Friday, 22 February 2013
We seem to be watching Mastermind. Is it just me, or has the standard dropped? In the olden days, people would regularly score up to 30 points, yet only one of today's competitors scored more than 20. And this was some kind of quarter final. This begs a simple question; are we 33% less intelligent than we were in the 1980s, or do they have 33% less time to answer the questions?The boiler in our flat is working again, thankfully, and a strange pair of men turned up this afternoon to repair the guttering outside our bedroom window, which has been making the wall below our bathroom damp, and drenching us every time we’ve tried to open the front door, apparently even when it’s not raining!
A curious Polish man turned up first, and asked me what I wanted him to do. “I assume you’re here about the guttering?” I asked, “I don’t know” he said, “someone else is coming, but he’s fifteen minutes away.” There was a long silence as both of us tried to think of things to say. He ended up waiting in the garden out of politeness. Frankly I’d have been more likely to offer him a sit down and a cup of tea if he’d seemed to know why he was standing in my house. The idea of making small talk for fifteen minutes whilst I had work to do was horrendous. As he left the house, he handed me a newspaper, "in case you want to read it..." "Don't you want to read it?" I asked. "No," he said, "I thought you might..." I thanked him keenly, wondering if I'd entered a Pinter play without realising.
His entirely spherical side-kick arrived fifteen minutes later informing me that a car “or van” had exploded on the Archway Road and that there were hundreds of emergency service personnel trying to deal with an enormous fire. I glanced out of the front window. The traffic wasn’t moving, and there seemed to be some blue flashing lights beyond the junction with Southwood Lane, but I couldn’t see any smoke. I was more irritated to have knocked a plant over as I tried to open the window and also that all these curiously-shaped workmen were preventing me from going to the gym.
There’s not a lot else to say about today. It’s freeing cold and it’s been trying to snow all afternoon. They say arctic winds are heading this way, making it seem even colder, which is a fairly terrifying thought. The weather seems to be all that people want to talk about; in the gym, in the cafe... I'm on the White City Estate all day tomorrow. Someone's going to return me to Nathan as a block of ice.
I'm going to stop writing now, because I’ve been sitting in front of this computer solidly since 9am and I want to have a couple of hours’ rest before bed. I should probably eat something as well.
Have a lovely weekend, readers!