Friday 21 May 2010

Caught with my trousers down

We've all had embarrassing moments in our lives..some more than others I guess. I've had few enough that the my embarrassing moments are painful memories that pop up in my mind exactly when they shouldn't. Of course, I'd love to share them with you...but they're embarrassing so I just can't.

I cycle into work. It's 25-30km depending on the route I go, so I don't do it everyday...much as I'd like to I just don't have the enthusiasm or energy. Over the last couple of years I've been doing it twice, maybe even three days a week when its not too cold, not too wet..or just when my laziness doesn't get the better of me. Still, when I do, it's beautiful...somehow you can get right into the centre of London by riding down the canals, avoiding the traffic, and feeling that you're in the countryside.

Naturally enough, when I get to the office I'm hot and sweaty and in need of a's a good job that I forward planned and had one installed when we bought the place. I bring a change of clothes, so emerge freshly showered and ready for a day's work. Well, that is once, I've checked the news online, checked my e-mails,checked twitter, checked facebook, checked hotmail, checked the blogosphere. And had a mug of tea. And chatted to everyone in the office. But apart from that I'm right down to it.

When it's time to go home, naturally enough I change again into my cycling shorts and pedal off into the sunset. Usually I change in the bathroom, but when I'm the last to leave, I will occasionally change at my desk and pad across the room in my underclothes (sorry, I know that's not a great image for you - I hope you're not reading this over breakfast). No one can see me because we have reflected film on the windows to keep the heat out...I have to be careful in winter when the office lights make it all transparent from the outside - but in summer it is fine.

Last night my fellow office occupiers had all gone...the last to leave before me was The soon-to-be-wed-Spaniard and The soon-to-be-a-house-owner-French-girl. They both went off to the gym. So it was time to change, and I dropped my trousers. Just as the door opened. The Spaniard had returned early. I pulled them up, but heaven only knows what she thought I was doing. Neither of us has mentioned it.

But it hasn't stopped her inviting me to her wedding in Spain in July. British Airways and Icelandic volcanoes allowing.

P.S. I've just embarassed myself. Over at Commonplaces, Kevin recently posted that he'd seen a blue plaque to Terry Hall and Lenny the Lion...I took this as some kind of strange joke, having checked that Terry Hall of The Specials was still alive and kicking. I hadn't realised that the other Terry Hall was the one who put his hand up Lenny The Lion's back, was 80 and died three years ago....I'm too embarassed to add another comment, and hope Mr Musgrove misses this confession completely...

Thursday 20 May 2010


If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow, and which will not,

--Banquo, Act I, scene iii

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Mr Blobby

So this week's challenge in Tara's gallery is 'Self-portrait'. As an Englishman, naturally, this makes it a very difficult task for me...such a self-effacing gentleman that I am. However, Rupert Murdoch has come to the rescue...and that will be a first and last for him. This weekend there was an article in the Sunday Times about how to get rid of your paunch...accompanied by some suitable examples...line drawings only...the short and long of it is that at home, there is a dispute as to which of these is will have to make your own mind up....

Sunday 16 May 2010

Dog days are over

Have you ever been in the position where you chase after someone, knowing all along that your love would not be requited? Well so it has been with me and Florence. I remember first coming across her sometime early last year...maybe even the tail end of the year before. She was the new 'hot young thing' with everyone wanting to tango with her. To start with I stood back, aloof and disinterested, but one day I accidentally caught her singing and was lost. I had to have her. But no matter what I did, I just didn't get to see her. Four times she managed to avoid our date together. I'm sure she was just teasing me.

The boy's always loved many youngsters he would sway and swing away whilst listening to the radio, and I always encouraged him. He has eclectic tastes, driven by my own choices...from Andy Williams through to the Stereophonics...though I've never persuaded him to enjoy Cilla Black. I remember the first time I took him to a gig...Turin Brakes at Somerset House. When I told him he didn't believe me...just as if I had said we were going to meet Father Christmas. But we did go, and he loved every minute of it. As he was just 8, we stood as near to the stage as we could so that he could see....after all you're not that tall at that age! And since then we've gone to dozens of gigs...and even to V Festival a couple of years ago. Every time finding a way of standing right up front, even though he's now almost as tall as me (actually he's taller, but that's not something I ever intend to admit.

But this year, we've already reached May, and not a single gig have we been to. Although I think there's been some brilliant music around nothing has really appealed. Not sure why; it just hasn't. Apart from one. Florence and The Machine. I have tried and tried and tried to get tickets, but just failed miserably. Which is odd because I'm normally lightening quick off the mark and have even managed to get impossible to get tickets such as George Michael, Kings of Leon and the Foo Fighters. But Florence had eluded me. Evidently her popularity is too great for the venues she's been playing.

I've always avoided touts, but there's now a new generation of 'ticket swap' web sites which as far as I can see have legitimised the tout game. So earlier this week I visited Seatwave, and remarkably found some tickets for last night. The cost was initial price of £40ish actually turned into over £60 by the time all the add-ons had been added on. But I was pretty desperate so I paid up. And the tickets duly arrived. I was in seventh heaven. until Friday night when I had an e-mail from Seatwave saying my tickets were forgeries and I should contact them on Saturday. I had been right royally ripped off by a dodgy website and I would lose the £300 the five tickets had cost. It was not a good Friday night.

I rang on Saturday morning, and the first surprise was that I got straight through. A helpful lady said they would refund the money. Disappointed I made plans for seeing robin Hood. Then my mobile rang...they'd managed to get me new tickets. Wow...what superb customer service...

Spot the fake...and the real thing

So we all trooped off to see Florence....stood at the front and danced and shouted the night away. She's one hell of a of the best gigs ever....