Monday 16th May 2022

Morning

Up 08 45. Coffee in bed. Online.

Breakfast : orange juice; muesli.

Did dishes, went to bathroom, showered and dressed.

Edited TNS posts to date, removing pictures, having decided to produce quarterly by theme instead. Closed window due to building noise.

Interrupted by unfamiliar noise which judged could be banging on door to studio : unannounced visit by landlord whom I have never met (have always dealt with agent), introducing himself as ‘the owner’. He said he needed to test the keys agent had given him (bunch in his right hand) to try to find his copy. This had not been communicated to me. Held door shut whilst he went through several keys to no avail. Said I would have one cut and sent via the agent, accepting £5 in coin for the purpose. He asked whether everything was alright. ‘Times are hard for a lot of people,’ I said. ‘Is the flat ok?’ ‘It’s in one piece.’ He checked whether I knew about the Fire Inspection the next day; said I would be in. Offered me £10 for a drink. Declined saying ‘it was against my morality’. ‘Sorry if I have offended you.’ Somewhat stressed and angry.

Elevenses : coffee; madeleines.

Continued working as above. Lots of traffic in stairwell, doors banging, and voices outside : sounded like new or prospective tenants and agent/s.

Afternoon

Lunch : kabob; rice; tomato; radish (courtesy friend).

Walked down to river and back, seeing acquaintance. Wrote to agent to record the events of the morning and to confirm details ‘before I say anything more’. Messaged by a friend who said had some food could drop off.

Prepared for and attended appointment with WC at Pinesgate (DWP). Furniture arrangement had changed. Waited my turn in seating adjacent to booth conscious I could hear everything being said by WC and claimant. WC greeted by standing and approaching. Asked me to describe range activity rather than progress so ran through projects and target sectors. Asked her what her background was when explaining nature of LFE (‘to know how to pitch it’ as I would explain); ‘this is about you, not about me,’ she had said. She said it sounded interesting. I mentioned – perhaps insensitively – that mooted cuts to civil service headcount might militate against hiring in the sector. She said job would provide financial stability enabling progress with writing etc. That may or may not be so but I let it go. Toddler running around behind me. Made appointment for end of month. Passed by security guard at supermarket celebrating his moving on of a man with an apparent friend who expressed his approval by bringing a hammer down on a bollard.

Tea : black tea; shortbread.

Went for run along Charlcombe Lane. Wild garlic out still. Showered after cooling off. Hungry.

Went to Waitrose for balance and food, deciding buy reduced quiche and milk. Spoke to man I recognise from streets who said he had lost his home; read a poem he had written titled Strawberries in the Drain.

Evening

Supper : bacon and pea quiche; green salad.

Friend called round with tahcheen and fruit. Caught up briefly.

Online until turning in.