Wednesday 26 March

I place my shell-like against the condemned space that was flat 13 (Dave is convinced that the landlord is on his way from Whitby, and ‘whether man or mortal be within’, will be charging them precisely the same ungodly rent of ‘five hun’red shillin’ a month plus bills’). Today there is no noise, a lack of noise; a vacuum within, just not the type Miss Jordan clunks up and down the stairs, startling, strangulating and occasionally funk-sucking up my precious carriers. A stickiness in the pink cove selected for the task. Investigating in the downstairs WC, the nature of my find - a steaming purple liquid - is less surprising that the seven extra ear hairs that seem to have hopped off the hair express since yesterday (such is the fate of the man over 30). Returning to collect a greater sample of the gloop I use a quota to burn off the offending dreadlocks while retaining the remainder for a Doctor or Policeman to examine. Do I trust the former Mrs Batson to undertake such work on my behalf? Of course I do - far further than she could throw me while evoking old idioms and arching those sarcastic eyebrows that were once my own personal guardians before becoming the property, the ruthless defenders, of the state.

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