If not my enemy, then at the very least it turned against me and had a sudden, violent episode last Tuesday that lasted almost exactly twelve hours. On Monday, we'd had a huge amount of cottage pie for lunch and hadn't bothered with tea as we were both still full. After Mel went to bed, I spent a couple of hours working on my James Hadley Chase cover gallery and then went off to watch a film.
At around 12:30 in the morning I was starting to feel peckish and thought I'd make myself some toast. The immediate problem was the discovery that I only had a small nub of bread from the end of a loaf. But that was OK... I wasn't that hungry and it was large enough to put a slice of cheese on. I dropped the nub into the toaster and pushed the handle down... and it bounced straight back up.
I tried this a couple of times and couldn't get the toaster to work. Thinking it was probably a build-up of crumbs, I decided to give it a bit of a clean. Free from crumbs and with everything slotted back together I popped the bread back in, pressed the handle down... and the master fuse to the whole house blew, plunging the kitchen into darkness.
The fuse is under the stairs in a cupboard full of quite hefty boxes full of magazines. So I had to carefully and quietly ease the front boxes out of the way so that I could reach to the back where the switch is that turns the power back on.
At that point I thought I'd do better to go to bed. I never did get to eat my tiny slice of toast.
Fast forward to almost exactly twelve hours later. Around 12:30 the following afternoon I had sorted myself out some lunch: a couple of chicken sandwiches made with a freshly-bought French stick. I'll preface my first bite by saying that I'd developed a bit of wonky tooth a day or two earlier. The tooth didn't survive, breaking against the crispy, solid surface of the bread as I bit down. To add insult to injury, while I was trying to munch down again in the hope that the bread might remove a couple of sharp spikes that had been left, the bread dislodged a filling, which I promptly swallowed.
If you're reading this on Friday morning, I'm at the dentist trying to get my teeth sorted out. Having, I might add, been dumped by my former dentist because I'd managed to miss a check-up a few months ago. When the hell did that become the norm? I don't even remember booking an appointment, let alone missing it. Apparently having a 37-year unbroken run of paying my National Insurance counts for nothing. I'm guessing it's another cynical attempt to make the NHS so unrecognisable and unworkable that we won't miss it when it disappears.
So today, rather than random scans – and, to be honest, doing the James Hadley Chase gallery hasn't left much time for other book covers – here are some widescreen photos I've taken of Wivenhoe Quay.