Having breezed into the new year last week, it's come as a bit of a shock to the system to find I'm getting knocked from pillar to post by one battle after another...one in particular is shaping up to be pretty gruesome and probably expensive. It involves property and lawyers...never a pleasant combination. And this is giving me sleepless nights.
I had a battle of a different kind over the Christmas period. The memory card in my (android) phone corrupted meaning that the whole thing just went through a cycle of switching itself on, switching itself off, switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off,switching itself on, switching itself off, until the processor got so hot I could fry an egg on it. On the card were all my 'apps'...all 200 of them, as well as my music, my messages and my photos. The photos are, of course, very precious to me, so that was upsetting, but what was most irritating was that the icons for the apps just appeared as ghosts on the screen...and like all good poltergeists they just wouldn't go away. It didn't matter what I did, I just didn't seem to be able to solve the problem. Even putting the card in the computer, dragging everything off and then re-formatting it didn't work. It took me until this weekend to get a whole new card, put some music on it, and start downloading the apps all over again. Believe me it took some time, and I'm still left with all sorts of ghost icons on the screen. I've scoured the interweb with no success. So I'm now entirely dependent on Kellogsville to come riding to the rescue. No pressure
When I were a lad...these were absolutely brilliant...filling me with wonderment and joy. I'm so glad they are still going in the 21st century...and getting a makeover to bring them up to dateand infinitely preferable to those 3D TVs
Technology is not all bad..it can provide some entertainment. The sat-nav, when it speaks, has renamed Hove Huv, Lewes is called Loos, Loughton is Lufton, and our journey ended at Arns rather than Anne's. I see the Government has put together a task force to sort out the problem of sat-navs taking people down narrow streets, cycle paths, through rivers and over cliffs. Well let me give them a clue, it's not a technology issue. It's an issue about a lack of common sense. A lack of self-responsibility. Tackle that and the whole world, not just sat-navs, will become a better place.
The other night over dinner, we were musing about how warm it's this winter, and I was lamenting the lack of snow which I love. At this point The Boy piped up that what people don't realise is that global warming doesn't mean hot summers and more sunny days, instead it means more indeterminate seasons and just plain shitty weather all year round. Damn, I will put my sun tan lotion away now. From there the conversation just spiraled...the Brighton flat will be gone washed away by rising tides. Fortunately the house is on the top of a hill, so good for keeping our heads above water, and for shooting marauding less fortunates...that was The Boy's contribution. We debated whether it would be warm enough to keep chickens in the garage (if not there's always the cellar - battery chickens are the way to go), and whether our other livestock should be sheep, cows or goats. The vote went to goats as we suspect they're most productive on the least amount of space...but we may yet be proven wrong. We know where we'll be growing vegetables (there was a debate about sugar beet, but I think I prevailed. A windmill could be fixed to the roof to provide power and pump water from the stream at the bottom of the hill.
Then The Boy threw in about how much space we needed to support ourselves, and what this might mean for relatives who may want to join us. I hate to say this, but if there's a blood-link, the news is not good for you. The girls sentimentally claimed that they loved their relatives, and couldn't do without them. The Boys pointed out the hot air balloon argument, and there was no point in us all going down. There's no room for sentiment. If you can't pull your weight, then I'm sorry you just have to do the decent thing.
At that point it was time to clear the table and wash the dishes.
You wouldn't expect me to miss the opportunity to remark on the Scottish independence issue would you? My informed and considered opinion is that Hadrian's Wall was put up for a reason, and what a tragedy it's been in a state of disrepair for so long. No, with a few exceptions (Auntie Gwen and her family, a few relatives, perhaps one of the two ex-girlfriends who hailed from Alba, and a few friendly readers) I find the Scottish a miserable bunch of whingers, lacking in any sense of humour whilst remaining completely obsessed with turning gentle home-nations rivalry into hating the English for no reason at all. The distribution of taxes means that for years and years and years the English have subsidised The Picts who drown their sorrows in Whisky...or is it Whiskey...and Special Brew whilst gorging away on deep fried everything. They claim to have invented everything, but five minutes reading of the Encyclopedia Britannica shows that is just a myth perpetuated by a country that suffers from low self-esteem. The men wear skirts and a purse...what kind of country is that? It's particularly perverse that whilst the rest of the world is trying to get into larger political groupings, The Scots are going the other way. Since Blair started messing with the political system, we've had Scots MPs voting on purely English matters, whilst English MPs have no say on anything in the Highlands, and woe-betide them for expressing any sort of opinion because that would be meddling. So whilst many people hold with the view that France would be great if it wasn't for the French (not me), I'm of the opinion that Scotland would be great if it wasn't for the Scottish. Bet you're wondering where I'm not headed for my holidays this year.
We trotted off to the local panto on Sunday - Peter Pan flew in. This particular amateur company of thespians have been putting on panto for 51 years. That's an awful lot of Dames. There was enough of us to fill up an entire row. It is a miracle of the modern age that even with an amateur production the tickets had been booked on line, and that was fortunate as there was so many of us. I'm always in two minds about this strange British tradition, but one thing you can't deny is the enthusiasm of the audience for corny. Really corny. jokes. Nor can you deny the enthusiasm with which the cast delivers some pretty awful lines, sings with all their heart and soul and perform with a woodeness that would be better applied to the tumbling scenery. I had woken up curmudgeonly, but got swept along by the whole thing. Perhaps it was remembering my days treading the planks under the guidance of Chris Timothy, including a stint as Genie of the Ring in Aladin, but whatever, it was fun. And not "Two and a half hours of your life you'll never get back" according to one of our number. "Oh yes it was". "Oh no it wasn't". "Oh yes it was". "Oh no it wasn't". Etc, etc
I was out on the town towards the end of last year (and I may have mentioned this already) with a couple of my friends. The Cat's Mother remained at home with a temperature. Unbeknownst to me, we were spotted by some friends of The Cat's Mother, and it transpires there was much discussion amongst the friends about WHY was I out without her, was I playing hookie, and should they dump my pizza in my lap. I may have been drunk, but evidently well-enough behaved to avoid pizza-in-lap punishment. A few days later they passed me in the Homebase car park and I missed them waving and shouting hello. Unobservant may be my middle name. It was getting beyond an an odd coincidence then that we bumped into their parents in a pub in Waterloo...the Anchor and Hope (it may be called the Hope and Anchor...I can never remember) which serves some particularly fine food. So clearly they're following me and keeping a watch on my movements.
It seems that I am the victim of a different stalking. After all it has to be more than a coincidence when you bump into someone half way up a mountain in Switzerland, and then again in a darkened auditorium in Waterloo. Really I don't know what to do about it. I know that celebrities are not what they used to be..after fancy Anthony Worral Thompson getting caught shoplifting in Tescos....what's wrong with Fortnum's or Harvey Nicholls for heavens sake? There we were celebrating UP's birthday at a performance of Noises Off, and I spotted him skulking a few rows behind us. His cover was simple, but I saw through it. He was there with his teenage children...but had failed to bring his wife. And who on earth would take teenagers to see a farce that had seen its best days a couple of decades ago? I guess he recognises that he may also have had his best days - after all did you watch the Top Gear Indian special over Christmas? Yes, it was poor, so no wonder Jeremy Clarkson is looking for inspiration. I realise I'm that sort of guy. Just along the row from him was Babs Windsor, so she must have heard as well. I'm not sure what can offer her that Sid James didn't already.