Wednesday 9 January 2008

Idle and stupid

15st 1lb 8oz (clutching at straws); zero alcohol; 1,486; Trafalgar. I find myself in a surprisingly good mood despite being woken at 5 a.m. by a howling gale battering the house. Partly because, while I was lying awake, I came up with an absolutely brilliant idea that will solve an IT problem that has been troubling me for weeks. And also because I know for sure that today will finally bring a solution to the severe damp penetration in my airing cupboard, which has been defeating the remedial efforts of Rothbury’s finest builders since early November. Not because I expect them to turn up and climb ladders to repair the roof in a Force Eight gale; but because I have written something in the paper about the drunken, idle and feckless inhabitants of this area which is calculated to lead to a large mob turning up and burning my house down. That should do it nicely.

As if all that wasn’t good enough, up pops Sir Stuart Rose on Today trying to put a positive spin on his lousy sales, which would be enough to make a cat laugh. The head of Network Rail was also knighted in the New Year Honours List, immediately before their debacles at Rugby and Liverpool Street. I must go back and check on the other new knights, to ensure that I don’t own any shares in their companies.

The last woman I slept with (and frankly we’ve reached a point where “last” could well mean exactly that, not just “the most recent”) has taken to e-mailing me again, after a gap of several months. I mention that I’m thinking of including her in my blog, as it would be a shame to miss out her epic morning-after punch line, “No, that’s it. I’m definitely a lesbian.”

I’d had a sneaking suspicion for, ooh, about 30 years that I might be having that effect on women, but this was the first time one had spelt it out quite so explicitly. Prior to that, she’d thought she was bisexual, which must be rather nice if you’re a woman. It’s certainly nice for a Bloke to go out with a woman who thinks she’s bisexual, as you can nod enthusiastically in response to the question “Have you ever fancied a threesome?”, secure in the knowledge that you’re not about to find yourself staring at some hairy great rugby player on the other side of your bed.

She did say that if I mentioned her, she’d start up a rival blog principally devoted to the subject of erectile dysfunction in the over 50s. But then I might learn something useful from that. If I were ever to encounter that particular problem.

It’s a lovely, sunny day so the dog and I go out for an especially long walk in the afternoon.

The best view on our walk - and we hadn't even left home when I snapped it

Predictably enough, exactly half way round, the clouds roll in and it becomes absolutely, bitingly cold. If it wasn’t for the clear evidence of the wind blast-freezing my left cheek as I walk due north, I’d swear that it was blowing straight from Siberia.

Crags and stuff before the clouds rolled in

What with all that fresh air and exercise, and exemplary adherence to my diet throughout the day, I feel justified in having a glass of white wine with my supper. Whereupon I lose all self control and begin munching my way through the fine Northumbrian cheeses I received as a Christmas present, and which I really should have given away when I started the diet. As Maria said in Coronation Street when she couldn’t lead the mountain rescue team to Liam on the fells, “Why am I so stupid?”

No sign of the mob to burn the house down, either. I thought they’d turn up after dark with blazing torches, like the villagers turning up at Castle Frankenstein to ask the Count if he’d mind awfully not disturbing the local graveyard on quite such a regular basis.

I said they were an idle bunch. Though, to continue on a fire-related theme, I did add with the utmost sincerity that no-one could hold the proverbial candle to me when it came to sloth and under-achievement.

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