28 Months Later

So, it looks like I might be leaving Boscombe and going back to East Horsley, Surrey. I’m not sure if it’s the right thing to do.

“Don’t leave Boscombe and go back to East Horsley, Surrey,” people yell at me in the street. “What are you playing at? You know what happened last time. Last time you went bald and broke and mad and got sober and spent three hours swearing at a bottle of Hennessy. And you had a job in Mayfair. How did you manage that? Not just the job, but the going broke whilst having a job? And you were sober. Oh, you’re such a card. Aren’t you? Go on, say it. Aren’t you?”

It’s not easy living like this, being shouted at in the street like this. But I fight back. If you were me, you’d fight back too.

“Listen you fucks,” I tell the shouty ghouls. “The financial gods are against me at the moment. And the career gods. And the gods who control the fucks, the fuck gods. They’re very up and down at the moment. Ha, I did a funny: Fuck gods? Up and down? No? Anyway, the financial gods have got together and decided to play around with me a bit and so it’s very difficult to turn down a free flat that I’m able to stay in indefinitely. Yes, even if it is in East Horsley. I just need a month. A month to shut myself away.”

“A month?” they say, to break things up a bit.

“Yes. And I’ll finish Pitching the World. You know how long I thought it would take when I started this? No? Oh, you’ll love this then. Three months. And do you know how long it’s taken? Twenty eight months. Twenty eight of the bastards. And I need to move on. Finish, and move on. Oh come on, don’t give me those ‘move-on-to-what?’ eyes. I’ll find something else to do.”

“Okay. You’re, um, scaring us a bit now.”

“And I miss London. And football. There are other things too…”  but by this time the ghouls have drifted away and I find myself – not for the first time – howling into an empty Boscombe afternoon.

So yes: Next week East Horsley. In Surrey. To finish a bone-headed project. Wish me luck. And if you see me on the street, you better holla at me.

East Horsley, earlier. 


29 responses to “28 Months Later

  1. Pitchy

    I’ll come and see you when you’re there if you like. If you’re too smashed, morose or should luck have it, churning out words like there is no tomorrow, I can always pop round and see some mates who’ve just moved there. Win win see.


    • Yes, yes, come and see me. There’s a pub two minutes from my (not my) flat. We can drink and eat and either you pay or we run away. Either’s fine with me. Tempting, isn’t it? See you in February.

  2. I only started reading this blog yesterday, and already it is the funniest/most interesting thing I read.
    I know to you it’s all (probably) serious stuff, but you could definitely write something like “Hpw to loose friends and alienate people” and it would be brilliant. You’re a great writer and you seem to have had quite a few unique experiences… Use them! 🙂

    • “Hpw” to lose (not loose) friends and alienate people? Jesus, I’m such a grammar snobprick. And you were only being nice. And you seem very nice. Thanks for your lovely comment. It’s stuff like that that keeps me going G-Dog.

      • I realised I’d made a typo after posting – but it had to be moderated! Ah well. You’re welcome, I’m being serious! 🙂

        (A title I will never use again)

  3. Gravityschmavity is the nuts, he’s right though, you could write how to lose friends and alienate people and you’re not an odious prick like Toby Young. Actually, that’s not fair, you are an odious prick … BOOM!

    Football misses you too.


  4. Will you be living above a Tudorbethan newsagents?

  5. I am not sure I like your Gods at the mo, they need to up their game – Big time. I wake and I pray to the Goddess of ‘keys’ (Please let me find them down the back of the sofa) the Goddess of ‘Lingerie’ (Please let there be a matching set in my knicks drawer) and the Goddess of ‘Nostrils’ (Please can the bloke that sits next to me at work not have B.O today) if I get 1 out of the 3 I am virtually high 5-ing people all day. Simple pleasures.

  6. Actually, a free flat to stay in is very fortunate. Thank you Gods ‘of helping writers who sleep on their Nan’s dining room floor’ for giving PtW this flat above a Tudorbethan newsagents – sounds like a gaff just ripe for churning out literary masterpieces.

  7. L: You’d written ‘your’ ace which I’ve now changed to ‘you’re’ ace. Hope you don’t mind. Perhaps you were doing a joke which I didn’t get. Regardless, I love you.
    Mya: Yes, I will be living above a Tudorbethan newsagents. Actually, I won’t, I’ll be living in this two bedroom maisonette overlooking an old people’s home. Inspirational.
    Marge: It is, it’s very fortunate. Fortune favours the brave. And the stupid. And the drunk. Hopefully it does, anyway.

  8. Also, there are far too many screamers in this comments section. Please desist.


  10. What the fuck is a creamer, bet I’m one!

  11. Shit bags, I’m definitely a creamer, I meant screamer.

  12. Free flats! You lucky drunken bum you! I love screamers!!! I’m living in a free shed. I’m a lucky drunken bum too. And I’m writing a novel but guess what – I’m writing it under an assumed name. Good huh? I hope it doesn’t turn into Withnail 2 :: The Revenge of Raymond Duck, but even if it does, life goes on, eh? A little closer to death. All that. I haven’t had a drink or a cannibonoid for 25 days. ENVY ME. And enjoy Horsely. And what about the speechwriting? Come on!

  13. K-Funk: What happened to my Withnail novella, that’s what I want to know. I owe you an email and and you’ll get one soon. A good one. A creamer.

  14. Indeed, Pitch That Thing, “fortune favours the brave”

    . . . . the goddess Fortuna was all about luck.

    So, here’s a dare, and a good game. When you’re settled in Horsley, meet me at a hostelry in London. We’ll get pissed and swap idioms – he that quoteth ye most poyntless idiom for ye 21st century doth get ye next round.

  15. I was also going to say, by way of pep talk, rely on Fortuna, be bold, be brave, pitch every fucker and get lucky

  16. Inspirational indeed. OAP homes are comedy gold. Why don’t you volunteer to go in and be stroked by them every now and then – they like that sort of thing.

    Mya x

  17. Stroked? You mean…STROKED? Luckily I’m broad minded; I’ll give it a whirl, Mya.

  18. Yeah, stroked. Not like as in having a stroke when your face goes all lopsided and your brain ignites like on that grim public service TV film. I mean stroked like how you would a Red Setter for example, or a friendly rabbit. It’s the human contact they crave. Don’t do any of that wanking at traffic stuff though, they won’t see the joke.

  19. I crave human contact. And human non-contact. It’s quite a balancing act Mya, I can tell you. I can also tell you today’s search engine terms, they’re glorious.

    pitching the world
    frank mcgrath
    28 months later
    frank mcgrath forearms
    frank mcgrath forearm
    crack houses
    pork is fucking wife
    generic eds
    fucking pitch
    i love national express
    retard running from cat
    share my wife dubai
    frank mcgrath 2011
    the peoples friend writing guidelines
    entering political speech writing
    house crack
    fuck my best friend bear
    reply to begging e mail
    sabotage times
    pitching to grazia magazine
    is it wrong to want to kick the fuck out of someone?

  20. I reckon the second egg was searched for by a German. Just saying.

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