Monday, 26 October 2015

A Little Catching Up.

Am I back? I’ve no idea. We’ll see.

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I have a problem, though: I need something to do in the evening. I’ve exhausted the library’s stock of watchable DVDs, I don’t build model aircraft any more, the TV programmes aren’t worth the cost of heating the living room, and I can’t leave defamatory remarks (of the considered variety, you understand) on YouTube until after midnight because I have restricted bandwidth on my computer. So…

I’ve been considering whether there has been anything of note worth reporting during my leave of absence, anything I would have reported had I been in the mood to note it. Well, not really, but since I’m determined not to let this blog die just yet, I thought I’d mention the following:

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The tabloids are at it again:

Halloween Hell!
Britain Out of Pumpkins!

You’d think the U Boat fleet had been re-commissioned, wouldn’t you, and sent to patrol the Western Approaches with orders to starve poor old Blighty into submission beneath the Nazi jackboot? Such is the gravitas attaching to the shortage of pumpkins in the scepter’d isle. But maybe this is just as bad as enforced food rationing. Times and priorities change. Or maybe the dearth of pumpkins has been deliberately engineered to keep us on our toes in preparation for WWIII. And yet it was odd to discover that one of the local supermarkets had five damn great bins full of pumpkins. Maybe we’re not considered important enough to be prepared out here in rural middle England.

But seriously, we never used to bother with Hallowe’en in Britain. The plethora of cheap plastic-and-gauzy rubbish festooning parts of the shop where useful things ought to be is a relatively recent phenomenon. It seems that corporate Britain looked west and realised that here was an opportunity to find yet another way to persuade people out of their money. And they did so in the sneakiest but best way possible: by getting the kids to pressurise the parents. Now there’s magic for you.

I was an exception, of course. When I was a kid I was the one who took Hallowe’en seriously. I used to go to the local library on the Saturday afternoon nearest the day and read books on the supernatural. I would always stay until after dark, then walk back to the bus stop through damp, dimly lit streets, pretending that life was more interesting than it actually was. And they call me unimaginative… (Oh, sorry; haven’t got to that bit yet. Read on.)

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I took a phone call one night recently, from a number that had come up as a missed call several times over the preceding days. A man said:

‘Could I speak with Susan Adamson, please?’

‘Not on this number you can’t. Mrs Adamson hasn’t lived here for nearly ten years.’

‘Oh, OK. I’ll call back later.’

Where would we aliens be without humans to amuse us?

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I got called a troll and a turnip on YouTube last week, by the spokesperson of an internationally known choral group. It was on account of the fact that I said they ‘simper better than they sing’ and suggested that if they didn’t change their presentation they would start attracting John Denver fans. The spokesperson went on to say that my remarks were ‘unimaginative.’

Well now, whether or not I am a troll and a turnip is a matter of variable judgement, and I concede the right of others to hold their opinions. But I would contest ‘unimaginative.’ My guess is that there would be a consensus among the literary cognoscenti acknowledging the expression ‘they simper better than they sing’ as being superior to most of what passes for considered comment on YouTube. And I am, after all, only trying to make my world a little more interesting than it actually is.

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On the subject of music, this is a YouTube video I found a few days ago. The song has been a favourite for twenty years, but the video gave it a whole new lease of life and is the current most favoured.

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I met Rosie yesterday. She kissed me on the nose. ‘She likes you,’ said the human sitting on her back.

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