We’ve had some very good drying days of late, so I have got to grips with a backlog of horrendousness which was found lurking in the son’s room. Normally I take a strict view of washing, having introduced both children to the washing machine at the age of fourteen and then backed off forever: I simply cannot understand parents who allow their grown-up offspring (usually their sons) to return from uni with a pile of washing. They’d get short shrift from me. But in this case Son had not only cleared out his room but made strenuous efforts to keep it clear, so I thought I’d pitch in and finish the job. There’s something quite satisfying about doing several loads of washing if by the time the second lot’s finished, the first lot has flapped about in a strong breeze and fierce sun and is now ready for folding (not that I do fold, not in any real sense of the word.)
Since all that, I am now shocked to discover that it’s been nearly a week since my last post (I can’t help writing that like a confession.) A week in which I didn’t get the writer-in-residence post in Scotland but did get the loveliest rejection email I’ve ever had; a week in which a story of mine was returned at lightning speed (never a good sign), a week in which early spuds have been dug up, tennis at Queen’s watched (Murray is not in great form though considering he’s had 50 weeks off it’s not surprising) and the local contender to oust Nicky Morgan launched.
I’ll give Nicky Morgan this: she’s ubiquitous. Any local event you go to, she’s right there – and not just for the photo-op either. She’s thought of as a good constituency MP, which makes her a hard person to oust – but if we want a change of government (and god knows we do) we have to get rid of her. So let’s put aside the pleasant manner and the local events and consider Nicky Morgan’s voting record.
Here are just a few of the things she’s voted for (or against):
AGAINST equal rights for gays and lesbians
AGAINST investigations into the Iraq war
AGAINST a right to remain in the UK for EU citizens post-Brexit
AGAINST higher taxes for those earning over £150 K pa
AGAINST a bankers’ bonus tax
FOR more restrictions on Trades Union activity
FOR replacing the Trident nuclear missile system
FOR the Bedroom Tax
FOR a reduction in spending on welfare and benefits
FOR reducing capital gains tax.
I think it’s quite clear where her priorities lie.
In other news, I am now acquiring more material for my next sitcom; a follow-up or possibly a rewrite of ‘Waiting for Theo.’ This morning’s material went like this:
OH: You know about fully-automated luxury gay space communism, right?
OH: (shows me the phrase written down) It’s a thing
Me: But what thing?
OH: It’s basically Iain Banks
Me: Well that tells me nothing. What’s the gay bit about?
OH: It doesn’t mean anything really. It’s just put there because it’s a three-letter word
Me: Oh, for god’s sake! This is getting less clear by the minute!
OH: All right. Consider a lesbian automated checkout.
OH: Have you considered it?
Me: No, but I’m writing THAT down.
And so on – in fact OH could legitimately say like Alan Bennett’s mother (The Lady in the Van), ‘by ‘eck, I’ve given you some script!’ OH really has given me some script too; stuff you couldn’t make up if you sat at your desk for a thousand years – which by coincidence is about how long ago I invented two characters called Ladimir and Oestrogen (a rather clever pun on Vladimir and Estragon, or so I thought). Here are a couple of examples:
Ladimir: God! Three degrees in Edinburgh!
L: Three degrees!
O: What – temperature?
L: Of course, temperature! What else?
O: Oh, nothing
L: It’s so foggy
L: You can’t see your hand in front of your face!
O: Wow! So I guess they’ll be singing when will I see you again?
Ladimir: Here you are! I’ve been looking for you
Oestrogen: Here I am
L: what’s this then?
O: It’s my putting shed
L: Your putting shed?
L: Not a potting shed?
O: Do you see any pots?
L: OK then. Is it for golf clubs?
L: Well, what is it for then?
O: It’s for putting things in.
L: Oh, I see. How foolish of me not to realise we were in a written conversation.
L: In Fortran it was ‘right’ and in Basic it was ‘print’
L: Fortran was hard. Everyone learnt Basic
O: Even I learnt a bit of Basic
O: On my computer programming for morons course
L: Was it really called that?
L: Well, they have ‘Computer Programming for Idiots’ and ‘Internet for Dummies’
O: Well it wasn’t.
L: You’ll know all about the ‘go to’ problem then?
O: Go to? There’s a problem with ‘go to’? It was the only bloody thing I understood!
L: It didn’t have an equivalent ‘come from’ function.
O: Oh, I see. So it wasn’t quite finished.
O: You might say it was antiquated
L: I guess
O: Even Shakespearian?
O: “Go to, my Lord”. You know, that sort of thing.
And so on… I think our real conversations are better.