Unfortunately today has been verging on the rubbish side of things and it's pretty tempting to blame Dave, but I am a nice, positive person, who tries to see the best in everything...except when I'm tired or hungry, then all bets are off (the similarities between me and a two year old don't end here, sadly). And today I'm tired, thanks to Dave and his arsenal of random sounds. It wasn't too late when he started up, only about 11:30, but it was a work night (well, for H1, anyway) and I do need more sleep than the average bear. I'm not sure I would have noticed it had H1 not said something, actually, as I'm pretty good at tuning out things I don't want to hear, but the second he piped up with a grumpy, bewildered tone, asking exactly what Dave was up to, it became all I could focus on. A quick analysis of the noises led us to determine that Dave and his latest name-ends-in-'i'-girl were attempting to assemble some flat-pack furniture (bumping, scraping, muttered-yet-violent swearing, outright shouting, etc). As I understand it, this is what happens anytime anyone anywhere in the world tries to put together something that originally came in a box from IKEA - not something I actually have any personal experience of (thankfully, when moving into our flat we had a 'Troy' on hand to help H1 with all furniture construction, while I was off doing something highly useful elsewhere) - but a phenomenon I have heard a lot about (ah, IKEA, where would Sunday newspaper columnists be without you?)
So today commenced, with sore knees preventing me from running. I exercised indoors, but that's about 70% less satisfying than being outside, at least. Sliced my finger when cutting my bagel, patched myself up, sat down to eat it, and promptly stumbled across Dave again, in the form of Caitlin Moran's brilliantly written column, where she detailed a favourite family game called Are You Dave? Short version - in a crowd, look for someone who doesn't look like a Dave, approach, ask if they are Dave. One point for you if they are indeed not Dave, one point for your fellow player if it turns out Dave is exactly who they are. Amazingly simple. I suggest that if you choose to play you make the game easier on yourself by assessing the level of hair grease and general noise - higher ups your chances it is Dave, in both cases.
Thus entertained, I read the Guardian, which listed 25 things to be positive about, perked up, finished my tea, got ready and headed out to deliver a gift. Tried to ignore the cold, admired the scaffolded beauty of the V&A, scoured Central London for something (positive) to write about, and failed (nobody seems to do anything in the midst of winter worth noticing - or perhaps it's that everyone is detoxing, and is therefore boring), delivered the gift, headed for a cafe to warm up and write (although what I intended to write was still very up in the air), spilled hot chocolate all over the table, floor, and the bag of the guy sitting opposite me. Thank god it was composed of a strange plasticky, vinyl-y substance, and was therefore wipe-clean. Not something you'll often hear me saying. And he was lovely about it, which was wonderful, because he didn't have to be. So, deciding that ruining a stranger's day was a good hint, I left town, came home via the decidedly depressing post office, put on a set of clothes that can have only one positive adjective applied to them (no, not glamorous, luxurious, or expensive - comfortable is what I'm going for), and browsed Facebook, where Dave confronted me again in the form of a group entitled 'Everyone knows someone called Dave'*.
Ah, Dave. Way to influence my day. I hope your new furniture is worth it.
Only five full days of January left - may they speed by, and may London start living again.
*I don't actually know anyone called Dave. The odds of Mr Next Door's name actually being Dave are pitifully slim, and even if he is, I've never met him. Does everyone else in the whole world know a Dave? Even in Burma?