Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My vegetables have arrived!!!

Every week, I get a box of organic vegetables delivered direct from the farm. There are always potatoes and onions, then possibly carrots and other root veg, cabbage, tomatoes, leeks, squashes - a selection of delights that lasts the week.

There are two main reasons why I get my vegetables delivered:

  • Aside from the variety and interest, and the feelgood factor of giving a farmer the whole revenue for his work, the produce is unbelievably, spectacularly tastier. This is not necessarily because organic tastes better per se, but is due to a combination of factors. It's far, far fresher for a start, the growers aren't obliged to concentrate on varieties that look pristine and have a long shelf life, and they can harvest when the crop itself is ready, not when the distributors demand it.

  • The Vegetable Delivery Lady is quite fit.
I run to the kitchen in haste. Wearing my most 'come hither' wolfish grin, I adjust my hair and throw open the side door with panache.

Except it is not the Vegetable Delivery Lady. It is a man. With a beard.

This is not what I was expecting at all. I peer round him to see if the regular Vegetable Delivery Lady is perhaps hiding round the corner in order to spring out and shout 'surprise!!!'

But it is not to be.

I do not understand. When I signed up to the service it was on the basis that I would get my vegetables delivered by foxy Vegetable Delivery Lady and not by a man (with a beard). The organic farm is clearly not quite as it seems. Like many evil corporations, they treat their existing business like dirt whilst giving new customers all sorts of incentives to sign up.

They are as bad as Morrisons. I take my parsnips grumpily and bid him 'good evening'.

Monday, November 29, 2004

"That'll be twenty-five pee please."

It seemed like reasonable value. I handed over my money and tucked into the fairy cake, which proved to be exceedingly good.

At the next stall, I was offered the chance to win a tin of Heinz chicken soup on the tombola. Mrs. Tall Alf then attempted to sell me a Soda Stream machine (original seventies vintage, unused), and pointed out that I was entitled to a cup of tea and mince pie included in the admission charge.

I explained that I'd had a cup of tea and a mince pie before I came out, in addition to my fairy cake, but thanked her for the offer, thus neatly side-stepping the Soda Stream pitch. Ironically enough, I'll probably find that original Soda Streams now change hands on Ebay for hundreds of pounds with international soft-drink enthusiasts desperate to get their hands on stock.

On the way out of the hall I passed the vicar. I imagine that he would have cannily not eaten that day so as to take full advantage of the free refreshments. I dare say he'd negotiated cheap entry as well.

In fact, thinking about it, I should have asked them for a discount as a non pie-eater or tea-drinker, although they might then have whacked on a premium for a non church-goer. I'd have then pointed out the vast quantity of raffle tickets I'd sold, but they'd have countered with the fact that I'm a non-pensioner unlike most other attendees. I'd have then played my trump card - my generosity in leaving them with a valuable and desirable soft-drink machine asset.

For the sake of the 30p entrance fee it didn't seem worth getting lawyers involved. But one has to look after the pennies.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Suddenly, it is the Christmas party season.

Yesterday I got invited to another one, only to accept and find that it’s fancy dress. As everybody knows, in terms of experiences one would rather not go through, fancy dress is right up there with being falsely accused of child molestation. So now, given the theme of ‘anything nautical’ I have to choose between dressing up as:

A fish;
Michael Fish;
Fish (from Marillion)

I also have to give some thought to my own office party. As I work for myself, alone and sad, I am not greatly looking forward to this, although if I cancelled it this year then it may affect morale.

My plan is to stop working at about 4pm one day, before making a slightly embarrassing speech about what a good year it’s been, but how 2005 will bring new challenges and I’ll have to work even harder to meet them. I’ll then get really drunk on my own (beers and wine only), listen to records I don’t particularly like and make a pass at the standard lamp.

At least I won’t have to worry too much about getting home, although it will be embarrassing to get up in the morning and find the standard lamp still there, but we will have to get over this and continue to coexist together in a professional fashion.

Perhaps I should invite the rabbits?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I was extremely concerned to read that the Post Office is thinking about closing lots of Post Offices.

This seems bizarre to me. If the Post Office close the Post Offices then they won't have anything to do. They will just have to sit around all day, experimenting with queuing systems and stroking their black and white cats, like Bond villains but in a polyester blue uniform and with a crap bike.

Frankly, I think they would make very bad master criminals. Rather than just plant their thermonuclear device round the back of the Houses of Parliament they would expect the Government to make a special trip out to the depot in order to collect and sign for it, then they would go on strike at the first sign of a setback. If James Bond got captured, as he usually does, he would be able to save the world just by turning to his guards and suggesting a minor change in shift patterns.

The Village Post Office is nothing like this, and I would be very sad if it was sold and turned into a Starbucks. It is run by a very nice and helpful couple. The two regular posties are also very cheerful people who like a chat, despite me getting off on the wrong foot with the Lady Postman.

(Two years ago - I'd just moved in. I am chopping logs out the back, and hear the scrunch of gravel on the drive. I wander over, a huge axe slung over my shoulder.)

Her (brandishing post): "Good morning! Here is your post."

Me (brandishing axe): "Thank you. You've just caught me! I've just been horribly murdering my wife!"

This was when I learnt my first small village lesson - people tend to talk.

No - if Mr Blair and his cronies try to shut the Village Post Office he will find trouble. I will mobilise public opinion, through this diary and via Sonia the traffic announcer who sends me secret messages in her bulletins (and who now works for BBC Norfolk).

I predict civil disobedience and mayhem.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Friday, early hours. Next door.

Big A has fallen asleep on the sofa. There is no sign of the girls. Short Tony and I are tired of waiting up for them.

We decide to fetch them home and fall out into the dark night. The hundred yard journey to Big A's house in stretched to a couple of miles in our particular zig zag fashion.

The house is quiet, the curtains drawn. We are still cross about being fed this ridiculous 'cosmetics party' spiel.

As we walk up the front drive I have an idea.

"Let's see if we can find a gap in the curtains," I suggest. "We might be able to catch them red-handed in their lewd outfits of shame."

We tumble into the front garden and up to the large bay window. We are extremely quiet as only drunk people can be, with lots of whispering, giggling and hisses of 'sshhh!!!' There is no gap in the curtains, but a noise from within suggests that our plan has been rumbled.

"Quick!" cries Short Tony. "Into the bushes!"

We leap into the bushes.

The front door opens and a couple of people emerge. Phrases such as "I could have sworn I heard something" are bandied. The door closes again.

"Wouldn't it be funny," observes Short Tony, "if we rang the doorbell and then hid again?"

I consider this. I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of British comedy from the late seventies onwards including the UK stand-up scene, coupled with a single appearance at the Edinburgh Festival dressed in a tutu. However, ringing the doorbell and then hiding would clearly surpass anything that anybody had ever done in the name of being funny, ever in the world, ever.

Short Tony creeps out, tiptoes to the door, pushes the bell and then dives back into the bushes.

Again the door opens and there are confused noises, before the ladies retreat back inside.

We are beside ourselves with glee. The girls seem unable to work out what is happening. I reflect that they are clearly embarrassingly drunk, as I crouch sniggering in the rosemary bush with another grown man.

This is probably what Kevin Spacey was really up to.

"Right," whispers Short Tony. "Your turn."

I scuttle towards the front door.

[Five turns later]

"You know what?" I ask Short Tony, as once more the girls retreat inside in confusion. "We could do this all night and it wouldn't become boring."

[Three turns later]

They are scouring the front garden with a torch. But they are rubbish at finding us. We are like two Norfolk Andy McNabs, using our resourceful survival skills to remain hidden in the rosemary bush.

[Two turns later]

Blows from a large rubber torch rein down on my arms and upper body, as I struggle to protect my head. "You bastards, you bastards!" Mrs Big A keeps repeating. "We were really worried!" Our attempts at apologies intermingle with nervous laughter and howls of pain.

I hadn't realised that they sold torches at Ann Summers parties. It is probably a Vag-lite.

The LTLP stands back from the scene with her arms folded, looking cross.

"You were a bit late," I explain. "I came to fetch you home."

Monday, November 22, 2004

Thursday evening. Next door.

"Well I don't believe a word of it," I snorted, as I weighed up whether to be satisfied with conquering the continent of Australia or whether to mount a sneaky additional raid on Madagascar. "I have never heard of this 'Virgin Vie' party thing."

Big A rolled the dice and annihilated my armies. We agreed it was highly unlikely that the girls' evening really involved demonstrations of cosmetics and face creams. I poured another large glass of wine.

"Let's face it. It's an Ann Summers party, isn't it?" I observed.

We nodded angrily, the undoubted truth dawning on us. We are unaccustomed to being lied to by our spouses. Short Tony attempted to sweep his armies into Europe via Iceland, but was repulsed.

"Well I just hope it doesn't go on too late," I stated. "I have a Very Important Meeting tomorrow, and the last thing I need is the LTLP crashing home in the early hours carrying all sorts of probe implements and demanding to be pleasured."

"It's disgusting," agreed Short Tony.

Big A handed in a set of cards, and proceeded to destroy my African presence. Despite some canny dice rolling my interest there was at an end. We reflected on their sad evening, as we enjoyed our board game.

"Even now, she is probably parading round your living room in a rubber basque." I shook my head in annoyance. "Like a common whore."

We were now extremely annoyed by their behaviour. I made an abortive raid on China. We poured some more wine.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

DVD Movie Review.

The LTLP has bought The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and her convalescence seemed like a good time to tackle the first installment - The Fellowship of the Ring.

I won't go on about the film too much, as it probably won't mean anything to readers outside the UK. It was very popular here, and all our friends in the village have seen it.

In a nutshell, it is really just one long chase sequence. If you imagine The Cannonball Run but set in olden days and without banjo music then that is the sort of thing.

It was actually produced in New Zealand. It is very cheap to film there, as they have snow and crags and mountains and stuff already, whilst if they'd have done it in Norfolk they would have had to have used expensive computer technology to generate these, although they could have done the Mordor bits in King's Lynn. I looked in vain for the Waitangi Treaty House but I could not spot it.

J.R.R. Tolkien wrote many books - The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham and Fly Fishing (sadly out of print and difficult to find) being the most popular. He was famously rubbish at doing female characters, and there is a definite homoerotic subtext between the Hobbits in the Fellowship although nobody actually bums one other. (Admittedly I haven't yet watched the second disc featuring the deleted scenes).

I have a couple of first and second editions of the books, as my dad was involved in its original production. They are probably a bit valuable now, although sadly none have a signed dedication like 'Dear JonnyB snr, thanks for all your help with my successful 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Yours, J.R.R. Tolkein. PS thanks for the Golem idea - knockout!!!'

All in all I would give it a 9, losing a point because the background music is too loud and because of the boring bits in the elf forest. Definitely better than the excruciating 'Sliding Doors' though, which is the only other DVD we own.

I have an Important Meeting tomorrow, so will return on Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The LTLP has had a small operation.

Only a minor thing. But thanks for your concern - there is no need to send flowers, release charity records etc.

I arrive at the hospital to pick her up.

I have actually been quite worried about her, but at times like these it is always important not to let that show, just in case you relay concern to the patient. So I had been making jokes about death, her not waking up etc. Now it was done, I didn't have to maintain this difficult façade, and I bounded into the ward just grateful to see her, despite not having had time for any lunch.

"Hellooooo!!!!" I cried, plonking myself down in the chair beside her.

She was still very groggy after the general anaesthetic.

"Urghhh," she replied.

I glanced over her. She was still wearing a hospital-issue gown and some surgical stockings. I didn't want to feel put out, but I hadn't seen her for a couple of days and was just a little let down that she hadn't made more of an effort.

"So - how did it go?" I asked.

"Urghhh," she explained.

We conversed like this for a while, whilst I twirled my car keys around my finger. Although she was clearly in a state of recovery, she didn't seem to appreciate the cost of using an NCP car park. I glanced at my watch.

A nurse approached the bed. I was a bit disappointed - they don't dress anything like they do in the videos. She seemed very nice, however, and had a thermometer and everything.

"You should start to feel much better very soon," she explained. "Would you like a glass of water, or some toast?"

"Oooh, toast please!" I replied. "That's very kind of you."

She ignored me and took the LTLP's temperature, before disappearing through the curtain to the next bed..

"We'll have you out of there and home in no time," I said. "You've not eaten for over twelve hours now - no wonder you feel weak."

Fortunately, the best curry house in town was just down the road.

"Urghhh," she said.

"Urghhh," came the noise from the next bed. At least I think it was "Urghhh." It could have been "Ohhhh!!!!" or "Eeeaaaahhh!!!!"

"You take your time," I offered, kindly. "I've got the new Nick Cave album and some Leonard Cohen for the drive home."


I sat and wished I'd brought a newspaper and some sandwiches.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

An open letter to the lady occupying Room 507 on Saturday evening.

Dear Madam,

It was an excellent hotel, wasn't it? No weasily pretending-to-be-concerned-about-the-environment 'can we get away with not washing your towels' notices. Nice bath things. Proper toilet roll, with the ends turned up into a little triangle.

For that money, you'd have expected all that.

A little soundproofing, however, wouldn't have gone amiss.

When I first heard you, I thought I was imagining things. I was sitting on the toilet you see - my mind was elsewhere. The hum of the air conditioning was constant. But there you were again. Unmistakable.

I finished my business, and flushed. And then, I am ashamed to say, I switched the air conditioning off. I don't know why. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't dreaming.

I can't possibly describe the noise. I've tried every combination of vowels and aitches. Somewhere between 'Ohhhh!!!!' and 'Eeeaaaahhh!!!!' would be most accurate. Not loud, and muffled, but clearly screamed, belted, hollered. And so regular! Clockwork. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Ohhhh!!!! Eeeaaaahhh!!!! Ohhhh!!!! Eeeaaaahhh!!!!

The thing is - I really don't want to be immature about this. We're all adults here. But... but... it just drew me in. Once there, it was impossible not to listen. Impossible. Eeeaaaahhh!!!! Ohhhh!!!! The sheer joyous enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air in a cynical and indifferent world.

Two things I did not expect.

The first was the LTLP's reaction.

"Christ - she's not still going, is she?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, they were at it when I arrived back from the shops."

The LTLP had arrived back more than an hour previously. I had clearly had the TV on too high.

The second was when I walked out from our room to make my way to the bar. Whilst the party walls were providing a fair sound barrier between us, clearly the bedroom doors were performing no such function. Indeed, they seemed to be acting as an acoustic sounding board. Screams of hard-driven pleasure echoed round and along the corridor. Creaks. Thrusts. We hurried past.

Everybody looked up at us as we walked into the bar. I felt their eyes examining us. Wondering.

I located my friend Fred.

"Did you hear...?" we both exclaimed, simultaneously.

I write this not to embarrass you. I just - I just feel that we shared a moment. I wonder who you are, and what your story is. I hope that you enjoyed your trip to London, and always remember that evening with a smile and perhaps a little secret flush of enjoyment. If you are reading this, perhaps after searching Google for 'attractive Norfolk blogger in London hotel bar' or 'name of bloke I shared room 507 with' then I'd like to wish you all the very, very best.

Much later, I walked back to the room. I passed the two empty champagne bottles that you'd left outside for collection. You were silent and, I hope, at peace and satisfied.

To your wonderful future memories.

Your unknown friend,



An open letter to the gentleman occupying Room 507 on Saturday evening.

Dear Sir,




Monday, November 15, 2004

I have a groin strain!!!

A genuine 100% groin strain!!!

I am terribly excited. This is the first proper sporting injury I have ever had, if you don't count last month's mildly sore elbow, or a couple of broken fingers from cackhanded slip fielding. They were but mild inconveniences.

I sustained it on Friday, whilst beating Short Tony at tennis for the very first time. As we shook hands afterwards, he was sweating and knackered like the mediocre amateur he is, whilst I was jaunty and had a groin strain, like a real professional sportsman.

The LTLP and I sat and watched the Frank Skinner show on Friday night. Usually I empathise with Frank Skinner, as I am also very funny but an awkward and rubbish conversationalist when I meet celebrities. But this time I felt like I had much more in common with his star guest, Paula Radcliffe, who was the blonde lady who broke down and could not finish at the Olympic Games.

They replayed the footage of her bent double with pain and crying, her Olympic dream in shatters. I now know the agony that she was going through. (Although of course I went on to beat Short Tony, rather than just giving up).

Although she does not know me, I might write her a letter to cheer her up. It would be good for her to know that there are other people in the same situation as her. I would explain that, just as she fought back recently to triumph in another race - albeit one that nobody really knows or cares about - I would also be doing the same thing by challenging the LTLP next weekend.

And I would also put her troubles in perspective by saying that although she was badly dehydrated, she could get over that by just having a drink, whereas my groin strain will take a while to heal and possibly require massage, etc. She seems like a very nice lady and once she thinks about this, I am sure that she will be a lot happier and philosophical about her failure.

Thinking about it, now Emlyn Hughes has sadly passed away, there will be a vacancy for team captain on BBC's popular and successful quiz show 'A Question of Sport'.

I think with my amusing personality and groin strain I would be the ideal person to fill this role.

I shall write to Michael Grade with my suggestion.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Village Pub, 10pm.

"It's just the principle of the thing that gets me," bemoaned Short Tony.

"Chill out," I advised. "Everybody gets chucked out of a party once in their life."

"Yes, but it's my party and my house!"

"The girls really didn't want us there, did they?" observed Keith the Woodman.

I took another swig of beer and surveyed the bar. Present: the four of us, two others and the Well Spoken Barman. Big A must have read my thoughts. "You have to make it more atmospheric in here," he stated.

"Bloody right," I interjected, backed up by four pints of Broadside. "The music in here, for instance. It's shite."

The Well Spoken Barman agreed, unoffended. "We do need to sort that out. We've only got CD's that were free with The Mail on Sunday. You know about music. What do you recommend?"

Somebody is asking my opinion about music! I warmed to the chap immediately. There is nothing better one can do for a man than ask his opinion about music. I looked around the pub in an analytical fashion, determined to use my music-recommending responsibilities for the power of good.

"Well." I replied eventually. "This is a pub/restaurant. And a sophisticated and not cheap one. What you need is some decent jazz. Not too mainstream, not pretentious, not the slickly produced stuff, not dinner jazz, yet melodic and perhaps funky. The stuff where you shut your eyes, and you're transported to a sweaty, small and smoky basement bar, packed in a few feet away from the band and carried off by the music."

Everybody looked at me, dead impressed.

"That's great!" said the Well Spoken Barman. "Would you do me a favour? Write down the names of some CD's and I'll order them off Amazon?"

As we walked home I reflected that perhaps I had been slightly hasty in my subsequent agreement to become the Village Pub's musical director. On my mental list so far was one album - Les McCann's and Eddie Harris's "Swiss Movement" - one of the greatest jazz albums ever made.

I can say this because a) it says on the insert that it's one of the greatest jazz albums ever made; b) I have it and really enjoy it; and c) it's the only jazz record I own, full stop, period, shoobeedoobeedoo.

The thing is, that I know nothing about jazz whatsoever. No. That's not true. I know two things. Firstly, drummers prefer playing it. Secondly, bands start off playing a recognisable theme, then everybody takes it in turns to play what the fuck they like on instruments that should really be in a nice brass band, before somebody waves their hand and they play the recognisable theme again then stop and have a fag.

So I'm a bit stuck. I need to come up with a list before Saturday that veers a cool line between Jamie Cullum and wanky plinkity plonk wierdo shit. But that isn't just things that everyone's all heard before and are included on free CD's given away with The Mail on Sunday.

Help!!! Any ideas?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

What a fiasco.

Sorry for my absence today, everyone. No internet connection at all.

That's my livelihood, that is.

It's like they cut off my oxygen.

Now I'm a day behind.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Wrapping its greedy tentacles around me like a desperate divorcee at an over-40's disco.

There is nothing on earth worse than not being able to sleep. I lie there, angry and stressed. I toss. I turn. I do some more tossing. I turn once more. Then I throw in another toss for good measure, before giving a little turn and lying on my back, hopeless and cross.

Ninety minutes later, I am still lying there, and I realise that I have exhausted the entertainment possibilities of studying the inside surface of my eyelids. They are featureless and boring.

There is no noise. Two cars have passed in the last hour, and even the local squeaky thing that lives outside the window seems to have tucked in early with a hot drink.

The LTLP is away for the night. Perhaps that is the problem. I am all alone except for Honey Bear and Peter the Hanging Monkey.

My bed is slightly larger than king sized, which is great as you can share it and have the warm sensation of being with somebody overnight without any of that physical contact stuff that girls like. Honestly, it's really really big - it would comfortably fit me and the LTLP, plus, Kirstie Allsopp, Alison Goldfrapp and at a pinch, Daisy Sampson and Laura Kuenssberg from The Daily Politics to pick some people at random. (Although if they were all there, I would have to back down and have physical contact - it's not that big.)

That thought exaggerates the emptiness more.

We lie there - me, Honey Bear and Peter the Hanging Monkey.

I start thinking about things. This is always a mistake, thinking about things. It further activates my racing brain. Am I hungry? Not sure. Do I want to go for a wee wee? I didn't, but now I can't tell. Are there aliens elsewhere in the universe? It would be interesting if there were.

A crumb of comfort - at least it gives me something to write about. I think of a very funny 'Insomnia! Insomnia! They've all got it in-somnia!' joke, and wonder how I can work it in to a post without appearing contrived.

Then I must have gone to sleep.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Unexpected break - I need to go into London at the last minute, so haven't got time to write about insomnia.

I'll do that tomorrow. It will probably start like this:


And I'll probably do some sort of "Insomnia! Insomnia! They've all got it in-somnia!" joke.

That one needs work.

In my absence, try Chase Me, Ladies. It's terribly good.

Monday, November 08, 2004


It's everywhere. Filling up the loft space with its smoky smokiness. Again, my chimney seems to be failing in its primary purpose.

This time I am prepared, and, having extinguished the trial fire in the grate, I head upstairs with my new secret weapon - an aerosol can excitingly labelled 'No More Big Gaps'.

(I had previously noticed a big gap, you see).

The 'No More Big Gaps' stuff is very exciting. You spray it in a big gap, and it sort of foams up dramatically in order to fill said aperture.

I think the best way I can probably describe it to the average reader is that it's extremely like the foam injection filler in 'Space Fall', the second episode of BBC TV's 'Blake's Seven' series, that automatically sealed the space between the inner and outer skin of the prison ship 'London' on the accidental puncturing of its hull.

Mindful of what happened to the unfortunate rebel caught in the foam onslaught, I am extremely cautious. I wear the free polythene gloves provided, and make sure that there is a straight and uncluttered escape route from where I am standing back to the loft hatch. That way, if the 'No More Big Gaps' expands more than expected, to fill the whole loft space, I should be OK, and not end up cocooned forever amongst old furniture and boxes.

I don't know if the makers of Blake's Seven get royalties from this product, but they really should do. They had a lot of good ideas, like transporting criminals to the planet Cygnus Alpha rather than giving them anti social behaviour orders. Honestly, if Michael Howard really wanted to make an impact on the electorate he would appoint Servalan as Shadow Home Secretary and give everybody teleportation bracelets to solve our transport problems and end our reliance on Saudi oil.

Truly the man has no imagination whatsoever.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

This is a bloody weird freaky blog.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I am excited to read that scientists have worked out how the body clock affects our daily lives.

They are terribly clever, what with their white lab coats and clipboards and everything. The thing is, I'm not sure that they're right on all counts.

They did a table, showing how our bodies work differently throughout the day. It goes like this:

1-2am: Urine production is at its lowest
This is rubbish. My urine production really starts to get going round about this point, and I am clearly not alone in this.

3-4am: Body at its lowest ebb - most likely to die
This is alarming, especially as I am normally asleep at this point (except when I get up to go for a wee wee (see above)). Which means that I can't take any action to avert the 'likely to die' bit, like get a drink of water or some paracetamol etc etc. It must be quite useful to know however, especially if you are a journalist hanging around Yasser Arafat - you may as well get a bit of kip and come back in a few hours time.

5-6am: Growth hormones peak
Annoyingly, I am still asleep. It would be far more interesting if this happened during the day, then you could stand in front of a full-length mirror, watching yourself grow. As it is, it seems a bit of a waste.

7-8am: ...sperm count highest - most likely to conceive
Somebody here is taking the piss. This is all very well, but frankly I'm not - well - that is to say, I'm not at my most alluring at this point. Something has clearly gone wrong with evolution if this is the best time to plan conception. I've just woken up, my hair's all over the place, I haven't cleaned my teeth and I've sweated all night so it's not particularly nice - you know - down there.

9-10am: ...short-term memory and logical reasoning at their best
Again, a bit of a waste. I've just got up and nothing has happened to give me things to remember in the short term. It would be better if this happened around 7pm when the LTLP gets home, so when she asks what I've been doing all day I can give her a better answer than 'oh, this and that'.

11am-12 noon: Concentration at its best
Sorry. You were saying?

1-2pm: Peak urine production
Rubbish (see above). I am going to measure how much wee wee I do between 1 and 2 today.

3-4pm: Lung function at its best
If I ever go a bit eccentric and start ringing people at random from the phone book and just breathe at them, then I will make a note to do this mid-afternoon. I might ask my friend the Policeman if there are statistics on the times heavy breathers usually make their calls.

5-6pm: Body at its fittest - best time to exercise; alertness peaks; body at its most flexible, muscle tone peaks
This is very useful to know. I will plan to always play Short Tony at tennis at this time, and with my insider knowledge I will thrash him every time. Ha ha!!!

Note (1) - thinking about it, his body will probably work the same as mine, so my advantage may well be negated.

Note (2) - and it will be dark.

7-8pm: ...digestive system at its best
This is the first sensible thing the body clock has done all day. Just when I'm having my dinner and all.

9-10pm: ...libido at its highest
Again, this is more like it! I would guess this is especially on Friday and Saturday. By this point I have usually had a couple of beers, and I'm raring to go and not particularly choosy. Honestly, if any lovely lady readers are looking at this after around 9pm, then give me a shout and we'll go from there. Towards 10pm you won't even need to be that lovely. Or ladylike.

11pm-12 midnight: ...ovulation most likely

So you see - a mixed bag.

And what happens to our bodies during every other hour in between?!?

I shall ponder this over the weekend.

Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My G is broken!!!

I sit at the piano and play a scale. It should go:

"Plink plunk plunk plunk plink plunk plunk plunnnk."

And now it just goes:

"Plink plunk plunk plunk [gap] plunk plunk plunnnk."

This is really annoying. I was quite happy with not having an A flat, but pretty well everything ever written has a G in it somewhere, especially 'Air on a G String' and 'Green Green Grass of Home'. It is such a useful note.

I open the lid. I can see the wooden hammery-on things. It all looks very complicated, and not something that I'd be easily able to fix. I would call the Cheerful Builder, but I guess he doesn't really know much about pianos as a) he is a builder not a piano mender and b) he is a punk - albeit a punk who likes Status Quo, which makes him a very rubbish punk indeed.

There is a business card sellotaped inside the lid - it is for a general piano repair man!!!

His phone number is Edgware 6421. I think it might be quite old.

I look at my piano sadly. It is very old and historic and I love it, but I will never become the Tori Amos of West Norfolk without a G or an A flat.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I want to know where all the washing comes from.

Every morning I do some washing. Some mornings I do two or three loads. Don't worry - I have a machine that does most of the work for me. I just don't understand.

I clearly remember when I was young, there would be a 'washing day' when it would all get done. This was as part of a family of four.

As far as I can tell, I don't wear more clothes than I used to. In fact, when I was a kid I would have got more dirty, playing on my bike and stuff. Actually, thinking about it, I was sitting in my bedroom programming my ZX Spectrum whilst the other children were outside, getting dirty, making friends etc., so maybe that doesn't stack up.

As it is, it's pissing down with rain outside so there is wet laundry hanging everywhere. The bedroom looks like the pants department of Marks and Spencer.

In fact, if I wanted to make a bit of cash I could follow the example of those farmers who have diversified by setting up mazes using their fields of maize - the 'Amazing Maize Mazes', and do the same with my pants. It would be great. People would start at the top of the stairs and have to work their way to the door of the second bedroom. Truly my 'Amazing Pants Maze' would be a tourist attraction for miles around, and I could buy more Persil with the proceeds.

The only problem I can see is that I would have to buy more pants whilst my old ones were being used, which would then generate more washing. But then I could extend the maze into the second bedroom, thus providing customers with a reason to make a repeat visit.

I could probably charge a bit more at that point, and buy one of those trendy Dyson washing machines.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Hallowe'en's a lot nicer in the Village.

I should explain to my American readers that Hallowe'en in Britain is slightly different to Hallowe'en in the States, at least as I've seen it, on the Roseanne show. Whereas Stateside it appears to be a pleasant, fun, family festival, over here it's a bit like the TV footage you see of Sierra Leone or Liberia.

Anyway, the children were all nice and polite.

I was stuck for a costume for Short Tony's Hallowe'en party. The LTLP had bought a witch's hat for 60p at Tesco, but I was completely unprepared.

I had black trousers and a black T-shirt, so I did think of going as Simon Cowell, but then I found my granddad's old hat, sellotaped knives to my fingers and went as Freddie Krueger.

It was quite effective, but a bit impractical as I couldn't really do anything without knives waving around alarmingly. In the end I had to give up when Short Tony suggested we play snooker. I think he probably did this on purpose as I was scaring the children.

I think granddad would have approved. He always did an Australian Long John Silver at parties, what with him being a fairly jolly Aussie character with two artificial legs.

It was like a Dud 'n' Pete sketch in reverse. He was the only person there who didn't have enough legs to play the role.