Off to Paris tonight, I think - after the last abortive effort I'm not making any sweeping committal statements about my ability to get there anymore. I have some skeletons in my closet and the worst one isn't actually in my closet, it's in Paris. So sometimes I wonder if transport strikes and civil unrest aren't Carl Jung's way of saying 'don't go back'. Wondering if stepping on to the coach is like turning the key in the lock of Bluebeard's forbidden room. I don't think so, though, I think I just enjoy the drama of the simile and the aesthetic juxtaposition of a heavy, foreboding, cobwebby door at the end of a dank dark passageway in a eastern European tyrant's schloss and a fluorescently lit Eurolines coach that smells like piss and multi-ethnic impatience. I'm 90% sure that my trouble in Paris was resolved some time ago everywhere except in my own head, which is the only place I'm likely to find any Bluebeard's chambers, though if going to Paris helps me find them I suppose it's all to the best, then I can go on being rescued and moving on with my life.
On to happier subjects. Besides the sweet-ass Meindl boots that can climb a mountain but have so far only climbed to the office and back, the F-word also got me Spike Milligan's war memoirs and they're fucking fabulous. Mostly about his training and then time in Africa as a gunner. The world's funniest man writing about one of the world's most vicious conflicts? Can't lose. The titles of the three volumes tell you most of what you need to know: 'Hitler: My Part in His Downfall', '"Rommel?" "Gunner Who?"', and 'Monty: His Part in My Victory'. Last night I had a very shouty appointment at my bank - I think our relationship is coming to a close, I've been seeing ING behind its back and it's time to stop living a lie - which the cunts had the temerity to keep me waiting for after I'd gone to all the trouble of sneaking out of the office early. I was well primed for a fight and more and more pissed off as each moment passed, but kept breaking into laughter in the waiting area at some - just - fucking - brilliancy in "Rommel?" "Gunner Who?". A wonderful Christmas gift for any war-obsessed Irish Catholic Communists of your acquaintance, speaking of Hilts, which I wasn't but there you go, or for anybody really.