Sunday, December 14, 2003

Oh the nostalgic wonder - Parents shouting about Christmas cards (the only ones I send are to family, and that's cos I have to, as everyone else I know has email), Carol singers doing the rounds. Except not. Because the Round Table in their infinite wisdom are repeating last year's (and thinking about, many preceding year's) stunt of sending round a car with loudspeakers attached, playing a looped tape of festive hits[1], as loudly as possible[4], whilst driving very slowly, and sending poor people scurrying across gardens to bang on peoples' doors to collect money. Except I think this household's response last year was "come back when you've learnt to sing, and are actually putting in a modicum of effort"[5].

[1] Think Vonda Sheperd doing Jingle Bell Rock. Now imagine a cheaper broadcast rights[2] version[3].
[2] Although possibly they don't worry about paying fees and copyright issues.
[3] Maybe they got a new CD, as it's lost the distorted quality provided the stretching 6 weeks of continuous play induces.
[4] A bit like police in armed sieges playing Cher at the barricaded. It'll only stop when you come out with your hands up (and wallet open).
[5] What? If I got volunteered into having to traipse round local housing estates on remarkably cold nights[6], I'm sure they can find unfortunate youngsters to continue the tradition.
[6] Ah, the joys of youth - itchy hats and cold cheeks, just enough feeling left in one's feet to know they're very cold, clouds of breath trying hard to instantly crystallise, seeing how long you can keep going without taking a breath in "ding dong merrily on high"[7], discovering the people are misers, and demand you sing a carol at each house (like you couldn't hear us singing next door, which is all of 6 ft away), and that strangely the success rate plummets as Eastenders comes on.
[7] Glor-or-or-or-orr-or-or-or-orr-or-or-or-orr-or-or-or-orr-ri-ah [snatched breath, 8], Ho-san-na in ex-chel-sis.
[8] I'm not sure I've got the right number of 'or's. Usually you just keep going till the person next to you turns blue.

And what is it about weekends in winter that encourage ploughing through books. Last weekend it was Christopher Brookmyre[9] making me read until my head hurt (possibly because it was getting dark and I hadn't had anything to eat or drink yet that day), and this weekend I'm working through Middlemarch (although I've been reading this for ages as it's going in spurts).
Although I'm wondering if I'm the first to read about Mr Casaubon whilst listening to The Soft Bulletin by The Flaming Lips (and I'd forgotten how much I liked some of it).
[9] Ok so when he ran out of mini rants, and mocking the world (including those who mock), it got a bit clumsy, but otherwise pretty much good.

And what's happen - as suddenly lots of people I went to uni with are all popping out of the woodwork.
Well ok so one was being rung up to be told "hi, the wedding's not in November, it's in February now, oh and you're not invited cos it's on the other side of the Atlantic" (well, vastly summarised as the potential groom was quite well lubricated, and he usually complains I can talk the hind leg off a donkey[10,11], and I didn't get to say much [but hey, as long as it's his phone bill]). And having realised the significance of the date, I've just worked out they've been together 3 years. Life is strange.
[10] Where on earth did that expression come from?
[11] Possibly when the footnotes get into double figures it's time to do something about my writing style.

And oh wow (giving away that this was half written last night, and half today), it appears they've captured Saddam Hussein (and let me guess, he's found with 3,000 tonnes of anthrax in his shoe). And it must be true cos CNNsay so (and no way would the assorted governments let this out if it weren't believed true, as they don't really like admitting they were wrong).
Anyhoo, I might get round to writing about all the stuff I meant to at one point.

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