This and that and you know…share houses at fifty nine?

I’ve recently acquired two housemates. This after living in splendid isolation for three years or so (I can’t recall exactly) after the departure of the Final Boyfriend.

Things have already changed around here. For instance, instead of asking myself of an evening ‘Now what would I like to do?’ I add, “And how would it look?” How would it look if I went to bed at 7.30 to watch The Crown? Would it be any cooler if it was House of Dragons? How about if I got my guitar out and sang Scarborough Fair (does anyone under eighty sing English folk?) Should I make conversation? Should I shut the fuck up? How about bathroom noises (should I take in my phone and play Beethoven’s 5th on Spotify?).

And then there’s farting. When you’re a woman with two male housemates, it just can’t be done. I miss farting. Already!

The dog, who is a prima donna, was pleased at first, as she thought she would be getting an extra two superfans. Instead she’s got a cute pug and a beagle cross who pay her no mind. At first she seemed inclined to eat them, but this has faded to a weary toleration (two against one, after all).

Anyway, on balance it’s not nearly as traumatic having housemates as I thought it might be. If I vant to be alone, I can always go to bed at 7.30. However it looks!

On an unrelated subject, I’ve been thinking that the next time I travel, I’m going to take a backpack. I’m talking student size, not German backpacker size. The question is, what goes in it? More to the point, what doesn’t? So here’s my list. The Other Shoes. A few tiny tubes of those combo products you see sometimes like ‘Shampoo/Toothpaste in One!’. A gnome-sized laptop. A change of clothes, easy dry. A brush ‘Clothes, Hair, Teeth, Eyebrow Overgrowth’.

I anticipate my triumphal march past the scowling counter-trolls of Ryanair, casting a pitying glance at fellow-travellers forced to choose between putting half their luggage in the bin or handing over 150 euros to take their handbag on. No more lugging around luggage for ME!

I don’t know if this will work in practice – lovely as it is to dream about it. Do you think you could get away with a student backpack on a ninety-day trip?

And…Black Velvet. What images does that conjure up? Obviously, the song, Black Velvet if you please. Sexy choker-thingummies. A coat I got from an ancient and frumpy next door neighbour 50 years ago, black velvet with pink net lining…. Well, basically it says sex. Possibly mystery. So here is the Black Velvet collection of free or discounted books, including my novel Shame, which has the worst kind of sex in it (the sort you have with people who just aren’t nice). The collection features a lot of bare-chested guys who look like their internal organs are busting to get out…but I HAVE downloaded Cresting the Sun, an award winning sci-fi anthology (I have made a September resolution to read more indie authors – bloody well about time, as I am one!). I’ll tell you what I thought of it next time I see you.


    1. It’s not so much a matter of bringing myself as stopping myself. You know how it is as you get old…young folk avert your eyes here🙂 I need some practical help on the property and these guys will provide it ..I hope… in return for accommodation. I advertised. One’s really young and funky, the other older and knows lots of useful things. I enjoy having them around, so far, on balance.

      1. Yes, I know what you mean about farts and being older. I would find it a huge trial to have to suppress them now 🙂 Here’s to having useful and enjoyable boys around.

  1. for what it’s worth, I once travelled around NZ for a few months on a motorcycle, with only one full set of spare clothing and a pair of jandals (thongs), a towel and stuff all else.

  2. The Beneficiary and I have long made a habit of loading our entire household into whatever vehicle or checked luggage we’re using when we travel. We’ve also a long habit of bitching about it every single time and saying we won’t do that anymore “next time”.

    I’m more inclined to the minimal route than she is, partially due to the fact that I often have to limit my supplies to whatever will fit on a motorcycle, which pretty rapidly defines what is necessary and what is not. I’ve discovered that virtually anything I need to get by day-to-day can be found at any Walmart or some other store in mini-quantities that I’m not bashful about turning into “single use”. Since there are Walmarts here in ‘Merca about every half mile or so, this is completely sustainable by just loading up a credit card, a couple of changes of clothes, and some weather gear.

    Turns out that the card doesn’t get used all that much — most of what we think we need is totally dispensable as long as we don’t worry about it in the first place.

    I think the two of us could cut our luggage requirement to near zero/backpacks except for her camp cooking gear. And artist stuff she uses. And my laptop of course. And a couple of notebooks. And….ah, crap, back up to two suitcases already.

    My sister has it down to an art. She went to hang around in Scotland/Ireland for a couple of weeks (about the same time you were there, actually) and she and her husband took less stuff than I need to commute to the job every morning. I don’t know how she does it.

    Don’t know how you do the room-mate thing. I did it a lot in my younger days, especially during my time in the military. But these days I don’t generally like people well enough to even get along with them over dinner, much less sharing space over a long term. And probably a single middle-of-the-night encounter with me, my hair standing on end, waddling my half-asleep fat ass to the refrigerator for a midnight sandwich would probably cause them to reconsider the arrangement, too.

    But, kudos if it works and sympathy if it doesn’t…

    Glad to see you “back”.

    1. Ah yes, that’s the thing isn’t it. You start bringing along the creative gear and you’re lost. Laptops are seriously heavy! The room mate thing…has tradeoffs. They do manly stuff like chainsaw work, they get to live here. The odd thing is that the two guys are terrible at talking with each other. Or maybe that’s just men. They don’t ask each other get to know you questions or act interested in each other at all, it’s just, so what cc is your bike mate? Oh yeah. Silence. So I feel the onus is on me to create a friendly atmosphere. But luckily we don’t all have to hang together for long. They’re both pleasant to have around

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