TradeShark Diary, 10th May 2020

Yesterday was an interesting one. Something that both Sue and I need is “me time”. That is why when she is at home during the week I stay in my office to give her space. I get my space when Sue is at work. She had been off work for 2 weeks. Friday was going to be my day to have the house to myself. That was taken away by the street party.


By Saturday lunchtime I could feel myself getting irritated. It wasn’t helped that the teenagers over the road ( opposite our back garden ) were playing “kerbie” in the street. They had been a problem last year when the ball was constantly coming over the wall. They were using a basketball and several pots were smashed as well as the shed window being cracked. The ball had narrowly missed us a few time as we sat in the garden. After 5 days of it I refused to give the ball back. I told them to sent their dad round for it. They kept knocking on the door saying that their dad said I had to give the ball back to them. I told them to let their dad know that I was coming over to speak to him.

So with the basketball under my arm I went to see him. As I left my garden and walked past my car he was on his drive along with a dozen or so kids and teenagers. By the time I was at his drive he had gone inside. I knocked on the door and asked if I could have a word. I explained to him very calmly and quietly why I was pissed off. I wasn’t trying to embarrass him in front of his kids. However from the start he denied that they had been playing kerbie for the last 5 days. He denied that the ball had ever some into our garden. He said I was full of shit about the ball damaging anything and that we had not almost been hit by it.

He had had his chance to have a grown up conversation. “Ahh, had I realised that you were a fucking retard I wouldn’t have bothered speaking to you.”

I asked him if he had ever been hit in the head by a basketball. He seemed to take this as a threat (I was still holding the ball) as he went on to explain that yes he had been hit on the head many times and had lots of fights. What??

We were about 2 feet apart and when I had finished laughing in his face I left him with a suggestion that he should, “Try a bit of parenting you prick!”. His comeback was legendary. As he ran inside he shouted “Fuck off”.

Since then they stopped their teenagers playing with the basketball next to our wall which sort of acknowledged that they were in the wrong. That was my take on it anyway.

So, back to yesterday! The street party on Friday seemed to give his kids the idea that lockdown was over and they were out in the street with the basketball. I was inside at the time and Sue was in the garden. I was waiting for the ball to come over the wall. It didn’t although it did hit the back gate and went down the side of the house. So I was on edge as I could do without another confrontation with Mensa kid. The kids went inside and Sue heard them say that were coming back out later. I went out and told Sue that I would go and speak to Mensa kid if their ball did any damage. We had a bit of an argument as she thought I should contact their landlord instead.

We sat in the garden for a while. She asked if I was OK as I was quiet. I told her that I was reading through Twitter. (I was). Then she started talking to the kid next door through the fence. I wasn’t going to get any peace. I went inside and watched TV but Sue has quite a loud voice. While I wasn’t really stressed I was getting there. After about an hour of listening to the conversation with the 11 year old. I had to get away from the noise. I went upstairs and sat at my desk. I was only there for a few minutes and that was enough to sort my head out.

The plan was that we were going to send out for Chinese and watch a film. As it turned out Sue had spent the day stressing about the street party and that people weren’t sticking to the rules. Her way of coping with stress is to have a drink. She thinks she is better company when she drinks. She isn’t. She can get quite dark. The warning sign for me is the scowl. Then I am walking on eggshells. She starts to look for even more things to stress about. Over the years I have got better at spotting the signs and managing the situation.

It was supposed to rain in the evening but the rain didn’t come. She was stressing that we hadn’t watered the plants. I watered the plants.

Both dogs had a shit in the garden. That would need picking up or it was going to smell. No kidding. I picked the shit up and checked the whole garden for any more.

As I was finishing the shit collection Sue was stroking Molly. She said she had found a lump on the dog. I took a deep breath and asked her to show me where the lump was. There was no lump.

She decided she was going have a bath before we ordered the takeaway. She went upstairs and came back down half an hour later. I was watching TV. She opened the living room door and stood there for a second before announcing, “They’ve got a gun!”

Oh for fuck sake (that was in my head. I’m not an idiot).

OH for fucks sake

“Who has a gun?”

“Them over the back. I saw them shooting it in their garden. I heard the shot and looked out of the bedroom window.”

I had heard the lads next door earlier in the garden. I wasn’t sure what they doing but after what Sue saw it was obviously an air gun.

“It’s an air gun. “

“It’s a firearm! They meed a license.”

“I’m pretty sure they don’t.”

She was adamant that the law had changed. I looked on google. A government site said that anyone over 14 can fire an air gun unsupervised as long as they have the landowner’s permission.

She still insisted that it was a firearm and they shouldn’t have it. I told her that if she didn’t believe me she should google it herself. She picked up her phone. I found another 3 sites that confirmed that they were allowed to shoot the gun in their own garden.

“Lynn says they had a crossbow last year!”

“So instead of finding a reputable site to check the air gun laws you texted Lynn over the road??”

“What if they see you when you take the dogs out. They can shoot you!”

Oh for fuck sake (again internally. The scowl was reaching dangerous levels)

“Why would they??”

“They are shooting targets to improve their aim!” (can’t knock that logic to be fair).

“There is a massive difference between shooting a target and shooting a person or even a dog.”

“No there isn’t.”

Oh for fuck sake (internally. They will put that on my gravestone)

I stopped talking to her. There is really no point when the tsunami of doom reaches def con 5.

I left it a few minutes and asked if she still wanted to eat. She said she did. After we had finished the meal Sue said she was knackered and couldn’t stay awake to watch a film. She went up to bed. That was about 10:30.

Sunday has been calmer. I traded some of the tennis and football matches. It keeps my brain ticking over.

Boris’ lockdown update was on at 7. Basically nothing is changing for the public apart from you can exercise as often as you like as long as you keep 2m apart from everyone else. You can sit on benches and play sport with people in your own household (Sue hates sport). No mention of being able to be 2m away from your own family. It’s OK to be near total strangers though! More details to come on Monday.

Boris seems to think bars and restaurants can start opening in July. People should be encouraged to go back to work if they can do so safely and it is better if they walk or cycle to work.

After what I saw with the street party on Friday I am a little nervous of how many people are now going to ignore the lockdown rules. We don’t need 100% of people to follow them to get through this. They are increasing the fines for people if they break the lockdown but so few have been handed out. They need to hit a few people hard straight away to send a strong message. They won’t do that though.

Sue is working tomorrow. Finally! ME TIME.

Stay safe.

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