The Timetable

May 2017


Its been over  18 months since Proton broke her hip and more than a year since Quark set fire to her house. The insurance claim is almost complete and she has finally got new carpets, sofas and curtains in her lounge.
But she is still living in Electrons shed!The Ultimatum came to nothing again.
She is living, but for Electron it is a half-life.
Always has been.
Even before her various illnesses and disabilities took hold, Proton was hardly a person of action.
Now it is far worse.
She accuses Electron of being hyperactive, he points out that he is merely active.
They argue daily.

Proton works to a strict timetable and this cannot be changed :

  • 8 – 9am get out of bed.
  • 9 – 11.30 – chain smoke and drink coffee whilst having an immediate opinion about whatever they are talking about on her favourite radio station, Fascist FM.
  • 11.30 – 12.30 prepare and eat her breakfast cereal
  • 12.30 – 2.30 – chain smoke whilst considering getting her dentures ready
  • 2.30-3.30  Clean and fit dentures
  • 3.30 – 5.00  Smoke and drink tea, with perhaps a little nap
  • 5 – 5.30  Get dressed!
  • 5.30 -6.30  Lunch
  • 6.30 – 10.30  Browse the internet with TV on in the background from 9pm
  • 10.30 – 11.30  Eat supper
  • 11.30 – 1.30  Watch Tv and smoke
  • 1.30 – 2.15  Unprepare dentures interspersed with smoking
  • 2.15 – 2.45  Get the final 3 cigarettes into her system before going to bed
  • 2.45 -3.00 Bed, and in the process invariably wake Electron up ( He tries to get to bed around 12 midnight)
    Repeat for the rest of her life.

Electron (who by the way no longer is a smoker) has his own timetable:

  • 8..00 am get up and ready for work. Prepare the coffee maker and make coffee for Proton
  • 8.30 – 10.00 Listen to whatever has flitted across Protons mind and to her views on Fascist FM
  • 10 – 6.30pm Work then return home, usually collecting various shopping items for Proton on the way home.
  • 7.00 pm Re-enter the shed, having been hit by the dense fug of tobacco fumes as he opens the front door and then squeeze past thee contraption that Proton erects her laptop on and the Kitchen countertops. Except when she is in the bathroom, she never leaves the Kitchen
  • 7.00pm Immediately on entering the kitchen, start listening to whatever Proton wants to talk at him about, and I emphasise AT. If Electron stupidly believes he is having a conversation and attempts to talk, the most words he can get out is 2 before Proton talks all over him.
  • 7 -10.30 Continue to talk at Electron, sharing anything that comes in front of her eyes on the internet whilst Electron prepares supper or sits on the uncomfortable chair at he kitchen Table. Proton sits on the sofa in the corner.
  • 10.30 – 12 midnight – Perhaps some respite from the incessant vocalisations of Proton as they both watch whatever crap is on TV.
  • 12 midnight – 1.30 Fight to be allowed to go to bed before Protons designated time. Go to bed invariably angry.
    Awake and repeat.

Meanwhile in Protons own home, Strangeness perhaps has a time-table

  • Some days, get up
  • Occasionally go to the free money office to sign for free money
  • Mostly sleep
  • Once a week when the library is open late – get more library books
  • Read books about white supremacy and islamic hatred
  • Sleep.



Ultimatum Time Again

Feb 2017

Having spent nearly 2 months in a luxury waterfront apartment, courtesy of the Insurance Company, Proton has been living in the shed for 8 months.

Charm has returned to her Grandmothers.

Since August, baby boy has returned in order to sort out his flat and LIVE THERE. Initially allowed in his mother’s house for 1 night, this turned into 4 weeks. Only ending when Electron dropped in one Sunday afternoon to find Strangeness asleep and Quark (who had also been banished) sitting at the kitchen table looking as if he had been heavily indulging . Electron flipped, and immediately texted Charm:
“It’s all been a waste of time, Rip van Winkle and the Junkie are back in your mother’s house. WTF”
The next day they were both gone. Strangeness back to Grannies and Quark to god knows where.
Now Strangeness has been kicked off benefits, for missing various appointments , not surprising when your post is delivered to an address where you never visit.
He now has to sort this out. He has no gas, electric or water and no money. Electron still believes this should not stop him from living in his flat. It would give him an incentive to do something to sort things out. Proton is of a different view.

“He should stay once again in her house while he sorts things out, at least for another day as the months are getting colder. ” Even more reason to sort out heating thinks Electron.

So, Strangeness writes a letter to his landlord asking to be contacted on his new mobile phone (courtesy of Proton) and promptly turns his phone off for the ensuing 4 weeks.
Like his phone, he goes back to sleep.
No benefits arrive. Every week the same story,

“Maybe next Friday I’ll get the money and then sort my debts out………”

Protons kitchen is now infested with dry rot. Mysterious mushrooms are growing from the ceiling and all down the back door but this troubles Strangeness not. Proton is waiting for Electron to sort this out. Baby Boy cannot tackle the problem without full body protection and a face mask which he does not have (according to Proton) – although he does have these in his own flat, Proton having bought them for sorting out the wet rot in his own flat .
The mushrooms continue to grow.

For the past months Proton has been slowly pursuing her insurance claim for carpets, sofas, electrical goods etc, but this still has not been resolved. Like the rest of her family there is no sense of urgency about anything. The house apparently is still uninhabitable for her.

That’s what she thinks.
Electron thinks otherwise.
If her son can live there so can she. She needs to finally own up to her destiny. Like her mother before her, she will live with her siblings for the rest of her life.  That is what Electron believes. She just needs to own up to this.


All is not well in the shed.

Electron is sick of not being heard. Of having to put up with her boys behaviour. Of having to listen to Protons depressing views about anything that comes onto the appalling talk radio station she listens to all day. Of being talked at as soon as he walks into a room. Of having no relaxation time whatsoever. Of having to sit with every light in the house on. Of being told to go to bed when he is told, if he doesn’t fight to go to bed when he wants. Of putting in a 18 hour day every day and never having any peace to think. No quiet time. No life.
Its ultimatum time again, and this time he means it:
If her son (or sons, she does not know, nor care) are still in her house come 1st March, she will be taken back to her house to live with them ever after. Deliberately there is a word missing in that last sentence.

The word is happily.

Electron has given this ultimatum several times in the past few months and has been told that Strangeness will go to his flat. This does not happen and Electron always backs down. This time he really has no intention of doing so. Enough is enough. He has to reclaim his life. He feels he has wasted 24 years of it in this so-called relationship and can take no more.

The dying men, of his age, whom he saw on his hospital visits with Proton haunt his mind.

He has to start living soon.

Bad Choices Pt 2

2 days after Quarks departure from the shed, Proton phones her mother. Quark has finally arrived. He has his electric guitar and the bags of vegetables, but there is no sign of the black holdall containing his clothes and the all important cigarettes.

Quark had arrived yesterday and claims to have left the bag on the train, He is going to check with lost luggage. Neither Charm or her Grandmother wanted to inform Proton because they didn’t want Electron to have another angry rant.

Electron begins to rant over Proton as she speaks to her mother;

“It’s all so predictable! He has sold the fags for smack! I knew it as soon as he left the shed. After f**king everyone else over, he has now f**ked your mum over….”

In his head, Electron begins to formulate the letter he intends to write to Quark to finally let him know exactly what he thinks of him. It begins;

Dear C***.

Later that day Charm arrives to collect the remaining 3 cartons of cigarettes. The package is handed over and she puts them into a black holdall.

“That looks like the bag I lent to Quark”, says Electron

“It is”, replies Charm, “I picked it up from lost luggage at the station, and it still had the fags inside”.

Tonight Electron will sit down to a nice meal of humble pie.

Bad Choices


3 Jan 2017

A post Christmas poem:

For the first time in years the Christmas event proved uneventful.

Quark remained at his grandmothers with Charm.

Strangeness mostly slept through, and kept out of harm.

Even Proton, now teetotal, managed to not go mental.

First Monday of the year, late evening, Quark phones, he is back in town ostensibly to get his teeth sorted out. Electron brought back 5 cartons of cheap fags for grandmother and Quark intends to come over tomorrow and take these back to her.

On Tuesday he duly turns up.

“Did you get your teeth sorted out?” asks Electron.

“No, The dentist near Grans is taking on new patient’s so I will get it done there”

So the reason for his return is immediately proven to be a lie. The first of the day.

He sits at the kitchen table, head lolling, says he is tired as the heroin addict with whom he was staying had visitors last night. Quark could not get to sleep. Proton believes this. Electron aware that it was also Quarks free drug money hand out night does not believe this.

Electron does not think Quark can be trusted to deliver the cigarette cartons to his gran, and tries to whisper this to Proton whilst she is in the bedroom fetching them. But Proton will not play the game;

WHAT IS IT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” She says loudly, as if she wants Quark to know.

Proton eventually gets the point, but instead of making a decision herself she consults her mother;

“Do you want Quark to bring all of your fags back with him today? He is a bit tired, you know he tends to fall asleep on trains.” (cf “A Welcome Break)

Her 87 year old mother is supposed to be able to interpret this as , “Quark is totally out of it so say no and we will get Charm to collect them in 2 days time”. But of course she doesn’t do this she says;

“Yes please, all 5 cartons”.

For some reason Quark has turned up with bags full of heavy vegetables for his return journey and it is decided that 5 cartons is too much to carry so he will take only 2 (at a value of £200).With the railway station some 30 minutes away, Quark leaves 25 minutes before his planned train departure saying that he must first drop in to his heroin friends place en route.It is looking highly unlikely that the train will be caught, if indeed that was ever the plan.

Charm telephones 3 hours later saying that Quark has not turned up.

Electron talks to Charm and asks about the recent reports of Quarks sobriety. Yes, he has been helpful but has been sleeping a lot. No, no money has been forthcoming for his upkeep, in fact he owes money to both Charm and her Gran. Electrons talk, turns into a rant….

“It’s the standard behaviour all over again! Getting his money every Monday fortnight, drug binge time, run out of money, lay low and sleep, followed by a quick burst of activity before the money turns up again. He has just replaced his mums place for his grans. There is no way he should have been given those fags, they are worth a lot on the black market. Oh, and I hear from your mum that you accept that it is your fault that the house burnt down because you gave Quark the lamp.”

This is news to Charm. She claims that no such statement was ever made by her.

2 hours later, she calls again to inform them that Quark has called from a telephone box in the street adjacent to the shed to say that he missed all of the trains that evening and will attempt to travel again tomorrow. He claims that the 2 cartons of cigarettes are safe.

Only time will tell if this, for once, is the truth.


The Ungraspable Concept of Giving


It is 5 days before Christmas and Electron has been giving Proton ideas for things he would like. She has done nothing. He already has her presents.
Her response is that she was not brought up to give presents to people once they are grown up. Electron can understand this when talking about children, of course, but he points out that when you are with a partner, spending Christmas together perhaps it would be nice to receive a surprise for once.
Last year he bought his own presents and wrapped them for himself. This year it would be nice for Proton to get him a present without him knowing what it is.
“Well take me to the mall and I will get those dvd’s”she says.
“No. You do not understand. I do not want to know what I am getting, why do you not understand.I have given you ideas for several things I would like, Books, dvd’s, vaping equipment, a new violin bow. Baby boy is doing bugger all, you can get him to get one of the items and I will not know which it is. It’ll be a Surprise!”
“Well he is in town now” she replies, “I will phone him up and get him to stop at the DVD shop.”
“No! A surprise.”
Proton accuses Electron of having a tantrum about presents and thinks that this is all very childish.
“OK. Forget it, I will go into town now and take your presents back.” Says Electron being childish.
Baby boy phones up and Proton starts to ask him if he would be able to go to the DVD shop tomorrow!

A Welcome Break

Having spent nearly 2 months in a luxury waterfront apartment, courtesy of the Insurance Company, Proton is now living in the shed. Charm has returned to her Grandmothers. But the endless caring for Proton is wearing Electron Down.


Early December and Electron is in Northern Spain. Alone!
Baby boy has stepped up to the plate to look after his mother for a week and give Electron a much-needed break. Electron is having a nice stress free time, eating and drinking and generally exploring the city on his own, when not ensconced in his luxury Hotel. It is wonderful, no constant chatter from Proton, it is like he has gone deaf.

He checks in by phone everyday to see that all is well, that the cat has turned up, but mostly to check that Proton has not burned his flat to the ground. Being a constant smoker she treats fags like incense, there is always one either in her mouth or teetering on the edge of an ashtray sometimes when she is not in attendance. It is a constant worry to Electron. But hey, in return for his week of freedom he will bring her thousands of cigarettes back from Spain at a vastly reduced price.

The holiday soon ends and Electron duly returns. All has gone well in the shed, it is still standing. As a thank to Baby Boy they will have a nice take away meal together that evening……….

Around 4.30 the phone rings and Proton answers it to the long-lost Quark.
From Protons responses it is obvious that he has plans to visit his grandmother and naturally requires money for his ticket.
“So the train is at 7.30? Well get over here in half an hour, Electron is back from holiday and we are planning a nice peaceful meal tonight and don’t want to be interrupted later.”
Quark of course gives his worthless promise.
“So when did he come out of the woodwork?” queries Electron.
“He’s been over a couple of times whilst you were away.”
“You know he is not allowed in the shed”
“Yes but he needed money to get down to Mum’s”
“So he has been given money for the train twice but he is still here?”
“Well yes, but you know how he is.”
Electron does indeed know how Quark is with train or bus travel. He gets given money and either;

  • Doesn’t catch the train. The fare money gets spent on other things.
    Catches the wrong train.
  • Gets off the train half way through the journey. Stranded somewhere requiring a Taxi fare back.
  • Falls asleep on the train and wakes up a long way past his destination.

It always takes at least 3 or 4 attempts to get him to where he intends to be.

Electrons stress level begins to rise, but he tries to remain calm and offers Strangeness to join him in a nice early evening brandy. Once finished, Baby Boy decides that he needs to offer something in return for his food and drink and will go out to get a bottle of wine.
He returns wineless having apparently dropped and smashed the bottle on the way back. However, after just one small brandy, Strangeness seems strangely overly intoxicated…

15 minutes before the due departure of Quarks train and there is still no sign of Quark.
With 10 minutes to go, he shambles in. He is thin, disheveled and stinks to high heaven. He is also sniffing a lot. More money is handed over and he is about to set off for the station when Proton points out that the train leaves in less than 5 minutes and he is at least 15 minutes away. A later train must be caught. This involves consulting his mothers laptop. But the way an addicts mind works, does not make this easy. Over the next half hour he downloads a transport charter indicating all of the legislation relating to running a train over his chosen route, 3 versions of the same irrelevant document. Gets a vague idea that there is a train and bus connection at 9.30pm and finally decides to telephone someone. The woman he talks top does not recognise his pronunciation of his chosen destination, to her there is no such place. He tries to spell it out to her, but still no such place. He ends up talking to head office, of something,but they have no idea what trains run or when.

Meanwhile Electron has done his own checking and it turns out that there is a train at 9.30 and Quark is finally dispatched from the shed at 9.05 to go to the station.
All the while, Strangeness has been getting progressively more drunk on the brandy he had consumed some 2 and a half hours ago. He is now becoming very abusive to his mother. Accusing her of sleeping all day. This coming from someone who had only awakened some 3 hours ago. He gets nastier and nastier. The take away curry has arrived but he is no longer bothered. He states that there are only 3 curries in the world; mild medium and hot. What have the Indians done for the world? Look at these stupid foreign people on the TV etc. etc, the white supremacist getting into full swing. No wonder he gets beaten up whenever he goes out to a pub.

Whilst he harangues his mother, Electron tries to gesture to her with walking fingers that her son has to get out. But before she sees this, Strangeness himself decides he no longer wants to stay and gets up to leave of his own accord. He is forced to take the unwanted curry with him as he staggers out of the door.
Proton and Electron are left in peace to eat their curry and ponder on what had happened. (It turns out later that he had decided to drink a bottle of spirit when he went to get wine and hence the inordinate drunkenness). The celebratory meal is quite miserable.
At 15 minutes past midnight the phone rings. Quark is back at the local train station. He says he got the train but it arrived too late to catch the bus connection so he got off his train walked across the platform and caught the next train home. The train home left at the same time that his bus connection was due to depart so there is a hint of untruth here.
Quark is requesting somewhere to stay, it is dark, he has nowhere to go, blah, blah, blah.
Whilst Proton tries to listen to Quarks nonsense Electron rants and shouts toward’s the mouthpiece.
Junkie C***
F*** off you F****** Junkie.
You have plenty of places to go at all times of the night when you have some money.
I Don’t care, F*** off you 36 year old Junkie C***, go and see your junkie mates.
Not really helpful, but Electron find it helps him.

Welcome Home Electron. Normality has been restored.

Christmas is lurking in the shadows…………


Junkie Graduation



Like the forensic expert, Electron and Charm also don’t believe it necessary to see Quark. Ever again.

“I’ve been thinking about why he asked me if my brother takes drugs”, says Charm.
“when I was in the Lounge I noticed a needle cover on the floor, you know one of those plastic things. I realised that it was from Strangeness’s vape making equipment, he used to make it in that room.”
That makes sense to all of them. But to Proton this exonerates Quark of any needle use, the hypodermics that Charm found in his room were also for vape making. Admittedly Quark did have vape making equipment briefly but has returned to cigarettes. Electron points out that hypodermic and vape “needles” are totally different. The former is sharp, hence the name sharps, whereas the latter are flat tipped and of a larger diameter. But Proton will not have his, she does not want to believe the truth. Electron despairs.

2 days later, Quark turns up at the Shed door to see Proton. He has to collect a letter informing him of a medical assessment appointment he needs to attend to determine his benefits. He is not allowed to cross the threshold.
Clearly addled, the pitch of his voice going up and down as he shout speaks to his mother standing in the hallway. Surreptitiously Charm and Electron listen at the inner door as Quark spouts his bullshit.

“ I haven’t had my subutex for 4 days now and I feel a lot better” (Trans: He didn’t attend his drug rehab appointment, they have stopped his supply)
“ Yeah, I,m a bit stoned, I had a little joint on the way over, wish I hadn’t” (Trans: You are okay with me smoking dope so this will explain why I am acting weirdly. Nothing to do with amphetamines, heroin or legal highs).

“No I didn’t get the urine test result yet” (Trans: he didn’t attend)

(When originally informed of the urine test ,Proton was really happy about the idea, it was like he was getting some sort of qualification.
Until Electron interjected that “Perhaps he could be photographed with it rolled up to form a scroll and we could get him to wear a mortar board and hang the photo on the wall. We could be so proud.”)

“Weapons! They are for when I’m out building yurts, like when I was in Wigwag Warren”

“ Yeah, I’m getting it together, Dad’s getting me a passport, the Mexico plan is still on” (Trans: Dad has not got himself together enough to get a passport).

He finishes by saying, “ Why doesn’t Electron talk to me, I wish Electron would talk to me”

Electron thinks, “I would talk to Quark if he were ever in a fit state of comprehension. He never is. But then, I’ve only known him 23 years.”
Proton gives Quark 2 Creme Eggs as he is looking thin and with that he walks away into the early evening. Charm and Electron quietly dart back into the kitchen before Proton’s return.

5 hours later they receive a call from Gluon, Quark has once again lost his phone as he was falling out of a car, stationary one assumes, she has lent him another and is passing on his latest contact number. He left the shed and immediately went into town to meet a Heroin addict friend who looks out for a homeless junkie. During this time Quark apparently stopped breathing and they took the opportunity of relieving him of £45 worth of drugs. But Gluon knows that he has bags of amphetamines and other drugs stored at her house so will not go short. Quark started breathing again and is now at another friends house.
Gluon says she is worried about his mental state, he can no longer hold a cup of tea and we all know how much he likes tea (cf: August 2014 post). He can’t concentrate for even a minute. He refused to watch a film that he has seen before because he believed that all of the characters had been replaced with different actors.
And then Neb#45 comes on the phone!
Turns out that he and Gluon are friends. He is worried about Quark, has been looking out for him but can no longer take him home for the occasional meal as his behavior is too outlandish.He thinks this has been getting worse and worse over the last 6 months and that soon Quark will have no one to turn to. He is being blanked by nearly everyone he knows. Neb#45 says that he has been to too many funerals recently and doesn’t want to go to Quarks. But he also doesn’t know what to do apart from getting Quark sectioned. He and Gluon are going to try to get Quark to a GP and then take it from there.

Throughout all this, Proton is strangely calm, her legal pain killing drugs must be helping in this.

There are now more pressing things to attend to, Charm and Proton must look for temporary accommodation whilst the Insurance Company repair her house.

They can both see that Electron needs a break……….before he snaps.


26 April – Electron returns to his stressful job for a break from all of the stress, but first stops off at the local Drug Support Centre, which Quark apparently attends weekly. He is not quite sure why he is there but feels the need to offload his pent up anger on someone outside of the family.
A support worker listens as he spills out his rage. She is told of the drug dealing/manufacturing, the extreme misuse, the various people turning up at the local shop asking about Quarks whereabouts, of the weapons discovered in Quarks room (2 swords a hatchet and a scythe), of Quarks collapsing and of course the fire. Her only response is that Quark is due to attend an appointment the next day and that they will take on board what has been said. He pushes her on the possibility of sectioning but is told that it is very difficult to get someone sectioned and that it is ”not like the old days”. As an ex drug user she seems pleased at this.
As he is escorted out of the building she states that they have a police unit affiliated with them in an office upstairs and they may be interested in the weapons aspect. Implying that everything else is of no interest whatsoever.

On returning home from work, Electron is angered to find Quark standing in his kitchen.
“He is just leaving” says Charm.
“Damn right he is “ replies Electron, ignoring Quark as he shuffles out of the shed.

“You know he is banned from here”
“Yes but I had to talk to him”
“We had a long talk and he has explained a lot of things. The babbling that AntiQuark heard was him trying to pronounce the name of a friend of his, it’s an African sounding name, so he wasn’t rambling. Its quite funny really.”
Electron manages to bite his tongue
“ He is happy staying at Gluon’s and is looking to get a passport. He’s going to the drug support place tomorrow and is looking to go into rehab. He swears that he is not on H, all the needles Charm found in his room during the clean up belonged to a friend of his who he let jack up. He accepts that this was wrong. He will be given a urine test to prove he is H free and is looking forward to getting a print out of the test result to prove this to everyone.”

Sadly, Proton believes all of this. She is a doting Mother.

29 April – Quark has been informed that the forensic man is turning up at noon and that he is required to answer some questions.
Proton Electron and Charm all turn up at the house at the appointed time but there is no sign of Quark. This may have something to do with the fact that in her text to Quark, Charm stated that he needed to meet the Arson man not the forensic expert. But really, they all knew that he had no intention of appearing.
The Forensic guy dons his sturdy boots and anti flash protective overalls before he enters the house. Everyone else in the house is dressed in normal attire.
He investigates the room, places what is left of the sofa back in its original position, the towel driers are positioned back on the radiator, he can see where they were positioned as the radiator is unscorched where they were attached. Next to the charred remains of a towel, the upturned table lamp is righted in its position on the floor behind the sofa and beneath the towel rail. It all becomes clear.
He leaves the lounge taking the lamp and flex with him for testing, he believes it may be faulty and will complete his report at a service station stop on his way home. He does not believe it will be necessary to see Quark.
Before departing he takes Charm aside and asks,”Does your brother use drugs”.
“No she replies”.

A Very British Ninja

Charm contacts Strangeness and finds that he has for once ventured out of his grandmothers house to go into town for the evening. He is at a nice bohemian bar and deep in conversation with a new found friend. Male or female is not disclosed but he sounds happy. However it is still early, they are all aware of what usually happens when Strangeness goes out for the evening.
The next day Grandmother calls to inform everyone that Strangeness did not get home until 4am. He was in a bad way having been beaten up again.
Strangeness has a superiority complex which means that he ultimately treats everyone with disdain, when drunk this tips over into anger and the slightest suggestion of confrontation can result in violence. He starts to think that people are looking at him in a “funny way”, not really surprising for a 40 year old goth with the diction of an 18th century gentleman.
The problem is that Strangeness is interested in martial arts and the ancient Chinese philosophy of warfare. When things kick off he is so busy posturing in preparedness for his oriental style fight, that his opponent(s) adopt the British style.
They kick the shit out of him.


Strangeness has lost his spectacles, has two black eyes and has either bruised or fractured his coccyx. His grandmother advised him to go to A & E but as a nihilist this is one of the many organisations that he does not believe in. Lawyers, banks, doctors, employment…..the list goes on.
The days pass with Strangeness hobbling around his grandmothers house using her crutches. He is over 6 feet tall whereas she is under 5 feet tall. Despite a public school education he is unable to work out how to adjust the height of the crutches so walks around with limited eyesight groaning bent double leaning on the two tiny sticks. It must look hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

“Looking after” the house.

8 March 2016.

Since coming out of hospital in September, Proton has been living in the shed. But it had to happen sooner or later, she would have to visit her house.

Strangeness and Quark had been asked on several occasions as to whether they were keeping on top of things and both assured her that they were keeping the place tidy.

Recently Strangeness had managed to get a free journey to visit Charm and their grandmother in the country. It takes a lot to get Strangeness to wake up and move and when he does he stays put wherever he stops. So after 2 weeks he is still asleep at his grandmothers, leaving Quark alone to his own devices.

Spring is in the air so Proton & Electron decide to move some of her winter bedding (all those cushions!) back to her house. Proton rings her house to warn Quark of her imminent appearance , the car is loaded up to the gunnels and the two of them set off.

gollum Q1On arrival they cannot turn the key in the front door. This means Quark has left his keys in the lock on the inside. Proton rings the doorbell and shouts through the letter box. No response. The phone inside is ringing incessantly. Electron begins to hammer hard on the door then looks through the window into the living room. The room is piled high with speakers and electrical equipment and then suddenly Quark appears at the window. He deigns to let them in.

The door opens and it is obvious that he is totally out of it, looks like he hasn’t eaten for days and has difficulty in forming coherent sentences. He looks like Gollum. In the centre of the hallway is a large ancient wooden cupboard unit blocking access to the rest of the house. For fucks sake Quark! shouts Electron, yeah for fargggs sayg repeats Quark sarcastically. At the top of the stairs is a wicker chair that doesn’t belong to the house teetering on the edge of the flight. Further investigation beyond the chair indicates that tiles have fallen off of the bathroom wall, these of course have been left where they fell …….. in the bath.

Cigarette/joint butts litter the floor throughout. The kitchen of course is piled high with dirty dishes and welded on food. The recently purchased brand new cooker looks about 20 years old. There is a plastic bag of what were once frozen chips on the table. Uncooked. Quark makes some space on a dining chair for Proton. She sits down and weeps inconsolably.

The phone still unanswered finally stops ringing.

Quark begins to apologise for the mess but says he cannot understand why it is so bad. He swears that it was fine when Proton spoke to him on the phone 2 hours earlier. Apparently this has all happened since then.

The phone begins to ring again,”Why won’t you answer the phone!” Proton shrieks. “Not now”, he replies and runs out of the house.

He returns 20minutes later and sits down next to Proton now on the garden bench outside the front of her house, leans back and almost overturns the two of them onto the concrete behind. “For fucks sake Quark! I have fractured vertebrae in my back I don’t want another one!”

Still incoherent, Quark is instructed that the house must be cleaned and tidied from top to bottom and that they will revisit in a few weeks time to inspect the place. If Quark were a tenant he would be in the process of being evicted.

Proton and Electron cannot wait to leave, as they do so, the phone begins to ring again.

Quark disappears back inside the rapidly degenerating house.