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Blog for December

Posted on 3 January, 2022 at 0:15

Blog for December


Well what do you know folks, if its my report for December it must 2022!


Where did I go in December: Taunton, Clevedon, Cheltenham, Coventry, Witney, Chesham and Ilkeston, the remainder of that time spent with family and friends.


My resolutions for this year are pretty much the same as last year and all things considered, I didn’t do too bad.


As much as I enjoy the run-up to Christmas, I hate this part of the year we now move into. When I do eventually retire this is when I will go to Spain as we now enter three months of miserable weather.


Those of you who grew up in the 1960’s or 70’s will remember how in the UK the whole world died a little on a Sunday afternoon. The pubs closed at 2 o’clock, children weren’t allowed to make a noise, all the shops were closed. People who were wealthy enough to have a car went for a Sunday drive. But the streets were deserted. All we had to look forward to was “Pick of the Pops” on the radio that was a run down to the music charts ending with number 1 at seven o’clock.


The world really was a different place then. In one of his stories Douglas Adams referred to Sunday afternoons as the “long dark teatime of the soul” if you were a teenager of the 60’s or 70’s you know what he meant.


For me, the months immediately after Christmas now represent my current “long dark teatime of the soul” I absolutely hate this time in the UK, if I was to top myself, well, let’s not go there.


But talking of people topping themselves I can’t understand why the Eco’s don’t do themselves in? You know, Peter Kaye style “C’mon you’re scaring the kids, let’s get you off to the care home”.


I think it would be a noble move, if you’re so concerned about “Sustainable” and shit like that. If all Eco’s were to commit “Ecocide” think of the gains, no more “food crisis” more energy and water for all. No more of them causing pollution by eating lentils and passing wind or holding up traffic on the M25. It’s the Perfect Solution. If you’re prepared to risk your kids lives in a plastic bubble attached to the back of your wobbly bike cos you’re a saving the world, this is the next logical step.


Anyway, went a bit off track there. I do hope that all you normal, hard working or retired folk have a great new year and remember it’s not too late to turn things around. A mate of mine was married to a nasty little bitch 25 years ago and stuck with her cos he thought it was too late to start again.


Well, he’s still alive and he’s still married to a nasty little bitch, when perhaps he could have had 25 years with a nice lady.


My current plan for 2022 is to keep my head down, put a few shekels in the bank and enjoy a few holidays with my partner in crime. I also look forward to spending time with my grandchildren and the garden watching them all grow. It goes without saying that the oak tree is watching me but I think by now we have come to an understanding and both respect each other.


I sincerely hope that all of my readers and those unfortunate enough not to be, had a cracking Christmas and an enjoyable Hogmanay. I must say I prefer a quiet New Year’s eve at home, I have had enough of having to attend other people’s houses for the event.


I’ll have to admit that getting back to work after having Covid last year was not exactly a piece of cake, I still have a chesty cough and my sense of taste changed so I don’t like the same things I used to and my sense of smell took a long time to come back but isn’t quite the same. As an aside, I’m still deaf and have a strong desire to fall asleep at 3 o’clock in the afternoon so no change there then.


For the Spark’s point of view we have Amendment 2 of BS7671 in March/April to look forward to, where it looks extremely likely that AFDDs will be made mandatory where there is sleeping accommodation. We won’t know for sure what all the changes will be but as a member of the IET I have seen the proposal document. It is now with the Select Committee who will have the final say. I have noted with interest, that the overlap period between Amendment 1 and 2 is going to be twelve months rather than the usual six.


Myself and CO are rather saddened at the end of the “Inspector Montalbano” series on Rai Uno (or on BBC 4). We have watched the Commissario since the first episode back in 2000. I have read all the books of which there shall be no more as the author Andrea Camilleri passed away in 2019. The series became so popular they even released a “Young Montalbano” which was very good. I used to enjoy the exchanges between Salvo and Mimi without of course forgetting Catarella. If you are an aficionado you will know what I mean.


This is the year that hopefully, we will be able to take a few holidays that were postponed and rescheduled due to Covid. On one of them we will pay a visit to Sicily and hopefully catch a glimpse of where they filmed Montalbano (the fictional Vigata).


I know we can’t say what we wished for in the new year, but what do you fancy? I’m not even thinking about retiring yet but I can still have pipedreams about when I do. Although these do seem to change on a monthly basis. For the moment, I’ve gone off buying a villa as I can see myself ending up embarking on a constant mission of painting and decorating two homes if I do. So my latest wheeze is “Why don’t we just book into a hotel in Spain for a couple of months at a time?”


And when you look into it, it’s not such a bad option. The cost for hotels in Spain is very reasonable throughout the year apart from July and August (when I would want to be back in the UK anyway cos its too hot even for the Spanish). So you could go half-board, that is breakfast and 3-course evening meal (with drinks) taken care of for less than a grand a month for two. So no food shopping, no rates, no utility charges or “Urbanization” charges, no painting and decorating costs. You don’t even have to make the bed and housekeeping is free! If you take the car or hire one you can base yourself there and explore as we often do. According to my latest plan then, in my dotage my address will be somewhere between Botley and the Royal Sun, Santa Susanna.


I have also come round to the idea that if you buy a villa in Spain you can be just as lonely as living on an estate anywhere else because you end up just coming and going without any social interaction. I have started to consider that a mobile home in Saydo Park surrounded by fellow Brits would be better than a villa in Puerto Banus where the neighbours hardly know each other.


What if you won the Lottery though? Well unless I had my family around me I would still avoid the lonely villa syndrome.


Ok so that’s my blog for the end of December done and dusted.


We are now into a new year so who knows what joy or heartbreak we will find, what mistakes we will make. I’ve certainly made my share along the way so bound to make a few more.


In “Back to the Future” when Marty asked about his future, Doc Brown said “Marty, the future hasn’t yet been written” and that is completely true, its never too late to change your future.


And when Marty challenged him about reading that letter by asking “what about interfering with the space-time continuum?” Doc winked and said “I just figured, what the hell”.


Happy trails folks, your future has not yet been written.

 



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