Thursday, 6 January 2011

The mystery of the white towels

The mystery of the white towels has finally been solved! Keen readers of this blog will remember that a strange package from John Lewis appeared on our doorstep at the start of December. I didn’t know if it was an early Christmas present, or a gift for someone else, because there was no message attached. I called all my friends and family, but no one had any idea what I was talking about!

Fortunately, I received an email this morning from Jane, who sung in the Pepys Motet, asking if I’d received the slightly eccentric gift she’d sent to say thank you for the experience. And at that moment, the penny dropped! She must have thought I was so rude for not saying thank you, but all’s well that ends well and I can finally take the lovely fluffy towels down from the top of my wardrobe and dry myself in style! Hurrah!

I went to the gym today, and had to sit in the car park for 40 minutes whilst waiting for a space. I know the concept of driving to a gym smacks of all things American, so I really only have myself to blame. When I finally got in, I found myself instantly regretting my decision to go. A group of middle-aged men were shouting at each other across the changing room, in those forced Mockney voices that make insecure men feel oh so masculine. The conversation went something along the lines of; “why you wearing that top, mate? It’s gay. You look gay. You shouldn’t wear that top.” There was a brief blast of homophobic banter, before the rancid chatter moved onto joke telling, which culminated in some kind of discussion about lesbians and tins of tuna, which was so desperately tragic, I felt the need to escape before I’d put my shoes and socks on! I don’t know why these Neanderthals still exist in the world, but I don’t think anyone would miss them if they sunk to the bottom of the swimming pool.

I worked until 8pm tonight, and for the last hour had the television on in the background. Michael Portillo was doing yet another sodding documentary about train journeys. I don’t know why the BBC seems so keen to flog a dead format. The licence fee surely means they should be taking more risks. It’s not even like Portillo is particularly compelling as a presenter, speaking as he does, in that silly low voice and walking around in fuddy-duddy, “I used to wear a suit to work” clothes.

And speaking of celebrity-endorsed documentaries, which are the scourge of television programming at the moment, I just watched Martin Clunes doing a piece about manta rays. At the end of the programme, I was left with just one question...Why? Clunes doesn’t know anything about Manta Rays, and spent the entire documentary saying he was too scared to dive into the sea to look at them, so the girl with him, obviously the proper manta ray enthusiast, was forced to do it instead. It’s so ridiculous that no documentaries are being shown on telly without the suffix; “with Joanna Lumley” or whatever. “Gardens of the world - with Monty Don” “’cellos I have loved - with Yoyo Marr.” It’s a proper nonsense, and smacks of cynical production companies making a fast buck.

Twelfth Night, 1661, and, disappointingly, there were no parties for Pepys, who went with his wife to church, and heard a setting of a psalm which lasted a whole hour whilst a sexton went around with a collection plate. Surely this would have been a form of punishment close to wearing a hair shirt? And as if he hadn’t suffered enough already, Pepys went home to eat a broiled leg of mutton. Surely that can’t have been much fun?!

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