The end of my first week back at work. Don’t tell anyone but it’s been good to be back. I can wax lyrical about giving up work to write, do gardening and – tidy up this pit of a house – but I enjoy people too much and I’m far too nosey to isolate myself from the world yet.
The bug is proving hard to shift – I’m fine in the mornings – once I’ve lubricated my sore old throat, but as the day wears on, my neck gets sore and the swollen glands make me take on that disturbing hamster-like appearance. Ice cream helps. As do Frappucinos. And rum – but not at the same time. It will pass. It’s just this sluggish immune system that holds onto infection like it was the best present in the world. It ain’t.
Torch mania hit us on Thursday – well, when I say us I mean those people who actually give a damn. In no way would I diminish the visit of the Olympic torch to this town – or the huge enjoyment that it gave to many but I CBA with it (College Boy tells me that CBA is acceptable and it means you aren’t using swear words when you express your opinion). I know that the Olympics will bring a lot of money into the country but it is also costing an awful lot of money at a time when we haven’t got much to chuck around. I also question the motives of those people organising events related to the torch procession. ‘2012’ and it’s hopelessly impractical spin is so close to the truth.
I heard from a friend whose daughter took a group of primary school children to one of the torch events (along with numerous other schools – described as ‘rent a crowd’). The children made headdresses out of paper and card – on the lines of the Olympic flame. They also made maracas out of plastic bottles covered in papier-mache. The torch was only going to be in this particular place for about half an hour around one o’clock. Because of the traffic issues and the fact that this particular school was the furthest away from the event, the children were collected by coach at 0945 hrs and taken home at 1610 hrs. That’s a long day for little kids.
It rained. Soggy headdresses drooped and and small children got stuck in with gluey maracas. Not much in the way of entertainment for them whilst enduring the long wet wait; a choir with a repertoire of three songs that weren’t really geared to children. Nowhere to sit but a muddy field. Nowhere to shelter and the view inevitably blocked by a bunch of publicity-seeking local dignitaries who couldn’t give a monkey’s about the hundreds of children who had been standing in the rain all day or the staff who had to try to keep them amused. This happened when Her Maj came the other week and opened up the same neighbourhood centre where the procession was being held. Who the hell organises these things and don’t they know about fair and foul-weather planning?
Friends from work used their flexi time to nip along and watch. Some came back with photos – usually of the ground – or someone’s legs – a portion of torch – or most common – the convoy lorry blocking everyone’s view. We stayed in the office. It was warm and dry. We were SO smug.
I got a lift into town after work to get my bus home and was greeted by the aftermath of the parade. A lorry and several workmen loading up metal barriers and the rozzers loading up a couple of handcuffed local naughty boys into the back of the police van. Didn’t miss much there then.
The TV footage shown that night had been suitably edited to show only the smiling faces – euphoric despite the rain. I’m glad they enjoyed it at least.
So now we have Her Maj’s Jubilee weekend and more bloody bunting! It’s everywhere. Every shop, hundreds of houses, TV programs and even Twitter. Google has a slightly more tasteful representation – I like the corgi. I’ve nothing against Her Maj – except that she costs us rather a lot of money – like the rest of her extended parasitic and dysfunctional family. Yes,yes – they bring in tourists etc – yes, yes – we are the envy of other countries (sez who? Sounds like spin to me) but considering how well-orf Her Maj is – it would be a nice gesture if she made a hefty contribution towards her Jubilee celebrations instead of expecting local authorities to dig deep in the already empty pockets. We could use that money so much more wisely.
I am grateful for the two days off – although hub and I are both working this weekend so it’s not really a four-day weekend for us. I’m not looking forward to TV viewing dominated by royalty-related rubbish – thank goodness the digibox is well-stocked with stuff we haven’t had a chance to watch in the week. We are also going to fit in a trip to York to see Uni Boy – who is 19 yrs old today – where did the time go?
Having announced his intention of having a party once the exams are over, College Boy veers between entreaties and threats in effort to get the house tidied and us out of it. When he is behaving well – i.e. not being shouty and demanding, leaving rubbish and crockery/cutlery in his room, or leaving a trail of discarded dirty washing in his wake – then hub and I nod sagely as he outlines his plans and hope fervently that he behaves very badly beforehand so that we can cancel the party and prevent our house from being trashed by thirty adolescent timebombs.
Back in the day we used to hold a lot of parties here and the house got cleaned and tidied before and after. We also acquired numerous bottles of unopened wine and enough chilli and Pringles to feed us all for a few days. The house definitely needs a clear out though and we could always go down to Chester for the evening and have pizza and much chortling at the Laugh Inn.
So Chez Chiara will NOT be spouting bunting this weekend. The gazebo was up for a barbecue but came down when it rained and we CBA to put it up again at the moment. I don’t think there are any plans for a street party in this quiet suburban backwater – good luck to those who are having them and I really hope you have a good time because we could all do with some cheerfulness after the doom and gloom.
Enjoy your pasties and forget for a few days that the ConDems are just biding their time before they slide through some far more dangerous and insidious changes – DLA, police and NHS cuts spring to mind.
Where’s that rum?