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Who is Smirrell?

I’ve had many nicknames over the years, Pringle, Poodle, Pricey, but this is the story of my first nickname, and how it would come to affect me one day later in life when I least expected it.  So where shall I begin? When I was young we lived in a small quiet cul-de-sac.   At the end of the road was a tiny patch of grass, it wasn't a park, there were no swings or slides, and was about the size of a small school football pitch, which was exactly the boys around my age used it for. The older kids I had been playing with moved away, which left me playing on my own, kicking the ball repeatedly against the wall, like a small footballing Steve McQueen. Then one day another boy appeared who lived in the next Street.  He was about the same age as me, ten, and  was called Mark,  he asked to join in, as you did at that age, and I said yes okay then,  as you also did at that age. We played for a few hours.  And then again the next week. And the week after that.  And so it continued. We usually played…

Shopping Bag

3 Kings

3 times a night

Road Rage

We'd found the house we were going to move to in lovely picturesque Ely, and just had to head back to London to start the packing nightmare.
We'd been joking all weekend about the lack of traffic, and enjoying actually being able to drive a car, not stop start stop start driving in constant traffic like we were used to in London.
We'd bought coffee and I put them up on the roof while I moved my coat from the passenger seat, and climbed back inside the car both of us smiling and happy, a real sense of calm over us both.
I took a sip from my coffee, too hot, always slightly too hot.
We edged out of the car park and into a line of cars at the lights. No more than 6 cars.  "This is probably like gridlock to them all" I joked  And as I laughed I made eye contact with a man in a white van. He was near the back of the queue, but was the car closet to us as we edged out of the car park, looking to join the flow of traffic. I looked down quickly so he didn't think I was…

Interrogation

Toilet Troubles

The toilet was broken, and I was the man to fix it.   I knew I could fix it. I was mostly sure I could fix it. The plastic pipe letting the water into the cistern had stopped working, and I had already bought the replacement, still flying high from successfully putting up a venetian blind the day before, with minimal errors. I was surely in the black in man-points, a toilet would be no problem, after all it was only two screws to undo and tighten up again. Then what could I do next? Maybe service the boiler, maybe build a new shed, solve the Middle East peace process? The world, or maybe the flat and garden was my oyster.
But first the job in hand, I had my replacement pipe still sitting in the Homebase bag on the side, my spanner in hand I began, I imagined emerging from the bathroom in a matter of minutes, another man-job completed more man-points on the board. "Do you think you'll be able to do it though?" asked my girlfriend Kat. "I'm sure I will be able to, after…