Sunday, 15 April 2018


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.


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.


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?


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? 


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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