My life has been going through one of those phases for quite some time now. It’s the Age of Malfunctions.
The car which I got twenty months ago has never been free of some sort of problem for longer than a month. Currently it’s the windscreen wipers, which means I can’t use it in wet weather until Nigel gets back from his holiday in a couple of weeks.
Then there were those problems with the computer which culminated in having to buy a new one, and the new one is exhibiting irritating glitches which I need to call the technicians about.
Then there was the mobile phone doing strange things, and having to buy a new TV because the other one stopped working. And don’t forget the old body with its fatigue problems, and joint and muscle pains that are still ongoing. I have an appointment with the doctor on Monday, and I’m praying it won’t rain!
Today it was the turn of the landline phone, which I use most of the time because the pay-as-you-go mobile is so expensive. Dead as a doornail (or even a coffin nail, as Dickens suggested would be more appropriate.) Such things are expensive in swanky old Ashbourne, so I had to go my other local town – poor person-friendly Uttoxeter – to get another one. Fortunately, it didn’t rain.
Nothing positive ever happens. I don’t get beautiful young women knocking on the door and saying ‘Jeffrey, Jeffrey, please be mine, Jeffrey. My need of you is desperate, and if you turn me away I shall slip sadly to an early demise and then you’ll feel guilty.’ Neither do I get envelopes containing cheques for £450 from Getty Images in payment for the rights to use one of my pictures, which happened about this time last year. No, nothing like that. I get plenty of bills, of course. No shortage of them.
This sort of thing makes me nervous every time I get into the car, or switch the computer on, or even get up in the bloody morning!
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One good thing, however. I did get a cheap copy of Jane Eyre from a second hand bookshop in Uttoxeter. The woman who served me kept reaching out to touch my arm, but never quite made it for some reason. That suited me. She was one of those women who might be described as ‘handsome,’ but not actually ‘attractive,’ if you know what I mean. Besides, she was only about twenty years younger than me, which isn’t quite enough. And she had a big bottom, which was the clincher.