Friday 9 March 2012

Give me your answer do....

It's a sad day.

Daisy is leaving us.

Not that Daisy works with or for us; she's downstairs with the 'Disco Bunnies', but that hasn't stopped her being the object of our affections.  The Disco Bunnies are in fact an agency that promotes and books high-end DJs...Eric Prydz is one of their clients....or used to be, I'm not sure which.  Eric is, of course, very talented, and you can see one of his most famous and compelling videos below - don't watch it if you're of a nervous disposition:

To be honest it was never one of my favourites, but I thought I'd include it, following in the footsteps of Steve who puts up pictures of scantily clad lovelies to boost his readership.  Allegedly.

The alarm on the Disco Bunnies' office is a smoke bomb - set it off and within  a few seconds, the entire place is fully of a dense acrid smoke which both chokes you and stops you from seeing where you are.  Any burglars trying to pinch computers will most likely trip over and break their necks.  When they first moved in, the smoke bomb would be set off on a daily basis.  There were never any burglars.

The Disco Bunnies are made up of the sort of characters you would least we would expect.  There's the guy who's clearly smoked so much dope that the world is only vaguely aware of his existence, there's the girl who tends to wear moon boots and a mini skirt whether its 30 degrees above or below freezing point, there's the guy who's got so many piercings you know it must take him several hours to get through security at Heathrow, there's the beautiful east European girl who one day will smile at you and the next scowl, there's the guy who must be fifty but still dresses like a 17 year old, there's the girl who wears every colour under the sun every day on clothes that were clearly made for someone three times her size.

And then there's Daisy.  The sort of girl that we've all decided would be great on a drunken night out, but you'd never take her home to see Mummy.  We first met Daisy a couple of months after we moved into the building.  She waltzed into the office explaining that the battery on her mobile phone was nearly flat and could she charge it in our office.  She left it here for the rest of the day with it ringing off the hook.  We'd regularly see her out of our windows in the courtyard below, and we'd often hear her.  On the good days she'd be laughing and cackling on the phone, on the bad days she'd be screaming, crying and using every expletive and blasphemy imaginable.  And a few more.   As she came out of the building, mobile phone clasped to ear it was often difficult to know which way it would go, so we'd take bets and wait for the conversation unfold.  Sometimes these were client conversations, sometimes boyfriends.  On other occasions she'd be downstairs with the bosses..either over-excited at the new car they'd bought or in tears because something was not right or had gone wrong.  Stability isn't a word you'd apply to the lovely Daisy.

During the time of the riots, Daisy came up to see us one lunchtime.  She explained that neither of her bosses were in the office or available on mobiles, so given there was going to be more riots later would it be OK if she and her colleagues went home early.  "Yes" we said enjoying our new found responsibilities.

I feel our days are going to be a little bit duller.

Thursday 8 March 2012

School's out

Well, well, well.  There's scandal at the school.  I'd like to say more, but I'm not the re-incarnation of the News of the World  and The Cat's Mother pointed out that behind every 'scandal' is a human tragedy.  Naturally we learned about it from the offspring who found out about it from the dinner ladies, who were told by the etc,etc

After the disappointment of The Boy's ski course, there's been another cock up.  The Geography 'A' level students are due to go to Iceland for a field course.  The Boy loves the place so has been much looking forward to the trip in July.  Thing is, without telling anyone the organiser changed the date, so it now starts when The Boy is on a cadet leadership course.  I've waded in...straight to the top...and told them that this sort of cock-up happens too often for comfort.  We'll see how it is resolved, beyond the note of apology I've received already.

We're having a debate at home.  How do you pronounce meme?  I say it's meemee, The Boy says meam and there are reports that some pronounce it memmy.  I think resolution of this is more important than the old scone, scon or eether, ither debates, so any help would be much appreciated.  By the way, I'm right and all other opinions are as valuable as a vote for anyone other than Putin (my word...isn't he looking like the old USSR leaders with his paunchy, wax-like complexion?) in Russia

On a positive note, after the third attempt, the garage claims to have fixed the problem that has afflicted the motorbike for the last several months.  It was  the starter relay.  Touchingly, The Cat's Mother thinks I could have fixed it.  Touchingly, I think I should have just traded it in for the very, very beautiful Ducatti they had on the forecourt.

On a second positive note, we realise that the cancellation of The Boy's ski course does not mean he will be home alone.  In fact the rest of us will have returned from our travels (me skiing, The Cat's Mother and The Cat from New York and The Boy from adventurous training.  So all is well, although we haven't yet broached the subject of where and when The Boy will take his first steps to becoming an instructor.  Sorry Kellogsville that means you can't join thousands of FB friends dancing, drinking and vomiting on the front lawn....!

Tuesday 6 March 2012

Do YOU know who I am?

Lord St John of Fawsley has died.  You may neither have noticed, not cared - why should you?  For my part his death brings back the memory of an evening at The Royal Festival Hall.  This was a very long time ago.  My then girlfriend and I were there to enjoy an evening of Christmas Carols.  The subject matter made us feel it was an evening to be enjoyed in a relaxed way. Perhaps too relaxed.  We joined in.  Well why wouldn't you...that's what Christmas carols are for isn't it.  Suddenly and without warning someone behind us slapped my girlfriend round the back of the head.  Instantly I was up on my feet demanding to know what he thought he was doing.  "Do you know who I am?" was his reply.  Yes I did, but I wasn't going to let on.  "I don't care who you are" was my reply.  He and his male companion left shortly afterwards.  It was probably for the best.  After all, even then the report of a senior politician attacking an attractive young lady would have probably ended his career.  Goodbye Norman and thanks for giving me something to write about.

Another passing (no I'm not going to turn this into an obituary column, although death has featured a lot recently) is that of Ralph McQuarrie.  He's best known for his work on Star Wars.  Even now I still don't think I've seen all the films, and I've certainly not see all of them all the way through.  At my age, that's tantamount to admitting that I've spent my education has been sadly lacking.  So I'm not a great Star Wars fan, but for work I was once involved with an exhibition of his work - at The Barbican.  Even for a non-fan it was fascinating and I could see the talent.  I got to meet Kylie Minogue's then boyfriend...unfortunately not the woman herself.  More importantly though, it was an opportunity to meet up with my brother and his family.  We'd not been close, but this was a great day and helped renewed bonds.  We had a brilliant time.

The Boy was due to go on a ski instructors training course in April...he loves the sport and I think it will do him good to have this up his sleeve whether he wants to take a gap year or a couple of years out after university.  The course was to run in Hintertux which is somewhere in Austria,  At first I had planned to go with him (for company, not to go on the course itself), but then I took a deep breath and decided he would be best going by himself.  Another step to adulthood was my reasoning.  We booked so many months ago that in the meantime my hair has turned grey and I've started using a walking stick.  Of course he was indeed was I.  But yesterday they rang to let us know that due to a lack of numbers it was cancelled.  I think I was more gutted than him, but perhaps he just hid it better.  We now have to work out what to do - BASI run courses in the UK, but they're in a snowdome, and it's not quite the same as Austria is it?  I think he should do a UK course, but he's a bit disillusioned at the moment...there are three more levels which he will need to do and those will have to be done on the slopes proper.  On a practical level, the rest of us are all due to be away at the time he was supposed to be training....and I'm not that keen on him being home alone.

Monday 5 March 2012

It's culture innit?

Well done to Vladimir, who has done himself proud by winning the free and fair elections in Russia this weekend.  It's quite an achievement, and I will henceforth refer to him as the 'Comeback Kid'.  Despite the nay sayers (including the OSCE) claiming that they were biased and corrupt, I will have none of this.  Democracy and Russia are not natural bed-fellows and I have little doubt that the current 'enhanced voting system' is the perfect fit for a country with such a chequered political past.  There may be protests which may well be stamped on ruthlessly, but what do you expect?  When we visited Moscow last year, it was clear that what many Russians craved for was the strong leadership and certainty that Putin brings....reports suggest that many others just want a vote.  Western European democracy works well in Western Europe....around the world it has been adapted to suit the local conditions and tyrants.  And that I think is the way it should be.

We're not having a great cultural experience at the moment.  If I look back over what we've done and seen this year, I have to say it's managing a pretty low average.  There have been a few gems, but mostly it's been pants.  Latest in the line of disappointments was 'Traveling Light' which we went to see at The National on Friday night.  The tickets had been bought by The Cat's Mother's Best Friend For Ever who usually has impeccable taste, except where it suits her not to.  Anyway, the premiss of the play was the origins of Hollywood in the Jewish villages on the Russian steppes...there must be a grain of truth in it somewhere.  Our second look at Russia, having seen Stalin in The Collaborators last month.  On the downside, the auditorium was at least 50% empty.  On the upside, the staging was superb.  On the downside, the first half was so dreary I decided to go to sleep (normally I just drop off).  On the upside, the second half was shorter.  On the downside, the second half was badly written and quite ridiculous.  On the upside it starred Damien Moloney...better known to me as Hal from the latest series of Being Human.  On the downside, he was hopeless.

I may just have had enough of Russia for now.  So instead of going east on Saturday we headed to the Wild West...The Cat's 'house' (ironically East House) was putting on its bi-annual event, and we all headed for a fun evening.  The Cat had written and Directed the main event, so another feather in her cap...and a fine performance was given by everyone who participated...especially as they'd only had two rehearsals.  Elsewhere was a bucking I was cajoled into jumping was The Boy (actually he was with two mates, so there was just bravado in his case).  I did myself (and The Cat's Mother) proud by coming second...and in the spirit of competitive father managed to stay on significantly longer than The Boy.

Sunday was most peculiar...we ended up spending the whole day (without realising it until it was too late) organising ourselves and ordering tickets to keep us amused for the coming months.  Film, theatre and flights were all purchased.  We're hoping that sound planning and wise choices will keep us occupied and in cultural splendor for the rest of the year.

I was contemplating applying for the Chelsea manager job which is available yet again.  I know nothing whatsoever about football, but don't see why that should be a hindrance to my application.   I don't know why anybody with any credibility would apply for this job...after all they will only last a few months anyway.  If anyone ran a proper business like this, the shareholders would be reaching for their lawyers.  I feel I'm eminently qualified, and in any case there can't be many top class managers left who haven't held the role in recent living memory.  There is, of course, the other footballing job up for grabs - the England one, but I'm biding my time there as I see the muppets in charge are going to take their time to choose.  After all why appoint a manger just as the team is about to play in the European Cup...squalid defeat would not be a good start would it?

P.S.  SP - am missing your blog