Solar flares have apparently caused some electrical problems across the globe; however in Fullingdale Road they didn't need sunspot activity to bugger up the power supply. Even Fishwife isn't sure why the power went off on Monday, but it was obviously something major because by 6pm on said day, there was at least half a dozen vans, diggers and little mini-JCBs beavering around the street and they were still at it at 11.30 - generator burbling, men with more copper wire than a gang of travellers and not an English voice to be heard.
Our power only went out for about 1½ hours, but the Sexually-Explicit family, boring old man and the Token Ethnic family all went without power for getting on for 18 hours - which would have paralysed the average family: no TV, no Internet, no heat unless they had gas and provided it didn't need some form of electricity to fire up the boiler. It must have been hell for them, well all except the Sexually-Explicit family; they're probably used to it coming from deepest darkest Eastern Europe, plus they probably would have been at it like a couple of rutting steers.
Okay, I'm going to be really crude and sexist now, but hey it's Saturday morning, the sun is trying to come out and I feel... mischievous.
Mrs Sexually-Explicit, a woman who I have unintentionally had the benefit of seeing naked at least twice through my office window, has a fantastic body, especially considering she has had a couple of kids, but has a face that could scare polar bears. Don't get me wrong, she's a lovely girl, but you'd seriously have to consider double-bagging her in case one fell off during the beast with the two backs. You could always put a bag over your own head, that way you'd be making doubly sure there wasn't an accident.
You can see where she's going to end up. Having seen her mother masturbating in her bedroom window, also twice, in recent years, you understand why she's there with her rubber toys and not a man (or a woman). She's like a cross between the Incredible hulk and Jade Goody as she'd look now and has a gob on her that when unleashed could decay lard.
They also have four cars. Who seriously needs four cars?
Anyhow, the work was completed by Thursday and apart from mud on the road you would think nothing had happened.
Atmospheric Pressure (or WWAW - SF)
"There's a full moon."
"It's too hot."
"There's a Y in the day."
"It's too cold."
"Libra is rising over Pisces."
I had a Volkswagen Polo when I was younger. It was a great little car and took the wife, Meg and Giff and my good self on lots of excellent family holidays. It was just a basic little thing with an engine that would go forever. However, it didn't like the rain, the snow, the cold, the heat and only really was at its most optimum when the temperature was 15 degrees, the sky was overcast and it was dry. On days like this it was the dog's bollocks of little cars. The wife used to joke that she'd get it up to 180mph on good days.
It seems my young clientèle are all related to my old Polo. Apparently there is a entire list of weather conditions and related that cause the students at my place to change from normal young people into monsters. There is truth in a lot of what my experienced colleagues say; if it's wet, they stay inside and that causes all manner of problems; if it's windy the incident level increases five fold and apparently when the temperature gets above about 22 degrees all hell breaks loose.
After the last week, I'm biting my lip and hoping for dull days, average temperatures and dry conditions between now the third week in July, maybe with some wonderful interludes at Easter and half term; that way I might be able to stop myself from either going mad or having some kind of stress related nervous breakdown. I never want another week like last week, which at times was more reminiscent of the Ray Winston film Scum than anything else...
Just Shoot Me Now
I have pretty crappy memories of festivals. I can't ever really go to one without something spoiling it. Destroyed wardrobe at my first Glastonbury; bad weather at my second, serious illness at my third. Being robbed at the Cambridge folk Festival while I slept and countless others where I have either been rained on or just plain didn't enjoy myself. After a 20 year hiatus, Roger and I went to the 2000 Trees Festival in Gloucestershire a couple of years back and were greeted with January weather in July. With the exception of Amplifier and Charlie Barnes it was a pretty dire day and I kind of vowed that I would never go to another, ever again.
Glancing at the back page of The Guide this morning, I saw an advert for the Latitude Festival in Suffolk and for the first time in donkeys years I saw a host of acts on the bill that I would gladly pay something to go and see. It looks like it could be one of the highlights of the summer season, especially with Glasto taking a breather for the Olympics. Bon Iver, Elbow, Richard Hawley, White Lies (who Roger was impressed with), The Horrors, Explosions in the Sky, Lloyd Cole, M83, Zola Jesus, Yeasayer and even Simple Minds, doing their best of their first 6 albums set. It has people like Ian banks, John Pilger, Rich Hall, Adam Buxton and the man my students all think I'm the spit of - Greg Davies. It also has dull and boring Paul Weller, Laura Marling, Wild Beasts, Daryl Hall (of Oates fame), Battles and tonnes more, many of which I haven't heard and might be tempted by.
But let's face it. It's going to piss down all weekend. There might be the first recorded snow in July since the mini ice age and Suffolk will probably have a some kind of ecological disaster - but only if I go. The other good thing about it is it takes place during the last week of term, which means I wouldn't be able to get the time off. Thank Christ for that...
Look, I'm really not obsessed by the weather, okay? But it was both great and slightly worrying to see the apricot tree coming into full bloom this morning. Yesterday it looked like a big stick in the ground, today it is a mass of pink flowers. It looks fabulous, but this is a tree that probably shouldn't thrive in the UK and one that is sadly prone to even mild frosts. In the three years since it has been fruiting we had 22 apricots the first year, two the second year and half a dozen last year. Both of the last two years we've had hard late frosts which have really buggered the tree up and I can't help thinking that the same thing is going to happen again this year. The exceptionally mild winter has brought it on earlier than ever before which probably means that we'll be lucky if we find any little bright orange fruits come the beginning of August.
But on the plus side, we have crocuses bursting into life, poppies thriving, bulbs coming up and shoots on all the remaining trees and the first duck egg - it certainly looks like spring out there, especially with the promise of a fine weekend; one that might be warm enough for me to sit on the patio, with the paper, a cup of coffee and all my chores completed. Monday is going to be dull and mild, that makes the weekend seem even more important.
Same Stink, Different Colour
Yeah, I'm a socialist. Yeah I hate the Conservative party and all they stand for. And yeah, I admit that the Labour party made some pretty shitty mistakes while they were in power; but usually you expect the Tories to come in and kind of clear up the mess while making the most of all the success stories the last government had. However, the coalition seem to be a bit poo, on just about everything.
This week saw a new nadir with the decision to try and rescue some hostages in Nigeria, without bothering to tell one of the interested parties they were going to do it. The inevitable happened and lives were lost and the Italians, who had a man killed in this seemingly ill-advised hostage recovery attempt are positively fuming; it could cause a serious international incident and has left Cameron and co with large quantities of egg on their faces.
With the economy in the toilet; the NHS teetering on the brink, more and more people staring poverty and despair in the face, we also appear to be escalating a row with Argentina over the bloody Falklands again. Nothing like starting a war to distract the populace's attention away from the mess at home, eh? The problem is this isn't 1982; people have changed and many are fed up to the back teeth with Iraq, Afghanistan and all the other tensions which have brought our troops into danger and for what?
Also, factor in this little interesting factoid - the UK still gives foreign aid to Brazil, a country that just knocked us out of 6th place in the largest economy in the world stakes. As one of my friends put it last week, if the government continues to look like a bunch of headless retarded chickens, then the prospect of an insomniac panda as PM suddenly starts to look slightly better.
Face it people, politicians are all a bunch of worthless cunts. I no longer believe they are acting in the national interest, whatever colour they sport. I said a long time ago we need a radical overhaul of our politics and nothing has happened since then to make me change my mind.
- I am currently listening to: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming by M83 (again); William Orbit's Strange Cargo: Hinterland and lots and lots of classical music.
- I am about to start reading Chavs, which the wife has almost finished.
- I didn't watch Dirk Gently mainly because the wife isn't bothered. So I might catch up with it one night next week after she has gone to bed.
- I bought the wife her third ever bunch of flowers for her birthday and still have to get her that winter coat.
- I got a handheld blender!
- I need a new egg slicer.
- Tesco microwavable porridge oats is far better than I expected.
- Fuckwit has been told he has to find a job because his DLA is being stopped - the government have finally cottoned on to the freeloading bastard.
- I have just listened to a conversation between two dodgy looking geezers arguing about why one of them won't score some drugs for the other without paying a surcharge. Very loudly and unashamedly.
- Roger has a portaloo in his drive.