Wednesday, 29 August 2012

A Thin Veneer

The weekend just past the IMA and I were up in Glasgow and had reason to visit a particular hotel. Along for the entertainment value were 50% of the kids - The Angry Pixie (as she has been dubbed by her elder sister) and TBW.

To give you an idea of the kind of establishment we're speaking about, they had gentlemen on the door. I am quite used to this type of arrangement, but in this case the gentlemen concerned were charged with welcoming people into the hotel and generally being pleasant and helpful, as opposed to the ones I am more used to. They are generally charged with making disparaging comments about your choice of footwear and/or belting you in the mouth for no apparent reason.

In short it was posh.

Very posh.

We were there to meet a very nice chap called John to discuss using their hotel for our wedding. We were shown around various rooms, discussed furniture-moving-about-on-the-day potential and even heard an interesting story about David Beckham. Eventually we retired to the lounge area and set about drinking fancy coffee, eating fancy shortbread biscuits and ironing out some of the detail of our requirements.

The subject of overnight rooms came up and we decided that a separate room for each of the kids was maybe a little extravagant, so sharing was on the cards.

At this point a gentleman who I would best describe as a ringer for The Major from Fawlty Towers came wandering in to the lounge with his wife and they settled themselves down on the large sofa in the bay window. Coffee and toast was served to them. They chatted between themselves in muted, well-to-do tones.

By now TBW has reached the end of his capacity to keep his thoughts to himself. He stated to John, in loud and happy tones, that he doesn't mind sharing with anybody. He points out that he doesn't snore.

I get worried.

He points out that Daddy doesn't snore either.

I breathe a sigh of relief.

"Although," he continues, "Daddy does sometimes trump in bed. It's really loud".

Mrs Thrumpton-Smythe on the sofa in the window dissolved into a fit of giggles, despite her breeding.

I bet the staff have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before Brooklyn Beckham is allowed to chat.


Friday, 24 August 2012


There is a lady who works in my office. I’d guess she is early twenties, has very fashionable ‘geeky’ glasses and is always very cheerful.

We were having a conversation today and she told me that she was “half vegetarian”. Before I I got the chance to find out how such an arrangement would work, my assistant (who is enormously good value) asked how she was getting on with Buddhism.

“Oh I’ve learnt it all and it’s a bit dull.”

I bet the Dalai Lama feels like an amateur now.


Thursday, 23 August 2012

Hume With a View

Under normal circumstances I think I am fairly capable of dealing with the human condition. My personal philosophy (such as it is) contains a good deal of Epicurean influence, with a streak of Stoicism running through it. I generally lead a considered life.*

This pretty well translates as an outlook on life that allows me to enjoy things for what they are and have a good time with what I have. I genuinely feel massively fortunate to be where I am, to be with whom I’m with and to have such fantastic friends and family. My life is, frankly, fecking ace.

I think a major part of this is the approach of bending the world at large to my liking in areas where I can, but knowing which battles are unwinnable, knowing when pushing my view is just not appropriate or fair.

Ocassionally, however, something happens that is completely outside of my sphere of influence that I desperately want/need to change for the better,** something that fundamentally makes life worse for TBW. And I feel powerless.

The phrase “give me the strength to change those things I can and the serenity to accept those I can’t” is a mantra that I embrace under normal circumstances. At the moment, however, I think it’s probably best just to give me the serenity part, because if I’m given strength right now I’ll probably need bail money too.


* - Admittedly it is sometimes considered retrospectively.

** - yes, better in my opinion.

Monday, 20 August 2012


To be played in approximately 11.5 years, on a large screen, preferably as the film's subject is making his way down his 4th pint of Scruttock's Old Nasty at the bar with his mates at his 18th birthday bash.....

Ah, The Boy Wonder.

He's been on holiday with his mother over the last week or so. Details, as always, were sketchy on what exactly he got up to whilst away but when I asked him to tell me the best thing that happened, he was absolutely in no doubt.

"I threw pizza at a pig."

Well, who wouldn't love that?*

Anyway, he came over to us on Sunday when he got back and was just brilliant fun. He's become a little obsessed with a lego robot building game, but my attention span is a little shorter than his so I was bored after a couple of rounds. Here's the resulting Lego Robot Olympic Tribute Diorama:

The green one on the left is Usain Bolt, the red one on the right is Mo Farah. The cheery gap-toothed one at the back is the Olympic crowd.


* - The pig, presumably.

A Cry For Help

This, ladies and gentlemen, may well qualify for the most middle class injury you will see this year.

It was incurred as I tried to push a bottle of champagne into an overstocked freezer in order to chill it quickly, so that the FMA and I could take it with us on our weekend getaway. I caught my wrist on some surpisingly sharp ice.


Don't worry though, it wasn't a Smeg freezer. We're not that posh.


Remember me?

So where to begin........

First of all the apologies. I've a gazillion reasons that I've not been mithering the world at large with my inane dribblings recently. I'm sure that this is in and of itself no bad thing, but the small downtrodden part of me that feels the need to apologise for all sorts of stuff that you probably wouldn't believe is being a total PITA, so, sorry. There I've said it. Working for The Man (and more specifically the IT dept employed by The Man, consisting of several people who do not share my laissez-faire attitude to internet usage at work) and a particularly hectic couple of months outside of work means that the few blog posts I have managed to slap together have been rattled out on an iPhone. Often after numerous sherberts.

Secondly, and this does need a proper apology and explanation, for those few posts I have managed to inflict on you I have struggled to respond to those comments I have received. This is due to the frankly crap Blogger app. I could see them via email, but not respond. They usually made me laugh and/or feel better, so thank you for leaving them.

But at this moment in time I have an urge to write, a comfortable spot, a full-fat laptop and an internet connection with no Thought Police looking over my shoulder.

Here we go then.