In February, with tensions high in the sales office (heightened by a distinct lack of sales calls, the removal of temps, a visible drop in sales attributed to Brexit, the falling pound and poor high street sales), I was called to a meeting to be told that my and five other employee’s role was at risk of redundancy.
Now, I’ve been made redundant four times previously so, as you get more experienced, you start to notice the signs; Whispered meetings, lack of work, telling glances between senior managers whenever future plans are discussed. So it was no surprise that Az (my manager) laid out the company’s situation and plans in front of me. A month later, after playing all the silly redundancy games where they offer you a role clearly not suitable for you, meetings to discuss what you do and the passing over of duties to others, I was put on garden leave with a fairly nice redundancy package.
This was fine until a few days into my break from work, it became frighteningly clear that globally, something more worrying was brewing. Covid 19.
I’m now on the fourth week of my non-work period. I’m bored, feeling isolated and unwanted while still trying to stay positive, focussed and constructive. Sadly, with the whole virus thing going down, it seems that the jobs market is already starting to show signs of trouble.
The business man in me says “Why would a company hire an employee now when the likelihood is that that employee could be forced to self-isolate and stay at home?”. Furthermore, why would an employer put themselves and their employees at risk by conducting interviews with complete strangers? (Which, if you think about it, is perfectly reasonable: An office full of people already immune to each other’s coughs and sneezes probably doesn’t want an unknown token carrying untold maladies being added to the mix).
I console myself in the fact that those people I left at my former place of work will no doubt face further challenges themselves: further drops in sales, lack of product being shipped from China, inter-office infections and associated absences and had I not been released when I was, I would be undergoing the same concerns I had then now.
But now the big smelly kipper. As long term readers will know, I have suffered from coronary heart disease for nearly 20 years now. I say suffer, that’s the medical term, I feel fitter than a whole Irish pub of fiddles. But by “suffering”, this allows me the grace of a free NHS provided annual flu jab. This, in turn, means that I fall into the “at risk” category which means that I need to engage with “social distancing” and potentially self-isolation.
Practically, I have been in self-isolation for nearly 4 weeks now. Apart from my Monday night Dungeons and Dragons session, the occasional trip to the shops, library and interview, and a trip to Liverpool to see the family, my social contact has been virtually non-existent. Then Mr Johnson says “Don’t go seeing people unnecessarily” which has put the kibosh on Dungeons and Dragons and with fewer interviews coming through I’m already doing a damn fine job of keeping away from the hordes of infected zombies out there. However, next week, it seems Mrs Gnomepants v2.0 is on leave so I will have someone else other than myself to drive up the wall at least.
Facebook are enforcing their real names policy like jackbooted fascists. Pressurising members to use their real legal names rather than any assumed, stage or preferred nom-de-plume. Please see my previous post for their reasons why – Facebook Real Names Policy – Intro.
This is the second post of this series.
People ask why I use the name Stegzy Gnomepants. I usually say “Mind your own business”. Sometimes, however, I’m not so rude about it; the reason I use the name Stegzy Gnomepants is because people know me by that name.
I started using the internet in 1986, but back then the internet was bobbins and was more like Ceefax than the internet we know and love today. Back then I used the handle Stegzy and remained using that name until about a month later when my parents got their telephone bill and the internet was taken away from me.
Tardis yourself forward in time to 1998 when I bought my first PC. It was a Pentium 266. It cost me £1000 or there abouts. Top of the range. Fast modem (56kpbs). A whopping lump of RAM (something like 16Mb). A cavernous hard drive (approx 512Mb). I connected to the internet and restarted my online life as Stegzy.
Internet fashions came and went. AOL IM, CompuServe, that weird virtual world that Demon Internet had for a few years, Usenet newsgroups – all using the name stegzy. The Gnomepants bit came shortly after, when, as more and more people began using the internet, names were getting quickly claimed by other users. Yes, another Stegzy started to appear. I had to distinguish. Someone I knew then affectionately used to call me Gnomepants, I adopted that name as my online personalities surname.
This was the early 2000s. Then came Freeserve chat. I used the name stegzy there as well as evilgnome. Sometimes, for anonymity, I would use the name gnomepants. It helped separate my real life from my online life. It kept people from my work, past and those I didn’t want to communicate with, out of my online adventures where, if they found out about my activities, they would have ruined it. Ripping me away from my special place. My escape. My hide away. Where I was safe from those that would interfere. A place I could be myself without fear of judgement or prejudice.
Next came Livejournal. You can find me there using the name Stegzy too and all entries from there have been preserved here on WordPress too. That is when the real Stegzy Gnomepants blossomed. 2004 came and went. Sometime during this period a bloke called Zuckerberg created a service called Facebook…you might have heard of it.
So lets look at this again….1986 I begin using the name Stegzy. Stegzy Gnomepants circa 1998. People I meet on line know me as Stegzy Gnomepants. I spend the majority of the period 1998-2004 online as….Stegzy Gnomepants. Then some bloke comes along and creates a website called Facebook which nobody had heard of.
Ok, let’s carry on…Myspace – Stegzy Gnomepants. Hotmail – stegzy gnomepants. Google! What name shall I use? Oh I know, I’ll use my real name…Nobody knows me…ok I’ll use my assumed name….Everyone knows me! Stegzy Gnomepants.
2006ish. Good online friend Dan4th (Hi Dan if you still read!) tells me about some website where American kids hang out. Fascist books or Fuctbook or something. Oh yes…Facebook…I’ll sign up. Stegzy Gnomepants.
Blogspot arose – Stegzy Gnomepants; WordPress – Stegzy Gnomepants; Hell, I’m Stegzy Gnomepants on the BBC, Ebay, everywhere. Search google. You’ll see me using that everywhere and I have been for a very very long time.
Once more lets step back and look –
Me – Known online as Stegzy Gnomepants since 1998
Zuckerberg – Known online as Facebook since 2004.
Think that makes me win.
2014. Facebook decide that I must use my real name. A name nobody on the internet knows me by.
I teach Social Media for Business during the day. In my lessons I advise that to be successful online you need to remain consistent across all platforms. Use the same username where possible. The same avatar. The same contact details. Thats how people know who you are.
Mr Zuckerberg, if I’m to change my name just for your silly little empire, then my influence will have no weight. Businesses will not use me as an influencer. I cannot be a potential brand ambassador for your clients. I am the celebrity. I am the authority. I am the connector, the expert, the agitator. I am the journalist and the activist. I am the personal brand personified. That means my identity is nothing to you.
Yes I know you say I can create a PAGE but with a page I cannot interact with people as a person. Like things as a person. Interact, engage and amplify as a person online. Especially with products, services or similar which anyone can see me liking, make a judgement on my character. My beliefs. My choices. People that judge. People who I have no wish to share my identity with.
Someone said about my last post on this matter “If you don’t want to adhere to the Facebook’s terms and conditions don’t use it”. Something I am considering. Very hard. Perhaps over to Google+, who realised a very long time ago, forcing your “product” to use something in a way they don’t want to leads to failure. Isn’t that right Google Wave?
So when the call comes I will depart from Facebook. I will leave it never to return. You can continue to read my exploits here on WordPress or follow me on Twitter (@stegzy). Facebook postings will decline. I’m sorry if you, like Zuckerberg, no longer want, care or give a stuff about what I say, like or want to share with you. I’m sorry if you no longer want to fuel our social media narcissism together. But if that’s the way you want to play, I’ll let you take your ball home by yourself. Just mind you don’t trip over those toys you claim I threw out of my pram.
You probably won’t remember, in fact I probably didn’t relate to you, that the smelly old man downstairs was carted off to the knackers yard last year because he got stuck in the bath.
Briefly, for those who don’t remember, I was “home alone” and heard some banging that I initially thought was someone doing some DIY. It wasn’t until 11pm when the banging continued that I realised something was amiss. Nipping outside I managed to determine that the banging wasn’t some late night Tommy Walsh but probably the old man in the flat below had come into some sort of mischief. The police were called, who in turn called an ambulance and, long story short, the old man was prised out of his cold bath, bundled into an ambulance and shoved into some sort of “sheltered housing” wherein he now shits and spits where disgruntled Polish nurses can clean up after him. No doubt they also force feed him pureed parsnips in some sort of perverse preparation for my turn in the Old People’s Home Of No Return.
Since those heady days of loud televisions, constant coughing and infestations of rats, wasps and mice we have had some new neighbours in Gnome-cake Towers. A young-(44)-ish mother and her teenage daughter. Out goes the loud telly and farting and in come the late night Mother-Daughter arguments, door slamming and complimentary sobbing.
Last week, Mrs Downstairs went to Ireland. It transpires that previously they (or at least she) lived in some remote part of southern Ireland wherein the nearest neighbour was some distance away. Mrs Downstairs returned to the Emerald Isle with a van in an attempt to fetch the remainder of her stuff, which I assume was in storage.
This left Teen alone.
A whole week with no shouting, no loud telly but just the occasional slamming of badly council fitted windows and doors. With Thursday being the exception when, Teen being a teen, a small soiree took place. Five girls, the Glee soundtrack, cigarettes (possibly some dope) and a bottle or two of Blue Lightning or White Nun or whatever underage beverages are of choice today (In my time it was kiwi MD20/20).
Fruitcake was getting a bit tense by about 10pm when the noise hadn’t abated but by 10.20 the doors were banged and I assume the teens reduced their noise with some consideration culminating in peace and quiet returning to Warwickshire at about 10.40pm. By morning, the only sign of late evening revelry was a couple of fag buts and an empty bottle, possibly Tesco’s Value Turpentine substitute.
In the mid morning I saw the Teen. Smiling sheepishly at me, as she does, she politely said hello. I asked her how her party went the previous night. She replied with apologies and platitudes for any noise and explained that her mum was away in Ireland and was back later that afternoon. We chatted lightly and, using my journalistic skills, I managed to glean further information from our mysterious new neighbours while pointing out that the scary tapping she had heard at night was Quincy the cat trying to get out of the cat flap and the hint that the walls were like paper.
A penny seemed to drop.
I let it lie there.
Spin forward in time in one of those wibbly wobbly screen dissolves to today.
There comes a tap tap tapping at my chamber door. No, not the Raven, but Mrs Downstairs. Chip on her shoulder apparent immediately. Not something I had said or done rather something that Mr Gardener-Nextdoor had obviously said to her regarding the mass of branches felled from the tree out at the front which had lain their since the Autumn.
Promises were made. Promises backed by annoyance at having been told off by someone who seemingly has no business complaining about piles of decaying leylandii. Excuses given. Given to both the right person and the wrong person.
Mentions of the back garden.
Did I mention the back garden? No it seems I didn’t.
During the summer, house clearance people came and cleared the old man’s flat out and demolished and emptied his two sheds. Apples were thrown about the place, larks were had and a couple of trees and a fence saw their demise. Before the new people moved in, the garden looked rather good, if not still a little overgrown.
Wibbly wobbly screen dissolves again.
Now, it seems, Steptoe and son have come to some arrangement with Mrs Downstairs. Instead of useful stuff from storage, the silly bint has brought, what can only be described as, a scrap yard over on the ferry. Perhaps she emptied the wrong lock up. Who knows.
As I said, apologies were given about the kip of the back garden. Promises made regarding the imminent arrival of fencing material, a six foot gate and some tree felling. Apologies regarding any noise.
In return I listened, placated and smiled reassuringly while inserting titbits into the conversation regarding reciprocal noise, door slamming, rampant terriers and nosey busy body neighbours. Seeds were sown. Hints were dropped. Deals alluded to.
On her side? Promises.
As I frequently say “Words are but wind”
Developments, like photography, remain to be seen.
It’s bad enough, when born this time of year, to be told “Oh I’d have got you a birthday present but I’ve got you a bigger Christmas present” by cheap skates hoping to pull the wool over already tried before eyes. But what’s worse, especially recently in the UK, is the chuffing post.
While all around me are putting up their Christmas cards in displays of social popularity I have to hold off opening cards I receive before my birthday, which, if you didn’t know, is today. A few years back I realised that when my birthday arrived I had fewer birthday cards to open on the actual day than my peers because I had opened mine by accident thinking “Oh it’s a Christmas card, it should be safe”. So recently I have taken to stock piling the cards received through the mail until the actual day and then I have a mass card opening ceremony.
Usually I get about a 3:2 birthday/Christmas card mix with some cheeky sods trying to sneak a Christmas card in with the birthday card or, if they’ve thought ahead they put the birthday card in with the Christmas card (which I don’t mind as long as that’s in an envelope marked “birthday”). However, over recent years the Post Office in Warwickshire have been a bit shit and cards sent way in advance don’t arrive until way into the later weeks so my pre-birthday Christmas card opening abstinence seems to be a bit futile.
Last year the postie had a good excuse. Most of the UK and Warwickshire was under a thick blanket of snow and poor Postman Pat was at risk of slipping on the pavement. Meaning they would be having to take time off work with a sprained foot and a personal injury claim. Fair enough. This modern snow can be lethal. Those Victorian and postWW2-pre HSWA(1974) postmen had it easy. I’m surprised today’s postmen don’t have to wear special wire lined gloves in case they get a rather nasty infected paper cut from an overtly sharp envelope.
Last year’s snows and postage backlogs meant that I was getting birthday cards well into the New Year, which was nice. Amusing in a “Ne’r mind eh?” kind of way.
This year though, I thought it would be better. No snow in the midlands. Not a drop. Well at least in Leamington Spa at any rate. Through the week I had received a good few cards through the mail. I’d say about 9 or so. A few who’s origins I could guess and a few I could not. It was going to be a good birthday morning, opening these cards.
Just after my breakfast of Cinnamon Grahams and a cup of tea, I began the opening ceremony. One by one I gingerly teased each card out of it’s envelope revealing either ageist birthday mirth or greetings of seasonal persuasion.
The score was roughly
BIRTHDAY CARDS 6
CHRISTMAS CARDS 5
A nice balance. But no fear, I thought, it is Saturday today! The Royal Mail still deliver on a Saturday. Maybe I’ll get some in the post today!
Of course, sitting round expectantly is not something I can do these days, so we opted to brave the early morning cold and penultimate-Christmas-weekend shoppers and grab a few things before we came home for the afternoon to see what exciting things were in line for the rest of the day.
All the while I was like “heheh I can’t wait to get home to the mountain of cards that will be awaiting me on my doorstep”.
It was the spirit that enabled me to battle through the shuffling horde of consumer zombies.
The vim that vigorously calmed my need to vent venom at gawping gormers goggling at festive gifts of grot.
The spice that added fire to my mental curry of warmth empowering me through the ice knife cold Warwickshire winds.
So you can imagine my face when I opened the front door with the eagerness of an expectant child on Christmas morning only to find….
there was for Fruitcake.
NOT A SINGLE ONE delivered today was for me. NOT ONE.
I found the cottage cheese in the fresh meat section. Because, yes, that is the first place you would think of looking for cottage cheese. I am obviously stupid. I will go and kill myself right away.
Its another one of those days where things don’t go as planned. I had intended on swatting up for my exam but people and things just get in the way. Which means that as I had planned a whole day swatting I will now be spending a whole half day swatting instead.
I’ve lost half a day. Damn me and my procrastination. Though I have managed to listen to the whole of Portishead’s Third album about 6 times and, further to this, managed to learn about Gauntlet, Chomsky and Adorno. None of whom will probably come up on the exam. I hate exams.
So I’m taking my car out of the garage to take the recycling having spent all day tidying.
It was a bit stiff to open but as it’s cold I thought that was probably because of the weather. As I close the door I hear a ping and the door goes all wobbly and wouldn’t shut. So I have a look and notice that the bit of metal that holds the door to the runner has broken.
“Great!” I thought. I’m going on a journey from Sunday and I don’t fancy leaving the garage door open all week. So I ring me dad. He doesn’t know what to do and can’t really help what with being 80 miles away. So I think OK I’ll call the insurance, see if it’s covered. Then I discover that the garage isn’t covered because “It is not attached to the building”. Well that’s just great.
So after speaking to a lovely girl from Norwich Union who was having a shit day too, I looked through the yellow pages to see if there were any emergency garage door repair people. No. Not this time of year.
So then I realised I was all alone. G the Human Dog was not around. I had to try and fix this myself. So I put on my overalls and looked at the door. I sucked air through my teeth and tutted. I sighed. Tutted again. Sucked more air through my teeth, shook my head then had a cup of tea. After my cup of tea I stood by the door again. Sucked air through my teeth, as is the way, tutted and then shook my head once more. I then went to the shop to see if they had the part. I was gone for an hour. Then came back and said to myself “Well, its a strange model mate, what you got there is a B29na6x and they don’t make them no more. It needs a part but the shop couldn’t order the part in until the new year like.”
I then sighed. Tutted again. Sucked more air through my teeth and said “Well I can have a go but it’ll cost you”
After more standing round looking at the door, more air sucking and tutting I used a clever system of levers (Nameably bits of wood that Mrs Gnomepants had been on at me for months to get shut of) to lever the door into a more manuverable position. Then, using a bit of elbow grease and some levering, I managed to get the fucker shut.
I then invoiced myself £50 plus VAT but I offered to give a £10 discount for cash.
I think I was happy. Still I could have done it for £20 but you know…times are hard like….
It’s funny how we take things for granted. Today I have learnt about 3 granted things.
The first and second being the gear stick and clutch of a manual transmission car. G, of the human dog persuasion, wanted me to take him down to Thurnscoe (a very sinister part of south Yorkshire with weird, out of place council housing estates in the middle of nowhere) so that he could retrieve his dilapidated motorhome from a storage place. This involved me having to drive his beast of a people carrier (a Chrysler) which is automatic. I have never driven an automatic before. I’ll be jiggered if I could find the clutch or the gear stick (yeah yeah I knew there’s no clutch and the gear stick was in the steering column). Cue much swearing and cries of “ARRRRGH HOW DO YOU DRIVE THIS THING?!”
The third thing I took for granted is water. The house is devoid of water ever since it was attacked by water stealing aliens and transported to a distant arid planet since the plumber discovered that the bathroom his the focal point of a labyrinth of mysterious old lead pipes. So here I am, devoid of water (well not me personally; the house. If it was me I’d be like one of them creatures from Night of the Big Heat), with naught to make my tea and wash up with but a pan and a kettle of cold water. Toilet time is fun too. We have to use Mrs Owen’s outside jig (thats an outside loo to you Merrycans. Yes it is outside, in the middle of the lane with no name so that all the people from the club can see me pooing and weeing. No srsly it’s in Mrs Owen’s shed so it’s kind of an outside inside loo only it’s outside not inside, but then it is inside but outside of the house. If you get my meaning. You do? Good. I’d confusing to be hate) which is a nice outside jig but it has no light in it meaning we have to have the door ajar.
So with the plumber here, Gnomepants Manor resembles a building site.
As a happy ending, the people who own the field behind the “lane with no name” took a trip to an equine fair this weekend and purchased this lovely chestnut mare
A Horse Called Man
Behind the field behind the lane with no name is another field (separated by a patchy hedge and some skilfully placed barbed wire). In the field behind the field behind the lane with no name there are two other horses and a donkey, together with a collection of tatty farm machinery.
One of the horses in the field behind the field behind the lane with no name is a white and black patchy horsey. The white and black patchy horsey and his friends the donkey and the white horsey all came to say hello to the chestnut mare.
The white and black patchy horsey what has a big cock
I think the white and black patchy horsey was pleased to see the chestnut horsey (judged by the size of it’s dripping widgy). They all stood round looking at each other over the barbed wire fence. I suspect they have a lot to discuss.
You know when you’re baking a cake (yes, baking. That’s what people did BT (Before Tescos)) and it fills your kitchen with the lovely aroma of cakey goodness but you can’t take it out of the oven yet because it’s not ready and otherwise it will be ruined?
Well that’s what my 4 minute film is like. Its cooking really nicely (in a metaphorical sense) and it looks first class. However there is still one piece of film to add before the final edition. I’m really really pleased with it. Moreover I’m in a quandary. Next year I have to choose, film & radio or writing & radio. There is no option for writing and film. I really want to do writing and film.
Radio is arse. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy the radio module, but in the UK unless you’ve got experience in a live radio situation you’ve got as much chance of getting a job in radio as Rabbi Moses Goldsburgstien has of becoming Pope. In effect it is of no consequence. But I’m going to bring it up at my next personal tutorial.
Also today, I started my magazine cover. The assignment brief asks for us to design a full page cover of a magazine catering for young people (16-25…ageist bastards) and so I’m going to do Young Foodie which will cover Local food issues for young people….or something like that.
Last night the wife and I dined on finest Broad Close Farm Shop Pork and Apple Sausages. They were accompanied by mashed potato (made by the wife) and cabbage with an onion and mushroom jus (gravy). If I say so myself they were bloody good sausages! The gravy was also spot on. However the bacon we bought from Hazelhead Hall seems to be off. So I doubt we’ll be going there again.
Christmas eh? Aren’t you the least bit tired of it yet?
This year, for me at least, the Christmas build up has been one of abject resentment.
“Oh fuck it’s Christmas soon”
“I’ll wait until the January Sales”
“If I hear that fucking ‘Stop the Cavalry’ once more I’ll kill someone
“Big Issue….Help the homeless”
They are examples of what I have heard around me. In the street, on the bus, in the shops, work and college. Hell, if it wasn’t for the 2 week holiday everyone seems to get I think people probably would have given up on the fucking thing already. But they haven’t. Christmas is still extant.
Usually, for me, the run up to Christmas involves – Shopping, Going to Blackheath, Singing Carols, Bedecking the gaff with cheap tinsel and baubles, my birthday, Works Christmas nights/afternoons out and the inevitable crunch of going to the parents for a few days to be fed cold turkey and see people I don’t see at any other time of year (either out of choice or by design).
This year I’m breaking from tradition. First and foremost I won’t be going to Blackheath this year. Why? Well I’ve got far too many essays I need to write and I also have an issue of lack of funds. Shame really, because I really like seeing Tim and the guys. I’ll miss the two big noshes, the after service “warmed” wine and mince pies and the leisurely drive to London. But hopefully it’s only for a year and since 1995 I’ve only really missed one service. So I’m not going to feel too bad about it.
Secondly, the shopping side I’ve managed to get out of the way. Christmas Shopping sucks at any time of year. What do you get for people who are in a situation where they can buy whatever they want anyway that they won’t take back to the shop for a refund? This year I was fortunate to be accosted in Huddersfield by a delightful French (possibly Belgian) sales person who did such a splendid sales pitch I couldn’t resist buying Mrs Gnomepants’ Christmas presents. Indeed, Mrs Gnomepants has done a splendid money managing job this year by keeping the Christmas present budget to a bare minimum. No, we haven’t got everybody pencil holders made out of loo roll innards, we’ve got quality functional gifts. So the shopping side is done. Short of a pair of socks here and there.
Thirdly, the decorating of the house. Mrs Gnomepants, having watched far too many daytime design and style programmes, says we will opt for a less garish, minimalistic Christmas decoration scheme than of previous years. Gone is the big-tree-that-the-cats-attack. Gone are the tacky lights and strings of bunting. This year we are having a small shrub or potted tree (about 3-4 ft high) with a light dressing of ribbons. Of course the usual OTT treatment of the christmas cards is still undebated but no doubt they’ll feature.
Fourthly, the birthday. This year I’m 34. I feel about 28 mentally and 69 physically. I suppose 34 is a happy medium. In days past I would have held lavish evenings in the pub with my chums, maybe a meal with Mrs Gnomepants or the family. This year? Well this year I’m thinking of having some of my new (not NEW) college (as in Uni) chums round for a bite to eat and maybe some revellry in the Three Horse Shoes. However, with it being a weekday night and there is an “exam” on the Tuesday I’m a bit doubtful I’d be able to pull it off. Maybe I’ll just have to do something on the weekend. Personally I think I’ve got to that age now where birthdays don’t really matter. Aside from the cards and the occasional £10 note hidden inside that’s all really I have to look forward to birthday wise.
Fifthly, the works nights out. Again I’m in the predicament where I am in a new job. NEW College no doubt will be doing the usual after term binge at the Liquorice Bush in Pontefract so depending on what I’m expected to do at the Uni I’ll be bobbing along to that. I’ve no idea what is planned for the UCB. Either as a member of staff or as a student. No doubt it will involve drinks in the Walkabout or some other god awful place in Barnsley and, seeing as my budget is fixed at £30 for all Decemberish revellry, no doubt I’ll probably only go for one pint. Besides which I was hoping to spend the bulk of that £30 on a prechristmas/post birthday beverage with a poof I know that lives in Wakefield.
Finally, the visit to the parents. This year, it has been decided, we will be doing the in-laws. Notably the sister-in-laws. Mainly because hers is the larger house but also because young Meredith will be there doing what 2 year olds do at Christmas (slobber, poo, wee, make things sticky, whinge a lot). My parents will have to wait until Boxing Day. But you see it’s not just the parents is it? Really, last years disaster meant I didn’t get to see everybody I wanted to see. This year, I’m hoping with a bit of forward planning, I’ll be able to meet up with those scousers I have and have not seen this year (billzy, Nick, Nickey, anyone from CSD that fancies it, jimrock et al). But no doubt, even with all the best intentions in the world and going on previous years, any Scouse Christmas get togethers will be fraught with difficulty and none attendance.
Again, I’d rather bypass Christmas and go straight to New Year for the next three years, but I know that although miserable and curmudgeonly about it now, by the end of the season I’ll be thinking fond things again and saddened by the rapid passing of yet another year. As for the new year. Well things are afoot. Indeed, I imagine the next months postings will feature some retrospectives and reflections on the year since August 2006. So stay tuned. As they say in the orchestra.