Thursday 10 January
Out with Bateman for beers after work. Badger’s Skull and Large Intestine theme pub is anathema to the fairer sex (located near the station, two European ladies enter, pirouette and leave, as scarred by their first impression of Manchester as the chap at the bar is from his most recent). Still, we get a chance to discuss literature and women and plan a trip to Bohemia in spring during which there will be a chance to access both, albeit in a hugely impenetrable way. We talk of all things until three when – and you know me by now – I generously toss a pillow towards the ottoman on which he lays his suspiciously well-sculpted hair. Damn and fluff it! There is no soft landing but a tumultuous crash as I take out half the lighting rig. To add to my hot water woes (stuffing Lewis and Kowalski into the boiler room to investigate led only to plucky fried pigeon) I must now fix the illuminations. It seems I am intent on destroying my little piece of England up here. And yet whenever I have co-habited in the past I’ve always been so self-sufficient. A mystery.