I woke up this morning feeling a little bit down in the dumps.
Yes, even I suffer occasionally from a visit by the Black Dog. As Herself says, the only people who don’t suffer from a drop of the blues are those with no imagination. She might have something there.
So I was sitting here in my armchair feeling somewhat morose, with a mug of tea by my side and the Autumn sun beating in the window and I started to reminisce. What would I have been doing say twenty years ago?
The day would have started with the screech of the seven o’clock alarm blending with the dawn chorus of car alarms echoing around the housing estate. That estate had so many false alarms from cars and home security that even the fucking birds imitated them to perfection. Every now and then the house would shudder as a bus roared past on the main road. It was a noisy estate.
Then there was the long dreary haul through the traffic. Traffic seemed to consist entirely of two types – the cautious ones who would wait to see if the traffic lights were going to turn any greener before progressing, and those who would desperately jump lanes in the vain hope of gaining a yard or two. The routine was so regular that I frequently found myself sitting behind a Fiesta driven by a bloke wearing a cloth cap. Day after day I would find myself sitting behind the same car driven by the same bloke waiting for the traffic to shift another few feet. Hell on Earth.
Then there was the office.
Invariably there would be a meeting first thing. This was chaired by Little Cunt TJ – the local manager – who would waffle for half an hour about absolutely nothing, talking about targets, productivity and progression. The only redeeming feature was that he was a master at Office Speak. The whole meeting would be interspersed with cliches, running things up the flagpole, popping things into the toaster and taking the helicopter view. To alleviate the boredom we would all play Bullshit Bingo to great effect, before heading off to the canteen for a strong mug of coffee.
The work itself wasn’t too bad. I was usually out and about around the campus so I didn’t have to suffer the torture of Little Cunt TJ standing behind me making inane comments. They were beginning to introduce non-smoking areas into the place and many of the offices were out of bounds for the pipe, but that didn’t bother me – plenty of open air between office blocks where I could linger in transit to enjoy a puff in peace.
Then there would be the repeat haul home with the same traffic jams stuck at the same traffic lights with the same idiots causing the same problems. By the time I got home I was fucked and fit for nothing, and usually in a foul mood.
So here I am. Up at ten this morning [yes – a bit early but what the hell] and sitting in the peace and quiet of my armchair. I have nothing in particular on today. I might wander down to the village or I might not. I might have a doze, or I might not. The only sound is someone hammering wood in the distance. I’m watching the birds flitting around in the tree branches. It is remarkably peaceful.
And there is no Little Cunt TJ.
Life is good.
I am feeling quite cheerful now.