Saturday 7 December 2013

Compensation culture

I am worth a fortune.  A big fortune at that.

And no, I'm not talking about the money in my bank account which is more akin to the Greek national debt.

I'm talking about me literally.

Away back in September, I was sent tumbling from my cycle by someone who opened their door without looking.  Since then I've been dealing with their insurance company.  Reasonably, I get paid for the repairs to my bike (although there was some discussion over whether they would or would not pay for a large scratch on it) and my transport costs.  Thank you very much.  That seems reasonable to me.  They also paid for me to go to physio therapy for a strain that was probably caused by my awkward twisting attempting to stay upright and not tumble under the moving traffic.  That also seems fine to me.  Finally, I also get compensated for my injuries.  This largely consisted of a cut on my lower leg.  About two inches long.  It was a bit of a slow healer...53 days or thereabouts.

How much is that worth?  £50?, £25? £5?

No nothing like that.

A whacking £1200.

I haven't asked for it.  They've offered it.  If that's how much such a small part of my body is worth, the whole thing must be worth millions.

I think I might sell it.

Naturally, it does explain why motor insurance premiums are so ridiculous...sorry.

Recently we were out to dinner with friends at Gordon Ramsay's new Union street Cafe.  This was the one that for a while it seemed the Beckhams were involved in running.  They weren't - it was a piece of PR puffery.  Those PRs!  Anyway, our friends are Spanish, so the table was booked for 8.30, which is a quite late, especially when 8.30 means 9.15 before we get shown to our table.  We had a lovely evening - our friends are the easiest and most interesting people to spend the evening with.  The conversation flowed freely and the time passed quickly - what more could you ask for?  The food was fine, but really nothing special...good chain restaurant standard, nothing more.

I think I forgot to mention that a couple of Saturdays ago we were was a performance by Future Cinema, so we had a great day spent with The Muffins.  Ghostbusters manages to retain all its charm and humour after thirty years (!) and the Troxxy, where it was being shown was the perfect venue to have real actors playing out their parts.  The Cat went in an eighties outfit, I was more ghostbuster....and the ghostbusting car outside was a real treat.  I'd forgotten what a great, fun film it is, ad the event was superb. With scenes enacted throughout the auditorium both before and during the film itself.  The girls loved it.  We loved it.  A true treat for the whole family.

Thursday 5 December 2013

It's all bull

It's every parent's proudest moment and also their saddest.  Their child leaves home to face the challenges the world will throw at them as they stand on their own two feet.

The Cat went off to Uni in September, which is a wonderful half way house...catered accommodation, a structured environment, cosseted from the buffeting of economic realities.  But standing on her own two feet she must.  And she's doing well.

The Boy has now gone off to Kitzbuhel for the next five months.  A job offer in hand, but employer uncontactable for the last few weeks.  And on arrival, office closed.  Accommodation in a hostel booked for the next week, but nothing more permanent lined up.  Not a close friend to be found, although last year's instructor will be around soon we hope.  It's all a bit iffy.  No wonder I'm not sleeping much.  Bags under the eyes. No ability to concentrate. Uuurgh.  He seems less than worried and went off to a seasonaires party on the first night, which he describes as "Good party indeed".  I dread to think.

The weekend was spent doing important things like putting up the Christmas decorations.  I may have mentioned before (I have) that this is a military operation commanded by Chief of Staff The Cat's Mother. You would not believe just how many boxes of Christmas tosh decorations we have to transform home into a winter wonderland fit for Santa Claus.  Not only are there a lot, but they are kept in the loft on the third's so high up we have to wear an oxygen mask for visits of more than 2 minutes.  They all have to be brought down, emptied and then the empty boxes returned up the stairs ready for re-use in January.  No wonder I need regular doses of whisky to keep me going.  At least I don't need to head to the gym to keep fit in the run up to Christmas day.

Our grand christmas light switching on ceremony was in fact held a little earlier this year.  Christmas lights make the world such a lovely place, and our efforts in recent years have been quite poor...the result of old lights gradually stopping working and not being replaced.  So this year we invested half the UK's national debt into lights (I understand why Sainsbury's/Homebase are making fabulous profits at the moment) and decorated the 'umbrella' shaped tree in the front garden.  It looks lovely.

In the meantime, This little gem - it's a bull stealing the milk from the crates has appeared by the office.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Genocide adds a bit of depth and edge*

OK, this is The Cat's first step to fame eternal.  During the summer, she got involved in this film through one of her teachers.  It was very exciting for her and for us.  The plan is that it will be released next year...around August.  We're desperately proud (of course) and The Cat's Mother has already started shopping for her outfit for the Oscars, and another one for the BAFTAs.  In case you don't recognise her, she's the one at the front of the screen when the two girls are talking about 50 seconds in.  Hope you enjoy, and will pop along when it's released (I'm not saying it'll be in every cinema!)...and please share the video...she will remember you in her acceptance speech if you do.  As you can tell I am a little over excited....

Long Forgotten Fields - Official Trailer from Jon Stanford on Vimeo.

In the meantime, we all had a lovely time watching Doctor Who's 50th last weekend.  I'm not the greatest of fans; I do quite enjoy it.  But this was indeed excellent.  Of course we had to check out what the papers say, and obviously, the most thoughtful, considered, and appropriate was the Daily Mail which declared that, The Dr having been responsible for genocide added a bit of depth and edge to the character.  Naturally, we've taken that as our lead and feel that Mr Hitler, Mr Stalin and various other heroes who have been treated badly by the history books should be, perhaps, given their own plinth in Trafalgar Square.

* it seems the Mail has now removed this little gem which is a shame as I felt certain it would inspire may middle-Englanders to greatness