Pride comes before a fall.
Famous last words.
We have a number of places where we take the dogs for a walk. One of the places I take them are the hills and dales of Bradlaugh Fields - two old golf courses that were bequeathed to Northampton to be used as parkland only. It's a great place; it sprawls and winds its way through a few areas of the town. There's the aforementioned hills, and also grassy slopes, flat pasture, ponds, streams, trees, marshland and to be fair its like an oasis in a sea of shit. Anyhow, every so often I bump into this good ol' boy with his chunky boxer dog. We'll stand around and chew the fat and mainly talk about what crap weather we've been having, it's a very social place.
I've bumped into him a few times this year, mainly during that bitterly cold period between the New Year and March. Every time the two of us have looked like rejects from Scott of the Antarctic - except I always look more Michelin man than explorer. Anyhow, I saw him last week; the sun was shining and at first I didn't recognise him, it was his dog that triggered the memory. We realised we knew each other and had a chat; he thought my hat had been welded to my head as I proved that I do have hair. He asked me how life has been since he last saw me...
I should have said, "It's been crap. I've been thinking of throwing myself off the Forth bridge." But, no, I had to tempt fate. I had to say, "Do you know, the last few months have been really good. Life has been excellent considering how crappy everything seems to be." I should have punched myself repeatedly in the face for being such a twat. What on earth possessed me to be a) so positive and b) anger the gods?
I'm now going to be a real tease, I'm sorry, but that's the way it is.
On Friday, everything fell apart. My great year evaporated in one sentence. I have some big decisions to make over the next few days... I really can't say any more.
I went to bed on Friday morning resigned to the fact we'd have a Conservative government. I woke up later on Friday morning and everything the BBC forecast at 10.01pm on Thursday night was the reality at 8.00am. I spent the first couple of hours thinking this was a bad thing; but as the day wore on and I tried to spend more time focused on the election and Spurs qualification to the Champions League because of the other things that had pole-axed me during the day, I started to think that we'd got what I asked for - not a hung parliament, but an opportunity for us to have a weak government; something that I believe will be the salvation of this country as the rest of Europe topple like dominoes.
What we needed more than anything else was no one party having a mandate, because if that had happened, we would have seen many things that were disproportionate and unfair; but weak government means compromise and reforms that hurt everyone equally. Nothing too drastic is done and they all work in the interest of keeping the country happy. In theory, it should work. Let's hope that whatever happens, the country is better off for it.
The week's events were slightly overshadowed by the thing I'm not talking about; but on Tuesday I was witness to something that was very much a talking point amongst a small group of friends.
We did our usual pub quiz - and won it - at our local, which for the last couple of years has been excellently run by a young chap called Allan. Only he disappeared into the background about a year ago and allowed one of his bar staff to essentially run the pub. Jackie (who I knew by association as her current boyfriend is my old buddy the Jazz Butcher) turned the pub into her own; she treated everyone like an old friend and the place flourished and everything seemed rosy... except, a few weeks back we started to see a drop in standards - there seemed to be problems in the restocking of essential bar stuff, such as fruit juices, mixers, bottles and snacks. This didn't seem to ease up and to make matters worse, the fine and steady supply of ales seemed to dwindle a little. The general feeling was the place didn't feel as though it was working.
On Tuesday, Jackie seemed very upset. I saw all the signs and asked her what the problem was; but she was too upset to talk, despite wanting to. To cut a long story short, it seems that Allan has been neglecting his flagship pub in favour of his new venture; he dumps all the responsibility on Jackie and at times she looked frazzled. As she said to me just before she walked out at 10pm, "I don't need this job, I just enjoy doing it." It amazes me how employers can use valued members of staff and eventually just treat them like shit. No wonder people think this country is in a mess...
Good things: the new Hybrid album, Disappear here. I really didn't think it was that good on first listening. But after persevering with it, I now can modestly claim it is another classic from the Swansea masters of progressive electronic soundscapes!
A Hung parliament.
Spurs in the Champions League qualifiers.
Liverpool being crap and having a tremendous comedy manager.
Lost - never expect mediocrity, always expect the unexpected.
Bad things: the collapse of the Lib Dem support. It's like the country toyed with the idea of change all through the election campaign, but on the day decided that it was either Tory or Labour. We wasted a clear opportunity for reform (but we still might get it in one way of the other).
The weather - nuff said.
The end of this month - car's first service, 12 months tax, replacement windscreen wipers and aerial, that was unscrewed and stolen by some oiks last weekend.
The Queen Victoria Beer festival - half-baked, grubby and felt like an afterthought rather than a big event.
Next time, I continue to moan about the weather, remain enigmatic about that thing and probably wibble on about some bollocks or other...