Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A bug?

I seem to have gone down with some kind of cold bug that's giving me flu-like aches. How very dare it. I'm not used to this. It shows how well I had been doing. I can't wait to feel better again. Indulge me this boring moany post!

Isn't February going fast? Nice Man is off to Spain tommorrow to hit drums with bits of wood.

My brother, John, directed a documentary on Scottish pop that will be here on BBC iPlayer for 3 more days. I was proud of him.


Thursday, February 14, 2008

The social lottery of Glasgow buses

Getting on a bus in Glasgow is like playing the lottery of social intercourse. Sometimes, you sit beside a person of questionable personal hygiene, who then asks if he / she met you on holiday. (No, of course, is the answer). I hit the metaphorical bonus ball yesterday when I helped a partially-sighted, 93 year old man on to the bus and we sat beside each other.

He was all cheery about the weather - thank goodness for weather as an opening topic to almost all conversations with strangers. He said it reminded him of the days when he got 'a penny fair' on the tram, and he and his wife went to the bluebell woods (now a housing estate) past Anniesland. He had such light in his eyes, I thought he'd be one these guys who had a long marriage. When he told me he'd been with his wife for 70 years (since age 23) and then that she died 2 years ago (aged 88), I got a big lump in my throat.

He told me he had fought in WW2 and he goes swimming every morning and has a wee dram at nights ('just the one, mind'). His 'children' are in their 60's now (unfathomable to me) and he doesn't like to impose on them. He told his son he would go 'chasing the birds' at the bowling club socials and son said, 'you wouldn't know what to do with them, if you caught one.' At that point he gave a big self-deprecating laugh and I noticed how shiny his black shoes were, and I thought how clean and chlorinated he must be after the swimming pool. Almost like a baby.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

boys in green aprons and freudenschade

Now is the time that I wish I'd learnt touch-typing in school. Secretarial studies, as it was called, was generally frowned upon. If you were 'clever', you were encouraged to do languages or science instead. I took German, but I think I'd swap it for touch-typing. These people that can type without looking at the keyboard impress me more than anyone who can use an Umlaut or know what Schadenfreude really means, when you break it down. Can anyone learn to touch type, later in life? i.e. after their brain is hard wired to look at every key, or else thye end up wrtining lke tis?!*!?

Today in my local supermarket there were about 10 varieties of apple. I used to love cox pippin in autumn and granny smith in spring. I asked a boy in a green apron which apples are in season now (half of them are from New Zealand or somewhere a million food miles away). He went to ask another boy in a green apron and together they asked a third boy. The consesus was that all the apples were in season. They're all in season, he said, waving his hand across the display, to lend weight to his argument. Okay, I said, but I didn't believe him.

Here is a good website called Eat the Seasons that should tell us more.