I had coffee with James at the new Kilimanjaro cafe and we then walked around George Square to enjoy the last of the afternoon sunshine. The trees were full of gold and, in the crisp autumn air, their beauty was as clear and as stark as fire. I think that we were both rather dismayed by the braying Eton accents – those ugly, elongated, aristocratic vowels – which seemed to resonate around the base of the David Hume Tower. James said something like “I though that this class of people went down with the Titanic,” and I suddenly had a vision of the Titanic resurfacing, with its skeletons standing on the deck in their top hats and tiaras, and their skeleton butlers and maids, all waving and cheering “we’re back!” British meritocracy is surely in doubt when Scotland’s best university largely resembles a P.G. Wodehouse novel.
When I got home, I found that Callum, my wife’s lover, had left my gold bar on the floor to serve as a door wedge. I have lately withdrawn all of my savings from Bradford and Bingley and bought a modest gold bar, believing that gold is presently the best means of investment. When I got my gold bar home, I showed it to the girls and Claire, my wife’s sister, immediately began to detail how we could turn the bar into earrings and necklaces. She told me that she knew a tattoo artist in Leith who could do this.
“But then the bar would lose its value,” I objected.
She stared incredulously at me. “I can’t just tie it to a piece of string and wear it around my neck!”
“Look…” I felt overwhelmed by the task suddenly before me. “If you whittle that bar into a few earrings, the scraps left over would have less value, and I would lose some of my savings.”
It was as if I was speaking Polish – Claire just blinked stupidly at me.
I should not, of course, have left the bar lying around the kitchen, and now I found it propping open the kitchen door. I wrote Callum a message on a post-it-note, which basically explained how he was a stupid little shit. I decided to hide my gold bar in the drinks cabinet. There was an incident a few weeks ago when I discovered that Callum had drunk some of my gin and then topped up the bottle with water. I had given him such a beating that he had literally howled like a dog. Since that incident, none of them had been near the drinks cabinet and I concluded that my bar would most likely remain undisturbed at the back of the cabinet, nestling amongst the bottles.