Sunday, 15 April 2018

Selectivity

Something has been irritating me all week.

An itch I just could not scratch.

It nagged me in the background, a pesky whistle that would not cease, constantly calling for my attention yet never justifying why it was of any importance when I took the time to look.

A group WhatsApp conversation.
So petty.
So silly.
So infantile.

A suggestion to celebrate some forty years of friendship escalated into a cast of thousands - okay, slightly less, but still, one hundred and twenty-eight at last count - descending on a venue in a couple of months with a distinctive throwback to the early 80s, to mix and mingle and reconnect and have an evening of fun together.

Except.

The lads took over and almost immediately the conversations reverted to ones I had long forgotten: infantile, bragging, sexist and verging on misogynistic. Recollections of teenage memories and misdemeanours were imbued with talk by grown men who now appear to be permanently stuck in mid-life crises.

I watched the exchanges for a few days.
I did not participate.
I wondered whether I honestly wanted to take part in such a celebration.

The last time I was in situ, some of these very same individuals could not find time to meet up for drinks or dinner because it was too much effort to get off their arses and step outside the front door. There were either lame excuses or echoing silences.
This despite some six weeks' notice.
Maybe it was just me. Who knows.

You know who your real friends are in times of need, they say.

I had no need then when last there, I was just in town to visit one of my best friends. I extended the invitation to catch up with them too.
But the insular narrow-mindedness of these 'old time friends' struck a chord.
It would have been nice to see them.
But they could not be bothered.
Maybe it was just me. Who knows.

So now, it's my choice.

I left the WhatsApp group. I doubt they'll even notice.

And, quite frankly, neither will I.
Selectivity is a good thing.

Itch, scratched.



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Friday, 16 February 2018

Kevin does the care home

It was all going so well.

We caught up, we laughed, we gasped ("the youth of today, tsk!"), we drank, we ate, we talked books.
And then one of the Kevinettes - Belfast Blonde - raised a toast.

"To the first meeting of the new year!"

"No it's not!" piped up Aussie Solicitor. "It's our second one, we saw each other back in January!"

The Botanical Artist and I nodded sagely. Yes, of course, how could we not remember?
Silly, silly, silly, to be so forgetful.

And we tucked into our food. And more drink. And quite a vivacious discussion about one of the authors and how ahead of her time she was with regard to this particular piece of writing, given that it was published in 1907.

The Lovely Radiographer and I were frustrated however by the style and did not enjoy it.
Our Doctor of Psychology suggested that maybe an audiobook might have resolved this dilemma: someone else to read it to you. Preferably while you sit back with a nice glass of wine and some nibbles, no doubt.

"I can vouch for audiobooks, they are brilliant," I proffered, and proceeded to rattle off a number of titles I had 'read' in this manner whilst driving to and from work some years ago.

Wolf Hall.
The thousand autumns of Jacob de Zoet.
Midnight in the garden of good and evil.

"And that one was excellent and narrated by the actor who looks like someone else..."

Ah yes. That one. The fellow whose face I could picture, alongside his duplicate who was better known but, alas, whose name I could not recall either.

Just as well my fellow Kevinettes are so understanding.

We moved on and voted for the books to read next time.
Seven books to choose from.
Two votes each. Majority wins.
Host gets to choose one additional book from the selection.
Simple, right?

Wrong.

La Diplomat called out our host for voting three times.

"Terrible!" we muttered in unison.

Lovely Radiographer's husband made an appearance (she was hosting).

"You lot sound like old ladies in a care home!" he commented. "Cackling away and passing judgement on all matter, like you've lost your marbles..."

Oh, how we laughed.

As we wrote our comments (about the tomes most recently read) in the Big Black Book before departing for the night, I looked at the date of the last meeting.

It was December 2017.
At Aussie Solicitor's home.
Silly, silly, silly, to be so forgetful.

classic case of 'spot the difference' - who's who? 


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Thursday, 18 January 2018

And here we go again

What? Already more than half way through January? How did that happen?

Bearing in mind I spent the whole of Tuesday this week convinced the next day was Thursday (yes, I know, I know, I confused myself as well as everyone else, no mean feat either), I have now put my skates on - figuratively speaking - as I have month end in sight and a raft of meetings and networking events to attend in the interim.

And a few cycling trips to look forward to as well.

It was while I was trying to find the most appropriate manner of telling OH about these that I relished the upside of honesty.

Telling the truth - even when it involves sorties with cycling buddies over long weekends and not necessarily in this country - goes a long way towards avoiding confrontation or tying yourself in knots.

Unlike some other individuals who just cannot stop themselves it would seem. I came across this and lost the will to live about two months' in.

Good grief. Another three years still? It is beyond 'the new normal' even for someone with my level of innate sarcasm.

On another note, there is something to look forward to on Sunday morning (and I am not talking rugby or refereeing in the pouring rain):


Fortunately it takes place before rugby training beckons, so I may just have the opportunity to hear another privileged toss-pot speak very slowly to maximise their airtime, and throw in some Latin for good measure, in an attempt to illustrate how ignorant we Remainers all are.

Thank goodness for those who fight our corner in the public eye, stand up for true facts, and have brains to debate and argue a righteous cause without resorting to insults.

And on that note, I'm on my bike.

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Saturday, 30 December 2017

Ode to 2017 - almost rhyming

After the shambles
that was 2016
the new horizon
appeared pristine.

Alas, not so.

It started quite well
with a trip to DC
marching with millions
wearing hats à la pussy.

I saw for myself
his fervent supporters
so out of place
so... well, thick as shit, actually.

Many rendezvous with ladies
who cycle for cake (and coffee)
kept me going through the year
when I needed a break.

The banter, the laughs,
the routes and travails,
we maintain our sanity
and explore new trails.

The election came and went,
I wish the PM had too;
alas she stayed on,
forever missing her cue
to fire all the idiots, bigots and fools
that form her front bench
and believe the EU
is the curse that has bound us
from achieving potential
in anything worthy or important or existential.

I despair. And so do others.

Any voice of reason
is rapidly drowned out,
with cries of foul play
or "You know nowt!"

But the facts are there for all to see
without the EU we are pretty much... well, f*cked for starters

And so the year lumbered on
there was work to do
with clients that listened
and projects to pursue.

New friends have been made
old ones fallen by-the-by,
where opinions diverge
it is harder to comply.

As the new year approaches
there will be more of the same (no doubt)
as well as cycling adventures
and family acclaim.

So thank you 2017,
Brexit and Trump,
the bar's so low now
there's nothing to jump.

exit stage left


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Of robins and books

It was the last Kevin rendezvous for 2017.

Train delays, icy roads, snowfall and freezing temperatures were not going to deter the Kevinettes from meeting up and partaking in festive prosecco, hearty food, good wine and talk about books.

Oh no, not at all.

Despite Southern Rail's best efforts, we (nearly) all made it, the only two absentees having excuses that were not even festive-related: university lectures and orchestra performance. Albeit the latter was child-related, but we'll make allowances for that.

It was a hygge-inspired evening.

Warm, cosy, fun and happy, with loads of laughter and sufficient bad taste Christmas jumpers to seriously question their provenance (M&S, since you ask).

The books were discussed - because we are a serious book club after all - and debated... and then we had some more celebratory drinks.

There followed a fair bit of animated hand flapping by yours truly which, miraculously, failed to break any glasses (despite knocking mine over not once, but three times), and some platonic love for decorative robins which adorned our host's home... and eventually LCM's head.

But, in all honesty, there is nothing quite as comforting as spending quality time with a group of wonderful women with whom you have developed great friendships over the past seventeen years.

And all for the love of books.

Hooray for Kevin.

a (festive) bird in the hair...

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Thursday, 9 November 2017

The multiplication of Kevin

Many Kevins ago, a strange thing happened.

Well, not really strange per se, let's just say weirdly coincidental.

Via a tenuous two-degrees-of-separation, it transpired that a fellow blogger and LCM - who had randomly come across each other in the peculiar world that is the bloggisphere - discovered that they had a mutual friend.

Now, bearing in mind that one of us was in London, the other in Brisbane, and no names were ever mentioned, it certainly is rather peculiar that the mention of someone moving house should trigger an increasingly excited exchange of messages - they may have been via Twitter, I lose track at my age - as we discovered that, yes, the person we knew in common was the one and same.

Fast forward to the latest Kevin rendezvous.

Host: the Botanical Artist 'friend-u-know' (BA-FUK for short)
Special guest: Spartan Superwoman
Troughers and earnest book readers: the Kevinettes

What a great occasion to run our guest through the origins of Kevin, fill her in on the missing members (two at parents' evenings, one in the Cotswolds, and another double-booked - tsk, but at least the volume of noise was halved and there was more food for the rest of us, yay), prove that we really do exist, and discuss the books which she had read as well - top woman!

Definitely, definitely, definitely an honorary Kevinette.

Plus she eats and drinks like the best of us.

And plans to set up a bookclub of her own when she (eventually) returns home and call it... Kevin's Younger Brother.

Brilliant.

not really :-)

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Monday, 30 October 2017

Timely return of the doctor




It was bound to happen.

After wandering running cycling many hills over the past year, Doctor LCM returned to her office to find a stack of letters so high she failed to locate the door handle to the BADASS* clinic.

Undeterred, she binned recycled the lot save for this one gem which she has deemed fit to share with her devoted audience.

And here we go.


"Dear Doctor LCM,

No one likes me. 

All the kids in the playground - who are mostly boys - make fun of me behind my back and play cruel pranks all the time. Whenever I try to tell them off, they just snigger amongst themselves and tell me to stop being such a cry baby, it was only a bit of fun.

If I go to the teacher, they act all innocent and pretend that I am the one at fault, which inevitably means I look even more stupid and unreasonable, presumably because I cannot 'take a joke' in the spirit it was intended.

I once had a great sense of humour and used to run through wheat fields when the farmer was not looking, trampling some of the stalks and having a little wee behind the hay bales without anyone seeing me. It was very naughty but I knew when enough was enough. 

These awful boys are making my life a misery and they also fight amongst themselves too as if still at preschool! It is exhausting and detracting from my aim in life to be a great leader.

What do you suggest?

Hopefully,
May Bot"


Doctor LCM replies:

"Dear May Bot,

Give up now while you're still (marginally) ahead and hand over to someone more capable of:
a) making a decision
b) showing some backbone
c) slapping down irritating schoolboy antics
d) putting pranksters on the naughty step, preferably for a very, very long time

The wheat fields await you, trust me.

You're welcome.

Dr LCM"


If you too have a pressing business or personal matter that you would like answered or on which to receive similar valuable advice, please submit to the Doctor and wait patiently in line.

* Business Advisory and Select Services


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