Saturday 18 October 2008

The deranged driver and the ceiling inspector

14st 4lb; 1.5 units of alcohol yesterday (a well-deserved whisky nightcap after driving back from my dry reunion dinner); 1,206 days to go; Morpeth.

Today’s bizarre early morning dream saw me working in an office with a dodgy lift and later standing by the side of a motorway with a woman I once rather fancied, watching a convoy of vehicles with their lights on moving against the flow of traffic and wondering how on earth a spectacular pile-up could be avoided. It wasn’t.

Rather discouraged by this, I drove my small convertible all the way to Newcastle for a haircut first thing this morning (have you ever tried looking in the mirror after a haircut in Alnwick?), and had a small outburst of road rage in the village just down the road on my way back. The way I look at it is that the Highway Code clearly specifies who should give way when there is an obstruction in the road, namely the person on whose side of the carriageway the blockage lies. So I stopped, only to find that the person coming the other way then did so too, and started fannying around flashing his lights to play “No, no, after you, Claude.” This strikes me as a total waste of everyone’s time, and irritates me accordingly. It was only after I had driven past him with my face contorted like that of a very angry orang-utan, ranting loudly to myself and making vigorous “wanker” gestures, that I reflected that he was probably one of my immediate neighbours. Oopsy.

Having had the damaged tyre of my 4 x 4 replaced in Alnwick (which is better on car parts than on hair styling), I drove back south to Morpeth for lunch with my aunt and cousin. I had suggested that we try a new restaurant in the town centre and was much tempted by both the regular menu and the specials board, eventually selecting from the latter a starter of wild mushrooms on toast with a poached egg, followed by pork loin with a black pudding mash. Though I nearly changed my order when I saw the enormous and delicious looking burger and chips being delivered to the next table. The waiter said that it was not too late to change my mind, then added “Don’t worry, you can always have it for dessert.” Which was, as my cousin observed, “a very Geordie comment”.

We sat around reminiscing about my late uncle, and his very dry sense of humour. My cousin particularly cherished the memory of introducing his father to his first wife not long after she had become his girlfriend, when he was taking her for a weekend at the family’s country cottage. My uncle’s main contribution to the conversation was to observe to the young lady, without the slightest hint of a smile, “I have recently painted the bedroom ceiling. Do take a close look at it, won’t you?”

I wonder whether anyone will still be chuckling about my lines more than a decade after I have progressed from deadpan to just plain dead?

1 comment:

Ian said...

Oh Joy! An updated Bio and a link to an alternative blog. Enough reading to keep me busy for a few days. Christmas has come early!