Pink Fancies

August 16, 2010

Since working from home, I have discovered many interests that somewhat distract me. It was not my idea to work from the kitchen worktop, but the new marketing director (scary hot shot blond from global advertising agency, very tall) decided it was time we made better use of our office space and “hot desked”. Anyway, she said, flexible working was all the rage, particularly for people in my age group.

“What do you mean ‘my age group’?” I asked, but she swished her hair in a kittenish way and trotted off. “Oh Alan,” she sighed. “You know exactly what I mean.”

I didn’t, but knew better than to object, what with her being a new boss and all that. Anyway, the concept of working from home twice a week didn’t seem such a bad idea. You already know how much I dislike travelling on public transport in the rush hour and all the bodily contact that goes with it. I secretly quite fancied spending more time in my flat during day light hours and not having to deal with the grind of a daily commute. I could log on in my pyjamas, not have to listen to the girls’ mindless chatter, have a shower three times a day if I wanted to. All in all, it sounded pretty good.

I agreed to work from home Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

‘I expect we will have our daily meetings via video conference,’ I said to hot shot blond.

‘No need,’ she said. ‘Flexible working is just that. Flexible. We will be flexible around you,’ and she smiled, only her eyes didn’t crinkle.

Not wanting to make a fuss, I didn’t say anything when I arrived at work on Thursday to find there was no desk for me to hot desk at.

Anyway, I digress. I was telling you about the many interests I have discovered since working from home.

I have discovered television, old Ealing comedies that are ideally timed to fit in between the 12.35 p.m. second shower of the day, soup lunch and the pitch I always promise myself I will write that afternoon. I have discovered neighbours I didn’t know I had, who have showers at the same time as me (I know because the water pressure dips a little and then, 30 minutes later at 1.05 pm exactly, the front door of the flat next door slams shut and a little brunette (that’s about all I can see from my window five floors up), runs out of the building clutching a pink briefcase. Oh, and I have discovered biscuits.

I don’t usually eat biscuits. The peacock wife said they were the devil’s food and refused to buy them. Oddly enough, after we split up, I never bothered to buy them myself either. On my very first day working from home, however, I had a sudden urge for a custard cream with a cup of tea. In fact, the urge was so bad (and the desire to get on with the pitch I was writing so poor) that I popped out to Mr Singh’s. Five minutes later, I returned with custard creams, chocolate bourbons, pink fancy wafers that crumbled as soon as they tumbled out of the packet and tooth achingly sweet iced rings. I tipped them all into a porcelain biscuit barrel (my dear mother’s, bless her) and over the course of the afternoon consumed sixteen biscuits and five cups of tea (with sugar).

I wonder what the hot shot boss would do with a pink fancy.


2 Responses to “Pink Fancies”

  1. Mona Lott Says:

    Dear Mr Hockney…….I have read your blog and the part that appealed to me, and to which I totally empathise with is the BISCUIT bit! I too have never been a huge biscuit fan,but your blog triggered off a sudden urge!Childhood memories flooded my mind, the sneaking into my grandmothers biscuit tin which was “verboten” unless offered…..a wooden barrel shaped affair with chrome lid and handle,and a white porecelain interior,which made it very heavy and too bulky for my chubby little fingers to hold. It was deftly placed on a huge,and high sideboard out of my reach. But with a toddlers astuteness and tenacity, I managed to use the rungs of my grandfathers huge dining chair to reach this treasure box,take off the lid and help myself… course the “giveaway” was the multitude of crumbs round my face and down my clothes…..I was 4.
    Your blog produced hallucinations….just thinking of the variety of which you wrote…..chocolate bourbons..mmmn! custard creams…divine!!pink fancy wafers…decadent! However,I feel you have omitted the greatest of all buscuits…GARIBALDI!! How interesting a confection this is…..the pleasure of finding a biscuit in volume….perforated for ease but who is looking…….a row of crisp goodies,and the pleasure of prising out the tiny pieces of dried fruit……and as for dunking purposes! Aaaah! Sublime………..
    As you are working at home,and are finding new pleasures to be had for teatime relaxation, perhaps you would be interested in making Fairy Cakes,another confection which satisfies many an urge….the smell of the baking I am sure would give you extreme pleasure… can even top them with pink icing,if pink is your colour!
    Carry on blogging Mr Hockney…….and thankyou

    • alanhockney Says:

      Dear Ms Lott
      Unfortunately, Mr Singh does not stock garibaldis. I fear they might be a bit too sophisticated for the locals. Your comment, however, made me go out in search of these squashed fly biscuits. They are the sort that the peacock wife particularly hated, more reason I feel to consume them in vast quantities. I have just had five dunked in tea and very delicious they were too.
      Yours etc AH

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