So the truth is out... I have a job.
It's a menial job. Zero hours contract for what is the actual 'minimum' wage. While the hours slightly impact on life, they're also convenient as we continue to attempt to train the Doug not to destroy or eat everything he can, even when we're in the actual house. To say the boy is a thief, a vandal and a wanker would be a fair assessment and if he wasn't so damned lovable I would have killed him by now, but I'm getting softer towards dogs as I get older and I've never been that materialistic, especially about sofas, tables and chairs, window ledges, knives, clothes, remote controls x 6, photographs, beakers, nostalgic mementos, wallpaper, containers - wicker or plastic, books, in fact, if it isn't velcroed to the ceiling it's fair game. So having a job means we can buy him new things for him to destroy...
I've spent best part of my free time being insulted by friends and family and yet remarkably I've been about 90% less active on-line than I have for the last three years. Perhaps my once almost constant stream of political memes was what kept them coming back? I've never known a time when being a fair-minded humanitarian was such a hated thing. I have fuck all and I'd willingly share it with someone else in the same boat if it makes people happier, but some people have become so pernicious that Margaret Thatcher is probably having a Spit-Roast and cocaine party in her grave because her plan to turn everyone against everyone else has finally come to fruition and her pact with Satan means she's got a vine feed in her casket to watch the world crumble. See, I might be a bleeding heart liberal but I can imagine vile things just as easy as anyone can click like on a status update or tweet about using gunboats to deal with refugees.
The entire reason for wanting to move to Scotland was the fact we fell in love with the place, but like my fabled 3000 Reasons I Didn't Have Kids list, 'love' has been pushed down the Why Move to Scotland list by large amounts of xenophobes, bigots, selfish drivers, ignorant people and the constant scowl society seems to be collectively wearing. If you consider two of the things I treasure the most - sunlight and warmth - are going to probably be in much shorter supply where I'm heading, I must be getting desperate to scratch these itchy feet.
Going back to the job. There is much I enjoy about it, but this time I'm seeing huge fringe benefits to my life rather than anything else. I'm talking to people again. I'm being friendly, affable and chatty when I'm out on dog walks. I had a brilliant conversation with one of my (more ancient) dog walking chums yesterday about rationing and her theory about why baby boomers have become such unusual people, which astoundingly echoes the wife's long held beliefs. I found myself being patient in the queue at Aldi and being friendly and amicable to an Asian man who had bought the wrong bottle of drink and needed to exchange it. I only say this because he was made up and couldn't stop thanking me and then the guy on the till echoed his words and I started to wonder just how horrible some of their customers or the man's experiences must have been recently.
There's absolutely no negatives in being nice, even if you're nice to a complete twat and he insults you back. Obviously, I take into consideration that some people have had really awful days and that some people just act like pricks to others.
Still, it's not all positive - we have firework season; the abominable Halloween and then bloody Christmas to plough through until we hit January and three months of apocalyptic weather (™ Daily Express) before the country goes bankrupt and starts asking Greece for help. I heard that The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will both probably have a bigger GDP than the UK by 2020...
In the wake of the Heathrow thingy, I heard a very (IMHO) interesting 'conspiracy theory' the other day that might interest people who lived in or around Northampton in the 1980s. Remember the proposed airport at Yardley Hastings and the kerfuffle caused at the time by campaigners and local newspapers? All a load of bollocks apparently. It was done to avert attention away from other things while converting the WW2 weapons silos into Whitehall storage units for secret documents over a certain age. You see Yardley Chase was once used to store old weapons, bombs and dangerous materials, in concrete buildings, surrounded by individual moats, surrounded by forest. It was land you were not allowed to venture onto and right until the late 1970s military guards patrolled the area. It all seemed possible until I started to wonder why the government would want to draw attention to something they were actually going to use for things they wouldn't want anyone to know about? It isn't helped much by there being almost nothing about the place on the internet, so it allows people to fill their own blanks in. It also makes me wonder how much of the past will end up being lost or made up because it isn't documented on-line?
Apparently it's been a poor autumn for some fungi. I've been largely disappointed with what's been found since August and as I frequent places not that well known by foragers (and therefore I have found little sign of them having been there before me) I can say it's down to yet another dry autumn and nothing to do with over-picking, which seems to be the Forestry Commission's NIMBYist belief and will lead to extinction, which suggests the post-fact xenophobic world has permeated to our woodlands as the decisions to ban people from foraging for mushrooms (in places such as the New Forest and Thetford) appears not to be based on any kind of fact at all and possibly because people are benefiting from something without paying for it!
Mad, mad world...