A hundred legs and one shoe

If there was a surface anywhere that was colder than my bathroom floor at seven-thirty on a Thursday morning I was yet to discover it.  There wasn’t really such a thing as a surface which was pleasing underfoot in my flat, but the bathroom especially was like if someone had taken the proverbial other side of the pillow and manufactured linoleum tiling out of it.  It was because of this that I always resented the fact that my morning routine was the busiest part of my day.  Although it was tempting in my weaker moments to consider that – particularly in the spring of 2020 – people had other things to worry about besides the appearance of my face, I would never have forgiven myself if I had neglected to trim my stubble to a fine 1.0mm every other morning and ended up having to care for a fully-grown beard, the way that someone feeds a stray kitten once and is eventually forced into giving it a home.

I was applying moisturiser to my face when the rough realisation occurred to me that the sound coming from the roadworks which had been ongoing outside my window since the beginning of the week was not too dissimilar to the album by the Scottish band The Twilight Sad that we had been listening to for the upcoming meeting of the album club.  Constant, loud, and often unsettling.  And just when you were beginning to think that they had finally stopped, they start banging all over again.  The noise didn’t trouble me so much since I had become used to living on a busy street during my two years as a single occupant, but I was worrying intensely about how much air freshener I would need to use if I wanted to open the windows.

Whilst brushing my teeth I would usually rotate my gaze around the entire room and study various features around me.  The nearly empty bottle of Joop!  Go aftershave which I had suddenly stopped using years earlier when I noticed that it was turning the collars of my shirts a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shade of green, the almost whole toilet roll sitting atop the cistern because I had been too lazy to attach it to the wall yet – although I didn’t have a traditional toilet roll holder anyway and would usually have it dangling from the towel rail with a red ribbon.  Anything to avoid making eye contact with myself in the foggy mirror.  I glanced out of the open bathroom door across the landing to my bedroom, which had been illuminated by the marvellous morning sunlight and the flashing amber of the road maintenance vehicle stationed across the street.  My eyes screwed up as I tried to bring into focus a tiny green object which was moving slowly across the floor, almost like a small piece of thread being agitated in a breeze.  I would have felt more worried by the vision if I’d thought that it could have come from one of my shirts, but I knew that fabric couldn’t crawl.  It was either a centipede or a millipede, but I couldn’t really be sure of the difference between the two.  All that I did know was that there were at least ninety-eight legs more than there had ever been in my bedroom.

I had seen the occasional spider or moth milling around my flat, but never a centipede.  They always seemed like one of those insects that only ever existed in children’s books.  Where would one even come from?  And what would it want on my bedroom floor?   I rinsed my mouth and thought about how best to rid my flat of an interloping insect, but there didn’t seem to be a straightforward way of dealing with a centipede.  It wasn’t like a spider, whose black spindly legs would carry the creature into a glass before it had even realised where it was, like a drunk spilling into a taxi at the end of the night.  The little thing appeared to be making its way towards the exit anyway, an act which in itself convinced me that the centipede was surely a female of the species, and I figured that eventually it would leave on its own accord.

I was in a sort of a blind rush that morning since I had made the sudden decision that it would be the day where I would wash my bedsheets.  Changing the bedding had always been my most loathed of household chores, and the one I was most inept at performing.  It always seemed to me that it was something a couple would do together and share the benefit of their efforts, like building lawn furniture, and I never knew why I should care if the duvet was the right way round or the bottom sheet was fitted perfectly snug around the mattress.  Nobody was ever going to know.  I went through the charade every other week all the same, though, and the entire process was always a farce from morning to night.

Hanging the wet linen on the airer in my kitchen was a particularly crude exercise, with the sheets being so much bigger than the contraption that it gave the appearance of a seriously underwhelming haunting.  I never used the much more spacious rotary airer in the garden through fear of being judged by my neighbours.  My hanging technique was never especially confident, going back to the days where as a youth in the summer holidays I would often snare the job of hanging out the washing since our parents were running a bed and breakfast and there was always a lot of it, so it was a good opportunity to earn some extra pocket money.  My work often looked sloppy and shapeless, though, and I always suspected that mum would go outside a little later and re-hang some of the items, especially duvets and shirts, though I could never prove it.

Worse than having my ability to hang laundry critiqued would be the idea of others judging the clothes themselves, which seemed ridiculous when I didn’t think twice about being seen wearing pink socks paired with a baby blue shirt, but somehow having them viewed on a washing line seemed different.  As though they were on display.  I felt that if I was going to use the communal concertina then I would have to stand by it at all times in the event that anyone should approach and I could explain that I also had a coral pink tie to match and that I had put together the outfit the previous Friday and had been feeling unusually good about myself at the time, in the manner of a guide at the Natural History Museum.

When putting fresh sheets on the bed I would always change the pillowcases first, since it was the easiest part of the process and I could convince myself that things were going well this time.  It wouldn’t last, however, and it wasn’t long before the other end of the bottom sheet was unravelling as I tried tucking in the last corner.  Matters with the duvet were even more complex, and trying to convince the thing into the white cover was as difficult as trying to convince a woman that it would be a good idea to talk to me.  It would never lie straight and flat, and after a period of breathless frustration, the whole episode had taken on the resemblance of a really bad game of hide and seek, where one of the participants had thought that hiding in the bed would be a good idea, only to be given away by the lumpy outline of his body under the duvet.  By the time I had finally gotten it right, I had spent nigh upon forty minutes making my bed.

Thursday 28 May was also the day that the Scottish Government announced that from Friday the country would be moving into the first phase of the easing of lockdown restrictions, meaning that, amongst other things, people would now be allowed to meet up with one other household outdoors and with social distancing in place.  It was such a small thing to be told that you could now see another person, previously unthinkable that it would even be a thing, but it felt enormous.  Until then the most pressing concern on my mind was the shoe which had been cast astray on the shoreline amongst a tangle of seaweed and debris the day after a storm the previous weekend.  It was black, and maybe more like a trainer than a shoe.  I found myself looking out for it every day on my walk; in a weird way it had become a kind of monument to the hopelessness I’d been feeling.

I had always taken an interest in discoveries like these.  A glove by the side of the road or a sandal standing on a wall, but a shoe washed ashore seemed like it would have a more fascinating story behind it.  It was impossible not to wonder how it had arrived there or to consider where the other half of the pair was.  Somewhere, there was surely someone who had woken up on Sunday morning and wondered where the fuck their right shoe had gone.  For five days straight I was peering over the top of the railings, eager to see if the shoe was still there, whether the tide had reached it to drag it back into the sea, or if the rightful owner, presumably hobbling around on one foot all this time, had spotted their missing footwear like I had and had been reunited with it.  I had taken someone else’s drama and made it my own since there was nothing else I could be invested in.

At various points around town, the smell of fresh paint punched you on the nose as you walked the streets.  I couldn’t be sure if it was people preparing their businesses for reopening in the weeks and months ahead, in line with the different phases of the lockdown plan, or if they simply had nothing better to do.  The washing was on the line, the bed had been made and they had half an hour to spare. 

Links:

May’s the one – my Spotify playlist for the month of May

This week I have mostly been listening to…

Petrichor

The first occurrence of rainfall in a while always had me reaching firstly for the coat I had discarded in hope and haste a few days earlier, and then a few hours later for the website dictionary.com, where I would use the opportunity to review one of my favourite words.  I could never remember when or how I had first heard petrichor used, but I know that it immediately grabbed my attention, and every time it rained after a prolonged dry spell I would search for it in the dictionary, just to be able to look at it again.  It was impossible to say exactly why I had a habit of doing it or what purpose it served, much like adding the accoutrement of a pocket square to my suit before going out on a Friday night, other than that I liked the way it looked.

It was the first Friday of May and it had been raining through the previous night, leaving the morning ground with a light glaze of moisture and the atmosphere heavy with petrichor.  The scent was as distinctive as the one which funnelled from the Oban Distillery every other day, though not nearly as frequent since it was rare for there to have been so many days without rain as there had been towards the end of April.  It was all I could do to inhale every whisper of it in, finally a use for the breathing techniques I had been learning in my daily yoga sessions.

Accompanying the earthy fragrance was a thick silver curtain of mist that always seemed to cling around the edges of the town at times like these.  I could have sworn that such a sight must have been unique to the west coast of Scotland, where somehow the mist on a day like this one in May would resemble a stage curtain and the audience was in the throes of anticipation, just waiting for it to lift and reveal the theatre of the landscape.  I adored the vision, and even if the mist was simply acting to hide something beautiful, it was itself quite beautiful.  In that sense, it reminded me of a long striking red dress I had once seen.

This particular Friday was the start of a bank holiday weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the end of the Second World War in Europe, though I hadn’t been aware of the holiday until a couple of people who I was talking to through work made mention of it.  By this point, weekends had become an extension of a Tuesday night, inconsequential and indistinguishable from any other day, and it hadn’t occurred to me that bank holidays would still be a thing.  It was towards the end of this weekend that stories began to emerge surrounding the UK government’s plans to ease the lockdown in England, where it was reported that the “stay at home” message was going to be replaced by a new advisory to “stay alert”.  Nobody could really understand how they were supposed to be alert to virus particles, given that they weren’t like potholes on a road or a thronging beehive.  It seemed fortunate that the Scottish government’s approach was still focussed more towards public health, and the only easing of our restrictions was to allow us to exercise outdoors as often as we liked.  While I felt a certain bitterness that the second piece of exercise I had been able to sneak since returning to work was no longer just my own special thing, it felt good to be rewarded for our efforts in keeping each other safe.  The announcement reminded me of when we were told at the beginning of the school holidays that if we were well behaved and carried out certain chores around the house we would be given £5 pocket money every week, and if we kept it up and maybe even did some extra dusting without being asked or made a special trip to the shop for milk or Ruskoline, there would be more of where that came from by the end of the summer.

Around Oban there were signs that people and businesses were slowly beginning to find ways of adapting to the changing situation.  There was a gradual reopening, on a limited basis, of some places which had been closed since the end of March, mostly takeaway restaurants, chip shops, and a couple of bars which were offering a delivery service.   However, after more than five weeks of sitting in an empty flat with a case of Tennent’s Lager on a Friday night trying to replicate the experience of being in Aulay’s, I had come to the realisation that it wasn’t the pint of cold draft beer I was missing, but rather the people around the bar who I would have been talking to, or too scared to talk to, as was sometimes the case.  I couldn’t imagine ordering four pints of Tennent’s to drink at home, because I would still be alone, and although Zoom was great for keeping in touch with people and offering some form of social interaction, it was difficult to escape the feeling that our entire lives were now being conducted through a screen.  Drinking with friends on a Friday or a Saturday night was like watching a scene from a bar in a poorly shot indie film where the small budget didn’t extend to hiring a hairstylist.

Elsewhere, I had noticed that the Oban Cycles shop was finally permitted to open for three days a week as the rules slackened and exercise became more of a priority.  Since the majority of the people I would see when I was out walking were either running or cycling, and far more people than ever before seemed to have access to a bicycle, it struck me that the bike shop being able to open six or seven weeks into the lockdown would be like waiting all summer to receive planning permission to open a lemonade stall, only for it to be granted the day after the heatwave had broken.

Further south on George Street, I found myself approaching a young woman who was emerging from the drizzly distance carrying a tray which had three potted houseplants sitting in it.  It seemed like a very typical bank holiday purchase to have made, even in the new world.  For a moment it had me considering if it was time for me to make another attempt at keeping houseplants in my flat, but I just as quickly reckoned that there was enough suffering without me needlessly adding to it.  The young woman was methodical with her footsteps, very cautious, almost shuffling along the pavement, as though her boots were cast from clay.  She was cradling the tray of plants like it was the most precious thing in the world to her, like a mother carrying her child, or me back in the days when I was trying to ferry a round of drinks to a table in the pub without spilling anything.

I had only learned – or, perhaps more appropriately, bothered to try learning – a few weeks before the lockdown was enforced how to schedule a recurring event in the calendar on my phone.  Up until then, I would have to go through each individual week and plug in the same event at the same time, no different to when I was circling dates with a pen on my old glossy Celtic calendars as a boy.  All of this meant that at eight o’clock on a Wednesday night my phone was still pinging and I would receive a reminder that the pub quiz in The Lorne was due to start in an hour.  I never had the heart to cancel the calendar entries, partly through fear that when the normal life we had known resumed I wouldn’t remember how to create a weekly event again.  I missed my quiz team and the weekly hope that this time we would finally win, the revolving door of characters we would convince to join our pursuit of the £25 bar voucher.  I was becoming rusty in my knowledge of the nationality of football players, and what little I knew about the different lines on the London Underground had all but vanished.  It wasn’t all the time, but there were moments when it felt as though the lockdown was getting harder to deal with and it was difficult to find that same kind of hope that arrived as the picture round was being distributed on wet tables, the belief that the veil of mist would soon be lifted and we could see the beautiful islands once more.

Everybody was missing friends they couldn’t be with, the family they couldn’t see, though a lot of people seemed to be using the time to find new hobbies and pick up different skills, like building a fence, playing the guitar or riding a bike.  At the bottom of the stairway in my block of flats, where once there was one lone bicycle chained to the railing and before that there were two buggies – although only ever one toddler – there were now three bikes.  They were arranged in a neat cluster so that people could still easily access the back garden, sort of in a triangle formation where each of the front wheels was touching.  I was talking to one of my upstairs neighbours when I arrived home for lunch one afternoon, and she was delighted about the Scottish government’s announcement that we could exercise more than once a day.  I noted the multiplying numbers of bicycles in the close and she looked at them and said, “I don’t know where I would be without my bike.”  It wasn’t until a couple of days later that the perfect line in response came to me.  How hilarious it would have been, I thought, if I could have joked:  “Presumably you’d be in the same place, but you got there more slowly.”  But by then it was too late, like reopening the bike shop after everyone had bought a bicycle.

I hadn’t quite developed a knack for a new hobby during the lockdown.  Rather, the furthest I had gotten was to consider replacing the net curtains I had inherited when I bought my flat with Venetian blinds, but it was hard to make the argument that transforming my living room and bedroom into places where a thirty-six-year-old man, rather than an eighty-three-year-old lady, might live would be an essential purchase.  In another instance, I caught myself thinking about investing in a proper spice rack, since my method at the time of storing jars in a cupboard meant that I couldn’t always see them, and often I would forget exactly what I had stock of and would end up buying duplicate basil.  I was reluctant to make such an important decision on matters of kitchen storage in the uncertainty of a global pandemic, however, and I baulked at the idea of having to reorganise my counter space.  Would I be forced to move the toaster to make room for a spice rack?  Where would the glass pouring jars of olive oil and vinegar go, and what would fill the vacated space in the cupboard?  It was becoming clear that I needed a proper past-time, rather than a better way of storing thyme.

Things were changing day-to-day, and the only constant was that nothing was certain.  Mixed and often unclear messages from different governments, especially from London, weren’t helping anybody.  Walking through the eerily quiet streets in town no longer felt like being in a Radiohead song, as it had in the beginning, but instead was more like standing on the set of a western movie minutes before the big climactic gunfight takes place.  The streets were empty, but there was an unmistakable air of threat looming.  Dust coughs under shuffled footsteps; a seagull stands on the sea wall, starved of chips, squawking as loud as a rattlesnake.  An older man sits on a bench reading the newspaper, seemingly oblivious to the oncoming trouble.  A flag flutters defiantly against its pole.  In the distance, a saloon door is swinging open ominously in the breeze, where inside it looks like a Zoom meeting.  A beer bottle is heard breaking, and it sounds as though things might kick off.  Tumbleweed briskly rolls by whispering “stay alert”, and soon the faint whiff of gunpowder is evident in the atmosphere.  Or was it just petrichor?

Links & things:

The dictionary.com definition of the word ‘petrichor’ can be found here.

Over the last two weeks I have mostly been listening to the following song by Israel Nash:

Hair today, still hair tomorrow

Being back at work in the office while the lockdown was still ongoing brought a challenging balance of trying to return to something like the old way of life while also living in the new reality we were all still coming to terms with.  I now had an excuse to leave the flat more than once a day, and while I always liked to take the longest possible route to work in the morning to make sure that I got a good walk out of it before my proper hour of outdoor exercise later in the day, I was careful to make it look like I wasn’t enjoying it.  In that respect, it was similar to still being stood at the bar long after last orders have been called, and the barman is calling out in increasingly agitated tones about how “we all have homes to get to” while you still have half a pint of Tennent’s to finish and you think that it will make things better if you are looking as though you hate each mouthful every bit as much as the bar staff who are trying to sweep the floor around you.  

When I was suddenly thrust back into a routine like the one Dolly Parton sang about many years earlier, I felt thankful that I had stuck fairly closely to my regular day-to-day way of living since the lockdown started at the end of March.  In that time I had become quite rigid in performing two daily sessions of yoga, which was ironic since the exercise was making me remarkably flexible.  When I returned to work, it wasn’t any trouble getting out of bed just a little earlier to ensure that I could still do my morning stretches, and when I opened my living room curtains on those late-April mornings it was the closest thing to joy I had felt in weeks when I could feel the sun on my back as I creaked into a cobra.  What wasn’t quite as joyful was the sudden appearance of a bright fluorescent jacket on the other side of the net curtain, and the realisation that the street sweeper was busily brushing debris away from beneath my window.  He wouldn’t be able to see me through the curtain, but it was unsettling all the same, and difficult to focus on my downward dog when this man was reaching to scrape some chewing gum from the pavement.  Would it have been too much to ask, in this time of mass social distancing, for a little peace in the morning to practice my yoga?

There was hardly an April shower to speak of in the entire month, and the consistently pleasant temperatures were a sure sign that it was time to swap soups for salads on the lunch menu.  My salads were never likely to be the source of controversy or lead to me being spoken about as an enterprising ‘king of luncheon’ since they almost always consisted of a base of leaves, a handful of halved cherry tomatoes, some sliced cucumber and either tuna or coleslaw to add some taste.  They were inoffensive, yet one Friday afternoon as I embarked on my extended walk through town after work, my simple salad had become part of a small chain of events which ordinarily I might not have thought about, but in April 2020 it was all that there was to consider.

God’s work, and the painting of his church, doesn’t stop for a pandemic

The last full week of the month had been set ablaze by day after day of spring sunshine, with the temperature approaching a level where the fact that I was still wearing a denim jacket seemed to almost attract as many sidewards glances as a cough would.  I was walking up a sparse George Street when I became aware of a piece of salad which was stuck in a gap between two teeth in the upper left-hand side of my mouth, like a leaf caught in a drain, though I couldn’t be sure whether it was green or red.  My tongue was the only tool at my disposal, and I used it to try and prise the ghost of my lunch free from its purgatory, in the manner of a diligent street sweeper.  The tongue proved to be quite a futile instrument on this occasion, however, and no matter how much I agitated the leaf, I couldn’t loosen it.  The more I tried, the more I began to concern myself with how it would look if I was to happen upon another person on the empty pavement while my tongue was making these lascivious movements in a flawed mission to floss.  No pavement could be wide enough to be socially distant in that scenario.

As it was, I didn’t encounter anybody else until I reached the Esplanade, which was its usual attraction for dog walkers and runners.  When I reached the Corran Esplanade Church I was passed by an approaching cyclist who was shirtless, his torso as white as the peeling paint of the church building.  I wondered what the temperature had to be for a person to decide that they were going to leave home without wearing a shirt, particularly when it took so much deliberation for me to eventually decide to ditch my jacket.  It was presumed, of course, that it was a conscious decision the cyclist had made, and it wasn’t the case that he simply hadn’t gotten around to doing the laundry, since household chores were all anybody had the time for.  I checked my phone later in the evening, and the AccuWeather app said that there was a high of eighteen degrees in Oban.

My thoughts about the shirtless cyclist were suddenly interrupted when an ambulance went screaming by, louder than before, or so it seemed.  It was stark and reminded me of how I had often thought about the dark irony of being struck and injured, perhaps even killed, by a speeding ambulance.  While that wasn’t a fear of mine, it did occasionally trouble me that I could be listening to something totally absurd, a real guilty pleasure, at the moment I was involved in a road traffic accident and I would be discovered with my earphones flailing by the side of my head and the Limp Bizkit album Chocolate Starfish And The Hot Dog Flavoured Water playing on my phone.  I remember mum often telling me that I should never leave home with a hole in my socks or my underwear in case of exactly that situation happening, and it seemed that you should be equally as careful over what you are listening to when you are out walking.  None of that seemed quite as grim, though, as the prospect of being out on your daily hour of exercise during the global pandemic, either walking, running or cycling, when the rest of the time we are staying indoors to avoid the killer virus, and you are hit and killed by an ambulance.  To me, it sounded no more ridiculous than meeting your maker simply because you had picked up a box of 50 Earl Grey teabags in Lidl.

Further along the seafront, beyond St. Columba’s Cathedral, I could see my barber some way off in the distance, walking towards me, and I realised that he was probably the person I was most worried about seeing five weeks into the lockdown.  As we neared, I could sense his eyes falling upon my hair, although maybe it was all in my head.  I couldn’t remember when I had last seen him or when my hair was last cut, but I expect that he probably did.  Even without being able to see the back of my head, he would know just how wild and unruly the hair was growing, the way it would be curling back up on itself.  I was concerned about what he was seeing and thinking about me, and I imagined that in a way it was like seeing an ex:  when you would always be wanting to look your best just to show him that you have moved on and have been coping just fine without him, that you are happy and breezy and have learned that you never really needed him after all.  Even though, deep down, I knew that it just wouldn’t be the same if I was to do it myself.

One of the most difficult adjustments to make when switching from the former way of life in the office to the new global reality was the once or twice during the week when I would go to the supermarket during lunch.  There was a lot of pressure when you went into a supermarket, and you really had to know exactly what you were needing and to have meals planned several days in advance, which I was never very good at doing.  Most places had stuck markers on the ground to indicate a safe two-metre distance, and in some stores there were even restrictions about which aisles a shopper could walk up or down.  It was a drastic departure from normality, and for even the most intelligent and sensible of people it was difficult to get your head around, and even more so for me when I was trying to shuffle through my Spotify playlist to make sure that I was playing the right songs.  On occasion, you would have to feign interest in flavoured yoghurts that you ordinarily wouldn’t buy or plant-based mince while you waited for the person who was two metres ahead of you to finish their own browsing and move forward.  It was an interminable wait which felt like the slow, solemn funeral march out of the church after a requiem service, when the coffin is being carried towards its final destination, and before you knew it, you had gone all the way around the shop and forgotten to pick up something for that night’s dinner.  When I realised that this had happened to me as I was striding down the frozen food aisle in Lidl, nigh upon twenty metres from the checkouts, I didn’t have the heart or the common sense to figure out which was the correct way of walking all the way back around the store, and so in my panic, I picked up a box of Linda McCartney Vegetarian Mozzarella Burgers.  They were surprisingly tasty, and not something I would have imagined enjoying back in olden times of yonder, when my hair was neat and people were wearing shirts when cycling.

Something that was noticeable with the great reduction in the number of people around town, particularly with there being no al fresco dining at the coffee shops and restaurants, and with the absence of tourists sitting on seaside walls enjoying their takeaways from the chip shops, was that there were very few seagulls loitering about.  It was a rough guesstimate, but I would have said that for every tourist in Oban during the season there would usually have been two seagulls waiting for them to drop a chip.  Somehow they could see the potential for mishap from miles away, a quality in them which I always envied.  It was only when I saw the gull that was always stalking the pavement across the road from my flat outside the Grill House that it occurred to me that the birds were also being forced to adapt to the new world.  How would a bird even understand that it could no longer expect to find an easy snack when we couldn’t?

I watched the seagull adopt its usual routine of sitting on top of the red letterbox which was situated several metres away from the fast-food takeaway, staring towards the doorway with a beady look of hope, before sometimes leaping down to the ground to get a closer look.  Although the place was still remarkably busy with customers, especially on a Friday night, there wasn’t any chance of the bird scoring its feast when most people were getting straight into their cars and driving off.  The gull was becoming increasingly emboldened as it stepped closer to the building, edging its way onto the two red tiled steps leading up to the entrance.  Twice the little thing poked its head inside before flapping back down to the pavement, and I was becoming worried about its desperation, which made me think of how it must have looked to my friends when I used to procrastinate over whether or not I should approach a woman at the bar.  I’d read reports of wildlife in towns and cities all over the world “reclaiming the environment”, but this one seagull was clearly still clinging to the way of life that we had created for it.

Just as I was beginning to feel a sense of real pity for the bird, one of the workers from the Grill House came outside and emptied what looked to be a tray of chips onto the side of the road, and as the seagull eagerly approached its prize, around a dozen more gulls flocked from the sky and joined it.  I didn’t have any idea where they had all come from, but the food was gone in an instant, and it was the happiest sight I had seen in more than five weeks.  Then I remembered about the salad leaf that was still lodged in my tooth, and I got up and fetched a cocktail stick from the shelf in the cupboard where I kept my books, liquor and bar paraphernalia.  Finally there was a Friday night which ended with success.

Links & things:

Can we really party in April? – my Spotify playlist for the month of April

Over the last two weeks I have been mostly listening to…