Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 1 April 2012
Guess who I am?
Let me introduce you to Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, the new Executive Director of the Countryside Alliance.
I see from his C.V. that having commanded the Household Cavalry Regiment at Windsor Castle and served in Afghanistan, commanding the Kabul Multinational Brigade, he is now retired with honours and runs a farm somewhere here in the West of England with his wife, who he referrs to as 'Moo'. So far from being put out to grass, he leads an impossibly active life, what with the farm and his duties - both local and national - as E.D. of the C.A.
I am extremely pleased to see that - now the 'Hunting with Hounds' bill has been passed and technically lost as a cause to fight for or against - the Countryside Alliance has gone back to it's roots by heading itself with the absolute archetypal huntin', shootin' and fishin' buffer of the Wynne-Candy variety, complete with an implausible, double-barreled name.
In the run-up to the bill being thrashed out in Parliament, the C.A. appealed to the lowest common denominator at every twist and turn, trying to pretend that absolutely everyone would enjoy a day out in the country, jumping over ditches and hedges on an out-of-control horse in pursuit of a mangy wild dog, and for a while it seemed as though they had succeeded. They even got a black America rap-artist (forgotten his name - sorry) to dress up in pink and sit on a horse for a photo-shoot, saying that he liked nothing better than riding to hounds, but I think he retracted this statement a little later. Anyway, the demonstrations in Whitehall were probably the best attended of all in the last century, as well as being the best behaved.
Barney White-Spunner has reminded me that I really must go fly-fishing this season, as I have all the gear for it, but have only been out once - on a cold and windy day in the Lake District, sitting in a boat with a God-awful hangover. And it ended up as wet-fly, because all the fish were sheltering in the depths of the shallow lake. Like Barney (if I may be allowed to call him by his first name), I much prefer the sport of 'dry-fly', where the fish have to do a bit of work by leaping out of the water - or at least I prefer the idea of it. Barney-baby is my main man.
Changing the subject a little, this weekend's I.T. problem was caused when I decided to listen to the radio in bed yesterday, and plugged in the earphones of my mobile phone before the phone had actually booted up, thereby completely 'frying' (as the Orange technician put it) my SIM card.
I initially thought that my bank had not taken the direct debit for this month's bill, because the date strangely fell on the same day as the frying. I went to the bank to see that it had, in fact, been paid, so I went to the Orange shop and spoke to a clever young man who identified the problem as being a dead SIM card. He arranged for a new card to be activated for me (this took about 3 hours), but said I had lost all of the 80 or so contact numbers stored on the old one.
That took up the morning, and the afternoon was spent by looking up everyone's email address whose phone numbers I had lost (only about 30 or so available) A to Z, and sending them all a blanket email asking them to kindly text or email their numbers to me.
Soon the phone began buzzing as texts flooded in from short-lost acquaintances, and I began re-installing the numbers by hand.
Of 100 or so people, there will always be (I have just discovered) about 10 who think it would be hilariously funny to keep their identities secret for a while longer, and each one of them thinks that this guessing-game was invented by themselves to be enjoyed by all who participate.
When you spent the entire day on a potentially catastrophic problem like the above, the last thing you want to do - funnily enough - is spent the entire night playing 'guess who I am?' with some pea-brained arsehole who sends you about 5 texts until you get it right.
So I lost about 4 'friends' last night, when I told them to 'fuck off' because I didn't want their phone numbers anyway, anymore. I wonder who they were?