Friday, 21 June 2013

Magic moments

I remember when The Boy was young and we had gone skiing in Austria.  We had a bit of an argument, over what I can't remember.  Obviously it was soon forgotten about. But as I packed at the end of our trip, I found a note that he had written in the heat of the moment; it went:

Dear Dad,

I hate you.  I have decided to leave and find my fortune as a street magician

Lots of Love
The Boy x

I kept the note for years as it touched me deeply, and was quite sad it got lost when we moved.

Last night we went to a magic show.  Yes, our cultural adventures are nothing but, well, adventurous. The conjurer in question is in fact an old friend of one of ours....he trained in accountancy before deciding that a different sort of life beckoned.  The tricks were good, and his particular patter is about the tricks that Charles Dickens performed whilst performing as a magician and conjurer. Now you're probably thinking that Charles Dickens is an author without compare, a daring hero who came to people's aid during a terrible rail accident, and 201 years old.  That is indeed true, but he was known to turn a trick too.  No I don't mean that.  He did perform magical tricks in front of an audience, and thought himself as very accomplished.  So Ian Keable has taken this little known part of Dickens' life and turned it into an evening of entertainment. Magic with a bit of comedy as well.  All very pleasant it was too, especially after we dined at a pub I hadn't been too for twenty or so years.  Magic may not be the popular entertainment it was in the days of Tommy Cooper, but it makes for an innocent and fun evening.

Remarkably we solved our insurance dilemma in a way that was totally unexpected.  Having rung round more insurance companies than we knew existed, we went to The Cat's Mother's insurance company, and simply asked if we could add The Boy to the insurance.  "Yes" they said.  "How much we said?".  "Nothing they said".  We nearly bit their arm off...and in fact thought they'd made a mistake, so we waited until the documentation arrived.  The Cat's Mother remains the main's her car, and she needs it to buzz around the neighbourhood, and she's not insured to drive mine (she says she has no desire to drive something that's bigger than a Chieftan tank) so that's totally legitimate, I'm a named driver as I use it occasionally and the teenagers are also named drivers.  It seems too good to be true, but we're completely above board with everything so it must be a all OK  Result.

Of course, that meant I went out for a drive with The Boy.  Naturally the first trip was down to the local kebab shop...well there's more than one way to die.  I was surprisingly relaxed, even with a slight deviation onto the wrong side of the road and stopping at a green traffic light...anyway, practice will make perfect.  The Cat is improving too.  They both are commenting how many dreadful, aggressive drivers there are out there...and I'm waiting for the "I've never had an accident, but I've seen plenty" comments to come rolling in.

I regularly have to remind The Cat's Mother that many thousands of hours were spent designing the air conditioning system on her little Toyota Yaris.  It's incredibly sophisticated, unlike the one on my Jeep that was knocked together by a couple of rednecks whilst shooting rattlesnakes.  On the Yaris, you dial the temperature and press the auto button.  That means in the winter it quickly warms you up by blowing hot air, and in the summer, it cools you down by blowing out cold air.  Once set you never need to touch it again.  But nobody listens to me (not just on this, but on many, many other matters too).  If it's a hot day, the air conditioning gets turned on full blast until you sit there with your teeth chattering, and on a cold day, the heating gets turned up so far that I have to strip down to my bikini.  I've been nice about this, I've been calm, I've been patient.  And I've ranted and I've raved, but all to no avail.  Of course, The Cat's Mother is not alone is determinedly not wanting to grasp the essentials of a car's heating system.  How many times do I see cars being driven along completely steamed up because, the owners haven't turned the fan on, or don't understand how the thing works...a steady throughput of air keeps the car fresh, and the driver awake, and the windows clear of condensation....and at the right temperature.  Small rant, but really it's this sort of thing that keeps my mind sharp and active.