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.
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.