The weather here has been so bloody awful it’s felt like I’ve turned the clock back to autumn not spring.
The cooker clock in the Butchelor Pad refuses to conform to British Summer Time and I will now have to look at the bastard every morning until late October and deduct an hour.
Why do they make the clocks on domestic ovens harder to crack than the bank safe in the Italian Job?
Outside the daffodils are all dead from the cold so all I’ve really done is stay in, cosy up on the sofa and watch early episodes of Inspector Morse back-to-back.
Bought from a charity shop and watching on DVD, I adore the old 4:3 television ratio showing grainy images of Oxford’s dreaming spires as they were back in 1987.
Red telephone boxes, smoking in pubs, dimpled pint glasses, Cinzano and sodas, jam-sandwich Ford Granada police cars, flowery skirts and green eye shadow.
Most importantly of all – not a single wretched mobile phone in sight in the Oxford Randolph Hotel – still going, by the way.
Not a single soul hiding behind a bloody device on so-called social media. A generation which now refuses to speak to anyone else in a pub because all their mates are in their pockets.
For reasons inexplicable to me, I find the Inspector Morse theme tune strangely relaxing.
This is going to sound strange, but when I watch TV shows from the past I am reassured that people from my life were still alive when they were being filmed.
I enjoy being able to sit here in a cold spring of 2022 and speculate on what they were doing when the cameras rolled back in 1987.
To know the type of sky and world they were looking at?
This week, I also jumped onto Google Maps to plod the streets of the old home town from years back – wondering if a passing Google van had caught sight of the old mum alive and shuffling up the road with her plastic bags clinking from the off-licence?
I didn’t spot her, but work that one out, Freud, because I don’t know what it all means.
On Monday, the strapping nephew and I moved the new/old sofa in to the Butchelor Pad.
It brought to mind Laurel and Hardy trying to get a piano up a flight of stairs.
Sadly, in this little scenario, I am no longer ‘the thin one’ of the duo.
As I stood there, rolling my tie and sweating cobs – (I assume cobs represents the web-like underarm patches) – my mind cast back to the spring of 1993.
Back then, I single-handedly carried a washing machine – complete with concrete breeze block inside – up four flights of stairs above Beddall’s newsagents, as me and the Oldest of Old Flames started a fire and moved into a flat together.
I was 21 then and showing off. At 21 you’d do anything to prove your virility.
These days, I could barely carry a box of washing powder up four flights of stairs without getting out of breath.
But back to my new/old sofa.
It has been kindly donated to me by the big sister.
She is gutting her house of possessions ahead of her moonlit flit to Spain and is giving everything away and I have first dibs.
She keeps inviting me round to take the last of this and the last of that which has felt like picking out trophies at the home of a dead relative.
I can barely stay in her increasingly echoey house for five minutes before I have to leave and put a brake on my tears.
Anyway, to take my mind off it all I am treating myself to a slap-up mixed grill this Easter weekend.
Mushrooms, a fried egg, onion rings and sirloin steak the size of a dinosaur leg.
It’s steak Diane for me, but who’s Diane and why are we grilling her?