Friday, August 31, 2007

Two-Thirds Round the Sun, a Review

Winston Churchill, who had his fair share of financial catastrophes, might have put it thus: 2007 is a year up with which I would rather not have put and the back of which I will be more than glad to see.

So far, this has been a year of wrangling with the tax authorities, gritting teeth to get through all the work there has been, subsequently waiting for yonks for customers to pay, battling with the council in England about my mother's house, worrying about it all through long, dark sleepless nights and generally living a life of attrition.

Strangely, paradoxically (and thankfully), nearly everyone around me has been having a pretty good time and so I have been able to take breaks from my own woes and bask vicariously in their joys, excitements and achievements.

Thank you, Altruistic Gene!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nick!

Ah... once again it's that time of the year when my eldest gets a year elder and makes me feel elderly!

Pictures and stuff when I get broadbanded over here... should be on Tuesday.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Happy Birthday, Williamo!

My youngest is 12!!!

Hard to believe I am still only 21...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Moaning Old Git Territory

I know that going on about prices of things is moaning old git territory but …

Back in the days (late seventies) when I used to go drinking regularly with my dad in the lunchtime session at the Sefton Arms, he would often moan about the price of a pint – which was, say, around 36p. He harked back dreamily to the days in the 1920s when he used to get a pint of Bass for 4d (4d is four old pennies – just a bit less than 2p in the decimal system).

I used to alleviate this potential moaning old git moaning by thinking that he was talking about a period of 50 or 60 years in which the price of a pint had gone up from 2p to 36p whereas I could already talk about the price going up from 13p in 1973 when I first worked as a barman to the present 6 years later. 2p to 13p in 50 years and 13p to 36p in just 6 years - I could have been a moaning young git!

The regulars used to moan about the 36p then, and there was one barmaid who would always shout over, “you lot would still be drinking your pints even if it went up to 50p!” which would always cause a lot of disgruntled umming and ahing and speedy quaffing of pints just in case this price rise was really imminent.

If you know where to go in Liverpool you can now get a pint for around 2 quid but normally it’s up nearer three and more.

Anyway, my moan started off as not really a moan at all; it was more an oh-well-that’s-not-so-bad following an initial shock at seeing the diesel prices at the motorway service stations while tootling up to Liverpool last week.

“99.9p for diesel…bloody hell!!!” came the internal exclamation in my brain as I was tootling along talking to myself.

Tootle, tootle …

“Mind you,” the internal dialogue continued, “I suppose when you think about it, it’s not so bad”

Tootle, tootle …

“Let’s think … around about the time of the first oil crisis in the seventies …”

Tootle, tootle …

“… petrol was 34p. Then overnight it went up to 64p …”

Tootle …

“… and now, 35 years later it’s 99p …”

Tootle …

“I suppose that’s ok…”

Tootle, tootle …

“34p! Bloody hell… those were the days”

Tootle …

“34p a gallon …”

Tootle …

“34 … p … a… gallon …”

Toot …


A gallon? Yes, a gallon … about FOUR litres! Yes, FOUR litres!

So that is an increase from 34p for four litres to 99p for one litre … which is … ah, something to moan about anyway.

Actually, I may soon be applying for permanent residence in the Moaning Old Git Territories.