Friday 20 August 2010

Kerry Katona's favourite place

So Sunday is Iceland day...we're going to reclaim our investments and take back some of the fish they've half-inched, meanwhile reminding them that once upon a time the island was completely forested, but they cut down all the trees and single-handedly created global warming.

Try as I might I've not been able to find out whether their volcano is still smoking, or whether it's given up for an extended Lent. And are the Northern Lights still switched on after some unusual sun activity? No one's telling us. We've plotted our route on Google maps...but what we don't know is how long it takes to drive from point A to point B to point C to point D to point E to point F to point we'll take marmite sandwhiches just in case...we don't want any of that dodgy smoked shark they proffer.

In the office I have handed over all the things I should have done this week instead of flouncing off to Brighton for a couple of days And anything I've forgotten to pass over will doubtless crawl out of the woodwork and create havoc which had better be sorted by the time I'm back or else.

The Boy has laid out all his clothes on the floor ready for packing. Come to think of it, they're always laid out on the floor. The Cat and The Cat's Mum are still sunning themselves in Italy so they'll have a mountain of washing up to do when they arrive back tomorrow.

I'd like to try and post some pics of our Northern Adventure whilst I'm away, but am afeared that data charges will mean I'll need to take out yet another mortgage...and to be honest I have more than enough of those already....

Thursday 19 August 2010

A question of freedom of speech

Towards the end of last year, I posted a blog entry which merely repeated some correspondence that I'd had with a former tenant. I'd been asked by the council for his details as they felt he owed them council tax, and I provided those details. For that I was subjected to a torrent of abuse and threats. I wrote about it as it was one of those episodes in life that are memorable and even terrifying and I'd been shocked by how someone could behave.

I'd forgotten about it until today, when I received two emails from him demanding I remove the post and all traces of it. It goes against the grain...after all I was doing no more than report something that had happened. It was entirely factual. I don't think I did anymore than a newspaper, or the BBC could do. But as a gesture, I've edited it to remove the name and contact details. I've no idea whether this is sufficient.

But the point is, this is re-writing history, changing a report of something that actually happened. That's what Orwell wrote about, that's what totalitarian regimes do. This person doesn't want the world to know what he's really like. That seems dangerous to me.

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Tara's gallery - a memory

So Tara set a tricky one this week...a memory. Of course, all photos are a memory, so choosing just one has been the challenge. I decided to pick this one though...

...everything in it is just a memory.

This was our 'wedding photo' taken in a photobooth in Victoria Station after we'd traveled up from Brighton. We'd married in Hove Town Hall just 99 days after first meeting - our two witnesses, Uncle Bazzer and Nial had been late and we thought we'd have to borrow a couple of witnesses from the next wedding...but they did just get there. We'd breakfasted at The Grand on the seafront having been picked up in a white taxi. On the train, the ticket inspector went on the tannoy to announce to everyone and wish us luck...and then we piled off, a little the worse for wear after lots of champagne. It was a brilliant day...of course it was wedding days are.

Uncle Bazzer had many claims to fame - he was chosen to join East 17, or was it memory fades...but he decided against was his Beatles moment. And he once had to put sellotape on Kylie Minogues nipples during a video shoot because they stuck out too far. He was the most unreliable person I've ever known, completely child like. We've lost touch now, so he's just a memory.

Nial was more serious and very bright. He became increasingly unable to travel, and years down the road he didn't travel to The Boy's Mum's funeral. That was a real shame. We don't see him anymore.

We stayed married for just five years and five days. So the marriage is just a memory...a good one - it was quite a rollercoaster, but eventually came off the rails.

The Boys Mum died suddenly from an aneurysm whilst on business in Ireland a few years later. Changing The Boys destiny, changing my life in very positive ways.

So this picture is full of good, happy memories...and from it many things have flowed.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Whilst The Cat's away.....

Boys will be boys, and we feel it is incumbent on us to do boy things:

1. All the loo seats are being left up
2. The beds are unmade
3. Washing's too much effort to load the dishwasher isn't it, really?
4. Non-stop Top Gear and Gadget Show on the TV
5. Dinner - ready meals from the garage
6. Breakfast - ready meals from the garage
7. Lunch - Ginsters Cornish Pasty from the garage for variety
8. All meals - eaten in front of the TV
9. Dirty clothes - left on the floor by the bed
10. Lights left on in every room
11. Snacks...empty crisp packets and sweet wrappers left across the floor of the sitting room
12. The top has been left off the toothpaste...which has been squeezed in the middle
13. Wet towels left on the bed
14. Music turned up loud so we can hear it...even when we're upstairs
15. We've borrowed a dog which sleeps on the sofa after a long walk in the muddy forest
16. We've stopped worrying about whether anyone is going to check the 'history' on our web browsers
17. Scatter cushions have been, well, scattered...because we don't know what they're for
18. The beer stock is declining rapidly
19. As is the wine and whisky stock
20. I've had to draw the line at The Boy bringing the motorbike into the living room to clean it...but only because we can't get it up the steps...

If you've any ideas of how we can maintain our testosterone levels....just let me know.....

Monday 16 August 2010

Happy Christmas!

'tis the season to be jolly...jingle bells, jingle bells, Good King Wenceslas, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, I wish it could be Christmas everyday, etc,etc.

The Boy and I went out for dinner last night...and, lucky us, look what was on our table...we spent hours trying to decide what we wanted:

Tomorrow, I'll be writing about Easter Eggs.

In the meantime, if you want to know how we spent our Saturday look here

And here is the autograph...I can't tell you how chuffed I am with that...the band is just phenomenal, and were on top form. I'm not sure if I'm too old to be asking for autographs...but hey, who cares? Turin Brakes is the first band I took The Boy to - we saw them at Somerset House when he was about waist height , and he's never looked back. It's no wonder he plays the guitar

Sunday 15 August 2010

You can live forever on Facebook

Some of us are destined to live to a ripe old age, where as others are good.

The Boys Mum was the sort of person that burned the candle at both ends ...and in the middle too. So in 42 years managed to cram in more than most people twice her age.

When I was at school, in the fourth year a 'new boy' joined. We got on quite well, but thirty years down the road the details are hazy. I do remember we sat next to each other in geography...I think we were quite competitive on that subject.

Inevitably, once we left school we lost touch and once upon a time that would have been it. Friendships come and go, and like most men we were quite careless with ours. I dropped out of contact with just about all my school friends until about ten years ago. Friendsreunited did what it said on the tin...and some of us from the boarding house met up again. It was a strange experience sitting round a table with a bunch of middle-aged men who had little in common anymore. As usual our initial meetings were slightly awkward as some had been remarkably successful, others had followed a path of career mediocrity. But after a while old friendships were properly renewed, and we've met regularly since.

With other friends, their paths had taken them away to foreign places. Facebook provided a way to renew acquaintances even though this would never be quite the same as a chat over a beer. Ian was one such friend, and as with many Facebook friends, we kept vaguely in touch. Earlier this year, the dreaded word 'chemotherapy' was mentioned and then little more, apart from a few Farmville postings.

In early August, Ian's brother posted a note to say that Ian was no 'longer with us' but that his Facebook page would stay as a tribute to "a wonderful person, father, husband, son and brother".

It's a strange and difficult concept for me to grasp that someone of my age dies, but such are the twists and turns of fate. And as another friend said, it makes you appreciate your own good health.

I didn't know too much about Ian's life...but I hope he managed to live it to the full in experience if not in years.