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BARBICAN LIFE


Afterthoughts


Lambert Jones’s Diary Lambert is Bridget Jones’s ne’er- do- well brother and a new-ish Barbican resident*


Lambert Jones aka Kevin Kiernan


Monday 29th October 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 1, Girlfriends 0, Weight 19st 11lbs (must lose weight as scales stop at 20st!) Cigarettes 62 (helps to control weight!) Woke to a sharp knock on the door from an official from the Estate Office. – ‘My Xmas 2011 service charges still outstanding’ – I think they pick on me because my flat is a stone’s throw from their office. I pointed out that, in the best restaurants for example, service charges are optional. I bet the money doesn’t even go directly to the staff. I said I had given a large cash tip to a cleaner, or a road sweeper, ... can’t remember. hadn’t heard the last of this.


He said I


My first Livery dinner tonight- albeit as a guest. I must be a certainty for membership! At the Worshipful Company of Kilt Makers – it says white tie or full Scottish rig. Still have a white kipper tie from a 60’s retro party – so, with blazer and slacks, job done!


Tuesday 30th October 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 0, Girlfriends 0, Weight 20st plus (scales hit the 20st mark rather loudly, so must be a bit over) Cigarettes 50 (no smoking at the Kilt Makers- well a few quick puffs).


Livery dinner a bit of a disaster. White tie, apparently, means dressing up to like Carson the butler in Downton. A lot of people, looking at my attire, asked whether I was Gordon Brown – not sure why – is he a Kilt Maker? That would explain a lot.


Stuart, my host, seemed to avoid me all evening and even sat somewhere else at dinner. Call me hyper-sensitive, but I don’t think I will become a liveryman anytime soon.


Wednesday 31st October 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 0, Girlfriends1?!, Weight – still tubby, Cigarettes 53 Had a drink or two in the evening at the local hostelry to drown my sorrows. I forgot it was Halloween. All sorts of ghouls with white faces and fake blood wandering in and out . On exiting, I managed to trip over and cut my forehead. I popped back in, asking for first aid. However I was simply congratulated on the very realistic blood make-up, given a small prize, and then told to leave as I had obviously drunk too much.


As luck would have it, there was an


off-duty nurse from Bart’s standing outside the pub smoking and drinking a


48


pint of Hobgoblin. She was wearing that pyjama uniform they seem so keen on these days. She spotted my predicament immediately (apparently her Nurse’s Degree course had included a module on identifying blood). She patched me up with a plaster from her handbag and, as I found out later, slipped her name (Janet) and telephone number in my pocket. It was written on the back of a flyer for the Bart’s Weight Loss clinic. Mixed message possibly, but who knows?


Saturday 3rd November 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 0, Girlfriends 1 (yes still!) Weight(clothes still tight – enough said)) Cigarettes 40 (need to economise having a girl friend!, bought some patches)


Letter from the City of London Chamberlain – he’s apparently the Head of Finance, but he sounds more like a valet. Sent off a quick acknowledgement asking whether he also gives clothes advice – ‘distract the enemy’ as my old RSM used to say.


Apparently his senior colleagues include the Comptroller (?) and the Remembrancer. Not quite sure what the latter does, possibly he nudges the older officials when things have slipped their mind. It’s another world at Guildhall.


Monday 5th November 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 0, Girlfriends 1 (yes but she’s beginning to mention weight) , Weight 19st 13 lbs but while holding some helium balloons left over from Halloween) Cigarettes 41 (patches 62)


Janet insists I go to her weight loss clinic. Apparently she needs a few more clients to hit her Government target. I can’t seem to source scales for the over-sized. What’s the point of scales for thin people? Scales should start at 20 stone!


Suddenly had an idea – Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Something, looks as if he would need industrial strength scales. Wrote to our MP asking him to submit a Parliamentary Question to EP on Best Buy advice scales-wise. PQs are an excellent source of free research – I picked up that tip from a city analyst who couldn’t afford both research and big bonuses.


Sat 10th November 2012 Livery Dinner invitations – now a forlorn hope,, Girlfriends 1, Weight – who’s counting ( Janet actually), Cigarettes 39 (patches 83)


Lord Mayor’s Show Day – Woke up to Bands practising in Aldersgate St at 9.30. If they need to practise, why not do so before the day? The show seems to attract rain as an open jam jar attracts a wasp with an extra sweet tooth. I would change the route to the Sahara. They could do with the inevitable rain.


Feeling generous, I bought a poppy - £1.50 in the tin! Suddenly thought I bet most people only put in a £1 or less. How will people ever know of my beneficence? So I went back and asked for a second and donated 50p. I am now the proud wearer of two poppies.


Thought of a wicked cash-making wheeze that night. I will borrow a friend’s flat over-looking the river. He’s never there and I still have the key when I used to feed his cat (sadly departed). Will serve champagne and offer tickets @ £50 each to watch the traditional Mayor Show fireworks. Inviting Stuart and Janet as special guests.


Sunday 11th November 2012 Livery Dinner invitations – still nothing, Girlfriends 0 , Weight- who cares? Cigarettes – who’s counting? Not a good evening. How was I to know that the Lord Mayor wasn’t bothering with fireworks this year? Surely the Remembrancer should have reminded him? I thought the fireworks would distract my guests from realising I was serving Asda Spumate. Janet not impressed with the arrangements nor, surprisingly, the double poppies. She went off arm in arm with Stuart .


Saturday 15 December 2012 Livery Dinner invitations 1!!!!,, Girlfriends 1 , Weight 18st 11lbs! (lost weight while pining for Janet) Cigars 6 Punch Havanas


Good news. Letter from Readers Digest. I have won £250,000, or another prize, in a draw I wasn’t aware I had entered. Money troubles over, awaiting cheque. Janet had got fed up with Stuart – a closet Bay City Rollers fan, apparently. Invited by Funeral Directors’ Livery Company. I have to pay for the dinner (but money now no object). They had picked my name up from the Kilt Maker’s guest list. It says Black Tie (appropriate for the FDs, I suppose, even when they are letting their hair down)– I have a dark Blue one to go with my blazer and slacks. So Job done! Merry Xmas!


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