It’s my habit to pop out for a mid-morning coffee following the torture at the gym. One sunny day I parked myself outside a café to rest my weary bones, sip my americano, scan my newspaper and watch the ebb and flow of the eclectic crowd. A sallow-faced, reedy man plonked himself down in front of me. He was playing Rick Astley’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ on his phone – not too loud to cause a stir but loud enough to raise eyebrows.
A silver-haired old chap with a walking stick shuffled past.
‘Like the music?’ he asked.
‘It’s fine,’ I replied. ‘I don’t mind a bit of Rick.’
‘Some Pet Shop Boys would be nicer,’ he said with a wink.
I tend to agree. And so to the Pet Shop Boys anthem which was the soundtrack to many a young man’s coming out back in the day.
I have been left to my own devices to keep the home fires burning. Liam has flown back to Blighty to take care of his folks. Father-in-law is in hospital and mother-in-law needs a little TLC. His siblings are all doing a turn and Liam is the opening act. So, I have two weeks home alone to fiddle, twiddle and scribble. What to do? There are a few odd jobs to do around the house; they may help to keep me out of mischief.
With winter lurking out to sea, I climbed onto the roof this morning to shut off the water supply from the solar panels. This involved clambering up two rotting wooden ladders and being horse-whipped by the canopy of a giant tree dripping with almost-ripe olives. It has to be done, otherwise the bathroom water heater won’t work. Don’t ask me why. It’s one of the great mysteries of the modern era, like Stonehenge. One of these days I’m going to break my neck.
For no reason other than the title of this post I give you the Pet Shop Boys.