December 6th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
One of yesterday’s crop of pictures – Keith, Marnie and Chris

I had an awful night, at some stage my hangover giving way to severe stomach pains.  Last night, only after the meal, Val told me that the carpet-bag steak I had eaten had been stuffed with oysters.  Ever since my Seattle experience, seafood has made me distinctly queasy, + tho’ I had enjoyed the meal very much at the time, I was suffering considerably for it now.  Val left me early to go to work, + I told her I would struggle up as soon as I could.  I did get up to take some Alka-Seltzer, + then returned to bed to await the inevitable.  The effervescence almost invariably makes me sick, + such was the case now.  Very violently, in fact.  But once again, true to form, once I’d gotten the poison out of my system, I felt considerably better.  I returned to bed for a short while to let my body calm down again (thoroughly enjoying the “Astaire” tape as I did so), + then was able to kick myself up + enjoy a bacon sandwich breakfast with a good deal of relish… not pickles + stuff, you understand.

So, feeling much improved, almost sub-human in fact, I set off for work.  Unfortunately, I was nabbed en route by Wayne, who asked me first to clean out the block, then to scrub some cushions, then to help him attack some weeds with a tool – a bit like a small chainsaw, using a rotating blade to butcher defenceless plants.  He asked me then to clean the block every other day to pay for our keep – I hope that’s all he asks, or I reckon he’ll be getting rather too much value for his space.

After some lunch, eaten with Val, I finally managed to get to work at about 1.  I then made a big mistake, when I apologised to Gordon for being late.  He gave me a funny look, + said that he didn’t expect me to work full-time – I think that sort of reminded him that I was around a lot, + that it was costing them money.  I was given the job of spreading out some more sawdust, which depressed me considerably especially since we didn’t even have a wheelbarrow around to make things easier.  Still, I plodded on till about 4.30, + then returned home to change.

Val + Keith were gong to have a spaghetti together (even more depressing) – I couldn’t even raise the enthusiasm to shower, or even, for the first time, to shave.  Work was deadly dull, as well, with about 2 tables in – no wine, not much booze.  I was finished by 9, so walked home, checking the pub on the way.  Val + Keith weren’t there – I met them, along with Marnie, walking up the hill, so I promptly turned around + joined them for a jug of ale.  The pub was very quiet, for the first time since they’d been open.

I had always assumed that my allergy to shellfish began in  Seattle, and that every time I had eaten it since then had resulted in illness, something which the oyster steak seemed to confirm.  However, this diatry has revealed numerous occasions – lobster i Mexico, for example – in which I ate the stuff without effect.  It has been a mighty long time now since I have tried same – Christmas in Latvia, and a salad made with crab-sticks that I assumed were radishes was the last time, I think.

My usual concern about continuing to find work, exacerbated by my faux pas with Gordon, rather than hoping to keep under the radar.

And I have st say, I no longer recall the exact meaning of the term “jug”.  Here, it generally means about 2 pints, intended to be shared with others, but I seem to have been using it as a generic unit of volume, so maybe it was a handled beer glass, and a normal amount to sell beer in, rather than assuming I was imbibing unnatural quantities.

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