Friday 16 November 2012

It's all about justice

Last night was Secret Cinema night's always a highlight, although it says something that it is always a very stressful experience...from making sure that I'm online at the right moment to get the tickets before they sell out, to the follow-up filling in of forms, finding out what we have to wear and making sure that we know where we've got to be and when.  Obviously I can't tell you what we saw, but this picture of my souvenir of the evening contains a very big clue to the film

Highlights for us were:

1.The Cat's Mother and I being made to stand facing a wall for misbehaving
2.Having to strip down to our underwear amongst a hundred others doing the same
3. Me being told to 'Get down and give me twenty' for being slow.  I've always wanted to have that said to me...just as I want to say...'Follow that taxi'  I succeeded by the way.
4. Being told not to sit with my hands behind my fact the way I was told is just too gross to repeat here.
5. Travelling from the first venue to the second on the very same bus that I used to take to school (Greenline 720) what sort of coincidence is that?

Yes it was a tough night.

Just a word about democracy.  Did you vote yesterday?  No probably not...I certainly didn't.  Who on earth came up with the ridiculous and pathetic idea of elected Police and Crime Commissioners.  This sin't America.  All we want is for PC Plod to do his and her job effectively without outside interference of any sort.  Another layer of control has been imposed...and will it make the slightest bit of difference...I doubt it, but it will add to the tax bill.  If you feel at all passionate about this, you may want to click this link here

And just in case anyone's forgotten, Hamas are the democratically elected government of the Palestinian territories. That doesn't give them the right to be lobbing missiles all over the place (although many would argue that Israel's behaviour gives them more than just cause), but it does mean that the democratic governments of the West should give them the respect that any democratically elected government deserves, instead of refusing to have anything to do with them and doing there damnedest to bring about regime change.

Picture 120

Well it's Autumn....

Thursday 15 November 2012

Picture 119

I fell off the band-wagon...too much else going on.  So here's a picture of the city.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Essential cock

For a company called TalkTalk, it is remarkable that you can't actually talk to them.  For as long as I can remember our broadband in Brighton has been intermittent, and a little while ago it stopped altogether.  It never really mattered before, but now we control the central heating through the internet (just how Jetsons are we?) having broadband is vital.  I was able to log the fault on their web site, and from there communications was all by text, including the one that told me an engineer had been despatched...he arrived half an hour later and immediately fixed a broken cable - all very impressive.  And it worked for a while, but stopped again last week, so I thought I would get it fixed.  Same process, except they asked a few more questions, and none of the multiple choice answers were relevant - e.g. can you make or receive calls (I don't know as there's no phone connected and I'm not there to I said no).  So they've been texting me regularly with updates, and at one stage told me they thought it was FIXED, I texted back NOT FIXED so they're off on the trail again.  The truth is, the line can be restored by me simply switching the router off and then on again...but I can't really do that from 80 miles away.  The problem is not the router (as I changed it last time I was there)...but if they would only talktalk to me I could explain, and there would probably then be a simple solution, instead of which they are devoting hours, nay days trying to get to the bottom of the problem.

I've never really grasped the ageing process oddly.  I've remained consistently convinced of my own youthfulness, even when I am presented with incontravertible evidence to the contrary.  A couple of years ago I was left puzzled by not being able to clear the high jump at The Boy's school, but was relieved this weekend when I was the only one able to demonstrate some aptitude on The Muffins stilts.

However, increasingly I cannot dispute the inevitable march of time. Last night was School House evening.  The annual gathering of members of The Boy's house to perform for the pleasure of fellow pupils and their parents.  As it is cobbled together in about a week, it's generally a bit hit and miss, but always fun.  The Boy has always been an enthusiastic participant from his first year, but with the pressure of 'A' levels his role was somewhat smaller than usual.   This year what struck me was how obviously The Boy and his contemporaries were the elder states(wo)men, and around them swarmed the little people, young and enthusiastic.  How quickly time has passed.  How funny to see how small The Boy was not so long ago.  How funny to think in just a few years, the first years will be the leavers.  I can't help but feel the school system is designed to make parents realise and appreciate the ageing process.

In the Dining Hall there are always stalls selling half the country's supply of fizzy drinks, sweets and sugary cakes.  In the Great Hall there's an eclectic performance which in the past included a girl doing an Irish jig that left everyone bemused, and a girl belly dancer, that left the Dads looking confused and anxious.  This year the theme was an environmental one - The Wizard of Oz(one).  An interesting performance where a cow substituted for the lion (just so there could be lots of corny word-plays which were udderly ridiculous, and references to methane emissions).  In amongst the event we were treated to an episode of Futurama over-dubbed with teachers voices, and an episode of The Only Way is Essex with two of the girls (not having to try too hard to mimic the originals) in search of ice.  The audience roared, and I guess global awareness is a good thing to be promoted.  The Cat's Mother and I escaped after the fireworks, but before the raffle was drawn on the assumption that there was no way our track record of not winning would be broken.  Inevitably we were wrong, and our winning Tesco's Lemon drizzle pudding is awaiting consumption.

I received a video file today called 'Essential Cock'.  Now before you get too excited (I know some of you well enough to understand how this might drive you to a frenzy) I must point out that the file name was missing its' tails.  Delicious when you're thirsty or just fancy something exciting and tasty.

Tuesday 13 November 2012


I have just remembered that about a hundred years ago I had an interview at the BBC...I can't even remember what it was for; I didn't get very far.  It was fortunate, because I was most certainly not a BBC person.  I've never been a corporate body, and the BBC has a very special culture indeed...managing to combine a civil service mentality with a creative spirit in a very home counties way underpinned by a sort of Oxbridge elitism which prizes the amateur so highly.  Apologies to anyone who knows better.

So it's hardly a great surprise that yet again Auntie is tying herself up in knots.  Newsnight undoubtedly felt the need to broadcast their story, worried that there would be a greater backlash if they did a 'Savile' and dropped the report.  What has come as a surprise to me is that the BBC's DG is its Editor in Chief.  As such he rightly resigned.  But these days, it seems bizarre that the person that heads the organisation is considered it's Chief Editor - the thought that Rupert Murdoch is responsible for the content of The Times sends a shudder through my bones (there is some debate as to whether he does or not)...and it is unthinkable that the owners of our sophisticated media are also the editors.  So whatever else comes out of this mess, I hope that the job of running the corporation is separated from the responsibility for editorial.  I'm not going to even think about a year's pay-off for 54 days work, let alone address it.

Some of you will have received friend requests from me for may be wondering why...some of  you are Facebook friends already.  But I was idling away ten minutes yesterday and I wondered if I could create a Nota Bene Facebook page, so I did.  I guess that I will just use it as a space for Nota Bene things rather than NB things....but I've no idea really.  Anyway, I'd love you to be my friend, and I think you can find me here.  Please send a friend request,  I'm going to link this post on my shiny new Facebook page now.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Last post

No, this isn't my last post...but I will come to the last post in due course.

Whilst The Boy spent Friday rehearsing at The Royal Albert Hall, back at the school it was the Old Boys Dinner.  When I say old Boys, I'm including the old girls in that.  This year was different, because as Head of House The Cat was invited.  And there was a what extent did I need to behave myself more than usual?  Fortunately she was on a table far, far away so I stayed calm and carried on.  Our perspectives at the end of the evening where somewhat different.  I'd had a lovely time, drinking and chatting with guys who's acquaintance I had first made some forty years ago...we groaned at the speeches, were not amused by the raucous youngsters at the back of the room but felt the evening had served us all well as we staggered off home.  By contrast, the delicate nature of an eighteen-year old was exposed as she was horrified by the whole event, feeling that it was a throwback to the seventies (though I'm not sure how she knows what we were all like forty years ago).  I don't think she will ever again. Fascinating.

After arriving home at about one, somewhat the worse for wear, I managed to grab five hours sleep before I had to get up and give The Boy a lift back into London again for the main event.  Having dropped him off through various police barricades, I parked up and went to see The Lord Mayor's show.  It's something I'd never done before, so feel that it's one of things to do before I die.  The British and Pomp & Ceremony just go together, don't they?  Around St Paul's it was desperately crowded, and it was quite fun to see...especially the floating chop (!)...I giggled when I saw the 'Worshipful company of Public Relations Practitioners - the only one who didn't have one of those carriers for their flag - typical PRs...and I was equalled amused by the mumbles when the new Lord Mayor went past...evidently he's a banker and I'm not the only who thinks no banker should be cheered.

The evening was spent waiting in eager anticipation of The Boy appearing at The Festival of Remembrance.  It would be fair to say that it was The Cat's Mother who was shouting at the TV because it was impossible to spot him...I was more sanguine; it would have been nice, but for him it was the honour of participating that mattered most.  When he returned home, he was able to point out which pixelated blurs were him.

(That is indeed him right in the middle in the khaki uniform and white flag holder)

Another early start this RSM, he was in charge of the Cadets for the school parade and remembrance service.  It was a cold, sunny morning, and The Boy had his starring part.  It was hard to recognise the man in uniform barking out orders to the contingent.  He was every inch the soldier, very much in control, very much in command.  It was impressive from the parade before the service to the laying of the wreath.  He did his job outstandingly well.  and The Last Post was as moving as it always is, and particularly poignant at the school, which has lost two in the war in Afghanistan.

Of course I would have loved to have taken a picture for posterity, but this was all about remembering the fallen, and I have a hearty dislike of parents taking pictures of their children at this time.  Instead I waited until afterwards: