Tom Stacey has moved into his neighbour’s bedsit.
He wasn’t asked. It was just that the door was open and his neighbours have gone on holiday. And it is so much bigger than his own bedsit. Plus, he has a lot to think about these days. The bees for one. He hasn’t seen any but he keeps hearing them, the buzzing of their wings in the fridge in work, in the overhead lights, in the test equipment in the factory where he has spent the last fifteen years of his working life. They seem to be appearing more, the bees, and they are beginning to affect the way he goes about his business.
Then there is his search for Sarah McCarthy to contemplate. Sarah was his first love, from a time when he travelled around the country in the back of a horsebox with his grandfather, a time involving a Frankenstein-esque bicycle, an illegal refuse business, a vagrant and a missing finger, damp, bumpy towns and an ugly portrait of a fat woman.
But perhaps it is not the bees or the past which is the problem. Perhaps it is his loneliness. 22 dates with Happy Couples dating agency and nothing to show bar a dent in his bank balance and several complaints about ‘eccentric behaviour’. Relationships are all about the little details and there is just not enough detail in the Agency’s personal profile form; the shape of a nose, scent of her hair, the length of fingernails and ability to butter toast, to Tom, these things are essential when it comes to compatibility.
The question is how can he address these issues and find happiness in his life.
Tom believes he may have the solution…