Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A thousand pounds

We tackled my lack of sleep issue on all fronts yesterday night. Our dear neighbour, Nathalie read my blog, and instantly left some lavender and chamomile oils outside our front door, which Nathan warmed in a terracotta oil burner. I played some Vaughan Williams, and we both took an American sleeping tablet. I subsequently have no memory of anything having happened between 10.30pm last night and 11am this morning when I finally woke up!

I'm not sure I can claim to have woken up feeling refreshed. That's what all these sleeping pill commercials try to claim isn't it? Instead, I woke up in something of a haze. The journey to my osteopath was a dream-like affair. I was trying to write music, and found myself drifting off into the manuscript. I kept missing my connections and getting on the wrong trains.

There was a fabulously comic moment when a middle-aged Asian man got onto my carriage practising beat-boxing; a more surreal sight I'm struggling to remember ever seeing. I looked around for someone in the carriage to exchange a smile with, but sadly everyone else was under headphones. When the train pulled into the relative silence of a station, I realised the man's beat-boxing was rather neatly blending in with the tinny sounds of drum beats escaping from ten pairs of headphones!

When I arrived at the osteopath, a man was standing at the counter saying, "I think my wife, Debbie Jones, is being seen by one of your osteopaths at the moment. Can you tell me if this is the case?" The man behind the counter was understandably wary. "I'm afraid I can't tell you any information about our patients... Have you tried calling her on her mobile?" "Yes, she's not answering. I know she has an appointment today. I just don't know what time..." Fortunately, the man behind the counter refused to budge and I think the entire waiting room wondered what on earth might have been going on. When the man decided to sit down and wait for his "wife" I don't think I was the only person thinking we might be about to witness some kind of brutal attack. As I went in, Debbie appeared through the front door and there were smiles of relief all round, when it became clear that she knew the man, and was very pleased to see him!

We went to the gym on my way home and swam fifty lengths in the pool there. I think there was too much chlorine in the pool as my eyes are still stinging. I think they've been adding curious chemicals to the water ever since they started using the pool as a teaching pool for young kids. Those little bastards wee everywhere!

Fiona came to stay this evening, and because Nathan had found a special meal deal token for Strada, we went up the hill to a freezing cold Highgate Village and gorged ourselves on pastas and pizzas. We stopped outside an estate agent and looked longingly at some of the properties for sale. The irony is they're both nicer and cheaper in this part of London than the crap you get in "up and coming" districts like Columbia Road. That said, I had to keep reminding myself that, although one million pounds for a gorgeous flat is not dreadful by London standards, it's still one million pounds more than I possess. I am, however, thanks to a change in the taxation law, about a grand better off than I thought I was, having received my tax bill today. Can I buy a house for a grand, I wonder? This is when a hundred people from my parents generation step forward to say their first house cost a thousand pounds!

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