Friday, 29 February 2008
One of the benefits of driving a Nissan X Trail is the car you get to borrow when yours is in for a service.
Yesterday I swapped my sleek, sophisticated X Trail for the ultimate chavombile, complete with chucky roof bars, running boards and a back seat, convenient for servicing firm breasted blonde hitchhikers.
It's a motor that had me fighting the urge to blow £10 at Argos on a gold bracelet and chest medallion. It's also a motor that did not meet the approval of the lovely young lady on the security barrier at Norfolk County Council.
She was clearly the kind of person who would normally swoon at the site of a tanned, muscular chap like me arriving in the ultimate fun 4x4, but somehow the charm opportunity passed her by.
'The car park's full,' she said, 'you'll have to go away again.' This was somewhat inconvenient as three people were waiting for me inside the building for some high-powered negotiations. I had to ring them from the roadside and explain that short of parking on a double yellow line on the main road outside, they'd have to re-schedule the meeting and find a venue that allowed visitors to park.
Rather like the car, her willingness to screw up the Council's business by turning away visitors with important meetings, left me speechless.
The three folks I was to meet are now scheduled to come here in a few days time. I'm tempted to give my PA a high-vis jacket and clipboard and have her turn them away at the top of the drive, 'as our car park is full'. That however would be rude and unlike Councils, I don't do rude.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
12 hours later I realised the mistake I'd made. Food poisoning is not nice and having one toilet and the urgent need to both sit on it and lean over it at the same time is even worse.
Now, 36 hours later I am beginning to recover. To eat again and feel as if I might manage to live beyond the weekend.
Of course the airline will say it's pure coincidence and perhaps it is. It might have been something else that struck my wife and I that night, even though I very much doubt it.
My lingering question is this: why do we expect a 'proper' meal on a plane when actually, a few museli bars or similar would bridge the gap, not fill the plane with awful food smells and be a lot easier to store and serve hygienically.
I’ve just come back from a week in
We stopped overnight in a remote Berber village. The houses were made of earth, there was one light-bulb hanging from the ceiling of each room, no heating and the only washing facilities were the small tap on the wall beside the squatter toilet; even when given its morning rinse with water from the stream, this was not a nice place to linger.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
He later told the media that this was a misquote, but not before the Bishop of Manchester got hot under his dog-collar and protested loudly about the Bodyworlds exhibition about to open in his city.
I've got to know von Hagens reasonably well over the five years since I signed up with him as a body donor. I have also accompanied him to his factory in China and watched his team of highly skilled anatomists preparing donated bodies for display.
I don't for a moment really think he plans to sell body parts to the general public. But if he did, would it really matter? If in 50 years time someone could entertain their friends and shock the postman by fitting my preserved right arm as a door-knocker, then who am I to worry?
Given the choice between cremation, burial or being recycled as a teaching aid or even as works of art, the latter is surely the most appealing. It makes such sense to be able to continue to contribute to society in a positive way long after your death.
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