I have been skulking in the west country of late, servicing the needs of my more rudderless colleagues while they wheeze and groan their slow route to realising what the devil is going on with the business and finally, finally grasp what the blazes I have been going on about.
A number of factors have been trying my sang-froid of late - that being one of them.
I have also been feeling under the weather too. I am pleased to report that it wasn't Malaria this time, merely some blighter who has taken up residence in my stomach. Clearly this character has had enough of machine coffee and finally fled to freedom leaving me lighter, refreshed if not a little flushed and much in debt to Mr Andrex.
It is only when one is free of such protozoan devils does one realise it has been bothering you a while.
My working day culminated in a 60 mile round trip to collect a front door key as my lodger had neglected to remind me that I ought to take my own keys to work.
(I shall wreak my revenge though - the candles in the bathroom shall be the first victims of the fight back - you watch.)
So combined with feeling peaky, somewhat stressed and worn out by recent exertions - and despite a piece of personal record breaking aviating at the weekend with another cultural exchange (Yachties) I arrived home last night feeling like a brown study was upon me.
Possibly even a swoon.
I searched the house in vain for suitable matters to cheer me up. The Laudanum was dry, so no precious respite from the panacea.
My post merely revealed the usual nonsense and blackmail letters - so nothing to bring joy there.
There were not any parsnips in the fridge either - so I could not indulge in parsnips and sprouts with toasted cheese.
The evening looked grim indeed.
There was, however, a large parcel for my dear lodger.
Donna-da-Lodger is planning on attending one of those outdoor music festivals - and the theme is one of pirates. To that end she has procured what can only be described as a 'Carry On Buccaneering' costume from a purveyor of said items on the interweb. A brief glance at the site indicated that their purpose wasn't really outdoor, nor for that matter all-weather - but judging by the accessories and the rather ostentatious hat - it betrayed a slightly more animalistic intent and were perhaps more suited for indoor entertaining, possibly for the negotiation of affections or the other onanistic pursuits.
On her arrival home, I indicated said gift whereupon she squealed with delight and promptly started to get changed in the living room while i drew the curtains. It being Wednesday - I feel it is my duty to encourage her as such, as I am still eroding her resistance to the Nude Wednesday Paradigm. (That did not go unremarked either - so I fled to my kitchen to secure some wine, while she slipped into her cossie.)
With the pink frilled hat and pink skull and cross bones, my sombre mood broke at once. I began to giggle.
I was duty bound to try said hat - ensuring further hilarity and wheezy old jokes about where is one's buccaneers.
She then set about her laptop to procure various accessories along the more fripperous line - items of a world unknown to a chap. One does not quite know where the wonderment ends and puzzlement began - either the fact that she was furiously picking lacy and similar foundation garments to accompany the costume, or that she would think that my opinion in such matters was worth a bean.
I am pleased to report, dear reader, that after that I felt better than James Brown and will be partaking in my outing this weekend as planned.
The one reader who has actually been reading me for a while may recall that myself and a certain journalist have elected to take part in the Chap Olympics this weekend.
'What?' I hear you cry - 'Energetic work, from you? Never!'
I shall be attempting to draw a wry smile by whispering Rabbelesian filth into her ear, whilst plying her with Gin. For this, I can win a prize. My talents lie well in this area.
If I do not draw a smile, I can then at least elicit a slap by indicating anatomical peculiarities I posses and how we could apply them with the assistance of the Moroccan house boy.
All this, with free gin, has taken my mind off the dreary world of coaching skills I am supposed to learning.
Still they have a well prepared croquet lawn, if an indifferent cellar here - I shall be occupied.