Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Kevin's contagious case of senility - part two

Remember this? No? Me neither. Amnesia is a wonderful thing.

Anyway. It is definitely catching.

No thanks to the shenanigans that accompanied my email account being hacked,

The long and short of it however was that I subsequently received a text message from the Lovely Radiographer saying she was sorry to hear of my dilemma, but was able to come along on Monday.

Eh? What? What was happening on Monday? How bad was this forgetfulness I appeared to be suffering from?

Pretty bad, actually. Because of course it was my turn to host Kevin. On Monday. It was already Saturday. Oops.

That's what happens when you do not back up your calendar, never mind your email account and contacts.

The only saving grace was that at least I had already read one of the books. I sped read the other in the space of half an hour - a new experience for me on Kindle, amazing how quickly you can tap the 'forward' button when bored.

So the Kevinettes came, laughed, ate, drank and make so much noise we sounded like a six-woman house party in the making. And we discussed the books (as you do). And told some very funny stories (which I have already forgotten). And made plans for the next meeting. The date of which I have now written in bold felt tip marker pen on the calendar in the kitchen so if I totally lose my marbles between now and then, at least the cherubs can remind me when it is time to reconvene with (I quote) "your very LOUD friends, Mummy".

Good. So that's sorted. Now, where was I?


Sunday, 17 July 2011

The moral low ground

(c) Matt
As more regular readers will know, I don't *do* serious posts. Well, unless you count this one.
A bit like I don't *do* sponsored posts. Unless it involves gratuitous films with vintage swimming caps.

Anyway. Two things are bugging me:

1. Self righteous comments about my silly 'What the eye sees...' posts
2. The storm-in-a-teacup that is this ridiculous phone hacking 'scandal'
    How are the two related? Well, they are not, but let's put things into perspective.

    I am a people-watcher. Always have been, always will be. From this perspective London is the ideal melting pot in which to observe all manner of individuals, be they locals, tourists, regulars, passers-by or otherwise. It never fails to entertain me (or others, might I add).
    Some 7.8 million odd inhabitants provide a fabulous variety of characters to add flair to your day. Almost twenty-one years on and it just gets better. Given that you cannot talk to strangers on the tube without risking a Glaswegian kiss, capturing images on film is the best way of documenting any commute.

    Offended? Don't read. Or watch. Or comment. And just in case you thought I should be warned about the risk of being sued, let me state for the record that the Paranoid Former Employer already threatened me with libel, slander, various misdemeanour and the like for merely having a blog, never mind what it contained. A recap here if you are curious enough.
    Hence the Freedom of Speech ditty on the side to your right => => =>
    Please note the point about "...any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used."

    However. Should anyone amidst the 7.8 million people (plus thousands of tourists) who might have been randomly captured during my travails take offence, a simple email with proof of identity will suffice to have them removed. 
    I promise to be more helpful that MS Live Support were when my hotmail account was hacked and they refused to believe I was the rightful owner.

    Which brings me to point number two.
    I will just list the following:

    • humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa
    • civil unrest in Syria
    • Gaddafi still in power
    • bombs in Mumbai
    • EU running out of money 
    • US debt mounting
    • NHS waiting lists
    Am I the only person to think that there are other things in the news right now but there is an unnatural obsession with the phone hacking scandal?
    Really? Is this truly more shocking than MPs fiddling expenses, broadcasters being busted for fakery, bankers packing dodgy loans, or even - heaven forbid - politicians and police taking bribes? 

    As A.N.Wilson has written so eloquently in this Weekend FT, phone hacking - as well as blagging - has long been part and parcel of the journalist's tools of the trade. No one here is without blame, no one purer than driven snow. Whilst the lack of compassion regarding certain victims is regrettable, please people - let's get a grip, regardless of your views of Murdoch and his dreams of world media domination.
    We are not talking about faking evidence on weapons of mass destruction here as a justification to invade a country and put thousands of innocent people's lives at risk.

    Now that, that was truly deplorable.

    p.s. The whole silly phone hacking saga is best captured in the latest episode of the BBC Radio 4's 'The Now Show'. Listen to the first five minutes, and then skip through to twenty-two minutes in and enjoy Mitch Benn's little ditty of a song. Brilliant.


    Thursday, 14 July 2011

    What the eye sees... the long overdue edition

    It's been a while, yadda yadda yadda zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Suffice to say I have an amalgamation of photographic snaps that probably have nothing in common aside from the fact that they all reside in my trusted mobile's memory. Forget the phone hacking scandal (which I am still trying to figure out, by the way), if I were to be called up to testify in front of the Home Affairs Committee my sole excuse would be "But, look! Aren't you also amused?"

    Cue handcuffs and a quick round of pleas to fellow bloggers for bail.

    So without further ado, here we go. Enjoy. I did.

    The curious case of the matching tops and toes:

    Mr Orange - Darling, do you have the tickets?
    Mr Blue - Of course darling, let me just check in my man-bag.

    Mr Orange - Oh darling, look! Here comes the train!
    Mr Blue - Oooooh, exciting! It matches our outfits, although 

    I still think you should have worn yellow today!

    And I am not kidding about the colour coordination either. 
    Look more closely:

    London Underground strives to keep
    in touch with its inner self and passengers' attire

    The man who ran out of business socks. And the woman who literally wore her shoes out.

    Brown shoe to black shoe: "Wow, tough day? You're looking a bit rough."
    Black shoe to brown shoe: "Hey, at least I don't dress like I am a five year old

    going to gymnastics with my tennis socks on."

    Next. Shameful. No wonder she was hiding.

    Damn, what was it I had to remember?
    Oh yes, nail polish remover.
    And why is this woman taking photos of my hands?

    The 'new' matching collar and cuffs.

    This ain't nothing baby, you should
    see my budgie smugglers
    Remember this gem

    Salvador Dalí is alive and well and on the London tube

    Well, look who I found.

    Salvador Dalí's brother, also doubling as Lenin.
    Will do impressions of Karl Marx for a nominal fee

    And then there was Henley Royal Regatta. As always, a lovely assortment of oddities. 
    But that, well... That will just have to wait for another post.

    Disclaimer: these posts are not meant to offend, they are totally tongue-in-cheek. If you have been captured on film, congratulations, you caught my attention. If this offends you I am truly sorry. A simple email with proof of identity will see you removed tout suite. Just like that.


    Tuesday, 5 July 2011

    More random conversations with my training partner(s), this time complete with photos

    LCM - Have you see our start time for Windsor?
    BB - Are we Vets at 06.24????
    LCM - Oh yes. Welcome to the world of over 40s.
    BB Don't like it AT ALL!  Was hoping it was Vet for a team of veterinarians...

    After the event itself.

    One week later by email. Not having done enough, WW has competed in another triathlon without us.
    WW Well I came in 11th in the Henley Tri. Pretty pleased. But if I hadn't forgotten the energy sweet stashed in my trainer (then stuck resiliently to the bottom of my sock!) I might've come 8th and won my age category. Oh such transition faffing... My most hopeless fiddling yet! Heck, it'll just spur me on for the Shock Absorber...
    BB That is superb! Very well done - I am sorry we could not come and support. Now, the energy sweet on the sock is sensational - I wonder if that is a first. You definitely need elasticated laces - they would have allowed a quick correction.... How funny... Yeap. Need to get in the pool and lake for the Shock Absorber! LCM - get on your trainers :-)
    WW LCM, get on your trainers with no sweetie attached...! Apparently Blenheim is a good Tri to try - all on the Estate, roads closed. But there's a lovely one swimming in the sea across Swanage Bay too, which sounds gorgeous. Don't listen to me. Too much Waitrose Vintage cider...
    LCM (making mental note of all these proposed plans and appropriate catalogue of excuses that will be required in order to opt out) - Yes, yes, yes. Crikey Moses. Just as well you didn't have an energy sweet. You would have enrolled us all in another one without us knowing! Running tomorrow. Went swimming at Datchet yesterday, still pathetic, but had film crew in tow so am blaming it all on the vintage swim cap I was wearing for the occasion. At least am hoping my Halle Berry impression exiting the water was worth the effort. 

    By text.
    LCM - The crazy Brazilian has just made me enrol in the Hyde Park sprint triathlon on August 6th. We need you too! Entries selling out fast, let me know, will sign you up as am sure you cannot wait to take part!
    WW- Sorry, I can't. Will be in Norfolk.
    LCM - Great excuse. Wish I had thought of that one.

    LCM - WW in Norfolk that weekend so cannot join us.
    BB - Can't she change that? There must be a train on Saturday morning...
    LCM (wonders whether she should give BB a map of Britain)

    By email.
    BB - Let's set our own challenges for the relay triathlon. I will swim 800m in under 16 minutes. You?
    WW - I will cycle 30km in under an hour.
    LCM - I will run 7.5km standing upright and facing forward. I might do it quicker if I can hitch a piggy-back from one of the elite competitors who are starting behind us.

    Phone rings.
    BB (laughing hysterically) - "Bwah ha ha ha ha ha..."
    LCM (sighing) - "What now?"
    BB - "Have just watched your video for the fifth time!"
    LCM - "And?"
    BB - "You missed your calling in life!"
    LCM - "Hmmm, true. Of course, you were supposed to be in it as well."
    BB - "I was busy."
    LCM - "I seem to recall you overslept?"
    BB - "I went back to sleep after being woken at 5am by one of the twins."
    LCM - "Very busy then. Sleeping."

    Registering for the Shock Absorber Women Only triathlon.
    Race Volunteer - "And your team name?"
    LCM - "The Nutters."
    RV (snorts with laughter)
    LCM - "Yeah, I'd laugh too if I weren't competing."

    At the Shock Absorber Women Only triathlon.

    LCM - "Who are you waving at?"
    BB - "I am stretching."
    LCM - "You look like you are waving at someone."
    BB - "I am stretching."
    LCM - "Oh. Okay. Looking good, looking good."

    LCM & BB (shouting from the sideline) - "Go, go, go WW! Ride like you are going to pass out!"
    WW whizzes by at a speed of knots.
    LCM - "Of course, if she passes out she will fall off her bike."
    BB (looks at LCM disapprovingly) - "You cannot be serious?"
    LCM - "Joke. I need to get ready."
    BB - "That was only her fourth lap, she has another two to go."
    LCM - "At that speed I will barely have time for a pee before changeover."

    BB - "Are you stretching?"
    LCM - "Dunno. Is that what it looks like?"
    BB - "Uhmmm, yes."
    LCM - "Okay, I'm stretching then."

    Day after Shock Absorber Women Only triathlon.
    LCM - We came 9th out of 34 relay teams.Good effort and happy to see I was not the slowest runner.
    WW - Hey, fab effort. Not slow at all. We zoomed! Dolphin swimming, Lance-like biking, Bolt-like running!
    LCM - Think less Bolt and more Usain, as in "What U Sayin'?" Going for picnic in Richmond Park on bikes as cannot face more time in the car this weekend!

    A few hours later.
    WW - Dear Usain. Don't blame you. M25 is a joy. Lance.

    And the actual results.

    LCM - "How the devil did the seventh-placed team run 7.5km in 17 mins 10 secs?"
    OH - "Usain Bolt?"


    Yadda yadda yadda...