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Lambert is Bridget Jones’s ne’er-do-well brother and a new-ish Barbican resident Lambert Jones’s Diary: Part 3

Kevin Kiernan

Friday 15 November 2013. Weight 19st 2lbs , Electronic cigarettes 156 (what is the point of these? You have to smoke so many to get any nicotine buzz. What next? The Electronic Mars Bar at £5 a bar and just a whiff of chocolate?), Jobs 0.

Service charges still outstanding Whenever I spot those green fleeces, the Estate staff wear, I try to avoid them by ducking behind the myriad large pillars dotted around the Barbican. The pillars luckily are easy to hide behind even if you have a fuller figure. However some of the staff, just like ticket inspectors, are in normal gear ..crafty, v crafty. I think they should all wear fleeces since that’s what they do to us with their service charges!! Yet another email from the Estate

Office about ‘Beech Street Gardens’ and the snail-like progress they are making. If only they would use the person sending the emails, who seems full of energy, to pick up a spade and get digging, we might get some progress. I heard a rumour that the real reason that no progress has been made is that the Barbican’s Brutalist Architect lobby quite like to see the exposed pipework and concrete flooring. They want to keep it that way. This lobby are jokingly nicknamed the ‘Woads’ after that period of history when all architecture was brutal. On the other hand, the Barbican Horticultural Society (nicknamed the ‘Weeds’) are furious at the Estate’s inaction. Nice to see a bit of tribal warfare, although haven’t decided which side I would join - when the lumps of concrete and rotten turnips start flying.

Monday 25 November 2013. Weight 19 st 13 lbs (I blame Walker’s Crisps special offer at Tesco’s), Cigs: Black Russian 20 from Igor (100 times the flavor of the e-fags), Jobs 1!!

Pub quiz nite and at the only boozer where I don't have an unpaid bar tab. Hurrah! I get together some top class banking pals…. all now between jobs. Called ourselves the ‘PPI Mis-sellers’ which was met with some hostility from the ‘UB 40’ team. Quiz rather spoilt by the Quizmaster asking too many questions. How can we spend 10 minutes


persuading ourselves out of the right answer, if there isn’t time to argue? Got rather drunk and kept repeating that ‘I wouldn’t ask too many questions’, when a bystander walked across and gave me his business card. An Igor Obstamov from ‘South Bank Conglomerate (Minsk and Peckham)’. He said he liked a banker who did not ask too many questions and he thought my bulk might come in handy too. Could I start tomorrow in Peckham?

Wednesday 4th December 2013. Weight 18st 12lbs (amazing what a job does to reduce weight), Russian fags King Size 30, Jobs 1, Pay pending?!

Although they are called South Bank – not sure they are really a bank, My job is liaison. I go around various outlets such as tanning parlours/nail bars/casinos etc in South East London. All the customers there seem to pay in cash, generally from a large wad. (A welcome relief from the middle classes youngsters at the local boozer who pay with a credit card for anything over 30p). My job is to deposit money and collect it almost immediately. All very strange.... laundering is mentioned – but haven’t been to a laundry – just the tanning/nail bars/casinos etc. Igor also insisted I open a variety of

High St Bank Accounts. He said it might be useful just in case the FCA came knocking. Apparently I am the only employee with an address which isn’t a PO Box No. Nice to know a Barbican address counts for something! There are two Russian twins from

Minsk at South Bank who look after security. These days bank security is all about electronic fraud, but these two seem to deal with the more physical side. The twins are as wide as they are tall and are inseparable.. Apparently their catchphrase is to invite you on a ‘mini break to Murmansk’. A long way to go and an inhospitable climate, but apparently it’s code for ‘you haven't got long to go in this world’. They are called the Two Barrels. They used to be called the Two Smoking Barrels, but they gave up smoking a while ago. Apparently they may get physical at the drop of a hat, but they are sticklers for minor regulations and social niceties

Thursday 12th December 2013. Weight 18 st 10 lbs, Russian cigars 11, Jobs 1, Income – arrived!!!.

Received a text alert: a large sum has entered my Metro Bank Super Saver account. Igor said that he was ‘parking it’.

It's a long term car park as far as I'm

concerned. I assume he was joshing and that it was my Xmas bonus - due all bankers at this time. Sort of ordained by God. Igor said something about laundry. Odd the way that word keeps cropping up.

Monday 16th December 2013.Weight 18st 9 lbs , Imperial Russian Cigars – Rasputin Class 12, Jobs 1, Income – spending it fast.

I have paid off all my service charges! I give the Estate Staff a cheery wave. And even popped into the Estate Office Reception just to sense what it feels like to do so and not to feel guilty. Paid in full for a Xmas holiday in the Seychelles. Waiting now for the courier to arrive with the tickets. Knock on the door - it’s my neighbour

saying there a couple of chaps downstairs wanting to see me, but they are too big to both get in the lift at the same time. Was it about a holiday I ask? Yes that’s it….. a mini-break in Murmansk!, he says smiling. The blood drains from my face which,

given my usual alcohol-induced rosy complexion, makes my face look normal for the first time in many years. I close the front door quickly and escape onto the balcony. I run along the balcony and tap on the window of the first flat sporting colourful window boxes outside and a traditional Xmas tree inside. Although I am interrupting Countdown, I am tentatively welcomed in. Perhaps I will decide to join the Weeds after all. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.

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