Monday, October 05, 2009

River Man



I'm afraid this comes into the category of "you couldn't make it up". The daughter is doing brilliantly at everything, as are the other two and as good behaviour and achievement needs to be rewarded, the Mrs decided that instead of her weekly riding lesson, she could go trekking with a pal and the little 'un, the guitar hero.........out on the wild and windy moors.

So we got up at the crack of bloody dawn on a Saturday and headed for the hills to a trekking centre at Llanthony Priory, admittedly a very beautiful spot. Nice place, nice people, nice horses and by and by off they trekked, leaving us at a bit of a loose end. There were obvious footpaths up into the hills so we decided to to take a little walk and then come back and loaf about drinking coffee.

We didn't get far. Up a hill and through a field we went until we came to a stream and a signpost. The signpost said, very boldly, all walkers go left, no public access to the right or ahead. I went right. The Mrs said, "where are you going? We can't go that way"

I had spotted a log, over the stream, and declaimed in my best scoutmaster voice, as I stepped onto the log and pointed to the hilly horizon, "I am going to safely ford the stream". The bastard log rolled and I took a cartoon like header straight into the stream. I say straight into the stream, I actually bounced into the stream off a rock, which I hit with some force with my chest.

So there I was. Soaked through, having broken a 200mm camera lense and in some pain and distress. The Mrs thought I was having a heart attack. I was worried that I was going to get bollocked for spoiling a walk in the hills. There was nothing left to do but spend a couple of hours mooching about, waiting for the nippers to come back, all the while with an arse that felt like I was wearing a soggy nappy.

The countryside might be beautiful, but as far as I am concerned you can stick it where the monkey put the nuts. It's bloody dangerous out there. From now on, come the weekend, you will find me in my living room, watching the box.

We are all in together, that's what the Old Etonians are telling us. Times will be tough, the public sector will suffer pay freezes and job losses, there will be probably be tax increases, tax benefits to working parents will be cut (inheritance tax is OK though), we will all have to work into our dotage. So while the fat cats got fat, the poor bloody infantry in the public sector carried stoically on, poorly paid, in cramped, uncomfortable offices, using antiquated equipment. Now that fat cats have screwed us all, who has to pay? We do.

It distresses me that that our media gives the Tories such an easy ride. Osborne comes across as a dimwit and is hailed as master of oratory. Grayling comes across as a buffoon and is tickled. Comments from respected economists to the effect that their policies will lead to 5 million unemployed and that all their statements on the credit crunch have been wrong get very little publicity. The 4th Estate. Power without responsibility.

There are pockets of discontent though.
Stuart Jeffries
Johan Hari
Seamus Milne

In the unlikely event that you missed it, Charlie Brooker on the Mac.

One of the highlights of my year was The Wychwood festival and one of the highlights of that was The Mummers, so I was looking forward to seeing them again at The End Of The Road, but they cancelled, and this is why Very sad.

Have a look at the invisible man.
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