Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Strike action leads to a dodgy haircut.......

Not an obvious link, I'll admit, but bear with me on this one.......

(And no, I haven't been tarred and feathered by angry colleagues for being a scab....)

Yesterday, I had my weekday day-off from The Hole-Making Shop. I had lots of jobs to do, including a somewhat overdue visit to the barber's....

Which is where the otherwise seamless robe of the day began to unravel...........


I'd got the firewood in, taken the recycling to the tip, (scored a valve lapping tool and a pot of fine and a pot of coarse valve-grinding paste for 50p), taken a load of stuff to Emmaus for our landlord, and got some milk, bread and stuff for lunch from The Scilly Isles Supermarket.

Then I visited the barbers in Milton.

It all began convivially enough.

"Mornin' Sir, how are you, what can I do for you today?"

"Well, thank you, bit of a trim, please, nothing too drastic, just get rid of the fluff."

"Certainly sir".....snip snip snip....

All seemed to be going quietly and well for the first few minutes.

Then Mr Todd (not his real name....) seeks to engage me in conversation.....

"So what are you up to today?"

"Well, I'm on a day off, as I do 37 and 1/2 hours over four days at The Hole Making Shop next to The Big Repair Works."

"Oh yeah", (a degree of frost was noted....), "You on strike tomorrow then?"

"Er, no.... If we strike, we'll interrupt the supply of that which we extract....This could have fatal consequences....."

Mr Todd (not his real name) then goes off on one 'about public sector pensions, mollycoddled public sector employees, lazy bastards not knowing they're born' &c &c.

All the while, the scissors snipped and snapped about my barnet with a renewed vigour and alacrity which bordered on the scary.

I, (rather wisely, I felt, given the proximity of vulnerable lug-holes to flying scissor blades), exercised great restraint.

I did my very best, in the face of extreme provocation, to smile, nod and not attempt to interrupt the seemingly unending stream of utterly puerile Thatcherite drivel with any real-world common-sense-style comments.

I thus escaped the chair, unscathed and with ears intact.

I paid the man and left, vowing (privately) never to darken the nasty little fascist's door again.

As for my haircut?

Well, I think the expression "Close to the wood" rather sums it up.

Yes, Mr Todd, (not his real name), would seem, in his ire, to have got somewhat carried away.......

Oh well, I suppose it will grow back.........

Thursday, 17 November 2011


I've always thought that the acronym of Buy One Get One Free sounded deliciously rude.

How often have I wanted to wish such a bargain on sundry maggot-danglers, dozy rowers or speeding plastic cruisers with two-foot high wakes.......?

However, this post does not in any way concern the likes of them.

Rather, it is about shoes.

Yes, shoes.......

My job at The Hole-Making Shop entails a good ten-hour stand every working day.

A good, comfortable pair of shoes are, therefore, a necessity.

I bought a pair at Marx and Engels in Cambridge about nine months ago.

Jolly good they were too (especially The Left one......), right up until the point when the soles cracked right through from side to side, failing so profoundly there was no hope of repair.

'Hmmmmm', thought I, 'they've gone west, I'll get a new pair'.

Some bloke-style shopping ensued.

(Establish need for goods. Travel to shops where goods are sold. Examine some in one shop. Reject on grounds of being just like the last lot and as likely to fail in service. Visit another shop. Try on good comfy shoes. Purchase same. Return home.)

Elapsed turnaround time c. 25 minutes.....

I wore these to a luncheon on Sunday and despite being new, it still felt like I had slippers on at the end of the day.

This prompted a return to Mr Clarke's High-Class Footwear Emporium on Monday, where a further pair were purchased. Despite being in the sale, and none being in stock at that branch, I was able to buy a pair in my size which were delivered to Pippin, post free, today.

Nice one Mr Clarke!

Messrs Marx and Engels had, however, not exactly covered themselves in glory, their Empire Made efforts having exhibited a marked lack of longevity.

It was left to my redoubtable mother to allow them the oppurtunity to redeem themselves.

Having given the expired pair a good shine-up, she returned them to the premises of M & S in order to seek a refund on my behalf.

No receipt.

No proof of purchase.

No chance?

Actually, yes......

Messrs Marx and Engels divied-up the full purchase price without demur!

As this was 45p less than the cost of the second pair of shoes from Mr Clarke's, I feel I can justly claim to have been on the receiving end of a BOGOF deal by proxy.

Nice one, St Michael!

Even nicer one, Sainted Mother!!


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday II

I have been thinking hard about this post: the relative wisdom of publishing it, the likehood of annoying or upsetting someone by doing so.....

All these things I have thought, and yet, well, here goes......

I have a faith. It is, broadly speaking, Christian.

If you've just tuned out, please tune back in again.

This blog is not an Evangelical Happy Clappy Holy Roller Forum.

Never was.

Never will be.

As I've said before, though it bears saying again, I respect all faith and faith in no faith.

Caveats aside, Christianity is what I believe in.

So what?

So, well, er.....

Okay. The thieving bastards who broke into my Mum and Dad's church......

If they choose to believe that Christ died for their sins and repent, ( Good grief, Christian nomenclature leaves almost everyone sounding like some loony TV evangelist.....) then they're forgiven.

I am glad that is true, for I too have a lot of stuff I regret doing.

Yet still, a small part of me relishes the memory of the fact that in Shakespeare's "Henry V", Poins and Bardolph were hanged for stealing from a church.......

It would seem I still have a long way to go..........

Monday, 14 November 2011

Remembrance Sunday

I went to church with Mum and Dad yesterday to Holy Epiphany, Castle Lane, Bournemouth.

It was an excellent service with a very good turn-out from the congregation.

However, I was stricken to hear that the previous week, the church had been broken into.

The charity box containing all the Poppy Appeal money was stolen.

Where are the words to describe the perpetrators of such an act?

In that, I am completely at a stand.

It is quite possible, in these moments, to despair of the state of this nation.

One could easily then focus on such as the feral behaviour of the August rioters, the selfish greed of a financial community that has led us to economic defeat, and above all, the daily, seemingly random, nastiness of life in this country.

And yet, even in all this, there is light.

The Mothers and Toddlers Group at Holy Epiphany had got together and not only made a beautiful Poppy collage for the alter, but had also raised enough money to entirely replace the sum so wickedly stolen.

It was for such as these our good men died.