At the End of the Day


Thanks to a combo of incompetence and pinched goblin interference, this post appeared two days ago cut off in midstream, with most of the punchline dénouement missing. Said post has now been trashed, and this version can hopefully be read with real amusement and less confusion.


It’s been quite a while since I wrote one of these – nearly five years, would you believe? The veterans from the Old Praetorian SPA Guard in the fight against broken promises may perhaps remember them. But it just so happens that today was one of those calamity days….and dear God, you ladies of a certain age with an uncertain future badly need something to laugh about.

I suppose the collective term for what I’ve been doing for most of today is “pottering” – although tottering might be nearer the mark as my bounding of former years declines via ambling into shambling. It’s been a sort of cuttings to fruit picking moment that began early on (it’s unbelievably hot and dry here at the moment) and then some shopping – mainly for the aircon experience – followed by one of those rare moments of resolution that reflect my northern Protestant upbringing.

The voice of insistent guilt in my head spake as follows: “The plunge pool bottom is looking grubby – you need to vacuum it”. You have no idea what a palaver this process is.

I never swim with trunks on, because I truly cannot bear that awful clingy-sucky damp sensation once you get out of the pool; it feels as if one’s become varietally and yet eccentrically incontinent. So it’s nude or nothing for me – I am a wild and crazy guy inclined to go buck-naked at a moment’s notice and in extremis occasionally pick up parking tickets: I’m incorrigible, and there’s an end to it.

I mention this for reasons that shall become clear. Hold that thought while I explain to you how a pool gets its depths vacuumed.

The first step is to take a broad-gauge plastic flexy pipe and plug it into the pool’s waste socket. It won’t stay in the socket as such until you’ve held it underwater for several months to get all the air out and thus bring an end to its cavorting but convincing impression of the Loch Ness Monster experimenting with LSD.

The socket may fly out from its holding at any time, and leave you going ten rounds with an obviously sex-starved anaconda. Drowning is a distinct possibility at this point. The Surgeon General recommends that you have a razor-sharp machete to hand in order to kill the Beast if necessary.

So anyway, I leap naked from the pool, switch the circulation to ‘waste’, open the ‘vacuum’ pipe, and then dive back into the water to expel the grubbiness using the vacuum attachment while avoiding being eaten by it…for the suction power is such as to leave the user in fear of China meltdown syndrome.

At which point, Madame La Poste pitches up in her little Yellow Van, and toots her horn – the recognised signal for “You have mail and I need a signature”.

I turn filtration knobs, reopen circulation pipes, close the waste pipe and turn around in search of my knickers. They are at the other end of the pool. The air temperature is 38°C, and the plage stones probably twice that.

I hop, skip, stumble, struggle with knicker adornment, fall over and eventually arrive at the Postie van’s window. There I find a lady of mature years pissing herself laughing. I sign and – as it is 12.10 pm – wish her “Bon appetit”. She grins and offers “Bon Courage” in return.

I do realise, dear Waspi/Backto60 State PensionReform victims, that this doesn’t solve your problems. But laughter remains an excellent medicine under all circumstances.

I say as ever: don’t let the bastards grind you down.

And for those readers not in their unhappy position – you’ve had a laugh….now here’s something to make you angry:

The Poor Wait while the Rich Prosper