Sunday, 2 August 2015

View from the Window

You guessed it, it's raining, there is no wind for a change but the skies are grey and everything is soaked, we had a lovely day yesterday but still needed the fire on in the living room to be comfortable during the evening. Having walls up to two feet thick the living room is generally cool and usually a nice place to be during a hot summer, but with the one's we have been having lately it is just cold. That is about to change however as we have some building repairs to make due to damp and the missus wants a nice big wood burning stove, so some disruptions coming to the household until at least the middle of October and of course to my wallet. The fate of Washington House is on hold as the old lady may be back and the other cottage for sale is now a let and will have a new tenant in a week or so, exciting times. My wall is being repaired this week as no one turned up from the bad guys, they now say they will pay for it but I will believe it when I see the cheque.

I was going to head south to the Richard III centre in Leicester and possibly swing by Bosworth but the inclement weather has doused my enthusiasm, although not raining in Leicester it does show cloud for the area with a break between four and six, therefore not worth the six hour round trip.

Of an evening I sometimes treat myself to a Canadian Club and ginger ale, I was first introduced to this drink in the Moons Plaza Hotel in Bahrain, who used to do an excellent chicken noodle soup, when an American bought us all a drink and have enjoyed it ever since, I cannot touch Scots whiskey and believe me I have tried, but it is a no go. I also enjoy rum and coke, gin and tonic, vodka and ginger beer but have you noticed that no one in TV and Movie land ever takes a mixer. After a hard day's detecting there is always that bottle in the bottom right hand drawer, two or more large glasses are poured and downed, not once do we see a grimace or does someone ask for water or lemonade. I watched Daredevil the other night and a young woman sank a good quarter of a bottle of whiskey in a little under three minutes and proceeded to act as if it was water, I would have required paramedics. Not only that I have never been in a bar in my life, and I have been in many, where I was left with the bottle and allowed to help myself, how do they charge for that because it is never emptied or taken home.

 What has happened to plates, a perfect, fully functional piece of tableware which simply cannot be improved upon but which is now looked down on by many restaurants. These places have discarded the humble plate for a lump of wood or slab of slate and then load it up with containers for everything else because the gravy or juices will simply run off said slab or lump and all over the table and you without them. We have the bowl for the steak pie, mini glass dishes for the veg and little cages in case the chips make a run for the door, I have even been served a plate with all these dishes on it. What are the rules, do you empty them on to the plate and make a pile of side dishes or awkwardly eat everything from the said dishes and pretend you haven't seen the plate.

I have a computer work station in the Post Office in order that I can draw my maps and while the day away on BBC iPlayer or YouTube if the urge takes me, I have my screens set up in a way that no one can see my reaction when the shop door opens and a customer stumbles in. Last week I tried to look at my emails and found that I had no internet connection, nothing had changed and I hadn't touched a thing on the PC but the wi-fi dongle thingy decided to not work. Being comfortable with modern technology I pulled it out and put it back in again returning to the screen to get the message 'unknown device'. How could it possibly be 'unknown' it has been in the damn machine for the past year or so, I obviously had not put it in right, so this time I fooled it by putting the dongle in a different USB port. It had a little think and again decided it hadn't a clue what the dongle was, it was time for the drastic reboot. Ten minutes later and still nothing, it was time to reset the dongle, but the programme didn't seem to be on the PC although I knew it was, it was time to go to the next level so I pulled the internet plug from the wall and put it back while putting the dongle in yet another USB port, that'll confuse it into working. No, it didn't. After an hour of faffing about, pulling plugs out and switching things off and on it started working again, no apologies, no warning, it just connected and to annoy me it has stayed connected ever since.

Do you remember that bit in 'Life of Brian' during the sermon on the mount and someone blurts out "It's the Meek, oh I'm glad they are getting something" well they got something all right, they have now inherited the earth. The vegetarians, the vegans, the cyclists, the 'monkeys are human too' crowd, the anti this and anti that legions the 'let's go back to the stone-age' brigade they are everywhere. People who in days gone past would not have a minute to spare from growing turnips and cabbages to ensure they survived the winter, now have spare time and what better to do with spare time than annoy everyone else on the planet.

Talking about going back in time, I read once that in medieval times it was customary, at least in posh circles in Scotland, that on their wedding night the bride and groom had to perform in front of a crowd so that everyone could be sure that the resulting child was indeed legitimate. The latest modern fad it would seem is crowdbirthing, where the woman or indeed the happy couple if a man is actually involved, invite their friends and family to watch the birth! I bet they are Meek.

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