Thursday, 5 February 2009

Thursday 05/02/09

I stand corrected – yesterday was the 5th anniversary of Facebook, not the 4th.

I’m getting quite a few hits on the blog from people with BlackBerries. I’ve got a damned good idea who one, or possibly two of them are.

Thought you might like to see how Johnny Foreigner operates his trains in inclement weather. A salutary lesson in how to get it right, regardless of whether you have the wrong type of snow or not. The bugger who drives that should be cloned and used to man the West Coast Main Line and Great Western could do worse than order some 20 of the locos. Oh hang on though – the driver is foreign and there would be wildcat strikes on the railways if British drivers weren’t used. Perhaps British drivers could be genetically modified by having some of his DNA integrated with theirs. I suspect the clip is Canadian.

If you look back to the Captain’s log entry for star-date Monday 26th January, you’ll see that the prior weekend was a life-defining milestone event during which I was overcome by a seemingly rational (and probably age-related) desire to don a balaclava. Well, it’s going from bad to worse. What with the cold weather of late, the lino floor in the kitchen area of the caravan is as warm as a refrigerated marble tombstone in Castle Dracula. This prompted me to root out a pair of slippers that Hay bought me about a year ago and which I’ve never worn out of fear of looking like a bloody pensioner. Now there’s a Holy Trinity of early-onset pensionerhood – the balaclava, the slipper and the pipe; thank God I ditched the pipe before succumbing to the other two members of the Trinity. It’ll be long Johns and Ladro figurines next.

Other signs of impending pensionerhood include:
  • An overnight loss of musical knowledge,
  • Mispronouncing celebrities’ names, such as Jeremy Paxton, Alexi Styles and Angus Deighton,
  • Socks with sandals,
  • Clark’s shoes,
  • Net curtains,
  • Small dogs, especially of the miniature ornamental variety,
  • Those hideous rubber mats with suckers on them you put in baths,
  • Hand rails in the loo,
  • Crepe bandages,
  • Sherry,
  • Cotton wool in your ears in winter,
  • A chain for your spectacles,
  • Pushing your reading spectacles up onto your forehead and forgetting they’re there,
  • Those key rings you whistle at to find,
  • Using old Christmas cards as shopping lists,
  • Watching Last of the Summer Wine, Monarch of the Glen and Strictly Come Dancing,
  • Not being able to send an SMS,
  • Those TV dinner trays with an integral cushion,
  • Using thimbles,
  • Not knowing what day it is,
  • Mixing up your kids’ names,
  • Eating more tinned food – especially soup, and
  • Finding Facebook tedious, difficult to operate and virtually useless.

The BBC needs a bit of a shake-up. Jonathan Woss is back at his desk after having made a highly offensive remark, on-air, at which someone took great offence. Carol Thatcher, however, is sacked because someone so arrogant as to presume that they know what all black people would be offended by reported a private comment that no black people either heard or complained about. Her comment described someone as 'looking like a golliwog'. If the person in question does, in fact, bear a resemblance to a golliwog, then how can the comment be considered racist? If you Google image Gael Montfils, who is the subject of the remark, I think you’ll find that in some photos he does indeed resemble a golliwog, if for no other reason than his hairstyle. This raises the question of whether a golliwog, which is a caricature, is any more racist than Barbie, which is also a caricature.

What I find acutely disturbing in this whole episode is the fact that in all of its reports the BBC has not once quoted what was actually said and merely states that, ‘Thatcher referred to a tennis player as a "golliwog" backstage during filming’. Referring to someone as a golliwog (i.e. calling them a golliwog) and saying they resemble a golliwog, which I’m given to understand was what was actually said, are two very different things. I’m inclined to agree that this appears to be some form of vendetta against Thatcher. Never thought I’d be defending Carol Thatcher, who I dislike almost as intensely as her brother.

India is planning to develop cheap laptops for its schools and students. I wonder if they’ll plan to have the call centre in the UK? Talking of call centres – where do Indian call centres stand in the row about UK companies employing foreign workers?

I mentioned to Hay last night that Woolies had been bought by the Barclay twins to turn into an on-line business, with a deep focus on the Ladybird brand, which has been around for donkey’s years. I mentioned that all the girls at my primary school wore Ladybird underwear. She asked how I knew, to which I replied that it was obvious when we played doctors and nurses.


  1. Chairman,

    I have to say, I tick a few of those 'pensionerhood' boxes. I wear white socks with sandals, I've got a dinner tray with integrated cushion, and I do find Facebook tedious and frustrating... and I'm only 25.

    I also mis-pronounce (or simply don't know) the names of many modern-day pop artists, but I don't think it's because of Pensionerhood. I just listen to different styles (or less popular) music. So all is not lost!

  2. Dom,

    Do you listen to string quartets playing popular classics and light music?

  3. I would not describe myself as approaching pensioner status, but some on that list made me laugh, and I definitely identify with so many others - Oh dearie me!

    And...what's an SMS?

    Word verif. is zygestn, sounds like something else the doctor will say I have too much of in my bloodstream!

    Glad to hear the old red eye is better, and why am I not in the least surprised that you played 'doctors and nurses' at school?!

  4. Woman,

    You don't know what an SMS is? Senility Messaging System...


  5. pls dont say im gttg old, bt i tkd svrl of those bxs
    oh, bldy hl.

  6. Marianne,

    I see the texting lessons are going well.