17. Is there a gecko in here?


People – or more often, the psychiatrist that lives in my head – often ask me if I mind living alone. In truth, I don’t (mind it, or live alone) because since moving out here in September, my flat has been kept free of pesky flies and bad vibes by a family of house geckos who, for convenience, I have collectively named Diggory. ‘Not a particularly aquatic name for one so suddenly obsessed with the sea?’ Sigmund Fraud suggests, chewing on a biro. That’s where he’s wrong – Diggory is in fact named after an old work colleague, Diggory Haddoke; in the name of sustainability and with sustainability in the name I thus opted not to call Diggory, say, Brian, after Brian Cod (Coventry City’s backup goalie 1972-5) but instead to give him a name of (slightly) greater stock.

Diggory, or possibly son of Diggory...

Diggory, or possibly son of Diggory…

I’m straying off the point. What you want to know is how living with ‘Digs’ differs from cohabiting with one of those unpredictable, non-insect-eating humans. Well, for one when I come in late he doesn’t fly into a rage: in fact he usually stops what he’s doing (often sucking on an old, discarded sock) and looks genuinely terrified, leading to lots of cooing and affectionate reassurance on my part, ‘Oo’s a good ‘ickle ‘ouse gecko then?’ Alas, no sooner have I turned to fix him a drink than he’s gone – quicker than a potential Hong Kong date when you explain you’re a struggling writer, live on an island, hate fancy restaurants and talk to geckos.

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