2007 — 31 May: where did May go?

She's still in hospital, but was quite cheerful (and very bored) when I popped in to see her last night. My visit was followed by a spiritually cleansing stroll on Farley Mount, as far as the horse memorial (from 1733 or thereabouts). And then the ol' tum-tum was filled up in the bungalow of my chauffeur by a delicious steak and more than acceptable Chardonnay (the wrong colour, I know, but an aspiring PC and member of the younger generation had provided it, so what can one say?)

I rather hoped to shepherd Her home later today, but I have my suspicions it won't now be until Friday afternoon, which neatly (and, I'm sure, entirely coincidentally) dovetails with the amount of insurance cover that Norwich Union — bless 'em — have cheerfully agreed to.

In this morning's cheerful phonecall1 she basically confirmed their wish to keep her in until all systems are back online — one wonders, a bit wearily, why the hell they didn't do that in the first place — but the only problem she now faces is one of acute boredom. Her concentration is obviously returning. She's still wired up to a drip for nourishment (if you can call a plastic bag of salty glucose nourishment!) — it doesn't begin to compare to fillet steak, wine, and cheery company, I can assure you — and is tethered electrically to the pump that is slowly sucking the excess air out of her poor old tummy.

Banks and Utilities. Are they any use?... department

In less cheerful news, however, those grasping chaps2 at Scottish Power, having lured me into signing up with them by promising to save me £200 or so a year, have just put their combined gas and electricity tariff up3 by £37 per month — do the math!

Even more aggravatingly, Mr New Bank has once again been told by Mrs Old Bank that there's more than one name on my account and therefore Mr New Bank cannot pick up all my sitting commands and deadly debits (I never said this was going to be an interesting diary). The fallback plan proposed by my new Liverpudlian best friend in New Bank land is to send through the request manually (on paper, no less!) rather than engaging machine to machine. (I couldn't be bothered to point out this is exactly what Mrs Old Bank said I should get them to do and, indeed, they said they'd done it.) What a set of bankers!

I believe, however, that I've managed to pay one of my card bills online from my New Bank! This is progress of a sort. Oh, and the last of the 16 Horsepower CDs turned up too.4 It's their 1995 "Sackcloth'n'Ashes". The ripping proceeds. I have worked my way through over six boxes, ripping 9,644 tracks (with a mere 976 [possible] duplicates — 3 days worth) but with at least 15,000 still to go...

Updated list is here. 669 albums, and counting.

I've just heard BBC radio (and the good old 'Home Service', no less) use the phrase "the last stage of his farewell tour" to describe Mr Blair's spouting in, and about, African aid and government. Is the world mad? Meanwhile, a chap from South Africa is asking why some countries are not on "the legacy tour." Pinch me, someone.



1  Don't anyone else even think of ringing me so early, I'm warning you!
2  They are therefore now just £13-50 a month cheaper than British Gas, except that those grasping chaps have, in the meantime, been widely advertising the fact that they're reducing prices faster than any other supplier. One could exhaust oneself simply by switching constantly around. And, since the stuff trickles to me through the same damned pipes and cables in any case... I blame the Thatch, myself.
3  "To ensure I stay in credit" if you please!
4  The last of the ones I'll be buying, to be more precise. There is one more album extant, but it's only available second hand at exorbitant price.