48 days. Hell where did those go? I've got a better excuse than usual though, which is that we have been moving house. Which is not something I will be doing again in a hurry, or perhaps ever again. You know that thing they say about how moving is the most stressful thing you can possibly do except get divorced and get run over by a bus- well I never believed it before, possibly because my previous experiences of moving house were rather small scale affairs that could be concluded in a couple of hours before opening time with the aid of a couple of mates or at the outside a man with a van, whereas this one involved two weeks of solid packing and two burly blokes hired for the day along with a full size pantechnicon which hardly could fit into our street, and even then a rush to the last minute to get the last few boxes into the back of it, full of- what? I don't know what was in the 142 boxes really but would hazard a guess 40% of them contained unread books or rarely listened to Inspiral Carpets 12 inches, while another 15% were made up of handwritten letters from long-forgotten Wolverhampton Polytechnic contemporararies and essays- also handwritten- on subjects such as The Decline of the French Communist Party or The Rise of Youth Unemployment in Post-Franco Spain.
Needless to say the 35% boxes actually containing useful items (you know, pots and pans, the calendar, the radio) remained stubbornly submerged underneath this assorted detritus for the best part of the first week, during which we lived on chinese takeaways, enjoyed in front of fifteen year old episodes of 'QI' and 'Have I Got News For You' (our 1990s telly having taken unkindly to the prospect of a move over the city boundaries and stuck itself permanently on Channel Dave in protest. It could have been worse, it could have been Dave Ja Vue).
It's all been worth it though, I hasten to add. We've found the pans now, and are enjoying that halcyon few weeks when living in your new neighbourhood is very much like being on holiday, with every day full of small neighbourhood adventures such as discovering the post-office, the pie shop, or the pub eight minutes walk away serving Robinsons Unicorn at £2.60 the pint. Or for that matter this very cafe I am sitting in right now. The fact that I have still occasionally to go to work is a small inconvenience, and an adventure in itself given that I can experiment travelling by unfamiliar bus routes, and have a valid excuse (well I think so anyway) to arrive at the office at 11:30AM looking disorientated and dishevilled, or at least slightly more so than normal.
We had a new-fangled flat screen telly delivered yesterday, which after 20 years of essentially living in the 1980s is a revelation. Literally everything is exciting to watch on its ample 32 inch High Definition screen, even the ice hockey and the downhill luge. I do draw the line at the women's curling though- I'm sorry, but sliding what look like great big rusty kettles very slowly into each other across a deserted icerink is not an Olympic winter sport worthy of the name and I don't care how often they wheel out Kirsty Wark or other earnest Caledonian broadcasters to tell me different. Basically as far as winter sports go I am very consistent, in that if the competitors are not skating down the ice at 145mph, preferably on tea trays, or leaping off the top of alpine-scale mountains protected only by a thin layer of colourful lycra, then I'm not interested.
Bring back Eddie the Eagle I say. On which note, it appears that today's interesting neighbourhood discovery is that the cafe with the internet connection closes at 6PM prompt, no slackers or dawdlers please by order of the management, so we will be off into the near Arctic conditions of the far south side, and hence, to our centrally heated abode, there to stay absolutely still for as long as possible and watch people from Switzerland hurtling off cliff-faces. Which if there is a bettter way to spend a Friday teatime in suburbia, I'd like you to tell me what it is, because I'm as sure as hell I can't think of one. Good afternoon and as they say in the Alps, Bon Weekend a tous.