A former Premier League manager approached us here at Tales and asked that we publish his diaries, so he could show the public what life is like out of the game. His only request was that he remained anonymous. Below is this week’s entry:

I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately… Like, is any of this for real… or not? It happens from time to time. It feels like I’ve fallen out of the simulation, or the sense that this is all finite and one day it’ll all just end and th-

This week I decided to take a break from work. Avoid the stress. Even the sacking of Bilic from the terrible institution that is modern West Ham couldn’t improve my mood. Turns out he now has the record points per game ratio in the Premier League for any West Ham manager. Look at that table and you’ll notice a certain someone in second place.

I sent a screenshot of the table to the West Ham 2006-08 WhatsApp group saying ‘you owe me for what I did, especially you, George and Anton.’ No one replied. But I know that they’ve read it. Double blue ticks. The bastards.

To fill some of the sudden free time I had, I went shopping with Carol. We used to go to lots of local shops, but after getting friendly with the butcher, he revealed he collected ‘World War Two memorabilia’ and alarm bells started ringing. Not long after he revealed this, he was arrested, so we had called it correctly. As a result, we now shop at the local supermarket.

Carol and I have a very particular method for shopping in the supermarket. Carol has the list and goes to the specific aisles that have the items we need e.g if she needs milk, cheese and yoghurt she’ll go to that aisle that has the fridge. Meanwhile, I get the trolley and do shuttle runs down the middle aisle. This way, wherever Carol is in the store, in a few seconds I will be next to her and she can throw her items into my trolley. We can go the whole shop in about fifteen minutes.

As you might have worked out, this can be rather tiring. In my older age, I have to do a thorough warm-up beforehand, especially to stretch out my hamstrings and quadriceps. There have been times I’ve pulled up and had to limp around or ask a fellow shopper to take over. The time of day we shop also means the aisles are often populated with the elderly; collisions are likely. I was once kicked out after hitting an older lady’s trolley so hard she broke her hip upon impact. Carol made me pay for her treatment in a private hospital and visit her daily.

However, I have a major gripe regarding the general public. They never get out the way. I’m not talking about with trolleys here, I mean when they’re on foot. I’m not a particularly spritely man, but I walk with an element of pace. The amount of times that I’m held up by some dithering old biddy or a terrible teenager talking loudly on their phone is starting to get on my nerves. The worst part is, when you try to politely overtake, or say excuse me, they stare at you like you’re the rudest man on the planet.

I wish I could have some sort of karma judging bazooka that I could just blast these people away with. No reader, I don’t mean to kill them, just zap them somewhere that’s not in my way. Maybe just send them back to their home. It would stop all these people acting like they have all the time in the world to gormlessly roam the streets, holding up all the active people who are trying to get things done. God, I sound very Tory.

We left the supermarket (my hamstrings remained intact) to go and have a coffee together in a local coffee shop that we like. After spending all my time in the supermarket dodging the public, including one woman who looked at me like I’d disemboweled her pet in front of her, we then began slaloming through the car park.

I don’t have to tell you, reader, that people can’t drive. This isn’t new information, when people get into their car they suddenly gain an insane sense of entitlement. Several times, Carol and I had to dodge and swerve some berk driving a jeep only the military should own. Why do these people buy such massive cars if they can’t drive them? I once heard one of Carol’s friends say that it was so if she was in an accident her kids would survive. How selfish. No one cares about Toby and Benjamin, Jan. They are clearly going to grow into dreadful people. You bought them an Xbox each. They will never be happy.

We finally arrived at the coffee shop and sat near the window to watch all the people drift by. Carol ordered a latte, I plumped for a cappuccino. I’d been wound up the whole day, but finally, I was sat having a nice drink and a lovely chat with my wife.

We talked and laughed for about an hour, before deciding to drive home. I felt much better. Carol is a wonderful woman. She’s funny, intelligent and she can also be very mean, which I’m listing as a positive. To be mean you need to have wit. Every second I spend with her is a joy, whether it be dashing up and down a supermarket, attacking Ray Lewington or having a coffee.

I once heard Russell Brand, when talking about the breakdown of his marriage, lament that ultimately, relationships come down to whether or not you can just sit together in your pants watching television. Once all the initial rush of passion and excitement has subsided, can you exist together doing absolutely nothing? Well, I could sit with Carol at the end of the world, the Sun dying in front of us and the world falling away behind us and I would still be happy. I love you, Carol.