Friday, 27 June 2014

These Little Piggies Went To Market (Harborough).

You may remember that a little while ago I wrote a post about clutter and sentimentality and stuff (if your memory is as swiss-cheese-like as mine, it's here), one of the subjects of which was an ashtray with a cone and two pigs.

Well here it is:

The Mum came over for Sunday lunch last weekend and brought it with her as a gift. She told me the tale of it belonging to my Grandparents on The Dad's side of the family. They had both clocked out before I clocked in so I never actually met them and now I have a battered ashtray that belonged to them.

It has been broken in the past (there's a reasonable probability that I was involved) and fixed with araldite that looks like it was applied by someone wearing welders mitts. Whilst Drunk. In the dark. A finely crafted objet d'art it is not.

So now it's been passed on to me. No doubt The Grandparents had some attachment to it and I know that The Mum valued it as a link to them, but emotional links to objects are conferred by the owner and just aren't assignable. I can't help but feel a lack of much towards it which is a shame but is the truth.

Maybe it's the chasm of years and lack of memories of its original owners.

Maybe in years to come this tale will become part of the object in some way and a connection will be formed, but for now this will just be two pigs facing a broken cone.


Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The Beautiful Game.

In the mornings on my drive to work I try to listen to the radio. I have 3 stations that I generally flick between until they annoy me:

Radio 1 - Could be either the music or Nick Bloody Grimshaw that tips me over the edge. Most likely to be Nick Bloody Grimshaw.

Radio 2 - Could be the music or Chris Evans that makes me change stations. Most likely to be Elton Bloody John.

Radio 4 - There is no music so it's usually John Bloody Humphrys.

However, today was top entertainment. 

Today, on Radio 4 of all places, there was a discussion about the salience of England's final game (due to be played today I believe) in the world cup. There was all sorts of in depth discussion about its effect on the nation's psychological wellbeing and parallels being drawn to tribal warfare, all delivered by a couple of folks who sounded much more likely to be discussing the influence of Byzantine architecture on post industrial urban landscapes than Rooney* being a bit crap.

It felt like listening to Brian Sewell discussing his deep love for Dubstep and Happy House.


* - OK, it's a fair cop. This is the only one I know.

Friday, 20 June 2014

You Can Take The Boy Out Of Engineering...

Last week I was out and about on company business again. One of the many delights of the job that I do is that you quite often get wheeled around peoples warehouses as they proudly tell you all about their 6 Sigma this or Continuous Improvement that. My job in this particular scenario is to look interested and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES look them square in the eye and tell them that I just don't care.

This particular visit was showing all the signs of being just such an occasion. I stood and dutifully listened to their spiel about Kanban and Ishikawa and kept my thoughts to myself. I even managed to keep my face straight whilst they told me about their unassailable dominance in the narrowboat toilet market (which was, to be frank, an effort of monumental proportions).

But then we rounded a corner and they showed me their engineering department. They had lathes and milling machines (both types, no less!) and surface grinders and EDM machines and a chap in overalls and safety glasses called Dave.

I wasn't allowed in due to their health and safety rules so I stood, just on the boring side of the yellow line painted on the floor, staring in like a fat kid at the door of the cakeshop. There were slip gauges and micrometers and engineering drawings and the evocative smell of cutting fluid. It was ace.

And I bet Dave was looking out at me and thinking "it's all right for you, pal - you'll swan about here for a bit and then get ferried off to a nice airconditioned meeting room and given free coffee".

The grass is always greener on the other fellow's grave, Dave.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

The Bad Penny

A couple of months ago I had a strop with blogger, I was upset because the app (which, ironically, this very post is being composed on) wasn't up to my expectations and because blogger doesn't let me fanny about with pictures in quite the way I'd like to when posting from anything other than a full blown PC (which is just so 2013, obvs*). Clearly this was a disaster of biblical proportions and so I jumped ship to WordPress.

But here's the thing.

It's just not the same. Oh I know that I have a million times more control over every little bit of code, I know that the app is a million times better than the blogger debacle (which feels like it was last updated in 2001), but it's just not the same. It feels like renting a fancy penthouse apartment instead of your small basement flat, but not being able to bring your comfy sofa and ask your mates round.

So I'm back. Normal service will be resumed and I'll even try to get the posts I wrote over there back over here (wish me luck!)

But if anyone can suggest a decent android blogging app that'll work with blogger I would be unreasonably grateful.


* - yes, I am fully aware of the irony of this comment on out-of-date stuff, given that it appears in a blog post of all things