December 8, 2008
Danger of Hypothermia Act Now
…one more lazy cut-and-paste article suggesting I can beat the credit crunch and/or save the planet by putting on another jumper and reducing the thermostat to 18°C*, there will be damage done.
My current winter cycling outfit now consists of thermals, cords, two pairs of socks, a polo neck, two jumpers, fleece, hat and gloves. Coincidentally enough, this is exactly the same as my sitting around in the house writing outfit, although I do usually take off the hat and gloves, and – if I’m feeling particularly reckless – my fleece. Nobody told me writing was the sort of extreme activity that required technical clothing to take part in. I’d put on an extra jumper if I could, but then I’d have trouble moving my arms.
*picture shows the temperature in the sitting room after a blazing fire had been going for a couple of hours. Sometimes the kitchen makes it all the way up to 15°C.
October 13, 2008
Coming back from a hard day’s footpath clearing today – after several hours doing battle with the skin-tearing, hair-tangling three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle that is the gorse bush – we encountered two walkers. ‘Oh,’ said the female half of the couple, spotting our implements of destruction. ‘Oh good, I’m glad someone’s doing something about it. I was just saying we should …’ I smiled politely, ready to direct her to the guy from the council who would happily provide her with the opportunity to join us on the next task. ‘Email somebody and tell them they should do something about it,’ she went on.
See, all this time I’ve been thinking that I was one of ‘us’. Only now do I discover that actually I am one of them, the great they that gets things done, or doesn’t, depending on whether a public-spirited citizen has emailed to remind them. Still, at least that makes me a somebody after all these years. Next up: what they, sorry, I, should do about the credit crunch…
October 1, 2008
‘HBOS rescue in jeopardy’ screams the Guardian headline as I hand over my money at the papershop. Hmmm. Perhaps I should have handed over my Bank of Scotland fiver instead of the handful of coins I used? I worry about Scottish notes at the best of times – partly because I always end up getting off the train in London with no cash except a strange looking tenner, trying to persuade a sceptical Pole that I’m not attempting to pay for my lunch with Monopoly money – but somehow now the words ‘Bank of Scotland plc promises to pay the Bearer on demand five pounds sterling at its registered office, Edinburgh’ just don’t have the reassuring ring that they used to.
Perhaps I should hang onto it in case it becomes collectible instead, or for the kitsch value – instead of Brenda we’ve got Sir Walter Scot and ‘Brig o’Doon’ on the reverse. Or, if the bank does go, and oil prices soar again, I could always try burning it to keep warm…