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26 November 2013

The Demented Machinations of my Nocturnal Brain

My wife and enjoy going to the theatre, and so last night this is what we decided to do.

The thing is, though, I felt I couldn't be bothered to get our car out of the garage, at least not while we had a perfectly good wheelie bin sitting right next to the house. I decided we should use the wheelie bin to get us to the theatre.

There were a few problems to get out of the way first, though the first one (which was to do with motive power) was not regarded as a problem requiring my attention because I knew intuitively that there was some kind of power source - possibly electric, possibly gas from rotting vegetation that had previously been in the bin. I seemed to have a memory of having once before used this wheelie bin to get me somewhere, and it did  it with a fair degree of power, and also quite silently.

The second problem was whether the two of us would actually fit in the bin, and I concluded that since we would both be standing up, one behind the other, the idea would (like the bin) have wheels.

The third problem, which proved to be somewhat more intractable, was presented when my wife came out of the house all togged up for the theatre in an ankle-length dress, and she had serious doubts about her ability to climb into the bin. A pair of shorts would have been better, but not to suitable for the theatre.

What eventually really killed the whole idea was the fourth problem: I realised that by the time we came out of the theatre it would be dark, and the wheelie bin wasn't fitted with lights.

It didn't occur to me to use the car, and since it was now clear that a huge party was going inside our house we decided to join it. When I say a huge party I mean more people than our house could normally accommodate, but fortunately I'd had the foresight to quadruple the interior size of the house without affecting the exterior dimensions (an idea I'd stolen from Dr. Who and his "TARDIS").

It's worth mentioning in passing that if you can do it, this is quite a neat trick because it means you can extend your house without the need for Planning Permission.

On entering the expansive reception area I found my uncle (whom I didn't recognise) sitting in an armchair with a 1950-style bakelite radio clamped to the side of his head, and I congratulated him on having his own personal hi-fi system. I then proceeded up two flights of stairs to the third floor that wasn't there the day before, where I had laid on a massive self-service buffet. All my guests were queuing up the stairs waiting their turn to get at the food (which appeared to consist mainly of cod fillets in breadcrumbs, a few sausages, and what appeared to be a large ham and egg pie which, when sliced, turned out to be something made using the recipe for Yorkshire Curd Tarts).

A woman behind me in the queue said she wanted one of the sausages immediately, which was quite rude, but as I was now approaching the food, I picked one up and passed it over my shoulder to her, during which passage it picked up a lot of fluff from my thick woollen sweater. Still, serve her right for being greedy, I thought.

It was at this point that I woke up.

Can you get two people in this? (But no headlights, so who cares?)

12 November 2013

Important News from Scotland

Never mind the question of Scottish Independence (Referendum to be held next year).

There are more pressing matters to consider, namely the fine old tradition of drunken Glaswegians placing traffic cones on the head of the Duke of Wellington statue in the centre of Glasgow.

Glasgow City Council has been considering the possibility of raising the height of the statue's plinth to deter the inebriated Scots from climbing up to adorn a 19th century hero with a 21st century hat.

Personally I think it is a rather fine adornment; the man looks very proud to be wearing it, and I feel that had such a hat existed in 1815 the French would have surrendered immediately they set eyes on it!

Incidentally, the world would also have been given not only the "Wellington Boot" but the "Wellington Hat" as well. It's quite possible that we would all be proudly wearing the Wellington Hat. (Naturally the Kensington & Chelsea set would be wearing a green version.)

According to the BBC the Council has decided to abandon its plans to raise the plinth in response to a "Save Wellington's Cone" campaign on Facebook. The Council were trying to save money by not having to remove the cone (we don't know if it's always the same cone) up to a hundred times a year. You have to agree it must be a bit of a bind having to get up there every three days or so to remove the man's hat.

Increasing the height of the statue would, I feel, have just increased the attractiveness of the challenge to get up there on a regular basis with replacement head gear.

My own solution would be for the Council to permanently attach the cone to the Duke's head and paint it grey. He would then look permanently magnificent, and drunken Glaswegians could diversify their activities into diverting traffic the wrong way up one-way streets using red and white Wellington boots.

11 November 2013


BBC London News 10th November 2013 ..
Rush hour commuters are being asked to walk or cycle instead of taking trains on a London Underground line in an attempt to reduce overcrowding.
Travellers are being asked to avoid getting on the Northern Line between Tooting Bec and Clapham North between 0800 GMT and 0845.
Transport for London (TfL) said commuters often had to wait for two or three trains before they could board.
What a splendid idea. Why don’t we extend this idea to other walks of life? ..
Saturday morning shoppers in Tesco are being asked to visit the nearest field to pick their own cabbages in an attempt to reduce overcrowding in the fruit and vegetable aisles.
Shoppers are being asked to avoid the Tesco fruit and veg aisles between 0900 and 1145 on Saturdays.
Tesco said shoppers often had to wait for two or three cabbages to be placed in other people’s trolleys before they could get near the display.
Week-end car drivers entering Pickering are being urged to park on grass verges, footpaths and other people’s front gardens instead of using the public car parks in an attempt to reduce congestion.
Drivers are being asked to avoid going into the car parks between 9 am and 12 noon on Saturdays because they are nearly always full.
A Council spokesperson said drivers often had to wait for two or three cars to vacate the car park before finding a space. He went on to say that in accordance with normal Council policy, all cars parked other than in the car parks would still be subject to the usual charges, and the long walk to the Pay-and-Display ticket machines would be beneficial to health.
Commuters between Malton and York are being urged by First TransPennine Trains to use the Yorkshire Coastliner Buses as the trains are overcrowded between 0800 and 0900 on weekdays.
A spokesperson for First TransPennine asked travellers to consider travelling by bus because people were having to wait for two or three trains to go past before they could get on one. Since the trains ran at a frequency of only one per hour this tended to cause a bit of a problem, with workers arriving at their place of work only to find it was time to go home again.
He went on to say that since the concept of a Bus Replacement Service was so well known this alternative means of transport would feel comfortably familiar.
Commuters between Malton and York are being urged by Yorkshire Coastliner Buses to use First TransPennine trains as the buses are overcrowded between 0800 and 0900 on weekdays.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Coastliner asked travellers to consider travelling by train because people were having to wait for two or three buses to go past before they could get on one. Since the buses ran at a frequency of only one per hour this tended to cause a bit of a problem, with workers arriving at their place of work only to find it was time to go home again.
People using their cars to commute between Malton and York are being urged to go by train or bus as the A64 is packed solid between 0800 and 0900 on weekdays.
The Highways Agency said that 20-mile long queues of 4 mph traffic were seriously interfering with the free movement of Highways Agency vehicles. A spokesperson suggested that if every car driver could travel by bus or train then the A64 would be a much more attractive route for car drivers.
The same spokesperson also made the point that in view of the fact that there had been calls since about 1960 for the A64 to be made 100% dual carriageway, and that absolutely nothing had been done towards bringing this to fruition over a period of about 50 years it must be obvious to most people that it never would be done. A feasibility study would now be undertaken on the possibility of turning it into a major cycle path, something that could only be achieved if drivers switched to buses and trains.
Sick people are being asked to treat themselves at home instead of visiting Doctors’ Surgeries, Hospitals, and NHS Walk-in Centres.
The Secretary of State for Health said waiting times at all these treatment centres were far too long. Some people were having to wait two or three weeks before even getting a doctor’s appointment, by which time they had recovered from their illness. By the time they got to see the doctor they were already better, thus wasting the doctor’s time.
He suggested that people should sit and wait in the comfort of their own homes waiting to be seen by themselves and self-diagnosed as hypochondriacs, and during the waiting period (in front of their TV) they would recover.
Acknowledging that this would be seen as controversial he stressed that this would free up doctors’ time to see those who were genuinely ill either with stress-related high blood pressure caused by driving in endless traffic jams, or claustrophobia caused by travelling on overcrowded buses and trains.
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