Saturday, 17 May 2014

Scissors, paper, bricks


A rare set of circumstances - it's the first day of the Bath International Music Festival; the Fringe Festival (office at The Bell Inn); I received a polite message from the Australian collector saying he didn't want the glass; it is very warm and sunny AND I also received this birthday card - all the way from Peninsula, Ohio - from Joanne Noragon. Thank you Joanne!

She says some very nice things to me about this blog inside it, but also says that what she likes the best is my obvious respect and love for H.I. on the rare occasions she is mentioned, or her work is displayed up here.

Joanne has gone to the trouble of finding out my true name and even address, and H.I. commented that this would be easy for anyone who really wanted/needed to, so I pointed out that I am not hiding from anyone other than computer software programs which can make the link from Tom to me in the blink of an eye, gathering much more information about me on the way. This name is only the equivalent of up-turning a chair behind you as you run away from a pantomime villain who you know will give up  soon and concentrate on an easier target.

The political party UKIP - not realising the depth of hostility toward them in the run-up to the European Parliament elections - recently gave out the address of their headquarters, but made the mistake of making it a 'Free-Post' one, so it didn't cost potential voters a penny to get in touch with them via surface mail.

Someone came up with a brilliantly simple idea, and soon the office was swamped with neatly wrapped parcels containing a brick. Each brick sent to UKIP cost them about £5 and they were sent enough to build a small house, depleting their campaign funds quite significantly. Paper covers rock, money is made of paper and five pounds will cover the postage of a brick to UKIP.

This wheeze was both legal and humorous, but they are not renowned for their sense of humour, so took the address down and disabled the Free-Post option. Today, they announced that they have also been forced to remove their Free-Phone number as well. I have been smiling quite widely about this for a few days now, but I have been smiling about the Farage Wave incident at The Bell for a few weeks.

Before this turns into a political post (I know how you all hate those) just one more thing about UKIP. Someone encapsulated the unease with which UKIP are viewed by moderate people in the UK who - possibly unjustly - accuse them of being racist because of their promise to tighten-up on the lax immigration policies of the present government, by saying that he did not believe UKIP was a racist party. He just pointed out that - for some reason - they attract a heck of a lot of racists, and that in itself was deeply disturbing. A very good point.

My good American friend who works for the U.S. Defence Department arrives back today, and I have tried to make his compact but adorable city apartment here in Bath as welcoming as he left it. It's a bit of a bachelor-pad and has suffered a few catastrophes while he was away - springing a massive water-leak not being the least. Not guilty.

I am sure he will be very happy - it's sunny, and he has seen his son at home in Virginia - safe and sound after his third and final tour of Afghanistan as a Marine Sergeant. Ironically, my friend had more explosives thrown at him when he was stationed as a civilian there than his son had the whole three tours, but you know how parents worry.

I saw him breathe out when he had the news that the 'boy' had finally touched down on U.S. soil. He had been holding his breath for quite a few years.

24 comments:

  1. Oh, and by the way, the final caption inside the card reads, 'Card covers birthday'.

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  2. In my teens one could order sewing machines on 'sale or return'. I don't care to think how many people (who may have upset me in one way or another) may have received one. A brick by another name.

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    1. I believe it is still very affordable to order a couple of tons of raw manure to be deposited in the driveway of a neighbour so that they can give the roses a treat as well.

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    2. When P empties septic tanks he puts a note on the bill to say that if not paid the goods will be returned.

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    3. I bet that's not in the small print.

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    4. Yes, he does mean it. And he doesn't have any small print, his bills are plain and simple and hand-written.

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    5. Does he spend his whole time shovelling shit, then writing invoices with a quill pen? A Night Soil Man? If so, he's my hero.

      Hang on - he loves tractors, and you come from good farming stock. Maybe it's a bit more sophisticated than my imagination lead me to believe.

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    6. He is a lovely man, Puts me in the shade I can tell you.

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    7. Ah. Nice to hear you complimenting him. That stuff rubs off, you know. More congratulations about Arsenal.

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    8. Ah it's lovely Ma and pa are speaking again
      X

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    9. Trust you, you animal-hoarding Tourette's syndrome sufferer.

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  3. Whilst we are on the subject of unwanted shit, I am going to repeat the trick about putting a turd into a paper bag, placing it on the doorstep of an enemy, setting it alight, ringing the doorbell, then quickly hiding to a spot where you can watch your victim stamping on the shit - hopefully in his/her carpet-slippers.

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    1. Ah, the smell of burning shit.

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    2. I note there is plenty of shit in these comments.

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  4. The sight of that card brought back so many happy memories Tom as for many years in my first marriage a lot of thorny issues were settled by using the scissors cut paper method!
    What is this simple method of find out your real name - I am absolutely intrigued to know all about you and have no idea how to go about it.
    Interestingly, I have just had what sounds like a recorded message asking why I have not put a blog on all week and enquiring if I am alright (we have been in Northumberland on holiday) - now who was it and how did they get my number. There is more to this blogging thing than I have dreamt of, let alone Horatio.

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    1. Maybe that was a text message sent to your landline, Weave? Anyway, not guilty again.

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  5. Ok - you've had your chance. I am receding back into the twighlight zone, or however you spell it.

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    1. Poor Jacqueline had to be sacrificed too.

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    2. Yes, I know. I was sorry, but she had to be taken out...

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