“Ere Blazing”.

I almost flinch. I thought Adge was buried deep in his paper as we enjoyed our Sunday pint of 2L.

“Says ‘ere that there could be thousands of job losses in the city because of all that kerfuffle about share prices and stuff.”

“Changed the FT into a white tabloid now, have they?”

My sarcasm may be lost on him. He’s looking vexed. “Remember Black Monday?”

How could I forget. The day I moved to the West Country my new home was destined to lose thirty percent of its value overnight. Instant coffee I have become used to. Instant negative equity leaves a much more bitter aftertaste. I think I can trace my chalfonts to that week.

“Why Black Monday?”

“Well that was when Piggy arrived in town. He was made redundant in the city then. Came down here as he couldn’t afford to stay in the smoke. Paid cash for that cottage of his but that wiped him out. Fair play to him though, didn’t mind what he turned his hand to. Even cutting boars testes, ha-ha.”

I’m surprised. I got to know the locals after that and had no idea of Piggy’s past. I’ll have to ask him about it next time I see him. Of more immediate concern is why Adge is showing such a keen interest now.

“Well if more of the buggers are coming this way then prices will creep up a bit. I might be able to sell my gaff to one of ‘em and make a killing.”

“And where, pray tell, will you live once you have made your killing on your starter home and realised there is nothing else to buy in your price range?”

“That’s my problem, Blazing.  I’m so close but it’s that last bit I was hoping you could help me with.”

“If you don’t mind me saying so Adge, you’re not exactly cut of the right cloth to start fleecing people. Turn to the back pages and buy me a 2L, and while you’re at it I’ll have some cashews as well.”

“Oh ok….hang on a minute, isn’t it your round?