Going home tomorrow, but coming back to Somerset for Christmas – and Tosc is staying too. Should be fun.  I hope it snows. I really, really hope it snows for Christmas. Snow in the countryside would be lovely. You simply can’t get depressed when it’s snowing. Unless you’re one of those people who got stuck in the Andes and had to eat your friends and family. But I’m not one of those people (which is good).

Anyway, I’m over yesterday’s ‘go away’ incident now- although I am thinking of writing a stern letter to the shop in question. (‘...Dear Cigarette Woman, I’m unsure why you judged my presence to be intolerable. Perhaps you thought I was an alcoholic and/or heroin addict considering my ‘wild of hair and eye’ appearance and noticeable tremor. But this is not an excuse. Heroin addicts and alcoholics need to be treated with decency too, y’know. As it happens, I am neither a heroin addict nor an alcoholic – I am but a simple madman. SHAME ON YOU FOR BEING CRUEL TO A SIMPLE MADMAN. SHAME ON YOU.’)

Or I’ll just log it in the big black book of ‘slightly unsettling things that have happened’ and never think of it again.

Oh, and I really really need to do some Christmas shopping. I need to come off these anti depressants first though because if I go high I’m going to buy everyone ponies and space shuttles etc.

I don’t really want anything for Christmas. I’m very, very easy to buy for because I’ll be overwhelmingly happy at the smallest thing. A few years ago a girl I was working with bought me a tiny plastic pig for one of those Secret Santa things. I think it was meant to be a joke gift because everyone looked puzzled when I said it was one of the best presents I’d ever had. Everyone else had got notepads and bars of soap and stuff, but I had a pocket-sized pig. I seriously felt like I came out on top that year.

My mother is quite hard to buy for, every year B and I do heads or tails for who gets to buy the big bumper bottle of Chanel no.5 (which lasts her about a month – she sprays the house with it). Still need to buy for B. I usually get her a Jo Malone candle (which are rather expensive but they last until the end of time) and some champagne because she loves the stuff.

And then I normally buy everyone something small and personal. That’s where antique shops and markets really come into their own, when you buy a piece of old jewellery or a cigarette box or a fountain pen or something. It shows that you haven’t just browsed the John Lewis website and clicked randomly all over the place.

I love buying presents but I’m not all that materialistic – I really am happy with any old thing.  I place huge significance on small, cheap, silly little things. I remember when I was very young finding a tiny ball of crystal in the park. I took it home and squirrelled it away, and I’ve still got it. I used to lie awake worrying that it belonged to someone and I’d stolen it. It was probably just a bead from a girl’s necklace but it was like treasure to me. That’s why my flat is an Aladdin’s Cave of silly things that I’m crazily attached to. Everything I own has some kind of memory clinging to it. The only thing I’m really material about is clothes, because I like things to be well made. And furniture, for the same reason. And I’ve got a bit of a thing about cheap crockery/cutlery. So maybe I am a tad materialistic 😉

Funny thing about clothes is that it doesn’t matter how nice my clothes are, I always end up looking like I’ve got dressed in the dark. The only ‘looks’ I can really master are ‘the pulling look’ (t-shirt, tight panic-attack inducing jeans, crazy hair), ‘the manic look’ (multicoloured trousers, necklaces, crazier hair) the depressed look (lots of wool) and ‘the disgraced millionaire’ (a lot of tailoring and very little ironing).

Ah! That’s what I want for Christmas! A decent fucking iron! Mine is really awkward to use, it’s like trying to iron with a boiling hot brick. So that’s what I want. A lightweight iron to do some lightweight (yet manly) ironing.

Oh, and Tosc said all he wants for Christmas is for me ‘to be healthy’. That’s a thoughtful thing to say, but I think I might have to buy him a watch just in case.

ps – just to add, the ‘disgraced millionaire’ thing is one of Toscar’s putdowns. He also said to me once that I looked like ‘a banker who had drowned in the Thames and been fished out a week later’.


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