2013 — 4 February: Monday

Dial back the DeLorean's controls far enough1 and a very young David could have been seen clambering off the bus by the "Bells of Ouseley" in Old Windsor for his first day of work in the computer industry. Having passed a day of interviews, programming aptitude tests, and writing tests just before Xmas 1973 I'd joyfully resigned from Hawker Siddeley Aviation2 and decided to start writing about computers instead of pretending to design aircraft.

Good choice. Besides, I met Christa two months later and then look what happened! :-)

Good news, to boot

This is what I like to see...


... since it means by 21:00 at the latest I should be well-booted in time for my next rambles through the mud. (Or snow, if the feather warcast is accurate.)

I'm shocked, shocked, I...

... tell you, to hear that football match-fixing takes place, let alone to hear that radioactive waste was dumped "without records" in the 1950s. As for "electrifying" the ring fences between banks' casino and domestic operations... Or undercover PC Metropolitan Plod impersonating the identity of dead children to infiltrate 'undesirable' organisations (such as environmental campaigns and anti-racist groups!) in the 1980s... I'm off back to the more placid havens of BBC Radio 3.

Breakfast, methinks.

Oh, Miriam!

I had a school chum whose parents whisked him off to Australia on the maiden voyage of the Canberra...

I'm not saying Australia isn't the most fluid and classless of all the countries that have massacred indigenous populations for the sake of a bigger garden. It's a terrific place, in many ways; I've spent time there and loved it. It's fun, it's adventurous, it's beautiful. And Australians have a great sense of humour. (I hope they can hang on to it through the following paragraph.)
Enthusiasts bang on about the marvellous Aussie "lifestyle", which basically comes down to eating shellfish outdoors in your pants. Or going to the beach at 9am on a Wednesday covered in zinc cream. But I understand. It does feel joyous. It's certainly more fun than doing that in Blackpool.

Victoria Coren in Observer

Wonder how NZ compares? [Pause] Having cleaned my keyboard — once you start, there's not much point in not taking it completely apart, is there? — I've earned my lemonses. It's sunny and quite mild out there. +8C and a bit windy. I remain bootless at the moment. [Pause] My first dropped-stuff-on-kitchen-floor incident since before Christa died. That's a pretty good record in my opinion. I shall let the remaining tea-leaves dry a little and then Dyson them into oblivion. Grrr.

Thanks, Mr Postie

I recently picked out "The Silent Partner" — more or less at random — from my trusty "Guide for the Film Fanatic"; the other title3 had me in stitches (indeed, near-"Hysteria") as I listened to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo manfully trying to describe it in terms deemed 'suitable' for day-time UK radio at the time of its cinema release. Given that day-time UK radio is currently dramatising Armistead Maupin's gleeful "Tales of the City" and has just reached Brian's forays into voyeurism and exhibitionism I completely fail to see what their problem could have been.

DVD and BD

How bizarre for some regal bones to turn up under a Leicester car-park. Oops! Just lost yet another Eastleigh MP as he pleads "guilty to perverting the course of justice" ten years ago. I would stand myself, except that (a) I couldn't stand the job, and (b) I have no idea what I'd stand for. A pox on all your parties... Still, at least my new boots have just turned up and seem promisingly comfortable.

Surely it's time for lunch? [Pause] Followed — given that weather warning — by a hasty top-up before the echo from the foodie cupboard becomes too bothersome.

Iceland? Not just fish fingers

A food group I hate, by the way. Anyway, some thoughts here on a heavily-un-publicised "quiet revolution". Thanks, Tall Thomas. Though I worry slightly that all complex problems have simple solutions that tend to have unexpected consequences. (It's tricky trying to factor in fear, greed, stupidity and all those other all-too-human characteristics of the sociopathic naked ape.)

That said, I'd still enjoy seeing some UK banking and derivatives-trading hedge fund "wizards" with their heads stuck on sharp poles.

I'm pleased...

... to have introduced my chum Brian to Mary Roach and her prose style. He sent me this delightful snippet that had made him chortle:

Kinsey wanted Dellenback to film his own staff. There are three ways to read that sentence, all of them true.

Mary Roach in Bonk (unless I miss my guess)

You can find her favourite Kinsey quote here.

Horse meat? It's all spam to me

Having just received what I chose to interpret as a threatening text message from my pay-as-you-go mobile's service provider I've taken the precaution of not only calling my landline phone from it, but also picking up the call for a couple of seconds to register the fact that my mobile is still "alive". Remains to be seen if my ploy works, of course. I also got quite a plausible email from a chap who said he wanted to write a 500-word piece about 'molehole' and (I assume — my eyes were glazing over as I tackled the inferior prose) have me place it on 'molehole' with an embedded link to one of his sponsors. Dear old Olga wrote to me again, too:

Dear david
Hallo. I am Olga. What is your name? etc etc

I'm perpetually bemused at the efforts people will make to 'earn' a dishonest living. Since I have but little money I'm a paradoxically difficult target.



1  Exactly 39 years, in this case.
2  Truncating my five-year apprenticeship, and being called all kinds of blithering idiot for doing so by the stupid jerk whose job title claimed he was a Training Officer. I could have used then a book I wasn't actually to buy for another decade or so while holidaying in Guernsey.
3  There's still no sign of a UK Blu-ray release, hence my German import.