For my Monday morning commute.
Now, I know that most of the stuff up there (which Mrs Masher refers to as ‘a load of old junk’, but is actually all really useful stuff) is mine.
And I know that I really do need to sort it out, sometime.
It’s not ALL mine.
You know those Really Useful plastic boxes that they sell in such places as Homebase and Staples? We’ve got loads of ‘em up in the loft. All different shapes and sizes. And all full of tat. Apart from a couple of them that belong to me, that are obviously full of really useful stuff.
Really Useful boxes filled with really useful stuff.
But, there are several boxes full of stuff that the kids did when they were young: paintings, small clay models; shit like that. Why are we keeping it all? It’s memorabilia.
There are boxes of clothes that Mrs Masher is hanging onto, just in case she’s ever likely to squeeze into them again.
Wallpaper! You know when you finish decorating and you have half a roll of wallpaper left over, and you think “I’ll hang onto that, just in case some bizarre accident ruins a single piece and I have to re-hang it” , then up in the loft it goes? Well, yesterday, I brought down dozens of rolls and semi-rolls of wallpaper that had ended up up there. Some of it dated back twenty years to when we first moved in and Mrs M and I spent quite a while going through it all; recognising various wallpapers but not being able to remember which room they’d been hung in.
And suitcases! We are a family of four. So why did I count thirteen different suitcases? Jeez!
Now, I’m not one for New Year resolutions but, that loft IS going to be sorted out.
You heard it here first.
But I think I may need to order a skip.
I’ve always felt that massages were a waste of time. Over the years, I’ve had a couple of amateur ones – performed by Mrs Masher – and never felt any real benefit from them. The story below is an extract taken from my Holiday Diaries, from when we were in Egypt some time back. Mrs M had booked herself in for the full pamper package at the on site spa and she had persuaded me to try a ‘proper’ massage…
At this time of year, the sun starts setting here shortly after 4pm and it was already low in the sky with the light starting to fade, so I decided it would probably be a good time to go and have my massage.
Arriving at the Spa & Fitness Centre, I was given a menu detailing the range of different massages available. I opted for the straightforward Classic Massage: none of those special toning oils or aromatherapy crap for me!
I was led to a small room lit by candles, which had a massage bed in the middle of it: one of those with the hole in it to stick your face into. I removed all my clothes apart from my swimming shorts and lay face down on the bed as instructed and waited for the ample breasted, fit young dusky maiden to come and rub her soft and sensuous hands all over my body.
A young bloke turned up, of course.
He covered me with warm towels then his hot, oily hands started working my feet and toes. I was biting my lip in an effort to not laugh, as it tickled so much.
Then, he moved up to my calves. “Do you want it soft, medium or hard?” he asked softly.
“Pardon? Oh, er, medium will be fine, thanks.”
His hands rubbed and slapped at my calves and then he moved up to my thighs. He pulled the legs of my swimming shorts up as high as possible until they resembled an ill-fitting thong. His hands kneaded and squeezed and pummelled my thighs and buttocks. “Relax boss,” he said, feeling me tense up at his touch. Relax? There is a man squeezing my buttocks and he’s not a doctor! How am I supposed to bloody relax?
But I tried. I let myself go, telling myself all the time that there was nothing to worry about: that this man was a professional masseuse. In doing so, I found I actually started to enjoy it. I was cautious not to enjoy it too much though: didn’t want to find myself nursing an unexpected and unwanted semi!
Gentle Egyptian music played in the background and the young fellow sang softly as he worked on me. I was starting to doze off when he pulled the towel from my back and rolled the top of my trunks down. Suddenly, I was wide awake again, as I felt him climb up onto the bed, his feet either side of me, straddling my backside.
Then something warm and wet spurted across my back!
“It’s oil! It’s just fucking oil!” I told myself, as I lay there, face through the hole in the bed, my eyes darting frantically around the floor to find something to focus on and take my mind away from what was going on behind my head.
Again, he kneaded and squeezed and pummelled and pushed, but much harder this time, his position above the bed giving him the extra leverage he needed to push every ounce of muscle or fat through the back of my ribcage. It actually hurt!
Then he asked me to turn over and he massaged my shoulders and neck. Fresh, warm towels were placed over me again and then he used just his fingertips to massage my head and my face… which just felt fucking weird.
When he had finished he motioned me to get off the bed and get dressed. “How do you feel?” he asked.
“Really good,” I lied.
Anyway, I’ve tried it now and I stand by my original claim that it’s a complete waste of time. Yes, I suppose it was enjoyable – in a way – but at the end of it, I didn’t feel any better; no more limber or looser or whatever.
At least I need never bother with another one.
Last Wednesday, I awoke with a pain in my lower back. Not debilitating, or anything like that, but a bit sore on the left hand side.
It stayed with me for a couple of days and didn’t seem to be easing, but it wasn’t causing me too much bother.
And then, Friday lunchtime, I was sitting on the sofa, eating a sandwich whilst watching a bit of telly, when I did something that would put me in agony for the next few days.
I crossed my legs.
That’s all: I just crossed my legs.
As I swung one leg over the other, the pain in my back shot from one side to the other.
It has literally crippled me. I’m walking around like I’ve shat myself and it takes me about ten minutes to get dressed… that’s without the socks. I can’t put them on at all!
As a long-term sufferer of back pain, I know that it will clear up. Eventually.
Meantime, I’m on industrial strength Ibuprofen.
First day back at work, today. That should be interesting.