Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday 18/01/09

Hay’s birthday today. Went out for a meal with the rest of the family to The Dog for Birthday Eve. It’s back to work though for Birthday Boxing Day.

Here’s us at The Dog.

I’m terrible at remembering to send anniversary or birthday cards to family members. It usually results in me being ostracised for a few months by the offended relative.

How about this for another Chairman Bill bright idea or the absent minded? An on-line facility whereby you simultaneously select cards for various family members, enter various personalised messages and addresses, and then (most importantly) enter the date on which you want them posted. Hey presto - you don’t have to think about birthday, anniversary or Christmas cards again for the rest of the year. Come next year you just change the card and message – if you can be bothered. It could also be enhanced by having a selection of imitation handwriting scripts to choose from so as to make it look handwritten.

Bit of a bugger though if one of your relatives pegs it and you forget to cancel the auto-birthday card. I know there are services out there that will send a birthday card for you, but I’ll bet they don’t postpone posting till a chosen date.

Had a panic attack earlier – I’d been engrossed in trying to re-establish an internet connection as the wireless extender wasn’t having any of it. Hay in the meantime had risen, dressed and put the week’s washing on in the Folly (we use the Caravan’s washing machine). After finally having managed to resolve the connectivity issue I went to get dressed and discovered that my valet had forgotten to select and lay out my clothes.

Hay functions as my personal dresser and always puts out the next day’s clothes for me before going to bed. It saves me having to make irrelevant decisions and Hay having to be seen out with someone who has the dress sense of Krusty The Clown (she’s never quite recovered from the time I attended a friend’s funeral in those yellow and red boots, baggy trousers and orange fright-wig).

Talking of clothes; pet hate - fly buttons on jeans instead of a zip. Yes, I know buttons are more reliable, but when was the last time you had a failure on one of those industrial-strength zips they put on jeans? They’re a retro design feature that serve no discernable purpose other than to make having a pee a pain in the bum. Zips were a major advance in clothes fastenings and took decades to evolve before being popularised in fashion by Schiaparelli - and so what to Messrs Levi and Wrangler do? They put bloody buttons back on their jeans! The only possible advantage of buttons is that you eliminate the possibility of trapping the end of your willy in the zip teeth, but since having eschewed going commando some 30 years ago, that danger is well past for me.

The news wires seem to be filled with stories of complaints about members of the Big Brother House intimidating each other and Ofcom investigating the matter. I though the whole purpose of the show was to watch a group of dysfunctional people screwing up, intimidating each other and breaking down, thus providing entertainment to the type of people who enjoy watching car crashes. I sometimes wonder if the complaints don’t actually emanate from the programme producers, just to create PR and column-inches to raise the profile of their shows. It’s a general rule that people who see intimidation taking place in the street or on the train or the London Tube don’t do a bloody thing about it – so why would anyone bother to report intimidation on a bloody TV show, which is obviously staged for effect?

We were leafing through one of Jamie Oliver’s cookery books yesterday (Jamie is Hay’s favourite cook due to him understanding food– not overly fussy and based on good ingredients). Hay was reading the recipes, whereas I was more interested in the pictures. I wanted her to skip over the pages containing lots of green things, preferring the meaty pages. She suggested I should write my own recipe book, however, it would be quite short. She said it could basically be summed up in one sentence: “Buy a block of chocolate and eat it!” I keep promising to buy her a slow cooker, but she says she already has one – me.

An 81-year-old woman has died after she was hurt in a mugging in north-west London, in which a bag containing an umbrella and extension lead, but no money, was stolen. She fell when the suspect grabbed her handbag, suffering injuries to her head and the left side of her body and died in hospital eight hours later. Police have launched a murder inquiry.

Now I would imagine than the mugger had no intention whatsoever of killing this old lady and is in all probability a drug addict engaging in petty crime to satiate his habit. If caught, he’s now likely to go away for a very long time as a murderer, although I’d call it a case of manslaughter. I’d be interested to see what he’s charged with. If drugs were legalised then this kind of senseless crime ceases overnight.

In another incident a 78-year-old man from Accrington collapsed and died from a heart attack after being taken to a cash machine by a bailiff to pay a £60 speeding fine. He had been released from hospital a fortnight before following a heart attack in October. His son said: "We made countless phone calls and sent numerous letters to the court to tell them about dad's stay in hospital. The bailiff called at his house and said he had to make a payment, otherwise they would bring a delivery van and locksmith. He said they would get into the property and take goods and there was nothing he could do about it. My father then agreed to be driven to get some cash. I believe he was put under duress. We just want some answers as to why the bailiffs were called in."

Now from the son’s statement it’s obvious that he must have spoken with his father just before he was driven to the cash machine. If he was so worried about his father’s health, then why the hell didn’t he simply offer to come round and pay the fine himself? Seems like a case of slopey shoulders to me and the sensing of a possible claim for compensation.

Hay has the annoying habit of asking me the names of groups whose music is being played on Radio 2. There was something playing yesterday which I guessed was sung by the Undertones, although I didn’t say the Undertones – I said, “The band with the ugly Irish singer who sang Teenage Kicks and went on to win the EuroVision Song Contest for Ireland,” which apparently was factually incorrect on a number of levels. It turned out to be Turning Japanese by the Vapours, who I don’t know from a Honda Civic. She then asked me whether I had spent most of the 80s with my head up my arse and accused me of being an old bloke. She can be so cruel.

I got my own back by asking her what the following meant. “Pribram and Bohm posit a model of cognitive function as being guided by a matrix of neurological wave interference patterns situated temporally between holographic Gestalt perception and discrete, affective, quantum vectors derived from reward anticipation potentials.” Her scientific judgement was that it’s a load of bollocks. I got it from here. A Mars Bar for anyone who can translate it into English.


  1. The card service you are looking for is

    Having selected your card they will post to the recipient for you or to yourself for onward posting. You can of course set up a reminder for next year.

    Irascible x x x

  2. perhaps the son spoke to the father by using that most up to the minute invention - the telephone - and in fact was 247 miles away so was unable to placate the bailiff who was demainding his money NOW!

    Irascible x x x

  3. That still doesn't stop the son paying the fine before it came to having the baliffs sent round.

    From the story it looks like this was a long time coming.


  4. I think that you will find quite a lot of support in the police for the legalization of all drugs - soft drugs sell in tobacconists and tax - harder drugs by prescription only.

    Drug related crime wastes huge amounts of police time and costs the country vast sums of money.

    Irascible x x x

  5. Couldn't agree more. Legalising drugs might even result in proper crime being tackled more effectively as manpower is released.


  6. Late night reader19 January 2009 at 00:14

    Happy Birthday to Hayley! Now that should have been an occasion for the Bergen tartan.

  7. Irascible,

    Will you stop sending me kisses. People will talk.


  8. So sad - OK - no more kisses

    x x x

    Those are little Xs