Blogging Up The Works

Thursday, March 01, 2018

It Pays to Check

I needed to go out and buy some grub screws today. My French may be improving but not to the standard that I can name all types of ironmongery available. So time to call in the help of an online translator.

English  -  Grub Screw
French  -  Vis a Ver

OK. Vis is often the basis of any type of screw so thought there was a good chance for once it might be right. Still, one can never be quite sure so when in doubt, reverse translate.

French  -  Vis a Ver
English  -  Fuck of Worm

Probably as well I didn't ask anyone!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Memory Lane

Tonight Mathew, I am watching the Old Grey Whistle Test.

Not a great lover of rock music or prog rock or anything much when I was a teenager but I used to watch this. Mainly I suspect so I knew what everyone else was talking about. Indeed, Danny Baker is saying much the same thing at this very minute.

Good old Whispering Bob Harris. He managed to make it exciting and secretive, being part of this special world of bands. Bands that weren't going to appear on TOTP, or very few of them.

I suspect many watching tonight wish they would bring it back.

But they won't. Who needs a program where people can actually play musical instruments, can sing in tune without autotune and don't have a "journey" with which to draw in the public. Just groups of musicians sitting around making music. How the hell is Simon Cowell going to make a fortune with that!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Good Vibrations

I have a strange disease. I don't know whether it is known to the medical community or not. I have decided to call it mobile leg.

I keep my mobiles in my right trouser pocket. I have for years. But I have noticed over the last year or so that sometimes it feels like my phone is vibrating for an incoming call. When my phone isn't in my pocket. Which is weird. And my left leg never does it.

Have my leg muscles learnt to vibrate? Should I accept things as they are but panic if it starts to play a ringtone? Is a leg vibrating whilst driving against the law? Do I have to give my leg back at the end of the contract?

Come on medical world. It's all very well curing the common cold etcetera but this is what people* are demanding a cure for!

* People may in fact just be one person in this instance.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Work Overload

It is of course our slow time of year. And it will continue to be so. But I am about to have 6 weeks of work to do at home.

My mother has come back with me from the UK to stay for 6 or so weeks. This spells trouble. Not because she is any trouble per se, You couldn't have a nicer house guest, but last year Marj discovered a secret. Having spent months trying to get me to put shelves up, curtain rails et al, she mentioned to my mum she was still waiting. My mother turned round every couple of days to ask if I'd done such and such. She then proceeded to suggest I get off my back side and do it. So I did.

Marj was astonished at how I just went and did things at her suggestion when she was hitting her head against a brick wall. As Mum said, "because I'm his mother". This year she has made a bit of a list so my mother can get me to do them during her stay.

Today we met a couple of friends and I was telling the husband the story and my mum was there, before we got to the very end he said "because it's your mum!".

Us boys are very well trained as far as our mothers are concerned!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

You've let yourself down, the school down, and the blogosphere down!

Well, there we go. In a complete replay of my school years, by leaving my posts until the last minute each day, the moment something went wrong there was no chance to recover and therefore I have missed handing in yesterdays homework and have failed my February blogging course.

It should have all gone so smoothly. A trip out to Godfreys Fish & Chips at Harpenden, a post prandial drink, and then back to base with an hour to spare. But then things got a bit later and we all got chatting and then the chimes of midnight struck, I ran so that I could get to my computer to post and on the way I lost my glass slipper.

Tonight was going to be the problem as I have a party to go to and once I leave at 10am today I won't be back until the wee small hours of tomorrow morning. Instead however, I have fallen at the fence before by taking my eye off the ball and hitting my own wicket whilst mixing large numbers of metaphors.

Oh well, perhaps Feb 2019 will be the year when I get properly organised!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

End of an Era

I was going through some of my old haunts today. Things change all the time and a couple of groups I belong to on Facebook often post pictures from the area many years back which are interesting to see or even remember but today I passed a place and realised an era had come to an end.

When I was a wee lad a friend of my mum used to cut my hair, and once he moved on to the big barber shop in the sky I used to visit a salon of hirsutedness over the road, but rather than cut my hair the way I wanted they would cut it too short. This was the 70s and short hair was very old hat. They would style your hair and indeed, it looked like a very old hat. Boom Boom as Basil Brush would say.

Come 1972 my Grandma got remarried and I needed my hair marginally cut but styled. My dad said "why not try my barber" so off we trotted to Dave the Barber. I was 16 and needed to have my hair tidy enough for parents to approve and long enough that I could get into trouble at school thereby maintaining some sort of street cred.

Whilst this was taken a few weeks later, here I am, resplendent with longish hair.

Whatever happened to that young lad about town! My mother insisted I should have some "portraits done" at a local photographers otherwise no evidence would exist.

Anyway, so lasted a relationship with Dave until last year. When I approached the age  where I could reverse the figures above and Dave decided to retire.

All through those years, although I occasionally had to use other barbers Dave was my number 1 man. He was the man who changed my styles for 40 years as hairlines receded and thinned.

The last time I went, around a year ago, resulted in the following.

A somewhat shorter, greyer, style than when he started. And yes, that is The Magnificent M!

Today I drove past the shop and, although still a barbers, it was modernised. No more pictures of 1950's styles with brylcreemed models looking wistfully into the distance. The old style red leather chairs with the board that went across for the kids to sit on. His Wanted Poster that his kids had bought him one Fathers Day. The bay rum, brylcreem, rubber puffer full of talc for the back of your neck, all gone.

I hope the retirement is going well and you've got a place in Italy to holiday in even if you aren't living there. After 40+ years I must have paid you enough money to at least enjoy a bit of your new found freedom! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

No Frills, No Problems

Greetings from England. Except you are already in England. So it only me who is abroad.

Once again I landed upon these shores thanks to Mr Ryanair. They get a lot of bad press but I have to say in my experience they have always been really good. Take this journey for instance. It cost me 12.99€. To fly the thick end of a thousand miles. You can't even by a large pizza for that, well not at Pizza Hut anyway.

The journey takes 2 hours and 5 minutes on the way here. It is 10 minutes less on the way back but that might be because it is downhill on a globe. I buy a can of drink airside at Carcassonne and ta
ke that on the plane with me. Even I can last for 2 hours without needing a meal so there is no need to spend any money on the plane itself.

There are of course the extras you can buy. I took priority booking which cost an extra 2€. Firstly, because I always have a window seat it means I can get on firstish and get to my seat without having to climb over anyone. Although today I excelled and was first on the plane! The baggage allowance has changed and you are only allowed a handbag, manbag, or laptop case in the cabin. Unless you have priority booking when you can still have your small case in the overhead locker. If you don't have priority your small case can go in the hold and it doesn't cost you anything. Larger cases are chargeable. And it also means you don't have to queue for your bags at Stanstead which can take quite a time.

The flight left on time and arrived 5 minutes early so the only downside was they played their fanfare but luckily nobody clapped which is often what happens. Actually the other downside was a bit of a bumpy landing but that wasn't their fault. That was God who arranged that. I think it possibly also got hit with a gust of wind just as we touched down because not only did it bump but it seemed to skid slightly which isn't surprising given the torrential rain that was pouring down at the time.

So hurrah for cheap air travel. All that for less than the price of a pizza. I would have taken some photos but we were either in cloud or it was dark. So to compensate, here is a picture of a grasshopper I took last Monday.