The Napoleonic Wars (Part I)

I was already in angry bear mode when I woke up this morning but the fact that my next-door-neighbour keeps throwing his empty cans of Foster’s lager on to my back garden made me feel even worse.

I took a moment to gird my loins and stormed round there. I banged on his door ready to murder the moron. ‘Are you mentally ill?’ I asked him.

Apart form a smile without promise, the only reaction I got from him was this: ‘It’s not me, buddy.’ Buddy!

My anger was reaching nuclear meltdown levels; I was ready to explode, to hurt, to maim and kill. To be honest, I was actually looking forward to something else going wrong so that I might vent my spleen further – anything from running out of milk to actual Armageddon would have been welcome.

In an effort to calm down, I took Audrey – who was seething in sympathy under the sofa – for an early lunchtime walk.

We went down by the old colliery railway tracks and explored some of the disused industrial buildings that no one has yet been bothered to demolish. They are fascinating places: derelict warehouses and abandoned depots of crumbling red brick, full of redundant machines, rotting cardboard, broken glass and garlands of twisted steel.

The damp smell of chaos and decay made me feel much better.

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