Sunday, October 28, 2012

Number 83

You Don't Get Nothing For Free

Der-dun dun dun. Woke up this morning. Der-dun-dun dun. Hating the world and everyone in it. Der-dun dun dun.

Actually, I woke up with another splitting headache. But as I said to the wife, I'm not sure its the steroids because one would have thought had it been then I would have had a headache for the last seven days and I've only had three fuck off and die headaches in the last seven days.

I'm not sure they've worked either and kind of wonder if just a week's worth of them is going to do anything. I mean, I do feel 'better', but 'better' is a relative word at the moment. I've forgotten what 'better' feels like or possibly I haven't and I just need reminding. I've also forgotten what it's like to have more than about 4 or 5 hours sleep (but that might be the tablets suggested the wife and as I can't remember 8 days ago, she might be right).

This week, apart from going ever so slightly mad, I attended the funeral of a woman I have known for nearly 38 years. She was the mother of three chaps I have known equally long - her sons - possibly three of the longest known people in my life with only a handful of relatives bettering that feat. I hadn't seen May for over 20 years, but I felt I needed to pay my respects. There were 7 of us at the funeral. It was a humanist one.

When I stopped smoking nearly 11 weeks ago I virtually stopped biting my nails. I'd never linked the two before, apart from whenever I've made an attempt to stop and my nails grew. However, I realised that the link is in fact quite tenuous and I have returned to biting my nails.

I am quite pleased with myself as I saw a smoking friend the other day and there was no temptation at all (and he wouldn't have let me smoke even if I'd asked him for one).

I was sitting in my office this morning at some fucking unGodly hour, because of the clocks, and I remembered something I was going to have a moan about a few weeks ago, but something more important obviously happened. This year's mushroom season has again been the piss-poor side of shit, but as September wibbled aimlessly into October, the wife and I with the hounds of the apocalypse took a trip over the Salcey Forest, always a great place to take dogs and a couple of times the place has yielded monstrous amounts of good eating mushrooms.

The first thing I realised was that it must have been a year since we were last there (and that is frightening, especially as I remember Halloween H2O coming out and that was 14 years ago and I would have thought it was maybe 8...); the second thing was that the place we usually park had been cordoned off with massive fuck off boulders. The main car park, now resembling a theme park, was heaving with cars and it costs £2 to park there. I turned around and headed back for a spot that wasn't crawling alive with people encouraged to spend more time in the woods.

The dogs were going frantic and I was growing incensed at yet another place to take the dogs that had been stolen from us in the name of conservation. Except I think this is a little more insidious than that; it's almost like an agenda against dog owners.

When I was at the county council, as an employee one of the perks of the job was access to things owned by the council at reduced rates - this stopped, but at the time it was useful, especially if I wanted to use swimming pool facilities, etc. One of the things that stopped was free parking at Country Parks. Now an arbitrary fee was placed on parking in these places back in 2005 and at the time it seemed like a kick in the teeth for the dog walkers - the good, honest, cleans-up-after-their-dog-walkers, the people who would patronise a country park, respect its rules and were also conscientious dog walkers in that they took their animals to interesting places. The fee charged seemed unfair, because the weekend warriors, the idiots who came to country parks in droves at weekends when the sun was shining, who didn't respect the park, treated it like a green disposable beach and generally used it and then left the wardens and volunteers to clear up after them.

When I said this to a warden I knew at Irchester Country Park his disagreed with me big time. "We need to encourage more people into the parks, even if its just a long education about how they should treat the place." But surely people like me are being penalised? "Not at all, you use the park regularly, don't you think you have to pay if you use it a lot?" Yes, but we don't cost you anything; you don't have to clean up after us! "But we need to attract more visitors or we'll lose funding." You'll lose funding despite the fact you charge now? "That's life in today's county council."

I do agree that we should pay something for the upkeep of parks, but actually a percentage of our council tax goes exactly to this department; so we are paying for it anyhow. I think and I've had some experience of this, that country parks actively try to prevent dogs from using their parks and more and more people who use these country parks are looking at dog walkers like they are social outcasts.

So it wasn't going to take a huge leap of understanding to expect the Forestry Commission to jump on this bandwagon. The Salcey Forest thing smacks of commercialism and I don't think having 2000 swarming fuckwits wandering round one of our forests is actually that good a thing. You can take the chav out of Shoesville but he's still just a chav, except this time in a forest. You literally cannot park anywhere near the main part of the forest now without either obstructing access or parking illegally; the main visitor centre is like Tesco's on Christmas Eve and suddenly Salcey Forest isn't a neat place to take the dogs, but a minefield of potential Marley disasters.

We are running out of places to take the dogs and I fully expect some of these places to start charging for parking, because someone can create a part time job patrolling these isolated car parks on industrial estates and ensuring that parking meters are fed and wheel clamps fixed, especially if you have a dog guard in the back of your car...

The Music Just Never Stops

I can see this running...

Still on A, but have thrown out two CDs this morning: Richard Ashcroft and the United Nations of Sound has been 'binned' - it's like watching your grandad dancing at a Beyonce concert. I have also dumped Tori Amos's Strange Little Girls because, frankly, I can't ever see me listening to it again.

I have sampled some Amplifier this morning (not likely to slip down my playlist too far at the moment) and Aqualung, who could be all manner of generic Coldplay styled bands, but retain something 'indie'. I am currently listening to All Saints and I don't have a problem with this. Do you?

I'm having a dilemma. I'm a huge fan of The Verve (or Verve as they were originally known), but I'm now onto Human Conditions another of Richard Ashcroft's solo ventures and it's really terribly meh and I think he's about to kill one of the last vestiges of my collector's mentality. I hate to admit this, but I downloaded the three Ashcroft solo efforts on the basis that I love the Verve like one of my favourite bands of all time (all based pretty much on their first album) and I think today is the first time I've listened to any of them. They've just been there, on the shelves, kept on the strength that it's Richard Ashcroft and he was in Verve.

I'm 50, well past half way if I want to be honest. I could be on the last leg for all I know, especially the way I've been lately, so what is the point of having some of this. Like the comics I got rid of; sometimes some things in your life are never going to feature again, apart from when you look in the loft for something else, or the search for a CD by Aqualung or the B-52s and stumble across it, but don't play it anyhow. Richard Ashcroft's solo career is toothless and anodyne. He is no longer required in my house on his own. Fired!

What's next?

Oh Jesus, it's that affirmative mad bastard from Burnley again... Song of Seven is like rotting guano.

Can I just say that since writing the above I have no thrown out 5 CDs (All of Ashcroft now and that bloody rank Jon 'You'll Never Tek me Alive' Anderson) and I expect that number will increase by the time the week is up. I will of course attempt to give these CDs to either Roger or One El, but they won't know that until they've read this.

Extreme Bread Making

I have placed the bread making machine on the roof and I've hired a helicopter to suspend me over it while I make something I won't eat. Why hasn't a television company hired me as a head of programming yet?

Soon & Bullet Points 

  • Something might happen.
  • Marley will roll in shit.
  • I will become depressed by 4.45pm.
  • Ducks.
  • More As.
  • Today really is the worst day of every year...

1 comment:

  1. The corner shop gave me free biscuits the other day as they were slightly out of date.