Matt and I have a satirical friend who sometimes calls me a nickname based on Desmond Dekker and the Aces. The other day I received from him a white and blue plastic crumple which turned out to be a fairly large inflatable hammer with a squeak and a blue star on it. This was certainly a wind-up, but it was also a genuine Israeli souvenir. I put it on my taboo shelf, look at it fairly often and occasionally wonder what a Gazan family would think, or a member of the Socialist Worker Party or the BNP, if they were to drop by. The other day Matt got hold of it and hit me repeatedly round the head, which I found quite allegorical.
A new cocktail, Barkingside Bovril, has been discovered – in my home. (Any clues about what was in it, Callaghan?)
The night before last I climbed into bed, Matt, who was asleep already, flopped his arm over me and we settled down. About half an hour later (I was listening to a podcast) I felt his body shuddering. I immediately (for no apparent reason) imagined it was a seizure, but it stopped so I went on listening to Laurence Freedman, Martin Linton, Oliver Kamm and Abdel Bari Atwan (berk) talking about Gaza at the RSA. Another brief but violent shudder. This time I was so worried that he was having a seizure that I took out an earphone and peered round at him in the dark. Again, and this time I could hear that the quivering was accompanied by a choking noise. And again. “What is it!?” I shouted in alarm. Then I realised that he was laughing – chortling in his sleep. It happens from time to time that Matt has amusing dreams and lets out the odd snort of mirth but I’ve never managed to get it out of him what they were about. He continued to find something funny and I badly wanted to share the joke so I whispered this question into his ear and only half conscious he replied, “Oh no, no, no. Reversing”, and then laughed some more – I did too.
The next morning I asked him about it. A triangle with ball-bearings, he said smiling broadly and sheepishly, and he had to move the ball-bearings. An anxiety dream, then? Only my Matt…