Monday, April 17, 2006

Easter excitement

One of the great joys of Easter is going to see friends with sprogs, so that you can indoctrinate them into the great British tradition of becoming chocolate-filled lard-arses to celebrate Spring. Or Easter..

Or, rather, you can indoctrinate them into thinking, just because a rather intelligent and thoughtful philososopher brought about an uprising against The Romans about 2000 years ago, that this actually means that he was the Son of God, and that he achieved eternal life, and walked on water, whatever...

Anyway, we celebrated Easter by spending it with a couple of our best friends and their children; Evie is nearly three, and Maisie is about six months.

We went to a lovely pub called The Watermill close to Box Hill, and had a good lunch. Then we went up Box Hill and had an egg rolling competition. We had spent some time boiling and decorating eggs, and I can tell you, our eggs were rather more robust than Graham and Julie's. Although their's were rather better decorated. Even though they were decorated by a three year old.

We had a great competition rolling the eggs down the hill until the eggs smashed to pieces. Apologies to the little boy who was in the way when one egg escaped, and bounded down the hill faster than we could catch it. We will never forget that look of six year old outrage, as that egg bounced off you.

Anyway, a great day.

Friday, April 14, 2006

An unlikely hero

Now, most of us have vaguely useful, but relatively dull jobs. It's difficult to reach out to our dreams of an exciting future, but one man has managed it. He's come in for a lot of stick in the press, but I think that he's oddly magnificent.

Step forward Sir Alan McIlwraith, KBE, DSO. A veteran of Kosovo and Afghanistan, knighted by Prince Charles, and who is invited to charity events because of his record. Who sits at his desk in a call centre with a name badge saying Sir Alan McIlwraith, dignified and proud.

Or step forward Alan McIlwraith, who works in a call centre, sorting out computer problems, and who sometimes turned up in his army uniform, complete with medals. The uniform and medals that he got in a charity shop, that is. Because this individual has never seen any action whatsoever.

But I think he's cool.

He has a dull job which probably involves him constantly asking people whether they have tried rebooting. It's not terribly exciting or fulfilling. He has several ways of dealing with this.

He can put up with it, never wanting something better.

Or he can seek refuge in drugs, or alcohol, or gambling.

Or he can take to religion.

Or he can build another life where he is respected, thought of as brave, is even pictured in a society magazine, all for the price of a few charity shop buys.

Come on, you have to admire a guy who writes his own Wikipedia entry (now sadly deleted), which includes the wonderful observation

“A hero that the UK and Nato can look to in times of trouble”.

As for the people who were taken in, it wasn't for financial gain, and how superficial must they be, to be giving out invitations to charity events, and taking pictures, because they think somebody has a title and a few medals?

Go for it, Alan, is what I say!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Overheard on a bus

Now, this is a question of bus etiquette. A few days ago, I was on a bus, and a couple of teenage girls got on, about 14 or 15, and sat in the seats behind me. For your information, they were rather pretty.

One of them received a call on her mobile. She quickly became emotional, and it became clear thst her boyfriend was ditching her. Not in person, you understand. He got his brother to do it. Yes, you heard right. His brother. Saddo. Now, the brothers were in the same room; it was clear from the conversation, that the brother who was doing the ditching was shouting instructions to his sibling, who refused to come to the phone.

After an emotional exchange with this hapless sibling, the girl dissolved into tears.

My question is...

Should I have done what I was very tempted to do, which was swivel round, tell her that she was a very attractive girl, and that a chap who would break up with somebody by getting his brother to do it, was an utter and complete saddo...?

Or should I just have done nothing but listen for my own entertainment?