I have neglected my “brand” recently. Poor old Jack Binding has been ignored like a maths geek at a school disco. It’s not as though he isn’t in my thoughts. On the contrary. I think about Jack a lot, but sometimes life gets in the way.
Well, it’s Friday morning here (or at least it was when I wrote this in a minimised version of Word at my office desk) and since I’ve worked pretty hard this week, I thought I’d spend some of my time writing a little update on nothing in particular.
Australia is difficult. People rave about the food here, but I can’t find a decent burrito for love nor money (I have tried both). And there are certain strange things I miss about London.
I miss booze being cheap. You know it’s about $100 for a bottle of drinkable Scotch here? I thought I’d switch to Japanese whiskies to ease me into the place, but they’re equally as extortionate. So I’m drinking this shit called Cougar Bourbon. It’s $35 a bottle and tastes like washing up liquid. I have regressed.
And I’ve been pining for my posh gym in The City and Winston, my personal trainer who looks like Ving Rhames and Mike Tyson had a super-lithe lovechild. Modern luxuries.
And, I suppose, I miss my lovely friends. I was never Mr Popularity, but I did have a couple of very close mates in London. The sort of people you could call up at any time and they’d be there. I’m sure you have a few yourself. One has since fled London for the comparative tranquility of suburban England. I secretly hope that my departure from Blighty was the catalyst for his move, but I know he’s been planning it for years. Whatever keep me warm at night, I guess.
But London’s like memories of an ex. The exciting late nights and the gorgeous long mornings stick in my mind and I have conveniently forgotten that time when she shouted at me for not having enough cash in my wallet to buy a block of organic gorgonzola dolce from the snooty cheese stall on Broadway Market because I’d spent it buying her too many vanilla vodka and cokes in the Cat & Mutton the night beforehand.
But the job is dragging. ‘Too many monkeys, not enough organ grinders,’ I said to the COO in meeting earlier in the week. Until that point they were considering taking me on permanently, but now I’m not so sure. Still, these things are mutual. Perhaps I’m underselling myself being surrounded by the likes of Fred. Ah Fred. He was demoted on Monday. It was always on the cards, but I helped expedite the process. It has not improved his demeanor. But to add to my 9-5 woes (or 9-4.30 if nobody’s looking), there’s a casual homophobe in the office. He’s a fat South African bloke who keeps shouting about ‘gayboys’ and demanding we all put our ‘assholes to the wall.’ I think he thought I was gay when I first turned up. People often do. Perhaps I should’ve arrived in a football shirt, swigging a can of Stella (or is it VB here?). Now, however, he has decided I’m a regular, ordinary guy and he keeps fucking talking to me. It’s dreadful. The other day the conversation turned to dogs. Some dude was on about his Staffie, another about his Alsatian. I thought it best not to bring up my cream, toy poodle puppy.
Lot of dogs in Sydney.
But it ain’t all bad.
I don’t have the horrific London commute. I sit on a clean, empty, punctual train and read my Kindle. I don’t work crazy hours. The money will keep Lucifer and me in dog biscuits for a while.
And maybe a little quietness is what I need right now. Last year was too busy.
I’m coming to the end of my first volume of short stories. It should be around 80k words long when (finally) compiled. That should tide you all over until I finish this novel. There’s just a haunted house story to finish off (which is a legitimately scary experience to write, so I hope it’s an effective read) and a tasteful wee tale about someone literally getting their brains fucked out.
On that note, I suppose I’d better open Excel and justify this day rate.
So long, friends.