I guessed he’d be in no hurry to take Shane’s advice.

I was proved right. On Sunday morning, after breakfast, he cornered me in the kitchen and, slipping his hand into his robe pocket, whispered: ‘Gilli, I want you to do something.’

I said, suspiciously: ‘I’m busy, Dick. I’ve got to make a start on lunch preps soon.’

He jiggled his hand in his pocket and hissed: ‘it won’t take a minute. Here, take these.’ Whipping out a pair of tweezers he said: ‘I want you to pluck out that hair on top of my foot. It’s sore as hell.’

My heart sank and I said: ‘no, Dick. I don’t want to. Shane told you to get it lasered.’

He cajoled: ‘I’m not faffing around with dermatologists. There’s no saying where it will end. All it needs is a quick little pluck. It won’t take a second.’

‘Do it yourself then.’

‘You know how squeamish I am.’

‘So am I.’

‘You trim my nasal hair without bother and Shane’s.’

‘That’s different, that’s a simple cosmetic procedure, not medical.’

‘It’s hardly surgery. Just do it. You can get closer to it than I can.’

‘Fine then.’ I took the tweezers. ‘ Put your foot on a chair.’

He placed his foot on a chair and I bent down and examined the red patch. It was redder than it had been, angry looking, and slightly swollen. I could well imagine how tender it was. Like having a nasty acne boil on your foot.

‘Get on with it, Gilli.’

Locating the offending hair, I gripped it with the tweezers, gritted my teeth, and tugged.

‘Christ Almighty!’

Dick took off like a rocket. His bellow was followed by an almighty clatter as the chair overturned and crashed to the floor. Seconds later, Shane was upon us, demanding to know what the hell was going on.

I pointed the tweezers at Dick: ‘he made me do it. He made me pluck out that hair on his foot. I didn’t want to, but he made me.’

Dick, eyes streaming, gasped: ‘I didn’t ask you to cripple me.’ He made a grab for the tweezers. ‘What kind of fucking sadist are you? You’ve ripped it out by the actual root. There’s blood on it.’


Dick gave a squawk, as Shane’s hand walloped his bottom twice in rapid succession.

‘That was for asking Gilli in the first place. I told you to make an appointment for laser treatment. As for you, boy.’

It was my turn to squawk as I got the same hand on arse treatment.

‘That’s for being daft enough to do it.’

Dick got double comeuppance because Shane took one look at his foot and decided TCP was needed to prevent possible infection. His face contorted as a TCP soaked pad was pressed to the raw wound, but he didn’t dare complain.

Business done, Shane marched form the kitchen muttering something about people with kids having less fucking stress than him. Dick and I glanced at each other, and then for some reason just cracked up. Clutching at each other we did our best to stifle our laughter. It wouldn’t do to further annoy an already vexed Daddy.

On the upside, I reckon I did Dick a favour. I doubt the hair will grow back anytime soon, if at all.

Well, dear diary, that was a longer chunter than I intended, but I know you like to be scribbled in from time to time. I’d better be off. I’ve got stuff to sort out. We’re going on holiday this Saturday, just for a week. We’re joining Leo at his cottage in Cartmel. Mike will be there too. I’m really looking forward to it - even the inevitable bickering with Leo. The Lake District is chilly at this time of year, but also, hopefully, a lot quieter than in the lockdown summer months. Most people are back at work now, so we might get some peace and quiet to explore without having to negotiate crowds of people walking their dogs and dropping litter along with bags of canine shit. (Don’t get me started.)

Ciao for now, Peeps. Stay safe. 


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