Saturday 16th November 2013

Good Day, Dear Diary,

I thought I’d pop in and open a page for November. November already! I’ll have to start peeling the sprouts ready for Crimbo soon. The weather is bright and pleasant here in my part of the country. According to the weather boffins we’re due plummeting temps and a fall of snow early next week. We shall see if they’re right. The men folk won’t be suited if we do get snow. I’ll have to put up with them moaning about icy roads and traffic chaos.

I must say a big THANK YOU to those who have emailed me in recent weeks. I must also issue a BIG APOLOGY for my tardiness in replying to emails. (I know, I know, I’m a lazy sod) As I’ve said before I can’t always reply in great depth to some of the things that are shared with me. I do however appreciate the mails I get sent.

A lot of you seemed to enjoy the tale of my onesie and have asked when, if ever, I’m going to spill the beans on the other gift that left me less than grateful last winter. I shall endeavour to do so this very day, but first some news about my book. I’ve been asked if I can give an indication of when it will be written and released. The simple answer is I don’t know. I have done a bit more work on it, but it’s nowhere near completion. I was hoping to have it done before Christmas, but it isn’t going to happen. It will be some time in the New Year, if I can stop procrastinating and buckle down to it. Stay patient people, please! ;)

So, let us return to last December and the case of the second unwanted gift. This time around it was my wise man from the Midlands that delivered it unto me.

Being a photosensitive sort of chap I have to wear my Polaroids just as much in winter as I do in summer, in fact more so sometimes, because the winter sun is lower and can often cause more eye level glare, if that makes sense, especially when travelling in a car or on public transport. Such proved the case one Sunday when the three of us were heading out to partake of lunch with Leo. I was in my rightful place, travelling in the rear of Shane’s car like a good little servant. It was a cold, but bright day and I had my Polaroids on to reduce the risk of sun glare.

We were driving past a school when the episode struck. The low winter sun flickering through the school railings caught me through the side of my glasses. The next minute I was twitching, shaking and trembling like a Chihuahua on an ice block. It was a fairly bad episode, perhaps made worse because I was starting an ear infection and felt a bit off kilter anyway.

We didn’t make it to Leo’s. I was taken home and put to bed to recover from the episode. Afterwards Shane went through the usual interrogation process to find the root cause of the episode. I admitted to the sun infiltrating the side of my specs as the trigger, adding that it was just one of those unavoidable things that buzz brains like me fall hazard to, a remark that earned me a slap to the rear. He doesn’t like me denigrating my condition.

I put the incident from my mind, pretending as per usual that it hadn’t happened. Shane doesn’t suffer from the same selective amnesia and the episode obviously stayed in his mind.

On the Sunday following the episode he returned from a sailing foray with Dick and Leo, bearing a little bag in his hand, which he handed to me. Oh goody, a pressie!

I opened the bag and withdrew the rectangular box it contained. My excitement climbed. What would I find in the box?  The excitement died, and as with the onesie the hairs on the back of my neck rose up and wafted a horrified S.O.S, as I withdrew the item from its cardboard shroud.

Fuck me! I stared at the item and then at Shane. Surely to God he didn’t expect me to wear them. I cleared my throat. “These are a joke, right?” I risked a grin. “You don’t seriously expect me to wear them. They’re a payback for that spider trick I played on you.”

He frowned. “Don’t be silly.”

The hairs on my entire body rose and wafted at the look on his face. He WAS serious.

He continued: “professional skiers and mountain climbers wear them, they’re high quality glacier sunglasses.”

I said: “I’m not a skier, and you might not have noticed, but there is no snow loaded mountains around here. I’m not wearing them, Shane. They’re hideous.”

He got technical: “they’re made from top quality mineral glass and have a very high polarisation, which means much less distortion and glare. They’re ideal for you. The sun won’t get through them and trigger your epilepsy.”

I retorted: “a nuclear fucking blast wouldn’t get through them. Look at them. They’re all boxed in. I could add a snorkel and go deep sea diving in them. Where did you get them - at the sadistic Dom’s shop of cruel and unusual punishments to inflict on your sub?”

He stabbed a finger: “I got them from one of the shops at the marina. They cost a mint and you’re wearing them. They’ll be good for you.”

I went off it.  “I don’t care. I’m not wearing them, Shane. They’re totally embarrassing. They’re like the gegs a blind man would wear.” I shoved the box framed dark glasses back in the carton. “If I went out wearing them I’d have gangs of pensioners vying to help me cross the road. I’d have to carry a club to beat them all off with. I’ll look like a twat. I won’t dare have a drink in public, people will think I’m a blind beggar and try to drop coins in my coke can. I’ll have fucking Labradors hurling themselves under my feet begging me to take them on as a guide dog.”

I looked to Dick, seeking moral support. “Tell him. Tell him how ridiculous they look.”  

Support was not forthcoming. Dick had his hand across his mouth and was obviously trying not to laugh at my reaction. It upset me even more, sending me further into rant land.  “I might as well go round with my head shoved in a cardboard box as wear these things. I’ll look like a fucking Gerry Anderson puppet. Joe 90, only less stylish.” I made marionette movements with my arms and legs. “All that will be missing is the strings.” I put the specs back in the bag and plonked it on a chair. “Thanks, but no thanks. I’ve got a perfectly good pair of sunglasses. I don’t need this little box of horrors.”

Shane was not for moving. “The sunglasses you’ve got are more for posing than protection. They’re inadequate. I’m confiscating them. You’re wearing the new ones. I mean it, Gilli. I’ll penalise you if you dare leave this house without them.”

“Great! What other public humiliation have you got lined up for me? Are you going to string me up by the balls at the next party and invite guests to beat me with a stick like a piñata until toffees spill out of my arse.”

“Enough! You ungrateful brat.” Shane lost all pretence of patience. He walloped a hand across my bottom. “I don’t want to hear another word on the matter. Make any more fuss about wearing them and I’ll discipline you properly.”

The head gaytriarch had spoken. He not only confiscated my old Polaroids, he snapped them in half and binned them. Cruel Daddy!

I was doomed to wearing what amounted to fucking welding goggles, either that or spending the rest of my life in a darkened room. I was not a happy bunny. Dick, bless him, begged apology for his amusement and tried to pour oil, saying he thought the new sunglasses made me look sexy and mysterious. Besides, they would offer me excellent all round sun protection, and that was the main priority.

I still detest the boxy Polaroids, but concede that they do offer good protection for my sun sensitive eyes and brain. I can run past school railings or sun dappled trees or even sparkling water safe in the knowledge that the sun cannot poke sly fingers through the top or the side of my specs and trigger a twitching episode.

The case of the unwanted gifts is now told and closed.

Ciao for now peeps.

December 2013


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