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  • Friday May 15
    I'm on a train and I'm tired. I woke up this morning at 5am to the sound of my wife leaving to go the airport. Now she's in the air somewhere between London and Los Angeles, where she is attending the funeral of her uncle, who has died of cancer. When people die I'm compelled into that 'YOU GOTTA LIVE EVERY SECOND LIKE IT'S YOUR LAST' way of thinking, but then I get tired and am more of the opinion that I'd rather waste a few hours of my life watching old sitcoms. I arrive into Liverpool soon and it feels strange that I'm not packing boxes or looking for work. The streets of south Liverpool are whizzing by my window and I'm looking at them through two lenses: 'I'm gonna be living here soon' and 'I'm not gonna be living here soon'. How confusing. But this not being in work thing is great: I have the luxury of arriving into my hometown before three thirty on a Friday afternoon. Wow. Usually I've drank enough strong lager to feel drunk and arriving here around nine thirty, good for not very much but an early night. But I don't have all that much to do considering I've got all this time on my hands. I could go to bed, but I won't. Instead I'll hang around town and wait for people to finish work so I can hang with them. I could go to my parents house, but that's another ten miles – a 20-mile round trip.
    It's now about an hour later and it turns out that hanging round town is overrated. All I've done is visit various charity shops and walked very slowly past several bars and pubs, looking for any excuse to go in and get a drink, but I ended up drinking overpriced coffee in this cafe. I only came in here to use the bathroom, and so far it's cost me £5.60 in return for an iced latte and a slice of rosemary and vanilla cake. But I suppose that trip to the bathroom has actually made me a profit that's somewhere in the region of five hundred and fifteen thousand pounds. The solicitor dealing with the sale of our house has got great timing and called just at the moment I began peeing. She was calling to get my consent to the exchange and final sale of our house. No biggie. My wife is currently in the air and the responsibility has fallen to me, which I find quite empowering. This means that within the space of seven days I've managed to rid myself of a job and a house. Impressive. Some people say things like this come in threes ,but I'm not sure what else I've got to lose. My marriage? My cat? Both are looking pretty steadfast right now. But every day lately I seem to get a reminder of the definition of the word unforeseen, so perhaps the third thing will hit me unexpectedly. Now I'm waiting on my friend to arrive, then we'll go get a real drink.

    Sunday May 17
    I'm on another train. Jazz is blasting in my ears but not loudly enough to drown out the train manager's intrusive announcements or the exasperated sighs of frustration coming from the guy trying to connect to the wifi next to me. I didn't write yesterday because I was too hungover to write. Maybe I should have written in here instead of lying in bed at 6am trying to get back to sleep after being woken by the loud scraping crash of the guy across the road drunkenly trying to park his car. I checked later and there was a long scrape along the side of two cars parked across the street from my parents' house, After that I tried a lot of things to rid myself of the after-effects of alcohol, but I only seemed to succeed in making myself feel worse. Coffee made me more anxious. Food made me more nauseous. The blast of fresh air at the beach left me with a chill. An Oreo milkshake helped, but the sugar crash afterwards was hard to handle. The only thing that really helped was the two pints of lager I drank while standing in the sunshine outside the pub in Liverpool. The three pints I had after that was probably a little excessive. This train I'm on is taking me towards a whole lot of jobs I have to do related to moving house. Joy. The coffee buzz has faded and I'm fading fast. Another 90 minutes to go until I reach London.

    Monday May 18
    It's twenty past eleven at night and I'm lying in bed at my father in-law's house. I'm spent. Today I have spent fifteen hours boxing up my house and I'm still not finished. My proudest moment of the whole day was managing to work out how to reattach the belt to the spool on my record player. At one point I thought that God was paying me back for being lazy and trying to transport all my vinyl and the record player unprotected inside the record cabinet, but no, I'm a man, and I know how to fix things. Or if you look at that in another way you could just say I'd be lost without YouTube and all those people who upload how-to videos. (Thanks to Michael at Recycled Records in Monterrey, California, for showing me the way.) Last night I ate out at the Japanese takeaway that used to be another fried chicken shop. The decor is pretty much the same except for some extremely bright pictures of Mount Fuji hanging on the walls. This place has got to be the cheapest spot for Japanese food in London: four pounds for chicken katsu and the same for eight pieces of salmon sushi; I'd spend more trying to cook at home, and it wouldn't be anywhere near as good. It was like something out of a sitcom: Andrew and I are sitting there waiting for our order and then Joe walks in and barks one word: "Beer." The guy looked so happy to see us that I couldn't turn him down, and besides, that kind of excitement is good to be around – it's infectious. I may have been drinking for three days straight and booze was probably the last thing I needed, but I knew that good company was going to be good for me before another day of monotonous box-packing. Sometimes those trips to a bar are the best ones: no planning, no phoning even; just bumping into someone and that's it. I was in such a good mood when I got home that I decided to pack up some more boxes. But waking up to the prospect of doing it all over again wasn't fun. Now I'm just glad to be away from the towering masses of heavy brown cardboard in the house. They're blocking out the light in the house, which is where I've left them until tomorrow, when I'll have about three hours to move all thirty three of them into storage. After that I've got a test for work at a newspaper in Singapore. After that I'll need a drink, but I'll have to move more stuff. The cat won't stop making that attention-seeking mewing sound. He's probably going to keep me awake doing that until he feels like he's mewed at every inanimate object in his new surroundings. I've just looked at my hands and noticed the dirt all over my fingers and underneath my fingernails. This is despite washing. I can't sleep like this – better wash them again.

    Wednesday May 20
    It's my birthday and my bones ache. My birthday! And my bones ache! Yesterday I spent twelve hours moving all the stuff in the house I used to own in Deptford to a warehouse a few miles away. It wasn't supposed to take twelve hours, but I underestimated the size of the task. I had a depressing realisation around five pm that I had more to do after completing a quite weird editing test for a newspaper in Singapore. I emailed the words to the guy there, switched on my phone, and called up my wife to ask if we were all done. She just laughed and said, "Get over here and lift stuff." At least my friend Andrew helped us, otherwise we'd still he doing it now probably. The best part was visiting the dump, where I took pleasure in watching my old sofa getting crushed. Well, actually the best part was the bar afterwards, where I drank two beers in half an hour. But that's all over now, and I'm celebrating my birthday by doing not very much. I'm sitting on the couch wearing nothing but a pair of pyjama bottoms and it's after one pm. Every now and then I make another coffee. Sometimes I change the record on the player I brought here from my house a few nights ago. Later on I'm going the pub by the river, where I'll drink to my own continued existence. I might have a cigarette, and I might not. I'm relaxed. Being 32 is like that. Now I'm going to put this computer down and play guitar, another excellent way to avoid washing.
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