Back to school. Back to reality. Back to my new classroom.
Backtrack to the barmy days of summer (okay, poetic license). Susie and I were lugging kettlebells on the grass by the river (watched by ducks, laughed at by small children, copied by Stalkerish Stretching Man) and I was lamenting my parlous finances (again).
‘You…need…to….see….Helen…’ Susie gasped.
‘He…len?’ I gasped back.
Eh? But we launched into a brutal series of cleans and so I had to wait until we went down on the grass for floorwork to find out more. Turned out Helen was a feng shui wotnot (Master? Mistress?) and had ‘sorted’ out Susie’s house and, lo and behold, Susie had got herself a pretty stunning high-powered new job before you could say "bagua".
‘I don’t want a high-powered job,’ I said, slugging the kettlebell over my head while scissor-kicking my legs feebly. ‘I just want some straightforward money. Living on freebies is all very good but it’s…limiting.’
‘Helen will sort it,' said Susie firmly. 'I’ll bring her over tomorrow.’
Tomorrow?? You think it’s bad getting your house ready for viewing by potential buyers? Pah! Let's face it, your average house buyer isn’t going to suck his or her teeth and go, ‘Gawd, crap energy flow’ or ‘Will you take a look at that cutting chi?’ I’ve learned enough about this stuff to know we had ‘issues’, to put it kindly. Once again I’d managed to fall head over heels for a house that was, shall we say, challenged, not only in its structure and underpinning but also in its wealth corner. But hey, what can you do? It’s not like you can shove your dirty chi under the beds and disguise your pathetic tai-chi by grinding coffee beans, is it?
She walked around, sighing softly. In a dispirited sort of way. I trailed behind, heels dragging, like a child that knows it’s going to get told off. And I did what every naughty child does – shifted the blame.
‘I’ve told Adrian again and again about the clutter in that room,’ I pre-empted. She gave me a beady look. then looked at my office.
The three of us sighed in unison. My office was too big, too cold (no kidding), had too many doors and way too much frenetic energy. When Helen found out that Adrian’s office sat directly above mine, she shook her head.
‘He’s sitting on my head, isn’t he?’ I said mournfully.
‘Well?’ said Adrian, after they’d gone and we were sitting at the kitchen table having a post-mortem.
‘Well,’ I said, prodding a chocolate biscuit. ‘Seems I can’t work cos you’re squatting on my head.’
‘Okay. And what do we do about that?’ You have to hand it to him. How many men would react like that?
‘Umm…well apparently I need to move my office into the guest room.’
'And this will bring in some work?' he said. Hopefully.
'Apparently. Allegedly. Whatever,' I said.
'Let's do it.'
So the next day we dismantled the guest room and moved it downstairs into my ex-office which, frankly, does look a bit weird, like we’re getting ready to install Uncle Fred (if we had one) and a bedlift.
And here I am - up in the guest bedroom - feeling…curiously light-headed.