Showing posts from January, 2018

There's something in the water...

The swimming pool was eerily quiet today as I went in to try to fend off my inevitable end for a few more minutes. Before getting the usual third degree burns in the shower, I decided to put my head round the changing room wall to see what was occuring.
The pool was indeed closed, I discovered. Turns out someone had done a poo in it.
Amusement quickly turned to revulsion and then appreciation as the leisure centre team undertook the full ET - scrubbing, sluicing, rinsing and testing.
The supervisor was clearly in his element, proudly telling me that they had added the right amount of chlorine and tested the water to check it was okay and that the pool would be open in two minutes. I responded frivolously that he wasn't really selling the experience, to which I got the full jobsworth response, "I am merely giving you the facts, sir".
And so he was. I bet he's been on a course.
They clearly did a good job because I survived and so - for the time being - has my lunch. T…

Birds do it...all over me

As I took the bins out today, I felt something land on my head. I looked up and there above me on the telephone wire was a tiny bird doing that cute stuff they do when Countryfile is in the area. Naturally, I shared some of my best Anglo-Saxon with it - and, unfortunately, with the neighbours - before trooping in to the house to clean myself up.
The bird flew off, doubtless very pleased with itself.
'How is this good?', you ask, 'A bird has crapped on your head!' Well, here's the thing: when I checked in the mirror, it turns out the little sprite had not shared the processed remains of yesterday's fatball curry with me: it had merely shaken off some water. So having thought that I had been s**t on from a great height, it turns out to have been nothing of the sort.
The other part of this fortuitous turn of events is that only the other evening on QI they had mentioned that birds don't have bladders so they don't wee (the weight when flying, you see). I…

First they came for the Digestives, and I said nothing...

I try not to be political on this outlet for my inner angst but news received this week quite literally takes the biscuit.  It was announced this week that, as a consequence of the collective national psychosis that is Brexit and the resultant economic shock the country has experienced, from now on there will be seven fewer Digestive biscuits in a pack. 
Seven daggers to the heart, more like.
The Digestive is an icon of Britain. Together with its slightly more austere cousin, the straightforward yet magisterial Rich Tea, the Digestive represents our country and our culture in a way that no mere flag, anthem, mildly aggravated tut or curry (still the national dish of choice) could. It could very easily be asserted that the Digestive IS Britain.
If you strip away all the vestiges of a state such as the government, the army, the Royal Family or any number of ‘top down’ impositions, what makes a country is what people do, what they eat, where they buy their loo roll, the real nitty g…

Into the bowels of domestic darkness

Christmas now over, the need to do something with the decorations is ever more pressing.  I am very much in the 'leave them in the corner and it'll be December before we know it' school but, oddly, my wife doesn't share that view.  This might have something to do with the fact that our house is of the shoebox variety. So it was up to the loft with them, a job I have avoided since Twelfth Night as I knew it would open up a whole new Pandora's Box of jobs I have been avoiding for as long as possible.  The loft needs 'doing'.

Our loft is a small space, not very practical for moving about in and with a range of interesting flooring boards which have clearly been put down haphazardly over a number of years.  My primary task was to make some sense of this jigsaw, to make the space available a bit more useable and to render said decorations slightly more reachable when it comes to December this year.  The problem is, to lay a new floor, I really needed to empty the…

A peculiar type of evil

A cold is not unusual at this time of year; it might be considered a new year gift to us all from the universe - at least those of us living on this damp island in the northern hemisphere.  It doesn't generally affect most of us particularly harshly, yet a cold is one of the most annoying things in life.

The trouble is, it isn't serious enough to warrant the attention it gets or to generate any sympathy from friends, family or others, yet it still makes you feel utterly lousy.  It is a mild form of illness but it hits you like a Nissan Micra rolling off the driveway - not enough to kill you, but enough to hurt.

The sensations begin the day before: a head filling gradually with phlegm, a body getting progressively more achy, an increasing feeling of being cold, a sense of resignation that it's back again, back to irritate.

Three days is the usual amount of time I have to endure a cold: day one to sink into self-pity; day two to really wallow in it; day three to start to get …