Saturday 24 January 2009

Full circle

This is a Singer Chamois - the posh version of the Hillman Imp.

It was a rather natty little car produced by the Rootes Group, and is a less well remembered competitor to the Mini. Whilst the Mini won the affections of the buying public, the Singer Chamois, never came close to achieving the same fame. It did, however, help bankrupt the company that made it - much like the Mini helped bankrupt British Leyland.

We had a Singer Chamois when I was a boy and I loved it. It was a rather elegant Bournville chocolate brown with a sporty white stripe along the side. It was Grandma in Cyprus' first car after she passed her test and was bought by my father after he failed to persuade her of the virtues of a Triumph Herald Convertible. Far too racy I think. The Singer was fab, and as far as I remember let us down only the once - the accelerator cable broke. So Grandma in Cyprus was sternly instructed how to drive the car to the garage without an accelerator. At 5mph. I don't think the other cars on the road appreciated it very much. It used to regularly take us down from Hertfordshire to sunny Eastbourne to GinC's mother. So that'll be Great Grandma by the sea. And it was long before the M25 was even a glimmer in some road planner's eye. Our Singer Chamois' registration number was MYH 583D.

And this is a KTM Super Duke.

A 990cc piece of unsurpassed Austrian engineering. It's very noisy. And when I pluck up the courage will be very quick. Indeed. The boy loves it. And soon it will take me long distances. It too has been bought by my father. Or at least with some of the money he left in his still to be resolved will. The registration number is GX 58 MYH.

And how fitting is that?

Friday 23 January 2009

Muddle Aged (2)

Well I've been goaded into this, so I take no responsibility whatsoever....

You know you're (a) middle-aged (woman) when:

You wear your daughter's mini-skirts and think you look like her

Your make-up bag is twice the size it used to be, but it gets used twice as quickly

You drive a beige car called Penny, but tell everyone how sporty it is

You want to mother the boys in the latest boy band

You think the boys in the latest boy band will fancy you

You stop waiting for 'the one'

You wear a one piece swimsuit because you think you should, not because it's the height of fashion

You can look at a middle-aged man and know that you're better than him, but know you shouldn't tell him

Thursday 22 January 2009

Middle age

I know I shall be in trouble for this, but...

...I was having a conversation the other day, and the topic of 'middle age' came up. I can't think why. After all,I'm 37, and have been that age for some long time now. So no prospect or intention of ever reaching middle age.

Any way, SHE said:You know you are a middle aged man when...
You buy a motorbike
You wear a stripy scarf looped around your neck
You wear vertically striped shirts
When young women in bars talk to you, you think you still have it
You think trying to hold in your tummy fools anyone

Now, I think she's wrong, because men NEVER know when they're middle-aged. Unless they were born middle aged, in which case they have been wearing beige cardigans for a very long time indeed and are proud of it.

As the boy reminded me this evening, Bill Oddie once said, "You know you are middle-aged when your daughter's best friend looks at you. And all she's thinking is, 'You're my best friend's Dad'.

Some indications of the progression of middle-age must be, when you try and do something you could do 20 years ago and it comes as a surprise that you can't do it now. I wonder what that could be. When you come home from work, and you're asleep on the sofa by 8.30...every night. When you can't understand the texts you get from anyone more than five years your junior...let alone from The Boy When the video recorder is beyond you. When you still enjoy repeats of the New Avengers, Minder and The Persuaders.

The reason this conversation took place will become all too apparent soon enough.

But the killer end to the conversation was when I was asked, "So, how do you know if you're a middle-aged woman?" Probably best not to answer methinks.

Wednesday 21 January 2009

Three buildings and a picture

I've been somewhat inspired by Not Enough Mud's recent blog about returning home from distant shores, and enjoying the sights of London town.

Borough and Bermondsey are my favourite places in London...I've probably said that before. But they are really lovely - still retaining the village character of old. Plus you can scrump figs off the tree in the graveyard at the bottom of Bermondsey St. Olde Worlde buildings continue to provide character, but even some of the new ones are interesting in their own way. I like the contrast between the old and the new.

So here are some of the ones that I most like:

This one looks like an over-sized garden shed stuck on the top of a genteel Edwardian(?) building. I just love it, but can't see it passing current building regulations:

And this is a new arrival...still being built, it's been plated with copper. Beautifully reflecting the sun light today, I think it'll look just as gorgeous when it has oxidised

This one is a puzzle for me - newly built, this end wall has these curious 'balconies' - but you can't get to them (the windows are sealed units I think) and even if you could, the 'floor is just eighteen inches wide. And no one's come up with a reasonable answer.

Finally, this is a trompe l'oeil...and if you look really closely you might see a cat in the window...but he does seem to come and go a bit

Tuesday 20 January 2009

The Omen

I'm not superstitious in any way.

Although I don't walk under ladders, if I spill the salt, I throw a few grains over my shoulder, panic if I break a mirror, don't cross the path of a black cat, nor pass anyone on the stairs. And generally avoid doing anything on Friday 13th.

However, I've decided to take as a good omen being given an American Dime in my change this morning.

I shall also celebrate with a glass of something tonight in the hope that the 44th President of the United States will live up to the promise.

Sunday 18 January 2009

I am a Goldfish

We all have senior moments..and one of the pleasures of the last thirteen years, is to see that we have them from the day we're born. Well almost, but it's certainly true that the boy does forget things, and gets in a panic about it.

And possibly they come a bit thick and faster as the years begin to take their toll. Generally I don't worry about it as there is always so much to think about that it's inevitable that some things just get lost in the brain cells.

This weekend though, has not been a good one on the memory front.

Last night, I made myself a cup of coffee...I really fancied it. Once made, I sat on the sofa, putting the coffee on the shelf within easy reach. An hour later remembered it. It was cold, so I heated it up in the microwave (sorry, bloke thing to do). I put it on the shelf by the sofa again. I found it this morning, completely untouched.

This evening, I thought I would check my work e-mails using something called ''. It's a clever piece of software that let's you actually look at your computer from anywhere...they've got a dreadful ad running on the TV at the moment. Anyway, when I logged on, it told me my work computer wasn't on. Panic immediately set in, because I knew I'd checked them on Friday night. I had no choiice but to drive to the office to see whether or not we'd been burgled (again) or perhaps the place had burnt down. The office is about three-quarters of an hour away. So off I set at 9.30. I got within a mile of my destination, when it suddenly dawned on me, that I had turned my work computer off when I left on Friday, and had been able to check my e-mails by directly logging on to the mail account from the laptop at home. Doh! Double doh!

I haven't yet fessed up to the boy as such things tend to damage my hero status.

Clearly the daily dose of Ginko Biloba is not doing its job.

Anyway, just going to make a cup of coffee now.