X1 DVD of Alistair Cooke's America; 200 Duty Free Cigarettes (Benson and Hedges); X2 Clarins for Men Moisturiser; X3 Boots No.7 Anti-Aging Serum; alcohol units 0 (almost five years);
minutes thinking about women I shouldn't fancy 4 (vg).
Joy to the world! I am back in Terminus! Let every heart prepare me room! Am I enjoying life back in Atlanta, Georgia, the angry white state of the USA? Well, let's see...
I unpacked the umpteen boxes of two for a fiver Lonsdale underpants (black) from Sports Direct on Kensington High Street. And my new DVD acquisitions from now defunct Video City on Notting Hill Gate: Dead Head and Mr. Palfrey of Westminster. Dead Head was a bonkers BBC 2 drama written by Howard Brenton from 1986. Despite big reviews and being nominated for awards, Dead Head was never repeated and never released on videotape or DVD format (typical BBC!). I had not seen it since I was a lad of 16 (it was on a Sunday night) and, to compensate for transatlantic travel, I binge watched the whole thing in one jet lagged sitting. Al's verdict: as weird as remembered.
However, the first night home at HQ, I got bitten in the middle of the night by a brown recluse spider and was left with a gaping series of wounds on the right side of my abdominal wall. At first, I thought that the pain was gallstones, and went to the local quack at the walk-in clinic on Ponce de Leon for a look over. The Doc gave me the all-clear but advised me to visit the nearest A&E on Boulevard in event of further anomalies. Then I noticed the bites, deduced that a creepy crawly was the culprit and that the venom was slowly, and painfully, working its way out of my system. All those years in South East Asia, nine in total, and not once did something like this happen. Only in America!
Whilst recovering from the welcome-back-to-Atlanta spider bites, I have been busy round the house with innumerable DIY tasks -- none of which I can do. But this is where something new and annoying called "Angie's List" comes in. My wife, the Contessa, hired a bloke to come round and install the fan lights that have been sitting in boxes since April -- when we bought HQ in Grant Park. The handyman complained about reversed polarity throughout the electrical system and aged, period wire about to flux. Eventually, it took an entire day to put up the fan lights. I don't have any fan lights in my office, the Ops. Room. No. I got chandeliers instead.
And let's not forget the "yard" (that's American for garden). I have not had such a big garden since I was growing up in Liverpool. But, with a big garden, comes big maintenance. We have spreading bamboo throughout and I have been busy digging out the stumps. Not one or two but forty-eight (yes, I counted). My hands haven't been this mashed up since Basic Wales... Such is life without servants to whip and cajole. Hopefully, the absence of this spreading bamboo will hasten the return of the grass. And, by next summer, 2016, we might be able to take tea on the lawn.
In amidst all of this tedious DIY and back breaking, blister busting "yard work," I got an email from Buck Wolf, the executive editor of the Huff Post. "I love writers who are adventurers," he said, "would you be interested in doing a blog for the Huffington Post?" Bloody good thing I am on Twitter (@alexperdurabo) coz I am always getting work via that tawdry-but-useful social media platform. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance. Now I have a forum to whine about reform of our social institutions. And settle old scores.