Febrrruary

I took a lump of butter out of the fridge to soften it this week, but it has been so cold in the Butchelor Pad it has frozen solid.

I took a lump of butter out of the fridge to soften it this week, but it has been so cold in the Butchelor Pad it has frozen solid.

February has brought with it cold weather and a rising panic about the cost of living crisis.

I’ve turned all the heating down to Dennis Nielsen levels and sit here typing in a flat colder than the South Pole branch of Iceland.

If this carries on, I might have to stand around a candle to get some warmth. On the upside, at least the ice in my glass is lasting longer but it’s playing merry hell with my carpal tunnel syndrome.

This week it even crossed my mind to go to bed wearing oven gloves, not that I get much sleep when I get there.

It would be nice to have a Carol Kirkwood figure as a hot water bottle as I could do with a warm front moving in until spring.

It might help me move on or live more in the moment, which keeps being suggested to me.

This usually comes from happily married couples with dual incomes, who see their children every day and have both parents still alive.

I moved back to the past four years ago and like it there where everyone who meant anything is still with me.

Having slaved relentlessly over a hot keyboard for 33 years in a trade which requires you to relentlessly looking forward, it’s comforting to look back.

It’s certainly better than living in the moment which seems to involve me ruminating on how I might put bread (and frozen butter) on the table.

Not just my own table but the kids, hers and now technically ‘his’ as well.

A good distraction from the buzz of the fridge and the drip of the tap of the single 50-year-old is watching old television series like Tales of The Unexpected, and The Onedin Line.

The theme tunes alone whisk me back to being a happy little boy; sitting by a (warm) fire in brown paisley pyjamas watching a black and white portable in the 70s.

How simple and easy life was then too.

February 2 also marked an anniversary of having lost nana Butcher. Her house was also a bit of lighthouse to us all and it’s hard to think two years have gone already.

I can still see her watering the hydrangeas as granddad tried to feed me radishes.

At least I hope it was that way round.

And this week two white feathers spiralled out of the sky again and landed directly at my feet, which makes a change from the usual bird s**t.

And in another example of life’s impeccable timing, nana Butcher’s funeral service took place on Valentine’s Day 2020, which is another milestone to get past.

On the plus side, Strong Independent Woman has been in touch to apologise for not sending a card on my 50th. On the downside I have told her she is now on a final written warning for February 14.

I must say the big sister also possesses an uncanny nose for incoming cold weather. Last weekend she jetted off on a pre-booked trip to balmy Madeira.

Right now, she’ll probably be sipping cocktails on a sunbed as mozzies buzz round her backside.

I waved her off last Sunday in gales and drizzle and as her car disappeared around the corner it suddenly hit my unstiff upper lip.

This is the dress rehearsal for that awful occasion in five months time when she emigrates for good, so I walked home in the rain trying not to think about it.

Who will I have to breathlessly regale me of stories about rushing to order three cut-price bikinis online before the holiday – only to get them and discover the reason they were so cheap was because they were child sizes.

So, as I dwell on the cost of living, remember Chris Rea’s take on money: ‘It’s all just bits of paper flying away from you.’ (The Road to Hell) (1989).

And when I think of Nana Butcher’s hydrangeas, it has to be that devastating line about flowers in Nothing Compares 2 You (1990).

The next flowers to die in the back yard will be the big sister’s when she says adios, so I’ll have to make sure she cultivates an orange tree for all our Tequila Sunrises.

So if you’re in the market for career advice it might be better to find a job in high finance like she did, than one in the words business like me.

It’s surely better to be under a sunbrella in Madeira dropping Jagar Bombs than fighting an actual umbrella and worrying about Putin dropping his.

If it comes to World War Three, at least I have a hard pound of butter and a heavy typewriter to throw at them.

But tonight is still young, even if I’m not.

It’s high time I ignored the cost of living crisis, pulled on my winter coat and went in search of living in the moment.

I’m not going to find a Carol Kirkwood water bottle moping around this bloody flat, am I.

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