Tue 1: The delivery driver failed to deliver my new cooker (because he couldn't park), so I a) headed out to Tesco and stocked up on more ready meals b) popped round to BestMate's for a bath because he has hot water c) returned home and enjoyed a microwaveable beef lasagne. Wed 2: While walking in Beddington Park, beneath some trees by the Wandle, I suddenly felt a nip on the back of my head. Something had pierced the surface of my skin, which couldn't have been a branch, and I still have no idea what it was but I have a horrible suspicion and I don't want to think about it. Thu 3: Walked up the centre of Hackney Marshes between the goalposts.
Fri 4: I lugged an old computer monitor to the Tower Hamlets tip, and blimey they made them heavy in 2002. I had to manoeuvre it onto two buses, then faced what should have been a short walk but took ages because I had to keep stopping to rest, and I was so pleased when the council operative took it off my hands and carried it effortlessly to the recycling zone. Sat 5: I haven't walked round the centre of Luton for ages, and was disturbed to see it's exactly the same except it's completely changed. The big shopping centre is no longer an Arndale. The indoor market is full of stalls selling globally diverse foods. George Street is deader. Also the residents look a lot younger, although that may just be me. Sun 6: Time for electric cooker delivery attempt number three. A different delivery driver turned up in a similarly large van, and only agreed to park outside because it was stupid o'clock on a Sunday morning. An hour later I had a new cooker! The first meal I attempted to cook on it was chicken pie with boiled potatoes, but the pie cooked faster than I'm used to while the saucepan of water boiled slower, and I think it's going to take me some time to get used to electric rather than gas. Mon 7: Trawling through my spare room I found a piggybank containing 54 decimal halfpennies, my collection of PalitoyPocketeers, a Kodachrome transparency of my grandparents holding my brother at his christening, my first pair of National Health spectacles, a set of Kan-U-Go cards, my National Girobank cheque guarantee card (expires end of 07-85), and Rabbit, the faded blue creature I used to take to bed. Tue 8: I stayed in all day because my landlord was supposed to be coming round with a gas engineer to discuss where my new boiler should go, but it turns out they couldn't make it and forgot to tell me, so all I ended up with was a tidier flat. Wed 9: Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment on that post from 2008. Thu 10: The Uxbridge Conservative & Social Club, Boris's local, has a sign on its gatepost in Comic Sans advertising the misspelled Fairfiled Brasserie. Although the sign urges passers-by to Please Come In For A Delicious Lunch, the next sign along the path says Private Property Members and Guests And Affiliated Members Only so I'm not sure how welcome walk-in diners actually are.
Fri 11: Took a couple of old jackets to the charity shop. In one of the pockets I found a plastic bag from A D Munro, a supermarket on the Isle of Harris, confirming I hadn't worn it since 2006. Sat 12: The names in Brewdog have got sillier. Sun 13: Still having baths round at BestMate's because there is as yet no progress on the boiler front. Mon 14: That's an impressively pointless State Opening of Parliament, given that the session won't even last three weeks before proroguing for an election. I wonder whether the Queen will bother to turn up for the next speech or just send Charles instead. Tue 15: I went into the gents in Oakwood Park N14, because needs must, only for the gardener to close the door and trap me inside while he fired up his leaf blower. Wed 16: The tube was delayed, so I just missed the Overground, so I just missed the bus, so I just missed the tram, otherwise I might have got to the arse end of Croydon an hour earlier. Thu 17: I don't think the Next Train Indicator at Euston is supposed to do this.
Fri 18: We have tickets for Noises Off, the West End revival, so find ourselves tucked into the stalls somewhere near Meera Syal's feet. The evening is spent enjoying the top class farce, but also trying to remember what shows the other actors were in (ah yes, Miranda, Mum, The Bill and that series of BT Broadband adverts). Sat 19: Spotted by an old friend passing through Euston station, but they were weighed down with luggage and I never spotted them, so only learned about the close pass via FlickrMail later in the evening after they'd got home to Dorset. Sun 20: It took me a while to find the right 81st birthday card for my Dad, but I did eventually find an 18th birthday card that looked right upside down. Mon 21: Have discovered that if I go to a different library rather than my local one, almost all the books are different rather than the same old same old, so it's much easier to find something fresh to read. Tue 22: The so-called Street Food Quarter at the O2 is packed with sit-down restaurants serving food in disposable trays, but daytrippers from Essex probably find it edgy, and anybody craving Dirty Fish Burger and Chips should definitely dash down. Wed 23: I sneezed over breakfast, before which I wouldn't have guessed I had a cold, and after which I definitely knew. Thu 24: At the end of a long trip to the West Midlands, there's nothing quite like admiring Wolverhampton at dusk.
Fri 25: There are only four HMV stores left in London, one at Westfield (Shepherd's Bush), one in Uxbridge, one in Romford and one in Bromley. Sat 26: By mid-afternoon the newspaper kiosk outside Bow Road station has loads of copies of today's papers left, probably because there are no trains, but that's a heck of a lot of painstakingly-written carefully-packaged content destined to be pulped. Sun 27: The clocks have gone back and temperatures have dropped. It's not an excellent time of year to have no heating, but (as yet) it's nothing an extra layer can't solve. Mon 28: Dropped in on the Bauhaus exhibition at RIBA on Portland Place. The content was interesting but the presentation was frustrating - too deliberately bauhauseque. If you enjoy peering at flatroofed buildings through awkward holes be sure to visit before the end of January. Tue 29: Oh great, a General Election, just what everyone wanted. I suspect it'll all come down to Nigel Farage in the end, and not in a good way. Wed 30: I needed some new trainers, because my second best pair now have a hole in them, so rather than buying online I traipsed to an outlet store on the other side of London. Hurrah, they just happened to have the brand, make, colour and size I wanted on their Last Pairs shelf, at hugely unlikely odds, and that saved me £30. Thu 31: Took BestMate to Oakdene Park, Whetstone Stray and Underhill. I'm still having baths round at his, because there is as yet no date for that situation to change.