Monday, October 12, 2015

When will Sam Fox and Kylie be Brought to Book over Time




Last week, confident in our prediction of a Rugby world cup final featuring England and Italy, Madam and myself booked a trip to Firenze to coincide with the tournament's denouement. We anticipated a febrile atmosphere as the two countries engaged for the tournaments spoils and a night we would never forget.

Turns out Tokyo would have been a better option, or possibly Dublin or Cardiff

For the remainder of the World Cup, we are putting our support behind Japan, Ok Rose and Blanche were treated pretty poorly in Tenko, but come on everybody that was a looooong time ago. They are great to watch, (the Japanese rugby team, not Tenko)

Oh yes, and we'll also give Wales a cheer, as Child B has a friend who he was with in halls at Cardiff Uni who plays on the wing.


While we're on the subject of University life, Child B's University fees for his year out working in industry at the fancy planners, come in just shy of two thousand pounds, a significant reduction on the nine thousand pounds for the few hours of lecturing when he is in attendance, but this is a year in which he will not attend any lectures, have minimal contact with the university, and submit six pieces of work, which if my numerically challenged mind serves, is just over £300 for each piece of marking.

Can I do some marking please?

I believe the number sign is still current

#Unversityfeesseriouslytakingthepiss

At home, fishing picked up no end in the last knockings of the season. Tarka tottered off and fish were far more settled. There are no signs of the pre spawning shenanigans that are often a feature of late season fishing as cocks swelling with testosterone begin to get a bit chippy with each other and you could make a case for fishing on for another few weeks this year. We have many brown trout in the river of less than a pound which bodes well for next season although we seem to be missing a few big grayling and roach. There are a couple of large pike on the bottom bends that I have begun to harass with my fly rod although the half of a double figure fish I found dead on the bank proved unresponsive.

Last week we underwent surgery, albeit arboreal.

Following inspection of the two hundred year old conker tree that dropped a limb onto the electric lines a few months ago, it was declared to be in rude health and its errant limb was typical of a tree of such a great age, the two hundred year old beech was given a reasonable bill of health but would benefit from further survey work but the two hundred year old ash that lost its top last summer was on the verge of cashing in its chips and must come down tout de suite. If it was in the middle of the wood or the meadow, I'd readily go at it myself, it doesn't matter where it falls. I tackled the tree that toppled onto our home on Valentine's day this year, without a thought, but this ash borders the road and is flanked by two sets of electric lines.

I have just been reminded that it was Valentine's day last year that the tree fell on the roof, and we are approaching the end of 2015,
Which doesn't seem right.

Chronologically I'm still at the turn of the millennium, I don't know where these grown up children came from,

sorry, let me rephrase that,

I do know where these grown up children came from, but they seem to have grown up very quickly, and when did this extra flesh arrive around my middle and my chest slip a bit. Sam Fox and Kylie Minogue, who once served as a reliable bellwether as to the chronological order of things, have much to be held accountable for. Both were older than me once, now I am older than them, and that chap on the radio in the morning who is taking over Top Gear used to be eight years older than me (and there are books that back this up) but is now only two years ahead. Anyway I digress, but can we all agree that it is no longer possible to trust time.

Now where was I,

Oh yes, the tree,


It's a two hundred year old ash tree that is fast rotting from the roots up. It took three days to take the thing down which had to be undertaken from a cherry picker as opposed to a man climbing and swinging from ropes, due to safety issues, it really was on its last legs. Now it is down and we have next winter's wood sorted.

Hard on the heels of the VW expose comes the resignation of Teflon Sepp and his protege, Fingers Platini. More of a slow burner this one as it has been clear for aeons that most at FIFA were up to their eyes in it. A few names are being put forward, including that of a Mr Tokyo Sexwhale, well good luck Fiona Bruce with announcing his appointment on the six o'clock news. Google confirms that he has made many films with a limited wardrobe budget and once puffed up the cushions at Heff's place, or is possibly up to his eyes in dubious business dealings in southern Africa, it's one of the two and Google images suggests the latter, so no change there then.

Tear it apart, Tear it apart, this is Juan Antonio Samaranch all over again.

Counting back the years we can confirm that Madam and myself are indeed forty seven years old. This may account for the fact that the first thing we reach for of a morning are our tablets. Not Sanatogen or ginseng, but our clever ipads. Madam is quick to quell the evil forces of Candy Crush who seem to regroup each night while we are asleep, or consults something called Pininterest. For me it is a push of the button and my daily newspaper appears. I'll not say which one, but it has a good sports section, some entertaining and informative columnists and I like the style of the news reporting. It's a habit I picked up at an early age, for which I blame my parents and John Keith who was charged with reporting on Liverpool FC's endeavours that I would read each morning at breakfast. Today, I could quite happily get by with just my digital copy of the paper but habitually retain the hard copy because the sports section was just about the only bit of recreational reading that Child B would undertake in his school years, Child A devoured books, still does, but a well written sports section has an educational value that some fail to appreciate as books ain't everybody's bag.

Anyway, my digital copy has recently been "refreshed", improvements that will make my experience all the more rich, with many more photos and a different layout,

Somebody's obviously had an idea.

Each morning this week my mood has lifted at the pop as the paper appears on the screen, I am still amazed by clever stuff like this. It has taken a little longer to download each copy and navigation has proved a little tricky as everything has moved around, but then I am forty seven years old and this kind of thing is difficult to a person of such years.

At the end of the week, our internet ran out, and my tablet issued a statement in which it declared that it was replete with newspapers.

I may have made mention that the internet via the poles and lines to this village, forty minutes from, what we are told, is one of greatest cities in the world (population eight million and counting) is now unusable. We are forced to rely on a 3G service that provides 15GB for £25 a month, which we just about got by on until somebody in newspaper land had a great idea that increased the file size of each daily edition by tenfold. To download the paper for a month we would have to top up our data account (and here's where the mobile companies are making a mint) by a further £75 a month. If we connected to the tenth of a meg poles and lines service we are offered we would get yesterday's news today,
which is a little like being on holiday,

But it's not, because we received a far superior internet service on an island an hour's ferry ride from a city ( population less than a quarter of a million) in a country new to the EU

When my cartilage finally turns to dust and I am incapable of carrying out my duties on the river and I must eke out a meagre living from chucking up guff and restaurant work, I will be far better served on a small island in the aegean, than half an hour from the third biggest city in Europe.

Is it me?

I have the beard, I am in the process of knitting a loin cloth, and I have identified a cave to which I will eventually retreat shaking my fist at an outside world that grows more bonkers by the day.

I am on the cusp of a plan coming together, which would greatly please B.A Baracus et al

I almost forgot, a friend emailed this article. I'll look in on the house now and again, but the sports pages don't cut the mustard, however this article pushes all the right buttons.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/08/are-we-killing-our-rivers#comment-61020030

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