Christmas day at the seaside gives the opportunity to spot some of the less noticeable traditions at this time of year. This morning started with the finger drumming drivers parked along the front and waiting. This is the young, and not so young, couples who have not yet reached the stage of sharing elderly relatives. The driver waits in the car dispatching his partner off to deliver the box of chocolates and then assumes the pose, fingers drumming on the steering wheel whilst wondering “does it really take this long?”.
Next up we have the beach strangers, the annual visitors. Small groups who seem overly formally dressed can be seen walking along the beach with the occasional confused looking dog. Well it’s Christmas and they are visiting the coast so you have to go on the beach don’t you.
I won’t discuss the once a year pub visitors as they are a subject worthy of their own post, so next up we have the wonderful game of “who are you going home with”. As the pubs close and people wander home so increasingly odd couples can be seen departing together. A routine that normally happens in the dark, after a night in the pub, moves to daylight hours on Christmas and can be quite enlightening.
I am not a fan of the festive season myself but this year I am finding the enforced shut down particularly annoying. I am waiting on estimates for works to the current prospect and find the two-week loss of activity quite frustrating. Whilst it is likely that the commercial reality will be too harsh to consider it is tough having nothing to do and getting no closer to the answer.
I would like to caution anybody that I speak to today, I am having a pedant day today. Just to confirm that it is just me allow me to share some examples.
On the train this morning there was an announcement that the train “would run at reduced speed caused by flooding”. Now this was a diesel set and I was intrigued, the weather hadn’t been that bad overnight had it? I was guessing we needed a good meter over the rail to physically cause reduced speed. Or perhaps we had half a meter and this reached critical electronics thus reducing speed. The truth was that the line speed was reduced because of flooding, there are various reasons for this, but the water didn’t cause the train to slow down.
Next up was the station announcer telling some poor commuters that “the train on platform 14 is cancelled” nothing odd in that. Why did he have to announce the cause as “due to a fault that couldn’t be fixed”. Surely the inability to resolve said fault, in the time available, is established by the cancellation. If the fault had been fixed then there would be no more fault and no cancellation. I waited for the announcement that the train on platform x was departing on time “due to a fault that was fixed” but it wasn’t forthcoming.
Then the newspaper showed me a picture of a woman who had done something and was very mean. In the picture were two children who had their faces blurred because the story was not about them. The picture caption included the information “we have pixilated their faces”, did anyone need this help? I imagine Mrs x throwing the paper at her husband and spluttering “oh god look at their poor faces”. Without this snippet of information I could have thought that Dr Who had a problem on his hands or that some new strain of acne was taking over the world.
Although this is not pedantic it also caught my eye in the newspaper today. Apparently divorce rates are rising as the economy struggles, no shit sherlock. For any man that believes in romance, love at first sight and all that garbage take a close look. The theory is that when the going is good people will stick with it but when times are had they don’t, remember now that women initiate the majority of divorces. I have heard it said that prostitutes are similar, they are all smiles when the money is there but won’t make you dinner when you’re broke.
So before you ‘put a ring on it’ do some maths and consider a rental rather than an outright purchase after all marriage may be temporary but ex wives are for life.
I am sure that you have all seen the various things on the interweb that explain if you remember audio cassettes and rode a bicycle without a crash helmet you’re a pretty great person. I would like to extend this to a more practical level; I am of the ‘unsupported’ generation. Just like the ‘child of the 70’s’ test there are a number of tests for unsupported children or as Barbie would prefer to call us ‘those without a management team’.
Waking up and thinking that it is all too much hard work is normal, we all do that bit. If you have to telephone your parents/siblings/friends to confirm that you should, in fact, get up then you have a management team. If your car breaks down and you sit at the side of the road calling and texting until somebody tells you what to do, that’s a management team. In fact if your tow arrives and you are not bleeding and covered in grease from trying to avoid the need for them then you have a management team. If the most practical answer you have to life’s woes is to share them rather than change them then you have a management team. The thing with managed people is that to them dreams can be just that, things that others are lucky to do. For the rest of us dreams are aspirations, they may take more years than we have to reach them but that doesn’t mean we don’t try.
There is nothing wrong with operating within a managed environment but it is not for all of us. When I left hospital I survived on a diet of instant mash, not because I couldn’t call on others but because I don’t operate with a management team. I have not had the use of a motor vehicle for over a year now yet I am in Derby working, despite being on 15hrs notice to the most awkward legal system on earth. When my washing machine played up last year I managed to withdraw it from under the counter by wedging an arm, complete with cast, into the opening and dragging it. This blog is full of examples of the insanity of doing things myself when I should have just asked, that is just who I am.
I am not like I am because I like to do things the hard way, not because I relish a challenge. I am like I am because I have never operated with a management team. Do not for one minute misunderstand me, I have some very good and reliable friends but I was brought up with the idea that you solved your issues and other solved theirs. When I wake up at 3 am and it all looks too difficult I can’t imagine not doing it, whatever it is. This is why you will never hear me say I was too ill to make some appointment or the other; hangovers are for sucking up and getting on with it.
Perhaps the corollary of this is that, as I move into the second year of life on hold the frustration is unbelievable. It is not in my nature to remain stationary when faced with a challenge and this enforced period of not progressing is definitely the hardest period of my life. I am lucky that I have good friends to remind me that the glass is half full and to help me empty a few that are full of beer. I know that it is only time but when the deadline is finally marked watch out because I have been restrained too long and it’s going to be one hell of a race to the finish line.