Thursday, 1 December 2011

Strike? What Strike?

Yesterday the whole country was supposed to grind to a halt in an effort to get the government to change its mind about pensions. Instead the whole country appeared to go shopping and as far as I could tell things actually worked better. There were no twelve hour queues at airports, no mass riots in the streets and for me a quieter day at work than normal because instead of being short staffed, as we usually are, they'd drafted in so much cover we were actually fully staffed for once.

I'm not a striker, I don't think it achieves anything and in the kind of job I'm in I don't feel it is right to abandon my post when someone might need my help. However I do understand why others feel the need to take action but if you are going to take action then make it count. Going shopping instead of manning a picket line only makes those you have inconvenienced less sympathetic to your cause.

The last couple of days have been busy in a weird sort of way. I don't seemed to have done much but am constantly running out of time. Part of the problem is that I keep thinking I'm one day ahead. I spent yesterday firmly convinced it was Thursday. I have no idea why my brain is doing this but it is very disconcerting. Maybe I'm subconsciously wishing Sunday would get here quicker as that's when Laurence is coming around for lunch, well that's the only reasonable explanation I've been able to come up with.

There was a flurry of excitement in the close today when workmen turned up and hacked down the old concrete lamp post that stands outside my house. We have long thought that a lamp post there, just outside our bedroom window, is a bit of a pain and hoped that we'd finally got rid of it. I know we've put up with it for twenty years but there are still times when it bothers me, usually if I wake up in the middle of the night . We have thick curtains and pull them carefully to eliminate any gaps but somehow light still gets through. Unfortunately our delight was short lived when it was replaced by a steel monstrosity that is completely out of character with the surroundings. At the time of writing I'm waiting to see what it looks like when it is on. Peter went out and chatted to the workmen and found out it was one of those energy saving lamps that can be dimmed when less light is needed. There's some hope in that then, we now at least have a chance of the lamp being dimmed overnight, but I'm not holding my breath.

In the news Jeremy Clarkson has got himself in a whole heap of trouble by stating that he thought strikers should be shot. Regular watchers of Top Gear and readers of Clarkson's columns in various newspapers should know exactly what to expect by now and I'd be amazed if any of them were particularly shocked by what he said. Jeremy Clarkson says things to shock, that's what he does, that's partially what he is famous for and his usual audience accept this as part of his 'brand'. Unfortunately for him he was not performing for his usual audience when he appeared on the One Show last night and has offended a large amount of people who are not familiar with his abrasive style. Personally I think the outrage shown by the Unions is misdirected. I watched the One Show last night and found his comments about suicides far more offensive than anything he said about the strikers. However this has been completely overlooked and the whole thing hijacked by union leaders still smarting from their failure to bring the country to it's knees. I'm not a fan of Jeremy Clarkson, I find him boorish, rude and far too full of himself but in fairness to him he was asked for his opinion. As a watcher of Top Gear I had a fair idea of what his reaction was likely to be and if I knew then so must the BBC who employ him. And as the BBC must have known what he was like then the only conclusion I can come to is that they were looking for controversy, maybe not as much as they got, but some. I don't think Jeremy Clarkson should be sacked for his comments about strikers, I think he should be reprimanded and made to apologise about the things he said about suicides certainly and the unions should concentrate on the important things, the things they were striking about in the first plac, than waste their energies on a fifty something man who still thinks he's at school.

 I'm a Celeb is coming to an end and I'm already feeling bereft. On Sunday it will all be over for another year and the countdown to Christmas TV will begin in earnest. Being the first of December a lot of people I know are already putting up Christmas decorations, how depressing. When I was younger, the decorations went up on the last day of the school term giving us something to look forward too and making the two weeks we had off a truly magical time of year. These days Christmas starts in the shops before the summer holidays finish and by Halloween the shops are selling everything from mince pies to Christmas crackers and as a result the magic is almost non existent. In fact quite often I'm so fed up of Christmas by Christmas that I really struggle to feel festive. In our house we still refuse to put the decorations up until the end of school term and I've already been asked by a caller to the door why my tree isn't up yet, grrrrrr! The only thing I've done so far is order our turkey from the local farmer and make a list of what I've got to get.

Dentist tomorrow, oh joy.