Before I get into this blog, just a little aside. On Sunday night I nipped up to Tesco because I needed milk. The stuff I had in my fridge had nearly forced an evacuation from the house. Anyway, there I am at the self-service till thing and I scan my milk and the magazine I had picked up. I click to pay, it tells me to scan my clubcard. I make four hundred attempts at scanning my clubcard before giving up then I try to feed my fiver into the notes slot and what happens? It takes the perfectly perfect fiver half way in and then…spits it out again. WTF? Must have aspirations of being a cash dispenser. The fiver floats down to the floor. The lassie at the other self-scan sees this and tries to hide her laughter leaving me picking up my fiver, with a red face. Thankfully it took my fiver the second time, took an age to dispense my change and made sure I left the store just at the right time to walk into a rain storm. Thank you self-service.
ANYWAY. I have been living on my own for nearly two years now. That in itself is a miracle. Me, alone for two years ahahaha! I haven’t driven myself insane though and I see this as a Good Thing.
There are many things I have had to do since moving in with myself. I have to cook for myself, or basically I starve, I have to do all the washing, the dusting, the cleaning, the hoovering (argh!) myself or I’d be living in a pigsty. I am NOT a domestic goddess, I will freely admit that. I’ll only dust the TV stand when the signal from the remote is disrupted, that sort of thing. I do keep it clean though. I mean, I have to do laundry and this is basically because I need pants (for those across the pond that’s “knickers” to you mate). If I don’t do it then I’m commando all the time. That could be embarrassing.
Sometimes I cook myself up a storm, a great meal and I eat it and I love it and then I take the plate into the kitchen and I ask myself who is going to clean up the mess. Oh no, it’s me! I have to clean it up! How did the flour get on the worktop, what’s that? Tomato sauce? What is that all up the wall? Did I really need all the pots and pans in my cupboard? Why are all my utensils poking out the sink? I cook with abandon, feeling like MasterChef Ultimate Ever Winner and then I see the bloody dishes and then I wonder what would happen if I put them all in the washing machine.
Then there are the daft thoughts that go through my head. These come when I am lying on my sofa on a Saturday afternoon during a pointless international break listening to the scores come in from the second rate Soccer Saturday boys. Teams that I have heard of because I am from an era when you’d be eating your tea on a Saturday evening (after having been at the match and getting home because trams and roadworks did not exist) and you’d get the scores coming in from all over. ‘Kidderminster Harriers one, A big black pudding nil.’ And then he would tell you what that scored on your coupon! Getting warmed up by your mothers sausage casserole (stewed sausages!) while listening to these scores.
I’ve gone off the track and now I can’t remember where I am…
Oh aye, thoughts. So, I’ll be lying there thinking to myself ‘I might go into town tomorrow and pretend I am a tourist and see what happens.’
This then leads me to more thoughts. Such as, I am pretending to be an American tourist. Now, this next bit will only work if you’re good at accents. So, you need to read the next bit and read the American tourist in American accent. Or else it doesn’t work.
Location: Princes Street maybe outside Primark
Me (as American tourist): Say, hey there, can you tell me where the Edinborough Castle is?
Edinburgh Resident: Well, it’s right behind you.
Me (as American tourist) : turns around Whaaat? That puny thing, that’s the size of an outbuilding on my estate back home.
Edinburgh Resident: Aw is that right ya radge? Well see how you like the size of ma outbuilding. (Batters in)
As I say, they are random thoughts.
Where have I gone now? Oh aye. Living on my own. So, living on my own, there is no one to interrupt those random thoughts and they take root and develop. Until I come back to earth and realise that it’s quarter to eight at night, I have not eaten and I only have and hour to cook before Casualty starts. That was not true on Saturday night, it was Strictly, the Launch Show and then the Proms. I was ready for both. Get the wine on charge and then pour the glass and get ready!
The worst thing though, it’s the habits developed. Living on your own, you can pick your nose and not one person is going to object, oh aye, get in there, howk it out and examine it. You can do this while just sitting watching the TV. It doesn’t have to be in the bathroom while your flat-mate or other half is also in residence. It can be right there in front of Eastenders. Feet up on the coffee table. ‘Is that blood?’ Could be. The finger has been right up the nose it’s probably scratched the brain. Wipe it on a tissue, lift the glass of wine and carry on.
A couple of weeks ago I found myself giving a lecture to the TV. A full on lecture. ‘You were once but a few wires meshed together!’ That’s how it started. It wasn’t connecting to the Internet properly and I pointed out to it that this was not acceptable. Not in this day and age.
‘This,’ I said, ‘not two feet away, is my modem. Virgin Media calls it a “hub”. I can lie upside down in my stair well and get internet access, but you, dear TV, two feet away, cannot. Can you please explain this?’ It continued. The TV did not reply.
Anyway, other than technology, there are other habits the person who lives on their own doesn’t realise they’ve developed.
My big wake up was the toilet. Everyone has a toilet these days. Whether you share it with your family, a house mate you just have access to it yourself, you have a toilet. Long gone are the days when you had to pad across the back garden in the middle of winter to have a pee. In fact, that was mostly reserved for having a lengthy read of the newspaper. Chamberpots were the thing.
The thing was, in that outhouse you had a door and you closed it and in every house now, all bathrooms have doors for privacy. Yet, I don’t close mine.
Why don’t I close mine? Well, because I live alone. There is no one else in the upper villa with me. Need a pee, I just nip into the bathroom, unzip the jeans and sit my arse down with the bathroom and living room door open and I can still hear the radio through my SONOS speaker in the living room. Or the TV. It’s no hassle. Need anything more then I take in what I want I don’t have to worry about anything else. It’s a freedom. I need a pee! I walk to the bathroom and I pee and I don’t have to close the door or care who hears!
Until the day I had a workman in my house. Now, don’t get me wrong, in two years I have had other people in the house and I have used my own facilities in their presence. There is still something different. When you have a workman in the house and your internal system tells you that you need to go to the bathroom, perhaps with a magazine, it’s different. This happened to me. The first thing that I did was just go through to the bathroom and then I realised I couldn’t just do as I normally did. There was a workman in my house. Then, in a total space cadet moment, I wonder how I could. Oh aye, there’s a lock on the bathroom door. Is there? Have I used it? Has ANYONE used it?
It does exist, I find when I go in there. With the door open I flick the lock back and forth. It’s vintage. It has a green “vacant” and a red “engaged”. It’s also working and I am not getting locked in the toilet.
Living on your own means using your own bathroom whenever you like and for as long as you like. Want to lie in the bath for three hours? Go ahead. It’s yours.
I’m not even getting into what happens when I fall out with myself, ‘No, YOU do the dishes! I cooked!’ Insane.
I’m off for a chat with a cactus. Tata!