Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Tiny Carbon Footprint

No, your eyes do not deceive you, we are still at home.

I woke up at three o'clock on Saturday morning and immediately had a panic attack. It's not the first time. They usually occur when I'm away from home and have had a stressful day's driving. This time it was the night before. I still don't feel right now.

So bollocks to Wales. Last time we were there I nearly killed ourselves and the people in the other car. I'm not a reckless driver but I do sometimes lose concentration when I get tired. Which is every afternoon thanks to this bloody medication I'm on.

Anyway, I'll stop whingeing and make a list of nice places I will take my lovely car in future.

1. ASDA.
2. Sainsbury's/Homebase.
3. My mum's.
4. Bluewater, if they ever show a decent film ever again.
5. Ebbsfleet International Train Station for those exotic foreign holidays.
6. The council tip.
7. The petrol station.
8. The place where they service the car.

If it wasn't for the car I don't know how I'd survive.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Look, You're Getting These For Free, What Else Do You Want?

Before I leave you for a week I have something to get off my chest.

Yesterday I took some books back to the library and picked up some I wanted to take out.

"You can use the self-service computer to return and take out books," says the library assistant at the counter where there is no queue.

So I try to scan the books I'm returning and there is a malfunction. A teenage library assistant clears it for me and takes away the book that doesn't scan.

I try to work out how to scan my library card to take the new books out. The screen demonstrates a hand feeding a card into a slot. I have a hand and a card. But I see no slot.

I go back to the original assistant. There is still no queue.

"Can I take them out here? I can't work out how to use the computer."

"It's very straightforward once you've done it once."

"Well I haven't done it once."

"Maybe next time you'll get more help."

"Is it now policy to direct customers to the self-service computer?"

"It's very easy, you know."

I was trying to bond with her, to agree how terrible it was that stupid rules meant that even though there was hardly anybody in the library, library assistants like her weren't allowed to do the job they'd been trained to do. Of course the reality was, she was thinking...

"They employ these young girls to do nothing. I'm not going to work my arse off while these young girls are walking around the library with nothing to do, getting paid for doing nothing. I've been here for five years. Does seniority count for nothing? I'm going to have it out with the senior librarian. That young slip of a thing should be explaining to customers exactly how to use the self-service computer. She should stand over them while they do it, correcting any mistakes, making sure that the next time they use it they won't come running to me. I am more important than her. I shouldn't be spending my time behind a counter checking in books and checking them out, rushed off my feet, when some young thing who hasn't been here five minutes can't even pull her finger out to help the public properly!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sci Fi Wi Fi

My amazing life story will have to be on hold for a couple of weeks. I'm on holiday, taking a well earned break.

For some crazy reason I fancy reading some science fiction. I've just finished Richard Matheson's entertaining yet laborious The Shrinking Man. Couldn't get on with Neil Gaiman or Brian Aldiss. Got some Wyndham and Bradbury lined up. I like them. Or at least I think I do.

Any others you can recommend? As the actress said to the bishop, I think I had enough Dick in my younger days.

Asimov any good?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Child Or Dog?

When she was pregnant with me, my mum worked at the Atomic Energy. I don't think she personally handled atoms and I don't think whatever she did there harmed me in any way. Her best friend at the Atomic was carrying at the same time. A girl.

I was born in the cold December of 1961. A Wednesday's woeful child, full of tears.

I've still got the mark where they put the needle in. Antibiotics straight into my chubby little leg. I've got the mark but not the memory. I remember nothing from baby years.

The first thing I can recall is riding my tricycle, legs pumping away like manic sausages, heading along the pavement for my dad as he came home from work, a packet of Murraymints for my consumption about his person.

I don't remember our dog. Dino was named after the Flintstones' pet dinosaur and loved nothing more than to eat my mum's cigarettes. The possible risks of having a small child and a dog together were thought insignificant. But a small child and a dog who eats your cigarettes were too much for my mum's meagre housekeeping to handle. The cigarettes were essentials. So either the child or the dog had to go...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Life Of Brian

After nearly five years of this I'm a little lost for things to say. I think it's time I set myself a little project to get me going again.

So, for the forseeable future, I will dedicate this blog to my life story. Starting right from when I was a cute little tot. How does that grab you?

They say everybody's got a story to tell and this will be mine. You will laugh, you will cry.

No, bollocks will you cry.

You'll laugh.

Not with me.

At me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Don't Do Facebook

I am a hypocrite. Banksy really pisses me off for hiding his/her real identity from the world. Yet I refuse to join Facebook as I don't want my own name out there, having to make friends with people I'd rather not be friends with.

The rush for Facebook Vanity URLs is presumably now over. It's too late for me to be the biggest "Geoff Twat" on the internet. Let some other Twat be the biggest Twat. See if I care.

From what I've seen of Facebook it seems to be populated with:-

1. Pictures of groups of pissed young women with red eye.

2. Pictures of groups of pissed young men with red eye.

3. Pictures of groups of pissed young women and pissed young men together with red eye.

4. Pictures of wedding parties on tropical beaches, including the bride's two young children from her first marriage.

What a load of bollocks! But then again I don't see what you bloggers get up to on there. Am I missing out?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Terrible Middle Class Humour

Reading John O'Farrell's An Impartial History Of Britain Or 2000 Years Of Upper Class Idiots In Charge I am struck by a surfeit of terrible middle class humour. It's there on every page, sometimes more than once a page. It is too much to take.

In my lifetime, I have been bombarded with terrible middle class humour. Time and time again I have sat down to watch a tv show and there it is, terrible middle class humour, sniggering at itself, thinking it's clever, thinking it's funny.

I bought this book last year at a reduced price. I haven't felt so short-changed since that awful Bill Bryson one.

Now where's my Jim Davidson autobiography?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Teenage Angst

Although a lazy sod at home, at work I work hard. I work to pay the bills. Job satisfaction involves getting some figures to agree.

Today I googled someone who went to the same two schools as me. He's a professor now.

He had enthusiasm for his subjects. Straight A's at A Level. Degree, postgraduate degree. Enthusiasm all the way through. He must have had it, mustn't he? You don't get to be a professor without an enormous amount of enthusiasm for your subject.

Some people just naturally fit in with the way the world's been constructed. I'm incredibly jealous of them.

Last week I was asked if I've always liked figures. I said no, I've never liked them, but I can live with them. I like words and music. But words and music don't pay the bills. Unless you're very lucky or very talented.

Why couldn't I have been born with enthusiasm for things that I could earn money from rather than things I've spent thousands on? Why did my parents have to have me?

Everything's so unfair.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Farage Balloon

9.05 p.m...

"Oh, it's that programme with Meera Syal. I like her. She's a good woman and really intelligent. Her husband's good as well. Do you like him, Geoff? He's got a new show starting soon, Sanjeev."

9.30 p.m...

"It was such a long list, wasn't it? Too big for the booth. I was looking at some of the names. Did you see Labour had three Indian names? That settled it, I wasn't going to vote for them. It took me ages to find UKIP. They weren't called UKIP, though. They were called the UK something or other."

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Don't Believe The Hype - Broadstairs Is Crap, Too

Isn't the weather glorious? OMG!

It's days like these that I wish I was by the coast. But not any old coast.

The papers show pictures of crowded beaches. Usually Bournemouth, sometimes Brighton. You know, an easy day's return from London.

There's nothing more unappetising to me than a day on a crowded beach. You need space on a beach. You need to be able to walk along it without having to slalom burning bodies.

I want to be by the coast but I don't want crowds. I want a nice walk along a deserted beach, a nice walk along a not too vertiginous cliff top and a nice few hours sitting, reading, listening to the waves.

I'm bored with the seaside in Kent, though. I've had enough of my previous favourites, Deal and Reculver. The driving there and back isn't worth the mediocre views. I'd rather spend the day in our garden, even with the smell of wafting barbecued meat assaulting my delicate nostrils.

Later this month we're off to Anglesey for a week. The views are splendid there. There is room for us to walk and relax.

And don't you just know it will be pissing down.