Wednesday, 3 November 2010

15, Yemen Road, Aberdeen. And A Very Fishy Situation.

Greg spends all morning ranting about John Hirst, when he's not moaning about David Cameron's taxpayer-funded photographer instead. He says he's going to demand £35,000 a year for taking snaps of The Boss from now on.

I'm just hoping Mr Beales hasn't already been given that job, though I can see the argument for headless photos of politicians only too well. I'm fretting about other issues, like the whole printer cartridge thing.

Yemen doesn't sound half as funny as it used to when any mention of the country made you think of Chandler's accidental visit in Friends. I'm worried about all the flying that Johnny does - though he doesn't seem to be.

"Don't be daft, darling," he says. "I've worked in the major trouble spots of the world - given that those are the places where oil is most often located." (Darling?)

"Well, don't mention that to Scotland," I say. "Or you'll have Alex Salmond after you."

"Why are Scottish politicians all named after fish? Isn't there someone called Sturgeon as well?"

Trust Johnny to know about sturgeon, though I bet that's only because of caviar. Honestly, I do wish he would take politics seriously. He does live and work in Russia, after all.

"Anyway, Molly - just think about the fact that I'm willing to risk my life to fly over and see you again as soon as you stop bloody dithering."

Oh, God. Talk about shameless emotional blackmail. Although the idea is becoming more appealing by the day, especially since Max has given up smoking.

He's still in such a bad mood that I bet even Ellen is regretting that he's now a non-smoker, if the whole thing was her idea. Unless Max is reserving his grumpiness just for me, and she's getting the Mr Pleasant stuff.

"I'm flying into Heathrow again next Thursday," says Johnny. "What d'you think?"

Oh. So he's coming anyway - for work? Now I don't feel half so flattered. And haven't we already ruled out a rendezvous at Heathrow?

"Have you seen the latest T-Mobile flash mob video?" I say.

When Johnny admits that he hasn't, I send him the link.

"Just imagine if I'd been waiting there to meet you, like you suggested last time," I say. "I'd have been all over the internet if something like this had happened. I told you it was too risky."

"More romantic than you thought, though?" says Johnny.

That's as maybe, but Johnny's so impatient he'd give Dinah a run for her money. He sends me another email before I've even replied to the last one. It says,

"Don't worry, I've already told you I'll come to Northwick. Again. Okay?"

Now I'm sure I'm having a hot flush. I had no idea they were dithering-related, but I feel very odd indeed. I tell Greg who says,

"It's a panic attack, you fool. Probably due to all these adrenalin-fuelled late nights, looking for Mr Sampson's file. Go and lie down in the Oprah Room for a minute, until you get a grip."

"Are you sure you don't mind?" I say. "I do feel a bit peculiar, though it's bound to be hormonal. Is my face red?"

"No, it isn't. You look perfectly normal," says Greg. "But lie down anyway. It'll be good for Vicky to have to sit upright when she gets back from lunch, too."

Well, thank God for hot flushes, that's all I can say. When I collapse onto the sofa, there's a funny noise, so I stand up again to check I haven't broken it. (I may have been being a little dramatic when I threw myself towards it, if I'm honest.)

I sit down, more carefully the second time - but the noise happens again. And the seat cushion doesn't seem to fit as well as it used to, either. I decide I'd better put my panic attack/hot flush combination on hold and investigate.

"Greg! Greg! Come and bloody well look at this!"

"I have no interest in seeing whatever imaginary symptom you've just developed," says Greg. "You've turned into a neurotic constituent since your birthday, Mol."

"Get in here. Now!"

"Shit," says Greg - as he contemplates Mr Sampson's file. "Bloody hell. What made you take the cushion off?"

"Never mind that," I say. "More to the point, how did the file get there?"

"I think we know the answer to that," says Greg. "Given Vicky's fondness for the prone position. Put the file in your locking drawer, quickly. We need to give our next move careful thought."

"Unlike Chandler," I say, but Greg's too irritable to find anything funny today.

I wonder if there's a shortage of piranha-faced hair-flickers in Yemen? Maybe we could send Vicky on an extended visit, accompanied by John Hirst and a certain photographer.