i) In this week’s Life Imitating Art slot, I saw a headline on FarceBroke about a Britain’s Got Talent contestant whose grandmother died days before his audition. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Peter Kay’s “Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice”.
ii) To London on Saturday for a meeting / training session. Had an easy journey up from Smalltown, and as the meeting was at Charing Cross, only a short hop across the Thames from Waterloo. The meeting room had pens with a small rubber/plastic nodule on the end.
Thinking these were pens with erasable ink, and an eraser too, I scribbled a squiggle to give it a go. Nothing happened.
My neighbour was less technologically outdated and pointed out that it wasn’t an eraser, it was a stylus for a touch screen. I don’t have one of those.
iii) This notice in the lift lobby amused me. If you’re going to the gym shouldn’t you be using the stairs?
iv) Sunday morning I was running a training session. One of the exercises required the class to write ideas on flip chart paper. Previous experience has shown that a) some people will write “separate” b) they will spell it “seperate”.
To forestall this, before they started the exercise I told them how to spell “separate”. And all went well. Except someone then went and wrote “accomodation” – despite the fact that it was written on the card in front of her. “I spelt it with two Ms first but it looked wrong”.
v) Later in the evening I saw these instructions on a knife-fork-and-spoon set CS3 was getting ready for her Duke of Edinburgh Award practice hike this weekend
We couldn’t work out how it “seperated” [sic]. In the end CS3 googled and youTubed the answer – successfully.
vi) As part of this preparation, CGF suggested that CS3 checks her WhatsThat messages from the D of E group – she doesn’t turn her phone on very often.
“I’ve got 20 unread messages … 28 … 36 … 45 …”
The count stopped at around 580.
vii) CS3 was been playing at being “only child” at the weekend. CS2 took a trip to see CS1 at uni on Saturday. “Oh, “ I said when told he was on his way to uni-town. “Does CS1 know about this?”
viii) Apropos nothing, we were talking about how useful it was having a co-op nearby
“But how often do you use it?” asked CS3
“quite often, “ I replied. “you don’t realise because you’ve got your head stuck in YouTube. I say ‘I’m going to co-op do you wants anything?’ … no response … ‘Hi CS3 I’m back’ … no response. You haven’t even noticed I’ve gone out. Then 45 minutes later you see the doughnuts on the table and ask ‘where did they come from?’!!!”
ix) Sunday afternoon we went for a short bike ride around the town, on secret operations. Well, not that secret – obviously CGF and I know what it was about!
x) Friday (yes, I’m going back in time) I had a successful house-tidying session. I cleared out old correspondence from my filing cabinet – reducing two drawers down to half a drawer. Then I tackled the wardrobes and combined two double wardrobes into one. I then rearranged the bedroom a bit, swapping the positions of the bed and the wardrobes. It seems to make better use of the space – don’t know why I didn’t do it years ago.
xi) Four weeks to the election, and the political parties are out and about with their “my policy’s better than yours” claims. I was intrigued by the Lib-Dems promise to give an extra £7bn to schools over four years. It sounds like an impressive sum, but how much is that per school? About £70,000 per year. OK, better than nothing, but hardly a significant amount.
In fact, the amount is probably less than that, as that was based on the number of schools in England. The money would also go to Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland, I think, have their own funding arrangements.
xii) Another example of “baffling the audience with figures” appeared in a headline in a local rag a couple of weeks ago. “Ambulance Service spends £50,000 on tea for paramedics”. A brief perusal of the article revealed that this was the annual cost the ambulance trust spent on tea and coffee for all staff, not just paramedics, and that it equated to 6 pence per employee per day. So not really a news story at all.