Nothing worse

She told some story about single casks and small batch distillers and blah blah blah whisky pointlessness. There’s nothing worse than a connoisseur. I sat and smoked and sipped my drink as she went on, filling the air with vapid small talk and clouds of smoke.

A million things

I wished a million things as she answered the door. That I was three stone lighter. That I could still bench ninety kilos. That my hair was sun streaked blond, not Just For Men grey. That my face was more Beckham than Bagpuss.

And I wished the last twenty years had brought us together, not pulled us apart.


Middle Aged Man In Lycra – “The MAMIL”: the country’s full of them. Blokes in their forties, paunches straining against hundreds of pounds of garish lycra, sat astride bikes that would split them in two given half the chance. Some ride in packs, others alone; all of them hated. They block the streets and slow the traffic, demanding everyone follow the highway code until it suits them not to. Collective distaste means they’re ignored, and sunglasses and helmets make them anonymous.

Which, in my line of work, is a perfect combination.

Mr Punch

The barman was a taciturn fucker. His face was all features, crammed in, bunched up. If you caught him out of the corner of your eye it looked like his eyebrows and chin met at the tip of his nose. I’d be a taciturn fucker if I looked like that I guess, but then I wouldn’t have gone for a job in customer service.

I scanned the pumps on the bar. Nice piece of wood in that counter. Nicely planed. I liked the way it curved. And I liked what it held too. Grumpy he might be, but the selection of beers was good and it looked like someone gave a shit. I ordered a pint of something refreshing and pale and turned down the offer of a cheese sandwich.

On the buses (mathematics redux)

I woke up on the bus, my head snapping upright, drool at the corner of my mouth. A dull headache was already forming as the world swam in front of me and I tried to work out where the hell I was.

I’d started the evening knowing a drink would end up like this, and yet here I was anyway. On the night bus with a crick in my neck, a mouth like an ashtray and busting for a piss.
There were mercifully few people with me, and we were spread evenly throughout the bus; a mathematical study in keeping one’s distance.