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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Friday, 22 September 2017

Creativity beckons

Far be it for me to predict what will come of today's speech that the Maybot will make in Florence.

I do, however, like to play about with options on outcomes, a form of Mystic Meg soothsayer, if you like.

Why? Well, why not?
With the Tories having f*cked up pretty much anything they could think of in this country - much of it without even trying too hard - you might as well laugh and poke fun while the sun's still shining.

So, without further preamble, here's my starter for ten on how the Maybot, BoJo, DD and their merry chums expect Brexit discussions to move ahead after they propose the following to break deadlocks.

  1. A bridge shall be built from Dover to Calais. The EU will have to fund it and only when complete will the Tory government agree to meeting their European counterparts halfway. In all senses.
  2. Britain will return to imperial measures across the board. No more of this metric nonsense, and currency denominations will once again be defined in terms of shillings, farthings, pennies and guineas. All bartering as to what is owed to the EU will be subject to conversion and the UK will set its own exchange rate. So that makes it twenty guineas and sixpence, take it or leave it guv'nor.
  3. Any negotiations shall henceforth be conducted in Olde English. That's a close match to a thick Scottish accent to you and me, hence a new opportunity for translators to flock to the table and variously interpret what each party is trying to convey. No doubt further hours of joy and, indeed, procrastination.
  4. Every participant at roundtable discussions shall be proficient on the rules of cricket. No knowledge, no say.
  5. Each negotiation session shall begin with at least twenty minutes' talk about the weather. There is no precursor about how you engage in this, nor which country's weather you opt to discuss - although penalties will be awarded at random if your country's rainfall/sunshine/temperature is deemed to be preferable to Britain's - but failure to comply will mean the entire British congregation have the option to walk out in disgust.
  6. There shall be no talk about the Royal Family.
  7. Unless you wish to touch on whether past imperial connections and interfamilial marriages actually infer that Britain should seek to reestablish reign over numerous regions in the Continent.
  8. All participants at negotiations must abide by a British sartorial code: oversized suit jackets for men, bland ties (preferably with yesterday's lunch stains well visible), scuffed shoes, ill-fitting skirts or kaleidoscopic dresses for women, preferably adorned by chunky costume jewellery for added effect. None of this European elegance please, far too distracting.
  9. All impasse shall be resolved by having a cup of tea. In times of extreme tension, this will be extended to include a biscuit and a nice sit down.
  10. There will be no negotiations during the airing of The Great British Bake Off. After all, what's not to like about a good cake? 

So there you go. I may be wide of the mark, but then again what would I know about the intricacies of politics and negotiations?

yes, exactly, hung out to dry


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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Twenty-seven years

Time passes quickly - we all seem to say so at some point.

Twenty-seven years ago today I landed in this country, slightly adrift in terms of where and what I might be headed towards, and thus commenced a rollercoaster ride into full adulthood and beyond.

A couple of points worth noting:
  1. I never came to the UK seeking citizenship, I already had two other nationalities to my name, one of which enabled me to settle and work here without the need for a visa;
  2. I believed - correctly as it turned out - that any career I sought was best pursued in London given the opportunities, cosmopolitan mix, and proximity to Europe that it offered.
Now, close to three decades later, I approach this anniversary with mixed feelings.

With the Brexit vote last year I have found myself in a similar quandary to many others in my situation.

Do I remain in the country that I have called home for more than half my life?

The honest truth is I don't know. Given family, friends, work, social life, health, education and much more, there is too much at stake to make a rash decision. Ironic that OH - who is British - would happily decamp tomorrow to warmer climes Down Under.

So what would otherwise have been an occasion for celebration feels far more subdued now. The country I call home is feeling somewhat unwelcoming.

A nation divided? Definitely.

A nation defined now by tarnished ideals and lies? Absolutely.

Not sure that sits comfortably with the values I wish for me and my family any longer.

In the meantime, work and plan, work and plan, work and plan...



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Monday, 21 August 2017

Get a grip

Did I miss something?

Another disheartening and mindless attack on innocents, this time in Barcelona, hatred without rhyme nor reason. Cowardice on a grand scale by those who were, like most of us, fortunate enough to live in a democratic country that grants freedom of expression and movement.

I just cannot comprehend, whatever the explanations offered.

The jumped-up thin-skinned orange misogynist still in charge over the pond, spouting incoherent tweets and unable to spell even the shortest of words. Twice.
How so, America? Oh, wait, yes, something cryptic about making a country great again and an election that went way off track.


At least late night hosts are not holding back. A degree of sanity - and comedy - there. Even if reality makes me weep into my breakfast porridge.

Politicians in Australia feigning ignorance about their own origins, with the 'purebred' deeming themselves the sole ones fit to serve in office. Because - heaven forbid - any of us should have mixed parentage. Oh, the sacrilege! Hello immigration? Any chance you let 'other nationalities' into the great nation down under since the convicts? Hmmm? Sure they weren't just opportunists?

Cue endless face palming.

Idiots still pondering how much longer they can get away with not having a plan for Brexit... or coming up with such ridiculous alternatives as to be truly laughable.


Oh, the irony of it all. My porridge at this stage resembles floating oats in a sea of tears.

Then we had the UK health secretary telling a world-renowned physicist that, basically, the latter didn't know his sh*t. Of course. Because once a d*ckhead, always a d*ckhead, isn't that so Jeremy?

He's probably not listening anyway. He never is.

But finally, FINALLY, we had something to really make us stand up and pay attention.

Indeed, the Maybot is back from her shirt-dress outfitted holiday. And the first thing on her agenda was....

... *cue drum roll*...

Big Ben.

Yes. We live in a society that deems clock stoppage the most pressing issue. No less than three (yes, three) parliamentary committees are "looking into the matter" from various angles.

I would hope that at least one of them will report that we live in 2017, most people wear a watch or have access to the time on their mobile devices, and that there are, quite frankly, more important items to deal with.

Oh. Just saw a pig fly by.



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Thursday, 27 July 2017

Just me?

Something about a last-minute panic has hit.

Aside from thinking - mistakenly - that today was Friday (it isn't, it's still only Thursday) and that my bank balance is so far underwater that I dare not anticipate what my weekly text update from my provider will say in the morning when it pings my phone (aside from "Seriously? WTF?"), it has also dawned on me that for the first time ever the house will be minus two out of three children from Wednesday.

One with friends in Italy, another ditto but in Norway.

And Widget on a local RYA sailing course with his best mate to keep him busy.

What to do then, with all this free time?

Actually, free time my arse.
I'll be working.
But with less distractions.

And possibly a bit of cycling thrown in, just for good measure.

Work life balance and all that.
Although potentially with less phone calls from offspring asking where I am.

School holidays. Gotta love 'em.



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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Analogies of a sort

Thankfully I spent the tail end of last week in a different country, taking part in another cycling event that was both exhilarating and exhausting, with my good friend (and fellow Kevinette) the Aussie Solicitor.

As we crossed the finish line there was much cheering and a man with a microphone ran up wanting to interview us. A bit of banter and a few laughs - especially when I mentioned that we had come this far to "escape the election" - and he signed off with a "Good luck with Brexit!"

Indeed.

Talk about a car crash.

I had jokingly said this was Ms May's election to lose, not Corbyn's to win, but hardly expected my words to be quite so prophetic.

Not being known to mince my words, and having already endured friendship fallouts from the lamentable referendum of last June, I decided to focus instead on one of the books we were set to read for Kevin's next rendezvous.

Now possibly because I was so put out by a trust fund hypocrite being re-elected to my local constituency - by a mere forty-five votes, no less - my take on this book was, ermm, let's just say less than favourable.

Aussie Solicitor, who has (perhaps wisely) not read it yet, asked me what I thought.

"An absolute pile of shit."

Like I said, no word-mincing.

And a perfect analogy for other events too.

where to even start...


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