2006 — Day 2 - pumping irony

It's quite a shock to shuffle down to make the early morning cuppa and find one's Big Bro, apparently unaware of the wintery nature of the house, sprawled across my 1971 Parker Sintique in what can best be described as his smalls. That's family for you, I guess.

The unpleasant coolness of the house indicates the need for a return visit from Brian the Plumber as we seem to have witnessed the demise of our third central heating pump. He talked me through a diagnosis procedure involving a hammer that reminded me of the old joke about the retiree who knew exactly where to bang a recalcitrant machine and charged an appropriately high fee for same. At about eight years apiece, these pumps don't seem to do quite as well as the human heart, but are missed nonetheless. Annoyingly, we'd only just got back from a trip to B&Q, buying yet another set of sticky tape for me to re-fix my cheapskate double glazing rather than bite the bullet and let the Anglian pirates back into the house. So that's tomorrow's task. Alas! We had been going to visit Ikea in Bristol...

Having shops open on a Sunday is all very well, I suppose. Today found me browsing the Woolworths "2 for £10 or £5.99 each" rack of DVDs. I was initially attracted (who wouldn't be?) by Liv Tyler in Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty even though, as you see, I already have it on a DVD I transcribed from my original LaserDisc. I also noted Jennifer Lopez in The Cell which I remember borrowing from my chum Len, though I can't honestly say I remember much of the film. It was certainly colourful, but maybe that's not quite enough.

My final choices for my hard-earned tenner? Well, I've just scanned the cover artwork though I have yet to fire up the database. One is Unconditional Love made by PJ Hogan [Rupert Everett and Kathy Bates are pretty reliable, and the vertically challenged lady has been featuring, to devastating effect, in the third season of the sublime Boston Legal] and the other was a dismal flop at the Box Office (not always a sign of a bad film): Popeye, which I'd somehow missed was directed by Robert Altman. Sad completeist that I am, therefore, and even though it comes from Walt Disney...

This evening's Antiques Roadshow was obviously the only TV suitable for my new status. And the blessed bangers quietened down a bit, just in time for the tribute to Nigel Kneale on BBC Radio 4. If you're reading, Ian, I've updated your email as requested!

5 November 2006