Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's tourist time around here. Loadsa dosh for the Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Tartan Tat shops. Endless frustration and bewilderment for the locals as total strangers drive around at 35 miles an hour in a blind panic at the twistiness of the roads.

This year, for some reason, I seem to have become stuck behind more than my fair share of people huffing their way along on bikes. Brave people. There's no way you'd get me out one one of these roads on a pushbike. Not the way the tourists drive around here (or the locals come to that). But having been a cyclist, and having the wits scared out of me by people in cars just missing my elbow at speed, I do try to give them as much room as possible. At this time of year this quite often means slowing down behind them to a plodding five or six miles an hour till there is an opportunity to safely get past them without colliding head-on with some lunatic busy gawping at the scenery (Do I have time to tell the story about the guy Mike saw driving from Fort William while looking through the viewfinder of his camcorder? Probably not).

So, after a few minutes trudge watching this sweating loon's Lycra clad backside heaving away, the moment comes. The road is straight and clear. Check behind. Indicate. Drop down a gear - fuck! we're in second to start with - okay, welly the accelerator - and get past him. Back onto the right side of the road, up a gear and just round the corner is the bugger's friend; same panniers, same brand of Lycra shorts and just before the really twisty bit with all the solid white lines down the center of the road that mean I can't overtake him safely anyway.

Why don't they stick together so we can get past all of them in one go? Why is one always a hundred yards ahead round the next bend ready to slow up all the traffic again?

So eventually you get past the second one - and you don't know if there's another one lurking just ahead. Cyclists, please just stick together in bunches or, if you can't do that, wear something that tells us how many of you to expect. Like a delivery that comes in many parcels, have a sticker that says "One of Three", or however many, plastered on your offside buttock so we can see what we're in for.

Best Unopened Spams in My Inbox of the day:

J'ai Un Enorme Gulliver Dans Mon Pantalon!
Step into a fast-moving industry. Train as a Radiologist.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've Done It!

I've done it! I have managed to completely miss The Olympics.

I didn't see a second of it on the telly. The biggest, best televised sporting event in the history of everything and I managed to completely avoid it. Yah me! (I want a medal!) Well almost. I did inadvertently hear the odd mention of it on the radio news, mostly on the weirdly named PM's Olympic Desk of Sport (I'm sure PM is being edited by Chris Morris these days) in which we were treated to a series of gaspy interviews with members of 'Team GB' all of whom had microphones shoved up their noses within three seconds of winning some sort of gong*, saying : "I can't believe it, - gasp - I'm really - gasp - proud of - gasp- myself. I knew I could -gasp- win and went out there - gasp - and enjoyed myself - gasp - and gave it my best shot." (Maybe they were given this speech by 'Team GB's' PR people, or maybe the TV people were given a pre-recorded "Gasp! I'm so proud!" speech and just played it like a jingle between races. Who knows? Who cares? I know I don't.)

So I'm glad it's over and we can get down to the serious business of watching all these 'Golden' girls and boys fail spectacularly in anything else they attempt under the prurient and gleeful gaze of the tabloid press. A whole new crop of instant 'heroes' to dissect and denigrate. At this very moment The Sun is warming up its "Olympic Golden Girl In Five In A Bed Romp With Insert Wannabee TV Star's Name Here!" headline.

As for me, I'm in training for four years time when Britain... sorry... England - I think Scotland got the contract for cleaning up after the horses - hosts the damn things. Avoiding the Olympics when it is being held in the same time zone is going to be a bit of a challenge but I've got four years to prepare, I know I'm going to do it, I'm going to go out there - and enjoy myself - and give it my best shot.


*There is some sort of medal for this awarded in secret after the events by the Press corp. "And Gold goes to Martin Hack of Sky News who set a new world record by interviewing Chestless McGinnery** within 2.4 seconds of her winning her race."

**(AKA the New Golden Girl of British Sport and all time British Heroine for the week, winner of the 400m Running a Bit Faster Than a Lot of Other Chestless Women race.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

It Must Be Boring Being a Spoon

Feeling a bit bewildered that it is a whole week since I last blogged. What happens to my time? I'm sure I get my fair share: 24 hours per day, standard issue but it just goes so fast. By 'eck, they don't make time like they used to. When I were a nipper an hour would last you all week and you'd still have some left over for a game of football.

This week Holly has been enjoying herself climbing walls at the wall climbing place in Kinlochleven and making things, and learning how to do other things. She's been away most of the day and had a great time and Daisy and I have played round the house and down at the swing park and generally doing not a lot and somehow the week has vanished - again.

I'll try and take more notes in future.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Things That Make Me Shout at the Radio - Number 56. Weather Forecasters Who Go to Creative Writing Classes.

Merriol and the kids are away down to Sheffield for the day. Back on Sunday night. It's Sue's 60th Birthday. This gives me the whole weekend to do big messy jobs that would be impossible with the kids around. Today I am painting the stairwell which has been unpainted (and un-sanded) since I built the thing six years ago. It's an up a ladder, messy job. Lots of dust, dust-sheets, and planks balanced between ladders so I can stand on them to get up at the awkward corners. Definitely the sort of job you want your kids to 'help' you with. It's also a chance to have the radio on without the kids whining that they're bored with the news and wanting me to play the fucking Tweenies CD again.

At at one of my lunchtimes today (I plan on having at least three teatimes.) I was listening to the Weather when I heard the weather forecaster describe the weather as 'untidy'. "The weather picture today - is 'untidy'."

Untidy? Oh, my God! the weather's untidy!

I would like to think that's what he was going on to say:

"Small bits of shabbiness and clutter will passing over the west coast while the east has an uninterrupted day of moderate neatness. Over the Midlands there will be scattered dainty outbreaks - Orkney will remain natty.

...but I was too busy incoherently shouting at the radio to actually hear what he really said.

I'm worried about the way I talk to the radio when I'm alone.

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