"Weeks an' weeks" muttered Tel. Only he's got a bad cold, so it sounded more like "weegss'n'weegsss". Not that I ever really understand him when he mutters anyway.
It's the latest WR, baffed about a bit by the international break and the two goalless draws against the krauts and the Brazilians that seems to have convinced folk I work with that "we'll do alright" in the World Cup next June. One of them, a Villa fan, is even awaiting his tickets for Russia, though he seems to have paid through the nose for them. That's if he's being strictly truthful, of course. He went to the Brazil game and came in on Thursday claiming he'd seen us 'grow'.
Terry has a cold. He blames Paula for causing him unremitting stress, and her mother for acceding to local germs and then passing them on, through her daughter, to him. The fact Paula's been fine has caused him more anguish. He's constantly sucking menthol sweets and lobbing scrunched-up disposable tissues at the bin (and missing) in his shop. He smells ill. The combined aromas of Halls lozenges, Lockets ('they don' 'ave any 'unny in 'em anymore. Bleedin' pathetic they are') and virulent yellow Lemsips, which he sips as though they are tramps' piss, make him smell like an invalid. I half expected to see a nurse in the back room, ready with another dose of anti-coagulant for his blocked snout.
Mrs Tel is still in Stisted, arranging her late father's funeral (next Thursday at 1pm at some crematorium near Halstead). Tel's got no natural audience for his suffering. Paula is doing her job and then heading home to apply for a new one. I'm at a critical point with my newly-ratified project at work; having to do more homework and research to enable us to start using the new methods by 18th January. It's an emotional desert for poor old Terry. One of his paperboys even took the pee last week, an unwise move if he's expecting a decent Christmas tip.
Thursday saw me up in Birmingham, meetings and all, home by 7pm, missing football and estuary English/guttural Suffolk accents. You probably know all Birmingham folk talk funny, so I'll skip that bit, but it can be quite difficult to understand them when they talk quickly. I had Friday off as I had a hospital appointment at 12pm (nothing serious, but thanks for the concern).
Colchester Hospital would have ripped me off for about £8 had I been daft enough to park on its premises. As it was, I parked for free at work and got the bus down there and back. The place smells of old socks with Dettol on them. I sat on the red leather bench in Outpatients, occasionally moving my legs to let the beds and wheelchairs pass, and watched my fellow Colcestrians be treated for plagues and ills in antiseptic rooms by doctors who all seemed to be running late. It was much as I expect those who stayed in underground stations during the Blitz endured; everyone comes in looking fearful, anticipating with dread that invasive metal rod up the jacksy. Then they sit on the red leather benches and a perverse sort of camaraderie takes over. They chat and tell you all about their ills, as if getting their story straight for the quack. The old boy and his wife next to me were there for "my colo-rectal examination; ooh, the doctor puts one'o'them latex gloves on and cream on his first two fingers". 'Blimey' I said, not encouragingly. "Yeah" the old boy went on, "yer can't sit down much for a few hours after" and smiled as though he was looking forward to the whole thing.
The door next to me opened and he was, mercifully, called to attend through it. I moved to the other end of the bench, lest the door somehow blow open and I be confronted with the sight of him on all fours on a treatment table with a rubber-gloved doctor making stirring motions with his first two fingers. This was a mistake as I then got into chatty conversation with an old girl who was having her piles shrunk next week.
When my name was called, I got up sheepishly, trying to avoid eye contact with the other patients around me who were smiling goodwill. In and out, to cut a long story short and I didn't even have to remove me pants.
Friday night was pub night, although Tel didn't fancy eating and said his lager tasted off (it wasn't), so he stuck to brandy. They had a game on the telly, Burton Albion, and we watched bits in between conversing about Spain. The move's taken a bit of a back seat (hence the 'weeks and weeks' comment at the start of this report) because Mrs Tel wants to finalise the funeral and, more importantly, because solicitors cost money and Tel has realised they're eating into his savings a fair bit. The house hasn't sold yet; the guaranteed buyer he had has now bought in Leytonstone, so it's back on the market.
"It needs modernisin'" said Tel, in a tone which suggested he didn't fancy paying for it to be. He blew his nose and sniffed for a bit. "Bloody money, that's all it ever is" he moaned. His brother-in-law just wants a quick sale and will achieve this by knocking the price down if there's no takers after two months on at the current price. Tel thinks 'speculate ter acoomerlate' but doesn't fancy being the mug who pays for the new bathroom and decorating. He needs to see "at least £150k" from the sale to make Spain viable. His brother-in-law, already well-off, doesn't.
Saturday came and I went for a walk. This time through Wrabness to Ramsay, into old Harwich and home via the train (I parked at Wrabness) then into Manningtree for a curry and a few beers with friends. We forgot to do a footie bet this weekend. That's unheard of. Tel said "Town are at 'ome Wensdy aint they?" and I nodded. "Mmmm" he said. "'Ow much is it d'ya reckon?". When I said about twenty-five quid, he grimaced. "Are they at 'ome on Boxin' Day?" he asked. "Yep, QPR" I said. "Ooh" he said. "I might get you ter get us a ticket fer that".
Hopefully his cold might have dried up by then. If anyone on here fancies meeting him, I'll post details nearer the time. Dunno why you would. He's very ordinary.