Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Incident in the Garage

Recycling and identity theft came to a head in my garage this morning when the bag designated to carry ‘paper and materials’ burst as I was trying to tie it up to take and leave for the dustmen. Reams of shredded paper spilled across the garage floor.
To tell you the truth, and I realise this might be akin to admitting I’m a racist in its shocking impact but I don’t really care about recycling , in fact I think it’s a waste of time.
As for ‘identity theft’ if someone assuming my identity can get anything useful from Lloyds Bank then they will deserve it because it would be far more than I have achieved and I have been with them for years.
So whats all the shredded paper and plastic bags doing in the garage?
Well that’s Ann, she is a believer and gets quite aggressive if she catches me nonchalantly slinging it all into one black sack

Monday, January 30, 2006

Good cod - no winkles!

Couldnt wait any longer - went to seaside today - Tenby.Ate Cod&Chips.Noticed in Saundersfoot what I think in the summer is a whelk stall having been fitted with CCTV. Perhaps there is a high incedence of seafood theft in these parts.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


I have a recurring problem with my foot. About twice a year it becomes impossible to walk on and takes several weeks to recover before returning to normality. Medical science is baffled or at least it can not be arsed. (I do hope that’s a british expression because it feels like it should have evolved out of 60 years of living in Britain)
It is odd that the human body is the most complex machine there is but it takes GP’s less time to diagnose than a garage to work out what is wrong with a car. The reason is that if your car is broken it stays broken until it is properly diagnosed and repaired , whereas the average GP attendee stands a 90% chance of recovering if he doesn’t bother seeing the doctor at all. It follows that in 90% of cases it doesnt matter to the immediate outcome whatever the GP says.
While on the subject of GP’s I shall not forget the incident about 20 years ago in Stanford Le Hope, Essex. I was riding a Scooter along the main road. A car pulled out from a side road and I hit the bonnet. As I accelerated upwards into the air and turned a summersault my helmet fell off. I crashed back down again onto the bonnet bounced up into the air, not so high this time due to the first law of thermodynamics, and down again onto the tarmac. Luckily this was right outside my GP’s surgery.
I picked myself up and staggered into the surgery clutching my helmet grazed dazed dusty and bleeding. The waiting room occupants visibly cheered up at the sight of me painfully limping towards the receptionist. They had heard the screech of tyres and the double bang of collision and my bounce and thought they had missed something interesting.
I stood before the receptionist.
She looked at me, paused and said;
“Have you got an appointment?”

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rorkes Drift

Until Christmas I never owned or used a mobile phone unless you count the time I accidentally sat on Reggie’s and rang his landline in the other room. For a while that mystery held the entire household in it’s grip before they got to the bottom of it so to speak.

Worries about people ringing me up wherever I was proved groundless – I just don’t give them my number. Since Christmas the £10 we put in is down to £9.72.
I am secretly pleased to have it though as this dream of the day before yesterday shows.
First 10 years ago when working for the awful Pearl Assurance in Hay on Wye I noticed about the town a tune constantly playing in my head. Durrrr dur durrr dur – dur durrr dur durrr.
When I got home I recognised it as coming from Zulu. Paranoid about meeting clients around every corner of the little town, they had become Zulu’s to my Gonville Bromhead.
The night before last I dreamed I was home and the house was surrounded by some unknown terror. The feeling was the same as being in Hay on Wye and waiting for the Zulu attack.
I locked the doors and hid knives about the house. A door burst open and a huge ginger chap flung himself at me. Later, (this admission is to my eternal shame), I recognised him as off of Coronation Street.
I killed him with knife OK and relocked the door. I ran to the phone to call the police but they had cut the lines.
Then a great sense of joy overtook me as I realised I had a mobile phone and I immediately woke up smiling. An odd dream because in real life I wouldn’t have put much faith in a mobile phone to work when needed and no faith at all in the police.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Optional Reading

It is self evidently true that Tony Blair is a liar.
It is true that he took a nation to war on a lie, his lie.
Why is it then that no enquiry ever finds any wrongdoing against him?
The Kelly enquiry for example is correctly regarded as a whitewash.
The answer is obvious but I have only just seen it, but before I say what it is I will have to go on a little diversion otherwise this revelation will be as impressively novel as the fact that Tony Blair himself is indeed a liar.
‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ . For years I was aware of that saying, knew the meaning of the words in the sentence and even knew what the saying meant , but I knew all of this in an abstract, theoretical way.
Eventually there came a time at work when there were so many people dabbling in a particular case that the whole thing became totally screwed up and at that point I suddenly felt the meaning of the saying. It became real and not just theoretical.
The answer to the Tony Blair conundrum is that the reason no investigation ever nails him is that it is a conspiracy of the establishment.
We all know that phrase, we all know what it means and nothing is changed in its meaning by applying it to Blair except that now it is felt, by me at least, it has ceased to be theoretical and become real.
It would damage the establishment terribly if Blair were justly convicted and so the establishment will not convict. I find this knowledge that the judiciary would act in this way shocking as I have always thought of them as truly independent.
I think the word ‘felt’ might be a little confusing what I mean by it is what William James in the ‘Will to Believe’ called a ‘living possibility’. That’s probably even more confusing.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Summer memories

So humus won after all and I voted for taramasalata – well that’s life.

Last summer a gentleman came into the office wearing a rather nice frock and filling the air with the intense and unmistakable smell of TCP.
After he had gone I said to the lady mortgage adviser “I don’t know whats the matter but something is obviously chaffing down there”. To which she replied “Don’t even go there”.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Coffee Break

Ive just remembered Ann & I were at the Drovers Arms Tea Rooms , Builth Wells and I was not being allowed double egg and chips when two elderly men on the adjoining table began a conversation in the quiet local accent of Mid Wales.
“How is the wife?” was the question and the reply which seemed a long time coming “ Oh - not very lively”. Ann nearly choked on her coffee as she tried to suppress a laugh and I in mid- sip felt the coffee shooting up my nose via the back door and begin dribbling over my lip

Monday, January 23, 2006

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Why should this be paid at all?
If somebody has their skull smashed in by a thug and somebody else sustains the same injuries tripping over his own bootlaces why should one be ‘compensated ‘ and the other not? But just to avoid any suggestion that ‘fault’ has anything to do with this question let us suppose it was somebody else’s laces he tripped over.
Is there less grief in the death of somebody from a sudden illness than the death of somebody murdered?
In the dreadful recent case of the police failing to turn up at a shooting incident because it was too dangerous then had injuries ensued I would support a compensation claim against the police but that is not the same thing.
There is no justification that I can see for awarding money for injury simply because the injury arose in a way that was illegal. Compensation of this kind bears all the hallmarks of the quick fix politician the same bunch that produced the unbearable Financial Services Authority. The public feel sorry for victims of crime – so let us be seen to be making a law that will give the victims money. Doesn’t matter if it is illogical.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What no starter!!

I regret that I have to record my own wife Ann may have begun to talk in the very odd way of some of her friends and relatives.
The following occurred in the car just now as we came back from Brecon.
“I had some nice oatmeal biscuits that would have gone well with a piece of Cheddar but I thought – No!!”
If this were about some stupid diet I wouldn’t have even noticed it. This was about one of her friends who Ann invited round for lunch today because she was on her own and a little unwell. We were going to have roast chicken and syrup pudding.
The lady in question is one who feels terribly unfinished unless there is a starter, a main course, a pudding, cheese and biscuits and several cups of coffee.
I remember her daughter in law complaining to us once that she served straight away a main course to be greeted with “What no starter!?”
I also remember our guest once telling us that a friend had invited her to stay with the proviso “you will have to take me as you find me” to which her response was “Well I certainly wasn’t going to do that!”
Anyway what I gather is that Ann valiantly resisted an attempt to usurp completely control of the Sunday lunch. She had to back down on the syrup pudding because our guest is apparently unable to eat such things but was staunch on the question of the missing cheese board, hence; “ “I had some nice oatmeal biscuits that would have gone well with a piece of Cheddar but I thought – No!!” “

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dont Lerk Now

In about 1960 our school acquired a teacher from somewhere up north who’s name was Waddington. The words look, cook, book etc, he pronounced , luke, cuke, buke etc, much to our amusement. We pronounced such words as they should be pronounced, as the BBC before it became politically correct pronounced them.
Today look, cook book etc seem to be generally pronounced , lerk, cirk and birk.
There has been a movement in my life time from the primitive luke , through the sensible look to the estuary English lerk.
Does this have any more significance than fashion? I suspect that it does.
I cant believe that somebody who ‘lukes at the buke’ can be experiencing the same event as somebody who ‘lerks at the birk’.

Bankers !

I think the Grand National took place in March, I know nothing about horse racing, and I never bet on anything because I don’t like loosing.
But this once I thought I would try an online bookmaker as this was a novelty.
I think I may have had a subconscious vision of winning a £10 bet and then going on to create a vast financial empire solely from these winnings.
I placed a small bet and entered my Citi Bank credit card details.
But the computer said “No”.
So I rang Citi Bank to see what the problem was and they said that there was no problem with the card it’s just that they , Citi Bank, didn’t like what I was trying to pay for.
I paid the outstanding balance on the card , about £20 and told them to stick their card, returning it to them shredded.
Ever since then , every month, I receive a statement from them showing 50p owing.
It’s been 9 months so far. I wonder how long they will continue to send these it should prove interesting.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A question of Etiquette

Bit of a moral dilema here. We received a normal Christmas Card from one of Ann's friends but inside it contained this note. Should I send them £1.21 and cross them off of next years card list or just cross them off the card list. I dont think it says much either for Anns friend or the Post Office come to that.
When we had next doors dog for an evening it chewed through the kitchen door but we wouldn't have dreamed of saying anything. Likewise the post office, I remember writing letters from London for delivery in Brighton and getting a reply the next morning. The lazy buggers these days when they do turn up go through tremendous feats of advanced driving to avoid getting out of their vans at all as if prolonged direct contact with terra firma was destroying their life force.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Me surrounded by all my friends

Apparently Fisherman's friends were amused by my email and sent me a bag of Fisherman's Friends Goodies - which was nice.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Fishermans Friend

Had a sore throat - couldnt find any Fishermans Friends - got them muddled up with 'Victory V' - found Fishermans Friends Web site and asked them where I could buy them and have they been fiddling with the formulation. They replied and said where I could get them including Boots and they said 'No' they had not been fiddling with the formulation.
I then reply as follows;

Thanks for the full reply.
Glad to see its still going strong. Found some in the
end at the village shop!.
I had previously tried Boots, one of the most useless
companies I have ever dealt with, and they said they
hadnt any and pointed me towards their own products
for sore throats. I told them Id rather have something
that worked and strangely they lost interest.! What I
dislike about Boots in particular is that you buy a
packet of Aspro Clear and some jaded pharmacist
appears from behind the counter and enquires in a
voice more suitable to a knackered stripper starting
her 23rd song and dance of the evening whether you
have ever taken Asprin before! I am 60 years old for
Gods sake. Just before Christmas I was going in to
Boots to purchase two sets of ear plugs as a half kind
of joke for my son and his girlfriend with whom we were
going to stay as apparently I snore. I was waiting
for the line 'Have you ever used ear plugs before?' to
which I was determined to reply 'Well I rather thought
I would stick them up my arse'. Unfortunately my well
rehearsed performance had to be cancelled because my
wife bought them elsewhere. But some day I will give
thanks for your help.
Douglas Mcleod