Archive for December, 2008

Christmas 2008

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008 will be memorable for me as it marked the second time in my life when I had to dial 999. I find myself doing a mental tidying up of the year’s events as I get ready for Christmas each year. Mooching through memories whilst putting up the Christmas Tree I heard a commotion in the street outside. Looking out the window I saw a man sprawled across the bonnet of my car whilst being beaten with a wheel wrench. Peace at Christmas? Not round here unfortunately. Witnessing this left my adrenaline levels high; several hours later I’m just calming down. It’d be easy to construct some psuedoprofound social analysis of this but I’ll resist. Random violence is an everpresent reality which I only partly understand. I hope to see less of it in the coming year and I hope that your Christmas is a peaceful one. Thanks for reading and sticking with me; wishing you a happy time. There’s a rather nice bottle of Champagne waiting for me nearby; I’ll raise a glass to you.

Momentous

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

Spooky moment of the week
Finding myself in unexpected chance telephonic communication with an, as yet unmet, blogmate having dialled a call centre to discuss financial goings on. What are the odds of that happening?

Fab moment of last week
Hearing that my car went through its MOT without having to spend half a million pounds having it repaired. Said car is an old lady so this is bordering on miraculous. I wonder if it’s anything to do with the fact that I took it to WeOnlyDoMOTs.com and not my usual ‘caring garage which happens to also do MOTs’? Surely they haven’t been ripping me off all these years with unnecessary repairs?

Groovy moment of next week?
I will shake free some shackles that have bound me for too long.

Hoopla

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

According to this short test I’m eligible to attend grammar school. I never sat the 11+ exam. The time when I might have sat it was rife with controversy about the Socialist driven abolition of grammar schools and the move to comprehensive education. No doubt, the 11+ was socially divisive; it was intended to be. Yet I question whether the blurring of selection techniques within education has not lead us to a situation where nobody quite knows any more where they are and whether they really are ‘up to the mark’. At least with something as stark as the 11+ you knew if you’d passed or failed. Now, nobody is allowed to fail. They are, instead, simply en route to passing; a work in progress as it were. On the other hand, I’ve never really ‘believed’ in exams and, in fact, secretly loathe the whole sausage machine apparatus which grinds on and on forcing generation after generation to perfect the art of hoop jumping avec ringbinders and those sticky hole reinforcers. [I used to love sticking those everywhere]. Today I jumped some other hoops, very successfully as it turned out. Boxes were ticked, forms were photocopied and filed in a bleedin ringbinder, there to go slowly yellow, like the gradually withering foliage of my youth. I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d been a grammar school boy – verdant and lush?

Postgate post

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Can it be a good day when Oliver Postgate shuffles off to see the Soup Dragon? I think not. My Postgate favourites are The Clangers and I know I’m not alone in this. Simple creatures, they reflect the best of us. Alone on their tiny planet in the inky black sky they offer a glimpse of a simple, uncomplicated world occasionally beset by threat but always resolved by tea time. We work best in communities, we’re happy when we have things to do, we unite against foes and win the day. We’re curious and we live on a world far more vulnerable than we know. The fact that we exist at all is incredible. All that portrayed with animated socks in waistcoats. How jolly clever was Olly. And how jolly nice would it be if somehow, his innocent yet profound approach to children’s programming could be heard echoing down the generations. As Tiny Clanger might have said,