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Friday 7th November

The following three days are pretty quiet. Bonfire night on Wednesday was pretty normal and run of the mill. The insurance agent phoned and said she’d be round later in the afternoon at half three. She arrived on the dot. She did her thing and took pictures and said she’ll liaise with the police and sort out a new window for us. Our premium will go up slightly as well, which pissed me off. Jason’s mum should pay for that.

The night itself was all right. I expected some trouble from the brat but nothing happened. Fireworks went off, of course, and I listened for Poppy to start barking. She used to hate that night. I did when I was a child. I think in some ways dogs are the same. They need attention all the time and want to play a lot, they just never seem to grow up.

The fireworks did look nice, though, over the field behind the house. Large and expensive they were. When you think about it it’s almost literally burning money. But that’s just the miserable side of me coming out.

Something that did make me laugh though was when we got home last night and the Starkies were just heading out. Mei’s mum was with us as we’d been food shopping. Richard Starkey was talking about the floods in China and whether it affected their city. He spoke to Mei’s mum loud and clear when he said, ‘Floods?’ Like saying it loud and clear would suddenly make her understand English. It just made me laugh. It was like he was talking to a deaf person. His eyes were wide and his eyebrows high as he said it. Mei’s mum just looked at him and nodded like she understood him. Luckily Mei saved her and told him it didn’t affect them. They’re from south China and the floods are in the north. I felt like saying, ‘It’s a large country you know.’ But I didn’t. He didn’t mean anything by it.

We spoke about what happened on Tuesday night. They saw the whole thing and offered to help if the police got involved. Then they went into missionary mode and said God has a plan for that kid, I might not know it yet but He’s up there pulling the strings. I would argue but I know I’ll either upset them and get pissed off or they’d turn me. And I don’t want either. What worries me, is me giving in as I’m quite easily persuaded. When I was fifteen I was persuaded to smoke by my friend and I didn’t stop until three years ago. I’d have to sneak a cigarette in when at work so Mei didn’t know. But she must have known. My breath must have stunk. Then there’s the Jehovah’s Witnesses that come to the door. It’s usually an old lady I can’t say no to. But, to my credit, I do manage it in the nicest way possible. My heart just sinks when I open the door, especially when I’m waiting for a parcel and it’s them at the door. Same with charities and solar panel salesman. If I want something I’ll come to you. Piss off.

Today is the day Harold has decided to put his Christmas lights out. I’ve been and done my Longton round without hassle. Being Friday and the end of the week he thought he’d give it a go as the weather is reasonably calm. He asked me if I want to give him a hand and I jumped at the chance to get out of the house until I have to pick Mei up from work.

I haven’t been fretting over the Mrs Mellor as much today. Naz said she seemed OK but the tobacco smell still lingered, as did the cut on her head, only it had moved somehow. Either that or it got bigger. Strange, I thought.

Harold’s lights are, like a said before, magnificent. On the garden he has penguins, polar bears, a train, and spotlights. On the house there’s a Christmas tree, holly, bells, and a large ‘Merry Christmas’ that covers the majority of the side of his house. I can’t wait to see what it looks like at night.

‘I’m not turning them on quite yet,’ he tells me. ‘I’ll do it in December. I’ll leave them out here, though. But it wouldn’t seem right. It’s still November.’

He has a point I guess.

Then the first snowflake of the year falls. Not sure if I’m happy or sad. Driving will be difficult if it carries on. But it will look nice, especially when the lights are up and running. It’ll be like that scene on Christmas Vacation with the big Griswold family switch on. I love that movie. I hope it’s on this Christmas.

Now I’m getting into the festive mood. It’s a mood I know won’t last long before Jason manages to mess it up again. I hate that kid so much. And his mum. And Agatha. Just thought I’d throw her in there as well while I’m listing people.

When I pick Mei up the traffic is getting worse. I think I might ask her to get the bus in the run up to Christmas because this is getting ridiculous. There are so many selfish drivers out there it’s unreal and I’ll just end up being in a pissy mood when I meet her.

She arrives on time and looks happy regardless of the recent problems.

Then she says something I’ve had a feeling she might say. She says, ‘I want to move house.’

My shoulders drop with my face. I don’t want the hassle of moving again. It’s a right ball ache. I know why she wants to move, it’s the same reason I’d move: Jason. But I can’t be bothered with all that right now, not so close to Christmas. ‘OK,’ I say. ‘Perhaps we can look after Christmas. Let’s get the out of the way first.’ And your mother, I think, but I don’t say it.

She smiles and nods. ‘All right then.’

That should keep her happy for a few weeks.

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