Monday, 12 December 2011

Shake Your Tailfeather

Did you know there's a patron saint of small businesses? Neither did I until about 20 minutes ago.

Days like today make me think that St Homobonus (for it is he) knows about me though. They make me wonder if he knows my views on religion, knows just how much I laugh at Father Ted, and is trying to make a point. The ecclesiastical equivalent of a brick through the window.

Lets just say I'm getting a bit cheesed off with the economy and its effect on my customers.

But things brightened up considerably this evening. The Boy Wonder and I went swimming. There were many moments of joy, including his enthusiastic monologue on the culture and tribal customs of the Aborigine people as we were getting dressed afterwards. He waited until we were in the communal part of the changing rooms and then demonstrated his interpretation of their tribal dances.

Now to be fair I'm no expert on such things,  but all I can say is that if his display was even close to accurate I'm surprised that the whole Aborigine nation isn't up in court on indecency charges. There was rather too much wild gyration for my liking, or for the most of the mothers in the changing rooms for that matter.

After I'd placated Hermione and her mum, we headed off to the chippy and sat and ate chips in the car. We chatted happily about everything and nothing, before heading home.

Around 9ish I heard him calling. He stood at the top of the stairs and told me, in earnest tones, that I should have an early night if I didn't want to get fat.

So there you go. It's not the cake that causes the problem, it's staying up to watch Paxman on Newsnight. I just hope that Weightwatchers Ltd is on the right side of St Homobonus. I predict tough trading when the news gets out.


Thursday, 8 December 2011


Today my business partner has been wandering round the office wearing waterproof overtrousers.

I asked him at lunchtime why he would do that, given that he'd spent the whole day inside (apart from a wander out to empty his bin, although even that was under cover).

He told me that it's cold at 7am and gave me a look that conveyed, with succinctness and sincerity, that this was perfectly acceptable behaviour and no further questions should be asked.

The overtrousers are still in place.

I worry that one day this will all seem normal.


Tuesday, 6 December 2011


This blog is a funny old thing. Not funny har-har (please feel free to interject OK, I'll carry on...), but funny peculiar.

I started to blog as an online diary. I thought that it'd be good to look back in years to come at the things that concerned me now. I never really expected anyone to read it apart from me, possibly the FMA and hopefully, after I have shuffled off this mortal coil, The Boy Wonder. But somehow other folks have taken an interest in my ramblings too and as such I have started to wonder about the people who read this blog. I never really intended it to be for anyone other than myself, but that's the beauty of the internet. Sometimes it takes you where you need to be rather than where you intended to go.

As a result of this I occasionally have a wander through the stats - the numbers are laughably small in internet terms (who am I kidding? In any terms.) but the locations of people that read my scrawlings are pretty far flung and interesting. Is it you who is reading this in Sweden? Or maybe Hawaii? May I draw your attention to my blogger exchange program* whereby you get to visit me in the centre of the cultural universe that is Leicester and I return the compliment by visiting you in your sun-kissed/majestically beautiful locale. There's no need to thank me, I just take my reward from broadening people's horizons.

But in truth, wherever you are and for whatever reasons you actually read my claptrap, whatever drives you to comment, thank you. You are making this whole blogging thing rather good fun.


* - Priority may be given to bloggers located close to mountains/oceans/excellent wine cellars

Friday, 2 December 2011

Gangster Trippin'

Our business neighbour is one of life's 'colourful' characters. I like him hugely and am always happy when he's about because he's fascinating to talk to. He's very charismatic, always cheerful and I suspect if you upset him you may well find out what the inside of concrete bridge foundation looks like. Let's just say I've heard rumours that he's quite well connected. I'll call him 'Tony*'.

Around eighteen months ago Tony appeared and told us that he was renting the unit next to us. Over the coming months there was a procession of tradesmen fitting out the building, followed by a few months silence, followed by more tradesmen coming to remove said fittings. There were arguments between Tony and the landlord, the display racks in the building went up and down like a bride's nightie until eventually, a couple of months ago, the landlord saw things Tony's way. The racks and signs went up once again and this time stayed up. The stock arrived a couple of days later and the shop has remained steadfastly shut ever since.

I was just getting out of my car recently when Tony appeared. We were chatting and he offered to show me around his new empire. It was an offer I couldn't refuse**, so I went to have a look.

He sells high end shoes at surprisingly low prices. Though it was very nicely done out I didn't see any concrete boots (I suspect they're special order only), but he did have a pair of shoes with spats on display. This is absolutely true.

I asked Tony why he hadn't opened yet.

He told me that he had a "nice little tickle" running with the bookies. He went on to explain in broad terms what it involved, which sounded quite ingenious and probably illegal. He asked if I wanted "a bit of the action" and I suddenly got that feeling you get when swimming in the sea and you realise just how deep the water has gotten.

Maybe I won't try the spats on after all......


* - Tony Soprano, Tony Montana, you get the idea.

** - Sorry, I just couldn't resist it.