There have been shocking scenes of misery and deprivation in these parts recently as the heating engineers arrived to install a new boiler in my flat. It meant I couldn't stay home during the day, as they were drilling through walls and stuff.
Now, I could have coped with these two days - organised to visit someone or something like that - if I was not the most hopelessly disorganised person on the planet. And also, the agoraphobia didn't help. Did not really want to go far from home. Which led to me spending one day sitting miserably in the local library, waiting for the engineers to finish their work. I felt like a refugee. All I needed was a blanket. And I had to go to the dentist later. What a lousy day that was.
The next day was my day for agoraphobia therapy so I set off several hours early and then just hung around uselessly for ages. Another very poor day, all in all. Though it was interesting being on a bus at 8.30 in the morning, something I haven't experienced for some years. It was full of people going to work, and none of them looked very happy, which is understandable.
I haven't been to work for many years, though I was employed full-time earlier in my life. My last job was as a clerk for the local council, and before that I was a library assistant, a clerk at the Brixton benefit office, and also a manual labourer.
When my first book was published, Milk, Sulphate and Alby Starvation, I kept on being a clerk for the council, but next year, 1988, when Lux the Poet came out, a magazine phoned me up for an interview. So I thought, well if magazines are phoning me up for interviews I must be close to being a famous and wealthy author, so I'd better just stop working. Which I did. And that turned out to be a mistake at the time, as I'd neglected to consider that I didn't really have any income, apart from puny royalties of a few hundred pounds per year.
However, have studiously avoided work ever since then. Indeed this is my main reason for being an author, and always has been, so I don't have to go to work. This has gone well, in terms of being able to lie on the couch doing nothing for days at a time, but has sometimes been a problem in terms of income. However, I'm doing better now. There is no need to send food parcels.
My agents are now doing the contract for a German edition of Lonely Werewolf Girl, with a particularly fine German publisher, which is good news. In the next year or so the book will be available in Italian, German, Greek, and French. My werewolves will conquer Europe.
Hmmm. New heating appears to be working well. Will lie on the couch for 48 hours, checking it out. What if they didn't install it properly and there's a gas leak? If you hear news of a catastrophic explosion in South London, that will probably be me. Will just have to hope for the best, because I'm not leaving my flat again ever.