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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

February 19, 2006

Southern Born, by the grace of... well, my mum and dad I suppose

I received my final payslip and P45* the other day. In spite of my advanced years, this is really only the 3rd P45 I've received, to the best of my recollection, even though I handled millions of them in my 9 years with the Revenue. Feels strange to open an envelope on a cold winter morning and see the last few years of your life reduced to a green and white government form.

I've lived in Buckinghamshire now (or Buckinghamshite, as I always seem to type it first time), for over 18 months, but my period of "gardening leave" has been the longest time I've spent here - all my regular holidays were in France. I'm actually beginning to feel like I live here, at last, instead of in my car. I'd lived in Nottingham, on and off, for 10 years full time (with 3 years part-time before that), but always reluctantly, always wishing I could get South of Waterford Gap again. For 18 months I commuted, and the Gap mocked me every day, twice a day.

Roy came round yesterday, and we did some music-making and talking. I've known Roy 14/15 years, and in that time he's steadfastly believed that I was only joking about the kind of music I like, so he was a bit taken aback looking through my CD collection in its wallet.

I was also gratified to send him home with a CD full of Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Marshall Tucker Band. He got in his car and put a CD in the slot, turned on his ignition and Jessica (aka BBC Top Gear theme) started up. Hilarious.

My own car sits on the drive, a little punchy, three years old with 6 years of miles, in need of a wash. The oddest thing about my new life is that I've been a stranger to the petrol pump, whereas I used to have to put in £50-worth of diesel every four days. I'll forget how to do it, I think.


*P45 is a Pink Slip, in US terminology


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