Written in 2004 – Have you ever noticed that when we go abroad we expect everyone to speak English to us and that when people visit here we still expect them to speak English? How arrogant does that make us? I have never been good at foreign languages so I cannot understand how so many people from so many different countries have managed to learn English. It is supposed to be the most difficult language to learn after all! 

I seem to struggle with this PMT business. I have just scrubbed my bathroom at 8:30pm until I could see my face in the tiles. It has been hard work because I don’t clean at all; I usually make do with tidying. I seem to have all the energy in the world the week before I am due on and then the week I have the bleed I can’t be bothered to do anything at all. I suffer with my emotions before I am due on too. I get very snappy which isn’t such a problem because I live on my own but when I am working I am very aware that I don’t have the patience with trainees that I usually do. I also get very sorry for myself. 

Have you ever noticed that when you are single everyone you meet is in pairs? You can’t walk down the street without some couple rubbing your nose in their happiness. It isn’t just strangers; all my friends have people in their lives. I don’t begrudge them happiness but I just wish it was me. 

One weekend I created rather a lot of Rubbish because my sister and I gutted my garden. I had been very conscientious, put all the Rubbish in black bags, and stacked them up in the right area. I get back from work to find that the bin men not only hadn’t taken them but had piled them up in front of my gate so that I couldn’t get it open. I had to do something so I stuffed them in the car and raced down the tip before it shut. Unloading them was another trauma. One of the bags must have had an ants nest in it because I took the bags out of the boot to find the whole of the back of the car covered in them. As a quick fix I took out the back parcel shelf to brush some of them off. I subsequently dropped it on the floor at the top, so it was covered with mud and all sorts of dirt. What I was trying to make in the back of the car is anyone’s guess. A right old mess is what it turned out to be! 

I got back to my flat and swept the car out. After all that I was feeling very dirty so I went into the bathroom to wash my hands, only to find that the cat had been sick all over the Lino and the bath mat. At this point in time I hadn’t eaten since breakfast! What a brilliant day! 

I love my flat, and it has been my salvation over the years. Whatever I do and wherever I go, I always end up back there. It’s all mine. No one else’s and nobody can take it away from me (except the bank of course!). My sister and I spent a lot of time and effort in the garden and I really think it was worth it. I am not well known for my housekeeping but at least I am not embarrassed by the garden. Mind you, anyone who comes in the flat must know me and they take me as they see me. The garden can be seen by strangers and neighbours so it is more important that it is able to impress. 

It has just one bedroom but I have a sofa bed in the living room so friends can come and visit anytime they like. The one redeeming feature is the garden. It is all mine and I alone am responsible for its upkeep. Being away during the week makes it difficult for me to mow the lawn. I often have a lot to do during the weekend, boozing mostly, and if I don’t have much to do then it pours down with rain. I didn’t it one weekend when it was particularly high. The ground was still very damp and I probably shouldn’t have done it. The mower struggled but we got through it in the end. 

I was very shocked when a frog jumped in front of the mower. I don’t even have a pond! I actually found three of them that particular day. One dead, at least it was after I ran over it, one alive and one that was touch and go. It was alive when I finished with it but then the cat spotted it and they were running round and round the garden. The frog was winning when I left them to it. 

I have a few steps that lead out of my front door. They have been there as long as the flat and have never been a problem. This all changed a few days ago when I tripped up. I very nearly fell flat on my face. I stubbed my toe and pulled a muscle in my arm but I don’t think anyone saw me so my pride is in tact! …