Yes, I do still draw breath.
I have just opened my blog page for the first time for ages to be confronted by a half written piece from the 25/10.
Here I am almost three months later posting again.
“Where have you been?” I hear you say (not actually, obviously, or it would be a fair assumption that I had been restrained for my own safety, surrounded by ‘nerve specialists’ if I thought that I could actually hear you), though probably more accurately it would be “Oh God, not this oaf again”. If I am honest I have have had a tough few months since the beginning of October, for good reasons (massively busy with work) and bad reasons (my dear old Mum being very poorly having suffered a series of mini strokes), which, combined, have led to a hectic time, not much sleep and of course a great deal of emotion. What this has meant is that even sitting down to raise an invoice on a PC has resulted in me falling asleep and usually waking up with a jerk to see a screen filled with a thousand letters all the same and having to start all over again!
In turn this has meant one unfinished blog in October and since then ‘absolute silence’ as Mr Lancaster, an eccentric solicitor from the defunct Willmett & Co once said to me referring to a lack of communication on my part over a legal matter I was pursuing many years ago – I could of course have pointed out that just because I had not been in touch with him it was v. unlikely that in the interim all he had experienced was absolute silence (for one his office was in Windsor Town Centre and there was the changing of the guard every other day and for two (don’t you HATE it when people do that?!) there are planes flying over every 90 seconds or so), but I let it go, wisely I believe, as his hourly rate made the eyes water.
I seem to have digressed.
Whilst I have been away I have been champing at the bit, because there has been some rare work going on has there not – Brexit bleating, Trump, English Rugby, English Football, English Cricket, Farage, Nicola Sturgeon, the NHS crisis, CHELSEA!!!!!…the list goes on and I will be spilling the beans over the next few weeks, however today is about letting you know that I am still here.
Writing this really does underline how much life has changed in even my relatively short lifetime, for example, the last time I experienced the kind of tiredness referred to above was when trying to work was about thirty years ago.
At the time I was working in a very large sales office of a company that had the sole license to sell Caterpillar parts (large yellow digging machines as opposed to the legs and assorted limbs of the larvae of members of the order Lepidoptera) into six African states. I won’t name the company for reasons you may guess, but it is fair to say that it was the 1980s and there was a bit of a drinking culture (in fact it was the beginning of the end for me as a serious sportsman, having the self control of a Labrador).
This meant that EVERY lunchtime you went for a drink, and most evenings after work. It may seem unbelievable to a young ‘un eating their sarnies over the pc at lunchtime, but this was not uncommon. If you went to lunch with three others then you all bought a round (not if you were a woman…I’m all for equality me) which meant 4 pints at lunchtime. I was young, fit and virile (OK, young) and could saunter back in the office, shoot my cuffs, flicking imaginary dust from them with a flourish, and at least pretend to be working like everyone else (what I mean was everyone else was pretending).Reflection tells me that I was well on the way, as clearly only a drunk, an actor or Liberace (Oh yeah and Roy Hodgson, remember him?) actually flicked their cuffs in public, but it worked for me.
But, dear reader, the piece de resistance was a Friday when you would be expected to buy two rounds – one round of beers (glass of some hideous sweet white wine for the lady) and one round of spirits. So, if there were four of you that’s four pints (bottle of wine for the lady)and four spirits. This, by the way, was a minimum requirement, sometimes we would spend three hours in the pub, the rule was that as long as you got back before your manager it was OK – they of course drank out at one of the pubs in Paley Street and there was a network of informers that would get the message back when they were on the move and we would all rush back to ‘work’.
On several occasions I remember waking up, completely prone across the desk, pen in hand outstretched and could see the line from the order ledger that I had been writing progress shakily across the page and desk that I had drawn unwittingly in a drunken stupor as I succumbed to slumber and a small pool of drool on said desk.
How on earth did we operate?
This would have been a million pound order from an oil company!
I suspect any younger readers will be more surprised to hear that I was writing an order out not doing it on a computer or phone, than my vulgarian behaviour.
Talking of vulgarians, why does power have to be such a corrupting force?
It has been refreshing reflecting on Obama and his tenure as USA President, not necessarily his actual presidency, but rather his decency, humanity, interest in others and clear love of his family, a rare leader who has enjoyed extreme power, but also been restricted in what he could do.
Of course, we in the West have the high moral ground of democracy to choose our leaders and help us make decisions, you know, the will of the people. We look in askance at the kind of nonsense going on in Gambia, perpetrated by the outgoing President Yahya Jammeh…I mean, people not accepting the result of a vote, that would never happen in the bastions of Western civilisation like America, the UK or Europe would it?
…anyway, I’ve sharpened the nib, carefully arranged the inks and vellum and will resume ‘normal’ service.
As I open up the laptop and go through the 32 passwords that enable me to gain access to the vehicle (vehicular, what a word!) through which I produce this blog, I am in a mild state of disbelief that it is nearly a full month since I last troubled you with my witterings , but there are good reasons for this, dear reader, the absence that is, the mild state of disbelief is down to me being an idiot and a fairly simple mechanism for introducing the piece and excusing my absence!
Yes I have been busy with work and illness in the family has also kept me on the toes at the same time so that, what with one thing and another, for some reason me venting my spleen has slipped down the old priority list.
And what a month it has been, you know it should be hard to write every week about life etc… but, particularly at the moment, there is a trail of grotesques fighting each other for the headlines that really do help one along.
I know that we are in the UK, it’s tempting to say Europe but I couldn’t stand the feckless bleatings and breast beating that the mention of that entity (not the continent of course which we all know and love but rather the sinister federal organisation run the charming Jean-Claude Juncker who I am convinced owns a hooded cape and in quiet moments is really Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious (the choice is yours) and roars with a manic laugh whilst saying things like ‘Feel the hate’ whilst straightening bananas and ‘kill him’ in front of posters of Nigel Farage).
The arguments have been made, the vote cast and the way ahead pointed out. There will be no second referendum, or indeed third, fourth or fifth until we eventually reach an opposite result, can we not just take a deep breath, jut the chin out a bit and pull together to make the best deal possible for us all showing a bit of unity? It would appear not, as the poisonous shortbread eating menace from north of the border wakes from her slumber and bleats on about a majority vote in Scotland…yeah, you may not have noticed but it was the previous referendum you needed a majority in, not this one, as in THIS one you were a constituent part of the United Kingdom, because the MAJORITY of voters in Scotland voted to stay in the UK.
I am sure this is pretty straightforward even to the simplest of folk isn’t it?
Now I can’t feed myself that line without leading straight into the American Election.
Where do you start?
Throughout the history of politics, leaders, great and poor, have subsequently been discovered to be at best delusive, however, we are getting it warts and all about both characters before the election, and the overwhelming consensus from over the pond is the wish that it were anyone but those two.
Selfishly I opt for Clinton as I feel that she is the option that will cause less trouble for the world. The Trumpster is a walm