Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Tuesday 24/02/09 - Pay Day

Caught the sleeve of ‘The Dressing Gown of Doom’ on a candle last night. It’s now known as ‘The Flaming Dressing Gown of Doom’.

Well, I have not, as yet, received any death threats concerning my thoughts on Ms Jade Goody, or rather Mrs Jade Tweed. Mind you, I like to think my readership is too genteel to consider anything more violent than a mildly disapproving message in the comments section.

Celebrity culture is an intriguing phenomenon. Because of the relentless exposure that Jade receives from the media, combined with the fact she is just ‘ordinary’ and therefore like so many people in the UK, her fans feel they know her with a greater degree of intimacy than they know their own partners or friends. This introduces a positive feedback that reinforces them to become increasingly obsessed with the minutiae of her every move. They live out their lives through her, knowing she will react in the exactly the same manner as they would. The media feeds that desire by ‘bigging her up’, as it sells newsprint and makes them a bundle. I find it totally vacuous, but nonetheless fascinating from a sociological perspective. It’s the same drive that makes millions watch soap operas or read blogs!

I wonder if Mr & Mrs Tweed will do a line of Jade & Jack golf clubs? I can imagine the marketing blurb now; “Great for teaching someone a lesson. Comes with a beautiful Burberry bag. Warning, clubs may contain traces of blood, bone and hair.”

Since lodging the 2nd planning application we’re being inundated with letters from all manner of building contractors begging us to use their services. It’s a pity the boat ain’t sold yet as we’d get a whole skyscraper construction team for a few quid. We were considering using pine for the house frame as a cost saving, but if the recession bites for much longer we’ll be able to buy green oak for next to nothing. When we went to the Herb Farm (our build template) on Saturday to check out some details, I was quite surprised to discover that its build cost was well under £60k, but that’s with no services other than electricity and no partition walls.

Obviously, our barn will not be as cluttered as this.

If you want some loose change, don’t bother going to Lloyd’s Bank. A friend’s wife, who works in a charity shop, popped into her local Lloyds bank on Saturday to change some £20 notes. The bank clerk asked whether she had an account with Lloyd’s, the answer being no as all she wanted was some change. The clerk then informed my friend’s wife that she would have to charge her for the transaction, despite it comprising nothing more complex than exchanging one form of currency for another of exactly the same value. On having the rationale queried the teller became quite aggressive and so my friend’s wife decided to visit to another bank, managing to effect the transaction there with no problem.

I hear the bank chiefs are wanting a 10% pay increase to make up for the loss in bonuses. We really are in an avaricious and materially-obsessed world, aren’t we? Have these people no shame? While not usually a fan of nationalisation, I’m rapidly coming to the conclusion that the government should have selected a couple of solvent banks and a British car manufacturer or two (if there are any left) and fully nationalised them, allowing the rest to go to the wall. Our rationalised and nationalised banking and car industries would have emerged as world beaters, especially if the car manufacturer were to be given incentives to develop a range of state-of-the-art eco-friendly cars.

Hay is off to China on business for a week in April. Well, she calls it business, but for me attending a conference is translated as having a bit of a jolly. She is a bit apprehensive about the process of obtaining a visa and was perusing the Chinese Visa Application Service FAQ. One of the questions was, “I wish to organize a small acrobatic troupe to perform in China, what type of visa can I apply for?” Priceless!

She’s meant to be flying to Peking and then going on to Nanking. The original plan was to do the connection by air, but there’s talk of doing it by train (which I believe is a 10 hour journey), necessitating the party travelling with officials to prevent them seeing what they shouldn’t see (execution squads, small troupes of performing acrobats, MSG factories, hordes of old people doing silly exercises in fields, noodle harvesting, etc.). Hay wondered if the officials would use paper bags to place over their heads when entering an area that’s off-limits. She’ll have to be prepared for travelling goat or pig class.

There was an interview on the radio last night with the crew of a frigate on anti-piracy duty in the Indian Ocean. One of the officers was talking about having found a skiff showing signs of recent pirate activity. Hay and I both looked at each other quizzically and chimed in simultaneously with comments about eye patches, parrots, striped T shirts, wooden legs and lots of hook prostheses.


  1. I think the template for your home is very beautiful indeed, and the clutter suits it! Perhaps you can start a collection of your e-cigars and assorted liquids to display?

    Very interesting about Hay's jolly to China - My nephew was there recently and as an asthmatic had much to say about the pollution - so maybe if Hay's bag has an inbuilt filter, that might be of use?!

    I am ashamed to say I watched a tiny bit of Jade's programme on satellite last night, because I was blogging and couldn't be a*sed to turn it over, until she irritated me so horribly that I had no choice... Nice is such an underrated quality these days, I think...

  2. I'm still giggling! Ta muchly for the jolly post full of Brit humour that no body does better. Beware! I shall be back... all being well and the sky not falling in on me, and providing my dressing gown sleeve misses all the doorknobs...

  3. Chuckled all the way through your post, sometimes even laughed out loud! Great stuff! And I only visited you to thank you for joining the lovely people that are my 'followers'. Enjoyed my visit to you so much, that I will join the lovely Jinksy and the rest of your 'followers'.
    It is turning out to be a great day after all!

  4. "If you're new to this blog, then you're best advised to dip in somwhere further down, or else you'll think I'm barking."
    Bill, having followed from ebay, I would say you were pretty much upminster.

  5. Woman, Jinksy and Carolina - many thanks for your kind comments.

    Woman - how could you bear to watch it? I'd rather stick pins in someone's eyes.

  6. Upminster is way beyond Barking (about 8 stops I think). Most of the announcers on the underground seem to call it "Upminister" which just sounds sleazy.