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Friday, October 29, 2004

As an expert in information technology and all things PC, I naturally failed to fix the neighbour's computer yesterday morning. But to my credit, I got down on my hands and knees for a good fifteen minutes and fiddled around with the mass of wires behind the desk as though I knew what I was doing. In the end I claimed there was probably a bit missing, and admitted defeat.

The neighbour (who was remarkably unscantily clad as it turned out) received a phone call from her daughter just after I arrived, who wanted to be picked up immediately. Ms Neighbour assured her that she was halfway out the door as she spoke, before settling back and chatting to me for 40 minutes. Which is the kind of dedicated parenting I like to see. She also invited Lisa and I over at the weekend, so it's not just me she's interested in after all.

Having successfully loved my neighbour, I moved on to our absent hostess Lorraine. She's a woman with very little time on her hands - literally. She appears to have no clocks whatsoever in her house, save for a kitchen clock which, according to Lisa, has proclaimed the time to be 9:30 since bonfire night last year. So rather than look at that clock for the tenth time and panic that we're missing Wife Swap, I decided to buy it a new battery. It's now merrily ticking away, allowing us to see at a glance just how late we are in the morning.

In the evening we met Lisa's sister and Mr Durham at a nearby pub called The Stag's Head. We'd been assured that of the two pubs in Portslade High Street, this was the nicer, so naturally having been there for two minutes, we were wondering what in God's name the other one was like. The word "dive" was mentioned once or twice, and Lisa expressed the view that it was like a scene from 'The Wicker Man', before going on to criticise their carpets.

Her sister meanwhile was pressured into hanging up her coat by the kind of man you don't argue with, leaving her panic-stricken that it would probably be stolen, whilst simultaneously too terrified to go back and get it.

But a good time was had by all, and Lisa only hit me once.

Tonight Lisa's going out with the girls for an evening of alcoholism. My role in all this is to turn up at the correct time to give them all a lift home, and to prepare me for this task I've been informed that the last time one of these particular friends received such a lift, the car had to be stopped en route so that she could be sick. It's something to look forward to anyway, and the kind of news which makes me glad I'm driving my Mum's car.