Thursday 5th July 2012

It’s raining again. Apparently we’re due to get an entire month’s rainfall over the course of today. Seeing as we’ve had several months’ rainfall this month already it means the rest of this year will be fucked in terms of rain. It’s like putting all your eggs in one basket with a broken handle; there’ll be a price to pay!

It’s warm and muggy as well as wet. The gardens are like the Florida Everglades. It’s a shame my little pal thug robin isn’t still around. I could have done with his help this morning in beating off a crocodile. It went for me when I picked the milk up off the doorstep. I escaped with my life and all my limbs intact by quickly jamming a milk bottle in its open jaws. (Lie detectors says No) Okay, I didn’t really beat off a crocodile. It was actually a large slug with a mean look about it. It could have given me a very nasty suck.

Talking of robins. I’ve caught glimpses of one in the garden, but he or she is obviously resident somewhere else and only pops in when it fancies dining out for a change. I do miss my robin.

Thanks very mucho to those of you who have emailed lately. One or two have given me a prod to ask about the Rob and IKEA business I mentioned way back, but never elaborated on. Well it was something and nothing really. Rob was decorating his and Howard’s bedroom and called to ask if I fancied a run out to IKEA to look at soft furnishings. I was a bit surprised because to be honest he isn’t an IKEA kind of guy, nor is Howard. They don’t usually go for mass-market sort of stuff. Anyway I said yes and he picked me up and off we went. I’m not keen on IKEA myself. I mean it’s not a pretty shopping environment to begin with. It’s a hideous building from the outside and looks what it is - a huge warehouse. Plus they have a bizarre way of giving many of their products Christian names, like the famed ‘Billy bookcase.’ I mean who wants to be on first name terms with their furniture?

Rob was quiet and looked a bit strained so I asked if he was okay and he shrugged and said he was fine. He wasn’t fine, as became apparent. We got a trolley and set off trawling round the place. We got to the section where bedroom stuff was displayed. Picking up a pack containing a double duvet cover he asked me what I thought of it. To be honest I thought it was horrible. It was priced at £4.99 and looked what it was - cheap, but not cheerful. It had huge grey and black spirals on it. It looked like something designed for a prison bunk.

Me, not wanting to upset Rob in case he really did like it: ‘er, it’s quite nice I suppose.’

Rob: ‘Gil, it’s shit! Shit! I might as well have one. In fact I’ll have two, they’re cheap enough.’ He hurled two into the trolley. Curtains were next. He couldn’t find any to match the duvet covers so he picked out a pair in a shade of bright green that made my eyeballs hurt to look at them. Like the covers they were a snatch at £7.99 a pair.

Rob: ‘what do you think of these, Gil?’

Me: ‘they’re a bit bright, Rob.’

Rob: ‘shit, Gil, they’re fucking shit! They’ll wash like snot rags!’ He tossed the pack into the trolley.

Cushions were next. By then his voice was rising and we were attracting attention from other shoppers as he shitted stuff into the trolley. When he held up a couple of brown cushions in a shiny sequin covered fabric and asked what I thought of them I told the truth. They were horrible. He agreed. They were SHIT! They were the colour of SHIT and he was having four of the bastards. They were flung savagely into the trolley. I thought I was good at throwing wobblers, but this was a showstopper. I put my hand on his arm and asked him what the hell was wrong. He burst into tears. Flinging his arms around my neck he sobbed that Howard didn’t love him anymore. People were now stopping and openly staring at us. I insisted we abandon the trolley full of shit and head back to the car.

He said Howard had been showing less and less interest in him. It was like nothing he did mattered or was important. Their sex life had also diminished. Rob decided to re-decorate their bedroom in the hope it might help re-kindle the passion flame. He’d asked Howard for some input, only to be dismissively told to do what he liked. As far as Rob was concerned it was proof that Howard had lost interest and fallen out of love with him. He decided to take Howard at his word and do what he liked with the bedroom, or rather what he didn’t like and what Howard wouldn’t like in an effort to try and grab his attention.

I tried to pour oil by saying that not showing an interest in bedroom décor was hardly proof that Howard didn’t love him anymore. Perhaps he was just busy with work. I told Rob he needed to talk to him and tell him how he was feeling. He said he couldn’t because it would break his heart if Howard confirmed he no longer loved him. He probably had his eye on some fresh little chicken. The journey home was horrific. Rob kept crying and it had an adverse effect on his driving. He was all over the road. It was a miracle we got back in one piece.

I felt a bit guilty at the time, like I was going behind Rob’s back, but I was so worried about him I called Shane at work and told him what had happened. He said he’d have a word with Howard and then told me not to worry because Rob was a bit like me and apt to indulge in mindless hysterics from time to time.

He duly had a discreet word with Howard about Rob’s IKEA meltdown. It turns out that Howard had been preoccupied on two counts. The first was he’d been offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg again and he didn’t know what to do because he knew Rob had settled back here.  The second and most important was that he was having tests for prostate cancer and was waiting results. It was one of the reasons he’d been less keen on sex. He was having difficulty getting an erection and was also having some painful bladder problems. He hadn’t discussed it with Rob because he didn’t want to frighten and worry him until he knew what was what. They’ve sorted things out now. Howard reassured Rob he still adores him and apologised for not talking things over with him. Thankfully the tests showed he didn’t have prostate cancer, but he did have prostatitis, a painful but treatable condition.

The moral of this tale - always talk things over with your partner, especially if they have a histrionic aspect to their personality. No news is not good news to such people, it’s simply an invitation for imagination to run riot and for them to consequently visit large stores, choose shit products and have a public breakdown. Not everyone can be as calm, rational and collected as I am. (Lie detector collapses into laughter)

Ominous sounds are rumbling in the air, either I’m really hungry or a thunderstorm is about to break, again. I am still working on my book, but as yet have no release date, watch this space as they say.  I had a lot going on that year and some of it makes Rob look like a pillar of calm good sense. 

Tuesday 24th July 2012

I did a double take when I opened my mail account this morning to find an email from Jesus. I blinked and looked again, but the sender was definitely Jesus. It’s not every day you get a personal email from the Son of God. I admit to being anxious about what the email might contain. The subject line was giving nothing away. It just said ‘Dear Gillibran.’ Mixed with the anxiety was admiration that J. C. had finally got with the times and started using email instead of heavenly beings to deliver his messages. I opened the mail expecting to find a message about repenting and recanting, the usual biblical stuff, but it wasn’t. It was inviting me to buy Viagra at a discount price.

You know a recession is bad when even Jesus is forced to lay off angels and resort to using email to sell cheap Viagra. I can’t help but think he’d actually sell more if he stuck to his old way of contacting us lesser mortals. I can’t see many men refusing to buy a supply of little blue pills when faced with a winged apparition at a crucial moment. Gabriel and chums could also offer condoms and lubrication at the same time and perhaps a range of cigarettes and choc ices for those relaxed after moments. Jesus would rake it in from the gay community alone.

Enough nonsense. We’ve been away on holiday. We didn’t go far, just down to Leo’s cottage in Cartmel, but it was a nice break. Weather wasn’t brilliant, but no matter. The area is beautiful in rain or shine.

It’s sunny and warm today, perfect laundry weather. My life is just one big round of excitement.

I can’t believe how fast the year is galloping along. The shops are clearing their shelves of barbecue and gardening stuff and getting ready to stock up on Chrissy stuff. It’s ridiculous. Come August shoppers will be faced with shelves of festive cards and goodies. You’d think Jesus would try and cash in on all the merchandise sold on the back of his birthday. He needs to get a good lawyer and sue for his share of the spondulicks.

Book? It’s coming along. It’s turning out much longer than I imagined it would be. A lot was left unsaid that year. I will finish it eventually. I might post an extract or two from it soon.

Sunday 29th July 2012

Dear Diary

I popped in today intending to chitchat with you, but I’m feeling too shit to chit. I felt fine when I woke up, but now I have intestinal disturbances and I suspect shit rather than chit is going to be on the agenda for this sunny July Sunday. In lieu of chat and while I head off to crap I leave you with a couple of excerpts and a chapter from my book, just to prove I am still working on it. Au revoir for now.  Chapter list and link




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