…But then again, too few to mention.

“I wish the time hadn’t gone so fast, though. And sometimes I wish I’d enjoyed it more on the way, and worried about it less.”

 - Neil Gaiman -

I’ve managed to allocate enough time to write a short post today. Its been slipped in-between the continued production of  “Plan C” and my daily dose of head-butting the wall. (Also known as writing a book.). Those of you that were unfortunate to receive copies of the first three chapters have my sincere apologies, the next three will more indicative of my writing style than the previous have been. If its not then you have permission to set rabid badgers on me until I do something about it. Call it a motivational mauling.

Presently I’m acting as my fathers chauffeur for the next couple of weeks due to a motorcycling accident which resulted in him having his knee pinned back together – again. Sixty year old grandfathers on motorbikes are not known for their impact rating.  Originally I planned to visit for a fortnight while finishing the books first draft. In the absence of my usual bag of tricks to help me compose, a two week stay close to the coast would be an ideal remedy for any occasional writers block.

Instead I’m taking my father to see his elderly clients everyday for corn removal while I try not to mutter (too much) about how I am supposed to be writing. Not that he has appeared to be listening -  I’ve just been informed that we have five visits to make tomorrow. That’s five hours of being unable to do anything productive even after I have carried all the equipment in. Bags, stools, towels, foot-spas, I swear he never bothers with any of it usually.  Five long  hours of not being able to take the notes from my Moleskines and transform them into something worth reading.  Five boring hours of drinking endless cups of  tea while octogenarians regale why they were not allowed to attend dances with American servicemen. Five hours of hoping that the wreak of a Volvo my dad owns fails to start the next morning.

Ultimately though its simply depressing, what with all those withered frames, hoary old tales, and the ubiquitous smell of urine constantly in your nose to serve as a reminder that time, for all of us, is short and at this rate I’ll be the one sat in an overstuffed armchair getting my feet cleaned up while wondering what the title of the book was that I wanted to write.

Bugger…

Go ahead, ask.

If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

- E. B. White -

You have a gift. Yes… I mean you.

You have the most amazing gift ever conceived. Many people think they know how to use this gift. They’ll vehemently argue that you’ll only waste it, that without their help it’s worthless, and then armed with rhetoric more dangerous than an assault rifle in a kindergarten they’ll seek to stymie your choices.

They will tell you that spending this miraculous gift in any way other than the ones dictated by them  will only earn you peoples displeasure.

Don’t worry though, because the people in your life that matter most will always understand why you make such choices. They understand that your gift is finite, cannot be replenished, and ultimately is yours to spend as you wish. They’ll be the ones who don’t care if it was spent wisely or foolishly, just so long as whatever you spent it on made you happy.

Now excuse me while I book another flight to New York…

Really? Love…

With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the  walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance.
- Norman Mailer -

 

 

Now all that Valentines nonsense has finally ceased invading my living space with its faux love and tacky over sentimentality, I can again venture into my local town centre without a fear of being overdosed by the saccharine sweetness of that damnable day.

I don’t dislike the day due to my mailbox being left empty and unmolested by my mail carrier. I receive enough cards on that day that I dont need to buy fire-lighters until Christmas. My dislike stems from the abhorrent commercialization of love in which the occasion now languishes – with as much chance of escape as a bag of kittens in a river.  I also despise being made what to do, so you will appreciate that being told when and how to show my love receives as much welcome from me as a hog-roast arriving at a Bar Mitzvah.

My continual rant at this time of the year is nothing new to my erstwhile friend Dee Dee who, after a lifetime of getting screwed over by the chubby fucker with the bow, I would expect to be even more vehemently opposed to this wretched masquerade than I am. Dee Dee however believes in unicorns, human kindness, paying it forward, and other such lunacy. (I also suspect she still checks Central Park for fairies…)

Armed with this utter refusal to lose her faith in love, Dee Dee has taken the incredibly brave step of getting her two cents on the topic published in an anthology. The volume is short, easily read in the space of a single hour, and worth every penny of its price. The beauty of Dee Dee’s work lies not within the first reading, not even within the second or third. No, you will find yourself reaching for this book the next time love lets you down. You will find yourself reading this book while curled up on the sofa, singing along to Gloria Gaynor, watching Bridget Jones, and wondering if drinking an entire bottle of wine as you finished that tub of ice-cream was a smart move.

As for the unicorns, they all got fat and gray. We call them rhinos now.

 

 

 

(Those pointing out editorial mistakes, grammatical errors and other such irks will, as always, be fed to the penguins.)

One fell into the Cuckoos nest.

If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won’t.

- Hyman Rickover -

 To say that I’m a little bit grumpy today would be an understatement in the way only us British can understate. Thankfully the windows in the house are all double re-enforced, which meant the net-book merely made like an Irish terrorist off the windowpane I’d thrown it at. The reason for my ill nature towards the double-glazing has nothing to do with windows, or net-books. No, those items were collateral damage from discovering that I have a parking fine. A bloody parking fine for parking where I’m supposed to bloody park the bloody car.

As the owner of a walking stick, gimpy leg, and a badly re-wired mind, I have to register my motor vehicle with the local council offices. They then supply me with my spastic sticker, sorry, blue disability badge, which allows me to park in the disabled bays close to the places I visit.

Usually the blue badge for my mong chariot resides atop the dashboard, just so it doesn’t end up forgotten about in the mornings as I bomb burst out the car towards the shops, before a blue rinsed tsunami of old age pensioners squeeze, press, and manhandle every piece of fresh fruit, cheese, and meat in the grocery store. Last week however I came back to a large bumble bee colored plastic envelope stuck on my windscreen. It stated that as I had not displayed my blue badge, I owed the council money for being parked in the wrong bay. Not a problem, I shall call them up, apologize for my mistake, make it clear to them that I do require the use of such bays, and if they would like to match my blue badge registration to the car it is supposed to belong to, then quite obviously there is no fine to pay as I am disabled, and do require use of said parking bay. Or so I thought…

The reality imposed upon me was quite the opposite. The fine was for not displaying my blue badge in a disabled parking bay they said. It is to help cut down on the fraudulent use of blue disability badges in the district, and as I hadn’t displayed a badge then I am liable.

In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, Come again?…

Slightly baffled by the logic they had used, I raised a query “What happens if you park a car, in said bay, with a blue badge, but without being disabled?” Muted silence greeted me, followed by the sound of a chair being pushed back, and somebody desperately running for re-enforcements. Five minutes later, and I’m informed by someone (who sounded a lot like Gunga Din) that the council was proud to be doing everything it could to prevent fraudulent use of the blue badges. I quite calmly responded that I am in fact disabled; my fraudulent use of a disabled parking bay is anything but fraudulent. The terse reply was that I hadn’t shown my blue badge, and thus I’m liable for the fine. My reasoning had fallen upon the councils blonde ears it appeared.

Twenty minutes later, and I was still trying to get them to explain to me how being disabled, but forgetting to show a blue badge was fraudulent use of the bay, while being fully ambulatory, and using a disabled bay with a blue badge was not. Obviously I didn’t ride this nonsensical bureaucratic roundabout much longer before  the net-book took flying lessons.

…Thankfully Brazil was on cable that night. A film that proves I’m not alone in wondering how the planet hasn’t gone to hell in a handcart yet with such petty little puppets running things. So, does anyone feel like cheering me up with a tale more bureaucratically bonkers than mine?

Hush!

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