Wednesday, 18 December 2013
No, it's all a bit out of order. Tomorrow is our Milimpics Choir Carols. This is when a small band of residents inflict on our neighbourhood and its environs a hour and a half of singing (in its widest sense). This year we have the local school choir adding a few choice decibels to the ensemble along with a brass band and, hopefully, loads of neighbours driven out onto the streets by our rendition of "In the Deep Mid Winter" and all that jazz.
Anyway, today I went off to the local authority depot to collect my traffic cones and street signs. We close off a section of our road so we can inconvenience as many motorists as possible. This time I have a couple of "Street Closed Ahead" signs so that we head off the cars before they hit the "Road Closed" sign and have to reverse back up the road cursing. Having loaded them up I headed off to a local charity shop to get the collection tubs and promotional blurb. The shop was on the main road, which had no parking or waiting but as I was only going to pop in and out of the shop in a jiffy I thought I'd chance it.
Well, they weren't expecting me, "No one told us you were coming", I was greeted in that charitable volunteer tone of voice. Some explaining, and fumbling about under the table for the stuff I was to collect meant I was in the shop for a couple of minutes but no more.
As I left the shop there was happy snappy traffic warden clicking away. I didn't bother to argue, little point. He's given no discretion - rightly so - and I copped an instant fine. I will, of course, take this to the highest court in the land. I returned the compliment and took his picture.
I drove off, not in the best of moods. At the traffic lights I had to turn right. There was a right filter. The lights were red and I waited for the filter light to indicate green. The on coming cars had stopped at the lights for an instant, I was waiting for the filter light to turn green; when some young tart in the car behind hit her hooter. Had I been able to get out and round to her car that's what I would have done, but instead I moved off violently gesticulating my views of her parenthood and her sexual proclivities. For the next half mile I drove at 10 mph to show her. Until I realised she would have probably decided that my driving was exactly what a slow old fart at the lights would do.
I collect loose change, and had a mountain of the stuff which I needed to change up. In the old days I'd take the stuff into a bank, all correctly bagged up and pay it in. This would be on my way to work and there'd be no queues. Now if I did this at my local branch I'd be lynched by the hundreds in the queue trying to draw out their pension or family credit. So I go to the local Sainsbury's and use their exorbitantly over priced change machine 18% charge - a rip off, but it's that or death in the bank.
As I emptied my Sutton Hoo hoard of coins into the chute, I noticed nothing. No loud churning as the machine fired up to chomp on my tanners, florins and guinea pieces. A badly lit notice blinked " ChangeChopper is Full, ChangeChopper operative alerted". A load of good that was to me as I tried to scoop up my Spanish doubloons and return them to my overstretched Waitrose shopping bag.
I got home without any further misfortunes, having bought most of Sainsbury's FreeFrom range of gluten free, milk free, taste free produce in an attempt to quell my belching fits. It seems to work. Coconut milk on porridge and sweet corn biscuits with the texture of Styrofoam, along with organic eggs accompanied by bread sheets that can double up as roofing tiles make for an interesting gastronomic experience. That and no drinking wine for a couple of days.
Well I had been complaining that the days were going by far too quickly. On that diet - meal times seem to last an eternity.
Oh well, Happy This and That to you all and a less than austere year in 2014. Great, we've the World Cup to look forward to and the agonies of our team's hilarious attempts at playing the beautiful game.