In which our bearded protagonist reveals that he is in a foul bloody mood.

That's right, I'm in a foul mood. And by that I don't mean "I'm a little grumpy" I mean I'm having fantasies about bashing someone over the head with a claw-hammer and dismembering their bodies. Don't even care who, at the moment. But a representative of the Royal Bank of Scotland would be sweet. I'd go into details, but what's the point? Let's just say that at the moment they're right down there with BT in my estimations.


Grendel hasn't been helping either. She got a fright this morning while we were still abed, leapt forward and sank a panicked claw into my face. Lovely. That's just the sort of start you want to a day. With the screaming and the bleeding. She tried to make it up to me later by bringing a dead baby rabbit into the house (sans feet), but by then it was too late. The Grump had well and truly landed.

Hasn't helped that every twenty minutes the sodding phone goes with some recorded tit saying, 'This is a free national announcement. If you can't afford--' Which then requires me to scream obscenities down the phone prior to hanging up. And I know it's a recording and there's no point shouting at it, but it's tradition, OK? I don't make up the rules, I just live by them. When it suits me.

The only thing I haven't had today is one of those international cock-weasels calling up, asking to speak to the houseowner. Which is just as well, as I'm likely to be a little short with them. Like two foot three. And I think you'll agree that's pretty short.

And while I'm ranting, in an attempt to cheer things up yesterday, I bought a £12.00 bottle of d’Arenberg The Custodian Grenache. Push the boat out a little on a nice bottle of wine to cheer things up. Only it wasn't. Instead of being a wonderfully rich and fruity wine (as promised on the bit of paper stuck to the shelf in Oddbins) it was a thin, slightly bitter, and cheap-tasting bottle of plonk. The sort of plonk the masochistic can usually pick up for £3.00 in any supermarket. And not 'half price special promotion' £3.00 plonk either. This is plonk that's only ever going to be worth £3.00. The sort of stuff that tastes as if it's been made by marinating Magic Tree car air-fresheners in Ribena for a month. The sort of wine you take to a party when you don't like the host, or any of the guests, and you're only going because it seemed like a good idea when you were in the pub, but really you despise them all, because they're a bunch of bastards.

That kind of wine.

Oh, and a couple of days ago I got my author copies of a new anthology I'm in. And the only place they managed to spell my name right was on the back page. All 12 other times it's 'McBride'.

And no, you may not ask how the writing is going.